OK, no, not Elvis, but Santa Cruz icon the Great Morgani. And he’s not leaving the building, so to speak – he’s leaving Pacific Avenue, where he’s been performing for about a decade.
Morgani’s departure comes as a casualty of the city’s street performer ordinances, passed in October. The City Council voted for ordinances that significantly limits the ways in which street performers, artists and political demonstrators may express themselves downtown. Essentially, the new rules require street performers to keep themselves contained to a 12-square-foot area. That’s a reduction from the previous requirement of 18 feet. For awhile, it seemed like most people were basically ignoring the new rules, however.
Yesterday, accordion aficionado and snappy dresser, The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, posted the following message on his Facebook page (unedited):
After 17 years of entertaining/performing, downtown Santa Cruz, “THE GREAT MORGANI”, has lost his “GREATNESS” status. Due to the recent strict enforcement of current ordinances, I am considered in violation of where i have performed for the past 10 years, even with written permission from the business owners. During these years, i have never been confronted by the police, downtown association, downtown hosts, business owners, or even city council members and mayors. The alternative performance areas, are so constrained & rigid, that they are not compatible to any type of performance. Rather than accept a hefty $300 ticket, or worse yet, spend a night in jail (in one of my costumes???), i will be quietly leaving the downtown scene. Thank you, EVERYONE, for you support and smiles, along the years. I will miss you all. ………….The “GREAT ONE” has left the avenue.