Our View: Chain the bandstand? Bad guys still remain

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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 7:00 pm

Locking the Plaza Community Stage might cure the symptoms, but it hardly begins to address the problems facing downtown Santa Fe.

We don’t blame the city for limiting the stage to “permitted use” only. After all, who wants to clean up vomit and debris every morning on the people’s stage? Who enjoys eating lunch with a bunch of sketchy characters smoking pot on the steps? What vendors want to work with foul-mouthed bums cursing up a storm while they try to sell their art?

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  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Pierce Knolls posted at 12:27 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1675

    I love Deborah Potter's story about children playing on the bandstand. It's too bad that we can't find a way to keep the "layabouts" off the stage while still allowing children to enjoy it. But apparently the folks in charge can't differentiate between adult hobo ne'er-do-wells and innocent children.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:49 am on Tue, Apr 29, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1675

    "The poor will always be with us, no?" - You're ignoring the fact that the number of hobos, vagrants, and aggressive panhandlers has gone up all over town in recent years. This is obviously a direct result of Mayor Coss's "progressive" attempts to extend inclusiveness to even the most parasitic of the homeless.

    Giving aggressive panhandlers, drunk hobos, and druggies busker's licenses isn't going to get them off our streets, but frog-marching them to a train station just might.


  • Judy Kaminsky posted at 2:56 pm on Mon, Apr 28, 2014.

    Judy_Kaminsky Posts: 27

    Is Santa Fe still a "Sanctuary City"? Does that term translate to "You are welcome here when everyone else throws you out for violating drug, littering, and immigration laws". If the unwashed and unwanted are walking on the Plaza and in Cathedral Park, shouldn't the Police also be walking in the same places?

  • Jim Terr posted at 10:05 pm on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    JimTerr Posts: 4

    good one, JP Murray. Nicely stated.

  • Donado Coviello posted at 10:40 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    And who is doing the "scapegoating"? Seems to me the City is ready to blame anyone but themselves. You're a BIG government apologist and wannabe yourself Mr. Jeff Eeeee Green but you want it to be your kind of BIG government. What is needed is personal responsibility, young man, not slacker tokenism.

  • Carlos Guthrie posted at 10:33 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    CarlosG Posts: 32

    "the criminalization of music is going to help the situation downtown"....nobody is proposing this, the fact is that out of the 175+ busker licenses issued by the city around 150 are issued to panhandlers and other folks who provide nothing to the downtown music scene. The word is on the street that the city is a easy place to hang out, panhandle, etc.

  • Donado Coviello posted at 10:28 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    When was the last time you or Terrell did your shtick on the street, Jim?

  • Donado Coviello posted at 10:00 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    The police where never responsible for enforcement the Busker ordinance the Parking division was and is responsible.
    The "problem" is not just on the Plaza but all over downtown (Capitol Business District), Railyard, bus stop, the river, ... everywhere. Why? Because the City put the needs of City government before the need of the people. Thank Patti and Peter Ives for the problem.
    When the downtown merchants and neighbors in the area of Cerletti Park (Water and Don Gaspar) went to the City with an offer to help feed the homeless downtown, landscape the park and take a stand against crime, Bushee and Ives shot it down saying "Why should we let them do that?" Maybe because you as Councilors won't.

  • Carlos Guthrie posted at 9:51 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    CarlosG Posts: 32

    First, there was no police on the Plaza...since the new Mayor we have overkill...up to 5 cruisers parked on the Plaza, most of the time the cops just "hang" with the fire department sipping lattes and the PAS officers are only to be seen in their cars texting on their cell phones.....what kind of signal is the city trying to send now...the most dangerous plaza in the west?

    Just get one beat cop back...when we had Seisel he was there everyday, people knew it and it worked. No reason to have 3 or more now on bike patrolling when most of the time they stand around.

  • Donado Coviello posted at 9:37 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    What are people allowed do on City property? What is the State's "anti-donation" clause? Why are certain people allowed to use City parks to make money and other are not. Why are individual Councilors permitted to grant use of public spaces for FREE when citizens have to pay huge permit fees?

  • Donado Coviello posted at 8:28 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    " The situation is far more complex ..."
    Amen to that. And the responsibility to "fix" it is made more complex by Santa Fe's reliance on a fat bloated City Administration and a egotistical City Council.
    The City Police (and other Governments securtity people) created and benefited from the chaos in Plaza area. There always has been a large "Police presence" downtown but it was in the form of undercover cops looking and acting like the homeless. We all want to help the needy but you first must have some kind of order, not necessarily "LAW and ORDER" Nazi like but the order create by fair and consist Government programs.

  • Judy Cornier posted at 7:53 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    judy Posts: 4

    The bandstand problem is the same as the busker 'problem'. The police aren't patrolling the plaza and enforcing ordinances. Even the solution is similar: Put up a chain so that the police are absolved of any responsibility. If police were handling the rare troublesome, unlicensed busker or the drunk urinating or vomiting on the bandstand, we wouldn't be stripping the rights of good, decent people as a solution.

  • Sylvia Williamson posted at 7:35 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Lotus7 Posts: 1

    The situation is far more complex than ridding the plaza of the alleged unsightly, aesthetically unappealing "bums." This is a direct reflection of the state of our society as a whole, homelessness, lack of resources and training to engage them in alternative activities. Sure, Santa Fe New Mexican, let's just put a band aid on this and wave your magic wand and it will all just disappear!

  • Donado Coviello posted at 7:28 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    The problems on the Plaza and most other problems in Santa Fe stem from the Mayor and City Council putting 'Government First' before the needs of the people. The enemy is not the homeless, buskers or even the dope dealers, it is Patti and Javier.

  • Jim Terr posted at 6:14 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    JimTerr Posts: 4

    Let's get rid of them how? A nicely balanced editorial up to that punchline. Not that I have a solution myself - just wondering.

  • Jeff E Green posted at 12:40 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    Lest we forget, the revised Street Performers Ordinance is scheduled for a vote by City Council on Wednesday, April 30. What's becoming abundantly clear with this editorial and other reporting is that buskers are anything but the problem. A few bad apple buskers there may be, but the activities you're describing -- smoking pot, selling drugs, littering and loitering -- are already illegal. If the police have better things to do than enforce the city's laws that are actually causing the problem, I just don't think there's any way the criminalization of music is going to help the situation downtown. It's a sad day in Santa Fe when creative artists become the scapegoats.


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