HUFF in the Wilds: Special meeting 10:15 AM Wednesday 2-28-18 at San Lorenzo Benchlands Look for the Protest Signs

We will be moving from our usual Sub Rosa location next to the Bike Church to the San Lorenzo Benchlands as the City forces campers to leave.


    •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
    •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
    •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
    •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
    •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future


  • More Reports from Santa Ana Riverbed Encampment,
  • Communicating with Other Encampments to the North and South
  • Stories from the Street Around Us


Several Suggested Strategies for Those Left Outside

A double-sided flier I circulated today and will do again tomorrow, energy willing. The San Lorenzo Benchlands area contains scores of tents which now face eviction. The “humanitarian” cover for this removal operation is a $90,000/month fenced off area on the edge of town at 1220 River St. with unclear access policies and three levels of policing (internal hosts, First Alarm Security outside, and a nearby mobile Police Substation.

The deadline for eviction tomorrow, according to workers at the River St. campground, is 11 AM. While I found numerous City-funded workers helping move homeless property from San Lorenzo to River St. today, there is clearly no place for most homeless people in the City to go.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) activists will be down at the San Lorenzo Campground to observe and document the eviction of the poorest in our community 10:15 AM Wednesday 2-28.  Join us and post any video you take.
Read more and make comments at

Flyer is at


According to Channel 8, today, Tuesday February 27th, is the last day for survival campers in the San Lorenzo Benchlands.  

      The only immediate campground alternatives is a barbed wire-ringed fenced-off space at the edge of town at 1220 River St.  It looks to be 1/3 the size of the current San Lorenzo campground.   Homeless people are considered too dangerous to be able to walk to and from the campground, so those using it must be ferried to and from.  It is reportedly already almost completely filled.  It costs $90,000 a month–which is likely far     more than was spent on San Lorenzo, with only a fraction of its clients.  Homeless advocates and homeless people were not consulted in its creation.  Its existence seems more of a fluffy PR cover for the elimination of the San Lorenzo campground with no real alternatives..

       The other “shelter alternative” is the Winter Shelter program slated to end in mid April. It involves body searches, strict entering and leaving times, and other aspects that make it unsuitable for many outside.  It is current limited to around 110 people.  There are no plans for a summer shelter program other than the “have your ‘Path to Housing’ cash or vouchers” ready program of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.

        Given these sober facts, it’s nonsense to believe government claims that San Lorenzo campers are being given a real alternative –at least for most.  Much of the ballyhoo around these “shelter proposals” seems simply to be a way of dressing up mass eviction & possible crackdown city-wide.

        The San Lorenzo campground was initially created as a “toleration” zone given the Hepatitis A epidemic.  Won’t removing the campground recreate the bad conditions?


  •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
  •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
  •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
  •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
  •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future.

This e-mail is from HUFF and does not necessarily represent the views of the Warming Center or Food Not Bombs



    •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
  •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
  •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
  •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
  •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future.

This e-mail is the opinion of HUFF and does not necessarily represent the views of Food Not Bombs or the Warming Center.

Speaking Back to the Sentinel on the San Lorenzo Campground

A Response to Jessica York’s Latest Sentinel San Lorenzo Campground Story
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
Saturday Feb 3rd, 2018 9:24 AM


Jessica York’s front-page story in today’s Scent Anal “Camp Cleanups Shuffle City’s Homeless Population” breezes over the destruction of homeless property and survival gear. It does indicate that City bosses colluded with Cal-Trans in the latest “destroy their stuff” campaign. Those bosses, of course, would be City Manager Bernal, Police Chief Mills, P & R head Garcia, and nominally Mayor Terrazas). Perhaps it’s just raw meat for the Next Door/Take Back Santa Cruz crowd, but it’s criminal cruelty nonetheless.

Most of this was left as a Disquis comment to the article. I’ll also be covering some of this on my Sunday Free Radio Show at 101.3 FM at 9:30 AM (also which archives at .

Those who want to can leave comments on the Sentinel story at   Beware the bigot barrage likely to follow, since the Comment section is largely a Bigot’s Banquet.   I’m also reprinting the story below, since who wants to pay $1.50 to buy this rag, and it’s no longer free on line.

The “clean-up” was actually wholesale property removal that refused to provide temporary storage. Brent Adams mentions this and the prior “force the folks to move and dump the property that remains” process during the previous clean-up (but not during the first one). See… .

The City’s ridiculous justification for this policy (some storage unclaimed in previous clean-up’s) reveals its real motivation. This is akin to the apparent agenda of most posters here–to thin out the homeless population by forced removal and property destruction. That should increase the homeless death rate, already high this last year.

York’s irrelevant inclusion of the storage problems of a camper not necessarily connected with San Lorenzo Park reveals her own bias, but also ironically is an example of the problem that many campers and the fearful residents who complain about then, have: storage.

This is a problem that Adams and the City arranged to deal with, but that storage agreement the City backed out on at the last minute, claiming it needed to “prepare” the ludicrously inadequate “Boneyard” barbed wire campground at 1220 River St.. This small space can house only a fraction of those at San Lorenzo (itself only a fraction of the homeless) and will require users being bused in and out twice a day to pander to the paranoia of businesses nearby.

Activists in the community need to consider providing trash pick-up’s and portapotty rental for the many existing campgrounds that reappear after every sweep. I also suggest better communications with the campgrounds in order to document that illegal property theft and destruction of survival gear that the City is colluding with Cal-Trans to do.

If they get hit in the pocketbook with some hefty lawsuits, like Fresno, perhaps we’ll see a little less city-funded theft (

Camp cleanups shuffle Santa Cruz’s homeless population around city
By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ >> Santa Cruz’s homeless population was put on the move this week, as separate encampment cleanups around the city coincided.

Santa Cruz Police Deputy Chief Rick Martinez told the city Public Safety Committee on Monday to expect Caltrans cleanups along Highway 1 to have rippling impacts throughout the rest of the city, relocating the city’s homeless to parks and open spaces, downtown and the neighborhoods.

“Hopefully we can find that magical place called ‘somewhere else’ where those can receive a system of care and get them off the streets,” Martinez said. He said “hundreds of people” were residing along Highway 1, past the bypass to Santa Cruz Memorial and uphill to Mission Street.

Caltrans crews began their Santa Cruz cleanup efforts on Jan. 26, said Caltrans District 5 spokeswoman Susana Cruz. Caltrans has targeted properties along Ocean Street, along the San Lorenzo River, Swift Street and Western Drive since then, she said. More cleanups are scheduled for Shaffer Road and Plymouth Street in coming weeks, Cruz said.

Martinez told the commission that Santa Cruz officials had asked Caltrans to address the growing number of encampments on their properties since October or November of last year.

“This has been going on for years,” Cruz said of Caltrans crews’ efforts to address trash buildup and homeless encampments in Santa Cruz. “They (Caltrans workers) do do this, but they have a list of work that they have to do, so every once in a while, they have to stop and just take care of the encampment thing, the homeless issue.”

Separately, residents of the city’s largest homeless encampment, comprised of 70 or more people in tents along the San Lorenzo Park benchlands, were temporarily evicted Tuesday evening through Thursday morning for a semi-regular city site cleanup effort. While past city camp cleanups have extended for only 24 hours, an extra half day was allotted this week due to the extended duration of time needed by campers to clear the area, city Parks and Recreation Director Mauro Garcia said.

By the conclusion of the cleanup Wednesday, city Public Works and Parks and Recreation workers had loaded some 2.6 tons of debris into a packer truck, Santa Cruz city spokeswoman Eileen Cross said. A 20-yard Dumpster on site has been averaging 2.5 to 3 tons of trash per pickup, for a cumulative 17.2 tons of trash collected since Oct. 30, Cross said.

Homelessness issues advocate Brent Adams has been posting videos of day-to-day experiences of people living at the benchlands through his Homeless Outside in Santa Cruz Facebook page. During this week’s camp clear-out, Adams spoke to several people who relocated to temporary camps near the Water Street Bridge.

When campers returned to the benchlands Thursday, they saw the nearly 60 outlined campsite spaces reduced by one space that had been damaged by a camper who dug deep trenches around and through their site, Garcia said. Though his department’s general rule has been to restrict one tent per campsite, city workers have been “flexible in enforcing this rule, depending on the situation.” Some campers have been allowed to set up secondary “E-Z Up” tent structures to extend their shelter space, Garcia said.

During the benchlands cleanup, the city dispensed with offering overnight storage space for campers’ possessions, an amenity officials had previously provided, because “several storage bins from previous cleanups have not been claimed,” Garcia said.

In a likely unrelated occurrence, storage-related issues came to a head for one man who told officials he had been evicted from an Eastside private storage space and then opted to store his possessions on Santa Cruz City Schools’ property at the Branciforte Small Schools campus Thursday and Friday.

Though an on-site school administrator was aware of the man’s actions and permitted it temporarily, his extended stay caught the attention of local residents and Santa Cruz police, said department spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke. The man was cited by police and his possessions picked up by a moving truck Friday afternoon, Blaschke said.

What’s Happening in the Santa Cruz County Jail?

NOTES BY NORSE:  Since the negligent homicide of Krista Daluca (“Four Days…the Slaying of Krista Deluca in the Santa Cruz County Jail” at, there’s been little sustained focus on our own section of the incarceration system.  In spite of a history of medical negligence and abuse (“Santa Cruz Residents Call for Sheriff to Accept Responsibility for ‘Unnatural’ Jail Deaths” at, the only clear  reaction of the Sheriff Hart’s regime has been to fence off protesters (“Sheriff Hart Requests $47,925 to Fence Out Protesters from Santa Cruz County Jail” at  Until forced by state law, Sheriff Hart continued to collude with ICE abusers (“Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart, Contrary to Assurances, Collaborates with ICE” at 

                            While Hart has reportedly been forthcoming in dealing with the marijuana growers lobby by slowing or stopping raids (or at least releasing public records), no one has yet done an analysis of class, race, and “drug crime” of the jail population.  Myself included.  I include more critical commentary below.

                            What prompted the recent rebellion?  From the mouths of those who rebelled, not those who struck them down, please!


Cold Temperatures Prompt Inmate Rebellion in Santa Cruz Jail
by Santa Cruz Police News
Thursday Jan 18th, 2018 11:44 PM
Inmates locked in the Santa Cruz jail armed themselves, and created booby traps and barricades in their cells, as they staged a masked rebellion this week over cold temperatures within the facility, according to authorities.
26 men in the west-wing L Unit of the jail complained about the cold temperatures, and on Tuesday afternoon they, “tied trip lines from ripped jail-cell sheets, covered their arms with socks, hid their faces with makeshift masks,” and, “armed themselves with soap, a radio, mop, books and bottles of liquid,” according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. They also created “trip lines,” and “covered the unit floor with soap and water and blocked stairwells and walkways with mattresses as they tried to pelt the guards with books and soap,” according to a jail official..

The rebellion left over $1,000 in property damage in its wake.

A press release issued by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office on January 16 titled “Jail Disturbance Resolved” read:

“Over the last several days, male inmates residing in a housing unit at the Main Jail became increasingly concerned about the unit’s ambient air temperature. Maintenance has been actively working to increase the temperature above 70 degrees and Jail staff provided extra blankets in the interim. Over the last 24 hours, the inmates became increasingly non-compliant to the point that they refused Correctional staff directives, used mattresses as makeshift barricades and prepared tools for offensive and defensive use. Despite hours of Correctional staff attempting to resolve and deescalate the disturbance, the inmates ultimately refused to follow lawful directives.

“Shortly before 2 pm this afternoon, Sheriff’s Office staff entered the housing unit to restore safety and order. None of the inmates or Sheriff’s Office staff suffered any serious injuries.”

Read more:

Masked inmates use booby traps in Santa Cruz County Jail skirmish

SANTA CRUZ >> They tied trip lines from ripped jail-cell sheets, covered their arms with socks, hid their faces with makeshift masks and armed themselves with soap, a radio, mop, books and bottles of liquid.The 26 men housed in the west-w

Masked Inmates Booby Trapped Entire Cell Block At Santa Cruz Jail

Masked inmates armed with soap, books and mattresses booby-trapped an entire cell block at the Santa Cruz County Jail.

§Sheriff’s press release

by Santa Cruz Police News Thursday Jan 18th, 2018 11:46 PM

Download PDF (258.3kb)

Continue reading

HUFF Flyer from the Women’s March Saturday

Flyer Distributed at the Women’s March Earlier Today
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
Saturday Jan 20th, 2018 11:22 PM

This is an updated version of a flyer originally prepared last year in response to repression at the Bookshop Santa Cruz in its hypocritical reading of George Orwell’s 1984, while excluding disfavored activists from the store, even from access to its publicly funded bathroom. My broader focus was on the criminalization of the poor and specifically poor women..
The tumultous massive Women’s Day march seemed to have as many as last March’s huge march, though not having a helicopter it was hard to tell. Folks packed into Pacific Avenue and at points it became hard to squeeze through.

Many signs, many unfamiliar faces, hundreds of children, dogs, women and men. Organizations with huge banners and an ocean of anti-Trump signs and pussy hats.

As ever, I was concerned about this being another “kick out Trump and reinstall Trumpism under the Democrats” rally with little or no focus on local discrimination against women (specifically homeless women). I did see one “End the Sleeping Ban” sign.

Many (myself included) have delighted in the drop in citing people for sleeping at night on public property and the opening (for a few) of the San Lorenzo Park as campground, However the Sleeping Ban law is still on the books; City Council is still in the hands of a repressive Terrazas majority; and homeless women (and men) continue to face harassment and citation for just being in public spaces.

Neo-liberal hypocrites like the Coonerty clan (that own and manage the Bookshop Santa Cruz) continue to play politics with homeless lives, supporting anti-homeless laws like the Parking Lot Panic law (which bans being in a parking lot without parking a vehicle or walking directly through).

The question I’ve repeatedly asked is whether these large nationally organized parades actually lead to any real local action on human and civil rights issues. I didn’t see much come out of last year’s March Women’s March.

My interviews and commentary will be broadcast on Free Radio Santa Cruz and will be archived 1-22 at .

by Robert Norse  
Download and distribute–not just for the Women’s Day March.

Download PDF (517.6kb)


Martin Luther King Day Parade–Beyond the Puff to Principled Practices

Updated Flyer Distributed in the MLK Police-Led “Peace and Justice” March Monday
by Robert Norse    Tuesday Jan 16th, 2018 1:49 PM
My brief report on the Monday MLK march.

The crowd was huge and the streets filled with people, banners, and music. Thanks in part to organizing by Santa Cruz Indivisible (which my friend Steve calls “Indistinguishable”), the NAACP (apparently no complaints about racism in the last year according to a staffer at their table), the RCNV (marching arm and arm with the armed and violent), and, of course, the main weapon-toters in town, the SCPD.

I walked along with a small “The Cops are Not Gods Over Us” sign and distributed a flyer. See .

I also distributed a longer updated version of a flyer HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) has been distributing for several years, demanding radical changes in the SCPD. I’m attaching this flyer–which is the real point of this article.

Elsewhere on facebook Steve Schnaar and Steve Argue have made criticisms of the rally, with Abbi Samuels noting the sell-out putdown cry of “All Lives Matter” wafting over the parade. See [Shouting “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter” is like shouting “What About Cancer!” in response to “Fight AIDS!”.

I can’t deny I enjoyed the parade. But there was a superficiality to it all that bothered me later. In the face of the Happy Face mood, I found it harder than usual to focus on the hard questions that the one-day paraders were fluffing over. I found the dialogue between me and the cops I spoke to reduced to stereotyped acknowledgments, a kind of manufactured peace. Wasn’t it King who said “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.?”…

The false camaraderie helped to build the illusion that police are always trying to foster that they are “your friends”. In 2018 Santa Cruz, this is simply not true. Particularly for youth, activists, poor people, and people of color. It’s a treacherous assumption to start with. But it certainly helps police gather information, ignore embarrassing questions, and silence angry dissent.

Was King’s memory again being turned into a rallying platform for established politicians (Zack Friend, Andy Mills, a clot of reactionary City Council members) with no focus on actual racist practices here in Santa Cruz? Were we watching another organizing party for the Democrats, perhaps wearying of their latest anti-Russian hysteria–again with substantive issues of a local kind largely ignored (with the exception of some individual activists)?

Were we being sheepdogged again, Bernie Sanders-style, into the Brighter Day where we’d have the Happy Choice of a Wall Street Warmonger over a Racist Blowhard–all pushing the same lethal agenda in different language? Did reassurances from police officials and politicians mean we no longer had to face down class brutality, greedy landlords, compliant bureaucrats, and their armed guards with clarity, solidarity, anger and determination?

I’ll be playing interviews from the parade on Thursday evening (1-17) at 6 PM on Free Radio at 101.3 FM, streaming at The show will archive at a day later.


Impending Uprooting on San Lorenzo Campground?

Eviction Notice Posted for Santa Cruz Benchlands Hooverville
by Free Speech Matters   Sunday Nov 5th, 2017 11:40 AM

After being rousted from downtown Santa Cruz and given San Lorenzo Park, homeless people are being told to move again.

The Hooverville-type camp on the benchlands in San Lorenzo Park now faces eviction. A notice was posted closing the park for “maintenance” on Thursday 9 November 2017.

Homeless people began occuping the benchlands after the Santa Cruz police vowed to “clean-up the downtown area”. When asked were they could go, the police told the homeless that they could go to San Lorenzo Park. Police Chief Andrew Mills declared, From the Clock Tower to Laurel Street, from Front to Center Streets, SCPD will spend the resources needed to ensure order. “

Now the City Parks Department says it is time to move along.

§Hooverville-type Camp Santa Cruz Park Benchlands

by Free Speech Matters Sunday Nov 5th, 2017 11:40 AM

Homeless people moved here after being rousted from downtown

Gorillas in the Mist: Are the Goonsquads Coming?

by Robert Norse  Monday Nov 6th, 2017 4:18 AM

The danger that this is an eviction and not a one-day relocation for “park maintenance” is real.

It’s not really clear what kind of “maintenance” is required here. I’ve never heard of the park being closed totally to the public (other than the usual privatized-for-a-day financial scams) for this purpose.

I suppose it could be a genuine “clean up” operation since San Lorenzo hasn’t seen so massive a continuous occupation since the Occupy movement of Fall 2011.

However there’s been no reassurance (whatever weight that would really have) from Police Chief Andy Mills and Parks Czar Mauro Garcia–much less from the City Council–that the “maintenance” will be followed by restoration of the campground tolerance (and portapotty/washing station/trash pickup support).

So this could be a dress rehersal for an evict-and-deport operation timed to operate with the opening of (as usual very limited) Winter Shelter program on November 15th.

This also comes at a time when Berkeley’s successful “Sanctuary Village” style encampment “Here…There” (earlier known as First they Came for the Homeless) was driven off last Saturday by BART goon squads after a peaceful period of ten months there with community support.

See “No Justice. Just Law. A Tale of Homelessness and Eviction.” at, “Homeless Eviction Farewell Party to South Berkeley ” at

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges at HERE/THERE, beg in the streets or steal loaves of bread. Tomorrow morning …

See also–Carol-Denney,

On the upside, note the unusual order by the federal judge Alsop.

While denying the camp’s call for a stay of execution, he also demands of Berkeley and the campers that by late November they come up with “a practical plan for shelter for its homeless during the coming winter…. Do not simply recite the programs the City purports to offer, for they are admittedly insufficient. Submit a plan that will shelter substantially all of Berkeley’s homeless. ..Be specific. Name soccer fields and open spaces [that could be converted].. to tent cities.”

This is a rare call for information from an otherwise-hostile Federal judge (he denied the campers attempt to stop the BART demolition of the camp).


In Berkeley the Here…There camp had a history of being stalked and attacked by police agencies over a dozen times.

The cat-and-mouse game between Berkeley and a homeless activist group continued early on Wednesday when city officials rousted about 25 people from their tents and …

City authorities finally realized–as Portland authorities did with the Dignity Camp that became Dignity Village in 2002–that they weren’t going to destroy the integrity and determination of the camp. So for ten months, they stopped the police raids, even yielding under pressure to allow a nearby portapotty to be set up.

Now displaced camp residents have already set up camp again at City Hall. See . The determination not to end the protest-and-survive camp has been renewed with community support.

First they came for the homeless. 4,194 likes · 430 talking about this. Action campaign for human rights.

In Santa Cruz, the same support kept the Freedom Sleepers going for 2 years until City Manager Martin Bernal unilaterally declared new “laws” banning constitutional protest there after dark.

Food Not Bombs, newly strengthened with volunteers, has brought food to the Freedom Sleeper encampment every Tuesday. Some activists there have discussed solidarity with the campers when the police come to remove the survival campers on (or before) November 9th.

Weekend warriors can e-mail Mills at amills [at] and Garcia at mgarcia [at] Not to mention citycouncil [at] .

Of course, the more direct course is to go down to San Lorenzo Park and offer support and solidarity to the campers themselves.

Or contact Food not Bombs at the Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs facebook page. You can also reach HUFF at 831-423-4833.

Stacked Deck Stay-Away Law Expansion Promises More Pain for Poor Outside at City Council Today

Coming up today at City Council on the noon agenda (unusually early) is Item, #14. It may come up within an hour by 1 PM if not before. MC 13.08.100 exponentially expands the time a cop or ranger can unilaterally order a person to leave an area and not return. The vastly expanded area includes the Pogonip, Arana Gulch, and Moore Creek. The law is billed as a “School Safety” law, though the vast majority of the area covered is much further than 300′ from a school.
Forwarded to me today yesterday were the attached P & R cites for 2016 and 2017, with addresses, which is helpful, but requiring some going over to see just who got the Stay-Aways and for what offenses and who didn’t. The SCPD records did not include the addresses. Neither SCPD nor P & R included race, which is interesting. There’s hardly time to do a thorough review of these to determine how severely the current 13.08.100 impacted homeless folks. Nor how much it cost the City to do it, and how much P & R time it took up for what specific “criminal offenses”.

What the records do show is massive use of the Stay-Away order. No indication of for how long the Stay-Away periods are. Nor how many have been cited with possible year in jail crimes for violating the Stay-Aways. Nor is there any record of the fabled “resources” that the largely homeless people seeking distant refuge in greenbelt areas have supposedly available to them.

There’s also no indication of the specific locations on the citations, i.e. to clarify how many were issued within 300′ of a school. Since the overwhelming majority of territory (covered by Moore’s Creek, Arana Gulch, and Pogonip) is far beyond any schools and hence not relevant to any “School Safety Enhancement Zone”, it seems clear the purpose of this is to triple the immediate punishment of anyone getting a citation prior to going to court.

Could this be to avoid the “bother” of proving someone guilty of a crime, or the shame of making a crime out of necessary survival behavior? Those outside need to sleep after 11 PM and may find a distant spot to sleep on public land in an area that has conveniently been declared “closed”.

Police Chief Andy Mills’s claim that the current law and tripled-time law being considered today for final passage will “avoid criminalization of the homeless” is ridiculous, since each Stay-Away comes after an officer tickets for an underlying Infraction offense–which creates the criminal record. Or is Chief Mills claiming that he’s directing or advising his officers to issue the infractions simply to give a pretext to give a Stay-Away, and then not to show up in court so the infractions will then be dismissed?

Also a finding of “not guilty” by the court (which would only happen a month or more later) does not necessarily trigger an end to the Stay-Away order. There’s no provision in the 13.08.100 for that.

The wording of the statute is flawed and insufficient. As well as there being no specific provision in the law to end Stay-Aways if there’s no conviction. Even if a judge finds a defendant “not guilty” if there is ever a court trial, the City’s “preponderance of the evidence” standard which justifies the Stay-Away order prevails. As described in 13.08.100(b) even with a prior City Manager-run so-called pre-court Appeal Hearing, the “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard overrules the judge’s “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” judgment. The Stay-Away order, in the absence of any action by court or City Manager would continue according to the proposed wording of the law.

Under Terrazas’s Public Safety Committee “Schools Safety Enhancement Zones” expansion of the Stay-Aways the law for the entire Pogonip, Arana Gulch, and Moore Creek will read

“(a) Any person who receives a citation or is arrested [in these areas--and not just within 300- of a school]… for a violation of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code or state law may be ordered by the citing/arresting city officer at the time of the citation/arrest to vacate that park or beach property and not to re-enter said property again for the period of time specified below. Any such order shall apply to both the park or beach property at which the citation/arrest occurs and to any other park or beach property at which such an order was issued within the previous year. Any person who violates such an order from a city officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(1) First offense: 72 hours from the time of the citing/arresting officer’s order.
(2) Second offense within 3 weeks of the first offense: 3 weeks from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the second offense.
(3) Third offense within 90 days of the second offense: 90 days from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the third offense.
(4) Fourth offense within 18 months of the third offense: 18 months from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fourth offense.
(5) Fifth offense within 3 years of the fourth offense: 3 years from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fifth offense. [emphasis mine]”

I emphasize “may” in 13.08.100(a) because it gives the police officer unbridled discretion to issue or not issue a stay-away order simply on the basis of any infraction ticket, without a objective standard.

An individual getting four different citations–say for sleeping after 11 PM, being in a park after dark, sitting down within 14′ of a building on the sidewalk downtown, and smoking in a back area of the park in the first week, would face a 3 month stay away and a misdemeanor charge with a fine of $1000 and/or 6 months or a year in jail.

This in a town where there is no emergency shelter and 1000-2000 homeless outside. Essentially non-existent resources for the overwhelming majority.

Earlier research showing just what kind of “crimes” and what kind of people are getting targeted is at at Statistical Evidence of Park Rangers & SCPD Targeting Homeless Folks for Sleeping in Parks .

Supposedly Terrazas’s Public Safety Committee was supposed to review this matter six months after passage in 2015, but I’m not aware that he ever did so. On-line minutes and agendas for his Committee are not currently available.

Earlier story on the Stay-Away Stampede:  “Toxic Expansion of Stay-Away Ordinance Hits Council Agenda Today” at
The proposed law needs to be tabled and sent to Public Hearings to consider more closely the actual alternate resources available, the impact on the poor population, and the costs.

Partial RV Residents Victory in Marina; HUFF Punts Again: NO 11 AM Meeting Wednesday– But There’s Still Stuff You Can Do to Fight City Council’s Home Grown Fascism Here

Though skipping another Wednesday meeting, HUFF members and sympathizers are still focused on our own local struggle against the long-term fascist wave against the homeless.

I’m still waiting for clarification from staff mouthpiece and Assistant City Manager Scott Collins just how far the new 72-hour police power extends.  It currently allows cops and rangers to issue Stay-Away orders from areas when they give out an infraction ticket.  The area seems to include Arana Gulch, Moore Creek, and the Pogonip as well as some smaller parks.

Go to and click on Item #20, then on  “School Safety Enhancement Zones Ordinance (CN) – Map” on the right side of the screen.    More details, hopefully from “Scapegoater” Scott when I get them.

This is a direct attack on poor people who try to sleep in the Pogonip at night–since there is no alternate shelter (and even when it is available to a few is often described as wretched, bug-ridden, unsafe, and dehumanizing).  I mistakenly wrote last week that this proposed banning-without-court-process power extended to all parks, which apparently it does not–only those within 300′ of a school  (again, see the map above).    Also while the law outrageously triples lengths of time that thugs in uniform can ban you from areas without a court conviction or trial, it does not triple the fines.

Final vote from the rubberstamping body comes in two weeks, but e-mail to the City Council can still be sent to them putting opposition on record at .  To read the detailed horrors of the original law, whose bans will triple in length, go to  and review 13.08.090 and 13.08.100–both anti-homeless laws passed in 2013, expanded in 2015, and now back for a final blow at the poor outside.

+++ write a letter to the Sentinel, Good Times, facebook friends, or other on-line media denouncing the ordinance.  See my story at (“Toxic Expansion of Stay-Away Ordinance Hits Council Agenda Today”) for description and discussion.

+++ Sign up to support homeless resistance by using the “appeal process” hastily added on to the Stay-Away law which requires the City Manager’s office to hear an appeal before the Stay-Away is implemented.  Contact Food Not Bombs at its Saturday and Sunday meals at the Post Office and Tuesday night outside City Hall.  Or go to their facebook page at Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs.  Leave a message there for HUFF or contact HUFF by phone at 831-423-4833.  Bring citations, reports of stay-away orders, and other street info to the Food Not Bombs literature table.

+++  Ongoing crackdown on MHCAN at a Public Hearing to “revoke and replace” their special unit permit according to Board of Director mouthpiece Steve Pleich.  He and his Board, after many months of hush-hush secrecy and “don’t rock the boat” tactics are calling for public letters and calls to the Planning Department in advance of their September 7th hearing.  Attention: Mike Ferry, City of Santa Cruz, Dept. of Planning and Community Development, 809 Center St., Room 206, S.C. 95060  or e-mail at Let us know of any new police or vigilante actions against MHCAN or their clients, as well as any internal “crackdown” regs within MHCAN itself.


+++ Monterey County Homeless Activists who a partial victory at the Monterey Board of Supervisors today getting a 90-day nighttime extension for the dozens of vehicular residents out on Lapis Road north of Marina.  Implicitly acknowledging they have no “resources”  (i.e. housing or a safe place to park their RV’s). the Board responded to the organizing effort of Becky Johnson and Wes White, signing up folks to show they weren’t “service-resistant”.  However the resolution passed, supposedly binding on the sheriffs, still requires residents to vacate between 10 AM and 6:30 AM.  Many of the vehicular homes have very poor gas mileage, their owners are poor, and half are not drivable.   Residents Amber and Wildfire are reportedly inventorying and helping mobilize people for the 8 a.m. Thursday deadline.  Support the Lapis Road RV Residents by contacting the Supervisors Luis Alejo and Jane Parker for a more reasonable settlement at


+++ If you wish to work on Public Records, or learn about other HUFF projects, contact Bathrobespierre Robert of HUFF at 831-423-4833.