Blog Archives

June 21 – 27, 2011

SANTA CRUZ HAS JAMES DURBIN, DAVENPORT HAS LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI. (L to R in photo from Saturday June 18, 2011) Rita Bottoms, Tom Bottoms, Marcia McDougal, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bruce McDougal, Kim Kempke (La Sirena mgr.) and Me. This was taken inside the La Sirena Antique Shop in downtown Davenport last Saturday. Read on for details.

photo credit: new historical photo courtesy Kim Kempke

Additional information always welcome: email


Former Head of Special Collections at the UCSC University Library, and now author Rita Bottoms plus her artist-husband Tom brought their old (92) friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti (read about Ferlinghetti if you are new ) to the positively marvelous and unique La Sirena Antiques & Gifts Shop (READ ABOUT La Sirena if you’ve never been there ) last Saturday. Shop owners Bruce and Marcia McDougal knew Lawrence from The Davenport Cash Store , that they once built and owned, when he’d stop by on the way to his cabin in Big Sur. I knew him from San Francisco 1950-60 days when our Goodtime Washboard 3 trio played across the street from his City Lights bookshop at the Purple Onion and down the block at the Hungry i. We laughed, reminisced, lied, and forgot a lot together about books, show biz, and Rita Bottoms’ new book “Riffs & Ecstasies” which is so far only for sale at La Sirena. Ferlinghetti’s doing very well for being 92…damn, he’s doing well for being 65!!!


? . H A P P Y . ?

I found this rose on somebody’s page…any other examples of this “art”? Send them in and we’ll print them…please?

FERLINGHETTI & THE BOTTOMS. Rita told me she and Tom knew Lawrence F. from meeting him in Warren, Ohio when they were there for the Kenneth Patchen Festival. (Wikipedia says about Patchen… “One of Patchen’s biggest literary supporters was the novelist Henry Miller who wrote a long essay on Patchen, entitled Patchen: Man of Anger and Light in 1946.[7] Patchen also had a close, life-long friendship with the poet E.E. Cummings that began when they were both living in Greenwich Village in the 40’s.[8] Later, in the 1950s, Patchen became a major influence on the younger Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Dick McBride[9] who visited Patchen when they were in California, participating in the West Coast literary scene”). Anyway, after that Lawrence took Rita to his almost secret art studio. Hardly anyone even knew he worked at painting. Rita loved his paintings and created the first show of his paintings at UCSC!!! It launched his art career and they’ve been buddies ever since. Also at Davenport fun fest was Giada Diano and her mom Maria Grazia from Italy. Giada was and is, Lawrence’s biographer and her book on him is selling very well in Italy…it’ll be translated here soon. A photo catalog of his paintings was done by our very own R.R. Jones, and I’ll let you know where you can see that when I find out. Rita has just begun taking her “Riffs & Ecstasies” book to local bookstores. La Sirena carries it, and even after a quick browse I can tell you it’s one hell of a piece of work.

PAUL DRAGAVON DIED LAST SATURDAY .Claire Braz-Valentine sent an email Monday am. saying our very long time friend Paul Dragavon died Saturday. He’d been doing chemo and blood changing things for a few years. Luckily he was here for his 76th grand birthday party last April 3. We all got together in Soquel’s Blue Ball Park and guessed this was his last birthday. Aside from being a nearly perfect human he was a speech therapist for the county and even a member of The Santa Cruz City Parks Commission. He ran for City Council once, but never mind about that. To say he’ll be missed, doesn’t come close.

WHOLE FOODS PARKING LOT. Ralph Davila found this piece. Very apropos.

PARKING AT BURGER KING (CONTINUED). John Thomas replied to Dean Quarnstrom’s letter last week…” I wanted to respond to Dean Quarnstrom’s letter about the parking at Burger King. First of all I want to make it clear I have no connection or special interest in regards to Burger King. I am a local business owner that has a business that was once located downtown. I had two designated parking spaces that were clearly and legally marked for the use of my business only. The sign indicated that non-patrons would be towed at their expense. Other nearby businesses did not have enough or any designated parking for their own business. A large percentage of people that had their cars towed from our parking spaces acted like the biggest victims in the world. It’s as if the sign meant nothing or that they were invisible when they parked there. (They were eye level when you pulled into the space.) I never split a fee with the tow company and I suspect that kickbacks might be illegal. I’d like to see the money trail before I believe that part of the story. Tri-County Towing has been around quite a while and do have rules to follow in regards to towing cars off of private property. If Burger King has their parking lot properly signed, what are they doing wrong? Who pays for the repair of their asphalt? Not Staff Of Life. Agree or disagree with their business, they pay for the maintenance and privilege of having parking spaces for their customers, not Staff Of Life’s customers. I doubt very much that they reap any reward from Staff Of Life’s customers. I can’t really picture someone buying their organic produce and soy milk and then popping over to Burger King for a Whopper. Who’s really the bad neighbor here? Why is it when people choose to ignore signs that say they will be towed, that they are the victim when they are towed? I just thought the other side of the story should be shared. John Thomas

ELERICK’S INPUT. Highway widening – the plot thickens

Our Regional Transportation Commission holds a second monthly meeting they call a Transportation Policy Workshop (TPW). All agendas are published in advance, but this meeting is never televised, as is the monthly RTC meeting. Since the TPW is an extension of the RTC’s regular meeting it should be on Community TV.

The latest to come to light at the last TPW was that the Federal Highway Administration would not approve a final environmental document for the HOV lanes project, given the high costs, until a committed source of funding is identified. Somebody should have reviewed the RTCs own 2010 Regional Transportation Plan that was based on paying for the HOV lanes project by passing at sales tax measure in 2012! Obviously this isn’t going to happen.

However the FHWA and RTC reps are now talking about a “2-tiered” document, this being after FHWA reminded our RTC’ers of a “10-year rule”. This surprised many on the RTC, not being aware of such a rule. It’s also was not clear exactly what has to happen within 10 years. The RTC staff, however, is proposing a course change that would allow the continued piecemeal widening of the highway to State Park Dr. Funding for this stretch would come at the expense of other transportation projects in the County, but exactly what would be sacrificed wasn’t made known. Stay tuned for the next RTC meeting in August, when staff promised to reveal this information, along with more detailed costs. The next SCCRTC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the Scotts Valley City Council Chambers, 1 Civic Center Dr, Scotts Valley. The next Transportation Policy Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9:00 am at the Watsonville City Council Chambers, 275 Main St., Watsonville. (Paul Elerick is thechair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , chair of the Transportation Committee of the Santa Cruz Group Sierra Club. and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says that the Soquel Creek Linear Park will be discussed. Read here for info on that park . Then he talks about changes and possibilities dealing with 41st avenue, which we should all care about. The Monterey De-sal forum was cancelled last week. Read here for details. The RTC is still wheeling and dealing to widen Highway 1 in spite of the losing of funds. And lastly there’s talk about re-building the old bridge in Pinnacles State park.

(Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365” )


VINTAGE DE CINZO.The new travel urge hasn’t changed much …scroll below

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Knee deep in promises, promises and politics. Scroll below.

IF FACEBOOK WERE REAL LIFE.Think about your latest entry OR your best reason NOT to do Facebook then open this link

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s weekly article is titled, “Realism and Need Shape Cuba Policy in Cuba”. He says, “After more than half a century some myths need dispelling about U.S.-Cuba relations and Washington’s demand for “changes.” On the Cuban Revolution Ernest Hemingway said: “I think the people [of Cuba] now have a decent moment and I don’t believe that they ever had one before. (“Lo que dice el novelista Hemingway,” Noticias de Hoy, January 25, 1959). In Washington, Hemingway’s description amounted to naïve idealism, tolerating unacceptable behavior from an upstart bunch of rebels. Hemingway, however, lived in Cuba, and understood what the State Department feared. Fidel and company took independence and social justice seriously. To accomplish these agenda items, Cuba began to treat U.S. properties disrespectfully (real estate, agribusiness, utilities and telephone and banks). Read it all here…

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


LISA JENSEN LINKS. This June week of Online Express (, Lisa says, ” welcome summer (at last!), and summer produce with a fabulous new farmer’s market poster from one of Santa Cruz’s favorite printmakers. Also, let’s talk about the ambitious new Terence Malick film, The Tree Of Life, and why it grows on you. (Hint: it’s not nearly as scary or complicated as you might think.) Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

PRODIGAL DICKMEYER. Dan Dickmeyer temporarily left his new digs in Canada and was shopping around here last week. He says that Vodka and all booze in Canada sells for stupendously high prices…like $55 per bottle!! There’s one movie theatre on the island he lives on, and he’s trying to get some good films to screen up there. We discussed the numerous changes to Pacific Avenue, and how much he misses the place.

TWO CELLOS PLAYING.Sort of like Kronos Quartet’s Blue Haze.. remember?

TREE OF LIFE, MORE ABOUT.There’s more humanity, wit, genius, compassion and understanding in almost any 5 minutes of a Charlie Chaplin film than in all of Malick’s Tree Of Life. I defy anyone including Malick to tell us what the point, message or moral of the film was. And on top of that almost any filmmaker in the world could have told it more honestly, quickly, more beautifully and without the dinosaurs than Malick did. I stated last week, if you missed it…” This piece of pap from Terence Malick is just about the most foolish, pretentious, ultra cosmic, sermon, Hallmark -TEDx piece of junk ever filmed. Maybe TEDx people will like it, or Rosicrucian’s, or Scientologists but don’t go whatever you do. Paul Lee told me that Malick was his philosophy student at Harvard and later worked at The New Yorker. I thought Malick’s Badlands and The Thin Red Line were very good films but like Tree of Life his The New World was just as hyped and ego driven.

TEDx AT CABRILHO COLLEGE. I should have made it clear last week that I walked out of TEDx at Cabrilho College last week after not being able to stomach more that the first three “presenters”. Why did I walk out??? See the Tree of Life scathing in previous paragraph…same reasons.

THE TROLL HUNTER.Apparently the Norwegian director now claims this is a comedy, I’m guessing that since it doesn’t come close to being the scary works like Blair Witch or Paranormal he’s copping out. It doesn’t have many intended laughs either. Forget about it. Except that the Trolls actually do look unintentionally funny(the little bit you can actually see them).

GREEN LANTERN.One of the worst of the Marvel hero films. Just about insulting and condescending. And it’s pointless, poorly scripted, and no fun… even in 3D. Of course it’s #1 at the box-office…which proves my point.

OTHER FILMS. Go see Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, The Double Hour, L’Amour Fou, Incendies, Bill Cunningham N.Y. and for sure Cave of Forgotten Dreams even in 2D.

FROZEN DEAD GUY FESTIVAL. Judy Primavera sent this New York Times gem…”Celebrating the mortal remains of an 89-year-old Norwegian named Bredo Morstoel, whose body became stranded here in 1993, is already a big local economic engine. Upward of 20,000 people came this year over a three-day weekend in early March to mark its 10th year and its packed agenda — the coffin races, the parade of hearses, the crowning of an Ice Queen and the not-to-be-missed frozen salmon toss. Mr. Morstoel, or so local lore has it, died in 1989. His body, already frozen, was brought to Nederland by a family member who dreamed of opening a cryogenic-body-storage-in-the-mountains business. Local officials subsequently found two frozen bodies, including Mr. Morstoel’s, in the family’s possession and outlawed the practice of storing dead bodies. One of the bodies was relocated, but Mr. Morstoel’s was allowed to stay. The entire NY Times story here..

CLEAN OUR SHORES ON THE FOURTH. Plan now for this much needed tradition…Join Save Our Shores on beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties to
reach out to visitors about taking their trash home with them off the beach. We will be walking the beach and offering guests their own trash bag so they can pack their trash. Join us in Santa Cruz County at Seacliff/Rio Del Mar State Beaches, Moran Lake Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach, Seabright State Beach, and Main Beach/Cowell Beach; and
in Monterey at Del Monte/ Monterey Municipal Beach at Wharf #2. For more information, contact

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are on “blog”) at WWW.KZSC.ORG. Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams will discuss their new book, “The New Universe and the Human Future. Then Pat Matejcek will bring us up to date on environmental issues. I’ll be in San Francisco for Wagner’s Ring Cycle on June 28, so it’ll be a re-play of Grey Hayes discussing his take on wetlands and land use problems, followed by Winifred Frick talking about bats. Ellen Primack details this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music on July 5th followed by a return of Anita Monga of the now legendary San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Shary Farr (of the Carmel Farr family) talks about elders, death, dying and positive preparation on July 12 after that author, historian, Geoffrey Dunn will tell us all about “The LIES of Sarah Palin”, (his newest book) and her latest breaking news. Michael Warren will give us an in depth Shakespeare Santa Cruz preview on July 19 and Sue Heinz will return to tell us even more about Tarot, The Qabalah, and of course astrology on that same program. July 26 has Sean Van Sommeran talking about our shark neighbors. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

QUOTES. “A publisher would just as soon see a burglar in his office as a poet”, H. de Vere Stacpoole. “If you can’t annoy somebody there is little point in writing”, Kingsley Amis. “James, why don’t you write books that people can read?”,Nora Joyce.


Deep Cover

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on June 21 – 27, 2011

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