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Why is Pamela Comstock hating on Flea Markets?
by Santa Cruz Progressive Newswire
Saturday Sep 21st, 2013 10:17 PM
At the most recent Santa Cruz City Council meeting on September 10, Pamela Comstock used controversial language once again when describing issues surrounding those members of the community who are less economically privileged. The recently elected council member and co-founder of Take Back Santa Cruz said the use of blankets on which to sell merchandise on Pacific Avenue sidewalks had made the area look like a "flea market." Comstock's comments (see video) were in response to the introduction of proposed amendements to the Santa Cruz municipal code (see PDF below) that if adopted will reduce the locations where individuals may display items for sale on the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue, and will also alter how items may be displayed. After the city council meeting on September 24, it could be illegal to lay a blanket on the sidewalk to sell goods.
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"I want sidewalks that are for walking and for perusing. I don't want it to look like a flea market." -- Pamela Comstock

The quote was part of Comstock's personal recollection of visiting the downtown on Labor Day, and feeling that the merchants who were displaying items for sale in front of their businesses during one of the regular sidewalk sales, were being crowded by the street vendors who had also set up on the sidewalk that day.

Comstock went on to say, "You have a sidewalk sale, you've got a vendor with a table, a vendor with a box, you've got someone with a blanket, it just looks jalopy, and that's not what I want for our downtown."

Yes, Comstock used "jalopy" as an adjective. The word jalopy is a noun for a dilapidated automobile.

Anti-flea market sentiments are symptoms of the local class war, and Comstock has displayed a pattern of making comments attacking the poor. Many individuals in Santa Cruz County love flea markets and see nothing illegitimate or aesthetically deficient about them in any way. There are regular antique fairs held that take over portions of the streets downtown, and likewise health fairs, in addition to the aforementioned sidewalk sales which, if merchants so desire, directly occupy the middle of the sidewalk and divert the natural pedestrian flow.

When the Skyview Flea Market was in jeopardy of being closed down several years ago, it was pointed out that many individuals needed that sales venue to make their living, and to survive in Santa Cruz. The community rallied to save it.

Pacific Avenue is also a location that low income community members rely on to survive.

Comstock would like to see that change. Her philosophy appears to state that if less advantaged community members are run out of the downtown, more "upscale" shoppers will visit, thereby generating increased sales, and increased tax revenue for the city.

On Facebook, Comstock explained what she meant regarding her September 10th city council comment.

"I believe Downtown should be a place of commerce and entertainment," she wrote. "Is it possible that if Downtown were "upscale" we could be a draw for shoppers from all over and in return we would have more money to help solve some of our critical issues?"

Comstock had previously used polarizing, class warfare language at a city council study session in April about ending homelessness, when she stated, "We need to find a way to address the bad behavior that is sending our residents to other cities to shop. How about smart solutions for shoppers? [There are] smart solutions for everything else. Tonight many of the speakers spoke about how to improve the quality of life for the approximately 2700 homeless people. I think it is time to take a broad look at the needs of the entire community. All 60,000 of our residents deserve a better quality of life." (see: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/05/24/18737320.php )

Comstock's edict that the downtown should be a place of "commerce and entertainment" begs the question, "versus what?"

The Santa Cruz downtown is the center of town and should be open to all as a gathering spot, as a traditional center of free speech, the center of local government, and a center of commerce regardless of a person's economic status or appearance. Downtown Santa Cruz has also traditionally been the location for schools of all levels, the gathering point for labor movements, the location of multiple China Towns, and the main location of Ohlone villages.

The downtown is lively and spontaneous, and one of the joys of liberty in Santa Cruz for many, is the existence of free speech zones where the spontaneous and free sharing of ideas includes artists of all economic backgrounds selling their creations.

Comstock's term on the council has seen other attacks on public space by the city, including the first ever night closure/curfew of a beach in Santa Cruz, and the banning of people from traffic medians.

On Facebook, Comstock claimed blankets on the sidewalk were a "tripping hazard."

The updated ordinance was introduced as a public safety issue, with city staff also claiming on at the September 10 council meeting that blankets used to sell goods on the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue were a tripping hazard. No statistical evidence, or even anecdotal evidence, was provided by city staff to confirm or deny this safety risk. This was also the case when the city banned standing on traffic medians, no statistical evidence was given for the change, but the reason for introducing the legislation was stated as "public safety."

When the city adopts new ordinances that reduce our liberties for these reasons without hard evidence a public safety risk is indeed present, a trust between government and the people is broken, and the ordinances are automatically open to suspicion.

There is a variety of easy solutions to the issues brought up.

Eight to ten inch "traffic" style cones could be decorated with artistic embellishments and made available upon request to those wishing to display items on blankets or pieces of cloth. This would be a very inexpensive and aesthetically solution to the perceived tripping problem.

Warning clauses are also badly needed in these ordinances. Citations should only be given on second contact with authorities after an initial warning has been given.

Any amendments adopted should also include clear exemptions written in for musicians who use instrument cases or hats as display devices during performances.


Comstock's full quote from the September 10 city council meeting (see video):

"I just had a quick comment, just about sidewalk space and trying to delay this, and one of the things I wanted to point out is I went to a Labor Day sidewalk sale downtown, and so in addition to the sidewalk sale you had all of the street vendors and it seemed like there were quite a few of them. It was very difficult to navigate. It was way too crowded, and I don't want that for our downtown. I want sidewalks that are for walking and for perusing. I don't want it to look like a flea market, and when you have things, you have a sidewalk sale, you've got a vendor with a table, a vendor with a box, you've got someone with a blanket, it just looks jalopy, and that's not what I want for our downtown."

Comstock's response to critics, posted as a comment in the Facebook group Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz:

"The word I used was jalopy not schlocky..Is that even a word? Anyway, if you are going to attempt to quote me please get it right. I believe Downtown should be a place of commerce and entertainment. It should be safe, clean and festive. I would prefer to see our free spaces downtown occupied by entertainer’s not street merchants with "art" for sale on a blanket. It is a tripping hazard and it is in direct competition with the businesses owners. These are the people who contribute the most to our tax base. We need a strong sales environment so we can fund our community programs. It is so short sighted not to see that homelessness and addiction will not end until the funds are available to pay for housing and treatment for those who need it. Where do you think the money will come from? Is it possible that if Downtown were "upscale" we could be a draw for shoppers from all over and in return we would have more money to help solve some of our critical issues? Have you noticed all the vacancies downtown? Do you think that's a good thing? Why do you think we have trouble attracting new businesses? This group is called "Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz" what part of your post aims to make things better? You may perceive my actions as anti-homeless, anti-transient, anti-whatever but it's my job to vote in a manner that will have a positive impact on the most amount of people. Protecting and growing our sales tax base will reach everyone. Turning Downtown into a free for all flea market will mean less for everyone. BTW Speaking of transparency Petra how about using your real name?"
(From: http://www.facebook.com/groups/463105420413280/permalink/577359125654575/?comment_id=577466305643857&offset=50&total_comments=57 )


Activists have planned an action in advance of the city council meeting on the 24th. On September 22 at 1:30pm, a protest on Pacific Avenue will be held (see: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/12/18743122.php )

The Agenda for the September 24 Santa Cruz City Council meeting is at:
http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=473&doctype=AGENDA

Santa Cruz City Council members may be contacted before the meeting at:
Hilary Bryant
hbryant [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Lynn Robinson
lrobinson [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Pamela Comstock
pcomstock [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Don Lane
dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Cynthia Mathews
cmathews [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Micah Posner
mposner [at] cityofsantacruz.com
David Terrazas
dterrazas [at] cityofsantacruz.com
§Ordinance No. 2013-14
by Santa Cruz Progressive Newswire Saturday Sep 21st, 2013 10:17 PM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by FREE THE BLANKETS
Sunday Sep 22nd, 2013 12:57 AM
of course Comestock would rather the police go after blankets rather than child molesters like Dylan Greiner, she needs to protect the other child molesters in the TBSC membership.
Close listeners will note that in the video, Comstock complains about other council members who are trying to "delay" adoption of the ordinance, which was only on its first reading on September 10, and which never went through any city commission or any other forum for public input and debate.

In a 2012 Sentinel article about Comstock's candidacy, she was reported as being in favor of more public input:

"She also encourages town hall-style meetings where the public can interact with city leaders on a wide variety of topics rather than be restricted to two or three minutes of remarks during council meetings."

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_21182059/take-back-santa-cruz-co-founder-launches-council

Apparently that was a campaign promise never fulfilled.

On a related note, Comstock is employed by Antares Audio Technologies in Scotts Valley, the company that manufactures "Auto-Tune."

Auto-Tune is a program used in the pop music industry that, according to Wikipedia will, "disguise or correct off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned despite originally being slightly off-key."

"Used by stars from Madonna and Snoop Dogg to Britney Spears, the use of Auto-Tune has been widely criticized as indicative of being unable to sing"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Tune

Pamela Comstock truly is the Auto-Tune member of the Santa Cruz City Council.
by Bye Bye Liberty
Sunday Sep 22nd, 2013 7:55 PM
"The SFPD has confiscated all the game tables, chairs, and chess boards that have been used for at least three decades for sidewalk chess games on Market Street near Fifth. The claim is that "illegal activity" has spiked in the last six months, but this kind of sounds like bullshit given that we used to live in this neighborhood, and the entire five-block radius around those chess games has basically never not been a hotbed of illegal activity.
Says police Capt. Michael Redmond to the Chron, "It's turned into a big public nuisance. I think maybe it's a disguise for some other things that are going on."


SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games
http://sfist.com/2013/09/18/sfpd_shuts_down_sidewalk_chess_game.php
by realist
Monday Sep 23rd, 2013 8:50 AM
In what way did Pam Comstock or TBSC protect Dylan Greiner? As soon as they heard what was going on, they in no way made any defense of the guy, and Analicia Cube made clear that the guy was a slime and that parents needed to be vigilant, because predators can be anywhere. If TBSC had "circled the wagons" and made statements defending Greiner or tried to cover it up, ala Penn State and Sandusky, or the Catholic Church, then you would have a point to make. As it is, you have no point...
by Robert Norse
Monday Sep 23rd, 2013 12:59 PM
Thanks to the SC Progressive Newswire writer for composing and posting this article and publicizing tomorrow's Council meeting (& protest). I've also noted it on the calendar at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/23/18743666.php and written about it in detail there.

Pamela Comstock gets some special puffery from SC Patch police-PRskey guy Brad Kava at http://santacruz.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/downtown-got-chalked-with-some-obscene-and-gross-tags-friday-night?ncid=newsltuspatc00000010, an article smearing the Downtown Chalk-In that happened Saturday night. Comstock's quotes there are quite revealing, showing her attack on erasable chalked art, humor, and political speech as "graffiti" and "vandalism".

Some of the comments as well as the fine photo array of chalked areas that follow are inspiring: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97198640@N08/ .
by Take Take Take
Monday Sep 23rd, 2013 1:16 PM
The Santa Cruz Police Department wants to get the word out about the abuse so that more families can assess whether their children were victimized by Take Back Santa Cruz member Dylan Greiner. Greiner, a surfing instructor, was a TBSC member and he was promoted extensively by the group in the community before he was arrested for molesting a young girl and filming others secretly. As a result, more children may have become victims.

Take Back Santa Cruz so far has seemed to refuse to honor this request by the Santa Cruz Police Department.

At the very least, TBSC should have posted a predator alert for Greiner on their website, but no such warning has been made to TBSC's members.

TBSC does indeed post predator warnings on their website. One such warning for Maffei still remains on their website even though the man was found innocent of the charges against him.

There is also a court watch section on the TBSC website, but no announcements for Greiner's court hearings were posted there.

TBSC founders Pamela Comstock has a political career to think about, and she benefits from the hush hush treatment of these issues.

The same goes for Analicia Cube, who must also want all of these details to be left out of the news. She has been rumored to have a desire to run for political office, and she must also be self conscious about her own husband's criminal past.

Take Back Santa Cruz: Stop the hypocrisy and do the right thing!
by Petra Fan
Monday Sep 23rd, 2013 1:57 PM
Props should be given to Petra Kropotkin (who recently penned this article: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/15/18743297.php )

Petra originally posted the following comment in the CFABSC Facebook group, which elicited the response from Comstock that is cited in the article:

Petra Kropotkin
It's the SCHLOCK Stupid!
just so we don't spend too much time pretending that what really bothers SC City Council members are all the tourist who are tripping and falling over street vender blankets, can we agree that at least in no small part, SC City council is really worried about appearances? Pamela Comstock, god love her, doesn't try too hard to hide what she's really feeling. She's worried about things looking "schlocky" downtown. Though I find her perception of street artists as being schlocky rather troubling on many levels, I do applaud her for being the one anti-homeless anti transient anti gypsy anti street artist anti street vendor proponent that is willing to state what her true intentions are. She doesn't seem to like anything that isn't upscale and suburban! Maybe Lynn and the Mayor and Ms Matthews and that dude who I can't ever remember his name might try the same transparency about their true feelings and intentions as well~!
Share · September 12 at 11:08am

http://www.facebook.com/groups/463105420413280/permalink/577359125654575/
by Trip Weir
Tuesday Sep 24th, 2013 6:40 AM
I've been trying to make sense of the definition in 5.43.005(b). If you mount a box or a guitar case at an angle on a tripod, then nothing would be "perpendicular" to the sidewalk. Even an ordinary card table has fold-down legs that are aren't perfectly vertical and therefore aren't "perpendicular" to the sidewalk and of course the table surface would be parallel to the sidewalk, not perpendicular. Almost anyone would understand what "standing" or "freestanding" means, but a judge who has to interpret this definition is going to be scratching her or his head over "perpendicular." Great work, City Attorney Barisone!
I woke up this morning and damn if I wasn't having a jalopy hair day!

I think it's because I didn't sleep very well, concerned about the state of mind of at least one, and perhaps a few of our beloved Santa Cruz City Council members.

I'm no grammar nazi, but even I sense the difference between a noun and an adjective. So when Pamela Comstock was sharing her Comstockian impressions of a downtown Santa Cruz looking "jalopy" with people who weren't upscale shoppers....well it stunned me. That and she apparently doesn't know what the word really means.

What's interesting in the whole "It's the Schlock Stupid exchange" are several points. The first was how quickly the TBSC hive that has overtaken CFAB SC (more on that soon) alerted Ms. Comstock to show up to forum and make a public statement. I suspect her Rovian husband, Craig Comstock, carefully monitoring the forum had something to do with that. So Ms Comstock comes onto Steve Pleich's now mini-TBSC group and threw a mini-tantrum, upset that she was misquoted by someone whose last name matches that of a dreaded anarchist. (TBSC is apparently almost as afraid of dead anarchists as they are of homeless people!) So anyways, the Councilwoman stomps onto the forum, OUTRAGED, that she was quoted as saying downtown was looking "schlocky" when she actually used the word "jalopy!" (Hint for future politicians---if you use a word in a public statement incorrectly, don't try and double down on your mistake, it makes you look, well.... jalopy).


What's interesting about all of this is the councilwoman apparently either really doesn't know what jalopy means and/or she really doesn't know or care about nouns vs adjectives. When asking the TBSC hive if THEY understood the proper use of the word, they resorted to some very interesting tactics, ones we've seen in response to the molesting TBSC surfer and the homeless poking TBSC surfer revelations....that is...outright hostility and defensiveness. The TBSC hive has taken to flooding local media talk radio and internet boards with their views and since 98% of the local media only writes glowing remarks and stories on the group, the members are both shocked and upset when someone challenges their POV. As to be expected, the hive is extremely protective of their queens, and apparently Pamela Comstock is a TBSC Queen. (Of course Dylan Greiner was a TBSC star but he was quickly and deftly thrown under the bus my Ms. Analicia Cube when she warned parents to always be vigilant of monsters in our midst.)


My original observation on "it's the schlock stupid" thread was the obvious point that no one in the general public until now wants to talk about, that SC City Council isn't really worried about tripping tourists and blankets and open guitar and violin cases, SC City Council, and Ms Comstock in particular, are worried about how Santa Cruz appears to this elusive upscale shopper that's going to spend thousands per trip downtown. In pursuit of this goal, SC City Council seems intent on transitioning the downtown area from a public space town square model to as much as possible, a private mall model with tight controls and rules enforcement.

We need to be hitting back the lies that there are supposedly hordes of shoppers tripping over musician cases and blankets and suing the city for millions. We need to be calling out the City council and question them on what their real intent seems to be...whether it's sanitizing downtown and making it comfortable only to upscale shoppers or turning public spaces into virtual private ownership zones..or?

We can do this. We might not be able to change the current city council POV but we CAN mobilize the people in Santa Cruz who still care about our town square. Who still care about having public space. Who still care about the arts, about free speech, about keeping Santa Cruz unique and not some sanitized open aired suburban mall like anywhere America. Who care that we're all citizens of the United States with full rights even if we don't own a bunch of crap and have a roof over our heads.

Please join me on a new Facebook page called "Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC."

Let's start connecting in the ways we can, however we can. And let's start bringing in new voices to our fight and plug them into helping reclaim Santa Cruz in anyway they can.


Peace.


by Stats
Tuesday Sep 24th, 2013 5:56 PM
At today's city council meeting, Pamela Comstock wrangled a bit with Cabrillo College Anthropology teacher Dennis Etler. She doubted a statistic cited by Etler that states 75% of homeless people smoke cigarettes.

Comstock didn't believe the stat, and when Etler stated it came from an LA Times article, Comstock used the word "fiction" to describe the source.

The stat comes from the New England Journal of Medicine. Here is the article:

75% of homeless smoke; doctors say it's time to intervene
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/18/news/la-sn-homeless-smoking-20130718

Pamela Comstock does not carry herself professionally at council meetings, and she does not do the necessary work and research to get a proper handle on these issues.
by Petra Kropotkin
Tuesday Sep 24th, 2013 10:39 PM
Here's my question: why should TBSC and the elves that run it use the truth when no one is demanding it from them?

Show me any local media that consistently demands facts from them vs running person of interest, puffery and congratulatory effusively glowing pieces on the group and it's main spokeswoman. (The latest love letter to A Cube appears in this weeks' Santa Cruz Weekly which has to be deconstructed at some point because it's a real piece of work).

But back to the point of Comstockery, what the hell does some anthro professor from a JC know? He took some supposed facts from the LA times which is an OBVIOUSLY homeless friendly newspaper so OF COURSE Ms Comstock can dismiss those facts as fictions and fabrications. Particularly since her expertise in running Lollipops and doing whatever she does for Autotunez has made her an expert on homeless people and smoking.

I missed the coverage of the SC City Council's vote to ban smoking as I (and probably many others) was working. But I did catch the farce of debate re: the "Let's get rid of the artists and musicians and smelly homeless street folk but pretend we really love them" ordinance. It was, quite frankly, disgusting. Obviously there was a better chance that Kim Jong-il would appear on Dancing with the Stars than SC City Council actually listening to artists and musicians and locals who don't want downtown to turn into the Capitola Mall....but the terseness with with Mayor Bryant was cutting off public comments on the ordinance was stunning. Like it would actually kill City Council members to spend an extra half and hour listening to people they're about ready to happily screw over with their vote.

I do have to say I actually (for once) liked Lane and Posners' presentations. Too bad SC City Council seems intent on killing the very things that makes out city unique.
by James Brown
Wednesday Sep 25th, 2013 9:11 AM
The new ordinance is all about sales tax revenue, not public safety. Because if it was about public safety, that's within the jurisdiction of the public safety committee, and a quorum of that committee (Dave Terrazas and Cindy Mathews) sponsored the ordinance by signing the memo proposing it. A majority of a committee subject to the Brown Act can't discuss and agree on something within its jurisdiction outside of a public meeting. Pamela Comstock loved it the moment she saw it but never discussed it with the three signers beforehand, because that would mean a majority of the city council deliberated before the meeting two weeks ago and it was already a done deal no matter what anyone else said. Sorry Don and Micah, you're not the cool kids at school.
by Peter Krackpotkin
Wednesday Sep 25th, 2013 10:29 PM
What unnamed lies do you accuse Comstock of claiming? Just saying she lies, and all of the media are against you isn't very good evidence.
by JimS
Wednesday Sep 25th, 2013 11:44 PM
Don Lane, who I rarely agree with, made an interesting quote (paraphrased) -- smokers are welcome, but if you feel the need to light up, do so a block either side of pacific. As someone who is *very* anti-smoking, I see a balance in his words.

Aside from some logistical issues about "crossing" downtown, I'd like to ideally see Pacific become a foot traffic only zone along Pacific from Laurel to Water (reason: crossing downtown). Not sure if/when that will happen. I'm waiting to see how the new ordinance plays out. There are many talented artists that setup down town, there is the marimba group that takes up much of the sidewalk in front of Oneill's, and then there are a mix of business outdoor seating areas and either trees or signs that create choke points.

I think artists and musicians should be allowed to ply their trade and a better ordinance would have been one based around impact on pedestrian traffic and possible hazards -- narrow sidewalk, suddenly stepping over a blanket (and not noticing it) to pass someone *might* be a risk. The problem with this proposal is the "subjective" nature of things.

Then, once you move beyond artists, and this will be a "controversial" question, how do you address the spectrum of pan handling, which is roped into this. The crazy guy who repeatedly threatens people near the rittenhouse building is one extreme example, for many locals (even those scraping by) able bodied "sane" travellers putting the hat out is another. I've got some friends who are long time musicians from Vancouver who I first met while they were busking on Pacific and then played the Poet the same night. These are people plying a trade, doing what they like , and giving back.

Able bodied 20-something with a sign, a bunch of bags, and a kitten hanging out? Not as giving to the community.

A vibrant downtown would embrace the spectrum from organized local groups to the out of town busker gifting their song for some road money. This would be an ideal.

However, we are also dealing with an able-bodied, very discourteous "traveller" set; those hopped up on assorted substances (from booze to heroin to meth); those that are suffering mental issues that we don't have facilities for. We are a community with a limited population, a limited funding budget, and expectations of amazing support levels. Somewhere in the last 25+ years, whatever balance we had pre-quake and now went askew.

I'll admit I don't support services for every person that finds their way here, we are also dealing with a meth/heroin/gang epidemic that didn't exist many years ago, however, I think our policies around services as well as the vibrancy (street vendors, commercial endeavors, poets, etc) depends on finding a balance in the pro-business/pro-artist community that addresses issues that reflect negatively on both populations.

Aggressive 20-something sitting in front of Cinema 9 asking for change, yet shows no signs of trying to get a job reflects poorly on all of us.
by G
Thursday Sep 26th, 2013 8:27 AM
It is interesting to watch people 'reason' about which humans are acceptable and which are not acceptable, as if Peter quit and The Pearly Gates was hiring, without really understanding the requirements of that job, and the consequences of failing the interview process.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Sep 26th, 2013 5:19 PM
Acknowledged--that Mathews and Terrazas are members of the Public Safety Committee and presented a law they both signed on to. This is far different than that Committee actually holding a Public Hearing, listening to a staff report, getting public input, having a public discussion, talking to the stakeholders involved, and then forwarding their recommendation to City Hall.

This rather elementary process is what happened in 2002 with (most of) the current Downtown Ordinances (requiring 14' away from most everything for sparechangers and sitters, and 10' away from for any one with a "display device" as well as the "move every hour" law). See some critical descriptions in an alternative newspaper The Alarm. We rightly criticized the hearings as being rushed and crammed into summer sessions when students weren't around (as well as ignoring the actual majority concerns of the hearings ("selective enforcement" and "police harassment") in favor of a repressive merchant agenda. But at least they were held.

There's a blow-by-blow of the abusive process: letters at p. 3 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/7-12-02.pdf, letters at p. 3 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/7-19-02.pdf, pp.1-3 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/7-26-02.pdf, pp. 4, 6 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/8-2-02.pdf, p. 3 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/8-23-02.pdf, letters at p. 3 of http://the-alarm.com/pdf/9-6-02.pdf.)--abusive for sure, but at least it was a token process. Even that has disappeared.
It's instructive to read the details of the prior debate where much of the community rose up to roll back the Council's attempt to ram through what they've now done--14' forbidden zones for "display devices" (a dodge used to sweep up panhandlers, street performers, vendors, and artists) in the subsequent issues of The Alarm at http://the-alarm.com/pdf/index.html .
by G
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 7:57 AM
If dangerous elements (in the politician community) are repeating bad behavior; according to 'broken windows' theory, immediate and consistent criminal enforcement is necessary to curb their misbehavior.

Lacking a DA with respect for the law, such a thing is unlikely to happen in Santa Cruz any time soon, unless things like the TBSC sexual predator scandal negatively impact the Downtown Associations bottom lines. Must it get that bad before it gets better?
by Razer Ray
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 8:08 PM
combo_2_dancing_kids_740x555px.jpg
combo_2_dancing_kids_740x...

Vamping on Jimi.

I spotted this Piano/Traps combo playing barrelhouse and light jazz at the corner of Super Silver this evening.

Baby and children were dancing and applauding. Parents left tips with a smile and went on with their shopping.

At the end of October this street act and all the joy it brings to the people who happen by will no longer be legal due to new performance space restrictions enacted by what can only be described as "Five Sickest of Fucks' on Santa Cruz' Corporatist packed city council.

The citizens of Santa Cruz will poorer for it, and I conjecture, in the not so long run, so will the downtown businesses for whom their spokesman Chip Chip from the DTA claimed at the council meeting that passed this constitutional travesty of an ordinance, that it WOULD NOT affect those business.

We'll see.

About the unconstitutionality of this ordinance. It appears to limit the congregation size of any group with a common public relations purpose to restrictions making it literally impossible for more than 2 or 3 people to gather in a given conversational space in violation of people right to peaceably asssemble.

My goal over the next few comments I post here is to embarrass the lifebreath of the fuckwad Fascists (Corporatist government, Totalitarian surveillance cameras eveywhere downtown, overbearing authoritarian presence including stalking by 'security guards' on the street... literally 'minders' pretty much comprises a Fascist government structure) who voted Aye on this ordinance against the wishes of every single independent speaker at the council meeting. Embarrass them so badly they may NEVER show their faces in public again, and to illustrate that evenhanded enforcement of the new regulations will literally be impossible without the quite visible hypocrisy of selective law enforcement.


by Razer Ray
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 8:20 PM
img1375_mando_girl.jpg
img1375_mando_girl.jpg

This woman was singing like an angel and playing original material on her pando yestertday.

Due to the fact her pack's askew it appears she's going to be an "Illegal" at the end of October.

Will the SCPD pull out the tape measures and also calculate a 'center of performer mass' to see if her public space limit has been exceeded?

No need... In reality she's already an illegal as the city claims that those ugly red panhandler parking meters, known nationally as one of the shittiest things cities do to their homeless... Deprive them of the spare change that , in Santa Cruz' case goes to a rather shady 'not-for-profit inhabiting the same office space as the Downtown Business Association, are considered... wait for it... "Art Installations".
by Razer Ray
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 8:28 PM

Dancing muffins blocking the sidewalk and scaring the bejesus out of small children, psychotic speedfreaks, and anyone whose yet to have had a 60s LSD flashback.

They told me this might happen and if I knew the hallucinations would appear in the form of dancing commercially hyped muffins, I MIGHT have abstained.

Bright side. SOME young person is employed, albeit the job is incredibly part time and even at full 40 couldn't POSSIBLY pay local rents. Let's hope that fact and the degradation of doing this for a living doesn't lead this poor child to alcoholism, drug addiction, or a shooting spree at a local shopping mall or movie theater.
by Razer Ray
Friday Sep 27th, 2013 8:37 PM
img1373_umbrella.jpg
img1373_umbrella.jpg

The sidewalk in front of 99 Bottles is a pedestrian's nightmare with only two squares between their not-so-streetside sign and dining cage. The red-white umbrella in the background overhangs the sidewalk giving up ONE WHOLE SQUARE clear space between it and the lamp post. The umbrella's side flaps were hanging down to about 5' 5" meaning anyone with a brimmed hat was going to have to duck or dodge to pass without touching it.

Don't expect this situation to change. This so called 'public safety' ordinance doesn't apply to getting your eye poked out by a commercial device overhanging a public sidewalk... Just tripping over people playing music or displaying their art.
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 8:58 AM
emb1.jpg
emb1.jpg

Under the new ‘trip hazard’ rationalized Santa Cruz California ordinance regarding public use of the downtown Santa Cruz business district sidewalks...
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 8:59 AM
emb2.jpg
emb2.jpg

Signs blocking sidewalks
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 9:01 AM
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emb3.jpg

...as if THEY own them
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 9:02 AM
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emb4.jpg

LOTS of security...
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 9:04 AM
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emb5.jpg

for a “Use ‘Em Before We Lose ‘Em” Festival of (Sidewalk) Fun. 6:30 PM, Pacific & Soquel... in front of the American sweatshop labor employing “Forever 21”.
by Razer Ray
Saturday Sep 28th, 2013 9:08 AM
blurb.jpg
blurb.jpg

The city council’s assurances they understand this will also affect their downtown business’ ability to have their all-too-regular literally sidewalk-blocking Sidewalk Sales, foldout signs in areas of the sidewalks far from their businesses’ easement (TRULY ‘Trip Hazards’), fall on my deaf ears because the quite obvious reason FOR THIS ORDINANCE is not to make the sidewalk downtown Santa Cruz safe for pedestrians, but to make space for more commercial use of an already-cluttered-with-‘dining cages’ and sidewalk signs downtown street formerly known as the “Pacific Garden Mall”, teeming with music, street performers, artists and other creatives, but now, by the city’s own commercial property interest guided hand and ‘lawmaking’ to enforce it, just pacific street, shopping mall.

Original post @ Tumblr:
by Trip Weir
Thursday Oct 3rd, 2013 1:44 PM
Is it legal for Jeremy Neuner to sit on a city sculpture? Why do Ryan's cohorts think the Muni Code doesn't apply to them?

http://www.metroactive.com/metro-santa-cruz/10.10.07/gifs/0741N&V.jpg

Here's Jeremy Neuner ragging about "jerk-wads" downtown (page 15):

http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/tqpwru4531i1m055dpdibrz3/379745610032013011729423.PDF

"Let's just call it like it is: the people that we are trying to keep out of our [sic] downtown often smoke. Take away their right to smoke and our community and our SCPD have a useful tool in getting these jerk-wads to move along...

"Again, let's just call it like it is: most of the people selling crap on the sidewalks downtown and [sic] just untalented losers. My two year old can make better art than these jackasses."

Why would people want to elect Ryan Coonerty as county supervisor when that's how NextSpace thinks of the general public?