Micah (Posner): Following up on the HUFF meeting of several weeks ago, I’ll attempt to briefly summarize what I’m now seeking–either clarification or action–from you on the issues raised there and earlier. Please do it briefly and in writing. If you feel unable to do so because of “tactical” or other concerns, please contact me by phone. I also include some of the prior e-mail for reference. Again, short answers are fine. And I’d be happy to meet with you if you need clarification or elaboration.
3. Have you followed up on your commitment to attend an ACLU meeting and/or letter them specifically urging them to publicly oppose the cutbacks on space for street performers, vendors, and artists recently passed by City Council over your and Lane’s objections? Will you be doing so? (It’s actually probably equally if not more important to request a statement supporting homeless survival rights and opposing police sweeps when there is no alternate shelter being offered–are you willing to do this?). My previous comment is still apt: If you are really interested in putting some energy into public education here, I believe it would ultimately encourage allies and challenge the level of hatred (and merchant discrimination) against homeless people. I’d suggest public statements as well as public appearances at the ACLU Board and other organizations, seeking to enlist their aid and buck up their spaghetti spines. Useless as these groups have generally been locally, they seem like political animals who perk up at the appearance of a public official. It also might make up in some degree (in their eyes) for your sell-out on the Cowell Beach issue (I believe the harsh term is accurate). Your response: That’s a great idea but is a better role for activists then elected. That’s partly what I learned by encouraging the ACLU prior to the Council Meeting. TO REPEAT–THE CLOWNS AT THE ACLU BOARD, SCCCPL, NAACP, DON’T RESPOND TO ACTIVISTS. BUT POLITICAL CLIMBERS AND POWER-WORSHIPERS THAT THEY ARE, THEY DO RESPOND TO VISITS FROM POLITICIANS. YOUR PROPOSAL TO SEND THE SIDEWALK-SHRINKAGE ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS TO THE ARTS COMMISSION IS A NICE TACTIC; USE IT IF YOU NEED TO REASSURE YOURSELF YOU CAN RAISE THE ISSUE PERSONALLY AND PUBLICLY WITH THE ACLU & OTHER GROUPS, BUT GO IN PERSON OR SEND WRITTEN LETTERS.
4. I appreciate the additional info about the segregated costly Levee portapotty (i.e. potential plumbing). I’d still like some insight into who is pushing this in the staff rather than the much more reasonable and dignified alternatie of keeping open the San Lorenzo Park bathroom, say? Hence my request about who you talked to, when, their responses, any written communications, etc. Hence my inquiry to you in late October: “THE STAFF” IS NOT A HELPFUL REPLY. ACCOUNTABILITY IS THE QUESTION HERE. WHY WAS THE OBVIOUS KEEPING BATHROOMS THAT ALREADY EXIST OPEN AT NIGHT REJECTED? WAS IT EVEN CONSIDERED? I REPEAT THE QUESTION BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T ANSWERED IT.
FOR ANY ARTIST TRYING TO DISPLAY HIS WORK IN A 3 1/2′ x 3 1/2′ SPACE IT’S OBVIOUSLY VERY IMPORTANT. THEY CAN PRESENT THAT OPINION IN COURT WHEN THEY’RE HARASSED. When did you follow-up on the Barisone request?6. You may ignore the internal conservative pressures that shut down the 5 Krohn Krappers a decade ago, but I suspect we’ll hear the same crap soon about your costly portapotty “solution”. Or we’ll find the same two-tier “homeless get surveilled; middle-class people get privacy” that is now the case in the Locust St. Parking Structure. I suggest you head this off by getting the real records of real police concerns. Otherwise you may find yourself swept up in a Council response to mob myths fearprompted by TBSC et. al. This is a repeated request. Please review the requests in bold below and forward those questions to staff. They are currently claiming to “have no records”. Which frankly strikes me as steaming horseshit without benefit of portapotty.
You replied: I don’t see what happened in the past is relevant. We will soon open the bathroom and I will be very careful about reported “problems”. With regard to privacy issue, these didn’t seem very important to the homeless at a well attended HUFF meeting several months ago. HOW WILL YOUR “CARE” WITH PROBLEMS MANIFEST ITSELF? IF THE PORTAPOTTIES WERE CLOSED IN THE PAST BY AESTHETIC PRIMADONNAS LIKE MATHEWS & ROBINSON OR THEIR STAFF ALLIES, THEN IT’S LIKELY TO HAPPEN AGAIN. ALL THIS IS USUALLY DONE WITHOUT POLICE STATS (AS THE ORDINANCES WERE PASSED–NOR DID YOU OR ANY OTHER COUNCIL MEMBER DEMAND THEM). IT’S NOT A “BATHROOM”, BUT A PORTAPOTTY, BY THE WAY, SO LET’S NOT TRY TO SELL SHIT BY ANOTHER LABEL.
9. What is the status of the police-napped bikes? Are they still being held hostage by city staff and the SCPD (with the help of the Bike Dojo)? I don’t want to hear you’re “working on it”, please. We’ve heard that for a year and a half now. Please specify recent meetings, timetables, claims, and responsible parties. You replied: I’m looking into this. AGAIN…MEANING WHAT? SPECIFICALLY? PLEASE SEND ME A SUMMARY OF THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU’VE MET WITH THE BIKENAPPERS AND THEIR STAFF PALS, WHEN THESE MEETINGS HAPPENED, WHAT PROMISES WERE MADE, AND WHETHER THE PROMISES WERE FULFILLED. REMEMBER–YOU’RE THERE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY, NOT TO GREASE THE SOFT PARTS OF THE STAFF. POOR PEOPLE ARE GOING WITHOUT BIKES BECAUSE OF YOUR “CONCERN” FOR STAFF SENSIBILITIES. STAFF STONEWALLING ON THIS BIKE BULLSHIT WE’VE PUT UP WITH FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS NOW. LET US KNOW THE DATE SENT AND THE PERSON TO WHOM THE MEMO WAS SENT. PLEASE PROVIDE A LIST OF ALL COMMUNICATIONS TO AND FROM STAFF ON THIS ISSUE IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF, AND PARTICULARLY IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS.
10. You might want to consider that your complaissance with staff (the constant strokings you do as they mendaciously remove everyone’s rights using the phony Public Safety mythology are embarrassing and repugnant). I refer to the earlier issues the Parks and Recreation blank check 24-hour stay-away-or-face-a-year-in-
You replied: I appreciate your suggestion. I think I did reach out to Craig at some point and he wasn’t interested. Feel free to refer him to me. It’s hard for me to recommend this position to someone given that the Commission is a joke. I don’t like to waste people’s time. GIVEN THAT THE PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FARCE IS CONSIDERING ELIMINATING MEASURE K, LIMITING OR SHUTTING DOWN HEAD SHOPS, AND USING THE DRUG WAR AS PROTECTIVE COVER ON THEIR WAR ON THE HOMELESS, I THINK HAVING A STRONG VOICE THERE–EVEN ONE THAT CAN’T WIN VOTES IS IMPORTANT. I’LL PASS THIS ON TO CRAIG. DO I UNDERSTAND YOU’LL AGREE TO APPOINT AN ADVOCATE, IF ONE COMES FORWARD (I CAN’T VOUCH FOR CRAIG).
Sorry for the backlog, but these issues don’t go away. Though the tone and extent of these questions may put you off, please try to respond however briefly. That is your job.
Thanks again for getting back to the basics by attacking the Public Safety mythology as far as you did. You need to talk to Vogel and get his specifics–since it’s my understanding from a conversation this summer that there has been no increase in crime subtantially in Santa Cruz in the last 20 years–all the comparisons with other cities of its same size aside. Not that Vogel is the most disinterested source, of course.
Dear Robert,Sorry to miss the HUFF meeting.
With regard to the shitter questions. I don’t find them pertinent/ am not interested in them. I was directed by HUFF (a couple months ago) to get a 24 hour bathroom, “any bathroom”. That’s what I’m trying to do. The one we are going to open is not the most efficient or obvious or “best” use of funds. It’s the easiest one for me to get. Welcome to government.
I’ll forward your question to Barisone.
I would be very happy to talk to the owner of the Cofee Company about backpacks. Then I’ll get back to you.
MicahMicah:Thanks for the heads-up on the latest attack on street vendors.
Please quickly request an opinion from Barisone–who continues to stonewall me–on the City of Sparks v. White decision’s applicability here (i.e. the constitutionality of banning street artists from showing price tags for their artwork). I’d have thought you’d have done that back in February actually, or several weeks ago.
On the shitter front, regarding item #9 is it correct to assume that the former public bathroom in the Locust Street garage is now gone? I believe I’ve also pointed out to you both the wasteful and discriminatory aspect of spending $15,000 to set up what is essentially a segregated portapotty on the leevee instead of using that money to open the San Lorenzo Park and/or Soquel/Front bathrooms all night. Your response?
Also what’s the status of the most-expensive-portapotty ever? How does its cost compare with the cost of the 5 portapotties set up in 1999 under the Krohn Krapper Kommission?
I have not been able to secure police data in spite of a Public Records Act request regarding the removal of those portapotties in terms of actual crime or vandalism then. Please seek this directly from the SCPD or via the City Manager.
You should also be advised that certain cafes are now banning people from bringing their backpacks in the store (the Coffee Roasting Company for one)–which means, unless an individual wants to risk losing her or his stuff by setting it outside (and being ticketed too boot for “abandoned property”), they can’t access that public service. Are you willing to publicly step up to mediate problems so that cafes have another alternative to expressing their bigotry than banning homeless-looking people with backpacks (or without–Brent Adams noted a family of three turned away earlier this week from the same Coffee Roasting Company).
Dear Robert,I hope you are aware of further efforts by 3 councilmembers to reduce selling art. It is on Tuesday’s agenda.MicahSent from my iPadOn Sep 3, 2013, at 9:58 PM, Robert Norse <email@example.com> wrote:John: While I appreciate this fairly boilerplate answer, I do know that in the interests of both fairness and saving the City money, you have clarified the status of certain practices and rights in Santa Cruz in the past. Robin told me that he conferred with you several years ago after the City of Sparks decision came out, and got your agreement to encourage the SCPD to lay off (to put it gently). Was I misinformed?
Are you saying that you’ll answer a question for a Council member but not a member of the public about this issue?
Since police are still variously misinforming artists on Pacific Avenue that they can’t display prices on their artwork (when they’re not harassing them for other things), I’d again encourage you to simply do what you did before when approached by an artist trying to stop this practice, which unnecessarily lays the city open to litigation.
It is my understanding that the decision is still valid law (one of the attorneys involved actually practices in this area), so please, step out from behind the template and be direct here.
I am also requesting Chief Vogel and the Council contact you for your “advice” here, so I’m not ignoring your suggestion either.Thanks,
Robert, I passed your concern along to the Police Department and if it has questions I will do the necessary research and answer them for the department. As you are aware I work for the City Council and the various City departments. I don’t take instructions from, perform work for, or provide opinions to members of the public; nor do I publicly divulge my advice and communications to my clients unless the clients make such a request. I would suggest that in the future, if you have a complaint or concern concerning a City employee or practice, you contact the responsible City department head. If that department head seeks my advice in connection with your issue, I will be happy to assist him or her. Thanks, JGB
From: Robert Norse [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 9:19 AM
To: John Barisone
Cc: Robin the rightsfinder; Ricardo Lopez; Brent Adams; Tom Noddy; Becky Johnson
Subject: RE: City of Sparks v. White and letter to City Attorney
John: On 2-7, as you probably remember, I sent you an inquiry regarding City of Sparks v. White. On 2-13, you advised me you hadn’t got to it yet.It’s now a week later and street performers will be attending the HUFF meeting today at the Sub Rosa.
I’d like to be able to advise them if they are acting legally, based on your understanding of the law and the police enforcement policy.
If I don’t hear from you in the next few hours, perhaps later today you can let me know–and I can them contact the performers by e-mail.
— On Thu, 2/7/13, Robert Norse <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Robert Norse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: City of Sparks v. White
To: “John Barisone” <email@example.com>
Cc: “Robin the rightsfinder” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Jonathan (!) Gettleman” <email@example.com>, “David Beauvais” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Ed Frey” <email@example.com>, “J.M. Brown” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Alexis of Pier 5” <email@example.com>, “Ricardo Lopez” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Joe the strummer” <email@example.com>, “Tom Noddy” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Brent Adams” <email@example.com>, “Coral (!!!) Brune” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Free” <email@example.com>, “John Malkin” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 11:05 AM
You may remember Robin coming in to secure an agreement from you that he could resume displaying his artwork on the sidewalk without a permit and without harassment from the SCPD even though he attached price tags. This was several years ago in response to the City of Sparks v. White (http://
seattletrademarklawyer.com/) decision. He told me that you and he made such an agreement. storage/White%20v.%20City% 20of%20Sparks%20-%209th%20Cir. %20Opinion.pdf
Several artists have told me that “Hosts” and SCPD officers have been telling them they’ll be cited if they do what you apparently oked for Robin. I know Robin also requested an explicit change in the law and to my knowledge and his you never recommended or created it.
I want to know if you’ve change your position here and now regard art work as not First Amendment-protected (as far as explicit pricing goes). What is the current policy and direction to the SCPD?
This clarification is particularly important because some police officers are not merely banning explicit pricing, but also claiming that showing artwork without a business license is “panhandling” even if it’s done for donation in accord with the explicit exemption of MC 9.10.010(a) which states “A person is not soliciting for purposes of this chapter when he or she passively displays a sign or places a collection container on the sidewalk pursuant to which he or she receives monetary offerings in appreciation for his or her original artwork or for entertainment or a street performance he or she provides.”
Please let me know what the status of the White decision is regarding city policy as well as assurance that MC 9.10.010(a) is still active law.
Hope you are well.
CC: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2013 07:53:15 -0700
What’s the status of the $15,000 portapotty slated to be installed near the Levy? Why aren’t you proposing that that money be spent instead to open up the Soquel garage bathroom or the San Lorenzo restroom at night? It would probably be cheaper, more durable, less segregated, and more sensible.
Have you e-mailed your Cruzio server to ask them why the discrimination against homeless client Dan Madison and his son Gryphon? (See https://www.indybay.org/
newsitems/2013/08/14/18741605.). I include Dan’s e-mail (he does a Free Radio show under the name “Sean Deluge”) in case you wish to speak with him directly. php