Library Board to Consider Restrictive New Policies that Impact Homeless People (& You)

by Robert Norse ( rnorse3 [at] )
Friday Nov 30th, 2012 10:12 AM

On Monday December 3rd, the Library Joint Powers Authorities Board meets at the new Scotts Valley Library (251 Kings Village Rd.) to consider imposing new harsher policies regarding sleeping in the library, “smelling bad”, service animals, & unattended property. The matter was raised at a November meeting, but postponed according to Sentinel writer J.M. Brown (See
Libraries are a last refuge for homeless people and folks should demand expansion not contraction of access there.

According to Board member (and outgoing City Council member) Katherine Beiers (pronounced Buy-ers), the meeting is at the new library at 6:30 PM. Beiers office phone is 420-5024. Her home phone is 426-6108. Her e-mail is kbeiers [at] In a phone interview over the radio yesterday, she said she’d not yet read her packet, but that John Barisone, City Attorney-for-Life will be there.

In the last several years, a First Alarm goon has taken to patrolling the library and library grounds, provoking complaints from one homeless patron that the burly wannabe cop followed him into the restroom to monitor his weewee. Benches have been removed. The area around the library has been made a “no trespass” zone after 9:30 PM or so. it seems to bel part of the “make Santa Cruz less welcoming” pogrom. Plus the police and their pals in the private “security” racket are empowered to interrogate, hassle,cite, and or arrest if homeless don’t show proper respect and deference and jump through the right hoops.

There are no stats in the staff report itemizing the number of complaints received in the last year about the offending behaviors, how many people have been suspended or appealed, and why the current policy isn’t workable.

It’s similar to what happened when the law banning people from assembling in parking garages and lots was passed at the behest of outgoing Councilmember Ryan “Constitution for Dinner” Coonerty. No indication of a greater crime problem, but more police power to harass being granted–which is now being selectively used to target “suspicious” people (i.e. poor and homeless people).

With the four-fold increase in ticketing and concurrent survival gear destruction against homeless people on the levee, in the parks, and in the Pogonip to satisfy the Take-Back-Santa-Cruz bigots, the anti-protest curfews at City Hall, the County Building, and the Courts, the new forbidden zones adjacent to the levee, as well as the creation of 14′ “no go” zones around the big red Imagine anti-panhandling meters downtown–this library crackdown is another attack on poor and homeless people. Which is not clearly a response to real problems–at least, those problems are not articulated.

Demand there be a delay until homeless people and advocates can be contacted and consulted. And until real information is available about the real need for them.

APPEAL FROM HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom)
Becky Johnson sent out the following letter:

Dear HUFF members and friends,
At our Nov 21st meeting, HUFF passed a resolution urging HUFF members to attend the next two meetings of the Library Joint Powers Board re: new policies being considered which fundamentally change the haven-nature our libraries have come to function as in a world of ever diminishing social services where need is increasing, not diminishing.
Rules against backpacks, smells, sleeping, use of public space after hours etc. need to be carefully assessed.
The next meeting is at the Scotts Valley Branch of the Library on Monday, Dec 3 from 6:30PM – 8:30PM.
The next meeting is Jan 14th 2013 @ the SC Main Branch Library fro 6:30PM to 8:30PM.
Also: Please send a letter in advance to the members of the Board:

Dick English rpenglish [at]
Leigh Poitinger Vice Chair lpoitinger [at]
Nancy Gerdt ngerdt45 [at]
David Terrazas dterrazas [at]
Jim Reed jimreedsv [at]
Katherine Beiers kbeiers [at]
Sam Storey Chair samforcapitola [at]
Ellen Pirie ellen.pirie [at]
Mark Stone mark.stone [at]

Please post any responses you get or letters you write on line or send a copy to me at rnorse3 [at] . The reading area you save may be your own!

§Staff Report Continued

by Robert Norse Friday Nov 30th, 2012 10:12 AM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Observer

Friday Nov 30th, 2012 12:59 PM

Why on earth should the library grounds not be closed after 9:30PM? It’s a library, not a park or homeless shelter.

by G

Friday Nov 30th, 2012 3:39 PM

Instead of yet more selective persecution and overpriced security theater; how about outing some real criminals that break real laws for real dollar amounts?

Oh, right, those gangsters run things, never mind.

by sane person

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 12:01 PM

A library is NOT a homeless shelter. It is no longer a safe environment for kids. Also, the smell IS becoming unbearable in there. Look what happened in Berkeley. Santa Cruz Library is going the same way.

by sane person

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 5:34 PM

Also, it is Norse’s own projection that “smelling bad” is some kind of monopoly held by homeless people. I know housed people who smell awful and homeless people who do their best to find access to regular showers.

It is typical of how he ACTUALLY views homeless folks that he ASSUMES that “smelling bad”= homeless. I don’t care who is stinking up the place: take a shower, stinkies!

Either way, I support the Homeless Services Center to help out the homeless. I support County Health to fund health for the poor. I support the EDD to find jobs for the unemployed. I support the LIBRARY TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO FREE BOOKS AND MEDIA TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, THAT’S THEIR JOB AND THEIR ONLY JOB! That’s it, that’s all they have to do. And Norse, you want to make their job harder.

In SLO, they have figured out a humane and friendly way to deal with this issue…

In Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, patrons who smell are not simply shown the door, McGee and Macias said. They are provided with a means of correcting the problem.

“We seldom have to ask someone to leave,” McGee said. “It rarely happens. If it does we’re very careful to give coupons about where they can wash their clothes or take a shower. We do it in as humane a way as possible.”

by John E. Colby

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 6:31 PM

If the library grounds are arbitrarily closed at 9:30 P.M., then I will no longer be able to return books after business hours, after 9:30 P.M. That doesn’t seem right. Another abridgment of a right of access in order to harass the homeless.

by sane person

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 7:59 PM

Where is it stated in library rules that you may not drop books through a drop slot after 9:30, Mr. Cohen? I have not heard that before. I only see it in Norse’s statement, and he is clearly not a credible, reliable source.

by Robert Norse

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 9:58 PM

The posted hours forbid being on library property after 9:30 PM or thereabouts. So, yes, it’s technically illegal to return books late at night through the outdoor slot. Just as its illegal to try to go read the City Council agenda after 10:30 PM at its posted spot outside City Council chambers.

You’re only likely to be hassled, however, if you linger to rest on one of the few remaining benches, or perhaps try to use the lone payphone there and look raggedy. Or sit with your laptop nearby using the library wi-fi “after hours”. The last actually happened to Craig Canada even before the new “no trespassing at night” hours were posted in the late summer of 2010.

Public areas are places where everyone should have the right to “hang out”–bums, bigots, blowhards–you name it.

The exclusionary policy at night isn’t a matter of setting hours for “doing business” at all, but for the bad business of running off homeless people who socialize, rest, and seek mutual companionship there away from the hassles of Pacific Avenue. Naturally bigots (those who term homeless people “bums”) don’t have any problem excluding the poor. Hopefully the rest of us do.

Also the “no trespassing at night” policy was not subject to any kind of public input or debate. No showing of a need for it was made. It was cooked up in secret between the police chief Kevin Vogel, the head of parks and rec Dannettee Shoemaker(who controls these spaces outdoors), the mayor (Coonerty at the time), and City Manager Bernal. Or so I was told by Shoemaker in August of 2010.

I spoke with Council members and Library Board members Beiers and Terrazas at the Homelessness Summit earlier today. Beiers had no idea how she was going to vote; Terrazas neither. Neither seemed to know what the rules were currently and to what extent the rules were being changed as well as what specific evidence had been provided to show that such a change was necessary or beneficial. I suggest people e-mail them at their above addresses.

Beiers promised to “try” to forward me a set of the current rules and how they’d be changed. Terrazas evaded repeated attempts to get a meeting time, saying he had no time until late Monday afternoon (when it probably wouldn’t make any difference, since that’s right before the meeting). He did reluctantly indicate a willingness to be accessible after 3 PM on Monday.

E-mail them and other board members. Demand to know the specific complaints that have led to both the current proposed changes, and whether the earlier “forbidden zones at night” homeless-begone proposals went through their board formally or informally. Also urge that the library property be declared open at night. It’s already a crime to sleep there, cover up with blankets, or set up camping equipment with the intention of remaining overnight.

And when will the benches be restored to the sides of the building?

Ask the questions. Demand the answers.

I’ve never had smell problems with anyone in the library (again, where are the reports?). But the stench of bigotry hangs heavy over some of the comments.

by Robert Norse

Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 10:06 PM

If you agree with these concerns, e-mail library board members…

Library Board to Consider Restrictive New Policies
that Impact Homeless People (& You)

Monday December 3rd 6:30 PM , the Library Joint Powers Authorities Board meets at the new Scotts Valley Library (251 Kings Village Rd.) to consider imposing new harsher policies regarding sleeping in the library, “smelling bad”, service animals, & unattended property. Libraries are a last refuge for homeless people and folks should demand expansion not contraction of access there.

There are no stats in the staff report itemizing the number of complaints received in the last year about the offending behaviors, how many people have been suspended or appealed, and why the current policy isn’t workable.
It’s similar to what happened when the law banning people from assembling in parking garages and lots was passed at the behest of outgoing Council member Ryan “Constitution for Dinner” Coonerty. No indication of a greater crime problem, but more police power to harass—now being selectively used to target “suspicious” people (i.e. poor and homeless people).

EXPANSION OF EARLIER CRACKDOWN $80,000 funds a First Alarm goon patrolling the library and grounds, provoking complaints from one homeless patron that the burly wannabe cop followed him into the restroom to monitor his weewee. Benches have been removed. The area around the library has been made a “no trespass” zone after 9:30 PM–part of the “make Santa Cruz less welcoming to people experiencing homeless” agenda. Police and security thugs can now interrogate, hassle,cite, and or arrest if homeless don’t show proper respect and deference and jump through the right hoops for being there.

PART OF A BROADER CRACKDOWN There is a four-fold increase in ticketing and concurrent survival gear destruction against homeless people on the levee, in the parks, and in the Pogonip (to respond to bogus security concerns). Also new: the anti-Occupy curfews at City Hall, the County Building, and the Courts, the new forbidden zones adjacent to the levee, as well as the creation of 14′ “no go” zones around the big red Imagine anti-panhandling meters downtown, This library crackdown adding new library rules is another fashionable attack on poor and homeless people.

FIGHT BACK Demand restoration of the library as a welcoming space! Document and make public the real complaints and delay until homeless people and advocates can be contacted and consulted. And until real information is available about the real need for them.

HUFF resolution: Attend the next two meetings of the Board, The new policies fundamentally change the haven-nature our libraries have come to function as in a world of ever diminishing social services where need is increasing, not diminishing. Rules against backpacks, smells, sleeping, use of public space after hours etc. need to be carefully assessed.

Send a letter this weekend to the members of the Board:

Sam Storey Chair samforcapitola [at] Leigh Poitinger Vice Chair lpoitinger [at]
Nancy Gerdt ngerdt45 [at] David Terrazas dterrazas [at]
Jim Reed jimreedsv [at] Katherine Beiers kbeiers [at]
Ellen Pirie ellen.pirie [at] Dick English rpenglish [at]
Mark Stone mark.stone [at]

by .h

Sunday Dec 2nd, 2012 9:45 AM

since I left California… the inequality between upper-middle class, working class, and destitute classes in California is even more prominent. (there is such a small middle class). It would be easy to have an attitude that the people with money to afford housing in Santa Cruz should be confronted as often as possible about the situations of other people. However, the problem is that this can’t even be addressed at the individual level. Individual homeowners who are bothered by not being able to use the library or go downtown can’t go home and do anything about it. And I find that many computer programmers/doctors and so forth are fairly aware of social problems, (except for a few who embrace Ayn Rand type principles), even if they aren’t quite motivated to a radical solution yet. Even if the city of Santa Cruz decided to spend more on ‘charity’ like food banks and shelters, there is an endless tide of more destitute people. The high price of even a room in a slum apartment ($700 or more) results from the fact that this region has a lot of jobs where people are paid six figure salaries for their labor (plus people with investment income) and this drives up prices for everyone else, down to the immigrants working under minimum wage.
There is no easy solution, but I’m personally terrified by the fact that we’re technically still in the recession, and we can only expect the economy in San Francisco and Silicon valley to rev up more in the next year, and what happens when prices get even more expensive??

by John E. Colby

Sunday Dec 2nd, 2012 9:05 PM

Santa Cruz’s campaign against the homeless, stoked by the Sentinel/Patch and driven by a hate filled group of angry bigots, bears some similarities to the Nazi’s cleansing of German society of what they called degenerates and undesirables. One should be mindful before one joins this campaign how far it might go and where it might end.

by Observer

Sunday Dec 2nd, 2012 10:42 PM

“… it’s technically illegal to return books late at night through the outdoor slot…
You’re only likely to be hassled, however, if you linger to rest on one of the few remaining benches…”

Because ‘lingering on the benches’ has nothing to do with returning a library book. It’s a library, not a shelter.

by Observant

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 12:59 AM

LOL. Couldn’t have said it better. I’m fairly certain that if one were to go return a book through a slot at 10 pm, no one would look askance, regardless of the comportment of the returner. It’s when this turns into a multitasking exercise (as in, “Honey, I’m going to step out to return “Voyage of The Beagle” and then I’m going to sleep on the benches outside the Library till 6 am, after which I’ll take a crap in the bush by the north entrance. See you in the morning!”) that one invites scrutiny.

I know, I know. It’s selective enforcement. Go ahead and shoot me.

by Gross exaggeration

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 8:24 AM

“Nazi cleansing”..because the community grows tired of having a small band of transients monopolize the library? Oh please. You’re going to compare telling a couple of bums, who often smell odious and use the building for a sleeping lounge and bathing area as opposed to its intended purpose….and compare that to Nazi cleansing?

*lol* You’ve lost your perspective.

by Sylvia

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 11:01 AM

Some people use the library as a daytime shelter, warmth, bathrooms, … Some of those people have trouble with rules and regulation and the library has hired a security person to patrol and be available. And tonight the board is considering more limitations on behavior and appearance. I see an opportunity for Occupy Santa Cruz to organize itself, be available in shifts, reach out, provide individual personal support, find out what’s lacking in the available supports.

by John E. Colby

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 4:38 PM

If you read my post as it was meant to be, you would realize that I am referring to the Santa Cruz campaign against the homeless in total, not just at the library. Santa Cruz is trying to vilify and erase the homeless from the community and public spaces. If you read about what the Nazis did just after they came to power the campaigns bear striking similarities.

by Observant

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 7:36 PM

Unlike you guys, I don’t have a fascination with the Nazis, nor do I draw any specific parallels between them and contemporary social policy. Could you please elaborate on why you feel that what the Nazis did to gypsys, homosexuals, Jews and so on – things such as forced labor and extermination in concentration camps – sees a modern day equivalent in the Santa Cruz City Council telling people to take a shower, leave the library at 9:30 pm and to stop crapping in the bushes? It really seems like an astounding leap of logic to jump from the former to the latter.

Really, what, besides dramatic emphasis, supports your position?

by John E. Colby

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 9:47 PM

Here’s a history lesson for you. Homeless people were targeted by the Nazis to die in concentration camps.

by Robert Norse

Monday Dec 3rd, 2012 10:26 PM

Nazis didn’t begin with forced labor camps, but rather by proscribing classes of people. That, I think, is the point of the comparison. When you deny people the right to sleep at night, the right to assemble in public, the right to show their wares, the right to use public services, etc., you start down that long road. Which is what Santa Cruz (and other cities) are doing (and have done for a number of years).

It’s maliciously deceptive to misdescribe the rule changes as “telling people to take a shower, leave the library at 9:30 pm and to stop crapping in the bushes”. It’s a matter of driving the homeless out of town–the library closes much earlier, but the grounds are now forbidden after 9:30 PM–specifically to deny homeless people a traditional place of refuge. Ditto with the removal of the benches. Crap in the bushes? Haven’t heard specific complaints, but I wouldn’t be surprised since public bathrooms close at night. Surprised why people fall asleep in libraries when it’s illegal to sleep at night? I’m not.

More upbeat, however, was the 5-4 decision of the Library Board to defeat a proposal to add a Sleeping Ban to its lilbrary policy. This was unexpected until the very last moment. Katherine Beiers, who dissented from the broader motion supporting harsher policies against “rule breakers” (rules being things like having unattended property, smelling bad, and having a dog in the library), moved to divide the question, and finally got a substitute motion passed over the confusion of David Terazzas, which passed everything but the Sleeping Ban.

The Sleeping Ban was then proposed as a separate motion (with pretexts like sleepers were “in the way”, “misusing the library for a purpose for which it was not intended”, “discomforting others”, “blocking access” and other pretexts that ignored the basic “they make us uncomfortable and we want a simple rule to exclude them”). Based on the general silence seeming to give consent to the Ban, this seemed like it would be Beiers alone, but Samuel Story gave an eloquent statement, and others apparently jumped on board. For once, the staff didn’t get their way.

But the victory was only on that one issue–and perhaps because the issue was what each speaker focused on–how libraries were sanctuaries, how there’d been a host of anti-homeless rules around the library, how the city-wide sleeping ban added insult to injury, how winter and Xmas time was the wrong time to bring the hammer down, etc. Apparently it all had an impact.

Of course, the staff got a new policy that allows for much longer suspensions for a variety of rules that weren’t available for the public to read (there was no agenda packet available for the public). There was also a peculiar process that didn’t allow public comment on any staff items, except, suddenly, the new policies issue, which was packaged as a “staff report” and not as an action item. I tried to raise this, but was silenced by Story, the chair of the meeting.

I did speak with Teresa, the chief librarian who was pushing these restrictive rules, saying that the existing policy just allowed for a 30-day suspension followed by a restraining order (that’s now changed, and there can be much longer suspensions after the 4th warning). When I asked her how many people came back to repeat the policy after being suspended for thirty days, she had no stats or figures. she did say that they’d only issued one restraining order this year but that was because her staff was “heavily burdened”.

Another member of the public objected on a different issue that the library had failed to provide a copy of the prior agenda on request, insisting that he fill out a written public records act request and wait 10 days because of “staff problems”.

All very arrogant and unlikely–showing again that rules (as when the Homeless Lack of Services Center was closed–and remains closed) to “non-business” assembly during the day it was for the convenience of the staff. Upside down logic since the staff are supposed to be serving the public. But chillingly similar to why the Parking Lot Paranoia law (banning people from reading books in their cars in city parking lots, or gathering in a parking lot)—as Ryan Coonerty explained it–to accommodate city staff complaints (as well as the anxieties of his employees at the Bookshop Santa Cruz).

Still, it showed that liberals like to keep the pretty make-up on, particularly if enough people show up to challenge the latest civil rights seizure. I admit that I even applauded and thanked John Leopold (who actually proposed the motion to ban sleeping, but voting not to do so).

Nice work, Occupy Santa Cruz activists (all the critics were from Occupy Santa Cruz, and all over 50). Now we have to plan for the next library sleep-in when we receive reports of people being suspended from the library for objecting when they’re told to leave their backpacks outside to be stolen.

by Observant

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 1:34 AM

It seems to me that what is maliciously deceptive is to characterize the application of common sense and traditional societal mores to this situation as somehow akin to, or a precursor of, the act of executing homeless people in a concentration camp. And I’m using the term “traditional” in an unadulterated sense, invoking as I am millennia-old societal boundaries in society. Using the term to describe an out-of-control drum circle at the Farmers Market (thank you, Nesh and Lulu’s for decisively stomping that out) or a runaway problem with people sleeping and showering in the library, things that developed over the past 10 or 20 years, is delusional at best, and deceptive at worst.

That hyperlink is bad, but I get the point. It’s not that I don’t know the history. What I don’t follow are these massive leaps of logic. You are simply not making a convincing case that a concentration camp is in store for us in the future, near or distant.

You guys don’t like rules and boundaries, except for your sworn enemies. This is a sociopathic mindset that I’d venture traces its roots back to your failed and continuing adolescence. Your parents should have corrected this with a strong regimen of discipline. It’s too late for that at this point, unfortunately, so we now have to all deal with it, I suppose.

I’d still really like to hear a convincing argument from you guys about how closing the library grounds at 9:30 pm today is going to result in the future establishment of a modern-day Dachau in the Santa Cruz city limits. Not a metaphorical concentration camp, but an actual one, where Ryan Coonerty dons a Wehrmacht uniform and charges about gassing people like Linda Lemaster, Shane Maxfield, Donna Deiss and White Dove.

I’m not holding my breath, though.

In response to Norse critics: Here is a version of a respected saying by Pastor Martin Niemoeller, 1892-1984 (googol “First they came”, then see the Wikipedia entry):

“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

“When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

“When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

“When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

“When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.”

–Lydia Blanchard

by Sylvia

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 9:03 AM

I think the Brown Act governs boards and commissions. I think it’s a violation of good process to take an action on a staff report recommendation that isn’t explicitly listed on the public agenda. It’s a good thing Robert and others are tracking this. It takes a lot of diligence to follow our electeds and their appointees.

The Mental Health Advisory Board used the same kind of strategy to hide the plans for spending $13 million on a local Psychiatric Health Facility.

Naming and shaming draws public attention and protest. Providing listening and support one on one could detour around any regulations, arguably make enough impact to quell the librarians.

by grounded in reality

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 9:20 AM

You’re evading and still not answering a very direct question, Robert. Can you answer Observant and articulate an intellectual, non-evasive equivalence between the given rules of operation for the library and executing 8 million people? Do you think continually avoiding civil discourse in lieu of extreme soap-box hyperbole helps or hinders your credibility and, ultimately, your cause?

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 10:25 AM

As usual,critics with questions or denunciations are invited to call in to my radio show where this matter will be discussed at greater length. They rarely do, but the opportunity is there. See times and numbers above.

It’s clear however that criminalizing poor people outside engaged in survival behavior and repeatedly restricting the space that they’re allowed to use is at the very least a way of making folks unwelcome. Given the high death rate for homeless folks each year, it also impacts their health and safety since the ability to gather in groups and shelter oneself, or even to rest, impacts those conditions. This seems to me so obvious as to be beyond dispute, but those who defend the evil laws and procedures that perpetuate and aggravate these conditions needs some rationale, so they find it where they can.

These issues were a key factor in the dissent on the Library Board last night around approving a Sleeping Ban in the library (aside from it’s being a break not just with traditional Santa Cruz library policy, but a break with library policy historically nationwide (as articulated by several former librarians who spoke).

The Board made no objection to the public-excluding procedures used around missing information, missing agendas, strange itemizing as action items under “staff reports”, and an unequal treatment of public comment (only allowed for one “staff report” item).

David Terazzas seemed particularly clueless and unhelpful–a Ryan Coonerty in training–at this meeting. Neither he nor Beiers provided any information prior to the meeting. Beiers redeemed herself in a small way by expressing a dissent on the Sleeping Ban issue, which led to a general retreat on that issue. However, more broadly she empowered the library to impose much harsher penalties on “rules violations”.

For those familiar with the Downtown Ordinances, we know how this kind of authority has been beern abused.

The only legitimate basis for being asked to leave the library (much less suspension) is actual disruption that interferes with other patrons. This should be and probably is decided on a case-by-case basis. However the new powers granted staff provide much more room for mischief. Patrons uncomfortable with the sight or scent of homeless people may now feel empowered to create a gated zone, regardless of the wishes of the staff–given the modified suspension procedures and new “unattended property”and “bad smell” rules. “It’s the rule!” after all.

I don’t necessarily think that’s what the library staff were trying to do or want to do in the future, but the rules passed may allow for that. A “rules violation” is much different than a patron complaining about being interfered with in a real and tangible way that can’t be resolved peacefully at the time. “Rules violations” are used by control freaks to impose a repressive kind of order and exact punishments when there are no real problems other than someone squeaking “you’re not obeying the rules”.

Draconian authority to enforce rules is an evil thing. It also creates a darker kind of climate which improperly and unwisely empowers people in positions of power or makes them subject to malicious manipulation.

Since no record of the actual complaints, suspensions, repeat problems, was made available to the Board last night, I’m following up with a Public Records Act request. PHONE At last night’s meeting, the public was told to “go on line” to read the agenda packet (which didn’t contain the actual complaint history in any detail nor how effective suspensions were).

Another member of the public complained about getting stonewalled when he previously asked for a copy of the prior agenda and minutes–on an issue entirely unrelated to the Spank-the-Homeless issue–told by Teresa Landers, Library Boss, that he’d have to wait 10 days and make a written public records act request because of “staff problems”.

Teresa is the head cheese at the library (Director of the Libraries) apparently responsible only to the Library Joint Powers Board (the group that met last night). Not sure who hires and fires her or what her salary is–might be worth looking into. She told me she’s been around for 3 1/2 years.

She seemed to be the driving force behind these changes–but that was only my impression and I only spoke with her briefly. Still she seemed quite adamant. Full disclosure: working library staff members that I’ve seen at the front desk of the main library were supportive of her changes when she called for their opinions. As with City Council’s staff “experts”, she seemed good at leading the Board around.

As a special treat, city attorney John Barisone was there, helping to smooth over the wrinkles in the “eliminate the unworthy” from library use.

Teresa’s e-mail is landerst [at] Her phone number is 831-427-7706 X7612 (hours 8 AM to 5 PM).

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 10:28 AM

I e-mailed this off about an hour ago. Teresa has 10 days to reply (unless she seeks an extension).

From: rnorse3 [at]
To: landerst [at]

Subject: Public Records Act Request
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 09:46:10 -0800

To whom It May Concern:

Please provide access to all copies of complaints against patrons at all branches of the Public Library system from Jan 1, 2012 through the present as well as any records, e-mails, statements, written, audio, or visual regarding library policies impacting library rules that might result in a warning or suspension of library access. This would include communications to and from the public, public officials, police, security agencies, and any other group or person around this issue.

Please also provide access to copies of all agendas and minutes of the Board’s meetings through 2012.

I prefer e-mail access to these records. In the event this is not possible, I would like to see the records prior to deciding which ones I need to copy.

Please advise me whether a hard copy of the minutes of the prior meeting and agenda packet was available at each of these meetings.

Further, please advise me as to whether action items were listed as such on the agendas.

Finally, please advise me as to whether a public comment was provided for each agenda item (as it was not at the December 3rd meeting, except for the one “staff report” item on the rule changes).

I would suggest you publicly announce all these conditions will be corrected at the next meeting or face a Brown Act complaint.

If you have any questions regarding this request, feel free to call me.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Robert Norse

by No

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 2:34 PM

…it’s time to stop demanding rights and start TAKING them. Demands have gotten us nowhere, and the TBSC yuppies won’t have any of it. They (and other anti- homeless/freedom/civil-rights groups) are TAKING from others, now it’s time to TAKE from them.

by G

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 3:43 PM

Re takings; sounds like The Prince v Discourses On Livy…

by As expected

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 5:50 PM

Mr. Norse’s comparison of the Santa Cruz situation is both odious and laughable. Not unexpected though, as those characteristics personify him to me and many others.

Here’s why I think the comparison is unequal and a joke Mr. Norse:

1) The nazis also killed drug addicts. If that were the case in Santa Cruz?..there’d be nobody left to be passing ordinances against.

2) Last I checked, the Jews weren’t a population that was 100% dependent upon community support for their existance.

3) Last I heard, the Nazi’s weren’t funding food programs and shelters and counseling and other services to sustain Jewish existence.

Nuff said. You go right along with your odious comparisons. I think they do more damage to Santa Cruz-Homeless relationship than darn near any other single thing I can think of in Santa Cruz. But hey, you think you’re doing some good, and I think you’re sinking your own ship for me? I call that a win-win, so keep up the good work sir.

…but the “Santa Cruz enforcement is similar to Nazism” metaphor you and Colby have introduced is a joke to any right minded person.

by RazerRay

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 7:30 PM


This is currently under discussion at the Library Board where I live. One commenter on an IndyMedia post has mentioned that San Diego and another city take a principled proactive approach and give the person with the offending odor a coupon for a shower at a local facility. Also note that foul odor can be a medical condition, and in light of many city facilities requesting a fragrance-free environment from their patrons, it may make it impossible for someone with an affliction such as “Stinkfoot” (Bromhidrosis to use public facilities.

by RazerRay

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 7:46 PM

Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:

download video: frank_zappa___stinkfoot_1.mp4 (9.6MB)

The last word on stinkfoot from someone who wore his Python Boots too tight. But seriously. I had a friend who was refused enlistment in the US Navy during the Vietnam war due to this condition.

by human

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 9:25 PM

Its not right to make me feel bad for being legitly disabled. I get treated like a sub human because of it. Just cuz ure not happy with the economy doesnt mean you can treat me like a war criminal. Stop this practice. Move on with your life. You shouldn’t own pets.

by John E. Colby

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2012 11:36 PM

The Nazis targeted the homeless (“work-shy”) as degenerates and undesirables. The camps were not the beginning point of the Nazi’s campaign against their victims. They began with harassment, violence and civil rights violations. They ramped it up a bit before they reached the concentration camp stage.

A certain bigoted group of Santa Cruz residents, especially in public forums like the Sentinel comments sections, call for cleansing the homeless from our community. They say, “kick the bums out”. This kind of cleansing is not qualitatively different from the ethnic cleansing pursued in the former Yugoslavia and by the Nazis and their satellite nations in WW 2. Ethnic cleansing is the last step before genocide.

What happens when those who wish to purge Santa Cruz of the homeless are met with resistance from a homeless population that just won’t budge? I imagine increased harassment, violence and finally a mob. When organized by a neoliberal state with fascist leanings like our local government this is cleansing akin to ethnic cleansing just short of genocide. Thus I suggest that people be careful when slinging hate speech around, because it may lead to serious consequences.

at and check out the well-reasoned dispassionate comments that follow the main story. Clearly regular patrols of each individual aisle in this threatened building [expecially the Downtown Library, long a terrorist haven) are long overdue…

by Robert Norse

Thursday Dec 6th, 2012 3:07 AM

It’s not clear to me whether Rhode Island’s Homeless Bill of Rights is being effectively used to combat the Bigots’ Brigade there, but here’s activist Paul Boden’s call for supporting Ammiano’s California Homeless Bill of Rights:

by Diane

Thursday Dec 6th, 2012 4:14 AM

A homeless woman, living in her car, who had lived and worked in Santa Clara County all her liife (worked in electronics where they toss you out like so much garbage, years before retirement age in the Bay Area) was sitting quietly on a bench outside of the library (HER FRICKING LIBRARY, AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE, THAN THE PREDATOR CLASS WHO RUN SILICON VALLEY) with a homeless sign in her lap, She was not vocally soliciting money, and quite pleasant to speak with, but was inhumanely booted from the premises by an inhuman witch who worked at the library, may that woman rot in hell.

by Robert Norse

Thursday Dec 6th, 2012 10:51 AM

A sobering and saddening story from Salinas: .

This kind of violence is reportedly happening via police officers according to reports I’m getting at the Red Church on Monday nights:

Please keep your eyes open, your cameras handy, and take the time to post what you see.

Or call in to my radio show.

by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 6th, 2012 5:57 PM


Robert Norse:
This kind of violence is reportedly happening via police officers according to reports I’m getting at the Red Church on Monday nights.

The only people who actually speak to you are winos too drunk at the time to even know what happened, but like ADDICTS, it couldn’t have been their fault they turned and tried to walk away or acted combative according to the police. Seriously hostile words are certainly germane to being drunk and stoopid on the street to the best of my recollection of why I’ve punched drinkers out before myself.

“The police beat me up for no reason” is almost always a crock of shit story if one just asks simple questions.

But Robert “KNOWS” the answers, and puts them in the mouths of people which is why NO ONE should speak into his recorder at all. He’s simply a propagandist who has NO INTEREST in the veracity or safety of his sources (Ask about his dry snitching me as a potential building squatter) and he makes “Collages” of conversations which he puts on the air, with his un-verified commentary, as if it’s the truth.

Just like MSM news… and just as false.

Robert fails the “Edit Sober” test. His victims were drunk, and so is he… With disinformation.

by Observant

Friday Dec 7th, 2012 11:12 AM

From the article Robert cites:

“Anderson’s injuries were so severe that he had to be flown by air ambulance to a San Jose hospital. On Wednesday, Salinas police Officer Miguel Cabrera said Anderson is no longer in a coma. He’s still recovering at the hospital, Cabrera said”.

The article further states that Anderson was beaten “nearly to death”.

Now, here’s Robert Norse:

“This kind of violence is reportedly happening via police officers according to reports I’m getting at the Red Church on Monday nights”.

Really, Robert? So you say that Santa Cruz police officers are beating people nearly to death at the Red Church, and that these people are being airlifted to San Jose in comas? This is a major scoop, Robert. You realize that, don’t you?

by Robert Norse

Friday Dec 7th, 2012 6:08 PM

Several reports of police slamming down homeless people to the sidewalk and against their car are what I’m referring to. There have been three deaths in the County Jail this year, incidentally. But no–no beatings of that intensity reported to me. Sorry for any confusion. Police violence of any kind is a matter of grave concern, particularly when coupled with cover charges of “resisting arrest”.

We know that police departments don’t do that sort of thing, right? Oh, wait, Oakland just had an oversight guy with the power to spend and fire appointed because the OPD can’t control its violent force. And I think I heard something about the LAPD Ramparts scandal too.

Please post specifics of anything you observe or experience here.

by Alex Darocy

( alex [at] ) Friday Dec 7th, 2012 6:22 PM

Right after the raids on the homeless in Santa Cruz began in late July/early August, I interviewed two homeless people who said they were roughed up by the police when they were sleeping near the San Lorenzo River area. Many others in San Lorenzo Park and near the river levee at that time also reported to me that they had been yelled at and/or treated poorly in some way by the police. They all felt their experiences were directly related to the orchestrated raids and the resulting escalated attitude on the part of the SCPD.

by Alex Darocy

( alex [at] ) Saturday Dec 8th, 2012 12:23 PM

There is of course, a history of organized violence against local homeless people by the Santa Cruz Police Department, and that history could still be fresh in the minds of those who may be homeless today.

In this video I shot of Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark in February, Brent Adams briefly questions Clark about the “Code Blue” program of organized police violence against the homeless, which Clark states in the video, resulted in charges being leveled against the police, which then created an opportunity for him to join the force when he was first starting here.

(The discussion begins at minute 4:00 of the video)

by RazerRay

Saturday Dec 8th, 2012 6:48 PM


Code Blue… Cattanni Reyes Chevalier… a couple of others working off-duty as thugs in consort with on-duty officers was real and the whole PD got roughed up by the State. That was in the early 1980s right? I remember. I SAW THEM IN ACTION.

NOTHING like this is happening, and you know I know. There’s a WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF like kids growing up in a town where they KNOW (rightly or wrong) that they’re never gonna raise a next generation of family here so they become alkies and junkies and crackheads and, just as programmed by AmeriKKKan society, blame and attack anyone they see as responsible for those circumstances.

Guess who gets attacked? Or Junkie action as seen on Depot Hill a few weeks ago. Most of those people have lived here for years if not all their lives.

As far as the SCPD goes.. The thuggery is institutionalized now. The targeting people for tickets… A security guard standing nearby while one tries to have a private conversation on Pacific or on a bench by the library with a friend. They changed the “invisible lines” by the newsstand at Walnut in regard to where one may smoke last night and gave someone a ticket.

Harassment… Dissuasion… As I mentioned above DON’T EVER turn your back on them or they’ll tackle you down for fleeing (and if you have ANY alcohol in you TSOL 4 U).

But NOTHING EVEN REMOTELY RESEMBLING “Code Blue”. A moniker unknown to me until recently.

Did Robert Norse think that nifty degrading phrase up?

Those guys were OUT-OF-UNIFORM BLACKSHIRTS, and a local merchant blew them up… Because they, AS INDIVIDUALS, were way out of line.

The SCPD as a police agency is Out of Line now. They’ve been politicized to the point where they no longer function correctly as protectors of the community, but are driven to select who is defined as “community”, and if anything, the officers on the SCPD, by their very involvement in that sort of law enforcement “normality”, are individually ethic-less and corrupt.

by Alex Darocy

( alex [at] ) Saturday Dec 8th, 2012 7:44 PM

Thanks for adding some info, Ray. I wasn’t suggesting that the current violence practiced by some in the SCPD against homeless people is on par with that of the “Code Blue” days (that was Brent’s recollection of the name. I remember it had the word “blue” in it, but I don’t recall exactly what it was called, though I was also living in the area at the time).

I was merely providing some background info that pertains to why people now might want to compare the reign of the SCPD to that of the Nazis. Considering the fact that the “Code Blue” days were 30 years or so ago, and that current Deputy Chief Steve Clark was hired as a result, I see the events as still relevant.

by John E. Colby

Saturday Dec 8th, 2012 9:43 PM

The Sentinel is starting to reap what they have sowed. The anti-homeless sentiment they have been stoking has resulted in the Sentinel comment forums overflowing with anti-homeless hate speech. Regrettable that our local newspaper is so irresponsible. This marks more than a hundred year tradition of the Sentinel inciting hatred towards minorities.

by A Soldier and a Jew

Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 3:41 PM

Drawing a parallel between any modern day government and the Nazis is callous and disrespectful to those of us who lived through that time. There are very few of us left, but please be sensitive to those of us who are.

I don’t know much about your city council because I live in Freedom, but I can’t imagine they’re anything like Nazis.

So please refrain from disrespecting a whole generation, my brethren, who sacrificed so you could say what you say here.

by John E. Colby

Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 5:49 PM

It’s not disrespectful to the victims of the Nazi regime to point out analogies with present day regimes. In fact, the saying “Never again!”, requires that we point these similarities out.

by Observant

Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 6:04 PM

I think the commenter’s point is that there isn’t a meaningful analogy between the Santa Cruz PD ticketing you for smoking in a no-smoking zone, and the horrific excesses of the Nazis. None whatsoever.

This exercise in the Theatre of the Absurd, flashing Sieg Heil salutes at City Council, and calling people bigots, Nazis, Fascists if they disagree with you, has real emotional impact on people who have lived through actual bigotry, actual Nazis and actual Fascists.

Bandying these powerfully symbolic words around is incredibly insensitive and selfish. There are other more appropriate ways to express your dismay with the PD and City Council. Try using them. It would advance the dialogue immeasurably.

by John E. Colby

Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 6:32 PM

You keep misrepresenting the analogy to Nazism.

It’s not about an SCPD officer ticketing a homeless person for smoking. It’s about a culture of hate given authority by a city government which has whittled away relentlessly at civil rights. The city’s anti-homeless campaign, whipped up with anti-homeless hatred by the Sentinel, is happening within the context of our federal government taking off the gloves with its own citizens with terrible brutality reminiscent of fascist states like the Nazi regime while it pursues endless imperial wars abroad.

by Helper

Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 10:22 PM

I’m going to throw you guys a bone, since you can’t seem to argue your way out of a paper bag.

I’m guessing that your use of the terms “Nazi” and “fascist” are epithetical, and one is expected to interpret them not literally, but in that sense, slurs directed at people and governmental bodies for whom you have a great deal of contempt.

Sound about right? Why not say so? I mean, I’ve heard Robert described as a “fucking asshole” before, and, not knowing much about his sex life, and being certain that he isn’t the anus of another living being, I assume that this is a coarse slur, and nothing more.

Doesn’t change the fact that your choice of words is very insensitive, and I think, ultimately fails to help accomplish your goals.

I suppose one could argue that all the fucking assholes around could be offended by the casual use of the term to describe Robert, but they’re fucking assholes. So who cares what they think?

by RazerRay

Monday Dec 10th, 2012 10:06 AM


Image: Beitar Jewish Fascist Youth With Nazi collaborator and prominent Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky

I’m a Jew, and your “soldier” schtick doesn’t impress me as relevant, and I DO understand the semantics of Colby and Norse’ usage of the term.

Scale notwithstanding within American society (and it only took how many years for the Nazis to rise to power?), your version of Nazis (a term I object to mostly because it’s fixed in time with images frozen to match) and your Holocaust stopped at WWII. Because you’re the typical American Jewish narcissistic sociopath with an agenda of remembering the past but NOT looking at the presence of Fascism and authoritarian totalitarianism in modern society.

Why just last night I saw a flock of 5 or 6 cops, including Brass… The same ones I saw Robert badgering earlier in front of Forever21 (a sweatshop operation with factories in the US employing US citizens) stand for over an hour in front of PacificWave doing nothing and watching all the cars NOT STOP at the stop sign at Cooper & Pacific without hailing a single one down and THEN they swarmed a car that DID stop, that had music playing not loudly at all and a window open. They were swarmed like wanted criminals because they had music playing in their car that could be heard outside the car. Again, not loudly… . OF COURSE there were CHICANOS in the car.

Bet you didn’t know Chicanos are one ‘tribe’ of the New Jews being singled out for scapegoating in Rich White Santa Cruz’ SHOPPING MALL along with the houseless, and anyone deemed by APPEARANCE to be “Not Shopping”.

by RazerRay

Monday Dec 10th, 2012 12:51 PM


Image: What Good is a Pig: Cuts of Pork, Nose-to-Tail

Nazi… I mean it literally as in “American Nazi”.

Here’s what happens when they get a grip on your society:

Did you know that it’s said 50% of the Greek Police voted for the Fascist Party in this last election?

Here’s a Straight Press attempt to debunk the story that fails to prove it’s point that, in large numbers, Police DON’T Luv Fascists:

The American ‘Bastion of Democracy” is quite the same

But I don’t call them Fascists. Like “Pig” it just reinforces their machismo self-image.

I prefer to call them Fascia… as in something with Fascist symbolism made from FAGGOTS of wood.

It’s interesting to note that the underpaid and certainly under-trained False Alarm people the city has patrolling and observing the xmas shoppers in the evening are having to bear the brunt of the blowback from a VERY HOSTILE COMMUNITY. Many of the people I know are beginning to resist the illegitimate citations being handed out like so many Fascist Xmas cards to non-shoppers on Pacific.

..and the next time that over-age overweight Fascist patrolling the library on Weekdays glares at me while I’m working at my computer at the library there WILL BE a disturbance when I ask the librarian to get him to stop staring or leave. Besides he smells bad… Like “Bacon” crisping.

by Observant

Monday Dec 10th, 2012 3:58 PM

You’re doing exactly the same thing as the others, Ray. Golden Dawn and fascist sympathizers in the Greek Police force do not implicate anyone in Santa Cruz of anything.

And that Worst Alarm guy can stand there and stare at you all day if he likes. For all I know, he can videotape you too. That’s how this works. The problem is that you like these freedoms until someone exercises them in a way you don’t like.

That, I believe, is at the heart of authoritarianism. No?

by RazerRay

Monday Dec 10th, 2012 9:46 PM

“And that Worst Alarm guy can stand there and stare at you all day if he likes.”

No he can’t. Do it to a woman and you’d be charged with stalking anywhere in Santa Cruz and the same applies to males staring at males. The fuckwad already called the police twice on me for no reason whatsoever and two times the police and I came to the conclusion I wasn’t doing anything at all and left.

Third time’s a charm. I figure a faceful of oven cleaner might keep him there until the police and ambulance arrive. Stalking is a SERIOUS crime where the right to self defense is known to be perfectly rationale and appropriate.

We can let the courts figure it out considering I have good record of the first two contacts and a recording of my conversation with them about his abuse of authority, and False alarm’s going to have to find another Fascist wannabe to patrol for them. Because THAT guy is going to need a seeing eye dog.

“You’re doing exactly the same thing as the others, Ray. Golden Dawn and fascist sympathizers in the Greek Police force do not implicate anyone in Santa Cruz of anything.”

You just… aren’t… living… up to you nick bud.

Pay attention. The people who are experiencing it say it is, and in MY case with stories from pre-war Europe my grandparents and relatives told me still like yesterday in my ears, to me, you have no credibility whatsoever to say it doesn’t implicate out local fascia (faggots of wood turned to fascist symbols).

You say “Nada” and I say “Nazi” with great misgivings (albeit the owner of Morris Abrams who outed the “Code Blue” goons would perhaps not be so kind) preferring the word FASCIST.

Historically, as far as the end results to the victimized, there’s really precious little difference.

My grandparents… chased across Central Asia to the Baltic and then to Europe by the pogroms never used the word ‘holocaust’ either. It was just another mass pogrom, much like the pogrom against the state of California’s displaced workers, and Santa Cruz’ city government and it’s armed faggots (pieces of wood turned to fascist symbols) are certainly in the cohort of agencies statewide involved in harassment and selective enforcement in a major way.

If you die in the cold because you can’t find shelter from the wind and rain due to police ticketing of you every time you sit somewhere out of the weather but ‘private’… or thugged by some overamped on anti-homeless propaganda kid (The Santa Cruz Sentinel needs to be burned to the ground ASAP) with no future blaming it on YOU because they see you as a threat to their survival as I was a month or so ago, that’s BLACKSHIRTING, and the people responsible for CREATING THAT CIRCUMSTANCE locally NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

FWIW, after being jumped by three kids while I slept last month, the police officer DID NOT WANT TO let me file a complaint. When I INSISTED. He wrote up an attack by three people on a sleeping victim as “Misdemeanor Battery” instead of a felony.

That way not only don’t they have to investigate, but it doesn’t show on their statistics that the Houseless are subject to extreme violence else the STATE might investigate…

I call “Coverup”.

You aren’t only un-observant bud… You’re out of the loop.

Oh… and I’m NOT “You guys”. I have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the other posters here. And I stick by that “American Jewish narcissistic sociopath” statement whether or not your insignificant self approves

by RazerRay

Tuesday Dec 11th, 2012 6:21 PM

Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:

download video: your_fascist_superhero_-_nuisance_laws.mp4 (27.3MB)

“Your Fascist Superhero”. A ten minute presentation by Superman and Batman in the left dialectic about how “nuisance laws”, and Santa Cruz LIVES FOR nuisance laws, only serve to further two interests.

Namely the police-industrial complex of the city and, of course, the Commercial Property Interests.

Good viewing and the dialectic is kept simple enough for even a Fascist to understand.

by Watcher

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 7:58 AM

“FWIW, after being jumped by three kids while I slept last month, the police officer DID NOT WANT TO let me file a complaint. When I INSISTED. He wrote up an attack by three people on a sleeping victim as “Misdemeanor Battery” instead of a felony.”

Wait a minute. You’re telling me that after all your railing against the Police State and against the SCPD for being fascists, Nazis and who knows what else, that you are now upset that they didn’t respond forcefully enough when you needed them for law enforcement on your behalf?

Are you serious? Really?

by Observing

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 10:44 AM

So, because Ray is a critic of the local police, he should not be able to call them for service?

He should not expect the police to treat his complaint the same as others who have called them?

Should the SCPD check Indybay first to see who they should respond to for service calls?

Should we all, who don’t pass their ‘smell test’, shut up and never call the police?

We should let the SCPD do all the thinking and all the decision making?

Thank you for making the case that we are living under Nazism here in downtown Santa Cruz.

by RazerRay

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 12:13 PM

…Against Nazi police. You read me call them, in so many words, “tools of Fascists”, and I suggest IF the police ACTUALLY DID THEIR JOB protecting EVERY citizen of the community with equal vigor they’d be doing something VERY DIFFERENT than what they’re doing now.

What? Did yo think I was some sort of Nihilist Anarchist or somesuch Troll-like delusion?

Sorry to disappoint you.

BTW, had a discussion with someone wearing “Brass” yesterday. Told me indirectly to demand more services. I refused a trip to the hospital for the bloody nose and blacked eye. THAT made the misdemeanor/felony difference.

by RazerRay

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 12:29 PM

The reason I didn’t take the ambulance trip.. In order of Importance.

10> I’m tougher than the backstop at a shooting gallery. ie. I wasn’t dying.

1> If I took that trip, my possessions… My sleeping bag, my clothing, my bike etc, would have been left at the scene and most likely be stolen, or confiscated by the city with a recovery time…. unknown.

…and we’re back to some thorny issues regarding certain problems unique to displaced workers and the homeless in general aren’t we?

It’s incredibly hard to get ‘justice’ EVEN IF the PD is compliant… when you’re a law abiding citizen but have no domicile.

by Watcher

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 12:55 PM

To call Ray a critic of the Santa Cruz PD is like calling Adolf Hitler a critic of the Jews. The only thing keeping the police alive in Ray’s presence is the fact that they’re armed with guns and Ray only has oven cleaner in his backpack.

It’s just very hypocritical to spew that much invective against a governmental body and then cry Uncle when miscreants wake you up sleeping outdoors..

Mind you, the cops didn’t even ticket Ray for sleeping outdoors. Which is a big part of the Santa-Cruz-is-a-police-state argument, right?

by FD

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 1:19 PM

…in Fresno, Ray would be an endangered species. After that threat he posted, to blind someone with that oven cleaner, the first time he approached anyone who was armed, with can in hand, the last sound he’d hear would be a gun going off. Making threats, even on line, can have dire consequences.

by Watching

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 1:42 PM

“Mind you, the cops didn’t even ticket Ray for sleeping outdoors. Which is a big part of the Santa-Cruz-is-a-police-state argument, right?”

So the SCPD, after not taking his complaint of abuse seriously, should have ticketed Ray for telling them that he was sleeping, even though they did not themselves find him asleep?

I wonder what you think should happen to a homeless woman who calls the SCPD after being raped while sleeping “illegally” ? I guess if that ever happens, she should feel lucky if she doesn’t get a ticket? Would this encourage or discourage those who are vulnerable and at risk to call the police after a violent attack? Which should be the SCPD’s priority, addressing violence, or addressing people who are sleeping?

You, sir or madame, are the voice of fascism that fuels the SCPD and the local police state, one that discriminates against the homeless.

“To call Ray a critic of the Santa Cruz PD is like calling Adolf Hitler a critic of the Jews.”

Ever heard of poetics? Ray uses a lot of it.

I’d also like to remind everyone that Ray has self-identified as having a personal link to Judaism, which further adds context to Watcher’s comments, and the Hitler reference.

by John E. Colby

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 4:22 PM

Ray’s arguments prevailed. The video he presented was excellent. I wish this obsessive poster would just accept it and stop posting personal diatribes.

by Robert Norse

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 10:44 PM

For those interested in the selective and arbitrary use of the Downtown Ordinances, the Sleeping Ban, and other anti-homeless laws, hear first hand-accounts tomorrow night on my show 6-8 PM 101.3 FM, streaming at The proposed California Homeless Bill of Rights proposes to combat these abuses or discourage them: see

Arguing with folks who wish to dismiss or minimize the escalating abuses and violence against homeless people–institutionalized in the curfews, police sweeps, modified library rules, and “quality of life” laws–is really a waste of time.

The real issue is how do we mobilize to expose, resist, and discourage this kind of hate crime.

I encourage people to keep a close eye on the library and report on how librarians (and their security guard pals) are treating homeless-looking folks there. Please be accurate and specific in your reports. Time, place, specific names, details, etc.

by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 8:34 AM

I don’t have oven cleaner in my backpack. I don”t need it. I’m more than physically and technically capable of disarming and manually restraining any False Alarm guard I’ve met if necessary when I’m not sleeping, and I don’t own a backpack.

by Observer

Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 9:07 AM

“Arguing with folks who wish to dismiss or minimize the escalating abuses and violence against homeless people–institutionalized in the curfews, police sweeps, modified library rules, and “quality of life” laws–is really a waste of time. ”

Yes, and preaching to the choir is far more productive…

Sorry, but not letting people use the library as a dorm doesn’t quite rise to the level of ‘hate crime’, even in a hyperbolic world.

by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 9:30 AM


NOT whether someone is committing some institutional administrative infraction but Where’s the INSTITUTIONAL RECOURSE if one IS accused of using the library as a “Dorm” or someone says they “Smell”.

As I stated earlier, the over-aged security guard who saunters around the library grounds on weekdays like he owns the place and DIRECTLY INTERFERES BY HIS OVERBEARING AND UP-CLOSE PRESENCE with MY PRIVATE CONVERSATIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY while sucking the taxpayer’s teat for a paycheck and calls the police for illegitimate reasons (as the police verified for me in a recorded conversation) smells like cooking Pig, and that odor is offensive to vegetarians… housed or allegedly “Dorming” at the library.

by G

Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 5:12 PM

Interesting statistic…

Number of comments about napping = a pile
Number of comments about desal spending = a few

Does anyone know the desal:library cost ratio, offhand? Just curious.

by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 13th, 2012 9:10 PM

I was going to point to this post: Where I had commented that the Desal project is a taxpayers giveaway to a specific very powerful business group in Santa Cruz county, the Agriculture industry, by subsidizing their water to grow two of the most water-intensive crops in the world… Strawberries and Lettuce, in a region that just doesn’t have a lot of water to start with, but the comment has been, as is usual on indybay, mysteriously removed within the last month or so.

That may be your ratio issue. Someone removed comments.. Funny. Yours (G) is still there

by Memory

Friday Dec 14th, 2012 10:39 AM

Are you sure your comment was deleted, Ray?

This is a comment you made on a different article, and it sounds like the one you are talking about:

by RazerRay

Friday Dec 14th, 2012 11:53 AM

After a while where I posted what becomes a blur.

by G

Friday Dec 14th, 2012 3:38 PM

I was wondering what the ratio is because observant people seemed to be posting a lot about napping and nothing at all about desal. It felt kind of inverse, dollar-wise, but I wasn’t sure, hence the question.

Then again, maybe there were observant posts about desal, that were removed by the mysterious powers that indy (I’ve always asserted moderation corrupts, any moderation).

by Robert Norse

Tuesday Dec 18th, 2012 3:58 AM

The Public Records Act sent to head librarian T. Landers is now 14 days old and unanswered. State law requires a response within 10 days. I’ll be seeking legal advice on how to encourage Landers, a big fan of rules for the poor in the library, to follow state law herself.

For a copy of the request see above.

If anyone has gotten a complete copy of the library rules, please post them here, so we can all be good law-abiding folks. And perhaps serve as a shining example to the privileged rulesmaker T. Landers.

by John E. Colby

Tuesday Dec 18th, 2012 5:47 AM

From my memory of your public records request to Ms. Landers, you would have a slam dunk case if you choose to spend $500-$1000 to take her agency to court and your lawyer’s fees would be paid by her agency in case you prevail. I see no way she can argue the records you seek are exempt. Consult a FOI attorney.

What better agency to force transparency on than a library!

by RazerRay

Wednesday Dec 19th, 2012 6:53 PM


[Image: Seen @ Santa Cruz City Hall]

Let’s get to the roots toots… Ms Landers IS NOT the person driving the policy changes. She’s just the manager-in-the-middle and albeit the appropriate person to go to for information and documentation, those changes are driven by political demands responding to sociological issues essentially set in motion by the city of Santa Cruz’ failure to develop a viable community for EVERYONE who lives here. To the best of their ability.

The library gets the ‘fallout’ from the city’s “Nuclear” policies about their displaced workers and other low income Santa Cruz residents. Poor people go to libraries when there’s nothing else to do or anywhere else to go.

I call “Nuclear Option” too. Fuck FOIA & Library… RICO Act & City of Santa Cruz… drag their influence over an allegedly independent library board into court and subpoena the dox.

Just sayin’

by G

Thursday Dec 20th, 2012 4:29 AM


by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 20th, 2012 7:37 AM


…and I DO NOT mean that in jest, and you, as “Taxpayer” SHOULD be concerned.

Read the last post I put up troll. The answer to WHY it’s RICO Act is right in there.

The city of Santa Cruz HAS SOCIOECONOMICALLY OVER THE LAST DECADE and a half INTENTIONALLY created the socioeconomic circumstances that, BY THEIR OWN FOOLISH GREEDY PLANNING, caused the “Mess” at the library.


Got that fool? I’m calling you “Fool” because that’s obviously the median intelligence level for a ‘taxpayer’ in Santa Cruz who would have allowed them to do that to the disadvantage of ALL citizens here except the wealthy… Or maybe you’re just greedy, and vicious, and an unwitting tool of American Fascists who call themselves Santa Cruz “progressive liberal” ‘government.

There’s a RICO Act indictment or a dozen somewhere within that decade and a half… Gaa…run…teed. To bad the ACLU here is nothing more than a fan club.

The state or federal government could EASILY tear this city’s government apart just as surely as they tore the SCPD apart three decades ago, and Santa Cruz citizens would ALL benefit from that.

by RazerRay

Thursday Dec 20th, 2012 7:48 AM

Sigh… “Taxpayer”‘s post went away. Maybe just as well to leave the response as an addendum to what I had posted last

by John E. Colby

Friday Dec 21st, 2012 5:35 PM

“The state or federal government could EASILY tear this city’s government apart just as surely as they tore the SCPD apart three decades ago, and Santa Cruz citizens would ALL benefit from that.”

Only the Feds can clean up this dirty little city now. All the local checks and balances have failed.

Winter homeless shelters in Watsonville, Santa Cruz open

Shanna McCord

Santa Cruz Sentinel:   11/15/2012SANTA CRUZ — Homeless service providers in Santa Cruz County opened their winter shelters just as the nights have become cold and rain is forecast.

The Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz and the Pajaro Rescue Mission in Watsonville started offering emergency overnight shelter Thursday.

Each organization will have about 100 beds available every night.

“There’s far more homeless than the 110 we can serve,” said Mike Borden, executive director of the Pajaro Rescue Mission. “We’ll be prepared to fill every bed. It’s huge, especially with this economic climate.”

In Watsonville, the Pajaro Rescue Mission has taken over two Salvation Army buildings to operate as winter shelters through April, and possibly year round if money allows, Borden said.

Thursday, Pajaro Rescue Mission and Teen Challenge Monterey Bay officially opened Grace Harbor, the former Salvation Army shelter on Union and Grant. Another shelter opened on Maple Street.

Eric Tiller stood outside, watching the ribbon-cutting ceremony and waiting for the 5:45 p.m. opening. He said he’d been homeless off and on for 13 years due to a mental disability, and didn’t know where he’d sleep Thursday if he couldn’t get into the shelter. The timing of its opening, he said, couldn’t be better.

“This is a good thing for me and other people,” Tiller said. “I heard on the weather it’s going to rain tonight.”

The Salvation Army in Watsonville announced in June that it would no longer provide homeless shelters due to budget constraints, which prompted the Rescue Mission to step in and take over the shelter programs by covering the cost of utilities, Borden said.

The shelters, called Grace Harbor, are at 112 Grant Ave. and 104 Maple St. and will be open 6 p.m.-6 a.m.

The Grant Avenue location will serve men with 40 beds and the Maple Street shelter has 28 beds for women.

The Rescue Mission has 40 beds for homeless at 111 Railroad Ave. in Pajaro.

Three meals will be served each day at the Watsonville shelters with food provided by Second Harvest Food Bank, Borden said.

A fundraising drive is under way to cover the $20,000 monthly cost of running the shelters. So far, $10,000 has been collected, according to Borden.

Thursday, County Supervisor Greg Caput pledged to give $8,250 to both Pajaro Rescue Mission shelters, a campaign promise to donate part of his salary.

He’ll give half each to the women’s and men’s shelters on Christmas Day, and he plans to do the same in March.

Caput wants the community to match his contributions.

According to Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano, some of that already has been raised.

The Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz will operate its winter shelter at the National Guard Armory through April 15, Executive Director Monica Martinez said.

Participants are required to sign up for the shelter by arriving to the 115 Coral St. center around 3:30 p.m. each day. Dinner will be served at 4 p.m. Buses to the Armory begin at 5 p.m.

At the Armory, folks will go through a security screening and be entered into a federal homeless management information system database before given a mat and blanket to sleep, Martinez said.

Buses will take people back to town around 7 a.m., she said.

In addition, there are 46 shelter beds available at the Paul Lee Loft at the Coral Street campus. The loft has a six-week waiting list.

“It gets incredibly cold and wet during the winter, so providing people with warm covered shelter is really lifesaving,” Martinez said. “It’s an opportunity for us to embrace these folks and build relationships with them so we can continue to offer them other services.”

There are an estimated 2,900 homeless people in Santa Cruz County, according to a count done in 2011. Another homeless count will be conducted Jan. 22.

Martinez said her organization also is in need of blankets donations for the winter shelter. Donations can be brought to the shelter.


Robert Norse· Top Commenter

The article fails to mention that it is illegal for those homeless unable to access these shelters (90%) to shelter themselves (i.e. “camp”).In Santa Cruz the relevant Municipal Code is MC 6.36 which bans sleeping and covering up after 11 PM outside on public property and camping with protective tents at any time.

Ticketing for these “crimes” increased fourfold over the summer as police confiscated or destroyed the property and protective fear of hundreds of homeless people as part of a hysterical “Not in My Back Yard” police response which is documented on the SCPD police blog.

Will Councilmember Posner raise is voice and demand an end to these raids as well as this abusive law?
Not likely from his election statements.

The community needs to directly support the homeless community if it attempts to create life-sustaining encampments. Winter is coming.

James Nay Sr. · Santa Rosa JC

Also the lock you up and mark who you are just to get in!

Video sparks action against trash, drug waste near Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz

Stephen Baxter

Santa Cruz Sentinel:   11/12/2012

SANTA CRUZ — In caves and gaps between the rocks of one of Santa Cruz’s most popular surfing spots at Cowell Beach, two truckloads of trash and heroin waste have been hauled out in recent days.

Dylan Greiner, a 37-year-old surf instructor and owner of Santa Cruz Surf School, said he noticed the black trash bags, food wrappers and syringes on the rocks because he works there daily. He wanted to get the city’s attention, so he tried to contact Mayor Don Lane on Wednesday and posted a comment on the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook page.

Then someone asked if he had any photos or video of the problem.

“The next morning I had my coffee and took my cellphone and I just decided to hit the film button,” Greiner said.

The result was a 4.4 minute video that showed some of dozens of trash bags, food wrappers and syringes. He uploaded it to YouTube Thursday and sent it to Lane.

It also was posted on the Sentinel’s website and viewed more than 8,000 times.

Later Thursday, he and a few friends collected dozens of pounds of trash and hauled it to the top of the Cowell’s staircase. They found needles and the bottoms of aluminum cans — apparently used to cook heroin.

“It affects everybody,” Greiner said of the trash. “It’s November, I know the rain is only going to get harder and I can envision it going into the ocean.”

After Greiner and his friends Mark Collins, T.J. Magallanes and Greg Sojka took the trash to the dump, there was still some garbage left on the walkway on West Cliff Drive on Friday.

Lane said he saw the video Thursday night and activated a parks crew Friday — although city offices were closed.

They hauled away the rest of the debris on Friday and got police involved.

“It’s always good when members of the community identify a problem and let the city know,” Lane said. “There’s that sense of immediacy once that video is up there. We’re doing our best to respond quickly.”

The trash and drug use is similar to a problem that neighbors noted in caves near John Street and West Cliff Drive in June. City leaders said it was unclear if same suspects were involved.

Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said that during the summer that patrols are difficult, and the riprap rocks along West Cliff often are slippery and dark.

One officer broke an ankle on the rocks investigating a separate problem. Police said they have to weigh an officer’s time and safety to do a rock scramble to other calls for service.

“It’s a challenge because these are difficult locations to get to and they’re not visible from above,” Lane said.

Police and city leaders also are looking into sealing a cave near Collins Cove — between the Cowell Beach staircase and Steamer Lane.

Greiner said more trash remains on the rocks. He planned more cleanups and posted another YouTube video on Sunday that thanked city workers for their efforts.

He and Lane encouraged residents to call police and report drug waste and the people responsible for it.

“My focus is not to go down there and continuously clean up people’s trash,” Greiner said. “My goal is that there’s no trash down there in the first place.”



  • west jr70· Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

    Stephen Baxter and the Sentinel – Way to miss the mark.The video is not “sparking action against trash” but sparking action against filthy degenerate junkies coddled by the city of Santa Cruz and the lunatics that run this city. It would be nice if you started shedding light on the problems of this city rather than running cover.

    • nsite108 (signed in using yahoo)

      Since Lane and his political friends caused this continual environmental destruction can’t they be held responsible for all these watershed and coastal ecological tragedies caused by their policies? If so does anyone know a good environmental law firm?

  • Jeff Bason· Top Commenter

    Nice work Dylan…… Don Lane is a joke….it’s too risky for a trained professional police force to go down there and enforce laws and clean up…..but not too risky for a surf instructor, concerned resident, and tax payer. Maybe the city should pay you and your friends for your efforts condsidering you are alleviating a serious health risk by picking up needles that those who are paid to protect us will not touch. Keep posting these videos until the weak, delusional city leaders make a serious effort to stop this type of behavior
  • Johnnyattheharbor Lowlife · Top Commenter · California State University, San Bernardino

    Again…super job Dylan….time to “Take back the Beach” and keep the BUMS away for good….and make it a “BUM free” area… thing that discusts tourists is running into a bunch of sleezy, no good, mooching, druggie BUMS when they visit Santa Cruz….and the city counsel should make ridding the city of BUMS a priority…..instead of catering to them by allowing that BUM Day Care Center on Coral St.Johnny at th Harbor
    BUM Patrol Leader

  • Lisa Tracy

    Our city is better than this, especially when this medical waste is just waiting to be released in the Ocean. Please do something to get these druggies off the beach and make our town safe for families
    • blue waters· Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

      Is SC really better than this?…or is this an ongoing symptom of a city in perpetual liberal decline…

  • Dennis Jason Anti· Top Commenter

    Dude. Serious kudos to you guys for cleaning up that stuff. People like you and your friends are a HUGE bonus to our community.
  • Ronald Paul Hughes · Top Commenter · Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist at Productops

    Thanks to all involved. To eliminate this problem, Law Enforcement needs to aggressively target the drug dealers that provide this crap. Eliminate the salesmen, choke off the supply, and the addicts will disappear too.
  • Nancy Ziegler · Queen at Here & There

    Thank You Guys.
  • Greg Henderson · Top Commenter · Owner at Henderson Automotive

    The only good junkie is a cold blue junkie!
  • Steve Welch· Top Commenter

    Nice cover up City…..seems nothing gets done until it gets on YouTube….continue the good work Sentinel.
  • Rikki Bell · Santa Cruz, California

    Great citizen effort…Really appreciate it. Now, how can the community get more involved in stopping this or the very least being able to keep it clean?
  • Jasmine Berke · Five Branches University, Graduate School of Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Dylan and friends, thank you so much for your work. You guys are real heros, saints, for bringing this to the attention of the public and for cleaning up this dangerous mess!!! The city needs to do a better job of patrolling this area and keeping it clean. These sick dirty addicts can not be allowed to take over our beaches and public places with their waste and loitering. Wake up city council and do your job!
  • David Lane · Top Commenter · Expanded Consciousness

    Yet another negative side effect of prohibition. If we re-legalized and regulated drugs people would not be cooking heroin on the beach and leaving syringes laying around. When Bayer heroin sold for about the same price as Bayer aspirin most addicts held jobs and were normal members of society, not degenerate junkies. That role was created be prohibition.
    • Mike Marketello · Top Commenter · Harbor High, Santa Cruz, CA

      I’m wondering Dave, where will homeless junkies shoot up if legalized? I can’t believe you just advocated making becoming a junkie easier.

    • Petrified Cheetoman (signed in using Hotmail)

      This area of cliffs is difficult to access. Once there is no longer the threat of arrest the
      users will not have to hide there anymore.With the current drugwar policies many people are denied a job and forced into homelessness. Since addiction is not yet classified as a medical disability an employer can drug test and deny applicants for simply testing positive even if they do not use during work hours. Point two. Criminal Records. Keeping the drugwar in effect is making NEW criminals everyday. Sometimes even a small quantity of drugs can get a felony charge. Once again no employer will hire someone with a felony even IF it is non-violent. I would also imagine that a felony charge might be an obstacle to most housing rentals as well. So you see I have just illustrated how the current drugwar enforcement policies FORCE people ou…See More

    • Michael Jolson · Top Commenter · Cabrillo College

      Mike Marketello prohibition of drugs leads to crime, violence , the spread of infectious diseases, and dirty needles in the ocean ! If heroin were legal, they would have a safe place to shoot and not spread infectious disease and pollute our oceans!
      Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it sure isn’t working with the Drug War! What does the create? It creates a Prison industrial complex , a powerful prison guard union , and thriving gangs, violence, and utter destruction!
      Th e Drug War is an utter failure! Great job TJ , and Dylan!

    • Mike Marketello · Top Commenter · Harbor High, Santa Cruz, CA

      This tell me that you have the political argument of legalizing drugs down, but perhaps have never dealt with addiction or mental illness it on a personal level? The only way to get an addict help, or a mentally ill person help, is to force them to it. You take away all other options until their life becomes so hard, or they end up in jail, it is usually at that point they are open to change. I believe for most, sitting in jail is when they finally hit rock bottom. What you have just suggested is the mother of all enabling. A chance for them to go on living their destructive lives in more convenience and no end of the road. Leave them in their compfort zone so that they can go on with no pressures to change. What you are suggesting is to prolong their destructive habits for society’s convenience. Most pot smokers who desire their pot to be legal make this war on drugs about them. In my opinion you do not legalize destructive behavior so as pot smokers can get a lower price on their pot.

  • Greg Henderson · Top Commenter · Owner at Henderson Automotive

    Dylan you have a free oil service from my shop for your awesome work. YOU ARE A HERO AND WOULD LOVE TO HELP WITH CLEAN UP IN THE FUTURE.
  • Balicia Embernate

    Great job Dylan, pdog and crew!! Thanks for loving sc:)
  • Lois Petrozza · Santa Cruz, California

    my family and i thank you dylan!
  • nsite108 (signed in using yahoo)

    I am a ecopsychologist and I think we all can see how mentally ill Lane is by his following statement,””It’s always good when members of the community identify a problem and let the city know,” Lane said. “There’s that sense of immediacy once that video is up there. We’re doing our best to respond quickly.”

    Yes, there is a sense of “immediacy” but not from Lane and his partners in local environmental crime. Greiner, brought this to Lane and pals attention a month ago and the only reason he is doing anything now is because it is in the paper. There are still 1000 of homeless drug addicts in our watersheds dumping needles, meth making chemicals, raw sewage and garbage. Please, lets convict Lane on environmental crimes and clean up this city.

  • Roy McAlister · Top Commenter · Luthier at Self Employed

    According to Robert Norse and Becky Johnson, that stuff is just “homeless survival gear”“…trash is not a big problem from homeless people, from “druggies” or even from the general public. This “clean-up” produced very little trash…”

    “…Perhaps homeless people are cleaning up more trash than they are leaving? …In any case, groups like Take Back Santa Cruz and editorials by Don Miller in the SENTINEL can’t really claim that the sweeps are justified because of a clear environmental danger…”

    -Becky Johnson

    Thanks Dylan…excellent display of taking action for reality over apathy of delusion.

  • Gary Roberts · Top Commenter · Santa Cruz, California

    Many thanks to Mr.Greiner, and Mr. Magallances.No other thanks are possible, especially to the city. Don Lane..give me a break! It is the voter, citizens, and people who really care, that get-out and make things , better for everyone. Thank you, for posting this on You tube, that’s the way to go, and put it on Facebook, in the future. These two guys should be on City Council….they would do a better job!
  • William Peak · Top Commenter · Duke University

    It’s its always good when members if a community identify a problem and let the the city know.
    Are you kidding , don lane. You live on van ness and can’t figure out that the city is overrun with criminal transient drug dealers? Good one, we’ll kep pointing out the obvious to you so you can “do your job”
  • Carin Thoits · CSU Monterey Bay

    Thank you for posting these videos!! The drug epidemic occurring in Santa Cruz is appalling and disheartening. I appreciate all the hard work you have done and brining this important issue to light. I truly hope we will begin to see more positive outcomes and change in regards to this health hazard!
    • Mike Marketello · Top Commenter · Harbor High, Santa Cruz, CA

      Carin I hate to break it to you. You look pretty young so maybe you are unaware, Santa Cruz will doing nothing long term. They may throw out some short term appeasement, but when it boils right down to it Santa Cruz is not willing to even consider they have a hand in creating this environment. This type of climate has been attracting the nations homeless to SC since the 70’s, and every decade there are the same complaints, and new excuses. This decade the excuse seems to be to try to convince you that the majority of these folks were born and raised in Santa Cruz and have just fallen on hard times because of George W Bush. Now I know that sounds cynical, but yes, I am cynical, it comes in time.

  • Mike Marketello · Top Commenter · Harbor High, Santa Cruz, CA

    Good on this young man for trying to make a difference. He asks “I wonder if anything can be done?” Well ya, but Santa Cruz is not willing to do it.. This is a decades long argument, only this dump-site is new.
  • Jeff McNeil · Santa Cruz, California

    This is why my family refuse to visit any Santa Cruz parks. I found my two year old daughter playing with a used needle at a local kids park.
    • Katie McNeil· Top Commenter

      Said park was Harvey West, and to clarify the story, our two year old’s three and a half year old friend found a used hypodermic needle stuck in a redwood tree and pulled it out. She was very mature about it and our daughter touched the back end of the plastic part while it was still in the tree. Still…. It was enough to make me vow never to frequent any SC park or beach where druggies (to be so blunt) hang out. The consequences above could have been much more dire and it still
      makes me nauseous when thinking about it. On that note, a friend of mines son stepped on a hypodermic needle while in junior life guards on Cowell’s Beach back in the mid 1990s while running drills…he was about ten at the time. This lack of cleanliness on the main and Cowell’s goes way back. There’s got to be an outcry that’s loud enough to clean up our town’s public parks and beaches. Hopefully, this is it.

  • Marta Bechhoefer

    the police have their 4 wheel drive vehicles that they often drive on Cowell and Main Beaches so it’s easy enough to get to the location of this garbage. Thanks to Don Lane for getting on this right away!!
  • Jr Santana · Santa Cruz, California

    God i didn’t know that cowells was the new pogonip I’m surprised to see this going on without the intervention of law enforcement
  • Victoria LeDoux· Top Commenter

    Sad, sad, sad…such destruction to a beautiful place..
    • Edward Cravalho · Top Commenter · MIU

      Not so “Sad, sad, sad”. It’s more like Stupid, stupid, stupid.
      This is the state of our City Government, it’s still nursing on mothersTit and thinks everyone else should be cared for as well. Bunch of lunatics.

  • Robert Norse· Top Commenter

    Any evidence that the trash and needles aren’t left by housed people partying? That’s the question raised by a long-time needle exchange worker.Nothing wrong with getting derelict city officials to address clean-up problems, but screaming “bums” and trying to raise hatred against homeless people for sleeping? No thanks.

  • Jeff Mick · Top Commenter · Works at International Union of Operating Engineers

    Just down there today at Cowell’s Beach. Since the video, there sure is a heightened presence of police. They are making more than the regular appearances. Still a lot of those homeless druggy types. The policeman encountered one by the bottom steps of the DI & couldn’t hold him for anything. The man, probably in late 20’s or 30’s, had the demeanor & body posture of someone in their 60’s. As the policeman continued on to the area of those rocks, the aforementioned man was sifting through the sands, looking for something, or it was just his way of twitching? Casting a general eye of the beach at that time, saw a lot of those homeless type folks waiting by the beach, for the sun to drop. Once again the darkness would cover the sight of them making their pilgrimage to the favorite groups of rocks; out of sight, out of mind.
  • dwfxx (signed in using yahoo)

    Are company cleans the beach’s at harbor to river mouth ,and it is very depressing to find needles on the beaches,wine bottles covered in sand,rubbers ect… very dangerous for kid’s to be going down and playing around,and if you go to these beaches then you know that schools take there classes down there daily…just a real bummer the lack of respect so have for this area.
  • Alicia Luster Kuhl · Top Commenter · Stockton, California

    Help the struggling homeless people in that area in a way that provides dignity and hope, and maybe they won’t resort to drugs. I know that area and some of those people need serious help. The city needs help with recognition and focus… All that money in that city and this is happening…FAIL!!!

    Alicia Luster Kuhl · Top Commenter · Stockton, California

    So disgusting the 2nd video made me want to puke. I say help the people making this mess to get a grip on their life. If they refuse, arrest them. This mess is unacceptable.
  • commentssc (signed in using yahoo)

    Don Lane must not know shame. I’d be embarrassed to show my face in this town if I were him. How the eff does this guy keep getting re-elected?
    Someone ought to deliver all of the trash from the clean-up directly to his front lawn.
  • Cheryl LaMorte · Owner at LaMorte Style

    that breaks my heart to see this, I used to bring my kids down there back in the 80`s. Now is this what has happen in the last few years? Can Ibring my grandkids down to the beach to dig for sandcrabs and come up with a needle ? it is going to take more than a clean up of trash.
  • nsite108 (signed in using yahoo)

    We need to reprint Mike Erikson Sr’s 1980s “Troll Buster Shirts” — remember when they sold them at Redwing Shoe Shop downtown and what a stir they made with the psycho city counsel. lol
  • cbrown1389 (signed in using AOL)

    thank you guys for risking your lives cleaning up human waste and dirty needles to keep it off the beaches and ocean! Get off your butts City Council!!!! Supervisor Coonerty!!! Mayor Lane!!!!

    Michele Mathews-Perez · Office Manager at Atwater Tile

    Sad to say but this is an issue that has been a problem for years. Not only are they drug addicts they have mental issues as well.

Lemaster Lodging trial turns into inquisition and hate-fest

Becky Johnson: One Woman Talking

November 9, 2012

Original Post

Linda Lemaster (left) attending one of many pre-trial hearings with supporters, Leslie and Kent, November 2, 2012 for a “lodging” ticket she got two years ago. Photo by Becky Johnsonby Becky Johnson

November 9, 2012
Santa Cruz, Ca. —  According to ADA Alex Byers, Linda Lemaster faces Six Months in Jail for the “crime”of sleeping/not sleeping on public/private property with /without possessions for a long/short period of time which can be intentional/unintentional, all subject to the “permission” of the “authority.”
Linda is on trial for PC 647 ( e ) or  illegal “lodging” under a little-used portion of the State code, which sheriff’s had not used before citing protestors at Peace Camp 2010.
According to Byers,  a protester with his/her sign attempting to peaceably assemble to seek redress of government grievances may do so:
ONLY where the govt. tells them they can.
ONLY when the govt. tells them they can.
And, apparently, NOT while sitting, lying down, or sleeping since these = lodging. And if a Sheriff tells you you can’t “lodge” then whatever you are doing is “lodging.” According to Byers, Sheriff’s didn’t need to prove a person was “lodging” in order to issue a citation. Only that they were “still there on the steps when sheriff’s came back.”

On the night of August 10th, as Linda Lemaster was cited for illegal lodging, Sheriff’s moved elderly, Collette Connolly off the steps. Here she collapses in exhaustion on her belongings a scant 50 feet from the courthouse. Why Sheriff’s told us the steps of the courthouse were illegal at 4:30AM but the parking lot was not was only one of the many arbitrary and confusing encounters Peace Camp 2010 had with law enforcement. Photo by Becky Johnson

Oh, THAT’s a convenient definition of the code! When a sheriff hands you an unsigned piece of paper, then, according to Byers, that person “has been educated”that they no longer have the right to carry a sign, to protest, or to seek redress of government grievances.  And if a protester wants to publicly assemble? They must follow “time, place, and manner restrictions” which are not written in the law anywhere.
Christopher Doyon a.k.a. “X” of Peace Camp 2010 pauses on the lower steps at Peace Camp 2010. In the background, Ed Frey’s white, pick-up truck can be seen hitched to the camp porto-pottie. Other than Ed’s privy, homeless people had no access to a bathroom at night other than at Peace Camp 2010. Photo by Becky Johnson July 30, 2010
For ADA Alex Byers, camping = lodging except that “camping” is not illegal in that particular location under County Code.
While camping is , according to Byers, essentially the same thing, “lodging” rates 6 months in jail and/or a $1000 fine. And CAMPING is legal in the location where Linda was cited.   Committing the same crime in the City (and Lemaster WAS in the City when she was cited) rates a $92 citation or 8 hours of community service as a possible consequence. So why did the sheriff’s use the statewide “lodging” code rather than the County’s camping code or the City’s Sleeping and Blanket ban?
According to ADA, Alex Byers, it was due to “tolerance.”
Those at Peace Camp 2010 know better. The plucky little group had discovered that the County’s camping ban does not apply to the grounds around the courthouse and government center. In other words “camping” is legal there. Also, due to jurisdictional agreements, City police do not patrol the grounds at the Government Center. Sheriff’s opted to not enforce City codes against Sleeping and using  blankets. Codes that are all infractions, violations of which do not include jail. These were the twin laws the protest had assembled to challenge.
On July 29th, 2010, Ed Frey received a letter from County Counsel, Dana McCrae. She informed Frey that city ordinances ARE enforceable at the County Center, since it is within the City limits.  The SENTINEL reported that the reason no citations had yet been issued was because government officials, law enforcement officers and legal experts (had to) sort out what rules apply to the property.”

Peace Camp 2010 used public space which is unused at night. This photo taken on July 20th at 8:13PM shows people setting up bedding. At 8:00AM, Ed Frey would drive the porto-pottie off of the property and normal use of the facilities would commence.  Photo by Becky Johnson

Around the end of July,  County Counsel, Dana McCrae dusted off the lawbooks and dug up a code which used language lifted from an 1880 law in California designed to keep freed slaves from moving into the State. Judges Gallagher and in this trial, Connolly further eroded civil rights by creating a definition which lifts language from the 1851 Indiana State Constitution which states:  “No Negro or Mulatto shall come into, or settle in, the State…”

The new definition of lodging which Judge Rebecca Connolly approved: “To occupy a place temporarily or permanently, or temporarily settle or to live in a place, it may, but does not have to include sleeping. It means more than just sleeping and less than moving into a place permanently.”

Byers told jurors of the flyer sheriff’s passed out willy-nilly to anyone who wanted one: The flyer only stated you are illegally lodging without permission. Merely telling Petitioner or anyone else that they are lodging or that they do not have the owner’s permission in no way clarifies what lodging means or how one can avoid it. In this circumstance “to lodge” illegally appears to have meant to the deputies- to further physically occupy space in any manner on the steps of the Santa Cruz County courthouse.

Sheriff’s deputies stopped calling what we were doing as “camping” and started to accuse us of “lodging.” We knew something was coming. About a week later, sheriff’s handed out this flyer which had no letterhead, was unsigned, and unconvincing in its text as part of their “Education phase.”  –Photo by Becky Johnson Aug 7 2010
Byers told jurors about a 2-phased Plan to get the protesters to leave the location.
–Education phase followed by an Enforcement phase.
“Lt. Plageman testified that they weren’t’ interfering with the right to protest.
Their goal was to stop people from the intent of the protest which was to violate
the law.” He told jurors that flyers were handed out in the following way:  “If you were lying down, you were sleeping, you were violating the law. At 4:30AM, they were already lodging when the
Sheriffs deputies arrived. They were already breaking the law.”
Sounds like a slam-dunk.
So does the “law” outlaw lying down, or sleeping? No. PC 647( e ) outlaws “lodging”
but that word is not defined anywhere in the code. In 2011, at the Peace Camp Six
trial, Judge John Gallagher made up a definition by looking at old codes and
a dictionary.  Judge Rebecca Connolly has made up a new definition. In neither
case, were any of the defendants allowed access to either definition of lodging
when cited two years ago.
“The dictionary includes 14 different definitions of “lodging,” Defense Attorney Jonathon Gettleman quickly added in.
jurors don’t know that defendants (and their attorneys) have challenged that
Byers showed some really dark and grainy videos which roughly show a mess. John Valley’s voice can be heard and the sound of Linda coughing.  Even worse, he paints the protest as characterized as “junk all over”, none of which has ANYTHING to do with Linda Lemaster. Linda was wide awake at 11PM with no bedding. That, at 4:30AM, sheriff’s came and found her sitting up and looking sleepy, doesn’t mean a crime was committed.
Byers asserted more claims that I doubt are true.
“No one is allowed to lodge on the steps of the courthouse at night.” Huh? Lodging isn’t defined as an activity done at night only. And when Linda Lemaster was there at 4:30AM, she wasn’t trespassing. The courthouse steps were a legal public place to be (at the time. Since this has been changed by County administration to make it a crime to BE THERE between 7PM and 7AM).

Santa Cruz wins Nazi salute case against Robert Norse

J.M. Brown

Santa Cruz Sentinel:   11/07/2012

SAN JOSE — A federal jury on Wednesday found in favor of Santa Cruz city officials who more than a decade ago ejected a longtime critic from a public meeting for making a mock Nazi salute and had him arrested when he refused to leave.

Former Councilman Tim Fitzmaurice said the 8-0 verdict shows “we acted with integrity” when he and then-Mayor Christopher Krohn sought the removal of activist Robert Norse from a March 2002 meeting. Norse was ejected and arrested again nearly two years later after another series of events that council members viewed as disruptive.

“I knew we presented the best case we possibly could,” Fitzmaurice said.

Norse’s attorney, David Beauvais, said he would file a motion for a new trial within two weeks, saying the evidence predominantly proved Norse was well within his First Amendment rights to make the salute. If the judge denies the request for a new trial, Beauvais said he would evaluate the judge’s reasoning before determining whether to appeal further.

Beauvais and co-counsel Kate Wells attempted to convince jurors during the four-day trial that city officials singled Norse out for punishment because they were annoyed by his unrelenting criticism of their policies concerning the homeless.

“The implications of this are that anybody on the council that doesn’t like anything going on can declare they are disturbed,” Beauvais said of the verdict. “It effectively removes the First Amendment right to the content of the message.”

Norse made the salute after Krohn stopped a woman from speaking once a public comment period had ended. Although Krohn didn’t see the gesture, Fitzmaurice brought it to his attention and asked that Norse be made to leave. The mayor agreed and stopped the meeting after Norse refused to go, which prompted his arrest and jailing for five hours.

In January 2004, the late Scott Kennedy, who was then mayor, ejected Norse after he argued with Kennedy’s order to leave. Kennedy warned Norse that participating in a protest parade around the Council Chamber was disruptive and warned him again for whispering to an acquaintance.

The two incidents were consolidated for the proceedings before U.S. District Court Ronald Whyte, who had earlier dismissed Norse’s claims and was initially backed up by the 9th District Court of Appeal. However, another appellate panel ordered the judge to hear evidence — a ruling that stood after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up the matter.

The city’s attorney, George Kovacevich said Wednesday the verdict affirms constitutional protections on the proper time, place and manner for First Amendment expression.

“This is not a place for protests,” Kovacevich said Wednesday. “It’s a place to dialogue with the council and discuss issues.”

One juror was from Aptos but the others were from communities over the hill. Beauvais said he learned by talking to a juror that one of them thought the city may have discriminated against Norse’s views and held out for several hours before agreeing with the majority.

The city faced the possibility of paying about $300,000 in legal bills from Norse’s attorneys and about $30,000 in damages, Kovacevich said. If the city is ultimately successful, it may seek reimbursement for some of its costs, which equal at least $150,000.

Santa Cruz library board delays suspension policy changes

J.M. Brown

Santa Cruz Sentinel:   11/05/2012SANTA CRUZ — The library board agreed Monday to push two controversial issues to its Dec. 5 meeting to get legal advice on a patron suspension policy and replacing a citizen board member.

The proposed patron policy changes allow for staff to suspend someone for up to a year after a series of warnings.

Current rules allow only for a 30-day suspension, after which the next step was to seek a temporary restraining order. Staff now would be able to suspend a patron up to six months or a year after a fourth violation of conduct rules, and there are ways to appeal.

The changes also ban using the library for sleeping. Landers said the rule is not meant to punish those who doze off while reading, but rather those who come to sleep for long periods of time. The new rules also empower staff to remove unattended items, such as backpacks.

The rules also clarify provisions for animals — dogs or miniature horses — that provide emotional support to patrons. The proposed rules would require staff to ask what kind of service or support the animal provides.

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ellen Pirie objected to the rule, saying the question could violate personal privacy by forcing a patron to disclose a disability.

“I agree you need to ask, ‘Is this a service animal?’ It’s the next step that I’m not sure is wise,” Pirie said.

Landers said identifying the purpose the animal services reduces the city’s liability if the animal injures someone else.

The library also updated the language used on a flier staff can hand to someone who has a strong odor, a piece of paper that on one side urges the person to leave and on the other provides information about free shower and laundry facilities at the Homeless Services Center. The new language tells the person their odor ‘is a violation of our rules of conduct,” a point Landers said interferes with others’ use of the library.

Landers estimates staff hands out a flier once or twice a week at the downtown branch.

Landers said there has been a major improvement in the atmosphere around the branch since the city hired private security guards to patrol the library and City Hall. People have often congregated outside, sleeping, smoking or being loud. There have been problems inside too, including a man staff caught disrobing in the stacks months ago.

Monday, the board also debated the process for replacing citizen Leigh Poitinger, who has represented Santa Cruz. Pirie objected to specifying that a seat be named specifically for the city, saying the library’s bylaws only state that the board’s three citizen seats be geographically diverse.

The board decided to table the matter to get a ruling from the city attorney about a motion passed in 2005 that some believe required city residency for one of the seats.

Lighthouse Linda Lemaster Trial

Linda Lemaster, chair of the former Homeless Issues Task Force and long-time homeless activist, goes to jury trial on Tuesday, November 6th at 8:30 AM (jury selection begins Monday November 5th at 8:30 AM) in Dept. 1 at 701 Ocean St.  She is charged with PC 647e, an archaic state “anti-lodging” law for sitting on the steps of the courthouse in August 2010 in solidarity with PeaceCamp2010 homeless protesters, peacefully demonstrating against the City’s homeless Sleeping Ban.

Appeals Judge Upholds Anti-Homeless “Lodging” Law Against “Lighthouse” Linda Lemaster –

“Lighthouse” Linda Lemaster’s blog –

Lemaster Lodging Trial Nears –

Yes, I’m Guilty –

Sentinal article – Trial date set in case of Santa Cruz Peace Camp protester – – HUFF Blog post of article with comments here.

Sentinel article – SC County Woman Convicted –

SC Weekly article – Activist Lemaster Sentenced For Illegal Lodging –

Former Santa Cruz mayors stand by ouster of advocate over Nazi salute

J.M. Brown

Santa Cruz Sentinel:   11/01/2012SAN JOSE — Two former Santa Cruz mayors who testified Thursday in a free-speech lawsuit stood by their push to eject a City Council critic who made a Nazi salute.

Tim Fitzmaurice and Christopher Krohn told a federal jury the gesture disrupted a March 2002 meeting because activist Robert Norse, who was arrested after refusing to leave, meant to communicate with the council, however quick and quiet, after a public comment period had ended.

“It’s silence was irrelevant to me,” Fitzmaurice said. “It was an attempt at disrupting the meeting, which is Mr. Norse’s usual activity.”

The former city officials portrayed the 65-year-old advocate for the homeless as a chronic agitator who pushed the boundaries of decorum. Norse’s attorneys tried to show city leaders singled him out, violating his First and Fourth Amendment rights to expression and arrest with probable cause, because they resented his persistent derision.

Norse has said his irritation with Fitzmaurice stemmed from a promise to reform the city’s ban on sleeping in public between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. But Fitzmaurice rebutted that Thursday, “I never said ‘I’m running on softening the laws for homeless people,’ explicitly or directly.”

Norse made the salute after then-Mayor Krohn stopped a woman from speaking. Norse was arrested again in January 2004 after participating in a protest parade around the Council Chamber and refusing to leave after questioning then-Mayor Scott Kennedy’s admonition of him for whispering to a friend.

The cases were consolidated for the proceedings that got under way this week after an appellate panel ordered the long-delayed matter to trial. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte said jurors will hear during closing arguments next week how much financial compensation Norse will seek from Krohn, Fitzmaurice and the city. Kennedy died in 2011.


After Norse began regularly attending meetings, several other witnesses said the city tightened rules on public participation, including ending a provision that allowed citizens to pull items from the council’s consent agenda for discussion — a tool Norse often used to give unrelated speeches. Citizens must now get a council member to pull an item.

“There was less and less opportunity for Robert to speak, and less and less opportunity for the general public to speak,” said Scott Graham, a frequent attendee who, like others, said the council punished Norse for actions others committed without penalty.

Activist Coral Brune testified she also was warned by Kennedy for taking part in the 2004 parade and sat down in the gallery. She said city staff and others, unlike Norse, were not punished for talking to each other during the meeting.

“I’ve never seen that happen before,” she said.


Norse’s attorneys tried to show it was the council’s own reactions to Norse that created disruptions.

“Other than you complaining, how did this disrupt the meeting?” attorney David Beauvais asked Fitzmaurice about the salute.

“It did disrupt the meeting because Norse was trying to draw attention to himself,” said Fitzmaurice, who brought the salute to Krohn’s attention.

Krohn acknowledged he did not see the gesture and was not personally disrupted by it. But he said it created a disruption because Fitzmaurice deemed it out of order.

Fitzmaurice, who at the time served on the American Civil Liberties Union’s local board, said he would not have seen Norse’s salute as out of order if he had made it during public comment.

But he also acknowledged he would not call someone out of order for applauding the council or giving them a thumbs-up outside of the public comment period. He said those actions would not disrupt a meeting.

“It was a fairly specific kind of message to me that (Norse) assumed, because it was so explosive, it would require a response to it,” Fitzmaurice said.