Blog Archives

November 26 – December 2, 2013

CIVIL RIGHTS SYMPATHY MARCH. March 13, 1965. Back in 1965 this was probably 98% of the Santa Cruz Democrats. It was at the corner of Lincoln and Center Streets according to the street sign. I believe Herb and Ellie Foster are in there someplace and so is Norm Lezin but I can’t find them.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE Nov. 25, 2013


Many eyes and hopefully many more voters will be watching closely as mayors Bryant and Robinson push, wedge and screw their choices onto the 19 member Drought Solutions Citizens Advisory Board (DSCAB or de-scab). As we’ve read this hand picked board could spend $1 million in the next year on their water solutions. It’s proposed that up to $300,000 be spent on a facilitator for this board which is slated to exist for at least a year. With Robinson’s connections to the Boardwalk and the Theme Park industry you can bet the Boardwalk will never have to reveal just how much water they use (has anyone ever dared ask how much water the Boardwalk uses…especially with their water rides?) We see that the Sustainable Water Coalition is guaranteed a seat on the DSCAB. Who’s behind the Sustainable Water Coalition just Mike Rotkin, Cynthia Mathews, Chamber of Commerce and every right wing Democrat you’ve heard of. The Lodging Association, Developers, Conference Visitors Assoc., The Downtown Association all those 100% De-Sal supporters. On the other hand The Community Water Coalition has never been officially asked, consulted or considered on thi siiissue or about the DSCAB board. I’m writing this on Monday, 11/25. The City Council meeting on 11/26 will give us a preview of how our waters future will pan out…scabs and all.

John Brumbry talks about De-salination. Brumbry was the 45th Premier of Victoria and a Member of the Australian Parliament for Bendigo. Australia has a long record of dealing with De-Sal.



The beautiful chestnut tree pictured below is slated to be cut down to make way for a Hyatt Hotel on Broadway just a few houses down from Ocean Street, the site of the former Unity Temple. The Heritage Tree Ordinance mandates protection for heritage trees unless “a construction project design cannot reasonably be altered to accommodate existing heritage trees.” (Criteria and Standards #3 ). The tree is near the sidewalk and a minor change in design could easily allow for the development and the tree to coexist.

The issue is back before the council since significant design changes for the project are being proposed. Such changes should include saving this tree. At the last council hearing on this project where the vote was to approve the project and remove the tree, an elderly woman with tears in her eyes grabbed my arm outside the council chambers and begged me to save the tree. She said her father had planted the tree and showed me a tiny black and white photo from the 1930’s showing the tree which had size and stature even at that time. The Heritage Tree Ordinance is meaningless if it cannot protect a tree such as this one. If you care, please email the council at and urge them to save this heritage tree. The meeting is on Tuesday December 3rd. Thank you, Gillian Greensite, Save Our Big Trees

ARANA GULCH NOTE. Just a note I received this week… “Thank you so very much for writing and letting people know what is happening in Arana Gulch. Perhaps you have been informed about the latest proceedings there. They have installed a double row of chain link fence diagonally across the meadow, completely blocking parts of the trail previously available to hikers around the circumference. It is no longer possible to walk the circumference, and certainly not possible to walk in peace, with no noisy machinery. I am 77 and I’ve been walking in Arana Gulch for many years, almost every morning. I have greatly valued those early morning walks, and being able to enjoy the birds and other wildlife, when they were undisturbed. Thank you very much for writing about this. Have a lovely day, (I will leave it anonymous)


DAN DEPP’S BOOKSHOP. Rita Bottoms was eagle eyed and kind enough to write and remind me that she wrote about Johnny Depp’s brother Dan’s bookshop that was here in Santa Cruz. From her book “Riffs & Ecstasies; True Stories” (chapter 12) here are some of the details from the book…

“At the edge of Santa Cruz just before you head north through Brussels sprouts and artichoke fields on Highway 1, there was once a small bookshop called “Frugal Bookworm” wedged between a narrow liquor store and a pharmacy in a short shopping strip with a carpet emporium and a Chinese restaurant at either end. From the parking lot you really couldn’t see into the shop and sometimes the windows were blocked or covered with paper. It was never large enough for all the books that were in it and shelves and boxes were jammed and stacked where there was room. It was 1993 and the bookshop would be open irregular days and hours and then closed for several weeks while its proprietor was in Los Angeles or Paris. When it was open
I’d go during lunch to shoot the breeze with its bookseller, Dan Depp, whose wife, Nazee, I knew from the library. It was total joy to be there, kibitzing with someone who reveled in the life of the mind and creativity of all sorts, who loved books, and had them for sale at affordable prices. In our many conversations we hashed over writers, photographers, painters and, of course, Paris.

….”For years Dan been writing screenplays, short stories and poems and a decade after closing Frugal Bookworm, he was a published writer with a well-received novel under his belt, making the rounds of European literary circuits. In August 2009, as we were packing our bags for France, out of the blue from Paris where he was working on his second novel, Dan sent an email wondering if “by some miracle” we were heading over to Europe. I wrote back ” how about next Monday!”….

…”There’s nothing like Frugal Bookworm now in Santa Cruz, the small neighborhood used bookshop. Twenty years later seeing the price of “9.00” penciled into Deirdre Bair’s biography of Simone de Beauvoir takes me back to that great good place. Unique at the time and now as well, Dan had no idea what it meant to me.”

Rita’s book of Riffs is available at Literary Guillotine, La Sirena Antiques, Bookshop Santa Cruz and City Lights Bookshop.

FAMOUS FLAG POLE SITTER. This was a big deal way back when. Just imagine..

SAM VESTAL REMEMBERED. Sam Vestal was an ace photographer and a certified character in this county a few years ago. He worked for decades at the Watsonville Register Pajaronian. Here’s what the San Jose Mercury wrote about him and his photograph of JFK. Then after that GO HERE TO SEE VESTALS PHOTOS… . Sam’s widow Alyce sent us all of the above, thanks Alyce.

EDDIE MURPHY ON THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW. About a black president, secret service agents, talking cars..

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about de-sal and the cities “re-set” proposal. He talks about The Community Water Coalition and Desal Alternatives and how hopeful so many voters are that maybe now we can work with the city in deciding our water’s future. Tuesday he talks about Graham Hill Road and LAFCO. On Wednesday Gary defines “Complete Streets”. Then he hopes we all have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, and thanks the California Coastal Commission. He closes by giving us some news about UCSC’s Life Lab program and what we can all learn from their projects. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. DeCinzo flutters around with nature and development. See about 4 pages downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Mr. Eagan looks at politics as a career…for those who think young. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa didn’t send a teaser plus link this week so let me tell you to go to her website and read her handy tips on how to write a novel. This is because of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some rare details there. She also has an unusual take on the SSC production of “It’s A Wonderful Life“. Go to Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

……In order of perfection……

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

DELIVERY MAN. There is something I don’t like about Vince Vaughn. It’s nearly the same reaction I have to Alec Baldwin. I wouldn’t want to ever have to meet either of them and Vaughn is exactly that same smarmy and unbelievable in Delivery Man., The plot is pure ancient, trite Hollywood. Way over-used laughs, cheap tricks, phoney reactions and yet, the plot could have been deep and meaningful. It’s based on a true story of a man who donated sperm and how it was delivered and resulted in 533 children. A bunch of thoose kids file a lawsuit to find out who Dad is. Wait and rent it, it’s not at all funny, but it tries hard.

(from BEST 2 worst)

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

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

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

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

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

MOSAIC, dances by Karl Schaffer and friends. There will be a performance of Mosaic, dances by Karl Schaffer and friends about peace, justice, culture, and conflict in the Mideast, followed by discussion with the congregation led by Senior Minister Dave Grishaw-Jones. The title “Mosaic” refers to the range of subjects that inspired the choreography, from the Palestinian/Israeli struggle to “video mosaics” of tiling designs common in Middle Eastern art. Includes dances set to music recorded by Santa Cruz world music group Zambra. Free, the public is invited, location 900 High Street in Santa Cruz.More information: Karl Schaffer, 831-480-5114 or It happens on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 10:30 AM, the PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (formerly the First Congregational Church).

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase, program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. Steven Bignell & Susan Bruijnes talk about their brand new book, “228 Things to See in Santa Cruz County, after which former Santa Cruz Supreme Court Judge Bill Kelsey relates his time on the bench.Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. Stephen Slade from The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County tells us of their latest plans and projects on Dec. 17, then Mike Wallace ex-reporter and author of the new MAH publication “The Borina Family of Watsonville” tells about his research. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “The widower reviewed his past in a sunless light which was intensified by the greyness of the November twilight, whilst the bells subtly impregnated the surrounding atmosphere with the melody of sounds that faded like the ashes of dead years”, Georges Rodenbach. “October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces,” J.K. Rowling. Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason,Why the gunpowder treason, Should ever be forgot,” Alan Moore, V for Vendetta


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 26 – December 2, 2013

Comments are closed.