If Humboldt county wants nice things like premium universities and lots of high paying jobs, then we have to clean up our act.
That's why it was great news when law enforcement joined with local clean up crews to tackle an area near Myrtle and west street that was full of dozens of bio hazardous camps. The pictures I saw told the usual story, layers and layers of garbage that is bad for the natural beauty of our area, its bad for our health and it is also bad for our cities' image.
I have personally had tours of camps like this, and they are always extremely dangerous. Years ago the manager of the mall was kind enough to give me a tour of the fenced off wetlands they own. Walking in there is unlike anything most can imagine. So many needles on the ground you couldn't even see dirt. The bones of dead animals strewn everywhere And much more that's not fit for radio. In that particular wetland alone the manager estimated there were over 30 such camps.
Now you might ask, why doesn't the mall just kick the bums out and clean up the their little forest. The answer is bureaucracy. In this example, the manager says the fault lies with the Coastal Commission, he says they simply will not let a legitimate clean up happen in that location.
When you have a landowner with a property that is out of sight and out of mind, coupled with too much regulatory oversight you get a recipe for out-of-control illegal campsites.
Most of our homeless are heavy drug users. They like taking their drugs In the forest and the litter left behind can only be safely removed via professional cleaning crews, such as John Shelter New Directions team or the PAC Out clean up volunteers.
For years we have argued about how to handle the homeless. The series of tactics that have been employed have been largely those offered by the radical left. Their solution is housing first, where you give everyone a home, with no barriers-to-entry and then worry about the problems later. While this might sound good, if you give a home to an active drug user than the home will quickly deteriorate as his dealer keeps the drugs coming, his friends are grateful for a place to hideout and it becomes dangerous for anyone living nearby.
My side of the issue, on the right, is simply to not let the camps form in the first place, and tell these chronic users to go somewhere else, pointing out that we have a large offering of private and public services. The conservative urges each individual homeless person to take advantage of these services and to realize that they are not alone in their road to recovery. While we wont hand you a free needle, we will make sure you can get food water and if you get it together, maybe even a work program. No, with our solutions you don't get a subsidized free home, free of rules, but you do get treated with dignity.