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Posted on October 24 at 10:13 p.m.
Mayor Schneider was right on in that op-ed. Murillo is blustering around blindly, misled, and misinformed. Pritchett is a fool to defend her on these pages, but then again, it was probably his wonderful 'coaching' that encouraged her into this swamp. I'd love to see him get the police and city attorney to say, sure, I'll hand you back my salary from the hours I worked on the injunction. Those hours are sunk costs, because they would have been spent anyway, whether working on the injunction, or something else. It's not like you can siphon off money from full-time staff salaries to fund some program (as of yet undefined) that magically makes this social problem go away. The poor turnout at Cathy's anti-gang injunction meeting last weekend tells the real story on where the public stands on this one. 50 people are pissed. That's all. And some of that headcount was media looking for something controversial to write about, but they didn't find it there. Only Cathy / Pritchett doesn't want to believe that they are carrying a torch for a tiny minority that can't even read a legal document correctly. Those few agitators got them believing this 'movement' was much bigger than it really was. And as to this column, it is perhaps one of Nick's finest. Everyone got looked at, everything got sifted, and it was pretty darned unbiased overall. News story? No. But spot on, regardless.
On Getting to Four
Posted on December 18 at 12:59 p.m.
Good one, Stumbling_Distance! Blowhard John_Adams will be along presently to pompously defend Murillo with all manner of snark attacks on your person.
On Man Charged with Felony Assault After Downtown Stabbing
Posted on July 8 at 12:20 a.m.
Well said, dagny. This is exactly how it is in the area. I should know as I too am a close neighbor to the shelter. To those who poo-poo these kinds of conditions, you don't know what's going on, so quit acting like you do. To john_adams (what a terrible disservice you've done that American patriarch by stealing his name) do some homework. Only ONE business in the immediate area around Casa Esperanza sells alcohol, and he's responsible in his sales practices, as I've seen him run homeless out of his store. The other 18 businesses in the surrounding area that the shelter is supposed to patrol according to their permit (I've read it), do not sell alcohol and yet they are overrun with criminal activity from Casa Esperanza clientele. We've spent thousands on security systems too, and called the police repeatedly. We too are stunned to find out the shelter is supposed to enforce behavior in the area. It has never happened. Their security guard smokes cigarettes and watches as the transients sell drugs and fight on our property. We called their main desk and they asked us how we got this number???? It's way past time for this to stop.
On Good News, Bad News for Casa Esperanza
Posted on June 7 at 8:22 a.m.
I don't know, Nick, if you can lay the blame on this at the NewsPress' feet. Voter turnout here was 40% or so. So, first, more than half of registered voters didn't even bother to weigh in on this one. Second, there have been a lot of news stories about the state's $45 billion education budget (half of the entire state budget), and yet we still can barely beat Mississippi in education. Some of those stories point to the CTA as culprit, and where there's smoke... Parcel taxes used to be a one-time stopgap measure to deal with temporary emergency budget cuts by the state. They're getting an air of permanence now, and taxpayers are questioning that, rightly. Blame failure to pass W&X on low voter turnout, blame it on fatigue with spending ever more on education to get poorer results, blame it on the teachers' unions, or blame it on the state. You'd be right on all counts. I can't stand the NP, but even I don't think they can totally take the hit for W&X's failure to pass.
On Dog in the Manger or Mangy Dog?
Posted on May 24 at 11:42 a.m.
Pritchett, the deal is you don't know which kind of animal you're going to get before it moves in. There's no permitting or regulations on who can open and run a sober-living home. Some are ok. I just happen to live near 3 that are bad operators.
On Mesa Residents Block Sober Living House for Women
Posted on May 24 at 7:37 a.m.
Ken, I think the lack of qualifications or certification was what was most enlightening when I poked into the operation of these facilities in my area. I worked with a guy who had been remanded to one for 6 months. 14 months later, still there. Why? He couldn't pay the $800 per month rent for 1/2 a room. So the facility wouldn't clear him with probation and he was stuck. He was going to become homeless, a probation violation, so I intervened and helped him work with probation to get him out of there. This is the same place the stabbing happened. The 'counselor' was himself a probate for drug use, and was not keeping an eye on the tenants, letting a lot of slides happen. After talking with the management, I realized this was just a business. They wanted rent, and results were secondary. No one had counseling credentials, or drug-alcohol licensing. It explained the shady set - remanded inmates serving out a sentence, and with little incentive to comply or get sober. Some were dealing at the corner while staying there. Without any kind of regulatory oversight on these things, or the ability to feed data back into the probation department that they're poorly run, people keep getting remanded to facilities that really have no business existing. If Mesa residents don't want that in a residential single-family neighborhood, can't blame them one bit.
Posted on May 23 at 9:18 p.m.
Fair enough. I don't think most people understand the business side of sober-living facilities. You don't usually go there voluntarily to dry out. You're remanded there after DUIs or drug violations by the court instead of serving out a jail sentence. Now, once you get in one, they want $700-800 a month for rent and 'program services'. Program = occasional breathalyzer and maybe some counseling. The people who run sober living facilities of 6 or so individuals are often renting a house (usually a Pini one), and collecting $800 per month from 6 individuals while paying out $2000-2500 a month for rent. Nice little business, and you don't have to have any real qualifications to run one. Which means a lot of these are shady operations where there isn't a whole lot of sober-living going on. I live near one of these. We see the tenants buying booze at a nearby liquor store, drinking around the corner, and shuffling back to the facility. Today they're a resident, tomorrow they might be gone. Lot of transitory folks coming in and out. Some of them are on the shady side, and those usually are here for a couple of weeks and then gone. Some end up generating late night 911 calls. One sober living facility featured a remanded resident stabbing another to death in the neck in 2008. I can totally understand if someone doesn't want that in their neighborhood. Really.
Posted on May 11 at 7:46 p.m.
Very true, Holly. Homeless, Inc. Merchants-of-Misery. Poverty Pimps. Gangs, Inc. Government employees that make better wages than the high tech sector now, and have retirements and health care benefits. It's a big business around here, and to grow it requires ever more 'clients'. So everyone in the biz of 'helping' is in the real business of enabling and growing the enabled. Net result: more homeless, and a gang problem that never goes away. It's great being a provider! Come to the dark side! We have cookies over here...
On Suspected Gang Member Violates Bail Agreement
Posted on May 11 at 7:32 a.m.
So what's your solution, Holly? As Hank often points out, quite well, there is a large difference between homeless, who do need programs and help, and bums who just want to pursue their lifestyle in a nice climate and target-rich destination for panhandling. The agencies seem to be making an industry out of that latter set, while the first group has serious trouble getting the help they need. Not because the services aren't there, but because the out-of-town set is using them. I am not sure why it's set up so you can take a bus from Texas to here, and be entitled to housing in Santa Barbara. But what solutions are you proposing?
On Ping Pong for Library Plaza?
Posted on May 10 at 7:36 a.m.
The title is wrong. They approved flashing YELLOW lights, not red.
On Flashing Lights and Restriping for Milpas Street
The worldly and beguiling Pink Martini returns for a special ... Read More
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