Global Positioning Systems Used in Tracking Habitation Vehicle’s by the PAPD?

We really don’t know whats up the sleeve of the Palo Alto Police Department but this much we already know they have spent what appears to be a considerable amount of time tracking and placing the whereabouts of all Palo Alto Vehicle inhabitants in and out of the city in their efforts to move forward with a purposed city wide ban.

A closer look at the details of this map prepared by the PAPD [Doug Keith] suggests the surveillance of each vehicle acquired a considerable amount of time and attention in capturing and detailing data.

Palo Alto Police Dept. Subjects living in/out of vehicles

The map was requested through a government request vehicle available to all citizens and not publicized by the city of Palo Alto called, The California Public Records Request Act mandated and enacted by law which allows you and me, the ordinary citizen to find out exactly what our government is up to.

Information, which would normally not be disclosed. Principally by the secretive Palo Alto Police Department, headed up by Chief Dennis Burns and it’s legal Department, Molly Stump charged with keeping it that way and all it’s TOP management leadership including it’s elected council members.

Based upon on the amount of detail provided within this map and the data collected highly suggests the use of Global Positioning Systems or [GPS] tracking devices and the potential use of Drones. Drones are currently in use by Homeland Security.

As originally reported phone calls and emails were not responded to by Lieutenant Sandra Brown head of internal affairs and media relations for the PAPD. A direction given by Palo Alto city attorney Donald Larkin SandraBrownVoiceMail

As of this story update, this discriminatory directive currently remains in effect.

GPS or similar device alleged to be used by the PAPD

The use of GPS tracking devices used by policing agency’s reached national attention when a student discovered a Global Positioning device [GPS] was attached to the undercarriage of his vehicle while having his car serviced.

It was later learned that the FBI had placed it there to track his whereabouts. [Muslim Student Finds FBI’s GPS Device On His Car]

4th Amendment advocated are up in arms in what appears to be a direct violation and circumventing of our constitution rights.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Violations of our constitution rights have become a common place occurrence nationally even our local policing agency remains silent and unwilling to debate and address these and other constitutional issues of police abuses including our civic leadership.  They can’t even address issues of Free Speech and won’t therefore touch police abuses.

Paving the way in challenging the alleged illegal use of Global Positioning Systems by various policing agency’s is a case currently before the United States Supreme Court brought on by:  CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY &
to be heard this coming November.

Why is this so important?  “This is the first case where the Supreme Court will consider automatic, persistent, passive location tracking by law enforcement,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “The government can use location information over time to learn where you go to church, what sort of doctors you go to, what meetings and activities you participate in, and much more. Police should not have blanket permission to install GPS devices and collect detailed information about people’s movements over time without court review.”

Additionally, “If police are allowed to plant GPS devices wherever they please, that’s essentially blanket permission for widespread, ongoing police surveillance without any court supervision,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “It’s not hard to see how that kind of leeway would be abused. We hope the Supreme Court takes a close look at how this technology works and act to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans.”

The moral of this story and in light of GPS Technology tracking devices covertly in use by policing agency’s nationally, all Palo Alto vehicle street inhabitants should thoroughly check and investigate the undercarriage of their vehicles for any evidence and or planting of Global Positioning System Devices by the Palo Alto Police Department.

Originally published on: Oct 16, 2011 @ 9:08

Palo Alto City Manager James Keene Allegedly Orders PADP Chief to Assist Oakland in Squashing rights to Peaceably Assemble

Palo Alto City Manager James Keene

Palo Alto Free Press has embarked through the issuance of a California Public Records Request to learn the extent of the Palo Alto Police Departments involvement in the Occupy Movement in Oakland California.

Frank Ogawa Plaza Oakland, Ca

With public funds already stretched to its limits, were hoping to gain insight into city manager James Keene’s thought processes in ordering this tactical operation and its costs to the Palo Alto taxpayers.

Our Public Records Request is as follows and we will continually up-date with new information as soon as it becomes available.

Dear City Attorney Molly Stump:

RE: California Public Records Act Request – City of Oakland, California

This letter constitutes a request pursuant to the California Public Records Act (CPRA),[1] submitted to the Palo Alto Police Department on behalf of the Palo Alto Free Press. The CPRA facilitates the fundamental right of access to state public records guaranteed to California citizens in the state’s constitution.[2]

Scope of request: All costs incurred to city of Palo Alto taxpayers for police services rendered to the city of Oakland, California during operation “Occupy” Pre and Post by the city of Palo Alto and it’s Police Department.

Accordingly, the Palo Alto Free Press hereby requests all records (including, but not limited to, electronic records) maintained by the Palo Alto Police Department and their officers, employees,and agents discussing, concerning, or reflecting:

1. Any policies, guidelines, or other documentation regarding the use of police services rendered to other policing agency’s including the City of Oakland, California

2. List of all tactical equipment used during this operation.

3. Copy of request for services received by the city of Palo Alto’s police department from the city of Oakland California on staffing requirements.

4. Total number of Palo Alto Police officers used / employed during operation.

5. Total amount of salaries including overtime.

6  Number to weapons fired: (1) Teargas (2) Tazers (3) Beanbags (4) Bubberbullets

7. Total number of vehicles used.

8. Tactical name assigned by the Palo Alto Police Department for the city of Oakland, California.

This request applies to all documents in your agency’s possession, including emails, video and audiotapes, and other electronic records.[3] It also includes documents that were created by a member of another government agency or a member of the public.[4] If specific portions of any documents are exempt from disclosure, please provide the non-exempt portions[5]

Please respond to this request within ten days, either by providing all the requested records or by providing a written response setting forth the legal authority on which you rely in withholding or redacting any document and stating when the documents will be made available.[6]

[1] Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 6250-6276.48.
[2] See Cal. Const. art. I, § 3(b).
[3] See Cal. Gov’t Code § 6252(e), (g).
[4] See Cal. State Univ. v. Superior Court, 90 Cal. App. 4th 810, 824-25 (5th Dist. 1999).
[5] See Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253(a).
[6] See id. §§ 6253(c), 6255.

If I can provide any clarification that will help identify responsive documents or focus this request,[7] please contact me at             650-646-5737       or Please note that the CPRA allows member of the public to request records by describing their content, rather than asking for specific documents by name; an agency that receives such a request must “search for records based on criteria set forth in the search request.”[8]

Because the Palo Alto Free Press is a media organization, I ask that you waive any fees. [9] I also request that any records maintained in electronic format be provided in that same format, to avoid duplication costs.[10] However, should you be unable to do so, Palo Alto Free Press will reimburse your agency for the direct costs of copying these records (if your agency elects to charge for copying) plus postage.

If you anticipate that these costs will exceed $10, or that the time needed to copy the records will delay their release, please contact me so that I can arrange to inspect the documents or decide which documents I wish to have copied.] Otherwise, please copy and send them as soon as possible, and we will promptly pay the required costs.

Thank you for your attention to this request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at             650-646-5737       or


Palo Alto Free Press

[7] See id. § 6253.1.
[8] See Cal. First Amendment Coal. v. Superior Court, 67 Cal. App. 4th 159, 165-66 (3d Dist. 1998).
[9] See Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253(e); North County Parents Org. v. Dep’t of Ed., 23 Cal. App. 4th 144, 148 (1994).
[10] Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253.9.

Major Victory in the Legal Hangman Game with the City of Palo Alto

Professional Landscaper Tony Ciampi scores a major victory with the city of Palo Alto and city attorney Donald Larkin.

In city attorney Donald Larkin’s last motion he attempted to enforce by threatening and coercing Mr. Ciampi into signing a binding agreement which was not agreed to during their last legal oral arguments which provided Mr. Ciampi with the necessary legal ammunition ultimately leading to Mr. Larkin’s demise.

He hung himself with his own legal rope.

Doi v. Halekulani Corp., 276 F.3d 1131, 1138  (9th Cir. 2002)

Mr. Larkin tried in vain to weasel out of a prior legal agreement by threatening Mr. Ciampi with the following language:

“If you refuse to sign the settlement agreement (which contains only those terms that you agreed to on the record) we will have no choice but to file a motion to enforce the settlement agreement.  If we have to do so, we will seek monetary sanctions to be deducted from the settlement amount.”

This was a victory or case against all odds.  Mr. Ciampi, a man without a legal degree successfully fended off the immense legal fire power and deep financial pockets of the city.  All of these expenses paid for off the backs of Palo Alto city taxpayers’.

All this money wasted by city attorney Donald Larkin could have been avoided early on and may have provide a sizable down payment for a new city park for use by disabled children of Palo Alto and others.

Judge Koh’s ruling was based on Mr. Ciampi’s final motion:

“The Court finds Judge Illston’s opinion persuasive and hereby ORDERS as follows: If seven days after the issuance of this Order, Plaintiff and Defendants are unable to agree to a form of written settlement, then the parties shall sign the transcript of the August 9, 2011 Settlement Conference to indicate their approval of the oral settlement.

Defendants shall issue payment within three days of the parties’ signing a written settlement agreement or the Settlement Conference transcript. The parties shall immediately file their stipulation of dismissal after Plaintiff has received payment.”

Let’s not forget Mr. Larkin has also wasted 3 million in taxpayers’ money prosecuting Palo Alto’s now infamous panhandler Victor Frost.


Community Thinking on Vehicle Habitation Solutions vs Outright Ban

People of Palo Alto demonstrated their solution-oriented forward thinking at last night’s meeting on Palo Alto’s proposed legislation regarding car dwellers.

Stanford Lutheran Church was filled with vehicle dwellers and home dwellers who expressed personal fears for safety, for their children’s well being; concerns about safety, sanitation, human rights, fairness; and possible solutions to create safety and community for all Palo Altans, whether homeless or housed.

The proposed legislation was viewed from many angles: without it, police have little they can do in cases of disturbance. But if disturbance is created by a handful of individuals, is restricting the rights of the many the elegant choice? Or is it the slippery slope?

If the legislation passes, how will it fare when taken to the courts – compare the proposed crime of simply living in a car with more familiar news stories of crimes, such as burglary. Living in cars is an economic break point, to criminalize this is to criminalize a choice rendered by poverty. There begins the slippery slope.

The idea that Palo Alto could become a magnet for homeless car dwellers without strict legislation was posed, then re-framed as a regional problem that should be addressed as such.

Problem with threats

Cubberley has opened the gym to car dwellers, which has brought a surge of car dwellers in recent weeks. One parent expressed concern for his children, who feel so uncomfortable about the car dwellers at Cubberley, that they go out of their way on a daily basis to avoid the car dwellers.

In other neighborhoods, some homeowners have experienced or continue to experience certain car dwellers as a threat to safety for themselves, their children, and/or their property.

Several parents outlined concerns that specific behavior of specific car dwellers are affecting their children – that the children are frightened and avoid them at all costs. Many people expressed sympathy for their ongoing daily experience –in some cases for two years, in others for a decade.

One woman’s house was vandalized after she asked a car dweller who was drinking from her outdoor spigot not to use her water. This brave woman underscored the issue as a regional problem. She urged Palo Alto to put pressure on other cities to respond in accord.

The sometimes concurrent and very pregnant problem of mental illness was shuffled around until one woman told about her son who had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Authorities had advised her that he should not live with his parents.

And through his process, her family learned that Redwood City has the capabilities to deal with his mental illness issues in conjunction with his homelessness. She referred back to the worry about becoming a magnet, and pointed out that perhaps it is Redwood City that will be the magnet, not Palo Alto.

One solution offered to families who routinely experience threat (verbal abuse, urinating in public) from a car dweller, is to get a temporary restraining order followed by a permanent injunction.

Several people spoke about parking regulations enforcement.  The idea was raised of no overnight parking without a permit, as is done in Menlo Park. Again, this refers back to the solution in Eugene, in which registration with the city helps keep track of who is where…to ensure safety for everyone.

One vehicle dweller pointed out that he takes care to avoid residential areas. He does not want to trespass, nor violate any sense of neighborhood serenity. He maintains a low profile and takes care of his surroundings.

College Terrace has experienced vehicle dwelling as a problem for ten years. Residential permits were an effective solution for the portion of the neighborhood to which it applies. But problems continue for the mixed use section. One resident expressed that many neighbors are fearful of the people living in vans. In fact, she was chased by someone while walking home after grocery shopping.

There is apparently another contingent of vans in that area that will likely face change, as it became clear multiple vans owned by one individual is cleverly “gaming the system” using the vans as personal storage facilities.

More than one person referred to a solution crafted in Eugene, Oregon for a similar issue. There, car dwellers receive a needs assessment, register with the city program, and are delegated to selected sites that can be easily policed for everyone’s safety. Each site has a limit of three car dwellers.

Problems with sanitation

An idea that drew applause sketched a non-residential location –perhaps near bay lands- where facilities could be built to with showers and toilets dedicated to car dwellers. Car dwellers initiated the applause.

One car dweller shared that he always cleans up the area around where he parks. He want a clean environment for himself and others. The concept of contributing to the community rang through as a shared ideal from car dwellers and house dwellers alike.

The opportunity for creating solution through this crisis was the ever present theme. People shared from personal experience. The knife-edge of need that spurs the decision to relinquish housing for vehicle may have become more visible tonight. Emphasis was on solution, fairness, and respect of others.

How to balance rights of homeowners, renters and vehicle dwellers?  The watchword is compassion.

Palo Alto City Mayor Engages in a “Clear and present danger”

Our First Amendment Right has and will be the Chief Cornerstone of our democracy.  Nothing is of greater importance then in defending this right.  Historically, the courts have engaged in bitter battles in defining and shaping appropriate First Amendment speech.

Many have concluded that even the most antisocial, overt, threatening gestures are protected under the First Amendment.  However, when United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s rendered his opinion in the how famous case of Gitlow vs. New York 1925, he stated,  First Amendment freedoms are lost when speech poses an emanate threat of “clear and present danger” to our safety.

Such is the case with the recent actions of Palo Alto City Mayor Sid Espinoza who continues to abridge our freedom of speech by imposing prior restraints at directing criticism at government officials.

Sid Espinoza offers no sound legal opinion other than stating it conflicts with established city protocol and relies solely on the advice of city attorney Donald Larkin.  Both refuse to return phone calls or respond to email requests.

The United States Constitution combined with the California Constitution trumps any city protocol imposed and or prior restraints without “Due process” of law.   City attorney Donald Larkin and Mayor Sid Espinoza have both failed to address the following fundamental right of every citizen as follows.

“Congress shall make no [city] law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Their joints actions to impose and abridge conditions of Free Speech during oral communications can only be best described as “obscene” and represents a “clear and present danger” to the overthrowing of  everyone’s right, to the Freedom of Speech.

Editors notes:

Oral communications during city council meetings is the time which any citizen, foreign and domestic can in fact address grievances.  What Mayor Sid Espinoza vehement objects to, is the directing of criticism to a specific government employee.  He claims, it’s unconstitutionally permissible and offers no legal basis.