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Archive for January, 2011

Bicycle to Save Richardson Grove

Monday, Feb 7th

Group Bicycle Ride to Mass Rally at CalTrans in Eureka!

Bike riders meet at 9:30am at the Arcata Plaza

Start ride to Eureka at 10am sharp!

RALLY at Wabash and Union in Eureka at NOON.

For more info, call Stella at (707) 602-7551

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Mass RALLY at CalTrans in Eureka

NO Highway Expansion THROUGH RICHARDSON GROVE!

Protect the forest and our future.  Resist Invasion.

 

Monday, Feb 7th  NOON

 

CalTrans District 1 Headquarters

1656 Union St. (Union and Wabash)

Eureka

 

Bring anything you want to express yourself!

For info or to get more involved contact Richardson Grove Action Now:  (707) 602-7551,  rgroveactionnow@gmail.com

READ the pamphlet from Richardson Grove Action Now: http://www.box.net/shared/6xyyml02vu

 

Here are links to Fliers to download and post:

Flier with tank

Flier with forest root web

***

Sunday Feb 6th, the day before the rally…

If you’re in Southern Humboldt, go to the Garberville Town Square at noon for Bob Marley’s birthday celebration and a craft-making event in preparation for Monday’s mass rally at Cal Trans District 1 Headquarters. Organize rideshares and rally spectacles!

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Here is a Complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau against the Budget Inn.
Then you can see the Budget Inn’s dishonest response.
Then the Complainant’s Reply.
The Budget Inn has until Feb.1, 2011 to respond to that.

Complaint [Case opened December 6, 2010]:

The Budget Inn is situated on the main highway (Hwy 101) in Eureka California, and advertises on a large sign/billboard in front of the business. The Budget Inn also advertises in the only daily newspaper in Eureka (and Humboldt County), the Eureka Times-Standard. On both the sign and in the paper, the Budget Inn advertises “Clean and Quiet Rooms.”

I have been a tenant of the Budget Inn for about a year and a half (suffering myriad ongoing violations of my rights), and am familiar with the conditions of and in the rooms. I am a clean and tidy person. However, the Budget Inn rooms are neither clean nor quiet. Indeed they are filthy and disturbingly loud.

The laundry service is random, so we are left with dirty sheets and towels. Slugs crawl in the bathroom. Rats have come into my room. The walls have the appearance of years and years of cigarette smoke- the yellow/brown color stuck to the walls. There are drip stains on the walls from the leaks that occur whenever it rains. Some residents must put buckets in their rooms to catch the water. In one bathroom, every time the residents take showers, the steam causes years of nicotine to drip down the walls, onto the rugs, and even onto the residents’ bodies. My small bathroom has been unfinished throughout my entire tenancy and has been cluttered with the Budget Inn’s maintenance tools, a big bag of plaster, and parts of the ‘new’ bathroom- all being stored, ostensibly, for the Budget Inn to one day finish the bathroom. The ceiling shows years and years of dirt and nicotine. Mold is in my closet and black mold in the corners of the doors. In the entrance to my bathroom, the rug has consistently been wet all fall and winter months due to leaks from the rain. Since the earthquake over six months ago, the wall next to my bed has continued to crack. When the room flooded due to a blown pipe underneath the road, my entire room and bathroom floor was covered in 2-3 inches of water. Underneath the bed and in the closet exists resulting mold. The wooden baseboards in the bathroom are slowly rotting, so I must sweep up parts of them daily.

As far as the Budget Inn’s claims of “quiet” rooms, nothing could be further from the truth. My room’s door is very thin, because the Budget Inn made two rooms out of one without changing anything to prevent sound from entering from one room to the other. The Budget Inn allows my neighbor to blast two boom boxes which are mounted on the walls that separate our rooms, and two large boom boxes in the windows. This neighbor has been blasting music for about 5 hours a day, causing my walls to vibrate and suffering my heart to pound and my body to shake. The music is so loud, that if I lay down on my bed, the bed shakes and my heart cannot endure the booming. Even after many requests from myself and other tenants, the Budget Inn allows this excessive noise, which can be heard from the street, to continue.

 

Budget Inn’s Response (You can click on the slimy letter to read it easier)

 

Complainant’s Rebuttal To Budget Inn
I DO NOT accept the response from the business.

If the Budget Inn [BI] rented my room & others at 1140 4th Street, Eureka CA to “motel guests,” as the law defines that term, & if BI met the minimum legal requisites establishing BI as a motel in a motel/guest relationship, then it would be a sub-standard motel, failing legal obligations to its “guests.” However, BI rents to me my primary residence for over 1 yr (this time) & rents almost all other rooms similarly, on a month-to-month basis to permanent residents. Due to this & several other facts, BI is a residential motel, as defined by law, & those of us living at BI are tenants, entitled to all legal rights afforded tenants by CA law. As tenants we’re entitled to protections, including but not limited to the right to live under habitable conditions–free of health & safety hazards; right to quiet enjoyment; right to proper notice for landlord access; right to be free from discrimination & harassment; & right to reasonable accommodations related to medical conditions & disabilities. BI deceives & avoids accountability to us as tenants & to the general public, by calling us “motel guests,” ignoring law & denying our rights as tenants.

I can provide room photos; also paperwork wherein BI officially regards us as “guests.” BI imposes unlawful tenant restrictions such as “No ‘unregistered guests’” in our rooms. BI says family members may enter only if 1st approved by mgmt. Many BI policies violate CA law. Although CA has a process required of a landlord in order to evict a tenant if, for instance, s/he has not paid rent, BI created its own policy, & kicks tenants out with physical threats, ignoring responsibility to legal process.

BI’s Response to my BBB complaint is wholly disingenuous. My herein Reply incorporates and continues to affirm all facts from my original complaint.

I ‘ve never denied reasonable access for BI agents to my room, even after improper notice. BI has acknowledged the seriousness of my documented medical condition & disability. A doctor’s note & explanatory document were posted on my door until BI agents tore them down. BI refuses to make reasonable accommodations, required by law, for my medical condition & disability, regarding BI pesticide use in my rental. At times, BI made such accommodations for another tenant with a similar condition. Acts & omissions by BI, some of which are outlined here, pertain to me & others living at BI & constitute long-term, repeated, & blatant violations of basic legal rights & severely endanger our health & safety.

In 2010, BI pipes backed up. Sewage came into showers & rooms. I told the manager that feces & other sewage was coming in my room & was told, “I don’t want to hear about that [feces, etc.].” My whole floor was flooding for 3 days. Liquid was about 3” deep, no dry spots. After the flood, BI’s Paul Hewitt Jr worked on my floor for 10-15 minutes, told me he would return to “finish” & never did. He left the extractor in my room, so I used it. BI was reported to the Health Dept. & another agency. Then the sewage pipes were worked on. BI tenants have had sewage come into their showers, bathroom floors, & carpets for years. Currently, our plumbing is backed up again.

Later in 2010, the water heater behind my bathroom broke. Water poured into my room- about 3” deep. BI used an extractor on my neighbor’s room & said they would do nothing for me. The flood ruined many of my personal items, including everything in my closet. I made a makeshift counter & a path to the bathroom. After 4 days, a young tenant of BI came & extracted. BI did not replace the water heater for a few more days. BI mgmt said they’d move my bed out & extract, but never did. I tried to dry my room with heaters. It molded. The closet still has strong mold. I must sleep at the end of my bed where less water collected underneath. Damp conditions adversely affect my breathing. BI refused my requests for another room.

My bathroom is bare sheet rock. I have no handle for the toilet & no lid. Black mold covers caulking around the shower; floor in front of the shower is deteriorating, almost through to the ground. A large crack spans the width of the bathroom door threshold. The front of my bathroom, a 4′ X 3′ area, gets soaked from rain leaks. I put plastic down to walk across.

Mgmt. saw the 3 ft. long crack in my wall after an earthquake; now it is from ceiling to floor & getting wider. An entire wing of BI is not on stable foundation.

There is only 1 stove, 2 coin-op washers, & 1 dryer for over 30 tenants. We must leave our ID with the office to access them. My microwave & refrigerator came from a pile that BI threw out– BI offers such appliances by “allowing” us to scrounge through a dump pile.

Room inspections are not noticed in writing or 24 hrs in advance. This violates CA law.

In the past, BI entered my room in the a.m. to pesticide spray around our beds WHILE both my 10 yr old son & I were asleep! Paul Hewitt Jr. was told by his boss,Paul Sr, that I had a serious illness -to leave me & my room alone. Other tenants were sprayed that a.m. Those who protested were “troublemakers.” Eight BI tenants died in 1 yr from lung problems, we believe from pesticide spray & black mold. Some of them had complained & BI did nothing. My neighbor died, & her doctor told us it was due to living with sewage- coming into her room from corroded pipes. Last year, a bed-ridden man reported to BI sewage soaked into his rug. Mgmt argued & refused to do anything. Family moved him out. I keep 2 ionizers in my room for the unhealthy air & smell.

Police came to BI 3 times regarding loud noise from my neighbor. Eureka officer Winkle went to my neighbor’s window & said “I can hear your music a block away, you gotta turn it way down.” He told him to turn the boom boxes toward himself & not the street. Mgmt was present, consoling my neighbor: “We’ll straighten this all out, you’ll be able to play your music.” I told mgmt that this neighbor had molested me & was angry because I refused his sexual advances. Mgmt outright dismissed what I said & told me to move out. BI allowed my neighbor to blast music. Mgmt harassed me further, saying they would tear out the wall between me & my neighbor, & I ‘d need to find another place.

In Dec 2010, two officers (one was Off. Siipola-Edwards) responded to my call about pounding music. They said, “We can hear this a block away,” & made my neighbor turn it down. I reported that the pounding was causing me heart trouble, as I had informed BI on several occasions.

Before I signed rental papers, mgmt said it would provide (as the law requires) alternatives to pesticides, but never has. Mgmt. threatens to spray my room with chemicals, & I believe sprayed when I was out- causing me 2 hospital trips. The doctor said I was poisoned.

BI inspected my room 3 times in 1 yr, & ne’er a cockroach. Recently, BI began spraying in my loud neighbor’s room, & cockroaches swarm to my bathroom & crawlspace. They ruined my electrical items. I now buy alternatives to chemical pesticides, which work, but then cockroaches come again from the crawlspace. Unlawfully, BI refuses to provide alternatives for me.

BI has never serviced my bathroom. Maid service is set for Mondays & Tuesdays. Most of us get no service. Some complain to mgmt: “Why make a calendar & make us stay here all day, & then not show?” Mgmt yells at tenants, even youth, if they make a request or comment. I, like others, have waited all day because mgmt says we must be there for maid service- which never comes.

BI uses my health issues to harass & retaliate against me. Paul Hewitt Jr. filled a bucket with bleach & pine sol & poured it near only my room & in front of my open window. My window is open at night for fresh air. Since that incident, I rise early to shut it, in case Paul Jr. returns with toxins. Paul Jr. has lived at BI for 5-6 years & knows what things will make me sick, poison me, or even kill me.

In 2010, mgmt called us about bug-bombing our rooms. I consented to it because BI said I would not have to be there & they would open windows. We received no notice of the bombing date, so we waited, wondering when we’d need to leave. When I learned BI’s plan to also spray our mattresses for bugs (which I don’t have) & repeat the bomb-spray process 2 days later, I told mgmt I did not consent. I can’t sleep on a sprayed mattress nor handle 2 bug bombs. BI did nothing to the rooms. Then BI told us that a “pro bug sprayer” was coming. The sprayer & mgr came & I told them I cannot be sprayed. The manager yelled at me. Two other chemically sensitive residents are harassed too.

“I’m the manager & I do what I want when I want & people do what I say.” quote from current BI Manager, Gwen. Two BI managers, including Gwen, have been abusive toward tenants.

I would like the BBB to do whatever it can to make BI accountable.

See urlet.com/doesn.dummy

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By Michael Stetz
Monday, January 10, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.

San Diego’s downtown homeless will soon have an indoor place, to store their belongings at least.

The city of San Diego is providing a storage facility for them — a building near the current downtown central library — to help settle a class-action lawsuit filed in December 2009.

The city, along with its police and environmental services department, had been sued after performing aggressive clean-up sweeps in the East Village in which homeless possessions were taken and destroyed.

It’s hoped that the storage facility, with more than 500 bins, will ease the blight. Some streets of the East Village are cluttered with shopping carts, piles of blankets and sleeping bags.

The homeless and their advocates applaud the one-year pilot program because it will provide them a safe and dry haven for their goods. On the streets, it’s hard to protect belongings.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Gerry Limpic of the Isaiah Project, a nonprofit agency that aids the homeless and was a party in the lawsuit. It will run the storage facility.

The city’s earlier sweeps had crossed the line, the lawsuit charged, calling them “ruthlessly executed and mean-spirited.” The homeless were not given proper warning about the efforts, the suit claimed. Some lost medication and personal items in addition to sleeping bags and blankets, keys for their survival.

As another part of the settlement, the city also had to change policy regarding such sweeps by providing more public notice. The San Diego City Council on Tuesday will consider the $150,000 settlement.

Isaiah Project will use the bulk of the money, $100,000, to staff and run the storage center, a building near 9th and Broadway. Managed by the Centre City Development Corp., it had been used as a warehouse by the nonprofit city agency.

Twenty-thousand dollars will go to homeless who can successfully claim damages. (Up to $200 each.) The remaining money — $40,000 — will go to the plaintiff’s lawyers. (The Downtown San Diego Partnership, another defendant, is paying $10,000.)

The city money comes from fees at the city’s garbage facilities, not the general fund.

Robert Scott Dreher, the attorney who represented the homeless in the suit, said the storage center will be “a revolutionary facility for the homeless population and a benefit to everyone concerned: businesses, city administration, police, the homeless and others who live and work downtown.”

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties also was involved in the suit. “Every person is equally protected under the Constitution, the richest and the poorest,” said David Blair-Loy, the chapter’s legal director.

The storage facility is based on a model in Los Angeles, where a similar suit against the Central City East Association, a downtown business improvement district, forced it to make changes in how it cleared away homeless possessions.

That led to this storage concept. In the Los Angeles facility, the homeless get to store their possessions in bins, which are kept in the warehouse. If the homeless want to take or add a possession, they come in and a worker retrieves the bin for them.

They have to renew their bin every seven days, so they don’t neglect to use it. If they don’t come back within 60 days, the possessions are discarded.

The storage facility is filled to capacity, said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association. It has led to “a marked decrease in the amount of abandoned property on the sidewalks of skid row,” she said.

The San Diego facility is expected to be running by the first of February. Homeless advocates hope that it becomes a permanent facility. This property is slated to be demolished in a year, to make way for an affordable housing project.

But Dreher is confident that once the downtown community sees positive results, the storage facility will be supported and moved to another location should this one no longer be available.

For the homeless, the concept is more than welcome. “People steal our things all the time,” said Beverly Graham, who was with Ron Campbell and Max Schaefer not far from the proposed storage site.

“That’s my bike over there,” Campbell said. “If I didn’t keep my eye on it, it’d be gone in a minute.”

Schaefer had a shopping cart full of his belongings. He has no place else to keep them. “A place like that (a storage facility) would be well worth it,” he said.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TRAINING

How To Handle Encounters With Cops

Saturday, Jan 22, 2011 

1:30pm – 5:30pm

FREE
ALL AGES
SNACKS

Training will be at PARC [Peoples’ Action for Rights & Community]
in the Q Street alley
between 3rd and 2nd St.
Eureka

Hosted by Redwood Curtain CopWatch  (Fliers below)

Call 707.633.4493 for more information.

 

Do you know what to do if you’re stopped by the police?  Do your children?

Are you tired of your rights being violated?

This training focuses on the law “on the street” – what your rights are and how cops try to trick you out of them.  We want to share strategies to survive police encounters.

SPREAD THE WORD!  BRING FRIENDS, FAMILY & “STRANGERS!”

Download the Flier  HERE

or the Handbill HERE

 

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Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness

You can direct questions to   northcoast.icarus@gmail.com temporarily, but there will be a new email address soon.

North Coast Icarus Project meetings will be at Has Beans in Eureka
Has Beans is on the corner of 2nd and I Streets

Meetings will be on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of EVERY month
4pm

To learn about the Icarus Project is, check out this website!
http://theicarusproject.net/http://theicarusproject.net/

Spread the word to people who might be interested!

The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of ‘mental illness’ rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework.

We are a network of people living with and/or affected by experiences that are often diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions. We believe these experiences are mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness, creativity, and collaboration can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. Participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.

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