Babs trivial exploits

here is the basics of a message i wrote to some of the fire peeps & others. i think i should post it here so that anyone that knows more can tell me more… my interest is soooo piqued…

i was really kinda unhappy with the loss of the burn area (and area for all sorts of other goodness, to be sure) at roosevelt as was mentioned on the fire list last week. even though i haven’t burned there (i’ve hardly burned anywhere, but i’m getting there) i consider it a very important space in my life and the life of phoenix. i had had no idea how this was orchestrated as of last week. i assumed it may have been that the blue meanies didn’t like do-it-yourself fire performance. while i know of the safety & precaution, i thought it may have been a case of them assuming it was not safe. then i heard about (and read) the az republic article that was tossing the meme into the head of the city-zens that the closing of the lot was more about underage drinking & parking & whatnot that the owner didn’t want.

this is not exactly the case.

i will preface the rest of this with a disclaimer: i am soooo a conspiracy theorist! but i will not present exaggerations or lies in presenting stuff for peeps to ponder.

with that said, i found out that what went down first friday was a large scale crackdown on first friday itself. if you were there you saw the scary-ass police presence. aside from roping off lots (more on who wanted that in a sec), they also intimidated and harassed gallery & venue owners. accompanied by armed officers, health depart officials, tax officials and building code inspectors went to several (i’m sooooo thinking about canvassing all gallery owners to get a total tally of the bullshit) galleries and did spot inspections and fining. health inspectors actually made modified throw out their bags of chips and ring pops because they didn’t have a food handlers card. much worse yet is the situation at eyelounge, where they have found some age old non-compliance paperwork thing to force them to either make 40 THOUSAND dollars worth of modifications to bring building up to new building code or close doors by next month. i have no idea who else they fucked with but i have heard that red dog has been given a week to comply with these newly-fascinating inspections by the city, a city that hardly noticed the growing community downtown before now. see more about the eyelounge fiasco

then i found out that the roosevelt lot was indeed closed off by request of the property owner. the part of the story that is not mentioned is that city & police officials actually had to hunt down the out of state owner – then ask if the owner authorized the mass underage drinking & other illegal things on their property and asked if they wanted it to be stopped….. to which the owner, of course, responded -yeah. even if the owner was totally cool with the whole scene, the way the city phrased the questioning the owner would have no choice but to answer that way – the same law that made warehouses & club owners warier of renting their spaces out for raves was probably in play here – the law that says a property owner (even if not present or explicitly aware) can have property seized as a result of illegal drug use, et cetera on the property. so yeah, the owner pretty much has to step up and say “rope ‘er off”.

so what gives? looks like a coup. looks like the eminent domain ruling is rearing its head. but that is my conspiracy theory. that this is indeed a large scale land grab. the peeps downtown have put their very souls into making it a good place in phoenix (does anyone remember downtown 15 years ago?) and now it is valuable real estate. and ooops the supreme court just said that local governments can force sale of property that will be more beneficial to the locality (such as in selling to developers).

even if the reason for the coup is not a land grab, beware that the downtown arts area is very much at risk right now. see what you can do to help.

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