Blog Archives

June 27 – July 4, 2016

PACIFIC AVENUE PARADE, Circa ? It’s either 10 :40 am or 10:50 am. According to the two clocks in this 1950’s photo. Once again, note the two lanes of parked cars, see the marchers marching in five columns and there’s still plenty of room on the sidewalks and in the street. Remember the buildings haven’t been moved an inch…so where has all that space disappeared to?                                                       


photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE June 27, 2016

UCSC, MONEY & SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ. Remember all that muck UCSC administration issued when they shut down Shakespeare Santa Cruz from using the famed Audrey Stanley-Karen Sinsheimer  Glen ? Read the late  Don Rothman’s history here . First UCSC said they wanted to use the glen for more student productions. That was a year ago and they have never used the Glen since that time. UCSC administration


also claimed that money was a big factor and they couldn’t afford to keep the Glen running. Since that time UCSC has refused to even rent the costumes that were created for Shakespeare Santa Cruz to Santa Cruz Shakespeare. More than that, they have been selling costumes worth hundreds of dollars each (such as the gorgeous gown designed by B. Modern for The Rape of Tamar play) for $5 apiece!!! At some point this has to be known as cruel and unusual punishment..not some pretext as fiscal responsibility. Who is in charge there?

IDLE THOUGHTS. Wouldn’t it be a big surprise and just try to guess the result IF CONDOLEZZA RICE decided to run as president or vice president? On the other hand… have you noticed that all the men who drive those damned loud motorcycles up Pacific Avenue are short and fat? Is there a relationship? Quien Sabe?

SAN RANCISCO MIME TROUPE VS. SANTA CRUZ LAWS. At the very last minute the City Of Santa Cruz’s bureaucracy almost stopped The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s performance in San Lorenzo Park claiming some obscure legal permit nonsense. The Mime Troupe performs in city parks without problems all over Northern California and they have been doing that for decades. The Pickle Family Circus did exactly the same thing. This year Santa Cruz City repeated its legalistic crap and forced the Mime Troupe to stop playing in San Lorenzo park entirely. The Mime Troupe will be performing up on the UCSC Campus Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7. This is a larger issue than stopping The Mime Troupe. Santa Cruz City Hall has been clamping down on many public events in the last two or more years. Fear of lawsuits? stopping large crowds? reducing book work? Whatever it is and whichever department is responsible , our city is looking like the most up-tight, negative, dictatorial administration in our history. Now’s the time to demand a change in how our city government relates to the folks living here. Ask the City Council candidates where they are at with these regulation enforcements and public entertainment. Ask them too while you’re at it where those candidates stand on so many other issues like The Beach Flats Gardens…we need to humanize our City Council.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos is still on a Michigan  vacation…probably driving only on auxilliary lanes!!!


If you love trees, put the date of July 6th on your calendar. If you want the city of Santa Cruz to follow the lead of the county in challenging PG&E’s tree eradication project, plan to attend the meeting. It will be held in the Police Community Room at 155 Center St. from 6:30-8:00pm.

PG&E has embarked on a tree removal project, named the Community Pipeline Safety Initiative, along its 6,750-mile high-pressure natural gas transmission pipelines. These are not the distribution lines that connect from the street to your house. These are the high-pressure transmission steel pipelines that transport gas over long distances from a storage facility to a distribution center, including traversing the city and county of Santa Cruz. The stated reason for PG&E’s removal of thousands of trees is to improve emergency access and safety. Few would question such a goal if trees legitimately stood in the way (or grew in the way) of such access and were indeed a legitimate safety issue. The evidence for trees causing such problems is scanty at best and those who have researched the issue challenge whether it is a problem at all. The San Bruno disaster had nothing to do with trees but rather with neglect, faulty pipeline welds and failure to keep track of pipeline information, to name a few of the causes. The vast majority of problems affecting underground pipelines are caused by third party excavation without properly locating the pipeline before commencing work.

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

(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).

PEOPLE TERRIFIED ON GLASS BRIDGE. It’ s nearly indecent to show these folks reaction to the glass bridge BUT would you walk across???
CAROL BURNETT & GREAT OUTAKE!!!!  Yes this is all over FB but it gets me every time…enjoy.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…

“Politics is never about truth. It is about opinion. We may be right to believe that Islamic fundamentalism is wrong (as are many if not most fundamentalisms); but that belief is an opinion not a truth. It is an opinion that has emerged over time through persuasion. If that opinion is to be maintained, it must be persuasive. We must argue for it and convince the majority that it is correct. That is why it is essential that we allow those who disagree to make their arguments. We should listen to fundamentalists and argue with them, not dismiss them, caricature them, or punish them. That is the best way we can truly confront, disagree with, and defeat our enemies. The same is true for those who are racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic”.

That statement  is from Roger Berkowitz, commenting on Hannah Arendt’s view of politics. The illustration is a pictorial depiction of one of my favorite poems, The Blind Men And The Elephant, by American poet John Godfrey Saxe. It is not ours to know “the truth,” in the sense that we can ever “prove it.” At least, not in our human world. In the World of Nature, where the laws are called “laws” because they perfectly describe what actually happens, the concept of a provable “truth” has some pertinence. But not in our human world. We live in a world of “opinion,” not “truth;” that is, we live in a “political” world. In that political world, the laws are not descriptive but prescriptive. They tell us not what will or must do, but what we want to do. In the human world that we create, “laws” are not discovered; they are made, and in any democratic society, persuasion is an absolute prerequisite. That’s what Berkowitz says. That’s what Arendt says. They’re right!”

(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Summer time, travel time…exotic places…DeCinzo has tit all scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim E. fires up our imagination, see downward. Then check out Eagan’s NRA question of the week…or century,  at

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Feed your inner lit geek this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, with Genius; Jude Law stars as life-ravenous author Thomas Wolfe, and Colin Firth is his uber-editor, Maxwell Perkins. Also, an update (and a cool new poster!) on the SC Parks & Rec Teen Theatre production of Alias Hook, coming this summer!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  


NEON DEMON. I’m conflicted on this one. Director Nicolas Winding Refn uses Elle Fanning to make an amazing look and style to this film about the sick and sex ridden world of high fashion modeling. There’s a little necrophoilia, lesbian love, cannibalism, and vampirism all wrapped in a brilliant, cold, sterile portrait of that side of Hollywood. Even more strange they cast  Keanu Reeves who is as bad as usual,  as Elle’s Pasadena motel manager. Audiences at the Cannes Film Fest both cheered and booed. You won’t forget this one…and it’ll be awhile before the film world catches up to what is/was being said here.Oh yes, Christina Hendricks the giant sexy babe from Mad Men,  does a fine job here too.

FREE STATE OF JONES. After all the lack of racial representationin last year’s films that was so hugely magnified at this year’s Oscars be prepared for many, many racially focussed films in the enxt few months. Jones is the first. It stars Matthew McConaughey  and it’s  about the little known history of one southern man’s battle to free the slaves at the end of the Civil War. It’s  long ( two hours and 20 minutes)  and even dull at times…and its fascinating.

CONJURING 2. I like Vera Famiga’s acting a lot. This is an “Exorcist type” true, ghost – type movie. Based on some haunted house in Londontables and chairs fly, doors slam, a little girl sounds like an evil devil driven Popeye and it is as scary as a film can be.After it’s over you’ll go home thinking about any/all encounters you’ve never had.

THE SHALLOWS. It should be titled JAWS 23 or whatever sequel it is now copying. A young, beautiful  surfer girl from Texas who goes surfing at an unnamed beach in Mexico. Then the good old digital shark goes after her for about 80 minutes. I can’t spoil the ending because you know it already.

GENIUS. Think about this cast…Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Jude Law (as Thomas Wolfe) Nicole Kidman, Dominic West (as Ernest Hemingway) and Guy Pearce (as F. Scott Fitzgerald) !!! This movie sucks. It is one of the worst acted, poorly written films I’ve seen in years. But it does prove that editors are an important fact of literary life. Don’t go.



WIENER. As weird as Anthony Weiner is, the social programs he fights for to become Mayor of New York City are way better than Cynthia Mathews’s any day. He’s brilliant, the documentary is well done, and this guy has a lifelong hang up with his name and his “wiener”. So he photographs his crotch and puts it online. Later on, during his Mayor campaign, he has phone sex with a young babe. His famous wife is/was Hillary Clinton’s best friend and advisor. If it wasn’t all true it would be the  nutso fantasy of all time. Go see it.   

DARK HORSE. Another documentary, and it’s syrupy, feel good, nearly predictable and grand fun to watch. The middle class Brits who all chip in and buy a race horse are perfect. You’d want them for neighbors. It’s another slam at England’s class system. Their class system is just older and better defined and more accepted than ours.

MAGGIE’S PLAN. This NYC tradgi-comedy falls into the “Woody Allen, New York City Odd People in Love” category. Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Bill Hader do excellent acting (except for Julianne Moore and her lousy German accent). It’s about University teachers, divorce, sex, raising kids, control freaks, and our very, very complex lives today. You’ll be completely absorbed all the way through. Not a classic but “absorbing”.

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP. This sharp, wordy, comedy is from a little known Jane Austen book, “Lady Susan”. If you’re particular, it takes place in England 130 years  before Downtown Abbey (1790). Plenty of Hayden, Cherubini and Cimarosa-type music. Daughter Hillary convinced me that I’d been slipping critic- wise and that Kate Beckensale is completely out of character, and phoney. It’s a desperate, wordy attempt to make still more money out of anything with Jane Austen’s name on it. The plot centers on what women had to do to survive back then. Go see it if you like Brit costume epics, with lots of scenery and furniture. 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, so go figure. It’s just not all that great a film.

NOW YOU SEE ME 2. A disaster sequel to another disaster opener. 36 on Rotten Tomatoes. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and bit parts by Morgan Freeman & Michael Caine but don’t tell anybody. Four would be stage illusionists (technical advice by David Copperfield, really) are supposed to be world famous but Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe, really) is an evil world plotter and you’ll never be able to follow the plot anyways, so don’t go. Tell your friends who like stage magic not to go too, there isn’t any. What effects there are, are all digital Fx.  

THE LOBSTER. Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly head the cast of this

unfathomable, suposedly dystopian satire on our views and customs relating to sex. marriage, and it’s not nice to animals either. It’s heavy drama, with some laughs thrown in. Maybe you have to be young and distant to catch all the supposedly clever zingers. I missed 95 % of any meaning or purpose to this flick.

X MEN: APOCALYPSE. Another Marvel Comics dystopian monster versus mutant movie. The one in teresting thing I remember from this very forgetable mess is that Magneto played by Michael Fassbender is Jewish and got all his superhuman strength from the ashes of Auschwitz!! And it shows Auschwitz  too!! Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Issac, James McAvoy and a big surprise Ally Sheedy are all in it for the big bucks they got paid….why else?  

POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING. I am many generations before this parody of today’s rock scene and didn’t laugh or like any of the parts I stayed awake through. Then I left just about half way through. It is true that Sarah Silverman, Ringo Starr, Mariah Carey, Martin Sheen, Jimmy Fallon, Simon Cowell, and Joan Cusack all have “cameo” parts of about 12 seconds each BUT that Judd Apatow directed it… should be warning enough.

KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
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.ORG. June 28 has naturalist Grey Hayes warning us of more dangers from the ill-schemed proposed North Coast Cotoni National Monument. He’s followed by UCSC Professor James Clifford telling us about his new UCSC Campus book, “The Ecotone“. Gillian Greensite local environmental activist, brings us up to date on stuff on July 5th…She’s followed by Karen Ashley and Dick Tippett reporting on the West Coast Dowsing Conference. On July 12 Ellen Primack, executive director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music tells us, all about the 25th anniversary of Marin Alsop’s conducting. Then on July 26 Michael Warren and Aimee Zygmonski talk about this year’s Santa Cruz Shakespeare season which opens July 12. 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

I can watch clips from the Graham Norton Show for hours. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a whole episode, come to think of it!

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed 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.

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 Bu rdick, 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.


“There, I guess King George will be able to read that”, John Hancock
On signing the American Declaration of Independence.

“Because of the poor economy, we couldn’t afford fireworks. The only snap, crackle, and pop at our house yesterday was when I poured milk on a bowl of Rice Krispies”, Unknown.

“Being a traditionalist, I’m a rabid sucker for Christmas. In July, I’m already worried that there are only 146 shopping days left”, John Waters

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:

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on June 27 – July 4, 2016

Comments are closed.