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View other events for the week of 4/26/2016
Support Beach Flats Garden Defenders Then Defend the Right to Sleep-- Freedom SleepOut #42
Date Tuesday April 26
Time 5:00 PM - 5:00 AM
Location Details
Outside, Inside, and Outside City Council at Church and Center across from the Main Library in Downtown Santa Cruz
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorToby Nixon (post by Norse)
Emailtobynixon [at]
The 7 PM Session of the City Council will “consider” a Beach Flats Garden Update and Recommendations with a motion to accept the staff’s sell-out of 1/3rd of the Garden and direct them to continue to “work on” a long-term plan—as they’ve colluded in bulldozing 1/3rd of the garden in collusion with the Seaside Company.

An earlier meeting at 1:30 at closed session involving negotiating the lease for the Garden with the Seaside Company smooth-and-slippery City Manager Martin Bernal is a more likely plae where the real action will happen. The main part of the session is closed to the public (go figure!). However, there is an “open interval” at 1:30 for public comment which can be attended, though it’s not clear whether advocates for the garden will be there in any numbers.

At prior meetings Beach Flats supporters have rolled in in record numbers and then rolled out—letting Council and the slimy staff proceed along its sell-out path.
Councilmember Posner has circulated a constituent letter [relevant parts of which are attached below] noting he plans an eminent domain motion with the City forcing the Seaside Company to sell the Garden (over the recommendation of the City’s staff, of course).

Those interested in Metro cutbacks and hiway widening giveaways might also be interested in checking out item #21 on the afternoon agenda.

Unmentioned by Posner is item #20 the “Homeless Coordinated Non-Response” (actually titled “Response”—but that’s false advertising).

This is a phony face-saving proposal to “study” a Homeless Task Force proposal and to shift responsibility for the City’s punitive laws to the County. It’s the latest non-action taken in response to the crisis faced by the unhoused community (and so to the trembling NIMBY and merchant communities fearful of their visible presence).

The crisis: the Winter Armory Shelter closed earlier this month and with it the end of all walk-up emergency shelter for the spring, summer, and fall for the City’s 1000-2000 folks outside. Instead of putting on the agenda proposals for safe places to sleep proposed by Phil Posner and Steve Pleich (a very limited proposal), the staff is doing cosmetic cover by proposing more “direction” and consideration of a joint City-County Task Force to restudy the obvious.

See the clear proposals of the former Homeless Issues Task Force at which include, of course, ending the Camping Ban.

HUFF described that Task Force as a “farce” 16 years ago because its intent and effect was to divert then-powerful activist energy. Its ultimate proposals, though, were good ones—largely ignored by City Councils since in favor of punitive police funding. Such diverting is actually unnecessary now that Don Lane's "troops" have all disappeared over the hills or into focus groups and Posner has remained silent.

Still the 2000 Homeless Issues Task Force report contains many relevant and powerful suggestions which need to be actively advanced, not ignored with the same ground being “studied” again.

Meanwhile downtown HUFF set up its protest table right next to artists Alex Skelton and Joff Jones—who continue to refuse to be “blue boxed” on Pacific Avenue and refuse to “move along”. Their court cases come up in May. See “Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz: The Joff Jones and Alex Skelton Report on Freedom in the USA” at

City Council’s “Vaporize the Vendors” law will not be coming up until the first meeting in May. Will the courageous action of Alex and Joff and others like them make the Council’s threats a laughing stock?

Freedom Sleepers #42 will continue to have Troublemaker Toby livestreaming any untoward police and security thug behavior Tuesday night. Limited quantities of food and drink are likely.

Toby will meet with interested activists at 10 AM Wednesday morning at the Sub Rosa to review the night's events and strategize for the night ahead. The regular HUFF meeting will be at 11 AM there as usual.

Though citations have reportedly been given in the last week around the library building, Freedom Sleepers on Tuesday have been pointedly ignored by the armed Ticketeers.

Contact HUFF at 831-423-4833 if you wish to join, organize, or support protests.

For more info on the Freedom Sleepers, go to: and/or
Added to the calendar on Monday Apr 25th, 2016 11:40 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Micah Posner and Robert Norse
Tuesday Apr 26th, 2016 11:45 AM
Most of this e-mail concerns the Beach Flats Garden Seizure and proposes a more direct road to bypass the staff and force Seaside Company to respect the Garden. He also discusses other subjects. This is a rare posture for Posner--to propose a resolution for which he may not have a second. Admittedly many folks are likely to show up and it will be a crowd pleaser. It also comes months late. It might be more persuasive if he were to lead a march to the Seaside Company and the Boardwalk. --R. Norse

To: Rnorse3 [at]
Subject: The Garden and the Freeway
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 17:49:27 -0700
From: micahposner [at]

Dear Robert,

The agenda for our next City Council meeting- April 26th, has some very interesting issues on it.

In the evening, at 7PM, the City Council will review what progress, if any, has been made towards our stated goal of saving the Beach Flats Garden. Unfortunately, the only obvious change to the garden is that the City of Santa Cruz bulldozed 40% of it, so as to return it to the Seaside Company, which owns the Boardwalk and most of the Beach Flats neighborhood. Seaside hosted the garden as a donation to the neighborhood for 25 years but now wants the land back.

For many of us, bulldozing 40% of the garden does not constitute progress towards "the goal of acquisition of the current Beach Flats Garden property" which was the language passed by the City Council unanimously on October 27th, 2015. I believe that the City staff and other Council members do value the garden, but can only imagine saving it by appeasing the Seaside Company. While I would also prefer a `collaborative approach' to saving the garden, this tactic does not appear to be working. The Seaside Company continues to state that the garden is not for sale, nor is there any reason to believe that they will sell any other property in the neighborhood. City residents, on the other hand, continue to clearly state their desire that the garden be saved, including a petition with 4000 signatures on it. While I appreciate the generosity of the Seaside Company, I think the proper role of our local government is to enact the will of the people, even if it means upsetting the town's biggest corporation. If I don't see another clear path towards a permanent garden at Tuesday's meeting, I will make a motion to begin the process of using eminent domain to acquire it. Please consider telling the City Council how you feel about the issue by coming to the meeting (at 809 Center Street) and/or sending us an email at citycouncil [at]

Friends of Beach Flats Garden are organizing a march from the garden to the council meeting (leaving at 5:30PM). See for details.

As if that wasn't enough, the afternoon session also has two important items relating to countywide transportation. At 2:30PM, Metro Director Alex Clifford will give un update on the state of the Metro bus system, which is planning on major cuts to service due to many years of falling sales tax revenue (think internet shopping). Then, sometime after 4PM, the Council will consider whether or not to endorse a sales tax measure for transportation which would provide 72 million dollars to Metro and 68 million towards the rail trail, but also spend 100 million dollars on a highway widening project. The Campaign for Sensible Transportation is pointing out the fact that rerouting the Highway money towards public transportation would eliminate the need for cuts. To further explore their logic go to To get information about how supporting the sales tax will help the Metro, try and go to the Transportation Improvement Plan link on the left of the webpage. Personally, I spent hours trying to figure out if the sales tax proposal is a net gain or a net loss for sensible transportation and then had the realization that I just don't have the stomach to get behind a transportation plan that continues the delusion that widening highways reduces congestion - and the Environmental Impact Report states it won't significantly help congestion. Come to the City Council Meeting for a lively discussion not just about transportation but about what constitutes incremental progress, principled compromise and straightforward communication with voters. Or weigh in via email: citycouncil [at]

At our last Council meeting, I was able to persuade the developer of a housing project on 1800 Soquel to contribute $20,000.00 towards speed bumps and a permit parking program in the neighborhood. The project met all zoning requirements and included a requirement for 5 affordable units (out of 32 studio and one bedroom apartments). I included the $20,000.00 in the conditions for the project and led the Council in a unanimous vote of approval.

On the `personal' end of things, my exploration on building a permitted unit on my property is going well. Architect Greg Heitzler expects to submit initial planning documents next week, and we are hoping to do a community groundbreaking in the late summer.

Wrestling with big questions on the City Council,

Micah Posner
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