Responding to the New ‘Doo-Doo’ Not Due Process in the Homeless ‘”Stay Away” Law 2

This comment is part of a longer article on the City Council’s new anti-homeless law massively expanding “stay-away” orders for homeless people from all areas of Santa Cruz controlled by the Parks & Recreation Department.   The rest of the article can be found at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/12/18762778.php .
HUFF ACTIVISTS WILL BE VISITING THE CITY COUNCIL OFFICES TO VIEW THE LAST YEAR’S STAY AWAY ORDERS 11 AM TODAY OCTOBER 16TH.    WE INVITE ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE COMMUNITY TO JOIN US.  THE ADDRESS OF THE OFFICES IS AT 809 CENTER ST.   BRING STRONG STOMACHS.
by Robert Norse

Thursday Oct 16th, 2014 2:08 AM

Some HUFFsters and I will be going in to City Hall later today to count all stay-away orders since July of 2013 whenthe law went into effect after being passed for a final reading at the first City Council meeting of June 2013. Those citations are available for anyone to view after finally being released in response to a Public Records Act request I made in August. Dannettee Shoemaker was not immediately forthcoming.

Last month, I requested all the Parks and Recreation Department [P & R] citations for MC 6.36 (the camping ordinance) during the 2013-2014 period and was simply given bundles of all citations for all offenses to look through. Apparently this department does not index its citations or at least did not provide them to us on request.

Interestingly enough, the SCPD initially insisted it too had no such index. After repeated prodding and showing up in person to view the tickets, the department eventually provided us with a listing of all citations in the downtown area.. It took repeated requests to get the addresses of the people cited (so as to calculate the attention given to homeless folks). You can view an example of the SCPD’s matrix–for Officer Barnett’s citations–below. This something the P & R won’t or can’t provide requiring us to examine the citations individually. I’ve also requested Micah Posner request staff to make this information available, but similar requests in the past have fallen on deaf ears.

It seems pretty important in creating an ordinance this severe and unprecedented to get some sense of what the cost, the extent, the target, and the effectiveness of stay-away orders has been over the last year. Stay-away orders are traditionally issued by a court after a conviction and only from a very particular place. Given P & R’s broad authority over much city property, these orders could be issued routinely and repeatedly with increasing severity for the most minor offenses.

Considering that most homeless people smoke (70+% compared with less than 20% of the general population), it’s no wonder that the “crime rate” is rising. Creates more demand for more cops and more enforcement. Since more is illegal. Not to mention sleepcrime citations.

Note that race is not included in the SCPD records–except on the citations themselves (and presumably in the inaccessible police reports), so we will still be returning to the SCPD to examine more closely the racial component of the citations, which apparently the SCPD doesn’t think enough of to add to its matrix (strange, since I’d imagine such stats may be required by the FBI or other federal agencies).

For the matrix of Officer Barnett’s citations downtown–to get any idea of how heavily weighted they are against homeless people, go to http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/09/18/barnett_cites.pdf . The longer story is at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/17/18761766.php,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/15/18761683.php , and http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/23/18761997.php . The racial stats were roughly counted as being given out to seven times as many people as were recorded as black in the last United Way census. We hope to more closely analyze them.

COUNCIL SLOUCHES ONWARD
The vastly expanded City Council law will be going into effect on November 28th or thereabouts if it passes again as it’s likely to on October 28th with a 5-2 vote.

Some pointed out at last Tuesday’s meeting (myself included) that their proposed law law mandates the stay-away’s prior to any court charge, hearing, trial, or conviction. What was not noted is that any stay-away is an additional action which is completely discretionary. This discretionary loophole allows rangers and cops to pick and choose who they’ll issue the orders to with no guideline as to when to do it. It is police state authorization in its purest form–leaving the matter entirely up to the officer. And, of course, completely beyond court review–even if the officer’s victim is never tried, had charges dismissed, or is found not guilty.

But the discretionary provision explicitly authorizes and hence encourages selective enforcement depending on the preference of the citing officer. Easy enough to decide that an homeless person sleeping gets a “stay-away” order while a more well-dressed smoker gets off without one (though a high fine for both).

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HUFF sings–rain or shine. 11 AM 10-15 Sub Rosa 703 Pacific

HUFFsters meet and greet chatting about  The Great Park Pagrom (City Council Votes 1 Year Stay-Away Orders Without Benefit of Court); Another Keep ‘Em Honest Records Check at City Hall after the Meeting or a Day Later; Upcoming:  Going Dotty on Pacific Avenue–the Upcoming Performance Cages; and numerous other bits and pieces I’m too tired to sort out at this moment…  Come on down and check ‘em out!

Driving the Destitute Out of Public Spaces–the War in Santa Cruz Heats Up

Title: Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse
START DATE: Tuesday October 14
TIME: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location Details:
809 Center ST. City Council Chambers Santa Cruz
At the afternoon City Council meeting. The item is the third of three other Public Hearings scheduled, so it may come up significantly later than 3, and perhaps (though it’s unlikely) earlier.
Event Type: Meeting
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address RNORSE3 [at] HOTMAiL.COM
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar #14B
CRACKING DOWN ON THE POOR 
Agenda Item #21 is a staff-generated proposal to vastly increase the amount of time those given low-level infraction tickets in city parks can be forced to stay away from the park. 

The ordinance expanded to monstrous proportions is MC 13.08.100 described as “ORDER TO VACATE ANY PROPERTY MAINTAINED BY THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT”. 

STAY-AWAY ORDERS WILDLY EXPANDED 
The proposed penalty for violating such an order is a misdemeanor conviction (up to a year in jail or $1000 fine). 

Specifically, according to the staff report: 

“The proposed amendment provides for incremental increases in time that a person receiving a citation in a City park, beach or any other property maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department must stay away from the property where the arrest was made or citation issued. 
(a) First offense (existing ordinance): Twenty-four hours from the time of the citing/arresting officer’s order. 
(b) Second offense within one week of the first offense: One week from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the second offense. 
(c) Third offense within thirty days of the second offense: Thirty days from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the third offense. 
(d) Fourth offense within six months of the third offense: Six months from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fourth offense. 
(e) Fifth offense within one year of the fourth offense: One year from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fifth offense.” 

HOMELESS REMOVAL–NO DUE PROCESS REQUIRED! 
Note that one doesn’t have to be convicted of any offense, even charged in court with any offense, simply cited for an offense for this law to go into effect. 

Since the original 13.08.100 was passed in 2013, many have been given one-day stay-away’s along with their smoking, camping, or “park closed” citations. This law is designed to punish and exclude homeless people without the need to go to court and actually prove a crime. 

FUN FOR THOSE STALKING THE HOMELESS–NOT JUST IN THE PARKS! 
Also note that the sway of this new law goes far beyond the city parks, since it also applies to “any other property maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department.” 

This apparently includes, according to MC 13.04.0111, 
“without limitation all city parks and greenbelts, all city park trails and roads, all city park facilities and buildings, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, DeLaveaga Golf Course, Main Beach, Cowell’s Beach, Steamer Lane, Harvey West Pool, the Beach Flats Community Center, the Louden Nelson Community Center, the Teen Center, the Civic Auditorium, City Hall Courtyard, Mission Plaza, the Town Clock, the Natural History Museum, the Surfing Museum, Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Pacific Avenue, West Cliff Drive (Pelton Street to Swanton Boulevard), the San Lorenzo River Levee and bike path, the San Lorenzo Benchlands, the inner banks of the San Lorenzo River within the City limits, the Branciforte and Cabonera Creeks within the city limits, Jessie Street Marsh, plus any other facilities or areas assigned to the parks and recreation department by the city manager.” 

CRIME WAVE! 
The specifically stated crimes of “chronic violators” includes “smoking, possession of alcoholic beverages, camping, 
public urination and entering a closed area”. Folks apparently commit these dangerous behaviors and return 24-hours later (which is the limit of stay-away orders under the current law). 

The purpose–the report continues-is to give the police more tools. 
There is no indication of any increase in real “crime” in the parks, simply a determination to drive travelers and local homeless people away. 

The statistics provided claim 
21 subjects violated the order returning to the park within 24 hour and were subsequently arrested. 
77 subjects returned to the parks or beaches after to 24 hours were up however, were given a second order to vacate for continuous unlawful behaviors. 
26 subjects received three orders to vacate. 
12 subjects received 4 orders to vacate. 
1 individual received 13 orders to vacate. 

MISSING FROM THE REPORT 
However they give no indication of what these people were cited for, whether they were actually charged in court, nor whether the individuals charged were actually convicted of those “crimes”. 

Bathrooms in the parks close at dusk or earlier. There are, of course, no sleeping areas in the City for the vast majority of those outside where it is legal to be. And only one 24-hour portapotty in the downtown area (the Posner Pooper). 

WHY BOTHER TO TALK TO THE VICTIMS OR INFORM THE PUBLIC? 
It is not clear that any homeless or social service agencies have been consulted. I’ve not heard that any out reach has been done to the homeless community. This is the 21st century equivalent of Sunset Laws where blacks were told to be “gone by sundown” from many towns in the country. 

There has been no mention of this proposed Council deportation of homeless people in the kept media (Sentinel, Good Times, City on a Hill. 

READ THE REPORT, THEN ROAR BACK 
Staff reports and ordinance can be found at Council’s agenda athttp://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=569&doctype=AGENDA under agenda item #21. 

City Council members need to be e-mailed at citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com . Individual council members can be reached by taking the first initial and last name of the Council member and adding @cityofsantacruz.com to it (e.g. mposner [at] cityofsantacruz.com

Dannettee Shoemaker and Martin Bernal are two of the highest paid officials in the City earning over $200,000 a year (not counting their benefits). They have signed their name to this police state measure–need to be horsewhipped and put in the stocks for this latest attack. 

TOWN-WIDE IMPACT 
The consequence of the massively increased policing downtown, expanded stay-away orders, anti-median ordinance, and authority-encouraged bigotry against those outside has been pressure on the churches who do provide services. 

The Circles Church has closed down its warming center and some of its meal services. The Red Church no longer allows people on its lawns prior to the meal. 

COST OF THE MANUFACTURED CRISIS? UNKNOWN. 
There is no indication of the cost in manpower and tax expense for the increased “drive ‘em out” policies of the Robinson-Mathews City Council during the last two years. 

Nor any estimation of how much the increased penaltes will cost–especially if contested in court. Already the city is facing a potential class-action lawsuit from activists gathering data about the amount of homeless property destroyed by police and rangers. 

The repeated citations are obviously taking police and ranger attention away from other areas and aren’t free. Apart from the immorality and futility of the whole thing, there’s no indication of the expense involved. 

REAL CRIMINALS ARE THOSE IN POWER 
Dannettee Shoemaker head of Parks and Recreation and Martin Bernal, City Manager, are two of the highest paid officials in the City earning over $200,000 a year (not counting their benefits). They have signed their names to this police state measure. 

The class war on the poor is advancing relentlessly under color of law. 

Santa Cruz: Getting Closer to the Truth About Marijuana Citations and Arrests

 

 

Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to the Drug War.  Yet from the stats acquired from the SCPD, it appears that in the last six month period not one citation or arrest was made for marijuana use, possession, transportation, or sales for anyone with a “transient” or “115 Coral St” address.  This does not jibe with my anecdotal understanding as someone who has interviewed people regularly for Free Radio Santa Cruz.
 
The Measure K Committee refused to ask the SCPD for its actual records on marijuana citations and arrests, to see if if is complying with the law. The law is the Measure K Initiative passed in 2006 by the voters (over City Council hostility). That requires that marijuana enforcement for those over 21 on private property be “the lowest enforcement priority.”


In a prior article, “Measure K Committee Craps Out Again–Another Free Ride for the SCPD” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/06/18762534.php, I described how the Measure K Committee again refused at its token meeting on 10-6 to even request, much less examine, the actual citation and arrest record of the SCPD regarding marijuana. It simply rubberstamped the police summary as being Measure K compliant.

To do this requires to look at occasions where citations and arrests were made on private property and what the circumstances were.

Committee member Coral Brune independently requested those records and forwarded them to me. I reprint them below.

I will encourage Brune to make a follow-up request to view the actual citations and reports. If she won’t, I will. The citations and arrests need to be examine individually to see if police actually did follow the law.

As for discrepancies regarding the number of citations/arrests for homeless folks,  I as yet have no explanation.  It seems highly unlikely that not one citation or arrest happened during the period from November 2013 to the present which involved a homeless person.
To view the more extensive police summary of the citations and arrests made for marijuana incidents during this period, go to https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/10/18762717.php .

Oakland Mayoral Candidate Proposes Homelessness Policy That Makes Sense

 

 

NORSE’S NOTES:  Though not a fan of everything Siegel of Oakland does, what he presents below is miles ahead of Smart Solutions, 180/180, the Downtown Accountability Project, or any of the other “rush -em out of sight/drive ‘em out of town” policies adopted here in Santa Cruz–from high-frequency noise generators to “security” gates to ID cards to stay-way-from-the-park-even-if-you-haven’t-been-convicted-of-anything orders, to little colored dots on Pacific Avenue setting up the invisble cages in which street performers, vendors, and tablers must confine themselves.
> Dan Siegel Releases Homelessness Policy Paper
>
> ————————————————————
>
>
> September 25, 2014
> Contact: April Thomas, media@siegelforoakland.org, 206.321.3850
> Mayoral candidate Dan Siegel commits to doubling Housing First Investments
>
> Siegel outlines his innovative and compassionate approach to homelessness (Oakland, CA) – Today, Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel released his 8th policy paper, detailing his agenda on homelessness in Oakland. The paper lays out four areas that Siegel will innovate in his approach to both increasing access to permanent housing and supporting people without shelter in their daily lives:
>
> Housing First: The simplest strategy is also proven the most effective: give chronically homeless people a home with no strings attached. Siegel
will double Oakland’s current investment in the Permanent Access to Housing program in order to serve twice as many chronically homeless individuals.
>
> Tiny Houses: The potential of the “Tiny House” movement to address homelessness has been recognized nationwide. These houses, costing as little as $5,000 to build, require minimal amounts of land and need not be connected to the power grid.
>
> Homelessness is not a Crime: Siegel supports legislative approaches such as California’s Homeless Bill of Rights proposed by Senator Tom Ammiano. If the state is unwilling to outlaw discrimination against homelessness (Ammiano’s most recent attempt died in the legislature in January, 2014), the Siegel administration will propose a similar bill at the city level.   “Oakland must also eliminate any ˜quality of life” laws that make life on the streets more challenging than it already is,” said Siegel.
>
> Shower Access: The City of Oakland, through its shelters and other facilities, should also ensure that shower and bathroom facilities are available for the homeless during the day, even if it is impossible to provide beds for all each night.
>
> The full paper can be accessed at http://siegelforoakland.org/policy_papers/DanSiegelHomelessnessPolicy.pdf
> .

> ============================================================
> Paid for by Dan Siegel for Mayor, 2014
> 499 14th Street, Suite 300
> Oakland, CA 94612
> (510) 839-1200

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Back for Real This Time: Candidate Bush on Free Radio 9:30 AM -11 AM Sunday October 12th

Norse’s Note:   My apologies to Candidate Bush, HUFFsters here and elsewhere, as well as the public generally for missing my appointment with Craig Bush last Sunday.  This Sunday will be different.   Though Bush has not been on my radar as a homeless civil rights activist, I was impressed enough with the platform on his website to feel motivated to encourage him to come on the air (though an invitation has been extended to the dreary list of candidates).   From his website, I gather that his major interests and issues are around opposing desal, new economic stimulus ideas, and environmental concerns.  However his positions against downtown repression of performers and city repression of the homeless seem clearer and more specific to me than that of any other of the candidates.
Title: Santa Cruz City Council Candidate Craig Bush on Free Radio
START DATE: Sunday October 12
TIME: 9:30 AM11:00 AM
Location Details:
On the stream of Free Radio Santa Cruz at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/ . 

Call-in numbers are 831-427-3772 and 831-469-3119

The show will archive at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb141005.mp3 . 

Earlier shows can be found at http://radiolibre.org/brb/ . Some of these are described at http://huffsantacruz.org/radio.html .

Event Type: Radio Broadcast
Last week, due to mental mixup by the talk show host, Candidate Bush didn’t make it on the stream. This Sunday will hopefully be different. 

Craig Bush is running for one of the three vacancies on the Santa Cruz City Council with voting due to start within a week. He is one of seven candidates running and the only one so far who has replied to an invitation to come on Free Radio. 

His website is at http://www.bushforsccouncil.comxa.com/mypolitics.html 

Bush’s platform extensive and specific. You can find it athttp://www.bushforsccouncil.comxa.com/local.html . 

For a summary of his positions on Social Services, the Santa Cruz Eleven, and Law Enforcement go to http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/30/18762275.php 

I will specifically be asking Bush to answer questions for the HUFF questionaire that other candidates (other than Leonie Sherman) have ignored. Seehttp://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/08/18/mid-august_flyer.pdf 

Bush tells me he has lived in Santa Cruz since the 70′s, so I’ll be asking him some “then and now” questions as well as my usual “what will you do the day after the election results show you’ve lost?”–which I’ve asked of every candidate. I”m more interested in activism all the rest of the days of the year, than election results. 

Tune in and call in. Or e-mail your questions to me at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com 

I also received a more recent e-mail from Craig Bush which included the following: 

“I have a candidate forum at Calvary Episcopal church downtown. [7 PM Thursday 10-9]” 

“I would like to bring music that pays tribute to the street performing artists and musicians of SC. Move the story around the repression, bullying. ticketing that is forcing them out. I have stories of performing artists that have performed on our streets. Artists, dancers and musicians who sprung forth dance, music and theatre that has been performed on our stages here. When we crush the seeds of creativity we destroy our cultural heritage. I have a green light program that fosters creativity among our aspiring street performers. I have several specific solutions to improve social services here. I hope to get in some time to discuss them all.” 

“I also have an economic stimulus plan that includes the organic permaculture corridor running on both sides of the rr track from Davenport to Watsonville. City formulated worker co-ops to manufacture hemp shopping bags with city logo. Provides long term unemployed 55 and over full time good paying jobs in a safe green working environment. A sustainable water system that will put us in a position to export water and lower our water bills. A system that produces the purest naturally alkaline water in CA. A water system that will enable the return of the salmon. This is what I bring to the table.’  

 

__._,_.___

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Lowest Enforcement Priority for Marijuana in Santa Cruz? Don’t Rely on the Measure K Committee

Measure K Committee Craps Out Again–Another Free Ride for the SCPD
by Robert Norse
Monday Oct 6th, 2014 11:06 PM

The Measure K Committee, created by voter initiative in 2006 here in Santa Cruz, in Santa Monica, and in Santa Barbara was supposed to be the first step in holding the local PD and similar agencies accountable and moving to end Marijuana Prohibition. I detailed the agenda and some preliminary concerns about the Committee pro-police bias at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/05/18762458.php .   Marijuana enforcement was supposed to become the lowest enforcement priority for adults on private property–whether the marijuana was being used, bought, sold, transported, or simply possessed.  The Measure K Committee was supposed to ensure that police were laying off.  Instead it’s acting as a rubberstamp.

There was no public present for much of the meeting other than me; I was the only speaker. The chair was Deborah Ellston, an organizer in the Santa Cruz Neighbors, the right-wing NIMBY group which elected Lynn Robinson Mayor. There was also no armed officer present. Perhaps that was why my tiny tape recorder was for the first time in six months left unmolested as it sat recording the meeting. (See “Video of the False Arrest at Santa Cruz City Council ” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/03/18755258.php )

TICKETS OUTNUMBER COMPLAINTS 8-1 BUT COMMITTEE NOT INTERESTED IN SEEING THE CITATIONS
None of the Committee was interested in actually looking at the statistic around marijuana arrests. Why were the police doing 8 times more ticketing/arresting for marijuana than there were calls for service around that issue? Member Coral Brune couldn’t get a second for her motion to ask to see the actual fifty marijuana citations and arrest reports. Before rubberstamping the summary and conclusions of Assistant to the Assistant City Manager Scott Collins that the SCPD were “in compliance”. In essence they took the SCPD’s word for it.
However, MC 9.84.060(1)(e) actually reads: “Responsibilities of the committee shall include: submitting written reports semi-annually to the Santa Cruz City Council on the implementation of this ordinance, … These reports shall include but not necessarily be limited to: the number of all arrests, citations, property seizures, and prosecutions for marijuana offenses in the city of Santa Cruz; the breakdown of all marijuana arrests and citations by race, age, specific charge, and classification as infraction, misdemeanor, or felony; the percentage of all arrests in the city of Santa Cruz that are for adult marijuana offenses.”
The only provision that was actually followed was the final section which requires the reports to include “any instances of law enforcement activity that the committee believes violated the lowest law enforcement priority policy”–where everyone took the SCPD’s word that that number was zero.
I couldn’t figure out whether most of the Committee members were being cagey, cowardly or just clueless in willfully ignoring the requirements of the law (passed by the voters after being rejected by City Council back in 2006).  I suspect that exaggerated respect for and/or apprehension of the police played its usual role.

VICTIMS OF POLICE ABUSE CAN CONTACT THE COMMITTEE IN SIX MONTHS
One member afterwards–the only one who actually stopped to talk with me–actually told me that he didn’t want to examine police records unless he received credible reports of violations. When I told him that as a radio broadcaster I’d received such reports of homeless people being ticketed for marijuana on private property (though admittedly outdoors), he suggested they “come to the next meeting” That would be in six months, I told him. No, he insisted, we meet ever three months. I showed him the minutes of the last meeting–since the Committee meets twice yearly. On several occasions the members don’t bother to show up or City Council members left their seats vacant.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
To his credit, at Coral’s request Collins arranged to have a recording of the meeting–something David Terrazas–head of the Public Safety Committee twice refused to do. Terazzas’s committee excreted one anti-homeless law after another last year.
To his discredit, Collins suggested that getting the police to release the 50 marijuana citations from the last six months would be “burdensome” and “costly” and “time-consuming”. The Committee ignored my testimony that I regularly got such information from the police department–which didn’t seem to bankrupt them or prompt wails of dismay.

HOW MUCH MONEY IS THE SCPD USING FOR MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT? DON’T ASK!
Other motions presented by Brune were dismissed as “beyond the purview” of the Committee that “might require an opinion of the City Attorney.” These included  a request to find out what grants or funding sources the SCPD gets that are used for any kind of marijuana enforcement. This is actually explicitly authorized if not required by MC 9.84.050(2) (e) of Measure K which states: “Responsibilities of the committee shall include…the estimated time and money spent by the city on law enforcement and punishment for adult marijuana offenses.”
Another one turned down without a second or a vote was “how much is spent for marijuana arrest and citations?” Another action authorized by the law.

ARRESTING HOMELESS PEOPLE? NOT INTERESTED.
Brune also asked that Collins provide a breakdown of arrests that include marijuana as an additional offense and the number of citations given homeless people in their campers (private property which the SCPD is supposed to give lowest enforcement priority to.
Brune also called for researching the proportion of service calls (i.e. marijuana complaints) to marijuana citations. The latter outnumber the former by a factor of 8 to 1, indicating that the SCPD is doing such citing without a complaint in most of the cases. This was ignored.

A PRIVATE PERSON HAS TO DO WHAT A CITY-FUNDED COMMITTEE REFUSES TO DO
Brune noted she’d filed her own Public Records Act request to get the stats, which I’ll ask her to post publicly so the community can do the job that the Measure K Committee declines to do.
Collins and other Committee members hastily moved to distance themselves from her action–suggesting that any criticism of our armed Drug War Enforcers was just not cricket.

HASSLED IN CONNECTION WITH MARIJUANA ON PRIVATE PROPERTY IF YOU’RE OVER 21?
Please contact me with any instances of harassment for marijuana use, possession, transportation, sales, or purchase on private property. That means on any piece of private property whether open to the public or not, as far as I know. E-mail rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com or call me at 831-423-4833. I will pass on these concerns to the Committee (via Brune) as well as make them public on Free Radio Santa Cruz.
The “Semi-Annual” Report which the Committee approved can be found at http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/10/05/semiannualreport_draft_june14_for_october_meetring.pdf

To read further critical background on the Measure K Committee, follow the links at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/05/18762458.php

 

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Marijuana Enforcement in Santa Cruz: What’s Going On?

NOTES BY NORSE:  Homeless people are on the front-lines of the “War on Marijuana’ which is actually a war on people, often poor people, who use it for medication and recreation.   Over the last few years marijuana arrests have been increasing nationwide.  It’s not clear what’s happening in Santa Cruz.  But with the hyped up Needlemania that’s the favorite sport and sellingpoint for right-wing politicians and activists, it’s important that those who want to put in a bid for sanity speak up.
                        The local Measure K Commission was created as part of a push to legalize marijuana statewide back in 2006.  It has historically been stacked with pro-police Commissioners or left without a quorum and its reports have essentially been rubberstamps of the police department’s own claims with no closer scrutiny.  It’s not likely tomorrow’s meeting will be much different.
                         However, Commissioner Coral Brune apparently has different ideas. Come tomorrow at 5:30 PM to City Hall and find out.
Title: Measure K Commission Meets
START DATE: Monday October 06
TIME: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Location Details:
809 Center St. in City Council Chambers in Santa Cruz
Event Type: Meeting
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address RNORSE3 [at] HOTMAiL.COM
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar PMB 14B Santa Cruz CA 95060
The Measure K Commission was created by voter initiative in 2006 to ensure that the Santa Cruz Police Department make Enforcement of the Drug War laws against Marijuana the lowest priority for adults on public property not involved in driving a motor vehicle. 

A dirty deal done by the SCPD and City Attorney’s Office six months after the measure was voted in de-fanged the Measure, but it can still be a sounding board for those fighting to stop Marijuana Prohibition madness. 

Measure K Commissioner Coral Brune has asked members of the public to support her in uncovering more fully how the SCPD has been operating around marijuana enforcement. 

She also would like those who have been harassed, hassled, ticketed, arrested, or otherwise accosted by police around marijuana in the last year to come to the meeting to tell their story to the Commission. 

If you can’t make it, leave a message with contact information at 423-4833, and I”ll convey it to Coral. 

Earlier stories on the Measure K Commission’s decline into senility can be found athttp://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/10/08/18452900.php ["Gutted and Depleted Measure K Commission Meets Tonight 6 PM (10/8)] 
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/14/18461217.php ["Crippled Measure K ("Lowest Priority Enforcement Marijuana by SCPD") meets 6 PM today"] 
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/01/19/18564535.php ["Rump Measure K Committee Excludes Public Comment, Loses Audio Tape"] 
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/16/18601993.php?show_comments=1#18618768 
["The Measure K Oversight Committee Meeting of June 15, 2009"] 

Monterey Sitting Ban Denies Homeless The Right to Rest During Business Hours

NORSE’S NOTES:  Following in the pawprints of its elder bigoted brother Santa Cruz to the North, Monterey has reversed itself from a similar proposal a year ago and passed a Sitting Ban that is somewhat less stringent.  In 2013, a big turnout of homeless activists, housed supporters, and social service providers sent a similar Ban back to the staff, from which it has emerged zombie-like to stalk the homeless community.
                    The Monterey law, unlike the Santa Cruz law applies only from 7 AM to 9 PM, mirroring a similar law proposed (but defeated) in Berkeley. Santa Cruz’s Sitting Ban is 24-hours long (MC 9.50.012).  Like the Monterey law, Santa Cruz’s was passed with no stats proving any kind of meaningful business concerns other than the anxieties of post-earthquake Santa Cruz and the special interests of merchants, then lead by Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Neal Coonerty.
                      The sitting ban and the smoking ban are the primarily weapon used by Officer Barnett against homeless people downtown (See “Report from SCPD Corner” and the Barnett ticket citation record at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/09/18/barnett_cites.pdf ).

On Monday in Monterey, sitting on the sidewalk was still OK but by Wednesday, you could be facing a citation from police for doing the same.

“They are interfering with my business,” said Joseph Aiello of people who he says are often sitting around outside his jewelry store.

The idea of a sit-lie ordinance has been a long time coming for Aiello and his business. He says that people loitering outside his shop deters potential customers.

“When they see panhandlers out on the street, they feel uncomfortable and therefore, they walk by real fast to get to where they are going,” said Aiello.

Starting Wednesday, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., officers have the authority to tell people to get up from the sidewalk in downtown, Cannery Row and along Fremont Street.

The first offense is a warning.

“For the next 30 days, that warning stays in effect and if you are found doing it again you get a citation,” Monterey police said.

Officers insist they won’t just be targeting homeless individuals.

“If this is something that is applied and and targets a specific group of people, we’re gonna catch a lot of flack for that,” said Monterey Police Chief Phil Penko.  “The application is the key.”

Penko say he hopes his department doesn’t have to write a single ticket even though Aiello says his business, a staple on Alvarado Street for the last 30 years, is in trouble and the loitering isn’t helping.

“The downtown businesses are struggling, struggling to stay in business and it does not help or improve having them always on the street,” said Aiello. “

There are exceptions to this rule -you may sit on the sidewalk if you have a medical emergency, are attending a parade or festival, or you’re in a wheel chair or baby stroller.

Here is the full text of the ordinance:

In response to increased complaints regarding safety concerns created by obstructed sidewalks, the Monterey City Council adopted Monterey City Code §32-6.2. This ordinance, which goes into effect October 1, 2014, prohibits sitting or lying down on the sidewalk in front of property designated on the General Plan map for mixed use areas (see map) between 7:00 a.m.  and 9:00 pm.

The ordinance contains exceptions for people: (1) experiencing a medical emergency, (2) using a wheelchair or other device for mobility; (3) for people sitting on a public bench or bus stop; (4) operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on the public sidewalk pursuant to an encroachment permit (e.g., a sidewalk café); (5) participating in or attending a parade, etc. with an event permit or other applicable permit; and (6) a child seated in a stroller. It also requires that no person will be cited without first being given a warning by a peace officer that he/she is violating this section. One warning given by a peace officer is sufficient for a 30 day period for subsequent violations.

Police officers have been actively working to inform people in the designated business districts.

 

On Monday in Monterey, sitting on the sidewalk was still OK but by Wednesday, you could befacing a citation from police for doing the same.

“They are interfering with my business,” said Joseph Aiello of people who he says are often sitting around outside his jewelry store.

The idea of a sit-lie ordinance has been a longtime coming for Aiello and his business. He says that people loitering outside his shop deters potential customers.

“When they see panhandlers out on the street, they feel uncomfortable and therefore, they walk by real fast to get to where they are going,” said Aiello.

Starting Wednesday, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., officers have the authority to tell people to get up from the sidewalk in downtown, Cannery Row and along Fremont Street.

The first offense is a warning.

“For the next 30 days, that warning stays in effect and if you are found doing it again you get a citation,” Monterey police said.

Officers insist they won’t just be targeting homeless individuals.

“If this is something that is applied and and targets a specific group of people, we’re gonna catch a lot of flack for that,” said Monterey Police Chief Phil Penko.  “The application is the key.”

Penko say he hopes his department doesn’t have to write a single ticket even though Aiello says his business, a staple on Alvarado Street for the last 30 years, is in trouble and the loitering isn’t helping.

“The downtown businesses are struggling, struggling to stay in business and it does not help or improve having them always on the street,” said Aiello. “

There are exceptions to this rule -you may sit on the sidewalk if you have a medical emergency, are attending a parade or festival, or you’re in a wheel chair or baby stroller.

Here is the full text of the ordinance:

 

In response to increased complaints regarding safety concerns created by obstructed sidewalks, the Monterey City Council adopted Monterey City Code §32-6.2. This ordinance, which goes into effect October 1, 2014, prohibits sitting or lying down on the sidewalk in front of property designated on the General Plan map for mixed use areas (between 7:00 a.m.  and 9:00 pm.

 

The ordinance contains exceptions for people: (1) experiencing a medical emergency, (2) using a wheelchair or other device for mobility; (3) for people sitting on a public bench or bus stop; (4) operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on the public sidewalk pursuant to an encroachment permit (e.g., a sidewalk café); (5) participating in or attending a parade, etc. with an event permit or other applicable permit; and (6) a child seated in a stroller. It also requires that no person will be cited without first being given a warning by a peace officer that he/she is violating this section. One warning given by a peace officer is sufficient for a 30 day period for subsequent violations.

Police officers have been actively working to inform people in the designated business districts.

 

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