I'm trying to figure out how a journalist, Marcy Burstiner, in her piece "Defending Singleton" (Media Maven, Jan. 23) could so miss the point of this important community issue. From my perspective, virtually everyone that I know (myself included) who has an opinion about Jason Singleton's methods would agree with nearly everything Ms. Burstiner said regarding the importance of the ADA to help guarantee the rights of the disabled in our community. In my opinion, Ms. Burstiner, the point is about Mr. Singleton's methods, not about the ADA. If Mr. Singleton appeared to actually be working with the targets of his lawsuits to comply with the ADA there wouldn't be an issue at all.
Now public forum is not a court of law. I have not been personally involved in any of his cases. My opinion is based upon reading our local media. But if what has been said is true about his methods, i.e., the target of the suit receiving a hand written letter with no contact information just prior to being handed a court summons, then it seems that Mr. Singleton himself has no serious interest in defending the ADA but is using it for his own personal gain. That behavior is not worth defending.
I still find it hard to believe that I'm explaining this to a journalist.
Tim Gray, Eureka
I've always enjoyed reading Marcy Burstiner's articles, but her past article about supporting Jason Singleton misses the entire point of why people are so outraged about him here in Humboldt County.
It goes without saying that we should always support ADA access and encourage businesses to comply. However, with the way the ADA law is written, it doesn't allow a business owner any time to repair or upgrade any areas that need it without being subject to legal fees being imposed by an attorney.
I've been reading a lot about the different cases that have been filed by Jason Singleton and others, many of which are minor issues that a business can correct if given the chance without having to pay attorney fees. Often, his process starts with a letter that's mostly anonymous due to poor return address information and no way to contact the concerned complainant. It's extremely shady and certainly not professional.
Even Clint Eastwood tried to get the ADA law modified with Congress so that defendants would be given a chance to fix problems before lawyers can start running the meter on fee-shift entitlements. The recommendation was simple: a bill that would require disabled people to wait yet another 90 days, requiring them to ask a business, nicely, to please make their premises accessible, before suing them under the Americans with Disabilities Act for their lack of access. Congress did nothing, so we are still dealing with these frivolous and business-killing lawsuits by Jason Singleton here in Humboldt County.
Marcy, unlike you, I do begrudge Jason Singleton for making money off local business that have been given no chance to respond to a complaint or to correct issues before being hit with his ridiculous trumped up attorney fees.
We cannot afford for this type of business killing game playing in our community.
Todd Larsen, McKinleyville