Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Santa Cruz housing disabled houseless people into an unsafe and unheated former National Guard building

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]

"Santa Cruz City/County won't accommodate Laura Boyd and her 10 yr. old nor 1500+ freezing (disabled) homeless people"
2014-01-10 letter from Dr. John Colby to Dana McRae, Santa Cruz County Counsel:
Dear Ms. McRae,
I am placing you on notice that I plan to add Ms. Laura Boyd as a victim to my open U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) discrimination complaint against the City/County of Santa Cruz and the Homeless Services Center (HSC) and if necessary add you, Ms. Dann, Ms. Conway and unknown individuals in your County Environmental Health Office, as well as County Health Services Agency Director Nguyen, as respondents to this complaint.
I suspect the City and County of Santa of Santa Cruz are retaliating against Ms. Boyd for her association with me while I am exposing fraud, corruption and civil rights violations by the City and County of Santa Cruz with regards to your financial dealings with fraudulent nonprofits like the (Santa Cruz) Citizens Committee for the Homeless and the organization calling itself "Community Solutions" which operates the illegitimate nationwide 100,000 Homes Campaign. You have refused to respond to my last three Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for evidence of fraud, corruption and civil rights violations by the County of Santa Cruz and its sub(contractors): you are stomping all over my FOI rights in violation of state law, apparently to impede my (civil rights) advocacy.
The HSC and the Homeless Persons Health Project have a track record of retaliating against disabled homeless people I have represented — please see the articles referenced by the links below:
* [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/11/18715157.php]
* [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/07/17/18717656.php]
* [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/09/02/18720869.php]
* [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/09/05/18721031.php]
That said, currently 1500+ unsheltered homeless people risk freezing to death during this winter's cold snaps in the City and County of Santa Cruz. Please refer to the campaign to bring warming centers to Santa Cruz which has been almost completely ignored by the Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. Information about this campaign is linked to below: [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/08/18748939.php].
Consider that Washington D.C. guarantees every homeless person a warm shelter bed by law when the temperatures drop beneath freezing, as described below: [http://www.voanews.com/content/dc-provides-homeless-shelter-from-cold-136742213/163691.html].
Why haven't the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz City Council passed similar laws?

My immediate concerns:
Ms. Laura Boyd — who I represent and advocate for — was recently diagnosed at Dominican Hospital's Emergency Department with COPD with acute exacerbation and dyspnea. She received inhalers and an anti–biotic but the treatment hasn't been working (http://tinyurl.com/md2gkvc).
On December 23, 2013, Dr. Joseph Molinaro at the Westside Urgent Care of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic (PAMF) wrote that Ms. Boyd must remain in a warm environment and asked that she be accommodated (http://tinyurl.com/kmvkpjb). These records are attached as PDFs.
The Santa Cruz Winter Armory Shelter — run as a program by the HSC (http://scshelter.org/index.php?page=hsc-programs) — is either unheated, the heating is inadequate for human habitation (especially for disabled people like Ms. Boyd and her 10 year old daughter Portia), or the HSC refuses to run adequate heating to cut corners and save money.
This hazardous lack of warmth at the Santa Cruz Winter Armory has severely impacted Ms. Boyd's health and contradicts the recommendation of Dr. Molinaro at PAMF. Ms. Boyd complains almost daily to me that the lack of heat is killing her, that she can't breath, and that she feels that if she doesn't gain warmth soon she will die.
I reported the hazardous lack of warmth to your County Office of Environmental Health yesterday, but they never answer their phone and haven't called me back. I don't believe they will do anything to enforce health and safety standards at the Santa Cruz Winter Armory because they are beholden to County politicians and bureaucrats who fund the HSC, politicians and bureaucrats who don't even seem to care about the 1500+ freezing homeless people without shelter in the Santa Cruz County.
By last Monday, January 06, 2013, I brought this issue up with Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Don Lane, believing because he is the most compassionate Santa Cruz politician towards the homeless — unlike Mayor Lynn Robinson who supports groups, policies and laws which cruelly punish and criminalize homelessness (earning her the nickname "Rattlesnake Robinson" by Santa Cruz activist Robert Norse) — that he could easily coax the HSC to make an immediate, reasonable disability accommodation for Ms. Boyd (and her 10 year old daughter Portia who suffers from chronic asthma and also has a respiratory infection). I thought that buying a portable space heater like the one I recently bought for about $45  — which could be reused to accommodate other disabled people like Ms. Boyd and Portia — could be easily accomplished with Vice Mayor Lane's support.
On or about January 07, 2013, I left telephone messages on both HSC Director Monica Martinez and HSC Director of Operations Alyssa Willet's voicemail, explaining to both of them Ms. Boyd's (and Portia's) need for the space heater accommodation, asking them to inform me what they were doing or not doing to facilitate it. I asked the operator to officially log these calls so there should be records of them, unless they were illegally destroyed.
Please the copied emails which Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Don Lane sent to me last Monday and last Tuesday, January 6th and 7th of 2014.
Three days later — as of yesterday January 09, 2013 — no portable space heater had been provided to accommodate Ms. Boyd (and Portia).
Yesterday afternoon, I kicked the issue from Lane to you and Supervisor Neal Coonerty's analyst Rachel Dann, as well as to County Housing Programs Manager Julie Conway, leaving voice messages for all of you because you all refuse to field my telephone calls. I have received no replies.
The City and County of Santa Cruz as well as the HSC have displayed and continue to display a cruelly callous culture of abuse, neglect and discrimination towards not only the general homeless population, but especially towards disabled homeless people.
It's ridiculous that I must bring in the federal government gorilla to force the local government gorillas to provide a disabled person whose health is rapidly deteriorating and may be hospitalized because of it a $45 portable space heater. I am only a Gorilla Advocate because local government has forced me to be one: [https://www.facebook.com/GorillaAdvocacyInc]

* Immediately rectify the lack of safe, adequate heating — a health and safety violation — at the Santa Cruz Winter Armory Shelter.
* Force the HSC to provide portable space heaters for not only Ms. Boyd and Portia, but for every disabled homeless beneficiary who requires one.
* Enforce the nondiscrimination requirements of your contracts and grants with the HSC.
Require HSC staff and leaders to undergo training in disability issues and in adhering to the state and federal Fair Housing Acts (FHA's), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
* Require HSC Director Monica Martinez to personally apologize to Ms. Boyd and Portia for the suffering her agency has caused them.
* Immediately (warmly) house the 1500+ freezing, unsheltered homeless persons in the County of Santa Cruz by emergency decree.

Thank you for rectifying the County's past discrimination against disabled homeless people by meeting my demands ahead of an enforcement action by the USDOJ.
Sincerely yours, [signed] John E. Colby, Ph.D.
"Heater question", 2014-01-06 message from Don Lane, Vice Mayor for the City of Santa Cruz, to Dr. John Colby: Dr. Colby, I sent a message to my staff contact at HSC. They told me they will be inquiring with the Armory program manager (who will in turn need to speak to the National Guard facility manager) about the issue of using a plug in heater. As soon as I hear back from someone, I will let you know what they said. Thanks, [signed] Don
"Have not heard anything yet", 2014-01-07 message from Don Lane, Vice Mayor for the City of Santa Cruz, to Dr. John Colby: Dr. Colby, I have not heard anything from the staff person at HSC yet. The National Guard bureaucracy can sometimes take a bit of time to respond. Thanks, [signed] Don

"Memorializing January 21, 2014 conversation with Santa Cruz County Counsel Dana McRae's receptionist"2014-01-21 message from Dr. John Colby to Dana McRae, Santa Cruz County Counsel:
Dear Ms. McRae,
For purposes of documentation and to inform interested parties, I am memorializing (parts) of my conversation this afternoon with your receptionist, because you were away from your desk.
* I informed your receptionist, as per the copied email below from Homeless Services Center (HSC) Executive Director Monica Martinez, that the HSC has retained legal counsel, as well as directing me to her as their representative.
* While I welcomed this as a potentially beneficial step for my client Ms. Laura Boyd (and her 10 year old daughter Portia), I also indicated that I cannot, in general, communicate with their counsel because I am not an attorney as well.
* I informed your receptionist that I would be using you as a liaison between me and their counsel, since you are a public servant.
* I said I hoped their counsel was intelligent, so that Ms. Boyd's disabilities (as well as Portia Boyd's Fair Housing rights) would be observed in compliance with the applicable state and federal nondiscrimination laws. Specifically, I said that the heating at the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory Winter Shelter must be run each night, and that the HSC must ensure no-one abuses Ms. Boyd, because that could trigger serious medical consequences.
* I said I was relieved that finally my pleas were being heard, (and hopefully will be responded to).
* But as I told California Senate consultant Mark Stivers on the telephone this afternoon, we are not out of the woods by any means. There is still much more to do to safeguard Ms. Boyd's and many other's health and safety at the Armory and other HSC shelters as well as addressing discrimination by other homeless services providers on the HSC campus.
* Additionally there still remains the question of providing warm shelter for 1500+ — many disabled  — freezing homeless people in the County of Santa Cruz during this winter's cold snaps. Refer to this recent news article from the Good Times Weekly: [http://www.gtweekly.com/index.php/santa-cruz-news/santa-cruz-environmental-news/5336-out-in-the-cold.html]
* I informed your receptionist that I had contacted some attorneys, but had not yet obtained counsel, nor am I guaranteeing that I will obtain counsel (at this time).

Thank you for noting these items. If you disagree, please dispute them with me and the carbon copied parties.
[signed] John Colby
"HSC Representative", 2014-01-21 message from Monica Martinez, Executive Director for the Homeless Services Center, to Dr. John Colby: Mr. Colby, The only person authorized to speak with you on behalf of the Homeless Services Center is our appointed representative Marsha Shanle. Please make no further contact with any HSC staff. Marsha Shanle can be reached at: [wrslaw-mbs@pacbell.net] [P.O. Box 1119, Santa Cruz, CA 95061].
Sincerely, [signed] Monica Martinez, Executive Director, Homeless Services Center [115 Coral Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060] [www.scshelter.org]

"Armory parcel etc."
2014-01-31 from Gulla Gisladottir [Gulla.Gisladottir@santacruzcounty.us] to Dr. John Colby:
Hi John,
I got your message, but am not quite clear on exactly what you are asking for.
Parcel 00944102 has been owned by the city as far back as our records go, so I don’t have any further information on ownership.
If you could list the other items you are interested in an email, that would be very helpful.
Thanks, [signed] Gulla

"Santa Cruz must explain growing scandal about the National Guard Armory"
2014-02-18 message from John Colby to Bren Lehr, Santa Cruz City Clerk Administrator [809 Center Street, Room 9, Santa Cruz, California 95060] [831.420.5030] [BLehr@cityofsantacruz.com]:
Dear Ms. Lehr, I am writing to determine:
* Why the Santa Cruz County Assessor's Office claims their records show — as far back as they are recorded — that the City of Santa Cruz owned and still owns the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory?
* Why the Santa Cruz County Recorder's Office has no recorded deeds for the National Guard Armory?
* Why the City of Santa Cruz (mis)represented to HUD in its Annual Action Plans for HUD block grants that the State of California owned the National Guard Armory?
* Why City officials are ignoring phone calls from the California Military Department about this?
* Why County Supervisor Neil Coonerty refuses to require the County Assessor and the County Recorder's Offices to explain to state and federal law enforcement agencies why their records are incomplete while hiding fundamental information from the public and the news media?
* Who is responsible for housing (disabled) homeless people in an armory meant as a parking garage for tanks — never meant for human occupancy?
* Why Santa Cruz County Housing Programs Manger Julie Conway claimed to me that the National Guard * Armory was unsuitable for human habitation, that it should be shut down?
* Who is responsible for (disabled) homeless people being (illegally) housed in a "sick building"?
* Who will be held accountable for the many people who became ill — even died — from being housed at the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory Winter Shelter?

A California state official called me last week, requesting that I submit a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request for certain records regarding the ownership and operation or the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory to the City of Santa Cruz.
Clearly, the City is not providing state officials with answers to the questions I posed, so they are turning to me, a Gorilla Advocate, because they know I will provide them the true story (substantiated with public records). They know the City of Santa Cruz is opaque, evasive and deceitful — the City has been able (until now) to evade accountability for its crimes..

Considering all this, I ask for the following under the CPRA:
* all records related to ownership of the property on which the National Guard Armory is located, dating back to 1900.
* all permits for this property, dating back to 1900.
* all environmental site assessments for this property (and its improvements), dating back to 1900.
* all site inspections, reviews, reports, and evaluations for this property (and its improvements), dating back to 1900.
* all code enforcement, compliance, occupancy, health and safety inspections, reviews, reports and evaluations (as well as any citations), dating back to 1900.
* all covenants for use of this property, dating back to 1900.
* all insurance policies. agreements, contracts, understandings and reports for this property, dating back to 1900.
* all zoning records related to this property (and its improvements), dating back to 1900.
* all records from/to any title agency related to this property, dating back to 1900.
* all contracts, agreements and understandings about the use and operations of this property (and its improvements), dating back to 1900.

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_formats#Database), 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 $40 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, Congress, Governor Jerry Brown, the California state legislature, state and federal agencies and investigators, as well as posting them on these Facebook groups:
* [https://www.facebook.com/groups/OpenTransparentAccountableGovernment/]
* [https://www.facebook.com/groups/SantaCruzWhistleBlowers/]
* [https://www.facebook.com/groups/DisabledHomelessAdvocacy/]
* [https://www.facebook.com/groups/CitizensForPositiveChangeinSC/]

I ask you to waive all applicable exemptions and applicable fees (for search, retrieval, redaction and duplication).  I especially ask you to waive all fees because discriminatory acts by the City of Santa Cruz and its contractors forced me to pay about $300 from my January SSDI payment to house Laura Boyd and her 10 year old daughter Portia — both disabled — in a disabled guest room at the Pacific Inn on Ocean Street. As of mid last month, I only had about $6 in my checking account — I was forced to borrow a payday loan to cover these costs, placing my finances in debt. Last week I borrowed another payday loan for food, medicines, supplies for my emotional assistance cats and to pay my delinquent Medicaid premiums.
Please confirm receipt of this CPRA request immediately via fax and email.

To show that the City, its staff and its leaders are willing to come clean about their roles in the apparent fraud and injuries caused to (disabled) homeless people sheltering at the Santa Cruz National Guard Armory — additional to providing essential evidence of crimes against humanity as well as crimes against the taxpayers for state and federal law enforcement agencies — I ask you to fulfill my request in its entirety without obstruction, evasion, duplicity and trickery.
Thank you for helping me enforce the human/civil rights of numerous injured (disabled) homeless people, as well as gaining accountability for the taxpayers.
Sincerely yours, [signed] John E. Colby, Ph.D.

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