EDITORíS DESK: Unspecial process for events permit

       There's something unsatisfactory about important decisions being made by accident instead of by careful consideration. That's what happened to Charlie Cagiao's proposal for a second street concert with a nationally known rock band.
       As related in articles in the Pioneer over the past two weeks, he had lined up Firefall ("Just Remember I Love You" and other songs) for June 24. Following the same city procedure he'd used in organizing the Jefferson Starship concert in May, Cagiao applied to the police for a special-events permit to shut down Colorado Avenue. Meanwhile, some opposition was surfacing. A few business people in the 2600 block (nearest to the Starship stage) reported problems from the concert, and sent e- mails to various individuals detailing their concerns that another such gig would drive away customers (because of the street being closed on a Saturday again) and possibly result in damage to their properties.
       Were these valid concerns? Undoubtedly. Should they automatically trump the wishes of the evident majority of businesses in the 2500 and 2600 blocks? That's the hard question. But no one even tried to answer it. City Police Sgt. Bob Weber, lacking guidelines for what he called a "hot potato" issue, quietly killed the plan by putting off making a decision. There was no debate, no opportunity to seek win-win compromises. Finally, Cagiao withdrew his application because he was out of time.
       The one good result from all this is that it has shed light on how special-event permits are granted (or not). Those with visions (like Cagiao) and those with business realities (like the street-concert opponents) stand to benefit from a public-hearing process that would give advance notice to affected parties and allow all sides to be heard.

- K.J.