homeless and filthy in humboldt county

Daniel Taylor, a resident of Chico, the so-called City of Roses, recently traveled the 299 to Eureka and wrote a quick review of the experience on his blog. Unfortunately for Eureka, the review is not too generous, but it definitely strikes a familiar note to anyone who has spent time in Humboldt's county seat.

Taylor understandably complains about Highway 299 and how incredibly dangerous it is, but hey that's not our fault, it's just the way it is if you have to drive through those mountains. Where his write-up gets interesting is when he talks about what happened after he actually arrived in Eureka:

And finally, we were there, pulling into Eureka proper, ready to see the sights. I was expecting a Victorian throwback, a village awash in storied sea captain history and antique beauty. Instead it was as if the entire population of San Francisco's Tenderloin District was transplanted into Oroville, then moved a few hundred miles to the northwest on to an old parking lot bordered by an algae clogged harbor. We stopped at the first bar we saw, and got out. There was a severed cat's tail on the ground. Bad first impression. But hey, maybe the locals were alright. A dirt caked old man in sweat pants cruised up holding a thick club-like tree branch in one hand and an oversized Dandelion looking flower in the other. He looked at me and asked, rather forcibly "You Got a Problem?!" and I realized that yes, I did have a problem. I was in Eureka.

The sad thing about this is that Taylor is right, Eureka is chock full of destructive hobos, aggressive transients, and disturbing curbside litter. Of course, to be fair, Taylor apparently didn't take the time to check out the Carson Mansion or drive on H and I Streets, or maybe C Street north of Wabash. If he had, he would have seen many amazing Victorians, however he also would have seen more than one "dirt caked old man in sweat pants" or drugged up tweeker cruising around C & Wabash. One block down from that intersection he would see the popular criminal hangout unofficially known on the street as the "Stop N' Rob" due to its reputation for being held up on a regular basis.

Police Chief says Eureka is a Hell-Hole

Yes, Eureka really is a crime-ridden "hell-hole" as the chief of police once said. Our crime rates are sky-high, with twice as many rapes and burglaries per capita than the national average. And Eureka Police Sgt. Steve Watson was quoted in the Times-Standard last year saying "Unfortunately, much of Eureka is on our radar with drug activity," which really just confirms what we already knew.

The streets of Eureka are riddled with spent needles and dangerous criminals. Ever read the Rants and Raves section of Craigslist? People write in with experiences of being burglarized or harassed almost daily. Eureka is the kind of city where nobody leaves their cars or homes unlocked and nearly every home and business proudly displays alarm company warning signs. It's that bad.

So what do we do? How will we ever get control of our crime problem and turn this coastal gem of a city into a safe place to live for families so that our quality of life can increase? Some of our readers have claimed it would be a good idea to eliminate law enforcement, but we fail to understand how that would work to the advantage of public safety. The solution is probably a combination of increased community involvement (like neighborhood watch programs), putting more pressure on the police department to follow up on unsolved crimes, and eliminating illegal for-profit marijuana grows so that those residences can be occupied by tax-paying citizens who care about their neighbors and their community.

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By Fido, on Jul 6, 2008 - 11:32
The problem is that the county seat is in Eureka and that generally means all the poor people are there too. In Sacramento, we have Loaves & Fishes, a place for the homeless to gather. Drive into Sacramento on Hwy 160 and it's the homeless capital of the world. Eugenics was supposed to get rid of these people a hundred years ago

marijuana tourism

By SamPHX, on Jul 18, 2008 - 16:34
I have been to Humboldt over 20 times and spent tens of thousands at hotels, restaurants, gas stations, bars in the plaza, etc! if it wasnt for cannabis thousands of tourist would not come to humboldt! besides the ocean and the redwoods, marijuana is all Humboldt has left!!!!!!!

By haha, on Jul 18, 2008 - 17:15
ahahahaha "besides the ocean and the redwoods" damn dude those are some pretty serious assets! fuck pot, redwoods and ocean ftw!

By n6yb, on Jul 20, 2008 - 13:42
i think he means its all humboldt has left as tourist attractions. victorian houses are boring.


By kein, on Apr 1, 2009 - 23:14

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