Blog Archives

May 19 – June 2, 2014

SANTA CRUZ BEACH FRONTAGE 1960. Lots for sale, and it’s hard to believe that development hadn’t hit harder along West Cliff Drive by 1960. This is long before The Dream Inn and the Sea and Sand Inn and what seems like hundreds of cookie cutter apartments covered and defaced every square foot of this photo.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE (s). Due to technical difficulties, glitches, goofs, and the eternal, infernal, internet.. ..Gunilla & I decided to combine last week’s (May 19-25) and this week’s issue (May 26-June 2).

RE-SHAPING OUR SANTA CRUZWHARF. Bill Malone, active member of Santa Cruzans For Responsible Planning (SCRP) wrote this report on the “official City wharf meeting”. “On May 19th, the City held a Community Briefing which featured a presentation of the Wharf Master Plan Study by San Francisco based Roma Design Group and a summary of the planning process followed by a public comment period. The City states: “The Wharf Master Plan provides the City with a multi-faceted approach to enhancing the Wharf through increased public access, recreational activities and economic development opportunities, and will help in firmly establishing the Wharf as a vibrant year-round destination for residents and visitors alike”. The Plan has been developed by the Design Group from input of City planners, Wharf stakeholders and the Coastal Commission Staff. Although the Briefing was not well publicized, it was attended by about 35 people.

The attendees seemed to be mostly wharf business owners. Most attendees seemed to be favorably impressed with the proposed plan. There were some concerns voiced such as the loss of the quaintness and Santa Cruz character of the wharf, the loss of its history, the impact of more visitors on the Bay and the need for public transport, (preferably elevated such as gondola or PRT) to accommodate people who can’t or don’t want to walk.

The plan will add about 2 ½ acres of new surface area on the wharf to enhance public access. Mainly this is a new 28-foot wide promenade on the eastern side of the wharf and a new 12-foot wide promenade on the western side. Staff indicated that the redesigned Wharf would encourage visiting by locals as well as tourists.

I was initially very concerned about the proposed new large vessel landing. I was relieved to find out that this is not for massive Carnival Cruise size ships. This is for much smaller 200 ton vessels like research, whale watching and marine related tourism vessels. There will be a new sea lion haul out area – an open area on the west side where people will be able to more easily view the sea lions. The commercial area footprint will not be expanded. Parking will be slightly (about 15%) increased, mostly by straight in parking, narrowing some spaces and removal of trash bins.

You can find out more information on the Plan on the City’s web site. Do a Google search on “Santa Cruz wharf master plan”. Just type in “wharf plan” on the City’s web site. Their webpage has the slideshow that was presented at the briefing, which includes diagrams of the proposed new walkways. The Planning Commission Staff Report lists a summary of proposed improvements.

The next opportunity for public comment on the Plan will come in September when the plan goes to the City Council for acceptance (acceptance – not for approval at this time). That will begin the review process. Planning Department to make sure the Plan confirms to zoning and existing plans such as Beach Area South of Laurel Plan. Then to the Coastal Commission for a permit. Following that, the EIR process. There are many opportunities for public comment during this process. The planning process so far has been paid for by state and federal grants. Financing for further design and construction has not yet been arranged”. End of Malone’s report.


SCIENTOLOGY AT SANTA CRUZ AND HARBOR HIGH SCHOOLS. Monday’s Chronicle ( May 26, 2014) has a long report of how Scientology under the name of Narconon has been taught at many schools including our Harbor High and Santa Cruz High Schools. This teaching goes on in spite of a State of Californis review in 2005 that warned schools of the Narconon training being very flawed. The even more secret Scientology connection and their Narconon donation to the Aptos Academy has been talked about before. The Chron article says that Narconon International has headquarters around the world including Narconon Vista Bay on Gaffey Road in Watsonville. Check out their Narconon website and see how our Santa Cruz County Board Of Supervisors sent them aletter of appreciation, along with letters from Community Bridges, Big Brothers and Sisters, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, Food Drive and more fine agancies. Doesn’t anybody look into this Scientology support system…even in Santa Cruz County???

Bob Hope and Jimmy Cagney Tap Dancing. Alyce Vestal Caudill found this gem…

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. The Santa Cruz City Council can set new and great standards on June 10 by setting limits on how much money candidates can spend on their campaigns. Jacob Pierce wrote a fine piece in Good Times on Tuesday, April 29. Read it all here

It’s a complex idea but an excellent principle. As Civinomics says… in passing this reform it would 1.Prevent the potential for corruption, or the perception thereof, in City Council elections. 2. Insure that the pool of City Council Candidates is not limited to those with fund raising experience and/or access to money. 3. Significantly increase the quality of the debate during elections by allowing candidates to focus more on issues and conversations and less on fundraising. As you’ll read in Jacob’s article Micah Posner and Don Lane are leading the effort. You’ll read too about Richelle Noroyan’s reaction and partial reception. Council candidate Leonie Sherman has accepted the finance proposal. Let any and all the Council people you connect with know you support the reform….before June 10th. Watch Hillary Bryant’s and David Terrazas‘ decisions extra closely.

NATIONAL MASTURBATION MONTH. It was nice that the Pure Pleasure store on Chruch Street across from Cruzio sent out an announcement that May is Masturbation month. But there is a problem with their announcement!! It didn’t say whether we should start it, stop it, or do it in a parade down Pacific Avenue???. More later. But for now, if you want to know more about Masturbation month check this out…

Ready, Set, Masturbate! Meet the Mastermind Behind ‘International Masturbation Month’

STOPPING P.G.& E. IN APTOS. From their press release…

Neighbors Work Together to Stop Destructive PG&E Project

Two community meetings have been scheduled to update residents about PG&E’s proposed power line project passing through Watsonville, Corralitos, Pleasant Valley, and Day Valley, and its impact on their neighborhoods. The meetings, to be held May 28 at the Aptos Branch Library and June 9 at the Corralitos Cultural Center, will provide an open forum for concerned citizens to discuss the next steps to stop this destructive project. Check out their very well done website…

OBITUARIES . That’s the problem with old age, it seems like everybody around you is dying.

Ralph Peduto was a great, funny concerned old friend. David Weiss was a wonderful musical saw player who alos played with the Los Angeles Symphony and came to all of our Musical Saw Festivals. John Vasconcellos came to Santa Cruz often even way back in 1972 to help out our Hank Faitz California State Assembly Campaign. Rumiel Rothschield was a next door neighbor for many years who taught me some life changing skills. They will, and are already missed.

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


It’s that time of year again. The PDC will vote for officers at their June 19th meeting. Members must be present at the meeting and be current with dues to be eligible to vote. The nominating committee submitted the following candidates for next year’s officers: President, Nancy Abbey, Vice-President, Tom Batley, Recording Secretary, Nora Hochman, Corresponding Secretary, Joyce Malone, Treasurer Gail Jack, and Membership Chair Paul Elerick. The PDC has voted to support a local campaign finance reform proposal that will be discussed at the June 10th Santa Cruz City Council meeting. People interested in getting big money out of local politics should attend this meeting and make the voices heard. The May 4 Campaign Finance Reform Forum will be aired on Community Television (Channel 27) for 5 weeks. It can also be live-streamed from anywhere at the same times. Tuesdays at 10 AM through June 10th. Wednesdays at 10 PM through June 11th. Saturdays at 1pm through June 14th.

(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).

MANTA RAYS. Denise Elerick discovered this stunning spectacle.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s back from vacation and talks about the Aromas Water District and their water dealings. He tells us about Monterey County land use planning and getting involved. He too tells us all about Aptos vs. P.G.& E ( see above) and their proposed enormous power lines. He links to Santa Cruz’s “inclusionary housing” or so-called affordable houses and Measure J. He ends the week talking about that “Eco-Resort” on the beach in Sand City, and hopw Mother Nature may scale it back even if the Coastal Commission didn’t. 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 indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. It’s Summer and Boardwalk Band times andthe award winning DeCinzo thought about “The Rolling Stones”and their “DEPENDS TOUR” see below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. A few pages below Eagan sheds little light on the Koch Brothers

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express(, a genteel young woman of color in 18thCentury London searches for her identity in the handsome, engaging Belle.And meet (and hear) the new voice of Captain Hook for the upcoming AliasHook audiobook.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for GoodTimes since 1975.

TARTUFFE, THE OPERA AT UCSC. The “official” press release 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


IMMIGRANT. Marion Cotillard can, and has done almost no wrong in acting on screen. I can’t say the same for Joaquin Phoenix who is sort of a nutty pimp in this film. So is Jeremy Renner as a two bit magician who doesn’t seem to know what to do with his role. It’s a beautiful looking film, it’s a very, very serious film, but it must be the script that skews the plot into a puzzling change of direction. Go see it, it’s well worth seeing, but it’s not the film it could have, and should have been.

X MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Just consider the cast…Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey jr., Halle Berry, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbinder, Peter Dinklage Anna Paquin, and Hugh Jackman !!! Add to that a bit of humor, a sense of Marvel comic book hero errata and you have a teen age boy boxoffice hit. The film isn’t worth $2 admission let alone what you’ll pay to see it, so don’t. The deeper question is (considering that cast) would YOU play a 5 minute part in a Marvel Comic book flick for a million dollars (plus overseas percentages) ???

CHEF. Now, check out this cast Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Oliver Platt.It’s an original comedy all centering around food. It’s funny, touching, fast moving, and even educational!!! If you enjoy preparing food, and relish eating good food this is your movie! Chefs, food critics, restaurant owners, and normal people should see this well made film.

NEIGHBORS. Seth Rogen is a credible, even good actor so is Zac Efron but thisvulgar, sexist, mean- spirited attempt at humor film is not just gross and tastless it causes you to leave the theatre feeling terrible. Do not attend it, rent it or even click or touch the buttons to preview it.



BELLE. A Beautiful British costume drama, that has a little historical stuff about Dido Elizabeth Belle. Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson are in it, so it’s got to be at least charming. Dido was an illegitmate “mixed race” kid raised by the privileged upper class and the movie gives us all the expected reactions of that upper class. No surprises, no extra thinking required, just go, if you like costume dramas. That means wigs, fans, snooty haughty glances and men wearing white knee hose..that sort of thing.

PALO ALTO. Geez, so much review space saying there’s no city of Palo Alto in the film. What does that have to do with anything?? Gia Coppola created some very subtle moments in this film which was written by James Franco. Girls and women should see this if only to re-live and open their own terrible early sexual experiences from the all too present male predators. Go see it and quickly or it’ll vanish.

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 in the 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.

GODZILLA. There aren’t any recognizable star names in thisgigantic poop of a movie. Oops, yes there are David Strathaim, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins in very small parts, but I’ll bet they’re sorry. Now I’m guessing that Godzilla has had too much film exposure and is expensive in the FX department, so they added MUTO monsters. I shouldn’t mention this but in one closeup scene when a gigantio MUTO (in 3D) lumbers across the screen it looks like it has only one testicle, which would explain the anger I guess. Aside from that, MUTOs invade San Francisco (mostly Chinatown) and after more than one hour into the film Godzilla finally lumbers on and eats most of them up, after burning them with his flaming breath. It’s exactly that kind of flick.

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.

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. May 27 has Mary Hsia-Coron from San Benito Rising talking about the anti-fracking campaign. Then Anastasia Steinberg and Karla Hawkinson talk about their online businesses. On June 3 Brian Spencer discusses his direction of “Freud’s Last Session” coming to the Center Street Theatre then Lisa Robinson talks about MAH‘s new History Journal publication. I’m off on vacation for two weeks and you can hear re-plays of Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick and historian Marty Rizzo on June 10. On June 17 a “classic ” program featuring Frank Bardacke about area politics and Jim Mosher discussing alcohol and the law. On June 24 once again the three winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Short Story Contest will read their entries. July 1st has Frank Perry director of The Capitola History Museum telling us about local baseball legend Harry Hooper and their museum exhibit. After Frank , Karla Hawkinson will talk about her online business. Lisa Jensen film critic and author of her new book “Alias Hook” will open the July 15 program and Ellen Primack will then talk about this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 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. . “You can tell German wine from vinegar from the label“, Mark Twain.”The reason I drink is because when I’m sober I think I’m Eddie Fisher”, Dean Martin. “I can speak Esperanto like a native”, Spike Milligan.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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