Blog Archives

January 8 – 14, 2013

LOWER PACIFIC AVENUE, SANTA CRUZ. Maybe circa 1890’s?? notice no cars, street car tracks, and “Theraputic Baths” on the roof of a building maybe on Pacific and Spruce Streets. Any/all data would be appreciated.

Additional information always welcome: email

WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAY VACATION. As previously mentioned, I flew to daughter Jennifer’s family (and house) in Mar Vista (Santa Monica) for a few days, then to my sister Jerrie’s home in Victorville and beyond that to a stunning (really !!) two day tour of Joshua Tree National Park, 29 Palms, Palm Springs, and lots of Yucca Valley. There are too many items to report on in just this week’s column but do note that when you’re past 75 you don’t have to take off your shoes for airport security. I didn’t ask how old you must be to keep your hat on. I was once again amazed at the rip off prices for snacks, sodas, and food in airports. Talk about captive audiences!!! Why and who allows this? I found that my Hershey bar was made in Mexico, and no longer made in Hershey, Pennsylvania where I visited their amusement park many times in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Speaking of airports I was killing a lot of time (don’t ask why) in the airport in Ontario before flying back to SJC. Who do I meet but Phil and Sue Bonner of Kentucky who told me they were nearly life long friends of Cynthia and Bill Mathews. we had a great conversation, and I avoided any references to our local politics. It was a fine holiday. Yes, we saw the 26 ft. tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in the town square of Palm Springs. Yes, it looks just like you think it looks.

LOU HARRISON’S STRAW BALE HOUSE.‘For years I’d heard Lou Harrison and Bill Colvig talk about their dream straw bale house down in Joshua Tree. Finally, through the kindness of Eva Soltes and Shauna Tucker I got to visit it. Sister Jerrie, Dori and Merl Abel (niece and husband) got to experience what can only be called the Lou’s spirit home. The house, the feeling, the creativity is so much like Lou it is awe inspiring. We also toured The Sacred Tree bed and breakfast another straw bale construction just down the road. If you like desert and yuccas this is the place to be.

CITY HALL & POLICE DEPT. PARKING LOT SOLAR PANELS. Hardly any citizen or tourist could possibly miss the huge columns and Solar Panels being built in our City Hall Parking lot.

NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS.My only partially silent partner in BrattonOnline, Gunilla Leavitt (she of Golden Fleece, the Yarn Store) found this graphic history of the 2053 Nuclear Explosions worldwide…from 1945 to 1998.Check it out and think about Global Warming, and life itself!!

It is a big project and is being built by developer Barry Swenson. Folks have been wondering how and why the contract was assigned to Swenson and why there were no competing bids allowed. Ron Pomerantz, sustainable advocacy and open government enthusiast as well as a former City Council candidate wrote the following to let the rest of us in on “Business As Usual” at City Hall.

“The Photovoltaic Projects on the 2 City Parking Lots”
You’ve most likely noticed a construction project in the City Hall parking lotread the rest here. Link expands, click again to collapse.

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA NEWS. I didn’t get the heads up until too late for my pre-holiday column but The Roman Catholic Church in San Juan Bautista actually apologized to the local Amah Mutsun tribe for the tragic events which occurred during Mission times. That seems unbelievable…The Catholic Church apologizing and offering a “Mass of Reconciliation” for the wrongs they did. I’m wondering if the Pope and Rome know about this? Could this be the start of something bigger? Like the Catholic Church apologizing for anything? Think about that.

GOODBYE “MIKE” HUGH JOHNSTON. Attorney and mandolinist Mike Johnston died Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Mike was the original mandolin player in our Hot Damn String Band for decades. He was an ardent environmentalist and wrote a fine article in a book on our North Coast. A Celebration of his life is happening this Sunday Jan. 12. If you’d like to attend call 831 761-9923 for details.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick kibitzed this week, “Interesting to see who swore in our two new county supes… Judge Maragonda for Zach Friend, County Treasurer Fred Keeley for Mc Pherson… We may be in for some rough years.. Keeley has gone completely to the other side. He’s the one who should re-register his party affiliation… to Republican”. Here’s Paul E.’s column from Dec. 31, 2012

Elerick’s Wish List for 2013

Best wishes go to Micah Posner starting his first term on Santa Cruz City Council. A long-time ally and friend of Sensible Transportation, Micah will be the lone breath of fresh air on the Council for the next two years at least.

More best wishes to Safeway on their development plans for Scotts Valley. I wish them the best in a community that probably wants their growth-inducing project. Those good wishes stop when it comes to their Rancho Del Mar demolition/ expansion project in Aptos. Maybe they could re-target this effort to their for Scotts Valley project?

Even more best wishes to my friend Zach Friend starting his first term as 2ND District County Supervisor. I believe Zach understands what 2nd District priorities are, with local street and road repair being at the top of the list. Saving local businesses vs. a mega-Safeway will also be one of the first things on his agenda.

The Regional Transportation Commission has done wonders by completing the purchase of the branch rail line. I wish them the best on holding the line against the train-haters and for pushing ahead with plans for future use of the rail line.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has an opportunity to make the passage of Measure L (and other measures) to great things for students and teachers in our schools. To the folks that worked to pass these measures, accept the thanks in 2013 that you so deservedly won.

(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).

JAYNE MANSFIELD. In case you’ve forgotten just how poor a copy of Marilyn Monroe Jayne Mansfield was, take a look

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary is talking to Carmel’s League of Women Voters on Wednesday. He includes the link to Good Times article on Bill Kocher’s de-sal conflict of interest… , He talks about Cal Am and their proposal and how to connect with your State Officials and closes with checking out the California Native Plant Society. Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts / (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”

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Violence in our classrooms ?? DeCinzo thought about that…see below.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim offers an inside view of the deep conflict within the Republican Party (hint…it’s no party !) Scroll below.

WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES.‘The trailer from Bela Tarr’s great classic…not for mainstream movie goers, and still a classic. Just a teaser…

LANDAU’S PROGRES. « No Longer a Bourgeois Social Order » is this week’s piece from Saul. Among other things he writes… “But where do transsexuals, gays and lesbians go to meet others (in Cuba) for socializing and sex? They have made their spots, places where large crowds gather on weekend nights to hook up and go inside a dark place to have sex. CENESEX workers try to distribute condoms as a public health measure, but the police do not break up the crowds or intrude on the indoor private spaces. Hotel rooms are expensive, and few habaneros have access to private space or permission inside their homes to bring lovers of the same sex. Under Mariela’s leadership and obviously with the at least tacit support of her father, President Raul Castro, CENESEX has made huge strides in enlightening Cuba’s youth and bringing the new culture in to challenge the old. But she knows she has a long way to go before the old macho culture concedes to facts and reason around the issues of homosexuality. Indeed, it took decades before Cuba’s medical profession began to concede that homosexuality could not be simply dismissed as a “bourgeois social disorder.” Read all of it here…

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

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Happy 2013, everyone! It’s a numbers racket this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, where I reveal my Top 10 movies of 2012, and look back on a dozen alternative ways to spend the 12 Days of Christmas. Also: can Les Miserables really be as awful—or as great—as everyone says? Find out what I think!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


DJANGO UNCHAINED. Quentin Tarantino is one of the very few American directors who has a style. It’s bold gutsy, intelligent, clever and more clever, and even innovative. Django is one of his finest. So are Inglorius Basterds, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and Pulp fiction. Django is a comedy satire on westerns and resembles Blazing Saddles in lots of ways. It’s focus is slavery pre-Lincoln film time. Yep, nigger the word is used throughout the film, a lot. Hopefully it’ll take as much energy out of using that word as Lenny Bruce did by saying fuck. The New Yorker uses fuck all the time now,. When both Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx are the stars and they say nigger you know there’s reasons behind it. Go see it.

PROMISED LAND. Matt Damon and Frances McDormond do wonderful acting jobs in this “fracking film”. It should be difficult for any Santa Cruzan to sit through it and NOT think about De-salination and how the city council and Bill Kocher the water director are working hard to accomplish the exact same environmentally dangerous goal.

Go see the film, you can almost fill in every local name with the folks in this movie.

THE IMPOSSIBLE. ‘The tsunami in Thailand in 2004, Naomi Watts, and Ewan McGregor make this one very exciting film. Naomi is certainly up for Oscar time and the special effects people should be too. It’s very Hollywood, very exciting and again it does make you wonder what Santa Cruz will do and how we’ll react when the big one hits here. We have zero preparation, just like Thailand did. Maybe we could turn the basketball arena upside down and use it as an ark!!!

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON.‘This should really be called “The Sex Life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt”. It surely isn’t fun, not at all educational and may even be true if you want to believe some papers and notes found after Daisy died at age 100. Daisy was FDR’s 5th cousin and is played by Laura Linney (she shouldn’t have). Bill Murray as FDR isn’t all that wonderful or believable either.

CIRQUE Du SOLEIL. I’m only one of many who think that making the most exciting dangerous aerialist moves in circus history into filmed slow motion sagas took all the danger out of what Cirque does best. It’s a mash-up of 6 or 7 Cirque productions. The water spectacle O (I saw it live in Las Vegas), the Elvis Show, The Beatles Show and other scenes are stripped of almost all grace and excitement. Forget it.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE.‘Hoping to see the magic I figure both Billy Crystal and Bette Midler‘have always had, this film was a genuine let down. Cheap, stupid lines and making both Crystal and Midler into mean, dumb grandparents just didn’t work.

LES MISERABLES. Pretending to be something it isn’t, puts it at the very bottom of my list. Like its title, the music is miserable, the lyrics are beneath junk, and it all sounds like Andrew Lloyd Webber and I can’t stomach Andrew Lloyd Webber. For years I thought he wrote Les Miz, Robert Norse corrected me and said he liked the movie. It ruined Victor Hugo’s book, the voices sound like the Disney Snow white soundtrack, and the photography was ok. The switch from a play onstage to what was supposed to be reality was phoney, etc. etc.

JACK REACHER. It takes about 30 minutes before all the sniper shootings stop reminding you of Newtown and Sandy Hook. From then on Jack Reacher is another top notch Tom Cruise chase- intrigue – inside the department traitor-movie. Robert DuVall and Rosamund Pike, especially Rosamund add much to this twisty, sneaky, unpredictable thrill ride.

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.

Brian Staufenbiel is on January 8 talking about the UCSC Opera program. After which Heather McDougal talks about her new book “Songs For A Machine Age”. January 15 has Marcus Cato and Brian Spencer discussing “8 Tens @ 8” now at the Art Center Theatre. Then Ian Coulson tells us all about bee keeping and honey. On January 22 WILPF is sending someone to talk about Fracking. Followed by folks from our local dance groups talking about the history and richness of dance hereabouts and the special program happening on Jan. 25 at Cabrilho College. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome, so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

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 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, 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. “Avoid like the plague a clergyman who is also a business man“, Saint Jerome. “I started out with nothing. I still have most of it”, Michael Davis. “My grandfather died in the great crash of 1929—a stockbroker jumped out of a window and crushed him and his pushcart down below”. Mario Cuomo.


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

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