Thursday Morning Meetings, A Missing Bench, and Christmas.

The site adjacent to Security National on 5th and E streets where a bench was removed by Eureka City.
The site adjacent to Security National on 5th and E streets where a bench was removed by Eureka City.

There once was a park bench on the northwest corner of 5th and E before it was removed by Eureka City back in October or November.  I used to walk by it during all times of the day, including very, very, very early in the morning.

Almost without fail, a homeless woman would be slumped over on the bench.  Sometimes she would have a coffee, but most of the time her head was down and she was resting.

I was quite surprised then to see the bench and the person who so often used it missing one day – but not shocked.  The bench is adjacent to Security National (the umbrella organization for Rob Arkley’s financial empire) a fitting symbol for one of the forces behind removal of any public assistance – even benches.  Money’s preferred strategy to deal with poverty, despair and inequity is to remove any public asset or assistance.  BTW, this strategy has, conveniently, the added benefit that the public is now encouraged to rest on the only on the warm seats near by –  a for profit business across the street.

A couple of further points about Money’s strategy.

  1.  It isn’t just public assistance that is the problem – it’s also private.  Even Betty Chin’s efforts and the private citizen’s attempt to help are denounced or discouraged.
  2. This is an acknowledged community solution, not a societal solution since the goal is to move the homeless out of Humboldt.

So, what is the Thursday morning connection?  Conservative Supervisors Bass and Bohn, after the Arkleyfest began a series of Thursday morning closed door meetings with local community groups including fire, police, main street, the local mission, etc.  You can hear Supervisor Bass’ overview on this during her previous two appearances on KINS*.  An important part of the solution seems to be to have the public curtail their instinct to help with money.  I don’t necessarily disagree – money isn’t the best solution, I would advocate some credit system set up with local vendors to avoid the obvious temptation to spend money on alcohol.

Of course that isn’t part of the solution to the conservative mind because that would only encourage more people to be lazy and feel entitled and would make the problem worse – so what we do instead is continue to decimate the public sector – removing trying to prevent what they can of public space so that heaven forbid a homeless person might not find our community too inviting.  It’s pathetic – not the homeless mind you, the conservative mind set that tries to solve our societies’ increasing problem of wealth disparity by trying to sweep the problem under the rug.  Oh, and people swept out of sight … and mind.

Merry Christmas to the woman previously on the bench.  I hope you find more warmth and comfort wherever you are now.


*  A public affairs show btw with the nice (sarcasm) leadin of 6 hours of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

UPDATE:  Thought to check Google Maps… Here’s the bench in happier days.

Found bench courtesy Google Maps.
Found bench courtesy Google Maps.

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