Blog Archives

September 26 – October 2, 2014

END OF THE LINE. Horsecar #1 at Soquel May 1890. This horsecar line went from Ocean Street to Arana Gulch (2 miles). That’s the Netherton and Williams Saloon in the background. That’s Ed Ely at the reins.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email


ENDORSEMENT FEVER. With the Santa Cruz City Council race heating up and especially with the mail in ballot looming closer each day (3 weeks from now!!!) we see the scramble for organization endorsements really getting wilder. Por ejemplo The Sierra Club Santa Cruz County Group surprised everyone and went with just two endorsements Leonie Sherman and Bruce Van Allen. After Fred Keeley’s screwing around (manipulating) with the Sierra board most folks figured they’d endorse more growth/business type candidates. Larger surprises came from the GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz County. The organization endorsed Cynthia Chase, David Terrazas and Bruce Van Allen. Merrie Schaller co-chair of GLBT did end up endorsing Leonie. According to rumors (and hear-say) their board and steering committee recommended endorsing Leonie Sherman, a strong woman candidate. Those rumors also said that a bunch of people like Carol Fuller, Darrell & Karen Darling joined GLBT at the last legal moment just to stuff the ballot for their candidates, Chase and Terrazas. Fuller and the Darlings used to do that same thing in other political groups, but those groups changed their voting rights laws. Leonie’s next parties are Tuesday, September 30 (6 pm till 7:30) at 118 Miles Street (off of King Street) at the home of David Foster and Saturday, October 4 (4 pm till 5) at 1520 Escalona Drive at the home of Celia and Peter Scott. Bruce Van Allen’s campaign announcesPlease join Bruce Van Allen on Sunday, October 5th, from 3 to 5 pm, in Abbott Square on Cooper Street by Lulu’s and MAH for a campaign rally with fun, entertainment, games, and of course, Bruce! Van Allen says he is very excited that CA State Senator Bill Monning will be the special guest, at that G.O.T.V. (Get out the vote) Rally on October 5th! This event will also be a great opportunity for folks to register to vote in the November elections.

AMUSEMENT PARKS FROM HELL. Jodi Frediani found this shocker. Click here, it’s worth it.

ARANA GULCH, A GROWING PROBLEM. Jean Brocklebank brings us up to date with the city approved further ruination of the Arana Gulch greenbelt.

“Another surprise for most readers will be that our greenbelt is getting not one but two destructive paved routes for bicyclists. It is called the Arana Meadow Trail (named for what it destroys). It runs from the Agnes Street entrance into the Arana Gulch Greenbelt and will intersect with the Broadway Brommer (BB) paving in a wide triangle of remnant “critical habitat” of the endangered SC tarplant. Because there simply cannot be enough damage to Arana Gulch in the minds of City bureaucrats, work on the second paved route has begun while the BB work continues at a snails pace, with another 30′ wide construction corridor for big earth moving equipment, disrupting visitors and wildlife alike. Upon seeing the new construction work, one visitor to AG recently said, eyes wide in hope, “This one will be less wide, right?” She was shocked to learn that it will be another 8 foot wide paved route. Go HERE to see pictures”.

THE KING’S CABINET. Susan Leask found this absolute gem of a hand built cabinet that’s over 200 years old. Watch the 2 minutes and 20 seconds of it…and then think of IKEA!!!

PADDLING THE SAN LORENZO…A BAD IDEA. From the Friends of the San Lorenzo River Wildlife website…

The Friends of SLR Wildlife seeks to protect riverine wildlife habitat and the species therein from disturbances that jeopardize them, with a special focus on avian species The San Lorenzo River (SLR) is a living river. It is alive with a myriad of species (avian, piscine, and the aquatic critters that birds and fish depend on for food). The river is host to birds year round. It is their home, offering resting, nesting and feeding. It is part of the Pacific Flyway of migratory birds. The SLRiver offers migratory birds respite and food during their journeys of thousands of miles. The Audubon Society lists “habitat loss, water shortages due to diversion for agriculture and development, and diminishing food sources as major reasons migratory bird numbers have plummeted over the years”. Recently the Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) has initiated a campaign to open the Lower San Lorenzo River to water sports equipment, including kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, an activity which is currently banned by the City of Santa Cruz. CWC has received Special Events Permits from the City Manager’s Office for a series of seven Paddle Events, ostensibly to learn about the effects of paddling on the San Lorenzo. CWC is lobbying the City to rescind its ban on water sports equipment.

Prohibition of any recreational activity that can negatively impact river wildlife.
Prohibition of any single-use recreational activity on or near the river that may exclude other recreational uses such as bird watching, bird photography, painting, or quiet enjoyment and appreciation of this public natural area/open space. Two of the FOSLW objectives are

1. The City cancels all further special use permits for Coastal Watershed Council sponsored paddling events.

2. The City Department of Parks and Recreation retains its regulation of water sports equipment on the lower river.

FORT ORD COMIC BOOK. Watch Michael Houlemard take you on a comic book tour of what’s happening at good old Fort Ord. Artist Andy Warner drew it on September 10. The Sentinel re-printed the Monterey Herald article last Saturday. The link was hard to open, this one might work better. Check it out, it’s important to our bay area.

Impossible City: The Afterlife of an Army Base

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


The sound you hear on Facebook is due to shutting down of the Take Back Aptos page due to , wait for it….”possible copyright issues” . A newly named page did resurface with two of the same admin people and …an aptly named sock puppet admin. Say “Stu Padasso” three times fast! There is a presence of Take Back Santa Cruz and low grade Clean Team (as in a fever) but not as overt as the Cruz Needle presence of Take Back Aptos of yesteryear. Myself and many of my neighbors are awaiting acceptance after sending in a request to join. I would not bet the family farm on that one.


Eminent Domain is “The right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.” There’s a segment of our community that tears up when eminent domain is mentioned. These rants usually come from anti-government types who fear the “taking” of their God given “property rights”.

A perfect implementation of eminent domain would be the surface of the wall at Seacliff Beach State Park that the community has placed inscriptions and tiles on in remembrance of loved ones who have died and the thousands of community members who have “touched the wall” on daily walks, The absentee “landowner” of the wall who can’t even see the surface of the wall from her beach front home filed the complaint. She should be damn grateful that she was able to buy a beach house that was built before the Coastal Commission was formed, as that house wouldn’t be there today. As it is, we’re looking a perfect opportunity for our elected officials to get on board and represent their constituents, and not a rich Los Gatos absentee resident.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. The future of Gonzales and the meaning of”Sphere of Influence”. Tuesday has the Santa Cruz City Council deals with the water rate issue, expanding the crematorium on Ocean Street and a development agreement on the La Bahia. Monterey County hears a presentation on “fracking” and Gary isn’t sure of the outcome of this one. He discuss the possible major development of Monterey County’s Ferrini Ranch. Then he talks about the People’s Climate March I NYC. He says, “The fact that we have just witnessed such an outpouring of citizen action on what may be one of the greatest challenges that we have ever faced (“We have met the enemy and he is us.”), leads me to talk today about activism closer to home. I often say that the “unhidden agenda” of this Land Use Report is to inspire public involvement in the land use policy and project decisions that will so profoundly affect our future. The best way for any individual to do that is to get involved with one or more groups that have organized to have an impact on the public decision making process. In Monterey County, LandWatch Monterey County is such a group. So is the Carmel Valley Association. So is Keep Fort Ord Wild. In Santa Cruz County, the Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society, and NOPOC (Neighbors Organized to Protect Our Community) are groups organized to have an impact. The “Land Use Links” you can find in today’s transcript will give you lots of ideas for how you can get engaged. I say, go to it! Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Classy DeCinzo predicted our downtown parking problem early on. Read about 3 pages downward.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Look below a few pages and see Tim’s version of “WHACK A MOLE” only Tim Eagan would….etc., etc.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “How could the great, turn-of-the-(20th) century American illustrator Howard Pyle have envisioned the characters from my novel, Alias Hook, so completely? See the amazing evidence this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


No wonder so many film critics are using the word dystopian in their reviews. I wanted to make sure, before I used it so I looked it up in Wikipedia it says “dystopia (plural dystopias)….

1. A vision of a future that is a corrupted (usually beyond recognition) utopian society. 2. A miserable, dysfunctional state or society that has a very poor standard of living. 3.(medicine) Anatomical tissue that is not found in its usual place. By the way, it seems like every film that’s onscreen now is

THE ZERO THEOREM. Like Picasso, Fellini, Jan Brueghel, Caligari, John Cage, and Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil this new film from Gilliam is a greatly enjoyable puzzle. It’s dystopian for sure and stars Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, and David Thewlis. Just watch it, appreciate it, don’t expect it to change your life. It’s like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon look at it and simply enjoy. Don’t worry about meaning…it’s creative, a work of art and well thought out and will be talked about long, long after anything we’ve seen onscreen for years.

TUSK. This is definitely definition #3 of dystopian. The now- fat kid with a (podcast) talk show is Haley Joel Osment (remember him?). It’s a horror comedy with great and cool humor. It’s a little bit dull in parts. A secret surprise appearance by Johnny Depp who plays the odd ball detective helps the plot to stay odd, and funny and weird. I loved it, and had good laughs AND I hadn’t read a word about it before I saw it.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy lead the stars and William Hurt, Viola Davis and Isabelle Huppert also do great jobs. It is a a deep and touching film about two people who were once in love, and are still haunted by that connection. The acting is wonderful, Chastain has never been better and that‘s saying a lot. Go see it….it does lack a certain depth but you’ll fill in the lines.

A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. Liam Neeson always does a good job of acting and makes almost any film worth seeing. Guess what…. he’s an ex-cop and aa AA member. It’s about kidnappers who kidnap crooks wives, kill them and still ask for ransoms!!! You’ve seen it all before and Neeson still can’t do American accents.

THE MAZE RUNNER. More #1. definition Dystopian stuff. No big star names and not much excitement here either. This is a teenager film from a book. All bad future, kid survival, sci-fi puzzle with a dumb ending that makes strong hints that there’s more to come.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU. Big stars like Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Timothy Olyphant and the newly big star Adam Driver. When there are laughs they are all about sex, poop, breasts, crotches, lesbians, more breast implant jokes and it’s dull. Centering on a Jewish tradition of sitting shiva for seven days.It’s like one step up from frat house comedies.


THE DROP. Apparently this really, really is James Gandolfini’s last film….and it’s very good. Not an excellent one but very good. Tom Hardy is the lead and he’s excellent, and Noomi Rapace is just as good. Everybody’s good and so’s the film but…even with the well done tensions, great photography…it’s a mite puzzling…until the end. It’s mob scene Brooklyn, bars, illegal payoff money…go see it.

LOVE IS STRANGE. Wow, 97 % on Rotten Tomatoes…I’d give almost that much. It’s about Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as gay males who’ve lived together for decades.Marisa Tomei does a perfect job as part of the family. It’s really about much more than the gay couple it’s about all the relationships around them, and around you too. Go see it quickly it could leave very fast if you don’t go now.

100 FOOT JOURNEY.A more memorable title would be “Slumdog Chef“, or “The Grand Budapest Restaurant” or “Monsoon Wedding Eats Out“. Even Helen Mirren doesn’t save this latest in the “aren’t East Indians cute and funny” type film. It’s degrading to all concerned. But I must confess, I went home and made my first omlette in months.

IF I STAY. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars (and I did) you might like If I Stay. A young cellist is almost killed in a car crash and she has to decide if she wants to come back to this life. Yes, it’s a weeper, feel depressed, after-life kind of film. Joshua Leonard who plays the girls’ once hip father is the son of Bob and Joann Leonard of Watsonville. Joshua was also in the original Blair Witch Project…and has scarier stories about the off screen Blair Witch happenings than we saw onscreen. Go only if you enjoy those flowing tears.

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT. There was a sizable audience at the Nick’s very first Santa Cruz screening of Woody’s latest saga. Ah ha I thought, even with the really terrible reviews of M.I.M. we all still like Woody’s worst films better than most of the rest. I was wrong. This is one of the worst W. Allen films I’ve seen. Colin Firth as sort of a Harry Houdini anti-psychic magician is bitter, mean, and completely unforgivable all the way through the film. Emma Stone is no match for Mia Farrow, Scarlett Johannesen, Diane Keaton, Cate Blanchett, or any of the brilliant feminine attractions Woody has directed in the past. Probably his 2015 film will be better…it has to be.

BOYHOOD. This film made some sort of cinema history because the director took 12 years to film the same cast in the same roles as they aged. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99 but I think the acting is so terrible it shouldn’t have been made…or released. Any sensitivity, reality, sincerity, or emotions are spoiled by the amateurish acting. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play the parents, and they aren’t very good either. Wait and rent it.

THE NOVEMBER MAN. Pierce Brosnan is the “James Bond” retired CIA agent, and it’s the very old “Last Assignment” agent back in the game type film. Lots of Russians, some Germans, tons of sneaky types and I’m betting no-one has been able to figure out the plot yet. It is fun to look at.

THE GIVER. This is one of those teen-age book series made into a big time film. The teenagers in the audience loved this sci-fi “1984” future world attempt. Jeff Bridges does an excellent job with his gruffy codger professor role, but Meryl Streep loses points and credability for suffering through this way overwritten, poorly filmed pointless simplistic plot. Don’t even rent it. Definitely dystopian.

NO GOOD DEED.This absolute mess of a horror- thriller film got a 14 % on Rotten Tomatoes (just as an example). Idris Elba is excellent with the part he must have been forced to play. What is odd is that the film spends most of the time explaining Elba’s brutal/insane character. DO NOT SEE THIS FILM….EVER!!! (nobody else is going either)

TRIP TO ITALY. A sequel to the clever, improvised comedy of 2010 “The Trip” this one flops miserably. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are big time British stars once again out on a food columnist tour of great restaurants in Italy. They apparently ad-lib, imitate Brit celebrities, and make fools of themselves. I have no idea why anybody likes this film , but the New Yorker did!!!


WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL. Remember James Caviezel ??? He played christ in “The Passion of The Christ“. From what I gathered, he plays the same christ-type football coach in this Hallmark Greeting Card saga. We’ve seen it before. Way too many times. And I’ve been reading that half the stories in the film aren’t true.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. I must confess and proclaim I did not see this movie. Any film that has a talking raccoon named “Rocket” as a major character is more than I could stand. Your guess on this movie is every bit as good as mine. Actually if anyone sees this film and likes it, let me know. Especially if you can think of a reason for anyone else to see it.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES IN 3 D. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a miserable 19. I’m giving it a complete pass…and we all could use a nap much more.

DOLPHIN TALE 2. Looks to me like a corporate attempt to make us moviegoers and humanitarians forget how cruel Marine Theme parks (Marine World, etc.) are to dolphins. Remember Blackfish?? Yep, Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd (again) and Harry Connick, jr. and Kris Kristofferson all take part in this cover-up.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. . Debbie Diersch and Jonathan Pilch from the Wetlands Foundation relate new wetlands ideas and Scott Roseman, owner of New Leaf Community Markets is on the second half hour on Sept. 23. Susan Lysik talks about her photo exhibit Toy Cameras, Old and New on Sept. 30, she’s followed by world expert on King Lear, UCSC’s Michael Warren telling secrets about the play. On October 7 Jessica Bailey the exec. dir of UCSC’s Arboretum talks about their latest plots and plans. She’s followed by our 29th District Assemblyman Mark Stone discussing new Sacramento news. October 14 has Michael Alman telling us about his Life Raft Tutoring program. Then Sandy Ferguson and Michael Stamp from The Santa Cruz Chamber Players talk all about their newest season. On October 21st Ted Benhari and Tom Hearn from the Rural Bonny Doon Association talk about area issues. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 8 years here’s a chronological list of just last year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”, Eleanor Roosevelt. “We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.”, Eleanor Roosevelt. “If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people”, Eleanor Roosevelt.The arts in every field — music, drama, sculpture, painting — we can learn to appreciate and enjoy. We need not be artists, but we should be able to appreciate the work of artists“, Eleanor Roosevelt.


Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email:

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on September 26 – October 2, 2014

Comments are closed.