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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

Ever Lovely Capitola: I'm guessing this was taken around 1953. Note the Edgewater Club, the Capitola Theater, Leno's Soda Fountain and, of course, the Venetian Hotel. Do note that the sand was bulldozed into blocking the Soquel Creek this year. Remember, I'm no historian, so I really do appreciate any and all corrections, additions and late-breaking news on these photos.

Bruce Bratton

BEACHFRONT PROPERTY, THE PREQUEL. There was standing-room only at the Patagonia Store last Friday to hear the SCAN workshop on Reclaiming the San Lorenzo River Tidelands. Philip Baer spoke on the legal reasons the state owns the tidelands and why they are public property. He stated that the tidelands can't be sold or granted to any corporations. He defined tidelands as all the land below the high-tide line at the time California became a state or when the land was in its natural condition. Baer stated that "most, if not all, of the parking area along the lower river and most, if not all, of the sand the Boardwalk sits on remain in the public domain" and that the lawful ownership of these areas must be established. SCAN member and area activist Pat Matachek spoke about how, two City Councils ago, the city almost succeeded in signing an agreement with the Boardwalk giving it rights to those public lands. She spoke, too, about the necessity of cleaning up the river and restoring the lagoon. She added information about the history of how visitors used to enjoy Santa Cruz before the Boardwalk--how they'd stay here and shop here. They were not the 4 million daytrippers who come here now and clog the streets and cost us heavily in police, medical and maintenance costs. Then Councilmembers Ed Porter, Keith Sugar and Christopher Krohn started their very political aeration on how we must continue to be cautious and careful in negotiating with the Seaside Corporations' Charlie Canfield.

HOT AIR CONTINUED. Porter waffled on for about 12 minutes at the Tidelands Workshop with lip-serving statements like "We're on the road to reversing the situation; we need to see the River Task Force's slide show; we must reverse negotiations with the Boardwalk; we must continue to talk with the Boardwalk; and we must stock the San Lorenzo with Coho salmon in at least five years." Sugar blimped for 10 minutes with such stuff as "We must air this out; we must pursue claims vigorously; we have a strong case; we want a resolution desperately; it's a complicated case." He also said that he shares our frustration--and words like that. Krohn said we can't let the Boardwalk expand, talked about a beach shuttle and a beach bikeway--and added nothing. It was after that that Matachek got really mad and stated, "This council's hat-in-hand position with the Boardwalk sucks!" She continued, "Let them keep the Cocoanut Grove, the merry-go-round and the roller coaster and that's it!" The audience gave her an incredible ovation, and she continued. Pat said it's a fallacy about how far the Boardwalk sales tax goes in paying for all the municipal services the Boardwalk demands. She said she wants to see the City Council reflect the confidence placed in them when they were elected and let the lawsuit against the Boardwalk begin. The audience applauded each time, and Pat added no more negotiation, no more weakening of the cities' position by the city manager-type of government and that 2002 will be the watershed election when we see if a pro-Seaside City Council will be elected. Allegra David pretty much summed up the attendees' feelings by saying, "There's no need to negotiate; let's take the case to court and get the Seaside Corporation off our land." The tidelands will be on the City Council agenda June 26 or July 10. We'll have a chance to see this council's integrity, courage and leadership on the line over this century-old problem. Let's all be there.

DARK PLEASURES. John Travolta's clueless, Don Cheadle's scriptless and Halle Berry's topless in Swordfish, and the rest isn't any good either--don't go. Moulin Rouge is excellent if you love the classic old Hollywood musicals, if you know popular songs of the last three decades and if you want to see an in-your-face color extravaganza and have fun watching a new-millennium musical. The Man Who Cried is directed by Sally Potter, who also directed Orlando, and is well worth seeing. Christine Ricci, John Turturro, Cate Blanchett and Johnny Depp do tremendous acting jobs. It's mythical, tragic, funny and melodramatic, all at the same time.

PACIFIC AVENUE POETRY. Joyce Keller is a senior who lives in the El Centro Building on Pacific Avenue. She, too, is furious and, in a letter this week, laments the Santa Cruz City Council's 7-0 vote against the downtown plaza and their approval of Louis Rittenhouse's four-story building at Pacific Avenue and Church Street. She calls the vote "highly suspicious" and says she is sure "there is a special hell just for developers and evil politicians." She sent me a copy of a letter she sent Mayor Fitzmaurice asking for Rittenhouse's fence to be removed for just one day, so everyone could see the "amazing secret garden" that had grown there in the nearly 12 years since the earthquake. Joyce got no response and says she realizes now how naive she was. She goes on to tell how the secret garden was mown down immediately after the council's vote. Joyce shares our concern for the future of small businesses downtown and wants to join an association for people who live downtown. Joyce's Pacific Avenue poems, or chants as she calls them, need to be read and heard--they're very good.

SLUGFEST 2001. Plans are happening fast for this South on Pacific event. It's a welcome-back-students celebration staged by the businesses south of Cathcart Street on Pacific Avenue. It will happen Sept. 29, noon-6pm. They've had a lot of bands send in demos, and they want more. Girl bands, hip-hop, rockabilly, punk, rock and even reggae bands are urged to go for it. The event features two stages, booths of all kinds and, as mentioned before, a karaoke competition! The Slugfest organizers swear karaoke's coming back. Call Ben at the Volume Store at 457.9262 for those details.

MEN EXPERIENCING LOSS. Ron Blanchette and Scott Hawkins are leading an eight-week group for men to respond to loss and grief. It begins Thursday (June 21) at 7pm and will be held at the Hospice Center, 6851 Soquel Dr., Aptos. So if any men have been recently dumped, lost a loved one, been fired or are having a tough time dealing with grief this could help. You need to call Hospice to enroll and to make sure this is an appropriate thing for you to do; the number is 688.7684.

HISTORIC PACIFIC AVENUE PHOTO. I ran a photo of the 1930 stores at Pacific Avenue and Mission Street three weeks ago. I wondered what the store was in the building that became the old Bookshop Santa Cruz. Mary Ponza and Don Pastorino called in to tell us the store was Espindola's Market. Marie Bowe went even further and looked it up in her 1930 Santa Cruz City Directory. She sent a letter saying it was Espindola's and that Leopold Hugo's Art Studio was next door and Williamson's Hall was upstairs. Thanks again for the feedback and interest.

LATE-BREAKING FLUORIDE NEWS. On June 6, Escondido, Calif., in San Diego County, with a population of 133,000, repealed its antifluoridation ordinance, which it had enacted just two years ago. They are now going ahead with a fluoridation project. There is now a San Diego Fluoridation Coalition, which is a subcommittee of the San Diego County Dental Health Coalition. It now represents more than 100 San Diego-based organizations and agencies and more than 12,000 individuals. Some of you may know that Escondido is in Jeff Green's neighborhood. Green's the highly paid antifluoride guy who shows up when communities are trying to vote in favor of dental health by going for fluoridation of the public water supply. You can get the complete story by going to http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sandiego, then type "fluoridation," and click "search."


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

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From the June 13-20, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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