by baldilocks

One might say that Starbucks is defecating on its own market share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seriously, it’s sad to watch as a thriving business dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is committing suicide.

Monica Showalter:

The ever well meaning Starbucks chairman, Howie Schultz, more terrified of bad publicity and claims of racism than anything in the world, has just announced a rather customer-unfriendly policy of opening Starbucks bathrooms (as well as table space) to all comers, including people who won’t spring for a $4 cup of coffee.  Speaking to the Atlantic Council, according to the Washington Post, Schultz said:

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms.  The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets.  Rival store-owners and social service agencies will actually direct the homeless to Starbucks outlets for the free services.  Large groups will congregate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Starbucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usually doesn’t have to enter the business for that. Now I suspect that it will be difficult and unappealing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Monica thinks Schultz has a plan.

“One wonders if what Howie is really saying is that he intends to close outlets – in places where the homeless are concentrated.  Is it that? It’s already well known that a Starbucks outlet’s presence correlates with rising real estate values.  Perhaps Schultz means to concentrate that trend and will now keep his establishments in only rich areas with no social service outlets that draw the homeless.  Maybe he knows something about a coming housing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the original plan, but the fix after the disaster. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz conjured it.

There’s a Starbucks within walking distance in my blue/white-collar multi-ethnic LA neighborhood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, coffee, tastier doughnuts than Starbucks (duh), no homeless hanging out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white- and rich-guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bathroom facilities in my apartment. I know the janitorial crew for that one.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

When depredation after depredation mandated promote and allowed by California’s government, this should barely register in the Sweepstakes of Surprise.

Trains along the popular Capitol Corridor are running later than before, and homeless camps are partly to blame.

Rail officials say more people have trespassed on train tracks in the last year, forcing engineers at times to hit the brakes to avoid a possible crash – and at times tragically unable to. That’s left trains loaded with commuters or freight grinding to a halt in the middle of nowhere.

Capitol Corridor board chair Lucas Frerichs said the issue is foremost about human safety. But, it’s also a business problem.

You think?

“Frankly, we have a business to run, a service to the public. If people can’t depend on the train being on time, they will choose other options,” he said. (…)

The problem has become significant enough that Kutrosky sent an email last week to passengers asking them to report any encampments or large piles of trash they notice along the tracks while on their train ride.

He said he and his crews have seen camps in secluded and wooded areas recently in Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis in the capital region, and Suisun City, Hercules, Berkeley, Oakland and Fremont in the Bay Area.

Capitol Corridor officials did not provide crash numbers requested by The Bee, as of Friday. But a spokesman for the Union Pacific said three people were hit by trains between Sacramento and the Bay Area.

If a person is killed by a train, it may be held in place for two to three hours as coroners, police and track inspectors do post-mortem work, officials said. That creates a domino effect, slowing passenger and freight trains from Sacramento to San Jose.

The writer points out that hobos and trains have a long history. However, I wonder if California’s elected officials plan to give CA to the homeless and the illegal aliens. Actually, I don’t wonder.

On more nail in the coffin.

(Thanks to Breitbart California)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

A friend sent me this LA Times link from 2016.

Escalating their battle to stamp out an unprecedented spread of street encampments, city officials have begun seizing tiny houses from homeless people in South Los Angeles.

Elvis Summers, who built and donated the structures, removed seven of the gaily painted wooden houses — which come with solar-powered lights and American flags — on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a scheduled city sweep.

Summers, an L.A. resident who says he was once homeless, had placed them within encampments on overpasses along the 110 Freeway, for homeless people to use instead of tents.

But three structures impounded earlier this month remain in a city storage lot, a Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman said, and the city notified occupants they would be “discarded.” (…)

Councilman Curren Price, who represents the neighborhood, said the houses pose serious health and safety risks.

“I’m getting complaints from constituents who have to walk in to the streets to avoid them,” Price said.

Authorities destroyed needles, drug setups and a gun seized from one or more of the houses and tents during an earlier cleanup.

I don’t know what the ultimate solution to this problem should be. I do know, from my own experience in homelessness – I was never on the street — is that many people who are on-the-street are there because they are alcoholics and/or addicts who are unwilling to go without their given substance. This precludes them living in structures provided by LA County for the homeless. The County offers free detox as well. But a potential customer must want to be free.

Thing is, isn’t it better for all concerned for an on-the-street homeless person to live in a solid structure rather than in a tent or a makeshift tarp shack?

It seems to me that Elvis Summers understands his limitations. He cannot solve such a huge problem but can only improve the situation in small steps using his own personal skills. Would that we all thought like that.

And leave it to government to hinder it.

I’m going to search for a more up-to-date report on this and I may update.

(Thanks to Jason Minks.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

I’ve been mostly unplugged this week.

Most know about my housing situation. I’m staying in temporary housing in Southern California and it has been, mostly, a blessing.

First there is the fact that I have housing at all. First, let’s just say that I’m a middle-class girl and a bit of a BAP. I’ve never had to wonder where I was going to live or from where my next meal was coming until this past year. When it became obvious that, if I made the choice to stay in California, that I’d be homeless, I asked God for the following: that I’d have a clean, safe place to sleep, wash myself and sundries. I knew that I was going to have to rough it a bit, but sleeping outside…I only want to have to do that by choice. If God sees fit for me to have to do that, I would ask Him to prepare me for it, and, let’s just say that I’m not ready!

I said all that–some repeats–to say something about my fellow residents. Before, I had a tendency to think of “the Homeless” as some vast, mostly unwashed entity, who couldn’t get it together. That perception has changed and it has nothing to do with my homelessness. The change of mind is a result of talking to the people around me and being reminded of Jesus’ second commandment.

We public Internet people have a tendency to think of a vast portion of Americans as Low Information Voters. But, a goodly portion of my fellow “inmates” know more than most about what is happening to our country. Oh sure, there are a number who rather be getting high or drinking, but I’d say that they are the minority here. The majority–no doubt as a result of their misfortunes–have a good handle on the direction in which our country is going. They may not follow the news as diligently as we do, but they can tell which way the wind is blowing.THIEF

In that, they are more fortunate–more blessed–than most of their countrymen. For all too many of the latter, disaster will come like a thief in the night.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

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There was a story a few days ago that caught me eye:

The Occupy protesters who call themselves the 99% because they’ve been victimized by those evil 1% corporatist banker types, are now sitting comfortably in their warm homes as they recruit the homeless, people without warm homes, to keep the protests going in Indianapolis.

After a little googling I also spotted this from the LA weekly

Occupy L.A. might resemble a homeless encampment outside City Hall, but some are complaining that the real homeless are moving in on the anti-Wall Streeters in order to take advantage of the relatively plentiful food.

This from Huffpo via 90% mental

As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves.

And this from Philly.com

With the story of the occupation changing sometimes by the hour, those who can leave or relocate may have done one or both by the time you read this. Those possessing warm beds will eventually crawl back under the covers.

Presuming Dilworth Plaza’s $50 million makeover is imminent, what becomes of the troubled souls who have emerged from the shadows to form a commune in crisis?

For all the fear that anarchists may force a showdown with police, why aren’t more people talking about what happens when bulldozers roll up on a site inhabited by so many with nowhere else to go?

My reaction to this is: Homeless? There are HOMELESS in Obama’s America?

None of these stories have become big nationally, and they will not, why? Because that would involve acknowledging a problem with the homeless during the Obama years. The arguments that removing the camps can’t be made by the Obama left because it would truly turn the Occupy Camps into Obamavilles.

Rest Assured when the GOP takes the White House and the Senate in 12 months the MSM will re-discover the Homeless and they will be blamed on the incoming Republican president and congress (or George Bush)

But until that time, these homeless stories will remain local, incidental and unnewsworthy.