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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

Pacific and Mission Streets, 1930s: We're looking at the present location of World Savings. Rooms were available at the Arlington Hotel upstairs from Lease and Wettstein's Grocery Store. Plaza Stationery is on the immediate left. Any old-timers know what the large store on the far left was? The name ends in '. . .ola's no. 8.'

Bruce Bratton

BEACHFRONT PROPERTY. There's going to be a concert and workshop/fundraiser for SCAN dealing with the acres of tidelands that the Seaside Company uses for a parking lot. It'll be at the Patagonia Store, 415 River St., Santa Cruz, at 7pm on June 8. There are numerous questions about how much of the land between the San Lorenzo River and the Boardwalk the city of Santa Cruz owns. Some say it's as much as six to eight acres, and that the Boardwalk never had full legal rights to use that property. Over the nearly 100 years that the Boardwalk has been building on the beach, dozens of issues have been raised and never solved. The issue of the Boardwalk being on public trust land (land that isn't owned by the Seaside Company) is a good place to start. Making sure that the Seaside Company is paying a fair share of city taxes (especially for the amusement games) for the 4 million visitors who drink, eat and park there every year is up for debate. SCAN voted the issue of the Boardwalk and the tidelands property as one of the four major issues facing our city. The La Bahia conference center, back rent for the use of the beachfront for 50 years, and free coastal access are some items worth evaluating. I also think that the Boardwalk should pay a larger share of the cost of operating the Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council than any city in the county, because almost all advertising by the CVC features the Boardwalk. All the Boardwalk pays now is a small part of the advertising budget. At any rate, some of our current City Council were elected because of their willingness to deal with the Beach Flats problems; now is their chance to represent us and solve this age-old problem. The tidelands problem will be brought up as an agenda item by the City Council in June, so be sure to attend the June 8 fundraiser and let's get united on this one.

DARK PLEASURES. I don't like Uma Thurman very much, so watching her and Nick Nolte in The Golden Bowl wasn't fun. It's one of those turn-of-the-century New York society-type films, except that the book was written by Henry James. Even that didn't help much. You already know all there is to know about the Pearl Harbor film, and what you see is what you get. The only surprise for me was the inclusion of the Jimmy Doolittle 30 Seconds Over Tokyo raid at the end. My advice is to see Shrek or With a Friend Like Harry, twice.

WHAT'S WITH PARADISE? I thought it was weird when longtime Santa Cruzan Paul Dragavon moved to Paradise, that red-neck bend in the road up near Chico a few years ago. Then Dick Little of KSCO fame moved there; then poet, writer, playwright Claire Braz Valentine moved there too a couple of months ago. Now I hear that videographer L.B. Johnson moved there and so did muralist Peter Bartzcak of Clown Bank Studio notoriety. Actually, Peter's painting a mural in Chico right now. Rumor has it that attorney Bob Ludlow is moving up there, too. In case you're thinking of opening a Thomas Kinkade gallery in Paradise, it's too late--they've got one. It's right near the dry cleaners, as I remember.

FIGHTING MEGASTORES. With the Santa Cruz City Council selling out to retail developers, it's a good time to check out some resources and see how cities with guts and integrity have defeated chains and unwanted businesses. Check out the works done by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and their website, www.newrules.org. It tells of the many ways communities can prevent these developers from using the age-old promises of taxes and entry-level employment and vote instead for community and environment. The News Flash section of www.sprawl-busters.com lists hundreds of cities of all sizes that have saved their main streets and turned back big business. Obviously, Santa Cruz isn't on the list.

MICHAELANGELO ROSATO DIED. After battling esophageal cancer for a long time, Michaelangelo died Thursday (May 24). The cancer wasn't so much from smoking as it was from gastric reflexes. He died peacefully at home after being bedridden for months. Michaelangelo was politically active in dozens of Democratic and environmental campaigns, including the big one to save Lighthouse Field. He wrote for newspapers, helped lead Vision Santa Cruz, loved opera, bullfights, good food, miserable old cars, and people. There'll be a party/wake/celebration at noon on June 9 at his house. Call 426.4702 for details.

AVANT GARDEN PARTY. For 22 years, Santa Cruz's New Music Works has been creating great garden parties as performances and as some of the finest garden parties you could ever go to. On June 10, they'll be performing the unusual and fun compositions they've become noted for. Their old robot, Arty Nuvo, has been resurrected; theremin specialist Joseph Minicello will perform; Rita Lilly will sing; and as you can imagine, the theme is "2001: A Space Garden." They'll have a silent auction, great food and super wines, and it's all loose, way laid-back and friendly. The event will be held at 700 Spring St., Santa Cruz. Call 459.159 for advance tickets and 429.2277 for info.

UCSC CINEMA NOOZ. Former UCSC film student Stephen Mirrione, who won an Oscar for editing Traffic, will be talking on campus Wednesday (May 30) in the UCSC Media Theatre at 8pm. His topic will be "Point of View: The Art of Film Editing." It's free, and the public is invited. Stephen is currently working on Steven Soderbergh's remake of Ocean's Eleven. That's the Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr. 1960 film, and why Soderburgh ever decided to remake it should be an interesting topic. For sure it'll need more editing than the original. You can see Robert Bresson's 1983 film L'Argent, based on a story by Tolstoy, free in room 75, Social Sciences II, 7:30pm, on Thursday (May 31).

DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION. With all the talk about more folks living downtown, isn't it about time someone steps up and activates the Downtown Neighborhood Association? There are so many issues--like plazas, noise, height limits and affordability of rentals--that downtown residents have no voice in at present. Palomar and St. George residents have plenty of problems, and where will the residents of 1010 Pacific park? What do the students who live in the University Town Center care about? Even the penthouse residents in the Borders building must have some feelings about their neighborhood. This would be a real neighborhood association, not that ersatz club that William Ruble, Mark Primack and Robert Frietas get together just before a City Council election. Have there been any Downtown Neighborhood Association meetings since their last farce last September? I didn't hear of any, and I live downtown.

OPERA ITEMS. Opera San José is presenting a fine selection of four operas before moving into its new and larger quarters next year. The company is doing Falstaff in September, Così Fan Tutte in November, Manon in February (2002) and Madama Butterfly in April. The Opera sells out all performances and has great new voices, so call 408.437.4450. Closer to home, UCSC's Opera Theatre is presenting Donizetti's The Elixir of Love May 31 and June 1--3 in the Music Recital Hall. Nicole Paiement is conducting, and the voices I caught in a preview are well worth hearing and watching out for. Call 459.2159 for tickets.


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

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From the May 30-June 6, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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