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Trailer Park

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.
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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
August 5, 2008 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
Saying there needs to be "an endgame" to the ongoing problems surrounding Duroville, a federal judge set a trial date Monday that could determine whether the sprawling trailer park in Thermal remains open. Judge Stephen Larson, who has handled the case since October 2007, expressed frustration with the bickering and lack of communication among the lawyers and park managers involved.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2008 | Jenny Jarvie, Times Staff Writer
Curtis Westbrook cut a lonely figure as he sat outside his trailer this week, chain-smoking as workmen hauled another empty trailer away. He had already loaded all of his belongings -- a television and some dishes and clothes -- into his white Jeep Cherokee. But he was not sure how far the old Jeep would make it. With the motor mounts broken, he had rigged the engine on wooden sticks. In any case, he was not sure where to go.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2008 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
After months of deliberation, a federal judge ruled Monday that the Duroville mobile home park could stay open if it made 20 critical changes, including hiring contractors to upgrade its decrepit water, sewage and electrical systems. "The government has made the request to shut the park down, but this court declines to shut down the park," said U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson. Larson said his conditions were reasonable and that he could choose to close the park if they weren't met.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 28, 2008 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
Here in the sprawling, forlorn trailer park called Duroville, hope is as fleeting as the wind and fragile as a butterfly. It can arise suddenly, only to be crushed beneath the daily cares and fears of a people isolated by geography, language and discrimination. For Leobardo Jimenez, hope came with the recent birth of a son, a boy he prays can live a different life, one unbound from endless toil for a meager salary and a stark horizon of grapevines, lemons and desert.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A powerful storm, including a possible tornado, swept through a trailer park in the northwest part of the state, injuring two women, authorities said. The storm tore the roofs off trailers, downed trees and flipped one mobile home onto its side, said Siggie Silve, the patrol chief for the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2008 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
A federal judge in Riverside said Monday that he was prepared to close a sprawling trailer park in Thermal within two weeks unless its owner presented a detailed plan to repair water, electricity and building code violations at the property that is home to 6,000 tenants. "If I get the feeling that this is not going to happen, I'm going to close the place down. I'll send out federal marshals, and that will be it," said U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2007 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
Flanked by federal marshals toting assault rifles and pepper-ball guns, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson wandered the muddy roads of Duroville on Thursday as inspectors pointed out dangerous electrical connections, cramped conditions and leaking propane tanks inside the troubled mobile home park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2007 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
Harvey Duro emerged from his office and headed toward Harvey Lane, a road he named after himself. Stopping at a picnic table in the shade, Duro, 60, lit a cigarette and surveyed the sprawling desert shantytown before him. There it stood: row upon row of densely packed trailers, restaurants, a grocery store, a self-service laundry, used-car lots and even a church. A fierce sun beat down on the stark, dun-colored kingdom.
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