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Monday, April 25, 2011

Ladies & Gentlemen

I'm back. New subject. Remember last week when Governor Christie was chewed out for insulting Loretta Weinberg? The Talking Heads were upset because she was elderly. She was a victim of Bernie Madoff. I have no great sympathy for Mrs. Weinberg; she's been in politics long enough to know barbs fly around all the time. As for being a, "Victim." Come on!! People invested with Bernie because they believed what little info he gave them; "I make money every month whether the market is up or down." Even I (and I'm no financial genius) would have been suspicious. And Bernie had a minimum that he would accept for investment - five million dollars. Anyone with five mil to gamble with - sorry I can't cry for them. What does piss me off about Bernie Madoff is that a couple people went to the SEC and reported that he was running a Ponzi scheme and no one at the SEC listened. A watchdog agency sponsored by our government let this creep keep going. Bernie should have been shut down years before he was. So, Mrs. Weinberg, in the future, if it is too good to be true, stay away from it.

Just Thoughts on a Monday Morning

It looks like this will be a pleasant spring day - about time, too. The flowering trees are lovely. Yeserday, Easter was celebrated with a lovely lunch at The Blue Danube; this place is one of Trenton's hidden treasures and long one of my favorite places. For the longest time, I took guests to either Pete Lorenzo's or The Blue Danube. I finished the day by watching the third and final episode of Mastrepiece Classic - an update of "Upstairs Downstairs." I started watching because it got great reviews; I found it silly and somewhat unbelievable. Then I switched over to The Learning Channel for the latest Royal stuff. Yes, Blogolanders, I am following the stuff about THE WEDDING. The Kid teases me about it; I am a great fan of most royalty, especially the British tribe. It started back in 1953 when I was in the hospital having my appendix out; my parents brought in a Coronation coloringbook and a box of crayons to keep me amused - I was hooked. On July 29, 1981, I woke early, fed Nicholas, got him dressed in a clean diaper and light shirt. Then I settled him in his baby chair in front of the telly. I knew he wouldn't remember a thing (he was just five months old), but I wanted him to say he saw the Prince of Wales marry. Nicholas promptly fell asleep. I can't explain why I find these people interesting; some of them have been plain stupid. This I know, part of my interest has been based on The Accident of Birth. Their ancestors, if you will. Diana, for one, was the great great granddaughter of one Frank Work of Chillicothe, Ohio. Nothing seems to be known of his ancestry - probably good peasant stock. The late Queen Mother has a few interesting types in her family tree. So all this flab about Miss Middleton's ancestry is rather amusing. So what if an ancestor was a miner? In a few generations (assuming the Brits keep the monarchy) it won't matter a damn. Actually, this dose of good rich red commoners blood is not a bad idea. The constant intermarrying made the Hapsburgs a family of idiots. One person I never really warmed up to was Princess Diana; especially when the marriage hit the skids. The theory that she had no idea what would happen doesn't ring true. Her family has for generations been chummy with the Royal Family. She was born on the Sandringham estate; her maternal grandmother, Lady Fermoy, was one of the Queen Mother's closest friends, her father Earl Spencer had been a member of the court, her brother-in-law was private secretary to the Queen. Everyone assumed they were getting an updated version of the Queen Mother and instead found themselves with an unhappy, not too bright young girl. But I will continue to waste time this week following THE WEDDING news; hell, it's harmless. As one Englishman said to my late husband years ago, "Buck House puts on a good show." Finis

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bed Bugs!

This has become a hot topic in our fair city; last evening, at council, the subject came up. It was obvious landlords weren't crazy about the idea of taking responsibility for the problem, and I left with mixed emotions. By the way, the director of the city health department told me it was not a public health matter because bed bugs do not spread disease. I disagree. Whether they cause disease or not, the current problem is a public health matter, but more on that later. This morning, The Kid chewed me out and suggested I talk to a man known to be an excellent landlord - Bob Wagner of Artifacts Gallery. Mr. Wagner may not like the various rules and regulations imposed on landlords, but he follows them to THE LETTER. Since I had a framing project, I stopped by late this morning, and asked for his imput. Bob's answer was, "Mrs. Stewart, I, the landlord, did not bring in the mattress with the bed bugs; I did not bring in the sofa with the bed bugs - no, I'm not responsible." He's right. If a tenant moves in with bed bug infested possessions, it's the tenant's problem. If the city does anything, it should be to get the word out - and fast - about where these little buggers come from. They hide in used furniture, used clothing, used mattresses, you name it. I also realize good tenants can introduce the little critters by accident, but the landlord did not do it. There is no easy solution to this problem, BUT we must all put hysteria to one side, sit down calmly, listen to solid advice on how to solve the problem, and then do it. No, the landlords are not to be held responsible. If I owned rental property, I probably would have the place fumigated each time the unit turned over just to be on the safe side. There is no easy, immediate answer to this problem; nothing, however, will be solved until everyone stops screaming, "It's not my problem." One last word, I reread these gems at least twice before posting yet I continue to miss typos. One really should not proof one's own work, but I don't have a secretary. Ergo, I apologize in advance for any typos - I know they are annoying.

Friday, April 15, 2011


The Kid (aka my son, Nicholas) and I were in Washington, D.C. for a few days. We got back late last night. He is a potential bone marrow doner and was given a physical yesterday. Please, Blogolanders, keep your fingers crossed that this donation takes. Yes, there is discomfort involved, but having a baby is bloody uncomfortable, yet women keep having babies so a little discomfort to save life ...what the hell. As to Tuesday's council show, I did leave early. My good friend, Dion Clark, stayed and heard the unpleasant exchange between Mr. Bethea and Mr. Mucshal. I'm not sure what George has done to deserve impeachment; he does his job and well. The Three Graces avoided the microphone. It's almost impossible to hear what they say; I suspect I haven't missed anything. One man, I didn't catch his name, spoke about the issue of voting where black citizens are concerned. He mentioned that prisoners, parolees, and probationers are not allowed to vote. This is true. ANYONE under supervision of the courts loses certain civil rights. That includes the right to vote. Prisoners are counted in the census. That's probably the most accurate count given since it comes from the warden. Now a war story. When I was working as a probation officer, one of my tasks was to explain the, "joys," of probation. Along with losing the right to vote, one also lost the right to own fire arms and the right to leave the jurisdication of the court without a travel permit. You know what really caused moaning and groaning? Not the loss of voting priviledges. The loss of the weapons and the right to travel about the country whenever. The loss of the right to vote was generally met with, "I don't care nothin about that; whadda you mean I can't leave Mercer County?" As someone who feel very strongly about the right to vote, that attitude hurt. Maybe it's time to remind citizens how important this right is. Forty years people were being beaten, chased by dogs, and sprayed with fire hoses just because they wanted to reigister to vote. When owning a gun or taking a trip is more important than voting, folks, we got troube right here in River City. I'll be back with more.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ye Shall Know the Truth

Robert Chilson published a long entry about Ms. McBride; sadly, he's right. My problem with the current council is that during the campaign they all claimed to have, "the answers," and were ready to hit the ground running. Now they don't know what they're doing. What their purpose is. Well, here goes. Members of council are elected to vote on ordinances and resolutions and to watch over the municipal purse. And to have the courtesy to listen to speakers for three minutes. Anything else is up to them. So if George Muschal wants to help Trentonians with various problems, good for him. As to Reed Gusciora who has discovered the nexus between Princeton and Trenton - come on! The assemblyman wants to keep his job so he'll move into Trenton. I, for one, will not praise him for doing so; I would have given him credit if he moved into Trenton three years ago. My father loved to say, "You can tell when a politician lies because the mouth is moving." Again, sad, but true. In the current issue of The Downtowner, Carlos Avila claims to have made the run-off in his second campaign and to have lost by ten votes. Not so! George Muschal won the South Ward in 2010. And by more than fifty percent. There was no run-off in the South Ward. It's too bad that Ms. McBride resents the fact the DCA is eyeballing everything council and the administration does. Too bad; Trenton has been whining about the need for state funds. We got some money and the state wants to make sure the money is not going down a rat hole. In case you haven't noticed, folks, the state is also broke. There are worthy individuals on the current council, but as a whole - all seven of them - they are a sad, sad bunch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Corrrection & Apology

In my last blog, I left out a word. The sentence should read, "If the 15th District had NOT...." When I caugh the error, I tried to edit my posting. Not much luck. A week or so ago my, "server," reconfigured everything. The terms are wrong. I'm now trying relearn. I dislike technology; I believe if it ain't don't fix it. My neighbor, who is really into computers and electronics, explained it is necessary to stay on the cutting edge.

Read about Reed

It seems Assemblyman Reed Gusciora closed on a new home about twenty days ago. Now he plans to move into Trenton so he can continue to serve as an assemblyman for the 15th District. While cruising the blogosphere, I noticed that a few people are thrilled that he moving into Trenton! Where he lives is his business, but before people start dancing in the streets, think about this. If Reed Gusciora cared so much about Trenton, he would have bought a house here rather than in Princeton. The only reason he's coming to Trenton is that he wants to keep his job. Nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest. That he will soon be a new resident is fine; but I am not impressed. If the 15th District had been redrawn, he'd still be unpacking in Princeton.

Sweet Stuff

Friday afternoon, I went over to Ellarslie for a brownie tasting. One more thing to love about Trenton. "Alysia's Brownies!" If you haven't tasted these gems, you're not living. My favorite - raspberry brownies. My neighbor, Carolyn, goes for the marshmellow brownies. But you name the flavor; it's there. You can reach out at www.AlysiasBrownies.com - please do.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The 15th

The 15th District will change. Reed Gusciora's bedroom (he claims to live in Trenton but sleep in Princeton - too cute!!) is now in the 16th District so he plans to roll the mattess down 206 and buy a house in Trenton. As a right leaning Republican (awful pun), I don't care about either Mrs. Watson-Coleman or Mr. Gusciora. The few times I called Mrs. Watson-Coleman's office for help, I was told, "We don't do that." I called Reed Gusciora's office just once - about three years ago. I'm still waiting for the call-back. Now, Senator Shirley Turner is a very different story. The many times I have approached her office for help, I have gotten it and FAST. Usually within two or three hours. And, no, she can't help me with everything. When she can't, Meredith Rivera calls to report, "Mrs. Stewart, this isn't a matter the Senator can help with. Have you tried.....?" When Senator Turner can help, she does!! In fact, her record re constituent services is so good, a Republican said to me last year, "No way will I run against Shirley Turner; I'll wait till she retires."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Doggy Droppings

Yesterday I posted regarding a cleaner Trenton. One reader pointed out the problem of people who do not curb their dogs. Fortunately, in this little corner of the South Ward, we don't have the problem; no one owns a dog and those few who have cats, keep them indoors. But we are required to curb our animals and pick up after them which is not that hard considering all the plastic bags we have. Dog poop is a health hazard. But again, folks, let's all pick up after ourselves. Then we will really have a clean city.

To Labor is to Pray

This is the motto of the Benedictine Order of monks; I find it an interesting philosophy since I've never felt very spiritual while pushing the vacuum cleaner or pulling weeds, but... Yet I hear a great deal about the need for jobs here in Trenton. Whenever a contract is before council, someone asks if the contractor will be hiring Trentonians. Usually, the contractor dodges the question; I'm waiting for the answer to be, "We are fully staffed which is why we can bid on this contract." That's the answer. Any company applying for a city contract most likely has a qualified staff. There is also the problem that very few of Trenton's unemployed have anything to offer an employer. They lack skills. Many are functionally illiterate. When I was working, I would ask my, "clients," what sort of work they were looking for; the typical answer was, "Anything." There was also the problem of not having a work ethic. One of my clients (I was a probation officer handling cases of welfare fraud) landed a job at Water's Edge Nursing Home. She started on Monday; Thursday morning she was in my office sobbing because she had been fired. She told me she had been fired because her supervisor didn't like her. On my way home, I stopped off at Water's Edge and spoke to the supervisor who showed me her time card. She had been late Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And Tuesday she left early. Friday morning I called her to explain why she had been fired. My client was upset because she had three children to get ready every morning and she was doing the best she could. At least she got there so what was his problem? This young woman could not accept the fact that she agreed to work 8AM to 4PM; her supervisor had the right to expect her to be there at 8AM. Yes, many Trentonians need jobs, but many Trentonians needs skills and they also need an understanding how the job market works.