Blog Archives

January 4 – 10, 2012

ONE MORE SNOW PHOTO, 1957. This was taken at Mission and Water Streets or Front and Pacific if you prefer. You know, Bank of The West and The Town Clock corner . We lost the McHugh Bianchi Building (on the far left) in 1972.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

2012 & REPUBLICANS. Now that the New Year is finally here (there were some doubts earlier) we should look at and wake up to what’s really happening on the political scene. We watch, mostly stunned, while our County Treasurer Fred Keeley endorses more and more pro-growth and unqualified Sierra Club candidates. We remained stunned while cyclists led by Micah Posner (who’s running for Santa Cruz City Council) exert more “support the economy” pressure in his pro-growth run for power. If that’s not enough just read the BAY AREA GOP December 2011 NEWSLETTER… partially reprinted here…

Republican Opportunities Bloom in Santa Cruz

Republican opportunities are rising dramatically in Santa Cruz County with two prominent Republicans running for open supervisorial seats.

County Board of Education President Vic Marani is running in the 2nd District, while former state Senator and California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson is running in the 5th District.

Chairman Gene Scothorn says that the Santa Cruz County Republican Party “has new life, and there’s a lot of energy moving ahead into the 2012 election cycle.”

– – –

Vic Marani was elected to the county Board of Education in 2008, after serving earlier on the Pajaro Valley School Board. He has been working as an aide to state Sen. Sam Blakeslee until leaving to run for supervisor.

The 2nd District includes the beach communities south from Capitola plus Corralitos and the mountain areas north of it. Incumbent Supervisor Ellen Pirie is retiring.

Vic Marani served in the past as an educator and a coach, as well as chair of the county Republican Party. He and his wife have twin daughters and live in Rio del Mar. You can reach his campaign at (831)684-6167.

– – –

Bruce McPherson jumped into politics in 1993, pulling off what seemed like a miracle win for a Republican in a heavily Democratic Santa Cruz state Assembly district. He was well known as the editor of the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

McPherson was elected to the state Senate in 1996 and served two terms. In 2005 he was nominated by Governor Schwarzenegger to become California Secretary of State.

The 5th Supervisorial District includes part of Scotts Valley, Boulder Creek, Felton, various mountain communities, and a little of the city of Santa Cruz. Incumbent Mark Stone is running for state Assembly.

Bruce McPherson says he is interested in running for local government because it is the “best, most responsive form of government.”

Folks who follow local politics beyond the Sentinel know that Vic Marani has worked for decades to place Republicans on as many local “non-partisan” boards as possible. School boards, committees, you name it and Marani’s influence is there. Now he himself is running. They must figure the time is ripe. More than that Republican Bruce McPherson is running for 5th district County Supervisor. Again folks tend to forget that McPherson followed Arnold Schwarznegger’s party line with total loyalty. Yet, the rumor persists that McPherson was a moderate Republican.

LATTÉ BREAKING QUESTION. Just mentioning Fred Keeley ( see above) County Building spies have asked for quite a while just what hours does Keeley keep? Then they wonder how many times per month does he go to Sacramento? And why? Just how much time and work is his staff/crew filling in for him? Fred’s already earned his place in history right between………. And ………., so what is he working on now?

GARY GRIGGS & DAVID GHARKY. Gary Griggs (another endorser of Sierra Club candidates for some unknown reason) Wrote in his 12/30/11 Sentinel column on wharves:

“The photograph also shows a second wharf, a little to the west of the present Municipal wharf, which was built by David Gharkey in 1856. The South Coast Railroad bought this wharf 20 years later and it soon became known as the Railroad Wharf. Tracks were extended to the end and freight and passengers could then be transferred directly to or from ships”. The problem here is that Katherine Beiers alerted me to the fact that it’s spelled Gharky. Just like Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho and LONDON Nelson we appear to have a community wide disinclination to the proper spelling of names. So here from the Santa Cruz Public Library very public files…

“The second wharf, slightly west of today’s Municipal Wharf, was constructed by David Gharkyin 1856 and lengthened in 1863. It was purchased by the South Pacific Coast Railroad in 1875 and became the Railroad Wharf, with tracks running out to the end. Here freight could be unloaded directly onto steamships, and ship passengers could reach county destinations directly by train. During the Civil War, Gharky constructed a high wharf extending out from Second and Main streets on Beach Hill, to serve the Powderworks, the only gunpowder factory in the west. It became known as the Steamship Wharf when the Pacific Coast Steamship Company made it its local headquarters”. We can all do better in 2012.

ROAMING WITH ROMNEY RUMORS. Ever-creative Romney Dunbar who has been doing all those business promotion spots on our local channels told me at Karla Hutton & Ted Benhari’s New Years Party that he’s about to announce his brand new in hotel channel idea. Sounds great and I’ll let you know more when I get his next final word.

WORST IDEAS OF 2011.The Whale’s Tale Restaurant. I still have the full color 11x 16 brochure of the proposed enormous 422 seat restaurant in the shape of a whale that Mark Gilbert wants to build out on our municipal wharf. Lets hope that idea has drowned a rapid death by now.

GOOD TIMES AND CHRISTMAS CHEER. Lots of folks were very surprised to hear that Christa Martin longtime staff writer on December 15, was let go, terminated, fired…whatever, just two weeks before Christmas. That leaves exactly two staff writers at GT. What’s next? Any couldn’t they have waited until this month???

KELLY GARRETT RETURNS.Kelly Garrett, long time Santa Cruzan journalist and partner with Jim Heth in running The Morning Star an actual Santa Cruz daily newspaper was back in town last week. Kelly and his two sons (who are fluent in Spanish) live in Naucalpan, a suburb of Mexico City. Kelly covers the cultural scene in Mexico City which he says is not just huge, never ending, and growing but it’s supported by the citizenry the likes of which is rare here. He’s writing furiously for Mexico Review which will debut in a week or two. I’ll pass on a link to it as as son as it’s online…in case you’re going South.

OUR OWN SENTINEL.Just in case you’re not a life-long subscriber to the Sentinel you NEED to read this one. Both Paul Hostetter and Welles Goodrich sent it in… “Santa Cruz woman thwarts mugger, hands him bag of dog poop”, read the rest here…

First of all; we hope the New Year brings you good things! Second, here are two items of interest:
1. Here’s a good letter to the Sentinel editor from Leonie Sherman:

Keep Pogonip wild.On a recent hike through the lower Pogonip, I encountered friendly families, elders and strolling individuals. As soon as I hit the U-Con trail, I was bombarded by speeding cyclists, most of whom did not even slow down as they passed me, none of whom issued a greeting. Cyclists on upper campus have cut illegal single tracks all over the mountain, leading to erosion and compaction, removing trees and whatever else is in their way. Mountain bikers have plenty of terrain to enjoy here in Santa Cruz and there is precious little space left for hikers, families and the elderly. A trail connecting Harvey West with Upper Campus and Henry Cowell already exists: the train tracks. Please oppose the foolish idea to create a multi-use trail, which would cater to a small number of individuals who take up a lot of space. Keep the Pogonip peaceful and wild”. Leonie Sherman, Santa Cruz. Read it again here

2. J. M. Brown’s December 25th Sentinel article is here. Brown’s piece is mainly about the current local Sierra Club election, but it refers to the proposed new trail on the Pogonip as one of the election issues. If you are a member of the Sierra Club, be sure to vote for the three incumbents. The ballot is on the last page of the latest Ventana newsletter (mailed December 15), which you should have received by now. Ballots are
due to the Sierra Club’s P.O. Box by January 11. Feel free to call me (831-423-0796) if you have any questions. It appears likely that the Pogonip trail issue will be coming up before the City’s Parks Commission in February, 2012. We’ll keep you posted. All the best, — Peter
p.s. Don’t forget to encourage your friends to sign our petition if they haven’t already done so.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s KUSP reports take on CEQA, more about Monterey’s Fresh & Easy Chain Store, and about Land Watch in Monterey County. He then discusses and praises The California Coastal Commission and tells why they are absolutely necessary. He closes with a discussion of The Coastal Watershed Council. 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”

Michaela’s first words in 2012 are: “Palmer Station celebrated the New Year in classic Antarctic style–tipsy, cross-dressed, and cold. We construct our own makeshift costumes and also dress up the youngest person on station as “Baby New Year” (complete with adult diaper) to lead the countdown to midnight in our bar. After the cheer comes the First Polar Plunge of the Year, quickly followed by the First Dip in the Hot Tub around 2:30 a.m. to watch the sun set over the glacier.

This New Year promises big changes for Palmer and for all the U.S. stations. The National Science Foundation (NSF) finally announced that Lockheed Martin won the contract to manage the logistics and infrastructure for the US Antarctic Program (The Program). The support contract normally lasts ten years, but the economic climate led the NSF to extend the contract held by my current employer, Raytheon Polar Services Company (RPSC), for three additional years. Every month of the extension brought new rumors about “The Transition” often colored by a vague sense of threat: cutbacks, radical policy changes, stricter Physical Qualification (PQ) requirements, no more mail, etc. When the RPSC contract expires on March 31, 2012, we will start to see how these bureaucratic changes will effect those of us on continent in actuality. I bet that at least some of those rumors come true, although not the ones people expect.

The real anxiety about The Transition stems from conflicted reality of a career in The Program. Most people here do not feel that they work for some support contractor chosen by the NSF. We work for Antarctica, for the scientific research in general and for the quirky communities that we form amongst ourselves. The contractor companies have tremendous power over our day-to-day lives during their contract, but in the end they’re just passing through. When one company leaves, we apply to the same jobs with its replacement and carry on. However, our jobs allow us to come to Antarctica in the first place. Not to get hired means to lose access to the people and places that have come to feel like “Home.” The company therefore has no power and all power, simultaneously.

Whatever happens over the next few months, I’ll be in prime position to tell you about it. I recently accepted a winter contract that will keep me on-continent until next September or October. In fact, I might not return to the northern hemisphere until next New Year! ”

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until April 2012…well maybe longer…see above).

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul either ends last year or kicks off this new one with a statement like… “Obama could make a humanitarian gesture to free the Cuban Five. Cuba has already “conveyed to the U.S. government its willingness to find a humanitarian solution to the Gross case on reciprocal basis.” (Cuban government press release December 2011) The U.S. media ignores the statements of 10 Nobel Prize winners, Amnesty International and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions. All agree. The Cuban Five did not get a fair trial and merit a pardon or a new trial – not in Miami.Obama knows how to get Alan Gross home. After all, Israel swapped 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one captured Israeli. READ IT ALL HERE

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

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Mr. DeCinzowelcomes the New Year with some food resolution ideas. Scroll down.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes a chunk out of political campaigning, scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa boldly announces…” It’s a wrap this week at (Lisa Jensen Online Express ), where I bid adieu to some of the biggest hits and misses of the 2011 movie year. Meanwhile, my shameless love affair with The Artist continues as I present an illustrated guide to some of the vintage stars and classic movies that inspired it. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

THE ARTIST. This “film” is nearly perfect. Wonderfully acted, perfectly cast plus our local Dash Pomerantz as an added attraction, you should see this movie. It proves what I’ve tried to say for years…Silent Films are more interactive, they demand your attention, and you simply get more from them. I’ve been attending The San Francisco Silent Film Festival for nearly all of its’ 17 years and have seen at least 200 of the best surviving genuine silent films from around the world….and they are projected and screened properly. The plot of The Artist is corny and a lesser event compared to Silent Masterpieces such as Abel Gance’s Napoleon or Sunrise or Metropolis or any Chaplin or Doug Fairbanks efforts but it’s fun, unique and should be seen on the big screen.

TIN-TIN. I missed most of the Tin Tin books and was more of a Babar the Elephant enthusiast up to about age 8. But this Spielberg animation version of Tin Tin is well worth seeing. I’ll even say that there are scenes the scope of which I’ve never witnessed on the screen before. I was impressed by the new style of animation. Not “The Incredibles”/Pixar type, not Disney, and excellent. My LA grandsons and son in law and I saw it in 3D in Culver City less than a block from the original MGM Culver City Studios, which I last toured in 1954. Culver City has created a 2-3 city block pedestrian mall, and it’s working well from what I could tell.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.Only if you like Tom Cruise and air-headed spy action thrillers should you see this one. It has something to do with secret drone bomb codes and Russia and suction cups and Dubai hotels. It has no meaning, no discernible plot and only suction cups make the film exciting. Go warned.

NEW MUSIC WORKS. The NMW Ensemble presents MANDOLICIOUS , conducted by Phil Collins, with Guest Artists, mandolin virtuoso Mike Marshall and Nigerian-American tenor Akindele ‘Akiva’ Olanrewaju Bankole present an evening of rare and new small ensemble treats spanning almost two centuries (1826-2011) by composers Mike Marshall, Akindele ‘Akiva’ Olanrewaju Bankole*, Mark Kilstofte, Luigi Denza, Johann Sioly, Franz Schubert and Arnold Schoenberg (* world premiere). There’ll be a post-Concert Discussion with The Artists (at the end of the concert). Admission discounts available for Seniors, Students and Cabrillo College Music Students. Doors open at 7:30pm, showtime is 8pm on Friday, Jan. 13th, 2012 in the
Cabrilho College Music Recital Hall, Aptos.
For more info, please visit:

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 archived…(see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Claudia Sternbach guests on January 3 to talk about her new book, “Reading Lips” after which Kathy Bisbee discusses her film and saving community TV. On January 10th activist, author, teacher Frank Bardacke will give us background on his Cesar Chavez/UFW new book “Trampling Out The Vintage” then Jim Mosher returns to talk more about his work on regulating alcohol and marketing it to young non drinkers. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “First coffee. Then a bowel movement, Then the muse joins me”, Gore Vidal. “I’m not feeling very well. I can only write prose today”, W.B. Yeats.. “One should not be too severe on English novels; they are the only relaxation of the intellectually unemployed”, Oscar Wilde.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 4 – 10, 2012