Blog Archives

May 8 – 14, 2012

SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA? I’ve always thought Morrissey Boulevard looked like a street down in Los Angeles (Malibu? Long Beach? Santa Monica?) somewhere, but even more so in this photo of yesteryear… There’s a bank on the corner now, and the photo shows no hint of the post office to come. I wonder what was in the spot where Safeway currently sits?

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

HAMMER VS. McPHERSON & SMALLMAN TOO. I went to the San Lorenzo Valley Chamber of Commerce 5th District Supervisor Forum at SLV High School last Thursday. It was the fourth forum in four days for these candidates. About 50 friends and campaign members were there. Candidates got 11 pre-chosen questions emailed into the Scotts Valley Banner. I don’t think there were any surprises in the answers or in the qualifications. Bill Smallman is a heavier version of Greg Kaput and admits to being an underdog from Marin County. He said at one point he’d like to work with Sonoma County on supporting the business community…which was the best example of his thinking. No one could figure that one out. Bruce McPherson talked a lot about his state connections. We can only assume he means the advice he’ll need to appoint Republicans

If he gets elected. No one mentions that he hasn’t been in Sacramento for five years (since 2007). He hasn’t really worked a day in his life unless you count the 25 years at the family Sentinel with his brother Fred covering for him. Fred was there and I hadn’t talked to him since I worked at the Sentinel. Fred should be running!!! Fred Keeley was there too cheering on his boy Bruce. McPherson spoke in generalities like change the image of Santa Cruz business which “is not friendly now”. He said we need to respect the General plan we have now, that a de-sal plant will be costly and that he wasn’t sure about that. He didn’t mention his hill top mansion, or being a bank owner or his firm place in the top 1% that the world is waking up to. Eric Hammer answered the questions with specific facts, names, and figures. He was born in the SLV, worked hard all his life and has dedicated his career to helping people, and proved it.

McPHERSON MATTERS. This email just in from a very experienced San Lorenzo Valley Resident and business owner.

“The 5th District Supervisor is the only local government elected representative that the San Lorenzo Valley has — there is no city representative like the portion of the district that falls in Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz. For the first time ever, Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz is in the 5th, and Bruce McPherson of Pasatiempo is running for the seat.

On his 12/31/11 filing of donations, he showed that he raised nearly $50,000 — but not A SINGLE DONATION was from SAN LORENZO VALLEY ! On his 3/17/12 filing, ( pdf here) he had raised a whopping $85,934 to date — with a total of $2,450 from SLV. Most of his donations are from Santa Cruz, Watsonville, etc. A few from Scotts Valley. I’m sure there are more by now, but it is all public record and easy to review. The carpetbagger nature of this is the important piece, I think. This is the only local representation that SLV has. The other parts of the district have city governments to help them. If he’s elected, we’ll have no one who really understands this area. That’s less than 3% when we’re the bulk of the district. Please. Let us have representation. It is the only one we can possibly get”.

TOOTHPASTE HISTORY. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been collecting toothpaste from all over the world…I personally bought a lot of tubes, but because of the kindness of close friends (not strangers) I now have nearly 80. Way back when I started I checked out other collectors…there weren’t any. Now look at this Guinness champ and his collection


“Foreclosed on – The American Dream”

In Santa Cruz County Alone…462 foreclosures in 2011 and in 2012 to date: 362 foreclosures…and 18 foreclosures last week. Want to help our neighbors stay in their homes? Learn why many foreclosures are actually illegal. Hear how Occupy Santa Cruz, WILPF and others are working with the Board of Supervisors to halt foreclosures. Find out what we can do as part of a statewide campaign to stop fraudulent foreclosures. Learn about AB 26107 & SB 1473, the California Home Owners Bill of Rights. Tuesday, May 15, free 7-9pm Quaker Meeting House 225 Rooney Street, Santa Cruz .Sponsored by Santa Cruz WILPF and Occupy Santa Cruz

Also, Free Foreclosure Workshop!! (For those threatened with foreclosure) Sunday May 20, 1-5pm at 275 Main St, Watsonville. Call 831-722-2845 for more information.

SCRIBNER STATUE NEWS.I mentioned last week about Marghe McMahon’s statue of Tom Scribner first being located in S.C.O.P.E. Park across from where the Town Clock is now, in front of Peter Bartczak’s mural. Bruce Van Allen writes in response…”Here’s how I remember a fun story about the original dedication of the statue over in what we called Scribner Park, Water & North Pacific. Mayor Larry Edler was resisting the whole thing, of course, and just to help get his goat, County Supervisor Gary Patton read a great quotation, from Hannah Arendt I think, which ended with that author quoting another: “Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.” Gary could give you the correct details”. So I wrote to Gary …

So Gary Patton replies…”I do remember this occasion (amazingly enough). It was at a location that was NOT where the Scribner statue is now; it was originally on North Pacific and Water. But I don’t think it was a Hannah Arendt quote. A quote from James Agee (“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men“). I can’t remember what else, but here is what is in the Agee book: “Workers of the world unite and fight. You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to win”, I think I probably did the Lear quote (also from Agee) prior to this. Those two pages are together in the book, right at the start”.

HISTORICAL PHOTO FEEDBACK. Carey Casey comments on that post fire photo in April 30’s BrattonOnline.

According to John Chase (p.166), the two buildings still standing after the 1894 fire (on the left in the photo) were incorporated into the first St. George Hotel (including those bay windows). The fire-gutted building in the middle distance is the first County Courthouse, built in 1866 in the middle of the block on Cooper Street. The second courthouse, which later became the Cooper House, was begun right after the fire. The County Bank building went up at the corner of Cooper across from the new courthouse, replacing a two-story saloon owned by Michael Leonard. Leonard, in turn, constructed a new building at the corner of Cooper and Front, which still stands today.

BARBIE SCHALLER’S SERVICES.A Memorial Gathering will be held for Barbie Schaller according toher kids Merrie and Glen Schaller. Merrie says, “Our brothers are coming in from the east coast and would love to meet Mother’s friends and hear about her life here in Santa Cruz”. Services will be at 2:00 this Saturday, May 12 in the SC Police Dept. community room, 155 Center Street.


County Transit Corridor “Stakeholder” questionnaire and interviews

I’ve always been curious when government agencies direct communications to “stakeholders“. Webster’s Dictionary defines a stakeholder as one with “an interest or share in a commercial venture”, among other definitions of the word. The County’s stakeholder lengthy questionnaire went to these groups, and the interviews with each group were individually scheduled for an entire day.

Government Agencies, Institutions and Major Property Owners, Developers/Real Estate Brokers, Merchants/Business Owners/Chambers of Commerce, Elected/Appointed Officials, Advocates, Special Interest Groups, and “Residents”.

The questions were detailed, demanding considerable thought, but given the short lead-time (two days) to respond before the interviews took place; it will be interesting to see the results of the interviews. Will they be published? I read that the marketing team for Safeway’s’ mega-store in Aptos will be seeking opinions from “stakeholders”; here’s hoping that “residents” are at the top of their list. Will their results be published?

(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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about The Los Gatos Gun Club wanting to build a new clubhouse and why it is our business. He asks questions about our Downtown Association and what they do with the $$$. Then he says, “Economic development is a topic of central importance to the City of Watsonville. In the past, the City has used “redevelopment” to provide assistance to private developers, and now that this is no longer possible, Council Member Daniel Dodge is proposing that the City try to get approval to convert farmlands next to Highway One into a site for a Wal-Mart, or a similar big box store.

Council Member Dodge’s suggestion may, or may not, be the best way to stimulate economic development in Watsonville, and it probably would be good to consider alternatives other than turning productive farmlands into big box stores. A study just released in the last week or so appears to show that the rise of hate groups is directly correlated to the construction of Wal-Mart’s and similar big box operations. If you readers have economic development ideas, or opinions, Wednesdays Watsonville Council meeting would be a good time to show up at their City Council to share them. Read the rest of Gary’s KUSP broadcast scripts here. (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”

Micaela Neus writes from Palmer Station on Antarctica’s Peninsula… “The work we perform in our official job positions counts for only a portion of the total effort we put into keeping Palmer Station functioning. Other U.S. stations have dedicated janitors, dishwashers, and staff for washing a dorm’s worth of bed sheets. At Palmer, we divide these duties among ourselves and each sign up for shifts working in the kitchen or monitoring the radio during the evenings. Fewer people on station mean more of this type of “community service” per individual because these tasks never wrap up for the season, they go on as long as we do!

Over the last two seasons, I have grown quite used to this communal system and in fact prefer it to hiring people specifically to do menial labor. These tasks represent our core life support, the humble foundation of our ability to survive and moreover to enjoy ourselves down here. Why should we not share these duties, just as we share the rewards? For me, this system engenders a sense of equality and unity on station that make life in the Antarctic so unique. Scientists, the station manager, visiting artists, and special “Distinguished Visitors” like NSF officials must team up with the regular ol’ workers for dish duty one night each week (called GASH…that’s Galley and Scullery Help) and chores every Saturday (House Mouse). The values of egalitarianism become very clear when you’re staring into a sink full of greasy water or a shower drain clogged with someone else’s hair.

Of course, not everyone experiences the same rosy glow of solidarity when they pull the “GWR Men’s Room” card out of the job jar. Some folks do seem to think their time is more valuable than others’ and less important people should take out the trash. This attitude gets little sympathy from me personally, which hardly matters except that it also violates one of the most unbreakable, unwritten laws of station: Thou Shalt Not Complain about GASH or Shirk Thy House Mouse. No one, no matter how much they agree with you, will take your side in this argument. People have their favorite or most-despised House Mouse jobs and will trade them if possible, but they will not bail out on doing whatever card they end up holding.

But why not? Complaining is such a pleasurable pastime, nearly everyone enjoys doing it occasionally. What makes this topic off limits? I think we know that any job we don’t do must get done by someone else, not an anonymous stranger but a friend and companion. The social guilt is too palpable, and the moral failing too obvious. Better to wash the windows, take out a tampon bucket, or peel garlic with friends than be thought too snobby or weak to do the job yourself. And that’s as it should be”.

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until at least October 2012.

VINTAGE DE CINZO.Some things never change…Like the Sentinel, scroll down.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Mister Eagan gives us the Disney version of life…about 3 pages below.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s article this week is, “The Prize Fight Election
He opens with, “Six grueling months remain until the November election. “Dogs for Romney: Brisk Head Winds Build Character” and “Dogs Against Romney: Pat Us, Don’t Strap Us To The Car Roof” bumper stickers may well highlight the campaign publicity. Imagine a heavyweight fight announcer introducing the contenders at the debate!” Read all of it Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LISA JENSEN LINKS. “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, enjoy Jewel Theatre’s lively Blithe Spirit, check into The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and remember: nothing says ‘I love you, Mom,’ like Art and Chocolate!” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. I resented this film. It depicts seniors (and most of my best friends are seniors!!) as ditzy, cute, dippy, insecure, daffy, and mostly incapable of making decisions. It’s cute, condescending, and vacuous with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith (both are 77 years old), and Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy (both being 63 years old). They do fine jobs with this witless script. It’ll feed all your stereotypes of seniors and is on the same level as Disney’s Chimpanzee. But younger critics liked it.

MONSIEUR LAZHAR. It’s here, the winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars this year. (2011). It’s a very good film. Touching, great kid actors, filmed in Montreal. Suicide, bureaucracy, loyalty, and well worth seeing.

THE AVENGERS.What’s funny about this record breaking money maker are all the stars who are in it, but I never saw them. I completely missed Don Cheadle and Paul Bettany. Gwyneth Paltrow and Harry Dean Stanton have dinky little roles but only go see this flick if you care about how The Hulk meets Iron Man or how The Black Widow manages to maneuver The Iron Man or if Captain America’s shield will stand up to nuclear power. It’s got tongue- in- cheek laughs and the 3D helps, but it’s no Batman or early Superman quality.

SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE NEWEST. If you’re not watching the latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes on channel 9 on Sunday nights you’re missing an incredible, smart, witty and oddly enough very faithful adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle books. All up to date but amazingly faithful. There’s only 3 in this new series and 1 has already played last Sunday night, search around for them.

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 8th has Orville Cantor working hard to save UCSC’s Student Family Housing. He’ll be followed by Miriam Ellis sharing the delights of International Playhouse 12 (8 plays in 8 languages) On May 15th Gina Hayes will talk about the UCSC production of Chang & Eng. Then Rebecca Rovay-Hazleton will talk about her book “Choosing Health”. Rachel Goodman will bring us up to date on Tannery Doings on May 22. May 29 has Ken Koenig discussing details of the annual photography exhibit opening around that time at Felix Kulpa Gallery. 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 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!!!


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on May 8 – 14, 2012