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Felton Cliffhanger

We're on the edges of our seats here in the Nüzroom as we wait for the next development in the FRIENDS OF LOCALLY OWNED WATER scuffle, wherein a ragtag group of Felton residents vie to buy out the rich, profit-mongering villainous CAL-AM CORPORATION--or anyway that's how the script might have read in the hands of a younger MICHAEL MANN, director of The Insider.

Of course, SAN LORENZO VALLEY PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION president PATRICK DUGAN, who, with the help of a very expensive law firm, filed suit against FLOW and County Supervisor MARK STONE to adjust some of the wording in FLOW's ballot MEASURE W, might want to see a different kind of script; wherein a crusading patriot battles the odds against ... er, well, Dugan hasn't returned Nüz's email as of presstime, but we're sure a compelling narrative is in there somewhere.

Meanwhile, FLOW legal spokesman JIM MOSHER insists that the whole thing is a "harassment suit," which, as Nüz recently discovered, is not an expensive double-breasted Italian suit designed to intimidate opposition, but a lawsuit designed to do essentially the same thing.

Regardless of attire, the May 25 hearing was a nonevent. Nüz patiently awaited action, but was only rewarded with a rich quote from a courtroom attendee, who, when the legal eagles were invited to join the judge behind closed doors for a private discussion, quipped that the courtroom was experiencing an "ANNE TURNER moment." This presumably was in reference to the longtime director of Santa Cruz Public Libraries who's recently been making headlines for her behind-the-scenes maneuverings to close the Felton branch, turning her from city hero (she won JANE Magazine's 2003 Bad Ass loudmouth award for refusing to divulge checkout information as required by the Patriot Act) to city villain faster than you can say "witch hunt."

Stone led the charge to hang Turner out to dry, thereby securing for himself the nonofficial title of CHAMPION OF NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARIES. Seeing Stone in the courtroom, Nüz had a cynical epiphany about a politician's motivations for supporting ragtag libraries when said libraries are in the same hood as albeit ragtag but readily mobilized citizen groups--an epiphany we'll dutifully ignore, along with our feelings about professional wrestling, while we wait until the next exciting hearing on June 6.

The Longest Line

Tons of Santa Cruzans lined up on the sidewalks of Pacific, their faces eager, their demeanor one of anticipation. Free medicinal pot? Protest to free MUMIA? Nope, these hardcore patrons were waiting (in the rain, mind you ... well, OK, a drizzle) for Cinema 9's midnight premiere of Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith.

Nüz attempted to speak with the most die-hard of the lot, the ones at the front of the line who'd been waiting since 2am, but these fellows, who could easily be mistaken for relatives of LOUIS LANE, the comic book guy from THE SIMPSONS, were unwilling to answer any questions between bites of takeout. Apparently the press had grown tiresome to them, so down the line we went.

KELLY, 41, dressed as HAN SOLO, attended opening week of the original Star Wars at the Rio in 1977 at the age of 14 and was now attending the final installment of the six-part series with his X-wing pilot uniform-clad 11-year old son. He explained the mystique of Star Wars as "great story telling, more than anything. ... It brings together all of the great stuff from every story you've ever heard and rolls it into one saga."

Where many fathers and sons may find it difficult to agree on anything at all, these two were in instant agreement that PRINCESS LEIA was, by far, hotter than AMIDALA, and that JAR JAR BINKS was the worst character ever--an apparently unanimous opinion among those questioned.

Nüz has to wonder, though ... beneath all of the hopes of full-circle closure with the last link in the Star Wars saga, behind all of the predicted awe of what they were to witness come midnight, wouldn't most of these fans just simply be happy if this movie didn't suck as bad as the first two? Then again, without JAKE LLOYD or Jar Jar Binks to muck it up, how can it go wrong?

**Note: Nüz feels that, on behalf of all of those who waited in line for hours on end, a special thank you should be extended to BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ for unknowingly supplying these extremists with the use of their bathrooms many times over. Ahhhh.

And the Winners Are ...

Speaking of movies, the 2005 SANTA CRUZ FILM FESTIVAL is all wrapped up and the winners are in the bag; it's time to let them out. In cases where margins were extremely close, both winners are listed.

Best Feature: APARTMENT 202; Best Feature: WHAT'S BUGGING SETH?; Best Narrative Short: WINNING THE PEACE; Best Documentary: CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR, THIS DIVIDED STATE; Best Doc Short: THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES: JUDI BARI V. THE F.B.I., HIGH AMBITIONS; Best Foreign Film: IMAGINING ULYSSES (Ireland); Best Foreign Short: TOPSOIL (U.K.); Best Experimental Film: PREACHER OF AN UNKNOWN GOD; Best Animation: THE ROCK THROWER; Best Student Film: MR. DRAMATIC; Best Under-18-Year-Old-Produced Film: GROCERY CART WONDERMAN; Best Comedy: WEST BANK STORY.

Festival Directors' Awards: The Real Dirt on Farmer John, TAGGART SIEGEL; Stay Until Tomorrow, LAURA COLELLO; Graves End, JAMES MARLOWE; Trespassing, CARLOS DEMENENZES; Livicated, ERIC CROWN; Star, ANDREW MOORE; The Traveller, WILLIAM OLSEN; Jokebitch, TOM ELLIS; Pre$idency, ZACK WEINBERG and STEFAN POPESCU.

Palestine Awareness Week

As part of UCSC's PALESTINE AWARENESS WEEK, May 24-27, the RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE is co-sponsoring a talk on Wednesday, May 25, at the Vets Hall by ROBI DAMELIN, an Israeli woman who lost her son in conflict, and NADWA SARANDHAH, a Palestinian woman whose sister was killed in Jerusalem, to talk about reconciliation, dialogue and understanding in the region. Call 832.454.0478 for details.

Memorial Day Salutes

The sound of cannons shall echo across ROARING CAMP this Saturday, May 28, at 10am, where, for $5 each (and $6 for your car), you and yours can catch CIVIL WAR BATTLE REENACTMENTS. Then on Monday, May 30, the MUSEUM OF ART AND HISTORY commemorates the 138th MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE. The free annual event starts at 10am, and features musical and spoken tributes.

Super-Secret Staircase Tour

BLAIZE WILKINSON, staircase enthusiast, will give a two-hour tour this Memorial Day of the historic staircases of Mission Hill. This tour begins at the Town Clock and ends at the WWI memorial trees at Santa Cruz High. It will feature tidbits of early Santa Cruz history as well as Blaize's inimitable commentary. 2pm, Town Clock; $2. For reservations, call 831.458.0908 or email [email protected]

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From the May 25-June 1, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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