Media Watchdog

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As the self-storage industry permeates our communities, it receives increasing attention from mainstream media outlets—and not always favorably. As industry professionals, we should be aware of how self-storage is presented to the public. Media Watchdog is devoted to policing and summarizing general news coverage.


Development Ousts 911-Dispatch 
Battle Creek Enquirer, 2.8.07 

Despite objections from emergency-service dispatchers and local storage businesses, the Battle Creek City, Mich., commission approved to move a 911-dispatch center to allow retail shops and a storage facility in the vacated premises. Some local self-storage business owners were upset with the city commission’s decision to grant developer Meijer Inc. a special-exemption use permit.


Bands Jam in Storage Units 
The Florida Times-Union, 1.3.07 

Dozens of rock bands find Mayport Road U-Haul’s warehouse-district location the ideal place to jam. The Atlantic Beach, Fla., storage facility is one of a few providing places for bands to rehearse. The inexpensive storage rent is far lower that studio costs of $50 an hour. The bands often line the units with carpeting and string in extension cords for amps and electric guitars. Mayport’s manager, Kenneth Wertheim, rents the bands only certain units near the back of the complex, away from his onsite apartment.


Weapons Stolen From Storage 
WJBF, 1.23.07 

Several weapons have gone missing from Wheeler Road Self Storage in Richmond, Ga. According to the sheriff’s office, nine guns and several hunting knives were stolen. Also, on the same day, guns were taken from an adjacent storage unit. Although the facility has 24-hour surveillance, sheriff officials say crimes like this are happening more often.


Meth Materials and Bomb Found in Storage 
The Modesto Bee, 2.8.07 

A pipe bomb and apparent methamphetamine production chemicals and equipment were discovered inside a storage unit at E-Z Store-It in Modesto, Calif. The unit’s contents had been sold at auction, and the new owner called police after finding what appeared to be methamphetamine-making materials and a 6-inch red plastic device with a fuse attached to its center. No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered because the site was in an industrial area, far from homes.


Mummified Baby Found in Storage 
The Denver News, 1.24.07 

A partially mummified baby was found wrapped in newspaper in a Delray Beach, Fla., self-storage unit. The 1950s-era paper holding the remains was inside a suitcase within a second suitcase. The storage unit had been rented by a couple, now deceased, in 1996. Investigators believe the baby was born as early as the 1950s, but details are unclear pending an autopsy. The body was found by the couple’s daughter, who was checking the unit after receiving notice the rent was past due.


Zoners Rehear Storage Facility Plan 
The Morning Call, 1.29.07 

The owner of a 107-year-old, former silk mill in Lehighton, Pa., is again seeking zoning approval from the East Penn Township for a self-storage facility at the site. The owner submitted plans in 2005 to build 24,000 square feet of storage units as part of a complex that also would include a 3,200-square-foot, full-service, drive-up bank and a 137-car parking deck. Last November the board made several stipulations to the plans.


Storage Plan Change Questioned 
Connecticut Post, 2.2.07 

Stratford, Conn., city officials are questioning why the owners of Stratford Storage want to change zoning approval for a four-story, 115,000-square-foot facility to be built at The Dock shopping center to a five-story building at another site. The proposed change has some commercial neighbors and zoning officials upset. The city’s zoning commission chairman and lawyers for The Dock’s owners were surprised by the switch because they believe the shopping center would have been a good location for the storage facility.


Renters Still Waiting for Answers After Fire 
TMJ4, 2.12.07 

Some renters are still waiting for information about their belongings one week after a fire damaged a Public Storage facility in Milwaukee, Wis. Customers claim Public Storage officials say they will have to wait to find the extent of the damage to their belongings. When a customer visited the facility with a TMJ4 reporter, they were told it is structurally unsafe to access the unit.


Storage Goes for Solar Power 
Novato Advance, 1.18.07 

North Bay Self Storage in Petaluma, Calif., installed a 35-kW solar electric system. The recently completed PV system provides 85 percent of the facility’s annual electrical needs for the company’s 78,000-square-foot building. It is estimated the system will pay for itself in approximately six years.


Facility Expands to Meet Community Needs 
Desert Sun, 2.16.07 

To meet customer demands, Cathedral Village Self-Storage in Cathedral City, Calif., has added air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned units, and covered and uncovered RV spaces for a new total of 1,217 storage spaces. The company will add retail space in the future on a nearby 4 acres of land.

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