Marx’s martial arts and Hill’s “kumbaya” highlight SLO homeless meeting

January 13, 2013

homelessmeetingSan Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx recalled getting punched in the arm outside city hall, Councilman John Ashbaugh proposed video surveillance of the homeless and County Supervisor Adam Hill delivered a “kumbaya” moment during a city workshop Saturday on the issues of homelessness.

About 50 members of the community spoke at the workshop, offering their solutions to the city council on the problems surrounding homelessness in San Luis Obispo.

Several representatives of the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo pled with the council to provide funding for current services provided by their agency, as well as for the proposed homeless shelter on South Higuera Street. Hill’s girlfriend and CAPSLO homeless services director Dee Torres said the community is “in crisis,” and the council needs to provide “more ample services” for the homeless or “everything will fall apart.”

Well before Torres spoke, Hill began public comment by apologizing to San Luis Obispo business owner Bill Thoma for lashing out at him in an email regarding Thoma’s opposition to the location of the proposed shelter. Thoma, the next speaker, accepted the apology, and the pair sat next to each other for the remainder of the meeting.

Several speakers thanked Hill and Thoma for setting a tone of unity. Richard Margetson called it a “kumbaya moment.”

Hill suffered a political blow Wednesday when he lost his bid to become the next president of SLOCOG. Members of the public have criticized him for using bully tactics following recent emails he sent chastising not only Thoma, but also state parks officials. Hill has since grown a “pacifying” beard, pledged “greater tranquility” and made nice with Thoma, leading up to his opportunity to take over the presidency of the Air Pollution Control District Board.

Ashbaugh, a supporter of Hill’s and member of the CAPSLO board, said the city needs to collaborate more with the nonprofit. But, Ashbaugh said the council must take a “tough love policy toward homeless.” He suggested placing surveillance cameras in public places frequented by homeless in the city to monitor their behavior.

“As a card-carrying civil libertarian, I hate this idea, but frankly, security cameras,” Ashbaugh said.

Marx said the city as a whole needs to take a tougher stance on the behavior of the homeless and transients. She said a man punched her in the arm in December as she was walking from city hall to the county government center.

“I was punched in the arm by somebody who was bigger than me and really smelly,” Marx said. “I didn’t know if the person had a home or not, but that’s the stereotype.”

Marx said the man “smelled like a brewery” and behaved in a similar fashion as homeless people who have committed assaults around town. The man left her alone after she went into her “martial arts training,” Marx said.

The mayor also said a smelly person recently opened her husband’s car door and climbed inside with him near the county history museum.

“The situation is now reaching a point where it’s just not acceptable in terms of the experience of being in the downtown,” Marx said.

She said the council should consider programs for homeless families and landlords should rent more often to homeless veterans, but residents should not give money to panhandlers.

 


  1. Slowerfaster says:

    The disgraceful comments by practically every poster shows on overarching truth:

    The pitiful lack of education and humanity among so many of the locally born residents.

    It has been 74 years ( 1939 ) that an American classic in literature was written:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath

    Here is a quote from that most American of great novels:
    “If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones”.

    A few months ago, I was walking in downtown SLO …chilly, rainy day. Hundreds of superficial ‘successful’ people walked past me with their gentrified attire, their soul-less electronic devices seemingly embedded to their person, and not a single happy face in the lot.
    it was like a procession of rich people at a funeral, with all the mourners dead, too.
    Then, I ran into a few of the dispossessed, who actually looked at me, smiled, and said “Hi” !

    Steinbeck said this in another of his great works …”East of Eden” :
    ” It has always seemed strange to me … The things we admire in men; kindness and generosity, opennes, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And the traits we detest; sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second “.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 23

    • pasoparent5 says:

      Perhaps slowerfaster’s own “pitiful lack of education” is causing his memory to lapse.

      Ma and Pa Joad didn’t migrate so they could sit around, smoke cigarettes, harass local shoppers and defecate in the creekbeds. They moved West so they COULD FIND WORK. There are hundreds of able-bodied 20-40 year old men in SLO County who are in no way like the Joad family; they refuse to WORK.

      Your faulty analogy comparing the Joads with today’s crop of drug-addicted, lazy transients is offensive, ignorant, and invalid.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 9

      • Slowerfaster says:

        No, I think I’m spot on.
        Remember how the Joad’s were harrassed and often taken advantage of by ‘ the locals ‘ ? How one of the strikebreaking goons killed Preacher Casy, so Tom Joad killed him and had to hit it on the lam ? How the “Weedpatch” campground was infiltrated by local toughs to create a disturbance in order for the camp to be shut down by the local mouth-breathing cops ?

        The locals then were your ignorant, bigoted, stingy grandparents; and most of their descendents have learned absolutely nothing.
        if any of the Joad family came to the door of any of the cyber gripers here, looking scruffy but asking for work, I have no doubt that the only ‘charity’ extended would be a phone call for a free ride to jail.

        For those among the ‘homeless’ that do reflect your dscription of basically at loose criminals; it is a glaring indictment of the disastrous consequnces of warped reactionary non-thinking.
        The conservative mindset doesn’t want to pay for a damn thing …not even civilization.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 19

        • pasoparent5 says:

          Hey slowerfaster: We’ll have to agree to disagree.

          But just a heads up–it’s not cool to insult anyone’s grandparents, especially mine.
          When you call my sweet, hard-working, humble, charitable grandparents “ignorant, bigoted, and stingy” I’ll cry foul. They’re both still alive–thank God–in their ninth decades and your rude words touched a nerve. Got it? Thanks.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

        • SLOBIRD says:

          How dare you say we are not paying for the drug programs, homeless programs, Section 8 housing programs, mental health programs, social service programs, food stamp programs, medical programs, dental programs, homeless centers, food banks, planned parenthood programs, head start programs, just to name a few. These programs are all paid by the hard working taxpayers of this Country. And the, we will not even discuss the charity programs we all contribute too through our churches, organizations, food drives, building projects, etc. by the hard working taxpayers of this Country all to help and support the needs of the less fortunate. It is not our fault that government does not use our money well, uses it for political gains, pays for bribery, and just plan wastes it. Shame on your for saying we don’t care! We are just tired of the end result…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

          • Slowerfaster says:

            How I dare is because I read all of the vicious diatribes of ignorance, hate, and invective. Yours @ 10:21 being one of the few that offered any constructive suggestions.

            Add to your impressive list of “safety net” programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Without these advances in place, just imagine what the ‘homeless’ situation would be.
            Good, hard working all their life people would be dying in the streets ( or, like the Joad’s …on the road ).

            Solutions ? Well, the first is dealing with the problems at hand. The #1 answer is simple…providing places for basic human shelter. I agree, they don’t have to be palaces; but they shouldn’t be tents or prisons either.
            Long term, and fundamentally ….the answer is jobs. The thieves that stole so many good ones and exported them to China and other 3rd world states have hoarded so much of the resources and wealth generated. They are the ones that should pay for the consequences.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    What’s wrong with co-habiting spaces at the Kansas Ave. homeless facility. At that locacation everyone can have a pet, the facility is already there and plenty of law enforcement in the area?
    All is within healthy walking distance or a bus can be taken to a near location. The homeless pets (while they are alive) currently have it better than the homeless people who spend their nights curled up in front of businesses downtown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

  3. Pelican1 says:

    Today, Mayor Marx appointed John Ryan Mason City MMA Administrator. His duties will include “self defense” training, conflict resolution, alcohol avoidance program management, and “tougher stance” training of city officials.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 10

  4. rogerfreberg says:

    Interesting…

    However, one statement caused me to smile with amusement… Mayor Marx went into her ‘martial arts training’… I bet that worked. Ladies, when female law enforcement officers get raped with a gun and a badge, I would not be too confident with the inadequate training. Two pieces of advice that I gave my daughters years ago: 1) the best defense is not being there and 2) the best martial arts training is that which allows you to get away… and run.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 6

  5. grayotter says:

    Homeless are like pigeons or gulls. Give them a handout and they tell their friends…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 37 Thumb down 7

  6. Crusader says:

    I wish the really smelly guy who smelled like a brewery had connected with her skull and not her arm once she assumed her martial arts posture…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 18

  7. pasoparent5 says:

    Kudos to Mr. Thoma for accepting Mr. Pacifying Beard’s fake apology. Mr. Thoma’s a classy guy but I hope he watches his back.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 7

  8. SLOBIRD says:

    I too agree with Commonsensemama that something has to be done. I am totally not convinced that building a facility in “San Luis Obispo’s exactly the right approach. I firmly believe this is a “County” issue and should be developed on County/State property, i.e. off Hwy 1 (there are unused barracks), there is :County” property out near the airport (public transportation is available), or how about approaching the State about the Boys Facility up in Paso that is deteriorating. This is a large facility that has restrooms, showers, cafeteria, medical facilities, offices, classrooms, workshops, etc. The facility has maintained a few employees to keep it up and I think it would be a great alternative to San Luis Obispo, the business community, a major route ,and a small space for a lot of people. We do NOT need a Taj Mahal for the homeless. We need a transitional center to float these people in and out over a set period of time after taking life skill and counseling classes. This should not be a permanent location for anyone if the faculty are doing their job. Let’s help them but not enable them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 4

    • easymoney says:

      The barracks not used at Camp Roberts and FHL have also been suggested over the years. But they were discounted because they are too far away from any city, with it’s ready source of begging and handouts. Also, it has more brutal weather, making hanging the park too uncomfortable…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

      • pasoparent5 says:

        Yep, easymoney. Thousands of our young soldiers had to actually LIVE at Camp Roberts (*gasp*) as they trained to serve in World War 2. But God forbid we actually fix the place up for some drug-addicted, unemployed, homeless bums. It’s too hot…too cold…too far from the Apple store where they can peruse child porn or stroll to Mitchel Park where they can sleep all day.

        Like easymoney says, all most of these guys want to do is “hang at the park” anyway. Even if we fixed up Camp Roberts or the boys’ school, implemented some work programs, offered some addiction rehab services (kind of a fixed-up, regulated Dan Devaul place)….liberals would cry out that we’re being too harsh on these poor folks! How eeeeevil to expect a 30 yr old man to actually have to WORK for his food. *sarcasm*

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

        • easymoney says:

          Homerun, paso…
          That about sizes it all up nicely.
          During the 40’s those bases were booming, so was San Miguel, because our troops came to do their bit. Today it is too unPC and cruel to expect those who just want a hand out to conform, let alone accept what might be given.
          I gave up asking the panhandlers begging for my free money, if they would accept a sandwich or a job working for me.
          To the person they all said, NO… “Why should I work when I can get free money, just standing here”. ” I don’t want a sandwich or cup of soup right now, but have ya got some smokes?”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  9. Old Salt says:

    On Dec 27, 2012
    In Fresno NW of highway 41 at Van Ness Ave there is a large homeless encampment approx. 2 blocks long. They live in tents and whatever shelter they can put up. They burn from 55 gallon drums to keep warm.
    It’s one of the filthiest streets I’ve ever seen and I wondered why Fresno City workers or sanitation hadn’t cleaned up the piles and piles of garbage alongside the road and next to their living quarters. I saw no pot-a-potties.
    Many of these homeless have heard all about SLO, Morro Bay and extended areas…
    SLO, Built it…Advertise it…”they” will come.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 3