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Open Letter to METRO Board Members

It's 10 o'clock on Sunday evening. Both my children are still awake and very upset because 30 vigilantes have at last left my driveway after the police dispersed them.
Open Letter from METRO Board Member - October 24, 2005

RESPECT IS EARNED

It's 10 o'clock on Sunday evening. Both my children are still awake and very upset because 30 vigilantes have at last left my driveway after the police dispersed them.

I had yelling UCSC students and others, beating drums and throwing fireworks in my driveway, all asking for me, Dene Bustichi, to treat the bus drivers with respect.

My father always told me respect is earned. I do not believe scaring children in the night earns respect and I can tell you it does not intimidate either.

What did happen tonight was a neighborhood coming out to protect one of their own against intimidation, vandalism and harassment.

What happened tonight reaffirmed my commitment and principals during the rest of my term on the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District.

I have been lied to, I have been misquoted by bus drivers and now my wife and children have been harassed in their own home.

You ask for respect, you have lost all respect from this board member.

I will keep my commitment to the ridership and to the tax payer. I will continue to meet as often as needed but I will not cut routes and raise bus fares so that our bus drivers can go from the fourth highest paid in the nation to the highest paid in the nation.

Tonight you harassed one board member and scared his family but respect you have not earned, instead you have rallied a neighborhood against the very thing you say you're fighting for. Perhaps UCSC should teach a class on respect and human decency.

Dene Bustichi
Santa Cruz Metro Transit Board Member
 
 


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Comments

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

it's not all ucsc students.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Can we have an open forum to discuss this issue. I think the longer the strike lasts the more misinformation will evolve and it will probably lead to more hostility (most likely at the board members). Lets have more dialogue that clearly welcomes those who are concerned.

Who have you lost respect for? THose vandals? Or all UCSC students? All those who support workers? All the young dangerous looking people in santa cruz? (30 people is a very limited sample to draw generalizations of a population of UCSC students).

Why do you think you are not respected? If you have earned it. Maybe if people knew what you have done that is respect worthy, you will be more appreciated. I think that is why we need a communal dialogue.

A student with mixed feelings about this whole fiasco.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

quit the lies, dene.

you say that the neighborhood came out to protect one of their own. the vigilantes weren't the students but your neighbor who pointed the shotgun in the protesters' faces.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Fuck this shit. Dene you're a lying sack of shit. No one vandalized, harassed or tried to intimidate you. People tried to talk to you civilly and yet YOU refused. Stop talking trash. The students were the ones harassed by not only a shotgun but by a man yielding a metal pole and profanity from your oh so kind neighbors.

Also, we were not dispersed by the cops, we left on our own accord. The cops came as we were leaving, he HELPED us leave because it get your shotgun crazed neighbor out of the street. HE would not let us pass. Get your facts straight Dene.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Dene,
Maybe you should take a class on phallicies.
Me
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Dene:
> I will keep my commitment to the ridership and to the tax payer.

If you had any commitment to the public that pays your salary and the ridership who depend upon you, you'd have hired replacement drivers already. Instead you let busses sit idle while students and the working poor suffer from this transportation crisis.

You should be fired for incompetency, along with all of your staff. If you can't provide drivers, what are we paying you for? Do your job, or stand aside for someone who will do it.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Mr. Bustichi,
I would like to apologize on the behalf of my classmates, as they most likely never will. The students who scared your kids the other night need to grow up and realize that this is not okay.

I hope they grow up soon, I'm tired to feeling ashamed of being liberal every other night because some asshats pull something like this.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

UCSC student, you don't know what went down because everything I have read regarding it is so full of shit. Please don't even get involved if you don't know what happened. K, thanks.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

As much as i appreciate a good bit of piss and vinegar vented in the direction of reactionary bureaucratic twits, the vitriol spouted on this page seems a bit misdirected. You're not speaking to Dene here (even if you address your comments to him), you're speaking to a broader public. And telling a UCSC student "Please don't even get involved if you don't know what happened" certainly makes no sense, unless the 30 of you are all in some huge affinity group or something and have no interest in gaining new members.

Chanting "lies, lies, lies" only goes so far in the absence of a thorough recounting of events--one that preferably does not take the shape of a defensive rant.

At the very least, you could post the article and editorial from the Sentinel, and then address the inaccuracies and counter the lame arguments piece-meal and whole cloth.

If you're thinking that your actions speak for themselves, thus obviating the need for a public statement, you're wrong. In a culture as thoroughly mediated as ours, the deed itself is no longer propaganda enough, if it ever was.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Dene is clearly trying to twist the truth to make what happened on Sunday work to his advantage. What Dene says and the Sentinnel articles were full of inaccuracies.
(1) there were not 30-50 students outside of Dene's home. There maybe 25 students.
(2) There were no real "firecrackers." A couple of little poppers were thrown -- you know those little white pieces of paper that make a little noise. Using the word "firecrackers' makes the action seem a lot more intimidating than it was.
(3) Describing a group of 25 people chanting and banging on drums (which were really just buckets) for a few minutes at around 9:30 in the evening as "vigilantes" is the most ridiculous distortion of what really happens. Dene should be condeming his neighbor who shoved over a couple of protestors who were trying to leave, and also pointed his rifle at a few protestors' faces. THAT is vigilantism, not a little harmless, and BRIEF, protest.
(4) If Dene and other board members don't want to be bothered at home, then maybe they should stop harming the home lives of the striking bus drivers. Dene thinks in the ideal world he should be able to go to work, screw over people's lives, and then go sit comfortably at home without being bothered. If Dene doesn't want to be bothered at home, settle a fair 3 year contract with the bus drivers and stop your union busting and your poor excuses.
(5) Vandalism? When? where? what are you talking about? the poppers? God, throwing around accusations of vandalism, intimidating children, and vigilantism is the most exaggerated description of the actual events. Next thing you'll know you'll be falsely reporting thousands of students came to your house and roved around wildly with torches and knives, of course while beating their chests and frothing at the mouth. Stick to reality.
 

Go, students, union members, bus riders!

A transit board member who has let this strike go on for A MONTH without meeting with the drivers union but a handful of times should be ashamed of himself!

Someone visited you at your house? Don't teachers or CPS visit a home when a child misses school? People have been suffering throughout this county, and you and the rest of the board, Mr. Bustichi, have been out to lunch. Your anger about being confronted about this issue shows how unimportant you think it is. For many people, the bus is their LIFELINE. Until you start making getting a contract for the bus drivers priority number one, you will most likely get more visits from students, union members and others like me.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Screw the contract, just hire temporary drivers until the other ones decide to care more about students and the working poor than about themselves and their phat salaries. SC bus drivers are already 4th in the nation for best pay.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

The tired argument that because the drivers get a decent paycheck they should shut up is weak. Rather than begrudge the drivers a living wage I instead choose to look at other employers and ask why we all don't have living wages. The answer of course, is that living wages in working class jobs are the result of collective bargaining which always involves a struggle. I agree with the union here, the anti-union griping is just sour grapes and concessionary in nature. The drivers deserve better and so do ALL of us.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

"you say that the neighborhood came out to protect one of their own. the vigilantes weren't the students but your neighbor who pointed the shotgun in the protesters' faces."

They were trespassing on private property, and being a public nuisance (both illegal). I don't think either group displayed any vigilante qualities, but the manuever showed a distinct lack of pragmatism on the part of the UCSC students, in my opinion.

As for the bus drivers, just what is a fair wage? I'd say 55,000 plus benefits is very generous - theirs is not a job where potential employees are in short supply (to my knowledge).

Unions serve a purpose, to counter-act the desire of the employer to maximise profits, however I think a balance must be found - workers don't always deserve everything they demand, and actions like these will only damage the image of unions. This is a P.R battle they have largely lost.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

The only one engaged in a PR war is the Sentinel. It is about as close as they would get to reporting news. The rest are stuck in a class war.

But anyway...the drivers approved the agreement and will get on with their lives, the politicians will hopefully be remembered when it counts.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

A class battle between who? Well compensated government employees with secure jobs vs. low income wage slaves?
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

Nick asks, "A class battle between who? Well compensated government employees with secure jobs vs. low income wage slaves?"

No Nick, a class battle between workers and a government that represents the wealthy. That same government that forced the Metro workers out on strike has also cut bus services. Riders and workers, we are all in this together. We should all demand more money for better bus services. And remember, a vote for Mike Rotkin is a vote for a scab.
 

Re: Open Letter to METRO Board Members

"forced"? That's such a load of crap, just like Saddam "forced" Bush to attack Iraq.

The drivers went on strike because being 4th best paid in the nation wasn't good enough for them.

They went on strike because single drivers refuse to pay $25/mo for health care even though married drivers would have SAVED $100/mo.
 

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