Move the bums along in “Arkleyville”

MOLA:42’s Guide to the Search for Elsewhere

The other day national 9I was reading in the on-line Times Standard (manfully dodging the many “pop up ads” like a Kung-Fu Master) that the City of Fortuna had come to an agreement to clean up the “National 9” motel. It sits at the “Gateway to Downtown” on the north end of Main Street.

This is really good news for Fortuna. The National 9 is an eyesore and a focus of trouble for Fortuna (over a thousand police calls for assistance in the last decade). It’s not the kind of “Welcome to Downtown Fortuna” greeting we want to lay out for folks.

True, we see Broadway in Eureka lined with the like but this is Fortuna after all.

Personally, I’m thrilled. The owner plans to refurbish inside and out, remove the kitchens in the rooms and encourage short stay tourist clientele as opposed to the current longer stay drug emporium denizens.

Win-Win! Right?

But, being the person I am, I began to contemplate on the project and eventually I started to think my Dark dark thoughtsThoughts (they are why I’m such a big hit at parties).

Typical Party Scene:

“Oh no! He’s doing the Dark Thoughts thing again! What’ll we do?”

“Quick! Pick him up, carry him outside and toss him in the bushes.”

“Won’t he die of exposure?”

“Nah, he’ll probably survive the night.”


“Look, do you want him in here Dark Thoughting all evening?”

“Well… No!”

“All right then. Somebody get his feet.”

My Dark Thought is simply this… where will the current residents, who are short on the social graces and long on misbehaving, go?

Do they just dissolve out of our space-time continuum never to be seen again?

No, they go “Elsewhere.”

This is good enough for most folks I guess. “They may be someone else’s problem but they are not our problem anymore.”homeless in the brush

But is that true? If the Arkley –inspired fever dream becomes reality and the City of Eureka clears out the homeless from under the bushes and on the sidewalks… what happens then?

According to some commentators (especially anonymous ones on the LoCO) we can of course shoot them. Or load them on a boat, take them out to sea and drown them. One delightful suggestion I found was simply give “them” all the meth and heroin they wanted until they all died of overdoses.

If the above is as far as your thinking goes… then we don’t have that much to say to each other.

For the rest of us, the question needs an answer; where do the 16 or so (on average) customers of the National 9 go?

The answer (again) is: Elsewhere.

“They” decamp, find another spot congenial to their needs nearby and… there they are; a pest to polite society all over again.

We call this sort of thing the Law of Unintended Consequences but really it is not. It is merely our hope that the “Elsewhere” we are talking about is far away from the rest of us (and it rarely is).

move the bums along

The “move the bums along” plan hasn’t worked for the last 90 years

Every time we empty out the bushes or clean out a Dead End Motel we have created a new pack of humans we do not know what to do with. Left to their own devices they find another Dead End Motel or another bush to camp under. Nothing changes. “They” have nowhere else to go.

That is not what I call “good planning.”

“We could just give ‘them’ a bus ticket or a Sheriff’s deputy-chauffeured ride out of the county. That works.”

No it doesn’t.

Our neighbors, who are now none too pleased with us, can just mail the offending persons right back to us C.O.D. And send along a few of their friends too.

As a culture we need to accomplish more in our thinking than, “Do Step A. Finished.” As in, “Move the bums along. Job done.”

If we really want to achieve anything, then what is necessary is there needs to be a Step B, a Step C, a Step D and on and on.

That kind of reasoning tends to hurt people’s thinkers (it hurts mine).

Going beyond “Step A-Only” thought requires actually figuring out why are “those” people here? Trust me, it is not the bountiful local welfare services (Humboldt’s is no different than any other county in California) and it’s not the lovely weather (spend a night outside on the coast in just your clothes as an experiment).

“Why are ‘they’ living under the bushes, in tramp motels or in last stand rentals? Why don’t ‘they’ get a job?”

mad max

if you felt you had no place in polite society… what would YOU do?

I imagine a good many do have a job. But the hours for them are probably short and certainly the pay is… minimal (the recent “crossbow killer” who lived in the bushes had a job; that’s how he paid for his crossbows).

And ask yourself this… if you felt you had no place in polite society… absolutely nowhere you could go… what would YOU do?

“Get a job and pull myself up by my own boot straps. ‘They’ can just crawl out from under the bushes and get themselves a good paying job somewhere.”

But what if “they” already have a job? What if “they” are trying to raise “their” kids on what little “they” earn? What if the “good paying” places do not want “them”?

What if “they” finally realize that the Middle Class is being exterminated and admission to what is left of it is limited and jealously guarded?

What then should “polite society” be to “them”?

I don’t know about you; I expect I would hate it with all my being. I would be a “them,” no longer a part of “us.”

I am not talking about welfare and charity. I am talking about including everyone into the essentials of our society and allowing them the benefits that they earn.

We, as a society, must recognize that making a building “pretty” will not cause the problems to go away.

We, as a society, need to come to grips with the fact we all need meaningful work at meaningful wages.

We, as a society, need to realize the “One Percent” cannot buy enough “Stuff” to keep the “One Percent” fat and sassy.

trickle down

We, as a society, need to realize that any culture is comprised of ALL its parts, not just the “nice non-disposable” parts.

We, as a society, need to realize that the “they” which are no longer useful to us and who no longer contribute are a construct of our own making.

When we, as a society, are doing our planning and “Step A” becomes, “Be Human, Be Wise”; then perhaps we shall have a better idea what Steps B through Z should be.

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Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But I have learned that this Fourth of July the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner eagerly sold the “Aerobic” brand fireworks (marketed for the health, safety and environmentally conscious). In a nutshell, “Aerobic” fireworks don’t do anything, causing the frustrated “pyro-technician” to angrily jump up and down on the box of duds thus getting their daily recommended physical workout.

The Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner got their aerobic workout fleeing before a mob of their customers.

angry mob

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15 thoughts on “Move the bums along in “Arkleyville”

  1. If people like you didnt support this no growth agenda there would be more affordable housing in humboldt county. The current model of urban infill will only lead to old run down properties being redeveloped into nicer and nicer properties. This is gentrification and will run out the poor people. Once there is no affordable housing left they will become homeless. The long term answer is for them to move away and leave. Humboldt county is getting nicer and there is a demand to live here and the supply is not increasing. This will ultimatly lead to all the low income housing being bought up by people who can afford it and make improvments. Also the Cheap hotels are not low income. If you stay at a hotel in garberville for a month it will cost you almost $3,000. Even if you stayed at that rundown place in fortuna, it would still cost you $50 dollars a night witch is 1,500 a month. No one except drug dealers can afford that type of lifestyle. These are not truely poor people, they are a stain on our communities.


    • Good old blanket words like, “no growth” are used to frame your argument. Seems like last time it was balls to the wall building it did not end so well. Contractors and realtors are always trying to cut the fattest cow they can. That is why they sell houses for the highest prices they can. Every time there is a housing boom the prices only escalate they do not go down. The contractors during the last one were buying materials at prices that were not changing much as they were charging a lot more per square foot for their houses. Funny how so many of them make such a big point about buying materials etc at the cheapest place possible weather it’s in the area or from out of the area. BUT they only sell their product, houses, for the highest price each time….

      Liked by 4 people

    • “Humboldt county is getting nicer” say what? By who’s standard? High Times?
      “no growth agenda” no I think that’s your invention, Developers and their groupies want no restrictions and call anybody you wants realistic planning “no growth”.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, if we could only develop propertities not zoned residential, our low income housing woes would be solved!

      What utter nonsense…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, you must be talking about the affordable housing the Downtowner is going to create..160,000 dollars per unit. This is the argument that always comes up about affordable housing. It’s the no growth people who create the problems, when that’s not the case. If the majority rental owners like Krammer or Strombeck were not friends and creating the market price, we would have a competitive market and that market would be based on value for your rental dollar. But, when you have owners of several thousands of rentals, price fixing together. Things will never change. Again the filthy rich riding the backs of the working poor. Probably the lessons Krammer and Strombeck teach their kids. Good lessons.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly, Spanky. Maybe Eureka (Humboldt County) needs some rent control laws to make housing prices more commensurate with the wages around here. That might have the additional benefit of discouraging more owner consolidation of the housing supply by the usual suspects and allow current renters a better chance to buy. Some landlords still offer decent rentals at reasonable prices to keep their valued tenants; but the majority and absentee landlords who use management services just want the highest profits possible and collude to keep rents high.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There really needs to be several campsites set up in different parts of the County funded by DHHS.They should offer Shelter, Counseling, Mental Heath and screenings and bus tickets back home (voluntary). I heard all the excuses why not, but what they’re doing now is a miserable failure on every level and has been for decades.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I recently saw an article about a guy who is building VERY tiny “houses” out of scraps for the homeless. They are large enough to sleep in, have some overhead storage space and the door can be locked to keep their belongings secure when the occupant is away. A campground of these along with a community kitchen, laundry and restroom facilities (as well as the services Re:pete mentioned above, including regular mobile medicine visits) on the lines of the government camps which helped so many during the depression might work. Maybe a local church or civic group could manage it with volunteers. Giving the homeless secure camping facilities with basic amenities would give them a springboard back into a job and a regular home.


  4. The idea of putting them on a barge and shipping them out, (to where?) Astoria, Portland, Half Moon Bay, will do little except make vacancies for new people. Actually Eureka did ship all the local Chinese population to San Francisco in the late 19th century. It seems someone was shot in the then Eureka China Town and the shooter was not confirmed, but our city fathers shipped them all out anyway..Typical Humboldt response.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was so excited when I saw the headline “Move these bums along” because I though it would be an article about throwing the Klown Kowncil , that collection of liars, morons and bigots, out of office once and for all. We can do it in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Re-Pete, I have always thought this could be a solution. We pay the Chamber enough money to help a lot of people, who need the help. Take the 8 million purposed to develop the Down Towner and boy what could we do?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. With Randy Gans gone from the Arkley Corps I wonder who is keeping an eye on the vacant local Arkley properties ?? Like the Samoa dune property Arkley bought so the Friends of the Dunes and BLM couldn’t buy it for public use so we could all use it. They would at least be patrolling it compared to what seems no over site on it now. Isn’t that the property where there has been problems in the recent past months ???

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Said property was the area where the killing happened with the crossbow..Arkley also owned the property that recently burned at the foot of 4th st..The old East Bay building. There are several buildings that Arkley now has in Tax default. What is going to become of those properties. Boy the old finger pointer, now needs to be held to the same standard everyone else is held to, on clean-up. Arkley, has several vacant buildings that are now becoming eye sores. The Balloon Tract is still sitting with nothing being done about the clean-up. Arkley demanded a meeting with the coastal commission and never showed for the meeting. Look at the Arts building with nothing going on? Over and over. Are we gonna end up paying for all of this. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce has some good ideas?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ten years ago some of us were talking about a campground for homeless folks. With minimal funding it could be largely self-policing, have showers and such, and provide a safe place to exist. Some residents could earn a little money by cleaning bathrooms, doing some group cooking, and generally taking car of the details. Of course no one wanted it to be anywhere near the city. It was far too ‘progressive’ a program for the City Council (or any before or since) to contemplate.
    Meanwhile there has been some very minimal weed mowing on the Balloon Tract but that’s all. I kind of prefer the open space. The Marina Center concept has so far been where imagination has gone to die. Ah well, being able to imagine the possibilities is good and doesn’t require that they ever come to pass.


  10. Pingback: Tuluwat Examiner | This weeks burnt offering! Again

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