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Homeless woman found dead in downtown Palo Alto
Original post made
on Mar 31, 2008
Mary Ann Morgan had tried for years to stop drinking and straighten out her life, Eileen Richardson, the director of the Downtown Streets Team in Palo Alto, said. Morgan, 61, was found dead last Friday morning in a downtown alley near University Avenue. The cause of death is not known.
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posted Monday, March 31, 2008, 3:21 PM
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Posted by Norm
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm
The City of Palo Alto was NOT Mary Ann's landlord. The apartments are managed by PMI, the housing management arm of the county housing authority.
As to the city and police "refusing to enforce most laws against those called 'homeless'", which laws are you referring to?
What help do you believe the Opportunity Center should compel people to accept? And if the help is refused, what's the remedy, jail? (Hardly a cost-effective option, even if there was space.)
Which goes to your assertion regarding crime which "petty (and sometimes major) crimes" do you ascribe to the unhoused population more so than the housed? Hell, which ones regardless of what the housed do?
What is the (your) litmus test for having "the capacity to exist in a high tech, expensive area like Palo Alto"? Should rental property be banned? Should Lytton Gardens or Palo Alto Commons be closed and replaced with McMansions for tech-heads?
Do you truly believe "them" are here because they were drawn by the OC? Why have "them" been around for decades when the idea of the OC is less then 10 years old? Perhaps the VA needs to move, it also attracts some of "them" to this community.
Query if "they are woefully misplaced" in this community, where do you suggest is appropriate?
As a gator sailor, I am grossly under impressed by your comments.
What happened to "once a Marine, always a Marine." Saying you're a former Marine speaks volumes. You don't buy the "semper fi" ideal? And what happened to "esprit de corps"? You sworn an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" this statement:
"...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...."
Is a blasÃ© attitude for a "lesser" member of the national unit a retraction? Begs the question you threw Solon, where were you? Unwilling to fill in for a "government is not competent enough" to keep your vow?
(BTW: the Marine Corps Commandant serves under the Chief of Naval Operations. If the CNO says that Marines sit and sweat in 29 Palms, they sit and sweat in 29 Palms.)
Do you recall a Marine named Ira Hayes? He died with similar level of "dignity" as Mary Ann. Who was Ira? One of the Marines who raised, then re-enacted, the flag raising on Iwo Jima. He's part of the Marine Corps Memorial. Won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Then died years later from alcohol related disease on a reservation. He probably wasn't Palo Alto material either. True, in the '50's, techiness, wouldn't have been a factor, even income wasn't a monster barrier. Perhaps it would have been something more ethnic.
Hate to bore you with the same question, but what laws are not being enforced? You cite "the law on vagrants", what law(s) are you referring to? I've looked at the PA Municipal Code, county odinances, and the state codes. The only reference to "vagrant" is hanging around a school yard. How does that apply to people around downtown? Perhaps you need to do some research rather than wishing your beliefs were true.
"Is it possible she left the shelter because of restrictions she did not care to honor?"
Mary Ann did NOT leave a shelter, her let a rented (lease and all) studio apartment. The only shelter that operates in town is the Hotel de Zink, which rotates sites monthly and does not use the OC.
We've bumped before on the caravansary proposal sound idea, but the practicality lacks; and not because of the suggestion, it's the implementation. What would anyone allow it? How would you compel people to stay there?
I gotta go with your sentiments. But I don't buy the flip-side where some would have to tell their grandma and kids don't even think about living here if you aren't techie or affluent enough to be allowed.
I still wonder about the "line" for living in Palo Alto.
I have stood in front of the city council and told them to invite the children of PA to not even think about living here, they will never be able to afford housing where they used to live. Don't try until your parents die and you inherit the house. Without more housing, that's the only way there will be a place.
"Last I remember, the free shelters are in Sunnyvale and San Jose. The homeless CHOOSE to stay in Palo Alto. They CHOOSE to sleep in parking garages and parks....
You live in a bubble...."
Hate to burst your bubble and bum you out Ed, but the shelter you refer to in Sunnyvale was one of the two cold weather shelters which closed at the end of March. (National Guard space, RENTED from the state using grant money from the Feds and the county. Yes, folks, your tax dollars are used to rent space you own from yourself.)
Just a weird thought, would you sleep on a 2 inch mat in a dark room with 100 or so strangers? Oh, yeah, that's my first choice....
As far as the year-round shelters they're full. Everyday. Santa Clara County only has shelter space for about 38% of the street population. Choose Palo Alto? If you were stuck on the street, where would choose?
here's the truth
Where did you get the information that those renting apartments at the OC had to conform to sobriety rules any different to any other person renting an apartment in this city?
Could we have the truth, not what you believe might be what you hope is true?
As for the "magnet" idea rarer than one might think.
If someone changes hometown their entire support structure changes, from peers (much more important than is true for housed people, who can lock everyone out of their space) to non-profit organizations providing life-line needs.
If they shift counties, most governmental support stops and has to be re-applied for. Rules vary from county to county, even if it's not the county's money. Most states don't have uniform rules with-in the state. (Job security for bureaucrats? Definitely extra cost to the taxpayer. But the difference is to the "end-user" generally high admin costs don't increase allocations to agencies, but to the benefit amount.)
If one changes states, only Social Security or VA benefits follow after you re-establish mail service or a new bank account.
Try to convince me if Palo Alto, or even this county, are such a draw based of all that's provided, and all that's possible if Denver, Detroit, Augusta, Houston, and Seattle have larger street populations than Santa Clara County. Could it be their idea weather?
Hate me if you will, Mary Ann was Mary Ann. She had attitudes. She was a person. She liked me, respected me, and sought my council on occasion.
If you can't get past yourself to acknowledge she was as much a person as you believe you might be, (opinion) you are less than you believe.
P*** you off as it may:
Too often the choices we make are dictated by others. True. Get past it. Was it you who decided what job you could have, the house you could live in, the car that you drive? How's your mortgage rate? Comfortable? I don't believe it should be that way, but tell me it's not true.
Mary Ann didn't like it either.
I know I may have been a bit rude. But reality often is as well. Tyler, Jay, Bill, real is, as bad as it may be.
Want to shoot back? firstname.lastname@example.org. Win, lose, straight debate works for me. Please, no simple piddle and moan, supported arguments and/or practical solutions only.