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Israel

The Israeli Dog vs. The Arab Dog

I suppose U mean b/c Israel has nukes, & the Arab Countries keep planning these wars against it. Because of that? So what is to be done?  (Feb 12, 2014 | post #3)

Santa Cruz, CA

UC Santa Cruz goes smoke-free in January

UCSC has banned all tobacco products including snuff & chewing tobacco. However, patches, nicotine gum, or prescription oral nicotine will remain legal, in what has to be a big give-away to the pharmaceutical companies who are making bank on smoking cessation programs that largely don't work. In what has to be the most unscientific conclusion ever, UCSC admin. has also banned electronic cigarettes which have no more smoke and no less nicotine than all the products sold by the drug companies combined. Electronic cigarettes and the Swedish product, Snus, provide a 95% harm reduction from smoking cigarettes. Their use should not be banned, but promoted due to their potential impact on public health. Expect some lawsuits shortly.  (Jan 17, 2014 | post #3)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

Here is the link: http://santacruzcr ime.com/2013/10/17 /santa-cruz-attrac ts-homeless/commen t-page-1/#comment- 7  (Nov 18, 2013 | post #159)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

I just posted this on the SantaCruzCrime.org website: Michael, thanks for your exhaustive data intended to “prove” that our homelessness problem arises from homeless people migrating here in order to live on our streets. But your data prove just the opposite: Only 13% of our homeless population came from out of state. 72% last has housing in Santa Cruz County (see: Homeless Census & Survey 2013) which is up 10 percent from the 2009 survey you quoted. This is still slightly higher than in San Mateo, Santa Clara, or Monterrey Counties, but not significantly. The big news is that Santa Cruz County has slipped drastically in the % of our homeless population which we shelter. Our rate of 18% sheltered is one of the lowest in the country. The OTHER big news is that the City of Santa Cruz suffered a huge increase of 28% in the number of persons enumerated as homeless. Clearly the police & public works “crack downs” which the City paid for and implemented have, if anything, made the problem worse. Finally, why is it so damn important that you distinguish between OUR homeless and someone ELSE’S homeless? Aren’t they all people? Isn’t it obvious that they are in need? Why haven’t we been able to do a better job of helping these people with housing, medical needs, food, job opportunities, and counseling? Are we cheap? Or are we prejudiced? I can’t think of any other possible reason. Thank-you for your thoughtful research.  (Nov 18, 2013 | post #158)

Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz council OKs recycling, scrap metal scrutiny

This blatant attempt to shut down recycling facilities should be called out for what it is: an attack on poor and homeless people driven by myths and prejudice Taking recyclables out of the blue bins is already theft. No one is arguing in favor of theft! In the past, HUFF has argued that homeowners should be ALLOWED to let homeless recyclers take cans & bottles out of their blue bins. However, the law doesn't allow for this. Richelle Naroyan's argument appears to be that since homeless people only use money for alcohol or drugs (or needles) then we should shut down the centers to frustrate them. Small problems: State law prohibits this for good reason No stats were presented. No police reports. No list of complaints. Just a bunch of NIMBYesque neighbors who can't stand the sight of a homeless person in their neighborhood. How they can publicly and openly argue that homeless people who are gathering and turning in cans & bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills, or worse, in our roadside ditches & waterways should be denied pay for that work is beyond comprehension.  (Nov 17, 2013 | post #29)

Santa Cruz, CA

Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC

CORRECTION: In my last post I wrote :I was acquitted for my arrest for HOLDING A SIGN UP OUTSIDE OF AN OCCUPIED BANK BUILDING. BECKY: I was never tried for this "crime." All charges were dropped at my preliminary hearing for lack of evidence. DA Bob Lee can refile charges against me for up to 3 years.  (Nov 5, 2013 | post #121)

Santa Cruz, CA

Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC

NORSE has been arrested about 30 times. He's been convicted of a number of "crimes" too. He's been convicted twice for crossing the street. Once for singing. Once for "trespassing " at the PUBLIC Metro Transit Center, and once for playing a TV on a public sidewalk (there is an exception in the code for playing a radio or TV). He was convicted of occupying vacant housing on behalf of homeless people in the Presidio with Sister Bernie Galvin. He was convicted & spent 28 days in jail for serving free food (and a lovely garden salad) to homeless people in San Francisco with Food Not Bombs. He was arrested for felony vandalism & misdemeanor trespass over the occupation of the vacant bank bldg. at 75 River St. After 11 months of facing charges, dozens of court appearances, all charges were dropped for lack of evidence. Is NORSE a criminal? I don't think so. I, myself have been convicted for hopscotching & for singing. I was acquitted for my arrest for HOLDING A SIGN UP OUTSIDE OF AN OCCUPIED BANK BUILDING.  (Nov 5, 2013 | post #120)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

REPLY TO CRAIG WHO WROTE: BECKY, are you going to comment on how this compares to the HUD point in time estimate percentage on any given day in the US? BECKY: I will grant you that using those comparative counts from all across the USA, will not give you the 1-3% homeless figure that I've been using. But we can't get that data from those counts. You see, jurisdictions have a very lop-sided approach to doing homeless counts. Some do a very poor job. Our County does an excellent job. Look at our data for Scotts Valley. They don't want to admit they have ANY homeless people. Is that true? I doubt it. In other words, garbage in/garbage out. It's much harder to quantify homelessness than most people think.  (Nov 5, 2013 | post #109)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

NOTE TO CRAIG: Previously I wrote: "By your own figures, a total of 76 people are measured as having been homeless already before moving into Santa Cruz County?" BECKY: Should have read "By your own figures, a total of 76 people extra people have been enumerated as having been homeless already before moving into Santa Cruz County?"  (Oct 30, 2013 | post #83)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

CRAIG WRITES: "Santa Cruz County is not even in the top 100 wealthiest counties in the country, let alone in the world. That's not my opinion, it's fact. Look it up." BECKY: So you just make an assertion and challenge ME to prove it? That's now how it works, CRAIG. YOU make a claim & YOU provide the link/source/proof. And what are you basing wealth on? Income per capita? Value of housing? GDP per county? Show me what you got, CRAIG (if you've got anything at all that is).  (Oct 30, 2013 | post #82)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

ZOMBIE CORPSE RENTAL WRITES: "That's 5th in HOUSING COSTS, not INCOME." BECKY: AND I said that our dirt is worth more than just about anywhere else. Perhaps you have a link that shows how much cumulative wealth is in Santa Cruz County? I don't know of one. The IRS doesn't publish that kind of data. Income per capita only shows money made that year & not inherited or accumulated wealth. I stand by my statement: Santa Cruz County is one of the richest counties in the country.  (Oct 30, 2013 | post #81)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

CRAIG WRITES: "Santa Cruz County as one of the richest counties in the world??" BECKY: Santa Cruz County ranks 5th in the State in median housing costs out of 58 counties. While Atlanta is the most affordable city in which to buy a home, San Francisco is the least in the county. Our DIRT is more expensive than most places in the country. Hawaii, Beverly Hills, New York City, San Francisco, & Marin cost more. We are a WEALTHY county!  (Oct 29, 2013 | post #61)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

CRAIG WRITES: "The actual number of people coming to Santa Cruz after becoming homeless,not the percentage but actual number, has increased in each census. They ARE coming to SC in ever increasing numbers." BECKY: I don't think that's true or can be proven. Our surveys have ALWAYS shown that most people who are homeless in Santa Cruz last had housing in Santa Cruz. That makes them OUR homeless. You want us to focus on the fly-speck elements statistically and ignore the massive & overwhelming evidence that: 1. homeless people are NOT moving to Santa Cruz in droves because of our "generous " homeless services 2. MOST of our increasing homeless population comes from people who lived here locally but lost a job, got a divorce, got sick, or otherwise lost their housing while living here. 3. Our homeless services are NOT "generous " by comparison with other cities Prove me wrong, CRAIG.  (Oct 29, 2013 | post #59)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

CRAIG WRITES: "No, not "just like everywhere else". Previously you stated that the homeless rate in Santa Cruz was similar to any major city in the US. I responded with a list of the top 10 US cities along with their homeless rate. As a percentage, Santa Cruz beat all the top 10 by double." BECKY: First, have you considered that SC County does a GREAT JOB of collecting its census? Localities that do a poor job of data collection, produce statistics that are much lower than the actual rate of homelessness. But even without making this adjustment, we do NOT have more than 3% of our population homeless. This means our rate lies within the 1% - 3% rate found in most parts of our nation. We are NOT that special. However, new data suggest that the TBSC attitude is having the effect of making our UNSHELTERED rate of homelessness stand out as one of the worst in the nation. We used to be average!  (Oct 29, 2013 | post #58)

Santa Cruz, CA

Survey: Homeless Trend in Santa Cruz County Rising

CRAIG WRITES: "In the 2011 census 33% was 914 people. In the 2013 census the lower rate of 28% is 990 people. This is because the total increased significantly. So actually MORE homeless are coming here after becoming homeless then before. More people are making it their destination." BECKY: By your own figures, a total of 76 people are measured as having been homeless already before moving into Santa Cruz County? After 2 years. That represents 0.028% of our population of 266,776. Numerically, this is insignificant. The problem is NOT that our services are a "magnet for homelessness. " The problem CAUSING homelessness is the gap between the wages earned and the cost of housing. To end homelessness, we need to boost wages, cut housing costs, or both. This has NOTHING to do with "personal responsibility. " In fact, if you insist on blaming someone, blame our Past local leaders for failing to oversee that sufficient housing is built or made available affordable to the people who work and live here.  (Oct 29, 2013 | post #57)

Q & A with Becky Johnson

Headline:

Pearls before swine

Hometown:

Santa Cruz, CA.

Neighborhood:

Live Oak

Local Favorites:

Maverick's surf contest (in HD on my computer!)- counting RYAN COONERTY's faux pas -- hopscotching, singing, and jail

I Belong To:

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom; Stand With Us Santa Cruz Scholars for Peace in the Mideast;Santa Cruz Eleven

When I'm Not on Topix:

I'm usually on Twitter: BeckyJohnson222

Read My Forum Posts Because:

Your blood pressure is just too low!

I'm Listening To:

My lawyer...most of the time

Read This Book:

Velvet Glove/Iron Fist: A History of Anti-smoking

Favorite Things:

information technologies, epidemiology, colored rubber boots, sushi, and destroying RYAN COONERTY's political future.

On My Mind:

Now that the DEA has agreed not to arrest pot patients, when is the City going to open its Office of Compassionate Use?

I Believe In:

Public spaces for public use, not to be legislated away by petty tyrants who parade in progressive camouflage while they feather their own nests.