Blog Archives

November 24 – 30, 2015

WHEN RAIN FELL ON PACIFIC AVENUE IN 1955. One of my favorite historical photos.

This was about in front of The Rittenhouse building at Church and Pacific, where the Rip Curl Store opened a few months ago. I always remember Wally Trabing telling me this flood was almost his very first Santa Cruz Sentinel story assignment.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE November 23

Happy Holidays

from the Webmistress!

and because I’ve hijacked this space already, here’s one more. Good luck NOT getting this song stuck in your head! 😉

Happy Turkey Day!!

“LET THE MYSTERY BE” SONG. I am completely addicted to watching “The Leftovers” on HBO. The opening/closing theme music has been driving me crazy. I just now found it on You Tube. Listen to Iris DeMent sing it…and watch the series too. The New Yorker gave the series extremely high praise last week.


I’ve been a member of The Community Water Coalition since 2008. Gary Patton our legal council wrote a letter to Mayor Don Lane and the city council this week all about the results of the Water Supply Advisory Committee. He stated that WSAC’s strategy is absolutely the correct one to pursue. He also stated regarding the use of the water we do have… “Currently, “development” and “demand” drives supply. It should be the other way around. John Aird another CWC member stated, “I believe the proposal that the City Council should put the WSAC recommended package to a 2016 vote is absolutely wrongheaded”.

NICKELODEON TRANSITION. By now every movie goer in the County knows about Jim Schwenterley selling the 3 theatres (Nickelodeon, The Del Mar and Aptos ) to the Landmark Theatre chain. Somehow we always thought that those locally owned theatres would never change. They would always be “our theatres”. Lots of questions remain…like will Landmark still “home-make” the caramel corn as they actually do in the Del Mar? Will we still only get those great (and slightly obscure) films even for six day runs, as we do now? Will the Rocky Horror Picture Show extravaganza still keep happening at the Del Mar along with Scott Griffin’s odd, great, weird choice of midnight flicks? We do know that Landmark Theatres has an Eco-Select special popcorn bag that’s used in all their theatres. Landmark owns 55 theatres, 267 screens in 26 markets ranging from NYC, Washington, Boston, to San Francisco and Berkeley. They sell DVDs, books and CD’s in their lobbies. Landmark Owners Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban also own all of part of Magnolia, Lions Gate and Weinstein Distributors and the Dallas Mavericks football team. They bought Landmark in 2003. Go here to see what the Landmark Theatres north of us are playing…looks good to me!!! Then I asked Bill Raney, the original owner of the The Nickelodeon back in the 60’s, what his reactions to the sale were. Bill said, “The only thing I worry about is whether they will keep the Nick’s present staff. Rumor has it that they will, in which case that staff will have the opportunity to explain to them some of the things that work and don’t work in Santa Cruz.

BOARDWALK’s BATTLE OVER THE COMMUNITY GARDEN. If only half of the tourists that come to the Boardwalk every weekend knew how poorly The Seaside Corporation treats its renters and neighbors they’d shut it down in 2 days!!! This will be a test of the guts of the City Council to see if such big deal humanitarians like Don Lane, Cynthia Mathews, and Richelle Naroyan really have the integrity and courage to ask for fairness from Charley Canfield… and after all the city has given the Boardwalk!!! Go here for a short film about the community garden…

BOARDWALK & CANFIELD HOMEWORK. The Santa Cruz Metro did a fine inrerview with Charley Canfield (age 75), Marq Lipton and Ann Parker on May 7, 1998. The story has lot of information about the stuff Canfield owns such as Marina Motors, The Surf Bowl, 1/3 of the houses in Beach Flats, The La Bahia apartments and tells us that he inherited all his money to start with. Other online sources show Canfield as owning Toyota of Santa Cruz and the Suburu dealership. It tells too how our City Council under Scott Kennedy allowed him to stop paying amusement tax on his Boardwalk vending machines. Read this article…it’s the tip of his ice berg.

A Tall Tale:

The Seaside Company has a problem. The bluff is collapsing beneath its Sea and Sand Inn at 201 West Cliff Drive, directly above Cowell Beach. The Company has applied to the city for a permit to build a retaining wall to shore up the areas of current bluff failure. The staff report claims that the cause of bluff failure was the rains we had last December. Oh what a tangled web we weave…! The real cause of the bluff failure is a cautionary tale. It starts with the presence of seven lovely heritage trees that graced the bluff top for decades. The earliest photograph of them is dated 1928. They caught my eye in 1975 and barely a day went by that I didn’t remark on their beauty, whether seen from the wharf, backlit by the setting sun or viewed from West Cliff with the sea sparkling between their branches.

In 2003 two of the largest trees were cut down with a permit from the city. Quite a loss, but there were five more trees and one becomes philosophical when dealing with the city. In 2006, the Seaside Company applied for a permit to remodel the Inn, which included adding a second story to the middle section. In this context, the Seaside Company hired geologists all testified to the stability of the bluff, which they assessed as having a very slow rate of erosion. There was no history of bluff failure. One geologist wrote that there is, “no discernable retreat of bluff top from the 1970’s to the present.” All good, the permit was approved and the second story addition built. We only asked that the trees be protected during construction and that the second story addition not impact the viability of the trees.

In 2010 the Seaside Company applied for a permit to remove the remaining five trees, which hadn’t done anything naughty in the meantime but visitors had probably remarked that the view from the second story would be superb except for the trees. The city concurred and its Environmental Review was another fine example of doublespeak and opinion masquerading as fact. In the middle of this process Mother Nature gave them a helping hand. After a typical December storm, a large section of the bluff marine terrace material failed and fell onto Cowell Beach. An objective observer would have noted that the collapsed section was directly beneath the spot where the two largest heritage trees had been removed. Since it is well known that trees stabilize soil on steep slopes, this correlation might have been mentioned and discussed. Not a word. In this context the same Seaside Company hired geologists wrote that this was “normal bluff erosion” and recommended all remaining trees be removed. “Normal” in this instance is what they would have calculated as 80 years worth of erosion when they assessed the stability of the bluff for the remodel. The city concurred with their recommendations and a month later issued an emergency permit to cut down the last five trees. No notice, no chance to appeal.

Had decisions been based on facts, knowledge and observation, it would have been evident that the bluff failure was caused by removing the first two trees. When the trees’ roots eventually died the bluff became unstable. One could predict that by removing the remaining five trees, the rest of the bluff would become similarly unstable, making further bluff collapse a certainty. That is exactly what has happened. In their staff report, the city Planning Department attributes the current bluff failure to heavy rainfall last winter. They state that this section of the bluff is “threatened by imminent and continued collapse.” If that’s the case, one wonders why they ever approved the Inn remodel? The only grounds for a variance to allow the Seaside Company to build its retaining wall is if the “hardship peculiar to the property was not created by an act of the owner.” Tree removal is not mentioned in the staff report. Such distortions and omissions can only lead to more failures, whether of bluff or trust. This item will be heard at the Planning Commission meeting of Thursday, December 3rd. ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

CHARLEY CANFIELD TV INTERVIEW. Charley Canfield talks about old organs and carousels in this 2008 TV Interview.
9 HOURS OF RAIN ON A TENT!!! No kidding…listen for a few seconds, and if you’ve ever been camping it’ll get to ya!!!
GUNS AND ROSES PERFORMING NOVEMBER AND THE RAIN. There’s a sexy wedding dress and lots of cigarette smoking and it’s moody…that’s November for you.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says in his KUSP broadcasts…” Should the City of Santa Cruz put a measure on the ballot to get voter approval for a comprehensive water supply strategy recently recommended to the Council by its Water Supply Advisory Committee? The strategy is outlined in a 75-page report, but that doesn’t count the report’s many appendices that are hundreds of pages long. The strategy is based on taking water out of the San Lorenzo River during high water events, and then storing that water in local groundwater aquifers, to be used in times of drought. That’s a great strategy, if the groundwater aquifers don’t leak, which is a real possibility.

All involved in developing the proposed strategy admit that it might not work, and that it will take several years to find out whether it does. As of Monday, November 23rd, the public hasn’t even had a full chance to comment, and the City Council hasn’t even approved the strategy. Notwithstanding all this, putting the untried strategy on the ballot was one surprising recommendation from the City Manager in his agenda report. The City Manager thinks that a vote can<quote> “solidify community commitment to the strategy.”

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

THE BOARDWALKS GIANT DIPPER. Always a great thrill and their preservation of such a classic roller coaster is to be applauded.

A COMMUNITY FOR NATURE. Grey Hayes has a blog (see link and credentials below)

ABOUT LAND TRUSTS…the privatation of open space.

The rise of the ‘Land Trust Movement’ represents a disastrous shift in the way we protect land for future generations. The shift is from public responsibility, funding, authority and accountability to private funding and private ownership. This private ownership by Land Trusts –even those incorporated as non-profits– signifies the end of public accountability and transparency. In consequence, the purpose and focus of land protection has also shifted from the ecologically sound conservation of plants and animals to the recreational and utilitarian desires of the moneyed elite. At its best the Land Trust Movement is a capitalist response to reduced funding for public land protection agencies. You want protection for public lands? You are going to have to pay for it yourself. This view assumes that development and maximized use is a natural or desirable condition worthy of public support while protection from development and overuse is a special interest need and should be privately funded. At its worst the Land Trust Movement represents a shift toward a new feudalism, widening the gap between the rich and poor via control of land. At the whim of wealthy donors, Land Trusts manage and control entire ecosystems according only to the vicissitudes of an elite few, without regard for or accountability to the commons. In essence they transform management of natural areas into a commodity; excluding the views of the relevant sciences and the general public alike in pursuit of short-sighted, ego-driven land management goals. Read how the public lost control and a lot more by going to

(Grey Hayes has had land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, did large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and taught undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. An advisor to the Sierra Club and is now an active advisor to the California Native Plant Society. In 1990, he was honored to be recognized as a Fellow by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation).

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. An early (and still current opinion) about The Boardwalk scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. What goes around…comes around…see Tim Eagan’s weekly vision below a bit…!!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “How do we love the Nickelodeon? Let me count the ways this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, as I salute the founders and history of Santa Cruz’s favorite movie theatre. Yes, it’s about to be transferred to new ownership, but the vibe should remain the same.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts the falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but then she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young manIt’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role)

Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don’s dark haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Not a Santa Cruz film..right now. It’s about a young girl who’s body is found in a dumpster. Even Julia Roberts (her mom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the cop), and Nicole Kidman (their boss) doesn’t make this worth seeing. See it in maybe five years, if then.


ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. Dr. Neil Sawhney PAMF cardiologist shares important heart issues and advice on Nov. 24. Then Bill Weigel reveals the issues and problems with the proposed Monterey Downs development. The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and “Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Patrick is followed by James Mockoski and Ross Gibson talking about their restoration of the 1017 Santa Cruz movie “Mothers Of Men”. UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has veterans advocate Dean Kaufman and a guest explaining many benefits available to veterans locally. Then there’s an update on what’s happening with the battle between the Community Garden and the Boardwalk Corporation. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

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, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” Charles Chaplin. “Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”Gustave Flaubert . “Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.”Emily Wing Smith. “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 24 – 30, 2015

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