Blog Archives

October 24 – 30, 2016

MAIN STREET (now Pacific Avenue) and the intersection of Mission and Willow Streets. Circa 1880. Pacific Avenue now goes right up north through those buildings behind the trolley car. Nowadays on the left side we have Bank of The West, Ron Lau’s empty lot, Lulu Carpenter’s Original location, and Mr. Goodie’s Antiques.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE October 24, 2016

CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. It’s really time to take a more careful look at where the big money is going in this next City Council election. Check out this list and see how many candidates Pamela Comstock gives money to, check out David Terrazas contributions, look who’s backing Robert Singleton, and that Martine Watkins has many, many of our biggest developers and investors behind her. J.M. Brown’s political and moneyed backers all know they can count on his votes.


Think ahead and realize what keeping this City Council and Cynthia’s  Sycophants in office will mean. More of the same police practices, continuing financial favors for developers, to hell with the homeless, never mind the environment. Bring on Corridor stacking, and on and on. What again was the reason we moved here…to see this kind of unthinking growth? To be this cruel to our growing middle class? We do need a Brand New Council…think about it (and the health of your conscience).Vote for Chris Krohn, Drew Glover, Steve Schnaar and Sandy Brown we need their honest, caring, and devoted attention. Read about these very courageous, and energetic candidates and remember they are on Bernie Sanders side.

HILLARY CLINTON IN SANTA CRUZ. It seems strange that the Sentinel wouldn’t bring up and inform our newcomers about Hillary Clinton’s visit to Santa Cruz back in 1996. Karen and Darrell Darling (right wing Democrats) had a son, Adam. He worked with Washington officials including Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Ron and Adam were killed in the crash of an  official flight over Bosnia. Hillary came here to attend Adam’s memorial and also dedicated a special placque to him in the Soquel Cemetary. The Sentinel did say something about this back in February, but it does show that very human side of Hillary. Besides that, we don’t get and never have had many presidential candidates or presidents visit here.  Not only that but The New Yorker just endorsed Hillary Clinton. They wrote an unprecedented story about that endorsement, check it out… . It also goes into detail about us electing our first female president and what it will mean.  

KSBW TV’S EDITORIAL OVER THE POLICE KILLING OF SEAN ARLT. Sherry Conable sent this link to a very unusual editorial from KSBW.

She also added… “On October 16th, at 3AM, Santa Cruz resident Sean Arlt was killed by gunfire from a Santa Cruz Police Officer in the neighborhood where he lived on the Westside. Sean was 32 years old and the loving father of a four year old. He was brandishing a metal rake when he was killed. So far, the audio recording of the event, the video recording, and the ames of the officers involved have not been released.There was aan attempt to get many citizens to speak to our City Council last Tuesday (10/25) Those attending were hoping to ask the Council for..

  1. greatly increased transparency about what happened.
  2. a truly independent investigation by an outside agency (not the Santa Cruz County District    Attorney’s office)
  3. a commitment to develop new policies and training of law enforcement personnel so that this cannot happen again.
  4. a City committed to compassion, understanding, justice and decency for all citizens, and nonviolent intervention when intervention is needed.

Sean, who struggled with the effects of a mental illness, also wrote a book of poems entitled “the Love Manifesto” – it is full of deep, thoughtful, inspired, loving, and caring words for the family, community, and world that he was part of.”

(Editorial comment…writing this on Monday 10/24, we can only guess what our present Santa Cruz City Council will say or do about this tragedy. Pay attention to this council reaction, and how much longer do we want their cold and uninvolved treatment of our community???)


The Wharf Master Plan is on the fast track for city council approval.  This $40 million modern makeover of the wharf includes 3 new warehouse-style buildings up to 45 feet in height, two expanded walk-bikeways, one on the east side (facing the San Lorenzo river) and a dropped down walkway on the western side of the wharf under the windows of the current restaurants. The viewing holes for the sea lions will be covered up. Other changes include a new landing for large boats at the wharf’s end and a doubling of the current wharf businesses by adding upper stories and infilling with a goal of more take-out food. All this with essentially no increase in parking except what can be achieved through restriping and narrowing the width of the current parking stalls.  If you are not aware of this significant change to an iconic Santa Cruz landmark that is because the city appears bent on getting the environmental review to the current council as quickly and as quietly as possible.

In August, while in Florida, I wrote about discovering that the Wharf Master Plan’s environmental review was on the next-day’s city council agenda. A quick email to council objecting to their lack of attention to federally protected bird species, notably Pigeon Guillemots that fly from Puget Sound to the Santa Cruz wharf each year, and also copied to astute environmentalists, resulted in a number of emails to council addressing bird and lighting issues and calling for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). In response, obviously advised by their attorneys, the city postponed the issue and released a revised Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for public review focusing on the bird and lighting issues but no EIR. The review period for the revised MND started on October 18th and ends on November 16th.  You can access the revised document here.

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~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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).


Last week’s Department of Public Works meeting with prospective bidders for the Aptos Village Phase I Improvements was interesting.  Contractors from as far away as San Luis Obispo and Hayward attended.  About eight citizens (all from Aptos) also were there protesting the fact that County taxpayers are being expected to pay for improvements that are to support the Aptos Village Project.

In spite of being told by DPW Traffic Engineer to “go somewhere else”, we followed along on the project tour and heard the questions the contractors posed.   For example, we learned that the new bus stop location will force control boxes too close to the rail lines, violating standard set back requirements.  We also learned that the winning contractor must complete ( within 48 hours) the removal of 200′ of track, excavation to 32″ deep, replacement of rock ballast, and replacement of Trout Gulch Road crossing pads.  

We asked how the public will be notified of this 48-hour intersection closure and how will traffic be routed during that time?  “We’ll work that out” said County Senior Traffic Engineer, Jack Sohriakoff.  Citizens implored all contractors at the meeting to make a real effort to notify the Community of all project schedules and work plans. The winning bid will be approved by the County Board of Supervisors November 15, and work could begin next February or March.

Another gem we learned was that Phase II of the improvements are now in the works. We asked Mr. Sohriakoff if citizens will get an opportunity to review the project?  “We’ll work that out” he said again.   According to information on the Regional Transportation Commission website, the design will be finalized in December, 2016.  That really does not leave much time for citizen input, does it?

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~(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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website… October 18, 2016, #292.

I am quoting from an article that appeared in the October 16, 2016 edition of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The article reported on a meeting at which John Laird, California Secretary of Resources, and formerly Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, provided information on the many ballot measures facing California voters on November 8th. 

And who was it who said, “your vote doesn’t count…?” That would be Morgan Smith, “a 20-year-old Santa Cruz resident and recent political science graduate at UC Santa Cruz.” While saying that “your vote doesn’t count for anything,” Smith does, I gather, advise voting nonetheless. It is Smith’s contention that a person’s vote “counts as a statistic,” and that “the more statistics you generate, the bigger an impact it has on politicians when they’re deciding what to do.” Please let me correct the record. Voting counts! It happens that I teach in the Politics Department at UC Santa Cruz, though I don’t think I ever ran across Morgan Smith. I was also elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors five times, and lost an election to the California State Assembly, so I have some practical experience. Believe me, when I campaigned for office, in elections that were always quite close, it became obvious to me that voting “counts.”

In fact, voting can be seen as an amazing kind of “trick,” by which we, as a collective group of individuals, mobilize our small increments of individual power (our individual ability to do work) into the kind of massive power that builds dams and bridges, goes to war, and determines what the rules will be that govern our common life. 

Each of us has the ability to do work and to accomplish things. We mobilize our personal power, individually, in all of our daily activities; none of us, however, using only our individual power, has the ability to accomplish any large project. If we, collectively, want to build a dam or a highway, to go to war or to make the peace, we need to act in common. And how do we actually do that, in fact?

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~Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo delivers on… Policing the cemetery, a few scrolls below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Hillary’s Cover-up” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

SIDEREAL THEATER COMPANY’S PRODUCTION OF NEIL LABUTE’S “bash latterday plays”. I’m repeating this review…the play is that good!!!! It’s rare in Santa Cruz to see live plays with as much intensity and as perfectly acted as this production. As long time readers know I see most of the live plays in town and do not review, critique, or mention them if they don’t work. This “bash latterday plays does indeed work. Three separate stories told in three scenes, and you won’t forget a minute of them long after you leave the theatre. Only two performances left Friday & Saturday Oct. 28 & 29. No more tickets online…at the door only. It’s at the Broadway Playhouse where the Lord’s Last Supper used to be. If you like live theatre and deep, thoughtful drama do not miss this experience.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Help celebrate 50 years of Bookshop Santa Cruz in the heart of our community, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( And speaking of books, find out what’s new with my next novel!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

DENIAL…THE OFFICIAL TRAILER. Timothy Sprall opens the show!!!

DENIAL. A subject like denying the holocaust has about as much relevance as alien kidnappings, the earth is flat, and denying climate change. And this is a very serious film starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson (one of his very best roles), and the evil and believable Timothy Spall. Courtroom, Auschwitz, anti-semitism, Adolf Hitler, and it’s all true. It’s full of suspense, and you’ll think a lot about a Trump-run USA.

A MAN NAMED OVE. A Swedish film with subtitles. Whew…93 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s worth every tomato too. The film centers on 59 year old Ove and his attempts at suicide. He fails many times and dreams back to his near perfect and lovely wife who died, and why he wants to join her. He’s beyond crabby, he’s angry, mean and yet, and yet, there’s something so magnetic and powerful and redeeming in him that you’ll watch and wait for his every move. It’s a wonderful film…and I think he’s older than 59, and I remember 59 fairly well. Rolf Lassgard who plays Ove is actually 61 and has been in many films and even played Puck in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream!!

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. It’s actually one of the better action –merciless- blood filled- escapist movies. There’s a semblence of a plot that makes even Tom Cruise seem human at times!!! It only got a 39 on Rotten Tomatoes so maybe Cruise’s Scientology friends haven’t gone yet!!! The skimpy plot has maybe a daughter for Cruise, several incredibly manic  mindless,  brutal killings BUT some scenes are very exciting. But you must really this type of film before paying to see it.

HELL OR HIGH WATER. Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine make this one wonderful, exciting, involving, and well acted film. Go see it ASAP. Cops and bank robbers in Texas, internal conflicts, evil bank laws and practices, and ethics and morals are all integrated. It’s hard t o believe that “Hollywood” could still make a film this good after all these years of junk.

SULLY. Tom Hanks, Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhardt do their dependable, professional jobs in this formulac Hollywood treu life drama. Plenty of tension, a great true story that we knew most of already. It’s how airplane Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed that passenger plane in the Hudson river and saved everybody’s lives. Speaking of airplanes, you might t hink about right wing director of the film Clint Eastwood and that  the executive producer of Suicide Squad and Sully is  Steven Mnuchin who is Donald Trump’s finance director, if  it matters who you give money to!

AMERICAN HONEY. If you watch this film as an almost three (3) hour documentary it’ll be more understandable. One poor girl makes herself homeless and joins a group of other teens driving and moteling through the Southern USA selling magazines. It’s probably generational but the music, the motivation, the point of the film and their lives and their choices left me bored. I don’t care that much about what a teenager’s lifestyle is like…not that lifestyle.  Do note that Krystal, the leader of the group is Riley Keough, who is Elvis’s granddaughter.

THE ACCOUNTANT. Ben Affleck plays an autistic criminal bookeeper who is also a ruthless killer, and yes, that makes as little sense as does 98 % of this murder filled mess of a movie.

Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and even John Lithgow all do what they can in such a miscast cast that makes you feel like you’re watching an audition session, that nobody cares if they get the parts or not. You won’t believe the plot, or the acting, or the fact that you paid money to see this flick. ps. Jack Reacher is better…if you like these type flicks.

DEEP WATER HORIZON. A big cast with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich, and an extra grizzly Kurt Russell. It’s about the 2010 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico and how greedy, cruel, and devious the BP (British Petroleum) corporation was/is?? about sacrificing human life for the big buck. Lots of technical oil terms, plenty of time to think about our local ocean frontage (and fracking) then comes the explosion…it’s great, it’s exciting, it’s long, it’s tense and it’s done just perfectly. Wahlberg is believable, go see it.

GIRL ON A TRAIN. Emily Blunt stars in this heavily/crazily adapted book to film release. You’ll figure it all out about three-quarters of the way through the flash back-fast forward sections. What’s also a problem is that (on purpose) some of the women look like each other! Ex-wives, murder, drinking, cliches galore. I think you’d be better off reading the book. I’ll bet most of your friends have.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (take # 3). This movie should be sued for using the same title as the earlier classics starring in 1960 Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Colburn, Robert Vaughn and of course Eli Wallich. Then there’s the genuine Akira Kurosawa classic “Seven Samurai” from 1956 (which both of above films ripped off), that starred Toshiro Mifune. The new one has Denzel Washington as the big honcho and he’s about as impressive a leader as Pee Wee Herman would be, but he’s not as funny. Don’t go.  

MRS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. Tim Burton who was born in Burbank in 1958 has made cinema greatness by directing  Beetlejuice, Pee Wee Herman, Edward Scissorhands, James and The Giant Peach. Miss Peregrine is a mess, and unfathomable, confusing, pointless. And even sad and painful..DO NOT TAKE OR SEND CHILDREN…it is not a children’s movie, or yours either. Besides all that, the film is heavily critized for having one very evil character in it…played by the one Black actor in the cast Samuel L. Jackson.



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. On October 25th Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns to discuss the workings of the court system. Then Jinx Deruisa and Roy Malan talk about The Santa Cruz Chamber Players new season. November 1st has Georgia Johnson and Connor Jang Editors-in-Chief of City on a Hill Press talking about their newspaper after which gardening expert Tom Karwin discusses UCSC Arboretum issues. Voting Night Nov.8 we have former Mayor Celia Scott discussing politics and elections. Then former Santa Cruz County Supervisor Gary Patton also talks about local and national elections, issues, and politics. Nov. 15 has Deborah Muth talking about her new book on Scotts Valley history. Attorney Bob Taren returns that same November 15 to share views on THAT election. Christina Waters guests November 22 talking about her new book. After Christina, Sean Michael Conley discusses genealogy and their local chapter functions. Sean Van Sommeran emerges on Nov. 29 to tell us about the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. 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  

Some things make me proud to be Swedish…

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

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.


“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion”, Henry David Thoreau

“Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin”,  Simone Schwarz-Bart

“I think people fetishize glasses in general. You could put glasses on a rotting pumpkin and people would think it was sexy”, Tina Fey

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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