Blog Archives

October 3 – 9, 2017

Highlights this week:
Read about Garfield Park Circle Church sale being fishy, Abbott Square and more news re Octagon changes, Buffalo Bill’s visits to Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch & S.F. Chronicle…Carmella Weintraub about The Spirit of Santa Cruz…Greensite on rape rendered invisible in local crime stats…Krohn (from Texas) about Sanctuary State, ICE Raids, Bail schedule, planned development loopholes, Quality of Life Plan, rent control, moratorium on UCSC growth…Steinbruner writes on Rancho Del Mar’s sad day, Supe Zach Friend not helping businesses, cannabis growing and manufacturing problems, “Affordable” housing & Barry Swenson, Sentinel avoids reporting on Trump’s Mexico wall…Patton and our history lessons…Eagan and the jerking of the knee…DeCinzo and KSCO history…Jensen and Battle of The Sexes…I critique American Made, Battle of the Sexes, Flatliners, and Woodshock…Quotes on Puerto Rico.

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“Buffalo Bill Cody in parade on Pacific Ave. between Lincoln Street and Cathcart…Friday May 7, 1915”. With Buffalo Bill is his sister Mrs. Lydia Goulding who lived on Seabright Avenue. He visited here here in 1910, April 18,1914  and the above in 1915, his last visit, he died January 10, 1917.                                                  
    
photo credit: photo and Buffalo Bill data courtesy of David Terrazas

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

BILLIE JEAN KING TODAY. A foolish interview, but we get to see what she looks like after all these years
SANTA CRUZ CLIFF JUMPING. Looks familiar…like maybe I ran this before??? AND it’s still thrilling!!!
This enthusiastic British girl tells us a few things that are neat about Santa Cruz.

DATELINE Oct. 2, 2017

GARFIELD CIRCLE CHURCH SALE. “Something’s fishy about the sale of the Garfield Park Christian Circle Church” is what I heard over and over again from some residents who live in and on the circle street (Errett) that surrounds the church. Why was the selling price so far below the market value? It sold, and is in escrow for a listed price of $2,995,000. Who bought it?  Is there a brewery owner involved in the sale and purchase? Where is the money going from the sale? Why are they ripping out the church pews? Many complaints from the treatment of the community from Pastor Steve’s time as head guy to Christopher Drury who runs it now. There was no debt on the building,  the neighbors say. It had wide community use by all sorts of groups, now available times are severally limited. Why the new paint job on the church since it was only five years since the last one? There are more questions and because this is such a prime piece of Santa Cruz community and such a piece of our history…these questions and many more need answering, and more publicity shed on this sad  Drury dilemma.

NINA SIMON ON OCTAGON AND MAH CHANGES. I mentioned last week that I’m back sitting in front of The Octagon a few random hours each week. It’s great…folks stop by and give me all sorts of topics, secrets, and ideas for BrattonOnline. I also get plenty of questions about the changes that MAH and Nina Simon made to “the MAH-ABBOTT neighborhood” In answer to my query to her about what happened to the huge black letter M that stood next to the red ball at the corner of Cooper and Front Street she replied…”When we designed and built the new deck wrapping around the corner, we wanted to invite people to easily hang out and people-watch from there. We also wanted to make the deck as big as possible. We found a way for the ball – which is iconic to the site and beloved by many – to remain. But not the M. It was removed as part of the project”. In answer to even more questions about what’s going into the Octagon itself she emailed…” The Octagon is leased as part of Abbott Square Market and it is my understanding that they are actively developing it with local chefs, to open in 2018″. As it happened after her reply I asked two guys working inside the Octagon…they said that TWO locally owned restaurants will be opening in there by (next month) November!! I guess we’ll wait and see.

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BUFFALO BILL AND SANTA CRUZ VISITS. David Terrazas and I got to talking (not about politics!!!)  about Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) and his visits to his Santa Cruz sisters. I’d never seen or heard about Bill visiting here…and had never seen any local photos…or knew that he was one of seven children. Sophia M. Decker and Lydia Goudling were his Santa Cruz sisters. Sophia died here at her sister’s home on Seabright avenue. David  T. also had the library print copies of his PEERLESS PAGEANT OF PLEASURE appearing at the Liebrandt Circus Grounds. His Sells-Floto Circus featured “his Indians, Zora Bravest woman in the world, Ranch Girls, and Beasts of the Jungle performed by MME. Ricardo and Captain Dutch. Before all of that happened they would stage a Circus Parade two miles long!!!  

WILDER RANCH HISTORY AND THE S.F. CHRONICLE. Tom Stienstra in his OUTDOORS column for the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, September 28 wrote a great piece about Wilder Ranch State Park. He titled it “A Hidden Gem for Bikers and Hikers”.

He describes not just the scope of the park but the protocol for hikers, horse people and mountain bikers. That is bikers give way to hikers and equestrians; hikers give way to horses. He repeats Ranger conversations and it’s all very nice BUT never once does he or any ranger tell of the huge battle and victory we locals had in fighting the development of 10,000 homes there. No mention of the $121,000,000 lawsuit that Bob Bosso and The Hollywood Turf Club that he represented slammed on us that we had to fight (we won). That battle against development was significant. I wrote Stienstra about all of it. We should wonder now what would our City Council or Board of Supes do today if Apple, Microsoft, Google wanted to build the equivalent of 10,000 homes here…like a Silicon Beach Ranch or some such monstrosity??

THE SPIRIT OF SANTA CRUZ by CARMELLA WEINTRAUB. My decade’s long- time friend Carmella Weintraub wrote this piece and sent it to Gary Patton and me. Carmella is a long time Santa Cruzan, mother and designer. Gary ran it on Facebook and I want to share it with all of you here. It’s so well written and covers the beliefs and feelings so many of us have. Don’t miss it…read it all…

“SAVING THE SOUL OF SANTA CRUZ”

Carmella Weintraub

It is said that the soul of a place is the sum total of the essence of its highest ideals and should be an expression of its commitment to the good, the true and the beautiful. This quality of soul comes only after the evolution through phases of its development, some of which is challenging and some a natural progress. Then, on both the personality level and the cultural level, integration comes and the soul essence solidifies into a clear and palpable sense of integrity and direction. After facing many changes and challenges in the last 25 years, I feel the soul of Santa Cruz in on the line and I want respectfully offer my perspective.

I came to Santa Cruz in 1969, the year of the Woodstock Festival, an event that heralded the arrival and growing strength of the counterculture and the beginning of the Aquarian Age. This coincided with my serendipitous landing in a town that seemed on the verge of virtually living the values of that time.  I must say, I resonated. The energy here was so positive and real.

The town, which I had known since the 1940’s – my great aunt and uncle lived in Paradise Park – had not changed that much since that time. It was still a sleepy little burg, full of senior citizens, retirees in their quaint little one of a kind cottages and students and faculty of the newly minted University and a main drag that sported some nice stores, Leasks and the Morris Abrams store in addition to the Cooper House and numerous small businesses.  

I found a city that was bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by giant redwood forests. Between these was a magical strip, which included many charming homes and multiple historic public buildings, built between the Victorian age and the 1950’s.  In addition, there was a huge amusement part called the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, an iconic symbol of the natural and playful part of human nature. The City on the Hill, the University community, overlooked this whole picture. The arts community, music and entertainment and surfers, boaters and colorful hippies rounded out the palpable spirit of Santa Cruz.

How could one go wrong?  Unparalleled pristine beauty, intelligence on the hill and creative energy all around.  How could one resist all of that?  I moved here.  I was 30 years old, give or take a few, and made a life here, knowing this place was special. Finding a job in social services saved me from living on the edge in a place without a huge economic base to support its populace.

The scene blossomed in the 1970’s, in the middle of some awesome cultural institutions, both of the Catalysts (old and new), the Cooper House, with live music and dancing by Ginger, Bookshop Santa Cruz, The Teacup Restaurant, the annual Spring Fair and lots and lots of live music groups, art and literary groups.  People “owned” the town. Pacific Ave. was turned into the Pacific Garden Mall in 1968 (originally called Downtown Oasis) a plan inspired by Chuck and Esther Abbott.

The mall was basically a non-stop party of music, mirth and exchange of ideas and provided a place where town residents started to mix with University students and their professors, several of whom held forth at the Pergolesi coffee shop behind Bookshop Santa Cruz to lead a weekly forum of the latest ideological point of view. Hanging out at Logos book store was the pastime du Jour. People were out in droves to see and be seen, to enjoy Don McCaslin, the Brothers Karamozov and to enjoy the radically individualistic social scene that was fueled by the general zeitgeist of the times. Tom Noddy, the Bubble Man, even made it to the Johnny Carson show.  

It was a fun, unselfconscious time, and even with the advent of recreational drugs, it was still slow, but upbeat, rich and enjoyable, a culture of free spirits, unfettered by the strictures of a culture of conformity.

Perhaps feeding off of some present, but unacknowledged, understanding of what we really had here, social action began to take place in the mid- 1970’s, focused on preserving the natural settings of Santa Cruz, for all time. During this magnificent period, many Open Spaces were saved for the enjoyment of future generations.  Pogonip was saved and annexed by the City in 1978 and would not be developed for housing. In 1974, a committed group of Santa Cruz citizens organized to keep Wilder Ranch from the ravages of north coast development. Later, in 1978, Lighthouse Point was saved, also from development, and later converted to a State Park, a status which endures until now providing perhaps the most beloved gathering spot in our city. Even later in the ‘70s Arana Gulch became a permanent greenbelt and would remain committed to its pristine original nature- green, wet and wild.

Money was beginning to creep into the culture of Santa Cruz, but not in a greedy or ostentatious way.  Houses on Westcliff were sold and other large ones built but still, there was the original feeling of Santa Cruz. A place for many people, visitors and residents alike to enjoy a place of rest, rejuvenation, relaxation and renewal.  It was a magical time and things were about to change dramatically.

At the end of the 1980’s, there occurred a sudden and major shift.  The Loma Prieta earthquake hit, decimating the Pacific Garden Mall and killing 3 people. I was downtown with my young children at the time and witnessed this tragic event. The damage was so extensive that the Mall lost its Historic status because 19 of 36 buildings that qualified for the appellation just two years prior to the quake were lost. Future generations would never see the examples of 1890s to 1929 architecture. The Cooper House, deemed unsafe by City officials, came down, despite the protests of hundreds of tearful onlookers.

This loss was a metaphor for much more that was lost in the Earthquake because in the ensuing years many aspects of Santa Cruz changed. In the nanoseconds following the earthquake, the town was plunged into a crisis of major proportions. The town was in shambles and soon so was the spirit of Santa Cruz. We had lost our center.

Very quickly, outside professional urban planning consultants were called in to consult on what our town should look like, despite their lack of familiarity as to what the DNA of Santa Cruz had always been.  Our hip little town soon became a “chic” little town and started a trend that was to continue until this very day.

After the earthquake the local ambience and architecture changed very rapidly and often surprisingly with less public input than was probably fair.

Costco, our first city big box store, opened in 1994.  A few years later, in a sudden departure from our historic heritage, Gateway Center opened in 1997, much to the chagrin of the small business owners who had their charming and historic buildings knocked down. Replacing these historic businesses with what turned out to be a strip mall in the shape of a square, housing businesses at the gateway to our town, in non-descript box like stores with no apparent nod to the look and feel of our town.  As if that were not enough shock. Soon modern design, coupled with a garish green paint on metal standards, appeared in the form of lighting on River St., ostensibly to create a welcoming look to the historic center of town.  In the opinion of many citizens, this goal was never achieved.

There were many shocked people, including myself, but as local architect–activist Mark Primack stated, at the time, after only two people showed up at the design review planning meetings, “the citizens of Santa Cruz will get what they deserve”. I am recalling all of this because I believe we are at a similar juncture now. If we don’t get actively involved in setting the course of development in this town, we will again be the recipients of something we do not want nor deserve.

After this particular surprise, more change came about and currently continues to come about, fast and furiously as the City fathers (and mothers) move quickly to fill in every empty space in Santa Cruz city limits with high density potentially generically designed “infill”, a phenomenon that is currently in process now, led by the Santa Cruz City Council and City Planners.   

To that end, currently on the table or in process are these projects:

  • The Corridor Plan, putting high density, tall buildings and hotels on Ocean St. Soquel Ave, Water St. and Mission St.
  • The Active Transportation Plan, a plan containing 260 separate projects all over the city to encourage bicycle and walking transportation and safety. Some of the projects disturb neighborhood unity, safety and aesthetics with signage and changes the neighborhood residents do not want to see in their established places of habitation. Other projects invite unbidden crime to enter quiet neighborhoods that are particularly vulnerable.
  • The Wharf Plan, potentially putting high density, tall buildings on the wharf, creating issues in congestion, questionable aesthetics and future dangers if sea levels do rise,
  • The Hyatt hotel in place of the former Unity Church, out of place in this particular crowded neighborhood with congested streets.
  • Potentially moving the present downtown City Library to the space displacing the Farmer’s Market and putting in a multilevel parking garage where none currently exists, at that site.
  • Increased non-aesthetic designs (so far) on the planned San Lorenzo River high-end housing development.
  • Increased development of the tech industry coupled with high speed Internet cable.
  • Destruction of more historical housing and buildings, especially on high profile streets.
  • More freeway lanes going to and from Watsonville, yielding more pollution and greenhouse gases
  • Private development of housing that does not meet the economic needs of most local citizens, low income and homeless populations.

Why is this all-important and where are we going with this? And why?

What can we do?

Taken together and followed by potentially more changes, these planned projects would change the face of our city in radical ways.  We need to determine our personal response to these intended changes and act on our convictions on behalf of all stakeholders, including visitors and future children. We need, as a community, to take stock of exactly what values we hold dear and exactly what we are losing by not honoring these values.

First, let’s be clear, these concerns are not about maintaining the status quo or about nostalgia.  They are about maintaining our spiritual, aesthetic and moral center in the face of an increasingly inhuman environment which is killing people and compromising the sanity of many our of  citizens, young and old and obliterating natural resources and open space.

There are many practical issues associated with planned changes for Santa Cruz, many of which are long term concerns .  First, can the infrastructure we have now support new development, especially those that will house many residents or visitors? Currently, our infrastructure of roads, sidewalks and buildings need repairing before money is spent on private development. Secondly and importantly, can we continue to supply water and other resources to new development and still service existing citizens? While new hotels can support the sagging tax base, the concern that current water users have is valid. We have contributed here for years.  Thirdly, why are taxes not levied on the multi-million dollar homes that are being built? The alternative, sales tax, creates an overdependence on materialism and shopping. Fourthly, how are all economic levels of citizens going to be able to remain here to enliven the mix of cultures and points of view we have historically enjoyed?

These are all valid, reality-based concerns for our citizens but there are also meta-issues which cannot be addressed at town hall meetings and these involve concerns that are often talked about in private conversations and they affect a large constituency of residents, visitors and future generations of same. Let me express, as a long term resident of this town, how I experience the many hidden values of our town and what we can do to save these before it is too late.

I feel Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) is a sanctuary, a holy sacred space for all who venture into these environs. The operative word here is ALL. Over the years, we have developed something special here and Santa Cruz’ charm and values are a magnet for people all over the United States and the world as well. I submit that Santa Cruz is a center of counter culture for a reason and is known worldwide for the way we live. As our mainstream culture speeds up, creates crowded, concrete communities overloaded with technology and cars and speed, we have maintained a commitment to something slower, saner and unique. It is perhaps a one-of-a-kind experience. Indeed, Santa Cruz IS an experience, a state of mind that is almost indescribable. We have much to offer a world-weary population and we must adhere to the core values and the gifts we offer to the planet. And they are many.  Our human lives actually rely on the necessity of regeneration, relaxation, recreation and rest. Our nervous systems actually demand this and the price we pay for not adhering to these necessities is illness, sometimes severe and often expressed as continuing low grade stress.

We have many healers here and it is, in my opinion, because we are a healing community. People need what we have, all people.  We must remain faithful to the part we play in healing the homeless, the frazzled, the young and the restless and let’s not forget our seniors, the original inhabitants of this retirement community.  We owe this to them as well as our children and future generations.

The chance to experience nature at its finest on miles of currently protected beaches and hundreds of square miles of redwood forests is priceless and nurturing and is, in essence, the basis of our healing atmosphere. The pace in Santa Cruz is not syncopated or staccato but, instead, more lyrical and softly entrained to the rhythm of the ocean and its playful inhabitant creatures. This is our DNA. Nature is our “brand” and in keeping with that, countless human beings can remain a natural human and even more can come here and remember what it is to be fully human. Through the enjoyment of our natural resources, we can experience the joyful and natural state that is evoked by our beautiful beaches and the countless other recreational opportunities that our environment offers.

In a time when cultural mania is increasing to megalomania and the metropolis becomes megalopolis; we have an example, here, of how to balance this trend. Hyperactivity is a national illness and it is up to us to remain a clear beacon for an alternative way to live.  Indeed, Santa Cruz has the ability to provide an active model for a viable life-style alternative.  A lot is riding on our commitment to modeling how it is to be fully human, related to nature, to each other and our fellow inhabitants of the planet. In these meta-respects, we are a model city.

Coupled with our natural resources, our University culture and our small, human size homes and public buildings, each with its individual look, we have created a culture of connected individualism, environmental sanity and ecological consciousness. Artists, musicians, creators, imaginers, young and old, people of diverse orientations, rich and poor, come together to create a culture of character and diversity which is unmatched anywhere. Why would we want to ruin this by importing any of the insanity that is what ruins most other large communities. To do so would, in and of itself, be insanity of the highest order.

We should not become a Silicon Beach. We do not need to be a bedroom community of Silicon Valley and we do not necessarily need to grow. We should not become Monterey and we are not Carmel with its quaint arts community. We simply need to continue to be ourselves and honor what has come to be an amazing place centered as we are on the edge of the Pacific Rim.

I believe we are here with a spiritual charge to balance the insanity of the techno, bureaucratic, corporate industrial complex.  With the protection of the forest on one side and the sea on the other, we are a virtual island of sanity. We are a true oasis of intelligence and creation and beacon of individual freedom to each be who we are as essence and to also share in the rich and diverse community that we share. We must as what we can do to retain the paradise that we have. In the spirit of dialogue, I humbly offer the following suggestions to perhaps stimulate a discussion about how we can help maintain a commitment to existing beauty and value in this town,.  

OUR TASKS

  • Support activities and leaders who will not gentrify, technologize, monetize or materialize (nor caffeinate) our community nor exploit human or natural resources to these ends.
  • Support the continuance of spiritual development and higher consciousness here, thus encouraging each individual to reach his or her full potential.
  • Support spontaneous grass roots level creativity, especially collaborative kinds of projects and events for all ages and stages of  life..
  • Support those activities, which do not exploit our natural and historic collective resources on behalf of a few, whether that is government, private citizens or outside developers.  
  • Support aesthetic building and public art and design which is in keeping with our historic legacy. This entails keeping the landscape “low rise” as opposed to high rise.  
  • Support those policies which do not allow crowding out the citizens of this area who are operating in the lower socio-economic levels.
  • Support those changes which do not increase speed, concrete, cars or exclusive money.  Economic development must be based on values of economic moderation and inclusiveness of all levels.
  • Support activities, people and policies that allow us to keep our natural rhythm, size and connectivity.  Choose that which supports harmony, diversity, inclusiveness and diversity.
  • Support the development of a process for ongoing public input and voting on each proposed development that has the capacity to change the DNA of our community.  Encourage referendum process.  
  • Support density in what is already here, change zoning laws to allow development of the many small outbuildings that abound in the city of Santa Cruz.
  • Support individuals to accept responsibility and accountability for the role he or she plays in the evolution of our planet and indeed, our very existence.
  • This includes responsibility for not over-populating the planet, for not condoning any form of violence or brutality and for respecting all beings as worthy of dignity and acceptance.

We need to unify our energies and goals for this town and listen closely to every voice. The planet and we have a lot at stake.  It is not too late to save what we have created in this village by the sea. We are capable of leading the nation in propagating values that lead to quality human lives as well as the other kingdoms with whom we share the planet, lives unburdened by values not developed in our true interests- that of being happy, healthy and connected with our whole planet and Universe.

Lastly, it is important that we elect leaders who understand the language of the soul. This means making collaborative decisions and working through a channel of what feels right, not only what a few think is right. Leaders need to listen carefully to all citizens who choose to speak up and it is my feeling that it needs to be longer than 2 or 3 minutes per speaker (as it currently stands in the City Council). Santa Cruz people know the language of the soul and we need to speak up on behalf of what we might lose if we don’t make our values known. We have way too much to lose if we stay silent. Many citizens, present and future are depending on us to serve the highest good of all.

Carmella Weintraub, September 5, 2017

Carmella@got.net

RAPE RENDERED INVISIBLE
It’s that time of the year. When the FBI releases its Uniform Crime Report tracking crime data for cities and counties nationwide, as predictable as fog in July, Santa Cruz officials distort the data by making rape invisible.

Last Saturday’s Sentinel covered the story of the FBI’s annual release of violent and property crimes with a focus on the rise of property crimes in Santa Cruz County and the reduction in violent crimes, both the reverse of national trends. While the nation has seen a 4.1% increase in violent crimes, Santa Cruz County has seen a 5% decrease. Property crimes fell nationwide by 1.3% yet have increased significantly in Santa Cruz County. Law enforcement spoke to the issues with the crime analyst from the Sheriff’s office Josh Pastor quoted as saying that “the rising property crime numbers are offset by the low levels of violent crimes.” He commented that “the area has experienced a decline in violent crimes for decades” and “you’d have to go back to the 1950’s to find a time with a lower crime rate.” He added that when he visits conferences in CA metropolitan areas his colleagues are surprised at the low rate of violent crimes in Santa Cruz County. Reassuring to a community worried about violent crime but is it true? It is, unless you examine the data on rape.

The federal Uniform Crime Report collects data on all violent crimes, including rape. According to the data, Santa Cruz County had a rate of rape at 44 per 100,000 people. This compares to Oakland/Haywood at 35; San Francisco at 34; San Diego at 32; LA at 41 and to venture out of California, Michigan at 32 and Miami at 29 (numbers rounded). Seems we have quite a high rate of rape per head of population, in fact, one of the highest.

It is instructive to compare cities, although the FBI warns against reading too much into such comparisons. So let’s not read too much into such comparisons, let’s just compare. In 2016, Salinas with a population of 159,000 had 86 reported rapes; Santa Monica with a population of 93,000 had 40; Huntington Beach with a population of 204,000 had 55; South San Francisco with a population of 68,000 had 25; Davis with a population of 68,000 had 26; Scotts Valley with a population of 13,000 had 1; Capitola with a population of 10,000 had 4; Watsonville with a population of 54,000 had 26 and Santa Cruz with a population of 65,000 had 45. For all cities, the percentage increase in rape was 4%, notwithstanding the change in the definition of rape in 2013.

While our murder rate is low, our rape rate is high. Reducing the data to averages may be politically expedient in a tourist town but is not helpful in directing law enforcement and community attention towards addressing our high rate of rape. Behind every statistic is a person whose life has been forever transformed by rape. We owe it to every person who has reported a rape to not render her or him invisible. Otherwise we are saying that rape is not a serious crime and we are setting the stage for the next victim.

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

“Wins and Loses”

“New York (Santa Cruz too?) in its current dissonant form, is at ease with a disturbingly paradoxical identity, as a place that says yes to every branch of Dunkin’ Donuts and no to the people whose fortunes consign them to working there.”–Gina Bellafante, N.Y. Times Book Review of Vanishing New York

I offer an update about several issues that went before the Santa Cruz city council last week. Here’s the recap…

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

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News of the Most Vulnerable
Food Not Bombs Feeding the Poor Last Sunday at Post Office

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (sound familiar?!)

Truly Affordable Housing Now! A 10-Point Plan
Get ready; we could be in for a roller-coaster of a ride if we hope to make any kind of dent in the currently insufferable pro-seller-landlord housing market in Surf City. There are so many first-course menu items vying to get on the table that it’s hard to keep up. So, here it is, a TEN-POINT Santa Cruz Quality of Life Plan that not only looks to lift all boats, but seeks to protect the most vulnerable and offer everyone a pay raise as our community approaches the stark reality that there is an actual “carrying-capacity” in our ecological hot-spot. Who will tell the people that there are limits? The following 10 points are not only the jagged pieces to the Santa Cruz housing puzzle–each not THE answer but rather a constituent part–but also its what I’ve been hearing from the multiple voices within the various social and political bubbles that I inhabit.

Santa Cruz Quality of Life Plan

  1. Placing a housing bond before the voters and it’s got to be in the hundreds of millions to even make a dent. (Santa Clara County passed one last year with 68% of the necessary two-thirds vote. It was for around a $1 billion.)
  2. Enact rent control complete with a “just cause eviction” ordinance along with an elected rent board. It failed twice before in Santa Cruz, but that was a long time ago when there were less than 50% renters, now tenants are near 60% and rents are at an all-time high.
  3. A five-year moratorium on growth at UCSC. Is it time for the gown to take a time-out so the town can recover, work on its own housing needs and shore up the transportation, and water infrastructure?
  4. Should the community demand that at least a full 50% of the thousand units of housing now being envisioned along Front and Pacific, between Soquel and Laurel, be truly affordable housing? Not by “design” or simply called, “workforce housing,” but by law and HUD standards of between 30% and 80% of the median county household income?

  5. San Jose to Houston for the P.O.P. conference–“Problem Oriented Policing.”

    Notice this is how they rope you in…there’s that first box of donuts, then…who knows what’s next.

    (L-R) Councilmember Chris Krohn, Chief of Police Andy Mills, Cathy Mills, Principal Management Analyst Lupita Alamos, and in the back, Santa Cruz Police Sergeant Bill Azua and Lt. Jose Garcia. [edit: Vice Mayor David Terrazas is also in the photo!]

    I’ll tell you about the conference in next week’s post and how many donuts I ate!!

    Continue the “Fight for $15” and demand it be on the ballot in 2018!

  6. The city should implement the UCSC model of faculty housing by building low-cost for-sale units, which only increase in price at the local cost of living rate.
  7. The city must work with the school district to create affordable housing for teachers. The city of Santa Cruz has land that could be “donated” to the school district to construct teacher housing. The school district holds land that the city can help with the permitting process.
  8. Enact a real estate transfer tax, a special “Airbnb” tax, and a 3% hotel tax to support homeless services and a permanent fund for affordable housing.
  9. The UCSC administration must lower its $1700 per month, per student dorm fees. It is the most potent force in driving up rentals all over town.
  10. Elect a city council majority in 2018 that will help advocate, enact, and enforce the housing measures above; candidates who promote student concerns, uphold the values of labor, and place social justice, fairness and an open political process, first.

Bernie Tweet of the Week
“At a time of massive inequality, the Republican budget takes from the middle class and those in need, and gives huge tax breaks to the rich.” (Sept. 29)

Correction(?) Who knows how old UCSC is? Raise your hand. I know they had a 50th anniversary that lasted like, two years. In my column last week, I said this was the 51st year. (opened in 1965) Well, it turns out that 2017-1965 = 52. Someone wrote in to say UCSC is actually 53. So how old is it? You’d think you could Google the answer, but it’s not so easy.

(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

SAD DAY FOR RANCHO DEL MAR MERCHANTS AND THE APTOS COMMUNITY
I stopped in last Saturday evening at lower Rancho del Mar Center to offer help and good wishes to the independent small business owners on their final day allowed by TRC RetailKeang and DeeDee Lee were working hard to load fixtures they had sold into a trailer to clear out Le Chef Kitchen Store.  Lee’s Baskin-Robbins was already closed, but posters on the  window held hand-written sentiments from the customers who have appreciated Keang’s friendly manner and delicious ice cream for 14 years. Showtime Pizza owner Jose Gonzalez served a loyal customer the last piece of pizza and shook hands.  Sofia’s Taqueria owner, Robert Cordova, who started as a teenage dishwasher there and bought the business 12 years ago, talked casually with the many loyal customers who came for dinner before the restaurant is shuttered. 

WHY IS DEVELOPER TRC RETAIL BOOTING THESE FOLKS OUT WHEN THERE ARE NO BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED?  WHERE IS SUPERVISOR ZACH FRIEND? 
I asked the merchants what they would like to have from TRC Retail?

  • Showtime Pizza owner Jose Gonzalez:  “Nothing.”  He got lucky and will move to the nearby Aptos Village Square and re-open next month.
  • Sofia’s Tacqueria owner Robert Cordova replied “Please talk to me.”  He said TRC Retail would not answer his many requests for information and updates about the remodel timeline, and thought he had more time to find another place.  When he received the 30-day eviction notice, he said he asked about the projected price of the spaces after remodeling is complete: ” They said $4/SF…that’s too much for me.”  He pays $1.75/SF now.
  • Baskin-Robbins and Le Chef owners Keang and Dee Dee Lee were working too hard to talk much, but said they really don’t know what to do.  TRC Retail has not replied to their repeated requests for information either.  “It would be nice if we had first option to locate back into the Center after the remodel is complete” Keang said earlier.  Maybe he does not know the $4/SF price tag.  “I am beginning to think that TRC Retail does not want a Baskin-Robbins in their shopping center,”  he added.
  • Erik’s Deli was already closed up.
  • Senior Benefits Insurance Services owners Ken Cook and Bill Weber, the last business to occupy the vacant theater building, were not around.

Call TRC Retail Project Manager Scott Grady 949-500-6192  Scott Grady sgrady@trcretail.com and ask that TRC Retail to at least give the tenants compensation for moving costs…after all, TRC Retail’s property managers (there have been three of them!) did not respond to the tenant’s questions and Mr. Bruce Walton, TRC Retail management, admitted “We dropped the ball on communication.”

TOTO, WE’RE NOT IN APTOS VILLAGE ANYMORE…..
Work on the Trout Gulch/Soquel Drive intersection in Aptos Village is looking more like downtown San Jose every day.  Take a look at this great photo by Aptos resident Holger Blech.  The railroad crossing towers are not yet in place but are stored on the Aptos Village Project premises and ready for Collins Electric to hoist them into place.  What is missing in this photo is the gridlocked traffic in all directions.

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BUILDING THE GREAT BIG WALL
I have been somewhat surprised that the Santa Cruz Sentinel has not been covering the progress of Trump’s Wall at the Mexican border, but I am grateful that the Mercury News and many other newspapers have.  According to the media, work is beginning this week on the prototypes by companies selected by the Homeland Security administration.  Several environmental laws have been waived to expedite the work. Here is a link to just one article

Also of note are articles about ICE arrests increasing 43% but fewer have criminal records.  Here is a link  

It seems that maybe our government could effectively put more effort and resources into helping undocumented residents hop on the pathway to citizenship.

What do you think?

~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


#274 / A Total Cakewalk

Rod Dreher, a self-declared “American Conservative,” was profiled in The New Yorker in May, 2017. That is when I became aware of Dreher’s blog, which is apparently followed by something like 200,000 people. 

On September 20th, Dreher posted a long reflection on the state of our present-day society, economy, and politics, with the following title: “This Crisis? It’s Nothing.” I’ll include an excerpt, below, so you can read some of Dreher’s thoughts without having to track down the original. He ends up concluding that, “compared to 1968-73, today is a total cakewalk.”

While I agree that the years from 1968 to 1973 were filled with all sorts of stresses and strife, I am not really willing to call our present situation a “total cakewalk.” Read Dreher to make up your own mind. 

Here’s where I DO agree with Dreher: He says we are all too much consumed with the “present,” and that we all need to “study history.” He’s right about that. That actually does help!

  • Imagine that the US was involved in a major overseas war in which over 11,000 American soldiers died in one year alone (1967). For a point of comparison, fewer than 7,000 US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 14 years of combat there. 
  • Imagine that 17,000 US soldiers would die in 1968, and 12,000 in 1969 fighting that war. 
  • Imagine that you might be drafted to go fight there. 
  • Imagine what it would be like if you were convinced the war was profoundly immoral, and you had to choose between deserting the country and bearing arms in that war. 
  • Imagine that many college campuses had become hotbeds not of snowflakey sit-ins, but of serious violence. 
  • Imagine that domestic bombings by left-wing radicals had become a routine part of American life (e.g., five per day in an 18-month period in the early 1970s). 
  • Imagine that two of the nation’s most prominent political leaders (MLK and RFK) Bobby were gunned down three months apart. 
  • Imagine that your government and military were lying to Congress and to the American people about the war, and had been for years (as was revealed with the 1972 publication of the Pentagon Papers). 
  • Imagine that major American cities were burning in race riots. 
  • Imagine that cops in a major American city staged what was later called “a police riot” outside a political party’s national convention, and beat the hell out of protesters. 

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~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. A not very historic visit to KSCO!!! Scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Taking The Knee” 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 and “Hoot Culture”

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s game-on when Billie jean King meets Bobby Riggs on the tennis court of honor in Battle of the Sexes, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And kudos to the Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre for bringing an intriguing new play about Martin Luther King to our little town!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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.

AMERICAN MADE. It is NOT another dopey, violent Tom Cruise superhuman action flick. This one is based on an unbelievable 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.

FLATLINERS. Ellen Page who looks like she’s about 18 and is really 30 has the lead in this potentially interesting but terrible mess of a movie. She and some fellow Med students try flatlining (killing) themselves then bringing each other back to life a minute or two later. They have death visions, the equipment fails, they chicken out, they suffer night and day- mares. But IF there was a director (;-) he or she completely blew it. Don’t go…you won’t be able to make any sense of it either.

WOODSHOCK. Kirsten Dunst parades and mopes, and staggers, through this entire flop of a movie in a wide selection of slips, bras, and panties. She is stoned in a Humboldt or Oregon cabin and neither you nor Dunst will ever figure what the point of this weed-hazed movie is about. I tried for the first half hour and gave up. Luckily it …ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.  

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.

DOLORES. See both Chris Krohn’s and my “advice” and “promotion” of this very necessary documentary up above. We all have some opinion of Dolores Huerta based on rumor, poor memory and the ignoring by media. That’s why we should all see this film. It’s also strong on feminism and Gloria Steinem along with Angela Davis have much to add to Dolores’ near overwhelming labor organizing. Then too you’ll learn just how much aid and direction that Bobby Kennedy gave to Dolores. See this film and bring a good friend…or Republican. 100% on RT!!! ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.

This 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.

BRADS STATUS. Ben Stiller is at his very best acting here and it’s a touching, involving, magnetic film. It’s about a dad and his son and the all too real complex relationship between parent and offspring. Austin Abrams plays Stiller’s son and he is quite simply great in the part. I cringed a lot due to reality, and it’s a fine film. ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.

STRONGER. Jake Gyllenhaal is the spectator at the 2013 Boston Marathon who got hus legs blown off. What takes this movie out of the soupy heart puller category is that Jeff Bauman the victim was apparently a goof and fairly nasty guy. So you get booze, fighting, fuck words,  lots of anger but because it’s Jake Gyllenhaal you come out liking the show. It’s a feel good film and barely shows anything of the marathon. Go if you like that sort of thing.
ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score. Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

STRONGER. Jake Gyllenhaal is the spectator at the 2013 Boston Marathon who got hus legs blown off. What takes this movie out of the soupy heart puller category is that Jeff Bauman the victim was apparently a goof and fairly nasty guy. So you get booze, fighting, fuck words,  lots of anger but because it’s Jake Gyllenhaal you come out liking the show. It’s a feel good film and barely shows anything of the marathon. Go if you like that sort of thing. ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.

VICEROYS HOUSE. When you have Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) playing Lord Mountbatten it would seem to  guarantee a masterpiece but this saga about Britain leaving the control of India in 1947 and dividing that part of the country into Pakistan and India, but it’s dull and near-boring in its’ accuracy. You’ll see Ghandi, Churchill, newsreels, and corpses…and learn a lot of history about oil deposits in Pakistan. Go warned. ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 5.

LOGAN LUCKY. This film has just about everything that should guarantee greatness or at least give you two hours of “Good Movie”. It’s a robbery movie that takes place at the annual Coca Cola NASCAR race in Concord North Carolina. Channing Tatum isn’t very impressive, but Adam Driver steals many, many scenes with his one arm. Katie Holmes is in it too but it’s Daniel Craig who is most watchable. It’s odd and weird but Hillary Swank shows up in the last few minutes that must hint that there’ll be Logan Lucky 2. Steven Soderbergh has done better.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk. Do remember too that Wonder Woman is a DC comics creation NOT a Marvel Comic character…there’s a big difference, and I was recently corrected on KZSC’s Bushwhackers Breakfast Club.

KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. I wished I’d remembered that this part 2 of an ongoing series comes from comic books. The entire movie look 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.

ANNABELLE:CREATION. This is supposed to be the prequel to the Conjuring series (in case you’ve seen this haunted doll series). You can stay home and write the tired old script in seconds. Dark cellar stairs, creepy doll in closet, innocent orphan girls, scarecrows, dumbwaiters,  you’ve seen it dozens of times if you haven’t been careful.

THE HITMANS BODYGUARD. Samuel L. Jackson probably says “motherfucker” at least 100 times in this car chase, bloody, violent flick. Audiences laugh nowadays at the violence and I have a tough time with that. Jackson is the Hit man and Ryan Reynolds is supposed to be his body guard for some reason that I slept through. Salma Hayek is supposed to be Jackson’s wife and I guess to prove it, she too says “motherfucker” at the very end of the movie. Don’t expect to enjoy Gary Oldman, because he only has about 10 lines.

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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. October 3 has Denise Gallant talking about her Tom Scribner documentary, and then we’ll talk with Erik Gandolfini and Avondina Wills about The Mountain Top play at the Center Stage. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. Following Phyllis Katie Hansen and Sierra Ryan two of the authors of the new MAH book Harvesting Our Heritage will discuss our County crop history. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. 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

This is uplifting. More people like this in the world, please!

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. “PUERTO RICO”

“American imperialism is often traced to the takeover of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii in 1898.”  Noam Chomsky
“In Puerto Rico, we have a lot of traditions. We eat a very typical thing that’s called ‘pasteles’ – it’s almost like a tamale made of bananas, and we make it all together. Like, all the women of the family unite, and it’s a very big deal, a very big thing”. Joyce Giraud
“After four centuries of Spanish rule, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States in 1898. Residents were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917, and the federal government has allowed Puerto Rico to exercise authority over its local affairs in a manner similar to the 50 states.” Pedro Pierluisi

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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