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Covello & Covello Historic Photo Collection

Early Army Corps Project? This photo dates back to 1961. You can easily pick out the Mission Street/Highway 1 Bridge at the top and the Water Street Bridge in the middle. At the bottom is the Soquel Street Bridge. See Radio Shack? Riverside Electric? The future Hindquarter location? The Metro Santa Cruz building is in there too! All this before the Galleria was stuck in place.


Bruce Bratton

CITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN. A) In the no-news department, Scott Kennedy's running for City Council, Pat Clark hasn't yet figured out one issue to talk about in his campaign and Michael Hernandez is still flip-flopping about running. We have yet to hear from Kennedy protégé Eric Larsen about running. Larsen always waits until the last minute to make up his mind, too. B) What is being talked about is Dr. Arnie Leff's Green Party membership and how supportive Leff will be of Scott Kennedy&-type politics (he's his doctor and Keith Sugar's too!). Meanwhile, Ed Porter, Emily Riley, Dick Doubrava and Scott Bugenthal's campaigns all are up and running. Nobody's heard from habitual council candidates Rodent or Compost yet, but we probably will.

THAT CONVENTION. There's not much that normal people can do to make either political convention exciting--or even fair or interesting. One small step for mankind I just read and tried was looking at some websites that add political coverage you won't read in the papers or see on TV. Try www.grassroots.com, which gives an activist slant and also has a link to the League of Women Voters site. There are a lot of details and more links on politics on www.voter.com. My favorite so far is www.salon.com--it's got an off-the-record feel to it. The www.women.com site is very commercial, but it does approach the convention from a woman's point of view. You can listen to Sam Donaldson on live webcasts on www.abcnews.com if you want to. For example, I didn't know that Dick Cheney's daughter outed herself as a lesbian years ago and used to work for Coors beer to sell more beer to gays and lesbians. She's probably going out to stump for her father on his campaign.

THE SILVER SCREEN. Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams are great comics and great actors, too. They may all be millionaires by now, but they suffer equally from not having one iota of sense in choosing screen roles. They have acted in some of the worst sappy films ever made, and The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is a prime example. It's gross and disgusting--and has moments of extreme brilliance. Wait and rent it, when the kids aren't around. The Five Senses is another Canadian flick. In recent years, that seems to mean slow, dark and ho-hum plotting--and that's true here. Whatever happened to really good foreign films, the kind that Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Truffaut, Rossellini and Resnais used to make? Chuck & Buck is a very good film. Scenes will haunt you for days.

THE DOUG RAND ACTION FUND. More than $10,000 has been raised as a memorial to Doug, who was one of our community's finest people. The money came from more than 125 folks and families. On Sunday (Aug. 6) at 10:30am, at the Collateral Damage Statue by the Town Clock, the first Action Fund grants will be given to four hard-working local groups that have been effective in making positive changes in our community. If you want more information on the Rand Action Fund or want to apply for next year's awards, call 458.9042. This year's groups will be announced at the ceremony, and no, SCAN isn't one of them--they didn't apply.

SCOTT KENNEDY'S CAMPAIGN. "Full disclosure," which is the current fad in newspapers, must mean I get to fully disclose my many concerns about Scott Kennedy ever getting back on the City Council. In my opinion, Scott's been the most divisive member of the City Council in the 30 years I've been watching. I also didn't like his rabid support of the Gateway Plaza or his attempts at manipulating the City Council and the community to enact Charlie Canfield's Beach Flats Plan. Then again, I thought his support of the Factory Outlets at Laurel and Chestnut was inappropriate. I didn't care much for his calling citizens trying to talk to the City Council Mau-Mau's. Did I mention that he also ripped down Keith Sugar's campaign sign along with Tim Fitzmaurice's sign? That wasn't decent either. Just watch and see who signs on as his supporters and contributors--that will tell you more than we can guess at present. I'll disclose more later, but these are some of the many issues that people keep reminding me of in Kennedy's past.

PAUL WHITWORTH'S KEAN. Shakespeare Santa Cruz's production of Kean is full of fun and excellent acting, and by all means go see it. Paul Whitworth is in his usual command of the role and the stage, and the cast matches him. I can't imagine that Jean-Paul Sartre would have staged and directed it this way. Sartre, who was famed as an existentialist (he wrote The Critique of Dialectical Reason and No Exit), would have probably been a bit less in-your-face-slapstick-circus, but it's still the finest drama we'll see here all year, and it'll start selling out if it hasn't already--so hurry.

CLOSING PACIFIC AVENUE. Michelle Hillekamp emailed to ask why we don't close Pacific Avenue to car traffic. She sez it works great in her hometown of Munich. If you just got here, you should know that topic has been seriously discussed in Santa Cruz since at least the mid-'60's. Closing downtowns to cars doesn't always work. Like plazas, such a project requires much planning, cooperation and commitment. And as with plazas or any change in the status quo, the downtown businesses are afraid to try it. Most businesses operate close to the profit line, and if something like closing the street takes more than a week or two to "catch on," they could go out of business. You'd be amazed how many of our downtown businesses don't like Farmers Market, the Antique Fair, First Night, any parades, or anything that changes their regular business day.

PEOPLE AND LABOR MOVEMENT NEWS. The U.S./Cuba Friendship Committee is welcoming the Cuba Labor Delegation to the USA for the first time in 40 years! Our State Department has always kept foreign trade unions out of the country, but you can join the welcome in San Jose Thursday (Aug. 3) at 7pm, at Laborers Hall, 509 Emory St. Call 408.926.9527 for info. ... If you want to go to L.A. and help protest the Democratic Convention, the Peninsula Peace & Justice Center is taking buses and arranging places to stay there. Call 650.326.8837 or check www.peacecenter.com/LAProtest. ... If you want to learn or improve your street-theater performing ability, the Art & Revolution Street Theatre Collective meets the first Monday of every month at the Resource Center for Nonviolence at 7pm. They're working on genetically altered food, the living wage, Prop. 21 and other issues that need more exposure and outreach. Call 426.2292 for info. ... If you have friends in Washington or are going there yourself, remember that Aug. 11&-12 is when the Aloha March happens. That's when Native Hawaiians who want their independence back are going to tell the world about the Hawaiian sovereignty movement's goal to return native lands and other resources to Native Hawaiians. Most mainlanders don't realize that Hawaiian statehood was opposed by a majority of Native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiians have the worst social, health, educational and economic indicators of any ethnic group in America and make up the largest percentage of the homeless in Hawai'i. You can email alohamarch2k@yahoo.com or visit the website at www.alohamarch2000.org.

CABMUFEST. You've never seen the civic look like it does now. The set for Cabrillo Music Festival's production of Aaron Copland's opera, The Tender Land, is enormous--and again, they'll be using microphones to enhance voices, unlike traditional opera houses. The Sunday-night concert should be grand Santa Cruz material, with Christopher Rouse, Michael Hersch, Emily Wong and Alvin Singleton's pieces on the program, and Marin Alsop conducting the Festival orchestra. These composers are mostly from the East Coast, and we seldom get a chance to hear their works. Remember that the rehearsals are free; just drop in tonight, or Thursday or Friday morning, or next Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday mornings, 10am&-noon. Buy tickets at the civic or call 420.5260.

BITS AND PIECES. Jodi Frediani sent in some anagrams where you rearrange letters and spell something meaningful--like "evangelist" becomes "evil's agent," "the earthquakes" becomes "that queer shake" and "a decimal point" becomes "I'm a dot in place." Thanks for the bumper stickers. I'll get to them ASAP, but Elizabeth Good's sighting was such a Santa Cruz&-type sticker that we need to give her an award. She said it said, "Mischief Is Bliss." Is that perfect or what?


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 August 2-9, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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