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August 24, 2017

Veteran Finds First Home In CA Shipping Container Village

By Amanda Lee Myers

Associated Press

Midway City, CA (AP) - Vernon Poling was 44 years old when he got a home of his own.

The Iraq war veteran was medically discharged from the Army in 2014, had to quit his trucking job for medical reasons, and found himself living out of his pickup last year in Orange County, a sprawling area of Southern California best known for its beaches, Disneyland and high housing costs.

Poling was homeless for seven months before he found temporary housing in the area. He then learned about Potter’s Lane, an apartment complex just for homeless veterans, with units made from recycled shipping containers. It’s believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.

On a sunny Friday in April, Poling walked into his 480-square-foot (45-square-meter) apartment for the first time, set down his backpack on his new floor and took it all in.

One of the homes in Potter’s Lane

``I have never had a place of my own,’’ Poling said. ``I got out of high school, I tried working. I was still living with the parents. I joined the Army at 23, active duty. Then I was staying with Uncle Sam in the barracks ... To finally have my own place, it feels really good.’’

Poling was the last of 15 homeless veterans to move into Potter’s Lane, a $6.7 million project paid for with federal, state and local dollars, donations and money from the nonprofit behind the project, American Family Housing, among other sources.

The apartments could easily belong to San Francisco tech workers or hipsters in Los Angeles’ trendy Arts District. Each of the 15 furnished units are made of three shipping containers pieced together and spiffed up with faux wood flooring, drywall and floor-to-ceiling windows on two of four walls. They include artwork and homemade quilts, and overlook a courtyard that includes a giant American flag, a garden, grills and picnic tables.

American Family Housing wanted to make sure the complex’s design built on the strength of America’s military, said Donna Gallup the group’s president.

``All of the units look over the courtyard so that they can watch each other’s backs and develop that community and that sense of belonging,’’ she said.

The men now living at Potter’s Lane were among 350 homeless veterans in Orange County.

The county’s homeless population is much smaller than that of neighboring Los Angeles, but it’s expanding. Orange County has about 4,800 homeless people overall - a 13 percent increase since 2013, according to Point-in-Time, a group that tracks homelessness.

Potter’s Lane is a positive step forward, but with just 15 apartments, it’s also a ``drop in the bucket’’ for the region’s homeless, said Eve Garrow, homelessness policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Orange County office.

``About 54 percent of all people experiencing homelessness in the county are literally living in the streets,’’ Garrow said. ``Meanwhile, the wait time for affordable housing is between five and 10 years when you can get on the list. So there’s a dire shortage.’’

Garrow also has concerns about the location of Potter’s Lane in a commercial area among car repair shops.

``We need to be thinking about models that integrate people who were previously homeless so they can enjoy and access all the benefits the community offers,’’ Garrow said. ``It may be politically a little easier to put these projects in more remote or industrial areas, but that may not be meeting the needs of the people who occupy those units.’’

Gallup of American Family Housing said the location helped speed the permitting process, which was key.

Potter’s Lane apartment complex for veterans

``In just about six months’ time we had an entire 15-unit project completed,’’ Gallup said. ``Normally a traditional project would take up to two years to build, and the fact that our homeless veterans are sleeping on the streets right now, I think timing is very important.’’

Megan Hustings, director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition for the Homeless, said she’s never heard of using shipping containers for permanent housing for the homeless, though there have been affordable housing projects involving tiny houses in places like Denver, Seattle and Austin.

A lack of affordable housing nationwide means more projects like Potter’s Lane are needed, Hustings said.

``We’re going to have to consider a wide variety of solutions,’’ she said. ``Everyone’s really feeling the crunch. It’s just everywhere.’’

After two months of living in his new home, Poling said he was feeling settled and had made friends, particularly with his next-door neighbor Dale Dollar, a former Marine who was homeless for 14 years.

On a recent Monday evening, Poling and Dollar sidled up to a picnic table with plates of pasta and salad, part of a weekly meal provided to Potter’s Lane residents by a local nonprofit. They laughed and bobbed their heads to upbeat oldies playing on speakers as they chowed down.

Though he appreciates the company, Poling said the best part of his new home is probably his bed.

``There’s been a couple nights that I’ve been surprised I’ve slept so long,’’ Poling said. ``It’s a load off.’’

Potter’s Lane apartment complex for veterans

Man Invents Vest To Protect High-Energy Puppers

By Tammy Ayer

Yakima Herald-Republic

Selah, WA (AP) - Cruiser the Labrador retriever is one hard-charging canine. He loves running fast and crashing into scrub to bring game back for his favorite person, Mark Meyocks.

One such crash during a 2015 hunting trip required six staples to close the puncture wound in his chest. When Meyocks asked the vet if Cruiser could head back out so they could finish their bag limit, the vet said yes, providing the dog wore a neoprene vest for protection.

But the rubbery vest, designed to protect a dog from the shock of cold water, was too hot and it rubbed Cruiser’s upper legs raw as he continued his single-minded charges into the bush.

That gave Meyocks an idea - which prompted him to buy a sewing machine, create a company and invent a protective dog vest now sold by outdoor stores from Yakima to Missoula, Montana, as well as online retailers, including Amazon Prime.

Cruiser wearing his CUGA vest

And Meyocks is in talks with a national retailer interested in selling the vests online this fall, just in time for hunting season.

The vests come in two highly visible colors - orange and pink - and four sizes to fit dogs ranging from 25 to 100 pounds.

CUGA vests, an acronym for Cruiser Upland Game Armor, offer lightweight and durable protection for a dog’s chest and back, sides and underbelly. They feature a 1000 Denier Cordura double-layered breastplate and a generous swath of fabric fastener down the back for a good fit. They’re not just for dogs working hard in fields and trails in rough country. Some dogs play hard, too.

``My vet has a real hard-charging dog. It’s not just for hunting,’’ Meyocks said.

An affable if intense dog, Cruiser is fine with relaxing nearby, but he prefers to put all his 64 pounds behind following every command with precision.

Cruiser is 51/2 years old; he was Meyocks’ 60th birthday present to himself. The two have been inseparable ever since Meyocks got him at RJ Retriever Kennels of Toppenish. And Cruiser can barely contain his excitement when Meyocks puts the vest on him.

Meyocks and wife Renee, both natives of Iowa who met in Portland, moved to Yakima from Las Vegas in 2015. An enthusiastic storyteller with a background in marketing, he has sold steel and stocks and has created and headed trust departments. Meyocks continues to work with clients nationwide on investment portfolios and appreciates his wife’s patience with his efforts to develop and perfect CUGA vests.

``She’s been very supportive of the project,’’ he said. ``I’ve learned so much.’’

In fact, Renee is the one who encouraged him in the spring of 2016 to create a company to promote and sell his products.

At that point, he had been making vests to fill orders after creating his own prototype when nothing else on the market would do.

``All I kept seeing were nondescript vests, with all these belts, buckles, snaps - junk. This won’t last a week,’’ Meyocks said. And most were made overseas.

With the guidance of the owner of RJ Retriever Kennels, whose parents were a tailor and a seamstress, and his 85-year-old mother, also a longtime sewer, Meyocks created a vest, trying different fabrics and designs. Once he settled on one model, he started making them on a Brother sewing machine amid his hunting gear in the garage. That was the winter of 2015 and spring of 2016, when he obtained a registered trademark.

Pogo with his prosthetic leg

``I was making vests like crazy for people that were buying them,’’ he said of what were mostly custom orders at that point.

But supply couldn’t keep up with demand, so he found a fabricator in Spokane, Robinson Windword Inc. With a label supplier, union printers and a contract sewing company on board, he started reaching out to hunting and outdoor supply stores.

``We had gotten an order from Runnings’’ outdoor store, which ordered 140. So Meyocks ordered about 250. ``They moved very well.’’

Meyocks manned a CUGA booth at the 2017 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, which took place on Presidents Day weekend in Minneapolis. That went well, too.

``I sold 72 vests,’’ he said. ``I stopped at Bob Ward’s (Sports & Outdoors) in Missoula and got a commitment to buy, and Pheasants Forever has 60 vests. They purchased them and embroidered the Pheasant Fest logo on the side.’’

By that point, the Pheasants Forever Yakima Chapter 311 knew all about CUGA vests. Meyocks, a longtime member, had made one for president Randy Cline’s dog Smokey, who has since passed away.

``Our dogs ... they’re jumping through brush and twigs and barb-wire fences. They’re just bred to go all out,’’ Cline said. ``They have one speed - get that bird as quick as they can.

Cline spent $500 on one vet visit for Smokey, injured out in the field before he got his CUGA vest.

The CUGA vest that Meyocks made for Smokey is still too big for young Belle, Cline’s latest dog. But it will come in handy when she grows into it.

``She’s just a retrieving machine. They’ve got tremendous energy and they just want to please their owners,’’ Cline said. ``The more protection I can give my buddies, the better.’’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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This Week In The Civil War: The Battle For Washington, DC,PBS To Air Dick Cavett Special On Watergate August 8, 9 PM, Seniors (or almost anyone) Can Increase Strength With Parkour, NC’s NAACP Seeks To Extend Extend Eugenic’s Deadline

This Week In The Civil War For June 22 And June 29, Monday, June 30, Is Deadline For NC Eugenics Victims To File, Great White Shark Population Is Surging Along East Coast, Shipwreck Hunter ‘99.9% Sure’ 17th Century Ship Found

Fulfilling Will’s Stipulations Is Bugging The Smithsonian, In The Rat Race In NYC, The Rats Appear To Be Winning, Toad Detour In Philly Helps Thousands Of Toadlets Live, Chubby Checker Asks For Hall Of Fame Induction ASAP!

Tests Confirm Donated Art Is Rembrandt Self-Portrait, Healthy Seniors In Study Seeking A Way To Block Alzheimer’s, NC’s 13th Amendment On Tour To Celebrate Juneteenth

Scientists Say Creating Embryo From Three People May Be OK, This Week In The Civil War, Staging Of The Wizard Of Oz Gives Inmates Hope & Purpose, Backyard Chickens: A Green Investment In Sourcing Food

This Week In The Civil War: Weeks of May 25 & June 1, Options For Honoring Beloved Pets When They Cross Over, Surprising DNA Test Links Kiwi To Giant Bird, 1000 Years Gone, Music Therapy Opens Windows Of Communication For Many, Woman Prowls Graveyards In Search Of Mysteries & Fun

Chicks With Picks: Climbers Find Power & Peace On The Ice, Robert E. Lee’s Former Land Is Now Arlington Nat’l Cemetery

Man Gently Works To Reverse Die-Off Of Honey Bees, Mad Men Style Drinking Cars Closing Down On Metro North, Oregon’s Gray Wolf, OR-7, May Have Found A Sweetie

Two Weeks In The Civil War: Overland Campaign & Sherman, Archaeologist Claims He’s Found King David’s Citadel, Blood Of Young Mice Helped Older Mice - Are We Next?!

Bees Are Disappearing, But Gardeners Can Help, Freed After 24 Years In Prison, Man Knows ‘God Has A Plan’, Yeah, It’s True. The Dude Has Had His Own Festival For Years

This Week In The Civil War: Fighting in Arkansas, Most Americans Still Question The Big Bang Theory, ‘What Would Abbie Think?’ Radical’s Presence Felt Today

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates Take Plymouth, Study Reveals Snacks May Help Avoid Marital Arguments, It’s Probably Just A Matter Of Time: 3D-Printed Heart

Descendants Of Civil War Battle Of New Market Sought By VMI, This Week In The Civil War: Raid On Fort Pillow, TN, 1964 World’s Fair Site Will Cost Millions To Restore

This Week In The Civil War: The Red River Campaign, 11 Ancient Burial Boxes Seized From Thieves, Music Program Puts Alzheimer’s Patients Back In Tune For A Bit

Noah, Opening Friday, Swirls Into A Strong Faith Market, Spring Time Is Puppy Time! How To Puppy-ize Your Life, This Week In The Civil War, Historically Vital Photos Of SC Slave Descendants New Home

Ethyl The Grizzly Loves Travel And Apple Orchards

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson’s Latest Is A Hit, This Week In The Civil War: Slaves Freed In Louisiana, Peerless Card Shark & Magician Richard Turner Is Totally Blind, The Debate Continues On Safety & Impact, But Vaping Is Gaining Acceptance & Growing

This Week In The Civil War: U.S. Grant Takes Charge, The Hard Part Is Digging The Hole: Backyard Pond Tips

Researchers Find Mexico’s Endangered ‘Water Monster’, This Week In The Civil War: Confederate Submarine, Bumblebees Are Getting Stung By Honeybee Sickness, New Exhibit Features Telegram From Elvis To His Parents

Hasty Dig At Camp Asylum, SC: The Developer’s Coming!, Backyard Bird Counters Reveal Snowy Owl Migration, Surgeon Who Invented Heimlich Maneuver: Remember It!

Saving The World’s Great Art: The Real Monuments Men, This Week In The Civil War: Sherman In Mississippi, Folkies Recall Opening For The Beatles At Carnegie Hall In ‘64

Hoffman’s Relapse & Death Is A Tragic, Common Outcome, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting At Morton’s Ford, VA, ‘Jar Nut’s’ Collection Of Bottles Is On Display In Spencer, NC

Monuments Men: 1,000 Years Of Culture Saved From Nazis, This Week In The Civil War: The Union Campaign, Film & Museum Reveal More Realistic View Of Bonnie & Clyde, IRS Is Working To Save Tax Payers Money Through EITC

2013 Was 4th Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA, This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26, Germans’ Longing For American West Births Documentary Play, What Do Fish Poo, Fresh Berries & School Kids Have In Common?

Making Of Lone Survivor Challenging & Controversial, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, Archaeologist Seeks WWII DNA From Pacific Graveyards, Handyman Program’s ‘Angels’ Help Keep Seniors At Home

This Week In The Civil War, Originals Of The Star-Spangled Banner & Flag To Be Displayed, Our Universe At Its Infancy: Images From Hubble Telescope, 100 Years Later, The British Still Debate WWI’s Legacy

Music Therapy Organization Helps Vets Cope With PTSD, This Week In The Civil War: Winter Furloughs, Rare 1886 Michigan Lighthouse For Sale, Concern For Elves Prompts Iceland To Halt Roadway

This Week In The Civil War, New Survey Reveals US Dads Very Involved In Child Rearing, Dolphin Center Offers Course In Marine Mammal Care

Papers Stolen During Civil War Going Home To Virginia, New Vero Beach Dig: Ice Age Humans In North American?

This Week In The Civil War: Lincoln’s Restoration Plan, Oldest DNA By 100,000 Years Throws Science Into A New Era, Bird Lovers Seek Respect For Sweet Birds: Iowa Blue Chickens

Police Still Seeking Clues To TV Star’s 1957 Murder, Scrawny Stray Cat Becomes Media Star: Pete The Cat

Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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