Blog Archives

October 23 – 29, 2013

THE MIGHTY SAN LORENZO RIVER circa 1895. Here’s the way the river used to be during the Venetian Water Festivals. They started in 1895 and continued off and on into the 1920’s. Talk about bringing life back to our river!!!

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email


Last week I began the column with what I believed was a revelation that Wallace Baine “Ghost Wrote” Naked Economy for Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner. I had received this “top level”, “confidential”, “inside scoop” complete with names of certain people who were in on this secret….and I never bothered checking the book itself (I don’t own a copy). I checked a copy and there in solid print in the acknowledgements…is something like, “Sincere thanks to Wallace Baine who took a good story and helped develop a narrative”…”his considerable talents and patience”. Ryan and Jeremy had complete and full integrity, honesty and professionalism…it was me who was fooled and erred in not checking my source who is a professional, and I had assumed checked the book before giving me this worthless “scoop”.

BRILLIANT LITTLE GIRLS ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY. If you’re anywhere online at all you’ve probaly been sent this “beyond cute” tap dance. It’ll make your day..
HUMAN SLINGSHOTING…what an idea…we could take most of our city council and launch them off our 100 year old wharf (or would that be a catapult?)….check this out.
NIAGARA FALLS with a CAMERA DRONE. Probably because I grew up a few miles from Niagara Falls (Buffalo) it’s always been impressive. Look at this peaceful way to use drones…

ARANA GULCH NOT OVER. Fierce fighter and longtime protector of natural stuff around these parts Jean Brocklebank reports Friends of Arana Gulch (FOAG) has a few more things up their sleeves before the City unleashes the bulldozers on Arana Gulch. It’s not over till it’s over. While FOAG is not naive about its chances to stop the paving projects altogether, it is convinced that the City has not met all the requirements to start construction this month. For those who want the deliciously juicy (and complex) details, read further

MUCKING ART AND HISTORY. As many folks on both sides of the discussion on what our Museum of Art and History should contain and focus on…we have exactly what we deserve. Take a look at Nina Simon’s Museum Page you’ll see how far she tap dances to justify her belief that attendance numbers are hers and our most important goal. In the meantime for those of you who care email the Museum’s board president Ms.Vance Landis-Carey at Gateway Health Management let her know what you want at MAH.

SENSIBLE TRANSPORTATION FORUM. October 28, 7:30 p.m. Peter and Celia Scott sent this notice… Please attend our upcoming FORUM: First District Supervisor John Leopold, who is a knowledgeable and influential voice on our Regional Transportation Commission, will share with us what is happening in the back rooms: What lies in the future for transportation in Santa Cruz County? Where are we going, and how will we get there? Bring your questions, your comments and your input. This forum is being co-sponsored with us by People Power. Admission is FREE. Details are on our home page at We have also posted a helpful video for those of you who might be obliged to drive a vehicle on some freeway, and would like to try breaking up a traffic jam. There are some interesting physics involved. Supervisor John Leopold will talk and answer questions: Monday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Avenue.

CRUISE SHIPS DOCKING HERE? WHERE AND WHY??? I’ m sure you’ve noticed those little “hints” that, just maybe when the city has the 100 year wharf re-built maybe, just maybe they’ll add on a dock so that those Cruise ships can “birth” here. Seems like a great idea at first, wow, millions of dollars from those tourists who are here a few hours, shop and sail away. Then after thinking about it…what’s the difference between cruise ships and having a giant Wal-Mart open locally??? Possibly a few less-than-minimum-wage worker jobs and again, tourists that would never, never leave the Beach Boardwalk area. We need to think about this before it become a forgone conclusion. Lets ask Charlie Canfield to pay the full cost of that Cruise Ship dock.

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.

SENIOR DECISION. SAUL LANDAU’S FUNERAL OR DON YOUNG’S BIRTHDAY. It wasn’t easy to make the decision of either going to San Francisco for very long time friend Saul Landau’s (Cuba, Allende, film maker, author, lecturer) wake/celebration, or to attend Don Youngs’ 90th Birthday celebration at Severino’s /Seacliff Inn in Aptos. I chose Don Young’s birthday party. (see Paul Elerick’s coverage below).

NICKELODEON NEWS. Maurice Peel, the most public face in the entire Nickelodeon-Del Mar–Aptos Cinema operation is leaving his multi-facteted position to “explore other opportunities”. Advertising, press rep, detailing, he did lots of roles. He’ll be missed.

LOCALLY BORN MOVIE STAR ADAM SCOTT. I don’t know of any movie star besides Adam Scott who was born and raised in Santa Cruz County. I’m trying to contact Adam’s mom Anne, so if you know her tell her to get in touch. I think we should have another Grauman’s Chinese type star handprints in cement ceremony at the Nickelodeon like we did for Rory Calhoun and Walter Reed. The Nick patio Star signatures are a great part of Santa Cruz History. Tell Anne Scott to email or call me…please.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick went to a special party….


About 100 people helped Don celebrate his 90th birthday on Sunday at Severino’s in Aptos hosted by his wonderful wife and children. Don and Vivian Young have been our close friends and neighbors for over 40 years. Don has also acquired a long list of friends and admirers during that time and before. He retired from Cabrillo’s English Department some time ago after giving our children (and neighbors) a great appreciation of the English language, the written word, especially that of William Shakespeare during that time. Don continues to be a writer, his avocation since retirement and is still going strong. Don’s wife Vivian and their family, Jeffrey, Michael and Mamiche, have shared so much of their lives with us. From Pony League baseball (Jeffrey and my son were in the same class at Aptos High), to the lows of the Nixon (we cheered watching the Watergate hearings) and Bush years, and back to the highs of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama’s elections.

Don’s latest book, The Ascending Star and Other Stories, will let you in on his experiences as a Nazi Germany POW, all true stuff. Don was captured during the Battle of the Bulge at the end of WWII and pulls no punches describing what he experienced. Check Google for his other books, try Capitola Book Café too. So here’s to you and yours, Don. The best neighbor and friend a guy could ask for. Happy 90th! (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).

TWERKING…here’s just a bit of what one might call “classical Twerking”. Hillary Bratton found it.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary discusses mining laws and what they can do. He relates planning ahead for flooding dangers and our Board of Supes. He states that Luis Alejo has had a very productive legislative session and gives him credit. There are Monterey County ocean-related issues, and a “Downtown Specific Plan”. Then there are groundwater overdraft problems. He ends by saluting the Carmel Pine Cone weekly and how they pay attention to land-use issues. 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?

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo unleashes his considerable insight into one of our heaviest local issues…see downwards some odd pages.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Whew, Uncle Sam is invited to a Tea Party…hold tight and scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Musical heroes don’t come much more unsung than the so-called Muscle Shoals Swampers. Read all about the unexpected session men who laid down some of the funkiest soul and R&B tracks of the 1960s and 70s this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, more news about the forthcoming US edition of Alias Hook!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


……In order of perfection……

CONCUSSION. It’s a serious film about a lesbian housewife and her frustrations. So if you don’t like serious films about lesbian housewives don’t go…but it’s a fine film, and I liked it very much. You might have seen the star Robin Weigert in a few other films and she is great in this one. I’d go if I were you.

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 plays a very small role.

ACOD. (Adult Children Of Divorce) Even with our locally born actor Adam Scott 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.

PULLING STRINGS. This film proves that just because distributors distribute “foreign films” ( in this case Mexico) it doesn’t mean the films are worth seeing. This simple minded Hollywwod reject plot has an American woman visa agent falling in love with a Mariachi singer in Mexico and it all ends exactly like you know it does. Don’t even think about it.


(from BEST 2 worst)

INEQUALITY FOR ALL. I thought I was completely 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…

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 foccussed 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 and Sandra Bullock 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 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.

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.

DON JON. Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed this nearly hot and sexy film and Scarlett Johansson does a great acting job as a New Jersey citizen. That’s the looney-crazy attempt at comedy part of the film…then Julianne Moore enters the plot and adds the only reasons to see this 1/2 comedy 1/2 tragedy attempt.


HAMLET. National Theatre Live. Thursday October 24 @ 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 27 @ 11a.m. at The Del Mar… the “official press release sez, “National Theatre Lives’ 2010 broadcast of Hamlet returns to cinemas as part of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Rory Kinnear plays Hamlet in a dynamic new production of Shakespeare’s complex and profound play about the human condition, directed by Nicholas Hytner. He is joined by Clare Higgins (Gertrude), Patrick Malahide (Claudius), David Calder (Polonius), James Laurenson (Ghost/Player King) and Ruth Negga (Ophelia). I’ll save you a seat.

SHOSTAKOVICH’S “THE NOSE” OPERA. SATURDAY OCTOBER 26 AT 9:55 A.M. at Cinema 9. Their “official press release” sez, …Don’t miss the broadcast of The Metropolitan Opera’s Shostakovich’s The Nose. William Kentridge stormed the Met with his inventive production of Shostakovich’s opera, which dazzled opera and art lovers alike in its inaugural run in 2010. Now Paulo Szot reprises his acclaimed performance of a bureaucrat, whose satirical misadventures in search of his missing nose are based on Gogol’s comic story. Pavel Smelkov conducts. · 2 hr 15 min

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. Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold returns to co-host the bi annual Pledge Drive on Oct. 22. October 29 has Laura Bishop from the 418 Project revealing all their plans for the next season, followed by Tom Karwin about gardening around the Monterey Bay. 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. 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. “I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake—which I also keep handy“, W.C. Fields. “There are more old drunks than old Doctors”, Francois Rabelais. “A tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle”, Jonathan Swift


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on October 23 – 29, 2013

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