Blog Archives

March 29 – April 4, 2017

PACIFIC AVENUE January 26, 1965. Note Palace Stationers and Webers Photo Shop in their original locations next door to each other in the I.O.O.F. (International Order Odd Fellows) Building.  The Palomar Building has Del Williams Jewelers  and Ferrari Florists. Beyond that is The Bank Of America, the Del Mar Theatre, all there on the East Side of Pacific. Note too…the amazing width of Pacific Avenue two passing lanes, two parking lanes, and the wide sidewalks with potted plants and pedestrians.                                                

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE March 27, 2017

SENTINEL’S PRO TRUMP HEADLINE. Any reader of the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s ” Letters to the Editor” page knows how they love to print those rare letters saying that the Sentinel is “too liberal”. Huge laughs result from any and all locals who’ve read more than a few editions and know all too well where the editors are now and have always been politically. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than in last week’s biggest TRUMP headline when his Health Care bill was defeated. The San Francisco Chronicle headline stated ,”Stunning Defeat on Health Care” . New York Times headline read  ” In Major Defeat for Trump, Push To Repeal Health Law Fails”.  Newsday said, “Trump, Ryan suffer defeat”,  the Huffington Post had “Trump Concedes Defeat”… worldwide news talked about Trump being defeated.


Look now at our Santa Cruz Sentinel headline that same day (Saturday March 25) “Trump, GOP pull health care bill”   Just as if it were a minor legal point, or some small step to a major Trump victory. That same issue carried Stephen Kessler’s pro Trump column stating Trump’s cutting of the  government supporting the arts is a good idea saying that artists produce great art when they are starving. Or Kessler‘s column the week before damning the homeless saying they were too messy and didn’t clean up spaces where they were sitting.

SAN FRANCISCO AND ANTI-WALL BUILDING. The City of San Francisco is stopping any and all financial connections with companies that are bidding on building Trumps wall against Mexico. Shouldn’t we demand the same from our Santa Cruz City Council?  Read Chris Krohn’s #10 minority report below a few pages about Watsonville’s Granite Construction wall building bid.

NEWS FROM THE GRAPEVINE. There are always plenty of news and opinions on my weekly Universal Grapevine radio program Tuesdays 7-8 p.m. on KZSC (now in its 11th year!) “Chip” the executive director of The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz was my guest last Tuesday. (It’s archived at we were talking about the present, past and future of our Pacific Avenue Downtown. He made an excellent point, whether we like it or not, that retail stores are in serious danger all over the country due to online buying. Small locally – owned retail stores have an extra rough time meeting high rents….so franchised businesses are becoming more and more prevelant. Walk down, or up, Pacific Avenue again and figure out what percentage of businesses of any kind are locally-owned.

BE VERY AWARE. Wouldn’t you think that if our police shoot people carrying rakes that they would have murdered dozens of those dreaded leaf blower intruders around town? I mean those leaf blowers look just like machine guns or bazookas…maybe it’s because they’re louder???

BOB BROZMAN’S HAWAIIAN GUITAR HISTORY I can’t embed this video as per the request of the original poster, but I am going to provide the link, here. Spend 13 minutes for some truly fascinating facts and things you never knew about music!


“Greensite is traveling. No column this week”.

( 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).

#10 March 27, 2017


INTERSECTIONALITY, noun.1) The complex, cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect. (Merriam-Webster)

2) …ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia ableism, xenophobia, classism) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. (Geek Feminism Wiki)  

Intersectionality is a word I’ve been running into often lately. Whether in my office at UCSanta Cruz,  and on the recent Woman’s March along Pacific Avenue, or at this past Saturday’s “A conversation on LGBTQ rights,”confronting our own intersectionality may be where we stand right now in American history.  The Live Oak town hall-style meeting brought together County Supervisor, John Leopold, Sacramento-based Legislative Analyst, Alice Kessler, and Lisa Cisneros, Program Director for the California Rural Legal Assistance LGBTQ program to discuss “intersectionalities, andhow we stay well informed, engaged, and connected in the age of resistance.”

It seems that resistance has become our calling in the age of Trump. Perhaps we did not choose it this way, but it’s here and somehow teasing out our abilities to cope. Perhaps building upon our intersectionalities will ultimately reflect how successful we are in turning our resistances into a silver lining of organizing for the present and future needs of our community.

Affordable Housing Now(?)

Last Saturday also saw a gathering of affordable housing advocates huddling around Don Lane, who recently returned from down under (New Zealand) and was offering a summary of what led to the Santa Cruz housing “problem” (not crisis?), and also what the city-developer world is doing to confront and exploit it.

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The Bernie Quote of the Week is:

“At a time when elderly women are more likely than men to be living in poverty, not only do we say NO to cuts in Social Security, we will expand Social Security.”

~Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

Plan to participate in the Townhall Meeting with Anna Eshoo and Jimmy Panetta on April 1, 10am-11:30am at the New Brighton Middle School in Capitola.  John Laird will moderate.  

Although there is no specific focus for the event, look forward to hearing discussion about pressing issues such as road repair funding, groundwater crisis, housing problems and health care.  What questions would you like to ask?  Get your list ready.  Doors open at 9:30am.

Another public unveiling April 1 includes the official search for County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) replacement for Ms. Susan Mauriello, who will retire this July after 28 years at the helm.  Will this job really be offered publicly or is it just a formality before Ms. Mauriello makes her choice (likely Deputy CAO Mr. Carlos Palacios)?  Check the website for the consultant the County has hired: Peckham and McKenney in Roseville.  Yet another consultant hired to do work that one would think the County Personnel Administrator would be capable of handling.  Instead, the consultant will get paid $20,000 to search.  Remember, the County budget is currently $8.1 in the red?

The Fire Department Advisory Commission hopes that as well.  That group has many times recommended that the Board of Supervisors more equitably divide the State Public Safety Prop. 172 sales tax money ($17 million last year) between fire protection and law enforcement.  Only 0.5% goes to fire, and County Fire Department (the volunteers who keep the County emergency response working when paid agencies leave the area for major events elsewhere) does not even get that little crumb.  It goes to the Fire Chief’s Association, with no stipulations on spending focus.  Luckily, that group is fiscally responsible, and last year used the money for some badly-needed upgrades at the area’s training center in Bonny Doon.

The 2017-18 County Fire budget will deplete the last of reserve money.  A change in Board of Supervisor voting, encouraged by a fire-safety-minded CAO could send half of the Proposition 172 money to purchasing much-needed water tenders and restoring engine staffing to the State level of three responders per engine.  Maybe the Board is hoping for more state and federal emergency money to help with a major fire season on the horizon?  Maybe Ms. Mauriello has high-volume sprinklers mounted all over her rural home in the Second District and therefore just doesn’t care.

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Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

~Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.

FROM GARY A. PATTON  From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…Thursday, March 23, 2017


Margaret Atwood, pictured, has written a New York Times Book Review article, discussing what her book, The Handmaid’s Tale, means in the age of Trump. 

Discussing her thinking at the time she wrote the book, Atwood says that she had a great deal of trepidation that she would be able to “persuade readers that the United States had suffered a coup that had transformed an erstwhile liberal democracy into a literal-minded theocratic dictatorship.” Accordingly, one of the rules she followed in writing The Handmaid’s Tale was that she would “not put  any events into the book that had not already happened … No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities…”  

Atwood’s article is very much worth reading (presuming that you have already read The Handmaid’s Tale). If you haven’t, you should read the book first. Despite my appreciation for the article, I do want to make one critical comment, which might be thought of as a suggestion that nothing “imaginary” should appear in her discussion about the origins of the book, any more than “imaginary” topics should have been inserted in her story. 

Atwood ends the article this way: “In the wake of the recent American election, fears and anxieties proliferate. Basic civil liberties are seen as endangered, along with many of the rights for women won over the past decades, and indeed the past centuries. In this divisive climate, in which hate for many groups seems on the rise and scorn for democratic institutions is being expressed by extremists of all stripes, it is a certainty that someone, somewhere — many, I would guess — are writing down what is happening as they themselves are experiencing it. Or they will remember, and record later, if they can. Will their messages be suppressed and hidden? Will they be found, centuries later, in an old house, behind a wall? Let us hope it doesn’t come to that. I trust it will not”.

A minor quibble. Or maybe not. I think Atwood should have dispensed with that very last, very short, sentence. 

“Trusting” that we are not on the way to a totalitarian society might be disempowering. Suggesting that “trust” is the support on which we should rely might be read as a counsel that things will probably turn out alright. 

That is a happy imagining. Our need to take action to ensure that democracy is not swallowed up, not a suggestion that some kind of “trust” is warranted, is what I think might be the better lesson from The Handmaid’s Tale“.

Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read his blog at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Takes on the “nature loving” bike riders scroll downwards.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Secretary Tillerson’s Trips ” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

ESPRESSIVO- SMALL AND INTENSE. Now in its second season, our newest serious music chamber size orchestra presents its fifth concert. The concert’s title is “An American Heritage”.  
That means music by composers Charles Ives, Ned Rorem, and Aaron Copland. They’ll perform Copland’s “Applachian Spring” that Copland himself conducted at Cabrilho College for the Cabrilho Music Festival directed by Dennis Russell Davies in 1978. It happens Thursday March 30, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Peace United Church of Christ, 900 High Street in Santa Cruz. Probably tickets at the door or at their website

THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY. The Santa Cruz Chamber Players play musics by Debussey, Ravel, along with works by Hahn, Valderrabano and concert director Chris Pratorius Gomez. That’ll be Saturday April 1, at 7 :30  and Sunday April 2nd at 3 p.m. in the Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Drive just off Freedom Blvd. Highway 1 turnoff just above the CHP headquarters. You could hope for tickets at the door or go to

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Even though my friend and colleague Richard von Busack scooped me in the paper, you can still read my review of Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( And speaking of which, find out about my own Beast book heading into production at last. Drinks all around!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

PERSONAL SHOPPER. An absolutely brilliant film. Eerie, a few subtitles, high fashion, ghosts, and not shocking but mystifying , puzzling, nervous, and Kristen Stewart is rapidly becoming one of my favorite “actors”. It’s not don’t go into the cellar scary nor is it jump out of the closet scary, one brief corpse scene and just enough of a wonderful plot that will make you remember it and thuink about it long after you leave the theatre.

WILSON. It isn’t a good criticism but,(or and) you’ll never figire out if we are supposed to like, love, hate, or identify with Woody Harrelson’s role as Wilson is this mean-spirited, confused nasty saga. Laura Dern plays the same role she always plays, Judy Greer is about the most logical, natural human in the movie…and Cheryl Hines returns to the screen from her frustrating role in Curb Your Enthusiasm, years ago. Don’t see this movie. You’ll leave angry, confused and as mean-spirited as Woody portrays. And I still don’t know if it’s supposed to be a comedy, drama, or just an adaption of a graphic novel..which it is.

SONG TO SONG. A Terence Malick movie… probably it’s about relationships just like Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Moonlight, Gone With The Wind films are about relationships too. All in all this is a completely unfathomable mess of a plot…like all of Malick’s films. It’s got Cate Blanchett, ping pong, Ryan Gosling, oil rigs, Rooney Mara, , hungry Latina mothers, swimming pools, blonde Natalie Portman, Val Kilmer, and Holly Hunter. If you figure it out let me know.

MOONLIGHT. LAST CHANCE TO SEE Best Oscar film 2017!!! For starters, Moonlight  has a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not just me who really not only enjoyed this tale of drugs, gangs, and love, but people who like deep, serious films loved it too. Set in Miami, this sharp, delicate, brilliant story of a Black man’s life is told in three parts. It’s best not to read too much about the plot and just watch with wonder as it unfolds. You’ve never seen a film like this one. Yes, It’s back again…many nominations and winning an Oscar for best picture did it!! ENDS THURSDAY MARCH 30!!!  

GET OUT. Rotten Tomatoes gives this one an amazing 99%. Plus, it’s a huge box office hit !!! That’s surprising to everybody because it’s a low budget semi horror-comedy, black and white theme film. Probably released in February because that’s when they release films that aren’t expected o make much money. Catherine Keener is about the only actor whose name any of us might know. It’s a white girl brings home a black boyfriend topic. Only it goes into zones and situations that will amaze and get you laughing!! Wild, inventive, new, fine acting, twisted…you’ll love it.

SENSE OF AN ENDING. What a cast!!! Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Emily Mortimer and even Michelle Dockerey who plays a pregnant lesbian. The major, and only problem for me, with this film were the veddy veddy narsty  Brit accents. Adapted from the book this is a sensitive and complex view and review of  Jim Broadbent’s memories of his love lives and his marriage. Its mean and subtle zings and arrows might be depressing for you and you’ll miss being in London if you like London…but go see it quickly. It won’t be many Santa Cruzans cups of tea.   ENDS THURSDAY MARCH 30!!!

LION. A true story of a little 5 year old boy getting lost in India. At last we get to see Dev Patel portray somebody serious and he does an excellent job.  It’s a very cornball plot that you can guess every turn and twist, but still just because it’s India you do stay tuned in all the way through. Rooney Mara is his girlfriend for part of the plot and Nicole Kidman is the Australian wife who adopts him. It’s 100% feelgood and there are much better films out and around now, but it does have a certain charm.

HIDDEN FIGURES. A syrupy, Hollywoody much- altered story of three Black American women who did spectacular mathematical and technical work at NASA while fighting against a lot of racial and female prejudice. All to launch John Glenn into orbit. It’s both a cute and painful story at the same time. It’s a contender and still lacks something that could have made it a classic. It almost outdrew Star Wars on opening weekend!

KONG:SKULL ISLAND. Kong is back and after waiting for his appearance about 45 minutes into the film I figured why Kong is always mad.Unlike all gorillas, Kong has hair all over his butt and he has no penis! He does have his usual minute or two with a beautiful blonde…that’s Brie Larson (playing Faye Wray). Samuel. L. Jackson is a very bad guy, Tom Hiddleston is the big hero  John Goodman gets killed before you expect it and John C. Reilly saves the movie from being just another numb & dumb box office smash. It beat Logan at the ticket office so that proves it. Truthfully though, it isn’t all bad IF you like monster gorilla movies.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Total 100% Disney sights, sounds and drech. You couldn’t possibly tell the songs from this Disney production from any of the last 30 years of Disney product songs.  A wasted cast includes Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Ewan MacGregor, Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Audra McDonald. BUT most of these actors play the roles of animated tea pots and candlesticks. There is or are no reasons to see this re-hash of every commercial triumph the Disney Factory has turned out for more than 50 years. And the kids will probably love it.

LOGAN. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart lower themselves considerably by playing the lead roles in this last of the Wolverine series. I’ve tried hard and failed to stop thinking that this is exactly the kind of film I’ll bet that Donald Trump likes. Even though the Wolverine (Jackman) is a comic book character and the special effects are just about 90% of the picture, the cruelty, killing, blood, evil, are all so typical of today’s biggest boxoffice hits, it’s too over the top for me. No plot, no emotions, no humanity…just more blood and more killing. Even the ending when Wolverine is in a stone covered grave I kept worrying  and watching to see if some of the stones didn’t start shaking, meaning we’ll be tortured by an even worse Wolverine # 10. Yes Jackman has played the part nine times!!!  Go if you like Donald Trump type movies.



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. Roy Malan discusses the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert happening April 9. John Aird follows with an overview of UCSC growth, water, and our tourist driven wharf plans. On April 4 Linda Burman-Hall returns to talk about The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s spring concerts. After Linda, UCSC’s Ben Leeds Carson details the April In Santa Cruz concerts. Carson Kelly tells us about the political fo rce “Indivisible”  on April 11. Followed by Brian Spencer talking about the See Theatre play “The Nether” opening April 14. On May 2nd UCSC Film Professor emeritus Earl Jackson talks about films and his Asian teaching experiences. 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  

Today I needed some inspiration, having dealt with some really crappy things lately. If this tiny little slip of a thing can do this, then there truly are no limits.

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.

QUOTES.                 “APRIL”

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep”. Hal Borland
“April is the cruellest month”. T. S. Eliot
“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever”. Charles Lamb
“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year“. Mark Twain

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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