Blog Archives

June 26 – July 2, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…the Post Office fencing, Facebook and BrattonOnline, Peter McGettigan and Kathy McClure, Soquel and Cayuga’s new architectural disaster. GREENSITE…her view on the downtown library/parking garage issue. KROHN…“garage containing library” issue on hold (for now), City Council meeting times in question, PG&E’s new gas lines, new proposed 1024 Soquel building causes response, new tax on sweet beverages, UCSC growth measure U potential, about Homeless Facility. STEINBRUNER…County budget questions, Aptos Village Payments for road work increasing, Midcounty Groundwater overdrafts, J.M. Brown’s new job. PATTON…about Government, privacy and our rights. EAGAN…a “biblical update”. DeCINZO…Jimmy Stewart goes to Santa Cruz. JENSEN…reviews Won’t You Be My Neighbor. BRATTON…critiques Jurassic World:Fallen Kingdom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and many, many more current movies. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…on “Trains and Railroads”.


 SANTA CRUZ’S PACIFIC AVENUE. 1892. That would be the pre-Teacup Restaurant now Jamba Juice sitting  there on the far left. Note the beautiful streetlight on the left and why can’t we have duplicates there now? On the right is Barry Swenson’s condo project, next to Lulu Carpenters. I can’t help repeating on the nearly shocking width of Pacific Avenue back then…compared to the cramped hard to shop and park narrowness it presents today.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.



DATELINE June 25, 2018

THE POST OFFICE FENCE. Sylvia Caras sent a letter to the City Council and copied Jessica York at The Sentinel on June 12thAbsolutely NO RESPONSE from either. Here’s the letter…

Item 20 Agenda June 12, The Downtown Gateway
Downtown Santa Cruz has a meaningful system of open spaces  of historic and civic significance that should be built upon – one is the gateway,  the Post Office and Town Clock intersection at Pacific Avenue and Water Street.

The Downtown Plan recommends creating a more cohesive and pedestrian-friendly open space at the northern tip of Pacific Avenue, that ties the Post Office and Town Clock together, creates a strong visual gateway to the downtown and, through periodic street closures provides a major opportunity for large public gatherings and civic events.
For 15 months chain link fencing and more than a dozen bold danger signs have blighted our gateway, while at the same time we are wanting to be more hospitable, with new new ways of finding signage and more downtown hosts.

Last year, the City of Santa Cruz Planning Department sent a clear and careful response to the California Office of Historic Preservation finding the required Section 106 Consultation for changes to the main post office inadequate. The state agreed. The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation notes that the community voice must be incorporated. The city gateway historic site has become a homeless stay-away order.

We have an Arts Commission, a Historic Preservation Commission, a Downtown Commission, a Museum of Art and History … I recommend we ask that the mandated 106 hearing be reopened and notice it widely.

My suggestion is to remove the barriers to the steps on Front St and create an art wall along the Water St side.
Sylvia Caras

There has been an amazing lack of public protest or any visible concern over this hostile and unfriendly fence. Is this more of “What’s happening to Santa Cruz?”.

FACEBOOK AND BRATTON ONLINE. Check out the new Facebook BrattonOnline page. Webwoman Gunilla Leavitt is doing almost all the necessary work on it. Special unique photos will be added weekly…or almost weekly. I just contributed two moments ago. One about the last known remainder/reminder of the Pacific Avenue Garden Mall. The other tries to focus on the miserable temporary  NO PARKING signs we see posted downtown.

PETER McGETTIGAN AND KATHY McCLURE MEMORIES. It was over a decade ago that Peter asked me to sponsor him as a brother in the local E ClampusVitus chapter. I’d known him just as hundreds more Santa Cruzans did as a dedicated, loyal, hard working guy. I did more than watch as he went through the nearly humiliating but equalizing ECV initiation. No one could ever be more enthused and involved with the Santa Cruz Community that he was. Kathy McClure and I were long time business advisors for the Small Business Development Center at Cabrilho College. Her business and computer knowledge got hundreds of clients (and me too) into the developing tech world. Both of them gave us all so much.

NEW 3 STORY BUILDING AT 1024 SOQUEL AND CAYUGA? Hopefully we’ll all get a chance to see plans for this weird looking building before it gets built. It’ll have 12 apartments and just small one that will be “affordable”. It’ll also have a tower that will undoubtedly become a cell tower broadcasting messages and maybe radiation to the western world. The building looks like a 1940s pop-up toaster. And nearby residents are irked!!

June 25

Temporarily waylaid with a stomach virus I watched the council meeting on the library/parking garage issue from my bed. The discussion of the library was buried in a mix of issues including an increase in downtown parking rates, just as it might physically be buried under a five story parking garage should council vote that way in August. Council heaped accolades on the work of the Downtown Library Advisory Committee (DLAC). This is the same committee, which at its last public meeting on the topic, voted for Option B (build a new library under a parking garage) and after their vote, then opened the floor up for public comment on the four Options for a downtown library. A new low for democratic process but never mind. Being consistent, they also omitted any question in their survey on whether you support a move of the library to the site of the Farmers Market, remove the heritage magnolia trees and situate a new library under 5 stories of parking. Had that question been included, it is likely the public’s response would have been “hell no!” It’s easier to pretend the public doesn’t have an opinion when you don’t give them the leading question in the survey. Nor was it mentioned at council that the proposed new space is smaller than the current downtown library. Add a couple of teenagers who shared that they would love a new library under a parking garage where they could feel safe and Option B starts to sound cozy. “Feeling safe” is another way of saying “I don’t feel comfortable with all those homeless people hanging around the library.” A number of teen responses in the survey expressed the same sentiment but why would it be different at a new location? Unless of course there are plans for social engineering by design: nails in the benches? Sprinklers activated by prone bodies? A library card needed to enter the building? Are we feeling safe yet? Don’t get me wrong. Women and girls’ safety has been my life’s work. It’s just that a library buried under a 5-story garage is by definition not a safe place and to expect otherwise is misguided.

I was disappointed no one expressed the opinion that to lose the physical presence of a cornerstone of our civic center would be a significant loss. The downtown Library, the Civic Auditorium and City Hall embody the heart of our downtown public domain. Most of downtown buildings are private space. We enter only via our wallets. Save for Bookshop Santa Cruz, which has always welcomed the public to browse without buying, most private spaces frown on lingering too long and some such as restaurants simply don’t allow it. There are other civic buildings such as London Nelson Center and MAH but each is relatively isolated. Only the aforementioned trio can be regarded as a viable civic center. Perhaps that means little in today’s world where we exist first as consumers and only a distant second as citizens but in my mind we should fight as hard as we can to retain what’s left of our public spaces.  Especially when they consist of aesthetically pleasing, historic, human scale buildings embodied as a civic center in one place: our downtown library, city hall and civic auditorium.

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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

June 25

All Parked Up and No Place to Go

It was a grand meeting indeed last Tuesday night (6/19). Billed as a “Study Session on the Downtown Library Advisory Committee Recommendation for the Downtown Branch and Downtown Parking Rates Strategy,” it quickly became a cauldron of firm and desperate voices opposed to a library-in-a -garage-top-of-the-Farmer’s-Market site. The Downtown Library Advisory Committee (DLAC) was placed in the indefensible position of both loving books and advocating for a beautiful new library, while holding their noses and going along with some parking planner’s scheme to incorporate a needed community resource into five-story last-century parking garage. Few in the 100-plus crowded room wanted little of the garage. I was overwhelmed by the variety and quality of public input directed towards this cockamamie (my dad used to use that word, meaning “implausible” bordering on “ridiculous”) plan. Because the outpouring of words, song, and feelings was so strong I want to turn over part of this week’s column to these amazing community voices.

  • “This seems like a predetermined and guided process.” Deborah Taylor
  • “I’m in favor of a library not a garage…this is a bait and switch, I did not vote for this. Let’s uncouple those projects.” Debbie Bulger
  • “I’m opposed on so many levels.” Bonnie, SC Antique Faire
  • “What I heard [tonight] is that we were not going to fix climate change…check out the April issue of Scientific American.” Jack Nelson
  • “We need some city planning that is much, much smarter…in Davis their farmer’s market is next to a park…you’re being railroaded into a stupid idea.” John Hall
  • “…who’s going to stand up and save the heart of our town and say enough trees have been cut down?”Keresha Durham and Satya Orion song
  • “Why can’t we have a parking deficit? A parking garage is a contradiction to our TDM (Transportation Demand Management) plan…” Brett Garrett
  • “There’s a small elite power block trying to gentrify Santa Cruz.” Elise Casby
  • The DLAC was given four options…there were options not offered like a stand-alone library in a civic plaza…why not a multiuse project without a garage?” Daniel Spelce
  • “All the work DLAC did, but then they went and made a Faustina bargain with anti-environmental forces…” Barbara Riverwoman
  • “I’m here as an advocate for housing. It’s the most pressing issue in the city of Santa Cruz.” Don Lane
  • “You’re talking about putting it (parking garage) in the heart of downtown…it’s going to be unique if we maintain the magnolia trees…it needs to be a civic center first.” Manu Koenig
  • “I would love a new library, but please don’t put in on the site of the Farmer’s Market.” Emily Corwin
  • “Putting a library at the bottom of a garage was a bad idea from the outset.” Judy Grunstra
  • “…we are looking for more conversation.” Chip
  • “We should decouple those two issues (library from the garage), they are separate problems that should be solved separately.” Joe Jordan

TKO for Library-Garage?
Not so fast. No decision was made on the proposed library-garage. Only Councilmember Richelle Noroyan, despite the 30-plus voices pleading with the council to “decouple” the projects, or just simply use the $23 million bond money to fix the current library and leave the Farmer’s Market where it is, she alone was looking to make a motion to say yes on the library-garage atop the Farmer’s Market/ garage site. She was quickly dissuaded from making the motion, mainly because staff had said the “parking rate strategy,” as they called it, had not yet been worked out. So, will it come back in August? Unlikely. I emailed around the day after the meeting to find out, but no definitive answers were offered. Maybe September, one staff member emailed, but not sure. By the way, Councilmember Cynthia Mathews cannot vote on this project because she owns property within 500 feet, I think that’s the Zazu Pitts house next to the Nickelodeon Theater I guess.

This Week’s City Council Meeting: Whew!
As usual, the BrattonOnLine deadline is on Monday, so I will outline the issues here that will be discussed at the Tuesday city council meeting and get back to you next week about any decisions that are made. It’s a packed agenda, meeting starts at 11:30 am, and I would not be surprised if it goes until 7pm. There is no official evening meeting scheduled, which I consider to be an ongoing problem as it only allows city staff, retirees, and regular old Santa Cruz flâneurs the allotted time to make these afternoon-only meetings. In Berkeley and Boulder, two of our enviro-student-artsy-cafe-recreation homologues cities they begin council meetings at 6pm, ostensibly because they understand that working people, university students, and other regular folk cannot make afternoon meetings.

Drew Glover, candidate for city council, helped organize a local version of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “Poor People’s March” at the downtown SC post office last Saturday. Glover spoke about immigrant rights, human rights, and equality.

Agenda Items on Steroids
A packed agenda and I have no idea what time stuff will begin or how long each item might take. I can try to guess. For example, this agenda contains a consent item about selling, or leasing (?), a portion of Frederick Street Park to PG&E to install a gas line under the park! After their wild and raggedy tree cutting recently around the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery one might wonder how the Frederick Street Park might look like after this project? Another issue is an appeal of a John Swift market-rate (one studio does happen to be affordable unit) development at 1024 Soquel, site of the Methodist church that burned down. It was appealed by seven Eastside neighbors; ostensibly for its “ugliness” I am told. One whole side of the project that looks over Cayuga Street is made up mostly of stucco and a few small windows. It’s an important corner and merits a nice building I think. Each side will receive 15 minutes to present and the appellants also get a five-minute rebuttal. So, we knew this agenda item would last at least 35 minutes, but there would be council questions and public comment as well. This was then followed by another potentially lengthy item, the placing of a revenue tax measure of one-cent per ounce on all sugary beverages sold in the city of Santa Cruz. I predict the American Beverage Association will be out in hordes to lobby the council on why obesity and diabetes is so last century…Then, there will be the necessary city council blessing of putting three council seats and the rent control measure onto the November ballot. BUT, someone (who?) has come up with the bright idea of doing an “impartial” analysis, and the city manager says that will cost $50,000 to $75,000! Again, what? Following that item would be a public strategizing session for a meeting with the university. The mayor, city manager, planning director and two councilmembers will go armed with the 77% recent “Measure U” vote to a meeting with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor this Friday (6/29). This agenda item was essentially to gather input from the rest of the council concerning what the city might demand, negotiate, mediate, and work towards in keeping the university at 19,500. It is clear that many of us love what the university offers to this community, but no one wants yet more of this good thing…19,500 students are already overwhelming our beachside community of 64,000. And if this agenda is not already sounding like two meetings worth of stuff to you, there is a final item, “Interim Homeless Facility Planning,” and if that goes the way other homeless policy issues have gone for the council lately, it may likely be a lengthy drawn out neighborhood-council battle as well. But again, this is why the city council draws the big bucks, about $1600 per month, but it’s doubtful anyone’s serving on the city council for the money.

“When you represent the billionaire class and have nothing relevant to say to working families, the only way you win elections is by suppressing the vote and making it harder for ordinary people to participate in our democracy.” (June 24)
(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

June 25

The County Fire Budget passed by the Board of Supervisors is not even up to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 3.2% increase, and the report acknowledges that current staffing of two responders per engine is below the National Fire Protection Association recommended level of four responders per engine.  Why doesn’t the County fund fire service to the rural areas?

State Proposition 172 is a half-cent statewide sales tax that brings in over $17 Million to Santa Cruz County for public safety funding, but this County chooses to give 99.5% to law enforcement.  The half-percent for fire goes to the County Fire Chiefs Association, not to the actual responders and equipment needed to provide protection.


Why did the Board of Supervisors waive this through yet another year, instead awarding $10.2 million to Dept. of Corrections, $2.3 Million to Probation, $2.8 Million to Sheriff Operations, $2.7 Million to Criminal Prosecutions, $1 Million to Juvenile Hall….and ZERO $$ to County Fire?  Instead, Supervisor McPherson plans to put a tax increase on the November ballot to make rural residents pay even more than they already are for fire protection via County Service Area (CSA) #48.  By the way, rural residents also pay the law enforcement millions via CSA #38.

In times like right now, when many of the paid fire responders (CalFire, Fire Districts and municipal fire agencies) have sent equipment and responders to major fires out of the County, IT IS THE COUNTY FIRE AGENCY RESPONDERS THAT WILL PROTECT SANTA CRUZ COUNTY IN MEDICAL AND FIRE EMERGENCIES HERE.  Why does the Board of Supervisors continue to follow the County Administrative Officer (CAO) recommendation to not fund County Fire?

Call your Supervisor and ask!   454-2200.

An addendum to the Tuesday, June 26 Board Agenda (#83.2) will add an additional $137,138.62 to San Luis Obispo contractor John Madonna Construction’s payment for Phase I work performed in the Aptos Village Project area.  Why does the Board and Public Works continue to gift public funds to these developers???

The Advisory Committee making the plan for who gets how much water in the Midcounty future will meet this Wednesday, June 27, 5pm at the Simpkins Swim Center.  The Nature Conservancy has outlined a plan for the Ad Hoc Surface Water Committee (public not allowed) and will share this with the Advisory Committee this Wednesday.  The acoustics of the meeting room are terrible, but I will record the meeting and share it on YouTube in the near future.  Attend if you are able.

J.M. Brown, former reporter for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and current Chair of the County Housing Advisory Commission, will take over for Supervisor Bruce McPherson’sanalyst Robin Musitelli as she retires from her post.  I wonder how this will affect the water policy of the area…J.M. Brown seems really happy to support large developers in his actions related to the Housing Advisory Commission.  Keep your eye on this.  The Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency meets this Thursday, June 28, 7pm.

Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

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

 June 19, 2018
#170 / Positive Sum

As I revealed in my blog post yesterday, I attended a couple of graduation ceremonies at UCSC over this past weekend. Pictured is UCSC’s Crown College Provost Manel Camps, welcoming graduating students, families, and friends to the commencement program recognizing graduating students at Crown College. David Brin, astrophysicist and science fiction writer, gave the keynote address. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will remember that I advertised Brin’s then-upcoming appearance.

Among other things, Brin urged graduating students to learn a little bit about “game theory,” and specifically to become acquainted with the idea that it is possible to achieve “positive sum” results in our social, political, and economic efforts. “Zero sum,” in other words, is not the only way to play the game. It’s definitely not the best way to play it, in politics, unless you’re shooting for oligarchy!

Because Brin has done a great deal of thinking about “privacy” in our contemporary, highly-technological world, I was anxious to hear him speak. I do, after all, teach a course at UCSC entitled, “Privacy, Technology, And Freedom.” Brin didn’t disappoint. I encourage you to click this link to read a fairly short article that provides some important ideas on how we might be able to structure our ever more “transparent” society to wind up with a positive sum result. Brin argues that attempts to obtain or retain personal privacy by denying the government and others access to our personal information is likely to fail as a strategy, urging us to be creative in making sure that we, as individuals and citizens, have transparent access to the very governmental and corporate information that is now used, or is available to be used, against us.

“Postive sums” are possible, he claims!

It’s worth thinking through every option, because the current situation is definitely reflective of a “zero sum” approach, and individuals and a free politics are losing out!

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

Email Gary at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) takes his “Wonderful Life” to Santa Cruz. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Biblical Update” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog and his thoughts re our flag and about respecting it.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Save the date — July 17 —for my upcoming reading/book-signing for Beast at Bookshop Santa Cruz! Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, who knew that comfy, cardigan-clad Mr. Rogers was such a radical? Meet the man behind the myth in Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, reviewed in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? A well deserved 99 on RT and Fred Rogers turns out to be all that we’d hope to see in this bio. That he was a lifelong Republican is about the only surprise, but it’s not important. It’s no surprise to learn about his faith-based upbringing and he practiced love and kindness in all of his television career. Go see this film. You’ll agree with him about the glut of violence in other children’s tv shows. We can only guess how he’d deal with Trump’s presidency. He handled Robert Kennedy’s assassination and 9/11 with amazing taste and skill. As I mentioned go see this film it’s one of the few uplifting things available nowadays.

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. A big 50 on RT and it didn’t deserve that much. Chris Pratt,  James Cameron, Geraldine Chaplin and Jeff Goldblum are the only names you might remember from other movies but they can’t help this weak, predictable, rip off. Dinosaurs escape…like duh!!! Gee and they eat humans or stomp them to death. It is very far removed from the realistic, character driven original Jurassic Park of 1993 starring Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong. Send the kids, don’t accompany them!!

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….it’s all the director’s fault!  (Closes Thursday June 28)

HOTEL ARTEMISJodie 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.

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

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 2Ryan 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. I just checked and there are actually 29!! That includes Scarlett Johanssen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vin Diesel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey jr. and Idris Alba and it’s still awful!! 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?



www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

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.ORGJane Mio discusses our river system and what’s needed to protect it first on June 26. She’s followed by Gillian Greensitetalking about the many problems and issues she keeps track of and acts against…or for. July 3 has writer, lecturer Susie Bright discussing new adventures. She’s followed by suspense thriller author Michael Rutger talking about his book “The Anomaly“. Jumping to July 10Lisa 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 developmentsOn August 7 Dr. Shawna Riddle of PAMF talks about staying healthy.

This is one of the best and most elaborate Carpool Karaokes James Corden has done. Make yourself a cuppa, and sit down for a treat! Watch the whole thing, it’s worth every minute!

OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… 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

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 Lydonon 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.


“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
“When people went on vacation, they shed their home skins, thought they could be a new person.” Aimee Friedman, Sea Change
“Hot weather opens the skull of a city, exposing its white brain, and its heart of nerves, which sizzle like the wires inside a lightbulb. And there exudes a sour extra-human smell that makes the very stone seem flesh-alive, webbed and pulsing.” Truman Capote, Summer Crossing