Blog Archives

March 4 – 10, 2020

Highlights this week:

BRATTON… says hello… GREENSITE…on “Why I Quit the local Sierra Club Leadership.” KROHN… on voting and recalls. STEINBRUNER… will be back PATTON…also on election EAGAN…Sub Cons and Deep Cover JENSEN…on artist James Aschbacher. BRATTON… UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”ELECTION DAYS”

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THE ORIGINAL SANTA CRUZ FISHERMAN’S WHARF circa 1910. You can see the Sea Beach Hotel in the upper right hand corner. The fish were for local consumption and according to Sheila O’Hare and Irene Berry most of the fish were packed and shipped to San Francisco. That’s Louis Perez on the left and the boy facing the camera is Stephen Ghio, who died two years after this photo was taken.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Duke Ellington in Sweden, 1963. The female singer in this TV broadcast is Alice Babs, well loved and very talented.
Bill Evans Trio in Sweden, 1966. Singing here is Monica Zetterlund, and amazing singer and fabulous comedienne.

DATELINE March 3, 2020

BRUCE SAYS HELLO. “What a day! Today is our chance at voting for some of the biggest changes in our history. From ‘no on recall’ to Bernie Sanders, the choice is incredibly wide.

I am still in Acute Care, where I’ve been for the past 3 weeks and somewhat out of the loop. Hope to see you soon!”


March 2nd. 2020

The Ends Do Not Justify The Means

In the shadow of the council recall election, another election has taken place with a similar aim of overturning the politics of the majority and similar tactics of misinformation and false accusations targeted to sway voters. I’m referring to the recent Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group election for 3 members of its 9 member Executive Committee (ExCom). Disagreeing with leadership and working to get a change in leadership is part of the democratic process. Spreading lies and misinformation to achieve that goal is not. A rotten foundation will not support a new house for long. With two more years to serve on the Executive Committee and its elected chair for the past two years, I resigned at the February meeting in protest at the use of smear tactics to get candidates elected.

The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club is part of a large national organization with one million members and over two million supporters. The Club is the oldest grassroots environmental organization in the United States, founded in 1892 by John Muir. It is an effective advocate for the environment and is worth supporting. Nationally, it is being moved into the modern era by a leadership dedicated to inclusionary politics with social justice issues infusing environmental work. It has a clear Code of Conduct stressing respect, openness and fairness. 

I was largely unaware of the local Sierra Club Group’s existence, despite being a member for 15 years, until about 6 years ago when I approached it for support in challenging the city’s plan to weaken its Heritage Tree Ordinance. My presentation caught the attention of the then chair who encouraged me to run for ExCom. I did, was elected by the membership and three years later was elected chair. My stated aim was to make the organization more visible, more inclusive and keep the membership better informed. 

Around 200 members typically vote for ExCom candidates, out of a voting membership ten times that size, unless there’s a big issue at stake.  A big issue in the past was whether to cut a bike path through Arana Gulch. The local ExCom at the time was against the bike path, supported by the CA Sierra Club. The well-organized bike lobby, with the support of local big wigs, funded a glossy mailer for members calling for a change in leadership and promoting a new slate of candidates, who won and ousted the old guard. Depending on whom you talk to, it was either a hostile take-over or a new era for democracy. 

The big issue manipulated for the 2020 election was the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) and its use as a rail/ trail corridor. ExCom is on record in support of the rail/trail and all 9 members, including myself have expressed that support. As the various sections of the 32-mile rail/ trail came under environmental review, the majority of ExCom, myself included, having reviewed the documents and noting inadequacies, while still supporting the rail/trail, voted for more robust attention to the environmental impacts involved. For example, the city’s review of the less than a mile segment from Bay/California Streets to the wharf roundabout, (Segment 7/Phase 2) omitted inclusion of the monarch butterfly site until challenged, then dismissed its importance and declared a wetland a drainage ditch, with inadequate mitigations for both. Typical city environmental review shortcomings that found willing supporters in the rail/trail lobby both inside and outside ExCom. Despite the internal vote on ExCom calling for better environmental review, as chair, speaking at public meetings, I experienced ExCom members attacking and undermining that position. The by-laws specifically rule against taking a public stance in the name of the Sierra Club against a voted-on position. Or require a clear statement that it is a personal opinion and if any room for doubt, to clarify the official Sierra Club position. This requirement of One Club: One Voice was ignored at meeting after public meeting.

The two female ExCom incumbents seeking reelection have impeccable environmental qualifications. They were among the hardest working members of ExCom, forging new city and statewide Sierra Club policies to protect birds with Bird Safe Design Standards for buildings and making connections with outside environmental groups as well as furthering other important local environmental work. Their re-election was opposed by a slate of 3 males, supported and funded by a cadre of rail/trail advocates. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, false statements about the incumbents were widely circulated by an anonymous group self-described as Climate.Concerned.Action and promoted by a member of ExCom, citing her position to emphasize the claim that the two (named) incumbents, “have openly opposed the MBSST.” Not the rail/trail but the trail itself. That is not only false, it is as damaging as circulating a lie that the slate of 3 male candidates, “have openly supported fracking.” It had the intended result. The two female incumbents lost heavily to the slate: so much for openness, fairness and respect. I and another environmental activist resigned from ExCom in protest. The remaining ExCom is all male save the one female who circulated the false attacks on the incumbents. The chair, vice chair and all committee chairs are male. Whether you view that as a problem depends on how you view gender equity. 

I continue to support the National and State Sierra Club as well as the Ventana Chapter from Monterey County, of which the Santa Cruz Group is a part. What I don’t support are the unethical methods rail/trail activists used to gain power in the local Sierra Club. To view an issue as so important that it justifies deceitful tactics is in the end, a losing strategy. The same people who are outraged at the tactics of Trump or outraged at the tactics of the pro-recall faction might do well to reflect on the tactics they used in the Sierra Club election. There’s no daylight visible. 

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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Election Day

VOTE

  1. Vote NO on the Recalls
  2. Vote for the Brand New County Dems, all 16, where ever you live, but if you live in the 3rd District in the city of Santa Cruz where I live, vote Dawson, Strawn, Orgel-Olson, and Falls for the Democratic Central Committee
  3. Vote Adam Bolaños Scow for US Representative (congress)
  4. Vote Annrae Angel for Judge
  5. And of course, Vote for Bernie Sanders for President as I believe he has the best chance of beating Trump.

What is this Recall Really About?

Gary Patton posted the following on his blog on February 3rd. I am reprinting it here because it is the best history of how the recall came about and why voters should reject it.

Reject the Recalls   Recall elections have been qualified against two members of the Santa Cruz City Council. The recall elections are scheduled for March 3rd, but absentee voting has already begun. In my opinion, voters should vote “NO,” and reject the recalls. Despite the claims of recall proponents, I do not actually see this recall as a response to the personal failings of the two members of the Council now facing a recall election. This recall is not about malfeasance in office. No claims of dishonesty or illegal behavior have ever been advanced as a reason for the recalls. The recalls are not about a city version of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The charges of misconduct made against the two Council Members now facing recall were found to be without significant substance, after an outside (and very costly) investigation.

The way I see it, this recall is about political power, and nothing else. After the last city election, in November 2018, there was an unexpected result. A so-called “progressive” cohort of Council Members could sometimes muster four votes on the seven-member Council. This was a big change. The City Council hasn’t been progressive for years. The two City Council Members now facing recall have voted, with two others, to reverse pro-development policies that the previous Council endorsed and advanced. That is the real reason for the recall, and that is why such enormous amounts of money have been contributed by development and business interests to fund the recall effort. 

Here are three examples of how the last election changed the direction of the City, elevating community values over developer profits:

Affordable Housing The previous City Council had REDUCED requirements that developers provide dedicated affordable housing when new housing developments are built. That was, of course, good for the developers, but not good for our community. Thanks to the votes of the two Council Members now facing a recall, the current City Council has reversed this policy, and has restored and increased affordable housing requirements for all now developments.

Stopping Market-Rate Only High Density The previous City Council was trying to put high-density development along all of the City’s main transportation corridors – with particular impacts on the City’s East Side. This plan would have had very significant adverse impacts on local neighborhoods and on local small businesses. It was, for that reason, hugely unpopular. Thanks to the votes of the two Council Members now facing a recall, the Council has reversed the earlier policy and has directed its staff to develop a plan that will “preserve and protect residential neighborhood areas and existing City businesses, as the City’s highest-level policy priority.”

A Library Not a Parking Garage The previous City Council was planning to build a massive parking garage on the parking lot where the Farmers’ Market is held. Such a garage, if constructed, would essentially be a subsidy to downtown developers, who would then not have to provide their own parking as they build new developments. Thanks to the votes of the two Council Members facing a recall, the Council is now exploring different options. If the recall is successful, you can count on that garage/library project coming right back.

RECALL ELECTIONS ARE DIVISIVE Recalls invariably lead to the kind of bitter community divisions that can endure for years, and that make even routine governmental actions difficult. Regular elections produce results that we all accept – even if we don’t like them. Recall elections don’t. There is a lot at stake with respect to the proposed recall in the City of Santa Cruz: a consistent commitment to the production of affordable housing, for instance. Other examples include the future of the downtown library, and the continuing impacts of overdevelopment on traffic, water, local neighborhoods, and our local small businesses. Labor issues, tax and financial issues, and questions about how our city can provide compassionate and effective help to those in desperate need, are all challenges we need to work on together. There will be another regular election in the City of Santa Cruz in November 2020. If the voters want change, that’s the time to make changes. In the meantime, let’s reject the current recall proposals. That’s my view.

“I am proud to have stood with working people to stop efforts to cut and privatize Social Security over the years. Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Our job is to protect it and expand it.” (Feb 29)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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WHO WILL LEAD DISTRICT TWO?
As I write this, the March 3 election is hours away.  In my campaign for District Two County Supervisor, I have worked hard to meet with and listen to hundreds of constituents in the District and beyond.  I have met amazing people who also care deeply about the community, and are hopeful that I am elected, in order to bring a breath of fresh air to local government with respectful consideration, transparency, and trust.  I am humbled and honored.

Regardless of the results, I am determined to work hard to help find solutions to the many problems and concerns that people have expressed over the past few weeks as I have been on the campaign trail and before.  Working shoulder to shoulder, I want to make the County of Santa Cruz a better place, and will do my very best to do so in whatever capacity I can.

I am hopeful, and very grateful to the legions of people who have worked hard with me and supported my campaign.  Thank you so much.

WRITE TO THE COASTAL COMMISSION THIS WEEK ABOUT SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT’S PLAN TO INJECT TREATED SEWAGE WATER IN YOUR DRINKING WATER
Write by this Friday, March 6, if you want the Coastal Commission to know how you feel about Soquel Creek Water District’s expensive, risky and energy-hogging plan to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water supply for the entire MidCounty area.

Send comment by this Friday, March 6, to:
Ryan Moroney <ryan.moroney@coastal.ca.gov>  This is Item W22b

Please plan to attend the March 11 public hearing before the Coastal Commission at the Scotts Valley Hilton (6001 La Madrona, very close to Highway 17 and Mr. Hermon Drive).

Here is a link to the staff report

It is important to note that the permit application is for a streamlined process to have the Coastal Commission consider a consolidated permit process on behalf of the County of Santa Cruz, and the cities  of Santa Cruz and Capitola, as well as the Coastal Commission’s development permit jurisdiction.  This is a time-and-money-saving tactic for Soquel Creek Water District.

The Commission staff report states this about the treated wastewater injection project:
“This type of project thus helps to make water supply more sustainable, thereby helping to enhance community water supply security, while also putting scarce water resources to their highest and best use and avoiding ocean discharge.”

Here is a link to the exhibits

Note that Exhibit 12 is the District’s response to my opposition.  In my opinion, that absurd document is most important to read, and begs your comment.

Why does Soquel Creek Water District feel that the water transfer alternative to the PureWater Soquel Project would cause equally serious environmental degradation?  The pipes and inter-tie connection are already built, and operational.

The District completely sidesteps the real possibility of their own pursuit of water rights to the San Lorenzo River under recently-streamlined state law that would allow them to take water from the river under “temporary urgent use” needs for five years, and have the City of Santa Cruz treat the water to be used to sell to District customers.  That would allow the District’s wells to rest, and the groundwater levels to rise naturally while requiring a fraction of the energy that the PureWater Soquel Project would demand.

Well, just read what you can, think about what you know, and write the Coastal Commission with what you care about and want to see happen (or NOT). Send comment by this Friday, March 6, to:
Ryan Moroney <ryan.moroney@coastal.ca.gov>  This is Item W22b

Please plan to attend the March 11 public hearing before the Coastal Commission at the Scotts Valley Hilton (6001 La Madrona, very close to Highway 17 and Mr. Hermon Drive).

Does the Commission assure that the District has met the burden of proof that it is sustainable to increase the area’s energy demand dramatically and hold the community hostage by becoming technology-dependent for operational processes reliant on imported equipment and treatment supplies?   How can the Commission ignore that the District’s project would degrade water quality by removing 3.8 million gallons of treated sewage effluent from going into the Bay and thereby concentrating the contaminants extracted and adding new carcinogenic disinfection contaminants inherent with the process?  The Commission staff seems content to accept a vague DRAFT (not to be relied upon or quoted) Anti-Degradation Evaluation Analysis, not insisting on a FINAL analytic report.  Why?

In the staff report and recommendation for permit approval, Special Condition #4 requires the District to submit a Recycled Water Management Plan (RWMP) that:
“…shall ensure that the sites designated for injection of treated wastewater are designed to maximize the long-term health and sustainability of groundwater and surface water and related resources (including wetlands, streams, creeks, lakes, riparian corridors, marshes, etc.) as much as possible, including with respect to potential sea level rise and increased aquifer seawater intrusion.”

How can the District meet this burden of proof when the expert hydrologist from Haley & Aldrich (independently hired by Cabrillo College to analyze impacts of the nearby Project injection wells) call the placement of the injection wells “curious”, call into question the efficacy of the locations to achieve prevention of seawater intrusion and also pointing out the danger to nearby private well owners?

Page 16 of the staff report states:

“To secure 1,500 AFY of purified water, the RO and UV-AOP systems will be designed for approximately 1.6 mgd production capacity and continuous operation at the design flow rate.”

Here is a link again to the exhibits

Take a look at the proposed pipeline route on page 2.  Now, take a look at the proposed pipeline route that was indicated in the Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on page 5

Notice that the Plan submitted to the Coastal Commission has the names omitted of the busiest thoroughfares through which this trenching work would occur.   Remember that this permit application is a consolidated process, to replace permitting procedures with all the jurisdictions affected. Why have names of street locations been omitted when that information will help the Commission and members of the public better examine possible construction and environmental impacts and influence possible Commission scrutiny?

Look at Exhibit 6 that shows Soquel Creek Water District would trench under the San Lorenzo River near the Laurel Street bridge.   Well, well…what could possibly go wrong there?  Why would the Coastal Commission allow that disaster-waiting-to-happen, instead of requiring the pipe be secured above-ground to the bridge?  Doing so would permit visual inspection for leaks that could easily monitor potential contamination of the River habitat.  Remember, the District’s Project would add significant amounts of carcinogenic disinfection by-products and hazardous cleaning chemicals (supposedly neutralized?).

In order to use the trenchless drilling technology to drill under the San Lorenzo River,  the Soquel Creek Water District will virtually demolish the Mimi de Marta Dog Park in order to build the drilling pit:

“The pits will each extend to maximum depths of 50 feet below ground surface. Each pit will measure approximately 20 feet wide by 35 feet long. The trenchless construction sites under consideration are shown in Exhibit 6”

(as reported in the Coastal Commission staff report on page 19)

The size of the Tertiary Treatment Plant at the Santa Cruz City Waste Water Treatment Plant is inconsistent.  (In the Project EIR, the footprint was reported as 15,000 SF on page 9) but reported as 6,000 SF on page 7 of the same document, but I could not find any dimensions of the proposed tertiary treatment plant provided in the Coastal Commission documents (Exhibit 3 is a vague conceptual diagram without any scale of reference).  The artist’s conception of the facility in exhibit 5 of the Coastal Commission report gives no dimensions.

Equally confusing is the volume of treated sewage water proposed for processing.  The Coastal Commission staff report states 1.6 million gallons/day or mgd (page 16) but then later on the page states 1.3mgd.  Page 15 states that 2.8 mgd are needed to achieve 1500AcreFeet/Year Project replenishment goal, but states the Chanticleer Treatment facility will operate at 2.3mgd.

Well, just read what you can, think about what you know, and write the Coastal Commission with what you care about and want to see happen (or NOT). Send comment by this Friday, March 6, to:
Ryan Moroney <ryan.moroney@coastal.ca.gov>  This is Item W22b

Please plan to attend the March 11 public hearing before the Coastal Commission at the Scotts Valley Hilton (6001 La Madrona, very close to Highway 17 and Mr. Hermon Drive).

TEAR DOWN A CHURCH IN SOQUEL AND BUILD A THREE-STORY APARTMENT
The County Planning Commission will consider a proposal to tear down the Inner Light Church in Soquel (5630 Soquel Drive, across from the Quik Stop):

“Proposal to demolish and existing church (Inner Light Ministries) and associated structures and construct a new 85,447 square foot three-story assisted living facility with 82 units (89 beds) and transfer approximately 20,000 square feet of land from APN 037-191-15 to 037-191-14. Project requires a Commercial Development Permit, Master Site Plan, Lot Line Adjustment, Riparian Exception, and adoption of a mitigated negative declaration per the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).”

This could be a good thing for the elderly, but bears watching for the staff report

I wondered what a Riparian Exception involves?
Here is what I found out on the County Planning Dept. website:

Development activities (such as grading, land clearing, building and tree or shrub removal) other than those allowed through exemptions and exceptions are not allowed in and adjacent to riparian corridors.

A riparian exception is required for development activities that fall within the protected areas. In order for a riparian exception to be approved, all of the following findings must be made:

  1. That there are special circumstances or conditions affecting the property;
  2. That the exception is necessary for the proper design and function of some permitted or existing activity on the property;
  3. That the granting of the exception will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property downstream or in the area in which the project is located;
  4. That the granting of the exception, in the Coastal Zone, will not reduce or adversely impact the riparian corridor, and there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative; and
  5. That the granting of the exception is in accordance with the purpose of this chapter, and with the objectives of the General Plan and elements thereof, and the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan.

Certain activities are exempt from the ordinance, including:

  • Continuance of a pre-existing use (both agricultural and non-agricultural).
  • Work done in accordance with a valid State Timber Harvesting Permit.
  • Activities listed in the California Food and Agricultural Code for pest control.
  • Drainage, erosion control, or habitat restoration required as a condition of County approval of a project.

MEETING THE COUNTY’S ACLU PIONEERS
I attended the gathering last Saturday to honor the life of Mrs. Pat Miller.  I have known Pat for a very long time, but had no idea that she and her late husband Dan Miller were instrumental in forming the Santa Cruz County American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  A few of those who were part of that effort that began in Aptos in the 1960’s were there and spoke about the courageous deeds of the Millers.

Pat was a social activist for decades, and influenced me greatly with her kindness, respect and appreciation of nature.   She was the essence of pragmatism for bringing positive change and standing up for what she believed in.  I will miss her, but appreciate the good work that she and the handful of others in Aptos did to plant the seed of justice and equal rights here.

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND THE COASTAL COMMISSION HEARING MARCH 11.   BUT JUST DO SOMETHING.

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. She’s running again right now!!!

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020

#63 / Mechanisms Of Wealth Inequality


Today is Election Day in California, and if you stick with me, you will find that this blog posting does have something to do with the choices we are facing today at the ballot box.

But first…. Let’s start with a seeminly unrelated subject.

On December 16, 2019, Digital Music News reported that the federal government was contemplating taking antitrust action against Live Nation Entertainment. On January 10, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that such a proceeding had, in fact, been initiated:

Justice Department antitrust enforcers submitted a court filing that detailed instances in which they said Live Nation Entertainment Inc. strong-armed venues into using Ticketmaster, in what would amount to violations of an agreement that allowed the concert giant to merge with the ticketing service 10 years ago.

Originally set to expire this year, the agreement, known as a consent decree, barred Live Nation from forcing venues that wanted to book its tours to use Ticketmaster for those shows, and it also barred Live Nation from retaliating when venues used a ticketing competitor instead. Live Nation is the world’s largest concert promoter, and Ticketmaster is the dominant ticketing service. The potential for abuse of their combined market power led the Justice Department to impose restrictions on how the two divisions could coordinate.

Last month, Live Nation reached a new agreement with the department to resolve government concerns the company violated that settlement, extending those conditions through 2025.

“Live Nation settled this matter to make clear that it has no interest in threatening or retaliating against venues that consider or choose other ticketing companies,” the concert promoter said Thursday in a written statement. “We strongly disagree with the DOJ’s allegations in the filing and the conclusions they seek to draw from six isolated episodes among some 5,000 ticketing deals negotiated during the life of the consent decree.”

The new government filing, submitted late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, chronicles instances in which six unnamed venues said they were told that retaining the services of a Ticketmaster competitor would lead the concert-promotion giant to stop booking acts at those venues. Some of the venues said Live Nation retaliated against them for opting to use a competing ticketing service.

“They have failed to live up to their end of the bargain,” the antitrust enforcers said in the filing, which lays out what it calls anticompetitive behavior on Live Nation’s part.

That article in The Wall Street Journal made me think about the mechanisms by which wealth and income inequality are created – and the mechanisms by which this destructive, continuing aggregation of wealth by those who are already supremely wealthy might be counteracted.

As indicated in The Wall Street Journal article quoted above, one mechanism by which the rich get richer is simply by being “bullies,” by “strong-arming” people to give them economic advantages. If you own the rights to determine where the most popular entertainers in America will perform, you can tell promoters that they will use the ticketing service you also happen to own, or they won’t be able to book the acts at all. The same kind of “bullying” tactics occur in all sorts of different contexts. The basic principle is described by a well-known formula that is expressed colloquially as follows:

Them That Has, Gets

Let’s not forget that the five hundred wealthiest people in the world increased their net worth by twenty-five percent in 2019. If you think about what that means in real life, it is actually a pretty staggering statistic. The wealthiest person in the world, by most accounts, is Jeff Bezos, of Amazon. His wealth, in 2019, was $113 billion. Apparently, his wealth increased by approximately $28 billion last year, and I am betting he is “on track” for similar gains in 2020. Maybe even more! Just to make the comparison clearer for those who are paid by the hour, that $28 billion yearly increase in Bezos’ wealth translates to an hourly wealth gain of about $3,196,000.

One way Bezos bullies others to obtain more for himself is to pay workers low wages for backbreaking, physically demanding work. Meanwhile, back on the streets, here is how an increasing number of Americans are being forced to live:

Income and wealth inequality is a big political issue this year, thanks, mainly, to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, with backup and harmony being provided by . One way to deal with wealth and income inequality is simply to “tax the rich,” and to use the money for expenditures that have broad, positive impacts on people’s lives. But there is also another way, as illustrated by the Live Nation enforcement action.

Our government is supposed to represent us – ALL of us – though our government, too, has been largely captured by those with extreme wealth. That applies, let’s not forget, to what is happening in both political parties. Reasserting genuinely democratic control over the mechanisms of government will not be easy (that’s the political issue raised by the Sanders and Warren candidacies), but we know that it is more than theoretically possible. It may be difficult (REALLY difficult), but it is not impossible.

IF our government were truly operating on behalf of ordinary people (and it’s up to all of us to insist that it do so), then we could do a lot more than merely “tax the rich.” We could radically reduce or even eliminate entirely the kind of amalgamated economic power that allows Amazon, Live Nation, Boeing, and all the other giant corporations to ignore the public interest, and to “bully” others, large and small, so as to increase their own wealth and income.

I, personally, think that the wealth inequality issue is THE issue in our upcoming elections. If you agree, cast your votes accordingly, and get directly engaged in the campaigns that can change America!

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. More inside views of our little movers and shakers….scroll downwards.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s take on the future, down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog with his thoughts on Whatever!!!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes, “James Aschbacher is remembered for his fanciful art and creative imagination, but he’s almost equally famed for his pizzas! How did the Legend of Monday Night Pizza get started? (Hint: blame it on the Good Times!) Find out this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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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. .  Michel Singher conductor and artistic director of the Espressivo Orchestra talks about their concerts on Jan. 21 followed by Barry Scott from Coastal Rail Santa Cruz and the Rail Plus Trail benefits. Linda Berman Hall reveals secrets about The Santa Crux Baroque Festival’s  new season on Jan.28. Peter Klotz- Chamberlin from the Resource Center for Non Violence guests on February 4. After which Nancy Macy w Environmental Committee Chair of the Valley Womens Club talks about PG&E and other problems. Jean Brocklebank talks about our Santa Cruz Public library issues on Feb 11.

OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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 bratton@cruzio.com 

Victor Borge is an old favorite…

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. 

    “ELECTION DAY”

It is a paradox that far too few Americans participate in the wonderful ritual of democracy that we call Election Day. Brad Henry

It’s heartbreaking that so many hundreds of millions of people around the world are desperate for the right to vote, but here in America people stay home on election day. Moby

The polls tell us something, but they don’t tell us everything. They don’t tell us how people are going to show up on Election Day. Andrew Gillum


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