Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Problem is Perceiving the Reality That Perception Versus Reality is Part of the Problem

Ah yes...The "aggressive panhandling" problem again...How many times, people? Today's article does a good job (unintentionally) of illustrating the problem with this supposed problem.

On one hand...

Port Book and News owner Alan Turner said his sense from customers is, "Things are not getting better; things are getting worse." Customers tell him they don't go downtown anymore because of the unsavory environment.


Cherie Kidd said the issue may be on the agenda for the next regular City Council meeting on September 6th. The Council was responding to 96 residents who had signed an online petition - and according to (notorious liar) Kidd, 200 people had complained - about aggressive panhandling.

But then, on the other hand...

There were six panhandling complaints in January, six in February, seven in March, six in April, eight in May, seven in June, four in July, and three through early Wednesday afternoon, Sgt. Jason Viada said.

WOW! Look at those (less than) huge numbers! These complaints peaked in May with a ginormous...eight complaints. Yes, it sure sounds like total anarchy on the streets.

The housing bubble bursting? This guy's fault.
The spread of Zika? Here's the culprit.
The collapse of the Port Angeles economy? This guy did it!
And all while making "$200 a day tax-free," according to Cherie Kidd.

Seriously, these numbers don't even come close to adding up or making sense. Crabby Alan Turner says his customers tell him they don't go downtown anymore...But how can they tell him that if they aren't downtown, in his shop, as customers? Somewhere between 96 and 200 people complained about aggressive panhandling...And yet the most citations ever handed out in a month was eight? Two a week?

This tempest in a teapot perfectly illustrates two of the chief problems in Port Angeles: Denial and displacement. While tacitly acknowledging there is a problem in Port Angeles, the powers that be want to deny the real causes - which is to say, their own decisions. Instead, they try to displace the problem, scapegoating someone or something else - in this case a handful of hobos.

But if the people running Port Angeles want to see what is ruining Port Angeles, they don't have to go downtown. They don't have to get asked for some spare change. They just have to look in the mirror.


  1. If you add up all those official citations, the number still doesn't even come close to the (minimum) 96 people who we're supposed to believe complained, so...the problem is what, exactly?

  2. Will be interesting to see how many of the vigilantes show up to sway the council.

    And, "funny" how Cherie can get all "responsive" to 96 signatures on an on-line petition, but could so easily rationalize ignoring the more than 2,000 people that voted against fluoride in her own survey.

    1. Cherie thinks that all of us who don't voice any opinion on the online survey, must mean YES.

    2. THAT is a fun premise to explore! Shall we look back at past elections, and see how that pencils out?

  3. It's worse than you think. The police are tacitly endorsing a group of thugs to harass, intimidate and assault the most vulnerable people in town. Leadership my ass. We're spending money to solve this problem only it doesn't get to the problem--where's it going?

  4. God forbid anyone should look into city finances.

    This is a mere distraction from the real issues.
    And you dare call them community "leaders"?

    1. can we call them community leaches?

  5. The problem is that Serenity House, the notorious grant sucking beast, isn't doing their job. Close down a needed center (sewer problems?) and now the property is for sale. Does this make any sense?
    Clearly they don't mind having 7 million in assets, all tax free (no property tax) but serving the people who need it most? Meh.

    Cherie has no clue what it means when anyone says "First Amendment Rights". She'll stomp all over them, at any chance she gets. She probably doesn't even know what the ACLU stands for (Another Communist Liberal Union?) or why they might go after Port Angeles for this insanity against the least fortunate.

    The groups that regularly go down and "clean out" the encampments along Peabody Creek, don't get it that these are someone's prized possessions, their only warmth at night, and maybe the only things left from the poor disenfranchised former lives. Toss it out!

    Some places have made broad sweeps like this illegal, and the property needs to be held for some amount of time to be reclaimed.

    What good does it do to give someone BEGGING FOR MONEY a citation?

    Our city leaders are, for the most part (we have a couple who have hung on to their souls), are heartless bastards who think of themselves, and their "friends" as the core of the community. Our town is hurting. It's poor, huddling masses, that are under-served, while the likes of the EDC (and Cherie) claim to be doing all they can (to line their own pockets?). It's bullshit.

    This is only further eroding our community.

    As for the bookstore owner. I stopped going there because of the owners "sparking personality and people skills" (NOT!). Fuck him. I'll shop on Amazon, because the man is an ass and has, more than once, insulted me directly, or treated his employees with disrespect in my presence.

    I have never had a problem with "panhandlers" I treat them with respect. Maybe that is what is lacking in this town?

    1. I asked him once about self published authors and ebooks and he got really defensive and snotty. I was genuinely curious because it is turning out that many have readily integrated these new trends into their existing independent bookstores but no, he was just all anger and fear. Fine, I'll shop Amazon and the Seattle independent bookstores, or hell - buy directly from the authors.

    2. YEs indeed, Alan Turner only opened his bookshop after graduating from the Edna Peterson School of Charm. He's a real piece

  6. So there's this problem with homeless people panhandling and stuff.
    And there's this other problem, Nippon's gonna close down soon.
    So, really, we got two problems. Two problems.
    Now, here's what we do: strip out all the machinery from Nippon and sell it for scrap. Then get HUD or FEMA to bring lots and lots of bunk beds. Then the city gets grants, lots and lots of grants and not only are all the homeless people in PA housed, but we can take in more. Lots and lots of homeless people can live in the old Nippon mill, the city can get lots and lots of grant money.

    This idea of mine is really huge. HUGE!!!!

  7. Let's not forget the people who both help to craft and maintain so many illusions embraced by know-nothing city council members: entrenched city staff. Like the aforementioned idiot Bill Bloor. Though so many people here struggle to just get by, these entrenched city staffers have seen raise after raise. They face fewer of the problems so many of us deal with here, and much, much less attention.

    But they enable it all. They are the motive force behind so many failures, so much debt. Please, don't lose sight of this fact.

  8. This was posted today on an earlier (related) topic, but I figured it should be here, too:

    "(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."

  9. An undercover operation might be necessary if they continue this harassment. Get these bullies on camera and submit it to the Seattle stations. Make them famous.

  10. "Our Town" is exclusive by it's very name. They are so righteous, THEY decide who will be allowed in "Our Town", and who should be harassed and driven from "Our Town". These vigilantes have anointed themselves judge, jury and executioner.

    There is a reason there is a legal system that was created before America was colonized by the Europeans. Long ago, it was recognized people make mistakes. Innocent people get convicted for crimes they did not commit. We are "presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law". Except in Port Angeles, with "Our Town".

    Who, besides the homeless, will be the next targets to "clean up our town"? People with mental illness, that make downtown merchants uncomfortable? People with physical disabilities that make "Our Town" look bad? How about physical disfigurements? People who wear clothes we are scared of?

    These people have lost sight of what "America" is about.

    As a reminder, here is what is written at the Statue of Liberty:

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  11. Even Thailand is way ahead of PA: