Jim Bach, the owner of the Orcada hotel had heart surgery. He doesn’t have adequate insurance, and because of it can look forward to probably a lifetime of debt.
I was saddened when his hotel caught fire. Jim provided a community service by providing people in our community with low cost housing. He took care of his tenants and helped carry them when they were short of money.
Not everyone was happy about these people being in Old Town St. Helens. Several people tried to encourage Jim to sell so that they could acquire his property.
Then an electrical short started a small fire in the roof of his building. Firemen cut holes through the roof into the hotel attic. Smoke and water saturated Orcada walls.
Jim and his tenants were told that his hotel was no longer fit for human habitation.
Shortly after the fire, people were packing up their belongings and wondering where they would sleep that evening.
A man moaned “I just paid my rent and now I don’t have any money for anything else.”
A young couple with a baby sobbed. “We don’t have any money, and I don’t have any place to go.”
Jim Bach’s wife noticed Skip Baker, St. Helens City Planner, was standing outside with a big smile on his face.
She asked him “What are you smiling about?”
His smile got bigger and he replied: “You are all homeless now.”
“What?” she said.
“You’re homeless now.” repeated the smiling man.
So much for care, concern or compassion….
I wonder if Skip belongs to a church?
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