Blog Archives

May 31 – June 6, 2016

LAUREL AND PACIFIC, FEB. 2, 1949 Back then this was Bill O’Reilly’s  Dodge and Plymouth showroom and garage. Now it’s Walgreen’s. There is nothing more to say.                                                       

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

                                                                                                              DATELINE May 30, 2016

WELCOME TOURISTS. Just kidding….I know tourists don’t read local stuff. But just in case any of your visitors even think about moving here, we owe it to tell them about….our lousy bus system, our states almost highest real estate  and rental prices, the states dirtiest city beach, our greedy Boardwalk and what they’ve taken from our community, how our Art and History Museum doesn’t have much Art or History anymore, and much, much more. On the other hand Santa Cruz still has a special and unique character.  Not just the scenic attraction but the mix of locals who moved here because of blending of the influences from the University, surfing, The Boardwalk, and just the fact that our town is separated from those other places by those mountains that still shut out some of the northern noise.

OUR STATE’S DIRTIEST BEACH. Once again we have to live with the bold greed of our City Council when we are awakened to the fact that our most prominent Cowell Beach is the dirtiest beach in the state. Our City Council has continually gone forward and spent
thousands, with millions more dollars on the way, to expand, commercialize, and destroy the integrity of our Municipal Wharf instead of cleaning up and eliminating the health hazards that apparently is the result of that wharf being contaminated. Putting money and tourism ahead of health and the environment is another example of this council’s ineptitude. Here’s a news clip from KSBW from 2012 about trash found on Cowell Beach. I can’t embed it, so I’m just giving you a link.

BOARDWALK BUSINESS IN 2015. I don’t think hardly anyone realizes the vast amounts of money the  Boardwalk makes off the tourists/customers.  A survey and index report was just press released by the TEA and AECOM  Themed Entertainment Association Just check out the link below… Read all about The Boardwalk and the rest of the California Theme parks. The Seaside Corporation, i.e. Boardwalk, can’t be listed in many of these reports because they can’t sell admission tickets. The last I knew was that there are over 3,500,000 customers annually attending the Boardwalk and that was ten years ago. Go to page 35 of the 82 pages and see that Seaworld in San Diego, Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park,  Six Flags in Valencia, Busch Gardens in Virginia all have almost as high attendence figures as The Boardwalk.

According to the report, money spent per visitor ranges from $126 at Disney Parks to $50 at Cedar Fair Park. Locally of course that doesn’t include what Boardwalk visitors have to pay for parking. Read here for a summary of the report.

Just a quote from the report…

“Finally, if done right, it can be easier to get visitors to spend more than it is to get new visitors.”

BEACH FLATS GARDEN AND THE BOARDWALK. What I’m trying to get across with all those facts and figures is that The Boardwalk makes a very lot of money. Much more money than we’ll ever know about. Doesn’t it seem cruel and nearly evil that they won’t give or  donate 16, 000 square feet of a community garden to the folks who have lived and worked there for more than 20 years. The Seaside Corporation owes much more than they have ever given not just to the Beach Flats Garden folks but our entire City. They should be ashamed.

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


Today’s group of highway haters continues to do their best to steer people away from allocating any money from a possible Transportation Tax towards improving congestion on Highway 1.  CFST is asking us believe that it is all about “Highway Widening,” and would do nothing to improve congestion on Highway 1.  Not true at all.  

For those of us who use the highway, we see the auxiliary lanes that go as far as Soquel Drive exit as being clear mostly all day long.  The auxiliary lanes being proposed by the Transportation Improvement Plan (Tax Measure) will eventually extend to State Park Drive, letting people who live between Soquel Dr. and State Park get on and off Highway 1 faster, giving the rest of the south-county commuters a better chance at getting home sooner.  We’re talking about a total of three miles of aux lanes that extend between on-ramps and off-ramps. 

CFST continues to hammer away about “Highway Widening” being the same as auxiliary lanes and that these three miles of lanes will bring about the dreaded global warming that we all are aware of.  

Consider what will NOT happen if CFST is successful at killing the tax measure by taking away any money for congestion relief on Highway 1. 

  • Local street repair: Improved neighborhoods and increased safety for cyclists and pedestrians by repairing local streets and roads countywide. 
  • New bridges for cyclists and pedestrians:  Cyclist- and pedestrian-only bridges to be built over Highway 1 at Chanticleer St. and Mar Vista Dr.  
  • Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail:  Expansion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail for cyclists and pedestrians along the coastal rail corridor in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Capitola, and connecting to Monterey County. 
  • Preservation of rail transit as a future option: Holding open the option of transit in the future by maintaining the tracks in the coastal rail corridor and researching future technologies; the plan doesn’t include funding for any new rail service. 
  • Improvements to Highways 1, 9 and 17: • HWY 1: Traffic relief for South County and  Mid-County commuters, small businesses, transit buses and first responders through  the addition of auxiliary lanes.  
  • HWY 17: Protection for wildlife by building an undercrossing at Laurel Curve and funding the Safe-on-17 Freeway Service Patrol. • HWY 9: Safety improvements in the  San Lorenzo Valley. 
  • Safety for kids: New funding for Safe Routes to Schools.  
  • Help for seniors, veterans and residents with disabilities: Sustain an effective paratransit system.  

Think about all these things that are needed before you sign onto Campaign For Sensible transportation CFST’s petition. My opinion?  A transportation tax measure will never pass without some benefit to users of Highway 1. Current proposal is to allot about 20% of the tax to the Highway.  Let’s not let the perfect stand in the way of the good!

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

(EDITORS NOTE. BrattonOnline is now, and always has been, an opinion “column”. Rarely if ever, have I knowingly included opinions I disagree with. However, I completely disagree with Paul Elerick’s opinion, and completely support The Campaigh For Sensible Transportation goals, aims and logic.)

SEA ORGAN. An amazing invention sent by my nephew Johnnie McKown.
15 MYSTERIOUS CREATURES…AND FUZZY FILMING. Most probably the result of those low flying planes we’ve been suffering from.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian is out documenting the 33 trees in the city of Santa Cruz that PGE proposes to remove; most of them long time heritage trees. Others are documenting the hundreds of trees to be removed along Graham Hill Road. Greensite’s Insight returns next week.

(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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

PATTON’S PROGRAM From Gary’s Two Worlds website…

My hometown newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, ran an article on Friday, May 20th, about a new innovation in land use planning, the “Agrihood.” The article was titled, “Home grown: Agrihoods take hold – residential developments firmly rooted in agriculture” 

Please color me skeptical (in fact, please color me outraged, especially about that “firmly rooted” part). The “Agrihood” featured in the Sentinel article is located near Davis, California, which is a university community located in Yolo County. Davis, the main city, is almost totally surrounded by extremely productive agricultural land. In other words, Davis is not that different from the City of Santa Cruz, which also hosts a University of California campus, with productive agricultural land located nearby. 

I tracked down the developer’s website, which you can review by clicking this link The development is called “The Cannery.” See if you think that the kind of housing depicted is “firmly rooted in agriculture.” Note, also, that the development is not actually in Davis, the city, but on the outskirts, and undoubtedly is being built on what was formerly productive agricultural land. The claim that the development is “rooted in agriculture” is apparently based on the fact that instead of converting all of the agricultural land that the developer acquired, the developer is retaining some part of it in agriculture, as an amenity for the developer’s sprawl development. This is a lot better than a “golf course,” says the article, particularly from the developer’s point of view, since golf courses aren’t nearly as attractive as an amenity, nowadays, as they used to be. 

In my opinion, having served for twenty years on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, where I learned firsthand about the relentless pressure that developers apply to get local land use approvals for developments that either convert or encroach upon agricultural land, this “agrihood” concept reeks of a developer ploy to get county governments to approve residential developments that would violate basic General Plan and zoning laws. 

In Santa Cruz County (and in Yolo County) land use laws are intended to protect agricultural land, and to reserve such land for agriculture If the developers can make Boards of Supervisors believe that their proposed housing developments are “rooted” in agriculture, then maybe they can get approval to start converting agricultural land into skip out subdivisions. In the case of “The Cannery,” a 547-unit subdivision is planned, with the units priced to appeal to upscale buyers. Again, check out the lovely pictures in the website advertising These are not homes that are intended to house persons whose lives are “rooted in agriculture.” Quite the opposite. 

In case you haven’t taken a course in Land Use 101, let me tell you why developers always want to convert agricultural land into residences, if they can get away with it. It all comes down to land cost. The cost of agricultural land is usually something like one-tenth of the cost of urban land, on a per acre basis Therefore, if the developer can get approval to convert agricultural land into housing, instead of building the housing on the lands already designated for urban development, they can make a lot of money. So, if someone proposes an “Agrihood” near you, don’t be fooled. It’s a ploy by developers, to make a lot of money, not a new way to integrate agriculture into the fabric of our urban lives.

(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Another view of Roaring Camp’s idea of Patriotism. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan’s dystopian view of Hillary’s  political future. Scroll down.

COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS. On First Friday, i.e. June 3, See 13 area artists works at the opening of A Community of Artists, 5pm to 6pm, at the Felix Kulpa Gallery, Santa Cruz. Their ninth annual show runs through  June 26. Get there early on Friday and hear their saxophone group, “Casual Sax”.

DIDO AND AENEAS. The UCSC Music Department presents an updated production of the tragedy Dido and Aeneas, a Baroque opera in three acts. Music by Henry Purcell. Libretto by Nahum Tate. Directed by Brian Staufenbiel. UC Santa Cruz Orchestra conducted by Bruce Kiesling. Thu, Jun 2, 2016 to Sun, Jun 5, 2016. Music Center Recital Hall

LISA JENSEN LINKS Lisa is very busy memoralizing her other writing…next week!!!

Check out her website this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


DYSTOPIAN…critics favorite word It seems like every film reviewer or critic, who writes about films taking place in the future has to use the word DYSTOPIA or DYSTOPIAN. With another  half year of DYSTOPIAN films coming to our screens and just to safe, I had to look it up to be sure. And to save you the trouble, here’s the Wictionary definition.

A vision of a future that is a corrupted (usually beyond recognition) utopian society. A miserable, dysfunctional state or society that has a very poor standard of living
DYSTOPIAN… dire; characterized by human suffering or misery

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP. This sharp wordy comedy is from a little known Jane Austen book, “Lady Susan”. If you’re particular it’s about 130 years in England before Downtown Abbey (1790). Plenty of Hayden, Cherubini and Cimarosa-type music. Kate Beckensale is just great, so’s everybody else in it. It’s actually about what women had to do to survive back then. Go see it if you like Brit costume epics, with lots of scenery and furniture. 99% on Rotten Tomatoes!!!

A BIGGER SPLASH. Tricky, subtle, beautifully acted by Tilda Swinton who plays a female David Bowie, and a plot that’ll sneak up on you. Ralph Fiennes is unusually nasty and perfect in his role as a father and ex-lover. Lots of nudity, Italian Island scenery and surprises that’ll ultimately leave you happy that you saw it.

THE LOBSTER Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly head the cast of this unfathomable, suposedly dystopian satire on our views and customs relating to sex. marriage, and it’s not nice to animals either. It’s heavy drama, with some laughs thrown in. Maybe you have to be young and distant to catch all the supposedly clever zingers. I missed 95 % of any meaning or purpose to this flick.


THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY. Dev Patel the star from Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel shows his very excellent acting chops in this true story. A low caste Indian child is born with the strange and genuine gift of understanding mathematics on the same level as Einstein. Because he’s Indian and dark skinned the British intellegentsia (Oxford etc. ) won’t accept him or his math theories. It’s a feel good story you’ve seen hundreds of times, but it’s worth going to.

NICE GUYS. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make terrible buddies in this sloppy attempt at another buddy movie.This one is set in L.A. in the 70’s. An investigator and a cop team up and with no laughs, no subtleties whatsoever, more violence, much blood, …it’s awful. There’s a 13 year old girl in it that does an excellent job of acting her name is Angourie Rice. We’ll be seeing and hearing more of her.

MONEY MONSTER. Genuine Hollywood. What can you expect when you have George Clooney and Julia Roberts as stars and Jodie Foster as director. The entire film demands lots of tension and there is some but it keeps lagging. You will be totally aware that you’re watching Clloney and Roberts every time they move or speak. The irate investor/person of plot isn’t the best actor either. But there’s few other films around so see this…just be warned.

MEDDLER. Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons who plays a cop named Zipper are the main reasons to see this family drama. There are a few laughs, but the plot is so burlesqued that you’ll never be too absorbed or care about it. It’s a warm touchy-feelie flick but only hints at any of the characters depths so again you don’t get very involved.Your call….as usual. I didn’t know that Susan Sarandon is 70 years old Same age as the character she plays.

THE JUNGLE BOOK I must confess to still being under the influence of the REAL Jungle Book movie. That’s the 1942 masterpiece starring Sabu as Mowgli. All real live action, no special effects, just Kipling and technicolor. This Disney commercial money maker is exactly that…a Disney money maker. Filmed darkly (to save FX expense) it’s a hodge-podge of Bill Murray’s  looney asides, some old Disney songs and not one iota of what Kipling had in mind when he wrote the book. Send the kids, and you go to the movie next door, believe me.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. These box office gazillion dollar money makers are getting more and more bizzarre. They are direct copies of comic book plots. You shouldn’t apply any common sense or logic to the plots. Like comic books (even the earliest ones 1930’s) were just for fun and escape. So is Captain America:Civil War. To see Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downeyjr., Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei, Martin Freeman, William Hurt, Paul Bettany, Hope Davis, Alfre Woodard and the legendary Stan Lee (creator of the Marvel Comics) in as nonsensical and violent and bloody and senseless a film like this one is just embarrassing. I can’t wait to see such sagas as Orphan Annie vs. Little Lulu, Joe Palooka battles Dick Tracy, Bugs Bunny vs. Minnie Mouse. They can’t  fail.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm

KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG Mark Wainer and Judy Johnson talk about their Community of Artists show on May 31st followed by Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin with updates on local voting. Former Mayor Bruce Van Allen guests the first half hour, then former County Supervisor Gary Patton discusses local politics on Election Day June 7. The Short Story Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz take over the June 14 program. June 21 has Carla Brennan talking about Meditation, Buddhism, and Mindfulness She’s followed by Lincoln Taiz and Ben Leeds Carson talking about the workshop presentation of their opera “Menagerie: The Trial of Spock” (the Star Trek Opera). 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   

I love impressions. When someone is really good, it’s extra awesome. This guy is great 🙂

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

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-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.


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”, Dr. Seuss

“All June I bound the rose in sheaves, Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves”,  Robert Browning

“Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures”,   M. F. K. Fisher

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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