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Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict and near-sacred contracts committing them to act fully properly. But drinking and careless behavior and chain-smoking was ever present. At Safe Ground's very first effort at non-sanctioned camping, near Highway 160 on the north side of the American River, there was bodacious drinking and constant smoking at night. It was August 2009 and the ground was covered with bone-dry twigs. The Safe Grounders were, then, like they would be subsequently, dunderheaded and clumsily irresponsible.

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