Blog Archives

May 1 – 7, 2013

CHUCK ABBOTT & FRIENDS PLANTING A TREE, June 3, 1965. I have no idea who the other folks in this photo are. But it’s Chuck Abbott caring how “his downtown” looks by planting a tree in the front yard of his Lincoln street home. The tree is still there. Chuck and his wife did more for beautifying our community than anyone I can think of.

photo credit: editor’s photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

SAVE THOSE TREES. Saving those 4 very tall and healthy Canary Island pine trees at 918 Center Street across from The Goodwill Store and the 1001 Art Center may well be a decision between what’s more important… a 1942 Streamline Moderne stucco Dental Office or the trees. It appears so far that the City thinks buildings have priority over the trees.Speaking of which, it’ll be interesting to see if the Downtown Association and the Chamber of Commerce get involved because this sure has an impact on the overall beauty and uniqueness of our Downtown. Remember the Spain’s Canary Island Tenerife is where our Sister City Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located!!!

Former Mayor and City Council person Chris Krohn said,” So I filed the appeal to save the trees. They accepted my check for $50 and they said it was unclear when the Parks and Rec. Commission would meet to hear it. They told me it CAN NOT be on their next agenda…and they have been meeting every two months, so it might not be for awhile. The bright side is that the trees have a few more days, weeks, months (?) to live. I am pretty certain had not one appealed the trees would have been cut immediately”. Krohn added, “In filing this appeal, I am citing Sec. 9.65.040 of the Santa Cruz Heritage Tree Ordinance (a), (b) (1), (c) (1), (3), (5). These four 80-foot pine trees are healthy. They are uniquely beautiful and distinctive. These trees are a significant visual resource in this downtown neighborhood. In addition, there is insufficient documented factual information to support a finding that the structural integrity of the building at 918 Center Street requires removal of all 4 trees”

EXPERT OPINIONS ON THOSE PINES ON CEDAR STREET. Gillian Greensite has been studying and working hard for many years to preserve the really special trees in our community. I asked her for some words on these and our other Santa Cruz Heritage Trees. She wrote, “Santa Cruz seems the sort of town that would want to protect and preserve its big trees. After all, we have a Heritage Tree Ordinance, have been a Tree City USA for a number of years and have many people who profess to care deeply about the natural environment. But when it comes to protecting our heritage trees, it is more image than reality”.

Consider the following data: last year, 2012, the city Parks & Recreation Department and the city Planning Department approved permit applications to cut down 175 heritage trees. Only 13 were denied. That was a typical year according to the city arborist who supplied the data. So in the past decade, the city has approved the cutting down of approximately 1,750 heritage trees. This does not include heritage trees cut down illegally without a permit. Add to this figure, the numbers from 1995-2,000. According to the spreadsheets from the city arborist of that time, 2,350 heritage trees were approved for cutting down out of a possible 2,500 applied for. For anyone who loves trees, these figures are staggering! The four heritage Canary Island pine trees at Center and Union Streets, recently permitted for removal, are just the latest in a long line of city-sponsored heritage tree eradication”.

Gillian has a lot more to say. She talks about the weakening of the tree ordinance, how the city hires experts to assist in tree removal, and you can

read it here…

She concludes by saying…” Unless there is a huge outpouring of support to save our last big trees, it is likely the council will support the revised ordinance. If that happens, the city of Santa Cruz will have a future skyline devoid of big trees, devoid of many bird species and a lot more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. If you are keen to help in this effort, email me at There is a local group called “Save Our Big Trees!” whose numbers need swelling to be effective. It’s really up to you.

On the other hand Judy Steen who has worked just as hard to save our historic buildings, says save the 1942 Historic Streamline Moderne Building! She told me (over the phone) that both the trees and Christie’s Dental office were both planted and built about 60 years ago. She says that Canary Island Pines usually last between 50 and 150 years, so these trees are ½ way there, and that it’s probably the roots that are undermining the Dental Building, not so much the limbs or girth.

KUSP STALWART IN HOSPICE. Dale Owen, a very essential part of KUSP over many decades is in Hospice Care. It was sudden, according to Johnny Simmons. It’s not easy to visit or communicate with Dale right now, but try 831-325-9649 or

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick writes…

People driving through the Soquel Drive – Trout Gulch area during the past several weeks got an idea what traffic will be like with the addition of an Aptos Village and Safeway projects will be like. While the replacement of sewer lines is finished, traffic during the day is still heavy enough to look for alternative routes through that area. Traffic during this period regularly backs up from State Park Drive to Trout Gulch, also diverted cars through Seacliff and Rio Del Mar communities. When can we expect a traffic study on the Rancho Del Mar/Safeway expansion plan?

I was surprised to have to pay 25 cents for a (very large) paper bag for my purchases at Kohl’s’ in Capitola Mall this weekend. Especially when it was clearly labeled with an ad promoting Kohl’s. I guess that proves how often guys my age buy socks, shirts, shorts, etc., because I had made the assumption the ban on paper bags was for grocery stores and restaurants. Where the hell does all the recycled newspaper go that we send off to Green Waste? Why not recycle that into more paper bags to be recycled? Be ready to pack a shopping bag of some sort any time you’re out shopping! (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 items like DOGGR and fracking in Salinas Valley. He relates items such as water problems allaround our Central Coast. He tells of Fort Ord horse racing plans and Veterans opposing concepts. He ends with news about our City Planning Commission meeting this Thursday (5/2)

Go here for the rest

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” –

VINTAGE DE CINZO. The Rolling Stones can’t really be touring again…ha, but they are ! See vintage DeCinzo’s take on it, just a scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim jumps in and looks at the all too present Rage…see a few pages below.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau writes, “US Cuba Policy is Fruitless, Stupid, Mean and Cruel”. He states, “In their 54-year-old effort to bring down Cuba’s revolutionary government and restore obedience in our Caribbean neighbor, U.S. officials have compiled a spectacular record of failure, overshadowed only by the determination to persist in their pursuit of wrongheaded polices, further damaging U.S. interests”. He ends his article with….” Washington has forced 52 plus years of broken relations on Cuba, combined with a tough embargo to punish Cuba’s people. Indeed, U.S. presidents have tried to dislodge Cuba’s government in every way short of direct military invasion. Fruitless, stupid, mean and cruel policies simply do not work in our national interest!” Read all of it here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

OTTER LOVES THIS CAR. One more of those just about “terminally cute” You Tubes

George Kahumoku, Bob Brozman, Ledward Kaapana, and Herb Ohta Jr. Catch this You Tube for an example of good old Brozman at his nervous best. Bob was always there when we needed him for our annual Grey Bears Holiday Dinners at the Civic. He also sat in with our Hot Damn String Band at the Club Zayante sessions in the 70″s. He is terribly missed.

HBO GREAT UNKNOWN DRAMA SERIES. “Praemar” is the name of an original drama series that takes place on the beaches of Rio de Janiero. “The series follows the story of João Ricardo Velasco, a successful businessman that lost everything in the financial market. The only thing left is his beachfront apartment in “Ipanema”. Drugs, thongs, mobsters, more thongs, plus murder and it’s all in Portuguese (English Subtitles) Its 13 episodes are available in hour long stories free, now through July. Read Wikipedia about it…

PINTER PLAYS AT THE JEWEL THEATRE. If you like good live performances of good plays go see the two Harold Pinter Plays being jointly presented by Shakespeare Santa Cruz and The Jewel Theatre. The Lover (1962) is part comedy and part drama. It’s about love, marriage, commitment, the roles we play in our relationships, British class structure…and it’s good fun too. One For The Road (1984) is totally a political 2 person story centering on human rights. It deals with rape, murder, verbal abuse and it’s Pinter at his serious best. Paul Whitworth, Julie James, Marco Barricelli, Mike Ryan and Cristina Anselmo are all involved and are excellent. See it, you won’t see any better plays and performances in Santa Cruz.

SWORD SWALLOWING. I’m not even sure we should watch this at home, but…

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday month with my Five Fave Bard-Worthy adaptations of his life and work, discover some persons of Pinterest in the new Jewel Theatre Company/Shakespeare Santa Cruz co-production, and find out why I’m doing the happy dance this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

MANCE LIPSCOMB & “Jack O’Diamonds”.Long time Berkeley friend Chris Strachwitz brought Mance to Barry Olivier’s Berkeley Folk Music Festival back in the early ‘60’s. Mance was a guest at my family’s house and played a lot of music and had his first spaghetti dinner. Being from Texas, my daughter Hillary was the first white baby he was ever allowed to hold.


DISCONNECT. This from Rotten Tomatoes… “Murderball director Henry Alex Rubin explores the destructive potential of the internet in this ensemble drama starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, and Alexander Skarsgård”. Many other critics are calling it the best film of the year…I loved it as well. Complex, perfectly acted, tricky, intelligent, it’s the first real internet drama, no…the first good drama centered on the internet and connections. You can bet it won’t be the last. The editing and plot cuts are absolutely genius and raise the level of film making. You can’t help but think about your emails, your privacy, and your relationships. It’ll probably be at the Nick just one week, so go quickly, don’t blame them if it’s gone when you get around to it.

MUD. Mathew McConaughey has never been better than he is in Mud. So are the two kids who lead and steal the film from vets like Sam Shepard and Reese Witherspoon. It’s a fine film, with a story that doesn’t stop about life in Arkansas along the Mississippi. Kids coming of age, adults living a very tough life, and the music, the photography all make it one of my favorite films of the year. Just go see it.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. What a cast Jackie Evancho (don’t worry she doesn’t sing…but she acts like it!) plays Robert Redford’s youngest daughter. Julie Christie and Redford fight in a botox battle, Susan Sarandon has just a little part, and every other Hollywood democrat liberal you’ve heard of is in it too. AND it’s a fine Hollywood film. Full of just enough ethics, politics, facts and fiction to make it a fine film. Read this Wikipedia article on what really happened with SDS and the Weathermen. Read about how they left out the Timothy Leary and the Chicago 7 story and how they actually bombed Federal buildings and then go see the film.

PAIN AND GAIN.This is a dumb film about dumb people. To justify making such a dumb film the credits say it’s based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and also Ed Harris add gross and cruel humor to this tasteless, unfunny attempt at showing us how ignorant people cope with life. Take a nap instead.

42. THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY, PART 10. 42 is another genuine Hollywood film bio, that goes over all the same old sad story and adds Harrison Ford at his heavy “Andy Devine” hammiest. Why didn’t they tell how Jackie gave up baseball and became an exec on the Chock Full O’ Nuts Board of directors? Or how he was in favor of the Vietman war, supported Nixon over JFK,? Again, go to Wikipedia and check him out… In addition Jackie and I went to the same John Muir High School- Junior College in Pasadena. His picture was on the wall, but we were 20 years apart.

THE MOST AMAZING HUMANS.Just when you think we humans are getting dull, out of touch, too removed from life….watch this…

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.

Julie James talks aboutthe excellent Harold Pinter One Act plays at The Jewel Theatre on April 30, followed by UCSC’s Chris Wilmers discussing the research they are doing on Pumas. On May 7th Rebecca Jackson provides details on her Music In May concert. She’s followed by Fred Keeley our out-going County Treasurer talking about his job. Pat Lerman is coming from Aromas to tell us what’s happening on the Fracking scene in her neck of the shale on May 14th. Do remember, any and all suggestions and requests 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!!!


“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another,” Mahatma Gandhi. “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself, “ William Blake. “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools”, John Muir


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 May 1 – 7, 2013

Comments are closed.