Blog Archives

September 15 – 21, 2021

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…District Three, Shebreh, Ryan C, Cummings, rumors, Del Mar re-opening, Live Here Now, Film critiques. GREENSITE…will return next week. KROHN…COVID and Super Bowl and Covid and UCSC issues. STEINBRUNER…Watsonville Lumber Mill, Soquel Creek Water District and Sewage water and more, Capitola disadvantaged? PATTON…Spike Lee and 9/11. EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. QUOTES…”POLITICS”.

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PACIFIC & WALNUT August 29, 1957. Gone are the days… these businesses have been replaced by GAP, Synergy, Berdels and Super Silver. Have we learned or gained anything? Big Business has always captured our main street.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE September 13

DISTRICT THREE & RYAN COONERTY. By now, voters in Ryan Coonerty’s Third District have received Shebreh Kalantari’s fancy invite and the announcement that she’s running for Ryan’s County Supervisor seat. We need to note that Shebreh’s endorsers present and past have included Cynthia Mathews, Robert Singleton, Carol Polhamus, Donna Meyers, Don Lane, Mike Rotkin, Sibley Simon, and Kris Reyes. That should give us enough clues about her leanings, and development plans. Rumors, and more than rumors, of other Third District candidates include Justin Cummings – who has energized a large bunch of endorsers – and Mark Primack! For the curious and frustrated… nope, still no follow-up on Ryan Coonerty applying for the new job as City Manager. 

DEL MAR THEATRE REOPENS. After attending the grand re-opening of the Del Mar on Friday, September 10 (The Card Counter) and again on Sunday, September 12 (Language Lessons) to see that the very opening screen footage were ads for streaming HULU FX. Not seeing HULU is the reason we would go to the Del Mar – and not stay home to stream HULU. The other sadder note is that our Santa Cruz Sentinel never ran a story, or photos, or news about the Del Mar re-opening. I couldn’t help but remember how, way back in 2002, our then mayor Chris Krohn presided over the real re-opening after all the fabulous redecorating and restoring of our Cinema Temple. The Del Mar and Nickelodeon were clients of mine when I was a marketing consultant for the Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College. We had a parade, brass band, speeches and even developer Barry Swenson showed up!

Many of our local Art/Music/Theatre institutions are either gearing up or are already in presentation shape….some of those are… 

JEWEL THEATRE.  Their first production is HEISENBERG by Simon Stephens
Directed by Paul Mullins it features Paul Whitworth and Erika Schindele. The setting is a bustling London train station that brings an unexpected encounter between free-spirited American Georgie and reserved Irishman Alex, thrusting two strangers into a life-changing game.  It plays Sept 15 thru Oct 10, 2021. Go here for tickets, dates and info. Of course Jewel Theatre is a fully vaccinated company. All patrons must present proof of vaccination with matching ID and be fully masked. 

ESPRESSIVO. As fans surely remember, Espressivo is a small, intense orchestra. Their new season opens Sunday September 19 at 4 p.m. Wear masks and bring your covid shot card. The concert features.. A Mozart Symphony Arcangelo Corelli — Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, Nr. 3
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari — Concerto for English Horn — Soloist: Peter Lemberg
W. A Mozart — Symphony Nr. 29, K. 201

The performance will be held at Santa Cruz Community Church, 411 Roxas Street, Santa Cruz, CA. Go here for tickets and info. 

NEW MUSIC WORKS. Director, composer, and ceaseless worker Phil Collins tells us that big plans are underway for New Music Works, despite the Covid-related setbacks they’ve endured. He’ll keep us posted, and it’s happening!!!

BLITZER GALLERY. Their current show features pen and ink drawings by Johannes A. Gaertner, a retrospective exhibit. It runs through Sept 23rd. Hours are limited due to COVID -Tuesday and Thursday 1-4, or by appointment. The gallery is in the old Wrigley Building at
2801 Mission Street. Go to rblitzergallery.com 831-458-1217

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Be sure to tune in to my very newest movie streaming reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

THE CARD COUNTER (DEL MAR THEATRE). Oscar Isaac should be given some Academy Award right now…he’s perfect and totally believable in this poker-playing war veteran drama. Isaac has a past that is revealed like a poker hand….slowly and with much hesitation and heavy betting. This movie is well worth your time – see it at the Del Mar if you live nearby.

LANGUAGE LESSONS. (DEL MAR THEATRE). It seemed crazy to attend a real movie theatre like the Del Mar to watch a new movie which was all presented as Zoom online scenes. Mark Duplass is a gay Oakland guy who loses his partner ,and works hard to become friends with his online teacher Natalie Morales – who lives and signs in from Costa Rica. It’s depressing, artificial, and pointless. 

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE. (HBO SERIES). I haven’t seen Ingmar Bergman’s original film in decades (since 1974) and this new adaptation will rip your marital guts out. Starring Oscar Isaacs and Jessica Chastain, it becomes a beautiful but scathing examination of any or all of your marriages, past or future. It has five episodes and after just the first you’ll know you’re in for a truly great viewing experience. Do not miss this opportunity.

THE VOYEURS. (AMAZON PRIME SINGLE). It looks and seems like NYC, but it’s actually filmed in high-rise apartments in Montreal. A couple gets hooked on watching, spying, and eavesdropping through their neighbor’s windows. It’ll remind you of Jimmy Stewart’s Rear Window, but more so! I can’t say much more without giving away plot details. Watch it, it’s totally absorbing and surprising. 

MALIGNANT. (HBO MAX SERIES). Hard to classify this, probably a horror movie. A pregnant woman is violently pushed and beaten by her husband. She has visions or dreams of torture, and somehow there are some actions happening in Seattle’s underground city. You do not need to see this movie.

ON THE VERGE. (NETFLIX SERIES). Four kooky women in their forties led by Julie Delpy and Elizabeth Shue traipse through Los Angeles. It’s supposed to be a comedy but none of the “stars” have any concept of timing or expression. Avoid this series before it’s too late.

OPEN YOUR EYES. (NETFLIX SERIES). Set in Poland, a young girl with apparent amnesia wakes up in a clinic that keeps patients tightly guarded while they work mysteriously to bring their memories back. It moves slowly, but is detailed enough to keep you wondering just what the truth behind the odd shifts really means. Watch it all six episodes, and stop worrying about your memory lapses.

BLACK ISLAND. (NETFLIX SINGLE). In German with subtitles, it’s the deeply-woven story of a young student who lives with his grandfather on an island. He gets waylaid in many ways by a youngish but beautiful and older school teacher who has designs on him. Good acting, a twisty plot, moves along nicely, and you’ll like it.

 SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.

ADULT MATERIAL. (92RT). Goofy Rupert Everett returns in this British movie as a weird supporter of a mother with three daughters some of whom make porn films. Mom makes public the bad treatment she and her friends receive in the business and it goes from fun and laughs to cringing moments. Not too bad. And yes you’ve seen better but not a movie centering on porn.

NEWS OF THE WORLD. (HBO SINGLE). (88RT). Dependable, talented and Oakland born Tom Hanks makes another fine film to watch. There actually is a Castroville in Texas and Hanks is challenged to save and take a young girl across hundreds of desert miles past Castroville in search of her parents. It’s 1870 and involves sub plots of race and Civil War issues. A fine film, better than 90% of what’s available either streaming or on the big screens.

POST MORTEM. (NETFLIX SERIES). A young dead woman wakes up and she’s on an operating table in Norway. The plot revolves around her being able to stay alive if she is alive. Her father and her brother run a funeral home. Good acting, new plot  and it’ll keep you awake and is worth watching.

WORTH. (NETFLIX SINGLE) (75RT) This is a true story so they claim. Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci and Amy Ryan costar. The entire film centers on the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks when four airplanes were hijacked by al-Qaeda. Keaton and Tucci represent different views on how much and if there will be any compensation to the thousands of victims of the attack. Not very exciting but an extremely thoughtful chance to think and make your own decisions about how much lives are worth.

HELSTROM. (HULU SERIES). This series earned a poor 27RT but I liked it more than that. It’s a spinoff from Marvel movies so it’s full of poorly developed characters running around in cliché circles. But the “funny” interest I got from it was/is how much Ariana Guerra who plays one of the searching scary sillies looks exactly like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Hair styles and all) It does throw you off a bit and the rest of the plot takes place in Colma, Portland and almost at the Vatican. Don’t spend any money renting it.

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September 13, 2021

Gillian will return 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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 September 13

“COVID, COVID, COVID” (voice of an ex-president) 
There was a professional football game last Thursday night in Tampa Bay, Florida. Some 65,000-people attended. Quarterback Tom Brady had another spectacular game and very few attendees wore masks. Social distancing was not respected, enforced, or even tolerated. The seven-day average of case counts in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area for those testing positive is near 3,000 according the current New York Times coronavirus tracker. A day before this game, President Joe Biden was implementing new vaccine and mask mandates, pleading over the airwaves to please get vaccinated, to wear a mask, and to social distance, but this was not the case at college and pro-football games around the country.

Step Backwards
Back in February when the Super Bowl took place in Tampa Bay, NFL officials limited the number of those attending to 22,000 and made masking mandatory. Even though social distancing protocols were also implemented, many thought a super-spreader event might be in the making, and at the time the 7-day case counts only averaged about 1400 according to the Times tracker. More than a million-people attended pro-football games this past weekend in packed stadiums even larger than Tampa Bay’s. “More than 90 percent of N.F.L. players and all coaches and staff are vaccinated, yet dozens of them have tested positive for Covid-19 since training camps opened in July,” according to NY Times sportswriter Ken Belson.  Well, Santa Cruz case counts averaged around 200 during Super Bowl week last February. Today, the 7-day average is around 70 according to the same Times tracker. With the coronavirus “breakthrough” variant strains coursing through our country as a result of so many people just being on the move, can our Covid-19 rates remain low for very long in our county?

Covid Fear and Loathing in the Classroom?
It began at noon last week with 187 participants. It swelled to 195 by 12:30pm. The meeting was only scheduled for an hour, but at 1:10pm there were still 126 on the Zoom meeting. People, UCSC faculty and staff, seemed hungry for information about how to deal with Covid, vaccination enforcement, and classroom decorum. Only two weeks remained before the first day of instruction, Thursday, September 23rd. There was much information distributed by at least six different campus officials. They clearly had their hands full. Faculty and staff were peppering the admins (administration) with some real concerns, and fears, about opening the campus. Here are some of the questions and responses:

Staff/Faculty: What are we to do if a student will not put on a mask?
Admin: “If a student will not put on a mask when asked, then ask them to leave…but don’t call the police…the police enforce the law, it is not their job to enforce campus rules.”
Staff/Faculty: Who will enforce the masking rule? (Never answered during discussion. Came up several times.)
Admin: There is a new rule in the fall, “no eating or drinking in any classroom…you must keep your mask on at all times.” (Does this include coffee?)
Admin: Unvaccinated students will be required to get “2 tests every 4 days,” while unvaccinated staff and faculty will need to get “2 tests per week.”
Admin: All students have to provide negative test results before they can move into campus housing. All other students must provide a negative test result within 5-7 days after arrival “to campus.”
Staff/Faculty: Will you require mandatory testing of vaccinated people? 
Admin: No. 
Staff/Faculty: Why is UCLA requiring it, but not UCSC? 
Admin: We are following UC guidelines. We are not set up for it. “Almost all hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people.” 
Staff/Faculty: Do faculty need a doctor’s note if they want to teach on zoom instead of in-person? 
Admin: “Yes, documentation is needed…” through the “disability accommodation process.”
Staff/Faculty: What about classroom ventilation?
Admin: Ventilation in some of the classrooms has been enhanced. If ventilation is not adequate, you can request another classroom, “but do not call the registrar, contact your dept. office. We are identifying bad ventilation and installing hepa-filters.”
Staff/Faculty: I’m concerned about equity (if the new color-coated badge system is being predicated on having a cell phone) and students who have no phone. 
Admin: Yes, we are too and we are looking into it.
Faculty/Staff: What is the main benefit of being in an in-person classroom if everyone is masked? 
Admin: Students told us they want to come back to the campus and we are trying to accommodate that. “You’ve all told us you want to be back.”
Staff/Faculty: What about these “breakthrough” transmissions of the virus?
Admin: “Breakthrough transmissions are from unmasked individuals.”
Faculty/Staff: Can students sit in every other chair in the large classrooms?
Admin: UC system is not requiring social distancing. “We want students and staff to have the accommodations we can provide…we cannot provide for social distancing.”
Admin: “Talk to your students on the first day about how you are going to norm the room…visit your classrooms before the quarter begins and see what kind of accommodation is needed…we had the idea of blocking out every other seat, but these [large] classrooms will not have seats blocked out.”
Admin: Don’t come to campus if you have been exposed to those testing positive or think you were exposed and are waiting for lab results.

What is College Life? (personal memory)
I’ve been experiencing lots of thoughts lately about my own college experiences at UCSC and what it has been like for students having to learn “remotely.” But also, what constitutes a real college experience and if the university grows to 28,000 students and adds 4000-5000 more staff and faculty, how will that experience be changed? How would any of us feel about a “remote” Zoom education? Yes, there are students who prefer it, but not many, and what kind of education is it? UCSC used to be about making connections, potlucks at professor’s houses, going to lectures and films on campus and then talking about it with roommates until 2am…it’s also going to the Catalyst and Moe’s Alley and ending up at the Red…it is sitting in the library and wandering the stacks never knowing what you might find…oh the books that I’ve discovered! It is participating in streaking on the first night of rain in Santa Cruz…it is Halloween downtown…breakfast at Zachary’s with friends…listening to jazz at Kuumbwa, hiking in Wilder/Pogonip/upper campus and all the while running into friends and classmates…It is participating in in the Holi Festival, 4/20, Earth Day, and intramural sports…it is all those serendipitous chance meetings, connections, and friendships that matter most…on-line college just doesn’t make it. A college education is not simply listening to lectures, passing tests, and writing papers. It is an (w)holistic endeavor that should be available to all of our young people. (And 20,000 students in Santa Cruz is enough…basta! We’ve reached our student carrying capacity.)

If You Love UCSC so Much, Why Do You Seem Hostile?
Hostility comes from many corners of Santa Cruz, essentially because the UC Regents is an undemocratic system. It justifies dumping students from El Cajon, Fresno, and Eureka into SC and expecting them to survive because every young person in California deserves a UC education. Yes, everyone deserves a UC education and no, Santa Cruz can only accept its fair share. I am certain most people in Santa Cruz would not want to give up the real perks and privileges of having a UC here–great libraries, musical concerts, plays, and visiting faculty lectures, but why not spread the wealth? Why not erect new campuses? Why not a UC Eureka, UC Stockton, UC El Centro, or UC Redding? We need to build more campuses, not continue to stress out the communities that already house a UC. Community goodwill is not something to dismiss lightly.

UC and Bad Decisions?
And/but, UCSC has made terrible decisions…kicked Shakespeare Santa Cruz off campus; brought in 100 cops to beat up grad and undergrad students last year (not the first time either); it’s still not gone to electric buses when by all indications they would do it 10 years ago; then the admin saying campus population will grow to 28k and not including the extra 4-6k faculty and staff in that number up front; seeking to build in the ecological hotspot that is upper campus; trying to construct buildings on the iconic east meadow thus defying a 60,000-plus signature petition; and of course the eternal question which perplexes locals: why aren’t the UC Regents building more housing on-campus for ALL new students? Are Santa Cruzans hostile? How about insurrectionary.

“We have worked very hard to develop legislation which finally meets the long-neglected needs of the working class. $3.5 trillion is already the compromise — we must pass the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill in tandem.” (Sept. 12)

Iron Man/Womyn competition is quite the event! It was held this past weekend and large crowds came out all along West Cliff, Highway 1, and in the Depot Park area. Amazing athletes! But Covid-19 had its way here too. I heard over 2000 registered (at $349 each), but less than 1300 showed up.
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Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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September 13

SOIL CONTAMINATION AT PROPOSED RANPORT LUMBERMILL IN WATSONVILLE IS CONCERNING 
The more I read the documentation about soil contamination problems and the potentially associated Watsonville Slough impacts, the more I am concerned. This proposed lumbermill is not a problem in itself, but the construction disturbance of soils that are heavily contaminated, if not properly handled, could cause the toxic pollutants to drain into the Sloughs and eventually, the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.

Comment on this project is due September 20.  Here is the link to the Planning Dept. website.  Note, there has been no hearing about this before the Zoning Administrator, which is the first public step to approval. [CEQA DOCUMENTS FOR APPLICATION RE: RANPORT SPECIALTY LUMBERMILL] 

See discussion of major soil contamination problems and deed restrictions resulting (page 134)

“The Site has housed various operations since the 1960s. The Site was purchased in 1978 by WFS, a Shell Chemical subsidiary, and was used to store and distribute pesticides and fertilizers for use on area farms, including the liquid pesticide fumigants dichloropropane-dichloropropene (D-D®) and Telone II. DD® consisted entirely of various chlorinated hydrocarbons, including 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) and 1,3-dichloropropene and the composition of Telone II was 97.5% 1,3-dichloropropene. 

The fertilizer formerly stored and distributed at the facility is assumed to be a nitrogen fertilizer due to the nitrate as nitrogen presence in the subsurface. Shell Chemical sold the Site to Herman Wilson, dba Western Farmco, Inc., in 1988. Pesticide and fertilizer storage and distribution operations were terminated in 1996. Western Farmco, Inc. merged with two other companies into WFS in 1997 and WFS sold the property to Forrest Moore in 2001. The property was conveyed from Forrest Moore to Dennis Williams 2 in 2003 and from Dennis Williams to Richard Henry in 2019. Williams Tree Service, a commercial tree-cutting service, is currently a tenant. Dave Joseph is the beneficiary of a Deed of Trust for the property. 

Historical sampling results indicate the presence of fertilizer and pesticide components, including 1,2-DCP in soil, groundwater, and soil vapor and nitrate in groundwater. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in soil are present in a localized area near the former fertilizer storage tanks in the north central portion of the Site. Site remedial activities began in the early 1980s and included subsurface investigation and over-excavation of an unlined disposal pit and rinse water pond. 

Additional investigations and remediation have included soil sampling, monitoring well installation, insitu denitrification and soil flushing pilot testing, installation and operation of a groundwater injection/treatment system, and soil vapor sampling. Semiannual groundwater monitoring took place from 2003 to 2008, with an additional shallow well groundwater sampling event in 2016 and a shallow and deep well groundwater sampling event in 2019 to investigate concentrations of 1,2-DCP, nitrate as nitrogen, PCB congeners, benzene, and 1,4-dioxane. 

Deed Restriction

A deed restriction was recorded on the property on September 28, 2001, which restricts the Site use as follows: 

  1. an environmental restriction prohibits the property from being used for residential purposes and 
  2. a use restriction prohibits use of the property as a distribution center for agricultural chemicals and fertilizer products. 

Currently, an amended deed restriction is planned for the property that will restrict the use of shallow groundwater and will require adherence to a May 20, 2020, Subsurface Media Management Plan . Future Risks to PCB and Dieldrin Contamination in Soil Near Former Fertilizer Storage Tank Area Historical PCB and pesticide (dieldrin) impacted soil remail under portions of the Site near the former fertilizer storage tank area (i.e., soil boring SB-23) between 1.5 feet below grade (fbg) and 9.5 fbg, but do not pose a risk for the current Site use and configuration. 

Risks to human health and the environment during the proposed Site redevelopment were evaluated .

Three risk assumptions were evaluated for the known PCB and pesticide soil contamination: 

  1. the above-mentioned impacted soil area; 
  2. the future benthic community exposures in future surface sediment (0 to 1 fbg) in the vicinity of a planned emergent wetland; and 
  3. ecological risk to upland organisms in soil from below 2 fbg and above 9.5 fbg due to the potential for construction-related redistribution of contamination to the surface. 

It was determined that soils in the former fertilizer storage tank area have elevated concentrations of PCBs and dieldrin and must be mitigated if soils are brought to the surface . Unacceptable risks to commercial and construction workers are present if soils from between 2 and 9.5 fbg are brought to the surface and left accessible for 250 days per year for construction workers or for 25 years for commercial workers .

If soils from below 1.5 fbg are brought to the surface for extended periods of time, there are potential hazards to ecological receptors

Additionally, if these soils from 2 to 9.5 fbg are brought to the surface, there are potential future ecological risks associated with exposure to the proposed soil/wetland sediment .

Potential impacts associated with the proposed Site redevelopment project must be mitigated through the adherence to the approved Subsurface Media Management Plan, dated May 20, 2020. 

Additional Required Environmental Work for Shell Groundwater:

In 2020, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (CCRWQCB) requested three additional quarterly groundwater monitoring events be conducted at the Site. The purpose of this investigation is to further evaluate current trends of the contaminant concentrations of 3 1,2-DCP; 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP); and nitrate as nitrogen. TCP has not been evaluated at the Site and its groundwater MCL, adopted in 2017, of 5 parts per trillion (0.005 µg/L) is very low. TCP is an impurity/manufacturing by-product resulting from the production of the soil fumigants formerly stored at the Site, D-D® and Telone II. TCP is considered a persistent pollutant in groundwater and has been classified by the US EPA as “likely to be a carcinogenic to humans.” 

Two of the three quarterly groundwater sampling events have occurred. After the three quarterly groundwater sampling events have been conducted, Shell’s environmental consultant will make conclusions and recommendations for the CCRWQCB to consider. 

Human Health Risk Assessment and Vapor Intrusion Former Office/Maintenance Building (Upper Terrace Location):

Relatively recently, in 2020, Shell discovered that the former Office/Maintenance Building, located on the upper terrace on the northwestern portion of the Site, is currently occupied by a Site worker(s) for up to one hour per day. This is new knowledge and was not incorporated into the HHERA for the Site. This building is located within 100 lateral feet of the soil gas plume associated with 1,2-DCP, benzene, and 1,3-butadiene. Therefore, Shell is required to evaluate the Site and this building with current applicable soil gas and indoor air screening levels. 

At this time, Shell has not conducted their re-evaluation of the potential indoor air inhalation pathway risks for the Office/Maintenance Building.”

AND THEN THERE IS THE OPERATIONAL NOISE FOR THE LARKIN VALLEY / BUENA VISTA DRIVE AREA……
Sound travels in the valleys, and this lumbermill would be near the Larkin Valley / Buena Vista Drive residential areas to the north, near the Watsonville Airport.  Does this CEQA evaluation examine the noise receptors for the Project?  It is unknown what the hours of operation might be, because the proposed mill has not yet received Zoning Administrative review for a Permit to Operate, 

You can see the topo map of the Project in relation to your neighborhood on page #21 here.

There are biotic and hazardous soil contamination issues that were partially addressed in mitigations, but nothing at all for the significant noise the mill would generate when in operation.  (See pages 235-238 in the same document)

Caveat 

“Noise levels add logarithmically with multiple machines and operations occurring at the same time, plus noise levels also increase when placed near vertical surfaces or partitions. This must be taken into account when predicting the maximum property line noise level.”

Many of the pieces of equipment were significantly over the 70db levels allowed by Santa Cruz County Code.

Sound travels in valleys, and with the wind.  I think the Buena Vista / Larkin Valley neighborhood needs to know about this Project, and contact the Planner about the operational noise mitigation as well as contaminated dust mitigation during construction. 

All written comment must be received by September 20.

Project: Ranport Lumbermill 

APPLICATION #: 161014 
APNs: 052-511-06, -08 and 052-011-61
Owner: Richard M. Henry 
Applicant: Brian Spector of Spector Corbett Architects 

Staff Planner: Annette Olson, (831) 454-3134    Email: Annette.Olson@santacruzcounty.us 

This project will be considered at a public hearing before the Zoning Administrator. The time, date and location have not been set. When scheduling does occur, these items will be included in all public hearing notices for the project.

WHO WILL PROTECT THE RIPARIAN ENVIRONMENT TO PREVENT SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT’S TOXIC EFFLUENT LEAKS?
There appears to be ZERO collaboration occurring between Soquel Creek Water District staff or their agents with the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to develop meaningful, effective or enforceable mitigations for the Modified Pure Water Soquel Project, per a Public Records Act request.

On August 17, 2021, I submitted a Public Records Act request to CDFW for correspondence with Soquel Creek Water District and/or the City of Santa Cruz regarding the Project.  I  am alarmed by the CDFW response of August 30, 2021 that “No Records Exist”.

Request / Incident Summary
Request Type: Public Records Act Request
Contact E-Mail: ki6tkb@yahoo.com
Reference No: R001431-081721
Status: No Record(s) Exist

I am very concerned that Soquel Creek Water District has not been consulting CDFW to develop an effective and enforceable Mitigation and Monitoring Plan, as the public was assured of when the District certified the Project EIR in 2018.

Under CEQA, a project that affects the habitat of an endangered, rare or threatened species is considered to be a project of statewide significance that requires state agency review of the project’s EIR (14 Cal Code Regs 15206(b)(5).   

Soquel Creek Water District, as the lead agency, is required to consult with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and obtain written findings on the impact of the project on the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, in compliance with Public Resources Code 21104.2.

This has not happened.

Please contact California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to urge their environmental scientist group, whose job it is to work with lead agencies on projects like this, to insist that Soquel Creek Water District follow the CEQA laws and collaborate to develop meaningful and enforceable mitigations for the Modified PureWater Soquel Project.

Wesley Stokes wesley.stokes@wildlife.ca.gov and Serena Stumpf serena.stumpf@wildlife.ca.gov and copy State Senator John Laird john.laird@sen.ca.gov

YET ANOTHER BIG CHANGE TO PROJECT TO INJECT TREATED SEWAGE WATER INTO OUR AQUIFER
If you care about the future health of the local aquifer in the MidCounty area, and the potential contamination of many local riparian habitats between Santa Cruz and Live Oak, you need to call and write the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors right away and demand any and all modifications to the PureWater Soquel Project be considered during a PUBLIC HEARING process.  Here is why:

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WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK AND JUST DO SOMETHING!

Cheers, Becky

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. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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September 11 

#254 / Seems Like Spike Lee Had Some Questions

Back in August, The New York Times published an interview with filmmaker Spike Lee, who is pictured above. Reggie Ugwu, pop culture commentator for The Times, was the interviewer. His questions centered on Lee’s eight-hour docuseries on HBO, “New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021 1/2.” The first installment of Lee’s latest work premiered on August 22, 2021. I gather that the series, based on interviews with over two hundred people, draws lessons from both the attacks on 9/11 and the recent pandemic.

I was most intrigued by one of the topics explored by Ugwu, and by Lee’s response: 

The last episode of the series devotes a lot of time to questioning how and why the towers fell. You interview several members of the conspiracy group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Why did you want to include their perspective? 

Because I still don’t … I mean, I got questions. And I hope that maybe the legacy of this documentary is that Congress holds a hearing, a congressional hearing about 9/11.

You don’t buy the official explanations?
The amount of heat that it takes to make steel melt, that temperature’s not reached. And then the juxtaposition of the way Building 7 fell to the ground — when you put it next to other building collapses that were demolitions, it’s like you’re looking at the same thing. But people going to make up their own mind. My approach is put the information in the movie and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the audience.

Right, but you don’t say “make up your own mind” about whether or not the vaccine is poison, or “make up your own mind” about whether Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

People are going to think what they think, regardless. I’m not dancing around your question. People are going to think what they think. People have called me a racist for “Do the Right Thing.” People said in “Mo’ Better Blues” I was antisemitic. “She’s Gotta Have It,” that was misogynist. People are going to just think what they think. And you know what? I’m still here, going on four decades of filmmaking.

Several days after running the article just quoted, The Times published an article with this headline: “Lee Re-edits Series That Features 9/11 Conspiracists.” It appears that consternation about the exchange reported above led Lee to modify his “Final Cut.” Ultimately, as The Times reported another few days later, Lee deleted thirty minutes of the original segment, completely cutting out any reference to the possibility that the official explanation for the collapse of the towers at the World Trade Center might not have told the whole story. All those “questions” never got asked – not within Lee’s docuseries, at any rate.

I don’t have a real “conclusion” about the questions initially raised by Lee (and then not raised by Lee). At least not one I would want to vouch for with any “certainty,” any more than Lee apparently wants to vouch for the idea that the Twin Towers attacks were something significantly different from what has been presented as the official explanation. I guess it would be fair to say that I am not sure exactly what I think. I am definitely not surprised, though, at Lee’s first reaction to the official explanations for what happened at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I am not surprised that Spike Lee had some questions.

To tell the truth, I still have questions about what happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

Spike Lee’s got questions about 9/11. Bob Dylan has questions about the assassination of President Kennedy. 

Lots of people have lots of questions. Looks like I’m not the only one!

If you don’t have any questions about 9/11, you might want to take a look at the following video, sent to me by a Facebook Friend. “Explained” isn’t exactly the right word, here. Just questions; that’s about as far as anyone can really go.


Gary Patton 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 and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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RERUNS THIS WEEK!

EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” 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

    POLITICS

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”.
~Plato 

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”.
~John Kenneth Galbraith

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”.
~H. L. Mencken

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I love me a good drumline! That precision and that groove, it gets me every time 🙂


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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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