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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Political Rally, Feb, 15, 1950: As old-timers can attest, this was the way Pacific and Cooper streets looked back then. Democrat Jimmy Roosevelt was running for governor. Joe & Joe Lucca's restaurant was in the Metro Santa Cruz office. Don Morris' Chrysler/Plymouth dealership and Price's Auto Body Works were where somebody let developer Bob Swenson build the Galleria, which is more or less standing today and where our former locally owned Coast Commercial Bank does business. Yes, that's the real Cooper House on the immediate right, and yes, all male Democrats wore fedoras in those days.

Bruce Bratton

INACCURACY NO. 1: Maynard Manson of Wavecrest Development Inc. tells me that his Laurel and Chestnut streets project is far from dead, as I mentioned some weeks back. He tells me that we'll see stuff really happening starting Sept. 1, and that he's got big-time support from HUD. The 96 units he's going to build on both sides of Chestnut will be one-third one-bedroom and one-third two-bedroom places and that the units will be what Maynard calls "market-rate" dwellings. He's putting in 9,000 square feet of retail stores on the southeast corner and seeks feedback from neighbors as to what kind of neighborhood stores they'd like.

HISTORICAL PHOTO FLUB. Linda Hooper and others let me know rapidly that it wasn't the Sunshine Villa overlooking that Venetian Water Carnival on the San Lorenzo in the June 21 column photo. It was the Rennie Mansion. William Rennie came here from Scotland, made money as a farmer in Sacramento, moved to Santa Cruz and built the Stick-Eastlake house on Cliff and Third streets that was torn down in the late 1960s.

MOVIES. Now you take Mel Gibson's The Patriot. John Yewell calls it Braveheart in Knickers--I was going to say Mad Max Meets Cornwallis. But whatever you call it, it's another summer popcorn movie. I call them popcorn movies because they start with a little kernel of substance, then a lot of hot air blows them out of proportion; they're expensive if you go to theaters for them; and you don't talk about it after you finish digesting it. A big-time popcorn film is The Perfect Storm. I loved it: great scenes, too many subplots, but who cares? You go for the thrills not the cinematic achievement. Jesus's Son, opening this week at the Nick, was originally a bunch of unrelated short stories. This film strings them together around star Billy Crudup to create an odyssey, or a coming-of-age story about a very confused guy. Not bad, but don't blame me if you don't love it. About Up at the Villa: I should not have said last week that Somerset Maugham's novella was at fault for it not being a better film than it is. It must have been the director's fault because the actors were very good, and I've been a fan of Maugham since high school. Thanks to you readers who pointed this out. Ralph Fiennes' three-role job in Sunshine is definitely worth seeing. It's a long, gut-wrenching and well-done film--don't miss it.

BLUNDER NO. 2. Bob Bickal never even writes in to correct my Zoning Board errors anymore, so I'll have to do it. Jay Paul (correct spelling), owner/builder of the Not Cooper House, is going to appeal to the City Council on July 11 to overrule the Zoning Board's decision to make him keep the central passageway running through from Pacific Avenue to Abbott Square and the Art and History Museum. The Zoning Board's staff and the Redevelopment Agency were in favor of letting Paul close off that walk through the building, but the Zoning Board said it's got to be there, and they're right. Our 17 or more walkways through our Pacific Avenue businesses add character and make shopping and walking easier downtown. Besides that, Santa Cruz has done enough for this out-of-town developer. Speaking of rumors about downtown retail spaces, have you heard the one about Nordstrom? I'll see what I can find out and let you know.

DISTRICT ELECTIONS FAUX PAS. Slips of the pen are called lapsus calami in Latin, in case you're stocking up on things to say during the oncoming political party season. Due to my bold attempt at the Pulitizer one more time, I wrote a sentence that came out being edited to read as though Norm Lezin is an official of Coast Commercial Bank. I knew better, but to keep things straight, Norm Lezin is not now and never was an employee, director or an official of that bank, and Harvey Nicholson let me know about it too. Matter of fact, Harvey hasn't ever worked for Salz Tannery, either. I was just trying to say that Rod Quartararo is a Coast Commercial Bank loan officer, and he and Norm don't mention their business interests much when they're out stumping for district elections. John Lisher, who owns Artisans' Gallery on Pacific, is a big supporter of city district elections, and I'll bet you don't see district election posters in his window either. I also asked Harvey if his Santa Cruz Business Council had taken a stand on district elections--he said no. Sorry about all these miniscule flaws, but as they always say, "Even blind squirrels find some nuts." I'm not really sure what that means. I heard it during a boxing match and it has sort of a ring to it.

SCAN'S GOOD GOVERNMENT FORUM, TWO. I mentioned this last week but didn't have the location. It'll be at the Veterans Memorial Building, Room 23, on Saturday (July 8) from 10am to 1pm. Confirmed attendees (not mentioned last week) are John Laird, Peter Beckmann, Pat Matajcek, Nora Hochman, Dave Walworth, Fred Geiger, PJ Grube and Cliff Tillman. Former Mayor Jane Weed will facilitate. Invited guests include former County Supervisor Gary Patton, Yolanda Henry-Goda, Larry Hegeler, Nane Alejandrez and Nena Ruiz. This forum is focusing on broadening the input from the community on what makes good city government. It's also designed to help those folks who are considering running for City Council learn what the community wants, needs and dreams of in candidates. The forum is free and open to the public, and there's childcare available, plus Spanish translation. Call 458.9425 or email SCAN at scan@cruzio.com.

THE PUBLIC TRUST FUND & OUR COUNCIL. After selling the Scotts Valley property and some other properties, our city now has a trust fund worth about $4,494,662. There was a council meeting last week to just discuss priorities. Katherine Beiers wants to fix up the Pogonip Clubhouse; Cynthia Mathews and Michael Hernandez and just about everybody want to secure that Feed & Mercantile property on Center Street for the soccer field; Christopher Krohn talked about the gateway to the river property on Front Street by University Copy. Mayor Sugar wasn't there. Then the plaza at Pacific and Church streets was discussed. No one knows for sure where the property owner stands on the suggestions the city has made regarding various swaps, trades or the creation of new commercial space over the parking lot at Cedar and Church. It has also been reported that the owner does have a new architect. So Eileen Fogarty, Mayor Sugar, city staff and experts will present some plaza updating at a City Council meeting on (Monday) July 10 at 1pm. I suspect that building a plaza at Church and Pacific will be an exciting campaign issue for the City Council races in November, but you never know.

CULTURAL NOTES. If you like folk harp music, there's an International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen Conference happening at CSUMB July 11-16. Harpists from all over the world and Santa Cruz will be there, including Alfredo Ortiz from Long Beach and Guatemala, who used to play at Club Zayante in the good old days. There are afternoon and evening concerts, and you can get info from www.harpcon2000.com or call 375.1515. There are only about 50 seats for the public, so hurry up. ... Molly Davies, who makes multimedia installations for museums and galleries and has worked with John Cage, Lou Harrison and Polly Motley is showing her newest work at MAH July 8-Nov. 26. Molly's still got lots of friends locally from her old days with the Cabrillo Music Festival. If you haven't seen Susan Kingsley's metal work on MAH's third floor, there's a tour this Friday at 12:15pm.


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

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From the July 5-12, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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