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Mayor Coonerty Dismissed Call for Homeless Shelter During LBAM Spraying

by Robert Norse
In spite of a City Council lawsuit, and various public statements, City Council members approached by homeless activists--Mayor Ryan Coonerty and Councilmember Tony Madrigal, have refused to commit themselves to providing emergency shelter for homeless people if and when LBAM spraying resumes. The word "homeless" apparently didn't enter into the after-midnight proposal by Councilmember Madrigal at the last Council meeting to establish a Task Force on the issue.
From: Becky Johnson [mailto:becky_johnson222 [at]]
Sent: Thu 1/3/2008 8:12 AM
To: Ryan Coonerty
Cc: huffsantacruz [at]
Subject: [BULK] LBAM spraying protection for Homeless people

To: Mayor Ryan Coonerty and the Santa Cruz City Council
re: LBAM spraying protection for homeless people

Jan 3 2007
Dear Mayor Ryan Coonerty,

I understand that aerial spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth will begin again in February, unless city efforts to stop it are successful.

I am opposed to this spraying. I did not appreciate being sprayed on November 8th with my son as we drove to get pizza at Tony and Albas. However, I have a house and a car to disappear into as the planes pass overhead. Homeless people are more exposed than anyone.

State recommendations that homeless people seek shelter in parking garages and under bridges cannot be done here due to your City laws. It is imperative that you pass a waiver of the tresspass laws for these areas. Better yet, you need to open INDOOR shelter for the unhoused on those nights to minimize their involuntary exposure.

To do less is to fail in your responsibility to keep the people of Santa Cruz safe.

We at HUFF are appalled that no such measures were taken last fall, despite our lobbying and bringing the issue to the attention of City Council.

Leaving them out of doors and in harm's way without taking mitigative measures shows a true lack of concern for their well-being.

I hesitate to write you, as the last time I wrote you on a similar topic, you arranged for my banishment from Bookshop Santa Cruz citing plumbing damage to the restroom which I was not involved in causing and would not ever have harmed no matter what your position is on homeless issues.

You have violated my right to redress government grievances by choosing to respond to my criticism with a vindictive punishment. This is an abuse of power. One I believe you are obligated to remedy.

---Becky Johnson of HUFF
Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom
309 Cedar St. PMB 14B Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060
or my home phone at 479-9391

----- Original Message -----
From: Ryan Coonerty
To: Becky Johnson
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 10:01 AM
Subject: RE: [BULK] LBAM spraying protection for Homeless people


Thanks for writing. The City too is concerned about the spray. We are in litigation with the State as we speak to seek a judgment before the new round on the adequacy of their environmental findings.

Through the interfaith shelter program the city will do its best to provide shelter for as many homeless people as possible on those nights as we do every other night.

As to the Bookshop issue, our decisions stand.

All the best,

Ryan Coonerty
City of Santa Cruz

Fw: [BULK] LBAM spraying protection for Homeless people‏
From: Becky Johnson (becky_johnson222 [at]
Sent: Fri 1/04/08 7:53 PM
To: Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
My response to Ryan.

----- Original Message -----
From: Becky Johnson
To: Ryan Coonerty
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: [BULK] LBAM spraying protection for Homeless people

I support the litigation. However, if the City is unsuccessful in blocking the next round of spraying, be aware that only a fraction of homeless people will be able to be sheltered in the ISSP. "...As we do every other night" does not cut it on a night where every citizen is advised to take shelter indoors due to a forseen and anticipated government mandated action.

Leaving the poor and homeless out in the cold is bad enough. Leaving them out while a pesticide is rained on them when mitigative measures could easily have been worked out in advance, is dereliction of duty.

-- Becky

For more posturing and pronouncing from City Council "activists" on the LBAM check out "Waiting for Tony Madrigal" at

Call Mayor Coonerty at 423-8939 (City Council office phones are not taking messages during vacation).
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