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Get 'em While They're Hot: The Democrats set up a booth opposite the citizenship ceremony downtown last week.


Nüz Brings Sweeping Changes to SC

Thanks to Turlock resident Josh Baker and Councilmember Emily Reilly, changing tables could be coming to men's and women's restrooms on the wharf and soon. Baker, who's been coming to Santa Cruz from the Central Valley for the past 20 years, called last week to express his displeasure that bathrooms on the wharf have needle exchange facilities, but not change tables.

"It's kinda disheartening," said Baker. "It seems to send the message that if you're a family, don't come here, but if you're a drug addict, come and hang out."

Seems Baker went to the wharf with his infant son and 8-year-old daughter last weekend, but couldn't find a place to change his kid. While on the phone, he also mentioned how when he goes out to dinner or the movies in California, he can't find change tables in any of the men's bathrooms.

"Like I told my wife, women should be offended. It's like they're saying to women, 'You may be liberated, but you're still the one who is gonna change the diaper.'"

In a move that some might see as sexist, Nüz decided to contact Councilwoman Reilly about this, who immediately got on the task.

"Wow, what an oversight!" emailed Reilly, who felt remedying the situation should be "a simple fix." A request to look into the cost and space constraints of the project, which Reilly would like to do "this summer in women's ... and men's restrooms," had city staff seeing no problem "from a cost and wanting-to-do-it perspective. The only obstacles might be physical constraints."

That said, Reilly reports with a "Woo-hoo!" that city staff "seem confident we can get on this." Woo-hoo, indeed, and thanks, Josh, for being a diaper-changing, women-loving kinda dad.

Cowell Adventures

Speaking of the Wharf, Shared Adventures--the nonprofit dedicated to providing outdoor recreational programs for people with special needs and physical challenges--offers its 12th annual Day on the Beach from noon to 5pm, July 17, at Cowell's Beach, which is right next to the Wharf.

Shared Adventures founder/president Foster Anderson already has over 110 pre-registered participants, but walk-ups may be possible, so check it out if you're interested in kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, and outrigger canoeing, with motorized beach wheelchairs available for those with special needs and physical challenges, as well as 220 pieces of plywood on 2-by-4 frames so participants can wheel over the sand.

And let's not forget the music, with Congregation, Shady Grove, Goddess of Funk with Arthur Hall and Solcarbie on hand. Anderson has two requests. First, that people carpool or take public transit. Second, he needs volunteers to help with set, cleanup and breakdown, and someone with a pickup truck to bring tents and food supplies in and out. Volunteers, who get free T-shirts and food, pre-register at www.sharedadventures.com, or call 831.459.7210.


While we're on the topic of Cowell's, did you know that this sheltered beach next to the wharf was pretty much the birthplace of surfing in the Cruz? If you're curious to see old photos and footage that track the beginning of surfing in this little beach up to the present, check out longtime local resident Pat Farley's surf documentary, Cowell's and the New Millennium, which premieres next week at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom.

Farley, who shapes longboards, has owned two surf shops in Santa Cruz and won a writer of the year award for his book Surfing to Saigon, uses never-before-seen footage--including an interview of local surf legend Buster Steward, to chronicle this story which starts at Cowell's in the '30s and brings us, according to Farley's press release, "up to the Now, which is about the Art of Noseriding--Hanging Ten." 7pm, July 14, 15 and 29, Cocoanut Grove Ballroom; tickets $10 at the door or available at O'Neill's stores and Zenn Trading; call 831.423.0666.

Kerry Looks French

With TBill in the forest (Nüz, June 16) on his eighth Kerry replacement sign, he may wish to take solace in the Sloganator, a website that, in a delicious twist of irony, was created and paid for by the Bush-Cheney campaign, but ended up as a royal George-Dick trasher.

Brought to our attention by local photographer Kyer Wiltshire, the Sloganator featured a "create your own banner" tool, where you could enter slogans and print out posters, with the Bush-Cheney logo and a note at the bottom, stating "paid for by Bush-Cheney '04,Inc."

"Democrats, of course, couldn't get enough of this," reports Wiltshire, noting that the original Sloganator accepted everything, then started censoring profanity--and words like "Hitler," "dictator" and "evil." Closed a couple of weeks after its birth, the best slogans, including "Best War Evah!" and "John Kerry Looks French," can be found at http://homepages.nyu.edu/~meo232/sloganator.

Meanwhile, if the Rotarians (Nüz, May 19) had a tear-down party last Saturday to remove signs from utility poles on Mission Street, it didn't last long. "Plenty of fresh ones up on Sunday morning," emailed one tipster, observing, "Can't [the Rotarians] rest knowing that tourists' views of the stores will be safe once Mission St. utility undergrounding is complete and the poles are gone?"

Proud U.S. Citizens RIP

Rep. Sam Farr held his ninth annual citizenship ceremony on the steps of the Post Office building in Santa Cruz last Friday. Overseeing the ceremonies as 139 Central Coast area residents, including 20 children, took the Oath of Allegiance (which, by the way, makes people renounce their former government, since the United States doesn't recognize dual citizenship), Farr told Nüz, "These people really worked for their citizenship, many of them having to learn a new language and all about American history, before trading green cards for citizenship papers."

Speaking of people who worked hard to make being a U.S. citizen something to be proud of, Nüz salutes Jane Yokoyama and Tama Smith, two fabulous Santa Cruz women who recently passed over to the other side, hopefully in the company of that other great late American, Ray Charles. Yokoyama, who died at age 57 on May 11, 2004, was a tireless advocate for social equity and immigrant rights, especially low-income Latino residents. Smith, who died on June 11 at age 97, is remembered by older sister Seema Weatherwax, 98, as "grandmother to everyone's children" and involved with the Grey Panthers, Wilpf and the YWCA. They and Charles will be greatly missed.

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 7-14, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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