anomalous (unusual, quirky, strange, weird) musing and reporting of diverse human and non-human affairs
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Key West "wellness and yoga fest" flops / "Avengers Infinity War" - children need to be woken up to what is really going on / the Pottinger case might be all that stands between long-term homeless people some day being euthanized like feral cats are euthanized by the Key West SPCA
I spent part of yesterday afternoon lying in my hammock strung between two Australian pines at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, reading a sequel novel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The sequel is, The Girl Who Takes and Eye for an Eye. Same girl in both novels. Fabulous writing. No prisoners. Zilch. Nada. Mercifully ruthless.
On the way out to the park on my bicycle around 1 p.m., I had passed by the new amphitheater on Truman Waterfront where the well-covered in the Key West Citizen yoga and wellness fest was underway. There were a number of tent booths set up with a few people at each tent. Maybe 20 people I could see. There were maybe 20 cars parked on the grass across the road.
On the way back into Old Town around going on 4 p.m., I saw about the same number of cars parked on the grass across from the amphitheater. There were maybe fifty people in bunches around the tents. I saw a few children playing on the grass berm.
Two young men (young compared to me) walked across the road with their bicycles to where I had stopped on the sidewalk. I asked them if earlier there had been more people at the event?
One man said, there were about 40 people sitting on the stage of the amphitheater. Maybe 100 people in all. It was the first time and it was not well-advertised.
I said it had gotten great coverage in the Key West Citizen.
The other man said it was not well advertised, next year it will be bigger. Again I said it had gotten great coverage in the Key West Citizen.
Both men had the dazed affect I had come to associate with New Age people. Like they were off in space somewhere, mesmerized, hypnotized, seeing and hearing only what they wanted to see and hear. They bid me adieu and pedaled blissfully away,
I pedaled behind them, thinking, So far, this event isn't a bust, it's a total flop. How much money did the organizers lose? Will the city government (mayor and city commissioners) hold them to paying the fee for using the amphitheater, or will the mayor and city commissioners waive the fee because it was the first time for the event, it was not well-advertised and will do better next year?
Based on two Key West articles promoting the event and local attorney recently-turned yoga teacher Jennifer Hulse Russo, below, who was reported to have bought two yoga-heath businesses just before the event, it seemed to me that the event was to promote Jennifer and her new businesses. Maybe that was what Sam Kaufman meant in the dream by wanting to give me $5,000?
Here's a book by Jennifer's husband:
The Russos have political clout in Key West. I hope not so much clout that the city commission waives the fee for using the city's amphitheater for the yoga and wellness fest. I thought the Russos and the vendors and the participants at the event would have gotten a lot more benefit from seeing the new Avenger movie at Tropic Cinema.
In fact, as the two men leaving the yoga and wellness event on their bicycles turned right toward the soccer fields, while I was going left on the main road, I asked them if they had seen the new Avenger movie at Tropic Cinema? No, one of them said. I said it has a really big message for humanity. Thanks, the other man said.
No prisoners. Zilch. Nada. Mercifully ruthless. The new Avenger movie.
I summarized the film for Hoodoo Witch yesterday, because I knew she would not see it.
I said tens of millions of American children will see that movie during the next week. Those children will be wrecked when they come out of it.
Hoodoo Witch agreed, said children need to be warned not to see the movie.
No, I said, the New Age needs to die. Children need to be woken up to what really is going on. Whoever wrote the screenplay understood that. No prisoners. Zilch. Nada. Mercifully ruthless. that is what real YOGA and wellness are about.
Just as I thought that was all I had for this post today, something arrived by I-phone from State Attorney Dennis Ward, below.
I figured what Dennis sent must be what Sam Kaufman meant in a dream before the dawn's early light, when he said he would pay me $5,000 for something. In my spirit code, 5 represents the feminine.
Sam, above, is a lawyer and a Key West city commissioner. A federal lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the City of Miami in the early 1980s, which is the subject of this Miami Herald article below, is what Sam and I used for years to protect homeless people from the Key West city government and its police department.
In sum, the "Pottinger Case" held that Miami could not use its police to try to drive homeless people out of the city by harassing and even jailing them for engaging in life-sustaining activities, such as camping, sleeping, cooking food, relieving themselves outside, unless the city provided places where its homeless people could do those things inside.
Miami lost all control over its homeless issues when it lost Pottinger. From that day forward, a United States District Court oversaw Miami's homeless policy. That same court had, and still has, jurisdiction over Key West.
When I arrived in Key West in late 2000, homeless, I slept nights in doorways near Duval Street, on benches at Higgs Beach, on beaches, on White Street Pier. City police allowed that. Then came 9/11, after which city police stopped homeless people from sleeping outside by waking them up and making them get up and move or be taken to jail if they did not get up and move.
In 2002, as I recall, Key West's police chief Gordon "Buz" Dillon heard me speak at a city commission meeting and after it ended he came over and introduced himself and said he would like to get to know me better. Could I come to his office some day? I said, How about tomorrow morning? Good, he said. Thus began a very good friendship with a police chief who was not happy with the city using his police to enforce its homeless policy, which was getting in the way of his police doing what police are supposed to do. Keep the peace and catch the bad guys and gals.
Of course, homeless people often did not keep the peace and sometimes they committed crimes anyone should be arrested and jailed for. That kind of behavior Sam Kaufman and I had no problem with city police dealing with according to the law and common sense. I imagine Sam feels much the same today, as do I. I imagine Sam feels the Pottinger caseneeds to be left alone. As do I. I think it is the only thing keeping the Key West city government and its police from doing what they started doing after 9/11. Waging war on homeless people.
My further thoughts follow the Miami Herald article State Attorney Dennis Ward sent this morning.
Ivan Romero, a City of Miami outreach program staff member, tries to convince a couple of homeless people at Bayside to go to a shelter as hurricane Irma bears down on South Florida in 2017. PEDRO PORTALpportal@miamiherald.com
Promising police will be humane, Miami seeks to undo homeless-protection settlement
BY JOEY FLECHAS
April 26, 2018 07:47 PM Updated April 26, 2018 08:25 PM
Miami commissioners want to dissolve a landmark legal agreement that gave the city's homeless protection from undue police harassment.
For the second time in five years, the city wants to revisit the 1998 Pottinger vs. Miami settlement, which for two decades has defined the way city police can interact with the homeless. The settlement was the outcome after 5,000 homeless people and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city contending the police practice of arresting the homeless for loitering was unconstitutional.
Under the agreement, which took a decade to reach, police cannot sweep the homeless off the street for minor offenses such as sleeping on sidewalks or littering. The idea is the homeless should not be arrested for offenses associated with unavoidable, life-sustaining activities, such as creating an open fire for cooking and blocking sidewalks to sleep. The agreement was tweaked in 2014 to remove some of the exceptions to account for added services.
Now downtown residents and commissioners want to completely undo the agreement, arguing the city has the capacity and wherewithal to humanely address the homelessness issue without limiting police action.
The ACLU and others disagree. But Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to instruct the city's legal department to seek to dissolve the agreement, and if not, to modify it.
"We’re in a different world now," said Commissioner Ken Russell, whose district covers downtown. "At least it’s fair to have the discussion of whether it’s still necessary."
Russell and fellow commissioners argued the police no longer want to aggressively incarcerate Miami's homeless, maintaining that if police are allowed to remove people from the street, they can help those people obtain social services.
The city's assessment of its homeless outreach is not universally held. Miami has recently faced criticism for bi-weekly cleanups conducted by its Homeless Assistance Program, the team of city employees tasked with working with people living on the streets. An ACLU attorney and homeless advocate recently told the Miami New Times the city's actions have already violated Pottinger by trying to chase away the homeless and damaging their property.
At Thursday's commission meeting, downtown residents such as Cristina Palomo spoke in favor of doing away with or limiting the Pottinger agreement on the grounds that the public defecation problem associated with the homeless threatens to become a public health issue. They cited a recent outbreak of hepatitis Aamong San Diego's homeless population that officials blamed on poor sanitation.
"I believe that it's time to stop equating its modification with a disregard for or criminalization of individuals experiencing homelessness," Palomo said.
Stephen Dutton, a downtown resident whose husband was killed in an attack by a homeless man in 2016, told commissioners he believes most of the homeless who want help are receiving it. He said there are ways to convince people who insist on living on the street to seek help without harassing them.
"I think the majority of the persons we understand suffer from homelessness are being served," said Dutton. "Those that have agreed to go into shelters and agreed to go in and receive services are being helped."
Benjamin Waxman, the attorney volunteering for the ACLU, told the Miami Herald a conversation has begun with the city about concerns over the agreement. But Waxman reiterated recent complaints from the homeless in downtown and Overtown that city workers are going beyond what's permitted by Pottinger. He said the city seems to disregard the rights of the homeless.
"We’ve become aware of their campaign to harass homeless people, and to seize and destroy their property," he said. If the mediation goes nowhere, the next step is to go back to federal district court.
My further thoughts:
As time passed, it became clear to me, if not to anyone else, that there was no cure to homelessness. It was as much a part of Key West and Florida Keys and Florida and America society as PTSD, mental illness, booze and other drug addiction, child abuse, spouse abuse, political and religious fanaticism, poverty, foreign wars, etc.
As time passed, it became clear to me that society had to decide how much money it wanted to spend trying to manage something that could not be fixed.
As time passed, it became clear to me that many homeless people would be better off dead, than living as they lived, doing what they do to themselves and to other homeless people and to non homeless people and to society.
I came to feel much the same about people who were not homeless, who caused themselves and society a lot of trouble.
I came to think the time might come in America when it will euthanize long-term homeless people like Key West's SPCA euthanizes feral cats.
I think rolling back the Pottinger Case might hasten America to doing just that to its homeless people.
In the new Avenger movie, the exterrestrial super super power "bad guy" is of the view that the Creation has only so much energy and resources to give to its many sentient species, including humanity on Earth, and there are way too many sentients and they are killing the Creation and the only solution is to kill half of them without regard to who they are, what they do, whether they are good or bad, productive or unproductive. A totally fair genocide by random lottery, so to speak.
You've tried everything else, so why not try crazy?
Everyone knows Key West is an open air insane asylum,
so why not make it official?
Sloan for Mayor! trying to make a difference in Key West and the Florida Keys since 2000
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