Blog Archives

May 15 – 21, 2014

SEA BEACH HOTEL. This gorgeous hotel was built in the 1870’s and had 170 rooms. Rumor has it that Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Teddy Roosevelt stayed there. It burned down and up on June 12, 1912.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE May 12, 2014

SHERIFF CAMPAIGN. This campaign is getting serious. Lawn signs, trucks with Roger Wildey’s name but I’m still going with Paul Elerick’s Input from last week’s column.” Candidate Jim Hart, current Chief Deputy Sheriff came across the best. His website lists a host of excellent endorsements, including the ones that impress me the most. In this case, Supervisor John Leopold’s endorsement was the best of Hart’s many endorsers. Candidate Bob Pursley, is a retired Lieutenant from Sheriff’s Department. His website doesn’t list his endorsers but I’m sure he has some good ones. He was the only candidate who favored the license-plate tracking system currently under consideration by the City of Santa Cruz. A deal breaker for me, we’re tracked too much already; this is an unnecessary expense and an invasion of privacy. Candidate Roger Wildey, is also a retired Lieutenant from Sheriff’s Department. He clearly was the candidate of choice for the NRA and Take Back Santa Cruz members in the audience, as well as the only Republican. Noting that he shared a freeway overpass sign with Tim Donnelly, the Tea Party candidate for governor made him a non-starter for me. My choice for Santa Cruz County Sheriff is Jim Hart”. I’d have to addsuch Jim Hart endorsements as Bill Monning, Mark Stone, Luis Alejo, the GLBT Alliance, and the Peoples Democratic Club.

IAN Mckellen explains his interpretation of King Lear

NEW RADIO STATION!!! It’s hard to believe but there’s a new listener supported non profit radio station in the county. Very soon we can listen to KBCZ in Boulder creek at 90.1 FM. Tim Welch the director wants to hear from everybody about what you’d like to hear. Actually they don’t have their FCC license yet, but they’re working on it. Their website says, “Boulder Creek Community Radio is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational radio station committed to bringing together the local community using an entertaining and educational format. The content is focused on local expertise on a wide array of subjects including local history, art, music, agriculture, weather, emergency information, safety issues, upcoming community events, and local economy. KBCZ is to be financially sustainable through donations and local business sponsorships. We plan to be broadcasting in 2014”.

Simon Russell Beale talks about his interpretation of King Lear now at the Del Mar theatre.

OUR FOOD FADS.There was an intriguing article on our national food fad in last week’s New Yorker (5/05).It’s based on a new book titled, “The Tastemakers: Why we’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue”. The article talks about how Jello was a big deal in the Space Age, and Fondue was super popular in the 1960’s. Then it was foot long pepper grinders in the 70’s and “Pasta” replaced spaghetti at that same time. Muffins were huge around 1987, balsamic vinegar and cupcakes in the 1990’s and we all drank alcoholic Iced Teas. Then it skips to 2009 when Greek Yogurt hit the big time and of course as we all know now, it’s Sriracha and Chia seeds which usurped flax by far. It gets serious and talks about “Cultural” divisions such as drinking Cosmopolitians, “Agricultural” tastes such as Heirloom tomatoes, “Chef driven” hits like Cajun spices and “Health Driven” fads like Acai berries. Somewhere in there it talks about such dead fads as MSG, pre-ground pepper and Snapple. It’s both funny and odd to think about..that’s all.

SAVING THAT HORSE CHESTNUT TREE. Gillian Greensite emails to state…Dear fighters for the red horse chestnut tree on Broadway, given that the Hyatt contacts, the developer and the city have chosen to give us the silent treatment, I thought it time to find others in the corporation who might listen. The link below is a list of people I’m going to contact and link to our Facebook page. Maybe someone upstairs will wake up and realize that saving this tree is in all of our interests, not the least of whom is the tree. Anyone want to do the same? Let’s give it all we’ve got! Gillian & Save Our Big Trees !!!

Hyatt Contacts…

STAFF OF LIFE’S WASTED WATER WATERFALL. Sidewalk tables are multiplying like flies on Pacific Avenue. More and more folks around the world sit at street- side tables to enjoy the passing parade , but not at Staff of Life. It’s unbelievable that when they built their new store on Soquel they went to extra expense to have a fine sitting area but then went and fenced off the street so you can’t experience being out side. They have actually installed a phony looking and noisy waterfall so you can’t hear the world because of the added extra water splashing noise. And why now.. with all the water issues we are facing are they wasting all the evaporation from that waterfall? Sure it’s probably recycled, but for a store with good taste (and tastes) why did they do that to their otherwise excellent atmosphere?

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


The last item on your ballet this year (for voters in the unincorporated part of the County) is a measure called County Service Area No. 11. For $8.50 per parcel, you will be voting to replace an expiring service area charge that maintains our County Park System. This is the cost per year for each improved parcel in the County and will pay for park maintenance, safety, clean restrooms, etc. The objective here is to get TWO THIRDS (2/3) of the voters to agree that this is a good thing, and vote yes. Even though there is no organized opposition to Measure F, the “no taxes anti-government” people will vote against maintaining our parks, so the rest of us must get out and vote Yes on F…. if it’s on your ballot.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair 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 announces the Star Creek Adventures as presented by The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. He continues with the Coastal Commission’s meeting in Inverness this week and tells about their Webcast feature. He tells us about our local worst water quality in the State and the report from OEHHA. As you can predict he gets into the problems with the California American Water Company and their TV ad. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365″ –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. The award winning DeCinzo exposes Capitola’s new police uniform look. Scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim’s Deep Cover holds a special torch to the world’s oil problem. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, the mysteries of creative inspiration revealed (or at least grappled with), as I chime in on the My Writing Process blog tour. Also, tag along with Alias Hook on a pictorial mini-tour of London!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

KING LEAR.(Repeat.. one more time) I’ve seen maybe 10 different King Lear productions.. I’ve been in the cast of two more « Lears », and I’ve seen this National Theatre Live production at the Del Mar twice already !!! This is without a doubt the best King Lear I’ve ever seen. Audrey Stanley and Michael Warren, both Lear experts agree with me !!! Reviews for this Sam Mendes production of King Lear at London’s National Theatre live have been nearly perfect. Simon Russell Beale as Lear got raves in every review. The National Theatre Live production plays at the Del Mar for only two more screenings.Thursday 5/15 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 5/18 @ 11:00am . I’ll probably go again !!!

TARTUFFE, THE OPERA AT UCSC. The “official” press relerase says, “The UCSC Opera Theatre and the UCSC Music Department present a fully staged production of Kirke Mechem‘s comic opera Tartuffe based on the brilliantly satirical 17th-century play by Molière. The three-act opera has been performed some 400 times in six countries since its 1980 premiere at the San Francisco Opera”. I saw one the SF Opera performances, it’s a fine new opera. And the UCSC Opera productions feature some amazing and surprisingly good singers. Get tickets asap because the four performances will probably sell out. It’s directed by Brian Staufenbiel, conducted by Nicole Paiement and sung in English (with supertitles). It plays May 29-30-31 and June 1, 2014 in the Music Center Recital Hall, UC Santa Cruz. 7:30 pm curtain (Sunday at 3:00pm) Lobby opens 1 hour before curtain; doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Tickets at, the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159), and the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium box office (831-420-5260). Parking $4. Look up Kirke Mechem at Wikipedia….his background is very impressive


LOCKE. A truly great film. No kidding. It’ll make it into cinema history books for sure. The entire film takes place inside a guy’s BMW while he’s driving…that’s it. He’s got a problem, he answers and makes 100 phone calls on his Bluetooth, while driving to solve a problem that he feels responsible for. You’ll share his misery over right and wrong, love and marriage, responsibility and humanity. No sex, violence, or blood, just a thrilling,challenging piece of what cinema can do, when there’s proper direction and a great story and with Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke.

FADING GIGOLO. With John Turturro directing and starring along with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone you’d think and hope that this would be an incredible picture. It’s isn’t. It’s worth watching and even paying admission but it falls right between comedy and drama and misses both. It’s too difficult to image Turturro as the super gigolo he plays.

THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR. Thisis a documentary about some murders that happened on the Galapagos Islands back in 1934. You’ll sit and wonder and follow every frame of the film, but when it’s over it remains only a curiosity piece. Lotsa sea turtles, if you like sea turtles.It does give us some answers about what is paradise and where it’s located.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE.This is Jim Jarmusch’s vampire movie. It features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as century old lovers and Mia Wasikowska (now older) is in it too. It happens in Detroit and Tangiers. They drink special high quality blood from aperitif glasses and there’s many, many classic and rare guitars in to as well. It is a curiosity piece.


RAILWAY MAN. The “shell shocked”(PTSD) Colin Firth just wants to kill his WW2 Japanese captor who is still alive. Firth and Nicole Kidman do good jobs with their roles but the film drags for some reason and loses impact. It’s still well worth seeing, but it could have and should have been better.

LUNCHBOX. You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films if you’ve seen any Indian films lately. HBO’s In Treatment, The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire etc. It’s the touching, sensitive, no big action story of a non-relationship. It’s also a tour of contemporary Mumbai, India. It’s a wonderful film.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also inthe film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. A surprising and well-made documentary about a very shy woman who hid her photography “hobby” from the world all of her life. As the Nick’s site says, “She never showed her work to anyone, but since its recent (and accidental) discovery, she is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Walking the streets of Chicago and New York City, Maier quietly captured faces, moods and moments (as well as many self-portraits) with her Rolleiflex and created unforgettable imagery that has only come to light in the last few years. Her strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with those who thought they knew her”. You’ll see a huge number of her photos; go if that’s your thing, or if you like good documentaries.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslett. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

SPIDER MAN, AD INFINITUM. I can’t think of a scene or any part of this film that is worth even mentioning. Four movies of Peter Parker doing Tarzan and swinging through street scenes are almost enough. Adding Jamie Foxx as Electro (in whiteface) could not be more idiotic. This of course guarantees it’ll be an international box office blockbuster. It ends with Paul Giamatti in a techno-monster suit playing Rhino, meaning of course that there will be more such drivel. No, watching it in 3D didn’t help.

CAPTAIN AMERICA, Winter Soldier.You take Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, and put them in a film like Captain America and what do you have?? Not much, just another bloody, violent, superhero, Marvel Comic blockbuster. It does have a few seconds where we can think about security versus fear as a way to run the USA. Redford plays an evil Wall Street warmonger, and Johansson jumps around a lot and she really does have an intriguing voice, if you stop looking and listen to her. She’s a good “guy” and works with Chris Evans as the Captain. Just go if you’re under 16, and bored.

HEAVEN FOR REAL. Jesus H. Christ, is this a god “faith-based” film or what??? Greg Kinear plays the preacher who’s son almost dies but goes to heaven anyways and probably, or maybe… where??? The kid sees jesus and his horse, and lots of Christian stuff. Don’t go unless your church is closed for some reason and you have nothing to do.

THE OTHER WOMAN. If you’ve ever wondered why Cameron Diaz is famous, you’ll still wonder after seeing this dog of a dumb comedy. Mick La Salle liked it and he’s just about alone. I never knew what Nicki Minaj did, I’m still not sure but she’s the best thing in this FLOP and everything else flops a lot in this film (if you catch my drift). I’m still trying to figure why I went.

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. Dan Haifley author of “50 Years of Safe Harbor” talks about his book on May 13 then Andrew Hsia-Coron talks about the anti fracking movement. Dr. Mark Bernhard discusses his Qiqong work with Santa Cruz Veterans on May 30, followed by Ed Penniman talking about The Santa Cruz Art League. On June 3 Brian Spencer discusses his direction of “Freud’s Last Session” coming to the Jewel Theatre then Lisa Robinson talks about MAH’s new History Journal publication. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “If at first you don’t succeed—so much for skydiving“, Henny Youngman. “Winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing”, Vince Lombardi. “My horse was in the lead, coming down the home stretch, but the caddie fell off”, Samuel Goldwyn.


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 15 – 21, 2014

Comments are closed.