Fundraiser for businesses hurt by "Occupy" protests - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fundraiser for businesses hurt by "Occupy" protests

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A fundraiser was held Monday for the owners of coffee and hot dog carts who say harassment by Occupy San Diego protesters caused them to close up shop.

The event at Downtown Johnny Brown's restaurant, in the Civic Center Plaza near the parking structure will raise money for coffee cart owner Linda Jenson and the operators of the hot dog enterprise, Letty and Pete Soto.

Jenson has been offered rent credits from the city. The Sotos' lease is with a private firm that owns the Civic Center Plaza office building.

Representatives of the landlord did not return phone calls on whether the Sotos would receive the same assistance.

Councilman Carl DeMaio, who helped arrange the fundraiser, said they need more than just rent credits to get back on their feet.

"They deserve San Diegans' support during this difficult time," DeMaio said.

Jenson said her cart was damaged and urinated on while Letty Soto said her car was smeared in blood. Both women said they were followed home.

Todd Alexander, owner of the restaurant where the fundraiser will take place, said he was unable to calculate whether his business had been helped or hurt by Occupy San Diego protestors who converged on the plaza Oct. 7 and set up a tent city that was twice taken down by police.

The restaurant's revenues are dependent on shows at the nearby Civic

Theatre and Golden Hall, so comparisons between the last month and other time periods are invalid, Alexander said.

Fred Tavackeli, owner of City Cafe on the other side of the plaza, said his business is off 20 percent since the beginning of Occupy San Diego.

Otherwise loyal customers in the office building were unwilling to cross through the tent city for coffee or lunch, he said.

Donations for businesses hurt by Occupy protests:

Please make checks payable to:
Centre City Coffee
Brooklyn Dogs

Send to:
The Office of Councilmember Carl DeMaio
The City of San Diego
202 C Street, 10th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

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