Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"GUILTY": Linda Lemaster, Ed Frey, Gary Johnson; Lodging because homeless people cannot lay down here


Activists still fighting unusual citations issued at PeaceCamp2010

"California's penal code section 647(e), for Unlawful Lodging, a vagrancy law, has got to go." -Linda Ellen Lemaster

by Georgia Perry , Santa Cruz Weekly
Dec 11, 2012

 Linda Lemaster, pictured in front of the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County, says she’ll appeal her conviction stemming from Peace Camp 2010. This photo shows the plaza where PeaceCamp2010 was initially located until Deputies closed it down.
(Photo by Chip Scheuer)

Dangling Misdemeanor

Despite being shut down over two years ago, the loose threads of Peace Camp 2010 are still dangling in the county court system. After Dec. 6’s sentencing for Linda Lemaster, who received a misdemeanor for illegal lodging at Peace Camp and faces community service plus probation, the longtime homeless advocate and her attorneys have their sights set on an appeal they hope will take them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While Peace Camp 2010 was a protest against the camping ban in the city of Santa Cruz, the citations Lemaster and several other protesters received for sleeping on the county courthouse steps were not camping ban violations. They were misdemeanors for violating state Penal Code §647e, which prohibits “illegal lodging”—a citation that falls under the umbrella of “disturbing the peace,” including such acts as public intoxication and prostitution.

“What basically happened is [police officers] went looking for a law that they could use as a tool to break up this protest,” argues Lemaster’s attorney, Jonathan Gettleman. “But ‘lodge’ is a very vague term. To say, ‘to lodge in a public place without the permission of the county’ sounds a whole lot like, ‘if we don’t like what you’re saying then we can just tell you you’re lodged there and if you don’t leave we can arrest you.’”
How Tolerant?

Assistant District Attorney Alex Byers prosecuted Lemaster and, at the sentencing, made his position clear: “We’re not here because of homeless problems. We’re here because of the rule of law…This is a very tolerant town. But tolerance has limits.

“You don’t get to break the law because you disagree with it,” he continued, adding that Peace Camp 2010 was a public health issue that interfered with courthouse employees’ ability to get to work. “Everyone saw the deterioration of what was happening out there…And if there’s a lesson to be learned it’s to at least attempt to work within the system, not outside the system.”

Lemaster argues that she rarely spent the night at Peace Camp and, in fact, worked to make the event safer. “What I was doing there was a lot of cleanup and caregiving,” she said.

Nonetheless, Judge Rebecca Connolly sentenced Lemaster to community service and six months of probation. “You wanted to highlight issues of homelessness,” Connolly told Lemaster in court, “and by doing that committed civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is making a conscious decision to break a law.”

Connolly granted Lemaster a stay on her sentence because Gettleman plans to appeal her case. He says he plans to challenge the constitutionality of §647e altogether and argue that the officers on the scene violated Lemaster’s First Amendment right to free speech.

“In the 24 years that Lt. Plageman had been a county sheriff’s officer he had never before used [§647e],” says Gettleman, who worries that if Lemaster loses the appeal it will give county law enforcement free reign to use the law more liberally in the future to break up protests.
Restricted Areas

Local attorney and homeless advocate Ed Frey, who received the same citation as Lemaster at Peace Camp 2010, says he is not hopeful for her in the appeals process. He says he and five other protestors who underwent trial for illegal lodging in 2011 already tried to argue against it on constitutional grounds, to no avail.

Local homeless advocates see Lemaster’s situation as representative of what they say is a conspiracy against the local homeless population and the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression.

Some argue that even city planners are in on it.  Attorney Kate Wells, who has also been volunteering to help defend Lemaster, argued at a recent CTV panel that the city’s downtown sidewalk kiosks are, in fact, “barriers to make it impossible to have any sort of meeting area.”

“In Santa Cruz, all of our rights are subject to time, place and manner restrictions,” she said.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lermaster Lodging 647(e) Trial: Many Supporters, Santa Cruz

'Sleep Crime' Defendant Gets Community Service 

by Brad Kava, December 7, 2012 


In a courtroom packed with supporters, Linda Lemaster got 59 hours of community service after being arrested for illegally camping at the courthouse. Her attorney said that was ironic, since much of her life is devoted to community service.
Linda Lemaster and supporters Thursday at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse.
A Santa Cruz woman who was convicted of trespassing for sleeping out on the courthouse steps in protest of laws against doing so, was given community service Thursday instead of jail time.

The Santa Cruz courtroom was packed with supporters for Linda Lemaster's sentencing and a petition signed by 85 people was given to Judge Rebecca Connolly. The judge was sympathetic toward Lemaster's protest, saying she understood that Lemaster was "important to the Santa Cruz community."


"There are consequences," Connolly said of the civil disobedience, a misdemeanor punishable by as much as six months in jail. Connolly added that Lemaster's First Amendment rights were used to get attention from the media and homeless supporters.

Lemaster argued that she was on the steps to support a sick homeless man who was also sleeping out in what had been a three-month long occupation called "Peace Camp" in 2010.


A jury found her guilty of violating a law against camping any property without the owner's consent, including county property, a law that some homeless advocates say denies their basic rights.
Even prosecutor Alex Byers was sympathetic, although he asked the judge to give Lemaster 40 hours of community service and three years probation. "She's a very nice person," he said.

The judge fined Lemaster $590, which she said could be worked off in 59 hours of community service.

Lemaster's attorney, Jonathan Che Gettleman, asked the judge to lower the probation to six months and hold off on the sentence until it could be appealed. He said Lemaster didn't even have the money to pay the service fees for administering the community service sentence.

Supporters passed a hat around in the courtroom filling it with bills to help Lemaster.

"There's a bigger problem and it's important to me that we all become aware of it," Lemaster told the judge. "Even elemental needs are denied them (the homeless)."

Afterwards they celebrated outside the courthouse, claiming a victory for pointing out the plight of the 2,800 homeless people in the county who have only about 400 shelter beds during the winter.

They also said they hoped this focused attention on First Amendment rights to congregate or protest.
Related Topics: linda lemaster and sleep crime
Should the law be changed to allow people to camp out on county property or sleep in their cars? 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


No jail time for Santa Cruz County woman convicted of unlawfully lodging during Peace Camp 2010 demonstration

SANTA CRUZ -- An advocate for the homeless convicted last month of illegal lodging won't serve jail time, a Santa Cruz County judge ruled Thursday.

Linda Lemaster could have faced up to six months in County Jail for her conviction of one count of unlawful lodging, a misdemeanor. Judge Rebecca Connolly chose to sentence her to six months on a conditional sentence and ordered her to pay $590 in fines and fees, which she said could be paid through community service hours instead. A conditional sentence is essentially like probation except through the court rather than the county's probation department.

Jurors found Lemaster had violated the law by staying outside the county courthouse on Aug. 10, 2010 along with people participating in the Peace Camp demonstration, which was aimed at protesting the city's anti-camping ban. At trial, Lemaster testified that she hadn't been sleeping outside that night and that she had no intention of doing so.

She and her attorneys maintained that she stayed at the courthouse that night to look after a demonstrator who was ill. Because of her chronic back problems, she said, she was at least partially lying down when deputies arrived and someone had placed a blanket over her.

Prosecutor Alex Byers on Thursday acknowledged Lemaster's work on behalf of the homeless, but said "we're not here today because of homeless problems."
"It's sad, anyone with a heart considers that," Byers said, but added, "It's

about the law. Santa Cruz is a very tolerant place but that tolerance has limits."
The tolerance doesn't extend to situations where the right to demonstrate infringes upon the rights of others, he said, explaining that the three-month long demonstration brought health risks, property damage and limited access to the county offices for the public. It also cost taxpayers for cleanup and security costs, he said.

"You don't get to break the law because you don't agree with it," the prosecutor said.

Under state law, a person "who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it," can be found guilty of a misdemeanor.

Byers did not ask for jail time, instead proposing Connolly sentence Lemaster to 40 hours of community service and a three-year conditional sentence.
Lemaster told the court she thought her trial had focused too much on the entire Peace Camp 2010 demonstration rather than on her individual actions. She said that while she accepts the consequences of her actions, she believes the ultimate responsibility lies with the government, which has failed to take care of its people and presented the need for such demonstrations.

Lemaster's supporters filled the courtroom for the Thursday afternoon sentencing hearing.

"The principles on which this case stood are clearly very important to the community," defense attorney Jonathan Gettleman said.

Gettleman said the idea of community service as a sentence for Lemaster was "ironic" given that his client's life revolves around providing services to the community and working for society's most vulnerable.

Connolly acknowledged the real issues involved with homelessness, but said that Lemaster's act of civil disobedience was her choice and it carries consequences.

"I do appreciate the efforts made ... it served as a vehicle to challenge the constitutionality of the law," she said.

Gettleman said he plans to appeal the conviction.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yes, I'm GUILTY of UNLAWFUL LODGING 647(e), Whatever THAT Means

Unlawful Lodging and Superior Court Instructions for Week-long Jury Trial about Lemaster's Lodging 647(e)Citation from PeaceCamp2010 

Linda's Hearth note:
The following is text of language utilized in my trial, held November 2nd thru 9th, 2010. Exactly as hammered out in court, day after day, and authorized by Judge Rebecca Connolly.

Unauthorized Lodging

The defendant is charged in Count 1 with Unauthorized Lodging, in violation of Penal Code section 647(e). To prove that the defendant is guilty of a this crime the People must prove that

1.     The defendant lodged in a public or private place; 


2.      The defendant did not have the permission of the owner or person        entitled to the possession or in control of it.

To lodge means to occupy a place temporarily, or to permanently or temporarily settle or to live in a place. It may, but does not ahve to include, sleeping, the laying doiwn of bedding, the storing personal belongings, or carrying on cooking activities. Lodging means more than merely falling asleep, but less than moving in permanently. In determining whether the defendant lodged in a public or private place, the jury should consider the totality of the corcumstances on or about August 10, 2010.

# # # #   end text  # # # #  

I brought this set of definitions from the Lodging 647(e) Trial to the Local American Civil Liberties Union's board meeting last week. 

For me, this is Step One: in a campaign. What campaign: Let's get rid of this unfair and unconstitutional state vagrancy law that should have been dumped in 1960 when the Supreme Court first ordered states to stop using "status crime" laws. And California's Legislature Hearings, headed by John Burton, dumped all EXCEPT 647(e). Who wants to help?

Linda Ellen Lemaster

Monday, December 3, 2012

Before the guilty Lodger Learns Her Sentence ~ Vital Signs Vigil for the First Amendment

The First Amendment:
rally before Lodging Sentence

by Linda Ellen Lemaster

Mon Dec 3 22:12:48 2012
Vital Signs Vigil for the First Amendment
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Join us in a rally on the Water Street side of the Courthouse, on the steps near

O C C U D O M E   P L A Z A
         Occupy Justice 

2:30 to 3:15 pm Thursday, Dec 6th
800_june2012_032.jpg original image ( 2448x3264)    photo by Becky Johnson, June 2012

Then, those who care to, please join our "courtwatch" when the Judge gives Lemaster her sentence for being ~~ 
GUILTY of Unlawful Lodging 647(e);
GUILTY for being at PeaceCamp2010 in the wee hours; 
GUILTY of falling prey with others to a scheme by Sheriff Deputies to bust up the homeless-friendly protest;
GUILTY of unfashionable freedom of movement and concern for others -- 3:30 pm, Department #5.
(actually the sentence will pertain only to that first phrase, the rest are merely secondary consequences of our anti-First Amendment times)

If you're planning to submit a LETTER to the judge, suggestion is to have it filed/datestamped asap (prior to Thursday) so it will find it's way from Superior Court Clerks into the court files. (psst! keep a copy to share)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vehicle Dwellers Must Be More United in Palo Alto

Ban on car dwelling loses 
support in Palo Alto

City Council committee recommends exploring a pilot program aimed at registering, helping vehicle dwellers

Palo Alto is preparing to abandon a deeply divisive proposal to ban vehicle dwelling and to explore instead a program in which businesses, churches and possibly city lots would provide space for residents who live in their automobiles.

The City Council's Policy and Services Committee voted 3-1 on Tuesday night, with Councilman Larry Klein dissenting, to recommend that the council approve a six-month pilot program, which would include direct assistance from the city to the homeless population and outreach to churches, businesses, not-for-profit institutions and Stanford-based organizations for participation. Those who sign up would host up to three vehicles with dwellers on their lots.

The city's trial program would be modeled on the Homeless Car Camping Program in Eugene, Ore., where registered vehicle dwellers use parking spots at designated churches and businesses.

Vehicle dwelling emerged as a hot topic in Palo Alto more than two years ago, with residents -- particularly around College Terrace and Ventura neighborhoods -- complaining about homeless people camping out in their cars. Some residents cited sanitation issues while many complained about a man in College Terrace who they said owns about 10 vans and who routinely moves them from one spot to another to avoid the city's 72-hour restriction on parked cars.

The council had initially proposed an ordinance banning vehicle habitation, a prohibition that exists in every other neighboring jurisdiction. Last year, after an outcry from homeless residents and advocates, the city suspended the ordinance effort and began working with a group of stakeholders, including homeless advocates and residents in the impacted neighborhood, on a compromise.

The pilot program that Palo Alto is exploring would be administered by the Downtown Street Team, which provides jobs to the homeless. But it gives the city a heavier role in assisting vehicle dwellers than prior proposals. It involves, for the first time, exploration of city-owned parking lots as possible hosting sites for vehicle dwellers -- an option council members had rejected earlier. Former Councilman John Barton urged this move and asked the committee not to do anything that "criminalizes the poor."

"I think the city needs to get some skin in the game," Barton said. "If you want to ask the churches and the nonprofits and the businesses to step up, why isn't the city stepping up? I think the city needs to show the way on how to help those who need temporary help."

So far, the city's outreach efforts have netted underwhelming results. Despite a year and a half of discussions and outreach to 42 faith-based organizations, only one church had agreed to participate in the proposed program. Some have indicated that they need more time to reach a decision on whether to participate, Planning Director Curtis Williams said. Staff had determined that the city would need to have at least three churches sign on for the program to be viable, he said.

"Several congregations expressed interest in doing something but there were either questions about liability or insurance or a process through their organization that was necessary to develop the consensus to support something like that," Williams said. "That would take time."

About 30 people spoke at the meeting, with opinions all over the spectrum. College Terrace and Venture residents complained about the persistent problem of vehicle dwellers camping outside their homes. Homeless advocates urged the city to target unruly and disruptive behavior -- not the homeless population as a whole.

Trina Lovercheck, a former member of the city's Human Relations Commission, was in the latter camp. She lamented the fact that the commission wasn't involved in the process and urged staff to address the problems with existing laws.

"I urge you not to criminalize everyone who's been living in their cars because of a few bad apples," Lovercheck said. "I think we should be able to use the current codes that are on the books to deal with situations as they arise. I'd urge you to have the Police Department do that."

Bruce Kenyon, a crossing guard who participated in the community working group on the proposed ordinance, compared the behavior of the few unruly vehicle dwellers to the child or two who insists on running across the street despite Kenyon's admonitions.

"It's a human behavior problem and there's always going to be one or two bad apples that we can't control," Kenyon said. "An ordinance isn't going to change that."

But neighborhood residents urged the committee to act on what they said was an urgent and long-neglected problem. Brent Barker, president of the College Terrace Residents Association, asked the committee to support a pilot program as soon as possible that would address the issue. Barker, who participated in the working group, said he has seen the group's feelings go from optimism into "disillusionment and disheartenment at that we can't just get this thing off the ground fast." He urged immediate intervention by the city.

"We need a couple of pilots and they need to be carefully set up and monitored from the get-go so we can see them succeed," Barker said.

Tom Dittmar, who owns the office building at 944 Industrial Way, said there were two motor homes in front of the building when he and his wife bought it in June. Since then, they have found an adapter screwed into the building's light socket, suggesting that the motor homes were tapping into the building's power.

"I have been calling cops one to two times a week to get the motor homes to move," Dittmar said. "They do move. But then they come right back."

The Police Department estimates that there are between 25 and 50 people living in vehicles. Jonathan Brown, a Ventura resident, said between five and 10 having been living in buses and vans near his neighborhood park for months now. They cook their meals in the park and "take away our sense of community," Brown said.

"The sense out there is that there are strangers in the park and that we won't be able to use the park," Brown said.

Councilmen Greg Schmid, Sid Espinosa and Councilwoman Karen Holman all supported pursuing the six-month pilot program, which was proposed by Schmid.

"Vehicle dwelling is an issue because it's people who are down on their luck in our community," Schmid said. "It would be good if there was something that could be done to help them in their situation."

Espinosa said the committee's agreement provides a good compromise because it allows staff to fully explore the new pilot program and give staff a chance to consider further action at a later date, if necessary. But he also said he found it "disheartening to me that we haven't moved further in the past year-plus in finding a solution."

Klein had another concern -- the program's cost.

"For the city to be involved in offering its parking places -- it's going to end up costing us, and not just staff time," Klein said.

Klein said the city will have to deal with the same issues the churches have been dealing with, but these would be "multiplied because we are a government entity and we have a higher bar that we have to meet with sanitation and public safety." The problem of vehicle dwelling, he said, impacts a relatively small number of people.

"I just think there isn't great public enthusiasm and I think it goes back to the fact that this isn't much of a problem," Klein said.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On Dreams of Sleep 
and Linda Lemaster
by Steve Pleich
Sunday Nov 18th, 2012 3:41 PM
A Short Essay on Sleep
The Bard of Avon once mused “to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream” but in our community today that sweet dream of sleep has been shattered and all but forsaken. With respect to the simple and seemingly basic right to sleep, we have taken a step down the moral evolutionary ladder to a place where privation is the new rule of the day. And in a community that is so educated and so enlightened in so many ways, this step downward is both bewildering and troublesome.

These thoughts came particularly to mind during the recent superior court trial of long time homeless activist Linda Lemaster. It was my hope that Linda’s passion and dedication to the right to a restful, undisturbed night’s sleep might resonate with a jury of her peers. But whatever small ray of understanding that may have shone in their eyes was effectively extinguished by a judicial system that reflects the narrowest of views and seems to recognize not at all that most basic of human rights. And the result is that a courageous woman stands convicted in a court of law.

So the question becomes: do our local courts and the decisions they render accurately reflect the values and views of our community with regard to the right to sleep? My dream is that they do not.

Now there are many among us who will say in light of the seemingly endless court cases that grew out of the Peace Camp sleeping ban protests in the summer of 2010: “enough already”, or “we get the point” or simply “let’s move on” and that would allow our community to put this issue aside, if only for a moment’s time. However, masking our collective inability to understand a most basic right, that of sleep, does both our community and ourselves a disservice on both moral and intellectual grounds. So what truly divides us so intractably on this issue?

I think we might all agree that our moral sense compels us to extend our hearts and hands to the less fortunate among us and to, perhaps, allow them some latitude in their struggle to sustain themselves day-to-day. Intellectually, it is difficult to dispute that the quantity and quality of our sleep bears a direct and empirically verifiable relationship to our ability to live productive and fulfilling lives. Even the staunchest supporters of our city’s sleeping ban and the harshest critics of our local sleep activists should not find fault with that logic. On the other hand, it is easy for the advocates of the right to sleep to point to the paucity of available options for our houseless residents and say “of course they should be allowed to sleep wherever they can find suitable shelter”. This fundamental disagreement may render irreconcilable the intellectual argument.

So as we reflect on the issue of “sleep” let us each look into ourselves and ask “where is our moral compass of this issue”? And perhaps while we work to create places to sleep for our unsheltered residents, we can find places for them in our hearts as well.

That, it seems to me, is a dream worth sleeping about.

Linda's Hearth note: Thank you, Steve. Sleep is the Great Healer. That's what makes our civic and judicial attempts top regulate homeless people out of existence so sadistic, to me. We need many better solutions, but it will take both imagination and struggle. and I dont mean "taking sides" when I say struggle, regardless of anything some D.A. may have said about me in court. He never met me before. 

He is fulla it!

Meanwhile, I am basking in this essay as a caring and tender tribute, and ieologically, share it with Ed and Gary and nameless kazillions of folks who need "more sleep", whether homeless or otherwise oppressed. Because forced sleeplessness is torture, even according to the doctors, these days. We need bridges to cross the chasm of bigotry, both ways hating doesn't help.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lemaster Lodging 647(e) Trial: newspaper review of closing

  • Santa Cruz trial nears end for homeless activist facing charges at PeaceCamp2010 protest

    SANTA CRUZ -- A Santa Cruz woman charged with illegal lodging during a 2010 protest testified Thursday that the night she was arrested, she was taking care of a sick protester and never intended to sleep there.

    Linda Lemaster was one of several people arrested in connection with Peace Camp 2010, a demonstration against the city's anti-camping law that lasted about three months in which numerous people slept on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse.

    Lemaster, a homeless activist, said she didn't actually sleep outside when she would go to visit those participating in the demonstration. If she was unable to make it to her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, she said, she slept in her car.

    On the night of Aug. 10, 2010, however, she became very concerned about the health of protester Christopher Doyon, whom she said was having major lung problems.

    "I was truly alarmed at how his lungs sounded," she said, appearing nervous on the witness stand. "I could tell he was becoming more alarmed about his condition, too."

    She said Doyon refused to go to the hospital and she felt there was no choice but to watch over him for the night. Due to a ruptured disc in her back, sitting for long periods of time is uncomfortable but she used her jacket to prop herself up a bit as she sat by Doyon's side.

    At one point, she said, a friend put a blanket over her. She was not actually sleeping when deputies arrived, she said.

    In his closing arguments Thursday afternoon, prosecutor Alex Byers rebutted Lemaster's contention that she wasn't actually sleeping. He also argued that Lemaster was given a warning by deputies and could have chosen to leave, but she did not. Deputies came to the courthouse at 4 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2010, he said, then returned at 4:30 a.m. to hand out fliers informing the lodgers they were breaking the law and could be cited. Lemaster chose not to leave, he said, and she was cited.

    Byers said county leaders and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office were very tolerant of the protest, waiting 34 days before they issued a single citation and giving numerous warnings.

    "Everyone here respects the right to protest and bring problems to light, but that stops when you violate the law, and it stops when your rights infringe upon the rights of others," Byers said, adding that many other jurisdictions would not have been so patient.

    He said the Peace Camp protest caused health and safety issues for the community, among other issues.

    Showing a photo depicting Lemaster outside the courthouse covered with a blanket, Byers said it clearly depicts her in the act of illegal lodging.

    "We don't get to break the law because we don't like it and as jurors, you get to hold people accountable who do," Byers said. "If you agree that beyond a reasonable doubt she lodged in a public or private place, and that she didn't have permission to do it, then your verdict has to be guilty."

    yers also said that unlawful lodging doesn't have to require actual sleeping. It can be dozing, resting, etc. Defense attorney Jonathan Gettleman will present his closing arguments Friday morning.

    Two other people, Gary Johnson and defense attorney Ed Frey, were previously sentenced to six months in County Jail for violating the illegal lodging law as part of the protest.

    Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at

     Note from Linda's Hearth:
    Below, I've cut n pasted just a few comments from responses of Santa Cruz Sentinel readers, to share. With my responses following. I felt Jessica Pasko did a good job in her listening and reporting.      PS - I've manage to lose the name of first poster noted here, trying to make the polka dots leave this page. Will try to correct soon. See this and other comments at Sentinel webpg
    Well, if Mr. Doyon had not been there, you would not have been there, and if you were not there, you would not be where you are now!
    Linda Ellen Lemaster · 
    If only you could've gotten a more honest picture of what was going on then...Doyon was not the only person there who needed a hand or some care. I wouldn't have had to be concerned about whether those folks could stay alive and care for their families and critters if the Deputies had been doing the job they claimed in court they were doing. I would not have had to be paying attention to somebody else's lungs if the Deputies had understood what they were responsible for that evening or the several nights just before that. Am I supposed to now feel shame or horror because TWICE I went thru PeaceCamp2010 late at night, out of several dozens of visits prior to that ticket? I dare say now, PC2010 was "messier" in the daytime generally, if that's the real unmentionable crime! The D.A. was putting P2010 on trial, not me nor my conduct nor behavior there. Yet I was not allowed to ...See More

  • RealityCheck SantaCruz ·
    I wasn't actually sleeping, I was just watching a friend. And another friend put a blanket on me. And I can't sit for long periods of time (unless it's in a courtroom, apparently). I never intended to stay there. But when asked to leave, I said I wasn't going to. Aye.
    Linda Ellen Lemaster ·
    Incorrect, realityCheck! I said "yes" when the deputy actually asked me to leave. I wasn't ever ignoring the officers, regardless what you heard or read, and they acknowledged that detail on the stand. But because I attempted to ask the Deputy two questions, because I wasn't hustling away in fear, like the three dudes who'd left their bedding on the steps nearby didm the actual facts didnt' matter incourt. So therefore, per this jury's foreman, I *must* be guilty. But hey, I'm ok with this outcome. What still concerns me is the broadness of this state's status-drivenUnlawful Lodging law 647(e), and how it can be used to terminate almost ANY behaviors, regardless of cause. The Judge's refusal to allow any relevant legal information into the trial, yet encouragment and promotion of the smearing PeaceCamp2010 created gaps in having a coherent trial that I am not responsible for. Yes, I was there. NONE of those 'bedding" pictured were mine. What we have left seems to be: an important enough reason to be jailed, if it comes to that.

Lodging 647(e): Daily Paper Reporting on Trial

Trial starting for Santa Cruz woman charged in 2010 Peace Camp demonstration

SANTA CRUZ -- Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday for a woman facing criminal charges in connection with a 2010 demonstration held in protest of the camping ban in Santa Cruz.

Linda Lemaster is charged with misdemeanor illegal lodging for sleeping outside as part of the so-called Peace Camp 2010 protest.
The demonstration began July 4, 2010, as a protest against a city law that makes it an infraction to sleep outside in public spaces from 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. The protest began on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Superior Court before moving to Santa Cruz City Hall and ultimately ended on Oct. 2 of that year.

 After issuing warnings to those sleeping at the courthouse, sheriff's deputies cited sleeping people using a state law that makes lodging outside a misdemeanor.

Lemaster was among several people arrested in the protest, along with defense attorney Ed Frey and self-proclaimed homeless hacker Christopher Doyon. Frey was sentenced in July to six months in jail on an illegal lodging conviction stemming from the case. Another man, Gary Johnson, was sentenced last year to six months in jail for illegal lodging. Johnson was convicted of the same offense earlier this year after sleeping outside several times in December as a protest against the law.

Lemaster, a longtime advocate for the homeless, is projects facilitator for the Santa Cruz group Housing Now!

Her attorney, Jonathan Che Gettleman, has argued that the illegal lodging law was misused to put an end to the protest and that it violated the constitutional right to assemble peacefully.

Prosecutor Alex Byers was not immediately available for comment Monday.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lemaster :Lodging 647(e) Trial: Day 2 Jury Selection

Lodging 647(e) Trial Begin
November 5th, 2010
by Linda Ellen Lemaster (Defendant)

After midnight Nov 6, 2010

Yesterday eighteen people were examined and grilled by Judge Rebecca Connolly, District Attorney Alex Byers, and one of my two attorneys, Jonathan Gettleman. Both Gettleman and Eric Nelson are working pro bono for me, and I need to encourage those folks who can, to consider helping to offset their expenses. There appeared to be at least fifty more folks who were required to stand by, and listen to every instruction and definition the ones in the jury box were given

I got the ticket for "lodging" in August, 2010. My earlier blog entries describe some of the politics and activities that captured my attention that summer

There was an addition of videos, I understand I'm in them, which the DA believes will help his part of bringing this trial toward justice, or at least proving I'm a criminal I dont understand why he gets to keep bringing in more stuff, another witness, movies I didn't know existed, after the Judge's deadline, but luckily I'm not the lawyers here. And, I have faioth in the two men who are. Nice feeling

Today we were busy from 1:30 pm until about 4:20 pm. The Judge decided the rest of the week, proceedings will begin at 10 am, and close around 4 pm. It seems all the court people will be starting the argumenting part of the trial by this afternoon?



Sunday, November 4, 2012

GOOD NEWS: Salvation army's closing shelters rescued by Pajaro Rescue Mission and Teen Challenge Monterey

Pajaro mission rescues Salvation Army shelters

plans would expand Watsonville homeless services

Rows of bunk beds fill the men's quarters of the new homeless shelter in Watsonville that sits...

Dozens of homeless men and women faced the prospect of a winter out in the cold after the Salvation Army shuttered its downtown Watsonville shelters in August.

But after reaching a one-year agreement with the Salvation Army, partners Teen Challenge Monterey Bay and the Pajaro Rescue Mission plan to reopen the two Union Street facilities by Nov. 15 to offer shelter and a full range of social services.

The organizations can't do it alone, however, and are counting on community support, said executive director Mike Borden.
"We're a faith-based organization, and we're moving forward on faith," Borden said during a tour of the shelters Friday. "We believe the community will step up."

The shelters -- one for men and one for single women and women with children -- will be modeled on the Pajaro Rescue Mission, with a place to sleep and two meals a day just the start. Borden plans to offer the recovery program, counseling, job training and life-skill classes that have helped many Pajaro Rescue Mission residents find sobriety and a pathway to a productive life.

"The bigger picture is to get them out of homelessness," he said. "We know what is needed. We know how to do it, and we know how to do it effectively."
But the priority is to get the shelters up and running to serve 60-70 people. Borden doesn't have much to work with beyond the wall-to-wall metal bunk beds with bare mattresses. He's looking for donations of new or used sheets and blankets, preferably twin size, but larger sizes will be accepted and tailored to fit.

Towels, dishes, cups and the like also are needed. Pajaro Rescue Mission also is launching a campaign to raise $100,000 to fund the two shelters through the winter. Backers say if 500 individuals, businesses, churches or civic groups donate $200 each, they'll meet the goal.
The Salvation Army Golden State Division announced it would close the shelters in June, saying it couldn't sustain them financially. But the organization is supporting the new endeavor, handing over the shelters at no charge other than the cost of utilities and supplying a shower trailer to supplement restroom facilities at the men's shelter.

Harry Wiggins, chairman of the Watsonville Salvation Army advisory board, said the organization also will continue operating its soup kitchen in partnership with area churches. It also is keeping open a third shelter that serves five to 10 women recovering from addiction, and will continue offering utility bill assistance to the needy.

"The Salvation Army is here and here for the long haul," Wiggins said.

Follow Sentinel reporter Donna Jones on Twitter at

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HOW TO HELP    Pajaro Rescue Mission

WHAT: Pajaro-based homeless shelter and recovery center expands to former Salvation Army shelters in downtown Watsonville
NEEDS: Donations of cash and new or used bedding, towels, dishes, cups, toiletries and household paper products
CONTACT: To discuss corporate or organizational giving, call Chuck Allen at 818-1069. For other donations, call 722-2074 or send checks to Pajaro Rescue Mission, P.O.Box 1807, Watsonville, CA 95077

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Santa Cruz Surfing Featured in Jay Moriarity Movie Memorial

'Chasing Mavericks' assumes its place as Santa Cruz's signature Hollywood movie

The star of "Chasing Mavericks" doesn't really get to do a lot until about three quarters of the way through the movie. But when that times comes, it ranks as one of the most commanding movie hijackings of the year.

That star, by the way, is right there in the film's title. It is indeed the wave at Mavericks, the mythic — though not mythical — surf break near Half Moon Bay that is the film's great white whale. The bulk of the action amounts to one big build-up to that wave, still when it comes, the majesty of it somehow exceeds the build-up.

To anyone living in Santa Cruz, of course, "Mavericks" is of intense interest. Shot in and around Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay last fall, it is the story of two individuals near and dear to the East Side surf community — the talented young surfer Jay Moriarity and his older mentor Frosty Hesson.

A local, in fact, will have a great time seeing familiar places and landscapes on the big screen — so much so that I would suggest Santa Cruzans see the film twice, once for the hometown novelty — wow, does Pleasure Pizza get a spotlight or what? — and a second time to get into the flow of the story.
Moriarity's story may be deeply familiar to many Santa Cruzans. But for those not clued in, Jay was a Pleasure Point kid with a preternatural instinct for surfing who died in 2001 in a diving accident a day before turning 23. As a
teenager, he became entranced with the

Film Image is from Twentieth Century Fox

break at Mavericks, which at the time was considered something like the Bigfoot of surf breaks, widely talked about but rarely seen.
One of those who had seen Mavericks in the early days was Frosty Hesson, young Jay's neighbor. Moriarity, showing a moxie beyond his age, pestered Frosty to train him to take on Mavericks. A skeptical Frosty eventually agreed, and the two entered into an intense regimen that resulted in one of the grandest stories in the history of Northern California surfing.

Wide-eyed Jonny Weston takes on the role of Jay with a kind of pure-hearted intensity. He lives alone with his mother (Elisabeth Shue) who can't seem to hold a job, or even get out of bed. In between lessons from Frosty, he lurks around a local beauty named Kim (Leven Rambin) and tries to avoid the neighborhood toughs.

For his part, Frosty (Gerard Butler) shares his life with his radiant young wife Brenda (a radiant Abigail Spencer) while tracking the break at Mavericks with his three friends (real-life Santa Cruz surfers Zach Wormhoudt, Peter Mel and Greg Long).

Screenwriter Kario Salem steered away from portraying the complexities of the Santa Cruz surf scene and instead chose to focus on more basic story elements, often to the detriment of the film. The drug-dealing bad guys come off as mere foils to prove Jay's goodness and sometimes seem like they slipped out of a "Little Rascals" short. And throughout Frosty is haunted, though we never really learn by what and the dynamic he has with his wife feels like something we've seen before.

However, director Curtis Hanson — who was replaced by Michael Apted in the middle of the shoot for health reasons — creates a distinct vibe of the Santa Cruz surfer that feels real to life. Gone are the Spicoli stereotypes as well as the cheesy "Lost Boys" theatrics. In its place are working-class people living messy lives who are nevertheless seduced by the lure of the ocean.

Even if you are less than enamored with the "Karate Kid"-style storytelling, the film really achieves a white-knuckles intensity when Jay has "graduated" to take on Mavericks. I've seen dozens of surf films, but rarely have I seen surf footage rendered as breathtaking as it is here. Hanson's camera seems to focus less on the surfer's prowess and more on the power of the ocean and the grace of the wave. Moriarity's famous Mavericks wipeout, still talked about today, serves as the film's dramatic center and the film portrays it magnificently.

"Chasing Mavericks" isn't likely to be Oscar material. But it is certainly something that Santa Cruz can be proud of, an earnest and heartfelt portrait of one special kid who embodied the courage and respect with which all serious big-wave surfers approach their craft. May it forever supplant "The Lost Boys" as Santa Cruz's greatest cinematic moment.

{ *** PG (for adult themes and perilous action); Directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted; Starring Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Leven Rambin; Riverfront Twin, Aptos Cinema, Scotts Valley Cinemas}

BLACK MESA 2012: Ohlone Elder Corinna Gould Speaking on November 9 at RCNV

    * Kat Keediniihii (Diné) *
    Growing up at Big Mountain, Kat was raised with Diné traditions by her family in the midst of a struggle for cultural survival. She is currently living in Salinas with her four sons and is known as a humble, hard-working woman who is always there for the people.

    * Corrina Gould (Chochenyo/Karkin Ohlone) *
    Corrina Gould is a community organizer and educator in Oakland who works every day to honor her ancestors. For over a decade she has been on the front lines of Ohlone efforts to protect sacred sites.

    Speakers will be followed by a set of acoustic music by local artists:
    Pale Robin, Gembrokers, Scott Ferreter and secret guests!

    * Black Mesa Support Slideshow
    * Desserts and food

    Admission is $5-20, no one turned away.
    This is a benefit for Black Mesa families resisting relocation.

    “Our life is our religion, and our religion is the land.”
    Thomas Katenay, Diné

    “What I say about this development that happens all over the Bay Area, is that it’s a cultural genocide. They’re trying to wipe us out, in a different kind of a way.”
    Corrina Gould, Ohlone

    In Northeastern Arizona, traditional Diné (Navajo) elders and families at Black Mesa are continuing a decades-long resistance to coal strip-mining and forced relocation from their sacred ancestral lands.

    In the Monterey and SF Bay Areas, Ohlone people continue to fight for cultural survival and the protection of their sacred places and burial grounds. “Un-recognized” by the federal government, the Ohlones have no land-base and live day to day within a settler society that is largely ignorant of their continued existence.

    Event details:
    Friday, November 9th
    @ the Resource Center for Nonviolence
    612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA


612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Homelessness Summit" in Santa Cruz County: Let's Make Room For Compassion ~~ Change The Face Of The Future

Creating Smart Solutions to Homelessness:
A Countywide Community Engagement Summit

Saturday, Dec. 1 **10am - 4pm**
Cabrillo College (Dining Room in Building 900)
Lunch and snacks provided

What can we do about Homelessness in Santa Cruz County? The question itself strikes a passionate chord, with strong and divergent views in the community. There are many public and community based organizations providing programs and services to people who are homeless. Law enforcement and emergency response resources are used to address symptoms of homelessness. Neighborhoods, parks and business districts are impacted by homelessness, often in significant ways. However there is common ground - we all want less homelessness.

No single entity or program can address these issues on their own. We need a community-wide response and that means each and every one of us has a part to play.

Would you like to be part of the solution? Please join us at a community-built and countywide conference on homelessness with these objectives:
·      Create broader and more diverse community engagement on homelessness.
·      Develop better communication & coordination among those concerned about these issues.
·      Improve understanding of the realities of homelessness in Santa Cruz County.
·      Share information about proven, successful models and solutions working in other communities including some that are taking shape in Santa Cruz County.
·      Develop a shared vision for change and agreed upon action steps.
·      Form an ongoing community leadership group to carry the work forward on shaping policies to address homelessness.
We are seeking participation from all geographic areas of Santa Cruz County and representatives from all stakeholder groups including business, faith-based organizations, service providers, neighborhood groups and service clubs, law enforcement, elected officials, professionals, and people who are homeless or formerly homeless. Spanish language translation will be provided.

Event registration is required - go to eventbrite at to sign up. If you have questions please contact Phil Kramer, Project Coordinator at or    call  (831) 334-4976.
We look forward to your participation -
John Leopold - Chair, County Board of Supervisors
Don Lane - Mayor, City of Santa Cruz
Eduardo Montesino - Mayor, City of Watsonville
Mary Lou Goeke - Executive Director, United Way of Santa Cruz County
Lance Linares - Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
Gary Merrill - Executive Director, Santa Cruz County Business Council
Christine Sippl - Director, County of Santa Cruz Homeless Persons Health Project
Linda Lemaster - Formerly Homeless Parent & Continuum of Care Evaluation Committee