Blog Archives

July 27 – August 2, 2022

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Mayor of Santa Cruz, County Supervisor race, movie critiques, Live Here Now. GREENSITE…will be back next week. KROHN…Country Divided. STEINBRUNER… Aptos Village issues, County Fairgrounds problems, Rispin Mansion Park, Watsonville Hospital, Central fire district needs help, Capitola Library, Aptos Library, Castro Adobe tours. HAYES…Grazing goats for fire safety. PATTON…Standing by for Civil War? MATLOCK…House select committee wraps it up for Garland…Hello, Hello? EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. WEBMISTRESS..The history of Rock ‘n Roll that you never knew. QUOTES…”August”

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BAD DAY AT THE BOARDWALK.   This happened on August 16, 1954. It must have been the bus drivers fault. How else could it happen that a bus would have turned/swerved into an oncoming train? Anyone have facts on this occurrence?

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE July 25

MAYOR OF SANTA CRUZ. With Fred Keeley making his move to be our next mayor so quickly folks gotta be wondering who or even IF anybody will be running against him. Fred’s got some big time supporters and folks are wondering about his love, loyalty and backing of the Warriors Basketball Empire has anything to do with the development around the Warriors territory? It’ll be a big change in how our City is run with representatives from six districts sharing their power and time. We’ll see what happens to the nearly unlimited power and control the City Manager has over the council. That power will be diminished under Mayor Keeley’s command, I’ll bet. Some rumors say that a woman from the DSA is considering a mayoral run…let’s hope! 

POLITICAL LULL TIME.  This is that time of the year when we see little political local action. We know that the candidates are ramping up for September and the big push to get votes in November, but its summer. Justin Cummings in his run for Santa Cruz County Supervisor has some fine events scheduled and I support him all the way. He sent this schedule…

Justin Cummings City Council Beach Cleanup Competition. Saturday July 30, 10am-12pm: meet at the Ideal Bar and Grill deck area.  The Santa Cruz City Council is once again having its annual beach cleanup competition amongst council members and I would be so grateful to have your support. Last year we won by bringing out the most participants to help with the cleanup and we’re hoping to defend our title this year.   City staff will provide supplies for the cleanup, but if you have your own, please feel free to bring them. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and good shoes to walk on the sand. 

Thursday August 18th from 5:30 – 7:30, we will be kicking off our fall Supervisor Campaign at London Nelson Center.  Click here to RSVP. This is a family friendly event and we will be providing food and drinks.  Please join us as we continue to build community, and mobilize as we move into the fall cycle of our campaign.  This is a fundraiser, so please consider donating to the campaign at the event.  If you are unable to make it to the event, please consider donating online and let us know how you can help support us by putting up a yard sign, hosting an event or meet and greet, walking precincts, or phone banking.  It takes a village and we are confident that our village will be victorious this fall.  For more information and to donate please visit:

 cummingsforsupervisor.com“.

More than that, go to his website check out the endorsements. You’ll see that so many are from the NO on D campaign majority.  Check out Shebreh Kalantri-Johnson’s website and note the support and money come from pro-growth/Colligan/Cynthia Mathews and her City Council sisterhood. 

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. 

THE LAST MOVIE STARS. (HBO MAX SERIES) (8.3IMDB).Ethan Hawke directed this six part documentary and looks foolish as he does it. Paul started Newman’s Own in 1982 and I haven’t reached that part of his Santa Cruz connected life yet. But I need to say I’ve never forgotten seeing Paul and his wife Joanne Woodward holding hands and walking on Pacific Avenue near where New Leaf and The Del Mar theatre are today. It’s a worthy series and details his great film career as well as his drinking problems and having love affairs. He was 82 when he died.

THE GRAY MAN. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.6 IMDB). Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and good old Billy Bob Thornton are the leads in this terribly violent, plotless, spy drama. It is the most violent, bloody, big budget movie I’ve seen in years. It’s about secret moves by the CIA to kill one of their own members. The plot is actually ruined by the number of car chases and bloody cut throat scenes. Yes, I watched all of it but I’m sorry I did. The ending doesn’t end anything.

NOPE. (DEL MAR THEATRE). A very complex movie. It’s a horror film with flying saucers who visit and spew out whatever they suck up. It all happens on ranchland with cowboys and horses and those skinny flapping balloon figures from used car lots suggesting something. It’s all about suggestion, hints, and deciphering what director Jordan Peele is trying to create. No one has figured the plot out yet so don’t feel bad if you do go.

UMMA. (NETFLIX MOVIE)(4.6 IMDB). Umma means mother in Korean and Sandra Oh tries very hard to lead this horror film both as actor and executive producer.  Delmont Mulrooney is a neighboring bee keeper and Sandra can’t deal with electricity. Aside from that Because of a grave misunderstanding her mother’s ghost comes back very often just to scream and terrify. It’s different but not that different….save your rental fees.

PERSUASION. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (5.6 IMDB).   Another adaption of a Jane Austin book. This copy is modernized, it has a multi-racial cast and is billed as a romantic comedy. The acting is stylized, awkward, and doesn’t hold together. Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot talks to the camera and makes it watchable but not as much fun as previous versions.

COLLISON, (NETFLIX MOVIE) (3.9 IMDB). A South African film from Johannesburg that has three confusing stories. Father and daughter and their relationship, a teenage girl is kidnapped, and a phony business man deals with his dealers. Amateurish, many, many dialects and poorly assembled. Not worth your time.

DON’T MAKE ME GO. (AMAZON PRIME MOVIE)(6.4 IMDB). John Cho does his best to play the father who learns that he’s dying from a brain tumor. He decides to take his teenage daughter on a long cross country trip to find her mother. It’s billed as a comedy drama but the acting, the plot, and the incredibly slow pace made me turn it off  when they got to Texas….you’re on your own for this one.

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 Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.  

BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE. (Also known as “FIRE” online) Del Mar Theatre. (6.9 IMDB) Juliette Binoche has never been better than this movie, and that’s saying a lot because she’s always marvelous. It’s very French and goes deep into the past lives and loves between two sets of exes dealing with how to stay friends. It’ll cut deep into your own past relationship issues and aside from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf I can’t remember any drama going this complex and realistic.

HOUSE OF GUCCI. (PRIME VIDEO MOVIE) (6.6 IMDB) Such a cast…Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto, and also Salma Hayek!! Such a notable and based on truth story about the Gucci family and fashion clothes industry but it comes off as silly and half dramatic. There’s even a murder, much double dealing, heavy mugging and unreal makeup on some of the cast. It’s imposable to tell what the famous director Ridley Scott had in mind other than making viewers cringe every 20 seconds. Watch only if necessary. 

FOR JOJO. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (3.7 IMDB). A sad German saga dealing with the relationship between two women who have been very close since they were kids in Berlin. Jojo falls in love and wants to marry a black guy and Paula just loses it. Their histories could have been better exposed but it’s intense and worth watching.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND.(NETFLIX SERIES) (8.3 IMDB). Author and UC Berkeley professor Michael Pollan wrote HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND in 2018. Now he produced this four part series centering on four psychedelic drugs and how they can change your personality and your life. Episode 1 is about LSD and its history, episode 2 centers on Psilocybin, episode 3 hits home and features Santa Cruz’s own Rick Doblin founder of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) talking about MDMA or Ecstasy. The last episode focuses on Mescaline. You’ll see Ram Dass, Stewart Brand, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and the influence psychedelics had on the very founding of Silicon Valley. Huge advances both legally and scientifically have been made proving the usefulness of these hallucinogens and this documentary is as entertaining as it is thoughtful. 

CENTAUR. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (5.3 IMDB) This is a Spanish movie about a superbike racer, which really means motorcycles like Kawasaki’s and Hondas. It seems like hours of track racing and that’s fairly exciting. Then he gets into trouble with big time drug/mafia types and he has to run the drugs using his racing motor bike. It’s a poor copy of a plot and should only be watched by track fans only.

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JEWEL THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS. Their current production is “Deathtrap” which was Broadway’s longest running comedy-thriller play.  Tense, funny, and it was for me at least in the top three plays I’ve seen at the Jewel, and I’ve seen almost all of them. The written play by Ira Levin who also wrote Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys From Brazil is at near genius level. The acting and Jewel Theatre production is shocking, good fun and amazing. It’s at the Colligan Theatre and runs from now through July 31st. Call 831 425-7506 or go to www.JewelTheatre.net 

CABRILHO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Celebrates its 60th Anniversary Season and Returns to In-Person Concerts now through August 7. Yes, Cristian Macelaru the music director is returning and will be conducting. The concerts will include three world premiere commissions; the live orchestral premiere of Jake Heggie‘s INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and violinist Benjamin Beilman; and works commemorating women’s suffrage in America and exploring the recent impact of drought and wildfires in the Western United States. Tickets are on sale now!! 

39th ANNUAL MUSICAL SAW FESTIVAL. The 39th Annual Musical Saw Festival will be on Sunday August 14 from 10:00 am to 5pm at Roaring Camp in Felton. The world’s greatest saw players come out of the woodwork to join other acoustic musicians in a variety of musical performances. You’ll hear bluegrass, country, folk, gospel, blues, classical, and even show tunes (believe it or not, no heavy metal) throughout the day. Festivities start at 10:00 AM, with spontaneous acoustic jams throughout the day. There’s a Saw-Off competition from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and a Chorus of the Saws at 3:45 PM, with up to 50 saw players trying to play in unison. And for those who want to learn how to play music that really has some teeth in it, there’s a free Musical Saw Workshop at 4:00 PM. The entire event is free, and fun for the whole family. For more information, check out www.sawplayers.org , or  www.roaringcamp.com . Held by the International Musical Saw Association.  

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July 25

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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July 25

Country Divided

New York is back. There’s a 200% increase in the number of tourists this summer than last summer. The city advises everyone to wear masks, everywhere, but my experience so far is that less than 20% heed that advice. People are tired–covid-fatigued, willing to chance it—and they will tell you they have both vaccines and two booster shots. I’ve not encountered any anti-vax movements here in Manhattan, just people who want to get back to a normal that is likely still far away. Who I am spending time are two old friends, a retired medical injury lawyer and his banker wife. They both lean way-Republican. We all began hanging out in grammar school and on multiple Long Island basketball courts, we’ve been good friends ever since. These friends’ love-story began long after and they were married about 15 years ago.

The Good

Arnie lives with his wife of a decade and a half, Stella (not their real names), who was in my kindergarten class around the time JFK was murdered. Four years ago, they bought a newly built four-bedroom house on Long Island. It’s located in a neighborhood where you can hear a pin drop on the freshly resurfaced asphalt street in the middle of the day. Arnie carries a  Catholic conservative belief system: hates most taxes, is anti-abortion, believes the less government the better, supports more funding for police not less, and is truly convinced that private property is sacred and you can do with it anything you want, you own it after all, he often says. We agree on few current political issues, but what we both seem to agree on is that corruption indeed exists within the government; Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill JFK; no one should be able to run for office after the age of 75; it’s a shame, but you have to fight for good medical care in this country; we hold my daughters in high esteem; and the 1969 New York Mets world series win was a significant highlight in each of our lives.

The Not so Good

Arnie voted for Trump in 2016, but declined to do so again in 2020. He originally voted for him because Trump’s candidacy offered a large middle finger to who Arnie perceived as the ruling class, read, the Democratic establishment. He believes Trump did a good job in keeping taxes low and pulling back on military commitments abroad. He bemoans the military budget rising egregiously under Trump, but thinks moving the Israeli capital to Jerusalem was a noteworthy accomplishment. He said he did not vote for Trump in 2020 because he had become a distraction and the Republicans ought to move on to someone in their full clubhouse of eligible candidates. Arnie is also convinced that Joe Biden is standing on the precipice of senility, way too old to be President. Needless to say, he did not vote for Joe. But he has a larger beef with Biden, it’s about his son, Hunter, and this piece of news I’ve recently come to understand is a major example of the Republican-Democrat political divide, because of how the media treats it.

Hunter-gate

I’ve not been following closely Hunter Biden’s financial-political woes with respect to the Ukraine and China, but Arnie sure has and it is current events topic number one among his conservative demographic. That’s the avowedly rightwing New York Post crowd. The Post has relentlessly run story after story that Hunter Biden almost certainly broke foreign lobbying laws, according to “experts.” According to the Post, Hunter lobbies on behalf of foreign governments, but he has never registered as a foreign agent. And since Joe opened the overseas cargo doors for his son to make oodles of money, the way the Post tells the story, the President himself must surely be culpable as well. How does the New York Post know any of this? “The revelations were contained on a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden at a Delaware computer repair shop in April 2019.” That laptop was supposedly then given over to Post reporters by an unknown source. The United States Justice Department has opened an investigation and the Post accuses the DOJ of dragging its feet in investigating the paper’s allegations stemming from the laptop dump of compromising emails. According to said paper, their information caused Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to write a letter in 2020 to the DOJ. “Since then, I’ve only seen and gathered more records and information that confirm that [Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden] are closely linked to foreign interests,” the Post reported Grassley saying recently. How can the Bidens get away with this, the Post constantly bemoans. It’s all contained in the emails they say. Qatar, Serbia, and Colombia are also all places where Hunter had dealings. The Post knows all this because it’s in the emails. Politico reported in July that “[E]very month, there are dozens of stories about Hunter Biden attributed to a hard drive of a computer he left behind. The New York Post published 23 this past month. The Daily Mail has penned 20.” But now, the mainstream media led by another Post, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, and Newsweek have all reported out on this story, with Newsweek reporting in late July that a decision on the DOJ probe may happen within 60 days.

Tower of Babel News

So why am I carrying on with this story? Because there is this gulf between what news sources conservatives and liberals, left and right, read regularly. And in the case of Hunter’s laptop, the rightwing media is all over it and the mainstream has up until now given it a sort of, meh. Why? Politico reports, “The White House and Hunter’s representatives have largely taken a “no comment” approach to the laptop even as photos, videos, text messages, voicemails, and emails continue to trickle out on a weekly basis. They declined to comment for this story as well.” My friend, Arnie, says it is one of the stories of our time and only Fox, Sky News, and the N.Y. Post are committing resources to it, so far. It’s a big reason why Republicans feel that mainstream news is biased. Why are they not covering a big story like this? Arnie and other conservatives are all over this one and several others that only usually appear in the conservative media bubble. Most people I know are not following this story closely, but they are watching the January 6th hearings, but not as many Republican-leaning voters are. It is this severe information source divide that should concern us. Not only do we Republicans, Democrats, and Independents not agree on issues, we most often are not aware of the issues the other side is being made aware of, nor do we ever tune into the outlets they are hearing it from—Fox, Sky TV, or Newsmax. Just sayin’.

We have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in our country. We have a political system that more than ever is dominated by super PACs and the billionaires who fund them in both political parties. And that is the system that, together, we must and will change. (July 25)

Information Gap? While the Democrats are appalled by christian nationalists attacking the US capitol on January 6th, many Republicans have been feverishly following the Hunter Biden laptop email scandal with often equal interest, condemnation, and disdain towards the Biden Administration.

Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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July 25

A CHANGE ORDER IN COUNTY MEASURE D FUNDS TO HELP APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT DEVELOPERS

Last Wednesday, the County abruptly closed Soquel Drive in Aptos Village without any signage for advance notification that traffic would be detoured to Trout Gulch Road to Aptos Creek Road via the very narrow Aptos Village Way within the subdivision.  Very few business owners along Soquel Drive knew the closure was going to happen.

Why did this happen? 

According to my on-site conversation with Public Works Dept. engineer Tim Nguyen on July 20, the urgency was due to a Change Order for local Measure D road surfacing publicly-funded work so that the Aptos Village Project developers could cash in on having the contractor from Sacramento do the work before leaving to return to Sacramento

Mr. Nguyen informed me he had talked with the merchants that he knew a day ahead of time, but there were some he did not know, so did not contact.

Here is a link to the 2022 Countywide Measure D-funded street repairs and resurfacing

How did the Dept. of Public Works initiate this publicly-funded favor to the Aptos Village Project developers?  

According to a telephone conversation with the McKim Corporation engineering consultant for the 2022 Countywide Measure D work, his office was contacted on June 7, 2022 by Ms. Carissa Duran, County engineer and project manager for the past Aptos Village Traffic Improvement Project Phases 1 and 2B, requesting a Change Order that would include the section of Soquel Drive between Trout Gulch Road and the new Parade Street intersection.

Here is what the County did last year to prepare the area for the Aptos Village Project developers work, (Phase 2A)

According to McKim Consultants, the request “sort of fell off the table” until Ms. Duran again contacted them about the Change Order on July 11.  After negotiation, County Dept. of Public Works Director Matt Machado and Ms. Duran signed the official Change Order with approval of McKim Project engineer Mr. Tommy Munro on July 18, 2022.

That explains the rush job and lack of public notification for the July 20 work, I guess, doesn’t it?

I asked the McKim consultant how much the Change Order cost?  That information, he said, has to come from the County.

The question remains…WHY IS THE COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS GIFTING THE APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT DEVELOPERS WITH MEASURE D PUBLICLY-FUNDED WORK?  What street improvements will not get done in order to divert the money needed for this gift?   

Take a look here:

Here is the closed section of Soquel Drive at the new Parade Street entrance to the Aptos Village Project
This is Soquel Drive at the Trout Gulch Road intersection.  Note that the entrance to the historic Bayview Hotel in the foreground is slurry-sealed, even though the County and the Aptos Village Projects plan to close it when the new Parade Street intersection to Soquel Drive is complete…perhaps by the end of August.
All busy Soquel Drive traffic was routed between Aptos Creek Road and Trout Gulch Road via the narrow and congested Aptos Village Way in the Subdivision.  The Metro buses had a difficult time negotiating the narrow turning radius at the intersections…that was one of the many concessions the County allowed the developers.
Here is what Soquel Drive looks like now at that Parade Street intersection.  Mr. Nguyen from County Public Works assured me that the bike lanes will be 5′ wide…how will this all fit?

I suggest we hold our elected officials accountable and demand answers:

Chairman of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Manu Koenig manu.koenig@santacruzcounty.us 

Not elected, but certainly omnipotent is Matt Machado, Assistant County Administrative Officer to CAO Carlos Palacios, and now also Director of the County Public Works Dept. AND the Planning Dept. now that the two have merged:

Matt Machado matt.machado@santacruzcounty.us 

Also, contact the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) who oversees the Measure D funding allocation and Citizen Oversight Committee:

Luis Mendez lmendez@sccrtc.org

Rachel Moriconi rmoriconi@sccrtc.org

Shannon Munzsmunz@sccrtc.org

Tracy Newtnew@sccrtc.org

Measure D Overview

Pay attention to the Citizen Oversight Committee1

Finally, attend the August 4 RTC Regular Hybrid meeting and ask for an explanation

Does the RTC and County extend such generous favors to all developers in the County????

FAIR BOARD VOTED TO DEMOLISH LIVESTOCK BARNS, LEAVING LITTLE FOR EVACUEES TO DEPEND ON FOR SHELTERING ANIMALS

Last Tuesday, July 19, the Santa Cruz County Fair Board voted to demolish the historic Mel McCandless Swine Barn and the goat /sheep barn as quickly as possible and put up temporary  large tents for the 2022 Fair exhibitors to show their livestock under.  The tents will only be in place for the Fair, leaving nothing for possible emergency evacuation needs.

Two wise Directors voted against the shove by the Fair Manager’s feverish insistence that the foundations cannot be repaired in time for the Fair, and that the barns are old and should be replaced by a “cost-effective multi-purpose building”.  Many thanks to President Dietrich and Director Campos who voted to first get alternative emergency shelter in place for disasters before demolishing the existing barns, repairing the foundations to give more time.

Although she agreed with members of the public later in the parking lot that the Fair Manager really needs to follow the law and stop his renegade actions that have resulted in the State Construction Authority’s determination that the swine and goat/sheep barns are “unstable and unsafe”, Director Flores went timidly swimming along with the crowd and voted to approve the demolition.

What is shocking is that Fair Manager David Kegebein publicly stated to the Board afterward that “since no State money is going to fund this work, the State Building Codes don’t apply.”

Here he goes again…another arrogant disregard for the law governing the State-owned Fairgrounds property.  What he claimed is not true, borne out by explicit language in a letter the State Dept. of Food & Ag Fairs and Expositions Director sent all Fair Boards on September 22, 2021 reminding them of State Building Code Section 105.1, requiring State permits, plan review and inspections of all projects (demolitions included) regardless of how they are funded.

105.1 Permits Required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building structure, or facilities or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit

Rispin Mansion Park Workshop Notes, April 11th, 2015

That letter was included in the November, 2021 Fair Board packet on pages 5 & 6

Oddly, after the vote, Director Estrada jubilantly instructed Fair Manager to “get started at 7:30am tomorrow morning and get this done!”  Well, well…she seemingly has no respect or regard for proper process to follow California State law, does she?

Here is one of the two barns that some of the Fair Board and Fair Manager want to demolish, after dumping $45,000 in Fairgrounds Foundation donated money in new materials for “seismic upgrades” and another $441,700 in State Prop 68/SB 5 public grant money spent on electrical upgrades.

Although Fair Board Director Fontana insists she cares only about safety, and the “barns have been condemned”, this barricade is all that protects the public from entering the barns, and was not implemented until May, 2022 at the direction of Board President Dietrich.  If you were a kid, would you climb through this???  No matter, Fairgrounds staff sets the fence aside for campers and their own use of the barns, as the collection of July 20, 2022 photos attached at the end of this blog show.

WERE THE FAIRGROUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE ANZAR FIRE EVACUEES?  NOPE!

Last Thursday, the Anzar Fire broke out, causing evacuations of that tri-county area.  Residents had no instruction as to where to take their animals.  Some just let them loose, others who were preparing for a possible expanded evacuation order loaded their livestock into trailers and spent the night sleeping in their trucks…there was no safe place issued for them to go, and no one wanted to risk driving to Watsonville and be refused.

Likely, they would have been refused because there was a large horse show occupying all 300 horse stalls and overflow stalls in the remaining covered beef barn.

2022-85 American Quarter Horse Association of Santa Clara 7/18-25/2022 Horse Show Invoiced after use Horse Show Facilities

(See page 10 of the contracts)

Oddly, the San Benito County Fairgrounds was not activated.  Neither was the Monterey County Fairgrounds.  In a subsequent conversation with the later Fairgrounds Manager, Ms. Kelli Violini, she said she thought the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds had been most likely activated.

It was news to her that the Fair Board had voted last week to demolish two large livestock barns, that the unpermitted work directed by Mr. David Kegebein last year had caused the State to now deem the barns “unstable and unsafe”, and that the Santa Cruz County Fair youth exhibitors will be in tents only for the Fair time, with the tents disappearing afterward.  She kindly said she would contact Mr. Kegebein and offer to loan additional portable pens.

So, one must wonder what the status really is of the MOU between the County and the Fairgrounds for this matter…and who is planning for the next disaster? 

Contact General Services Director Michael Beaton michael.beaton@santacruzcounty.us` and 

David Reid, david.reid@santacruzcounty.us    He is the Director of the Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience (OR3…formerly known as the Emergency Services Office before CAO Carlos Palacios wiped it and the very competent Rosemary Anderson off the table, stating it would “save money”, just before the CZU Fire broke out)

CAPITOLA CITY COUNCIL HOLDING PUBLIC HEARING TO GO TO BID FOR RISPIN MANSION PARK

This project has been on the books for a very long time, with the most recent public activity being a couple of workshops held in 2015…yep…seven years ago.

 However, the project is finally going out to bid, after a public hearing this Thursday:

Item 9a:

Review the Rispin Mansion Park Project and Consider Authorizing Advertising for Bids Recommended Action: 

1) Approve plans, specifications, and budget for construction of the Rispin Mansion Park; 

2) Authorize advertising the project to receive bids setting the opening date for September 7, 2022; and 

3) Approve the proposed resolution amending the budget by transferring $30,000 from the General Fund to the Rispin Mansion Park Project.

So far, no documents have been included in the Council’s Agenda Packet for this item, but here is what was on their table seven years ago.

Take a look at what people had to say the last time there was a public hearing

Tune in Thursday evening for this Hybrid Public Hearing!

HOW CAN THERE BE AN ELECTION FOR A BOARD THAT DOES NOT EXIST?

Last Thursday, the Pajaro Valley Health Care District Trust approved a consent agenda item to place an election for two seats to its Board on the November 8 ballot.  How can voters be asked to elect representatives before the agency exists other than on paper and before any deal is finalized to purchase the Watsonville Community Hospital?  

The agency has not yet received 501-c-3 tax-exempt status. 

The July 21 Board packet states it is a risk issue (page 13, RAID Items shown in red)

Take a look at the issues identified regarding physician contracts (page 14)

(RISK) Physicians are potentially being compensated above market rates for call coverage arrangements -Performed analysis regarding FMV rates for call coverage arrangements entered into with various physicians and groups 

• (ACTION) Physician compensation strategy discussion with Cecilia Montalvo and Steven Salyer
• (ISSUE) Locate outstanding contracts and/or amendments

And…..

• Research the OB/GYN call environment to provide recommendations related to whether OB/GYN call coverage is a necessity on a go-forward basis (i.e. does it make sense to pay OB/GYN providers when they essentially are only providing coverage relating to their already established patients). 

• Schedule additional calls as needed with Steven Salyer and Cecilia Montalvo to discuss strategy for contractual negotiations with physicians. 

• Schedule and perform negotiations with in-person ICU group

See pages 15-17 for other RISKS that include Revenue Cycle Management, Purchasing, and Human Resources:

• (RISK) Union Planning: Determine if any implications with changing Retirement Plans 

• (RISK) ADP Contract: Tight timeline to complete SPIN; Final paycheck calculations and distribution. 

• (RISK) Payroll & Tax: Bank accounts must be set up for new legal entities 

• (RISK) HR 30+ Contracts: Buyer needs to review, assign, or create new to cover the existing HR contracts

Look here for video recordings of past meetings, and the agendas for what’s coming up. This group will be making many critical decisions in the feverish focus to shove this purchase through.

PVHCD Hospital Meetings

CENTRAL FIRE DISTRICT NEEDS YOU ON THEIR BOARD

Two seats on the Board overseeing fire protection and public safety for the areas from Live Oak to La Selva Beach and up into the wildland areas contiguous are up for election this November.  The Candidate Filing period is now open but will close August 12.

https://www.centralfiresc.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=192

Board seats up for election are Districts 4 and 5…take a look at the interactive map to see where you are and consider running for the job if you care about fire safety and public service.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A FIRE FIGHTER TO BE QUALIFIED.  You just need to care.

Here is a link to the District’s new maps showing the boundaries, with the interactive function of locating addresses within the County to determine whether you or someone you know lives within the Central Fire District boundaries and if so, which new representational district applies.

Who has filed for Candidacy for all local public service opportunities in the County? Take a look

EXCELLENT EXHIBIT AT CAPITOLA LIBRARY SHOWING HISTORY OF THE CAPITOLA WHARF

Go see the “My Neighborhood” local history exhibit at the Capitola Library.  It changes regularly and is always excellent. 

This month features a history of the Soquel Landing (aka Capitola Wharf), with amazing photographs and brief description of how the area went from being “La Playa de Soquel”, a wetland area purchased in 1856 by Frederick Hihn, to having a 450′-long wharf built two years later.  Because it connected via what is now Wharf Road to the Soquel Turnpike (now called Soquel-San Jose Road), the area became known as Soquel Landing.  Ten years later, Mr. Hihn and his partner Mr. Lynch added 1,200′ to the wharf to enable large Pacific Coast Steamship Company freight ships to dock, transporting massive loads of lumber, leather, grain and potatoes.  

The area developed in the 1870’s to a fishing village when Mr. Hihn leased the area adjacent to the wharf to a group of Italian emigrants.  This village flourished until the early 1900’s when the wharf’s condition became so bad, the fishermen moved on to Santa Cruz.  In 1919, Mr. Rispin purchased most of what is now Capitola, demolished the fishing village and built the Venetian Court that we see today.  

I have heard the new Aptos Library will feature historic exhibits when the library opens.  I hope they are as interesting and well-done as those that always catch my attention upon entry to the Capitola Library.  

PROGRESS ON THE NEW APTOS LIBRARY

Work continues at a good pace at the new Aptos Library construction site.  Still no response from project Manager Mr. Damon Adlao about those large piles of covered soil???  Is it contaminated?

CASTRO ADOBE STATE PARK IS A GEM

I had the great pleasure of joining a private tour with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) of the Castro Adobe State Park in Larkin Valley last weekend.  Charlie and Patty Kieffer, Docents Extraordinaire, lead us through the Adobe, along with Ms. Charlene Duval, Historian, and State Park Ranger Mark. 

The next public tours will be August 28…go see this great restored adobe treasure that brings back a sense of time long ago in local and State history.

Here are Charlie and Patty Kieffer, describing the gentle touch the Vaqueros used with their sure-footed and loyal Spanish horses.  The Kiger horse photo Charlie holds is one of a wild herd discovered in the Steens Mountain area of southeastern Oregon.

Charlie is a descendant of the Castro family that came to California in the 1775 Anza Expedition.

 He and Patty were recently awarded the Volunteer Medallion for public service for all their work to preserve historic resources and help educate the public about local treasures, such as Wilder Ranch and the Castro Adobe State Parks.

Here is Historian Ms. Charlene Duval, in the Sala, showing the Oriental embroidered shawl owned by the last Governor of Alta California, pre-1850.  It was a gift to the collection by Edna and Joe Kimbro, former owners of the Castro Adobe, and also the Branciforte Adobe in Santa Cruz.

Here is State Park Ranger Mark in the Sala, describing the vibrant shipping port of Monterey, with Spanish and Chinese artifacts shown on the table in the foreground.

BALD EAGLES AT NEW BRIGHTON STATE BEACH

Many thanks to my friend, Al, who sent me the photo below of one of two Bald Eagles currently being spotted at New Brighton State Beach area.  The photo was posted on Aptosia, a local group interested in supporting and sharing news of the Aptos area.  Go see our country’s National Birds!

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC HEARING AND DEMAND ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS.  GO SEE SOME OF THE MANY AMAZING TREASURES LOCALLY AND WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR TO ENCOURAGE THOSE TREASURES ARE APPRECIATED AND PRESERVED.

MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK BY JUST DOING SOMETHING.

Cheers, Becky

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 KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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July 25

GRAZING GOATS FOR FIRE SAFETY.

One of the more common questions I’m getting these days is: what do you think about all this goat grazing for fuels reduction? I suspect the questions are coming to me because folks want to hear about my ecological perspective about goat grazing effects. There are other concerns, and I try to wrap those into this essay.

Goat Grazing Benefits

Grazing goats can produce many benefits from food and fiber production to wildfire fuels reduction, invasive species control, ecological restoration, and endangered species recovery. Goat meat is popular in many different people’s cuisines, and raising goats locally reduces transportation costs and resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Many have criticized the beef industry for greenhouse gas emissions impacts, this might be a better solution for those who desire meat as part of their diet. Goat hair (angora, cashmere, etc.) is a useful fiber in place of sheep’s wool, and goat skins are used to create and repair drums and banjos. Is anyone doing these kinds of things with the herds of goats used for fuels reduction?

Goat herds are mainly being used for reducing the fuel loads that could make wildfires more catastrophic. Goats are useful in this way as they readily eat brush as well as grass. Sheep, cows and horses mainly eat grass, though they’ll nibble at shrubs, too.  Goats like to eat shrubs so much that they will get on their hind legs and pull at branches as far up as they can reach. They’ll even climb trees!

Properly managed goats can help to reduce the cover and reproduction of invasive plants, including shrubby species. Goats can reduce thistle patches, mow down infestations of invasive grasses, and tear up French broom. These things qualify as ecological restoration, but goats can do more than just this…

By properly managing goats, we can help to restore evolutionary grazing disturbance regimes on which ecosystems and endangered species depend. By reducing the growth of grasses, or the thatch that grasses make, goat grazing can facilitate the germination and survival of wildflowers, which also helps restore pollinators. By grazing brush, goats can keep coastal prairies more open, conserving habitat for grassland dependent birds, such as black shouldered kite, burrowing owl, and grasshopper sparrow. When livestock reduces thatch in grasslands, grasses are less competitive and wildflowers flourish; so, endangered butterflies like the Bay checkerspot which depends on wildflowers can thrive.

Cautions about Goat Grazing

Note that I’ve said ‘properly managed’ a lot. Saying ‘goat grazing is good’ is like saying ‘weather is good’ – both statements are nonsensical without details. The four variables to control with livestock grazing are seasonality, intensity, duration, and frequency. Grazing in the winter growing season can help reduce the growth of cool-wet-season grasses and so favor wildflowers (and thistles!). Putting many, many goats in an area is more intense than just a few. Putting many, many goats in an area for a long period of time is more impactful than a short period of time. Returning a herd of goats to an area more- versus less-frequently makes a difference. I just witnessed a recently goat-grazed public park area near San Rafael where there was almost no grass left and the oak and eucalyptus trees had been moderately damaged by goats gnawing through bark. Grazing goats in the early summer certainly made sense to reduce the potential for soil compaction and erosion on the steep slopes I was visiting. But, on the ungrazed adjoining areas, native tarplants were in blossom – I’m not sure if those will come back in the goat grazed area so that pollinators will have something to visit. Small oak trees that had goat munched bark scars from the previous year were dying or dead. I questioned not only the need to graze the ground so hard as to negatively affect native trees, but I also questioned the health and welfare of the animals: was it necessary to make those animals very, very hungry to eat the grass down to near dirt and then start gnawing on tree bark?

Other cautions about goat grazing I wonder about: flies, manure, and weeds. Do communities near goat grazing areas get more flies, even biting flies? Does the manure wash off the grazed barrens and into streams and cause pollution? Are the goats transporting weed seeds onto the property from an area they grazed right before they were temporarily transported for fire control? All good cautions to ask about when reviewing the costs vs. the benefits of goat grazing.

The last caution I have is about training mountain lions to eat goats. I’ve heard too many folks raising goats blame the mountain lions for the loss of their animals when the fault almost certainly lies with careless livestock managers. Proper protection includes guardian dogs, electric fencing, and lion-proof night pens. When folks don’t properly protect goats, mountain lions figure out a way to eat them…and then become accustomed to those easy meals. At that point, the human has effectively trained the mountain lion to eat livestock and then there’s a problem.

Challenges Ahead

It seems that goat grazing is an expanding enterprise for fuels reduction, so how do we make it work better? Part of the solution is already on the table: all livestock grazing programs must be approved by a state-licensed Certified Rangeland Manager. This is a parallel program to the Registered Professional Forester who signs off on any timber production in California. A Certified Rangeland Manager has the skills to outline a plan to maximize the benefits and minimize the problems of a goat grazing operation. 

Even with a good plan, there are significant challenges ahead for goat-led habitat and fuels management. For instance, given the oversight needed for each herd, how do we afford the shepherds and still affordably manage goats? Goats are escape artists, so shepherds are necessary to keep them contained and well supervised, if only to assure that areas don’t get overgrazed and the goats stay healthy and safe. We need to find the right way for shepherds to have a good standard of living and decent working hours in an economy that already has a difficult time paying a living wage. If we can find and keep the labor, how do we train enough people to pay enough attention to the nuances of habitat management so that we restore habitats instead of destroy them while we seek a more fire-safe landscape?

In Conclusion

Next time you see goats arrive to do some work, I’m hoping you ask some of the questions I posed above. Only by having respectful dialogues about these issues can we hope to find the ‘right’ place for goat powered fuels reduction and habitat restoration. Such conversations can elevate the intelligence of all parties as we seek a better way to live on this super biologically diverse, fire prone landscape.

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: www.greyhayes.net

Email Grey at coastalprairie@aol.com

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July 23

#205 / Standing By For Civil War?

As some of my recent blog postings reveal, I have been thinking a lot about the French Revolution. As much as I’d like to see some fundamental changes in the government, and in what our government is doing (and in what our government is not doing), I can’t really say that I am having many warm and friendly feelings about how nice it would be to have something like the French Revolution happen right here. 

There are quite a few Americans, however, who seem to be looking forward to a new civil war, right here in the United States of America. At least, that is what the results of a nationwide survey, carried out a little over a month ago, seem to indicate. 

I learned about the survey from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, authored by Joe Garofoli. The title on Garofoli’s article was this: “Survey: Half of Americans think civil war coming.” 

The survey was carried out by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. Here is a description of the survey, with some of its findings:

A total of 8,620 people who are adult members of the Ipsos Knowledge Panel participated. The sample was designed to represent the general adult population of the United States. 

The researchers conducted the nationwide online survey in English and Spanish from May 13 to June 22. The questions were designed to gauge current attitudes and concerns about violence in the U.S. and willingness to engage in specific political violence scenarios. 

The researchers note that the findings, coupled with prior research, suggest a continuing high level of alienation and a mistrust of American democratic society and its institutions. Substantial minorities of the population endorse violence, including lethal violence, to obtain political objectives [my note – this is just what happened in the French Revolution]. 

The survey questions focused on three areas: beliefs regarding democracy and the potential for violence in the United States, beliefs regarding American society and institutions, and support for and willingness to engage in violence, including political violence. Some key findings from those surveyed: 

  • 67.2% perceive there is “a serious threat to our democracy.”
  • 50.1% agree that “in the next several years, there will be civil war in the United States.”
  • 42.4% agreed that “having a strong leader for America is more important than having a democracy.”
  • 41.2% agreed that “in America, native-born white people are being replaced by immigrants.”
  • 18.7% agreed strongly or very strongly that violence or force is needed to “protect American democracy” when “elected leaders will not.”
  • 20.5% think that political violence is at least sometimes justifiable “in general.” 

Among participants who considered political violence to be at least sometimes justified to achieve a specific objective, 12.2% were willing to commit political violence “to threaten or intimidate a person,” 10.4% “to injure a person,” and 7.1% “to kill a person.” 

Among all participants, nearly 1 in 5 thought it was at least somewhat likely that within the next few years, in a situation where political violence was justified, “I will be armed with a gun.” Four percent thought it at least somewhat likely that “I will shoot someone with a gun.”

Examining the results as just reported, more than two-thirds of those surveyed think there is a “serious threat to our democracy.” However, over forty percent of those surveyed don’t think that democracy is as important as “having a strong leader.” 

It seems pretty clear to me that those two findings are related. If more than forty percent of the population really thinks that having a “strong leader” is more important than democracy, that fact is exactly the reason why there is a “serious threat to our democracy.” The “serious threat” is that almost half of the population thinks government happens to them, instead of thinking that government is something that they do themselves. 

“Democracy,” by the way – the way I use the word – is really a stand-in for “self-government.” Understanding that what we are really taking about is “self-government” may provide us with a way to start changing attitudes – and realities – so that the predicted “civil war” does not, in fact, materialize. 

Surveys generally seek to answer questions from the point of view of an “observer.” They are intended to inform us about what reality “is,” at the time the survey is undertaken. 

In fact, as I never get tired of pointing out, every human reality that we attempt to assess, looking at reality from the point of view of an “observer,” fails to recognize that human realities can be changed (and rather quickly, too). That is true because we are not only “observers,” but are “actors,” as well. As I pointed out in an earlier blog post, even “Bimbos” understand that “the whole world we made is literally made up, so we can make up solutions to the issues we have.”

If there is a “high level of alienation and a mistrust of American democratic society,” which is what the survey says is true, the people’s “alienation” from what we still call our “democratic society” derives from the fact that our society is not, in fact, “democratic,” at all, if what you mean by “democratic” is that the government is working to try to do what the majority of the people want. Lots of surveys show that what the people want is exactly what the government is NOT doing. 

Naturally, if we think the government of a “democratic society” should do what the majority want (and if the government isn’t doing that, as it demonstrably is not), then it’s natural why about half of the people are standing by for a civil war, and why a lot of them are willing to pick up the gun and get involved. 

That said, when more than 50% of the people in the United States say that “in the next several years, there will be civil war in the United States,” they are making that prediction based on their “observations,” not making a commitment to take “action,” to help bring that about personally. 

What if we could get those alienated people to stop waiting around for a “strong leader?” What if we could get people to stop believing that a “democratic society” is something that we “observe” (or not), and understand that a “democratic society” is something that we must “create,” by our own actions?

If we don’t “act,” and take action pretty soon, we are, actually, just standing by for a civil war (which is what that survey says we are doing). The survey seems to suggest that the “civil war” that is anticipated is coming to us in “the next several years.” Since our next presidential election is scheduled for 2024, with the next president to be inaugurated in early 2025, that “next several years” time period may well be related to that presidential election timetable. 

Do we have to just “stand by” for civil war (and maybe acquire a gun, for our personal use, just in case)? That is really what that survey is prognosticating. 

I would like to propose that we don’t just stand by for the predicted civil war, and that we stop talking about “democracy,” and start talking about “self-government,” which places the emphasis on our own individual and collective responsibility for having our governmental institutions do what the majority of the people want. 

The majority wants big changes, and we can achieve those big changes, too (without waiting for the strong leader, and without picking up the gun). 

But that means we need to divert our personal attention and activity to self-government (less Netflix and online gaming; more personal participation in small groups dedicated to political change). 

To say it one more time: Self-government (what we often call “democracy”) requires that we get directly involved in government ourselves.

Are you unwilling to do that – unwilling to get involved in government yourself? Are you waiting around for that “strong leader,” instead? 

Well, if that’s how you see it, stand by for a civil war, because that’s just what “standing by,” and looking around, and “observing,” and not “acting,” is going to get us.

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 www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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July 25

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE WRAPS IT UP FOR GARLAND…HELLO, HELLO?

With the House Select Committee’s prime-time wrap-up of their first series of public airings of evidence and interviews concerning the January 6, 2021 Washington, D.C. insurrection, one would think that there is enough substantiation of criminality to ship former president Benedict Donald and his coup crew off to their own private Elba forever. And though the committee will announce a resumption of its telecasts at a later date, with even more evidence as it rolls in, with more individuals coming forward to offer their take on experiences leading up to that fateful day, the dam isn’t breaking quickly enough for some, with criticisms of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s seeming hesitancy to prosecute the perpetrators as he lags behind the House Committee’ revelations. Garland has tried to reassure the critics that the department is deeply involved and that their “investigations aren’t carried out in public,” yet, some of the heavy players in the plot are holding their ground and a frighteningly significant percentage of Trump backers are not convinced that evil was manifested over those several hours of destruction. 

Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, and legal affairs columnist for the L.A. Times opinion page, has emphasized in his columns and in guest appearances on MSNBC, that a gap exists between the House’s findings and the most fitting charge against the former prez, which only the Justice Department can fill. The hearings have presented a general narrative of Team Bratman’s attempt to overturn Biden’s victory, along with some facts to back it up. Litman feels that the “Justice Department must develop a legal case containing admissible evidence proving criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if possible beyond Republican cavil as well.” He goes on to say, “The committee’s work has given rise to a sort of parlor game of ‘name that Trump crime’ among commentators, everything from manslaughter to destruction of federal property. That won’t cut it for the Justice Department.” He suggests that if AG Garland takes the unprecedented step of prosecuting a former president, it would be for a grave crime against the country, most likely ‘seditious conspiracy,’ which is defined as two or more people agreeing to ‘oppose by force’ the government’s authority, or agreeing ‘by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the U.S. Success is unimportant, the crime is the agreement. 

In other words, an autogolpe, a Spanish term for a self-coup, a form of coup d’état in which a nation’s leader, having come to power by legal means, tries to stay in power through illegal means. Coming to power by legal means remains questionable for the Trump legacy…Russia, Russia, Russia, but the volumes of evidence of the Donald’s part in J6 has only resulted in circumstantial evidence of a seditious conspiracy. A major new revelation by the Committee could weigh heavily, but the Justice Department has to provide the filler. The most effective method, traditionally, would be a charge based upon information provided by the likes of Giuliani, Bannon, or Meadows, who could be given a promise of immunity, which only Justice can offer – not the House committee. Though the majority of our voters may see DJT’s obvious guilt, it has to be proven in a court of law…just keep that orange jumpsuit handy…and, how about hopes and prayers?

It all sounds a bit discouraging in light of Trump’s escape from two impeachment trials, and even as he continues to grift and prey upon his doting worshippers, unimpeded and legally, as his gaming of the system’s loopholes allows his criminal enterprise to rake in millions of dollars to carry forward his dream of power. As Trump has told close associates, he will run to retake the presidency in 2024, not only to regain the glory of that position, but to escape any criminal charges that result from the ongoing investigations; he obtains a get-out-of-jail-free card, plus he gets to free all those convicted of crimes from J6 participation with pardons, making us all subject to violence and mayhem in each election cycle. Attorney Sydney Powell from Trump’s legal team will be calling to ‘release the Kraken’ once again, with Co-Supreme Court Justice, Ginny Thomas, doing her happy dance!

One of the highlights of the final Select Committee’s presentation was the contrasting videos of Senator ‘C.S.’ Josh Hawley of Missouri, saluting the insurrectionist crowd at the Capitol with a raised fist as he made his way to the chamber for the impending vote, to be followed by the hilarious display of him high-tailing it down the hallways to escape the invading mob as they stormed the building. The Kansas City Star editorial board called Hawley a ‘National Laughing Stock’ for his display of cowardice in light of the Senator’s previous virile bravado toward the assembling rioters, having tweeted in the past that  American men lack masculinity, while standing up for reinstalling a presidential election loser. Al Franken believes there is a case for prosecuting ‘Chicken’ for his part in encouraging the insurrection from the beginning, and that the raised fist was the equivalent of pouring gasoline on the fire. 

While our Agent Orange was sitting alone in the dining room during the insurrection, ‘doing nothing’ but directing the 187 minutes of turmoil at the Capitol, Worst Lady Melania Trump was supposedly unaware of the madness, as she fulfilled the ‘duty’ of photographically recording the contents of the White House’s historic rooms as she explained to Fox News – in normal times a responsibility of the White House Historical Association. Mel claims she had assembled a team to “ensure perfect execution on behalf of our nation.” It would seem that if, indeed, she was being halfway truthful she had no ‘team’, and that she was ‘casing the joint’ preparing for the final exit. Why not check those boxes that the Crime Family removed for ‘storage’ at Mar-a-Lago?

On matters of bravery and virility, our Blitzkrieg Bozo told a crowd in Florida at the Turning Points Action conference how deserving he was of a Medal of Honor, America’s highest award to recognize valor in military combat, after flying on Air Force One to Iraq to assess the fight against ISIS. As the lights on the plane were dimmed to prevent detection upon arrival, he grew uneasy and made his way to the cockpit to harangue the pilot regarding the landing descent – even told his wife later how brave he was, as the crew made a safe landing. Evidently, he attempted to give himself the Congressional Medal of Honor, but ‘they’ wouldn’t let him do it, saying it would be inappropriate to do so. Maybe Jeff Hawley can give him a lesson or two for future occasions. Trump’s bravery also stood out with the video outtakes shown by the J6 Committee, as he attempted to make a speech, coached by Ivanka, to the American people following the Capitol riot – he just couldn’t make himself say peace, or ‘the election is over,’ nor could he disown the riotous mob, his ‘loved and very special’ adherents. His lack of compassion for those who were injured, inconvenienced, and who died shows his complete narcissism, expected but almost unnoticed with this monster. 

Former Attorney General, Bill Barr, casting off the demons of his servitude to DJT by calling the ‘Stop the Steal’ claims nothing but ‘B.S,’ has now embarked on his next evil, anti-democratic venture with Karl Rove, Steve Wynn and Bobby Burchfield by launching a nonprofit called Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE). The innocent-sounding name shadows an attempt to defend state legislatures in setting election laws, while bypassing courts for setting rules. The group has already filed briefs in Montana and Florida to assist in defending against legal challenges. These laws will make it harder to vote by limiting drop boxes, disallowing same-day voter registration and increasing voter identification requirements. Saying the group is all about aiming to ‘assure voter confidence in our democratic process’, they seem to be ignoring the GOP’s role in enabling the J6 insurrection, while obstructing the ongoing investigation into its origins. So, Barr is back at it with faulty magic…and, oh look…a bunny. 

One of the best stories of the week involves the senate race in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman is running against Dr. Mehmet Oz, a New Jersey resident who wants to represent the ‘Quacker’ state, it appears. So, Fetterman has started a petition campaign to recognize Oz’s New Jersey pride by getting him inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. You can sign the petition here – @NJHalloFame, to honor the interloper and send him back to Jersey.  

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: cornerspot14@yahoo.com
 

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

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

    “AUGUST”

“One day you discover you are alive.
Explosion! Concussion! Illumination! Delight!
You laugh, you dance around, you shout.
But, not long after, the sun goes out. Snow falls, but no one sees it, on an August noon.” 

~Ray Bradbury 

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” 
~Sylvia Plath, 

“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.”
~Sue Monk Kidd

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They made a documentary called “Rumble”. It’s about the role Native Americans played in the origin (and continuance) of Rock ‘n Roll. So much stuff I had NO IDEA about, and I actually paid attention in music class in high school… See the trailer, and then check out the movie on Netflix!


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!
Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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