For once I can actually say this past week was a good one. Let me digress. The week started off in the usually crappy way. I often drive around town from Target to K-Mart, feeling the embarrassment and disgust of the human excuses littering our streets. The bums, errrr “Free Speechers” (according to the ACLU) begging around McDonald’s and the Mexican restaurant. The druggies doing their transactions in plain sight at the McDonald’s corner daily. More druggies down at heroin alley behind the Patriot Gas station at the Samoa turnoff. 

Homeless, mentally ill and druggies wandering the Old Town and Downtown business districts. Driving down 7th Street there is the same piece of shit car in the Nocturnum parking lot which has been abandoned there for months now.

There’s an EPD cruiser parked nearby so I go over and chat with the officer who tells me there are two homeless men sleeping in this abandoned car (housing first?). Since the car was left on private property there’s nothing the EPD can do.

Then I turn on Broadway where more derelicts are roaming the streets. I hit the entrance to Eureka Natural Foods strip mall where often two bums are begging. I then turn into Costco where up to three bums are begging there, often taking shifts at the prime exits. Next I’m stopped at the Wabash/Broadway stoplight, where I never know what the hell I’m going to encounter as the crazies emerge from the Palco Marsh on their Frankenstein bicycles, often towing trailers behind them. Sometimes they slow down at the 101 stoplight, but more often than not just ride into oncoming freeway traffic screaming at the top of their lungs, whacked out on whatever drugs they just partook. Nice. Further south on 101 there is usually one or two beggars at the stoplight on Henderson and Broadway. Finally to the Bayshore Mall, where I’ve lost count of how many people are begging at those entrance/exits. I usually check out the parking lot behind the mall where it appears The Walking Dead is doing a casting call for extras.

Often by the time I get home after work I’m in a mood. I’m sick and tired of how our town is looking sick and tired. This isn’t the Eureka I grew up in. How many parents would let their kids go fishing at the docks in Old Town? How about letting your kids run up and down the trails at Sequoia Park? This town has changed and not for the better. So like I said, Monday was another sucky day in Eureka except for one silver lining.

I had just finished watching FX’s 10-part mini-series American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson the previous week and was having some anxiety over the Gary Bullock jury taking its sweet time coming to a decision. It only takes one knucklehead to screw up a conviction, as with the American legal system all twelve jurors must vote guilty or it’s a hung jury. John Chiv calls me up and says the Bullock jury is coming in with their verdict and to get my butt over to the County Courthouse. I sat in on the proceedings as the jury came back with guilty verdicts on all counts. Thank you Gary Bullock jury (including the alternates) for your service.

On Tuesday I’m driving around town and notice this sweet ride left abandoned off of Wabash.

Since the police are cracking down on stolen shopping carts, the homeless have taken to stealing baby strollers to load up their crap. So I call this into the EPD.

On Wednesday, I attended the HumCPR press conference where they laid out their plans to convert Conex ocean shipping containers into homeless housing for up to 40 folks (ten Conex boxes subdivided into four living spaces each) at the Mercer Fraser lot at 3rd and Commercial Streets. Every little bit helps when it comes to housing the homeless and this is a start. Now if only other homeless advocates can stop talking and start doing.

Workers cutting out and framing the windows for the Conex shelters

What many of you don’t realize is that the recent Arcata Bay Housing project took ten years from conception to the homeless moving in. For the record, I’ve got a piece of land picked out and architect plans drawn up to build 35 SROs (Single Resident Occupancy) units. I only need about $1.5 million, two years and the Coastal Commission to sign off on this to make it happen.

Thursday comes around and it’s the first day of the Eureka City Council’s panhandling ordinance. I hold my breath to see how the EPD will handle this situation.

Come Friday, I do my usual drive around town and not a single beggar to be found. From Target to K-Mart I didn’t see one single person exercising their free speech of “Hungry” even though there’s free food in Old Town with Betty Chinn, St. Vincent De Paul and the Eureka Rescue Mission.  Quick check with the EPD and they handed out six panhandling citations the previous day along with arresting two beggars who had outstanding warrants for drugs.

Quit with the damn bleeding hearts as 99% of your hard earned cash goes straight up their nose or into their veins. If you need to alleviate your guilt, please give to the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation, Food For People, St. Vincent de Paul, Redwood Teen Challenge, Eureka Rescue Mission or the Salvation Army where at least you know your donation will actually go to feed the hungry and not fatten a drug dealer’s wallet.

Also on Friday that piece of shit clunker car (see above) was removed from the Nocturnum parking lot. Not sure who or how, nor do I care. All I know I is that eyesore is gone. Gone baby, gone. Like all the beggars around town.

More good news on Friday as Gary Bullock dropped his potential insanity defense and will go straight to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just spend the rest of your life rotting in a jail cell until the other inmates figure out you murdered a Catholic priest. There’s a code among criminals. 

A couple of months back I came across this sign…

… and located behind the sign were trespassing homeless camps, the dumping of trash and used needles everywhere.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Why would anyone have a law, ordinance or publicly posted sign that you have no intention of enforcing?

My wife is always telling me that the government is complaint driven. Much like a blog, anonymous rants are ignored. You have to use your name, address and phone number to get the governmental agency to look into the issue. So I drive around town and take photos and email them to the respective responsible parties (city, county, EPD, Sheriff, private businesses, etc.) asking them to please enforce their laws or clean up their property.

You would think they would be happy that someone is pointing out problem issues, but no, some get angry. Like the woman who went behind my back to bitch at my wife that, “Your damn husband is creating problems for us with his goddamn emails and photos.” (I cleaned up her language). Note: if you had the balls to look me in the eyes and tell me your side of the story of why you’re not doing your job and allowing our city to decay into a social sewer, I might have listened. Then again, nah. However there is a rainbow to the above photos. That homeless camp was removed from private property, tons (literally) of garbage was picked up by SWAP crews and finally a new fence was installed around the private property to keep the homeless out. Complaint driven.

If you really want to make a difference in Eureka, use your cell phone as your weapon against the sketchers. Take photos and call in the problems. The bad guys on the streets do not like their pictures taken. Get involved. Call EPD at 707-441-4060 to report any panhandlers, shopping carts, drug deals, thieves casing a neighborhood, etc. If ten more people started a daily active role in combating our social ills, there would be a positive change. If 100 people started calling the EPD daily, we could take back our town.

Better yet, please contact your City Council and tell them to pass additional ordinances to give the EPD and the City Attorney the tools they need to combat the growing social ills of our town. It’s about time the majority of the Council man up (no pun intended) and represented the 99% of us and not the 1% creating havoc in our community. When you make it uncomfortable on the bad guys, they go elsewhere to the next town where there are more bleeding hearts to allow them to do their anti-social behavior.