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[whitespace] Historical Photo
Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Pacific and Cathcart Streets, Nov. 29, 1950: Note in the right background the Santa Cruz Community Credit building on Front Street, and Sweets Service, now Tiffany's Antiques. Don Morris' used-car lot was here then, and so was Farmer's Elbow Room, both on the corner of Front and Cathcart streets.

Bruce Bratton

WITH VIEW OF ARBORETUM? UCSC's idea of building 95 expensive faculty homes and 30 new rentals that will threaten both the Arboretum and the Farm & Garden Project needs to be stopped. The Friends of the Arboretum are up in arms, botanists from around the world are protesting and now the public needs to let Chancellor Greenwood know that a lot of people care very much about the Arboretum and the Sustainable Agriculture Program at the Center for Agroecology, a.k.a. the Farm & Garden Project. The chancellor has said she doesn't intend to replace the Arboretum; she's also joked that "the bad news is that the parents can't find the colleges because of the trees." With an attitude like that, she apparently needs convincing that she's running a very special campus. Other plans involve extending Western Drive through the Arboretum's eucalyptus grove. Is nothing sacred? More than 250 signatures protesting the chancellor's plot have already been collected from all over the world, and the signers have sent in volumes of correspondence supporting their concerns. (Full Disclosure: Alan Chadwicke, who developed the Farm & Garden Project, was one of my favorite customers when I was a clerk at Ted Giubini's Eastside Hardware out on Soquel). Hopefully, the university will be more open to public testimony than it was at its so-called public-hearing sham on May 24. Opponents say there was almost no time for public input. They are also disturbed at Linda Goff, the chancellor's friend, being appointed interim director of the Arboretum, and believe that she lacks credentials. This same area was proposed as a housing site 10 years ago and was stopped. Why UCSC takes on these crazy projects without even the courtesy of acting like a good community neighbor is really puzzling. For all of the details of this important struggle go to Save the Arboretum at http://go.to/arboretum. In the meantime, tell Charlie Eadie, UCSC's head planner and frontman for this mess, to find another 4.2 acres elsewhere on their special campus.

DARK PLEASURES. Himalaya is a fine film, and it's not a documentary. It's a long way from masterpieces like Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali or Bergman's early ice-cold classics, but do see it, you'll like it. Startup.com is a modern-day horror story, and it is a documentary. It doesn't ruin the ending (it improves it) to tell you that Tuzman and Herman, the two focal points of this high-tech saga, have gone back into business together. The Man Who Cried, with Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp, has been haunting me. For one thing, I haven't seen any reviews that mention the performance of Santa Cruz favorites Taraf de Haidouks in the film, and of course, they're almost as much fun to watch onscreen as they are live. Only a few critics around the world have noted the tableau quality of this film. It's similar to Orlando, which Sally Potter also directed. It's a film about music and about moral and political survival, and how people's voices and identities are taken away. Nothing's quite real in The Man Who Cried--it's contrived perfection, some critic said. The performances by John Turturro and Cate Blanchett are bizarre, J. Hoberman stated in the Village Voice. He also said the film is dreamlike. U.K. reviews said the film is achingly beautiful. Potter has too much going for her to dismiss this film, as most have. We better all go again. But I will admit I couldn't figure why there was a horse on the palace roof in the suicide scene at the end of Tosca.

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND. These New Orleans musicians are among the very few groups in the country to play traditional jazz, or jass. Their arrangements, styles and improvising aren't all that different from the earliest days of recorded jazz. If names like Bunk Johnson, Kid Ory and George Lewis mean anything to you, don't miss the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The group features Wendell Brunious on trumpet, Don Vappie on banjo, David Grillier on clarinet, Joseph Lastie Jr. on drums and Benjamin Jaffe on bass. Tickets on sale at Streetlight Records and at the Book Loft next door to the Rio Theatre. The performance is Sunday (July 1) at 7pm at the Rio Theatre. Call the Rio at 689.0923 for information.

WHAT SPECIAL PLACE? Small towns and large cities all across the country are celebrating their victories over Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, megastores and franchises. Folks have been telling me about a PBS special called Store Wars that details these victories. It used to be that Santa Cruzans felt they too lived in a special place. A special place that had character and integrity and reflected the people's sensibilities and could grow only in positive and healthy ways. You'd hear "only in Santa Cruz" and "no place but here" all the time. Since the earthquake, we've watched our City Councils, aided and abetted by their dependence on the city manager and staff, sell out to damned near any developer who asks. Now that the City Council has okayed it, Costco will add a new parking lot, increase its store size to equal its largest stores and add a gas station. You have to wonder why our city government doesn't study how other communities face their budget problems, without selling out to developers and box stores. Look at our city of Santa Cruz now, look at Costco and the Gateway River Street development--is there any limit on what will be dealt away to developers? Doesn't any councilmember have the courage and wisdom to seek ways of paying our city bills that don't also sell our community and environment? Other cities have done it and are doing it.

ALL ABOUT GRUNION. Aquarium curator Peter Macht is going to discuss "The Unusual Life of the Grunion" at 1pm Sunday (June 24) at the Seymour Marine Discovery center out at Terrace Point. Reservations are required; call 459.4568. Having spent many formative years and warm summer nights in Southern California in the early '50s, grunion will always have a special place in my heart and elsewhere. I wasn't even sure they were real for the first few years.

RIOT AT THE HYATT SOLD-OUT!! Jerry Hoffman's boxing matches at the Hyatt Hotel in Monterey always sell out two or three days before the event. But this time, all the tickets were gone 18 days before the July 3 display of the sweet science. Hoffman's got Jose Celaya vs. Jesse Martinez in the main event, and Jose Landin vs. Jose Rico in the semimain. Welterweight Nicole Beard of San Francisco fights Carol Wirth from Oakland for four rounds in a Battle of the Bay. That's 1,200 sold-out seats by the way, but you can call 688.1604 to find out if there's any possibility of seeing this July 3 show of up-and-coming boxing champions.

CABRILLO MUSIC FESTIVAL HOUSING. One of the greatest traditions of the Cabrillo Music Festival is that the visiting musicians and performers get to stay with area residents. Longtime friendships have been formed, and much music has been shared. The festival needs some new volunteered housing for this year's performers. A couple of nice, private, housing arrangements for visiting special artists are really needed. Call the CabMuFest office at 426.6966 or check cabmufst@scruznet.com. Don't forget, this is the year of the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass' The Photographer, and it's happening next month.

ENEMY ALIEN SYMPOSIUM. There's a symposium about how the Japanese, Italian and German American communities in the Monterey Bay Area were affected by WWII happening Saturday (June 23) at 11am at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Mas Hashimoto, Geoffrey Dunn and Lawrence DiStasi, author of Una Storia Segreta, the Secret History of the Italian-American Evacuation (Heyday Books), will all be discussing this darker part of our Bay Area history. Admission is free, refreshments will be served and, for goodness sakes, get there early.


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 20-27, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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