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Photograph by Stephen Laufer

It's Just Not the Same Without a Naked Peace Sign: Still, this is the kind of prime local coastline that hangs in the balance of the debate over the CCC.


Outa Sync

Last week's vote by state Sen. Bruce McPherson to disband the California Coastal Commission--taken as part of an unsuccessful and partisan attempt to pass a Republican-authored state budget--is being interpreted by state Democrats as evidence of how far Republicans are out of sync with California--not to mention their inner surfer.

Noting that the defeated Senate budget also targeted the Women's Commission, the Arts Commission, and civil and workers rights enforcement, Assemblymember John Laird thinks the recommendations were part of a misguided bargaining technique.

"They put in some really bad things, so they can then say, 'OK, we'll toss these if you give us this,'" said Laird.

Meanwhile, Sarah Christie, the Coastal Commission's legislative director, admitted that this is not the first time disbanding the CCC has been proposed.

"The Commission has been fighting to keep its head above water since the day it got authorized, but any time a proposal like this comes forward, we have to take it seriously. I don't think it stands a chance, but now the legislature is obliged to take it up for discussion," says Christie, noting that disbanding the CCC would save the state less than a tenth of 1 percent of its general fund budget, while causing the state to lose over $3 million a year from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and risking $13 million in Clean Water Act funding.

Some suspect that the move is a GOP attempt to pave the way for more offshore oil drilling, but if so, they're stupider than they look.

Christie points out that if the CCC does get whacked, it would also "quite probably put a de facto moratorium on building and development along the coast, because the CCC's loss won't eliminate the statutory requirement to get a coastal permit."

And since the Republicans have yet to articulate an alternative vision, Christie believes they're using the budget as a platform to express their philosophical disagreements with the CCC.

"Which is really unfortunate, because I don't think people check their party affiliation when they go to the beach. And without the CCC, we'll lose our ability to protect and promote public access to the beach, so not even Republicans will be able to get there--unless of course they can afford private property on the coast."

All of which makes it all the more vital for concerned citizens to attend an upcoming public comment workshop on plans to manage the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Topics up for discussion include establishing a program to prevent the introduction of invasive species, banning cruise ships from dumping wastewater and many more. July 30, 5-9pm, UCSC Inn and Conference Center, 611 Ocean St., or submit written comments on the plans, available at www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/jointplan.

Out the Back Door?

Now comes news that the Green Party's General Assembly is encouraging Gov. Gray Davis to resign--immediately.

As local Green Party member Thomas Leavitt explains, a resignation would promote Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente into the gov's office--and stop the recall process, provided it's done before the recall petitions are certified by Secretary Of State Kevin Shelley, a process that could happen within the week.

"It's clear that the Dems are playing a giant game of chicken by forcing the state to go through this recall when clearly Davis is the least popular governor in history, and every poll he winds up even worse off," says Leavitt, adding that by letting Davis hold onto the reins, the Dems may be abandoning the field to the Republicans--led by Darrell Issa, who provides the primary funding for the recall--and Green party leader Peter Camejo, who is ahead of Issa in the polls. Stay tuned--it's only going to get weirder.

Bambi Boycott

Claims that a Las Vegas-based company called Hunting For Bambi is charging men up to $10,000 to hunt down and shoot naked women with paintball guns has Santa Cruz-based Media Watch urging people to boycott Las Vegas and email protests to its city councilmembers and Nevada state Guv Kenny Guinn urging an outlawing of the op.

Says Media Watch director Ann Simonton, "We're not that far from Nevada, and there are pictures on this company's website of bloody women, and next to the injured women it says 'Liars, cheaters and whore bags' and 'Every single bitch got what she deserved.' People thought it was a hoax, but this is very definitely a business. You can put out an eye if you play paintball games without goggles, and all these women are wearing are sneakers. This game is part of our women-hating culture."

Here at Nüz, we're not taking the bait on this one quite yet--just dig a little deeper and you'll find the jury is in fact still very much out on whether or not "Hunting for Bambi" is a hoax (the video is faked, and the one "hunt" many news outlets refer to was a bogus one staged for the media--shades of legendary cultural jammer Joey Skaggs). Pranksters do, after all, love to push buttons, and most of the media is so asleep at the wheel they'll report anything as fact with little corroboration. We suggest you check out the facts by visiting leading Urban Legends website snopes.com (www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/bambi.asp) and make up your own mind. For boycott details, call 831.423.6355 or visit www.mediawatch.com.

Devil's Cup

Speaking of weird possible pranks, last Friday--just as we were jonesing for our end of the week cup o' joe--Nüz received a fax claiming that an elaborate prank was pulled on the downtown Starbucks the night before, involving the placing of a For Lease sign in the window--all part of an alleged corporate downsizing project.

Intrigued, we moseyed on down to the place with the mermaid on the buck, bearing in our hands a copy of said prank flier, which stated that "the global economy requires a relentless substitution of quantity over quality and shareholder values over human values."

"We're part of the CIA, everything we do is very hush hush," joked one Starbucks employee. Well, duh, we know that.

Another confirmed that the prank did indeed happen, but that he wasn't at liberty to discuss the cost of cleaning up after the merry pranksters.

Staying Alive

Anne Marie Sayers fought for eight years to get Indian Canyon recognized as Indian land. Now, with the 8th Annual Storytelling Festival taking place July 26, she urges you to attend a California Indian storytelling event on the only piece of federally recognized Indian country for 350 miles along the California coast between Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara.

"My ancestors believed that when ceremonies, stories and dancing stop, so does the earth," says Sayers, adding that many people believe that there are no Ohlone Indians alive.

"But we are, very much so. Even out-of-state native people find it amazing that there are still California Indians."

For directions and information about the event at Indian Canyon, which is located 1o miles south of Hollister, visit www.indiancanyon.org.

Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

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From the July 23-30, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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