Blog Archives

September 24 – 30, 2018

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…PDC and City Council candidates, Fahrenheit 11/9 still a must see, UCSC Housing demands, Fed Ex scam happening, Another Wilder ranch? Sustainable Soquel  Meeting GREENSITE…on Measure M. KROHN…defines city council job, about endorsements, about campaign managers. STEINBRUNER…Ryan Coonerty, Measure G, Board of Supes and ADU’s , developers bonuses, Nissan dealership lawsuit  meeting. PATTON…our City Council and the library decision EAGAN…Subconscious Comics and Slipped disc Trump. JENSEN…Fahrenheit 11/9. BRATTON…critiques Lizzie, Fahrenheit 11/9, life Itself, Assassination Nation, The House with a Clock in its Walls. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…onVOTING”.

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JULIAN CAMACHO, HENRY FAITZ and ALAN CRANSTON RALLY. Cooper House October 20, 1972.  Julian Camacho was running for California State Senate.  Henry Faitz ran for California State Assembly (I was his campaign manager) Alan Cranston was our U.S. Senator from 1969-1973). On the very far right (sunglasses) was Phil Yost a long time friend and jazz musician who played with Don McCaslin’s “Warmth”  band quite often.                                              

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

HOVERBIKES. This is what Santa Cruz needs. Think about maybe 100 of them at our downtown Farmers Market!!
THE ANDREW SISTERS. I love them, and saw them perform many times and even got their autographs.
(Issues with this video last week means a re-run this week! -Webmistress)

UCSC’S BILL DOMHOFF ON HOW SANTA CRUZ CHANGED.

DATELINE September 24, 2018

CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENT EVENING. Monday night September 17 was when our People’s Democratic Club held their endorsement meeting. Only Paige Concannon and Ashley Scontriano didn’t show and they were both invited. All eight of the other candidates were there and gave it their best shots. All eight did agree on Rail AND Trail co-existing in our future. Which reminds me that somehow a week or so ago,  I linked Greg Larson with the trail only group Greenway. That was a mistake Larson is for Rail AND Trail. David Lane was good on Rail AND Trail but showed absolutely no promise as a city council person. He had few clues about any issue or question, except for pushing his beer making business!  Cynthia Hawthorne came out as a developer’s dream and thinks the relationship of power between our City Staff and the council is just perfect. Just Donna Meyers did a cop out and votes yes while the rest of the candidates oppose the Dream Inn –West Cliff Development, and that’s good news. Myers also wants to attract more high paying jobs here. The People’s Democratic Club endorsed both Drew Glover and Justin Cummings. From the outbreaks of applause after many of Justin’s and Drew’s responses it’s obvious where the progressive-left leaning votes are going. They were better informed and had done a lot of homework in getting ready for the November 6th elections. One endorsement seeker that night even called it the People’s Democratic Coalition! Talk about not being prepared!!

FAHRENHEIT 11/9. This is more than a movie critique it’s a plea to see Michael Moore’s latest fling and sling against a lot more than just Trump. No matter where you think you are on the progressive scale Moore shows us data and details on Hillary, Flint water, Democratic party politics, and more. Santa Cruz County residents should never forget that 22,438 neighbors voted for Trump last time and will probably support all his supporters in these midterm elections.

SUSTAINABLE SOQUEL MEETING. Sustainable Soquel sent this… “Sustainable Soquel is a community group interested in fostering open and polite dialogue in order to stay informed about local issues. We encourage sharing and expression of all viewpoints as long as they are presented with respect and courtesy. You are invited….To a Soquel Community Presentation  Sponsored by Sustainable Soquel. There will be Two topics affecting our Soquel Community
 

  1. Crime concerns and community challenges, including info about Neighborhood Watch. Presented by S.C. Sheriff Sergeant Shon Leonetti. 
  2. Nissan Project Law Suit Status…and how proposed mitigations for 41st Avenue and impending traffic light at corner of Robertson and Soquel Drive could impact Soquel. Sustainable Soquel members Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan will give brief updates and answer questions.

Bring your questions, concerns and comments (Mingling after presentations will be possible)

Thursday, September 27 @ 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Porter Memorial Library located at 3050 Porter Avenue, Soquel. phone (831) 475-3326,

Parking: Parking available behind library. Enter through Bagelry parking lot. Back door to library will be open. Email Sustainablesoquel@gmail.com with questions

UCSC HOUSING & ENROLLMENT. Satya Orion sent this note.
Reading the letter from Dave Keller, Executive Director, UCSC Housing Services (Renting  room for a student) I felt stunned by his words that ” we currently have several hundred students without housing guarantees. . . .and not nearly enough rentals offered in our available Community Rentals listings to accommodate these students.”    He goes on to say “you may wish to consider offering rental housing in your home for the academic year, or perhaps for a shorter period.  The need is real and it is urgent, so I am reaching out to the faculty, staff, and community for help.” Words fail me!  Is this the same UCSC that wants to add 10,000 more students?  There seems to be a major disconnect from reality here in the UCSC system.  We have Santa Cruz community members who cannot find housing as well.  We are in a housing crisis!!

I’m wondering what it will take for UCSC to recognize that they need to not only halt additional enrollment, but decrease enrollment as well.  It’s not fair to the students and it’s not fair to the community. This letter from Dave Keller should serve as a wakeup call to everyone still not aware of this issue.

ANOTHER WILDER RANCH? With so many of our local elected representatives being pro big business and so lovey-dovey with developers I created a very disturbing question. What if say Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg made a big pitch to build another “Wilder Ranch” size development of 10,000 homes somewhere near our city limits. Wanna bet whether our electeds would go for it? That would be nearly 30,000 more residents. I bet they’d go for it in a flash!!!

FED EX SCAM-BE AWARE!! Last week I received a very authentic looking notice from FED EX saying I owed $04.15 on a package that had been shipped to me. It said to open the tracking number that was displayed. It didn’t seem right so I went to Fed Ex. After much confusion the staffer finally told me that Fed Ex NEVER charges or bills the recipient! And it’s extremely rare that they would ever not bill the sender the correct amount when it’s being sent. SO beware of any bills from FED EX.

September 24

Measure M: A Class Act
My Yes on M sign is lonely. It stands out like a sore thumb in a fistful of No on M signs prominently displayed by those secure in their own homes. The opposition to Measure M is visceral. Friendships are challenged. Heated words exchanged. Yet if the haves changed shoes with the have-nots for a year, saw their incomes shrink to the medium income or less, worked two jobs to make ends meet and still handed over more than a third of their paychecks for rent with annual increases of up to 10%, perhaps their opposition might be tempered with a little more compassion or at least self-interest.

The claim of the prominent opponents to Measure M that they indeed “do support rent control but just not this one” rings hollow: easy to say, hard to prove. The pleas from “Mom and Pop” landlords that their future security is in jeopardy should Measure M pass, smacks of privilege not poverty. No one is taking away their right to rent or sell: both are lucrative investments. To someone who will never afford a house, those who do and who have an extra one or two or twenty others in order to make money off tenants are in a different class. And that is exactly what this rent control issue is about: class interest.

Students who rent, and that is almost all of them except a few whose wealthy parents buy a house in Santa Cruz as an investment and a place for their offspring to live while attending UCSC, are a divided class on this issue. Many come from families whose parents can afford to pay their rent even in expensive Santa Cruz: others work two part time jobs to afford rent and food as well as handle a full class load. And ironically, it is the ever-increasing UCSC student numbers that have created a rental housing shortage in the first place, with the high on-campus rents stoking the fires of rent increases in town. About fifty percent of the city of Santa Cruz’s population growth over the past 40 years is attributable to student growth at UCSC, with roughly half living off-campus. Half of 5 thousand (the student population when I started work at UCSC) is different from half of 19 thousand (the current student population). Yet the finger of blame is always pointed at slow growth activists who are charged with standing in the way of housing development, as if without rent control that would have solved the problem.

It is low-income, largely Latino workforce and families who rent who bear the brunt of the artificially created escalating property values that allow for ever-increasing rents. They do the work that allows the privileged among us (myself included) to enjoy a reasonably priced meal, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, stay in a clean hotel or keep our houses clean. Without rent control they are at the mercy of the market and will be forced to move further and further away from their jobs in Santa Cruz, ultimately moving away for good. Who will cook dinner for you at your favorite restaurant if that happens? Ultimately it is in all of our interests to pass Measure M even if it falls way short of keeping all rents in the affordable range.

Opponents raise the fear that Measure M will lead to less rental -housing availability. Perhaps yes but consider why: because rental property owners fearing they will make less money, threaten to sell their rental properties, which just proves the class nature of this struggle.  There are other gripes about “just cause” evictions that on close examination are far less draconian than the opponents claim.

The Sentinel deserves congratulations for its in-depth coverage of the details of Measure M and research into the impacts of rent control in other communities. Sunday’s Sentinel (9/23/18) researched the issue of whether less rental units are a consequence of rent control. While the answer is a nuanced yes, meaning landlords made that decision, one conclusion stood out for me: in San Francisco “rent control lowered displacement (of renters) from San Francisco, especially for minorities.” Now that’s an impact worth voting for.

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 23, 2018

This is the SC Neighbor’s forum compiled list of issues. “Y” is Yes, “N” is no, and “—“ means no opinion. Look closely on who is supporting the over $60 million+ parking garage atop the current site of the Farmer’s Market…and, only Councilmember Noroyan voted to keep the River Street Camp, while others seemed to believe that $80,000-$90,000 per month for 60 campers is exhorbitant to say the least.

The Process
Wow, there’s already been at least six Santa Cruz City Council candidate forums–Labor (SEIU), Santa Cruz Neighbors, Peoples Democratic Club (PDC), Democratic Central Committee (DCC), Democratic Woman’s Club (DWC), and Campaign for Sensible Transportation (CFST). Candidates for city council not only have to attend these forums, and usually turn in responses to a lengthy questionnaire, but also have to find time to walk neighborhoods and meet voters. Throw in fundraising, keeping up with the FPPC form 460 filings, while a walking piece, and one or two targeted mailings, it becomes quite a rigorous vetting process that tends to draw out all the fortitude the candidate might possess. In fact, he or she usually comes to more than one soul-searching moments about both politics and people, while usually realizing they have stores of energy to call upon that they never knew they had previously. It is a marathon and not a sprint, a steady pace not a dash, but when vote by mail ballots go out, October 8th this year, the carefree and careful planning that took place back in early July or August is a distant rear view mirror memory. Now, it’s a mad dash up to the election day’s official day, November 6th. If you have a serious chance of being elected, and you usually have an inkling of where you fit in as November arrives, this process is nothing short of grueling. If a candidate tells you they are not tired most days, mixing up words at family meals, or late for at least a few of the fifty-plus meetings that dot your Google Calendar, then it’s usually because they are not yet aware of how all-consuming, or what’s expected in running a winning city council race in Surf City.

Do Endorsements Matter?
Well, yes, they do because the members of the community and community organizations who are able to endorse candidates because of their by-laws can lend a veneer of integrity and approval of each endorsed candidate. Can any one individual endorsement make or break a candidate? Likely not, unless it’s Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders’ direct intercession on the candidate’s behalf with the electorate. The Dems and the Left-Dem Bernies endorse, but it’s not the actual celebrity coming and anointing the Santa Cruz City Council candidate. But if any of the three–Sanders, Obama, or Warren–actually came to Santa Cruz and campaigned for any council candidate, I’m fairly certain they would win. What about other endorsements? The statewide Democrats endorse both rent control and the repeal of the 1994 anti-rent control bill known as Costa-Hawkins, or Proposition 10, on the November ballot. Our notoriously middle-of-the-road (see Jim Hightower quote) local Dem establishment failed to endorse either Measure M or Proposition 10 at a recent forum. They did support the institutional (establishment?) slate of Greg Larson, Donna Meyers, and current councilmember, Richelle Noroyan.

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(Next Week, “The Candidates: Slates, Sub-Slates, and Loners”)

“Political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. They continue every day, every week and every month in the fight to create a nation of social and economic justice.”(Aug. 9)  Just watch the Glover and Cummings campaigns if you want to see SC transformed!
(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).

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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September 24

SHOCKING BEHAVIOR FROM SUPERVISOR RYAN COONERTY REGARDING COUNTY REPRESENTATION AND JET NOISE
Residents of the Santa Cruz Mountains have been plagued for three years with deafening noise of jets flying at low altitudes and braking on approach to San Jose Airport at a rate of about one every minute, day and night.  Supervisor John Leopold held meetings locally and travelled to the Bay Area, along with constituents, to discuss the problem with federal officials who had changed the flight path of incoming jets.  Why on earth did Supervisor Ryan Coonerty fight so hard to not allow Supervisor John Leopold to represent the people at a newly-forming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Roundtable Working Committee when it is so obvious that Supervisor Leopold is the best-qualified and has shown diligent leadership on the issue? 

There were over 50 people who took time off work to attend the meeting to ask that Supervisor John Leopold represent the area, but Supervisor Coonerty refused to pay heed.  Instead, he criticized the ability of Supervisor Leopold to effectively be able to represent the County’s interest: “If I had 100 constituents crying, I couldn’t be an effective leader.” Coonerty said.  

Instead, he made the motion to have County Administrative Officer (CAO) serve as the Santa Cruz County representative on the Committee.  That began an appalling series of actions that eventually led to the Supervisors voting in agreement with a ridiculous decision to send CAO Carlos Palacios to represent County residents, even though he will not be able to vote on anything.  Supervisor John Leopold pointed out that the bylaws of the Working Committee stipulate that only elected officials from the various jurisdictions would be able to vote on any agreements, and that the CAO is not an elected official.  “Well, that will probably change,” said Ryan Coonerty.  

What needs to change is the leadership on the Board of Supervisors.   I hope that Supervisor John Leopold will attend the FAA Roundtable Working Committee meetings despite the corrupt decision made by rest of the Board to send Carlos Palacios.

MEASURE G COUNTYWIDE SALES TAX SEEMS FRAUDULENT
Last week, County Fire and Emergency Response Directors were shocked to learn that the Board of Supervisors approved placing a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot and sell it by claiming it would fund fire and other emergency response.  It was news to them because ZERO of the money would actually go to fund County Fire…it is not funded at all by General Fund money.  Further, it recently was made known to them that Carlos Palacios, the County Administrative Officer who has written Measure G sales tax increase language, chose to postpone placing a measure on the ballot this fall that would have increased funding for County Fire via a property tax increase.  This is the sole funding mechanism for County Fire.

What is really going on here????  It appears that Carlos Palacios, as County Administrative Officer (CAO) has willfully postponed placing a funding increase to support County Fire in order to opportunistically prey upon the public’s heightened concern about wildland fires in order to sell the half-cent sales tax increase to offset the looming $9-$15 Million debt the County will face next year to fund retirement pensions.  That is exactly what he mentioned in his mid-year Budget Report last spring. 

How would voters next spring view a tax increase for County Fire when they were told six months earlier that a sales tax increase would pay for fire and emergency response? 

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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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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September 18, 2018
#261 / Rule #2: A Reconsideration

After serving in local government for twenty years, I retired. As I looked back at my time in elected office, I found there were Five Simple Things that an elected official needed to do, if that elected official wanted to do a good job. I usually call them my “Five Simple Rules.” Here is Rule #2:

Rule #2: “Remember You’re In Charge.” There is a bureaucratic momentum present in every institution (certainly including government). An elected official needs to remember that he or she was elected to run the bureaucracy not the other way around.

Unfortunately, I have to say that members of the Santa Cruz City Council don’t quite seem to understand this basic concept. Voters elect local officials to listen to them (the voters and residents), and then to try to operate their local government in ways that best respond to what the local voters want. City officials and consultants, of course, can provide invaluable assistance, and often have worthwhile suggestions, but who should be steering the ship? 

Not the bureaucrats!

Recently, I watched the Santa Cruz City Council decide (with two dissents) to abandon its downtown library (pictured above). In 2016, voters passed a library bond issue to “support the modernizing, upgrading and repairing of the Aptos, Boulder Creek, Branciforte, Capitola, downtown Santa Cruz, Felton, Garfield Park, La Selva Beach, Live Oak and Scotts Valley library branches, as needed.” This description of the objectives of the bond issue comes from a pre-election article in the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel. No mention of a new library was ever suggested, as the voters authorized money for needed “upgrading, repairing, and modernizing.”

After voter approval, with something like $23 million dollars made available from the bond issue, the City Manager suddenly decided that idea of “upgrading, repairing, and modernizing” our existing downtown library was not what should happen, at all. Instead, the City Manager decided that the city should build a brand-new new library, which would be located in, under, or in conjunction with a huge, multi-story parking garage. 

This Garage/Library plan, if implemented, will completely abandon the current downtown library site (with no announced indication of what might happen to that site, located immediately across the street from City Hall). The plan would also require the destruction of an existing city-owned surface parking lot that has served as an informal “community plaza,” where an extremely popular weekly Farmers’ Market is held. Huge and beautiful heritage trees (a couple of hundred years old, by some estimates) will have to be destroyed to turn that informal plaza and surface parking lot into a multi-story parking garage. 

The plan to “bury the library,” as opponents designated it, was wholly derived from ideas coming from the City bureaucracy, and most notably from the City Manager, who then enlisted a brand-new Library Director, the City’s Public Works Department, and the City’s Economic Development Director to say that this was a super good thing for the city, particularly because it would stimulate economic growth and (allegedly) provide assistance to affordable housing developments. Those with just the slightest degree of skepticism, despite bureaucratic claims to the contrary, looked upon this plan as the City Manager’s way to rip off library funds to help build a parking garage much needed by development interests, who didn’t want to pay for required new parking themselves.

In all fairness, there were some good arguments advanced by the staff, and there was some community support for this plan, too. What struck me, however, was the way that the Mayor and City Council rolled over and brushed aside heartfelt community objections. After giving the city staff a long opportunity to say why their idea was so good, individual members of the public were then each given 90 seconds to raise concerns. As soon as the public comment period was over, the Council quickly moved to adopt the City Manager’s plan. 

Maybe the City Manager’s plan is a good plan (though I truly doubt it), but what was most disheartening to me was to see the way that the plans of the bureaucrats were elevated so much above the quite legitimate concerns voiced by members of the public (even though members of the public got only a 90-second snippet to make their points).

I keep a pretty close watch on what my local City Council does, and how it operates. Unfortunately, this recent decision is one of many in which I can’t help but conclude that the Mayor and Council Members (with a couple of dissents) essentially see their role as telling city voters how great the city is being managed by the city staff, instead of telling the city staff what the public wants. 

I personally think that every one of my “Five Simple Rules” provides good advice for locally-elected officials. In terms of making democratic self-government work, however, with elected representatives making the key decisions on how the resources of local government should be used to achieve community objectives, Rule #2 should perhaps be reprioritized: 

Rule #1:

“Remember You’re In Charge.” There is a bureaucratic momentum present in every institution (certainly including government). An elected official needs to remember that he or she was elected to run the bureaucracy not the other way around.

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View once again our weekly tripping inside our minds with our deeply attached friends.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Slipped disc Trump” 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.Don’t miss his “Wulf at The Door” it actually contains just a smidgen of hope during this political  nightmare we’re all having!!

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. The first concert of their 2018-2019 season is… “Brahms, Beloved” Music by Brahms. The players will be Roy Malan, concert director and violin; Robin Sutherland, piano; Polly Malan, viola; Susan Freir, violin; Stephen Harrison, cello; Carlos Ortega, clarinet. There is no composer more beloved than Brahms! The concert season starts with his poignant melodies and rich textures to touch the heart.  At this concert you will hear and enjoy three of the most profound masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire: Sonatensatz for piano and violin; Sonata in E Flat Major for Clarinet and piano; and Clarinet Quintet in B minor.It’s happening Saturday, September 29, 7:30 pm and Sunday, September 30, 3:00 pm. All their concerts are at Christ Lutheran Church Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Got some rabble to rouse? No matter what side of the political “aisle” you’re on, you’re bound to come away fighting mad from Fahrenheit 11/9, the latest plunge into the dark heart of American politics from documentary provocateur Michael Moore, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

FAHRENHEIT 11/9. Repeat from top page… FAHRENHEIT 11/9. This is more than a movie critique it’s a plea to you and everyone you know to see Michael Moore’s latest fling and sling against a lot more than just Trump. No matter where you think you are on the progressive scale, Moore shows us data and details on Hillary, Flint water, Democratic Party politics, Super delegates, Jeb Bush, and beyond. Go see it ASAP and remember November 6. That’s’ the most important date for many, many years!

LIZZIE. We all know the story behind the Lizzie Borden took an axe but seeing it acted out by Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart gives us thoughtful, new sensitive ideas. It’s a tragic true story, it’s beautifully acted and the direction/pacing gets dreary at times but it’s still a good movie..

LIFE ITSELF. It got a miserable 12 on RT. I was mystified and bored at first but soon got into what the director was trying to say…and was engrossed. It’s a mite banal, then deeper and sentimental. It stars Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, and  Annette Bening,.

ASSASSINATION NATION. No stars that you’ve heard of and probably and hopefully never will. This bloody, corny, high school, sex-texting, supposedly scary flick isn’t worth talking about…and definitely not worth you spending your money on…avoid at all costs.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS. A little 10 year old boy has to live with his creepy, trying to be funny uncle Jack Black. There is some story about the house and why it has so many clocks but I couldn’t stay awake long enough to find out the plot. Cate Blanchett is in it too, but she shouldn’t have been. Stay away. Even the kids probably won’t care for it. 68 on RT.

THE BOOKSHOP. (See this week’s “quotes” at the end of Bonline). If you like, love and use bookshops this film will make you appreciate your favorite bookshop all the more. Single woman Emily Mortimer (you’ll remember her once you see her) opens an independent, very independent bookshop in a small town in England. The acting by Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson is absolutely wonderful and this has to be one of my favorite 2018 films.

THE WIFE. Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce and Christian Slater — along with a sensitive plot/script — make this another great 2018 film. Pryce wins the Nobel Prize; his wife Glen Close has a deeply involved and serious role as his lodestar. An excellent film, go see it. You’ll love it.

BLACKKKLANSMAN. Spike Lee’s newest and most effective critique on what’s happening in America. It’s the progressive Democrats best statement since Michael Moore’s last film.  Not subtle, even funny, bitter, and painfully true. It’s based on the true story of a black police officer who finagles a way to get a white guy into the KuKluxKlan. More than that he has meetings with David Duke, head of the KKK. Alec Baldwin has an opening scene Adam Driver is the “hero” and you have to see it. It earned 97% on RT

SEARCHING. An nearly-all Asian cast makes this “disappearing child” thriller almost as unusual as does the fact that almost 90% of the movie is on computer and iPhone screens. Facebook, Google, and every contraption we use today is part of this hunt for the guy’s daughter. The ending is a letdown in more than one way. Wait and rent it.

JULIET, NAKED. Nope, it’s not reference to Shakespeare, darn it — but the title of a song that has been/legend Ethan Hawke recorded years ago. It’s got some laughs, many impossible plot twists, and you’ll have to be a full-time Hawke fan to sit through some very slow development. He’s done better…and so have you!!!

WHITE BOY RICK. Matthew McConaughey plays a low down lower-class father to Richie Merritt the teenager who gets into drugs. First he’s a user then he secretly becomes an FBI informer while underage. The true story and the movie fall apart when this scheme fails and Richie is sentenced to a long stretch. It’s dull and boring and almost impossible to like anybody in this saga.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS. A Hollywood movie with an all Asian cast. It’s about the same as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, except Asian Americans instead of Greeks. The plot, laughs, and acting are all typical Hollywood re-hash. It doesn’t need your ticket money…it’s breaking many, many box office records already. This means of course that there’ll be a dozen look a like sequels.

ALPHA. 88 on RT. A live action Ice Age cave man meets a dog for the first time. It does lack Raquel Welch or any cave babes in leather skimpys but it is fascinating….and you can take the kids. I’m serious about the man meets dog story. That’s the only plot it has.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Ewan McGregor does the best possible job he can with a boring, depressing, and very commercial attempt to make more money from A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh books. It isn’t even Disney cute or Pixar creative it’s simply not interesting. And old Christopher Robin is forced by animated versions of Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and other stuffed toys to remember how much fun he had as a boy. Don’t even send the kids.

THE PREDATOR. It all started in 1987 with the first Predator starring Arnold “the Governor” Schwarzenegger. It took place in a jungle. It was quite good if you like that sort of thing. This re-make has Olivia Munn as a biology teacher traipsing along with army veterans trying to destroy another predator from outer space. Very much violence, terrible photography, and a plot that is completely unfathomable. Don’t 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. Stacey Falls and Tom Donahue are guests on September 25 to talk about rent control and Housing Justice. Then Sarah Mason and Julian Parayno-stoll from Democratic Socialists of Santa Cruz talk about their political views. “Landscapes” the new book about historical & local land use battles will be covered by editor Elizabeth Schilling and Heather Stiles on October 2nd. Then Julie Phillips and George Lewis discuss the proposed Dream Inn development at West Cliff and Bay. On October 9 Sean Van Sommeran talks about his Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. He’s followed by Hina Pendle discussing her “Power of the Heart” workshop. Santa Cruz City Council person Sandy Brown discusses the elections and local politics on Oct.16th. October 22 has Ken Koenig and friend talking about communicating with your friends and relatives who like Trump.  Jack Bowers and Dennis Morton describe their prison Art programs followed by City Councilmember Chris Krohn talking about voting and local issues on October 30. 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

Here’s the latest Randy Rainbow!

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.     “VOTING”

“Dear Jack: Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.” JFK reading a note from his father in 1958.
“Half the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President — the same half?” — Gore Vidal
“Every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.” H.L. Mencken
“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user” President Theodore Roosevelt.
“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” — Winston Churchill


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. 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: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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