he seaside city of Santa Cruz, California, is one of several municipalities in Northern California that have become home for the herds of bubble up dot-comers rolling the dice in Silicon Valley. From San Francisco to San Jose to Berkeley, and down the coast to Salinas and Monterey, local officials are salivating at the multitude of possibilities for bringing in the tax bucks. And more often than not, these local officials are rolling out their welcome mats for the Silicon set, right over the bodies of the growing numbers of the poor and disinherited in this wealthy nation.
“They’ve actually installed mosquito boxes to drive out the homeless and hungry,” says Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs (Global). “They’ve set up these horrible sound machines that they put under the bridges and in parks that just turn on automatically and drive people out of the areas, because they make you nauseous and give you a terrible headache.”