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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.