Blog Archives

May 5 – 19, 2013

HISTORIC “CLEAR CUTTING” PLUS. Dating around 1900 these hard working guys felled everything that vintage “selective harvesting” would allow. We are living in the heritage of those timber practices. I have no clue where in our mountains this epic photo was taken…and it sure is impressive.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DOUBLE ISSUE.Constant readers of BrattonOnline know that Gunilla Leavitt (owner of The Golden Fleece Yarn Shop ( ) and husband Thomas Leavitt (former city council candidate) work hard every week to get this column online. It’s been 10 great years that we’ve been online. As we’ve all become accustomed to…. the internet system broke down last week…there was no BrattonOnline!. Even if you went online to Google (as many of you , and me too did) there was no link to BrattonOnline. A server problem I’m told. So anyways stuff is back to operating “normally”. I’ve up-dated last week’s bits and pieces and edited accordingly. Sorry about that, and thanks for all your inquiries. Please try subscribing again. That too screws up a lot and subscribers get lost to the ether. It’s the only way you can keep up with the changing days (or nights) that Gunilla can get this all online and running. Thanks again…and still.

THE GOOD OLD LA BAHIA BOUNCE BACK. Sunday morning’s Sentinel had a real headline when they related Craig French & Charlie Canfield’s new plans for La Bahia. It’ll take a while and more than a Sentinel article to understand what’s happening.

So none of us need to take positions just yet on what it really means. I asked Don Webber of the La Bahia neighborhood what he really thinks…he said and I quote..

“Supporters of the previous (Swenson) design sometimes assume that the problems with it could be boiled down to one word: height. That’s because the City amended the zoning law to accommodate proposed increased building heights.

However, nearby neighbors (and others) were critical of the massing and absence of setbacks and view corridors as much as (and maybe more than) the increased building heights. The California Coastal Commission was critical of these elements as well. They judged the proposed development to be visually incompatible with the surrounding area based on all of these elements, not just the building heights”.

“We continue to believe that it makes a lot of sense to develop this property within the existing zoning law, and we believe in this site for hotel use. We look forward to a great new hotel for our main beachfront. We look forward to meeting with Craig French in the hope that we can help shape a development that works for everybody.”

24 minute film of Santa Cruz in 1975.. It was produced by Jeremy Lezin for the Santa Cruz Rotary. I hadn’t seen it in years and just now found it. Jim Houston, Al Johnsen, Alice Wilder, Don McCaslin, the Karamazov Brothers, Judy Brothers, The Whole Earth Restaurant, Liptons, Cooper House, Wrigley’s are all there….pre 1989 quake. Nikki Silva and Charles Prentiss worked on it with Margaret Koch doing the history. Watch it a few times…it’s fantastic.

COUNTY SUPES CHANGING OUR TIMBER HARVEST LAWS. ( PART ONE) I asked Jodi Frediani ( Forestry Consultant Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club and Director of the Central Coast Forest Watch) what the recent 3 to 2 vote by our Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on AB 904, the Working Forest Management Plan Bill really meant. The main reason I was curious is because John Leopold and Bruce McPherson were on the same side and were the two votes opposing the bill.

She wrote…”AB 904, the Working Forest Management Plan Bill, is another gift of regulatory relief to timberland owners. This bill would provide a vehicle for landowners of up to 15,000 acres to get a single permit, good forever, to harvest their forests. Neighbors would lose the right to comment on, or receive notice of future logging, and this bill takes away more of the little power counties still have to oversee logging operations.

Our County would lose the ability to review or appeal future harvests on these properties as well as any amendments to the plan, including the addition of new acreage, change in harvest methods, and use of helicopters. Forever is a long time.

Voice your opposition to Assembly members Mark Stone and Bill Monning.


COUNTY SUPES AND TIMBER HARVEST LAWS. (PART TWO). Jodi was kind, very kind, and wrote more on this issue. She wrote such statements as…”So ten years down the line, 20 years on, the owner conducts his logging operation, and the neighbors find out by hearing the sound of chain saws, and the rumble of loaded log trucks.

“And there are other identified problems with NTMPs including lack of adequate protection for endangered and listed species, over-cutting rather than meeting sustained yield requirements, damage to streams and water quality”. Plus, “in exchange for giving up the little power we have left regarding timber harvest operations”. “What may be good for Mendocino or Humboldt Counties is not good for Santa Cruz. As Supervisor’s Leopold and McPherson voted, Santa Cruz and the southern sub-district should be excluded from AB 904. Forever, is a long time”.. It’s an excellent critique on our timber issue…. read all of it here [expanding link, click again to collapse]

MONEY & POLITICS FORUM.There have been discussions, battles, fist fights and more for decades over the amount of money spent on local, state, and national political campaigns. There’s a forum happening in two weeks we should all attend, especially our Santa Cruz City Council members who refuse to limit their campaign spending.

It’s titled, “Forum: Democracy for the Rest of Us…Leveling the playing field in national, state, and local politics“. The sponsors are: Freedom Forum, CALPIRG, UCSC Democrats and Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF)

The Keynote Speaker is Derek Cressman of Common Cause, speaking on “Across the U.S.: getting money out of politics”, Austin Price of CALPIRG and Overturning Citizens United. Nancy Abbey of WILPF about, “Increasing transparency in elections with the CA Disclose Act”, Chris Finnie of Move to Amend – Santa Cruz speaks on
“Corporations are not people and money is not speech”. Micah Posner, Santa Cruz City Councilmember on Public Campaign Finance in Santa Cruz. The moderator is Manu Koenig of Civinomics. For More Info or to arrange childcare please Contact Stacey at 421-9367 or . It’ll happen 7:00 PM, NEXT THURSDAY May 23, 2013 Santa Cruz High School Auditorium. Find out what you can do! It’s time for action!! Let’s get big money out of politics!!! As they say.


HERITAGE TREES. Gillian Greensite wrote a fine summary about what’s happening to our Heritage Trees :


The S.C. City council will soon vote on a set of revisions to the current Heritage Tree Ordinance (HTO) which was last revised in 1994. The revisions gut the HTO of its standing as law to protect the urban forest. They replace the first 3 pages, which provide the rationale for urban forest protection, with a new chapter 9.56.001 entitled “Purpose.” This new chapter is subtle in its shifts but it essentially places private property rights ahead of public policy on heritage trees. Emergency is redefined as an “imminent” rather than an “immediate” danger. The current ordinance allows removal of big trees only if they are impacting the structural integrity of a building or are a danger. The revised grounds for removal are broadened to include allergies; objectionable insects; “unreasonable” financial burden and other subjective categories. The revisions loosen the protection under new construction with the following change (in bold): a heritage tree can be removed if, “a project design cannot reasonably be altered to accommodate existing heritage trees.

RED SKELTON AND JOHN WAYNE.An unusual pairing of icons.

The revisions take blue gum eucalyptus and all acacia out of protection. The blue gum is one of the largest and oldest of tree species in our urban forest. Song birds, honey bees and butterflies depend on this species for over wintering and survival. Big trees sequester the most carbon. The revisions include no environmental review of the impacts of taking these big trees out of protection. Re-planting is not adequate to compensate for the loss. The appeal process is changed so that most tree appeals will fall under the Planning Dept. rather than Parks & Rec. The cost to appeal a city permit for heritage tree removal under Planning is $1,000 if that appeal goes to council. Current cost under Parks is $50.If you want to check out the proposed revisions to the HTO contact the Parks and Rec. Dept. or Planning. Ask for a copy of the original 1994 edition to so you can see the changes in proper context“. Gillian Greensite

LYDON ROAST NEWS.It was a grand evening at “The Roasting of Sandy Lydon”. Last Friday night (5/10) at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom. The Roasters were such luminaries as Sheriff Phil Wowak, Judge Bill Kelsay, author Geoffrey Dunn, Business guy and publisher George Ow, Mike Rotkin and Madelyn McCaul, Seymour Marine Sciences Director Gary Griggs and Assemblyman Mark Stone were all there and roasting, but mostly toasting. I helped organize the event and did my share of roasting with back-up humming by Nikki Silva, Katherine Minott and Rachel Hill. It was sponsored by the Capitola-Aptos Rotary. You can see, and sense more of the event by the fine coverage from Brad Cava’s Santa Cruz PATCH. Go here for it…

PACIFIC AVENUE BREEZES. One rarely mentioned fact is that if, just if, Santa Cruz ever does get de-sal water it’ll be the Westside that gets it 100%.Ever taste de-sal water? Folks who have tell me there’s a genuine miserable and lingering difference between de-sal and the real thing. It’s only a rumor that Nina Simon is planning on giving birth in MAH’s Atrium as part of an exhibit called “Everything’s Art”. Besides that, she probably isn’t naming the baby “Art” anyways. Speaking of drinking too much de-sal water, about two weeks ago I watched from the porch at Lulu’s Octagon while Bill Kocher walked out of Laili’s Restaurant after his luncheon date there. He complete forgot his sport jacket only to be chased seconds later going east on Cooper Street by the alert waitress. I asked him about it , he said it was the first time it ever happened (that he remembers!)….Only eagle eyed film goers noted that Downtown Chip was cut out of the Nick-Del Mar trailers advertising Chocolate, the restaurant. Other cinema buffs cheer or jeer every time they see that other Nick trailer where Ryan Coonerty gives his keys to the city to that spacey man,” Too Late” they sing in unison.. Susan Hillhouse Leask former art curator at MAH is going onward to curatea lot more art at The San Jose

Museum of Art or “SJMA” which is tough to pronounce.The SJMA website says they exist “for a growing permanent art collection, impressive international exhibitions, and an ambitious mission that bridges tradition and innovation” That’s not bad either.

A MOTION TO TABLE. Why and how come our newly focused & “economic driven” City Council replace the four or more sets of tables and chairs that vanished from the parkette with doggie statue between The Del Mar and New Leaf Grocery. How can we attract tourists and business downtown and have no place to sit??? It looks terrible..Tsk, Tsk, and shame.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick says,

Notes from that Special Joint Study Session on Desal

A few observations from last Tuesday’s (5/8) study session hosted by Santa Cruz Water Department and Soquel Creek Water District follow. The public was allowed to comment after consultants and lawyers presented their opinions on Desal, definitely promoting it (Desal) as the solution to possible water shortages. Those in support of Desal seemed to be following the party line (led by former Mayor Rotkin) of waiting a few more days to read the actual draft EIR, and accusing their opponents of dealing in “fantasy instead of facts”. It didn’t help the Desal support team when a few of the speakers during public comment who spoke against Desal were cut off early during their two-minute limited time to speak. It just seemed that way to me, until watching the replay of this meeting on Community TV on Sunday evening when I timed speakers myself. Speakers opposing Desal, Bill Smallman, Ed Silvera, Terry Maxwell and others were cut off by Mayor Bryant before their two minutes were up.

Water customers in Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District should read the draft EIR that is now available and attend the public meetings to be held later. The report is now available for review at Santa Cruz City Hall and Soquel Creek Water District’s HQ in Soquel and online. It’s very important to read and comment on this document, as each will require a response in the final EIR. The public will have 60 days to comment in writing on the document and in person at public hearings June 3 and July 1. Information about how to make public comment is at, where the report can also be downloaded

(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).

ARCHIE BUNKER IN UNEQUAL PARTNERS. I never was an Archie Bunker fan however…

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says on his KUSP program, that greenhouse gases are being studied by our educational institutions…He says that it’s not only land but water and stream issues that need planning. He talks about the Ocean Street Area Plan and the Coastal Watershed Council tour..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.Oh those pesky teenagers…they never change! Scroll down a few pages.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Check out Tim’s take on Sequestration…and ponder. Then (being a Double column) check out his latest prayer to the almighty…See below a bit…

HAROLE PINTER (HIMSELF) IN “ONE FOR THE ROAD”. Watch this clip and see the play…NOW!!!

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau states, »Birth Defects U.S. Legacy in Iraq »

Amidst other things he says, “It’s almost amusing (like watching vampire films) when U.S. officials brag about how wonderful our country is, and how the rest of the world should take lessons from us on democracy (don’t count the vote in Florida – Gore v. Bush), the rule of law (and human rights at Guantanamo Base). If law had meaning in the USA, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would stand trial after a law enforcement officer had cuffed them and read charges against them for having committed war crimes and other major felonies (like murder and torture) against Iraqis and citizens of other countries”

Saul closes with, “Those screaming for war with Iran should study the results of the last war before sending more death and destruction to that oily region we depend upon, but cannot control. As we mourn for the dead in Boston, let us remember those we continue to kill in Iraq, babies who don’t deserve defects to accompany their birth, defects that derive from U.S. residual weapons contaminating their environment. Who takes responsibility”? Read all of it here…

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

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Moms get a sweet deal at the 6th Annual Art & Chocolate Mothers Day art tour, and Laurie King leads a Mysterious Regiment of Women in a panel on crime fiction and theology, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also—enjoy the tall tale that is Mud, and the entertaining hooey of Iron Man 3, and find out what I have in common with Woody Allen and Ebenezer Scrooge. ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

that is the question….

AFTERSHOCK.This is an excellent Horror film. No ghosts, no chainsaws, no aliens, no looney psychos…it’s a horror film centered around an earthquake in Chile. Like all horror films, it’s gruesome, bloody, tense, exciting, it’s a special genre all of it’s own. Photography, acting, effects are all near perfect. It’s unique, and also in the same ballpark as The Titanic, Charlton Heston’s Earthquake, The Last Days of Pompeii, Poseidon Adventure, only Aftershock is much more exciting. It’ll only be at The Del Mar for a week, unless you go.

RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, It’s from the book, and it’s very confusing. All about Pakistan, America’s way of life (not all good). Religion, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson (heavier and darker), and Keifer Sutherland all try very hard to get some message across, but I missed it.

THE GREAT GATSBY.After working on this a long time my best description of this film is that it’s like a $400 triple tiered Wedding Cake…only from Safeway. All fake flowers, little figures in tuxedoes, lace, gee-gaws and very pink on the outside. Then when you taste it, it’s blah, phony, not a subtle flavor in it. All artificial. The actors all do the best they can but it’s director Baz Luhrmann’s shallowness that ruins this last attempt to create on screen what Fitzgerald did in the book. Even the 3D doesn’t help.

ANGELS SHARE.I am now and have been a Director Ken Loach fan. He’s made many masterpieces like Kes (short for kestrel, the bird) and The Wind That Shakes the Barley that deal with British and Scottish working classes. Angels Share is about a young ne’er do well who has an acute sense of smell and uses it to his advantage in a Glasgow Distillery. The Scot’s accents are so thick that the film is completely subtitled…something that we Loach fans have hoped for for years….go see it. It’s tough at first but changes more or less to “feel good”. It’ll be at The Nick probably just for this week. Yep, another wonderful one-week- wonder that the Nick brings..just hoping enough genuine film fans will come see it…it’s gone now.

SAPPHIRES.It’sbased on a true story of four Australian local teen age girls who create a sexy quartet and entertain the troops in Vietnam. It’s almost all feel good, and cute with a dash of racism thrown in, for drama. Go, if you need cheering up.

IRON MAN 3. A total junk film. Robert Downey, Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow probably made as much as Floyd Mayweather last weekend,and both the film and fight were savage, brutal, boring and predictable. An odd thing that no-one has commented on is that Iron Man leaves contrails (vapor trails) when he flies…even a few feet. This is a violent, nonsensical comic book plot. Not a story line anywhere, far too many effects, not enough intelligence to keep anybody over 8 interested.

GIMME THE LOOT. Roughly speaking, I’ve been attending The Nickelodeon Theatre for 47 years. Gimme The Loot is without any qualifications THE WORST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN THERE. It was purposely made with all non – actors in dramatic roles. This graffiti based mess is some kind of attempt at charm because no-one knows how to act. If anyone does go, let me know what you think. Never mind, it’s gone already.

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 7th Rebecca Jackson provides details on her Music In May concert. She’s followed by Fred Keeley our out-going County Treasurer talking about his job. May 14th is when we’ll learn about Lifespan from Saundie Isaak then Pat Lerman is coming from Aromas to tell us what’s happening on the Fracking scene in her neck of the shale.


Micah Posner talks about the May 23 money and politics forum on the May 21 G’Vine. Judge Paul Burdick returns on May 28 to talk about our court system. 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. “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’, Robin Williams.

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours”, Mark Twain. “Isn’t it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?”, Richard Dawkins


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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