Blog Archives

October 27 – November 3, 2014

POLITICS IN SANTA CRUZ, April 26, 1962. Yes, that’s the estimable Eleanor Roosevelt shaking hands with our then Mayor Bert B. Snyder jr., while Erva Bowen looks on. They are all at the Deer Park Restaurant out in Aptos. Erva was president of the area NAACP and president of our Santa Cruz County School Board.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE Oct. 27, 2014

VOTING TIME. I’m never quite sure about online deadlines so here’s WHO, WHAT and HOW I’m voting next Tuesday. I quoted Karsten Wade’s Comment in Sunday’s Sentinel down below. Add to that quote “This is what the “recent council majorities, that the Sentinel now champions have been endangering, with a strong tilt for reversing decades of smart and environmentally focused growth’. Fighting for Santa Cruz to go forward and NOT follow Cynthia Mathews, Lynn Robinson, David Terrazas, Hilary Bryant and Pamela Comstocks descent into unmitigated, and environmental hell, I’m voting only for Bruce Van Allen and Leonie Sherman for city council. I’m voting for Jeremy Shonick and Alisun Thompson for Santa Cruz City Schools. For Port Commissioner Jean Brocklebank says Toby Goddard and Reed Geisreiter know a great deal about the realities of running the harbor, vote for them. Then there’s YES on #1, YES on #2, YES on 45, and YES on #46, YES on #47, YES on #48, and YES on L (the Cannibus tax)

WALL STREET JOURNAL INTERVIEW of reporter Ellen Gamerman talking about MOSTLY ATTENDANCE AND HAPPENINGS (MAH). She briefly mentions Santa Cruz.

MAH and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL or EVERYBODY’S AN ART CURATOR. I had more than a week of phone calls and emails with Ellen Gamerman of the Wall Street Journal. She made contact because of past BrattonOnline‘s revealing the discontent that Nina Simon has caused with her changing our Art and History museum into a Mostly Attendance and Happening (MAH). I couldn’t reveal to Ellen the names of all the MAH board members, donors, Historians, Artists, and former attendees who emailed, phoned, and talked in person about their discontent. BUT former Art Curator at MAH Susan Hillhouse Leask had the guts and courage to tell Gamerman [how and why she left MAH. Kudos to Susan. One comment grabs exactly what’s at stake here…and that’s museums are dumbing down our American culture. Today’s most popular films show it, Amazon Books help prove it, popular “culture” makes it plainly obvious that people around the world and very obviously Santa Cruz would rather see bubble blowing, fire shows, and cutesy stickums than our finest art and important history. Ellen’s WSJ article came out last Thursday Oct. 24 This is that article…

SANTA CRUZ’S FLUORIDE BATTLE. Speaking of crazy, there are still some locals who refuse to face facts and join the world in having our Santa Cruz City water fluoridated. Statistics below (in these links) say that 67% of the U.S. population are on flouridated water systems. Here’s just a couple of websites with facts and figures proving we need to add fluoride. Check them out please….

Irish Times and then there’s …


still more pro-fluoride factsCDC

SANTA CRUZ POLICE —FUTURE TOOL? Carolyn K. Lagattuta found this bizarre clip.

I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up! from Dave Fothergill vfx on Vimeo.

HALLOWEEN & SANTA CRUZ MOVING BACKWARD AGAIN. Karstan Wade’s Commentary in the Sunday (10/26) Sentinel was beautiful. She wrote about whether Santa Cruz is moving forward or backward. Among other deeply thought out critiques and comments on our growth and politics she said…”one of the hallmarks of Santa Cruz has been controlled growth and civil liberties”. With Halloween coming we’ll watch as our City Council approved police actions turn Pacific Avenue into an annual “Prisoner of War” camp. There’ll be fenced in areas, spotlights on poles, and police vans ready to arrest and jail our partying citizens. Back in the day Santa Cruz had great city- sponsored costume contests, city- sponsored store decorated window contests, and families parading up and down Pacific Avenue. We’re moving backward.

MARGHE McMAHON DIED. Marghe McMahon died Friday. Marghe was a student at UCSC and most importantly, was the sculptress of the great statue of Tom Scribner, the musical saw player. That’s of course the statue in front of BookShop Santa Cruz. Her husband Luc Lessard called me with the sad news. She was 6o years old and died rather rapidly of liver and kidney infections. We started The Musical Saw Festival to help pay Marghe for all the bronze she used in the statue. Marghe went on to work as a model maker for George Lucas and did Star Wars VI and more. I can’t find any photos of Marghe except one that Cin Martino took of Marghe and me hugging near Lulu’s at the Octagon. That was last year and it’s on my Facebook page. Luc said she wants to be buried someplace in or near Santa Cruz. She was a very wonderful and beautiful person.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


The Aptos Chamber of Commerce slate of candidates for Soquel Creek Water Board needs to clean up their endorsement list. They have been caught with their pants down on at least two endorsements that were never authorized. Former 2nd District Supervisor Robley Levy endorsed two candidates, Bruce Jaffe and Rick Meyer. The mailer put out by the Chamber’s candidates, Deaver, Mc Gowan and Prentice all claim Levy’s endorsement. All three also claim the endorsement of Michael Watkins, Superintendent of Santa Cruz County Office of Education. In fact, Michael Watkins has endorsed Bruce Jaffe and Rick Meyer, and only Deaver from the Chamber’s slate. When campaigns ignore common decency and honesty in advertising, it raises the question as to the legitimacy of other names on their mailers. A quote from former County Supervisor Levy regarding the Soquel Creek Water District election says it all: “Honesty is a prime requirement for good government. I regret that the challengers have not met this test”.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

SOQUEL CANDIDATES USING ROBLEY LEVY’S and MICHAEL WATKINS NAMES.(see above) Paul Elerick sent a follow-up email to me stating…” I have the letter Robley wrote to the Sentinel (which they haven’t published). She copied all the sitting Water Board members, the Aptos COC slate and the Water District’s General Manager. She heard back from Deaver who said he didn’t know anything about it. I also have an email from Michael Watkins apologizing for the slate’s misuse of his endorsement to add to their mailers for all three”. Bad politics and lots of questions there in County Supervisor Zach Friend’s territory!!!

Click here to see more on Bruce Jaffe’s and Rick Meyer’s campaigns

DONKA. I just don’t understand this one. And only 49 people have watched this dance troupe. What is it about? Or why? Sort of looks like our Santa Cruz City Council!!!

THE GRAVITY SISTERS perform Donka. Ron Sandidge was one of the 77 who viewed this.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary discusses the “right to farm” and the land use regulations that support that right. The Santa Cruz City Council votes on “Basin Implementation Group” which of course is all about water. Patton then states, “UCSC has a Long Range Development Plan (or LRDP) more or less equivalent to a community “General Plan.” The LRDP sets out where development will be permitted, and outlines some of the conditions under which development will occur. Because the University of California is not subject to local land use regulations, neither the City nor the County General Plans apply. The LRDP is the defining document.

The current LRDP proposes something like 3.5 million square feet of new construction on the UCSC “North Campus” area, previously part of a “Natural Reserve.” Development plans have been stalled for some time, because the University has to get approval for an extension of City water onto the North Campus area, and that has not yet occurred, pending the completion of an Environmental Impact Report. As a full disclosure, listeners may remember that I have been representing the Community Water Coalition, which has been opposed to the UCSC water service extension. Today, let me suggest you visit, and find a link to a schedule of upcoming “Forest Walks.” A group called “Save Upper Campus” is providing tours of the affected area, so community members will know what the debate is all about. One Forest Walk begins at noon Wednesday, Oct.29. Other Walks are scheduled for November 1st, 2nd, 12th, and 15th. More walks are scheduled beyond those dates.

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. S. DeCinzo brings us up to date on our police force. Scroll down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan sizes up the relative importance of today’s voter…see below a page or two.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Finding a novel’s narrative voice is a mysterious process of intuition, alchemy, trial and error. Feel free to pick my brain this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, and see if any of my strategies might work for you!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


THE BLUE ROOM. There’s a murder, and an illicit love affair, nope, there are two murders (surprise) and the who done it problem…for just over an hour. It’s a fine film. Good acting, directing, and pacing is good too. Very French, go see it if you like affairs and murders, and plots especially by author Georges Simenon.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. As we’ve been reading, this is a satire. I couldn’t figure where and when the satire started or stopped. The direction is by a first time director and it shows. Every scene is exactly the same. No emphasis, no subtly, and the acting is sincere, and developing, but lousy. They say nigger and nigga a lot, which means it must be a satire. I never caught on at all.

BIRD PEOPLE. This is an eccentric, odd film. About 2/3 of the way through it becomes bizzarre and weird and catches you/us completely off guard. I still can’t figure it out (seriously), why the change, what was the purpose, what’s the message of this film??? It lacks depth or at least it lacks enough of a backstory to clue us in to what happened. It’s like watching one film for 1 hour and 45 minutes them having the projectionist decide to splice some other film on to the ending. Let me know how you liked it.

ST. VINCENT. The world agrees that Bill Murray is a great actor, he just makes many, many, bad movies. This one has him as a mean,drunken, nasty, bitter and fat man. He’s supposed to have a heart of gold (see film title). It’s not even worth renting even though Naomi Watts plays a pregnant Russian hooker and Melissa McCarthy does a fine acting job. Forget you ever heard of it.


GONE GIRL.David Fincher has directed some intelligent films and has a style which is more than most movies have nowadays. Gone Girl starring Rosamund Pike (who is genuinely great) and Ben Affleck who is generally pretty good is a fine film. One friend who requires definite, obvious,conclusive endings hated Gone Girl,,,for that reason. Neil Patrick Harris is in it too, but not much. It’s tricky, you have to think, you’ll be puzzled, it’s more complex than a Hitchcock mystery and well worth seeing. What’s hard to believe is that Gone Girl is #1 at the boxoffice with an 87% at Rotten Tomatoes.

KILL THE MESSENGER. Jeremy Renner is the main reason to see this almost true story about a San Jose Mercury reporter who uncovered thestory of The CIA smuggling cocaine and supporting Nicaraguan rebels. Renner liked the true story so much that he’s part of the producing group. But the film gets dull and full of old timey movie cliches. It could have been much better, and will make you very mad at our government, if you’re not already.

PRIDE. What a cast….Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton together in this almost true story of how the Lesbians and Gays joined together to support the striking miners in Wales. You’ll laugh, cry and be inspired by this feel good film.It happened 30 years ago and is well worth watching, but hurry.

FURY. Do not confuse or compare this Brad Pitt war movie with Inglorious Basterds. I. Basterds was a near classic and original piece of art… Fury is just another fairly good war movie. It’s tense at times, nicely acted, but has nothing you haven’t seen before. It does however make you think that maybe humans killing humans must be political and I’ve concluded, more than likely….genetic!!!

AWAKE. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of India’s first yogis to come to America he was born in 1893 and died in Los Angeles. This film is really a near hard sell for the Self Realization Fellowship that P.Y. started. It’s full of Phillip Glass music (a clue right there). If, and only if, you’re into yoga, meditation, bliss, go see this “documentary”- forward slash- promotion.

JUDGE. Robert Downey jr. gets another chance to act and he proves that he’s really, really good. AND he’s not wearing any Marvel Comic costume. Robert Duvall can only play Robert Duvall but he’s good at it. My favorite part of this film was to watch Vera Farmiga one of my favorite and most versatile actors. Billy Bob Thornton is another favorite but he doesn’t get to do much in this cliched movie. Go if you’ve seen the other good films.

THE MAZE RUNNER. More #1. definition “Dystopian” (opposite of Utopia) stuff. No big star names and not much excitement here either. This is a teenager film from a book. All bad future, kid survival, sci-fi puzzle with a dumb ending that makes strong hints that there’s more to come.

MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. It’s about how the internet has mucked up three families. It tries to make some statement about social issues, Facebook, Instagram, and texting in general. It’s boring, repetitive, very confusing and not worth your paying to see it.

DRACULA UNTOLD. Do we, or you, really want to know the back-story of Vlad the Impaler?? I walked out about 10 minutes BEFORE the ending. It’s all special effects even the impaling of 1500 victims. Good old Bram Stoker is probably spinning in his grave. We should dig him up and check!!!

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online 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. . Oct. 28 has Tim Kelly and Judy Johnson from the Community Of Artists discuss their Felix Kulpa Gallery Show then California State Assemblyman Mark Stone brings us up to date on Sacramento politics. On Nov.4th Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold returns to assist with our bi-annual KZSC Pledge Drive. November 11 noted historian and author Carolyn Swift co-hosts our second week of Pledge Drive time. Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest winners return on Nov. 18 for the full hour. On November 25 Social Media strategist Lydia Snider gives hints on Nov. 25. Then December 2has Ashlyn Adams owner of Westside Video tellingfilm and video rental secrets. 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

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!!!


“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner”, James Bovard. “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting”, Franklin D. Roosevelt. In my lifetime, we’ve gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We’ve gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in twelve years, we’ll be voting for plants”, Lewis Black.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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