[Hpn] Vote Online Today for Safe Sleeping Zones!!

icanamerica icanamerica@email.msn.com
Wed, 05 Jul 2000 03:29:14 -0500


The Santa Cruz Sentinel is currrently conducting a straw poll on the Safe
Sleeping Zones online and you can vote once per day.  Its been up for about 2
weeks and the last we checked (Sunday 10 am) it was 1032 votes to date -- 66%
against 33% for.  We are looking for 333 individuals to even the score.  Please
log onto
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com and look for the poll in the lower left-hand
corner of the opening screen.
The Safe Sleeping Zones is over and a Harry Potter is being voted on this week..

There was another interesting article on "camping" in parking lots for a fee of
$28.00 a  day. See below:


July 4, 2000

Camp site squeeze is on
Sentinel staff writer

SEACLIFF STATE BEACH - The state parks do what they can to accommodate the
increasing number of campers who show up on holiday weekends.

On Monday, Fourth of July Eve, that meant the parks were absolutely overflowing
with Winnebagos and Gulfstreams.

"Fourth of July is always a bit of madness," said Jeff Sears, a ranger at
Seacliff State Beach in Aptos. "Everyone wants to camp here, but we only have 26
reserved camp sites with hookups and they've been booked for months."

Another frazzled ranger agreed that she "had never seen it so busy, especially
on a Monday." She was dealing with a steady stream of cars passing through her

Attempting to help those who show up without reservations, officials at Seacliff
and nearby New Brighton State Beach converted their day-use parking lots into
what they called "first-come, first-serve overflow lots."

"Our 25 or so overflow spots are the same price, $28 during the week, $29 on
Friday and Saturday, as the reserved lots," said Tina Williams, supervising
ranger at Seacliff. "However, vehicles have to be completely self-contained as
there are no hookups available."

Williams said the overflow lots, once intended for travelers passing through,
have been discovered by regular campers.

"Two years ago, we widened our day-use parking spaces in three lots here so
people could park their campers and their cars right next to them," she said.
"People seem to like that."

On Monday, campers and trailers lined the sand like beached whales at Seacliff,
with not one empty spot available.

While New Brighton has far more reserved campsites, 112, for both traditional
tent camping and RVs, it only offers 10 overflow spots.

"We've had to turn a lot of people away," said one park ranger.

Despite the crowds and a four-night maximum stay, most of the campers in the
regular spots appeared content Monday, particularly at Seacliff, where spots
practically back up into the sand.

"You can't beat being this close to the ocean," Julian Espino, a Mountain View
resident, said as he lounged under an umbrella.

Espino arrived Friday morning and, even then, there were only two spots

Other campers said they relied on friends to help them find a spot.

"This is the second year in a row that we've found a spot," Namejs Rienbachs, a
Boulder Creek resident, said as he flipped hamburgers on a grill outside his
trailer. "Today, a friend that we met here last year helped us find this spot."

Rienbachs said that when he arrived at Seacliff at 8 in the morning, the rangers
tried to turn him away, saying there were no spots.

"You've just got to know how to play the game," he said. "I asked if I could
just drive in and take a look anyway. There's always people coming and going."

Soquel resident Bill Gurmin and his family have been camping at Seacliff for 10
years without reservations.

"You're only supposed to stay here four nights, but sometimes we cheat," Gurmin

He said he has no problems camping without hookups.

"When the battery dies, we just go home," he said.

Gurmin said he wishes there were more parks with similar lots so more people
could enjoy the ocean.

"There's not a lot of places where you can camp like this right here on the
beach," he said. "It's a shame there aren't more camping sites here. If it wasn'
t so small, there'd be twice as many people here."