Blog Archives

March 20 – 26, 2014

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BUILDING BEING BUILT. Proof that real people built this mess not demons. The photo was taken June 30, 1965. Then look across the mighty San Lorenzo River, which appears totally dry and see Pacific Avenue, the old jail, The Cooperhouse, the Civic…what stupendous changes this entire area has gone through.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.


LA BAHIA UPDATE. Don Webber active member of the Beach Hill Neighbors and Friends of La Bahia spends more time studying the La Bahia proposals than anyone I know. I asked him what’s new with Craig French’s and Boardwalk Charlie Canfield’s latest plans for La Bahia. He has three areas of concern and that need modification. They are (in brief) 1. The extent of demolition. 2. The interface with residences. and 3. Parking and traffic. If you care about the demolition of one of our most obvious historical landmarks, and if you care about how the Bahia will look from the First street face and if you care about the eternal parking problem in the entire Beach Area. read all of Don Webber’s analysis RIGHT HERE

CITY COUNCIL CAROUSEL. With Tim Goncharoff cancelling his campaign kickoff, most folks think he and his campaign are toast. Too bad too, I think he’s a good candidate…naive, foolish, stubborn, but still a good candidate. Hillary Bryant told me last Thursday about her running , “I don’t know, it’s so hard on the kids”. Rochelle Naroyan is running, no body knows about David Terrazas, and only a few even care. Cynthia Chase is going to wait a campaign or two, Steve Schnaar changed his mind too and he’s not going for it. Bruce Van Allen is mulling it over and so is Leonie Sherman.

E.C RITTENHOUSE’S MAUSOLEUM. Jacob Pierce of the Santa Cruz Weekly wrote an article on the Rittenhouse Mausoleum at the corner of Church and Pacific. He didn’t understand an important part of our concept of having a plaza there. I wrote a letter to the Weekly, they didn’t print it last week…so here it is, just in case.

My letter to the weekly…re plaza

Re: “What Happened To The E.C. Rittenhouse Building” (Cover, Mar. 4):

Jacob’s article on the Rittenhouse Building was great. Though one little item needs clarification, it wasn’t “environmentalists” or even what you might call “activists” who were pushing for years to create a plaza on the notorious Pacific-Church Corner. The pro-plaza group was made up of many Performing Artists and their organizations. Audrey Stanley of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Tandy Beal and the Cabrillo Music Festival and The Santa Cruz Symphony and I all appeared before the City Council asking the Council and then Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice to build the plaza. It would have been a well designed combination of small businesses on the perimeter including a large second floor restaurant overlooking the large grassy performing space. There would have been benches, and a park like ambiance plus those performance and business spaces. But the merchants shot it down and convinced the City Council, some of whom who had researched plazas and even established an official Plaza Advisory Panel that “it would attract the wrong element”.

Frank Lima “The Great Morgani” asks “When is Doctors on Duty, next to Hotel Paradox, going to change their marquee to read “PAIR O DOCS” ? A burning and deep question.

WHAT WHARF PLAN??? In case you aren’t a lifetime subscriber to the Sentinel (I am) Gillian Greensite wrote an amazing story in last Sundays (3/16) Sentinel titled

Wharf plan lacks community input

That which draws the most ire in Santa Cruz is large-scale development projects on the fast track to the City Council about which the community is largely unaware. The latest example is the Wharf Master Plan, a million ­dollar blueprint that transforms the Municipal Wharf into an almost unrecognizable tourist draw. I caught the consultant’s presentation by chance at the most recent Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The funds to develop the Wharf Master Plan by San Francisco consultant firm ROMA, is a combination of $850,000 secured by the city from the U.S. Commerce Department under a grant covering tsunami impacted areas (the wharf was not tsunami affected) plus $170,000 from city monies. One conclusion confirmed that the 100-year-old wharf is, “in good serviceable condition” with, “very few structural problems.”

Some of the plan’s aspects might appeal, such as a new 28-foot-wide walking, jogging, bike riding, fishing, wheel-chair accessible path on the eastern side, projected seaward from the current walkway. Other aspects suggest an appearance of willful disregard for local maritime conditions; for public appreciation of the wharf as a non-Disney icon and for the value of the historic family wharf restaurants. Gilda’s name was mispronounced by the ROMA consultant and singled out as an example of “ugly,” and, “not the kind of thing that creates an experience,” and, “we can do better.” The end of the wharf would be transformed with large buildings, relocated sea lion viewing haulouts and capacity for 100-ton vessels. Read all of Gillian’s story here…

What is with the City Council secrecy on this? What’s with the spending of all this money and not letting the people know?? That is our BUSINESS DEMOCRATS vs. LABOR DEMOCRATS in a nutshell.

BURNING CORPSES NEXT DOOR??? As some concerned neighbor of the Santa Cruz Memorial Incinerator said, “how’d you like to have a daily fire next to your house when they burn flesh, wood, bone, metal, and mercury??” Remember when we used to have plain old bonfires?

And why does SC Memorial not want to add more scrubbing to their incinerator chimney?

GROCERY OUTLET…AGAIN, STILL. A concerned reader hoped I hadn’t “crossed over” in supporting Grocery Outlet’s moving into the Morrissey Post Office space. Yep, I did and I told her I liked the old Lucky Store, I told her none of us gets to choose which franchise goes in there, maybe a Quicky Lube, a MacDonalds, some Coffins R Us, it’s about the money and zoning.

I figure it’s only the Morrissey Safeway that will suffer, and with the recent sale of the Safeway chain, who can guess what Albertson’s will do with that property (I’ll bet they close it). We don’t want to get into the complaints from Staff of Life neighbors, which I did last week.

BUSINESS DEMOCRATS or LABOR DEMOCRATS. That’s one nationalidentification that’s been poping up lately. Then there’s labels like POLICE Democrats or PEOPLE Democrats that work equally well. Applied locally that would mean people like Cynthia Mathews, the Coonertys, Zach Friend, The Democratic Women’s Club, Mike Rotkin, Hilary Bryant, those folks are BUSINESS or POLICE Democrats. Then there’s the People’s Democratic Club and…Send in your suggestions.

GOODBYE BUZ BEZORE. You can tell by the amount of coverage on Buz Bezore that he was an important figure in our local print media history. All of us who were involved with Buz could easily write stories about our relationships just about nearly forever. What is almost funny is that in the last few days many of us have been franticaly trying to put together dates, facts and memories…and it’s all a mess of tears, laughs, politics, egos, and not much accuracy. I quit Good Times at least twice to join Buz in starting weekly papers, and those sure were the great old days. Tony Russomano sent this aerticle by Mike Connor in the May 5, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz. Mike interviewed and collected what I’ve found to be the most accurate account of those days and what we were up to.

Check out Lisa Jensens blog for March 12, where she tells about Buz and the two of them at UCSC, his free-lancing at Good Times and their long friendship. Somewhere in all of this there’s high praise for The Santa Cruz Express. Sometime, someone should write a book just about how Buz and our small happy band of sisters and brothers created that paper, how great a paper it was and sadly, how it fell apart. There’ll never be another Buz.

SANDY LYDON’S NEWSLETTER. Go hereto get a sampling of what Sandy and friends are up to. Go visit places like Siberia, Croatian Watsonville, Mongolia, and Big Sur. Equally important is Sandy’s historical look at our local droughts. We should memorize that part.



After fifteen years of negotiations, a number of setbacks, the cumulative effort by Nisene 2 Sea, California Conservation Corps, agencies within Santa Cruz County Government, and two County Supervisors, the “Cabrillo Connector” trail will soon be open for public enjoyment. The Cabrillo Connector is a County owned trail through private property that allows the public to travel between Cabrillo College and The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The public is invited to join in the celebratory grand opening walk starting at the Danube Drive/Kamian Way intersection on Saturday Mar 29 at 1:00 P.M.

This new trail leads to the Vienna Woods trail into Nisene Marks Park, the only multi-use trail on its western side and provides park entrance and access to the fire road in the park at level of steel bridge which is a number of miles inland from Aptos Village.

People old and young, leashed dogs, and bicycle riders of all ages are encouraged to join the walk. Please stay within the boundaries of the trail and bring dog poop bags if your dog comes along.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports a meeting re the Pajaro River and flood control, nad tells how serious that situation is. He warns of possible law changes that could allow easier development on rural parts of our county. Monterey County will be dealing with so-called affordable housing and a new development. The Carmel Valley Association will be handling their version of their own water problem next Sunday. He ends the week detailing the Mobile Home Owners League meeting next Saturday at the Live Oak Grange. There are details and questions about property rights vs. the trailer owners rights. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, 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 DE CINZO. UCSC students rate the rents…see downwards

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes another stand…scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Join me in bidding a fond farewell to Buz Bezore, legendary editor and agent provocateur of the Santa Cruz alternative journalism scene, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THE TEMPEST. Christopher Plummer leads the cast in this Stratford Festival “live” telecast from 2011. It’s Thursday night 3/20 at the Del Mar and it starts at 6:00 p.m. !!! there’ll be an encore showing Sunday 3/23 at 11am. The New Yorker loved this production…check it out at…

……In order of perfection……

GIRLS IN THE BAND.It’s closing this Thursday (3/20) and it’s an excellent film. A documentary about the forgotten women instrumentalists in the world of jazz. Not singers so much but instrumentalists. It’s also one of the most empowering messages from those courageous women who fought for the chance ro play alongside and instead of the men. Brilliant, fun, exciting, educational and well made go quickly.

PARTICLE FEVER.Ends (3/20)You’ll feel a lot smarter after you see this documentary about the “God Particle”. The Higgs Boson ultimate discovery that is supposed to explain everything. You’ll feel smarter but you won’t be able to describe this film to anybody. It’s so far over our heads, and it mostly looks like a hype piece to justify all the billions of dollars spent on the research. Mr. Higgs is in it and we never find out what happened to Boson. It is very impressive.

ART OF THE STEAL. (CLOSES 3/20). It has Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp and Matt Dillon in it and it’s about stealing. Yes, I saw it but I don’t want to talk about it, and you wouldn’t either if you happened to see it by accident or something.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

(from BEST 2 worst)

THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and a few other classics. It’s not for children, it’s a sophisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane.The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti add the unnecessary Hollywood element and do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap, and if you get a chance read the plot before you go!!!

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood and have nothing else to do.

WALKING THE CAMINO. (SEE SOON) This is about a 500 mile trek/hike/pilgrimage in Northern Spain that has been continuing for centuries. Martin Sheen likes this documentary even though he and his son Emilio Estevez made their film “The Way” about the same trek. A few years ago. Kathy Bisbee, executive director of Santa Cruz Community Television went on the Camino walk a few months ago and is going back pretty soon. She said Walking the Camino movie isn’t as deep or touching or as human as The Way.

MONUMENTS MEN. This movie is boring with laughs.. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men, not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting for a rainy night!!

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

SON OF GOD.Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast liooking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and n ever did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

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…. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18, and historian, author, tour guide Sandy Lydon returns to relate history and talk about droughts. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing. 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. “For the chicken, the egg demands involvement, but for the pig, bacon demands total commitment”, John A. Price. “I am not a vegetarian because I love animals: I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants”, A.W. Brown. “I love Chinese food. My favorite dish is number 27”, Clement Atlee.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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