Fullerton Observer Sinks To New Low

The Yellowing Sub Dives even Deeper
The Yellowing Sub dives even deeper

UPDATE: According to an e-mail we received yesterday, our acquaintance “Tenant” reminded us that he did indeed have a follow up conversation with Ms. Kennedy about his situation. We apologize for that error. However the basic thrust of this post remains. You can’t be a reporter and an advocate for this or that specific cause or organization at the same time.

And just to remind our Friends: we are a blog – not a journalistic endeavor and we have never tried to get anybody to believe otherwise.

To those Fullerton Observer observers who still believe that Sharon Kennedy has an atom of journalist integrity, or any objective standards either, we present the most recent Observer edition as our evidence to the contrary.

Last week we posted a story about how Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services intended to expand their compound in the 500 block of West Amerige Avenue, and in the process how the current landlord had told his tenants to vacate the premises so he could close the deal.

What we didn’t share was the fact that one of the tenants had actually contacted Sharon Kennedy. According to this individual she evinced considerable interested in his plight; but the tenant never heard back from her.

In the Observer’s mid-September issue she gave an answer. Buried in the middle of an article about unrelated FIES issues the author tucked in a few lines about the FIES acquisition of  property on Amerige. The article notes matter-of-factly that relocation help would be available for those tenants who need it. Check out left column halfway down page nine.

Of course there was no mention of the fact that previously none of the tenants had been notified that “assistance was available,” no mention of what the criteria for qualification are, and no mention of who at FIES told her that they were going to help anybody.

It sure looks to us like Sharon Kennedy was trying to help her pals at FIES cover up an embarrassing episode long after the fact. Wow! What a crusading reporter!

Well, at any rate, we are glad that someone may be getting something, sometime, somehow. We’ll check in to see what FIES is doing to make things right for the folks they are dislocating.

In the meantime a whole lotta irony is still goin’ on: several genuine, non-subsidized affordable housing units are taken out of the available housing stock and the property, soon to be owned by a non-profit, will be taken off the property tax rolls. Hooray!

hey everybody, we gotta stick together...
Hey everybody, we gotta stick together...

O! The Bitter Irony! Will FIES Create Homeless People?

504 W. Amerige Ave.

The Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services (FIES) is a non-profit collaboration of local folks whose mission is to help people of marginal means subsist, learn job skills, and for some, transitional housing is provided in the FIES compound in the west 500 block of Amerige Avenue.

Imagine the surprise of the tenants at 504 W. Amerige when they recently received eviction notices from their landlord. It seems FIES wants to buy the multi-family property located next to their current assemblage of properties, and the residents have to go. Apparently there are several families living on this property including several kids and even an infant. Some have been living there for over fifteen years and must like it.

It seems nobody at FIES has made it their business to inquire about the fate of the current tenants who now have to find a new home with a comparable rent, and will somehow have to scratch up a new  first/last payment on a new place; or if they did, perhaps they dismissed it as not their problem.

We don’t think it’s real nice of FIES to cause the eviction of employed, rent-paying citizens simply because their mission is to minister to people farther down the housing stock food chain.   It’s particularly egregious since FIES routinely receives government subsidies to pursue its mission.   It must be galling for a taxpayer to find himself on the receiving end of an eviction notice due to the efforts of a taxpayer subsidized organization.

We hope that the good folks at FIES can reach an accommodation with the current tenants to let them stay on until they can relocate, and/or provide monetary relocation assistance. That’s only fair. It would be a painful irony indeed if any of these people ended up as FIES clients in the future.

The Ever Expanding Compound

Finally, the issue of the FIES compound itself needs to be addressed. Is it appropriate for this facility to continue to expand at this location? Is it wise to aggregate this sort of transitional use in a single neighborhood? Continued expansion seems likely to hasten  even more growth in the future. What are the permit requirements, if any, for this proposed use, and what does the City have to say about the dislocation of the existing tenants.

With all of the collaborative activities going on in Fullerton, maybe somebody can collaborate on some help for the residents at 504 W. Amerige Ave.