Blog Archives

May 31 – June 6, 2011

COUNTY BANK BUILDING. Re-built after the 1894 fire wiped out half of this block on Pacific Avenue. It was listed on the National Historic Place Register in 1982.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

UCSC GROWTH AND DE-SAL. The way it’s been planned is just about like this. UCSC is going to grow by 3000 students. Students who live on campus right now are each paying $1400 per month to share a room with three other students. That includes some kind of meal plan. Of course tuition is in addition to that figure. So naturally they work hard to move off campus where they will pay an average of $500-700 each per month. Remember that the University System can’t and won’t build anywhere near the necessary student residences for this huge increase. Now the impact of 3000 more students living in our neighborhoods and paying combined sums that are impossible for normal people will keep rents going higher and higher every year. That 3000 student population will need water, and by any/all figuring that water just isn’t going to be there. So UCSC and The City Of Santa Cruz made a deal….that’s Ryan Coonerty and Chancellor Blumenthal that we’d give them the water. You figure it out. You’ve seen all these plot plans in various forms over the last few years. That’s why Bill Kocher, Mike Rotkin keep beating the drums for De-sal…they know those students are coming.

STILL MORE COONERTY’S!!! I heard it on last week’s Bushwhacker’s Breakfast Club on KZSC in Ryan’s bi-weekly interview that Mrs. and Mr. Ryan Coonerty are expecting!!! Whether it’ll mean another attorney, jeweler, assemblyman, or book dealer is anybody’s guess. Ryan didn’t give Bushwhacker host John Sandidge a very direct answer to his question, “are you going to run for assembly?”. He’s running, you can tell.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE, II. Back in 1989 or 90 one of the top Amusement park trade magazines stated that Charley Canfield’s Boardwalk had annual rate of 3 1/2 million visitors. Whether that figure has gone up or down in these recent years we can only guess, because naturally the Boardwalk doesn’t have to provide those figures. Now would you figure that since the Boardwalk charges at least $10 per car and lord knows how much profit on beer, rides, and chocolate twinkies that their taxes must produce at least $1 per person or $3,500,000 per year for the city…that’s reasonable. Now someone tell me just how much in annual taxes the Boardwalk really, really pays and I’ll keep very, very quiet about it…or not!!!

COONERTY CANFIELD BEACH???Actually Dr. Mark Bernhard sent in this great old photo of Huntington Beach or Surf City back in the day. (1928)

JAMES DURBIN AT THE BOARDWALK. Anyone willing to bet on how much money the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk profited when James Durbin drew those 30,000 fans to the bandstand?? Now, who’s willing to provide figures on how much money the City Of Santa Cruz LOST on that same appearance? Why, just why doesn’t that seem fair?

LOCAL DE-SAL DEBATE ON COMMUNITY TV. The Desalination vs. Alternatives Debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters in April and recorded by Community Television of Santa Cruz County is scheduled to play on Comcast Channel 25 and Charter Channel 71, and will also be streaming LIVE at on the following dates and times.
6/1/2011 at 2:30 PM
6/2/2011 at 1:30 PM
6/3/2011 at 10:30 AM
6/4/2011 at 10:30 PM
6/5/2011 at 3:00 PM
A video of the debate is also posted on Community TV’s website at You should watch it. Mike Rotkin shows his pro de-sal side, does several “no brain” things and makes his pitch why he’s supporting UCSC growth by selling de-sal. Ridiculous.

ARANA GULCH, THE NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY AND THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ. This is a press release BrattonOnline received just before the Monday deadline.

“During the past several months, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has been negotiating with City of Santa Cruz’s staff over proposed bicycle transportation corridors that would divide Arana Gulch into three sections and significantly impact the greenbelt’s scenic beauty and natural resources.

1) The Santa Cruz City Council will not guarantee funding for managing the Arana Gulch Greenbelt to heal impacts of construction of bikeways through the greenbelt’s meadows, creeks, and woodlands. Thankfully, City has secured millions of dollars to improve access, but unfortunately refuses to guarantee funding for conserving natural areas against the damage that always occurs with increased access.

2) The City is unwilling to commit to scientific accountability measures (success criteria) for the restoration that is required by regulations protecting the endangered Santa Cruz tarplant. CNPS feels it is critical that the criteria be made explicit before bikeway construction plans are approved by the Coastal Commission.

3) The City Council is unwilling to re-align and modify the design of a small portion of the trail system, on the proposed paved north-south bikeway, to safeguard one of the Greenbelt’s most sensitive habitat areas.

The mission of CNPS is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. For decades CNPS has offered significant volunteer time, consultation, and funding to assist with management of the City’s greenbelts. The group is saddened that the City has refused its generous offer for compromise”. Vince Cheap, CNPS Conservation Committee Chair, Santa Cruz County Chapter.

LEONTYNE PRICE SINGS AIDA. Thank Kit Birskovich for finding this gem and testament to the human voice.

WHOLE FOODS, OUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR???. This is from Organic Bytes a publication of Organic Consumers Association

Whole Foods Market Plays Dumb on Activists’ Arrests, Unlabeled Frankenfoods
Ask WFM to Respect Consumers’ Right to Know About GMOs…and Anti-GMO Activists’ Freedom of Speech! As OCA activists Alexis Baden-Mayer and Mike Durschmid await a June 7 court appearance resulting from their arrests at a Whole Foods GMO Food Dump in Chicago, the debate over whether food retailers should label genetically modified foods is heating up.On May 24, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times published Monica Eng’s report, “Consumer Activists Seek Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods: They Have Become So Common That Even Organic Retailer Whole Foods Says It Can’t Avoid Stocking Some.” Eng writes: “Used in an estimated 70 percent of all American processed food, genetically modified crops make up 93 percent of all soy, 86 percent of all corn and 93 percent of all canola seeds planted in the U.S., which makes stocking only non-GMO products difficult, said Joe Dickson, quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “‘Until there’s federal government mandated labeling of GMO ingredients, there’s no way to tell if packaged products contain GMO ingredients,” Dickson said. “Our approach is to work in the spirit of partnership with our suppliers to encourage them to take active steps to avoid GMO ingredients.'” The idea that Whole Foods has no control over the unlabeled genetically modified foods sold in their stores is as credible as their initial claim that no anti-GMO activists had been arrested at their Chicago store. (Once they gave up pretending there was no arrest, they insisted they had nothing to do with it, even though police were on site before the GMO Food Dump began and could only have been alerted by Whole Foods employees or executives.)

We can’t let the “world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket” continue to play dumb. It’s time Whole Foods’ took responsibility for the Frankenfoods in their stores and for trying to stifle anti-GMO activists! Tell Whole Foods to respect consumers’ right to know about GMOs and stand up for activists’ right to free speech. Take

HBO’S GAME OF THRONES & GREAT SCENE. Again, I’m hooked on an HBO Series. Not “Treme”or “True Blood” butGame of Thrones”. It‘s a medieval fantasy, nicknamed “Stonehenge Sopranos” by one critic. Anyway aside from having Emilia Clarke, one of the world’s most beautiful women, it had a truly memorable scene last week…(which is rare, even for HBO series). So, there’s this evil king that nobody likes, who demands that he be allowed to wear his golden crown, which was taken from him by the good people before they tied him to the stake. They give him the golden crown, but first they toss the crown into a cauldron, melt it to burning liquid then pour in on his head!!! Memorable, and imaginative. I guess you had to have been there, but I liked it.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mid-County Condominiums, why build more? New condos sit vacant today. Sunday’s Sentinel Real Estate section featured the Grand Opening of “Capitola Shores”, that long-vacant “new” development next to Spa Fitness on 41st Ave. There are probably many reasons for the vacancies, starting with the prison-like architecture of the complex, the prices, and the implication that Capitola Shores is actually within view of the shore. “Cabrillo Commons”, has not come close to selling out. These are the condos across Soquel Dr. from the Temple Beth El and Cabrillo College. Much more tastefully designed than Capitola Shores, they still are not selling, even after significant price drops from when they opened.

There is a new sign up across State Park Drive from Poor Clare’s announcing still more condos somebody is planning on building. This doesn’t even address the 80 units the county has approved for future development on Poor Clare’s property, or the temporarily stalled Par 3 project that promises over a hundred more units.

Then there’s the condo development planned for the property across Soquel Dr. from Rancho Del Mar shopping center and the grand-daddy of them all, Aptos Village itself. Pictures promote the Village as being transformed in a condo paradise, with shops and walkways, and a sign posted at the entrance from Barry Swenson Builder says its coming. Currently, traffic frequently comes to a halt on Soquel Dr., because there’s no place to go. The idea that Santa Cruz County is “built-out” is a joke, at least when talking about mid-Santa Cruz County. There seems to be a rush to keep approving more of these condo projects to generate more tax income for the County and City’s involved, without considering the current glut of condos on the market. (Paul Elerick is thechair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , chair of the Transportation Committee of the Santa Cruz Group Sierra Club. and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

OTTER TEACHES BOY HOW TO PLAY. Another Birskovich discovery. This time the San Diego zoo otter has fun with a spectator.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s still on vacation. Watch this space. (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. Dr. DeCinzo takes a sidewise look at our usual summer entertainment and ailments. Scroll down.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Would Tim Eagan put the knock on our loyal elephants (tusk, tusk) look downwards about 3 pages.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. In his weekly article titled “Cuba: Facts and Realities” Saul Landau writes, “No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver” – Spanish saying (There is no worse blind person than the one who does not wish to see.) On May 13, Miami newspaper headlines and TV leads should have said: “Obama makes fool of himself.” The “leads” would have referred to his statement: “I would welcome real change from the Cuban government.” Obama’s conditions? “For us to have the kind of normal relations we have with other countries, we’ve got to see significant changes from the Cuban government and we just have not seen that yet.” A clever tabloid might have headlined, “Obama Goes Blind – Can’t See Changes Right in Front of His Eyes!” If Granma had a sense of humor its editorial would have begun with: “President Obama stands for ‘Change we can believe in,’ but does not stand for change Cuba’s leaders believe in.” Indeed, changes in Cuba have come fast and furious over recent months, but apparently Obama has his own definition of the word “insignificant.” Or, maybe his advisers did not inform him that Cuba has freed all the “political” prisoners it arrested in 2003 and some others as well. Read it all right here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week on Lisa Jensen Online Express (, fall in love with Paris all over again in Woody Allen’s magical Midnight In Paris, revisit the season finale of American Idol to see how finishing just out of the top might be a great career move for James Durbin, and get ready to welcome the next generation of James Durbin’s when the White Album Ensemble brings three new young vocalists onstage in its annual concert of Beatles music with the Santa Cruz Symphony. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975

ALBERT HERRING, the opera. No joking…tickets are about gone and there are only four performances. It’s one of the best stage productions of all the events that UCSC presents each year. 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. It’s funny, newly set in Santa Cruz, guaranteed good voices from two separate casts, and reserved seats. June 2-3-4 at 7:30 pm (Thu-Sat) & June 5 at 2:00 pm (Sunday matinee)
Reserved seating and Performed in English with supertitles click link: Tickets on sale online at UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159)
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium box office (831-420-5260) Parking $3. Please arrive early to purchase a permit and locate a parking space. NOTE: Guests may be directed to the Core West parking garage (free) and shuttled to the Recital Hall — on Saturday, June 4 in particular. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Reserved seating. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the house manager.

NEW MUSIC WORKS & AVANT GARDEN PARTY. 30 years in the making and they are always good fun. Their press release says, “Come out and party outdoors in a beautiful garden for a beautiful cause, New Music Works! The 30th Annual Benefit Concert, the Avant Garden Party features extraordinary music, food, wine and a silent auction featuring many local Santa Cruz area businesses. All proceeds go towards New Music Works’ whose mission is to cultivate the creation and performance of new musical works that engage the public through innovative small chamber ensemble works with diverse cultural influences and contemporary guest artists. BTW, if you volunteer for at least 2 hours, you can attend for free! If interested, please contact volunteer coordinator, Zigi Heinz, at <> or (831)335-3456.

TEDx. SANTA CRUZ. This singular event, well one of a kind event, happens June 11th at Cabrilho College’s Music Recital Hall from 9 to 5 p.m. Tickets are going fast. A day full of mostly local speakers/presenters and more of the same is happening all over the world. Details are too much to print here go to . I’ll get there early, and save you a seat. It’s one of those events that either you know about or you find out about too late. Go to that website and remember that ticket price includes 2 meals!!!

TOM LEHRER. “When You Are Old and Gray” again, courtesy Kit Birskovich.

THE GOLDEN FLEECE: A GRAND RE-OPENING CELEBRATORY EXTRAVAGANZA. This news for knitters and crocheters just came in…The Golden Fleece, a locally owned yarn store, will celebrate a grand re-opening on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5th, at its store location (317 Potrero Street, Santa Cruz) which is on the corner of River and Potrero. The shop will open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm both days and there will be trunk shows, free spinning workshops, weaving demonstrations, raffles, prizes, and refreshments.

The Golden Fleece has been a fixture for fiber enthusiasts in Santa Cruz for over 15 years. The new shop owner, Gunilla Leavitt, is perhaps most notably known as the Knitting Doctor at Knitting Arts in Saratoga and Green Planet Yarn in Campbell, along with three stores in Santa Cruz County, over the last 7 or 8 years. Decorative changes aren’t the only new things at The Golden Fleece: Gunilla has set up a Pattern Station – a computer where customers can search for, purchase, download, and print online patterns; the shop stays open until 9:00 pm on Tuesdays for Social Knitting where knitters and crocheters can relax and work on their projects; and Knitting Doctor hours are Tuesdays from 2:00 to 6:00 pm where Gunilla is available to help solve any fiber arts problem – she hasn’t been stumped yet!

During the grand re-opening weekend, there are two trunk shows scheduled: Saturday, June 4th from noon to 2:00 pm, Laura Schickli from Handwerks ( in Palo Alto will visit with her hand dyed yarns plus samples and patterns and local Spinner Extraordinaire Heather Bloom will be on hand Saturday from 3:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday noon to 3:00 pm.

Raffles and prizes from Plymouth Yarn, Cascade Yarn, BeSweet, and more, as well as gourmet cupcakes from Starz Cupcakes in Capitola, round out the offerings of what promises to be an exciting weekend.

For more information, please visit or call 831-426-1425. Regular shop hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm; Tuesday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; and Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Starting this week, the shop will be open on Sundays as well.

Gunilla Leavitt if you’ve forgotten, is the most important person in the BrattonOnline machine. She’s the genius behind getting this column online and has been since it started online back in 2003. Watch for her ad in the column to the right next week.

GEOFF MORTEN GALLERY ONLINE. Jenny Morten has created an online gallery showing of the late Geoff Morten’s works…CLICK here

FILMS…. IN DESCENDING ORDER. (Actually it’s rare, but they’re all good films)

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Woody Allen’s latest and one of his best. Funny, very funny, nostalgic, historic, touching…and the nicest Owen Wilson we’ve seen in years. At the Nick screening you could tell it was a hit all the critics stayed after and talked, laughed and almost outdid each other with which part was funniest. Go see it. Read up on just who Djuna Barnes was, I did. She was a friend of Mina Loy and Man Ray.

THE DOUBLE HOUR.I guarantee this well made Italian thriller will keep you guessing until the very end. It’s perfectly created,and will have you re-thinking about Hitchcock’s best works. I don’t think he could have created this puzzling epic… see it asap.

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS IN 3D. I wouldn’t kid you for anything…this is one film you can’t see by renting…it won’t be in 3D. And It must be seen in 3D. Werner Herzog has his crazed narration and silly extras tacked on it , but seeing these ancient cave paintings is important…if you like ART. Susan Hillhouse curator of MAH says that the prevailing thinking as to why did our early cave painters painted was because they wanted to capture or pay homage to the spirit of the animals. That’s why the paintings are so far into the interior of the caves. That’s why there aren’t any paintings of people, trees, and what we now call art. See the amazing thinking of these ancestors of ours and what their lives were like. See it quickly at the Del Mar or you probably will never see it at all.

BILL CUNNINGHAM; NEW YORK.I confess I’d never heard of Bill Cunningham before but after watching this documentary on the NY Times clothes photographer I know it’s been my loss. He photographs clothes being worn in the New York Streets and in the fashions houses but more than that he’s his own person…and you’ll love him for just that. Don’t miss it quickly.

INCENDIES.One of the most thought provoking films in years. It’s about a brother and sister searching for their long lost brother, because their mom leaves them a letter after she dies. You shouldn’t know any more than that before you see it. Many plot twists and

turns; some will leave you with jaw agape. A serious film and one you’ll remember.

Woody Allen on clarinet with small jazz band (love his jumpin’ crossed legs! and notice his closed eyes…Kit Birskovich):

PAULINE KAEL, THE BEST OF FILM CRITICS. Every once in a while I’ll read one of Pauline Kael’s books just to remember what she stood for in film criticism. My favorite is “I Lost It at The Movies”. She remains one of the most honest, no bullshit film critics of all time. Her writings on Last Year at Marienbad, Charade, and Marlon Brando remind you of what straight writing can be like. I knew Pauline in Berkeley when she and her husband ran the Cinema Guild. Her one paragraph film descriptions in the Guild mailers, and lots of party arguments, are what started me on all this film stuff. Read “Lost It” if you can find it.

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. 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. After Neal, Jim Emdy of area radio notoriety presents a preview of Opera San Jose’s new season. The Santa Cruz Bookshop Short Story Winners read their entries for the full hour on June 14th. Ellen Primack details this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music on July 5th followed by a return of Anita Monga of the now legendary San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Don Young, author of Battle For Snow Mountain opens the show on July 12, followed by author, historian, Geoffrey Dunn who’ll tell us all about Sarah Palin’s Lies and his new book news. Michael Warren will give us an in depth Shakespeare Santa Cruz preview on July 19 and Sue Heinz will return to tell us even more about Tarot, The Qabalah, and of course astrology. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

QUOTES. “Mausoleum, noun. The final and funniest folly of the rich”, Ambrose Bierce. (Sent in by Jane Bruce Munro, and thanks). “You can tell how bad a musical is by the number of times the chorus yells “hooray”, John Crosby. “One of my chief regrets during my years in the theater is that I couldn’t sit in the audience and watch myself”, John Barrymore.


De Cinzo visits the boardwalk.

Deep Cover