Blog Archives

November 7 – 12, 2014

PACIFIC AVENUE NEAR COOPER STREET 1880. That’s our Town Clock on top of the Odd Fellows Hall (its original location). The building on the far left is our County Courthouse 1866-1894. All of this before the Cooper House was built.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE Monday ( before elections) November 3, 2014

2014 ELECTION MEMORIES. By the time we all read this…it’ll be over, and we’ll have a new Santa Cruz City Council, one newly elected County Supervisor and some results on our city school board , the Soquel Creek Water Board and the never ending ballot measures. From the mail I received many, many folks will always wonder if Zach Friend was involved in his successor at the Santa Cruz Police Department “discrediting” Leonie Sherman’s candidacy. Folks will continue wondering too about the Soquel Creek Water Board candidates Deaver, McGowan and Prentice using former County Supervisor Robley Levy’s and Superintendent of County Schools Michael Watkins names as endorsers and listing their names in newspaper ads and on flyers. Zach Friend couldn’t have been involved in that too, right??? Then a sort of funny thing… I got, and so did hundreds of voters, recorded phone calls from Richelle Naroyan telling us to be sure to go to the polls tomorrow “and vote for me”!!! The problem was that her phone calls were last Thursday October 30!!! Lastly, after attending Leonie Shermans and Bruce Van Allen’s kickoff parties and supporting their campaigns they didn’t add my name to their printed material as a supporter. But as almost everybody says…that’s politics.

HALLOWEEN 2014 DOWNTOWN. I ran into Chip Flatulencia (his full name) of the Downtown Association Halloween afternoon and repeated my griping about how downtown Pacific Avenue had again become a militarized attack zone to handle our celebrants. Then (two movies later) I was back on Pacific and saw the huge happy family type crowds dodging raindrops, it was wonderful and with Pacific Avenue closed to traffic it had become a happy place to be. I apologized to Chip Flatulencia of course.

Dr. Mark Bernhard found this gem. Absolutely mind blowing just thinking of the timing and organizing and where can we get those scooters??

EDWARD ALBEE PLAY AT UCSC NOW!!! I’ve been an Edward Albee fan ever since “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“, “The Zoo Story”, The Sandbox” and more but now the UCSC production of his “The Play About The Baby” absolutely tops my list of Albee plays. The Direction by Lily Sorenson and the four actors Lucas Brandt, Hayley Jackson, Rachel Levy and Nathan Cabrera is perfectly created. The play in UCSC’s Second Stage Theatre runs Thursday-Saturday (Nov.6-8 at 7:30) and Sunday 11/09 at 3p.m. It’s easily Albee’s funniest, most profound, easily grasped, and meaningful plays. If you like Edward Albee’s works , if you like live theatre, go see it. It’s near the top of my best all time play experiences….I’m still reacting to it. Go here for details.


PROFESSOR EMERITUS LINCOLN TAIZ TALK. The UCSC 2014 Fall Emeriti Lecture will feature Lincoln Taiz speaking on “Agriculture, Population Growth, and the Challenge of Climate Change.” Here’s what Lincoln wrote about his talk…The invention of agriculture enabled the human population to expand from 10 million to 7 billion. Historically, crop yields have kept up with population growth by farmland expansion and by agricultural advances, but further population growth to the predicted 10 billion by 2050 cannot be sustained at the current level of productivity, a problem made worse by climate change. Integrated approaches will be needed to meet these challenges”. The talk happens 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 19th, at the UCSC Music Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free parking is available in the performing arts lot. Then on Nov. 25 Lincoln will guest on Universal Grapevine at 7 p.m. and we’ll discuss it further.

HOT DAMN STRING BAND AT BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ, AGAIN. It’s that time of the year again!!! Bookshop Santa Cruz had its biggest sale of the year, complete with birthday cake and ice cream, celebrating their 48th year with 20% off everything. Not only that, but our Hot Damn String Band has been playing these celebrations for at least 30 of those years. That’s with Jim Reynolds on guitar, Annie Steinhart on fiddle, Dave Magram banjo, Dore Coller mandolin, Gary Cunningham on string bass and I was playing washboard as usual. Here’s an old Metro Weekly article about us going back to our days in 1971 and Club Zayante, Catalyst, Roaring Camp gigs. It’s worth reading, even if you missed the party.

KZSC PLEDGE DRIVE. KZSC 88.1 fm radio is heading in many new directions, and all of them are upwards!! Our new station director Keith Rozendal has brought many great changes. You can hear them all during this years Pledge Drive starting Tuesday Nov. 4 and lasting through Nov. 13th. County Supervisor John Leopold will co-host 11/04’s Universal Grapevine with me (7-8 p.m.) and we’ll be telling everybody how to vote. Then on Non. 11 historian Carolyn Swift will be my co-host and we’ll talk history stuff in between your call in gifts/pledges…great fun. Tune in, and call in your donations at 831 459-4036

BATS, JUST DANCING AND SINGING BATS!!! Don’t think about this too much…just watch these bats wrong side up

UCSC HOUSING. Chris Moore writes…. “I recently heard that there are 400 units at UCSC that are sitting empty because of shoddy workmanship. That drives prices up for rentals throughout Santa Cruz. I noticed you mentioned that in one of your articles. I think that most people don’t know that and the huge impact (once again) that UCSC has on our community”. Thanks Chris, lets see what happens.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary boroadcasts about the RCDs…that’s Resource Conservation Districts and all of them are governed by local landowners. Then of course he tells us to get out and vote. LAFCO hats are his Wednesday topic and he discusses the LAFCO issues.On Thursday he talks about The Regional Transportation Commission meeting in Watsonville. Then there’s news about the 5 story high Pacific Avenue Bus station, unbelievable!!! 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 opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo takes a look at Sheriff’s Deputies…scroll downwards.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Cuomo and Christie get “political” help…see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Movies R Us, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( I check out some of the current offerings on local screens so you don’t have to! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


BIRDMAN. Great cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think.

THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA. Whew, and geez, this film got an amazing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!!! AND, it deserves every one of those percents. It’s an animated film from the famous Japanese Studio Ghibli. But their animation is far above the Disney, Pixar, slick, commercial stuff. It is sensitive, patient, not driven for cheap emotions, it’s wonderful and you should see it just to remember how much great animation can effect you.DO NOT see the dubbed version see the subtitled authentic one. It’s really more for adults, than kids. It’s a Japanese fairy tale, one of the oldest. See this one and enjoy some genuine art.

NIGHT CRAWLER. Wow and damn, this got an incredible 93% on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It is excellently done and Jake Gyllenhaal is near perfect in the lead role as a creepy wanna be TV news cameraman.Bill Paxton is hardly in it at all, that’s too bad, but Rene Russo still has some (not all) of her acting talent left.It’s a fine movie. You won’t forget it, and you’ll think about our visual news media and what we put up with, and pay for…and still call it news!!!

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. Surprising to see Colin Firth in a movie like this along with Nicole Kidman, who does an excellent job of acting here.She has amnesia, there probably was a baby, plus a strange therapist, and you’ll be as confused as she is all through the film. You’ll remember Hitchcock films while you watch this, and it doesn’t match his greatness, but it’s still pretty good, and nicely acted… as you could guess from the stars reputations.

HORNS. Daniel Radcliffe looks like he’s starting a new film series titled Horney Plotter!! IF (big IF) you do go to see this one remember that it’s from a horror story book. That means people grow wings, fly, kill each other, and are generally inane. Radcliffe has said he’s trying to escape his Harry Potter image…he screwed up on this one. Well at least he got rid of the glasses!!

JOHN WICK. I saw this Keanu Reeves ex-agent/killer flick last week and forgot to write about it. That should be a clue right there. Not an ex CIA agent but some kinda Russian spy agent thing. Anyways some jerks steal Keanu’s sports car and kill his new puppy. That’s the entire plot right there. Keanu just kills everybody in the film then it’s over. Sometimes he goes back and shotts them again. Then it’s really over. Stay home and stuff your turkey instead.


GONE GIRL.David Fincher has directed some intelligent films and has a style which is more than most movies have nowadays. Gone Girl starring Rosamund Pike (who is genuinely great) and Ben Affleck who is generally pretty good is a fine film. One friend who requires definite, obvious,conclusive endings hated Gone Girl,,,for that reason. Neil Patrick Harris is in it too, but not much. It’s tricky, you have to think, you’ll be puzzled, it’s more complex than a Hitchcock mystery and well worth seeing. What’s hard to believe is that Gone Girl is #1 at the boxoffice with an 87% at Rotten Tomatoes.

PRIDE. What a cast….Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton together in this almost true story of how the Lesbians and Gays joined together to support the striking miners in Wales. You’ll laugh, cry and be inspired by this feel good film.It happened 30 years ago and is well worth watching, but hurry.

FURY. Do not confuse or compare this Brad Pitt war movie with Inglorious Bastards. I. Bastards was a near classic and original piece of art… Fury is just another fairly good war movie. It’s tense at times, nicely acted, but has nothing you haven’t seen before. It does however make you think that maybe humans killing humans must be political and I’ve concluded, more than likely….genetic!!!

AWAKE. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of India’s first yogis to come to America he was born in 1893 and died in Los Angeles. This film is really a near hard sell for the Self Realization Fellowship that P.Y. started. It’s full of Phillip Glass music (a clue right there). If, and only if, you’re into yoga, meditation, bliss, go see this “documentary”- forward slash- promotion.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. As we’ve been reading, this is a satire. I couldn’t figure where and when the satire started or stopped. The direction is by a first time director and it shows. Every scene is exactly the same. No emphasis, no subtly, and the acting is sincere, and developing, but lousy. They say nigger and nigga a lot, which means it must be a satire. I never caught on at all.

THE MAZE RUNNER. More “Dystopian” (opposite of Utopia) stuff. No big star names and not much excitement here either. This is a teenager film from a book. All bad future, kid survival, sci-fi puzzle with a dumb ending that makes strong hints that there’s more to come.

ST. VINCENT. The world agrees that Bill Murray is a great actor, he just makes many, many, bad movies. This one has him as a mean,drunken, nasty, bitter and fat man. He’s supposed to have a heart of gold (see film title). It’s not even worth renting even though Naomi Watts plays a pregnant Russian hooker and Melissa McCarthy does a fine acting job. Forget you ever heard of it.

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 sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. On Nov.4th Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold returns to assist with our bi-annual KZSC Pledge Drive. November 11 noted historian and author Carolyn Swift co-hosts our second week of Pledge Drive time. Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest winners return on Nov. 18 for the full hour. On November 25 UCSC Professor Emeritus Lincoln Taiz talks about Population Growth and Climate Change followed by Social Media strategist Lydia Snider who’ll give us hints on Nov. 25. Then December 2has Ashlyn Adams owner of Westside Video telling film and video rental secrets. 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

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. “I know that I have died before—once in November“, Anne Sexton. “November comes And November goes, With the last red berries And the first white snows”, Clyde Watson. “”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.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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