Blog Archives

September 18 – 24, 2017

Highlights this week:
Griggs and Vulnerable Santa Cruz…True story of Barry Swenson’s Illegal Tank Removal…Nestlé’s buys vegan biz (like Coke buying Odwalla)… Peter Bartczak mural’s demise… Warning against Western Service Workers Association …Dolores the movie,  reviewed by Krohn and Bratton…Greensite on Housing Costs…Krohn and affordable housing, and the Pacific Ave. hole and Swenson plans…Steinbruner and true story of Swenson and Aptos Village development problems, Rancho Del Mar fighting TRC developer, Zach Friend not responding or caring or helping… Patton and DACA deal…DeCinzo and school time…Eagan and Medicare…Mark Stone Party Thursday…FashionArt show next Saturday…Jensen and a movie hint…I critique Mother, Dolores, Viceroy House and Beach Rats…Quotes, an amalgam of.

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McHugh & Bianchi General Store. November 1972. This grand identifying structure was replaced with Bank Of The West in 2011. It was right across the street from Scribner Square at the corner of Pacific and Mission.. It was once known as the Hotaling Building and Hinkle’s Cash Store.                                                        
    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

SANTA CRUZ TIME CAPSULE 1979-1999. As created and filmed by LBJohnson.
THE HUMANS 1979 from their album. Early Santa Cruz music!!!
Larry Hosford and Jeff Cruse on KUSP at General Feed and Seed in Soquel.

DATELINE September 18, 2017

VULNERABLE SANTA CRUZ. UCSC Earth Scientist professor and former director of the Institute of Earth Sciences Gary Griggs and I talked about the official City of Santa Cruz Vulnerability Study that he and Brent Haddad were commissioned to do. Paid for by FEMA money, it was also known as the Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan. It laid out the dangers of flooding Pacific Avenue, floods filling Neary Lagoon, shores crumbling, on and on it reads. What’s the City ever done in reaction to the study, what has the City ever done by way of the evacuation plan it urged…nothing, just nothing. It’s the same as back in 1988 one year before the 1989 earthquake when the city commissioned experts to detail the possible earthquake dangers. That study said that almost all the business on Pacific Avenue needed re-shoring, needed huge new support systems. The businesses on Pacific and the City Council paid the study fee and sent the experts back out of town and almost all the building owners did absolutely nothing. Except oddly enough Max Walden who owned The Cooper House did the necessary re-structuring. But after the 89 quake local “experts” said the Cooper House did get damaged and because the new owner wanted the FEMA money he let the historic building be destroyed.  Are we still in the same boat? Will the next tsunami, tidal wave, or quake destroy more of our community because the City Council again ignores all the warnings? We’ll see, won’t we? Listen to the Griggs interview at … http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton  and click on “September 12”.

BARRY SWENSON GOT CAUGHT AND FINED! Becky Steinbruner has again, scooped everybody in her BrattonOnline column long ago and told all of us about Barry Swenson and the ILLEGAL TANK REMOVAL…this week she tells us the entire story that the Sentinel missed completely. Read it just below.

NESTLE’S BUYS IN. Read in The Monterey County Weekly how Nestle’s bought out a Moss Landing organic vegan business. Read the details here… Read the details here…

Remember Greg Steltenpohl’s selling of Odwalla Juices in Davenport to Coca Cola back in 1996. Read what’s happened to Greg here…

A fond farewell to Moonlight Dance, located at Scope Park, with artist Peter Bartczak and the Santa Cruz Arts Commission. Moonlight Dance has been a poignant symbol of the accepting and diverse culture of Santa Cruz for 24 years. The community shared fond memories and thoughts of the mural.

PETER BARTCZAK & MURAL. Like destroying the Cooperhouse, the closing of Logos, losing the Pergolesi, losing the Art and History from the McPherson Museum of Art and History, the painting over Peter Bartczak’s “Moonlight Dance”  mural in what used to be Scribner Square (SCOPE PARK) means losing more of the spirit of Santa Cruz. That’s the spirit that identifies us as a community and bonds and binds the folks who have chosen to live here. It is the same spirit that preserved the Town Clock….watch Peter

BEWARE THE WESTERN SERVICE WORKERS ASSOCIATION. This cult of young adults are back again (Trader Joe’s downtown) asking for spare change and trying to get more young people to join their group. Controversy follows them everywhere and always read this website before you get involved …or donate… Anybody know anything about the western service workers association?

CHECK YOUR FINGERS. Under no circumstances should anyone go see the movie “Beach Rats” now showing at the Nickelodeon. (see critique down below). But the one thing I did remember from critiquing it last Sunday is just one statement in the film. “If your index finger is longer than your ring finger, that means you’re gay”.

DOLORES…MORE THAN A MOVIE. Two more than salient topics are dealt with in this long overdue tribute to Dolores Huerta. One is to realize what history (and all of us) has done to motivated women. Obviously Hillary C. but add in Elizabeth Roosevelt, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and on and on. Huerta is shown to be a monumental force in spite of all odds, most of which are sexist. The second feature of this documentary is the power and strength and validity of The Boycott and its place in our history. From Delano and the grape boycott, to General Motors, Safeway, Nestle, Luis Valdez, Angela Davis are featured

HOUSING COST SHIBBOLETHS
A recent Sentinel editorial noted that California’s high cost of housing, including rents, hinders economic growth and is the major factor behind the high cost of living in the Golden State (As We See It 9/14/17). The editorial laid out the reasons for the state’s high housing costs as seen by the editorial board, namely: zoning restrictions that limit the amount of developable land; NIMBYS (Not In My Back Yarders); high development impact fees; overly strict building codes and labor rules; CEQA  (California Environmental Quality Act) abuses and inclusionary zoning measures (requiring a development to include a certain number of below market-rate units.) Wow, their list neatly summarizes factors that protect the environment; ensure building safety; respect the right to protest gentrification and overbuilding in neighborhoods and provide for some (never enough) lower-than- average priced (never low enough) housing units in multi-unit developments. Conspicuously absent from the Sentinel’s list is any mention of investors, speculators and developers whose right to profit from a basic human need for shelter is never questioned.  

This developer friendly view of the high cost of housing brings to mind a similar distortion when people discuss why we have a high rate of rape in Santa Cruz, in California, in the US and globally. The usual list includes: women wearing skimpy clothes; women drinking; women going out alone; women partying; women not using the buddy system; women flirting…you get the picture. The main cause of rape is masculine sexual aggression, which is rendered invisible and thus assumes the status of a force of nature that women must navigate around, alter their lives around and suffer the guilt and blame if they fail and are raped. We will never radically reduce the incidence and trauma of rape if we ignore the cause and focus on extraneous factors that are at best, irrelevant, at worst victim-blaming. We need to re-focus attention on creating the social conditions for boys to be raised in a culture where “being a man” is not equated with being aggressive and in which all genders respect and support each other. No, not easy, we don’t have a good role model at the top right now and it won’t happen overnight but at least we can stop looking in all the wrong directions while ignoring the only one that will make a difference.

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~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

Who Will Hold the City Council’s Feet to the Affordable Housing Fire?

“If Not Now When? If Not Us, Then Who?”

(Outrageous) Photo of the week

Your tax dollars at work! What happened to the smaller Ford Rangers, or even the Toyota Tacoma’s? What message is the city sending? What about an E-truck? Try jogging, biking, or strollering around this F-150 behemoth!?! Difficult at best. Why is the city purchasing such bloat? Just a couple of months ago I saw Park Rangers patrolling the river levy driving an electric golf cart. These carts are maneuverable and provide plenty of room to get around the recreating residents. Somebody has too much money in the city, and I have a homeless shelter that needs funding.

Brother, Can You Spare a Condo?
The housing “buck” that’s supposed to stop at the Santa Cruz City Council this week came and went. It came in the form of a Barry Swenson 79-condo project at 1547 Pacific Avenue; the site of the pre-earthquake Bookshop Santa Cruz. Our housing hyper-sensitive community was entitled to 12 units of affordable housing in this project. There it was on the table, but upon voting, our community was left hung out to dry and the 12 units disappeared into that same black hole of council misses: 555 Pacific Ave., 1800 Soquel Ave. 716 Darwin Street and the recent dubious additions to 630 Water Street. Somehow TWELVE bedrooms and studios just slipped through the folded arms of a compliant, developer-first five-two majority city council. Folks, our city council is just not holding developers accountable.

In this case, Swenson front man, Scott Connelly, was not offering any affordable units, and the Council Five wasn’t demanding any. In fact, Scotty will build a completely unfriendly-family project with NO 3-bedroom units, while at the same time turning several two-bedroom units into studios and more one-bedrooms in this “Santa Cruz hot, hot” housing market. How hot is it? I asked a simple question: Scotty, before you beam me up, how much will the rent be at 1547 Pacific Avenue? After all, it’s the location where I was introduced to caffeine during my UCSC undergrad days at Caffe Pergolesi, and where the Penny University was founded, and also where I was recently told, Supervisor Gary Patton held his Monday agenda review sessions before Tuesday County supervisor meetings. Well, it took Scott about ten minutes to get to the, er, actual, illusory maybe, rent prices. But finally, he did reveal some numbers to gaping mouths, dropped jaws, and bystander gasps. In a doctor’s voice charged with telling the patient she’s got incurable cancer, Mr. Connelly stammered and finally arrived at the price tags: Studios for $2000, 1-bedrooms for $2800, and 2-bedroom units as high as $3800…and “our” Santa Cruz City Council scored zero affordable units that day.

I often feel like I am living in a parallel universe while occupying a seat on the left side of city council dais. Some 58% of the community members that occupy some part of the universe I’m also apart of are renters. And those renters were looking to the council last Tuesday afternoon to help level this insane Santa Cruz rental market. I am deeply sorry to say the council failed this rather simple test because guess what? There’s hundreds more units of housing being contemplated along Front Street and the river, and achieving deep levels of affordability does not look very promising at this point.

Public Wants Council to Demand Developers Build the Affordable Units
To top it off, 28 of 29 members of the public who wrote in pleading with the council to demand that the developer at least take some time and come back to the council with the requisite number of affordable units were almost completely ignored. “Just figure it” out they wrote in unison. The city is entitled to 15%, or 11.85 units under the “Planned Development” scenario that the developers agreed to enter in. Perhaps the correspondence is best summed up by what retired teacher, Ruth Valdez, wrote:

“As a retired-teacher I am finding it nearly impossible to afford housing in this area where I’ve lived and worked since 1985. Is this any way to treat us? In your approval of 79 condos on Pacific Ave at the old Bookshop Santa Cruz site, your Council needs to demand that the developer build the 13 inclusionary units as per our ordinance for Planned Development units. The Council has discretion to demand this. I urge you to demand that these affordable units be built as part of the development. We need all the affordable housing possible in our city.”

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~Bernie Quote of the Week

“A great nation is not judged by its billionaires, but by its compassion.”

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

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY FINES BARRY SWENSON BUILDER $125,000 FOR ILLEGAL TANK REMOVAL & SOIL CONTAMINATION AT APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Sept. 16, Page A4 that Barry Swenson Builder agreed to pay $125.000 environmental fine related to a major Aptos development (notice the name is missing) for “improperly handled and disposed of” underground storage tank.  Here is the link.

The San Jose Mercury News also ran an article.

Well, in my opinion, the articles do not report the whole truth of this story.  Here is what really happened:  Barry Swenson Builder (the articles say the company is now called “Swenson”) and Santa Cruz Underground Paving crews came upon a buried metal tank in the Aptos Village Project on March 1, 2016.  By law, the crews should have stopped work, notified County Environmental Health and Aptos/La Selva Fire staff that the tank was there.  Did that happen???  NO.  Crews, at the direction of Barry Swenson Builder project foremen Jim Lynn and Keith Henderson, continued to extricate the tank.  The tank ruptured and spilled hundreds of gallons of old diesel fuel, probably associated with the historic Lam-Mattison Apple Dryer and Vinegar Works, the foundation of which was adjacent to the tank.  

I happened to drive by just then and saw the workers furiously channeling the liquid into a trench that SCUP had hastily created and I saw the large metal tank on the ground nearby.  I saw the liquid welling up from the hole where the tank had been, all next to the intersection of Village Drive and Granite Way.  I did not have a camera, but went back the next day and found NO TANK, and the trench filled in.  Hmmmm….

I contacted Assistant Planning Director, Ms. Wanda Williams, about the tank.  It took nearly a month to get an answer.  She assured me that all was well, that Barry Swenson Builder had a permit from County Environmental Health to remove the tank.  What caught my attention, however, was that the copy of the receipt for the permit was for March 8, 2016 (not March 1 or before) and that double fees for the permit were levied.  Hmmmm….

Luckily, I found out the shocking truth from some honest County staff: 

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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

#258 / That DACA Deal

Did President Trump make a deal on DACA? A deal that actually involved working with Democratic Party members of Congress? Yesterday, the media said, “Yes,” or at least, “we think so.” Of course, nothing is done until it’s done; we will all have to wait to see what ultimately happens. Nonetheless, the news stories raise an intriguing possibility. Could it be that we are finally moving away from a politics that is so hyper-partisan that it might be possible to contemplate a Congress that will play the role it is supposed to play in our governmental system? 

After the election of President Obama, in 2008, the Republican Party took the position that all Republican Party members of Congress would vote, en bloc, against anything that President Obama proposed. And the Party acted accordingly, with the Republican Party leadership ruthlessly enforcing that hyper-partisan “party line.” That meant, as a practical matter, for the last ten years of the Obama presidency, that nothing could happen on any significantly controversial matter. 

Any legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Congress could be vetoed by the President, and any program that the President favored would simply not be enacted by the Congress, no matter what. In the latter category were immigration reform, and specifically any program that would try to find ways to allow children who had been brought to the United States without proper authorization to stay in this country, and to continue to contribute to it. The President’s “Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals” program, carried out by Executive Order, was one of the “work arounds” that resulted from the Republican Party’s unwillingness to work with a Black President.

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~Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read his blog at www.gapatton.net

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll below to see De Cinzo’s opinion of students …and fall!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Medicare For All ” 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.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART CONCERT. Not a bit of Mozart or classical music for some reason this Thursday. Here’s what they sent…”Jazz standards form the basis of the musical tradition that has been called “America’s Classical Music,” with jazz bands interpreting the songs in an endless variety of ways. Persephone (featuring guitarist and vocalist Suki Wessling and drummer Jen Bruno) presents these songs stripped back down to their essence, with the songs’ musical and lyrical context. (For more information, visit PersephoneBand.com.) Join us for a celebration of pan-American song! Thursday, September 21st 12:10 – 12:50 Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch – Meeting Room.

BIG MARK STONE PARTY THIS THURSDAY (9/21). Join almost every thankful resident and voter in the 5th Annual Party in Support Of Assembly member Mark Stone. Mark has been a great County Supervisor, near-perrfect Coastal Commissioner and has been taking good care of us in Sacramento. Please Join Friends, Supporters, and Hosts, Les and Nancy Gardner, George Couch, Democratic Club of North Santa Cruz County, Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County for The Thursday, September 21, 2017 5:00pm to 7:00pm party at Bruno’s BBQ 230-G Mt. Hermon Road • Scotts Valley, California.
Sliding Scale: $30 – $50 Supporter: $250 Sponsor: $1,000.

Checks can be made payable to Friends of Mark Stone PO Box 81, Monterey, CA 93942 or contribute online at www.FriendsOfMarkStone.org For More Information Or To RSVP Please Contact: 831-234-5885

FASHIONART…THE 11th ANNUAL!!!
FashionART Santa Cruz brings together the very best of fashion and wearable art to create a one of a kind, unforgettable event. In 2006, Angelo Grova, of Michaelangelo Gallery, hosted a fashion show in the parking lot outside his gallery to help support a friend studying fashion design. Much to Grova’s surprise, more than 400 people showed up in his parking lot that night… and so, FashionART Santa Cruz was born. Encouraged by the overwhelming success of that evening Grova, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, moved the show to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Now an annual event, FashionART Santa Cruz showcases exquisite creations by emerging designers and spectacular, wearable art pieces. FashionART Santa Cruz takes the very best of fashion and art and brings them together to create a unique, colorful production full of surprises and creative talent. FashionART Santa Cruz is a full blown multi-media runway show featuring ready to wear from local and Bay Area designers and unique, one of a kind art pieces, all strutting down the runway for a truly unforgettable event. FashionART Santa Cruz 2017 will partner with non-profit organization, the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, who will receive partial proceeds from ticket sales. General Admission/Reserved Tickets. Tickets can be purchased from the Civic Auditorium by phone (831) 420-5260, in person, or online using the button below. It happens Saturday September 23, at the Civic Auditorium starting at 7 p.m. To purchase Premium Runway Seating tickets the day of show, contact FASC by phone: (831) 426-5500 or email: fashionartsantacruz@gmail.com And for sure don’t miss the TRUNK SHOW in the Civic parking lot that opens at 7 and goes on until after the Runway Show.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: Lisa writes: “Check out the newest trailer from what may be one of my favorite movies of the year (hint: it’s from Guillermo del Toro) this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And if you’re feeling blue that the final season of Game Of Thrones won’t be broadcast until (gah!) 2019, cheer up with this on-set blooper reel!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

MOTHER. An excellent, genius- directed, absolutely intelligent plot, best-acted…what more can you ask from a movie?? Jennifer Lawrence, plus two  of my favorite actors Javier Bardem and Ed Harris, Brian Gleeson, and a darker Michelle Pfeiffer make a perfect cast for this challenging film. Not a scary, boo-type, odd, weird, what’s that?, cellar stairs type of film. It’s more like “what is going on”, “I can’t imagine what’s happening next kind of film, Directed by Darren Aronofsky it’s a winner, and you’ll remember seeing it. So go. RT calls it a “psychological thriller” I agree.

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

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

BEACH RATS. This is a very gay movie so… if you’re not gay don’t go, it’s a terrible movie.  If you are gay really don’t go!!! The acting the plot, the shallowness, will or should, infuriate you. There is no depth, no background, lots of violence, crotches, lying, but mostly bad acting. And don’t forget about the length of your index vs ring finger (see above). ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

This broke all box office records last weekend when IT opened…and IT should have. IT is a well made, very scary movie. Based on some Stephen King books, IT is chapter one of a two part nightmare- daydream that will grab you when you are least prepared to be scared. It has all the clichés…BUT it’s got tension, mystery, and perfect timing along with excellent acting. Just go see IT but only if you truly enjoy being scared. 86 on RT.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January). ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

WIND RIVER. Jeremy Renner and young beauty Elisabeth Olsen track down a killer on an Indian Reservation in the very cold Wyoming winter. Much better than average, you’ll stay with the plot and quite decent acting…all the way. It males some obvious social comment along the way, and that works too. The conclusion is a bit crude and drunken, but Renner is almost always worth watching.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

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

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

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

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

HOME AGAIN. Some friend used the word “torpor” in a meeting I attended last week. Torpor fits this movie almost perfectly…so does, stupor, inanity, vapid, fatuous and it stars Reese Witrherspoon. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy and not serious enough to be even close to a drama. A 40 year old woman (Witherspoon) rents/shares  her house to three young guys and they have sex…you shouldn’t watch. RT gives it 35 but it shouldn’t have. ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

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

THE TRIP TO SPAIN. This is the third supposed comedy that two British actors, comics, impressionists… Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have made, and they shouldn’t make any more. These guys go on supposedly food tasting trips to restaurants in England, Italy and now Spain. In each restaurant and on the road they do imitations of famous British actors…James Bond, well Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and  Mick Jagger and try very hard to be funny. I haven’t laughed once during any of these contrived messes and find the two actors just about nauseating. Don’t blame me if you do decide to go.

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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. . Jane Mio and Barbara Riverwoman from the San Lorenzo River Mysteries group start the hour on Sept.19.  After which Christina Morgan Cree and Jenny Sandrof reveal the fashion secrets of the annual FashionArt show happening Sept. 23.  September 26 has Conductor, artistic director Michel Singher talking about the next Espressivo Orchestra Concert, after Michel,  Betsy Anderson and Alison Carrillo talk about  Museo Carrillo. October 3 we’ll talk with Erik Gandolfini and Avondina Wills about the Mountain Top play at the Center Stage. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

If I didn’t post this before, I’m posting it now. And if I did, it’s worth watching again. This guy is hilarious 🙂

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “AN AMALGAM”

“Man is by nature a political animal”, Aristotle
“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do”, Isaac Asimov
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. Isaac Asimov

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”. Albert Einstein

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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