Satire/Sarcasm/Angry Rant: Welcome to Redding; a Parolee’s Paradise

If you’re a newcomer, we have so much to offer you here in Redding.

You can start by enjoying the beautiful Sacramento River Trail where you can risk your life enjoying the great outdoors. Yep, you may stumble onto a real drug deal gone wild. Then, maybe you can use one of the many newly renovated (after arson) restrooms.

From the Sacramento River Trail, this only-in-Redding view of bridges framing Lassen Peak.

Head downtown town for an evening of fine dining. Don’t let the pile of hot human fecal mater or the smell of urine curb your enthusiasm. Make certain your flip flops can handle stepping on a heroin syringe.

Do you like sports? Well, almost any night of the week you can head over to Four Corners (Churn Creek Road and Hartnell Avenue) where you can catch grown-ass men on your kids’ BMX bikes with full backpacks full of your shit!

Yes, just watch them go, networking their crime ring on the very smartphones you bought them. It’s like X Games, but the “X” is for X Con.

Man, with that speed and agility you’d think they’d have a job; but not in this town. Crime is what pays here in Parolee Paradise.

Do you like crime dramas? Look no further. Check out our local news and you’ll learn there’s literally a stabbing, shooting, beating, raping, etc. every episode.

During the day head to one of our unSafeway stores to get an autograph from one of  “Redding’s Most Wanted” and then watch them fill their baskets with merchandise and leave without paying. All day long.

But don’t you try this, though, because you have a job and money so you will be busted and pay a steep penalty. There’s no equal justice under the law here in Parolee Paradise. You run a red light, you pay $500. But if you’re a parolee, you can steal a car, and rip off groceries, alcohol, tools and electronics, and even if you are arrested, you’ll be back out on the streets in just under an hour.

That’s OK, folks, because after you are already taxed all to hell by the state, you can now subsidize these losers’ crimes by paying higher prices for your retail goods, to compensate for the stores’ losses. Oh, and another reason you’ll pay higher prices for your retail items is that those stores now have to cover their security guards’ wages (even though the security guards really can’t do anything, because of, you know, liability).

Then, when you get home you can sink a few grand into your own personal security system, LifeLock identity-theft insurance, surveillance cameras, auto-theft insurance, security gates, alarms, home-theft insurance, and on and on and on.

But don’t worry. Our city leaders will print some posters, maybe host a brownie bake-sale fundraiser or a special event where we all pick up trash together as a community on the weekend. Yep, works like a charm … works like a charm. Maybe they’ll hand out balloons that have catchy slogans like, “Stealing hurts feelings,” or, “God helps those who help themselves, so lock your doors.“

You could burn up your evening at city council meetings listening to the same do-nothing lingo, you know, “Our hands are really tied,” and “We’ll think about that possibility,” and “Thank you for your input,” as they act genuinely concerned.

In case you’ve missed it, we’ve made national news a few times lately, and it’s not for being the Happiest Place on Earth.

Have you had enough yet; maybe before MS13 gets the word about this gold mine and sets up shop here and the new norm will be who gets gang-raped and has their head sawed off on live video today?

Let’s quit pussyfooting around and get serious.

What if a few hundred pissed-off contractors, mechanics and other business owners – people who are tired of it; people who want to take our town back – said we’d had enough? What if we joined forces and took action?

As an aside, my cousin is the person who sends drug dealers, parolees, etc. to Redding from Nevada when they can’t afford their HUD rent, or if they can’t afford medical care.  That’s the kind of plan we need, right?

Here’s one idea: What if we volunteers rented a couple of box vans and starting relocating these bastards ourselves? A nice clean sweep would take 30 to 60 days, tops, and it would send a nice message to these parolee visitors: You are unwelcome here. 

We’d be helping law enforcement, whose asses are on the line every damn day busting these assholes, only to watch our courts let them go. The men and women in blue, who I have the utmost respect for, have their hands tied. Let’s give them a hand.

Also, any damn outreach organization, friggin’ mission, or state-run, county-run handout organization that gets their palm greased for having parolees come into our community should be stopped with all our might.

Do not feed the bears!

By the way, if you are one of these bleeding hearts who suffers from Intention Deficit Disorder, get a grip. Quit giving handouts to these bastards. The largest majority choose this lifestyle, and I have plenty of stories to back that up.

You want to save a parolee? You house them, you live with them, you sleep with them! Step up and quit trying to give them the shirt off of someone else’s back!

If we do not take this town back, then one day it will be your turn to have something horrible happen to you at the hands of one of these criminals.

I’ve had my turn a few times lately, and believe me when I say it will change your life in a split second. Trust me about this.

One option is we can all move to Idaho, I guess, and let this place tank. But I’ve been here since ’78, and have come to know and love many in this town.

Right now your chance of being the victim of a violent crime in this town are about 1 in 100, or maybe it’s already happened to you.

Either way, the good people of this city have got to step up, because, make no mistake, we are on our own. Ignoring that fact is naive. We could keep ignoring things, or we could get real and fix this now.

If you want to get into the fetal position during a bear attack, go ahead. For me, that will be my very last resort.

Al Mires is a 55-year-old Redding musician and business owner. He was born in New Jersey, and has lived in Redding since 1978.

Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

119 Responses

  1. Avatar conservative says:

    Compared with other Northern California county seats like Oroville, Eureka, Yuba City, Marysville, Stockton, etc, Redding has fewer gang related drive by shootings, gang graffiti and people wearing gang colors . Drug users come to Redding where meth and opioids are cheap and abundant and support their habits by committing petty crime. A drug user living under a bridge in Oroville is more likely to be robbed by a gang member than a drug user living under a bridge in Redding.

    To sell a tax increase to pay for government employee pensions, former chief Paoletti and others pushed a study which said Redding criminals are “locals”. They used a misleading definition of local. A better definition of local would be someone who dropped out of high school or completed high school in Shasta county. Prisoners booked into jail should be asked where they attended high school.

    • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

      Actually former Police Chief Rob Paoletti tried to push a narrative in which most people on the streets were non-local, and in fact even eliminated everyone from his survey results who was born and raised in Shasta County. Of the rest, anyone who was born elsewhere, or who had lived in another place at any point, was labeled non-local, regardless of how many years they’ve resided in Shasta County.

      • Avatar conservative says:

        Paoletti in monthly segment on KCNR used to make that claim. The Gannett newspaper pushed it hard.

        In any case, it is a dead issue. Redding needs a sales tax increase to make up for the lost revenue from retail closings, like Sears, Kmart and about five more brick and mortar stores which will close in the next five years.

        Redding conservatives don’t have a newspaper or blog. Gary Cadd explains Redding’s financial situation on one radio show in AM drive time on KCNR and the information spread by word of mouth.

        • Avatar ConservativeTruth says:

          The sales tax increase would be due to over paying police officers and giving them 100% of their retirement. I’d also like to point out Bethel church has no place giving the local police department money. Everyone seems to have their hands in the cookie jar, but no one’s being held accountable. There’s far too much corruption going on in this town and I think the leading cause is our city officials/council.

  2. Avatar conservative says:

    Shasta county used to vote democrat when it had plentiful union jobs from the mills, mine, logging. When Northern California had a lot of industry, Stillwater made sense.

    The policies in Sacramento made Northern California unable to compete for industry. Redding’s only choice was to become a retirement community with large healthcare, retail and government. Unfortunately, the retirees are unemployable drug users. The counties south of Shasta have larger agriculture segments important in their economies.

    Redding needs an honest discussion about the factors which make so many drug users choose Redding instead of other California county seats.

    • Avatar John says:

      When Redding fails, Blame Sacramento!!! It had nothing to do with decades of bad policies that we were making. Redding spent the last 30 years developing the perimeter of the city limits while letting the inside rot. I mean, Bakersfield was built the same way and that is a beautiful city right?

      I absolutely cannot stand it when people pass the buck on Reddings failures. The drug users choose Redding because they were born here and let down but our public education system. I have several family members who were born raised in Redding who got their undeserved diploma barely able to perform elementary arithmetic let alone algebra.

      Reddings only choice was not becoming a retirement community, Redding had/has a lot to leverage an amazing river and plentiful outdoor activities. Redding became a retirement community because setting a development plan for the future would have cost the city managers developer friends money. Because of this poor planning we are stuck putting Costcos in residential neighborhoods or 20 miles from where anyone lives.

      So to restate, Redding is where it is BECAUSE OF OUR OWN DECISIONS. Own it and work together to fix the problem.

      • Avatar Elaine says:

        Well mostly accurate, except that Stillwater was never allowed to develop because the planning commission was too snooty about who they wanted there. The fact that they would reach agreements and then change the rules midstream tells me they are 1) not honest
        2) shooting their iwn vision in the foot. There would be a larger tax base if they would lighten up on the unreasonable requirements to develop there.

      • Avatar KB says:

        The drug users weren’t let down by the public school system – it comes down to parenting or the lack there of!!!

  3. Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

    About twenty years ago I would drive up 273 to work in Redding. Just before the railroad overpass entering town was a billboard put up by the RPOA complaining how the state was dumping parolees in Redding. I guess things haven’t changed.

    • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

      As I understand it, accepting an additional 25 percent of parolees who didn’t originate here is no longer legal or in practice, and hasn’t been for some years.

  4. Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

    I’d be interested in getting clarification on some of the claims in this letter. For example, the claim that there is a program that supposedly sends parolees from Nevada to Redding because they “can’t afford their HUD rent”. HUD is a federal program in which participants pay one-third of their income toward rent or $50 (whichever is greater). Those requirements don’t change from state to state. Even if such a program was legal, they would be coming to Redding only to get on an approximate 3-year waiting list, so what’s the point?

    What “county organizations” are getting their “palms greased” for aiding parolees who don’t belong (once again this is illegal) to come into the area? Shasta County has historically sent a high percentage of people away for incarceration, and is now getting those people back.

    Before vigilantes forceably load people from the streets onto vans en masse, will there be some sort of trial to determine if they are actually guilty of anything?

    Is there any actual evidence that criminals are “filling their baskets with merchandise and leaving without paying” in local stores “all day long”? This seems more than a bit of an exaggeration, like so much else in this letter.

  5. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    Shame on you for printing this garbage, Doni.

    • Avatar D.Henry says:

      Damon. Why do you consider this “garbage”?
      I work with the homeless population every day on the lowest most basic level. I didn’t read anything that was out of line.

      • Avatar John John Wilkins says:

        “You want to save a parolee? You house them, you live with them, you sleep with them! Step up and quit trying to give them the shirt off of someone else’s back”


        “Here’s one idea: What if we volunteers rented a couple of box vans and starting relocating these bastards ourselves? A nice clean sweep would take 30 to 60 days, tops, and it would send a nice message to these parolee visitors: You are unwelcome here.”

        Why are you offering the people of Redding two options, of which so vastly different from each other, both legally, and ethically, when you appear to lean on the side of ethically-questionable, void of legality behavior? It is one thing, and still legal, to round up a posse of good hearted patriots to impose justice on a felon in the act or with an outstanding felony warrant. But it is absolutely another thing to go all Joe Arpaio on your community members regardless of their criminal background.

        I agree with you on the matter in which I first quoted. Its quite the liberal bleeding heart mentality. And that is what love and peace is about. Which is why I am surprised this quote has more of a seemingly level-headed reasonable taste to it, in comparison to the rest of your patriotic call to arms. Or the fact that you typed it at all.

        Inequality ultimately has led these people to where they are. A lot of them can be labeled as drug abusers, or criminals. But they definitely have a lack of care in some way or another. Most will argue mental health, or basic health care. It doesnt matter, they are obviously lacking a variety of things to “end up” on our streets.

        And I do agree with “The largest majority choose this lifestyle”. As in, the people not on the streets choose this lifestyle of continuing the cycle of inequality and corporate irresponsibility and legal/economic unaccountability. We are enabling the problem if we are not taking direct action. See the first quote again.

        I have housed a felon in Redding, in an attempt to help them recreate themselves, and I ultimately failed because of my impatience. These people need help, its not impossible, but its not going to be comfortable. Whatever god knows the government isn’t going to have an answer soon, local, state, or federal

    • Avatar Elaine says:

      Not garbage. What exactly is wrong with letting people speak their minds? Which items do you object to in the article?

    • Avatar Ruth says:

      Shame on you for sticking your head in the sand and ignoring it.

    • Avatar Ed says:

      Actually it’s about time she did print this.

      Truth in every word

  6. Avatar sal says:

    “Do you like sports? Well, almost any night of the week you can head over to Four Corners (Churn Creek Road and Hartnell Avenue) where you can catch grown-ass men on your kids’ BMX bikes with full backpacks full of your shit!”

    Half hour later and i’m still laughing at this. It is so true. But it’s not just bmx bikes its 2-3k+ mtb too, and they all have recent rattle can paint jobs. Oh, none of them are using the new multi-colored bike only lanes either. I think I’ll set up a camera one day on Pine Street and see just how many future cycling olympians we have running around town. April sweeps month around here has been something else.

  7. Avatar conservative says:

    The Gannett newspaper and its allies portrays Shasta county as like medieval peasants who live their lives in the same parish. America is a highly mobile society where people are free to choose.

    To answer the question of are they locals, county parole officers could ask where their clients attended high school (dropped out or graduated) just as the jail booking questions could include high school attended. The absence of such a study shows the county fears loss of public support for the costs imposed on this community by people who attended high school elsewhere.

    The population change in Shasta county in the last 15 years is dramatic and the trend continues.

    You can make $1500 per week (plus all the meth you want) trimming marijuana in Oroville, Eureka or Stockton, the same as here. Why do the “trimmers” choose Shasta instead?

  8. Avatar Boojum14 says:

    Agree with Aleta and Damon. With its generalizations and unsubstantiated claims and calls to vigilantism, this is primarily click-comment bait (wait…it worked, I’ve been sucked in…).

    Clearly there is a lot of hyperbole going on, but I’m particularly troubled by author’s claim that folks risk their lives using Redding’s trails. Sure, there have been a few crimes on the trails over the years (as there have been in other places, both public and private), but hundreds of daily trail users somehow emerge from their walks/jogs/rides/skates without incident. Our trail system is one of our town’s best assets – a peaceful and healthy outlet for many, many residents and a draw to visitors and their out-of-town dollars. The last thing folks ought to be doing is massively exaggerating the dangers of its use.

    It is fine to for authors to bring up our problems – lord knows we have them – but they should back up their assertions with at least a few facts. That seems like a minimum standard anewscafe should adhere to if it is to remain a place of generally informative, reasoned discussion .

    • This is a letter to the editor; an opinion piece. It’s not written by staff.

      Al Mires is a Facebook friend who left a comment on my recent post about seeing a guy boldly stealing beer by just selecting it and then sauntering out the front door like he owned the place … followed by my next observation a few minutes later at yet another store’s incident that involved a female shoplifter who seemed clearly impaired. In both cases, the police were called.

      My point in my post is this is part of our new normal, and in both these cases, I wasn’t even rattled, because it’s no longer unusual.

      Al wrote something on Facebook similar to what he has here today, and I invited him to allow me to post it. His words, while extreme, obviously exaggerated, satirical, and heavily laced with sarcasm, are echoed by thousands of people in our community who’ve had it.

      I didn’t post it as click-bait, but as an opinion and a frustration shared by many.

      • Avatar Michael Kuker says:

        The lack of perspective is breathtaking. We had honest-to-god gang violence here in the 1990s, brothels operating openly as last as the 60s, and running gunplay on Market Street in the 1910s as well as a race riot. When exactly were these good ol’ days people are pining for?

    • Avatar Steve says:

      The Heading of the article says sarcasm and satire.

      • Avatar Cheryl says:

        I don’t think what Al wrote is exaggerated whatsoever. He hit the nail on the head.

  9. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Penal Code Section 3003 (a) – Residential Placement
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an inmate who is released on parole shall be returned to the county that was the last legal residence of the inmate prior to his or her incarceration. For purposes of this subdivision, “last legal residence” shall not be construed to mean the county wherein the inmate committed an offense while confined in a state prison or local jail facility or while confined for treatment in a state hospital.

    We Shastanistan residents need to get over ourselves—the sun does not shine out of our collective rectal orifice. Our parolees are almost entirely home-grown products of the Redding area. This idea that bottom-feeders are flooding the area because of our grand generosity is laughable bullscheisse. If we have an attractive nuisance, it’s lack of jail beds. Commit crimes, be back on the street within hours. Problem is, our tax-averse citizens don’t want to pay for more jail space.

    This article paints Redding as an apocalyptic landscape where you are almost sure to encounter human feces downtown, or get raped or murdered on the River Trail. You might step on a “heroine” (sic) needle. A parolee might “steel (sic) your car.” I mean, the situation isn’t good, but this article is eye-rolling, frothing-at-the-mouth gibberish. I’m attending a show at Vintage tonight, and I fully expect to encounter a street person or two……and that’s about it. Further, anyone who thinks these issues are unique to Redding, or even especially bad here, doesn’t get around much.

    Al sez: “Here’s one idea: What if we volunteers rented a couple of box vans and starting relocating these bastards ourselves? A nice clean sweep would take 30 to 60 days, tops, and it would send a nice message to these parolee visitors: You are unwelcome here.”

    Yeah, that’s a great idea, Batman. Why don’t you and a few of your pals give that a go? Pleeeeeeese do it.

    I’m with Damon on this one. This was dreck, and doesn’t meet ANewsCafe’s usual standards.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      I assume Al Mires’ piece was satire. Yeah, there were a lot of holes in the column, but I certainly understand his frustration. Your solution, Steve, was to move so that you wouldn’t have your car broken into on a regular basis or have to shovel human feces from your office door. If everyone did that, Redding would be left to the criminals, vandals, users, panhandlers, and homeless. I had high hopes that when the cop shop opened near the library and South City Park, I would feel safe walking to unSafeway. Didn’t happen; so I shop elsewhere when in Redding.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        I moved my business from Pine Street School because of repeated vehicle break-ins—there was no secure overnight parking for our field vehicles. I never shoveled human feces from my office door—my biggest problem was that my office was the first door on the left after entering the building, and people (including homeless) assumed that it served as a sort of reception office.

        I moved back to Palo Cedro because I don’t think Reddingites are serious about addressing the city’s problems. This article is a good example……it brings up catch-and-release as a problem, but the proposed solution is to round ’em up and pack them into moving vans (an idea that brings to mind cattle cars in NAZI Germany), and ship them out. I don’t want to live in a city where people won’t pass a half-cent sales tax increase to take a chance on viable solutions, but instead prefer to fantasize about vigilantism, as if that’s going to do anything. (I have little doubt how Al Mires voted on the public safety sales tax increase.)

        • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

          I regret that we can’t vote in Redding because there would have been two more votes for the minimal tax increase.

          • Avatar Anita Brady says:

            Exactly. I don’t live in city limits but my consumer $$$ are spent in COR and I would have paid the tax with no grumbling.

    • Well, I actually invited Al to expound on his Facebook rant here on There he was, minding his own business in a rant in response to my posts about two new-normal nasty events I observed. I liked his passion, and his sarcasm, and his total fed-up-with-it- all attitude.

      He said shoot, I’m not a professional writer. I said no worries, it’s just a letter to the editor, and I’ll copy edit. I missed a couple of typos – (steel, heroine, for example) – so it made him look worse.

      I really feel kind of rotten about this now, because he’s taking heat for something that I solicited from him. And the thing is, the things he’s saying – albeit exaggerated – about everything from the burned-out river trail bathrooms and random syringes, to the ne’er do wells zipping around Four Corners on what may be stolen bikes, it’s all stuff we’ve complained about for years now.

      Maybe it was his style that put people off. And maybe the box van suggestion was over the top, in a wishful-thinking way. But I confess to sometimes wishing some bad-ass somebody would lasso up all the bad guys and send them to Australia or wherever.

      I had to meet someone at the library last week, and we hadn’t specified a location in the library, so I wandered all over it – upstairs, downstairs, in front, behind and on the side.

      I was really tempted to take video, because I’d say the majority of the patrons looked like street people. I felt so conflicted, because my bleeding heart recognized the tragedy of homeless people asleep in chairs or splayed out with heads and arms on tables. But the other part of me – the citizen who worked to bring this library to Redding, the Noni-Doni who’d like to bring my grandchildren to the library (no way) – that part of me was pissed and disappointed.

      So, maybe that’s why Al’s FB rant/turned ANC post struck a nerve with me.

      Please don’t shoot the messenger, Al Mires, who just accepted my invitation to write his thoughts.

      I accept responsibility for thinking this piece would resonant as much with you all as it did me.

      • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

        Add me to it, Doni and Al. Yes, you’re taking heat from some quarters, but it would be oh so nice to have a clean, trouble-free town even though Redding probably never was clean and trouble-free. And you’re right about the library. Ick. Thank goodness for Kindle. Years ago, my sister-in-law said why not give all the criminals/vandals/panhandlers/street people $1,000 and a bus ticket to leave California and not come back. It would be cheaper than having them shoplift, vandalize, and make dumps of our open areas. And law enforcement wouldn’t be kept busy with small-time crooks, and the courts would be less crowded. Who knows, maybe there wouldn’t be the pressing need for more jail beds. Sis-in-law is not from here, by the way; the problem is all over California, probably because of our welcoming weather.

  10. Avatar Virginia says:

    Thank you for printing this, Doni………..

    Sometimes truth is hard to stomach or even admit that it is happening here in Redding.

    Try going to library or the park around the City Hall. It made me sick the last time I went there a few weeks ago. It is a shame.

    Whether it is true or not, I don’t know, but I have been told Shasta County gets paid to take all of San Francisco’s parolees. From the looks of this area, I sure wonder.

    May God help us…. We are 10 times worse here than 20 years ago, and certainly more than when I was young.

    • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

      Virginia – Think about it. San Francisco is the eight largest city in the United States. If Shasta County got “all” of SF’s parolees, they could very well outnumber the actual citizenry (and no, that is absolutely not true).

      According to RPD, local crime rates were higher in the mid-1990’s, and (with the exception of car thefts) crime in general has gone down fairly steadily since then. We just didn’t have social media and the profusion of online anti-crime groups back then to the extent that we do now.

      • Avatar Virginia says:

        Sorry, it is my understanding from someone in the know today that for over 20 years, Shasta County does take the S.F. parolees…… although I should not have stated “all” parolee comes to Shasta County, so on that I stand corrected. Many come here. Shasta County makes money from taking these people in.

        Maybe you didn’t read Doni’s column written in the Searchlight maybe 10 years ago about the couple, not married, but she was pregnant, who came from FL because they heard how good Redding and CA was to the homeless……….

        10 years ago you didn’t see a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk in front of United Methodist Church on East Street, and drive farther and see three men with all their possessions resting on the lawn of a strip mall. All in bright daylight. I didn’t have two try to break in my home then, but did some months ago, and then turn around and try again a week later! And my neighborhood is a descent one.

        • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

          Virginia – Yes, I remember the couple from Florida. In fact, I actually met and worked with them. My memory is a little bit sketchy, but I seem to recall that they lost their home and his place of employment in what was a devastating hurricane at the time, and came to Redding because her mother lived here. However, her mother’s landlord decided against allowing additional people in the rental once they arrived, so they wound up homeless. This area is a terrible place to be homeless, since there is so little help available for anyone in that situation.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      We are not 10 times worse here than 20 years ago, unless what’s being measured is hysteria and the kind of misinformation you’re repeating: “…I have been told Shasta County gets paid to take all of San Francisco’s parolees.”

      We go to Farmer’s Market nearly every Saturday at City Hall. It doesn’t make me sick in the slightest—it’s a great weekly community event at a nice venue.

      We have problems, but the answer is not to wallow in despair or indulge our anger. The people cruising around on BMX bikes breaking into vehicles and such need to be held accountable. Catch-and-release is definitely a problem. The opioid epidemic that stretches all across America is a problem. Our forever-dragging-ass local economy is a problem. This region’s ambivalence—sometimes hostility—toward education is a problem.

      Indulging in fact-free fantasies about the origins of our loser class does nothing to address those problems. Indulging in ridiculous vigilante fantasies comes nowhere close to addressing those problems.

      • Avatar ConservativeTruth says:

        I do believe this community is 10 times worse than 20 years ago, then again the cities population has risen from 30,000 to roughly 100,000. I also believe that people are resorting to “ridiculous vigilante fantasies” because of our cities corruption and our lack of power. We all love Redding for it’s beautiful lakes and many other features, but we are all at our wits end with the petty theft, drug needles being found all over local parks and the uneasy feeling you get going for a late night jog via the river trail. So what is your solution to our problems? Or do you prefer to be a pessimistic tool towards others but share no thoughts of your own on the matter?

        • Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

          The first time I drove through Redding on my way to Hayfork to meet my wife’s parents the population sign entering Redding read 44,000, in 1970.

        • Avatar ConservativeTruth says:

          correction around 70,000 to roughly 100,000* around a 30,000 population gain.

  11. Avatar Common Sense says:

    Al’s attempt at his first Published Satire On ANC is noted. Yes, we have problems here. Not unlike other areas all over California and the Country. When you think it really bad here take a stroll down to Stockton/Fresno/Oakland or L.A!

    We have a problem with “Catch and Release” here. If there is no consequence to doing all the bad things then it will continue!

    We have a large portion of the Community that doesn’t want a sales tax increase to fund more Jail Space etc. We have work to do on that topic.

    There’s an old saying…. “Nothing Changes, if NOTHING changes”!

    This a Beautiful area, surrounded by Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, Tons of Trees and so many outdoor possibilities.

  12. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Either I missed it initially, or “Satire” has been added to the title.

    Maybe it’s just me—maybe I’m a humorless crank—but this strikes me as more of an angry rant than satirical humor. Satire works when it’s grounded in truth—not when it’s a stream-of-consciousness list of unsubstantiated grievances. It also works best when it’s funny at some level.

    This isn’t Voltaire’s “Candide” or Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” It’s Alex Jones on Infowars, using false factoids and a red-faced, spittle-flecked delivery to steer people toward an ugly authoritarianism.

    • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

      I didn’t see the word “satire” in the title earlier either.

    • Dude loves his Voltaire.

    • Avatar Gary Tull says:

      “Satire” makes a big difference. Initially, I didn’t see it in the title either. Of course there are portions of truth in most satire.

      • One of my old editors from way back said that satire is the trickiest of all writing to pull off, because it’s difficult to translate tone via the written word.

        It hadn’t occurred to me until this morning, when I saw the seriousness of the comments, that I should have added “satire” to the headline last night to alert readers that this piece was satirical and sarcastic in nature, but born of real frustration and disgust.

    • You’re right. I added satire to the headline. I got up this morning, opened the site, saw the first few comments, noticed my bio was beneath Al’s, so I corrected that and just for good measure, in case people didn’t get this this was opinion/satire/sarcasm piece, I added “satire” in the headline.

      Surely people didn’t REALLY think Mires was inviting parolees to Redding, or that we can really get autographs at the unSafeway from the Most Wanted, or that the city would hand out balloons that say “Stealing hurts feelings,” and on an on.

      I didn’t know if the word “satire” would make a difference, but I figured a super-clarification might help.

      The beauty of online is we can revise and update 24/7. (I’ve even been known to go in and clean up commenters’ typos, for the sake of clarity.)

    • Perhaps we should define satire. Or maybe Steve’s right, and this is less satire (my word) and more angry rant. If the latter is true, I fully support the angry-rant style, especially since many of us have reached that boiling point ourselves from time to time.

      Aleeta, however one would describe this writing style, nobody’s claiming there’s no basis of fact here; quite the contrary, which is what makes it so powerful. Here’s a little overview about satire.

      I especially like this sentence, which rings true with today’s letter to the editor: “Ultimately, the satirist’s goal is to expose society’s flaws and to inspire change.”

      Mires’ sentence in which he touches briefly about his own first-hand experience tells us that he has been victimized himself, but he didn’t wish to go into it here, for whatever reason. He doesn’t owe it to us to disclose whatever happened to him.

      If you can look past the exaggeration, to all those details, he’s speaking the truth about things we’ve all seen in Redding, and it’s getting worse.

  13. Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

    I believe certain things are not acceptable, even under the guise of “satire”. Calling for vigilantism is never a good idea – especially in an area loaded with guns and the accompanying “take the law into your own hands” mentality. In my opinion this letter comes across as mean-spirited, potentially harmful, and basically fact-less.

  14. Avatar sal says:

    Edited Title, what a joke.

  15. Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

    Satire or not it took courage for Mr. Mires to write this and Doni to print it. I know full well how some of the posters degrade anyone who writes an article critical of Redding. My response, along with a lot of other former residents who have posted on here and in the fishwrap, was to leave. And I know a lot of my family and friends have moved back to Trinity County.

    • My husband and I actually feel pretty close to how Al feels. We’ve had lots of rough experiences living here. We just hate that feeling of not knowing what to do about it.

      And I honestly feel that this good people versus loser asshats people is unproductive.

      But we certainly understand the need to rant — and I happen to love satire.

    • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

      Jackalope – In what way is writing obviously ill-intentioned lies and promoting violence “courageous”?

      • Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

        Mr. Mires letter is no different than those complaining about Redding conditions that have been posted by several people including some posting negatively about this article. It seems the response most give to these critical letters is it is worse all over and that is supposed to make everybody feel better about Redding.
        Why don’t you write your own letter to the editor about how great Redding is? I haven’t seen even one of those except from high paid public officials who are part of the problem.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          All due respect, Bruce, but Mr. Mires’ polemic *is* different.

          First, by being untruthful about the sources of these problematic people. They aren’t parolees foisted upon us by the evil liberals down south. Our petty criminal bottom-feeders are mostly home-grown.

          Second, his laughable assertion that Redding is some sort of Mecca for parolees because of the town’s boundless generosity. If anything, the biggest attractive nuisance in Redding is its topography: Our greenbelts make for a lot of good camping close to the middle of town.

          Third, by promoting the untruth that we are all in grave danger of being murdered or assaulted on Redding’s streets. In Shasta County, if you’re murdered or assaulted, it’s likely by someone known to you, very often someone in your own home.

          Fourth, by suggesting that the solution lies in vigilanteism. Even if this essay was supposed to be satire—and I still hold that it’s just an angry rant—it’s reckless to suggest illegal activity is the solution, even in jest.

          If Mires intended satire, it’s questionable that he has the chops to pull that off—the majority took his words as I took them, while others who accept it as satire seem to think “satire” means, “Yeah, I’m pissed, too……that’s what I think, too.”

  16. Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

    Jackaolpe – The main premise of this letter is that large numbers of parolees are being shipped to Redding from other cities. That is patently untrue (and illegal), as other people have pointed out above. In fact this letter is filled with untrue statements and gross exaggerations, leading up to his call for indiscriminant vigilantism against a group of people who are mainly local, are not all engaged in criminal activity, and actually extends beyond parolees. The word “satire” does not excuse this irresponsible, dishonest, potentially harmful rant.

  17. Avatar Dan says:

    Thanks for the tongue in cheek chuckle Al and Doni. We are surrounded by incredible natural beauty in the north state. In my opinion, most of the problems Al mentions are relatively fixable if residents of Redding will simply insist elected officials re-prioritize budgets, and pass a small tax increase for increase jail facilities, mental health facilities, and staff for dealing with career criminals. Per RPD stats, less than 1% of the county population is causing 90% of local crime. Humans (including criminals and drug addicts) are animals who seek optimal habitat. Remove the optimal criminal habit like most well managed, lower crime cities do. We will never be able to afford to incarcerate 100% of career criminals, but we can make it less attractive to these career criminals in comparison to other areas. Eventually, they will move elsewhere. No need for cruel or illegal vigilanteism.

  18. Sadly, this is the new normal I have experienced. Last week a young man stepped out into the roadway as I drove on green light. He continued to walk to get to other side of road as I was forced to come to a full stop. This was my second experience; the first being five people doing the same.

  19. Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

    When were the good old days? How about during the timber years when there was plenty of work available, those high wage high benefit jobs that everybody now wants to come to Redding? When a high school kid could go to work locally in a good paying job with out having to leave town. When timber receipts made many north state school districts flush with money and the envy of southern districts. When the rare murder was front page news for weeks. When small towns all over the north state had a productive saw mill that gave those communities a stable economy. When one could walk into the backyard without locking the front door and setting the alarm. When I could park my jeep, with the top down even at trailheads, and nobody would bother it. When the only gunfire was from the Asphalt Cowboys at Rodeo time. Those were the good old days gone forever.

  20. Avatar Boojum14 says:

    One more thing that has been changed/sanitized from the original post (in addition to the title)…now the article no longer mentions being raped as an apparently typical result of using a public restroom.

    • Good eye. I thought three references to rape was at least one too many. I removed the first one.

      Boojum14, if you think you’re doing a gotcha here, with words like “changed” and “sanitized” – you’re not. It’s not a revelation. Because we’re online, we routinely make revisions on our posts after publication.

      Sometimes, what I find acceptable when I’m copy editing something at midnight (like the first reference to the word “rape”) looks different to me at 10 a.m. When that happens, I have the prerogative to make the change for the sake of a better post.

      We also find errors after publication that we correct.

      • Avatar Boojum14 says:

        Doni, I’m not sure what I was doing there, but sorry if it did not seem too friendly. You of course can and should edit whatever you want on your site. And if you have improved the piece, then in the end that is probably a good thing.

        I think my complaints regarding the changes were borne of frustration. Frustration regarding the letter in its original form – I enjoy satire and lowbrow humor, but it felt like an unproductive and unsupported rant that cheapened the feel of anewscafe. And frustration that as text is changed without annotation, the discussion changes and becomes sort of funky moving forward – comments made prior to the changes may become less relevant or may even lose their reason for existence, and thus new folks coming to the discussion may not clearly understand what the initial discussion was really about. Just seems a little odd in the context of a discussion (letter with follow-up and back and forth from commenters) – the text is published, it is commented on, the text is changed without any mention of the changes, and yet the original comments stay (thus no longer really addressing what they once addressed). Just not used to that type of change, I suppose, though obviously it is what it is. In other areas online I am more used to seeing posts just simply being retracted by the author or specifically marked as being edited/modified.

  21. Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

    I just reread this article to see if I could be over reacting. However, what I came away with was the impression that this wasn’t intended as “satire” at all. There is too much effort to convince with statements like “I have plenty of stories to back that up”, to appear to be in possession of actual statistics (“Right now your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in this town are about 1 in a 100”), and to be in possession of insider knowledge (“My cousin is the one who ships drug addicts and parolees from Nevada to Redding…”). I believe the author intended readers to take this mass of made-up “facts” very seriously.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      There are over 700 violent crimes in Redding (population 90,000) for a violent crime rate of 0.8% — pretty dang close to the author’s claim of 1 in 100. More than 5 in 100 will be victims of property crimes.

      When an inmate is released from prison in Susanville, they are given $200 gate money and wished well (the prison does not transport them home). If the newly released inmate opts to take the short bus ride to Redding instead of the long ride all the way home, they get to pocket the rest of their gate money. This is very common, especially for drug users with no home to look forward to.

      • Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

        Tim – Below are the most recent complete crime statistics available from the RPD website. There were 655 violent crimes committed last year (which includes robbery). My math is very poor so I don’t know exactly what percentage of nearly 100,000 people that is, but I believe it’s less than 1 in 100.

        Also, according to RPD much of the area’s violent crime is domestic violence, which takes place in the home, and is not random crime on the streets.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          655 violent crimes / 92,000 population = 0.7% (7 in 1000 which still rounds to 1 in 100). NeighborhoodScout shows Redding as having 722 violent crimes, which is probably the tally from a previous year.

          Incidentally, NeighborhoodScout also says there were 713 burglaries that year, which aren’t classified as a violent crime. Personally, I think burglaries are violent: the penetration of your most private space by force – the rape of your home. I think most who have experienced that profound violation would agree with me.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Pushing parolees out the gates with $200 and expecting them to meet with their parole officers within 48 hours is dumb. I’m a little skeptical that many of them are electing to head to Redding—a place that the great majority have never been, if they’ve even heard of it.

        The “Ride Home Program,” established by the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School, gives discharged inmates a lift.

        The program was also written up in the NY Times Magazine a few years ago—it’s a good read.

  22. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    I have been following here. I’m thinking that some people are self-conscious about living in the Redding area. We are getting such bad press. I know I am feeling self-conscious. In part, I have been approached by “my friends.” wondering why I have not moved away after retirement. These “friends,” even send me links about the high crime areas (uh, Redding being one identified.) I smile, and describe the natural wonders of the area. Meanwhile, the truth is that we never did that real estate thing of “moving up.” Our house is paid for, so here we stay.

    I am fortunate. I live in Old Shasta up a shared driveway. While this has been problematic at times, my dear husband reminds me that, “heck, nobody would come up here. There could be dogs or guns!” We own neither, just a cat. Although dear husband keeps a baseball bat under the bed. Ha, ha. Seriously, he’s 70, and still knows how to swing a bat! All those years of playing and coaching have paid off.

    We moved to the Redding area in 1992. For our jobs. Previously, we lived for years in some very nice areas. Think Pacific Grove, Sonoma, and, well West Sacramento was a trip! Our last stop before the Redding area. West Sacramento was our first home purchase, and opened the door for the home we live in now. A woman whom I worked with described to me at the time in 1992, “you will find poverty in that area, but the people have a generosity of spirit.” Wow.

    Would I move if I could? If the lottery fell on my lap, I suppose so. Mostly because of the summer heat, wanting to be closer to the grandchildren, and the desire for a more divine soil for my gardening. And more enlightened doctors, although I have had some good ones. It was a local surgeon who saved my little life during an appendix operation. Gotta love it when one ‘wakes up,” and the nurse describes, that I was so lucky when “he’ was the doctor on call.

    Further, I would miss my “on-line” newspaper. That is local, and the chief in charge, Doni Chamberlain, continues to have have the guts to do what she does. And Steve Towers, who so mindfully reminds us of spelling errors. In a world gone mad, I appreciate these people.

    • Satire is exaggerated or dramatized truth on a stage, like SNL.

      It can make people feel really uncomfortable. It can also lead to meaningful discussion.

      This piece was hard to read, but it also made me laugh. What my husband and I have experienced living here in Redding (and sadly continue to experience) isn’t funny. But sometimes edgy writing like this can be thought provoking and even refreshing.

    • Linda, I hear you.

      And if you ever DO win the lottery and move away, you can take us with you. We have many readers here who are former north-state residents.

      • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

        Hello, Doni. I would definitely take the Cafe with me. I could submit satire/rant articles from a safe distance! Meanwhile, yes, it is indeed a “world wide web.” Quite often, I find myself sending ANC article links to friends beyond our immediate area.

  23. Avatar Enough says:

    I wasn’t raised here. I moved here 16 years ago. This town has changed drastically since then. I used to love how safe this town was when we moved here. I don’t feel safe anymore, not when I am shopping or running errands around town. Reading articles like this, and the comments on it, I have never found any remarks about the effects of these drug addicts and homeless on their offspring. What about the effects that their restlessness on our community? What are the stats on newborns born to them? How often are their newborns being treated for months in the NICU while withdrawing from the drug addictions inflicted on them? The choices made by these people affects all of us. Go ahead and feel sorry for them? I can’t anymore. They do their meth, their pills, their heroin. They care about no one! They will steal from all of us, while we support them? They get their phones free, their food stamps, their monthly checks, their healthcare, their countless handouts of tents, sleeping bags, coats etc. While they are constantly looking for their next fix, doing whatever they must to get it, no matter who they hurt. They go through their pregnancies often without any prenatal care, often carrying and spreading gonnorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis C. The people in this city are clueless! This is the norm here! These withdrawing babies more often than not go into the system. Do you think these addicts are on birth control, use protection, get treatment for their sexually transmitted diseases? If so, you are far too often sadly, mistaken. More often than not, these same mothers and fathers have several children, none of which are in their custody. Who do you think are paying for these abandoned children? Can you imagine having a baby and never asking or even caring to see the baby? It isn’t that surprising anymore. Where are the consequences for these individuals? How is what they do not criminal? Al, to me you are not that far off. I happen to like your van idea. If the residents of this town don’t put a stop to this, then who will? Their behaviors are criminal and loving them better won’t work!

  24. Avatar Michelle says:

    Just glad I live here and not in in a metropolitan city where there is more of that. Maybe we tend to see it more because our town is smaller and it is not just in this neighborhood or that. In any case, I’d recommend doing something out of town. Hike, walk, camp, bike, boating, fish, hunt, backpack, etc. There are lots of choices in northern California to leave you more heartened by our environment and humanity.

  25. Hey, everyone who cares, I want to alert you that I revised the headline on this letter to the editor, just to cover all bases, in a humorous way.

  26. Avatar Ol Brierbush says:

    When I was a little kid some where around 8 or 9 years (1944) old , the worst and most scary crime happening was
    a naked man was jumping out of the bushes at people. As a little kid that was pretty scary.

  27. Avatar Liz says:

    I’m surprised that some missed the blatant and WELCOME sarcasm in the above article. What a thrill to read so many of my feelings about Redding expressed by Mr. Mires. My husband and I took stock of Redding trajectories and voted with the moving van. His car was broken into 4 times. He confronted one man who threw our stolen belongings back at my husband and ran. I was accosted in the grocery checkout line by a female gang member who was way too close as I tried to pay for my groceries. I calmly asked her for more room to complete my transaction, and she hissed a threat at me. Security walked me to my car.

    We know a man attacked by a “camper” on his property in front of his family. He (the victim) was hospitalized with a serious head injury. Our home, in a nice neighborhood, was burgled in broad daylight. As I was putting my key in the door, the thief hid in our shower– muddy footprints– the telling detail– Thankfully he quickly decided to run out our backdoor instead. We had to cancel bank accounts as he took our checkbooks among other items.

    Another man knocked on our door at 10 p.m as I was ironing in our living room. He asked to come in and use the phone. I told him I would use it instead and call the police to come and “help” him. ‘Uh, no thanks’, said he as he jumped off our porch.

    At some point, Redding will have only more victims as the retired who decide to stay in Redding age out of life. It is sad that so much of Redding’s population growth comes from criminals. The young and talented will mostly give up and move away. Many people will opt out of raising their families in a town where they do NOT feel safe. How does Redding attract new business with current realities?

    Do some research on Poway, CA. It is a safe, beautiful and family- forward community. My husband and I live nearby and love our town as well. It has a significantly higher livability index than Redding and the nearby ocean provides literal and figurative “fresh air” with other amazing amenities. Bend, Oregon is gorgeous and in much better shape than Redding. Don’t be a stick in the mudflats of “Poverty Flats”……….. Why in the world should you not better your living conditions if you are at all able?

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      For many people, lateral transfers to better places is a difficult proposition. If you hitch your wagon to a place like Redding that’s relatively affordable decade after decade (i.e., it’s perennially adrift in the economic doldrums), you get left behind when it comes to your investment in your primary residence. My wife and I are counting down the years to her retirement, but buying place in Bend or Sunriver that’s anywhere near as nice as our Palo Cedro place is a pipe dream.

      We’re still kicking ourselves—after the real estate market collapsed in Great Recession of 2008, we bought a distress-sale house in Redding with cash. We’ll make close to a 100% profit when we sell it, but we could have bought a retirement place in Bend and taken twice the equity ride.

  28. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    Having been in this county nearly 65 yrs I want to remind folks that is certainly has had petty crime over the years. In the 60s, my mother had a neighborhood peeping Tom fright. In the 70s, I had my car window shimmied and camping gear and groceries stolen overnight. In the 80s my husband’s pumpkins were stolen from the garden as was my purse I forgot in the car in driveway. In the 90s both daughter’s bikes were stolen. In the 1998, dozens of homes were burned by a fire started by illegal bonfire in the woods. And on, and on.
    Not to diminish the troubles caused by today’s criminals, but I call bosh on “the good old days”.

  29. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Just to be clear, I have no problem with angry rants. I indulge in them myself. I’ve laundry-listed my problems with this essay elsewhere and won’t repeat them here, except to summarize: Redding is screwed if the majority of its citizens keep looking outward for scapegoats. Redding’s blame-game fatalism isn’t going to cut it—that victim mentality is counter-productive, and aways has been.

    Redding is redeemable—I believe that. This area has a lot going for it. But it’s not going to be rescued by entrenched, bitter, angry, self-righteous, paranoid, selfish, fatigued, sarcastic @$$holes like me and Al. It’s going to be rescued by optimistic and energetic younger people like…….nah, I’m not going to embarrass anyone by naming them. But those clear-eyed and can-do youngsters have my support.

    • I believe Redding is redeemable, too. I just hope its redemption happens in my lifetime.

      A FB friend said her son refers to the constant immersion into negative stories as “misery porn,” and he counsels her to avoid it. I get it.

      I’ve been a frequent ranter. Guilty. But I’m not going to refrain from saying anything that isn’t uplifting about the city, as if not mentioning it will draw attention from it, and the lack of attention will make the problems go away.

      I’m ready for those clear-eyed youngsters to wrestle the reins from the old-timers’ death-grip and turn this city around.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        In order to address a problem, Step 1 is to recognize the problem and articulate its nature. I’m not suggesting Pollyanna-ism—the petty crime and homelessness issues plaguing Redding these days suck out loud.

        But at some point all the negativity and blame-casting become toxic, and that toxicity is at cross-purposes to the redemptive works of others. We couldn’t get a half-cent sales tax for public safety passed because the majority of Redding’s citizens are invested in the idea that nobody in City government has good intentions.

        I just wish the old-schoolers would be less delusional. I’ve lived in the Redding area since the 90s, and the situation today is NOT worse today than it was when I arrived. Downtown was a dump. There were dive bars and Jack’s and not much else, the Cascade was an abomination, the Downtown Mall was largely abandoned, and crime rates were higher. (One of the few bright spots was a genuine independent bookstore.) The area’s most unspeakable crimes date back to the 1970s, committed by a local POS named Darrell Rich…not a parolee carpetbagger. When we arrived in town, a woman had recently been raped and murdered on the River Trail…by a local POS, not a parolee carpetbagger. Two work acquaintances of mine were murdered because they were gay…again by local PsOS, not carpetbagging parolees. Not to mention all the family members slaughtered by family members over the years in these here parts.

        I’m with Anita. Pining for this area’s “good old days” is mostly sentimental claptrap. Redding and its surrounds have improved, and we should be zealously guarding against back-sliding rather than engaging in delusional nostalgia and wallowing in despair.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          In the 1990s:
          We never locked the doors to our home
          Some of our vehicles didn’t even have doors
          Dana Drive was booming with new national chains
          Jobs were plentiful and decent paying (by local standards anyway)
          Marketfest (aka marketflesh) was popping each week downtown
          If you didn’t know someone somewhere, someone you knew certainly did. Redding felt much smaller despite a similar population…
          Our kids walked to school – in pairs – but w/o adult supervision
          Parks & Rec was well funded with fantastic summer programs
          Between that, and season passes to Waterworks, there was no need for summer daycare
          The Fire Department was fully staffed
          Police came the few times they were called
          The various government budgets were healthy
          Once caught, criminals stayed in jail
          Meth was a growing problem, but mostly localized to those involved
          Crime was otherwise on the downturn
          A bad day was when you accidentally left a VHS in the car and it melted

          Perhaps the biggest difference was that we had hope and optimism — things truly were getting better. A 100° day is much more bearable after a 110° day than after a 90° day.

          Unfortunately, that optimism grew unbridled in the early 00’s. Enthusiastic city leaders crammed 20 years worth of yuppie improvements into 5, then ran out of money just as the bubble bust. We’ve been paying for it every since…

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            The United States has been getting uglier in a multitude of ways for the past 35 years or so. The problems are not unique to Redding—but Redding seems particularly poorly equipped to deal realistically with those problems. I’ve never lived in another place where people are so completely invested in fanatical ideologies that can’t be punctured by reality. (Granted, I’ve never lived in Berkeley, but I’ve lived in several other university towns.)

  30. Avatar edward says:

    This Satire/Sarcasm/Angry Rant crime2.0 Facebook post should not be in the news section.

  31. Avatar name says:

    There are many areas in California that are much worse than Redding.

    With all due respect – nobody is forcing the guy to live here. If he hates it so much, leave…

    • Avatar Edward says:

      Seriously, the more people like this that move to Idaho the better for us (Sorry Idaho).

      • Avatar Sierra says:

        Then you’d be left with the homeless population, drug culture, ACES affected youth, inundated, unsupported foster youth, parolee’s, felons, etc. by yourself. It’s not an easy pill to swallow. I’m not saying these people are bad, but I’m saying there is a huge issue. People who’ve grown up here will tell you about a totally different Redding. I’m tired of working with youth who are raised by drug-addicted offenders that don’t care about them. We need change.

  32. Avatar Joe H says:

    “Why don’t you write your own letter to the editor about how great Redding is? I haven’t seen even one of those except from high paid public officials who are part of the problem.” ~jackalope

    OK, jack, you asked for it, you’ve got it! You can now say that you have seen one!

    Dear anewscafe editors,

    I moved here almost four years ago from Georgia and Redding rocks! The people here are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. (I know, I know, but people in the south are SO nice!) The quality of life here is excellent – the events throughout the year, the infrastructure, the beauty and did I mention the people?

    As for the social ills that exist here (and as much as you don’t want to hear it, jack, that exist pretty much everywhere else too, in VERY comparable numbers) it must be reassuring to know that Trinity County apparently has none.

    Good luck and come see us sometime!


    • Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

      Joe nice anonymous letter to the editor. When you write a real letter under your real name with examples like a lot of us have than you can act brave. Four years ago? Did you come with a Bethel caravan? In a real letter you would address why you came to Redding. I lived in the Redding area for forty years and I remember a much different Redding than what is posted on these pages by a lot of people using their real names. “This is the new norm” has been posted many times.

    • Avatar Sierra says:

      You must not be a real local. Would have to concur with the comments below. Locals are barely surviving. The economy is horrible, even the infrastructure. It’s time you open your eyes. The county statistics for violence and theft etc. are higher than the state and national average.

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:


      I share your enthusiasm for Redding and hope that Jackaloupe below will note that I am using my real name. I first saw Redding when, immediately after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, I purchased a Greyhound Ameripass—60 days of unlimited travel throughout the U.S. and Canada for $150.00 on either Greyhound or Trailways. After traveling over 20,000 and seeing hundreds of places where I would NOT wish to live, I awoke on the bus at 0800 on Apr. 3rd, 1973 and thought I’d never seen such beautiful surroundings. I filed the memory away and when the opportunity presented, moved here eagerly in 1978, and during the past 40 years, have never had a moment’s regret. My wife and I live Downtown, are active in Neighborhood Watch, Adopt-A-Block, volunteer at Haven Humane, and we know and love our neighbors in our old but cherished working-class neighborhood.

      We have just returned from my 50th reunion of the Class of ’68 in beautiful and now-prosperous southeast Tennessee, where in over 600 miles of driving around Chattanooga and north Georgia we did not see a single homeless person, no misappropriated/abandoned shopping carts, and very little roadside trash. However, the sales tax there is 9.25% and they boast that the tax on groceries was just reduced from 5% to 4%. Compare and contrast.

      Redding has problems, no doubt. But tonight’s City Council meeting again demonstrated that many in our fair city are committed to improving its safety, cleanliness, culture, opportunity, and economic prosperity. You have a great attitude and a fine sense of appreciation, Joe, and this fellow Southerner heartily welcomes you.

      • Avatar Denise O says:

        Thank you, Richard!! Exactly. Remember to note that everywhere else has “California Grown” produce for sale in their markets.

        I’m trying to move back downtown. I miss it!

    • Dear Joe H.
      We’ve never had someone publish his own letter to the editor here before, but hey, it works.
      Thank you for your submission.

      • Avatar Joe H says:

        Thanks, Doni! Apparently not being stridently anti-Redding annoys the hell out of some people! As for Jack, his mind is as closed as a steel trap and he will cotton no disagreements! Again, Good luck with that, Jack!

        • Avatar jackalope vojtecky says:

          Joe, you will have to excuse me. For two weeks, on these very pages, I have been reading about Bethel people confronting strangers and wanting to “fix” or “heal” them. Are these the nicest people You have met?
          I have been reading about the panhandlers who confront people even when they are in their car at a stoplight, demanding money? Are these the nicest people you have met?
          There have been videos of purse snatching, tip jar thefts and other crimes on these pages. Are these the nicest people you have met?
          As for your claim that is worse elsewhere, you are wrong. I am writing my own letter to the editor from elsewhere to show how wrong you are. Maybe it will be printed.

  33. Avatar Scott Reed says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with the “programs” set in place regarding parolees, homeless individuals and other not so pleasant people, however if the majority of voters continue to reelect those that decide these things then this will be the status quo. I believe that change is a slow moving train and our city and county are moving in the right direction, with flaws of course. We have an opportunity to elect a new sherrif or continue with the current, CHOICES! Start improving you street, then neighborhood and so forth. Bend over and pick up a piece of trash. Say hello to a person at the store. Al has his opinion, I respect that. I will and always have voice mine at the voting pole

  34. Avatar Judith king says:

    “He’s got the whole town talking…” About the real, big, important, unsolved problems that we all see and feel, everyday. It is like a terminal illness, and it is killing us. It was a relevant piece.

  35. Avatar Sierra says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s harsh. It’s blunt. But he is expressing what most locals feel and experience every day. Thanks for actually saying it! Maybe the the leaders, city council, etc. will take notice.

  36. Avatar christine says:

    This article is so completely acurate!!!!

  37. Avatar GSB says:

    Anyone who doesn’t see the truth in Al’s comments is blind and refuses to see. I put up with trash, needles and human waste almost daily. The last 5 years has been unreal. If you don’t agree, you are in denial. Take off your rose colored glasses. I grew up here and this town as well as society as a whole has spiriled out of control. Bad parenting is the major cause. Pay attention and love your kids. It’s crazy out there.

  38. Avatar Liz says:

    Who wouldn’t want to have this town turn around? I had lived in Redding off and on since grade school and I loved my hometown. Doni, I just re-read your “crime in Redding” column from July, 11th 2014—- it reminds me of the movie “Ground Hog Day”.

    If the tried and true mature souls have not found a way to “fix” Redding, I would hope there could be a huge meeting of the bright young folks who deserve to be supported in making the necessary changes to increase Redding’s livability. How about “reverse engineering” beautiful Bend, or Ashland Oregon? Any other suggestions out there?

  39. Avatar Beth says:

    I will tell you what happened to Redding. I saw it with my own eyes. In the late 80’s Redding was transformed and not by parolees it was transformed by everyone that moved to Redding to raise their
    family and escape the Bay Area crime It was an epidemic back then. That turned my safe home town into little Los Angles. Before that everyone knew everyone there was no such thing as an unsafe street in Shasta County. So being born and raised here I saw it happen we all predicted this would be the outcome. You didn’t move to Redding to get away from the city, you brought the city with you and all the riff raff. Now you thrash my home town after you destroyed it?? Please stop thrashing my home town. I love Redding and am proud to say I am from here. Welcome to Redding

  40. Avatar Denise O says:

    This reads like Facebook group Redding Crime 2.0, which just gets old.

    I love my town, so this type of down in the mouth description gets under my skin more than it should. Been here since the 80’s, lived in the Parkview ‘hood and street people were/are part of the scenery. They did used to be tucked into the bushes all along the river, so not as many laid about.

    My kids were literally raised walking around them, greeting them, smiling, etc. If someone – not limited to street peeps – was rude or extra disgusting for some reason, well, there’s a lesson there too.

    We all want bad people in jail, from destruction of property to home invasion. So, vote and attend local crime watch.

    Generally, I have a growing concern for this hatred of “those not like us” and a tendency to group “all of the above” as The Enemy. Please stop spreading hate.

  41. Left Redding three years ago and now live in Idaho. Miss many friends but not the CA culture. Idaho is a wonderful place to live.

  42. Avatar Michelle says:


  43. Avatar Common Sense says:

    New City of Redding Police Department Graphic shows that 37% of All Arrests made can be attributed to 404 people! Sounds like our Goal then should be space in the Jail for another 400 people and crime will be cut by almost 40%!

    >>91 People have been arrested 10 or more times in the last year!<<

    Homicide/Rape and Assaults are actually way down!

    So the short term Goal is housing in the Big House for at least 100!