OK in O.C.

Occupy sleeps over in conservative Irvine.

Occupy sleeps over in conservative Irvine.

Occupy Sacramento filed a lawsuit against the city this week, arguing that disallowing protesters to camp overnight in Cesar Chavez Plaza is a violation of First Amendment rights, not a breach of the city’s camping ordinance.

Meanwhile, deep in the heart of conservative-voting Orange County, the Irvine City Council voted unanimously this week that it’s OK when it comes to Occupy O.C. camping overnight at its city hall.

Some Occupy Sac activists who were arrested since the protests began on October 6, also faced arraignment this past week. District Attorney Jan Scully has said that her office will not pursue charges against the protesters, but the city has filed new charges of loitering in the park and will be prosecuting occupiers. The city offered to drop charges for those arrested if they pay $150 to take a class, but so far everyone has opted for jury trial.

There have been 79 arrests at Occupy Sac since its inception. SN&R estimates that enforcement costs have now well surpassed $100,000; the movement’s legal team announced this week that it will file public records requests to force the city to disclose police costs and emails or conversations pertaining to Occupy Sac policy. (Nick Miller)

Feed homeless, free dance lessons

Jodette Johnson, most famous as Sacramento’s grande dame of belly-dancing, is also known—in some circles, at least—as Midtown’s homeless citizens’ best friend (see “Best belly dancer with a heart of gold” by Emily Page, SN&R Best of Sacramento; September 27, 2007). For years, she’s been feeding the down-on-their-luck denizens of the grid and making sure they have blankets and coats for the winter.

But, like everything else in this economy, donations to help Johnson help the less fortunate are down. She stopped by SN&R last week and asked that we help get the word out.

“These people are sick and hungry and no place to get help,” she said. “They cannot drive and cannot walk too far.” She’s asking for help with food, dog food for pets, as well as blankets and coats.

“No money, just groceries,” she said.

And here’s the kicker: Bring a donation by on Friday evening, and Johnson will give you a free belly-dancing lesson from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, contact her at Jodette’s Belly Dancing Academy, 2131 K Street; (916) 447-3793. (Kel Munger)

Call of the wallet

This time the California State Parks Foundation means business. For its second Sacramento rally, the advocacy group and its supporters gathered this past Tuesday morning at one soon-to-be-closed state park, the Leland Stanford Junior Mansion, and marched to the Capitol with a message for state legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown: Closing 70 state parks will be not only be bad for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s also bad for businesses.

California’s 70 million parks generate about $4 billion in related economic activity. So, activists’ messages aren’t so much the call of the wild, but the call of the wallet. (Hugh Biggar)