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[whitespace] Pacific and Mission streets
Covello & Covello historical Photo Collection

Downtown Santa Cruz, 1957: This is Pacific and Mission streets. World Savings is now where it says Bianchi, and SCOPE Park with the Bartzcak mural of beach dancers is where you can see the Standard Station. I know I've printed this photo before, but it makes Santa Cruz look so wintry, and besides, as you've probably noticed, a lot of people just got here.

Bruce Bratton

ABOUT HOME DEPOT. I don't think all of the energy directed against a new Home Depot is just about Home Depot. We need to take stock about where we are "countywise" on all invasions by the giants. Cities, towns and villages all over the United States are battling these attacks, and we need to decide if we should cave in to every megastore and its bag of tricks just to save 89 cents or a 15-minute drive. The problem with deciding on Home Depot is that about one-tenth of the citizens are opposed and say so and vote, another one-tenth want it--and some of those then write letters to the editor--but the real majority of our citizens don't care where they shop, don't bother voting anymore and wake up one morning saying, "Gee, why wasn't there any opposition to this monster store, or how did we ever let them open another of these mega-box stores." There are plenty of folks nowadays asking how Gateway Plaza, Circuit City, Toys 'R' Us and Costco ever got to move into our community. Now's the time to look into Home Depot and realize that more megastores are coming, unless we make up our minds to preserve our threatened and unique balance of business in our county. I think Santa Cruz City Mayor Keith Sugar has every right in the world to oppose Home Depot and every right to state his opinion. I also think the opinion polls are good ideas, since so few of us are voting and communicating with our elected officials.

SHARK PHOTO, PART 5. Steve Bankhead, who writes for that nameless Santa Cruz daily, called to say that the woman in that oft-discussed shark photo is Susan Theriot. Someone told me her name was Sandy Hansen. Steve also says she actually lost her leg--it wasn't just a bite. I think that wraps up everything about that shark photo, thank you very much. I'll run it again later with all the factual material, or at least what factual material we have at the moment.

JAN BEAUTZ VERSUS ART PEARL. If ever there were two people completely different in style and personality, they're Jan Beautz and Art Pearl. Art is larger than life, boisterous, possessed of a nutty sense of humor and carries a big stick. Jan's just about the opposite. She's worked hard, runs a quiet and directed ship and inherited a lot of holdover problems in a very complex district. Art's running against Jan, the incumbent, for the First District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, better known as the Live Oak district. Art's lived in Live Oak for 27 years and served on the Santa Cruz City school board for 13 years and was chairman for three terms. He just co-authored a book, The Democratic Classroom. His kickoff party will be tonight (Dec. 15) at 7pm at his house, 4567 Opal Cliffs Drive, Santa Cruz, and everybody's welcome. Art's "unalterably opposed to Home Depot--it makes no sense with the traffic problems it'll cause at the most congested intersection we have." I asked him about Whole Foods' proposed location by Staples, and he said that he "doesn't think we need another anti-union grocery store." He's for more affordable housing, wants to break down the rancor within the existing board and figures "everybody but the Beautz family" will support him. Attorney Emily Malone is his campaign treasurer. Call 476.1066 if you need more details.

WOMEN'S GOLF PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Our very own Julie Inkster won that title last week from the Golf Writers Association; they also named Tiger Woods the best men's player. What few folks know is that Julie's golf game improved considerably and she won more games after our very own local ophthalmologist Dr. Stephan Plager did one of those laser surgeries on her. Plager also did the same operation on TV newsman Romney Dunbar while Romney's news crew filmed the operation! Dunbar's delighted with his new eyes.

SCAN AWARDS DINNER. This happy tradition happens again this very Friday night at 6pm at the Live Oak Senior Center (17th and Capitola). Aside from wild discussions--and completely stopping all unnecessary rumors--a subcommittee of the steering committee will be making the awards. These awards will go only to deserving citizens, for various achievements. I asked directly if Doug Ley, who brought us Borders Santa Cruz, or Charlie Canfield of the Boardwalk Corporation, or Bud McCrary of Big Creek Lumber, or Barry Swenson from you know what, or Bill Tysseling of the Chamber of Commerce would be receiving anything and was met with smirks, ahems, guffaws and titters, but no direct answers. You'll have to be there to find out. There's a sliding scale of admittance prices, and Berniece Belton promises she'll return your money personally if you don't like the food. Just show up or call 425.8127 to reserve your spot. This has been a very successful year for SCAN, so the party will be just a bit more boisterous.

A FEW MOVIES. Tom Hanks' newest film, The Green Mile, is an excellent example of what Hollywood does best, which is telling stories. The film has everything: fine acting, a warm, fuzzy plot that's full of nostalgia, just enough violence, and plenty of subplots to keep our interest intact. It is not a great film, but it sure will earn huge box-office receipts; go see it, if you haven't already. Woody Allen's newest, Sweet and Low Down, is full of what Woody Allen does best: imaginative plot, good music, fine acting (especially by Sean Penn), more nostalgia and some absolutely hilarious story twists. See this by all means; it opens next week at the Nick. Felicia's Journey is like all of director Atom Egoyan's films--you end up wondering just why he made it. What is the point? You can miss this one and not feel at all bad.

THINGS CULTURAL. The Batish Institute of Indian Music is presenting vocal and instrumental music of India in concert Saturday at 8pm at the Pacific Cultural Center. Tickets are available at the door, but you can save $5 by calling 423.1699 or emailing batish@cruziuo.com. Actors' Theatre is doing its fifth annual Ten-Minute Play Festival Jan. 7-Feb. 6, so plan ahead, because these are fine nights of theater potpourri. Namely, if you don't like one play, wait 10 minutes and you will see another one; call 425.PLAY for tickets. The World Market Holiday Bazaar's temporary gift place in the old Woolworth's store has a fine collection of local small independent businesses. It recaptures what it used to be like to shop when there weren't all these impersonal stores. It's the same or even nicer shopping at the Women's Organic Flower Enterprise where the Crown Books store used to be. They have wreaths, swags and candles, and profits go to the Homeless Garden Project, so you can feel extra good when you buy presents there.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday at 12:50pm on KUSP (88.9FM). Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or 457.9000#400.

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From the December 15-22, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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