Blog Archives

May 28 – June 3, 2013

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD. You want to bet that back in the 1890’s when this was taken in our Aptos hills and mountains, that the lumber company (Loma Prieta Lumber Company) had some answer to the tree-huggers. who thought that just maybe clear cutting wasn’t the best idea in the world?

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

SOMETHING’S ROTKIN IN DENMARK. Once upon a time Mike Rotkin claimed he was for people’s rights. He said he was a Socialist, and even a feminist. Now as a shameless huckster for Santa Cruz building a de-sal plant he has taken arms against every environmentalist, water experts, and citizens who want to vote to stop de-sal from happening here. Rotkin said in last weeks Sentinel things like,” Too bad that desalination opponents now have to directly confront a detailed, scientific environmental document that demonstrates the need for desalination and that the program can be implemented without triggering any of the dire consequences they have imagined. Read Rotkin’s rant here… you won’t believe an former elected Santa Cruz Mayor would say such things. .

There have been many responses to Rotkins DICTATORIAL proclamations…Here’s Gary Patton’s response… Former Mayor Rotkin “doth protest too much.” And Mike is way ahead of himself in claiming that the Draft EIR for the desalination plant “shows unequivocally that the desalination plant … can be constructed with no significant negative environmental consequences.” The recently released document is a “Draft.” The Final EIR that will be the decision document is the Draft, plus comments on the Draft, plus responses to the comments. The Draft document is simply the assertion made by the City about environmental impacts. Those claims about “no impacts” have yet to be tested by the process. And let’s remember who is making the assertions. The City is one of the prime movers in, and uses our money to finance, CalDesal, an industry-support group focused “solely” on advancing desalination in California. Is the City’s Draft EIR objective and fair? Let’s wait until the process is over before we draw that”.

Activist and environmentalist Aldo Giacchino responded to Rotkins oration… “It is mightily peculiar and intellectually sloppy for Mike Rotkin to contend that the Draft EIR’s for the proposed desalination project shows “unequivocally” that there will be no significant negative environmental consequences. “Unequivocally” literally means “no equal voices.” In fact, the very purpose of a draft EIR is to bring out “equal voices” in the analysis of the project’s impacts. There have been and there will be plenty of equal voices to expose the absurdity of the desal proposal and its environmental consequences — to say nothing of the financial folly that the project entails. So, Mr. Rotkin, sharpen your listening skills as the flaws in the desal proposal’s basic assumptions and impacts will be given an even bigger airing than they have received already. The same can be said for the City Council which has been deaf to “equal voices” from the community and instead has spent millions on partisan promotions of the desal folly”, Aldo Giacchino.

Gary Patton also says on his KUSP program, “If I understand it correctly, The Draft EIR says that water demand associated with expected growth in the Santa Cruz Water Service Area will be 500 million gallons per year over the next twenty years. The desal plant would produce 912 million gallons per year. If that were split 60% to the City and 40% to the District3, the City would be getting just over 500 million gallons per year from the new plant4. The City says, however, it’s not about growth. I hate to recommend that readers and listeners start reading this bulky document themselves, but that’s probably a pretty good idea!

LANDFILL HARMONIC. Alyce Vestal Caudill sent this clip. It’s way too touching to contain any dubbing…so just enjoy.

FOREST ACTIVIST FREDIANI.I asked Jodi Frediani to comment on last week’s timber news. She says, “The recent acquisition of timber rights on 151 acres of the Redwood Meadows Ranch by Sempervirens Fund is a win-win-win. The previous owner of those rights, who had planned to log the forest, gets paid without having to cut any trees, the Home Owner’s Association and individual property owners who own the timberland get the redwood preservation they were seeking, and Sempervirens Fund protects upper watershed lands along Mill Creek, which provides drinking water to the town of Davenport. In addition, the newly protected forest includes some old growth redwoods, as well as providing habitat continuity to the adjacent Cemex and Coast Dairies properties”.

Jodi Frediani, Forestry Consultant Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club, and Director Central Coast Forest Watch

LIQUID ASSETS. Lois Robin sent this Here’s a Santa Cruz flavored film Ed Schehl and I have just released, Liquid Assets: Protecting our Creeks, Streams and Rivers? () 26 min. Nine engaging and inspiring local environmentalists provide insights into the process of nurturing our Santa Cruz waterways back to health. We designed the film primarily to influence those who live streamside, but we are finding that there is a general interest as well. Apparently many of us would like to see the return of the Coho salmon and steelhead. The video shows how this can be done.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick states in no uncertain terms
Aptos development and traffic hit head on

Three meetings concerning Aptos and mid-county growth were jammed into last week, two on the same night. One was the RTC’s Transit Corridors Plan at a Land use and Transportation Concepts Workshop at Mar Visa School. It was well presented by the RTC staff, the other sponsored by Rio Del Mar’s Improvement Association.

But of most interest was the meeting sponsored by Aptos Local Economies (ALE), their first meeting for those opposing Safeway expansion plans at Rancho Del Mar. The meeting, held at the Aptos Grange was attended by about 60 residents who all got a chance to state their objections to Safeway’s plan to demolish half of Rancho Del Mar Center in order to build a new Safeway Store. Space limits how many residents’ comments that can be published here. All but one of the attendees spoke against the project, the one being the uninvited Safeway consultant from Hamilton-Swift who was asked to leave, but didn’t after a close vote of those present allowed him to stay. Most often heard complaints were the loss of locally owned businesses and traffic increasing along with Barry Swenson’s Aptos Village project just down the street. ALE is doing organizing to fight Safeway; Email for more information.

The RDM Improvement Association’s meeting held in the Rio Sands meeting room was also packed, by about 90 people. The only two agenda items were Barry Swenson’s Aptos Village plan, already approved by the county, and the Safeway expansion project. The audience seemed familiar enough with the Aptos Village plan, but many had concerns about the cumulative traffic problems that will be generated by both projects, along with other development going on nearby. We did learn that the owners of the Bayview Hotel property have opted out of he Aptos Village plan to do something on their own. Supervisor Zach Friend was there to answer questions about the County’s position on the Safeway plan that has yet to be submitted.

It appears that both projects combined will add three more traffic lights. They are all between a new street being talked about by Safeway near the trestles and Trout Gulch Rd. Could it be that Aptosians are starting to pay attention to what’s happening to their community? I didn’t hear one person speak in favor of this kind of growth for our community.

(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).

ADRIAN ROLLINI TRIO PLAYS OPERA. This clip isn’t as old as Don Mac Caslin, but it’s equally charming!!!

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states on his weekly KUSP radio program such items as CEQA and Sea levels, All about Assemblyman Mark Stone’s helping to strengthen The Coastal Commission Powers. About the ECO Farm conference at Asilomar and about Supervisor John Leopold’s East Cliff Village planning meeting to get community input.Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts (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”

VINTAGE DE CINZO.Ever alert DeCinzo notes the old history of how we fund the tourist industry and how really pays….scroll below

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim gives it the Burma Shave treatment…remember Burma Shave??? See below just a bit….

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau’s article in Progreso Weekly is titled, « Climate Change- The New Trojan Horse ». In it he concludes with, “The spike in valley fever contagion and related climate-caused infirmities will grow around the world, but will they help diminish the importance of trivia in our political pursuits? In the face of planetary disaster, a Republican Party faction in North Dakota recently passed the nation’s most severe anti-abortion law, declaring a fertilized human egg to have the same right to life as a fully formed person. Other headlines show more reliance on drone wars, complain of holding up government appointments, and reveal daily political corruption side by side with “news” of celebrity marriage, divorce and rehab,” the pettiness of which does not relate to impending global tragedy.

Scientists affirmed that climate change threatens future life. Some prophesize doom if we do not reform, but Apollo’s curse remains. “Beware of technology burning energy” might replace the warning of “Greeks bearing gifts.” Inside the new Trojan horse of development lies the mechanism that will doom our heirs, unless we make drastic reforms now – especially here and in China where the most greenhouse gasses get produced. Citizens need to make their own history by acting and forcing leaders to deal with climate change before it gets too late. Read all of Saul’s piece here..

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LIBERACE WITH MICHAEL DOUGLAS AND MATT DAMON.HBO will play this for weeks…if you get HBO. It’s an amazingly touching drama with fine jobs of acting, and it’s slow moving. Once again Matt Damon surprises us with some acting talent never seen before. Don’t stay up too late watching it, but do make an effort.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, if you love fairy tales, don’t miss Blancanieves, a fresh and stylish take on Snow White with a decidedly Spanish twist!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

GASLAND Part II: In 2010, the Oscar-nominated documentary GASLAND exposed “fracking,” an oil and gas extraction method that has led to a national environmental and public health crisis. Gasland made fracking a household word and catalyzed a worldwide movement of grassroots opposition that has led to local and state-wide moratoriums and bans. The film will be followed by a presentation and Q&A with director Josh Fox and local anti-fracking organizers. The fracking boom now looms over California, where oil companies have been buying up drilling rights in the Monterey Shale formation that underlies much of the Central CA Coast. Come to this screening to learn more about the national and international anti-fracking movement and how you can become involved right here in the Monterey Bay area.Advance Screening in Santa Cruz w/ Filmmaker Josh Fox to do Q & A.Monday, June 3rd – 6:30pm.@ Rio Theatre – 1205 Soquel Ave. Contact:

ICEMAN.You couldn’t pick a more looney, crazed cast than Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and Michael Shannon to tell the story of a real life gang-land killer who “did in” over 100 victims. The movie is excellent, acting is superior, it’s a wonderful film. But, caveat emptor be sure you want to see a film that has a lot of killing. Not a documentary, not a Hitchcock and definitely not a Hollywood sensational exploitation. Michael Shannon’s role as the killer Richard Kuklinski makes Clint Eastwood look like David Terrazas or Ben Stiller.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE. Pierce Brosnan has a very fake accent in the beginning of this “sequel to Mamma Mia”. There are some nicely done sensitive moments, some poorly done comic attempts, and it’s a very sweet film. The female lead Trine Dyrholm is a genuine delight to watch. A definite feel good film, and that’s not all bad in today’s world.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR.A film aboutParis students revolting fast and furiously in 1971 France. It has a lot of heart and some confusing politics (for us Americans) and the plot twists, turns and gets lost. It needs a focus, a dramatic point,. You’ll leave the theatre saying “huh?”.

FAST AND FURIOUS 6.The editing and cuts don’t make sense and I’ll bet they made this film by figuring how many car flips, exploding buildings, leaps from trucks and tee shirt muscle groups they could fit into 2 hours. After that, they put some words in between and that was the plot. It’s a good F & F if you like F & F. It’s like; this is a good MacDonald’s Burger if you like Mac Donald’s Burgers.



STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.I am now and always have been a Star Trek Fan. I watched the original series on TV and (full disclosure) Rick Chatenever (the original Wallace Baine) his wife Karen and I were in one scene of Star Trek, The Voyage Home. It was shot at the Monterey Aquarium. Rick and I ended up on the cutting room floor but Karen ended up in the film as a nun! Anyways this latest Star Trek has character depth, great special effects, interesting plot, lotsa tension and warmly touching references to the now-historical cast. That includes a scene with the original alter putz himself. An excellent sci-fi action film, especially if you’ve ever liked the previous ones.

KON TIKI.I saw this one about 25 minutes after seeing Star Trek. It’s amazingly similar. A bunch of guys floating around not knowing what dangers are ahead…and joking and fighting about it. AND it’s a fine film. Not a documentary, all acting and halfway remembering the documentary back around 1947 when he made the 101 day voyage. See it, you’ll like it. No character development, no depth (ha!) but good fun.

MIDNIGHTS CHILDREN.One friend said she couldn’t stand Salmon Rushdie’s book…too long, too complex, and she couldn’t finish it. That’s the trouble with the film too. And it’s very Pop-Indian- vaudeville- hambone- style acting. Even a bit of Bollywood singing and dancing. There isn’t one character in it that I could like or identify with. All were nasty, shouting, miserable people…who needs it??

DISCONNECT. This fromRotten Tomatoes… “Murderball director Henry Alex Rubin explores the destructive potential of the internet in this ensemble drama starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, andAlexander Skarsgård”. Many other critics are calling it the best film of the year“…I loved it as well. Complex, perfectly acted, tricky, intelligent, it’s the first real internet drama, no…the first good drama centered on the internet and connections. You can bet it won’t be the last. The editing and plot cuts are absolutely genius and raise the level of film making. You can’t help but think about your emails, your privacy, and your relationships.

MUD. Mathew McConaughey has never been better than he is inMud. So are the two kids who lead and steal the film from vets like Sam Shepard and Reese Witherspoon. It’s a fine film, with a story that doesn’t stop about life in Arkansas along the Mississippi. Kids coming of age, adults living a very tough life, and the music, the photography; all make it one of my favorite films of the year. Just go see it.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. What a cast! Jackie Evancho (don’t worry she doesn’t sing…but she acts like it!) plays Robert Redford’s youngest daughter. Julie Christie and Redford fight in a botox battle, Susan Sarandon has just a little part, and every other Hollywood democrat liberal you’ve heard of is in it too. AND it’s a fine Hollywood film. Full of just enough ethics, politics, facts and fiction to make it a fine film.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE GET TOGETHERS.Make plans now to see Helen Mirren as The Queen in London’s National Theatre Live telecast Sunday morning June 16 at 10:30 a.m. Santa Cruz audiences are growing fast for these theatrical treats. On 6/16 the Osher Lifelong learners group will be attending this screening…join them for some entertaining discussions before, during and after the telecast at the Del Mar.

COSI FAN TUTTI, THE OPERA. Mozart’s Heavenly Music.Da Ponte’s Comic Libretto.Disguised Lovers. Jealousy. Entrapment. Così fan tutte (“They’re All Like That”) Brian Staufenbiel and Nicole Paiement Direct Student Performers in

Annual Spring Opera at UC Santa Cruz.Live opera is a rare thing in this age of cinematic HD presentations. Not so at UC Santa Cruz, where every spring the UCSC Music Department produces a fully staged, fully costumed opera with live orchestra in the pit and student singers.The award-winning UCSC Opera Theatre has presented numerous diverse operas over the years, including Mark Adamo’s Little Women (winner of the 2012 National Opera Association’s “Opera Production Award”), Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, Menotti’s The Consul, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The dynamic producing/directing team of UCSC faculty members Brian Staufenbiel and Nicole Paiement — who also wow San Francisco audiences with cutting-edge contemporary operas with their work at Opera Parallèle — work closely all year long with UC Santa Cruz students to present productions of operas in their original languages.

May 30 – June 2, 2013

Thursday-Friday-Saturday: 7:30PM. Sunday matinee: 2:00PM.

Music Center Recital Hall UC Santa Cruz

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 21st City Council person Micah Posner talks about the May 23 money and politics forum. Then Sheriff Phil Wowak discusses what his job entails. Judge Paul Burdick returns on May 28 to talk about our court system. After that Gillian Greensite discusses Santa Cruz’s Heritage Trees. and On June 4th Davis Banta & April Bennett talk about SideReal Theatre followed by Joan Antwerp talking more about local theatre. On June 11th The Winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Short Story Contest read their stories. 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, 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. “Sometimes Nothing is a real cool hand“, Luke, in Cool Hand Luke. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye“, Antoine De St. Exupery (the Little Prince). “People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense”, Ken Kesey.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on May 28 – June 3, 2013

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