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REBUILD THE ART, BANKS FOR NOTHING

REBUILD THE ART

There was sad news on the eve of what should have been a blissful new festival on June 4. One of the central sculptures for the city’s Ebb and Flow celebration along the San Lorenzo River was vandalized before the night even began.

Now, artist Geoffrey Nelson wants to recreate the sculpture of a traditional Ohlone man in ceremonial garb that had been perched along the river’s pedestrian overcrossing. He’s seeking donations of at least $1,000 on GoFundMe.com.

The original sculpture was funded in part by the city council. It was paired with an Ohlone woman, which was not destroyed. The two were built from heat-molded acrylic plates and had color-changing LED lights inside. The headdress was made from recycled plastic bottles.

Nelson plans to make the new sculpture in time for the Museum of Art & History’s Glow Festival, on Oct. 16. The new one will have moving LEDs to simulate water flowing through the Ohlone man’s body.

BANKS FOR NOTHING

A protest spearheaded by County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty and the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors has been picked up by former Secretary of Labor and current columnist Robert Reich, who wrote an article on July 4 celebrating Santa Cruz County’s stance that has been picked up all over the country.

His column suggests that others follow Santa Cruz’s lead by not using banks that were punished for illegally manipulating currencies so that they profited while investors suffered. Supervisor Coonerty made the local motion to keep Santa Cruz’s $650 million coffers out of the hands of JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS for five years.

Reich wrote that the $5 billion in fines the banks will pay is a slap on the wrist compared to what would happen if other governments followed Santa Cruz’s lead.

“But what if every county, city, and state in America followed Santa Cruz County’s example, and held the big banks accountable for their felonies?” wrote Reich, who works for the UC Chancellor’s office.

“What if all of us taxpayers said, in effect, ‘we’re not going to hire these convicted felons to handle our public finances? We don’t trust them.’

“That would hit these banks directly. They’d lose our business. Which might even cause them to clean up their acts,” he says.

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