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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Closing Words

Fast away the old year passes. In a few hours we will be singing Auld Lang Syne; perhaps in this coming year we should take a few lines very seriously. Let us all take a cup of kindness. In closing, "here's a hand my trusty friend and give a hand of thine." HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Humanity in City Hall

This is a long overdue thank you. A week ago yesterday I arrived for a zoning board meeting feeling pretty crummy; when the meeting ended, I felt VERY crummy. Fellow board member, Sarah Ivory noticed I was moving slowly and said she would get the city wheelchair for me. I didn't know there was such a thing in city hall, but there is. She took off, and I took the elevator to the lobby where a pleasant young man was waiting with the chair. Ms. Ivory was arranging for an escourt. Security Officer Annette Miller came over. By this time, I felt I could walk to my car. Suddenly, a voice in the crowd called out, "No, Pat, this time you don't get your way. Get in the chair." It was council president McBride. The young man helped me into the chair and Officer Miller gave me a real nice ride to my car. I arrived home and crawled into bed. To those four, THANK YOU!! They all behaved with true humanity - something that perhaps we should all follow.

Humanity in City Hall

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Hotel!

Last week, at council, Dan Dodson spoke about the financial problems facing The Hotel. Any Trentonian with half a brain knew the place was leaking red ink; Mr. Dodson explained why it was gushing red ink. Yesterday, there was an article in the Trenton Times explaining how Mr. Dodson had no right to speak as the entire hotel board did not give him permission to do so. Some demanded he be FIRED. I am glad cooler heads prevailed; fire a man who volunteers his time? While there is an argument to be made that Mr. Dodson should not have addressed council without permission from the entire board it is also true, very true, that this group has not been forthcoming with details, information, facts, figures, etc. In fact, they were sued a few years ago by The Trenton Times to get information. Blogolanders, this hotel is something we should all stay on top of, because the City of Trenton guaranteed the bonds issued to build the hotel. Remember how the hotel was going to solve all our problems? It's turned out to be a White Elephant. I, for one, am grateful Mr. Dodson brought the financial status to the public. Good for you, Dan!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Have Company!

In the business section of this morning's NY Times was an article about people, many of them in their twenties, who are NOT on Facebook; I'm not on Facebook either. It made me feel good that others are with me. You see, Blogolanders, I admit to being self-absorbed but not to the point where I believe anyone gives diddly what I had for breakfast or who stopped in for a cup of coffee. There is a theory that those who avoid Facebook have something to hide. Considering the screams about invasions of privacy... Well, you can't have it both way. You can't spill your guts on Facebook and then bitch about invasions of privacy. Perhaps it is a dated attitude, but I still prefer face-to-face contact in real time; barring that, I like the telephone. If you can't see someone, it is nice to hear their voice. But that's me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Looking for Love All the Wrong Ways

Darren "Freedom" Green claims that the, "babies," involved in the Mill Hill Incident last Monday were looking for, among other things, love. Blogolanders, consider this. If you wanted someone to love you, wouldn't you be on your very best behavior? Wouldn't you go out of your way to do nice things? Wouldn't you be all smiles and pleasant comments? Most of us would answer, "yes." These kids may have been born into unfortunate circumstances, but so have many other people. These kids have severe emotional/mental problems. Loving them, hugging them, respecting them, and on and on and on, will not help. Maybe a mental health evaluation... Stop these budding psychopaths before they really get moving. I realize this is not the politically correct viewpoint, but I don't care. This left of center claptrap of love 'em and hug 'em hasn't helped; if anything, it's made things worse.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Coming Together

In his recent interviews with the media, Darren Green praised the residents of Mill Hill for coming together in the wake of Monday's very unpleasant incident. Yes, the residents came together, but they have always been together which is one of the reasons Mill Hill is such a nice neighborhood. Those who live there have standards; the standards enforced. This is true in all the, "nice neighborhoods," in Trenton. Standards, standards, standard, and enforcement. Any neighborhood can do this; few do. Perhaps Mr. Green should go into less desirable neighborhoods of Trenton and explain how standards can make a neighborhood, clearner, most attractive, and safer. There are kids living in Mill Hill; I have no doubt, however, if one were caught tossing decorative pumpkins around, the parents would be notified immediately. The parents would then take appropriate action and the behavior would stop! The kid would probably be sent around to apologize and replace the pumpkin. Civilized behavior is not hard, really, it's not.

Punishment = Reward

All of the kids who were involved in the Mill Hill incident last Monday, except for the kid who actually threw the brick, has been suspended from school! (Not being a lawyer, I don't know if the concept of transferred intend applies here. It probably should.) Does anyone really believe that suspension will make an impression on these kids? News flash, Blogolanders, it won't. These kids are probably thrilled out of their sagging pants that they won't have to go to school. They have the perfect excuse for not attending. If these kids were so interested in an education, they would not have behaved this way to begin with. More postings will follow because everything about this incident pisses me off; it represents everything that so many Trentonians have been fighting against, trying to correct, showing faith in the future only to be told these kids are looking for love, respect, attention, a free pass out of school.

Courtesy vs. Respect

How many times have you heard expressesions such as, "He disrespected me," or, "He dissed me." Many times, I'm sure. For years, I've been running a one woman battle between courtesy and respect. It's been a losing battle; I've had some success with The Kid. Blogolanders, here's an example of what the point I'm trying to make. I have no respect for former president Bill Clinton, but if he were to walk into this room as I sit typing away, I would stand up. WHY? Because he is entitled to that courtesy. I often think if we gave each other basic courtesy, life would be easier. That's stuff like, "please, thank you, may I," etc. Forget the issue of respect which should be earned; respect is not a birthright. Courtesy, yes, we expect it, and ideally, we should get it. So when City Council President McBride plays with her cell phone during public comments, I don't think that she is disrespecting the public, I think that she is being bloody RUDE. It's the same issue with the kids who created an incident in Mill Hill on Monday. I am told they had been asked nicely not to destroy pumpkins and potted plants; they ignored these requests. These kids behaved rudely (and, yes, even disrespectfully to property belonging to others), and it has been suggested that these kids are looking for respect! Right now, I don't think so. I have been told Darren, "Freedom" Green is working with these kids to improve their lives; maybe he should tell these kids, that RESPECT IS SOMETHING THAT IS EARNED BECAUSE ONE DOES SOMETHING WORTHY OF RESPECT and behaving like a Barbarian is not the way to earn respect.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Conservative Angle

Last Monday, a rather unpleasant incident took place in Mill Hill. A man walking along the street was hit in the head by a brick leaving a puddle of blood on the sidewalk. The brick was thrown by a kid walking home from school. This kid had some classmates with him. This incident has a number of angles that I will get to over the next few days. My concern right now is how Mr. Darren "Freedom" Green referred to these kids. He called them, "babies." Blogolanders, these kids are not babies by any stretch of the imagination; they are old enough to walk home from school by themselves, they are old enough to commit acts of vandalism in the Mill Hill neighborhood, and they are old enough to toss a brick a someone minding his own business. In an interview, Mr. Green stated that these kids are looking for love, looking for attention, looking for respect. Bullshit!! They were looking for trouble and they found it. My sympathies lie with the fellow who could have been killed and with the residents of Mill Hill who have a nice neighborhood because they live in a civilized manner.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Praise Where Due

L. A. Parker wrote an article in today's Trentonian about a resident, Elissa Horan, who is an artist; her aim is to make Trenton a more attractive place through art. She is also an activist working to make Trenton a cleaner place to live. Ms. Horan does not form committees or hold meetings, she goes out and does!! Like sweeping streets. Last Saturday she was here on the 600 block of Lamberton along with Councilman Muschal and The Kid. For a few hours, they racked, swept, and bagged leaves leaving the neighborhood looking damn nice. Trenton needs more people like Elissa Horan who just go out AND DO IT! Much gratitude to Ms. Horan, George, and The Kid.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calling All Taxpayers!!!

Last evening there was a council meeting held in the conference room; since there was no security in the back lobby, I'm wondering if this was a secret meeting. Council was asking questions about the budget requests from several departments. Pat Hice of the tax assessors office was the ONLY one who could answer questions; the others stumbled, mumbled, and fumbled. Answers like, "A budget is just a guesstimate." My ass. Phyllis Holly-Ward and George Muschal are the only council members who seem to grasp the concept of THE BOTTOM LINE. (Zach Chester and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson were not present.) It may be time for council to say to each department, "Here's your money for the fiscal year. Make it work." There are lots of tiny leaks in the budget - such as publications. Well, if city employees are so anxious to read, "Sloppy Management Monthly," they can pay for their own subscriptions. The city seems to be paying $33.00 per case for copy paper (there are ten reams per case) which isn't bad, but a little net surfing turned up prices SLIGHTLY lower; of course, this may not be practical. Not every savings is a savings in the end. But the city sure uses a lot of paper; I just hope people aren't running off invites to a Tupperware Party. Blogolanders, it may be time for an Occupy City Hall movement. If anything is to change, and change fast, we, the taxpayers have to make it known that we will no longer tolerate this crappola. Listening to some of the testimony, I had the creepy feeling that budgets are prepared by pulling numbers out of the air. Blogolanders, I have never complained about tax increases (the old death & taxes philosophy), but now I will. I'm not about to give up $4,000 a year to have it pissed away; I can waste that money on my own and have fun doing it. It is time, Blogolanders, to yell, scream, and carry on. No more smiling, while we have a shiv stuck in our guts. Anyone interested in an Occupy City Hall movement?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks

Two people in our fair city should most certainly be giving thanks this holiday season. The first, of course, is our honorable mayor. He dodged a bullet; he avoided a recall election. If I were the honorable mayor, I would be very nervous about the fact that I won because only 12,000 Trentonians voted but 8,000 signed the recall petition. (Those are round numbers). Three quarters of the voting population wanted to recall me. The honorable mayor will continue to claim that those 8,000 signers were disappointed job seekers. The other is Nate Jones who is on, get this Blogolanders, PAID adminstrative leave while the System sorts out his qualifications. That means he sits on his butt and every two weeks he gets a pay check. His salary is roughly $110,000 a year. That's a nice gig. Here's a city on the brink of bankruptcy paying someone to stay home. Where is city coucil? One of the functions of council is to keep an eye on the public purse. Why aren't they screaming like hell about this? So, Blogolanders, when the next tax increase is proposed, remember Nate Jones and his PAID administrative leave.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Demonstrations & Small Minds

For a while now, there has been much huffing and puffing about demonstrators in public parks, war memorials, whatever. These have been, so far, peaceful. Lots of people who are pissed off gathered together to tell their elected officals they were agrieved. Recently, our elected officials have been showing they will not be pushed around. The governor sent the state police to the war memorial across from the state house to confiscate personal property. Mayor Bloomberg ordered thousands of police to Lower Manhattan to do I'm not sure what - make all those people go home. Both the governor and the mayor made a big mistake. If were Chris Christie, I would have walked across West Street, introduced myself, (maybe even invited them into the statehouse), and listened to them. Michael Bloomberg should have done the samething as soon people moved into Zucotti Park. These people are not terrorists; they do not advocate violent overthrow of the government; they are just unhappy and frustrated. This is not the first time people have gathered together in frustration. Sadly, they are usually met with force although there is historical evidence that meeting and listening defuses the situation. In June 1381, the peasants of England rose up in revolt; a group made it as far as London where they did considerable damage. The revolt was pretty much stopped when King Richard II rode out to meet with them - Richard was about fourteen when he did this and a bit of a mama's boy. I have often wondered what would have happened if, when faced with a bunch of angry colonists, the government of George III had said, "OK, send a representative to Parliament." Or even, "OK, you can have your own government with taxing authority. Or if King Louis XVII had ridden out to meet the angry farmers marching on Paris and said, "Mes enfants, parlez a moi; je vous ecoute," or words to that effect, maybe there would have been no French Revolution. And lastly, what if Czar Nicholas II had met with Father Gabon that winter morning; that meeting may have short circuited the Russian Revolution. This, of course, is all speculation, but well worth considering before sending out the Cossacks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inaccurate is Accurate

The Committee to Recall the "Honorable Mayor Mack" mentioned that the voting rolls were inaccurate; the We Love Tony Committee claims sour grapes. Well, Blogolanders, the rolls are inacurrate, and I know from bitter experience. First, my husband died in 1992. It took three years, a trip to 640 South Broad Street, and a notarized death certificate to get his name off the rolls. Back in 2009, when I ran for office, I was out one lovely afternoon, clutching my voter registration list for the South Ward. I arrived at a short street here in the South Ward. The list showed all houses occupied (there was even ONE Republican listed). When I got there all the houses were boarded up. It wasn't many - like four houses - BUT the voter list showed people living there. Back in October of 2010, I was at Republican headquarters making phone calls and was bowled over by the number of names that had died (and not recently, either), moved away (not recently, either), or were in prison (I did hit one of those). Even with the best efforts, the voting rolls will never by 100% accurate. That is why I feel that recalls should be based on the number of people who voted in the previous geneneral election for the entity facing the recall. (That's a crappy sentence, but I don't feel rewriting - sorry). In the case of Trenton, it would have 25% of those who voted in May 2010. Granted, some of those have died, moved away, or been sentenced, but, we'd still be dealing with something a tad more relieable.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Be a Yokel - Stay Local

At the end of last month, the circulating pump on my furnance crapped out. Since I was cold, I whipped out the yellow pages and called one of those emergency plumber companies - 24/7 service. A technician arrived in good time, looked around, agreed I needed a new circulating pump, quoted an outrageous price, and urged me to go for a whole new heating system which would cost A LOT OF MONEY. Financing was available. Fortunately, The Kid happened to drop by and immediately put an end to any discussion of anything. He also suggested I call Born Bros. Plumbing on Remsen Street as he had good things about them around the water cooler. So I did. Kurt Born arrived shortly, agreed I needed a new circulating pump, and installed it at, to my mind, a very reasonable cost. We also had a pleasant discussion about prints; I have a collection of framed prints; so does Kurt. He also recognized them as having been framed at Artifacts Gallery where he goes. The moral of the story: I solved my problem at a reasonable cost, employed a Trentonian, and had a nice chat about prints. Not every local businessman will share my interests, but I learned my lession - start local.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Death & Taxes

Well, Blogolanders, we now have a spending cum budget plan that should take us to the end of year (I think). No tax increase - YET! Normally, I accept tax increases because the only certainties are DEATH & TAXES. This time, I'm not until and unless there major changes in city hall. I, as a taxpayer, want to know where every freakin penny is going; I mean that, every freakin penny. I want to see major changes in city hall such getting rid of useless employees and taking on those who can really help the city - like inspectors. When the next tax increase is proposed, I'll post my plan. I'd be curious as to how people will come along with me. In the meantime, Blogolanders, there is something known as, "Civil Disobediance." It is held in rather high regard by many - myself included. Later

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Must in the Water

Blogolanders, I apologize for two back-to-back postings, but I wanted to get this one out. For the last year, I've noticed that there are several intelligent, talented people here in Trenton who truly seem to want to help and be involved. Many of them have even done good work. Most of them are people whom I found easy to work with and likeable, BUT all of them lately seem to have a loose wire somewhere in their personalities. Has something in the water rusted a mental connection? There are several people I now avoid. It's too bad, but still, why so many in such a small city?

Ave Caesar!

Robert Chilson's blog has an interview with our Honorable Mayor; I've just listened to all eleven plus minutes of it! The man is dillusional! First he says he'll be mayor as long The People want him and a few minutes later he says he'll be mayor as long as HE wants. Then he rambles on about his accomplishments (most of them involve spending grant money that has been lying around for a few years; if Trenton didn't use the money, the city would lose the money). Last week the Honorable Mayor was at Market & Broad touting a new street design with landscaping. Dan Dodson questioned this project asking why not use the funds to upgrade our infrastructure. Excellent question. Repairing bridges, etc. is far more important than planting flowers. I like nice landscaping, but who takes care of it? Has anyone noticed the memorial at the intersection of Broad and Centre Streets? It's overgrown with weeds. For months, a raggedy flag hung from the flagpole. At the end of the interview, the Honorable Mayor claims to be independent - yeah, sure. Which is why most of his directors are, "Acting," which is really a good title - acting as in pretending. As for people not complaining about the city's troubles, the regulars at city council have doing that. Maybe if the Honorable Mayor had attended more council meetings he would have heard us. Prior to Tony's election, I saw more of John Harmon and Frank Weeden at council meetings! As to the Honorable Mayor's contention that those supporting the recall came to him looking for a job or a contract - to that, I say BULLSH...T!!! Most of the people I've met during this recall drive already have jobs, or are retired and do NOT want to work again or wouldn't take a city contract as a gift (Trenton is often very slow in paying). In closing, I like Tony Mack; he is a very charming man. He is a genius on the campaign trail, a talent I envy because I am a total dud. He is great with his kids; he really seems to enjoy fatherhood. He simply is not a leader. But then few of us are.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where My Interests Lie

Good afternoon, Blogolanders. I've been asked why I haven't posted anything about Lauren Ira (I have in the past, but I can't remember the exact date). Except for the fact that, I (and you, too), as a taxpayer, contribute to her inflated salary when she cannot write a simple declarative sentence without making a grammatical error, I have no interest in Mrs. Ira. She is simply a leech at the public watering hole. Off to have lunch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Thoughts

Good morning, Blogolanders! As you know, our Honorable Mayor held another town hall meeting this past Monday at the Passage Theatre. A fairly good crowd turned up; there were several supporters of our Honorable Mayor. I'm assuming after the meeting at the Mill House where he was not that well received, he decided to bring along his buddies. We heard the canned speech about how awful things were when he took office (like he didn't know?); how wonderful things are now; how wonderful things will be in the future. Wonderful, wonderful Wonderland!! There were a few sharp comments exchanged; Chilson, for one, asked why the Honorable Mayor could not answer his own questions; no answer forthcoming, but I'd like to know myself. Does the Honorable Mayor know what's going on in city hall? I'm beginning to doubt he does. He danced around questions about the Fourth of July weekend incident when two city employees (hired by the Honorable Mayor) and his brother harrassed people collecting recall signature. H.M. insisted the employees were off duty (no excuse for his brother). If I were the Honorable Mayor, I would have ripped them all a new one. If you think I'm joking, ask The Kid how I've reacted in the past. The Honorable Mayor announced he was going to bring back city recycling; by doing so, the city would save about a million dollars each year. Sounds good, BUT he didn't say what a city recycling plan would COST us. People will have to be hired. At what rate of pay? What will their benefits cost? How many people will be needed? What will the equipment cost? How often will pick ups be made? I want to see these figures before I dance in the streets over a million dollar saving. The Honorable Mayor was questioned about his Plan or lack there of. H.M. claims he has a plan. I, for one, don't think he does. The Honorable Mayor has a string of vague ideas. The Kid suggested Trentonians concerned about the lack of a plan, write their own. Finis for now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Council President

Last evening, Kathy McBride demonstrated where her interests lie; she has no interest in Trenton but a great of interest in her ego. There was a question about allowing people who arrived late to speak. Ms. McBride was opposed; she announced that allowing the public to speak was, get this, a kind gesture from council! In the twenty years I've attended council meetings, the public was always given time to speak as a right! Here goes, Ms. McBride. You, and the other six members of council work for us, the taxpaying Trentonians. Get it, Honey? You sit on that bench as a kind gesture from us, the voters. Get it, Honey? And turn off that damn cell phone during meetings; using a cell phone during a meeting is RUDE! Get it, Honey?

I'm Back!

Good morning, Blogolanders. It's been about a week, but I've doing, "great," things like cleaning my house. There is just too much STUFF! Yet I can't bring myself to rent a dumpster and just pitch it all away - my problem. Tuesday Nite Live - I stayed almost till the bitter end. There was no freakin executive session - thank God for small favors. Mrs. McBride outdid herself last evening (for a complete rundown, check the Chilson blog). But first, yes, Mrs. McBride had a sitdown with Monroe Laramore; I assumed she was asking him, "to play nice." Apparently not, because when he spoke, it was about how this country is going to hell in a handbasket because we have turned away from Biblical principles. He did not say when he wishes to bring back stoning; maybe he'll tell us tomorrow. As to Minister Lee Ingram - he is a man who is too eccentric for his own good; his logic is often difficult to follow. Last evening, he was talking about what seemed to be a custody battle - something over which council has NO authority. He usually rants about the three minute limit (legally, one has ten minutes) claiming he is deprived of his right of free speech, which is my humble opinion is bulls&&t. We are not guaranteed a set amount of time, and Blogolanders, consider this picture. There is something really sexy on the docket which brings folks out of the woodwork. Let's say fifty Trentonians show up and each is allowed ten minutes - that's over eight hours of talk. There is nothing wrong with limiting EACH speaker to three minutes - if we can't say it in three minutes, we probably should not be saying it. Now, as to Mrs. McBride's behavior, let me get back to you on that. Blogolanders, if you thought I could be arrongant, snide, and rude, you ain't seen nothing yet. But, as I said, I'll back to you. Later, guys.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Men Behaving Badly

Since the MCCC employee, Justin, does not work for WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY, he had no business commenting on Ms. Covington's outfit. He does owe her an apology; his supervisor should also tell him to keep his opinions to himself. As to Tuesday Nite Live, I left before Monroe Laramore got up to speak, but I've heard about it! He had no right to make that comment, and he had no right to tell Dr. Rubino to, "Shut up." It is too bad that Ms McBride did not tell Mr. Laramore he was out of line; I have watched twenty-five years worth of councils, and this is turning out to be the worst yet!! Before the meeting started on Tuesday, one of our local activists buttonholded a member of council and spewed forth his opinions usually with an, "eff," this and, "eff," that. Hardly the way to speak in the council chamber. Blogolanders, we are not lacking in respect, we are, however, lacking in basic courtesy. I decided to skip this evening's council session as I do not want to see either Monroe Laramore or our local activist.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Open Letter to City Council

Dear Council Members: Some information that you may have overlooked. First, you hold your position at the pleasure of the voting public so at the next election, you could be booted out. There are no unemployment benefits for folks who lose their elected position. You work for, are employed by, the tax payers of our fair city. So maybe you can start displaying the respect and courtesty due your employer. That means hold your executive sessions before or after the regular council meetings or even better, hold your executive sessions on a different day. Last evening, there was a very good crowd in the council chamber (the day before, Councilwoman Holly-Ward urged people to attend council meetings). What's the first thing you do yesterday - go into executive session leaving folks sitting, sitting, sitting. Many got disgusted and left which I suspect is what you had in mind. I noticed the number of times a fearsome park ranger stuck his head outside the council conference room, looked around, and ducked back in. He looked like he was doing a quick head count. In closing, will you please use the g.d. microphones!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Politically Incorrect Opinions

Law enforcement is not a, "walk in the park." I know that; I also have a certain amount sympathy, empathy for the police. When I was working, we dealt with the same people. The police brought them in, and I supervised when they went out. Many of the people (or clients as the AOC instructed us to call them) who move through the criminal justice system have ATTITUDE like you wouldn't believe. One clown walked into my office (with his lawyer, no less) sat down, and put his feet on my desk. He then got pissed when I asked him to take his feet off my desk; his lawyer said, "Just do what you're told so we can get out of here." My beef as of today is that the police refuse to accept any responsibility for the current mess. By not living within the City of Trenton, the police deprive themselves of a very powerful voting block. If the cops lived in Trenton back in 1999, Joe Constance would have been the CHIEF of Police. Doug Palmer won that vote 51% to 49%. It was damn close. Fast forward to September 2011; if the police lived in the City of Trenton, I can assure you there would have been no layoffs; Tony would not have given up a few hundred votes so easily especially when he's facing a possible recall. My next beef is the behavior of the police. Ignoring these piddling quality of life issues. Like driving by cars, trucks, SUVs blocking traffic and not even asking the driver to at least pull over never mind writing a ticket. Or the outdoor dice game that went on most of the summer by Rodriguez Deli. Or questioning groups of teens hanging out the front steps of an empty house. Or just being rude and obnoxious because they can. In closing, during my career I had to call 911 twice and ask for assistance while visiting clients. Both times the police arrived promptly and handled the situation quickly and professionally. So, ladies and gentlemen, that's where I'm coming from.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Does It Really Matter?

During the last few hours, there has been much posted on various sites about the, "loss," of some police units - TAC for example. Does it matter? This is why I ask. Because nothing was ever done here on Lamberton Street. I have a neighbor who was watching the drug deals taking place in front of her house. She was damn good, too. She would come to CPAC and STARS meetings with dates, times, license plate numbers, descriptions only to be told by Luis Reyes for one, "Well, ma'am, if we don't see it, we can't do anything about it." She finally gave up and who can blame her? But the fact remains that ordinary citizens saw it going on but the trained professionals NEVER saw it. Which is why several locals are convinced the police are on the take. Here's a really off-the-wall suggestion. Get rid of the expensive trained professional police and let the neighbors do the investigating. Give the neighbors a 10% reduction on their property taxes for their good work, and Trenton will still be a head of the game. The drug dealers will be gone, the city will save money on the police, and the residents will be happy to have a tax reduction. Blogolanders, my feeling is, "Good riddance!" The Trenton Police Department is so devoted to Trenton, that most of them live elsewhere, were delighted to have a contract that the city could NOT afford the day it was signed, have privately referred to Trentonians as animals, and on and on.

Will He or Won't He?

The hot topic seems to be whether Chris Christie will make a try for the GOP presidential nomination.
Here's a tip, Blogolanders. If he seems to be losing weight, watch him. Right now, he not presidential material. The governor has put weight on again (not too long ago, he dropped several pounds and began to look good). And notice the angle of the recent photographs - not very flattering. The American public goes for a bit of glamour in the presidential candidates. Right now, the governor looks like a fat slob. And for those of you who dislike the governor (I'm not one of them), take heart because all that extra poundage is not helping his asthma. I'm truly surprised his medical staff hasn't told the governor to eat less and exercise more (maybe they have, and the governor ignored their advice). Here's a useless tidbit of information - only one president has come from New Jersey - Woodrow Wilson, and he was really a Virginia native.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

City Hall Update

Good morning, Blogolanders! Here's how things stand in city hall as of this morning. Of the nine cabinet positions, six are headed by acting directors. One position is, "conditional." Another is headed by a consultant. Only health is headed by a permanent director, and that is a department that should probably be shut down. Our honorable mayor is not only out of aces, but he is also running out of face cards. Presently, the acting business administrator is Anthony Roberts; he was on Judge Judy awhile back and was very amusing. He will be a great addition to the Trenton Comedy Hour aka The Mack Adminsitration.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Gambler

Back in 1978, Kenny Rogers recorded a song entitled, "The Gambler." I strongly urge the Honorable Mayor Mack to listen to this song because there are several lines that offer bloody good advice. Tony, you're out of aces. You gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. You should have folded last spring. You gotta know when to walk away and when to run. Right now, you can still walk away. I urge you to do so while you can still leave with some dignity. And lest anyone think this PERSONAL, it is not. I still like Tony the human being; I still like the way he interacts with his kids; I still admire his talent as a campaigner. But Tony turned out to be a disaster as a mayor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fantasty Town

A very pleasant fantasy came to mind this morning. We are approaching the end of September - the end of the city's first quarter in this fiscal year so tax bills will be coming out. What if all those who paid their taxes directly (not through their mortgage payment) decided to put their tax payment in an escrow account rather then in the hands of 319 East State? Do you think our honorable mayor would notice? Do you think he would react? Just wondering.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Worst and the Dimmest

Sometimes it seems like this blog is either feast or famine. I just posted about our honorable mayor's childish behavior toward the walk for sickle cell anemia now I'm back with thoughts on his recent appointments. Particularly Carmen Melendez and Harold Hall. WHERE DOES HE FIND THESE PEOPLE? My objection to Mr. Hall is that he claimed to be on salary as a director yet put in for overtime. Salaried employees do not get overtime! And they most certainly do not submit handwritten timecards to justify the overtime. Mr. Hall is alledged to have done this. Mrs. Melendez, who is now ACTING Director of Housing and Economic Development, may be a failed businesswoman whose real estate license was suspened. For someone who claims, as does our honorable mayor, to be concerned about the future of Trenton, this is not the way to prove it. And after reviewing the press release announcing these appointments, I noticed of the nine names listed, five are, "acting," and one is a conditional appointment. Another is a consultant. That means only three are permanent. So after fourteen and a half months, the honorable mayor has yet to put together his cabinet. But he has given us great, "Welcome to Trenton," signs with his name (even Mayor Palmer didn't go that far - his signs read, "Welcome to Trenton - Tree City.") And we have the Wall of Mayors. Yeah, we're really moving forward.

The Children's Hour

Yesterday, Andrew Bobbitt, former City of Trenton employee, sponsored a walk for sickle cell anemia. As you know, this is a disease most often found among African-Americans. The walk was rather successful especially since it was a first-timer. BUT...Mr. Bobbitt had to jump through hoops to get the necessary permits, and the participants arrived at Cadwalader Park only to find the door to the restrooms locked. The reason the Mack administration made life so difficult for him is because Andrew once worked for the Palmer administration; apparently he and Doug Palmer are friends. An adult, a mature, ethical person would have taken the attitude this is a great thing to do for the African-American community; such a person would have overlooked any animosity to Mr. Bobbitt and supported the walk. Not our honorable mayor. He behaved in a silly, childish manner, and Tony Mack should be ashamed of himself. Nuff said.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

U Turn for an Intern

Our honorable mayor recently announced that the city museum and the Trent House would remain open even though the professional staff has been laid off. They would be replaced by interns. Interesting because most interns work under close supervision of seasoned professionals, and when the internship ends, the professional writes a detailed report to the intern's academic advisor. I don't see that with this scheme. The two most valuable city properties will now be run by unsupervised kids. I'm not sure these kids have any training in running a museum or an historical house with a valuable collection of furniture. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

Duck & Cover!

As you all know, yesterday, over one hundred police officers were dismissed in the true sense of the word. Our Honorable Mayor held a press conference urging Trentonians to look on the bright side - the positive stuff - like parks! I'm surprised he didn't point out the Wall of Mayors and the fact he used a very flattering photo Carmen Armenti. As to the parks - well, I wouldn't brag about the Lamberton Street Park. I'm still not sure the loss of these officers will allow the barbarians to break in; hell, they've been running about for years. And there were some interesting quotes in The Trenton Times. Sammy Gonzalez said, "I feel the city has failed us, the state has failed us." The city and the state failed? I don't think so. I've watched the TPD ignore quality of life crimes; I've watched them drive right by SUVs blocking traffic, no-counts dealing drugs, and illegal gambling without a second look. I've also watched the TPD accept a Cadillac contract and enjoy it, and then get pissed when the word got out, "The city is broke." Did any union leader contact city council or the mayor to say, "Let's renegotiate the contracts?" No, never happened. Acting Police Director Chris Doyle is quoted as saying, "I just watched 105 police officers walk out of the police department who were loyal to the citizens of this city..." Most members of the TPD are so loyal to Trenton, they couldn't wait to get home the suburbs. It's been pointed out this morning that seventy odd years ago when Trenton had more residents, the police department had fewer officers. This correct. BUT...these officers also lived in the City of Trenton. There is something to be said for having a cop for a neighbor. When the Stewarts lived in Lindenhurst, a cop lived across the street. Whenever there was a minor incident, and because several teenagers lived on the street, there were several, especially in the summer, all Sgt. Allan Attwood had to do was walk to end of his driveway and LOOK. He was more often than not greeted with silly looks and, "We're going home; we're going home." And by God, they would go home. That's community policing. That's loyalty to your neighborhood. Not showing up for your shift and then going home to another community. But all the blame does not lie with the police. City government is at fault. We, the taxpayers, are also at fault because we never screamed like hell when our municipal government led us down the path to financial ruin. I believe Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Well, Blogolanders, no one was vigilant so now we pay for it. Now that I've got your blood boiling, I'm off to have a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Taxes Up In Smoke Or Fumes?

Good morning, Blogolanders! This morning, The Times of Trenton ran a front page article on the vast amount of money New Jersey loses in tabacco tax revenue because Trentonians (mostly) drive across the river and purchase their tabacco at any number of discount smoke shops in Morrisville. This quite true, BUT... What does the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lose? Have you ever noticed the number of vehicles with Pennsy plates in local gas stations? Gas is much cheaper in Jersey than in Pennsylvania and you don't have to pump it yourself! It would be interesting to know how much Pennsy loses in gas tax revenue. And then there's clothing which is tax free in our fair state. How many people from Morrisville drive to Quakerbridge Mall to get school clothes? I was over at Quakerbridge yesterday and noticed a fair number of cars with Pennsy plates. In the end, it's probably a wash. Avoiding taxes has always been, and probably always will be, a problem for the states especially when citizens are close to state lines. My late husband had an aunt who lived just over the Massachusetts border in New Hampshire. Most of her family lived in Massachusetts. Eunice frequently snapped, "The only time I see some of my relatives is when they run out of liquor!" Massachusetts has a high tax on alcohol; New Hampshire does not. The only way to solve this problem is to have a federal tax, but that ain't gonna happen. No state would willing give up the right to tax. So each state will simply have adjust to reality. Stay dry.

Monday, September 5, 2011


After reading Bob Chilson's latest posting, I can only hope he is trying to be funny. He does have a lot of talent, but I found the latest posting to be, frankly, embarrassing. I truly hope he has not reverted to old habits.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Trentonian Boo-Boo

When I first logged on the Trentonian website, I noticed the word, "whits," had been used when the correct form was, "wits." I see that has been corrected. I suspect the copy was run through spell-check; I doubt a real breathing human does the proof reading. That's the curse of our reliance on gadgets. Here's a funny. Last spring a neighbor and I were outside yapping, when a delivery van stopped. The driver was trying to find Centre Street; his GPS kept coming up with no such place. He was stunned when we told him Centre Street was one block east. The problem was he entered Center Street which does NOT exist in Trenton. A good old-fashioned road map would have solved that problem.

My Near Arrest

Last Thursday, at the council meeting, I was very tempted to push the envelope and be arrested. This came about because the public comments dronned on and on and on. And only three people actually had anything to say that was worth hearing (no, I was not one of them). When I sit for long periods of time, my back gets stiff; I stand up and usually lean against the back of a seat. In about fifteen minutes, the aged spine slips back into place, and I sit down. So it was on Thursday. At first, I was standing to the left of the chamber door and was told standing there was a safety hazard. So I moved to the right of the door and then moved forward to lean on the back of a seat. Some goon told me I had to move; I refused. The goon brought in a Trenton cop who told me I had to move. When I asked why, I was told it was a safety hazard, it was not allowed, etc. Being me, my first thought, "OK, arrest me in public with a least three reporters sitting in the chamber." Then I remembered Dear Ole Dad's advice about dealing with cops and the fact that both my mother and my grandmother would come back to haunt me for making a scene. I went home and had milk and cookies and felt better. An hour or so later, I got a phone from one of my pals who was also present. She wanted to what happened, why I left, and then said, "Just after, the mayor came in. I guess he was afraid you'd stick your foot out and trip him. Pat, he doesn't know you very well." Maybe the honorable mayor did want to make a grand entrance; he's entitled. If the goon had said that's why I should move, I would have done so with alacrity. The point of this screed? God damn it! Stop lying. Don't blow smoke. Don't feed me crappola. Tell me the truth; at least I could leave the field with some respect for you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our Loss

Someday I will either learn to use this freaking computer or I will put my fist through it. This morning, I want to talk briefly about Bob Chilson who recently shut his blog down. I know Bob could be irritating, but that is what makes a good investigative reporter, and Bob was good. When he suspected something was wrong, he went after it till he got all the information. Yes, he made serious errors, but he always corrected them and accepted responsibility. There were times when Bob was wrong, in my opinion, even silly, but there was always an ethical component behind him. Good luck, Bob!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nightmare on Lamberton Street

This is the third time I'm trying to publish. I left early last night because Ms. McBridge let the public speakers ramble on beyond their alotted three minutes; very frew Trentonians are good public speakers as it is a skill that is learned through practice. Here's my big question. Why can't they hold their freakin executive sessions after the council meeting or even on a different day? I suspect the idea is to gum up the city. Later, I'll explain how I was tempted to let myself be arrested.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bad Move, Governor!

Things are slowly returning to normal here in the South Ward, but Monday was one for the record books. Starting about 6:30AM (maybe earlier) traffic began backing up along Lamberton Street because Route 29 was closed at Cass Street. We had some seven hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic; I haven't seen such gridlock since I lived in Manhattan. But the one most at fault was not the Honorable Mayor. This one goes to Chris Christie. He should have ordered all non-essential state employees to stay home (he could fight with the unions next week). How many people were going go to Motor Vehicles anyway? Of course, the Honorable Mayor could have called the governor and asked him to issue those instructions. Then Tony could have closed the streets to all but non-essential traffic. This would have cleared the streets and allowed the authorities to assess the damage, find out where there was flooding, stuff like that. Traffic was so bad on Lamberton an ambulance could not have gotten through. And thank God there were no fender benders. I saw a few nearly happen because drivers were running stop signs. Today, I find it humorous that several drivers had no idea where they were!! I wasn't laughing Monday. I haven't walked up to Bridge Street to check things out because the public safety folks have enough going on without an audience. George Muschal was on Bridge Street most of the day, but he had a good excuse - he's the South Ward councilman. He was in a position to render assistance, which he did.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ironic Irene

To the ancient Greeks, Irene was the goddess of peace; our Irene was not that peaceful. And her aftermath left the door opened to the Bitch & Moan crowd. And I'm one of them. Last week, Governor Christie was right to declare a state of emergency and to clear the beaches. I don't care what it cost, it's always better to be over prepared than under prepared. Not closing nonessential state offices yesterday was a BIG mistake. I would have shut them down and argued with the unions over pay later in the week. As to our honorable mayor - ye gods!! Trenton has a rather good robo calling system (to which I subscribe). Did he use it to the fullest? Naw... I'm not arguing about the evacuation of the residents of the Island or Glen Afton, I'm pissed about the rumors that started regarding the TWW. Ms. Ira should have sent out a robo call assuring us that there was no water shortage or boil water order. As to yesterday's traffic nightmare.... By now Trenton should have alternate routes mapped out. By now, Trenton should have people who can direct traffic (even if it is a volunteer corps). Yesterday, I sat on my front steps watching the mess; several drivers leaned out the car window to ask, "Where am I," or, "How do I get to the Justice Complex?" The best was our local gang members who were approaching cars asking for donations for flood victims. That was stopped by a resident who came flying out of his house. screaming, "Don't give them no money. They're gangsters. You a##holes, go back under your wet rock. Leave them people alone!" He frequently yells at them. He is also still alive and kicking. To close this out, Trenton will continue to face floods, blizzards, who knows, maybe even earthquakes, so we should have this emergency thing down pat, but we don't. At least keep the members of city council up-to-date.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stay Off the Internet - It May Be Illegal!

This morning, our honorable mayor was quoted in The Times of Trenton that no one had the right to perform an illegal background seach on any city employee (not a precise quote). Well, Mayor, here's a news flash! Anybody with a computer and a credit card can sign on to any number of search sites. You type in a name and as much information as you have on the person and VIOLA! the information appears usually with a list of possible relatives. You get info on criminal history, bankruptcy, unpaid taxes, etc. All of this info is a matter of public record. And as of today, there is nothing illegal about it. So if someone in Trenton ran the name Nathanial Jones through one of these websites, tough. Of course it is possible that the wrong Nathaniel Jones popped up; that happens quite often. So, did the right Nate Jones pop up or someone else? I'm sure the Talking Heads in city hall will get right on it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Once & Future Law

This current flap about the police layoffs got me to researching old law codes. The internet proved a great help (I wish I had it when I was in college). I started with the Code of Hammurabi (1700 BCE) which is touted as the oldest law code available. There were earlier codes, but we haven't found them. There are two other codes that are as equally fascinating - The Code of Nesilim (BCE 1650) and The Code of Assura (1075 BCE). Most of the laws deal with contracts, property rights, and marital obligations. There also seem to have been three types of punishment: Fines, physical mutilation, and death. Some of the laws really touch home. There are those laws dealing with Judge Judy type problems. If you borrow a man's boat and damage it, you have to pay for it. If you accidentally flood your neighbor's field, you have to pay him. On the marital side, if a man dies leaving a wife and sons, the boys have to support Mom. None of this putting her on Medicaid and parking her at an old folks home. If your wife takes on debt, you, the husband, are also responsible. Today, we call it, "Marital Debt," and divorce lawyers love to haggle over it. If you're a crummy doctor, no malpractice insurance claims, your eyes are put out. If you steal from someone, you will be put to death. If you try to rape a woman, and she says, "No," but you rape her anyway, you'll be punished. She is held blameless. And Blogolanders, if you think our society is obessed with sex, these folks were over the top! I was illegal to have sex with a dog or a pig. DON'T ASK!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Philosphy of Crime

Many Blogolanders are upset that Trenton may lose one third of the police force in a few weeks; most truly believe Trenton will face a crime wave. I have my doubts, but then I see things differently. Trenton could have one thousand police officers and there would still be crime. First, there are always people who refuse to behave for whatever reason. Second, those who misbehave rarely notify the police of their plans. Third, few buy into Officer Friendly - most just don't like the police. Fourth, when the police try to be proactive (stop a crime before it happens), they are accused of racism, sexism, agism, you name it. Fourth, the public has never been taught how to deal with the police. Fifth, we all watch too much television. We forget that television is not real life; it is entertainment. I confess to watching Law & Order C.I., but I watch for laughs. Most of the evidence gathered by Detective Robert Goren would be tossed out of court; he had no search warrant. So all those times when he was in someone's home questioning them and casually flipping through the suspects mail, whatever -- a Robin Lord would fry his ass at a trial. But it makes for good television. To wind this posting up, the biggest problem we have in Trenton is that we tolerate anti-social behavior. Some even think it's cool.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Hon. Shirley K. Turner

If anyone ever deserved the tile,"Honorable," it is Senator Turner. She is someone whom I both like and admire, but she is also someone with whom I frequently disagree. The Port Authority upped the bridge and tunnel tolls; if you don't have an EZ Pass, you pay $12 to cross the god damn river. I'd sooner swim. But Senator Turner announced she feels Governor Christie is wrong to support the increase. Before, I go on, there is a lot at the Port Authority that will not bear close inspection. A good forensic accountant would probably turn up good, old fasioned fraud. There, the senator is correct - an in-depth investigation is called for. But her belief that the increases will fall hardest on those least able to pay, I question. No one works in Manhattan for minimum wage. The folks who work in Mahattan are the yuppy sort. Stand at the station some morning and notice the number of suits, brief cases, and fedora hats that board the train. As I posted the other day, this toll increase may just be a GIFT! It is getting too expensive to work in Mahattan. But it is still cheap to work in Trenton. Rather than repeat myself, read my previous post. I'm on a roll, so I'll be posting again later.

The Rules of War

Several times, I've told council that during times of war, the men (the grunts, average G.I. Joes) are fed first. If there's anything left, then the officers eat. Well, Blogolanders, we've reached a point of war. The grunts in the field must be fed first. What I'm trying to say is that the Honorable Mayor Mack should start cutting salaries at the top; pay the average worker first. If there's anything left over, then pay the bosses. That includes council. What a great impression it would make on the voters, if council voted to reduce their salaries and cut back on their perks. I don't argue the fact that you are entitled to your pay, but as I said on Thursday, we ALL have to lower our standard of living, we ALL have to lower our expectations. So folks, bite the friggin bullet and get moving!!!!

Shared Sacrifice

Back in the Dark Ages of the late fifties, I wrote a report for school on rationing during WWII; to gather information, I interviewed my mother. She produced my ration book and explained what each page was for, etc. I asked if people resented rationing. She answered, "No, we really didn't like it, but we figured if we co-operated, our boys would come home sooner." And my teenage research turned up info that there was surprisingly little cheating. In short, the vast majority of Americans sucked it up. Well, Blogolanders, we have to suck it up, and if we co-operate we can resume our spree sooner.

True Grit - Trenton Style

If today's young people (especially those living in Trenton) need a hero, they have one in retired Chief of Police Ernest Williams. The last months of his life, this man was in a great deal of pain. Stirring a cup of coffee sapped his energy. BUT he continued on. He literally spit in the eye of DEATH. This a rare form of courage that is to be admired, envied, and imitated.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Make Enemies and Lose Friends

This going to be another post that many will find offensive, wrong, you name it. This morning I received an e-mail from someone whom I both like and repect announcing a public demonstration to urge the state to provide funds to avoid a lay-off in the police department. Yes, Trenton faces the loss of roughly 108 officers next month. The announced lay off was followed by a cry of, "We'll have a crime wave. The criminals will run the city!!" Well, Blogolanders, they already do. Lest anyone think I'm trying to be cute, I'm talking about street activity. When the Stewart family arrived in Trenton twenty-five years, I noticed that whenever a police car drove by, the groups of teenagers (and sometimes even adults) would scatter. Today, on the rare occasions when a police car does drive by, no one moves, not even the damn dealers. Two of my pet peeves here on Lamberton Steet are (1) An outdoor dice game that has been going on since the warm weather started. The rare police car just drives by. (2) People who park on the street and chat with their friends thereby tying up traffic. One evening there were three such vehicles on Lamberton Street. When the police drive by they don't even ask the driver to move much less write a ticket for blocking traffic. Last week, I attended a civic meeting and heard how the police were upset that there was so little public outcry The answer was, "All you've done is alienate the citizens; no, they're not prepared to fight for you." Sadly, that's so true. My civic group often heard from a police officer attending the meeting, "You're our eyes and ears." OK. Yet, generally, when we report a crime to the police, usually drug dealing, we're told, "If we don't see it, we can't do anything." We, the residents, see it yet the police, trained (one hopes) professionals, see nothing. Next there is the cry from the police, "We do a dangerous job." Yes, policing is dangerous. Firefighting is probably more so." Yet the danger is no secret. Every cop and firefighter knew the dangers when they signed up. My last bitch is the fact that police and firefighters rarely live within the City of Trenton. Oh, they offer great reasons, but they miss one important point. If they lived within the city limits, they would be one HELL OF A VOTING BLOCK! In fact, if just the police lived within the city, the police director plan would have been defeated. In closing, I have the highest regard for the fire department. I have watched them fight fires many times (once it was the house next door to me), the co-ordination among those men and women is almost like a ballet. As for the police - I resent it when calling in the fact that an empty hosue is being broken into and having the police arrive only to ask, "If it's not your house what do you care?" To use a quote from a once popular comic strip, "You brought upon yourselves."

RIP - Ernie Williams

My heartfelt regards to the family of retired Chief of Police Ernest Williams.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just Wondering

For the last week, I've been following the news about the riots in England. Several things caught my attention. The first - there were no riots in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. All three places suffered the budget cuts of the present government just like England. The Talking Heads blamed the riots on bad relations with the police, a bad economy, and youthful angst. The kids have nothing to do! That is a cry frequently heard here in Trenton to which I usually respond, "Merde." There is plenty to do if only the Little Darlings would look around. Grab a broom and sweep up; pick up the trash, start a community garden, volunteer somewhere, or, and this is a truly radical suggestion - READ A BOOK! During one looting session, the only shop not touched was a bookstore. I assume that reading is as popular in the UK as it is in the USA.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Freedom of the Press

This morning I noticed something very interesting about the two Trenton newspapers.
The Trentonian carried an article about Ms. McBride's new directive, and The Times of Trenton published not one word! I'm told the editor wants to hold off on such stories. Freedom of the Press does allow publication of articles not favorable to those in authority; the opposite is true. A publication is not required to publish such articles. By ignoring this current flap, The Times does a disservice to its readers. But the editor has the right to do so. In my opinion, however, this is a shortsighted decision. The Times leaves itself open to being scooped by The Trentonian.

Recently, I read how Chinese journalists meet regularly with the government to go over what should be published (and how) and what should not be published. Since there is no freedom of the press in China, the journalists do not tell the government to,"blow it out your wonton." Has The Times taken up this type of journalism?

New Directive!

So Ms. McBride flexed her muscles; members of council can no longer contact city employees directly. All issues and requests must be filtered through her where they may be conveniently lost. A bit of history, Blogolanders. Back in the Dark Ages of the Holland administration, citizens who had problems, issues, beefs, called the appropriate city department. If there was no satisfaction, a call to the mayor's office usually solved the problem. Council passed resolutions and ordiances and kept an eye on the public purse. The Palmer administration introduced the Office of Citizens' Concerns. The results were so-so; in fairness, Ms. Holly-Ward responsed to my, "concerns", promptly and effciently. Others were not so lucky. Citizens began to turn to their councilpeople for help. And a few of them picked up the slack. This habit carried over to the current council; only one councilperson seems to enjoy going around Trenton doing stuff - that's George Muschal. And his colleagues seem to resent it. Perhaps because it makes them look bad - who knows? So we have a new directive! Badly written. Ye gods. Can no one write English? I was particularly interested in the word, "politely," because few denizens of city hall are polite. At best, I would call their attitude, "disinterested." I would suggest Ms. McBride withdraw this directive IMMEDIATELY. If you agree, start calling her.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Gift Horse!

Yesterday afternoon, the Port Authority of NY & NJ dropped a gift on Tony Mack. It was announced that the P.A. would request mega bridge and tunnel toll increases! Being a self-centered sort, my first thought was, "Hell, from now on I'll fly to Long Island; it'll be cheaper and FASTER." Then other thoughts came. It's going to get too expensive to work in Manhattan. So here's a suggestion to the Honorable Mayor - find out how many people living within a twenty-five to fifty mile radius of Trenton (starting with north and east of the city) work in Manhattan. Then find out where they work. Then decide if it is feasible to tempt these people (and their employers) into Trenton. There is one person on the mayor's staff who can handle such a project - Paul Harris. He's a genius at getting info off the internet. Many of you might say, "No one will come with all the bad publicity Trenton gets." There is something to this argument; however, MOST have short memory spans. Here's a test - what was the big scandal in early May?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Emmy Award! Not Likely

After watching Mayor Mack of Trenton, New Jersey and Mayor Walling of Flint, Michigan on CNN this morning, I realized that neither mayor said anything worth hearing. They both spoke words, but that was all. Mayor Mack's saying Trenton had a budget deficit and these were tough economic times, sorry, I can't find that a DEEP thought. Yeah, so what else is new? Neither will win an Emmy for news reporting.

Lay Offs

Sadly, a number of Trenton employees will lose their jobs in a few weeks; this is unfortunate news not only for Trentonians but also the employees. They will be facing financial challenges. Two of them were mentioned in this morning's Times of Trenton - Officers Kevin and Maria Starkey. But if they had made different choices, the challenges they face would be less onerous. Maria Starkey admitted that she and Kevin have a big mortgage on their house in Hamilton, and that they barely make their bills with their two salaries. If they bought a house right here in Trenton, their mortgage might actually be a cost they could handle. They might have been able to bank some money from each paycheck. The best advice my husband and I ever received was, "Live BELOW your income!"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Security - Social and Otherwise

Recently, The Kid demanded to know why I called myself a conservative when each month I accept federal welfare. He meant, of course, my social security check; yes, each month a check (based on my work history, not my husband's) is deposited into my checking account. To my conservative mind, this is income based on an annuity started with my first job back in 1960. But I digress. The Talking Heads have been screaming that Social Security is going broke; I really don't know. What I do know is that things have changed in the last seventy odd years. When FDR introduced this program with the retirement age set at 65, many felt he picked that age because few would live that long, or if they did, they wouldn't live much beyond 70. There was some merit to that argument. The American life span has increased. Further, the program was based on many, many people working and contributing to the fund which made payments to the few. Everything was going along fine; even WWII helped as women entered the workforce and contributed to the social security fund. After the war, these women left their jobs, returned home, and had BABIES. The Baby Boom began. The Boomers grew up, entered the workforce, and contributed to the social security fund. At one time, there was such a large surplus, that LBJ introduced Medicare. We move forward; people occasionally mumbled about social security running out of money but no great panic. Then someone noticed that the Baby Boomers were not reproducing at the same rate their parents did. Then we experienced the Baby Bomb. Those born during the boom years began to retire; the pyramid was now inverted. Fewer workers were funding more retirees who were living about twenty years longer than their grandparents. And to make matters, there is an active underground economy - many workers are paid in cash which means no one, worker or employer, contributes to the social security fund. I'm not sure, however, there is total need for panic. In thirty years or so, most of the baby boomers will be dead. The retirement age has been raised - maybe it should be 70. Perhaps it is time for a means test to collect. Do the very rich really need this money? I have mixed emotions about that scheme. The annual adjustment for inflation stopped - that made me happy. It really did. If The Kid is right that social security is really federal welfare, it is the only welfare that is collected by those who really worked.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Halls of Time

It seems Harold Hall is upset because questions have been asked about his SALARY.
That's operative word here - SALARY. Mr. Hall claims he is a director receiving a salary. He is alledged to have requested overtime pay by submitting handwritten time cards. Blogolanders, those earning a salary - a certain sum of money paid annually - do not, in the real world, request overtime. Those earning an hourly wage, normally, do get overtime. To my knowledge, directors in the City of Trenton receive a salary. I doubt very much if any director punches a time card; if I'm wrong, I'd like to know about it. Another problem for the mayor. Has one of his directors been helping himself to city tax funds? When all of this nonsense started, I truly believed Tony Mack was making mistakes. I hoped, really hoped, I even prayed a bit, that he would learn. Never happened. Right now, I strongly suspect, the mayor knows exactly what he is doing. Blogolanders, we are dealing with, "To the victors belong the spoils."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Governor Christie

Yesterday afternoon my sister called me to ask, "Have you heard?" Naturally I wanted to know what I should have heard; Karen told me Chris Christie had been rushed to a hospital with breathing difficulties. Interesting that it made the news on a New York station. I checked The Trentonian website and read the comments. I read the comments this morning. Talk about mean! I favor free speech, but I also favor a bit of kindness, compassion. I, too, have asthma; my son has several friends who have asthma. Any attack, even a mild one, is not pleasant. The current weather does not help asthmatics. So, folks, keep the snotty comments to yourselves; as to his unpopular actions. It had to come. We have all been living on borrowed money; the loan has been called in. What seems odd is the fact that the governor does have access to excellent medical care, and he still walks around with at least 100 pounds of lard he does not need. Why hasn't some medical type put him on a very strick diet? I'd love to know what that family eats because the picture of Mrs. Christie, wearing shorts, leaving the hospital showed her to be on the porky side. So to all of you who are pissed because the free lunch is over, remember, you were happy to accept generous benefits, COLAs, etc. but never asked where the money was coming from. As a nation, we forgot to save for a, "rainy day." So when budget cuts come along, we feel it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't Panic

Good morning, Blogolanders. No doubt you've all read the lead story in both newspapers - The City of Trenton will lay off 108 police officers. I feel the panic already, but my reaction is - "Yeah, so what?" I doubt it will make a difference. Let me explain. Twenty-five years ago when we moved into Trenton, I noticed that groups of teenagers, even young men, would scatter when they saw a patrol car coming. Today, no such reaction. Even the dealers stay put. The patrol car just drives on by. Ever since the nice weather started, there has been an outdoor dice game taking place on Lamberton Street; the patrol cars just cruise on by. Cars block traffic on Lamberton while the driver chats with someone (usually a female), the patrol cars just cruise around the offending vehicle. Very few Trentonians have any fear, respect, concern, whatever about the police as it is. I doubt fewer officers will make any difference. And, here's the best part. Whenever these things are pointed out to police officers attending civic meetings, the answer is usually, "Well, I didn't see it so I can't say." So don't panic. You probably won't notice any difference.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Finally, some relief! I spent the last week hugging my air conditioner which meant it was really HOT since I don't like a.c. Since I did very little physical stuff, I had time to just think. The Kid came by to check on me, and we had some time to talk. As I've written we often disagree, but he said something that set the little grey cells to spinning. I was bitching that I just didn't have the energy to go outside and pick up trash; Nicholas announced that maybe all those Dorito bags, potato chip bags, McDonald's crap, etc., was not a bad thing since it meant someone was sending money. Bt spending at the corner store, someone was able to make money. He feels I should be encouraged. Maybe. But I still think you can buy all that crap and still clean up after yourself. And of course I received the love letter from the mayor. Mayor, when are you going to get someone who can write English? I do suggest you buy a style manual. There are several very good ones floating about. My personal favorite is the University of Chicago manual. There is also the New York Times manual. As to your claim about dusting yourself off and continuing on your journey - yeah, but have you learned anything? Not bloody likely.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Funny Money

Last Thursday, George Dougherty, a former city attorney, spoke at the Trenton Council of Civic Associations. The thrust of his talk was that state government instituted a few schemes for muncipalities but gave no funding. Governments are notorious for doing this be it state or federal. The City of Trenton got stuck with rules regarding the establishment of pay scales as well as tax caps. Yet no one, be it city officials or tax payers stood up and screamed. Everyone just let it happen. That left Trenton in a bind. Trenton began to spend more than it took in; the difference was usually made up by state government. That worked until the state ran out of money. Then Chris Christie took an ax to the state budget. Trenton is now on the verge of hysteria. Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know how else to say it - WE HAVE BEEN LIVING ON A CREDIT CARD AND THE STATEMENT CAME IN THE MAIL!!! The state can't help us anymore. The first thing I would like to see is an ACCURATE inventory of property in Trenton that is tax exempt. The operative word is, "ACCURATE." None of this, "The state owns 50% of the property in Trenton, etc." The city owns a lot of property - like the schools, Cadwalder Park, police stations, empty libraries etc. The county also owns property as does the federal government. Yes, there are a lot of nonprofits here in Treton, but many of them rent office space from private parties who do pay taxes. We seem unable to accept the fact that there is no money; there is little chance of getting any. Let's start with an accurate inventory. Then let's stop bitching about how much Trenton does for the state; we do damn little. I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but I also realize it is impossible to make one dollar cover two dollars in expenses. I'm off to hug my air conditioner.

All in the Family

At the end of a rather crummy week, I had a visit from a cousin who now lives in North Carolina. Carol was driving back from Syosset, Long Island to her home, and she stopped in Trenton. Talk about a shot in the arm!! Carol and I were never close; age kept us apart. She's young enough to be my daughter; when I married she was still in elementary school. Once Carol grew up and married, she and her husband moved in very literary circles. They also moved about the country. About a year ago, we were at a family party and got to talking. We found the age gap disappeared. Carol and I just chatted about random subjects; she likes my house. When she left, I felt so much better. There is nothing like family to make things look better. The best thing is that we do have shared memories. I look forward to further and longer visits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Back!

Last week was sort of a bummer but it ended well. It all started, of course, with the incident on Parkside & Oakland when city employees (and supporters of our Honorable Mayor) showed up to harrass people collecting signatures for a recall. The recall folks were on private property with permission. The pro-Tony folks not only violated the civil rights of those seeking signatures, but they also violated the property rights of the owner of the strip mall. Fast forward to Wednesday when the Honorable Mayor popped in to the Old Mill Hill Society meeting at the Mill Hill Saloon. He parks his car on private property and then gets pissed when his car is towed. I have no doubt that if it had been someone else's car, the parking violation would have been overlooked, but here's the Honorable Mayor. He knows that THEY are after him so what does he do? He steps in it AGAIN! If Tony had any brains, he would think to himself, "I have to be super clean; I have to make sure I don't give anyone anything to hit me with." He does just the opposite. Then a fellow blogger passes the mayor and companion in Mill Hill Park and makes a pleasant comment. Rather than smile and keep walking, the companion makes a wise crack; the blogger goes ballistic. Bad move on the blogger's part. Bad move on everyone's part; the Honorable Mayor, after realizing his car was gone, went back into the Mill Hill and demanded of a patron, "Who did YOU call?" Frankly, Blogolanders, the total absence of courtesy, of breeding, if you will, depressed the hell of me. Friday morning, I got a real upper. But more about that later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Trenton balanced a budget without having to depend on the state? That would be true independence. That's why I'm not upset about the governor's actions; by cutting us off, it may prove our salvation. I was at the, "budget" hearing held by council on Friday afternoon - fascinating. David Rousseau claimed the city would have to raise the tax rate so the state would give us money; it there were no increase, the state would figure we don't need the money so our taxes went up fourteen cents per hundred. George is the only council member who voted no. Nobody on council suggested a meeting with the governor. If Trenton is ever solve its financial problems (and I am beginning to suspect no one really wants them solved), council has to start with good, old fashioned cheese paring. Cutting out things like newspaper delivery, cell phones for council members. Once that's done, then they can get down and dirty. Sadly, the city continues to spend more than it takes in. Always a bad thing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


In today's Trenton Times there is an editorial criticizing Gov. Christie for his budget cuts. The editorial goes on to explain how these cuts will hurt single mothers, sick children, students. Nothing, however, was said about a senior citizen living on a fixed income who wrote a fat check to the State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury last March. That's me, of course. Yes, the governor could restore these budget cuts; the legislature may even force the issue. BUT how will these programs be paid for? Since the state cannot print money, I assume taxes will be raised throughout the state. Then we can all bitch and moan about the increase in taxes but sleep better because single mothers, sick children, etc., etc. are being helped. Frankly, Blogolanders, I am sick and tired of raising, feeding, entertaining, and even educating other people's children! Ironically, it is only the last hundred years or so that people have looked to the government to solve all their problems. The Irish potato famine is a case in point. London did bloody little to relieve the suffering - oh, a few poor houses were opened and Queen Victoria donated five pounds to Irish relief. (Back then five quid meant more than it does now.) Today, the government would move swiftly to relieve the suffering AND I agree that is right. Has anyone ever noticed that those who pay the most in taxes demand the least in public services? By the way, I do feel a millionaire's surtax might be a good idea; I doubt, however, it will put much into the state coffers. Anyone earning a million dollars a years can figure out a way to earn just $999,999.99


Kevin Moriarty and I served together on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and I always found him to be intelligent, thoughtful, and gentlemanly. Considering what happened yesterday, while Kevin and others were looking for recall signatures, I am disappointed, once again, in the Honorable Mayor Mack. If the, "eff," word were removed from the English language, Rodney Washington would be mute. What is Tony Mack afraid of? The people with the recall petition are exercising their federally guaranteed right to petition their elected officials for a redress of greivances. Screaming, swearing, other anti-social behavior will not stop this movement; if anything, it will inspire those in favor of the recall. And, Blogolanders, there was talk of a recall petition for Douglas Palmer; it got nowhere because it was too close to the end of his fifth term. Doug Palmer was not necessarily my hero, but he was smooth; sadly, Tony Mack is not. The Honorable Mayor just doesn't get it! But back to Mr. Moriarty. I disagree totally with his Friday posting. Cutting the financial cord is probably the best thing that could happen to Trenton; as long as the administration, any adminstration, could cry to the state legislature Trenton has no chance of getting its financial house in order. Yes, the state does occupy several pieces of prime real estate, real estate that the city surrendered. It would be easier if the state were to annouce, "Every year you get ...... dollars as the PILOT." That's what Trenton should be pushing for - a set amount of money each year. I'll be back in a few hours.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Summertime

And for the next few weeks, my postings will be based on my thoughts and philosophy. It's too nice to be doing much else. Like I should be outside pulling weeds, but I don't feel like it. Just a few civic comments. Tuesday Nite Live went very well with the election of officers for council. Everyone behaved with dignity and courtesty. And some advice for Mayor Mack which he will ignore, but what the hell. Mayor, be careful with the OPRA requests, because when you lest expect it, this will come back to bite you on the ass. Yes, it's summertime and the, "livin is easy," or it should be which got me to thinking about poverty. It seems to be relative. For example, one could take the poorest person, with a place to live, living in Trenton and compare that person to someone living in, let's say, East Africa. The East African has little if any access to regular meals, clean water, television, air conditioning, education, in door plumbing, not to mention alcohol and cigarettes. Hopefully, you get my drift. Take this resident of East Africa and place them in Trenton, maybe a house on Daymond Street here in the South Ward. The East African would probably feel he/she had died and gone to heaven. Now, I do not consider myself poor; most people in Trenton would not consider me poor, but if one were to compare me with the Astors, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, hell, I'm hanging on by a thread. What I live on annually, any of these people spend in a month, maybe even a week. Yes, I do live better than most of my neighbors, and my annual income is above the median here in Trenton. Now, for the last twenty years or so, I've listened to any number of people describing programs for, "poor people," or the "poverty stricken," or the , "disadvantaged," whatever. No one has ever said, "This program is designed to break the cycle of poverty," or even better, "this program is designed to find out why people are poor so we can move on from there." The main reason is that there is a lot of money to be made off poverty. Just think for a moment of all those employed in non-profits, public agencies, etc. If there was no poverty, these folks might actually have to go out and get a job. And that, dear Blogolanders, is why I am not overly generous to or supportive of anti-poverty efforts. I refuse to be responsible for keeping anyone down. Now, I suppose I should at least do the laundry.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recall Petition

For those of you interested in signing the recall petition, Artifacts Gallery, 1025 South Broad (corner of Elm & South Broad) has petitions. The gallery opens Tuesday to Saturday at 10AM. They do super terrific framing, so if you've meaning to frame your bowling certificate, now's the chance. They also carry a great selection of Trentoniana. It's not too early to start Christmas shopping.

Having Fun Yet?

I know, I'm not. Yesterday, I was all set to post, and the freakin' computer program did something - I tried to log on to post a blog, and IT asked for a password which it kept telling me was wrong. After hitting a variety of keyes hoping to solve the problem, the whole damn screen, e-mail, etc., disappeared. The Kid finally came by to help; he knows a great deal but not everything. I don't object to technology; I love my toaster and my steam iron, but they are both easy to use. But computers, it seems the minute I learn the latest and even get to like it, it is improved!!! But enough of my bitching and moaning. Blogolanders, I'm sure you all read the review of Tony Mack's first year in office. I thought it a very neutral piece - just the facts, ma'am, just the facts. Tony has had an awful first year. Hell, Richard Nixon had a better first year in office. And he continues to step in it. Nothing improves. Here's an example. The fiscal year ends three days - at midnight June 30. Has a budget been presented to council for the fiscal year 2012? Hell, no. Has council demanded, and I mean, demanded, a budget, even a draft, from the administration? Hell, no! And of course they won't. Kevin Moriarty pointed out recently that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I have given up on the administration; I have given up on council. Both talk big and do little. As for the mayor's book....I have no doubt Tony went to a vanity press - that means he paid to have it published. I'd really like to know where the money came from. And Blogolanders, be prepared to have Tony handing out autographed copies during the next year or so. Maybe then, Tony will begin to have fun.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sticking My Neck Out

Good morning, Blogolanders! This post will offend many people, and it has nothing to do with the Honorable Mayor Mack or the city of Trenton. Has to do with state employees. Most of you know each month a comfortable state pension check is deposited into my checking account. Most of you also know (or should know) that the state pension system is in the toilet. Governor Chrities is trying to keep from flushing the whole damn thing down into the sewer. The unions are livid because he bypassed collective bargaining. They have a point, BUT did any union call the governor's office and offer to sit down to renegotiate the contracts? Did any union admit that these contacts were Cadillac class when the state can barely afford a Chevy? Sadly, no. And I can't blame Chris Christie for this mess or even Corzine or McGreevey. I do, however, blame Mrs. Whitman who bragged about her tax cuts which she financed by NOT making payments into the state pension fund. Did anyone scream about that? I know I did. My feeling was, "Screw the tax cuts. Just don't raise my taxes for a while." Time flies with no payments into the pension fund; more and more people retire. Not only do they retire, but they also want their COLAs. Cost of Living Allowance. Christie stopped the COLAs, but he did not reduce the pension payment - not yet, anyway. Last year, I assumed my pension would be cut back; I figured about $100 a month so I made adjustments in my standard of living. My pension was cut back just $8. Big deal. I don't know how else to say it. THE MONEY IS NOT THERE! Most of these contracts were signed when the economy was growing and growing. Everyone looked forward to solid growth. Then bottom fell out. So fellow retirees and current state workers - Please, please accept the fact that the money is not there! In fact, if we ALL (and that includes me) tighten our financial belts, the state may be able to solve this mess, and then we can all get more money each month. Now, for whatever it's worth, I do feel those who make really big salaries should kick in more in state taxes. There I disagree with the governor. So again, PLEASE ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO MONEY!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Frustration Doubled - Tripled

This is a time when I want to grab the Honorable Mayor Mack and shake him till his teeth rattle. How many more mistakes is this man going to make? Maybe he enjoys stepping in the crap; the IT flap is a perfect example. Let it go. Get serious. There are people here in Trenton who really, really want to help the city, but Tony you ignore them which makes me believe you don't give diddly about Trenton. And submitting your brother's name to become a coach, another bad move. Now, let me discuss council. I didn't witness the exchange between Councilmen Chester and Muschal. I've been told by someone whom I trust and respect that it was not as bad as reported; a few sharp words were exchanged. Maybe they were two tired and frustrated elected officials. As to the comments left about the article in the Trentonian - Mr. Chester is not a thug. Nor is he a criminal. He is a very well brought up young man with whom I frequently disagree. If anyone in the West Ward is not happy with him, don't vote for him. As to George being everywhere helping. Be grateful, Blogolanders. Citizens' concerns should REALLY behandled by the mayor's office,but starting with Doug Palmer, these concerns were foisted off the Office of Citizens' Concerns with so-so results. Trentonians started going to their councilpeople who picked up the slack. I've heard complaints that trying reach a current councilperson is difficult so off to see George who gets on the stick and accomplishes something. So other councilpeople, if you don't want George in your ward, move quickly.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guest Blogger - Dysnomia

Good morning, Mayor Mack. Lamberton Lilly asked me to post a blog; she and I are in close contact. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the ancient Greek personification of lawlessness and poor civil constitution. In other words, crappy government. First, I want to let you know, "Those whom gods would destroy, they first make mad." We have you in our sights. One thing we really do not like is, "HUBRIS." That's an old Greek word meaning overwhelming pride. Sadly, you're guilty of it which is why we started eyeballing you. Everyone makes mistakes; usually, people learn and move forward. You haven't learned. You are a nice man, but you don't seem to know what you're doing. I checked out your website which lists all the things you've done in the last year. Yes, you've been busy, but you've doing typical mayor stuff. Cutting ribbons, opening exhibits, etc. Big deal. That's what mayors do. It's not an accomplishment. It's part of the job. I'm sure you want to help your friends, but not at the public watering hole. And then giving yourself an, "A!" No, no, no. Maybe, just maybe, a, "C." There are people in Trenton who really want to help this city turn around, but you ignore them. You toss them a bone or two and turn your back. And stop blaming Doug Palmer; you knew you were walking into a mess; you claimed to have the solutions to the mess. You didn't. Did you blow smoke just to get elected? You still have some options. 1. Meet with David Ponton and his group to discuss what you can do, and how soon, to stop the recall. Then, of course, follow through. 2. Contact those Trentonians who offered help and advice. Meet with them, REGULARLY, and follow their advice. 3. Continue on your present course. That's what my sisters (I have two of them) and I would really like. We thrive on civil disorder; that's our function. In closing, my Aunt Themis and Cousin Dike really like Attorney McKithen. If you were to fix that sad situation, it would really give me a black eye.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Old Hen Looks @ a Duck

After watching the Daryl Brooks videos and trying not to laugh, I say this, "Daryl, forget the expression, "you know." No, I don't know; that's why I watched the videos. Next, this is not entirely a Palmer Redux movement - I support this recall effort, and I didn't support Doug the last two times he ran. In fact, because I didn't support the police director scheme, Doug didn't talk to me for nearly six years. Most of the folks I've spoken to who support the recall (1) never worked for the city and (2) supported Tony Mack last year. And to fill in your education, Daryl, the mayor, any mayor, has nothing to do with the clerk's office. Council, that's council, Daryl, hires and fires the clerk. If Tony hadn't lurched from mistake to another, there would be no recall. As for a learning process, to that I say, "My ass." During the campaign last year, Tony swore he was ready to hit the ground running. He had all the answers. The truly sad thing is that Tony has been offered really good advice, really good help AND he refused!! He gives lip service but nothing else. So instead of blaming Doug Palmer, Tony should be taking the attitude, "I brought it all upon myself." In closing, has the Honorable Mayor Mack asked Eric Berry to turn in the key to the city-owned car he, Berry, drives? If not, that has nothing to do with Dougie, it has to do with Tony.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Cube of Truth

I read the article about the raid on Jersey Street; I also watched the video. That's when the questions began. The police apparently had what is known as a, "No Knock," warrant which means they just kick the door in. Like all warrants, it must be signed a judge, and the judge must be presented with damn good reasons for a warrant. So one must assume that the police presented the judge with damn good reasons to request a, "No knock." Next, Mrs. Mitchell, who claims to have trouble seeing and to be blind, certainly saw alot. She described one police officer as, "the young one." Not bad for someone who has trouble seeing and is blind. Something was going on in that house.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Good and the Bad

Let's start with our governor. His decision to use the state helicoptor to attend his son's ball game was most ill advised. If I were his advisor, I would have suggested he drive himself in his car or better yet, take public transportation. If he had done so, the governor would have shown himself to be willing to pinch pennies. Hopefully, he's learned a lesson. Time will tell. As to filling in the Petty's Run site - bad move. Perhaps cover it up, but don't fill it in. We've already paid for the dig. Now the Marc McKithen caper. I've had a few coversations with Attorney McKithen and found him to be a very pleasant young man. If I had any problems with him, it was that, by his own admission, he didn't know much about municipal law. His field is patent law - the fellow has a masters in organic chemistry which I suspect means he's the brightest light in the council chamber. I would advise him to stop driving a city owned car from his home to his office. He lives about two blocks away. The Fix Trenton's Budget Committee met on Wednesday and came up with several good ideas. Dan Dodson (who was not present) and Bob Lowe are two men who know of what they speak; Tony, if he were truly interested in solving Trenton's many problems, would be meeting with these guys weekly. He is not. To my way of thinking, Tony has been blowing them off. Which makes me wonder how serious Tony really is.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And in This Corner.....

Once again, Tony Mack demonstrated his lack of foresight. If I were facing a recall, even if I thought it was a joke, the last person I'd want in my corner would be a Darryl Brooks. If Tony had been thinking, he would have found a sweet, church-going lady, the type who still wears a hat in public,to be his spokesperson. What really got to me was the theory that Doug Palmer is behind this. News Flash - Doug Palmer is history. What is behind this recall movement is Tony's behavior, choices, statements, you name it. And he keeps making things worse - the latest is, "I don't think." That's obvious. As I've posted before, I like Tony as a person; he's a hellva nice guy. As mayor - sorry, no. Be cool.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh, to be in an English speaking city.....

During the last few hours, I've been running errands, stopping to chat with people, even voting. After reading the city hall response to the recall announcement, I wanted to calm down before posting. Is there no one in city hall who can write a simple, declarative sentence without making a grammatical error? Whoever prepared that statement should be fired. Now, as to the suggestion that we, Trentonians, should get behind the mayor, support him, etc. To that I say, Merde! The mayor should be helping us, the Trentonians, not the other way around. Tony has spent the last year lurching from one stupid mistake to another. He has been offered good advice, great advice. All of which he ignored. He has learned nothing and shows no signs of wanting to learn anything. Like now - the theory is we Trentonians are causing the problem. No one really wants to go through a recall effort, but that is how angry and disgusted Trentonians are. So Mr. Mack and Mr. Berry why not decide to change your ways? How is the investigation of the alledged forged time cards coming along or is that too expensive to investigate?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Calling all Trentonians

It seems David Ponton organized a recall committee and will deliver official notification to the city clerk this morning. Bloglanders, please give serious thought to this movement. A recall is not easy nor is it meant to be, but this is a chance to send the mayor a message. It is going to be hard work, but it can happen. Remember when Mayor Palmer wanted to sell the water department? That was a grass roots movement that WON! This another such movement. And if you are dissatisfied with the current administration, do not be afraid to sign the petition. You have a constitutional right to petition your elected officials for a redress of grievances.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Taste of Tasteless

I don't know Eric Berry, but several who do know him speak highly of his abilities. OK, since I don't know the fellow, I couldn't disagree - until this morning. Mr. Berry published a letter in the Times of Trenton complaining about an editorial describing Mayor Mack as, "cavalier and dismissive." Mr. Berry claims these words have to do with the mayor's state of mind. These words have nothing to do with the mayor's state of mind; these words describe behavior which is obvious to anyone interested. And both the mayor and Ms. Ira are frequently, "cavalier and dismissive." The editorial, I assume, came to be because the latest Mack administration crisis - alledged inaccurate time cards. Both the mayor and Ms. Ira tend hide behind, "confidential personnel matters." Yeah, sure. Trentonians, ALL city employees are paid with our tax money therefore we have the right to know how much they make and how long they work to make it. Mr. Berry also refers to current independent investigations as, "tasteless." You want tasteless, Mr. Berry? Neither The Times of Trenton nor the citizen journalists/bloggers gave us, "Happy Pearl Harbor Day." Now that was tasteless. As a taxpayer - one who contributes to your comfortable salary, I advise you to start investigating these charges and not waste valuable time writing letters.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let the Sun Shine In!

Usually L.A. Parker and I agree, but I do not agree with his last column. Yes, the DCA told Mayor Mack to hire a chief of staff, but DCA did not tell him to hire someone with, "problems." Further, the DCA cannot, nor should they, oversee every signature on every piece of paper. If there has been fudging of time sheets, this is a gross violation of public trust for which there is no excuse. This is outright theft. If it is proven to be the case, then the administration must accept blame. Tony Mack has lurched from one mistake to another; he seems to have forgotten everything and learned nothing. If we, as taxpayers, are to see any change we must start attending city council meetings so we can DEMAND that this crap stops and stops now. (The Kid has apparently fixed the settings so it should be easier to leave comments; please, however, be civil. Thank you.) Enjoy the nearly perfect weather.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just General Stuff

Good morning! First, the good news. Last evening I attended a get-together at Trenton Social on South Broad Street. This is a great place. Nicely done up, friendly employees, and the food was great. I had the curried chicken salad with a flan for dessert. Then off to the STARS meeting (that's the South Trenton Area Residents Society) where we discussed Lamberton Liquors. The owner has really come around! He planted flowers all over the place and sweeps up several times a day. And when he puts the cartons out for recycling, it is literally a work of art. Everything neatly stacked. This morning I was at the Broad Street Diner for the broadcast. This place has great coffee, terrific scrambled eggs, at reasonable prices. Joe D'Aquila from the Trentonian explained why it is so hard for folks to respond to my blog posts - I'll try to ease things up soon. Promise. Plans for the Trenton Council of Civic Associations annual fundraising dinner are well ahead of schedule - thanks to Christine Donahue and her team. City council meets this evening at 5:30PM in the council chamber - please be there. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Make My Day

Good morning, Blogolanders. I got a phone call yesterday asking what I'm going to say about the breakup of the Schwarzenegger marriage. Since it's not my business, I'll say nothing. I will, however, make a generic statement to all those who spill their guts in front of the Great American Public and then say, "Give us space. Give us privacy." To those folks, I say, "SHUT UP," about your problems,and you will have all the space and privacy you need and/or want. In today's issue of The Times of Trenton, I read an article about some found money. Wonderful news except everyone seems to be giving Governor Christie advice on how to spend this money. To our Governor, I say, "Put the money in the bank!" I called the governor's office with this advice which I'm sure he'll ignore. I also called Senator Turner's office with the same advice. Forget property tax rebates, or extra school funding, or whatever. I never liked property tax rebates anyway; it's a shell game. Let me explain. You pay $1,000 in property taxes and deduct that amount from your federal tax return. Then you get a check for $100 from the state as a property tax rebate. You run out to spend the money, BUT when you file your next federal return you must list that $100 as income. So you've gained nothing. The big loser is probably the State of New Jersey as it costs money to calculate the rebate, cut the checks, and slap postage on evelopes.