07 January 2007

What Did I Miss...

and Where Are We Going??

In Saturday's edition of the Journal-Gazette, there was a REALLY disturbing article about how the MLK Montessori school was moving to another location. Now that wasn't "new" news, as I heard they were getting better "digs", but the REASON CITED in the paper was extremely bothersome to me (as it would be to ANY normal taxpayer)... They said they were moving to MAKE ROOM FOR THE HARRISON SQUARE PROJECT (aka "COSTAPLENTY FIELD"). Now will someone PUH-LEASE tell me when this whole "white mastodon" became a signed, sealed and delivered (I'm Yours) DONE DEAL???

I heard, as well as read that it was a PRO-PO-SAL...that to ME says it's in a PLANNING STAGE (I did study architectural drafting for several years in a former lifetime and DO know the difference). I didn't see ANYTHING "set in stone". Moses hasn't come down from the mountain with THE LAW (as of today)....yet.

So who is lying their collective asses off to whom? Where did all this WOOL come from that is suddenly covering my eyes?

Yeah...the city is GOING AHEAD and buying up ALL the properties in the area "ear-marked" for COSTAPLENTY FIELD....like they're going to break freaking ground NEXT damn week. I didn't see ONE SINGLE THING about ANY public hearings, taking this to the people, or anything else related to what "WE" think or have to say on the matter. So where does the city (and the county) suddenly become SO frigging PRESUMPTUOUS as to ASSUME we're ALL fine, dandy, and OK with having this monstrosity placed where a majority of the people don't want it, or feel it's not even needed in the first place? And get this...the city has met with the new owners of the Wizards as well (I guess to tell them we're pushing this through, screw the taxpayers).

We haven't even gotten to a fixed amount for the FWCS's "Dr. Evil $500 million taxpayer hostage" deal, and yet the city is shoving this down our pieholes and up our alimentary canals. Man, I was wondering WHY my hemorhoids were acting up. Now I know.

Oh yes, there definitely ARE drugs coming into Fort Wayne...and I KNOW who's getting dibs of the "good shit" first! I would LOVE to know what the hell these people are smoking, and also WHERE they can find a PLACE to smoke it (with the "ban" almost everywhere)???

Every poll you see taken regarding this stadium complex ends up with the SAME consensus....the vast majority of the people DON'T WANT IT......they just DO NOT SEE the reason for doing as other cities do, playing "Keeping up with the Joneses", when we have a LOT more immediate problems, concerns, and issues to address, that will most likely wind up on a LOT of "back burners". We haven't seen ANY "other" plans for downtown Fort Wayne...probably because the city "despots" have shelved any ideas that run COUNTER to this stadium complex. They don't want anything to run contrary to THEIR "master plan"...and we know every single one of them (downtown) HAS an agenda, none with OUR names on it (as in helping the citizens).

There is ALREADY a Botanical Garden, art museum, Lincoln museum, Grand Wayne Center ($$$ tied up with that "moving"), as well as the NEWLY RENOVATED library. This new complex will ADD several HUNDRED hotel rooms...hell, they can't even FILL the ones currently available. Maybe it's the drug dealing, prostitution and other illegal activity IN those hotels that keeps people away...'ya think? I guess the city would much rather lose whatever quaint facade they still mainatin for what "everyone else" is doing to THEIR downtown.....failing miserably for decades to come...all at OUR (increasing) expense. Sorry, not gonna buy into this fiasco...not UNTIL I see some progress in MY part of town...BIG progress...and quickly!

And part of that revitalization would be to start putting MORE DECENT PEOPLE in houses avaliable on the SOUTH SIDE of town...the realtors should STOP selling people away from this area. THAT'S the main reason we find ourselves in the state we currently "enjoy"(?) with crime, noise and all the other fun things we have to endure.

Every year, thanks to outsourcing, closures, mergers, and layoffs, we lose more and more TAX-PAYING people on the city's "honor roll", and what do we wind up with in its place? We get welfare families (of the 5th generation by now), drug dealers, hookers, criminals, and illegal aliens. Sounds like a fantastic basis for another Detroit...doesn't it? The burden of MORE taxation is resting on a LOT FEWER shoulders these days (..."kinda 'splains all that annexation crap...don't it?"). The city has to suck in MORE square miles of area to counter the lack of a viable tax base. And you, my friends in Aboite (and possibly as far out as Woodburn, Leo, Grabill, and Harlan within a few years) are "footing the bill" (or soon will be), as it were.

Just goes to show what can happen when we "miss a memo" (or two)...or even turn our heads away from these pompous fools for ONE DAMN SECOND.

It's not a pretty picture, but then again, who among them is THAT photogenic?

05 January 2007

Now Here's a Really BAD Idea........

OK, so by now, you already know I'm not "that much" into the political realm, but there was one story that I haven't seen around the blogosphere that I think might warrant our close attention in the not too distant future. It concerns the Gubernatorial elections next year. It seems that BART PETERSON "might" well be tossing his hat into the arena, giving Mitch someone to go up against. (And they ARE poitical enemies). This does NOT bode well with this blogger, and the rest of you should be saying likewise. Bart is the current "emperor" of Indianapolis, and I use the quotes because as far as most mayors go, he's pretty damn far removed from what the office entails (imho).

Most recently, with the city/county merger of the LEOS (law-enforcement officers), a HUGE rift has opened between them and "hizzoner". Seems the police have been WITHOUT a working contract since 2004! And there appears to be NO settlement for their contract in sight. Add to the mix the fact that there are about FOUR TIMES the number of "boots on the ground" (approx. 1600 officers) than we have in Fort Wayne, there was the SECOND HIGHEST number of HOMICIDES in the history of Indy! They are short of officers, and resources - only TWO "wagons" (prisoner transports) in the city, and the "beats" (we call them sectors here) are either short-staffed or not staffed at all times! The merger plan was thrown together in haste (as many admit), and nothing is being done to rectify the growing debacle. Morale is quickly becoming a thing of the past within the department.

And this is the SAME MAYOR that pushed that new COLTS stadium through to the tune of quite a lot of MILLIONS of dollars (when the old stadium was perfectly useable and not in disrepair).

Gee...is some of this starting to sound just a TAD "familiar"?

Now we see that he doesn't just want to screw up the capital of the state....he wants to screw up the WHOLE state. Well,like my Dad used to say: "If you're going to do something...do it to the BEST of your abilities". That isn't (exactly) what my Dad really meant by the statement, but the irony still remains.

We can plainly see that Bart Peterson EXCELS in what he seems to do best, namely toss caution to the wind, bilk the taxpayers of Indy, and never give a rat's ass in the process. Doesn't quite sound like anyone I'd want to vote for as our next "Guv"...does it? He may not have created the fiscal disaster that Indy finds inself mired in, but he's sure as hell not doing much (if anything at all) to turn it around. He'd much rather build that new Colts stadium....and erect some useless "Circle Gateway Truss" monument (and I thought a "truss" was like a girdle...used to hold in that burdgeoning stomach)....another "Irony-alert" here?

There are also allegations of corruption with his office as well as the Sheriff's department. He privatrized the city's water system in 2002 (corruption). Oh, did I mention he's a Democrat?

*** Quote from the Indy Star: ((Mayor Bart Peterson will present the financial challenges facing the city when he discusses his legislative agenda at a lunch with Democratic state lawmakers today.Peterson said his objective is to point out for lawmakers the numbers behind the city's expansion of the criminal justice system, an ongoing deficit in public safety spending and a long-term, $800-million liability in police and fire pensions. The mayor said he will present his agenda to the public next week. A blue-ribbon panel of community leaders on Tuesday will present its months-long study of how to pay for improvements in crime prevention. The county added prosecutors, defenders and courts in the last six months in order to speed up the court process and end early releases from crowded jails."We're committed to creating a criminal justice system that is the right size for our county," Peterson said. "We've taken the steps, and now we have to pay for them."Peterson said he wants to present his agenda in the context of the panel's report. Potential solutions include tax or fee increases and requesting state assistance to pay for state-run child welfare and justice programs."There's a mismatch between our revenues and expenditures," the Democratic mayor said. "We need a long-term solution so we're not having to figure out how to come up with our last dime or cut services every year."Another focus area of the mayor in 2007 will be downtown development, including finalizing a hotel deal near the convention center and finding a new development for the former Market Square Arena. He said he will also look to bolster neighborhoods through a tax-based development program and hopes to make progress with regional rapid transit plans.His primary focus, however, will be crime and how to pay for better public safety.))

Now I might not be getting all my "memos", but isn't that what they ALL say? And don't "we", the taxpaying public wind up with Vaseline smeared all over our arses (if we're that lucky, that is)?
Let's just hope this guy doesn't run for Governor....we've got enough damage control with Mitch right now outsourcing the state to foreign entities. And we don't even KNOW the impact to all of us yet (and probably won't know for some time). The LAST thing we'll need is some guy with "Blankcheckitis" compounded by Cranial-Rectal Inversion, whatever party he's with.

This is one case where Fort Wayne doesn't have to "Keep up with the Joneses", right?

In fact, WE have a chance to SURPASS Indy in MANY more ways...all we have to do is WANT it bad enough, and not cave in to "flights of fancy", however nice the "airport".
THIS Is What I'm Talking About...

The man, dubbed the "Subway Superman" in NYC, 50 year old Wesley Autrey has received a nice "thank you" for his heroic efforts Tuesday, when he saw a man (Cameron Hollopeter) stumble and fall onto the subway tracks. Without regard for his own life, and with a train fast approaching, Mr. Autrey jumped down and grabbed the stunned man, rolling them both into a grimy narrow trough between the tracks just as a train was nearing their station. The train screeched to a stop over them, missing both men by mere inches.

Mr. Autrey, a construction worker and a USN Vietnam veteran, shouted to the people on the platform as the train rolled to a stop: "Tell my two daugters I'm OK...we're both OK". Apparently, Mr. Hollopeter had suffered two seizures and wound up with only minor scrapes and bruises. Mr. Autrey was unharmed, but he did confess that "My blue hat got dirty". The mayor of NYC awarded Mr. Autrey with the Bronze Medallion - the highest award a citizen of the city can receive. Mr. Autrey was also given a check for $5000 from the N.Y. Film Academy that Cameron Hollopeter, age 20 attends, as well as scholarships for his two daughters, (ages 4 and 6) when they are old enough

I watched Mr. Autrey on David Letterman last night, and he's around my age. That alone said to me he was brought up in the "old school" manner. He saw a situation, made a decision and saved a life. And he did it selflessly the other day by his actions. To put it plainly...other people have VALUE.
(THAT is EXACTLY the kind of people we need around MY neighborhood!)

"I don't feel like I did anything spectacular...I just saw someone who needed help...and I did what I felt was right", stated Mr. Autrey. He was at his job later that night as well.

The world sorely needs MORE people like Wesley Autrey.

A ROLE MODEL? Sure as hell looks like one to me!

A HERO? Damn straight!

Now THAT is "fifteen minutes" (of fame) that is worth EVERY SECOND!

04 January 2007

Some "Sound" Advice...

According to our Chinese calendar, it IS the year of the PIG (and how appropriate is THAT in parts of Fort Wayne?), but it's also the year of the LOUD-ASS, believe it or not.

Just take a few minutes and think about ALL the unwanted sounds we're exposed to DAILY, that we need NOT be. Whether it's from train horns, gas-powered lawnmowers, car alarms, boomcars, aircraft, or street repair crews, we cannot seem to escape it. We have become one freaking LOUD society. We can't go anywhere without hearing SOME person's convo on a cellphone, right? I don't want to know what the hell your business is, so shut the phone off, shut your mouth and get on with LIFE, OK? And how many times have you seen the "ghetto doorbell" in action (honking constantly to get someone at a house to come the hell out)? Yet sound CAN be nice...like a waterfall...or a breeze rustling through leaves on a tree, or even the purring of your cat. Hell, it's been proven to be downright therapeutic!

Conversely, sound at HIGHER decibel levels (that would be 70Db and greater) can not only be injurous, but has been PROVEN to cause a multitude of problems with the human body from high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression, to the obvious hearing losses. And the effects are cumulative...our bodies just soak this crap up like a dry sponge.

Ever been to a Ted Nugent or a Van Halen concert with-OUT ear protection? Recall that ringing in your head for like 2-3 DAYS? There you are...temporary hearing impairment. Kinda like having your head under water for 72 hours, right? Now I'm not bashing on either group...they're damn good musicians. After my first concert, I wore ear plugs (of the shooting variety), and not only did I NOT suffer any hearing loss, but I could hear ALL the music perfectly. Imagine that. Damn good concerts, too!

In today's world, we're bombarded with ALL sorts of marketing ploys (and these sales juggernauts couldn't give a damn about you...just your MONEY) designed to SELL crap to the uninitiated. By that I mean sound systems that could rattle the Rockies...for your damn CAR no less. And let's face it, anything above say, 50 WATTS in an automobile is worthless. A lot of these "boomcars" have power outputs rivaling small-town radio stations! When added to road noises such as tire hum as well as interior conversations(if you can even HAVE one under those conditions), loud music just becomes so much cacophony. The fideltiy (clarity) suffers in a confined area such as the inside of a car. Yet these boomcar "enthusiasts" (...like to introduce them to 115 grains of MY enthusiasm) don't have the vaguest idea what REAL stereo fidelity is. To them, it's all about POWER, (volume and bass), and that translates to being just plain S-T-U-P-I-D. This leads to the intimidation factor....they "rule" by being louder than anything else in the area. And there is even a sort of endorphic "high" produced by long exposure to noise of this magnitude. Again...it's all documented. I don't make this crap up.

Loud noise and loud music has been PROVEN to also be an inhibitor to educational skills in children. When placed in different classrooms (one class near a rail system and one away from it), there were marked differences between those classes. In every case, the kids NEAREST the noise did significantly worse compared to their "quieter" counterparts. Noise is a contributing factor to road rage, domestic disputes (ever see a quiet couple calmy beat the piss out of one another? Neither have I), and of course, other forms of violent behavior. (thank you BET for all that gangsta-rap). That would explain a TON of "sins" in certain communities, would it not?

Loud noise also puts public safety at risk. When a priority vehicle (fire/police/ambulance) needs to get from A to B, how often do we hear horns honking (as well as the sirens) as they attempt to negotiate traffic? People can't hear them coming, and that places too many people in a bad situation REAL fast.

Loud noise is annoying, distracting, and harmful. What can be done?

Well, those specific venues don't have such a problem. Shooting ranges REQUIRE ear protection, same with airport personnel who work outside the buildings. The structures THEMSELVES are insulated well enough to dampen most external noise. Soldiers don adequate protection when in specified areas of excessive noise (tanks, flight decks, etc.) to lessen the damage. The military (and law-enforcement agencies) are using a system called LRAD...basically a sonic WEAPON for venues like crowd control that induces nausea and loss of balance...And the best part...it's DIRECTIONAL! Of course we all know Manuel Noriega got to hear some HARD (loud) rock, courtesy of the U.S. Army back in Panama (he still hates the group Judas Priest...LOL). So you see that sound can (and will) be used with marvelous results to gain compliance.

But what does the public have to combat this urban "interpersonal" din?

We have legislation...it's not the "best" way to deal with noise, but since the EPA closed down their noise-related division back in 1979 (told 'em it was a bad idea), all we can do is write to those that can enact laws to BAN (or mute to some degree) such noise-producing devices. If the politicos can do it for smokers and seatbelts, they can sure as hell do it for noisemakers. And that includes fireworks, mufflers (or the lack thereof), sound systems, aircraft...you name it. Even the lowly weedwhackers are no longer exempt from the arm of the law (as long as people get involved).

We (as individuals) can also be RESPECTFUL (damn, there's that freaking word again) of others around us, whatever age they might be. That would mean NOT laying on our horns when pulling up to someone's house, or NOT buying fireworks that sound like 10 pounds of C-4 going off, or turning down our music a few notches (ever hear of HEADPHONES?), or even getting an ELECTRIC lawn mower or weed-whacker ( just as long as you don't have an acre or more to mow that is...LOL). In cities where STRICT noise ordinances have not only been enacted, BUT enforced, the quality of life for all has improved, markedly. With a mandate to quell the noise we have to endure every day, you will see changes for the better all around you. You can't do away with noise...BUT, you CAN make it a lot more tolerable by "turning down the volume" a bit. Kids will learn faster and better, without all these do-nothing programs that waste taxpayer money. You will see less road rage, and even a (substantial) drop in crime.

It's not a "universal panacea" for society's ills....
...just a damn good remedy for what's currently ailing us.

03 January 2007

It's MY Neighborhood As Well, Morons!

Too many times I wonder what the hell is with people today. I'm not referring to those who are probably wondering the SAME EXACT thing, but rather those who can't seem to give a rat's ass about anyTHING or anyONE. Take my neighborhood for example, or what's left of it (please). When I first moved here almost ten (long) years ago, it was a far cry from what it IS today. And there are those that contend that what it WAS those TEN years ago was a far cry from what it USED TO BE TWENTY years ago. Now if all this "time travel" seems ponderous, bear with me. What really is that different that it affects such change in the first place? The houses pretty much look the same, architecturally speaking. SO what's left to point to?.

Good, I'm glad you carefully read the opening paragraph.. You are right....it's the PEOPLE. THEY have changed, and not for the better, unfortunately. We're in a sort of "Urban Conflict", if you will. And the pictures will attest to it's viability...(LOL).

When people that keep to themselves (basically), take care of their property, and work hard to maintain a certain quality of life are labelled as "those people" (the "bad" guys that is), how can any neighborhood survive, let alone thrive? My wife and I are such people....we understand the VALUE of things (and people as well). We take care of what we have, and try our best to live by example in that regard.

And what do we see in return for this? Well, we've had a rock through our window, numerous tire tracks across our lawn, a lack of grass growing because of people taking "shortcuts" around our house, assorted bottles, cans, and half-eaten food tossed on the property. I can also add a resin lawn chair, a broken camcorder, a black porn movie sleeve, a broken cellphone and sundry cigarette packs, napkins, and a "used huggie". Now I looked over the list of city ordinances MANY times, and I have NEVER seen anything that resembles a "trash dump" or "dropoff" site located in or around MY house. It's like OUR property has become the "debris magnet" for the area. I would state (emphatically) that our area seems more like an IDIOT MAGNET than anything else, present company excluded, of course.

So...it IS about the PEOPLE. Who exactly ARE these "people", anyway? Well, they're mostly BLACK (yes, it's true Virginia...). I have eyes, therefore I can SEE that they're black, so don't try to tell me otherwise. There are a few white trashers in the mix as well. And you can place any "racial" comments where the sun never shines as well. They are, shall we say, scholastically-challenged. Whenever you hear them speak(loudly, about a hlf block away most times), you just KNOW they didn't attend PURDUE. Hell, they probably can't even SPELL Purdue! So we can state with conviction that they are probably lacking in "interpersonal" skills as well. That would account for their inate ability ot NOT hold any type of meaningful employment, as well as the seemingly endless amount of time they have to waste with narcissistic and hedonistic pleasures (that would be annoying others). Before I go further, let me sate categorically that I have a great number of friends who are people of color (they hate to be called black...tires are black they say), and even THEY would be reluctant to live near such vermin. My friends do use stronger language (lotsa $5 words from Oxfords Collegiate Edition), but suffice it to say THEY know what I am dealing with. And I would also believe that there ARE good people of color in this area, going through the SAME things we do daily. We just don't hear from them.

But these other "people" mentioned above...these "victicrats" are allowed to populate entire sections of our cities, are never held accountable, never show respect for others, never demonstrate any level of personal responsibility, civility, morality, or decency. Yep, that about covers it (nicely). They are instead allowed to move into homes with NO job, spend all day at home (or roaming the neighborhood), have tons fo friends over, play music at ear-splitting levels, and procreate their asses off so they can get MORE government handouts (at the taxpayers' expense). And we won't even get into the drug-trafficking and other illegal activities. They can't see past their next "freebie", whatever that might be.

That sound sort of familiar, folks?

Again, I find NO ordinance that says THIS sort of behavior is perfectly fine, and that it should occur with growing frequency, in order to drive MY real esate values down (even when they're assessed at HIGHER values...figure THAT one out, friends). So...if it's NOT on the "books", then it must NOT be OK...right? Well, if THEIR behavior is "bad", and mine is "good", then why are WE the ones getting the crap end of the stick here?

Simple...the city doesn't really care about this part of town (despite what you hear coming from both sides of their mouths). Every city has the same issue. They NEED a "disposable" area (and people) to essentially "write off" for even more monies from the Feds...it's plainer than the noses on our faces. Cities "need" people like the ones above (in the high density areas...have you noticed that similarity?) to feed the coffers. It's BIG business to have a certain portion of the population (as Dean Wormer would say) "Fat, Drunk and Stupid", and although it IS NOT the way to go through life, it works for those sucking money out of taxpayers' pockets quite well, thank you. THIS political mindset needs to be CHANGED...and pronto! Sadly, this mindset impacts on EVERY OTHER facet of life, be it jobs, education, crime...what have you.

Other (decent) people have to live here too, and there are even some like myself, that believe that with the right "motivation" (pertaining to the city leaders...as in lighting a damn huge BONFIRE under their arses), this part of the city can reclaim itself, and become as vital as the rest of the city. Until that happens, expect more "Tasty Pizza" scenarios (unfortunately). Besides, when the hell did the GOOD GUYS have to up and leave (instead of the BAD guys)? A hundred years ago, this would never occur. It's MY neighborhood as well, and woe to those that think they can just take from it (and me), and never give back. I'll work with anyone that feels likewise, as some city agencies already know that, and I have a good dialogue with them ( they know who they are).

This is a NEW year, and it's high time those that want their neighborhoods back start taking them back, by any means available. I would suggest to others in a like situation as myself to report ANY and ALL activity you feel is "dubious". Stand YOUR ground...hell, you're PAYING for it. I'm not condoning violence, except when it's the LAST resort. And then, escalate it to the TENTH POWER, just to wise THEM up. My dad always said the best way to break up any group of bullies is to go after the BIGGEST one, hit him hard...hit him dirty...and hit him often. Bloody HIS nose FIRST, and the rest tend to back away (quickly). Now that doesn't necessarily mean a physical confrontation. There are many other resources available...you just have to nose around for the one that fits your situation.

The technology now exists so that everyone can contact those who can do something about neighborhood concerns. And I would "electronically" stand on the neck of any and all politicians until SOMETHING gets done. There is simply NO excuse to NOT get involved (unless you ENJOY sand in your ears). This city suffers from too many "big city" problems, and unless every concerned citizen does his or her share to STOP these situations immediately, then they have no grounds to complain when things like what I deal with show up on THEIR back porch.

And rest assured...it will come, as surely as tomorrow's sunrise!

02 January 2007

2007: Time For The Sequel....Part 2

Yesterday I reported the stories the newspaper said would be noteworthy. But not every one of those stories might make the splashing headlines we're expecting. I contend we'll probably see other stories that will merit our attention.

And in keeping with the Leone spirit, it seems we have so much "cinematic fare" in the offing, there is little time to decide WHAT to view.

First off, that shooting of the Tasty Pizza employee on New Years' Eve will undoubtedly bring even more focus on the city's SOUTH side (and about high damn time). With (new) businesses at a premiuim, it disgusts me to think that certain factions of the city want nothing more than LESS businesses...and shooting employes while robbing them is a damn good way to chase a business "out of Dodge". Expect more stories about the FWPD and even more stories about businesses TRYING to stay afloat amidst the crime as well as those leaving the area.

Next, since "da Rev" (Mike Latham) was re-elected to "boss" of the local NAACP, I would "expect" to see greater strides towards building a more positive black community, especially in the wake of the killing of his nephew in 2006. That's what I'd LIKE to see. I don't think this will emerge, and there will be stories that chronicle the lack of attention to that part of our citizenry. Related stores regarding housing, daycare, and child abuse will surely follow. And anyone who suggests that more "new" programs be instituted...should BE INSTITUTED...or is that INSTITUTIONALIZED?

And while I'm speaking of child neglect and abuse, expect child molesters and sex offenders to come under HEAVY scrutiny this year. With the sheer number of offenders that have gotten under the radar in years past, it will be important to follow exactly HOW they will be found, and subsequently monitored. After all, it IS our childrens' safety we're talking about. And screw the ICLU if they think of putting their "fingers in the pie" of justice. Protect the kids first and foremost!

One story that will probably NOT surface is the FACT that the City of Fort Wayne has been covertly "planning" even MORE annexations. And we're talking as far out as HARLAN. Reliable sources have stated (to me) that the city would love to have the entire COUNTY under it's "wing". I suppose that would make ALLEN county....FORT WAYNE county then? There have already been studies conducted in those rural areas as to feasibility, availability, etc. Now the city can deny this until the cows come home, but we all KNOW about former annexations...and how they occur, even in the face of strong opposition. It will be no different here...after all, there are a lot fewer people to bitch about it out in the rural parts of the county, than in say...Aboite.

Another story that SHOULD be addressed (in depth) is the recidivism rate for those that have made it through re-entry court (which in this person's opinion does little good for whatever money is being tossed at it), and wind up BACK in OUR neighborhoods, among their "brethren" yet again (and the temptations that encompass those areas).

And I would be remiss NOT to include stories about growing criminal activity that will be lightly addressed (if at all until something "wicked this way comes"). We DO have a drug problem here...a BIG one. Same goes for Gangs, cliques, whatever the hell you want to call them. With violent crime on a FOUR PERCENT increase across the nation (and EIGHT PERCENT increases in Indianapolis alone), this bears closer examination...MUCH closer examination.

ALL of these stories NEED to be told....and as often as possible. People need to come forward and relate their problems to those willing to listen and report the facts. It's nice to read some "feel-good" stories now and then, but reality has a way of rearing it's ugly head at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons. Just ask the family of the Tasty Pizza employee. They can tell you a multitude of reasons why this did NOT have to happen. But it did, nonetheless.

My hope is to see an all-out war against the elements that seek to undermine the values of this city, whovever they might be. Only with deliberance, diligence, and courage can any of us attempt to make this city better...MUCH better than it currently is. And good reporting can lead the way...as long as it's devoid of personal agendae and political leanings.

So there we are....2007....a time of change. A change that can only be implimented by those willing to speak the TRUTH, regardless of however many people it might "bother". You can never make an omelet without breaking a few eggs!

And no one ever said life was a walk in the park, but we all know something is quite amiss when that walk in the park becomes a mugging waiting to happen.

01 January 2007

2007: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly...Part 1

In Fort Wayne at least, it looks like a year whose political plotline might be better served by some obscure Sergio Leone scripted western. I only wish we had Clint Eastwood starring as the "Man with no name", doling out "his" brand of justice...'cause we're all gonna NEED it!

On todays's JG editorial page there are TEN (count 'em 10) stories that will be in the headlines to no small degree. I think most of you know what they already are, but if you don't, I'll list them (along with my pungent social commentary and MY "solutions").

1) FWCS repair costs: First off, any agency that allows maintenance to go down the crapper to THIS degree needs to be scrutinized. Maybe if they DID AWAY with all the "freebie-handout" programs that the taxpayers are being bilked on already, FWCS would have HAD a lot of the money needed for fixing things as needed instead of taking up to ONE BILLION BUCKS from the homeowners of this city. MY solution: Let them get a LOAN....a BIG LOAN (like all of US have to do from time to time...maybe THEN they'll get the idea on FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY!

2) CostaPlenty Field (aka Harrison Square): This is easier than falling off a log....DON'T BUILD THIS WHITE MASTODON. Fort Wayne should be UNIQUE, and not trying to emulate other cities that alrady HAVE somethibng like this (and aren't really seeing a lot BACK for it). MY solution: Stop paving paradise to put up parking lots....put a world-class park downtown istead...make a place people WANT to go to and save a ton o' $$$ in the process!

3) Smoking Ban: Another no-brainer...let the BUSINESSES decide how they should enforce the ordinance. Who's going to suffer most from the ban? The BUSINESSES, that's who. My solution: Make the "ban" on a business by business basis, period.

4) Full Day Kindergarten: This is a "cop-out" for the laziest of so-called parents that have neither the desire, nor the inkling to watch THEIR OWN kids until they're of school age. My solution: If the parents don't want to be RESPONSIBLE, by all means, take the kids AWAY from them, let the "state" educate them, and then smack the parents across the face repeatedly when they piss & moan about "how" the state is bringing them up. The parents can't have it BOTH ways.

5) Property Taxes: THIS should have been in the TOP TWO (imho), as far as stories go, because THIS will make the most print, trust me! The homeowners of the city have been paying for the city (and it's foul-ups) for way too long, and it's time someone turned off the money faucet, becasue that's apparently how the city thinks money flows (from our pockets). Sorry folks, the river is about to be "dammed up" unless you find another source of "water". My solution: Find someone with the balls to LOWER property taxes and KEEP them lowered. You're not going to do away with them, but let's keep them from being the ONLY source for the 30+ city/county entities that KNOW whatever project they "desire" will be funded by the homeowners. If not...you won't see a "brain drain"...you'll see a frigginmg mass EXODUS from Ft Wayne. leaving it with no one but welfare lazy-asses...then we'll see where all that money will be coming from, won't we?

6) Petitions/referendums: This has to do with city /county "ramrods"...passing legislation that should be referred to the people for the "yay" or "nay". My solution: Put very damn thing you can on ballot questions....it's STILL called DEMOCRACY, folks!

7) Privatization : OK, the state has been auctioning off toll roads, and even the welfare system (now that was a good idea...IF it works), but does it merit continuation? My solution: ANY privatization should be well thought out FIRST, then taken to the people with ALL the good AND bad points (if any) noted. THEN...refer to #6 above!

8) City Elections: I can't say I get enthused over this, but if people want to dish dirt (remember the Steve Shine tabloid reporting over his personal life?), they are going to do it....I just say to any and all candidates... be careful! My solution: C-Y-A!!!

9) Political Preparations: This is a "non-story" as far as I'm concerned. I don't really need to know this, so it's not on "my" radar. My solution: Bury these stories and report something worthwhile (or add more cartoons)!!

10) Gambling: Legalizing "Cherry-masters" among other things as well as privatizing the lottery system. MY solution: People will always gamble on anything....always have, always will. I don't really gamble (unless you consider a college-educated, middle class white family living on the SOUTHEAST side of Fort Wayne "risky business"...lol), so it's not a major thing to me. My solution: Regulate, regulate, regulate....oh, and monitor it closely too.

Also listed were government reorganization, alcohol sales (package stores vs. grovery stores), and ethanol/alternative energy.

Now I'd the first one to admit that the writer of the article has NOT placed these stories in "order of importance"...that's a no-brainer! They have even left out other stories I feel need to be told. I will include them tomorrow in part 2 of this post.

As to the alcohol sales, if the STATE wanted to make some real money, they should take a page from the PA handbook: My solution: Take alcohol out of ALL gorocery stores, have BEER distributors open up and sell beer ONLY. Wines and all other hard liquors are bought ONLY at state run stores (at comparable prices). THAT will bring home the bacon, financially speaking. Robberies of liquor stores will all but evaporate...robbery now becomes a STATE concern, and they hate when THEIR money (and product) is taken.

The alternative energy thing.....I wouldn't mind having a roof full of SOLAR panels (and geothermal heating), but the cost is up there with FWCS repairs...LOL! Methanol, ethanol, and all other derivitives...won't flow in MY car, and no one's busting down MY door to "retrofit" me gratis, so I'm basically stuck (as is every other owner of a classic or near-classic car). It IS a good idea, but I'd much rather go with hydrogen fuel cell tech (until "Mr. Fusion" comes along...LMAO)! My solution: don't build too many ethanol plants....you'll be sorry.

Government Consolidation....not going to work untill EVERY SINGLE BUG is ironed out. My solution: To approach this logically would be to have the public safety departments merge....BUT, we don't want another Indianapolis on our hands, so take the time, look at all the angles, and do your homework...a lot. That's all I can advise to those wanting to merge.

There you have it....all the problems of the city solved in less than 5 minutes reading....
Yeah...right, would it be that it WAS that easy.

'Tis the stuff that dreams are made of....stay tuned.