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Scream 2

Last week, just as Nüz was recycling old press releases by making them into paper darts, in marched BLUE LAGOON manager FRED FRIEDMAN hoping to find the Blue's missing print of EDVARD MUNCH's The Scream lying around our office. Huh?

Apparently, the print, which hung on the walls of the Blue for five years, was stolen Aug. 24, in what appears to be a copycat prank, since the theft occurred two days after the original Scream was stolen from the MUNCH MUSEUM in Norway.

A week after the Blue theft, Friedman found an anonymous note stuck on the wall of the club at the spot where his Scream had once hung. The note said someone had taken the print in what "seemed like an act of greed based in the events in Oslo," but that it had now been left "with the Metro newspaper to make sure this is handled correctly."

Now, while Nüz would be happy to handle whole suitcases full of Munch prints--or better yet unmarked cash--to date no one has dropped off anything even vaguely Scream-related at our office. We did find an oversized dust bunny behind our rapidly deflating BopBush punch bag, so MIKE CONNOR now has a playmate in the office.

The author of the Blue's Scream note wrote, "The person who took the print really thought it was the original and that he could sell it for a lot of money," but Friedman would like them to know that "the frame is worth more than the print, which was the only picture in the Blue not nailed to the wall."

As it turns out, not nailing Munch works to the wall during an Olympics season is practically asking for trouble, since records show Munch paintings have been robbed during the '88 and '94 Winter Games, as well as this year's Summer Games.

Still, Nüz is hopeful that both the original Scream and Friedman's print will resurface, just as the naked statue of the Greek god HERMES did. Hermes was stolen from San Francisco's UNIVERSITY CLUB, but recently turned up, relatively unscathed, outside a ladies bathroom in a Contra Costa tavern--a discovery that had the University Club's manager saying of Hermes, "He probably needs a good massage."

Nüz can't help but wonder what kind of treatment would benefit a returned and angst-filled Scream print ... paper-dart-folding, anybody?

The Race Is On

Two years ago, debates for the City Council election looked like a scene from the LAST SUPPER, with 12 candidates vying for a council chamber seat. This time around, the race looks more like Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, with four incumbents--Mayor SCOTT KENNEDY and Councilmembers MARK PRIMACK, ED PORTER and EMILY REILLY--challenged by RYAN COONERTY, MARK FOGEL and TONY MADRIGAL. (FYI, Nüz is currently accepting nominations for the apple-addicted lead role.)

You can watch all seven candidates debate the issues at the Progressive Coalition Candidate Forum, which takes place at on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7pm at Louden Nelson Community Center, and will be broadcast live on local cable TV.

Says co-organizer BILL MALONE, "I think everyone's been focused on the White House like a laser beam, and now they're saying, 'Oh! There are other elections going on, time to get going locally.' We've been watching the Republican National Convention wreck and doing a body count, so maybe it'll be refreshing to deal with our local little squabbles. At least we won't be killing each other."

Currently, six of the seven candidates have agreed to city spending/contribution limits, with only Coonerty breaking ranks.

"The incumbents are currently on TV and in the press all the time," says Coonerty. "As a challenger, you're at a huge disadvantage both philosophically and practically."

Meanwhile, challengers Fogel, a specialty painting contractor who describes himself as "pro-business," and Madrigal, a union representative/organizer who says he wants "to improve everyone's quality of life," plan to walk a lot of precincts instead.

Poets Know It

The MONTEREY BAY POETS AGAINST THE WAR committee has organized a 9/11 poetry reading at the Rio, featuring ELLEN BASS, SUSAN BROWNE, DIANA GARCIA, ILYA KAMINSKY, DORIANNE LAUX, NATHANIEL MACKEY, MORTON MARCUS, MAUDE MEEHAN, JOSEPH MILLAR, AMBER COVERDALE SUMRALL, ROBERT SWARD and GARY YOUNG.

Asked why she'd accepted the invite, Browne, who teaches at Diablo Community College, emailed, "Too busy right now to be witty or pithy about the war. Too many students banging on the door to get into packed classes. People want to live and love and write poetry, despite the world going to hell in a hand-basket."

Young replied that he agreed to participate " because I believe it's important for honest, human voices to speak out over the monotonous drone of the media, most of which either tacitly or explicitly condone this illegal, immoral and supremely irresponsible military action."

And Sward said he accepted as "a Korean vet, who volunteered idealistically right out of high school in 1951 at age 18, so I really identify with the kids who went to Iraq and didn't know what they were getting into."

The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 7pm at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave.

Poetry isn't the only thing going down that day. The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County is holding a one-day "Investing in Your Values: Tools for Generous People" conference from 9am to 4pm at the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, 175 West Cliff Drive. Call 831.477.0800, ext. 208. There's also the DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC symposium, at noon at the Del Mar on Pacific Avenue, with Vietnam draft resistance organizer DAVID HARRIS, UCSC professor BETTINA APTHEKER and Palestinian-American peace activist NAURA ERAKAT. Call 831.423.1626.

Explosive Meetings

What's the connection between nukes and alternative transportation? Find out by attending two meetings on Sept. 16. At 9am, the SANTA CRUZ COUNTY REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION discusses the newly released coastal rail-trail business plan (see www.sccrtc.org) at the County Building, 701 Ocean St. Proponents say the plan shows that the train would likely be profitable, that nearly all the Aptos Village merchants want the trolley and that this leaves anti-trolley supes "staring eyeball-to-eyeball with a bunch of really powerful constituencies." Opponents obviously disagree. That night, there's a 7pm town-hall meeting at the Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center St., on "The Dangers of New Nuclear Weapons and Weapons in Space," featuring BRUCE GAGNON, founder of Global Network against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space, a topic that's timely, given that the Bush administration is now trying to make a nuclear case against Iran. Says Nukes in Space chairwoman JAN HARWOOD, "The meeting is a response to a dire planetary situation."


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 September 8-15, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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