Santa Cruz “Hostility” worker account

Santa Cruz “Hostility” worker account
by Tania
Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 11:19 AM

Santa Cruz “Hostility” worker account from Oct 6, 2013 during a street demonstration on Pacific Avenue. Includes a link to a 41 sec youtube video documenting the encounter.

On Sunday Oct 6, 2013 I witnessed a city worker in a “hospitality” role threatening a friend. We were peacefully demonstrating the new Santa Cruz city ordinances aimed at clearing street vendors, musicians, and homeless from Pacific Avenue. I tried to get the “Hospitality” host’s name but was verbally assaulted instead. I then tried getting her name from a supervisor, who also refused to comply. It seems to me that people employed by the city (especially) in a “hospitality” role should:
1. be hospitable
2. be accountable for their behaviorRefusing to give their identity is unacceptable. How am I to now have recourse for the assault?
At least I have the video. should all citizens carry video cameras around to protect themselves? It angers me to think that my tax dollars pay for this woman’s salary. I have indirectly paid for this woman’s harassment, yet have no recourse.How would a police officer be reprimanded in this situation? If the hospitality workers went through the same training as a police officer, I question if this woman would have been able to complete the courses as it seems one would need more discipline. In any case, I believe it is clear this employee is in the wrong role.

My transcript of the video:

Worker: … (unintelligible) get in my face and try to record me (unintelligible) record all this. Make sure you got this (down on?) tape. You are fucking with the wrong person, I’ll tell you that right now.
(turns and walks away)
Male – someone else: I didn’t catch all that
(Becky and I running to catch up to worker)
Me: Now hold on, hold up!
Becky: Is that what you said? You said you were fucking with the wrong person?
Me: I didn’t get your name! What is your name? Excuse me!
Worker: (unintelligible) get (out???) (slaps at me)
Becky: You think I have something against you? You approached me ma’am. I didn’t approach you. You approached me.
(walks away)
Becky: You should quit lady. You’re in the wrong profession.




The incident portrayed on the video happened about an hour or so into the 2-hour protest in front of Forever Twenty-One (and then crossing Soquel to the New Leaf Market corner.It reportedly began (as also documented in the video) when the Host or Hospitalilty (or Hostile-apitality) worker told the two women that they were sitting illegally against Forever Twenty One (though not blocking traffic or causing any problem). One or both of the women responded by videoing the event, enraging the Host, who then engaged in behavior that seemed to me to be an aggressive assault. If any homeless person had done such a thing with a tourist, he would have been at least cited, and probably arrested. Not here, of course, this was Authority expressing rage that it was being Held Accountable through a videocaming. I was not present when all this happen but standing across the street.I was standing next to a didgeridoo player with a sign that read “On October 24th, this will be illegal” in front of New Leaf Market to dramatize the disappearance of performance space . That spot will become a “forbidden zone” for musicians, artists, vendors, political tablers, those who want to sit down on the sidewalk, or panhandlers on October 24th. That spot will be illegal because the entire area is within 14′ of either the kiosk, the crosswalk, the trash can, or the building–prohibited under the new MC 5.43.020.

The same will be true in that entire block from Soquel to Cathcart up and down Pacific Avenue. Take a walk downtown–measure out the area by using the squares imprinted in the sidewalk (approx 2′ X 2′). Performance, vending, tabling, sitting, & art space does not exist there.

The point in 2002, when an earlier version of this measure was rushed through was to criminalize panhandling and sitting in most places downtown (see The Alarm coverage for July, August, and September 2002 at ). Ironically, this was in the face of two public hearings at that time which found the major concerns were selective enforcement of the Downtown Ordinances (against youth, homeless-looking people, minorities, and activists) and police harassment (similarly).

Angry shouts drew my attention to the scene across Soquel at the site of the protest tables where Lyrical Eye (Isaac Collins) was rapping and others were giving out flyers and collecting signatures. Then an angry woman in a Hospitality uniform crossed Soquel, followed by several women. The Hospitality worker was screaming at the women, refused to give her name, and stalked off. I described the situation later as an assault, due too the intensity of the rage and the close distance.

Another Host (or “Hospitality” worker, as they style themselves) arrived–who I think was the screaming Host’s superior. She refused to give her name nor the name of the screamer. Officer Albert, who arrived a few minutes later, along with other First Alarm security guards ultimately refused to take a citizen’s arrest for this behavior. This seemed to me an obvious example of selective enforcement. As mentioned in the article, none of the Hosts were wearing nametags. Though it strains belief to suggest that their identity was unknown to Officer Albert, who works with them regularly, he refused to provide their names to the victims. Neither of the asssilant nor of her cover-for-the-employee boss.

Otherwise the protest secured more signatures than either of the two prior protests downtown.

A hopscotch matrix was chalked on the sidewalk with erasable chalk, which Officer Albert noted was “graffiti”.

Another chalked area marked the 12 X 12 square feet which would drive away all but the tiniest performers or apprentice contortionists.

One donor left two sponge cakes.

And more protests are in the offing. Come to the HUFF meeting Wednesday at 11 AM at the Sub Rosa (703 Pacific) to plot and plan.

The attached flier is an updated version of one distributed.

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 4:12 PM



Text of the Flier:Save Our Santa Cruz Sidewalks from Stupid Laws
On October 24th, new Downtown Ordinances will:+++ FORBID PERFORMANCE, TABLING, ART DISPLAY, VENDING, SITTING, AND SPARECHANGING on 95% of downtown sidewalks & 100% of sidewalks near buildings elsewhere.
+++ FORCE ALL SUCH ACTIVITY TO THE CURB creating conflict with arriving motorists leaving their cars, unhealthy space for street performers, & a move to drive out vibrant street life.
+++ LIMIT IT to a handful of constricted 12 square feet spaces per block.
+++ LIMIT IT to 1 hour per day in any of the now very limited spots
+++ REQUIRE ADDITIONAL12′ SEPARATION SPACES between these activities on the sidewalk
+++ REQUIRE DAYS OF LEAD TIME AND SPECIAL PERMITS for any exceptions to this rules.
+++ GIVE CONSERVATIVE STAFF & POLICE A VETO over who uses the public sidewalk.
+++ SET UP HUGE “WALK THROUGH ONLY” ZONES within 14′ of buildings, street corners, intersections, kiosks, drinking fountains, public telephones, public benches, public trash containers,
directory signs, sculptures or artwork, ATM-style machines, outside street cafes, vending carts, and fences.
+++ EMPOWER POLICE AND HOSTILE MERCHANTS to write $200-400 citations for traditionally innocent street presence, prescribing up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail for 2nd “offense”.
+++ INCREASE VISIBLE POLICE SQUAD PRESENCE to pressure, cite, and/or arrest violators.
+++ SELECTIVELY TARGET MINORITIES, HOMELESS PEOPLE, & POOR FOLKS who don’t “fit in” with the Downtown Association’s vision of a proper “safe” Santa Cruz.
+++ BAN BOUNCING A BALL throwing a Frisbee, or hackeysacking downtown.
+++ BAN USING ERASIBLE CHALK whether for art or political messages.
+++ BAN SPREADING OUT A BLANKET on the sidewalk, traditional and necessary for the poor.
+++ BAN SITTING NEXT TO A BUILDING even if closed or vacant.
+++ FALSELY LABEL AS “SAFETY CONCERNS” traditional friendly Santa Cruz activity to empty the sidewalks of uses that don’t involve buying in stores or restaurants.
+++ CREATE A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT for poor and homeless folks and deny them the rights others have to use the public space to assembly, rest, communicate, and enjoy.
+++ GIVE CRANKS A VETO ON STREET MUSIC by simply complaining.
+++ EMPOWER POLICE to expand enforcement—which originally created these laws.
+++ FALSELY SPREAD THE “PUBLIC SAFETY” MYTHOLOGY that Take Back Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Neighbors, the SCPD, the DTA, Needle-Free Zone, & other right-wing special interest groups are using to paint a scary picture downtown that encourages further repressive action.
+++ DRIVE AWAY ARTISTS & PERFORMERS leaving only the militant and the mercenary.

+++ E-mail City Council at citycouncil [at] .and demand these ordinances be reconsiderred for cost, effectiveness, impact, and unintended consequences by citizen committees with input from those impacted.
+++ Use your video phone to show the new harassment on the streets downtown. Post on Santa Cruz Indymedia & You-Tube, e.g. . Send to HUFF: info [at]
+++ Spread opposition; Write local papers; Use Facebook & Twitter;. Ordinances become final on October 24th. Support Businesses who Support Public Space for all; Don’t Support those who would privatize & sterilize.
+++ Post your own accounts of discrimination downtown. Document Host & Police Abuses. Coffee Roasting Co. & Starbucks recently banned large backpacks; New Leaf & Verve reportedly banned homeless-looking customers.
+++ Come to HUFF 11 AM every Wednesday at 703 Pacific to plan for the protests ahead.
+++ Witness and support other street performers when they face harassment from authorities.
+++ Get familiar with the Downtown Ordinances, often misquoted by police and hosts. Copies available on-line at .
Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 10-8-13

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 4:16 PM



Text of the PetitionPETITION to City Council
Restore Sidewalk Space For EveryoneWe, the undersigned, support open sidewalks. We oppose unnecessary restrictions. Sitting, performing, art display, political tabling, and peaceful panhandling are innocent and traditional practices. Severely restricting them destroys a friendly, creative, inclusive & welcoming climate downtown. Laws should encourage adequate room to pass & ban harassment against anyone, rich or poor. Sidewalk restrictions become worse on October 24th. They will reduce allowable space to less than 5% of the actual space. We wish to preserve the spontaneous, diverse, and colorful downtown. Restore voluntary street guidelines for performers, artists, vendors, and others. End the artificial space and time limitations. They require costly and unnecessary policing. They discourage tourists & community members from coming downtown and create a sterile scene.

ANYONE who agrees can print name, sign, leave name and contact info.
You do NOT have to be a city resident, registered voter, adult, or non-felon to sign.
Please include contact information and skills to help with subsequent action such as a lawsuit, peaceful protest, boycotts, theatrical satire, letters to the media, etc.
PLEASE PRINT your name and contact information carefully & clearly.

PRINT NAME Signature Phone/E-Mail Wish to be contacted for future action?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Petition by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 10-4-13

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 4:25 PM



Text of the FlierGET ready to resist
Stop the Sidewalk-Snatching
speak up WITH the poor: Mondays 5-7 PM Red Church Cedar & Lincoln Sts.
speak up to city council: 5 PM Tuesday October 8th 809 Center St.
speak up with the activists: 11 AM Every Wed 703 Pacific
speak up to the hostile: 6-9 PM October 9th 315 Poplar St.
speak up to the sympathetic: 7 PM October 10th 4-15 Walnut St.
speak up on the street: Support Street Culture w/eyes, ears, & video!
Sing, Sit, and Celebrate ! Save Santa Cruz Color and Street Life !Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 10-7-13

The “activist” event is the HUFF meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe on Wednesdays.
The “hostiles” are Mayor Bryant’s “Public Safety” Citizens Task Force being held at Branciforte Middle School Cafeteria (instead of its usual Community Room of the Police Station location)–a “public comment” session for once.
Staff Report:
The “sympathics” are the Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp Forum being held at the Santa Cruz High School. See .

by Observer

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 8:21 PM

Sorry Robert, but you don’t get to decide a new definition of ‘assault’. Yelling at someone who is in your face is not assault by any definition. Otherwise you and Becky would have been jailed a long time ago. Your entire purpose was to cause a confrontation. You got one. Congratulations.I

by G

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 9:53 PM

In practice, even Santa Cruz law enforcement (and the patrol supervisor) will _refuse_ to give their badge number (I know this from personal experience; the badge number was covered by black tape and when the supervisor arrived he also repeatedly refused to give the badge number of the offending officer), so it is expecting a lot for belligerent ‘hospitality’ staff to do so, but…Oh, should the ‘Safety Committee’ add ‘Hospitality’ staff to their ‘downtown dangers’ list? I’m pretty sure it didn’t make their first draft list…

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2013 11:07 PM

This issue is also being discussed on another thread, Steve Pleich’s Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz at’m glad that Pleich is allowing this issue to be discussed there (though I’ve been banned “for life” for posting the Ken “Skindog” Collins video in violation of his wishes) and also that Brent Adams has posted the incident, though he notes that in his Sanctuary Camp of the future I’d only be allowed in on a “visitor’s pass” or somesuch.What’s instructive for me is the graphic demonstration of selective enforcement and official cover-up that goes on. Gina Ramirez was apparently the Host higher-up who refused to give her name or the offending Host’s name. Ramirez breezes around Pacific Avenue with smile on her face and a walkie-talkie in her hand, ready to snitch on someone sitting next to a building, or sitting 13′ from a bench, or not moving when told to do so. This is friendly fascism that has nothing to do with public health and safety and certainly nothing to do with hospitality. Yes it’s “her job”. But it’s our job to expose, ridicule, and resist these abusive laws.EXPOSING THESE ABUSES MAY HELP RESTORE THE RIGHT TO USE PUBLIC SPACES AGAIN
These laws are designed to condition people to abandon their right to use the public spaces as they traditionally have in Santa Cruz in innocent ways. That this ways displease some merchants or conservative visitors, does not give them the right to impose their aesthetic and preferences with taser, baton, and ticketbook.

Additionally enforcement of these merchant privilege laws inordinately impact homeless people. It’s ironic that the “high crime rate” that Deputy Chief Clark darkly denounced among the homeless is a function of these phony citations (for sleeping, sitting, vending, being in the park after dark, etc.–no to mention, of course the toxic Drug War).

It’s most important that folks post more videos documenting the lengths police, hosts, and security thugs go to to command compliance with unreasonable, unconstitutional, and abusive ordinances. Also interesting, of course, is the cost of this kind of Stupid Law enforcement. Raising the issue sharply is one way to take it “out of the closet” and into the light. My thanks to the videographer(s) involved and here’s hope there will be many more.

Peaceful public disobedience documented by video and posted on line is an important way to show abusive and absurd the situation is.

It’s then quite understandable how a Host, saddled with an abusive and crazy job doesn’t want to be videoed doing it. They’d prefer to have everyone pretend that it’s okay-dokey to abandon 95% of the sidewalk under the pretext of a “public safety” or “trip and fall” absurdity. When they’re confronted–even with simple questions or a refusal to move, or–Heavens to Betsy!–a protest, that’s not the kind of swift compliance that Friendly Fascist Training had led them to expect. Folks are supposed to say “yes, sir; yes sir” and do whatever the authority tells them to do.

I actually felt some sympathy for this woman, given a ridiculous and degrading job which naturally makes her the target of ridicule, resentment and hostility. But since these folks are the ones giving out the $200-300 citations to hapless poor people, they need to be called out for what they’re doing.

The real blame, of course, lies with city staff, the city attorney, the city manager, and the city council. But since there’s no real public process for dealing with these insulated powers on most issues (and particularly on homeless issues) raising the issues publicly downtown seems to be one of the few ways for ordinary people without massive legal or political resources to oppose the creeping police state.

Santa Cruz Weekly reporter G. Perry was also at the protest for much of the afternoon. Not sure if this report is from her, but there’s a thread of comments on the Weekly website at

I’ll be playing audio of the protest and the encounter on my radio show 6-8 PM Thursday October 10th and it’ll (hopefully) archive at . I also hope to have the victims of this assault on Sandra Leigh’s Community TV show Issues soon.

Incidentally, Wikipedia definition of “assault”: “At common law, an assault is an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.” So, yes, putting someone in fear particularly from a position of authority–and anonymous authority at that–is a particularly serious form of assault. Especially when it’s rubberstamped by higher-up’s and police.

I’ve requested a list of the names of all Hosts and; First Alarm Security guards hired to harass folks outside downtown, at the library, in the parks, around City Hall and have yet to receive a reply. I will eventually. And will post it. A list of SCPD officers with badge numbers and names can be fond at It’s somewhat outdated, and I’m still waiting for the update from the SCPD.

by Observer

Wednesday Oct 9th, 2013 2:47 AM

So you’re saying that Becky thought she was in imminent danger of harmful or offensive contact. Which is why she followed the woman down the street…
Sorry, that narrative doesn’t play.

by Robbert Norse

Wednesday Oct 9th, 2013 9:36 AM

Becky was trying to make sure that an official who had used abusive and threatening speech inches away from her face (i.e. assault), a woman who had approached her and demanded she stop videoing, a woman in a position of authority with the backing of the police. Becky insisted this officially-employed person identify herself so she could file a complaint. The stonewall continues.Again–the real issue is the Downtown Ordinances and their use to “move along” poor people, sidewalk-snatching with a smile. That a hostile-pitality worker should be upset that she’s being videoed and confronted is understandable but backwards. It’s obviously the people sitting on the sidewalk who are being harassed and moved along. They have the right to be angry.The dialogue is clearer and there are moment comments at .

by Trip Weir

Wednesday Oct 9th, 2013 12:19 PM

It isn’t safe there. The city is trying to save money by hiring unprofessional guards and hostesses instead of trained police. So everyone stay away. The internet is the new town square. The downtown is nothing but a tourist and student trap. You can buy whatever you need in the neighborhoods or online.

by Dennis Etler (posted by Norse)

Thursday Oct 10th, 2013 5:45 AM

Dennis Etler posted this comment at Steve Pleich’s Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz website at there is a longer thread on this issueWhat does Cali West Hospitality Services LLC have to hide? It is the outfit that hires downtown “Hospitality Hosts” as part-time workers making $13/hr. That’s all I could find out about them on the web. A link to a page on “Hospitality Hosts” from the Santa Cruz Downtown Association yields the following message: ERROR 404 We are sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist.Two articles from the SC Sentinel reporting on the roll-out of the “Hospitality Hosts” on June 23 and 24 2009 (“As We See It: Downtown hospitality” and “Downtown to welcome new hosts as Pennsylvania-based company …”) both yield the following message: “file not found.”

When I clicked on other SC Sentinel articles from the same dates they loaded normally.

When I went to the Santa Cruz address of Cali West Hospitality Services at 607 Front Street I found a blinded store front with no signage, totally anonymous (see attached photo). The door was locked with no bell. A knock on the door yielded no response. Also they have no telephone number that I could find.

So it seems they are trying to go incommunicado. Again why so inaccessible? Why no public accountability? Why have all references to this outfit been expunged from the web?




From CorporationWiki, the social web research site for the rest of us, which helped me discern who had Land Rape resister Tim DeChristopher thrown in the hole at the federal prison he was incarcerated at (a Rethuglican Colorado congressman with connections to the company whose land buy he foiled)Gina Dianne Ramirez is the only person currently in their social network web. The state business ID number might turn up more info. I DO believe the Pennsylvania company is either no longer used or perhaps Gina is running a shell corp for them. The company, which I wrote up a few years ago but whose name is lost to me, supplies a full range of city services. From trash collection to staffing a city, and web hosting services.Corporate Records
California Secretary of State

Cali West Hospitality Service LLC

Filing Type: Domestic
Status: Active
State: California
State ID: 201216110282
Date Filed: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Registered Agent Gina Diane Ramirez

by great HostWatch video

Thursday Oct 10th, 2013 12:52 PM

especially if we can get the tourists to boycott.
this great video and brent’s police brutality video would make good
p.r. video to show to tourists on the Occupy bike cart projector downtown.Welcome to Santa Cruz!

by via Dennis Etler

Thursday Oct 10th, 2013 4:37 PM



When I went to the Santa Cruz address of Cali West Hospitality Services at 607 Front Street I found a blinded store front with no signage, totally anonymous (see attached photo). The door was locked with no bell. A knock on the door yielded no response. Also they have no telephone number that I could find. So it seems they are trying to go incommunicado. Again why so inaccessible? Why no public accountability?

by Leigh Meyers

Friday Oct 11th, 2013 9:56 AM



…by the same jackass who called the police twice on me a year or so ago for allegedly “Blocking the entrance” to city hall by leaning my bike against one of the flagstone walls by the street.In that incident the police came twice, and both times they informed me I wasn’t in violation of any law then drove away. I have a recording of one of those convos on my cellie to this day.Yesterday, after the same ‘security’ guard every one calls “Big John” or “John Wayne” spent a couple of hours hanging outside Camouflage like he was expecting a terrorist attack in the Whips n’ Chains department, I walked out to have a cigarette and was asked to buy a cup of coffee for a friend so with UNLIT cigarette in my mouth I walked back across the street to Starbucks, got my friend the coffee and was waylaid on my return by an SCPD officer and the security guard who had told him I was smoking.

I was written a ticket, signed UNDER DURESS, and informed the officer this ‘guard’ was lying and had done so before and was now causing COLLUSION in perjury by the SCPD.

Of course he didn’t respond and wrote the ticket anyway.

Considering I had already addressed and been ignored by the City Council after the bike incident when I spoke to them with two simple and rational requests, that the SCPD get the guards on the same legal ‘page’ regarding what the laws mean, and MUNICIPAL oversight of First Alarm’s street patrol operation, it seems like it’s time to put some legal pressure on.

I want this guy to no longer work on public streets in the city of Santa Cruz name.

I figure IF his testimony is ‘certified’ as ‘good as gold’ in court yet he has an obvious history of lying and there appears to be no recourse via courts (such as the Pitchess motion) or through any city legal or personnel process, the city is also culpable for allowing this lying sack of shit to act as if he has some authority over unsuspecting law-abiding civilians.

It MAY take some time, or maybe not if I can convince one of the two ‘friendly’ council members to get him axed lest the city be dragged into a lawsuit for allowing unregulated blackshirts to roam the streets but there WILL BE one less lying sack of shit walking the streets of Santa Cruz and collecting money for it.