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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

RE: " White Supremacists
Charge ever more Racist Rents
And are here blaming their victims. "

Um, no.

I am not white.

I do not own property in Oakland.

The property I do own, I live on, I do not rent.

I have never been a landlord.

Sorry "commonterry", your stereotyping missed the mark. (As stereotyping so often does.)

Posted by LT2012 on 10/13/2019 at 10:23 AM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

White Supremacists
Charge ever more Racist Rents
And are here blaming their victims.

Posted by commonterry on 10/12/2019 at 8:51 PM

Re: “Unmasking The Art of Living

Dear Lance hunter,
Reading blindfolded is a trick and has been debunked. Search YouTube for third eye debunked or "mid brain activation scam " by Dr Narendra Nayak

Posted by Sagar98641191 on 10/12/2019 at 11:21 AM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

What ever happened to the concept of flying under the radar when you are living in tension with the law or public opinion? Squatting discretely. ;)

Homelessness is a huge problem-on that we all agree. Solutions, if ever, won't come this week.

But here is what can, because this can be done on an individual level at any time:

L-E-S-S-E-N....T-H-E....N-E-G-A-T-I-V-E....I-M-P-A-C-T-S

If the encampment occupants would dispose of trash with their spare time (it absolutely can be done), minimized the presence of their own waste (ditto-poop on newspaper over plastic....pee into containers/chamber pots etc---and dispose reasonably), didn't block public access to roads and sidewalks, and didn't use their domiciles to harass pedestrians or launch raiding operations from (how many stolen amazon boxes fit into a tent?).....the entire character of the problem would change, and I dare say there might be a lot more compassion shown by the general population.

As it is, I see little effort made at flying under the radar....rather, I see a lot of push back attitude and sense of entitlement that sponsors "I will do whatever I want!" as the M.O. of each day. The latter is anarchy, and that doesn't fly well at all with the average citizen.

From on high-how about laying down some ground rules and getting some R-E-S-P-E-C-T into the mix, (in both directions of course). Something like an extension of the old "will work for food!".

EX: "you" keep the place picked up, and off the sidewalks and streets---and "we" (the other side-community, city, state, ngo-s, whoever), hand out porta-pottys.....pizza.....flu shots.....whatever the encampments can readily benefit from. A give and take win/win. Hire a couple locals to liaison with. Keep it simple, and keep it real.

Not a solution to the underlying problem, (those take decades and are needed in parallel). This just takes the edge off, to buy homeless campers some camping time and public patience while solutions are sought, (as they have to be). And it does so while engaging far more constructive dialog.

***

Everyone on both sides of this problem can do a lot more than they are to mitigate the negative effects of homelessness.

That said, though I am sympathetic and want to help the homeless (I volunteer my time to do so consistently), if they are going to act like combative irritants-I support them being treated as same. Incentivise decent behavior-do the reverse to the reverse. And do both consistently.

I am guessing 1/3-1/2 the affected population will respond reasonably....and that right there is significant progress in a problem going nowhere positive at present. Take that fraction-and build upon it incrementally.

The thousand mile journey begins with the first step. :)

Posted by LT2012 on 10/11/2019 at 2:00 PM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

Ms. Stewart - Please come to Webster and 6th in Oakland and take a look at the encampment under the 880. Take note of how, over the course of two years, City of Oakland officials, and CalTrans, have allowed the encampment to slowly encroach over the entire sidewalk, in violation of state law. Now the encampment is encroaching into the public street. The first tent is so large that the residents built a platform out of pallets and it extends about two or three feet onto Webster. People in wheelchairs cannot get through, parking spaces are blocked, pedestrians put themselves at risk by having to walk in the street. Oakland Police responded to an incident here Sunday evening. One of many over the years. But officials won't enforce existing laws and won't find solutions.
The Salvation Army business across the street is complicit with affording the encampment residents with anything from furniture to clothing to exercise equipment, which ends up in the street. At one point over the summer there was a full size refrigerator in the street and an exercise bicycle in the encampment. A Homeless Gym.
On the other side of Webster as you enter the Posey Tube, is the encampment's landfill. No one but the encampment residents toss trash here.
Further down under the 880, between Webster and Franklin is an area under the Broadway exit ramp. Years ago CalTrans installed wrought iron fencing to keep people out. There is a gate that had a lock. The homeless cut off every lock Caltrans puts on it and then they set up their little community. Many of these people smoke methamphetamine and steal bicycles. One woman in particular has shown violent tendencies by swinging a 2x4 at passers by. She is also a hoarder so frequents the piles people illegally dump at the Salvation Army after hours. It's another trash pit, with rats, in this location. Mattresses included.
The 159 condo owners in my building next door get little to no response from Oakland officials anymore. Joe DeVries was very helpful and as responsive as he could be but this year even he has apparently given up or his hands are tied by the mayor's edicts.
Oakland, Berkeley, and Caltrans could do more to SOLVE these issues but they let red tape and rhetoric get in the way.
There is plenty of money and business partners to take action and make positive change. It's just a matter of elected officials knowing how to solve a problem and not just turn a blind eye, not kick the can down the road, or throw money at it.
Once you visit 6th Street, take a drive down 12th towards Fruitvale. Around 16th Ave you will see a long median with not just any encampment, but a tree house and RV encampment. There is a midsize motorhome on the median. Two years ago the City cleared it out and cut the lower tree branches, but there are treehouses once again. Very creative.

Posted by moriarty65 on 10/11/2019 at 6:44 AM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

The State through Caltrans has a responsibility to keep our freeways safe. The homeless issue may belong to the state but it seems to fall to the Cities to do the right thing. I just wonder if the Cities have tried to build a database of the homeless - where did they come from and do they have an ID belonging to another state. I suspect other states are still dumping on California. if so, send them back. I don't buy the number of homeless doubling - it is far worse than written here. On a final note doesn't Caltrans house all of the belongs they pick up in some repository? Maybe it is time to offer up Tilden Park to the homeless?

Posted by Art Zamora on 10/10/2019 at 6:02 PM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

We can never build enough below-market-rate housing, and I mean that literally. If I offered to sell you dollars for 50 cents, how many would you buy? All of them. As soon as we find free-ish housing for all of the people living on the streets, they will be replaced by just as many from elsewhere.

The solution to this is a must-shelter, no camping law. The state/county/city would be required to have a enough shelter beds for the population (as it is done on the east coast). Once that is achieved, no more camping on public land. Simple, humane and achievable.

Posted by Dave Potes on 10/10/2019 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

We indeed have a critical lack (and catastrophic loss) of low-income housing. That crisis needs to be addressed immediately, with utmost urgency.

We're faced with another crisis, however -- involving the abuse of public space -- and an entire "encampment" subculture rooted in that abuse (and an entire cottage industry hell-bent on legitimizing that subculture and using it as a scourge, to promote its own political fortunes).

We need to stop to conflating these two phenomena under the rubric of "homelessnesss."

I've been homeless myself. There's always another place to go (and -- housed or not -- another way to approach life).

We're told to have respect and compassion for our "unhoused neighbors," but where's their respect or consideration for the neighbors on whom they foist themselves? Even an addict can can avoid getting in peoples' faces, or tossing used syringes into playgrounds or onto the street.

If these people have such deep roots in the community, why won't any of their supposed neighbors put them up? The answers obvious. Respect and consideration are a two-way street.

No more "whack-a-mole." Time to move on, for the better and for good.

PS to Sam Spade: My father arrived in this country destitute in 1934, in the depths of the Depression. He would never even have considered living in an encampment. Neither would my mother, grandmother, sister aunt, or cousin.

Take a tip from one who's seen (and lived with) this predicament from both sides. Now, THAT's empathy!

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/10/2019 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

Letter writing campaign to the City of Berkeley to get some actions done?

Posted by Lina Campopiano on 10/10/2019 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

Why do those in positions of "power" continue doing the same things over and over, while expecting different results?

The answer is a lack of tax dollars to do it... The area has LOT's of people "doing their own thing"... But they pay nothing to support the infrastructure they use.

When I was a kid, I had a MUCH younger sibling who looked at my parents when there was something they wanted and told them to just "write" some (write a check). The very young tend to do things this way.

As to the presented example? Well, THERE are programs for seniors that would house her. I bet there are rules she doesn't want to comply with. I come out of the streets. It's what I've seen with my own two eyes.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/09/2019 at 9:59 PM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

"They're not going to build a bunch of low income housing tomorrow," advocate Henson said. "They need to deal with this today."
This has been stated over the last FIVE YEARS and yet the problems and abuse continues. Why do those in positions of "power" continue doing the same things over and over, while expecting different results?
Is this not the definition of INSANITY?

Posted by Barbara Brust 1 on 10/09/2019 at 7:32 PM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

To force them to vacate and not do a thing with the property, while winter comes and the pair fester in an RV, it isn't right.

Posted by Wendy Huntington Parker Fages on 10/09/2019 at 2:25 AM

Re: “Homeless Crackdown by Caltrans Sparks Dialogue in Berkeley

Look at the photo. Imagine if this were your mother, grandmother, sister aunt, cousin, etc.
Would you think its ok for them yo be treated this way. To be totally ignored except to punish them for being poor

Posted by Sam Spade on 10/08/2019 at 6:17 PM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

How is it possible that the brother-in-law has not been formally charged with financial exploitation and neglect of vulnerable disabled adults?

Posted by Dr. Teri on 10/08/2019 at 2:02 PM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

Its a shameful thing, mans inhumanity to man, beasts and planet! Without kindness of heart and compassion of mind, this is the consequence that will continue until these very qualities arrive within humans! Pain and suffering are Only perpetrated due to the absence of these 2 qualities. Unfortunate for all existence here that greed, selfishness and posessiveness have taken over hearts and minds!Societies of this caliper will fall, every time... ( yes, Fall!) .. due to the exponential Failure to activate heart and to use the mind in compassionate opperations!

Posted by terri829 on 10/08/2019 at 7:54 AM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

Also, I agree with Muriel- more information would be helpful regarding what court, what judge, etc. Thank you

Posted by Emily at Berkeley Painters on 10/07/2019 at 1:36 PM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

Wow, what a tough read. It's important that we as a community help terrible situations such as these .

Posted by Emily at Berkeley Painters on 10/07/2019 at 1:32 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

911 is a joke...always has been...always will be.

Posted by FedUpInOakland on 10/07/2019 at 2:21 AM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

"But the court ordered the brothers to vacate the property by May 14."

what court? which judge? what did the judge's opinion say to support his decision? what about the first eviction? what causes were deemed overriding for the evictions??
i need more information.

Posted by muriel on 10/06/2019 at 6:24 PM

Re: “The New Face of Homelessness: Elderly and Disabled

Yes, this could be you or a member of your family. What kind of society are we to let this happen?

Posted by Gail Fligstein on 10/06/2019 at 1:02 PM

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