Blog Archives

November 6 – 12, 2013

The once Santa Cruz County Bank. This was taken January 4, 1965. Now the bank has become Pacific Wave Surf Shop.You can see Montgomery Ward’s catalog store on the left of the Bank. Down Cooper Street behind the bank was where Logo’s bookstore used to be. Upstairs from that store was where I spent the first few minutes of the 1989 earthquake.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE Nov. 4, 2013

HALLOWEEN DOWNTOWN AND POLICE POWER. What we never see or hear about after our Pacific Avenue Downtown Halloween Celebrations are the emergency chain link fences, the prison-like floodlights on tall poles, the actual fenced in enclosures on Cooper Street. What we do read about, and that many folks wait to learn is how many were arrested that night. We know that if the City Council allows the police to hire 100 extra security, off duty police, National Guard we’ll get that many more arrests, and justify spending that much more money. If they hired 500 extra policers we’d have that many more arrests. How has our once happy Halloween complete with sanctioned costume contests, happy celebrants, and lots of community input (like First Night used to be) turned into this police state? It’s the same mentality that has turned or beaches into a show of force between Police and People on the Fourth of July.

IT’S ALL SAMUEL. L. JACKSON’S FAULT. Even if you don’t listen to Bushwhackers Breakfast Club on Friday am’s.on KZSC 88.1 fm and hear our weekly homage to this great actor you’ll love this clip.

CITY TO DEFY CALIFORNIA FISH & WILDLIFE? Friends of Arana Gulch and earnest leader Jean Brocklebank point out that work on the two proposed bridges over Arana Creek and Hagemann Creek must be constrained to happen between June 15 and October 15 of 2014. That’s one setback, the other one is that the City might be defying California Fish & Game if they proceed without a certain permit…Ms. Brocklebank and Margaret Mead

explain it all here [link expands, click again to collapse]

SANTA CRUZ’S GREEK FESTIVAL 2013. See if you can spot Louis Rittenhouse and Steven DeCinzo in the crowd.

SLAVERY IN THE NORTH U.S.A. Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now had some shocking news last Wednesday about just how widespread slavery was in our northern states. ie..Rhode Island had more slaves than any southern state!!! Here’s her interview with Craig Steven Wilder author of “Ebony & Ivy:Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities”.

Then Amy interviewed Katrina Browne director of the documentary “Traces of the Trade: A story From the Deep North”. Katrina talks about herown De Wolf family who were once the largest slave trading family in U.S. history. That’s where you see and hear the painful and shameful slavery history of our northern states.

More than that, be sure to see “12 Years as a Slave” now at the Del Mar asap and read my review down a few pages.

THE THRILL OF MOUNTAIN BIKING. Just watch this from your easy chair and try to figure why anyone would ever attempt such a thing.

BEST JACK-O-LANTERNS I’VE EVER SEEN. I know it’s late but these carvings add an entire dimension to the genre!!!



Last week’s meeting with John Leopold and members of People Power and the Campaign for Sensible Transportation left the audience with hopes for something besides the money pit, better known as Widening Highway 1. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) voted to remove the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicles) highway widening project from their number one priority status. This is welcome news for those of us, including most members of the RTC who want to see local roads fixed, the rail trail between Watsonville and Davenport built, and alternative transportation methods explored. A letter written to the RTC members from their Director pointed out the fact the even if every dollar we could depend on from the state far into the future, plus the passage of a sales tax measure and an increase in the vehicle license fee , would still not pay for the HOV lanes that are wanted by widening advocates. Amazingly, the RTC members from Scotts Valley still hung in there for the HOV lanes, for a highway that doesn’t even touch where they live.

We still may see a supportable tax measure in the future to fix local streets and roads that might have a chance of passing without being dragged down with a multi-million dollar HOV widening project around its neck. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton talks about Assemblyman Mark Stone and local land use decisions. Our Board of Supes may change the rules on building hotels and motels, and raising their own pay, as you probably know. Then there’s Election Day in Salinas and other related issues such as manure and the Wild Farm Alliance. Gary makes note of fracking in Monterey County and San Benito County. He ends by giving details about the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar in January. 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 gives us a peek at the more sensitive side of Santa Cruz.

Scroll a ways downwards to see his point of view.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Wheel down a few pages to see what Eagan knows about what the president knows about.

CRYING BABY WHEN MOM SINGS. I know there are a zillion “likes” and views on this clip but watch it anyways…so cute !!!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Is it too early for the ‘O’ word? (Oscars, I mean.) The Academy Awards race is heating up, and now’s the time to see the contenders, while they’re still up on the big screen. Catch up with some of my favorites this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


……In order of perfection……

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 ture story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

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.

LAST VEGAS. It is pitiful to see such stars-icons-great actors such as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline lower themselves to act in this kind of crap.Somehow, I’m guessing due to her ego Mary Steenburgen is great in her role as singer/temptress. You’ve seen 100 Las Vegas films, and they are all better than this one. Don’t go.


(from BEST 2 worst)

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way, rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

MUSCLE SHOALS. Another fine documentary about the music business. I got curious about the word MUSCLE in the city’s name. The town website says, “No one knows when the name Muscle Shoals was first used for this area, however, there are many theories of where the name originated. One theory is that at one time there were piles of mussel shells found along the shoals in the Tennessee River. Another theory is that the shape of the river looks like the muscle in a man’s arm, therefore, Muscle Shoals. The last theory comes from several booklets that were published before Muscle Shoals incorporated. This theory states: “Muscle Shoals, the Niagara of the South, derives its name from the Indians, who, attempting to navigate upstream, found the task almost impossible because of the strong current.” Thus came the word muscle, symbolic of the strength required to “paddle a canoe up the rapids.” But the list of famous artists that made their first hit records at Muscle Shoals is staggering. Even much longer are the dozens maybe hundreds of albums recorded there that hit the top. Good fun, great music. Go see it for sure.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL. I thought I was complètely impressed and excited about the importance of all of us seeing Robert Reich’s “Inequality For All” then I read Becky O’Malley co-owner and editor of The Berkeley Daily Planet review of this documentary of our world and how it got this way. She says, Berkeley Prof Tackles Inequality: Inequality Persists By Becky O’Malley Friday October 04, 2013. Almost by accident, the other night I saw the new documentary Inequality for All, which features Robert Reich, now Professor of Public Policy at the University of California here in Berkeley. I know, I know, Paul Krugman called him a “non-economist”… In fact, Krugman once wrote of Reich “talented writer, too bad he never gets anything right.” But he’s a pretty good teacher and journalist, skilled at communicating important points so that other non-economists like me understand them. This new movie, which relies heavily on animated graphs, is very simple, and much of it is incontrovertible.

A plus for the junior set is Reich’s self-mocking comic touch. He’s a master of the short end of the shtick. Well over four feet tall, he misses no opportunity to turn this genetic fact into funny stuff, starting with the lead-in scene where he drives up to the U.C. Berkeley campus in his Mini-Cooper. (You can watch this in the trailer on the film’s web site) The theme is simple, and very familiar to those — well, to those to whom it’s familiar. It’s a cliché in some circles: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Some of us knew that already.
In fact, if you don’t have time to take in an hour and a half movie, you can quickly get the message, complete with clever animation; in this YouTubed short (see above) with Reich’s voice-over narration.Go here for her full review…–By-Becky-O-Malley

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this “true story”. One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new “Gravity II” script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll bed deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

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 Alfonso Cuaron’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. MY ERROR. Judi Grunstra was kind enough to point out that re Gravity I, Pan’s Labyrinth was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, not Cuaron. Thanks for that correction..; it didn’t seem right when I typed it, but deadlines etc, etc.

GRAVITY…FOR PEOPLE WHO HATED THE FILM. Many, many folks have asked, and told me that they really, really didn’t like Sandra and George’s Gravity film. Not just didn’t like it, they were disturbed by the attitude of the films’ fans. What’s weird is that so many millions love it and want to see Oscars evenly distributed. Then I came across Peter Hartlaub’s article in Friday’s Chronicle. . Read it, especially if you’ve seen Gravity. As I wrote in my critique I was only impressed by the 3D…the acting was non-existent, the plot was Hollywood, etc. etc.

GRAVITY II. With a deep bow and inspired by Lisa Jensen’s review I’ve scripted the Sequel to Gravity I now playing at theatres around us. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are back of course and the new Gravity II opens with a shark biting off Sandra Bullock’s right leg as she continues her crawl up the beach. She rips apart of her tee-shirt off ( adding more of the sex we saw with her “skin-tight boy shorts”) and wraps her shark bite, stands up and waves from the beach. Panning back, we see that she landed on Guantanamo Beach in Cuba in the free zone between the USA and the Cuban property lines. Both sides start firing at each other over this “invasion” Sandra crawls to the top of the nearest ridge just in time to grab on to some flying object just passing by. Lo and behold it’s none other that a very much alive George Clooney who has climbed into another space capsule, this time from India!! Painted on the side of the Indian capsule is Outer Spice. George looking even more like Buzz Lightyear than in Gravity I, gets Sandra inside and together off they go.

FIFTH ESTATE. Another Benedict Cumberbatch starring role. I have to say Benedict Cumberbatch is probably my favorite actor, at least of this year. He plays Julian Assange the Wikileaks guy who leaked all those international espionage secrets. Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci are in it too, but they don’t count for much. The film sort of presents both sides of whether the leaking was good or bad. It pretty much makes Assange into a nerdy, kinky character…and you’ll leave frustrated because Assange looks into the camera and says it’s up to YOU. An odd film that will tell you more than you know about that leaking. Bradley Manning’s leaking plays a very small part.

RUSH. Ron Howard directed it. That means it “feels good” and that it will end happily. It’s got a sound track of racing cars that sounds like Pacific Avenue on weekends. Hulky Chris Hemsworth appears to be a rare good looking actor who can act, at least he does in this 1970’s Formula One race car epic. The racing scenes are exciting, but the pseudo bios linking all the action fall very flat. Save your money and rent it, even though it should be seen on the big screen.

ACOD. (Adult Children Of Divorce) Even with our locally born actor Adam Scott (5’9″) and a cast including Richard Jenkins, Amy Poehler and Catherine O’Hara this so called comedy has a meaness, a bitterness and, there is nobody to like in it. The idea of studying and watching the growth of ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE is absolutely fascinating because it seems like that covers almost all of us…you’ll squirm more than laugh. Go but go warned , or rent it locally in a week or two.bE very sure to stay and watch all the clips of actual ACOD kids during the ending titles.It is far more painful, shocking, and revealing than the film.

CARRIE. Julianne Moore plays Carrie’s mother and she’s the only reason to see this re-make. Buckets of blood, locked in the closet, teen age bullying, it’s all there …again. But you will sure remember Sissie Spacek and Piper Laurie in the original. I didn’t remember that John Travolta was in that 1976 Brian De Palma/Stephen King Masterpiece but Rotten Tomatoes says he was.You could rent it during Thanksgiving when the relatives are here.

ESCAPE PLAN. Sylvester Stallone (5’9″) plays the brains in this prison break film. More than that, he actually plays the author of a book, which should give you some clue as to the I.Q. level of this numb-nuts movie. Nope, Arnold Schwarznegger (6’1 ½”) isn’t any better at acting and lying, even after all the years doing the same thing in Sacramento.


50 YEARS OF LONDON’S WORLD FAMED NATIONAL THEATRE. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre of Great Britain presents a once-in-a-lifetime performance, broadcast to cinemas around the world. From its early golden period under the leadership of Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic theatre to its now iconic building in the heart of London, the National Theatre has been home to Britain’s finest theatrical talent, premiering works by renowned writers such as Harold Pinter, Peter Shaffer, Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett and David Hare, and staging celebrated performances by Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and the rising stars of today.

From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to The History Boys, from The Mysteries to Angels in America, from Guys and Dolls to War Horse – Nicholas Hytner directs a thrilling evening of live theatre, with rare glimpses from the archive, featuring many of the original actors who have performed on the National’s stages over the past five decades.

Running Time: 180. Sunday Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Del Mar.

PIANIST HASKELL SMALL TO PLAY “MUSICA CALLADA”. World renowned pianist Haskell Small is furthering his fascination with music that is primarily quiet, spacious and of a mystical nature with a series of solo concerts throughout the United States and Europe. He will perform the complete 28-part magnum opus of Musica Callada (“Silent Music“) composed by Federico Mompou in four books, started in 1959 and completed in 1974. Its title is Journeys in Silence: Piano Meditation in the Round. The complete 28-part magnum opus of Federico Mompou’s Musica Callada (“Silent Music”). Sunday, November 10th at 3:00 PM First Congregational Church, 900 High St. Santa Cruz. Go here to read more about Haskell, then go here to hear and see him play Erik Satie


National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.

Running Time: 131. Thursday, Nov. 21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 11/24 @ 11am. Del Mar Theatre.

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. On November 5 Peter Klotz Chamberlin from the Resource Center for Non-Violence talks about their origin and their events, followed by Stephanie Flores program director of the Davenport Resource Service Center. . Annie Morhauser of Annieglass talks about glass business and Jeff Lyon developer of the ” Flagger” security app describes it on November 12. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. 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. (about rain) “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”,Dolly Parton. You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it”, Denzel Washington.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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