Sep 29, 2013
Sep 18, 2013
The meeting at the Wharfinger today regarding the homeless issue had the building packed to capacity. About 50 people had to stand outside until people exited and came in one by one as people left, in accordance with the fire chief’s instructions. Eureka Police Department and private security dealt with some polite people who had RSVPed and arrested a small group of disruptive protestors led by the queen of protest du jour Verbena aka Kim Starr.
Contrary to the perception in the media, the email had been sent to mostly businesses, city and county asking them to forward it to anyone interested. No one was being barred or banned and the drama outside the building and the drums and annoying kazoo prevented most people from hearing the speakers. There were also select quotes from the email taken out of context to incite.
The email is printed in its entirety below. Read it and make up your own mind.
This group of professional “homeless” did not do any favors to those really down on their luck. And they were disrespectful. This childish behavior was continued by three unidentified women speakers who ignored the rules of identifying themselves and all they did was berate Mr. Arkley and disrupt other speakers. None of these speakers inside were homeless. Gotta love it when people who do nothing concrete to help others down on their luck yell and scream at others trying to achieve something that may work and even better the situation.
Mr. Arkley spoke at the meeting and in his remarks mentioned that “we are not going fix the root causes of homelessness”, and cited drug issues, reuniting people with families as examples. “The goal tonight is to create a process to find solutions.”
Unlike other places, we are unique, he said, we are a county seat. A lot of money is dispersed from here. “Don’t blame the non-profits or the Betty Chinn Center…we want to put a microscope on the Health and Human Services and City budget. Half the people employed by the county are employed by DHHS.” He said Board of Supervisors and City Council people are good people working a thankless job. “They are not the enemy.”
Present at the meeting was a diverse crowd, business people, youth, elderly, people I recognized from various organizations. Supervisors Bass, Bohn and Fennell were in attendance, County CAO Phillip smith-Hanes, former city manager David Tyson, Sheriff Mike Downey and Police Chief Murl Harpham. The city council and manager are out of town for a conference.
Meeting Regarding the Homeless Issue
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
RSVP Yes or No to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our County and City are being taken over by the homeless. It seems as though many of the policies being pursued by our County and City governments, and certain not-for-profits, actually encourage the homeless to come here and stay here. Free food, showers, clean clothes, assistance above state averages, free housing, lax jail policies are just some of the attractive programs and policies. Clearly, too much right has become wrong. We have become a Mecca for the homeless and we all pay the price. Garbage or dump fees from trash and discarded clothing left on streets, sidewalks, alleys and private property have become “our” responsibility. Health and environmental issues arise from the same public areas and private property being freely used for urination and defecation, not to mention the aesthetics, or lack of, from this behavior. The general public is not comfortable walking in certain well known locations around our cities and county because the homeless with their antics have taken over what should belong to, and be enjoyed by, all of us.
I feel as though we are like the frog in the boiling water. It has gotten to the point where everybody knows that the homeless are a huge problem, but nobody is doing anything. All of our businesses are being negatively impacted. It is difficult to attract people to Eureka. Who wants to be panhandled on the way to an interview for a job? What business owner wants to invest in real estate that is negatively impacted by trash and loitering?
I think that it is time for us to get together and see if we can build a consensus on how to deal with this issue. Specifically, I would like to know what policies and programs can be cut that will reduce the number of homeless. I often hear that if we don’t provide certain services to the homeless, monies will be withheld by state and federal governments. While some, especially government and certain not-for-profits, may consider this dire, we need to make sure that elected officials understand that while government may lose monies, our private businesses and households may well be better off without the crime, environmental damage and monetary costs that these additional monies attract. It will also be interesting to see if the negative impacts of the homeless programs on local business and quality of life for the community are monetarily weighed.
Folks, let’s take our area back and encourage our elected officials to take steps that consider the overall negative impacts on all of us created by enrolling in programs designed to “help” the homeless. I have no doubt that when weighed against the loss of governmental revenue, the benefits to all of us by rejecting the monies would dwarf the downside.
I would like to see if any of you would like to join a group that deals with the most pressing issue that our area faces.
A malady seems to be affecting certain Humboldt County citizens. I call it selective amnesia. And it is coupled with the side effect of attacking others instead of taking a look at one’s actions. The ultimate diagnosis: arrogance unchecked.
A recent example is the Dan Johnson controversy. Raise your hands if you are sick of hearing about this local brouhaha. There is a valuable lesson to be learned by both sides.
Mr. Johnson, by now you must get what plagiarism is; perhaps you need to look at the definition of hubris. Your original apology would have been enough for most people. The reason this issue has become a mountain out of a molehill is because you chose not to respond to the original incident properly. When you finally did, you bragged about your contributions to the community and called others, “the self-appointed referees of good and evil”. You further added insult by saying, “But I'm comfortable in the knowledge that their intolerance, so readily on display, is a far more profound flaw than mine”.
At the recent board meeting when you were given a chance to correct the past mistakes with a proper apology which would have nullified any reason calling you to resign, you said, “There's nothing I could have said in that apology that would have been good enough for the haters. It's over. The board needs to move on.” The person who needs to move on is you. It is you who have dragged this issue out for months instead of giving a sincere apology. Your standing in the community does not entitle you to special privileges. You earn respect, Mr. Johnson, not demand it.
Some of your supporters should not be your PR advisers. Their advice has made you appear intolerant and insensitive to people who simply wanted you to say, I am sorry and mean it.
Sometimes people get so entrenched in their egos and position. This coupled with personal issues make them lash out at others instead of admitting they made a mistake. Your apology and your resignation would have bolstered the belief of your friends and supporters who want people to see the Dan Johnson they know.
This controversy is embarrassing for the school district and your business. In a small community like ours, everything we do is under a microscope. Being human we all make mistakes. Sometimes those errors result in some people attacking us, gossiping about us, or lying about us. And the natural response is to defend yourself. It takes a strong man to know when to walk away and take the high road. If you are being unfairly maligned, that action alone would speak volumes.
An elected official has to have a thick skin, especially in a small community. You are a self-made businessman that many respect in this community.
The people who have been disrespectful to you need to take equal responsibility because they took a honest mistake and blew it out of proportion. If Mr. Johnson apologizes from the heart, will you all do the same? If you still insist on his resignation after that, your actions are worse than a speech that didn’t get credited.
Sep 9, 2013
Business is always personal. To conduct business, you need an interaction between yourself and other people.
Think of the successful business people you know and admire. People who enjoy helping others, people who want see others succeed, people who came up with an idea that had a positive impact in other’s lives. These entrepreneurs get that it is not all about the cash; it is about doing what you enjoy and leaving your stamp on the business world.
I feel fortunate to have known many business owners that exemplify the above. The ones I have the most respect for are those that dared when others told them it was impossible and those that taught me by their actions what success means.
I am especially grateful to those who did not always agree with me, people who called me out on behavior that stood in my way to grow and improve. Hearing the truth can be hard but not when it is done with love and constructively. When feedback is given and received and the ultimate result is building someone up and not tearing them down, you are in the presence of a leader who knows how to effectively manage and inspire.
I have enjoyed every single job I have had. Whether it was in fast food, in an office, working with the CDC or at the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations but the time I put in volunteering are the jobs I loved.
All these jobs had 1 thing in common. People. Making a difference in someone’s life that made even a bigger difference in mine. I may not make as much money as I want, deserve or what others may think of being a financial success. As long as my basic needs are met, I have never focused on money being my goal. Even in recent years when it seems I am always in survival mode.
Would I change things if I could go back in time? No. Instead of money, I have received something more important; freedom to live my life on my terms, preserving my integrity, friends and people who believe in me and have stood by my side.
I don’t know in the eyes of the world, when I will reach that mark of success. What I do know is of all places I have lived, here in Eureka and Humboldt County, the successes I have achieved are not mine alone. I owe them to my friends here, my church community here, and the many local organizations and individuals who have through words, actions and emotional support helped me to get where I am.
People often ask me, why Eureka? You could live anywhere else. You would make more money somewhere else. It would be easier.
Sep 7, 2013
Sep 5, 2013
Since last year's election, there has been discussion about the Republican party being fractured. These predictions come from media that lean left.
Is the Democrat party free of divisions? I was a freshman in college when the U.S. presidential election was between Ronald Reagan, a Republican, and Walter Mondale, a Democrat.
I had not joined any political party but the candidate that appealed to me was Ronald Reagan. When I graduated, I registered as a Democrat, identified as pro-choice and generally bought into the false stereotypes circulated about the Republican party. I was active in Philly politics and I passed up an opportunity of being elected as a Democratic ward leader when I found myself being drawn to Republican candidates. They would be considered moderate Republicans by today's standards; to me, they were Republicans.
I registered as independent for a long time and last year switched my registration to Republican. I didn't base my decision who to support on what national party won the election; I chose based on what candidate reflects core values I believe in and someone who cares about people they represent.
As a registered Republican, I have campaigned for and supported many moderate Democrats, as well as Republican and “decline to state” candidates on a local and state level. I do that because I feel these people, regardless of party affiliation, are candidates that want the best for Humboldt County and the state. I know most of the local bloggers, the majority of the media and some members of the local Democratic party may disagree with me, but that is because they don't want to admit what this no-growth, radical environmentalism and sole focus on social issues as a barometer for votes has done to the place we call home.
Certain local elected officials have been called derogatory names since the 2010 local election by some and their choice to identify as Democrats has been questioned by some; I believe that these candidates reflect a schism in the Democratic party that was lost to the radical left three decades ago.
Parties have different identities over time.
The Tea Party has an overall good economic message. Not all social conservatives are judgmental, but many in those factions have allowed their rigid social issue positions to hurt the Republican Party. A Republican can appeal and can win a national and a local election. So why have Democrats, who have practically wiped out the moderates in their party, had successes nationally and locally?
Our culture has reacted to greed and solely blamed it on corporations and the Republicans being the party of the rich. Government bureaucracy and NIMBY liberals should be held equally responsible, maybe even more so, for the plight of the poor and the working class. Social issues are what many people base their vote on today when it should be economics and quality of life.
Republicans see people as individuals and you are allowed to be outside the box as long as you share certain common values. Democrats cannot tolerate if you don't tow the radical, left-party line mentality. A Republican can be pro-choice or for same-sex marriage but the wrath of the Democratic party will be felt if a Democrat is pro-life or for traditional marriage or Christian. It is the radical Democrats that have outed gay Republicans and other conservatives just to prove a point.
In their opinion, such Republicans should be Democrats, and this is based on the color of skin and other criteria; I have yet to see Republicans hit below the belt in the same manner.
How many Democratic men are pro-choice because they really care about women, or is it for sex without responsibility? Have the Democrats have won recent elections because of the “anything goes, you accept me, I accept you” mentality?
I have never had a Republican call me a person of color; I thought I was human. Which is the party of true inclusion? You decide.
It's time to stop using abortion, gay rights and similar hot buttons to vote; focus on merits of what a candidate offers. When you take away social issues, is there really a difference between the two parties? You decide.