Blog Archives

July 19 – 25, 2023

Highlights this week:

Bratton…about Housing for People, movie critiques. Greensite…will be back next week. Schendledecker…will be back next week. Steinbruner…water board vacancy, Aptos Village (no monitoring), fire risks locally, plant flowers at the County Fair. Hayes…Abandon hope (BLM) Patton… politics and our community college, about Cabrillo name. Matlock…a cannonade of indictments, delays, and Melania speaks! Eagan Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. Webmistress…pick of the week. Quotes…”TIME”


SANTA CRUZ PACIFIC AVENUE 1892. We can see the very functional trolley tracks plus plenty of room for carriages, horses and pedestrians. Today you’ll see Jamba Juice on the left and Lulu Carpenters on the right.

Additional information always welcome: email
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.


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SECURE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON HEIGHT AND HOUSING.With all the supposed state rulings and developers lies about supplying housing here in Santa Cruz I asked Keresha Durham , a Local Teacher, Climate-Environmental Activist, and Housing For People Team Member, to write a piece for us that explains the issue we are all facing regarding housing and prices here in Santa Cruz…she wrote:

What do you think of the plan to build multiple 12-story towers that will be unaffordable to most people currently living in Santa Cruz?  We are not happy about it also!  Our initiative will grant city voters the right to vote before height is increased AND will boost the affordable housing ratio to 25% in all new development.

Maybe you have seen some of our volunteers asking you to sign our local petition at the Wednesday downtown, the Saturday Westside Farmers Market or at the grocery store with the sign that says:  Secure your Right to Vote on Height and Increase Affordable Housing!  And have you wondered what is that about?

HOUSING FOR PEOPLE- NOT unaffordable luxury towers! is a group of Santa Cruz community members of all ages and backgrounds who are concerned about the multiple, unaffordable 12-story towers that the City plans to build; with 1800 units but very little affordable housing.   These towers would be DOUBLE the height of the behemoth recently built on Laurel, Front and Pacific Streets! That huge complex has 205 units that are too expensive for the majority of people who live and work here!

We value thoughtful, human-scale, environmentally-sensitive city design. We think that developers should respect the current height limits that the community helped write into our General Plan over a seven-year process. If 12-story towers are built, it will set a precedent that developers can build as high as they want, wherever they want, without getting the citizens’ approval.  You better believe this unchecked-development will impact the entire county!

Santa Cruz is now the most expensive place rental market in the entire U.S.  We strive to maintain our diversity by increasing available low-income housing, so family members, low and moderate wage earners, youth and elders can continue to live here. This initiative will increase the affordable housing ratio to 25% in all new development with 30 or more units.

New development in Santa Cruz, with the State’s Density Bonus, has a very small affordable (or inclusionary ratio) of 11% to 13%.  This means that new buildings provide 80% to almost 90% luxury, market-rate units, are out of reach for working residents. These units may be more second-home condos that stay empty during our housing crisis!

The State has been requiring cities to build housing for a “variety of affordability levels” since 1969. In fact, under current zoning, the City has identified space for 8364 units, which is more than double the 3736 units Santa Cruz is required to build by 2031. We do not need to build towers to reach our State housing goals!

Residents in Encinitas, California voted in a similar ballot measure called Prop A- Right To Vote which requires a public vote for any major zoning and density changes. In 2021, a judge in Encinitas ruled in favor of Prop A for the second time, rejecting the City’s attempt to override Prop A in its pursuit to meet state housing requirements. There are several groups throughout the state, fighting for local control and truly affordable housing, such as: Livable California-Your Voice in Sacramento, Community Catalysts for Local Control and Neighborhood Voices.

If you want to sign our petition, donate funds or volunteer to help us get 4K signatures by October 8, please contact Housing For People-NOT unaffordable luxury towers!

Keresha Durham ~ educator, environmentalist

I search and critique a variety of movies only from those that are newly released. Choosing from the thousands of classics and older releases would take way too long. And be sure to tune in to those very newest movie reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

MOVE TO HEAVEN. (NETFLIX SERIES) (8.5 IMDB).   A movie from South Korea that will bring tears to anyone who has had to face a death in the family. Two trauma cleaners (funeral helpers) face fear and try to deal with Asperger’s syndrome. Father and son are close in a genuine feel good heart breaking way. See it when you’re in a good mood.

CELEBRITY. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.5 IMDB) . I was reminded of Gwyneth Paltrow and her celebrity world of fashions, make-up and the struggle for publicity and fame. This film takes place in Seoul Korea and the “influencer” society. It’s flat, self-centered, and out of this world (the one we live in).

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- DEAD RECKONING PART ONE. (DEL MAR THEATRE). (8.1 IMDB). Ethan Hunt also known to the real world as Tom Cruise says he does his own stunts in this awful waste of time movie. I’m predicting that we’ll learn later that the script was written by L.Ron Hubbard and yes Scientology does have a church here in Santa Cruz…go here to see what they’re up to now . Yes L. Ron H. died in 1986. This Mission Implausible (7th in the series) is overloaded with CGI effects, insane acting and a huge disappointment to Mission Impossible fans. Don’t go and stop any friends or relatives from going.

MR CAR AND THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (4.4 IMDB). For all former (I’m one) and present members of DeMolay (junior Masons) this is a curious mix of the history of Jacques DeMolay and the background of the Knights Templar. This Polish movie tries to link some genuine history and an historian on the trail of truth with fable and it’s a boring mess.

THE HORROR OF DOLORES ROACH. (PRIME SERIES) (7.2 IMDB). And there are plenty of Roaches, smokeable ones in this so labeled “comedy” After being in prison for 16 years this woman succeeds and miserably fails at finding a decent life. Accidents, and foolish decisions lead her down some very dark paths including some cannibalism, Watch at your own peril.

SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.

MARRIED TO EVIL. (MAX SERIES) (7.1 IMDB).  You’d have to become a true sadist to enjoy watching this documentary featuring true stories of killers, brutes, and sick people torturing innocent partners who love them. There is no reason to watch this crazed document except to maybe sense some similarity to someone you know!!!

SUITS. (PRIME SERIES) (8.4 IMDB).   Now we get a chance to see what Meghan Markle looks and ACTS like…and it ain’t that special. This is mostly courtroom drama back when Marijuana was still illegal. So it’s about corporate attorneys, legal picayune details, patents and a judge’s wife ad infinitum. Not worth 10 minutes except to see Meghan Markle at her cutest.

THE INITIATED. (PRIME) (7.6 IMDB).  Part of this movie takes place in the actual Kasbah and centers for a while on toxic water shortages. A journalist with some complex issues in addition to being bipolar takes on everything including lady wrestlers!!

SUSPICION. (APPLE TV) (6.2 IMDB).   There are five British citizens who get involved in a kidnapping of an American business man’s son. Did they do it or not? It’s low key, fairly dull and doesn’t even make sense at times. However there’s a murder and one of the five are totally involved…it keeps you/us guessing.

I’M A VIRGO. (PRIME SERIES) (7.3 IMDB).   I could only stand/stomach this waste of time and however they “film” things nowadays for less than 15 minutes. It’s about a young boy from Oakland who is 13 feet tall…and it gets less believable and unfunnier by the minute.

PAST LIVES. (DEL MAR THEATRE) (8.4 IMDB). A beautifully created movie about a couple who were youngsters together and close friends. They led separate lives moved continents apart then reunite. They explore and debate their similarities and likes and loves together and silently consider their chances on ever getting together again. It’s another Korean delight…as so many are lately.

MY NAME. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.8 IMDB). (also listed as “Undercover”).   Another Korean fine action film. This one is about a young woman whose gangster father gets killed. She becomes an undercover policewoman in the drug investigation department and joins the mafia trying to find the man who killed her dad.

M3GAN. (PRIME MOVIE) (6.4 IMDB). This could easily scare anyone into serious worry about the dangers of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE or AI! It’s about a toy company that made an automated animated doll named M3GAN.  M3gan looks a lot like Scarlett Johannsen. The plot soon turns into a child abuse and child custody story. Many flaws in it but it is absorbing.

THE POWER. (PRIME SERIES) (6.5 IMDB). A not too subtle pitch for a world where women have the ultimate power. That’s electric power coming from their hands. Toni Collette and John Leguizamo make an almost believable couple. Teen age girls are given this power and use it to get even with all the males including a father who has been an abuser. It’s both political and physical and for sure, it’s thought provoking.


July 17

Gillian will be back next week.

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 17

Joy will be back next week.

Joy Schendledecker is an artist, parent, and community organizer. She lives on the Westside of Santa Cruz with her husband, two teens, mother in law, and cats. She was a city of Santa Cruz mayoral candidate in 2022. You can email her at:

July 17


You can do a great service to your Community by applying to fill a vacancy on the Soquel Creek Water District Board by Monday, July 31, and you need not feel you have to have a PhD in anything, but possess some common sense and critical thinking abilities.

If you are a ratepayer of Soquel Creek Water District, you know your water bill has jumped significantly over the past four years…9%/year in fact.  Well, hang on because the District is ramping up to initiate yet another significant rate increase because customers have done such a good job of conserving.

Someone like you needs to reel-in the Board and staff with some reality checks about the costs of operations and constantly hiring outside consultants to do work the District is actually paying hefty monthly bonuses to for as long as the PureWater Soquel Project construction drags on.  The Board had initially discussed financial “off-ramps” for this Project but never followed through with any real examination of the situation that has now become a runaway financial hemorrhage.

2023 Board Vacancy

Please share this with anyone you know who would consider signing up to fill this job for two years, when the seat officially comes up for re-election.  Ratepayers should have a voice in this, and not be held at the mercy of those Directors who have chosen to rubberstamp staff recommendations without any real questioning.


Excavation work  has begun in Swenson’s the Phase 2 area of the Aptos Village Project, but there did not appear to be any Native American observers there to monitor the earth disturbances in this State-registered SCF-CA-222/H archaeologic site, even though it is a condition the County required when issuing the permit.

I phoned the Durden subcontractor to ask about whether there was an observer on site.  Durden management familiar with the Project knew nothing of the requirement.  “That’s up to Swenson, we’re just the subcontractor.”  he said.  Uh-oh.

I let the man (“Louie”) know that when Soquel Creek Water District trenched through the archaeologic site in 2018, two Native American observers were at the toe of the excavation at all times.  The only person I had seen last week was a Durden worker spraying water from a tank truck for dust control.    Louie said he would contact Swenson.

The next day when I drove past the construction site, one guy was standing at a table at the edge of the construction site.  Was that Swenson’s archaeologic “observer”?  If so, chances of spotting any sensitive artifacts or remains are null.  He wasn’t even using binoculars….hmmmm…

If this bothers you, please contact Swenson and ask where the Native American or archaeologic observer is stationed during the excavation work at the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project.  831-475-7100 and contact County Code Compliance (the APN for the site is 041-011-58) Code Complaint Form


One difference that’s very visible as the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project construction starts up is the presence of a large bulk water tank on site along Aptos Creek Road.   Nothing of the sort was ever seen in Phase 1 construction.

Do you want to know why?

It was because Swenson was getting free water from an illegal unmetered water connection on Granite Way, near the Phase 1 development. An observant resident near the construction site reported the matter to Soquel Creek Water District as soon as he saw Swenson’s construction crew using long  hoses connected to the illegal hookup to spray water for dust control.  (See the Correspondence on page 206 of the August 15, 2017 District Board agenda

You can listen to Mr. Stumbaugh’s effort at the meeting to get answers to his query  at about minute 2:23

I had also reported this “irregular” connection to the District in July, 2017, but the District took no action  (see pages 59-61)

Soquel Creek Water District management did nothing for many months.   The connection got hidden further by concrete and pieces of broken pipe that could have convinced some that the connection had been destroyed, except that the construction crew continued to connect a hose for more free water needed at the Phase 1 construction site.

Staff did acknowledge there was a service connection and that “a customer” had paid a water demand offset fee for service nearby.  That could have been one of the Aptos Village Project developers, Pete Testorff, who demolished an historic house built in 1906 on Granite Way and built two large homes on the site, just across the road from this “irregular” connection that provided the free unmetered water to Swenson’s crews.

Finally, after many, many months, there appeared a large pond of water at the irregular connection that could no longer hide what was happening and was a big waste of water. The District’s General Manager, Ron Duncan, responded to my report of this leak that someone had struck a fire hydrant there, causing the leak.  However, there never was a fire hydrant.  Hmmm….

Well, the question now is this: who is paying to fill up that large yellow water tank for Swenson’s Phase 2 construction in the Aptos Village Project?


Here is excellent information for all rural residents in Santa Cruz County to help with fire risk reduction and planning what to do in case a wildland fire happens.

Through recent grants with the California Fire Safe Council and CalFire, the RCD worked with Cal Fire, Fire Safe Council, and a template from the Burn Institute to update our Santa Cruz County Living with Wildfire Guide. It includes a brief overview of wildfire behavior and things individuals; neighborhoods and communities can do to prepare for wildfire.

Here is the link to the web version

Please share this with others.  The next Santa Cruz County FireSafe Council meeting will be July 20, 10am-noon, via Zoom:


The Santa Cruz County Fair is just around the corner (September 13-17) and it’s time to plant the flowers there that help make it a beautiful place.  For the first time in many years, the public is being asked to come help with the planting.  Please join the fun on Thursday, July 27 at 4pm.  The Fairgrounds Foundation will provide a hotdog BBQ dinner at 6:30pm Please RSVP

If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Foundation office at (831) 786-9698 or at


The Cabrillo Host Lions Club will provide free vision and hearing testing on Saturday, August 12 in the brand new A.J. Robinson mobile unit, 8:30am-3pm.  The trailer will be parked at the entrance to Aptos Village Park (100 Aptos Creek Road).  The Lions can provide applications for assistance for those who need glasses but cannot afford them.

The Lions MidSummer Market will also be occurring in the Park, 8:30am-3:30pm, with many vendors selling plants, tools, automobile memorabilia, jewelry and wooden toys.  The Aptos High Leos will be selling BBQ tri-tip sandwiches.  Admission is free.

Vendor space is $35 with limited spaces still available.  For information about the Market, please call Barbara 831-688-3356.

For further information about the free vision and hearing testing, please contact Becky 831-685-2915.





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. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at

July 17


Pema Chodron suggests we put the statement “Abandon Hope” on our refrigerator doors as a reminder. She shares the teaching that hope and fear are two sides of the same coin and reflect feelings that we lack something essential. I sense that those of us who care about the Monterey Bay’s environment are unnecessarily burdened by a philosophy of resource limitation, of lacking what we need.

Presidential Hope

You may recall that “HOPE” was the meme used in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. When Sarah Palin ridiculed that slogan with ‘How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?‘ it turned my stomach. More than a decade later, it is ironic that the political left wing uses similar ridicule for the ‘thoughts and prayers’ refrain used after mass shootings.

Obama once emphasized the ‘reality’ of his ‘Hope’ slogan by saying, “Over the past 2 and a half years, the hope poster starts fading. But I tell you what, you travel around the country and talk to the American people, that spirit’s still there.” According to the wisdom of Chodron, Obama was reinforcing the widespread notion of powerlessness. In dealing with environmental issues locally, I see clearly what Obama meant. The feeling of hope is a terrible affliction around the Monterey Bay.

Thoughts and Prayers

As each new environmental battle unfolds around us, as too few of my community does anything to help, I keep hearing the response: ‘Thoughts and Prayers!’ When UCSC moves forward with bulldozing Santa Cruz’ iconic East Meadow, folks who claim to care for the environment seem to be saying, ‘Thoughts and Prayers!’ As the Bureau of Land Management plows ahead with slipshod management of Santa Cruz County’s only part of the California Coastal Monument, people seem to be saying, ‘Thoughts and Prayers!’ As the Coastal Commission pushes maximum public access on every beach and coastal open space despite dwindling wildlife impacted by poorly managed recreation, the refrain ‘Thoughts and Prayers!’ seems to emanate from so many beatifically smiling, caring people who ‘Love Our Coast!’

Louder Paralysis

Action is louder than words, but what prevents action? The most common response I get from folks who are so full of hope but don’t do anything for our local environmental crises is that they don’t have time. To be sure, the bills need paying and we are all So Very Busy. “How are you doing?” someone asks. The reply so frequently is “Busy!” to the point of being funny (peculiar). When the conversation runs longer and one of the many environmental plights gets discussed, the conversation ends when the ‘hope’ word gets trotted out: “I hope it turns out well!”

Seeding Confusion

Greed lies at the root of all seven deadly sins, and that greed is working well with cultivating confusion across the world, resulting in environmental degradation. Let’s examine how each of the following statements has been used to sow confusion in our community. “UCSC needs to house more of its students!” “Cotoni Coast Dairies should be open to the public!” “Our beaches should be for everyone to enjoy!”

Thoughtful, pro-environmental Monterey Bay citizens want to better understand situations before taking action, even if that action is speaking out, talking to their friends or workmates, or voting for the right candidate. To them, they lack the time…they say that having enough understanding costs time, and they don’t have that time. Time is lacking! Maybe the only thing to do is to hope for the best!

There is Enough Time

We don’t have to know more to be engaged citizens and there is enough time to act now. It takes a fraction of a fraction of a second for your neurons to arrive at your personal most pressing question about environmental conservation in the Monterey Bay area. It takes a similarly miniscule amount of time to place that question on your mental checklist of cherished treasures. With those two in place, you will find the moment to ask that question until you arrive at a well-informed conclusion. Asking the questions, sharing your conclusions: you will not notice the time that it takes to do these. These are the easiest, essential actions that go beyond the empty, lacking things notion of ‘hope.’

Working Together, We Are Successful

The list of accomplishments is long: Lighthouse Field, Gray Whale Ranch, Wilder Ranch, Cotoni Coast Dairies, Upper UCSC Campus, the Glenwood Preserve, Arana Gulch, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, State Parks Ecologist positions, City Parks lands managers, pesticide bans…None of those would have taken place by hope alone. We have resources. Our community is strong and capable. There is no need for hope, but there is a need for action. Local history shows that when we take action, we can do great things. When we don’t take action, priceless environmental resources are lost. Already, there are no more breeding local badgers, burrowing owls, or roadrunners. Santa Cruz kangaroo rat, Santa Cruz tarplant, Ohlone tiger beetle, and Point Reyes Horkelia, are slipping towards extinction (on our watch!).

Start by Asking

Last week, I urged readers to write an email to California Bureau of Land Management’s Director Karen Mouritsen and to cc me for my records. I got nothing. Nada. Not one. But, as usual, I heard praise from many people about my writing. I am compassionate about the root of people’s “hope” – that it seems we lack time, understanding, or focus.

I want to cultivate curiosity and see where that leads. What does this political cartoon make you wonder about? Why not ask? I know enough not to hope; I know that, together, we are making a difference. Thanks to Friends of the North Coast!

Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at:

Email Grey at


#198 / “Politics” And Our Community College

This blog posting is to comment on the “politics” of current efforts to rename Cabrillo College, which is located in Santa Cruz County, California. I think it is fair to say that there is no governmental institution in Santa Cruz County that has had – at least in the past – broader or more dedicated community support.

The name “Cabrillo College,” however, as revered as the school may have been in the past – and Cabrillo College, with its current name, has been revered – is now officially slated for the discard pile.

The Cabrillo College Board of Trustees has voted to change the name, on the basis that the college was named for Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who was a disreputable person, embodying the worst characteristics of racism and colonial oppression, and whose name should not be celebrated or perpetuated in any way. No “new” name has been decided upon by the Board, as yet, so this is an example of the Board knowing what it doesn’t like, more than what it does like, but the Board’s current plan is to pick some new name, and to do so in August, just a few weeks from now.

SLIGHT DETOUR: The name “Cabrillo College” was chosen in 1959. On the college website, there is a kind of funny reference to the name chosen for the college, and while this humorous reference has nothing, really, to do with the subject of today’s blog posting, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to share it. Until I started writing my thoughts on the “name change” controversy, I had never seen the historic photo displayed below, which is the funny reference I just mentioned.

In Spanish, “Cabrio” is pronounced pretty much the same way that “Cabrillo” is pronounced. “Cabrio” refers (in Spanish) to a convertible car. “Cabrillo,” of course, as already indicated, is a reference to the name of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish explorer for whom the college was, presumably, named. It tickles me that someone, way back when, was already making a joke about the college’s name – and such a good-humored joke, too.

I say that Cabrillo College was “presumably” named for Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo because some seem to believe that the college might actually have been named not for the explorer, but for the section of Highway One that links the two biggest cities in the county, and that bears his name. I wasn’t around in 1959, but I understand that there was quite a bit of competition between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, and that this competition was a significant factor in deciding whether or not to establish a new community college in Santa Cruz County. Where such a college should be located, and what it should be named, were items of significant controversy. As it turns out, the college was ultimately located more or less in the middle, between the cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville – and along the Cabrillo Highway. The name and the location chosen, in other words, were ways of bringing the community together. The words “Santa Cruz” were not incorporated into the name of the college, which was one proposal on the table, and making sure that the college didn’t tilt towards “Santa Cruz” seems to have been key, in picking a name that could unite the entire community.

At any rate, back in the 1950’s, as these naming and location issues were being debated, it was not inevitable that Santa Cruz County would ever have a local Community College.  Cabrillo was founded “as part of an ambitious higher education plan for Santa Cruz County. Along with UC Santa Cruz, Cabrillo was part of a broad vision to bring post-secondary education into the area.” I am quoting the Cabrillo College website for this history. Let me also quote what the current Cabrillo College website has to say about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, giving some support to the idea that the college was named for the highway, as much as for the explorer:

Cabrillo College derives its name from the 16th Century explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, an expedition leader who visited several prominent locations on the California Coast in the service of Spain in 1542. Cabrillo’s voyage included stops in San Diego Bay and Monterey Bay. The college sits on the homeland of the indigenous Awaswas and Mutsun communities who were taken by force to Missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during the Spanish colonization of the Monterey Bay region. Today, their descendants form the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, and they maintain close ties to this land. The college was named during an era when colonizers and their stories were commemorated and valued above those of indigenous peoples. For example, in 1935, the state legislature designated September 28 as “Cabrillo Day” to provide an annual recognition of Cabrillo’s exploration of the California coast. Similarly, portions of State Route 1 are identified as part of the “Cabrillo Highway.” The college was named not long after that state highway designation, resulting in the title Cabrillo College.

The National Parks Service has a rather more “upbeat” description of Cabrillo (the explorer), which you can read by clicking that link. The Parks Service mostly glosses over all the bad parts of Cabrillo’s history, but ignoring the bad parts is simply not acceptable to a majority of the current members of the college’s Board of Trustees.

As I understand the Board’s plans, the Board is proposing to vote on a new name sometime next month. In the meantime, the “Letters To The Editor” column in the Santa Cruz Sentinel continues to be barraged with statements both for and against changing the “Cabrillo” name. In all fairness, most letters have been in favor of retaining “Cabrillo College” as the name of the college, and it appears to me that the majority is strongly against any name change. However, who knows? I certainly could be wrong about that! There are plenty of good reasons to replace the “Cabrillo” name – as well as lots of good reasons not to do so.

Sandy Lydon, a longtime and beloved Cabrillo College history teacher, has weighed into the debate on the proposed name change with two recent columns in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. In Part I of his commentary, Lydon confesses to have been “blindsided” by the Board’s vote to change the name, which came on November 14, 2022, before any broad-based community discussion took place:

I felt blindsided by not only the decision, but also the way it was justified. After earlier offering community members a chance to express their opinion (which resulted in a majority stating their wish that the name not be changed) the board dismissed that result as coming from “older persons” and voted 6-1 to change the name.

The trustees justified their votes as something that “other colleges” were doing. Besides, they said, “majorities aren’t always right.” Maybe not, but using ageism (“older persons”) to combat racism is just flat-out wrong. And I was further saddened by hearing Trustees declare that they felt “ashamed” to be associated with the college.

In Part II of his commentary in the Sentinel, Lydon expanded on his concerns about the proposal to replace the Cabrillo College name, as follows:

An Open Letter to the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees and President Matt Wetstein:

The Five Names.

I was disappointed with the five names the committee is trolling around the county. They have the overall feeling of being developed by a committee, which, of course, they are. Committee processes winnow. In fact that’s exactly the way it was described – several hundred submitted names being winnowed down to five with all personalities and edges removed by the process. Like cheese.

Interestingly, in direct defiance of the rules you instituted, 20% of the submissions suggested keeping Cabrillo. Imagine the result if Cabrillo had been permitted?

In the public sessions I attended, most personal choices were prefaced by the phrase, “Well, if we MUST replace the present name, then, I pick …”

None of the five winnowed names have even a hint of the breadth, reach and yes, diversity of the college district. One name in particular (Santa Cruz Coast), reflects an insensitivity to the rivalry between Santa Cruz and the Pajaro Valley.

Lydon, in other words, clearly speaking for many (and quite possibility the majority), does not support changing the name of Cabrillo College, and he certainly does not support any change of name on the current timetable and in the manner in which this proposed name change is being accomplished.


This brings me to the main point of my blog posting today, which is the “politics” of the proposed “name change.”

I was, for twenty years, a local elected official in Santa Cruz County, and I like to think I have a pretty good idea of “politics,” both with respect to what “politics” is supposed to be about, and with respect to how a healthy “politics” operates in real life. Frankly, as I have been observing how the Cabrillo College name change issue has been playing itself out, I am puzzled by how the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees is conducting that “name change” process. Members of the Board appear to be proceeding in a way that is directly opposite to the way I think a healthy “politics” is actually supposed to work.

For me, “politics” is a category that applies at the “community” level. “Politics” is the mechanism by which a community makes community-level decisions. Although we are all individuals, and each one of us has individual ideas about what is “good,” and “bad,” and about what should happen in our community, elected officials do not, generally, understand that their assignment is to do what they, individually, might think is best. They are elected, specifically, to “represent” the people to whom they are accountable, and most elected officials recognize that this is their basic obligation as an elected official.

We live, in other words, in a “representative” democracy, and the idea is that we will elect people to “represent” us. Those who are elected are supposed to be trying to do what those whom they represent would like to have done.

This is a cardinal political rule, in the way I think of “politics.” Elected officials should always be trying to do what the majority of the people they represent want them to do. Elected officials, in other words, are not expected to pursue and attempt to impose their own, personal, opinion if the community has a completely different preference. This is all the more true when lots of people really care about an issue upon which the elected officials must decide.

Of course, an elected official CAN ignore what the people who elected that representative want to see happen, and they CAN vote against what the people they represent would like them to do. Moreover, on lots of issues, most people in the community really don’t much care, which means that elected officials have a broad ability to exercise their individual, personal judgment.

However, when people DO care, an elected official who acts against what is wanted by a majority should expect to lose the next election, because the job of an elected official is to “represent” the voters to whom the elected representative is responsible. In fact, losing one’s next election is, perhaps, a “best case” scenario from the elected official’s point of view. The “worst case” scenario, for the elected official who decides to put the representative’s personal preference against the preference of the people he or she represents, is that the official should expect to be recalled and removed from office immediately.

Given this understanding of how “politics” works, it should be clear why I am puzzled by what I see happening in this Cabrillo College “name change” process.

At the start, changing the name of “Cabrillo College” to something else was not an issue about which lots of people were thinking. Now, though, lots of people are paying attention, and many feel, like Sandy Lydon, that the proposal to change the name of “their college” has “blindsided” them. In that situation, my idea of how “politics” works is that when this became obvious, members of the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees should have taken steps to make sure they really know what the people they represent want them to do. The few outreach meetings held don’t really give that kind of guidance.

Whatever got the “name change” process started, and despite what I am sure is significant support for the proposed name change, it has become clear, during the course of the process, that there is a LOT of community opposition to the proposal to change the name of “Cabrillo College.” Given that, making the wrong decision – going against what the majority of the community wants – can do real damage to the college. Many local residents, in fact, think that a “name change” is actually taking away something that belongs to them – something they worked hard for. “I got my degree from Cabrillo” is, in a very real way, an asset of value to thousands of Cabrillo graduates.

Given this, the thing I would expect from an elected representative is that the elected representative would take steps, before taking any final vote, to make sure that the representative knows what the majority of the people that the elected official represents actually want that representative to do.

This is NOT what a majority of those who serve on the elected Board of Trustees has done – and that is what is surprising to me.

There are some pretty good arguments on “both sides” of the “name change” proposal. My impression, as I have already said, is that the majority don’t want to change the Cabrillo College name, but I don’t actually know that – and I don’t think anyone else (including the elected members of the Board of Trustees) knows that either.

In such a circumstance, the right thing to do, “politically,” is for the Board of Trustees to let the community vote – either to provide “advice” to the elected representatives who are supposed to be trying to do what the community wants, or actually to make the decision, as a community, that the Board of Trustees has already made in the name of the community, i.e., that the name “Cabrillo College” will be stricken from the books.

If the Board of Trustees doesn’t take that approach – if they don’t take steps to get a truly “representative” vote on the “name change” issue (and IF members of the public care as much as they appear to), those Members of the Board who are planning to change the name of the college in August should get ready for a recall election (worst case) or losing their reelection campaign next time around.

For what it’s worth, my “political” advice is that the Board of Trustees should put the name change to a vote of the community. In case you want to communicate with the Board Members, here’s a list:

Gary Patton 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

July 17


“Defendants claim that this court could not select an impartial jury until after the presidential election does not justify further delay here.” And with that assertion, Prosecutor Jack Smith slices through the Trump defense team’s attempt to delay any immediate court action against Benedict Donald before Judge Aileen Cannon. Smith goes on to say, “Our Jury system relies on the Court’s authority to craft a thorough and effective jury selection process and on prospective jurors’ ability and willingness to decide cases based on the evidence presented to them, guided by legal instructions from the court. The demands of the defendant’s professional schedules do not provide a basis to delay the trial in this case. Many indicted defendants have demanding jobs that require a considerable amount of their time and energy, or a significant amount of travel. The Speedy Trial Act contemplates no such factor as a basis for a continuance, and the court should not indulge it here.” At this point (Monday, 7-17) Judge Cannon has made no decision about the delaying tactic which would allow Trump to continue with his so-called presidential campaign; but legal analyst Glenn Kirschner believes that even with her questionable impartiality, it’s not time to lose faith in the justice system. “I’m not prepared to say she’s going to give in to Donald Trump’s demands,” Kirschner says, “but if she does, I think it might inspire the prosecutors to file a motion to have her removed from the case. That’s what I’m hoping for and almost expecting.”

Prosecutors and Trump’s legal team were scheduled for a first appearance before Judge Cannon this past Tuesday, in Fort Pierce, FL, to set the procedure for handling classified materials and pretrial motions, and possibly, to consider the pending motion to reschedule the trial date…post-election, if Trump gets his druthers. On Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, Trump laid it on thick, saying about Judge Cannon, “I know she’s a very highly respected judge. A very smart judge and a very strong judge. She is very smart, very strong, and loves our country. We need judges that love our country so they can do the right thing.” The hearing was not public because of the issues under discussion…at least until The Don starts his blathering campaign on Truth Social about whether his “strong judge” is still likable, and despite his legal team’s attempts to rein in his commentary of derogation and threats toward the law and his prosecutors.

Trump’s lawyers filed the injunction with Cannon requesting an indefinite postponement of his stolen documents trial since, “Trump can’t get a fair trial because they will never be able to ‘seat an impartial jury because of pretrial publicity and an inflamed community atmosphere.” Robert Harrington writes in The Palmer Report, “Donald Trump has metaphorically just crapped on someone’s porch and rang the doorbell asking for toilet paper. He’s spent years on his crappy, third rate, failing social media platform, ‘Truth Social,’ inflaming the public. Now that they are duly inflamed he is using it as an excuse to avoid responsibility for his own criminal behavior. This is what Trump means when he says he loves the poorly educated. His fans are simply too ignorant or their brains are of insufficient wattage to understand the hypocrisy of what he’s done here. He’s submitted a court filing asking for a delay in a trial because of public inflammation of his own doing. And with a judge like Aileen Cannon, he just might get it.” Let’s hope Jack Smith’s knowledge of the law and his comments headed her off at the pass last Tuesday on a decision about her favorite sociopath!

One issue on which The Don is being given some latitude, is the public name calling he has heaped upon Jack Smith, insulting him as ‘deranged,’ a ‘psycho,’ and a ‘crackhead.’ Neither Smith nor Judge Cannon has shown any interest in tamping down these diatribes the Former Guy hurls at his perceived enemies as he encourages his goony right-wing extremist base to intensify the harassment and online threats. Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor, now at George Washington University believes his comments are quite serious, saying, “I think it’s complicated for free speech reasons, but this is getting pretty close to the line.” California attorney Ken White, another former federal prosecutor, comments, “These are the kind of comments that might provoke some judges to issue a gag order,” as he cites the case of Trump confidant, Roger Stone who in 2019 was ordered to ‘knock off the online middle-school behavior’ that might influence potential jurors. White believes judge and prosecutor may choose to ignore the issue, viewing it as a Trump provocation at starting yet another legal battle, portraying himself as a victim of government abuse and censorship…yet another path to grifting off his poorly educated base. Bruce Rogow, who represented Stone in his 2019 trial says gag orders are an ‘extraordinary’ step, one not merited in Trump’s situation, and has doubts that anything the Orange Crybaby says at this stage is likely to influence a jury. Candidate Trump’s comments must be shrugged off to reduce any further publicity for him…which his campaign would thrive on…so, as tempting as a gag order might be, the bait should be ignored. Only if Trump begins to mention witnesses or evidence, and in particular, evidence that has been ruled inadmissible at trial, or if he makes factual-sounding statements, true or not, should a gag order be issued.

In a related vein, Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden sent a cease-and-desist letter to ex-POTUS Wrecks, claiming that his rhetoric on social media, and interview commentary, “could lead to [Hunter Biden’s] or his family’s injury.” Lowell cited past examples when Trump’s words allegedly motivated violence, most notable being the J6 insurrection on the Capitol, the attack on Paul Pelosi, and the Obama neighborhood interloper who showed up with a carload of weaponry. “This is not a false alarm,” Lowell wrote. “We are just one such social message away from another incident…Mr. Trump’s words have caused harm in the past and threaten to do so again if he does not stop.” Attorney Lowell isn’t looking for a response from the Trump team, but wishes them to understand that “his incitement can further hurt people and cause himself even more legal trouble.” And, even more legal trouble is already peeking over the horizon in Jack Smith’s classified documents investigation, with the possibility of more indictments being issued to Mar-a-Lago employees. We can’t forget the January 6th probe, about which we just learned that son-in-law, Jared Kushner, testified several weeks ago, an indication that the endgame may be near as the biggies are finally coming out of the woodwork. Georgia’s Fulton County DA, Fani Willis, still seems to be on track in her previously announced August timetable, with two grand juries on the case. Trump’s appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court to have Willis removed from the case and evidence destroyed has fallen on deaf ears, so his desperation is an exercise in futility. This Clockwork Orange has so many moving parts already, with more to come, that Trump’s legal team won’t be able to take the onslaught.

So, as we enter the second stage of the Trump Takedown, he is casting a blind eye to what should be evident, but he pretends to absolutely LOVE being indicted. Borrowing a comment from Adam Schiff after he was censored by House Republicans when he said he was “proud” of his new standing, Trump wrote on his social media site that he took his indictments as an “honor.” “Getting indicted and arrested by the sick government of this country would be my great honor. I am doing it for our country.” As Bocha Blue writes on The Palmer Report, “Trump isn’t running for anything. He isn’t even running a campaign. Where are the rallies? When do we see him care about anything? I see no platform, just ranting on Truth Social. Donald Trump has given up. Trump is fighting for nothing. He seems tired and irritated, and bored.” But, just imagine! He is doing it for you! Any face saving attempt at bravery won’t cut it, Donny Boy…we know you must be terrified!

In a revised financial filing covering much of his post-presidency earnings, Trump revealed new information about approximately $1B earned from foreign ventures, speaking fees and a Florida golf course. A previously released disclosure in April provided broad ranges of income from each source, but this revision’s new details tally over $1.2B according to the Washington Post. His speaking fees brought in over $4.5M, and Melania(!) earned $1.2M from purported speaking fees, part being from a super PAC in December 2021. The now-defunct committee did not specifically disclose the payments to her, but disguised two different payments paid to Melania’s reps at Designer’s Management Agency with the PAC categorizing the two payouts as fees for ‘event planning and consulting.’ Neither the Trump campaign nor ex-Florida AG, Pam Bondi, and former chairperson responded to The New York Times when asked to comment, though it was concluded Melania was paid to show up at a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. Trump earns income by renting out the club for groups to hold events, and the super PAC in question paid more than $350K for use of Mar-a-Lago in ’21 and ’22. The new financial disclosure shows Melania taking in $250K from the conservative LGBTQ+ group known as the Log Cabin Republicans in 2022, and another $250K from the Richard Grenell group, Fix California, an election integrity and voter engagement organization hot on the heels to defeat California Democrats.

One outstanding revision to Trump’s filing shows that instead of earning $201 at a golf resort in Ireland, he actually received $6.2M. Another example shows one previously reported estimate’s range of $1,001 to $2,500 actually amounted to $2,873…this on a New York Central Park carousel. The paparazzi are dying to catch the Orange Toddler on one of his sneaky midnight rides as he reaches for the golden ring. Another substantial revision from his April filing, has income from his Florida Doral resort zooming from around $5M to $159M. It must be difficult for him to remember into which filing box he shoved those checks and cash!

The financial report is required under guidelines from the Office of Government Ethics, which must be filed by a presidential candidate within 30 days of becoming a candidate and on or before May 15 of each year of candidacy. Trump received two extensions, and filed his initial report on April 14, covering part of 2021, all of 2022, with one reference to 2023 showing a payment of $100K. His new filing reports three sources of income over $100M, including $284M from the sale of Trump International Hotel in DC, $259M from his Miami golf resort and $199M across four partnerships with Hudson Waterfront Associates. A disappointing return was reported on the Trump Media & Technology Group, which manages the Truth Social network, receiving only $1.2M in ad revenue. Trump’s early braggadocio about TS replacing Twitter and other rivals must be quite embarrassing to him. In late 2021, the media company planned to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, promising a company valuation up to $1.7B, but that stalled in the face of a federal investigation, with Trump now claiming an evaluation of less than $25M.

In December, 2021, both Donald and Melania appeared at the same event, for which he was paid $900,300, she being paid $250K. The pre-publicity for the occasion, reported by the New York Daily News, indicated the Former Guy was “set to pose for 90 photos with guests” at $10K per shot. Don Fox, the former general counsel and acting head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), said this type of filing is essential for voters to examine before the election. “It all comes back to the integrity of the executive branch and confidence that the person holding executive branch office is conducting the people’s business, not personal business. As a president is subject to conflict-of-interest laws, the only real remedy for dealing with potential conflicts is complete transparency.” Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, applauded OGE for pushing for more detailed information, saying, “It is crucial for voters to understand potential conflicts of interest. When we have exact numbers, you get a much better look of seeing what his actual net worth is, and where potential conflicts of interest exist. We haven’t had a president making millions of dollars from overseas business before. These disclosures show exactly where the money is pouring in, and that’s something Americans need to know.” Wait a minute guys! Are we talking about the same grifter who ran in 2016? Where were you then…and what happened? Does anyone feel that the last six or seven years counted for nothing and have been cast aside? Transparency, indeed!

You’re probably asking, “Just how bad does a Republican have to be for the rest of the party to attempt to show what’s right?” This warning must be heeded: Appearance of new ethical standards still do not apply to Donald Trump, who may cause headaches, nausea, prolonged rage, gingivitis, and bed sores. If your Donald Trump lasts more than four years, see your doctor!

Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email:



“The most precious resource we all have is time.”
~Steve Jobs

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” 
~Anthony G. Oettinger

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
~Tennessee Williams


I have always liked the idea of beads made out of paper, but haven’t quite liked the way they look. Well, turns out there’s a solution to that! Here it is, go make yourself some beads! 🙂

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