Saturday, October 15, 2005

Arcata Plaza Problems

I don't know what to make of the problems people are having with the Arcata Plaza. Seems like any decent size town has an area where all the low lifes and derelicts hang out. In Eureka it's the Old Town area. In Arcata it's the Plaza. Is more police power the answer to the problem? I don't know but some apparently think so.

Some are suggesting the HSU cops start working with the Arcata PD in cracking down on whatever nefarious activities take place on the Plaza. Legalities aside, I don't know that that would really do much. I also find it ironic that Rollin Richmond, President of HSU, is one of those pushing for more enforcement on the Plaza since, arguably, the presence of HSU contributes to the problems on the Plaza since it effectively makes Arcata a "college town". One wonders how many of the hangers out on the Plaza would keep hanging out if it weren't for the presence of the university?

But, like I said, every sizeable town has a red light district of some sort. Too bad for Arcata it's their town Plaza. If the Plaza didn't exist, they'd probably congregate somewhere else. I don't know that more enforcement and more rules would make things any better. Doesn't Arcata have enough rules already?


At 12:35 PM, Blogger the PLAZOID said...

One way to look at the problems on the plaza is to point out, first of all, that most of the problems stem from alcohol abuse related behavior, and the plaza has a bunch of bars and a liquor store. What else would you expect? You find the same thing in any town you go to with a bunch of bars and a liquor store all in one place. Was this some kind of urban planning accident? Or did greed over-rule common sense. Those buildings did not always host bars.

Another issue to look at is poverty. Some of the people who hang out on the plaza do so because it is the town's commons. If you need food, clothes, money, medicine, you need to be around people who can provide it for you. If you are hungry, you aren't going to just go hide from the public view all day, and if there is no way for you to provide for yourself, you will rely on the kindness of strangers - and the plaza is where people go.

Unfortunately, the homeless task force dealt less with the root of the problem of homelessness - poverty - and instead payed lip service to the business "community"'s desire to get non-shoppers out of the way.

All the flap about the plaza and need for more cops is also bullshit - the cops let the drunken weekenders go nuts while the cops harrass kids on the plaza who are QUIETLY minding their own business and maybe passing a joint. GO SEE FOR YOURSELF!!!

This isn't just accidental, in my opinion. Kids on the plaza smoking weed often times don't pay for it, or if they do, they aren't giving money to the storefronts or tax-collectors. The folks getting smashed at the bars, trashing downtown, and exhibiting rampant over-consumption, on the otherhand, are throwing money around, and thus the cops look the other way lest they "hurt business."

Fuck this fucking spectacle. Go see for yourself. The Arcata Leye makes it a routine practice of distorting what's going on in Arcata, and puts forward the pro-gentrification stance that its advertisers want Arcatans to read. Ever notice how on Monday nights (the night before the new weekly issue comes out) the vend boxes are full? My suspicion is that the Eye relies heavily on advertisement dollars.

Ok. Gotta go now. too much computer, other things to do.
thanks Fred

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous leonidas said...

Most every soviet in the people's republic has its own freak show. They're mostly amusing to watch and the freaks have opted to perform in lieu of engaging in behavior which would end their "poverty". As long as the institution is ruled by the inmates the circus will continue.

"When the water reaches the promenade deck, it's time to follow the rats."

At 6:50 PM, Blogger the PLAZOID said...

maybe some people can look beyond their own self-interest and want not to just end their own poverty, but put an end to all poverty.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger the PLAZOID said...

as for the "circus" and the "inmates," I agree - the city council meetings ARE indeed entertaining to watch.

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous leonidas said...

For the most part "poverty" is a choice. I choose not to prepare for gainfull employment but instead to party and play frisbee in the plaza. That is, after all my "right". Shame on those who would interfere with my choice.

The pity is that the freaks are a factor in electing the council members who then set about such idiocy as "nuclear free zones" and "sanctuary" ordinances.

Garbage in, garbage out!

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what, the plazoid has lost his mind. The last couple of times I've been down to the Plaza, it's been out of control yelling and screaming from loserville corner. Hell, I even saw them throwing things at the "normal" people when they didn't give them any money.

The plaza may have had problems from drunks and the bars, but it was never like this 4-5 years ago at this level of chaos.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger the PLAZOID said...

"anonymous" and leonitas; the dyanmic duo of bloggersphere:
Always such ignorant and not even entertaining comments, what gives? Kudos to Leonidas for at least making up a name.
I wonder if any of you "poverty is a choice and I don't choose it" computer-users are sports fans?


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