Blog Archives

October 30 – November 5

EASTSIDE KIDS PARADE. October 20,1950. I believe this became the annual Eastside Halloween Parade. Looking at Soquel Ave. now you’ll find Saffron & Genevieve’s where the two bay windows are, and on the far right is the parking lot of Western Appliance.. History buffs might notice that our controversial once mayor Ernie Wicklund’s Photo Studio is just down Soquel Avenue a bit about at the center of this photo.
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

(Dateline) Monday, October 28, 2013

MAH AND A SIMPLE SOLUTION. Stephen Kessler wrote a fine article in Sunday’s Sentinel (10/27/13) about an art museum’s purpose. See it here . It would seem judging by the immediate response from Nina Simon to Kessler’s piece that there will always be an argument over what should be the function of our former City Jail. There is a solution!!! Back in the day we had the Santa Cruz Art Museum. It was once located upstairs in the library, that didn’t work so it went to a smaller space behind Webers Camera Shop on Pacific. That didn’t work either (’89 Earthquake) so it merged with the Historical Group and changed its name to MAH ( I was on the board) and moved into it’s present location. That obviously isn’t pleasing many people either so….let’s just change the name to something like the McPherson Community Center. As a community center it’s working perfectly, and Nina is doing a terrific job. Just drop the Art & History concept and we have a winner!!!

ARANA GULCH REPEATED. Jean Brocklebank’s well written, informative piece on where the development of Arana Gulch re: The City & their bulldozers didn’t have a workable link last week. I’m repeating it all here…

ARANA GULCH NOT OVER. Fierce fighter and longtime protector of natural stuff around these parts Jean Brocklebank reports Friends of Arana Gulch (FOAG) has a few more things up their sleeves before the City unleashes the bulldozers on Arana Gulch. It’s not over till it’s over. While FOAG is not naive about its chances to stop the paving projects altogether, it is convinced that the City has not met all the requirements to start construction this month. For those who want the deliciously juicy (and complex) details,

read further [link expands, click again to collapse]

DAYLIGHT SAVING ENDS SUNDAY!!! I’m not sure why we can’t remember when Daylight Saving (no “S”) time ends…or starts. Besides “Spring Ahead & Fall Back”. But it’s this Sunday at 2 a.m. Here’s what states, “During late Winter we move our clocks one hour ahead and “lose” an hour during the night and each Fall we move our clocks back one hour and “gain” an extra hour. But Daylight Saving Time (and not Daylight Savings Time with an “s”) wasn’t just created to confuse our schedules. The phrase “Spring forward, Fall back” helps people remember how Daylight Saving Time affects their clocks. At 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks forward one hour ahead of Standard Time (“Spring forward,” even though Spring doesn’t begin until late March, over a week after the start of Daylight Saving Time). We “Fall back” at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November by setting our clock back one hour and thus returning to Standard Time”. They have the history too… “Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time”. Now we’ll never forget!!

CELEBRITY HEIGHTS…WARNING…DANGER…BE CAREFUL. Be really careful, never , never go to . That site lists all the actors and actresses heights that for sure you don’t care about or ever want to check up on. Who cares if Robert Redford is only 5’9“, Ringo Starr is 5’6″, Frank Sinatra was 5’7″ so is Tom Cruise 5’7″. Sylvestor Stallone is 5’9″, Arnold Schwarznegger is 6’1 1/2″ , Tom Hanks is 6′, and Howard Stern is 6’5″ ??? ( I started all this because a good friend of mine worked with Redford on a project and she said he only came up to her chin!!!)

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary tells us about (and links to) the Video “Traffic Waves” which shows how we could save millions IF we learned how to drive properly. He teases us with the “Paper Water” and what it means. Then he gets into problems with radiation and cell phone towers, smart meters, and land use regulation. He tells about a Weed Symposium in Pacines that we’ll all be attending for sure. He ends the week talking about Supervisor Board Referrals both our Santa Cruz Board and Monterey Counties. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

PRE CLASSICAL DE CINZO. Ever alert DeCinzo casts a warning about The Monterey Bay Aquarium, scroll down a fathom or so…

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Read below to see Tim Eagan’s version of « When life gives you Lemons »

……In order of perfection……

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

MUSCLE SHOALS. Another fine documentary about the music business. I got curious about the word MUSCLE in the city’s name. The town website says, “No one knows when the name Muscle Shoals was first used for this area, however, there are many theories of where the name originated. One theory is that at one time there were piles of mussel shells found along the shoals in the Tennessee River. Another theory is that the shape of the river looks like the muscle in a man’s arm, therefore, Muscle Shoals. The last theory comes from several booklets that were published before Muscle Shoals incorporated. This theory states: “Muscle Shoals, the Niagara of the South, derives its name from the Indians, who, attempting to navigate upstream, found the task almost impossible because of the strong current.” Thus came the word muscle, symbolic of the strength required to “paddle a canoe up the rapids.” But the list of famous artists that made their first hit records at Muscle Shoals is staggering. Even much longer are the dozens maybe hundreds of albums recorded there that hit the top. Good fun, great music. Go see it for sure.

CARRIE. Julianne Moore plays Carrie’s mother and she’s the only reason to see this re-make. Buckets of blood, locked in the closet, teen age bullying, it’s all there …again. But you will sure remember Sissie Spacek and Piper Laurie in the original. I didn’t remember that John Travolta was in that 1976 Brian De Palma/Stephen King Masterpiece but Rotten Tomatoes says he was.You could rent it during Thanksgiving when the relatives are here.

ESCAPE PLAN. Sylvestor Stallone (5’9″) plays the brains in this prison break film. More than that, he actually plays the author of a book, which should give you some clue as to the I.Q. level of this numb- nuts movie. Nope, Arnold Schwarznegger (6’1 1/2″) isn’t any better at acting and lying, even after all the years doing the same thing in Sacramento.

COUNSELOR. You figure with script by Cormac McCarthy, stars such as Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz (5’4″), Brad Pitt, and Cameron Diaz (5’8″) that the film would be worth seeing…it isn’t!!! The dialogue sounds like grade school kids trying to do Shakespeare. Clumsy script, and very a totally confusing plot.Mostly set in Juarez which has changed a lot since 1955 when I spent every minute I could get away from being in the army at Fort Bliss. It was a big fun town with great bull fights and goiod music…not now. Anyways I digress, wait about a year and rent this one.

MACHETE KILLS. Lady Gaga is in this cruel, meaningless, murderfull, meandering, pointless, dumb, and stupid movie. It has no resemblence to Quentin Tarantino’s style as we saw in Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, or Pulp Fiction. You’ll hate it, and yourself IF you do go.


(from BEST 2 worst)

INEQUALITY FOR ALL. I thought I was complètely impressed and excited about the importance of all of us seeing « Robert Reich’s « Inequality For All » then I read Becky O’Malley co-owner and editor of The Berkeley Daily Planet review of this documentary of our world and how it got this way. She says, Berkeley Prof Tackles Inequality: Inequality Persists By Becky O’Malley Friday October 04, 2013. Almost by accident, the other night I saw the new documentary Inequality for All, which features Robert Reich, now Professor of Public Policy at the University of California here in Berkeley. I know, I know, Paul Krugman called him a “non-economist”… In fact, Krugman once wrote of Reich “talented writer, too bad he never gets anything right.” But he’s a pretty good teacher and journalist, skilled at communicating important points so that other non-economists like me understand them. This new movie, which relies heavily on animated graphs, is very simple, and much of it is incontrovertible.

A plus for the junior set is Reich’s self-mocking comic touch. He’s a master of the short end of the shtick. Well over four feet tall, he misses no opportunity to turn this genetic fact into funny stuff, starting with the lead-in scene where he drives up to the U.C. Berkeley campus in his Mini-Cooper. (You can watch this in the trailer on the film’s web site) The theme is simple, and very familiar to those—well, to those to whom it’s familiar. It’s a cliché in some circles: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Some of us knew that already.

In fact, if you don’t have time to take in an hour and a half movie, you can quickly get the message, complete with clever animation; in this YouTubed short (see above) with Reich’s voice-over narration. Go here for her full review…

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this « true story ». One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new « Gravity II » script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll bed deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

FIFTH ESTATE. Another Benedict Cumberbatch starring role. I have to say Benedict Cumberbatch is probably my favorite actor, at least of this year. He plays Julian Assange the Wikileaks guy who leaked all those international espionage secrets. Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci are in it too, but they don’t count for much. The film sort of presents both sides of whether the leaking was good or bad. It pretty much makes Assange into a nerdy, kinky character…and you’ll leave frustrated because Assange looks into the camera and says it’s up to YOU. An odd film that will tell you more than you know about that leaking. Bradley Manning’s leaking plays a very small part.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney (5’10”) and Sandra Bullock (5’7″) are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Alfonso Cuaron’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if so and so will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me. MY ERROR. Judi Grunstra was kind enough to point out that re Gravity I, Pan’s Labyrinth was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, not Cuaron. Thanks for that correction..; it didn’t seem right when I typed it, but deadlines etc, etc.

GRAVITY…FOR PEOPLE WHO HATED THE FILM. Many, many folks have asked, and told me that they really, really didn’t like Sandra and George’s Gravity film. Not just didn’t like it, they were disturbed by the attitude of the films’ fans. What’s weird is that so many millions love it and want to see Oscars evenly distributed. Then I came across Peter Hartlaub’s article in Friday’s Chronicle.. Read it, especially if you’ve seen Gravity. As I wrote in my critique I was only impressed by the 3D…the acting was non-existent, the plot was Hollywood, etc. etc.

GRAVITY II. With a deep bow and inspired by Lisa Jensen’s review I’ve scripted the Sequel to Gravity I now playing at theatres around us. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are back of course and the new Gravity II opens with a shark biting off Sandra Bullock’s right leg as she continues her crawl up the beach. She rips apart of her tee-shirt off (adding more of the sex we saw with her “skin-tight boy shorts”) and wraps her shark bite, stands up and waves from the beach. Panning back, we see that she landed on Guantanamo Beach in Cuba in the free zone between the USA and the Cuban property lines. Both sides start firing at each other over this “invasion” Sandra crawls to the top of the nearest ridge just in time to grab on to some flying object just passing by. Lo and behold it’s none other that a very much alive George Clooney who has climbed into another space capsule, this time from India!! Painted on the side of the Indian capsule is Outer Spice. George looking even more like Buzz Lightyear than in Gravity I, gets Sandra inside and together off they go.

RUSH. Ron Howard directed it. That means it “feels good” and that it will end happily. It’s got a sound track of racing cars that sounds like Pacific Avenue on weekends. Hulky Chris Hemsworth appears to be a rare good looking actor who can act, at least he does in this 1970’s Formula One race car epic. The racing scenes are exciting, but the pseudo bios linking all the action fall very flat. Save your money and rent it, even though it should be seen on the big screen.

ACOD. (Adult Children Of Divorce) Even with our locally born actor Adam Scott (5’9″) and a cast including Richard Jenkins, Amy Poehler and Catherine O’Hara this so called comedy has a meaness, a bitterness and, there is nobody to like in it. The idea of studying and watching the growth of ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE is absolutely fascinating because it seems like that covers almost all of us…you’ll squirm more than laugh. Go but go warned , or rent it locally in a week or two.bE very sure to stay and watch all the clips of actual ACOD kids during the ending titles.It is far more painful, shocking, and revealing than the film.

DON JON. Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed this nearly hot and sexy film and Scarlett Johansson does a great acting job as a New Jersey citizen. That’s the looney-crazy attempt at comedy part of the film…then Julianne Moore enters the plot and adds the only reasons to see this 1/2 comedy 1/2 tragedy attempt.

PULLING STRINGS. This film proves that just because distributors distribute “foreign films” ( in this case Mexico) it doesn’t mean the films are worth seeing. This simple minded Hollywwod reject plot has an American woman visa agent falling in love with a Mariachi singer in Mexico and it all ends exactly like you know it does. Don’t even think about it.



BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ. The biggest book sale of the year happens at Bookshop Santa Cruz Friday November 15. There’s also cake and ice cream, even more than that our Hot Damn String Band will be playing that night from 7:30-9:30. Jim Reynolds, Annie Steinhart plus others like Jim Houston and I have been playing this annual party for way more than 30 years…don’t miss us!!!

BOB DYLAN TRIBUTE NIGHT. Be sure to mark all celendars for Friday Night, December 13. That’s the Bob Dylan Tribute night at Kuumbwa. All sorts of singers and musicians will be performing Dylan material. Supervisor John Leopold has done this gig for the last two years and this year Gary Patton and I will be part of the Leopold Trio (name subject to change) Patton on banjo, me on washtub Bass. It could possibly be unforgetable…don’t miss us again.

LAST “FOOT” NOTES. Leonardo Di Caprio is 5’11” and Benedict Cumberbatch is 6 ft. even.

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. October 29 has Ana Marden and Sirena Andrea from the 418 Project revealing all their plans for the next season, followed by Tom Karwin about gardening around the Monterey Bay. Annie Morhauser of Annieglass talks about glass business on November 12. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26. Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always 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!!!


But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them,” L.M. Montgomery.
“Flurries early, pristine and pearly. Winter’s come calling! Can we endure so premature a falling? Some may find this trend distressing- others bend to say a blessing over sage and onion dressing.” Old Farmer’s Almanac.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” J.K. Rowling.


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:

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on October 30 – November 5

Comments are closed.