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Cynthia Mathews--Scrooge for the Season
by Becky Johnson (posted by Norse)
Friday Dec 24th, 2010 5:45 PM
Becky Johnson wrote and posted the following story on her website at http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2010/12/cynthia-mathews-scrooge-for-season-2010.html#disqus_thread . There are more pictures and links there. However, I think Mathews' attack on community support for the homeless at this central downtown spot is an important issue. Her involvement is an important story. I invited her to come on my show to respond to Ronee Curry's lengthy interview on my radio show, and Mathews did not respond. While Mathews is (temporarily, perhaps) off the City Council, she continues to be a player--involved with Planned Parenthood, the Downtown Association, and downtown property. Her mean-spirited approach foreshadows the likely behavior of the Coonerty Council next year.
Cynthia Mathews: Scrooge for the Season 2010

Cynthia Mathews speaks at a community forum on behalf of public safety with Chief Howard Skerry looking on.


by Becky Johnson
December 23, 2010


Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Cynthia Mathews, former member of the Santa Cruz City Council and former Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz is considered liberal and progressive. Yet she strongly supports anti-homeless legislation such as the Sleeping Ban (MC 6.36.010 section a) and initiated the "Move-Along" Law (MC 5.43.020 section two) which criminalizes political tables and street musicians after only 1 hour on a public sidewalk. Now she is going after the Calvary Episcopal Ministry, known locally as the Little Red Church, for reaching out to homeless people and youth with food, coffee, and spiritual assembly.

Mathews wrote a letter on City letterhead stationery April 5, 2010, and accused the church of allowing "the on-going presence of known criminals and drug dealers on church property." She attached her "evidence": a record of service calls from the Santa Cruz Police Department documenting "nearly 100 calls in just over one year" which she claimed is "utterly disproportional to other locations in the City." But is it?

Against over 85,000 annual 'calls for service' documented by the police, do 100 'calls for service" over a period of more than a year truly indicate serious problems or simply document calls by nearby NIMBY businesses and neighbors? And considering the record collected is for 532 Center St, aren't all calls for the across the street Farmers Marketand the Drum Circle included in this total?

Nowhere in the letter does Mathews reveal that she owns the house across the street. Nowhere does she reveal her general disgust at the presence of homeless people and her own attempts to drive them from both private property and public spaces.

In a Santa Cruz Sentinel article dated June 7, 2009, church attendance is reported to have dropped over the controversy. However,Audrey Nickel, a member of the Calvary congregation reports that as inaccurate. "

"I’ve been a parishioner at Calvary for 11 years. I’m at the 10:30 service

Cynthia Mathews owns and rents the former home of Hollywood actress, Zazu Pitts on Lincoln St.
approximately 50 weeks out of the year. My husband, as a lay Eucharistic minister, is one of the people who is responsible for keeping track of the number of people in the pews. And I can tell you that our average Sunday attendance is UP since Fr. Joel came to us."

Kevin McArgel also defends Father Joel Miller from the disgruntled members of the congregation who are complaining.

"I've met these “accusers” who have brought these ridiculous charges upon him and can say they are just that: RIDICULOUS. These very few individuals expect some kind of environment of very traditional behavior on behalf of those who come for guidance whether or not its some kind of simple compassion or just some sustenance like a little food."

Cynthia Mathews, who works closely with the Downtown Association, police, and the Downtown Management Corporation, laments Calvary's homeless outreach services claiming they indicate " ..a lack of buy-in by Church leadership to the collaborative problem-solving effort" which for Mathews means, fewer services, fewer hours when homeless people or street kids are allowed on the property, and trespass charges for those who remain on church property.

Father Joel Miller, Rector, Calvary Episcopal Church, Santa Cruz, Ca. Photo courtesy of Metro Santa Cruz

Father Joel defended his mission by referring to New Testament texts.

"In the gospel we’re told that Jesus sits down to eat with sinners and tax collectors. The worst people!” says Miller in a soft and nasal voice as he saunters between the well-worn pews. “So what we see is that Jesus loves people, he loves his neighbors, includes them and embraces them. That’s what we try to do here."

Local news reports paint Fr. Joel as going it alone with his ministry to the poor and homeless. But that is contradicted by former vestry member, Scott Galloway. He reports that Ronee Curry, a volunteer who had been managing a Monday Night Coffee House at the Elm Street Mission had been asked to relocate. Ronee approached Fr. Joel Miller of Calvary Episcopal Church, and Fr. Miller invited her to address the Calvary Vestry with her request to relocate her Monday Night “Coffee House” ministry to Calvary. Fr. Miller supported Ronee’s proposal, but the vote of the Vestry in favor of bringing Ronee and her program to Calvary was nearly unanimous. "

By June of 2009, Father Joel had already capitulated to pressure from Mathews and the City to allow police on the property to enforce 'no trespassing' laws effectively ending the use of the property as a place where young and homeless people could be.

Yet, this was not enough for Mathews.

Zazu Pitts home on Lincoln St. directly across the street from Calvary Episcopal Church

Cynthia Mathews and Ryan Coonerty are heavily associated with the Downtown Association, where along with Ryan's wife, Emily Bernard, they are behind an effort to install old parking meters to collect spare change that would fund middle-class case managers for houseless people. Ryan himself pushed for legal protections for "statues" earlier which would make it a crime for REAL homeless people to beg within 14' of these special "charity" meters.

Coonerty and Bernard's 'Penguins' have already been fully implemented, and stand banning homeless people from sitting or begging within 14' of them in any direction. It's part of Ryan's Downtown beautification by promoting sculptures displayed on public property.

Ryan Coonerty and Emily Bernard in SENTINEL wedding photo published Jan 31, 2010.

On June 5, 2010, Cynthia Mathews wrote her now-infamous Grinchish-Scroogian letter. Failing to acknowledge her own personal involvement on behalf of her own property values directly across the street, her intervention on behalf of her tenant, Rachel Daso, or that she was giving a one-sided account, Mathews sunk to a new low in promoting her anti-homeless agenda. Was the letter prompted by any City Council action? One wonders.

Mathews letter was largely responsible for Calvary Rector Joel Miller being admonished by his Diocese in a rare hearing known as 'Presentment' . He has hired a lawyer and is currently appealing that decision.


Ronee Curry, in order to take pressure off of Father Joel, took to performing her ministry in the streets by handing out food, socks, and handknit "beanies" to homeless people in front of Borders Books, but gained negative notice from current Mayor Ryan Coonerty.

"My feeling is that what they're doing is neither helpful nor compassionate. Instead of encouraging panhandlers and drifters to seek a better life, [they're] helping them subsist in misery," said Ryan Coonerty. Ryan's wife, Emily Bernard is thePresident of the Downtown Association, and an owner of Dell Williams Jewelry.

Several parishioners rallied to support Fr. Joel.

"Another inaccuracy is the implication that the Episcopal Church as a body brought the charges against Fr. Joel, " Parishioner, Audrey Nickels claims. "Rather, a small group of parishioners, in a highly unorthodox move, got a lawyer and brought charges against him in an ecclesiastical court."


SOURCES:
"Sculp Tour comes to Santa Cruz" Dec 4, 2008_Lauren Foliart, City on a Hill Press
"Calvary Episcopal seeks balance between serving the homeless and serving congregation"--Genevieve Bookwalter June 7 2009
"Downtown raises ire of City Officials"--Genevieve Bookwalter Dec 22 2009
"Controversial Santa Cruz Priest charged by Church" --Curtis Alexander Sept 14 2010 -- Santa Cruz News
"Bathrobespierre's Broadsides: Civil Rights for the Poor" Free Radio Santa Cruz, Dec 5, 2010
Interview of Ronee Curry by Robert Norse
Auntie Imperial's News & Blog Reviews

Letter to Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real from Cynthia Mathews and related public documents...

Letter to Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real from Cynthia Mathews and related public documents...

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Brent Adams
Saturday Dec 25th, 2010 2:11 AM
This excellent article hi-lights the blatant conflicts of interest shared by Mayor Ryan Coonerty and Council Member Cynthia Mathews as they use their elected offices to rally for the betterment of their own businesses at the expense of the needy and those who serve them.

Mathews hides the fact that she owns THE house across the street from the church as she writes to condemn the pastor for his charitable programs. Coonerty who owns 3 businesses downtown wrote in a message to me after I handed out holiday cookies and hot cocoa and clothes to folks in need downtown,

"I hope that you enjoyed forcing those who are cold and hungry to parade themselves in front of their community to get basic necessities because it made you feel good about yourself instead of allowing them the dignity to get them on their own terms."

Coonerty told me that he is desperate for business to go good for the holiday season and the homeless types have his friends in the various neighborhoods complaining that they don't want to come downtown. My holiday table was a personal yearly event called "Santa Love" where I offer passersby holiday warmth. Everyone is welcome and many non-homeless types accepted the holiday treats.

Coonerty's heartless and compassionless statement is echoed in Becky Johnson's article above when he says of the church program,
"My feeling is that what they're doing is neither helpful nor compassionate. Instead of encouraging panhandlers and drifters to seek a better life, [they're] helping them subsist in misery,"

Ryan's wife, Emily Bernard is the President of the Downtown Association, and an owner of Dell Williams Jewelry. His family owns Bookshop Santa Cruz and NextSpace

These public officials personally own a big stake in local business yet they attack the poor and those who serve them. It is quite apparent that it is not just a political issue but a very personal economic one. They use their offices to "clean-up" downtown to better their own financial situations and they smear those who help them.

This is typical behavior by those in power but we had hoped that those who claim to be progressive are different than just the same ol' business as usual that we've come to expect.

I lump of coal for you Cynthia and Ryan. Bah Humbug!!
by Santa Knows
Saturday Dec 25th, 2010 12:32 PM
...that Becky has an agenda just like Cynthia does, just from the opposite side of the lump of coal.

Becky chides Cynthia for not listing her affiliations. Has Becky included in her posting that she's one of the most virulent homeless rights fanatics in Santa Cruz, and a charter member of the most radical homeless rights cabala in town? No.

Becky chides Cynthia for claiming that 100 police calls is disproportionate. Becky tries to discredit this statement by showing that there are 85,000 calls in town annually; thus implying that 100 isn't a lot. But can Becky disprove that 100 for a single address is a lot? No, of course not. Because it IS a lot. In fact, Santa challenges Becky to show any other business or residential address in the City of Santa Cruz that had 100 police calls in the past year.

Can Becky do that? Show a single address that's had as many calls and not resulted in getting a bad reputation and attention as a result? Santa doesn't think so.

Coal for you too Becky. A second lump to go with the one you got for complaining when the condiments given to you for free at a charity meal didn't meat your porcine needs. Bah humbug indeed.
by brent adams
Saturday Dec 25th, 2010 4:39 PM
to santa,
you are a goddamn coward.
we use our names and we care for our community.
we support homeless rights and are against police brutality.
you, however attack Becky.. you are not worth my breath but here it is..
you are the reason this town stinks. pull your head out of your ass and do something constructive for once.

Becky Johnson and Robert Norse are heroes in Santa Cruz.
by Monica Claus
Saturday Dec 25th, 2010 6:33 PM
Dear Brent, Santa asked me to pass on a message to you. He apologizes for not being able to do so in person, but he's busy today. Here's his message:

"Brent, you're being retarded again.

Homeless people and policemen are both parts of our community. We support them both, financially and morally. You, on the other hand, don't. What have you done to support your local policeman, Brent? Nothing. And don't give me that bullshit about paying your taxes either. You're working a menial job and that basically means the rest of the citizenry has to support you too. How do I know that, you ask? I'm Santa Fucking Claus, Brent. I know shit like that. Why the hell do you think I stiffed you this year?

So merry fucking Christmas to you, Brent. Now, go away.

With warm regards, I am

Yours Sincerely,

Santa"
by (former) Vice-Mayor Mathews (posted by Norse)
Saturday Dec 25th, 2010 10:20 PM
April 5, 2010

City of Santa Cruz
Mayor and City Council
809 Center St., Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060



Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real
ATTN: Right Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves
P.O. Box 19103
Monterey, CA 93942

Dear Right Rev. Gray-Reeves:

I am writing to follow up on a phone conversation that we ha last fall regarding ongoing concerns about activities and management of Calvary Episcopal Church (Church) in Santa Cruz. As I explained to you at the time, these problems had been brought to the attention of Councilmembers and police by neighboring businesses and residents over a period of several years.

These issues have been the subject of ongoing community concern, meetings, contacts with police, and Councilmembers. Although they wax and wane over time, to some extent related to the season, they continue at a troublesome level in spite of past efforts on the part of the City and neighbors to resolve them through cooperative efforts with the Church, and we are concerned about the potential for increased activity with the approach of spring and summer.

In general terms, the ongoing problems involve the continued presence of known criminals and drug dealers on Church property, hostile and abusive behavior by persons in or on Church property, the inability of Church leadership to manage programs and facilities in a consistent and responsible manner, the unwillingness of Church leadership to take ownership of problems caused by Church programs and management, and the lack of integrity on the part of Church leadership in dealing with the city, community members, and businesses.

City representatives have met on several occasions over the past two years with the Rector, Vestry members, and parishioners--sometimes upon the initiation of the City, other times at the initiation of the Rector or parishioners. We understand that this is a deeply divided congregation in which some members felt alienated or even fearful in their own Church, and others associated with social outreach efforts feel that the activities associated with their mission trump any concern about the impacts they may have. While that is primarily an internal issue, the effects spill over into the community at large.

When we spoke in the fall you asked for specifics. Shortly after that conversation, our community was shaken by a series of violent high-profile crimes that consumed the full attention of our limited police resources, and I was unable to obtain the records that I had hoped to forward to you.

I am now attaching a list of police “calls for service” at the Church from January 2009 through February 12, 2010—nearly 100 calls in just over one year. Additional statistics from January 2007 through April 2009 (not attached) show 54 arrests and citations at the Church. (Not all calls for service result in arrests or citations, so the number of calls for service would have been significantly higher.) the most common citations/arrests in order, were drug possession/use, grand theft, public intoxication, and theft. Also included were 2 batteries, 1 domestic violence case, 1 possession of dangerous weapon, 1 robbery, 1 battery on a police officer, and 1 felony arrest warrant.

This is utterly disproportional to other locations in the City, even those associated with social programs and outreach to marginalized populations; it cearly demosntrates the ongoing nature of the problems at the Church. I think that you can also appreciate the tremendous cost this represents in terms of City resources—both financial and staff time—in addition to the impact on the surrounding area.

For additional specifics, in order to help you understand the dynamics of this situation, I refer you to two police officers who are responsible for the downtown area. I strongly encourage you to contact them personally for their observations and experiences with the Church. Their contact information is:

Sgt. Mike Harms
Work Phone 420-5777 x4939
mharms [at] cityofsantacruz.com

Lt. Rick Martinez's Work Phone: 420-5856
rmartinez [at] cityofsantacruz.com

I know that you have also received letters from community members specifically about the situation at the Church.

The City Council received a constant stream of communications—letters, emails, phone calls—from local residents and visitors alike, who are distressed at illegal and intimidating conditions in our downtown area, including drug dealing, abusive behavior and aggression. The City has focused a great deal of resources on this issue through ordinances, increased police presence, a mental health outreach worker, support for prevention and intervention programs, and a Community Policing approach that involves local residents and businesses.

It is the lack of buy-in by Church leadership to the collaborative problem-solving approach that has been so frustrating. Church leadership has either been in utter denial about the problems associated with Church property, and its relationship to other community conditions, or it simply chooses to continue with disregard for the impact on the broader community. Neither is acceptable.

I should stress that Santa Cruz as a City and a community is exceptionally generous and engaged in supporting services for those who are disadvantaged and/or homeless. The City allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to support homeless services, including emergency shelter, food, showers, lockers, health services, supportive counseling, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and transitional housing. We have allocated millions of dollars for permanent facilities to serve homeless individuals and those transitioning out of homelessness, as well as permanent affordable housing. We are fully aware of the complexity of these challenges, and we feel that we have done far more than most communities in responding compassionately.

It is also important to note that we have many, many other institutions in our community that provide social services and which operate without the level of issues associated with the Church.

Compassion should not be a license for anything goes. The situation we continue to see at the Church—int he heart of our downtown business district and adjacent to a residential neighborhood—includes:

+++ Aggressive,hostile behavior by people gathered on Church grounds, either associated with Church outreach activities or simply allowed to congregate there for extended periods of time. This behavior has included loud abusive language, drunkenness, fights, assaults, and aggressive and intimidating behavior. As recently as this January, women associated with Church activities contacted the City's Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against women to request a special class in self-defense (which we provided).

+++ Poor policies/oversight of facility rental, including repeated evening use of the Parish Hall for evening events functioning as a DJ nightclub, with excessive noise and loud music, alcohol, fights, and persons known to be associated with El Salvadoran gangs.

+++ Programs and facilities have at times been entrusted to people without the skills or experience to manage them responsibly. In addition to the frustration this causes to parishioners and community members, this would also seem to be an issue of liability for the Church.
Apparent lack of clear expectations or rules of conduct for those assembled on Church property.

+++ Inconsistent communication of Church policy and intentions to police officers, causing difficulties with enforcement. After explanation and urging by the City, the Rector did file a Trespass Letter with our police department last year, but then gave conflicting direction on its enforcement. The Trespass Letter has since expired.

Understanding that the Church has its own governance structure regarding individual churches, I urge you to bring the office of your position to bear on this situation, and return the church to its role as both a compassionate and good neighbor.

Sincerely

Cynthia Mathews
Councilmember


NOTES BY NORSE

Vice-Mayor Mathews declined to provide me with a copy of this letter, though she wrote it on official City Council stationary and signed it "Councilmember".

I was able to secure it and a few attachments (which I hope to post here as soon as I improve my posting skills or get a volunteer) through a Public Records Act request.

I believe there are more documents that have not yet been released, some of them referred to in this letter. These included(prior attempts to pressure the church to eliminate its Monday youth minister and meal as well as attacks on Ronee Curry the groundskeeper who was able to set up a self-monitoring round-the-week youth ministry program on the church grounds until Father Joel, under pressure from the Mathew-ites, restricted and finally ended it.

Father Joel is reportedly defending himself in the Church courts, from the Mathews group, which is reportedly a minority of the congregation, more concerned with downtown gentrification than christian ministry.

Those suggesting that 100 "calls for service" is a large number over a period of 13 months are not taking into account the size of the red Chiurch--which takes up nearly half a block (a full block, if you include the parking lots). I would wager that if you'd compare the number of "calls for service" in that block compared, say, with the number a block over on Pacific Avenue, you'd find far more on Pacific Avenue.

But "calls for service" don't indicate "crime". Anxious property owners and business people may be quick to use the police to try to drive away the "unsightly"--and are encouraged to do so by Mathews' Downtown Ordinances, made significantly worse in the last 2 years by the Rotkin-Coonerty Council.

The euphemistic and vague language used in Mathews letter seems to be a simple cover for trying to pressure the Church to be part of the SCPD/Downtown Association/privateproperty owners move to make downtown as inhospitable for non-customers, particularly poor and homeless people, as possible. This is a tactic being used by Downtown Business Districts all over the country and has far more to do with property values than community values.

In Santa Cruz, we've seen

*** the Drum Circle paved over with Srinath's Lulu Carpenter's stand during the Wednesday Farmer's Market,
*** the destruction of trees and garden area to eliminate the levee location of the Drum Circle,
*** the strategic placement of penguin statues downtown to further restrict sitting,
*** the removal of public benches and costly fencing off of seating areas around New Leaf Market,
*** the new "heckler's veto" standard to drive away musicians at the whim of a bigot,
*** the Coonerty "parking lot panic" law which makes it literally illegal to sit in your car and read a book in a public parking lot downtown
*** the installation of blinding klieg lights to drive away peaceful homeless protesters at City Hall at night,
*** the illegal imposition of forbidden zones--closing off City Hall, the SCPD grounds, and the library at night without due process,
*** the hiring of private "False Alarm" Security guards downtown to harass homeless people sitting down,
*** the scores of sleeping ban citations and misdemeanor lodging trials planned against PeaceCamp2010 demonstrators,
*** the unprecedented use of an civil injunction costing tens of thosuands of dollars to criminalize two homeless musicians for sleeping
*** the seizure and destruction of homeless property, routinely left out in the rain in the back of the SCPD police station yard,
*** the city attorney's criminal prosecution of community activists like Wes Modes, Becky Johnson, Robert Facer and myself,
*** the absurd threats to harass and cite those walking in those year's DIY parade.

If anyone has further information on pressures being used to eliminate the visible poor at Lincoln and Cedar Streets near the Mathews property next to Jack's Restaurant, or elsewhere in Santa Cruz, please post or call in to HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) at 831-423-4833.
don_lane_atxmasdinnerhsc_sentinel_photo.jpg
don_lane_atxmasdinnerhsc_...

"I hope that you enjoyed forcing those who are cold and hungry to parade themselves in front of their community to get basic necessities because it made you feel good about yourself instead of allowing them the dignity to get them on their own terms."

---Mayor Ryan Coonerty, December 2010
by DW
Sunday Dec 26th, 2010 4:13 PM
.....is trying to get the church to work with the City. Be thankful. Here in Fresno, the city attorney would be taking the church to court for creating a public nuisence. And, our police department would be aggressively enforcing all laws and ordinances against the church until the church shut down or moved its street ministry elsewhere.
by The Beast from the East
Sunday Dec 26th, 2010 9:18 PM
Stop lying Becky. Ryan Coonerty never said anything resembling the quote you posted.
by Brent Adams
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 4:13 AM
The quote was referring to my giving away holiday cookies, hot cocoa and warm clothing to passersby downtown. He owns or married into 3 businesses on Pacific Ave. and expressed that he is desperate for business to go well on the last sunday before xmas. It was a rainy day and the hot cocoa was very appreciated by many, as were the dry warm clothing. Ryan felt that the activity of our holiday offering to these people would drive away business. His friends out in the neighborhoods don't feel comfortable with the types of people downtown and he wants the homeless types to stay up near the Homeless Resource Center in the Harvey West area and out of downtown. As mayor I assume he knows that the police have been aggressively arresting homeless people in that area lately.
by DW
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 4:54 AM
...the homeless in this situation. They're being used for other peoples' agendas--both by the :advocates" and their opponents.
by brent adams
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 12:50 PM
When the mayor and city council members and others make statements about the homeless and their advocates, it should be known and
shared. Just as wiki-leaks puts a spotlight on the stupidity of the federal government etc, our personal interactions and comments with local leaders shows the nature of their commitment to these issues beyond their posturing rhetoric.

It is illegal to sleep outside. This is terribly unjust.
The police constantly rouse the homeless from wherever they sit or make their bed. This is terribly unjust.
The city's policy is to throw away the belongings of unattended homeless possessions found in tents, camps ect. This is terribly unjust.

I work very little on homeless issues or with these people directly. By paying attention to this issue and interacting with these folks, I begin to
see ways in which I can be of service. I'm beginning to volunteer in my neighborhood and share what I have with others.

Thanks DW for your comment.
by Garry
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 1:54 PM
Hey Brent, how come above you said that Coonerty sent you this quote in a message you received on Facebook, but you just wrote in another thread that he told you this in person while you were handing out cookies? Those two things are not matching up.
by ba
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 2:59 PM
Both online and in-person conversations happened.
Thanks for focusing on that.
by So very doubtful
Monday Dec 27th, 2010 7:19 PM
Like Ryan is going to cuddle up for both a mall chat and a follow-up post facebook-to facebook with Brad, who rips him and his colleagues on a regular basis.

I call this B.S.

by Sum Santa
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 12:56 AM
But of course, you are correct that it sounds highly sketchy. Brent makes it sound like Ryan came up to him on the mall and read him his Facebook post verbatim. Right. I'd be interested in some proof. 

Did you know that Brent is, like, a 45 year old man? You'd think he was a fresh-faced adolescent the way he squeals about the injustice inherent in the system, huh?

I can just see Brent's parents burying their faces in their hands and shaking their heads in disbelief at what became of their precious child. Poor people. It wasn't their fault. At least I think it wasn't their fault.

Can you imagine if Robert's parents (the Carmel lumber barons), Becky's parents and Brent's parents all got together for an Ancestors of Activists Anonymous (AAA) meeting? It would probably conclude with them ending their shame in a circular firing squad. Such a tragedy.
by brenteezer
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 3:06 AM
My mom baked 100 cookies for our holiday giveaway. I baked 100 more.
Ryan approached Santa Love, which is my personal holiday tradition of giving downtown. I have fun.
He wanted me to know that he was displeased with us attracting homeless types and we had a thoughtful l conversation for 10 minutes.
He gave me his card and asked me to call him. I've since lost the card.
The next day I messaged him via Facebook and I was a bit sharp in my tone because I'd read something he'd said that seemed relevant and tossed
it back at him. He was thoughtful and then offered an equally weighted zinger, which is the one you're citing.
Its no big deal to me whether you believe me. I'm just glad it has got people talking.

As for mom, she is very supportive of me.
I am 45 and I do wish I'd led a more accomplished life. I'm still working on it. Thank you for your care.
by Santa S
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 5:54 AM
No worries Brent. We all wish you'd led a more accomplished life, but one doesn't always get what one wants. That's something we learn as we grow up. Ignore the naysayers, too, who tell you that 45 is an advanced age at which to start all of a sudden accomplishing things, after three decades of working part time for minimum wage and playing bongos on the levee with ones' stoner friends the rest of the day. Peace, brother.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 10:37 AM
In spite of Mathews' efforts to dump Father Joel, the weekly Calvary Episcopal Monday evening coffee house ministry, involving food for anyone who wants it (as well as voluntary Bible studies) still goes on. As does the concurrent Penny University led by Paul Lee in the same building--both open to the public. I think they both start around 5 PM each Monday for those interested.

The point is that Mathews' brand of behind-the-scenes manipulation and masked attack on the traditionally diverse downtown community in support of a homogenized homeless-free "well-behaved" downtown is likely to intensify under the Coonerty-Lane Council in 2011. Strong visible opposition may deter the gentrification gents and accurate information about their activities is key. Post here, early and often!


For those disheartened by the string of trolltalk noise on this thread and others, it's helpful to remember the words of KPFA activist Richard Phelps at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/12/17/18666946.php?show_comments=1#18667058, which also apply here:

"Anonymous personal attacks simply mean you can't defeat the other's position. Personal attacks to try to distract people from the truth. ...Any time you are willing to debate these issues in a public forum let me know, and bring all your dishonest allies. You won't and they haven't despite previous challenges since you are all afraid of the truth! And you know your BS can't stand the light of day when put next to the real history."

by Sum Gander
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 2:56 PM
Speaking of masked attacks by anonymous trollsters, Robert, you might want to repeat that homily to the SubRosa rabble in relation to the May Day goings-on and their hypersensitivity to any questions about what they're up to on the 31st. Also, the Freak Radio people might be interested in your endorsement of this philosophy. Ya know?
by Tastes like sugar
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 4:47 PM
I can't stop laughing at Robert's smugly chiding post of "Personal attacks to try to distract people from the truth. ."


*rotfl* Really Robert? Do tell! Tell me why your Huffmates and now Brent regularly launch personal attacks against Ari Symons, Don Lane, Ryan Coonerty, Monica, etc, etc, etc?


In fact, the very thread you've posted this in is based upon a very personal attack against Cynthia Matthews. So, based on your advise, can I presume that you and Becky are merely tyrin to distract me from the truth?
by Ben
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 5:09 PM
"And considering the record collected is for 532 Center St, aren't all calls for the across the street Farmers Marketand the Drum Circle included in this total? "

No, it means exactly what they're saying. The 100 calls for service were made to a specific address 532 Center Street. It's the address for the building at the corner of Center Street and Lincoln Street running to Cedar Street. The address for the Farmers Market would be referred to as the 600 block of Cedar Street, and more precisely Parking Lot #4. The two have totally different addresses. It's a bit disingenuous to give the impression that citations and calls for the Farmers Market would be registered to another address on another street one block over. The drum circle calls would not be included on the list.
by Ben
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 5:18 PM
"Against over 85,000 annual 'calls for service' documented by the police, do 100 'calls for service" over a period of more than a year truly indicate serious problems or simply document calls by nearby NIMBY businesses and neighbors? "

Your inability to think critically is astounding. Let's break it down to some numbers you may be able to understand. If 85,000 call to service were to be divided up equally among the entire population of the city (58,000) the average would be 1.46 calls per person. There are approximately 35,000 addresses in the city of Santa Cruz. If 85,000 calls to service were distributed equally to the entire amount of addresses in the city the average would be 2.42 calls per address. The address at 532 Center Street is a single address. A block on Pacific Avenue might have 20 addresses on it. 100 calls to a single address, where the average should be 2.42 calls, is significantly out of whack.
by Logic has no place here.
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2010 6:56 PM
I also raised the issue you did. Asked if any other single address in the City received as many as 100 calls in the same year? The answer, as expected, was to not answer the question but instead to spew rhetoric and disinformation.

Johnson, Norse, Adams...birds of a feather.

Foul weather friends.
by Some Dome
Wednesday Dec 29th, 2010 4:15 AM
I think we've entered the Deafening Silence phase of this thread, where Robert calls his gathered detractors a series of names like "trollsters" and "NIMBY bigots" and then goes AWOL. Happens every time :-)
by Brent Adams
Wednesday Dec 29th, 2010 2:36 PM
Its not just that you don't post news content.. you comment while hiding behind a secret username.
We post news under our own names and take the heat for what we say.
We take positions on issues and stand behind them.
When you visit a reader provided content site like this, only continually trash what has been written
while hiding and not representing yourself then you are a troll.
Sorry.
Its obvious that you're not aligned with the issues highlighted here and yet you continually visit and berate those
who participate fully.
You are cowards.
Maybe you'll notice that while this is true, you are still welcome here.
Welcome to blather on and make attacks on people with actual names while you hide.
Imagine actually showing up to an argument as yourself.. then you might gain a little more respect for your opinions.
Until then you don't deserve much respect.
s
by The beast from the East
Wednesday Dec 29th, 2010 3:33 PM
That's why Robert doesn't use his real name.
by brentugly
Wednesday Dec 29th, 2010 4:30 PM
again.. you are a coward taking shots at someone with real courage.
by Becky Johnson
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 4:28 AM
SWEET AS SUGAR WRITES: "In fact, the very thread you've posted this in is based upon a very personal attack against Cynthia Matthews. So, based on your advise, can I presume that you and Becky are merely tyrin to distract me from the truth?"

BECKY: My article is hardly a "personal attack" on former Mayor, Cynthia Mathews. I've not ridiculed her personal appearance. I've not referred to anything she has done in her personal life. I've exposed her underhanded and self-serving campaign to attack Fr. Joel and those who have conducted a homeless ministry at the Red Church. I found out about the letter and urged Robert Norse to obtain a copy under the FOIA. It wasn't easy. Mathews herself never responded when asked. Norse didn't get a copy of the letter until after the new city clerk had been installed. Coincidence? Maybe.

She wrote the letter on City letterhead stationery. Her words have the force of the City government. I find the text abominable.

If you have any specific concerns about my article other than your false characterization of it being a "personal attack" then please state your objection. My guess is that you can't find anything factually inaccurate or even in error in my analysis. If you could you would. And posting your "concern" by using a pseudonym discounts your opinion even more.

My article can be found here: http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2010/12/cynthia-mathews-scrooge-for-season-2010.html

by Becky Johnson
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 4:37 AM
BEN WRITES: "100 calls to a single address, where the average should be 2.42 calls, is significantly out of whack."

BECKY: So do you support shutting down the New Leaf Market as well? They received 300 calls for service in the same time period. But I don't hear any hue and cry to shut down THAT magnet for crime. You DO know that not all "calls for service" are actually calls for service, don't you? Police generate their own "calls for service" but listing any routine check as a "call for service" despite that fact that no crime was committed and no one "called" for service.

Finally, if someone at the Red Church called to report a crime at the Farmers Market, the former Drum Circle, or the large parking lot across the street or next door to the church, that call would be listed at the church's address. Since someone is almost always staffing the church during the daytime, but no one is staffing the parking lot across the street, one would expect more "calls for service" from a civic-minded church than from an empty parking lot.

Did Mathews explain how many of those "calls for service" were generated by her NIMBY tenant or her NIMBY business neighbors? Those 100 calls also document the harassment of the church by anti-homeless neighbors. Michael Bethke comes to mind.
by Thos Kuestersteffen IC
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 6:46 AM
Becks, you may be right about one thing. 100 calls for service might not be the highest single-address number out there. But citing New Leaf Market and the Farmer's Market Drum Circle as the biggest challengers for the Most-Service-Calls Title isn't real bright, considering that those are the other two places your rabble like to loiter. That's like telling the cop who just found a baggie in your pocket to go look in the trunk of your car if he really wants to see a lot of weed in one place. You see where I'm going with this?

Also, Indybay, the site you and Robert founded from scratch, encourages anonymous commentary, presumably to protect anarchists and such from the prying eyes of the pigs. It doesn't make commentary less valuable when it's posted anonymously. The content speaks for itself. Enough already with the complaining about anonymous posters. It doesn't help that we know who you are. Your commentary is just as stupid as it would be if you were to use the name Hunycutt. Or Thomas. Or simply, BJ.
by Tastes like sugar
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 4:55 PM
...and you have to swallow it.

The truth is that you routinely engage in personal attacks against local electeds. You do NOT limit yourself to issues. You make snide insinuations with no evidence as to what their intents may be on a variety of issues. You imply personal knowledge when you make baseless claims as to their connections or intent with local businesses. You suggest their votes are based soley on fiscal gain. You maintain they are in bed with business owners. You call them names.

Calling Cynthia "Scrooge" in this post isn't making it personal? Okay....BJ. Nothing personal, right?
by Ben
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 6:24 PM
"BECKY: So do you support shutting down the New Leaf Market as well? They received 300 calls for service in the same time period."

Of course not. Yet you imply that I'm calling for the closure of the church as well, which I am not. You're rather putting intent into my post that is simply not there.
by Ben
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 6:42 PM
Becky wrote the following. "Finally, if someone at the Red Church called to report a crime at the Farmers Market, the former Drum Circle, or the large parking lot across the street or next door to the church, that call would be listed at the church's address. Since someone is almost always staffing the church during the daytime, but no one is staffing the parking lot across the street, one would expect more "calls for service" from a civic-minded church than from an empty parking lot.

Did Mathews explain how many of those "calls for service" were generated by her NIMBY tenant or her NIMBY business neighbors? Those 100 calls also document the harassment of the church by anti-homeless neighbors. Michael Bethke comes to mind."

First off, the calls for service are listed for the address the officers were called to. Where the event is taking place. Not from the place the call was made.

Stunningly, your first paragraph and second paragraph don't follow the same line of thought. In the first paragraph you're saying that if someone at the church called about an incident taking place at the Farmers Market or Drum Circle it would be registered as coming from the church. You're suggesting that is why the calls are high, because they supposedly originated at the church. But in your second paragraph you're suggesting that either Mathew's tenant called the police, or businesses nearby called the police, thus increasing the numbers for calls to service at the church. But if your first comment was true, then the calls being made by the other people would be registered at THEIR address, not the church. Unless you're working on the belief that all calls made in the vicinity are magically being attached to the church property, regardless of where the call originates, your statements are contradicting each other.

Lastly, who are you to call anyone a NIMBY? I read these comments. I also read the comments in The Sentinel. You are on record as refusing to offer a homeless couple access to your back yard. A couple you have first hand interactions with. You literally refused your back yard, which would really rather make you a "Not In My BACK YARD" individual. I know you blamed this on your roommate, which means you're also accusing your roommate of being a NIMBY. Which would then raise the question how you, a woman who claims to advocate for the rights of the homeless, could allow herself to live under the same roof and share expenses with a NIMBY who refuses aid to homeless people. Or are your principles elastic?
by Ben
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 7:04 PM
I forgot to mention in my above comment that no one is calling for the church to be shut down. So bringing up the example that no one is calling for New Leaf Market to be shut down, with their 300 calls, is truly grasping at an argument. Is Mathews calling for the church to be closed? No.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Jan 1st, 2011 1:54 AM
...of a deeper sickness.

The question here is whether city officials are using city council positions to further a gentrification agenda that discriminates against the poor and homeless.

And further whether Mathews in so doing was feathering her own nest out of concern for the property value of her house across the street.

And finally whether the community should support a policy that involves driving a class of people with Mathews and the trollposters here apparently regard as undesirable out of town.

Additionally, whether this should be done by creating laws and policies that impact the entire community (the Downtown Ordinances, the Parking Lot Panic law, the Move Along law, the HourOnly on a Bench law, the Sleeping Ban increased police expenditures to drive away the "riff raff", the persecution of the Guerilla Theater, the DIY Last Night Parade, the Farmer's Market Drum Circle, etc. etc.) by giving police and bigots much more power than they had before.

Cynthia Mathews personally isn't the issue, of course. But critics aren't willing to address these issues, so they attack those of us who bring forward the latest evidence and the latest casualties.

Nothing new here.

The Coonerty Council has to be closely monitored for its likely continuation of these policies.

They cost the city money. They disgrace the community. They are simply wrong.

iscriminate against others with the aim of giving the police power to selectively crush the scapegoat class
by Tastes like sugar
Saturday Jan 1st, 2011 8:35 AM
RN says: "The question here is whether city officials are using city council positions to further a gentrification agenda that discriminates against the poor and homeless."

TLS replies: It's not discrimination and its not furthing a city council agenda. It's rather declining to support vagrants-by choice, travelers, poets, and others who select a nomadic lifestyle. That is the vast majority being serviced by the church, and the majority of the community doesn't support it.

RN says "And further whether Mathews in so doing was feathering her own nest out of concern for the property value of her house across the street."

TLS replies: Economic incentive may have nothing to do with it, but proximity may. I would also fight with any tool available to me if they set up a vagrant camp across from my property, as I suspect the majority of community members would. Yes, you will say nimby. And yes, I will reply the majority of this ilk are so by choice. Even you acknowledge this during your "Proud to be a Nomad" phase RN.

RN says: "And finally whether the community should support a policy that involves driving a class of people with Mathews and the trollposters here apparently regard as undesirable out of town."

TLS replies: I don't seek to drive any class or individual out of town. I do seek to not actively support or provide for people who choose to live as leeches by choice. Yes, you will say nobody is homeless by choice. And yes, I will reply sure they are. A quick look at the average Red Church crew clearly shows a high percentage of young people leading a lifestyle that includes cruising from town to town bumming. It's the homeless highway. It was just evidenced in New Orleans as well, where one of Scotts Valleys own died in a squat with 7 other young "poets, artists, and travelers" who said as much in their own words: ""A lot of these kids are not really homeless. They're just traveling,".

So do I support homeless services for those in need seeking to get back on track? Yes.

Do I support services for this component, which I and obviously a majority of residents feel is doing it by choice and have made us an attractive magnet? No.

We'll disagree on this issue forever, as we have for the past 20 years. But please, don't confuse my disagreeing with you vs. my not understanding the issue. I understand it just fine. I simply disagree with you. Your pontificating or claiming my disagreement is simply due to not understanding your viewpoint isn't changing my opinion.
by The Beast from the East
Saturday Jan 1st, 2011 8:54 AM
Robert is complaining that the Council's policy "Costs the City money and disgraces the community"???

This from the person who has already cost us productive, employed taxpayers more than ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS for his asinine Nazi salute stunt.
by DW
Sunday Jan 2nd, 2011 11:40 AM
...about the homeless beyond manipulating them and using them to further their own political ends. Frankly, there are no special constitutional rights for the homeless. They are not a protected class under state and federal law. So if the city council wants to pass laws to regulate their behavior, the council is free to do so, and the police department is free to enforce them. Frankly, the homeless don't need "friends" like Robert and Becky....
by Keep It Real Becky
Sunday Jan 2nd, 2011 7:14 PM
Your attempt to compare the Church to New Leaf is a weak attempt to deflect the issue, IMO.

The reality is that New Leaf has hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of humans per day entering it's doors. By comparison, I doubt that the church has 1/10th the number of people per day, if that. As such, the reality is that New Leaf has far fewer calls per humans on-site per-day than does the Red Church.


But more importantly:

I see that Father Joel is now being investigated for misconduct at the Red Church. That investigation is prompted not only by Cynthia's letter. It's also prompted by complaints from 7 members of the Congregation, a church volunteer who was assaulted by a transient, police, other city officals, etc,

It's an investigation instigated only after the diocesean committee hired an independent lawyer to investigate the situation.

This well researched and pondered decision clearly refutes your pretense that Cynthia Matthews has been leading a one-woman campaign based upon personal NIMBYism and desire for financial protection vis a vis her residence.....and it supports the opinion that you are indeed leading yet another personal attack.

by Robert Norse
Monday Jan 3rd, 2011 10:17 AM
J.M. Brown's belated story on Father Joel is at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_16996874 ("Santa Cruz's 'Red Church' minister certain he'll keep his job: Father Joel Miller still under fire for handling of homeless outreach"). I've also posted some comments there.
by Tastes like sugar
Monday Jan 3rd, 2011 7:34 PM
Yer in a bit of a sticky wicket BJ. Care to make a choice, or will you avoid addressing your duality, per the usual?

-You're on record multiple times claiming that the Drum Circle is just a bunch of musicians having fun. Not a drug scene.

-You're on record now admitting it was the drum circle causing the police calls and issues for the Red Church, not the homeless people being serviced there.". (You do this by default, by pointing out that the drop in incidences can be attributed to the demise of the Drum Circle.)

Well, which one is it? Either your now acknowledging that the Drum Circle did indeed serve as a magnet of druggies and trouble makers....or you acknowledge that the Drum Circle isn't a bunch of trouble makers and druggies who cause police calls....and you acknowledge that in fact Pastor Miller has done nothing to deal with the situation he created.

Hilarious. (Oh, and on a side note? Try to deflate your blimp of an ego. The entire community has been well aware of the problems caused by the crew at the Red Church. Don't kid or flatter yourself that your post caused all this sudden conversation. JM and the Diocese were both looking into this matter waay before your post Dang, you are needy for positive strokes; but they don't count when you give them to yourself.).

by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 12:39 AM
Ronee's radio interview on the attack on Father Joel can be found three hours and two minutes into the show (more or less) at
http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb101128.mp3 .

It gives some interesting and detailed background from Ronee's perspective on the pressures exerted on Father Joel to restrict her youth ministry there--pressure that eventually made her decide to leave and move to Pacific Avenue for a weekly Sunday feed-and-fellowship.

It's her position that the attack on Roberts is being orchestrated by a few uptight congregation members, in collusion with conservative city staff and cops--who have a gentrification agenda downtown.

It's really hard from the troll posters to believe that city government is trying to strip the downtown of visible poor people--but that indeed is the case.

The bogus "bad behavior" cover is needed because going after transients and bums is not only no longer fashionable but also subjects the city to lawsuits (and properly so). It was the PR cover used to set up broad police selective enforcement powers under the Downtown Ordinances in 1994, 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2010.

Stoking up fears as Captain Clark and other city officials did prior to the DIY parade recently is a traditional tactic (often highly successful) for herding folks into crackdowns and constitution-crunching.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 1:05 AM
I also posted the following as a comment to the Sentinel story at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_16996874 . Since I don't know if it will long remain there, I'm reposting it here:



Thanks for suggesting folks look at the indybay article Cynthia Mathews--Scrooge for the Season at http://www.indybay.org/newsite... .

They might also want to listen to the lengthy interview by Ronee Curry, who does a weekly Bible study at the Church as well as a Sunday food-and-friendship gathering on Pacific Avenue in front of Borders around 2 PM.

That can be found three hours and two minutes into the show (more or less) at
http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/... .

Mathews' vague charges are not backed up by any record of convictions (much less arrests) just "calls for service" with no comparison of calls for service, say, a block over, or in the higher crime area (near bars) at Laurel and Pacific.

According to Curry and several other church workers I've spoken with, Mathews complaints are based on the prejudicial attitudes of a small number of parishioners and residents who, as Beiers says, don't like the look of things.

While Craig is right in noting that "Cynthia Mathews does not call for the closure of any programs, the need to expel a specific group from the premises, or the firing of Father Joel" in so many words, that seems to be the practical import and the motivation behind what she's doing.

The "bad behavior" cover story is a nice piece of fear-mongering, but isn't backed up by much in the way of specifics. \

If someone commits a crime, either on the sidewalk or on the church property, they can be arrested and charged. How many documented instances? There are less than a dozen police reports in a year, according to the records released by the city.

It's either naive or disingenuous to say "No one is asking them to kick homeless people off their property or stop much needed services to that community.".

Police are called on party houses when they violate laws.

To play the Drug War card, by the way, when people are smoking marijuana is another symptom of a Reefer Madness mentality that wants to plunge this city back into a 1950's model. If critics on this thread actually have a record of hard drug arrests (or convictions), present the documentation. It's not hard to get. Just ask the SCPD to provide the public records.

"Common courtesy and good behavior" was the excuse used to remove half the benches on Pacific Avenue and 95% of the sidewalk as a seating area. It's disingenuous crap, similar to what fear-mongers up in San Francisco recently did with their Measure L, the Sitting Ban there.

Again, how many specific cases of "people are on the lawn of a church drinking, doing drugs, being aggressive, abusive, and inconsiderate of others nearby" do Matthews and poster Craig actually have to show us? The documents which I obtained from the city posted on the indybay website claim 54 arrests/citations in 2 1/2 years from January 2007 to April 2009, with no figures for the last year and a half.

I admittedly have not deciphered the calls for service, but again note that a relative handful of them even were serious enough to involve police reports.

I see this as a Take Back Santa Cruz style class move against poor people and those who want to provide even occasional support for them.

Finally it has to be remembered that Calvary Church covers--with its parking lots--an entire square city block in the downtown area. People gather there. Of all kinds.

Driving folks away with laws, cops, and vigilante neighbors is not what most of us want in Santa Cruz. Expecting people to tip their hat to you when police harass them at night with Sleeping Bans and during the day with Sitting Bans is unrealistic at best.
by Tastes like sugar
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 7:48 AM
As usual, you attempt to avoid the valid complaints of those who disagree with you by marginalizing their position, claiming it''s only a few people, and labeling us "trolls".

You say "It's her position that the attack on Roberts is being orchestrated by a few uptight congregation members, in collusion with conservative city staff and cops--who have a gentrification agenda downtown. It's really hard from the troll posters to believe that city government is trying to strip the downtown of visible poor people--but that indeed is the case.".

So you're claiming that only a few people have a problem with the situation? And that it's primarily government folks, not the general public? And anyone who supports the idea that there is a problem here is a trolll?


You do realize that you are in the exact same position, albeit on the other side of the issue? Small in number, with an agenda, and oft called a troll? Sweet irony.

But I think that the reality is more centered, that the complaintants are more numerous and reasoned than you care to acknowledge, and that the issue is being addressed and looked at by a far higher authority than local government.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 10:12 AM
See Auntie Imperial's blog at http://auntieimperial.blogspot.com/2010/12/sorry-two-words-that-describe-how.html.
by Clovis VII
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 3:09 PM
Who is this "Roberts" at the church that is being attacked? Do you mean Father Joel MILLER?
by Auntie Imperial
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 3:31 PM
"Show a single address that's had as many calls and not resulted in getting a bad reputation..."

New Leaf market... 300+ calls in the same time period.

NO ONE is calling for THEIR closure.
by Cyrus
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 4:05 PM
No one is calling for New Leaf's closure, and similarly no one is calling for the Red Church to be shut down. However, actions have been taken to mitigate the problem at New Leaf (as Robert and Becky so frequently remind us).

So once again you guys (HUFF, et al) can't scream that nothing is being done at New Leaf and then scream that repression reigns downtown. You must keep your arguments straight!
by Auntie Imperial
Tuesday Jan 4th, 2011 6:48 PM
Nothing's being "Done" at New Leaf.

Most of the calls received were undoubtedly shoplifting calls.

A behavioral problem... Right?

However, UNLIKE the issues surrounding Calvary's feed there's NOTHING the PD or New Leaf can really do about it.

That mean's New Leaf is intrinsically a nuisance leading to criminal enterprise by it's very existence.

It MUST go (along with that nasty dining cage)

(snigger)
by Becky Johnson
Wednesday Jan 5th, 2011 6:21 AM
TASTES LIKE SUGAR WRITES: "-You're on record multiple times claiming that the Drum Circle is just a bunch of musicians having fun. Not a drug scene.

-You're on record now admitting it was the drum circle causing the police calls and issues for the Red Church, not the homeless people being serviced there.". (You do this by default, by pointing out that the drop in incidences can be attributed to the demise of the Drum Circle.)

Well, which one is it? Either your (sic) now acknowledging that the Drum Circle did indeed serve as a magnet of druggies and trouble makers....or you acknowledge that the Drum Circle isn't a bunch of trouble makers and druggies who cause police calls....and you acknowledge that in fact Pastor Miller has done nothing to deal with the situation he created."

BECKY: Do people smoking pot = "druggies" in your view? If so, then I will agree. There was pot-smoked at the Drum Circle. I did NOT see people drinking alcohol, shooting up, or buying or selling meth. Perhaps it happened, but I saw none of it on the dozens of occasions I visited the Drum Circle on Wed. afternoons next to the Farmers Market. Did NIMBY neighbors and downtown merchants call "911" to complain about the Drum Circle? I bet they did.

A "call for service" can mean a real crime was committed. Or it can mean harassment. Or it can be a police-generated statistic indicating no "call" whatsoever.

And where did I "acknowledge" that Fr. Joel has "done nothing" to deal with the situation? I stated in my story that Fr. Joel capitulated to pressure from the police to post trespass orders on church property. That is not "doing nothing." That's caving in to pressure.
by The Beast from the East
Wednesday Jan 5th, 2011 7:20 AM
Just like Anna and Lito didn't use drugs either. That's why she got arrested AGAIN for meth possesion, just last week.
by Tastes like sugar
Wednesday Jan 5th, 2011 7:56 AM
You don't see a lot of things you don't want to see.

-You don't see the multiple homeless camps that are essentially shooting galleries and trash heaps all over the Pogonip, along the San Lorenzo, in De La Veaga. Nope, you prefer to stay on the main trails and pretend they don't exist.

-You don't see the meth busts because you aren't there 24/7, or because you choose not to. But they were there. And the people living there see them. As did the cops. Check the May 10 Sentinel if you want one piece of evidence of a meth bust. Talk to your drug busted dealer friend Miguel if you want more anecdotal evidence.
by Razer Raygun
Wednesday Jan 5th, 2011 6:50 PM
And you don't see me when I cold camp and get out in the morning when no one sees me and nothing is left behind.

All YOU see are the handful of troublemakers, useful idiots if you would, who are too drugged out or drunk to take care of themselves OR their surroundings.

There MIGHT be 10 or 20 of them in own at any given moment along with that thousand or so other homeless. The Scotts Valley Senile LUVS those folks hen it comes time to do their perception management thing

Nevertheless, where I sleep, I get no complaints from the neighbors or businesses nearby... Met a few. They don't care, nor should you, but EVERYONE who's resident here SHOULD CARE that the city is pandering to two elements. College student... a four to eight year transient population, and recently, the EXTREMELY TRANSIENT cross-country telecommuting cubie crowd.

Both groups can afford to pay outlandish rents and leases because they are working so far away from home that that $2,700/month rent is a tax write off as a business expense (cubie crowd) or can live en masse (students).

The city's planners, for whom there is a MANDATE from the city to develop the transient cubie crowd's work space, has also conveniently arranged that JOBS not paying enough to make that $2,700/month nut ARE NOT developed.

A classic example would be NextSpace, in the Downtown Business District, where the Downtown Association (and perhaps the redevelopment agency) controls what types of businesses and how many of each are allowed to operate.

The city could have EASILY mandated, due to the 'special' nature of the Downtown Economic Area, the development of a call center if the propertied elements wanted transient business people, sharing the same telecommunications technology as other higher tech marketing outfits that use places like NextSpace, and talked with the computer companies about developing a Santa Cruz Warranty call center for HP, Dell, Compaq, or...

That's just an example of LOCAL job development for LOCALS with the city taking the lead IN THAT DEVELOPMENT...

An example... While I was attending the PeaceCamp @ city hall last summer, I had the opportunity to see a friend of mine working as a First Alarm security guard, despite the simple fact that HE IS NOT a security guard 'type', simply to pay his rent.

I worked with that guy at a telemarketing operation. He's a sale rep... NOT a 'cop'.

That Call Center I hypothesized COULD BE employing him within his skills, for the benefit of a major company, instead of just providing cheap uninterested labor for First Alarm's contract with the city.

In MY estimation, the reason the city does not mandate development of jobs like that for locals (and the local skillset) is because the call center worker is NEVER going to make that $2,700/month rent.

There MUST be a violation of the State Charter in there somewhere as the city IS RESPONSIBLE for providing, to the best of their ability, for the well being of ALL residents of the city.

THEY CATEGORICALLY HAVE NOT DONE THAT BY POLICY.

A grand jury investigation, at the state level, is warranted.