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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

City Decides to Reinvent the Wheel on Bike Distribution
by Steve Pleich
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 12:55 PM
Wheels Within Wheels
It is both unfortunate and sad that the City Council has chosen to reject out of hand the years of service provided to the community cost free by the Bike Church Tool Collective. Unfortunate because rather than recognizing and utilizing a fully functional and sustainable bicycle refurbishment and distribution program, it has chosen instead to create another wasteful layer of bureaucracy to oversee. By favoring the Teen Center as the new distribution agency, the city has effectively "reinvented the wheel" where none was necessary. And now, only useable bicycles will be redistributed while the bicycle parts which could have been given new life by the Bike Church will now be auctioned off with no real end result in mind. And that is truly unfortunate.

But this decision by council is also sad. It is sad because it reflects the elevation of politics over practicality and community benefit that has become the hallmark of our present civic leadership. By any measure, the Bike Church would have distributed a greater number of bicycles that any other qualified and similarly experienced organization. This could have been, and should have been with enlightened leadership, a model of the kind of "public/private partnership" that this community sorely needs. One need look no further than the reopening of Harvey West Pool to see a working example of this model. Unable to cost effectively operate the large pool, the city closed that facility in 2007. In 2010, when community members Kevin Moon, Jim Booth and myself formed a private partnership to operate the pool, the city was wise enough and willing enough to agree to a public/private partnership that resulted in the large pool being reopened for community use; and it remains open on a regular summer schedule to this day. And yet now, with a experienced, community minded private partner ready, willing and able to take on the program of bicycle redistribution, civic leadership declined to make the obvious and best choice. What part politics played in this decision is a matter upon which reasonable minds might differ. But as a matter of good, common sense, there can be no argument that our community, and especially every young person who might not now experience the joy of bicycle ownership, deserves better.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Razer Ray
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 1:08 PM
Steve: "civic leadership declined to make..."

They aren't leaders. They're hacks.

AT LEAST they're going to redistribute operational bikes through SOME outlet and that outlet isn't commercial like the "Bike Dojo".

I expected worse.
by Ricardo ShillyShally
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 3:16 PM
The reality is that as long as the City Council knew that the Bike Church was using the same space as Subrosa they were not going to return the service to the Church. Apparently, they were also both getting funds from "The Hub". For some reason, the City Council thinks that Subrosa supports "anarchists" who "hate the cops". As long as the Council has that poisoned mindset towards ALLEGED "anarchists" who they see as nefariously behind isolated events as the Wells Fargo occupation or the DIY parade, I suspect they will continue to take such right-wing actions. Where they are getting the notion that the Subrosa folks have ANYTHING to do with the Bike Church or that they "hate cops", I have no idea...
by anarcho la selva
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 4:54 PM
Why does it matter, though, even if folks at the Bike Church or Subrosa "hate cops", as you put it? That should have nothing to do with whether or not the cops cooperate with the Bike Church giveaway. Just because some people have hatred for the government doesn't mean that the government shouldn't give them what they are asking for.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 9:18 PM
Letting the SCPD and its friends on the City Council get away with a two year Bike Blockade with the political intent of cutting off the Bike church at the urging of reactionary Council members with no public process is part of the issue.

Another aspect is allowing staff and a for-profit business with connections to former Mayor Bryant's spouse favoritism and improper profiteering.

Another is the fatal paralysis of activists reduced to respectful hat-in-hand behavior to the treacherous bureaucrats who set up a rigged agenda item that preemptively cut out the Bike Church.

See http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/23/18749645.php?show_comments=1#18749947 .

Bike Church activist Steve Schnaar will be speaking about the issue on FRSC tomorrow night between 6 and 6:30 PM at 101.3 FM (and http://audio.str3am.com:5110/listen.pls ). Show will archive at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb140130.mp3 . Folks are invited to listen in and call in at 831-427-3772.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 9:30 PM
Another concern is maintaining a psuedo-neutrality by ignoring the corrupt dynamicc and then mourning afterwards as Steve seems to be doing in this post.

Whether it's Don Lane lamenting "how badly" the Bike Church was treated (but doing nothing about it for 2 years and taking no effort to expose the SCPD and Council staff's role yesterday at the meeting.

Or Micah Posner's woeful "why, oh why?" with no attempt to provide obvious answers to his own question and suggest meaningful future remedies. (At least we were spared his standard embarrassing staff-stroking praise)

Steve's endless attempt to position himself to the middle (which from his perspective moves further and further right) in a results in a "don't-want-to-offend-the-Robinson-majority" failure to name names and talk about the clear and concrete history of obstruction, stalling, and political favoritism.

Sad? What else would one have expected with the history and with the text of the staff resolution. Say rather angry--and determined that this process will be exposed and not repeated in the future with other SCPD actions (say confiscating and/or destroying homeless survival gear).

If you can't talk straight about these issues, you'll end up doing the crooked walk. Steve has shown that quite clearly in his ACLU Board of Directors behavior (See "For more background on the hopeless local ACLU..." at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/12/03/18747190.php?show_comments=1#18747258)
by Ricardo ShillyShally
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 10:11 AM
Agreed on all points, Robert. However, I think it is important to examine the reasons WHY they are hesitant to give it back to the Bike Church? Bike Dojo is out of the picture now, so it isn't about nepotism anymore. Is it a general bias against "anarchists"? If so, that is discriminatory. As anarcho said, just because an organization is a neighbor of a group deemed "Dangerous" by the powers that be, doesn't mean they get to discrimnate. They need to explain that part PUBLICLY and not in some secret star chamber.
by protest while you still can
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 12:37 PM
no one really cares. not the community, not the government,
not even the bike church.

this was a highly embarrassing issue for the SCPD. had there been any protests to bring attention to the pigs denying bikes to poor children, the pigs might have backed down. since no one protested, is anyone surprised at the outcome?

it was the bike churche's issue, it was up to them to stand up and object through protest. since neither they nor their supporters did so, there is no point in whining about it now.
by Sylvia
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 12:40 PM
Matthews favored staff over residents. I believe Collins' compared apples and oranges, auction profits when there were not any giveaways, so choice items sold. Comstock was rude to Posner. Lane and Posner didn't have their arguments organized, their facts in hand. Robinson is not yet a skillful chair. I sat through some of it, walked home feeling how short-sighted and narrow-minded the decision was. And how I have no language with which to engage the five auction supporters.

That the Council feels the bikes have auction value enforces that they are worth stealing, too, and reselling. There must be some profit in stealing bikes, to resell, for parts, … The market shrinks when the City provides free bikes and parts and teaches repair. Theft may stop paying.

And, and for me the most telling, non-profits and recycling and repairing and learning how things work increase the sense of self-worth of teachers and learners and build connection, build community. Auctions put forward that there's a monetary value of everything, even a junker bicycle, and profits to be made.
by Good Point
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 12:44 PM
I agree with protest while you still can.

A strategic demonstration would have made a lot of sense.

The activist community in Santa Cruz is unorganized.

Let's raise some hell when there's injustice in our community!

I know, it's easier said than done.

How can we organize ourselves better as a radical community?
by anarcho la selva
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 2:48 PM
Yes, the activist community in SC does need to get better at organizing around these issues. However, that means looking at what caused this in the first place? Why was there hostility towards the Bike Church, a group that simply refurbishes and bikes? Nobody in this thread has truly answered that question. Until that piece of the puzzle is solved, I doubt there will be much progress on fixing this and restoring this service to the Church? Focusing on issues like Bryant, Bike Dojo, etc. simply won't flesh it out. Focusing on the "process" of the Council, which we ALREADY know is broken, won't fix it.

We are debating the wrong things here.

Real issue: why was the Council hostile to the BC in the first place? It makes no sense to me.
by Ed Natol
( ednatol [at] hotmail.com ) Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 3:10 PM
That's actually a really good question, does having bike giveaways cut down on theft? I went to the monthly crime stats page http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=62 Where it's broken down by month from 2005 through 2013. Reported bike thefts are on page 4 of each report, line 6X (f). And frankly I can't tell. Some months go up from the previous year, sometimes they go down. It does look like it trends upward slightly, but that could be due to other reasons as well, such as better awareness, or ease of on line reporting (which I did when my bike got jacked (yes, it was registered (No, I never got it back))).

The weird thing is that if the giveaways did cut down on theft, at some point the recovered bike numbers go down as well, meaning the number of bikes given away goes down, which then drives up the pressure for more bike thefts. Sort of like the fox/rabbit simulations.
Just goes to show you how a little bit of organization and political calculation (not to mention the backing of the SCPD/the SC business interests and most of the media) can redefine a city.

Which if we want to be honest, the continued redefining our city is what was most obviously on display for all to view this Tuesday.


You have so-called public safety groups which started off with latching onto highly publicized horrific events (murders) and with each horrific event have added legions scared shitless citizens to their organizations. TBSC is now up to 7000 "likes" on FB. None of these members have no real say in the organization and how it's run, the people who actually run TBSC is the same family clan who started the group. Pamela Comstock is one of them. This family clan decides who and what to target (needle exchanges, homeless centers, the dreaded meth head recycling thieves) and then the army of scared shitless is called to action via the TBSC website and the FB group. Their actions are decidedly political.

The slogan of "keep santa cruz Safe and clean" an idea that few would argue with, has unsurprisingly been altered into a cultural war, a battle where ever increasing groups of people get added to the enemies list, the others, the undesirables.

Lynn Robinson has made a career out of demonizing certain groups as "the problem." So too has Cynthia Matthews and now Pamela Comstock. Hilary Bryant and David Terrazas though not as overt, clearly vote in along with that bock.

The first obvious groups to be targeted were gangs, the homeless and meth heads or as the safety people prefer to call them, "junkies." As they gained more power it has become clear that the next layer of people to be identified as undesirable, to drive out of town are: the travelers, the smokers, the artisans and musicians who might try and sell or perform downtown, anyone downtown who lingers too long, anyone who tries to sit on a bench or a planter for any length of time, any citizens who might have the unfortunate belief that our downtown is a de facto town square and that in addition to commerce it is a place to gather, to share culture, to politic, to be human.

This year now, the target list has grown still. The people to worry about, to be suspicious of are people who run something strangely alien, a cooperative. Yes, collectives are dangerous things, particularly ones who dare to empower people. In this case, empowering poor and working class people to fix their own bikes, to obtain bikes in trade for work, well that's something that makes our overlords just a bit suspicious. The fact that the Bike Church can be easily splattered with the label as "anarchist" made it a pretty easy mark for the likes of Robinson and Matthews and Comstock who seemingly value control and overt commerce over having agreat number of poor kids having access to a free bike.

Can we be honest again? What was has been mostly unspoken in all the discussions, what lay behind the obvious contempt of SC City Council and SCPD is the smear that the Bike Church was helping the very people that stole the bikes in the first place. That's the kernel of what isn't being discussed. The SCPD and those in control of SC City council do not like and do not trust an organization that doesn't mirror their own values.

Therefore, SCPD and SC City council( in complicity) without proof, without conversation, without communication decided that process doesn't matter, poor kids don't really matter, that so-called anarchists and collectivists can't really be trusted and that instead even if a City Muni law was broken that the right people, the proper people who should handle the bike distribution were folks that more mirrored their values, their appearance, their buddy list, and hence, the Bike Dojo was secretly anointed by a yet unidentified manger or even chief of SCPD.

This issue has turned out to be much larger than who gets bikes and who gets to distribute them.

At the heart of the issue is who gets to define our community. Who has the power to make and even break the laws in our town? Who isn't being held accountable for illegal actions? For lack of process. For contempt of those who hold a different set of values or who are of a different economic status?


Micah Posner was apparently surprised that his opinion was so easily disregarded by Lynn Robinson and crew. Why was he surprised? Why should any of us who are not large landowners or business people be surprised if we end up as the next group to end up as an enemy of the state of Santa Cruz? There is a cultural and economic war that has been waged in earnest in the last 4 years and unless egos get cast aside and people start organizing as if our lives depended upon it, then little by little what we claim to value in our community will be gone.

It's about the Bike Church, but this issue is much larger than who gets to distribute bikes to at risk youth.
by RE: Subrosa and police
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 6:50 PM
You ask why anyone would think Subrosa hates police. Well, check their history, statements, and mission, for starters. They're on record as saying "We have no desire for police in our community".

And in a pre-emptive strike attempt, in case you're won't to go there, I'll ask that we not meander into semantics. "Hate" vs. "we have no desire for them to be in our community" is one and the same. If you don't think it is, replace Subrosa with rich suburbanites and cops with "colored people" and you'll see that truth.

So I'm fine with Subrosians hating police, but let's not pretend they don't.
by Razer Ray
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 7:23 PM
I hate to sound like the cynical heretic I am but... You expect self-critique from Santa Cruz activists?

ROTF ROTF ROTF!

You oughta see all the years worth if my moderated-out-of-existence comments on this site that were intended to be (sometimes mean-spirited but valid) critiques.

Everyone has an agenda, and it's their way or no way and all I can say is a LOT of people come here to get AWAY from politics/activism just the way I used to escape to visit friends who lived around Woodstock from the 60s-70s antiwar street actions in NY.

We end up with provincial tempest-in-a-teapot politics and a nepotistic relation between the activists and the city for reasons MUCH too deep to discuss here and now.

Another segment of the population of activists comes from the more eager for radical change less-agenda'd college students. They're here for 4 years... Not a long period of time to make radical change in a community OR affect the local activists rather set-in-concrete agendas.

This isn't to say change cannot be accomplished. A few years after I arrived in town I got involved in "CALM", Community Against Legalized Military, an action group that successfully placed a proposition on the local ballot to cut funding, received I believe as state funded 'fallout' from the Symbionese Liberation Army's acts (police agents... the end results of the last of the MK-Ultra program) for Santa Cruz' 1st Swat Team.

It worked. The funds got cut to the SWAT program. Unfortunately the money, unlike grants dedicated to a specific purpose received by schools and teachers, was a block grant. Remember that folks. When the SCPD gets funding for a Youth program by the state or feds, they can spend it on an armored car or tear gas if they want.

So the same cops, AR-15s etc were simply turned into the county's CNET drug squad program and used mostly against local hippie pot growers.

Sigh.. One step forward Two steps backwards... Down inna Babylon
by anarcho la selva
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 10:52 PM
"The people to worry about, to be suspicious of are people who run something strangely alien, a cooperative. Yes, collectives are dangerous things, particularly ones who dare to empower people. In this case, empowering poor and working class people to fix their own bikes, to obtain bikes in trade for work, well that's something that makes our overlords just a bit suspicious."

-But why the Bike Church? There are many things that can be deemed a "co-op" around town that the council ISN'T targeting? For example, credit unions like Bay Federal or the mobile home co-op downtown or the housing co-op on the Westside. Why isn't the city council targeting them if they have something against cooperatives? It seems a little bit of a stretch to say that political powers are afraid of people learning to fix their own bikes? Why is that scary to them? I've known enough of the TBSC types over the years, and they complain about junkies and "campers", not ONCE have I ever heard one say "I'm afraid people are going to learn how to fix their own bikes, that is a threat to my private property!" Not once. Have you heard them say that?

" The fact that the Bike Church can be easily splattered with the label as "anarchist" made it a pretty easy mark for the likes of Robinson and Matthews and Comstock who seemingly value control and overt commerce over having agreat number of poor kids having access to a free bike. "

-But again, WHY is the Bike Church labeled as "anarchist"? If they are "anarchists", why on Earth would they have been cooperating with the police on a bike giveaway in the first place? None of this makes any sense.
by Hal Chase
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 9:51 AM
The Bike Church is associated with anarchists via sharing its space and non-profit umbrella of The Hub, which also includes Subrosa. Location is everything.
by Razer Ray
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 9:58 AM
italian_partisan_anarchists_740px.jpg
italian_partisan_anarchis...

[Image: WWII Italian Partisan Anarchists... What the SC City Council thinks of when you say the word "Anarchist".]

Does this make any sense?

Proximity.

Also, some crossover in staff that has occured from time to time.

The believable-by-the-public semantic that being acquainted with (pick a phrase: Cooperative with, Friendly to, Tolerant of...) Anarchists paints one an anarchist as well.

Santa Cruz city government, as any STREET PERSON will tell you, is and always has been tone-deaf to the nuances of human social behavior.

Who you associate with is who you are as well.

As an example of the "Proximity effect" Ask any non-drinking, non-hard drug using streetie how they are profiled by the police as if the people they are 'forced-by-economics' to congregate with is used to profile their way of life as well by the police, the sentinel, and the vicious morons at the top of TBSC's scumbucket.

by Steve Schnaar
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 10:41 AM
Because the City staff have refused to give me a straight answer for almost 2 years, I cannot say with certainty what this is all about. Part of it I suspect is the overall climate of attacks against homeless and homeless service providers, e.g. Robinson's attempt to shut down the HSC day services. According to the conservative perspective, by making food or bikes or anything else available to homeless people, we are "enabling" them, and therefore such services must be stopped.

However I agree a large part of it is also likely the fact that the Bike Church is located next door to SubRosa, which does have an openly confrontational attitude towards cops. Some years ago a few officers in uniform came to SR "to buy a cup of coffee", and were told they were not welcome to enter without a warrant, and then people blockaded the door. From that point the SCPD has hated SubRosa and blatantly lied about them in some cases to the press (notably after the May 1 window-smashing in 2010).

However SubRosa is only renting space, they are not representative of the Hub (short for "the Santa Cruz Hub For Sustainable Living), the nonprofit which manages the building and includes the Bike Church, the Fabrica, Green Ways to School, People Power Fund, and the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project. The Hub has no political position, and has never had any policy against police. In fact the Bike Church, although we are quite effective at handling difficulties on our own, we do occasionally call police for help with aggressive individuals. We also regularly call to run serial numbers of potentially-stolen bicycles, collaborated with them for 4 years to distribute bikes, and have recently become the first bike shop in town to help them register bikes.

Nonetheless, the SCPD as far as I can gather decided at some point that they couldn't stand bikes going to a neighbor of SubRosa. In a meeting I had with Assistant City Manager Tina Shull in 2012, after she explained all the bureaucratic reasons they supposedly changed the program, which I challenged point by point, Shull stated, "well, there is a more fundamental reason: some of our staff are not welcome on your property". She went on to tell a made-up story about police coming to drop off bikes, and the Bike Church making them wait out on the curb. This is entirely untrue; in fact our contact at the SCPD, Cindi Shockey, would often come by after the distributions to follow-up, and sometimes came in to talk to me in the People Power office. These facts, and the fact that the Bike Church and SubRosa are separate spaces, with separate doors and a gate inbetween, are evidently irrelevant to the SCPD, who cannot tolerate anyone "enabling" anarchists by renting space out to them.

A more recent incident, in a meeting with both Posner and Comstock present, Posner reports that Comstock said, "the Hub is an anti-government organization". We invited her to come check it out for herself, which to her credit she did, but so far it hasn't seemed to sway her opinion.
by Esteban Munras
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 1:44 PM
Steve, do you know what organization does sponsor Subrosa's 501(3)(c) status? I'd like to know so I can differentiate their business from The Hub since the street address is the same. It seems like SCPD and Subrosa are playing games with each other that spilled over into the politics of bike distribution.
by city insider
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 3:09 PM
Yep, Steve sums it up pretty well with his post. This is exactly the thinking of the council on this matter. They also have the ERRONEOUS notion that Steve participated in the Wells Fargo takeover and base it on this shaky video by Alex Darocy. They think this is Steve about 38 seconds into the video, but it clearly isn't him. Steve is a mainstream political activist, who in fact was campaign manager for a current city councilman, Micah Posner. The idea that him or the Bike Church would be involved in radical "anarchist" behavior is false on its face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C4Uiyimk2c
by subrosan
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 3:26 PM
They are NOT all the same entity. This old metro article explains the relationship (or lack thereof) between them.

http://www.metrosantacruz.com/metro-santa-cruz/09.17.08/news2-0838.html

" The new Bike Church has proven so successful that the collective has plans to expand. Turning its attention to another ubiquitous failure-prone tool of the modern age, the Bike Church is planning to open a technology-oriented co-op in the office space currently occupied by the nonprofit People Power, which will be moving next door. Muir says, "The Computer Kitchen will provide educational opportunities and material recovery/recycling services in much the same way the Bike Church does with bikes. They will also be looking to provide nonprofit organizations with tech assistance and affordable hardware."

It's heady times for the cooperative. There are also plans to open an Info Shop, a free library of independent and activist literature that takes its cues from similar spaces in San Francisco and Olympia, Wash. The Info Shop, Bike Church, Computer Kitchen and People Power will all operate under the auspices of the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Transportation, the nonprofit that holds the lease of the entire property. As one might imagine, working in a completely egalitarian manner isn't without its challenges. "Consensus decision-making can be a long drawn-out process," Agam grants. "We do consensus-minus-one, but we all get along pretty well and rarely have to spend hours on any one decision."

by Steve Schnaar
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 9:28 PM
You can see on the website for the hub (http://www.santacruzhub.org) an explanation of who we are. The Hub is a nonprofit that includes as fiscally-sponsored projects the Bike Church, Green Ways to School, the People Power Fund, the Fabrica, and the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project.

The Hub also manages a building which is a community center. There are many tenants which are not legally affiliated with the Hub as a nonprofit, including Pedalers' Express (a worker-owned bike messenger business), The Computer Kitchen (an independent nonprofit), People Power (an advocacy group set up as an "unincorporated association"), and SubRosa (which to my knowledge operates fiscally as a project of the nonprofit "Revolutionary Garden Society").

The linked news article from when we expanded our space is simply wrong. For one thing, it was "the Hub" and not "the Bike Church" that expanded, and more importantly there has never been a time in which the Computer Kitchen or SubRosa was operating "under the auspices of the Hub". They are independent orgs operating as subtenants in a building the Hub manages as a community center.
by facts
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 10:09 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Steve. However, one part of your piece is not true. According to Wes and his Jonathan Gettleman, the Subrosa is NOT sponsored by the Revolutionary Garden Society. Not sure who sponsors them, but it isn't the RGS.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_16748075

"Modes' attorney, Jonathan Gettleman, said Modes completed 500 hours of community service for a group called the Revolutionary Garden Society. He said the group is not affiliated with the SubRosa Cafe, an anarchist reading room and coffee house that Modes helped to found."

by Robert Norse
Saturday Feb 1st, 2014 8:23 AM
THE COLLINS COVERUP STORY
Scott Collins, an assistant to the City Manager who presented the Council's cover story, gave the following explanation Tuesday afternoon of what caused the Bike Church to be cut off without notice, apology, or explanation. Collins presentation was much longer and can be found at http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=539&doctype=AGENDA under Agenda Item #14. The "specifics" (which were far from that) were as follows:

" But in recent years, there were some issues that arose with the distributors that time. City line staff had issued you now, a number of complaints about... from multiple departments that found the program was burdensome to staff, typically requiring four or five staff members from different departments to execute the distribution.

In addition to that there were inconsistencies in terms of when the drop-off and then co-ordination would occur, which further impacted staff time but also the ability to manage the storage facilities. And public works staff had to haul off unwanted bikes and parts at the city 's expense and time after the distribution took place.

And there was no established point of contact at this organization to handle these concerns."




PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REQUEST
In response to this vague undocumented description, I made a Public Records Act last night to Collins and the City requesting:

"... access to all documents and notes (written, electronic, audio, or video) you consulted, referenced, or viewed in creating these claims.

This should include but not be limited to
(1) complaints to city staff from multiple departments that found the program burdensome
(2) any reports indicating that 4-5 staff members from different departments were required to execute the distribution
(3) inconsistencies in terms of when drop-off and then co-ordinating would occur
(4) any references to staff time impacted
(5) any references to difficulties in managing storage facilities
(6) any references to occasions where public work staff had to haul off unwanted bikes and parts
(7) any specifics about city's expenses and time on such occasions after the distribution took place
(8) any references documenting there was no established point of contact at the Bike Church to handle these concerns.

In addition please include any and all communications between the SCPD, staff, and council on this issue between July 2011 and January 2013. Prioritze the period between November 2011 and March 2012."


WHAT NEXT?
The City has 10 days to respond with documents or request a further delay to research them. It's hard to imagine why they'd need lots more time, since Collins presumably had the documents available when he created his report, unless he replied solely on police department verbal reports, staff gossip, and creative reporting.

Still it's notable that neither Steve Schnaar nor I were able to get any substantive records last year or the year before.

Meanwhile the number of bikes getting to children from the SCPD's stash is either reduced or (until the Teen Center begins its fractional distribution) non-existent.

Demonstrations of concern and/or outrage about this whole shady process don't need to wait another two years however--if folks are interested.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Feb 1st, 2014 10:04 PM
A cop-heavy backroom agenda negatively impacts the entire community--usually because of its reactionary content, but also because of the concealed process. In this case, it's particularly nasty because what seems to have been the SCPD's agenda deprived at risk youth of bikes--penalizing the young and the innocent--so the SCPD could play vendetta games against the Sub Rosa's neighbors.

At risk-youth were supposed to be the recipients of the bikes from the non-profits to which the bikes had been distributed via the Bike Church. That process was first stopped, then transferred to the for-profit mayor-and-police-friendly Bike Dojo, and finally stalled again when it became clear the Bike Dojo couldn't handle the distribution and the bikes were stacking up. According to what I've heard from Bike Church and Bike Shack employees.

I recently listened to Jeremy Scahill's piece on Obama's murder teams in Afghanistan bombing children and then ruthlessly covering up those crimes (at http://tunein.com/radio/National-Radio-Project-p60408/ under "Jeremy Scahill on America's Dirty Wars"). It also pays to keep an eye on police agencies locally. True, it's relatively small potatoes for police, staff, and council to cover up the theft of bikes from needy youth.

Still, with all the phony talk about "crime" and "public safety", we need to consider who has the real power, how it's being used, and to benefit whom. People in positions of power can have much greater impact and be shielded much more thoroughly from public disclosure or accountability.

The next question is--what are we to do to (a) correct this twisted process, and (b) make sure those guilty of doing so are exposed and punished to discourage similar such abuses in the future. If anyone has suggestions, please speak up.

A subgroup of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship) proposed that the D.A. should investigate felonious behavior by whatever city officials are responsible for misdirecting ore than $400 in bikes--and take the guilty parties to trial.

If the Bob Lee can spend hundreds of thousands harassing innocent Occupy activists for being in Wells Fargo's vacant bank building 2 years back (the scandal of the Santa Cruz Eleven) , then he might want to spend a teeny amount of time going after corrupt officials whose actions directly affect the options of the young and not just the public image of the police and the profits of banksters.

A picture can be worth a thousand words: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/portlet/article/html/render_gallery.jsp?articleId=25039731&siteId=6&startImage=1