[Hpn] Santa Cruz Homeless Campers Stand Fast POST Forwrd

Becky Johnson wmnofstl@cruzio.com
Tue, 12 Jun 2001 07:38:06 -0000


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Homeless campers refuse to clear the area
Tent community an environmental threat, official says
By MARINA MALIKOFF
Sentinel staff writer   June 12, 2001  Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ =97 A dozen homeless people aren=92t budging from their =
illegal, well-established levee campground despite a police warning to =
clear out.=20

The dozen residents of the tidy, Eastside homestead under the San =
Lorenzo River Bridge insist their mini tent city was given the official =
nod last month on the condition they clean up the area, a known haunt =
for drug dealers and users.=20

"We hauled 19 bags of garbage out of here last week," said 40-year-old =
Larry Templeton, the camp founder. "And they ain=92t selling their =
cocaine, they ain=92t selling their heroin, and they ain=92t drinking on =
this side of the river no more."=20

But when residents returned to the shady, verdant campground last week, =
their eight tents had been tagged with a leaflet warning that they were =
violating the city=92s camping ban. Some were given one week to decamp, =
others until July 1, Templeton said.=20

"This is a home to us," said resident and camp cook Danny "Cookie" =
Blair. "Now that it is all cleaned up they want us to go. It don=92t =
make sense. We are getting told different things in different =
directions."=20

Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice visited the campsite last month after receiving =
complaints of "abusive conduct" from former residents. Though the abuse =
claims have not been substantiated, Fitzmaurice, who also is concerned =
about the camp=92s environmental impact, said he did not give the =
residents any assurance they could stay nor did he authorize the police =
to put them on notice.=20

"I told no one that I condone or do not condone camping," Fitzmaurice =
said. "I told them that, like any other neighborhood, they would have to =
conform to the laws and regulations of the city."=20

Fitzmaurice said he doesn=92t intend to second guess the police, but =
will convey to the department his perspective on the matter.=20

"The message I am going to deliver is we need to figure out a way for =
people to get by," Fitzmaurice said. "What we are trying to do is make =
it possible for people to live happily even in that circumstance."=20

Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Locke said the camp is an environmental =
threat that could worsen if other homeless people decided to camp along =
the San Lorenzo River.=20

"We can=92t allow people just to choose to go out to our greenbelts and =
set up residence," Locke said. "We have far too large a homeless =
population to allow that. If we allow a small group to do it, what is to =
stop the hundreds of others from doing the same thing?"=20

The occasional empty liquor bottle, dusty fast food wrapper and rat =
scampering along the bluffs are the only hints that the levee bordering =
Santa Cruz Memorial Park cemetery was once heaped in rubbish and human =
waste.=20

Today, it is a well-maintained network of narrow trails leading to tent =
homes, flower patches and vegetable gardens, a common cooking and dining =
area and a riverside picnic spot. The radishes, sweet corn and squash =
are thriving. Resident Joseph Rodriguez, 23, built a wooden foot bridge =
and goldfish pond at the camp=92s entrance.=20

Templeton, a recovering addict who has lived under the bridge since 1984 =
when he arrived in Santa Cruz from Iowa, operates a bicycle repair shop =
on the site. The campground appears to operate like a commune with every =
resident assigned a chore.=20

"The rules are no drinking, no drugs and no fighting," said Templeton. =
"Everyone here has a job, that=92s what makes this thing go together."=20

Toni Kelly has lived at the campground with her husband and =
3=BD-year-old son since March.=20

"We don=92t know where we are going to go," said Kelly, 26, who is =
expecting her second child in August.=20

Locke, the deputy police chief, said the residents will have ample time =
to pack and leave.=20

"It is the right thing to do," Locke said. "I=92m sure it took them a =
long time to get everything down there. We want them to take as much of =
the stuff with them so the city doesn=92t have to clean it up."=20

Templeton has not started packing.=20

"We plan to stay here and fight," he said.=20


Contact Marina Malikoff at mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com.=20



NOTE FROM HUFF (Santa Cruz Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom):  =
Santa Cruz still has a city-wide Sleeping Ban that criminalizes 97% of =
its 1000-2000 homeless people, a "Green Party"-endorsed Mayor (Tim =
Fitzmaurice)--who refuses to follow the Green Party platform opposing =
Sleeping Bans--, and a continuing rash of "trollbuster" attacks on =
homeless people.  Santa Cruz homeless activists recently defeated an =
injunction which barred them from City Council offices (where they were =
lobbying against the City's Sleeping Ban).  City Council still refuses =
to put the issue on the agenda.  Homeless people are still criminals =
each night for survival sleeping.  Please e-mail Fitzmaurice =
(tfitzmaurice@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us ) and his "progressive" City Council =
(citycouncil@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us )reporter Malikoff =
(mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com. ), and copy us at HUFF (wmnofst@cruzio.com =
and rnorse@hotmail.com ).  Demand that Santa Cruz stop its =
institutionalized hate crime harassment of homeless people under its =
camping ordinance during the current shelter emergency.

                                               ---Robert Norse (huffy =
HUFFster)


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<DIV>
<H2>Homeless campers refuse to clear the area</H2>
<H3>Tent community an environmental threat, official says</H3><B><B>By =
MARINA=20
MALIKOFF</B><BR></B>Sentinel staff writer&nbsp;&nbsp; June 12, =
2001&nbsp; Santa=20
Cruz Sentinel
<P>SANTA CRUZ &mdash; A dozen homeless people aren&rsquo;t budging from =
their=20
illegal, well-established levee campground despite a police warning to =
clear=20
out.=20
<P>The dozen residents of the tidy, Eastside homestead under the San =
Lorenzo=20
River Bridge insist their mini tent city was given the official nod last =
month=20
on the condition they clean up the area, a known haunt for drug dealers =
and=20
users.=20
<P>&quot;We hauled 19 bags of garbage out of here last week,&quot; said=20
40-year-old Larry Templeton, the camp founder. &quot;And they =
ain&rsquo;t=20
selling their cocaine, they ain&rsquo;t selling their heroin, and they=20
ain&rsquo;t drinking on this side of the river no more.&quot;=20
<P>But when residents returned to the shady, verdant campground last =
week, their=20
eight tents had been tagged with a leaflet warning that they were =
violating the=20
city&rsquo;s camping ban. Some were given one week to decamp, others =
until July=20
1, Templeton said.=20
<P>&quot;This is a home to us,&quot; said resident and camp cook Danny=20
&quot;Cookie&quot; Blair. &quot;Now that it is all cleaned up they want =
us to=20
go. It don&rsquo;t make sense. We are getting told different things in =
different=20
directions.&quot;=20
<P>Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice visited the campsite last month after receiving =

complaints of &quot;abusive conduct&quot; from former residents. Though =
the=20
abuse claims have not been substantiated, Fitzmaurice, who also is =
concerned=20
about the camp&rsquo;s environmental impact, said he did not give the =
residents=20
any assurance they could stay nor did he authorize the police to put =
them on=20
notice.=20
<P>&quot;I told no one that I condone or do not condone camping,&quot;=20
Fitzmaurice said. &quot;I told them that, like any other neighborhood, =
they=20
would have to conform to the laws and regulations of the city.&quot;=20
<P>Fitzmaurice said he doesn&rsquo;t intend to second guess the police, =
but will=20
convey to the department his perspective on the matter.=20
<P>&quot;The message I am going to deliver is we need to figure out a =
way for=20
people to get by,&quot; Fitzmaurice said. &quot;What we are trying to do =
is make=20
it possible for people to live happily even in that circumstance.&quot;=20
<P>Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Locke said the camp is an environmental =
threat=20
that could worsen if other homeless people decided to camp along the San =
Lorenzo=20
River.=20
<P>&quot;We can&rsquo;t allow people just to choose to go out to our =
greenbelts=20
and set up residence,&quot; Locke said. &quot;We have far too large a =
homeless=20
population to allow that. If we allow a small group to do it, what is to =
stop=20
the hundreds of others from doing the same thing?&quot;=20
<P>The occasional empty liquor bottle, dusty fast food wrapper and rat=20
scampering along the bluffs are the only hints that the levee bordering =
Santa=20
Cruz Memorial Park cemetery was once heaped in rubbish and human waste.=20
<P>Today, it is a well-maintained network of narrow trails leading to =
tent=20
homes, flower patches and vegetable gardens, a common cooking and dining =
area=20
and a riverside picnic spot. The radishes, sweet corn and squash are =
thriving.=20
Resident Joseph Rodriguez, 23, built a wooden foot bridge and goldfish =
pond at=20
the camp&rsquo;s entrance.=20
<P>Templeton, a recovering addict who has lived under the bridge since =
1984 when=20
he arrived in Santa Cruz from Iowa, operates a bicycle repair shop on =
the site.=20
The campground appears to operate like a commune with every resident =
assigned a=20
chore.=20
<P>&quot;The rules are no drinking, no drugs and no fighting,&quot; said =

Templeton. &quot;Everyone here has a job, that&rsquo;s what makes this =
thing go=20
together.&quot;=20
<P>Toni Kelly has lived at the campground with her husband and=20
3&frac12;-year-old son since March.=20
<P>&quot;We don&rsquo;t know where we are going to go,&quot; said Kelly, =
26, who=20
is expecting her second child in August.=20
<P>Locke, the deputy police chief, said the residents will have ample =
time to=20
pack and leave.=20
<P>&quot;It is the right thing to do,&quot; Locke said. &quot;I&rsquo;m =
sure it=20
took them a long time to get everything down there. We want them to take =
as much=20
of the stuff with them so the city doesn&rsquo;t have to clean it =
up.&quot;=20
<P>Templeton has not started packing.=20
<P>&quot;We plan to stay here and fight,&quot; he said.=20
<P>
<P><I>Contact Marina Malikoff at <A=20
href=3D"mailto:mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com">mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com</A>. =
</I></P>
<P><I></I>&nbsp;</P>
<P>NOTE FROM HUFF (Santa Cruz Homeless United for Friendship &amp;=20
Freedom):&nbsp; Santa Cruz still has a city-wide Sleeping Ban that =
criminalizes=20
97% of its 1000-2000 homeless people, a &quot;Green Party&quot;-endorsed =
Mayor=20
(Tim Fitzmaurice)--who refuses to follow the Green Party platform =
opposing=20
Sleeping Bans--, and a continuing rash of &quot;trollbuster&quot; =
attacks on=20
homeless people.&nbsp; Santa Cruz homeless activists recently defeated =
an=20
injunction which barred them from City Council offices (where they were =
lobbying=20
against the City's Sleeping Ban).&nbsp; City Council still refuses to =
put the=20
issue on the agenda.&nbsp; Homeless people are still criminals each =
night for=20
survival sleeping.&nbsp; Please e-mail Fitzmaurice (<A=20
href=3D"mailto:tfitzmaurice@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us">tfitzmaurice@ci.santa-cr=
uz.ca.us</A>=20
) and his &quot;progressive&quot; City Council (<A=20
href=3D"mailto:citycouncil@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us">citycouncil@ci.santa-cruz=
.ca.us</A>=20
)reporter Malikoff (<A=20
href=3D"mailto:mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com">mmalikoff@santa-cruz.com</A>. =
), and copy=20
us at HUFF (<A href=3D"mailto:wmnofst@cruzio.com">wmnofst@cruzio.com</A> =
and <A=20
href=3D"mailto:rnorse@hotmail.com">rnorse@hotmail.com</A> ).&nbsp; =
Demand that=20
Santa Cruz stop its institutionalized hate crime harassment of homeless =
people=20
under its camping ordinance during the current shelter emergency.</P>
<P>&nbsp;<FONT color=3D#000000=20
size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbs=
p;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp=
;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=20
---Robert Norse (huffy HUFFster)</FONT></P></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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