Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The first goodbyes

• Nickelsville is  MOVING 5/15 & YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!!! - please, read the bar on the right.

Joanna was in the parking lot when I was unpacking my car last Monday and she came up to chat about her big news: the family is moving back to California. 'We gave it 6 months here. It didn't work.  It's hard to survive, and I'm never going to leave California again, as long as I live'. They are going back this Thursday on the Greyhound bus, Andy already has his $280 ticket, and Joanna will get hers and LeeAnn's on Wednesday, when she receives the last payment form Jack in the Box, where she works.  The paycheck will be not enough to cover the tickets, but a charitable organization (Joanna wasn't sure about its name: 'Mother's hand'?) is paying the difference.  What is LeeAnn's reaction?  "She is too little, she doesn't understand, but she is happy to hear that she will see Nana again.  There is much to be said for family support; here we have no family to help us'. Joanna and her family will be staying with her mother or possibly sister once back in California.  Good luck to the 3 of you and sorry Seattle didn't work for you - happy travels home!

T.J. was just leaving Nickelsville and also stopped to chat: 'I'm only visiting here now, found my long last love and staying with him now, in a place near Gasworks park'. She, too, won't be moving when Nickelsville moves, but she will come visit her friends.  In her hands she had carefully wrapped in a tribal blanket a native american flute, that once belonged to her Klinkit father: 'He performed healing ceremonies with it for 20 years'. Can you play it?  'Oh, yah'.  Too bad I didn't know that - love Native American flute playing, but T.J. was saying goodbye now.

Once in the kitchen I found Jarvis cooking on 2 burners already, and he will need the 3rd one for the  rice: long promised traditional red beans and rice and if he doesn't cook it now... Who knows when there will be a kitchen available anytime soon.  He was making a meat version and a vegetarian version - any of the stuff meant for peanut soup would be of use for you?  'Naw, cabbage, zucchini, cilantro or tomato cans don't really fit this traditional southern recipe, I already had and used onions, unless you have the green ones'.  Nope.  'Oh. Any peppers?".  Now pray to me - I have 5 of them!  Jarvis bows and waves his hands up and down: 'You are my Kitchen Goddess, now hand over the peppers!'  After a bit of horse-playing he swiftly and expertly chops them into little bits and throws them into the pot.  Tracy said she will find use for the other veggies: 'maybe I'll cook a cabbage stew'.

With no soup to cook I briefly visit with Julie - she will be moving with Nickelsville - 'I have no other choice'...  Then join Tracy, Richard and Terry at the table; Mike, LeRoy, Jeremy (holding his aching head) and other folks coming in and out. Richard says not everyone will be moving along with Nickelsville: 'some people find it too nerve-racking and/or afraid to be distressed or arrested'.  Tracy is speaking about the upcoming week of cleaning and packing - 'everything in refrigerators has to go, so we can clean them'; Terry mentions trucks showing up on Wednesday or Thursday to haul away not needed stuff.  The atmosphere is palpable with anxiety: Richard tells me to better check with Scott regarding Thursday chicken pesto pasta: 'who knows if the stoves will be there, or electricity and so much is happening now'. (Later checked with Scott: 'stove and electricity will be there, pasta much appreciated, although advisable before 5:15 pm, as at 6:30 Jim Page and Joe Martin will be giving a music performance, complete with a meal of chili dogs - the only meal planned so far; BTW, you are invited to the performance').

About that chili last Thursday: so how much longer did you cook it after Lynnda and I left?  'Well, about 3 hours, but then it was soft and good', said Mike. 'And cookies!  I found cookies in the office, everybody forgot about them, so I brought them in and we had them after chili', added Tracy.

Nickelsville has a facebook page now, please visit:

While looking for some articles about homelessness to add to this post I came across a promising 2/8/11 snippet about 'Nickelsville model coming to Hawaii?', so I clicked it, and what a load of crap I found there!  Was wondering if it's any good to link to this obvious propaganda, but  was so taken aback by soulless and loathsome attitude of the writer, that thought exposing how some people frame other people's  misfortunes could be quite educating... The author speaks about the 'homelessness industry' - as if he honestly believed there is a manufacturing plant somewhere, cranking up the homeless people solely to annoy the rest of the population and embarrass the politicians.  Yeah, right. And, oh horror,  the homeless are self-organizing in Seattle, instead of waiting for some private corps to run them.    Here is a fragment of this despicable piece, full of arguments no doubt known to people who has been active in fighting homelessness,  but eye-opening to the rest of us:

Seattle’s tent cities are organizing bases for self-appointed activists who use the homeless to extract money and other benefits from various government agencies.  The residents consist predominantly of methamphetamines addicts.  They have also become a factional tool in Seattle politics used on behalf of Seattle politicians who give the organizers money and against those politicians who don’t.  The camps are moved from one district to another to embarrass and extort politicians.

On positive note and to balance the crap above I also found an article in 2/2/11 Seattle Post Globe, truly informing about issues of being homeless; enjoy:

David Bloom, one of the early organizers of the Center, says the trend Cole forecasted has continued unabated and is anything but encouraging. “Since 1980 in Seattle, the growth in numbers of homeless people has continued to outstrip our capacity – some would say our willingness – to provide shelter for those who need it,” Bloom said.
“Despite many caring and creative efforts to develop more shelter and more affordable housing, we’ve witness growing numbers of people who are homeless on any given night,” he explained. “That number is now approaching 10,000, while it was less than 1,000 at the time of the first One Night Count – a tenfold increase.”

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