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Mean Streets

A man who purports to help homeless teens and adults by offering them work and shelter was arrested last month and charged with molesting a 13-year-old homeless boy he had recruited in downtown Santa Cruz.

Daniel Joseph Carpenter, 38, was arrested at his Mountain View residence on March 13 and charged with child molestation, according to Mountain View police Sgt. Tony Serrano. Carpenter allegedly approached the boy on March 7 or 8 at the "Hippie Corner" intersection of Cathcart Street and Pacific Avenue, offering work and claiming to represent the "Adams-Lehmann Foundation," Serrano says. The boy and his parents, who also are homeless, went to work doing odd jobs for Carpenter a few days later.

On March 10, the boy spent the night at Carpenter's apartment and claims the man molested him. The family reported the incident to the police the next day.

After Carpenter first approached the boy, the family went to see Karen Gillette, director of the Homeless Community Resource Center, to inquire about Carpenter's organization. Gillette says something seemed amiss. "There are so many poor kids and people looking for work everywhere," she says. "Why would you have to go outside your own area for workers? That was the strange thing."

The boy was eager to work, but the parents were concerned about the arrangement, Gillette says. Neither Gillette nor any of her colleagues in homeless services whom she contacted was familiar with Adams-Lehmann, and she recommended that the parents meet Carpenter and ask for some documentation.

The parents returned, reporting that Carpenter had offeredthem work, too. He had given them a brochure describing his organization--which Gillette later turned over to the police--and a copy of the organization's bylaws signed in blue ink, which Gillette found surprising. "That was really weird," Gillette says. "Bylaws are not something you give out to people, and you'd never give out an original copy."

Serrano says police are investigating whether Carpenter has any credentials as a service provider and whether Adams-Lehmann is a legitimate organization. He adds that he believes Carpenter founded the organization about a month before the alleged crime.

"He's purporting that this is designed to help the homeless families, to go out and get work and get them on track--a helping-hand type organization," Serrano says. "We're trying to determine what kind of working clientele he had and how many juveniles were involved. We're looking for other individuals [who may have complaints]."

Sticks and Stones

Things were a bit slow around the old N¯uz department until the fax machine spit out a copy of a missive sent from the People's Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County to none other than C-Span. Apparently PDC was informing C-Span that KSCO's Daryl Alan Gault, "a rather repugnant right-wing talk show host," replayed six minutes of one of C-Span's shows. This was well over the three-minute level permitted by the lively and fun-filled TV channel.

We placed a call to PDC corresponding secretary and letter signer Dick Selby, who was quick to give up the real mastermind: "Charlie Reid's got this thing [about KSCO] and he's inspired me to go along with it." But Selby agrees with Reid, a SCAN member and host of Community TV's Community Perspectives. "The whole operation is so shabby, and they put out things that are simply inaccurate."

Let's see if we understand this. Basically, Selby and Reid went and tattled on KSCO because it annoyed them, right? "That puts it pretty succinctly," chuckles bad-boy Selby. "We want to give [KSCO owner Michael] Zwerling the maximum amount of grief."

Reached before going on the air with his show, The Daily Rail--The Noontime Train of Common Sense, Gault says that he is still trying to clarify with C-Span its policy regarding rebroadcast rights.

"This is Mr. Reid's way of being petty," fumes Gault, who notes that Reid has also called him "a conservative puke" on his television show. "He has a political hatred for KSCO, myself and two or three other hosts. These people believe in free speech until someone with an opposing point of view can articulate something in a complete sentence."

Now, now, boys. Don't make us send over the playground monitor.

Block Heads

This is an opportune time to pay close attention to your junk mail. If you happen to overlook a little notice from Pac Bell, your unlisted number will soon be transmitted to anyone you call who has bought the phone company's $6.50 per month Caller ID service. Rather than give its customers the benefit of the doubt, local phone companies plan to quash the privacy of those who fail to respond by May 1. Those lucky customers who miss the deadline, even those with previously unlisted numbers, will have to dial *67 prior to each call in order to keep their number from being transmitted to the recipient.

It seems pretty clear that people with unlisted numbers are concerned about keeping their numbers private, so why would the phone company make minimum privacy the default mode? Simple answer: greed. Local phone providers want to sell the service to telemarketers, who want to interrupt the dinner hour to bombard you with products and services you don't want.

You can also thank the Federal Communications Commission, which ruled last year that Caller ID should be made available nationwide. At the behest of local phone companies, the FCC overruled the state Public Utilities Commission, refusing to put a Caller ID block on unlisted numbers.

Pac Bell PR flack Dane Pascoe at first put the responsibility for the decision on the FCC, but, when pressed, admitted that the real basis for the minimum-privacy default came from lobbying by the phone industry. "The phone companies wanted to insure the Caller ID product was valuable to the customer. If you subtract 40 percent of the folks from the market [the estimated number of California customers with unlisted numbers] it would render that product less valuable," he says. "We believe the option of per-call blocking provides ample privacy protection."

Civil libertarians have assailed the new service, arguing that Realtors and insurance agents could conduct electronic redlining by refusing calls from minority areas and that abusive spouses and parents could track down their estranged victims through Caller ID. Phone companies counter that the service would help victims of phone harassment to track down their persecutors and authorities could use it to trace terrorist threats (of course, any sophisticated terrorist would be able to protect his or her ID).

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From the April 4-10, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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