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ELF Burning Homes?

The corporate media is reporting arson fire in Washington and making references to ELF and Tre Arrow. I hesitate using the word "reporting" since they do not just state fact, but rather make inferences that can lead the viewer to form opinions based on nothing.
The corporate media is reporting several home in th "street of dreams" in Woodinville Washington are burning as a result of arson. They say someone left a ELF sign near one of the homes. They say ELF has not claimed responsibility. They follow that report each time with the news of "suspected eco terrorist" Tre Arrow being back and having a hearing today. They did mention the noon rally at the federal courthouse. I will use this opportunity to say I hope to see a good show of support there for brother Tre.

This is being reported on CNN 03.Mar.2008 08:41

timing

Seems to be a coincidental timing on this? Couple of things happening at this time. Have to wonder if this is a set up or was really done by someone understanding the threats the environment and planet face. Young and idealistic or is there some legitimacy to the harm this development has done? Did it trash a water shed? Are the houses made of old growth forest? I sure hope there's something there and not just a idealistic ploy or for that matter an insurance job?

And in actuality, 40% of arsons are done by fire fighters. Could you imagine homicide cops looking at there peers as possible suspects? Of course no one reports the largest arson in Colorado history was an arson by a USFS fire fighter. Don't even think she got a sentence longer than most of the current snitches in the green scare round up. Press just sensationalizes this crap.

PS...Arson as a tactic has huge blow back. It's a tool for the tool box, but in very very very very select cases. I have to question or would challenge those who think its an effective tool to be used on a whim or without lengthy thought.

Bad timing if you ask me. 03.Mar.2008 08:48

TGY

Lets hope this doesn't effect Briana's outcome. Her trail is not over and if the jury gets hold of this news it could sway their decision. Faux News has reported her trial along with the news of the fire.

Here the article in Seattle 03.Mar.2008 09:15

anon

Both Seattle dailies are carrying the articles.

 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004256586_webdreamsfire03m.html

This link includes a photo of the alleged "ELF sign" left at the scene.

housing collapse 03.Mar.2008 09:24

anon redux

One more thing:

There is just as much a financial motivation for a developer to burn unsold properties, who stands to lose out due to the housing slump as any other motivation. Better to recoup your losses from insurance money, then from a jumbo loan for buyers of 2m houses that may not materialize. Want to blame it on the ELF? Just leave a placard claiming responsibility, and the media (and insurance company) will eat it up.

Imagine an insurer having to investigate a claim to prove that it might be fraudulent, instead of caused by so called "eco-terrorists". There is financial motive for the insurer to do just that. If they don't: there's the story.

a partial answer to one of "timing"s questions 03.Mar.2008 10:01

me again

"Did it trash a water shed?"

from the seattle times  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004256586_webdreamsfire03m.html :

"The controversial development was approved by the Snohomish County Council last March after fierce opposition from neighbors who said the land was replete with critical wetlands needed to protect an aquifer used by about 20,000 people in the area.

"The luxury homes were built using septic systems with drain fields ending near these critical areas. Residents said the natural system would be overloaded by the septic arrangement. They also feared the system would further endanger chinook salmon."

Locals speculate about insurance fraud 03.Mar.2008 10:28

anon x3

Not everyone is drinking the "it was eco-terrorists" Kool-aid:

 http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/03/up_in_smoke.comment

There has been a spate of arsons lately. 03.Mar.2008 12:22

cp

Here is a posting from indybay
 http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/03/03/18483170.php

As the mortgage and credit crisis continues on a downward spiral, developers and homeowners in markets most strongly affected by the speculative housing bubble are pinched. As these desperate owners are unable to sell their properties and prices decline sharply, some are turning to the illegal option of arson in order to gain the insurance value of their house at high assessment levels. Here are a variety of recent cases around the country where owners and developers were caught burning their own property and staging it as vandalism.

The Glass-Steagal act was repealed in 1999, with support by Fed. Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, allowing banks, mortgage brokers and housing insurance companies to all join together under the same roof. This removed the previous incentive that banks and brokers had to carefully scrutinize potential borrowers for their ability to pay back a loan. Instead, brokers and banks could collude to hide and fuzz the poor qualifications of borrowers, and they would award the expensive mortgages, and then quickly resell the mortgages as bonds to third parties, allowing other investors to suffer the risk. Not surprisingly, coastal markets in California, Florida, Boston and New York, and speculative markets in Nevada and Arizona have gone crazy since these banking rules were changed.

A quick survey of news.google.com shows that arson is increasingly the answer for a variety of desperate owners who face bankruptcy. These owners can range from working class families who are way over their heads with $3000+ mortgage payments, to developers who face business bankruptcy.

A sample:  http://www.kcra.com/news/15362605/detail.html?subid=10100243
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Across the country, fire investigators are looking at some homeowners in foreclosure as potential arsonists.

In Modesto, Battalion Chief Hugo Patino looked over a charred and nearly destroyed home -- a home that was empty and is now set for auction.

"A fire in an empty house is always cause for suspicion," Patino said.

 http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=88259
Grand Rapids - Calling it "a rash and stupid" mistake, a Gaines Township woman today avoided jail time for setting fire to her home while her husband and children were inside.
Christman pleaded guilty to the September arson of her home at 6825 Deercove Drive, S.E. She said in court Monday that it was going into foreclosure, and said the fire she set was "only supposed to be a little portion of the wall." She said referring to the skyrocketing foreclosure rate. She had advice for others, "Don't do what I did."

 link to wdef.com
How desperate would you have to get to burn down your own home just to avoid foreclosure?
It's an arson trend nationwide and one North Georgia fire marshal says it's happening in his county.
Twenty-two confirmed arson cases came across Waymond Westbrook's desk last year and he knows several of them were linked to foreclosures.
The Walker County fire marshal explains, "We'll just ask the people, you know, why did you do it and they'll just tell us, well here's why."
And the why turns out to be quite simple: fear of losing it all.
"A big business or big industry closes down and all of the sudden you don't have money coming in but the home loan is still here the bills are still there and you look around and "I've got to find a way out," he says.


 http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/washington/news.aspx?id=79865
WASHINGTON - Some cash-strapped homeowners, facing financial ruin from foreclosure, are torching their homes and filing bogus insurance claims in frantic attempts to avoid eviction, causing fears that arson might become more frequent as woes continue.

"The warning signs for desperate homeowners are right on our doorstep," said James Quiggle, spokesman for the Council Against Insurance Fraud. "They're looking for any shot of quick cash to bail themselves out."

The number of self-inflicted arson cases is small, but it's surfacing in a handful of states, especially in those hardest hit by the subprime lending fiasco, like California, where suspect residential blazes have doubled in the last two years.


 http://www.wkrg.com/news/article/home_foreclosures_and_arson/10603/
Fire departments across the Gulf Coast are braching for a possible spike in homeowner arson.

"We've seen a 400 percent increase up north involving houses that are just about to be foreclosed and people are collecting insurance on it," says State Fire Investigator Chip Curreri.

Curreri spoke to members of the Lillian Volunteer Fire Department in Baldwin County this week about the potential problem. Curreri says soaring home foreclosures could spark an arson boom.

"I think it's going to get worse, we'll probably see it down here on the Gulf Coast within the next six months," he says.

Gulf Shores Fire Marshal Keith Martin is concerned.


 http://www.kmbc.com/news/15284483/detail.html
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This nation's housing crisis means there have been more than a million foreclosures and that appears to be pushing some people to try to cash in on insurance money.

Investigators in some parts of the country have said they're seeing cases of an owner deliberately setting a foreclosed home on fire in an effort to collect insurance.

KMBC's Maria Antonia reported that the Kansas City Fire Department started shining a light on the issue a while ago.
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"Well over a year ago as we saw the economy downturn. First they started looking at more cars, late models, that are burning under suspicious origin," said Kansas City Chief Fire Marshal Floyd Peoples.

40%? 03.Mar.2008 12:27

Clyde

"40% of arsons are done by fire fighters."

Do you have any evidence to back that statement up? I've never seen that figure or anything resembling it.

arson and setups and tigers and bears .... 03.Mar.2008 12:55

kaoz

It is true that many arsons are set by would-be firefighters and would-be cops. You know those guys who failed miserably at the two year community college academy, or flunked out due to health and psychological reasons. You destroy what you envy. Still, since corporate Amerikkka and the rich destroy the environment, we reap what we sow, right? lol

firefighter arson 03.Mar.2008 13:42

sources

You asked if there are statistics to back this up.

 http://www.state.sc.us/forest/lear.htm
 http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/tr-141.pdf

There's two source above. Doesn't say 40% per se, but it does look at firefighter phenomena of starting fires. There isn't hard data, but its joked about as being an ESTIMATE in certain circles of the firefighter community.

You do the research. It's commonly joked about in those assessing the matters after the fact. Its joked about in the insurance industry. Go ask one of the firefighter supervisors and see what response you get.


Unbelievable though, Free causes a tad bit of damage to a few tires on a SUV. Gets ten years. Former USFS firefighter causes largest burn in Colorado history and she gets less than nine years. Amazing sense of justice we have.

 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507EFDE1530F934A25751C1A9629C8B63

The 12-year prison sentence given to a woman who started the largest wildfire in Colorado history was excessive, a state appeals court said in sending the case back for resentencing. The woman, Terry Lynn Barton, a former Forest Service worker, pleaded guilty to arson after a fire she set to burn a letter from her estranged husband in June 2002 got out of control. The Hayman fire, as the blaze was named, blackened more than 137,000 acres southwest of Denver and destroyed about 130 homes. The State Court of Appeals said in its ruling that the trial judge had erred in stiffening Ms. Barton's sentence on the basis of aggravating factors, not proved in court, to which she did not admit in her guilty plea. Kirk Johnson (NYT)

Capay arsonist 03.Mar.2008 15:06

news

Here is a northern California firefighter who lit over 100 fires:
The man connected to over 140 fires set in the Capay Valley and Rumsey Canyon areas of Yolo County has been arrested and charged with 12 felony counts of arson to forest lands and 12 counts of using an incendiary time-delay device to set fires.

Robert Eason, a 37-year-old volunteer firefighter and resident of Guinda, Calif., was arrested Oct. 12 after an investigation by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection implicated him.

Eason was held without posting his $1.15 million bail and has since been arraigned, though details of the arraignment will not be available for several days.

According to Tina Rose, information officer for the CDF, Eason's arrest was made after months of arduous investigation into the fires, one of which burned over 1,000 acres of open space.

"It came after several months of surveillance and investigation into 143 fires," she said. "All the clues lead to this one person, so they arrested him."  link to www.californiaaggie.com

They take and give nothing in return 03.Mar.2008 19:11

Supporter of the cause

These structures were not "homes," rather,they were unfinshed,unoccupied houses.A home is where love,togetherness,compassion,harmony,purpose and a sense of well being exists.You don't find such traits on the Street of Dreams in 2 million dollar houses.People who live in such structures are too busy paying off the the finance institutions,making payments on their Hummers and SUVs,paying others to raise their kids in private schools so they can meet the demands of such an expensive and selfish lifestyle.They are not capable of turning a house into a home.VIVA ELF and ALF
Bottom-line,where is the loss?

the thing here 04.Mar.2008 20:41

morally bankrupt

>"The luxury homes were built using septic systems with drain fields ending near these critical areas. Residents said the natural system would be overloaded by the septic arrangement. They also feared the system would further endanger chinook salmon."<

That about cinches it now, doesn't it. Who would buy such a home knowing that the septic system would probably be condemned and have to entirely be rebuilt? Weee...the scent of a dead fish land developer!

Editorializing news reporting 04.Mar.2008 22:20

Bobbee Murr

Portland's Air America Radio affiliate, KPOJ 620 AM, as one example, has had local news reporters using editorial language, which has no place in straight reporting: "the notorious Tre Arrow," and "eco-terrorists," referring to those who burned houses in Woodinville. Media are attempting to convict with language, and stir up public opinion against individuals and groups. Second, those who burned the homes may be those out to collect insurance, "apolitical" pyromaniacs, or some element of federal government trying to stir up the public against ELF, as do editorializing "news" broadcasters.