Important events as reported by daily newspapers and summarized by Daedalus Howell.
Things have gotten fishy with the Sausalito Arts Commission, reports the Marin Independent Journal. The commission is recommending that the City Council allow a six-foot-tall, two-ton bronze sculpture of a mermaid to be installed at one of two public parks in this bayside town. “Public art should put a song in your heart and speak to you at some level,” said Arts Commissioner Linda Pfeifer, who has yet to propose simply installing a stereo system in lieu of the statue. Arts Commissioner Luz-Mary “Bah-humbug” Harris, cast the lone vote against the statue at a recent hearing. “I didn’t want the mermaid to become a symbol of the art in Sausalito,” she said. No word if she would condone it as a symbol for seafood. Built on spec, the half-woman, half-sushi work was sculpted by Sausalito artist Jennie Wasser, who says, “I’m determined that government will work if I just stay with it.” Nope, go fish.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the Humane Society fears that dalmatians will again become the dog du jour with the release of Disney’s 102 Dalmatians, the sequel to its 1996 smash 101 Dalmatians, which had thousands of kids buying that little spotted puppy in the window, only to discard it after the trend abated. With the release of the first flick (which also stars Glenn Close as that shrieking villainess Cruella de Vil), some shelters reported a 25 percent increase in abandoned dalmatians, according to the Humane Society. Cast-off canines that aren’t adopted end up being destroyed. Breeder Denise Powell of the Dalmatian Club of Northern California says, “We want people to know that these are good dogs, and if you are a responsible pet owner, we can steer you toward where you can find one.” If you are an irresponsible and trend-conscious pet owner, however, you can follow the lead of Close’s character in Fatal Attraction and die a miserable death.
Happiness ain’t a warm gun for the bevy of protesters who picketed the T.S. Gun Show at the Marin County Exhibition Hall on Nov. 25, reports the Marin Independent Journal. Among them were members of the Marin chapter of the Million Mom March Foundation (a grassroots organization that supports strict gun legislation), who are not mothers of participants in the Million Man March or the Seven Sister Sashay. Don Kilmer, an attorney for the gun show, argued that “more people get killed in soccer games in Great Britain than they do at gun shows in Marin County.” To extrapolate from Kilmer’s logic, one could also say more fish drown than horticulturists whistle. Says Kilmer, “I don’t run into a better class of people than at these gun shows.” That’s right, Kil, them’s good ol’ American folk who can relax, pull back the white hood, and shoot the breeze with a Heckler and Kosch 9mm standard NATO-issue machine gun. “I don’t mind regulation. I just don’t want to be regulated out of a hobby that I love,” said handheld-death-machine enthusiast Robert Orr, failing to realize that most hobbies aren’t lethal. “I totally respect people who aren’t interested in guns.” Indeed, they’re easier targets. Pull!
In an unrelated gun matter, the Napa Valley Register reports that battle lines are being drawn on public lands in Knoxville, popular for off-road drive-by gun shooting and the study of rare plants. Botanical researcher Christy Brigham was on a field trip last spring when she was surprised by a truck full of “guys driving over the plants, with beers in one hand and guns in the other.” Brigham says that last Easter Sunday she came across three guys “sitting in folding chairs and blasting away with pistols at three crosses and a stuffed purple Easter bunny.” Who says religion is dead?
Eight years ago, Santa Rosa twins Nick and Rick Batres thought they had embarked on a career as department store ad models when they agreed to be photographed by Novato’s Steven Underhill. In 1996, they opened a copy of the gay youth magazine XY and were greeted by their own mugs beaming back at them (I hate it when that happens). The now 24-year-old bros, who swear they are not gay, filed a lawsuit in Sonoma County Superior Court claiming misappropriation of their likeness, libel, infliction of emotional distress, and being photographed in vertical and horizontal stripes, reports the local daily. “I felt pretty violated by the whole thing,” said brother Nick. “I got a real bad sour taste from it.”
Color us jaded. Sebastopol Vice Mayor Bob Anderson is seeing red over the possibility that the nation’s only Green Party municipal majority will pass him over for the chief seat on the City Council in favor of City Councilman Larry Robinson. In fact, Anderson is so steamed that he alleges Robinson and City Councilmembers-elect Sam Spooner and Craig Litwin violated the state’s Brown Act (which requires a majority of a public body to meet in public) when the elated newcomers stated at an election party that they wanted Robinson to be mayor, a position that traditionally goes, ahem, to the vice mayor. It’s unclear whether unseated politicians are restricted under the Brown Act. But it’s a sure bet that Anderson won’t be tickled pink by the actual mayoral selection, which takes place after Spooner and Litwin are sworn in Dec. 5.
From the November 30-December 6, 2000 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.