Sunday, September 27, 2015

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternative Expo And What The Movement Really Means

AHHA, or Affordable Homeless Housing Alternative in Humboldt County California had a great little event last Saturday where two tiny homes were auctioned off.

The expo had two panel discussions, 1) on issues of the establishment of immediate places to live for the over 2,000 unhoused neighbors in Humboldt County and
2) a panel of local clergy on the Religious Imperative in a Shelter Crisis.
 The Expo helped  raise funds for AHHA’s efforts to create immediate solutions for ‘safe, warm, and dry
first’.

There were displays of tiny homes 





This tiny home with a pop out was built by carpenter Chris G. Housley. He said it cost him about $400.00 to build donating his time but feels it would cost about $1,200 to build if it were done in a factory. He envisions them being built in an IKEA type factory with mostly robots to get the price down. He says he builds and donates  these to the homeless where he lives outside of Petaluma Ca.




 There was even a mobile sauna with shower at the event. 




There was also food and entertainment on two stages.



The idea of tiny home villages all over the country is what is being explored here. 

Here's my take:
It started over 30 years ago, our elected representatives decided to rig the system against the middle class and the working poor so that all financial gains would go to the upper 1 percent or those that paid for our representatives elections. This is called fascism. Over the past 3 decades or more this trend has continued to the point that what was left of the US middle class is now on life support with little hope that things would ever return to the good old days where income inequality was not such a big deal. These days in the richest country on the planet, there are mostly two groups, the haves or the 1% and the have not's or the 99%. 

Back before most of our good paying jobs were sent over seas to slave labor, our middle class was the envy of the planet. Any person willing to work hard enough, if their health held out, could easily make enough money to support not only themselves, but a family. If you go back 40 or 50 years, only one parent needed to work to do this. When I was young in the 1960's and 1970's many  families had two working parents but many times the wife would only work part time, just to make extra money for hospital bills, vacations or that second car. 

College was cheap, if you wanted to make good money, just go to college. It didn't cost 40 or 70 thousand dollars to get a bachelors degree at a good college. But even if you didn't go to college, there was always manual or skilled labor in factories, construction and the trades. 

Now, kids graduate from college with debt so high, the only way to pay back their loans is to move back into mom and dad's place or live on the streets. Sure, some find great jobs but that number is much, much smaller that it used to be. 
photo from kalw.org

So here we are, a generation of college educated professionals, moving back into their parents homes with no place to use their degree. And then there are the less fortunate ones that for what ever reason, didn't get a degree or are not in good physical or mental health. These people have been falling through the cracks for the past 30 to 40 years and now there are so many of them, they are not invisible anymore. They are living 5 to an apartment, or on the streets in their cars if they are lucky enough to still have a car. They are constantly harassed and forced to "move on" by law enforcement. 

City codes have not kept up with the current situation. Most people these days cannot afford to buy or rent a normal size house or apartment by themselves. Sure there are a few states where rent is relatively cheap because for the most part, no one wants to live there but in the majority of the states with larger populations, 
for many, rent is  unobtainable. The richest country in the world has not taken it's head out of the sand and looked around at it's inhabitants. It's as if our elected officials have blinders on. Those working 2 or 3 jobs just trying to keep their somewhat middle class lifestyle are too busy to get involved enough to help themselves. They don't have time to go to city council meetings or read up on what their elected officials are doing to them in Washington. So it's up to the rest of us. The rich and the poor. 

It's time we open our eyes and accept what we see. We are no longer a country with a huge middle class. We are no longer that great shining city on the hill that we used to be. We have allowed this to happen. It wasn't by accident though. This is by design! The corporations that own our politicians have, for some reason wanted this to happen. Now that it has happened we need to change our city, county and state codes and laws to allow for what we have created. We need to stop forcing builders to build 12-hundred square foot housed that no one can afford and allow more homeless campgrounds, tiny house villages and smaller apartments. The UN is already moving in this direction. Some municipalities are also stepping up to the plate and allowing for more creative solutions. This is reality and we need to accept it. 

Being homeless is a crime but it shouldn't be. Why should the person without anything be a criminal when those that took it from them are free to keep taking and fleecing the earth and the people on it? That is where the crime is being committed and as Utah Phillips said, "The Earth is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses". With the advent of the internet, we are starting to learn where and who these people are and they are getting nervous. 

So back to this one solution to a major problem, housing. There are more single people living in this country than ever before. This is due to many factors but income inequality is one of them. If I can't afford to support myself, how can I start family? This leaves a lot of people either living with people in unhealthy relationships just to get by, back at their parents house or on the streets. One solution is a resident and non-profit co-managed micro housing village. Structures from 100 sq. feet and more all in one area with a single community kitchen,  separate rest rooms and shower building, gardens and micro businesses. With the opportunity to produce for each other food, clothing, more housing, preventative health care, reuse and repair facilities, alternative energy and transportation innovations. 

AHHA advocates for different campground models too. Ones where people could sleep in cars, tents, RV's, open tent camping, bike camping, (bike and ride), park and sleep.  Assisting participant and non profit co-managed camp sanctuaries should be throughout the county and near services for people to get what they need. 

They advocate for Church camping in tents, cars and RV's and what I was talking about, zoning changes to allow residential camping and micro housing on residential properties and or city and county properties. 

AHHA also wants rest areas for people to come to for safe, legal sleep which should be open 24/7. Warming stations can be built and the rest areas can be in under used county and city parks, schools, vacant buildings and private property. 

Also needed are hygiene stations with showers, restrooms, water, wast disposal and lockers in appropriate accessible areas. 

The tiny houses seen in the photos above do not need plumbing or electricity. They are just a safe place to sleep and keep ones meager belongings. They are insulated and can have amenities such as solar panels and batteries for lights or charging phones or tablets. Some can even have a small storage locker at the rear for storing things that one shouldn't sleep. Central facilities make everything much cheaper than each individual having to pay for electric, plumbing, and the fact that there isn't any heat isn't that big of a deal to people otherwise stuck on the street. A good sleeping bag and a dog can keep one warm in a small insulated tiny house. 

AHHA says their mission is to provide information, education, advocacy and policy development on a variety of affordable housing solutions for the homeless in Humboldt County (but this model should be replicated nation wide). We will facilitate the implementation of these alternative models and assist in post completion operations by networking with private groups, non-profits, public agencies, religious organizations and individuals. 

For more about AHHA in Humboldt go to Ahha-humco.org, Ahha.humco@gmail.com, or write to right to a safe, legal place to live, P.O. Box 3794, Eureka , Ca. 95503-3794 
You can also call 707-445-5883






Friday, September 25, 2015

Northern California Fire Season Winding Down


Fire Update







Six Rivers National Forest lightning fires – Update
Incident/Complex
Acres
Percent Contained
Personnel
Crews
Engines
Heli
Structures Lost
Evacs
Closures
Gasquet Complex
30,361
50
133
2
4
1
0
No
Yes
Nickowitz Fire
7,509
93
46
2
0
1
0
No
Yes
River Complex
77,081
68
89
1
7
2
0
No
Yes
Mad River Complex
37,462
100
62
1
2
0
4
No
No
Route Complex*
35,675
100




2
No
No
TOTALS
188,088

330
6
13
4
6


* Route Complex totals for personnel, crews, engines and helicopters have been combined with Mad River Complex.
EUREKA, California, September 25, 2015, 11 AM — With a decrease in activity, due to recent rains, cooler temperatures and higher humidity, all the fires on the Six Rivers National Forest have transitioned to smaller, Type 3 incident management teams (IMTs).
According to Forest Supervisor Merv George Jr., “The rain we’ve received, combined with cooler evenings and effective fire-suppression activities, have allowed us to get to this point. Looking back over the past two months, there is much to be proud about. I appreciate everyone’s input and support along the way. I have been very happy with our fire journey and the effort that everyone gave this year.”
Fire managers have also transitioned from fire suppression to fire-suppression repair and Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) assessments.
BAER specialists have completed data gathering and verification field work for the Route Complex, Mad River Complex, portions of the Humboldt Complex burn areas, and recently completed analysis on the Gasquet Complex fires. Additional BAER information and soil burn severity maps may be downloaded from the “2015 Six Rivers Post-Fire BAERInciWeb site.
·         Gasquet Complex – Gasquet Ranger District: Two of the four fires on the Gasquet Complex are fully contained—Coon (5,679 acres) and Feeder (897 acres). Peak (12,166 acres) is 10 percent contained, and Bear (11,619 acres) is 62 percent contained. Total acreage burned on the complex is 30,361 acres, with 50 percent overall containment and 133 personnel.
-more-
Crews will continue to implement fire-suppression repair plans and monitor the fires’ edges. Although diminishing, smoke from isolated burning stumps and smoldering vegetation inside the perimeter is still visible and could likely be seen until a season-ending weather pattern is established.
A weak front will move over the fire today bringing the chance of clouds, but no precipitation is expected. Gradually cooling temperatures and slightly higher humidity is predicted for the weekend.
Closures: South Fork Road is limited to residential and fire traffic only. A Six Rivers National Forest closure order (10-15-08) is in effect for the Bear and Coon fires, as well as for areas around the G-O Road.
A Klamath National Forest closure order (15-05-770) is also in effect for the Bear Fire. The order is in effect until the Bear Fire is fully suppressed. A detailed map and description of the closed area is available at http://1.usa.gov/1hDZpAN.
·         Nickowitz Fire – Orleans Ranger District: Yesterday, the Nickowitz Fire containment and acreage stayed the same—7,509 acres burned, 93 percent containment and 46 personnel.
Crews continue to patrol along Barren Ridge. Heavy equipment is on the incident to work on Stage 2 repair, which includes piling and stacking brush along firelines. Although fire behavior is minimal, the risk of fire-weakened trees, rolling rocks, and heavy equipment operations still exist.
Closures: A closure order (10-15-09) is in effect for public and firefighter safety. The order protects the public from firefighting activities and provides safe travel for fire suppression activities within the closure area.
·         River Complex – Lower Trinity Ranger District: The three fires on the River Complex have burned 77,081 acres, with 68 percent overall containment and 89 personnel.
Crews continue to make progress on fire-suppression repair operations and the removal of equipment and tools from the fire area. Over the next few days, crews will continue to mop up and patrol, looking for any areas of heat and securing firelines to minimize any threat of escape.
Though activity on the fire has slowed, there are still many hazards in the area. The fire will continue to smolder/burn within the Trinity Alps Wilderness until season-ending rains occur. The public is encouraged to check with local ranger district offices, on websites or social media for information about current conditions.
Closures: Forest area trail and road closures are in effect on the Six Rivers (10-15-02) and Shasta-Trinity (14-15-08) national forests. The closure areas on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest have been reduced in size, but remain in place.
·         Mad River Complex and Route ComplexMad River Ranger District: The Mad River Complex fires (Pickett, Gobbler and Lassic) have burned 37,462 acres. The Route Complex fires (Buck and Johnson) have burned 35,675 acres. There are 62 personnel are still assigned to these fires. Crews continue work on Stage 2 fire-suppression repair.
-more-
All fires are 100 percent contained and in patrol status: Johnson (34,005 acres), Gobbler (8,279 acres), Pickett (10,985 acres), Buck (1,669 acres) and Lassic (18,198 acres). Although these fires are contained, there are areas within the containment lines that are still burning. These areas will continue to burn and put up smoke until a season-ending rain/snow event.
After wildfires are contained, many hazards can be present for hunters and others wanting to enjoy the forest. The public is cautioned to be aware of hazards, such as standing dead trees, rolling rocks and logs, burned-out stump holes, and drainages within and downstream of the burned areas where rains can produce flash floods. Travel is discouraged on forest roads within fire perimeters due to falling trees and unsafe conditions.
Multiple forest area trail, road and campground closures remain in effect on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity national forests. For more information, visit Six Rivers closures or Shasta-Trinity closures.
As these fires will likely continue to burn until a season-ending rain event, smoke and air quality will continue to remain a concern. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District recommends the public restrict outdoor activity when air quality from smoke is at unhealthy or hazardous levels. For air quality information, visit www.ncuaqmd.org.
#
For more information about the Six Rivers National Forest, visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/srnf, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSSixRiversNF, or “follow” us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tiny House Expo In Bayside This Saturday


A Tiny House Expo will be held on Saturday, September 26, at the Unitarian Universalist

Fellowship grounds, 24 Fellowship Way in Bayside from noon – 6 p.m. AHHA (Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives) is sponsoring the first annual Tiny House Expo of small affordable living units for the homeless in a village setting. This will be a fun family event that demonstrates the actual living options and offers food, entertainment, and educational forums as a fundraiser to support the work of AHHA.

The Expo will feature Humboldt-made dwellings that can assist having legal, safe, warm, and dry places to sleep for all our neighbors. People can tour examples of tiny houses in village set up, temporary shelter/tent camps, Car Camping, and more. Two panel discussions will be held:

1) on issues of the establishment of immediate places to live for the over 2,000 unhoused neighbors in Humboldt County and 2) a panel of local clergy on the Religious Imperative in a Shelter Crisis. Festive food and entertainment will be available throughout the day. The Expo will help raise funds for AHHA’s efforts to create immediate solutions for ‘safe, warm, and dry first’.



This first ever Expo of community village options for those who live on the edge will be an opportunity for the wider public to see what settled camps might look like, and what they might contribute to the economy, equity, and the environment.

For further information contact: Nezzie Wade, 445-5883 or Edie Jessup, 407-0047 - Ahha-humco@gmail.com

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Radio Vegas Dot Rocks or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

 So I finally took a real vacation and still managed to get in a little work. A small venture that I became a part of a few months back was having their kick off or launch party last week so I headed out to join them and bask in the sun while I was at it. RadioVegas.Rocks is an internet radio station that plays mostly rock music. There is some pop music and comedy mixed in but that's mostly it. We are a commercial enterprise and do sell time. If anybody wants to buy a spot on my Classic Rock Show just hit me up. Perfect for on line businesses that want to reach a male demographic.
 The studios pictured above feature lots of signed photos and posters. Jay Bird aka Crazy Jay is the head honcho and has compiled a list of great shows running the gambit from M.G. Kelly's 60's and 70's stuff, The Church of Punk Rock, The Rocking Comedy Show, my Classic Rock Show and so many more. My show is really just a pod cast that is currently being aired on Fridays from 9 to 11 am, Saturdays from 11 am to 1 pm and Sunday's from 2 to 4 pm. I actually did my show live last week from the Radio Vegas.Rocks Studios and had a blast with Jay who hosts the Rocking Comedy Show.
I got to eat at many of the places that advertise on Radio Vegas  including Strip N' Dip Chicken, Naked City Pizza where they make everything including their own pepperoni and sausage, to Flaming Juan's Fajita and Cantina. This place is fantastic and a bit upscale on the food. They make their own tortillas and have  some fantastic drinks. Then there was The Golden Tiki Bar. It was like having a drink during the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Except that you can't drink on that ride. If you are ever in Vegas, check out this bar in Chinatown. 
 Above is a look at the Radio Vegas automation system for the shows and commercials.
I had fun just staring out the window.  I highly recommend taking time off. I feel much better after 9 days in the desert. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Autumnal Equinox Is Wednesday

 The following is a guest post from a friend of mine that runs the local Jazz station in Eureka at 96.9 FM which is a low power station that can be heard in and around the Bayshore Mall and south of there for a couple of blocks. You can also access it online here. http://localfm.net/ca/eureka/index.htm 
Local FM dot net logo
Written by Robert Stretton


The waning days of summer serve as reminder of the constant motion of the seasons, punctuated by the celebration of the Fall Equinox. For many people September marks the return to work and school. In most locales Equinoxes are marked by a more dramatic change in the weather than the Solstices. This heralds a relatively greater variation in human activity as the seasons change in autumn (or spring). In many traditions the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox plays an important part in the scheduling of human celebrations.

In many East Asian cultures this special full moon is observed with the consumption of moon cakes and an association with fertility. The roundness of the Autumnal Equinox full moon mirrors the form of a near term pregnant woman. As contemporary cultures have moved away from civilization's agrarian roots our Autumn celebrations continue to evolve. Few people in the developed world have a life or death dependence on the bounty of the harvest, and consequently most have become less observant of the natural world and our place within it. Perhaps this has contributed to the complacency that has led to the rapid deterioration of our environment.

The Autumnal Equinox is Wednesday, September 23. In North America the Harvest Moon will be on the night of Sunday, September 27. The full moon will be also be extra large in the sky that night because, coincidentally, it is happening very near to the Moon's closest approach to the Earth all year.

A renewed appreciation and spiritual connection to nature would help curb the destructive appetite of humanity. This Equinox and the Harvest Moon are the perfect times to personally contemplate and encourage others to reflect on our individual and cumulative impact on the planet. The use of fossil fuels has enabled us to greatly accelerate the process of building civilizations and learning about the world around us. But now we must greatly curtail, and if possible, stop using these sources of energy. In our homes, cars, and factories overseas we must make use of alternative, less destructive energy sources.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Fukushima Lesson Unlearned: NRC scraps public rulemaking on weak GE containments

This story from enformable.com shows the contempt the US Nuclear Industry has for the citizens and laws in this country. A design flaw in several nuclear power plants around the world and even here in the US needs to be fixed. The Fukushima reactors that melted down have proven that this needs to happen but industry officials are ignoring the lessens learned in Japan and commissioners on an NRC Committee have voted to keep the public and experts out of the process of finding a solution.

Here's the story from enformable:

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) typically begins its narrative on the “lessons learned” from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe with Japan’s March 11, 2011accident. Not surprisingly, the agency has avoided addressing the most critical lesson recognized in the accident’s official investigative report by Japan’s National Diet. In their finding, the unfolding radiological catastrophe is “manmade” and the result of “willful negligence” of government, regulator and industry colluding to protect Tokyo Electric Power Company’s financial interests.  Likewise, here in the US, addressing identical reactor vulnerabilities remain subject to a convoluted corporate-government strategy of “keep away” with public safety as the “monkey in the middle” going back more than four decades and, for now, three nuclear meltdowns later.

In the latest development, by a 3-1 vote issued on August 19, 2015, the majority of the four sitting Commissioners with NRC ruled not to proceed with their own proposed rulemaking and bar public comment and independent expert analyses on the installation of “enhanced” hardened containment vents on 30 U.S. reactors. In the event of a severe nuclear accident, roughly one-third of U.S. atomic power plants currently rely upon a flawed radiation protection barrier system at General Electric (GE) Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors that are essentially identical to the destroyed and permanently closed units at Fukushima Daiichi. The nuclear catastrophe has resulted in widespread radioactive contamination, massive population relocation, severe economic dislocation and mounting costs projected into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Read More Here

It's Trinidad Art Nights Tonight In Trinidad!


SCHEDULE for September 4th
Shuttle Service Provided by Cher-ae Heights Casino.
“Lighthouse View,” start of Trinity St.
MOONSTONE CROSSING 529 Trinity St. Photography of Trinidad and Beyond. Dana Utman, Digital Archival Framed Prints. Jazz Standards by Tony Roach.
SEASCAPE RESTAURANT AND PIER 1 Bay St. Original music by Josephine Johnson. Art TBA
TRINIDAD ART GALLERY 490 Trinity St. Featured artists: Barbara Wright and Elaine Y. Shore. Music by Howdy Emmerson and JD Jeffries.
TRINIDAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 300 Trinity St. Kids Painting with Jeff Stanley. Face painting with Tess Krause. Community Music celebration at 6:30.
TRINIDAD EATERY AND GALLERY 607 Parker Road. Douglas Beck, Wood Carving. Folk music by For Folk Sake!, appetizers
TRINIDAD TOWN HALL 409 Trinity St. Barn Dance with the Striped Pig String Band and Caller Lyndsey Battle. 7:30 - 11:00, admission $7.
“Saunders Plaza,” the start of Main St. Cajun/Zydeco Dance Music by “Bayou Swamis,” sponsored by Saunders Plaza businesses.
SALTY’S 322 Main St. Ocean lovers welcome.
STRAWBERRY ROCK GALLERY 343 Main St. Presenting a new selection of local art. Come see what we have to offer.
THE LIGHTHOUSE GRILL 355 Main St. "A Celebration of Home", Howdy Emerson, oil on canvas.
Trinidad North and Beyond

CHER-AE HEIGHTS SUNSET RESTAURANT 27 Scenic Dr.
Featuring multimedia art from the Trinidad Art Gallery.
SAUNDERS PARK (start of Patricks Point Drive) Fire performance extravaganza with Circus of the Elements at 8:45. Open Drum jam 6pm. Skate Ramps provided by Trinidad Skatepark Alliance.
TRINIDAD MUSEUM 400 Janis Court at Patricks Point Drive. “J. Goldsborough Bruff Sketches,” A collection of J. Goldsborough Bruff's sketches of Humboldt County created in 1851 during the Gold Rush. Jazz music by Val Leone.
TRINIDAD TRADING COMPANY 460 Main St. TBA
WINDANSEA 410 Main St. Featuring locally crafted gifts.

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