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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

12:40pm, Pacific and Cooper, 1892: From what I gather (i.e., 'Santa Cruz County History Journal' no. 4, 1998), Cooper Street was named after Frank Cooper. Cooper was born In Gettysburg, Pa., moved here in 1858, became deputy treasurer and, along with Samuel Bartlett, organized/started the Santa Cruz County Bank. Then he moved to Oakland. On the other hand, there was an Emma Cooper who operated our earliest known brothel, located on Front Street. Then there were John and William Cooper, who had a general store on Front Street--so there you are.

Bruce Bratton

COASTAL VOICES: 100 YEARS OF NORTH COAST HISTORY. Having lived on Swanton Road for my first dozen years in this county and in Bonny Doon for another 11 years, I learned to care a lot about the rich history of our North Coast. The exhibit that opens in the Art Forum Gallery of the Museum of Art and History this Saturday will bring some much-needed focus to this precious part of our larger community. It was around 1971 when Agnes Trumbo McCrary showed me just part of her enormous photo collection. She had photos of Ishi, "the last of the Yahi wild Indians," with anthropologist A.L. Kroeber taken on Swanton Road. She told me of Marilyn Monroe and Lon McCallister on Swanton shooting Scudda Hoo Scudda Hay. Much later, author and filmmaker Dan Bessie brought Ray Bolger of Wizard of Oz fame to Swanton to make a film of Peter and the Wolf. They probably didn't have room for those photos in the exhibit. Maybe they'll have maps of the plotted and planned, but never developed, town of Folger, which would have been about a mile up Swanton Road. Very early maps of the area show plans for Wonderland, another developer's dream that never materialized. Like the exhibit at Wilder Ranch, there probably won't be much said about why the North Coast still looks like it does and did. Someday, there needs to be an exhibit that details the hundreds of land-use battles that have been fought--and are still being fought--to keep our county like it is. For example, now's probably a good time to ask Cal Poly what its plans are for developing all of its property on Swanton Road. For a while, Cal Poly was talking about new student buildings, an amphitheater and all kinds of development. See the exhibit (which runs through May 27) and thank all the people who made it possible.

E! TV EXCLUSIVE. Laree Draper of World Gym has great news. E! TV is going to do a True Hollywood Story on husband, author and body builder Dave Draper. If you read Dave's new book, Brother Iron, Sister Steel, or even just look at the pictures, you'll see that there's more than enough material in Dave's life to make a full-length feature film. Check out www.davedraper.com and see what I mean.

FLUORIDE FACTS. It always amazes me how folks who still oppose fluoridating the water talk about what they call research results and somehow manage to ignore the overwhelming research that has proven fluoride safe and beneficial. Just last week, the San Jose Mercury News editorial section (Jan. 30) said in a long piece titled "Dental care for kids is a crucial need": "California does poorly in preventive efforts and in providing dental care to low-income children. The state ranks near the bottom in the percentage of the population that drinks fluoridated water, widely recognized as the simplest and most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay." I agree that reading the Mercury isn't exactly doing research, but I came across a great website: www.consumerlab.com. It's similar to Consumer Reports: noncommercial, independent, etc. Look up any of your favorite medicines on that site, see what kind of reports they do--then look up fluoride. That'll give you enough research results to convince you that we need to fluoridate our public water. It's time Santa Cruz catches up with the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association--they all endorse fluoridation.

CITY COUNCIL BUZZ. It's simply amazing how much discussion and interest there is about our next Santa Cruz City Council election. It appears completely sure that Cynthia Mathews and Mike Rotkin will run again. Now talk is about whether Katherine Beiers will run again and about Christopher Krohn and Keith Sugar running again. Did Michael Schmidt's moving into Santa Cruz mean he's running next time? How about the talk around of setting total term limits per life? The plot is getting very deep around here.

DIS-PLACEMENTS AND ANXIOUS OBJECTS. That's the title of an exhibit that opens at the UCSC's Sesnon Art Gallery at Porter College on Feb. 22 and runs through March 21. If you wonder about that title, the press release states, "Each object plays a role as a fragment within the larger text of the collection, creating a subtext in which the artist becomes almost completely displaced from the process." It also states, "It is not only the fragility of anxious objects and persons that can be juxtaposed, but the 'hidden presence of the sacred' spaces they once inhabited and of those new places to which they voyage." I hope we all don't plan on being there at the same time. Group tours are available at 459.3606.

GWENDOLYN MOK TONIGHT!! Ms. Mok gave an all-Ravel concert last season, and I'd have to put it on my Top 10 list of local events of the year. Not only is Gwendolyn a wonderful pianist, she creates an evening of excitement and enthusiasm for any composer's works she plays. Tonight, she's playing Strauss, Debussy, Poulenc and English composer Frank Bridge. She's bringing back her special 19th-century Erard piano and will be performing with cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau. The concert begins at 8pm, and you should call 459.2159 immediately or just show up at UCSC's Music Center Recital Hall, because it isn't always easy to get through to anybody at 459.2159.

SCOSI. The Santa Cruz Opera Society Incorporated is a longstanding group of locals who like opera. They get together every month and talk about opera and have a good time doing it. Next month, on Feb. 25 at 2:30pm, they'll be discussing the last three operas in San Francisco Opera's current season: Verdi's La Traviata, Aida and Simon Boccanegra. If you'd like information about SCOSI, call 426.5896. If you'd like to attend the February meeting and want directions, call 458.4179.

INNER NORTH COAST. Speaking of exhibits: we need one on the history of Bonny Doon and how that special territory has been protected against developers' schemes, both past and present. Back in the 1950s, a bunch of commercial pilots also planned and plotted what would have been another "Nut Tree" fly-in development on Empire Grade where the little airport still sits. Now the Rural Bonny Doon Association, which was formed by Page Smith and Roy Rydell among others to stop that airport, is fighting Jim Beauregard, who has already built stables and riding rings without permits and wants to develop a 50-60-horse equestrian center. In addition, Bill Cunningham is still planning on turning Bonny Doon into another Napa Valley, complete with entertainment center/commercial winery operation. What usually happens (and did happen again at the last RBDA meeting) is that the developers call all their supporters and get them to join the RBDA on the voting night so they can vote for their project --and are never heard of again. Having been president of the RBDA and editor of the RBDA newspaper a while back, I'm predicting that those developers will try to stack the next RBDA meeting on March 14. We'll see. Check out the Rural Bonny Doon Association website at www.bonnydoon.got.net--that will tell you the entire story.

BUMPER STICKERS. Here are some goodies from Pat Matachek who somehow manages to be in most places, most of the time. "Disney Gave Us Mickey, Florida Gave Us Dumbo" and "My Parents Retired to Florida, and All I Got Was This Lousy President," and she sent this one from a real authority: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything"--Joseph Stalin.


Bruce will continue critiquing films every other Thursday on KUSP's Prime Time (88.9-FM) at 12:50pm, as soon as he's up and around. Reach bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or call 457.5814.

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From the February 7-14, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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