Despite recent large-scale and surprise police raids on Occupy camps in Oakland and New York City, Sacramento’s branch of the movement still holds its ground. And more.
The activists’ so-called expansion from Cesar Chavez Plaza to across the street onto City Hall’s front lawn, which began last Tuesday, November 8, has “worked out very well,” according spokesman Cres Vellucci. City occupiers are permitted to stay on Mayor Kevin Johnson’s front lawn 24 hours a day, so long as there is no camping or sleepover equipment—shall we coin it “Occupy paraphernalia”?—and protesters have remained overnight on the lawn without incident.
Almost without incident: One protester was arrested last week for possession of a sleeping bag.
The total number of Occupy Sacramento arrests now stands at 84.
Meanwhile, bad weather and bad juju in the form of law-enforcement crackdowns abound, both at nationwide Occupy chapters and even here in Sacto, which has locals contemplating moving indoors during the winter months.
Vellucci concedes that there are “always talks” of Occupy Sac finding a roof for its head, but that for now the local movement is focused on First Amendment issues, such as motions filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court to throw out criminal cases against Occupy Sacramento defendants.
Newsbeat lives—in Davis
This past Second Saturday evening foretold sad news for those who enjoyed purchasing the Sunday New York Times at Newsbeat in Midtown: the venerable shop at the MARRS complex ended its nearly 20-year run in the central city on November 12.
The locally owned, bona fide mom-and-pop newsstand and gift store operated across the street from the state Capitol at L and 10th streets for 15 years before moving to Midtown’s 20th Street in 2008. Owners Janis and Terence Lott weren’t interested in going into the fine details of Newsbeat’s closure on the record. But, needless to say, the couple—who opened the original store two weeks after being married more than 18 years ago—was heartbroken.
“We love Midtown,” they told SN&R. “We felt embraced and appreciated, and it was really special, an unforgettable experience, and felt very sad to say goodbye.”
The owners say folks from all walks of life frequented the shop, which sold a little bit of everything—newspapers, gourmet chocolates, magazines, cigarettes, gift wrap, coconut water—and people drove from as far away as Lodi to visit what was one of the region’s last-remaining newsstands.
Now, customers can find Janis and Terence at their satellite store and only remaining location, Newsbeat in Davis, at 514 Third Street.
‘Lot of potential’
After three years, it appears that the former Rex Cycles location on the corner of 20th Street and Capitol Avenue in Midtown has finally found its true “potential”: a parking lot.
SN&R’s Cosmo Garvin first reported on the site back in 2008, when the cycling shop announced it was leaving its historic Midtown digs for a new home. This took place amid rumors that then-new property owner, Heller Pacific, planned to knock down the building, which some said was historic. Built in 1915, the location was first a vet hospital, then a laundry shop and later an auto-repair spot before housing bicycles. But in June 2008, the buildings were torn down and carted off.
At the time, developer Michael Heller told SN&R the site had “a lot of potential.”
Specifically, the plan was for Heller Pacific and partner Paul Thiebaud to build a four-story “Tribute” building, an homage to their respective fathers: developer Michael Heller Sr. and artist Wayne Thiebaud. The Tribute was to be completed by 2010. But, of course, that didn’t happen—so south went the economy—and the development was back-burnered.
Recently, though, the site was paved over with asphalt and will soon reopen as a multi-space parking lot, to be operated by Midtown Parking.