News


RV evictions in East Palo Alto spur protest

Tow notices on Weeks Street issued due to storm drain filled with sewage from dwellers

Patricia Finau Lopez, right, leads protesters as they chant "we will not move" on Weeks Street during a protest against the city's notice to tow RVs on Nov. 15, 2017. Photo by Veronica Weber.

A tug of war over people living in RVs in East Palo Alto heated up Wednesday morning as city staff ordered a tow truck to haul away RVs on Weeks Street, where a storm drain became clogged with sewage from the vehicles, creating a public health hazard, according to city staff.

About 50 protesters, who stood shoulder to shoulder to block the tow truck at 8 a.m. Wednesday, said city police and Assistant City Manager Sean Charpentier handed out tow notices on Tuesday at about 3 p.m., giving people less than 24 hours to move their RVs.

"Many of these vehicles cannot be moved on such short notice. So the city is impounding people's homes," protest organizer Patricia Finau Lopez, who lives on Weeks, said in a press release.

The RVs and cars in the 1100 block of Weeks Street have been housing working parents, children and the elderly, among others, protesters said. The region's severe housing crisis has led to impoverished people living in cars, they said.

From the city's standpoint, however, the make-shift housing situation is causing public-safety problems.

Many RV residents on Weeks illegally empty their chemical toilets onto the street, and the waste has entered the storm drain, city officials said in a press release.

City signs posted on Weeks stated the evictions were for emergency and health and safety reasons. The area is prone to flooding, and the 1 to 2 inches of rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday could spread the sewage, according to the city. (As of Thursday, a photo of Weeks showed that the street had flooded.)

A similar sewage clog-up led to recent Hepatitis A outbreaks in southern California, city staff said.

Prior to Wednesday's evictions, city staff told the RV dwellers of places where they could dispose their waste in Redwood City, Mountain View and Sunnyvale.

Nearby resident Mark Dinan said he sympathizes with the RV dwellers, but the unregulated presence of so many portable dwellings has had serious health consequences for him and his neighbors.

"Most times my biggest complaint is stepping on human feces on the Bay Trail," he said.

"This has become a lawless zone," he added, noting that people who are not living in the RVs have come to the area to party.

"A lot of people living here are not East Palo Alto residents. We're talking about people who have been pushed out of Palo Alto and other cities," he said. "Everybody has empathy for this situation, but we can't let East Palo Alto become a hazard zone for residents. ... This is a health and safety issue, not a social issue."

The Weeks site is adjacent to a property owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, founders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The couple plans to turn the land into the long-term home of The Primary School, which serves children in pre-K through eighth grade.

Trash, beer bottles and other debris littered the site of the future school on Wednesday morning. Someone left an abandoned barbecue grill near the fence.

Dinan's concern is when human waste and other materials infect the community and the wetlands.

"There's got to be better conditions for people to live in," he said.

Adrian Bonilla lives in one of the RVs with his wife and two grandsons. He said they used to sublet a room in a house on nearby Poplar Avenue, but they were not allowed access to the kitchen, nor could they could find parking nearby.

"We could only use the bathroom," he said.

The family has lived in their RV for the past three months. Last night they moved their vehicle one block over after police came and told them it would be towed in the morning. It would cost them $1,000 to retrieve the vehicle, he said police told him.

"We don't have that money," he said.

Bonilla works as a mechanic; his wife works for the Ravenswood City School District, driving a van for children with special needs. Husband and wife work second jobs as Uber drivers, he said. They live in their RV because it is so difficult to find an affordable place to rent, he said.

"The cheapest house is $4,000 a month, and it is only two rooms, and sometimes there is no parking," he said.

Protest organizer Marlayna Tuiasosopo said people worked late into the night Tuesday to push nonworking RVs around the corner so they would not be towed. The problem is only going to shift without real solutions, though, she and others said.

On Wednesday morning, one of the last RVs left on the street was getting a jump-start from a car.

Guillermo Pasqual, who lives in the vehicle with two brothers and an uncle, said they all work in construction in surrounding cities.

"They don't permit us to stay here, but they don't tell us where we can go. The city is not helping us," he said.

But city leaders said that they have brought in staff from LifeMoves, a Menlo Park-based housing support nonprofit, and other social service providers to assist residents.

Separately, Ravenswood City School District Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff said that she and East Palo Alto Pastor Paul Bains have been working with LifeMoves on a safe-parking initiative so that families can have a safe place to stay. They're attempting to identify parking lots around the city that could also host sanitary facilities and provide security.

"If the city can't afford port-a-potties and dumpsters, we can find funders," said Hernandez-Goff, who noted that 58 percent of school district students are homeless or in unstable housing.

The district has responded by installing washers and dryers at schools so that homeless families can do their laundry. It is also providing 1,200 to 1,500 dinners and serves breakfasts and snacks to children who come to school with empty stomachs.

Michael Mashack, who is on the city's Second Unit Task Force (a group dedicated to addressing issues surrounding accessory-dwelling units), was walking his dog on Weeks Wednesday when he saw the RVs were gone.

"I was a little surprised and disappointed," he said of the signs the city had put up and the short notice given to the vehicle dwellers.

He said many longtime residents feel pressure from newer residents who want to change the city.

"I would love to see some modernization, but make it work for us" rather than making people have to fight against outside pressures, he said.

Some protesters pointed to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as an example of the kind of influx of big money that's seeking to improve the community but also changing it in ways that are making it too expensive for longtime residents. But Hernandez-Goff said that initiative representatives have been meeting with the school district and community leaders.

"They have been helpful in trying to find solutions, but we need land, and we need to do something right now. Planning for home building is wonderful, but that takes two to three years," she said.

City leaders have been grappling with how to regulate RVs and other oversized vehicles on city streets. On Wednesday night, the Public Works and Transportation Commission considered an ordinance crafted by staff that would impose a minimum 60-day emergency ban of RVs on the eastern end of Weeks Street from Pulgas Avenue to the Baylands. The ordinance would also prohibit parking of oversized vehicles of any kind on city streets that are taller and wider than seven feet and longer than 20 feet.

Staff would work with nonprofit and faith-based groups to find a solution and perhaps sites where the RVs could stay, at least temporarily.

Commissioners voted to table the ordinance in order to consider alternatives at their next meeting and to uncouple the RV and oversized-vehicle issues. They recommended that staff immediately begin working with the faith-based and nonprofit groups on temporary solutions for the RV dwellers. The remedies could include parking lots for overnight stays, portable toilets, trash receptacles and places to shower.

Assistant City Manager Sean Charpentier said the City Council will consider the proposed ordinance on Dec. 19, without formal recommendation from the commission.

For now, on Weeks Street, the West Bay Sanitary District was called to pump the storm drain, which will need to be disinfected, city staff said.

East Palo Alto also planned to bring in a specialized firm to clean the road.

See more online: Watch Palo Alto Weekly journalists discuss the issue of RVs in East Palo Alto on an episode of "Behind the Headlines," which can be found here.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

78 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:26 am

[Portion removed.] Nothing like using the word "children" to drive home your cause. "Working parents and the elderly" are a nice touch as well. To hell with objective journalism ...


120 people like this
Posted by PA RVs
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:52 am

PA police really need to impound the RVs along ECR as well. RVs belong in RV parks with appropriate sanitation facilities, not illegally parked in public places. There are RV parks in EPA, MV, Santa Clara, and many other surrounding communities.


29 people like this
Posted by Read the article
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

I'm just waiting to for someone to post that Zuckerberg and Priscilla are "heartless" and "lacking compassion" even though they donate significant amounts to society.

I suppose the RV dwellers will just mosey on over to Palo Alto streets instead because our City Council allows it.


18 people like this
Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

Can't a long term facility be set up for RV dwellers? Long term street parking is not a solution, but how about bringing in RV dump stations and water hookups to a designated place to help with the problem. Check out Crisanto St. in Mountain View for more RV parking. Not sure what arrangements the city of MV has made there. Adjacent to Rengstorff Park.


66 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:04 am

I've ridden my bike through that street before. The living conditions are surreal, trash and accumulated waste pile the street and sidewalk, it's smells of sewers/decomposing trash. With the understanding that 1/2 of the world's population live in poverty, I don't wish this for anyone, regardless if it's in my own backyard. An alternative is to provide these humans with a 3-6 month shelter until we can resolve this issue.


1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm

PA RVs - we don't have an RV park here.


37 people like this
Posted by Eva
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Now that this has reached the levels of a public health crisis we have to do something different. While we cannot allow our streets to be turned into a third world country with rampant Hep A or other communicable diseases that endanger all of us, we also can simply tow these RVs away without providing another solution. These are our neighbors and it's painful to read that 58% (more than half!) of Ravenswood School District students are homeless with many living on Weeks street.

Livemoves is a fantastic organization with real solutions to moving people out of homelessness, so good job on bringing them in.

But maybe it's time to explore legally allowing RVs in designated commercial areas and providing sanitation systems, at least as a stopgap.

If nothing else, these protesters have brought to light that this is a crisis and we need a different solution.


68 people like this
Posted by Sophie
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I want to live in Los Altos Hills or Atherton. How about I park my RV on the streets in these 2 cities?


21 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

You might be inclined to suggest that someone should open RV parks in various communities. Unfortunately, the government has essentially made this impossible by rent control laws (at the state and, in Palo Alto, the local level).

The recent treatment of the Jisser family, owners of the Buena Vista park, assures that no one will try to open an RV park in the area.

Such parks might be a good idea and clearly would find people that would use them were it not for these ordinances and the attitudes that developed.


20 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Porta potty? Garbage dumpster for other waste? Or is the idea that we specifically don't solve the problem so that eventually the crisis materializes that justifies removing them? And why was it okay for the sewage to be dumped into the drain up to now? Just because it hadn't backed up yet? Either you let people live in RV's on the street and provide facilities, or you don't. It's really stupid to look the other way for months and then try to remove people who now have the impression that it's their right to live there regardless of the problems they're causing.


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Robert Smith - this has nothing to do with rent control. It does have a lot to do with cities not doing more due to liability issues. Here in town, it's also due to a lack of land available even for temporary RV living.


64 people like this
Posted by Tired of the bs
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

How many of those protestors look like they actually live in the Rv’s? But they want to tell all of us that we should have to deal with this? I used to walk in that area regularly, but since it started to smell like a toilet and the RV’s dwellers basically made the sidewalk their living room, I’ve found other ways to access the baylands.

I feel for them, but this is out of control. East Palo Alto has yet again had the area’s problems dumped on us. Most of the RV’s dwellers to not look local, an officer told me that they were mostly registered out of town. So we have enough of our own issues and now have to deal with Silicon Valley’s RV’s problem too.

Also, I cannot recall seeing any children out there. If they are there, their numbers are small. Mrs Hernandez-Goff, why not focus on improving the quality of education rather trying to use this to gain attention and push your progressive agenda? How are those washer/dryers working out? Have they actually ever been used?


6 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm

> this has nothing to do with rent control

Well, no. Rent control pretty much started the Buena Vista saga years ago. The owner bought Buena Vista and raised rents because he needed to cover costs. The residents complained to City Council. Council responded with a rent control and a mobile home park closure ordinance. Over the ensuing decade, the owner couldn't afford needed mobile home park infrastructure upgrades based on the rent and decided to close the park. In order to shutdown the mobile home park, the residents (and City Council) wanted tens of millions in compensation from the owner. Multiple state and federal lawsuits were filed. Then, a miracle happened and tens of millions of dollars appeared at the municipal, county and federal level. The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park was saved.

You either believe too much in rent control, or don't believe enough in miracles.


99 people like this
Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Towing an illegally parked RV is not an "eviction."

This whole problem - in both PA and EPA - is the result of years of lack of enforcement. If the city council and police would just do their friggin' jobs, these illegal RV dwellers would not have developed such the unreasonable expectation that they could move into the area.


57 people like this
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm

I have seen that on El Camino in Palo Alto too, but the city does nothing..


38 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Interesting that Google-Maps street-view "Image Capture: Apr 2011" shows two vehicles parked on that last 400-foot stub of Weeks St, while the Google-Maps aerial photo "Imagery 2017 CNES" (six years later) shows 17 vehicles parked on the 400-foot stub. Nine of them look like bus-sized RVs. The earlier photos have just a late-model small sedan, and somebody's tree-service truck with a wood-chipper trailer. No RVs.


86 people like this
Posted by Health Hazard is real
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm

RVs are not welcomed in East Palo Alto. There is no justification for how much they have abused the situation creating a health hazard.


14 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 4:12 pm

[Portion removed.] East Palo Alto has nothing to do with your mobile home park issue. It's sadly very common Palo Alto commenters view issues in my town through their own provincial lens. This doesn't involve your mobile park. Many of the RVs aren't from this area.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Oh, the fragility! Thanks for the continued laughs today.


2 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 15, 2017 at 7:49 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Palo Alto and East Palo Alto started this when the " RED-LINING " was done over 50 years ago. " You will feel better among people of your own kind " ( poor returning service people after the Korean Un-War ).

I say this because I was one of the victims who grew up on Garden Street in EPA. That Tesla aircraft crash literally was next door to our house.

Well karma took a little while but now it is YOUR turn to deal with the problems YOU created! When Tara Street had working Auto Salvage yards, both my father and I worked in them. Now a City owned Maintenance Yard takes the place of tax paying auto salvage yards. Yes, they could have taken these RVs off your hands but they are all mostly gone.

I used to climb the dikes surrounding EPA where the pumphouse is and watched the plane fly out of PAO. We shopped at the Lucky's before the blacks who were shoved here by your red-lining policy rioted and burned it to the ground to show sympathy during the Watts riots.

Now, this appeared to be the SECOND TIME that you have driven poor people out of Palo Alto and like your failure at the PAUSD, you are having problems with the underpaid poor in your city.

I know the area well, I went to school in the Ravenswood School District until the Blacks kept beating me up because they took out their anger at YOU, Palo Alto, because I looked " White " to them! ( actually, I have AMERIND


Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

BLOOD ).( The paper just reset, that is why you have 2 parts )

So that pump house ( lift pump ) has to move all that dirty rainwater. That pump house has had to do that for generations before and NOW you are concerned, Palo Alto???

How about giving people a living wage SO THEY CAN MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS TO LIVE IN PALO ALTO instead of being shoved out of Palo Alto??

Or do you want to keep your Upper Class and Servants started Generations ago, like in our family's case?

That didn't stop us from taking our initiative. Now we have 500 acres where I was born, a $1.5 Million house in Mountain View ( no paying taxes to Palo Alto! ) and a race car hauler that is also an RV that Dad and Mom drive all over the West with his 4 midget race cars.

Yes, we worked HARD to get our wealth starting out in EPA. Yes, I can FLY one of those plane I saw on the dike that is part of Cooley's Landing. I can now SCUBA dive instead of walking on that muck when the tide goes out. I own and drive several XJ12L high performance Jaguars.You get the picture.

Now it is time to pay up, instead of biting the many hands that feed you, just like you have done to me 50 years ago. It looks like Palo Alto has not changed and after 50 years intends to NEVER change.

Why not just build a sewage treatment plant on the old ROMIC Superfund site and allow these RVs to park in the City Lot with piping run to each RV parked there, then make sure Tara Street is set up to house all the people who work for you.

That is the least Palo Alto could do ( no freezing on pipes ) to atone for the red-lining Palo Alto is still doing today. Or build shipping container housing at $7500 per unit ( the going rate )

If you want the truth, just ask your older citizens about it, they were there, I WAS there and was a victim of it and this needs to be said. In my later years, Palo Alto was our groups playground but only at night, during the CB craze, we would have never been allowed during the day. Any older cops would know this.

How about the VTA create stops in both Palo Alto and EPA? It would cost less than that grade separation Palo Alto is planning for. Just get BART to take over the SP ROW it promised to do 40 years ago.

As one rocket scientist has said " There are solutions, never any problems ".


Like this comment
Posted by Advocate
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm

No one has mentioned sanctioned encampments?


9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm

This is a sad situation. It gives support to those people who show up
here and say I told you so in the meanest possible way, and then their
next exaggerations and suggestions are taken seriously. These people
have hurt their cause and the cause of other people, They may not
exactly deserve what they get, or have asked for it, but they did not
do anything to avoid it when something gets to such a bad state.

I am pretty much OK with RV'ers, as long as there are not too many
of them that it causes a real problem, that they are not rude or a
nuisance, and their RV's are in working order and the know how to
maintain it, and they do not dump their trash or sewage illegally.

Dumping sewage, even if it did not clog anything is the limit for me
and the police did the right thing. Throw the book at them, carefully.

When the city is bending over backwards to allow these people to
squat on public land, which I am OK with and is a charitable act,
they must respect the city, and us, the residents. When they do not,
the law must come down on them. It must, or things will just get
worse from a bad precedent.

When these RV incur costs from a City that has made good
faith efforts to help the homeless, then they take money away from
the budget for the real needy. It is really unfair for people to
pretend they do not know how or what to do. Don't get an RV unless
you are qualified and know how to use it. There are responsibilities
that come with an RV.

From the article - "Prior to serving the eviction notices, city staff
had told the RV dwellers about disposal stations in Redwood City,
Mountain View and Sunnyvale where they could dump waste from
their vehicles." It is not right for the RV dwellers to blame the
City here, and this just undercuts the cause of those TV dwellers
who follow the rules.


31 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 16, 2017 at 12:47 am

^ Give me an inch; I'll take a mile. An all-too-common human trait.
We're seeing plenty of this in the news lately.


8 people like this
Posted by Serious Question
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 16, 2017 at 1:42 am

Where our water is coming from?
Is it still safe to drink our tap water?


2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 16, 2017 at 2:20 am

--- Is it still safe to drink our tap water?

LOL ... go to the City's web page and look at the utilities and water
system ... they talk about all of this there.

Are you [portion removed] really worried that storm water is going into your tap?


4 people like this
Posted by Yarvis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2017 at 5:32 am

Financial discrimination is the last form of discrimination that is acceptable in our society. It is wrong because how much money you have is mostly derived from luck ... same as your skin color, where you were born, etc.


2 people like this
Posted by lms
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2017 at 6:40 am

The road floods. I walk rain or shine over the past 16 years. During rainy season when it rains, the water on the road is so deep, I don't use it. Water on the side walks is often over ankle deep. The land next to the road is useless for anything except grazing (when the rains stop), in my opinion.

Simple: The "have" versus the "have not." And, if you didn't read the news: NIMBY: The government(s) represent the landed "have."


31 people like this
Posted by BA Resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2017 at 10:10 am

Berkeley is fairly open and they have the tradition of commune since 1950s, suggest the RVs move to Berkeley. Problem solved.


9 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:48 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Thank you, Palo Alto On-line for not censoring my post. Yes, all this happened some 50 years ago. It was painful and the recent problems finally made me speak out because we lived in EPA and I have never spoke to anyone of the sad history.
It is a bit of reality that needed to surface and not kept hidden if Palo Alto and East Palo Alto can solve this deeply rotted problem. My suggestions are not sarcastic; they hold some real solutions to ongoing problems that I see now as an adult. As a child,I could not understand why; I did not even know WHY I was getting beat-up all the time or why father said " F--k those N----rs " all the time. I never learned about race relations or racism for some time. I now know what they are and are not. I'm now a scientist and deal in mostly facts that have been observed, not " spin-offs " that are used to support causes.
I know several " truths " that cannot be changed. These are seen through observations and are seen as facts, without the " spin ". One truth I expressed on the Islam related walkout; that " truth " can be verified by picking up the Koran and actually reading it ( like I have ) and not the watered down one CAIR distributes. Everything I posted is directly written in the Koran.

The same is true about the history of Palo Alto, now that I'm grown up and did research about the 5 Ws and an H about the times we lived through. Some things my parents refuse to talk about even now. Yes, I can revisit the areas, thanks to Google Maps. That is how I have seen what I commented about.

Help the poorest that work among you. That is the least that Palo Alto can do to break the chain of events that keep repeating. Stop the madness now! ( repeating the same thing and expecting a change in the results IS considered a form of madness in the Medical fields of Psychiatry and Psychology ).


38 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

How come the news agencies didn't ask the RVers why they were dumping waste and garbage constantly. Why didn't they ask why they parked in an area known to flood. Why didn't they ask why the RVers don't care about the sensitive ecosystem just adjacent to where they were illegally parked? Why didn't the news agencies ask the RVers what they expected to happen after their constantly dumping and with the coming rains?


56 people like this
Posted by Mark Dinan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Mark Dinan is a registered user.

I live next door to Weeks, and this is literally in my back yard. FYI, Weeks Street is now a pond. Ducks are swimming across the place where RVs used to be parking. This water is highly contaminated, and has fecal matter, urine, and all sorts of other nasty elements floating in it. The city absolutely did the right thing in relocating people out of this area for health and safety reasons. San Diego is currently undergoing a Hep-A health crisis with hundreds sickened, and 20 dead. Instead of protesting, people in EPA should be thanking the city for taking decisive action to protect the health and safety of its residents. We do not want to experience anything like what has happened San Diego.


25 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 16, 2017 at 9:57 pm

"Many of these vehicles cannot be moved on such short notice. So the city is impounding people's homes," protest organizer Patricia Finau Lopez, who lives on Weeks, said in a press release.

Whaaa? We are talking about "vehicles." What do you mean they can't be moved within 24 hours? They have wheels and engines and are presumably registered by the state. So start 'em up and move 'em out!


29 people like this
Posted by Tired of the BS
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Mark,

I completely agree with what you are saying, except that I didn't see many EPA residents protesting. I saw a bunch of Stanford students who came in with a script to follow.


22 people like this
Posted by Total BS
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:00 pm

[Portion removed.]

HTG, this is a perfect example of liberalism gone wild. Seriously people, when are you going to wake up? Massive Rv's blocking our streets, dumping sewage and waste, housing people who are itinerant or who choose not to follow our societal norms (you know, basic things like legal identification etc).

News flash! Progressive California drags United States into Third World status


5 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Stop protesting the attempt to prevent the spread of plague and pestilence and work on a real solution. It's inhumane to keep the RV dwellers living like this and totally unfair and unhealthy for the neighbors upon whom they are impinging. Time is better spent addressing the root causes of homelessness, not pretending like the problem is solved by ignoring it.


8 people like this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:53 am

Mark Dinan - Y'all come into our community causing the rising of rents! not wanting to be a part of the solution! but be a part of the GENTRIFICATIOIN that you caused! Amy who lives in the new homes behind me came over earlier this year and complained to my mom that these rv's CANNOT stay here. They are bringing down the value of our homes! You guys got together and started a coalition to come up with all kinds of b/s to kick these people out!

There was an environmental climate change meeting at Cooley Landing. After the meeting, I talked to a FB represented that was there and told him that it was too bad that your video didn't show the main and last street on the G side of town, Weeks street that has had the flooding problem for ages! And I thank FB for helping.

Now it gets interesting! FB, you are a mega billionaire corporation wanting a part of our community! (And I have asked helped from the primary school) And I know the reason why you didn't want to show Weeks street presently was because of the rvs that have taking up the space. Now, is it to big to ask for you to help these people? FB has all the resources that they can afford anything, and I believe they can do something about it! I also included that our city was not established to be a money machine monster with high buildings! It was established to keep the culture and family values! EPA is where the blacks were segregated and pushed to live, and the poor and the poorest all lived here. So, I ask you this question, is it too much for fb to help.

(They come in with their planners, architect, the whole cha bang to build their school on my street. And pour their money into our city for their agenda. Is this too much to ask for? He said, I would love to sit with you and have coffee and talk more about this!!!) This is what they all say!

Mark -You and your group started to flood our beat meetings and the officers told you to keep up the momentum! keep up the phone calls and keep up the complaints! get the word out and the more people the better it is for the city to get them out!

Not once have I heard you Mark and your group come up with any solutions! Now, your solution is...to push it on the non-profit org's the churches to provide their parking lot to house them. These are the busiest places in our community that are always serving the poor and the poorest. So, your solution is for the poor to help the poor! Never, have I heard any of you asking FB to step in and help! You are part of the GENTRIFICATION!

FB, You are wicked! you never approach directly with what your main agenda is about! It is all about indirect! they drop their loose change here and there into our non-profit org's to basically shut us up and our leaders!


43 people like this
Posted by to Patricia
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2017 at 10:47 am

Patricia, Although I feel sorry that gentrification has made EPA less affordable to long-time residents, you simply do not have a right to park your RV wherever you want and illegally discharge its waste into the street. This is creating a public health crisis.


14 people like this
Posted by Andrew
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 11:41 am

If you look at the current Google overhead satellite view of Weeks Street and zoom in... it looks like someone at Google has 'erased' Rvs from existence. Lol

You can still kind of see them but it is obvious they have been 'smudged' out in a messy paintbrush kind of way.

Tell me if anyone else sees this.

Why would they do this? Lol!


24 people like this
Posted by Mark Dinan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Mark Dinan is a registered user.

[Portion removed] In defense of my neighbor who you attacked, I would point out that:
1) She has raised money for families living in the RVs. She also raised donations for food, clothing, sanitary supplies, etd
2) She has run after school STEM enrichment activities at her house for kids in the neighborhood, including many kids who live in garages, RVs, and other kids
3) She helps the family featured in the Guardian article a year or so ago navigate the social service bureaucracy and find permanent placement in affordable housing

Her opinion of the RVs (which are right in front of her house) changed pretty radically after being verbally harassed and followed to her house by people living in RVs after asking them to not dump trash in the street. We are all tolerent of people struggling to get by, but will stand up for our kids and our neighborhood when people abuse the situation [portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

@Patricia, I think you'll find that many of us locals sympathize with neighbors like you who are being squeezed out. The Bay Area has always been home to people from all walks of life, and those of us with roots here would like to see continued support for that rich diversity.

As you've pointed out, Facebook shows no signs of being part of the solution for the problems they create, but it might cheer you up just a teensy bit to see this latest news that LinkedIn seems to have a little more heart and is putting up $10 million in what they call "seed money" for affordable housing.

Web Link


Granted, they'd be required to pay this money anyway in the form of a housing impact fee, but it looks like they've made an effort to see that it really does go to help low-income people instead of disappearing into a black hole.

"LinkedIn's money is being specifically targeted to help affordable housing developers acquire land in Mountain View, which has been an ongoing challenge given the super-heated real estate market. "


4 people like this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Amy, I know you are a good person and do a lot of things for the children in our community. Even for the children's that my parents helped housed. I am sorry Amy for using you to show my point.

This is what y'all did, painted an ugly picture. Not once did you mention any solutions, but to kick them out of the city, and that's not a solution.

I believe in respecting my neighbors. So, be a part of the process to come up with the solution.

And FB, I'll just say it this way. Do you really want to know why they gave EPA that money? And it wasn't because of any charitable actions either.

Amy, I am truly sorry and my mom didn't say it to me the way I did. She adores you...


1 person likes this
Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

RV's still show up on Google Earth.


32 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

Patricia - Mark isn't driving up the cost of rent. He's a homeowner, not a renter. Your hostility toward him is unwarranted. Landlords are raising rents to market value because they're allowed to, by law. It's called vacancy decontrol and it's a state law.

If the RVers were more responsible for their surroundings, people wouldn't be so disgusted by and scared of them. If the RVers even tried to figure out where to stay dry in the winter, they would've been unsurprised that they were asked to move. They are partially responsible for this problem. Many of them are not EPA residents who fell on hard times. They came from outside the area to take advantage of our lax enforcement. They lived rent-free for months - some of them - years - in our town. Some of them have harassed and threatened tolerant locals. I quit trying to help some of them because they were so nasty. Like many others, I donate money instead to local agencies.

You canNOT force your social justice agenda on others, and resort to otherizing residents who don't sign on to your agenda. How dare you insult a local involved in grassroots community work and give a pass to the RVers who've created a public health issue and have chosen to be terrible neighbor's!

The city owes everyone public safety, and they are not responsible for the RVers.


7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm

>> You canNOT force your social justice agenda on others

Hmmm, true social justice apparently does need to be forced on those
in power who are determined to ridicule it and sweep it away. Your
implication seems to lump all social justice intentions as like this
situation in some way.

I think you mean someone's idiosyncratic interpretation of what
social justice is or means.

It follows then that you cannot superimpose your perception of what
is happening, "the forcing of a social agenda" on others. People
on all sides should have a right to complain, accuse, suggest, ....
whatever, and have their arguments considered without being
dismissed by some popular dismissive term ... such as "social
warrior", "social justice", "snowflake", "liberal" as we see so often.

I am just saying this because it sounds to me like you are undermining
the whole notion of social justice, though that may not be your intent.


2 people like this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Wow! and there you have it! Where were you when our city was the murder capital! Where were you when the crack epidemic stole many lives! Where were you when the population was predominantly blacks! Where were you when there was shootings everyday! Where were you!

You hide behind the type writer and give a bad name for the new comers. It seems like us old timers in EPA can't really work with you after all! [portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Mark ...

>> defecate openly on the Bay Trail

As someone who uses the trails out at the Baylands, but mostly over
on the other side towards Mountain View, I really wonder if there is
any evidence that it is RV'ers that are responsible?

I see this kind of invalid argument being used a lot and all over in
the PAO for the purposes of vilifying some group they conflate a lot
of separate problems and clump them together to make what can
be a non-point into something that sounds condemnatory and more
powerful.

I was out riding my bike in that area several times and have noticed
hikers having a nature calling emergency. I know this is a gross
subject, but when you gotta go you gotta go, and there are no
restrooms out on those trails. I would suggest that this is the more
likely scenario, but then I don't know the exact claims or facts behind
this claim other than the location was given as the trails.

The idea that this is somehow going to bring down plague on local
cities I think is preposterous, and yet we see these same scare tactics
and ugly images being unedited on PAO which seems to not have
the most neutral editorial process.


6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm

This empty street in EPA seems a reasonable place for some people
to park RVs. But this puts a burden on someone to monitor the situation.
Drug dealing, violence or other problems can pop up in a situation like
that and that is unacceptable.

Who deals with those costs and can take on that responsibility? Do we
really want the police to do that, or are there social workers, or even
nearby residents.

Why is the solution not to find witnesses or evidence as to the responsible
party that is dumping trash and sewage? Is it everyone out there or just
one, and if it is one, then someone has to have the guts to turn them in or
the whole situation must end.

Also vehicles parked on public property must be in safe working order. If
they cannot move or do not have proper functioning equipment or safety
systems, then they need to get up to snuff or be gone .... in my opinion.


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Patricia - to whom are you directing your last post? [Portion removed.] We don't force our social justice agenda on others in the city and otherwise our neighbors by shaming them or alienating them for not living here as long as we have. We invite, collaborate, strategize, communicate and work together to get things done. Mark could be a valuable ally if you changed your strategy. After all, he's invested in staying in our community.


15 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Crescent Park Anon - [Portion removed.] Look at what's happened in similar environments. So you think these RVers dumping their sewage and garbage in the streets - for months - isn't a health hazard. City officials differ with you. I was urged by my family physician to stop helping the RVers when they started to dump waste in the street, and so I did. I'm aware of what diseases arise from spreading human waste in a neighborhood, to wildlife and into a ecologically sensitive environment can do.


6 people like this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Crescentparkanon, they did call the police and reported about the dumping and stopped and chased a guy who was trying to break into parked cars. They even cleaned up the crap that people were dumping out there. They showed the police officers the pictures of the vehicles that were dumping out there. They made sure people clean up after themselves. They tried to have a bbq and my neighbors complained and called the police. The Rv's on my street lived in EPA all their lives, until the rents got so ridiculously high. Some of them are on the waiting list for housing.

They're not trying to take advantage of the system. They are literally working very hard to live here and stay closely to where they work.


4 people like this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Crescentparkanon, if there's any way that you can help...it would be a blessing.


8 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2017 at 8:00 am

Patricia, it sounds like you know all the RV dwellers on Weeks personally. Can you shed any light on why garbage and sewage was being dumped on the street and into the drain. Was it the cost of going to Redwood City? Were some of the vehicles not in working order? I'm guessing some people were complying and some weren't. If those who weren't are still living in their RV in EPA, this still needs to be addressed or the problem has just been shifted to another street.

The same for the behavior of the RV dwellers. Again, blanket statements are being made with no effort to determine where the problem is coming from. I doubt that all RVers are being rude and aggressive. However, it sounds like at least one resident who was trying to help the RV dwellers experienced that. If there are one or two RV dwellers who have mental health issues or are not willing to be good neighbors or are involved in illegal activity, we shouldn't be shifting that to another street for another resident to deal with.

Also, your statement that everyone was local and had been forced out of housing is at odds with others saying that many RV dwellers are from out of town. What is the truth of the matter? Does anyone know? Does EPA keep track of how many RV dwellers are in the city? EPA should not have to bear the brunt of the regional problems with affordability. I was heartened to read in another article that the Stanford students who protested and showed up at the meeting are also talking to Stanford about finding land on the Stanford campus for their workers who cannot afford housing. Stanford endowment: 20 billion. EPA budget: 20 million.

Patricia, you are saying people need to help. What specific help do you want? What do you envision? An RV park for long term local residents who have been priced out of their homes? An RV park for anyone in the region? More low income housing? And how do these ideas fit in with the budget of EPA? Or will a nonprofit be able to cover costs? I'm not sure at the regional level how much cooperation is going on between cities to deal with the problem. My guess is not much. However, it does sound like their are many groups and individuals trying to help. I'm sure they always need help too. Maybe you're already connected with them, but if not, maybe reach out to them? I hope you continue to stay engaged even though the RVs have been removed from Weeks Street.


7 people like this
Posted by Andrew
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2017 at 8:15 am

@ Palo Parent - (regarding Google Satellite view of Weeks St) Zoom in further and look closely at the north side of the street between Pulgas and the cul-de-sac. I count 4 places where it is obvious that an RV is there but has been smudged out.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

@Andrew, this exchange had puzzled me, but aha! The identically same Google-Maps satellite view URL is rendered differently by Safari and by Firefox, so we are not looking at the same picture. Web Link
I'm on a Mac running OS X El Capitan. 64-bit Firefox Quantum version 57.0 vs Safari version 11.0.1. Haven't had time yet to research their HTML 5 rendering engines. Maybe I have different plug-ins installed.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Try Web Link (longitude shifted a little bit before my copy-and paste)


4 people like this
Posted by Andrew
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm

@ Musical - You are correct. When I load in Internet Explorer I do not see anything "erased".

It is strange how it appears on Chrome though. Take a look and you will see what I am saying.


5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Lots of weird stuff on Google Maps. If you wander around Palo Alto there are certain areas
you cannot go to or see like at the intersection of Forest and Seneca. Street view could be
broken, or some people seem to be able to get their houses blurred out or street view disabled


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 19, 2017 at 1:25 am

Certainly gone off on a tangent here, but related to people's rights on public property. Can anybody park in front of your house? And watch your property from public space? How about just drive by and take photos to publish on the web? There are several photos with this PA Online article. Did every identifiable person sign a release?

@CPA comment prompted me to take a closer look at having Google blur your house from street-view. Bottom right corner of the street-view image, click on "Report a Problem". Self-explanatory instructions come up. Your email address is required, maybe to obtain verification. I haven't tried this myself. Probably draws more attention if you are the only blurred house on the block. (Look up Streisand effect, 15 years ago.)

@Andrew, I'll try Internet Explorer and Chrome next time I'm on a different machine. Neither is installed on my Mac. But does look like Firefox shows me the odd smudges you see with Chrome. Maybe just image-compression effects to reduce bandwidth. Don't know anything about smartphone stuff; still chained to a desktop.


5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2017 at 4:51 am

>> Can anybody park in front of your house?

Apparently so if they follow the laws of the City and move every so many hours.
But that is irrelevant for this issue because as far as I've seen none of these RV's
have been cited or towed in residential areas. I've never seen or heard of anyone
who would not move if asked. I think most people following some kind of code
of polite conduct ... what is the use to antagonize someone in front of their own
house - bad karma.

Some people in parking limited Palo Alto have too many cars to keep on and
in front of their own property ... and they are not even homeless. They have
to park their excess cars in front of other's houses. People seem to have
their own ideas about impinging on others when it suits their needs, and
the law cannot sort out all situations. It might have helped to have the City
mandate houses and businesses have enough parking.

What is clear is that the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law, and reality
seem to all disagree somewhat, as well as the police when they are given
judgement on what to do, I think we can be proud of the way Palo Alto Police
have handles this issue.

It appears to me that something was broken in EPA, since claims are that
dumping was called in and nothing was done, at least so far that is the story.
Whoever was responsible for the dumping could and should confess to it,
and if there are RVs parking neighbors and police ought to keep an eye out.


3 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

"@Andrew, I'll try Internet Explorer and Chrome next time I'm on a different machine. Neither is installed on my Mac. But does look like Firefox shows me the odd smudges you see with Chrome. Maybe just image-compression effects to reduce bandwidth. Don't know anything about smartphone stuff; still chained to a desktop. "

@musical,

FWIW, I can reproduce most of the use cases you and @Andrew mentioned (haven't tried MSIE). On my OS X El Capitan, Chrome renders the map segment identically to Firefox, with the smudged-out vehicles and "photoshoppy" trees. Your image-compression theory seems to me to be spot-on.


As for your very good questions about privacy, I recall reading about laws that apply in particular to private detectives, paparazzi and the like, and I'm pretty sure that private citizens are indeed allowed to watch your private property from public space.


60 people like this
Posted by confused
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

EPA has rent control. How can "long-time residents" be priced out of it as long as they stay in their current units? It seems more likely IMO that the EPA RV dwellers, like those in PA, are newcomers, attracted by the nice weather, good schools and social services and (until recently) lax enforcement.


21 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm

I lived in a golden age in LA - a totally diversified population with a middle class in all races. The Burbank Airport was Lockheed Martin building planes. The smaller Santa Monica Airport was McDonnel Douglas. West Hollywood is a gay city within the county that has the designer stores and good restaurants. China town was busy and near Olvera Street with the Mexican shops and restaurants. And the black population had a good section in the city. All of the aspects of business were represented and booming along. Then due to high taxation big business with manufacturing lines left for lower taxed states like Texas. Reduce the number of labor opportunities but increase the population and raise the taxes and now you are in trouble. All education levels do not have a labor market. I have seen what works and then why it does not work. The state of California is bashing itself with poor management and high taxes. And increasing the population who require subsidy by the government is not helping. It is a state wide problem. The cities on the peninsula are not in a position to solve this problem as we are locked in by the bay and coastal range.
I am concerned that the RV dwellers are zeroing in this general location - I do not believe that the booming economy supports their job qualifications. Simply appearing here does not mean they will have a job. I resent that they are on ECR next to SU and PAHS dumping their trash. Those are the most highly visited areas in the city by people who have a reason to be there. I resent that they are grouping together to force the cities to provide a space for them in an area that has no available space. They would do better in the valley or flatlands that have space. Why aren't they there is the valley? Or Bakersfield and Fresno on the flatlands?
I know there are RV sites all over the state so that is not the issue - just not in this location due to limitation of space. They are making a bad choice with the limitation of what they can offer in the marketplace. The cities need to work for the citizens who are paying the taxes.


41 people like this
Posted by Put A Stop To It
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Nov 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

Long Term RV Parking on City Streets MUST END.

Period.

I'm sick of these beat up RVs camping on the street in front of my business. Visit my neighbourhood on Sunday morning and it stinks due to them dumping tanks into the storm sewer curb inlets.

Someone camping in a car overnight is one thing. But a 30'RV that's 40 years old with a generator, two additional cars, orange traffic cones...is a completely different thing.

Mountain View solved this problem very quickly. "No Overnight Parking" signs seemed to solve the problem nicely.

I understand the human dimension to this problem. However, this is not my problem to solve on my own. And by this I mean, I personally solve the problem by letting these decrepit vehicles park in front of my office indefinitely.

They need to move.

They need to move now.

Whatever resources are necessary to let them move to a safe appropriate location is a government responsibility...not mine.


8 people like this
Posted by Sick
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 21, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Seriously to all the people who want these RVs out of Palo Alto as well, get REAL!

These people are working menial jobs that are needed in these areas. Who is going to wash your dishes at the restuarant, who is going to clean the schools, who is going to clean your home, who is going to do these jobs that PAY SO LOW no one else wants to do them. You cannot support a family on the minimum wage in Palo Alto or even East Palo Alto.

Landlords are honestly greedy when rent can go up by 10 percent each year BUT salaries even in high tech only go up about 2 - 3% per year unless you repeatedly jump jobs how is anyone supposed to live here. I guess we all just have to move because the wealthy are so self-absorbed they don't have any compassion, empathy or even intelligence to problem solve to the benefit of the community that includes people of all backgrounds and job qualifications.


5 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm

" I guess we all just have to move because the wealthy are so self-absorbed they don't have any compassion, empathy or even intelligence to problem solve to the benefit of the community that includes people of all backgrounds and job qualifications."

First they'd have to see the pain of us regular folks as a problem, but listening to them, it sounds more like they think we only have ourselves to blame for not working hard enough and not being clever enough to join their ranks. The middle class in this country generally enjoyed a comfortable standard of living in the decades following WWII, but in the early 1970's the wealthy started shifting wealth out of our hands and into theirs. We were all minding our own business and didn't notice until we had maxed out all of our whitewashing options (like taking on more debt). Now instead of uniting and fighting back, we just quarrel with each other.


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm

@Sick -- salaries? I suspect the average Palo Altan's net worth has increased much faster than their wage. In the past 12 months the Dow has risen from 19,000 to 23,600. That's up 24 percent. Google 770 to 1035, up 34 percent. Facebook 120 to 180, up 50 percent. Apple 112 to 173, up 54 percent. Tesla 190 to 320, up 68 percent. Heard of Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale maker of robotic tools? Up 100 percent. Homeowners tend to be leveraged and see their equity rising just as fast. Wealth is a relative term. It is very difficult to keep up without being tight-fisted. I'll wash my own dishes and clean my own home until the government starts taxing it as imputed income.


8 people like this
Posted by Put A Stop To It
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Nov 22, 2017 at 7:04 am

@Sick and @Anke,

I totally understand what you are saying.

Have one of these RVs parked in front of your business for three years and your mind WILL change.

Web Link

and

Web Link

and

Web Link

At some point you walk into your office and say. "I've done my part in allowing this for the past three years". Its time for someone else to find a solution.

This abuse of our streets must stop. And it must stop NOW.

CPA needs to have an effective approach. Letting this persist is not effective.


4 people like this
Posted by Just curious
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

Just curious is a registered user.

@ put a stop to it, have you called the City about these vehicles? They are supposed to move every 72 hours right? And they are taking up multiple parking spaces. And to answer your question, no I would not want to see those everyday.


8 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:47 am

@Put A Stop To It, I totally understand what you're saying as well. I have lots of sympathy for the plight of people who work a full time job yet can't begin to make ends meet. At the same time, I have zero sympathy for the "solution" of illegally parking and living in an RV on our public streets.

Low-wage jobs can be had anywhere. If and when I find myself in their situation, I will relocate to somewhere where housing costs are lower and I can live on my wages. I don't get why people don't do that. It's bad for us if we lose the diversity and there's no one left to work in shops, restaurants and services, but for each affected person individually, it would improve their quality of life in an instant.


17 people like this
Posted by vans even worse
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Vans (which lack bathrooms) are even worse than RVs. These should absolutely be banned from overnight parking on EPA and PA streets as their occupants are undoubtedly disposing of fecal waste in an unsanitary manner.


21 people like this
Posted by Read the Article
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 23, 2017 at 12:25 am

There is an article about the RV dwellers in Palo Alto and they simply want to live in Palo Alto and it’s allowed. No sob stories, they just don’t want to commute like the rest of society. No special jobs that can’t be found in other states. Pure stubbornness and entitlement, that’s all. This is the most expensive area in the nation and most can’t afford it. Some are unemployed even though they are employable. If they aren’t vets, I don’t feel sympathy for them and think they should all be towed.

If we couldn’t pay our Palo Alto mortgage, we’d move. This is how most of society works. What makes them so special? They are not.


12 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

This might be the article that @Read the Article is referringing to.

"Life Inside the RVs of Silicon Valley"

Web Link

After reading it, I felt as @RtA does that there is no compelling reason whatsoever for any of the profiled people to be living in illegal RVs along ECR, or anywhere on our public streets.

That said, I do have sympathy for people who are unable to make ends meet despite their best efforts, be it due to stagnating wages in this country (for the past several decades!), health problems, or because after serving our country they have been tossed aside (how can we treat our vets like that!?!?) I find myself wondering why they think the illegal-RV life is a good idea, and then I wonder if it might be because they can't think of and execute better solutions on their own and need a leg-up. A month or two ago, the SF Chron ran an article about a program in SF that helps homeless people there relocate to a city they can afford. Maybe we need something like that in Palo Alto and Mountain View.


9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2017 at 11:13 am

Not sure if this is the same article, but the original is from the UK Guardian,
USA section, here: Low-income workers who live in RVs are being 'chased out' of Silicon Valley streets Web Link

by Alastair Gee of Palo Alto

The story focuses on some of the people there and dispels some of the myths
some people here hold on to so tightly such as that we attract people from all
over the place. Most of the people are what I’d say are our people – they graduated
from local high schools on the peninsula, in Silicon Valley.

Some actual numbers on that seem to be in order in my opinion, but i believe it
is true. Very few from far away would take on the risk and effort to come to the
Bay Area when just about everyone in the country knows how expensive it is
because they or someone they know is connected to this area and tells them.

A lot of workers are completely cynical about moving here because even though
they make more money here the costs are still impossible except for a very directed
temporary "internship".

It also talks about what Santa Barbara has tried to do.

On the bottom of that page now is a link to another story about this issue.


5 people like this
Posted by Joe C.
a resident of University South
on Nov 23, 2017 at 11:45 am

"An alternative is to provide these humans with a 3-6 month shelter until we can resolve this issue."

The practical alternative is to build lots and lots of affordable housing in both Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. A sea of one and two story housing no longer cuts it. People are living in RVs because they can't afford housing in the area. Many of these folks have day jobs nearby, and don't want or can't afford to commute from Stockton. The PA limousine liberal solution of "just make those icky poor people go away" has had zero effect so far. More RVs take the place of any that are removed, which is likely to happen in EPA, as well.

"[Portion removed.] Nothing like using the word "children" to drive home your cause. "Working parents and the elderly" are a nice touch as well. To hell with objective journalism ..."

Town Square is a for-profit Enterprise. What were you expecting? That the pervasive [Portion removed] and post deletions will stop and a properly moderated venue with unbiased articles will magically appear? Expedient has better margins than objective, and somebody has to pay the bills around here.


13 people like this
Posted by Read the Article
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

@Joe C: They refuse to commute like others do. My husband works in San Francisco and we live here. Most people don’t work in the city where the live. They can move to a city that they can afford and commute like everyone else. I know people who drive 2 hours one-way to work. Why does Palo Alto need to take care of them when they are being stubborn?

I graduated from Paly in 1979. Very few alums can afford to live in Palo Alto. They live in Fresno, Pleasanton, Oregon, New Mexico, Santa Barbara, anywhere else. And they grew up in huge houses in Old Palo Alto. People have to adjust to their circumstances. The RV dwellers are entitled.


5 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ CrescentParkAnon " dispels some of the myths some people here hold on to so tightly such as that we attract people from all over the place"

There is zero data in the article to support that claim, just a single quotation from a homeless advocate who has a vested interest in telling that story.


7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2017 at 7:36 pm

john_alderman, you must have not read the article. The poll was that few
people come here other areas, that a large manjority of people who live
in RVs slipped down from barely holding on paying rents and cost of living.
You have no evidence of your own to the contrary, so you just dismiss the
author of the article as biased?

You impugn the author as a homeless advocate as if that is bad or by
nature dishonest, based on your own opinion. Odd since you are so interested
in facts. Maybe that is why your arguments need to be so fear based and
designed to upset, so that people do not consider where you yourself are
coming from and advocating.

What are the people who are so loud and aggressive about this vested in?
Your post is simply your opinion, used to dismiss the opinions and needs of
other people,and the facts others present to support them.

When I post on this issue I try to take an honest look at both sides and portray
a balanced picture of what is going on. I absolutely never hear anything close
to balanced statements coming from the side against the RV campers. They
rage, rage, rage, because they want their own way, like crying babies, they
don't care about anyone else.

They talk about how they don't want RVs parking in from of their houses, but
I've not read one case of an TV parking in front of someone's house.

Then they claimed they are criminals, drug dealers or molesters who are a danger
when parked 50 feet across the street from PALY, where no one even walks to goes.
Again, no evidence.

Next it was dumping sewage, and this is the first case of that I've read about. The
claim was that all, many of some of the RVs are dumping raw sewage. No pictures,
videos or police complaints with evidence.

In this case they use some unknown number of irresponsible people to blame the
whole RV population.

It is your side that must use exaggeration and made up stories to scare people rather
than calmly and objectively discuss the issue, because at the heart of your argument
is really something you know most people are against, and that is the persecution of
poor people. You love poor people as long as you do not have to have anything to do
with them or see them, unless you are paying non-living wages to exploit them
economically.


7 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:49 am

Hours-long commutes are bad for everyone and result in clogged freeways, fatigue, lost family time, pollution and more. Some RV dwellers who hold local low-wage jobs would be much better served by relocating to lower-cost regions and taking new jobs there. For those who find that nonviable, another option is to get organized among themselves, team up and share an apartment. Sure, living with roommates can be cramped, but so is living in an RV, and even a cramped apartment has power, water, sewer, and offers a place to live that is legal.


5 people like this
Posted by MyNameHere
a resident of University South
on Nov 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

"@Joe C: They refuse to commute like others do. My husband works in San Francisco and we live here. Most people don’t work in the city where the live. They can move to a city that they can afford and commute like everyone else. I know people who drive 2 hours one-way to work. Why does Palo Alto need to take care of them when they are being stubborn?"

You call the RV dwellers stubborn? Wow, just wow. Had you bothered to read the article, it would be readily apparent that folks in the RVs are dirt poor. It is therefore to be expected that many would be without cars and need to live close to work. Some folks aren't rich so-and-sos like us. A lot of the posters here tell others to go away. Why then are they so unwilling to take their own good advice? Perhaps telling others to leave is not the best solution unless we are willing to do the same.

Demonizing the poor instead of dealing with the root cause of the problems will only make conditions in PA worse. The same goes for trying to dump our mess onto surrounding communities. If we are not going to clean up after them, why would they clean after us? Because we are wealthier and therefore better and more entitled?

"I graduated from Paly in 1979. Very few alums can afford to live in Palo Alto. They live in Fresno, Pleasanton, Oregon, New Mexico, Santa Barbara, anywhere else. And they grew up in huge houses in Old Palo Alto. People have to adjust to their circumstances. The RV dwellers are entitled."

Most people leave Palo Alto because they have jobs and lives elsewhere, which is the same reason most residents came here. How many people these days return to their hometown after graduating from college? Not many from what I have seen.

The RV dwellers whom I have met, admittedly only a few, seem a lot nicer and better mannered than the many housed Palo Altans. We should build more affordable housing here and welcome these people into our community, not be fussy, stuck up and petulant. It would make our city more like it was back in the day.


6 people like this
Posted by MyNameHere
a resident of University South
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Hey everyone, if people are so dead set against residents ok living in RVs, why not pass a law banning sleeping overnight in vehicles? Los Angeles passed just such a law.


6 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 26, 2017 at 3:43 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ CrescentParkAnon - "the poll was that few people come here other area"

citation please - link to this poll

You are reading a fantasy article, or at least not the one you linked too. There is literally zero data in it to support your assertion, let alone a poll. The only person who mentioned where they were from, was not from the bay area (moved here 20 yrs ago).

And of course homeless advocates have an agenda to drum up sympathy. How would people feel if they knew the truth, which is that people from across the country, and below the country swarm to California to take advantage of the weather, services, and lax law enforcement.


20 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm

The city has pumped thousands of gallons of waste dumped by RVs into the drain. Many residents have seen, smelled and tried to combat not just the sewage, but bags and bags of garbage. Many of these RVers are not from our city, but moved in when they heard there was little enforcement. .


5 people like this
Posted by Read the Article
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:31 am

@MyNameHere: Right, I just chose this alias and didn’t read the article ;). If these people are “dirt poor”, they are likely working jobs that can be found anywhere in the nation. So they can live anywhere, rather than here, the most expensive area in the nation. I agree that the people should be allowed to vote and vehicle dwelling should be banned. Didn’t realize L.A. banned it.

A few years ago, the city asked churches to offer their facilities and parking lots to the vehicle dwellers. We have many churches in town but only one volunteered! The word “hypocrite” comes to mind. Even the churchgoers don’t want to help them.

Immigrants die trying to set foot on American soil so they can have the opportunity to work hard to succeed, yet we have people who insist on living where they cannot afford, due to their entitled attitudes. They pay no property taxes and are just waiting for the government and the Top 1% to bail them out.


2 people like this
Posted by Passing On
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm

@Hmmm

Lets make a deal.
You can have your billion dollars for the train crossing fixes (trench, elevate, or whatever you want).
We get $100M for an RV facility in Palo Alto with appropriate infrastructure to relocate and support those living in RV's.
That seems fair. $1B for your increased convenience and $100M to help the disadvantaged. Nest pas ?


1 person likes this
Posted by Patricia Finau Lopez
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

There were no bags and bags of garbage and there were no sewage dumping into the pipes from the RVer's that parked on our street! We lived on Weeks Street all our lives and our parents owned the farming business on our street. We know about the history of our street and it has always been an illegal dumping site for everyone! We have complained to the city, called in to the police to report of the illegal dumping! People were dumping all sort of things into the sewage pipes. One time someone poured tar and everything you couldn't imagine into the sewage and everywhere.

Since the RV's moved in 2 years ago...I was intimidated because this was our street! So, I decided to go out to meet them and to my surprise these were good people. They were hard working blue collar families and people. Most of them worked 2 or 3 jobs, families with children, the elderly who some lived in their cars...my heart went out to them and I was proud to call them my neighbors. I decided to call a meeting with them. I needed to let them know that I and my family welcome them, but, we can't speak for our new neighbors...I explained to them that they needed to work together to keep the street clean and NO illegal dumping. They all agreed and it worked very well.

They helped with making sure everyone cleaned up after themselves and chased a man out of our street who was trying to break into our cars. They stopped a lot of people trying to dump there trash and into the sewage. They took lots of pictures and gave it the police officers. There were some that drove up on the street very quietly to illegally dump trash. The next day, they got together and cleaned up the illegal dumping and took lots of pictures.

None of there good deeds were reported from the city or the police. Yet, they the new neighbors and Mark Dinan painted an ugly picture about them.

There was 2 RV's family with children that got helped from the Ravenswood District who worked with other agencies to find them help and housing. They are now in a program for housing. We have 58% of our children that are homeless that attends the Ravenswood District.

My new neighbors and Mark Dinan couldn't stand the RVer's and form a coalition among themselves to come up with all kinds of issues to pin on the RVer's. Since the eviction of the RVer's if you could check out the street and the end of the street on the day of their removal. THERE IS NO TRASH OR FECES OR DUMPING OR ANY SH%% THAT YOU BLAMED THE RVER'S. THEY KEPT THE STREET CLEAN! And there was no trucks or vans that came out to pump thousands of sh%%%! You must be talking about your own sewage line that's connected to your house!

If you were telling the truth! Why didn't you do something before the RVer's moved in? Our Street has always been an illegal dumping and sewage dumping before the RVer's moved in! That's just to show people what you are all about! THE GENTRIFICATION CREW!

[Portion removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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