Posts Tagged ‘downtown riverside library’

 

Two weeks ago, we released our story of the Drug Dealers Next Door: Part I.  The following is the second part of Author David Silva’s response to the City of Riverside, approximately one year later, which was posted in the Inland Empire Weekly on September 24, 2008.  Nothing had been done by the City of Riverside to resolve the drug issue in his neighborhood, which leaves us pondering the question, “Did they really want to?” or “Did they really care?”

In this second Silva article, the author displayed his continued frustration with local law enforcement and local elected representatives.  Like the case of David Silva, no one within the City has contacted or given us any direction as to what to do about our problem neighbors.  At least you can rely on something in life – government inaction!

On September 19, 2017, Wood Streets resident and former Mayoral Candidate Vivian Moreno went to the City Council meeting to bring the lingering and current neighborhood issue of the Drug Dealer Next Door…with an added twist, prostitution!  Yep, the other night the Wood Street residents had the pleasure of hearing the annoyance of the Wood Streets King Pimp not being paid correctly by one of his employed working girls. Yep, right in the front yard without any fear of anyone knowing what they were talking about.

Keep in mind this issue had been brewing in our neighborhood for approximately 5 years and gets worse by the day, so I guess it was the natural progression we should’ve expected…and accepted?

Moreno came to Council to declare that she is required to have business license in order to do business in the City of Riverside, but a drug dealer or prostitution ring does not.  So why should she?  If the City allows an illegal business to operate, why should she continue to comply legally with a City that cannot protect legal businesses from the illegal ones?  She tore up her business license in front of them.  Much like Silva, it was an attempt to call attention to an unresolved issue by petitioning her government.

However, we conclude David Silva must be right: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Besides having unsafe neighborhoods for our children, our seniors, our taxpayers, we still cannot get our trees appropriately cut, our pot holes filled.  It has been clearly evident for many years now that the City of Riverside cannot provide even the most basic services to our community, who are now paying through the roof (Utility Users Tax, General Fund Transfer, Measure Z, etc., etc.), and for what?  Certainly not safety.  Our neighborhoods continue to be put at risk by the inertness of our law enforcement and leadership.  It happened ten years ago; and it’s  happening now with no remedy in sight.  The same fools sit on the dais within the Art Pick Chambers; and Chief Sergio Diaz’s highly-paid, crack narcotic squad has done what? [crickets]

THE DRUG DEALERS NEXT DOOR: PART II: BY AUTHOR DAVID SILVA:

INLAND EMPIRE WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 24, 2008 

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about the drug dealers operating next door to my house [vol. 2, issue 25 cover], and if you’re wondering how the guys are doing, let me assure you they’re doing just fine. 

Franco (not his real name, but drug dealing is illegal, you know) recently installed a carport awning to protect his trade in bad weather. Brother Mario (another pseudonym) is on what appears to be his fourth new car since Christmas. Say what you want about these guys (and lord knows I’ve said a lot—to the Riverside police chief, the mayor, the city’s crack narcotics unit and the Weekly’s readers), they’re single-handedly keeping the local auto industry afloat. 

Yes, these boys have struck gold, and the rest of us are green with envy. While no less than seven “for sale” signs can be seen on front lawns up and down the block, the dealers next door are in home-improvement mode.  While the rest of us sleep in shifts in case some addled tweaker tries sneaking through the bathroom window, the dealers sleep the untroubled sleep of the dead, their persons and their stashes safe behind wrought-iron doors and the sign on the front that reads (I kid you not) “Do not ring after 10PM.” 

Of course, there’s always the remote possibility that the dealers really should be more worried that, at any minute, Riverside’s crack narcotics unit will come crashing through those reinforced doors. But who are we kidding? If the police were going to put a stop to all that illicit activity next door, they would have done so by now.  

As I wrote back in October, my non-dealing neighbors and I tried repeatedly to draw the city’s attention to the situation next door, going so far as to arrange a neighborhood meeting with one of Mayor Ron Loveridge’s deputies. The deputy listened wide-eyed to our story and jotted down notes into a little black notepad, which he then tossed into a briefcase where, I imagine, it remains gathering dust to this very day.  Nothing was done.   

By the time my column appeared, I had called the Riverside PD three separate times to complain about the dealing next door (not counting follow-up calls to check on the status of the complaints). Since October, I’ve called the police and City Hall three more times, each time being told that the department had no record of any previous complaints, and each time being assured that the department was now right on it. One of those calls resulted in a callback from Riverside Councilman Frank Schiavone, with Police Chief Russ Leach sitting by his side. Both Schiavone and Leach assured me that the city took such complaints seriously, and that they were right on it.  

Nothing happened.  

This has been going on for three years now, during which I often wondered why the Riverside PD would put up with an open-air drug bazaar operating in a residential neighborhood just three blocks from three public schools. Drug busts are great PR for the police, and right here was a major bust just begging for the cops to walk up and slap the cuffs on it. So why didn’t they?  

Early last month, I finally learned the answer to this nagging question: It wasn’t that the police didn’t want to bust up the drug house next door. They just couldn’t find it.   

“According to my computer,” said the officer who took my sixth (and, I swear to God, last) complaint, “the street address you gave me doesn’t exist in Riverside.” 

“Well, that’s odd,” I said. “I’m looking right out my front window and there it is.” 

“Are you sure?” 

“Oh yeah, it’s right there. Maybe you should check again.” 

He did, and again declared the address didn’t exist. Back and forth we went, with me insisting the street address of the drug house next door to me existed, and the officer insisting that it didn’t. Finally: 

“Found it!” he said, sounding well pleased. “OK, we’re on it. The Police Department takes these calls very seriously.” 

After three years, six complaints, a meeting with the mayor’s aide and a conference call with a councilman and the city’s top cop, the Riverside Police Department’s crack narcotics unit finally located my neighbor’s house on a map.  

More than a month later, the dealing next door has continued unabated, and if there are any cops snooping around, they’re wearing invisibility cloaks. The only thing that’s changed around here is my attitude toward the neighbors. 

“How’s it going, Franco?” I shout when I go out for the mail. “Yo Mario! Nice new Prius, buddy!”  

If this is how the city of Riverside wants to wage its war on drugs, I might as well be on friendly terms with the winning side.  

–David Silva, Author

FROM THE DESK OF LOCAL RIVERSIDE RESIDENT, ACTIVIST & COUNCIL CANDIDATE, KEVIN DAWSON, REGARDING NEW LIBRARY DESIGN:

“UGLY” THE COMMON TERM TO DESCRIBE THE MONSTROSITY TO BE KNOWN AS THE NEW RIVERSIDE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY.

The $10 million over run is to elevate the building so people from the Fox will hopefully walk under it to get to the Culinary Institute. That’s $10 million for a walk way! Why don’t we just use $1 million to buy coupons to the Culinary, that we could hand out as incentives to Fox patrons to walk around a less exspensive library building on the ground? Of course I’m just joking. This is a ugly, over priced building, loaded with gimmicks that will become dated looking like the horse collar grill on a Ford Edsel. Unlike a car, we won’t be able to trade this lemon in a couple years after we realize we made a mistake. Also, the city has been cutting the library budget for years. They’ve let go all the professional staff that had library of science degrees and cut way back on programming. The current main library is denuded of books. The city is not going to restore funding with this new building. This project is based on lies and manipulations. The head librarian gave as reasons for needing a new building, that the current building was too big and that the pillars ruined the sight lines. They said it would cost almost as much to remodel the current building as building a new one, so why not build a new one. But then when they proposed the Discovery Cube would go in the old building, the remodel cost dropped to $10 million. When the Discovery Cube dropped out and the Cheech Art museum was proposed, they now say it will only cost $5 million to remodel the building. I say we should remodel the current building for the $5 million, and keep it as our main library, saving us $35 million! Measure Z was sold to the public as being needed for “needs” like public safety, and not wants like a new library. I want to support the library but not like this. If they have an idea for a great, inspiring new building, put it before the voters, and ask us to support the project based on its merits. Ask us to prove our support by our willingness to pay for it through a special acessment tax. That way, a crappy design will die the death it deserves, but an inspiring design will prevail and be supported by a proven majority. The people in San Francisco were so inspired by the Palace of Fine Arts, which had been built to only last a couple of years for the 1915 Panama exposition, that they voted to tear it down and rebuild it as a permanent structure. The Palace of Fine Arts is great example of inspirational artitecture and something that would compliment the mix of classic historic structures we have downtown, but an example of how to be bold, without being offensive to the surrounding neighborhoods. Our city is on the road to making a mistake but it’s not too late to change directions. We should not move forward with this design because people are tired, and just want to “get it done”. We should not move forward, just because we’ve already spent money on this design. Ugly needs to be called out for what it is, and this is an ugly building.

Let me also comment on councilman Gardner’s motion to approve, where he said he was making the motion to approve because he thought “the people of Riverside were ready, evidenced by the number of speakers who came to speak.” Really? The room was almost empty and hardly anyone was there to speak, unlike the night the council voted to move the library, and the room was packed. That night there were 80 speakers and a petition signed by almost 800 people saying don’t move the library. That meeting went until 1AM, but in the end, the council ignored the public, and approved an expensive project, without ANY discussion of how to pay for it. It was only later, they presented Measure Z. And while Measure Z was generously passed by voters, our city is still not out of financial danger. I believe our financial problems are what is driving the proposed utility rate increases. Our city has a electric and water fund transfer of 11.5%, that gets transferred straight into the city general fund, where it can be spent on anything. So, if the City Manager says the rate increase is not about more money for the General Fund, ask him if he would agree to not take a transfer from the rate increases, and see what he says.  – Kevin Dawson

NEW RIVERSIDE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

With $60 million in unfunded future pension liabilities, Council, with the help of City Manager John Russo, overrode the community dissent that night, over-allocating funds for a new library.  Proving the establishment elite have an agenda, and your dissent for the project in public comment was only a legal formality they had to bear before moving on to a pre-determined decision.

REMEMBERING TOM PETTY: “DOG ON THE RUN”: 1977:

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “VILE,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.”  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  CONTACT US:  thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com