Blog Archives

January 4 – 10, 2011

CHRISTMAS BEFORE THE TOWN CLOCK WAS THERE. This was taken December 26, 1951 at Pacific and Water Streets before they rescued what’s now our Town Clock from rotting in Harvey West Park. That’s after they removed it from the top of the Odd Fellows Hall on Pacific which was across Pacific from Rittenhouse’s empty stucco mausoleum.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email

DIY PARADE. I got to Laurel and Pacific at almost exactly 5:30 p.m. and there was not a single trace of any parade. It had left already, it was that small & short!!! I passed Paul Lee, The LeBoeuf Brothers, Valerie Lasciak, Chris Krohn, and maybe 300 others and caught up with the celebrants/marchers in front of Lulu Carpenters where the police had set up fencing and where the celebrating went on until about 7 p.m. People like Michael Bethke, Louis La Fortune, Mathilde Rand, Sherry Conable, Dan Coyro, Grant Wilson, Dennis Etler, were there as you could have predicted. I saw no city politicians, few families, no Wes Modes, lots of police, and that was it. Not at all like First Night, and what a shame. But no trouble either so that’s good. Try this link Grant Wilson sent from filmmaker LB Johnson. Grant worked hard to get the parade off the ground, and added for BrattonOnline…


“The parade from start to finish was spectacular! No incidents with the police- that I’m aware of. Though, with a large police presence at various intersections, in cars and undercover “cops” videotaping participants (Louis LaFortune and Sherri Conable confronted two of them- posing as surfers. Apparently one nodded while the other denied when they were directly asked if they were cops) I was disturbed that the SCPD did not lift a finger to ensure public safety and instead chose to “loiter” and observe. Cars and buses pulled into the middle of the parade beginning at Laurel & Pacific because all the parade participants were observing traffic rules. The light turned red after about 200 people had crossed the intersection and the 500 rest of the parade- waited for a green light. So, I do think the police did not do their job (re ensuring public safety). My guess is they figured let any accident happen and then say “we tried to warn them!”

“Organizers” -participants were asked to get a permit and pay parade fees.
I’m planning to take the city council to task re how much they spend for the Midnight festivities and encourage them to take 10 or 15% of those funds and use them for facilitating public safety for the early evening community parade which has much more in terms of families children and seniors, not giving quite so much “safety” support to young, inebriated revelers at midnight. OK, that’s it for now. Grant.

JOHN LAIRD’S APPOINTMENT…HOORAY!!! No news anywhere else except here about New Guv Jerry Brown appointing John as Secretary of Natural Resources. Let’s hope that the rest of Brown’s actions are as positive as this one.

SUCH BEDFELLOWS!!! Check out CalSTEP Partners. It’s supposed to be a mix of, well as they say,CalSTEP is comprised of a diverse and bipartisan coalition of key California stakeholders from the private, public, and non-governmental sectors. By arranging itself in this manner, CalSTEP seeks to move past political impasse, to not just provoke research and education but to help create consensus and spur action within California to secure the state’s transportation energy future. as you’ll see there’s such members as Pacific Ethanol, Chrysler, Tesla Motors, Honeywell Turbo, George Schultz, Stanford University and Fred Keeley!!! There’s Fred again and more involvement in transportation issues, what’s that about?? I’m sure nothing but miracles will come from this…but don’t you think it seems odd???

ELERICK’S INPUT. Sierra Club Executive Committee election

As reported in the last edition (December 21-January 4) of Bratton Online and also in the Sentinel (December 26), a glitzy mailer went out to Sierra Club members, promoting three of five candidates running for the Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group’s executive committee. Slate mailers aren’t exactly new to Santa Cruz; in fact, this is the first year that I can remember the Sierra Club’s annual election of new ex com members has been seriously contested. This year, due to two incumbents (Elerick and Giacchino) not running for reelection, members got to vote for three candidates of their choice with at least two being brand new to the committee. One incumbent, long time environmental advocate Patricia Matejcek joined four new candidates including John Howerton, a lifelong outdoorsman and Sierra Club hike leader, Deidre Des Jardins, a life-long progressive activist deeply involved in advocating for sustainable water use in California, David Casterson, a cum laude graduate in Environmental Studies from UCSC and a high school biology teacher for 34 years, and Keresha Durham. Keresha is a fifth generation Californian, currently a bilingual educator for the past 23. She has a long list of credentials in public service. The list of candidates and their credentials was published in the current Ventana, each of the five being approved by the current Sierra Club Ex Com to be on the ballot.

The issue that was tossed into this fray, that if the “slate mailer” candidates Howerton, Durham and Casterson were to be elected, the Sierra Club will swing towards supporting rampant development, widening the highway, and paving over hiking trails. I don’t believe that in a minute, mostly because I served on the Sierra Club’s nominating committee that interviewed these people before recommending them for nomination. They all have the right stuff! The deadline for members to cast their votes was January 2nd.

A message to those op-ed writers in the Sentinel condemning the current Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group’s executive committee for poor performance. You need to read a few of the back-issues of the Ventana that report their constant vigilance on conservation issues, timber harvesting, creek restoration, and defense of our neighborhoods that are always under attack from over-development. (Paul Elerick is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates, serves as the chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, and is a member of the Sierra Club’s Santa Cruz Group’s executive committee).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary closed last week’s programs with “Tomorrow is the day for New Year’s Resolutions, so I hope at least some listeners and readers will resolve to get more personally and directly involved in land use decisions during the upcoming year. I’ll keep trying to give listeners and readers a “head’s up,” but there is no shortcut to self-government. We have to get involved ourselves!” this week he goes into detail about the power of CEQA and the proposed current zoning changes. Gary defines how these minor exceptions to zoning can change our lives and our community. Height limits, setbacks and environmental regulations are all in place for a reason and only developers profit from the separate exceptions. Read it all here..

(Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365” )

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes a mighty stab at solving our nation’s problems.

Scroll below.

Little North Korean Girl plays guitar. Daughter Hillary found this gem. Watch the 5 year old guitarist’s expressions…absolutely incredible; watch it all the way through.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau talks about Climate Change and the Deniers. In the newest Progreso weekly and amongst other statements he says, “Viscerally, only those who get paid off or have no sensibilities don’t sense the climate change phenomenon. I look out at San Francisco Bay after a night’s rain and see pelicans diving and snowy egrets spearing insects, thousands of sandpipers and sea and shore birds chattering and peeping away. I almost forget about polar bears in danger or scary-looking insects under threat.

I suck in clean air and erase from my mind – well almost — the fact that the Andes and Mt. Kilimanjaro don’t wear their usual snowcaps. A trickle of fear drips down from my brain into the outlying senses that the house I live in could disappear – under water – in twenty-five years. Every month or so, some newspaper or magazine cites an ever more ominous scientific study about ice melting in Greenland, the swelling of oceans and I think: “What can I do?” Recycle more, buy more efficient light bulbs, drive less and generally reduce my carbon footprint, which I can’t even see, much less understand? Read it all here

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

AL HAYNES DIED LAST WEEK. Al was an important person in our community. A memorial will be held at the Senior Center at Highlands Park on Sunday, January 30th @ 1 pm.

Here’s the beginning of what some friends wrote about him….” In case you have not heard the news, Al Haynes died on Tuesday morning, December 28. His heart finally gave out after years of struggle from the effects of Agent Orange, which he was heavily exposed to in Viet Nam, along with Lyme disease that plagued him later on. He was a faithful, caring and loyal husband, father and friend. But the intent here is to focus on his great abilities to protect Nature in the Santa Cruz Mountains…

Read the rest here (link expands, click again to collapse).

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express follow me over the river and through the (red) woods to the best-kept art secret in Santa Cruz, the R. Blitzer Gallery on the west side, discover my favorite movies of the old year (and the decade), ponder a sacrificial rite for the Old Year, and look ahead to the First Friday (Art Tour) of the New Year.

Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

KING’S SPEECH IMPEDIMENT. Sure it’ll win everything; sure the acting was perfect, sure it was the essence of being “Teddibly British” but I thought it was cold, removed, and lacked humanity. It also lacked surprise, or any creativity, but Geoffrey Rush was wonderful. Has anybody seen Colin Firth in this year’s re-make of Portrait of Dorian Gray? That film is almost as good as Kings Speech. Dozens of “King” films get closer to the throne and more accessible than this one. The Madness of King George III, King Lear, Macbeth, and of course King Kong 🙂

TRUE GRIT 2. In their earlier films the Coen Brothers made some very un-Hollywood type films. Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, and Oh Brother but now they almost define Hollywood. Films such as No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, Big Lebowski, and True Grit are still excellent films.. but are just about mainstream. This True Grit has John Wayne’s schtick of holding the reins in his mouth and shooting with two hands. It also has a very affected dialogue similar to HBO’s “Deadwood”. It’s hokey, and unbelievable and great fun to watch…but I wouldn’t give it any awards.

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS. This could have been a contender, not for Oscar maybe but Jack Black can and has pulled off some interesting screen time. Swift’s original story was a gross and crazy satire but this version lacks the intelligence to make it work. The script lacks confidence and resorts to pee and smelly sock jokes too often. I hope Emily Blunt and Amanda Peet got big salaries they deserve it for being even a small part of this big mess.

GAMES PEOPLE SHOULD PLAY. Wes Modes has another great community idea, he sent this…

Games as a Strategy for Living (and Liberation)

This is your antidote to the winter blahs. A class for people who take serious matters lightly and for people who take their play seriously. We create games to help us play the bigger game of life which is itself a playful dance. This is an intellectual & philosophical exploration of games. We’ll talk about games and play, learn game theory, share DIY games, and design our own. Bring your playful spirit and intellectual curiosity. This class will build on each session, so try to commit to all of them. Please be on time. (A Free Skool Santa Cruz Workshop) Stevenson Cafe, UCSC
Wednesdays Jan 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th – 4:45-6pm

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are on “blog”) at WWW.KZSC.ORG. 2011 starts off on January 4th with Chris Kenney conservator of paintings and owner of Mobius Art Conservation. Peter and Celia Scott follow on the 4th talking about The Campaign for Sensible Transportation and what’s new with that. Ann Simonton brings us up to date on Media Watch and current sex exploitation on January 11. Sayaka Yabuki follows Ann and talks about the New Music Works concert Women’s Voices on 1/15. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening. Karen Kefauver will be back later in January and Kinan Valdez from El Teatro Campesino will be on in February. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

QUOTES. “The people of America are just not born with culture“, Phil Spector. “Never steal more than you actually need, for the possession of surplus money leads to extravagance, foppish attire, frivolous thought“, Dalton Trumbo.”What’s wrong with dropping out? To me, this is the whole point: one’s right to withdraw from a social environment that offers no spiritual sustenance and to mind one’s own business”, William S. Burroughs.

BEST OF DeCINZO. About the power of bicycles…

Deep Cover

Tim proposes separate but equal countries for lasting peace!!!

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