Friday, August 19, 2016

Pick Your Poison, Port Angeles: Suspected "Junkies" or Sociopathic Vigilantes

For the record...When I was in Port Angeles, I tried on numerous occasions to get the City to respond or do something about people in my neighborhood who were clearly living on the streets, in RVs, in violation of the City's own rules.

Nothing ever came of my complaints. But I find it interesting that the issue has festered and grown into something that attracts nearly 100 people to a public meeting. Obviously there are undeniable problems (RV residents on the streets), as well as other, murkier problems (drug dealing? vigilante assholes?) waiting for more light to be shined on them.

The following is a new piece from the Port O Call that delves into some of the issues and people at play. It sounds like a real mess, people, like a truly horrible situation that is just the opening act for something even more horrible yet to come...


Homeless residents harassed by former addicts.

There is a theory in the recovery community which suggests when a person begins to use drugs his or her emotional maturity stops.  They remain at that same emotional age until they stop using.  What this means is if a teenager begins to abuse drugs at the age of 17 and quits ten years later the therapist who works with him/her will be dealing with someone with the emotional maturity of a 17 year old even though the chronological age is 27.

Unless and until a chronic user gets into and does the internal work required in recovery, such as the famous 12 step program, they will ever remain the same emotional age.

This may explain why some of the members of a nascent group calling themselves “Our Town” repeatedly harass homeless residents whom they perceive are using drugs.

Some of the “leaders” of Our Town are themselves former addicts who presumably are now clean and want to vilify others who still use drugs.  According to statements made by some of the homeless residents Our Town leader, Adam Chamberlain has a habit of harassing homeless people even up to the point of accelerating toward them in his truck and spraying pepper spray on a woman and her six year old daughter.

According to reports Chamberlain has a rap-sheet in at least two states including Idaho and Washington.  The story is Chamberlain had some tools stolen from his truck and presumes a homeless person took them.  Now he is on a revenge rampage to “pay-back” everyone who is homeless.

Our Town has a facebook page where they post photographs of homeless people and call the police whenever they photograph someone whom they think may have warrants out.  Recently Our Town posted a message to one particular woman saying, “I am going to ruin you.”

Another ploy employed by Our Town is to provide blankets to homeless individuals and then photograph them when they come to get clean blankets.  They then post these photographs onto their facebook page.

Our Town operatives took photos of Port O Call interviewing homeless individuals and posted them on their facebook page.

When Port O Call interviewed Chamberlain outside the recent meeting at the Vern Burton Center Port O Call asked Chamberlain if he had indeed pepper-sprayed the woman and her child.  Before he could answer, the founder of Our Town, Chelsea Ward stepped up and stated 3 times, “there’s no record of it, there’s no record of it, there’s no record of it.”

After interviewing a half dozen homeless residents with eerily similar stories about Chamberlain and a few other vigilantes harassing them, the stories add up including brandishing a pistol at a makeshift campsite inside city limits.

This is one of the few complaints made by the homeless that is actually getting investigated.  Chelsea seemed pretty sure of herself when she said “there’s no record”  because there are very few investigations being conducted to see if these vigilantes are harassing homeless when they come into town for a meal at the Salvation Army or to fly a sign in town seeking donations.

According to one young women who was the victim of the alleged pepper-spray attack by Chamberlain she stated the law enforcement officer refused to take her complaint because she had no telephone by which he could call her if he needed more information.

Jesse is another who lives outdoors.  He too claims to have had a gun pointed at him and was ordered to “get out of town.”  One of the stories that kept popping up within the stories of the interviewees was that of being threatened with vehicles attempting to run them over on the street.

Port O Call has in its possession a video showing a white, late-model SUV actually speeding toward the video maker and swerving only at the last second.  There are stories of vehicles running up on the sidewalk to scare homeless people walking on the sidewalk.

All these stories could be taken with a grain of doubt except there is currently an unsolved death where a homeless man was victim of a hit and run.  Port Angeles police discovered the car and the driver but no charges have been leveled and no information has been released on the particulars of this case.

Viet Nam Veteran, Bill Hosel showed stitches in his hand where he had to ward off a knife attack by vigilantes.  Hosel and his wife are living in an RV in town and say their vehicle is constantly vandalized whenever they leave it unattended.  Windows have been broken out of it and their personal possessions strewn about the street.

Teri has lived in Port Angeles all her adult life and has been employed or run her own business up until two years ago when she says she was robbed and carjacked in Port Angeles.  She lost everything she had including money, identification and all her personal effects.  When the police found her stolen car they had it towed to an impound lot where the costs ballooned to a point where she could not afford to retrieve it.  Since then it has been a struggle to get back on her feet, replace all the identification papers stolen and getting back into an apartment.  She says she is, “constantly in crisis mode.”

One young man, a Port Angeles native who did not want his name used said he worked 5 years at Platypus Marine until he got into a fight with a fellow who had worked there longer than he.  Because he was the least senior employee he was asked to leave.  Since then he has been on the street and unable to find another job.  He too has been victimized by vigilantes from Our Town.

Of the half-dozen interviewed so far by Port O Call all of them are Port Angeles natives having lived here for most of their adult lives.  Most have had jobs that went away for one reason or another.

The county’s go-to agency to fight homelessness, Serenity House has amassed over $7,000,000 in real estate holdings--all from taxpayer dollars, none of which contain even one bed for homeless to sleep.

Port O Call suggests there is a powder keg about to explode if the homeless are not protected and the vigilantes are not brought to heel.

Port O Call does not suggest all the members of Our Town are into this vigilante mode.  Some came to the organization because they thought Our Town was all about helping the homeless instead of harassing them.


  1. Lawlessness starts from the top here.

    Despite all the new rules and procedures the city council passed for themselves (no cussing, children!) we all know that the city views laws as made to be broken.

    I've called in drug dealers multiple times, and nothing happened. Amber Steim killed an innocent woman and didn't even get a DUI test. Nippon started building their biomass plant without having the proper permits. And on and on.

    If there are vigilantes here, it's because the police are letting them exist, and aren't doing their job. And if the police aren't doing their job (and they clearly aren't) it's because the council lets them get away with not doing their job.

    1. If our leaders had been paying attention years ago the problem would not be this bad. What are the priorities? I would like like to see a safe community for all.

  2. Glad I can do anonymous in here cause coordinated retaliation is a very real thing with Our Town.

    Chamberlin ran a local Facebook page called Clallam County Criminal Watch. He did that until last March when Facebook shut him down for violating several of their policies -- shaming, harassment, and so on. I saw some vicious stuff in there before I left it. Most of that group migrated to Our Town, which had started out sounding kind of like "let's get our hands dirty and fix things," but soon changed to just "let's play dirty." Members of both groups openly harassed TAFY, its clients, its donors, and literally anyone who stood up for any of them in any forum -- they were "enablers." This happens to anyone who criticizes the group. It is a Closed group -- you must join to see what they're saying. They tried being Public for a couple of weeks, but it worked badly for them -- too much daylight -- so they changed back.

    An operational arm of this group is recognized for stealing what little the homeless manage to scrape together. Particularly blankets. They raid camps by day while people are out and about, take the blankets, launder them, and deliver them to various local charity orgs. They call it "blanket exchange," nudge nudge wink wink. I call it, "You're sleeping rough tonight, scum, we're giving your blanket to someone else."

    I joined in with this Our Town group for one of their cleanups. The stuff I overheard that day dovetails just fine with what I'm seeing on this post. There was plenty of talk about how to make the homeless be unhappy and afraid, and go away. Nothing about helping anyone.

    Their name is This Is "Our Town": Port Angeles. They really mean that. They want all the folks they don't approve of, gone. They don't care how, and they don't care about helping. It's their way or the highway.

    1. Thank you for your post, and I can understand your worry. Please, anyone and everyone, feel free to share whatever information you have about this group here ANONYMOUSLY. Bullies are bullies, and bullies are scumbags.

      Or, as Cherie Kidd wouldn't put it, fuck bullies.

    2. What do you mean, "both groups"

    3. (1) Our Town doesn't "raid camps by day..." We pick up abandoned property - and most, if not all, of the blankets that have been picked up have been wet AND dirty - appearing to not be in current use. (2) In the interest of recycling, I tried laundering blankets that were picked up. Try as I might, I couldn't get them to smell clean again. (Yea, I'm sure you'll turn that comment into something it isn't.) Out of respect for the people we serve, I chose not to pass those blankets out at Blanket Exchange. (3) Blankets are not delivered to "various local charity orgs." Blanket Exchange is held one day a week (Tuesday) for one hour (11:30-12:30) at the Salvation Army. Yes, I posted this as "Anonymous." However, if anyone reading this has truly followed the Blanket Exchange, it's easy enough to figure out how is writing this.

    4. Lucky this POS blog isn't on Facebook, it would have been shut down a long time ago.
      " He did that until last March when Facebook shut him down for violating several of their policies -- shaming, harassment, and so on."

    5. As a matter of fact a member of the "Our Town" group tried giving Taffy a bunch of blankets that were infested with lice. The police chief Brian Smith actually made the call to make the individual take the blankets away. So much for being good citizens. This is public record.

  3. Well I'm not surprised by any of this and it's likely a matter of time before "Our Town" kills someone if they haven't done so already. I got into a little verbal sparing with Chamberlain when he started the Criminal Watch group. They basically just picked out people their members had a problem with and harassed the shit out of them by cute crap like calling people's work and landlords.Putting up signs in their neighborhoods accusing their victims of crimes. Someone was so distraught she over their harassment she wrecked her truck and was almost killed. They all of them are nasty vicious thugs and likely belong in jail much more so then their victims. Several of us complained. I copied and pasted my charming conversation with Adam and sent it to a Facebook admin I know. Their first group was labeled a "hate group" and shut down. They must have made the police mildly nervous because they posted a disclaimer on their Facebook page letting people know they were in no way affiliated with the Criminal Watch web site. It looks to me like the Criminal element proved to be a little to rough and tough for old Adam so with his new group he stepped it down a notch and found a more vulnerable group with less defensive resources to harass. Someone needs to do something about the Adam Chamberlain problem. He insights people just as nasty and nutty as he is into violence.

    1. I trust you meant "incites." And yes, he does sound like a real piece of work.

    2. The Donald Trump model of America: Incite the racist crazies in any given community to do your dirty work, and then stand back and disavow any responsibility.

    3. Yes I meant incites. Thnk you lol

  4. Think of the great line of arrogant and bullying elected bozos we've had: Karen Rogers, Larry Williams, Grant Munro, Jim McIntire, Jim Hallett, and that unelected thug Glenn Cutler. Among others. Bullying is a way of life here, for a lot of people. We see the results of that worldview play out here every day. No one likes a bully, and no one much seems to like Port Angeles. Good luck moving that real estate.

    1. Add to that list the bullying of our county treasurer and more recently the director of community development. This bullying is carried out by our own county prosecutor. Who ya gonna call?

  5. Let's see...Junkies slowly kill themselves, in a most pathetic way, while vigilantes kill other people in a most self-righteous way...Hmmm...

  6. True leaders possess the intelligent vision of a better community, and the motivation to implement specific policies to get there, even if bit by bit.
    They are focused and diligent and honest.
    They do not steal from the community revenues.
    They do not impoverish the community with debt.

    The true value of a community is measured by its worst-off residents. We don't have much of value here. We just exist. No visions of what we want are ever discussed.

    There are good and smart citizens, but they are not allocated any power whatsoever to direct or even influence the beneficial uses of government resources. They are left to use their own labor, at their own cost, for their community works (for which the city often takes credit).

    All the ra-ra going on is nothing but BS.

    This place is utterly and completely leaderless.

  7. I had visitors from out of town for the last couple days. After we drove around town, ate at the Gastropub, and walk downtown, we came back home where they looked me in the eye and ask with all concern and sincerity:"Why are you living here?"

    "You know there are a lot of places to call home. How can you put up with this really sad way of viewing the world? These people are from the Dark Ages. Consider your family. Consider your children."

    I'm "underwater", and that is why I've made excuses. Like money matters more than my children's foundation and future. Or mine and my husbands.

    The idea a small group think that their view of what my town is, or should be .. gives them some kind of right to chase out others that see the world differently, is absolutely unacceptable. What if they were chasing Jews out of town? Or Blacks? Or people with differing political views?

    Driving people out of "Our Town" , because "we don't want people like that in our town" is completely un-American, and these people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

  8. Makes me wonder about the guy who got cut/stabbed, but wouldn't cooperate with the authorities, or say who did it...

  9. You can stick your head in Port O Call and see how these characters pile on to anyone who bashes them. A gang pure and simple. I hope Dale will let us know if his advertisers get any flak.

  10. 6:24, what are you talking about?
    You sound crazy. Paranoid much?

  11. Where can I find out more about the Serenity House scandal? $350,000 missing last year, the diector up and quits, the dang town is about 30% homeless people...I'm confused what it is they do and who they report to, if anyone.

  12. And if I may, the story about the fella who was fired after an argument w co worker is interesting....i moved here from upstate New York two years ago. I immediately began work as a trainee in production at a well known business, and became a manager trainee in three months. When I caught a fellow employee (with much more time on the job but less initiative) I was fired after the altercation, it was odd. I thought of suing. Since then, I have worked for three separate business that have refused to actually pay me, I've been robbed twice, harassed by shady landords who steal items from my apartment when I'm not home to the tune of thousands of dollars. When I go to police to file criminal complaints as a victim stupefied by this blatant abuse, (and all the offense listed there are felonies.. Both in NY state AND Washington state too.. The police basically yawn and say something about "civil matter". Since when is robbery, theft of services and criminal misconduct a civil matter? I have a college degree, a clean record and a strong desire to succeed. But I can't get out of the gate. Landlords, even in this pathetically underemplyed town, go to any length to charge you as much as humanly possible to move in, then find some self righteous reason to harass and bully you until you leave. I've had landlords in port Angeles call police on me, destroy my copy of the lease, call my work and slander me, etc. This is bizarre. And the complete complacence of kaw enforcement toward enforcing ANY laws except "trespassing" by homeless people? Maybe some of them woldnt be homeless if there were any jobs here. OR if they were afforded the rights and protections guaranteed under Washington law and city hall's duty to uphold. Instead, the homeless number go up as PA seems to be more and more a town where your either A) homeless. B) a meth or heroine addict c) one of the myriad levels of law enforcement, or D) involved in organized crime. Pretty rough. Thinking of moving away while I still have any hope, a car and my freedom/ life. Doesn't seem like anyone cares about any of that!

    1. I am sorry for your woes, and understand. Like you I came to Port Angeles with good intentions and some degree of hope. Those seeds of hope died in the poisonous landscape there.

      So I left, and life is good.

      Life is too short to live in Port Angeles. I urge you to get out, and live.

  13. I find it interesting that some of the "Our Town" principals have this do-gooder with extreme church goer attitude when some of them can't even pay the child support they owe on their own kids (public record). Their members are so quick to criticize and bash businesses and individuals if they do not conform to their way of thinking. Of course their public personas are way different from what they really do in private.

  14. I am a local addict who was publicly blasted quite a few times on the criminal watch page by various group members Never once in any post or comment did they have me in connection with any type of crime. Since then I have been pre judged and negatively profiled in the community several times (refused service, laughed at, and even had my kid receive bullshit from other students). I work full time, always have, own my own house, support my kid on my own and never had a cps case. They have stalked, harassed, and blatantly lied about me publicly to embarrass me. They have stopped dead in front of my house while I'm in my own yard and snapped photos. Many addicts talk or rumour that there are lawsuits in the works. I wonder realistically what would be my best option to take a stand for myself. I don't need money but my rights are being violated. With the cops being more focused on corrupt bullshit and pure laziness than even trying to find pedophiles who actively try to snatch up kids outside the schools, I'm not sure exactly where I would turn for help. Does anyone have any suggestions?