Blog Archives

May 6 – 12, 2015

PACIFIC AVENUE December 22, 1955. Remember rain and floods? This was one of our biggest. The photo shows just about where that stupid looking Rittenhouse Building with the empty store front windows sits and sits and sits. That’s where the Rittenhouse murder took place upstairs a few decades ago. Near the corner of Church and Pacific.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE May 4, 2015

WHY A NATIONAL MONUMENT IN DAVENPORT? Here’s an article from the front page of the May/June 2015 Bonny Doon Highlander newsletter…

NOT YOUR OLD SOLAR SYSTEM CONCEPT. Check this out, then think about all that it means!!!

YOGA AND COWS!!! Mark Bernhard found this gem. It’s all about breathing!!!

On April 21 the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution supporting the designation of Coast Dairies as a national monument. Apparently they think it will bring added protection for the 5,800 acre property, and more money for stewardship, management and construction of trails and visitor facilities. We do not share that opinion. We are strongly concerned that monument status might attract so many more hikers, cyclists and equestrians that it could actually harm the plants and the animals living in and moving through the area. And it will certainly negatively impact the North Coast beaches, roads and neighboring communities. And what is the point?

Coast Dairies is already strongly protected from adverse activities like mining, logging, development and off-road recreational vehicle use by deed restrictions on the property, made even stiffer by the terms of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP). The monument campaign backers have raised the red herring of a recent Congressional vote by Republicans to sell off federal lands that are not national monuments or parks. The terms of the deed restrictions and the CDP are valid in perpetuity, regardless of future ownership of the land. Would anyone pay many millions of dollars for something they can’t build anything on?”. The article has many, many more concerns that we should all be informed on. Example…how can Sempervirens claim that the number of visitors won’t be as high as Fort Ord? What will the impacts be on the surrounding communities like Davenport and Bonny Doon? How much volunteer work will be needed to maintain the park…and will it materialize? How about law enforcement in “the Monument” . This is truly a monumental decision. Check out many more questions that need to be asked here.

COAST DAIRIES MONUMENT PLANNING TO USE WILDER RANCH??? Ted Benhari from The Rural Bonny Doon Association entered this on The “FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COAST” page on Facebook.

“I Had a little debate tonight with Steve Reed, head of the Santa Cruz Redwoods National Monument campaign, at the Conservation Committee of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Sierra Club, who are considering whether to recommend support for the monument designation. The most interesting thing to come out of it was Reed’s remark that the power players behind the campaign are now thinking that a visitor center should be at Wilder Ranch State Park! What are the implications of THAT? Wilder is separated from Coast Dairies by about a mile of private properties surrounding Laguna Creek canyon. A visitor center at Wilder presumably would be at the ranch house area, which is 2+ miles from Coast Dairies. Wilder, of course, is a State Park. What are the legal roadblocks to using it as a visitor center for a federal national monument? What would be the effect on Wilder? What legal process would be required? CEQA ramifications? What would that mean for the old cement plant property in Davenport, which many assumed would eventually become the visitor center? Lots of questions…and again, as with so much about this monument campaign, decisions being made or at least considered out of the public eye”. Then Ted Benhari added, “Sempervirens Executive Director Shelley Ratay says she doesn’t know what Steve Reed is talking about, but she’ll ask him and get back to me. Interesting…” As of press time she hadn’t gotten back to Mr. Benhari. What kind of internal Sempervirens communications is that? Are we (and the North Coast) going to be subject to more of their internal problems?? Be sure to keep up on issues and topics involved with this gigantic change to our precious North Coast, go to Friends of The North Coast page on Facebook.

THE WARRIORS PARADE DOWN PACIFIC. A reader writes, I know I’m totally out of touch, bit I really miss the Santa Cruz I’ve loved over the past close to 40 years. As I walked from the Farmer’s Market today towards New Leaf, Pacific Avenue was suddenly closed to traffic for the Warriors Parade. Jeeze, I didn’t even know I was watching James Durbin sing 15′ away (and I actually like him on American Idol), but I found myself totally pissed at watching my town go down the sports tube. Of course, Santa Cruz council woman Cynthia Mathews was there with a big grin, which didn’t help. We won! We won! What I want to know is, how come stopping traffic with loud, amplified music for a basketball team gets full support from the cops (and the City), but that black guy Curtis Relliford who parks his truck down there with a boom box playing to raise money for the poor gets busted by the cops?”.

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


It’s hard to believe that we Aptosians are asked to accept the old and dated traffic study numbers still being used in this village plan. The study was done back in 2002 (more than 12 years ago), with an “update” done in 2009 (middle of an economic downturn six years ago). Message to county planners: things have changed! Anybody who has waited for 3 or 4 changes of the traffic signal at Soquel Drive and State Park would ask for an updated study before we’re asked to accept two more signal lights to get to and through Aptos. Those lights are not including the signalized pedestrian crossings that will stop traffic when activated by pedestrians wanting to cross Soquel Drive.

Sweeping today’s traffic jams under the rug may be OK by our Aptos Chamber of Commerce and their local “stakeholders” who are pushing this development and more (Rancho Del Mar expansion), but certainly not OK with the crowd that showed up at the April 24th meeting in Rio Del Mar. The developer wants to add an additional six houses to the plan that will have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors on May 5th. If you don’t agree with more houses than were approved earlier, plan to attend and let the Board know”.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian Greensite shares…

I miss the tourist season. That period from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend to the end of Labor Day, when our home town was swamped with thousands of tourists seeking a respite from summer inland heat or taking a well-earned vacation. We grumbled, we complained, we made jokes. “If it’s called the tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?” but we knew that once the Labor Day barbeques were over we could breathe a collective sigh of relief and go about our business of daily life until the next tourist season. The Sentinel reliably noted the end of the tourist season with an editorial heralding a return of the town to the locals. That era is gone.

Year round tourism is the new norm. With online tools available to all who stand to profit, Santa Cruz is being sold across the globe as a tourist destination that knows no season as “off”. The Chamber of Commerce lures tourists with the inside scoop that according to locals, their favorite season is fall when summer visitors have left and the weather is at its sunniest. New GPS apps give mountain bikers instant knowledge of trails in local parks and open spaces drawing thousands of out-of-towners all year. West Cliff Drive is the destination for year-round city-approved events drawing thousands of tourists who park in local neighborhoods. Non-profit surfing organizations promote the economic value of waves and push for branding local surf-breaks. The marketing potential is enormous.

So what’s the problem? We need tourist dollars to fund essential services such as police, fire and local parks, since tourism has largely replaced extractive industries as the economic base in Santa Cruz. The problem is one of balance and sustainability. How much tourism is sustainable? Who profits? Have the wages of restaurant cooks risen? For every thousand tourists there must be a ratio of need for extra police, fire, roads, parks and water supply. These should be factored in. Civic leaders have forgotten about us locals in their rush to embrace every new scheme to bring in even more visitors.

I grew up in a tourist town in Australia. I’ve lived in tourist Santa Cruz for 40 years. Nothing in my experience equals the current tidal wave of tourism that threatens to drown locals in the rush for Mammon”. ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

LITTLE KID DANCING!!! AND ALSO ??? I’m not at all sure about this clip…it’s another Mark Bernhard special!!

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says that the Board of Supes may allow the developer to build either 63 or 69 residential units, and up to 75,000 square feet of commercial space in the new Aptos Village. He then talks about the Monterey County General Plan and how their Board of Supervisors sided with the abricultural industry over a better land use proposal. Gary then “details” a Santa Cruz City Planning Commission session happening Thursday May 7. First, the Commission is going to hold a public hearing, and then decide whether the City’s Capital Improvements Program is consistent with the City General Plan and the City’s Climate Action Plan. The General Plan is the community’s “constitution for land use.” All project level decisions must be “consistent” with the General Plan. That “consistency” requirement is the way that the community can hold its elected officials accountable, and can ensure that the City’s long terms goals, adopted in the General Plan, are in fact followed. If you live in a residential area, for instance, and the General Plan says it is supposed to remain residential, a developer cannot get approval for a used car lot. The “consistency” requirement applies to the City’s own projects, too, and whether the City’s proposed road, bike lane, and other projects are consistent with the General Plan is what is up for discussion this evening. The second item on the Commission’s agenda is about legalizing multi-family residential units, to address the City’s housing crisis. The recommendation is to change the rules to allow more units to be recognized. As you can see, this will be an important meeting. Get more information at”. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo and our wonderful marine wild life and our rangers!!!Look below a few pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan’s “Subconscious Comics” were an enormous hit a few years ago. Tim has loaned us the use of a few of the classics. Scroll down and gaze in awe!!!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Take a peek inside the publishing biz as an author receives her first (dreaded) editorial letter from a new editor, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( And don’t forget, folks: my novel, Alias Hook comes out in paperback this week!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


SALT OF THE EARTH. The S.F. Chronicle’s Critics Consensus (100 critics) placed this film as #1 of all films showing right now…I agree completely. Wim Wenders follows and comments on still photographer Sebastiao Salgado’s photographs and his life. It becomes very depressing then becomes hopeful and dreamily futuristic. If you think of yourself as an environmentalist, or humanist, or have any faith at all in the future of the earth…PLEASE see this film. Far and away the best I’ve seen in years!!!

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA. Juliette Binoche is totally wonderful in this wistful saga about fame, show biz, and aging. Kristen Stewart of all people, won an award in France for her role as Juliette’s assistant. I liked Chloe Grace Moretz’s presence more than I did Stewart’s contribution. You should see it, if you like good films. There are twists and plot turns and questions you’ll think about for days, and it’s an excellent film.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. It’s the second biggest box office opening in movie history!! Avengers #1 was the biggest and IronMan was number 3 As you could guess 59% of the audience were males under age 25, and probably walked using their knuckles. No one has figured out what Ultron was supposed to be and not very many people could possibly care. It’s nearly 100% computer generated , which means it’s very dark…even the non 3D version. There’s no figuring out the plot. And Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey jr., Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk!!) Don Cheadle, Stellan Skarsgard, and even Samuel L. Jackson in a bit role can do absolutely nothing to make this movie interesting. It’s a hymn to violence, it totally depends on blood and killing and who needs it?


EX MACHINA. Oscar Isaacs takes the lead in this sci-fi winner of a film. You’ll stay glued to the seat as this somewhat kinky story unfolds. If you hhave to classify it , It’s another robot into human story but with so many’s powerful, and full of suspense. You could say that there are a few plot twists that seem awkward, but go for it…it’s the best film of the year (4 months)

WATER DIVINER. Russell Crowe makes his debut as a director in this Gallipoli war saga of a father who’s a water diviner goes to the battlefield in Turkey where this two or maybe 3 sons died and “divines” their bodies…well, two of them. The war scenes are great and bloody, but the film never transports you into the story. Something is too cold, too impersonal to care that much about. But it still qualifies a a good movie.

WOMAN IN GOLD. Helen Mirren will get no big awards for her starring role in this mini-saga of how a Jewish woman fought for years to get Gustav Klimt’s painting of her aunt back from the Austrian government. Austria possessed the painting after Hitler’s Nazi’s stole it from her folks. It lacks a point or reason or spark. Ryan Reynolds is pretty good as the young attorney. Go rent “The Rape of Europa” documentary from a few years ago, it’s more dramatic!!

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG. Naomi Watts steals the show from Ben Stiller in this “middle age” tragic comedy. They are an “older” couple who try competing with the 20 year younger couple Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver. The film tries hard to say something about getting older and being present, but fails. However it does have a bizzarre sequence when everybody goes to an Ayahuasca ceremony (Hollywood version) and of course vomiting is supposed to get big laughs…it’s that kind of film.

CINDERELLA. This is a 100 % Disney movie, and I mean it in a good way. It’s the classic Disney from Snow White, Pinocchio, Beauty and The Beast and the old timey beautiful, heart-tugging, syrupy romance years. This is a live action spectacular, with Lily James who plays Lady Rose MacClare in Downtown Abbey as Cinderella and Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. I loved it, but it does start very slowly.

THE AGE OF ADALINE. Beyond tacky and full of cliché and tripe, even Harrison Ford doesn’t save this impossible hackyned story. A woman has an accident and stays 29 years old forever. Ellen Burstyn tries hard to act as her daughter then becomes her mother. You’ll go batty thinking of ways this could have been a fine sensitive film, but it isn’t.

DIVERGENT SERIES; INSURGENT. Unless you’ve read all three of thse teeny-bopper, sci-fi thrillers you won’t get much out of this part two. They could have named it Effulgent, Detergent, Emolument, Deterrent, or even best yet, Detriment…and it would have been more honest, and saved some unpuspecting movie goer an admission price!!

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. May 12 has Ted Benhari telling us of some of the problems and issues that the proposed National Monument will bring. After Ted, Anita Monga visits from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival to tell about this years full schedule. May 19 Elizabeth Romanini and Attny. Bill Parkin talk about the success of NOPOC (Neighbors Organized to Protect our Community) and Tash Nguyen discusses UCSC’s Sin Barras.. . . On June 16 the annual Bookshop Santa Cruz “Short Story Winners” read their winning entries. 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, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Congress (and the public which elects it) can always be expected to hesitate longer over an appropriation to acquire or protect a national park than over one to build a highway into it. Yet there is nothing which so rapidly turns a wilderness into a reserve and a reserve into a resort.” — Joseph Wood Krutch, 1957. “In Yellowstone National Park, there are more ‘do not feed the animals’ signs than there are animals you might wish to feed”, Natalie Jeremijenko. “In fact, at Olympic National Park in my district, they 3 years ago had 130 summer employees they brought in for temporary work. This summer they have 25 because they cannot afford more”, Norm Dicks.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on May 6 – 12, 2015

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