Sunday, July 09, 2006

Life In Eureka

Two, among many other things, go on in Eureka each day: Traffic accidents and fights. No different than anywhere else, I guess. I tend to miss much of it, except for what I read in the paper.

Yesterday was a bit different. For one thing, I got to witness... well almost witness, a horrible traffic accident. As curious as I was as to what exactly happened, for what seemed like one of the rare times neither of our daily papers featured a Traffic Accident Of The Day story, neither the Eureka Reporter or Times- Standard covered this one.

Sure, I've seen a few fender benders in my time. We have them right here on the corner of Trinity and E Streets on occasion, but they're usually far and few between and seem to come in cycles- one happens and then maybe two more in the same month- or so it seems. This one kinda got to me cause one of the principals appeared badly hurt.

So, I'm coming out of Rite- Aid in Henderson Center and I'm about half way to my truck in the parking lot. Out toward the intersection of Harris and E Street I hear a muffled THUMP. I thought that it sounded like a car hitting something but not car vs. car as there was none of the screeching tires or that sickening crunch of metal.

As I look up I saw what looked like plastic or fiberglass flying over the tops of the other cars in the parking lot. I knew something got hit. When I reached my truck I could see what happened: A car had hit a guy riding one of those moped/ motorscooter things. His scooter was laying next to him just outside the center of the intersection. He was curled up on his side.

I remember looking at all the other people near the intersection about that time and everyone seemed shocked. It was touching to see a number of people, perhaps eight or so run to the aid of the injured man. Not much they could do but provide moral support.

I noticed a car parked just east of him in the left lane of Harris and the windshield was cracked from the impact. He must have flown up and over the car.

Finally, what I assume was the lady driving the car, came back and pulled her car to the side of the road. She seemed unfazed, at least from what I could see. I don't know who was at fault there but, after getting involved in something like that, I think I'd be a bit shook up. She sure seemed to handle it well.

I've seen the victim nearly every day riding his scooter south on E Street. Something went horribly wrong in his life yesterday? I wonder if he made it. I left as the ambulance got there.

Just goes to show how quickly life can change for all of us. While that happens probably every day in Eureka, at least we're lucky to live in a place where people are generally quick to come to your aid.

So I get home and a couple hours later I'm out in my garage. Once again I get to become involved, albeit from afar, in another common activity in Eureka: Domestic disputes.

The neighbors on the other side of the street, a couple houses south of us have been fairly disruptive since they moved in a few years ago. One thing or another over the years, with more than their fair share of arguing and yelling at each other out in front of their house.

Yesterday, it almost went a little further with probably eight to ten of them pushing and shoving at the front porch of the house. Profanities all over the place at each other and all. One kid, who appeared in his early twenties, rips his shirt off and starts motioning for an older guy to bring it on.

I'm almost amused by it, almost hoping it would get really violent so it would get to the point where some of them would end up in jail for a while. No luck.

After about five minutes they seemed to calm down and the younger kid and a friend eventually drove off on their motorcycles.

I'll never understand people like that. These people seem to argue and threaten each other all the time. I'm not sure who lives there and who doesn't cause there's so much in and out there. I would think a normal person wouldn't want to deal with all the hostility, day in and day out and would find somewhere else to live or hang out.

Apparently these aren't normal people, at least by my standards. But, they probably are becoming more the norm for what we'll be dealing with in Eureka as the productive people leave the county, and more and more of the riff- raff move in.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

We've got people like that on our block. And what I'll never understand is why it's got to be the front porch. They've got a house; they've got a big backyard. But for them, no place but the front porch will do.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger samoasoftball said...

When you are on a cycle, motor or not, you have to be a defensive rider. You have to assume people do not see you. So sad to hear this. Life can change so drastically at the blink of eye. I have the motorcycle crowd today in Samoa so it is noisy. Not many yellers lately. That is good. Had my neighbor couple get upset at one another, she went out jumped in her car and reversed her car into his over and over. Demolition derby style. That was entertaining. Had kids across the street come over and talk with my wife in the yard while their parents argued. They told my wife their dad had a gun out, about the time my wife heard a shot and ran them into our house and called 911. He did not shoot her though, he shot her computer. I have broke up fights out in front of my house of guys fighting over women, used to be pretty rowdy out here in Samoa.

At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it time - the real estate prices will chase them off.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Fred. I talk to more and more productive people who are planning to leave here. All you have to do is drive down Broadway, and you can understand why they would want to relocate.

All the variables are here for this to become a very undesireable place to live. A big part of that has to do with who we attact to the area with all the "services" and very few good paying blue collar jobs.

You add to that the fact that many come here for the marijuana culture and that you have a defense attorney for a DA, enterprise being chased away, and a major methamphetamine problem, and it doesn't look good for the future.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our future population will be a precocious few mega-wealthy, a dwindling blue collar middle class and a burgeoning service-sucking underclass and we will have earned it. I'm going to Montana a as soon as I get my next welfare check.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about "services" may make you feel better about yourself, but it has little to do with fact, the facts in this case are called public funds.

Unless these people pushing and shoving and hollering are welfare administrators, non-profit administrators, business owners living off "prosperity network funds", CR administrators, etc.

Of course, even as welfare roles (and cash aid) have been cut by over 50% the last few years in Humboldt County, you people continue to be suckers for the "budget cuts" line or even more crazy, the "working family bit".

All the while these administrators robbing your money while putting children out on the street.

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then why do people constantly move here from other parts of the state, or even other states, to get "services"?

It's not just welfare, it's disability, it's free meals, it's half way it, and they will come.

They have, and they will continue to.

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, population growth of humboldt county is flat. What you probably see is first, poor families trading places with other families from other locales.

Second, as aid to people that need it is reduced, 5% a year for past 10 years, they become more visible to the general public.

As far as disability goes, I would say as rent, food, gas, basic needs skyrocket those people are becoming more visible as well.

As far as halfway houses, I am fairly certain their has been a big increase in that population. Why, because we have been throwing kids in prison for the past 10 years, we they get out, they need a place to go.

You might argue the sex offender, violent criminal argument, but the fact remains the great portion of "poor" or "rif raff" or not either of those.

You are being robbed while children or being forced on to the streets and being prepared for min. wage jobs, prisons, and the military.

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please define a "productive person"?

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no blue collar jobs here to support these people, and industry get chased away, sued, and slandered.

Get use to what you see on Broadway, and in Arcata, there will only be more.

The vast majority of the people on the plaza in Arcata and not from here. They have come from far and wide to use marijuana and experience the "culture" there.

This is what is being attracted to the area.

Most of these people are not from here, as other imply.

They have specifically picked Humboldt County because of certain characteristics that include: availiability of drugs, availability of free servies and generousness of government aid.

Locals are leaving, and this is what we are attracting.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

We escaped Humboldt in December of 2004 and have so far seen a total of one cardboard sign beggar. He was at an on/off ramp of I-20 and was drawing dirty looks from most of the passing motorists. Couldn't read his sign clearly but I'd swear it read "Arcata or bust" :o)

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing recently in central California--only one person with a sign.

This is certainly not the norm everywhere.

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This area has always been a "bad neighborhood", haven for disputatious neer-do-wells and miscreants. Ever hear how the "Mad" river got its' name? The exploring party had a big fight on its banks before splitting up, mostly ending up dead except by the grace of the Indians.

The gold miners were by and large dissatistified, antisocial, disreputable, and lacking of skills. That's why they left or were expelled. While their "productive and "successful" neighbors stayed put. Those miners were the base that present day "locals" come from.

Now the "code" work is "blue collar" which actually means bums-in-waiting. Not just a few of those disputatious neighbors are blue collar heros, able to handle only the most menial and simpleminded tasks. Cutting wood, mowing hay, pulling trap lines, and pounding nails is the extent of their abilities. Offer them the pleasures of alky, mj, or meth and its sayanara to any thoughts of learning to perfect a valuable skill. No right sane businessperson would offer them anything except subsistence wages.

The real skilled workers here a few and far between. Usually artist/craftsmen from other places who came for the low cost of starting a business and hiring dumb local labor. And the farmers and ranchers who derive from political and economic refugees. They gladly send their able children off in search of their own successes. The dumb kids have to stay.

And the pool of "locals" just gets dumber, poorer, addicted and more marginal.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I think the pending gentrification should solve these problems. I have friends who live on B Street not more than 10 blocks from you towards downtown and they're watching that neighborhood gentrify right before their eyes.

On a side note Fred, I was walking the sidewalks in your neighborhood last fall - my son and I were delivering political doorhangers to oppose Arnold's initiative. He was dressed as Batman to "save the world." We walked right by your house, but if you weren't registered Democrat we probably didn't leave a hanger.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gentrification will solve it, eric? are you crazy? gentrification is what is getting us there, gallegos, meth heads on every street, dealers dealing out of motorhomes, renters filling houises up with dirt and growing pot, because in hum co it is free ride... yoiu asked for it you got it. sad for all of us.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

Half empty or half full?

From my point of view things in my neighborhood have gotten better. The three rentals around the corner are now owner occupied. A few years back there had been a rash of auto break-ins. But the past few years have been calm.

It also seems the home owners in the Clark District are making progess with their problems. And there is the new nuisance ordinace that holds the property owner responsible for too many police calls for noise and nuisance complaints.

At 1:11 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I didn't say gentrification is a good thing anon 8:46. But it will push the losers away from Fred's home.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losers? Did you really call some of less fortunates losers? Someone alert DailyKos. Erik, you do have some conservative in you!

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you "free ride" commentators are pretty lost, I would think.

Funny how easy it is to be tricked with "class" or "low life" arguments while the people tricking you are draining your bank accounts.

Like that McClintock fellow, always proposing cuts to the poor,
but never actually trying to cut the budgets of those who administer the programs.

Makes people feel tough I guess, so what if all those guys are rolling around on the floor laughing at your uninformed asses.

Stop the free ride they yelp, now lets go party with the taxpayers money because the voters fell for it again.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, anybody who picks a physical fight and makes a show of it is a loser - whatever your socio-economic background. Just my personal view.

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can definitely define some non-productive persons: michael smith, david cobb, kaitlin sopoci-belknap, hannah clapsaddle, fhyre phoenix...none of these people hold any jobs outside of sucking up activist dollars to fund their schemes to attack other activists and horde political power.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Isnt it important to you to spell everyones name correctly?

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

I had a guy pull a knife on me in Sequoia Park this evening. Some young punk trtying to chop down a redwood with a hatchet. I caught him by surprise and grabbed him by the shoulder and started dragging him to the street to call the cops. He then pulled the knife... about a 5 inch blade. Cops came to late.

Lots of vandalism at the park these days. Two old benches chopped to pieces (same guy?) just today. Pleanty of graffiti along with destruction of sme young trees, burned picnic tables...


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