Blog Archives

May 15 – 21, 2012

DEL MAR THEATRE February 25, 1957. That’s Brad McDonald (Mr. Capitola) on the far right. That’s a wax dummy of James Dean (he died Sept. 30,1955) leaning against the car. I have no idea who the guy on the left or the woman behind the dummy is. I can’t quite read the ticket prices but loges cost a bit more. “Oklahoma” starred Gordon McRae, Gloria Grahame, and Shirley Jones and it’s in Cinemascope!!!

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

COMMUNITY TELEVISION VIEWS. From deep within CTV comes…”Mary Ann Thyken former Executive Director at Community Television of Santa Cruz County. has left for health reasons and a search has started for a new Ex. Dir. Looks like it will only be a part time position due to budgetary restraints. There are a lot of changes going on at CTV and we should all pay attention, this is of great importance to our community. There’s a sad story unfolding out of Albuquerque, NM about the City Council there stripping the public access station of their contract.

The important story is, they are the company who took over the contract from the company titled ‘Quote…UnQuote’, who had held the contract for 30 years. Please explore their website, especially the STANDARDS for producers. I’m happy to report so far in Santa Cruz we don’t have quite that sort of threat, but the funding issues coming up very soon are most definitely the sort of danger that could portend the end of CTV, not a scenario Santa Cruz would be happy about.


FUNNIEST FILM/PLAY EVER!!! I saw the live telecast of London’s National Theatre production of “One Man, Two Guvnors” at the Del Mar several weeks go. It was the funniest film I’d seen in decades. John Lahr (Bert’s son) who reviews plays for the New Yorker wrote that this production of “One Man Two Guvnors” created the longest laughs from an audience that he’d experienced in 40 years of covering live theatre. Maurice Peel advertising and promotion manager of the Nickelodeon Theatres has seen it three times. It’s British humor, not Noel Coward but more Benny Hill. Not Oscar Wilde more like Buster Keaton. Not drawing room but London Music Hall…it’s great. And it’s back for only four screenings Sunday May 20 @2 p.m., Monday May 21st @6:30p.m. Tuesday, May 22nd @6:30p.m. and Wednesday May 23rd @6:30p.m. It’s based on Carlo Goldini’s commedia play “Servant of Two Masters”, that he wrote in Venice in 1743. Be sure to see it…remember only 4 screenings.

THE DE-SAL MESS. If you’re wondering how all this de-salination plan and plot got to this confusing place….read this, and then attend the meeting this Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 at UCSC’s College 8 Red room.

UCSC DORM SITUATION.Just in passing… are we all aware that UCSC has just about 8,695 students living on campus right now. Are we all also aware that there are hundreds of empty beds in those dorms…and that UC is currently advertising to get more students to live on campus??? Just asking, and telling.


On May 2, the four land trusts involved in the acquisition of the Cemex forest north of Davenport held a community meeting at the Pacific Elementary School in the heart of Davenport. The classroom was filled to overflowing with nearly 150 people in attendance to learn about the Cemex future and share their dreams and doubts about the property.

After hearing from the Land Trust of Santa Cruz, Sempervirens Fund, Peninsula Open Space Trust and Save the Redwoods League about the conservation vision currently being fleshed out for the forest, a facilitator did a masterful job of getting folks to join break out groups to lay out their thoughts on future management of the 8,532 acre redwood property.

FOLGER’S INAPPROPRIATE COMMERCIAL. But only if you want to laugh!!!

Following a lively exchange, a spokesperson from each group succinctly presented that group’s concerns and desires to the whole gathering, enabling the meeting to stay on schedule and end on time. Concerns ran the gamut from fire to water for Davenport, trespass on neighboring properties, protection of old growth, endangered species and riparian habitat, and enough funding to adequately do everything.

Dreams and desires included sufficient access for bicyclists, toilets, signage, multi-use trails, selection logging, educational opportunities including scientific research, as well as protection of the varied and valuable natural resources including Coho salmon and steelhead, and Davenport’s sole drinking water supply, San Vicente Creek.

The land trusts heard an earful from a very respectful and enthusiastic crowd and will take the info back to the drawing board and their consultants currently preparing a conservation plan”. Jodi Frediani is Forestry Consultant for The Loma Prieta Chapter of The Sierra Club End of Forest Update.


The problem with riding around on bicycles at night is that they are nearly invisible. A week ago I was leaving the parking garage on Front St. about 9 P.M., exiting towards the County Center. Waited in the unlighted exit until no cars were coming from either direction until looking again for cars, but there were none. Good thing I waited those seconds, because along came two bicyclists, dressed in black, with a twinkling “headlight” moving about 25 MPH, the speed limit. I missed them, only by luck.

Last night, we were coming home from a movie at the Regal Cinema on Pacific Ave, about 10 P.M. and headed out River St. to get on the freeway towards Aptos. Three bikers riding side by side were taking the entire lane headed up Highway 9 just past the Highway 1 corner. Each had a twinkling red light on their rear ends and was proceeding at traffic speed. Space here doesn’t make it possible to record all the careless bike riders I’ve had to dodge over the past few months. What can one do about it? I’d be arrested in a minute driving a car with candles for headlights. So count me on a list of people who have one less reason to visit Santa Cruz after the sun goes down. Running into a bicycle after dark is no way to end a person’s day.

(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).

pours blood, breaks and egg and is re-born! I’d never seen this before, have you??

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Here’s a slightly edited version of what Gary Patton has to say about electeds and behind closed door meetings:


“It is rare but not impossible that a public agency might carry out the entirety of one of its meetings behind closed doors. In any county, county government has land use jurisdiction over large areas of “undeveloped” land, and the land use and other decisions of county government are often the most important determinant of what will happen to a local community in the future. Persons who want to have an impact on the future of their community need to pay attention to what their county Board of Supervisors is doing. Luckily, the California Public Records Act gives every member of the public a right to look at government files. The Ralph M. Brown Act gives the public access to public meetings. These two statutory systems really make possible the kind of informed self-government that allows ordinary members of the public to affect the public policies that most affect them.

The “open government” provisions of state law, though, do allow City Councils and Boards of Supervisors to hold “closed” meetings in certain circumstances. The Monterey County Board of Supervisors, meeting as the County Water Resources Agency, has made the entirety of their meeting Tuesday, May 15 into a “closed” session, to deal with specified litigation matters. This is not the best news for those members of the public who would like to know “what’s going on?” (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”

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Facing the Grim Scissors. See 2 pages below. Check out much more of Tim Eagan’s work at …a treasure trove of Eaganiana for fans. Check out his bio, especially the part when he ran for District Attorney. (He doesn’t mention the rabbit ears!!)

Micaela Neus emails direct from Palmer Station, Antarctica…” Rarely do I recommend a film about Antarctica. Recent interest in the continent has spawned dozens of new documentaries, few of which offer any original insight. Some of the wildlife footage that crews capture today makes my jaw drop, and the underwater photography never disappoints. But I’ve seen enough of the continent to want more than pretty scenery from a film, and I’m ready for a brand of Antarctic documentary that tackles the human element of the environment. Last week, I found a documentary from 2009 tucked into the non-fiction shelves of our common library that gives me hope that I won’t have to wait too much longer for movies to catch up with my curiosity.

“Terra Antarctica: Rediscovering the Seventh Continent” combines the most compelling aspects of Antarctica: mountaineering, scientific research, historic sites, and contemporary life on station. The National Geographic Society funded Jon Bowermaster’s 2009 kayak expedition to the Western Antarctic Peninsula (passing very near Palmer Station, actually), but the film he made about the trip doesn’t fit the usual mold. He doesn’t spend too much time hyping the scientists and waxing poetical about the coming environmental apocalypse. Instead, Bowermaster talks about international diplomacy, visits abandoned whaling sites, paddles up to leopard seals and parties with the Ukrainians. The breadth of Bowermaster’s own fascination with the continent makes this a well-rounded portrait of life along the Peninsula. I envy him, mostly– the Ukrainians have a formidable reputation!

The narration feels a bit stiff at times and events don’t always work out as planned; for me, these add to the film’s authenticity. Terra Antarctica has an intimacy not usually felt in Nat Geo Soc. videos, and seems uninterested in impressing its audience the way most nature documentaries feel they must. He presents the expedition’s disappointments with the candor and as he does its highlights and that imparts a sense of inclusion to his audience. The post-expedition interview that also comes on the DVD makes me appreciate Bowermaster’s somewhat boyish perspective even more deeply.

I’m going to recommend Terra Antarctica but not for the usual reasons. It’s not an amazing movie: it’s just realistic. The more time I spend down here, the more convinced I become that mythologizing this region does not help to protect it environmentally or (if we’re splitting hairs) politically. The cast and crew of Terra Antarctica seem to agree,
and I’m putting this film out there in support of our shared intuition”.

To buy it from Amazon… click here To read about a recent award and link to Bowermaster’s website click here

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until at least October 2012.

STUDIO 54.Watch a very young and sweet Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones all talk about the near-miraculous & fabulous Studio 54…back in the day.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul writes, “Free Cuba, Torch a Travel Agency“. Provoking almost everybody he says, “You can disagree with violent anti-Castro dogma, but such dissent could also get you killed – or your business torched as happened on April 25 to Airline Brokers Co. Some Cuban exiles apparently take free speech so seriously that they punish those who use it in “inappropriate” ways. Miami has witnessed countless incidents for five plus decades where those who consider their own views on how to bring freedom to Cuba as so pure and irreproachable, that anyone who challenges their doctrine merits a bomb, a bullet, or an accelerant”. And…” They can’t explain how destroying a Coral Gables travel agency helps free Cuba. “The money visitors spend in Cuba supports the Castro regime.” As if bombing travel agencies stops travel!

Reach beneath the unconvincing rhetoric and into baser motives. Do the violence makers make their living from violence? After the April 25 fire, did Coral Gables business neighbors of the Airline Charter Co. receive visits? “Hey, you got a nice store here…” You know the dialogue from the Sopranos. Except Cuban exile criminals cover their shakedowns with “patriotic” rhetoric. I feel certain, however, that Miami area elected officials have strong feelings against this act of terrorism despite their deafening silence.

Read it all 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 (, strap on your best pirate swag for the Capitola Art & Wine Festival kickoff party, welcome 10 fanciful, life-sized animal sculptures by artist Beth Allison Gripenstraw to their new home at the Scotts Valley Library, and ponder along with me how (and why) The Avengers could rack up 1 billion worldwide in just 11 days.” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

SOUND OF MY VOICE. Warning…this film has almost no ending!!! And it’s excellent. Low budget, intelligent, challenging, even time travel! It’s about documentary makers who get all involved with a cult. If you liked “Another Earth” you’ll love this one. But hurry, I predict it’ll leave quickly.

DARK SHADOWS. A goofy miss, and mess of another teaming of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Poor Michelle Pfeiffer (age 55), who’s had bad choices in the last years, is about blah in this one too. It feels like Burton and Depp struggled for years to throw in everything possible to make what they call a spoof of vampire films, and didn’t have the time or money to develop any part of the plot. A waste of talent. Depp looks a lot chubbier too, probably because he turns 50 very soon and was born in Kentucky.

ALMOST, MAINE PLAY AT UCSC. It’s a play by John Cariani and is presented by the UCSC Theater Arts Department “As the Northern lights fill the sky above, the residents of the mythical town of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. The play inventively explores the mysteries of the human heart, touching audiences with laughter, heartbreak and hope. The New York Sun describes it as “love in the time of frostbite.” directed by Kathryn Wahlberg. It plays Fri-Sun, May 18-20 & Thu-Sun, May 24-27 @ 7:00 pm (Sundays at 3:00pm) at The Experimental Theater (UC Santa Cruz) Tickets ONLINE at, at the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159) and Santa Cruz Civic (832-420-5260)

“I DREAM OF CHANG AND ENG”. The year is 1874. A plantation home near Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Sixty-three year-old Chang Bunker takes his last breath. His twin brother, Eng, dies a short time later. Their quiet passing in a rural farmhouse was the final note in a truly remarkable and fascinating life — as the world-famous “Siamese” twins.

The UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Department presents I Dream of Chang and Eng, a play by Bay Area playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, directed by Gina Marie Hayes.

Conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker were born to Chinese parents in Thailand (Siam) in 1811. Connected by a band of cartilage at their chest, the twins were simultaneously hailed as a miracle and a portent of evil. It is reported that the King of Siam ordered that the “monster” be killed, but their lives were spared and they grew into capable strong boys. As young men, they traveled abroad and were exhibited as curiosities in Europe and the United States. The twins ultimately gave up the touring life and settled in rural North Carolina, marrying two local sisters in 1843, and raising two large families.

Director Gina Marie Hayes points out that Gotanda’s play is not really a history play. “We have, instead, imagined it as a dream that the twins’ eldest daughter, Katherine-Josephine is having about their lives. The spirits of Chang and Eng’s twenty-one children dance through this dream.”

Gotanda, who attended UC Santa Cruz as a student in 1969-70, will return to campus for a special post-show conversation with fellow UCSC alumnus and writer/performer Brenda Wong Aoki and musician Mark Izu on Saturday, June 2. The play happens Friday–Sunday, May 25-26-27 & Thursday–Sunday, May 31, June 1-2-3 in UCSC’s

Mainstage Theater, Theater Arts Center, 7:00 PM (Sundays at 3:00 PM).Unreserved seats

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 On May 15th Gina Marie Hayes will talk about the UCSC production of “I Dream of Chang & Eng”. Then Rebecca Rovay-Hazleton will talk about her book “Choosing Health”. Rachel Goodman will bring us up to date on Tannery Doings on May 22, after Rachel, Tubten Pende will unveil details on his “Art Of Happiness” series at “The Land Of The Medicine Buddha”. May 29 has Ken Koenig discussing details of the annual photography exhibit opening around that time at Felix Kulpa Gallery. Supervisor Neal Coonerty helps me celebrate 6 years of Grapevine on June 12. Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz read their works on June 19th. Bubble Man Tom Noddy tries radio bubbles on July 3. Dr. Rosalind Shorenstein discusses women’s medicine on July 17th. 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 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’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them“, Alfred Hitchcock. “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison”, Henry David Thoreau. “The object is for everyone to do their own thing, but the thing is to make one’s thing the Revolution”, Eldridge Cleaver.


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on May 15 – 21, 2012