Blog Archives

October 1 – 7, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…much more on MAH financials, letters from board members and County responsibility questions, donors name removal, MAH’s intended purpose. A view of the Real Donna Meyers. GREENSITE…explores the attacks on Glover and Krohn. KROHN…Who killed the Corridors plan, what was the corridors plan? Affordable housing, public policy. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek rate protest and petition, county drug house, Live Oak Medical facility development, Capitola Road development, Portola Drive development, Nissan and Soquel news, Sandy Lydon’s newsletter. PATTON…Greta Thunberg EAGAN…Subconscious Comics & Deep Cover. JENSEN…reviews Judy and Sondheim’s Company. BRATTON…I critique Judy and Miles Davis: Birth of The Cool. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…Greta Thunberg.
                                 

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HISTORIC OCTAGON AND SANTA CRUZ COUNTY COURTHOUSE. The courthouse was built in 1867 and burned down in 1894. The Octagon was built in 1882 — and along with Abbott Square, has been  “San Joseized ” by Nina Simon ever since 2011.                                                     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

TED MACK’S AMATEUR HOUR. 1953
CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS A BRILLIANT GROUP.
HOW TO PLAY THE BONES. The teacher is just a bit hammy but excellent.

DATELINE September 30

PLAYING THE BONES. My grandfather played the bones in minstrel shows. Naturally I inherited them and play them too. Take a look/listen to these artists performing on an ancient instrument that dates back centuries!! Videos on the right —>

MAH’S MYSTERIES. More and more MAH board members and concerned citizens are writing to Bonline.com and are allowing us/me to use their names. They have tremendous concerns and maintain a sense of emergency, due to the failing financial situation and near-total lack of contact with MAH’s present board. Remember that Museum of Art & History is under County government, rules and regulations. If the kind of shaky and financial and governing principles happening at MAH right now were happening at County operation such as The Animal Shelter, Parks, Health Services — or especially our county elections — you can bet we would see action…and correction. Read on, think about our community. And a special thanks to our local whistle blowers. I wrote to County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty for help and direction to clarify the relationship between MAH, the County and OF/BY/AND FOR. because MAH is in his jurisdiction. He responded immediately and is having “Carlos” followup on this.

MAH’S REMOVAL OF DONOR’S NAMES. Nina Simon and her group removed many very serious donors’ names from around the Building. Here’s one reaction from Wayne Palmer, former President of the MAH board of Directors..

Hello All,

I received an email from Jack Baskin’s stepdaughter, Cameron (“Cammy”). I have passed this on the the MAH board but thought all of you should also receive a copy. Jack was one of the original three capital campaign co-chairs charged with raising substantial gifts towards the building of the museum. Jack was also one of the original significant donors to the museum and continued to be a financial supporter of MAH for some time. Without Jack and people like him we would not have the building we have today. FYI. As of today I have received 15 more signatures to our statement to the MAH board. (Total 116) 

—Wayne Palmer

Here’s the letter from Cameron Torgenrud, who also repeated the question of selecting the next Executive director….

September 22, 2019

To the Board of Trustees of Santa Cruz MAH: 

Ultimately, reading about MAH, I wonder whom you are targeting as your audience. By focusing on igniting “vibrant youth” are you irretrievably distancing yourself from the more staid cohort, the ones who treasure moments of quiet reflection? Can the center be a refuge for contemplative introverts as well as a place for extraverts to connect and share? I have hope that you’ll find a better balance in MAH’s next chapter. The museum has clearly shifted orientation in the past 10 years. I understand many of the reasons for some of the leadership’s reorienting the mission, and I am curious to see where you land. The selection of your next Executive Director will shed much light on the direction you intend to take. The question of the plaques, though, is very clear to me and those with whom I have talked. The museum made a misstep, one which must be redressed. I speak for those, like Jack, who can no longer speak for themselves. Removing these plaques without notification was disrespectful and demonstrated a lack of sensitivity as well as awareness of the pivotal role people like Jack have played in the community. Be the phoenix. Rise again, this time deliberately serving the whole ?community, including those who were there from the beginning. Honor those who put MAH on the path… wherever it chooses to lead future generations of culturally minded denizens of and visitors to our area.

Respectfully,

Cameron Torgenrud

MAH’S LEGAL AND FINANCIAL STANDING. Linda Burman Hall, longtime UCSC Professor, and MAH member wrote..

Dear Wayne , MAH and History Forum Members — 

Thank you for courageously standing up for the future of the MAH. I am writing as an individual MAH and History Forum member, with an intense lifetime involvement in arts and humanities education.

A great many energetic and diverse individuals, — including artists, historians, volunteers and donors — have worked long and hard to bring the MAH into existence and to sustain it for our community.

The concerns about curatorial issues, social justice, aesthetic judgments, local vs global topics, and the representation of diversity are all vitality important (and sometimes emotional) discussions that need to be ongoing.

But 501(c)(3)s must operate with financial and other records available for viewing, and financial decisions made openly by the Board. But recent Annual Financial Reports seem to be unavailable

I’m concerned the current path may risk suspension of federal and/or state non-profit status due to non-compliance with normal and standard non-profit operating requirements.

The most basic next step is for the MAH to return to fully standard operation as a legal 501(c)(3) immediately. 

By-Laws may need to be strengthened to mandate clear communication between all stake-holders and to prevent future lapses in this and other areas.

To restore the confidence of those who have given previously (and encourage future gifts), all donors must be given [or restored to] the public acknowledgement that was promised at the time of their gift.

Thank you to Wayne for coordinating this massive effort to get things back on track. — LBH

MAH’S FINANCIAL MYSTERIES. Another concerned citizen wrote..
“You’ll need a forensic accountant to fully understand the MAH’s IRS filing for the FY ending June 30, 2018, which was submitted April 30, 2019. The devil is in the details and this document doesn’t give us enough info. The information is buried in the line items which we can’t see. Money going to of/by/for/all can be disguised, I think.
Google: “IRS form 990 search” enter the identity number: 94-2718861.  

The latest form filed pops right up.
So is there a line item on MAH financials that shows how much “fiscal” support they give to Nina’s pet project, of/by/for/all? I’m sure the MAH Exec. Comm knows, but no one else? 

THE REAL DONNA MEYERS. As one of our new council persons, Donna Meyers has succeeded in working with Cynthia Mathews to do whatever’s necessary to stop any genuine progressive action. Here’s a video from 9/24/2019 that shows the other side she so carefully protects. A Racist? A Lesbian?

As a guide to watch her in action…

All times approximate…

Mathews introduces the censure resolution 5:02
Motion to table 5:07
Chris’ apology starts around 7 hrs
Drew’s part around 7:06 (ideological battle right here in River City)
Meyer melt down re being Lesbian and 34 years and not a racist…7:23

Santa Cruz City Council 9/24/19

RACIST HATE CRIME PHOTO. I should have made it more clear in BrattonOnline a few weeks ago that I have no idea why anyone in our city of Santa Cruz would want to pay more attention to that terrible photo and incident of the two men hanging from our bridge. 

The photo I ran in the column has been printed dozens of times as part of our history, and I’ll never know why. We’ve had worse crimes, worse murders, and yet that incident still draws more attention. I tried to get some kind of explanation for this proposed publicity from Historical organizations, and I still couldn’t see why. We’ll have to see what our City Council does or doesn’t do.

September 30th 

AFTER CAREFUL SCRUTINY…

Reconciliation was not on last week’s city council agenda. Although the complaints of gender harassment and misconduct against council members Glover and Krohn were largely not substantiated by the independent investigator, and conflict resolution recommended, the main item on the council’s evening agenda was to formally censure Krohn and Glover, initiated by council members Meyers and Mathews. It had the predictable effect: further polarization, emotional outbursts and general mayhem.

I’m not easily persuaded that complaints of sexism against two males by five females are without merit or that they are solely politically motivated. I started by believing. Then I read the transcript of the charges and witnesses carefully, many times. I read the investigator’s conclusions. I attended or watched past council meetings where some of the offending behavior was said to occur. I paid close attention to the tearful testimony of the city staff member, whose three young daughters were made to stand by her side as she read her victim impact statement against Glover with passion and conviction. Despite her feelings of being harassed, the investigator did not find that Glover’s behavior violated the city’s workplace misconduct policy. It’s true that Glover and Krohn ask hard, probing questions of staff, who are more used to attaboys from previous councils. Hard questions of staff by elected officials seem appropriate to me.  If behind the scenes staff has any problems then surely a heart to heart talk about mutual respect etc. would temper the zeal and grandstanding when or if it occurs? From the investigator’s notes, whenever someone spoke to Glover with concerns he was usually conciliatory. Krohn twice wrote and asked to discuss the Mayor’s concerns, with no response.

Given the nature of the two substantiated charges, namely that Krohn gave a snort or a laugh when a staff member cited her “professional opinion” (although no laugh can be heard on the tape) and that Glover confronted Meyers in a disrespectful manner when she failed to exit on time a conference room he had reserved, a reasonable person might wonder at such high stakes drama and emotion over what could and should have been addressed offstage. That is, unless one factors in that it is Krohn and Glover who are facing a well-funded, well-organized, determined recall effort supported by the two council members seeking the public censure. 

At the meeting, a motion to table the censure item was made by council member Brown and seconded by council member Cummings. However the Mayor refused to recognize Brown. While motions to table are infrequent (made on eight occasions over the past five years and not usually on minor issues) a refusal to recognize a council member wishing to make a motion is unprecedented in my experience. That refusal to recognize was appealed by Brown and with four votes the appeal and the motion to table were passed. Then things really heated up. While the next item was to fine tune recommendations for a revised workplace policy and conflict resolution procedures, the Mayor allowed the public to vent, making later claims moot that the motion to table silenced the public.

Evaluating this whole controversy, I find a finger can be pointed at the Mayor’s speech at the February 12th council meeting where she launched into an accusation of sexism on the part of Glover and Krohn. Labeled as a “perception” by others rather than her own experience and after her lengthy accusation with no right of reply, the Mayor concluded that she brought the issue up “to name it and move on.” I don’t know about you but if I were accused of such egregious behavior at a public meeting I would like a few minutes to respond. The Mayor allowed no response. I thought Glover and Krohn, who displayed no outward emotion, were restrained given the circumstances. This was in stark contrast to council member Meyers who at the last council meeting, pounded the table and yelled, “I’ve been out as a lesbian for 34 years so don’t call me a racist!” This was apparently in response to someone’s Facebook posting. That a white woman whether lesbian, straight or bi cannot also be racist suggests a need for further education as called for in earlier conversations by Glover. He has a point. 

Staff is, in my view, overstepping their bounds. At the following night’s meeting of the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, after the commission coordinator re-read her tearful testimony against Glover that she had delivered the night before in front of council, the commission voted to send a letter asking for the censure of Glover and Krohn to be put back on the next council agenda. They are entitled to do that.  However, the coordinator told the commission to do a press conference, something they had not decided on their own. She is not entitled to do that. It was not framed by “maybes” or “perhaps.” She also advised one of the commissioners who happens to be an intern for Glover, to think about her professional future before she voted. The intern voted for the motion. The commission voted also that a draft be shared with the whole commission prior to being adopted. However by the next day, without full commission input, there it was, posted on NextDoor. 

It’s past time for the city manager to have a heart to heart talk with his staff about civil service. And past time for those who are frenzied about the recall to stop throwing about terms such as “victim blaming.” We worked too hard to have victim blaming taken seriously for its misuse in the service of political posturing.

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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September 30

THE DEATH OF AN UNFAIR, UNPOPULAR, AND DEVELOPER FRIENDLY PLAN


The “Town Commons” filled after a day of marching. Over a thousand-strong filled the current site of the Farmer’s Market, many advocating for a permanent home and for a Town Commons.

Corridors Plan
Is the Corridors Plan dead and should it be revived? A very distinct yes to both those questions was featured prominently in a recent Santa Cruz Sentinel Op-Ed by four former Santa Cruz Planning Commissioners.(http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/guest-commentary-killing-corridors-plan-is-killing-the-planet ).I would like to address a few of the salient points as to why the Corridors Plan died an ignominious death. In other words, not many local renters or corridor business owners will attend its memorial, but a whole lot of for-profit housing developers and real estate “providers” will be there, bemoaning the lack of economic opportunity in Surf City.

Affordable Housing
All housing development is NOT equal. We have crisis, yes, but it is an affordable housing crisis, not a market-rate one. There would be little affordable housing in the Corridors Plan housing scheme. In fact, the previous city council voted 5-2 to reduce the amount of affordable housing (“inclusionary”) required outside of the downtown from 15% to 10%. Stated simply, 90% of these prospective five-story (65 feet) buildings would be unaffordable to most Santa Cruzans. It’s true, ten out of one hundred units would be affordable, but the majority would be condos marketed to Tech workers from over the hill, or second-home buyers looking to invest in a place close to the beach. Even university professors making $80-$100k per year would be priced out. I honestly believe if 1) the community was able to have more input, 2) building heights remained at 40 feet, and 3) at least 50% of the units were “affordable” and evenly distributed over the “moderate, low, and very low income” categories that HUD uses then there would’ve been a lot more support from residents and new councilmembers for the plan. But that didn’t happen. In fact, the whole notion of “affordable” is used as a bait-and-switch game by those seeking great economic remuneration from a community like ours struggling to find good housing options. Moreover, another constituency, local business owners, were rather perturbed when they found out that a whole lot of on-street parking would be eliminated per the plan.

Democracy
The Plan was a campaign issue during the past two city council elections. Besides no eastsider being appointed to the 14-person “Corridor Advisory Group,” over 80% of the development would take place east of the San Lorenzo River. Eastsiders spoke up after meetings were held that contemplated demolishing the Rio Theatre, Charlie Hong Kong’s, and the building where Lillian’s is currently located. One commissioner who took umbrage to the El Rio Theatre wall was heard to remark to the horror of some eastsiders, Tear them all down. The city council in 2015 was a 6-1, pro-market-rate council. Over the past two election cycles–2016 and 2018–four new members have been elected and all four said they opposed the Corridors Plan during their respective races. In fact, most all candidates in 2018 said at various candidate forums that they opposed the Corridors Plan as written. Many went to work and campaigned and voted to support a new council majority because they felt their voices were not being heard previously. Many voters saw the Plan as not environmentally sustainable and actually growing our traffic, housing, and water problems, as well as diminishing our community’s quality of life. What I heard loud and clear from eastside residents was that they were hearing that many historical and cultural attributes of the Villa Branciforte community were either at risk or not currently protected. As a result, many were organized by the Branciforte Action Committee (BAC) and later,  Save Santa Cruz group confront what they saw as predatory city power steamrollering their neighborhoods. This would not stand. They went out and voted and that vote has yielded up a much different makeup on the city’s Planning Commission as well.

Environmental Sustainability
Building thousands of new market-rate housing units is only environmentally sustainable if all these new residents decide not to drive, unlimited water can be obtained, and global warming can be mitigated. If not, this term was misused in the Sentinel Op-Ed. It is of no surprise that Santa Cruz has a finite carrying capacity. As defined in Sustainable Measures, a publication focused on sustainability, “in the context of sustainability, carrying capacity is the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely upon the available resources and services of supporting natural, social, human, and built capital.” Water and the potential for rising sea levels seem to be two limits to Santa Cruz growth. The whole concept and practice of “sustainable development” are hotly contested and manipulated in both academia and business. By no means is the concept, sustainable, fully fleshed out in city, state, federal, or scientific arenas. The Corridors Plan was essentially doubling-down on market rate housing development when we actually need to double-down on providing housing for people who live here now, and on protecting our unique natural environment and planning mitigations for what many scientists are predicting as a global climate catastrophe in the making.

Sound Public Policy

If the Corridors Plan was “the nuts and bolts of the zoning code updates” necessary to implement the 2030 General Plan, then we need to also go back and amend these updates. Santa Cruz County has one of the highest poverty rates among the 58 California counties. Not building more affordable housing in much greater percentages than is currently mandated, but unenforced on rental housing until recently, is not an option. Continuing to allow 85% unaffordable units to be built is likely not what Santa Cruz residents neither demand nor want. Despite what the Op-Ed writers would have us believe, the Corridors Plan was not “meaningful action to stop global warming,” but would’ve resulted in a further sell-off of community resources to the highest bidder and would ultimately yield a much higher collective carbon footprint. We must put General Plan policies in place that will avoid yielding to house flipping and market-rate only benefits.

Finally…

Justin Cummings, Drew Glover, Sandy Brown, and Chris Krohn did not single-handedly “kill” the Corridors Plan, the voters did. Yes, the Corridors Plan would “transform Santa Cruz” but into Silicon Beach and not into the community most residents envision. What also rankled both neighbors and affordable housing advocates were the recent city council decisions not to enforce the 15% affordable rule for rentals on two Swenson projects, 94 units at 555 Pacific Avenue and 79 condos for rent at 1547 Pacific Avenue. I have to believe many residents were paying attention and that the lack of affordability in these two projects were bad omens for the future. The Corridors Plan, as it was, is a destructive plan for our town, lacking in affordability and sure to exacerbate the current unacceptable traffic mess we are also experiencing. Now for the finally. In the motion passed to “kill” the current Corridors Plan the council voted to “Direct the Planning Director, as a first step in carrying out the Council’s direction on this matter, to meet promptly with representatives of Save Santa Cruz and other community groups that have previously commented on the now terminated Corridors Plan to seek agreement on possible changes to the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance that can achieve broad community support and that will allow the Council to achieve its objectives.” Hence, a new plan may likely rise out of the old plan’s ashes, but with real community input and hopefully achieve much greater affordable housing percentages.

“One of the major reasons we don’t talk about debt & poverty is shame. Yet way more Americans are living in poverty than our country wants to admit. It’s time we stop looking the other way on economic abuse, like predatory lending, abusive workplaces, & extortionary landlords.”(Sept. 30)

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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September 30

JOIN THE NEARLY 400 SIGNERS OF THE SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT RATE PROTEST!!
This Water District has just gone too far, expecting families and people on fixed incomes to be able to pay the outrageous rate and monthly service fees now in place, and that are scheduled to go up again every year by 9% for the next four years. Anyone in Tier 2 now pays nearly $30/unit, five times the amount of Tier 1, and it’s all to pay for the expensive plan to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water supply of the MidCounty.

Sign the Protest Petition now, and pass it along to others who are now struggling even harder to pay their water bill, while working hard to conserve as much as possible.

Sign the Petition Soquel Creek Water District Rate Increases Are Unfair and Hurt Families!

WATER FOR SANTA CRUZ COUNTY EVENT A GREAT SUCCESS…WRITE THOSE LETTERS TO THE WATER BOARD
The Aptos Library Meeting room was full last Monday evening, with some standing to hear the excellent presentation by Mr. Scott McGilvray of Water for Santa Cruz County explain the water production information taken directly from the Santa Cruz City Water Dept. and Soquel Creek Water District websites showing ample water to transfer for regional management and aquifer recharge.  

Learn more here: Water For Santa Cruz County

So why does Soquel Creek Water District insist that the only solution is to inject 1.3 million gallons of treated sewage water daily into the drinking water supply for the MidCounty?  Why has the Board structure outrageous rate and monthly fee increases to pay for something that is unnecessary and is now bringing real economic hardship to many, many customers? 

That is a mystery.  Rate payers need to write the Board now.   Ask them to rescind the rate increases and hold a public study session to explain themselves and any further rate increases they feel necessary.

What matters most is that you write the Board right now.  Attend the Tuesday, October 15 Board meeting and speak at the very beginning, at 6pm (Capitola City Council Chambers).  Ask the Board to rescind their Resolution 19-01 that approved these onerous rate and fee increases that will burden all users with a 9% rate increase every year for the next four years, and possibly 8% per year for three years after that.  Ask the Board to reconsider supplemental water supplies other than the very expensive and energy-demanding PureWater Soquel Project.

Here is a “template” letter.  Feel free to edit it to suit your situation, and pass it along to others:

e-mail the Board of Directors bod@soquelcreekwater.org

Board of Directors
Soquel Creek Water District
5180 Soquel Drive
Soquel, CA   95073

Dear Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors,

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

HIGHWAY ONE IS 70 YEARS OLD!

Here is a piece of local historian  Sandy Lydon’s latest newsletter that you may enjoy.

Happy 70th Birthday Highway 1!

Sandy Lydon’s Central Coast Secrets

Highway 1 c. 1955 Highway 1 2019

Chopping the County in two:
Highway 1 was the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Road and slid dutifully through each town and hamlet. Actually the route followed pretty closely the same one taken by the Portolá Expedition exactly 250 years ago, October, 1769. During the postwar infrastructure boom, freeways and throughways all across California were being lifted out of small-towns and neighborhoods and laid alongside, with the existing merchants screaming bloody murder about the loss of business.

Note of Clarification – Highway1 was not a freeway in 1949, it was a “limited access throughway.” Many of the roads that intersected with the new highway did so without cloverleaf or on-ramps. The road simply attached right angle, and one drove across, right or left, using the wide median as a “safety island.” As a result, given the light traffic, there were a lot of accidents. In some places, overcrossings and on-ramps were added later (Clubhouse and Highway 1) while in others, they put up fences and made the road dead-ends on both sides – such as Chanticleer and Mar Vista. 

A highway engineers nightmare but a bridge-builders heaven.Between East Santa Cruz and Rob RoJunction, the coastal is riven with gullies, arroyos and creeks. By cutting and filling, most of the fissures would be handled with culverts, but there are two daunting barriers—Soquel Creek and Aptos Creek.

Capitola and Soquel Separated after 150 years as co-joined siblings.
Highway 1 decapitated Capitola from Soquel. Whacked them apart. Capitola incorporated the same year (1949) that Highway 1 was opened, but the actual building of this section of highway caused some pain. A

There’s a LOT of history here on the Capitola-Soquel Borderlands, but you’ll never see it unless, as the police officer sternly commands:

PLEASE GET OUT OF AND STEP AWAY FROM THE CAR!
So many anniversaries! In honor of all the anniversaries – Portolá’s 250th, Highway 1’s 70th, Capitola’s 70th, and the 1979 publication of the landmark book From Soquel Landing to Capitola-by-the-Sea that book’s co-authors (Carolyn Swift and the History Dude) will be leading a stroll up and down, over and under of the Capitola-Soquel Borderlands. 

We’ve co-led a lot of walks over the years, but have never focused on this specific area. We’ll change the way you see that stretch of Highway 1, and you’ll be able to entertain yourself or your passengers while creeping along every afternoon.  

A lovely stretch of Soquel Creek gugles along directly beneath the bridge on the west side of the highway complex. But, you’ve never noticed because you’re too intent on merging, hoping that the cars beside you have local drivers who KNOW how it works.

Saturday, November 6
10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Estimated Distance 2.5 miles
Adults only: Must be over 21
Administered by Cabrillo College Extension

For more info, cost and to register: www.cabrillo.edu Note: Only a few spaces remaining.

TRANSPORTATION EVENT WILL FEATURE EXCELLENT DISCUSSION

A reader sent me this information that I think will provide some excellent information about planning, transportation and possible solutions: http://sustainabletransportationsc.org/ 

Note that County Planning Commissioner Michael Guth will speak at 1:15pm and hopefully will discuss the ad hoc planning that is causing such woe to our communities.

OTHER GREAT INFORMATION. Gary Griggs talks about Loma Prieta earthquake …Scotts Valley Library on October 1st:  Aptos Library…Loma Prieta Quake and tribute to Nisene Marks State Park Ranger Jerry Waggoner (Aptos History Museum loaned materials) 

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND A PUBLIC MEETING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. BUT JUST DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK. Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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September 28 271 / Greta The Ungrateful? 

Presumably, anyone reading this particular blog knows about Greta Thunberg, pictured above. If by some chance you don’t know about Greta Thunberg and her “School Strike For Climate,” please click this link for a write-up. In late September, Thunberg appeared before the United Nations, and spoke forcefully about the need for world leaders to take immediate and concrete actions to combat human-caused global warming. The picture above, betraying her anger at the lack of serious action by world governments, was taken during one of her appearances. The picture immediately below, showing a much more “sunny” version of Greta (the “nice” Greta), comes from the Wikipedia profile linked above. 

As it turns out, some people did not like the version of Greta Thunberg that showed up at the United Nations. What she said (among other things) was, in fact, pretty “angry.” Here is a link to a full transcript of her remarks, and here is how she began those remarks:

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!  

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

So who got offended by Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations, which can be characterized as the kind of “straight talk” that was the specialty of former United States Senator John McCain? Well, Jake Novak and CNBC got offended. 

According to Novak, Greta’s most recent pronouncements on global warming seek to shift responsibility from individuals onto to governments and big corporations. This assignment of responsibility (although right on target, in the real world) is highly problematic politically, according to Novak. We all know who runs the world, right? Novak thinks that “Greta Thunberg’s rise could backfire on environmentalists.” 

David Harsanyi, Senior Editor at The Federalist, was even more outraged than Novak by Thunberg’s remarks at the United Nations. His article, titled “The Tragedy Of Greta Thunberg,” basically calls her ungrateful, and denounces her for not appreciating how great she’s had it in a world that is the product of capitalist productivity:

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg lives in the healthiest, wealthiest, safest, and most peaceful era humans have ever known. She is one of the luckiest people ever to have lived. 

In a just world, Thunberg would be at the United Nations thanking capitalist countries for bequeathing her this remarkable inheritance. Instead, she, like millions of other indoctrinated kids her age, act as if they live in a uniquely broken world on the precipice of disaster.

What can I say about this? How even to begin to react to this diatribe? How about that “straight talk” stuff?

Harsanyi objects to Thunberg, “acting like millions of indoctrinated kids her age,” and acting like “they live in a … broken world on the precipice of disaster (emphasis added).”

David, where do you get the idea that millions of young people have been “indoctrinated,” and that they have somehow been tricked into believing that they live in a “broken world on the precipice of disaster?” No indoctrination has been needed. A world on the “precipice of disaster” is exactly the world in which we live. That’s the kind of world in which I live, and that’s the kind of world in which Greta Thunberg lives, and that is the kind of world in which YOU live, too. 

Instead of calling Greta “ungrateful” for drawing our attention to our actual situation – and doing so in a strong and forceful way – let’s thank Greta, and be grateful to her, for trying to get us all to stop denying the facts and to start doing something about them. 

Just as a kind of footnote, David, to speak to one of your concerns, the sooner we begin actually to make progress in ending our use of fossil fuels, and the sooner we start taking effective action to reduce human-caused global warming, the easier it will be to avoid the kind of “authoritarian” approaches you say you are worried about. 

In other words (my final thought): 

THANK YOU, GRETA THUNBERG!

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS More classic peeks at our sub and unsub – conscious. Scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” UKRAINE BUT ” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com 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: “Renee Zellweger’s gutsy performance  (and Judy Garland’s legacy) survive the showbiz clichés of Judy this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). But for genuine entertainment, check out a nifty new staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Company at the Actors’ Theatre!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. 

EXTRA CINEMA COMMENT. What’s provocative and coincidental is that both Judy and Miles Davis are such similar films about the pressures of fame. One’s a documentary, the other a dramatic saga…both worth seeing.

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL. I’m happy to say that I saw and heard Miles at the Monterey Jazz Festival, but also and more importantly at the Blackhawk in San Francisco. This is a searing and important documentary that shows us the real Miles Davis. In addition to his trumpet, he was an artist, composer, band leader, and shifted into so many roles just to keep creating. A genuine genius. See this quickly, Landmark will probably pull it very soon. (I was right it Closes Thursday, Oct. 3) 

JUDY. Renee Zellweger does the best possible imitation of Judy Garland in this dramatic and yet still musical tribute. Garland transcended the usual fame and popularity and has become a legend. This film starts off 1968, and ends with Judy’s last days after five husbands plus drugs. It’s corny and hammy but so was Judy. For some reason Liza Minnelli isn’t in much of it. 

You’ll almost cry at some scenes…so don’t miss it.

DOWNTOWN ABBEY. With an audience score of 96 you can’t go wrong. It topped Rambo and Ad Astra and earned $31 million in its’ opening weekend. I have no way of knowing if those few people who didn’t watch all or most of the Downton Abbey tv years will love as much as we devotees do the movie. Same cast and the plot is centered about the King and Queen of England coming to visit the Abbey. There’s a clash between the Abbey staff and the service crew that the Queen brings with her. It’s grand fun to see all our long time screen friends again. We know so much about each character. Don’t miss the big screen version it just ain’t the same.

AD ASTRA. Brad Pitt is much more than his usual cute self in this 2001 type space adventure. Shocking but it’s true that film critics liked it more than “audience” on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics gave it 83, audience gave it 45!! Tommy Lee Jones plays Brad’s mysterious and missing father, and Donald Sutherland has a bit part. It’s a serious film about humans, genetics, space, dying, and it’s worth every bit of admission. See it soon.

OFFICIAL SECRETS Keira Knightley heads the cast along with Ralph Fiennes and this is a winner of a whistle blower true story. This young woman has to decide whether to expose a confidential letter that shows the USA and Britain involved in the illegal start of the Iraq war. The acting, plot, reality and quality of this movie make it one of my top favorites of the year. Closes Thursday, Oct. 3

LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE. With an audience rating of 99 on Rotten Tomatoes it’s gotta be good…or great! Her politics, talent, integrity plus an amazing voice makes her truly unique in the field of music. She mastered many styles, never gave up and is dying of Parkinson’s right now! Her Mexican heritage, time with Gov. Jerry Brown and sheer guts will keep you surprised as you learn so much about her. 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. The more movies you’ve seen in your lifetime the more you’ll like Quentin Tarantino’s latest. With Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the leads and it all happening in L.A. in 1969 it almost can’t miss. Slightly under the cuteness of the relationship between Pitt and DiCaprio is knowing that the film ends with the Manson Family killings of Sharon Tate and four other characters at the house that she shared with her husband, Roman Polanski. Add Al Pacino for about two minutes to all of that and you’ll be forced to like it.

BRITTANY RUNS THE MARATHON. Actress Jillian Bell plays Brittany and I could not like Jillian Bell no matter how hard I tried. In real life Jillian even lost a lot of weight so she could give a better performance, I didn’t care. As promised she doe run the NY marathon …no she doesn’t win it. The movie is supposed to be a comedy I didn’t laugh once. 

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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. October 1 Jessica Burns and Robert Morgan lay out the program and plans for the Transportation Justice Conference at Cabrillo College happening on Oct. 5. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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 bratton@cruzio.com 

Some of these look like fun!

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. 

    GRETA THUNBERG

“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.” Greta Thunberg

“We need to get angry and understand what is at stake. And then we need to transform that anger into action and to stand together united and just never give up.” Greta Thunberg 

“You are never too small to make a difference.” Greta Thunberg 

“We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.” Greta Thunberg 

I had forgotten that Greta Thunberg aged 16 has Asperger’s Syndrome 

“I’m not public about my diagnosis to ‘hide’ behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness,’ or something negative,” she continued. “And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends, and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people.” Greta Thunberg


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. 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: Bratton@Cruzio.com
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