Alternative report on Vets Hall sugge...

Alternative report on Vets Hall suggests building should reopen

There are 11 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Feb 4, 2010, titled Alternative report on Vets Hall suggests building should reopen. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

Vets with the spirited Bill Motto Post aren't buying the county's claim that the Veterans Memorial Building should be shut down.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

logicescapesyou

Fresno, CA

#1 Feb 4, 2010
First of all, the Vets Hall is not owned by the Vets. Its owned by the County and just is named the Vets Hall in memory of veterans. So the Vets aren't entitled to any "priority" that they think they deserve. The County has to provide equal opportunity for all citizens to use it. I understand the Vets' survey says there is no danger, but if there is an earthquake & someone is injured & dies, who the heck do you think will get sued--the County. So the County has a right to be cautious. Whats most appalling is that the County has offered to find an alternative location for the Vets Post for their office & meeting place, but they are refusing. Ridiculous. They have no right to any particular building, especially one they dont own. And the County doesnt have to find them an alternative, but they offered anyway. What is wrong with these people? They need to have patience, sit back & wait for the County to do their required due diligence and if there is no danger and the repairs are made, they'll be let back in. Sheesh. Greedy people with an undeserved sense of entitlement, and I say that as a member of a multi generation military (navy, army, airforce) family with a grandfather who fought in WWII and a father who fought in Vietnam.

Since: Aug 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#2 Feb 4, 2010
Good work, vets! The community needs the Vets Hall open and in good shape ASAP!
mrisider

Scotts Valley, CA

#3 Feb 4, 2010
Look, its not Rocket Science, The county will Claim it does not have the money to repair the building, thus will sell it for the Value of the Property. what the County should do is give the Building to the Vets Organization for the lease amount of 1 Dollar per year, However The Vet Groups must raise the money to repair the building to the specifications that they require!

Wanna Bet they go with selling the building!
Vallejo Joe

United States

#4 Feb 4, 2010
Favorite ploy of county officials. Earthquake safety while a legitimate issue, is used for insanely conservative, a**-covering, dumba**, decisions...

Since: May 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#5 Feb 4, 2010
mrisider wrote:
Look, its not Rocket Science, The county will Claim it does not have the money to repair the building, thus will sell it for the Value of the Property. what the County should do is give the Building to the Vets Organization for the lease amount of 1 Dollar per year, However The Vet Groups must raise the money to repair the building to the specifications that they require!
That sounds like a win-win to me.
My2cents

Capitola, CA

#6 Feb 4, 2010
logicescapesyou wrote:
First of all, the Vets Hall is not owned by the Vets. Its owned by the County and just is named the Vets Hall in memory of veterans. So the Vets aren't entitled to any "priority" that they think they deserve. The County has to provide equal opportunity for all citizens to use it. I understand the Vets' survey says there is no danger, but if there is an earthquake & someone is injured & dies, who the heck do you think will get sued--the County. So the County has a right to be cautious. Whats most appalling is that the County has offered to find an alternative location for the Vets Post for their office & meeting place, but they are refusing. Ridiculous. They have no right to any particular building, especially one they dont own. And the County doesnt have to find them an alternative, but they offered anyway. What is wrong with these people? They need to have patience, sit back & wait for the County to do their required due diligence and if there is no danger and the repairs are made, they'll be let back in. Sheesh. Greedy people with an undeserved sense of entitlement, and I say that as a member of a multi generation military (navy, army, airforce) family with a grandfather who fought in WWII and a father who fought in Vietnam.
I agree completely!
bob patton

Santa Cruz, CA

#7 Feb 5, 2010
For those that have no clue:(Gridley Camp No. 104 v. Board of Supervisors) states "once a government entity dedicates a veterans' memorial, it has a mandatory duty to maintain it." Westlaw.com . In a "letter-of-agreement ", dated Sep. 9 1980, the County is named as "the owner", the United Veterans Council (UVC) directed "to coordinate the needs of the veterans." It's obvious the County has failed its duty because of the "deferred maintenance" problem. Attachment "B" of this same agreement names "All Veterans Organizations" as "Priority Use Group 1."
Typical

Santa Cruz, CA

#8 Feb 5, 2010
"At this state, it means nothing in terms of the structural capacities of the building," he said, noting that the fix was relatively simple. "It's deferred maintenance. The county should have taken care of that a long time ago."
Gordon Smith in Monterey

Salinas, CA

#9 Feb 6, 2010
Let's get the facts straight:
1) This is not a small one-room "Vets Hall", this is a huge, historical Veterans Memorial Building,

2) The county of Santa Cruz doesn't "own" the building for general public use, it holds the deed in "trust" for the specific perpetual use of all US military veterans and their organizations as a remembrance (a memorial) of those who fought and died in the "Great War" (WWI),

3) The county has over the past 20 years acted in bad faith against the veterans and have reduced their occupation and the use of the building substantially,

4) The county has evicted the Bill Motto Post VFW5888 from their room 23 and have leased it to a private entrepreneur who for profit teaches yoga classes,

5) Previously room 23 (and other rooms) had been occupied by Congressionally chartered veterans organization for the past seven decades,

6) During the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 other buildings collapsed nearby resulting in several deaths directly across the street - yet the steel-reinforced concrete Veterans Memorial Building remained undamaged.

7) "A brief preliminary inspection" resulting in an immediate and complete evacuation of the whole building is not unlike making a mountain out of a mole hill, it is a premature action that cannot be justified or tolerated.

8) CALIFORNIA LAW: MILITARY AND VETERANS CODE SECTION 1226-1266: "Whenever a county has provided, maintained, or provided and maintained any building, memorial hall, or recreation center for the use or benefit of one or more veterans' associations, pursuant to Section 1262, the provision of that facility and its acceptance by the veterans' association constitutes a dedication of that property to a public (veterans) purpose, and the county may not revoke the dedication, so long as the veterans' association has not violated the terms and conditions of the dedication, unless it dedicates substitute facilities or unless the veterans' organization has either consented to the proposed county action or has abandoned its use of the facilities."

9) The veterans will in effect surrender the county's established dedicated use of the building to them if they (the veterans) "abandon" the building by accepting a substitute facility elsewhere from the county.
Tim Bowden

Santa Cruz, CA

#10 Feb 7, 2010
Old issue. It was burning when I came into the CVSO in 1974.

At that time, the Old Boys (WWII mostly) who had been the New Guys back in the thirties were opposed to the Vets Co-Op, which was a coalition of VVAW and the Winter Soldiers, or civilian auxiliary. At that time, office space had been provided to the Co-Op within the Vets building, and the Old Boys, with nothing better to do, resented it because some groups sub-letting the Co_op rooms on occasion were not only non-veteran related, but were communists!(Renter's Co-Op.)(The Allied Veterans Council - or soemthing like that, comprising reps from the chartered service organizations - had charge of the building in general at that time, and they had no problem providing space to patriotic groups like the Boy Scouts.)

It was a fierce battle for control of the building, with actual skirmish lines and posters ripped from the storefront. And then, in 1975, the Co-Op, an anarchists picnic in the best of times, just did not return from Christmas vacation. And the Old Boys, who had been pleading and bleeding for that sacred ground unhallowed by the Co-Op, simply dissolved as well. The offices remained vacant as the Little Big Horn for some three months and then were assigned to CETA, the federal jobs program.

I learned much about conflict in our county during those battles. I knew from the seventies that combatants are preening peacocks posing in self-righteous feathers with no interest in the topic at hand.(Case in point: neither the Co-Op nor the Old Boys accomplished one scrap of good for vets or, arguably, anyone else during the whole war for Vets Hall space.)

The Bill Motto Post, by the way, broke new ground in those years, at least in the annals of the VFW. They were, if I remember rightly, the only anti-war post in the nation at that time. Also, they were the only chapter which, rather than build its own metting hall, simply squatted at the Vets building.

Thanks for the memories.
Tim Bowden

Santa Cruz, CA

#11 Feb 7, 2010
Gordon Smith in Monterey wrote:
Let's get the facts straight:

5) Previously room 23 (and other rooms) had been occupied by Congressionally chartered veterans organization for the past seven decades,

6) During the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 other buildings collapsed nearby resulting in several deaths directly across the street - yet the steel-reinforced concrete Veterans Memorial Building remained undamaged.
Various rooms in the bulding have been used as a judges chambers, a Bd of Supes meeting hall, an AA center, a Parks & Rec office, a jobs center, as well as many other uses. In the 70s and 80s, the Chartered Organization presence in the building totaled some five individuals. Let me see, I remember two AVC meeting in the 70s featuring five members at one and two at another.(The number of constituents claimed by all vet reps in the area were always wildly exaggerated. CDVA (the State) apportioned a number of something like 29,000 vets in our county by simple division from a census, and the CVSO always claimed that number, although nobody ever saw anything approaching that figure.)

The Bunker was a drug breakdown area, and many homeless used it for squatting as well. The CVSO kept records down there in the 90s, and it was a rule the women in the office didn't venture down there alone. There was a wide range of vets who hung around the building; some great guys, and plenty not so much.

All of the buildings on Front Street rode out the Big One of '89 very well. The PO just to the north wasn't destroyed, nor was the bank to the south, and neither was the St George-to-the-bakery flatiron building - although that last one was taken down when engineers determined it was unsound.(Some thought someone was jobbing insurance on that one, but we weren't engineers.) Deaths were from the SC Coffee Roasting Company and Ford's on Pacific, where collapsing definitely did happen.

Due to that earthquake, most likely, there was a major remodel of the Vets Building in the 90s. Objective was to brace the building and render certain offices more usable, and I wonder why no one has mentioned the retrofit.

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