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LOCAL Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

"No TV on Pacific Avenue" Trial Begins Today

Norse "No TV on Sidewalk" Trial Resumes at 1 PM Monday Dept. 1 Move-Along Decision Postponed Other Updates
The infraction trial of Robert Norse for showing a video on Pacific Avenue last June "without an amplified sound permit" was postponed on Friday until today. In that case, Sgt. Baker turned off a video documenting city, merchant, and police collusion in the "Battle for the Costa Brava Planter" in front of the Pacific Trading Company. It starts at 1 PM in Dept. 1 (Judge Almquist's court) at 701 Ocean St., the main court building. Attorney Tony Bole will be defending Norse.

Police took no action when activists again set up a video display on Thursday afternoon to show video of the police shutting down the prior video.


The proposed escalation of the Iraqi war with Republicans in Congress proposing that more troops be sent, in response to the Shi'ite uprising Sunday, may increase activist presence on Pacific Avenue downtown.

Criminal "chalkers" have already been seen drawing hopscotch patterns in front of Borders and near the Coffee Roasting Company. A chalked peace symbol remains unerased on the corner of Pacific and Soquel. Chalkers chalked "End the Sleeping Ban" and "Chalk on the Sidewalk; Go to Jail" near the Saturday street performances of "A Jiggle A Juggle"--the weekly street theater being put on each Saturday at Cooper and Pacific (2 PM) and near the Coffee Roasting Company downtown (2:50 PM).


Steve Argue's "Move Along" Trial resumes on Monday April 12 at 8:30 AM in Dept. 2. Judge Barton's expected ruling striking down the Move-Along law (5.43.020(2)) as unconstitutional was stalled, when Argue's attorney Tony Bole called for a special conference to consider a letter from City Attorney Wendy Morgan.

In February the City Council passed a special law, according to Argue, that apparently undercut Bole's arguments that commercial displays could get permits while non-commercial tables like Argue's could not.

At the Friday hearing, Bole commented after the last-minute in chambers hearing with Barton and Morgan which Bole called. Bole suggested that on April 12, Barton would either issue his written ruling, call for more arguments, or resolve the case by dismissing it or going to trial.

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Re: "No TV on Pacific Avenue" Trial Begins Today

There is a reson for the issuance of amplified noise permits. If they didn't exist, anyone could blare anything as loudly as they wanted to in that echo chamber called Pacific Avenue. People live there. We are trying to have a civilization here. Why do you feel you should be held above the law, Mr. Norse?

Re: "No TV on Pacific Avenue" Trial Begins Today

Stacia, I agree with the amplified sound ordinance, but you are apparantly unaware of the actuality of this situation. Norse was cited for amplified sound not because the volume being played was loud or annoying. He was playing a video tape on a small portable tv system at a volume level no louder than a normal conversation between two people.
BTW the entirely obnoxious (and louder than 80 db state law) motorcycles on that street are never bothered. Even once when I specifically asked an officer to do something because it frightened my child and made him cry.

Re: "No TV on Pacific Avenue" Trial Begins Today

Amplified noise is amplified noise. Were the motorcyclists committing a crime? The police can't cite someone because they made your child cry unless there is a crime involved. I agree, the motorcycle noise is annoying; however, it is not "amplified sound".

Amplified sound beats amplified enforcement from overamped cops

"Amplified sound" when done playing videos downtown has never been classified as a "crime" until Sgt. Baker decided on June 30th of last year to do so.

He approached us and cited us without warning us about any volume concerns and specifically targeted me.

One of the worst consequences of the City Council's repressive crackdown, expanding the downtown ordinances in 2002 and 2003 is the knee-jerk expansion of police powers. This gives hyperactive CSO's like Pam Bachtel both license and incentive to make Pacific Avenue a performer-hostile and homeless-hostile scene.

Bachtel harassed Copwatch Tom on Thursday night when he had a radio set up at a HUFF table so people could hear my Thursday radio show on Free Radio Santa Cruz (which he will apparently do next week as well).

The intrusion of police into people's lives when there is no complaint and no problem is a regular characteristic of police-state times, which we are now living through.

By the way, Stacia, have you got any connections with law enforcement personnel downtown?

Making a baby cry because of ones ego IS A CRIME

Noise pollution is a crime whether it is on the books or not. A life lived by the letter of the law is a shallow life that misses many points. As for the law, CA CVC cites 80 db of sound for a motor vehicle at certain (slow) speeds as illegal. Also SC Muni code has a No Noise Ordinance. Based on the creative interpretation of Downtown police on many other things, I'm sure they could include excessive volume from a motor vehicle in that.


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