Apr 18 2007

You Can’t Fight City Hall

Posted by J. Craig Canada in banned, camping, greenway, laptop, motels, robert norse, tickets

It’s about 4pm and the first chance I’ve had to use the internet.

I could have this morning, there was about an hour before Robert’s meeting after I had walked about an hour to town. I did get coffee, but instead watched the coverage of the Virginia Massacre, and the murder of the Baptist Preacher by his wife. It was of interest to me mainly because I haven’t exactly been hiding the fact that I’m bi-polar, and I wanted to see how the media was slanting it and what they were saying. In case a witch hunt was brewing I wanted to head for…well, I don’t know but at least be prepared.

I slept in the field last night. That was a mistake and I was lucky. While it didn’t feel as cold as the prediction of a RealFeel temperature of 29ºF, it did rain for about 15 minutes. Or drizzle. I started to pack things up at one point (praying I got out before I got soaked), but it let up and I stayed.

There was no rain in the prediction.

I had checked.

It’s supposed to rain, off and on, beginning tomorrow afternoon, for the next week or so. It looks like rain for 24-36 hours and clear for about the same, on and off, on and off, for awhile.

While I was at Robert’s meeting, and talking about being ‘banned’ (I suppose) from Greenway, he was true to form and pulled out his tape recorder and started taping. And thinking it over, I wish I hadn’t put things as harshly as I had. As I said later, I don’t really want to get into it with Greenway or Lisa, or anyone really. And I do think City Hall made sure there would be anymosity between us. At the meeting where they were getting approval to open, after having paid rent on a large commercial space for 6 months with no income, Lisa said, “But he has no where to go.”

The context was that her permit, or continued operation, was contingent on not smoking within a 600′ radius. And they made specific mention of the area of the park next to the bus stop, next the ‘dispensary’.

I don’t think I had purchased from her at that point, unless it was to introduce myself. I had over two pounds in storage in Hayward and would take the bus up there every couple of weeks or so, bringing back an ounce or so at a time.

But I can’t help but wonder if City Hall isn’t more responsible for my treatment by Greenway than any real hostility to the poor, or me.

Hopefully I will have a chance to make that point if and when Robert plays that tape on the air.

I also filed a peremptory challenge motion to disqualify Commissioner Baskett on two more tickets for sleeping, and have (therefore) a hearing set on May 9 in Department #1 with the same judge (Judge Denine J. Guy).

That takes care of all the tickets I currently have. Going through the notices that were mailed to me, I see one, dated 1/30/07, that states (in part):

“Failure to pay your bail in full or appear in court on or before the above etension date will result in additional penalties, a driver’s license hold at the Department of Motor Vehicles, referral to the court’s collection division, and/or a warrant of arrest being issued.

All that for being poor.

I need to find out exactly what a “driver’s license hold” means. I hope it doesn’t mean that if you’re so poor you’re sleeping in the streets and you get a ticket and can’t pay it (but somehow have a driver’s license), that they will take away your driver’s license, in addition to everything else they’ve stolen.

Let me just emphasize that here in Santa Cruz it is de facto illegal to be homeless. The only possibility to be homeless and legal in Santa Cruz is to be dehumanized in that concentration camp they call Homeless Services.

Now, I have a $170 bill for treatment for staph (the industrial strength super-staph kind) which I got largely due to my experiences with homeless disservices. Partly from being exposed to it in their hygene bay (a gentler kinder form of the showers if you ask me), and partly from being banned so that I had nowhere to shower. When my credit ran out. When I had run up $6,000 in debt staying in their motels because I had nowhere else to sleep and the rain was pouring for days and weeks at a time.

Also in my mail were notices for:

Case No.
Cite No.
Violation Fine
6SZ046048 6.36.010(B)
853.7 PC-I A
Setting up bedding
Failure to Appear
6SZ045421 6.36.010(C)
853.7 PC-I A
Setting up campsite
Failure to Appear
7SZ000539 6.36.010(B) Setting up bedding 92.00
7SZ000789 6.36.010(B) Setting up bedding 92.00

So, at this point we have $750 the city of Santa Cruz is trying to jack me up for. On top of the $6,000 I charged for the priviledge of being gouged in one of their motels during the rain.

It’s illegal to sleep between 11pm and 8:30am in a public space. And to prevent any businesses from exercising a little compassion, it is illegal to sleep in a business at that time as well. Now what I want to know, is how are you supposed to take advantage of all the benefits of being homeless if the only legal time to sleep is when they’re available. And what are you supposed to do at 3am? And why is it illegal to have a tent on private property that is in public view? Etc…

They do more here for the homeless than anywhere else.

Boy Howdy yes they do!

That was, more or less, the response I got when I was introduced to the Coonertys (father and son, county council and city council/vice-mayor), at the post-election/investiture celebration. Robert also introduced me to Lynn Robinson. You remember Robert? He’s the one the city council just spent $100,000 to prosecute because he gave them the bird (Nazi Salute, to be exact) when they cut off someone (else) that was speaking and ended public comment. Evidently they found it significant that he was standing at the front of the room.

Matt was at the last meeting and this one and I’m ashamed to say I don’t know exactly what he has planned this Saturday but it’s something at Cabrillo College regarding the homeless and I asked the question “How do you make college students care about the homeless?”. Well, the answer occured to me. There is truly a connection between homelessness and (particuarly) the prohibition of cannabis. A student can, and has, lost their scholarship, their loan, their housing, and their future. And joined the ranks of the homeless. For smoking a joint.

Tens of thousands of students per year, according to The John W. Perry Fund.

In America.

You should be ashamed.

Now, you have yourself a double diddley-bop lovely day.

Ya hear?

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