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Occupation Winterizes

by Thomas MacMillan | Jan 5, 2012 4:45 pm

(56) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Occupy Wall Street

Thomas MacMillan Photo As temperatures dip below 15 degrees at night, New Haven’s occupiers have two new tools to shield themselves against Old Man Winter: a geodesic igloo and a solar-powered air heater.

Add those to an outdoor movie screen and a tent compound that’s equipped with a working doorbell and porch light, and Occupy New Haven is enjoying a surprising number of modern conveniences as it moves into the coldest part of winter.

Ten days away from the occupation’s three-month anniversary, cold winds and frigid air have not stopped people from camping out on the Green in an ongoing gesture of protest.

Occupy New Haven is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, the national movement that mobilized this fall to fight income inequality and corporate greed. While police in New York are preventing the original occupiers from camping out near the New York stock exchange in Zuccotti Park, protesters in New Haven continue to work with the city to occupy the Green.

On Tuesday night, as the temperature in New Haven plunged to its lowest level in what has so far been a mild winter, Kevin Swingle (at left in top photo) and three or four other occupiers piled into a new geodesic dome made from triangles of Dow Super TUFF-R rigid foam insulation.

“It was nice,” said 22-year-old Swingle of his stay in the dome. He said he and his igloo-mates had a small propane heater inside, which kept things nice and cozy until it conked out early Wednesday morning.

Rob Smuts, the city’s chief administrative officers, said the use of propane heaters at Occupy New Haven is a concern both in terms of fire safety and carbon monoxide poisoning if they are used indoors. He said the fire department would be looking into their use at the encampment on the Green. Smuts said the city does not have ground rules with the occupiers on what sorts of structures they are allowed to erect, but that such rules will likely need to be discussed.

According to occupier Josh Heltke (pictured), the dome is the work of a guy named JP, a refugee from Occupy Hartford, which was dismantled last month.

The igloo-like structure is held together mainly with electrical tape. The base is made of two-by-fours and plywood atop wooden pallets. Gaps are sealed with spray-foam insulation and a PVC pipe chimney vent rises from the center of the dome.

The dwelling is the latest addition to a variety of shelters occupiers are using to beat the cold. Several tent compounds have formed, comprising several small tents grouped together under tarps. Elsewhere, single tents are covered with multiple layers of tarps to trap heat.

Occupiers have named the tents and compounds according to a kind of United Nations theme. In addition to the United Tents of Super Amurrica, there’s Russia, Ottawa, Hawaii, Dublin, and Wonderland.

Ottawa is equipped with a full-size wooden door, complete with a door bell and a solar-powered lamp (pictured). The door features a politely-worded sign requesting that visitors ask before entering, mounted above a more antagonistic message, directed at someone named “Lahey.”

Heltke, a 27-year-old electrician, said neither the door nor the igloo are permanent structures. “The whole thing can be taken down in a matter of minutes,” he said.

Next to the large food tent, Heltke has been helping to build a solar heater. The apparatus (pictured), built from a plan on the internet, comprises a series of plastic roof-gutter pipes painted matte black. The tubes—behind plexiglass—are stuffed with aluminum cans that have been pulled apart, to create a “baffling system” that slows the flow of air through the unit, Heltke said.

When it’s completed, a solar-powered fan at the bottom of the panel will pump air—heated by the sun shining on the black pipes—up through the unit, where a tube will send the warmth into the food tent.

Heltke said he hopes to have the unit finished by the weekend.

On another side of the food tent, occupiers have erected a white panel to use as a movie screen with the digital projector they sometimes borrow from a Yale law student. A nearby table Wednesday afternoon held a tangle of audio equipment, including a CD Walkman and two small amps. Heltke was broadcasting a Jon Stewart audiobook as he raked up bits of trash in the center of camp.

The set-up is powered by a small gas generator, which Heltke said he’d like to swap out for a diesel one.

He said he and other members of the security team made rounds of the tents Tuesday night to make sure everyone was warm. They found a total of 20 to 25 people camping out, and helped some people move to warmer spots in the camp.

Inside the new Occupy igloo, meanwhile, Swingle and his roommates were nice and toasty.

Previous coverage of Occupy New Haven and Occupy Wall Street:

“Occupy Garlic” Crop Going In
Next Move: Occupy Foreclosed Homes?
Bulldozed Elsewhere, Occupy NH Marks 2 Months
3 Arrested At Occupy New Haven
Occupation Rejects “Victory” Declaration
New Haven Occupiers Clash With NYC Cops
Who’s In & Who’s Out At The Occupation?
“I Knew It—He’s A Scumbag”
“Occu-Pies” Arrive
Occupation Weather(ize)s Its 1st Storm
Clergy Bless The Occupiers
Occupiers Eye Clock Factory
In New Haven, “Occupiers” Embrace The Cops
Midnight Drug Warning Sparks Soul-Searching
Emergency Session Poses Democracy Test
The Password (The Password) ... Is (Is) ...
1,000 Launch New Haven’s “Occupation”
Klein: Occupation Needs To Confront Power
Whoops! Movement Loses $100K
New Haven’s “Occupation” Takes Shape
Occupy Branford: Wall Street Edition
Anti-Bankers’ Dilemma: How To Process $$
Labor, Occupiers March To Same Beat
Protests’ Demand: A “World We Want To See”
Protesters To Occupy Green Starting Oct. 15
Wall Street Occupiers Page Verizon
New Haven Exports “Free”-dom To Occupiers

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posted by: Curious on January 5, 2012  5:22pm

Is this even legal?

When you look att he zoning map for New Haven, the Green is clearly a park.  I am no lawyer, but I think this borders on residential use.

http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=19969

http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/CityPlan/pdfs/Regulations/Zoning_Fullsize_Map_Index.pdf

posted by: Walt on January 5, 2012  5:27pm

——And the old, stuffy,  “Proprietors of the Common Grounds”  allow such signs for the edification of our kids on the Green and other actions which would have been tossed out in the old days.

No guts!

The former Proprietors   must be turning over in their graves

posted by: Curious on January 5, 2012  5:37pm

Also, how does this not violate the rules that govern the New Haven Green as a National Historic Landmark?

posted by: anon on January 5, 2012  5:41pm

At what point does the occupation become permanent, i.e., occupiers are able to use “Homesteading laws” to claim the land as their own? 

In most countries, if you live in one place for a year and are not removed by any authorities, the owners of that land forfeit ownership.

In the case of the Green, camping out for a year could be an easy way to make millions of dollars -

posted by: Westvillelocal on January 5, 2012  5:42pm

Tents are one thing but his is getting out of control!!!!

Now they are being allowed to build structures with no permits taken out for construction and admittedly heated with a propane heater indoors against city code (*all fuel-burning heating systems require a permit and inspection from the Building Department.)

The city needs to go in there and start with the inspections from every dept. that any restaurant of home would get.

posted by: cedarhillresident on January 5, 2012  5:50pm

good think to know just in case 2012 is right

http://greenterrafirma.com/solar-air-heating.html

posted by: Pedro Soto on January 5, 2012  5:53pm

I agree with a lot of the sentiments reflected here. At some point, more and more permanent unregulated structures have the potential to damage both the occupants and the green itself. Are they planning on being there for years?

I am surprised that the Proprietors of the Green have remained silent on this.

anon, CT, I think you need 15 years of continuous habitation to take title of a place.

posted by: Westvillelocal on January 5, 2012  6:25pm

From an article i found -  * article referenced below * - “I am informed the city and police have been mostly helpful. There have been a few problems, but the occupation has a permit to be on the Green. The permit is technically indefinite. It was supposed to be for someone else but was modified and given to the occupation instead. They are on the upper part of the Green and not the lower. The difference between the two is the lower probably gets more foot traffic. They were not allowed to set up on the lower Green. The only issue that has occurred was when a fire marshal took the occupation’s kerosene heater.”

Could the NHI please FOI this permit?

*-  http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2011/11/30/occupy-new-haven-on-land-owned-by-an-aristocratic-body/

Occupy New Haven: On Land Owned by an Aristocratic Body
By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday November 30, 2011 -*

posted by: NH'er on January 5, 2012  6:29pm

I know the NHI is in love with this ‘movement’, but be real, go around the area at night, there are only about 7 people staying there, that were not homeless before hand!! Be honest in your reporting!!

posted by: AlexisC on January 5, 2012  6:40pm

I support the movement and its mission wholeheartedly, but this seems to have gotten out of hand now.  As has been said, the Green is a land-marked space, and it seems from the photos that damage to the turf has already been done (and not just because it’s winter now.)  Zuccotti park is concrete/stone and could at least be hosed down.  The Green was named one of our nation’s great public spaces, and it’s been torn up to look like a horseshoe pit with a shantytown on top of it.  After they’ve occupied the Green, I’d like to see the occupiers help put down the grass seed in the spring on our (public, land-marked) lawn.

posted by: DMV on January 5, 2012  7:41pm

I’m not 100% into this movement. I think it has strengths and challenges (like any other movement). But AlexisC you’re worried about seeding grass? Really? Building community and talking about our disorganized and misorganized society is at hand and you’re thinking about seeding grass.

posted by: SteveOnAvon on January 5, 2012  8:09pm

What’s amazing (and amusing) to me (as always) is to read the outrage expressed by those leaving comments on the article. The expressions of OUTRAGE! and frustration that might be more productively directed at other entities are somewhat humorously being (mis)directed at a relatively harmless group of people on the green. Ever think that might be a big part of the occupiers’ point? 

How much did Yale pay in taxes last year for the land they occupy in New Haven? How about AT&T, Chase, or BofA?

I gotta say, the geodesic igloo & solar-powered heating are pretty cool…

posted by: patricia Kane on January 5, 2012  9:21pm

The comments re: zoning and other diversions miss the mark completely.
These people are enduring hardships daily to force the rest of us to think about the complete breakdown of American society and the huge imbalance between the 1/10 of 1% and the rest of us.
They are a daily reminder that this society is broken. The haves are running things and the have nots are trying to survive as best they can.
As we used to say in the 60s, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
Wake up!

posted by: Che Buffett on January 5, 2012  9:47pm

“The former Proprietors   must be turning over in their graves” which ironically are probably underneath the green.
agreed, Alexis. I would have a modicum of respect for them if they at least took the responsibility of fixing some of the problems they’ve created, even though I doubt they’re going to be willing to repay the +$65,000 budget deficit they’ve chalked up for the city’s tax payers.
I’m downtown everyday and still can’t help but notice them not doing much besides building more structures for less people and never really protesting anything ever. This would be a great, GREAT social experiment/true democracy/post-2012-apocalypse fantasy camp scenario if it were being conducted ANYWHERE but the green, like, say, a half acre of private land that wouldn’t require dumpsters, toilets, and police supervision at my and your expense. It completely FAILS as a true democracy social experiment because at its core it relies on the crutch of our regular ol’ fake democracy and its permits, protection, and waste management.

posted by: robn on January 5, 2012  10:06pm

Doesn’t seem so much a protest but more a demonstration of freedom. Seems appropriate for the proprietors to let it go on. The grass will grow back.

posted by: Anymouse on January 5, 2012  10:19pm

Any person doing a show (Arts and Ideas, Jazz in the Park etc.) gets screamed at if they drive off the sidewalk, but these [...] are allowed to turn the upper green into this filthy mess?  Move down near city hall for a few months so the grass can recover!  Whats next, coal fired stoves?

Sick.

posted by: occupytheclassrom on January 5, 2012  10:53pm

The demonstration of the combination of Yankee ingenuity and protest is remarkable. These people are changing the dialogue in America. They have occupied your minds, your space, your digital world.

Just like we used to say, “The only way Americans learn geography is when we go to war.” More and more people have learned more and more about the New Haven Green just from this occupation.

posted by: Billy on January 5, 2012  10:54pm

What happened to the foreclosure issue…Occupy people and their supporters taking over foreclosures as people have done successfully in New York and elsewhere?  There’s no mention of that on the Occupy New Haven website.  There was some good momentum started at the pro-labor, ant-violence march last month.  Why has that momentum been allowed to fizzle?  It’s similar to the initial march to kick off Occupy New Haven in October…100s attended, few stayed, and many of those are not involved any more.  The encampment is fine, but it doesn’t generate or sustain any momentum.  Some direct action to help distressed homeowners and to actually challenge the giant banks that got us all into this mess WOULD get that momentum going again.  It would also get a real discussion going, about more important things than permits and the lawn on the green.

posted by: Dean Moriarty (the 4th) on January 6, 2012  1:13am

“These people are changing the dialogue in America. They have occupied your minds, your space, your digital world.”

Really? Changing the dialogue in America? I’ve no doubt you are a sincere soul, but I think maybe instead of “mic check” it’s time for a reality check. Playing Boy Scouts in the park while the police protect you and New Haven taxpayers (through no choice of their own mostly) pay for your city services, is not changing a thing in America.  As for occupying my mind and space, well, a mosquito does that too, and we usually don’t give them much thought either.  Occupying our digital world?  Last time I bothered to look, any clown (or cute cat) can do that on YouTube. 
Methinks you’re maybe giving yourselves a bit too much importance and credit?

posted by: streever on January 6, 2012  6:53am

I’m totally with SteveOnAvon and Robn on this one.

Relax, folks! Woodstock didn’t degrade our society, I don’t think OWS will either.

Direct your outrage at the privileged and in-power who are running the nation into a ditch.

posted by: Mike on January 6, 2012  8:58am

I’m really psyched that some of the youth have brought back protest from the dead and are starting to organize themselves a bit but I think this is bad news for them. Putting up structures other than tarps and tents is going too far and will almost certainly lead to them getting the boot off the green.

On another note I build solar air collectors as a hobby and while it will keep a bedroom at 70+ degrees on a sunny winter day it wont do anything at night when it matters. Warm sleeping bags, proper jackets and plenty of physical activity is the only way to keep warm while winter camping.

posted by: Curious on January 6, 2012  9:09am

Che Buffett and Dean Moriarty,

Congrats, you nailed it.

posted by: the1king on January 6, 2012  10:30am

This is a disgrace.  Enough is Enough.  First the safety.  When somebody gets burnt up with this propane or somebody doesn’t wake up with the fumes.  But more important.  The city is a disgrace with this.  Why are we wasting our money on a few people.  Kick these squatters out.  For the squatters F—- Lahay.  real good education.  No other words you could figure out to preach your message. Kids are around and this is what message you send.  What is wrong with this city and insane mayor.  The board of alderman needs to kick them out the fire marshal needs to kick them out enough is enough   money is being wasted on a few people   This is what the new haven independent should be reporting not 25 peoples wasting of 100,000 the people of new haven that want them out.  Ask the people of New Haven if they want them here and let them know how much money they are costing the city.  The squatters are costing the 99% money they are not helping.  I think everybody should email the mayor about this

posted by: TD on January 6, 2012  11:09am

The tents are a small part of the larger Occupy Movement. Occupiers are reaching out into the community, educating and offering help.  Most people don’t see this and media doesn’t report it.
People see the tents and judge. The tents (to me) are the same sort of protest as a sit-in, walk-out or hunger strike. Visibility is important!

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 6, 2012  1:21pm

I had an interesting talk with one of the occupiers the other day.

I was informed that the encampment has been having problems with homeless people. 

“Occupy New Haven is not an outreach program”, it was further elucidated.

Maybe ONH should reclassify “the homeless” as “the tent-less” to avoid further rhetorical confusion regarding the Modern Day Class Struggle.

File under:  “Rhetorical Confusion in the Modern Day Class Struggle”.

posted by: the1king on January 6, 2012  1:44pm

td,

We don’t want the squatters education or help.  maybe you can tell the squatters not to educate by cursing.  Yes all we do see is tents. Its a disgrace.  I do have a suggestion though to the squatters.  A hunger strike is not a bad idea.  A better idea is we don’t need to pay 100,000 dollars for you squatters to educate us with your insane views.

posted by: Gern Blansten on January 6, 2012  2:00pm

What a bunch of ... ... why not put that effort into finding a job, or starting a company?

posted by: the1king on January 6, 2012  2:56pm

It shows what kind of people the squatters are Occuppy new haven is not an outreach program.  But yet they say how they are helping people.  The homeless are not part of the 99%.  Strange I guess if you don’t fit their profile then you can’t be in their “camp”  They are really showing their true colors. ...

posted by: Disgusted with mess on January 6, 2012  3:01pm

I have an idea:  Why doesn’t the city make the occupiers pay a fee such as a camp site fee for port-a-potties, dumpsters and garbage removal, police protection and the inevitable grass re-seeding.  That way us poor tax payers will not have to pay for their mess.  Also, the fees might encourage them to move on.  Can’t help but think the green occupation is a disaster waiting to happen and am completely amazed propane heaters are allowed.

posted by: Lahey on January 6, 2012  3:06pm

Right back at ya!

posted by: nancy on January 6, 2012  3:18pm

Several years ago, a small platform (approx. 3’ x 3’) was erected at Ideat Village by one of the performance artists, as part of his piece. Within a couple of hours, the City building official arrived with a directive to remove the “structure” because it required a building permit.

Just sayin’...

posted by: Westvillelocal on January 6, 2012  3:36pm

I don’t understand how these squatters are allowed to openly violate city ordinance set forth by just about every dept and the city just sits on the sideline.

Illegal structures
Unregulated food service.
Blocking the sidewalks
and i’m sure the list could be added to…

I don’t want these people to represent, speak, fight for, or whatever they think they are doing. Stop costing the city unnecessary expense, Using up little city money there is not “stickin it to the man”

posted by: th1king on January 6, 2012  3:37pm

It seems like many tax payers have concerns about this situation.  Maybe the new haven independent should ask these questions to the city and mayor. And not take soft ball answers like they have the right to be there.  I understand that this paper supports those 25 people but the city does not and wants them out.  So many different issues are being brought up.  of all the comments I haven’t seen to much support with them.  Wake up Destefano are the squatters putting money on your city issued debit card.

posted by: Curious on January 6, 2012  3:41pm

There’s a clear bias in the way the Occupiers are allowed to use the Green, and the way others are allowed to use it.

They also don’t have to follow any of New Haven’s various ordinances and regulations.  First they are serving food to groups of people with no health inspection (with a woman with bronchitis washing their dishes), and now they’re erecting structures and using heaters without inspection. 

If I recall correctly, a number of these tents are erected on top of wooden pallets which are stuffed with straw, and then covered with a tarpaulin.  That is pretty much a fire hazard if ever there was one.

What does the city gain politically or economically from this disregard for the laws?  Why the special treatment?

posted by: Curious on January 6, 2012  3:51pm

As much as I dislike the Occupation camp, I do love a good geodesic dome.

The dome guy should make a solar bulb or two.

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zMAWztZ6TI

posted by: the1king on January 6, 2012  4:52pm

I urge people to call and complain to the city and email the mayor .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  I know he won’t respond ... but lets complain.
these squatters need to go

posted by: pat on January 6, 2012  5:02pm

Your time would be better spent protesting the 33 deaths in New Haven in 2011 or the bonuses given to select City employees, or the continued drop out rate in our schools or the outsourcing of city jobs or the failure of Yale to pay its fair share to the City or the lack of good mass transit or the high rate of property taxation…

The system doesn’t work for the 99% any more.
Upward mobility is dead.
Our kids come out of college and become indentured servants working off their loans to get the education to get the non-existent jobs to improve their lives.
One sickness and you can lose everything - except if you’re a Congress person or one of the 1%.
The middle class is disappearing.

But some of you’d rather focus on some people trying to bear witness to the fact that our democracy has been co=opted by the corporations who own both parties.

It’s a choice.

posted by: Walt on January 6, 2012  5:38pm

Many year ago when the Chamber of Commerce erected its annual Santa and his reindeer exhibit which ” flew”  80 feet across the Green,  orders were issued to remove the   3x6x6 b0x which contained all the electric connections and meters which lit the exhibit because one of the Proprietors did not like its looks.


(In truth, it was kind of ugly and I had a new one built which kept every one happy)

Now these interlopers build whatever they want on the Green and are apparently exempt from all health, fire and building regs and ignore the Proprietors.  It’s the Mayor and the Proprietors’  fault as I see it.

A shame!!

posted by: Curious on January 6, 2012  6:20pm

The mayor knows what is going on.  Don’t bother emailing him.

Email the National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Landmark program instead.  They will care about a several-dozen strong tent city being erected on a historic place, and hopefully look into it.

Director:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Info:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

posted by: Daniel Boardman on January 6, 2012  6:39pm

This issue should be addressed by the Alderman for the Downtown New Haven residents. Then it must be acted upon by the Board of Aldermen via a request to the Proprietors and the Mayors office.
If our Government cannot act for the citizenry at its most basic level, then I do not believe they will be able to represent themselves as leaders.
It is quite obvious how the majority of people feel about the issue.
Let’s see our elected representatives take some action.

posted by: Proud New Havener on January 6, 2012  9:34pm

To “the1king” and “Daniel Boardman”,

Contrary to what you think, it is not ‘obvious’ what the citizens of this city think about Occupy New Haven. Almost everyone I have spoken to is either for it or does not have a strong opinion about it. Very few people express the type of frustration that you are venting. The mayor and the proprietors are in the mainstream by not actively working to end it.

The approach you are suggesting, that the the mayor clear out Occupy New Haven because you think it’s breaking the rules, is also wrongheaded. Engaging in that type of aggressive policing, unless there is an overriding public safety concern, does much more harm than good. All across the country we have seen how badly a SWAT-based police department polices a city. Look at Los Angeles in the 1960s and look at our own city in the 1980s for good examples.

That type of policing is policing of the worst kind.

What the mayor is doing is the right thing. It is true to the principles of community policing. You may think it is too softhearted and indulgent, but that may say more about you and your tolerances than about its effectiveness.

posted by: lkulmann on January 7, 2012  1:22am

When Occupy Wall Street started in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg just simply said… people have the right to protest and we’ll accomodate them…my guess is Mayor Destafano has bigger issues to deal with than stop harmless protesters..  What I think I really hear complaining people saying is…when are The Occupiers going to get something done or make some changes…I think they are just getting ‘warmed up’.. I support them and encourage them. My hope is they focus on CT government issues of inconsistency and unfairness…the D SNAP Fraud is a perfect example. CT residents want the law to be upheld and it should be. And I would bet this sort of thing goes on in every State. If TheOccupiers latch on to State government corruption, there’s a better chance that our tax money will get back to our communities so we could start our own businesses Then we can just boycott the big Wal-Marts…right now we can’t afford too..these big corporations don’t bother me as much as State and Federal corruption.

posted by: Dean Moriarty (the 4th) on January 7, 2012  2:14am

Wow…I’m surprised to hear that some think this “movement” is just getting “warmed up”.  It’s warmed over, as in done. People trying to lead their lives, pay their taxes, contribute to the community, hold on to their jobs or their retirement income and still pay their bills find this squatter encampment inconsequential to their lives.  Their lives and struggles go on, without your proffered “education”.  While your campers play hackey sack and ultimate frisbee the rest of us deal with the real life issues of keeping their families whole and healthy. A large portion of New Haven doesn’t like the idea that you are denigrating a part of New Haven’s history.  You wont see all of them in postings here because they’re too busy making a living and surviving. 

I’ve read the.pdf of your GA.  I’m sorry, I really don’t know how to put it any other way, but you people are really full of yourself.  How pompous of you to think it’s your duty to “educate” me, or anyone else. Or that you could.

And when the lawyers who support you leave the Green, do you think they go home to a tent?

posted by: workingstiff on January 7, 2012  12:17pm

I drive by the OWS camp all the time and I rarely see anyone. I never see any lights on at night in the tents so I’ve come to the conclusion that people aren’t really living out there they just have their tents there and they go home. Honestly how do you hold down a job when you are squatting with OWS all day? [...]

posted by: N. Robinson on January 7, 2012  9:21pm

This business of blaming the occupiers for their supposed costs is growing tiresome. As far as I can tell, there are three major costs: port-a-potties, police, and rubbish collection. The port-a-potties cost can be immediately discounted, as port-a-potties are not there solely for the occupation. They exist elsewhere on the green, and had been on the green before the occupiers arrived. Next, whinging about the cost of policing the encampment, and suggesting it be charged to the Occupiers rests on a pretty screwy idea of how cities should pay for services. We do not charge residents based on the amount of police protection they as individuals require. You do not get a bill for the percentage of city police services you use, and with good reason. Furthermore, the absurd extra policing costs reported on in the Independent a few weeks back, which occurred during the first weeks of the occupation, are the fault of police incompetence, not the occupiers. If the police incorrectly think I am a safety risk, and spend thousands of city dollars monitoring me, only to discover that they wildly overestimated my need for policing, should I be charged the cost of their miscalculation? The same policy should apply to garbage collection. We pay in based on our ability, we use based on our need. I’m not fond of the money I pay to collect the garbage of and give police protection to some of the commenters here, but thankfully we don’t withhold basic services to anyone based on their popularity!

And (though it’s probably too obvious to bother with) just briefly to respond to “workingstiff’s” oblivious supposition that the darkness of the camp at night signals a lack of inhabitants: no open flames and no electricity makes for a poorly-lit campsite! I assure you that the occupiers (and, yes, they’re very much there!) would much prefer dazzling bright lights.

posted by: Stoppayingforthesepeople on January 8, 2012  3:37am

@ N. Robinson

“I’m not fond of the money I pay to collect the garbage of and give police protection to some of the commenters here”

WOW! Your comment is so not 99%ish! which commenters are you suggesting not receive city services even though they also pay taxes towards them?

Assuming you live in New Haven, you already have trash pick up at home which is already accounted for in taxes. Now you decide to set up another “residence” on the green, which now requires you to have additional unaccounted services for trash and other waste. The reported $1600.00/month the city spends for your new dumpster/other services is a drain on the city coffers and keeps funding from the needs of the city. Actually holding back the “99%” you claim to be fighting for.

posted by: N. Robinson on January 8, 2012  1:05pm

To “stoppayingforthesepeople”: What you say might be true, if I did indeed have two residences, and had doubled the amount of garbage I use daily so that I can take advantage of trash-collection in two places. But I don’t, most of the occupiers don’t, and even those that do still have homes are still producing the same (or, more likely, far far far less) rubbish, thus burdening the city precisely the same as they otherwise would have (or, as I say, more likely burdening it far less, by living on the bare resources needed to survive.)

Also, please adjust your sarcasm detector, which seems not to have picked up on my point that it is ludicrous to determine whether to pick up someone’s garbage based on how much you agree with them politically. I was showing how terrifying it would be if I were allowed to let my distaste for your viewpoint affect whether you received garbage. And it would be, wouldn’t it? Thankfully, I don’t have a say in garbage-pick up! And neither should you!

Next, note: I’m not an Occupier. Actually, I’m part of the 1 percent! I don’t speak for them. Occupy-opponents here seem to think that everyone who sympathizes with Occupy must live on the green, and that 100% of New Haven residents are opposed to the Occupation. That’s a baseless presumption. You do not speak for the city’s residents. Some of us love the Occupation.

posted by: Stoppayingforthesepeople on January 8, 2012  2:42pm

It not about how much garbage you are producing or not producing. The extra money payed out each month for the dumpster is an added expense that the city is forced to absorb at well over 1000.00/month. The truck still drives by your (not singling you out personally) home and those guys still get payed whether you have garbage or not. My point is as “99%ers” would the group rather see that money going back into helping the community in some for that might help the people that ONH says that are fighting for? This city has far biggie issues that the money could be spent on rather then rubbish removal for the Jamboree.

posted by: Curious on January 8, 2012  8:28pm

The igloo/dome is made of COMBUSTIBLE foam.

“TUFF-R™ Commercial and Super TUFF-R™ Commercial insulation products are combustible; protect from high heat sources. Local building codes may require a protective or thermal barrier.

CAUTION: This product is combustible and shall only be used as specified by the local building code with respect to flame spread classification and to the use of a suitable thermal barrier.”

http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_0881/0901b8038088191b.pdf?filepath=styrofoam/pdfs/noreg/179-04004.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc

So again, why do the Occupiers get immunity from regulations?  Why isn’t that camp being inspected by the health department and other safety agencies on a regular basis?

When someone’s shelter goes up in a blaze, there will be hell to pay.  The city will be held liable and sued, and they will lose because they kowtowed to these Occupy folks.  Millions of taxpayer dollars will be paid out, and someone could lose their life.

posted by: publius on January 9, 2012  11:45am

Darn those fat-cats at Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) for producing high quality foam insulation at an affordable price!

posted by: JohnHubinger on January 9, 2012  5:30pm

“Fuck Off Lahey” is a reference to “Trailer Park Boys,” a Canadian sitcom. Jim Lahey is the show’s antagonist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Trailer_Park_Boys_characters#Jim_Lahey

posted by: the1king on January 9, 2012  7:11pm

To john hubinger

Still the f Lahey reference is not a good use of words in a public space.  If you want to show freedom of speech teach our children the correct way to protest.  I understand this language is out there but learning that trying to prove your point that you don’t have to use that language is a better way.  This is just another reason why many people have no respect for these squatters.  Since they can put all these signs up can I put up a sign there that says “f the squatters”  or will they tear it down.  can’t have it one way and not the other right.

posted by: westvillelocal on January 9, 2012  10:01pm

They would probably tear down your sign and use it for tent insulation.

posted by: lkulmann on January 10, 2012  12:52am

The Occupiers are here because there is instability in the economy and they are concerns about work, home, marraige, children, benefits, college all which seem next to impossible. They are trying to be heard and are doing a terrific job at that. They are standing together worldwide in a very civilized manner. Haven’t you ever wanted to just scream about something that was so unfairly decided but noone listens to just 1 person. There is power in numbers! Right now I can just scream about the unfair decisions made with D SNAP assistance paid out to people making 6 figures. At Occupy you can easily form a group and protest this unfairness and favoritism in our CT government that we ultimately pay for in tax increases…these are the injustices that Occupy stands for “bad politics”. Don’t sweat the small stuff please… get out there and begin the conversations that need to be begun…if these guys are buiding igloos, they can handle grass seed in the spring…you can stay home and complain or come on out and just compare notes. You might be surprised at how much we all have in common:)

posted by: Curious on January 10, 2012  6:54am

Lkulmann, I think we all had a lot of hopes for the Occupy movement, but the New Haven branch is more about camping out and feeling superior than getting in anyone’s face about creating change in society.  I guarantee that you will never see one of them standing on the sidewalk with a sign about D-SNAP.  They don’t do that kind of activism.  They are visible through their presence, not their deeds.

posted by: the1king on January 10, 2012  10:25am

to ikumlammdnjdjjdjd,

your comments about the d snap program is true to, but not only did 100,000 + incomes abuse the program but people who did not qualify abused the program.  It is my understanding that if you lost power you could get it.  But many people who did not lose power abused the program.  This is also a big problem.  Be fair with your comments about the abuse of the d-snap program.

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