Monday, July 16, 2007

DTES residents locked out of Carnegie Computer Room Monday Morning

Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty returned from a two week vacation today. Whitty left for vacation just after delivering homeless Bill Simpson a letter barring him from the Carnegie Center, putting him on the street to endure the recent heat wave. It is now common knowledge that he was barred for daring to feature "links" on his website to a blog which happens to criticize the job performance of Whitty.

Let's criticize the job performance of Whitty. Whitty had been back on the job not more than 1 1/2 hours when low income residents arriving first thing Monday morning to use computers found themselves locked out of the Computer Room on the third floor. Just meters away, Whitty was seen ducking into her office, wearing a light yellow sweater and beige slacks. At 10 a.m. and at 10:35 a.m. the Computer Room was checked by a DTES Enquirer informant. It was locked both times.

The DTES Enquirer stopped officially tracking the locking out of DTES residents from Carnegie services last winter. But people sometimes report closures anyway. On Tuesday, July 3, 2007 a Carnegie patron, J.A., who doesn't generally criticize Whitty and says he doesn't like to see people "cutting her down on a blog", was frustrated when he arrived at the computer room at around 8 p.m. and found the place locked tight. He said he's 90% certain it was Tuesday evening but there's a 10% chance it was Monday. The Computer Room is scheduled to be open until 10 p.m.

J.A. was also clearly frustrated at the July Board meeting which Whitty skipped to take her vacation. It was a raucous meeting with members wanting answers about why Bill Simpson, an elected Board member, was standing outside on the sidewalk in the heat unable to set foot in the building. It was "dammed dirty" what was done to Bill Simpson, J.A. can be heard hollering on a tape of the meeting. "Dammed dirty!"

These service closures are important to put on record since Whitty accused bloggers at a Board meeting on June 25th "defamations" in their reporting. Locked doors are bricks and mortar facts. Not defamation.

Another thing. Today in the cafeteria, there were no trays and no forks at lunch time. A couple of weeks ago, on Welfare Day, the DTES Enquirer was told by witnesses that there were no trays and one woman resorted to using a dirty tray that someone else had returned to the trolley for dirty dishes. And of course the tables were filthy, with people expected to eat on top of other people's crumbs.

The Downtown Eastside is a high disease area, so why isn't the City of Vancouver Health Department looking more closely at Whitty's shortcomings? Of I forgot, the City is busy claiming that blogging is a "Work Safe" issue. That's why they put Bill Simpson on the sidewalk where he could end up with heat stroke.