Blog Archives

July 26 – August 1, 2011

BUILDING OUR MAIN POST OFFICE. JULY 1, 1911. Do note no Veterans Building and note the tall “Victory Pole” over by the Jamba Juice flatiron building. Those Victory Poles proved you were patriotic way back then.

photo credit: photo courtesy Covello & Covello Historical photo collection

Additional information always welcome: email

EARTH…SHE’S ALIVE, ETC. Pat Matecjek uncovered this gem of a clip.

LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES, LA BAHIA & DESAL. There’s not much of a secret as to who’s pushing to develop La Bahia and who’s pushing for the zillion dollar new desal plant. But I did get an anonymous email saying, “LOBA has called a meeting to all its members for this Thursday, July 28 at Clouds downtown at 7:45am. Item on their agenda: La Bahia and Desal .The message goes on to read “Pay close attention to who’s on LOBA and the folks who are pushing the Desal issue. Pay close attention just who they work for and why they are pushing Desal”. LOBA of course endorsed Terrazas, Lynn Robinson, and Hilary Bryant so you know they support whatever. Ryan is involved up to his neck. Lets see what if anything is announced after Thursday’s meeting.

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA, PART 2. Micaela Neus, our new correspondent from Antarctica is racing around preparing for her trip back to Palmer Station down there. She’s planning on sending us lots of material once she arrives. Stuff like her own back story, her interest/experience in Antarctica, etc. What Palmer Station is really like, the general history of humans in Antarctica, a list of recommended reading, How to pack and prepare, Ocean Search and Rescue training, abandon-ship drills, and more data that seems completely unbelievable. Stay linked, and stay warm as they say.


SILENT FILM FESTIVAL, RETAKES. One of the many fun parts of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is/are the Santa Cruz connections. This year UCSC professor and film scholar Shelley Stamp was there to introduce and educate us about America’s first major female film director Lois Weber. Weber directed films all the way through 1934. We saw “Shoes” her film telling us of the plight of a woman earning a decent wage. I took Shelley’s class in Silent Cinema at UCSC and recommend it highly.


ABBOTT SQUARE PLAN REVISION. The opening date of Vino Cruz the revised wine shop has been changed, but is now finalized. The grand opening will be Saturday, August 20th. There’s going to be some music out side and Richard Alfaro of Alfaro Vineyards will be pouring and showcasing his wines. Steve Principe tells me that the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation is the oldest wine growing region in California and, if not for prohibition, likely we would be the center of wine rather that Napa-Sonoma? There is a very rich history of wine here in our area. All of this should be a grand addition to Cooper Street.

RICHARD SNOW GONE. This is from Indy Bay… Richard Helliwell Snow died unexpectedly of a heart attack, July 5, at a Potter Valley meditation retreat. Read more here…

TRADER JOE’S…BEST BETS!! (AND LOUSY BETS). Taste tests of the Traders products. The team behind What’s Good at Trader Joe’s? have been reviewing and rating the store’s best and worst products since August of 2010. Twice this year, they ranked some of the 130 products they reviewed in different categories from Top 5 Vegetarian to “Worst. Stuff. Ever.”

Read more…

WEAVING TO AND FRO. Gunilla Leavitt, the webwoman who assembles this BrattonOnline every week, is now the proud owner of The Golden Fleece Yarn Shop. Gunilla has been a yarn and knitting expert for decades. The Golden Fleece is located right at the entrance to the Sashmill Street (Potrero Street) just as you leave Water Street. So whilst chatting with her the other morning, who should enter but long time friend Lois Trabing?! Lois is a long time knitter, but mostly we chatted about husband Wally and that nearly perfect article that Wallace Baine wrote about him. Wally’s doing absolutely fine. And we’re all fans of Mr. Baines.


Why Redevelopment gets criticism

The Sentinel’s article “Redevelopment program would spruce up motels” in Sunday’s edition raises questions that need answering. A proposal to give $100,000 to each of 26 “older” motels near the beach to spruce up their “exteriors” is in the works. To qualify, the motel owners must agree to spend $200,000 fixing up the “interiors” of their businesses. Not a bad deal for the motel owners. But why just the motel owners? How about any other property owners? There are plenty other business structures in town that are looking a little long in the tooth. What’s special about the motel business except they apparently have a very effective lobbying team, plus access to council members. How about reopening Harvey West swimming pool for our kids? Keeping libraries open all week? While we’re talking about local motels, have they all paid the T.O.T. owed to the city? Will a new paint job fix this problem? Tuesday’s (7/26/11) City Council meeting is at 1:30 P.M., Santa Cruz City Council chamber 809 Center Street. See the Sentinel article for a full (Very Full) agenda for this meeting.

(Paul Elerick is thechair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , chair of the Transportation Committee of the Santa Cruz Group Sierra Club. and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

Billie Harris sent this clip…we needed it. Watch closely.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Redistricting here and in Monterey County. He follows that with warnings about the Ocean Street Area plan about to be discussed. Then he mentions that Monterey County will be working on allowing medical marijuana shops. Agricultural land development is being determined by CSAC. He closes by telling us about the Lincoln Institute of Land Use Policy. It’s right here…

(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. De Cinzo and Who let the Dogs out…see below!!

EAGANS DEEP COVER. The many sides of Rupert Murdoch…scroll down again, and again.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul writes in his piece titled “Murdoch’s Knife in the Heart of Journalism”…« Rupert Murdoch finally got his you know what caught in the proverbial ringer – for his employees’ hacking, not for contributing to the prolonged murder of English-language journalism. Wars, revolutions, famines and disasters occurred and Murdoch’s “journalists” juxtaposed lurid “blood” photos with half naked “Zoozoos” who divorced “Googoos” to wed “HooHahs.” Stories on poverty, unemployment and foreclosures get dwarfed by reports of Lindsay and Britney making X-rated videos before going into rehab. And millions bought his newspapers and watched – and rely on – his TV “news.” In the name of freedom of the press Rupert’s Fox News and commentators spew verbal venom on notions that smack of socialist, pink or liberal thought – like taxing billionaires and regulating their corporate and banking behavior. Indeed, the Foxers promote billionaires not paying taxes as an example of virtue and freedom. “You don’t want your government squandering taxpayers’ money.” Sure, imagine life without cops, firemen, schools, road repair service, etc”. Read it all here

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


LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week on Lisa Jensen Online Express (, in honor of the new Shakespeare Santa Cruz production of The Three Musketeers, let’s take a look at Dueling Musketeer Movies, and see why some buckle their swash with more style than others. Also, further thoughts on the Passion of Harry Potter, evoked by the surprisingly emotional and fulfilling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Thanks for reading! Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.


OUR FUNNY READERS. Jodi Frediani emails to say…” I will say that in the day when I ate the occasional burger while on the road, In and Out was head and shoulders above the competition. I agree with Dan Dickmeyer , that IF you are going to eat fast food, In and Out makes a better product. That is, if you don’t mind being proselytized while eating fries. Of course, I no longer touch the stuff”. Jodi. Before the next response go to the In & Out Website does Santa Cruz really need one of these??? Then we learn as Catherine O’Kelly writes,” Dan Dickmeyer is right about In & Out Burgers. In & Out Burgers are better than the average burger. One of my grandsons works for them in Solano County, and they are really good people to work for. They bend over backwards to accommodate his availability to work [he’s their best “chef.”] PBS did a special on the company, wholly family-owned. They make everything themselves, I mean everything! All the signs, all the furniture, the buildings, it’s pretty amazing. Truly an “American Success Story.” I remember Dan from ‘way back when. We collaborated on keeping out a particularly bad piece of public sculpture. So he’s in Canada? I wondered where he went. Every time I drive or walk past Lighthouse Field, I plant it. I plant a Rose Garden, an Arboretum showcasing our California native plants, a lawn for picnics. I also build low-impact Asilomar buildings to accommodate guests for small conferences. I also imagine the Natural History Museum being brought there from its obscure spot by the Seabright beach. That the huge field is simply a vacant lot is such a waste! A very expensive piece of real estate that is used only by dogs and their owners. Yes, the butterflies have a corner, but the rest of the field should be put to better use. The dead trees are loved by woodpeckers, but they look like shit. I realize I’m speaking BLASPHEMY here, but I don’t care. The County is SURROUNDED by green space. We need to make better use of the assets we have, not just to improve the local economy, but for us residents, students and tourists. We quite desperately need more housing, and we also need more places to accommodate tourists besides the Boardwalk and the Mystery Spot. So glad they have that little shuttle bus going….that’s a good first step. I walked in Arana Gulch a few months ago for the first time: what a great place for condos!!!

Gotcha, didn’t I??? I can hear you growling………maybe even snarling…..Catherine O’Kelly.


FILMS, IN PARTICULAR ORDER (i.e. GOOD TO BAD) and some previously reviewed (but since archives aren’t available…a quick shot)

BUCK. Excellent film. Surprisingly touching and profound…it’s about a real horse whisperer, who’s also a very thoughtful and effective psychologist who grew up in an abusive family scene.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Woody Allen’s best film in years. Not his greatest but funny, smart, starring Cole Porter, Hemingway and Owen Wilson.

BEGINNERS. Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer in a light saga aboutlove and closets and growing up.

TERRI. John C. Reilly is one of my favorite actors especially since “Chicago”. He plays weird Terri’s odd- ball high school counselor in this complex coming of age drama. The plot goes odder than odd but will keep you awake all the way through. A fine film.

THE TRIP. IF you love British films and have seen hundreds, you’ll go for this clever comedy. Two show biz buddies tour Northern England outdoing each other imitating both young and older Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins and Brit film stars you’ve never heard of. Go for it.

SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN. A beautiful film but confusing plot full of flashbacks between generations of bonded “sisters” failing to ever connect. Director Wayne Wang has done better like Dim Sum, Smoke, Chan Is Missing and even Joy Luck Club.

THE TREE OF LIFE. Thedebate goes on over this over- inflated Thomas Kinkade type film. Only Kinkade and Terence Malick would try to depict life in this self indulgent muck. But the acting is ok by Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. Each of these comic hero epics makes me miss Christopher Reeves as Superman more and more. Those first two Superman films with Marlon Brando and Margot Kidder were absolutely believable, fun and full of genius. Captain America was one of my comic book favorites back in the very early 40’s along with Captain Marvel and this film has terrific special effects and is better than almost all the other Marvel Comic Movies…but that’s not saying much.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. Like the last six Potter films, I couldn’t keep track of curses, locations, worlds, villains and heroes’ names. Lord of The Rings was a classic compared to this series of scenes, proving nothing. We watch Harry, Ron and Hermione get older and the ending seems satisfactory, but give me the MGM Judy Garland Wizard of Oz any time…now, there’s a masterpiece.

CARS 2. Just chalk this up to PIXAR’s ego-driven mistake. It proves that even though you call Emeryville home, you can’t rest on your laurels.


SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ’S COMEDY OF ERRORS. Director Danny Scheie’s up to his old director’s tricks in this year’s re-vision of Comedy of Errors. He’s got an excellent cast, Shakespeare’s dimmest plot, and once again, he makes it funny, fast, and insanely foolish. Who cares if you can’t understand a lot of the lines, there’s a door slam and a sex change every 21 seconds. Take your visitors to see it, they’ll love it.

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. July 26 has Sean Van Sommeran talking about our shark neighbors, suitably followed by Emily Glanville from Save Our Shores. New executive director of MAH Nina Simon will guest on August 2, telling us all about the new ideas happening at the Museum of Art & History. After Nina, Grey Hayes will talk about environmental issues and ideas for our bay area. Then on August 9th writer John Deck will talk about his book ” Joan Linville.. Seven Steps to an Acting Career“. Looking ahead, Rita Bottoms author of the new book “riffs & ecstasies” will be on September 20.Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening

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 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. Plus 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 wrongest thing one can do is shut oneself off to new things“, Susannah York. “WE should be trying to listen to the voice that can’t be heard”, Van Dyke Parks. “We must first become human before seeking anything superior”, Rene Daumel.


Deep Cover

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