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Public Hysteria Task Force Has 1st Meeting Tonight 6 PM Tony Hill Room Civic Auditorium SC
by Robert Norse
Tuesday May 7th, 2013 9:24 AM
The "Public Safety" Task Force, hand-picked by Mayor Hillary Bryant, has its first meeting tonight at 6 PM in the small Tony Hill sideroom at the Civic Auditorium on Church St. across from City Council chambers. According to staff person Scott Collins, the meeting will not be televised, though he intends to bring a small audio recorder. The room accommodates a much smaller number of people than the City Council chambers across the street or the main Civic auditorium assembly room in the same building. It also has no provision for letting folks outside listen via speakers as City Council has. Bryant has politely refused to move either the time or location of the meeting.
HYSTERIA-HEAVY ORIGINS OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FARCE
The Public Safety Task Force was hastily cobbled together as a patch-up job to respond to the loud criticism of Take Back Santa Cruz and The Clean Team, who came to City Council shaking cans of hypodermic needles they'd picked up over the previous days, weeks, and months.

The fact that they found less than 750 needles in less than half a year compared with the 250,000 reportedly turned in to S.O.S. volunteer Needle Exchange didn't stop City Council from meeting in closed session, closing down all needle exchange in the city limits, and treating this political hysteria as though it were a real public safety concern.

The Clean Team recently was exposed as homeless harassers in a You-Tube video, which disappeared several minutes after it was posted, as CT members denounced and abused homeless people in their sleeping bags, threatened to return and pour water on them, demanded they get up, and clean up the area.
I've stopped waiting for Take Back Santa Cruz to announce it has told its "clean up" crews not to disturb homeless camps as Save Our Shelter folks are reportedly advised in their regular clean-ups along the beaches and river.

NO HOMELESS INVOLVEMENT ON TASK FORCE NOR REAL ACTION TO DEAL WITH TRASH & NEEDLE DISPOSAL
What Council did not do is involve the homeless community in assisting with improper needle distribution, trash dispersal, and real environmental protection.

This could be done by--say--setting up public bathrooms (or at least portapotties) for the 1500-2000 who sleep outside (because there are facilities for less than 50 in the Paul Lee loft for the next six months and a Waiting List of 4-6 weeks), taking seriously Brent Adams' Sanctuary Campground proposal (or something similar), or at least providing trash pick-up's, garbage bags, and clean-up incentives for those who camp of necessity. Instead there's a police hotline to snitch on survival campers, which makes all the more reluctant to be publicly seen hauling trash out of the Pogonip.

REAL AGENDA
Part of the real agenda of Take Back Santa Cruz seems to have always been to treat homeless campers as criminals, drive them out of Santa Cruz, harden the hearts of those who recognize they have rights with venomous rhetoric, and scapegoat them as bums, addicts, drunks, and "foreigners". Out-of-towners with money to throw into shops or lavish at the Boardwalk, of course, regardless of the traffic, trash, and police problems they create are welcome.

The visible poor are falsely blamed and targeted for impeding the escalation of property values and discouraging upscale shopping on Pacific Avenue as well as leaving feces, trash, and needles on (now closed at night) Cowell Beach. Hence in the last two decades we've escalated from the Sleeping Ban to the Sitting Ban, removal of benches (check Walnut Ave. outside of the Silver shop), and massive over-policing and security guard thuggery downtown.

COMPOSITION OF THE INQUISITION
Public Safety Citizen Task Force Applicants

Emily Ager Eric Mark Aldrich Katie Aldrich Dave Anderson Michael Becker Andrew Booth Peter Boscacci
Brad Brereton Charles M. (Stoney) Brook Alison Buchter Jim Burns Sylvia Caras Chris Carlock Pat Christie William B. Christie Jeff Cole Kai Cole Carolyn Coleman Annouschka Collins Monique Cook Gena Connelly
Cynthia Crennell-Conroy Analicia Lesnowicz Cube Catalina Cruz Jessica Delgado Maggie Duncan-Merrell
Charlie Eadie Teren Ellison Deborah Elston Stacey Falls Janet Fardette Gena Finch Elizabeth Gaona Peter Gelblum Sally Ghilarducci David L. Giannini Renee Golder Benjamin Hartel Nicholas Hawley
Lloyd Hedenland, Jr. Wesley Heim Jill Hitchman Jim Howes Ryan Thomas Johansen Jim Jones
Kari Jordan Alexander Josselyn James Lafferty Michael Laird Richard C. Larson Salvetoria (Sally) Larter Naomi LeGate RN, MSN-FNP Colonel Edward J. Lesnowicz USMC (Ret.) Andy Lewis Marv Lewis Rod Libbey
Claudia Llamas-Padilla Rick A. Lofvendahl Danielle Long Kristin Long Rick Longinotti Christina Lupano
Brian MacDonald Joy Magi Casey K. Main Aimee S. Mangan Bill Manov Ryan Masters Christie McCullen George W. Mead IV Thomas Miller Andrew Mueller Lucia Orlando Robert Orrizzi Steve Pleich
Michael Pisciotta Carol Polhamus Ron Pomerantz Kelly Porter Sanchez Mike Pruger Gary Reaves Michele Lee Reed Kris Reyes Ben Rice Jeff Rockwell Don Roland Doug Ross Reyna Ruiz Sara A. Schell Margaret Schifando Steve Schlicht Steve Schnaar Todd Schomer (Henry) Reed Searle Erika Sehestedt Amy Sibiga Dennis L. Smith Nathaniel Smith Cristy Sorenson Adam Spickler David Spitz
Mark Stephens Kim W. Stoner Dimitry Struve Tim Sylvester Bernie Tershy Beth Thurman
Deborah Tracy-Proulx Shaz Umer Craig Waltz Martine Watkins Alie Welch Jeff Whiting
Patricia (Patti) Whitlock Patty Zoccoli


Public Safety Citizen Task Force Final Membership

1) Jeff Cole, Mountain View fire captain
2) Carolyn Coleman, executive director of Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center
3) Renee Golder, teacher at Bay View Elementary School, Santa Cruz
4) Jim Howes, retired Santa Cruz police officer and assistant director of Regional Occupation Program at county Office of Education
5) Rod Libbey, executive director of Janus of Santa Cruz County
6) Danielle Long, county social worker
7) Kristin Long, family attorney who retired as an assistant district attorney
8) Kris Reyes, director of general services and external relations for Santa Cruz Seaside Co.
9) Reyna Ruiz, member of city's Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and former director of Beach Flats Community Center
10) Steve Schlicht, marketing director for Easy on the Eye branding firm
11) Dennis Smith, member of Santa Cruz Port Commission and retired county sheriff's lieutenant
12) Kim Stoner, real estate appraiser and consultant
13) Bernie Tershy, adjunct professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz
14) Deborah Tracy-Proulx, president of Santa Cruz City Schools Board of Trustees
15) Patty Zoccoli, co-owner Zoccoli's Deli

Mostly cops, merchants, and bureaucrats. No homeless folks, homeless advocates, public defenders, and scant social service representation. No surprise, even though Bryant had many to choose from--as can be seen in the list of applicants above.

MAYOR BRYANT'S STONEWALLING CONTINUES
Bryant has continued to stonewall on providing any e-mails for the last year other than 3 "newsletters". The SCPD continues to refused to provide bikes to the bike church with no explanation--from Tina Shull, Assistant City Manager, Council members Don Lane, or Hillary Bryant, whose husband reportedly has a financial arrangement with the Bike Dojo boss--where the SCPD has been sending the bikes. And Council member Posner declines to make any public statements on the matter.

REAL PUBLIC SAFETY IS NOT THE ISSUE: DRIVING AWAY THE HOMELESS IS
Real Public Safety, of course, is being significantly compromised by the SCPD's political anti-homeless agenda of over-policing downtown, engaging in survival-gear-destroying sweeps, and encouraging bigot snitch activity against visible homeless people. Ironically, the data documenting this obvious fact was long unavailable but then supplied in a ham-handed attempt to demonize homeless people.

Public statements from old-time bullies like Deputy-Chief Steve Clark suggesting that nearly half of the police budget goes to address "homeless crime" sounds fearsome until you realize the "crime" he's talking about has been created and magnified by the SCPD. These "crimes" include drug use, urinating, defecating, llegal sleeping, recycling, using shopping carts, open container, and other victimless activities that most people do behind closed doors.

Chief Vogel himself did not deny there was no rise in the "crime rate"--though he willingly accepted the new officer recruit bonuses being thrown at him by City Council in its haste to show it was "doing something".

ANALYSIS OF THE LATEST STAFF REPORT
Becky Johnson's analysis of the staff report to the Homeless Study Session can be found at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/04/29/18736055.php?show_comments=1#18736111
She discussed it over the air at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130502.mp3 (1 hours into the audio file).

The Homelessness Study Session Staff report can be found at http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=495&doctype=AGENDA and click on "Homelessness Study Session" link, then on the Staff report, the first of six documents in the right-hand box).

Some of Becky's comments:

THE PHONY CRIME WAVE
"the data collected were focused to answer questions posed in advance, many of which inquired about calls for ser
vice in the Harvey West Area and those of persons who self-affiliate with the Homeless Services Center complex by providing the 115 Coral Street address at the time of arrest." page 26
BECKY: So in order to create the impression there is a "crime wave" around Coral St. services area, they ONLY provide data around Coral St? What kind of data gathering does this represent? You can't compare apples to oranges if you only talk about apples.
Table 1 page 26 shows number of arrests & citations of only homeless people: SCPD 2012 arrests = 2,044 and Citations = 3,616 SCPD total arrests in 2012 = 4,908 showing 42% of those arrested are homeless. Considering that there are only 1070 homeless people counted in Santa Cruz, the SCPD are on the average arresting every homeless person in town twice each year.
Compared to Capitola police, Watsonville police, and Scotts Valley police, which only cite or arrest homeless people 7% - 13%

"These data show a few trends. First, SCPD is significantly busier than the police departments of the other cities in the County. With SCPD topping over 100,000 calls for service in 2012—an all-time high—this data are consistent with an overall trend of increasing demands for police services in our City that is disproportionately large. SCPD has also noticed a steady rise in the number of calls for service in the Harvey West Area from 2008 to the present. " page 27
BECKY: The data clearly show an over-the-top trend of making multiple arrests and writing voluminous citations by the SCPD. Since homeless people represent 1.7% of Santa Cruz population, yet constitute 42% of all arrests, no other conclusion can be drawn than the practice shows harassment, discrimination, and selective enforcement of homeless people under existing laws. Readers should remember that "Calls for service" are not calls for service. They are just in many if not most cases self-generated markers to record "work" done by police including regular patrols where no one called for anything.

"SCPD has also noticed a steady rise in the number of calls for service in the Harvey West Area from 2008 to the present." --- page 27
BECKY: While not providing the actual data to compare the Harvey West area with in order "to keep this information to a manageable level" we are to accept this anecdotal claim that crime is rising in these areas where homeless people are found.

"Of total citations in 2012 and 2013, about 30% are issued to persons who list 115 Coral Street as their address." --- page 27
BECKY: Since the City Council has chosen to pass laws againsts sleeping, using a blanket, camping, sitting, lying down, BEING in a parking lot or parking garage, begging, singing, using a sign, feeding birds breadcrumbs, smoking in huge swaths of public spaces out of doors, draconian closings of massive amounts of public space while selectively enforcing all of these laws against homeless people, you see the situation we have today.

"SCPD’s data show that multiple arrests are common and that 325 unique individuals who supplied 115 Coral Street as their address were arrested 1,259 times in 2012."
BECKY: This is a textbook case of harassment of individuals based on their housing status. Santa Cruz will likely be sued for this and lose in court costing enormous legal costs with huge fines likely levied.

"Accordingly, a smaller pool of individuals are incurring a staggering number of arrests and consuming an inordinate amount of public safety resources." page 27
BECKY: Seems like the SCPD is generating a lot of their own job security by scapegoating a few hundred people over and over and over again. this is torture. And it kills people with the stress too.

"As 82% of the department’s $22 million annual budget is composed of personnel cost s, and there are over 100,000 call for service annually (104,946 in 2012), a general cost of $180 per call for service is reached."
BECKY: $22 million a year for the SCPD and homeless funding for the HSC & homeless funding = $224,000 from the General Fund.

"In 2012, there were 5,660 arrests or citations for persons listing 115 Coral Street as an address, which yields a
cost estimate of $1,018,800 to service those public safety needs." -- page 27
BECKY: That’s 4 times the amount we spend to feed, house, provide medical services, laundry, showers, bathrooms, and counseling for homeless people. What possible value do all of these arrests and citations of homeless people accomplish other than job security for cops and jailers?

"These guards have produced an improvement in safety and quality of life in these areas and the community has responded very positively to their presence. The program, however, comes with a cost of about $350,000 annually."
BECKY: This First Alarm program to provide security guards for City Council offices costs $125,000 MORE than we pay for social programs to HELP homeless people.

'Accordingly, this funding will be requested in a separate budget line item for FY 2014." page 28
BECKY: $22 million and 100,000 "calls for service" aren't enough? We need MORE MONEY for cops??? In what rational universe does this make sense?


CREATING CRIMINALS: TURNING THE HOMELESS INTO THE HUNTED
"The most common crime types are: 14 California Penal Code (PC) PC § 484A – Theft PC § 647(f) – Public Intoxication PC § 1203.2 – Probation Violation SCMC § 6.36 – Camping in City Limits Prohibited SCMC § 9.10 – Panhandling (Prohibited Locations, Manner, Time) SCMC § 9.12 – Consumption of Alcohol in Public SCMC § 9.50 – Prohibited Conduct on Public Property" --- page 28
BECKY: Note that intoxication and consumption of alcohol are legal on private property, hence they are ONLY enforced against homeless people who have no legal place to drink. Panhandling is a "crime" done by very poor or homeless people. It is questionable if it even IS a crime or protected under the 1st amendment as right to speech. "Conduct on public property" is where cops cite homeless people for sitting on the concrete lip of a treewell on Pacific Ave. or for sitting on a park bench wrong, or for standing on a water box, or for sitting on a drinking fountain. Again, housed people do these things all the time but generally are not cited. A probation violation could be as minor as jaywalking or smoking a cigarette on Pacific Ave.

"Also of note is the 2009 strengthening of SCMC § 4.04.015 “Failure to Appear or Post Bail” by the City Council, which allows law enforcement to obtain a warrant for arrest of any person who, in a six-month period, fails to appear in court on three occasions in connection with a citation issued for criminal violation of the SCMC." --- page 28
BECKY: And they say that there is no debtors prison in the USA!

"The City had been having problems with recipients of citations ignoring citations as there were no repercussions." ----page 28
BECKY: If you call "no repercussions" a ruined credit rating, garnisheed wages, leans on bank accounts, losing one's drivers license and income tax refunds forfeited.

"This code section establishes a misdemeanor offense for three failures-to-appear in a six-month period and allows for a warrant for arrest. This process proceeds through the City Attorney’s Office. " --- page 28
BECKY: This custom-designed draconian criminalization effort by City Attorney John Barisone reversed a trend to reduce over-crowding at area jails. It is not done in any other City.

"The City was not able to obtain information about court costs as these types of data are not collected." page 28
BECKY: So in ADDITION to the $180 EACH for a "call for service" the taxpayers pay undisclosed OTHER costs for courts, lawyers, bailiffs, file clerks, jailers, and jails.

COME EARLY AND WEAR A NOSE PLUG
If you wish to attend this packed Task Force, make sure you go early, since there's likely to be little space. There's also likely to be plenty of Take Back Santa Cruz partisans armed with glass jars of needles.
§Additional Comments
by Robert Norse Tuesday May 7th, 2013 11:03 AM
...can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/05/07/18736454.php .
§The Flyer Distributed at the Public "Safety" Task Force Meeting
by Robert Norse Tuesday May 7th, 2013 9:27 PM

This flyer is a mixture of the above article and its calendar description at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/05/07/18736454.php .
§First Meeting Report: The Dangers of Passivity
by Robert Norse Tuesday May 7th, 2013 10:21 PM
OBJECTIVE OF THE TASK FORCE: HOMELESS "CRIME"
The bias and bigotry of the Public Hysteria Task Force was rather blatantly revealed in the staff report on the "Public Safety ad hoc Citizen Task Force" which recommended its formation on the 4-9 Agenda:

"The Task Force will be tasked with exploring the deep rooted issues affecting our public safety, including but not limited to: drug abuse and treatment; drug-related crimes; transients; inappropriate social behaviors; mental ilness; gang activity, and the impacts our local justice system that is grappling with increased calls for service. [sic]."

The 15-member Task Force proceeded amiably and methodically to gear up to fulfill this tainted agenda---as though they were addressing a real problem rather than a paranoid perception disability. They elected a chair Kris Reyes of the Seaside Company, and as vice-chair ex-SCPD cop Jim Howes. Mayor Bryant and Fred Keeley blessd the fantasy-based group.

NO CONCERN WITH REAL PUBLIC SAFETY
As I've noted before there were no stats showing any particular Public Safety emergency other than the Needle Hysteria mobilized by Take Back Santa Cruz and The Clean Team as part of its anti-transient, anti-homeless agenda. No indication of a rising crime rate or one that was substantially worse than decades ago. Instead a group was formed to formalize and justify a social cleansing agenda, driven by a phony Public Safety emergency. Note that no major crimes like murder, rape, burglary, assault, foreclosure fraud, police and/or governmental malfeasance are mentioned explicitly. This is a loaded agenda from the start with a nasty ideological objective.

Yet I attended the meeting and quietly sat through much of it. I had no signs (as I had a month or two back when Take Back Santa Cruz had its mobilization in the City Council courtyard) exposing or denouncing the phony group. I didn't raise my voice when the meeting ended with no Public Comment period.

PUBLIC COMMENT NOT WANTED
The group agreed to have a few segregated Public Comment sessions down the road, but not to provide a regular Public Comment section at each meeting. I objected to this privately to the chair and vice-chair, but realized later that this was quibbling about details when the real question is the mythological nature of the Task Force's "mission" to begin with. I was talking about deck chair rearrangement on the Titanic.

What needs to be asked is "what public safety emergency?" "where?" And that I had trouble doing even with members of the audience (which narrowly outnumbered the participants but tamely accepted a silent role. It's easy to slip into the role of questioning only the details rather than rejecting clearly and strongly the whole beast.

Cooperating in giving this charade any credibility is like signing on to a Task Force to Investigate Immigrant Crime.
It's a mask for a familiar prejudiced agenda from the start. It's what the Downtown Association and the Santa Cruz Neighbors and the SCPD have been pushing for years.

Having a "reasonable dialogue" with, say slave holders or segregationists is a waste of time, Preview:
§First Meeting Report: The Dangers of Passivity
by Robert Norse
Tue May 7 22:06:50 2013
OBJECTIVE OF THE TASK FORCE: HOMELESS "CRIME"
The bias and bigotry of the Public Hysteria Task Force was rather blatantly revealed in the staff report on the "Public Safety ad hoc Citizen Task Force" which recommended its formation on the 4-9 Agenda:

"The Task Force will be tasked with exploring the deep rooted issues affecting our public safety, including but not limited to: drug abuse and treatment; drug-related crimes; transients; inappropriate social behaviors; mental ilness; gang activity, and the impacts our local justice system that is grappling with increased calls for service. [sic]."

The 15-member Task Force proceeded amiably and methodically to gear up to fulfill this tainted agenda---as though they were addressing a real problem rather than a paranoid perception disability. They elected a chair Kris Reyes of the Seaside Company, and as vice-chair ex-SCPD cop Jim Howes. Mayor Bryant and Fred Keeley blessd the fantasy-based group.

NO CONCERN WITH REAL PUBLIC SAFETY
As I've noted before there were no stats showing any particular Public Safety emergency other than the Needle Hysteria mobilized by Take Back Santa Cruz and The Clean Team as part of its anti-transient, anti-homeless agenda. No indication of a rising crime rate or one that was substantially worse than decades ago. Instead a group was formed to formalize and justify a social cleansing agenda, driven by a phony Public Safety emergency. Note that no major crimes like murder, rape, burglary, assault, foreclosure fraud, police and/or governmental malfeasance are mentioned explicitly. This is a loaded agenda from the start with a nasty ideological objective.

Yet I attended the meeting and quietly sat through much of it. I had no signs (as I had a month or two back when Take Back Santa Cruz had its mobilization in the City Council courtyard) exposing or denouncing the phony group. I didn't raise my voice when the meeting ended with no Public Comment period.

PUBLIC COMMENT NOT WANTED
The group agreed to have a few segregated Public Comment sessions down the road, but not to provide a regular Public Comment section at each meeting. I objected to this privately to the chair and vice-chair, but realized later that this was quibbling about details when the real question is the mythological nature of the Task Force's "mission" to begin with. I was talking about deck chair rearrangement on the Titanic.

What needs to be asked is "what public safety emergency?" "where?" And that I had trouble doing even with members of the audience (which narrowly outnumbered the participants but tamely accepted a silent role. It's easy to slip into the role of questioning only the details rather than rejecting clearly and strongly the whole beast.

Cooperating in giving this charade any credibility is like signing on to a Task Force to Investigate Immigrant Crime.
It's a mask for a familiar prejudiced agenda from the start. It's what the Downtown Association and the Santa Cruz Neighbors and the SCPD have been pushing for years.

Having a "reasonable dialogue" with, say slave holders or segregationists, is a waste of time and a form of self-deception--however decent the misguided folks may be in other respects.. Worse--it gives credibility to the broader purpose of their tainted project.

FUTURE MEETING OF THE MAD HATTERS
Next meeting is in 3 weeks. They intend to meet every two weeks thereafter on Wednesday at 6 PM (I think, at a place to be announced). This will go on for six months at which point the group will makes its "recommendations" to the City Council. I can hardly wait.

I recorded most of the meeting, and so did the amiable Scott Collins, staff person. Those who want to hear it need to call City staff at 420-5030 and urge them to post the audio on line. I got Collins' assurance that he'd try to make last week's Public Safety Committee (the official City Council committee, not the Task Force) available tomorrow.

Those who use the bloody flag of the Sharon Collins, Loran Baker, Elizabeth Butler, & Jeremy Goulet deaths are spreading fear and manipulating community shock for a very specific agenda that has nothing to do with those deaths. This Task Force is the official vehicle to further that bigoted agenda using Crime as the cover for Homeless Exclusion.

Meanwhile real homeless people are getting harassed, cited, jailed, and in some cases beaten. Even when this is caught on video, the police officer involved continues to walk the beat. Unfortunately this isn't on the agenda of the Public Safety Task Force.. Worse--it gives credibility to the broader purpose of the tainted project.

FUTURE MEETING OF THE MAD HATTERS
Next meeting is in 3 weeks. They intend to meet every two weeks thereafter on Wednesday at 6 PM (I think, at a place to be announced). This will go on for six months at which point the group will makes its "recommendations" to the City Council. I can hardly wait.

I recorded most of the meeting, and so did the amiable Scott Collins, staff person. Those who want to hear it need to call City staff at 420-5030 and urge them to post the audio on line. I got Collins' assurance that he'd try to make last week's Public Safety Committee (the official City Council committee, not the Task Force) available tomorrow.

Those who use the bloody flag of the Sharon Collins, Loran Baker, Elizabeth Butler, & Jeremy Goulet deaths are spreading fear and manipulating community shock for a very specific agenda that has nothing to do with those deaths. This Task Force is the official vehicle to further that bigoted agenda using Crime as the cover for Homeless Exclusion.

Meanwhile real homeless people are getting harassed, cited, jailed, and in some cases beaten. Even when this is caught on video, the police officer involved continues to walk the beat. Unfortunately this isn't on the agenda of the Public Safety Task Force.
§Some of the Deleted Comments Reposted
by Roberrt Norse Thursday May 16th, 2013 12:22 AM
I was able to save some of the comments and post them at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/05/15/18736901.php

I will be playing a phone interview I had with T.J. Magallanes on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 101.3 FM (streams at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/) tomorrow (Thursday May 16) at 6:30 PM. I invite listeners to call in at 831-427-3772.

The interview will archive at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130516.mp3 about half an hour into the audio file.
§Last part of the T.J. Interview
by Robert Norse Sunday May 19th, 2013 8:30 AM
...will be archived today at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130519.mp3 (about an hour and a quarter into the audio file).

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by lil' birdie
Tuesday May 7th, 2013 10:57 PM
From what I heard, Homeless Services Center (HSC) staff threatened to evict people staying at the shelters if they talked to the media about Shannon Collins' murderer.

Apparently he was acting crazy around the HSC staff but they didn't call the police. The HSC is partly responsible for Shannon Collins being killed. Then they threatened people with eviction to coverup. Criminal behavior by HSC staff.
by Community Member
Wednesday May 8th, 2013 9:32 AM
For those of us who are already fed up with the reactionary thinking of some of these vocal townspeople, and I speak for myself here, it is a good service to pick apart the arguments and so-called "evidence" for the need for harsher laws and more police.

Next question, and I've already put this to the City Council: How do we move forward as a community to address the issue of homelessness? And I challenge the entire community, not just our "leaders," to answer that question.
by Razer Ray
Wednesday May 8th, 2013 9:53 PM
The person who committed this crime was released from a state hospital for the criminally insane without proper clearance and was only "Homeless" in the sense that he got thrown out on the street by a dysfunctional state psychiatric facility system in error.

Shannon Collins was a friend to the poor and homeless of Santa Cruz and her family BEGGED THE MEDIA NOT TO BLAME IT ON THE HOMELESS in the wake of the tragedy... and you disgrace her name. You are a very sick individual yourself. Get psychological help
by Some Campers
Friday May 10th, 2013 12:35 PM
We appreciate all the work that Brent Adams is doing to get us a Sanctuary Camp.

Santa Cruz is so fortunate to have resources like Brent and Robert.
by Ed Natol
( ednatol [at] hotmail.com ) Saturday May 11th, 2013 5:45 PM
He was killed last year too, but nobody seems to care.
by Asking Ed
Saturday May 11th, 2013 8:50 PM
Do you really care about Charles Powers, Ed? Did you care about Charles Powers before he was killed? As a Take Back Santa Cruz member were you actively working to help him with his problems and lift him out of homelessness? Or do you just care about his story because he was killed by other homeless people?

Your comment is typical of what we are hearing from Take Back Santa Cruz members now. TBSC statements that sound compassionate but also "tough on crime" at the same time just ring hollow to me.

Be honest, TBSC wants people like Charles Powers to leave town. You aren't mourning his death.
by ex member
Monday May 13th, 2013 9:55 AM
There are supposedly thousands of members on facebook but really there is a small core group of koolaid drinkers who seem to have not only an anti-homeless agenda but are frequently lambasting liberals, progressives, Don Lane, "hippies" UCSC, higher education, social workers, the poor, Latinos, Mexicans, illegal aliens, renters, etc.

Not only the Santa Cruz Sentinel seems enamored with TBSC, pretty much every media publication I've read, writes glowing remarks about them. And if you look to the ranks of members, most of the media are members.


They have a pretty clear political agenda, despite their claims to the contrary.


by Razer Ray
Monday May 13th, 2013 11:53 AM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video: your_fascist_superhero_-_nuisance_laws.mp4 (27.3MB)

"Crypto" meaning the mainstream followers of the organization are not made aware of the underlying philosophy, acknowledged or not, of the organization and/or it's leaders.

A confrontation that occurred between one of TBSC's luminaries and I at a local coffee shop a week or two ago illustrates.

I was sitting some computer work (subversive... natch.) when the EX-Project manager @ Slater contruction who walks the two Bassett Hounds around downtown and a thirty-something looking crewcut guy in a flannel shirt & jeans walk in.

They started discussing the 'hobos' hanging out on the lawn at city hall, and the flannel shirt guy said humorously:

"We should sic your bassetts on them."

The EX-Slater employee whose also a higher up in the TBSC hierarchy said loudly so the whole shop could hear:

"Naw, they'd just lick 'em... We should get Dobies"

Visions of Bull Connor's Birmingham police siccing dogs on MLK's followers and terrorized-by-dogs prisoners of Lyndie England at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison flashed through my mind.

I turned from my computer and asked abruptly:

"You ever killed a dog?"

The EX-Slater Project Manager and TBSC guiding light replied:

"No"

I retorted calmly, flatly and in a publicly audible voice:

"I'll hunt you down next jackass."

Then looking intently at his flannel shirt buddy I said:

You want a piece of this?

He doesn't acknowledge.

I said it a little louder.

Still nothing.

The flannel shirt guy, who probably didn't expect the "Dobie" suggestion from his partner, wouldn't look at me.

All the other patrons of the shop seemed to pay no attention to the confrontation.

Perhaps THEY were having the same images of Bull Connors siccing the police dogs on MLK's followers in Birmingham going through their minds.

I took a walk to cool down and came back to the shop discovering the flannel shirt guy gone but the EX-Slater employee (whose a land development 'consultant' now) still there.

I stared at him told him he was human scum, and went inside.

I sat for a minute, and then I figured he would be spinning what happened to the manager before long so I went over to speak to the manger first.

The jackass from Slater had taken the 5 minutes I was gone to tell him ALL about it.

But apparently he told the manager, who I know personally, something besides what happened or embellished it dramatically because when the manager asked "What was THAT all about?" even as I was walking up to him, and I told him, he smiled and said "Yeah.. It seemed like he was just trying to get you 86-ed".

The moral of this story is "Do the people following TBSC who simply want safe neighborhoods and no (TBSC planted, along with the concurrent myth) "bags-of-needles" on the beaches KNOW that this scumbucket and his friends,(most likely INCLUDING TBSC'S FRIENDS ON THE CITY COUNCIL) joke about siccing dogs on people for lounging in a public park?

I think not.
[Video: Batman & Superman discuss whose responsible for"Nuisance Ordinances" and who stands to gain (10m +-)]

Take Back Santa Cruz leadership = Crypto... Fascists.


Oh... and the jackass HAS NOT made a re-appearance at the coffee shop so far.

I call that a "Win".

Next on the agenda. Chase the Fascists out of town entirely.

by Razer Ray
Monday May 13th, 2013 11:58 AM
This tag:

[Video: Batman & Superman discuss whose responsible for"Nuisance Ordinances" and who stands to gain (10m +-)]

...should have appeared at the top of the post under the video, instead due to an oversight on my part it appears in the text body towards the bottom
by no
Monday May 13th, 2013 12:56 PM
If any TBSC yuppie ever approaches me or anyone else with a dog or any other obvious intent to cause harm, it's going to be a very bad day indeed for both the dog and the yuppie. I will defend myself and anyone else they try to attack, and force WILL be used in return for force. That's a promise.

I think it's important that critics of TBSC don't demonize groups the way TBSC does. Quite frankly I don't think the membership (the 5000) are mostly yuppies. They are a large cross section of SC who are SCARED because the media has helped fan the flames of fear. It's like after 911 people were only too happy to hand Dick Cheney some of their Constitutional rights, there are a lot of what I would consider, decent people who are just frightened because of what they are being told is going on in their community. And from things that need to be fixed, being told that nothing is working the best thing to do is start running people out of town.

TBSC has been fanning these flames along with the Santa Cruz Sentinel. They are taking real events and conflating them into a crisis situation that is playing on the worst fears and emotions people have. Their talking points are smooth and underneath their PR campaign of diverse grassroots are your basic neocon and conservative ideas that one hears on Fox news all the time.

In the hidden from public group they talk freely about how "the homeless this" "the homeless that." For a group that isn't supposedly focused on the homeless, Take Back Santa Cruz seems fixated on the Homeless.

There are a lot of conservative people in Santa Cruz county. Even though the county as a whole tends to vote Blue. The crime issue is an issue conservatives have always used to play on peoples fears and Take Back Santa Cruz doesn't miss a beat.

Any potential crime that can be turned into a PR event for TBSC political action and clout, an action alert goes out and the rank and file show up for the photo-op of Analicia Cube speaking with the mob in the back holding kids and signs demanding "Keep Santa Cruz Safe."


This is a de facto astroturf group with lots of well meaning people just being used as good soldiers, votes for TBSC candidates, and political clout. The real agenda is for the real estate and business interests that already dominate this county to shift both the SC City council and SC Bd of Supes into their yes men and women. (as if it wasn't already bad enough, things can get MUCH worse if a TBSC conservative slate starts actually controlling governmental and administrative policy).


For as supposedly politically astute people in Santa Cruz are supposed to be, I wonder how come not too many people have caught onto the game being played.
by Positive Linker
Monday May 13th, 2013 1:51 PM
Finally we are getting information about how dangerous the Clean Team is, and how that group is a front for Take Back Santa Cruz.

Remember that many people in Santa Cruz are citing as facts the numbers of dirty needles they claim they are finding

Video of clean team members harassing and nearly assaulting a homeless person:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UUpGNF_WInE

Quote from TJ, the founder of the Clean Team who says that TBSC kicked him out of that group and took it over:

"They were threatening to kill homeless people and all of this different stuff. Then I was like , You know, that’s not what I’m all about. So I shut down the group, and that angered a lot of people.

A lot of people from the Take Back Santa Cruz Group, they were angry."

More from TJ:

"I don’t know if you know this, but I was kicked out of the Clean Team. The Clean Team was basically taken over by Take Back Santa Cruz, and they kicked me off of my own page. A vocal group member was basically made an admin, and I was kicked off. They had a completely different stance on the needle exchange. You know, I’ve done a massive amount of research when I went to all of these needle meetings. I went to the very first meeting and recorded it, and everyone was fighting and flipping out. There were all of these people that hadn’t done any research, and they were coming up with solutions that absolutely weren’t feasible.

I was sent a bunch of hate mail from the person that started Take Back Santa Cruz, saying that I am in no way affiliated with them. I thought that was fine, because I don’t care to be affiliated with them. I was also receiving death threats, from all kinds of members of Take Back Santa Cruz, and other random people. I’m getting death threats on various forums."
by ex member
Monday May 13th, 2013 2:12 PM
I stopped participating last year but am still in the Facebook group and check in periodically to see how crazy those folks still are.

Last month it seems there was an article in the Good Times about crime in Santa Cruz. I guess there was a man who was living in his RV who claimed that TBSC members had been harassing him by taking photos of his RV and posting it on their website and then he woke up one day and was angrily confronted by a man and a woman who told him to get out of the area, etc.

So someone in TBSC started a thread that basically was crying about how for the first time in Santa Cruz history, a media organization actually cast TBSC in a less than angelic light. So of course a lot of people start posting about how inaccurate the claim was and then some go onto the GT site and post that it's slander what was written in the article (technically it would be libel if anything).

In the thread, someone asks the logical question, "was what the homeless man in the RV claimed true?" Do TBSC members photograph people's RVs and post them on the forum so that all the armchair wannabee cops can determine if what's really there is a drug dealer or addicts. Needless to say the simple question didn't go over well and quickly one of TBSC's leaders jumps into the discussion, shuts it down, shoots down the person asking a question and then kicks them out of the group.

There is NO dissent or discussion allowed in TBSC. You disagree with one of the leaders and you are at least considered suspect and if not shunned, kicked out.

That's how they run it.
by G
Monday May 13th, 2013 5:39 PM
That explains a few things about 2010...

So, when a community is infected by hate (TBSC modus operandi), what can be done?
by Team Watcher
Monday May 13th, 2013 7:26 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUpGNF_WInE

The Clean Team video speaks for itself.

The guy pokes the camper with his trash grabber, threatens to have his Westside buddies come beat the guy up, then threatens to throw water on the guy.

Compassion in action. Unbelievable.
by ex member
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 6:16 AM
Coincidence or not, all the 75 comments on the CT article and video link got scrubbed from SC patch last night.

Not sure if they will be restored or not.

But this brings up the issue of the need for a more permanent teach-in/resource file on the goings on of Take Back Santa Cruz and their sister group (even though both deny it) CT Santa Cruz.

Something that gives background and then comprehensive chronicles of both groups would be a good reference for people to refer to in order to educate themselves about the reality of both groups rather than the self-promotional PR they are spewing out.


by ex member
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 9:05 AM
Why is it that Take Back Santa Cruz members don't have a problem with the policy of kicking out people whose comments the TBSC admins disagree with?


Doesn't that seem to contradict the claim that TBSC is a diverse organization that is open and grassroots?

How diverse can a group be if anyone who posts something different is considered offensive and thus the person removed from the ranks?

Maybe someone from TBSC who is obviously monitoring this page can respond.
by Razer Ray
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 9:44 AM
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Why don't they note that the "diverse organization that is open and grassroots" isn't?

Taken in context of the people they're attempting to organize "Diversity" of economics/social behavior is unknown to TBSC's followers in the communities they came from, and "Open"/"Grassroots" relate to 'open to them' and THEIR 'roots' in suburban communities where there are no street people... Heck, there's no one on the streets! That's why they're referred to as "Bedroom Communities". The lifestyle is behaviorally controlled, from home, to school and work, to the shopping mall or theater or other behaviorally controlled place.

Therefore they're easily misled to believe the organization is 'open' because they are welcome... and their beliefs are reinforced that their previous isolated way of living IS the correct way.

They don't really know or care about anyone not like them... Socioeconomically.
by Team Watcher
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 11:13 AM
The Clean Team video is now marked private.
It had 350 views when I checked it last night.
by Razer Ray
Sunday May 19th, 2013 9:30 AM
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gloria_740px.jpg

[Image: Just a note to Santa Cruz' 'gubmint' that "Redlining" leads to major civil disturbances -Razer Ray]

Because property crime IS ALWAYS HIGHER in areas where the AFFLUENCE IS HIGHER.

Want to fix that? Get the jackasses called county supervisors and city council(ors) crackin' on PLANNING for a NORMAL COMMUNITY with a broad spectrum of incomes, housing and jobs affordable to the people who actually live here... ESPECIALLY the kids.

After all, they're the ones who commit most of the property crimes that spike the charts, like shoplifting, burglary and theft.

Further, on that "Housing Thing", the latest housing development downtown, "Walnut Commons" has been advertised as cohousing for middle class families... You know. Central kitchen an all that communal type stuff delayed-gratification yuppies like to talk about but never actually live.

What middle class family with kids would actually live in that situation?

None.

The project is based on a LIE like all other housing developments purported to be for local people around here (The old ice plant... the slum behind the town clock etc), it gets turned into transient office worker or college student housing because all the workers here couch surf or live with eight other people to make the rent and still have money for food and transportation.

However it will be VERY attractive to people from out of state on contract to Deloitte Touche or somesuch who will rent the CruzIo cubies and have (I can see the ad in the back of the NY Times Sunday magazine now) 'housing footsteps away from where you work just minutes from Sea and Trees'.

How about a deal like THAT for New Leaf's baggers, CVS shelf stockers, and other SERIOUSLY UNDERPAID in relation to cost-of-living local workers?

But Nooooo. So you end up with a gentrified affluent 'community' with an allegedly soaring property crime rate, and the truth of the matter is the property crime rate has always been astronomical around here but until quite recently there weren't freakzoids like TBSC reporting every rock kicked on their lawn, nor 1st Alarm guards who are a generators of mostly marginal-from-a-legal-perspective or bogus reports that, in the process, ensure their continued $15.00 an hour employment

It simply make the problem worse draining $80,000 dollars a year from the city treasury for EACH PATROL (and aside from multiple 'guards' downtown, EVERY PARK IN SANTA CRUZ has a 'watchman' now) while everyone else suffers from that diversion of funds that could be put to much better uses as housing and job development funding.

So stop whining and enjoy your police state. I'm SURE that's the option you chose so STFU.

References: Western Criminology Review 7(3), 7–26 (2006): The Distribution of Property Crime and Police Arrest Rates across Los Angeles Neighborhoods http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v07n3/07.davis/davis.pdf

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20110927/upper-east-side/east-west-harlem-safer-for-property-crime-than-ues-soho?r=

http://economics.fundamentalfinance.com/povertycrime.php