Blog Archives

May 17 – 23, 2011

KNIGHT’S OPERA HOUSE, SANTA CRUZ 1877. This magnificent structure cost $4,200 to build, and opened November 23, 1877. It was on Union Street where Center Street crosses over by the Goodwill Store and Georgiana Bruce Kirby School are now. It lasted 44 years to 1921 when it was hauled to Capitola and later demolished on June 7, 1961. John L. Sullivan appeared here, so did Zasu Pitts. It’s claimed that her career began here, but I doubt it.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

Kit Birskovich, Noted pianist and keen online clip researcher has been sending some great viewables. She says re, “Duet for saxophone and dog”. This dog sings quite well, sax player pretty good too.

Kit adds to this baby conversation..”Pretty sure you’ve probably seen this already: Twin babies talking to each other. Incredibly wonderful.

RYAN AND HIS RAIDERS. Ryan C. succeeded in carefully orchestrating David Terrazas, Hillary Bryant, and Lynn Robinson’s votes on the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program. I’ve cut copied, edited, deleted and cleaned up what The Sentinel printed last Wednesday on how the Council voted. It said, “SANTA CRUZ – The City Council on Tuesday voted not to support state legislation that would allow local authorities to opt out of a federal immigration reporting-and-detention program opponents say is designed to deport undocumented residents rather than just violent offenders. This is about deciding whether to participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program, also stands in contrast to the city’s status for three decades as a so-called sanctuary city, where resources won’t be used toward deportation. The 4-3 vote demonstrates a shift in the council majority that has been under way for the past several years, with city leaders now less likely to weigh in on controversial national issues in favor of focusing on problems within the city’s jurisdiction. “What it says to me is that the council does support injustice and racial inequality in Santa Cruz,” Krysta Villeda, a fourth-year UC Santa Cruz student”. It’s great that Don Lane came down on the side of humanity; his votes are so all over the place. Few bets are being taken on how he’ll stand on anything once he becomes mayor. More…” Mayor Ryan Coonerty and Council members Lynn Robinson, David Terrazas and Hilary Bryant said they were reluctant to pass a resolution by Councilman Tony Madrigal that urged county officials not to detain people on immigration holds unless they are suspected of a serious or violent crime and have access to an immigration attorney. Although the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has supported revising Secure Communities, the council majority said it did not believe the city should advise the sheriff on the federal program. Councilwoman Katherine Beiers said it was largely meaningless considering the council often takes more positioned stances on other state legislation. Beiers, Madrigal and Vice Mayor Don Lane voted in favor of Lane’s follow-up motion to simply support AB 1081 without adding language about when the sheriff should comply with immigration holds. But the majority also voted it down.

Ryan’s leading his raiders on a long campaign against the Homeless, continuing the attack against Calvary Episcopal Church & giving UCSC all the water they need to bring in 3000 more students…and mostly from out of state??? Realize too that all of this is being orchestrated for Ryan’s run for State Assembly. Can’t you just see that campaign now? Tough on crime, tough on illegal immigrants, bridged the gap with UCSC, brought in $$$new construction (I’m not mentioning “James Durbin Year”) or as one astute local anonymous observer noted, “There will be new lines drawn for everything by this August, including probably a state senate seat centered on the central coast. Though Bill Monning is not termed out until 2014, there’s a good chance he’d go for it. The only other candidate in the mix for that seat at the moment is John Laird, and he’s already got a great job. Fred Keeley’s ruled himself out.
That would open up Bill Monning’s seat in 2012. Those boundaries too will be redrawn this August (possibly leading to some complications for him & Luis Alejo, but probably not). Ryan (who is termed out from the council in 2012, as is Tony Madrigal) is a very likely candidate again (he tried to run in 2008). The only other candidate in the mix for that seat at the moment is Mark Stone”. It’s going to be a long hot summer even without a water shortage.

1 MILLION $$ FOR SIGNAGE WON’T HELP. What possibly possesses people to think that spending huge bucks on pretty signs will bring more tourists to Santa Cruz. You know what will bring more people to Santa Cruz? 1. Preserving the few precious historically important structures that we already have and 2. Not allowing franchises to build more ugly corporate structures on our main thorough fares. Like the Hyatt and all the rest of the new motels on Ocean, and the next new one out on Mission. As previously mentioned, Santa Cruz has the west coast’s ugliest approach highways, streets and entrances. We’ve got to demand more from those developers, not print fancy signs…it’s too late, and it’s too late.

HISTORIC PARADE PHOTO. Chris Krohn emails to comment on that undated parade heading South on Pacific in last week’s column…”Nice picture…what strikes me is 1) the absence of trees (we’ve made a big improvement), 2) the tiny width of the opposite sidewalk, 3) I can also see the St. George Hotel, and the street is 4) scarily wide and the whole scene is not pedestrian oriented, but car-centric…no?!”. Then the irreplaceable Len Klempnauer sent in…”The parade photo in your latest column was taken in 1952 (between January and June), showing the Santa Cruz High School marching band. Among the majorettes are Betty Winterhalder, SCHS Class of 1952, Jackie Forgey and Shirley Mills, both SCHS Class of 1953, and Kim Gardner, SCHS Class of 1954.
Len Klempnauer, SCHS Class of ’54. Thanks to Len, I’ll know better next time.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary has lived, breathed, preached and instituted land use policy in the Central Coast Area for more than 4 decades. On one of his weekly broadcasts this week he lists some achievements we’ve reached…”In Santa Cruz County, community involvement in land use policy issues has made a real difference. Here is just a partial list of accomplishments:

  • The preservation and protection of the Santa Cruz County North Coast, at one time slated for a new city, and a nuclear power plant, and various types of resort developments, including a proposed condominium project with its own airport, in Bonny Doon.
  • No massive new freeways cutting through the middle of Santa Cruz, and cutting through what is now the UCSC campus, to join Highway One on the North Coast with Highway 17 and Highway One going south.
  • Greenbelts all around the City of Santa Cruz; and
  • The Measure J Growth Management System that brought effective “smart growth” principles to Santa Cruz County in 1978, including the preservation of commercially viable agricultural land for productive agricultural use, and an aggressive affordable housing program.

Land use policy making by local governments was also decisive in stopping offshore oil production along the California coast. And that started right here. Read it all here

(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” )

Short video, no sound: Elk splashing in a big puddle:

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Roaring Camp is still doing their annual Memorial Day Weekend War Re-enactment spectacular

Now scroll down to see what DeCinzo had to say about that vainglorious exhortation.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Professor Eagan illustrates the simple approach to taxing the rich. Scroll down asap.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul reports on the reaction to love in bloom or “Tornados, a Wedding, Osama and Obama”. He starts with…”Spring did not return at the end of April, the time poets love; nor, as T. S. Eliot hoped, did we experience rebirth from the womb of suffering. Quite the opposite occurred for more than 300 people who died when tornados struck their homes in southern states. Love and poetry did find a dramatic antithesis at the royal British wedding. One wit described the ceremony as offering the real meaning of “white trash.” The world’s most spiritually vapid family nonetheless gets millions to cheer – mostly on TV – while spending tens of millions of the public’s money to show off new dresses and hats to accentuate their weak chins. As one cynic remarked, “So much attention to a vestigial institution whose real legacy is kinkiness. They, of course, do have occasional straight sex since they must – sigh, what a bore – reproduce their parasitic specie.” Simultaneously, the British government announced it would lay off some 1 million government workers. I wonder if any of them enjoyed the lavish display staged for the royal nuptials. In that same week, the equally un-poetic assassination of Osama bin Laden took place. U.S. Navy Seals assassinated – they lacked training in kidnapping – bin Laden and three others, including one woman (possibly one of his wives). Read the rest here. Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

Triple banjo performance, with Steve Martin (who wrote the piece). Happy time!

OPERA IN THE LIBRARY. Four resident opera singers from the San Jose Opera will be performing arias from the San Jose Opera Company’s new season. That means we could hear a little something from Faust, La Traviata, Idomeneo, Pagliacci or La Voix Humaine…and they’re all great. That’s this Saturday June 18th 2:00 p.m. in the meeting room upstairs….for free.

OPERA ON THE CAMPUS. Plan now (June 2-3-4) for the annual student production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. The press release says, “Nicole Paiement conducts a chamber ensemble of members of the UCSC Orchestra as well as student singers in a fully staged production of Benjamin Britten’s three-act comic opera from 1947. Directed by Brian Staufenbiel. Set in a small town called Santa Cruz ca. 1900, a small committee has been appointed to identify a suitably virtuous village girl to be crowned May Queen and offers 25 guineas as the prize. But the evidence against its nominees is universally damning. Every single girl nominated has a questionable reputation and none is deemed worthy to wear the May Queen’s crown. Since there are no qualified candidates for Queen, why not have a May King? Why not the bashful Albert Herring, whose timidity is universally known? Albert is crowned “King of the May Festival,” only to launch a night of revelry that leaves his elders aghast and his chums impressed. Sung in English with supertitles.With the UCSC Orchestra. June 2-3-4 at 7:30 pm (Thu-Sat) June 5 at 2:00 pm (Sunday) Reserved seating.

3 minutes of a slam poet – in praise of teachers. (Yes that is Billy Collins sitting to the right.)

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa asks…”How did James Durbin rock Santa Cruz over the weekend? Find out at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( American Idol may have let him get away, but his career is just beginning; 30,000 Cruzans were there to see the first show of the rest of his life, and here’s why we love James. Also, let’s talk pirates, in honor of Captain Jack Sparrow sailing back onscreen this week On Stranger Tides. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.


NUREMBERG: IT’S LESSON FOR TODAY. This documentary of the Nuremberg trials was made in 1948 by the US Government, shown in Germany back then and was never shown in the USA (TOO GRISLY!!). It’s been restored and is the most complete visual record of that trial. As the website says, “The film ends with Justice Jackson’s stirring words: “Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war.” On the occasion of its 60th Anniversary, the Berlin International Film Festival has designated the screening of this historic restoration a Berlinale Special. Take a friend, watch this film and think about our foreign policy.

13 ASSASSINS. Either you know Takashi Miike’s films or not, and this one is excellent. An “old fashioned” samurai film, it’s got all the ingredients necessary to make it thrilling, choppingly bloody, and even have a story line. It’ll remind you of Seven Samurai and a lot of American Westerns for good reason, and if that’s your thing, see it twice. It’s perfect.

THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER. Aside from the Princess being beautiful she’s boring, the little bit she does talk at all. Why all the fuss over her never comes across. It’s a costume French drama set in the late 1500’s, and is fun to watch, but you won’t get involved.

EVERYTHING MUST GO. It’s a tribute to Will Ferrell’s acting that we can take him so seriously in this drama, right from his first seconds on screen. It’s a sad laughs and it almost works. It’s based on a Raymond Carver short story. Local angle…Carver taught at UCSC from 1971-74. Ferrell has done serious roles onscreen before and this isn’t his best but it’s way better than those man-child gross out comedies he makes his millions from. They ruined the Carver’s story pithy quality, and you leave wondering, so what? But it’s one of the few films in town worth watching.

PRIEST IN 3D. Paul Bettany is one of those actors you can’t stop watching. But I did because this film is terrible and I left after about 20 minutes. It looks really good, the 3D is not too bad but the vampire, bloody teeth, chewing, fleshy stuff has no discernable plot and you can’t possibly follow or care who gets killed or saved. Just don’t go, no matter what.

FUNNY STUFF Oh, and the Comic for Tetris fans — (rest your mouse on the strip to access a secret “balloon.”)

MUSIC IN MAY. Music In May 2011 will once again feature Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet and pianist Amy Yang. Joining the roster will be Richard Rood of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, cellist Danielle Cho, and violist Alexandra Leem. On Friday night it’s Prokofiev 5 Melodies for Violin and Piano, John Wineglass Piano Trio (WORLD PREMIERE) Janacek String Quartet No. 1, Mahler Piano Quartet and Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8. On Saturday night May 21, (same place) it’s

Beethoven Horn Sonata transcription for viola and piano, Schumann Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op. 82 and closing with a Mendelssohn Octet. That all occurs at the Resurrection Church (7600 Soquel Dr. Aptos CA 95003).8 p.m. both nights and there’ll be a 7 p.m. pre-concert lecture Tickets online at or in person at Santa Cruz Civic Box Office (831) 420-5260. Go to for more details.

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 on “blog”) at WWW.KZSC.ORG. Maya Barsacq talks about Cadenza on May 17 and then Carolyn Swift talks about the new picture book on Soquel, which she says is fantastic. Shira Bogin talks about student art and MAH on May 24 after Shira, David Warren will give us the lowdown on his local production of TED that happens June 11. Frank Lima, aka The Great Morgani reveals just some secrets to his success on May 31, then Paul Whitworth fills us in on the plot behind Krapps Last Tape which he doing for Jewel Theatre Co. 6/2-6/5 . Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neal Coonerty helps me celebrate 5 years of Universal Grapevine on June 7. The Santa Cruz Bookshop Short Story Winners read their entries for the full hour on June 14th. Don Young, author of Battle For Snow Mountain will be on July 12.Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

QUOTES. “There’s been no top authority saying what marijuana does to you. I really don’t know that much about it. I tried it once but it didn’t do anything to me”, John Wayne. “Life without caffeine is stimulating enough”, SANKA Advertisement. “…A generation that lives with no purpose and no aim is a generation that lives in ecstasy”, Jonas Mekas

Best of Vintage DeCinzo

Roaring Camp Forever!!!

Deep Cover