From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing & Public Services
Santa Cruz Farmers' Market Expands. Is the Drum Circle Finally Over?
by ~Bradley (bradley [at]
Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:11 PM
Wednesday, April 21st was the first day of the expanded Farmers' Market in downtown Santa Cruz.

While I was finishing lunch in a nearby restaurant, I heard the owner speaking with one of her employees about the expansion of the market, and she was not happy about it. She said that the increased amount of goods and services now being offered each Wednesday at the Farmers' Market will have a negative impact on her restaurant and other downtown businesses. The feelings expressed by this longtime owner of a downtown restaurant do not correspond with an announcement from the Farmers' Market which states, "The plans for the new Downtown Market have engendered excitement and full support from downtown businesses located adjacent to the market."

The Farmers' Market was also strangely quiet compared to previous weeks. Notably absent was the weekly drum circle and the crowd it attracts. And a vendor was selling artisan bread where for years, Food Not Bombs had been distributing free meals to anyone.
§Not Food Not Bombs
by ~Bradley Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:11 PM
§Not Food
by ~Bradley Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:11 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by repost
Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:19 PM
20th Anniversary Event for the Downtown Market

The Santa Cruz Community Farmers Market announces the expansion of the Downtown Market services beginning Wednesday, April 21.

In response to Santa Cruz’s growing needs the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market is pleased to announce plans to expand its Downtown Market. On the eve of Earth Day and in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the market, the unveiling of the new Downtown Market is timely.

The celebration will include a performance from local bluegrass band Harmony Grits, speeches from the City Council and cooking demonstrations by local chef Jozseph Schultz. Over twenty local organizations representing agricultural, marine, food policy, community outreach and education and environmental issues will be present. In conjunction with the Tannery Arts Center the Market will also unveil a pilot program for arts and crafts. The market association has also put together a photo history of the last 20 years which will be displayed on the back wall of the market. This event provides the community an amazing opportunity to learn about the history as well as the future of our local agricultural systems.

The Market currently occupies the space behind the Toadal Fitness building on the corner of Lincoln and Cedar Streets and will grow to include the space behind the University Town Center, up to Cathcart Street. An additional twenty spots will be available for vendors. The new market will regularly feature live music, valet bike parking, arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, information space for non-profit organizations and expanded restroom facilities.

One of our new services is our “veggie valet” program which is a free service for customers of the market. We have a spot in the market that has street/car access where anyone can check in their shopping bags, continue shopping or go retrieve their vehicle and pull up and get their food. This new service makes it easier to drive into downtown and shop at the farmers’ market. The service will be fully function April 28th. The 20th Anniversary event will not allow people to drive into the Veggie Valet driveway…however, we will still offer the service road side. Stop by the booth and see how it all works!

Of the five markets in the SCCFM family – which include the Westside, Live Oak, Scotts Valley and Felton Markets – the Downtown Market is the oldest sibling, having been born as Santa Cruz was recovering from the 1989 earthquake. Then, as now, the community has roundly evinced its ongoing support of the SCCFM’s mission and its promotion of local business.

The plans for the new Downtown Market have also engendered excitement and full support from the Downtown Association, City Council, the Redevelopment Agency, the Downtown Commission and downtown businesses located adjacent to the market, as well as local farming groups such as Community Alliance of Family Farmers, Farm-link and CCOF.

The Santa Cruz Farmers Market operates year-round every Wednesday from 2:30pm to 6:30pm, rain or shine. The market has been in operation for almost twenty years and is located in downtown Santa Cruz in the public parking lot at the corner of Cedar & Lincoln St. (Directions) .

The market represents the best in local organic produce, nuts, dried fruit, honey, dates, nursery starts, potted plants, avocados, central valley fruit, central coast organic strawberries, organic fresh cut flowers,pasture raised meats and eggs, artisan food vendors, cook-to-order cuisine, specialty bakeries, coffee vendors, artisan tofu and soy producers, amazing sorbets, raw-vegan foods and more. A cornucopia of stimulus….. the Santa Cruz market is an experience not to miss!
by Dancing Bear
Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:32 PM
I thought Robert had such a great relationship with the people that run the Farmer's Market? Robert told us that the people running the market just loved the drummers and were supportive of them. Robert said that it was the evil city and the police that didn't want the drummers there.

If the Farmer's Market loves the drummers they would have surely found a place for them in the new and improved market. Right?

Unless Robert was wrong. Again.
by Dancing Bear
Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 4:42 PM
Is that "famed caterer" (as Robert puts it) Joe Schultze acting as guest chef at todays market? Joe, who supplies HUFF with their morning noshes, and Food Not Bombs with hearty vegan soup? Is he really taking part as guest of honor the day the drum circle dies? Trippy!!
by County Resident
Wednesday Apr 21st, 2010 7:41 PM
Thank goodness the drum circle is finally gone. It had grown progressively obnoxious. I'm happy to see it die a nice quiet death :-)
by local
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 9:39 AM
I may actually go back down there again. Much easier solution than sending in the cops to bust heads.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 10:04 AM

Actually the Drum Circle reappeared in the parking lot behind Bad Ass Coffee across from Jack's on Cedar and Lincoln in the grassy area next to the sidewalk. It may find regular residence there if city killjoys don't try to fence it off, as they did the prior site (a fence regularly removed by drummers) (see

Along with folks providing coffee and company. It was significantly smaller, but still there.

Still, public space is disappearing at quite a clip. First we had penguin statutes making Forbidden Zones for sitting, sparechanging, tabling, and performing (drummers take note!). Last week, City Council passed its Panhandler Parking Meter Perk for the Downtown Association. It removes another potential 220' of sitting space on the Pacific Avenue sidewalk (14' on either side of the "Starve Out the Sparechangers" Donation Meters) (see )

Police rolled by but wisely refrained from trying to enforce Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty's Parking Lot Panic law which makes sitting under a tree in a parking lot, reading a book in your car, or chatting with a friend next to your car a crime (see MC 9.64). It's illegal to do anything other than walk directly through a public parking lot or park/retrieve your vehicle.

It is true that the Nesh of the Farmer's Market apparently didn't think it necessary to advise Brent of the impending commercial expansion. Last year, Brent worked with Sgt. Harms to establish a set of guidelines at the weekly Wednesday Drum Circle, that helped defuse the police harassment of the drum circle--which at one point led to a near-police riot of September 2008 (see


Brent is currently organizing, he tells me, a new meeting of the Street Performers Guild to deal with police and resident misuse of the vague Unreasonably Disturbing Noises law (MC 9.36.020) downtown. This law is being used to drive away musicians at the whim of a business owner or hypersensitive tenant, or--some musicians claim--unilaterally with no complaint but simply on the sayso of a cop.

The law was recently used by Sean Reilly, a St. George resident who lives above the Book Shop Santa Cruz in the St. George Hotel to harass and cite a peaceful and lawful homeless demonstration (see Judge Almquist upheld the power of a sleeper to shut down any music on the street that interferes with daytime slumber at 2:30 PM in the afternoon on a normal Wednesday (see

A second trial,that of Robert "Blindbear" Facer is scheduled for 1:30 PM Tuesday April 27 in Dept. 10 (basement of the County Building). Facer is a quiet homeless man who is a Drum Circle regular. Facer may be defending himself. He is currently appealing a case where he was found guilty of sleeping on the beach on a night when there was no shelter space at the Homeless Services Center (see

Police are apparently using MC 9.36 to claim an anonymous complainant, then insist that the musician not just play more quietly, but stop playing or even leave--something clearly not authorized by the ordinance, and forbidden by the First Amendment (that old Right to Assemble stuff).


Brent reports that more than 4 SCPD squad cars responded to Officer Azua's abusive and provocative demand that musicians leave Pacific Avenue before the 10 PM noise curfew (at 10 PM a second stricter law goes into effect). In an earlier incident, Azua reportedly brutalized Cynthia Kennedy--pulling a dread of hair out of her hair and bringing her down to the sidewalk.

In an incident that happened April 9 or 10, Kennedy reported on Free Radio ( that she and others were listening to street musicians, Brent also present. Azua.she says, accosted her and others as she sat eating a burrito near New Leaf Market on the sidewalk. She got up, she says, but then declined to leave at his order. She further refused to show ID, saying "what am I being accused of?".

Azua followed her to Front street, she reported, physically assaulted her when she tried to go about her business, literally tore hair out of her head, and then jailed her. Denied medical treatment at the jail, she was charged with "resisting arrest" with no underlying charge, but not given a court date and released three days later.


Please report police misconduct downtown. Brent can be reached by e-mail with concerns at compassionman [at] . Let him know if you want to be part of the upcoming Street Performers Guild meeting.

Old-time performer Tom Noddy will be on Free Radio Santa Cruz again Sunday at 11:30 AM at 101.1 FM ( to continue discussing the status of street performers--historically and currently--as well as recall the struggle of the Scott Creek Bluff vandswellers in 1977 when they won the longest and largest Municipal Court misdemeanor trial in Santa Cruz history.
by bkparque
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 11:00 AM
the drum circle has been at that tree for 10 years or more, its a cultural icon of the community with HISTORICAL REFERENCE something coonerty and PAC stacking cronies and imported ARTSPACE, NeXTSPACE borg wackjob STEEL and CONCRETE statue creating wikipedia reference deleting idiots cant seem to comprehend
by Robert Norse
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 11:17 AM
After a conversation with Joe Schultz, who did some catering at the Market Event yesterday, it's not clear whether the expansion in place is going to be just another row of "shops" or a complete occupation of the space every Wednesday. Joe suggested he thought the complete occupation seemed more of a one-time event that wouldn't happen every week.

Anyone with inside info, please post.

It's interesting that, as usual, the community and the Drum Circle were not "consulted" or even informed about this expansion. Insider control and imposition as usual--the standard for City Manager Dick Wilson's reign.
by Shadow
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 12:00 PM
Robert says "Still, public space is disappearing at quite a clip."

And it's happening on your watch.

For all your grasping you're unable to hold on. These days others are always one step ahead.

Possibly it's time to reconsider your tactics.

Or a change of leadership is in order. How long will people support you when the situation continues to get worse?

You say more people are dying on our streets. While you are claiming to help.

More space on Pacific are falling under ordinances. While you are claiming to help.

Street performers are losing their ability to perform. While you are claiming to help.

You said the drummers were safe due to your relations with the market. Now they are out.

If you were a public official your constituents would vote you out for failure to deliver. Unfortunately they don't have a vote.
by Manny
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 5:42 PM
The expansion of the Farmer's Market footprint is set. If anything the market will be adding a few more vendors to fill out the new space. The drum circle has officially been moved along.
by brent adams
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 9:00 PM
All the while, Neshe who manages the farmer's market has said that the market has been suffering business but now because of "the needs of the community" it is expanding. Typical capitalist bullshit!! Expand expand expand! Now I do support the market and i get that the expansion is a good sign for local farmers and food producers .. but to bulldoze the drum circle with zero mediation is just plain mean spirited.
by Vendor
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 10:26 PM
No one has to mediate with the drummers, Brent. Since they've been such asswipes all this time, it's obvious the Farmers Market was going to tell them to go fuck themselves the first chance they got. And here it is.
by Bernard G.
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2010 11:15 PM
@bkparque: Yes, the drum circle has been there for 10 years. By the same token, the Farmers Market has been there 20 and it was just a parking lot before that. All with "HISTORICAL REFERENCE." I don't think you can claim a homestead.

@Brent: I'm sorry that your feelings got hurt. Who would the market mediate with? Are you in charge of them? Look, the market expands, more offerings generally lead to greater traffic. Greater traffic means better sales. The drum circle, moving across the street is still part of the "scene", but is no longer under foot. It's a win for everybody.
by Robert Norse
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 8:05 AM
The planned expansion of the Farmer's Market was the subject of a story by Alia Wilson on April 18 in the Sentinel: .

However it certainly wasn't the subject of much public debate or input, as far as I saw.
by Willis
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 8:56 AM
The drum circle was incredibly annoying and loud, especially for my friend who lived by that area of downtown. All this talk of capitalism and rights are just excuses for the drum circle to keep bothering the hell out of people. I for one am happy it is gone and hope it stays gone for the sake of everyone around it who was forced to have hours of repetitive beats shoved down their ears.
by local
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 9:29 AM
Good point, Willis. The "anti-capitalist" rhetoric is all a diversion. They've had no problem hanging out around all the "capitalism" of the Farmers Market until this point. If they were really serious about "anti-capitalism", they wouldn't WANT to have a drum circle at an essentially commercial, for-profit event like the market.

Or they could have one of those "REALLY Free Markets" like they have in SF, and have a drum circle there. I don't have a problem with that...
by Auntie Imperial
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 10:33 AM
We reconnoitered, found ground right across Lincoln street and the new site is IDEAL!

Oh, and some straight looking businessman hanging around about dusk threw $40 at the circle for just being there.

Further, because I wasn't hanging out nearby, the vendors that I usually spend my money with didn't see me this week, or next week, or... CAN Coffee is going to miss those four bucks I spend every week.

Better hope the farmers market attracts LOTS OF TOURISTS (it won't), because you're losing your locals. Good luck in the limited time your market has before they expunge you with a multi-story parking garage.
by Bernard G.
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 11:35 AM
Auntie, so crossing the street is too far out of the way to get coffee? I'm sure that the 4 dollars you spent each week was the ecomonic engine that kept the market running.

Of course, now that the circle is across the street, the market would be a little nicer to be at, I (a local) and my wife (also a local) will tend to show up more. We will buy coffee and the guy in the booth will come out 4 dollars ahead.
by anti-Auntie
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 12:07 PM
Check out Auntie's home page and learn how homosexuality is a sin! Did it ever occur to you that some of the people in the drum circle might be gay?
by Vendor
Friday Apr 23rd, 2010 4:27 PM
Actually, exactly where the drum circle was, is now a coffee booth run by (ready for this?)....Lulu's! I wonder how Norse feels about that. LMAO. Talk about bitter irony!!

The coffee is great though, and from what I hear, they actually do something to help Robert's beloved homeless folks, unlike Robert himself.
by Way Rider
Saturday Apr 24th, 2010 1:28 PM
To say that Joe "did some catering" is a total misrepresentation of the facts. He was a guest chef. Joe was doing cooking demonstrations, not doing "some catering". He was the first guest chef in a series that will be at the farmers market every week. No doubt his being featured was a promotional gig for his new restaurant. It really is ironic that the first featured guest chef was Joe, considering his involvement with HUFF and FNB. It's also ironic that the coffee company who raises Robert's hackles at a moments notice is the one that replaced the drum circle. Face it, you guys were smacked down with this event.
by Which Restaurant?
Saturday Apr 24th, 2010 6:15 PM
Would you be willing to tell me which restaurant expressed concern?

I ask because from what I can see so far, there is no new stall that would change the dynamic or compete with a restaurant. So far I've seen a ceramicist and a chocolate vendor. While the bread vendor you mention may be a second one in a new location, there has been another bread vendor at the market for years now. Also indian food vendors, fish mongers, etc.

What is new that makes a restaurant feel threatened? I'm curious, and frankly, question your statement.
by Bouche
Sunday Apr 25th, 2010 5:56 PM
Lulu's was at the Market? I didn't see that. I'm glad I'll finally be able to get good coffee there now.

I wonder if Robert's head exploded. Too funny!
by Bouche
Sunday Apr 25th, 2010 10:08 PM
By the way Auntie Imperial, if the new spot was so easy to find, didn't slow you down and was IDEAL, why couldn't y'all have moved there in the first place? You knew damn well you weren't wanted by the Farmers Market where you were. This is the kind of assholey behavior that makes you so despised by so many, don't you see?

Tell Auntie, Robert.
by jd
Thursday Apr 29th, 2010 10:11 AM
i suppose anyone who thinks they've beat homeless folks will be angry to see what anarchists can do.

as a food not bomber im glad the site is moved. i didnt like the parking lot and always cherished the lot across the street.

u see this as a victory. we see it as a step up.

peace qnd love
by Wendy
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 1:46 PM
If you guys always liked the spot across the street and even "cherished" it, then why didn't you go there before? I'm not trying to be combative, it's a valid question. People like Wes literally fought the police to have the drum circle stay exactly where it was. But if you didn't like it and thought your needs would have been better suited across the street.....why didn't you just move?
Thursday May 6th, 2010 2:18 PM
THis was an obvious plot by the city to rid the drum circle... SOOOO many people I have met out of town thought the circle was a real attention graber,, A cool thing,,, a taste of santa cruz,,, Well I have to tell ya... The market will NEVER survive like this.. with out the circle, cars parked in the market, empty spaces.. Wow what kind of plant is that ceramic bowl, or wow a cup of coffee from a buisness, not a cause. wow, pizza,, yucjh,,,, I tell you, these city TRANSPLANT council members will,, I REPEAT WILL RUIN whats left of the ambiance that made santa cruz so inviting.. THE DRUM CIRCLE WILL BE BACK,, NO WORRIES<< BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER.. SO ALL YOU TRANNYS JUST GO BACK TO YOUR HOLES< MOLE A GROUND A GET A LIFE
by X Plainer
Thursday May 13th, 2010 8:41 AM
The place across the street was always the preferred location for the drum circle. Unfortunately, it got the hackles of the church across the street up. these christians had security & cops remove people from their grounds because they said people were pooing in their bushes, which i have a hard time believing, that people would do that in broad daylight across from the farmers market...maybe they didn't like the pagan orientation of the drummers? anyways, definitely agree that the spot across the street is preferable on many levels & that being in that parking lot was irritating to farmers & many people frequenting the market. imagine working @ that market for like 6 hours, trying to sell your stuff & stay sane while drumming happens feet away from you?? i have done it. &, while i do love the drum circle, it definitely verged on driving me insane, thinking violent thoughts, etc...
by T
Sunday May 16th, 2010 12:29 PM
The church would not even let me read a book while siting and leaning up against the tree by myself. They certainly will not let the drummers return.