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Photograph from the Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

NATIVE SONS OF THE GOLDEN WEST, OCT. 13, 1946. Once again, who knows these folks? The organization is still active hereabouts and they're probably all Republicans, so that should make it easy. The sign says the San Lorenzo River was discovered by Portola in 1769. They left out the fact that the river was also discovered by several thousand local Ohlone residents long before Portola was born.

Bruce Bratton

A BOARDWALK IDEA. After reading John Robinson's funny letter to the editor with all the inside jokes, I had a great idea. Since the Native American Indian casinos have made an offer to Gov. Davis to pay regular taxes on their casino operations, why not add a $1 city tax to each of the Boardwalk's visitors? They have over 3 million customers annually and use an incredible amount of our cities' utilities, such as police, water, parks and rec, etc. That 3-plus million dollars annually would really help our struggling city coffers. And for sure a $1 tax wouldn't stop the tourists from coming to the Boardwalk, especially when you consider how much the Boardwalk charges for just parking fees, which has never hurt their business.

SPECIAL FILM. Naqoyqatsi, like the first two films in this three-part epic, is completely separate from what we think of as movies. It needs to be viewed as you would when you see a brand new art form, which it is. Godfrey Reggio filmed it and Philip Glass created the music for it. See it quickly at the Nick, because it'll leave soon, and without the big screen and the sound system it won't be the same. Rivers and Tides is another film that had the ability to create new film experience boundaries. As did Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, the other two films by Reggio and Glass.

EXTRA SPECIAL PLAY. I'd seen the film of Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit several times, but not until I saw the live performance at El Teatro Campesino's own playhouse in San Juan Bautista last weekend did I appreciate how great a play it is. It's as lively as Chicago, but it has a depth and a statement that is all its own. Zoot Suit opened in San Juan Bautista in October and sold out through November. It was extended through January and again sold out completely. It was extended again through Feb. 9 and sold out. The final extension started last weekend and will close March 30, when they plan to take it on the road. Luis Valdez the author and Edward James Olmos' son Bodie are almost hidden in the cast, which is superb. Go see this near-legendary play if you've ever enjoyed live theater. Performances are Thursday through Sunday at 8pm and matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are more than affordable, call 831.623.2444 or go to www.elteatrocampesino.com. Afterward or beforeward you could have dinner at Jardine's de San Juan, where (little known fact) El Teatro Campesino used to perform in the little theater/dining room back in the '70s.

KINGDOM OF SHADOWS. I had to see Chicago again to see if it really was that good, and it's even better the second time. Kevin Spacey's The Life of David Gale would be OK to rent, but be sure to see all the much better films out now before trying this hokey mess. Dark Blue stars pro-NRA nut Kurt Russell, whose eyeliner always seems a bit askew, just like this L.A. cop extravaganza. Don't go. Michael Caine is better than ever in The Quiet American, which is an excellent film and well worth seeing--don't miss it.

SANTA CRUZ BOOK TALK. Irene Berry and Sheila O'Hare, co-authors of Images Of America, Santa Cruz California, are going to lead off a series of book talks Thursday night (Feb. 27) at 7pm in the upstairs meeting room at the Main Library on Church Street. They'll be showing slides of the hundreds of early Santa Cruz photos in their book and answering questions and talking about UCSC's Special Collections. I'm going to be there to tell about locating the Shabby House from this column's photo which was great sleuthing and fun. The talk is free and co-sponsored by the Friends of the UCSC Library and the Friends of the Santa Cruz Library.

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL. Three films: Time of Favor, Altalena and Benny Zinger will be shown at 2pm and again starting at 6:45pm on Sunday, March 2, at Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road in Aptos. Each film has won awards and Rabbi Litvak will lead a discussion of Time of Favor after the evening screening. Call 423.2505 for info and tickets, or get them at the door.

REPORT FROM CUBA. Supervisor Jeff Almquist and Congressman Sam Farr and new films from Cuba, plus reports from Santa Cruz County's first delegation to Guama, Cuba, will all be featured in a public event 7pm Friday, Feb. 28, at the First United Methodist Church, 250 California St. near Bay Street in Santa Cruz. Cuban attache Jose Luis Noa will be here from Washington, D.C., to talk and answer questions. It's time right now to strategize on how to normalize relations with Cuba. Having this new sister community in Santiago Province in Cuba certainly helps. Call 465.8272 for information.

FIVE FLIGHTS? Pisces Moon Productions opened Adam Bock's comedy Five Flights last weekend. I saw it and left in a daze wondering what it was about. It either needed more comedy, or more tragedy, or something that was missing. The acting is fine, there are many laughs, many human insights, and still there was no there there. It plays Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Actors Theatre,1001 Center St., through March 23; call 420.5260 for tickets.

SPECIAL AND RARE EVENTS.The play Between Pancho Villa and a Naked Woman is at UCSC's Main Stage Feb. 27 and 28, and March 1 and 2. Call 459.2159. Dario Po's The Pope and the Witch is at UCSC's Experimental Theater Feb. 28, March 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at 7pm. Call 459.2159 again. Cole Akers (Earl Jackson's son) carries on the tradition and presents Dirk Bogarde in The Night Porter on Tuesday, March 4, and Ottinger's Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia on Tuesday, March 11, for free in Studio A communications building. Joseph Minicello's Theremin concert is happening Saturday, March 1, at the First Congregational Church, 900 High St. Call 427.4545; tickets at the door.

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From the February 26-March 5, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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