Ross Camp Lawsuit Filed!, City Council’s “Clean-Up” Cave-In, Organizing Resistance at Ross Wednesday 4-10: Conscience & Action 11 AM & HUFF noon at Sub Rosa

Conscience and Action meets at 11 AM; HUFF at 12; Sub Rosa (703 Pacific) will be doling out coffee and perhaps folks will bring edibles.

CONSCIENCE AND ACTION IDEAS  4-10-19

  • Announcements: Choice of Action Items
  • Following Up on the Wednesday Resistance and Thursday Depot Park Meetings: Flashmob Support
  • Implications of the Lawsuit and Follow-Up
  • Council Debacle and Review: Shifting the Focus Off the Council
  • Update on Organizing Events & Groups to Support Ross Camp if they Want
  • Deconstructing the Council’s Procedural Surrender to Staffster O’Hara and the Watkins Minority
  • Documenting the Shelter Deficit & Police Camp Demolition for the Non Ross Camp Homeless
  • Bathroom Barricade: Stepped Up Progress
  • Update on the $10 million from poverty pimps:  News on the HEAP, HAP, or COC HQ.
  • Storage Situation:  The Day/Night Storage Controversy
  • RV Harassment Update: Coastal Commission Pressure, Buddy Solidarity, Council InAction, Specific Complaints & Flyer Distribution, 2-20 Haebe Records Report Review
  • Pressing for Emergency laundry and shower access for the broader homeless community and Ross or General Laundromat/Biz Discrimination?
  • Tenant/Student Coalition Update; Prospects for Targeting a Real Estate Ripster
  • Supporting UCSC Student RV Dwellers in the SNAIL Organization; Outreach to Dem Soc
  • Legislation: Fatal Force Law,  Cop Records, Student RV Parking at Com 2Colleges (AB 302)

    For HUFFsters

  • Announcements: Including Brief Summaries of Agenda Items
  • Street Reports; Restaurant Discrimination?
  • Conscience and Action  items unfinished of interest to HUFFsters
  • Reports from Other Campsites
  • Glover’s Ross Camp Meeting Next Monday 3 or 4 PM
  • RV Survival/Organizing Report from Cynthia and Alicia:
  • Satellite Camp Expansion to Relieve Ross Camp Pressure; Prep for “Clean-Up” and Beyond
  • Push for Council Procedure Changes? Watkins Friday Meeting? Public Agenda?
  • Berkeley Reports:  Anti-RV Law:  People’s Park Situation
  • Tenants in Trouble: students, renters, elderly, disabled groups for mutual power and solidarity.
  • Library Situation: Monitoring the Mischief–Investigation and Update
  • Pushing Back Against Media Mobbing: Sentinel’s Burying the Housing/Shelter Gap

Prep for the Wed Nite Community Meeting, Attorney Anthony Prince Phone Conference on the Ross Camp Lawsuit : Wednesday 4-3: Conscience & Action 11 AM & HUFF noon at Sub Rosa

 Conscience and Action meets at 11 AM; HUFF at 12; Sub Rosa will be doling out coffee and perhaps folks will bring edibles.

CONSCIENCE AND ACTION IDEAS  4-3-19

  • Anthony Prince Phone Update on the Lawsuit
  • Firming Up the Wednesday Night “No Place for Hatred” Ross Camp Resistance Meeting
  • Prospect of a Faster Ross Camp Closing; April 10 or sooner; Helping to Organize Camp BBQ or Event
  • April 9 Council Meeting Prep and Demo: the Glover Report
  • Continuing to Document the Shelter Deficit For the Broader Homeless Community: Declaration Support
  • Tony Elliot Meeting Report–and Follow-Up Demo?  at Council or P & R?
  • Update on the $10 million from poverty pimps:  News on the HEAP, HAP, or COC HQ.
  • RV Harassment Update: Coastal Commission Pressure, Buddy Solidarity, Council InAction, Specific Complaints & Flyer Distribution, 2-20 Haebe Records Report
  • Any Progress on Emergency laundry and shower access for the broader homeless community and Ross or General Laundromat/Biz Discrimination?
  • Tenant/Student Coalition Update; Prospects for Targeting a Real Estate Person
  • Supporting UCSC Student RV Dwellers in the SNAIL Organization; Outreach to Dem Soc

    For HUFFsters

  • Announcements: Including Brief Summaries of Agenda Items
  • Conscience and Action  items unfinished of interest to HUFFsters
  • Ross Camp Assistance for Law Suit Finalization Friday or Monday
  • Glover Meets the Depot Demonizers 7 PM Depot Park Station Thursday
  • RV Survival/Organizing Report from Cynthia and Alicia: the Haebe Report
  • Satellite Camp Expansion to Relieve Ross Camp Pressure; Prep for April 10th & Beyond
  • Push for Council Procedure Changes Proposed?  Public Agenda Meetings ?
  • Berkeley Report: New Attacks on RV’s; People’s Park Situation
  • Tenants in Trouble—demanding real data from Council’s Task Farce, organizing with students, renters, elderly, disabled groups to establish mutual power and solidarity.
  • Library Situation: Monitoring the Mischief–Investigation and Update
  • SCPD: demanding revelation of surveillance devices throughout the City, police records on use of force, selective enforcement, tasering, DHS/ICE collusion, racial profiling.  Protests to open the property room during regular SCPD hours daily.  NO RESPONSES–Delay on the Haebe report
  • MHCAN report:  HUFF movement to support restoration of services.

Sunday 3-24-19 9:30 AM-3 PM at www.freakradio.org Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides: Flashback Free! Interview Packed! Endless Agony with the S.C. City Council Ross Camp Fightback And More!

REWARD ! :$300 for info leading to a 10′ X 10′ studio space indoors or outside with access to bathroom, internet, and power.  Free Radio Santa Cruz is also seeking a transmitter space where we can put up an antenna–a backyard, a multistory home, a high tree–help us spread the word.   Help us so we can help you!

Tonight’s show streams at freakradio.org and archives at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html  
On the show today:

  • “Action Time!” Alicia K. Reviews Attorney/Activist Anthony Prince’s Earlier Legal Prep and Pep Talk*
  • “Silver Tongued” Steve on SCPD’s Treatment of Vehicle Dwellers
  • “Down But Up” Desiree of the Ross Camp Council’s Report
  • “Just Watchin’” James Scopes Out the Pacific Ave Scene
  • Routing Recyclers–the Coming Changes
  • “Stacked Deck” Steve Tells a Tale of Bad Times
  • Ross Camp Council Dialogues with Councilmember “Gutsy But Gagged” Glover
  • Supporting A Maligned Homeless Union Activist in Yuba County
  • More Council Delay & Dissension on the Library/Parking Lot Bait ‘n Switch
  • Stripping Away the Mask: Homeless Humans in Cages in St. Petersburg, FL
  • Vetoing the Peich/Kuhl Encampment Funding
  • “Shit Sandwich for the Homeless” Cop Back in the Shit-Kicking Business
  • Depot Park Deadhearts Mobilize for Anti-Homeless Hate Rally Today Noon-3 PM
  • Accordian Man Downtown on his Life and Times
  • “Don’t Muck It Up” Mike S. of the Ross Camp Council Speaks Out
  • Daniel B. on Highs and Lows of the Ross Camp
  • Russell C., Amanda P., Henry L., Violet G.,–Personal and Political at FNB Meal
  • “Earnestly Enraged” Elisse on the Woes of the Conservative Blockade at City Council

Blasts from the Boulevard from Santa Cruz Fulltimer Vandweller Julie

https://www.leadertelegram.com/police-calls-drop-at-housing-for-homeless/article_dc08f0b4-9bab-58d4-b78f-d09dcbd15e07.html

Rainy Day Meetings Wednesday 3-6: Conscience & Action 11 AM & HUFF noon at Sub Rosa; Ross Camp Resistance 2 PM Rio Rec Room 2120 N. Pacific Ave.

CONSCIENCE AND ACTION IDEAS  3-6-19

  • Any Prep for the 2 PM Legal Forum Out at Camp Ross?  Hand-out sheets?
  • Upcoming City Council March 12th – Norse Interviews Mayor 3-8 1 PM Questions for her?
  • “Closed Bathrooms” Tony Elliot Presentation & Actions to Follow Friday 3:30 PM Meet
  • Wresting the $10 million from poverty pimps:  News on the HEAP, HAP, or COC HQ.
  • Latest RV Harassment Update: Coastal Commission Pressure, Buddy Solidarity, Council Action, Specific Complaints & Flyer Distribution, Follow-Up Letter to Mills
  • Continuing Documentation of the Shelter Deficit For the Broader Homeless Community
  • Emergency laundry and shower access for the broader homeless community and Ross.
  • Action targeting a real estate profiteer in conjunction with tenant organizations
  • Supporting UCSC Student RV Dwellers in the SNAIL Organization; Outreach to Dem Soc

    For HUFFsters

  • Conscience and Action  items unfinished of interest to HUFFsters
  • Assessment of Ross Camp Situation Given Fire and Recent Death + Upcoming Council
  • Council Speeches for 3-12:
  • RV Harassment Report from Cynthia and Alicia
  • RV living elsewhere; Reports from Elsewhere (San Diego’s Law)
  • Prepping for the Concentration Camp Solution; Homeless Dumping Out of Town
  • Organizing Ross Camp Support and Satellite Camp Expansion
  • Council Procedure Changes Proposed?  Public Agenda Meetings ?
  • Possible Update on Berkeley activists defending People’s Park against new attacks.
  • FRSC Meeting with Mayor Martine Watkins Friday 1 PM:  Any Questions?
  • Tenants in Trouble—demanding real data from the Task Farce, organizing with students, renters, elderly, disabled groups to establish mutual power and solidarity.
  • Library Situation: Monitoring the Mischief
  • SCPD: demanding revelation of surveillance devices throughout the City, police records on use of force, selective enforcement, tasering, DHS/ICE collusion, racial profiling.  Protests to open the property room during regular SCPD hours daily.  NO RESPONSES
  • MHCAN report:  HUFF movement to support restoration of services.

Police-Led Martin Luther King Day March, Lots of Smiles, Little Substance

This article also available (hopefully) at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/22/18820615.php


I joined the MLK parade, annoyed at the annual pomp and ceremony, sterilizing, sanitizing, and snoozifying his real message-to act locally against war, racism, and poverty. The flyers I distributed lay out some of the specifics that I often echo on this website. At least one speaker at the civic Auditorium noted it was, for the second year, police-led–the final bitter icing on the fluffy cake of expropriating, transforming, and degrading King’s original message and work.
Download PDF (833.0KB)
HOLLOW VOID OF HUZZAHS`
Almost entirely absent from the event was any discussion of local racism, police abuse, or institutional anti-homeless city policies. Some folks presented with flyers raising these concerns turned up their noses and marched on in bright array.

I’ve raised this issue in prior parades. See https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/01/16/18805901.php There were hundreds perhaps more than 1000 in the parade, but fewer on the sidelines cheering or watching than last year.

UNANSWERED RV QUESTIONS
I shouted a taunting inquiry at Police Chief Mills as he left Civic Auditorium. The question was also raised in Alicia Kuhl’s press conference with Chief Mills the week before: “When are you going to stop harassing the RV dwellers?” He left it unanswered, of course, as he stiffly strode away.

The indybay story (including the Sentinel article) covering the continuing SCPD harassment of RV’s can be found at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/16/18820421.php?show_comments=1#18820535 .

Other activists I spoke with also mentioned the lack of local issues in the bevy of “distinguished speakers” lining the podium inside the Civic Auditorium. I regretted my own cowardice in not shouting out important questions and challenging the self-satisfied police-congratulating celebration joined in with a standing ovation.

FOXES LEADING THE CHEERING CHICKENS PARADE?
I continue to wonder when the NAACP–the parade co-sponsor–will stand up publicly and hold Mills’s SCPD accountable for its behavior towards poor folks and minorities. And, in particular, hold individual officers accountable publicly for abuses when they happen.

Mills still declines to explain why he omits race from his infraction citation summaries. He has not responded to requests for specifics of the when and where folks were tasered, struck with a baton, choke-holded, pain-complianced, or confronted with a drawn gun. He misrepresents his Parks and Recreation Rangers use of “trespass” to load up homeless people who sleep in public parks and “closed areas” at night with unpayable fines.

His police and rangers have been commended for generally leaving the Gateway/Ross camp alone, but most folks outside are not in that camp and must deal with harassment, citations, and property seizures for “trespassing on public property”.

NOT NEW ISSUES
Over a year ago, I raised these and other questions with Mills publicly. Additionally Steve Schnaar, both this year and last, wrote questioning the consistency if not the hypocrisy of the head cop leading the MLK parade. My questions remain unanswered and his concerns haven’t been addressed either.

These are behaviors that MLK, one presumes, would be exposing and resisting.. It seems particularly twisted to be allowing the SCPD to transform the event into a PR exercise–complete with little purple vests. I think we need some yellow ones here in Santa Cruz like those our French cousins are wearing as they take real, not just symbolic action.

§Who Stole MLK Day?

by Robert Norse Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2019 1:10 PM
who_stole_mlk_day.pdf_600_.jpg
Download PDF (54.5KB)
This flyer raises the questions gone into more detail on some of the other flyers.
§A summary of the Sentinel and Indybay Stories on Mills’s RV Policy

by Robert Norse Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2019 1:10 PM
Download PDF (494.5KB)
§Protect Your Home on Wheels–Two Half Page Flyers

by Robert Norse Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2019 1:10 PM
mlk_flyer_2_types_for_vehicles.pdf_600_.jpg
Download PDF (720.2KB)
Top flyer is for those who aren’t currently being harassed, but worry about the future; the bottom flyer is for those currently experiencing harassment.

Sunday 1-20-19 9:30 AM-3 PM at www.freakradio.org Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides: Ross Survival Camp–Pros and Cons; City Council Progressive Majority on the Run? Challenging Chatter from the Sidewalk

 On the show today

  • “Back-Up” Brent Adams Reflects on the Nearby Ross Camp
  • More Ross Reflections by Tannery Talkers
  • Tent Talk at Ross
  • Baltimore: Marijuana Decriminalization, But Racist Enforcement Continues…
  • “Amp-ed Up” Andrea Shouts Back at Ranger Badge 360
  • City Council Niblets and Leftovers
  • Razor Ray’s “Obstructing” Case,
  • Katzenjammer Keith’s Report on California’s “Closing the Cupboard” Attack on FNB

The entire show will be archived sometime Sunday at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html under Latest Show – 1/20/2019


Indybay news story and Sentinel story on the Kuhl-Mills Exchange in front of the Police Station last Thursday: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/16/18820421.php?show_comments=1#18820469
Check-It-Out Chatter and Chidings from Santa Cruz Fulltimer Vandweller Julie

  • Donate to Existing Homeless Encampments, not Poverty-Pimp Posturers–Winter Survival Demands Blankets, Water, Tarps, Portapotties & Trash Pick-Up’s
  • Community and City Council Take Note!–Ross Camp Needs: Potable Water for Drinking and Grey Water for Washing, Laundry Access so Clothes Don’t Mildew, a Drainage System Against the Rains, More Space in a 2nd spot
  • Support Food Not Bombs,  the Warming Center’s 24 Hour Storage Program, HUFF, Conscience and Action, Monterey County Homeless Advocates,  and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
  •  Check out Homeless Outside in Santa Cruz  on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HomelessOutsideSantaCruz/ for updates.
  •   Read Updates and Post Them on Santa Cruz Indymedia at https://www.indybay.org/santa-cruz/
  •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either 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.
  •   Listen in to Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides at freakradio.org every Thursday 6-8 PM, Sundays 9:30 AM- 3 PM
  •   Hear archived shows at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html .
  •   If you must, expropriate items from chain stores.  Don’t steal from vulnerable fellow homeless!

Sentinel presents sympathetic story about RV dwellers, misses the point of the press conference/protest

NORSE’S NOTES:  Jessica York apparently had a sitdown with Alicia Kuhl earlier this week as well as finally making use of the notes she took at the January 10th meet-up that Conscience and Action and
HUFF organized at the police station.  For the audio and video of that conference, go to “The Vandwellers Meet the Police Chief: Relearning Sad Facts” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/16/18820421.php.
                      Unfortunately, York missed the predictable outcome of that meeting.  Chief Mills heard  numerous complaints about targeted and premature “enforcement” by his enforcement officers including the notorious Joe Haebe.  He praised Haebe for his high record of vehicle ticketing and tows. He ducked responsibility, sending Kuhl to City Council.
                      And, most importantly, he declined to reassure her that he would enforce the law and respect basic RV rights that she and others claimed were being regularly violated at the whim of NIMBY neighbors.    That basic right:  to park for 72-hours on a public street without being harassed, stickered, or ticketed.
                       Mills declined to reassure Kuhl and others there that he’d direct officers to advise beachfront bigots that a false complaint is a misdemeanor and that police will follow what appears to be law and is hopefully SCPD procedure.  He acknowledged he would make NO policy changes:  Such as  advising his officers to sticker, ticket, or chalk a vehicle only after 72 hours has elapsed.  Directing his officers to remind complaining NIMBY’s that a false police report is a misdemeanor.   Or making a record of neighbor complaints accessible to the public to document that his department is not simply serving as an RV Elimination Squad.
                       All these issues were raised at the press conference.  Mills did spend more than  half an hour responding to often angry demands from RV dwellers with sympathetic excuses.  One of his most ironic comments was something to the effect of “my officers are just following the law”.  The complaint of RVsters present, of course, was that they were repeatedly violating the law with warnings, chalk-paint on tires, stickers, and general harassment short of the 72-hour grace period,  which seemed specifically designed to frighten and target RV residents.
To view the hubbub of hatred roused by York’s relatively mild article uncritical of the SCPD, go to https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2019/01/18/santa-cruz-rv-dwellers-question-police-attention/
Those in RV’s facing harassment should document it with audio and video if they can, and contact  SC Tenants Association at 222-0359 where the reports will be compiled for future action.  Folks can also contact HUFF at 423-HUFF (4833).  Activists will be showing up at the Civic Auditorium at the conclusion of the Martin Luther King Day on Monday January 21st and at the Tuesday City Council meeting during 7 PM Oral Communications on January 22nd.  HUFF meets at the Sub Rosa on at 11 AM on January 23rd to discuss further action.

Santa Cruz RV-dwellers question police attention

Alicia Kuhl lives in an RV with her family, spending the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs . (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SANTA CRUZ — In the four months since Alicia Kuhl, her partner and three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, moved into a 23-foot recreational vehicle, she has seen her life flip over.

“With an RV, they notice the second you roll in,” Kuhl said Friday, seated on a bench outside her vehicle and home. “I would think it would be a more nonchalant thing in this town, instead of automatically associated with homelessness.”

Alicia Kuhl lives in an RV with her family — including 6-week-old terrier Bolt –and spending the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

A month ago, Kuhl, who parks away from other RVs but not directly in front of homes, found a note left on her windshield citing city municipal code prohibiting overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles and telling her she was not welcome in the Westside neighborhood. Earlier, while parked on a city cul-de-sac, she and her family were woken late one night to loud banging and what Kuhl described as drunken shouts from one of the street’s housed residents, telling her to leave. Police officers regularly approach her, once accusing her of being a drug dealer, she said.

Kuhl and several other people living locally in their vehicles joined activist groups Conscious In Action and Homeless United for Friendship and Peace to confront Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills with concerns of perceived police harassment. During about an hour-long meeting Jan. 10 billed as a press conference in front of the police department, Mills heard and responded to speakers’ concerns.

72 hours

Kuhl and several of the activists gathered questioned Mills on honoring the city’s 72-hour parking policy that allows vehicles to remain in an otherwise unrestricted parking space legally. Along a similar track, Mills has directed his officers not to enforce the city’s overnight camping ban on public land, in light of the 9th District Court of Appeals decision, Martin vs. Boise decision. However, he said, officers responding to complaint calls have the responsibility to look at all vehicle violations, such as expired registration, cracked windshields and bald tires.

Activist Robert Norse asked Mills to direct his officers to limit their RV tickets to “real violations,” be “much more cautious, given the housing crisis” and to “treat with skepticism complaints by people in the the neighborhoods who are housed.”

“If you see sewage, if you see heroin, if you’re witnessing domestic violence, absolutely call the police,” said Kuhl, 40. “If you see somebody just parking there, minding their own business, they might be making dinner for their kids — there’s no reason to call the police.”

Targeted?

“I have a really strong feeling that I’ve been talked to far more than have been complained about me, which would show a homeless targeted harassment,” Kuhl said to Mills about her interactions with his officers.

Life is good for Alicia Kuhl, who lives in an RV with her family, making sure they spend the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

The day before, the department posted an announcement on social media about its December officer of the month award, presented to vehicle abatement officer Joe Haebe, for his work in 2018 tagging more than 2,000 vehicles for abatement and having 291 of them towed.

“Joe is our go-to guy that continuously responds to illegal parking and/or storage of oversized vehicles in residential and commercial areas throughout the city,” the post read, in part, urging people to call 831-420-5185 to report “nuisance vehicles and parking violators.”

Mills told the group of about 20 people this month that he sympathized with their plights, saying that his job involves social order and finding a middle ground between the needs of people who are less fortunate and, for example, a group of 100 residents “screaming mad” about RVs that have dumped raw sewage and needles onto their residential streets. He suggested alternatives to parking on residential streets, such as working out one-on-one deals with private property owners and businesses to rent a space, or rent parking at the Kampgrounds of America in Watsonville.

Problematic parking

“We still have to deal with the amount of people parking in front of people’s homes that becomes problematic,” Mill said. “The solution is just not parking wherever we want, the solution is us … in a government, not just the government, but everyone in a society, institutions including the churches — there’s all kinds of people involved in this, including nonprofit organizations like this. Help find the locations.”

Mills said his department tries to strike a balance between “towing people’s homes,” putting another person on the street and a “responsibility to my community” sending him hundreds of emails and complaints and calls. He said city and county leaders are seeking solutions for those struggling without housing, and that an effort to establish a local safe-parking program was “submarined.”

On Friday, Kuhl, who will seek appointment from the Santa Cruz City Council to a seat on the city of Santa Cruz’s Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday, said she believes what the city really needs is a new standing homeless commission. The body, comprised of nonproperty owners such as renters and homeless people, could make city policy recommendations on spending recommendations, long-term programs, safe parking options and more, she said.

Santa Cruz RV-dwellers question police attentio

Alicia Kuhl lives in an RV with her family, spending the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs . (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SANTA CRUZ — In the four months since Alicia Kuhl, her partner and three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, moved into a 23-foot recreational vehicle, she has seen her life flip over.

“With an RV, they notice the second you roll in,” Kuhl said Friday, seated on a bench outside her vehicle and home. “I would think it would be a more nonchalant thing in this town, instead of automatically associated with homelessness.”

Alicia Kuhl lives in an RV with her family — including 6-week-old terrier Bolt –and spending the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

A month ago, Kuhl, who parks away from other RVs but not directly in front of homes, found a note left on her windshield citing city municipal code prohibiting overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles and telling her she was not welcome in the Westside neighborhood. Earlier, while parked on a city cul-de-sac, she and her family were woken late one night to loud banging and what Kuhl described as drunken shouts from one of the street’s housed residents, telling her to leave. Police officers regularly approach her, once accusing her of being a drug dealer, she said.

Kuhl and several other people living locally in their vehicles joined activist groups Conscious In Action and Homeless United for Friendship and Peace to confront Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills with concerns of perceived police harassment. During about an hour-long meeting Jan. 10 billed as a press conference in front of the police department, Mills heard and responded to speakers’ concerns.

72 hours

Kuhl and several of the activists gathered questioned Mills on honoring the city’s 72-hour parking policy that allows vehicles to remain in an otherwise unrestricted parking space legally. Along a similar track, Mills has directed his officers not to enforce the city’s overnight camping ban on public land, in light of the 9th District Court of Appeals decision, Martin vs. Boise decision. However, he said, officers responding to complaint calls have the responsibility to look at all vehicle violations, such as expired registration, cracked windshields and bald tires.

Activist Robert Norse asked Mills to direct his officers to limit their RV tickets to “real violations,” be “much more cautious, given the housing crisis” and to “treat with skepticism complaints by people in the the neighborhoods who are housed.”

“If you see sewage, if you see heroin, if you’re witnessing domestic violence, absolutely call the police,” said Kuhl, 40. “If you see somebody just parking there, minding their own business, they might be making dinner for their kids — there’s no reason to call the police.”

Targeted?

“I have a really strong feeling that I’ve been talked to far more than have been complained about me, which would show a homeless targeted harassment,” Kuhl said to Mills about her interactions with his officers.

Life is good for Alicia Kuhl, who lives in an RV with her family, making sure they spend the night on a Westside street away from neighborhoods frequented by other RVs. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

The day before, the department posted an announcement on social media about its December officer of the month award, presented to vehicle abatement officer Joe Haebe, for his work in 2018 tagging more than 2,000 vehicles for abatement and having 291 of them towed.

“Joe is our go-to guy that continuously responds to illegal parking and/or storage of oversized vehicles in residential and commercial areas throughout the city,” the post read, in part, urging people to call 831-420-5185 to report “nuisance vehicles and parking violators.”

Mills told the group of about 20 people this month that he sympathized with their plights, saying that his job involves social order and finding a middle ground between the needs of people who are less fortunate and, for example, a group of 100 residents “screaming mad” about RVs that have dumped raw sewage and needles onto their residential streets. He suggested alternatives to parking on residential streets, such as working out one-on-one deals with private property owners and businesses to rent a space, or rent parking at the Kampgrounds of America in Watsonville.

Problematic parking

“We still have to deal with the amount of people parking in front of people’s homes that becomes problematic,” Mill said. “The solution is just not parking wherever we want, the solution is us … in a government, not just the government, but everyone in a society, institutions including the churches — there’s all kinds of people involved in this, including nonprofit organizations like this. Help find the locations.”

Mills said his department tries to strike a balance between “towing people’s homes,” putting another person on the street and a “responsibility to my community” sending him hundreds of emails and complaints and calls. He said city and county leaders are seeking solutions for those struggling without housing, and that an effort to establish a local safe-parking program was “submarined.”

On Friday, Kuhl, who will seek appointment from the Santa Cruz City Council to a seat on the city of Santa Cruz’s Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday, said she believes what the city really needs is a new standing homeless commission. The body, comprised of nonproperty owners such as renters and homeless people, could make city policy recommendations on spending recommendations, long-term programs, safe parking options and more, she said.

The Vandwellers Meet the Police Chief: Sad Lesson–Protection Lies in Your Community not the Cops

The Vandwellers Meet the Police Chief: Relearning Sad Facts
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Wednesday Jan 16th, 2019 8:22 PM
Alice Kuhl, a mother of 3 who lives in her RV in Santa Cruz, asked SCPD Chief of police Andy Mills some hard questions last week. Kuhl challenged what she termed harassment by hostile homeowners and SCPD’s vehicle abatement enforcer Joe Haebe. She noted lack of support from Mills SCPD complaints line and sought assurance from Mills. She got none.
sm_scan_20190116.jpg
WHY THE PRESS CONFERENCE?
Some weeks ago, Kuhl came to a HUFF meeting with a flyer. One side of it was a hostile and inaccurate flyer urging her to move her vehicle. The other was her response. After meeting with HUFF and Conscience and Action, she agreed to speak publicly with Chief Mills–this happened on Thursday January 10th.

We met to encourage RV dwellers to meet, share stories, and gain solidarity with each other. And at the same time to invite Mills to address real concerns–if he so chose. See
“Clarifying RV Dwellers’ Rights in Santa Cruz ” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/07/18820149.php .

Most of the meeting was videoed by Salinas Union of the Homeless activist Wes White and is posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOMxmjPs40Y&feature=youtu.be .

Several RV dwellers and numerous reporters videoing covered the exchange in front of the SCPD police station.

BACKGROUND
Particularly at issue for Alicia Kuhl and other houseless folks was harassment actions by enforcement officers like Joe Haebe ignoring their right to park on public streets for 72 hours unmolested. She asked Mills to instruct his officers to respect that 72-hour window, which, she and other vandwellers said, they took care to not overstay.

Mills insisted he had a responsibility to investigate all complaints and praised Haebe’s work in “tagging and towing”.

See https://www.facebook.com/santacruzpolice/ January 9th “Officer of the Month Awarded to Joe Haebe” ” Over the past year, Joe has fielded hundreds of calls, tagged more than 2,000 vehicles for abatement, and towed 291 vehicles.”

MILLS UNRESPONSIVE
Mills did not respond to requests that he instruct officers not to “take the side” of the homeowner, and to view repeated “get this vehicle out of my neighborhood” style calls, skeptically.

The general brunt of the questioning was a futile effort to persuade Mills to direct his officers to respect the 72-hour law. Not to seek out minor violations (like cracked windshield, bald tire) as a “spur” to getting vehicles to immediately move to placate housed vigilantes nearby short of the 72-hour period allowed.

WHAT’S NEEDED?
Mills needs to require officers to limit themselves to determining if a vehicle has overstayed 72-hours (which he said police can do through an undisclosed system).

Kuhl claimed earlier that she was obstructed in her attempt to determine the identity of those complaining about her vehicle and the specifics of their complaints. She also suggested that her vehicle was being targeted. She questioned Haebe’s enthusiasm in threatening vehicles with ticketing and suggested earlier it seemed to indicate an anti-homeless bias.

OTHER QUESTIONS
Vandweller Veronica Crow noted the appearance all over town of “permit parking only” signs that ban parking at night without a permit–a specifically anti-homeless provision.

Is Mills explicitly advising callers complaining that vehicles have a right to be there for 72 hours? Are his cops notifying them that filing a false police report is a misdemeanor? Is he looking into the claims that his “go to” guy Haebe is engaging in “hunting expeditions”?

THE FINAL RESULT
Mills sympathized that those in vehicles are only going to face street homelessness if his cops vigorously persecute vehicles at the instigation of neighbors. However he explicitly refused to offer a change in any policies, some of which are discretionary.

He may agree that police have higher priorities that removing them because of the aesthetic preferences or unfounded fears of residents. But if he refuses to act to rein in those abuses, the buck stops with him.

OTHER ISSUES
Other issues raised were the crying need for a carpark. Mills sympathized but declined to offer any public advocacy. He also suggested folks leave town and go to campgrounds (costly) and ask churches and businesses for parking space (largely unsuccessful in the past).

His general response was “our job is to enforce the law” and “take your concerns to the City Council.”

MEDIA HERE AND GONE
Numerous reporters were at the conference taking notes, audioing, and videoing.

Jessica York of the Sentinel was there for some time but the Sentinel wrote nothing. She told Kuhl she’d contact her for follow-up…but never did.

I did comment at length as I played the full audio of the encounter on my Sunday radio show at http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/1%20FRSC%201-13-19.mp3 (25 minutes into the audio).

MILLS AS PR PROFESSONAL
Last Sunday Mills wrote an editorial for the Sentinel, apologizing for other abusive police departments, but ignoring concerns about his own.
He also announced joint sponsorship of a Martin Luther King day march with the NAACP on Monday the 21st.

See https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2019/01/13/andrew-g-mills-santa-cruz-police-naacp-chapter-co-host-mlk-march/

While Mills has commendably backed down somewhat in issuing citations for survival sleeping, rangers under his direction do seem to have increased citations for “being in a closed area’, a fancy name for “trespass on public property” in parks at night. He has also declined to answer numerous outstanding questions about his department’s use of tasers, baton strikes, guns, etc.

See “Demands of the New Police Chief and His Initial Response” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/12/30/18805570.php

FOLLOWING UP
Mills has said he holds meetings on Monday mornings. Contact the SCPD at 831-420-5810 to make an appointment. If you think it’s worth the time and breath.

HUFF and Conscience and Action members met today to discuss further steps in documenting and challenging abuses targeting those whose homes are in vehicles. Volunteers interested in assisting this project, call HUFF at 423-4833.

RV and Surivival Sleepers in Vehicles: Air Concerns with Each Other and the Police Chief

SURVIVING IN YOUR VEHICLE…-BUT HAVING HARASSMENT PROBLEMS?

Rally and Press Conference at the Santa Cruz Police Station Fountain Area Thursday January 10th 1:30 PM 155 Center St.  at corner of Laurel St.

  • Are you being pressured or threatened to move your vehicle more frequently than the legal resting period of 72 hours?  Are strange chalk marks appearing on your tires?
  • Are hostile housed locals suggesting you have no right to park on the public streets?
  • Are you awakened by rude pounding, shouting, and banging in the dead of night?
  • Is your family or loved one being made to feel unwelcome in a neighborhood in which you’ve parked for less than 72 hours?

    +++ Come and tell the community what’s been happening to you and your family. +++ Share suggestions and advice on “smart survival tactics”, “diplomatic camping”, and an appreciation of your rights and responsibilities as a car camper.

    +++ Demand the new City Council and Police Chief Andy Mills direct officers to follow the law Chief Mills has agreed to be present to answer questions and concerns.

    More info; report violations  :  Contact Vehicular Tenants Hotline at 234-2067