Blog Archives

October 30 – November 5, 2017

Highlights this week:
Amazon not Apple moves to Pacific Avenue, Omei closed forever, Martine Watkins mayor after Terrazas, Car deal worked, Hot Damn String Band at Bookshop…Greensite researching…Krohn about library Garage, Save Santa Cruz SRO meeting…Steinbruner on Swenson’s Pacific Avenue condos, Aptos Village and no affordable units, Santa Cruz Metro Bus Stop, that $3 million dollar stop light pricing…Patton and our Political World…DeCinzo and weather…Eagan’s profound Subconscious Comics…Jewel Theatre’s Award and Patsy Cline Play…Jensen and The Florida Project…I critique Mark Felt, The Florida Project and NOT Sunburbicon…Quotes for Election Day.

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UCSC STUDENTS PROTESTING THE UC REGENTS ON CAMPUS Oct. 18. 1968.
The regents wanted to ban Eldridge Cleaver the Black Panthers leader from speaking on campus. According to this year’s UCSC Primer more than 1000 students, 20 faculty members, two horses and a pig went to Crown College to share their beliefs.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

ANIMALS just LOVE kids!!! And note the political ad that comes up first!!!
SAD DRONE FILM OF SANTA ROSA FIRE DESTRUCTION.
FROZEN DRONE FOOTAGE OF NIAGARA FALLS.

DATELINE October 30, 2017

OCTAGON PLATZ and PLANS. Geez, yes, and thanks to everyone — like former mayor Bruce Van Allen— who wrote to tell me that I mixed up my tech companies. I wrote here last week… “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?” B. Van Allen wrote… “Amazon, not Apple, is in the top floors of that building where the Cooper House was. They have been recruiting locally to some extent —a lot of us in the geek worlds of SC heard about it (and some applied). Think of the disparity between the earnings of someone upstairs there and almost anyone working on the street level downtown —retail workers, restaurant and coffee shop workers, clerical workers in ‘old economy’ offices such as banks, insurance agencies, non-profits, and so on. Then project that disparity in ability to pay onto our local housing market”. B. Van Allen makes a strong point…and I sit corrected.

Yes, I read in Christina Waters’Good Times column that the Omei Restaurant is officially closed for good! (or in Grigsby’s case, closed for evil). I wonder just how many of the folks who did eat at the Omei would stay in a Trump Hotel? Will we ever know?

Who becomes Mayor after David Terrazas, you ask? Well, the City Council will muck it over and will most likely decide on Martine Watkins. I really believe we should start voting directly for Mayor. We also need to keep track of just how much Terrazas actually accomplishes in his term. Most folks don’t expect much.

THAT BIG BLACK “M”. Ed Penniman emailed to opine… “Regarding the ‘M’ at the MAH, I think that few people realize the the ‘M’ stands for MacPherson —Fred and Linda — who were nice enough to financially underwrite the institution. So in my mind, it seems disrespectful to just jettison it or use it as a planter or whatever, a trophy in someone’s backyard?!” BUT Ed, — and I think, most of us — were wrong!!! Historian and MAH stalwart Stan Stevens tells us… “I agree with Ed Penniman insofar as this M should have a more prominent place. I wish to clarify for Ed and your readers, however, that the M is (or was) for Museum — the Museum of Art and History — not for McPherson (although both are appropriate). Although I do wish to point out that it was the entire McPherson family (note that it isn’t Mac, it’s Mc) contributed to MAH, not just Fred III and Linda. It was primarily Lillian McPherson Rouse, Mahlon McPherson, and Fred D. McPherson Jr. — sister and brothers — that were the primary-generation contributors.

DON YOUNG DIED…DAMNIT! Harry Meserve wrote to say:“Donald J. Young, a founder of the Saturday Shakespeare Club and Cabrillo College Professor for thirty years, died today in Aptos California at the age of 94. He was an extraordinary teacher, both in college and in the club, with a sense of humor and eagerness to work with anyone who wanted to think and to write. There will no doubt be many remembrances of him, not least from club members who shared with him a love of Shakespeare and of drama.

He taught many of us to think, and challenged us to write, especially in the context of a breakfast group that met every Wednesday, at Severinos in Aptos — and even in his own living room. There are no words to express how each of us will remember him. I am sure that there will be opportunities to say more in the near future. Don leaves a daughter, two sons and grandchildren, as well as his wife and close companion for over 50 years, Viviane Young — a force for good in her own right”.

Personally I’d add that Don was not just brilliant and witty, but an inspiring human being…I’ll miss him, and so will thousands of former pupils and friends.

CAR DEAL COMPLETED!!! Thanks very much to BrattonOnline reader, Universal Grapevine interviewee, and activist for Live Oak neighborhood preservation, Bob Morgan. I’ll soon be driving his 2010 Honda Civic. I’m lucky because as predicted I received exactly 2 responses and Bob’s worked perfectly.

HOT DAMN STRING BAND AT THE BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ…AGAIN/STILL. None of us remember what year our Hot Damn String Band played at The Bookshop Santa Cruz’s annual birthday. It was before we helped organize the book drive and survival party that made it possible for the Bookshop to open in the tent (pavilion) right after the 1989 earthquake. Well, The Hot Damn’s are playing again (and still) this year, at 7:30 on Friday Night November 10. That definitely includes Jim Reynolds on guitar, Annie Steinhardt on fiddle, me on washboard, Gary Cunningham string bass, Dave Magram banjo, and Dore Coller mandolin. The real deal is that book prices will be the lowest they get all year that Friday and Saturday. See you there!!!

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian is probably deep into research…and will return here next week.

(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

JUST THE FACTS MA’AM!
Sgt. Joe Friday on the old cop show, Dragnet, used to say, “Just the facts ma’am,” which is pretty convenient when you might not want to hear the quilt of stories behind how the facts became facts. But without context, facts are like vacuum cleaners sold to people who don’t have access to electricity: convenient machines, but not very useful without a power source. There’s quite a few “facts” running around Santa Cruz inside the housing, homelessness, and UCSC conversations, but often a context, the stories behind the facts, is lacking. Having stated the obvious, I am going to now put out a bunch of factoids that happened this week — and in the interest of time, let you draw your own conclusions. It’s a kind of, do as I say not as I do, column this week.

Packed Save Santa Cruz eastside meeting, over 200 in attendance!


Stellar performances by eastside community members at the Save Santa Cruz forum (L-R): Gary Patton, Jerry Christiansen, Walt Wadlow, Dolores Salazar Talbert, Deborah Marks, Dawn Norris, Candace Brown, Bob von Elgg, and Cyndi Dawson. Kudos!

  • Library-garage architects (advocates?) presented three plans recently to the Library Committee. (1) $37.7 million to renovate existing library; (2) $47 million to build a new, one-story library, (3) $49 million to build a new two-story library…but, lo and behold, if it is put inside of a five-story parking garage, the price magically comes down to $26 million. BTW, none of these buildings would be “net zero energy”, which is really sad in 2017.
  • Just the facts ma’am: Six undergraduate women were evicted by the city this past week from 102-104 Hillcrest Terrace, below the University, just off Highland Avenue. They were given 36 hours to vacate and not offered any alternative housing opportunities as far as I’ve been able to ascertain. One of them said to me when I stopped by to see what could be done:”We can kiss tomorrow’s midterms goodbye.”
  • In the new movie, Mark Felt (Watergate’s Deep Throat character) the main character, FBI second-in-command to J. Edgar Hoover, Mark Felt— played by Liam Neeson —goes through a long list of communes where his runaway daughter might be, and he lands on one in Ben Lomond of all places, on Bear Creek Rd. In the next scene he is retrieving her and bringing her back to Washington, D.C. just in time to see Nixon walk across the tarmac and get on that infamous helicopter just after resigning.
  • SC4Bernie member and UCSC student leader, Jeff Stoll talked to City on a Hill Press recently about housing and his comment as one of now 19,000 hill-dwellers bears repeating. “At the end of the day, housing is the issue that unites the campus and the community…it’s an issue related to campus development and the way we want to see the campus expand or not expand in a sustainable way.”
  • UCSC Prof. Adam Millard-Ball reported that in the transportation research he is conducting, “traffic sprawl” in the United States peaked in 1994, although not in Atlanta, which seems to still be in “sprawl” mode. He also said that car ownership peaked in 2005. Interesting.
  • Just the Facts Ma’am: The top issues of concern by residents in the Prospect Heights neighborhood, voiced at a forum on public safety at DeLaveaga School hosted by SCPD Chief, Andy Mills, were: Isolate aggressive transients, form private sector partnerships for patrolling, focus on community safety — wellness and quality of life, make mental health collaborations between city and county, connect crime to campsites, there needs to be more visible patrols — get out of the car and more citizen involvement, use compassion when confronting homeless, police need to be proactive vs. reactive, and we need to find better ways of managing mental illness. Chief Mills also said that “80% of the calls for service by PD are for homeless-related issues.”
  • Just the Facts Ma’am: Talking Points from Eastside “Save Santa Cruz” meeting last Thursday night, at 411 Roxas Street:
    • “Anyone here play poker? Well, the Corridors Plan is currently on ‘hold,’… we need         the city to ‘fold’ the Corridors Plan.” (Jerry Christianson)
    • Farrell’s Donuts vs. Dunkin’ Donuts (corporations certainly know how to vulture local businesses)
    • — Habit Burger? Where did that come from?
    • The goal of developers is to maximize profits…and we get that. The goal of the city council should be to maximize the quality of life for residents, and THEY should get that!
    • Is a 340 square feet unit renting for $1700-$2000 really “affordable by design?”
    • “We need housing for people who live here now.” (Dawn Norris)
    • City has approved over 500 hotel rooms in the past three years. Where will the wait- staff, gardeners, bartenders, and chefs all live?
    • Gary Patton hit it out of the park at the Eastside “Save Santa Cruz” meeting when he said: “Let’s make this city the way we want it to be, not the city someone tells us it should be.” And on the accusation of NIMBY-ism, Patton said:”We have nothing to be ashamed of if we fight for our community…we can’t have self-government if we don’t get involved ourselves.” Patton seemed to throw down the gauntlet when he said if developers really want to build in Santa Cruz, they can build 50% market rate and 50% affordable…the crowd went wild!
    • Okay, Patton and the rest were all really good, but Carmela Weintraub, who wrote “The Spirit of Santa Cruz” statement, had the quote of the night when she stood up from the audience and announced: “Okay, we saved the Pogonip, we saved Lighthouse Field, we saved Wilder Ranch…now we have to save the whole god-damned city!” (Applause!!!)

Finally, I planted a redwood tree and a sequoia tree in my backyard this week…I really felt powerful, and can’t wait for the grand kids figure out how to save them from over-development!

Bernie Tweet of the Week… “Are you truly free if you work 100 hours a week because you can’t find a job with a living wage? Are you free if you have no health care?” (October 29)
~(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

IN OBSERVANCE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING WEEK, SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL VOTES FOR ZERO AFFORDABLE UNITS TO HELP “PENCIL OUT” 79 CONDOS DOWNTOWN FOR BARRY SWENSON BUILDER.
Thanks to Councilman Chris Krohn for pulling Item #9 off the Consent Agenda (saved for non-controversial issues) to allow public discussion about the five-story mixed-use Subdivision Map for 1547 Pacific Avenue.  He and Councilmember Sandy Brown lobbied the rest of the Council to reconsider the earlier approval that waived the 12 affordable rental units that could have been required, if the Council followed their own regulations and Strategic Plan goal to provide more affordable housing to residents.

“We have to be consistent with our decisions,” said Mayor Cynthia Chase.  “We can’t hold up a good plan because it isn’t a perfect plan and I think this is a good plan,” said Councilmember Martine Watkins.  “Any units are good units,” said Councilmember Michelle Noroyan.  The Council refused to require Barry Swenson Builder to include the 12 required affordable units, even though members of the public also spoke out to ask that they reconsider.  One member of the public called the Council “a bunch of hypocrites” for pretending they want to increase affordable housing but not having the actual will to act accordingly.

As the guillotine of votes passed the Subdivision Map approval, Jesse Nickell, the Vice President of Barry Swenson Builder, stepped to the podium and thanked the Council.  “This will fill a big hole in housing,” he said.  I think it will mostly fill his wallet.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CONSIDERS CHANGES TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENTS
It worried me to hear County Planning Director Kathy Previsich say “We want to change things so the developers can do what they want to do.”   She was referring to the Code Modernization that will change County Zoning and General Plan policies.  Item #30 before the Board at last Tuesday’s meeting presented a good opportunity to examine a Planning Department presentation about proposed changes to affordable housing and Measure J requirements of developers.  There was good discussion about the effectiveness of the current ability of developers to pay in lieu fees instead of actually building 15% of a 5 or more unit development as affordable housing units.  The Planning Department also proposed increasing developer fees for affordable housing from commercial developments, in order to house prospective employees, and for remodel additions of over 500SF. 

The Board asked lots of questions about how increasing the fees might affect developer feasibility.  There was also discussion about developers “gaming the system” by offering rental units instead of selling units, to escape having to offer 15% to affordable deed sales or pay the in lieu fee.  Here is what the Planning Department staff recommended:

It is therefore RECOMMENDED that your Board provide direction, in concept, that staff prepare drafts of proposed regulatory amendments consistent with the following changes: 

  1. Update Santa Cruz County Code Chapter 17.10 to require on-site inclusionary units at 15% of total units for projects of 7 or more units (with the Board of Supervisors having authority to approve alternative of AHIF payment);
  2. Revise the Affordable Housing Impact Fee schedule to apply to net new square footage over 500 square feet for additions, replacements and remodels; and to raise the Fee on Projects of 2 to 4 units as recommended in this report;
  3. Revise Commercial Impact Fee to develop categories based on occupancy so that net new square footage or a change to a more employment intensive occupancy would pay higher AHIF;
  4. Require AHIF payment at building permit issuance rather than through escrow, unless an alternative timing is approved by the Board of Supervisors; and
  5. Require all projects, including mapped subdivisions being used as rental housing, to pay fees and utilize affordable units consistent with the Affordable Housing Guidelines.

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

MY NEIGHBOR, MATT, BRAVELY SAVED MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND NISENE MARKS STATE PARK FROM BURNING UP
Last Thursday night, my neighbor Matt noticed an orange glow coming from a house nearby that was on everyone’s radar as suspicious.  The house was unoccupied at the time.  Matt investigated and saw flames licking up the exterior wall and flaming material dropping below into the woods.  We had red-flag fire conditions that night.   He called 9-1-1 and rushed over with his fire extinguisher.  It wasn’t enough to stop the flames.  His roommates arrived home just then and helped form a bucket brigade that was able to quell the fire enough until multiple fire engines arrived and doused the flames. 

It was then that he and the firefighters discovered small mountains of butane cannisters nearby and throughout the house, along with massive amounts of drying marijuana hanging thickly throughout every single room.  Yep, it was a large refinery and extremely dangerous.  Then Matt understood why the 9-1-1 dispatcher advised him NOT to approach the house to try to put out the fire.  It also explained why the fire engines were accompanied by multiple sheriff units.

The firefighters told Matt that the house came dangerously close to reaching an explosive condition.  He unknowingly had risked his life to fight the fire and save the neighborhood.  Wow.  He is my hero. 

We have all felt shaken since, realizing how close our community and the State Park came to being a conflagration.  How much did law enforcement know about this situation beforehand?  This is the second time in three years that a fire has begun due to drug processing in my community.  I wonder how the Cannabis legalization and County’s permitting will affect the drug refining landscape in rural areas like mine?   There are industry people who are conscientious and will do things well, yet the Black Market will persist, possibly being bolstered by the onerous 31 pages of mitigations set forth by the County for those who want to gain a legal cultivation and processing permit.  It would help neighborhoods like mine if those legal operations were somehow identified. 

The comments are due by October 31, and further public meetings will follow the CEQA process.

TOTO, WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE.
I attended the “Stop Overbuilding Santa Cruz” gathering last week, along with about 200 others.  We heard community speakers explain what the City of Santa Cruz is really up to with the Corridor Plan, how traffic levels are already at the limits of what the 2006 studies supporting the traffic plans projected for future growth, and no one is mentioning the groundwater overdraft crisis.  We agreed on the fact that the quality of life is about to change and citizens need to get to work now to have any effect at all. 

Somehow, I was hoping to hear how the group plans to accomplish having a meaningful and effective voice at the table of Sustainable Santa Cruz and Vision 2030 and all those studies and charettes steamrolling along.  What troubled me as I left is the stark realization that, based on my experiences with local government agencies, attitude toward the public has deteriorated.  By and large, the elected officials making policy affecting the lives of others have a palpable disregard and disrespect for members of the public who attempt to take an active interest in government.  As I mentioned earlier, public dialogue is openly and admittedly discouraged.  Those who ask questions are ignored or dismissed, unless you are a large developer.

This is a big change from how elected officials regarded the public’s involvement 25-30 years ago.  What does that mean for those who are concerned by the steamroller tactics of local government officials who throw themselves at the feet of AMBAG and the State bullwhips?  It means, in my opinion that we have to make our voices louder and even more persistent, backed by reliable information and documentation.  It also means, in my opinion, that it is time for some citizen initiative actions to put more issues on the ballot for the people to examine, discuss and vote upon.  There have been too many back-room deals made and it simply must stop.

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

#297 / Politicization: Bad Or Good?

As Jennifer Szalai noted in an article published last Sunday (10/29) in The New York Times Magazine (the article was titled “Cheap Trick” in the hard copy version), politicization is not held in high repute:

Politicization is the last refuge of the scoundrel.To “politicize” something — hurricanes, intelligence, science, football, gun violence — is to render it political in a way that distorts its true meaning. That, at least, seems to be the reasoning of those who use the term as an insult: We adhere to pristine, unadulterated facts and call for unity; they politicize those facts for partisan gain and divide us even more.

As I read those introductory words, I immediately began writing (mentally) my opposing Op-Ed. In fact, since we do “live in a political world,” meaning that the social, economic, and cultural aspects of our civilization depend on the political choices we make, “politicization” is hardly negative. In fact, “politicization” means that we are collectively debating, and ultimately deciding, what we are going to do about something. We need more, not less, of that. 

By the time I reached the end of Szalai’s essay, I had calmed right down. Szalai finished her discussion by citing to Hanna Arendt, who always deserves the last word:

According to popular lore, part of what made totalitarianism so dangerous was its “politicization of everything,” but Hannah Arendt, who should know, insisted in a 1958 essay that the opposite was true. It is “depoliticization,” she wrote, that “destroys the element of political freedom in all activities”. Depoliticization is what makes political action seem futile and moot. To strip an issue of its political dimension is to assume it’s settled or to try to make it so — not by argument, which would be to politicize it, but by blithe dismissal or brute force.

(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. Everybody talks about the weather but DeCinzo illustrates the problem…scroll below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s always profound Subconscious Comic, 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.

JEWEL THEATRE COMPANY RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM THE AMERICAN THEATRE WING
The Jewel Theatre Company wins prized National Theatre Company Grant honor from Founder of the Tony Awards. Their announcement reads…Jewel Theatre Company is pleased to announce that the American Theatre Wing, best known as the creator of the Antoine Perry “Tony” Awards, is awarding the Jewel Theatre Company with one of the 2017 National Theatre Company grants. Created by American Theatre Wing to recognize and support the most promising emerging theatre companies, the 2017 grants for Initial Support are being presented to nine companies from around the country”. That’s great and well deserved news. Jewel Theatre opens their next play “Always…Patsy Cline” starring Diana Torres Koss and Julie James on Thursday Nov. 9 and it plays through December 3. It’s at the Colligan Theatre in the Tannery and if you haven’t been there yet…just go!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “My response to The Florida Project was so lukewarm; I decided not to even post it on the blog. Read all about it in this week’s Good Times, instead, but please do keep checking out Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/) for future updates!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT. Willem Dafoe heads the cast of unknowns in this depressing almost-documentary of a six-year-old girl and her little friend’s sad lives, as they eke out an existence living in motels near Disneyland in Orlando. Their lives and the fragments of the other neighboring families are sad from start to the finish of this film. It’s a saga, and it’s well done, but for sure it’s a feel-bad film.

MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE. We thought we knew enough about Watergate, but this story of the “Deep Throat” behind the revelation of Nixon’s involvement, is involving and interesting right from the start. Liam Neeson plays the stiff, moral, upright tightlipped Mark Felt, and does it well. Diane Lane plays his boozy wife and doesn’t get a chance to add much. It’s a learning experience and you’ll become even more concerned over the current relationship between Trump and the FBI. Go for it.

SUBURBICON. I have not and will not see this movie. Never, ever have I read and received so many bad warnings about a cruddy movie. George Clooney directed it, Matt Damon has the top role, and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 27. Julianne Moore and Oscar Issac are in it too. Never mind about the plot, too many friends and readers have warned me…and I’m passing the word on to you, DON’T GO!

BLADERUNNER 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 a very overused word describing a disaster based future. This film again has Los Angeles totally transfigured…and even darker and more devastated and bleak than the first one, 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.

LOVING VINCENT. The first movie ever to have been made with 1000’s of oil paintings, to create an 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 because Landmark doesn’t keep masterpieces long unless audiences show up the first weeks. ENDS THURS. NOV. 2

IT This broke all box office records the weekend when IT opened…and IT should have. IT is a well made, very scary movie. Based on a Stephen King novel, 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 also 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.

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, while ruining 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. ENDS THURS. NOV. 2

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.

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 Izzard’s. 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. This movie 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. ENDS THURS. NOV. 2

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.

AMERICAN MADE. 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, and 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 second installment 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. Halloween night Oct. 31st has Jean Brocklebank and Judi Grunstra talking about the Santa Cruz Main Library plots and plans. Then dramaturg Victoria Gardiner and friend talk about UCSC’s production of Berthold Brecht’s play, “Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui” playing Nov.11-19. 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. November 14 is KZSCs PLEDGE DRIVE night and historian Ross Gibson will keep us up to date on what old news is new! 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

I realize now why, and how much, I really like her. Spend the time to watch this (I’ve fixed the video that didn’t work; give it a second to load).

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

QUOTES. “ELECTION DAY”
“The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face”, Clare Boothe Luce

“Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other’s speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in”, H. L. Mencken

“Republicans are relentless and they’re smart, too – they’re not all dumb – and on Election Day, they’ll be up at five in the morning”, Michael Moore

“An election is coming.  Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry”, George Eliot, Felix Holt, Chapter 5


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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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