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May 20-27, 2009

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Capitalist Media not welcome in Klubhouse

I WOULD like to, first of all, thank Curtis Cartier for coming out to the anarchist square dance at the Pacific Cultural Center on May 8 (which, as he failed to mention, was a benefit for the Santa Cruz Free Skool). I would also like to address his claimed confusion about why he was asked to leave, and why, as he put it, "a grassroots movement spreading a message of radical change wouldn't want their ideas aired in a paper" ("Square Dancing for Chaos," Street Signs, May 13).

It's sadly obvious to me, from the very first paragraph, that he in fact had no intention of airing or engaging with our ideas at all, since he didn't bother to stop by any other part of the Anarchist Convergence, which was going on all weekend at Sub Rosa Infoshop (at Pacific and Spruce, right smack between downtown and the beach) with discussions, workshops, literature tables, free meals and so on for four days, and was content to simply dismiss participants as "chaos-seekers." He also apparently didn't pick up a program for the convergence, even though there were literally hundreds of copies available, for free, at the front table where he would have made his donation to the Free Skool before dancing. If he had, he would have seen it clearly stated that capitalist media were not welcome to practice their trade on us, and that audio and visual recording was not welcome either. Not wanting to be governed doesn't mean we don't set boundaries for our own safety; quite the opposite. It was also suggested that capitalist press contact the organizing collective for a statement if they wished to report on the convergence.

If Cartier had stopped by the book fair going on in Sub Rosa's courtyard that weekend, he might have understood better the contrast made between "capitalist" and "independent," rather than "mainstream" and "local," as he seems to pose it. He would have seen that anarchists around California are producing and distributing independent media and literature which pays close attention to local issues: People are killed by police every month in this state, thousands of people are being thrown out of their homes by foreclosure and political activists are facing decades in jail for daring to stand up to this society. Meanwhile, what does the SCW give us? Tom Hanks, blues festivals, ads for vineyards and gyms. At least Don Rothman and Paul Lee seem to have got a clue that the world is on fire.

 Alex Gregory,
Santa Cruz


Skill and Cunning

IN REFERENCE to Theodore Meyer's letter last week ("Slick Willys," Letters, May 13) about the approval of the La Bahia project: It is not just city councilmembers that possess skill and cunning. Mr. Meyer clearly demonstrates that skill and cunning, as well. Somehow he built a whole fabulous case to slam the council predicated on the incorrect assumption that the La Bahia project is (in his words) "city funded." The project is not city funded--it is a purely private project, and hence the city lacked the legal authority to mandate union labor.

Don Lane,
Member, Santa Cruz City Council

The Soul of Art

"ART IN Uncertain Times" by Don Rothman (Bullhorn, May 13) moved me deeply. I had tears welling up as I finished his article and have not had that response to reading an article in quite some time. Don's knowledge and insight into the soul of art is astounding. Things I didn't even "know" as a professional artist. Well, somehow my heart knew them, my brain did not. Thanks for reaching in, teaching me and touching my soul. It's why I thank God I live here in Santa Cruz. Our community "gets" it. Thanks for being there and featuring such thoughtful writers and articles.

Maggie Renner Hellmann,
Santa Cruz

Nutzle's Return

CONGRATULATIONS on your new well-sized, easy to read, multicolorful, well registered, interesting and entertaining newspaper. And I love the ever timeless Nutzle cover (May 6) and letters page cartoon. However, it was a bit disappointing not to see the "signature" signature on the front cover. After the last "Apologies to Nutzle" cover that appeared in Santa Cruz, I feel he deserves the recognition that his 40-year career is due.

I am a San Franciscan who has visited Santa Cruz consistently since the early '70s. It is great to enjoy a quality cartoonist whose one panel and cover illustrations do more to brighten my day than all the too-wordy overdrawn messes of recent popularity.

Thank you again for a good read of good export.

Renata Taylor Pochron,

Help From Friends

THANK YOU so much for your article highlighting the good work of the Monterey Bay Area Regional Multifamily Recycling Project ("Reduced, Unused: Recycling," Currents, May 13) and bringing attention to the recent state funding issues surrounding this recycling and waste reduction project. Not only is Ecology Action impacted by the funding freeze, but so are all of our partners as well. With this in mind, I would like to highlight the 12 partners that have made this program such a success: The Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority; Monterey County Environmental Health Division, Recycling Services; Santa Cruz County Public Works Dept.; City of Monterey Solid Waste & Recycling Division; Monterey Regional Waste Management District; County of Monterey Housing Authority; County of Santa Cruz Housing Authority; BFI Waste Services of Salinas; Waste Management/Carmel Marina Corp.; Green Waste Recovery Service; Monterey City Disposal Service; Tri-Cities Disposal. These are the organizations/companies that will continue to keep the project moving forward in the face of the funding crisis and thus should be recognized for all their efforts.

Mandy Caruso Brooks,
Ecology Action, Santa Cruz

Last week we incorrectly identified the creator of the kinetic art project Octopus's Garden ("Wild Life on the Delta," A&E!, May 13). It's Art and Revolution, not Staff of Life. We regret the error.

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