BRATTON…problems at Lookout, time to vote, how to vote, Measure O, passing of two friends, movie critiques. GREENSITE…on what’s next for the Wharf. KROHN…The Story of O. STEINBRUNER…compostables, infill locations, county commissions, Prospect Heights. HAYES… Three parallel trajectories. PATTON…Stop the skyscrapers. MATLOCK… Evangelicals running amok in the town square. EAGAN…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover WEBMISTRESS’…pick of the week. QUOTES…”November”
DATELINE October 31
LATTE BREAKING NEWS… LOOKOUT FUTURE? Rumors are circulating that Lookout, the digital news project now starting their second year, is in serious financial trouble. I’ll keep you up to date when I know and hear more.
TIME TO VOTE. More than ever it’s important that you mail in your vote or drop it off or find a voting place. Seldom in our Santa Cruz history have we had so many life changing issues and candidates to choose from. Big money developer money backing pro-growth projects and candidates like Shebreh even though Bud Colligan’s money couldn’t stop the Pro Rail and Trail movement. Justin Cummings experience and clear positions make him a clear choice. Fred Keeley’s quick change artistry and flip flop stands make Joy Schendledecker by far the most responsive and responsible City Mayor candidate.
MORE ABOUT VOTING. I have absolutely no reason or reasons whatsoever to differ one iota from the slate that Santa Cruz For Bernie puts forth. Go here to check it out.
Gail Pellerin, California Assembly District 28 (parts of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties) gailpellerinforassembly.com Voting Rights Veteran, Groundbreaking LGBTQ+ Ally
Justin Cummings, Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 3 (Santa Cruz and North Coast) cummingsforsupervisor.com Environmental Scientist, Renter Advocate
Felipe Hernandez, Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 4 (Watsonville and South County) voteforfelipe.com Labor Champion, Affordable Housing Advocate
Yes on N, Empty Home Tax, Santa Cruz City Ballot Measure emptyhometax.org fund truly affordable housing
Yes on O, Our Downtown, Our Future, Santa Cruz City Ballot Measure ourdowntownourfuture.org no library under a parking structure
Joy Schendledecker, Santa Cruz City Mayor joyforsantacruz.com
Héctor Marín, Santa Cruz City Council District 4 hector4santacruz.com
Sean Maxwell, Santa Cruz City Council District 6 maxwellforcitycouncil.com
MEASURE O DESERVES YOUR YES VOTE. In my 52 years in Santa Cruz I can’t remember an issue that created more division than Measure O the library parking garage farmer’s market measure. Go to ourdowntownourfuture.org to check the organizations, people, and facts about the Measure. I asked Bob Morgan, educator and activist with Our Downtown Our Future, to write us a wrap up on Measure O. He wrote…
“What’s your YES vote on Measure O mean? Why is it important for downtown Santa Cruz and for the integrity of the democratic process? Another question looms, too: who gets to shape our community? Measure O asks voters to weigh in. The outcome of the vote on Measure O will affect both the streetscape of our downtown and our possibilities of community, as well as the embedded power structure of Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, the City has forged ahead with an unpopular project despite voluminous public opposition. The 2016 Measure S campaign called for renovating the current Downtown Library at Civic Center. Then the City pulled a bait-and-switch under the false claim of robust outreach to the Santa Cruz community.
Let’s be very clear about what a Yes on O vote will accomplish. It will:
- Fully renovate the Downtown Library where it is: Don’t demolish, renovate. Fulfill the campaign promise of Measure S in 2016.
- Give permanence to the Farmers Market where it thrives. Don’t displace it to an inferior location, a busy traffic corner on Front Street. Keep it sunny, keep the trees.
- Dedicate eight city-owned lots to 100% affordable housing, not a luxury hotel or an unfinanced garage.
- Avoid building an expensive concrete parking garage, Downtown’s fifth one. We should not subsidize a parking garage that we don’t need.
A Yes on O vote accomplishes these things, but it does more. It answers the question of who shapes our Downtown: it sends a clear signal to developers and realtors that they don’t own our community. The opposition to the measure has collected nearly $75,000 from local and over-the-hill developers and big real estate. Here’s a partial list of big money: Swenson’s Green Valley Corporation ($10,000), Seaside Company ($10,000), Devcon Construction ($5,000), Dream Inn ($5,000), Roundtree Partners LP ($10,000); and SCFS Ventures, a.k.a, the Cruz Hotel ($5,000). Santa Cruz is witnessing enormous development projects like the out-of-scale one at Laurel and Pacific. The developers’ greatest fear is that a citizen-driven initiative will alter their grandiose plans for Santa Cruz.
Your Yes on Measure O vote means that you refuse to accept the highly scripted zoom public outreach that city staff call robust public input. That you refuse to accept a public survey that went to 2000 library patrons, when it didn’t ask the fundamental question, “Would you like the current library to move to Lot 4?” That you refuse to accept the enormous pressure put on the city council by entrenched staff and an old-guard political establishment, aligned with big developers, to launch a project that was birthed by two city bureaucrats; namely a former city manager and a current public works director, both of whom wanted a fifth parking garage downtown. But most significantly, you refuse to accept that a 30-year library bond, for which you’re paying, is being used to build an eight-story mixed-use project on Lot 4 that you never were asked about when you voted for Measure S in 2016.
Your Yes on Measure O vote means we provide our Downtown Library with a complete, beautiful renovation. It means bringing the library to modern standards of infrastructure and technology. The renovated library will include floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around its ground floor to allow sweeping views of the Civic Center, outdoor patios for the children’s library and a community meeting room, and an entrance sweeping open to City Hall. Voting Yes on Measure O will allow the city to again apply for a $10 million dollar grant from the California Libraries that was denied in the City’s application for building a new library on Lot 4 because the goal of the grant funding is to renovate existing structures, not to build new structures.
Your Yes on Measure O vote means we keep the Farmers Market at Lot 4, its home for over twenty years, and take advantage of the $1.8 million infrastructure funds the City has committed to the Farmers Market to provide a permanent home for it, seed money for a true Town Plaza. Your YES vote will save nine heritage trees on Lot 4. The Farmers Market, the shade trees, the sunny space are all ingredients for our central Downtown Town Plaza.
Your YES on Measure O vote will dedicate eight city-owned parking lots for 100% affordable housing. We can start with Lot 7. More housing can be built there than the current project on Lot 4, and more quickly. That’s because the garage and library together in the mixed-use structure take up most of the building’s volume, and the complexity of the financing of the project and its funding gaps—$17 million underfunded for the library; $122 million underfunded for the housing and no housing grants yet applied for; no guaranteed funding for the garage, which carries a debt burden of at least $1.1 million a year; no deal yet to purchase Toadal Fitness, land needed to build the project—means the timeline for this project is highly speculative.
Your YES on Measure O vote will stop the building of a new downtown parking garage when 30% of our parking resources go vacant even on peak days of use and when transportation choices are expanding, not diminishing. We don’t need another concrete parking garage Downtown. Instead, use money to build affordable housing.
Measure O deserves your YES vote. One more issue needs airing: the project’s poor design. The Lot 4 building would stretch from Lincoln Street to Cathcart Street, a full city block, sidewalk to sidewalk, and tower 90 feet into the air. Its Brutalist steel and concrete architecture would dwarf the surrounding neighborhood, to be seen from blocks away. It would scar the cityscape. Instead of such a building, we can have an excellent library, more units of 100% affordable housing, and a welcoming, community Town Plaza with the Farmers Market flourishing beneath shady magnolias, a community asset and gathering place shaped by and for us.
A Yes vote on Measure O is a vote for a community vision of our Downtown.
FRIEND LEAVING #1….Stan Stevens. Was a librarian emeritus from UCSC. He showed me around the map department decades ago and we were good friends ever after. Stan aided and assisted just about everybody involving Santa Cruz History with faultless accuracy and friendly advice. His wife Carli passed on just a few weeks ago and that may well have been part of Stan’s early departing. To say he’ll be missed just covers a tiny part of the changes in effect.
FRIEND LEAVING #2…Michael Stamp was the genial General Manager of the Santa Cruz Chamber Players for more than 20 years. He was also good fun and even played the cello I recently learned. He died suddenly last week and he’ll be missed by many, many friends.
I search and critique a variety of movies only from those that are newly released. Choosing from the thousands of classics and older releases would take way too long. And be sure to tune in to those very newest movie reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.
THE GOOD NURSE. Based on a terribly true story Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne takes leads in this Pennsylvania and New Jersey tragedy of a hospital attendant who killed somewhere between 40 and 400 hospital patients while on duty. How he does it and how all the hospitals he worked for covered up his sick work is terrifying. It’s also perfectly acted and produced. He’s still in prison and the hospital have never been charged for allowing his behavior.
TAR. (Del Mar Theatre) (8.2 IMDB). A complex fictional story about the trials and tribulations of a lesbian classical orchestra conductor who is brilliant, driven and trying to raise a daughter. The story will remind some audiences of Marin Alsop formerly of our own Cabrillo Festival of Music and she does actually get a mention at the beginning of this saga. Cate Blanchett takes acting to a new level and should take home yet another Oscar. It is a very original and rapid paced story that will have you poised and wondering all the way through. Don’t miss it.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.6 IMDB). There’s eight one hour complete stories, some good some great others are blah. Actors such as Tim Blake Nelson, F. Murray Abraham, Rupert Grint and Martin Starr all have varying roles. I enjoyed and shriveled watching story #2 “Graveyard Rats”. It was perfect pre Halloween viewing and let’s hope for more from G. del Toro who didn’t direct any of these stories but does act as host.
THE VATICAN GIRL. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.2 IMDB). This is an amazing documentary about a 15 year old girl who lived inside the Vatican City and disappeared in 1983. To this day they have never found out what happened to her!! It’s got four episodes and covers so many historical facts and revelations about the pope’s life you’ll be shocked….and puzzled. Was it mob induced, was it church secrets? Questions keep occurring and we’ll probably never know the answers.
THE PRIEST. (PRIME MOVIE) (6.1 IMDB). A poorly done movie from India that copies every fake “was it suicide or murder plot” ever filmed. The acting is unbelievable, the photography is unimaginative the plot is boring and no tension either. A cop and a priest try to find out who is doing it and I left it at 1hour and 5 minutes.
SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.
THE LOST CITY. (PRIME MOVIE) (6.1 IMDB). Sandra Bullock is back and takes the lead in this supposedly comic movie. The world seems very serious to me right now and I think we need better fun movies than this big budget half laugh. Daniel Radcliffe plays the evil zillionaire searching for a lost city and Channing Tatum is Bullock’s leading man. Brad Pitt has about 6minutes on screen but that’s about enough. It’s gross, not clever but mildly absorbing.
AMBULANCE. (PRIME MOVIE) (6.1IMDB). Jake Gyllenhaal has about the only role that speaks or actually shouts in the 99% truck and ambulance chase movie. It’s a crude action and digitally enhanced vehicle chase all around and around downtown Los Angeles. There’s a bank robbery gone wrong, then there’s the FBI, the Los Angeles police, etc.,etc. It makes no sense and Gyllenhaal is the bad guy for a change.
RAYMOND & RAY. (PRIME MOVIE) (6.4 IMDB). They’ve marketed this as a dark comedy and while it is dark there’s not much comedy. Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor are brothers from a different mother and probably from many different fathers too! It’s quirky, weird, lots of mugging but it’s creative in plot. It just takes more to be truly funny nowadays.
THE STRANGER. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.6 IMDB). Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris play two guys who meet on an airplane trip. It’s all in Australia and while their friendship gets deeper and deeper there’s some secrets they both let out very slowly and carefully. There was a young boy who was murdered and it all becomes more and more complex. Go for it, you’ll become glued.
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (5.7 IMDB). Definitely a fairy tale movie for kids up to about age 10. Huge budget, great special effects, plus witches, cyclops, King Arthur’s round table and Charlize Theron as a witch in charge. Laurence Fishburne and Cate Blanchett mug their ways through it too. Not for viewers past 10 years old.
DOLL HOUSE. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.9 IMDB). A film in the Filipino tradition unfortunately. Poor acting, simple plot, predictable story. There’s a rock band and the lead singer has a daughter and they go to Amsterdam and I stopped watching after 42 minutes.
THE WHARF: NEXT CHAPTER
Despite losing a lawsuit due to its violation of state law in its environmental review (City of Santa Cruz v. Don’t Morph the Wharf!) and despite overwhelming public objections to the proposed gentrified changes to the Wharf, the city is proceeding full steam ahead to revise its rescinded Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and reconsider the rescinded Wharf Master Plan (WMP) for a near future council vote.
At the October 11th council meeting, both documents were formally voided as required by the court. Speaking to the item, city staff, city attorney and city manager made constant reference to the required EIR revisions as “minor.” In my experience, city managers rarely if ever insert themselves into a council discussion of policy, except when asked to clarify. In this case, the city manager spoke to the issue of whether to hold a scoping meeting–a public meeting to give input to staff on what should be studied in an EIR. The city manager, speaking against holding such meeting was of the mind that it “gives the impression that the council wants to take a second look at the Wharf Master Plan.” Ah, well…yes! That is exactly what the public wants, and the court ordered! The approved Master Plan has been set aside. Nonetheless, with city manager, city attorney and Economic Development director all weighing in against it, the council majority voted NO to holding a scoping meeting.
This means we the public have far less opportunity to have our voices heard early enough to provide input into the revised draft EIR content as we enter round two of the fight to save our Municipal Wharf from gentrification. We will have to wait to comment on the revised draft EIR when it is circulated for 45 days and at council when its adequacy is considered. The city staff has made it clear that it intends to make only “minor” EIR modifications. Instead, the EIR must be revised on a number of points to inform appropriate changes to a better Wharf Master Plan.
A reminder if you have forgotten the details. The now-voided Wharf Master Plan, at its core, aimed to change the class character of the Wharf and its aficionados. It included three new 40 feet tall buildings, one at the Wharf’s southern end that would block the view of Monterey Bay, displace the Dolphin restaurant and cover the sea lion viewing holes that would be moved “somewhere”; a second at the site of the current open-air stage and a third close to where the Wharf widens. The photo above shows people enjoying the Wharf’s open-air, out on the water feel where the second 40-foot building was proposed. In promoting that building, the design firm and staff argued “it gets cold out on the Wharf!” and that the fabric sides of the building could be rolled up in nice weather. All this plus much more will be back before us in short order.
At the October 11th meeting, Council member Renee Golder spoke with visible irritation directed at the group members that sued the city. They, she complained, are just a “few people who have the means and privilege to hire lawyers to fight and block things.” She went on: “they had their opportunity to comment, and they don’t like the way things have turned out.” They are, she said, “skilled at sending out messages that people may not fully understand.” Her final dig was that, “there’s not a huge community group that wants to stop the Wharf Master Plan.”
Her comments reveal a lack of awareness of public sentiment. Over two thousand people responded to the initial Don’t Morph the Wharf! petition within about two weeks. Hundreds of the signers added detailed comments expressing their opposition to the changes planned. Apart from basic maintenance, (which the lawsuit judgment allows to proceed, as suggested by Don’t Morph the Wharf!) all expressed a deep love for the existing Wharf and a horror at the proposed make-over. Her comments also reveal an ignorance of the group she maligns. Don’t Morph the Wharf! is an ongoing core group of community members with a deep commitment to preserving the historic Wharf. Over twenty of the core supporters attended the court hearings before Judge Burdick.
Council member Golder’s comments reveal something more serious than being out of touch with community opinion. When the city is sued it is not because of a disgruntled few or as senior staff say, “this is Santa Cruz, everyone sues.” The city has been sued when its council fails to require staff to properly address the environmental impacts and feasible mitigation of proposed projects. When, as with the Wharf Master Plan, a suit is successful, it means a judge agrees that law was violated.
Compounding the legal shortcomings is the city’s failure to respect thoughtful public opinion. Council members Sandy Brown and Justin Cummings tried to steer the council towards recognizing the waste of public money and the related need to listen to the public to approve a better Wharf Master Plan. They were ignored.
Now we need to roll up our sleeves and make sure that the city will follow state law that protects the Wharf –and the migratory Guillemots. As I write they are feeding in Puget Sound before they fly once again in late March or April all the way to their nests under the Municipal Wharf. They expect to find their nests in the same location, and we won’t let them down.
|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 http://darksky.org Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.|
It was a dark and stormy night…It’s 1998 and Larry Erwin, the irascible, cigar-smoking old-school Santa Cruz Public Works Director is keen on a 610-space parking palace to be built on Cedar Street’s Lot 4, located between Lincoln and Cathcart streets. His bureaucratic steam-rolling efforts take place within the aftermath of the 1998 elections when three progressives overturn the then-city council majority and turn back the onerous BSOL—the Beach and South of Laurel plan. The city’s public works department is still set on constructing this enormous garage, until they aren’t permitted to. A new, environmentally-conscious council majority—Sugar, Fitzmaurice, Beiers, and Krohn–say no, slam the door on enlarging this community’s climate footprint, and politely request City Manager Dick Wilson not to bring it back to the council again. The city staff waiting-game begins. Wilson did not ever bring up again with that council, but enter a new council majority in a new century, but when the 2008 recession hits, the garage idea is moth-balled, but still percolating in the minds of some lifer city hall aparachiks.
Library Funding Referendum
In June of 2016, over 70% of voters bubble in YES on Measure S. Voters voted for the following:
Vote YES on S to provide locally controlled funding to strengthen our local libraries.
- Upgrade outdated and inadequate electrical wiring
- Replace worn out, leaky roofs
- Improve spaces for programs serving all ages: students, seniors, young children, and community groups
- Ensure fully accessible libraries and programs
All of the information that voters saw before that election clearly led them to believe that the creaky main library on Church Street, the system’s main branch, would be fixed, remodeled, and spruced up in a major way as $26 million of the bond, the largest amount for any library within the system, would be dedicated to renovating and repairing that location. After all, there has been a public library at the corner of Church and Center for more than 100 years. If the original intent and ratification of that intent by the voters had been followed, the Church Street library would by now have been fully restored, but empire-building and politics would prevent that from happening.
The Library at the Bottom of the Garage
In 2016, Sandy Brown and I were elected to the city council and when we arrived at city hall and met with then-city manager Martin Bernal, there appeared on what has now become his infamous office white board, a hidden agenda of sorts. Among the big projects included were getting more housing built, a permanent Warriors arena, and library at the bottom of a garage on Lot 4. Both of us were taken aback. We did not support the building of a five-story parking garage then, or now. As our first two years unfolded, talk of this project continued. Both of us were courted by the Economic Development Director, Bonnie Lipscomb. In these meetings, her body language said that we presented obstacles to this project. Perhaps another election would make the project a reality for her. In 2018, with rent control on the ballot and the library-garage in the public conversation, Drew Glover and Justin Cummings both ran against this project and both were elected. Lipscomb, along with Public Works Director Mark Dettle and Bernal, changed their strategy and brought forward a project that included 50 units of affordable housing and around 460 parking space-garage. Later is became 124 units of housing and 310 spaces for cars. But this was never community support for it. They could’ve put it on the ballot, but declined. More community support to keep the Farmer’s Market on Lot 4 and remodel the library where it is trickeled on until it culminated in a firehose of support for a petition effort.
The People United Will Never Be Defeated
Several groups, including Don’t Bury the Library (DBL), the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation (CFST), Downtown Commons Advocates (DCA), Santa Cruz Climate Action Network (SC CAN), and finally, the Sierra Club, came together to demand that the people of Santa Cruz get a chance to vote on this project, while also offering the opportunity to vote on an even better one. It took well over two years to take shape. Five thousand signatures of registered voters were gathered and Measure O was born. I’ve worked on two other ballot measure signature-gathering efforts and this one was by-far the most popular. City residents were feeling hoodwinked by city hall and they wanted to vote on this project that was seemingly being foisted upon them.
Measure O is no ordinary local ballot measure. It contains five distinct parts and its beauty is reflected in five appendages. It might appear to be a hodgepodge of issues, but there is a central theme, and what is included is something for everyone to like.
- Santa Cruz doesn’t need another parking garage. Santa Cruz does not have a parking deficit, it has a parking management problem. (CFST)
- Do not move the downtown library. It’s been in the same place for more than 100 years. People voted to remodel it, not move it. (DBL)
- Don’t cut the 9 heritage trees down. These trees are important for shade, for storing carbon on a warming planet, and they provide habitat for innumerable urban bird and insect dwellers. (SC CAN and Sierra Club)
- Don’t move the Farmer’s Market and preserve Lot 4 as a downtown open space. Along with affordable housing, this is likely the most popular themes running through this initiative. And yes, we all wish to SAVE the downtown Farmer’s Market in the place it has been for at least 22 years. (CFST, SC CAN, DCA, Sierra Club)
- Build and acquire affordable housing. As the vision of Measure O took shape, everyone involved saw the need to if not codify, then send a strong message to city authorities that the community is going on record in support of eight surface lots being designated as “low” and “very low” affordable housing sites. These lots will yield many more units than the current number of 120 in the city’s plan.
Yes on Measure O!
Measure O supporters have been out, knocking on doors and engaging with voters for the past couple of months. What we’ve found is widespread support for this initiative. Sure, the $118,000 taken in by the No on O people as of October 24th, will undoubtedly dissuade some voters, but most will want to be a part of this community movement towards a better Santa Cruz. Imagine, when Measure O is won, people will feel like they did it! They will have a gathering place under shade trees for theatre and concerts in the center of town, and yes, finally a permanent home for the beloved Farmer’s Market. Then, there is the restored library. This will be a chance for a completing a compelling vision of a Santa Cruz civic center. As one of the Jayson Architects’ renderings portrays, a light filled library building opening up to city hall and the civic auditorium across Center Street. Could the building of a real civic plaza be far behind? And if Measure N passes, the funding, $2.5 million to $4 million per year, will be there to leverage further funding to construct real affordable housing on the city lots slated for housing in the Measure O initiative. Voting Yes on O, Santa Cruz city voters have a real opportunity to stand up to developers, corporate real estate interests, and unelected city staff who are driving a vision of Santa Cruz that is not shared by most community members, or is it? We will find out when the results of Measures O and N are revealed, but maybe not until around Dec. 7th because the county clerk has 30 days to count all ballots. If it’s close, they will take all 30 days.
Uh oh, when you see graduate students threatening to strike, you know good things may be on the horizon. “Fired up, can’t take it no more.” More than 300 graduate students gathered in UCSC’s Quarry Plaza to discuss the dismal state of trying to live on less than $30k a year in Surf City. Their answer: $54k per year!
Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at email@example.com
Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAYBE IT’S NOT COMPOSTABLE AFTER ALL!
Last Tuesday, the Dept. of Public Works staff reported the latest news on the Buena Vista Landfill and how much longer the facility will be able to accept our trash. Of note, staff said the compostable cups and food ware were not really compostable after all in the timeframe considered for effective composting, and maybe should not be accepted in food waste bins. You can listen to that statement at Minute 38:25
Recent laws require food waste to be composted, so the County’s contractor hauler, GreenWaste, is now accepting compostable food waste in the yard waste bins.
“In 2018, the County hired SCS Engineers to conduct a waste characterization study for all County waste. Organic waste was the largest portion from all sectors of the waste that was deposited for disposal in the landfill. Compostable organic material made up 36.7 percent of commercial waste, 46.2 percent of single-family residential waste, and 47.1 percent of all multi-family residential waste. With food waste now being diverted to organics processing facilities, we should see a drop in tonnage of organic material that is being landfilled as more and more of this material is diverted to be made into compost.”
If people do a good job of separating out the compostables, the Buena Vista Landfill will be operational for another 5-7 years. If not, it will be full in 3-5 years.
A NEW IDEA FOR PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN COUNTY FUTURE DENSE INFILL LOCATION DESIGNS AND MITIGATIONS
Last Tuesday, when Ms. Stephanie Hansen, the Assistant Director of Community Development and Infrastructure (formerly the Planning Dept.), presented information about how the County plans to meet the new Regional Housing Number Allocations (RHNA) that will require dense infill low- income housing amidst the traditionally affluent areas, Chairman Manu Koenig suggested a new idea for public engagement and trust: Form a Citizen Assembly.
The County will be required to build four times more very low income housing units than in the past, and got a $500,000 grant from the State to help with public outreach to support doing the re-zoning necessary to accomplish the dense infill that is coming.
The 6th Cycle RHNA for Santa Cruz County is approximately three and one-half times as large as the 5th Cycle RHNA:
|Income Level||5th Cycle RHNA||6th Cycle RHNA||Percent Increase|
DOC-2022-885 Consider presentation on the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update Program and direct staff to return on or before January 31, 2023, for an additional study session, as outlined in the memorandum of the Deputy CAO/Director of Community Develo
Although interrupted by the 5.1 earthquake that caused internet disruptions and a brief recess, the discussion focused on how to include the public in the difficult placement of low-income housing projects among the affluent areas.
Supervisor McPherson (who lives in Pasatiempo) stated “this will be interesting and a real challenge.” He wanted to know what happens if the County does not meet the new RHNA numbers? Ms. Hansen replied that the biggest worry is that the State will not provide grants to non-compliant counties, especially transportation grants. (See minute 2:24) Supervisor McPherson also asked about using County-owned parcels for the low-income dense infill projects. (See Minute 2:50)
Supervisor Caput noted that the Schapiro Knolls development in his District 4 was at first met with protest from the neighbors, but after 10 years, the 80-unit low income housing development is largely accepted because traffic issues were mitigated and there are no complaints regarding tenants.
Supervisor Zach Friend commented that District 2 has already taken its share of low income units with Aptos Blue and the two affordable developments in Seacliff.
Supervisor McPherson made a motion to accept the Housing Element Report, noting it will really strain the County’s infrastructure to meet the RHNA increases mandated by AMBAG, and added direction to issue an RFP for a consultant to assist with the Citizen Assembly, using a deliberative process to determine placement of very low and low income housing projects within the affluent areas countywide. (see minute 2:50)
Here is what happened in Petaluma, the first city in the United States to try this model:
FYI…the County Planning Commission will review the new RHNA requirements on Wednesday, November 9 at their virtual 9am meeting:
IS HELP IN SIGHT FOR CHAOTIC COUNTY COMMISSIONS?
Buried in last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor Consent Agenda was some good news with Item #17 regarding how Commissions will work, hopefully for the better:
“The Clerk of the Board’s Office has begun work on a phased project to better support County commissions, committees and advisory boards and their appointed representatives. Aligning with County initiatives and standards, the project will provide resources and trainings for successful work by both County commissioners and staff liaisons. The first phase of the project is planned to launch in early 2023 to support the Board’s new members and their appointees with onboarding information, including a welcome letter, oath of office, and key trainings. A second phase will follow later in the year and include a handbook for new commissioners.
The County Administrative Office will return on or before March 28, 2023 to provide an update on the work of the ASCLM committee, the results of the 2022 County commissions and boards demographic data survey, and related activities.”
Keep your fingers crossed for some much-needed improvement!
PROSPECT HEIGHTS AND DELAVEAGA FIRE WORKSHOP
The FireWise Community leaders near DeLaveaga Park organized an excellent public workshop and discussion about the fire risks and homeless issues in the area. Here is the video recording
We should all note that the City police and fire departments conducted an After Action Review following the DeLaveaga Fire in August, and as a result, better planning and collaboration will happen next time.
So, why hasn’t Santa Cruz County Fire Dept. conducted an After Action Review for the 2020 CZU Fire??? Contact your County Supervisors and ask that this be done. Board of Supervisors
HOW LONG WILL CALFIRE BE ABSENT FOR SOQUEL VALLEY EMERGENCY RESPONSE?
Last week, I noticed the CalFire Soquel Fire Station is still moving along extremely slowly. Last summer was the second summer that there have been no CalFire engines stationed in the Soquel Valley, due to the construction of the new Station, and a new office for the Soquel State Demonstration Forest.
Engines responding to emergencies in the Valley are stationed in Felton. Engines also respond from Burrell Station on Highland Road. That’s a long way to drive. Why isn’t CalFire stationing units at the Seventh Day Adventist Conference Grounds? I asked, and was told “because that is not in CalFire jurisdiction” and any temporary station would sit empty in the winter when the Soquel Station traditionally ceases to be staffed.
Does that make sense to you? Not me.
There were no crews working at the site. Neighbors told me there is usually only one guy working alone. Wow. This could take years to complete.
A WASTELAND, NOT A PLAY GROUND
All summer, the lower playground at Anna Jean Cummings Park in Soquel has been brown. Ever since Soquel Creek Water District imposed draconian 9% annual rate increases in 2019 to pay for the outrageously expensive PureWater Soquel Project, the County has been forced to let this and other play areas die.
Take a look at the sad state of the former play area at the Park and ask why no recycled water will be used for irrigation anywhere other than the 50 years of FREE irrigation water for the Twin Lakes Baptist Church athletic fields, currently being expanded.
Wasteland that was once a park inviting kids to play at Anna Jean Cummings Park. –>
CONTINUED PIPELINE ATTACHMENT ON LAUREL STREET BRIDGE
Last week, crews began installing the hardware to attach the PureWater Soquel Project pipes to the Laurel Street Bridge.
<--- Take a look The crew on the bridge had one traffic lane blocked, snarling the local traffic. Note the sky crane in the distance where a seven-story building is going up. I wonder what Tuesday's 5.1 earthquake felt like there? Liquefaction, anyone?
SIGN OF THE TIMES
These signs have popped up all over the County, while the County’s Housing Element and AMBAG will mandate a 353% increase in housing units built over the next eight years. Hmmmm….
What states if any have you researched and are you considering? Most popular states include: Tennessee, Georgia, Idaho, Florida, and Texas.
WRITE ONE LETTER. MAKE ONE CALL. READ ALL YOU CAN TO INFORM YOURSELF ABOUT CANDIDATES AND ISSUES, AND VOTE. MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK BY JUST DOING SOMETHING.
Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.
Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com
THREE PARALLEL TRAJECTORIES
There is much to learn from the arcs of development of “Modern” farming, Native Peoples land tending, and recent wildland stewardship. Each practice takes place on the land, but each has vastly different philosophies and practices. At the same time, they each suffer from some similar issues which we must ponder if we want good land care for generations to come.
Northern Santa Cruz Agriculture’s Deeper Past
Santa Cruz is one of a handful of hubs from which the organic farming movement disseminated. But, that Santa Cruz legacy was built on a 150-year history and culture of agricultural innovation on California’s Central Coast. Along Santa Cruz County’s North Coast, farmers learned how to grow and manage successful dairies on some of California’s most productive grasslands. The dairies collapsed but farmers kept growing brussels sprouts until the organic foods movement emerged and new farmers started businesses.
More Recent Agricultural History
Alan Chadwick was important in the organic farming movement locally founding the still very important UCSC Farm and Garden, where many interns went on to found organic farms. Do you recall Santa Cruz Farms, an early powerhouse organic producer run by a lively character named Fran (aka Francis Corr)? A colleague who was early on with the organic farming scene in Santa Cruz, Reggie Knox, recently reminded me that Fran introduced many new people to radicchio in the late 1980’s. Santa Cruz Farms and Dennis Tamura’s still-extant Blue Heron Farms helped many see that successful organic farming was possible, and they trained many people how to grow a wealth of diversity of crops. Then there was Route 1 Farms with Jonathan Steinberg (“Steiny”) (until 2002) and Jeff Larkey. Recently, this highly successful farming operation ended when Jeff retired. Also recall the founding of Dirty Girl Produce by Jane Freedman and Ali Edwards at Golf Club Drive near Pogonip. This farm later transitioned to be run by Joe Schirmer, continuing to be successful to this day. And then there’s the Rodoni Farm now in its third generation on the North Coast. Molino Creek Farm is another local historic organic farm, along with its partner entity Two Dog Farm, early upstarts in the organic movement especially well known for their dry farmed tomatoes (disclosure: I’m a partner in that farm). There’s also Jim Cochran of Swanton Berry Farm, Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin of Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, and the Hudsons of Coastways Ranch…all with a deep history of innovation and organic food production.
Compared with the prior legacy of Native Peoples managing that same land, the ‘modern’ agricultural movement has gone by so quickly and its very near future is quite uncertain given that many of the farms and farmers I mentioned are either retired or do not have a viable transition plan to keep building on their success and wisdom.
Native American Land Tending
How long were the Native Peoples tending the landscape around us? What did they do? We know too little, but we have evidence that they were managing this landscape for at least 6,000 years. The Sand Hill Bluff shell mound has been dated to ~6,000 years old and contains bones of an extinct flightless duck, a scoter (Chendytes lawi). I have encountered shell containing mounds in many places on the North Coast, evidence of the importance of sea life as food. I’ve also seen lots of stone tool fragments and grinding stones: evidence of hunting and processing of seeds. The scale of Native People’s land tending was huge: fire scars on redwoods show 4-6 year intervals of burning into the forest, but the grasslands were burned every year. Without that fire, we probably wouldn’t have the old growth redwoods and definitely there wouldn’t have been any grasslands at the time of contact with the Old World Peoples. The extinction of the flightless duck followed the extinction of many other species of wildlife during the past 15,000 years, a time where human hunting coincided with climate change. And then, there was 1791 and the genocide of local peoples by Old World Peoples. Locally, all knowledge gleaned from thousands of years of land management was lost.
More recent than agriculture and Native Peoples land tending is the practice of wildland stewardship. Locally, we have a few generations of experience with the management of more wild places in our County. Multi-generational families like the McCrary’s of Big Creek Lumber, Tommy Williams of N-A Ranch, and others have some experience with how natural lands work. But, wildland stewards otherwise must learn by experimenting. Some of the issues facing present day wildland stewards are new. For instance, climate change induced droughts and floods are novel. Each new invasive species, including plants, animals, and pathogens, presents its own suite of issues. The extensive and intensive pressures from recreational uses have never been encountered before on these wildlands. And, while there was a giant wave of extinctions a few thousand years ago as humans entered this landscape, we are on the brink of a new wave of further extinctions.
Tying Together Three Trajectories
What do the stories about agriculture, Native Peoples, and wildland stewardship have in common? The most obvious issue they share is a challenge of continuity. With agriculture, I recounted the collapse of dairying, and it is a rare farmer that has transitioned what they built to the next generation. We are on the verge of the loss of much of what has been learned by the last generation of highly successful organic farmers on the Santa Cruz North Coast.
The existence of elk, salmon, and so much more alongside very dense human populations are a testament that the Native Peoples had a good method of passing on what they learned about land tending from one generation to the next. But alas, they were annihilated by genocide as is too common across the world. Fortunately, our local tribes are organizing to relearn land stewardship and pass on that knowledge using tribal frameworks.
And then, there’s wildland stewardship. Besides intergenerational transfer in families overseeing working lands, most other wildland stewards are employed by organizations that lack the means of passing on lessons from one employee to the next. Scientific papers are few, written records of local wildland management decisions and even the anecdotal observations of land stewards are not readily available for reference. In the past 30 years, Ken Moore, founder of the Wildlands Restoration Team, developed extensive control strategies, methods of attracting and engaging wildland stewardship volunteers, and maps of extensive invasive species control projects. Little of that legacy remains despite its extensive value. Fred McPherson‘s methods of training people to observe wild nature in our area are in jeopardy of being lost; without observation skills such as Fred taught, wildland stewardship is not possible.
How do we nurture the kind of intergenerational transfer of land care lessons that we need to adequately steward agricultural and wildlands?
To transfer knowledge, we must first develop and document that knowledge. Farmers haven’t figured this out, but there are government agencies like the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Resource Conservation Districts that might help…if only their staff can also figure out how to maintain and pass on the wisdom of each generation. Local tribes are working on ways to pass on what they are learn about tending the land, but are facing very big challenges. Wildland managers, like farmers and even local tribal members, don’t have adequate support and so have little time to learn, record their lessons, and train the next cohort.
To take that kind of time, we must expand the number of people involved with learning about how to do better farming, supporting tribes to relearn and take care of the land, and helping wildland stewards to improve their work. We must build popular support, but there is almost no work to raise these types of issues to the public, who remain largely unaware of the need for land care.
It would seem that the threat of fire and the scarcity of water across the State, would provide leverage to engage the public to gain their appreciation for land care. California’s Department of Public Health has public information campaigns for human health issues…so, why can’t the California Natural Resources Agency work to engage the State’s public on issues related to intergenerational transfer of agricultural knowledge, tribal land tending, and wildland stewardship? Can you imagine state-issued press releases with titles like: “Small Farm Knowledge Transfer: Crisis Bulletin Issued” or “Tribal Land Tending Important to Prevent Wildfire” or “How You can Support Wildland Stewardship.” With time, I can imagine a state-wide, state-run volunteer land stewardship core working with farmers, with tribes, and in wildlands. I can also imagine more and more people wanting to be farmers, support tribes, and advocate for increased wildland stewardship support. You might drop the NRA a note asking for them to work with the agencies they oversee to increase public information campaigns so that California’s public supports transfer of knowledge between generations of farmers, within and between tribes, and between wildland stewards. Ask them how you can help. Email: email@example.com
Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at: www.greyhayes.net
Email Grey at firstname.lastname@example.org
The image above depicts a possible future for areas within a proposed “expanded downtown” in the City of Santa Cruz. These buildings would be located, if the current City Council has its way, in an area immediately adjacent to the San Lorenzo River levy, right near where Broadway/Laurel intersects with Front Street.
City planners have created three development scenarios, all of which correspond to very tall buildings being built along the San Lorenzo River. Maximum building heights would reach either 145-feet, 185-feet, or 225-feet under the scenarios put forward by staff. Renderings generated for “Scenario 3” show buildings between 17 and 20 stories tall.
This “skyscraper proposal” (which was rejected by the City Planning Commission, by the way) was APPROVED by the Santa Cruz City Council – with Council Members Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown voting “No.”
The proposed seventeen-story tower, or towers, are far taller than any building in the current downtown – or anywhere else in the city, for that matter. These towers would be almost twice as tall as the ten-story Dream Inn, which is pictured below. I think that this picture of the Dream Inn can give us all an idea of just how gigantic those 17-story towers would be, in what is now a neighborhood mainly comprised of one or two-story buildings.
I have noted before, in my blog posting on October 20th, that the City Council vote on this skyscraper proposal is a good way to distinguish between the candidates running for Third District County Supervisor. The candidate whom I have endorsed, Justin Cummings, was a “No” vote on the skyscraper plan. Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, his opponent in the current supervisorial election, was a “Yes” vote.
For me, of course, the future of our city ought to be determined by ALL OF US, and so far, this proposal for a “Downtown Expansion Plan,” including the 17-story skyscraper idea, comes out of closed door dealings between the City’s Planning Director, the City Manager, the City’s Economic Development Director, and wealthy property owners and developers based in Santa Cruz, which include both the Seaside Company and Ow Commercial. The billionaire owners of the Golden State Warriors also appear to be involved in this plan, since it includes a new basketball arena.
You might think that the wealthy property owners whose land values would skyrocket if the “skyscraper plan” is ultimately approved would be able to pay for the required planning procedures. However, public funds are being used to prepare and promote this development scheme. This plan for the skyscrapers is the city’s gift to the developers (ratified by an official City Council vote)!
Again, what happens in our city really should be determined by ALL OF US. That means, if we do care about what happens, that we need to get informed, and get involved, and participate! An environmental impact review process is just now getting underway, and it’s what happens AFTER the public gets involved that will determine whether or not this skyscraper caper moves forward.
And let’s not forget that the public, ultimately, can use the initiative power to set the rules that the public believes are best!
Here’s a reference, right out of the California Constitution [Article 2, Section 11 (a)] to make clear that these initiative powers are fundamental to our system of democratic government:
Initiative and referendum powers may be exercised by the electors of each city or county….
That initiative power is in our State Constitution, and it can’t be taken away from us.
In 1973, I wrote a City of Santa Cruz initiative measure that stopped another city-sponsored development project (the proposed development of a massive Convention Center, shopping center, high-rise hotel, and luxury condominium complex on Lighthouse Field – along with seven acres of blacktopped parking, too). That initiative measure was approved by the voters in June 1974, and the passage of that initiative changed the course of history in both the City and in the County.
It is good to remind our elected officials (and ourselves) that we are ultimately in charge of what happens. We are ultimately in charge of what kind of land use and development we will permit.
If the system were working properly, the City Council would not approve a plan for massive new skyscrapers without being quite sure, in advance, that this is what the community wants. Good old fashioned politics, in which the public does make its elected officials do what the community wants, can still prevail.
But if the City Council doesn’t pay attention (and I don’t think it is paying attention, right at the moment), then the community can “Stop The Skyscrapers” by qualifying an initiative measure – and then passing it. That is definitely one option. The initiative is always available as a mechanism by which we can demonstrate that we do have a system of self-government, as long as we are willing to get involved ourselves!
Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net
Email Gary at email@example.com
EVANGELICALS RUNNING AMOK IN THE TOWN SQUARE
One of the week’s biggest events was the attack early Friday morning, on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, in their San Francisco home, accentuating the growing violence and threats of violence in our deteriorating domestic political scene. Treatment of the incident by the various media sources was as wide-ranging as the political spectrum itself. Jesse Waters on Fox News ‘Primetime‘ show dismissed the attack as an unremarkable event. “People are being hit with hammers every day. People are being pushed into subways, slashed, shot in cold blood, but the media focuses on this one single crime to pin it on Republicans?” No mention that the assailant is a QAnon adherent, a Trump fanatic, and a follower of any deranged internet posting that he stumbles upon. Also, no mention by Waters that one of the main campaign thrusts by his party against Democrats is “being too soft on violent crime.”
Even Elon Musk, who after months of on-again-off-again maneuvers to take over Twitter, has finally done so with great fanfare by firing the top echelon of executives, and entering the Pelosi-attack fray of commentary. “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” he tweeted in reply to a Hillary Clinton tweet. She called the attack “shocking” but “not surprising.” In Musk’s tweet, he referenced a link to the news website of the Santa Monica Observer, a site with a reputation of publishing false news articles. The tweet was later deleted, but not after garnering a raft of criticisms, one of which was posted by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who said, “Your town square is going to become the town garbage dump if you don’t recant this reprehensible, untrue post.”
“It took only 72 hours for Elon Musk, as Twitter CEO, to start posting conspiracy theories,” tweeted state Senator Scott Wiener. “I wonder how long it’ll take him to reactivate Kanye, Trump and other toxic accounts.” Though Musk had made comments such as “The Bird is Freed,” he has attempted to quash concerns that it will be a free-wheeling site where anything goes. His statement that it will “have a common digital town square” with a “wide range of beliefs” being debated, is being viewed with vigilance by many. It’s difficult to see him allowing one or two more egotistical blowhards to hog his space, so Trump may be stuck at Truth Social, with Ye being closely monitored.
According to the Daily Beast, immediately after Musk’s ‘freed bird’ post, he pledged to assist an account named @catturd2, which claimed to have previously been “shadowbanned, ghostbanned and searchbanned.” Catturd2, whose profile photo is a white cat and whose bio simply reads “Chief Turd,” formerly made news after Trump retweeted that poster, who tweeted in favor of him and his election lies. The Beast goes on to say, “Catturd did not immediately respond to a request for comment; must’ve been busy in the litter box.”
Ye, the rapper/designer formerly known variously as Yeezy, Yeezus, Saint Pablo, and Kanye West, joined The Former Guy, and assorted other far-right pit-bullish-pols, with a stream of derogatory commentary about Jews. His threat to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” broke the dam for him. Experts are seeing this criticism as blatant as it has been since the ’70s, with the ongoing harassment, vandalism and violence. This climate results from the digital culture of misinformation and hate, with right-wing political organizations bent on protecting the White-Christian status quo, and many attempting to downplay it as simply an inter-religious issue, having nothing to do with racism. The deadliest attack on Jews in this country occurred in 2018 at Pittsburg’s Tree of Life synagogue, with eleven killed and six wounded, but it is now dimming in prominence among all the mass killings since that time.
Tree of Life member, Barton Schachter, fears that it will fade in our memories. “I don’t know how to save it,” he laments. He called Ye “an idiot…but eventually he’ll be gone. Another person will take his place. The question is: How do we continue keeping the good stuff alive? That’s the hard part. The memory of these seven who died here and the six million of the Holocaust, that’s the hard part.” A 2019 survey by the Anti-Defamation League indicates that American attitudes toward Jews, though complex, are less antisemitic than those of sixty years ago, though incidents have risen to a high level. “People feel that can say and do anything,” says Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL. The MAGATs boundaries of real, authentic Americanhood has shifted, making the future very unpredictable.
The Mar-a-Lago Orange has attacked American Jewry on Truth Social, telling Jews to “get their act together” and show more appreciation for the Israeli state “before it is too late.” His belief that US Jews have a secret duality toward Israel over the USA, while posting that he sees evangelicals as being “far more appreciative” of actions on Israel than Jews, a comment ignored by Republicans overall. Trump and other conservatives rallied to Ye’s defense after his comments, and after an interview with Tucker Carlson, when he said that today’s Jews aren’t the legitimate Jews of the Bible…it’s the Black Hebrew Israelites, the African-Americans, who are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites. Ye-West has lost many sponsorships and business relationships as a result of his outspokenness, along with the discontinuation of his school after the staff resigned in protest.
Dana Milbank of The Washington Post writes that his rabbi looked up from his Kol Nidre sermon, a homily about protecting America’s liberal democracy, and posed a question, apart from his prepared text: “How many people in the last few years have been at a dining room conversation where talk turned to where we might move? How many of us?” An unthinkable question poised to those who felt they might need to flee the US…and he got a show of many hands! The sermon included a quotation from Jewish scholar Michael Holzman: “For American Jews, the disappearance of liberal democracy would be a disaster…We have flourished under the shelter of the principles behind the First Amendment, and we have been protected by the absolute belief in the rule of law. Without these, Jews, start packing suitcases.” Jonathan Greenblatt says, “As Jews, we know at some point the music stops. This is burned into the collective consciousness of every Jewish person.” But, “if it isn’t safe here, it won’t be safe anywhere,” Milbank concludes.
And, former Hero of January 6, Mike Pence, continues his political/religious lies, during an interview on Fox Business, when he said, “The radical left believes that the freedom of religion is the freedom from religion.” Going on to say, “The First Amendment of the Constitution doesn’t give anyone protections against having “other peoples’ faiths forced upon them.” Evidently, Mr. P believes the Founders were fine with religious fanatics running amok. Pence continues with his charge that the Left wants to scrap religion, one of the freedoms for which many have died in battle. He believes the Supreme Court has the duty to favor Christianity over other faiths…a sacred responsibility! “I’m confident that we have a pro-religious freedom majority on the Court. Help is on the way,” he maintains to interviewer Larry Kudlow. And there you have it…two Republicans telling you their preferred religion outranks yours and much of America. Should go swimmingly with that new gabardine suit and spiffy red tie you’ll need! The shock of shimmering white hair will come automatically, and soon enough!
Noteworthy is a ProPublica and Texas Tribune story that the IRS has its blinders on with regard to evangelical churches in Texas and elsewhere disregarding a federal law prohibiting the endorsement of political candidates. At least eighteen congregations in Texas, Alaska and California have advocated for their favorite candidates, and call those candidates in disfavor ‘demonic‘ as a favored term. The Former Guy urged the IRS to abolish the regulation completely, and with no comment from the department about investigations into violations, it is claimed more violations have turned up in the past two years than in the last ten.
And, we have Dan Foster on Medium to thank for this astonishing entry: Helgard Müller, the author responsible for ‘The Five Gods of the Bible’ (one star on Amazon.com), brings us this classic: ‘President Donald J. Trump, The Son of Man – The Christ.’ Dan thought the introduction worthy of a rundown: “President Donald J. Trump is the King of Kings, And Lord of Lords! The Son of Man who will be seen seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven. You have read that correctly! Donald Trump is the Christ for this age! The Son of King David! The prophecies of Jesus and all the prophets point to President Donald Trump as the Son of Man, the Christ.” Müller links Biblical prophecy to Trump, claiming there are two Christs, with the original being the son of God who was betrayed by Judas, and Trump being the son of man who was betrayed by former US VP Mike Pence. For seventeen Washington’s the book is yours, with freebies at Trump rallies…please spare me! Without doubt, there are those who fully endorse this concept, because of course a god would send an entitled, morally corrupt billionaire in a private jet as a second Jesus! The donkey bit, and clearing the temple of money lenders has been so overdone!
Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.
“The house was very quiet, and the fog—we are in November now—pressed against the windows like an excluded ghost.”
~E.M. Forster, Howards End
“This November there seems to be nothing to say.” Anne Sexton,
~Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
“It was November. The trees were full with smells of oncoming smoke.”
~Sneha Subramanian Kanta
Jordan Klepper of the Daily Show needs no introduction. It’s one of those “you gotta laugh, or you’ll cry” kinda things…
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