Blog Archives

July 7 – 13, 2021

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…St. George Hotel Sold Again, Summer of Soul, critiques. GREENSITE…is off this week, she’ll be back next week. KROHN…I will trade you one Credit Union for a boutique hotel. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek Water Pipes under the San Lorenzo River, treated sewage in mid County water, new septic System install costs. PATTON…Pruned? A Sad story about Trees. EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. QUOTES…”Sand”

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PACIFIC AND CATHCART, DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ. JANUARY 29, 1963. Old School Shoes is now where we see Johnny’s Sporting Goods in this photo. Then there’s the Catalyst, now where the Santa Cruz Bowl stands. J.C. Penney’s (on the immediate right) went down with the 1989 quake.
                                       
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

                                                        
DATELINE July 5

SAINT GEORGE HOTEL SOLD (AGAIN). Developer Barry Swenson (aka Green Valley Corporation) sold the St. George Hotel as of July 1 last week. Residents received a note from the local women managers Renee Culver and Christin Coffin stating that the new owners Baron Ranches, Inc. will be taking over all property management responsibilities. As most Santa Cruzan’s know, the St. George has an important local place in our history, dating back to 1894 and its rebirth after that fire, and again after the 1989 earthquake. It has 122 rental units. I cannot locate any relevant internet connection or information about Baron Ranches, Inc. If anyone knows anything about them, and what they do with their properties, please let me know. I’m very concerned/fearful that – with our present pro-development city council and the condo building boom happening now – that we’ll see another silicon valley high-rise balloon in its place…we need to stay on top of this. One well-informed citizen tells me Baron Ranches is probably just a legal switch of Barry Swenson’s titles, and even though he’s getting old it’s an only-on-paper deal. I’m sure we’ll hear more.   

SUMMER OF SOUL. (HULU). (99RT) Usually I’d put a critique in the movie section, but SUMMER OF SOUL is such a great documentary and reminder, that I want to be sure folks view it as soon as possible. It’s a fast-moving and very well done record of the little-known 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in the Marcus Garvey Park over a period of six weeks. It stars Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Max Roach, The 5th Dimension, Stevie Wonder and my ages-old favorites The Edwin Hawkins Singers. Over 300,000 people attended the concerts. It’s a great and positive view of our early history that we either ignored or never knew about. View it and then go dancing!!

Be sure to tune in to my very newest movie streaming 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 LITTLE THINGS. (HBO SINGLE). Denzel Washington returns to the screens along with Rami Malek and Jared Leno in this cop versus cop versus a maybe criminal drama. Denzel is a Bakersfield cop who gets sent to LA in 1990, where he has to deal with fellow cop Malek — who is solving, chasing, shadowing, and beating a very suspicious, devious local jerk. (6.3 IMDB). Washington has to live with a sad and mysterious past that haunts him while he works to solve this serial murder case. Not a great film, but Denzel does make it worth watching…at least up to the ending, which is nearly a cop-out.

THE TURN OUT. (PRIME VIDEO SINGLE). A very depressing but effective view of the sex lives of teenagers and truck drivers…especially in West Virginia. There’s a mix of religion, AA, and the main character is called “Crowbar”. This is a very real issue and more help is needed to change their worlds and their opportunities. No fun, but illuminating.

THE TOMORROW WAR. (AMAZON PRIME SINGLE). (53RT). A science fiction fantasy that has time travelers coming back from 2051 to help us change our future. The problem with 2051 is that monsters in the shape of 10 foot lizards have pretty much taken over, and they can only be stopped by a vial of special fluid. I recommend it if you like what you’ve read. It’s escapist, suspenseful, excellent special effects….go for it, with that proviso.

NO SUDDEN MOVE. (HBO MAX SINGLE). A very classy new film directed by Steven Soderbergh (88RT) and starring Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Hamm, Kieran Culkin, Ray Liotta and more. It’s about Detroit, and secrets between auto manufacturers, and is mostly true according to the closing credits. It is involved, well thought out, exciting, perfectly acted in Soderbergh style. Watch it ASAP and enjoy all the deep moments.

AWAKE. (NETFLIX SINGLE)  If you haven’t been terrified (or bored) by the covid pandemic, this movie won’t help. (27RT). It’s a science fiction drama where something happens that causes almost all earthly electricity go shut down. Then it turns out that no one can sleep anymore. They go crazy, wear masks, and try various ridiculous tricks to remain sane. You’ll have the same problem ,only in how to stay awake during this mess…avoid it.

SAFER AT HOME. (HULU SINGLE) only (7RT) so far but I predict that this one could catch on. Some friends get together on at least four Zoom cameras and celebrate the Covid pandemic by taking Ecstasy pills. The characters aren’t very well developed, and their actions aren’t too credible, but just the filming with different cameras from unusual vantage points makes some interesting possibilities even when it’s set in the year 2022. 

THE ICE ROAD. (NETFLIX SINGLE). (44RT) Liam Neeson takes on the super-dangerous job of driving trucks on ice roads that can – and do – collapse into the freezing lakes in Northern Canada. So does Laurence Fishburne, but he’s killed off very quickly in the race to get lifesaving equipment to miners trapped underground. It’s hokey, typical, even boring… and amounts to just another action thriller that goes no place.

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, 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.  

GONE GIRL. (Prime Video Single) (87RT). Rosamund Pike never had it better than her role in this dissection of what’s behind or hidden in a marriage. Ben Affleck is her husband and Neil Patrick Harris is an ex who has never given her up. She disappears and the husband gets the blame. Whodunit is the theme and the ending will surprise many viewers Go for it.

POSSESSIONS. (HBO MAX SERIES). A very traditional Jewish wedding in Israel and just at the moment the beautiful French bride slices the wedding cake, the lights go out and the husband is bloody and dead. She’s helped in proving her innocence by a cross-eyed official from the French Consulate General’s office, which makes it all the more mysterious. After three episodes I’m still curious and watching.

KATLA. (NETFLIX SERIES) A volcano erupts in Vik, Iceland and strangers and family members who disappeared return covered with black ashes. How or why have they survived or did they survive? Great Iceland photography, fine acting, very original plot and views of Iceland’s volcano territory you probably have never seen. Go for it. (100RT)

FALSE POSITIVE. (HULU SINGLE) Pierce Brosnan goes against his James bond type character and is a pregnancy doctor/ fertility specialist. He supervises/controls one woman’s pregnancy and has a secret relationship with her husband. It’s controlling, creepy, and will keep you guessing about the truth until the end which was very disappointing. (52RT)

HOTEL COPPELIA. (HBO MAX SINGLE). There’s a civil war in The Dominican Republic in 1965. The hotel is really a brothel and the “girls” are strung out in many, many ways. The locals are fighting the war’s battles but the American troops take over and everything gets challenged, including loyalties. Odd plot gaps, not the greatest acting ever but watch it anyways.

PHYSICAL. (APPLE SERIES) Rose Byrne plays a 1980’s housewife with some very bad dreams. It’s a comedy, and so there’s a few laughs as she faces food binges, a miserable husband, some strange fitness classes and has trouble with reality.(63RT). What it really exposes is our obsessions with body weight, mental problems, even political residue. I don’t watch many comedies but definitely offers some funny moments, and some serious introspection. 

RUN. (HULU SINGLE). (88RT) You’ll experience a mother like no other in this internal horror story. A teen-aged daughter who can’t walk, has diabetes, paralysis and more, finally realizes that her mother is not what she believed she was. This terrifying story reaches a climax a bit later than you’d think, but it’s still worth watching.

SECURITY. (NETFLIX SINGLE) In an Italian beachside small town much like Santa Cruz, a young girl accuses a man of power and political holdings of rape. She has a father who is, or was, a pedophile. Complex, involving, and well directed, it’s a wakeup call to think about our own security including our CCTV cameras and iPhones.

LUPE. (HBO MAX SINGLE). A serious movie centered around and focusing on a transgendered young boxer from Cuba who comes to NYC looking for his sister. Much nudity, some odd moments of joking, all centered on a transgendered world. He thinks his sister may be prostituting herself, and he finds support from a prostitute friend of hers. Not the greatest film ever, but it’ll give you a chance to think about that transgendered world.

LUPIN. (NETFLIX SERIES). I critiqued this first series episodes a few months ago, and now that the New Yorker wrote such a laudatory piece about Omar Sy’s starring role I’ve watched many more episodes….and they’ll all good. A neatly-twisted robbery plot of Marie Antoinette’s necklace from the Louvre, there’s revenge, politics (French politics) and many, many Louvre scenes. The plot is complex enough to keep you glued to your viewing device for the two seasons so far. What is outstanding is that the acting is excellent and believable. Omar Sy is the “new” Black star, and has everyone talking about him and his fabulous acting style. This is one of the finest detective shows I’ve ever seen….don’t miss it. 

IN THE HEIGHTS. (HBO MAX) (96RT).The huge, lavish, much-talked-about musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda, who became famous doing Hamilton. I loved the classical musicals, both onstage like Oklahoma and South Pacific, and the classic Hollywood musicals like Wizard of Oz, Annie Get Your Gun, Gigi, West Side Story, White Christmas, Carmen Jones, Oliver and dozens more — but Heights didn’t touch any of those high standards. It’s the story of a young girl of Puerto Rican heritage who went to Stanford, and was subjected to racial prejudice. Does she go back to Stanford, does her boyfriend go back to his Dominican Republic home? Who did win the lottery at the very last minute and how?  Go for it IF you like musicals… because there’s way too much music and not enough plot in this one. 

TRAGIC JUNGLE. (NETFLIX SINGLE) Set in the very deep, dark jungles of Belize in the 1920’s – and the Mexican border – we watch the workers strip the trees of chicle to make chewing gum. Then there’s two teenage girls who switch identities, and one of them is a very haunting witch who drives and kills the workers one by one. The plot goes everywhere and overly complex. You’ll wonder where the story is going for about ¾ of the movie then after that, you won’t care.

PANIC. (AMAZON PRIME SERIES) A teenage high school action thriller that has mostly 20 and 30 year olds playing the parts. The “kids” create a (literally) death-defying night of dangerous stunts. It all happens in Carp, Texas (a fictional town) and some of the stunts are genuinely scary. Each episode ends right at the critical moment when the teen is about to do the stunt. You won’t learn anything, but you’ll stop thinking about masks for a while. (68RT) 

HERSELF. (AMAZON PRIME SINGLE). A distraught mother of two daughters splits from her abusive husband, and works hard to build herself a new house from ground up. So it’s her story, a very Irish story (filmed in Ireland) touching, heartfelt, well-acted, not too significant… but go for it. 

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July 5. 

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 5 

I WILL TRADE YOU ONE CREDIT UNION FOR A BOUTIQUE HOTEL.

Credit Union , Hotel NO!

The once-venerable Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) is planning to sell out, literally, to an hotelier. Is it because they have fallen on hard times? No, there are more members than ever. As of March of 2021 according to CreditUnions.com, the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union has 13,905 members and assets totaling $179.5 million with $135 million out in loans.  The original plan, which most members may have been down for, was to put affordable housing at their site, which is the building at the corner of Laurel and Front Street. This idea may have also kept a scaled down SCCCU office on the new site. Members (I am one) get it that the building is very large for the kind of banking that now goes on, but a hotel?!? You heard that right, and the city is even selling a couple of remnant parcels to the hotel group in order to help make the deal work. As crazy as this sounds, the sale seems to be nearing completion, but it is hard to tell, as President and CEO Beth Carr is being anything but transparent. She’s refused to turn over the meeting minutes from the annual membership meeting when requested by members. That meeting took place this past May. CEO Carr is also refusing to make public the details of the hotel swap. The only thing we know is that the deal is wending its way toward completion and may likely be sped up now that the pending sales cat is out of the bag. The nature of the deal originally was to be affordable housing for low and very-low income people, but now, it seems like they’ve found a New York hotelier who’s talking upscale “boutique” hotel. Yes, there is a local Simon Legree involved here who goes by the well-deserved title in this narrative as the Santa Cruz Fixer, none other than Owen Lawler. Because transparency is a problem, as it is in most for-profit real estate deals, I’m assuming the SC Economic Development Director, who’s not turned in her resignation just yet like so many others at city hall have already (City Manager, fire chief, and water, library, and finance directors), Bonnie Lipscomb, looked to Lawlor once again to cut a development deal for the city.

Stop the Sale
A group, calling itself something like, Please Don’t Turn the Credit Union into a Hotel, or Stop the Hotel for short, has now collected over 700 signatures from credit union members to force an emergency membership meeting. That meeting, according to the SCCCU’s by-laws, must be scheduled within 35 to 90 days by the board of directors for the credit union. Shortly after the signatures were turned in last week, a letter went out to members notifying them that an Emergency Board Meeting would take place, but with no time, place, or day disclosed. And to be clear, it was apparently to be a meeting of the board and not the membership. Again, is there a transparency problem at perhaps the largest membership organization, after Costco, in town? There is an on-line petition for credit union members-only to sign and it states in part:

“Such a sale is incompatible with the Mission, Vision, and History of the SCCCU. The SCCCU is a “member-owned…not-for-profit financial cooperative that promotes economic justice… [and] positive social and economic change… Our primary mission is to strengthen our community. We are environmentally conscious in all our practices.”

If you agree with that sentiment of this petition and are a member of the credit union, please sign the petition and also send CEO Carr a message at Beth.Carr@SCCCU.org  stating your disappointment in the board-proposed decision to sell the community credit union building to an outside hotel developer. This is the epitomal “11th Hour,” and Santa Cruzans have banded together to stop bad decisions before. This is clearly one of the I-can’t-believe-they-will-do-this! kind of projects that we’ve turned back before, ones including: the Dream Inn on steroids, 10,000 homes formerly planned for Wilder Ranch, and the Saving of the Pogonip for community open space. The growth machine is on the move in Santa Cruz and even though each of us have only 10 fingers to put in the endless dike holes, the community has thousands of fingers to stop the luxury condo projects and boutique hotels while advocating for affordable housing and human scale development that includes bike lanes, pedestrian areas, and more not less, public spaces. We can do this, but we can only do it together!

What I’m Listening To
On the MediaBob Garfield recently left the show, but Brooke Gladstone is one of the most competent and capable journalists NPR-like shows has to offer. They are always on the edge of breaking stories offering common sense insight and wry humor.

Le ShowHarry Shearer (voice of several Simpson’s characters) does a weekly comical news show…not unlike John Oliver’s HBO show, Last Week Tonight, but with more song and dance. At times, it is very funny.

Democracy NowAmy Goodman’s daily news show remains an anchor among progressive political news shows. She covers the cutting edge of progressivism, even if she leaves some of the democrats like Barack Obama and Joe Biden alone. She is still steady, consistent, and informative, like finding an old friend on a stormy day. Now that Trump is not around, Goodman should get back to naming names and calling out mainstream Dems for their narrow vision of what is possible.

John Miller, when he is doing Giants games, has one of the most soothing and knowledgeable voices around summer-time baseball. Listen to this all-star voice now because he’s getting on in years and might not be around much longer. Seems like he’s been doing the last three TV innings if you want to catch his act. He surely belongs up there with other mellifluous sports voices like Marv Albert, Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, Bill King, Ken Korach (A’s radio) and yes, Doris Burke (NBA). Kelenna Azubuike is an up and coming Warriors’ analyst who provides spirited and informed commentary, so watch out for him next season before another team scoops him up!

Shows on TV that I listen to once in a while, but are definitely worth a listen, are Rising with Crystal Ball, The Jimmy Dore Show, Dave Zirin‘s podcast, and The View because Whoopi Goldberg is that good.

“What other countries are doing and what we must do is make clear that taking care of children is one of our major priorities. The time is now to finally provide quality child care for all working families.” (July 3)

Now, after Taco Bell, Community TV, The Tampico Restaurant, and SC Glass have all been felled by these nasty mechanical beasts, the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (behind fence) on Front Street is at risk too. Will the community allow a boutique hotel to take its place?
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. Krohn was elected to the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. That term ended when the development empire struck back with luxury condo developer money combined with the real estate industry’s largesse. They paid to recall Krohn and Drew Glover from the Santa Cruz city council in 2019.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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July 5

STATE WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD DENIED SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT APPLICATION FOR PIPES TO CROSS UNDER THE SAN LORENZO RIVER
Because the Soquel Creek Water District Board is not transparent with the public regarding their expensive and potentially-risky PureWater Soquel Project, changes to and the status of the Project are always very murky.  Because of that problem and my great concern about the toxic nature of the effluent the Modified Project would send under the San Lorenzo River, I asked the State Water Quality Control Board staff the status of the District’s application to do so, submitted last August.  Here is his reply:

“I asked staff for an update on this project and learned that we issued a denial without prejudice on Sept. 11, 2020, because supplemental information we requested was not forthcoming. The District then withdrew its application because they changed their stream crossing methods enough so that they are not taking action in waters of the state. They are trenching either above a culvert through a roadway cover, hand mining below a culvert that is through a road, or are mounting the pipeline onto a pipe bridge. So the Water Board will not be involved in the permitting of the pipeline project.”

So, will the Water Board be examining any potential mitigations to prevent toxic effluent leaks from those pipelines crossing over the San Lorenzo River and the other multiple streams they will cross between the City’s Sewage Treatment Plant on California Avenue and Live Oak’s Treatment Plant?  

I asked, but no one responded.  The State Water Board staff was also unresponsive regarding my query as to what information the District failed to provide, hence compelling the denial of their permit application.

Maybe they will answer your letter.  Write Matthew Keeling: matt.keeling@waterboards.ca.gov  

THIS TREATED SEWAGE WATER INJECTION PROJECT HAS CHANGED, WITHOUT MITIGATIONS APPROVED BY DEPT. OF FISH & WILDLIFE
Soquel Creek Water District is now regularly changing the Project to inject treated sewage water into the aquifer that supplies drinking water for the entire MidCounty area, including Cabrillo College and several other private well owners and small water systems.  But they keep those changes quiet…for a bad reason.

Unless you know to watch the State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document Clearinghouse website, you would never know that Soquel Creek Water District has significantly changed the PureWater Soquel Project.  

[Public Portal to View Changes to EIR]

The real problem is that the District Board fails to let the public know that they are filing Notices of Determination to acknowledge significant changes to the expensive Project that will potentially cause significant and adverse environmental impacts, and often fail to clearly describe the full extent of the changes or analysis of their impacts.

One would never know by reading the multiple Resolutions the Board rubberstamps as agenda items that generally appear near the end of the meetings, and make no mention of posting further Determinations on the Project scope and impacts.  Doing so with transparency might alert people to legal opportunities to appeal the changes…the only action the general public has available.  

One would hope that the Board would be responsive to public comment and requests at the time of their meetings’ discussions, but sadly, they are an arrogant lot, and abuse and dismiss the concerns of the public.  

If you care about transparency to the public regarding the significant and adverse environmental impacts of the Modified PureWater Soquel Project changes, please write the Board<bod@soquelcreekwater.org> and ask that they improve public process.  Why didn’t the District’s glossy “What’s On Tap” newsletter to ratepayers mention any Project modifications?

PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE THIS WEEK ON THE PROPOSED NEW SEPTIC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS THAT WILL FORCE MANY TO PAY $50,000 – $80,000 TO INSTALL AND WILL AFFECT THE CZU REBUILD PERMITS
You have until July 11 to send your thoughts in writing regarding the County’s Draft Local Area Management Plan (LAMP) that will affect many who own rural property and/or want to rebuild after the CZU Fire.

Are there any exceptions to the LAMP standards for CZU properties? 

“Under current code and the LAMP, rebuilt properties must meet repair standards, or upgrade standards if they are adding more bedrooms. This allows for rebuilding even if a lot is substandard, but septic systems are required to meet repair standards for setbacks from streams, groundwater, etc. Most insurance policies provide funding for meeting new code requirements and that could be applied to the septic improvements. 

It is expected that the LAMP standards will go into effect upon adoption by the State Regional Water Quality Control Board, anticipated for October 15, 2021. Presently the State Tier 1 standards are in effect, which are similar or more stringent than the proposed LAMP standards. 

  • The LAMP is expected to take effect on October 15, 2021. The related code upgrades will be completed in 2022.”

Local Area Management Plan (LAMP)

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS IN RIGHT AWAY.

ATTEND THE VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EIR TO ALLOW SANTA CRUZ CITY TO EXPAND WATER SHARING RIGHTS
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Santa Cruz Water Rights Project has been released for a 45 day public review period from June 10, 2021 – July 26, 2021. Please visit the project’s environmental documents webpage to view the document and for information on how to comment on the Draft EIR.

Two public information meetings regarding the Proposed Project and Draft EIR will be held, and the content provided at both meetings will be the same.

  • Wednesday, July 14, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 PM.
  • Tuesday, July 20, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM.

Meeting log-in information will be made available on this webpage before the meeting.

Water rights control how the Santa Cruz Water Department operates. Because they were granted more than 50 years ago, they are out-of-date with current needs and lack flexibility that would ensure the Water Department can provide supply reliability, protect fish populations and partner with neighboring water agencies to improve regional water supply reliability. 

New!Guide to the Santa Cruz Water Rights Project (SCWRP)

Learn more…  

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC MEETING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE, AND JUST DO 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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June 29

#180 / Pruned? A Sad Story About Trees

I have previously written in this blog of my love for The Trees Of Santa Cruz. As I am walking around the city, I am taking pictures of especially notable specimens. If you click the link above, you can see a small sample of some of the lovely trees I have found as I have taken my walks. 

When I wrote my “Trees of Santa Cruz” blog posting, back on the last day of December, 2020, I noted that the City of Santa Cruz is not as protective of our heritage trees as I think it should be:

Santa Cruz is blessed with some very lovely trees, and from my point of view, the City doesn’t do enough to protect and preserve them. Hopefully, the tree photos that are displayed in this blog posting will help inspire local folks to make sure that we honor trees by insisting that property owners and developers preserve and protect the truly extraordinary ones. That is, actually, what the City’s “Heritage Tree Ordinance” is supposed to require. But too many loopholes have let too many property owners and developers chop down way too many trees. That is my opinion, at least, and this may be considered a bona fide editorial comment.

I am sorry to report that I can now confirm this judgment from my recent personal experience, since a nearby neighbor has just extirpated a magnificent black walnut tree, and has severely damaged a formerly lovely redwood tree, all for no especially good reason. This is, obviously, my personal view. Not everyone in the neighborhood saw it that way. Lots of people believe that “property owners” should be able to do whatever they want on their own property. Those who want to consider the “legalities” might want to read this book by Christopher D. Stone: Should Trees Have Standing?

In fact, the “legalities” do allow local governments to protect and preserve significant trees located on private property. But, of course, the local governments actually have to do that! As much as I deplore what that neighbor did, the responsibility for what I illustrate below is really on the City of Santa Cruz. The city’s Heritage Tree Ordinance is without strong standards, and the City Forester/Arborist is not an advocate for trees, but routinely acts as a facilitator for the desires of the property owner or the developer.

Here is what happened to the redwood tree (see the picture below). NO permit was obtained for what was done to this tree, and no penalty was imposed for what was done to this tree, either: 

Then there is that Black Walnut tree, no longer gracing my neighborhood. Here are the before and after pictures: 

There WAS A PERMIT allowing work to be done on the Walnut tree – but there was no permit for what was actually done to it. The permit was to “prune” the tree, which means “to cut off branches from a tree, bush, or plant, especially so that it will grow better in the future.” 

Extirpate has a different meaning: “to destroy completely: wipe out.” That is what happened to this heritage Black Walnut. 

The City Forester/Arborist was informed. 

No penalty was imposed.  

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

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

    Sand

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
~Rachel Carson 

“I ignored your aura but it grabbed me by the hand, like the moon pulled the tide, and the tide pulled the sand.”
~Talib Kweli 

“The sands bury everyone, with or without our help.”
~H.S. Crow

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Funny moms who have just had it…


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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com

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