Did the arsonist win?

April 14, 2016

Nipomo Fire

The alleged late night torching of a home slated to house migrant workers has prompted a Nipomo strawberry grower to announced he no longer plans to house his farm workers in a residential neighborhood.

The home was one of seven houses being built to shelter 112 or more foreign nationals who would come from Mexico to work on local strawberry farms owned by Greg and Donna France. A plan some neighbors rallied against.

Following several reported threats, on April 6 a home under construction in Nipomo was discovered engulfed in flames.

“It is with great regret that we are cancelling our plans to provide quality housing for our guest workers after the burning of the Mads Place homes in Nipomo,” the couple said in a press release. “The crime of arson and continued threats against the property, our prospective workers and ourselves has raised our concerns about the ability to ensure the safety of the workers and to maintain a safe environment for the neighbors.

“We do not want to see anyone hurt, not our workers and certainly not any of the neighbors.
The workers provided through the federal H-2A program would have been primarily men from Mexico who would live 16 to a home for approximately nine months out of the year.”

The federal H-2A program allows employers to file petitions for foreign nationals to temporarily enter the United States to perform work that citizens will not do. The employer must then provide housing and transportation for the workers. France is currently housing his migrant workers at hotels in Ventura and busing them to and from the work sites.

“To the individual who committed the crime of arson and made multiple and serious threats of further harm, you have not won” the press release said. “Violence and intolerance are never the solution and we are saddened to have seen it emerge in our community of Nipomo. Because of our concern for the neighbors we have met and spent time with through this process, we are working with authorities on offering a reward of $10,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of this arsonist so they are no longer a threat to this neighborhood or the broader Nipomo community.”



  1. Josey Wales says:

    No, the arsonist didn’t win.

    Who won are the neighbors, the community and common sense.

    The character of our community is ours to decide, and, for good reason, it is obvious that people do not want houses occupied by upwards of 16 people.

    As the Mar Vista Berry Big Ag owner acknowledged, it was a mistake of epic proportion to try to shoehorn this scheme onto the neighborhood without even engaging the neighbors about the ramifications of going forward. Too often, Big Ag and their political cohorts work together to keep the public in the dark, and I think we have all learned a lesson.

    Santa Maria is in the throes of ‘Sanctuary City’ politics, and both Santa Barbara County Supervisors Steve Lavignino and Peter Adam are knee deep in running cover for the farmers. The worst part about it is, the people who pay their salaries are the very people their policies are damaging.

    Don’t let what has gone on in Santa Maria take root in San Luis County.

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
    • obispan says:

      Maybe you should take a drive down South Oakglen before making your laudatory remarks about “the community”.

      (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
  2. obispan says:

    Yes, the arsonist neighbor did win. The County is quite happy with the resolution and the case is closed. Now how about getting to work on the crap-load of code violations that prevent these houses and other properties on South “Oakglen” from selling for decent market value?

    (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  3. Rambunctious says:

    “Did the arsonist win?”

    No for the first time in a long time the American people won. Get use to it. America will be great again and we will win a lot more.

    (-3) 15 Total Votes - 6 up - 9 down
    • unlisted says:

      Sadly, the America that lynched niggers, imprisoned japs, and beat up the homeless, Okies, Irish and other minorities has won again.

      (-3) 13 Total Votes - 5 up - 8 down
    • obispan says:

      America will be great again when the White Trash on South Oakglen with the collections of non-op vehicles and trash in their yards and illegal construction are replaced by hard-working Mexicans in legal structures in full compliance with County codes..

      (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  4. indigo1955 says:

    The new KKK: don’t bother with the cross–just go right for their home.

    (-2) 18 Total Votes - 8 up - 10 down
  5. Ted Slanders says:

    “……would have been primarily men from Mexico who would live 16 to a home for approximately nine months out of the year.”

    Isn’t this above fact alone against some city ordinance?

    Would a taxpayer living in this home development be allowed to have 16 renters, individuals, or family members living in a single dwelling? I think not, because guess who would be complaining, the neighbors!

    What ever happened to comfortable farm housing on the acreage where these men will be working that allows for no transportation back and forth? The costs involved are seemingly the same as this house.

    This proposal never made sense to all involved.

    (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
    • obispan says:

      Scripture please!

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38)

        We can only assume that our Hebrew god Yahweh saw that the home in question was an offering that his true Christians didn’t want in their neighborhood, therefore, the Lord acted accordingly.

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • October says:

      OMG, I just gave a thumbs up to Ted Slanders. Hell must have frozen over.

      (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        I am pleased that you’re finally seeing the light and you will reap rewards because of it.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  6. south says:

    Please allow me to float a strategy. It is not an accusation, just a concept.

    The owner has a controversial project and it is clear that the issues of controversy are based on the following:

    Racism (Mexican men will have typical Mexican men problems)
    Sexism (single men living together will result in criminal or other troublesome behavior)

    To combat this, the applicant must shame the public and present themselves as victims. So they burn the project and present it akin to KKK church burnings. Then offer an outrageous reward, knowing fully that the perp will never get caught. The community is offended by this act and so when the project is resubmitted with less impacts it now becomes shameful to oppose these victims of hatred and the proposal sails through.

    Whadda you think?

    (0) 32 Total Votes - 16 up - 16 down

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