Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vallejo City's potential anti-Homeless law creates controversy

Solidarity with the Homeless residents of Vallejo [link]!
Human Rights abuse in Vallejo, "the City of God" [link]!

“Anti-camping proposal leads to debate over homelessness”
2014-01-30 by Jessica A. York from “Vallejo Times-Herald” []:
Vallejo's homelessness policy conversations rarely stick within narrow confines, habitually spilling over into the larger social issue.
Tuesday night's discussion by the Vallejo City Council of a proposed new illegal camping ordinance was no exception.
The city is putting together an ordinance that would give law enforcement a tool to evict illegally camped homeless persons on city and private property, and to theoretically preemptively deter such camping in the first place. The ordinance remains in draft form, and no City Council vote was taken Tuesday.
Several public speakers, generally supportive of the ordinance, agreed that city leaders need to provide answers to the homeless issue in the city, not stop at making new laws.
"I ask that we look for us to provide solutions, and not just suggestions or infractions which result in incarcerations to our friends in need," said Maria Guevara of community organization Vallejo Together. "Something definitely needs to be done, but this ordinance should not be the only answer. Providing a safe place, accessible night and day for our friends, with help on site to transition is a great pair to this ordinance."
Mayor Osby Davis, who has led public workshops on homelessness in recent years, said he is not unsympathetic to the greater social concerns surrounding homelessness. However, he said, city leaders also have the rest of the city to consider.
"I think we have to realize that we have a delicate balance here," Davis said. "We have to balance the humane side of dealing with people who may be down on their luck, and at the same time, protecting the rights of those who have a right to use public facilities as well."
The council, sitting as the Vallejo Housing Authority , will consider sending out a request for proposals to establish homeless day center-type services as early as its Feb. 11 meeting, Assistant City Manager Craig Whittom said. The city has budgeted $75,000 toward this effort, down from previous years' plans to spend upwards of $500,000.
On Wednesday, Whittom added that two groups have formed to focus on Vallejo's homeless issues. One is led by the city's Housing and Community Development Manager Anne Putney. The other, headed by county Supervisor Erin Hannigan, includes various county officials, Councilman Bob Sampayan, Putney, Veterans Affairs, the American Red Cross and others.
"We are not at all silent on the issue. We are very much bellied up to the table and have taken many steps," Hannigan said Wednesday, referencing a winter emergency warming shelter. "One of the challenges we have is we don't have the funding to provide the housing of the homeless -- that's really an incorporated area (city) function."
Whittom said at the meeting that the public has raised concerns that the ordinance is designed to criminalize homelessness.
"The intent of this ordinance is not to accumulate fines or arrests," Whittom told the council.
Resident Doug Darling asserted the city should be unable to enforce the ordinance until sufficient shelter space is available to relocate illegally camped individuals. He urged the council to be proactive, rather than reactive.
"While I do not object to the proposal at all, it does not address larger problems. We have a homeless problem," resident Jimmy Genn said.
Cyndi Castenada, who introduced herself as "one of the homeless faces now," asked the city to consider including an exception for those living in their vehicles.
"Sleeping in your vehicle: I think you ought to take a serious serious look at repealing that part. Because, number one, it gives you a roof over your head, it gives you a door you can lock, it gives you access to a heater when you need it," Castenada said. "The people I know who live in their cars, they might have maybe a Dumpster in their car, but they don't have a Dumpster around their car."

Jan. 30th, 2014, The Northbay Uprising Radio News Report

Tune in to the broadcast [link], Thursdays 4 to 5pm (PST), with news from across Northern California, produced by []! Broadcast to the San Pablo bay area courtesy of Ozcat Radio 89.5FM KZCT Vallejo. Join the Community Journalist program, send news & info to []. Know more with the Community Journalist's Notebook [link]!


The end of the celebrations for Martin Luther King, the beginning of Black History Month:
The best way to honor and celebrate someone who struggled for liberation and who was the victim of a politically-motivated assassination is to continue the work, build the movements, and speak the truth. The hypocrisy of the war criminals, imperialists, and human rights violators who feign to honor for Martin Luther King, Jr. is appalling (i.e. Obama, Virginia Bass, Rex Bohn, police chiefs). They exploit the sacrifices of millions of people in struggle then and now - and continue to work against their very lives.
Please listen to the recordings below!
* Martin's Song (2:47) by Mumia Abu-Jamal []
Below are two links to a powerful speech that we hardly every hear.
* Reverend Martin Luther King, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence", April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, New York City [], and at []

"In Wake of Protest Over Police Murder, Cops Crack Down on Journalism in Fullerton, CA"
by Steven Argue

"State and federal agencies suppress dissent on twin tunnels"  
by Dan Bacher []
Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) draft EIR available for public review [link]

“JCAL Blasts DA Ravitch and the SR Police Department’s Total Lack of Transparency in Deputy Gelhaus Shooting Investigation”
2014-01-30 from “Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL)” [] :
Wednesday night, January 29, JCAL unanimously condemned the press release issued by Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch earlier that day. In what increasingly appears to be a concerted whitewash of the Oct. 22nd shooting of13-year old Andy Lopez by Deputy Sheriff Erick Gelhaus, DA Jill Ravitch and the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) continued to maintain an impenetrable cloak of silence blanketing the “Investigative Report” into Deputy Gelhaus’ murder of toy gun touting Andy Lopez.
TheDA’s press release failed to mention a single word as to the actual findings of SRPD’s Report. While DA Ravitch praised the SRPD for its “thorough review” of the Oct. 22nd shooting of Andy, the press release dodged the essential issue – the finding of the Report as to criminal liability by Deputy Gelhaus. After over 3 months, the public demands to know the results of theInvestigative Report, but mum is the word.
“The impenetrable code of silence surrounding the SRPD’s Investigative Report is precisely what we have both feared and predicted,” said JCAL attorney Jonathan Melrod. “JCAL has maintained from the outset of the Investigation that the SRPD is incapable of conducting an unbiased, transparent review of Deputy Gelhaus’ shooting of Andy. By not releasing a single detail the Report amounts to a continued whitewash of this wanton, brutal murder of a young Latino boy in the Moorland community.”
JCAL organizer Mary Moore agreed. "We have maintained even before Andy's killing that Sonoma County needs an independent eye looking at ongoing law enforcement issues in our community as this issue has a long history. In 1998, after a spate of police related deaths of civilians we were able to get the US Civil Rights Commission up here for hearings. Their report, issued in 2000 sided with the community concerns and made several recommendations which have been ignored since then" she said. "Independent oversight is desperately needed and that does not mean one local law enforcement group investigating another".
DA Ravitch went on to lay groundwork for not issuing her finding as to whether Deputy Gelhaus “violated criminal law” within the 90-day period allotted to her office to make a final decision. “I caution the public to remember that this timeline is not a legal requirement but a recommendation,” said DA Ravitch. Pushing her decision past the 90-day mark allows the DA to remain silent until after Election Day June 3d. JCAL dismisses talk of exceeding the 90-day period as a dodge to allow Ravitch to skate by Election Day without taking action to indict Deputy Gelhaus for the murder of Andy.
According to JCAL’s Jonathan Melrod, “Last night the Coalition endorsed a robust “90 Day Justice Campaign” to demand that DA Ravitch unequivocally respect the 90-day period and move to indict Deputy Gelhaus. We have plans for a concerted series of weekly and monthly protests that will continue to include mobilization of the Latino Community in SW Santa Rosa, marches and street demonstrations, aggressive lawsuits targeting police harassment and attendance at City Council and County Board Meetings. This spring’s Justice Campaign will culminate in a massive statewide march in Santa Rosa on June 20th in commemoration of what would be Andy’s 14th birthday.”

“South Korean Consulate Disrupts Solidarity Rally for Korean Rail Workers”
2014-01-20 by Richard Chen []
On January 17th, 2014, the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee held a rally at the South Korean Consulate in San Francisco in defense of the Korean Rail Workers Union (KRWU). In retaliation, the South Korean Consulate, in cooperation with the US State Department, mobilized conservative Koreans and veterans from the North West Korean American Veterans Association to disrupt the rally.
The right-wing Koreans chanted "We Love Park Geun-hye", "Unions Suck", "Go Back to North Korea" and "Kill the Communists" and physically threatened a Korean union supporter. The Consulate also orchestrated media coverage from sympathetic journalists.
The KRWU waged the longest rail strike in South Korean history in December 2013 against a privatization drive by the right-wing government of Park Geun-hye. The Park government declared the strike illegal, put out arrest warrants for the union leadership and forced them into hiding.
On December 22nd, 2013, the Park government then assaulted the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) with 5,000 police, who used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters. 120 unionists were arrested and the government succeeded in breaking the strike. Arrest warrants are still out for the union leadership and the government intends to continue with the privatization drive.
A General Strike has been called by the KCTU for February 25th. Another rally in support of Korean workers will take place in San Francisco on that same day.
* "Battle At SF Korean Consulate: Hands Off Korean Workers!" []
* "Korean Government Pays Demonstrators At SF Korean Consulate To Support Park Geun-hye Gov" by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee []
* "SF Teacher Solidarity With Korean Railway Workers And The Action At SF Korean Consulate" []

"Celebrating Fair Use for Copyright Week" 

"The Law Belongs In the Public Domain"

"Berkeley Gathering Calls for Defense of the Bill of Rights"
2014-01-27 from "Berkeley Calling" []:
On Thursday, January 24, 2014 over 400 Bay Area residents were treated to a panel of civil liberties leading activists at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley California titled “NSA Surveillance and Our ‘Almost Orwellian’ State.” The living Free Speech tradition of Berkeley, CA, the home of one of the University of California's most famous universities, was shining like a beacon to the world once again. An eloquent and heart-felt call to Defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States was issued by a group of distinguished and experienced speakers. Shahid Buttar, Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, was one of the main speakers at the forum. Shahid Battar was joined by Daniel Ellsberg, the iconic whistleblower of The Pentagon Papers fame, a national hero described by President Nixon as "the most dangerous man in America”; Norman Solomon, co-founder of and producer of the film “War Made Easy”; Cindy Cohn, Legal Director and General Counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Rainey Reitman, Activism Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and BORDC board member, kicked off the event with brief remarks. The moderator was Robert Jaffee, a volunteer attorney on the Hedges v. Obama case challenging “indefinite detention without due process”.

“Humboldt Sheriff's Throwing Out Homeless Persons' Belongings”
2014-01-05 from “Peoples' Action for Rights and Community (PARC)”:
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, in the past few days, brought a dumpster to a place where people had tents and other belongings. The Sheriff's Department, I believe using the labor of people in jail or doing SWAP, took every homeless person's belongings and DISPOSED OF THEM.
I guess Mitchell, Birsso, Delaney and Vrieze law firm can again line its pockets with public money to defend human/civil rights violations. The City of Eureka just spent $13,400 dollars hiring the firm to prosecute one homeless man's camping tickets. No evidence of garbage, drugs, drinking- nothing but SLEEP. This same law firm lost in the civil case about the murder of Martin Cotton, beat to death by Eureka officers (Laird, Winkle, Whitmer, et al). This same firm milked Humboldt County people for seven years of failed litigation defending the use of q-tipped and sprayed pepper-spray in non-violent protesters' eyes. The disgusting list goes on and on. The more abuse, the more cases, the more money for Nancy Delaney and crew.
But the reality for homeless people, who are not making their "living" on the deaths, victimization, and abuse of others, is that the County of Humboldt and City of Eureka are leaving them with NOTHING. Imagine staying outside tonight for even just 5 hours with nothing- no blankets- nothing. Then throw out all of your photos, food, letters, clothes, memorabilia... It's cruelty what is happening. One woman who's every belonging was stolen and thrown out by the Sheriff's (and she has pneumonia) told me tonight that she can imagine how someone in a natural disaster feels, losing everything. And that it feels kind of like she was raped.
Crimes against humanity. Indecent. Unacceptable. We cannot let this continue.
Robert Manning died in December, froze to death sleeping on the streets of Eureka.
Politics of cruelty protect NO ONE.
P.S. We got the above-mentioned survivor two sleeping bags (one has a broken zipper) and, for the night, a yard and small tent. Tomorrow we need community help to get her anti-biotics, medications- St. Joe's Hospital only gave her medication while she was in as a patient- nothing to take with her- with pneumonia!


Forum on Community Oversight/Review Boards - Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez
Thursday, Jan. 30, 4:30 to 6:45 p.m.
Forum - 4:30 to 6:00
Discussion - 6:00 to 6:45
At the Bertolini Student Center Dining Commons, Santa Rosa Junior College [1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa]
The Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez is studying models on community oversight/review boards in order to make recommendations to the County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa. People who have experience with various models will present their ideas at this forum.
* Alan Barnett- Marin Peace and Justice Coalition
* Brian Buchner - President NACOLE National Association Citizen Oversight of Law Enforcement
* Jayson Wechter - NACOLE Board of Directors - worked on the campaign of the ballot initiative that created the San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints in 1982.
* Andrea Pritchett – Berkeley Copwatch
* Rashida Grinage - Executive Director of PUEBLO - People United for a Better Life in Oakland
* Dan Silva – Independent Investigator that worked on cases for SFOCC, Citizen's Police Review Board

What is Happening to City College of San Francisco?
Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Location: NPML, 6501 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609 [] [510-595-7417].
 Public institutions and unionized workers are under attack. Anti-union neo-liberals have been advocating their privatization and transformation to better serve the needs of business to enable the wealthy to accumulate more wealth.
 A leading example of a public college being targeted is California's largest community college, City College of San Francisco (CCSF). In addition to facing the current attacks on public education, the CCSF community has been brought under tremendous pressure by an out of control and abusive private accrediting agency that is threatening the college with closure. This agency's demands for "reform" are being carried out by a state imposed special trustee who has been granted dictatorial power to run the college. The changes enacted represent an assault on both the many working class and disadvantaged students the college serves, and its faculty and staff. CCSF has been significantly downsized.
Rick Baum, a part-time political science instructor at CCSF for over fifteen years, has been active in the fight to save the college. He will provide an overview of what has been happening and answer questions.

Justice for Andy Lopez
Confused? Curious? Want to Help? Come to the Monday Dialog
February 3 at 6:30 pm
At the Unitarian Universalist Hall, [547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa]
As the murder of Andy Lopez galvanizes the community into action, differing ideas about what happened and what should be done are circulating. Many believe this is a watershed moment for social justice in Sonoma County with national implications. Join an anti-racist dialog to explore questions such as
What are the long-term ramifications of Justice for Andy Lopez beyond the indictment?
What are the short-term goals?
What are the societal impacts of the indictment?
Is the killing an aberration? Is Gelhaus a "bad apple"?
If he is, do we need to reseed the police?
What is the function of the police under white supremacy?
Brought together by the Racial Justice Allies []
Our mission is to create a space where white people explore and take responsibility for racism and white privilege, develop antiracist identities and practices, and work as allies for racial justice.

Capitalism, Climate Change and Alienation  Public Forum and Discussion
Sunday February 2, 2014 1pm-4pm
Oakland Main Library [125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612]
Capitalism is destroying our planet. An overwhelming majority of scientists acknowledge that climate change is causing the mass extinction of numerous species of animals and plants, and is likely to make the planet unlivable for many more species in the near future, as well as threatening humanity with starvation, disease, and massive loss of life. What these scientists and the mass media are not telling us is that climate change is driven by the capitalist profit system, and its severity and effects cannot be alleviated without abolishing that system.
Climate change is already having devastating effects. One of the most powerful typhoons in recorded history just wreaked havoc in the Philippines, killing thousands, and destroying the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, 2013 is shaping up to be the driest year on record in California. Millions of people know that climate change is the most serious threat humanity has ever faced. To reduce the threat, we must take immediate steps to transform the global economy into one that is sustainable and environmentally sound. This can only be done by a society that is founded on rational planning to serve human needs, not profit. Only in this way can we reduce the impending suffering and loss of life, and avoid the potential ultimate destruction of the human race. Why are the masses not rising up to defend our planet and our survival? The answer lies in the alienated mentality instilled in us by capitalism and the culture it promotes.
Find out why we must fight for socialist revolution as the only way to prevent capitalism and climate change from destroying our planet. Find out why it is impossible to win without transcending the culture and psychology of alienation, which keeps millions demoralized and paralyzed, unable to wage the necessary struggle for the survival of the human race. Participate in an open discussion on why we need a revolutionary party and movement that can fight against climate change through the revolutionary means of the class struggle.
Sponsored by Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism (HWRS) [] [] []
Disclaimer: The Oakland Public Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users.

Occupy Sonoma County!
Monday, Feb. 3, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Monthly discussion and organizing meeting for Occupy Sonoma County.
The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa

Close the Death Chamber Candlelight Vigil 
Monday, February 03, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
at the West Gate of San Quentin Prison at San Quentin, CA
Katrina’s Dream [] will be holding a Candlelight Vigil and Community Assembly on February 3, at 4:30 pm. We will meet in front the West Gate of San Quentin Prison. People of all faiths will be gathering, calling on Governor Jerry Brown and our Legislators to Close the Death Chamber at San Quentin Prison and abolish the Death Penalty here in California.
A small group from Katrina’s Dream, have been holding a monthly candlelight vigil, every first Monday since February 7, 2011. Unfortunately, the lead organizer passed away unexpected. Please see []
We are bringing back the vigils and need your support, presence and prayers more than ever. We are asking that you share the news of this vigil with all your friends and family. We hope that people of State of California will stand up and say, “NO MORE KILLINGS – NOT IN MY NAME”.
To attend in spirit please visit []

"Wheatland 4", Anti-Drone Protestors to Put Drone Warfare on Trial
(Defendants: Martha Hubert, Robin Ryan, Bill Doub and Toby Blome)

When: February 3, (Original date was Jan. 13)
Where: Sacramento, U.S. Courthouse, 50l I St.
8:00-9:00 am: Pre-trial Anti-Drone Rally, and press conference outside the courthouse
9:00am: Trial begins.
In April, 2013, 5 activists were arrested on April 30, 2013, while attempting to deliver a letter to the Commander at Beale AFB during a nonviolent protest of drone warfare. 4 of the defendants face trespassing charges and a maximum of 6 months in jail. Barry Binks, the 5th arrestee had his charges dropped due to his veteran status. Please attend the pre-trial rally and join the trial to stand in unity with us against the brutality and illegality of drone warfare.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Non-profit bike charity targeted for disruption by Santa Cruz City for alleged political motivations

"City Bicycle Distribution Issue to be Decided Next Tuesday, Jan 14"
2014-01-06 message from Steve of the Santa Cruz Hub:
Next Tuesday, January 14th the Santa Cruz City Council will decide whether or not to reinstate the long-standing program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need. Please let the Council Members know you think this is a valuable program! You can let them know in person at the meeting, or email them at Currently we don't know if this item will be discussed at the 3pm afternoon or 7pm evening session, but we'll post details as they are available: [].
Every year the City ends up with hundreds of bikes which are not claimed and must be dealt with somehow. Because the bikes are generally of moderate to low quality and many are in disrepair, they offer little cash value to the City through auctioning. Therefore in 1996 the City began distributing them to youth in need, turning these old bikes into a valuable community resource. The distributions were open to any qualified nonprofit or government agency, and got out many hundreds of bikes to youth who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to own a bicycle.
Although a valuable program, participation varied over the years and sometimes the administration felt like a drain to the SCPD, which in 2008 stopped distributions and began sending bikes instead to the landfill. At that point the nonprofit repair shop the Bike Church approached the City, offering to handle most of the administration of the program. For the next four years, the Bike Church held 16 distributions, getting out 415 bikes through a variety of nonprofits, while salvaging tons of usable material from the scraps that no one else was able to make use of.
In early 2012, the City ended this important program without any notification to the Bike Church or other participating groups. Bikes were delivered instead to a for-profit business that sold many bikes which previously would have gone free to youth, and which did not invite the former nonprofit participants to take any of the bicycles. The five groups that had matched up the most bikes to youth prior to this change—Barrios Unidos, Green Ways to School, Project Bike Trip, Watsonville Bike Shack, and Western Service Workers Association—all wrote letters to the City praising the former program and the Bike Church's management of it, and asking that it be reinstated. However no changes were made at that time.
The following summer in August 2013, acknowledging that the municipal code does not allow distributions through a for-profit business, the City suspended distributions entirely. City Manager Bernal stated at that time the intention to invite proposals from nonprofits to partner with the City in renewing the program. However due to behind-the-scenes pressure by some Council Members this plan was never moved forward, with bikes now being auctioned off for as far as we know the first time since 1996.
Fortunately, the City Council will have the opportunity to vote on this matter next week, and we hope they will listen to the overwhelming community support for giving the bikes to youth instead of auctioning them off.
Response from Robert Norse:
Steve:  Your position is significantly weakened by omitting any mention of the repeated attempts you and others made to clarify why the SCPD stopped the bike distribution and under pressure from whom. You omit mentioning that your attempts to get clear and transparent response from then-Mayor Hillary Bryant or from Assistant City Manager Tina Shull were dodged, ignored, or dismissed. You seem to be trying (again) to "smooth things over", "avoid antagonizing the SCPD", and "maintaining good relations with the city staff", but hasn't the sweet talk approach showed how ineffective it is? Power senses weakness and has only contempt for it.
The community and Council need to be publicly confronted with the rather bald questions: why were the distributions stopped? Why have they been held up for nearly two years? Why aren't the responsible people held accountable? And, most obviously, without any phony dicking around, why isn't the original process simply restored? Instead we have Micah's face-saving (and futile) Request for Proposals nonsense--which, so far, as gone nowhere.
Folks assembled in mass half a year ago already made a plea for return of the bikes. Half a year later--are we any closer? Just another Council meeting.  Folks who could have had bikes--those poor folks who are the target of the City Council's ordinance changes last year and their notorious Task Force on Public Safety (or more accurately the Task Farce Transmitting Public Hysteria).
It is my understanding that these bikes are being auctioned off in Sacramento (if they're not dumped into a landfill)--does that confirm your information?
Please provide straight talk and straight questions to the community and Council. You may find such candor, if followed up by other direct actions may embarrass the SCPD stonewallers into relenting and actually forestall such abuses in the future.

"City Decides to Reinvent the Wheel on Bike Distribution"
2014-01-29 by Steve Pleich []:
Wheels Within Wheels -
It is both unfortunate and sad that the City Council has chosen to reject out of hand the years of service provided to the community cost free by the Bike Church Tool Collective. Unfortunate because rather than recognizing and utilizing a fully functional and sustainable bicycle refurbishment and distribution program, it has chosen instead to create another wasteful layer of bureaucracy to oversee. By favoring the Teen Center as the new distribution agency, the city has effectively "reinvented the wheel" where none was necessary. And now, only useable bicycles will be redistributed while the bicycle parts which could have been given new life by the Bike Church will now be auctioned off with no real end result in mind. And that is truly unfortunate.
But this decision by council is also sad. It is sad because it reflects the elevation of politics over practicality and community benefit that has become the hallmark of our present civic leadership. By any measure, the Bike Church would have distributed a greater number of bicycles that any other qualified and similarly experienced organization. This could have been, and should have been with enlightened leadership, a model of the kind of "public/private partnership" that this community sorely needs. One need look no further than the reopening of Harvey West Pool to see a working example of this model. Unable to cost effectively operate the large pool, the city closed that facility in 2007. In 2010, when community members Kevin Moon, Jim Booth and myself formed a private partnership to operate the pool, the city was wise enough and willing enough to agree to a public/private partnership that resulted in the large pool being reopened for community use; and it remains open on a regular summer schedule to this day. And yet now, with a experienced, community minded private partner ready, willing and able to take on the program of bicycle redistribution, civic leadership declined to make the obvious and best choice. What part politics played in this decision is a matter upon which reasonable minds might differ. But as a matter of good, common sense, there can be no argument that our community, and especially every young person who might not now experience the joy of bicycle ownership, deserves better.
Comment to article from a reader:
The Bike Church is associated with anarchists via sharing its space and non-profit umbrella of The Hub, which also includes Subrosa. Location is everything.
"Why the City hates the Bike Church", 2014-01-31 by Steve Schnaar []:
Because the City staff have refused to give me a straight answer for almost 2 years, I cannot say with certainty what this is all about. Part of it I suspect is the overall climate of attacks against homeless and homeless service providers, e.g. Robinson's attempt to shut down the HSC day services. According to the conservative perspective, by making food or bikes or anything else available to homeless people, we are "enabling" them, and therefore such services must be stopped.
However I agree a large part of it is also likely the fact that the Bike Church is located next door to SubRosa, which does have an openly confrontational attitude towards cops. Some years ago a few officers in uniform came to SR "to buy a cup of coffee", and were told they were not welcome to enter without a warrant, and then people blockaded the door. From that point the SCPD has hated SubRosa and blatantly lied about them in some cases to the press (notably after the May 1 window-smashing in 2010).
However SubRosa is only renting space, they are not representative of the Hub (short for "the Santa Cruz Hub For Sustainable Living), the nonprofit which manages the building and includes the Bike Church, the Fabrica, Green Ways to School, People Power Fund, and the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project. The Hub has no political position, and has never had any policy against police. In fact the Bike Church, although we are quite effective at handling difficulties on our own, we do occasionally call police for help with aggressive individuals. We also regularly call to run serial numbers of potentially-stolen bicycles, collaborated with them for 4 years to distribute bikes, and have recently become the first bike shop in town to help them register bikes.
Nonetheless, the SCPD as far as I can gather decided at some point that they couldn't stand bikes going to a neighbor of SubRosa. In a meeting I had with Assistant City Manager Tina Shull in 2012, after she explained all the bureaucratic reasons they supposedly changed the program, which I challenged point by point, Shull stated, "well, there is a more fundamental reason: some of our staff are not welcome on your property". She went on to tell a made-up story about police coming to drop off bikes, and the Bike Church making them wait out on the curb. This is entirely untrue; in fact our contact at the SCPD, Cindi Shockey, would often come by after the distributions to follow-up, and sometimes came in to talk to me in the People Power office. These facts, and the fact that the Bike Church and SubRosa are separate spaces, with separate doors and a gate inbetween, are evidently irrelevant to the SCPD, who cannot tolerate anyone "enabling" anarchists by renting space out to them.
A more recent incident, in a meeting with both Posner and Comstock present, Posner reports that Comstock said, "the Hub is an anti-government organization". We invited her to come check it out for herself, which to her credit she did, but so far it hasn't seemed to sway her opinion.
"steve is right", 2014-01-31 by city insider:
Yep, Steve sums it up pretty well with his post. This is exactly the thinking of the council on this matter. They also have the ERRONEOUS notion that Steve participated in the Wells Fargo takeover and base it on this shaky video by Alex Darocy []. They think this is Steve about 38 seconds into the video, but it clearly isn't him. Steve is a mainstream political activist, who in fact was campaign manager for a current city councilman, Micah Posner. The idea that him or the Bike Church would be involved in radical "anarchist" behavior is false on its face.
"still not clear", comment in response to another comment to this article, 2014-01-30 by anarcho la selva:
"The people to worry about, to be suspicious of are people who run something strangely alien, a cooperative. Yes, collectives are dangerous things, particularly ones who dare to empower people. In this case, empowering poor and working class people to fix their own bikes, to obtain bikes in trade for work, well that's something that makes our overlords just a bit suspicious."
-But why the Bike Church? There are many things that can be deemed a "co-op" around town that the council ISN'T targeting? For example, credit unions like Bay Federal or the mobile home co-op downtown or the housing co-op on the Westside. Why isn't the city council targeting them if they have something against cooperatives? It seems a little bit of a stretch to say that political powers are afraid of people learning to fix their own bikes? Why is that scary to them? I've known enough of the TBSC types over the years, and they complain about junkies and "campers", not ONCE have I ever heard one say "I'm afraid people are going to learn how to fix their own bikes, that is a threat to my private property!" Not once. Have you heard them say that?
"The fact that the Bike Church can be easily splattered with the label as "anarchist" made it a pretty easy mark for the likes of Robinson and Matthews and Comstock who seemingly value control and overt commerce over having agreat number of poor kids having access to a free bike. "
-But again, WHY is the Bike Church labeled as "anarchist"? If they are "anarchists", why on Earth would they have been cooperating with the police on a bike giveaway in the first place? None of this makes any sense.
"totally different orgs", 2014-01-31 by subrosan:
They are NOT all the same entity. This old metro article explains the relationship (or lack thereof) between them. []: "The new Bike Church has proven so successful that the collective has plans to expand. Turning its attention to another ubiquitous failure-prone tool of the modern age, the Bike Church is planning to open a technology-oriented co-op in the office space currently occupied by the nonprofit People Power, which will be moving next door. Muir says, "The Computer Kitchen will provide educational opportunities and material recovery/recycling services in much the same way the Bike Church does with bikes. They will also be looking to provide nonprofit organizations with tech assistance and affordable hardware." It's heady times for the cooperative. There are also plans to open an Info Shop, a free library of independent and activist literature that takes its cues from similar spaces in San Francisco and Olympia, Wash. The Info Shop, Bike Church, Computer Kitchen and People Power will all operate under the auspices of the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Transportation, the nonprofit that holds the lease of the entire property. As one might imagine, working in a completely egalitarian manner isn't without its challenges. "Consensus decision-making can be a long drawn-out process," Agam grants. "We do consensus-minus-one, but we all get along pretty well and rarely have to spend hours on any one decision."
"Metro Article is Wrong", 2014-01-31 by Steve Schnaar []:
You can see on the website for the hub ( an explanation of who we are. The Hub is a nonprofit that includes as fiscally-sponsored projects the Bike Church, Green Ways to School, the People Power Fund, the Fabrica, and the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project.
The Hub also manages a building which is a community center. There are many tenants which are not legally affiliated with the Hub as a nonprofit, including Pedalers' Express (a worker-owned bike messenger business), The Computer Kitchen (an independent nonprofit), People Power (an advocacy group set up as an "unincorporated association"), and SubRosa (which to my knowledge operates fiscally as a project of the nonprofit "Revolutionary Garden Society").
The linked news article from when we expanded our space is simply wrong. For one thing, it was "the Hub" and not "the Bike Church" that expanded, and more importantly there has never been a time in which the Computer Kitchen or SubRosa was operating "under the auspices of the Hub". They are independent orgs operating as subtenants in a building the Hub manages as a community center.

"Why It Matters"
2014-01-29 by Robert Norse of "Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) - Santa Cruz" []:
Letting the SCPD and its friends on the City Council get away with a two year Bike Blockade with the political intent of cutting off the Bike church at the urging of reactionary Council members with no public process is part of the issue.
Another aspect is allowing staff and a for-profit business with connections to former Mayor Bryant's spouse favoritism and improper profiteering.
Another is the fatal paralysis of activists reduced to respectful hat-in-hand behavior to the treacherous bureaucrats who set up a rigged agenda item that preemptively cut out the Bike Church. See [].

"Kids Suffering Because of SCPD's Political Agenda?"
2014-02-01 by Robert Norse of "Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) - Santa Cruz" []:
A cop-heavy backroom agenda negatively impacts the entire community--usually because of its reactionary content, but also because of the concealed process. In this case, it's particularly nasty because what seems to have been the SCPD's agenda deprived at risk youth of bikes--penalizing the young and the innocent--so the SCPD could play vendetta games against the Sub Rosa's neighbors.
At risk-youth were supposed to be the recipients of the bikes from the non-profits to which the bikes had been distributed via the Bike Church. That process was first stopped, then transferred to the for-profit mayor-and-police-friendly Bike Dojo, and finally stalled again when it became clear the Bike Dojo couldn't handle the distribution and the bikes were stacking up. According to what I've heard from Bike Church and Bike Shack employees.
I recently listened to Jeremy Scahill's piece on Obama's murder teams in Afghanistan bombing children and then ruthlessly covering up those crimes (at under "Jeremy Scahill on America's Dirty Wars"). It also pays to keep an eye on police agencies locally. True, it's relatively small potatoes for police, staff, and council to cover up the theft of bikes from needy youth.
Still, with all the phony talk about "crime" and "public safety", we need to consider who has the real power, how it's being used, and to benefit whom. People in positions of power can have much greater impact and be shielded much more thoroughly from public disclosure or accountability.
The next question is--what are we to do to (a) correct this twisted process, and (b) make sure those guilty of doing so are exposed and punished to discourage similar such abuses in the future. If anyone has suggestions, please speak up.
A subgroup of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship) proposed that the D.A. should investigate felonious behavior by whatever city officials are responsible for misdirecting ore than $400 in bikes--and take the guilty parties to trial.
If the Bob Lee can spend hundreds of thousands harassing innocent Occupy activists for being in Wells Fargo's vacant bank building 2 years back (the scandal of the Santa Cruz Eleven) , then he might want to spend a teeny amount of time going after corrupt officials whose actions directly affect the options of the young and not just the public image of the police and the profits of banksters.
A picture can be worth a thousand words: []

"Bicycle Banditry: What's Behind the Curtain of Secrecy? "Reasons" for the Bike Church Bashing"
2014-02-01 by Robert Norse of "Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) - Santa Cruz" []:
Scott Collins, an assistant to the City Manager who presented the Council's cover story, gave the following explanation Tuesday afternoon of what caused the Bike Church to be cut off without notice, apology, or explanation. Collins presentation was much longer and can be found at [] under Agenda Item #14. The "specifics" (which were far from that) were as follows:
" But in recent years, there were some issues that arose with the distributors that time. City line staff had issued you now, a number of complaints about... from multiple departments that found the program was burdensome to staff, typically requiring four or five staff members from different departments to execute the distribution.
In addition to that there were inconsistencies in terms of when the drop-off and then co-ordination would occur, which further impacted staff time but also the ability to manage the storage facilities. And public works staff had to haul off unwanted bikes and parts at the city 's expense and time after the distribution took place.
And there was no established point of contact at this organization to handle these concerns."

In response to this vague undocumented description, I made a Public Records Act last night to Collins and the City requesting:
"... access to all documents and notes (written, electronic, audio, or video) you consulted, referenced, or viewed in creating these claims.
This should include but not be limited to
(1) complaints to city staff from multiple departments that found the program burdensome
(2) any reports indicating that 4-5 staff members from different departments were required to execute the distribution
(3) inconsistencies in terms of when drop-off and then co-ordinating would occur
(4) any references to staff time impacted
(5) any references to difficulties in managing storage facilities
(6) any references to occasions where public work staff had to haul off unwanted bikes and parts
(7) any specifics about city's expenses and time on such occasions after the distribution took place
(8) any references documenting there was no established point of contact at the Bike Church to handle these concerns.
In addition please include any and all communications between the SCPD, staff, and council on this issue between July 2011 and January 2013. Prioritze the period between November 2011 and March 2012."

The City has 10 days to respond with documents or request a further delay to research them. It's hard to imagine why they'd need lots more time, since Collins presumably had the documents available when he created his report, unless he replied solely on police department verbal reports, staff gossip, and creative reporting.
Still it's notable that neither Steve Schnaar nor I were able to get any substantive records last year or the year before.
Meanwhile the number of bikes getting to children from the SCPD's stash is either reduced or (until the Teen Center begins its fractional distribution) non-existent.
Demonstrations of concern and/or outrage about this whole shady process don't need to wait another two years however--if folks are interested.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jan. 23rd, 2014, The Northbay Uprising Radio News Report

Tune in to the broadcast [link], Thursdays 4 to 5pm (PST), with news from across Northern California, produced by []! Broadcast to the San Pablo bay area courtesy of Ozcat Radio 89.5FM KZCT Vallejo. Join the Community Journalist program, send news & info to []. Know more with the Community Journalist's Notebook [link]!


2014 Poor People's Campaign kickoff in Sacramento! [link]

Worker Power! New magazine for organizing labor, for our rights, families and our communities! [link]

Hayward workers receive support from the Alameda County Labor Council and Democratic Party [link]

Medicinal Cannabis industry in Vallejo (2014-01 update) [link]

Vallejo Times-herald editor knowingly republishes mis-attributed propaganda from "Tea Party" sources [link]

Albany Bulb's Freeman's Library is destroyed [link]

Free 'em All! Albert Woodfox [link]
Albert's Birthday Reminder: Send Love, but not CDs or Stamps -
As Albert's 67th birthday approaches, on February 19, we want to remind supporters that he is not allowed to receive stamps or cds. Cards and messages are always the best gift, but if you want to send more, the best way is to give some funds to his account (#00072148) so he can buy stamps, cds or other personal items from the prison store. Through jpay, he can receive emails, although any photos sent will be black and white. If you send an email, jpay will ask if you want to pay extra for him to have money to respond via email. However, Albert is unfortunately not allowed to send email, so do not choose this option.
His mailing address is:
Albert Woodfox
David Wade Correctional Center, N1
A3 670 Bell Hill Rd.

Protect John Kiriakou! [link]

Solidarity for Will Parrish, a hero of Little Lake Valley! [link]

Save Richardson Grove! [link]

Solidarity against the repression of a community in Santa Rosa! [link]
Free David Douglass! [link] Free Ramon Cairo! [link]


Thursday Night at the PJC presents...
The Ultimate Betrayal 

Thursday, Jan. 23, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Hope Bohanec will share her book, The Ultimate Betrayal, and her research into the so-called 'sustainable' and 'humane' alternatives to the industrial production of animal products.
The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa

Andy Lopez Family Benefit
Friday, Jan 24, 4:30 to 10:00
Francisco Herrera, Gravity Hill, Cuyuy and others will perform!
KPFA and KBBF will be broadcasting live.
More details coming soon!
Arlene Francis Center, 99 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa

Commemorate the 41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade:
Still Fighting for Reproductive Rights!

Radical Women Meeting
Sunday, January 26, 3:00pm
Around the country, feminists continue to defend a woman's right to control her body. Get the latest updates and discuss why the fight for abortion rights needs a militant, multi-issue approach.
This meeting also features the campaign to Save City College of San Francisco from privatization. Learn how to get involved.
Hearty snacks, with vegetarian option, are available at 2:15pm for a $5.00 donation.
Everyone welcome. Wheelchair accessible.
All events will be held at New Valencia Hall
747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
7 blocks from the Civic Center BART station, and near the #19 and #31 Muni bus line
415-864-1278 • •

Occupy Sonoma County GMO Campaign
Monday, Jan. 27, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
We are opposed to unlabeled genetically mutated organisms in our food, harm to the environment from GMOs, and domination of the food industry by Monsanto and the GMO cartel. Join us for a monthly meeting of serious activists working together to stop GMOs.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa City Council Meeting of Special Interest to Those Concerned about the Andy Lopez Killing
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 4:00 p.m.
The Council will discuss the Civil Rights Commission recommendations and progress update. They will also discuss the Library Board and Community Advisory Board Grants.
Santa Rosa City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam
Tuesday, January 28, 7:30 - 9:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
"This deeply disturbing book provides the fullest documentation yet of the brutality and ugliness that marked America's war in Vietnam. No doubt some will charge Nick Turse with exaggeration or overstatement. Yet the evidence he has assembled is irrefutable." - Andrew J. Bacevich, Col, U.S.Army (Ret)
Nick Turse is a journalist, historian, managing editor for, and a fellow at the Nation Institute. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Nation. His investigations of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Hosted by Phillip Butler, PhD, a 1961 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former light-attack carrier pilot. In 1965 he was shot down over North Vietnam, where he spent eight years as a prisoner of war. A combat veteran awarded two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merits, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Heart medals, Butler is now a peace and justice activist with Veterans for Peace.
Co-Sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69 (SF), American Legion Post 315 (SF), and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162 (East Bay)
$12 advance tickets: [] [800-838-3006] or Pegasus (3 locations), Marcus Books, Moe's, Walden Pond, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway's Books, SF: Modern Times $15 door, KPFA benefit
Contact: Ken Preston, [] [510-967-4495]

Thursday, January 23, 2014

City of Fairfield recognizes union for part-time employees

"400 City of Fairfield Part-Time Employees Form Association with Northern California’s Largest Public Employees’ Union, SEIU 1021; City of Fairfield City Council Unanimously Approves Part-Time Employees’ Contract that Guarantees Fair Disciplinary Process for Workers"
2014-01-23 from "SEIU Local 1021" []:
Fairfield, CA – On Tuesday, January 21st, the City of Fairfield City Council voted unanimously to recognize the Fairfield Part-Time Employees Association (FPTEA) and to approve its members’ first contract with the City. The newly formed FPTEA represents approximately 400 part-time employees and is proud to be part of SEIU 1021, Northern California’s largest union of public employees. SEIU 1021 represents over 54,000 workers who help make Northern California cities, counties, special districts, and public healthcare facilities run.
The new contract covers part-time workers across the City of Fairfield, including the police department, community centers, the Allan Witt Aquatic Center and the City’s afterschool programs. The first-ever contract for City of Fairfield part-time workers guarantees a fair disciplinary process that would promote cooperation and communication between workers and Management. The grievance process would allow part-time workers to voice out their concerns and a way to have these concerns addressed fairly and expeditiously.
SEIU 1021 is leading the way in organizing temporary and part-time public employees and securing contracts that create greater workplace stability, benefits, and protections for all workers.
“This is a huge win for City of Fairfield workers,” said Susan Avent, a part-time instructional aide for Fairfield’s children’s programs. “It strengthens the partnership between part-time workers and the City and helps us come together to begin addressing the issues confronting part-time workers and the communities we serve.”
The addition of 400 workers is part of a wave of organizing victories for SEIU 1021 and California’s thriving labor movement. Last year, more than 1,200 workers joined SEIU 1021, while hundreds of thousands of workers have joined unions in the state of California in recent years.

Gorilla Advocacy in Santa Cruz for disabled rights to public transport

John Colby's Freedom of Information Campaign against Human Rights abuse in Santa Cruz [link]
* Santa Cruz retaliates against Human Rights advocate John Colby [link]
* Human Rights abuse in itty-bitty Santa Cruz [link]

"Request governing statutory and regulatory authorities supporting your position"
2014-01-23 letter from Dr. John Colby to Amy Bernstein, Director of Communications for the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation:
Dear Director Bernstein,
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's San Francisco staff have offered to determine what the actual jurisdiction for my civil rights complaints against the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District (SCMTD) and the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) about incidents which occurred and might still occur in relation to services (or denial thereof) by the SCMTD and SCPD's defending them by refusing to conduct necessary investigations therefore impeding my disabled homeless clients Ms. Laura Boyd and her 10 year old daughter Portia from exercising their disability rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and (potentially) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The initial incident:
The initial incident occurred on or about Tuesday, January 14, 2014 around 3:45 PM. Ms. Boyd reported to me that the window clerk took her money but denied her service to give her a disabled pass in return. When she demanded to speak to a supervisor, she was ganged up on by several SCMTD security guards harassing her, trying to chase her out of the Metro bus station. After she told them I was going to call the police, they scattered, then the supervisor came out with her pass and gave it to her. This was attempted theft, denial of services based upon disability and criminal harassment under color of law attacking Ms. Boyd's emotional disabilities, causing her extreme distress and making her fearful.

The second incident:
On or about both Tuesday and Wednesday, January 21 and 22, 2014, SCMTD ParaCruz staff refused to make a reasonable immediate disability accommodation so that Ms. Boyd could travel to the Main Soquel Drive Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) urgent care clinic where we believed (at the time) that she required tests to determine whether she had a pulmonary embolism — a life threatening condition. ParaCruz Dispatcher Daniel LNU and the female ParaCruz Transit dispatcher — who I can name later — working the night before denied Ms. Boyd and Portia a reasonable immediate disability accommodation when I called to schedule a ParaCruz ride for Ms. Boyd and Portia at or just after 5:05 PM.  I asked that an ADA coordinator speak to me after being denied this accommodation, as well as leaving two voicemails after speaking to Daniel LNU on Wednesday morning to SCMTD General Manager Les White asking him to call me ASAP to facilitate the accommodation I had requested. Not only did Mr. White never return my calls, but every SCMTD staff member I have left voicemails for has completely ignored me. This is both a denial of services impeding Ms. Boyd from exercising her disability rights, but is also a blatant refusal to accommodate Ms. Boyd's disabilities. I have never been allowed to speak to an ADA compliance officer at the SCMTD — I believe they are violating the ADA by not employing one.

By enabling this with your apparent obstruction in the copied email below, you might also be impeding me from gaining timely enforcement of their disability rights in violation of Section 504. To forestall a long process of Senator Feinstein's staff querying your agency and researching the applicable statutory and regulatory authorities governing this, I ask you to do the following to expedite civil rights complaints by the appropriate federal agencies.

Please cite the applicable statutory and regulatory authorities supporting your position that ADA and Section 504 complaints against the SCMTD and as I explained against the SCPD for their denial of services in not investigating the SCMTD — particularly by SCPD Officer Wes Hansen — are the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ). This will allow me to quickly file these complaints with the correct federal agency.

From my prior reading of the USDOJ's governing regulations for processing ADA and Section 504 complaints — which I know from filing Section 504 complaints against HUD's FHEO — I am certain you are misinformed.

Thank you for responding in writing ASAP so I may quickly perform my duties as a Gorilla Advocate for Ms. Boyd, her daughter Portia and other to be named parties. To understand what that means please inspect the following Facebook page as well as my LinkedIn profile:
* []
* []

Thank you for helping me enforce Ms. Boyd and Portia's civil rights (against the SCMTD and the SCPD) by fulfilling my request with the utmost urgency.
Respectfully yours, [signed] John E. Colby, Ph.D.

"CPRA request because I believe my client Laura Boyd was discriminated against by the SCMTD"
2014-01-14 message from Dr. John Colby to Les White, General Manager of the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District (SCMTD):
To let you know — if you don't know already — I filed an open U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) discrimination complaint against the City and County of Santa Cruz, as well as against the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD). They have forced me to become a Gorilla Advocate. To understand what that means please inspect the following Facebook page as well as my LinkedIn profile:
* []
* []
Santa Cruz County and City (as well as SCPD) officials are aware of this. Some are also aware that I have asked them to be named as respondents to this complaint.
This afternoon, on January 14, 2013, I believe around 3:45 PM, an incident occurred targeting Ms. Boyd at the Downtown Santa Cruz Metro Transit District (SCMTD) bus station. Not only do I believe employees of the SCMTD violated Ms. Boyd's civil rights — in apparent retaliation for my USDOJ complaint and aiding Ms. Boyd exercise her civil rights — but I also believe it involved attempted theft and criminal harassment. Since these employees seemed to be abusing their positions of authority, I believe these were color of law violations (which could be investigated by the FBI).
Considering these allegations, I ask for the following under the California Public Records Act (CPRA):
* a bio or other document containing the name, title, telephone number, fax number, email address and snail mail address for each of you and your civil rights compliance officer.
* a staff roster including the names and titles of every SCMTD employee.
* copies of your most current Section 504 (self) evaluation and transition plan, if applicable.
* the most current copies of all other SCMTD civil rights policies, guides, handbooks, certifications, evaluations and reviews.
I ask:
* if you determine that any or all or the information qualifies for an exemption from disclosure, to note whether, as is normally the case under the Act, whether the exemption is discretionary, and if so whether it is necessary in this case to exercise your discretion to withhold the information.
* in case you decide that any of the information is exempt, please explain how the interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.
* if you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, that you redact it for the time being (while citing the statutes exempting the redacted elements) and make the rest available as requested.
* if there is any information in these records which is private and you decide it is exempt information, yet it is in an otherwise disclosable document, please segregate the private information by redacting it (citing the statutes exempting the redacted elements), while providing me the rest of the unredacted record.
* If these records are available in an electronic format such as standard video, audio and image formats, MS Power Point (PPT), Apple Keynote, Portable Document Format (PDF), standard spreadsheet formats like MS Excel File Extension (XLS), MS Word Document (DOC), Hypertext Markup (HTM), any standard database format (like those listed here, Rich Text Format (RTF), plain electronic text (TXT) or native email formats — like AOL for Windows, Apple Mail, Claris Emailer, Compuserve, EML, Entourage, Eudora, Maldir, MBOX File, Mulberry, Neoplanet, Outlook, Outlook Express, Outspring, Powertalk, Quickmail Pro, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Yahoo Archive! — or as links to the Internet then I ask that they be provided to me in one of those forms, preferably in their native format.
* I am willing to pay a fee of up to $35 for this request. If you estimate the cost of completing this request will exceed that amount, please contact me first before completing it with a fee estimate. If this request would entail special searches which would incur search fees to me, please contact me first with a fee estimate.

In the public interest — because I plan to provide these records to the news media, constituency services staff for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congress, Governor Jerry Brown, the California state legislature, state and federal agencies and investigators, as well as posting them on these Facebook groups:
* []
* []
* []
* []
I ask you to waive all applicable exemptions and applicable fees (for search, retrieval, redaction and duplication). I especially ask you to waive any and all fees because the County and City of Santa Cruz's discrimination against Ms. Boyd and her 10 year old daughter Portia forced me to pay about $220 — from my own monthly SSDI income — for three days/nights in a disabled room at the Pacific Inn in Santa Cruz ( To date, I have not been reimbursed for this.
Please confirm receipt of this CPRA request via email.
Thank you for fulfilling my CPRA request to help me assist Ms. Boyd in exercising her civil rights as well as any other legal rights guaranteed her. Thank you for providing me evidence for: the USDOJ, the FBI, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), Governor Jerry Brown, the California Department of Justice, CalTrans, the state and federal legislatures, and for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's constituency services staff.
Sincerely yours, [signed] John E. Colby, Ph.D.

"Confirm receipt of CPRA request because I believe Laura Boyd was discriminated against by the SCMTD and SCPD"
2014-01-18 message from Dr. John Colby to Rebecca J. Daniel, Paralegal to Margaret Gallagher of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District:
To let you know — if you don't know already — I filed an open U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) discrimination complaint against the City and County of Santa Cruz, as well as against the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD).
SCPD Officer Wes Hansen — likely instructed by his supervisors — has refused to investigate my and Ms. Boyd's allegations about criminal harassment and potential hate bias crimes against her based upon her disabilities by Santa Cruz Metro Transit District (SCMTD) employees. SCPD Officer Leonardo Gomez  — probably instructed by his supervisors too — denied Ms. Boyd an investigation of criminal harassment and potential hate bias crimes which occurred at the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory Winter Shelter. These seem to be retaliation for my filing a USDOJ complaint against the SCPD. These are apparent color of law violations by SCPD officers and their supervisors — crimes which I will lobby the U.S. Senate to force the FBI to investigate.

On behalf of Ms. Boyd these blatant denials of service — violating sworn duties to serve and protect — will not be tolerated!
The discrimination against Ms. Boyd continues to escalate.
They have forced me to become a Gorilla Advocate. To understand what that means please inspect the following Facebook page as well as my LinkedIn profile:
* []
* []
After hearing both sides of the story, I believe SCMTD employees violated Ms. Boyd's civil rights as well as committing color of law violations (which I will lobby the U.S. Senate to force the FBI to investigate). To facilitate filing more civil rights and color of law complaints on Ms. Boyd's behalf (against the SCMTD and the SCPD), I need the records I requested in the copied email below.
I have left you two voicemails about this with no response — this request is time expedient. Please confirm receipt immediately or inform me that I must resend the email. Also provide me a fax number to transmit it to.
Thank you for helping me enforce Ms. Boyd's civil rights (against the SCMTD and the SCPD) by providing me the records I require to file more civil rights complaints on her behalf with the appropriate state and federal agencies.
Sincerely yours, [signed] John E. Colby, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hayward workers receive support from the Alameda County Labor Council and Democratic Party

"City of Hayward: Alameda County Dem Party, Labor Council pass resolutions supporting SEIU 1021 Hayward workers"
2013-01-22 from SEIU 1021 newswire:
Following more than 12 months and limited support from elected Hayward officials to reach a fair contract with their employees, on January 8 the Alameda County Democratic Party passed a resolution to stand by Hayward workers and to push for the contract dispute to be resolved.
The Alameda County Labor Council also passed a resolution in December that says it will not endorse any current members running for Hayward City Council until they resolve a fair contract with employees.
Hayward City Council incumbents are Democrats, and the county Democratic Party Committee plays a key role in advancing democratic issues while the Alameda Labor Council mobilizes around people and issues they support. Both groups are key to the success of Democratic candidates.
The Democratic Party resolution will be read tonight during the Hayward City Council meeting. Workers will also present more than 2,000 signatures from the community.

Worker Power! New magazine for organizing labor, for our rights, families and our communities!

"Arm yourself for 2014, with SEIU 1021!"
2013-01-22 message from Roxanne Sanchez, SEIU 1021 President:
The rights and protections we have fought decades to achieve are under relentless attack. Our employers are emboldened by the growing aggressiveness and arrogance of well-financed corporate interests.
To win for our families and our communities, we must fight smarter and more strategically with the best weapon we have: the strength and solidarity of our 54,000-member-strong union.
We win when we take back our power at work. We win when we turn back the tide of concessions and improve standards. We win when we stand with our allies in the community and fight for social and economic justice.
This year, we battled bad bosses, we won better contracts, and we began changing public opinion, one campaign at a time.
This year we saw all of 1021 speaking up against anti-union tactics, holding firm our beliefs as well as our picket lines across Northern California. Battle-tested, we end 2013 and enter 2014 with a renewed sense of purpose and spirit.
The Labor Movement is alive and well in 1021. Our weapon -- our ability to act collectively, with vision and conviction - will continue to bring us victories.
From the debut issue of "Worker Power" -- SEIU 1021's new quarterly newsletter. Stories in Issue 1 include:
* Standing Up to Privatization: Our schools, our communities, and our jobs are not for sale
* Winning Public Opinion One Campaign at a Time
* Defending Collective Bargaining Rights in California: How BART workers are taking a stand against union busting
Look for it soon at your worksite.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vallejo Times-herald editor knowingly republishes mis-attributed propaganda from "Tea Party" sources

"Social state recipe"
2014-01-21 from "Vallejo Times-Herald":
Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was born in Chicago and was drawn into the world of Chicago gangsters in the 1930s. he held society responsible for creating criminals because criminality was a result of social environment (particularly the system of private property and individual rights), not a character problem.
He believed a revolutionary's purpose should be to undermine society by taking power from the Haves and giving it to the Have-nots. To accomplish this, the ends justifies the means, without exception. Since his book, Rules for Radicals, was published in 1971, it has served as an effective recipe to change our country in ways we would never have expected.
How To Create A Social State, by Saul Alinsky
There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education – Take control of what
people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor
[signed] Earl Heal, Vallejo

"How to create a socialist dictatorship by Saul Alinsky...Obama and Hillary's hero."
2014-01-19 from []:  
There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education – Take control of what
people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Poor People's Campaign kickoff in Sacramento!

Power to the people! and not just our people, but ALL PEOPLE!
We are the ones will change this world.
Join us on Saturday January 18th at 11am at Crocker Park for the Poor People's Campaign!
(Photo by Jay'Riah Thomas)

MLK March..6 miles A marchar se dijo! Qué viva Dr. King!
(photo by Brown Berets De SacrAztlán)

(photo by Goya Gutierrez)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Korea's fascist vanguards in the USA

Militant anti-Unionists, coordinated with the USA State Department and with the government of South Korea, attacked labor union activists in San Francisco, January 17th, 2014, during a labor union solidarity gathering for workers in South Korea being attacked, kidnapped and tortured by the South Korean government.

"SF South Korean Consulate on 1/17 was disrupted by the Consulate"
On January 17th, 2014, the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee held a rally at the South Korean Consulate in San Francisco in defense of the Korean Rail Workers Union (KRWU). In retaliation, the South Korean Consulate, in cooperation with the US State Department, mobilized conservative Koreans and veterans from the North West Korean American Veterans Association to disrupt the rally.
The right-wing Koreans chanted "We Love Park Geun-hye", "Unions Suck", "Go Back to North Korea" and "Kill the Communists" and physically threatened a Korean union supporter. The Consulate also orchestrated media coverage from sympathetic journalists.
The KRWU waged the longest rail strike in South Korean history in December 2013 against a privatization drive by the right-wing government of Park Geun-hye. The Park government declared the strike illegal, put out arrest warrants for the union leadership and forced them into hiding.
On December 22nd, 2013, the Park government then assaulted the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) with 5,000 police, who used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters. 120 unionists were arrested and the government succeeded in breaking the strike. Arrest warrants are still out for the union leadership and the government intends to continue with the privatization drive.
A General Strike has been called by the KCTU for February 25th. Another rally in support of Korean workers will take place in San Francisco at the Consulate on that same day.

[Original Announcement]
1/17 Solidarity Rally For Korean Railway Workers Union KRWU Against Union Busting And Privatization Of KORAIL
 Friday January 17, 2014 @ 4:00 PM
 Korean Consulate @ 3500 Clay St./Laurel St. San Francisco
In early December 2013 over 4,000 Korean railway workers of KORAIL went on strike to stop privatization. The Park government suspended the railway workers and sought to arrest the leaders. They also raided the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KCTU and arrested 137 trade unionists.
On December 31, the KRWU railroad workers returned to work with a promise that there would be a government legislative investigation about the privatization of the public railways. At the same time the government continues to seek the arrest of the union leaders and is also preparing to sue the striking union members personally.
The KCTU has called for general assemblies against this union busting, privatization and for the resignation of the  President Park Guenhye’s administration on January 9 and January 18. The Korean government is also attacking the right of public teachers and public workers from even organizing a union.
The US government with the Korea US Free Trade Agreement KORUS is seeking to privatize the public industries and also deregulate the economy. The Trans Pacific Partnership TPP is  being pushed by the Obama administration to allow the multi-nationals and banks to buy up Korea and other countries in Asia along with a new militarization including the construction of a military naval base on JeJu Island in Korea.
Northern California trade unionists, labor activists and human rights activists will be rallying in solidarity with the Korean railway workers to demand. We demand Hands Off The Korean Workers!
This action will co-incide with the KCTU called general assembly. Bring your union banners and placards.
* Stop Repression and Arrests of Korean Railway Trade Unionists
* Stop KORAIL Privatization and Down With President Park Guenhye’s administration
* Support The KCTU-KRWU General Strikes
* Stop The US-Korea Remilitarization and JeJu Naval Base
Initiated by The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, Endorsed by United Public Workers For Action [], Transport Workers Solidarity Committee [], ANSWER Bay Area, Labor Video Project, Facts For Working People, Workers World, Peace And Freedom Party San Francisco

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Medicinal Cannabis industry in Vallejo (2014-01 update)

"Vallejo pot dispensaries return to the spotlight"
2014-01-16 by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Visitors to Highway 29 Health Care are met with a reception desk and a lime green-walled waiting room furnished with plush chairs, the aroma of incense and the soft bubbling of a small aquarium.
Art DeMarco, who took control of the existing Sonoma Boulevard medical marijuana dispensary in May, sits in a nearby office. While he is relatively new to Vallejo, it has not taken the East Coast native long to get his bearings in the city and identify the positives and negatives of the medical marijuana here.
"(Vallejo is) losing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue," DeMarco explains as he scrolls on his tablet through an online listing of fellow medical marijuana dispensaries he believes are new and not paying city taxes.
DeMarco is not alone in his conclusion that Vallejo needs to pay better attention to the industry, though not all see the issue from the same vantage point.
The city is drafting potential medical marijuana dispensary regulations, while a November 2011 voter-approved 10 percent tax on marijuana sales is frozen for incoming dispensary operators. As a series of police raids and closures in early 2012 have faded from memory, dispensaries appear to beginning to crowd back into the city once again.
City Planning Manager Andrea Ouse, who is spearheading efforts to draft zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, said she sees the trend, but offered no explanation for it. Regulation proposals remain at an undetermined point on the horizon, Ouse acknowledged.
"We're seeing a rash of illegal dispensaries popping up." Ouse said Wednesday. "For some reason there's an uptick."
Exactly how many new dispensaries have set up shop is unclear.
Also unclear is which department is responsible for enforcing the medical marijuana industry in Vallejo -- code enforcement, the city attorney's office, the police department, the finance department or otherwise. Ouse said she is working on establishing an enforcement team that can sort this issue out.
Such enforcement is overdue, DeMarco believes. The problem, for both he and several other "established" dispensaries, is that not everyone is playing by the same rules while the city figures out its game plan.
When the tax moratorium was instituted last year, DeMarco and a handful of other dispensary operators were grandfathered in under existing city business license fees and taxes. While that status provides negligible protection in the eyes of the city -- which considers all dispensaries banned under current zoning laws -- many operators are holding fast to the licenses for whatever legitimacy they do provide.
On Tuesday, DeMarco went before the Vallejo City Council with his concerns, after failing to make headway with city officials.
"We're very concerned about the number of unlicensed dispensaries that are operating in the city, as they are undercutting the amount of tax revenue we are able to generate through unfair operations," DeMarco told the council. "Many of these unlicensed operations lack the cleanliness and transparency necessary to operate following the California state laws, and to provide our patients with safe access."
California Herbal Relief Center executive director Sean Dwyer raised similar concerns in an email sent to the Times-Herald in October.
"This not only makes it unfair for legitimate business people in the same industry, but it robs the people of Vallejo of the tax money that they demanded when they voted Measure C into law," Dwyer wrote.
For Stacey Parmenter, whose street is half outside city limits in Solano County and half in-city, her latest neighbor's arrival got her steaming mad.
The arrival this week of Vallejo Patients Care at the end of Warren Avenue -- previously the home of Stan the Man's Collective -- was enough to convince Parmenter to send an email blast out to the council.
"Please be aware that we -- the people that actually live on this street -- do not want a pot dispensary in our neighborhood," Parmenter's email read in part. "The city needs to have a lot more regulations for these awful establishments -- they should not be allowed in residential neighborhoods, near schools, churches, etc. and people to be clearly warned ahead of time."
In a subsequent interview, Parmenter said she would prefer to have the state establish uniform dispensary regulations, rather than each city coming up with its own.
Parmenter added that she believes that even if her new neighboring dispensary is not run by the same people as the former Stan the Man's, there are several familiar faces working there. Vallejo won a nuisance injunction against the prior dispensary in early 2012, forcing the business to close its doors.
Alexian Nguyen, listed as Vallejo Patients Care's corporate agent, said by phone this week that his dispensary is unrelated to Stan the Man's.
"The city needs to have a team that is paid by these taxes and regulate the hell out of these (dispensaries)," Parmenter said.

"All should obey the law"
published 2014-01-19 in the "Vallejo Times-Herald":
Your recent story, "Vallejo pot dispensaries return to the spotlight" did a good job of bringing attention to the problems that some of the best medical marijuana dispensaries in Vallejo are facing as the struggle to do business and serve medical patients while also creating good jobs and tax revenue for the city.
As an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5 Cannabis Division, I am familiar with the challenges facing both our union members and their employers in our states' legal medical cannabis industry. UFCW5 represents workers at the Vallejo Holistic Health Center and we have a recognition agreement in place with Highway 29 Health Care, the dispensary you focused on in your story.
The dispensaries we work with are all pledged to our industry code of conduct to; "obey the law; provide excellence in service to our patient members; provide dignity equality and opportunity to our employees; and dedicate our operations to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility in the communities in which we operate." This includes paying California's 8.5 percent state sales tax and the Vallejo city 10 percent tax on retail medical marijuana sales.
Regardless of one's personal opinions on cannabis, I think we can all agree that it is unfair when businesses that pay their taxes and provide good jobs should not have to compete with businesses that are not paying taxes and have a questionable commitment to standards.
Our union has had several good meetings to date with Vallejo officials regarding new city regulations being developed and the best industry practices that are successfully working in other California cities. I appreciate your reporting that has helped illuminate these issues.
[signed] Brian Webster
UFCW5 / Special Projects Union
Representative, Medical Cannabis and He,p
Division Campaign

"City needs to act"
published 2014-01-19 in the "Vallejo Times-Herald":
vallejo city officials have nobody but themselves to blame for the lack of government oversight or clear regulations regarding the city's medical marijuana faciltiies ("Vallejo pot dispensaries return to spotlight," Jan. 16).
California law has permitted the possession and procurement of theraputic cannabis since November 1996. Yet, nearly 18 years later, city officials acknowledge: "[It is] unclear which department is responsible for enforcing the medical marijuana industry in Vallejo" and that "Regulation proposals remain at an undetermined point on the horizon."
It is a testament to failed political leadership that lawmakers are still hiding their collective heads in the sand rather than exhibiting the courage to fulfill voters' mandate and regulate this substance appropriately.
Prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries and/or continuing to ignore the issue will not eliminate or even dissipate the existing cannabis market in Vallejo. But continued inaction will eliminate any opportunity for local officials to either regulate or provide oversight to this market.
Regulations allow for the government to establish legal parameters pertaining to where, when and how markets operate. Reguations also provide oversight regarding who may legally operate in said markets and provides guidelines so that those who can engage in best practices.
City officials should insist on the imposition of clear, concise, and common sense local regulations to provide oversight and necessary guidance to medical marijuana operators, patients, law enforcement, and the general public. Such oversight is long overdue.
[signed] Paul Armentano, Vallejo