3rd Lie: A removal permit is (a) not necessary or (b) a removal permit can lawfully be granted.
2nd Lie: "The Rent Control Board must grant a removal permit anyway, so the Board should get as much as it can for the public from Village Trailer Park closure."
The secretive alliance between planners, politicians and the masters of capital (aka developers) in Santa Monica was a central issue in recent elections there. Now people are searching each other out and finding out who they,"the people", are! They are small owners of land, buildings, houses, people with disabilities, elder people, tenants in private and public housing, users and inhabitants of public spaces, associations, committees, sellers, media, schools,i mmigrants and ethnic minorities, tourists, women, children, and they are all discovering they have a common bond. Once they communicate with one another, even as motorists honking and/or stopping to chat kerbside with sign wavers, they discover that what they have in common is that they are "the planned" In Santa Monica that means they are being deliberately deprived of a an effective voice in controlling the quality of their experiences of life in their city. Even when they say "NO" to developers stealing their homes from them!
Luzzatto Village Trailer Park Event sign
LUZZATTO FIGURES CORRECTLY, FOR ONCE:
PEOPLE NEED TO BE DRUNK TO LIKE HIS PLANS!
July 17, 2012, Santa Monica—Occupy Busby's? We got word on the grapevine about 5 p.m. that the proposed developer of our Park, Luzzatto, had sent e-mails to all our neighbors inviting them to meet him a few blocks away at Busby's Sports Bar at 6.30 to see the development proposal he had for Village Trailer Park!
Executive decisions had to be made in a real hurry. It was difficult to decide what to do. We've been picketing in front of the Park 5:30-6:30 Monday through Thursday since May 10. If we organized a group to go to Busby's, we would have to desert our motorist, skateboard, and cyclist friends who for two months have been our staunch supporters. After all, it was one of them who told us about the meeting, which Luzzatto kept super-secret.
We decided to go to Busby's. We thought if we had an actual conversation with people about the developer's plans, not just a "we wave you honk" dialogue, we might get some vocal and come-to-meetings and organizing support. We printed two pages of Come to Busby's strips and put them all around the Park, telling everyone we met about it. Many people said they would come, although of course others couldn't at the last minute.
Then when we got to Busby's at 6:30, there were signs saying, "Luzzatto Village Trailer Park Event" directing us into the dining area away from the bar. However, when we followed the signs we found that Luzzatto requested anyone from Village Trailer Park to leave! So we were wrong about being able to meet our neighbors there. Before we were escorted out, we could see the event consisted of people with drinks in their hands milling around a display of "development artist renderings" laid out around the dining area. No information was available about whether this artwork was about the “development” produced after the Planning Commission required many changes on June 20, or one of the seven other plans Luzzatto has floated, all of them simultaneously.
Since we had to leave, we set up an information station on the sidewalk outside Busby's. (see it here)
People exiting the event came up and said they suspected “everyone” might be opposed to
the scheme they had been shown, but inside no opposition had been mentioned. They went
off shaking their heads and repeating to each other loudly, "I knew it, I KNEW it.”
So Luzzatto did get one thing right: the combination of free liquor and keeping all the 100%
of the neighborhood we have seen that opposes his project from saying anything gave him his
only chance of convincing ANYONE his project is any good.
He got it wrong after all, though: even with free liquor and food, the sham was not that hard to see through!
July 17- Doing a BUSBY: Executive decisions had to be made at the last minute today because we got word on the grapevine that the developer had invited our neighbors to meet him a few blocks away at Busby's at 6.30 to see the development proposal he had for Village Trailer Park! We did a BUSBY.
July 16: A new world record is established! Today a car honked in support for the longest time on record and you can participate by watching the record breaking performance here
July 1-12: An ever varying combination of cyclists, joggers/pedestrians, skateboarders and, our old friends, the motorists, kicked July off to a terrific start. Our neighbors are growing closer to us. They come on a daily basis to encourage us. We seem to be providing a little node at which we can all talk about our identity with this neighborhood AS IT IS CURRENTLY! The City and Developer Team (CAD) are working overtime, their only goal being to bulldoze Village Trailer Park. So we are improving our signs by making them bigger and easier to read. Cyclists are waving, and / or tinkling their bells, joggers are giving us thumbs up and the motorists, well they are our friends! Honking continues unabated. It appears that everyone wants to participate in this experiment. That is everyone except the Village Trailer Park manager! He attempted to run over us on Tuesday! (you can see how that happens in the last minute of this footage ) The next day (July 11) two cyclists in a row tinkled their bells as they passed and a motorist gave us a thumbs up instead of honking! It is amazing how differently people respond to our requests for support from them!
Week 1 of June: Wow what a week. Neighbors stopping to say how much they supported and sympathized with us and asking how they could help. For some reason there was really heavy traffic every day this week and our average daily cyclist count was twelve . Thursday June 7 was our best day so far in our sidewalk to motorist communications experimentl. Traffic was really heavy. A skateboarder on his way east past us said "beep beep" out loud!. There were ten cyclists, one skateboarder, and fifteen pedestrians. Four residents of the park were thereto wave signs and we used a green colored horn today to communicate with motorists who honked!. We re-positioned the banner so that it would not fold in on itself. Made up a new sign. The police (canine patrol?) drove by. Nice cool day and not so windy as the previous days this week. We had honks from trucks, slick suv's, luxury sports models, and just the ordinary vehicles. A fun time for us all!
Week 2 and 3 of June!! When we began this experiment we had no idea how exciting it was going to be. Now a full two weeks have passed since our last blog post and in that time it has grown and grown almost daily. We have been keeping a video blog and we will be posting that in the next few days showing what new signs we have added in. We set up our little communications post at 5.25 pm Mondays to Thursdays and now motorists are honking even before we have got our display mounted. It's as if they know we are going to be there and they want to say" hello, we know you are there and we support you!". We had a few discussions with our neighbors across the street who were finding our horn blowing a bit noisy. We stopped doing that horn blowing although we informed our neighbors that horn blowing by us was a lot better than three years of noisy construction inherent in the plans to bulldoze the park. Once again we find that all interactions with our community are helping enrich our understanding and experience of this urban environment which we share. Cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians are waving, bell ringing or just verbally "honk honking" as they pass by. We are responding with waves, jumping up and down with our signs or giving whatever other signals we think up on the spur of the moment to let our motorist, pedestrian, skateboarding or cyclist friends know that we appreciate their support. It is truly remarkable what is happening around this experimental curb side communications station. Come and see for yourself.
Inspired by our meetings together in our rec room for the last couple of months and by the feelings we had that our neighbors would like to know more about what was happening in Village Trailer Park, we decided to start communicating with passerby motorists during the afternoon rush hour. These poor souls are the ones trying to get from work using the I-405 or the I-10 using Colorado Ave as their 'rat run" route to get on those regional arteries. So we set up our contact point at the entrance to the park on Colorado and began displaying our signs to them like human text messengers! This blog is a record of what is happening!
MAY 10:, 5 pm We set up our banner outside the main entrance on Colorado. We also made some signs for waving at passer by motorists on their way home from work. Within a half an hour we had had supportive gestures from three motorists and one cyclist. We also had a photographer from the office of the corporate conglomerate that masquerades as the owner of the Village Trailer Park come by and record what we were doing. Then one of its workmen from the same office attempted to block anyone from seeing the banner by parking in front of it!..
May 11 we set up again, and this time we had upgraded our signs and got some chairs out to sit on. We added in a drum and a harmonica to make a more interesting spectacle for our weary motorist friends. It was fun. Honks increased and a few pedestrians stopped and offered support. Two neighbors from across the street took pictures of us and one of them came and chatted to offer us support.
May 14-18. A great week for our "CONTACT with MOTORISTS" campaign!. Every day the supportive honks have increased in number. And we have added more color to our little encampment On Wednesday we began passing out flyers. with information about the Planning Commission meeting on May 23. On Friday we had fifteen cyclists pass by, two of them gave us "peace signs"! On the 18th we switched out the harmonica and used a trumpet combined with one of those hooters you use for welcoming in the new year! It made a weierd sound, but hey, so do cars. It was our best day so far.
We accidentally discovered that when anyone uses the crosswalk at Yale and Colorado motorists have to slow down. They were our audience and we could talk to them about Village Trailer Park issues when they did so!.
MAY 21: A new week. while a meeting of homeowners was going on in preparation for this week's planning commission hearing about the future of The Park, a group came out from it to support our impromptu drumming and sign waving. It was a good day there. Monday is the beginning of the week and each day that passes allows us to make new friends among our motorist friends. (video)
MAY 22: Today we used a harmonica for a while. It sounds a bit like one of those old fashioned truck horns. There wasn't a lot of traffic today. The wind tended to wrinkle up our banner a bit. We got a friendly reception ffrom motorists and pedestrians today. I counted 12 cyclists in the hour we were there. All of them smiled as they passed by.
MAY 23 It was so windy that our colored whirlygig was blown down, wheel by wheel. We got one of them back up again, but the other two stayed on the ground. There was a shopping cart parked at the gateway and so that seemed to come in useful for a while. Tonight is the Planning Commission meeting and so we had lots of well wishers heading off to City Hall to participate there. We are all on the same page-we need public support to stop the bulldozeers. There were 10 cyclists today, 4 joggers, three dog walkers, each with only one dog, and 11 cyclists. We had great fun with lots of honking going on as you can hear from this video.
MAY 24: Not as windy as yesterday, but still enough to make us work hard to keep everything standing. The traffic was thicker today than any other day since we started. The shopping cart was still there and it helped us keep one of the masts for our banner upright. There were 27 cyclists today, a record so far. Lots of honking went on too. The time flew by and it was 6.40 pm before we were tired-maybe we are getting good at this! We had our whirleygig fixed and it stood up to the wind without any trouble. Terrific response from motorists today. This is getting better every day.
May 24-31 What happened to this DAILY log? I just did not get A ROUND to posting every day this last week. So I am going to summarize. We have decided to have our gate parties from Mondays to Thursdays because on those days we have the heaviest traffic. Heavy traffic means more participants in our honking fest. May 28 to 31 was AWESOME! A cyclist said "beep beep" as he passed, two dogs passed going west, and two eastbound dogs stopped on the other side and barked every time we hooted. On May 30 there were 23 cyclists going east, and two going west. and on may 31 3 cyclists gave us "peace " signs too. Great fun ( Video coming!)