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Concrete Ship, 1947: Newcomers always call this the cement ship, but it's concrete and made from cement. It cost $2 million to build in 1918. It was once the 'Palo Alto,' and was towed here and beached on Jan. 22, 1930. It was going to be an oil tanker, but ended up being a dance hall, a plunge, a restaurant and a fishing pier. According to Margaret Koch, five concrete ships were launched before World War I ended.

Bruce Bratton

A SPECIAL KICKOFF PARTY. County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt is having her gala campaign kickoff this Friday from 5 to 7pm at London Nelson Center. Because of Mardi's work and Gary Patton's before her, the North Coast of Santa Cruz County has remained one of the most beautiful and successfully farmed stretches of the Pacific Coast. Unfortunately, it's also one of the areas in the county and state that is most threatened by greedy developers. Mardi has worked both against and with these developers to make sure our coast is preserved. We need to keep her in office. World-famous photographer Frans Lanting knows Mardi's accomplishments and is going to present a special evening of his never-before-seen photos as a special tribute to Mardi at the Sesnon House at Cabrilho College on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7pm. Call 466.0261 for information on Mardi's campaign.

GO SEE 'THE ALTRUISTS.' The Pisces Moon Production of Nicky Silver's The Altruists now at the Broadway Playhouse is well worth seeing. The play races from gutsy laughs and sardonic humor to Hitchcock suspense, sadness and tragedy. It's well cast, excellently acted and paced, and just one of the best evenings of theater I can remember in our county. It plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 5. I'd call 429.2339 for tickets if I were you.

WHERE'S ALDO, PART 2. Aldo Giacchino, who's running for City Council, was a guest at a garden party this last weekend. He won and lost a few supporters. He wants to widen Highway 1, which he says will only be fixing some on/off approaches. He's against the seldom-discussed but oft-feared Pogonip east access to UCSC. He doesn't support a downtown plaza. Keep the River Street sign. Forget world-issue positions from the City Council. Use our available water to control growth, he sez. He has grandchildren here. He will be a full-time council person. Get UCSC to build more housing on campus. Afterwards, one longtime activist at the party said he sounded like a Republican. Others spent time trying to impart some depth on longtime local issues, because he's only been here two years. His issue with the city on length of time between terms and eligibility was no gimmick, he's still determined to clean it up. It'll be an interesting race between Rotkin, Fitzmaurice, Mathews and Giacchino.

DARK PLEASURES. Both Swimfan and The Last Kiss are about guys who can't keep it in their knickers, or swimsuit as the case may be. Swimfan is a teenage version of Fatal Attraction; you've seen many better films, but it isn't that bad for a teenage flick. The Last Kiss is about marriage, commitment and reality and is a nice Italian film with subtitles--go see it. Robert De Niro's City By The Sea also has Frances McDormand in it, and I liked it a lot better than most of the critics appeared to. Secret Ballot is an Iranian comedy and it's a fine film. Its about a stolid, sour soldier and a pretty young election representative. We haven't seen a pair like this since Bogart and Hepburn or Joan Baez and Kong Kong; it opens Friday at the Nick--don't miss it.

ABOUT SEPT. 11? What's left to say? We now have more enemies than a year ago, George Bush is attacking our environment like never in history, he's threatening our civil rights worse than Joe McCarthy, and we're on the eve of a war against Iraq--all for power, oil and greed. I can't say I'm sorry we elected him, because we didn't, but I'm sure sorry and ashamed he's our president. I wrote here one year ago to praise Barbara Lee; I also said I hoped Bush doesn't get the rest of us killed here in the United States. I still hope that.

DETAILS, DETAILS. I left off the facts that the booksigning for A Gathering Of Voices, the new book published by the Museum of Art and History (MAH) will be this Friday, Sept. 13, from 7 to 9pm. Many of the authors who worked on this excellent book on our native peoples of the central California coast will be there to autograph your copy. Call 429.1964, ext. 17, for more info. Then Larry Peterson and others corrected my spelling of the Mediterraneum coffeehouse on Telegraph in Berkeley. As if that's not enough, after I announced on KUSP that my old friend and longtime contributor to Prime Time Jack Hillis had died, I found out I'd maybe made a small mistake there, too. Jack and I are going on the air to prove who's wrong, especially since I'd read it in the obituaries the week before.

VISITING DANCE COMPANIES. UCSC Arts & Lectures is bringing the Master Dancers of Bali to their main stage Thursday and Friday Sept. 26 and 27. They'll have live gamelan music and will perform some of the most interesting Balinese dances in their repertoire. This group of Master Dancers and musicians of Bali has never before performed outside of Indonesia. Get tickets quickly by calling 459.2159. Pulse Productions is bringing an Okinawan company of 40 dancers and musicians to Cabrilho College Theater for one performance only on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 3pm. They'll dance classical, modern and karate dance and perform a short opera. Call 479.6331 for tickets.

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

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From the September 11-18, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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