Blog Archives

September 18 – 24, 2013

HISTORIC OCTAGON HALL OF RECORDS and OUR ORIGINAL COURT HOUSE (AFTER 1882). This beautiful stately two floor masterpiece was our first County Court House, built in 1867 and burned down in 1894. Next door and on the left was and still is the Octagon. Now Lulu Carpenter’s coffee house. Back then it was the official Hall of records.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DAVENPORT WATER-CEMEX-RYAN-SANTA CRUZ-KEELEY & NEAL. The two greatest thing about rumors are that “there’s always more where that came from” and tracking them down almost always leads to surprises. Davenport used to have all their water needs supplied by Cementos Mexicanos or CEMEX as we call it. (I didn’t know that there’s a 587 seat auditorium on the Stanford campus named the CEMEX Auditorium!). Even though it is one of the world’s largest cement producers, Cemex pulled out of Davenport leaving those folks low and dry. Here’s where the rumor starts….fingers point to Fred Keeley trying to pull a water deal by the City Of Santa Cruz supplying water to Davenport. That’s not all bad, and if and when that water deal looks almost perfect Ryan Coonerty and Daddy Neal will get the credits and the plugs in Ryan’s campaign for Dad’s seat. I’m going to adjust that rumor as soon as I get more facts, so when you hear anything along that Davenport-Santa Cruz water sharing let me know.

MNOZIL BRASS &LONELY BOY. Peggy Snider sent this totally bizzare and brilliant clip. Watch it the first 5 minutes to really get the point.

MAH’s NEWEST MEANINGMostly Attendance and Happenings. Other folks among the numerous local residents sugggested Mostly Attendance and Hobbies. Then there’s Mediocre, Humdrum and all kinds of clever ways to re-name our gone to hell Museum of Art and History. We’ve lost the “Museum”, “The Art”, and “The History” concepts of what was once a professional institution with professional standards. The actual mission statement of MAH has changed and now we have what should be called our “second community center”. MAH Board members have been quitting over this, professional historians, curators and staff members have either left or are completely devastated by the community circus that Nina Simon has created in the two and a half years she’s been executive director.

The Sunday August 11 New York Times had an article titled High Culture Goes Hands-On. Read it here….lots of people in the Museum business read it, and responded. Nina Simon did too….she didn’t like the article.

It says that museums across the country are going for attendance numbers and crowds and are sacrificing traditional experiences with history and with art to bring in large crowds that then are used as proof to justify grants, and larger sums of monies to subsidize these halls of hobbies. (Yes MAH exhibited my collection of toothpaste, Don Lane’s collection of eggs, Lance Linares collection of bottle caps….and that helps make the point….we fell for the Attendance and Hobbies part of the new name.

Remember back in the day when you could sit or stand and just think about the art pieces you were able to see in person? Think how many thousands/millions of students and artists were influenced by seeing circulating masterpieces or from the local collections…not now. Consider the impact on the next generation of art and history-lovers; the kids. Where can we take our kids now to learn how to experience a real museum; a place that challenges the attention span a little? There are experiential activities everywhere, as I mentioned but the former MAH was our only real museum environment that offered art in a museum context; a respectful place that created the sense that what you’re seeing is important, and worthy of your consideration. Not just something you whip through as you’re doing activities.

The new mission statement is so stunning in its exclusion of any cultural references that you should read it… From the website; “Our mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections”. What does that mean?? Where’s History, where’s Art, where’s Tradition, most important where’s any statement about inspiration and education???

Historians have told me many times in the last two and a half years that there are no longer any qualified historians cataloguing and curating and handling our MAH’s collections. Future generations will suffer from this. Concerned community members are wondering why the MAH Board of Directors have allowed this hobby-circus to take over MAH. The NY Times article said museums justify the numbers game because they claim the newest art equals experiences. Is it fear of getting involved? Is it just let Nina do her thing, it’ll work out…a hands off approach?

We’ve gained a second London Nelson Community Center (where all this show biz & hobby stuff should take place) and we’ve lost a vibrant and rewarding Art & History Museum.


TONY MADRIGAL RUNNING FOR MODESTO CITY COUNCIL. I thought everybody knew that Tony is running for Modesto City Council. So far I haven’t heard of anybody from Modesto calling Santa Cruz and asking how Tony did on our City Council. Aside from accomplishing next to nothing Aside from his support for building the Coast Hotel, his arrest and jail time for texting while driving, he should have been punished for the rude, continual, and insolent way he used his laptop during Council sessions. Good luck Modesto !!!

ANOTHER ATTACK ON SCOPE PARK??? Celia Scott wrote to say, “I just discovered that Scope Park is in jeopardy of being developed for commercial uses again. On Tuesday Sept. 10 the Council went into closed session to consider selling the park to a developer for a proposed (unspecified) commercial project. Comments were to be taken from the public just prior to the closed session, but who even knows about it or what actually is proposed? Here we go again. As if there wasn’t enough bad news!” Celia sent that last week….any reports on what happened? Scope Park, for any newcomers, is that tiny greenspace with Peter Bartczak’s mural of dancing beachers at the corners of Mission-North Pacific-Water Streets.

PATTON TO OPEN NEW LAW OFFICE. As of October 1st. Gary Patton will be opening his own private law practice. Witwer and Parkin and Patton are best of buddies and Gary will be focussing on land use and environmental issues in his new place…to be determined.


UCSC AND SHAKESPEARE BRAND. “Words, words, words” was Hamlet’s reply and Santa Cruz (as a “hamlet”) should be eager to hear UCSC’s reply to Shakespeare Santa Cruz asking for the right to use that name in their future plans. Any response other than 100% full granting of rights will prove there’s more to UC’s official closing of SSC than meets the eye.


From The Saturday Sept.14 issue of U.C. Berkeley’s Daily Californian…. The ASUC Senate wasted no time at the beginning of the academic year, gearing up in its first meeting to debate a bill expressing that the senate has “no confidence” in Janet Napolitano as the incoming UC president. Napolitano’s appointment raised concerns due to the policies she implemented in her previous position as Secretary of Homeland Security. In response, the ASUC Senate will debate SB 2, titled Bill in Support of Undocumented Students and Immigrant Communities, on Monday. “The ‘no confidence’ comes from a lot of history — she has deported over 2 million undocumented immigrants,” said ASUC Senator Sean Tan, who authored the bill. “There’s a lot of fear in terms of what is her main priority as UC president, because she comes from a background of surveillance and apprehension and security.” As Homeland Security Secretary, Napolitano played a role in enacting immigration policies such as Secure Communities, a program that allows local governments to report undocumented immigrants to federal officials. Under her leadership, the Homeland Security Department deported a record number of undocumented immigrants, according to a report by UAW Local 2865, a UC student workers’ union. Read the rest of it here… (B. Bratton.. full bragging disclosure…I was writing for The Daily Californian 1958-1960)

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick writes…


ALE is moving ahead with the fight against Safeway’s expansion plans at Rancho Del Mar in Aptos. Meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month at the Aptos Grange. A few signs supporting ALE’s cause have started to appear, and Safeway has begun discussion with the County Planning Department. If you think that seven traffic signals between State Park Drive and Trout Gulch Road sounds like traffic mitigation we’ve got news for you. It isn’t anything but pure gridlock for Aptos residents, but that’s what is being proposed. Sooner or later there has to be public hearings on this fiasco.


The trail is finally under construction by CCC workers brought in by the County. This has been a long wait; we’re now into the second decade of dealing with the County and the developer who owns the property. When finished, there will be a trail between Cabrillo College and Nisene Marks Park that can be used by hikers, bicycle riders and dog walkers. We were looking forward to an end-of-August completion date. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about developing Fort Ord, and Monterey’s General Plan.

He tells of the Community Choice Aggregation public power system in Santa Cruz County, and about Conner Everts chair of P.O.W.E.R. There is yet another Dog Leash meeting Thursday at Simkins Family Swim Center. See there are the Off Leash Advocates and the Leash Law Advocates and their twains never meet! He closes with a long look at the history and meaning of the 1978 Measure J. Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts Gary Patton, former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and environmental 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? –

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo reminds us of the joys of Wilder Ranch scroll below.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan hears a droning noise…beware very much !! And see below about three pages.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Life initates Art this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, in the weirdly engrossing film Museum Hours, set largely within Vienna’s venerable Kunsthistorisches Museum. And while we’re on the subject, come along on a virtual tour of the museums of Vienna.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.



SHORT TERM 12. I Left the theatre in such awe that I was calling it the best film of the year. Then I saw on Rotten Tomatoes that more than half the other critics said exactly the same thing…this is the best film of the year. Brie Larsen as a supervisor of at risk teenagers in a facility probably near San Diego is perfect in the part. All the acting is perfect, it’s a gut wrenching accurate portrayal of not just the teenagers but everyone involved. Please see this film if you appreciate good films.

PATIENCE STONE. A young Muslim girl is married to an oldformer Jihadist hero who has been totally paralyzed and just lies there through almost the entire film just breathing. She pours her life out to him and he is as patient as a stone. Go see this movie…it’ll tear you apart and you’ll love it.

THERESE. Audrey Tautou is an unhappy wife in this 1920 French setting drama. It’s about women’s place in history, love, tradition, and just plain survival. An excellent movie.

DRINKING BUDDIES. This is one of thosevery hip new indie films where,I’ll bet, no one had a script. It looks just about spontaneous and it’s mostly boring about beer and couples making in a very large Chicago brewery. Olivia Wilde is gorgeous to watch and she was one of the producers too. Maybe rent it later, unless you attend AA meetings, in which case forget it entirely.

THE FAMILY. Robert DeNiro plays another Mafia made man and Michelle Pfeiffer does her best with this boring, predictable, over used plot. DeNiro informed on the mob and the fuzz moved them to France for protection. Lots of blood, few if any laughs, and it’s still boring. You’ve seen it all before.


SPECTACULAR NOW.Remember Shailene Woodley? Well, not by name- nobody does, but she was George Clooney’s fantastic teen age daughter in The Descendents. She’s back as anolder teenager in this serious, beautifully directed, thoughtful movie. There’s a bunch of teen- age- angst movies lately and I like them, mostly. We’ve all been there and done that, and this movie will touch all of your rough memories.

CLOSED CIRCUIT. This movie is almost like part of PBS’s “Silk” series, and that’s good. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall act as two London lawyers and there’s a lot about British law problems. The main deal is a terrorist action and who’s secretly involved. You really don’t need to see this one…there are plot holes, and doesn’t it seem like many movies have plot holes recently?? Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 44. R. Tomatoes gave Getaway a 2!!!

RIDDICK. Vin Diesel is back whether you like it or not. He’s created his own, what you might call “acting style’. And like the earlier two Riddick films it’s got cheap special effects, miserable monsters BUT it’s exactly what Riddick fans want. Only see it IF you liked the first two Riddick jobs.

GRANDMASTER. I took about three years of film classes in Asian film from Earl Jackson at UCSC. He taught us a lot about Asian Film. Then he moved to Korea to teach Koreans about film!! He taught us how and why Wong Kar Wai the director of Grandmaster, is a great and exciting film maker. Wong Kar Wai directed Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love, Ashes of Time, and more masterpieces. Grandmaster is a dramatic bio-pic of Ip Man, an iconic martial arts teacher. It’s historical, perfectly photographed, grandly acted, confusing, and disapointing…unless you like any and all of Wong Kar Wai’s films, and I do.

THE WORLDS END. This is part of a genre-parody- comedy- trilogy (which I didn’t know or remember) Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz being the other two movies. These guys (Simon Pegg is one of them) attempt to drink one beer at each of a bunch of pubs. The World’s End is the name of the last pub. Shaun of The Dead parodyied zombie films and this one parodys another genre. It’s as if you were watching Mary Poppins and all of a sudden Bruce Willis comes in and shoots everybody. I sure wouldn’t see it twice.

BLUE JASMINE. Don’t expect to see much of San Francisco in this one, even though Woody loves “The City”, he didn’t show us much of it onscreen. Cate Blanchett goes beyond acting…she digs deeper into her character than we’ve ever seen onscreen. She is simply brilliant. Alec Baldwin is perfect as a sleek, snaky “Mr. Smarmy” type. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll fall all over in your praise of Mr. W. Allen and his “on again-off again” directing technique. See this movie just as soon as you posspbly can.

ELYSIUM. Matt Damon , through some Hollywood miracle is becoming a much better actor than anyone thought possible. Jodi Foster is always a magnetic screen attraction except that her “accent” in this sci-fi film gets way out of her control. It’s about the year 2159 and how all the rich and perfect people live on a “2001” type wheel circling in outer space. The poor people who live on a savaged and depleted earth suffer a lot just like Bladerunner stuff. Earthman Matt Damon works hard to save the earth people. IF (that big word again) IF you like sci-fi films this is a fairly good one. An overused plot but effective…but only on a big screen.

THE BUTLER. A very odd film. At moments it’s moving, deep, and influential. But Oprah Winfrey will always be Oprah, and you won’t forget that it’s Oprah being Mrs. Butler. Forest Whitaker has never been my favorite actor and he’s worse in this feel-almost-good flick. Robin Williams playing Eisenhower? John Cusack as Nixon? Alan Rickman as Ronnie Reagan? But Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan is terrific!!And nope, you never get to see who would have played Obama. Wait a couple of weeks and rent it.

AUSTENLAND. I like Jane Austen books, and I’ve liked most of the films made from her books, and I walked out after the first ten minutes of this cheap and ignorant comedy. There is not one second of British humor in it, it’s gross, poorly directed and a complete waste of everybody’s time. It’s about an American Jane Austen fan who saves her money, goes to England and visits the hokey-schlocky Austenland. Don’t even rent it.

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. Thom Zajac discusses the 29 years of Comic News on Sept. 17. Patricia Matejcek returns that same night to talk about South Couny issues. Author, poet, retired Cabrilho College professor Don Young also returns on September 24 to talk about his two new collections. Linda Hoeger- Thompson talks about Companion for Life programs and services after Don Young. On October 1st Peggy Dolgenos co-owner/director of Cruzio will tell us what’s new in the internet world. Cathy Pickerrell from the Santa Cruz Chamber Players opens the program on October 8.Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at with program ideas.

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, 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 Conpany. 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!!!


QUOTES. “Bad taste doesn’t exist; it’s just a figment of somebody’s paranoia”, Viva. “All writing is pigshit”, Antonin Artaud.”An intellectual carrot? The mind boggles“, “The Thing” produced by Howard Hawks.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on September 18 – 24, 2013

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