Tag Archives: homeless industrial complex

Liberal utopia of Seattle: Drugstore employees subject to violent assaults as criminals become more brazen

Progressive-run Seattle has serious problems with 1) homeless criminals, 2) drug addicts, 3) the mentally ill, 4) prostitutes 5) police response time and 6) a county prosecutor who is more interested in social justice than having people doing time for their crimes. You can find one of my many, many, many posts on Seattle’s issues if you search “Seattle” in our search bar. For a brief summary of what is happening in that city, watch “Seattle is Dying.”

The video summarizes how the bureaucrats have put their progressive social justice agenda above any concrete actions to effectively deal with their problems.

The city’s problems are so severe that drugstore employees are routinely harassed and physically beaten at the downtown Seattle Bartell drugstore. Imagine fearing for your life by working as a cashier in downtown Seattle.

Hanna Kim for Q13 Fox reports that Bartell Drugs CEO Kathi Lentzsch says it will not open any more stores in downtown Seattle after violent assaults on employees. The CEO has been surprised over the number of incidents and the violence she is seeing in Seattle.

Excerpts from Kim’s report:

“Surveillance videos inside Bartell Drugs have captured countless shoplifting cases. In one incident, video shows a man in one aisle quickly running off with up to $700 worth of skincare products.

Lentzsch says many times the criminals are bold and many of them are repeat offenders. “They will stand in front of our staff with a basket full of products and tell them we know you can’t come after us and walk out the door,” Lentzsch said.

We’ve had too many cases of employees ending up in the hospital or with very serious issues,” Lentzsch said. Multiple employees have been rushed to the hospital because of violent assaults.

Sometimes it’s shoplifting that escalates to assaults or just unprovoked attacks. The situation is concerning enough that the company is rethinking their future in the downtown core of Seattle.

In one case, cameras captured a pharmacist stumbling back with a broken nose. The company says he asked a shoplifter if he could help them pay for the items he had witnessed the suspect stealing. “We have an individual who had two surgeries in December from being assaulted,” Lentzsch said.

Most of the times there is nothing employees can do but just pick up the pieces, like the time a man lashed out and trashed the store. He appeared to be going through a psychotic episode.

The company says they have off duty police officers at two of their downtown Seattle branches.

In one of those branches a woman tried to come after an employee despite a police officer standing in front of the worker. It took multiple officers to subdue the woman. “Where we would like help is the violent offenders, it was startling to me how different the city had become,” Lentzsch said.

Lentzsch says for things to get better, city leaders and community members have to work together.

She doesn’t blame any one entity for the complicated situation. She says mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness all play a role in the uptick in violence.

Lentzsch says this is not a Bartell Drug problem because her competitors are facing the same issue and so are many other businesses across Seattle.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Homeless harassing King County Courthouse workers: “It’s a reflection of the courthouse location”

I’d say it’s more of a reflection of the feckless demorat leaders in King County.

From MyNorthwest.com: Homelessness is an issue that’s gripping the state, and of course, most predominately here in Seattle.

Now, a King County judge is sounding the alarm about what he and his fellow coworkers have to deal with on a regular basis. The surrounding homelessness, drug abuse, and assaults are causing many to feel unsafe on their way to the courthouse on 3rd Avenue.

“This is a concern that’s shared by the entire bench. It’s a reflection I think of the location of the courthouse,” Superior Court Judge Sean O’Donnell told KIRO Radio. “We are surrounded by people in crisis and you have conflicts with members of the public who have to access the court for their case, to do their civic duty, or maybe they’re coming here to work.”

“It can be everything from being yelled at, harassed, assaulted, exposed to, spit on. They have to navigate human waste, feces, urination. They have to navigate needles, they have to navigate tents.”

His own Bailiff, Rianne Rubright, experiences it on a regular basis. “This morning, perfect example, I had someone chase me down the street and come up and try to talk to me. It was small talk, it wasn’t harmful or anything, but I don’t think he had pants on,” she said. “It kind of scared me a little bit.”

Judge O’Donnell says it’s a concern not just for staff safety, but also a threat to the criminal justice system, because staffers who have to deal with something like that or worse are shaken by the time they get to work, and could make a mistake.

O’Donnell says it’s an even larger concern with jurors coming to the courthouse experiencing the same.

“I couldn’t think of a worse circumstance, if a juror is being chased over lunch, and then you’re asking them to decide an incredibly important decision when maybe someone’s liberty is at stake, or maybe it’s the fate of a business. It’s a real issue.”

See also:

Resident in liberal utopia of Seattle who has been targeted by homeless: “Our community is just falling apart”
“Devastated by what Seattle has become.” Homeless squatter ransacks & ruins woman’s apartment & belongings
How many convictions does it take for Seattle City Attorney to place a homeless criminal in jail after his latest assault?
Liberal utopia of Seattle: Police punish homeless man who threatened business owner with…cheeseburgers
Tough on crime: Seattle threatens property owners who post signs to deter homeless RV parking

DCG

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What demorats can do to a city: “Seattle is dying”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b53uiRFq4Ds

The title of this post should maybe be, “What demorats CAN’T do to a city.”

When you see the obvious mental health, drug addiction and homeless crises in Seattle/King County, why isn’t ANYTHING achieving ANY type of solution given the MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars being spent? It’s a travesty that should cause elected officials and leaders to be ashamed.

————————–

Seattle has a major homeless crisis and crime is on the rise. I’ve done many, many posts about their issues. See the following examples:

Resident in liberal utopia of Seattle who has been targeted by homeless: “Our community is just falling apart”
“Devastated by what Seattle has become.” Homeless squatter ransacks & ruins woman’s apartment & belongings
How many convictions does it take for Seattle City Attorney to place a homeless criminal in jail after his latest assault?
Liberal utopia of Seattle: Areas see 31% increase in crime in 2018

KOMO News did a special called, “Seattle is Dying” which outlines the issues Seattle faces and how they arrived at their current situation. Hint: The city has been run by demorats for a long, long time.

The Seattle bureaucrats cater to the criminals, drug addicts and – of course – the homeless. Seattle Police have their hands tied as they continuously arrest well-known criminals who are typically released from jail in just a couple days.

Seattle citizens are finally getting fed up. But what do you want to bet they keep voting demorat?

The video is long but worth a watch (I played it in the background while doing other things) if you want see how liberalism can ruin a once, beautiful city.

DCG

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Resident in liberal utopia of Seattle who has been targeted by homeless: “Our community is just falling apart”

I’ve blogged about the homeless crisis in Seattle that is exacerbated by bureaucrats who do not punish the homeless for their criminal activities. See the following examples:

How many convictions does it take for Seattle City Attorney to place a homeless criminal in jail after his latest assault?
“Devastated by what Seattle has become.” Homeless squatter ransacks & ruins woman’s apartment & belongings
Liberal utopia of Seattle: Police punish homeless man who threatened business owner with…cheeseburgers
Liberal utopia of Seattle: Squatter terrorizes homeowner, gets 30 hours comm. service & court-appointed treatment program
Liberal utopia of Seattle: Prostitutes flooding the streets due to lack of law enforcement

A woman who lives in the Ballard area of Seattle told MyNorthwest.com that she feels “terrified” and “vulnerable” after the latest incident in which someone broke into her garage. One morning she came out of her house with her daughter and noticed her garage doors were open and didn’t know if an intruder was still on her property.

Turns out no one was in the garage yet she is still fearful. That’s because this is not the first time she’s had intruders on her property.

More of the story as reported on MyNorthwest.com:

“The Old Ballard resident had reason to be scared — she said that this is not the first time that criminals have targeted her home. A drug addict tried once tried to break down the French doors to her bedroom. On another occasion, a prostitute came to the door.

She believes the reason for this uptick in crime on her street lies in the city’s decision to demolish three homes surrounding her house. That opens up opportunities for squatters, she said.

“It just seems like, once the city puts up that yellow sign in the yard that says, ‘Hey, here’s a property’ … it’s like advertising for crime,” she said. “And it just seems to work like clockwork.”

The concerned mom said that the streets of Ballard were not always like this — in fact, it is just in the past four years that crime has become so rampant.

“I’m a freelance writer, so I used to camp out at Bauhaus [a coffee shop on Market Street] until midnight and walk home and not think anything of it,” she said. “But boy, a lot has changed in the last four years.”

She wants to be clear that “it’s not all of the homeless people who are doing this — it’s a small percentage, and they’re making our lives miserable.” The Seattle resident would like to see drug addicts and homeless people get the rehab and housing they need, but worries that until this happens, because of city policies, Seattle’s law-abiding residents are the ones who are most at risk.

“What about the families just trying to raise kids in the community?” she said. “Our community is just falling apart because of this.”

Read the whole story here.

Elections have consequences…

DCG

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“Devastated by what Seattle has become.” Homeless squatter ransacks & ruins woman’s apartment & belongings

You get what you vote for, people.

And in Seattle, that means you get a record number of homeless criminals who are never held accountable for their actions. See one of my many, many blog posts about Seattle’s homeless crisis here, here, here, here, here, here or here.

Seattle is having a major winter event (thank you climate change!) and a woman left her apartment (in one of the many hilly areas of Seattle) to stay with her parents so she could avoid the steep streets in the Beacon Hill area.

Turns out that wasn’t a good idea as a homeless squatter decided to stake a claim in her abode. From Dori Monson’s MyNorthwest.com story:

“When the snow hit last week, Natalie (name changed) stayed at her parents’ house in Medina from Monday through Wednesday to avoid driving up Beacon Hill’s sloped streets.

As she approached her driveway Wednesday evening, she noticed the apartment lights were on, even though she had turned them off. Upon closer inspection, she saw that her door was wide-open. “I see someone standing in my doorway with bags of mine, with a silver suitcase of mine,” she told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “And immediately, I just lost it.”

Natalie ran up to the doorstep to confront the man coming out of her apartment with her things. He claimed to be there with the landlord’s permission to fix the pipes, but Natalie did not believe the intruder for an instant — for one thing, the man referred to Natalie’s female landlord as a “he.”

“I start grabbing my stuff from him and he yanked it back, screaming, ‘Ask your landlord!’” Natalie described.

He pushed her to the ground and ran away with her suitcases in tow. Natalie said that looking back, she wishes she had run after him or caught him on camera to show police, but that the fear and shock of that terrifying moment paralyzed her.

I was so scared and freaked-out that I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

When Natalie walked in the door, she found a wasteland instead of the comforts of her home. “My place was completely trashed,” she said.

A flat-screen TV, medications, gift cards, and, most importantly, irreplaceable jewelry from Natalie’s late grandmother were all gone. The squatter appeared to have also stolen everything out of Natalie’s bathroom, as well as all of the food in her fridge and pantry.

Her clothes were still in the apartment, but the squatter had brought Natalie’s garbage in from the bins outside and dumped it all over her clothing, along with drugs and drug paraphernalia, to the point where Natalie had to throw out her entire wardrobe. Her sofa, now full of cigarette burns, is also ruined.

Bizarrely, the squatter appeared to have wreaked haavoc with Natalie’s furniture for no apparent reason, she said. He threw her bed and brand-new mattress-topper against the wall. Bathroom towels were shoved in her toilet. He took the Plexiglas off her windows and replaced it with her shower curtain and bed-skirt. Natalie found her underwear in a cupboard above her flooded sink.

“The place was just wrecked,” she said. “There’s barely anything salvageable, except for the things that he thought weren’t good enough for him.”

Police took photos of the ruined residence, got a description of the man, and tracked his scent with K-9s for about a mile down the road before losing the trail. Neither Natalie nor law enforcement have much hope of the squatter being caught.

After cleaning as much of the ransacked apartment she could with her father and boyfriend, Natalie handed in her keys and walked away from the place she had once called home.

“He ruined everything I have ever owned,” she said in an email to Dori.

A lifelong Puget Sounder, Natalie is devastated by what Seattle has become.

“The entrances to where the freeways are, are just lined with homelessness and trash and tents,” she said, adding, “Seattle clearly has so many issues that need to be addressed … this is just distressing.”

DCG

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Seattle to spend “about” $450,000/unit to build “affordable” homes

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

Unlike private developers, Seattle doesn’t have to worry about making a profit (or even breaking even). There’s always more taxpayer dollars available for the taking!

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is moving forward with her about $90 million plan to redevelop Discovery Park’s Fort Lawton into more than 200 affordable homes.

Fort Lawton is a former military base located in Seattle’s Discovery Park and near the Magnolia neighborhood.
The plan includes 85 homes for seniors, approximately 100 homes for low-income individuals and families, and up to 52 homes designated for ownership opportunities.

Senior housing will come equipped with support services. Rentals will be priced for households making up to 60 percent of the median area income. Homes for sale will be reserved for households under 80 percent of median area income.

Sixty percent of the site will be reserved for park and park-related uses.

The Army currently leases the land to Seattle, but avoids tax burdens if it transfers the acreage to the city. One catch: The land must be used for parks or homeless housing to get the tax breaks.

The latest draft updates the 2008 plan to make it consistent with the Fort Lawton Army Reserve Center Environmental Impact Statement issued in March 2018. The city also did community outreach and hosted public hearings to get additional input.

Durkan has scheduled a public meeting for Feb. 11 to take comments and said she would send the plan to Seattle City Council in upcoming weeks.

DCG

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How many convictions does it take for Seattle City Attorney to place a homeless criminal in jail after his latest assault?

City bureaucrat, I mean attorney, Pete Holmes

We may never know what Seattle City Attorney Peter Holme’s magic number is because, apparently, one having 72 convictions – including 14 felonies – is not enough to warrant your butt being thrown in jail for ANOTHER assault.

As I’ve noted many times in the past, the city of Seattle does not hold the homeless accountable for their criminal actions. See examples here, here, here and here.

Why do the Seattle demorat bureaucrats allow this criminal behavior? My guess is they don’t want their official crime statistics to show any kind of correlation between the increase in the homeless population and an increase in crime. They also have a vested interest in keeping the homeless industrial complex alive.

A homeless man was recently arrested for sucker-punching a man on the street. The perp, Francisco Calderon, is a 55-year-old who was recently released from state custody. Calderon has been homeless and unemployed for decades and his rap sheet includes 72 convictions (that record includes 14 assaults).

According to the story from KOMO News, Calderon has been under the supervision of the Department of Corrections 14 times. The perp is also a known drug user.

So for Calderon’s latest sucker-punch attack (a 4th degree assault charge) what did the city recommended as a punishment?

The city wanted a plea deal in which the perp with 72 convictions would undergo a mental health evaluation, enroll in a drug treatment program and have two years probation. The perp would be released back onto the streets because he already had time served.

Fortunately, Seattle Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna put a stop to this nonsense and sentenced Calderon to 364 days in jail stating, “I’m not sure I have ever seen a more significant history of violent offenses. Everything in that criminal history tells me that he’s a violent offender and is going to re-offend.”

Read about the city’s intent to give freedom to this perpetual homeless criminal at the KOMO story here.

Given all the details of Calderon’s past, it will make your blood boil that a public official would endanger the lives of his fellow citizens by giving a man with 72 convictions a chance to run free and injure another person.

DCG

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Liberal utopia of Seattle: Areas see 31% increase in crime in 2018

It doesn’t take a genius to guess the main culprit for the increase in crime in Seattle. As I’ve noted many times on this blog, the homeless are not held responsible for their criminal activities throughout the city. Read about the many crimes committed by the homeless here.

The Seattle Police are also slow to respond (if they even respond at all) to crimes.

MyNorthwest.com reports that certain areas of Seattle (SoDo and Georgetown) have reported a 31% increase in crime compared to a 1% increase citywide. The crimes include property damage, commercial burglaries, thefts, and motor-vehicle thefts, including 510 cars broken into.

Excerpts from the MyNorthwest.com report:

“According to business owners, the area is developing a sense of lawlessness with garbage piles, graffiti, drug abuse, broken-down RVs, prostitution, and numerous incidents of theft and property damage. It’s impacted the feelings of safety among business owners and customers, as well as those living in RVs, themselves the target of many of the crimes.

“I feel sorry for the people down there who have businesses,” Curley said. “It must be an awful thing to have to deal with that every day.”

In response, police have dedicated a squad from 3 a.m. to noon in the area when most of the crime is occurring, and have dispatched a Community Police Team to perform outreach to those living in RVs.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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How much does it cost for a 100-bed homeless shelter tent in Portland? Take a wild guess…

One big expensive tent/Photo from Harbor of Hope

Doesn’t matter as there are always taxpayer funds to cover the costs.

FYI: From the brief search I was able to do about this private developer, Homer Williams, it looks like he’s got a questionable history with his developments.

As reported by Oregon Live: Despite promises of a private-sector solution to homelessness, the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services has agreed to pitch in at least $1 million to make sure a new shelter actually opens.

The 100-bed shelter, built inside a tent-like structure in Northwest Portland at the base of the Broadway Bridge, was billed as the business community’s answer to local government’s inability to get people off the street.

Developer Homer Williams announced the plan with a starting $1.5 million contribution from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle. The project quickly began to run behind schedule and over budget.

The “navigation center” model of shelter is a new one for Portland. Williams and former Portland Development Commission director Don Mazziotti wanted to replicate what they saw in San Francisco and other cities that have used this model that combines traditional shelter space with intensive help from service providers to help the people who stay at the shelter get into permanent housing as quickly as possible. It will also have laundry facilities, showers and other amenities.

Through Harbor of Hope, Williams and Mazziotti’s nonprofit, project officials estimated that it would cost $3.5 million to get the shelter built and running for the first year. By December, they began to worry that the $3.5 million would only cover construction.

But warning signs showed up as early as last summer.

Harbor of Hope broke ground in April on land donated by Portland’s urban renewal agency, which will retain ownership. The city waived permit fees, as well.

The cost to clean up the lead, arsenic, fossil fuels and other contaminants on the site ended up higher than expected. Officials reported at the end of July that environmental cleanup was earmarked as $100,000 in the budget. But Harbor of Hope had already spent $600,000 on it.

Harbor of Hope leaders also found that construction costs were going to be more expensive than predicted. By the time the original $3.5 million was raised, the project cost had doubled.

While the mayor’s office had said the city had no plans to finance a shelter that wasn’t feasible, city and county officials have wanted more shelter beds in the Old Town Chinatown area for years. They first saw an empty warehouse on Hoyt Street as an option, but that location would have taken up to $10 million to make usable.

So while Williams and others vowed that Harbor of Hope would not require any taxpayer money, officials saw this shelter as a cheaper option than building or renovating their own.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services agreed to contribute the first year’s operating budget, which will pay for staff, programming and day-to-day needs at the shelter.

“Our elected leaders and service providers don’t get enough credit for their success in adding hundreds of shelter beds across our community,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s difficult and expensive to find and invest in good sites, close to the right services.”

Williams has pitched other ideas in the past that have largely gone nowhere. He gained some traction under former Mayor Charlie Hales with an idea to turn marine Terminal 1 into a homeless shelter campus but lost city council support when it came to who would run the shelter.

He has also proposed a land trade to build workforce housing in industrial-zoned areas and asked Multnomah County to continue to pay the upkeep costs of Wapato Jail instead of selling it immediately so that Harbor of Hope could evaluate whether the nonprofit could make an offer on the building.

But on Harbor of Hope’s 2017 tax forms, the organization was nearly $110,000 in the red, due to a more than $100,000 loan that covered expenses while Williams and others raised little more than $8,000. The year before Harbor of Hope reported nearly $130,000 raised — most of it gone by the end of the year due to travel, salary for Mazziotti and payments to contractors.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Guess the yearly price tag to reduce homeless in Alameda County, California

Homeless encampment in Berkeley, Alameda County

There are over 1.5 million people in Alameda County. According to the study cited in this story, “…5,600 people experience homelessness on any given night. Over the next five years we aim to reduce that number to less than 2,200 people. If we achieve this goal no one will have to sleep outside.”

Take a wild guess as to how much money is required to achieve their goal. Then double or triple your number.

From SF Chronicle: Every person sleeping on the streets of Alameda County could be placed into housing or shelters if the county more than triples its spending on key programs, a new report says.

There is no obvious source for the more than $200 million a year needed — on top of more than $100 million already being spent annually — to achieve that goal, officials say. That has prompted talk of a potential tax proposal on the 2020 ballot.

The report is an update to a plan crafted more than a decade ago and adopted by Alameda County and its 14 cities seeking to end homelessness by 2020. The problem has grown since then, and the new report says it can be fixed by 2023 — with additional funding.

“When we wrote the 2007 plan, we said homelessness is a solvable issue. We wanted it to be true, but we weren’t sure. We were just building databases,” said Elaine de Coligny, executive director of Everyone Home, the effort to address homelessness in Alameda County.

“We have a lot more information now than we did a decade ago. We are confident in the solutions and strategies. We just haven’t been doing them at the pace and scale required,” she said.

The county spends about $106 million a year on homeless-related programs and subsidizes 3,000 permanent housing units. The report from Everyone Home, which was started by Oakland, Berkeley and county agencies, says those numbers should be $334 million and 9,000.

Sara Bedford, who is on the leadership board of Everyone Home, said reaching the goal is feasible. “I think we do a disservice if we’re not ambitious and realistic at the same time, and I think the plan does both of those things,” said Bedford, director of the Human Services Department of Oakland. “It’s very doable to achieve a functional zero — that you are housing people almost as quickly as they come into homelessness.”

Short of a San Francisco Proposition C-style tax increase or bond measure, that level of funding isn’t expected anytime soon. East Bay officials are beginning to contemplate putting such an initiative on the 2020 ballot.
Meanwhile, the report says, for every homeless person who found housing in 2017, two more became homeless. More than 12,000 people are homeless at some point each year in Alameda County. On any given night, the figure is 5,600.

The report says that if that number can be cut down to 2,200 people, with the additional funding, then no one would have to sleep outside, because there would be enough shelter and housing to go around.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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