Blog Archives

November 22 – 28, 2016

SANTA CRUZ MUNICIPAL WHARF. Taken about 1910, this great photo shows just how much our wharf was used and needed by our early Italian residents. It’s only part of the wharf’s history that would be erased forever if our City Council succeeds in modernizing and “going tourist” with it.           

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE November 21, 2016

KLAUS NONI – TOTAL ECLIPSE. Tom Louagie sent this clip. Sort of a mix of Hedwig meeting Joel Grey from Cabaret.
FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS & MR. ROGERS. Good thing the Karamazov’s aren’t still performing on Pacific Avenue, Cynthia Mathews and her trained clubbies would have them arrested.


It’s too late now but I hope everyone notices that our City Council decisions on making our historic wharf into another San Francisco’s Pier 23 and the secretly planned cutbacks to our social services are happening just AFTER the City Council elections. It’s another maneuever by Mathews and her sycophants to avoid these cruel and unusual political moves. We need to support Martine Watkins and help her avoid Mathews covert manipulations. And of course keep hoping that Sandy Brown’s lead as of “press time” grows and becomes permanent. Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown are wonderfully qualified, intelligent and independent people. Let’s also hope that Chris and Sandy can re-awaken Cynthia Chase’s sense of civic responsibility that she showed so vividly when she was with the Gemma Program helping the very folks who have been so poorly mistreated by the council these last years.

ORGANIZE THE RESISTENCE. Everybody including Community members from many organizations are invited. Especially those that are working for progressive social change with a goal of building a broad coalition to ensure the safety of our targeted populations and take action on the people’s priority issues. The meeting will be Tuesday, December 6, 6:30 pm at the London Nelson Community Center. The Santa Cruz for Bernie committee is organizing it. If you want to get involved…now’s the chance!!! Bernie’s Rousing Address last Wednesday at George Washington University was about the future of our country under a Trump administration.  There were technical difficulties with the live video broadcast, but now you can watch Bernie’s 18 minute speech.”Happy Trump Won” is a 4 minute video by Prince Ea that offers his unusual and ultimately positive perspective on the election.  Click to watch Why I’m Happy Trump Won. To The Students:  Keep Marching!  We’re proud of you! For more info. contact Jeffrey Smedberg:

TRUMP JOKE. Ralph Davila while looking for an excuse to laugh, found this

Ok ..Trump is up late in the White House pacing the halls; the ghost of George Washington appears “Always tell the truth”; Trump feels better and a couple weeks later He is up late at night pacing and the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt appears and says “speak softly and carry a big stick” and Trump feels better for a month but then he’s up late pacing again and this time it’s the ghost of Abraham Lincoln and he says “Relax go see a play”.

WOLFGANG ROSENBERG, JIM FERRIS and MIKE FELIX. Mike Felix was an old friend from my 1960 KCBS days in San Francisco. Jim Ferris was a film veteran, longtime friend and also co-creator of UCSC’s Lifelong Learning community. Wolfgang Rosenberg goes way back in progressive local politics…SCAN, SCRAP, and many more He also gave me his own piece of the Berlin Wall. He was born in Berlin. Their passing leaves much to be missed.

LEE TAIZ QUOTE…Lee points out that here’s a political slogan that needs to be retired immediately:  “Love Trumps Hate.” Presumably, most people waving this around mean that love is in some sense more powerful than hate.  Unfortunately, the slogan can also be read as a endorsement of what, in fact, motivates many people, as demonstrated in the last election.  They really DO love Trump’s hate.  That is…”We love Trumps Hate” They don’t need to be admonished to keep it up.


Six months ago I decided to apply for American citizenship. After 41 years living in Santa Cruz as a permanent resident, there was no compelling reason to apply. My green card could be renewed every decade and folks seem to enjoy my Australian identity. “I just love your accent, where are you from?” I hear frequently and have fun responding, “I’m from Santa Cruz. I love your accent too!” No person of Mexican heritage ever hears that compliment.

So why apply to be a citizen after so long? The reasons built gradually. At first it was a simple choice between renewing my green card and applying for citizenship. Both involve filling out long forms, paying money and driving to an unpleasant Immigration office.  The advantages of citizenship are few but significant. As a permanent resident I am unable to vote despite paying taxes for 41 years (wasn’t there a revolution over that?), am unable to run for local political office, cannot serve on a jury although I can join the Armed Forces and can be deported if I am arrested. And then there was Trump. Despite the unlikely scenario at the time of his ever being elected President, citizenship would be a protection against the unimaginable.

Being a life-long procrastinator, I left it until the last day to fill out the 21-page application. That done, I sat back to wait for the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) wheels to turn.  When I had to go to Salinas to have fingerprints taken for a background check, I was given a CD and booklet to study for the civics part of the future interview. That sparked a keen interest in American history. I checked out many books from the Garfield Park library on the revolutionary war period. White Australia had convicts but white America had men with the crazy notion that they could defeat the British Navy! And who pretended slavery didn’t exist as they fought for the rights of all men.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Jefferson being told to go away and draft the Declaration of Independence, who sulked when it was edited to “we hold these truths to be self-evident.” I started to view citizenship as something more significant.

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

~Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).


Pacific Engineering completed drilling work on Soquel Creek Water District’s new Granite Way Well at the Aptos Village Project this week, and the drilling tower is now gone.  That was fast.  District engineer Mr. Taj Dufour told the Board last Tuesday that the drilling was complete at about 625′, roughly 100′ less than had been planned due to unanticipated dense geologic material that did not bear water.  The 20′-high sound wall remains.   Residents are really glad those walls were there during the drilling process.  According to District staff, their e-blast features a time-lapse documentation of the drilling process, but I have  been unable to access that information. Maybe you can.   The new well will come online, supplying water for the District at about the same time that the Aptos Village Project Phase I New Leaf Market opens…a coincidence?  HMMMMM…..

Well, last week’s Soquel Creek Water District Board meeting saw a new policy enacted regarding Water Demand Offset credits for new development.  Now, anyone wanting a new service connection will have to wait in a queu for the District’s limited number of offset credits available via toilet replacements and fee payments.  Now, each developer may purchase 0.5 Acre foot credit (that will be what most single family dwellings require) when their project comes to the head of the list of applicants, at which time they pay $27,500 (that is at the $55,000/Acrefoot offset fee rate), and half of that will go to toilet rebates (replacing toilets with newer 0.8 gal/flush models) and half to long-term conservation projects that the District will come up with later.  There are not any right now.  If a project is larger than 0.5 Acre feet, the developer can go solicit toilet replacements or come up with another creative project to save water.  Sounds complicated?  Maybe…and it will require considerable District staff verification, which staff admits has been a problem in the past.  I still vote for a moratorium until a reliable supplemental water supply gets put in place, but the Board doesn’t like hearing that.  By the way, the Stanford geo-physical imaging researcher who mapped the saltwater intrusion of the area also recommends a moratorium.

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

~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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…


Bobby Seale was a cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For many political activists of the 1960s and 1970s, and I am including myself in that number, Seale was (and remains) an inspiring figure. It’s strange to find an interview with Bobby Seale on a website whose www internet address is “modern luxury,” but so I did. The interview was printed in San Francisco magazine, which is  one of those semi-glossy items handed out to visitors to San Francisco who stay at one or another of the City’s upscale hotels.

Bobby Seale is still giving out good advice. Particularly good advice, I’d say, for those who do not routinely stay in upscale hotels, and whose lives cannot fairly be called ones of “modern luxury.” What should we do about politics? That is what the interview was really all about. And Bobby Seale has a pretty simple answer, referencing what he and other members of the Black Panther Party were trying to do way back when: 

So the next move is to become part of the government? My objective was to get thousands of people across the country elected into political office to replace the right-wingers or racists in those seats. There was an objective behind the idea of getting elected: to change the racist laws manifested in city charters. That’s where I was coming from when I created the Black Panther Party. The young Black Lives Matter movement people have got to see this: You’re not going to get community control of the police until you get more and more control of some of these political seats. 

Do you think BLM activists should run as mainstream candidates or in third parties? You should run as whatever the heck you want. You just need a relevant agenda to the people’s needs. You have to be there where the laws are made. Starting at the city level, then the county level, and, as much as possible, at the state level and all the way to the federal level.

Bobby Seale’s advice is easy to sum up. Run as “whatever the heck you want,” as long as you have a “relevant agenda to the people’s needs.” The basic concept is really basic. Take over the government! Get more and more control of some of these political seats…”

(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Big Turkey Day!!! Scroll below and chack it out!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “moral victory” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s not the kind of musical that comes with show tunes and a chorus line. But Jewel Theatre Company, and a great cast of singers, make an exhilarating show out of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next To Normal, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( The exuberance of this production is what live theatre is all about.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

LOVING. A great and inspiring true story of Richard and Mildred Loving and how and why their racially mixed marriage were convicted in 1958 and went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967 and won!! Ruth Negga plays the Black American wife and Joel Edgerton is the dull, stoic, mechanic husband. It’s a fine film, and it’s sterile, lacking human-ness, or reasons why they love each other. It’s even inspiring, involves two well meaning jerk attorneys from the ACLU and once again…it’s just not very heart-felt.

BLEED FOR THIS. An almost exact copy of a Sylvester Stallone Hollywood boxing movie…except most of this movie is true. Miles Teller who was great in Whiplash can only go so far portraying a real human who was nothing like him.  Poor and young boxer gets in a car accident, wears a halo neck brace and is told he’ll never walk or fight again. Well of course he does just that. And being a boxing movie,(and real life) he even wins the fight. Only if you’re a boxing fan should you go see this. And how about that Andre Ward decision over Sergey Kovalev???

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. The first Harry Potter spinoff from J.K. Rowling, and it’s only the first of four more Beast movies planned!! Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are the only actors we know of. In this very dark, depressing, beast filled mistake. Set in New York City in 1926 it lacks any semblence of the charm, magic, character or even cuteness of Harry Potter’s world of Hogwarts and vicinity. Special effects produced beast like snakes, octopii, Dragons, Hydras, and more than 85 different types according to Rowland’s book. Redmayne and Farrell aren’t given a chance to be likable or empathetic. You probably catch my drift…don’t go.

MOONLIGHT. For starters Moonlight  has a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not just me who really not only enjoyed this tale of drugs, gangs, and love, but people who like deep, serious films loved it too. Set in Miami, this sharp, delicate, brilliant story of a Black man’s life is told in three parts. It’s best not to read too much about the plot and just watch with wonder as it unfolds. You’ve never seen a film like this one. Please go and go quickly. Landmark may not keep it too long if we don’t support it.

A MAN NAMED OVE. A Swedish film with subtitles. Whew…93 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s worth every tomato too. The film centers on 59 year old Ove and his attempts at suicide. He fails many times and dreams back to his near perfect and lovely wife who died, and why he wants to join her. He’s beyond crabby, he’s angry, mean and yet, and yet, there’s something so magnetic and powerful and redeeming in him that you’ll watch and wait for his every move. It’s a wonderful film…and I think he’s older than 59, and I remember 59 fairly well. Rolf Lassgard who plays Ove is actually 61 and has been in many films and even played Puck in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream!!

ARRIVAL. Amy Adams has always been an excellent actor and she’s even better in this pretty sophisticated science fiction spellbinder. 11 alien speceships hover around earth just a few feet above ground while Amy and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate with them. It’s a thoughtful film and it’ll make you wonder just how would anybody relate to aliens (and vice versa) Like the Trump victory the world is in a state of shock over these visitors. No killings, violence or cheap cliches…a fine film. I forgot to add that like so many Special effects films nowadays it is photographed in a very dark style. (Saves money I guess)

DOCTOR STRANGE. I had to work very hard all through this latest Marvel Comic special effects spectacular to remind myself….it’s a comic book, it’s a comic book. etc. It doesn’t make any sense, there’s little logic in any character’s role and We get to see Benedict Cumberbatch do his American accent (it’s flawless). Not only does Cumbarbatch play Dr. Strange but Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and the always wonderful Tilda Swinton all do their damndest to out do any/all previous Marvel Comic special effects silliness. Dr. Stephen Strange’s hands are ruined in a car accident and he goes to Kathmandu and tons of mysticism to repair his surgeon’s hands. Go only if you truly believe in comic books…then you’ll love it.

AMERICAN PASTORAL. A very, very poor adaption of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer winning book. Save your money and time, and read the book again. A fine cast with Ewan McGregor (also directed it) Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning (now older and much less entrancing) and a stiff, unfeeling naration by David Strathairn. The acting by all concerned is shockingly bad. The fake accents don’t work. Too many lines are shouted not emoted, the entire film lacks believable love or feelings.

THE ACCOUNTANT & DONALD TRUMP MONEY. For some mysterious reason this lousy, nearly insane movie is back again playing in several chain and independent theatres. We should all remember that Steven Mnuchin one of the film’s producers, is now and has been Finance Chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. It’s just if you care where your money goes…that’s all. The movie??? Well… Ben Affleck plays an autistic criminal bookeeper who is also a ruthless killer, and yes, that makes as little sense as does 98 % of this murder filled mess of a movie. Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and even John Lithgow all do what they can in such a miscast cast that makes you feel like you’re watching an audition session, that nobody cares if they get the parts or not. You won’t believe the plot, or the acting, or the fact that you paid money to see this flick. ps. Jack Reacher is better…if you like these type flicks.



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. Christina Waters guests November 22 talking about her new book, “inside the flame“. After Christina, Sean Michael Conley discusses genealogy and their local chapter functions. Sean Van Sommeran emerges on Nov. 29 to tell us about the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. Minutes after that,  author and historian Sandy Lydon returns to talk about his future historical adventures. Keeping traditional, the winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers Contest read their entries the full hour on December 6. December 13 has Jennifer Horne from UCSC’s Film Dept. discussing changing techniques in film development. PAMF’s Dr. Paul Ware follows Jennifer to tell us some of his theories about health and the role food plays. On December 20, author Lois Watson talks about her popular book, “Growing Up In Santa Cruz”. UCSC retiree Lincoln Taiz and Lee Taiz follow Lois and tell us about their new book, “Flora Unveiled” (plant sex)  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     

This guy is brilliant! I can’t stop laughing at some of these 🙂

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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.


“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican”,  H. L. Mencken

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them”,  Adlai E. Stevenson

“Coming to terms with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee is like being told you have Stage 1 or Stage 2 cancer. You know you’ll probably survive, but one way or the other, there’s going to be a lot of throwing up”,  Christopher Buckley

“The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That’s the only difference”,  Ralph Nader

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) 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:
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 22 – 28, 2016

Comments are closed.