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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

Building the Municipal Wharf in 1913: You can see the working fisherman's wharf to the right. All the fishing boats are suspended out of the water, due to high tides and no harbor. It's also possible to make out John Faraola's fish supply shop, first on the left going out the old wharf.

Bruce Bratton

HOWARD ZINN AT THE RIO. The Resource Center For Nonviolence is celebrating its 25th anniversary by bringing noted author and lecturer Howard Zinn to the Rio Theatre on Nov. 14. No tickets or times yet, but call the Resource Center at 423.1626, and they'll let you know necessary info. Maybe they should let Republicans in free, otherwise they'll never hear Zinn, and he's too good to miss.

A LITTLE STREET MUSIC? Who's been telling our Santa Cruz police to hassle our street performers again? Has the Santa Cruz City Council taken a new get-tough policy on performers? Is it that the police are getting uppity and doing their own creative controlling again? Stopping visitors and locals from enjoying the marimba group in front of O'Neill's once again makes you wonder who owns our downtown sidewalks: the merchants or the people? Now that Tom Noddy's back in town, maybe it's time to reactivate the performers' code of behavior and get the police to agree to it.

DARK PLEASURES. As you must have heard by now, A.I. is a long way from Spielberg's or Kubrick's best films. The kid, Haley Joel Osment, is as good as they say, maybe as good as Shirley Temple and Freddie Bartholomew put together! (Don't go there.) But don't stand in line to see it--it's too superficially complex. Crazy/Beautiful, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez, is a very fine film. It's amazingly well scripted, and the acting is excellent. It is not another ditzy film about teenagers. It's a serious contemporary drama that ends a bit too Hollywoody--but see it quick; it'll probably leave in a week. The International Channel showed Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East, a 1989 Korean film about a Zen master and student that has to be a nearly perfect film. If you ever get a chance to view this masterpiece do it. TCM showed Max Ophuls' La Ronde (1950), with Jean Louis Barrault, Danielle Darrieux and Simone Signoret, last week--don't miss that one either. Like Eyes Wide Shut, it is based on a story by Arthur Schnitzler. There are rumors that the Rio Theatre may start a film program. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

LOUIE, LOUIE. I didn't make really clear last week when I related Louis Rittenhouse's grandfather's political campaign to "Keep California White" why it was so important. Louis stated many times in his dealings for the building at Pacific and Church that he refused to consider a plaza there or anything besides a building because of the memory of his grandfather, Emmet Cloyd Rittenhouse. Over and over, we heard about the memory of Emmet Cloyd Rittenhouse. Louis stated that money was of no importance and that because his grandfather was murdered there he wanted to preserve his memory. I merely wanted to make sure we all knew what that memory really meant. Sour grapes on my part over losing that last effective space downtown for a community plaza? Sour grapes doesn't begin to describe my anger and frustration over our losing that plaza.

ABOUT CABRILHO, THE MAN. Again, I admit to relying on rumors. This time, the rumors are historical. So far, no one has dug up absolute proof about Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho's real name, his birthplace or his nationality. Portugal claims him as a son but says that the birth records were destroyed in a Lisbon earthquake. One reader sent me a paper from Peter Finegan, editor of Cabrillo College's Voice, that quotes Harry Kelsey's 1986 book on Cabrillo. Kelsey figures the guy was Spanish. Go figure. Other historical sources dispute whether Cabrilho was on board the ships that sailed up our coast. Those sources say Cabrilho broke his leg or arm and was buried on one of the Channel Islands, before the ships sailed this far north. If I remember correctly, Senator Henry Mello was in Portugal a few years ago and wrote back saying he couldn't find any trace of Joao's birth in the national records either.

THE REST OF THE STORY. Last Tuesday, I got so many reports that Michael Schmidt was fired from the Chamber of Commerce because of his loose-cannon activities that I decided to email Michael in an effort to get the truth. He replied that he and the board president were talking about his stepping down. Wednesday the reports of Schmidt's firing continued. Some of us read in the Sentinel last Thursday that Schmidt was no longer with the Chamber of Commerce. Rumors continue that view Schmidt's use of Robert Norse's out-of-town rabbi as a spokesperson for the homeless as contributing to his problem. How this will iron out is anybody's guess.

REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS? I happened on a Santa Cruz Sentinel of Thursday, May 27, 1999. The business headline read "eBay setting up shop downtown." They were going to have 8-15 paid interns from UCSC in 2,300 square feet in the Cooperhouse. Never heard much from them after that, and I'll bet everybody forgot all about it. One the other hand, the same article tells how Philippe Kahn also leased 6,900 square feet in the same building for Starfish Software and that seems to have worked out.

PROGRESSIVES REVEALED. If you want to be kept informed about events happening in the progressive community, you need to get on the Santa Cruz Progressive Email List, or SCPEL. All events and messages have some explicit connection to Santa Cruz, and the site is moderated, so you don't get a lot of junk. You can join by sending a blank email to scpel-subscribe@topica.com. That's where I got the info on Howard Zinn.

CUBA SI! The Cuba Study Group of Santa Cruz is presenting John Laird and the highly rated film Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry & Chocolate) on July 14 at 7pm at the Live Oak Grange at 1900 17th Ave. If you liked Before Night Falls, this one shows a very different side of Castro's Cuba. Laird will discuss the status of gays in Cuba today after the film. The Cuba group will be presenting Saul Landau, Morton Marcus and Karen Lee Wald in future film and lecture events. Oh, and be sure to bring comfortable chairs to the Grange; it was tough sitting last time. Call 465.8272 for information.

JOB OPENING. The Surfrider Foundation, Santa Cruz Chapter, desperately needs another lab coordinator. It's one evening a week, Monday nights, and the person needs to come to Santa Cruz High to read the results of water-quality testing. Then you tabulate the results and record a message on the Poopline, 476.POOP. Everybody gets to see those results. No experience is necessary. It's volunteer, but several pounds of never-used positive karma will be awarded. Call Nathan at 637.6003 or email Nicolas Ladizinsky, the lab coordinator at Nicolas_Ladizinsky@monterey.edu.

EFFLUVIA AND JETSAM. Katherine Minott sent these gems. Trivia: the plastic things on the ends of your shoelaces are called aglets. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Apples are more efficient than caffeine in waking you up in the morning. Dentists recommend keeping your toothbrush at least six feet away from your toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. Debra Winger was the voice of E.T. Pearls melt in vinegar. You can lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs. Yes, Katherine does have a lot of other very important things to do, so don't ever ask her how she got these items.


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 July 4-11, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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