Crime, the Homeless and the Andrew Mills conundrum

Which way E-town?

Homeless solution just ahead

Chief Mills certainly has gotten quite a discussion going surrounding Homeless issues in Eureka. People are getting excited about the potential for change, and it appears that many want to support the plans that they know very little about. This support reminds us of the blind support given to the recent internet troll “Eureka Citizen” who fooled many desperate municipal leaders and Residents with fake plans and funding to solve homelessness in Eureka. Is this a similar set up?

We aren’t sure at this point, but we urge a lot more healthy skepticism. After going over a lot of the available information, and talking with people in local/county government, it seems that there’s a lot of ideas and smoke, but not much in the way of practical planning or execution.

This is troubling, given how much of Chief Mills supposed plan that rests on having safety nets and programs in place. Are Chief Mills and his staff so eager they’re jumping the gun a bit, or are they just laying out goals that could take years, if ever, to realize? Whatever the case, he’s been very successful in one area…..he’s got the conversations regarding Eureka’s over whelming crime problems centered around Eureka’s favorite “whipping boy” the “homeless problem” and directed away from other areas of more serious concern.

For instance, when was the last time you saw any media about the 2 unsolved gang related murders from last year in Eureka or the wave of under reported home invasions and assaults?

We understand that in the early days of Chief Mill’s term at EPD, he directed officers to scale way back on enforcement of laws behind the Bayshore Mall. Obviously, Chief Mills isn’t the most up front individual in the City of Eureka, so we doubt if we’ll ever know for sure whether this was true. However, it does make for some interesting thoughts about the size and scale of the current problem behind the mall. In Sunday’s TS a homeless man was quoted as saying the population behind the Mall has tripled in recent times.

Was it allowed to happen to make a case for really addressing the problem, or was it done so that the most vulnerable population in Eureka could become the scapegoats and poster children for all the ills in the City?

Most confusing for the Examiner is…notable rightwing hacks Marion Brady, Melinda Ciarabellini and John Fullerton Publicly attacking Mills for this plan. Setting up a head scratching political conundrum. This is leaves your staff here at the Examiner almost feeling sympathy for chief Mills. (gasp!)

We don’t have the answers yet….remember this; temporary solutions are the status quo.

We hope everybody in Eureka doesn’t get so distracted by all the homeless chatter from the City that they forget there is a much larger unaddressed crime wave in Eureka which is ugly, violent, and getting much worse….

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19 thoughts on “Crime, the Homeless and the Andrew Mills conundrum

  1. Eureka does have a huge crime problem. Getting rid of the homeless underclass would be a huge step to fixing the problem. I support chief mills because i think its time we took an aggressive stand against homelessness. how about a campaign called “not in our community”. Whats the difference between Arcata and Fortuna. They are both relatively the same size if you take into account greater Fortuna area. Except Fortuna has hardly any homeless people. Fortuna also feels very safe to walk the streets and let your kids go to a friends house or ride a bike. The reason Fortuna is so clean is because the police there will run you out of town from trying to leech off and take advantage of Fortuna. Eureka needs to figure this out. Homelessness can be dealt with but it required getting rid of any free camping safe havens and cracking down on meth / heroin use. This involves going after hotels and slum lords who would allow this activity to take place on there properties. Im sorry but i believe the majority of this county is fed up we don’t care what your excuse is for being homeless. NOT IN OUR COMMUNITY. find somewhere else to move and ruin some other town, eureka has had enough.

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    • why does this sound familiar hmmm? Oh yeah, it’s a retread of a Eureka Citizen diatribe. I’ve never heard Mills proposing this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chief Mills himself even warned against the vigilantism that is so often suggested by such as the above.
        That vigilantes are ongoing and traditional here in HumCo while maybe not unique in California, it is not one of our better features.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh…there’s no crime in Fortuna, only in Eureka and Arcata because of the homeless. Got it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fortuna doesn’t have a homeless problem? That simply is not true. As I suggested on the Lost Coast Outpost a drone flyover the lower Eel River might be an eye-opener for you. My county supervisor calls this group of the local population. “River Livers”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You talk as if a certain group of people can be gotten rid of. You talk as if you do not think this group of people is not worthy of you sensibilities. We are all members of this community, just because you do not like these people does not make you better than any one else. Like it or not we, the members of this community have a right to enjoy all that this community has to offer whether it be protections or amenities. What you are proposing is a class distinction. What if you decided you didn’t like old people or blind people? What then?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There needs to be permanent regulated camp sites with facilities located around the county to deal with the problem. That’s won’t solve it but it will be a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that people should have a legal place to sleep. Towards that end, a legal campground seems like a fair idea. If nothing else, the problems could remain the same, despite considerable expense by the city, or they could get worse.

      As I wrote elsewhere, the main complaints don’t seem to be over where the homeless are sleeping. They mostly involve what the homeless are doing when they’re awake, and up and around. Those complaints are likely to continue whether they’re sleeping in a legal campground, or even city provided homes.

      To be clear, I have no idea what the answer is and appreciate the city’s efforts in dealing with the problem. I have no idea what else they can do.

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    • I agree. This isn’t just a Eureka problem, it’s a national problem. Here locally, there are homeless camps from Orick to Garberville. It’s time to face facts. Homeless people are here, the population is getting larger, and it’s been a problem for generations. Eureka having a regulated campground is a start, but there needs to be much more work done. “Not in my backyard” is a great slogan, but really doesn’t work as a practical solution. The BOS need to own that the problem of houselessness isn’t just a Eureka problem. The quicker the better.

      Thanks for the questions TE. Hopefully some folks are paying attention. Especially those folks with the position and power to do something.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eureka Citizen fooled municipal leaders and residents ??? if Mills had taken a hard line on the vagrants behind the mall, what would have been the public response? Be honest for a change.

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  4. “To be clear, I have no idea what the answer is and appreciate the city’s efforts in dealing with the problem. I have no idea what else they can do.” (April 27, 2015 2:28 pm).

    Are you kidding?

    Utah already figured it out!

    We can’t do what Utah has done overnight but we can certainly head in the direction that’s proven to work!

    The problem is that Utah’s success is under-reported, probably for the same reason the right-wing ideologues will never allow themselves to support a hand-up that actually works.

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  5. Thanks TE editors for expressing guarded optimism while continuing to point out potential problems and continue to apply thought to the problem and remembering lesson of the past. Personally I don’t think Mills is envisioning a quick solution to the circumstances that cause people to be homeless but only to create a situation where the existing social services have a chance to manage the realities of homeless people’s needs.

    Only when I hear Conservatives assert that homeless people have “chosen’ to be in that situation do I know that their motive isn’t to help people but rather to condemn and punish them. So far, Mills hasn’t gone there.

    My thinking is that homeless people each need a lot of personal attention from professional and objective people who can identify what they need and then work efficiently to align their needs with what public services can offer. That may sound simple but its a huge job because of the emotional, political, and economic issues involved. Having their clients in an accessible and stable physical place is a big help to doing that job. Yes, it can be seen as degrading warehousing or “penning in” people. It can work only if there truly is light at the end of the tunnel.

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  6. They need a small apartment that is actually cheaper for the municipality providing it.

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  7. Having watched TE moderators tag so many different commentators with the “AKA Eureka Citizen” label, over the past few weeks, I knew you couldn’t resist trying to keep the TE minion’s fear level topped off by bringing up my earlier persona.
    So, as the true Eureka Citizen, let me put in a real Eureka Citizen comment.
    Eureka citizens are growing extremely tired of the homeless problem. They are tired of civic leaders wasting public funds on “beautification project” studies for the south entrance and Old Town. Tired of “studies” that cost tens of thousands with no further discussion or progress. Now, the budget is empty, and the promised public safety department increases, via measures Q&Z, are being revealed as false props; safety departments will face deep cuts, instead of the promised stability. Eureka is no closer to finding a homeless solution, either; the rapid re-homing study, commissioned in Dec, has quietly been shelved, even though nearly $50k was spent on the gathering of “information”.
    On the other side, groups, including TE, want Utah-type apartment/house giveaways for the homeless, without any idea of the costs, funding, or even where these housing units will come from. Obviously, there is nowhere near enough low-income housing in Eureka, so will the just magically appear? Where, in the budget will the city find funding, while already ordering deep departmental cuts?
    Where will the jobs come from to allow these ” free-homers” to become self sufficient, while, at the same time, the same groups, like TE, fight off every business/project that will bring jobs, tax income, and growth to Eureka?
    You can’t have it all! What you do get, has to be paid for! So, what’s the TE Plan? I can already hear the answer: “We can get grant money!”. Right! Like that will drop into the budget overnight? And, you really expect civic leaders to NOT use the funds for other pet projects? They already spend grant monies on studying things, not on real solutions, just studies!
    Eureka has to make serious changes in future growth plans that make sound economic sense; decisions that grow the economy, not stunt the growth. MJ grows, and/or legalization of MJ will not be the answer to Eureka’s problems; besides, the city, and it’s citizens, can’t wait that long.
    Make a REAL difference! Go to council meetings, planning commission meetings, and budget meetings! Sitting at home, complaining on blogs, will accomplish nothing. Get visually active, in person.
    There is no quick, magical fix, and nothing is free, so stop the fantasy “we should do this” & “we should do that”, because there is no money for those giveaways.
    Go, get truly active in YOUR government, and make those things a reality.
    Meanwhile, stop trying to label everyone with an opposing opinion as Eureka Citizen. I’ll gladly log in to let you know it’s me. I’m proud to be Eureka’s Citizen!

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  8. “Having watched TE moderators tag so many different commentators with the “AKA Eureka Citizen” label, over the past few weeks, I knew you couldn’t resist trying to keep the TE minion’s fear level topped off by bringing up my earlier persona”.

    Ha!!!! Thanks for the laugh. I needed it. Nice to see you using your original tag EC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never stopped using my tag; I stopped posting comments for a while. It has been fun watching the “EC” paranoia run rampant, though. I do feel sorry for those innocent commentators that TE & Co have wrongly tagged; your paranoia was aimed at the innocent.

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      • Ohhh. Okay. I believe you. You’ve been so honest in the past that there’s no way you could be lying now. Thanks for clearing that up.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Why so paranoid, JP? Upset with the fact that I got more City and community response/actions, while pulling a prank, than you and the other TE minions have in multiple years? Maybe, you’re just jealous? Poor baby, need a cookie so you feel better?

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  9. Pingback: Homeless numbers down 43% (wtf?) and more locally spun “alternative facts” | Tuluwat Examiner

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