Block parties censored content Menlo Park, posted by andy cohen, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm
I understand on good authority that Nancy Couperus has been told by the Chamber of Commerce she cannot have a table during any block party, not even in front of her own commercial property. I believe this was instigated by some city staff member(s).
It seems to me this is wrong, plain and simple. The best government is one that is open and transparent, not conducted in secret, but this decision was not openly arrived at, and I would like to know who is responsible.
Posted by freedom of speech, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm
As far as I know, the Chamber of Commerce doesn't control our legal system. What will they do if she puts out a table, have her arrested for...what? Not playing by their rules? As long as she abides by the law, what is the problem?
Posted by I saw a table out there 6/23..., a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm
Huh - I was at the City Block Party last Wednesday and there was indeed a table out there for the opposition to the El Camino Downtown Specific Plan. I dont' agree with their entirely "anti-change" approach, but they were there - and have been at the Farmer's Market too. Although I disagree with them, I respect their right to communicate their point of view.
I see no evidence of censorship of any kind. Is there hard proof? If so, I am sure we can enlist the City Council to make sure it never happens again.
Posted by more info needed, a resident of another community, on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm
I've worked with the Chamber/Fran before and find this a bit strange and was curious where you heard this from. Maybe it was as simple as she just refused to pay for the table/spot which every table has to do, and that is why she was denied a table.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Sounds like another example of someone posting mis-information without facts, only hearsay. Even so, the situation is better remedied between the parties and not here. Some have nothing better to do than try to tarnish an event beneficial to the city.
Posted by Nancy Couperus, a resident of another community, on Jun 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm
What Councilmember Cohen reported is correct. The Chamber President did say that the Menlo Park Downtown Alliance would be permitted at the next block party, but only in the "free speech area." We were at last Wednesday's block party, and we had signed up in advance and had paid our fee. A refund was issued to us after the party on Wednesday evening. We were told that our activity was "political" and therefore did not fall under the criteria established for the block parties.
Nancy Couperus, co-founder of the Menlo Park Downtown Alliance
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm
My My. Free speach in Menlo Park. Spare us oh great chamber of commerce. What is the matter with you people? Haven't you ever heard of the first ammendment? People have the right to speak out and it IS a public street and thus subject to all freedoms granted by the first ammendment. Chamber of Commerce - you're making yourselves look like idiots.
Posted by freedom of speech, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm
You got it, Menlo Voter. The whole street is a free speech area, and since when did business owners talking about their concerns become "politics" and therefore evil? Does anyone else see the irony of the Menlo Park Downtown Alliance being banned from downtown?!?
Posted by Confused and appalled, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm
I'm confused - you said you were there on Wednesday night but they refunded your money. Why did they provide a refund if you were there?
Despite my confusion, I completely agree with what other posters have said - whether or not anyone agrees or disagrees with your point of view, unless you're inciting violence and/or putting citizens in danger, this is America and these are public streets - you absolutely have the right to express your point of view! I'm appalled!
Posted by Marcy Magatelli, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2010 at 8:36 am
Wow! Things do get twisted, in a hurry, in this open forum! What Nancy said was, that the group had reserved & pre-paid for their spot. It was after, this first block party, that they were told, that the chamber viewed their message as "political" and would allow them, in future block parties, but only in the designated area "free speech", for which, the chamber does not charge. As a jesture, they refunded the fee paid for last Wed.'s event.
Now, for the writer of "I saw the table".. The Downtown Alliance is absolutely NOT "totally anti-change"! If you read the information they have provided to the public, you would see that they are in favor of beautifying and improving the downtown shopping district in many ways, and have outlined some alternatives towards that goal. They simply do not want their "actual experience" and needs, as business and property owners, to be ignored, by the city's planners & consultants. Some of the "new" plans would clearly destroy the few sucessful businesses, still standing in Menlo Park. Read the literature. Would you really want to loose our fabulous, year round Farmers' Market, organized and run by volunteers, to a enclosed warehouse full of commercial vendors, permanently wipping out most of the park lot? or a 4-story garage w/condos on top, towering right behind Flegel's?
Posted by Joseph, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm
Now the City of Menlo Planning Department is out Marketing their
zoning changes at the recent Block Party. They are agressively pushing their proposal for five story parking garages, and the seizure of surface parking downtown. This with the help of the Chamber of Commerce. They seem to be disparaging anyone that is against their plan. What is their goal?
What depicts the City, and their methods was green shirted City guy that was doing his Dickie Smothers routine with a yo-yo in front
Posted by What??!!, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:24 am
Ok, it was a POSSIBLE 2-story parking garage, then I read a 4-story parking garage, now it's become a 5-story parking garage?? Talk about "free speech", I guess anything is game here, including obstructionist propaganda? I like our community, I like the "village feel" however, we do need to seriously look at some development and some improvements. I consider myself levelheaded and willing to consider all options, and I think most people feel the same way. What really sucks is the obstructionist point of view where they try to defeat any and all improvement thru fear. Are we happy with the 12+ vacancies on Santa Cruz? Are we happy with a boarded up theater? Are we happy with 3 vacant car lots, with gang markings? Menlo Park is better than this, much better than this. We've had a VERY transparent process with the revisioning process, everyone had their say, now because a FEW don't like what most of us say, they want a new agenda? Please help by not supporting their very selfish ideas.
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Jun 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm
Its my party and I'll cry if I want to.....You people use the term, party, very strangely. Free speech areas, pay to play tables, chees! Be careful, the light beer guys will come through and take all your light brew over to a town that really knows how to party together.