Blog Archives

June 19 – 25, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…The City Council elections, UC campuses strike results, UCSC Student voting failure, the new Los Angeles, more on Brown Material road. GREENSITE…On PG&E tree appeal hearing. KROHN…No more parking garages, a nice library with a plaza, developers and inclusionary housing. STEINBRUNER…Zach Friend’s credentials, MidCounty Water Secrets, County Zoning Codes and legality, County budget hearings a must attend. PATTON…Chris Hedges and the Democrats. EAGAN…shows shipping news. DeCINZO…our housing problem. JENSEN…reviews Hearts Beat Loud movie. BRATTON…critiques On Chesil Beach, The Seagull, Incredibles 2, Hereditary, Tag, First Reformed, Hotel Artemis. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUESTS. QUOTES…on Trains and Railroads

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PACIFIC AVENUE, SANTA CRUZ 1969-70. The photo is captioned The Mall Era. Note The Tea Cup, Tom Cahills, Hotel St. George and Zoccoli’s. You can also see the freshly widened sidewalk (i.e. freshly narrowed avenue). The St. George had the first elevator in Santa Cruz.                                             

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

It’s more than just DeNiro’s courage it’s watching the entire Radio City Music Hall give him a standing ovation for saying it.That means an audience of 5,960 supported and encouraged DeNiro!!! Remember too that Trump can’t even go to a public baseball game or any free and open event without fear of getting Booed!

ANIMALS CAN BE JERKS. Yes I get really tired of all the cutesy animal clips but this one is different.
UCSC Caves at Porter College

DATELINE June 18, 2018

CITY COUNCIL ELECTION RUMORS. Like every year political Santa Cruzans wait, wonder, debate, ponder and eventually give up guessing on who’s going to run for our City Council. So far I’ve heard positive and solid promises directly from Justin Cummings and Drew Glover. We’ll wait and see. Filing dates for candidates begin July 16 and close August 10th in case you’re interested…and you should be.

UCSC AND THE RECENT STRIKE RESULTS. On my Universal Grapevine radio program June 12 UCSC Lecturer Maria Herrera and UCSC freshman and dining hall student service worker Alvaro Perez gave us a lot of background to the recent UC Campus wide strike. They talked about the frequent disdain that students have toward service workers. We talked about the lack of support the present students showed for the strikers. But we didn’t get to discuss the results of the strike. I asked Alvaro to send me his summary of what all the service workers at all the campuses won from their strike efforts. He sent… “There was no change from University strike. The UC agreed to adjust the price of benefits and pay the workers 12%-18% over 6 years. But what happened was the price of benefits increased and the workers were only paid 2% instead of the 3% the UC promised. Which is ironic because UC spent millions on extra police forces to maintain and control the strike. That was to make sure the strikes did  not harm the public or disturb the peace of the campus environment. The University could spend a couple of million extra on police rather than paying the workers”.

UCSC STUDENT VOTING. More than showing support for that strike UCSC students are also becoming less and less involved in caring about politics. Like recent miserable voting numbers for Santa Cruz citizens we see that there were 3500 students voting in 2016 and that it dropped down to 2300 in 2018. All this happening during the Trump regime we are enduring…what’s happening?

THE “NEW” LOS ANGELES. When I was living in Altadena (Pasadena) in the early 1950’s Los Angeles was a near circus. Having a couple of friends with open convertibles we could zip to Laguna Beach for a swim, race over to Long Beach for the amusement park, slowly crawl down Hollywood Boulevard to see sights…and I learned to drive on the Pasadena Freeway and in the Rose Bowl parking lot. Last week down there I stagnated in long highway jams, sweated in lines of cars stretching out of sight. You can’t get anywhere anytime in today’s Los Angeles. With just a few translations Santa Cruz is going through exactly the same transition.

BROWN MATERIAL ROAD. Last week I mentioned my curiosity about that road sign I saw on Route 46 heading to Victorville. Kind reader  Steve Premo sent this almost immediately …

“Your column got me thinking about Brown Material Road, which I pass by from time to time.  I’ve always wondered about that name, and just found an article that explains it.  It also explains Seventh Standard Road, which I’ve wondered about too. 

I won’t reveal it here….look it up, it’s funny…and true! 

June 18

TWO TREES MATTER

Want to take on PG&E? Want to save two lovely trees? Now is your chance. This Thursday June 21st, the city Planning Commission will hear my appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s decision to permit PG&E to fell the trees as part of their controversial so-called Pipeline Safety Initiative. If you’ve followed this issue you know that this project has nothing to do with the tragic San Bruno fire for which a federal judge fined PG&E the maximum and branded the utility a convicted felon; that 8 other cities and the county of Santa Cruz pushed back with legal opinion opposing this massive state-wide tree destruction project and the tree felling stopped or was greatly curtailed; that the city of Santa Cruz never agendized the issue for public comment, accepting PG&E’s assertions without dissent; that the city ignored environmental attorney Bill Parkin’s legal opinion that PG&E is subject to the local Heritage Tree Ordinance; that Ocean St. Extension neighbors unsuccessfully tried to stop the cutting down of 34 trees, some I hear were over a hundred years old. And so we are down to these two. They grow on Washington Street, a quiet back street near the first roundabout. One, a red flowering eucalyptus is pictured. The other is a magnolia.

At first it looked hopeful. The Zoning Administrator was interested in saving the red flowering eucalyptus and directed PG&E to submit a report detailing the feasibility of relocating the small section of underground gas transmission line in order to save the tree. PG&E failed to do so and the item was continued. At the last meeting PG&E submitted what is described in the current staff report as a “cursory analysis.” Simply put, PG&E claimed it would cost $9,000 per linear foot for the 170 feet of pipe, a cost which the Zoning Administrator concluded would create “an unreasonable burden” for PG&E. For its part, PG&E claimed that it would take years to complete the work with up to 40 workers a day on site. All that for 170 feet! I wonder what millions of dollars PG&E is spending daily on feel-good ads trying to regain its lost credibility? The feasibility of moving the pipeline was never addressed.

It’s easy to get lost in details. Despite pages of text and pages of arborists reports on the health of all the trees to be removed within the coastal zone, not a single trees’ roots has been examined to determine how close they are growing to the pipeline. Surely that is the issue here? Access for first responders is a non- issue on a city street. If there ever were a pipeline leak caused by a tree (never happened so far here or elsewhere) gas would be shut off and the tree could be quickly cut down in less time than it would take to get a back-hoe on site to dig up the street to access the pipe which is 3 feet underground. Despite PG&E’s commitment in writing to explore alternatives to tree felling, when pushed, they say that the method they offered to use is not an approved method. Then why offer it? Why not offer any number of reliable methods for examining tree roots? If the roots are shown as compromising the pipeline, I withdraw any further appeals. If they are nowhere near it, then let’s save the tree. Gas pipelines are not water lines. Tree roots don’t seek them out.  And in the unlikely event of roots in contact with a pipeline, there is research suggesting that they act as stabilizers in an earthquake. Washington Street is in an earthquake liquefaction zone so even if present, tree roots may be an advantage. Holding PG&E to its claim to want to preserve as many trees as possible is as slippery as an eel. Write, attend, stand-up for the trees! They need your voice since that they lack.

You can read the details in the staff report here

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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June 18

NO MORE PARKING GARAGES!
Death of the Great American Parking Lot (and Garage)
We are in a pitched battle locally. Did you know parking spaces are in search of library books? Will meter attendants unite with public internet users inside one monstrous structure? Can sheltered automobiles really coexist alongside sheltered humans in a public space poised bombastically atop the former Farmer’s Market site? Victory? Or is a remodeled and revamped 1968, now odd-looking building, the way to live within our municipal financial constraints? The great library-garage debate that’s been raging in town for months (some say years) was in overdrive this week as the city council held a planned public study session to decide whether we continue down the fossil fuel path, OR just say NO to any more $40k parking spaces. Will it be settled this week, or will the tin can of a “public works” project be kicked down Cedar Street, take a left on Church, and land all the way back onto city hall’s drought-tolerant landscaping? (Note: BrattonOnline deadline is Monday at noon, so I will have more next week.)


Twelve very mature trees mark the spot! This is where the proposed “library-inside-a-garage-atop-the-Farmer’s-Market” may go if the community does not speak up. What about an alternate vision? Library bounded by a town plaza that could be a permanent home for the Farmer’s Market…and NO five-story parking structure…I’m sure you have a dream too…please share it!

E-Vehicle Flies in the Ointment
Parking bureaucrats froth at the mouth over monuments to the internal combustion engine (revenue$, revenue$, revenue$). Hell, they will even fully embrace electric cars if they could charge them to park! Funny thing was, since 2002 the city’s parking department could not fine electric vehicle owners who parked in city spaces because the council back then was trying to incentive e-vehicle use. That ended in 2016. I guess because Santa Cruz suffers from an e-vehicle glut? No, but it appears to be petty backlash by the city parking Czars who felt they were losing revenue. They lobbied hard to get the meter money back from the elitists who drive Nissan Leafs, Chevy Bolts, Kia Soules, and BMW i3s. These cars currently sell for between $21,000 and $35,000 after federal and state rebates. And please, don’t even get the parking apparatchiks started on those pricey Teslas.

Going Extinct: Parking Garages or 8-Track Tapes? Parking Garages or Crystal Sets?
“The bottom line: We’re going to need much less space to store cars. Some cities are gearing up to take advantage of the shift…Urban parking lots are dead or dying, and how we use the curb is changing,” said Rich Barone, vice president of transportation for the Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.” (Pew report, Dec. 12, 2017)

Environmentalists, the scourge of public works departments everywhere, are leading the charge and visioning a different kind of library project. “Library Sí”, they say, “Parking garage no!” There is a definite not-too-green aspect of building and maintaining a behemoth parking structure for 650-plus cars. Once built this garage also further eliminates impervious surfaces, produces toxic run-off, and will displace numerous trees on the site. The future is about how to park less cars downtown, and more about pedestrian amenities, how to create multiple nexus points between downtown and the San Lorenzo River, and finally where to place more trees and benches. Can we implement Traffic Demand Management (TDM) strategies now and not after the proposed garage becomes reality? Maybe we can use the desal issue as a model. Remember, our community far exceeded all conservation measures recommended by city staff and we avoided building a desalination plant. Can we get enough people not driving a car to downtown and actually forgo this $35-$40 million cement mistake?

New Vision?
Here’s an idea. Yes, Santa Cruz deserves a nice library, a monument to intellectual curiosity, civic virtue, and community vision. What about this: Sell the existing library site ($3-5 million?), take the $23 million in library bond money, and the additional $5 million to relocate the Farmer’s Market that’s being contemplated (that’s about $33 million), and build a library fronted by a long-desired town plaza. The plaza could then be the permanent home for the Farmer’s Market, and at the same time we could preserve all 12 trees on the site of the current Lincoln and Cedar Street parking lot. In fact, why not have a contest? It could be very exciting. Have architects and builders submit plans. Tell ’em they have $33 million to build it, and no more. Voila, no five-story garage, no monument to the internal combustion engine, and no large structure overwhelming the neighborhood, and the 12 mature trees would be preserved. This is such a wonderful time to be having this debate. Just sayin’! The report that the city council received recently has a staff recommendation to relieve businesses of fees they currently contribute so that the city can provide downtown parking. But monthly fees to park in the various city-owned garages would nearly double in cost, going from $38 to $75. I support this increase, but only if the increased revenue goes toward paying for bus passes, Uber-Jump bike fees, and occasional Lyft rides for all downtown city workers. Also, downtown businesses have to make good on bus passes for their employees too if they are to be relieved of paying “parking deficiency fees.” (P.S. BTW, the real cost of providing a downtown parking space per month is more like $105 per month.)

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New way of thinking…what if instead of lamenting the loss of two parking spaces, we look at the nine bikes parked here and think, that’s 7 people not occupying other spaces, or worse, driving around looking for parking…that’s the revolution we’re talking about.

If you don’t love Bernie, you really must admire his principles though in not endorsing his son, Levi for a congressional house seat. He believes in his son, but rejects political nepotism. Bernie said, “I don’t believe in dynastic politics. He’s on his own… I’m sure he’s gonna do very well…” (June 7) https://cnn.it/2JnR7jh #CuomoPrimeTime What a dad!
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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June 18

THE “STATE OF DEMOCRACY” PANEL DISCUSSION TO INCLUDE SUPERVISOR ZACH FRIEND???
Thanks to the Register-Pajaronian, the public now knows about the June 29 “State of Democracy” panel discussion at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos at 7pm..  It is free and you can listen to national-level professional politicians, including Sam Farr, talk about the state of democracy in our fair land. 

What’s this???  County Supervisor Zach Friend is on the panel?  How can he pretend to care about democracy when he regularly treats the public with rude arrogance at public meetings, and refuses to hold any evening constituent hours or public meetings about major issues of concern?  The article lists quite an impressive bio for Supervisor Friend, but does not mention that he claims to have worked for the FBI for a number of years. Here is what he claimed to support in his first election in 2012

I can hardly wait to hear what golden words of wisdom he has to share.  I hope to see you there.  I wonder why the Santa Cruz Sentinel has published NOTHING about this?  Here’s the link to the Register-Pajaronian article.

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC HEARING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.   BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!

WE WILL NOT BE INVITING YOU TO ATTEND
The MidCounty Groundwater Agency, tasked with the job of developing a local sustainable groundwater plan for the State to approve by 2020, recently decided to form Ad Hoc Working Committees that are not obliged to follow the Ralph M. Brown Act.  That means no public notice of the meetings or their agendas need be observed. 

So, when I learned about these Committees being formed at a recent MidCounty Groundwater Agency Board Meeting this spring, I ASKED TO BE NOTIFIED, because I want to learn about the information presented and the process by which it will be used to formulate the local sustainable plan.  “Let me think about that,” was County Water Resources Director Mr. John Ricker’s public reply.  I followed up with a written request for notification with Mr. Ricker.

HERE IS JOHN RICKER’S REPLY:

“Becky,

I have given your request some consideration and consulted with the other managers. We will not be inviting you to attend the Ad Hoc working groups. The purpose of the groups is to assemble agencies, technical experts, persons with established experience in the topic at hand and Advisory Committee members to review technical information in some depth. The information will be organized and presented to the full Advisory Committee for their consideration in establishing management objectives relative to groundwater dependent ecosystems. You and other interested members of the public will have an opportunity to hear and comment on the information presented at that time, and again when it goes to the MGA Board. No decisions are being made by the Ad Hoc group.

As information is compiled, we will also be posting it on the website under the GSP Advisory Committee. I can let you know when information is first posted. 

Thank you for your continued interest in this process,

John. 

John Ricker
Water Resources Division Director
County of Santa Cruz – Health Services Agency – Environmental Health
701 Ocean St. Rm 312
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-454-2750
john.ricker@santacruzcounty.us
GSP Advisory Committee; Surface Water Working Group

Here is a list of the representatives that WERE invited:

  • NOAA Fisheries
  • GSP Advisory Committee
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • City of Santa Cruz
  • Resources Conservation District SCC
  • PV Water
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Friends of Soquel Creek
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Regional Water Management Foundation/MGA

Ms. Melissa Rohde (her name is mis-spelled on the website link), of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) presented a Groundwater Resource Hub science and tool program. 

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ATTEND AS MANY COUNTY BUDGET HEARINGS THIS WEEK (AND NEXT) AS YOU CAN
This week is full of Board of Supervisor hearings for the annual County Budget show.  Rest assured that most all of the deals and recommendations have long been worked out, but the public must be present to ask questions and hold these people accountable.

Take a look at the agendas and do what you can.  Call Supervisors at 454-2200 or e-mail them at this template: first name.last@santacruzcounty.us http://santacruzcountyca.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx?View=Calendar

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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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FROM GARY A. PATTON  From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…
June 16
#167 / The Coming Collapse


Chris Hedges is “a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best selling author, a former professor at Princeton University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 11 books.” That description comes from Hedges’ Truthdig column, which I read on a regular basis. You can subscribe for free, and I recommend you do so. 

The illustration at the head of this blog posting comes from Hedges’ May 20, 2018, column, entitled, “The Coming Collapse.” While our president is pictured, the focus of the column is the Democratic Party, not Donald Trump. Hedges argues that the Democratic Party has failed the country:

The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.

Hedges also warns us that what lies ahead is a major financial collapse that may transform what Hedges calls “inverted totalitarianism” into the real thing.

The “antidote?” Hedges’ prescription is one I endorse, too:

We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town.

The idea that genuine “self-government,” based on local efforts, is the only kind of government that can withstand and defy tyranny and totalitarianism, is exactly what political philosopher Hannah Arendt always argued. Arendt wrote a book called The Origins of Totalitarianism, and another book called On Revolution.   

In my opinion, it’s going to be one thing or the other. 

We decide!

Gary 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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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Reminds us of the reality of housing and our libraryissue. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Ship Storm” 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.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART CONCERT. This free concert that happens every third Thursday at the endangered Main Library in downtown Santa Cruz is titled “A Gathering of Old Favorites” it features Lynn Kidder, piano. She’ll play

Sonata in C, K.159,  L.104  Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) 
Adagio sostenuto, from Sonata in c# minor. “Moonlight” Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Clair de Lune, from Suite Bergamasque      Claude Debussy (1862-1918)  
Traumerei, from Kinderszenen, op 15    Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Nocturne in Eb, op 9 #2     Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Etude in E, op 10 #3     Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) 
Allegro, from Sonata in D, K.576       Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 
Ballade #1 in g, op 23      Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Prelude in g minor, op 23 #5        Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

That’s  Thursday, June 21st, 2018 from 12:10 – 12:50 at the Santa Cruz Public Library

Downtown Branch – Upstairs Meeting Room-and it’s free remember. Get there early.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “A single dad and his teenage daughter make music together in the winsome, upbeat Hearts Beat Loud, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). In more Beastly news, feast your eyes on the fabulous foil cover of my first hardcover copy of Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge. Compare it to the new audiobook cover (just out from Audible.com), and celebrate only one more month to publication with my Beast of the Month for June!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

ON CHESIL BEACH. It left Santa Cruz in less than a week. I usually wouldn’t say much about a film you missed but this was in the class of great and excellent classic tragic love stories.  Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howe are the sad history- controlled lovers in the summer of 1962 that go to Chesil Beach which is in Dorset in Southern England. It’s a case study in a relationship. Many solid laughs, tears and a story that will wring your heart. Try extra hard to see it…somehow. Maybe Netflix?

FIRST REFORMED. With Ethan Hawke as a minister Amanda Seyfried as the  pregnant wife of a protester and a 97 on Rotten Tomatoes you know the film is going to gnaw at your brain, nerves, heart, and especially your memory for days…or longer. You might say it’s religion versus the environment, the power structure versus god, and a very real test of your loyalty. No laughs, again it’s more like a Greek Tragedy…well worth your time, don’t miss it. It takes place in Snowbridge, New York which must be someplace near Buffalo.

HERIDITARY. It genuinely earned 91 on RT!!! Toni Colette and Gabriel Byrne control the screen, the plot and all your attention is this shockingly scary horror film. It features séances, ghosts, and grave scenes and no cheap power saws or trite Hollywood tricks. This film is genuinely scary and you’ll remember it long after you leave the theatre.

THE SEAGULL. Chekov’s Russian plays are way too deep, too intense and contain very little action to adapt into movie form. One critic wrote that more than 500 of Chekov’s plays and short stories have been made into movies. In this version some of our very best actors do their best to depict complex love affairs and family relationships. Annette Bening, Brian Dennehy, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Ross, and Mare Winningham  are at their best but the film is disjointed, awkwardly edited, and hard to follow.

INCREDIBLES 2. I liked Incredibles 1. Now Pixar/Disney has shifted to centering on Mrs. Incredible as a Wonder Woman who goes through numerous violent bloody battles against the one concept I thought was funny…the evil Screenslaver. Very little of the original charm, family stuff, human frailties, it’s another cutesy version of the Marvel Comics blockbusters.

HOTEL ARTEMIS. Jodie Foster is only 56 years old but she plays a wrinkled, tubby, aged illegal nurse in this horrible violent, killing, bloody mess of a movie. To see Foster sink this low to get a paying role in anything says something about Hollywood. It’s supposed to be Los Angeles in the future but nowhere near a s classy as Blade Runner. Mostly cheap FX and studio shots. A waste of your time.

TAG. Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner are two fine serious actors. This worthless mess of a comedy wastes their talents and doesn’t try near enough to be funny. We are supposed to believe that 5 guys actually play TAG from grade school all the way into what passes as adulthood. I couldn’t figure why the audience was laughing even a little bit until I saw that each of the “stars” have television comedies of their own… and this movie tries to capitalize on that. I wouldn’t go if I were you.

RBG. This nicely-done documentary tells us a lot more than has ever been made public before. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) is a surprisingly quiet, shy woman. It reminds us that Bill Clinton got her the job as Supreme Court Justice: oddly enough it does not remind us that Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the court. See this film. It’ll give you hope that you can fight against the odds. It’s been packing ’em in for weeks at the Nick, and it deserves it.

ADRIFT. All boat loving Santa Cruzans will have to see this “true” Hollywood yacht survival story starring Shailene Woodley. She plays a 24 year old boat nut in 1983 who meets a guy and they set sail from Tahiti to San Diego. Big storm (hurricane) masts break, sails gone and she stays alive for 6 weeks. It’s pretty good even with annoyingly placed and many flashbacks but everyone I talked to about it, me included, noticed that Shailene Woodley never lost her eyeliner and Hollywood eyelashes in all that time but did get appropriately dirty, frazzled, and whipped. The woman who lived it and wrote the book actually did go right back on boats and is still sailing even as we read!!! Don’t spend your last $10 on it.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 71 on RT. Sure Han Solo and Chewbacca get their histories told in this 2 ½ hour long pointless and nearly plotless cornball saga. So are Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke (without her silver hair). It saved tons of production money but it is also the darkest movie I’ve ever tried to see. I mean everyone is in the dark all the time. I swear that most of the time you can NOT see their faces, expressions or planetary make-up. The plot is meaningless. It has absolutely none of the charm, humor, or depth that the early Star Wars films had. It’s not worth going to any trouble to see unless you are THAT much of a fan.

DEADPOOL 2. Ryan Reynolds again plays Deadpool and any movie goer knows that this is another Marvel Comics CGI fantasy. Marvel Comic movies are as difficult to understand and accept as watching a Butoh or Kabuki play. The first Deadpool movie was violent, full of in-jokes, and Deadpool 2 is in the same mold. Ryan Reynolds adds a little humanity to his character which sets these films apart from the other Marvel Comic sagas. But only attend IF you understand how these super hero flicks work.

AVENGERS: AN INFINITY WAR. I am trying with enormous difficulty to like, enjoy understand Marvel Comics blockbusters. It is an entirely separate category of movies centering on comic books and graphic novels. I came of age reading Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel’s first issues in the early 40’s and still these movies go beyond my comprehension. They are the world’s number one money makers, The special effects, the blood, killings, raccoons piloting  spaceships just fly beyond my senses. One critic stated that there are 73 main characters in this latest chapter. This is apparently a near perfect Marvel Comic blockbuster. You’re on your own here and it’s two and a half hours long.

THE BOOK CLUB. It’s nearly painful to watch these four “actors” Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candace Bergen faking it through a very unfunny comedy. Ranging from their early 60’s through Fonda’s age of 80 they get absolutely no chance to show their considerable acting skills. The script is amateurish, the directing and the photography is embarrassing. This movie doesn’t make it on any level…don’t go. Some friends have told me that it’s a good “chick” film, but that’s mean and is sexist isn’t it?  

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UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. June 19 has Lisa Robinson from the San Lorenzo Valley Museum and author  Jody BiergielCoclough describing their current exhibits and future plans. After Lisa, Julie Thayer will update us on the PG&E versus our trees battle.  Jane Mio discusses our river system and what’s needed to protect it first on June 26. She’s followed by Gillian Greensite talking about the many problems and issues she keeps track of and acts against…or for. Jumping to July 10, Lisa Jensen will be talking about her book “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” and her Bookshop book signing. Ellen Primack of The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music discusses it on July 17. July 24 has Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi CEO of Sutter Health Santa Cruz and Pres.of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz talking about medical issues and developments. On August 7 Dr. Shawna Riddle of PAMF talks about staying healthy. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

A legend, right here among us! Tom Noddy (the bubble guy) was at the Live Oak Library this weekend.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. TRAINS & RAILROADS

“Know how to travel from your town to a nearby town without a car, either by bus or by rail”. Marilyn vos Savant
“This is absolutely bizarre that we continue to subsidize highways beyond the gasoline tax, airlines, and we don’t subsidize, we don’t want to subsidize a national rail system that has environmental impact”. Joe Biden
“…what thrills me about trains is not their size or their equipment but the fact that they are moving, that they embody a connection between unseen places.” Marianne Wiggins
“Through the dark night chasing the morning light
That headlight streaming white through the night” Richard L. Ratliff


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) 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
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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