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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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Not Our Fault!!

As most of you know, there is a theory here in Trenton that the state does not pay it's fair share of the expense incurred to run River City. This is a theory to which I do not subscribe. Mostly because our problems are of our own making. For example - the politically correct cry is that the state occupies prime real estate; thereofore Trenton cannot develop and tax this real estate. This is true, but it is true because forty odd years ago, Trenton got sucked into, "Urban Renewal." So the neighborhood around the Justice Complex; Agriculture/Labor buildings was bulldozed. All those houses (I believe it was the old Jewish neighborhood)became dust. Gone, not only the structures, but also the taxes. Along West State Street, where the museum is, also lost housing & lost taxes. And right here, where I live, the short block between Cass and Lexington Streets known as Coats Street - houses GONE. There is now an empty field belonging to the State of New Jersey. No taxes coming in. Because Trenton made a BAD decision, we now scream, "Do over!" And Trenton has never done anything (that I've seen) to correct the problems. On August 10, 2008, former business administrator Jane Feigenbaum gave a deposition to James W. Mastriani, an arbitrator. Between points 8 and 14 Ms. Feigenbaum laid out the various problems here in Trenton. Just one example, she testified that 21.1% of the population live below the offical poverty line. Here's another. Trenton lost one third of its population between 1950 and 2000. Never, never have I heard anyone be it the administration or the council or even the public say, "Let's try to solve these problems." No, the annnual response has been, "You owe us!!" That's the first step. Solve these problems. Ms. Feigenbaum claimed that the state has 24,000 employees (she doesn't say whether this is the total for ALL state employees or just the ones working in Trenton); she then claims 85% of these employees live outside of Trenton. Again, probably true, BUT has Trenton ever done anything to make Trenton attractive as a place to live? My feeling is that we brought our troubles upon ourselves ergo we must correct these troubles. Now that's the hard part because doing will hurt like hell.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Esoteric Ramblings

From time to time, an Iron Age dead body turns up in a European peat bog; the Talking Heads announce the poor sod was a human scarifice to the Swamp Gods and "The National Geographic" does an exhaustive piece on the find. OK, maybe a sacrifice, but maybe not. Let me explain. Starting last December, the bodies of young women who worked as escourts have been turning up on the barrier islands off Long Island; I've been following this story because Gilgo Beach, Oak Beach, Jones Beach were my old stumping grounds. Fifty years ago, I spent many a Saturday night at the Oak Beach Inn (back then one could drink at 18 in New York). So I got to thinking. If these bodies had not turned up until 2,000 years in the future, would the finders have assumed we practiced human sacrifice? Maybe these Iron Age bodies were plain old murder victims and the murderer just wanted to off load the remains - what better place then a swamp? Just wondering.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This & That

Dan Dodson published an excellent article in this month's issue of The Downtowner; he outlines his thoughts about the city budget process. As this may the answer, I urge all Blogolanders to read it. More choices - The Food Bazaar in the Roebling Market now has a section devoted to Polish foods. It's a good selection, too. Check it out. The Kid is back from Washington looking damn good. No bruising. I asked him to do a guest blog; he also has some pictures that I will try to post. Nicholas said the worst part was having to lie still for several hours. I'm off to enjoy what's left of the day.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Nicholas is now in Washington at Georgetown Hospital for the procedure. About two months ago, he was notified that he was a potential bone marrow match; he went through several tests and was approved. Yesterday morning he and a friend drove down to D.C. His procedure involves stem cells; for a few days he will get injections to force his body to make more stem cells; on May 9, he will have blood taken from one arm (the stem cells will be strained out) and the blood returned to his body through the other arm. The stem cells will then be given to the person who needs them. Blogolanders, please, please keep your fingers crossed, pray, chant, whatever you do, that this procedure is successful. Don't worry about The Kid; he'll be fine. How do I know that? Because part of the deal is a million dollar life insurance policy. If anyone thought he was in danger, the insurance policy would be something like $1,500. By the way, this procedure is not costing Nicholas any money; he gets travel expenses, meal money, and a hotel room. I am an organ donor; when I turn up my toes, anything that can used is to be taken. While my lungs are shot, my liver, heart, and kidneys are in terrific shape. Maybe someday, someone will have a second chance. If you are not an organ donor, please consider becoming one.

paranoia can annoya

Good morning! Over the last half century, I've met people with interesting views. For example, THE GOVERNMENT is hiding what happened at Roswell, NM. No, I don't think we were invaded by Little Green Men. If anything crashed, it was an experimental gadget from the military; it may even have been something the American military stole from a foreign power. I firmly believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot John Kennedy. I believe Princess Diana died because her driver was drunk, AND I believe Barak Obama was born in Honolulu, HI. I never doubted it; I was just curious as to why it took so long to release his birth certificate. Of course, some people will be never satisfied - those people really should develop a hobby. Lastly, I believe Osama bin Laden is dead; it is not necessary for me to see photographs with his brains all over the place. There is nothing illegal about doubting our government; it's probably a good thing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Tarnished Silver Spoon

Well, it's happened again and this time it's a BIGGIE! Tony Mack must have the worst Karma in the country. He has stumbled from one mistake to another. And Monday morning it really blew up in his face. Personally, I have no sympathy for Paul Sigmund, a man with all the advantages - Born with a silver spoon in his mouth. And he screws up. He should be fired, like Monday afternoon. None of this upaid leave crappola. No doubt Paul Sigmund will enter a rehab facility - a real upscale place. Fine as long as Trenton doesn't pay for it. That's why I'm nervous about this, "upaid leave." And I understand that Eric Berry has taken over the duties of chief of staff - I don't care about that just so long as Mr. Berry is NOT collecting two salaries (1) business administrator and (2) chief of staff. Blogolanders, this story is all over the country. It made the wire services. I, for one, am tired of Trenton as a city being a laughing stock. I'll finish up with a piece of advice for the Honorable Tony Mack. Mayor, it's time to fold your cards and leave the table.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Advice From Dear Ol' Dad

Last week, a young man was shot and killed by the Trenton Police Department, and many people were enraged. It was even called murder. I was not there, so I cannot testify as to what happened. I can, however, add a few thoughts to this sad situation. Blogolanders, as you know I am White Anglo-Saxon Prostestant - a WASP. I grow up in a pleasant house in a pleasant neighborhood with both parents involved. As my sister and I reached the age when we could travel about on our own, Dear Ol' Dad gave us both a piece of advice - NEVER, EVER MOUTH OFF TO A COP. This advice is too often ignored which causes problems; so many of the incidents here in Trenton could be avoided if citizens followed instructions - even if the cops are wrong! The place to sort this out is the stationhouse and/or the courtroom. Running from the cops or ignoring an order only makes everything worse. I gave my son this advice. Now, for the really hard part. A very hard truth. Cops, and everyone else, are not trained to wound, to shoot in the leg, or the left thumb. They are trained to hit the torso dead center. They are trained to shoot to kill - NOT WOUND. A wounded person is as dangerous as one not wounded.
So please, Trentonians, if you have a run in with the police, co-operate. If the cops were wrong, you can sort that out later.