Blog Archives

July 17 – July 30, 2013

BAY & HIGH STREETS BEFORE UCSC. 1957. On the left is the present UCSC Campus. That’s Meder Street coming straight down to the bottom center. If you squint you can see them building Highway One over the San Lorenzo at the top left, and yes you should have bought property back then.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DE-LAYING THE DE-SAL VOTE. Behind closed doors the plot is underway to delay the peoples voting on Santa Cruz’s de-sal plant. Delay it until even 2016!!! That way Ryan Coonerty won’t be facing it as an issue when he runs in for the Board of Supervisors in June. It’ll stop de-sal from being an issue in the City Council elections too. Finding all sorts of ways to hold up the EIR appears to be the main tactic. Just watch out that’s all. Who’s behind the “closed doors” you ask, and we’ll guess Bill Kocher, Fred Keeley, Cynthia Mathews, both Coonertys, and a few more subcutaneous suspects that we’ll name later.

ENDORSING RYAN COONERTY. Just a warning to folks who are thinking of endorsing Ryan Coonerty….WAIT!!! many, many names and ideas are being hatched as candidates and of course women are playing a big role in breaking the good old boy board of supes bastion. If you’re looking for a pro-de-sal plant, an anti homeless, limiting people’s time to speak at the City Council….Ryan’s your guy, but just wait until all the other candidates come forth.

HISTORIC TREE ORDINANCE. Santa Cruz has developed a wide split between the Environmentalists and the Historic Preservationists. It all is coming to a near fever pitch over the four 70 foot Canary Island pines around Dentist William Christies office across from The Goodwill Store in downtown Santa Cruz. Christie wants them cut down because they are mucking up his office building. One well known historic preservation friend of mine put it very clearly, “fuck the trees”. People who love trees and see more benefits in having big trees downtown like Chris Krohn, Gillian Greensite, Rachel O’Malley and Jim Funaro are working hard to save them. This “Christie vs. the Trees” battle grows into our City Council wanting to revise and weaken the entire City ordinance on historic trees and last Tuesday night the City Council started to hear about that. The citizens who like trees say the ordinance violates CEQA. The City ignored them so Wittwer & Parkin attorneys send a letter saying the same thing. Then City attorney Barisone says there is a threat of a lawsuit. There wasn’t and he knew that. But the Council went into one of their famous closed sessions. Yes, Micah Posner went along with all that stuff too, in case you wondered. We need a CEQA review on what the City is trying to do to our trees. If the council and Parks & Recreation Dept. have their way the city of Santa Cruz will look like early Barstow!!…or late Barstow?

SILENT FILM FESTIVAL. Now in its 19 year The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is again bringing newly discovered and restored silent masterpieces to the silver screen….and they’re projected and shown properly. Started by former Santa Cruzan Stephen Salmons (a once usher at the Del Mar) the festival has grown to world wide fame.

Go here to read the complete four day schedule. It’s at the historic Castro Theatre, there’ll be around 16,000 participants (most of us stay over). You should go to see at least one of these classics. For me silent films compared to talking films are like comparing books to TV. I’ll be there all four days, I’ve been attending for at least 10 years and love every reel of it.

Sent by Gunilla, my intrepid Web Woman, this is a clip that well illustrates why you shouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions…

KENNETH BRANAGH’S THE MAGIC FLUTE….WHAT??? I was hugely surprised when I saw the 2012 film of art’s The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh at Cedar Street Video. I hadn’t heard one word anywhere in the opera gangs about it and having nearly worshipped Ingmar Bergman’s version decades ago it amazed me that Branagh would try another. He set it in World War 1, and then he had Stephen Fry write a new libretto. If I can sit through more than the opening eight minutes after many attempts, I’ll let you know.

NEW IMPORTED TOOTHPASTE. You may recall that I’ve been collecting tubes of toothpaste from all over the world for decades. I just want to thank Tamara Parker (formerly titled a para-legal now it and she are called Legal Document Services). Tamara just returned from Singapore with a tube of Yunnan Baiyao, and you know what that’s like!! And artist / painter Sheila Malone, recently came back from Paris and points east, added a tube of Soulange les dents sensibles, as we say. Yes, they both have du fluoride!!

ELERICK’S INPUT. Good Neighbor Paul Elerick, sends this…


Here’s an unsolicited pitch for a great private social network tool called “Nextdoor“. Our neighborhood has been using Nextdoor to share important information, from lost pets to the horrific double-murder that recently happened nearby. “Neighbors” was used to warn people to keep their doors locked as law enforcement officers located and arrested the suspect in the killings, even before the reverse 911 message was put out.

It’s pretty simple to establish your own Neighbors network. It just takes somebody to take the lead to get started. All the information you need can found here. Our neighborhood has over 80 members signed up, with more members being added each week.


We had the opportunity to enjoy a great meal at Sophia’s the other evening. It’s right across the patio from Eric’s Deli, next the Aptos Cinema in Rancho Del Mar. People were enjoying the warm evening, eating outside and visiting with neighbors. It’s depressing to know that Eric’s Deli has announced their closing, along with the Burger restaurant. Can Sophia’s be the next to fall to the Safeway expansion threat? Why are we being subjected to replacing these businesses with a “new” Safeway megastore? Nothing new on the traffic study that is required until Safeway actually moves ahead with their plans. But expect that move to happen. Will the proposed cost of water for new developments make any difference to ambitious developer’s plans? Stay tuned.

(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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s KUSP broadcasts cover; A Green Infrastructure Webinar, and opening a new road on Fort Ord to make it easier to get to Salinas. He talks about the pollution on Pinto Lake and plans for land use in Carmel Valley. He closes with a plug for The Ventana Wilderness Alliance. 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. Ever vigilant DeCinzo takes a peek at Santa Cruz High School. Scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Father Eagan takes a relatively “Christian” point of view….see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Cabrillo Stage celebrates marriage equality with a fizzy production of La Cage aux Folles, and Pedro Almodóvar turns a disaster movie premise into a frothy comedy in I’m So Excited, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

BYZANTIUM. An intelligent, sensitive, feminine vampire story that works. It’ll leave quickly so go immediately. The bloodsucking is minimal, well done and even thoughtful. The acting is nearly perfect, so many flashbacks it’s tough to follow, but it all works out in the end…..go see it…today.

PACIFIC RIM. IF (and that’s a large “IF”) you like Godzilla monsters and Transformer monsters this is an excellent movie!!! Director G. Del Toro makes great movies and this crushing, stomping, “bigger than thou” film has enough plot so that you actually care about the people, and the plot! See it only on the big screen and if possible in 3D!!

HIJACKING.A one week only Nick wonder film. (a distributor decision). This almost documentary has background and concepts behind pirates hijacking ships that you never thought or read about. And it’s got tension that would make Hitchcock jealous. Another absolutely excellent film. Forget what you saw in the trailers, it’s much better and more intelligent.

I’M SO EXCITED. Pedro Almodovar is one of the finest directors working in the world today. He’s openly gay and so I suppose he can throw gay stuff all through this film. It gets tiresome and trite, and less fun than Le Cage aux Folles. It probably is more daring in Spain. Don’t go expecting to see Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas in it…they aren’t onscreen long enough to call it a cameo shot. With the S.F. Airport crash two weeks ago I didn’t think a comedy about an airliner about to crash was all that necessary. I didn’t like the part where some passenger ended up covered up in emergency foam on the runway either. Rent this one about a year from now, when plane crashes might be funnier.

Still playing at a theatre near us!!

UNFINISHED SONG.If you like sobby movies about old people Terence Stamp is 75 and Vanessa Redgrave is 76 and she’s dying and he’s taking care of her. Only he’s very snotty and nasty and she’s a saint. She dies and he finally gets happy anyways. Stamp was much better as General Zod in an earlier Superman movie. Go if you like crying and feeling sorry for old people.

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM.This documentary makes Stars out of the faceless, nameless back-up singers on hit pop albums. I suppose there’s a point to it, but how about documentaries featuring the recording engineers, the producers, and the musicians who also make a song a hit? Making hits is a very collaborative; sharing process…it ain’t just the back-up singing. But it’s a fun film.

THE LONE RANGER.The SF Chronicle’s film critic Mick LaSalle called this mess “the worst film of the year”. It’s bombing terribly and Mick’s right, no-one should spend a dime, or their time to see this FLOP. Johnny Depp plays Tonto as another insanely odd character, and the Lone Ranger is portrayed and played as a jerk and doofus who hates guns!!! It’s got horse manure jokes, and racist American attitudes. Here’s a quote from Marley Brown of….”While the relationship between the ranger and Tonto was supposedly one of mutual respect, the stereotypical portrayal of Indians in The Lone Ranger has been a source of anger and disappointment to many Native people, including the writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, who told the Los Angeles Times: “In the movies, Indians are always accompanied by ominous music. I always feel that something bad is about to happen. I am always aware of how my whole life is shaped by my hatred of Tonto. Whenever I think of Tonto, I hear ominous music.” p.s. I just learned that when Columbus landed in America they didn’t name them “Indians” after the country of India! There wasn’t any country that was named “India” in 1492!!!

WHITE HOUSE DOWN.If you can believe Jamie Foxx as President Barack. H. Obama, then this action flick isn’t too bad. Bad spies, secret troops, storm the White House, they kill lots of people, they hold hostages and things like that. Now if you can believe that Channing Tatum (who was also the producer) can rescue our non-smoking president you could actually enjoy this dumb summer flick. It certainly shouldn’t be on anyone’s must see list.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY.It was cool to see my old UC Berkeley campus buildings in this latest Pixar flick. It has Stanford scenes too but it certainly isn’t up to Pixar’s high standards of film making. It’s boring, but Pixar has succeeded in that computer generated challenge of how to make hair or fur look real…it may be overdone but it’s clever. The plot of teaching ways to scare kids runs very thin in minutes but damn, Pixar animation techniques especially in 3D look more real than real does!!!

WORLD WAR Z.As luck would have it, I had an echo cardiogram and saw this movie on the same day. Believe me; the echo cardiogram was more interesting and more fun than this “Brad Pitt saves the world” mess. Not that it matters, but there are more and larger plot holes in this film than you could possibly count. Zombies that run, gnaw, puke a lot and bash their heads into windshields do not a good film make. Save your money.

SUPERMAN (MAN OF STEEL).Super hero films can really only be critiqued by comparing them to other super hero films. It’s a special genre. The plots, the acting, the visuals, direction, editing etc. are like no other film types. This Superman is not funny, no cutesy Clark Kent-“changing in a phone booth” stuff. No funny Gene Hackman or Marlon Brando villain/dad figures. Man of Steel starts and ends dark. Henry Cavill makes a great Superman. The rest of the cast is strange. Kevin Costner and Diane Ladd as Supe’s earth parents, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White!!, Russell Crowe as Jor-el ??? And of course Michael Shannon as General Zod. Don’t pay extra for 3D glasses there aren’t that many special effects. Plus we learn that the “S” on Supe’s shirt doesn’t stand for Superman it stands for hope. I could go on for pages talking about the religious stuff in this film. Like Clark in church praying with a background shot of Jesus kneeling before he was crucified, etc, etc. Go see it (big screen only) and only if you really like superhero films.

BEFORE MIDNIGHT.I definitely see too many action films. About 30 minutes into this part 3 of this Julie Delpy-Ethan Hawke piece of precious, boring fluff I was hoping Hawke would shoot Julie Delpy right between the eyes, or at least cut her throat so she couldn’t talk anymore. (Speaking cinematically of course). All the two of them do in this tedious, meaningless, piece of tripe is argue…and not well either. If you’ve seen their previous junk… Before Sunrise, Before Sunset or 2 Days in New York and 2 Days in Paris, you know what I mean. Besides that Julie Delpy is even worse when she’s topless. And she’s topless a lot in this Midnight flick.

NOW YOU SEE ME. Woody Harrelson, plus Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, and Morgan Freeman try hard to make this “magicians rob a bank” movie into a film worth buying tickets for, especially at today’s box-office prices. The idea is silly; none of these actors can convince anybody that they are magicians. Don’t go.

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. Assemblyman Mark Stone will be on July 23 bringing us up to date on Sacramento and his job He’s followed by Attorney Bob Taren rapping on local issues. Ed Holmes talks about The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s annual visit on August 6. Kevin Newhouse will talk about the new Aptos History picture book on August 13. 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 pod casts. 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. “When men have to do with one another, they are like verbs…almost all verbs are irregular“, Soren Kierkegaard. “Why doesn’t everybody leave everybody else the hell alone?”, Jimmy Durante. “It took me a long time to discover that the key thing in acting is honesty. Once you’ve learned to fake that, you’ve got it made“, Peyton Place


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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