Blog Archives

November 4 – 17, 2015

DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ….PACIFIC AVENUE AND MISSION STREET. How time flies, what changes we’ve seen. That’s where McHugh & Bianchi used to be on the right side corner. Now it’s Bank of The West, There’s still an empty lot where Bookshop Santa Cruz used to be and Lulu Carpenter’s Café which was the first business to re-open on Pacific after the 1989 quake.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

And hoping to catch up again on……. NOVEMBER 9, 2015

MONTEREY DOWNS AND HORSE PARK DEVELOPMENT. Way back in the early 1970’s a group of out of town developers (Hollywood Turf Club, Marine World, Moroto Investment Company etc.) treid to develop Wilder Ranch. They tried to build 10, 000 homes (that’s means 30,000 people coming here). We organized and eventually stopped them. The Monterey Downs proposed development on Fort Ord Land isn’t quite that large but the battle is not only looming but getting dangerous. Land Watch Monterey County has stated the facts…they are startling. From their website…

“The Monterey Downs and Horse Park components of the proposed project includes the following: a 225,000 square foot horse training facility that would be comprised of a track and stabling area, ancillary buildings, and a 6,500 seat sports arena and grandstand; a 330,000 square-foot commercial center; a 15,000 square-foot horse park that would be comprised of a visitors center, office space, veterinary clinic, and horse stables; two affordable extended stay hotels with a total of 256 units; 1,280 residential units ranging from apartments to single family residential homes; a 100,000 square foot office park; a 200-room (100,000 square foot) hotel; a 5,000 square foot tennis and swim club; a 73-acre habitat preservation area; and 74 acres dedicated to open space and parks and infrastructure” Link to the Land Watch website see just how bad this development will be and get involved in any way you can. Bill Weigle will be talking about The Monterey Downs development on Universal grapevine Tuesday November 24 at 7:30 p.m.

KUSP CUTS BACK ON GARY PATTON’S LAND WATCH PROGRAM. Gary Patton sent this email Saturday (10/31)… “KUSP will no longer be running the Morning Edition show from NPR; therefore, the Land Use Report is not going to appear each weekday in a “local break” in Morning Edition, which is how it has appeared in the past. I am not sure what the programming will be that surrounds the placement of the Land Use Report, and I think that the scheduling shown in this week’s transcripts may change, as KUSP experiments with its new programming schedule. As you will probably notice, I have also been instructed to prepare only FOUR segments for next week; they will run (as indicated in the transcripts) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; plus Sunday”. Gary went on to say he has no idea what KUSP’s programming plans are for the future. When they start their AAA changes by cutting locally originated and essential news oriented programs like Gary’s all we can do is wait…and hope. Opera program host Jim Emdy says that his Monday Night at The Opera Show will continue until mid November but after that is anyone’s guess”. Jim added, “all news and info are gone now in daytime. that includes Democracy Now, which is a free show”.

JOHN LEOPOLD FOR SUPERVISOR. Grand new local news happened on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (10/27). John Leopold announced that he was once again running for 1st District Santa Cruz County Supervisor. I added that we remember that even the Santa Cruz Sentinel endorsed him that last time he ran (2008). He reminded us that the county primary happens in June and usually lots of people try running up until that time. As you might guess Doug Deitch says he’s also running in the first district. He’s run in other districts before. Zach Friend 2nd District supervisor also announced and took out papers to run. Becky Steinbrunner said (also on Universal Grapevine) that there are some highly qualified folks that are considering entering that district race and said the recall drive is progressing nicely. We haven’t heard from 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson yet.

OUR PRECIOUS WATER AND UCSC. We’ve all been reading how UCSC has been nearly perfect on their water cutbacks. However Toby Goddard from our Santa Cruz City Water Department states and I quote, “Based on the assumed student enrollment growthrate and demand factor, it is estimated that water demand for the UCSC campus willincrease by 10 million gallons per year from 2020 to 2030. Total UCSC demand at 2030 would be 348 million gallons per year, which represents a net increase of 136 million gallons per year over existing water use.This statement is from… The University of California and The City of Santa Cruz recently completed a Water Supply Assessment (WSA) and certified an EIR for the City of Santa Cruz Sphere of Influence Amendment (“SOI Amendment EIR,” Santa Cruz, 2010).

NEWS FROM GEORGE OW. George sent some mighty interesting news about changes at Kings Plaza (41st Ave. and Capitola Road) …

  1. Orchard Supply Hardware is doing a multi-million dollar remodel of their existing store. They were bought by Lowe’s a year or two ago and we are very happy that they kept ours open–and are now improving it. It is rumored that they are spending $5 million, but that is unconfirmed.
  2. There are two murals along 38th Avenue. One is the 240 long feet by 160 feet high “Whimsey” mural done by Elizabeth Sadoff, Dennis Marks and Julie Heffernan about 30 years ago. It was recently refinished to bring back fading colors. The second one is the “Whale Mural” alongside the CineLux Theater that was 20 feet high by 134 feet long. It will be smaller because of architectural changes, but will be renovated with a whale theme.
  3. The old Pizza Company-Tony & Alba’s space across from the CineLux Theaters is being remodeled by the owners of West End Tap and will be called the East End Gastropub. They are working out the decor and menu now. Bill Schultz is doing the construction.
  4. The space where Pretty Mama was at is being remodeled to be a woman’s nail, facial, skin, etc. spa.
  5. 5. CineLux is remodeling the former Capitola Book Company and theater space to increase the theater count from three to eight. Paul Gunsky is changing everything to make it a deluxe presentation, à la his remodel of the Scotts Valley Cinemas. Construction is still underway, but five screens are now operating and more will come on line soon. (George Ow is part of Ow Family Properties and owns Kings Plaza).
MARIANNE FAITHFULL SINGS “TIMES SQUARE”. This is one of the great songs by Barry Reynolds that my daughter Hillary Bratton recorded. It’s available on iTunes.
GEORGE LEWIS & HIS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND November 1953. I heard this band many times and got to know them back in the day. I even almost went AWOL at Fort Ord to hear them play at the officer’s club in January 1955.

FINAL FAREWELLS. Al Johnsen taught pottery at UCSC back in it’s earliest days. He co-founded Big Creek Pottery and later opened his own Scott Creek Pottery. He was also the driving force behind the legendary Swanton Road Corn Roasts. He died Tuesday Nov. 3rd.

Marge Frantz also taught at UCSC for almost 30 years. She was a long time member of the Communist Party USA and lived for years at Piedmont Court.I have no details on her dying.

Ed Borovatz was a Santa Cruz school teacher and became our County supervisor in 1977. I remember that he lived in a near legendary house on Branciforte…we’ll miss them all.

BEACH FLATS & THEIR GARDEN & EMINENT DOMAIN. Fred Geiger wrote a letter to the Santa Cruz City Council and made some important points… “Dear Council members. As you likely realize, the General Plan calls for 1 Acre of publicspace per one thousand residents. The Beach Flats Community has about 2,600 residents and has only about ONE HALF an ACRE of public space. This is a completely unacceptable situation and has existed for very many years. Now the Garden space is to be reduced and no mitigation of this unacceptable situation is being proposed.

The City should exercise its right to Eminent Domain and secure this Garden plot, as well as other space, to rectify this unacceptable situation. The purpose of such taking of land (with just compensation) is to benefit the public good. I can think of no clearer circumstance in which it could be exercised! Thank You. Fred J. Geiger.”

BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ NEWS. Ex Register-Pajaronian and Mercury reporter Lee Quarnstrom will return to the Bookshop on December 3 to sign copies of his “When I was A Dynamiter” book. More details will follow but Lee told me…”It’s part of a big shindig that will include Supervisor John Leopold dedicating a plaque near The Spread, a house where I, along with Ken Kesey & his family and some other Merry Pranksters, lived in the mid-60s for a while. The plaque will memorialize the first Acid Test, held there 50 years ago, at the site of The Spread (now gone) on the north side of Soquel Drive just west of Rodeo Gulch — the gulch itself, not Rodeo Gulch Road, which is on the other side of the gulch. The Acid Tests, which we Pranksters, as we called ourselves, were held in in the Bay Area and southern California, with music by the Grateful Dead. Obviously those future details will make all this sensible!!!

Gillian Greensite writes…

Have you noticed a difference in your streetlights recently? Do they seem whiter and brighter? Do they disturb your sleep? The city has recently replaced our high-pressure sodium streetlights with its choice of light-emitting diode (LED) lights that create potential threats to human health and safety, wildlife ecology and naturally dark skies. Two months ago, on hearing that this retrofit was coming, the Santa Cruz chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), of which I am a member, requested a meeting with the city Public Works director to find out the specs on the retrofit, and find out if the lights chosen met the latest IDA standards in LED technology in order to save energy costs, maximize safety and minimize light pollution. We were stonewalled, given the run-around by both the city and PG&E. By the time we had a meeting the streetlights were a done deal, bought and installed.

LED light is a breakthrough in lighting technology, saving energy and its costs. It is the light of the future. It has its risks, especially in the choice of the technology that our city has just installed. The white light emitted by the diodes has a spectrum that ranges from cool (blue) to warm (red). The cool end of the spectrum is linked to human sleep disturbances, disruption of the ecosystems of nocturnal animals, disruption to bird behavior, disruption to plant growth and its short-wavelength scatters light over a wider range, while the warm end minimizes these effects. Since the technology is rapidly changing, a word to the wise by those in city management in other cities is to not rush into this mass retrofit without careful scrutiny of all the options. The city of Davis found this out the hard way. They retrofitted their public streetlights with 4000 K blue-white LED lights (which our city has just installed) and the public reacted with outrage, sufficient to force the city to replace the lights with the IDA approved, warm spectrum, dimmable, 3000 K lights. It cost the city of Davis $350,000 to make the change. We early on alerted our city about what happened in Davis.

The 2030 General Plan has entries that call for reducing light pollution and exploring a “dark sky ordinance.” There is no indication the city considered the General Plan given that the old lights were 70 watts and according to PG&E, the new LED’s are the equivalent of 100 watts (4,000 Kelvins). PG&E cautioned the city that this choice of light may not play well in Santa Cruz but the city insisted on 4,000K blue-white lights. In terms of energy savings, warm-spectrum white LED lighting now achieves the same energy efficiency as cool-spectrum lights and is better for people and the environment. The new lights have increased glare that leads to more pedestrian, bike and car accidents. The city claims the blue-white spectrum lights provide more home safety and enable law enforcement to better identify suspects. There is no evidence that the cool-white lights achieve this better than the warm-spectrum lights. There is evidence that the kind of lighting chosen by the city compromises public safety by creating deep shadows which provide cover for those intent on doing harm.

There is also a more cosmic concern. We are fast losing sight of the night sky due to light pollution. Not only astronomers feel this loss. It is a profound loss for humanity to lose sight of the immensity and beauty of space, to ponder our origins and fate. Whether your concern is cosmic, health, safety or environmental impacts, the main point is that there was no avenue for public input and discussion of alternatives. It’s not too late. Davis has led the way. If you want to express your concerns, email city Public Works director Mark Dettle at, Joe Foster of PG&E at and city council at You can find more about IDA at ( 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).

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

More on TAKE BACK SANTA CRUZ’S Community Safety Forum

The featured speaker for this event, Republican Lynne Brown from Sacramento seems to have taken her Electric Blue fundraising website down. Not sure if it’s worth the effort, but it would still be interesting to see who paid for Brown and her entourage to come to Santa Cruz and pitch their anti-AB 109 and Prop 47 cause back on October 22nd. There are still plenty of references to Electric Blue (“Supporting public safety professionals and their families”) out there. Their unregistered “foundation” has several Sacramento Tea Party political groups listed as supporters. Message to local groups who are asked to be co-sponsors at Take Back Santa Cruz Community Safety Forums…. Make sure you check out their programs before you lend your name. Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

AMY WINEHOUSE. I’d only seen her in that’s her big video hit “Back To Black”

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton states in his now abbreviated KUSP Land Watch reports this week…

Highway widening projects are always controversial. They cost a lot of money, of course, and they generally have pretty significant environmental impacts. The issue that I think is most often coming to the fore, nowadays, is a question about whether such highway widening projects actually accomplish anything positive, in terms of reducing highway congestion.

In other words, while spending many millions of dollars and causing large impacts to the environment might be a good tradeoff, if the end result were significantly less traffic congestion, those huge expenditures and negative environmental impacts look a lot less attractive if the end result is no significant improvement at all in the highway congestion problems that were the reason that the widening project was undertaken in the first place.

In fact, highway engineers are coming to the conclusion that widening highways results in what is called “induced demand,” which means that the new capacity from the widening project is quickly consumed by more people using the highway, so it’s the same old congestion, but with more people caught in the jam. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission is proposing a project to widen Highway One in Santa Cruz County, from Morrissey Boulevard to Larkin Valley Road. An EIR process is just beginning. You are invited to get involved, and can get more information at

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” –

A REAL AMAZON STORE TO OPEN!!! Casy Coonerty Protti mentioned this news at our Bookshop Santa Cruz Birthday Party last Friday night. And I just found the news on HUFF POST It’s going to be across from The Empire State Building on West 34th Street. “It won’t be a regular store, though. There’s just too many items on Amazon. The store will be more like a warehouse. You’ll be able to return and exchange things you buy online in the store. You’ll also be able to order something online in the morning and pick it up at the store that night”. It also said that if that one works they’ll open more. Something just doesn’t seem right about that. Amazon started in 1995, in case you’d forgotten.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Fortune teller DeCinzo reminds us of rain, storms and FEMA!!! See below just a few pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim gives us Deep Insight into the Republican future!!! Scroll below…

GUYS AND DOLLS IN THE NEW THEATRE!!! The Jewel Theatre Company must really be jumping up and down (plus dancing) getting ready for their big new production of Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls. It’s running in the brand new Colligan Theatre at The Tannery November 12-December 6. Laura Piccone is directing it and Lee Ann Payne is doing the choreography. Go to for tickets or call 831 425-7506

LISA JENSEN LINKS. “Everybody’s a critic this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express as I consider what happens when audience expectations don’t match up with the book (or movie) actually produced. Also, there’s still time to catch up with some interesting fall films.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


LABYRINTH OF LIES. A subtitled story of the tracking down and making Germany aware of and admitting to the truths of Auschwitz. It hints at the terrible experiments and guilt of Josef Mengele and how he escaped justice. It’s tough and uncompromising and a lesson for all of us. It’s only here by special inclusion from the distributors.

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.

MISS YOU ALREADY. A genuine women’s film!!! Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette play best friends since childhood. Jacqueline Bisset (almost unrecognizable) plays Toni’s mom.The film is laden and loaded with cancer, masctectomies, scars, childbirth, and is full of tragedy, and stuff in the lives,pains and feelings of women that I can’t posibly identify with…it is a woman’s film, and that is a compliment and high praise.

TRUTH. You won’t be able to stop thinking about how much Robert Redford does NOT look like Dan Rather. However you will also not stop thinking about how Cate Blanchett should be given her Oscar immediately. Cate runs the gamut of excellent acting as Dan Rather’s producer at CBS. This is about how George W. Bush got special favors to get into the National Guard and avoided serving in the war in 2004. CBS comes out looking really bad as business took over news reporting in the fullest sense, and remains so today. See the film. Take Don Lane with you, please.

OUR BRAND IS CRISIS.Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton give this film all their acting chops and still it just doesn’t get great. Bullock looks like a real human in this film unlike the inches of makeup and hokey “style” she affects in most of her films. Like TRUTH this is all about politics and business…only in Bolivia. It’s politically confusing and dull at times, but Bullock and Billy Bob are fun to watch.

BURNT. A more accurate title would be “Steve Jobs goes to Cooking School”. Bradley Cooper plays a self centered jerk who is at least as bad as S. Jobs. Sienna Miller does a good job with her thankless role but this movie should never have been made. Cooper is supposed to be a former drug addict with a money depbt to pay, he’s been sober for a few years, he drives everybody crazy…and still you won’t give a damn when/IF you watch it.


STEVE JOBS. By now most of the world should know that Steve Jobs was a nasty, foccussed, driven, genius. We know too that his inventions have really changed the world and how we communicate. This film starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet as his enabler, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels in their usual stereotyped parts, is relentless. It’s all negative, fast paced, and it’s more or less a history lesson about the Apple tech-business behind the scenes. All in all it’s a fine film, but don’t expect to leave the theatre being happy.

SICARIO. Remember Javier Bardem the ruthless assassin in “No Country for Old Men”? Well Benicio Del Toro almost outdoes him in Sicario. Emily Blunt tries her best to act like a Federal agent (FBI) assigned to shady drug deals along the Mexico-El Paso border. Josh Brolin is the seasoned government agent who’s trying to stop the Cocaine, pot, drug trade being tunneled into the USA. It does a great job depicting the politics (ours and Mexico’s ) and shady acts that both sides deal with every day in this ongoing war. It’s an unusual action film, go if you like action films with a hint of truth.

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.

THE INTERN. Robert DeNiro does his quirky, cute, funny old man role in this feel good comedy. Anne Hathaway does almost eaactly a role reversal of what her co-star Meryl Streep did in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). There’s a lot of ageism, truth, and predictability in this feel good flick but it’s fun…even if you’re old. Believe me.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

CRIMSON PEAK. Once again I’m on the opposite side of the reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave this a 69 % rating!! Jessica Chastain does a victorian, haunted near-witch role, Mia Wasikowska is her usual blonde wide eyed innocent, Tom Hiddleston spends most of the film figuring out just what role he is playing. It’s a Guillermo del Toro production and is gorgeous, but really tiring. No subtle surprises, no new suspense, just ghosts, and pretty costumes designed by Kate Hawley. Not our local talented Kate Hawley (I asked her). You could rent it, but not for Halloween…it’s not scary enough!!!

PAN. I mentioned to some film fan friends before I saw this mess that I’d never read such bad reviews of a major release as Pan got…and deserved. It is supposed to be a prequel to the too familiar Peter Pan story and tells of Peter and his American FRIEND Captain Hook!! Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Rooney Mara do what they can with such a shabby script, but it is extra shabby, and undecipherible to a fault. I won’t even try to explain the plot, I couldn’t understand any five minutes of it. It is bloody, evil, and has little or no meaning for existing. DO NOT ATTEND!

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. Tandy Beal talks about her production of “Mixed Nutz” and her Artsmart concerts followed by Debbie Hencke from “The Alliance of Concerned Citizens” talking about County Code changes. And on Nov. 10. Shmuel Thaler and Wallace Baine discuss their new Gail Rich Awards book on November 17, those guys are followed by Dr. Shawna Riddle giving us Holiday health advice and common sense about vaccinations. Cardiologist Dr. Neil Sawhney guests on Nov. 14 to talk about you heart and the holiday strains. After Doc Sawhney, 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. Later on, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15. 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.

QUOTES. “November hung his Granite Hat upon a nail of plush”, Emily Dickenson.

“The Hardest thing about boxing is picking up your teeth with boxing gloves on”, Kin Hubbard. “Losing the Super Bowl is worse than death. With Death you don’t have to get up in the morning”, George Allen. “You can observe a lot by just watching”, Yogi Berra.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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