My Life Right In This Very Moment

public-domain-books

That damn thing happened again. This uncontrollable entertainer slash wannabe author has exploded inside me again the moment I started the life hacking away from the catering, home repairs and yards — odds and ends bullshit — and back toward my old way of being a hardcore nine to fiver giving up every day off I could to squeeze every drop of green out of the whole deal. It’s a problem. In one mindset it is key at this job app’d up point to go do the face-time thing anywhere where it’s not just a “blah, whatever” type resume submission.

But instead I’m in the process of opening a Patreon centered on my writing and just finally bought a web-cam of merit to adhere to the “best practices” guidelines they provide. Probably a new YouTube channel before long too. The thinking here is that, as I have whined about before here into the blogs, there really isn’t any good reason for me to online-publish things like pieces of upcoming fictional works and poetry anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this style of free-flowing Web content and this style of post would always show up on this blog.

However, when I look over my hard drive there is a lot of pieces on here that are better suited for a Patreon feed than just sheer live blogging potential future IPs so third-parties can just come in and give zero credit to the author while using a level of ads that is obviously excessive. People should get paid for their best work and art is work like any other. If I were to guess the objections some raise about this style of crowd-funding it’s that they don’t see writing, music, and art in general as something valid to pour money into unless it comes pre-packaged by the existing industry involved.

old_typewriter

What I think many are unaware of in this matter is that in the “old days” a writer of merit would receive an investment in the form of a large lump sum directly from the publisher then given a deadline to produce. This investment was expressly for living expenses, research materials, leisure time, and anything else that might enhance the final product. No going back from the Digital Era, obviously, so e-publishing is just a beast all serious writers have to tackle to ground or be eaten alive when you try and call yourself that in public. But there are many projects going on here and no time at all to finish all of them unless I do that thing where the heady stuff and the final draft prose is paying for itself.

Enough about that. My neighborhood was popping off a second ago. Live music from up the hill and little kids singing some pop song I don’t recognize from over the fence. Out here in the backyard after running around town a bit. This is Santa Cruz, CA by the way or “Surf City USA” or as I want to be known as the birthplace of NHS and Santa Cruz (Brand) Skateboards & Clothing. No I don’t work for them it’s more that you might have seen those stickers around and those are referring to my little surf / skate town here.

Think I liked San Francisco more but the housing costs are just stupid high so that’s off the table unless I could network that shit. Oh what else? All this poetry explosion going on in my head is probably because I’m in love again, which is nice but complicated when these new feelings are for a long time close friend who is keeping at a distance most days. Always been a fool for love but thanks to serious bumps in the road in my youth I can speak very openly and directly about these topics if people are comfortable enough with me to do so. Often the things left unsaid in romance can be sexier than spilling your guts twenty-four seven but oh doggies do things get complicated sometimes and the need for honest communication shifts into the foreground so strongly that it’s almost slapping you in the face.

Okay, that was a “rant” they call them in this box of digital expression that is linked to other boxes that occasionally do this creating unique ideas stuff. Peace, love and chicken grease.

computer_key_E
Eric Lightborn / Eruptide@YouTube out.

Meg Whitman Booed At Women’s Conference

(Watch the video)

 

Meg Whitman showed a clear disconnect with California voters when refusing Jerry Brown’s offer of taking down all but the two positive ads from both candidates. People in this state are not looking for the best smear agent, we are looking for the person best qualified for the job as governor.

Another aspect to Whitman’s reaction to this proposal that I have not heard discussed is that of the huge sums of money she has spent on the political attack ads flooding the media–they have effectively committed her to the political strategy of negativity since she decided to make the majority of the ads negative instead of positive. Now that they spent millions trying to convince people the “other” is so awful it would be somewhat like throwing all that money away to suddenly switch stance to a “I’m the better choice” position.

If Whitman was a smart, pragmatic leader she would have taken up Brown on his offer to cut the TV ads down to the two positive ads from each. It appears she lacks the ability to think in terms other than dollar signs, or so it seems.

I find this sort of thing very typical of the conservative-Republican side of things. They never want to actually agree to being held to ethics and standing against the smear season tactics. When the chips are down and both sides are ready to deal on how negative things are getting, it always seems to be the right-winger who simply refuses to make it more civil. Perhaps because they understand that the Republican base seems to be fueled by negativity, scapegoating and fear mongering.

LGF: ‘Planned Parenthood Clinic Firebombed In Madera, California’

LittleGreenFootballs.com:

In Madera, California, police and FBI are investigating a firebomb attack against a Planned Parenthood office that has been open for 20 years without incident:

Molotov Cocktail thrown at Madera’s Planned Parenthood.

This attack comes one week after a brick was thrown through the window of a local mosque and anti-Muslim signs posted on its walls, by a group using the name “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” One of the signs: “No Temple for the god of terrorism at Ground Zero.”

This is what the extremist rhetoric of the right-wing brings about with their constant hate mongering.

With the constant creation of straw men and paper dragons for righties to fear at night, eventually some of the wackos are going to go and get the boogey men with their own hands.

Police Execution Is Now ‘Manslaughter’?

This Mehserle verdict is a blood stain on democracy.

This is not justice.

This is the condoning of ruthless murder by police officers, even when video evidence shows the execution in plain view.

Oscar Grant was executed in public, on camera, and the best the legal justice system has for the murderer is ‘involuntary manslaughter’!?!

Time and time again this society proves to me that they have no rights to the words “justice,” “equality,” & “freedom.”

Perhaps increased video surveillance of police activities will have no effect on limiting police corruption. If they can commit homicide on camera and receive this kind of treatment in the courts they have very little to fear from us. Maybe next time it will make more sense to execute the person with a camera as well to the police officer.

I’ve watched the video and slowed it down. Mehserle stands up and shoots Grant in the back, if he intended to use his taser he would not have needed to stand. This was a citizen execution, most likely non-premeditated and calling it anything but second degree homicide is an insult to all of us.

They’re Not Cleaning It Up, They’re Covering It Up

Kindra Arnesen is not the only one appalled at this sham of a clean-up effort and the corporate whitewash media-blackout over the level of sheer disaster currently ravaging America at the hands of BP and Transocean.

Arnesen does not even touch on the toxic and hazardous dispersant (Corexit) that does nothing but add a poison that makes the oil harder to clean-up (and videotape / photograph) into the mix of all the other health hazards and environmental hazards already in play.

ProPublica.org:

The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K.

As EPA-approved products, BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.

Reuters.com:

Oil-dispersing chemicals used to clean up the vast BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico carry their own environmental risks, making a toxic soup that could endanger marine creatures even as it keeps the slick from reaching the vulnerable coast, wildlife watchdogs say.

The use of dispersants could be a trade-off between potential short-term harm to offshore wildlife and possible long-term damage to coastal wildlife habitat if the oil slick were to reach land.

2010 CA Primary Wrap-Up

California just finished our primaries and voted on a few ballot measures. The semi-official results have just been released moments ago.

CA Attorney General and former governor Jerry Brown has received the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race. He will be running against former eBay CEO Meg Whitman from the Republican ticket.

Whitman has already run afoul with many California voters when it surfaced she has rarely voted in California  with the one proven exception of 1999 in Palo Alto. She apologized, calling her own voting record “atrocious.” But the fact remains that this a woman who never took the time to weigh in on important matters effecting the state time and time again, who then suddenly decided she wants to be governor. It rings of the notion that Whitman thinks she can just buy her way into the seat.

Jerry Brown, on the other hand, is a person of good ethics. According to Wikipedia: “he refused many of the privileges and trappings of the office, forgoing the newly constructed governor’s residence (which was sold in 1983) and instead renting a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, adjacent to Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. Instead of riding as a passenger in chauffeured limousines  as previous governors had done, Brown was driven to work in a compact sedan.”

Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer will be running against Republican candidate Carly Fiorina.

The salvos have already begun to fly between Boxer and Fiorina over abortion, as you can read about here at the LA Times Web site.

Most notable for the “demon sheep” political ad that was widely circulated on the Internet, Carly Fiorina represents the far right-wing extremism of dirty pool politics (ala Karl Rove) and this pandering to the false notion that business experience amounts to good leadership in government.

Like Whitman, this appears to be a very wealthy woman who believes she can just buy her way into office.

Carly Fiorina has notably supported the “right to carry” for people on the terrorism no-fly list, saying this at a public discussion forum just prior to her nomination to the Senate candidacy. Obviously a person who thinks suspected terrorists should maintain any rights to carry guns is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Conversely Senator Barbara Boxer has a steadfast record of pro-education, pro-women’s rights, and pro-environment stances to draw from. Boxer should also be noted to have co-authored the Jumpstart Broadband Act. Quoting Wikipedia: “This bill would make more spectrum available for use by devices that incorporate new broadband technology, such as WiFi.”

Cities in Support of Boycotting Arizona

Many U.S. cities across this nation have taken a respectable stance against the state of Arizona for its “immigration law.”

Austin, TX became the latest in a growing list of cities that are boycotting Arizona in some capacity to protest the law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local law enforcement to ask for documentation from people they suspect are in the country illegally.

A List of Great Cities in Support of Boycotting Arizona (or are considering to boycott AZ and its so-called immigration law):


Los Angeles, CA


San Francisco, CA

Madison, WI

Austin, TX

West Hollywood, CA

Boston, MA

Oakland, CA

El Paso, TX

St. Paul, MN

Springfield, MA

Worcester, MA

Washington D.C.

Milwaukee, WI

Chicago, IL

NYC, NY

Boulder, CO

St. Paul, MN

Tacoma, WA

Lawrence, MA

Amherst, MA

Sacramento, CA

Baldwin Park, CA

South el Monte, CA

Santa Cruz, CA

And the list continues to grow!

May Day Riot in Santa Cruz (Video)

WATCH:Anarchy Riot Santa Cruz Ca May Day 2010” on YouTube by alansitarbrown & “Violent May Day March in Santa Cruz” on YouTube by ksbwtv

Santa Cruz has suffered an incident of mass vandalism that is being labeled an “anarchist riot” in the news media. Cowardly and misguided individuals appeared at an un-permitted “May Day party” in Downtown Santa Cruz with masks, spray cans, paint bombs and rocks to destroy the message of international workers’ rights. Instead they terrorized and destroyed our city, for the name of what exactly I’m not at all clear.

These nut jobs smashed a series of windows and sprayed anarchist graffiti on local businesses after turning a workers’ rights rally into a riot. Whatever misguided notions they have about anarchism, or whatever message they were trying to convey, was smashed right along with the glass. Compounded by that only cowards wear masks to get “the word out,” for whatever that means to them. If you have a cause that you are passionate enough to protest about, use your face and real name to stand behind this cause and not the cloak of a mask.

These supposed connections between a local “anarchist’s cafe” and the madness in Downtown are weak, in my mind. Those groups are usually book clubs, not bomb-throwers and masked vandals like in some common misconceptions. But I do not speak from any personal experience on this specific group.

I’ve asked around a little and nobody knows who did this. I’m going with the theory it’s just some cretins with no message at all beyond destruction and fear-mongering the public.

The real tragedy here is the taint to the righteous cause of workers’ rights worldwide that started when the organizing group, who are now under FBI scrutiny, refused to gather the proper permit.

I can report that unnamed local leaders were urging these people to file for the permit, hoping to close the open door to incidents like this one.

I think the poor police response time is the real story here. Reportedly, police were led away from the rally by a pair of false 911 calls designed to distract them from the situation brewing Downtown; however, according to multiple eyewitnesses (of which I am not one) as well as the included YouTube video the police took over an hour to respond.

Merced Sun-Star:

“We don’t think this was an unsophisticated group of protesters; we think this is an organized group of anarchists,” Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday, adding that investigators believe the anarchists had sought to strain city resources.

In the Political Internet this riot is being framed as having some connection to liberal progressives by the far right-wing. This is entirely untrue and goes to show how little these misguided conservatives understand how liberals feel about might-makes-right kind of messages like terrorizing people with riots and the mass destruction of property.

Unlike the cases of obvious tea party vandalism against pro-health care reform Democrats, there is no resounding vocal effort to excuse the actions of all these possibly politically motivated vandals and domestic terrorists on behalf of liberal progressives as there most certainly was on behalf of the “tea party conservatives.”

Whatever Free Speech you want to spread is fine, and odds are we’ll disagree about something somewhere, but making threats, inciting violence, destroying property and wearing masks is just the tactics of terrorists and fascists.

A Gangland Murder Down The Street

A young man, Carl Reimer (R.I.P.), was brutally killed no more than a block from where I write to you now. This small beach town of Santa Cruz, California is fast becoming not a small town at all. We are fast becoming a city that has young men killed in public parks then proceeds about our daily lives as if nothing ever happened.

I am reminded of when Tyler Tenorio was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11, and the community outrage over this incident. Where are these same people when it comes to this recent gangland killing? Does community involvement stop and end around the popularity of the victim murdered?

I have a mind to take the fight to these murderers, to show them the residents in this area have guns too. Another element here is the complete incompetence of the local police department. Myself and many others are skeptical that the SCPD will be able to do anything to put behind bars the murderer of a 19 year old local. We feel they lack the experience or the tools required to aggressively investigate a murder case to a conclusion.

Police presence has increased ten-fold since the murder in the immediate area, but I don’t feel any safer. I feel I need to openly brandish weapons and start my own “community involvement” group centered in violently resisting criminal elements by any means we deem necessary.

The rumor about town is that this young man was killed for wearing gangland colors at the wrong place and the wrong time. According to my sources he enjoyed wearing red plaid and backwards hats, which many gang members in this area associate with gang affiliation. It is extremely unlikely that Reimer had any gang affiliation of any sort, and likely this was a case of gang members mistaking his identity for a rival gang member. Regardless this recent act of gangland violence in my town has me thinking it’s time to stop playing by the rules with ruthless murderers and psychotic gang-bangers.

His honorary grandmother is quoted in a Letter to the Editor appearing in the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Wednesday, April 28th 2010) as saying:

Gang members are nothing but cowards. They travel in groups and shoot and stab unarmed people. I want them to know how devastated his family and friends are, and they have taken the life of a beautiful, intelligent, multi-talented and beloved human being.

Cowards don’t respond to fair play and status quo responses. Either these murdering gang-bangers get the message they will be hunted down like animals for this, or they will boldly kill again.

Maybe next time I’ll be the crime statistic, maybe next time a stray bullet will kill one of the many young children who live on the block. Then the community will be sure to rise up, but if you kill a 19 year old in a public park that’s apparently not enough to incite people to do something about it.

UCSC Student Protest & Possible Suppression of Facts

University of California Santa Cruz is often associated as a left-leaning campus and administration, being the keepers of The Grateful Dead Archive and located in a mainly undisturbed forested historic location, but they have raised the ire of this liberal blogger in the aftermath of a recent four day sit-in protest of a 32% increase in college fees enacted by the university.

I personally side with the protestors, and the group leading the statewide protests called “Occupy California,” in that the increase is outrageously high and only serves to make higher education less available to lower and middle-income households. UC colleges across the state have spent huge amounts of money on construction projects but done nothing to improve affordability or increase teacher pay. I am well aware of the budgeting woes of the university that are not connected to administration decisions and believe this heavy of a rate increase and the response to the Kerr Hall Student Protest are examples in poor leadership above all else. If the spokesman had spoken with the protestors prior to speaking with the press he would not have spread what appears to be inaccurate information, and if the president had only come to find a method of negotiation with the protestors instead of simply ejecting them from the campus using the police department this incident might have been avoided.

It appears the administration, though unlikely in a unanimous effort by any fashion, sought to simply throw these civil protestors off campus without even addressing them as concerned Americans because the protestors raised matters they would rather not address. Such attitudes of indifference to differing logic pang more of the “loyalty tests” we see coming from conservative-ideological camps than it does of liberal-ideological camps. I detect a desire to silence the facts of this matter, perhaps because it looks bad for the “image” of the university. I am also willing to entertain this may have been a decision of the University of California administration as opposed to a decision of the UCSC administration to handle these protestors as such.

To make all these matters worse the local news-outlets are simply repeating statements of UCSC Spokesman Jim Burns, thereby I believe are under-reporting and outright altering the objective truth of the events surrounding the aftermath of this protest.

Both The Santa Cruz Sentinel and The San Jose Mercury have notably deleted the online-versions of the articles they published on the matter.

I do not have all the facts of the case, at this time, but it appears that either the Santa Cruz Police Department or the UCSC administration or both are guilty of greatly mishandling the matter of their response to a small number of destructive and misguided individuals who committed unclear amounts of property damage at UCSC’s Kerr Hall.

One eyewitness told me that people were indeed being forcibly pushed out by the police of Kerr Hall, one website claims mace was used on students and a Letter to the Editor in the Sentinel claims that batons were used.

According to the eyewitness:

“You had to be there. It was frightening to see police officers show up in response to a peaceful sit-in protest with riot gear and holding tazers.”

“The whole point of the protest was non-violence and the leaders of the protest were adamant about keeping the property protected and stopping any violent behaviors before they began. Many of the people who were doing the destruction were not even from UCSC, it is not fair that so many are saying to protestors were the ones doing the damage to the building.”

I asked this eyewitness if they had witnessed any use of non-lethal force against the protestors by the police:

“I didn’t see anything like that. They were pushing people. It’s true that when they arrived a few people had overturned a table and were trying to keep them out, but that was only about three people and from there they were very heavy-handed with everyone.”

I inquired as to why some were so angry in the first place that they felt the non-violence and anti-property destruction ethics of the promoters should be ignored:

“There was a letter sent to the president of the university and it simply asked him to come down and talk to them and it was outright refused. Some people were made very angry about this and started saying things like that the university didn’t care to even take them seriously. I’m not sure, but I think that was motivating some of those people who were very angry. That all went on upstairs, I only know what happened after the police made us all leave.”

Without inquiry the eyewitness filled in the next question I had:

“A lot of people, I was one of them, were trying to get the police to let us back in to clean up the trash and try to repair some of the damage done by the unruly protestors, and we were told that we would be arrested if we went back inside.”

(I am told both the journalistic articles of The Sentinel and The Mercury did not include this report, and that they only repeated the UCSC Spokesman Jim Burn’s statement. Neglecting to report on this claim that many protestors offered to try to clean up whatever damage they said a “select few” were causing in the upstairs of Kerr Hall and also omitted these reports of mace and batons being used.)

Then, after pumping them for information, they started pumping me for information:

“Why weren’t you there?”

I was working, I have been broke for way too long, but I probably would have missed it due to ignorance of it going on more than a lack of support. (I could have asked for the time off if I knew in advance.) Also I’m the “firecracker” in the crowd and might just have my pocket-Constitution handy since I’ll never be able to carry around that huge textbook o’ mine on U.S. Constitutional Law. (The Freedom of Speech shall not be infringed.) I should have been there on Saturday, no question, but I might have only gone as an objective observer.

Had I attended the sit-in protest itself I would have been there on behalf of all American Workers, and on behalf of the working-poor and their equal right to higher education as the upper-classes. All while the UC system makes them the target of the budget gap that have in part created with speculative construction projects.

Here is a notion: how about all UC administration officials take a statewide 25% pay cut?

The difference that would make should be removed from the 32% fee increase and then that would be a policy I might support and would be more critical of those protesting such a hike in fees under such a circumstance.

If the state is suffering and people are struggling perhaps the UC administrations around the state should consider putting themselves in a position in which they have to file for food stamps and are collecting their change to pay for gasoline to get to their job like the rest of us.

To the credit of The Santa Cruz Sentinel they published a Letter to the Editor by one of the protest organizers who is also a UCSC alumni and I believe one of the other credible sources on the events of Kerr Hall:

“Shame on UCSC administration

Throughout Saturday night at UC Santa Cruz, students faculty and staff massed outside Kerr Hall where students barricaded themselves [incomplete]”

To credit of The Santa Cruz Police Department they have recently formed a gang task force after myself and many others made voice to our concerns about the matter. I failed to give credit as that story broke to the SCPD after berating them over the matter via weblog. I believe this was simply a matter of a poor response, in this case, on behalf of the department to arrive with riot gear and non-lethal weaponry instead of standard equipment.

The party that appears to hold the strongest share of what went wrong at Kerr Hall, is the UCSC administration, in both refusing to meet the protestors head-on and directly address their concerns and seek a peaceful solution to their vacation from the grounds if one exists and also in the case of publicly denying that protestors were asking to clean up the facilities that others had damaged if they were indeed ordered by law to leave grounds by means of their spokesman.

Atop of that the university is claiming an unrealistically high damage cost for what multiple sources have told me was mostly minor damage caused by only a small numbers of irate individuals.

It is my view, that if the administration had only addressed the protest from the lens of a civil rights matter they would not have made the same decisions.

One thing I’ve learned, is that ordinary people don’t bend the truth and I believe these two testimonies over any of the “big-name” reporting to come out about this so far.

I don’t have all the pieces at my disposal to provide what I would call “full-coverage” of the UCSC Protest and the aftermath, but I thought it important to share what I know so far as it is somewhat difficult to get the whole journalistic story on this matter with only internet resources:

CBS5.comUC Student Protest

No arrests were made and the demonstration ended without confrontation, UC officials said.

I believe it to be inaccurate to say that the demonstration ended “without confrontation” only in that, according to my sources, approximately 75 people approached the police and offered to clean up the second floor. However, CBS5 is only repeating the statements of the UCSC Spokesman. It is accurate to say no arrests were made in Santa Cruz.

NewUniversity.orgUC Santa Cruz Protest: From a Face-off to a Mace-off

Someone at the protest was using CNN’s iReportUC Santa Cruz Protest Enters Day 4

-The protests at the UCSC campus are soon entering Day 4.
-Additional students entering Kerr Hall to aid and support the occupiers.
-Protest has remained peaceful and non-violent.
-Positive atmosphere
-Dozens of students remain outside supporting those inside.
– As of 1:20AM Sunday morning, supporters and occupiers are still present.

The final component here is the political right-wing native to Santa Cruz and our local political dynamic perhaps effecting a great many views on this matter.

The local “Club for Growth” neoconservative / libertarian / conservative right-wingers had their voice well expressed in this Letter to the Editor in the same edition of The Sentinel:

“No-growth policies come home to roost

[incomplete]”

I wouldn’t be surprised to discover many of the local police officers agreed with this position and such attitudes are not often found from reactions of law enforcement officials in regards to right-wing protests.

The tuition increase along with the excessive spending on construction contracts while neglecting other more pressing matters like affordability were exactly what the sit-in was in protest of and this individual insists upon finding a way to blame the protestors for the highly questionable decisions made the UC that many, including myself, find upsetting.

I long for a day when “tea-baggers” and neoconservative (“neocon”) pro-war protestors are treated with the same heavy-hands and greatly scorned just for the sake of expressing their ideals. I would love to serve some of these people the medicine of civil injustice and public harassment they so enjoy seeing done to any left-wing protest.

I dream of an America that remembers the past of this country, endless disagreements of every nature and sort that we came together and sought solutions and found a way to look our neighbor in the eye even though we believed their politics to be nothing but whimsical rubbish.

I believe far too many in this community would seek to blame the protestors themselves for all ills than ever look at the matter scientifically, or at least rationally.

With all this love of the “expose,” I should really start tearing apart our local nut jobs and tell my tale of complete disillusionment with a prominent figure in local-conservatism.

The true “expose” here is to be had on portions of the American Press, as well countless figures across the nation touting themselves as “objective” in politics when in fact they are nothing but the most bitter partisans you could hope to find who simply smile and laugh as they create an atmosphere of utter hatred for their fellow Americans. The people tearing apart our legislature, our political media, our newspapers and our economy in this state are not we the liberals and progressives of the state.

I will continue to be critical of both sides and attempt to convey both sides of an issue, and then people can judge for themselves if any level of credibility should be bestowed upon people who distort facts to suit an agenda.

Coming from any political persuasion, such actions are wrong.

The population of students, alumni and residents here in Santa Cruz may be left-leaning individuals but I have long held the impression that the UCSC current administration is not that by any means and this possible suppression of what really happened when the sit-in protestors were asked to leave and the circumstances surrounding the dispersal.

Gangland Stabbing in My Town

A young man was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11 parking lot in Santa Cruz, California. Tyler Tenorio was sixteen at the time of his death on October 16th around 10 p.m.

20091024__CSS53015~5_GALLERYFriends of Tyler Tenorio (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


20091024__CSS53015~4_GALLERYMore than 300 people gather on Laurel Street Friday evening to voice their opposition to gang violence and to remember Tyler Tenorio. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


The Santa Cruz Sentinel

What was conjecture of the locals the day prior has become an issue of major concern for the District Attorney and the police department.

Was Tyler representing gang membership or making a claim to belong to a gang surrounding the time of his death?

Those like myself who read the original article published in The Sentinel on this tragedy saw this element of the story coming ahead of time.

I don’t wish to cause anyone to be troubled but in my estimation Tyler, and likely his friends as well, were representing themselves as being in a gang called “Westside” that associates with the color red and is local to this side of Santa Cruz.

The history of “Westside” is not my focus here, but it is a gang that is mainly people claiming to belong to it and has very few (if any) actual members beyond teenagers wearing colors.

It is my contention that Tyler Tenorio was wearing red clothing, and having his shirts pressed by his mom, because he wished to be associated with a local gang that would never seek recrimination upon those who falsely claim to belong to it.

This is a very common occurrence in Santa Cruz youth, to claim to be part of “Westside”.

This case underlines the need to be aware of what our children and our friends are doing around us.

There is another element I feel I should touch upon as well.

There is a possibly that this tragedy was not as strongly related to gang affiliation of any sort, but rather was a case of prideful arrogance boiling into sheer violence on behalf of both parties.

The entire scene of violence could have been avoided if only Tyler had chosen to keep driving and avoid the confrontation itself.

It is within reason to assume that this young man is dead because of man-pride and the need to prove yourself right at the end of a fist.

After the shouting, the driver pulled the car onto Myrtle Street, parked and Tenorio and his friends got out. One friend told police he was angry and got out to fight, according to the court document.

I was not present for this event. I can only read news reports and hear what people have to say around town about it. But based on what I know it is a possibility that this senseless death was fueled by the arrogance of the young men in both parties, or it also possible that this was a gangland stabbing that involved a false gang member being stabbed by a real gang member who assumed that other was affiliated.

The Secrets of The Lockheed-Martin Fire

1.fire-31.Fire rages on Eureka4

My area has been struck with wildfires burning unchecked for a few days that have finally come under control thanks to no small effort from statewide firefighting services called unto the task. The Lockheed-Martin Fire has reached a high level of containment at long last and residents have been allowed to return to their homes. The danger is still present, but the blaze has become more manageable after intense firefighting into the late hours of the night.

I recently spoke with three firefighters called in to help from the Central Valley and they had a rather interesting story to tell about their experiences while working on this call.

As you may or may not know the private military contractor Lockheed-Martin holds a rather large facility up in the Bonny Doon Hills just north of Santa Cruz City. Three firefighters were telling me that they and the rest of their units were charged with guarding five buildings inside the Lockheed-Martin property after the staff of the facility had been  evacuated.

These men knew nothing of the area and were specifically called in to guard specifically this area, presumably because they are not from Santa Cruz area and would not have much reason to share their stories with locals in the area. On top of that, who is going to believe a bunch of “valley boys?”

They claim to have been guarding one building that was just a big cement bunker with a large diesel generator on the side that held a huge yellow sign saying:

“Danger! No Less Than 11,000 Pounds of Explosives Present!”

They explained to me that in a normal situation in firefighting that if the flames overtook you one need only to pull out a kind of “fire tent“, that is more a large silver-blanket, and wait inside that covering until the flames passed over you.

In this case, they were informed that if these buildings were to catch fire that they would have to evacuate the area immediately but at the same time they were also told that these building simply “could not go up.”

So they were in a position where they had to simply fight the fire no matter what with no idea whatsoever exactly what they were guarding.

One of the younger firefighters was saying that one of the buildings was nothing but a shell of a building with walls falling apart and they received an order to protect that building as if it was the building marked with high-explosive storage labels.

They were apparently told: “if that goes, we all go.” With no further explanation beyond that.

Apparently there is a light and siren system up there. A yellow light means caution and danger is present. A red light means danger is real and you should be getting ready to evacuate. A red light with a siren means you have about 30 seconds to get the heck out of the area with no room for error. They all said that when they saw a red light go off they were about to lose their nerve thinking about hearing a siren all of a sudden.

I have no idea how true it was but they claimed that Lockheed-Martin is working on some kind of new explosive material and that was the reason why the “top brass” in the Pentagon were quite intent on protecting the facility at all costs. It’s possible that’s just hearsay and rumor.

But the facts are solid and absolute that our proud and brave California Firefighters have saved the day once again. We suffered no massive explosions in the hills and the smoke blowing through the city is hardly the same kind of damage that could have been wrought if the explosive storage and possible nuclear facilities within Lockheed-Martin were to have become inflamed.

We all know that there is underground facilities in Lockheed-Martin and some question could certainly be raised as to just how much danger their was of explosive outbreaks from the tiny bunkers catching fire. But I myself am grateful for the firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect unnamed and secret bunkers full of military secrets.

As to what started the fire there is some talk as of today that trespassers on an area we call “The Moon Rocks” are to blame. I myself blame the facility full of explosive equipment before I blame some random visitors to one of our local spots to see and enjoy.

But no conclusive evidence is available to answer the causal question at this time.