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Duroville

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2009 | David Kelly
High noon in Duroville and nothing moved but a swirl of dust and a lone American flag flapping in the scorching breeze. Wild dogs, stricken by heat and light, could barely lift their heads. Dr. Alberto Manetta squinted hard at the jumble of sagging trailers and dirt roads winding through the 40-acre patch of California desert. In the months ahead, this impoverished mobile home community of up to 4,000 mostly Latino farmworkers would serve as a laboratory for the UC Irvine medical professor and about a dozen student volunteers -- sort of a model Third World village just two hours from campus.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 | By Phil Willon
Los Angeles Times THERMAL, Calif. - Maria Mendez watched from the front stoop as her 2-year-old daughter toddled back from the ice cream truck down the street, clutching a brightly wrapped treat in her tiny fist. It was a simple, joyful moment for a young mother who rarely let her little girl out of the house just a few months ago. That's when they lived in Duroville, a ramshackle mobile home park choking with dust, the stench of busted sewer lines and noxious smoke billowing from the neighboring dump.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2009 | David Kelly
After seven years of litigation, a federal judge Thursday refused to close the Duroville mobile home park, saying it would result in a "major humanitarian crisis" for thousands of poor farmworkers with no place else to go. "To close the park under current conditions would create one of the largest forced human migrations in the history of this state," said U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2012 | By Alexandra Zavis and Jessica Garrison
Four years after a dilapidated Coachella Valley trailer park known as Duroville became a national symbol of slum housing, Riverside County officials were well into investing millions in a solution: building a new mobile home community for hundreds of the park's impoverished residents. But the plan abruptly stalled this spring when cash-hungry state officials yanked back $12.1 million in funds that local officials needed to complete the project. The action "puts in limbo the health and safety of men, women and children who had planned to leave the squalor of Duroville for a safe, clean home," complained Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, who called the state move a "travesty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2013 | By Phil Willon
Los Angeles Times THERMAL, Calif. - Maria Mendez watched from the front stoop as her 2-year-old daughter toddled back from the ice cream truck down the street, clutching a brightly wrapped treat in her tiny fist. It was a simple, joyful moment for a young mother who rarely let her little girl out of the house just a few months ago. That's when they lived in Duroville, a ramshackle mobile home park choking with dust, the stench of busted sewer lines and noxious smoke billowing from the neighboring dump.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2009 | David Kelly
A federal judge will begin hearing evidence next week to decide whether to close the notorious desert shantytown known as Duroville and displace up to 4,000 poor farmworkers. More than 20 witnesses, including tenants, social workers, federal officials and nuns, are slated to testify in the long-awaited trial, which begins Tuesday. For more than a year, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson has rebuffed demands by the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2010 | By David Kelly
Streets once filled with rotting garbage have been cleared. Most of the menacing wild dogs are gone. Shady employees peddling drugs have been let go. Fire hazards and illegal businesses have been removed. A year after a federal judge rejected government efforts to shut down the trailer park known as Duroville, this cramped warren of banged-up trailers and relentless poverty is experiencing something of a renaissance. It's still hot, ugly and crowded, but the air of despair and fear has lifted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
OASIS, Calif. - Past the new clubhouse and neat landscaping at the Mountain View Estates mobile home park, rows of dusty lots sit vacant, waiting for new units. This is to be the new home for residents of Duroville, the infamous Riverside County trailer park that houses farmworkers in conditions that until recently resembled a Third World slum. But the move to Mountain View has been thrown into question by the recent demise of California's redevelopment agencies. "It's conceivable all of this will be mothballed," Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said, glancing toward the first of 181 brand-new mobile homes that the county plans to install here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2007 | By David Kelly, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
THERMAL, Calif. -- A team of state and federal inspectors moved through the hot, narrow alleys of two large trailer parks housing thousands of migrant farmworkers Monday after receiving reports of health and safety violations inside. The parks are on the Torres Martinez reservation, which also houses Desert Mobile Home Park, known as Duroville, which is now being targeted for possible closure. The parks inspected Monday are not yet in the bad shape of Duroville, federal officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2012 | By Alexandra Zavis and Jessica Garrison
Four years after a dilapidated Coachella Valley trailer park known as Duroville became a national symbol of slum housing, Riverside County officials were well into investing millions in a solution: building a new mobile home community for hundreds of the park's impoverished residents. But the plan abruptly stalled this spring when cash-hungry state officials yanked back $12.1 million in funds that local officials needed to complete the project. The action "puts in limbo the health and safety of men, women and children who had planned to leave the squalor of Duroville for a safe, clean home," complained Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, who called the state move a "travesty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
OASIS, Calif. - Past the new clubhouse and neat landscaping at the Mountain View Estates mobile home park, rows of dusty lots sit vacant, waiting for new units. This is to be the new home for residents of Duroville, the infamous Riverside County trailer park that houses farmworkers in conditions that until recently resembled a Third World slum. But the move to Mountain View has been thrown into question by the recent demise of California's redevelopment agencies. "It's conceivable all of this will be mothballed," Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said, glancing toward the first of 181 brand-new mobile homes that the county plans to install here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2010 | By David Kelly
Streets once filled with rotting garbage have been cleared. Most of the menacing wild dogs are gone. Shady employees peddling drugs have been let go. Fire hazards and illegal businesses have been removed. A year after a federal judge rejected government efforts to shut down the trailer park known as Duroville, this cramped warren of banged-up trailers and relentless poverty is experiencing something of a renaissance. It's still hot, ugly and crowded, but the air of despair and fear has lifted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2009 | David Kelly
High noon in Duroville and nothing moved but a swirl of dust and a lone American flag flapping in the scorching breeze. Wild dogs, stricken by heat and light, could barely lift their heads. Dr. Alberto Manetta squinted hard at the jumble of sagging trailers and dirt roads winding through the 40-acre patch of California desert. In the months ahead, this impoverished mobile home community of up to 4,000 mostly Latino farmworkers would serve as a laboratory for the UC Irvine medical professor and about a dozen student volunteers -- sort of a model Third World village just two hours from campus.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2009 | David Kelly
In the tightly packed streets of Duroville, where poverty and despair are longtime residents, people awoke Friday to a rare sense of hope and possibility. The Ochoa sisters traipsed down a sun-blasted dirt road wearing wide grins and speaking in near messianic terms about a far-off federal judge who saved their homes Thursday. "We have been asking Jesus to send us an angel and this judge reached out and helped when we had no other recourse," said Catalina Ochoa, 43.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2009 | David Kelly
After seven years of litigation, a federal judge Thursday refused to close the Duroville mobile home park, saying it would result in a "major humanitarian crisis" for thousands of poor farmworkers with no place else to go. "To close the park under current conditions would create one of the largest forced human migrations in the history of this state," said U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2009 | David Kelly
Merejildo Ortiz towed his sagging 30-year-old mobile home into Duroville in 2000, when the infamous desert slum was just beginning to take shape on the Torres Martinez Reservation near the Salton Sea. The trailer park wasn't pretty. The infrastructure threadbare and shoddy, but the $430 monthly rent made it possible for Ortiz, his wife and three children to finally afford a home. Now that home is under serious threat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2009 | David Kelly
The government's case against Duroville, a vast Riverside County shantytown that is home to up to 4,000 poor farmworkers, got off to a rocky start Tuesday when the credibility of its witnesses came under attack on the first day of a trial expected to determine whether the park closes. Chandra Gehri Spencer, a lawyer for the tenants, said that Duroville began taking shape on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation in 2000 and that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did nothing to stop it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2008 | DAVID KELLY
After nearly two months of assessing and emergency repairs, three court-appointed officers have recommended that the Duroville mobile home park remain open and under federal control for three to five years. The three -- attorney Mark Adams, the provisional receiver, along with two "special masters," a former diplomat and a businessman -- filed the recommendation to U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson last week. They were not authorized to speak about it Friday. The report advises appointing a receiver to manage the park and handle its finances until it can be brought up to code and deemed safe for its roughly 4,000 residents, most of whom are farmworkers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2009 | David Kelly
The government's case against Duroville, a vast Riverside County shantytown that is home to up to 4,000 poor farmworkers, got off to a rocky start Tuesday when the credibility of its witnesses came under attack on the first day of a trial expected to determine whether the park closes. Chandra Gehri Spencer, a lawyer for the tenants, said that Duroville began taking shape on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation in 2000 and that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did nothing to stop it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2009 | David Kelly
A federal judge will begin hearing evidence next week to decide whether to close the notorious desert shantytown known as Duroville and displace up to 4,000 poor farmworkers. More than 20 witnesses, including tenants, social workers, federal officials and nuns, are slated to testify in the long-awaited trial, which begins Tuesday. For more than a year, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson has rebuffed demands by the U.S.
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