Blog Archives

May 20 – 26, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Group therapy for the City Council,Trader Joes and Aldi secrets, Cab Fest O’music housing. GREENSITE… on Rail Trail Segment 7 Phase 2 Appeal. KROHN…Climate issues, library/garage, City Attorney’s gone, Council budget, Public Safety Committee, Community Council Network, Progressives & progress, ICE status and Green New Deal. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek’s sewage water, Chanticleer Avenue purchase and the meetings, Water For Santa Cruz, Zach Friends new 3200 square feet office opens in Aptos Village, SB50 now on hold, visiting Davenport Jail. PATTON…Leonardo Da Vinci. EAGAN…and who’s Trade War? JENSEN…reviews “Photograph”. BRATTON…I critique Trial by Fire. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”Measles”.


                                 

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CAPITOLA May 15, 1956.   The big building next to the water is the Saba Club. Owned by the Brad McDonald family. It was built on the site of the Hotel Capitola, and burned down. Snuggled back behind the parking lot is the grand Theater Capitola. Do note that this is May and note all the parking spaces!                                       

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DORIS DAY, 1975

TIM CONWAY TAKES A CLASSIC FALL. Peggy Snider not only sent this gem but she’s taken some classic falls herself back in her circus days!!

CAROL BURNETT & TIM CONWAY.

DATELINE May 20

GROUP THERAPY FOR OUR CITY COUNCIL! Almost since the very first week our new 4-3 city council has exhibited some painful actions…and votes. We’ve watched and heard some of the most nasty, personal moves any of us can remember from our elected group. We watch their smiling, polite faces as they plan and plot and again react to their fellow councilmembers. It’s got to be extra painful to each of them every meeting, every week, every decision. Their personal lives must be paying a terrific price for this forced civility. Given the wide diversity of their personal politics it’s only near-natural that they have to deal with such pressure.

I think, and I’m serious, I wish we could help our City council by getting them into some group therapy!! They’d probably have to have a judge in the room (Brown Act) and commit to just being alone with a well trained, credentialed, (probably from out of town) Group therapist.  Put yourself into any of the council’s seats and imagine how you’d be reacting to the internal and huge external battles-divisions each meeting. I know this is an unusual and impossible idea but once in awhile it occurs to me that it wouldn’t be just their lives that would change for the better but the lives of our city too. These are some very tough times…think about it.

TRADER JOE’S (ALDI’s) BEATING AMAZON AND WALMART!! I happened across a newsy, surprising article about ALDI the German food chain that is beating all competition around the world. You probably remember that ALDI bought out Trader Joe’s back in 1979. The link here will take you to some reading that will revise much of what you think you know about buying groceries. You’ll read that Aldi/TJoe’s stocks only about 1400 items while traditional stores go for 40,000 items or more. Aldi’s Facebook page has 50,000. TJoe’s/Aldi prices run anywhere from 50 to 15 % less than the other grocery outlets. Trader Joe’s now has 484 stores in the USA. Also hidden in the article is the news that Trader Joe’s/ALDI customers make more money and have more education than other grocery stores!!

CYNTHIA MATHEWS TERMED OUT! Two weeks ago (May 6) I wrote…” BEAT ME TO IT! I had intended to predict that our local political, habitual, driven, predictable, candidates would be starting to do their campaigning about now. Cynthia Mathews is the champ of this group. We see her photos at dozens of community functions just a short time before she actually announces. But Mike Rotkin jumped the gun and got his photo in today’s (Sunday, May 5) Sentinel. Watch for the Santa Cruz Business Council’s Robert Singleton’s name and photo soon. Most poll predictors are betting that unsuccessful City Council candidate Greg Larson’s name will pop up. New surprises await both Larson’s and Singleton’s campaigns!  Big thanks to all the folks who wrote telling us that Cynthia Mathews is termed out and won’t be running for mayor this next time. It certainly helps to remember these “little” things. Never mind that I knew that and mis-syped but I wanted to get across that she is the champ at joining each and every photo op just before any time that she does run…just not this time. So NOW watch and keep a lookout for Greg Larson and Robert Singleton’s names creeping into Sentinel articles. Por ejemplo… Singleton’s name has been in about three times recently.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. This world –wide famous Festival runs July 28-August 11 this year. One of the many extra grand experiences of the festival has always been when locals make room for a musician or two in their homes. The Festival website says…

“An essential part of the Festival’s existence is the generosity of 80 local families who volunteer housing for our orchestra members, composers, guest artists, and technical staff. While most of our hosts stay in the program for many years, there are the inevitable shifts that make finding new host families a constant need! If you have a spare bedroom, guest house, or granny unit that you can offer for one to two weeks during the Festival, please use the interest form provided on this page or phone us at 831.426.6966. Our Housing Coordinator Valerie Hayes will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Housing an orchestra musician is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of the Cabrillo Festival experience!

May 20

THE TIES THAT BIND.
There are issues that deeply divide the residents of Santa Cruz County and the Rail Trail Corridor is no exception. With both sides claiming environmental superiority, passions run high and communication runs low.

Within the city of Santa Cruz, a small segment of the corridor, .79ths of a mile to be exact, labeled Segment 7 Phase 2, starting at Bay and California Streets on the Westside, running down past the Wastewater Treatment Plant along the old railway tracks and ending at the wharf roundabout is a harbinger of the environmental struggles ahead.

The trail-only supporters advocate the removal of the railway tracks and the construction of a trail for bikers and walkers and perhaps in the long run light electric transport. The rail trail supporters advocate keeping the railway tracks and building a trail next to them so both rail and trail can function as transport. At first glance this may not appear a big deal difference except as usual, the devil’s in the details.

In order to keep the tracks and build an adjacent trail, the cost for this less than a mile section is estimated to be $10 million. It involves the removal of 42 trees, half of which are heritage trees, plus all the bushes and undergrowth on the west side of the trail. It requires a fence between the rail and trail for safety purposes and a retaining wall built (between 3 and 19 feet high) to shore up the steep bank after cuts are made to accommodate the trail and thousands of cubic yards of soil are removed. Include lights, security cameras and maintenance and the dollars start to add up.

I like trains. I’d like to keep both and when this was just theory I was an uncritical supporter. Then the environmental documents were circulated; I walked the line and saw which trees were to be removed; noticed the wetland species of plants that would be paved over, the birds that would lose their nesting and roosting sites; imagined this small wetland sacrificed for human use with pavement and high retaining walls and wondered if there were less environmentally impactful alternatives? I became concerned when rail trail supporters who labeled themselves environmentalists saw no problem with these impacts and pointed to carbon savings as environmental success even though there is no proof that the rail trail will get people out of their cars nor that the train, a tourist train to Davenport won’t add carbon emissions since visitors drive to Santa Cruz and more visitors means more cars.  

Into this arena stepped the city of Santa Cruz charged with preparing the environmental documents to assess the environmental impact of the rail trail project for segments that are within the city’s boundaries. The city’s role as well as its consultants should be as referee, favoring neither side and objectively evaluating the environmental impacts, assessing if they are significant and if so, whether they can be mitigated. Oh if only this were so! Unfortunately as usual, the city’s environmental documents are at the lowest level possible save not doing any. They fail to accurately assess the environment or the impact of the project on the environment. They appear to assume a desired outcome and then distort the facts to favor that outcome, in this case the rail trail. Even if council direction is in favor of the rail trail, the environmental assessments should be objective not pre-determined. What is one to make of the fact that in the first environmental document the monarch butterfly site next to the trestle bridge was not even included; that the area in question is not acknowledged as a wetland with diverse and sensitive species but instead is described as a narrow, low quality degraded habitat with invasive plants? It is no wonder that the conclusion is less than significant impacts. Alternatives were given short shrift and quickly dismissed.  

This is not new for the city. A similarly inadequate environmental review was done for the Wharf Master Plan and with a lot of community pushback and legal opinion, was sent back, to be done correctly. The same for the Parks Master Plan, which has been sent back for an Environmental Impact Report to replace the inadequate, lower level review. The city lost an expensive lawsuit when they tried to weaken the heritage Tree Ordinance with no environmental review at all!

While undoubtedly an unpopular move, I, and a colleague who happens to be a biologist have appealed the environmental review of this segment of the rail trail to the city council. The public hearing is set for Tuesday June 11th. We are asking for an Environmental Impact Report to accurately document the environment and accurately assess the impacts of the project on this wetland and forest environment while also examining alternatives to the project.  

No matter how strongly one supports a project, that support should not compromise a valid, objective environmental review. Nor should calling for a proper environmental review be viewed as “obstructionist” or “undermining the project.” In the long run, it is in all of our interests, flora and fauna included, to get it right.

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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May 20

NEWS FLASHES
Only Twenty-Four hours in a Day and Approximately 10-12 years to do Right by Our Climate
The pace of city council life is hectic right now. Too many meetings…? Just this past week the city council cut the cord on the downtown library-5-story parking garage.  (Hip, hip, hurray!) Meaning, it’s starting to look like they are no longer umbilically linked, i.e. cars and books. A subcommittee will meet with the library director, community members, architects, and hopefully, all other concerned parties interested in putting together the best project possible. The subcommittee–Sandy Brown, Justin Cummings, Donna Meyers–is to report back to the city council no later than the October 8th city council meeting, as I understood the motion. But first, they are also to come back to the council on May 28th with a game plan on how to get to a community-infused yes.

Then, seemingly all of a sudden, the Deputy City attorney was let go for indiscreet remarks (questioning of a witness) in a San Jose Federal court room where he unknowingly (?) maligned a current councilmember’s past. This came on the heels of the city council receiving word that this same Deputy City Attorney had been involved in a drug case of his own back in 2012, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. I have not seen the document referred to in the newspaper article that was “hand-delivered to the city council.” It was apparently sent to the council anonymously. Continuing with the pace of events, the Water Department will spend many millions of dollars upgrading our community’s water delivery system and rate-payer bills are already reflecting the cost of these infrastructure improvements; Public Works announced that the sewer rates are set to jump dramatically over the next few years; and the 5G cell ordinance that was on last week’s council agenda was “continued” so that the council could get additional information about what has been done in Sebastopol and Portland to combat the onslaught of electromagnetic and radiation exposure.

Budget Opportunities

Don’t you just love these headlines juxtaposed on this version of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Somewhere there is a subversive headline writer who enjoys making social commentary.

I am told by the city manager that the council will hold at least two more budget sessions, one on May 28th and the other on June 11th. This will be to finalize the city manager’s $262.6 million proposed budget. The question is, at the end of the day will it be a “city manager budget” or a “city council budget?” Stay tuned! I met with a dozen community members to talk about the budget and I came away with a list of requests that include: 1) the age-old question of how will the golf course balance its budget? (another $5-$6 water charge per round might do it…who knew their H2O budget for the next fiscal year would come in at $750k!), 2) How do we express the community desire to reign in UCSC growth in the city budget? We are hiring an analyst to turn up the heat in Oakland (Regents) and Sacramento (lawmakers). And, what to do about plans for an overbuilt round-about at the base of campus, which is in the 2019-2020 capital improvement project (CIP) budget? 3) How do we not fund the widening of the bridge over the river San Lorenzo between Hwy. 17 and River Street? 4) How do we inject, infuse, and enshrine climate disruption and our changing climate into every program, land-use decision, and purchased product the city undertakes? How do we get to the “carbon neutral” budget that people are pleading for? 5) Can we place a moratorium on the purchase of non-emergency gasoline and diesel vehicles in favor of acquiring more electric and hybrid ones? 6) What about that River Coordinator position that the council approved back in 2017? Isn’t it time to fill this hire? And, 7) What should be the right dollar amount for a placeholder to fund the future Housing Task Force that is to take up the extreme costs of housing and all of its collateral damages?

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

Et cetera…Extinction is Forever
So many issues we are all talking about, and still they remain on the drawing board, or the cutting room floor. This list might be a bit like the $300 million city CIP–capital improvement plan–list at the back of the city budget. The only difference is, many of those projects, although put on the list in earnest, should be taken off, mostly because of global warming and climate change concerns. But here is a list I’ve gathered from community meetings, which I think are worthy of continued interest and thought. They are: public banking; building a community land trust for affordable housing; continuing to step up protection for immigrants vs. ICE-HSI attacks (Sherriff Jim Hart stated emphatically at a People’s Democratic Club meeting, “They’re (ICE and HSI) not allowed in any Santa Cruz County facility anymore.”); allowing the public to speak without fear of being cut off at the city hall podium; a 24/7 emergency homeless shelter with an active day center; supporting “Co-op Santa Cruz” and the flourishing of worker-owned businesses (meeting May 30th, 7pm at the RCNV); bringing the Green New Deal to the city council for approval, and because of the acknowledged “collapse of the recycling market,” let’s ban single-use plastic bottles while we’re at it…

“I was proud to stand with those marching in Birmingham today against the outrageous and unconstitutional abortion ban passed in Alabama. We will fight back and protect a woman’s right to control her own body.” (May 19)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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May 20

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT OUTREACH EVENT AND THE MIDCOUNTY GROUNDWATER AGENCY SUPPORT?
It is odd that the MidCounty Groundwater Agency (MGA), a group of representatives of Soquel Creek Water District, the City of Santa Cruz, Central Water District, and the County of Santa Cruz, would all apparently lend support to the District’s expensive plan to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the Mid County’s drinking water supply, especially when that group has not yet approved any plan for sustaining the area’s groundwater basin.  Yet, that is exactly what Soquel Creek Water District would have the public believe, supported by the announcement on their website below:

Community Informational Meetings

You’re invited to attend one of the District’s two (2) upcoming community information meetings! Both sessions (identical content) will provide updated information about the Pure Water Soquel Project and protecting mid-county groundwater from seawater contamination. The meetings will include information about the site selected for the District’s new advanced water purification facility and the pedestrian/bike overpass that would be co-located at the corner of Chanticleer Avenue and Soquel Avenue.

Saturday, May 18, 3–5pm
Thursday, May 30, 6:30–8:30pm
Location: Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Ave., Santa Cruz

Hosted by Soquel Creek Water District with guests from the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency and Regional Transportation Commission. 

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I attended the May 18 Outreach Event at the Live Oak Grange.  THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE MIDCOUNTY GROUNDWATER AGENCY THERE WAS DISTRICT MANAGER RON DUNCAN.  Do you think the District ought to be making public claims that could lead the public to understand that the MGA supports their Pure Water Soquel Project to inject expensive treated sewage water with unknown long-term health risks into the area’s drinking water, but not officially have that support?  Is Ron Duncan the only official of MGA who supports the Project?  Was he there Saturday to represent the MGA?  Who knows?  More importantly, what do other members of the MGA Board think of this apparent unsupported advertisement for the District’s Project?

Write the MGA Board and ask: Santa Cruz-Mid County Groundwater Agency Board c/o Darcy Pruitt <dpruitt@cfscc.org>    She is the Senior Planner for the MGA, works for the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, but has an office at Soquel Creek Water District headquarters. 

WHAT WERE THE TERMS OF THE CHANTICLEER AVENUE PURCHASE OPTION AGREEMENT?

That was all kept secret at the May 7 Soquel Creek Water District Board meeting until the moment the meeting began.  Now the ratepayers and general public can view the agreement in the Minutes as shown on the District website for the May 21 meeting, beginning on page 13, through page 50.  Oddly, I do not recall seeing all of that documentation made available on the table at the back of the room on May 7.  Note on page 10 of the Board’s discussion of that item 6.5 that “six public comments were heard.” 

You can hear what those people had to say by listening to the video of the meeting.  The public comment on item 6.5 begins at 1:02.  You can hear why Director Lather voted NO at 1:17.  Note that Director Bruce Jaffe was ABSENT.

Also, note that the public comment that was issued before the Board discussed the Purchase Option Agreement in Closed Session WAS NOT RECORDED, and the draft minutes for the meeting only note that:

“Two public comments were heard regarding Item 0.2, prior to the start of the closed session”  

How transparent is that???????

Here is the link to the May 21 Board meeting….note that it begins at 5pm, for a SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING.  Those are NOT video recorded at all.

GREAT ARTICLE ON THE ALTERNATIVES!
In case you missed, be sure to read the excellent Guest Editorial “SqCWD Should Reexamine Water Needs” in the May 13 Santa Cruz Sentinel by Scott McGilvray and Water for Santa Cruz County.  He clearly points to the facts taken from Santa Cruz City Water documents, and discusses the real possibility of a regional water management solution that would use existing water supply infrastructure.  Why does Soquel Creek Water District insist on shoving the expensive treated sewage water into the drinking water supply for the region???

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MORE GOOD NEWS! SB 50 PUT ON HOLD UNTIL NEXT YEAR
Senator Scott Wiener, with SB50, has wanted to push through legislation that would strip local jurisdictions of their control over land use policy and impose denser, taller structures near transportation routes.   There was no language to address whether the jurisdiction had the infrastructure to support such dense developments, only that if a developer submitted plans for such density, the jurisdiction could not deny the application. Happily, the Appropriations Committee voted last Thursday to hold SB 50 until next year.  That is good news, but watch out for next year….

I SPENT SATURDAY AFTERNOON BEHIND BARS!
I volunteered to help Ms. Alverda Orlando, County Historic Resources Commissioner, last Saturday at the Santa Cruz County History Celebration, held at Jade Street Community Center.  She is an amazing wealth of local knowledge, and was responsible for the exhibit about the Davenport Jail Museum.  The Jail was built in 1914, restored in 2014 by the E Clampus Vitus Chapter 1797,  and is located behind the Cash Store on Center Street in Davenport.  It is open to the public on the first Sunday of the month, 11am-4pm, weather permitting.  Ms. Orlando had the original window bars to display…and I sat behind them, answering questions of those kind souls who came to visit me.  It was a fun and well-attended event. Watch for Ms. Orlando’s book about the history of Davenport….in the works now and due to be published this summer!

Take a look at the Davenport Jail Museum here

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.    BUT GET SCRAPPY AND JUST DO SOMETHING!Cheers,Becky Steinbruner

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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May 16 #136 / What Leonardo Said

An article in The Conversation, commenting on the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, cited this passage:

By the ancients man has been called the world in miniature; and certainly this name is well bestowed, because, inasmuch as man is composed of earth, water, air, and fire, his body resembles that of the earth; and as man has in him bones — the supports and framework of his flesh —, the world has its rocks — the supports of the earth; as man has in him a pool of blood in which the lungs rise and fall in breathing, so the body of the earth has its ocean tide which likewise rises and falls …

Arielle Saiber, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Bowdoin College, and the author of the article, characterized this observation as follows: “Unlike many thinkers of his time who anthropomorphized the Earth, Leonardo terramorphized man (emphasis added).”


Because humans have the power to create a world, based on their visions and actions, our tendency is to think that “man,” indeed, is “the measure of all things.” That phrase comes from Protagoras. If we don’t pay attention, we start believing that the World of Nature is not the ultimate reality, but that the ultimate reality is a human-created world that is, actually, dependent on the World of Nature.

We anthropomorphize the Earth, instead of terramorphizing the human.

It looks to me like Leonardo got it right!


Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Journey into our sublime and substitute world at Eagan’s Subsconscious Comics…just a drop below!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Trade War ” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “George R. R. Martin hasn’t even finished writing his last book in the series begun with Game of Thrones, but the writers on the TV show have already wrapped up the whole story. Does he wonder: Who’s writing this thing anyway? Some thoughts, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Also, for an antidote to sweeping, epic drama, read my review of the small-scale romance Photograph in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

TRIAL BY FIRE. Once again Laura Dern turns in an excellent performance as one of the few who believe the innocence of a young stud who was accused of setting the fire that killed his children in their beds. It’ll be near impossible to not know the outcome of this sad but true story but plan on seeing it and NOT reading the reviews. (additional note) I could drive you nearly nuts but try watching the Netflix documentary “Ted Bundy Tapes” the same day you watch Trial by Fire. Let me know what your reaction was.

HAIL SATAN! (FULL DISCLOSURE) I’ve been looking for at least three weeks for my Anton La Vey signed membership card to his Satanic Church in San Francisco. I’ll post it when I find it. I knew Anton for years through my producer/director days at KCBS (CBS) and at KGO (ABC) . My Goodtime Washboard 3 Trio even played at one of his Black Masses. Anton was a very funny guy, full of fun and with a super sense of humor! It’s not too widely-known but one of his jobs was playing the organ at the Long Beach Pike (Boardwalk/amusement park). He’s only given a few seconds in this documentary about some activists who use Satan to help break the religious stranglehold that Christianity has on our government. These Satanists mostly want equal time or equal display of symbols beside the Christian one. GO SEE THIS FILM…you’ll think about the message for at least days on end! Yes. There’s a Santa Cruz Satanic Chapter that also gets brief screen time. CLOSES MAY 23

TOLKIEN. On major disappointment watching this film is that we still don’t know how to pronounce “TOLKIEN”. Is it Toll-keen, Toll-kine or Toll-kin? The various actors all seem to pronounce it in at least those 3 ways. Probably it’s Toll-kin because that’s the way Nicholas Hoult (who plays TOLL-kin) says it. More than that, we do learn — as some of us suspected — that Tolkien was strongly influenced to create the Hobbit or Lord Of The Ring world by watching Wagner’s Ring Cycle as a young man. Do go warned…the film contains absolutely none of his Hobbit creations. It’s all about his life before he’s famous. Also note that the all English cast speaks British much of the time and is hard to understand

RED JOAN. Dame Judi Dench (now a very active 85 years old) plays the real life Joan Stanley. Joan decided back in WWII days to give the atomic bomb secrets to the Russians. She thought that it would stop every country from actually using the bomb. Obviously she was wrong, and we (the USA) used it to kill millions. Dench is of course great in this small part, but the film drags on and on, with many, many flashbacks and time jumps — which get boring.  

LONG SHOT. Pairing Charlize Theron with Seth Rogen is as improbable as having Rogen play the part of a presidential advisor/speech writer in the first place. This movie is full of “fuck you’s”, masturbation topics, and just gross filth. Theron plays the role of a presidential candidate and the movie is merely gross, not clever…or funny.

MUSTANG. It’s a simple minded movie about some Nevada State prisoners who turn wild mustangs into saddle broken riding horses to sell at an auction every year. It’s apparently factual. It stars Bruce Dern at his cranky, snarly best teaching the boys/men how to handle themselves and their steeds. Predictable, corny, and will remind you of My Friend Flicka or any other old horse movie.

AMAZING GRACE. Sometime in the mid 50’s three friends and I went to a church in the darkest part of Los Angeles to hear Mahalia Jackson, an amazing experience I’ve never forgotten. Watching Aretha Franklin sing gospel songs in this 1971 documentary doesn’t come close. Gospel is it’d own art form and Aretha is and was one of our greatest singers but there’s something lacking in this film.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Over 2 billion dollars at the opening weekend box office!!! A world record-shattering Marvel-Disney experience. It’s too much for me to critique. Even were I to accept all the other world characters that inhabit this Marvel–Disney franchise, Rocket the wise talking raccoon would be a step too far. The rest of the cast could be — and are — contained in Wagner’s Ring operas, Greek and Roman legends and dozens of comic books throughout the last 60 years. Like most successful movies today, this one is full of violence, hatred, bloodshed. I’m sorry I saw it, and you know if you’ll like it, so there you are!!! I should add that there are cameos by Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Tom Hiddleston and probably more but it doesn’t matter. Oh yes, it got a 95 on RT.

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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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG.  May 21st has concertmaster Roy Malan discussing the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert occurring on June 2nd. Then Scott McGilvray from Water For Santa Cruz talks about our water issues and solutions. Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s annual Short Story Contest read their works on May 28. No BrattonOnline issued the week of June 3…my birthday and a trip to Mar Vista instead. Julie Phillips will be telling us about threats to the Tule Elk on June 11. Kara Meyberg Guzman and Stephen Baxter from “Santa Cruz Local” news organization are guests on June 14. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

More of this.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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.

QUOTES.  “Measles”
“Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life”. Lord Byron
“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind”. Albert Einstein
“I just want people to know the facts and science and the information… measles is preventable”. Barack Obama


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. 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: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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