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11.05.08

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Nūz: Santa Cruz County News Briefs

Santa Cruz anarchists open a caf, and the film 'Weapons of Moth Destruction,' by Santa Cruzan Laura Vitale, screens at the Vets Hall this week.

The Anarchist's Book Nook

It didn't take long on its first Monday morning in business for SubRosa, the brand new anarchist coffeehouse/library/hangout between the Bike Church and People Power on lower Pacific, to fill up with excited and multipierced patrons, or for the slow process of working out the kinks to begin.

"Why don't you work? Ehhn, I don't like you," Wes Modes whined at the balky cash register. Some patrons had forgotten to BYO mug (coffee is just $1 if they do), but certain surprises were decidedly welcome, like the small bouquet of yellow flowers that appeared on a table, another gift just like most of the things in the cafe, from the tables to the redwood for the deck.

Dozens helped put the space together, and it is staffed entirely by volunteers, including Modes, who dismisses the notion that anarchists are incapable of establishing any kind of order. "Anarchists believe people are able to organize themselves," he says. "You have to be more organized. It's actually less chaos." The result is a warm, inviting place inside and a large courtyard outside to sip coffee, read, meet and kill time--like an anarchist's high tea. Long-gone institutions such as the Jahva House, with its welcoming garden, served as inspiration. "The need is for a common space to come together without having to pay to be there," says Jennifer Charles, another anarchist collective member. "Before the earthquake, there used to be a lot more of those spaces."

Taking one's time is definitely another valuable lesson from the anarchist playbook. It took the collective, including many of the same people who've brought Santa Cruz the Guerilla Drive-In, Free Skool, the tree sitters and the Trash Orchestra, about four years to pull SubRosa together, which was due partly to logistics and partly to the fact that the anarchists believe they all have equal say. That can make a planning meeting, which the collective held weekly, drag on for quite some time. "We're all in charge," says Modes. "Yes, it's harder, but if you come together knowing your needs are in harmony, it takes more time, but it's more rewarding."

In the future, SubRosa will host classes, concerts, lectures, art shows--anything that is DIY, anti-authoritarian or nonprofit--in the hopes of building a community and spreading a little anarchist love. "This is not just a hangout for anarchist and punk kids," says Modes. "We want old ladies hanging out knitting."

SUBROSA, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, is open daily 8am-1pm and 3-8pm; 831.426.5242.

The Kindest Cut

When cancer took the life of Nick Saporito's father last December, it wasn't a surprise. The elder Saporito (whose other son, Pete, occasionally shoots for Metro Santa Cruz) had been sick for two years and a patient at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, east of Los Angeles. Gratitude for care at the end of his father's life led Saporito, a stylist at L'Atelier salon on Pearl Alley, to find a way to thank the center. This Sunday, Nov. 9, from 10am to 4pm, L'Atelier becomes the first California salon to participate in Hope Cuts, a fundraiser for the City of Hope. This Sunday, haircuts start at $35--a big savings over the salon's standard $60 price--and 100 percent goes to the hospital.

"I feel very strongly about the care they gave him, and I want to give back," Saporito says.

Moth Movie, Bookstore Film

Nūz finds watching a film to be a most pleasant way to get educated. Remember Nanook of the North and how it wised everyone up to the hardships of Arctic life? This week offers two extraordinary cinematic opportunities to get educated with topics of local importance. Weapons of Moth Destruction, written and produced by Santa Cruz's own Laura Vitale, lays out the whole saga of the light brown apple moth (LBAM) in coherent, bite-size portions. It begins with a touch of humor as Vitale mocks the severity of the threat, as stated by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, with 1950s monster movie footage. Soon, though, all humor drops away as Vitale gets down to the business of building the case that the aerial spraying of Nov. 8, 2007, was dangerous and unnecessary. Footage from town hall meetings, including several in Santa Cruz, and extensive interviews with UCSC arboretum director Dan Harder, UC-Davis professor James Carey, Dr. Doris Rapp and Monterey Peninsula environmentalist David Dilworth make up the bulk of the film, interspersed with text screens and an enchanting dance sequence.

This week we also get a sneak preview of Paperback Dreams, which premieres on PBS on Nov. 16. It tells the story of two legendary Bay Area bookstores, Menlo Park's Kepler's and Cody's of Berkeley. Under pressure from chain stores and the Internet, Kepler's is spared closure by a concerted local effort. Cody's is not so lucky. True stories; so sad.

WEAPONS OF MOTH DESTRUCTION screens Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7pm at Vets Hall, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz, followed by a panel discussion with Harder, Dilworth, Stop the Spray founder John Russo and others.

PAPERBACK DREAMS screens Monday, Nov. 10, at 7:30pm at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. It's followed by a discussion with Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeldt (co-owner Capitola Book Café), Neal Coonerty (former owner Bookshop Santa Cruz) and Peter Beckmann (head of Think Local First Santa Cruz County).


Nūz just loves juicy tips about Santa Cruz County politics.

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