Blog Archives

March 27 – April 2, 2013

COOPER AND FRONT STREETS.This was taken after 1866 when the Hall of Records went down. It was also before 1882 when the Octagon was built and became our Hall of Records. Note the City Jail, now MAH, isn’t up yet and of course Lulu’s Espresso Octagon Place and the Red Ball haven’t arrived. Watch this space.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

RIGHT WING SWING.Continuing our county government’s Right Wing Republican swing, we saw on page A7 of Sunday’s Sentinel (3/24) more than 1200 sensible signers of the “Together for a Safe Santa Cruz County”. That ad and petition are almost a total push back and a response to the Take Back Santa Cruz, plus The Santa Cruz Neighbors movements and the growing vigilante attitude like that newer group Clean Team Santa Cruz that Lynn Robinson and Debbie Elston have fostered..Look at that list of “Together For A Safe Santa Cruz County” people, how many Bruce McPherson supporters can you find? About zero!!Speaking of which, I lost track of the praise-worthy print writer last week who called Hilary Bryant our first high- heeled mayor.

One of the Nuttiest skits I’ve ever seen…presenting the Bexen Dancers. Rich Siebert sent this one, and deserves high praise.

SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ UPGRADES. We’ve heard by now that all three Shakespeare Santa Cruz plays will be done in the Sinsheimer– Stanley Festival Glen and none inside on the Mainstage. Little note has been made of the improvements to the audience seating, the working actors spaces beneath the stage, and the increased audience picnic space in front of the stage itself. It’s all about the budget and cutting back, but with Taming Of The Shrew, Henry V and a new version of Tom Jones they’ll probably do better this year than the last one. Go here if you want to see their official statement.

LEON PANETTA’S SON MIGHT RUN FOR CONGRESS…WHEN? & ETC. The Monterey County Weekly said this week, “Jimmy Panetta, a prosecutor for the Monterey County District Attorney, says he may run for Congress when Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, eventually retires. “Based on who I am and where I am from, and my devotion to public service, it’s clear that’s something I would seriously consider,” the younger Panetta says. “But only when the time is right.”People have approached him to ask him to consider a run for Congress, Panetta says, and he’ll weigh the possibility based on watching his father’s 50-year career: “I’ve seen what it takes to be a good politician and it’s not easy. It takes a lot of sacrifices on your part and your family’s part.”

TIGER WOODS AND LINDSEY VONN.Don’t you secretly think that they would make a very happy couple and wish them the very best? check this Huff Post piece…


GOODBYE PHYLLIS LEVINE AND CHARLES MARSHALL. Both of these long time, and good friends, were happy contributors to making Santa Cruz what it once was. Both were born in New York and spent their best and last year’s right here. We’ll all miss them in very many ways.

JUST LEARNING.According to Jill Lepore’s excellent torture article “The Dark Ages” in the March 18 New Yorker.. Guantanamo occupies forty-five square miles on the Southeastern end of Cuba. She says it isn’t part of Cuba, and it isn’t part of the United States”. I’ll just add, in comparison, San Quentin Prison is 427 acres and Guantanamo is one tenth the size of all of Santa Cruz County!!!.

SPIVEY’S ADDITIONAL INFO. Bruce Holloway replied, “It was Stickney’s in Palo Alto, not Spivey’s. It closed in 1999″. Eric Fingal Honcho of Historical Photos at Covello & Covello since I began printing historical photos in this space and also in my hard copy columns in all the local papers years wrote to say, “I guess I should put my 2 cents in. I remember Spivey’s on Ocean Street as my family went in there all the time when I was a small child in the ’50s. They also opened a location on Portola where Polivio’s was. Their famous menu item, as I remember was ” Broasted Chicken “. My recollection is that it was kind of a classic diner”.



This year’s Democratic Party fundraiser was the best ever! They sold out the dining room at the Dream Inn, a union hotel, which fell in line with the evening’s stated goal; reuniting Labor and Democrats in Santa Cruz. I wasn’t aware they weren’t united, but apparently some were not. Management and staff at the Dream Inn were awesome, reminding us that we have a great hotel in Santa Cruz.

Other than the sell-out crowd, the makeup of those present included many younger Democrats than usually attend such a dinner. This extended to featured speaker Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy, who was introduced by James Panetta, son of Leon. People’s Democratic Club President Brian Murtha was honored as “Democrat of the Year”, presented by Senator Bill Monning, John Laird did his usual great job M.C.’ing the event. Space here limits listing the other well-known Democrats who attended, but they were all there. I’ll not embarrass those few who didn’t show or send a representative by listing their names. There were several standing ovations during the evening, but the largest and longest was for Leslie Steiner, the DCC’s Ways and Means Chair, for organizing the event. It was a great evening!

(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 talks about Measures T, U, J, and E. As usual his perspective hits those nails head on. Here’s what he says about Watsonville’s chance of losing a lot of their prime agricultural land in June… “Measure T will be on the ballot in Watsonville this June. An approval of Measure T would take a step towards opening up agricultural lands along Highway One for new development. A new big box store could be built. Or maybe some car dealerships. That is the latest rumor. Currently, this is prime agricultural land. Instead of strawberry fields, the idea would be to put in a Walmart, or Costco, or perhaps those car lots. The argument in favor of Measure T is that it would provide “economic opportunities.” “Economic opportunities for whom?” is really the question. The new jobs provided at a car dealership are few and far between, and the jobs provided at Walmart, as many now realize, are for very low wage jobs without great benefits; plus, when a new big box store opens up, existing small and local retail stores tend to be shut down. Meantime, the land is part of the economic foundation that currently supports the City; namely, commercial agriculture. The best thing about Measure T, from my perspective, is that it will give the voters of Watsonville an opportunity to choose a direction for their City. I don’t think that it is a foregone conclusion that Watsonville voters will want to turn away from agriculture to place their economic bets on car lots or big box stores. If you live in Watsonville, why not get involved?”. Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

HANK WILLIAMS SINGING “Cold, Cold Heart”.Merely a classic and always worth listening to.

VINTAGE DE CINZO.Check out all 13 of The Sentinel’s NEW Steven DeCinzo editorial cartoons at. I started with the Tom Scribner homage to the Police Officers tragedy and you can open the rest from there. Scroll you know where for another DeCinzo collectible.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. “M. C”. Eagan takes us on a journey we’ve been on before. See below a few pages.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau writes about Yoani Sanchez and how we miss her message. He writes, “Liberal and conservative Americans alike have celebrated Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez. She’s become the new “resistance to communism” heroine, a world-renowned troublemaker inside Cuba. Yoani also acquired semi-princess status in Western Europe thanks to the wide Internet circulation of her weekly Generation Y blog. (Cubans of a certain era got names beginning with Y.) She spins her columns, descriptions of daily life in Cuba, supported by unverified rumors, to badmouth the Cuban government. They appear in the Huffington Post, El País, Die Zeit and other prestigious journals. Inside Cuba, few do not read her blog; nor would most Cubans have heard her name. Very few would recognize her face if they saw her”. He closes with, “The U.S. media has positioned her the dissident representative of technology’s age of communication. She sends her weekly Internet column from Cuban hotels, or by flash drive from the U.S. Interests Section and other embassies. She spins each column as an attack on the Cuban government. The princess of digital communication made her triumphant debut. But apparently no one in power or in mainstream media cared about what she said. The Cuban government should, nevertheless, be proud of her. She used different language to state their case, to Congress, the White House and the public. Alas, eyes saw, but ears closed. Did anyone hear that besides the critiques of the Cuban government she asked Washington to change its Cuba policy?” Read more here

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from


LISA JENSEN LINKS. “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, get ready for the first all-outdoor Shakespeare Santa Cruz season in the renovated Festival Glen, listen to some authentic young female voices in Sally Potter’s involving Ginger & Rosa, and as Women’s History Month winds down, consider some facts about Women’s Here and Now.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

HELEN MIRREN AND AL PACINO IN HBO’S “PHIL SPECTOR“. I was originally going to poke fun at this Hollywood piece of fluff. Then I watched it on HBO Sunday night….don’t miss it. Helen Mirren with no accent and Pacino, nuttier than ever as Spector are great fun…and who can remember how his murder trial ended anyways??

GINGER & ROSA. Elle Fanning proves she’s going to be another Streep or Bette Davis in this story of two London teenage girls coming of age in several dimensions. It opens Friday at The Nick. I’m already putting Fanning’s name on my 2013 Oscar list…she’s that good. So’s everybody else in this sensitive splitting-apart-family drama. Don’t miss it.

WAR WITCH.The official press release says,Writer/director Kim Nguyen highlights the tragic plight of child soldiers in sub-Saharan Africa with this tale of a pregnant 14 year old girl recalling the time she was forced to kill her own parents and join the rebel army. Go see it, it’ll tear you apart with it’s reality, and it’s worth it.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE. This excellent, must-see documentary will probably be gone by the time you read this, because every Santa Cruzan believes they know all about Food in America. This isn’t really about food it’s about how many Americans are starving here today, and how we have this century old image of our selves as being nearly perfect. We go on helping poor folks in countries all over the world and won’t acknowledge the starvation and Federal cutbacks that are making it worse. It is an eye-opener and you’ll learn a lot. Plus my old friend Marion Nestle has a lot to say and advise in this important film. My former boss and her former teacher Don Glaser, Nobel Prize Winner and Microbiologist died last week. He was a fine fellow, and gave us a lot.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Dickens’s masterpiece has been staged very few times. . London’s West End Theatre is doing it right now, and there’ll be only one screening of a live performance. That’s this Thursday 3/28 at 7:30 p.m. at The Del Mar Theatre. Tickets online and at the door, probably.

ROSSELINI’S “INDIA”.By sheer luck I caught the very rare screening of Roberto Rosselini’s India on Turner Classic Movies last week. It had been considered lost for many decades. It’s one of his personal favorites, a documentary filmed in 1959. See if you can’t watch it somehow. It’ll change your idea of documentaries.

HOT CINEMA ROLES. Probably never released nationally here, Sleep Tight is one hell of a very scary brilliant thriller. Filmed in Barcelona, directed by Jaume Balaguero

And it stars Luis Tosar, you foreign film nuts will recognize him immediately. He’s a concierge at a hotel, and a born-depressed, suicidal sneak who seeks to make everybody he knows depressed, or kill them. A fabulous film, beautifully photographed, great acting. Rent it locally at Cedar Street Video, or use your out of town supplier. It’s new and was just released last year.

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.

March 26 has UCSC’s assoc. Prof. Ben Leeds Carson talking about the annual April in Santa Cruz Festival followed by Cabrilho College’s John Orlando and the concerts in the Distinguished Artists Series. Alexandra Kennedy discussesissues attached to grief followed by Sarah Leonard from the Mental Health Client Action Network on April 2nd. The Reel Work Film Festival appears on April 23. 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, 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 Conpany. 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. “I had a perfect cure for a sore throat—cut it“,. Alfred Hitchcock. “The womb then is a tomb. To be born is to die, and life is really death-in-life“, Norman O. Brwon. “There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule“, R. W. Gerard.


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 March 27 – April 2, 2013

Comments are closed.