[Metroactive Features]

[ Features Index | Santa Cruz | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

[whitespace] Historical Photo
Civil Defense in Santa Cruz: I have misplaced the names of this fearless trio, but the photo was taken Oct. 30, 1961. Noting the sand bags and figuring it's 1961, this must have been a defense only against smaller beanbag attacks. This is the Pacific Avenue side of our County Court House on Cooper and Pacific. It became the Cooper House; now it's just a bunch of stores and offices.

Bruce Bratton

WHO'S ALDO? I asked about Aldo Giacchino, the guy who challenged Rotkin's and Mathews' legality in running for city council, in last week's column. So Aldo emailed and called to say he's 65, has lived here since 1998, has a BA in English from St. John's U, an MS in city planning from Pratt Institute, a 10-year career in city planning and was a planning director in Newark, NJ. He's been a senior manager in several health-care and health-insurance programs in NY and the SF Bay Area. Aldo mentioned friends such as Ralph Meyberg, Pat Matejcek, Claudia Shafer and Fred Geiger. He also told me that fluoridating our water makes sense to him (as it does to the rest of the world). He then added that district elections may work in larger cities, but that there's no burning need for them in Santa Cruz. We're going to get together for coffee, and I'll pass on anything else he says.

DARK PLEASURES. "Simone" is an acronym in Al Pacino's Simone, but forget what they say, it really stands for si,money. It's not funny enough, not deep enough and Rachel Roberts is a terrible actress. They must have made it just for the money. Jennifer Aniston does a fine job in The Good Girl, which is not and wasn't meant to be a comedy, so go not expecting to laugh. I liked Blue Crush, the women-surfer film. So did The New York Times and the women/girl surfers at Paradise Surf. Predictable, but with great surf shots, and much better than any other scripted surf film. The blind Chinese girl in Happy Times brought up emotions not touched since Jackie Coogan teamed up with Charlie Chaplin. It isn't that great a film, but it's still a good story, go for it. Sex and Lucia is one of those reality/dream mysteries. Go, and if you figure it out, do get in touch.

THE NEW OLD JAHVA HOUSE. There's a contest to name the newly cleaned Jahva House. You'll win free coffee for a year. The owners are putting in a kitchen and will create their own cookies, soups, muffins and things like that. The atmosphere at 120 Union St. is the same as before, and Ashton Hodge, the general manager, guarantees it will remain intact , which is great. I came of age in the Mediterranean coffeehouse on Telegraph Avenue and a few others in San Francisco, and you can't find that hang-loose feeling many places. The problem is that they can't call it the State Electric Generator Company, which it was for decades. I also informed them that the premises was a TV commercial studio for a brief time, but I can't remember the name of the place.

DEL MAR DAYS AND NICK AT NIGHTS. It's great news that the Del Mar Theatre has started children matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Showing such classics as The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T and The Wizard of Oz should provide every parent a chance to expose their kids to quality children's films. On the other hand [email protected] Nick, as in Nickelodeon, should bring out the deep, dark denizens from the cellars of cinema fandom. The Nick screens such films as The City of Lost Children, Rushmore, The Thin Man, The Usual Suspects and Jaws all on Friday and Saturday at midnight.

NARROWING HIGHWAY 1. With the supposed government crackdown on secret dealings between businesses, it's hard to believe that our very own secret business group hasn't come under some scrutiny. That would be the Santa Cruz County Business Council as directed by Jim Conklin. Try to get the members' names, try to find out why Dominican Hospital, Graniterock Co., Coast Commercial Bank and dozens of our big businesses belong. Then ask why the Business Council is supporting the widening of Highway 1. You can get some sensible views on our highway traffic problems by going to http://sensibletransportation.org.

OTTER B BOOKS. This excellent publisher and distributor of Monterey Bay Area books just redid Rick Hamman's California Central Coast Railways, and it's a huge improvement over the 1980 version--and it's cheaper, too. Otter B did Frank Perry's Lighthouse Point: Illuminating Santa Cruz, too, which I haven't seen yet, but I've heard good things about it. There'll probably never be a definitive history book about Santa Cruz, but check out the nearly 20 titles that Otter B publishes or distributes, and you'll have all the history you'll need to hold you over.

CORIOLANUS II. I enjoyed Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Coriolanus so much I went again. You will probably never get a chance to see this play in America, so get up to UCSC ASAP and see it while you can. It only plays Thursday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 31. Coriolanus the man is every bit as complex, interesting and screwed-up as Hamlet--they both have serious relationship problems with mom and lack planning skills. There's too much shouting, and it seems like a Michael Edwards production. But read a plot outline, then enjoy the mature Shakespeare at his best.

MORE MERGERS. Simon Kelly sends 'em, I print 'em. How about if 3M and Goodyear merged--would they call it MMM Good? If Xerox and Wurlitzer merged, would they make reproductive organs? If John Deere and Abitibi-Price merged, would they be called Deere Abi? By merging Honeywell, Imasco and Home Oil, you'd get Honey IM Home, and sit where you are to contemplate the merging of Zippo Manufacturing, Audi, Dofasco and Dakota Mining into ... Zip Audi Do-DA. Yes, Simon Kelly's a real person, call him, not me.

Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9). Reach Bruce at [email protected]

[ Santa Cruz | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the August 28-September 4, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.