Refugees

Ukraine is a topic that I have been avoiding. Friends and colleagues talk and write about it, but likewise seem to be hesitant to get too involved with such discourse. It is a difficult topic, from every perspective. Every topic within the primary topic is unpleasant. Politics are so vague. War is so violent. The potential for escalation is so terrifying. So many people are displaced.

Ukrainian refugees have been fleeing into and through Europe since the beginning of this war. Some have been coming to America. A colleague in Los Angeles has already assisted with temporary settlement of a few refugees who left Ukraine as the current situation began. Some came to Los Angeles intentionally, but not all. Some refugees could possibly relocate locally.

It is gratifying to know that the vast majority of people here will be graciously supportive of refugees if necessary. That is how healthy Society operates. Those of us who lost homes to the CZU Fire are very aware of this.

Furthermore, those who lack domestic situations for any other reason besides the CZU Fire are likewise aware of the gracious generosity of our local Community. It is why so few of us presently remain unhoused here, even while homelessness is such a major problem elsewhere in America.

A refugee is someone who is in need of refuge, likely after deprivation of former habitation. Prior to the current situation in Ukraine, refugees came from a variety of regions, and for a variety of reasons. Many refugees are local.

It is impossible to predict how many from Ukraine will relocated permanently to America, and how many will eventually return to Ukraine. The future or Ukraine remains unknown. We do know that Society here and elsewhere will do what it must to accommodate, and help if necessary.

Karen

My intention for this week was to write about why I have not been writing much for this blog, and why I may be writing even less in the future. Ironically, I ran out of time to do so. Well, a lack of time is not the only reason for my inability to compose new articles. There are actually a few other reasons, and not all are ‘bad’. In fact, one reason is a lack of interesting ‘problems’ that I typically wrote about in the past. So many within our Community have so significantly improved their particular situations. Well, for now, I will recycle this old article.

Felton League

From Karen

Seriously, that was her name. Karen. It was printed on her discarded baseball cap that was in the box of assorted trash that she tossed off the Graham Hill Road Bridge over Zayante Creek. There was some paperwork in the box too, which provided a bit more information. I was on the telephone and across the road at the gate of the industrial yard from where I work for part of the week when I saw her drop the box from the Bridge. I could neither yell to her while on the telephone, nor immediately end the call.

I did contact the sheriff though, as I walked across the road after ending the previous call. Prior to the discovery of identifying material, I doubted that anything could be done about the situation. Also, I did not want to trouble anyone with something that nothing could be done about…

View original post 236 more words

Fuentes Residence – Pacoima

Apologies for again reblogging an old article. Other obligations are still somewhat too demanding.

Felton League

This is just too delightful to not share. The video in the original articleis even better.

By CHELSEA EDWARDS Published June 18 (2021)

A homeless encampment in Pacoima, California has turned into an art piece after a homeless man turned a hillside along a freeway into a home that comes complete with art and gardens.

The property was build and landscaped along the 118 Freeway by 65-year-old Jose Fuentes. He’s originally from Colima, Mexico.

Nathaniel Padilla is the owner of Taco El Canelo, a restaurant that is next to the encampment.

Padilla says, “He said he was a gardener. So he did landscaping, so he got really good with his hands.”

He says it is becoming something legendary.

Padilla says, “People love it. I have people climbing up the mountain to go give them gifts like he’s like he’s baby Jesus almost. I have many people come out and…

View original post 214 more words

It Worked For Me

Job interviews necessitate a certain degree of decorum. I was over it. I had left work that I never should have left, and a revered colleague, for what he and I thought was a better opportunity. It was disastrously nothing like it was supposed to be, and left me in no hurry to accept another so-called job. I could have been satisfied with my work as a garden columnist. When I resigned to interviewing for another secondary job, I did not put much effort into the process. Instead of explaining my credentials, expertise and qualifications, I explained what I would NOT do. After my previous experience, I had quite a list to present, and was quite a jerk about doing so. It worked for me.

Within the context of Community discussion of issues regarding homelessness, someone occasionally feels compelled to explain his (or her) experiences, observations or even opinions as if they are universally relevant. For example, an addict in recovery might explain how he (or she) came to recovery after ‘hitting bottom’, and becoming homeless without assistance from those whom he had already exploited. Because it is so relevant and important within his experience, he believes it to be just as relevant and important to others, or even everyone with a few similarities to their respective experience. He believes that since ‘it worked for me’, it must necessarily work for everyone.

Recovery from addiction, although commendable, is irrelevant to those who are not addicted. Most people who are presently homeless here became so as a result of unemployment or income that is insufficient to sustain a mortgage or rent, not because of addiction. Homelessness and addiction are two completely different concerns. Belief that what worked for any individual would necessarily be effective for everyone is both presumptuous and ignorant.

Grumpy Old Men

Felton Covered Bridge has not changed much in the last half century or so. The new roof looks very much like the roof that was replaced. The extensive repair of damage caused by the flood in 1982 is difficult to discern from original materials and technique. A picture that my Pa took of my siblings and I in the southwestern window of the Bridge when I was just a little tyke, and too short to see over the sill, demonstrates that the particular window looks the same now as it did half a century ago. In fact, much of Felton looks somewhat as it did back then, or is at least somewhat recognizable.

Other towns have not been so fortunate, or unfortunate, according to perspective. Some of us perceive change as an asset or improvement. Others perceive it as a loss of original assets. Both perceptions are both variable and accurate; as well as variably accurate. In other words, some change is good, but other change is bad; and we each assess it by our own distinct standards.

My colleague in the Los Angeles region appreciates how Los Angeles and some adjacent towns have developed since we were kids. West Hollywood, which was quite shabby when it incorporated in 1984, has since developed into quite a ritzy community. Watts, which we still remember as a neighborhood to avoid, is now getting to be hip and trendy again, and one of the better regions in which to invest. The skyline of downtown Los Angeles is spectacular, and comparable to older big cities of the East.

Unfortunately, so many of these improvements have made the region less ‘livable’ for those who do not earn more than average income. Those who earn what had been average income can no longer afford to live there. Homelessness has consequently become overly common, as it has in Santa Cruz County.

My colleague, I and the rest of our generation have been around for half a century. That is quite a while. Things change significantly in that much time. There have been many changes that we are displeased with; but there are many that worked out quite nicely. People who are young now will experience the same during their next half century or so.

When I consider what my ancestors, and particularly my colleague’s ancestors, contended with in their first half century, as well as afterward, I realize that I should not complain. They experienced change that I can not comprehend, both good and bad. Although I can remember when less than half a million people lived in San Jose, my great grandparents remembered when San Jose was a relatively small town of about 20,000 residents, and all the unpleasantries associated with such extreme urban development afterward. Although my colleague down South still encounters mild racism on rare occasion, his father, who is of African descent, began his career as an attorney during the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, and even as he served as a Judge for Los Angeles County, endured racism and discrimination that younger people can not comprehend. Obviously, earlier generations endured much worse.

Society continues to evolve. Although it is unlikely that homelessness will be remedied any more efficiently than primitive racism has been, the presently extreme rate of homelessness must change. Society can not continue in such disgrace.

New In Town

Again, it is necessary to reblog an article from a few months ago. I apologize for my inability to write regularly for this blog.

Felton League

The significantly declining rate of houselessness here during the past several years has been gratifying to say the least. Somehow, while houselessness has been increasing so substantially in so many other Communities, most who previously lacked a stable home here have procured domestic situations. It is so gratifyingly contrary to the external trend.

The situation is certainly not perfect though. A few remain houseless because of inability to function within domestic or professional situations, or to exploit very limited resources that should be available to those in such condition. Sadly, some are the most vulnerable of society. Others have potential to inadvertently cause problems for other within society.

Furthermore, although uncommon, a few transient houseless people continue to migrate through our Community. Some have reason to be here. Others are here only incidentally. Most seem to be respectful of society; but it is impossible to know for certain. Even those…

View original post 150 more words

Winter Continues

Winter should continue for more than a month and a half. It certainly does not seem like that now. Weather has been so pleasant and dry for so long, with no rain in the forecast.

Such weather has both advantages and disadvantages for the ecosystem here. It inhibits proliferation of vegetation that provides fuel for the following fire season. However, it also accelerates the desiccation of the minimal vegetation that develops, which advances the onset of the fire season. Regardless of the fire season, much of the native vegetation will be distressed by inadequate moisture if significantly more rain does not develop prior to the end of the rainy season.

This weather also has distinct advantages and disadvantages for those who lack shelter. Rain is obviously unpleasant for those who lack a roof, so a lack of rain has certain appeal. However, the weather gets much cooler at night during dry weather, which is quite unpleasant for those who lack warmth and insulating walls.

Although fewer people lack shelter here nowadays, and although the climate is relatively mild here, it is difficult to not worry about those who must contend with unpleasantly wintry weather for the next month and a half.

Fortunately, the pandemic that the rest of the World has been so concerned about has not been a very serious problem for the local homeless Community. However, common cold and flu viruses have been circulating at a normal rate. Such illnesses are difficult for anyone afflicted by one, but are even more so for those lacking shelter and the ability to be warm and comfortable during recovery.

Some who currently lack shelter here will likely procure domestic situations within the next few months. Such possibilities may not seem like much help now, but they are cause for pleasant anticipation.

Forge Of Empires

“In the browser game Forge of Empires you can build your own city and experience all of history from its perspective – from the stone age on through the centuries. Explore new technologies that ring in a new era. Leave a mark with unique, contemporary buildings and establish a gigantic metropolis that is unparalleled anywhere. Increase your empire with sophisticated strategic campaigns and skilled actions in Forge of Empires. Create your own world: Forge your Empire!”

That certainly sounds compelling. I can think of all sorts of features that I would want to incorporate into a Community if I were to create it. I can think of almost as many features that would not be incorporated. Of course, it is all very unrealistic. No one person can create a city or any other Community. That requires the cooperation of countless others, particularly the members of the particular Community.

More than a million people live in San Jose. Each of those people contribute something to society, whether good, bad or both. They all create their own history, and some of it affects others in society. New technologies are occasionally invented or introduced. New homes and other buildings get constructed, with various architectural styles. Perhaps the same could be accomplished by fewer than a million people; but such tasks are impossible for just a single person.

Each individual is a more substantial component of a less substantial populace. For example, each resident of the main part of Felton is more than .00025% of the populace. That may not seem like much, but it is significantly more than one in a million in San Jose. Therefore, the contributions of each resident are more significant.

Again, that can be good, bad or both. The rules are the same for a smaller town as they are for a large city.

Although I may dislike the architectural style of a new home in the neighborhood, others may like it. Perhaps more like it than dislike it. Is that good, bad or both? Does it matter? The residents of the new home must like it, and, within reason, that is more important in a society that is not created by a single person.

Personally, I dislike homelessness within my Community. I want everyone to be accommodated within some sort of domestic situation. Most of the homeless likely need only affordable accommodation. I suspect that most people in any Community also dislike homelessness, but are unable to do much about it. Community is no video game.

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Day – January 17, 2022

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Day is often abbreviated as MLK Day. It likely has the most substantial name of all the important Holidays of American Culture, but was given one of the briefest of abbreviations. It is no wonder; but is it fair.

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior earned all of his credentials. He attained his Baccalaureate at Morehouse College. He attained his Baccalaureate in Divinity at Crozer Theological Seminary. He attained his Doctorate at Boston University. He was the son of Martin Luther King Senior, a revered Pastor, Missionary and Civil Rights Activist.

Nonetheless, to many of his time, he was merely ‘black’.

Many described him more disparagingly than that. They needed others to blame for social dysfunction. They needed others to oppress. They needed others to fear.

Many people still believe that they need this. If they are unable to blame, oppress and fear those who are racially different, they rely on others who are differently different.

How pitiable. No one should maintain such extreme self disdain that they rely on others for self validation. No one should need to be unjustifiably disparaging to anyone else.

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior said, “You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself.”, and furthermore, “Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.”.

Interesting Question

Again, it is necessary to reblog an article from a few months ago. I apologize for my inability to write regularly for this blog.

Felton League

It is perplexing that the local houselessness situation improved so significantly a few years ago, and then stabilized, both prior to and concurrently with such significant increases in the rates of houselessness in so many other Communities. Of course, the rate of houselessness increased drastically as a result of the CZU Fire last August, but then stabilized remarkably efficiently as many of the victims, with the assistance of home owners’ insurance, procured at least temporary domestic situations. Many of those who remain houseless as a result of the CZU Fire are living elsewhere temporarily, so are not as visually apparent as the more familiar local houseless.

This unusual improvement of the local rates of houselessness was questioned at my other unrelated blog, in conjunction with commentary regarding the contrary nature of such information, relative to the experiences of other Communities.

This was my reply:

“That is an interesting question that…

View original post 184 more words