Monday, April 23, 2007

Woodfin Manager Says Eviction Warranted

By Lauren Gard
Mon, Apr 23, 2007 at 4:54 PM

On Friday we blogged about a family being evicted from the Woodfin Suites hotel, where they've been living for nearly three years following the discovery of water leaks and mold in their nearby condo. In an e-mail sent to the Express over the weekend, and excerpted below, general manager Hugh MacIntosh explained that Juanita Carroll Young, her husband and her daughter have been sent packing as a result of Young's activism on behalf of hotel housekeepers petitioning for higher wages:

Every retail, foodservice or hospitality business enjoys the right to refuse service to patrons who cause a disturbance, who hassle or annoy other customers, or who otherwise aim to disrupt an establishment's business operations.

For months now, Ms. Young has written and sent disparaging letters about our hotel to all Emeryville residents, spoken ill of us to her fellow guests, and even maintained a blog critical of our people and facility. We have done our best to accommodate her as we would any other valued guest during her long stay with us, but at this point, we simply feel it would be best if she were to seek lodging elsewhere.

We have given her adequate notice and plenty of time to make alternative arrangements. We have also verified with her insurance company that she would be able to move to another nearby hotel.

We at Woodfin regret that the situation has deteriorated to this point, but we stand behind our decision.

The Oakland Tribune covered the story today, revealing several specific actions Young has reportedly taken against the hotel. MacIntosh told the Trib that, "She also has approached clients staying at Woodfin and local businesses who use the hotel and urged them to sever their business ties. ... Juanita is unfortunately trying to do whatever she can to destroy our business."

The article provoked some unabashedly nasty online comments from readers, including these two:

"This woman is clearly a pain in the butt. If it were my business I would have thrown her out long ago. No other hotel would have put up with her kind of tactics. My advice to her is to go get a job and mind her own damned business."

"... if she actually believed in what she protested then why the hell did she continue residing there herself for 'THREE YEARS'. Right is right & wrong is wrong I wouldn't care if that was the last building standing, my family & I would be sleeping in the car to get my point across. Strength in character isn't about what a person says, it's how they put it down & this chaotic woman sounds like a straight instigator w/ far too much free time on her hands. They should have kicked her out a l-o-n-g time ago!!!""

A more sympathetic reader, who purports to know Young personally, wrote that:

"She was in a difficult position of having to stay where the errent contractor placed her and her family, and watching the nasty management pratices against the poor women who clean happening around her. She has a heart of gold, and has stood up for those who are taken advantage of since her days as a student at berkeley high."

Young's eviction doesn't mean the family will be out on the streets. The insurer for the Terraces' developer, which has been footing the family's hotel bill, will pay for them to live in another hotel, or an apartment, for the next year or two while they wait for their condo to be repaired.

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