Monday, June 11, 2012

Safety on the Southeastern edge of the International District

Last Saturday morning my sixteen-year-old daughter and I went to the teller machine, in the shopping plaza off Gibson near San Mateo, to pick up some money for Comic Expo. The time was around nine in the morning and the plaza was empty except for two men in their early twenties.

I parked the car in front of the bank and got out to get the cash. The two men came up to me. They demanded ten dollars for breakfast. When I refused, they cursed me out. Then they walked toward my car where my young daughter was in the back seat. I gave them a look that said I was willing to fight if the need arose.

The two walked a few feet down the walkway. I quickly retrieved the money and returned to my car. By the time, I got my daughter and I out of that plaza, my pulse was going a mile a minute. I told myself that I had been a fool even to get out of the car in that plaza. It is sad that evening on a Saturday morning in board daylight that the shopping plaza is no longer safe.

Every since the Loveless Hospital closed across the street the southwestern area of the International District has become a ghost town. No one is doing anything to revitalize the area. Stores along San Mateo between Zuni and Gibson are empty. Homeless people wonder the streets at all times of the day and night. It is a place of fear where drugs are sold at the local McDonalds.

Shopkeepers have complained in the past that homeless drug addicted people are doing drugs behind their stores. The city has refused to do anything to clear up the area since a needle exchange place is close by so they are protecting the addicts rather than the residents of that area.

Sex offenders are being dumped in the large apartment’s complex to the east of San Mateo. The local Seven-Eleven sells alcohol in large cans. The Mayor appears to care more about his police officers new muscle cars then cleaning up our city and making it safe for local residents.

It has only been lately that a police car has been sitting in the church parking lot on the corner of Eastern and San Mateo. The message is clear stay away from San Mateo and Gibson if you want to stay safe.

Where are the state and local representatives when it comes to providing a safe environment for the residents of the Parkland Hills Neighborhood?