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Indybay Feature
Saint Helena : Napa Valley Concerns
by Cynthia Vargas
St. Helena is a city in Napa County, located in the Wine Country of California. St.Helena is a popular tourist destination that inevitably alters the livelihood of the rest of its population in order to maintain the standards of these tourists.
The City of St. Helena, the center of the heart of the Napa Valley has served as a rural agricultural center over various year. It became an important business center for the wine industry and as a result of that, the city’s scenic qualities are the root of receiving many visitors a year. St. Helena strives to embrace and maintain its beautiful environment, small town character and high quality of life while forgetting about the well-being of the population that is hidden from the St. Helena’s lifestyle.

The City’s demographics are easy to identify upon your first visit, demonstrating an evidently greater White population than of the Hispanic, Black or Asian population living there. The East side of St. Helena is recognized as the “poorer”, low-income side. This side of St. Helena is known for having patrolling cops, bad roads, theft, and noisy environments.

Having the only two low-income apartments in the city segregated into one side, demonstrates the vision St. Helena attempts to portray to their visitors. A vision that does not include all populations of their city. A City as well funded and established as St. Helena needs to focus their attention on fixing the horrible conditions of their roads on every side of the town, especially the East side. As well as enforce tactical patrolling techniques for the police department in order to ensure the crime rates on the East side of town are focused on rather than focusing on the population that resides there.
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by B Dugan
I have been around St. Helena my whole life and it has always been the haves and have
not. God help you if you find yourself homeless here. Google how many black families are here. Hardly none if any. But we got wine.
by Aaron Barak
One thing is for sure, the roads are bad. However its not just the east side. Roads on the west side are equally as horrible (go down grayson sometime, west side road--worst, by far, in town). Just one example of the bias the author exhibits in her screed. The idea that white people dominate the town is often talked about in progressive circles in town yet my two daughters classes in primary and elementary hard half hispanic and the high school demographics are 50 percent white, 45% hispanic. The issues in St. Helena are not race nor east side bias--you cant just say "asian & african americans, move here, here and there". Real life doesnt work that way. You have to have a job, you have to WANT to live there the same as you. Rather than everything begin about a city and town conspiracy to keep the east side dilapidated and segregated, its really about socioeconomics--those with the money, live in the most desirable areas. And we are asian/jewish family thank you for speaking for us.
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