Blog Archives

September 4 – 10, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…The Bully Pulpit, great streaming apps, Lost Boys and Halloween. GREENSITE…on sounding the Corridors death knell. KROHN…Goodbye Corridors plan, progressives and past and future battles. STEINBRUNER…Nissan traffic light, Mid-peninsula Housing plot, Merriman House threatened, Soquel Water and rising bills. PATTON…Global Warming crisis and citizen action. EAGAN…More classics and comics. JENSEN…about The Aeronauts. BRATTON…I critique After The Wedding. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “HOMELESS”.


                                 

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RIVER STREET & HIGHWAY 9, 1956. Be sure to note the new bridge, and that there’s not any new housing yet. See the Tannery on the lower right. The Sash Mill complex is on the left. That’s the Pogonip Country Club up in the top right-hand side.                                                

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

JUGGLER. And he’s funnier than most!!
Bollywood Flashmob in Costco – Santa Cruz, CA – February 2, 2019 2,385,654 views
This can’t really be “our” COSTCO can it???

SANTA CRUZ 2019 MUSICAL SAW FESTIVAL

DATELINE SEPTEMBER 2

THE BULLY PULPIT. Even though Teddy Roosevelt was here in 1903, he probably didn’t foresee how our City Council would be so focused on bullying. One woman/reader/subscriber wrote… “I am sick of Drew and Chris being called bullies, when we know the women of the  council minority are true bullies, just by watching them in action and reading that all but 1 of  their of accusations against each man were unsubstantiated. Bully is the word a tax attorney used for Donna Meyers, among others, and we now have more evidence of it being true for all 3 of them. The letter to the editor in the Sentinel today 9/1/19 made the poor women sound like damsels in distress and innocent victims of bullying. I want to be able to counter it with: that just because they are women, doesn’t mean that they are totally innocent of bullying or obfuscating or even lying, as almost, everyone in politics is very capable of all 3 bad habits, not just the men..Was it bullying or what is the definition of Drew Glover not getting appointed to any committees by the Mayor?”  

STREAMING, SCREAMING, STEALING, SCHEMING. As movie theatre movies get dumber and less appealing I have added viewing hours per week to Netflix, Apple, HBO and the rest of the “TV” sources. Por Ejemplo here’s some excellent online entertainment:

AMERICAN FACTORY. From The Today Show “Barack and Michelle Obama shared a look at their post-White House venture, Higher Ground Productions. In a social media video, the former president and first lady spoke about “American Factory,” their first film under their company that’s streaming now’. From The Atlantic magazine… “The Netflix documentary charts the economic and social issues that converge when the Chinese company Fuyao moves into a former General Motors plant in Ohio”. This documentary is a very painful look at what happened when the Chinese mega company took over the plant and hired thousands of the American workers that were out of work after their old plant died. It’s humanity at its least, when the Chinese and American workers and management have to face and live with their cultural differences. 

THE FAMILY. This Netflix documentary exposes the secret international power Christian group called The Fellowship. Through such events as the annual prayer breakfast in Washington, Doug Coe manages and controls governments all over the world. The Fellowship squirmed through Obama, Reagan, Nixon and now of course Trump. A white and male-dominated group takes control, and runs more power slots than you’ve ever imagined. One important question it answered for me is.. how can Christians — especially Evangelicals — support and vote for Trump, when he’s one of the worst sinners ever to crawl on the earth. His sex, theft, lies, cruelty are unequalled. Well, The Fellowship teaches that Jesus himself chose sinners to work with and to spread his word…so he chose Trump too. That’s why and how they support him. Check out THE FAMILY on Netflix especially episode 5 “The Wolf King”. That’s the Trump episode. Go here and check it out. It’s the least you can do.

LOST BOYS and GOOD TIMES. I’d forgotten that Kiefer Sutherland, Dianne Wiest, and the Pogonip Country Club played such big parts in Lost Boys. Lost Boys got lousy ratings…I liked it. It also reminded me that in October 1975 the then brand new Good Times newspaper joined with the Cabrillo Music Festival (original title) and had a great and quite boisterous joint party. It was so boisterous and wild that the Pogonip stated that neither organization would be allowed to rent the Club again!!! Halloween used to be much bigger in Santa Cruz. Good Times would rent out the Cocoanut Grove and award big costume prizes. The Catalyst had enormous Halloween bashes…a very different time, and a different community.

September 3

BLOCKING THE CORRIDORS.

On June 6, 2016, I wrote the following on the Corridors Plan for BrattonOnline. 

“So far, the city, the consultants and the commissioners are saying it’s this Plan or nothing which suggests they feel very much in control and sense little opposition. Whether they are correct remains to be seen. The General Plan calls for development along the corridors. How much, what scale, what configuration, how to protect local business and established neighborhoods can all be shaped by the community if enough people get involved.” 

On August 27th, 2019 the Corridors Plan was officially terminated by a 4-3 council vote. Included in the motion was a requirement to make neighborhood protection and protection for existing small businesses the top priority when future development is proposed along the so-called corridors.

Sometimes you’ve just got to cheer! This huge victory was a result of hard work by eastside neighbors and a new council majority willing to listen and respond to their concerns. It belies the old adage that “you can’t fight city hall.” You can but it doesn’t come easily. Eastside neighbors, particularly members of Branciforte Action Committee, walked their neighborhoods, talked to neighbors about the Plan’s details and potential impacts, organized meetings in local churches, did their homework, passed out informational flyers, alerted folks to the many meetings before the city Planning Commission, held city council candidates’ forums, gathered petitions and eventually, with the support of Save Santa Cruz, a community group opposed to plans for overbuilding the town,  and with the election of Justin Cummings and Drew Glover to join Sandy Brown and Chris Krohn on city council, there was sufficient support to terminate the Plan. If you think the recall campaign doesn’t matter just contemplate this close vote.

Of course there were howls of protest from those who supported the Corridors Plan. Rather than trying to find common ground with neighbors as in the acceptance of some development but not out of scale, overly dense, expensive mixed use development, those who supported the Corridors Plan predictably labeled the neighbors as NIMBY’s, responsible for turning Santa Cruz into a Carmel facsimile. 

What they fail to grasp, or fail to care about, is that this overbuilding is not solving the housing cost crisis in Santa Cruz. In fact it is making it worse. Building more market rate housing creates a demand for more low -income workers to service the needs of the more affluent newcomers. Even with inclusionary units, the equation is stacked against the lower income scale. It is not providing housing for workers who live in Santa Cruz. It is providing housing for those who don’t yet live here or for those who want a second home by the beach. Or for parents of UCSC students who buy a house for their offspring while attending college. New dense developments raise nearby property values and displace lower income renters to the margins. New developments raise business rents that drive out long-time older businesses. These impacts can be verified. The considerable research on the topic is readily available but you never hear it articulated by city planners or other supporters of the Corridors Plan. The argument is always couched in simplistic terms: all housing developments are good: opposing them is bad. 

Well not this time. Score one for neighborhood persistence and the protection of what’s left of the unique, human-scale, long-time neighborhoods and local small businesses that give Santa Cruz its character and livability. 

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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Sept. 3

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN

Corridors Plan Done, You Can Stick a Fork in It
The now infamous, Corridors Plan, has been laid to rest after some pretty fearsome four-year hand-to-hand combat. The “war” included pitch battles of correcting the record, defining quality of life, and traffic impacts at the Planning Commission, City Council, and numerous other public meetings. It involved two city election cycles and only after placing a solid neighborhood-friendly majority on the city council would the battles be over. Much was at stake: over-development by market-rate developers, loss of parking by local businesses along Soquel and Water, and the great potential for a loss of a sense of community by neighbors. The city council heard these community voices and responded, the Corridors Plan is no more. 

The Branciforte Action Committee (BAC) deployed tactical units early-on, video-taping Planning Commission meetings and alerting eastside neighbors of the tremendous growth the city’s planning department was putting on the table in their neighborhoods. That effort led to demands that Commission meetings ought to be televised on Community TV, and now they are. Reinforcements were then called up in the form of Save Santa Cruz. Hundreds of locals became involved in the challenge, which just might stand as perhaps one of the greatest organizing efforts in Santa Cruz history. It is certainly right up there with the rejection of the Beach and South of Laurel boondoggle, the desalination plant fiasco, the Dream Inn on steroids (remember that one?!) plan, the proposed non-starter of 10,000 homes on Wilder Ranch, and of course, the community dudgeon unleashed on the grandparent of all bad projects that perhaps kicked off the progressive era, the loopy Lighthouse Field Convention Center and Hotel. The four-year corridors struggle to defend neighborhoods from profit-driven over development culminated in five-part motion at the August 27th city council meeting put forward by Councilmember Sandy Brown and seconded by Vice-Mayor Justin Cummings. One big problem from the start of the now defunct Corridor Plan was the absence of community input from eastsiders. As one eastside resident wrote to remind me:

It began legislatively in 2015, but likely long before that. We want to remain a community, but up-zoning contributes to make us more of a commodity for greater profits. Community vs commodity. When a new version of the Corridor plan is proposed, the Eastside will get proper representation on any committee that is formed. We had “0” representation by any resident of the Eastside on the 14-member Corridor Advisory Committee, yet the members of that committee felt fine that 80% of the building would be on the Eastside, but representation was not given to the residents of the Eastside. Look at the plans for the new, very tall downtown buildings and decide if that’s what you want on the 4 corridors streets…Everything on those streets would be torn down, everything including the Rio Theatre, Ebert’s, and Charlie Hong Kong, they would all eventually go. But it’s over for now and we can either begin anew with the community leading any development process, or we can move onto other issues. 

Do the Progressives Only Kill Projects?
There seems to be a rap articulated by certain “build-baby-build” interests that progressives are not in favor of anything, defeating projects is their MO (modus operandi). To that statement, I would refer the critics to the Senior apartments on Gault Street, the Tannery Arts Center on River Street, 83 affordable units at 1010 Pacific Avenue, the renovation of the Del Mar Theater on Pacific…not to mention preserving Lighthouse Field, Wilder Ranch, the Pogonip, and the Moore Creek Uplands for future Santa Cruzanos. I would like to think real progressive values are about affordability, livability, quality of life, environmental protection, equity, justice, and fairness. Throw in a large dose of activism and love of community and you have the Santa Cruz progressive era. Beginning in the 1980’s, Santa Cruz was a sanctuary city, declared a ban on off-shore oil drilling, and was a world famous “nuclear-free zone.” You can’t make this stuff up. People, actual voters, activists, and battle-hardened leftists were either homegrown or moved here because this place was different. The new potential building boom (or bust) is not new. Developer interest in Santa Cruz is driven by dreams of big profits and has been an ever-present threat to Surf City during the entire progressive era. As Peter Douglas, the long-time Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission was fond of saying, the coast is never saved, the coast is always being saved. That about sums up the Santa Cruz progressive era. (Also check out this developer-heavy (given those interviewed) view of all the plans for downtown as laid out in a pod-cast from Kara Meyberg Guzman here (https://santacruzlocal.org/2019/08/31/the-future-of-downtown-santa-cruz/) a local journalist for Santa Cruz Local.

Battles Lost?
Let’s pause for a moment to take stock in the work of past councils and activists, of opportunities that presented themselves, but ultimately went against the Santa Cruz progressive tide of history, and there are several. These historical activist vs. developer, or bureaucrat, conflagrations that were either lost or put on hold include: the Living Wage Campaign, widening Highway 1, saving the La Bahia, losing the Unity Temple site that was zoned for multi-family housing only to result in the Broadway Hyatt, securing the Beach Flats Community Garden, and of course, the acquisition of a BearCat tank, a present from the folks at Homeland Security.

On the Horizon
What’s at stake after we get past this euphoria of “terminating” the Corridors Plan? Deciding if the library will be renovated without a five-story garage? What will be the future of the downtown Farmer’s Market location? Will a downtown commons idea gain traction? Whether much affordable housing will be included in the more than 1000 units of unaffordable housing being planned for downtown is another looming question. Will UCSC come to its senses and limit its growth to the now agreed upon number of students, 19,500, in order to preserve and protect quality education? And of course, a perhaps more seemingly esoteric, but palpable question right below daily Santa Cruz politics: what will be the future of at-large elections (vs. district elections) and will the people of Santa Cruz want to move beyond the technocratic-bureaucratic ankle weights of the current City Manager-run form of local governance? (Too much for now I know, let’s go for a swim.)

Endnote
There is so much hanging in the balance and so much to discuss as we move towards the 2020 election. Some would prefer these discussions happen behind closed doors because they honestly believe voters are either not interested, or not ready to discuss the big issues of the day. Real progressives long for these discussions. They want to be a part of shaping their own history and the future history of this town. Transparency, open government, and sunshine in all building development, financial practices, and every other act of municipal decision-making must continue to be what we progressives strive for as we continue to build upon past success and learn from past adversity.

“Tell them, Greta (Thunberg). When people try to mock you personally instead of engaging the substance of your advocacy, it’s because they know how powerful you are, and that the truth is on your side. Keep inspiring and organizing. We’re going to save the planet. All of us, together.” (Aug. 31)

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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THE COUNTY MAGICALLY HAS AN EXTRA $500,000 FOR A NEW TRAFFIC LIGHT IN SOQUEL VILLAGE?

The Nissan Auto Dealership Project’s traffic problems, which were earlier categorized as “significant and unavoidable”  because the County could not pay for the $500,000 traffic light at Soquel Drive and Robertson, will be magically funded now.  However, the negative traffic impacts to Highway One will continue to be “significant and unavoidable” because CalTrans does not have the money to widen the freeway to address the Nissan Dealership’s impacts, so will remain “significant and unavoidable”??

The Sustainable Soquel neighbors successfully won a legal battle against the County for a Petition for Writ of Mandate (just asking the County to follow its own rules, please) regarding this  large Nissan Auto Dealership at 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive, one of the busiest intersections in the County.  The neighbors asked the County to please follow the Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan, which was developed with lots of public input and hundreds of thousands of public dollars, to designate the area for mixed-use residential and commercial use.

The County then hired Dudek Consultants to develop and recirculate a partial Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to examine the Nissan Dealership’s traffic mitigations.   That document is open for public comment until September 11, 2019. 

How can the County Public Works Dept., struggling to fill potholes in our roads, magically come up with half a million dollars to pay for this auto dealership’s traffic mitigation?  Why is Supervisor John Leopold, who represents this area of the County, supporting the auto dealership, and spending $500,000 of tax payer money on a traffic light at Robertson WHICH HE PROMISED CONSTITUENTS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN WHEN THEY LOUDLY OPPOSED THE IDEA  AT A SOQUEL VILLAGE TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENT MEETING?

The Nissan Dealership issue now will go before the Board of Supervisors, probably next month.  The Sustainable Soquel neighbors ask that you write all Supervisors with your comment.

Submit written comment to the Planning Dept. by September 11 regarding the recirculated EIR for the Project that allows the new mitigation that you and I will all pay for in order to allow this developer to get off the hook for financial responsibility of impacts caused by his auto dealership.

I think taxpayers have the right to demand verification of the funding the County Public Works Dept. would use for this traffic light at Robertson.  Maybe that means re-allocation of some of the $6,496,912 the County authorized for two new traffic lights in the Aptos Village Project area on May 22, 2018? (Items on Consent #42 and #46, on  same date as the Nissan Dealership public hearing Item #57 and at which the County now claims is the  basis for their installation of the Robertson traffic light)

By the way, Dudek Consultants are also working away at doing the EIR for the Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan that will be necessary for the County to update the 1994 General Plan.  Keep your eyes open for this document’s availability to see how infrastructure problems will be addressed.

COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS WILL WIDEN CAPITOLA ROAD TO MITIGATE SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENT IMPACTS

Here we go again…taxpayers picking up the bill for developers who win favor with the powers that be running the show in County government.  Last Wednesday, Mid-Peninsula Housing Authority somehow managed to get Planning Commissioners to NOT EVEN CONSIDER asking for further environmental review for the 57 new residential units in a massive three-story structure and a huge two-story medical clinic, dental clinic and pharmacy, all on less than five acres. 

Many local property owners took time off work to attend the hearing, showing pictures of hawks and herons in the trees, testifying to the existence of vernal pools on the property, testifying to known historic use that caused soil contamination later mitigated by the County when purchased for redevelopment by covering with a soil cap, testifying to the rich significance of the Robert Merriman house, which would be bulldozed, but which used to be on the County Historic Registry but was removed without approval of the County Historic Resources Commission.

The only testimony that caused Commissioners to ask for clarification was one pointing out that the parking numbers were vastly different in the staff report than what were used in the parking study.  The parking study engineer, Jeff Waller, did not answer the Commissioners’ questions, but they seemed to accept that it was okay to approve a massive project that has parking allocations admittedly below the County Planning Dept. requirements.

The only Commissioner response to the issue of demolishing the historic Merriman House was that the plaque memorializing the house be put somewhere public.  This house is where Robert Merriman lived in his politically-formative years before going off to fight fascism and eventually meeting author Ernest Hemmingway, later to become the basis for Robert Jordan in  “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.  Read more about that amazing story that a County government with any shred of appreciation for the value of historic preservation would respect and honor 

Commissioners seemed mostly concerned that the postage-stamp community garden was not fenced and seemed to have a tree that would shade it too much.

Never mind consideration of the 150 trees on the property, some of which were recommended for preservation in the arborist report and may be home to hawks and herons WILL ALMOST ALL BE CUT DOWN.

So, tell me, why does Mid-Peninsula Housing Authority get off free of environmental responsibility to the public, and why do the Commissioners feel so sure that County Public Works will be widening Capitola Road anytime soon on the backs of the taxpayers?

Here is the link to the Planning Commission agenda, where you can click on Item #7 and read the materials.  COMMISSIONERS COMPLAINED TO PLANNER LEZANNE JEFFS THAT THEY HAD ONLY RECEIVED THE MATERIAL A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE THE HEARING, AND SOME SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WERE SENT OUT JUST THAT MORNING. 

Maybe that explains alot….

This Project will likewise be going before the County Board of Supervisors soon…write them and ask why this Project is EXEMPT from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review which would afford the public an opportunity to comment on the project and analyze habitat, traffic, parking, historic preservation, and soil contamination problems.  The reason given at the Commission hearing was that the parcel is less than 5 acres, so it is not required.  

However, as was pointed out by many members of the community, that does not PREVENT the County from conducting the environmental review and mitigating negative impacts when warranted. 

Write your County Supervisor, and make sure to copy Supervisor John Leopold, whose district includes this Project.  John Leopold john.leopold@santacruzcounty.us

The Commissioners did not respond to my request for an answer to why these two massive clinics on Capitola and 17th would be necessary if the even-larger 5-story Kaiser Medical Clinic is planned for the Soquel Avenue and Chanticleer area nearby?  Also, no one from the Planning Dept. answered my question if re-zoning the Mid-Pen project to R-Combining was connected with removing that zoning designation for the Kaiser Medical Complex, which is an R-Combining Zone allocated for over 100 units of affordable housing.  The Mid-Pen’s 57 units will all be affordable housing units. 

BUT THERE IS SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS!
Many thanks to Santa Cruz City Council members who listened to the people and voted to vacate the Corridor Plan that would build massive 5-7 story high buildings all along Water, Mission and Ocean Streets and Soquel Avenue and eliminate on-street parking for businesses in those areas.  Many thanks to the hard work by residents of the SAVE SANTA CRUZ group, led in part by Gary Patton.

Please write Council members Sandy Brown, Justin Cummings, Drew Glover and Chris Krohn for their responsible leadership and supporting neighborhood integrity and quality of life.

Sandy Brown sbrown@cityofsantacruz.com
Justin Cummings jcummings@cityofsantacruz.com
Drew Glover dglover@cityofsantacruz.com
Chris Krohn ckrohn@cityofsantacruz.com

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT CUSTOMERS ARE MAD ABOUT CRAZY-HIGH BILLS

Customers of Soquel Creek Water District want to know why their bills are so high under the new rate structuring when the material they received informing them of the rate increase proposal said most people would only see a $5/month increase?  The problem is that the new tier structure penalizes households with more than 2-3 people by charging nearly $30/unit for any water over the standard 6-unit /month allotment. Even if you are careful, you will have a big bill.

And this is JUST THE BEGINNING.  The Board approved increasing rates 9% every year for the next four years!  Wow.  It is all to pay for the plan to inject treated sewage water into the MidCounty area’s drinking water supply, and no one even gets to vote on that.

Write the Board and let them know what you think: Soquel Creek Water District   and show up at the Board meetings, held at the Capitola City Council Chambers at 6pm on the first and third Tuesdays.

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.    BUT JUST DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK! Cheers,

Becky Steinbruner 

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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August 24 #236 / When The Ship Is Going Down

I am angry. I am angry that those who we elected to and expected to protect and defend us — the US population, the global population and our priceless natural resources, our ecosystems, our homes — have failed us, spectacularly.

The picture and the above quote come from a recent online article. The main point of the article is relayed in its title: 

The “Media” Need to Report on the Climate Crisis Every Day

I certainly agree with that sentiment, and I recommend the article by Ami Chen Mills-Naim. You might also check her personal website, which provides this advisory: 

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED LIFE FOR A BROADCAST OF THE GLOBAL EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM. THIS IS NOT A TEST.

She is right on point. Our ship is going down. This is not a test!

I do have a quibble with the quote featured at top of this blog post. It is, of course, understandable why United States citizens should be “angry” with “those who[m] we elected … to protect and defend us….” Our elected officials have not done a good job with respect to the global warming crisis that confronts us, but if elected officials have not served us well (and they haven’t) that is ultimately our own fault. 

In a government of, by, and for the people, we can’t expect the government to be “for” us, if we are not directly and personally involved with government ourselves. Most of us aren’t. “Of,” and “by” are the two most important words in Abraham Lincoln’s formulation of what self-government is all about.

Righteous anger? Let’s look in the mirror! Voting is obviously not enough, and when we examine our past behavior, we must admit that we have turned our government over to the corporations. Do we still think that the government should be representing us? It hasn’t been, and unless you believe the newest and latest corporate propaganda, the Business Roundtable statement that now claims that the “purpose” of the corporation is to achieve our social and environmental goals, you will realize that it’s time for a change. 

A radical change!

The changes we need are not going to be delivered by the people we have elected in the past, and who are serving in office today. We need to “interrupt our regularly scheduled lives” to assert, once more, our own dominion over politics and the future. If the government isn’t doing what it needs to do, the blame (and shame) is ultimately on us! 

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Another look back at a classic “SUB CON” with all the formerly hidden and forbidden data!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Political Probings ” 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

EVENTS. SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE. By now I assume that everyone in the world knows that the Mime Troupe not only speaks but shouts out annual messages to the world that need to be heard. The Troupe started in 1959 and has been going strong ever since. They always close their long season with their two performances here in Santa Cruz. This year’s play is “TREASURE ISLAND”-is it the mythical isle where untold wealth awaits marauding pirates, or the freezing cold, artificial island in the middle of San Francisco Bay awaiting cut-throat developers? Or is it both? That’s the question for Jill Hawkins when an old sea-dog of a developer drops anchor in her office at City Hall, and drops a mystery in her lap. “Developers…they scour the map looking for cities with fat purses, ready to be plundered, damn the regulations!” But if Treasure Island is such a wonderful opportunity why has no one developed it yet…? What about the people who live there now? And who is the one-legged developer Hawkins was warned about?

It’s in San Lorenzo Park near the county building. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and whatever.

Sat, Sep 7th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30)
Sun, Sep 8th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30)
Ticket Info: FREE (Suggested donation $20) No dogs, alcohol, or smoking allowed in park. 

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The Dog Days of summer continue at the movie house (no offense to our canine companions). But things are looking up, up, up for the future with the upcoming The Aeronauts, with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as mid-Victorian balloonists. Looks like Steampunk to me! Check out the trailer 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. 

AFTER THE WEDDING. Julianne Moore, Michael Williams and Billy Crudup do excellent acting work in this re-make of a twisted marriage saga. Part soap, part tragedy, it’s a sad tale of money, family, death, and child raising. Partly filmed in Calcutta, it’ll keep your attention but won’t earn your praise. 

LUCE. Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Naomi Watts do very professional and believable acting jobs in “Luce.” Octavia Spencer achieves the absolute peak of her talent here. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is 25 years old and yet plays a high schooler but you do end up believing him anyways because the plot/ script is so involving. The story (from a play) centers on racial issues, the wealthy classes and weaves around gender problems. As I mentioned it’s a tricky story and you’ll stay with it all the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if Octavia gets many Oscar nods for this one. 

WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. It’s listed as a comedy because it’s an adapted from a book regarded as funny. Cate Blanchett makes the story of a woman looking for her place on earth and a settling of her life into a deep depressed saga. Billy Crudup is her over the top understanding partner who has to live with her searching. Kristen Wiig acts as her troubled neighbor who becomes one of a few good friends. By luck I also watched Ingmar Bergman’s Persona the next day and found a very sensitive revealing similar story of a woman in search. Both are fine films and well worth seeing.

MAIDEN.  A very significient tribute to women’s empowerment. With a well deserved 97 audience score and a 98 Rotten Tomato meter score you can be sure this documentary is very well worth watching.  It’s the very detailed story and back story of how one woman gathered the all woman crew and won the Whitbread Round the World sailboat race in 1989. It’s also an example of a very well made documentary. With great camera work, and a super amount of tension it should be seen by anyone who cares about the aforementioned women’s sense of equality/superiority.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. The more movies you’ve seen in your lifetime the more you’ll like Quentin Tarantino’s latest. With Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the leads and it all happening in L.A. in 1969 it almost can’t miss. Slightly under the cuteness of the relationship between Pitt and DiCaprio is knowing that the film ends with the Manson Family killings of Sharon Tate and four other characters at the house that she shared with her husband, Roman Polanski. Add Al Pacino for about two minutes to all of that and you’ll be forced to like it.

THE FAREWELL. Whew, 100% on the Rotten Tomato meter and 91% on their audience score. The cast is mostly Asian and handles the problem of how to tell Grandma that she’s dying of cancer. It’s funny, deeply sad, superior acting and will hold you to the unfolding story right to the unusual ending. Well worth seeing….and remembering.

READY OR NOT. A very worn out plot of a murder chase through a wealthy house is a sad way to waste your time and admission fee. No noticeable actors or acting, a futile poke at people with money being extra cruel, and on and on for 96 minutes. The plot holes are large enough to drive garbage trucks through and they should have. 

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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. On September 3 John Orlando talks about his Distinguished Artists 2019-2020 season. Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan return on September 12 to update the Nissan-Soquel dealership issue. They are followed by Brooke Newman discussing the work and purpose of the Downtown Streets Team. Faisal Fazilat

Appears on Sept. 17 to talk about the co-operative group CO-OPSC. September 24 has John Hall updating us on The Downtown Commons Advocates and their plans.  OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   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 

Some impressive skills!

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. 

    “Homeless”

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” Mahatma Gandhi
“If my fans want to do something for me when that time comes, I say, don’t waste your money on me. Help the homeless. Help the needy… people who don’t have no food… Instead of some big funeral, where they come from here and there and all over. Save it”. B. B. King
“You can spend the money on new housing for poor people and the homeless, or you can spend it on a football stadium or a golf course”. Jello Biafra


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. 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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