Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Teen Challenge approved by the Eureka City Council

I confess that this is one of the many local issues I haven't followed. But I think it's taken up about 3 council meetings. It was an appeal from the Planning Department approval.

The Times-Standard has the story. Please fill in the gaps.

I know its off topic but...

Why do so many judges behave like ill tempered spoiled children?

Most of the ones I've seen need a serious time out.
Teen Challenge is a drug rehab program...I have heard mixed reviews from a teen mom who was involved in their program. The name is a real issue as provide services for adults.
Yeah, the "Teen" thing is misleading.
I am a very close neighbor of Teen Challenge's new operation, and have had mixed feelings about it. I'd very much like to see the building fixed up - the neighborhood is marginal and with a few eyesores taken care of could easily become much more pleasant for those who live there (I'm a landlord, not a resident). The promissed improvements are a great benefit.

What I'm concerned about is that some Christians are delusional about their faith-based programs. I'm speaking as one who has listened to quite a few hours of fundamentalist radio preachers while driving in this great state, and I think I have a reasonable understanding of Christian fundamentalist mysticism.

The fact that this is an adult program called "Teen Challenge" is a warning to me that these people could be fooling themselves and us about what they are doing.

I'm also concerned that the program can't decide if it is a drug/alcohol rehab program or not. If it is it need to be licensed, which is perhaps the reason that it is presented rather as a "discipleship" program with rehab as one of the collateral effects. Discipleship programs don't need licenses, they just need God. But no license, no oversight. If funding gets scarce will they cut back on staff leaving the neighborhood with 30-50 people who have not yet completed their transition from persons with drug/alcohol problems to Christian disciples?

So from the top I've got some serious concerns about Teen Challenge. However, they've met the concerns raised with promises that got the ECC to give them the permit. Now we have to wait and see if they are a boon or a bust for the neighborhood.
as someone who followed this story from the very beggining(3-4 weeks) and who owns a property less than 300 ft from the Teen Challenge site, i can attest that religion was used in order to gain power in this case. city officials have used the excuse of religion in order to get out of ANY studies. no CEQA studies were done, no parking studies were done, no neighborhood impact studies were done. there is a city ordinance agasint rehabs within 300ft of each other. Teen Challenge is religious, so that doesnt apply. when asked, city officials repeatedly stated that religious organizations are exempt from laws and licesning due to bush's faith-based initiatives that deregulated relgious institions. Teen Challenge used aggressive propaganda techniques including having 12 pastors speak at the city council meeting(gee, think any of the council members had their pastor there?), showing movies of george bush promoting the organization, speaking hate against the neighbors in churches.......but here is what REALLY ticks me off about the whole thing................when pastors and other religious people get up in front of city council and state that "god's" laws trumps man's law, i get's law trumps god's law ALWAYS.....i dont want people favored by our government becuase they beleive in ghosts..........the fact that our city council didnt have the guts to stand agasint their pastors is just wrong and sad.......we will have to see how good of neighbors TC turns out to be.....
Also a neighbor but 6 blocks away instead of 300 feet. I am thankful I am not closer. There was never a chance that this appeal of the planning commission's initial approval would be accepted. Council Members Leonard and Endert were for the project all along as was the Mayor.

Larry Glass, the councilman for the ward, worked very hard to help the neighborhood have some say in how many people can live there to start with and also helped to create an over site committee which will make the Teen Challenge people somewhat answerable to the neighbors as well as the Council. The vote only looks lopsided because Larry voted to reject the appeal after working hard with both sides and knowing that a no vote wouldn't stop the project.

Larry pledged to the neighborhood that he would work hard until the problems of the neighborhood were solved. I for one am grateful that we finally have someone working for us on this side of town. I am hopeful of more positive changes in the near future. (Things really have improved in the past few years as property values have increased and some of the slum lords have divested themselves of their income property.) As Larry said last night after the vote, one thing we have to do is back him in the future budget sessions when he fights to get more money for law enforcement locally.
well said....
More money for law enforcement locally so that they can tie up our courts,jails,and prisons with non-violent drug offenders(even though TeenChallenge's policy of not allowing folks with a violent history is as vague as everything else they proposed).
This is how groups like TeenChallenge survive. Without insane drug laws corrupting our system and ensuring that violent offenders can never serve their full terms because of prison overpopulation.TeenChallenge then seems like a good deal as it provides for an outsourcing for the prison system.Legalize or decriminalize drug use and sales and put the money spent on the war or drugs into other more productive rehab programs which can truly help addicts looking for help,and places like this will go belly up.
Note that most of the objections to Teen Challenge here, are based on the fact it's a religious program.

Not only a religious program, but a CHRISTIAN religious program.
you are flipping NUTS, Mark...your hatred of anything religious shines on through...can i get an AMMEN?

"other more productive rehab programs "

Really, Mark, name ONE...

Just ONE more productive rehab just cant stand it that a program which has roots in something you obviously despise has a higher success rate...

Well, it went through the public process and you didnt get what you wanted...something that you are sure to see over and over again, especially as the Marina Center project goes through the approval process...
You see, it is easy to hurl out accusations of misdeeds and nefarious goings ons, but much harder to substantiate...
looks like the religious zealots in our community have again proceeded to divide people in order to get what they want. great job.....
i would assume that LICENSED drug rehabs would be considered "more productive rehab programs"........ones where the counselors actually have degrees....ones where 50 people arent packed into 2200 sf.....
"i would assume that LICENSED drug rehabs would be considered "more productive rehab programs"........ones where the counselors "

You can ASSUME all you want. I want actual evidences and statistics. I am not going to go out and on a limb and say that TC is better than anyone else, but YOU shouldnt go out on a limb and say that TC is lousier WITHOUT the facts...

It looks like Larry Glass is realizing that the road that is tje public process doenst mean that he can just shut something down...bodes well for the marina center project
I think its admirable someone is trying to spiritually educate and heal the addicts. Course, I think one has to look within to find god, not just go looking for yet another external escape mechanism.
TeehChallenge says that its not a rehab program.
Anonymous said...

you are flipping NUTS, Mark...your hatred of anything religious shines on through...can i get an AMMEN?


Don't know where I said anything relating to religion here.Correct me if I'm wrong.But maybe you are insinuating that since I dislike prison overpopulation,that I dislike anything religious.Whatever.
mresquan, how much stock do you have in the prison industrial complex. More prisoners and longer sentences means more money for shareholders.
Class? Come to attention, classs!

Now then, your assignment is to compare and contrast Teen Challenge and the organizations run by the Reverend Jim Jones (prior to the debacle at Jonestown.)

Consider especially the type of individuals attracted to each organization, the role of secrecy in building the organizations, and the role of government entities in either regulating or in giving a free hand to each organization.

Again, remember to compare AND contrast.

You may begin.
If you folks would take the time to be introspective you would see god in yourself. Problem is that many are frightened by the keeper at the gate and venture no further. They then become obsessed with booze, drugs, sex, good, yoga, and other escapist behaviors.
meant to say "food" not "good".
why should people who beleive in ghosts get special treatment? i don't get it.............
anon11:12,you may want to go to for some interesting reads. Maybe Eric will provide the link to it on his sidebar.
We're not talking about ghosts. We're talking about a group of spiritually minded people who are actually doing something about the problem other than complain.
spiritually minded people? thats fancy talk for people who beleive in ghosts.....
Nobody believes in ghosts until they see one for themselves.
so why should people who "see" ghosts get special treatment? i just dont get it......these people are either mentally unstable or they wish to "see" ghosts. either way, they seem like people who should be watched, not pampered.
"Teen" Challenge is false advertising. Most of the individuals in that so-called program are adults. Why the deception?
ALL of the people in Teen Challenge are adults(over 18 years of age), all of em....
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