corruption

IS THERE A STATE FUNDED WHOREHOUSE IN THE MAKING?

Opinion By Linda Sutter, July 27, 2017 –

Crescent City has a potential red light district.  Is it 230 E. Lauff Street under the guise of the Oxford House?Why would such a successful nationwide program be inferred as such? Well, let’s talk about that. First off 10 ladies are currently residing at the Oxford house. The rules of this unsupervised project are the following. You can’t drink or do drugs and you must hold a job in order to stay at this “home.”

Nothing wrong with that right? Ok, let’s look at rule number 35:

  • If you have children living with you or spending the night you; will NOT be able to have any overnight guest, “such as a boy/girlfriend”. You may only have a guest stay the night if you have no children sleeping in your room.  this does not mean you put your child on the couch for the night.  Your guest will have to leave by the house curfew if they are not staying the night.

According to the Rules quoted in law cases the Oxford house must house 10 people, 2 per room. This Oxford House will be housing children and the ladies who do not have children will be able to have their boyfriends spend the night. So let’s break it down. You can have two people per room. If someone has their “boyfriend” over where is the other person suppose to sleep? In the same room? And what about the ladies who have children there? Are these men who are allowed on the premises had background checks to determine whether or not they are child molesters or paroled felons? Well, the answer to that would more than likely be NO because, there is no supervision of this home. But don’t worry these women who are staying there never make bad choices.

And how many bathrooms are in this house?  Is it somehow OK these bathrooms will be shared between children and visiting boyfriends whose backgrounds aren’t checked???  At three in the morning?

Actually a woman could have more than one boyfriend. She could have a new boyfriend every other week. But I guess since these women don’t make bad choices to begin with they wouldn’t do anything like that? How about this. Girlfriend and Boyfriend get into a domestic dispute in front of other women and their children. Do you think that is a healthy environment for a child? How about when the single women have sex and children can hear the activity through the walls? Director of Health and Human Services Heather Snow thinks it is, “none of your business.”

Wow!

Ok, so it is none of our business since they will be utilizing state funds to the tune of up to $26,000 a year for some form of services that was not spelled out in the contract presented to the Board of Supervisors. But no fear the board of supervisors don’t read any of the paperwork before rubber stamping their decisions anyway. By the way whether it is state or federal money…um, don’t we all pay taxes for these programs?

Heather Snow thinks it is OK for this home  – which will have mothers with children and mothers without children –  to have men who have had no background checks, no supervision to come into the home spend the night up to 3 nights a week (rent free) and all is good. I think Heather Snow is either suffering from lack of air due to her height or has literally bumped her head.

Do children wake up at night to go to the restroom? Sometimes they do. My understanding is the restrooms are shared. So single mom and boyfriend in one room share a bathroom with mom and children in another room. Child wakes up goes to rest room, maybe boyfriend of single mom likes small children. What is preventing an incident from happening?  But remember these women are angels from heaven and they do not make bad choices. And also remember all bedtime stories end with, “now don’t tell anyone.”

Unfortunately, the Oxford House in law books is referred as Floppers for welfare recipient profiteers. The Profiteers of this house is Richard and Donna Hopkins. Congress made alcoholics and drug addicts a protected class and FAIR HOUSING ACT trumps any zoning or planning laws. Which by the way Heather Snow was less than truthful when she stated to the Board of Supervisors all the permits were taken care of. Ha! Not when I checked on the 25th of July. But in reality nothing can be done anyway. I wonder if Supervisor Chris Howard would support an Oxford house next to his Smith River property, or how about next door to Supervisor Lori Cowan?

And could the County become liable and get sued because they are now a party to this deal?

Well, we will all get to suffer this one. It appears the halfway house is the route to go. Buy a house –  rent it out to halfway house groups; it will pay for your property in less than 4 years. In the meantime, I feel sorry for that once was quiet neighborhood as it won’t be for long.

43 Responses to IS THERE A STATE FUNDED WHOREHOUSE IN THE MAKING?

  1. David Reply

    August 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    This article is appalling. Donna, you should be ashamed for letting this slip through your editorial fingers. Shame on you.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      August 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Actually, David, when you start turning over the rocks regarding Oxford House nationwide, this is but a hint of what is being covered up in the daily operations of a quite a few Oxford Houses. It may not be the situation here in Crescent City, but as has been the case in other houses, there is really nothing in the way of transparency in the way that the houses are run for any outside agency to monitor, if they were so inclinded.

      The houses are unlicensed, and self regulating, with no professional staff on site. All you have for information is what is revealed by the residents. I was stunned when I read just a few of the descriptions of life in these places. Oxford House in Maryland puts on a good show, and they have some studies from DePaul University, plus some local agencies such as our own DHHS giving them money and telling every one how wonderful the houses are, but you have to dig a little deeper to get a better idea how it can all go terribly wrong. Some have closed or been closed. Others have residents complaining of theft, issues with other residents,being given 15 minutes to clear out with no explanation, and so on.

      There are several states currently looking into Oxford Houses. Thus far Oxford Houses have generally used Federal law to shield them from closer inspection, but Linda’s reference to “Floppers for Welfare recipient profiteers” might not be very far from the truth. Many criminal acts have occurred in Oxford houses all over the Country, with no reports to local law enforcement. Coordinators who are supposed to assist and monitor individual groups of houses have been known to cover up lapses in alcohol and drug use. Mental Health Departments and Health and Human Services regularly let contracts for vague and unspecified services that amounts to thousands of tax payer dollars with no way of finding how the money is being spent. It takes a little effort, but the situations at many Oxford Houses aren’t quite as pretty as being claimed by Tony Reed and Robin Fornoff at the Triplicate.

      I, myself, am sorry that so many people find themselves having to rely on these kind of houses, for purely economic reasons. I know that every one doesn’t have a pocket full of money to get professional help, and for many, Oxford Houses have been life savers. There remains; however, some questions that need some answers here, before HHS spends $40,000; $26,000 at the Oxford House at 230 East Lauff and continues to spend $13,500 at the Oxford House at 781 H St.

      • WTF Reply

        August 10, 2017 at 9:14 am

        Sam, WTF watched the video last night of the BOS meeting and in particular the Oxford House. I heard testimony regarding the $26,000 contract. Regardless of how one feels about the program, the contract, and as many of the readers commented, was suspect.

        I heard nothing in the testimony that convinced me this contract was worthy. To my knowledge, there was no detailed breakout by task about how this contract money would be spent. Perhaps some of you know more about it and can enlighten me.

        Based on what I saw, it is surprising that at least two supervisors voted yes on approving these contract funds. Since the results of this meeting have been relatively quiet in the publication, I have to assume some type of legal action was threatened.

        I believe an elected official has a right to respectfully contact their constituents, including knocking on doors and doing inquiries. Our officials are not doing enough of this now, which is why all these issues pop up in the first place. You could make an argument that failure to do so is, “nazi” tactics.

        At any rate, there is a loophole that allows these significant changes to occur, and it has been stated that we can expect more recovery homes throughout Del Norte County. Will we become the recovery capital of California? Should good citizens just throw in the towel and get out of here?

        • Webmaster Reply

          August 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

          Please see latest article, “Did BOS Chairman Howard and Sup. Cowan flunk ethics training?” Addresses some of the things you brought up.

  2. Wendy paritsky Reply

    July 31, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Whats funny is linda sutter wants to put a label on us here at Oxford yet she displays inappropriate pictures on her Facebook. None of us are doing that
    So before u state an opinion make sure your back yard is clean. Like seriously you calling us whores is a joke.

    • Linda Sutter Reply

      August 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Awe, goodness you found my old college party pictures taken from UC Davis Smoker Event. Yes, well, those were the good ole days but at least I never became an alcoholic or drug addict and drag innocent children (crack babies?) through the mill. Nor did I rely on state funded Oxford houses to support my self inflicted disability. then again I didn’t grow up here in Del Norte where kids like you don’t have a prayer. That all you look forward to for the rest of your life is more of the same. Sadly you will be bringing up children who will turn out just like you. So little miss is that the best you can do is show some party pictures around like I’m the one with the problem. Ha. Big deal. Next.

      • Jessie Williams Reply

        August 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

        Lady, if you are the example of a person who had never fought the DISEASE of addiction, then I’m proud to be an alcoholic in recovery and I’m proud to call many alcoholics and addicts in recovery my friends, because they are some of the best people I’ve known in my life. And by the way, Oxford is there and we’re not going anywhere, so get used to it.

  3. Jessie Williams Reply

    July 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    DePaul University has studied Oxford House for the last 30 years, there is no other recovery housing program that has that kind of clinical data on recovery. The Surgeon General fully supports Oxford House as a model for recovery housing across the nation. There is an article if you wish to Google that. I mentor the women’s house and I assure you that the house is being ran exactly how it is supposed to be run. With elected house officers. There is a house president who runs the house meeting, but as far as any one person being in charge, that is just not how Oxford works. Everything in the home is democratic, right down to every dime spent from the house account. These girls are here to change their lives, they all want to do the next right thing in every aspect of their lives. Any person in the home who does not share this common goal will not last in the house. This house is not a threat to any neighborhood.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      August 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Jesse, I fully agree with you that Linda has become too judgemental with respect to what might happen in light of the visitation policy, but in your defense of this particular Oxford House affiliate you are dancing around several anomalies with respect to how the Oxford House program is set to work.
      If you disregard the rather peculiar way the house on Lauff came into being as an Oxford House Charter, you have to admit that Gene McVae is something that would not appear in the definition of a self supported house. In addition no one has come forward to explain his role in the house nor his fee, and for what services he provides if any?
      The Oxford House program does not provide for professional services of any kind. All support services are set to come from within the residents themselves, and not some one outside the house. The only outside support would come from groups such as AA or similar, nothing professional.
      The second major anomaly is as a self funded group, what in the world is HHS doing with infusing thousands of dollars each year into both Oxford Houses in Crescent City? Much of the reasoning that the Oxford House program works is that it doesn’t rely on State funding of any kind. The initial Oxford Houses were set up because of the failure of State funding. For that reason financial self sufficiency was deemed a necessary component of the program and a necessary part of the self rehabilitation efforts by the residents.
      With that in mind, it is curious about how the effort by Gene McVae and HHS Director Snow went about seeking approval for the funding, first on the consent agenda at the Board of Supervisor’s, then when that failed to pass muster, dropped a veil of secrecy around the contract which was to expend the funding.
      Mind you, none of this casts any judgement on the residents of the house on Lauff, it simply highlights the fact that this does not appear to follow some of the most basic parts of an Oxford House program.
      Finally Linda spends a great deal of time judging how there is a possibility of bad things happening because of the visitation policy where males may spend the night, almost as if it were inevitable. Since I cannot see into the future, I would be an idiot to suggest the like. The visitation policy does seem to conflict with Oxford House policy of single gender inhabitants where many of the residents of female houses have suffered from sexual harassment or abuse in addition to drug or alcohol abuse. If the Lauff House had ten bedrooms with ten bathrooms, then there wouldn’t be a problem, but as the bedrooms are shared, a room with a woman and a male visitor shared by a single woman with two children from an abusive relationship…. well you can see where that might just be a little awkward. Again, not saying it would happen, but it in no way compares to that described by Mr. Maietta of his experiences in urban apartment sharing… sorry Nick.
      Seems like there is a lot of support for houses that operate using the Oxford House program. As I said earlier there have been some problems and the system is not fool proof, but these few issues that have been brought forward about the local house deserve explanation, maybe not all of them from the residents of 230 E. Lauff, but an explanation from perhaps Director Snow is in order?

  4. Jessie Williams Reply

    July 31, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Samuel Strait
    Oxford Houses do not and never have had on site managers, as the houses are democratically ran. The money collected for rent goes right into the house checking account, the collection of rent, paying of bills and other household duties are handled by democratically appointed house “officers” such as Treasurer, comptroller etc. These are all aids in becoming self sufficient after sometimes a life long battle with the disease of addiction.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      July 31, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Jesse, you may call them officers, but they manage the affairs of the residents just the same. The reason I used the term “managers” is that the Oxford Manual refers to them as “managers”. It is like splitting hairs over terminology when you should be asking if the residents at 230 E. Lauff have the same kind of arrangement or does Gene McVae occupy that role and if so why?

  5. Jessie Williams Reply

    July 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I just have to add that people in recovery are some of the best people I’ve met in my life. We certainly are like the majority of you people on here..
    Judgemental, cruel, heartless, selfish…the list can go on amd on and its people like you that is what’s so wrong with our country today.

  6. Wendy Paritsky Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I am wendy paritsky not only am i a member of this community i am a member and resident of the oxford house. You should be ashamed of yourself the things you are stating are far from the truth. You as a woman and living in this community should be all for other women wanting to better themselves. But instead you would rather pass judgement and bash on us and the house with out even giving us a chance. Yea so what its a house full of women. Women who are trying to piece their lives back together. Who are getting their children back, who are getting jobs, and who are trying to blend in with the community. Then there are people like you who want to pick us apart and watch us fail. Your opinion honestly means little to nothing to me or any one else. You know little to nothing about our house or any of us in it. Ive learned to pray for people like you and that’s exactly what I’ll do. God bless

    • WTF Reply

      July 31, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Wendy, WTF thinks that Ms. Sutter’s opinion piece was a little over the top, but the essence of it was factual. WTF truly hopes that you and other residents can get your lives together. We are pulling for you. I just don’t want to see it done at government expense or potentially ruining single family, residential neighborhoods.

      How ironic that you think you’re entitled to live in a good neighborhood, when you could be contributing to making a bad neighborhood. What kind of life is it to pack a four bedroom house with up to 20 people, adding 15 cars, and potentially bringing addict “visitors” into neighborhoods that are not in the program? What if there were 10 homes on Lauff that were Oxford Houses? Would you still want to live there? What about the fact that these Oxford Houses were “sneaked” into neighborhoods? How would you feel if a child molester home was sneaked into a neighborhood right next door to you? Would you still want to live there?

      Many of us have made bad choices in our lives. You take this road,or you take that road. You weigh the risks, you take them. The American way used to be that we pulled ourselves up, bettered our own lives. Government was not going to prop us up. We had real fear that we would be out on the street. At some point, because good people are tired of paying all these taxes, because problem people have everything handed to them, because we don’t want to saddle our good children with debt- we will go back to the way it should be- you have to have consequences for you bad choices. It wasn’t our fault, I’m tired of paying for it.

      So, take WTF’s advice; get out of this town with no career ladder for you. Go back to school, join a church, get back your self-respect and pride. Get a good job, buy a home, contribute to society. Forget your past like many of us have.

      You can do it.

    • Nicholas Maietta Reply

      July 31, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you Wendy for speaking up and stand up to the name calling. I know all too well of people passing judgement without knowing the truth of my own situation. There are two sides to the story and quite frankly, i don’t like the way Linda felt the need for an attention grabbing headline and the bad mouthing of the organization without knowing all the facts. Passing judgement is exactly what she did. I was going to keep my mouth shut but now I see two sides to the story and I would love to see you further address people’s concerns, if you can and are willing. I do not have all the facts and quite frankly this article has pissed me off.

      Linda took her words too far. Her words actually may have caused some serious libel issues for herself. CC Times is a shared blog platform, with content contributed by community and noncommunity members, but she used a term that unsettles me: On July 28, 2017 at 11:15 am Linda wrote “I admit the headline was extreme to get the attention of our viewers.”. I certainly hope that she does not have any ownership over the website as this would open Donna up to being included in any future lawsuit for slander, false light, defamation of character, yada yada. As far as I know, Linda has no ownership at all to this website but instead, is simply a person who wished to raise a concern and unfortunately the downside of offering people a “voice” sometimes come with allowing people to publish opinion pieces that can certainly cross a not so nice line.

      One thing i’ve learned about Linda over the years is she is very, very vocal. Too vocal at times. I have also learned she can be very judgemental. She like everyone else deserves to have a voice, but i think that Linda really ought to reconsider publishing anything more online without going through an attorney who specializes in libel, slander, defamation and false light cases to make sure she’s clear not to get herself sued. Quite frankly, I think this article has enough grounds for a lawsuit like this. Unless she’s absolutely nuts, i’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to go that route.

      The NIMBY problem is a very real thing. Slapping a label and a housing program is far too easy to do. Slapping a label on the people in such a s housing program is far too easy to do. Slapping labels on to situations, people and programs is what humans LOVE to do. I know all too well the affects of being labelled and classified, so I am very empathetic to your situation.

      Not only that, but when i was a child of around 5-7 years old, I saw my step-dad repeatedly beat my mom and strangle her. Most kids would put this out of their minds, but to this day i still have very vivid memories. I used to plead to my mom to leave him. Unfortunately, she felt she loved him and that it was her fault. This brings me to why i have so much respect for woman who leave bad relationships and work to break cycles of alcoholism or drugs. Being alone while trying to break bad relationships or bad addictions like alcoholism and drugs cannot happen being provided a roof over your head in an unfamiliar place, with no support structure. I have no idea what the environment is like at the Oxford house, but I think that is at the root of some people’s concerns. People get weird about their own neighbors and often make assumptions on things that are not cookie cutter. I have always been an advocate for people not to box themselves into situations like moving into a neighborhood unless they absolutely don’t care who or what’s around them, to some degree. You cannot nor should you ever control your neighbors. People unfortunately, move into neighborhoods and then expect their new neighbors to live by their standards. The Oxford house moving into neighborhoods may very well and now obviously coming under the microscope mostly by “concerned neighbors”. My opinion is simple: Mind their own damned business. It’s not a liquor store or a drug house being installed there.

      As far as the concerns about “background checks” on boyfriends etc, i’m going to consider this “Fear Mongering”. As far as I understand it, this “house” is supposed to try and mimic what a real house might be like. For the record, i now live extremely close to the Bay Area. In fact, i’m not even 30 minutes drive from south San Francisco, not even twice the distance from Crescent City to Gasquet. People would be amazed to learn that in this part of California, having multiple people unrelated to eachother living under the same roof is a VERY COMMON situation. It’s called ROOMMATES. In today’s society, and this might come as a shock to some, but this is common in much of the world. Especially in situations where renting a place can take nearly all of one’s income. Here where I live, the average rent for just a room, is on average around $1,000 per month. That’s just a room. The only way to survive is in a group based cost-sharing situation. In those situations, boyfriends and girlfriends do come over to visit and sometimes, even stay overnight. OMG REALLY? This is life. This is normal.

      This is what I say. If someone does bad, deal with them. Don’t just assume someone’s going to do something simply because they are present or if they might even have scary looking tattoos. Doesn’t matter their background. I would feel more safe living with a convicted murderer than most people. In fact, when i was in prison, i shared cells in San Quentin with convicted murders and there were no problems at all. In fact, i became good friends with one of them who was a hardened gang member. Never judge a person by their background, instead judge a person by who they really are. People need to grow a spine.

      In California, tenants rights are some of the strongest laws in existence. However, there are few if at all any rights for a any neighbor to dictate how their neighbors should run their lives. If they don’t like it, they should just move. Self-righteousness and slanderous published opinion pieces are not the best route. Don’t like it? LEAVE.

      Thank you Wendy for standing up for yourself and speaking out. You have my respect and support and I wish you the very best.

  7. Phillip Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I find this article disgusting and rude, who would call women who are trying to make something out of there lives whores. Linda you know thats just wrong, these women have to find a job in this county and pay taxes just like you; that is contributing to our tax dollars right? People grow up with addiction in their lives raised by parents with abuse, not raised by middle class parents, or a golden spoon fed baby. I have seen embezzlement in this county and far worse things going on, this should be supported by people to give women a chance, where other places won’t. Do people really want to send some women out there to struggle in the streets and contribute to the crime. I really don’t understand why we have to shame others, what and how is that beneficial.

  8. Jessie Williams Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    As Oxford Alumni I am apalled at this. There are Oxford Houses all over the United States, in neighborhoods, all over the United States. None of these homes being in these neighborhoods has resulted in any crime from the members of these homes. In many neighborhoods across the US, Oxford House members are members of their neighborhood watch. Before you speak of which you know nothing about, maybe learn a thing or two. People are rebuilding lives in Oxford. Are you all so blind and selfish not to see that we all deserve a chance to rebuild our lives after the disease of addiction has tore it apart? I spent 5 years in Oxford and have been alumni for over a year. That’s over 6 years sobriety that I would not have had it not been for Oxford. There are very strict rules and guidelines in place regarding every aspect of the running of a house. Oxford has been very successful since 1975 in people achieving long-term recovery, reuniting with children, and becoming productive members of society. Nobody pockets ANY money from the opening of these houses, all money brought into a house from members paying their EES (Equal Expenses Shared) goes right back into the house for utilities, and the running of the home. I for one owe Oxford my life and will defend everything about Oxford until my dying day. So in closing, I would just like to say that since you obviously know nothing about Oxford and its inhabitants, I will just disregard all your words as written in complete ignorance and in an opinionated format with no factual information provided.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      July 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Jesse, Actually there have been crimes committed by members of Oxford Houses all the way from petty to some rather serious crimes, assault with a deadly weapon. While it is uncommon, it has happened. The title of the article maybe abit lurid, but there are some legitimate questions that need to be asked before $40,000 is casually dispersed to a house that is supposed to be self funded. It is also important that the community be assured that what seems to conflict with the stated purpose of Oxford Houses is not the case. Oxford Houses are supposed to have managers elected from within the residence or the landlords may be that manager. Managers should live on site, not in Oregon. Residents are suppose to pay the rent, buy their own food and clothing, and are obligated to maintain the residence. Del Norte County Health and Human Services is not supposed to be paying the rent and unspecified fees to the tune of $40,000 per year. In fact Oxford Houses do not use State funds as a rule, except for the $4,000 seed money to start a house, which must be paid back by the occupants of the house in 24 months. Furthermore, it is unclear as to who collects the “rent payment” each month and why Gene McVae is even involved.
      The actual running of the house is to be accomplished by democratic vote of those in residence. They may chose to conduct their affairs within the confines of the rules of each individual house. The idea that nothing unwarranted will not happen is living in fantasy land. Sould DNHHS be involved in financing its operating costs if the unimaginable were to happen? And, does this financial support conflict with the stated purpose of Oxford House?
      To the question of opposite gender visitors, Oxford House dwellings are confined to single sex residences for a reason. It reduces the potential for the kind of events suggested in the article, which have occurred in other Oxford Houses that allow this kind of visitation. While the term “Whorehouse” is not appropriate in describing the house on 230 E Lauff, those that have risen to its defence would be better served if some of these questions were put to rest rather than being indignant and superficial.

  9. Jack Offoften Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Whores do not attract tourist, lighthouses attract tourists. Redwoods attract tourists. Rivers attract tourists. We are going to be where STDs and junkies meet the sea.

    • Pervis Mcfeely Reply

      July 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

      This community needs every dollar it can get.. from state subsidized halfway houses to well licensed and taxed brothels and this location will accomplish both. Two birds and one stone. The oldest profession should be brought back to life north of klamath and the county should reap the windfall. What is the address?

  10. Soefah Kingdehm Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Soefah Kingdehm thinks that whore houses should not be state funded. The only whores we should have is seasonal houses of horrors; not year round houses of whores. I admit I have a past, but at least the hotel room I worked out of was not state funded, just my ramen noodles.

  11. Wesley Nunn Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, OCC and WTF. Very well said.

    Tony Reed’s article in the Triplicate looks like he took the opportunity to get his digs in on Roger Gitlin and CC Times, all in one article, while reporting how nice things look when they’re sugar coated. Mr. Reed’s story reads more like a point-counter point opinion piece than factual reporting.

    The thing that really stands out to me is that Mr. Reed declined to contact Roger Gitlin and get his side.

  12. Original Concerned Citizen Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Saturday edition, Triplicate’s Tony Reed wrote: Oxford House — More than you’ve heard. It’s part 1 of 2 on Oxford House, where he sugar coated the truth about these poor little addicts and criminals who got themselves into legal trouble all by their own free will. It also feels like he has painted those in opposition with a muddy paint brush. I hope in part 2 he will use a brightly colored paint on opposing views without broad-brushing justifiably concerned neighbors as illogical and mean-spirited. Who could be against these men and women getting and staying clean and sober? Just because the residents are clean and sober, it doesn’t mean their visitors will be clean and sober.

    My objections are not political per se, but focus on the Oxford House resident’s safety and potential success, their children’s and visitor’s safety, neighborhood security, property values, and the fact that successful rehabilitation will be too hard to attain at both of the current Oxford House locations in Crescent City. In Reed’s story, one Oxford House resident admits he is on probation and came there from drug court. Often lawyers make a deal with the court to grant defendants probation (again) if they go into treatment at Oxford House or a like facility after the defendants detox in jail. Also in Reed’s article, Oxford residents say that if they violate the law in any way, they will be kicked out. How many are really kicked out for re-offending or breaking the house rules? We will never know. In these substance abuse rehab programs, how many are given a pass with seemingly endless second chances just so the funds will keep rolling in to management? Gene McVae said it is not a “halfway house” as it has been referred to. If many, or most residents were given the choice of jail or rehab, I opine that makes it a halfway house. Because it is a place to reside while trying to stay clean and sober before going back into the alcohol and drug infested low rent apartment buildings the female resident spoke of as being the only place she could presently afford — it’s a halfway house. Kenny says he has been at Beachside Oxford House for 18 months. According to Reed, Kenny also said, “he lost everything in his life to addiction and made the transition from jail to Oxford House.” Sure sounds like a halfway house to this Triplicate reader.

    If the house is not displaying a no trespassing sign, Supervisor Gitlin, or anyone else has the right to knock on the door if not done in a harassing manner, and especially if on official business, as well as ask neighbors how they feel about it, in his capacity as supervisor of the affected county district. Hard to believe is the story about Gitlin flashing his “little badge” and insisting he can enter and inspect the dueling anytime he feels like it. If a reporter has a right to knock on the door and ask questions, a county supervisor also has that right. After all, it was slipped in under the radar. Neighboring home and business owners deserve to know the truth, or Supervisor Gitlin would not be doing the job district 1 voters elected him to do.

    Why were both the Beachside and Sequoia Oxford Houses in Crescent City slipped in on the down low and beneath the radar of homeowners and business owners already negatively impacted by the overly present criminal element in both those adjoining neighborhoods? Why open “halfway houses” in a neighborhood where drugs users and dealers regularly roam the streets, and where alcohol is often consumed on those same public streets and sidewalks, which is still cold from the much too convenient corner liquor store? Come on now, the odds that Oxford residents will use again are dramatically increased when living in such a high crime and drug and alcohol infested neighborhood. Is this really about the client’s successful recovery, or just about making a fast, easy buck for several involved?

    Using a Bureau of Justice Statistic study finding, inmates released from state prisons have a five-year recidivism rate of 76.6%. Bet a hundred dollar bill to a stale doughnut it is also something near that for inmates being released from county jails.

    We should applaud and support all who are working to get the monkey of addiction off their backs — it ain’t easy. But the ugly truth being ignored by those that either profit handsomely from the money treatment programs bring in, as they laugh at furious neighbors all the way to the bank, or the uninformed bleeding hearts who blindly and unconditionally support D & A treatment centers, halfway houses, and other like facilities without extensive vetting before allowing it to become operational. D & A treatment works when the addict makes the decision to stop using all on their own accord, and without outside pressures. It almost never works when the judge says, “Go to treatment or go to jail”, or an employer says, “Get sober or you’re fired.”, or a wife or husband says, “Stop now or I will divorce you.” Bet most, if not all are there due to outside pressure demanding they “get clean and sober, or else.”

    Why do the same neighborhoods always get dumped on? Put it out on Pebble Beach where there are no liquor stores or drug dealers on every corner temping the not yet strong enough to resist. Put it far away from temptation out on Hwy 199. The Redwood Transit bus runs all the way to and from Gasquet. Did you hear that loud thud? It’s the sound of property values around these two Crescent City Oxford Houses hitting a deep, new low.

    Keep digging Linda, Donna, and Supervisor Gitlin. This does not pass the smell test, and the odor of bovine manure is only increasing.

    • WTF Reply

      July 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      OCC, very lengthy note, but very well said. If residents don’t push back on this, we can look forward to more halfway houses all over Del Norte County. In essence, this will help seal the deal in making this County a true welfare county.

      Think about it, by blowing the noses of these addicts, are we really helping them? If they hit rock bottom and felt some pain, went off cold turkey, wouldn’t that really make them think twice about what they are doing?

      How do we justify to the folks working at the local WalMart, that it’s okay to pay your full rent, buy food for your family, obey the laws, while folks that make bad choices are rewarded for their bad behavior?

      Is that fair?

  13. Michelle Oliphant Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 1:24 am

    * The Oxford House Inc Rehab Review: Nationwide Self-Help network
    *

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      July 29, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Michelle, much better effort. It would be nice if you hadn’t used the Oxford House’s website as there are much better sites to get a more accurate idea of just exactly what Oxford House is all about. Many of the questions posed by Linda Sutter can be answered with very little effort and would give everyone a better idea what kind of situation now exists at 230 E. Lauff. While it can be a relatively harmless program insinuated into that neighborhood, that has not always been the case at other Oxford House locations. The thing that seems to catch most observers of Oxford House programs is that it seems to be much more effective when tied to other support mechanisms than as a stand alone halfway house. Also as a stand alone for profit house, I’m not sure they are even allowed to receive money from HHS. Someone may wish to check into that aspect of this. I seemed to have seen somewhere that it is the responsibility of the house’s occupants to be paying the rent and feeding themselves, not the State. Tne last thing, halfway houses are a relatively unregulated industry and only a few are licensed. They tend to rely on Federal discrimination laws to bypass many local and State regulations with regard to zoning and the like. This has created the potential for wide spread abuse of what would be normal land use practices and resulted in many after establishment of the house conflicts in the neighborhood that are not easily resolved. While Oxford House does exercise some control over those that are under its umbrella, each house is more or less operated under its own direction. Not all are successful and it can take some time for Oxford House to react to those that do not live up to its standards. The general assessment of the program, and it is a program, is that it is successful about 65% of the time. All that I can say is that the County may wish to error on the side of caution before spending $40,000 of taxpayers money.

  14. Jason Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Jesus, Sutter the next topic of your “research” should be libel and slander. It is only a matter of time before you, and the “owner” of this rag (Short Bus News), get your ass sued! But then you actually have to own stuff to be worried about that. Hard to get blood out of a turnip!

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      July 29, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Jason, the readers of this “journalistic rag” as you describe it might wonder just what kind of facts that you bring to the conversation that would show it was anything other than what is being described in the article? Slamming the author does little to give your diatribe any credibility. Try showing just where the author of the story has gone wrong, maybe? Then you might have a bit of standing, otherwise you might as well be viewed as another Chip, a waste of space! The same might be said for Michelle Oliphant?

      • Jason Reply

        July 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

        Really Samuel? You can’t even quote me correctly!!!!! I called it a “rag”, I would never consider calling it a “”journalistic”” anything! So you think you can demand “facts” from me even though I was simply offering my opinion? After Sutter Linda decided to go nucking futs on a half way house, and implied that this place is loaded with “whores” and “child molesters? WHERE ARE HER FACTS OR YOUR EVIDENCE? Personally I think if Westfall pulled her arm out of your behind you’d collapse like the ventriloquist dummy that you are! And that’s a FACT!

        Nobody should be called a whore or child molester, off hand, by a loose cannon, ex- prison guard! Who, by the way, doesn’t have a shred of evidence of either except her own sordid past!

        • Samuel Strait Reply

          July 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

          Slipped a cog have we Jason? Actually, I do not believe I demanded anything from you except civility. And that does not appear to be part of your personna. Maybe you and Chip should get together and compare notes. I have some respect for Michelle, you I have none.

          • Jason Reply

            August 1, 2017 at 12:16 am

            Samuel, your reality check has bounced! You demanded that I provide “what kind of facts that you bring to the conversation that would show it was anything other than what is being described in the article?”.

            Really, you want me to prove that it’s not a “whorehouse” loaded with “child molesters”. They don’t call this rag “Short Bus News” for nothing!

            • Moe Lestre

              August 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

              This is no rag! This is a towel and I am feeling all wet reading this. Stand up for your girls and their hood Sam. If you want to talk smack about this publication and the ladies then you will deal with Sam. Leave the presidents on the nightstand or meet Sam.

  15. Michelle Oliphant Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Wow! What is your problem lady person? My guess would be you are a self righteous holier then thou Del Norte loud mouthed busy body spewing nasty rude and extremely insulting comments about people you don’t even know. I am taking sides. How dare you call those women in that house whores. And calling out Richard and Donna as profiteers??? Really ?? Do some research on the Oxford house because again you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Linda Sutter Reply

      July 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I admit the headline was extreme to get the attention of our viewers. However, don’t kill the messenger quite yet. I read California case law that infers the halfway houses as welfare recipient profiteers…and let’s talk about that. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins bought this property because they receive $2,000 per month for rent. The middle man is Gene McVae who receives $4,000 per month from those that live there. I have not found out whether it is a 501(c)3 which would entitle it to exemption of taxes. That is something to look into…

      Don’t be blinded by the title.. there are some real legal questions that should have the public concerned especially since Del Norte County has one of the highest domestic violence and child molestation statistics per capita.

      Anyone can open a recovery house, including holding companies and businesses that know nothing about the drug and alcohol treatment field. No training is mandated. No background checks are compulsory. No government oversight is required. Recovery house rules vary widely– as does the enforcement of those rules. Federal laws protect residents from housing discrimination, but those laws don’t regulate how recovery houses operate.

      I hope it benefits these women; I hope it works, but the house rules are loose and safety and security are paramount for not only the women but the children who will be exposed to the environment.

      I was sent to a group home for pregnant teens when I was 17 until the baby was born. It was a very nice place with my own room and bathroom. It was structured with classes and the people that supervised this place were fantastic. The Oxford house here is not supervised nor is there any security. Having men spend the night 3 nights a week is trouble waiting to happen.

      • WTF Reply

        July 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        Linda, thank you for researching this. Let’s not forget that there is no public meeting for residents to voice their concerns. These problem women could be good neighbors, or they could be bad. There would most certainly be an impact on property values, and additional crime could be brought into neighborhoods. Placing as many as 15-20 residents into a single family home could have impacts on sewer and other utilities.
        The best application for such an endeavor would be in a mixed-used neighborhood or apartment-zoned areas. I hope Lauff residents turn up en masse at the next BOS meeting to voice their concerns. It’s time to give a damn.

        • Soefah Kingdehm Reply

          August 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          WTF, Soefah thinks you make good points. And Linda ain’t let nobody step on your corner, you defend your turf and your hood girl. And WTF, Soefah would like to meet you, until I do I wonder what y’all initials stand for is it William Tobias Fankfurter? What is it? Anyway, we don;t need no government run house of pleasures, those ladies can make it just fine if they make right with their papas.

  16. Jr. Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I am just glad that Ray and Roberta Young and not around to see what is happening at their old house. So sad.

  17. Chip Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 10:41 am

    The great thing about Linda Sutter is that her IQ is lower than the number of votes she got in last year’s primary.

    • Wesley Nunn Reply

      July 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      I disagree with Linda Sutter a lot, but she’s right on this one, Dip Chip.

      • Nicholas Maietta Reply

        July 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm

        Wes, given your intelligence and experience in understanding and navigating complex matters, I’m going to have to trust you implicitly on this.

        I’m going to stay out of this conversation because when Wes speaks up and indicates there might be some validity in Linda’s statements, I pay attention.

        I’ll just kick back, watch the conversation and the articles relating to this and shut up. I’m getting low on popcorn watching everything going on in Del Norte.

        More entertaining than television.

        • Wesley Nunn Reply

          July 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm

          Sorry, I should be more explicit.

          Alleging a whorehouse may be a little dramatic, but the very real scenario is a house with 10 women, two or three bathrooms, and guests. The guests include children of the women and men who visit overnight. Although they would certainly never be allowed to sleep in the same room the same night, bumping into someone from the next room in the middle of the night who is going to, coming from, or in the restroom is a likelihood from time to time. With no regulation other than the residing women who are asleep, I cringe to think of men with no background check bumping into children in the middle of the night.

          So far I’ve heard nothing that negates this scenario. But I’m certainly open to reading any comments that may prove me mistaken. Please do. If there are rules or reg’s that make this scenario never happen, please let us know.

    • WTF Reply

      July 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      You gotta give her some credit, Chip! She’s smart enough to know she doesn’t want a half-way house next door to her……….

  18. Nicholas Maietta Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 7:29 am

    That’s a bit over the top.

    You make a hell of a lot of assumptions here. In fact, this opinion is looking a lot like a tabloid.

    My thought is that you should contact the parent organization about basic concerns. Maybe not you but someone else who can keep emotions out of any findings and who can know what makes a fact a fact.

    Libel is a type of lawsuit you don’t want. Be careful.

    An no, I’m not taking sides here.

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