Blog Archives

March 14 – 20, 2016

SANTA CRUZ’S OPERA HOUSE 1877-1921.  Not just traveling operas but John L. Sullivan spoke there too. Plays and all sorts of culture happened there. It was hauled to Capitola and later demolished on June 7, 1961.                                                
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

  DATELINE March 14, 2016

SANTA CRUZ MYTHS. Too many citizens/voters  not just in Santa Cruz just accept what local politicians, developers, tell them and vote accordingly..or support and trust those politicians in their desire to somehow improve our way of life. We hear these pleas and hear the myths repeated constantly in spite of the evidence that surounds us.

THE MILLS BROTHERS & DICK POWELL (1934). Just a bit ‘O  rhythm and jive
LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND FRANK SINATRA. Birth of the blues, and show biz at its bext!! (1955)

1. Growth Helps Pay for Social services (and brings in more business). We’ve all seen (and lived in) many towns and cities, especially in California, that have grown by leaps and bounds. Not one of them ever has actually improved the ever-lasting problem of not having an adequate Social Service system. From Capitola to San Jose, from Santa Cruz to Menlo Park, has any city established a better way to keep up their roads, schools, water and gas pipes  or feed their homeless or hungry ? Yet still we hear the Chamber of Commerces, Business Councils, and developers constantly encouraging growth. They also swear growth will mean more business for them, not admitting it also brings in more and larger competition, like box stores and franchises, that kill local business. It’s a proven fact.

2. Widening Highway One. The most obvious example of non thinking or failure to see the evidence is to hope that widening Highway One will help our terrible traffic jams. Along with that is the also odd thinking that adding auxilliary lanes “isn’t widening the highway” even though it adds new lanes. Where has widening highways ever worked? Ask your “pro-widening” friend or the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) for evidence that it has worked someplace. Santa Clara County and Highway 85 do come to mind. When highways are widened, traffic moves faster for a while then developers build new houses at the end of those highways and more people start using that widened section because it’s faster…then it too jams up, and everyone is back where they started. Literally.

3. Corridor Stacking helps …and is sustainable. This is one of the latest developer schemes to build and sell more apartments within city limits. Obviously Santa Cruz is about totally “built out” and still can’t provide “affordable” housing for any income level. So stack apartments on top of stores and call it “sustainable”. Aside from jamming more citizens per square foot in town the additional cars, the parking spaces, the noise, and the high rent or sale prices makes those neighborhoods poor places to enjoy life. These sales people talk about walking and bicycling around Santa Cruz. Aside from the statistically proven dangers from bicycling folks should realize  that getting from Costco or the Tannery to your City Hall or drugstore in Santa Cruz means miles and miles of life threatening traffic. Besides that our corridors Mission Street, Water Street, Ocean Street, and Soquel are simply ugly now. Just imagine those corridors stacked with Mark Primack buildings, which the City jumped at and supported. Go out to 2110 -2120  Delaware Avenue and see what his structures look like. Would YOU want to live near those?

VERY DEARLY DEPARTED. Louis LaFortune died Sunday  morning (3/13). In addition to being a dedicated brilliant host of years of Voices from The Village Louis was a wonderful human. He was a much loved teacher at New School High School in The Pajaro Valley School District. As a father, grandfather, singer, guitarist…he was nearly pure. He’ll be greatly missed.

VENICE, THE JEWS, AND SHAKESPEARE. Ghetto and foundry. In English Merchant

Sunday’s (March 13) New York Times had a fine feature article on the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy. Firstly, it told how “ghetto” the word was once “getto” meaning “foundry”, but word experts disagree on where it started. The most interesting part of the article was that this summer a theatre group is going to present Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” (in English!) right in the Ghetto where Shakespeare set it. Which I think is a giant step forward in appreciating Shakespeare’s genius and eternal appeal. I wonder if they’ll replace Shylock’s daughter role with some male actor. Do you think?? I see that the British film of Hamlet opens at the Del Mar on May 2nd. It stars Ms. Maxine Peake as Hamlet!!!She plays Hamlet as a young boy it says here. This gender-crossing thing is catching on.

VACANCY AT THE CHANCELLOR’S HOUSE? It probably wouldn’t work out, but one way UCSC could ease their campus housing problem would be to rent out the Chancellor’s house on campus. He commutes from over the hill anyways and I’ll guess that 30 students could triple up in there…just a thought.


Should an eight-foot high piece of outdoor gym equipment be installed near Its Beach on the northern edge of the West Cliff Drive bike path between West Cliff Drive and the ocean? If you follow the law, as in city ordinances and codes, the answer is clearly “no.”  If you skirt around the law, as did city Planning, city Parks and Recreation staff and three out of five members of the city Planning Commission, the answer is “yes”.

The final answer will be determined at the March 22nd city council meeting. The vote to approve the gym structure (or parcourse structure) by the three Planning Commissioners was appealed to council by long-time local resident, Reed Searle. He needs our support.

West Cliff Drive and the bike path lie in the Shoreline Protection Overlay (SP-O) District. The code for this district requires the city to “maintain public view corridors between the sea and the first public roadway parallel to the sea and maintain natural views of the coastline.”  (24.10.2430 (4)

Installing an eight-foot high, chair-like structure in this protected view shed was a non-issue for staff and the three commissioners, even though it will stick out like a sore thumb. The staff report to the Planning Commission posits that such a structure “maintains public view corridors” since you can see the ocean through the bars.

Then there’s the city code for Principal Permitted Uses in the SP-O District. This section of the code allows for “surf access ways” and “public beach-recreation activities but not including the use of any building or structure other than stairways and handrails.”  (20.10.1900). This proscription against any structure is repeated in each sentence of the code on permitted uses in the SR-O District. Since the city determined that this parcourse equipment installation requires a building permit, they must consider it a structure. This is not allowed by city law.

In attempting to skirt this clear legal direction, staff argues that since there is no language in the code specifically saying “no gym or parcourse equipment” then its up to the Zoning Administrator to make the determination and he approved it. That’s more than a stretch. There is no language specifically prohibiting any variety of uses such as zip lines, cable cars, stadium seating etc. along West Cliff. The prohibition on any structures except for stairways and handrails should be sufficient to prohibit an eight foot tall piece of gym equipment that requires a building permit. That is, unless you are trying to get around the law. In my experience, top-level city staff routinely try to skirt the law. Examples abound. An early example was a development on Meder St. along the western tributary of Arroyo Seco, which the city claimed was a drainage ditch, not an intermittent watercourse, and therefore they said the development didn’t require the necessary stream set-backs. They were challenged and lost. A more recent example was weakening the Heritage Tree Ordinance, which the city claimed was CEQA exempt. That was a costly attempt to skirt the law. They were challenged and lost.

In this case, beyond legalities, there is a whole host of questions about whether a piece of large gym equipment is in character with what most people love about West Cliff Drive. From my experience, approaching people to sign the petition against this structure, the vast majority feel strongly that West Cliff Drive is not an appropriate location for this use. There are other suitable and legal locations for outdoor gym equipment.

If you agree, take a minute to email city council: and let them know you oppose the installation of parcourse equipment along West Cliff Drive. It can be as simple a statement as that. Deadline is Monday March 21st.  

(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).

ACC-CEN-TU-ATE THE POSITIVE. Paul MCartney. (2012)
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE. Patti Page and Jo Stafford duet in this 1958 live-TV  clip.
BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREW SISTERS (1947) Just after the war, when swing was the thing.



On the Consent Agenda of the Santa Cruz County Board Tuesday March 15, as Item #13, the Board is proposing to carry out a study, costing about half a million dollars, which would result in a plan to reuse the CEMEX property adjacent to Davenport. It’s possible that Davenport would become a major tourism center and the gateway to a North Coast National Monument.

Residents of the City of Santa Cruz should be thinking about going to a Planning Commission meeting.tomorrow night.


The City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission is meeting this Thursday March 17, at 7:00 p.m. Review the Land Use Report blog at for more information.

The Commission doesn’t have any projects on its agenda tomorrow night. Instead, the Commission will be looking at three major policy documents that set out goals and objectives that are intended to drive the City’s future growth and development. “Growth and development” is probably a pretty good way to put it, too. As listeners and readers may be aware, the University of California is planning big new growth on its Santa Cruz campus, and a lot of the impacts will hit the City. In general, I think it’s fair to say that the City itself has growth in mind. The proposed “Corridors Plan,” currently winding its way through a public process, would increase heights and density along Mission, Soquel, Ocean, and Water. The City’s General Plan pretty much goes along with that. The City’s Housing Element anticipates a significant amount of new growth, and the Climate Action Plan doesn’t suggest that Santa Cruz should be looking for a low-growth future. If you care about growth and development in the City Santa Cruz, the Planning Commission will be discussing the City General Plan, the City Housing Element, and the City’s Climate Action Plan at its meeting . 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 indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Reviewing the Boardwalk…think about it! Then scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Another classic Subsconscious Comic!!! See downwards

MOZART, MUNCHING WITH. Every third Thursday at 12:10 pm in the upstairs meeting room there’s a free concert produced and directed by Carol Panofsky.  This Thursday it’s “What’s so great about classical music”, The Three Kinds of Music with John Orlando, speaker and pianist. His program is Domenico Scarlatti (1683-1757) Sonata in G Major, Longo 14…Isaac Albenez (1860-1909)…Iberia Suite, Book I: El Puerto…and Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Nocturne in  Major, Op. 55, No. 2. It is absolutely free which means get there early.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Cultures clash and worlds collide along the Amazon in the haunting and powerful Embrace of the Serpent (shot in captivating back-and-white), this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, Maria Callas teaches a Master Class,  con brio, in the vibrant new Jewel Theatre Company production.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. What a surprise…the reviews were coming in saying this is a well done, thrill -film from some very  respected reviewers. They’re right, this is an exciting, involving, mysterious, well-acted, suspenseful movie. John Goodman stars as a creepy, misunderstood, possible deviate, who’s locked up a young beautiful woman Mary Elizabeth Winstead to protect her from what is (or isn’t?) outside the underground home-like prison. Great suspense, nicely filmed, believable, just go and have fun. Don’t read anything else about it, you’ll spoil the excitement and puzzlement.


COMMENT ON THE LADY IN THE VAN. Few or almost no one ever talked about the delightful film starring Maggie Smith is really all about the treatment of the homeless. That maybe those homeless folks are real people with personalities, needs, loves and other human facets !! The film is leaving Thursday. Go see it.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

SPOTLIGHT. A big Oscar winner for this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!! A perfect example of what Hollywood can do….sometimes.

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

THE REVENANT. What’s odd about  The Revenant is that hardly anyone I know, knew what the word meant. Looking it up (I had to) in Wictionary you’ll find…   Someone who returns from a long absence. A person or thing reborn. A supernatural being that returns from the dead; a zombie or ghost. The film is a Big Golden Globes  and Oscar winner for best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best acting and Alejandro Inarritu for best Director. Set in the 1820’s its about Leonardo and his fellow fur trappers being attacked or occasionally helped by Indian tribes such as the Ree, the Ankara,the Pawnee and the Sioux. DeCaprio almost dies from a bear attack and spends the rest of the film crawling and freezing his way to revenge the trappers who left him to die. DeCaprio has only 15 lines in English, he takes off his clothes and sleeps inside a dead horse (after removing the guts) and then he wins the Golden Globes and the OSCAR !!! Go figure, but you do need to see it on a big screen.

THE BIG SHORT.The cast is very well known by now. Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Marisa Tomei, and Brad Pitt. This is a Hollywood version of what should have been a Michael Moore documentary of the bankers, real estate brokers, and the rest of the crooks behind the Wall Street explosion of 2008. It bored me to a snooze because I haven’t the foggiest idea , or any knowledge of all those financial dealings.  Go only if you’re up on all those money market concepts. It closes Thursday.

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakinstan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

STAR WARS The Force Awakens STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends immediately asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve critiqued in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’s business column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says and I agree that it’s not a movie.”It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dullRead the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

LONDON HAS FALLEN. Aaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

BREACHING THE  BOTTOM.  DEADPOOL. To be fair Deadpool is a fairly decent movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice.

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. March 15 has Dru Glover talking about the aims and goals of Project: Pollinate Santa Cruz Then Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22, and then Chip from the Santa Cruz Downtown Association tells us what’s happening on Pacific and environs.  Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the !st Broadcast Medium”. Then Phil Kramer of the Homeless Services Center gives us the scoop on their plans and accomplishments.  Joan Van Antwerp describes Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” opening at the Center Stage (4/8-4/23). Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at  

Self-taught is not a negative in my world. Generally, if you are self-taught at something, that means it’s something you really wanted to learn, and that alone gives you a head start 🙂 Check out this girl; she’s great! 🙂

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-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.


“We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny.” William McKinley

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.” Edward Abbey

“The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way.” Joan Didion

“California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.” Don DeLillo

“Dean’s California–wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 14 – 20, 2016

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