Blog Archives

November 20 – 26, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Camp Ross and Phoenix destroyed, Top Ramen and real danger, saving Mauna Kea from UC, Merriman and Pitt’s Houses. GREENSITE…No dispatch this week from Australia. Greensite out of Internet range. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek request denied, City Council and water commission, fire tax and our schools. PATTON…Attorneys and Land Use battles. EAGAN…classic Sub Con and Deep Cover comics. JENSEN…reviews Pain and Glory. BRATTON…critiques The Irishman and The Good Liar. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Thanksgiving”
                                 

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BEFORE THE DREAM INN. 1955. Long regarded as the biggest loss to our community by environmentalists, you can see what our beachfront looked like before the developers got here. Notice all the trees on Lighthouse Point, and the undeveloped lands surrounding West Cliff Drive.                                                        

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

PROFESSOR PREDICTS LAST 9 AND THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SORT OF. Candace Brown was kind to send this one…

MONTY PYTHON COMMUNIST QUIZ SKETCH.

DATELINE November 18

CAMP ROSS & PHOENIX DESCENDING. The self-appointed directors/managers of the return to Camp Ross last week (Nov. 10-13) created a genuine and positive concept for solving the homeless problem: not just for Santa Cruz, but with worldwide potential. They established ground space rules, entry regulations, were bringing in toilets, creating food sources, and all of it on territory that was — and is — of no use to anyone. Santa Cruz police entered and ended Camp Ross last Friday morning (Nov. 26), saying it was all about trespassing. It was agreed by an unanimous vote that the City Council will take up this homeless matter again on Tuesday Nov. 26. The council hopefully will at least copy or use the plans from Camp Phoenix as a near-perfect model for a homeless camp. Many have suggested that they use property that is further from the public eye, which seems halfway cruel and a little illogical.

RAMEN WARNING!! I bought a chicken and a beef ramen last week. It had been ages since I depended on them to get me through UCBerkeley. For some reason I looked up ramen on the internet. I guarantee if you read anything online about ramen you’ll never touch it again. It’s chemically dangerous. Look it up…please.

PROTECTING MAUNA KEA FROM UC. We need to consider what our reaction would be if Tesla or Apple or CalTech wanted to build on Our National Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, or Gettysberg. Those are special places for US Citizens, just like Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii is to the locals living there. I got an email stating…Come listen to indigenous elders and cultural practitioners of Hawai’i and learn why they are calling on the UC to withdraw from plans to construct the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna Kea.

The event happens Monday, November 25th, 2019 5:00pm—8:00pm @ College 9 & 10 Multipurpose Room UC Santa Cruz/Free admission

Free dinner, live music & speakers: * Liko Martin— elder songwriter & storyteller of Hawai’I, and 50-year veteran of Hawaiian resistance movements. * Kealoha Pisciotta— Mauna Kea Hui spokesperson, cultural practitioner & former telescope systems specialist. * Laulani Teale— frontline Kanaka Maoli activist, musician, traditional herbalist and peacemaker. * Valentin Lopez— Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, whose tribal territory encompasses Santa Cruz. Chairman Lopez will speak about the Amah Mutsun struggle to protect Juristac, the tribe’s sacred grounds currently threatened by a proposed sand and gravel mine.
This event was organized in response to an urgent request for support issued by Hawaiian cultural practitioners to University of California students. UC provides funding and key leadership in the TMT project as a founding partner. [see GSA resolution link below for more details] 
Kia’i (protectors) of Mauna Kea have maintained a peaceful camp at the base of the mountain since July 15, preventing construction of the TMT from proceeding. Tensions are high, winter is coming, and the State of Hawai’i is threatening to use police or National Guard to remove Hawaiian elders and kia’i by force.
Check it out on Facebook…https://www.facebook.com/events/460236838177382/

More info: 

UCSC Resource Centers joint statement on TMT: https://resourcecenters.ucsc.edu/about/Statements%20of%20Support/maunakea.html

 EVENT SPONSORED BY:   Mauna Kea Protectors at UCSC • Pepper-Giberson Endowed Chair • Colleges 9 & 10 • Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center • Environmental Studies Department • Community Studies Department • History of Consciousness Department • Feminist Studies Department • People of Color Sustainability Collective • Student-Worker Union UAW 2865 • Center for Political Ecology • Everett Program • Roots & Routes Intercultural Collaborations • Amah Mutsun Land Trust • Cantu Queer Center 

DESTROY MERRIMAN HOUSE & REVERE ZASU PITTS HOUSE??

Robert Merriman according to Wikipedia… Robert Hale Merriman (November 17, 1908 – c. April 2, 1938) was an American doctoral student who fought with the Republican forces in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He was killed while commanding the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigades. He grew up in Santa Cruz, and graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1925. “Because he was so talented, and because he died so young, and because Hemingway immortalized him, Merriman must be given the first position in any roll call of Californians in battle against the ultra-Right,” California historian Kenneth Starr later wrote. 

According to our Historic Resources Commission notes…This house (at 1938 Capitola Road) was the boyhood home of Robert Merriman, who was involved in organizing anti-Franco forces and fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and who was the model for a character in Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Now, as of last week developers have won the battle. The house will be destroyed and the developers really, really promise to erect a plaque with Merriman’s name on it. We have to wonder how and why Cynthia Mathews’ owning of house that movie star Zasu Pitts lived in is so carefully treated. Zasu was born in Parsons, Kansas and went to high school here.

November 18.

No dispatch this week from Greensite in Australia. Greensite out of Internet range. 

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.

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November 18

Explaining The Donald

Is Trump a Phenomena?
There is no way to explain the “Trump Phenomenon.” Or, is it a phenomenon? It seems there are multiple parts to the definition of the word, “phenomenon.” One is, in a scientific context, something that is observed to occur or to exist. Of course, in this context since Trump is real and can be observed, he becomes a phenomenon. The Cambridge Dictionary also offers this: “someone or something that is extremely successful, often because of special qualities or abilities.” The Beatles were a music phenomenon, Mohandas K. Gandhi was a political phenomenon, and Mother Teresa was a humanitarian phenomenon. A reasonable person could observe that each had special qualities and all possessed exceptional abilities. The latter definition is clearly not the case when judging one Donald J. Trump as a phenomenon. But the former? Well, he can be observed and he does exist so how does one explain his behavior, which is ultimately the key take-away for any observer of this man? Especially, how would you explain Trump to people in another country? How would Hungarians explain Viktor Orban, or Philippine’s, Rodrigo Duterte, or if the Russians were asked to explain Vladimir Putin? It could be a national quandary for each country’s paisanos, but still, it would seem more difficult to explicate very clearly how Trump rose to the presidency.

Scientific Phenomena?
Explaining the Trump Phenomenon in the scientific context, one which he himself would be loath to consider simply because science does not come up very often on “Fox and Friends,” is a kind of predicament most would rather not take on. Explaining Trump is more akin to cleaning a cat box, or perhaps, scrubbing the area just below the kitchen sink where the compost bucket sits, a place that has not been attended to in years. How The Donald arrived to the white house is a subject that has mere mortals gasping for breath, as if dissecting a flat worm in a Petri dish without the aid of a respirator. The stench of formaldehyde just might be suffocating. As you sliced and diced what in observing Trump might be like, unlike the flat worm’s gastrovascular cavity with one opening, Trump’s single orifice is really his mouth. To fathom the utterances coming out of this cavity is to be present immediately after the second plane has struck the South Tower and the many victims are anxiously hurling themselves out of windows from the upper stories. Trump’s verbal detritus is unlike any sensory phenomenon that humans might encounter except for maybe outside of a pub filled with soccer hooligans.

Trumping La Virgen
Mexicans are used to explaining all manner of phenomena, including how the Virgin Mary, La Virgin de Guadalupe, was able to leave her imprint on Juan Diego’s atilmàtli (cloak) in 1531. It would likely be too difficult to explain this president to a Mexican audience. That piece of clothing and imprint of La Virgin exists today and is daily viewed by thousands of observers from the moving sidewalk at the Basilica on the outskirts of Mexico City. Trump has labeled Mexicans as “rapists” and “drug addicts,” and he still expects them to pay for his dream of a wall of separation. Come again? At this moment in history both Americans and Mexicans would have an easier time explaining how the virgin’s image actually came to be imprinted onto Don Diego’s cream-colored cloak than they would in throwing any light on the Trump Presidency.

Out-Frenching the French
The French might have an easier time persuading Americans of the “French Phenomenon,” namely that all manner of French behavior–philosophy, food, and political values–are somehow the pinnacle of human existence, than Americans would in explaining away how Trump arrived to the White House. Even the Joan of Arc story becomes a metaphor for truth when laid alongside trying to explain, without twitching, how this reality TV Grinch ascended the steps of American power. Of course, with his first $100 million securely stashed in a Fifth Avenue vault, the reception of a low draft number and a failed draft physical during the Vietnam War didn’t hurt. This was followed by a series of Studio 54 visits only to arrive at his peak performance: the quest to find Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate. The average American could explain, even to the French, the French phenomenon with a straight and unhinged face, much more readily than they could offer a competent reason, even with the aid of several bottles of run of the mill French wine, as to what gave rise to the Trump Presidency.

Boris Can Explain Trump?
Now perhaps, someone from this side of the Atlantic would have an easier time explaining how the 45th President could have given Britain its own Boris Johnson Phenomenon. Frankly, we should know. It is clear that a role reversal has occurred here and the US has become perhaps a political mother country to Britain. It is in Johnson where an American can possibly settle on equal footing. We just might grasp the Johnson phenomenon as progeny of Trump. The American people are likely aware of the fact that the US has a President who does not read much, seems to be informed only through Fox News and other authoritarian state leaders, authors daily baby-nuke pronouncements the length and depth of a fortune cookie, and according to the Washington Post, has uttered a total of 13,435 “false or misleading statements” by Oct. 9, 2019, his 993rd day in office. Possibly Johnson’s thoughts on Libya, voting Tory, and Hillary Clinton are reflective of a Trump afterbirth. I offer three examples from Johnson: 1) The Libyan city of Sirte would have a more robust future as a luxury resort once investors “cleared the dead bodies away.” 2) “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.” and 3) “She’s (Clinton) got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.” Clearly, if the Trump Phenomenon is to be comprehended by anyone outside the US, the Brits are the most likely patsies.

“Over and over, the corporate establishment has tried to convince people that we have no chance. Well, we just passed 4 million individual contributions—faster than any campaign in history. That’s a pretty powerful movement and we are ready to take on the billionaire class.” (Nov. 19)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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November 18 

JUDGE DENIED MY REQUEST THAT SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT JUST FOLLOW ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
Judge Timothy Schmal denied my request and complaint that Soquel Creek Water District’s environmental impact report for their project to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the MidCounty area drinking water.  I do not feel I got a fair trial on November 8, for many reasons.  Therefore, I will appeal this judgment.  Stay tuned.

SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL AND WATER COMMISSION APPROVE REVISED WATER PLANS
In a joint meeting held last Tuesday, the Council adopted the City Water Director’s updated version of the Water Supply Advisory Committee (WSAC) plans for solving the water storage problem.  The Plan still includes regional surface water transfers from the City to Soquel Creek Water District that would allow the later to just stop pumping so much from the aquifer, but also would inject potable water into the aquifer via City wells in the Capitola area.  It is unknown when the water transfer phase 2 pilot program will begin…it depends on when the rain comes to increase water flows in the streams north of the City.

MIDCOUNTY GROUNDWATER AGENCY BOARD WILL APPROVE THE PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT
This Thursday (11/21) the MidCounty Groundwater Agency (MGA) will approve the Plan to manage the groundwater supplies in the MidCounty area.  The MGA is a consortium of representatives from all water providers in the MidCounty area, and also has reps for private wells and small water companies.  The Plan will next go to the State Dept. of Water Resources, and hopefully be approved next year.  You can read the Board agenda packet and the Sustainability Plan here  

What concerns me is that it appears that the MGA is one and the same as Soquel Creek Water District, even though the other three main water providers are supposedly equally represented.  The Plan is also, in my opinion, very biased toward reliance on the District’s plan to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the aquifer for all of us to drink and to financially burden their ratepayers, causing great hardship to many.

WHAT WILL THE PROPOSED NEW COUNTY FIRE TAX MEAN FOR NON-PROFITS AND RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS?
The County Board of Supervisors want to levy yet another tax on rural property owners to pay for emergency response.  They continue to refuse to allocate any of the $18 Million the County receives every year from a statewide sales tax for Public Safety Support (Prop. 172).  Instead, they hand it all over to the Sheriff, Probation and District Attorney, and are now prodding property owners for more tax money to fund County Fire services.  

This assessment would be in addition to what is already being paid in County Service Area (CSA) 48 taxes, and will really hit rural school districts and non-profit camps hard: 

Bosch Baha’i School  $3,054.06
Bonny Doon Elementary School District $2,340.02
Central Cal. Conf. Assn Seventh Day Adventists  $16,828.17
Camping Unlimited for Retarded Children $3,101.38
Corralitos Union School District $3,120.03
Loma Prieta Joint Union School District  $4,985.26
Pacific School Trustees $2,527.23
Roman Catholic Bishop of Monterey $5,647.24
Poor Clares of California $3,120.03
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians $2,620.82
Corp. Pros. JC of LDS Saratoga Ca Stake $2,578.63 (actually higher, if you add in the 13 other parcels assessed at $5-$33 each)
Skyland Community Church $1,460.85
First Free Methodist Society of Corralitos $1,599.96
Vajrayana Foundation $2,651.93 (and more with other parcels assessed smaller amounts)
Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council Inc. Boy Scouts $1,595.29
Girl Scouts of Northern California $2,280.57

And then there is:
Westcoast Pre-Cooling Watsonville LLC $2,919.37
Bonny Doon Airport LLC $18,720.22
Lonestar California $24,501.96
Lockheed $58,104.39 

The Loma Prieta Defense Fire Team will have to pay $780.01 for their fire station protection!
The Corralitos Grange (barely able to hang on) $780.01
City of Watsonville (I think this is the Padres Community Center) $657.92 

If County Supervisors would allocate even just 8% of what the State spends annually from the Prop. 172 money, it would provide the $1.5 Million that they are asking rural property owners to pay.  The excuse is always that law enforcement needs it more….

Contact the Supervisors and ask them if they will be liable for lack of funding basic medical and fire response to rural constituents?  Call 454-2200 or email…

Write your County Supervisor:

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.  JUST DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK! Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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#321 / When You’re Facing A Land Use Battle

I was asked, recently, about what local groups and individuals facing an upcoming land use battle should know, as they think about getting help from an attorney. Here are some thoughts. 

If an individual or group learns about a potential land use “battle,” that usually means that there is likely going to be a major disagreement about some proposed action by a governmental entity that will probably have adverse impacts on a local neighborhood, or on a river or creek, or on a piece of natural land, or that might involve the use of toxics, or that might otherwise pose a potential public health danger. In general, such land use “battles” usually involve a proposed project that would adversely impact the natural environment. 

Even “private” proposals – like the construction of a new home – almost always require governmental approvals of various kinds, so while it makes sense to approach and have discussions with the private parties involved in a proposed project, it is most important to understand what governmental approvals will be necessary, and to focus on affecting those. A local City Council, or a Board of Supervisors, or the Coastal Commission, or a host of other governmental agencies, including state and sometimes even federal agencies, are almost always going to play a central role. The “battle” will be fought out on the terrain established by the governmental rules and regulations that apply to the proposed project. When you first conclude that you are going to be facing such a “battle,” it is most important to “get organized” as soon as possible. “Groups,” not individuals, do better in such battles. So, step one is to form a group, and to learn in great detail what the rules will be. Know in detail just how the process will move forward.

Decisions made by governmental bodies are, by definition, “political.” Thus, garnering widespread support from those who will be affected by the proposed project, or who share a common appreciation of the environmental dangers or community impacts involved in the proposed project, is absolutely key. One person who raises legitimate concerns is good. A well-organized group of ten, or twenty-five, or fifty persons or more will have a much greater “political” impact, and elected officials will pay much more attention to the concerns advanced by such a group than it will pay to the very same concerns when expressed by a single individual.  

“Legal” issues, while they will play a role in the decision-making process, are almost always less important, in the end, than the political decisions made by elected officials. This is not only pragmatic “political advice,” it is also pragmatic “legal” advice. Those opposing proposed projects should NEVER assume that the courts will correct bad decisions made by elected officials. In our system of government, we expect disputed and “tough” decisions to be made by our elected representatives. Thus, the courts will almost always “defer” to elected officials, and the courts will uphold a governmental decision if there is “any” substantial evidence in favor of the decision. Again, the courts “defer” to the decisions made by elected officials, and a mistake often made by those opposing a destructive project is to suppose that the courts will “correct” a decision made by an elected body, or by some non-elected governmental agency that approved the project. Is that true? Not usually!

I encourage all those facing land use “battles” to review my earlier blog posting on “Deference.” That blog posting makes clear just why the courts will, in most cases, be willing to uphold governmental decisions (even when the courts think that the governmental decisions were “wrong”).

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

The most important thing to decide, when you think you may be facing a land use “battle,” is whether or not you really want to get into the “fight.” You need to be “serious.” A lot of time and money may well have to be spent. It is NOT easy to stop proposed projects, but such projects absolutely can be stopped, and environmental and neighborhood battles can be won. But let me say it again, you do need to be “serious.” Many assume that because a proposed project is pretty clearly a “bad” idea no governmental agency, in the end, will approve it. Such people think they shouldn’t really have to spend their own money, or spend a lot of time in opposing what is clearly a bad idea.

Big mistake!

Get organized. Get an attorney. Win. And keep this in mind: You can’t win a “battle” unless you fight! 

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 gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Classic time tested views of Eagan’s and our Subsconscious…scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s Vintage 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 with the slightly slanted “DEAR HILLARY. 

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Their second concert this season is titled Virtuosity Defined” or Musical Creativity and Artistic Expression Beyond the Flying Fingers. Thery’ll be music by Bach, Paganini, Javier Contreras, Piazzolla, and Justin Hurwitz. Featuring Kris Palmer, Concert Director and flute; Steve Lin, guitar; Isaac Pastor-Chermak, cello. They are the Black Cedar Trio. The Black Cedar Trio brings their award-winning blend of flute, cello, and guitar with “Virtuosity Defined.” The program includes music of Bach, Paganini, and Piazzolla, plus new music by San Jose composer Andre Gueziec and Chilean composer Javier Contreras. After the trio’s recent San Francisco concert, The Rehearsal Studio blog wrote, “Contreras’ music was an examination of not only the unique sonorities of each of the three instruments but also a rich study of how those sonorities could be blended in different combinations…clearly a major undertaking; but those willing to listen to it attentively were richly rewarded.” The concerts happen in the Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, near the freedom Boulevard turnoff. The concerts are Saturday, November 23, 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 24, 3:00 pm. 

Lisa writes: ” Don’t look now, but I may have just discovered my favorite movie of the year: Pain And Glory, by the ever-intriguing Pedro Almodovar. Find out all the reasons why, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Also, an impromptu tribute to one of the most prized (if unexpected) possessions James Aschbacher brought across the Rockies to Santa Cruz with him, once upon a time. And if you feel like a few laughs (and who doesn’t these days?) consider the Jewel Theatre Company’s tuneful production of Me And My Girl, reviewed in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. 

THE IRISHMAN. When you have Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci in a mobster film directed by Martin Scorsese, you have a monumental achievement in motion pictures. Yes, it’s 3 ½ hours long — but you’ll love every minute of it. It’s a gang-driven recalling of their past by these masters, all in their 70’s. Al Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa, and at long last we find out what happened to Hoffa’s body (at least according to this film adaption of a book) when he disappeared in 1975. Go online now and see how people are still today wondering and predicting where Hoffa’s body is, but see the movie first. 96 on RT. 

THE GOOD LIAR. Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, two of the finest actors in contemporary films, had never made a movie together. It’s too bad that this one is the predictable, slow-moving cute product that it is. It is a treat to watch these pros work together; they are as great as almost every movie-goer knows, but the script is a poor copy of a plot that deserved to be better. But, in spite of all that, go see it…they are perfect in their parts.

JOJO RABBIT. A very rare political comedy with numerous funny scenes centered on Nazi Germany,. A little boy has Adolf Hitler as an invisible buddy. Scarlett Johansson plays the little boy’s mom and does one of very finest acting jobs, ever. Hitler and the screwed up political/ military scene will make you think of Trump and our own screwed up political/ military scene. A wonderful and rare film, do not miss it!! 

PAIN AND GLORY. This is probably my favorite film of 2019. I do not state that lightly, I mean it. It was directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar and stars Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Julieta Serrano. It’s about a film director who has lost his energy and drive to make films. He gets into heroin, same sex love, booze and ultimately back into film making. The acting is perfect, directing is shockingly tight, and a masterpiece. See it as soon as possible.

JOKER. Joaquin Phoenix should just be given the Oscar now, instead of all that fuss in January. Yes this is the origin of why the Joker haunts Bruce Wayne (Batman) and it’s so much more than that. The film is deep, dark, brilliant, violent, clever, absorbing, haunting, and will move you into a different perspective. Forget the criticism about protesters; the Joker is insane and magnetic. See this film if you like films beyond what’s acceptable! It just became the biggest – money making attendance record R-rated film ever!!!.  Now (11/18) it’s taken in over 1 billion dollars.

PARASITE. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho outdid his other international screen successes with Parasite. Wikipedia calls it a dark comedy thriller and so do I. It’s winning awards everywhere and deserves them all. There’s brain surgery, murder, basement dwellers, numerous surprises, even some shocks and well worth your seeing it ASAP.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN. Actor Edward Norton not only plays the Tourette syndrome plagued detective posing as a reporter but he directed the movie too. It takes place in NYC in the 1950’s . Alec Baldwin plays a character based on Robert Moses the evil developer of NYC. Willem Dafoe and Bruce Willis have small parts. The movie is not only confusing, but it drags on and on with little if any conclusion. And no, you won’t believe Norton’s actors  version of faked Tourette’s either.

HARRIET. A real Hollywood tear jerker of Harriet Tubman’s amazing life and what she accomplished fighting slavery. Cynthia Erivo is excellent as Harriet and even looks like her. However the crashing crescendos of sobbing music, the homey corniness of so much of the plot and much of the  acting makes this look and feel like a 1940’s Hollywood soap opera.

THE LIGHTHOUSE. Robert Pattinson plays the young, innocent, naïve and new lighthouse keeper wannabe. Willem Defoe works very hard to be the ancient, hard to understand keeper from the old days. Neither of them are likable, and they don’t like each other. And I didn’t like this movie because they were so unlikable. It doesn’t matter much but it’s set in the 1890’s in New England. It’s screened in black and white and in a small square frame. 

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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. On November 19 Kelly Damewood C.E.O. of the California Certified  Organic Farmers (CCOF) talks about local and national food issues. Then John Aird, local activist discusses UCSC growth and our water problems. Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers program read their entries on December 3. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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 bratton@cruzio.com

Some food for thought from The Atlantic

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, 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. 

    “Thanksgiving”

“It’s not the minutes spent at the table that put on weight, it’s the seconds”. Author    Unknown

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations”. Oscar Wilde

(I’ve used this one before but it’s so good…)

“My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor”. Phyllis Diller

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. Oprah Winfrey


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
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