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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

UCSC Campus, Empire Grade, Meder, Bay and High Streets, 1957: If you can orient yourself to this view--noting that Meder Street is at the middle of the bottom margin and the Barn Theatre is a long way from the intersection--then you'll realize that Bay Street isn't anywhere in the photo! In 1957, the UCSC main gate was at Cardiff and High. We'll have to look into this.

Bruce Bratton

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BUSINESS COUNCIL. Michael Schmidt told me that the Santa Cruz County Business Council had another possible candidate it was going to back against County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt in the March 2002 election, but if Schmidt ran, the group would back him instead. We read a while ago that the Santa Cruz County Business Council made a statement backing widening of Highway 1. Many readers (and I, too) have become very curious over the years about who belongs to the Santa Cruz County Business Council. This obviously powerful group has enormous investments in our county, and for it to be so willing to take part in our politics and still keep the names of its members secret just doesn't feel right. This sure seems like a nice bunch of well-meaning folks, and of course, it's a private group and completely within its rights and all that, but something just doesn't jell. Schmidt says Dave Regan, publisher of the Sentinel, is or was president of the council, and over the years I've collected such names as Sister Julie Hyer of Dominican Hospital, Charlie Canfield from the Seaside Corporation, George Ow Jr. and Harvey Nickelson of Coast Commercial Bank. I don't remember exactly how Jim Conklin, the ex-director of the Business Council, defended the group's policy against revealing names, but he wouldn't. I'll try some more and get back to you. Get in touch if you have any information on the Santa Cruz County Business Council; we'll get to the bottom of this somehow.

DARK PLEASURES. Reading movie reviews can make you crazy, but I do like the Chronicle's Sunday Pink Section Critical Consensus. Each week, the paper surveys and tabulates 40 major critics, including critics from the Chron, and the L.A. and N.Y. Times. For instance, this week Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tops the list of 35 films, with a 9.2 (out of 10) rating. No. 2 is Traffic, with an 8.9. Say It Isn't So is at the bottom, with 2.8 My point is that In the Mood for Love is No. 3, with an 8.8. As previously promoted, I still say that Wong Kar-wai's film is a near masterpiece, and it's nice to know that major film critics agree. Why our local critics couldn't see the beauty in this film, I'll never know. The Widow of Saint-Pierre was No. 5 on that list, with 8.6 points. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil star in this costume saga that opens at the Nick pretty soon, and you should go see it. You could also take everybody you know, plus the kids, to see Spy Kids starring Antonio Banderas. It's an adult children's film, like Grinch and Willy Wonka. The evildoer is Alan Cummings, who sure looks like Pee-wee Herman.

WHO'S VIC MARANI? Michael Schmidt went out of his way to email me saying Vic Marani has never been in consideration as his campaign manager. Jim Beauregard of Shoppers Corner and the red-tagged Equestrian Development in Bonny Doon called to say he's never even met Marani. A bit of oddness here, since several folks, including me, saw and talked with Marani at the Rural Bonny Doon Association and saw Marani and Beauregard talking and sitting by themselves during the vote count. Maybe they just didn't introduce themselves? It was also never even rumored or stated that Marani would manage Schmidt's campaign. My humble comments were only about Marani's habit of popping up at various political functions and my wondering what he's up to. Marani, as Republicans know, is the chair of the Republican County Committee. Beauregard invited me up to tour his horse thing; maybe I can bring County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt along--Jim's never met her either!

NEW SYMPHONY SEASON. The Santa Cruz Symphony's performance of Brahms' German Requiem, with enormous help from the Cabrillo Symphonic Choir, was as good as it can get. Next year's symphony season was announced Saturday night. There will be six concerts, starting with Grieg, Khachaturian, Ibert and Saint-Saens in September. In November comes Bartok, Bloch and Dvorák, and then there are four more concerts. The symphony is doing excellently, and even Scott MacClelland, who's always called 'em as he sees 'em, says Maestro John Larry Granger has done amazing things in building our symphony to a new standard. Get season performance and ticket info by calling 462.0553 or go to www.santacruzsymphony.com.

FLUORIDE FACTORS. One friend sent me the latest two editions of the Molokai Advertiser-News, a weekly published by the Militia of Molokai, a libertarian group. Along with advocating more guns, restoring a Constitutional Republic and scaling back the powers of the state, the paper is violently opposed to fluoridating Molokai's water. The Molokai Militia drag out the same unproven and amateur research that anti-fluoride groups have been preaching for years and that we are seeing here. One local reader sent me to the Journals of the American Medical Association's website. I'm among the first to admit that the AMA isn't as infallible as the Pope, but when they agree with such an overwhelming number of scientists and humanitarians, I'm with them. Their site quoted the Journal of the AMA 's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of March 8, 2000: "Fluoridation of public water is a major factor responsible for the decline in dental caries during the second half of the 20th century. Although other fluoride-containing products are available, H2O fluoridation remains the most equitable, cost-effective method of delivering to all members of communities, regardless of age, educational attainment or income level." They cited fluoridation of public water as one of the 10 greatest achievements in public health, along with family planning, safety helmets and legislation against tobacco.

COMMUNITY COMMUNICATING. If you want to get involved stopping the U.S. Navy from using Fort Hunter Liggett as a bombing target, call 484.0525 or try emailing ast@ultimanet.com. There's a big coalition being created. ... Talk to the folks who can do something about the miserable traffic problem around here at the Second Transportation Mobility Festival, April 7 at Holy Cross Hall in Santa Cruz. The city and UCSC have been working on these problems, and now's the time to turn your griping into some positive action. Call 420.6683 to get the schedule for the day. ... EarthFirst! needs you help in saving Ramsey Gulch from lumber companies; call 425.3205 or email cruzef@cruzio.com. ... The Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council has completed a study about our tourists. They'll be giving a report on it Wednesday (April 11) at 10am at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. I'll bet they won't have a report on how many tourists go to the Boardwalk each year. That's remains the biggest and most important secret relating to Santa Cruz tourism, and the Boardwalk never reveals it, and it's never talked about.

I USED TO BE ME. That's the title of Pacific Avenue poet Bert Glick's 1999 book. Get one quick (he has only a few left) before it's a collector's item. Buy the book, turn to page 56 and see the last four lines of his poem "Poetry Is the Real News." I quote: "I screw and gulp down my buck-a-cup brew/drive to Westcliff/to face the Pacific/so there's assholes on only three sides of me." Bert's a very positive fellow, so the above probably has a deeper poetic side--and besides, he probably isn't referring to any of us.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9) at 12:50pm. Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com 457.5814, ext. 400.

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From the April 4-11, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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