Blog Archives

June 30 – July 8, 2015

ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE, part 2. Same young women as pictured last week (scroll down) only with Guy Kibbee who co-starred with Van Johnson and Janet Leigh while they filmed here in Santa Cruz in 1947. That would be an unknown seated left of Guy Kibbee and Joanne Neilsen seated on his right. Standing (Lto R) is Jolene Brogdan, Bunty Braun Pettibone, and somebody else.

Guy Kibbee was mostly famous for his film role as Scattergood Baines Watch this tribute to him. Guy died in 1956.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE June 29, 2015

ON THE ROAD or CALIFORNIA GOING TO WAR??? I saw some interesting stuff on my vacation…. driving down highway 101, taking the good old 99 over to Bakersfield, and then over the Tehachapi mountains. Traffic was going nicely through the Tehachapis…then whammo!! it stopped and we crawled, stopped and crawled for more miles. What stopped us was surprising. Dozens, probably 50 or more brand new, sand colored, army tanks being trucked eastward somewhere. No camouflage on them, and I’m guessing plain sand color is better and more invisible than moving camouflaged weapons. That was nothing!!! My sister in Victorville reported that she and her daughter were driving on their way to Utah via Las Vegas in May when they saw 100’s (hundreds) of the new sand colored tanks being hauled by train northward toward Barstow or Fort Irwin or Nevada. You have to wonder about this. What’s going on? When was the last time we ever heard about who’s manufacturing these tanks, who’s making the war profit? Who makes all the guns and armaments? On the way back home from daughter Jennifer’s home in Mar Vista (Santa Monica) I passed lots of new sand colored desert-looking buildings on the US. Army’s Camp Roberts property along Highway 101. What a war and military oriented nation we are. And not to be funny, but that has to include putting Santa Cruz mayor Don Lane in the history books as the first Santa Cruz mayor to bring in and buy tanks.


HIGHWAY 101 IS ALL DOWNHILL. Drought is busting out all over and driving back up highway 101 the only green to be seen for dozens of miles is the 1000’s of acres of grape vineyards on one side of the highway and total tans, browns, dirt and sand as far as your eye can see on the other side. Before all those green lush watered grape crops I drove past Refugio Beach where the oilspill happened and there was at least a mile of volunteer cars parked alonside the highway trying to clean up that horrendous spill. Give them all a BRAVO!!!

NAT KING COLE & “Stardust”

KUSP HASSLE. Messages are certainly mixed but as we know KUSP was (and is) in the red. The Board of Directors wanted to sell it to CPRN. Then a bunch of listeners/ supporters formed KUSP Forward to see what else could be done….and that group is still moving forward. But now the game has changed. The CPRN Classical Public Radio Network offer to buy KUSP has been rescinded as of June 24th. Then some anonymous donor offered to donate $100,000, but other than that plans are very much up in the air. Meanwhile KUSP continues to pay over $6000 per month rent. But late news says the station is giving up some of their rental space to cut rent costs. Stay tuned…if possible.

KUSP’S FUTURE SURVEY. Former Santa Cruz City Councilman Ed Porter has been very active in KUSP Forward. He created a survey to gauge the potential support from the community for keeping KUSP alive…and well. Ed adds, “The ideas expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect any policy or statement of KUSP, its Board of Directors, or its management..Go here to check it out AND fill it out. There’s a lot riding on these decisions.

MIKE ROTKIN’S TV SHOW!!! One way of telling about Mike Rotkin’s political plans is to watch the Santa Cruz City Council’s televised meetings. Right there center screen sits Mike looking all attentive and relevant. That takes planning, he could have sat off screen or watched at home but nope, he’s running again. You can also tell by the number of recent times he attends meetings and speaks. Cynthia Mathews does the same thing when she’s going to run. Not the TV audience show but the amount of organizations and speeches she gives.

ZACH FRIEND’S RE-CALL!!! The folks in Aptos are totally serious about the recall of Zach Friend as supervisor. Anyone who follows politics at all knows that this is, and will be, a large “blemish” on his political career. And if you follow Zach’s manuevers you know he’s dreaming at least of a Sacramento and beyond future. The re-call people have contacted Zach and the County Elections department and are getting all the legal requirements worked through. They needed 20 signatures just to file the first document and got 40 in no time at all. They need 6000 signatures and will be holding “Town Hall” type meetings to alert the rest of the Aptosians about Zach’s nearly total ignoring of the people he represents. See DeCinzo’s cartoon in last Sunday’s (6/28) Santa Cruz Sentinel, to your left.

SANTA CRUZ DOWNTOWN COMMISSION CORRECTION. Ron Slack emailed to inform me (and us) that Barry Swenson’s main plot point man Jesse Nickell is no longer the chair, as I said he was in the last column. As you can see from the stupid Santa Cruz City website as of today (June 29) Jesse is still listed as chair. Ron told me the new chair’s name but I lost his email and as I mentioned, you can’t find out from the City website.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Wonderful relationships have formed over the decades of residents housing the musicians from the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. New insights into the music, live music in the homes, it’s worked beautifully over the many years and returning musicians and their hosts look forward to the arrangement every year. It’s time again, and especially if you live in or know a suitable room that’s available for this year festival that happens August 2-16 get in touch with the fectival by calling 831 426-6966 or going to the website.

SANDY LYDON’S SANTA CRUZ COUNTY HISTORY CLASSES. Sandy Lydon’s Santa Cruz County History Classes are really history themselves. Over many, many years thousands of people (me included) have not just taken the class but have gained a deep and meaningful connection with our county. He’s teaching it again September 11-December 4. It’s History 25B and Sandy and Cabrillo figured out easy ways to enroll. There are 8 Friday evening classes and 3 Saturday Field Trips. As he says and guarantees “you can become a certified local” with a genuine certificate. Go here to check up on his History Dude website and get details on his other near-legendary offerings.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian Greensite opines on Same sex marriages, and on not paddling the San Lorenzo River…

I cannot start this column on a local issue without first expressing great joy at the US Supreme Court’s historical decision to extend the constitutional right of marriage to same sex couples. More organizing lies ahead since gays and lesbians can be fired from work in twenty-nine states of the union because of their sexual orientation but now is the time for celebration!

At the local level, a pilot paddling program on the lower San Lorenzo river was the most contentious on the city council’s agenda for its June 23rd meeting. Proposed by a 5-2 vote of the advisory group formed by council to explore the issue, over 100 emails and letters were sent to council with two thirds opposing the pilot program and paddling in general.

At the meeting, political heavies Fred Keeley and Mike Rotkin urged support. Many others spoke to the documented negative impact on nesting and fledgling birds during past paddling events on the river which is 300 feet at its widest. I spoke on behalf of the Sierra Club, which has not taken a position on paddling but has taken a position on the need for environmental review consistent with CEQA prior to any further paddling on the river. The city’s stance is that the pilot program is CEQA exempt. Attorney Celia Scott spoke in opposition to the CEQA exemption. Coastal Watershed Council E.D. Greg Pepping urged the council’s support and offered CWC funding. Bruce Van Allen, long time river restoration activist who originally favored paddling, spoke against human activity on the river and gave a historical reminder that the river used to extend to the current post office; that us humans have degraded the river so dramatically that we should protect the last remaining bit of habitat as much as we can. Mike Rotkin, member of the Board of Directors of CWC, spoke of the river as urban and dirty.

Council’s deliberation covered the spectrum. In support of paddling, Micah Posner talked about humans being part of the natural world with a right to access the river. Pamela Comstock would support the pilot program only if CWC covered the $32,000 cost. (Since the pilot was to provide data on which to base a decision about future paddling, I wondered if that would be legal or ethical?) In a strong defense of the environment, Richelle Noroyan proposed a yearlong base-line study of birds and habitat prior to a decision about paddling. She spoke to a number of concerns, including encroachment via paddling of the invasive New Zealand mud snail. Her motion failed to garner a second. The final vote, 6-1 with Noroyan against, was for a twelve day bird survey this Fall, funded by the city, followed by the twelve day paddling program next Fall, funded by CWC. At issue is whether paddling and kayaking will be a benign activity that brings more people down to appreciate the river or whether such activity will disrupt the 100+ species of birds that nest, fledge and migrate to this river habitat. ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says about the Brown Act…. “The Brown Act is intended to guarantee the right of the public to know what’s happening. There are very definite rules that government agencies must follow. Normally, they must meet on a regular schedule, but if there is a need for a meeting outside that normal schedule, special notices have to be provided”. Then he talks about a campaign sponsored by Global Population Speakout. Go here to read his plugging for their book . Then he talks about cock-fights in Monterey County and chicken rules!! After that he speaks about the difference between Same Sex marriage laws and environmental-land use legislation. He closes the week with a quick view of what’s happening to the development of Fort Ord. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s . Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Sharks off Pleasure Point? Impossible. DeCinzo gives us the sharks point of view…see downwards a few pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan creates another high caliber comment on what’s happening….scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “If you think historical fiction is just asmuch fun as historical fact, go see “A Little Chaos”. Read all about it, andfind out why it takes a village for some writers (me) to edit a book, thisweek at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisahas been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


A LITTLE CHAOS. Kate Winslet is perfect as the gutsy, fictional, talented woman who helps Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) design his garden at Versailles. Stanley Tucci is barely in the cast and it is a little movie. It won’t change your life, you won’t remember much of it, but it is a sweet costume drama, that is well done.

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. This film is clever, smart, bitter, heart rending, tearful, nicely acted, neatly directed and worth seeing…if you like a good cry now and then. It’s a teenage classic and it’s about a dying girl. Definitely worth seeing.

INSIDE OUT. I saw this in L.A. at one of those mega movie houses. We were in theatre #17 and there were lots more down different hallways. My two grandsons ages 15 and 11 didn’t seem to like it as muich as their mom and I did. It is a Pixar/Disney animated creation, and has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Lots of San Francisco footage and lots of half assed psychological muck that manages to be inventive, spot on, dumb, clever, inventive, cruel, and dopey, sleepy, plus grumpy with no doctors present. Wait and rent it.

DOPE. According to the papers this movie left town rapidly, and that’s good news. It’s about kids grwoing up in the Inglewood section of L.A. That means we get to see Randy’s Doughnut shop with the 20 foot doughnut many times and are forced to watch a tired old plot of kids making good while surrounded by evil. You’ve seen it dozens of times before, only not with the all black cast like Dope has.


I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS. Blythe Danner who is now 72 years old carries this film all the way. Sam Elliott is only 71 (and who was born in Sacramento) plays one of Blythe’s boyfriends. It’s a sensitive, tearful, beautiful, emotion filled film. It’s about a woman who was a singer and lost her husband and gets back into the swing of things. Go see it. Yes, Blythe’s daughter Gwyneth Paltrow could take a few lessons from mom. Don’t miss this film.

LOVE AND MERCY. Definitely NOT your typical Hollywood star bio film. This Brain Wilson and The Beach Boys saga is one fine film. Both Paul Dano and John Cusack play Brian’s role and the plot is as interesting and complex as his past, present and future. Go see this film especially if you liked The Wrecking Crew (they’re in it too).

JURASSIC WORLD. Speaking of “Dumbing Down”, Jurassic World became the world’s biggest box office opener last weekend. I’d never seen such lines on Friday mornings (when I usually go) at the Regal Cinema 9. It has nowhere near the class, dignity, fun or terror that the original had about 14 years ago. Remember Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum??? Well you won’t remember anybody in Jurassic World 5 minutes after you leave the theatre.

SAN ANDREAS. Named after Saint Andrew who had palsy (just kidding). A very exciting, tense, well assembled film. It’s almost the definition of an action movie. Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson is even better than Charlton Heston would have been in the lead role. According to seismologists there are serious flaws in the predicting and depicting of “THE BIG ONE”, but they still manage to hold our attention for two full hours of shaking. There are some serious lessons you’ll learn from watching San Andreas. Duck and cover (better than dorways), plan anhead on how to connect with your family, and it’s best if you have a serious relationship with a helicopter pilot who also can handle a speedboat and swim underwater. It’s a roller coaster of a movie, and I liked it.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Tom Hardy is no Mel Gibson and Charlize Theron isn’t any Tina Turner (Beyond Thunderdrome 1985). Fury Road is a very serious and wonderfully filmed road chase that lasts 2 hours. Remember how sort of goofy and friendly Mel Gibson was? Tom Hardy barely talks at all through the entire film. Max’s last name is Rockatansky in case anybody asks you. Hard to believe but this plot involves mother’s milk, oil, a little water, a flame throwing guitar, and just plain lunacy. Great special effects…all directed by George Miller the very same director who did the first 3 Max’s.

SPY. If you are a Melissa McCarthy fan, you’ll love this one. She gets to act, and not mug nearly as much as usual. It’s a James Bond SPY satire and co-stars Jason Stratham, Jude Law, Allison Janney, 50 Cent, and Bobby Carnavale….all of which add some class to a tired old attempt at being funny.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. It’s the second biggest box office opening in movie history!! Avengers #1 was the biggest and IronMan was number 3 As you could guess 59% of the audience were males under age 25, and probably walked using their knuckles. No one has figured out what Ultron was supposed to be and not very many people could possibly care. It’s nearly 100% computer generated , which means it’s very dark…even the non 3D version. There’s no figuring out the plot. And Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey jr., Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk!!) Don Cheadle, Stellan Skarsgard, and even Samuel L. Jackson in a bit role can do absolutely nothing to make this movie interesting. It’s a hymn to violence, it totally depends on blood and killing and who needs it?

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. Frank Perry unveils The Capitola Museum’s summer attractions on June 30 followed by Becky Steinbruner who’ll bring news about The Aptos Village problems. Actor, director Mike Ryan talks about Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s season on July 7, then author, reporter, editor Wallace Baine talks about his new book, ” The Last Temptation of Lincoln“. July 14 has activist, commentator John Malkin discussing his Good Times article about SC Policeman Steve Clark. Cartoonist, artist, and philosopher Tim Eagan talks about The Bonny Doon Art Tour on July 21. Environmentalist Grey Hayes returns on September 1st discussing new nature issues that need attention. . 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, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is, July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July”. Rick Bass. “The Summer looks out from her brazen tower, Through the flashing bars of July.” Francis Thompson, A Corymbus for Autumn. “Many public-school children seem to know only two dates: 1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don’t know what happened on either occasion.” Mark Twain. “An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.”Will Rogers.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on June 30 – July 8, 2015

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