Blog Archives

July 12 – 18, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…about the downhill direction our community is heading, and why? Public library update, still more about Peter McGettigan, GREENSITE…on the fate of the Tide Cliff Studio, 1307 West Cliff Drive. KROHN…took a week off. STEINBRUNER…Soquel’s Auto Row and Sustainable Soquel, Huge County Zoning changes, why?, drinking of  Soquel’s Sewage water EIR now available. PATTON…on privacy, the constitution, and Due Process. EAGAN…Court of the Supremes & what changes? DeCINZO…Visits Lupin Lodge (nudist Camp). JENSEN…Talks about her Beast Book and reviews Three Identical Strangers. BRATTON…critiques Ant-Man and The Wasp, Three Identical Strangers and Boundaries. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…about Immigrants.


WALNUT & PACIFIC AVENUES 1925. Via Google Map update (as of July 2017), we find Super Silver on the corner where the Santa Cruz movie theatre used to be. And Forever 21 on the very closest far right. What surprised me was to see a small Piggly Wiggly store on the right-hand side, and a chiropractor on the second floor across the street.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

STUNTS GONE VERY WRONG. Don’t watch this, it’s terribly tragic.

THAI CAVE LOGISTICS DIAGRAMMED. I couldn’t imagine why the rescue was so difficult…now I know. Check this out.


DATELINE July 9, 2018

SANTA CRUZ NOT CARING ANYMORE? Santa Cruzans — including our UCSC students — aren’t bothering to vote. There’s little or no opposition to real estate and developer thefts, little to no progress in helping the homeless, few demands toward trying to change transportation issues. Why have we become uncaring about our community? There was a huge and wonderful turnout at the Immigration Protest two weeks ago, but where is the follow-through? There’s been some talk about direct electing of our Mayor, which I think would sure change the picture. And Gary Patton said in a recent blog…. “Frankly, I am worried about citizen-based democracy in my own hometown, since elected officials here are more and more turning over key policy decisions to the unelected staff.”  Go here . What part is President Trump’s evil and possibly infectious influence having on us?

SANTA CRUZ PUBLIC LIBRARY ISSUE. Jean Brocklebank has been one of the most active opponents of the plot/plan to build a 5 story parking garage, and put a new version of our public library under it. As part of her Don’t Bury The Library opposition community, she sent out a mailer last week…here it is:

“June 19 Study Session and Next Steps”

It has been almost three weeks since the City Council held its Study Session on the Library/Parking Garage that was proposed a year and a half ago by City Public Works Director Mark Dettle and the Countywide Library System’s Director and championed by City Manager Martin Bernal ever since.  Thanks to all of you who were able to be there, as well as to those of you who sent emails to the Council.  The place was packed (standing room only). The Library Director and members of the The Downtown Library Advisory Committee (DLAC) were given premier seating in the first two rows.

If you followed the news accounts then you know that nothing was decided at the June 19 meeting.  The meeting was close to two hours of listening first to accolades for the ad hoc Downtown Library Advisory Committee, followed by a tedious presentation about parking and potential parking rate structure fee schedules. The public spoke at hour three, for over an hour.  Then City Council was next, asking questions and stating their personal opinions.

If one wants to    watch the entire 4 hour meeting, go here.

At this Study Session, there wasn’t any studying of what could actually be provided by revitalization and renovation of the downtown library, as compared to a newly built library.  Council simply accepted the DLAC Report, which contained their last minute straw dog, Option A (Partial Renovation), which was soundly criticized as soon as the public caught sight of it late last year.  The DLAC called Option A “irresponsible.”  We agree, but for very different reasons.  None of which the Council studied.

At the end of that marathon of a meeting, which seemed to be more about the parking garage (euphemistically called a Mixed-Use structure to deflect the issue of building a new library in a parking garage) was a slide of Next Steps, including:

  • Direct staff to conduct additional outreach on the proposed Downtown Library Mixed-Use project.
  • Direct staff to conduct additional outreach on proposed parking rates with Downtown Businesses and workers.
  • Return to Council in August.

Of that first step (additional outreach), it should be noted that at the end of the meeting, City Council member Martine Watkins’ made a point to value the importance of the outreach in “educating the community and hearing from them as well.

Several days after the June 19 meeting City Council member Chris Krohn had this to say about both the June 19 Study Session and the likelihood of Council meeting again on this issue in August:            “Only Councilmember Richelle Noroyan, despite the 30-plus voices pleading with the council to ‘decouple’ the projects, or just simply use the $23 million bond money to fix the current library and leave the Farmer’s Market where it is, she alone was looking to make a motion to say yes on the library-garage atop the Farmer’s Market/garage site. She was quickly dissuaded from making the motion, mainly because staff had said the ‘parking rate strategy,’ as they called it, had not yet been worked out. So, will it come back in August? Unlikely. I emailed around the day after the meeting to find out, but no definitive answers were offered. Maybe September, one staff member emailed, but not sure.” We’re not sure why Council would think that there is enough time in the middle of summer vacations for anything other than perfunctory outreach anyway, so “sometime in September” sure makes more sense.  But as with this entire process (or lack thereof), nothing surprises us and we all must be prepared to act quickly.

Has Outreach Begun?

It most certainly has and we all need to be there to make sure that the misinformation that has plagued the library in a parking garage since it was first proposed is not spread farther and farther.  Below is an email from Friends of the SC Public Libraries Executive Director, Vivian Rodgers, apparently sent to all library volunteers on June 21st and again on July 5th.  Note the promise of providing food as an enticement!  What’s up with that?  Also note that this is not outreach to the community, as envisioned by City Council member Martine Watkins.  If it was truly outreach to the community, then FSCPL would have posted the meeting notice on its public Facebook page or its public web site.  Did Vivian misunderstand the purpose of the “outreach?”  Here is her email:

The Santa Cruz City Council delayed their vote on the mixed use library option till August. They’re delaying, in part, so that we can provide clarity on some of the conflicting information floating in our community.  Susan Nemitz and I would like to invite you to join us for a discussion.  We’ll provide updated information for the Downtown Branch and its future, and would like to hear your concerns and thoughts about the process.AND we’ll provide food and drinks! Please let me know which date works for you, or if you are unable to attend any of these hour-long conversations.

Tuesday, July 10, at 11:30 a.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Room of the Downtown Library
Thursday, July 12 at 9:30 a.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Room of the Downtown Library
Thursday, July 26 at 5 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Room of the Downtown Library
Thank you!
Vivian Rogers
Executive Director
Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Wait a minute! “… provide clarity on some of the conflicting information floating in our community?!!” This comment seems to be linked to Council member Richelle Noroyan’s comment on June 19, that those of us who have had legitimate concerns about the DLAC process and decision-making had created a “conspiracy” theory, thus attempting to dismiss the Don’t Bury The Library campaign, its key spokespeople and other residents opposed to the library/garage plan.

Call to Action!

Please plan to attend any or all of the meetings listed in Vivian’s email. It is the only way we can know what is being said to library volunteers. We’re convinced that Vivian and Susan set up these “discussions” with FSCPL volunteers because they heard DBTL spokeswoman, Judi Grunstra, state to the Council on June 19 that it should not accept that all Friends of SC Public Libraries or even all librarians supported the proposed project.

Hoping to see many of you who share our goal to keep the Downtown branch in its current location – revitalized and renewed…. on either  July 10, July 12 or July 26.  Let’s keep the pressure on for transparency and honesty. Jean Brocklebank, on behalf of DBTL

The  DON’T BURY THE LIBRARY website… Listen to Jean Brocklebank and Michael Lewis talk more about the library on my Universal Grapevine (KZSC 88.1 fm) next Tuesday July 17 at 7:30 p.m.

HISTORICAL PHOTO DATA. Last week I ran a photo of the Seabright Castle Beach. Historian Stan Stevens replied… “The event taking place outside the Castle, August 19, 1959, — the photo you ran July 3 – 10, —was the 10th Annual beach party, sponsored by the merchants for Seabright children. They fed nearly 500 children. “Hotdogs were cooked by the Castle restaurant and doled out to the ravenous horde by the busy committee of merchants, employees and a few parents….”  See the story, and other photos, Santa Cruz Sentinel Aug. 20, 1959, p. 17.

PETER McGETTIGAN — STILL MORE DETAILS. Historian Stan Stevens (quoted above) was a long time and good friend to Peter Mc Gettigan.  Stan wrote… “Peter had recently been hospitalized, at his own choosing, after trying to shake the flu. He was in the hospital three weeks, with some rehab afterwards. Peter was part of a helicopter medical evacuation team in Vietnam, and was exposed to Agent Orange as a result. This affected his lungs, and I am certain this contributed to his heart condition. We know these things from discussions we had with Peter, during several dinners at our home over the years”.

July 9th

Depending on the Coastal Commission’s vote at its meeting on Thursday July 12th, this 1937 Cotswald-style cottage pictured here on the coastal bluff at 1307 West Cliff Drive, the only house on the ocean side of West Cliff, most likely will be gone forever. Another iconic structure torn down. Little value placed on that which reflects our past, on the familiar, on what gives a sense of community and place. The likelihood was slim that someone with the $4 million it cost to buy the property would have opted to save the Doll’s House (one of its names), and be happy looking out at the ocean from within its walls. The Real Estate online photos of the interior show beautiful hardwood floors, pristine white walls and stunning ocean views from all the windows, enough one would think to keep anyone happy. Apparently not. All over Santa Cruz, with the possible exception of Beach Flats, newcomers with money are bulldozing the small cottages and erecting new structures, stretching height restrictions to the max. Many are second or third homes. Nothing illegal about all of this but for me sad to lose the modest built landscape that has defined Santa Cruz for so long. I wonder how they manage to keep the old structures in most European countries? Why do they treasure them more than we do? There’s nothing inevitable about human driven change. It reflects what we value and what we don’t.

Most remember this house, also called Tide Cliff Studio, as Jennifer’s house in Clint Eastwood’s 1983 film, Sudden Impact. Local historian Ross Gibson, who has researched its history, was quoted in a 1/20/16 Sentinel article on the sale of the house. “It’s rather iconic,” Gibson said. “It’s a very modest cottage and it probably wasn’t built like a castle or anything, but still, that wonderful charm that it has and its wonderful relationship with the natural setting, I’d hate to see it lost. Since it is Cotswold, the most that I could hope for was that the roof line remains the same.”

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Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

July 11 2018

University Baiting and Bashing? Not so Fast
It was quite a meeting. Mayor David Terrazas and Planning Director Lee Butler forcefully presented the city’s side of the on June 27. There it was in a basic PowerPoint: 78% of Santa Cruz just voted to severely limit the size of UC Santa Cruz; the growth of university has far outpaced the growth of the community since 2000 (58% student body (not including additional staff and faculty) vs. the 21% total growth of the city of Santa Cruz; and perhaps the real elephant in this room, the extravagant dorm rents that one student can pay per month, as high as $1,670 for a single room (no meals) and $1,400 per room if you want to live along Pacific Ave at the UCSC-owned “University Town Center.” What did any of this mean? Plenty. First, it is clear that too much of a good thing can be quite damaging to this community. While the discussion was amicable, the main message being shared by the Mayor with the assemblage of UCSC staff headed by Chancellor George Blumenthal was that the city simply cannot take any more university growth. Blumenthal is a keen listener, an apt debater and obviously, he’s also a man caught between the rock of the UC Regents, and the hard place of a must-grow Sacramento legislature. He trotted out his usual pallet of bureaucratic ballast: we are great at conserving water (true, on campus, but not off), traffic growth to the campus has not increased since 2005 (I challenged him, and he tacitly agreed to a city study), and UCSC must strive to find a place on the American Association of Universities elite big schools list (now 62 on list).

The chancellor and Mayor, at least at this gathering of the Community Advisory Group (CAG), conversed cordially and it appeared there was ample room for negotiation and mediation. The CAG is made up of elected officials including Supervisor’s Bruce McPherson and Ryan Coonerty, City Councilmember’s Cynthia Mathews and myself. The group also includes community notables and once-notables, Gary Patton, John Aird, Ceil Cirillo, Charlie Eadie, Bill Tyseling, and Don Lane. So far, the group has been united in pushing back hard on the suggested 10,000 student sticker-shock growth number the Chancellor trotted out last January. The meeting ended well past the allotted two hours with suggestions for city staff and university staff to work together on coming up with numbers and information in which to present to the UC Regents and the legislature concerning how much the city, and university, are struggling with the great numbers of students already in town without the resources to support them. The Chancellor indicated the state legislature might be a harder nut to crack than the Regents if Santa Cruz city and county officials are to form a one-two punch in limiting university growth. This group will meet again in the fall. A follow-up email sent the day after our meeting by the Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Affairs, Sarah Latham stated the following:

“One area that emerged with a high level of interest from CAG members was how you might partner with the campus in advocacy efforts to the State Legislature to ensure the quality of the UC remains high and supports the needs of our state, while also recognizing the needs of the local communities in which we are located.” (June 29)

Amen. Maybe we are on to something.

Berlin, Germany
Trump and Hitler Comparisons
Truth be told, many people here in Berlin made my own recent discovery long ago. In fact, way back in the summer of 2016 during the Republican presidential debates some Berliners perceived dark storm clouds hovering over the American political landscape. The language, style, and bravado of one Donald J. Trump was something Germans were eerily well-acquainted with before. I visited an exhibit here, the Topography of Terror. It is situated astride the former Gestapo headquarters. The exhibit is as grotesque as it is frank in its depiction of how Hitler and the Nazis came to power, but primarily it is focused on the year 1933. It is a riveting, revealing, and honest 2018 assessment of the horrible atrocities committed under a legally elected German government. The exhibit only covers one year in a city block-long depiction of the Nazi rise to power. Being here in Germany and looking through some of their history, mostly by perusing the German Historical Museum and the Topography of Terror site, which led up to a very dark period in German history and world history, I am struck by some parallels between this era and Trump.

The parallels seem chilling:

  1. Adolf Hitler received 37% of the delegate votes and was subsequently chosen by rightwing German icon, Paul Van Hindenburg. The choice of Hitler did not necessarily have to happen. (popular 2016 vote: Clinton 48.2%, Trump 46.1%, electoral votes: Trump 304, Clinton 227—The Democrats had established a precedent earlier by not fighting the election results during the 2000 general election.
  2. Hitler went after immigrants, Jews, Blacks and Gypsies Trump goes after immigrants, and uses terms like “rapists.” Hitler used vulgar terms as well.
  3. Der Führer extolled the army every chance he had and built up national resources to support the military. Trump supports a dying coal industry, negates climate change, and is trying to prop up steel production for “national security” reasons.
  4. Hitler looked backwards and wanted to return to a former way of life when Germany was a great (super) power in the 19th century. The Trump era mantra is Make America (Germany?) Great Again)
  5. Hitler picked fights with his neighboring countries, which happened to be easier military targets too, Poland and France, as he wanted “German” territory restored, it was “taken” after WWI. Trump picks fights with Mexico and Canada every chance he gets.
Scenes from Berlin, 29 years after The Wall fell.

  1. Bike taxi bed.
  2. Entrance to the Kopi squat.
  3. Capitalism 1, East Germans 0. Here is an old East German Trabant decorating the entrance to the Marriot Hotel.
  4. Lots of radical banners all over Berlin, this one outside of 27-year old squat, Kopi.
  5. Street Art on the side of a building. They know how to do murals in Berlin.
  6. These are part of 2,711 cement stele, part of the Holocaust Memorial located near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Some say it’s an “illusion of order,” or a “hegemony of vision.” What do you think?
  7. Going down into the heart of the memorial itself, order and a sense of lost-ness.
  8. Graffiti is celebrated in Berlin.

See larger versions of these photos on the Facebook page.

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“Some of you know I’m Jewish,” Sanders said during a town hall in Wisconsin on Saturday. “My father came to this country at the age of 17 from Poland, Other people in his family did not come over. Most people died. Children died. Relatives of my father. So that is in my heart to see what a lunatic can do by stirring up racial hatred. And we’re not going to allow that to take place in this country.” (Haaretz, April 3, 2016.)
July 9, 2018

Soquel area residents are fed up with empty Supervisor promises and meaningless public hearings.    They have formed SUSTAINABLE SOQUEL and have filed legal action against the County to hold them accountable.  You can help!  Click here to support Stop the Soquel Auto Row! organized by Lisa Sheridan

Our  elected representatives held many public meetings in 2014 to develop a Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan that would reflect the public input and develop a general plan to efficiently address the County’s housing, transportation and economic needs.  The area at the 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive intersection was to have been much-needed housing located on the main public transportation hub, with some shops included.  But suddenly, the Planning Department and Board of Supervisors decided to change that Plan and instead approve a Nissan Auto Dealership that will provide NO housing, and will pave over a vast area of soil that has been part of the groundwater recharge basin.

Residents of Soquel have been active in demanding the County adhere to the original Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan ideas that they all worked hard to help develop with County Supervisor John Leopold.  The Board of Supervisors turned a deaf ear to their outcry, and instead have followed the promised tax monies trail and approved the Nissan Auto Dealership. 

That Plan has yet to be approved by the Board of Supervisors because of the massive changes inherent that require a full environmental review process.  The Planning Department has not, it seems, has put little effort toward that process.   Maybe Planning Director Kathy Molloy-Previsich has a different idea?  Read on…

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Plan to attend this joint meeting of the MGA Board and the Advisory Committee where discussion will occur about the Plan for the future of the County’s water. there!

Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.

Email Becky at


July 7, 2018
#188 / Privacy? Maybe!

That friendly Amazon superstore you are probably doing business with is now doing business with police agencies, too, selling them software that will allow such law enforcement agencies to track your every movement on a real-time basis. You don’t have to log in to your Amazon account to get the benefit of this service. As long as you are using your real face, the monitoring cameras that are showing up just about everywhere will take care of it. Along with that software, of course! The software is kind of like the “secret sauce.” If you would like to learn more about this topic, just click this link to be directed to a story that appeared in the Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24, 2018, edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Technology is one thing. Legality is another. Actually, there is probably no provision in the Bill of Rights, or in current law, that prohibits governmental agencies from using facial recognition software to spy on you. If you are walking or driving around in public, then where you are, at any particular time, is actually “public” information. I am not aware of any law or Constitutional provision that would prevent a governmental agency from collecting such public information, and as The Wall Street Journal indicates, some agencies are doing just that, or are preparing to do so.

Here is the more pertinent question. Presuming that it is legal and constitutional for the government to put you under what might be seen as a kind of perpetual surveillance, what may a governmental agency do with the information it gathers? Can a governmental agency, for instance, pull data out of its databanks months or years after the event, to prove that you were in a particular place, at a particular time, and thus quite likely robbed a bank?  A United States Supreme Court decision, Carpenter v. United States, was handed down on June 21, 2018. It was an extremely important decision. Click the link if you’d like to read it. Fair warning: it is 119 pages long.

In Carpenter, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court seems to say that governmental agencies cannot use their high-tech surveillance capabilities to produce evidence that can be used against a criminal suspect. Not unless they collected that data under the authority of a search warrant!

Facial recognition wasn’t the technology in question in Carpenter; the technology involved in that case was cell phone site location data. The principle established by Carpenter, though, seems pretty clear. Police were trying to solve a series of bank robberies. Months after the crimes had occurred, they got a tip that Carpenter was probably involved. Figuring that Carpenter might have been carrying around his cell phone during the time these bank robberies took place, law enforcement officials decided to find out what those records might tell them, and so they asked Carpenter’s wireless provider to provide them with the cell site location data it had on Carpenter’s wireless use, during the time in question. The police found a pattern of phone use that seemed to tie Carpenter to the robberies (which, in fact, he almost certainly committed), and this evidence was introduced at Carpenter’s trial and helped convict him.

Was this alright, constitutionally speaking? No search warrant was obtained; the police just asked the company for the data in its records (data that the company had on all of its customers), and the company provided what was asked for.

According to the Supreme Court, it was not ok to use that data! People have an expectation of privacy and do not expect to have their every movement monitored. If police agencies think that someone might be a criminal, the proper thing to do is to get a judge to issue a warrant, so that the government can collect the data it wants under judicial supervision. Treating everyone as a potential criminal, all the time and everywhere, which is what the Amazon software would do, and what happened to Carpenter, will not produce results consistent with the Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.

There are different ways to look at the Carpenter decision. My criminal law professor at Stanford, Herbert Packer, used to contrast the “crime control model” with the “due process model.”

I, personally, think the Court did the right thing, but I’m a “due process” kind of a guy.

Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at

Email Gary at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Lupin Lodge the Nudist Camp gets some visitors secc below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “The Supreme Change” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

41st ANNUAL MUSICAL SAW FESTIVAL. This happens AUGUST 11 & 12.
On Saturday August 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm there’ll be an Open jam at the Tom Scribner Statue, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA, in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz. That night at  6:30 pm Potluck and jam up at Roaring Camp‘s outer parking lot in Felton, CA.
On Sunday August 12 from 10:00 am to  5:00 pm will be the genuine 41st Annual Saw Festival at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA.
Highlights of the festival.
11:00 am Musical Saw Contest The 41st annual Saw Contest is the longest running saw contest in the world and they will crown their 2018 champion.
12:00-4:00 Featured performers, awards, chorus of the saws
At the festival you can jam, meet other saw players, take part in the contest, take a workshop, and hear some great saw players literally from all over the world.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Its publication day for Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge (at last!), this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ). Sneak a peek at a sample chapter, listen to me on the radio, and don’t forget to come see me at Bookshop Santa Cruz, next Tuesday (7 p.m. July 17)! Also, read my review of the incredible true-story documentary Three Identical Strangers, in this week’s Good Times. Meanwhile, still missing my Art Boy, I turn to the movies for answers about what happens next after life as we know it.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. (94 RT) A very serious documentary about Jewish twin and triplet babies that were secretly separated and placed around carefully-chosen Jewish families in New York City in the 50s, as part of an experiment that has still never been made public. The previews make you think it’s about triplets and the fun they have finding each other. It’s much more than that, and will have you questioning your own behavior and your DNA inheritance. SEE THIS FILM!!!

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. It’s embarrassing to watch Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne and especially Michelle Pfeiffer having to take roles in yet another factory-produced Marvel Comic mass-produced monster hit. (85 RT) Paul Rudd is back in this sequel, and does the best possible job as the Ant-Man. He shrinks; he grows, flies around on the Wasp’s back and does what little he can with this comic book movie. I’m guessing that these Marvel movies are best enjoyed by eight-year-olds. If you’re older than that, think at least twice before attending.

BOUNDARIES. Syrupy, corny, trite, not funny and boring! Even with Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga leading, this would-be comedy is an insult. Plummer as a Grandpa pot dealer wearing adult diapers on a cross country jaunt with his not-funny daughter makes for a very amateurish and miserably directed movie…avoid at all costs.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? A well deserved 99 on RT and Mr. Rogers turns out to be all that we’d hope to see in this bio. That he was a lifelong Republican is about the only surprise, but it’s not important. It’s no surprise to learn about his faith-based upbringing and he practiced love and kindness in his entire television career. Go see this film. You’ll agree with him about the glut of violence in other children’s tv shows. We can only guess how he’d deal with Trump’s presidency. He handled Robert Kennedy’s assassination and 9/11 with amazing taste and skill. His neighborhood tv show started in 1968 and lasted until 2001. He died in 2003. As I mentioned go see this film, it’s one of the few uplifting things available nowadays.

FIRST REFORMED. With Ethan Hawke as a minister Amanda Seyfried as the  pregnant wife of a protester and a 97 on Rotten Tomatoes you know the film is going to gnaw at your brain, nerves, heart, and especially your memory for days…or longer. You might say it’s religion versus the environment, the power structure versus god, and a very real test of your loyalty. No laughs, again it’s more like a Greek Tragedy…well worth your time, don’t miss it. It takes place in Snowbridge, New York which must be someplace near Buffalo. ENDS THURSDAY JULY 12.

RBG. This nicely-done documentary tells us a lot more than has ever been made public before. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) is a surprisingly quiet, shy woman. It reminds us that Bill Clinton got her the job as Supreme Court Justice: oddly enough it does not remind us that Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the court. See this film. It’ll give you hope that you can fight against the odds. It’s been packing ’em in for weeks at the Nick, and it deserves it.

HERIDITARY. It genuinely earned 91 on RT!!! Toni Colette and Gabriel Byrne control the screen, the plot and all your attention is this shockingly scary horror film. It features séances, ghosts, and grave scenes and no cheap power saws or trite Hollywood tricks. This film is genuinely scary and you’ll remember it long after you leave the theatre.

AMERICAN ANIMALS. This true story of how four guys robbed a library of very precious books in 2004 is exciting and tense and odd. The books were probably worth 12 million dollars. The editing bothered me…close-ups, switchbacks, some laughs, some pain, and a hip music soundtrack didn’t help the plot move as it should. It does contain live interviews with the actual four “robbers’. That’s an unusual touch, and this is a very unusual film go for it. . ENDS THURSDAY JULY 12.

SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO. Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are back again in sequel #2. ‘Sicario’ means “Hitman”, especially with regard to Mexican drug cartels, in case you’ve ever wondered. “Soldado’ means “to pay” as in hired hit man. It’s a nasty, tough, complex, killing movie. There’s the kidnapping of a 12 year old daughter of a drug lord, and a merciless look at the very current plight of Mexican immigrants…especially now with Trump making headlines with his sick view of humanity. The plot is fast and hard to follow, but it’s got some well-produced moments.

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. A big 50 on RT and it didn’t deserve that much. Chris PrattJames Cameron, Geraldine Chaplin and Jeff Goldblum are the only names you might remember from other movies but they can’t help this weak, predictable, rip off. Dinosaurs escape…like duh!!! Gee and they eat humans or stomp them to death. It is very far removed from the realistic, character driven original Jurassic Park of 1993 starring Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong. Send the kids, don’t accompany them!!

INCREDIBLES 2. I liked Incredibles 1. Now Pixar/Disney has shifted to centering on Mrs. Incredible as a Wonder Woman who goes through numerous violent bloody battles against the one concept I thought was funny…the evil Screenslaver. Very little of the original charm, family stuff, human frailties, it’s another cutesy version of the Marvel Comics blockbusters

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 71 on RT. Sure Han Solo and Chewbacca get their histories told in this 2 ½ hour long pointless and nearly plotless cornball saga. So are Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke (without her silver hair). It saved tons of production money but it is also the darkest movie I’ve ever tried to see. I mean everyone is in the dark all the time. I swear that most of the time you can NOT see their faces, expressions or planetary make-up. The plot is meaningless. It has absolutely none of the charm, humor, or depth that the early Star Wars films had. It’s not worth going to any trouble to see unless you are THAT much of a fan.

DEADPOOL 2Ryan Reynolds again plays Deadpool and any movie goer knows that this is another Marvel Comics CGI fantasy. Marvel Comic movies are as difficult to understand and accept as watching a Butoh or Kabuki play. The first Deadpool movie was violent, full of in-jokes, and Deadpool 2 is in the same mold. Ryan Reynolds adds a little humanity to his character which sets these films apart from the other Marvel Comic sagas. But only attend IF you understand how these super hero flicks work.



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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. On July 10, Lisa Jensen will be talking about her book “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” and her Bookshop book signing. Then Ellen Aldridge from the Ocean Street Extension community talks about their concerns. Ellen Primack of The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music discusses it on July 17. Also on the 17 Jean Brocklebank and Michael Lewis share the latest news on our public library issue. July 24 has Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi CEO of Sutter Health Santa Cruz and Pres. of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz talks about medical issues and developmentsHe’s followed by UMI Santillan from QEUC , Quality Eduction in UC’S . On August 7 Dr. Shawna Riddle of PAMF talks about staying healthyFollowing her will be Marla Novo, history curator at MAH. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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

My people often tease me about my Netflix queue being “Hitler, Nazis, Death”… well, this is a wonderful documentary about 5 Hollywood filmmakers, who went to war – and came back. It’s told with lots of newsreel and historical footage, and the story is told by 5 contemporary Hollywood filmmakers (and narrated by Meryl Streep). There was a lot in here I did not know, and I’m a bit of a WWII buff. I think I’ve had a more European angle, for obvious reasons. Either way, watch Five Came Back, and then go in and watch the movies they made. It is more important than ever to remember…

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts. Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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.

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too”.  Barack Obama
“Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal – the largest voluntary migrations in recorded history… Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.” George W. Bush
“The greatest nations are defined by how they treat their weakest inhabitants.” Jorge Ramos