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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Leask's Department Store, Aug. 29, 1957: This was almost the last of the remodeling facelifts that Leask's received. It was located on the corner of Church and Pacific, where the Wherehouse CD, video and bookstore now stands. J.C. Penney's, our other department store on Pacific, was a few blocks south.


Bruce Bratton

NO WESTSIDE CARPO'S. After buying the property and investing a lot of time and money opening a new Carpo's West at Mission and Almar, owner Todd Todd tells me he just couldn't make it happen. Costs got out of hand, budgets were blown and the interior of the old restaurant on the site was in worse shape than anyone figured. Many, many West Side folks were looking forward to another Carpo's, and T. Todd isn't sure what's going to happen there right now, but no Carpo's.

THE NEW RIO THEATRE. Mayor Keith Sugar reports that he has already told Ceil Cirillo of the Redevelopment Agency to do everything possible to assist Laurence Bedford in getting his newly purchased Rio Theatre up and running. After seeing such huge subsidies and enormous cost breaks given to downtown developers like Jay Paul and the Cooper House--plus Borders and the Cinema 9--we should certainly expect that a genuine community project like the Rio Theatre be given every advantage possible.

POLITICAL PARTY TIME, I. City Council candidate Dick Doubrava had his campaign kickoff last Friday. What's amazing about these kickoff parties (and I've been to a few) is the very different groups of people who attend them. Dick was chair of the Planning Commission and has worked on several committees. He spoke about Terrace Point, his dedication to senior issues and making the City Council more up-front. The party was at Mari Tustin's house, and attendees included Nancy Rosenberg, Mike Moore, Gordon Pusser, Claudia Shafer, Hut and Shirl Hutton, Barney Elders, Stirling Frost, Flo and Frank Schwab, Geoffrey Dunn, fellow candidates Emily Reilly, Ed Porter, Scott Bugental and Arnie Leff, Mayor Keith Sugar, plus councilpersons Tim Fitzmaurice and Christopher Krohn, Sharon and Paul Elerick, Marilyn and Dave Rigler and Sandy Brown, Rachel O'Malley, Don Burke, Fred and Susan Geiger, Joyce and Bill Malone and music by Bruce Englehart of Dirty Butter fame.

JUST A QUESTION. Think about this one: What if Kmart closes its 41st Avenue store? The chain hasn't been doing all that well lately. If Kmart closed, what about Home Depot opening there? I have no advance word on this or anything--it's just something to ponder.

CINEMA SILLINESS. The newest geezer film, The Crew, is a bad as the last one, Space Cowboys. Burt Reynolds and Richard Dreyfuss are stuck with a script as predictable and lame as Space Cowboys. Thinking about Cocoon and the Lemmon-Matthau efforts, you know there are going to be great Hollywood efforts like Old Men in the Haunted House, Old Men Go Spying, Old Men vs. Satan--and the mind boggles. Butterfly is a fine film. The acting isn't very good, except for Fernando Fernán Gomez's role as the old schoolteacher, but the story is from Manuel Rivas, which makes it well worth seeing. Wesley Snipes' The Art of War is nearly the most pointless, empty film ever made. It's supposed to be another spy film dealing with such international threats as drugs, prostitution, district elections and espionage. You're supposed to care who's behind some dumb international plot, and I suppose it'll outgross every film ever made. But I wouldn't go if I were you. The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack is a documentary on two topics: one is about folksinger Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the other is about how his daughter, Aiyana Elliott, tries to develop a relationship with her dad after all his years of ramblin.' Aiyana was a Santa Cruzan, as you've undoubtedly read. Her stepfather, Jerry Kay, used to own General Feed and Seed out on Commercial Way, and he's in the film too. If you like 1950s and '60s American folk music, you should see this film. If you want to see a strong film dealing with father-daughter relationship, you should also see this film.

THOSE WRIGLEY GIRLS. One of the most rewarding things about running the historical photos for me and Eric Fingal of Covello & Covello, where the photos come from, is to hear from folks in those pictures. Carol Nissen Pineau (she was Carol Morris then) was fourth from the right in that photo of the Wrigley's tour guides shown here Aug. 8. She was in a modeling school in San Jose, and Wrigley's contacted them for the opening of the plant. The guides were only used for the opening. She was assigned to the wrapping department, and when the tours would come by, she'd sweep her hand and say, "This is the wrapping department." It was the first time visitors were allowed to tour a gum plant. They made Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit out there. The Sentinel reported that it was one of 18 similar factories, and that the plant turned out 7,000,000 sticks of chewing gum per eight-hour day. Tom Polk Williams was mayor of Santa Cruz at the time (1955).

GREEN POLITICS? To say that Ralph Nader and Medea Franklin wowed the overflowing crowd at the Civic last week would be putting it mildly. (Full disclosure: I can't remember any two candidates for national office that I have ever agreed with more or whose positions on state and national issues were so like my own). Yet I thought it was rude and politically weird of the Green Party not to allow our mayor to make an introduction onstage because he doesn't belong to the Green Party. Since when do mayors of cities have to belong to whatever group they are welcoming to town? From what I've read, Nader doesn't belong to the Green Party either. That's hard to believe, but so was their snub of the mayor.

BOOKS NOT IN PRINT. Eager reader (and daughter) Jennifer Boulanger sent in a list of children's books that never made it into print. You Are Different and That's Bad. Some Kittens Can Fly. Pop! There Goes the Hamster and Other Great Microwave Games. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry. Kathy Was So Bad, Her Mom Stopped Loving Her. What Is That Dog Doing to That Other Dog? And The Boy Who Died From Eating His Vegetables. There are more, but I'll save them.

ANOTHER NADER NOTE. I saw Scott Kennedy at the Nader rally; he thanked me for all the name recognition I'd been giving him. I promised him I'd continue and would save it all up for the last few weeks before the election, when folks really need to be reminded of all he's accomplished.

FOURTH POLITICAL PARTY. Scott Bugental's kickoff party was at Tom Leavitt's house. This house was once Celia and Peter Scott's home; they sold it to Ed Borovatz, former county supervisor, so it's seen plenty of politics. Bugental spoke about improving public transportation and our increasing water problem. In answer to a question (not mine), he stated he supports a plaza downtown, specifically at the corner of Church and Pacific as has been mentioned 500 times in this column. No other candidate has made any statement on that issue, so far. Bernice Belton and Celia Scott spoke, and so did Bob Fitch of the Resource Center for Non Violence. Louis LaFortune was there; so were Cliff Tillman, Kathy Bisbee, Bert and Lois Muhly, Ruth Hunter, Barbie Schaller, Sue Reynoldsen, Leslie Nichols, David Espinoza, candidates Reilly, Porter and Doubrava, Mayor Sugar, council folks Fitzmaurice and Krohn, Nora Hochman, Chris Broadwell, Claudia Shafer and about 40 others whose names I'll get to later. Bugental also spoke about how district elections would cause the other six elected district representatives to ignore you, because you weren't in their district. He spoke--as many have--about how the proposed boundaries for the districts split neighborhoods and are not based on common sense or good planning.

ADDENDUM. Mark Colen emailed to ask if Mea Culpa was Woody Allen's ex-wife. Shani Heckman saw "Trees Don't Grow on Money Either" on somebody's bumper. Gary Patton spotted a chromed consideration stating, "Lobotomies for Republicans--It's the Law."


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

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From the August 30-September 6, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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