20 January 2009

Change I'm Not Too Impressed With...
Since there will be SO many people covering "THE" inauguration, I'll just set the tone here with some fact. Washington D.C. (today) is every security agency's worst nightmare.
Think about it.
You already have a city which sees homicide rates in the hundreds consistently every year. You have crime abounding in our nation's capital which (per capita) rivals the "big" players.
So, what's the best you can hope for?
Sure, send ANOTHER TWO MILLION PEOPLE the hell into the city.
Hate to clean up after THAT mess!
I've been to D.C. (and surrounding areas) enough times to know that the place has changed over the decades. When I was young, my folks and I visited there a few times, and you could walk the streets in the historical district at night, never feeling the least bit insecure. Today, it's a whole other animal.
My nephew works for the DCFD and I KNOW he's going to be a lot busier this week than most.
With THAT many people in town, regular services WILL suffer.
Police calls, fire runs, EMT dispatches ALL will take longer (when seconds count). And that's not even including the scores of government workers going to their jobs, along with shopkeepers, taxi drivers, and the transit system operators and it's passengers.
Logistically, it IS a nightmare.
But America does need to be entertained, so screw conventionality.
Makes me wonder WHY over $150 MILLION is being dumped into this inauguration, even though much of the money is NOT being footed by WE, the taxpayers. So much for cutting COSTS in rough economic times, eh?
Then again, we now have a President elected more for/by symbolism than for/by policies and substance.
This already sets a "bad precedent for the new President".
Let's HOPE things CHANGE...
And speaking of "nightmares"...
Our local grocery chain, Krogers, is announcing a $75 MILLION plan to remodel it's stores, as well as open THREE new stores in the Fort Wayne area. There is only one, small problem with all of that, and apparently our "king" Tom Henry doesn't want to see it.
My fellow blogger, Leo Morris mentioned this the other day on HIS blog
(see blogroll at left - Opening Arguments).
Now forgive my naivete', but if you OPEN 3 stores while CLOSING 3 stores...where EXACTLY is this city coming out AHEAD, hmm?
And guess WHICH ONE of those 3 closing stores is involved?
Yepper...the one along Decatur Road on the SOUTH EAST side of town (a half mile from a KROGERS).
That's a "spit and a slide" from our humble abode. And we do like the store's proximity to the house.
This Scotts grocery is iconic, in that it has had a HUGE "Cornucopia" (aka horn of plenty) adorning it's facade (since my wife was a child - she remembers it), but it WILL be closing on the morning of (get this) Valentine's Day. I wish I could say I didn't see it coming, but alas, I am once again correct in my assessment.
Now my wife and I have shopped there religiously since we moved into this house over TEN years ago, and I will confess that the store, although it went through a face lift just several years ago, has NEVER been the same since the store manager, Rick Bender left (he used to head up the S/E side Business Association).
Here's a link to today's story in the J/G:
Since Kroger bought out the Scotts grocery chain, we've also noticed that OUR checkout lines were poorly staffed, simple things like WHITE AMERICAN CHEESE were curiously missing from the deli case (although Albright's Meats on Calhoun St. states that THIS cheese is one of THEIR BIGGEST SELLERS), and that a feeling of "imminent demise" was in the air.
As a basis for comparison, we'd go to the Scotts grocery in Waynedale, and found that (smaller) store more accommodating (although THEY don't know how to slice meats or cheese THINLY). Wonder WHY that was?
Yeah, I could feel the pall of death hanging over the Decatur Road location for the past few years.
People like me just have a sixth sense when something like this rears it's ugly head. You KNOW the end in near.
And yet we STILL shopped there.
Some of you local readers might recall a slogan from a few years back: SOUTH SIDE PRIDE. It's that slogan that kept the K-Mart across from Southtown Mall viable when other stores closed around the city. Couldn't say as much for the Target store we lost.
This just another case of THIS part of town being ignored, shunned, and otherwise left to it's "own devices"...and that's simply not a good idea.
Not down HERE, anyway.
In the nearly 12 years I've lived here, the S/E part of Fort Wayne has LOST well over FIFTY "major" stores, a MALL along with other sundry shopping venues, with ONLY the addition of a Wal-Mart and Menards (that the former mayor, "King" Richard allowed to be built simply to appease the peasantry). We've also lost our share of eateries, and by the looks of things...we're not through yet.
I can see what little we have left folding.
Where the f$ck are councilmen Pape and Hines anyway? Shouldn't THEY be lobbying to KEEP this store OPEN?
Guess they REALLY DON'T CARE about THEIR DISTRICTS after all...OR the people in them.
If there is an "up" side to this, it's that (more sooner than later now) we'll have NO MORE places left TO close. We won't have to worry about the SOUTH side having a "bad rep"...Hell, we won't have ANY "rep" at all!
Not very promising, is it?
But it's not like many of the "people" down here can appreciate that, right? They're much too busy scoring dope, drinking themselves into a stupor, beating on one another, robbing businesses as well as people, and shooting up the whole damn place. And much of this can be attributed to a lack of personal responsibility, not being held accountable, a sincere disrespect for ANY type of authority, and a plain old lazy-ass mentality. It's NOT about poverty, folks.
So, we're NOT going to be seeing any DOCTORS or LAWYERS moving into the area with all THAT $hit going on, are we?
Same can be said for any LAW-ENFORCEMENT personnel.
Hell, they'd be the FIRST ones targeted by the "locals". That's why WE don't see ANY of the FWPD's take home cars in OUR area...
Still, when it comes to closing stores, the FIRST place people ALWAYS seem to look at is the S/E part of town.
I suppose there are some that feel that "those animals don't DESERVE to have nice things". Maybe so.
Still, I hate to have to deny ANYONE the chance to shop somewhere.
It's like I keep saying about this part of town...You've got to get involved to make any kind of "change" happen, and around here, you've got to do it en masse, otherwise nothing gets done. The local politicians know this, and yet THEY do little if anything to help bring about this change.
Same goes for the populace.
They're too busy entertaining themselves with whatever is at hand.
Sure be nice if these people would put down the remotes, the guns, park the damn boomcars, turn down the damn loud music, pull their damn pants the f$ck up, straighten their ballcaps and get to work making THEIR neighborhoods BETTER for EVERYONE.
Now THAT would be CHANGE I CAN believe in.
HOPE does spring eternal...and, well, at least the PRICE is right, and thank God the government hasn't found a way to TAX it...yet.


Phil Marx said...

I was always amazed that they kept both of those stores (Scott's on Decatur Rd & Kroger @ Southgate) open.) To me, it doesn't really matter which they close. And I am still amazed that they closed their State & Clinton store.

It seems amazing to me that from Coliseum Blvd on the north to Pettit Ave on the south, there is a huge area without any grocery store.

Bob G. said...

That's one damn odd thing I noticed about Fort Wayne...
This city LOVES to have rather vast areas of little or no "REAL" retail coverage, while other locales (like anywhere up NORTH) are crammed together like stoop-shouldered sardines.

OUR Scotts had a lot less CRIME than the KROGERS at Southgate, and that was the main reason we don't shop THERE.

See you in Waynedale???

Phil Marx said...

You make an excellent point about our failure to diversify our resouces. It's almost as if we want "good" parts of town and "bad" parts of town. I remember several years ago when they were first talking of building the Wizards Stadium. At the time, I thought their location was wrong.

First of all, that area of town did not need another attraction, and I doubt if adding the stadium there did anything to boost the area. Yet the stadium itself was a potentially big attraction that could have been used to draw people wherever it was placed.

I remeber during this time, the city was always lamenting about the plight of the Southtown mall. I thought a good ide would be to put the stadium in that area to give it a leg to stand on.

Bob G. said...

Any city is ONLY as good as it's WORST area...

And we have basically NO

We have NO legs to stand on down here any longer, thanks to the city "leaders" who have allowed the over-development up NORTH (and now out WEST).

We get tossed an obligatory "bone" (one new store) every 7-10 years, and we're supposed to go all Pavlovian on the administration for "allowing" it to be so.

Sorry...not jumping through ANY city hoops, here.

The obvious result for the current venue is gridlock in those overdeveloped locations, while we (down south) wallow in boarded up stores, vacant houses, and crime up the ass.
Nice "balance", right?

The Ft. Wayne retail situation is more TOP-HEAVY than Dolly Parton!
(it's ALL up north, if you get my drift)