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[whitespace] Historic Leonard/Metro Santa Cruz Building: This was taken exactly 35 years ago this month, on Jan. 28, 1965. It was the Santa Cruz Land Title office back then. Note the permanent awning or overhang thing. Upstairs were the law offices of Harry Lucas Jr., Stephen Wyckoff, Loyd Miller, Jerry Stanley, Ray Scott and Ronald Dunton.

Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Bruce Bratton

THE DOWNTOWN PLAZA ODD NEWS. We have attempted to contact several downtown high-tech businesses to tell them about what we're planning for the oft-mentioned Downtown Plaza. Julia Dye of Cisco Systems on Cooper Street sez most of Cisco's moved back to Silicon Valley. She said only a few of the staff are still here, and they sure don't want to go back there, but it looked inevitable. I've been ruminating on this for days. I have no idea why they're going back; I don't know if any other high-tech folks are heeding the Silicon Valley call, but it sure would be odd if all that fuss and bother about the influx and influence of these superrich technology firms being here forever turned out to be another faddish trend like we've seen so often in high-tech biz. I'm sure it's nothing at all, and I'm probably overreacting , but geez, what if?

DOWNTOWN PLAZA NEWS. Due to deadlines, I'm writing this 48 hours before the Santa Cruz City Council's meeting and decision on the Downtown Plaza, which I'm assuming happened Tuesday night. I'll try to say a few words next week, but I'm zooming down to L.A. today (Wednesday) hoping to be in time when my daughter Jennifer gives birth to my second grandchild!!

MOVIE TIME. Try to look like a teenager if you're going to see Winona Ryder's newest flick, Girl, Interrupted, because everyone else in the theater will be about that age. It's a mess of a movie. It's poorly acted and is best described as a cheap thrill for today's youngsters who have never seen a genuine drama. Boys Don't Cry is indeed as violent (in parts) as you've been hearing; it's also a totally engrossing film about sexual identity, and you won't forget it for a long time.

THANK YOU, VERY MUCH. Thanks to Catherine Graham and almost too many others who pointed out that the automobiles in last week's historic photo were 1964 F85 Starfire and Jetfire Oldsmobiles and not Fords. I could have read the correct brand right from the photo, but one thing led to another and, well, you know. It is nice to know you're keeping on your toes, and mine.

ELLEN PIRIE FOR SUPERVISOR, PART 2. Ellen's campaign kickoff last week was a big success. Former supervisors Ralph Sanson and Robley Levy gave talks; Paul and Sharon Elerick bartended; and Assemblyman Fred Keeley had a good time. Ted Durkee, Chuck Carter, Chema Merino, Ray and Nancy Talley, John Altman, Rosalie Kraft, Dennis Norton, Clay Rost, Bob Swenson, Carol Lacey, Don Monkerud, Maggie Barr, Marilyn Hummel, Tom Holland, Andrew Noble and Claudia Schafer plus about 100 others listened while Ellen spoke about traffic, water, a third high school and how development is pushing the second district. Rafael Lopez, Robert Taren, Karen Delaney, Eric Schoek, Alicia Santana, Barbara Graves, Jane Grady, Pat Manning and lots more folks all support Ellen and are on her endorsement list. Since the election is March 7, and since this election will say a lot about the future of our county's development, better make up your mind quick.

ABOUT BUSINESS. Kent Burnes is a small-business advisor specializing in marketing and running the books. He'll be giving a free seminar Wednesday (Jan. 26) at 6:30pm at the Seacliff Inn out in Aptos. This seminar is sponsored by the County Chambers of Commerce, Pac Bell and the Central Coast Small Business Development Center. What's unusual about Burnes' seminars is that there's no pitch to sell tapes, video programs or to sign up for anything. It's just a jam-packed seminar titled Demystifying Your Business Numbers. Call Carol Miller at 768.3853 to reserve your space.

ATELIER TIME. This fine art gallery is in trouble. It's been in operation for almost five years, and since Santa Cruz isn't exactly known as the art center of the world, Atelier needs $2,000 by Feb. 1 to stay open. The owners are hosting benefit dinners at the gallery on Friday and Saturday night at 7pm for only $30 per person. If you'd like an excellent feast, call 429.9005 immediately, because Jan. 18 was the deadline for reservations. They painted me into a mural having a picnic with Marilyn Monroe, but I was too embarrassed to mention it, and besides they painted over it already.

KAZU REPORT. Many KAZU programmers are feeling bad about their board of directors deciding to give the station to CSUMB. These programmers weren't particularly excited about being connected to KUSP either. They wanted to continue running the station on a volunteer basis until they were able to join up with Access Monterey Bay. These folks thought KUSP's offer was too vague, didn't guarantee which programs would stay on the air and would lose whatever continuity they have with the community. It was their board that made the decision, not them, and there's been a longtime feeling that KAZU's board had or has a poor relationship with the programmers. Both KUSPers and KAZUers think the CSUMB direction will mean huge changes--and little if any will remain of the KAZU identity.

MILLENNIUM PREDICTIONS. We all read predictions about Armageddon, Y2K, terrorist attacks, mob rule, almost anything possible for the human mind to make up about that bigger-than-anything evening, but the one thing nobody predicted was ... that nothing would happen on New Year's Eve. From what I could see it was the dullest New Year's Eve in history.

MAUREEN FLEMING. People describe dancer Maureen Fleming's performances as part dance, part dream, part sculpture. She'll be up at UCSC Jan. 28-29. She dances to music by Philip Glass too. The press release also says, "She brings the imagination of an iconoclast to her idiosyncratic manipulation of Butoh," and nobody hardly does that anymore. There are a lot of dance fans in the area, so get tickets immediately by calling UCSC Arts & Lectures during its funny office hours at 429.2159 or go to http://events.ucsc.edu/artslecs/tickets.html. (P.S.: Yes, Radio Tarifa will be here Feb. 3; more on this later.)

SPEAKING OF UCSC. The UC Board of Regents will be deciding pretty soon on the "acceptable" and desirable future size of their campuses (or campi, as the folks who spoke Latin used to say). There are 13,000 students up at UCSC now. Rumors have it that they are planning to push that figure up to 15,000, then 20,000--and that's a lot of students for our little town. I love the students, and I love the huge influence the university has on Santa Cruz. After living 13 years in Berkeley (1957-70) there are just things about a college town you don't get anywhere else. But when is enough, enough? When do we get to say our housing is too crowded, we're running out of water and that you're pushing this good-neighbor concept too far? There's a definite excitement to becoming the world-famed Silicon Beach with all the emphasis on high-tech research and teaching, but wasn't there a Dean McHenry/Page Smith concept of education that made this campus unique, special and friendly to the community? New attitudes of "we don't have to show you no stinkin' permits" and other demonstrations of lack of good neighborliness are happening all too often.

Bruce critiques films every other Thursday at 12:50pm on KUSP (88.9FM). Reach Bruce at [email protected] or at 457.9000 ext.400

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From the January 19-26, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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