Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 08th
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Hokey Pokey

newsbrief stabWhat started out as a long discussion over housing the homeless suddenly turned into a bloody mess, thanks to the Internet.

Helbard Alkhassadeh, a photographer and the man behind the site, penned a post this month about possible sanctuary camps called “Santa Cruz Is About to Make a Horrible Mistake.”

The word “about” is a relative term, of course, as no plans for hypothetical camps have appeared anywhere on the agenda for the County Board of Supervisors or the City Council.

In a post without any citations, Alkhassadeh, whose site tracks how many stabbings happen in the county each year, worried the camp would draw more homeless to Santa Cruz. He believes the camp—which he doesn’t think should be studied by city staff—would worry real estate agents about its impact on housing prices, and that a population of mentally ill could decrease public safety around such a camp. He asked people to write city councilmembers in opposition. He says his post got half a million hits.

In a long response, Vice Mayor Don Lane, a supporter of the homeless, noted among other things that there isn’t any data to support a correlation between mental illness and crime. Organizer Stacey Falls, in a lengthy response of her own, also responded to Alkhassadeh’s points and cited data from Seattle that tent cities there haven’t impacted public safety.

“Honestly, there is so much that is just plain wrong, that it feels daunting to try to address it all,” Falls wrote.

But Alkhassadeh, who recently moved out of the County but still works in Santa Cruz, hasn’t backed down, and is asking the City Council for a response.

“I am asking, with all due respect,” he wrote in a follow-up letter to the Mayor Lynn Robinson, “to have you and your colleagues send me decisions that have been made since you took office that have improved our city’s image and created an environment undesirable to crime.”

But Alkhassadeh, himself, isn’t interested in taking a stab at policy suggestions, though, anytime soon.

“Everyone’s asking me, ‘What would you do with it? And how would fix it?’” he tells GT. “That’s not my job, man. That’s the City Council’s job.” PHOTO: Helbard Alkhassadeh after the stabbing of Shannon Collins two years ago. CREDIT: Sal Ingram

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by DonGateley, August 13, 2014
@tonioc-al: citations?
To kill a mockingbird
written by Withheld, August 01, 2014
The blog by Stab Santa Cruz’s Helbard Alkhassadeh, Santa Cruz Is About to Make a Horrible Mistake was the focus of a recent GoodTimesWeekly, News Brief, Hokey Pokey. GTW wrote that the blog was “without any citations.” Worse, is that there was virtually nothing factual in it at all. An internet-search disproves nearly all of it. Of note is this statement about Santa Cruz, “We are mockingly called “The Oakland of The Central Coast.” I’ve never heard this before. Googling this phrase turns up only one result. Helbard Alkhassadeh of Stab Santa Cruz wrote it last year. Firstly, Oakland is a great town and no fitting insult. Secondly, I take serious offense with this intention to attack our community’s reputation by leveraging a mocking statement that he himself has said. This sheds a bit of light into the integrity and inauthenticity of this person and the claims he makes. We hear that he has moved out of the county. Let him “Stab” a different community for a change.
she was not buying drugs or a homeless eyesore
written by n/a, July 31, 2014
in response to the comment about shannon collins buying drugs . if you know anything you would know that the probation dept from s, f, already claimed responsibility since it was their clerical error who released that man . he was a dangerous , violent person looking for a victim .
my response to Stab Santa Cruz
written by S Falls, July 31, 2014
...I would hope that even if people disagreed with me, they would want to know exactly what they disagree with and why. In other words, I think it is essential that the truth about homelessness in Santa Cruz be told. Aldous Huxley once said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

So what is the problem with the “Stab Santa Cruz” article? Honestly, there is so much that is just plain wrong, that it feels daunting to try to address it all, but I will give it my best shot. I mean, I will take a stab at it...
Shannon was buying drugs
written by tonloc-al, July 30, 2014
The poor business lady who got killed by the horrible homless was actually a drug adict who was buying drugs. But hey the rich housed drug adicts don't want you to know that. Is just a way to kill off the homeless eye sores that the rich just want dead..

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