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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Pacific Avenue Protest Parade, Pre-1894: This was the last Be Kind to Oxen parade in front of Noah's, Peets and Cinema 9 on Pacific and Cooper streets. Just kidding about the protest, but this is the kind of ox team that was geared up to haul our lovely old-growth redwood trees out of the hills after clear-cutting. You can see the ID store building on the far right.

Bruce Bratton

SCAN ENDORSEMENT FORUM SEPT. 13. Visitors to Santa Cruz should know that we have four political endorsements for our City Council candidates that get talked about and argued about to any degree. There's the Sentinel endorsement, which represents the newspaper's policies and is made by three or four of the editorial staff after they ask a few questions of some of the candidates. There's the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce endorsement, which is made by a core group of five to 10 and reflects the business attitude of the city. There's the Metro Santa Cruz endorsement, which is handled by its news and editorial staff. Then there's the SCAN endorsement, which is entirely different. All candidates are sent a questionnaire, asking for statements on issues. All candidates are invited to the Endorsement Forum and are further questioned by anyone in the audience. All dues-paying SCAN members present--and there are usually 60 to 100 in attendance (probably more this year)--then vote, and endorsements are announced that night. Because you don't have to own a business or work for a newspaper, the SCAN endorsement is far and away the most democratic, and the most sought-after. This year, the SCAN Endorsement Forum will take place Sept. 13 at London Nelson Center. Doors open at 5:30pm. The forum starts at 6pm. Call the SCAN office at 458.9425 for more information.

ED PORTER KICKOFF PARTY. Ed's campaign kickoff for his City Council race was at Bert and Lois Muhly's house and was jammed with workers and well-wishers. Elsie Beltram, George Ow, John Laird, Wolfgang Rosenberg, Paul and Sharon Elerick, Kassandra Fox, Ruth Hunter, Marilyn and David Rigler, Keith Sugar, Peter and Celia Scott, Mathilde Rand, Gordon Pusser, Christopher Krohn, Raissa and Bill Allyaud, Joyce Malone, Marv and Gloria Kaplan, David Walworth, Marilyn Strayer, Jane Fessenden, Tom Karwin, Bill Fieberling, Pat Matachek and about 40 other people heard Ed talk about protecting the Greenbelt and some alternatives to widening Highway 1. Bert Muhly talked about how important it is not to divide the city and separate neighborhoods by having district elections.

FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COAST CELEBRATION. It was quite a gathering at Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom's house to celebrate the removal of the biotech goats from Back Ranch Road. Mardi Wormhoudt spoke, and so did Celia Scott. Gary Patton, Ralph Abraham, Jim Bierman, Hulda McLean, Ken Burnap, Paul Hostetter, Denise Holbert, Jonathan Wittwer, Bill Parkin, Marilyn Hummel, Karla Hutton and lots more people discussed the future of the Coast Land and Dairies property and the proposed cell-phone towers along the coast, and we all guessed on how the future of Bill Cunningham's Wine Park entertainment center in Bonny Doon would develop. The Friends of the North Coast has won several land-use battles over the years, and as visitors and locals can plainly see, our north coast has been saved from fates worse than death. Lanting has an excellent piece on Big Sur in the latest National Geographic, and sez our north coast certainly equals the more noted Big Sur in beauty.

NICKELODEON THEATER NEWS. It looks like plans are on hold for the Nickelodeon to open a new theater at the old Theatre 1 & 2 on Front Street. It appears to be too expensive to rebuild the existing structure. The Nick looked into doing something next-door on Lincoln Street at the Goodyear Tire place--that fell through, too. Now, there's a possibility of the Nick working out some arrangement with the city and maybe doing one of several sketchy plans involving the Del Mar. It's possible and sure would be nice if it happened.

FIVE NOT-TOO-BAD MOVIES. Richard Gere's Autumn in New York is the worst of these five. Gere probably taught Keanu Reeves everything he knew about acting. Winona Ryder isn't much better than Gere in her role, and the plot is so bad you really don't care--or believe either of them. The Tao of Steve gains interest about 20 minutes into the film. At least, I guess it does, because I slept through the first 20 minutes. It's a very talky film, with lots of people you either care about or not, and I didn't. Cecil B. DeMented is John Waters' newest outrageous film. It's not as outrageous as his earlier films, but because it's such an attack on Hollywood, it's good fun to watch. Kevin Bacon's Hollow Man is exactly what second features used to be in the good old days. It's simple-minded, ridiculous, poorly acted and about one-tenth the fun or excitement it could have been--forget about it. The Cell is probably the hit of Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach or Silicon Alley (New York). It's a scrapbook of great visual images strung together by a plot that no one can figure out, but it's fun to watch if you don't mind all the blood, guck and perversions. One visual trip almost equals the wild ride in Kubrick's 2001 all those years ago.

ODDS AND ENDS. Thanks to all you kind folks for saying I got it wrong about there being less caffeine in espresso than a regular cup of coffee. I'll research it some more because there are a few schools of thought on this one. ... Not that anyone in Santa Cruz would care, but Ralph Nader isn't gay. That fact was revealed by Matier and Ross, those divisive columnists in the San Francisco Chronicle. Somebody asked Nader about it at a press conference, and as somebody else said, "He's just single-minded." After a lot more thoughts, I'm voting for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman after all. ... George Ow is once again going for a five-story building at Cathcart and Pacific. He's right, it would bring much needed business and attention to south Pacific. But I still think we don't need any more five-story buildings anywheres downtown. I also think it would be better to have some of those floors devoted to affordable housing. ... I know it's because of a parking lot problem, but doesn't it seem logical that there should be a commuter bus from downtown Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley? Why isn't more time spent developing that idea? ... Why doesn't the First Night Parade start at the bottom of Pacific near the old Depot site and go the 11 blocks to the Town Clock? It would be another way to bring much-needed attention to that newly energized south Pacific end of town. ... Yes, Baby Gramps will be at Henflings Monday (Aug. 28), and, no, I haven't heard his CD yet. Next week, I'll tell you more about that historical Wrigley Girl photo I ran a few weeks ago.

BUMPER STICKERS. Chris Parker saw "Heal Your Television" in Sonoma County and "You Free Tibet" someplace else. Whilst driving near Soledad last week, I saw "Control Your Kids, Not Our Guns." It was on a white pickup naturally. Then I saw near Oxnard: "Get a Grip: It's Only a Lane Change."

Bruce critiques films every other Thursday

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