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View other events for the week of 12/20/2009
Santa Love in Downtown Santa Cruz
Date Sunday December 20
Time 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location Details
Pacific Ave at Soquel (New Leaf), Santa Cruz, CA
Event Type Other
Several Santas will be downtown offering loving Santa hugs, hot cocoa and cookies and warm clothing to passersby. He will offer love to everyone but especially those who seem to need it the most. He will be profiling people seeking just those Santa Love-needy folks and then doling out the love. There will be several elves ladling cocoa and offering cookies, wool mittens and warm clothing.

The dichotomy is that it is illegal to sleep outside (tickets are plentiful) and rangers trash homeless' belongings when camps in wooded areas are discovered. The excessive amount of tickets written to homeless folks downtown sends the message that they are not welcome. Santa Love would like to send the message that they are welcome and loved.

We welcome you to join us at Santa Love. Please bring warm clothes, wool mittens, warm socks, lots of cookies and most of all, your Santa Love.
Added to the calendar on Thursday Dec 17th, 2009 9:11 PM
§oops, I left out a passage
by Santa Love Friday Dec 18th, 2009 2:15 PM
Somehow I left out this passage when posting to Indymedia, but I have it right on Facebook. Oops, my bad. Without the first sentence the second sentence makes no sense.

"I made a visit to Santa Cruz's Homeless Resource Center and found that showers and laundry services are easily obtained shifting the focus of this event. The dichotomy is that it is illegal to sleep outside (tickets are plentiful) and rangers trash homeless' belongings when camps in wooded areas are discovered."

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by When they respect the camps`
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 7:24 AM
The number of times I've encountered horribly trashed campsites in our parks and forested areas surrounding town, with mounds of garbage, booze bottles, and toilet paper everywhere make it hard for me to not support the rangers cleaning out the camps.
by Becky Johnson
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 10:35 AM
Homeless people belong in Santa Cruz just as much as the Mayor, homeowners, and business owners do. We are all citizens of Santa Cruz in the eyes of the law, in the family of humankind, and as children of God.

Banishment, vilification (As Pat has done in the previous comment), and de-legitimization are the tactics of the capitalistic-driven business owners cabal, as manifested by Mayor Mike Rotkin, Councilmembers Ryan Coonerty, Cynthia Mathews, and Lynn Robinson.

Don Lane, despite his years of service on the Board of Directors of the Homeless Services Center recently pushed through a smoking ban where he urged citizens to make 911 calls to report smokers out of doors, and claimed that he wanted to make it so smoking was only allowed "in private places". The law is already being selectively enforced against homeless people.

Giving food, blankets, cocoa with marshmallows and love hardly justifies a diatribe against littering in places over a mile away!! Listen to yourself, PAT.

HUFF will be tabling TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22nd at 1:30PM in front of BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ singing HUFF X-mas Carols , giving away hot soup, and cold reality
by its not a diatribe
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 11:25 AM
Becky, you seem to have confused me with a Pat; I'm not he. And my post is clearly not a diatribe, it is a calm and simple statement of fact. You're use of inflamatory rhetoric is a cheap tactic; typical of you from what I can see in your postings.

When the post points out that rangers are trashing homeless people's camps, I am calmly and simply countering that I see a lot of homeless camps that are trashing themselves...and in doing so, they are monopolizing and abusing public lands meant to be shared by all of us.

There is nothing "vilifying" about my saying that I wish that some of the homeless campers would stop trashing the areas they choose to camp in. The issue of distance from the mall where this trashing is occurring is irrelevant.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 4:12 PM
Campers should camp cleanly and lightly.

The city should make garbage facilities (and toilets) available.

There should be tickets for camping in a littered area (whether you littered it or not, if you camp there, you should clean it up), not for camping itself or (even worse) sleeping. Completely unacceptable is Chief Ranger John Wallace's admitted destruction of homeless survival gear (which has nothing to do with "clean-up").

I'll be discussing these issues yet again on Free Radio Santa Cruz tomorrow (12-20) 9:30 AM to 1 PM at 101.1 FM ( Call-in at 831-427-3772 to discuss them.

There's also a planned homeless singalong 1:30 PM in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz Tuesday 12-22, the afternoon after the morning Homeless Memorial for the Dead. Check it out.
by It's too obvious
Sunday Dec 20th, 2009 11:23 AM
Your suggestion here that homeless can be ticketed if they don't respect the land sounds dandy, but it's an obvious smoke screen. I don't believe you actually support your own suggestion.

If you really believed that this would be a workable compromise, then why are you at the same time posting "Homeless people who are targeted for enforcement, can neither afford the fines, nor fight the banishment they represent. Ill health, depression, isolation and death are the result."

And Huff/Johnson has also demanded that homeless people be spared from having their cars impounded when fines are owed or are parked illegally, because they are their domiciles.

So while you're already demanding amnesty and special treatment for this population, and you're blaming enforcement of existing laws for the ill health and death of the homeless....I'm now supposed to believe you would support them being ticketed for trashing our greenbelts and parks?

Clearly, you are not being honesty; you're simply pretending to throw people off track of your true agenda.
by Robert Norse
Sunday Dec 20th, 2009 11:28 PM
The anonymous poster above misses the point. It's not that homeless people should be exempt from criminal laws.

It's rather that specific laws that criminalize homeless people as a class need to be repealed. Until they're gone they should be loudly protested and pointedly disobeyed, and those who enforce them held in disrepute. Some of these laws are itemized above. They have nothing to do with public health and safety and everything to do with driving homeless people out of sight and out of town.

I have been supportive of the proposal that citations for campers be limited to those camping in a littered area. They should not cited for camping or sleeping where there is no environmental harm. Even more so when there is no available shelter space in the area (which seems elementary common sense).

This proposal overcomes the Rotkin objection that you can't "catch" someone littering, so having a sleeping ban is a "necessary tool" for the police and rangers. With a "no camping in a littered area" law, simply being at a campsite that is littered would be reason enough to ticket. It wouldn't require an officer to see someone dropping litter or require them to prove the new camper was the person responsible for the litter. This would protect those willing to clean up the area (or at the very least require campers to choose a clean area and camp cleanly to avoid this kind of ticket).

Punishing people for survival camping or sleeping at night is simply cruel and crazy. Santa Cruz needs to get in line with Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Laguna Beach, and Richmond to change its laws and/or police practices.

I also believe that those who get citations for irresponsible camping should be given the option (or perhaps required) to take "tidy camper" classes. Perhaps given an incentive to take community service that involves cleaning up trashed campsites.

Should homeless people be cited simply for sleeping in their vehicles (where for many the only affordable housing is a vehicle)? Definitely not. Should they be required to tend their vehicles responsibly, not leave trash or waste, respect the neighborhood nearby, move every 72 hours? Sure.

That said, the city owes restitution to homeless people whose medication, survival gear, and other property it has despoiled, thrown away, or stolen. Law enforcement officials who persist in destroying homeless property need to be fired and prosecuted.

And there need to be reasonable campground areas set aside for survival camping.

I don't see any contradiction or "hidden agenda" here.

If the anonymous homeless-hostile poster is sincere and serious, I encourage her/him to contact City Council and make the proposal directly. Others are uged to do the same (831-420-5020) (citycouncil [at]

by It's too obvious
Tuesday Dec 22nd, 2009 4:09 PM
I'm not "missing the point", as Robert would like to claim or others to believe. Rather, I'm too clear, and too aware of the history of this argument and Robertss games to fall for his b.s.

Let me reiterate my point Robert, just in cae you actually didn't get it. (I'm pretty sure you did, and you're just doing your usual snow job of protesting innocence. And I think you're also trying to confuse people new to the discussion. But just in case...).

My POINT is that I don't believe you actually support ticketing for campers who litter our environments. Instead, I believe your offer of that suggestion is pure crap, designed to get a toe in the door to legalize illegal camping.

Why do I think your full of it? For the very reason I already posted above. But I'll repeat it:

Your full of it, and disingenuous, because you've already clearly posted that you feel homeless shouldn't be fined for damn near any crimes, since they can't afford the fines and as such the fines cause them mental anguish and potentially shorten their life spans. And our organization huff has also proclaimed that homeless should be exempt from existing laws regarding car impoundement, because they can't afford the fines and because impoundment of their vehicles causes undo suffering to them, as oppossed to an average citizen and their average car.

So tell me, who would believe you now, when you suggest that homeless should be ticketed for littering their campsites, when you've already definitively stated that they should be exempted from typical ticketing for car infractions or other petty tickets due to their poverty and the undue suffering said tickets might cause?

I'll tell you who would believe you or Huff now: Only an idiot. And I'm not one. I'll believe you support ticketing of sloppy homeless camps that pollute our community AFTER you stop braying for free passes for homeless who break myriad other existing laws. Until then? You keep tabling, and I"ll keep reporting the gps position of illegal camps to authorities.

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