HYPOTHERMIA PAYBACK HITS ELDERLY DISABLED HOMELESS MAN
Freedom Sleeper activists reported last week learning of the death of local homeless man Michael Meers, disabled with a foot injury.
Warming Center founder Brent Adams noted "On our coldest night of the year, he showed up with no shoes and soiled pants...We changed his clothes, offered personal care and gave him a coat and layers of clothes. He didn't want the women's rain boots we had given him - even though they fit him. He slept well that night. [At other times Meers]...rested in doorways and behind buildings. limited and painful gate....[The night Meers died] we were [open and] at a remote location. [Even though] I did a shuttle sweep of downtown that night - I didn't find him."
Freedom Sleeper activist Abbi Samuels has announced they will be having a memorial for him.
WINTER SHELTER CUTS TRANSPORT FOR DISABLED?
Adams notes further that "the AFC [Association of Faith Communities] Winter Shelter has been refusing people with physical challenges like Micheal's. They've even stopped using the handicap accessible lift on their shuttle bus."
In order for folks to use the 110 spaces [for an unhoused population of 1000-2000 in the City], they must walk out to the edge of town past the Tannery on Highway 9 by 4 PM in the afternoon. The program refuses to allow people to go directly to the downtown Salvation Army shelter where worker Steve Pleich has attempted to move the "intake facility" from its distant and difficult-for-disabled-to-access location.
BATHROOM BAN STILL ON?
Brent also noted that the Warming Center has been "hosting people who've been relieving themselves in their pants for several days." There is no indication that the City staff has opened the City Council Courtyard "park" bathrooms during the night or even in a timely manner during the day, a concern that Freedom Sleepers brought directly to the staff at a prior Freedom SleepOut
FOOD NOT BOMBS ORGANIZING EVENT AND PRESENTATION FRIDAY MARCH 10 6:30 pm
Keith McHenry has announced he'll be speaking at the Resource Center for Non-Violence in an organizational and educational meeting for activists at 612 Ocean St. The theme of the talk will be "Taking Direct Action To Resist Fascism".
Food Not Bombs has been regularly feeding Freedom Sleepers Tuesday evening as well as providing hot vegan food to all comers outside the main post office on Saturday and Sunday 4-6 PM. It is currently resisting an attempt by right-wing residents to drive them away. Sign their petition at https://www.change.org/p/support-the-right-of-food-not-bombs-to-share-free-food-info-and-ideas-in-public-spaces-in-sc/
Story at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/03/02/18796921.php
["Anti-homeless group tries to drive Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs out of sight"]
The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC} continue to refuse to open its meals to the community as Food Not Bombs, Calvary Episcopal, the St. Francis Soup Kitchen and other groups do.
New public records, secured by Councilmember Chris Krohn, show collusion between the SCPD, Harvey West Businesses, and City Parking Boss Marlin Granlund to ban all parking on Coral St. and other nearby streets, requiring disabled folks to park blocks away from to the HLOSC to use the limited services they still provide.
NO RECORDS YET FROM THE SCPD; CLAIM FORMS STILL CENSORED FROM COUNCIL AGENDA
Police are still withholding witness accounts and the D.A.'s investigation into SCPD Officer Eric Bailey's gundown of Sean Arlt last October. Councilmember Krohn has not publicly demanded these records be released, as earlier records were of the Officer Conor Carey's killing of "Happy" John Dine in 1997
see "Unasked Questions, Foregone Conclusions" at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/076.Unasked%20Questions
Nor has there been a response to records of communications between the SCPD and the Department Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement to resolve the contradictory stories of Chief Kevin Vogel and Spokesperson Schwab of the DHS.
On the upside, City Hall has released records of all claims against the City filed in the last year. An activist requested that pending claims be placed on the City Council in the original form presented by those claiming damages against the city for abusive or negligent behavior. City Administrator Bren Lehr has so far declined to do this, concealing contact information--which prevents the public from giving meaningful testimony at the Closed session which precedes City Council. This is particularly important in cases of police violence--which often gets little if any coverage in the local media.
1984 READING PROMPTS ACTIVIST RESPONSE
George Orwell's warning novel 1984 got a public reading at the Bookshop Santa Cruz, owned and run by the Coonerty family, that has long excluded key Sleeping Ban opponents. The store owners have targeted Freedom Sleep supporters Becky Johnson, Robert Norse, and a slew of others who've denounced Neal and Ryan Coonerty for their political actions as Councilmembers creating anti-homeless city policy.
Last week, the Bookshop Coonerty featured an exclusionary reading of Orwell's grim warning against political repression. (See http://goodtimes.sc/cover-stories/orwell-1984-trump/
Activists responded with an informational flyer outlining the various law and practices developed in Santa Cruz in significant part with Coonerty leadership or support and the general silence of the "progressive" community.