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NUZ: Ranger Danger and Flynn’s Cabaret for Sale

At what point does fear of tall-ish buildings get to be silly?

“Lot 24 ain’t gonna happen.”

That’s what Santa Cruz Parks Ranger Jeremy Mathews said about a possible encampment near Depot Park, in a Facebook comment thread about homelessness on Tuesday, March 26. The implication was that a planned nighttime sleeping site and day-storage facility in that spot will never open. And he might have some inside intel—Mathews’ mom Cynthia is a longtime member of the City Council, and she made a motion that same night to reconsider the idea after hearing community frustration. With two councilmembers absent, her motion passed 5-0, so she wasn’t alone in having concerns.

Before Mathews wrote that sentence, no one had even mentioned Lot 24, so it was a weird thing to bring up. It almost felt like he wanted to tell everyone a secret he’d heard at dinner!

In the thread, Mathews told stories about how large the rats have gotten in the current Gateway encampment, and he liked a comment saying that no one would show up to a new sanctioned camp anyway, because it would be drug-free. The overall theme was that government leaders need to stop messing around and crack down on those lazy, drug-addicted homeless people who can’t get their lives together.

Mathews certainly doesn’t seem shy about letting loose online, whether or not it’s appropriate for a city employee to do so. Nuz also has a screenshot of the time in August of 2016 when Mathews jumped into the comments of a friend’s post calling out Judge John Salazar, who he apparently had sentencing disagreements with. Mathews wrote, “Salazar needs to go.”

LEVEL OF DISCOURSE

Anti-corridor-rezoning group Save Santa Cruz is refashioning itself as an anti-three-to-six-story-building-in-general group. In addition to opposing taller apartment buildings on major streets like Soquel Avenue, Ocean Street and Mission Street, the group has expanded to opposing them downtown, too, according to a Facebook post about a proposed Front Street housing development along the river.

Nuz doesn’t even feel comfortable making fun of these old-school NIMBYs, because their pathological fear of tall-ish buildings is so extreme that they might be candidates for batophobia—which is defined as, “the abnormal fear of being near an object of great height.” But if that’s the case, these architecture haters already can’t go downtown, because the old Hotel Palomar is eight stories and probably taller than anything that will ever get built there again.

Save Santa Cruz has built its premise on the idea that this town is at risk of turning into Santa Clara County. It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is itself unaffordable, but that’s partly because the region isn’t building enough housing, despite adding high-paying jobs faster than you can say “Google.” The mayor of Cupertino, home to Apple, even joked about building a wall around his city. (It did not go over well.) If we truly put the kibosh on development locally, we’ll run the risk of going one step further and turning into Carmel, with Santa Cruz continuing to lose the young, boot-strapping creative community that helps make it a special place (see page 11).

Here’s an idea: maybe we could have an honest discussion about growth and try to learn more about our options, instead of lethargically whining about every single rendering for a building that doesn’t look like the kind of home that a hippie might dream up during a watercolor-painting session?

FLYNN’S LIMBO

After a $650,000 overhaul that saw the Felton institution Don Quixote’s reopen as Flynn’s Cabaret and Steakhouse last summer, a mystery buyer has stepped up to (maybe) buy the revamped music venue.

Flynn’s owner Bradd Barkan says that a sale has become a financial inevitability after opening delays related to overhauling the in-house kitchen, inconsistent bookings and a recent non-compliance claim over disability access to the club’s bathrooms. “I don’t really have any more money,” Barkan tells GT. “It is in escrow, so that’s the reality.”

A real estate broker involved in the deal says the sale is moving quickly, but is by no means final, and the identity of the would-be buyers remains confidential. Rumor has it that the prospective new owners have ties to Petaluma’s Mystic Theatre and Monterey’s California Roots music festival. “There’s lots of rumors as to who exactly they are,” Barkan says. “I can tell you they have some deep musical connections.”

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chelsea Wagner

    April 4, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Whats wrong with Carmel? We just have to rename Santa Cruz to Santa- Carmel. I would be happy so see a housing freeze. For one it wold help tremendously with our water situation and it would allow us to be better at protecting what environment we have by not having to compormise constantly for over development. Sure prices would continue to be up there but then that is were they are anyway. All that would happen is that we would not increase the already crowded situation that we have now. Sure people will complain that there is not enough housing but then there never has been nor every will. But then we have the people whom what Santa Cruz to be Santa-Miami. So which is it Santa-Carmel or Santa-Miami?

    I recall being in Hermosa Beach with a friend. He pointed out a lot and state that he remembers when there was a single family house on it. And that it was replaced with a duplex, then seven years later that was torn down and replaced with a two story four-plex. For which was then torn down and replaced with a four story eight-flex and seven years later it was being torn down for an eight story 20 unit complex. I am glad that Santa, soon to be hopfully Santa-Carmel is fighting growth.

  2. Sandy Vadge

    April 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Reposting from Facebook is a tactic from the Indybay crowd. I thought Nuz was better than that but nah.

  3. Hollie Locatelli

    April 3, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Jake Pierce- Since you did not attend the 4/24 community gathering at Depot Park regarding plans for Parking Lot 24 to be used as a safe sleeping area, let me share some information. Council members Glover and Brown were there and openly shared their intent to rescind Glover’s motion to use Lot 24 as a safe sleeping site. It was not a secret that the motion would die with Glover and Brown withdrawing their support. Everyone at the gathering left with that knowledge including Council member Mathew’s son.

  4. Suzie

    April 2, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on Yelp of this establishment. Probably the food quality, service and cost were contributing factors into this venue not becoming profitable. Whomever has plans to purchase need to realize the socio-economic vibe of the SLV. We are not Santa Cruz and the Summer is good for tourist generated revenue, but don’t forget the local folk who keep you afloat during the slower season.

    Held high hopes for this establishment to be successful. Hope the next owner makes the dream a reality!

    Best regards.

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