Blog Archives

June 7 – 13, 2016

BRAND NEW HISTORICAL PHOTO. Here we are,  the June 4th ers at Lulu Carpenters (on June 4th 2016). We started getting together in 1982, and hadn’t been together for at least 15 years). Left to right… That’s Rip Harris–  S. Cruz High School Counselor, Kathy Cowan – Cabrillo teacher and author of “Sacred Lies Sober Truths“, Linda Pope formerly of Pope Gallery and UCSC’s Sesnon Gallery, Me, Gail Cruse– realtor and vocalist with the “Back In Time” trio. Coffee, laughs and an Astrology reading from Susan Heinz!!!

photo credit: my new iPhone and a genuine photographer who volunteered and I didn’t get her name

Additional information always welcome: email

                                                                                                             DATELINE June 6, 2016

MUHAMMAD ALI AND SYLVESTER STALLONE. Ali was truly the greatest, and would have been a much better president than Trump. Watch these two stars in action.

MUHAMMED ALI…MORE OF…only if you like the reality of boxing.


PRESIDENT….Bernie Sanders by all means, and later (if necessary) Hillary Clinton.

U.S. SENATE….Kamala D. Harris

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE….Jimmy Panetta,  yep!  I know what you’re thinking but…

STATE SENATOR….Bill Monning (even with his strange support of studying the economics of closing the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant).

STATE ASSEMBLY….Mark Stone, hasn’t done anything wrong yet!

YES ON 50…The legislator suspension measure.

YES ON Q…Cabrillo College Bond. (Some questions do arise here BUT it’s our community college!)

YES ON S…Santa Cruz Library Money. It’s needed now more than ever!

COUNTY DEMOCRAT CENTRAL COMMITTEE. Pick 5 out of the six. The five I know are all pro-growth, anti homeless…it’s embarrassing, and shameful

SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM. There’ll hopefully be more of these and the first one I know of  will be produced by the Peoples Democratic Club of Santa Cruz (PDC) it’s happening Monday August 29 6:30 p.m. at the London Nelson Community Center.

KESSLER, CLINTON…and MAIDENFORM BRAS. It shouldn’t have been such a surprise to read Stephen Kessler’s diatribe against Bernie Sanders in Sunday’s Sentinel. He called Bernie an idealogue, said he’d “make a lousy president”, wasn’t a liberal, wasn’t a Democrat, would destroy the Democratic party, said “no one has taken him seriously”,  and called him a simple minded  demagogue. Kessler had special words for Bernie’s constant attack on Wall Street, wherin lies the clue to Stephen’s heavy attack. Stephen is one of the heirs to the Maidenform Bra Corporation and has never had to work a solid day in his life. So protecting stocks and Wall Street??? It all figures, in case you wondered. Read it here… or not!

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


What a wonderful event, the entire day with the before-parade, the parade and after the parade. I walked with the People’s Democratic Club along with our Democratic Central Committee, Crosson North County Democrats, and other likeminded folks.  I’m sure the large turnout of Democrat walkers had to do with having two candidates in the running for the Democratic nomination for president.  I’d say of the marchers, the Sanders and Clinton supporters were about even.  But that wasn’t the same with the parade watchers.  Sanders had the most vocal (and younger) supporters.  Great parade and lots of fun afterward.


Here’s to getting behind our Democratic Party candidate.  Let’s not even think about giving the election to Trump because our choice for president came in 2nd in the Democratic Primary on June 7,  Make sure you vote!  

Oh yes, I forgot to mention a great lunch at 99 Bottles.   Try their American Stout (Number 38 on the list), to go with the BBQ beef sliders.  It would be another good place to watch election returns.  

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park


The parking component of the Corridors Plan was presented to and discussed by the Santa Cruz City Planning Commission last Thursday. The public present voiced strong opposition. Eastside neighbors were joined by local business-owners, their numbers swelled by a petition containing 200 signatures of other businesspeople, gathered in just 2 days of door-to-door effort. The senior city planner expressed annoyance, declaring that the public had been misled by a flyer detailing the proposed parking changes and distributed to neighbors and businesses by folks on the eastside. A number of long-time local business owners, including a Soquel Avenue physician plus the owner of Horsnyder’s Pharmacy begged for the retention of on-street parking, stating its removal would severely impact their businesses since proximity was crucial for their elderly, often frail patrons. The senior city planner continued to be annoyed, stating that this change was way off into the future and anyway, prior to the removal of on-street parking, new parking structures would be built within a quarter mile or so of any business. “This will promote healthy living through walking and bicycling” assured the consultants.

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It will be a sad day for Santa Cruz if this Plan slips through without stiff opposition from all sides of town.

(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).


(WHAT A GROUP). What celebrities today have this much appeal and cool?

OLDIE BUT GOODIE. It’s been around for years, and I laugh every time I see it.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…June 4, 2016


The People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County, affectionally known as the PDC, hosted a discussion on affordable housing on Thursday, May 19th. I was privileged to be able to participate in the discussion, and joined former Santa Cruz County Planning Director Tom Burns, and current County Planning Department staff person Sarah Neuse, for what turned out to be a lively and (I thought) productive session. The very engaged audience, more than any of the named presenters, is what helped make it that way.  

The PDC billed the evening as “An Initial Conversation about Density and Affordable Housing,” with the idea, I think, that there would be a lot of back and forth on the question of whether or not it is “worth it” to increase residential densities in Santa Cruz in order to provide the community with more affordable housing. As some who are reading this blog posting probably know, the City of Santa Cruz is currently considering a “Corridors Plan,” to increase building heights, mixed uses, and residential densities along the City’s main transportation corridors (Ocean Street, Mission Street, Water Street, and Soquel Avenue). Santa Cruz County has recently adopted a somewhat similar plan, which they call the “Sustainable Communities Plan.”

The PDC sent out its meeting announcement with the following advisory: 

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What will make housing affordable is price controls.

It’s just that simple.

And that is, indeed, a very “tough truth.” 

(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. DeCinzo asks “is it really, really the Safe-Way”? …checkout is below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. The ever thoughtful Eagan puts the bite on politics. Thumb down a few pages.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa is working and writing harder than ever, and was deeply involved with Nancy Raney’s celebaration at the Nick. Check out her website anyway, just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. It’s at  Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


ME BEFORE YOU. It’s an odd bit of casting to see Emila Clarke who plays the white haired,  skinny, oft-bare- nippled, dragon mother Princess Daenerys Targaryen Thoros in Game Of Thrones in this hammy, corney tragi-comedy. She is chubby, undeucated, clutzy, poorly dressed, goofy and mugs incessently. The other star is a guy in a wheelchair who looks so much like Christopher Reeves (in and out of the wheel chair) that there’s a creepy feeling all through the film. It’s beyond a tear jerker, it’s treacle, sugary, and not worth your time.

X MEN: APOCALYPSE. Another Marvel Comics dystopian monster versus mutant movie. The one interesting 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 and that Judd Apatow directed it…which should be warning enough.  .


A BIGGER SPLASH. Tricky, subtle, beautifully acted by Tilda Swinton who plays a female David Bowie, and a plot that’ll sneak up on you. Ralph Fiennes is unusually nasty and perfect in his role as a father and ex-lover. Lots of nudity, Italian Island scenery and surprises that’ll ultimately leave you happy that you saw it.

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.

NICE GUYS. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make terrible buddies in this sloppy attempt at another buddy movie.This one is set in L.A. in the 70’s. An investigator and a cop team up and with no laughs, no subtleties whatsoever, more violence, much blood, …it’s awful. There’s a 13 year old girl in it that does an excellent job of acting her name is Angourie Rice. We’ll be seeing and hearing more of her.

MONEY MONSTER. Genuine Hollywood. What can you expect when you have George Clooney and Julia Roberts as stars and Jodie Foster as director. The entire film demands lots of tension and there is some but it keeps lagging. You will be totally aware that you’re watching Clloney and Roberts every time they move or speak. The irate investor/person of plot isn’t the best actor either. But there’s few other films around so see this…just be warned.

MEDDLER. Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons who plays a cop named Zipper are the main reasons to see this family drama. There are a few laughs, but the plot is so burlesqued that you’ll never be too absorbed or care about it. It’s a warm touchy-feelie flick but only hints at any of the characters depths so again you don’t get very involved. Your call….as usual. I didn’t know that Susan Sarandon is 70 years old. Same age as the character she plays.

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

THE JUNGLE BOOK. I must confess to still being under the influence of the REAL Jungle Book movie. That’s the 1942 masterpiece starring Sabu as Mowgli. All real live action, no special effects, just Kipling and technicolor. This Disney commercial money maker is exactly that…a Disney money maker. Filmed darkly (to save FX expense) it’s a hodge-podge of Bill Murray’s  looney asides, some old Disney songs and not one iota of what Kipling had in mind when he wrote the book. Send the kids, and you go to the movie next door, believe me.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. These box office gazillion dollar money makers are getting more and more bizzarre. They are direct copies of comic book plots. You shouldn’t apply any common sense or logic to the plots. Like comic books (even the earliest ones 1930’s) were just for fun and escape. So is Captain America:Civil War. To see Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downeyjr., Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei, Martin Freeman, William Hurt, Paul Bettany, Hope Davis, Alfre Woodard and the legendary Stan Lee (creator of the Marvel Comics) in as nonsensical and violent and bloody and senseless a film like this one is just embarrassing. I can’t wait to see such sagas as Orphan Annie vs. Little Lulu, Joe Palooka battles Dick Tracy, Bugs Bunny vs. Minnie Mouse. They can’t  fail.

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. Former Mayor Bruce Van Allen guests the first half hour, then former County Supervisor Gary Patton discusses local politics on Election Day June 7. The Short Story Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz take over the June 14 program which is also Universal Grapevine’s 10th  Anniversary!! June 21 has Carla Brennan talking about Meditation, Buddhism, and Mindfulness. She’s followed by Lincoln Taiz and Ben Leeds Carson talking about the workshop presentation of their opera “Menagerie: The Trial of Spock” (the Star Trek Opera). 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 love some of Jimmy Fallon’s segments – Wheel of Musical Impressions, for instance, is great. Jamie Foxx is absolutely fantastic, so enjoy.

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 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.


“I was like, Am I gay? Am I straight? And I realized…I’m just slutty. Where’s my parade?” Margaret Cho

“The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told them.” Rachel Maddow

“Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!” Allen Ginsberg

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
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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