Blog Archives

July 15 – 21, 2014

SALINAS RODEO GROUNDS, 1942. The photo is a bit dark and fuzzy, but so are our memories. This is the Japanese and Japanese-Americans holding camp before they were transported to Manzanar and other prisons.

photo credit: U.S. Army photo

DATELINE July 14, 2014

OUR OAKLAND SONG REVISITED. Tina Baine alerted me at Lisa Jensen’s Alias Hook book party on Saturday that NPR played an interview last Friday that I did with them back in April. Luckily I found it online. Our Goodtime Washboard 3 trio wrote the song back in 1965, and the Oakland song and the entire Fantasy album is available on iTunes. Here’s NPR/KQED

NO NEEDLES/SYRINGES FOUND OVER JULY 4 WEEKEND. Last week Paul Elerick mentioned in BrattonOnline that when he participated in the Save our Shores Beach Clean Up no needles/syringes were found. He wondered why. Many reactions came in quickly. Most of them said simply that no druggies and crazies would dream of going near any beaches over the heavily policed weekend. Ed Martinez went beyond that and said that with those heavy police barricades and patrolling many of our beaches, like Crows Nest Beach were almost empty and that the firework nutsos are now going back up into the neighborhoods to set off fireworks and of course causing the resultant ground fires we all experienced this 4th. Clearly the police and our City Council policies have failed and should be revised. Like maybe before Halloween and how the council brings back all the same police attitude with fencing, spotlights and prevailing downtown hostility.

HIGHWAYS ONE & NINE. Debbie Bulger of the Mission: Pedestrian Organization ( sent a 3 page letter outlining the issues and problems in the stated plans to “upgrade” the biggest and busiest intersection in our county. The letter is addressed to Matt Fowler, Senior Environmental Planner, California Department of Transportation. You can read all of it here.

In it she says…We are appalled that the proposed changes to the Route 1/9 Intersection in Santa Cruz would decrease safety and walkability for pedestrians, in direct conflict with the Complete Streets policy. In addition the proposed changes violate the goals pertaining to pedestrian travel of the City General Plan and the Master Transportation Study. The proposed project is even more grievous since it does not significantly improve the situation for motorists by providing a second entrance/exit to the Harvey West area.

1. Caltrans’ Complete Streets Policy and Federal Law require safe accommodation for all users. The Initial Study does not seem to take pedestrian travel seriously.

2. The 8-foot sidewalk and 5-foot tree-planted landscape strip along both sides of River Street would be narrowed to a 5-foot sidewalk with no landscape strip.

3. The project is in conflict with the Santa Cruz City General Plan

4. The conceptual design of the project does not employ best practices for pedestrian safety.

5. The Initial Study states that the San Lorenzo Multipurpose Path is now considered the primary north/south route for pedestrians and bicyclists

6. She offers a better solution….

There is, however, a better solution to the traffic congestion that will also be better for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the 1/9 Intersection. That is, create another intersection north of the intersection between the RR tracks and Chestnut Street. Such a project would also provide another entrance and exit to Harvey West. I have been told that Caltrans rejected a second entrance/exit north of the RR tracks because they envisioned the new intersection as a ramp. Caltrans was rightly concerned about the increased collision rate such a ramp could entail.

However, a signalized intersection would not have the high collision rate of a ramp. Construction of another road leading to Harvey West would not only relieve congestion in the short term, but would also enable drivers coming from or going to the Westside of Santa Cruz to avoid the 1/9 intersection altogether. Route 1 heading north to Chestnut Street is not a high speed freeway, but rapidly becomes a business district at the traffic signal at Chestnut. Properly timed, the two intersections could work together to decrease the delay currently experienced by drivers at the 1/9 intersection. A benefit of the new road would be a safer River Street and 1/9 intersection for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as a much-needed second entrance/exit to the Harvey West area. In the past a number of accidents and incidents have blocked the single entrance/exit to the Harvey West area. Residents have been trapped in the area for hours, unable to go home. A second entrance/exit should be a higher priority than the proposed project which just perpetuates the current situation”. Debbie has put a lot of time, and expertise into these ideas. Read them all in their entirety and read them carefully. All of our community and environment and area businesses depend very much on that intersection.

ANDY SERKIS (Caesar in Dawn of Apes) shows how he did the Gollum in The Hobbitt movies.

GILLIAN GREENSITE WEIGHS IN. “The vote of 6 Santa Cruz City council members last Tuesday to give a $2 million windfall of TOT taxes back to hotels of 100 beds or more is probably the final piece of funding that will allow the 407 Broadway Hyatt to go ahead. Expect the tree to be cut down sooner rather than later. I hear, although haven’t checked it out, that Sam Farr was helpful in getting public money for this hotel. Then Gillian adds almost as an accompaniment to Debbie’s concerns …” GROVE OF EUCALYPTUS AT HIGHWAYS 1 and 9. The CalTrans planner confirmed that the Highways 1& 9 widening project will indeed remove that grove of eucalyptus on the northern corner. It’s a last rural remnant in an ever urbanizing landscape for Santa Cruz. How ugly that area will be without the softening effect of the trees. I saw a Cooper’s Hawk fly into the grove. Possibly a nest there And please, check out the Save Our Big Trees Facebook page, like and share.

UCSC LIME KILNS. Here’s a fine little documentary.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. It’ll probably be too late by the time this gets online but Gary announces the SCruz Water Advisory Commission metting on Wed. 7/16 from 4-6 p.m. It’s regional water planning, and we some more of that. He talks about the “Open Counter” system that is aimed at making it easier for businesses to get permits.

Then on Thursday night it’s passenger rail service discussion time at the Regional Transportation Commission and he links to an online survey… check it out at . He closes by stating very clearly that the Salinas Valley is truly “America’s Farming Capital”. And states, “Last year, in 2013, Monterey County generated almost four and one half billon dollars from its agricultural production. There isn’t a more productive agricultural area anywhere else in the United States. The Salinas Valley is America’s “Farming Capital.” You can tell Dorothy: that capital isn’t in Kansas anymore!” Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365″ –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo peeks at nudes events. See below (pun)

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim shows that oil and money have deep connections. Scroll downwards.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( find out why the post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer is flawed, but fun. Meanwhile, Captain Hook’s voyage of conquest continues, with new links on the Alias Hook Blog Tour going live every day!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

that is the question
(in order of perfection)

3rd REPEAT PLUG!!! SNEAK PREVIEW. Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur opens July 18. I saw an advance preview. This is Polanski’s masterpiece, a genuine master work of cinema, a genuine artistic statement and one hell of a good movie. Save that date. The film stars Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife. The plot is from an original novel by Sacher-Masoch which is where we get the word masochism!!! (hint, hint) But it’s all talk and brilliant discussion just between the two of them….go see it quickly.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. It’s like Snowpiercer in that it has a somewhat serious message on the present and future status of humans. The apes who live in Marin County and ride horses are half human, speak some English and have almost exactly the same values as we do. It lacks the cutesy humor of Roddy McDowell and super stars like Charlton Heston, and is a much more somber comment on our lives after a virus kills off most humans. You could wait and rent it if you have a big screen at home.

THIRD PERSON. Liam Neeson does the worst job of acting I’ve ever seen him do in this confusing mess of a film. Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, Kim Basinger and the omni-present James Franco all sound like they are reading their parts off the script. And I like those actors. This poorly directed story is maybe about a writer (Neeson) who is writing a story about the intwined lives of three groups of people mostly in Italy. You can’t be sure if it’s his writing or reality that you are watching….and eventually, you don’t care much.

Still playing at a theatre near us
from best to really bad

IDA. A very serious and wonderful film about an 18 year old girl in 1960’s Poland who is about to become a nun. Her mother dies and the girl learns she is Jewish. It’s a beautiful story of Poland, the Nazi’s, love, tradition…and should remain the “best film of the year”, if there is any real criteria in the choosing. See it asap, it’ll probably leave town quickly.

GORE VIDAL. The United States of Amnesia. You need to see this documentary/hymn to a real American hero. Vidal always stood up for the America he believed in and if you’ve forgotten or arent aware of how strong and resolute and correct in his life long attempt to make sense of what was and IS happening in the USA, see this film. Read his books. And memorize his statements about our ridiculous government. Especially what he says about J.F.K. and Obama. It lasted less than one week here…BUT rent it as soon as possible.

OBVIOUS CHILD. It’s listed as a comedy…it isn’t. It’s a gut wrenching well done portrait of a young woman coming of age in NYC. Jenny Slate plays a stand-up comic with a life that isn’t funny and Gaby Hoffman from Crystal Fairy is her buddy. You might not like Jenny’s character but you’ll face the fact that even tougher- than- shit people have feelings.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. You’ll tear up more than laugh in this nicely made piece of cinema. Oscars, best film of the year, stuff like that is being said by audiences over and over again. Shailene Woodley (Goerge Clooney’s tean age daughter in “The Descendents” takes the lead role and keeps it. Newcomer Ansel Elgort plays her teen age boyfriend, and they are both dying from cancer. Weepy, emotional and great like Greek tragedies. Go see it.

SNOWPIERCER. It’s the future again but no aliens are attacking, for once. South Korean director Bong Joon Ho made this one fascinating , tight, fast moving, well-directed movie.. Tilda Swinton plays her silliest role in her career, John Hurt is always the same and he plays “Gilliam” (remember that IF you go see this thriller). It’s about a train that runs forever with all the 1000 survivors left on earth. Ed Harris is the supreme & majestic conductor. It’s a great escape film…go for it.

  1. Now, check out this cast Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Oliver Platt. It’s an original comedy all centering around food. It’s funny, touching, fast moving, and even educational!!! If you enjoy preparing food, and relish eating good food this is your movie! Chefs, food critics, restaurantowners, and normal people should see this well made film.

BEGIN AGAIN. Mark Ruffalo is getting tiresome onscreen, he’s always the same guy, and he’s no different in this sad music business saga. Kiera Knightly is supposed to be a singer and James Corden (brilliant star of One Man, Two Guvnor’s is just about an invisible zero in his good buddy role here. It’s like a new copy of an old Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movie.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL.It’s got elements of good scary old time films like “The Exorcist” and “The Blair Witch” plus “don’t go down those cellar stairs” stuff but the direction is all over the place. Eric Bana and Olivia Munn lead the cast. Nothing in the entire film could make you believe that the events are as real life as the previews claim.

JERSEY BOYS. Like most of Clint Eastwood– directed films, Jersey Boys is about as deep as a 45 rpm disc. The same plot could have been afixed to any pop group. The acting is about as good as you can expect from such a hackneyed show biz story. Even if you’re still a Frankie Valli fan, this movie is boring.

MALEFICENT. As we all know know this is “Sleeping Beauty” gone bad. Curses, spells, special effects and Angelina Jolie’s fake jawbones plus horns make this an almost silly and phony saga. Elle Fanning who is now 16 years old is still cute as all get out. And you should get out and see some more meaningful movie.

TRANSFORMERS: Age of Extinction. Mark Wahlberg and his “Autobots” fight off the “Decepticons” or something like that. In case you care (and you shouldn’t ) The Transformers now have personalities like the fat robot who smokes metal cigars and has a metal beard. There’s a Japanese Samurai robot, a southren red-neck robot, it’s just awful and it’s 2 hours and 37 minutes long. You could knit a scarf in that same amount of time. Peter Cullen is the voice of the Opitmus Prime robot (not our Peter Cullen) one of those special effect thingees.

22 JUMP STREET. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back again doing their dumb undercover cop thing. The film took in $111.5 million dollars the opening weekend, and what else is new??? It’s stupid, mean, crotch focussed, anti-gay, and will probably make many more millions before thet finish 23 JUMP STREET. If you do go and see this pierce of junk don’t tell me about it!

EARTH TO ECHO. Kids find a cute tiny, little space robot and it’s just like all the rest of the cutesy, summertime, kids & robots movies. Not one new twist, you don’t even see the robot until 45 minutes later and it’s very poorly directed and miserable editing, with lousy camera angles. Don’t go. Or at least SEND the kids, don’t go with them.

TAMMY. What a line-up of stars in this very sad downer of a movie. Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Dan Aykroyd, Sandra Oh, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Mark Duplass and Melissa McCarthy who co-authored and produced it with her husband Ben Falcone. It cedrtainly isn’t a comedy, because Melissa ans Susan Sarandon play such loser roles. It’s not a tragedy because you’ll laugh at the stupid, and vulgar scenes. It’s a waste of time, your money and their talents.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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, and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) Lisa Jensen, Good Times film critic and author of her new book “Alias Hook” will open the July 15 program and Ellen Primack will then talk about this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Becca King Reed will talk about heart disease and raw food benefits on July 22 then executive director of The Grey Bears Tim Brattan (no relation) tells all about their latest achievements. On July 29th Julie Callahan talks about the “March for Elephants” program followed by Lisa Robinson telling everybody about the wonders at The San Lorenzo Valley Museum. Sentinel reporter and author Terri Morgan discusses her book “The Genetic Lottery” on August 5th. Then Jacob Martinez describes the work he’s doing on and young folks in Watsonville. 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, 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. “The Summer looks out from her brazen tower,Through the flashing bars of July,”- Francis Thompson. I would sign on for projects that were meant to shoot in July, and then they would postponed and they would bleed into the following semester, and then I’d take a semester off, and then the movie would collapse,” Claire Danes.Save a boyfriend for a rainy day – and another, in case it doesn’t rain,” Mae West.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on July 15 – 21, 2014

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