Blog Archives

October 25 – 31, 2017

Highlights this week:
Don Lane Bearcat out on attack last week!, Santa Cruz and Watsonville are almost the happiest places (it says), Lou Harrison fought the Cabrillo Music Festival, J.M. Brown running again for City Council…Greensite On Weinstein, Weiners and Women …Chris Krohn about City Council Agenda problems, Swenson’s Pacific Ave hole condos and nada affordable, City ambulance service questions, planning dept exodus by Rebagliati and more questions, Odd and unusual cuts in City budget…Becky Steinbruner deals with County contracts with SALINAS Yellow Cab-why?, More on Swenson’s black hole condos on Pacific ave., united Corridor Study problems, Aptos Village developers illegal moves, $3 million for a development stoplight and we pay for it!!…Patton reports on Chris Hedges and world future predictions…DeCinzo  and Highway 17        …Eagan depicts our nationwide heart attack…Jensen reviews Goodbye Christopher Robin…I critique Lucky and G’bye Christopher Robin…Quotes for Halloween.

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SEA  BEACH HOTEL. Built in 1870’s  and it burned down at 3:30 am, June 12, 1912. It had 170 rooms and stood about where the Casa Blanca Inn &  Motel are located  on Main Street by the Boardwalk.     
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

CRAZY INVENTIONS OF 2017. There are 100’s more these came up first.
BUILT IN GOTHENBURG SWEDEN IN 1914 this cargo ship was in use till 1939, then abandoned and sailing the seas on its own for 38 years(!).
SANTA CRUZ AND HIGHWAY 1. Looks like a Russian tourist view of our
extremely happy town!!!

DATELINE October 23, 2017

OCTAGON PLATZ. One of the first things I heard at the Octagon Platz last week was that Don Lane’s Bearcat Police Attack Vehicle was used once again on October 19 to deal with a robbery at Outdoor World. I somehow missed any Santa Cruz Sentinel coverage of that war zone incident.  With Apple employees now ensconced in the top two floors of the O’Neill Building (formerly Cooper House) we can only wait and wonder —(1) how many were locals,(2) how many moved here, and (3)how many more will be coming here, and where will they live? When you look closely at the proposed Downtown plan — which is mostly about ruining the area with expensive high rises — you’ll see that one idea is to turn an area of Front Street in front of the Post Office into an extended plaza that sort of connects to the Town Clock space. That part doesn’t seem too bad at first squint. On Wednesday I met with novelist Michael Marshall Smith. He’s going to help me get little things like the difference between comas and commas and punctuation gizmos such as syntax into this space. He’s courageous; I gotta say that about him. Truly amazing how many dozens or more folks stop by The Octagon daily to say how they miss Manthri Srinath’s Lulu’s Coffee House at that location. Another MAH employee told me it looks it’ll remain empty into next year, before two locally-owned restaurants open in what was the historic Octagon/County Hall of Records. Much, much kudos to the Digital Design and Brand Surgery folks, who had the historic Leonard Building (1894) at the corner of Cooper Street and Front painted last week. By the way, Cooper Street was named after the Cooper Brothers, who came here in the 1850s from Gettysburg, and were related to James Fennimore Cooper.

STOP LAUGHING AND BEING SO HAPPY. Be sure to click and read the link below that reveals Santa Cruz to be the second happiest city in the United States! Britain’s Daily Mail had the article; I just clipped parts of it to post here…

“America’s top 25 happiest cities revealed: Boulder in Colorado is named as the place with the most satisfied residents. The metro area of Santa Cruz-Watsonville California came second in the list, followed by Charlottesville, Virginia, Fort Collins, Colorado, and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande in California.

It tops a list of 25 of America’s happiest cities, revealed in new book The Blue Zones of Happiness. Written by National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner, it reveals ‘the secrets of the world’s happiest places’. California has no less than eight cities in the top 25 list, including the metro area of San Diego-Carlsbad.

Read all of it here if you don’t believe me

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC HISTORY. I had lunch last week with very long-time friend Alyce Vestal Caudil. She and Ted Toews, who taught at Cabrillo College, started the Cabrillo Music Festival. Along with stacks of newspaper articles documenting the very first Cabrillo Festival —and showing Alyce’s and Ted’s incredible energy and foresight — Alyce has related over and over again that Lou Harrison “fought the Cabrillo Festival tooth and nail” right up to close to the opening concert, and finally joined in”. Lou was a wonderful guy and an inspiration to musicians and music lovers all over the world, but to keep reading endlessly misleading stories concerning his alleged early support of the Festival seems more than ridiculous.

J.M. Brown is strongly rumored to be running for Santa Cruz City Council. He didn’t make it the last time. Take a look at some of the folks who endorsed him…see just a hint of anything here? Cynthia Mathews, Zach Friend, Steve Reed, Santa Cruz Realtors, Hillary Bryant, Bike Santa Cruz, Bob Bosso, Cynthia Chase, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Robert deFreitas, Geoffrey Dunn, Doug Ley, Matt Farrell, Carol Fuller, Bud Colligan and Robert Singleton — for starters. Chris Krohn wrote about Drew Glover’s big campaign kickoff party here last week. Please send me any/all the 2018 Council candidates names you hear of…it’s going to be a crowded race.

WEINSTEIN, WIENERS AND WOMEN
Does the massive reaction to Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexually abusing women signify a cultural shift in the norms of sexual violence? Or is it a momentary focus, soon to be lost in the next news saga? A few reflections from the past may help illuminate its significance in the long struggle for gender equality.

In 1991, during the Senate hearings for the Anita Hill testimony of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas I was glued to the television, declaring excitedly that there was no turning back. The revolution had arrived! A tad premature to be sure,  since at the same time Harvey Weinstein was probably cornering another young woman in his hotel room with penis erect and male privilege intact.

Anita Hill brought the issue of sexual harassment into the light of day and on a global level. This crucial step is a prerequisite for change. But cultural change is often slow, accompanied by the expected backlash. It requires constant work by engaged people to keep it moving. Two decades earlier, Lin Farley had coined the term, “sexual harassment” to describe the shared experiences of countless women who had received unwelcome sexual attention at work from men, usually their supervisors, with firings and poor performance evaluations a result of their non-compliance. It wasn’t long before universities were also under scrutiny for routine sexual harassment. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, universities and workplaces scrambled to put policies in place and educate their workforce under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  The fact that 40 years later, universities are still being sued and investigated, including UCSC, for sexual harassment violations is a reminder that social change is never easy or automatic. In my experience, which includes 30 years at UCSC in rape prevention education as well as years on the city’s commission to prevent violence against women, institutions strive to bury, not solve, the issues. Public Relations, not prevention is the goal. Of course no one will admit to that but working from the inside I can attest that’s the case. It’s rare to find institutions, which sincerely want to change. I had to travel to Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa to find them and the difference was tangible. While sexual and interpersonal violence against women in these countries far outstrips the norms in our own country and national leaders are often the perpetrators, in every country I found sincere efforts for change at the institutional level. Hopefully this will lead to change at the personal level.

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

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By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com


Good Development
Ribbon cutting for thirty-nine new affordable units on Soquel Avenue near 7th Ave.


Bad Development
Single-family monster home on Getchell near the corner of Wanzer Street


Ugly Development
Everyone asks me, ‘What is this?’ It is a soulless hotel on Mission Street Extension. No emoji can express our collective community angst and sadness.

HIDDEN AGENDA OR OPEN AGENDA? WHY NOT JUST PUBLISH AN “AGENDA FOR DUMMIES?”
So much of the Santa Cruz City Council agenda is made up of snooze items. For example, the “Reconciliation of Private Encroachment on City Watershed Lands,” might be one. The issue is that years-ago somebody paved over city land to put in a private driveway and now they want to trade two of their acres to the city for the driveway land. Then there’s approving grants for Water Department “technical assistance contracts,” worth a couple of million dollars. Of course, many agenda items are snooze items until something goes wrong resulting in a law suit. The city is often involved in suing and being sued. Turns out though that so much of municipal substance is shrouded in the bureaucratic word blather that makes up each agenda item. This week’s city council agenda was of particular note. It was seemingly filled with insignificant and tedious snooze items, but in fact reflected a great deal about of our current collective anxiety around affordable housing, healthcare, a planning department that sees things differently than the community, and a city budget deficit. Perception and deception are unfortunately often by-products in our representative democracy.

Still No Affordable Rental Housing at Swenson 79-condo Project at 1547 Pacific Avenue, Why?
Not to beat a dead horse, but there they were, 11.85 units (15% of 79) of affordable rentals right there on the table at the last two city council meetings. The majority decided not to demand these units because it “just won’t pencil out” for the developer. On the Tuesday, Oct. 24th agenda, Barry Swenson and company was asking the council for a final condo map for their Pacific Park project (the old Bookshop Santa Cruz site). Seems like they need the map in order to rent the units at market-rate and avoid selling them to further avoid having to sell the affordable ones. If you are confused, then this complicated scheme is working. It’s the eleventh hour or the bottom of the ninth or nearing the end of overtime, whatever metaphor works, and the city council needs to decide which side of the affordable housing debate they are on. Either find developers who only build affordable, or continue making deals with devils who have their bottom lines, or shareholders’ concerns, first. Hoping for affordable units isn’t the same as making them build the units. The council is responsible to the housing needs of the community, not to the 20-30% profit margin developers expect.

Public Ownership of Ambulance Services
Can the Santa Cruz Fire Department add a countywide ambulance service to its workload? The short answer is, maybe. But, there is a $70,000 consultant contract on the agenda to evaluate the potential to make this happen. It would mean not having to take a huge fire truck out with the inevitable private ambulance service, usually AMR, following close behind. Instead, SCFD would leave the fire truck at the station and operate its own ambulance. In fact, if Fire Chief, Jim Frawley’s dream is realized we just might better be able to attend to our “unhoused and economically disadvantaged populations…” A part of Frawley’s dream bears repeating here from the city council staff report he submitted for this council agenda item:

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P.S.
Over 500 people came out this past week at the Civic Auditorium to hear Professors Steve McKay and Miriam Greenberg present their findings on how crazy bad our housing market has become. They had an army of over 200 students interview 1700 renters across Santa Cruz county. You can see their work at http://noplacelikehomeucsc.org/en

P.P.S.
This Thursday at 6:30 p.m. the Santa Cruz Community Church at 411 Roxas Street on the eastside will be buzzing with Save Santa Cruz people advocating for the final entombing of the “Corridors Plan.” Many believe it is not dead yet, but still limping along. I suggest Save Santa Cruz people look at Item #23 “Density Bonus Ordinance Amendments” on the Oct. 24th council agenda and see how even without the Corridor Plan, a nasty for-profit developer genie is working over-time.

Bernie Quote of the Week
Sen. Sanders on Trump’s tax plan: “It is a Robin Hood proposal in reverse…it must be defeated”

~Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

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By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVES 5-YEAR CONTRACT OF $86,000 per YEAR WITH SALINAS YELLOW CAB!!
The owner of the consolidated Yellow Cab Company for Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties could not explain to me how the $86,000 per year dollar amount for the proposed 5-year contract County Health Services recommended that the Board approve. The recommendation to the Board stated that Yellow Cab is the only cab service that can provide what is needed to transport clients from the Behavioral Health facilities to appointments locally.

“THAT IS NOT TRUE,” said local Green Taxi Cab owner, Mr. Brian Lister, who attended the October 17 Board meeting and testified that he was not even made aware of the potential contract. He is a local business owner, and his cabs run on bio-diesel. That should have made the Supervisors pause and agree to Mr. Lister’s and my request to either postpone the approval for further discussion, or to award the contract for one year, rather than five. That would have made a lot of sense, given the Health Service staff that, in answering Supervisor Caput’s question about the economics of the arrangement, said laws are changing at the State level that will most likely change what the County can allow for transportation of these clients.

NOPE. “Well, we could use the ambulance service or law enforcement to transport people,” the staff member said. “Well, what about having the attendant that gets paid $65/hour to help the clients who are able to instead learn to navigate the public transit system? These people will most likely not be able to afford a taxi when they are no longer under County care,” I said.

NOPE. The Board approved a 5-year contract with Salinas Yellow Cab for $86,000/year. That will make the owner of Yellow Cab happy. He was not at the meeting, but had told me on the phone “Uber has made it really hard for cab companies to survive, but this County contract will save me.” He plans to buy more cabs, just for the County work. Mr. Lister, Green Cab owner, said he would sure appreciate a shot at the County’s contract, too. However, it seems the Board of Supervisors could not be bothered, and instead handed the 5-year generous paycheck to an out-of-County conglomerate with a fossil fuel-powered fleet. It seems a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?

MEASURE J AND DEJA VU
In 1978. Santa Cruz County voters passed this legendary Ordinance to address the rapid growth rate (Santa Cruz County was the fastest-growing county in the state while being the smallest, next to San Francisco), and lack of affordable housing due to high housing prices. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

Here is a link to the text of Measure J. Look at page 17-3: Housing Crisis

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WHY WON’T THE COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT COOPERATE WITH THE WATER DISTRICT?
Soquel Creek Water District Staff discussed the challenges new State Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) laws will present to the District. Under SB229, the District must provide water for ADU construction, cannot require a new or separate utility connection but the District still will apply the Water Demand Offset (WDO) requirements for conservation measures in order to grant new service approval.

Staff explained that “the City and County will no longer require the conversion ADU applicants to produce a Will Serve letter before a building permit application is accepted. The best solution to this issue is to be added to the land use agencies’ check off/ routing process, similar to other agencies such as fire and sanitation districts. District staff has made this request of the County on multiple occasions in the past; however, the County has been reluctant to add the District to this process. Until this occurs, it will be a challenge to inform the conversion ADU applicants of the WDO requirements. Naturally, alerting development project applicants late in the process can be a surprise, resulting in unanticipated costs and delays.”

“Why do you think the County is so resistant to working with the District?” I asked. Staff looked at the Board and remained silent. No one answered my question. So, I will ask you, the reader, why you think the County wants to maintain this disconnect between land use and water policy? Write your County Supervisor (or call 831-454-2200) and ask for this to change:

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT BOARD WILL RECONSIDER PUNITIVE RATES FOR LEAKS
An elderly lady on a fixed income came to the Board meeting October 17 and pleaded for a variance of the District’s Leak Adjustment Policy. It nearly broke my heart to listen to her beg for financial help with the $1500 punitive bill she received for a leak that she could not have known was occurring until she got a shocking bill. The District charges $39/unit instead of $6/unit for excessive water use. The Board decided to allow her an adjustment on her bill, and will reconsider their 2015 leak adjustment policy at a future Board meeting.

With all the worry in the air over fires, infrastructure and world events, I hope you will all take time to walk on the beach or in the beautiful forests to appreciate the exquisite beauty of where we live.

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.

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By: Gary Patton    Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

#289/Prophecies And Predictions


Chris Hedges (pictured right) authored the essay mentioned in my blog posting yesterday. He conveys a rather daunting message: 

The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.

I can’t say I disagree with Hedges’ analysis. How about you? Is the American Empire “coming to an end?” If it is, and I have already said that I personally think that Hedges’ analysis is on target, here is question number two: Would that actually be a bad thing? 

The cartoon that headed up my blog posting yesterday has Uncle Sam, in the guise of a homeless person, holding up a sign that says, “Will Destroy The World For Money.” To the extent that this is what the American Empire does (and there are some pretty good arguments that this is an accurate description), it would be hard to mourn that “End of Empire.” So, here is question number three: Is Hedges offering a “prediction” or a “prophecy?” In other words, is Hedges claiming to outline what must and will happen – as “predictions” do – or is he providing us a warning about what could happen? If the latter, that would make Hedges’ essay a “prophecy,” at least in the way I draw a distinction between these two different words that both relate to a forecast of the future. It is probably relevant that Hedges is a Presbyterian minister. He must certainly know about those prophets in the Bible. Those Biblical prophets typically forecasted doom, unless the people repented. Generally, as I’m recalling the Bible stories, the people didn’t repent, and the projected doom arrived, in spades!

After the listing reproduced above, here is what Hedges says about the coming of the End of Empire: 

Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” by “a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg” that will “forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.” That introductory phrase (“short of….”), which is in the nature of a call to repent, tells me that Hedges  is speaking in the prophetic tradition. Bad things will happen, and our doom will come, unless we do something now. 

Hedges calls that “something” that we might do a “popular revolt.” I call it a “revolution.” 

The changes we need don’t have to be violent. In fact, to be truly an avenue to change, they can’t be, because violence has permeated everything we do, today, and it will be “the revolution” when we eschew violence for a nonviolent future.

Is that possible? You bet it is!

It’s not “inevitable,” though. 

The future is never “inevitable,” because human beings are possessed of the gift of freedom, and can always inaugurate something completely new, and create a “New Order In The World,” a Novus Ordo Seclorum.

Hey, we did that once before, remember?

(Gary 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 his blog at www.gapatton.net

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo’s historical view of Highway 17…see below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Heart Attack Trump” 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 that contains his piece “Like A Rug”

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Find out how filmmaker Simon Curtis gets an author’s biography right in Goodbye Christopher Robin, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). Also, my next novel,  Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, may not be coming out until 2018, but it’s already available for pre-order online at an insane discount! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

LUCKY. This is Harry Dean Stanton’s last film and he was 91 years old when they filmed it. He died in September. He also played and sang in Santa Cruz a few times too. This is a sad saga of an old man who never married wandering around his desert town yakking and gossiping with his crony friends. He talks about death, tortoises, and the things you’d imagine a 91 year old would talk about. The cast includes Transcendental Meditation’s David Lynch, plus Ed Begley Jr.,  and Tom Skerritt. Probably no Academy Awards but it’s a pleasant film. 98 on RT.

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. The veddy-veddy British story of A.A.Milne and his son that inspired the “Winnie The Pooh” books. Milne suffered  greatly from his war time service as did Britain, and the Pooh books made Milne millions of dollars, ruined his son and the mother’s lives. The accents are hard to understand in parts and you’ll end up feeling sorry for everyone in the story…IF you go see the movie.

BLADE RUNNER 2049. Denis Villeneuve directed this sequel with advice from Ridley Scott and it has many hidden plot lines from the original (try to see it before you see 2049)…it’s an unique addition to science fiction films. Dystopian is the very overused word describing a disaster based future. This film again has Los Angeles really transfigured…and even darker and more devastated and bleak than the first one which was set in LA 2019. Ryan Gosling carries the entire story, with Robin Wright and Harrison Ford doing fine acting jobs too. I have rarely, if ever, seen or felt a theatre audience so still-so hypnotized-awed-puzzled-and silent as the one I joined last week. I’ve seen it 2 ½ times now… it needs two viewings on as large a screen as possible because the photography is so impressive and important.

MOTHER. An excellent, genius- directed, absolutely intelligent plot, best-acted…what more can you ask from a movie?? Jennifer Lawrence, plus two  of my favorite actors Javier Bardem and Ed Harris, Brian Gleeson, and a darker Michelle Pfeiffer make a perfect cast for this challenging film. Not a scary, boo-type, odd, weird, what’s that?, cellar stairs type of film. It’s more like “what is going on”, “I can’t imagine what’s happening next kind of film, Directed by Darren Aronofsky it’s a winner, and you’ll remember seeing it. So go. RT calls it a “psychological thriller” I agree.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Billie Jean King plays against Bobby Riggs in this easy going tennis and sex movie. Billie Jean has an internal battle with her own sex, which adds a deeper and more involved plot than the 1973 match which we’ve all been reading up on or remember from those days. Emma Stone reputedly the highest star in the world acts perfectly with Steve Carrell and the movie is a guaranteed hit with everybody. I didn’t recognize Sarah Silverman as the women’s coach because she wears sunglasses all through the movie. I liked Little Miss Sunshine better.

ITThis broke all box office records last weekend when IT opened…and IT should have. IT is a well made, very scary movie. Based on some Stephen King books, IT is chapter one of a two part nightmare- daydream that will grab you when you are least prepared to be scared. It has all the clichés…BUT it’s got tension, mystery, and perfect timing along with excellent acting. Just go see IT but only if you truly enjoy being scared. 86 on RT.

LOVING VINCENT. The first movie ever to have been made with 1000’s of oil paintings to create animation of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and questionable murder or suicide. You’ll see dozens of his and your most favorite Van Gogh paintings”come to life” plus an intriguing story line. The animation is so good that fans (I’m one) of PBS”s Masterpiece Theatre Poldark series will recognize Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) playing Adeline Ravoux in this absolutely beautiful film. It has a 77 Rotten Tomato rating! See it ASAP Landmark doesn’t keep masterpieces very long unless audiences show up the first week.

VICTORIA & ABDUL. Almost everyone knows that Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria in this cute, warm, cuddly feel good movie. Eddie Izzard plays the Prince of Wales ( Edward VII), but you won’t recognize him. I didn’t, and I’m a big fan of Izzards. Stephen Frears directed it. He did My Beautiful Launderette, Prick Up your Ears, Philomena and some more great films but this isn’t in that category. Aside from the cuteness, it ignores the cruelty of the British rule over India during the almost 30 years.

MARSHALL. It almost takes us back to Raymond Burr and  his role as Perry Mason the Lawyer in the Perry Mason 1957 TV series …it’s a courtroom drama. More importantly it’s based on an early case that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall handled for the NAACP in Connecticut. You’ll recognize Kate Hudson as the “victim” and James Cromwell as the racist judge. Fine story, good cast, not the most memorable film in history but you’ll like it.

AMERICAN MADE. It is NOT another dopey, violent Tom Cruise superhuman action flick. This one is based on an unbelievable probably half true story about a guy who becomes an international drug runner then gets involved illegally with our CIA and the Iran Contra affair that almost got President Ronnie R. evicted. It’s probably Scientology that gives Tom Cruise that certain extra something…and I have to admit I like watching the buy. 87 on RT.

KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. I wished I’d remembered that this part 2 of an ongoing series comes from comic books. The entire movie looks like an animated cartoon. It’s violent, murderous, and plain goofy. Elton John plays himself and there’s a warning right there. To watch such good actors as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and especially Colin Firth jump around for their million dollar salaries is embarrassing.

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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. Tuesday October 24 has City on A Hill editors in chief Nicolette Nodine and Michael Kushner talking  about their publications. Then BrattonOnline columnist and area activist Becky Steinbruner brings us up to date.  On November 7  Dr. Suzanne Kerley talks about plastic surgery, hand surgery and the dangers of trusting what you see on the internet. Then Scott McGilvray from Water For Santa Cruz straightens the record on our water problems. The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton 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 Mondegreens you can’t unhear! 🙂

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.

QUOTES. HALLOWEEN

“I’ll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween”, Author unknown
“At first cock-crow the ghosts must go
Back to their quiet graves below”, Theodosia Garrison
“Never let your kids buy an off-the-shelf Halloween costume. Forbid it, no matter how close you may be to the witching hour. Instead, help them make their own. Encourage them to use their imaginations and their ingenuity. Show them that what can be created is often better than what can be bought. And besides, don’t the darkest, most frightening things live inside us anyway?”, Joe Kita Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999
“‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world”, William Shakespeare, Hamlet [III, 2, Hamlet]
“This Halloween the most popular mask is the Arnold Schwarzenegger mask. And the best part? With a mouth full of candy you will sound just like him”, Conan O’Brien

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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