Friday, July 20, 2012

The Not-So-Friendly City? Oh, Please...

The Rev. Eric Duff wrote a My Word guest opinion in the Times-Standard concerning the City of Fortuna's allotment of lands for the use of a building transisitional housing or "homeless shelters" within the city.

Rev. Eric T. Duff's MY WORD

While the Editors agree with many points in his column, there is a danger in Rev. Duff's judging an entire community when he does not live there.  While it is correct you cannot lump what we call "criminals" into the element of our society we call "homeless", be aware there absolutely are crimes being committed by people who live in the brush and under the bridge.  Just ask the neighboring businesses and residents.  Will transisitional housing cure this problem?  Doubtful.  The residents of Fortuna do not tolerate crimes. Does that make us Not-So-Friendly?  Possibly.

Like so many cities across the State of California and the nation, Fortuna is really trying to deal with the problems of poverty, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and criminality in it's midst.  There is an emergency shelter for severe weather at the Fortuna Adventist Community Services building.  And, if someone has the means and the desire, they can build a facility to offer services for those transient, houseless residents of our town.   The 2 acres alloted by the city is a start.   Lack of housing and transitional services are not really the issue concerning poverty and crime.  Are they?  It's a much bigger national issue.  Isolating Fortuna is ridiculous.

26 comments:

Fred Mangels said...

I still don't see why Fortuna sees fit to describe itself "The Friendly City". I suppose it's been nice enough when I've visited, but I still get a bit of a Children of the Corn feeling when I'm there.

Eel River Ernie said...

I believe the term “The Friendly City” was coined by the merchants belonging to the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce in the years after World War II. Right after the war the downtown merchants re-invigorated the Chamber and set about improving the business climate and encouraging new services and businesses. One of the things they promoted was making the downtown a “friendly” place to visit and shop. The historical minutes of the Chamber are replete with references to “The Friendly City” and “Sunny Fortuna” which was coined later.

Fortuna has gone back and forth on having a business friendly city government and in most recent years has been downright unfriendly at times. The citizens of Fortuna enjoy a low crime rate and many amenities lacking in other cities such as the city parks, a town clock, the grass and tree studded Fortuna Boulevard parkway, flower planters on the light poles downtown and many festivals such as the Rodeo, Auto Expo and others.

Fortuna has a population significantly older than the rest of the county and I find that courtesy and friendliness tend to resonate from the older set that maybe don’t have anything to prove.

Next time you’re in town Fred give me a call and I will buy you a cup of coffee.

Spence said...

Thank you for your background information on the friendliness of Fortuna, Eel River Ernie.

Fred, I gree with Eel River Ernie, come to town, look us up and if we aren't friendly, YOU owe us the cup of coffee.

Really?, Children of the Corn? Perhaps more like Stand By Me, one of Stephen King's other works.

Kate said...

Fred, you need to get out more! Come down next weekend and it will be more like "Christine."

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