…And I don’t know about you but wearing four layers of clothing and STILL having my muscles clenched against the cold is getting old, real old. Here are some of the highlights of the week in business.
HSU’S ECONOMIC REPORT compiled by the ever-helpful Dr Erich Escher shows a mixed bag of indicators; Housing prices are up, but sales are down. Gas prices are in decline also, note the $3.70 ranges in the report, although I just saw $3.54 at COSTCO. Read the whole report; this is a resource we are lucky to have.
SINGLETON STRIKES AGAIN: According to the Mad River Union, it was an ADA lawsuit filed by Mr Singleton that caused the closure of Arcata’s branch of Porter Street Barbecue. I don’t know why business owners can’t get it through their heads that after 30 years the ADA is not going away, but there you go. Unfortunately, the food at their Eureka store has declined considerably. The last few times I had their chili, it contained a spongy meatlike substance that almost seemed like stomach tissue or tripe. I’m sure it’s legal but sure isn’t very appetizing. When, oh when, will someone open a REAL barbecue here? But then I’m a Carolina girl. I’ve had the real stuff.
There is voluminous guidance from the State and from employers’ group on meeting ADA/FEHA standards and it’s not all that hard to understand. If only our city and county permit processes incorporated the ADA requirements, no one would have to be surprised after they’ve already spent money. I’ve been hearing this same complaint for years. This is a wasteful and expensive way to do business and it doesn’t have to be this way. I notice that the Wendy’s in Eureka which previously closed allegedly due to some sort of ADA issues is hiring and getting ready to open for business again. Maybe they’ve learned something.
ANNALS OF GREED, or It Must Be Nice Dept: Republican State Senator Bill Emmerson of Redlands resigned his seat and a week later was named a senior vice president of the California Hospital Association “where he will oversee the group’s in-house and contract lobbyists. ” Every State employee is drilled on the requirement that a year must pass before conversations that might be construed as lobbying can take place but by the subterfuge of having him “oversee” the effort, he’s free to pursue the best interests of the CHA, which are not necessarily in the best interests of our citizens. Former Sen, Michael Rubio did similarly a few months ago, working now for Chevron.
CALTRAIN NEWS: The CalTrain Board has announced that daily ridership is now in the 50,000 range, up from 30,000 ten years ago. CalTrain is also installing racks and other equipment to encourage cyclists to come aboard. All good news.
I’m going to stop now because this has really been a horrible week of homicides, deaths by fire and generally un-holidayish happenings. Maybe next week will be better? Let’s hope so. See ya at the Truckers’ Parade Saturday evening.
For less than $100 per month ($40,000 said to be total cost of ADA compliance over 18 years of being open, divided by the landlord and the tenant) this store could have avoided the $8K legal extortion fee plus their legal costs.
Wendy’s tore down and rebuilt from the ground up. Unfortunately, no one from the city, county or state nor the feds are enforcing ADA requirements as to the laws that Bush one and two signed into law. Hence, the mechanism in place enforced by the scum bucket attorney. It is what it is.
With the fall in the price of pot as we lurch towards legalization, our micro economic unit ranking of Eureka/Arcata/Fortuna continues to plummet. Look for many more marginal restaurant business closures. O’dogs in McKinleyville comes to mind.
I should like to add that we all, best case scenario, face disabilities. The smart ones plan for this eventuality. One family on this old house TV show on PBS remodeled with extensive features designing in ADA type accommodations.
When my spouse mentioned I was recovering from UCSF shoulder surgery, we were put in an ADA type room with great handrail supports for the tub/shower. Sometimes you can’t get the bandaging wet so you have to get in and out of the tub with one less useful arm. Using the repaired arm could damage all of the good done by the surgeon Dr. Ma. I highly recommend the Columbus, Cow Hollow, Lombard and Chelsea Motor Inns on Lombard for their location on HW101, and their parking and pricing (Value for SF).
Thank you for your insightful comments, especially on enforcement. The scumbags will continue to thrive as long as businesses continue to play ostrich. Is O’Dogs the one that used to be on Arcata Plaza? I agree the shakeout is still in progress and we are going to lost more marginal businesses, the kind of small businesses that make a town worth living in. Yes, most people have the choice eventually of becoming disabled or dying young. When I remodeled my bathroom I made sure the shower had roll-in capabilities even tough I hope I won’t need it for a few years. There’s a lot of good info on “Universal design” on the net and nothing enhances the resale value of a house (or business) more.
You obviously aren’t aware of Singleton’s practices. His threats and lawsuits have nothing to do with access for the disabled. He hires people to go in and find technical violations of the ADA- such as a counter being a quarter inch too high- so they can extort money from the business.
He then threatens them with legal action if they don’t pay him some thousands of dollars. Once the payoff is made, that’s the end of it. He doesn’t file suit because there was never a problem to begin with.
I’ve read that when business owners decide to fight him, he backs down, but most don’t. It’s cheaper to just settle or close the business down.
BTW; Wendy’s was also an Singleton ADA casualty in case you hadn’t heard.
Yes, Fred, I am very much aware of Mr Singleton’s methods, which have been less than helpful to people with disabilities. The point I was trying to make is that these so-called “technical violations” wouldn’t have to happen at all nor give an opening to a lawsuit or threat of same if people just followed the law in the first place. I imagine the issues with Wendy’s was that ridiculous entrance that herded customers to the counter in a snaking pattern. He was also involved in the Arctic Circle, don’t know what the issues were. I was a rehab counselor for the State for ten years, worked for Redwoods United before that and was a board member of Tri-County Independent LIving so I’m pretty familiar with the issues . Two things have occurred to me in the last couple of days. Singleton is involved in a furniture store in Arcata called Zamora’s. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the store was in violation. The other thing is that I was watching a new episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives which revisited the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento and was one of Singleton’s first big cases. The show stated that the SI now has FIVE locations, and has moved from its original venue. Perhaps clever management in that case got active and made lemonade from lemons. ??
Someone was saying Singleton’s office isn’t fully compliant with ADA.
Wouldn’t that be delicious?