Blog Archives

May 9 – 15, 2016

DEL MAR THEATRE February 25, 1957. That’s the then Del Mar theatre  manager on the left, a wax figure of James Dean, (unidentified woman behind Dean) and Brad McDonald who created the Shadowbrook Restaurant on the right.    James Dean died February 25, 1957 in case you forgot.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

                                                                                                           DATELINE May 9, 2016

OUR COMMUNITY POWER. Community Choice Aggregation or CCA is just about the greatest environmental concept for our local three counties….ever!  It’s been talked about nearly a decade around these parts. Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold talked about it on last week’s Universal Grapevine. His  Facebook page says, “Santa Cruz leads the way on push for local green energy grid, he’s a strong supporter and liked the article in last weeks Good Times.

Community Power means that our three counties, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz combine efforts and buy power collectively from PG& E. Our costs would drop considerably, the sources of that power could be wind and sun driven…and we’d have dreaded PG&E off our backs ond away from our pockets. It’s working right now in other counties. It can work here. Read Power Structure – Good Times Santa Cruz .

SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL QUESSING GAME. As of Sunday (5/8) Micah Posner’s dad said Micah hadn’t made up his mind yet about running this time.

MILLENNIALS, SILENT GENERATION ETC. Discussions and critiques of generations seem to crop up and be more numerous at certain times. I got curious and after a bunch of searching I found the most agreement on generation labels and dates to be…

  • The Lost Generation             1900 – 1924
  • The Silent Generation          1925 – 1942
  • Baby Boomer Generation    1946 – 1964
  • Generation  X                       1960 – 1980
  • Millennial Generation          1980 – 2000
  • Generation  Z                        2000 – 2025

I know there are some gaps in the years…these numbers are just to give you something to think about besid es Donald Trump.

LENNY BRUCE ON THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW. Lenny was/is my most favorite comedian. I saw him in person quite a few times and even ushered once at the Warfield theatre so I could see his most notable performance.

A LITTLE CONFUSION. The week before last (April 26-May 2) issue of had some glitches. There were no borders around Paul Elerick’s and Gillian Greensite’s sections. As a result many folks were confused about who said what. It was Paul Elerick who likes and wrote about auxillary lanes on Highway One, not me, definitely NOT ME. I’ve never seen, heard or read anything that says widening highways or adding auxillary lanes has worked…ever.

SANDY LYDON’S STEINBECK EVENT. Sandy Lydon and Thomas Steinbeck are doing a presentation/discussion titled “Fact or Fiction? Did the Chinese visit this coast before the Spanish?” Ow Family Properties is sponsoring it. Author, cinematographer, and photojournalist Thom Steinbeck and Cabrillo College Historian Emeritus Sandy Lydon will discuss (together for the first time), their own views of our Chinese past. They have admired each other’s work for years. You will be able to listen as they come together on stage and share notes and writings, including the opinions of Thom’s father, Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck. It promises to be a rare and magical evening. Friday, May 13, 2016  7:00 pm Barbara Samper Recital Hall, Cabrillo College. This event is free for President’s Circle Members and Heritage Club members. Tickets will also be on sale in the Cabrillo Ticket Office for the general public at $12 per ticket. Students are free.If you belong to President’s Circle or Heritage Club and would like to reserve tickets, please email or call (831) 479-6338. Tickets are available to the general public for $12 each and students are free. Click to purchase tickets.

JUNE 4TH PARTY REMINDER. Don’t forget to get in touch, or tell your June 4th friends to get in touch, if they’d like to be invited to our very exclusive June 4th Birthday Party. It’s a fun and intriguing party. Like noon to 2 p.m on 6/04.

HIGH RISES & HOT AIRRegarding the massive, dense, high rise retail and residential units projected to line the levee on Front Street between Laurel and Soquel and parts of Pacific, by the time you are reading this, city council will have deliberated on the project and given direction to staff. That’s right, before the Planning Commission has finished discussing and voting on the project, the council is inserting its influence. After last week’s piece on this topic, I wrote to Ron Powers, principal planner for the project to confirm the correct date for the next Planning Commission meeting when this item would be voted on. He replied that it would be held most likely in July. He omitted to mention that it was also on city council agenda for Tuesday, May 10th.  I don’t recall an item ever discussed by council prior to the Planning Commission’s voting and forwarding its recommendation to council. Perhaps as unprecedented as 85 feet high buildings downtown.

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

(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).

GOODBYE THRIFT STORE. The City of Santa Cruz demolished the old Front Street Thrift at 521 Front Street last week. (Note from Gunilla: “The store moved a while ago to the old New Leaf location at that funky Soquel/Water intersection that trips up anyone driving who’s not from around here. What’s with that intersection anyway?”) The Sentinel ran a photo from the destroyed inside of the structure on  5/4. Gunilla Leavitt’s photo is from 5/6. I can’t find any information on how many parking spaces this will yield. OR could this be another 3 or 4 story parking structure? Why aren’t we told these things?

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Goodbye to Gary Patton’s KUSP’s Land Use Report and all the other local programming at KUSP that is now off the air. Here is the link to Gary’s website… In it in addition to discussing the KUSP affair he says, “In fact, for any Santa Cruz County residents who are reading this particular blog posting, and who care about land use, the upcoming meeting of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2016, has a number of important land use related items, including an item that could have truly profound impacts on the future of local land use. You can review the agenda by clicking the link.


Agenda Item #53 recommends that the Board proceed to make the commercial cultivation of marijuana a legal land use in Santa Cruz County. If you care about this topic, and it will very likely affect your neighborhood, you might want to mark your calendar for June 14, 2016, which is when a proposed ordinance on commercial cultivation will likely come back for detailed review, and a public hearing. Supervisors Zach Friend and Bruce McPherson are calling for a full environmental review, and major public involvement. I think that is a very good idea!”. Also be sure to link around his site and think about his bus and bicycle theories!!!  

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/365” –

FUN RAISER AND SPECIAL TRIBUTE. The Campaign For Sensible Transportation is saluting and appreciating Nancy Abbey, beloved activist with the People’s Democratic Club, Women’s International League for Peace and  Freedom, Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, octagenarian mother of three and grandmother of six. The event will be Sunday May 22, 3-5 pm in the Courtyard of The Museum Of Art & History, Cooper at Front Street. $20 – $200 donation requested. Come and enjoy good company, food, and music while raising funds to campaign for sustainable transportation. The Campaign for Sensible Transportation is in the middle of a direct mail campaign advocating that a November sales tax include adequate funding for METRO transit, not highway widening. They could use your donation now. Please go online to get benefit tickets or to make a contribution to this effort.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO.  Those danged Monarchs…planning their return…see downwards.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan has a vision….and shares it. Scroll below.

MOTHERS AND SONS. See Productions presents  Terrance McNally’s MOTHERS AND SONS   The publicity says, “At turns funny and powerful, MOTHERS AND SONS portrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and is raising their son. Challenged to face how society has changed in the 20 years since her son’s death from AIDS, she faces the past and begins to look to the future. Local actors, Mindy Pedlar (Katharine Gerard), David Jackson (Cal Porter), Benjamin Pletcher (Will Ogden), and (alternating) Everest Franz and Ezra Knox (Bud Ogden-Porter) will bring this emotionally heart-warming story to life. Independent producer and director, Brian Spencer, will guide the production. Though gay-themed, MOTHERS AND SONS is perfect for the open-minded theater goer as it explores human emotions which do not have boundaries.
MOTHERS AND SONS plays in about 90 minutes without an intermission. It’ll be at the Center Stage Theatre 10001 Center Street Downtown Santa Cruz May 12-29.


POST SCRIPT “P.S.” none of the movies showing anywhere in the county right now  are very good. Save your time, do something constructive like take a nap.

DOUGH. Jonathan Pryce is the Jewish bakery shop owner in London who hires an African Muslim, pot – selling teen ager as a helper. It’s a British film and it’s a cute and cuddly early Hollywood type comedy. If you’re Jewish, it’ll probably make you feel good, except for the treacle.

SING STREET. Dublin, Ireland in the 1980’s and a group of kids form a band. It’s almost a musical except for the teen age/lovesick plot that makes the film into a really enjoyable trip. Not exactly Oscar material, you’ll enjoy it in spite of yourself.

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.


A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING. Tom Hanks (born in Oakland!!) plays a weary broken marriage guy going to a very foreign Saudi Arabia to sell the king a high tech invention. The plot is from a novel and must be a fairly boring book. The movie is slow and pointless and ecept for Hanks’ typically great performance ther’s no reason to see this poke along plot.Hanks face is every bit as intriguing to look at and watch as Humphrey Bogarts is/was. It’s a pleasant movie, and you’ll stick with it all the way through…but I’d bet you’d have a tough time explaining it to uour friends.

EYE IN THE SKY. Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman are Brits in Kenya who are involved in bombing humans by drones. Will they or won’t they bomb some terrorists because they might kill a little local girl. It’s hyped up suspense, manipulated beyond belief. It is Hollywood tension, and it’s done well but after a while you feel like you’ve been suckered in. Go warned, and of course Helen Mirren is excellent as always. I’ll miss Alan Rickman he had an unique style, great voice and quirky appeal…you couldn’t take your eyes off him.

ELVIS AND NIXON. Michael Shannon does an absolutely superb job as Elvis Presley. Kevin Spacey is equally as good being Richard Nixon. It’s a long drawn out shaggy dog story about how these two world famed figures met for an historic photo. It’s all fantasy, there are no records as to how this event happened but it did. It’s clever, but tiring. More so since we do know they actually met while Tricky Dick was in the White House. Just go if you have the spare time. Don’t miss anything important just to see this.

BORN TO BE BLUE. Another jazz themed bio-pic like Miles Ahead. Ethan Hawke does what he can with this saga of Chet Baker a heroin addict. He does his usual job of fine acting. But like Miles Ahead this too is a depressing, painful look at a stars problem dealing with success. No insights, no clues, it just says that Chet Baker was a failure at life…while you watch. If you do.

HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS. Sally Field is now 70 and plays a empty-headed ditzy senior in this mean spirited good- for- nothing movie. Like “Big Fat Greek Wedding” tries to make a minority group cute, fun and quirky,  Doris the movie, makes fun of seniors.  Yet Sally Field who hasn’t had work in years does a good job with this piece of junk.

MILES AHEAD. Don Cheadle directed this Miles Davis bio-pic and turned it into a shallow action packed Hollywood boring film. Davis was a dentist’s son, born in St’ Louis, married three times, and went to Juillard, but you wouldn‘t know any of that from this cheap shot. Cheadle made up a flimsy ” who stole the master tape” as a plot and threw in a bullet loaded car chase just to make sure you’d watch. You will learn absolutely nothing about the genius behind Davis’ superior contribution to American music from this flop.

SNOW WHITE SELLS OUT. Or The Huntsman: Winters War. Yes, it does have the mirror and “who’s the ugliest thing in the land” gimmick . It also has tons of dwarves who’s names should be Poopy, Syphly, Pee Pee, Crotchy and awful things like that. A fully armed (remember Mad Max?)  Charlize Theron along with Emily Blunt, Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain do their best to bring life and some semblence of excitement, or maybe even magic to this dull flick…and they couldn’t add anything worthwhile to this convuluted old prequel to Snow White Rotten Tomatoes gives it a measly 17 tomatoes. It’s evil sisters fighting each other, curses, ice walls (Game of Thrones stuff), and special effects dwarves…BUT if like that sort of thing, it’ll probably play for weeks.

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.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN. Remember when these two heroes were nice guys with even some humanity and humor? Don’t even try thinking about a fully clothed Clark Kent getting into the bathtub with a naked Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Avoid thinking about Batman wanting to kill Superman or space monsters in Metropolis. Metropolis  at least has Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet. Ben Affleck as Batman??? Jeremy Irons as Batman’s butler? Then for some reason Wonder Woman comes in near the end. They have besmirched our legends…don’t go.

GREEN ROOM. To try and watch such a fine actor as Patrick Stewart in what is supposed to be a clever satire or insiders look on slash/blood/horror films is too painful. I walked out about half way through. A traveling punk band is accidently trapped by killer druggies and get killed one at a time as they try to escape. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an amazing 88. I give it zip!

CRIMINAL. Another very bizzarre, violent, dis-jointed, poorly written, secret agent mess. It stars Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones and the new lovely Gal Gadot (former Miss Israel 2004), and they try hard to make sense of a gnarly plot. Ryan Reynolds mind and memories are stored in Kevin Costner’s brain. Costner is a former evil person, who now has to deal with secrets he can’t quite remember, and the whole thing goes downhill from there. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 26 out of a 100.

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

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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Historian and author extraordinare Sandy Lydon co-hosts for pledges on May 10. On May 17 Brian Spencer from the See Theatre talks about T. McNally’s play, “Mothers and Sons” and about theatre details. Then Land Use Attorney Bill Parkin brings us up to date on legal, environmental and social issues. Anita Monga artistic Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (21st Year) returns May 24, then Chris Krohn brings us up to date on the Beach Flats Garden issue. Mark Wainer and Judy Johnson talk about the Community of Artists show on May 31st followed by Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin with updates on local voting. 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. 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

Stephen Colbert 🙂

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.


“But winter lingering chills the lap of May”, Oliver Goldsmith

“May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live”, Robert A. Heinlein

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date”, William Shakespeare

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on May 9 – 15, 2016

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