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The First Breakfast

You can pretend you're interested in the war in Bosnia, a typical Board of Supervisors meeting or balancing the budget. But, Nuz knows what you really want the lowdown on--what Hillary Rodham Clinton eats for breakfast. Herewith, then, is our InStyle section, courtesy of the Inn and Restaurant at Casablanca manager John O'Donnell, who played host to the First Lady last Friday.

According to O'Donnell, about 20 Secret Service agents, White House staff, communications specialists and bomb-squad types began arriving the previous Tuesday to ready the historic inn on Beach Street for First Lady Clinton's arrival for the Adam Darling memorial service. "She was very gracious, very nice--a real professional," says O'Donnell of the president's wife. "We're thinking of renaming that suite."

And, what did First Lady Clinton have for breakfast? "A bagel with low-fat cream cheese, fresh-squeezed orange juice and fresh fruit," reports the innkeeper.

Steal This Book

Apparently, it was sheer coincidence that author Raymond Avrutis decided to call our offices to publicize his book of tips for the unemployed. "I just got a list of papers and called around," admits the District of Columbia resident.

And this book might cover...? "Do's and don'ts," he replies. "For example, bring a book to read when you apply, because your first visit will be the longest." And, figure on lots of inside information in this slender volume, like, "if everyone in a group house is eligible for unemployment insurance, all may collect," he adds.

And, what could have possibly inspired him to write this? "I didn't have a job back in 1973," says the genius of joblessness. After he wrote an article about "UI," as he calls it, Avrutis realized he could write a veritable tome on the subject. Plus, he had the time on his hands. "Nobody had ever done anything like this. Mine is still the only one with charts and tables," says the author. A modest man, he likens his how-to manual to "Noah's Ark. There's a flood of corporate, capitalistic cannibalism, and my book is the tiny boat that will help us survive."

Asked if he was working now, Avrutis snaps, "Don't insult me! I've drawn unemployment 12 times and have successfully exhausted 11 claims." But he's in dire risk of being busy in the near future. "I may run for City Council on the platform that I need the job."

Welcome to Santa Cruz, Ray.

Medi-Pot Luck

A statewide initiative to decriminalize the medical use of marijuana is close to qualifying for the November ballot, according to its supporters. The medi-pot initiative, sponsored by Voter Revolt, was modeled on successive bills that were vetoed in 1993 and again last year by Gov. Pete Wilson after the bills passed the state Legislature. The initiative would allow patients, with written permission from a physician, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. Sponsors have until Sunday to finish collecting the approximately 700,000 signatures needed to get the required 432,945 qualified names, but the petition pushers don't plan to go beyond Friday. "We're only a few thousand away," says campaign director Andre Jones, of Voter Revolt. "We've been getting over 100,000 signatures a week for the past few weeks. We are very confident we're going to have this initiative on the ballot."

Broadcast News

A federal judge heard arguments Friday in Oakland regarding a case that could affect the future of hundreds of unlicensed low-power community radio stations and their listeners, including pirate stations in Santa Cruz, Salinas, Watsonville and San Jose. A few Free Radio Santa Cruz folks showed up to hear Federal Communications Commission attorney David Silberman make his case against Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer, who was represented by lawyer Luke Hiken. The FCC is asking Federal Judge Claudia Wilken to ban Dunifer from the airwaves. Wilken was inclined to hear arguments on the free-speech issues involved in the FCC's rule-making process, which Dunifer believes is unconstitutional because it does not provide an avenue for people to obtain low-power broadcast licenses, thus basically limiting ownership of broadcast facilities to the very rich.

Silberman, however, argued that Wilken's court doesn't have the jurisdiction to review the FCC's rules. The proper avenue, Silberman argued, would be for Dunifer to apply to the FCC for a license and ask for a rule waiver. If a waiver were denied, Silberman said, Dunifer could turn to the U.S. Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. Silberman, naturally, played down the fact that such a process would be likely to take years and incur monstrous legal expenses.

Wilken appeared concerned over the jurisdictional issues and asked Hiken for some factual evidence to show that the high price of obtaining a broadcast license has a significant effect on broadcast content and diversity of voices on the air. Hiken countered that Dunifer could provide such evidence in a trial setting if the court denies the FCC's request for summary judgment.

Wilken is expected to rule on the matter in writing within a few weeks.

Don't Egg Him On

If little Susie and Frankie aren't plugged into the TV six hours a day, chances are they're surfing AOL or engaging in Mortal Kombat on the home computer. Are we raising a generation of rebels or robots? Ask creative intelligence guru Joseph Chilton Pearce, who will be lecturing this Thursday (7:30pm) at UCSC's Performing Arts Theatre on "Raising Children in the '90s: The Effects of TV and Computers on Neurological Development."

Best known for authoring Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Pearce has been busy studying the effects of both the tube and the computer on children. Seems he's found physiological evidence that overexposure to either of these does not bode well for the crumbcatchers' brain development. Therefore, it's no surprise that his lecture coincides with the First Annual National TV Turnoff Week (April 24-30). The goal is to get kids, teachers and parents to recognize just how deeply the box--and now the computer--has burrowed its way into our consciousness. Says Santa Cruz Waldorf School spokesperson Steve Spitalny, whose school supports TV turnoff Week and Pearce's lecture, "As a teacher, I would love it if kids watched less TV."

So, set that VCR to tape Seinfeld and head up to UCSC Thursday. For more info, call 459-2159.

Nuz welcomes tips. Leave messages by calling 457-9000, or send email messages to [email protected]

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From the April 18-24, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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Copyright © 1996 Metro Publishing and Virtual Valley, Inc.

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