Blog Archives

November 30 – December 6, 2016

SANTA CRUZ WHARF AND RAILROAD WHARF 1913. The railroad wharf shown here was gone by 1922. Wharves were a necessity back then for shipping and receiving goods and products by sea. It’s all part of our rich Santa Cruz History that the POW (Protect Our Wharf) group is trying to preserve.                                                     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

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I’ve been asked to co-emcee the umpteenth annual Santa Cruz Holiday Parade this Saturday morning (Dec. 3)  with the ever popular-effervescent Kim Luke. The Downtown Association creates this great celebration. Together Kim and I will be telling just about everybody about the biggest community parade of the year. It’ll be videotaped by Peter McGettigan and will go on Facebook. Starting at 10am on Pacific Avenue, Kim and I will be at the reviewing stand in front of Forever 21.  The traditional holiday parade is the official kickoff for the winter holidays celebration. Bands, Dancers, Classic Cars, Synchronized Librarians, perhaps even a “Rootbeer Float” one never knows exactly what to expect at the Parade, but you can be sure to expect the whole community to show up and have a great time, and of course, at the end of the parade, Sitting in a horse drawn Victorian Carriage, the man of the hour is…(you know).

Meet you there, stop by and say hello.

DATELINE November 28, 2016

LOCAL CHANGES. Thanks in no small way to the hard work of Gillian Greensite our Santa Cruz City Council has backed off from approving the Pier 23- Disneyland tourist plans for our municipal wharf. If you want real details on Gillian’s long involvement,  check out her BrattonOnline articles in the April 14, 2016, October 24, 2016 and November 11, 2016 editions of BrattonOnline. Just go to the right hand margin and click on the proper archives. It’s a wonderful example of what Gary Patton and other activists always say about getting involved in your government’s actions. POW (Protect Our Wharf)

BEFORE THE FLOOD FILM. This Leonardo DeCaprio film is showing for free at Cabrilho College Thursday Dec 1st at 5 p.m. in the 450 Forum Building. There’ll be a discussion after the screening.
NEW ZEALAND EARTHQUAKE. This one just happened November 14, 2016. I’m still not quite sure how our elected officials have prepared us for OUR next one?

Because those crazy making election results aren’t final yet and because it looks like Measure D will barely pass there is a MEASURE D meeting of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation group on Saturday December 3rd at 10:30 a.m. to plan future actions. Get in touch with them for the location. Ted Benhari of FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COAST is concerned that President Obama will proclaim Cotoni – Coast Dairies just in the nick of his time as president. But just maybe the Friends ONC worries and concerns have gotten through to those powers that be? Watch that space. Richard Gladstone sends us a great and alternative concept of dealing with the President-elect Check it out. Gene Sharp talks about humor, ridicule and the world changing effects tactics not involve turning the other cheek work best.

SANTA CRUZ & SAN JOSE EAST? John Koster and Jeffrey Smedberg sent this emergency warning…

Stop Outsider Big Money speculator/developers from their continuing takeover of the Westside!  Our City Council already granted the Patel dynasty a Marriot brand hotel but they’re not satisfied and are now proposing to tear down the hacienda style Sunset Inn motel at Mission & Swift to put up a Hilton franchise highrise – just 2 blocks away from their other coup!!  Santa Cruz is being turned into San Jose East before our very eyes.  The working class locals don’t need it and don’t want it.  There is nothing in it for residents but a rapidly eroding quality of life. STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK by attending the public hearing at 7pm on Thursday, December 1st in the City Council Chambers, 809 Center St.  Come prepared to talk it down in responsible civic fashion!

EXEUNT GREY BEARS. This is the 43rd year that the Grey Bears has created the Holiday Dinner at the Civic Auditorium. I arranged,  staged  and supervised the entertainment and emceed the event for the next 42 years. Aside from getting mass produced, pre-packaged dinners from The Santa Cruz Diner instead of making each dish by hand with care and taste the present management has become too much to bear. I quit this year. Thinking back to Marcia Margolin, Thelma Dalman, Gary Denny, Kristina Mailliard, and especially Lynda Francis the ol’ Grey Bears just ain’t what it usta be. I miss them.

WESTERN SERVICE WORKERS BACK AGAIN. It’s holiday time and that means that the Western Service Workers Association is on Pacific Avenue trying to entice possible joiners and soliciting money. The WSWA has a very shady history look them up here and see what you think. From Local Wiki  … . It says, “Western Service Workers Association (WSWA) is an organization dedicated to providing cooperative assistance and networking for low-income workers. They always welcome donations and volunteers. The group is an entity of The National Labor Federation (NATLFED), and the credibility of the WSWA has been called into question locally. While many volunteers for the organization will describe the help they have given members of the community, citing food donations to individuals and various ‘counseling’ services offered, critics of the organization question the manner in which the WSWA is funded, and how efficiently their services are carried out. One blog lists the organization as a political cult“. If you want to help the less fortunate go for The Salvation Army or better yet support and of the huge list of our local non-profits that work so hard.


You can fight city hall but it takes effort and training. Close to the witching hour on  Tuesday November 22nd. the Santa Cruz city council voted unanimously to send the Wharf  Master Plan (WMP) back to staff for a complete Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Such a process could take up to a year. One question of interest is what did it take to achieve such a reversal of plans? A more important question in my mind is why does the city council not do the legal and right thing in the first place? Citizens have to go to extraordinary lengths to force staff and city council to follow the rules.

Indicative of a desire to get the WMP approved and out of the way as quickly as possible, mayor Cynthia Mathews and city Manager Martin Bernal had placed the item last on a packed evening agenda.  Those of us waiting to speak sat through 3 hours of public testimony and council deliberation on cuts to publicly funded social services such as child-care and another hour on the proposal to eliminate parking for Accessory Dwelling Units if they are built within a half mile of a bus stop. Both are serious and weighty issues. Around 11 pm, staff switched seats and the Wharf Master Plan deliberations began. Noting the late hour, senior economic development staff, Norm Daly offered to deliver a shortened version of his presentation. The Mayor urged him to deliver the long version. When that was over and the time had moved to around 11:30 the Mayor addressed the public and asked how many wanted to speak. Seeing about ten hands, she informed us we could have a minute and a half each. A few groans of protest at this short shrift for public comment were registered and ignored. We kept to our time limits and all expressed opposition to the WMP and urged council to send it back for an EIR. The last speaker was the Wharf manager who waxed enthusiastic support for the Plan. When his buzzer sounded signaling the end of his allotted time the Mayor urged him to finish his thought. Which he did, adding many more thoughts for many more minutes until some of us in exasperation called out “unfair!” Such is the bias at city hall.

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~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).


It bothered me recently when Soquel Creek Water District Project Leader, Ms. Schumacher held up a clear glass bottle of transparent advanced treated sewage water and claimed it was pure.  “Pure Water Soquel” is the name for the proposed project by the District to inject treated sewage water directly into the area’s drinking water supply to stop salt water advancing inland, due to over 30 years of overdraft.  The water in the bottle was clear…but as we all know, it’s what you CAN’T see that is dangerous.

I have been thinking alot about Soquel Creek Water District’s preferred plan to solve the critical groundwater overdraft problem in our area.   I have recently spent a couple of Saturday mornings at the Cabrillo College Farmer’s Market talking with people about the idea of pressure injecting treated sewage water directly into the aquifer….and asking them to sign a petition to the Santa Cruz MidCounty Groundwater Agency to put the matter to ballot vote before all who depend on the Purisima Aquifer for safe drinking water.

Many people are concerned about the issue of removing a myriad of pharmaceuticals from the water before it gets injected into the aquifer and potentially contaminating everyone’s water.  Many people who are not customers of Soquel Creek Water District and therefore are unable to vote on the Board of Directors for that agency would very much like to have a say in what Soquel Creek Water District proposes to do that will affect the entire region’s water supply.

We all need to contact Soquel Creek Water District ( with our concerns and insist that all users of the aquifer be allowed to vote by ballot on whether or not the District should be allowed to inject the treated sewage water directly into our water supply.  In my opinion, we also need to insist on a temporary moratorium to reduce the rate of advancing seawater inland that will cause irreversible damage to the aquifer and destroy the area’s water supply.  Other area municipalities are taking this responsible action, as was reported in “The Mercury News” July 21, 2016 (page B1).

There are many reasons to question the wisdom of the injection quick-fix.  Various sources cite problems with advanced tertiary wastewater treatment, mostly concerning pharmaceuticals in the waste stream.  There is an excellent list of research abstracts on the matter here, showing some of the research results.  The print is small, but  you can get a good overview of what the current research shows.  In terms of pharmaceuticals, we need to be cautious.

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~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… November 27,2016


Otis R. Taylor, Jr., who writes an “East Bay” column for the San Francisco Chronicle, has this advice for all of us:

“This is a shorthand way to make an important point about our politics today – and the politics we need to return to in days to come. Politics, Taylor is saying, properly understood, is not something we can practice in a “virtual” world. Politics is the way we create a “real” world, the world in which we most immediately reside, and that’s where our political activities need to take place. We need actually to talk to people, not just sign petitions and send messages over the Internet. To be an effective political participant, in other words, it is not enough to post to Facebook (or to sign a MoveOn petition, or to write a blog – and I do take Taylor’s advice personally).

What is required is real action in the real world:

  • Get drenched by the water cannons at Standing Rock.
  • Show up personally on the Capitol Mall, at the Inauguration protest.
  • Hit the streets with those protesting the next U.S. military adventure.
  • Actually attend the meetings of the City Council and the Board of Supervisors during which our elected representatives are making the crucial decisions about the future shape and character of our local community. Speak up! Watching it all go down on the government channel, and firing off an email to the Board or Council is not sufficient.
  • Organize or join a political group. Meet each week!  

A genuine and healthy politics takes place in the real world, and involves actual human beings

Taylor’s column is worth reading – and maybe you can get through the Chronicle’s paywall and actually read it. The link I have provided will get you to the full text, providing you aren’t stopped for being a Chronicle non-subscriber. But if you do get blocked by the pay wall, one line sums it up: INSTEAD OF TYPING, TALK!”

Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) 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 at


HIDDEN VALLEY ORCHESTRA. The Hidden Valley String Orchestra lives in Panetta’s valley near Carmel. All strings and no conductor!! Artistic Directors are Stewart Robertson and Roy Malan. They’ll be playing a concert here titled “Rule, Britannia!” . It’s a matinee of English Music by Parry, Elgar, Vaughn Williams, & Ireland featuring the Hidden Valley String Orchestra. It’ll happen Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2:30pm with an afternoon Tea Reception to Follow. It’ll be at the Peace United Church at 900 High Street, Santa Cruz. Tickets Available at  it’s a rare chance to hear them in our neck of the woods.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo takes a look at this country’s original immigration issues. Look down below a screen or two.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Climate Warming Hoax” 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: “Set sail for adventure this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, with Disney’s newest girl-powered cartoon feature, Moana. (Just don’t call her “Princess.”) Sunny, beachy, and full of the tropical colors, mythology, and folklore of the Pacific Islands, it’s the perfect antidote to the winter blahs!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Laura Linney are simply perfect in their lead roles in this intelligent, puzzling, tense thriller. It wowed them at the Cannes Film Fest and it’s an impressive job of film making by director Tom Ford who knows what he’s doing. Jake and Amy are divorced, he writes a book based on their relationship that’s only half true. Plenty of violence, suspense, and a plot that will keep you 100% involved…that’s rare nowadays. Go see it ASAP.

HACKSAW RIDGE. Another extra bloody, super hero film from Mel Gibson.  A World War II Okinawa battle film about a Seventh Day Adventist (true story) who wouldn’t touch or carry a gun and rescued 75 wounded soldiers under extra heavy gunfire. Maybe too bloody, probably too goofy a hero, and yet…the battle scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen onscreen. Go only if you like well made films that are over the top violent.

ALLIED. Gee, I thought that Brad Pitt was leaving Angelina Jolie because he fell in love with Marion Cotillard his co-star in this 1942 Casablanca war and spy semi-thriller. Not many thrills or mystery or surprises…it’s mostly just a pretty WWII Casablanca wanna be Hollywood movie. After I found out that Brad and Angelina were still together there was no way to remember anything about this movie. 😉

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!!

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.

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)

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???

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.

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.

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. 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     

So, lately I’ve been binge watching all these DIY tips and tricks, how to get organized, genius life hacks, etc. At some point, these will start happening by osmosis, right? Right?!

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.


“Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. It’s coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be”,  Rebecca Solnit
“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake”, Jeannette Rankin
“Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake”, Sylvester Stallone
“Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match”,  Karl Kraus

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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