Monday, March 14, 2011

PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT Santa Cruz, March 22, 2011

Huge Event To Help Homeless Folks
A Week Away ~
Here's A Way To Participate

We can all pitch in to help our displaced neighbors and refugees of the road; this event is a huge open door, welcoming the many strata of homeless families and individuals.

Help collect material donations! Get involved with Project Homeless Connect by gathering up the following items:

Reading Glasses
Lip Balm.

See what you can do before next Tuesday, March 22. I'm guessing somebody in your family or close circle has a sock drawer full of sample-sized things which can make homeless people's lives work, and feel, much better for a bit.

Or maybe your church or club would want to get in on the fun?

If you have questions, call Megan Carlson, one of the very busy volunteers who helped create, and recreate again for this second year, Santa Cruz County's Project Homeless Connect event, being held at the Civic Auditorium again.

Megan's number is 831-458-6020, xtn 1104. Or you can email her at

It is a great event, check out their website for tons of pics. I am inclined to add these two items to the list, based on meeting many homeless folks: skin lotion or moisturizer and phone cards for their cells. No everybody can't afford a cell phone, but a lot of homeless people can, just like a lot of housed folks can. It's a nice blessing to take care of one's feet and hands when you're "out in the elements" almost all the time; and it's very very important to help people avoid isolation.

I'll be there next Tuesday, hope to see some friends, too. Hoping to get in on the "mixer" hot meal, where nobody uses a caste system and volunteers and homeless people sit down together for a time and get to know each other.

Be there or be square!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Snooze You Loose in Santa Cruz

Housing NOW! in Santa Cruz's
Linda Lemaster Loses Hearing to
Demur 647(e) Friday, March 4, 2011

Today, I went to Santa Cruz County Superior Court in hopes of convincing
Judge Rebecca Connolly that the County's Sheriff's use of 647 ( e ), an anti-lodging State law, is unconstitutional.

I still believe the lodging law as used here is overly broad, vague, and undefined. A person can't really know, based on reading this law, even with research alongside one's reading, whether her behaviors are intended as "lodging". Too chilling!

In the face of my personal right to, and need for, freedom of speech, and other particulars of this case, I am disappointed by Judge Connolly's decision.

The judge said, "I can't believe this statute is vague. Regarding unconstitutional
issues, I don't think it's so vague it would influence the 1st amendment. I find
the statute as written is sufficient on its face.

"As to the citation, it's sufficient to address the charges -- it says it's illegal to lodge -- with respect to 647(e), (it) is not void for being overbroad. I'm going to deny the demurrer."

Attorney Mark Garver, my Public Defender, made a compelling presentation for my long- awaited demurrer hearing in court Friday morning. Becky Johnson and Gary Johnson, both Peace Camp 2010 participants provided support and solidarity, for which I am grateful.

Superior Court Judge Connolly wrapped the whole mess up by sending my lodging "violation" to Judge John Gallagher's court next door, in Dept. 2, 8:30am March 11th, because. she said, he has "the other" lodging law cases from Peace Camp 2010.

I am unhappy with her decision mostly because the Judge didn't even care enough to wonder, or ask, what situation(s) could lead us to raise the question of whether this law is viable for it's application last summer during an ongoing demonstration to protest the dangerous and even deadly sleeping-camping ban cherished so long by the City of Santa Cruz.

For more information on the demurrer hearing, check out Becky Johnson's "One Woman Talking" article also on