Sometimes “15 minutes of fame” lasts much longer. It may be of no shock to locals that the annual Burning Man festival has become as popular as it is. But it may surprise you just how many people the big, bold desert event has attracted over the last few years.
This week, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach goes behind the scenes and interviews several officials involved in making the fest a reality. GT also talks to several participants in the annual soirree, including well-known photographer Kyer Wiltshire. All that, and some inside 411 from temple titan David Best, and you’ll find yourself involved in plenty about the “man” this week. For the entire story and visit gtweekly.com for additional coverage, including special slide shows.
From Burners, we turn our focus to dribblers with news of a possible professional basketball team taking camp in Santa Cruz. Will it become a reality? It’s already been given the green light by the Santa Cruz City Council and some locals are cheering. Also in News this week, we update you on how a lack in volunteer firefighters could affect the summer dry season. Find out what some fire departments have in mind to compensate.
In the meantime, it’s good to be 40. Over in A&E, we report on the 40th anniversary of Los Mejicas, the passionate Mexican Folkloric dance troupe that has stunned audiences with its amazing force. Its upcoming show promises to be a winner.
Elsewhere, you may find some pleasure in Melody Walker and The Abbott Brothers, who hit the Backstage Lounge in Santa Cruz this weekend. The brothers are actually the grandsons of the late—and beloved —Esther Abbott, who, along with her husband, Chuck, helped conceptualize the idea for Pacific Garden Mall in Downtown Santa Cruz. Esther’s innovative ideas during the ’60s still have a powerful ripple effect today. As for her musical grandsons, they are a spirited duo so this should be a memorable romp.
There’s plenty more to enjoy, so savor this week’s issue. Thanks for reading.
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Thoughts on Shannon Collins and Beyond
In Santa Cruz, the scourge of the homeless blights the public square. At the central library, the disenfranchised sleep in corners in the stacks during the day, at night under the eaves behind bushes; the smell of urine permeates from walkways surrounding the building. The front lobby is a stage upon which the disheveled strut, walk, limp, stagger, performing private monologues, bearing belongings wet and mildewed, they stalk and mumble, laugh, and shriek in despair and anger.
The intensity and homeless numbers has grown; this past winter witnessed increased frenzied, threatening behavior and all those who witness their fallen state react with pity, disbelief and even disgust. How to help? The random act of violence in midday on a main thoroughfare suggests just how virulent and dangerous this cancer has become. We can no any or implement bandaids, but rather, offer effective, permanent solutions.
These people are not the hippies of yore—so beloved on Pacific Avenue with their funny clothes and hair, stoned and playing folk songs and rockabilly. That era is long dead; this pageant is for real and ominous.
On ‘Foreclosures’ ...
It is true that our mortgage system worked quite well for hundreds of years, but that was before MERS, Robosigning, and the creation of MBS (Mortgage-Backed Securities) which bundle many loans together, after first paying Rating Agencies to falsely rate them as AAA investments. About two-thirds of all U.S. mortgages have gone to MERS, where they can be securitized many times over, resulting in no one knowing who actually owns the loan. And only the owner of the loan has the legal right to foreclose. The bank servicers of the loan are often pretending to own the loan and starting the foreclosure process.
In California, the foreclosure process starts when a "Notice of Default" is filed with the County Recorder. The trouble is that no proof of ownership of the loan is required and only the owner of the loan is legally permitted to file that NOD. But it gets recorded anyway. Our laws must be changed to require a notarized "Affidavit of Authority" to foreclose before starting the process.
For more information about the multi-faceted extent of the fraud, see hofj.org and the "12 steps of bank fraud" page, as well as article on page 4 of the May issue of connectionmagazineonline.com.
Shannon Collins Memorial
Remembering Shannon: A public memorial for Shannon Kathleen Collins will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at the Duck Pond in San Lorenzo Park (137 Dakota St., Santa Cruz).
Collins’ sudden death due to a violent stabbing last month galvanized the community and sparked heated debate on safety/crime issues. The community of Santa Cruz is invited to this ceremony to celebrate Collins’ life. Speakers and musicians will participate in the event, which is designed as a time to reflect on the many ways Collins, who was the co-owner of Camouflage, touched the lives of locals and the town of Santa Cruz. Organizers suggest bringing blankets and/or chairs. The lawn will be open seating. For more details, visit rememberingshannon.com.
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