Blog Archives

June 26 – July 2, 2013

RAINY DAY AT SEABRIGHT AND SOQUEL STREETS.I’d guess at the date of this photo but car enthusiasts (like Paul Elerick) can, and I hope will tell us what year (years?) this could be. But I do know that second car is a Studebaker.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

ROARING MOTORCYCLES IN DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ. From last week’s column…”Considering all the complaints about how offensive panhandling is why doesn’t our City Council direct the Santa Cruz police to ticket those really offensive non-muffled motorcyclists that roar up Pacific…especially on weekends when the tourists are here. Why don’t they ticket that stand up tubbo on the 2 wheeled scooter with the phoney chromed twisted exhaust pipe? These deviants create far more pollutants and bad vibes than any panhandlers. Lets see some action here…this is a decades old problem. Out City Council has never addressed it”. Lee Quarnstrom erstwhile reporter and columnist for decades in our County replied, “About 20 years ago, for my column in the Mercury News, I asked a Santa Cruz cop why officers don’t write tickets for exceeding noise standards when obnoxious Harley-Davidson drivers roar down the street. His answer: “Most police officers either own a Harley-Davidson, have owned a Harley-Davidson or want to own a Harley-Davidson. That’s why.”

Then former Santa Cruz city council person and Mayor Chris Krohn emailed, “I am definitely with you on muffling the motorcycles. My bro had a bike for years. He even went to the famous Harley gathering in Sturgis, Utah. He says it is DEFINITELY an enforcement issue. Every one of those loud bikes has been modified and usually against the law. He believes police in general are sympathetic to these loud Harley bikes and riders. And, in defense of the council I was on…we definitely talked about these loud machines. Even got that irrelevant NO loud motorcycles sign put out there at the head of the mall near Tampicos…does anyone pay attention? No, but I thought once you had the sign up then you can enforce. Police used to say they needed a sound meter to record the decibel level…I think they can cite if the motorcycle has been modified…but I would check that”.

We need to realize that these loud bikers hit Pacific Avenue almost always on weekends, when most of our “visitors” are here. It’s like Hollister and Hells Angels back in the day. Regarding the sound meter recordings, why don’t the police site with probable cause and force the offenders to report to the police station? The nuisance alone would end this needless insult and offending destruction of our Downtown environment that locals and tourists love so much. Get on it…City Council!!!

SAFEWAY IN APTOS UP TO OLD TRICKS.You can just tell that the Aptos Safeway developers are up to their old tricks. They’ve stopped talking (and pretending to listen to) the businesses next door that will be the most affected. No news on any existing leases. And just like they did when they built the monster store on Mission Street they have really junked up the Aptos store. Signs and ugly banners everywhere, crowding the aisles with large end caps, stashing boxes and product way too high along the aisles. I didn’t check the lighting at Aptos Safeway but on Mission Street they would let the fluorescent lights burn out and not replace them to add to the “We need a New and much larger Store” pitch. It’s corporation power at its worst. You’d think that Charles Eadie, their local “face man” would have more community pride than to let Safeway pull these tricks all over again. I’m also betting that we’ll see the same thing happen at the Morrissey-Soquel Safeway site once the lease battle with the Staff of Life’s old site owner is settled.

COUNCIL CAMPAIGNERS UP TO OLD TRICKS TOO.More bets are possible that Michael Bethke is plotting, planning and hoping to get the Lynn Robinson backers when her term is up in November 2014 . Hilary Bryant and David Terrazas terms end then too.

APTOS ACADEMY CLOSING.The Academy has been open since 1994, and recent news has it that it’s closing. Now we’ll never find out the connections it has or had with Scientology. Director Shea Pase, Doctor Duncan McCollum and all those Academy connected folks rarely mention their Scientology links.

TOP TEN BRAD PITT MOVIES. World War Z certainly isn’t one of them

ADJUSTING MAH AND COOPER STREET RUMORS.I wrote this last week… “Whatever grant it was that MAH applied for to revivify Abbott Square isn’t happening. Plans to create a spouting play around fountain and to add a deck around the Octagon Lulu’s aren’t occurring either. Nor will plots to make Cooper Street a pedestrian walk-around space happen. Geez!!!” That was last week!!!

This week MAH director Nina Simon replied, “The Abbott Square project is very much ON – we just didn’t get the first grant that we applied for to support the design/build. We just completed the concept plan and we are psyched to raise money to make it happen over the next couple of years. We are also working closely with the City to get some of the artistic pathway elements that affect Cooper Street started as soon as possible. It’s true that we did not receive the money to accelerate the project, but it is still absolutely happening and so far, happening on schedule. Because the Abbott Square report is very large, you can download it from the web at this link .I’m excited about how this report captures the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish in Abbott Square, while highlighting the opportunities to layer in powerful artworks and creative experiences.

Because of my impending baby, I expect it will be the fall before we jump back into action and fundraising to make this vision a reality. Thanks for your continued interest in the project. Please feel free to get in touch with me anytime you want to know where things are at”, Nina. Well, that’s great news and it just shows you just never know!!!

THE BIG DEBATE.The main issue locals have to decide is…was our 2013 summer on Wednesday or Thursday this year??

MICHAEL BRYANT RETIRING FROM KZSC. KZSC 88.1 fm won’t be the same after Michael Bryant retires as station manager in June of 2014. He continues to pull off miracles in dealing with the 100’s of students, the UCSC admin, and us “community member” programmers. He’s sort of a cross between Mother Theresa and Steve Jobs and replacing him ain’t gonna be easy.


MORGUE NEWS, or WHERE’S THE MORGUE? (from last week) Speaking of Universal Grapevine… Sheriff Phil Wowak was my guest a few weeks ago. In researching for the show I realized our Sheriff is also our County coroner. So I asked him (I didn’t know) if we have a morgue? If so where is it? Since hearing his answer I’ve asked several friends….no one knew about any local morgue….do you know about any local morgue? ANSWER…many folks sent in guesses, answers, and more questions. The truth is that yes we do have a county morgue. It’s over in the Emeline Avenue County Complex.

A SURE WINNING BET.Speaking again of Universal Grapevine…on last week’s program Joe Jordan of Sky Power Institute either reminded or informed us that…THE EARTH IS CLOSER TO THE SUN IN THE WINTER. Check it out, and then go win big bucks from your friends at the bar.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick went to Michigan on vacation for a few weeks.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Monterey County’s land use issues, and a possible new Business park. Then he says, “I would like to make a report on two meetings being held Thursday day and evening in Santa Cruz. One is about the Ocean Plan and one is about the Ocean Street Plan. The topics are quite different, and only one of the meetings is open to the public.

If you care about the future of land uses along the Ocean Street corridor in the City of Santa Cruz (and I hope lots of people do care about that) you should consider showing up at the meeting of the Santa Cruz City Planning Commission, scheduled to begin at 7:00 o’clock Thursday evening at the Santa Cruz City Hall. On the agenda is consideration of the Draft Ocean Street Area Plan and a Local Coastal Program amendment, calling for the development and improvement of the Ocean Street area. The intention of the Ocean Street Area Plan is to create a more welcoming environment along Ocean Street, which is the main entrance to Santa Cruz for visitors from over the hill, and particularly those bound for the beach. According to the City staff, there won’t be any environmental impacts! The “Ocean Plan” is something else. It is a state-adopted plan intended to protect water quality in our marine environment. Today, representatives of the State Water Resources Control Board are meeting at UCSC, in a meeting not open to the public, to discuss possible amendments that could regulate and/or facilitate desalination facilities. I will keep you posted when any formal Ocean Plan amendment is proposed”. Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts

(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.More serious than sex, De Cinzo shows us genuine horror. Scroll down wards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan dares to depict SCANDAL in our political system…see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa writes: “Say hello to summer this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, get nostalgic for the drive-in movie culture of yore, and watch what happens when Shakespeare meets screwball comedy in the entertaining new Joss Whedon film “Much Ado About Nothing“. Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THE BLING RING.I believe that Sofia Coppola has directed much more of a film than most viewers and critics are seeing. The film is based on a true story of young Hollywood teens robbing celebrity homes. They rob Paris Hilton’s palace and Lindsay Lohan’s place and have a great time doing it. They fool their parents, the police, and have created an exciting and very unique, creative life style. The audience of young teens that I saw the film with, I’m sure watched it as a “How To” lesson and envied how much fun the actors were having. It’s a deep and well done comment on part of our culture, go for it by all means; it’s a very good movie.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY.It was cool to see my old UC Berkeley campus buildings in this latest Pixar flick. It has Stanford scenes too but it certainly isn’t up to Pixar’s high standards of film making. It’s boring, but Pixar has succeeded in that computer generated challenge of how to make hair or fur look real…it may be overdone but it’s clever. The plot of teaching ways to scare kids runs very thin in minutes but damn, Pixar animation techniques especially in 3D look more real than real does!!!

WORLD WAR Z.As luck would have it, I had an echo cardiogram and saw this movie on the same day. Believe me, the echo cardiogram was more interesting and more fun than this “Brad Pitt saves the world” mess. Not that it matters, but there are more and larger plot holes in this film than you could possibly count. Zombies that run, gnaw, puke a lot and bash their heads into windshields do not a good film make. Save your money.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.This is just about the absolute worst Much Ado I’ve ever seen…on screen or on stage. These Hollywood television fools have absolutely no sense of Shakespeare’s words. They have no sense of the rhythm, the love, the depth and the wry humor that this play contains. No timing, no appreciation or understanding of what Shakespeare achieves when his works are performed properly. It’s as if these Hollywood second string actors said, “let’s stop snorting for an afternoon and film some Shakespeare. Don’t go by any means.


MUD. Mathew McConaughey has never been better than he is in Mud. So are the two kids who lead and steal the film from vets like Sam Shepard and Reese Witherspoon. It’s a fine film, with a story that doesn’t stop, about life in Arkansas along the Mississippi. Kids coming of age, adults living a very tough life, and the music, the photography all make it one of my favorite films of the year. Just go see it.

FRANCES HA.If you watch HBO’s series “The Girls” starring and written by Lena Dunham “Frances Ha” will seem like a sequel. These are not your Woody Allen NYC funny residents, the Frances Ha 27 year olds are hip, odd, homely, clever, brilliant and non-directed 27 year old teen agers. These characters are an acquired taste. You either dig their point of view and appreciate it as is…or you’ll detest every minute. Go for it.

KON TIKI.I saw this one about 25 minutes after seeing the new Star Trek. It’s amazingly similar. A bunch of guys floating around not knowing what dangers are ahead…and joking and fighting about it. AND it’s a fine film. Not a documentary, all acting and halfway remembering the documentary back around 1947 when he made the 101 day voyage. See it, you’ll like it. No character development, no depth (ha!) but good fun.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are archived…(see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG.

Jane Gregorius and a friend talk about the Pajaro Valley Arts Council “4F” show on July 2 followed by Anita Monga from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. On July 9 Ellen Primack talks about The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, then Scott McGilvray talks about his film “Water for Santa Cruz” and the big de-sal event happening at the Rio on July 11. Audrey Stanley talks about Shakespeare Santa Cruz season on July 16, followed by Carolyn Swift discussing the brand new Capitola Picture book by Arcadia. Assemblyman Mark Stone will be on July 23 bringing us up to date on Sacramento and his job. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES.In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, 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, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “After all is said and done, more is said than done”, back of a van parked on Chestnut Street last Sunday. “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”, Albert Camus. “Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you”, Erma Bombeck


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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