Blog Archives

January 7 – 13, 2014

FRONT AND CATHCART STREETS June 24, 1952. Now we have the Surfrider Café where Thrash Motors was and The Greek Restaurant in this location. Remember when we had car dealerships downtown?
photo credit: editor’s photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE January 5, 2014

ANOTHER YEAR AHEAD. In addition to the lack of rain there are more issues of concern we need to watch out for in 2104. There’s Ryan Coonerty as a possible Board of supervisor. His rapid dropping of the De-sal isue after working hard to sell it to us should not be forgotten. Will he pick up and drop other projects just as easily? Will his backstage dealings with Pops and UCSC continue? Then too there’s still the issue with Nina Simon and her transformation of our former Museum of Art and History intoanother Community Center. The emails keep coming in and I’ll keep reporting all their areas of concern. A nagging problem folks have with Nina is that now that by hook and crook she has increased attendance at MAH will she remain here or take some better paying job in Atlanta or Omaha and leave her version of MAH “Simonized` ? I’ve already mentioned our new mayor Lynn Robinson and her deep conflicting connections to the Boardwalk. We have already seen how our City Council was so eager to give the Boardwalk all that money to make one of their parking lots even more profitable. I could go on and I will later but just be very aware during this new one.

SAVE APTOS. Here’s the latest notice from Aptos Local Economies (A.L.E.) better known as Stop Safeway….Please JOIN Aptos residents in protecting our community. January 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm (free). ALE meets monthly the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:15 pm, at the Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Drive, Aptos, CA 95003. Here is our ALE message from last month’s meeting:
Our Facebook Page: Visit our website for more information and updates: Thank you! mail:

NEW YORK TIMES DIALECT MAP, part #2. Dale Matlock sent this parody of the New York Times nearly viral Dialect Map. Its title is.. “WHAT DO Y’ALL, YINZ, AND YIX CALL STRETCHY OFFICE SUPPLIES?”
Friends and relatives have reported some weird results from the Times Map. See how you do.

FORMER SANTA CRUZANS BACK VISITING. In just a few minutes while coffeeing it up at The Coffee Roasting Co along comes Michelle Witt, with her husband Hans and daughter Mia. Michelle went from UCSC’s Arts & Lectures to Stanford and is now Artistic director of Univ. of Washington’s World Series of Performing Arts and Exec. Dir of U.W’s Meany Hall. Not two minutes later along comes Cedar Geiger, former Santa Cruzan who now lives on the Big Island just a couple of miles from The Hiccup Circus in Pahoa. Don’t talk to Cedar about the recent rains on the Big Island, they were staggering in their severity!!!

AMAZING T-REX ILLUSION. Gunilla Leavitt of The Golden Fleece, aka Gunilla’s Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn found this puzzling clip.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. The annual Girl Scout Cookie sales starts this week in our area. After only 25 years of fighting this really bad idea of encouraging little girls to compete selling junk food, I’m still not ready to give up. Why junk food cookies? Why create such huge profits for the baking companies that provide them? Why all the arrests of mothers (documented) who anually get caught stealing the money from their daughters? They could in one fell swoop start selling bio-degradable soap, plant seeds, potted plants, herbs, household items, anything but junk food. Check out their website and see just how commercial this waste has become.

RURAL BONNY DOON HIGHLANDER. Check out the January issue of The Highlander.

News about Cemex property being sold. There’s a report on what a Karst landscape is and why we should know more about it. Commercial changes at the Beauregard Vineyards, new legal concepts in the large dwelling ordinance and the future of the Bonny Doon Airport. .Read it [link fixed!]

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul writes…

R. I. P. Vickie Powell

Vickie Powell will be remembered by all who knew her as a hard-working, tough, dedicated fighter for causes she believed in. She died on November 5 of last year. Her obituary wasn’t published until December 28, 2013. No cause more important to her was defeating Ryland Kelley’s attempt to turn the Porter-Sesnon property between Seacliff and New Brighton State Parks into a lock-out Condo development and several performing arts theaters known as Wingspread. Those of you who were still little kids back in the late 1980’s or otherwise weren’t around, take a few minutes to walk this beautiful section of our state park system and picture it becoming what owner Ryland Kelley had in mind for us. I took a walk there recently and it remains beautifully undeveloped. Park your vehicle off Pine Tree Lane, or ride your bikes there and over the property. Thank Vicki, Rosalie Kraft, the late Senator Henry Mello, the California Coastal Commission and the rest of the Friends of Porter-Sesnon who made Porter-Sesnon a part of the State Park System. A memorial service will be held at the Corralitos Grange on Saturday February 1, 2014 at 1 pm. Contact In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club, (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

ALVINO REY AT HIS BEST. Mark Bernhard sent this gem…just for Alvino’s biggest fans!!! The singing guitar is beyond description.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary highlights and describes the American Farmland Trust. He gives details on the aftermath of the Big Sur fire, and how Monterey County may help the burned out home owners. There’s an anti-fracking meeting in Salinas. Elkhorn Slough has 3 local organizations trying to protect it. He closes by telling us about Brock Dolman’s local area appearances on Friday and Saturday 1/10 & 1/11. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. Scroll downwards just a few and check out professor DeCinzo’s explanation of the word « Asphalt » comes from !!!

EAGANS DEEP COVER.A New Years look at Income gaps…see down below a page or 3.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, let’s do Lunch at Cabrillo Stage. Can a plucky little musical revived and remounted right here in our town make it all the way to Broadway? Also, go spelunking for undiscovered gems among my Top films of 2013, and ponder some (illustrated) ideas about the new cover art for the upcoming US edition of my novel, Alias Hook .” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

……In order of perfection……

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the the films supreme con artist hero you’ll sit on the dge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes onm behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

GRUDGE MATCH. This extra dumb movie features Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro in a stultifying and impossible HBO geezer boxing re-match. Stallone is at his best, which is not good in this dopey phony film, and Robert De Niro is at his absolute worst. There is no reason on earth to see this mess.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. Ben Stiller produced and stars in this miss guided attempt at humor. The only reason to see it is to watch our Santa Cruz locally born movie star Adam Scott do a fine job of acting as a “dick head` or head dick who hounds Stiller through various adventures, some real and some are delusional. If you’re old enough to remember the original Danny Kaye version, try to preserve that memory because this movie has zero relationship to it.

47 RONIN. I have as much chance to out-law Keanu Reeves from ever being allowed to appear in films again as I do fighting Girl Scout Cookies, but I’ll keep trying. This 47 Ronin movie had monumental production problems and that’s why it was released in January with all the other disasters. The genuine historical 47 Ronin were a tribute to Japan’s system of Samurai, honor, and respect. This Hollywood rip off added flying draperies, dragons, gods, devils, spirits and Keanu Reeves to top it all off. See any one of the earlier Chushingura films. They are all magnificant, and worlds apart from this tripe.

from BEST 2 worst)

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn` and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film. It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again a few weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into` the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Saving Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?


A Broadcast of the 5-STAR Reviewed Live Stage Show from London’s West End! Set over three decades in the entertainment business Merrily We Roll Along charts the relationship between three friends Franklin, Mary and Charley. Travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Stephen Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including ‘Good Thing Going’, ‘Not a Day Goes By’ and ‘Old Friends’. At The Del Mar Thursday, January 9th @ 7:30pm and Sunday, January 12th @ 11:00am

P.L. TRAVERS 10 MINUTES. More details on Disney’s conning P.L Travers to make “Mary Poppins`

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Their next concert is Music of Love, Longing, and Joy
From the depths of Brahms’ last works for solo piano, to the youthful yearnings of Mahler at age 15, this program is designed to please and inspire at every level. This concert features the rare appearance of both Michael Tierra and his celebrated son, Chetan Tierra, as pianists on the same program. Four pieces for solo piano, Op 119, were the last solo piano pieces written by Brahms, and were premiered just three years before his death. Mahler composed his only surviving chamber work, Piano Quartet in A Minor, at the tender age of 15. This piece was used as the haunting background music for the 2010 film, Shutter Island. Tchaikovsky expressed his deep Russian and Slavic origins in his music, of which the Dumka Variations are so representative. His Dumka piano variations Op 59 are subtitled “Scenes from a Russian Village.`Antonin Dvorák’s brilliant masterpiece Piano Quintet, Op 8, regarded as one of the masterpieces of the form, will feature local young piano virtuoso Chetan Tierra. Don’t miss this extraordinary program! Michael Tierra, artistic director and pian,Cynthia Baehr, violin, Rebecca Wishnia, violin, Chad Kaltinger, viola Judy Roberts, cello Chetan Tierra, piano. The concerts are on Saturday, January 18, 8 pm. and Sunday, January 19, 3 pm. at Christ Lutheran Church
10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

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. On Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight`, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women` and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS` and how that organization helps children. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the more than 700 great people I’ve interviewed in the last 7 (seven) years here’s a chronological list of some randomly student- produced podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here` to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and 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 Company. 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. “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards,`
Vladimir Nabokov. “Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes, come on, let us sway together,
under the trees, and to hell with thunder,`
Edwin Morgan. “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life`, John Updike


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 7 – 13, 2014

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