Other than Linda Atkins, where are the local progressives?

Do the math………..Eureka’s doesn’t add up

guest post by Richard Salzman

The Palco Marsh has been cleared of the roughly 150 people camping there. While 40 new beds were made available by private individuals in the converted shipping containers, those are only for 90 days at a time. That means that up to 110 people are now out looking for new place to sleep. Look for some of them to end up in an alley, gulch or doorway near you.

tiny house

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA-humco. org) is the only nongovernmental organization offering an ongoing solution by way of a sanctuary camp and eventual transition to a Tiny House Village. I urge you to join me in supporting AHHA and encouraging the Eureka City Council and the Board of Supervisors to work with them in a productive manner.

tiny house village

“Everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live.”

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives
“Safe Warm and Dry First!”

AHHA-HumCo Vision Statement
“Everyone has a human right to a safe and legal place to live.”

AHHA-HumCo Mission Statement
“AHHA provides information, education, advocacy and policy development for affordable housing with the homeless in Humboldt County.
AHHA facilitates implementation of models and assists in operations with community groups.”

AHHA Guiding Principles
– Everyone has the right to Safe, Legal Shelter with Dignity and Respect.
– Being Safe, Warm and Dry First! is a required condition, to achieve a healthy, productive life.
– The whole community benefits when everyone feels safe and respected.
– A healthy community provides opportunities for those less fortunate and shares its resources.
– The lack of affordable housing is the main cause of homelessness.
– The definition of affordable housing needs to change to reflect the needs of the houseless and unsheltered. Alternative affordable housing options give houseless people choices and create less impact on Humboldt County.
– County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) could be more effectively distributed by implementing a variety of housing options proven to be successful in other areas.
– Participants in these alternative options would be more self-sufficient.
– AHHA will continue to declare a Shelter Crisis using CA Code 7.8 Section 8698-8698.2 “Declaration of a shelter crisis” which means a significant number of persons are without shelter, resulting in a threat to their health and safety.[CA Govt Code 8698 (d)]

AHHA Goals include developing a variety of affordable homeless housing alternatives
– Resident and Non-profit Co-Managed Micro Housing Villages with community kitchens, gardens, rest-rooms/showers and micro-businesses.
– Campgrounds throughout the county, located near to services.
– Camp sanctuaries for cars, in tents, in RVs, open tent camping, and bike and ride.
– Church camping in tents, cars, RVs.
– Zoning variances to allow residential camping and micro housing on residential, city and county properties. Foreclosures and land trust opportunities.
– Rest Areas; places for legal, safe sleep, open 24/7.
– Locations in County and City parks, schools, vacant buildings, and private property.
– Hygiene Stations: showers, restroom, water, waste disposal and lockers.
– Youth Camps, Farm-Worker Housing and Nomadic Campgrounds.
– Active engagement of our community and organizations to build strong, collaborative Working Groups, successful, and community coalitions that create housing/shelter alternatives for homeless and maximize affordable housing options.

The AHHA General Assembly meets First Saturday of the month

11:30 am social gathering; Noon to 2:00 pm meeting

Jefferson Community Center at 1000 B Street in Eureka

HOW we work together is as important as WHAT we create in working together. We are striving to be and to develop collaborative individuals and communities as we build affordable homeless housing alternatives. All are welcome to join us.
AHHA is made up of a Board of Directors, Working Groups/Committees who work with each other and the larger Humboldt community on selecting sites, outreach, fundraising, media and reaching our goals, whether longer term or more short term, like creating sanctuary camps and micro housing villages.


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The rules be damned; we must stop Linda Atkins

Last night Linda Aktins and community homeless advocates won a symbolic victory over the status quo. Other than symbolism we’re not really sure what that resolution actually does.

What was particularly astounding was the way they altered the meeting rules again in a attempt to thwart Linda from passing the resolution. There was motion moved and seconded and discussion going on when what appeared to be a pre-planned tactic between the City Clerk, City attorney and Ciarabellini. As it became obvious that Ciarabellini and Brady were going to fail, Mayor Jaeger allowed another motion to be made by Ciarabellini which would have put off the discussion for at least a month or longer. WTF! In all the years we’ve all been following City Council meetings no one has ever seen that maneuver be allowed. Ciarabellini, for her part, appeared to believe she could shame and intimidate Kim Bergel into voting against Linda. Then after admonishing the audience to be quiet Mayor Jaeger allowed an “out of order” Leo Sears to speak and vaguely threaten and question Kim Bergel while no other public comment was allowed. It was almost successful, Bergel started to waffle but in the end she voted her conscience and did the right thing.

All of this insurrection and political BS maneuvers over what was really a symbolic resolution. Imagine the blood that would have been spilled over an actual ordinance as opposed to a declaration!

Bergel: “I’m so proud, so proud of Eureka”

Et tu Bergel?

 

Witnessing last night’s Eureka City Council meeting proved to us that Eureka’s dysfunction and denial has become complete and total.

Linda Aktins, the council person who has served the longest and has the most experience was completely out maneuvered by staff and the City Manager last night. She got little or no support from Arroyo or Bergel and was full on attacked by Ciarabellini and Brady. Aktins had asked several times at the last Council Meeting to have “Shelter Crisis Declaration” put on the agenda. What actually showed up on the agenda was a report with staff recommendations, but nothing to take action on. This was clearly designed by the Manager and Staff to prevent a vote on a Shelter Crisis Declaration. So Aktins wrote up her long form resolution and attempted to make it as a motion. That’s when the knives came out. Brady and Ciarabellini were spittin’ mad.   Brady called Atkins attempt to get a vote a “bully move” and claimed that she was trying to shove it down their throats. Atkins simply made a motion to vote on a shelter crisis which was seconded by Arroyo who then sabotaged Aktins by going to the incompetent City Attorney Day-Wilson to ask if it could be voted on. Day-Wilsons authoritative answer was “I don’t believe so”. Aktins objected and Brady accused her of having a fit.

Bergel: I’m so proud, so proud of Eureka and all of the progress Eureka has made on the homeless!

In a complete break with any form of reality Councilperson Bergel repeatedly said she is so proud of the City Council accomplishments. Ciarabellini joined with Brady to express their great pride in all that the City of Eureka has accomplished. Lots of patting each other on the back over all they’ve accomplished. WTF!

All the success with the homeless problem????? What alternate universe do these clowns live in? All that’s happened over the past year is “homeless musical chairs”. What accomplishments could any of them see as being positive?

After the meeting was over, the council members went home to their houses. On the other hand, the houseless folks who so bravely spoke at the meeting went back to their cold and wet tents in the bushes. What did the council accomplish last night? The only accomplishment we could see was making it painfully clear that Eureka is going to continue to kick the poorest of the poor when they’re down.

Mean while Ciarabellini and Brady will be lining up their allies to defeat Linda at the next meeting.

Oh ya, don’t forget to take The Mayor up on his offer to call him up at home and let him know what you think! He said his numbers in the book……………………

Are Mills, Sparks and the Council perpetuating Eureka’s history of expulsion by force?

load um up run em out

Load ’em up, run ’em out!

http://www.northcoastjournal.com/022703/cover0227.html

 

Eureka has a atrocious and very shameful history of dealing with unwanted members of the community, are we witnessing history repeating itself?

Well the holiday season is over and time for all of the so called good Christians in Eureka to join with Rob Arkley and his ilk, in hatin’ on the homeless again.

Police Chief Mills and City manager Greg Sparks holy war on the homeless is ramping back up again. The staff’s report has come out against declaring a “very” justified “shelter emergency”. No doubt at the insistence of their boss Greg Sparks.

According to the City report: “The plain reading of the (Shelter emergency) statute is that a governing body, such as the City, may declare a shelter emergency when there is a significant number of person’s within the city who cannot obtain shelter.” So far so good, but then the city follows up with this outright lie, “This means that there are no available beds at the shelters within the city”. That isn’t what the statute reads, that there are “no available beds”. It reads that an emergency can be declared if there are a significant number of people who can’t obtain shelter.

The report goes even further into unreality when the City makes the claim that there are enough shelters and housing opportunities in Eureka to house all of the homeless. This assertion is based off of………take a deep breath……statistics provided by EPD. You know, the same statistics that show violent crime is down and that driving in Eureka has never been safer. What a bunch of BS! The report provides a list of these housing options, but you need to read the fine print to see why the options aren’t workable for a large percent of the houseless. For instance, the report reads that the following locations accept homeless; Broadway Motel, Chins Motel, Christie’s Motel, and the list of flea bag motels goes on. What’s the catch? You need to have funds for a month’s rent and a deposit! That deposit should be easily achieved by the houseless just pulling up their bootstraps. Also available for families is a months worth of free rent provided by Betty Chin. After that month’s over….you better have found a job and money for next month’s rent, or you’re out on the street.

Now, just to be clear, we are glad that there are a few, and we mean a very few, options currently provided to get houseless people into housing. However, is it fair or even realistic to expect a person who has lived on the streets, sometimes for years, to be able to get enough money together in a short period of time to pay for a month’s rent? Ridiculous!

Let’s be real fellow Eurekans; the unfortunate homeless are just an easy target and a diversion from talking about the serious “hellhole” that is our little hometown Eureka has become.

How on earth did it get so bad here? We think you just need to look back to the election of Marian Brady, the firing in 2011 of Garr Nielsen and subsequent purge at the Eureka Police Department. Previous to that some real progress was being made in addressing the core dysfunction in our little town. The POP team was seriously going after the drug houses and gang bangers (there were biweekly reports to the City Council), the City Attorney was aggressive prosecuting slum lords for inhumane living conditions. There was a real attempt to find legal campsites for the houseless.

Fast forward to 2016 you have a covert and continuing crime wave. We say covert because the Police Chief has directed his officers to avoid taking reports, reduced patrols, and reclassified crimes; basically cooking the books.

The City Attorney is incompetent and has moved the City backwards.

The City Council has a supposed progressive majority but has proven to be timid and unresponsive to a host of important issues.

At this point it is clear that the City has been taking steps backward for many years. Now is the time to look forward and do something positive. The council can’t be so incompetent as to actually believe the staff report claiming there are enough beds in Eureka to house ALL of the houseless in Eureka. If they do believe that obvious lie, and fail to recognize that there is in fact a “shelter emergency”, then the City’s least fortunate will continue to be Eureka’s “Public Enemy Number 1” and will be subject to even further harassment and abuse.

Unfortunately, we won’t be surprised if the City Council fails again to protect and help the houseless of Eureka. This city has a long history of abusing, deporting and murdering “outsiders” who weren’t white, Christian, and well heeled. Now, instead of using race the City seems to have declared war on a group of our neighbors who are at the lowest rung of the local socioeconomic ladder. Developments over the last few years have been heartbreaking, but alas, not surprising in the least.

Zoo animals vs. The Homeless

So the City of Eureka feels compelled to pass a Municipal Ordinance to protect its Zoo animals!

We understand. It’s really messed up to allow harassment by people entering in to their habitat to tease, injure or frighten them. We totally get that, and support it.

But……………here’s our issue. How is it we can afford these protections for our feathered and fury friends at the Zoo, but treat our fellow human beings that are houseless with such wanton disregard?

Where is the bold forward thinking “progressive” City Council that liberal Jon brags about?

To make matters worse, at the same meeting as protecting Zoo animals they’re going to have the second reading of their houseless targeted so-called “nudity ordinance”.

Thumbs up to Linda Atkins, for not buying in to this bullshit discrimination. The Chief provided no strong reasoning for needing the ordinance and Linda Atkins saw right through his deflections.

It would be nice if Bergel and Arroyo could come to their senses, instead of kicking these people while they’re down.

Matthew Owen flashes us with the naked truth on Mills’ “nudity ordinance”

mathew owens 1

Last week, we posted about the City of Eureka’s new municipal code related to “public nudity”. Chief Mills and city staff presented the code as a way to deal with scofflaws who are purposely undressing in front of kids and not putting their clothes on when asked by police. The story sounded ridiculous and we called the city out on creating another way for EPD to harass the houseless:

“However, the proposed nudity law really irked us. Not just because the law is blatantly sexist and wrong (a six year old boy can run shirtless in a park but a 6 year old girl would be committing a crime), but because we think the real purpose of this law is to criminalize people who don’t have regular access to a bathroom. You see, merely “exposing” your genitals (including any portion of your “areola”, the ring of pigmented skin surrounding a nipple) will now be a crime if you “expose” yourself on any “Park, building, street, sidewalk, bike path, alley, parking lot, plaza, park, playground, pool, beach, or adjacent waters, or any place open to the public”. The law gives some exemptions for things like being 5 years old or younger, and breastfeeding. However, the law doesn’t take into account people who live on city property (like behind the mall) and would thereby criminalize people going to the bathroom in those areas. Without city provided bathrooms, hundreds of people a day will be violating this law by simply fulfilling a human need to poop and pee. Criminalizing this human need is Mills true goal with the code.”

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/will-verbena-reveal-the-bare-facts-on-eurekas-nudity-ordinance/#comments

Mills said the department is currently 6 and soon to be 7 cops down (at another meeting he said down 8)

Chief Mills never admitted this was the true purpose of the ordinance, which passed by a vote of 4 to 1 (kudos to Linda Atkins for standing up for human rights). However, yesterday local politico jackass Matthew Owen wrote another op-ed for the Lost Coast Outpost. In the article, Matthew Owen let slip his opinion about the public nudity ordinance, and shed some light on exactly who was being targeted. From the Outpost:

“The Public Nudity Ordinance was the citizens frustration of seeing our homeless/mentally ill folks getting naked and showering with a bottled water in public view, urinating and defecating all over our streets, and masturbating in public. After the usual suspects commented in favor of the homeless/mentally ill being able to “do their thing in public” the City Council voted to pass this ordinance.”

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/nov/6/matthew-middle-naked-gun/

There it is Eureka. The ordinance which was heralded as a way to save the children is actually a law to further criminalize the behavior of “homeless/mentally ill”. The laws true intent should have been obvious to all the “progressive” council members, and not just Linda Atkins. We expected Ciarabellini and Brady to vote for the ordinance, because they are all in on criminalizing the poorest among us.   However, we were a disappointed with Arroyo and Bergel. Both of those council members should have recognized Chief Mills spin for what it was, and voted with Atkins to kill the ordinance. Sadly, this council seems to vote in ways that are about as progressive as Matthew Owen, which is a sad state of affairs in Eureka.

Sparks: “I don’t think we view this as an eviction-type process”???

public enemy number 1

Public Enemy Number 1 ???

The complete polarized dysfunction of the City of Eureka and it’s elected Council was showcased Tuesday evening. The Chief Mill’s inspired vigilante shock troops were there in force demanding that their dehumanized “scapegoated” targets be run out of town; threatening to use a “shotgun and a shovel” to solve the problem.

Civility was in short supply at this meeting. From the very beginning, Mayor Frank set the tone by shutting the mike off on James Decker who was alerting people watching at home what he felt was actually transpiring at the evenings meeting. “Verbena” Kim Starr followed that transgression with one of her own calling the Mayor an “asshole”. Well that’s how public comment started and it seemed to devolve from there.

There is a serious problem with crime in and around Eureka. We’ve been at the forefront of calling that fact out. The problem is proper recognition of the source of Eureka’s crime wave. We find little evidence that Crime wave is being driven by the increase numbers of Houseless residents. Let’s be clear there are parolees, thieves and worse mixed in with the homeless throngs and we won’t dismiss that fact.

Let get real though. The crime wave roots originate in the numerous flop houses, so called sober living houses and motels that have spread throughout the greater Eureka area.

This misdirection of the public’s anger has been carefully orchestrated by City Manager Sparks and his Chief of Police Mills. For example, the news media has been forced to be listening to police band radios (scanners) in order to find out what’s going on crime wise in our area. Even that picture is skewed by the increase reliance on cell phones by officers in the field. The net result is social media and the rumor circuit that is inadequately filling the void.

Back to the City Council meeting; Last year we whole heartedly endorsed Natalee and Kim for City Council. We still think that they are better the Newman and Albin, but where they have fallen short is they are too naïve and politically unsophisticated to be trying to spar with Mills and Sparks. The Manager and the Chief are seasoned political animals and they have clearly doomed these two elected Council Members efforts at every turn. Our advice to Natalee and Kim would be this: the city council should be directing city staff, not city staff directing the council.