Blog Archives

November 14 – 20, 2013

CONSTRUCTION OF CVS (LONG’S ) DRUG STORE. This was taken July 22,1965. You can see The Del Mar Theatre on the far left. Van’s Super Market in the photo is about where Oswald’s Restaurant and that ugly three story parking structure is located on Front Street.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE November 11, 2013

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION. I’m glad that so many folks wonder about how and why BrattonOnline is sometimes “late” and sometimes “right on the deadline date”. I write and finish all the words, pictures, links, edits, everything, by Monday afternoon. I send all of it to Gunilla Leavitt (my web person) owner of The Golden Fleece Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn Shop over at the entrance to the Sashmill. Gunilla is one busy woman. She runs the store, manages her family, and has been re-creating all my stuff online for, lo these almost 12 years. She gets to it as soon as she can…she does this for little more than a short song, so to speak. So sometimes BrattonOnline gets online on Mondays sometimes it’s later, but I always have made that deadline on Mondays. Now you know. Another thing don’t send any stuff to me at photo@BrattonOnline or Info@BrattonOnline. That just makes more work for Gunilla, send everything to me at I like Cruzio, and always have, so send all rumors, opinions and even facts to Please.

WELCOME TO SANTA CRUZ. Wish I could see a show of hands of how many people realize that all those horrible, terrible, adjectives that we Santa Cruzans now say about our homeless population…we used to say about Blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Chinese, and other humans we didn’t like??

WE HELP SOME OF THE WORLD’S STARVING. Africa, Cuba, India, Phillipines, you name it and there’s an abundance of American Agencies and lots of Santa Cruzans helping those poor people…but not our own homeless!!! What’s that about? Are they not human, do they not bleed?

ENGINEERS STRIKE AT DOMINICAN DRAGS ON!!! Nancy Abbey of The People’s Democratic Club (PDC) sends this..The Engineers Strike at Dominican drags on – six weeks now for these 15 skilled workers who keep the hospital equipment and facility running. Dignity Health is still not willing to discuss the workers’ proposals or negotiate a contract (they’ve been working without one for over two years) that would preserve their 40 hour work week. So they just keep walking that picket line. Let’s walk with them!!! They’re out there from dawn to dusk every day so you can join them almost any time for an hour or two and be most welcomed. Better still; get a friend to walk with you.

What do they want? They want a contract and a guaranteed 40 hour work week. Without the contract there’s no guarantee that their hours won’t be cut back, and more people hired halftime to avoid paying benefits – as so many huge corporations have done and are doing. But they’re a small union and Dignity can ignore them. Let’s show them that we’re not ignoring them. Call dignity Healthcare CEO, Lloyd Dean (who is compensated over $500,000 per month – yes, per month!) And tell him to go back to the bargaining table. His phone number is 415-438-5500. For more information check out the PDC website at


MORE WORDS ABOUT OUR DOWNTOWN HALLOWEEN. One item I forgot in my last week’s sadness over the militarization of our Santa Cruz Halloween downtown was why do we have the Cooper Street Concentration Camp set upo every year. That’s the 12 foot high chain link fence enclosure that takes up all of Cooper Street. Then I learned it is the Watsonville Police Incident Command Center. Which officials approve that structure every year? After hearing and reading the complaints about the helicopter flying overhead most of Halloween night, I received this email from a concerned and longtime local citizen…

“This is to thank you for your column highlighting a reality I have not read or heard about anywhere else in our community. I have experienced as you did the chilling and intimidating feeling one has had on Halloween night on Pacific Avenue in the last few years, a night meant to be scary and fun. But instead, it’s scary and not fun. Floodlit, chain link fenced and military style police-surveillance. This feels like the war in Iraq coming home and all its costly and overpowering machinery with nowhere to go but be sold to local governments who lack trust in its locals to handle potential vandalism and other issues. I would love us see a return to the old way, maybe with a couple cops on the beat with the ability to call for reinforcements. No floodlights, no fences. Having lived in SC for 33 years and watched and participated in many downtown Halloweens, I trust Santa Cruz and I know we can handle problems moderately. Thanks again and hope this issue continues to be addressed”.

WORK BEGINS ON ARANA GULCH. (without a permit!) Jean Brocklebank writes..

The City, chomping at the Broadway Brommer Bit, has begun its work at Arana Gulch. A 40′ construction trailer is installed on Agnes Street. Signage at both entrances is posted. Survey stakes for the paved route are in place. Not able to build bridges this winter, apparently they decided to pave the meadow first. The City has decided to proceed without an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) and is doing so based on their faulty logic that the definition of “take” (aka harm or kill) only applies to an actual tarplant above ground. According to the City seed in the soil (seedbank) doesn’t count. With this logic, any land owner could slowly develop “critical habitat” of any annual plant on the endangered species list, as long as there were no plants above ground that were “taken” by development. Eventually the species would have nowhere to go. So, the City forges ahead without an ITP, thumbing their uninformed, uneducated, unscientific noses at the world. Because they can”. We need to thank Jean for keeping us abreast of what our City Council is up to.

WOODY ALLEN ON WHAT’S MY LINE. Back in the day…1967

MORE WORDS ON OUR HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE. Gillian Greensite sent in what she calls



Part 3: Council majority ignores legal challenge

Despite testimony from many members of the public imploring the council to not weaken the Heritage Tree Ordinance and despite a letter from attorney Ryan Moroney of Wittwer & Parkin LLP, on behalf of Save Our Big Trees, advising the council that such changes require CEQA review, the city council majority voted on October 24th to adopt the most draconian of alternatives that expand the grounds for removing heritage trees in the city of Santa Cruz.

Members of the public described the changes as creating a Heritage Tree Removal Ordinance. Indeed, the numbers of trees removed under the old Ordinance are alarming enough. In the past 17 years, 4,350 heritage trees have been removed with a permit. This figure does not include heritage trees removed under the Planning Department as they approve each new development. Nor does it include heritage trees removed illegally. Given this context, there should have been a concerted effort to strengthen the Ordinance to protect our last remaining big trees, not weaken it to allow even more big tree removal. Grounds for removal will now include “allergies,” ” economic hardship” and “compromised structure,” all subjective categories which can be easily exploited. Blue gum eucalyptus and acacia are targeted for easy removal. This is bad news for the many bird species that call blue gums their home and bad news for those of us who love big trees of all species. The good news is that a lawsuit has been filed by Ryan Moroney on behalf of Save Our Big Trees. The city’s insistence that this project was CEQA exempt may well prove to be unfounded. In that case, our heritage trees may get a reprieve. We will keep you posted. Gillian GreensiteSave Our Big

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. He dissects our local attitudes…scroll down..

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan takes us to a tea party whether we like it or not !!! See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS: Lisa writes: “See what’s cooking at the Jewel Theatre Company’s lighthearted musical revue, Pump Boys and Dinettes, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( And even though the new Thor movie mangles mythology, find out why it’s still kinda fun.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


……In order of perfection……

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. This film is in a class by itself. One hundred years from now it’ll still be talked about as a classic. It’s a three hour long masterpiece about a young girl coming of sexual age. The acting, the plot, the sensitivity will take you places no other film has ever achieved. Yes, lots of bold and beautiful lesbian sex scenes and it’s in French with subtitles.

HOW I LIVE NOW & THE PIN. These are two absolutely wonderful films that could only be played at the Nick for a weekend. How I live Now stars Saorise Ronan and is a shocking, beautiful, romantic film about war, survival and dreams and love. You should definitely rent it as soon as it’s available. The Pin is another war film about memories, Jewish traditions and love. It is sad, haunting, and unforgetable. Maybe Temple Beth El will show it in the future.

THOR:THE DARK WORLD. Is idiotic, beneath dumb, and of course was the biggest box office smash over the opening weekend…which proves my point. It’s another Marvel Comic Book Hero movie made by The Disney Studios. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, plus Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Stellan Skarsgard are all fine actors, but good gods… the plot!!!! Oops I forgot that Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Rene Russo (Frigga) are in it too. It’ s a mess of science fiction, Norse Gods and Natalie Portman running around saying things like “wow” and “gee” to a slew of Gods who don’t know their Asgards from a hole in the earth.


(from BEST 2 worst).

12 YEARS AS A SLAVE. This is a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It’ is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film.Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way, rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this « true story ». One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new « Gravity II » script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll bed deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney (5’10”) and Sandra Bullock (5’7″) are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Guillermo Del Toro’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if so and so will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

ENDERS GAME. I enjoyed this film very much and no I’d never even opened any of the 6 Enders Game books. It’s sort of a Harry Potter goes Sci-fi idea. Except that Ender is a subtle and even mean kid. In the future young boys and a few girls are trained to lead military battles against the dreaded Formics. Great effects, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis are in it and aMaori- type tattoed Ben Kingsley have good roles and if you like sci-fi, this is a good one. Go for it. If you care, Orson Scott Card the author of the series is a Mormon, teaches at Southern Virginia University and has serious problems with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

LAST VEGAS. It is pitiful to see such stars-icons-great actors such as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline lower themselves to act in this kind of crap.Somehow, I’m guessing due to her ego Mary Steenburgen is great in her role as singer/temptress. You’ve seen 100 Las Vegas films, and they are all better than this one. Don’t go.

GRAVITY…FOR PEOPLE WHO HATED THE FILM. Many, many folks have asked, and told me that they really, really didn’t like Sandra and George’s Gravity film. Not just didn’t like it, they were disturbed by the attitude of the films’ fans. What’s weird is that so many millions love it and want to see Oscars evenly distributed. Then I came across Peter Hartlaub’s article in Friday’s Chronicle. . Read it, especially if you’ve seen Gravity. As I wrote in my critique I was only impressed by the 3D…the acting was non-existent, the plot was Hollywood, etc. etc.

GRAVITY II. With a deep bow and inspired by Lisa Jensen’s review I’ve scripted the Sequel to Gravity I now playing at theatres around us. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are back of course and the new Gravity II opens with a shark biting off Sandra Bullock’s right leg as she continues her crawl up the beach. She rips apart of her tee-shirt off ( adding more of the sex we saw with her “skin-tight boy shorts”) and wraps her shark bite, stands up and waves from the beach. Panning back, we see that she landed on Guantanamo Beach in Cuba in the free zone between the USA and the Cuban property lines. Both sides start firing at each other over this “invasion” Sandra crawls to the top of the nearest ridge just in time to grab on to some flying object just passing by. Lo and behold it’s none other that a very much alive George Clooney who has climbed into another space capsule, this time from India!! Painted on the side of the Indian capsule is Outer Spice. George looking even more like Buzz Lightyear than in Gravity I, gets Sandra inside and together off they go.


BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ ANNUAL BIRTHDAY SALE. If you’re a member of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Readers Club you’re invited to the members only Birthday party Friday night (11/15) starting at 7:30. Yep, ice cream and cake and 20% off storewide!!! But the big deal is that our Hot Damn String Band will again be playing our old favorites, and some of yours too!! We’ve been playing the Bookshop parties for way over 35 years. The Hot Dam String Band consists of Jim Reynolds on guitar, Annie Steinhardt on fiddle, Todd Kimball Mandolin, Dave Magram Banjo, Steve Larkin String bass and as per usual I’ll be playing washboard. Stop by and say hello, have some cake and sing along….and pick up on that book sale.

THE HABIT OF ART PLAY (NTL) AT THE DEL MAR. National Theatre Lives’ 2010 broadcast of Alan Bennett’s acclaimed play The Habit of Art, with Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances de la Tour, returns to cinemas as part of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art. Running Time: 180. That’s Thursday 11/14 @ 7:30 PM and Sunday 11/17 @ 11:00 AM at the Del Mar.


National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.

Running Time: 131. Thursday, Nov. 21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 11/24 @ 11am. Del Mar Theatre.

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. Annie Morhauser of Annieglass talks about glass business and Jeff Lyon developer of the ” Flagger” security app describes it on November 12. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. Steven Bignell & Susan Bruijnes talk about their brand new book, “228 Things to See in Santa Cruz County, after which former Santa Cruz Supreme Court Judge Bill Kelsey relates his time on the bench.Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. 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!!!


“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying”, Charles Chaplin.
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet,” Roger Miller.
“Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes, come on, let us sway together,under the trees, and to hell with thunder“, Edwin Morgan (A Book of Lives)
“The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans,” Sherwood Smith.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 14 – 20, 2013

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