Blog Archives

October 26 – November 1, 2011

TWO WAY TRAFFIC ON PACIFIC IN 1953. It really should be made a closed Mall, but here’s what it used to look like. Remember too, it had out of town corporations like Bank Of America, Woolworth’s, Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penneys, B.F. Goodrich, and plenty more.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

TWO WAY TRAFFIC ON PACIFIC BY XMAS!! By all accounts and, I guess led by the Downtown Association, merchants led by the City Council, are pushing to have Pacific Avenue converted to two way traffic by this Christmas time!! Those “bulb out islands will be crunched away, new signs painted…and they say it’ll all happen in time for these holidays. It’s all spurred on by that out of towner report that says a lot of our money is going out of over the hill like to Santana Row!!! So with the same lack of sense we’re supposed to be welcoming Target and Ross and Lowes here, as if that’ll keep our money here??? WE need to remember even though no one says much about it that the very last paragraph of that report says that we could keep everything just as it is because it’s working very well. Any one can see how busy our downtown is…and will two way traffic change that? No, not as much as making Pacific Ave into a closed Mall. But the merchants have voted against everything and anything that changes Pacific. They hated First Night, they fear parades, their pressure stopped us from creating a downtown plaza, and back a decade or so because of their fear of the homeless they voted down making it a closed off Mall. Santa Monica’s wall works beautifully, ours would too. But it won’t happen here.

THE ODD THING IS. There isn’t a merchant or shopper or local or tourist who doesn’t hate the motorcycles downtown. Yet, our police do absolutely nothing to stop them and their noise. It’s hard to believe that the “City Fathers” will go to such extremes as 2 way traffic, no Malls, expensive surveys and more and still won’t stop those motorcycles…ask you favorite councilperson (if you have one) why that is???


Big Secret…there’s a “big retailer coming on to Pacific Avenue”, even most council members don’t know who or where, probably into the “old” Borders store. I’m guessing it’ll be announced this week…you can read it in The Sentinel later after the news is delivered to Scotts Valley.


KZSC isn’t an NPR station, it’s a community station and its Pledge drive is on right now!!!

WATER, WATER AND…Gary Patton again warns us of the water politics being played out between UCSC and The City of Santa Cruz…he says, “Here is what is at stake: The City of Santa Cruz and the University of California at Santa Cruz are asking for permission to have the City extend water service to the UCSC “North Campus” area, which is now largely a nature reserve. Besides allowing the development of currently undeveloped lands on campus, the impacts of allowing such an extension of water service would be to put more stress on the rivers and creeks now providing water for the City. In addition, extending service beyond the existing service area could put existing customers in a disadvantageous position in a drought. Greater cutbacks for current residential and business customers in the City, and for residents and businesses in Live Oak, Pasatiempo, and Capitola, would likely be experienced if the application is approved, because of the new water demands of UCSC. Again, if you would like to be heard on this application, please MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! The LAFCO hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 7th, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 5th Floor, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me, as an attorney representing the Community Water Coalition, which has been leading the opposition to this water service extension request.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary begins the week with his take on traffic on Pacific Avenue. He talks about Fracking on Pebble beach property and relates how the Sierra Club will go hiking on Fort Ord property. (ed. note. I used to do that but I was in uniform at the time and we had to keep in formation). Gary closes by reminding us of that aforementioned LAFCO meeting on December 7th. (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”


SANTA CRUZ POSTCARDS. Ted Burke was extra kind and sent us a link to a nation wide postcard collection. Bruce, ENJOY!Ted

PENNY POSTCARD HISTORY. What did your home town look like during the era of the penny postcard? Click on the state and then on the county to see old penny picture postcards from that area. Some larger counties have individual cities. Then double click the card to enlarge it… pretty neat. Someone has an enormous collection of post cards!!

Click here>> Penny Postcards

More than that, click on Santa Cruz and see our special community here…

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. A view of Wall Street’s 1 % from way down below.

I made the sign myself. At the last minute, one other guy jumped into the photo but I’m really alone here. When I told people that I made the sign and invited anyone to join me for the photograph, most people hadn’t even heard of it. And it’s front-page news for the last month, sheesh.

That’s what my column’s about this week– the political isolation I always experience on ice. Most people here don’t want to think about politics, especially those issues not 100% directly related to environmentalism. We even have several climate-deniers, if you can believe it… not one, but a small group of people who think scientists study climate only to get money and are deliberately falsifying their data for job security.

Other people are more “progressive” in a general sense, yet don’t want to read the news because it makes them upset. People consider me basically insane, can’t understand why I get so amped up over issues like this. I’m trying to write about this issue in a way that doesn’t aggravate the situation further, yet conveys the general sense of isolation that I feel here.
Several new books have come out about Antarctica or Antarctic heroes by the way.

I did start a blog, based on this column– I put up much of the material retroactively, once the vessel finally left.

Yesterday, I made my own small contribution to the Occupy movement that started on Wall Street but has since circled the globe. Funny how holding that cardboard sign on a windy afternoon in the middle of nowhere made me feel connected to all my friends back home. Occupy Antarctica, occupy everywhere! Only one other person joined me. I expected more, honestly, and maybe you did as well given the nature of our work here. However, I see the full range of political opinions represented on station along with a fair portion of people who don’t read the news because it always upsets them. Their knowingly-ignorant approach to world affairs gets on my nerves even more than the climate-deniers do — oh yes, we have several people on station who believe climate science is a total scam.

Of course, some folks do sympathize with Occupy movement but did not join me. Their reluctance certainly stems in part from the delicate tension we all strike between being ourselves and being members of a tiny community. Any discordant note struck at the dinner table will echo through the following day and affect everyone within earshot, however subtly. We all desire to harmonize with the people around us, even when that requires us to pipe down, and so we remain silent on those topics about which we have the most to say. Moreover, we lose a portion of our bonus pay if we get marked as “disruptive to the community” in our end-of-season Performance Evaluation.

The personal and professional pressure put a squeeze on more frank discussions, at least in public. Perhaps to compensate for this strain, we take strong sides on absurdly trivial issues. For instance, last year we argued about whether one should pass only the salt when someone asks or automatically include the pepper too. This season, we’re discussing how to sort the spoons.

My own willingness to mouth-off has garnered mixed reviews, and that my co-workers’ continue to accept me is a testament to their good natures… At any rate, check out my blog while I go sit in the sauna.

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until April 2012.

SENSIBLE TRANSPORTATION WEBSITE UPDATED!! Peter Scott says,Our website, at is finally updated. Please check it out. We have a few new links — to Bruce Bratton’s weekly column and Gordon Price’s almost daily blog (“Price Tags”), and even one to the new Pogonip Watch website. There is also an item on the home page about the EIR for the 2030 General Plan for the City of Santa Cruz. It’s worth a look, at least the “Transportation & Traffic” section. Also at the top of the home page there’s a good video. And even a facebook “Like” button: If you have any facebook friends at all, please consider clicking on the “Like” button and in the little window that pops up encourage those friends to also have a look at our CFST website.

And the “support the campaign” button works well, in case you’d like to make a donation, or even just express interest. And of course, please write to me if you find something that
does not work, or if you have suggestions for additions to the website. Stay tuned…and all the best, Peter S.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. A perfectly clear explanation of the Wall Street promenade, scroll down there…

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau’s article in Progreso Weekly is « Afghanistan Calling”. Read it all and here’s a sample…” Like those in Luis Buñuel’s “The Exterminating Angel,” U.S. presidents feel trapped by circumstances of their political reality – or political stupidity. If he does withdraw now Obama will have nothing to show for all the death and destruction, not even the impending Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, due to commence in 2012, and start oil flow in 2014. Without NATO forces there, forget it!

A year before elections, presidents do what’s good for their re-re-elections. These choices do not coincide with what’s good for the poor dogs fighting that war – or for the American psyche”. It’s all here.

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studiesfellow.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Let’s play dress-up this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, when The Rio presents Fritz Lang’s Deco-Futurist masterpiece, Metropolis, with a new original score performed live by the New Music Works Ensemble and maestro Phil Collins, and a costume contest in the lobby, transformed into an Art Deco Berlin cityscape. Also, discover some new ways to celebrate two of Santa Cruz’s greatest late literary icons. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.


MARGIN CALL. (see trailer to the right) A great cast and a great film. It stars Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Irons and its’ about the Wall Street crash of 2008. It makes the politics of Ides of March look like Mary Poppins. Should be a play or maybe it was?? It’s intense, no blood, no sex, and no ghosts. It’s “Inside Job” only even more real than that documentary!!! (p.s. think Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and crooks like that).

BLACKTHORN. Butch Cassidy still alive??? That’s’ the idea behind this plot that’s led by Sam Shepard as Butch/Blackthorn. Shepard is one strange actor. He’s a lot like Walter Huston or Gabby Hayes or James Whitmore or those “permanently Geezer” types. It may be acting then again it’s more than likely its’ terminal. Beautiful scenery but just another contemporary “Oater/horse opera”. Stephen Rea is in it too and that works well.

TAKE SHELTER. Because Michael Shannon is the star you know this will be a “nutso” film, and it is. The storm that you wait for all through the way-too long-film is either his schizophrenia or an Ohio hurricane or tsunami, or Wall Street, or Hitler or some big bad thing. It’s really scary but slow and intelligent and insightful and full of metaphors. I’d go if I were you.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE CONCERTS at UCSC. The series continues with “Windswept,” a concert of music for winds featuring faculty artists and the Bay Area ensemble Monteverdi Brass. On the program: Patricia Emerson Mitchell, oboe, Anatole Leikin, piano, and Susan Vollmer, french horn, perform Trio in A minor, Opus 188, for oboe, horn, and piano by Carl Reinecke. The five-member Monteverdi Brass ensemble will perform music from the 15th and 16th centuries, including works by Claudio Monteverdi, Luca Marenzio, Johann Schein, Michael Praetorius, Josquin des Pres, and Andrea Gabrieli. Monteverdi Brass is made up of UCSC music lecturer Richard Roper and Rob Wilkins, trumpets, Michael Cushing, alto trombone, Hall Goff, tenor trombone, and Don Denham, bass trombone. It’s happening Friday, October 28, 2011 – 7:30p.m. Music Center Recital Hall (UCSC). Tickets available in advance at the UCSC Ticket Office
(831-459-2159), the Santa Cruz Civic box office (831-420-5260) and at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are archived (see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Nina Simon Director of The Museum of Art & History (MAH) will be back as guest on November 1st. Followed by Meg Sandow and Mary Burick discussing the Homeless Garden Project. The November 8th Grapevine has former Cabrilho Professor Don Young talking about his book,” The Battle For Snow Mountain”. On November 15th the winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Youth Writing contest will read their entries. Ralph Abraham will talk about 2 of his new books on November 22.November 29 has Assemblyman Bill Monning discussing inside Sacramento stuff. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

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 Great Morgani on Street performing, 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 Conpany. Plus 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. “Politics, it’s always new and always old” delivered to Larry Chew. “God is Love, but get it in writing”, Gypsy Rose Lee. “There are three sexes—men, women, and clergymen”, Sydney Smith.

Deep Cover by tim eagan.

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