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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Sympathy March, Ballots Not Bullets: On March 13, 1965, all these folks, including Herb and Ellie Foster, marched across the corner of Lincoln and Cedar streets toward Calvary Episcopal Church to get Lyndon Baines Johnson, our president, to act on something. One of the signs says to write to Gov. Wallace, so it's safe to assume it's a civil rights equality march.

Bruce Bratton

NOT EXPERTS ON PLAZAS. Three of those experts the city hired for that Downtown Symposium a couple of weeks ago said profound things like you can't just put a plaza anyplace and have it work, there are plazas that don't work, plazas are a complex issue, plazas have to be programmed successfully and other no-brainer comments. I hope the city didn't pay them much more than tuna fish sandwiches for wisdom like that. Our Downtown Plaza Committee, which is now over a year old, and anyone else who thinks about it certainly knows plazas are complex, so we need to bring in plaza experts to help us work out the logistics. We know the plaza must be managed; we want to create a team to do that. We know finances and office spaces are problems (with many possible solutions), and those are being worked on. Cal Hollis, one of those visiting consultants, said, "Plazas are not a necessary component to uniqueness." If he believes that office buildings or retail stores are necessary components to uniqueness, he should've paid for his own tuna sandwich.

WHAT A LIFE! Not only does Ruth Hunter have an amazing life, she wrote a book with that title. The book is a collection of interviews with senior women that she wrote for La Gazette, the monthly Feminist Forum. Ruth profiles 68 women and even mentions some men, such as Dave Rigler and Burt Muhly, who continue to make great contributions to all our lives, not just their own. Ruth and some friends will be reading sections from her book Tuesday (May 16) at 7:30pm at the Capitola Bookcafe. Ruth just got back from the Washington, D.C., protest march and demonstrations, and she was arrested at the Seattle anti­World Trade Organization demonstration. If you've ever doubted what your one voice, one vote can do, go to the reading and be sure to read the book. Our community owes a lot to the dynamic women she's written about, and Ruth deserves a special award for all she's done for the world.

A MURMUR OF MOVIES. If you liked U-571, you'll love Gladiator. It's another summer blockbuster special. Just be sure to go when there aren't too many people there, because Gladiator attracts loud people who talk a lot during films--and probably move their lips when they read. East Is East is billed as a winning comedy, and if you enjoy wife beating, child abuse and some strange ethnic stereotyping, you'll laugh, too. I didn't like it at all. Frequency is a mass of time-travel contradictions but retains a cute Hollywood story. Wait and rent it. Love and Basketball is too cute for words--not terrible just not very good either. Where the Heart Is is also cute, and you could rent it along with those other near misses. I liked The Virgin Suicides, a nicely told urban fantasy directed by Sophia Coppola. Morton Marcus hated it, so there you are. Both I Dreamed of Africa and star Kim Basinger are beautiful, but the film inconsequential. I saw Titus again and liked it even more the second time. Remember that it's very faithful to Shakespeare's text, not his place or time setting. Director Julie Taymor really brings us a new vision of Shakespeare's play

MOHLER'S NOT MOVING. Kent Mohler called to say that Home Depot changed its plot and is not going to "remove existing building" as it said on its plans. Kent and all his happy customers hope Mohler & Sons Vacuum will be there for years. I'm getting my vacuum there this week, too. Kent sez, "Anytime anyone even sneezes on the freeway after 2pm, traffic at Soquel and 41st becomes horrendous." Beyond that, he added, "Why don't they put some really affordable housing on that property; why are they trying to ruin our town? Home Depot only creates more low-income jobs for people who can't afford to live here; let's get some affordable housing for teachers and folks who are just starting out." Obviously, Kent doesn't abhor vacuums--or even Home Depot's hot air.

LOCAL FEATURE MOVIES, 2. What I didn't notice in that movie-screen ad about 50 feature movies shot in Santa Cruz was that it narrowed the definition down by asking how many were shot here only from 1910 to 1950. Now matter how you define "feature" movies, that eliminates cinema masterpieces created by Dan Bessie, Geoffrey Dunn, Eli Hollander's class and maybe 100 others. I also don't count Woody Allen's film partially shot at UCSC; Tilt, starring Brooke Shields; Peter O'Toole's Creator, which was shot along Pacific Avenue and in the once-great courtyard behind Bookshop Santa Cruz. Gabriel Byrne made another bad film near Soquel and Pacific that only went straight to garbage or video, depending on your view. I was and am talking about the big films, with zillion-dollar budgets, big-name stars, using the real name of Santa Cruz. When you stop to think of it, there aren't many small cities anywhere that do get the biggies. Can you imagine Gidget Goes to Ojai, The Saga of Coalinga or Oxnard Confidential?

THE ALOHA MARCH ON WASHINGTON. In August 1998, hundreds of native Hawaiians marched on Washington, D.C., to bring international attention to the problems facing native Hawaiians. The organizers are planning on having 20,000 native Hawaiians in Washington on Aug. 11­12 this year to say they demand meaningful dialogue to achieve political self-determination and the return of lands that were stolen from their ancestors. President Clinton signed an "Apology Bill" in 1993 acknowledging the unlawful federal seizure and for overthrowing Hawai'i in 1893. You can learn more about this Aloha March by calling "Butch" Kekahu and the Koani Foundation at 808.822.7643 or email him at alohamarch2K@yahoo.com or visit the website at www.alohamarch2000.org.

NOTES IN CLOSING. The Santa Cruz Symphony's closing concert, featuring Mahler's Second, packed the Santa Cruz Civic. They've done wonders in the last few years, and next year's concerts look good, too. ... The Ives Quartet plays Puccini, Foote and Brahms Monday (May 15) at 8pm at UCSC's Music Center Recital Hall. Tickets at 459.2159. ... You can watch Chopin master Pawel Skrypek teach a master class for free Sunday (May 14) at 3pm in Cabrilho's Schilling Forum; call 479.6444 about that. ... Santa Cruz's New Music Works presents 20th-century music in a concert called Quantum Leaps on Saturday (May 13) at 8pm at the same UCSC Music Recital Hall. Call 427.2225 for information and 459.2159 for tickets--or go to Streetlight Records, which is sponsoring the performance, which is a fine idea. ... Teatro Campesino is doing one of its wild and nutty Festivals of Comedy this weekend (May 12­13); the show is called The Mex-Files. Call 831.623.2444 for tickets or visit their website at www.elteatrocampesino.com.


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

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From the May 10-17, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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