Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Zonemaven Blog Touches Middle America

I received this message in an email from an unidentified woman living somewhere in the middle of the US. She had done an online search and found my blog entry of 22 August 2007 entitled "In for the Long Term" (click here to read the original posting) It sounds as if the account could have been written by any number of residents here in Bellingham. It is an excellent example of that which can happen when a city government forgets its reason for being - the common weal. Unfortunately, I have no address with which to respond to this woman. Perhaps she will see this blog entry and write to me directly.

"There just has to be more rights to protect homeowners. Shortly after I bought my first house at age 50 of saving & saving. (sic) The 5 bed room house next to me was a rental & a safe house for people crossing the border to hide out. Sometimes more than 30 people @ a time. (I live in the middle of the US). After a year of little sleep & damage to my property the owner sold it to a real estate company that rents. This was worse if it can be..Drug dealers moved in & I was threatened that if I turned them in there would be nothing left of my home. I am this tiny little 50 year old woman. Several bounty hunters have come to my door looking for different ones living in there but with no success. Now there is a well known gang member bunch in there as well. I am scared! I work all day & sometimes when I come home I can't even get to my drive way. The noise is so loud at nights, my property is trashed. Family & friends won't even come over any more because of the "RENTERS". I tried to sell it but potential buyers won't even get out & look @ my house when they see this bunch carousing around, or all the beer cans. The rest of the neighborhood around my house is nice, my other fellow home owners are just as afraid. The police say until they do something physical to one of us there is nothing they can do. I called the real estate company that is renting it & they have told us that we don't have enough money to make them comply with any city regulations. We called the city & the city claims they do not have the time to verify facts. I have taken pictures & video & its as if that has no effect on getting some action. As far as the drugs & gangs go the attitude seems to be that this is considered normal daily life & to just live with it.

I can't sell it, I can't live in it, & I can't rent it & I have no where to go. So it would be nice to know what you are supposed to do?? I will either end up murdered by this rental or I am getting to the point I would like to find a way to do away with them. 5 years of this my once nice property is destroyed, yard fences & all. I tried to sue the real estate company for a new fence with my videos but the real estate company said I had no way of really proving those were not friends of the tenants. So here we are....& I know I am not the only home owner that is living with this. I used to love to garden & paint but after 1 summer of harassment while working in my yard about ended that. They are 10 feet from the north side of my house window & I have nightmares of when they come crashing through. Now they have a pit bull. Its just a matter of time any more, watch the news you may see me on it sometime, but I do not think I will be alive. Why is it hopeless??? Don't home owners deserve better???????????????"


Anonymous said...

This is a perfect example of what could become reality in Bellingham neighborhoods if folks don't rally together and put pressure on our city government to enforce the municipal codes.Our elected officials must not understand who they are suppose to be working for.
I'd like to hear Mayor Pike address this issue. Now that the election is won, is he going to ignore his promise of enforcing codes> Looks like it so far.

Anonymous said...

I am publishing my phone #....
I have some GREAT ideas for you that COULD really make a difference for the folks that you are trying to make homeless.
I have read the veracious amount of material you have written recently.
I am appalled at your ignorance!
You an educated man, oh let me rephrase my comment...I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE IN TO "YOUR" type of comment.
While you Mr. Zonemaven are probably not concerened about your sleeping accomodations tonight, it is a real ISSUE for MANY folks. If we take away the option for them to rent a room or provide shelter ffpr themselves, what have we accomplished?
I believe that your issue should be directed students. If you all took the silver spoons out of your mouth you might be able to see the "less" fotunate folks who have NO other choice than to secure housing in someone elses residence.
Go to ANY homeless outreach activity and ask folks how much they live on. Then please offer them yuour opinion.
You are a moron.
Yes,,,, in a perfect world they would work and support themselves but there are many issues that prevent it.
My heart goes out to the people who live in the residence that you show on your website. Why bring negative attention to them?
Mr. Narrowminded, they DESERVE the same OPPORTUNITIES that you were afforded MANY MANY years ago.
Maybe if the priveleged retired idiots in our community could subsidize housing for them...just like you who were products of yesteryear were able to enjoy.
May you rot in hell

Anonymous said...

In response to anonymous #2, you really need to get a grip on reality and calm down. If you were to look at the issues, then you would realize that enforcing the law protects all of us.
You might expend a little less effort being insulting and try to be part of the solution- If you are a student, why don't you ask Western to provide additional housing for the large number of people it attracts to our over crowded neighborhoods? Perhaps your student government could get involved in asking for adequate housing?

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your efforts to fix some of the problems that bad houses present, and that it is a problem underappreciated by many at city hall.

However, the woman who wrote in has a level of problem that while clearly relevant, simply doesn't exist in a significant ongoing way here. I haven't read your blog exhaustively, but I'm assuming that you don't have a story this horrific from Bellingham, or you might have referenced it here.

One could propose, as the first commenter does, that is because it hasn't reached that level yet, but that it "could become reality."

I tend to believe that when people can't find a case that is sufficiently on point, and substitute another that requires some extension of assumptions, it is a symptom that they may be trying to create support for an argument that isn't fully supported by the facts on the ground.

You have a good cause and reasonable approach most of the time. Please try to avoid inflaming the discussion in the way that bringing this poor woman's case to our attention does.