Take Back Eureka: Focused on Reducing Crime and Drugs

Take back Eureka meeting

Michelle Costantine wears a #takebackeureka shirt as she addresses the group. [Photos by Oliver Cory]

The most recent in a series of Take Back Eureka meetings was held last night. This grassroots group gathered again to discuss ways of making the city safer and more beautiful. The group wants to focus on reducing crime, cleaning up the city, and making sure needles discarded by drug users don’t end up in public areas.

Aaron Dean leads a discussion about needles.

They describe themselves as “a group of local citizens that are fed up with the way things are progressing in the City of Eureka, from the drug epidemic impeding our town to constant break-ins and robbery…Our mission is to make Eureka a desirable place to live and work.”

Shari Martinsen speaks to the group as Moonie Higginson listens in the background.

The group plans to do this “by attending City Council meetings, spreading the word that we will not tolerate crime and drugs in our neighborhoods, protesting, bombarding the city and county with letter’s of discord and whatever else it takes to get our point across to our local government officials (within the law of course).”

As one speaker last night said, “We’re not advocating violence against homeless people…We’re focused on crime. We’re focused on drugs.”

Sherry Pavlich of McKinleyville discusses ideas she thinks will help Eureka.

The group will be meeting with Senator Mike McGuire on November 14th to discuss what can be done to help the largest city on the North Coast.

Below is most of the audio from the meeting in order.

Note: Sherry Pavlich is this reporter’s cousin.

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98 comments

  • Thinking allowed

    I wish them success. Though I doubt whether there is not a group out there to oppose every suggestion they make as “unfair to the homeless.”

  • They are focused on crime & drugs and will attend city council meetings to address the council. Yet missed last night’s city council meeting which approved drugs.

    • They had representatives there. And marijuana is going to be legal. Time to accept it. No different than alcohol which is also a drug.

      • Marijuana may be a drug but can you tell me it’s harmful effects in comparison to other drugs plz. What makes it the same? Don’t like that our culture is built on such a beautiful plant… Well you can leave. There’s a place called Utah for people like you. Bye

        • No one ever wants to fight or speed in there car or Rob someone or anything while on cannabis. Can you say the same for alcohol?

        • Um, is this really the proper venue for some pointless polemic about the merits of marijuana? I mean, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. And that wasn’t really the topic of this article that’s being commented on.

        • One in 8 adults smoke pot in usa.real expensively.maybe double in humbolt,I get it for free . Doubled in 10 years.it it written.in news.mushrooms can get you a year,caged,,I think $700 fine.texas,maybe twice,95 years.what are children to think of us as we head for atomwar?

      • Everything you consume, except possibly water, is a drug. Sugar, for example. And given the stuff found in water these days, you’re ingesting anything from industrial materials to cocaine to birth control or other prescription stuff. I honestly hope that our society gets past the notion that drugs are the problem. Most folks don’t care what somebody else does with their life or puts in their body until it affects them personally. Or maybe if “God says it’s immoral.” But my point is that once we separate somebody’s addiction from the crimes the addict commits to feed their habit, we can start treating the addiction wisely and the crime rate will go down. It works in other cultures.

        • Wow. I’ve been using the same argument about drugs for as long as I can remember. It usually just sails right over the conversation like it didn’t exist. I’m glad I’m not alone. I feel all warm and fuzzy now. Wait! That could be the alcohol.

        • I keep wanting to a scientific study giving those results. All I have ever seen is a reference to an article with quotes from the purveyors of a drug treatment center of one kind or another about how effective they are and even those are anecdotal.

        • Food is not a drug. Add that to t list alongside water.

        • Yes indeed. I’ve thought for many years that sugar is the first addiction of most people. There are no easy answers to the drug problem, inebriation seems to be almost a basic human need. The further you get from the plant, the worse the results. Methadone is worse than heroin which is worse than morphine which is worse than opium. Baudelaire called poppies The Flowers of Evil, it is us who are evil, the poppy merely exists.

          • Amidone,synthesis,simple,stolen in germany,by british secrete agents in ww2.chemical abstracts.civil war amputations,people held down,carpenter saw ,for amputations.no morphine in that year.infection.now battlefield medics use ketamin,the disassociative that diminishes learned behavior.morphine needs valium ,to reduce lethality in surgery.fear causes need for four times the opiate.

        • U r correct.in mexico some are now putting cause of mayhem on inequality,not drugs for america.churchill,Kenedy loved cristal.easy to understand their meglomania.marilan monroe,barbituates,Phillip k dick, cristal,Freud ,howard huhges morphine,Stephen king,valium/zanax,John lilly,that made man quit killing dolphins,ketamin and lsd.

      • Weed isn’t why the streets are littered with needles.

        • No that would be due to a lack of safe injection sites

          • No such thing as a safe injection site unless all the drugs are provided and administered by a doctor

          • From what I’ve seen, the majority of these pampas rats we call homeless are too lazy to wipe their own butts. They don’t give a flip about themselves or anyone else. These are the folks who are going to walk a mile to a safe injection site? These are not functioning addicts we’re talking about. How about we have vans to drive around and play music like the ice cream trucks used to.

          • Safe injection sites work for the 5% of that population that will use them, for the hours they are open. Vancouver has bird nests made of used syringes. Liability issues were not addressed in the bill by Eggman. Canada’s legal system is different. Big mess that needs to be cleared up regarding liability, etc.

    • Most of us do not consider cannabis, alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine to be drugs. They certinly are technically, but it’s not how the word is commonly used. I dont like it either.

      • Strange, I certainly consider all of those to be drugs and I don’t consider myself unusual in that. The problem is not ‘drugs’ but what drugs do to you, your ability to think clearly and what you do in society as a result of taking them.

        The only reason for worrying about another’s use of drugs is the cumulative effect on surrounding people. If taking an aspirin routinely caused traffic accidents, neglected children, job loss, etc in even one out of 100 people, it would be a schedule drug.

        • I think that we are unfortunately unusual in that. We all know that those substances are technically drugs, but we still go around using the term “drugs” to mean something else. George Straws comment is evidence of this.

          Alcohol routinely caused traffic accidents, neglected children, job loss, etc, it negatively affects society more than any other drug, but is not scheduled.

          • Thinking allowed

            History. Nothing else.

            Although I agree about alcohol causing much social damage, that is no reason to add another destructive substance on top of it.

      • 2/3 of us are addicted to coffee.starbucks is sued for not warning of cancer risk.who is next?

  • Dont worry Mike will straighten it all out. By the way ask him how come Ca. schools are at the bottom on ratings.

  • “Mike” is a communist traitor. He supports SB54 the sanctuary state bill. [edit]

    As for crime and drugs – Websites like these need to DUMP ALL PRO-DRUG SPONSORS, including grow stores. Show some caring for your community.

    As for the homeless – Get this, I work late sometimes and was outside my apartment one night about to go in when I heard two local street people (both of whom I recognized from their constant panhandling), talking about this organization and how they were “Nazis.” Sounds like the street people are getting ready to take some action. Best action they could take is to LEAVE.

    • where would they go? most of these criminal street addicts like Brett Hansen are born and raised locals and aren’t going anywhere but an occasional stay at the Inn. Mike didn’t raise one of these individuals but he is part of the plan to make it better. after investigating the origin of most of these addicts, I have concluded that local conservative families need to do a better job raising their kids, just like Brett. these individuals are a direct product of this community just like everywhere else in the US where this exact problem persist. when someone like yourself says the word “communist traitor” I instantly think of trump and his supporters like most people do.

      • Dear local, either support your President or fucking leave,Canada and Mexico are calling your name.

        • Im sure you supported Obama. Blind adherence to authority in anti-American.

        • I can’t support hate that stems from ignorance converted into fear. have you ever watched “stand by me -1986″? I also recommend ” idiocracy -2006″.

          • I will not support Hate either! Steve, please take your president and leave! I am starting to feel that people that still support him, (not all who actually voted for him) are white supremacists to their core! Asking us to support that man, is like asking us to put a bullet in our own head. NO THANKS!

            • it seems as if their entire agenda is to undo what a black man did. DeVos’s actions on campus rape support that statement the most. I really miss the no drama Obama days.

        • If the president was truly elected then id support him. He wasnt. Did you question obama? Probably, so you should leave.
          Our country was built on rebellion, so i say to you if you dont like people questioning the powers that be, YOU ought to go to another country. Youre defending the very people who are systematically killing your family with cancer, nice work.
          At least mexico has healthcare for all its citizens.

        • No thanks, you first!

        • Every one kneel.

    • I have yet to read a comment from you stormy that you havent made a dig at this site over the culture of canibus . Kym isnt going to change what she reports, or who her sponsors are. Time to either accept that, or get over your need to bring it up, or finally find a differant place to get your info. It is getting old, like that kid that only had one record and would play it everyday all day…… good luck to you on your path to finding a way to end your bitterness, or cure for that case of butt hurt, either way safe travels

    • Have to assume you want ALL PRO-DRUG SPONSORS dropped including; pharmacies, alcoholic beverage manufacturers and retailers, soft drink/coffee manufactures and retailers, any store that sells cigarettes or aspirin, ect.

    • Funny you live in an apartment and have to work late. I own a 3 bedroom victorian with a view of the ocean and am self-employed. I first smoked cannabis in 5th grade and have been a near daily user for 19 years.

      And I the one who wants to help people like yourself, while you are in favor of policies that will keep you poor and make the rich richer.

      • Thinking allowed

        One of the two people I know personally who was a regular pot user and was forced to stop because of health concerns, and thus provided an example of how poor his thinking was on pot versus after pot, was very well off. His wealth came from a worker’s comp settlement and subsequent retirement benefits on a repetitive injury while a government employee for a very high paying utility district.

    • All democraps are committed commies,especially the ones running this state the top of the heap is moonbeam who gives all the monies marked for Infrastructure to the illegal aliens for their medical expenses and whatever else,but God forbid a real citizen needs medical help. I’ve lived in this state for 55 of my 63 years in this county,and we are fucking done.All you sheep can keep following the moonbeam and by all means drink the coolaid…

    • Go back under your bridge, Troll!!! Leave the comments to civilized people preferably!!!

    • America in 20 years. A war zone.

      So he is like Donald Trump who is just like Benito Mussolini. In fact he looks a lot like him and like Mussolini Trump is a pathological liar and a Narcissistic delusional ego maniac. The right has lost all touch with reality and none of their ideas will do anything other than cause more Las Vegas type massacres and insure that the elite rich will become richer and the Middle Class will soon become the lower class.

    • So far I think every single ad on my site, in one way or another, comes from a business that is benefitting from marijuana money in the community. I know I am. And so does every business and non-profit I can think of including churches (most have members who grow and tithe, others have business owners who profit).

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    Drugs.
    Do they mean the overly-prescribed opioids by shady doctors?
    Or the regular street drug dealers?

  • I wonder were the chump is he went quite ever since harvest time maybe he got busted on the last raid that we still don’t know who got busted ,and I know this really has nothing to do with this article ,but I’d just like to say were the chump ?

  • This time of adjustment to the new reality is always hard. I extend my warmest condolences to the surface people.

  • JustWantToHeartheEndoftheStory

    Wow, talk about deflection. Eureka is a sewer, and the commenters above are arguing over what constitutes drug use. I doubt anyone with a bad headache is leaving dozens of needles in empty lots, or that there are roaming packs of diabetics shooting up in public restrooms. And of course, there are the “homeless are not responsible for anything bad” types. If this is the new reality, I opt out.

  • At least their trying to do something.awsome.ill be praying.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    Eureka has many problems, from drugs to homeless to drunk driving. The whole town is a great place to avoid. I wish a committee could solve 10% of the perceived problems.

    I have something else to add, which is the cancer cluster which exists there. I have met too many patients who have thyroid cancer, breast and prostate cancer, lung cancer and others. The hexavalent chromium in your water, and god knows what else in the environment of Humboldt, are very concerning.

    So, if you get the homeless to leave, and the population off drugs, start a major new cancer center, because you will soon need it!

    • This is a terrible post – your assertions barely hold up to any scrutiny at all. You are truly the lowest common denominator.

      • Victor G. Flashman

        Yes, possibly… Only worked 41 years in health care and 5 years in Humboldt. Don’t know nuthin at all and don’t like Eureka either…

    • Is Arcata water better?

      Does hexavalent chromium effect you if you shower with it?

      Thankyou

  • Reducing crime and drugs to make it safe for everyone. It does work if the community is behind it.

    Anybody that wants to stop crime and illegal drugs should come to the meeting.

  • I wonder how the Chief is doing? maybe this group has some insight to offer. it seems their main focus is dirty needles left on the ground. seems similar.
    http://takebacksantacruz.org/

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    Alcohol.
    Every event is sponsored by alcohol.
    Brew at the Zoo,Wine with Swine….
    I see just as many broken bottles in the curb as I see needles.
    I’d guess booze was prevalent in the homes of these druggies as youths.
    Seems like every ad or sign in HumCo is related to getting inebriated.

    • We need safe drinking sites, where professional drink-servers can attempt to psychoanalyize drinkers while they imbibe.

  • I’m disappointed in the slant on this story, although it is relatively moderate, it glosses over a lot of what they stand for- they don’t want members who are involved in social advocacy and harm reduction groups to attend their meetings. They say it’s because they want to keep a peaceful environment- but they have also shut down conversations about unhoused people being lit on fire, while speaking freely about protesting Betty Chinn’s services. There is a lot of hate and lack of empathy behind this group, no matter how much they try to mask that with words about being tough on crime.

    I’m also keeping my name private not because I can’t stand behind my words, but because members of this group have been targeting and even threatening those they see in opposition

    • There’s nothing stopping you from starting your own ideal group, using your own ideals of how things should be done, while they do theirs. Make an outline, present it to the powers that be, correct the areas that are rejected, research more, and go for it. There’s no reason why only one program is allowable, as long as it’s your dime and your time and you are respectfully permitted through your diligent research and planning.

  • Terminology suggestion: since some drugs are legal and even good for you, how about calling the drugs creating the problem “hard drugs”? I have property in Eureka, and I support efforts to solve the problems of crime with victims, and hard drugs. I do not think it’s anything but a distraction to try to make or enforce laws against marijuana and other victimless crimes.

  • I already gave you all the answers you need. See the Letter to the Editor. Maybe read the repetitive piece a couple times apparently more repetition is required,,,

    1. Safe injection sites loaded with competent counselors, doctors, employment and treatment options.
    2. An out of the way public space designated for homeless to camp, with little police sub-station for violence and off safe-site drug use.
    3. Required work cleaning the city for whatever drug/ medication one receives at said sites.

    You get: No more needles on street, no more people on street (except those working), no more black market.

    They get: Safe medication. Place to sleep. Clean works. Feeling of usefulness. No black market.

    I could post links on the effectiveness of this approach and charts representing the dismal deadly reality of our approach for the last 20 yrs.. or do some research before speaking from ignorance. I don’t know how you’re gonna make it beautiful sans class. Just can’t teach that.

    • Thinking allowed

      All those things are available to many homeless right now. On their own power. The avoidance skills are legendary.

    • Good idea but things don’t always work as planned after a few weeks over half would be 86ed from any structured program and back on the street doing their thing

    • As long as it’s at the edge of town or near the welfare department, I think that’s a good idea.

      Your plan does solve the problem of where they can go; and at least doesn’t try to ignore the fact that these people exist.

      Most plans ignore that there are probably about 1000 transients in humboldt that used to live at the Palco Marsh; I understand why they were moved out of there but they aren’t going to leave the county because they either don’t want to, can’t afford to, or have no where else to go.

      Even a large parking lot near the welfare dept or at the edge of town would give them something and would avoid irritating residents and businesses, and it would’t cost anything.

      It’s only going to get worse too as the cost of living increases.

      Historically transients lived at the edge of town.

  • These people are trying to do something positive for all of us. We all know Humboldt has become a place we don’t even want our relatives to come. The drugs and crime are taking over and destroying the tourism. If something doesn’t change, Humboldt will become a cesspool of crime. At least these people are trying something. Other than criticize them, give some positive input. Not even our supervisors have come up with a plan to make Eureka a nice place to visit. Tourists are afraid to come here, and I don’t blame them.

  • Eureka can become a great city again. I am so glad to see community members take on these issues head on. The County needs to invest in a state of art mental health facility, rehab centers and supportive reentry housing. Get people off drugs and off the street, or move on.

  • The audio is too low with an echo, isn’t suited for my hearing needs. I haven’t any feedback to offer, except I hope the community responds with helpful insights about this.
    I wish them luck and I hope the homeless and junkies will get their act together and be of help to the community’s endeavors.

    • The audio was mostly intended for my use but I thought it would be helpful for those who missed the meeting but wished to attend.

      • I appreciate the inclusion of it in the article. It’s my ears that can’t interpret what is being said. You’d think by now that the techo’s would have created an app to enhance audio to each person’s needs. Perhaps they already have? I might spend the day searching the app stores.

  • Eureka still stinks and the pulp mill has been gone for years....

    Take back from what? We are in the middle of a housing, drug, mental health crisis and you think you all can do anything? Yeah why don’t you show up too city council and tell them what they are doing is a awful job when it comes to helping the people of their city. Take it back from those bozo’s.
    I find it funny that doing drugs and drinking is ok as long as you can hide it in a house, or some fancy eureka restraurant or hotel. As long as you have money you can do all the alcohol and drugs you want! The city council made panhandling ordinances so the tourists won’t be bothered and I see a tourist from Canada ended up in cuffs by EPD officer LaFrance for giving a guy money that was playing music. Great work, EPD and the city of eureka. That guy had some choice words for that city “Facist Eureka” he won’t be back!
    Vigilantism is illegal and you are going to be held accountable personally in a court of law. I’m so over the business people with their pitch forks and fire attitude. I use to buy all my xmas gifts in old town. I frequently would do business with the leather shop but after watching his little speech in one of your groups I have decided to never buy anything from any of those business’s. We are headed into a down ward economic plunge with the legalization of marijuana but I’m sure it will be blamed on the poor some how. Starting now…..
    Eureka needs to can their awful attorneys Cindy Day-Wilson and Nancy Delaney they have cost the city millions in their bad legal decisions..

  • Help the 1% that actually want to turn their lives around. Stop feeding the rest of them. Give them no support, food or shelter and they will go away. Let the next county that wants to “help them” deal with the problems. Im all for helping people. Im not for helping the criminal element survive. Eureka has become a dirty place full of nasty folks.

  • Thinking allowed

    Eureka has always been a hard knock town. Nothing new in that.

    The only thing new is that the old methods of keeping the damage contained are no longer available or acceptable. So good for these folk for trying to come up with new methods.

  • GOOD LUCK…a suggestion maybe have the old Kmart building become there day program/container ville move all of that to that one spot its when u first come in but its away from most homes and business then maybe that would kinda contain it a little.

    • Either that or a little south of that; it’s still close to the welfare dept and far enough from residents and businesses; even an acre of farm land in that area would do.

  • shawn the fisherman

    Drug addiction is natural selection! Always be a percentage of humans looking to alter their perception, Gone on since the start of man. Just like a certain percentage of people are meant to commit suicide. Natural selection! Just give up on that percentage. only 11 % of people who use meth become addicted to meth, Week minded people. 10 % become addicted to heroin, And 14 % become addicted to weed! mentally, Not physically . Week minded sheep. So sorry not much compassion here.

  • PooDat Wontflush

    People take drugs, drink because it makes them feel good; bottom line. If you are drinking a lot, smoking a lot etc.. , you have a problem. Rather than eating healthy, exercising, pursuing interests etc… you can fire one up or pop a can and not have to work for it. Seems our society doesn’t want to work for anything anymore, they demand free everything and blame others for their problems, while they take a hit off their bong.

    • Thinking allowed

      Now comes the chorus of ‘why can’t you get it, you (whatever nasty word they can spell,) it’s medicine.’ Just what closet alcoholics used to call their booze -medicine. Heck I’ve known people to insist on the medicinal virtue of cigarettes in the good ol’ days.

      Frankly, now that pot is mainstream, there will be a whole industry devoted the negative health effects at some point when it’s use obviously effects the economy negatively, along with sanctimonious government advertising on informing the public about its dangers and subsidies to help people kick the habit.

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