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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Show Me Yours; I'll Show You Mine

Hello, Blogolanders.  I meant to post this sooner but have spent the last several days researching the financial health of our presidents.  This is probably an impossible task as land values have changed, and there is debate as to the value of slaves.  Yes, many of our earlier presidents owned slaves.  And I have neither the time nor the patience to check every bit of information.  One site had a glaring boo boo.  Jackie Kennedy was described as, "an oil heiress."  She was no such thing; the only heiress was Ethel.  Her family founded Great Lakes Carbon. 

What does seem to be the case is that many of our presidents died broke.  A prime case is Thomas Jefferson, one of our greater presidents.  He was not only broke, but also in debt.  Yet this guy brokered one of the greatest land deals in history - The Louisiana Purchase!  He couldn't pay his own bills, but he left us a fortune. 

As for George Washington, I'm sure he would have had a great credit profile/credit score.  But when it came to the finances of the new government, he needed Alexander Hamilton to put the nation on a firm financial footing. 

Of course, you've heard about Bernie Madoff.  Ten years ago, a report from Equifax would have made him look golden - the man was a thief. 

Now why is the Tony Mack mess such a surprise?  Back in 2006 when he first ran for mayor, he paid his campaign workers with bad checks.  That should have been a wake-up call. 

The reason I found this requirement so distasteful is that based on Anglo-Saxon common law, one is innocent until proven guilty.  We are trying to say to candidates, "You are guilty (you're a crook) until you prove otherwise. 

If you want to snoop around the a candidate's finances, why not ask where donations are coming from?  Doesn't anyone find it interesting that Walker Worthy has some $23,000 in his war chest  I know I do. 

And, in closing, you could have a candidate with a stellar financial history, but what about the folks around the candidate?  Does anyone believe JoJo has an 800 credit score? 

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Macy's LOOK OUT!!!

Both papers published pictures of the Trenton Thanksgiving Parade.  No matter how closely I looked, I didn't see many Trentonian lining the parade route.  Why no story about this wonderful event?  After all, we paid $10,000 plus overtime for this, "non," event.  Blogolanders, do not believe for one minute that private donors coughed up the cash - if that were so, we would be told who these generous folks are.  Anthony Roberts just mumbles and fumbles whenever asked about this. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's All a Plot!!

Good morning, Blogolanders.  The last few days have been devoted to various news articles and television programs remembering the 50th anniversary of the shooting of John Kennedy.  Those of you who were alive then no doubt still remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on that Friday.  What still amazes me is the number of people who believe there was some conspiracy; that Oswald could not and did not act alone; that the U.S. government lied to us and still keeps information hidden. 

Perhaps the biggest argument against anyone but Oswald pulling the trigger is that the Kennedy family accepted the Warren report.  Think, Blogolanders, please.  Do any of you really believe Robert Kennedy would have rested if he thought there was more to his adored brother's murder than one lone nut case?  Hell, Bobby even said, "...my brother was killed by a white man."  He was speaking to an angry crowd after the murder of Martin Luther King. 

The great and powerful can be struck by the weak and unknown.  Both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan were shot at by unknown, unbalanced people.  James Garfield (one of our more forgotten presidents) was killed by a fellow pissed that he didn't get a job. 

Which brings us to Jack Ruby.  Far too many believe he was sent to silence Oswald.  Let's take a look Ruby's activities that day.  Yes, he was off to the police station where he loved to hang out with the cops and schmooz.  He did, however, bring his pet poodle along.  Now if I were off to kill someone, I'd leave the pooch home.  On his way to the police station, Ruby stopped off at Western Union to send fifteen dollars to one his strippers.  There was no guarantee that this errand would be an, "in & out."  There could have been a line.  Then Ruby would have missed the transfer of Oswald.  And what about his drive to the station?  What if he had hit a traffic light or two?  That would have delayed him.  And I understand that the Oswald transfer was delayed a few minutes because Oswald asked for a sweather.  All of this leads me to believe Ruby would not have had a chance - fate just fell into his lap. 

But conspracies are really more fun; they also make more money.  My favorite current conspiracy is that Princess Di was killed on orders from Buckingham Palace.  She died because the car in which she rode was driven by a drunk who was speeding - AND only one passenger was wearing a seat belt.  He was the only one to survive. 

Yes, much of the shooting of John Kennedy was handled in sloppy manner.  Very few are aware that Kennedy was wearing his back brace which would have forced a back head wound to make his body jerk back, not forward.  Finis

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Dull Day!

Yesterday's Trenton Times proved a joy.  No screaming headlines about crime, corruption, moronic behavior, cheating officials, etc.  The lead story was about Trehune Orchards and their winery!!!  A very pleasant surprise - Trenton can do it.  Later, Blogolanders.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Post Election

Nothing happened yesterday that surprised me.  Perhaps Barbara Buono's concessation speech, but that's all.  I am, however, saddened that New Jersey voted to increase the minimum wage and have future increases required by the state consitution.  While increasing wages sounds nice, where is the money coming from?  By the way, when wages go up, so does the FICA contribution from an employer. 

One of two things will happen.  Businesses that employ minimum wage folks with let someone go OR the business will raise prices.  Possibly both.  We shall see.  And my fellow New Jerseyites - what of the people who work for nursing homes* - school districts - local governments?  Where are the funds to be found to meet these new requirements? 

Surprise!!  Higher taxes!!

*Many nursing homes are privately owned - I know that.  But they are still costly and are not known for their princeley pay scales.  So if you plan to drop an aging parent off somewhere be prepared for a greater cost and lesser care. 

Pay seems to rise quickly whenever there is a labor shortage.  You know, more jobs than workers.  Right now we have more workers than jobs. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sue First; Think Later

Good morning, Blogolanders.  Over the weekend a woman named Christine Brown announced she was suing the City of Trenton - Police Department for death of her nephew, Eric McNeil.  The late Eric was shot by a Trenton police officer when he came charging at two officers with a gun blasting.  Eric hit both officers - one nearly died.  Interestingly, Eric was on parole for a felony conviction. 

When a prisoner is paroled that are certain rules that must be followed.  The most obvious is do not commit another crime.  Eric not only beat the crap out of his former girlfriend, but he also killed her puppy.  And those on parole are not to own weapons.  Somehow, Eric got a gun.  Wheather he bought it or borrowed it, not important.  He had it, and he used it.  He shot two police officers. 

Yes, the police officers would come first.  Too bad Eric was lying there as the medics handled a call for, "Officers down!"  If Eric had followed the rules of his parole, he'd probably still be alive.  By the way, if he had lived,  Eric would be off to prison for a VERY long time. 

To Christine Brown,  I can only say, "Lady, you've got gall!"  As a taxpayer here in Trenton, I can only hope the courts throw out her suit.  I would also suggest the lady consider some embarassment at the behavior of her nephew. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Advice from Good Ole Dad

Good morning, Blogolanders.  It seems there was another flap in Trenton over the weekend involving citizens and the police.  I wan't there, but the news accounts seem truthful based on my experience.  Let me begin by writing that I do not believe the members of the Trenton police are a bunch of boy scouts.  They can be, and often are, rude and obnxious.  Hell, I've had a few run-ins with them. 

Before I go any further, Blogolanders, please note (for those who don't know already) I am a WASP.  When I first got my driver's license, Dear Ole Dad gave me a piece of advice I've have not forgotten - NEVER EVER MOUTH OFF TO A COP!!  Not every unpleasant contact with the police is motivated by race - believe me.  My favorite war story is walking into police headquarters, approaching the officer in the lobby and being greeted with, "Yeah, whadda you want?" 

Now for my advice - NEVER EVER INTERFER WITH AN ARREST.  Even if you believe it is wrong, unlawful, racist, etc., etc.  Keep calm.  Settle the problem at the police station. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Winter of Our Discontent?

Hello, Blogolanders.  It's been awhile, but I've been keeping a low profile.  Doing a lot of thinking and reading.  But first, the special election for state senator.  No surprises there.  Cory Booker was going to win - BUT what did surprise me was the final tally.  I epected Booker to cream Lonegan; Lonegan actually did very well which makes me wonder just how unhappy the voters are.  Of course the government shutdown didn't help, BUT again, the vast majority of Americans never noticed.  Yes, I know public parks and monuments were closed, BUT how many Americans planned to visit this month?  Did anyone notice that the Social Security checks still kept coming?  The boys and girls at the national pre-school known as the Congress knew better than to turn off that tap.  No matter the party, our representatives would not dare do that.  So some low level file clerk gets a sixteen day PAID vacation - what was accomplished?  Just a a lot of lead stories for the six o'clock news. 

The November elections should show just how discontented we Americans are. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Social Civics

On Sunday, the Trenton Times published the monthly essay written by the president of the Trenton Council of Civic Associations; this year the president is Darren, "Freedom," Green.  He had much to say about civic involvement; he mentioned that the absence of good old high school civics has done more harm than good.  (That is not an exact quote.)  He could not be more right.  In my day, it was called, "Social Studies." 

Long ago, I stopped being amazed at the ignorance of the typical citizen.  The most commonly heard is, "I don't vote because it don't make no difference."  Like hell.  On election day, we are the most important and powerful people around.  Why?  Because every leader in every country is glued to CNN.  They know that whoever is elected is the president they must deal with for the next four years.  (With very rare exceptions).  Just think.  Every vote for Ronald Reagan brought a smile to Margaret Thatcher's face. 

Another popular excuse for doing nothing  (especially when it is suggested the citizen attend council meetings) is, "I don't want no trouble."  The Constitution, which is the supreme law in this country, guarantees that a citizen has the right, "to petition elected officials for a resdress of grievances."  That means we, the voters, you and me, have a guaranteed right to bitch and moan - in public - on the record.  And if you don't speak up at public meetings how are the elected officlas to know something is bothering you? 

My favorite war story involves the census every ten years.  You have no idea how people feel the government is just snooping into their private affairs.  Yes, some of the questions are a bit over the top, BUT, and it is a big BUT, the Constitution requires a census every ten years.  And there was a reason the Founding Fathers included this requirement.  Anyone out there know the answer?

Mr. Green was right.  The ignorance about our own government is dragging us down.  And if the schools won't teach, there is always the Citizens' Campaign. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guest Blogger - Emily Post

On Wesdnesday, the The Trenton Times published a letter from one Maria Kelly who was in a snit because the Dishonorable Mayor was not permitted to address council and the public on August 15.  Blogolanders, he was on the agenda.  He was sucheduled to speak just after the opening ceremonies.  He was NOT there.  No one seemed to know when, if at all, he would appear.  Councilman Muschal did the right thing - he moved the agenda forward to public comments.  The Dishonorable Mayor finally appeared and stood in the door.  According to Ms. Kelly, council was rude not to stop public comments and allow the Dishonorable Mayor to speak.  Bullshit!!!  He was late.  He was rude by being late.  He forfeited his place on the agenda by being late.  If he had manners, he would have taken a seat and waited till public comments were over and then apologized to all.  But instead, he stomped off to his office.

If there is one thing about Trentonians that drives me nuts, it is the inability to tell time.  This casual attitude toward being late.  I often wonder how many of use keep our jobs.  The fact is, Tony Mack was late and got what he deserved.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Royal George

England's Royal George is a six-week old infant; Trenton's Royal George is Councilman Muschal.  Last week, several of my neighbors cut back and swept up the weeds along the curb on my block.  This week, Councilman Muschal and a helper arrived to cut back three overgrown lots.  George also trimmed several trees.  It was a lot of work - about six hours,  give or take.  Everything looks neat and tidy.

Blogolanders, in an ideal world, the local government should take care of tasks like this, but we do not live in an ideal world.  We live in a city that is broke in a state that is short of cash, with a municipal administration that leaves much to be desired.  In a little more than eight months, we will elect a new mayor and a new city council. 

Before voting, Blogolanders, PLEASE DEMAND of all candidates their plans to solve the various city problems, and I don't mean vague answers like, "We need more jobs;" We have to improve our eeducational system;" We have have increase our tax base;" We have to fight crime."  No shit!  But how?  That's what, we the voters need to ask; that's what, we the voters need to know. 

And where a candidate was born and raised, went to school, what sports played,  means nothing.  What plans the candidates have matters.   

Should you, the voters, decide not to go this route but instead follow the usual campaign crap, then do not bitch and moan if another group of losers gets elected. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trenton - The Twilight Zone?

Hello, Blogolanders.  It's been a long time since I've posted.  Several reasons why, too.  There was so much to comment on, I didn't know where to begin, and there have been some happenings within the family that took up my time.  Well, I'm back.  Not only have I read the papers, but I have also listened to the Dishonorable Mayor's press conference during which he blamed the Fourth Estate for printing negative news which, according to the Dishonorable Mayor, destroys the minds of our young.  It was some six minutes of bullshit and not even quality bullshit. 

I do not believe reporting the negative destroys young minds, saps their ambition, ruins their self-respect.  Hell, I,ve been reading The New York Times for over fifty years - you want the negative?  Read that paper.  In my humble opinion, what destroys young minds is watching adults ignore problems, watching adults refuse to discuss solutions, watching adults pass the blame, etc.

Here's a very personal example.  Back in 2005, I went to the UPenn Hospital for a zillion tests.  The final results were:  heart is fine, kidneys are fine, liver is fine, butt is fine.  The problem?  A small cancerous growth in my left lung.  Now, I could have decided to ignore that bad thing and concentrate on the good.  If I had, I wouldn't be here to enjoy all the good things so the doctor and I decided to concentrate on the bad - we solved the problem.  Here I am enjoying the good.  Including the lungs which function well enough. 

The Dishonorable Mayor should be concentrating on the negative.  Solving the problem(s).  Showing our young people how to find solutions.  Perhaps the media can have headlines that read, "Crime down XX% because Mayor Mack did X,Y, and Z."

We can have all parks we want, but if people do not feel safe in those parks, what good are they?  Instead of whining about the mess he found in city hall when he was elected (a mess he should have known about), Tony Mack should have been chipping away at those problems from the beginning.  All he has done since he took office is create more problems and make the existing problems worse.

I especially liked his answer to question about resigning.  Tony Mack is not resigning because he worked long and hard to get elected!!!  Who gives a flying f#$k?  Campaigning is long, hard work.  You don't want to do it, don't run, but a hard fought campaign does not give one right to abuse the office which Tony Mack has done since Day One. 

So, Blogolanders, the Dishonorable Mayor is going nowhere soon.  I, for one, hope someday to see him driven off to a nice federal prison.  Of course, he'll blame that on negative press and warping young minds by showing an elected official being escourted away by federal agents.  Tony Mack lives in a strange world far removed from reality. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Politically Incorrect Conservative

FROM THE FRONT STOOP posted an interesting piece about the summer food program here in Trenton.  I have long been against this program because I do not like to see food wasted.  There are people in this world, most of them in East Africa, who are starving - like they have NO food to eat.  While there have no reports of canabalism, I suspect it is because those who do starve to death have no meat on their bones to make it worthwhile. 

But this wasting of, "free food," predates the current administration.  Several years back while walking around the Cooper's Pool area, I was disgusted to see half eaten sandwiches, pieces of fruit, containers of milk just tossed on the ground.  Not only did these kids waste food, but they couldn't even be bothered to pick up after themselves. 

I suspect little has changed.  For half a century now I have listened to Liberal bullshit about helping, providing, doing, giving, understanding, etc., etc., etc.  Nothing has gotten better; in fact, things have gotten worse.  Anyone who can afford to throw food away does not help.  Anyone who can afford a Direct TV dish does not need help.  Anyone who can afford to sit on the front steps all day does not need help. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just Dreaming

Well, Blogolanders, it seems the Dishonorable Mayor sent off a letter to the governor asking for money to hire more police.  This is a request with which I have no great objection, but, and here's where the dreaming comes in, I'd pick up the phone and tell him, "The minute you resign, I'll be down the street with a check!"  Our Dishonorable Mayor claims to love Trenton, to want the best for Trenton, to do the best for Trenton. 

You see, Blogolanders, considering how this administration has pissed money away (like for Heritage Days, and silly lawsuits,  and incompetent staff), I wouldn't give Trenton ten bucks  much less ten mill.

This is just a dream. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

No Joy for Jo-Jo

According to the newspapers, Jo-Jo is now confined to his house in Ewing except for strict exceptions.  Good.  I've long suspected the guy is a fake.  There he is cluching his oxygen tank with one hand and a cigar with the other.  Any pulmonary specialist worth his salt would have told Jo-Jo to shit can the cigars long ago.  He should also be on strict diet to knock off some of the lard which is not helping his breathing.  And he should probably be in a pulmonary rehab program.  COPD cannot be cured, but it can be controlled and the qualitity of life greatly improved - I'm a prime example of that.  So my advice to Jo-Jo is, "keep your freakin mouth shut." 

To Protect & Serve????

Back in 1999 when Mayor Palmer decided he wanted a police director rather than a chief of police, I was against the scheme.  My prime objection was that the police department would become a political football - and it did!  I wasn't crazy about Joe Constance, BUT I must admit he was not one to take crap.  The final vote was very close - 51% to 49%.  When the police began to bitch and moan,  they were not happy when I pointed out if more of them lived in Trenton, and voted, Mayor Palmer would have lost.  Blogolanders, if most of the police lived in Trenton, they would be one hell of a voting block.  They police rarely see it that way.  And Blogolanders, I have my own horror stories about the Trenton P.D.  Any sympathy I may have had, vanished years ago.

I do not, however, believe the half-assed police protection we now get is a racial issue; I believe it is an organization that is pissed and will do as little as possible.  Yes, they are shorthanded.  But Trentonians have also contributed to the problem.  We could have 5,000 officers and so long as some Trentonians run around with unlicensed guns and shoot each other just for fun, we will have crime. 

Think for a moment - if Trenton were to introduce a Stop & Frisk program there would be such a hue and cry about picking on young black males that the program would fail.  Any proaction would be labeled harrassment.  Example - one problem in my neighborhood is young people stopping in the middle of the street so the driver can talk to someone - usually a young woman.  I asked a police officer why they couldn't ask the driver to move - stop blocking traffic.  The answer?  We would be accused of harrassment.  Well, yeah.  Tough.  Don't block traffic. 

My issue with our current crime wave is mostly with the parents of these kids.  If parents behaved like parents and set boundaries and rules and regulations, Trenton would have fewer crimes.  Yes, there will always be kids who slip into crime, but we have far too many who slipped into crime because no one pulled them back. 

So I would really suggest that L.A. Parker write about poor parenting. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ave Atque Vale

Since Sunday afternoon, I've thinking of how to write about my good buddy, Dion Clark.  We did not always agree, but we never argued.  Yet we often did agree.  Dion was never on an ego trip.  When he spoke out, it was because there was a problem, not because he wanted his name in the paper.  He had lovely manners, of the sort rarely seen these days.  So I decided to go with KISS. 

Rest in peace, Dion

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cars & Freebies

Good morning, Blogolanders.  As you know, or should, the city owns several cars (maybe even too many) and department heads often get assigned a vehicle to drive to and from work.  The logic is if there is ever an emergency, a vehicle is available for them to hop in and drive to whatever emergency there is.  I've long dismissed the argrument as so much dreck.  Fortunately, Councilman George Muschal started to investigate this.  And, surprise, surprise, he found what appears to be an abuse of this priviledge.  Department heads using city vehicles (and city gasoline) to buy groceries for the family, take the family on sports outings, and speed along the interstate (one vehicle was clocked at 88 mph). 

So the councilman started to ask very pointed questions.  Some departments responded.  A few did not.  And here's the problem - there are city regulations REQUIRING a response.  We have department heads in violation of city regulations and except for Mr. Muschal no one seems to give a damn.  Well, I do.  And you should, too.  This city is broke - like having no money.  Anything that is not necessary must be cut out.  And using city vehicles for personal errands and outings and racing is something that is not necessary. 

So let's all get behind the councilman and DEMAND answers to his questions and even better, take the damn cars back.  If a department head has trouble getting to work, suggest using the bus. 

And, by the way, such employee benefits are taxable.  How many Trenton department heads report this use of a city vehicle on their tax returns?  If any IRS agents read this blog, maybe some returns should be audited.  And if one uses a personal vehicle for city business, that is tax deductible - when I was working, it was 12 cents a mile. 

Let your councilpeople know you stand behind the Muschal investigation.  This is your property being abused and your tax money paying for it. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Good evening, Blogolanders!  The city council meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.  Illness, injury, vacation, and the heat all conspired.  Stay cool.  Love your A.C. unit. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jumpin Jo-Jo

Jo-Jo Georgianni is back in the news.  He wants to go to Florida!  When he didn't get his way, he made terroristic threats to an officer of the court, a federal court at that, without punishment.  I don't why it happened, but that pisses me off.  If I had done it, my ass would be behind bars. 

Blogolanders, Jo-Jo tends to fake.  I know because my lungs are shot.  He shouldn't be going to Florida in the summer as the hot, humid air will do him no good.  Maybe the mountains.  Further, when he starts to hyperventilate, he makes things worse by breathing heavily.  There are breathing techniques to calm down which he should know. 

And someone of modest means should not own a condo in Florida; if he does, he should be renting the damn thing out.  Jo-Jo claims to need money. 

This guy is nothing but a bullshit artist and a not very good one either. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Worth a Try

I was not at city council last evening, but I read the reports in both papers.  After a second cup of coffee, I asked myself, "When will the Seven Argives develop a set of brass ones?"  Just what are they afraid of?  George Muschal almost always votes, "no."  Lately, Zachary Chester has been asking really hard questions.  And apparently, Ms. Caldwell-Wilson and Ms. Holly-Ward asked a few pointed questions last evening. 

I for one am tired of listening to Mr. Hutchinson dance around the issues.  Usually, he's followed by my favorite mealy-mouthed city employee, Elena Chen.  Neither seems able to answer a straight forward question.  And damn it!  These are public funds under discussion - our tax money. 

My advice to the Seven Argives when they next meet is to vote, "NO," on all financial requests.  Perhaps that will get the attention of the Honorable Mayor and his minions.  If there is bitching and moaning, then here's the perfect answer -- "Mayor, your future may hold a federal prison; my future holds a re-election campaign."

Does anyone want to make book on this scenerio?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The More, the Scarier

Back again, Blogolanders.  I'm having a quiet day as all the people, and that includes The Kid, I'd want to spend the day with are treating themselves to a four-day weekend.  I've been thinking about next year's mayoral race.  Another hat in the ring - Oliver, "Bucky," Leggett.  So far, we have Patrick Hall, James Golden, Eric Jackson, Walker Worthy, Paul Perez, maybe Kathy McBride, probably Tony Mack and now Bucky.  Eight people looking for maybe twelve thousand votes.  So, Blogolanders, we will face the same mess we did in 2010.  Too many people after too few votes.  If I were running the show, I would tell four of them to forget it.  If they have a desire to serve their fellows, go volunteer at the soup kitchen. 


Two of them ain't got the brains.
One of them has too much baggage
One hasn't been heard from in years (I didn't know this person was still alive).
One has a nice, safe position; why gamble with it?

Yes, that adds up to five, but one fits into two categories. 

Please, please Blogolanders, take this next election seriously.  Forget where they were raised, where they went to school, what sort of awful childhood they had - ask them how they plan to solve the problems here in Trenton. 


Good morning, Blogolanders.  As usual, my ignorance of technology brought me to a posting.  I tried to add a comment to L.A. Parker's column in today's Trentonian, and I couldn't make the freakin thing work.  Most of you know by now that L.A. wrote about an illegal immigrant, Martita; his point is that until ALL are free, no one is free.  An interesting theory which has holes in it. 

First, the most obvious.  Murderers who are imprisoned for life without parole are not free.  Does that in anyway reflect on our freedom?  I think not.  We are no less free, in fact we are probably more free since we can wander around with less fear for our lives. 

Now as for Martita who entered this country seventeen years ago without proper documentation,  the fact she lives in the, "shadows," has nothing to do with our freedom.  She knowingly entered this country without the proper documents, she knowingly violated a FEDERAL law showing little, if any, regard for the laws of this land, and continues to violate various rules and regulations. 

Apparently, in seventeen years, this woman has not consulted an attorney specializing in immigration law.  Do I feel less free because of her problems?  Hell, no!!  In fact, she scares me.  She admits she is driving without a license.  As someone wrote, she probably has no auto insurance so if she is in an accident....   Think about that.  Scarey. 

And before anyone gets upset, I favor immigration reform.  I also wish to hell that those looking for reform would get it through their thick heads that this problem must be solved in WASHINGTON!!  The Trenton city council and the state legislature can do nothing about this issue. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Last week Councilwoman Kathy McBride held an expungement seminar at her constitutent office on Warren Street.  Not a bad idea.  In fact this is an issue with which I have had moral debates with my conscience.  Being asked on an employment application if one has ever been arrested or convicted (if yes, please explain) can be an immediate killer.  I doubt anyone reads the explanation.  So perhaps the problem could be solved by asking, "Have you ever been arrested and/or convicted of a first/second crime?"  Those are serious crimes- murder, arson, robbery, etc.  Then there are piddling crimes - 2rd and 4th degree - like contempt of court.  All of these can make trouble in the future.

When I was working, my caseload was pretrial interevention welfare fraud AKA Theft by Deception.  An interesting crime because rich, educated people lie to interenal revenue while poor, ignorant people lie to social services.  Same crime, really.  But, for the most part these are not dangerous people and are basically, very honest. 

Two of my clients faced this problem.  Both co-operated fully with the PTI program; in fact both were cut loose early because they did co-operate.  One tried to get a job in the school lunch program ladling out soup to kids who probably would not even say, "thank you."   She was denied because of her, "criminal background."  The next was a woman who got a job as a maid at the hotel (remember the Marriott?).  And she was a great maid; she did her job, everyone  liked her, etc.  BUT when the background check came back, she was fired.  The hotel lawyer pointed out that since she had a passkey to the rooms, and a history of, "theft," if anything turned up missing, the hotel could be sued."  She was a liability.  Both these women deserved better - and that's coming from a Goldwater Republican.

Obviously some people have to be restricted - no one wants an embezzler handling the books or an arsonist working as a firefighter - you get the picture. 

Now, let's go back to a war story.  When I was working and requests came in from people who wanted to get their voting rights back, the file usually landed on my desk because I was good at filling out the forms, getting the info, etc.  Sometimes it can be a pain in the ass.  One man had a criminal record in a Southern state.  So I called the venue in question and spoke with a very nice, helpful woman who announced, "I don't show anything for your perpetrator."  OK, I gave more info, numbers, everything  I had which led to, "Oh, that explains it.  This was a crime against property.  He served ninety days, paid a fine, and if there were no further incidents in five years, that file gets expunged automatically."  This man had no record in that state and didn't know it. 

He had been arrested and convicted.  But there was no record.  Did that mean he could check the, "no," box or would he have been lying?  That's where I have an moral issue.  Maybe I have too much time on my hands. 

I do belive that it is time to lighten up.  Ask only about first and second degree crimes.  Or better yet, folks - don't commit crimes. 

Beautfiul Dreamer Awake Unto Me....

Well, the Honorable Mayor has done it again.  Last week he held a, "fund raiser," to which about thirty-five people appeared most of whom I'm told work for Trenton having been hired by the Honorable Mayor.  So you don't bite the hand that feeds you, etc.  I'm not sure what the Honorable Mayor was raising money for - a campaign, legal defense, his property taxes, kids' college fund....  And the Honorable Mayor can probably get and keep his name on the ballot next May.  Yes, the trial is scheduled for January 2014, but the defense could argue for a change in venue.  That takes time. 
there is picking a jury - one good thing - this a federal trial so the jury pool is much broader so it should be easier to find people who have no knowledge, or even interest, in Trenton or Tony Mack.  But it is still possible to drag all of this out so the Honorable Mayor is still not  proven guilty of anything by the May election. 

But the Honorable Mayor announces he does not do weddings.  He calls in a minister for perform civil ceremonies.  I'd like to know what else he doesn't do.  He certainly doesn't consult with council.  He certainly doesn't use his brains (assuming his still functions).

What he does do is cling to some dream that he is a super mayor.   A dream that he is saving Trenton.  That he is building a better Trenton.  The man has a great imagination.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


During the last few days, there has been a call for the governor to ride into Trenton and save us!  Well, the governor ain't no Lochinvar and Trenton ain't no Ellen.  Yes, this is the capitol city, but most of our problems are of our own making.  My neighbors were whining about taxes and the school system twenty-seven years ago.   Art Holland was still mayor;  he cut back garbage pick-up from three to two days and the bitching and moaning - like it was the end of Western Civilization!! 

The financial problems this city has were created by the city - not the state. 

Here is some information we could all use.

Just how much property is owned by TRENTON?  Parks, public buildings, schools, etc.  The city cannot tax itself.

Just how much property is OWNED BY THE STATE?  And I don't mean occupied by the state since some of these buildings are rented.

Just how much property is OWNED by churches, religious groups, non-profits?  And again, I mean owned since even non-profits rent space from private owners who pay taxes.  (By the way, I've long felt churches, temples, mosques, whatever should pay taxes.)

Just how much is owned by the county? 

As for the argument that Trenton gives the state more than they give us, Blogolanders, try this .  On a nice weekday - late morning, early afternoon, drive through beautiful downtown Trenton.  Notice all the people out and about.  Notice, too, that they almost all wear state I.D.s.  Now drive through beautiful downtown Trenton on a lovely Saturday, again, late morning, early afternoon.  See a difference?  A big difference?  Most of the foot traffic is gone.

I've said and written many times that Trenton MUST solve its own problems.  We have an irresponsible administration and a useless council.  Of course we have financial problems; but who elected these people? 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Children's Hour

Hello, Blogolanders!  As the weekend goes by, I'll be posting more thoughts on this issue.  Last evening, all seven Argives were in attendance.  And Councilwoman Reynolds-Jackson was very upset that voting was taking place in reverse alphabetical order!!  Oh, my God.  She had to vote first.  That means the lady had to think for herself rather than follow her pals, Bethea and McBride.  The poor woman probably left the council chamber with a headache. 

Of course for a year, she has been sitting out of alphabetical order and not said a word.  And she still does not seem to grasp the difference between a resolution and an ordinance.  Hey, councilwoman -- an ordinance requires the mayor's signature - he can veto an ordinance and then council needs FIVE (the number of fingers on one hand or toes on one foot - got it, Honey?) votes to override the mayor's veto. 

This alphabetical seating was really amusing when Jim Coston replaced John Ungrady (sorry, folks, I hit something and can't make it go away, so please excuse the underlining).  Everybody but Milford Bethea moved one chair to the left in the conference chamber.   It was a pain in the ass as they had to clean out their file drawers and such.  But they kept to the alphabetical tradition. 

The Seven Argives finally decided that George Muschal would return to the presidency and serve till next year.  There is no vice president. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Political Cynicism

First, to all you fathers out there - Happy Father's Day.  Well, Blogolanders, we've been hearing a great deal about the, "special elections," to fill the senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Launtenberg.  Many Jerseyans are upset about how Governor Christie handled this situation.  Yes, it is going to cost too much money, but if we dropped the primary and let the parties hold nominating conventions, the state could save half the money. 

Next, this election will give the Republicans an edge.  My feelings about that - too bad.  It's probably sour grapes.  Remember when Robert Torricelli resigned suddenly?  Remember how his name was replaced by, guess who, Frank Lautenberg?  Remember how the Republicans cried that it was unfair to change the ballots so close to the election?  And remember how they were told to get over it?

Boy, has that worm turned.  Of course, if the Democrats had not chosen an elderly man with health issues (and perhaps even the beginnings of dementia), they would not be facing this issue.  They were lucky he lasted this long.  Frank Lautenberg reminds me of Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona who ran his last campaign from a hospital bed and WON!  Hayden was then his late eighties (I think).

Governor Christie made a shrewd, cynical political decision.  Whether he did the right thing, we'll know in about three years. 

Please remember, Blogolanders, that the governor could have appointed himself! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Just In Case

Hello, Blogolanders.  A great day; I got a lot done.  The bathroom sparkles and my so-called garden has been weeded and raked.  What I'm really posting about is frauds on-line.  Earlier this week, someone broke into George Muschal's computer and sent out an e-mail requesting $3,000 because he was in Spain with a sick cousin and short of cash.  Hopefully, everyone realized it was a scam and ignored it.  Should any of you receive such an e-mail from, "me," ignore it.  About a year ago, I received such an e-mail from a neighbor and knew damn well she was not in Spain.  This one claimed she had been mugged and a long with all her money her passport had been stolen and the embassy refused to help.  That was bullshit.  That's one of the functions of an embassy - to help with lost passports.  Stealing an American passport is a very serious crime since it is the property of the United States Government.  And believe me, if I were ever stranded overseas without money, I WOULD CONTACT MY SISTER! 

It took Mrs. Muschal about two days to clear everything out.  I admire her patience with this all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Round 'n Round We Go

Good morning, Blogolanders.  I've been off-line for a longish time because, very frankly, the weather depresses me.  Last Saturday, hoping to feel better since it wasn't raining, I drove around our fair city and arrived home feeling even more depressed.  Except for a few lovely neighborhoods, Trenton is dirty, seedy, run-down, uncared for, and unloved.

And Trentonians continue to shoot each other while there are screams for, "more police."  Like more police will change behavior.  Has no one noticed that there are no shootings in the, "nice," neighborhoods? 

Then the Honorable Mayor decided to throw a few parties for which we, the taxpayers, will foot the bill.  Why is no one at city hall screaming like hell about these costs?  Why is no one gathering at city hall on tax day chanting, "Hell, no, we won't pay till we get our say?"  That is known as civil disobedience and is held in high regard,  The taxpayers in Trenton will bitch and moan but do nothing.

Let's finish with the hotel.  Michael McGrath resigned from the Lafayette Yard board.  Michael is an honest man who can not be sold bull shit.  So now there is no one on the board with balls that I know of.  And the state is not going to rush down the street with several million dollars to save our ass. 

If you are truly concerned about the financial state of our fair city, I urge you to call your councilpeople and urge them to vote against the bond issue.  I'm wondering who will buy these bonds anyway.  I, for one, would not buy a thirty dollar bond issued by the City of Trenton. 

While I am not ready to flee to some age-restricted, gated community, I do sometimes feel what Trenton needs is several gallons of gasoline and a match.  Burn it out and start all over again. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fun Day in Trenton

Yeah, Blogolanders, in Trenton.  Yesterday Punk Rock had a flea market at Trenton Social.  Don't let the name scare you - it's an art group not Woodstock on the Delaware.  At the suggestion of The Kid, I took a table.  People kept coming and coming and coming.  One young fellow I spoke with came from Philly. 

Granted, it was a modern crowd.  First I had to get over the green hair, tatoos, and four nose rings, but once I did, I found a bunch of really nice people.  Wonder what they were like?  I arrived with twenty stacks of old history magazines - British History Illustrated, Mankind, The History Channel Magazine, etc.  I sold sixteen of them.  One young woman grapped a stack because the top magazine had an article about D-Day.  Her grandfather had been there; she was rather intrigued by it all, and we chatted about WWII, The Biggie and the last war that had public support. 

But people came to Trenton.  They spent money (I made a tidy profit, thank you).  T.C. Nelson of Trenton Social had people four and five deep waiting for food.  And there was not one freakin word (that I could find) in either paper about this event.  People came to Trenton, spent money, behaved themselves, had a good time, and the papers can't write about it? 

In closing, no cops were called, no one pulled a gun, no one yelled, "you dissed me," at the slightest bump -  it was a very polite crowd!  Trenton can do it!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Heartbreak Hotel

Good morning, Blogolanders.  This will probably be a quiet weekend since it is the unofficial start of summer.  Yet, while relaxing on the porch, grilling burgers, watching fireworks, or whatever, take some time to consider the following:

At TNL, Councilman George Muschal made an excellent point that no one bets on a dead horse.  As someone who followed the nags for several years, he's right. 

At the same meeting of TNL, Councilman Zachary Chester suggested that those so anxious to save the hotel, put up some money to accomplish said goal.  He and Mr. Muschal were the only ones willing to do so.  Not even Local 54 so anxious to save 84 jobs offered funds.

The City of Trenton NEVER owned the freakin hotel; the City of Trenton just guaranteed the debt.
That's rather like giving someone a credit card and you pay each month. 

The City of Trenton was NEVER obligated to meet the cash calls so every time someone came blowing into a council meeting moaning, "If we don't get $100,000 by tomorrow, we'll have no steak sauce!!" council could have said, "NO," but never did.

Keep your fingers crossed that the hotel has not been serving rubbing alcohol in place of high end scotch. 

If council decides to float the new bonds, the debt will belong to the city.  You and I, taxpayers, will be on the hook.  Forget any idea that the state or even the county will come to the aid of the hotel.  Please, Blogolanders, consider this.  Do you REALLY think anyone in Princeton or Seaside Heights gives a crap about a hotel in Trenton?  And to save the hotel, the country and/or state would either have to raise taxes or take money from some other program. 

In roughly seven months the 2014 campaign season will be up and running; forget where the candidates were born, grew up, went to high school, and had the most unhappy childhood.  Ask about solving the financial mess here in Trenton.  Ask about getting more taxpayers into the city.  Keep asking, "What are you plans?"  "How do you intend to solve this problem...?" 

And be prepared to let the hotel become a sad bit of history.  Yes, I'll miss it, but I also miss the milkman, a service that is history. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities?

A documentary comparing Colorado Springs, CO with Trenton, NJ was shown last evening.  There was a SRO crowd, and the film was interesting.  Actually, it was a brilliant piece of propaganda- for what purpose, I'm not sure.  It was put together by a Swiss team; the Swiss are very interesting people who have been hiding behind their alps for over a thousand years and doing well, too.  Switzerland was also the last European country to give women the right to vote.  It's a small, well managed country known for chocolate, watches, knives, and banking - not necessarily in that order.

This film crew contrasted Colorado Springs with Trenton.  If you knew nothing about either place, you would assume Colorado Springs was made up of nice, well spoken white bread type people who do good works on their own time and Trenton was made up filthy streets full of crappy housing lived in by unemployed, uneducated African-Americans who believed they would be shot at any moment. 

Yes, we have problems in Trenton.  Dear God, do we ever!!!  BUT....comparing Colorado Springs with Trenton is comparing apples and oranges - how?

C.S. has a population of some 419,745 living in 185.7 square miles.  Median household income is $52,984 with per capita income at $27,556.  City government relies mostly on sale tax and can outsource many services.  Further, C.S. was never a major center of manufacturing; it was, however, a mining center.  When the mines played out, health spas opened, hence the name Colorado Springs.  It was a great place for those with T.B.  Unemployment is about 6%.  AND, AND, here's the biggy.  Colorado Springs in home to the United States Air Force Academy which attracks over 1,000,000 visitors each year.  All of whom spend money which is a lot of sales tax,

Trenton has a population of roughly 85,000 in 7.5 square miles.  Unemployment is roughly 20%.  When the factories closed nothing came in to take their place (unless you include state government).  Come on, Blogolanders, can you imagine 1,000,000 visitors a year in Trenton?  Sweet Mother of God, we'd need ten hotels. 

If you have a chance to see this film, please do.  And also keep in mind, and think deeply, about how the message was skewed. 

Age Appropriate

Good morning, Blogolanders.  Before I get going on, "A Tale of Two Cities," I want to post my feelings about raising the ago of smoking, buying cigarettes, selling cigarettes (or any tobacco product) to those under the age of 18.  Yes, smoking is a dirty, dangerous habit - hell, look at me - my breathing problems are NOT the result of working with asbestos.  My problem with this is how we cherry pick - for example - anyone 18 or older can vote, sign a binding contract, join the military, get married, BUT until they are 21 these people cannot buy a drink. 

My feeling is if one is old enough to vote, go into debt (via binding contract), become cannon fodder for the military, take on a spouse, one is old enough to have a beer and a cigarette.  For those of you who disagree, the solution is very simple.  One is an infant until one reaches the age of 21.  No voting, no binding contracts, no military, no marriage, no alcohol, no tobacco. 

Oh, will the politicians scream about that!  If our fearless leaders want to save our young people from the evils of tobacco, do what Princeton has done.  Make it impossible to smoke anywhere.  Have any of you, dear Blogolanders, tried to smoke a cigarette in Princeton?  I'm not sure you can do so on your own front porch. 

Until we stop this cherry picking, I say leave the current regs in place - one must be over 18 to buy tobacco. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Facts of Life

Hello, Blogolanders.  Oh, where to begin?  I know, earlier this month when Councilwoman McBride rambled on about the fact Tom Neff of the Department of Community Affairs is really the Mayor of Trenton.  She started this because business administrator Sam Hutchinson said that DCA would NOT approve it if Trenton spent $200,000 on the hotel.  My feeling when I heard that DCA would not approve this expense was, "Thank God!!"  The next few days stories came out that the DCA did not want the hotel, the $200,000 was already in the budget,  MIDJersey Chamber of Council was holding a pep rally in support of the hotel.  The only thing we did not hear was that the famed Waldorf-Astoria was moving to Trenton.

Kevin Moriarty wrote several excellent pieces about the hotel;  I don't really agree.  I doubt very much if Governor Christie gives a damn about the hotel.  Yes, he's out looking for votes, but not here in Trenton; he's down at the shore.  Did you notice he wasn't buying Prince Harry lunch at the hotel.  Naw---he took him to the Shore. 

Blogolanders, most of whom I believe are Trentonians, if you want attention from the State House, you have to give him votes.  We're not going to vote for him.  You and I know it.  If someone were to say, "Governor, if you give us help, we'll guarantee you 10,000 votes.  That would get his attention. 

As for Heartbreak Hotel - it's time to let it go.  Yeah, the Chamber of Commerce blows in and announces support, but where?  At the hotel?  NO!  They gather at the ball park!  Kevin Moriuarty published list of meeting places for this august group.  So far this year two in Trenton and neither at the hotel. 

Far too often, people talk - talk is so cheap.  They give credit to everyone in sight but no one comes up with cash.  Trenton cannot afford the hotel.  Trenton never could.  Are we going to lose money?  Yes, and a lot of it, but we can begin to move forward financially. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

You Are Entitled to an Attorney....

For several reasons, I did not attend Thursday Nite Live but was there Tuesday and noticed Resolutions calling for some $265,000. in outside legal fees.  The city attorney gave a long, convoluted explanation about conflict of interest, attorney/client privilege, etc.  And her department is also overworked - just TWO staff members.  Who ain't overworked these days?  What I didn't ask (and doubt she would have answered) was how many of these lawsuits are plain frivolous or outright specious?  Case in point.  The Civil Service Commission ruled againt the city - Michael Morris must be rehired and Chico Melendez removed.  The Honorable Mayor decided to challenge that decision.  What will this challenge cost?  Much more than it's worth.  And, Blogolanders, Trenton now pays both men for the one job!!! 

I also feel it is time to rethink - redefine - attorney/client privilege.  As long as we, the taxpayers, foot these legal bills, we have a right to know what's going on and why.  I'd also like to see the statements from these outside lawyers.  Are they overworked?  Are they billing four hours when two hours would have done the trick?  I don't know. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bringing in the Gold

...we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the gold.  Good morning, Bloglanders.  Yes, this is my play on, "Bringing in the Sheaves,' a popular hymn with gospel choirs.  For whatever it is worth, I love gospel music, but what brought me to this?  Today's issue of, "The Trenton Times," and an article on page 9 to the left of an article about the freakin hotel.  Here's a quote from the photograph - "Trenton Central High School Inspirational Gospel Choir won first place in the Music in the Parks high school chorale division on Saturday.  The choir beat out 21 other high schools to win the Atlanta competition..." 

First, how many Trentonians even knew there was such a thing as the Inspirational Gospel Choir?  I didn't.  But then I didn't know there was a super debating society, either.  And how many knew these kids took first prize?  And why wasn't this splashed over the front page of our newspapers?  Given a choice between some child porn suspect and an inspirational choir, I'd go with the choir. 

To these young men and women, I offer my sincere congratulations.  "How great thou art..."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Time...

to leave the table.  Blogolanders and Trentonians, the hotel continues to be a very white elephant; a millstone; an overpriced luxury.  We must sell it!  Yes, Trenton will lose a lot of money, but, hell, we've already lost a lot of money!  The hotel was a bad idea from the beginning; if Trenton had a market for a hotel, a private chain would have been here on their own.  Maybe a smaller hotel would have worked - you know, one hundred rooms, seventy-five rooms.  I don't know.  What I do know is that we can, as a city, no longer afford this place.

Losing money on a a deal does not make me happy, but I also know when to leave the table.  Ain't gonna get better only worser.  And you wonder why the big, bad state doesn't jump in to give us millions?  Hell, we've borrowed money that we haven't even begun to repay.  If this were an AmEx card, we would have been cut off long ago.  Obviously, we're not too good with money.

Kevin Moriarty did an excellent posting on this hotel nightmare - read it.  Hopefully, the four members of council will stick to their guns and vote down anymore money. 

By the way, a bit of history.  Former South Ward Councilman, John Ungrady, always said, "The city shouldn't be in the hotel business." 

Finis for a bit.

It's the Media!!

At the last (hopefully in the sense of, "no more")town hall meeting, the Honorable Mayor opened his screed with, "The media give Trenton a bad name..."  (Not an exact quote.)  Yeah, sure.  Blame a free press.  And let's look at today's Trenton Times and the front page.  First page - above the fold - the best placement.  What do we have?  Two stories.  One about Mercer County efforts to control mosquitos.  Very informative - not what one could call negative.  Another about public monies going to private religious training schools - is this legal?  This is an issue that concerns the entire state.  Just below the fold is an article about the resignation of a candidate for Hamilton council.  She's been accused of stealing from a client.  Nothing to do with Trenton!!  Now - here it comes...

Below that is an article about Trentonian, Dan Dodson, and his recent experience with an intruder.  Several people have pointed out questions about what happened Sunday evening.  Yesterday, I was told, "someone broke into his home and took stuff."  Apparently, the intruder never made it beyond the foyer.  But it took the police some twenty odd minutes to respond!  Now that makes Trenton look bad.  If the police had appeared within a few minutes, the story would probably have never even made the paper, certainly not the front page. 

I strongly advise everyone involved - dispatcher, officers, victims, administration - to find out exactly what happened and why and issue an HONEST report.  Just a suggestion, but since the Honorable Mayor has been ignoring suggestions for nearly three years, I doubt he will jump on this one. 

I am very happy to learn the Dodson family is safe and sound. 

Ode to Gregory

This posting is inspired by the, "Killer Groundhog," that chased a bunch of Little Leaguers.  The story was posted on NJ.Com.  Those who feel it was female protecting her young are probably right.  Any animal with young can be very protective - vicious.  For several years now, I've had a groundhog living under my back porch; several times, I've tried removing him to Hunterdon County via a havaheart trap.  I swear he calls a taxi the minute he's released because he's back.  So I've decided to live with him; his name is Gregory; I'm sure he's a male as I never seen any small groundhogs around.  He's not dangerous.  In fact, he's rather shy; the slightest sound sends him running off.  He has a taste for tulip buds which is my only objection.  Watching him is rather amusing especially on warm, sunny summer days when he lies on his back with his little paws in the air.  Or when the local feral cats come; the cats and Gregory have stared at each other without moving for over an hour.  Thank you, Gregory, for the many pleasant times you provided.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wishful Thinking - I Think

Last evening, city council met for about an hour to discuss what happens when the office of the mayor or a council seat is declared vacant.  Other bloggers have posted the info so I won't do emphasis through repetition.  Of course, the last time Trenton faced this problem was in 1989 and there was no scandal involved.  Art Holland died. 

Right now, we have a mayor who has been charged with a federal crime, and whose lawyer will probably stall the trial as long a possible.  Don't expect to see the Honorable Mayor in a court room any time soon.  And the Honorable Mayor is one lucky dude.  How many times has he dodged the bullet?  So, until he is found guilty and sentenced, we're stuck with him.  And I'm not betting he will be found guilty; I can see him with a verdict of, "Not Guilty." 

The next muncipal election will be held in a year.  The Honorable Mayor seems to think he'll run again, and win.  If he is not in a federal prison, he'd run and maybe even win.  I don't have much faith in the average Trenton voter.  And the average Trenton voter doesn't read this blog. 

As I see it, there is only a small possibility - if the mayor (or member of council) is declared mentally unfit to serve.  Frankly, I've often suspected many of our elected officials could use medication.  It's not easy to have one declared, "mentally incompetant," so scratch that idea.

So, let's all accept the fact that the Honorable Mayor is ours for at least another year. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thank You, Councilwoman Holly-Ward

Good morning, Blogolanders.  No doubt, you've all read in today's Trenton Times, there will be a special council meeting on Tuesday to discuss, explain, tell Trentonians what happens when a mayor, or even a member of council, goes away for whatever reason.  The last time Trenton faced this problem was in November of 1989, when Art Holland died of cancer.  Council president Carmen Armenti was selected to hold down the fort leading most Trentonians to believe the office/title went automatically to the council president.  Not so.  There was, I've been told, much squabbling in the conference room over who should take over.  John Cipriano felt that as senior member of council, he should be acting mayor; Carmen Armenti argued that he had been mayor before  ( 1966-1970).  It went to Carmen, but it could have gone to anyone.

Please note, too, the Honorable Mayor was not available for comment.  And this is where I wonder  about the Honorable Mayor - really wonder.  This is where you say something like, "What a good idea; the more the voters know about their government, the better," or words like that. 

Ms. Holly-Ward plans to discuss what happens if a council seat becomes vacant; another good idea.  When Jim Coston resigned there was a lot of confusion as to how to fill his seat which had almost a year left.  So, Blogolanders, please come to city hall on Tuesday.  Sadly, this process is not easy.  Not like when the president dies, the vice-president is president.  No questions. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beautiful Dreamer

I have never enjoyed watching another human being humiliated; I've never enjoyed watching people makes fools of themselves (lest anyone jump on it, yes, I've made a fool of myself several times).  Monday, I went to Passage Theatre for the Honorable Mayor's fourth and last townhall meeting.  Except for June Ballinger, I was the only citizen present.  And June may have been there to make sure the building was properly secured when we left.  The Honorable Mayor arrived with his usual entourage.

As usual, he was very polite to me.  Then he started to talk.  First:  The media is at fault.  All the negative stories about Trenton.  The media never gives him or his administration enough attention.  OK.  But how often does the Honorable Mayor call the media and say, "Come over; let's chat about Trenton."  Rarely, if ever.  How many news articles contain the sentence, "The mayor could not be reached for a statement?"  Far too many.  Has he ever called the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal and asked for a reporter to do a, "puff piece?"  Nooooo. 

Moving along, the Honorable Mayor announced that his critics were those who asked him a job; he didn't give jobs so they went away pissed at him.  At this point, Blogolanders, I told him I never asked for a job; I never wanted a job.  I do ciriticize him.  In fact, most of the people I worked with during the recall attempt had NO interest in a city job.  They were either retired folks or had jobs that were too good to give up. 

The Honorable Mayor also assured the room that he was a fighter.  That he would be back. 

I have to give the Honorable Mayor credit for having the hide of a rhino.  Does nothing make this man feel shame? 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Blogolanders, Mr. Perez has NOT said where he would get the funds to pay to 105 extra officers.  I tried to get to the edit portion; damned if I can ever make this work.  I'll take an IBM Selectric anyday.  Sorry.

Who's on First?

Recently, Tyrone Gaskins posted a long, confusing blog.  It seems Mr. Gaskins is supporting Peter Perez for mayor of Trenton.  Just as Mr. Perez has every right to declare himself a candidate, Mr. Gaskins has every right to support him, and in public.  I don't know Mr. Perez; I read that he believes he can rehire 105 police officers immediately.  Maybe.  Yet, Mr. Perez does say where the money is coming from.  Nor has he said how he plans to raise the tax base in the city.  Nor has he said how he would deal with the state PILOT.  True, it's early days, but if this man wants to be mayor, he should start explaining how he plans to make Trenton and new Eden. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

500 Against Trenton

I stayed home last evening - no council and no townhall meeting.  After reading the Times article and after a few phone calls, I realized I didn't miss much.  The Honorable Mayor felt few attended because there was no publicity in the media.  Bull Shit!  He held two town hall meetings the same time as city council.  What did he expect considering that Councilmen Muschal and Chester ask tough questions?  The Honorable Mayor didn't want them present.  By the way, that irresponsible blogger posted info about the town hall meetings.  Mayor, you want to pretend there are 500 people in attenance, fine.  Mayor, you have a problem.  You have a choice.  Ignore it or fix it.  So far, you ignore it.  Later, folks. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catch Up

Good morning, Blogolanders.  Where to begin.  From early Thursday afternoon to, I was back in RWJ Hospital with the usual lung issues.  When my doctor, the saintly and patient (no pun) Arthur Pacia released me, it was with the plea, "My darling, please go home and rest.  Forget Trenton."  If The Kid blows by, I'll send him out with a grocery list. 

The weekend in Trenton.  Shootings.  And of course the incident on Laurel Place.  Right under the nose of the Honorable Kathy McBride.  By the way, the picture in today's issue of the Trenton Times shows Councilman Alex Bethea and not Councilman Zachary Chester.  That's always encouraging when the staff of a, "local," paper can't identify one council member from another. 

Blogolanders, I find this habit of shooting someone over the slightest insult primative and distressing.  The excuse, "He dissed me," or "He disrespected me,"  is not an excuse for shooting someone.  First, who gives a flying fuck if someone disses you - actually the word should be RUDE but the well educated Trentonian does not know the difference between respect and courtesy.  And five thousand more police will not solve this issue.

What will help is getting the word out that we do not live in caves anymore; we are, in theory, civilized.  We are willing to accept a social contract - rules and regs - so we can live peacefully with each other. 

We don't do that here in Trenton.  By the way, no one should be drinking in a public park.  As I understand it, someone was drinking in the Laurel Place Park.  Why didn't Councilwoman McBride call the police then and ask that the fellow be removed? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Straight from the Horse's Ass

Blogolanders, this should have been posted Wednesday, yesterday at the latest, but I got up in the blue waffles.  I also had a minor electrical problem at the house.  Tuesday evening, after council, I was standing outside of city hall wondering what to do about supper - microwave, Pat's Diner, Trenton Social, when out comes Daryl Brooks.  I do not like Daryl; I have never liked Daryl.  He stopped to inform me he was running for council at-large.  He also babbled on about his previous experience as a candidate - he ran for senator or something.  Then Daryl tells me he, personally, is responsible for our council and the Honorable Mayor; Daryl made sure they were elected so Trentonians would realize what happens when stupid people run a government.  He told me, "I got them elected;  I'll get them unelected."  Believe me, that does not inspire confidence. 

Now, Blogolanders, follow this thread.  Here's Daryl trying to convinence me he's wonderful.  Robert Chilson walks outside carrying camera equipment and doesn't even look at Daryl.  Suddenly, Daryl turns from me and starts yelling at Chilson for no reason.  And Daryl's comments were freakin offensive - certainly to me. 

I left thinking this ass wants to run Trenton; thinks he can run Trenton.  My advice to Daryl is, "There is help available.  Go get it." 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Big Leagues

Councilwoman McBride made the Big Leagues!!  She made the New York Daily News one of the grungier tabloids in New York.  It think the Post is the only other tabloid left.  Could be wrong.  Blogolanders, fifty odd years ago when I was young and even attractive, my friends and I a self-confidence test.  Will you sit in the lobby of Waldorf-Astoria reading the Daily News?
  If you could stay for at least thirty minutes you were self-confident.  When my father heard about it, he asked, "Do you leave the paper or take it with you?"  I don't remember. 

Forget the blue waffle; I liked the way her spokeman waffled around the issue.  Kathy has a sense of humor; Kathy is very serious; Kathy serves the voters, etc., etc., etc.  Nothing about the fact Kathy made a fool of her self.  Is she sorry for that? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's Viral

Last evening at council, Ms. McBride stepped in it up to her eyebrows by asking about an epidemic of something called Blue Waffle Disease.  It does not exist, but you all know that.  If you do google, do not do so while eating - pictures are very puke making.  The disease is an urban legend, and it was, apparently an April Fool's joke on the councilwoman.  Checking the web today, everyone seems to be having a good laugh at her expense.  Ms. McBride is not one of my favorite people, but I am embarrassed for her.  She made an ass of herself.  Should she be mayor?  God-NO!!!  The sad thing about leaping before you look, it takes a long time to live it down. 

Was she the only councilperson who was subjected to this hoax?  No member of council said, "I got the same call; it's a joke.  Forget it."  So it's possible someone set her up.  If that's the case, then she's got problems. 

I would suggest that Ms. McBride read a book entitled GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL by Jared Diamond.  Dr. Diamond explains his theories of how diseases spread, or don't.  A case in point, Europeans showed up in the Americas with small pox; they nearly wiped out the native population because the disease was unknown.  The Horn of Africa was once known as the White Man's Grave Yard because there were diseases known to Africans but not Europeans. 

Blogolanders, let's see how Kathy McBride handles this.  I don't have much faith or hope that she will do so in a graceful, intelligent manner.  Just my opinion.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Lighting Candles

Good morning, Blogolanders.  You've all heard the old adage, "Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."  Well, on Saturday, over at First Baptist Chuch (Centre & Bridge) there were some folks lighting candles.  Trentonian, Elissa Horan organized an art program for kids.  She was given much help by the clergy of First Baptist and Carl Clark of Urban Promise.  The idea was for kids to come in, take pieces of paper or canvas, get some paints and brushes, and create.  Those kids showed talent.  And this isn't a, "make kids feel good," remark.  This is true. 

Carl Clark did a logo that I'd love to put on T-shirts.  But he's an adult.  Back to the kids.  And one of the ways Trenton is failing.  The talent, the interest, these kids showed.  How can we keep this going?

There are so many kids here in Trenton who have talent (the debating team) but the expectations are so low.  Former councilman Milford Bethea ran a chess team - a couple of those kids were feakin good - like Bobby Fisher/Boris Spasky good.  Since Milford retired, the chess team seems to have faded away. There is so much potential among these kids, and it's ignored.

Blogolanders - it's out there.  I do not know how to keep the ball rolling, but I do know we must keep the ball rolling.  I plan to reach out to men like Darren Green and Sam Frisby to pick their brains. 

To end, the program on Saturday will not solve the problem here in Trenton - that's a fact.  But a candle was lighted and that's a fact.  Maybe if we all stopped cursing the darkness and just lit a candle....  Think about it. 

By the way, if any of my readers have suggestions, feel free to let me know. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Not that Much!!

When the Honorable Mayor's $27.00 motor vehicle fine first surfaced, I mentioned it to one of the Seven Argives and was told, "It's not worth my time to worry about a few dollars."  While the Honorable Mayor has not racked up thousands in fines, he has racked up fines when using a city vehicle (and for personal reasons, to boot), and not paying them himself.  And the current business administrator had the gall to explain signing off on the $27.00 fine because he had other things on his mind!!!  What is his threshold for looking closely at checks?  $270.00; $2,700.00; 27,000.00? 

Blogolanders - here goes, again.  CITY COUNCIL IS TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE PUBLIC PURSE!!!  In other words, the Seven Argives are to question every freakin penny that is spent.  I'd also rip Hutchinson a new one.  Hell, a dollar here and a dollar; before you know it, it adds to real money! 

And if  Hutchinson and the Honorable Mayor bitch and moan, I would urge the Seven Argives to files charges of petite larceny.  If that happens, the sun will rise in the west. 

When I was still at probation, the supervising probation officer was a total bastard when it came to money.  He eyeballed every chit, every mileage log, every request for supplies (in fact, he would not authorize a red BIC pen for me as I did not work in bookkeeping - I bought my own) BUT every year he brought adult probation in UNDER budget. 

When it comes to solving Trenton's financial problems, we must, MUST start by eyeballing every penny; questioning every penny, and saying, "NO," more than we say, "YES." 

By Labor Day, the candidates for mayor will be known.  They will start really talking to people.  When this happens, please, Blogolanders, ask them really hard questions.  What plans to do they have for trimming the budget.  What plans do they have for raising ratables?  Forget the cute phrases. 

Sadly, far too many in Trenton will sell their vote (and their soul) for a dixie cup and a can of soda. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Useless Info/Historical Ironies

On Tuesday, March 19, the 266th Bishop of Rome (aka Pope Francis) was installed.  March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Workers,  Two days later, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury was installed.  March 21 is an interesting date - the Romans considered it the vernal equinox.  Spring, like a new beginning.  Here are two men, leaders of two major branches of Christianity, starting off together.  Both face many of the same problems - same sex marriage, ordination of women (the Anglicans do have women priests & bishops but many still object), falling attendance, financial issues, and of course sexual scandals.  Yes, even the Church of England has faced this issue.  I wonder if these two will get together, some neutral spot like Switzerland will do, and discuss the long standing issues that separate the Roman and English churches.  Probably not.  Pax.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eating Cake

Please forgive the crappy title; nothing clever came to mind.  I have missed the last two sessions with the Seven Argives.  Anything having to do with crime, police, police directors, tends to get emotional.  Yes, there is crime in Trenton; there will always be some crime in Trenton.  When the Stewarts moved to Trenton back in 1987, it was not unusual to see groups of teens, usually male, hanging around street corners.  Lamberton & Furman tended to attract kids.  It was also not unusual to see a patrol car pull up, have a cop get out, chase the kids off. 

At time, there was also a mini station on Centre Street; there was a meeting at least once a month.  The president of the mini-station citizens group was a Miss Ella who lived in the Kearney Homes.  A police officer always came to the meetings.  One meeting got loud and nasty.  Parents claimed that the police were harrassing black teens hanging on street corners. 

Having a big mouth, I said, "I'm glad the cops are harrassing these kids because (1) they should be in school and (2) respectable people do not hang on street corners. 

The complaints about harrassment continued to the point where the cops just didn't exert themselves anymore.  Now the cops have to hear about the rising crime statistics. 

And, in closing, we could have five thousand police officers on the force, and we would still have crime.  The lack of police does not cause crime.  Anti-social behavior does. 

The Crime of Crime

Good morning, Blogolanders.  This may be my first posting.  More may follow.  This one deals with crime.  A few months back, I amused myself by researching law codes.  Ancient as in four thousand or more years ago.  It was great fun because some things haven't changed - you borrow your neighbor's boat and damage it, you have to pay for the repairs.  Some laws were really weird - it was illegal to have sex with a pig!!  But all my research showed it has been illegal, wrong, sinful for the longest time to:  lie; steal; commit murder.  Sadly, whenever people begin to live together in larger groups, crime rears its ugly head.  So, like the poor, criminals will always be with us.  The question we face is how much will we tolerate?  Right now, here in Trenton we have not decided how much we will tolerate - that's our problem. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Merde on Toast

Good morning, Blogolanders.  Yesterday I attended the Mistake of the City address.  I arrived just before six  o'clock to get a good parking space/seat in council.  What a waste.  Nobody really showed up till nearly 6:30, and there was a creepy feeling that the folks who appeared en masse were given Target cards.  I may be wrong, but...."  I won't go over the speech line by line because a few other bloggers have done so and very well so read them. 

Just a few things from moi.  The use of the phrase, "We will prevail."  I don't know whether the Honorable Mayor meant the city will be OK, or he will be found innocent.  I suspect the latter because he's thick enough to use the editorial, "we."  The Honorable Mayor also boasted of the transparancy of his administration.  I guess he meant the learning centers?  The hotel?  The Glen Cairn Arms deal?  The group home on Rutgers Place?  Yeah, all were discussed in the full light of day. 

The Honorable Mayor asked why he hasn't heard from those who think they can solve the problems here in Trenton.  I kept my temper!  Trentonians have come forward.  Bob Lowe and Dan Dodson worked long and hard on budget plan.  They were ignored.  Michael McGrath asked for an independent audit of the hotel.  He was voted down.  Bea Scala-Fischler suggested TESC rent the Glen Cairn property; she was shrugged off.  From the get-go, the Honorable Mayor has ignored good advice; good suggestions.

The Honorable Mayor reminded the audience that the problems of Trenton are, "deep rooted."  Yeah, they are, but he knew this (didn't he?) when he ran promising to solve all problems.  Yes, there were and are problems which is why I decided early on city hall was more than I could handle. 

There was one point made by the Honorable Mayor with which I agreed.  When it comes to solving the crime issue, we must look to ourselves.  There are Trentonians who need a great deal of behavior modification.  Ironically, this is something the Honorable Mayor may have been able to solve; he is good with kids!  He knows how to correct behavior calmly and quietly.  When he first ran in '06, I was at a meeting; one of his sons was also there sitting quietly.  After the stump speech, I went over to say, "hello."  Tony leaned over and whispered to the boy, "Remember to stand up for a lady."  The kid turned around, smiled, nodded his head, stood up and offered his hand. 

I can see the Honorable Mayor, a former champion wrestler, working with these kids who think they are so freakin tough.  Tony, I really regret you didn't go into social work. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ladies First?

Irwin Stoolmacher had an interesting op-ed piece this moring; the theme was that perhaps a woman could do a better job as mayor of Trenton.  And this, Blogolanders, reminded me of that Agatha Christie stchick.  She had recurring character, Ariadne Oliver, who claimed crime would go down if a woman ran Scotland Yard.  Yeah, sure.  Going back to Mr. Stoolmacher's original piece about who would make a good mayor, he listed Reed Gusiora!  The only reason Reed lives in Trenton is because the assembly districts were redrawn, and he wanted to keep his job.  His interest in Trenton is probably NIL!  Scratch him.  Mr. Stoolmacher mentioned today the four women currently on council as possible candidates.  Ms. McBride has done a great job with Mothers Against Violance, but that does not make a viable candidate for mayor.  Big deal, she got the most at-large votes.  So did Manny Segura during one election.  As for political clout - how do you think Tony Mack got elected?  Ms. Caldwell-Wilson seems to qualify because she is a Democrat; so are the other three women on council, and Trenton is, in theory, non-partisan.  Since I do not live in the East Ward, I have no knowledge of how effective Ms. Reynolds-Jackson is.  Which brings us to Ms. Holly-Ward whom Mr. Stoolmacher knows from TCCA.  Wow!!  Yes, Ms. Holly-Ward was president of TCCA several years back (I was treasurer that year) .  Ms. Caldwell-Wilson has also served as president of TCCA.  So have I.  Ms. Holly-Ward has not been active in TCCA for quite a while.  What she does have going for her is that she understands money.  Ms. Holly-Ward is a businesswoman.  Ms. Holly-Ward is a successful businesswoman. 

Which brings me to a woman who was not mentioned by Mr. Stoolmacher.  A woman who knows labor law; a woman who is a tough negotiator; a woman who can read a balance sheet.  Annette Lartigue.

This is not an endorsement of anyone for mayor.  This is a reminder that we should look to a candidate who understands financial concepts like when the outgo exceeds the income, you have a problem.  We also need someone who can say, "Do not ask for anything.  We have NO money!" 

So for the next election (which is less than 14 months away), let's forget race, gender, party, birthplace, and look for someone who is honest enough to say, "Folks, it's gonna hurt, and it's gonna hurt bad, but we'll climb out of this mess." 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dew Drop Inn

Because of a scheduling conflict, I missed Thursday Nite Live.  Blogolanders, the hotel was always a bad idea, but it is one that we cannot blame on The Honorable Mayor.  He should have, however, appointed real business people to the board.  He did not; the Honorable Mayor appointed several of his buddies and tossed a few bones to shut some talented people up.  I understand Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson voted to approve the $295,000 request because downtown business people asked her to help save the hotel.  That being the case, I have a few questions...

1.  How many of these business people actually LIVE in Trenton?

2.  Since the city is broke and must find this extra money, are business people
 going to whine when the price of a business license goes up?  

3.  Does anyone remotely involved with the hotel really believe that the state or the county will have any interest in forming a partnership?

4.  What are we going to do when the Marriott/Waterford contract expires in June?

5.  I have heard some interesting ideas from several Trentonians; has anyone reached out to these people?

Kevin Moriarty has posted some very interesting, thought-provoking essays.  It's time to have a very serious, businesslike discussion. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

There Is Room At The Inn

Last evening, the Seven Argives (actually six as Ms. McBride was not present) let it be known they are not happy with the hotel, the management, or the, "marketing plan."  Sadly, no matter what council decides, the taxpayers will have a huge bill!  Trenton can keep the hotel and continue to underwrite the costs since there has never been a profit.  Also pay off the debt associated with the hotel which Trenton guaranteed.  Or the hotel can be sold for the, "best offer," which ain't gonna be much.  During the previous administration, possible sales were discussed in council but the interest was always in the parking garage which makes money.  Even if the hotel were sold, we would still have the bonds (debt) to pay off.  So, Blogolanders, accept the fact we have a very white elephant.  And council is between a rock and a hard place.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sense & nonsense

Good morning, Blogolanders!  I did not attend Tuesday Nite Live; I got caught up in book entitled OYSTER:  A WORLD HISTORY by one Drew Smith who is an English food critic/writer etc.  These bivalves are among the oldest living creatures in this world, older than, "grass."  Our very primative ancestors often dined on these creatures.  And the pearls and mother of pearl have been valued for untold generations.  So I didn't want to stop reading.  But on Monday there was even better reading.  On the front page of the Trenton Times was an article about Susan Ryan.  She's made a documentary about changing Chambersburg.  It sounds great; I'd love to see it.  But where it is, "opening."  In Trenton?  Nah.  At the College of New Jersey where Ms. Ryan is affiliated?  Nah.  It's opening in New Brunswick at Rutgers!!!  Screw New Brunswick.  I'd love to see this movie; I'd even pay full freight (ten bucks); I am not, however, driving up to New Brunswick. 

Now for the nonsense.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoids?  Last evening there was a blurb on the Six O'clock News on how to protect yourself from having your income tax refund stolen.  While I'm not worried about having my refund stolen because I usually have to write a fat check so anyone who wants to steal my IRS info and pay my taxes - go for it!!  Later, there was a commercial about identify theft.  I gather it's more common than the common cold.  And yes, I am tinged with paranoia; I always pay for gasoline with cash lest someone steal my credit card number.  There is a fellow Trentonian who will not discuss anything of interest or importance on the telephone being convinced that our phones are bugged.  Who knows, but if the Honorable Mayor and his pals have bugged my phone, I hope they enjoyed my long talk with my sister on Sunday.  We discussed our grandmother's china cabinet and some screwball relatives.  A few fellow Trentonians have also mentioned that our houses are probably bugged.  Again, if this is so, then the Honorable Mayor and his pals deserve the boring crap they hear.  One conversation went something like this, "Mom, is this laundry clean?"  To which I answered, "Yeah, it is,"  Followed by, "I'll carry it upstairs for you."  Ending with, "Thanks."

To sum up, I don't really know how we can truly protect ourselves since we can't even get a driver's license without giving up our Social Security number.  Yes, there are people who steal, lie, cheat, but is it necessary to be so concerned that we worry more than we enjoy?  I don't know.  Have a nice day.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Positive?

Normally, I agree with L.A. Parker, but I most certainly do not agree with his recent column about a TCHS student named Rasheed Wallace.  Apparently, this young man, a member of the school basketball team broke a scoring record the other day and nobody acknowledged it.  L.A. was upset.  Blogolanders, I was not.  What I was (am) upset about is TCSH debating team.  Yes, there is such a thing and this group of kids does a damn good job.  Last evening, city council honored the team, the coach and assistant coach with a lovely ceremony.  That's what L.A. should be writing about; giving the team and the coaches lots of ink.  Hell, I would have put them on the front page of The Trentonian. 

We do have logical thinkers here in Trenton.  So to the team and the coaches, I say CONGRATULATIONS AND GO FOR IT!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ye Shall Know the Truth

OK, Blogolanders - here it goes.  I have a very short fuse and more often than necessary, I shoot from the hip.  I am aware of these failings.  Now, let's talk about Trenton's financial problems.  The city is broke.  The state, itself, is not far behind mostly because a Republican governor was so anxious to cut taxes, she skipped payments into the pension account which is now woefully underfunded.  Before I go onto the good stuff, Blogolanders, think about this.  I doubt anyone really knows what all the property OWNED by the state is worth.  I've heard as much 50 million dollars.  Let's say 30 million just for the hell of it.  The state probably would have trouble coming up with that money every year SO what happens?  The state raises taxes on everybody.  Maybe the sales tax goes up, or gasoline, my favorites - sin taxes.  Tobacco and alcohol!  Maybe the state will start taxing clothing.  Everybody will pay more and than includes everyone in Trenton.  So, please, before you cry to state government, think of where the money will come from. 

Next.  Toward the end of the Palmer administration, a lease was signed for property on Hermitage Avenue.  The city was going to open a new municipal court there.  The lease was crappy.  It was too much for too little too long.  The Honorable Mayor takes office and wants out of this crappy lease.  Probably the only worthy idea the man has had.  Does he go to city council, or at least council president, and say, "I want out of this lease; how much of a penalty can you stomach?"  Once he gets this information, he goes to the legal department and says, "Call their lawyers and negotiate us out this lease; kept the penalties at or below......"  No, the Honorable Mayor just stops paying rent which lands the city in court and the city is now on the hook for more millions than we can afford.  That's you and me, Blogolanders. 

As a taxpayer, what pisses me off about this, really pisses me off, is that council (and I mean the entire body) did not see the mayor was a loose cannon who had to be watched very closely.  Council failed us. 

Fast forward to January 2013 when we learn that the long empty Glen Cairn Arms will be acquired by Thomas Edison State College.  We also learn that we are freakin lucky that this taking place.  A piece of property that was acquired at a cost of somewhere between 3 and 4 million dollars will be sold to TESC for $300,000.  And we hear the same old song about why this such a wonderful deal; why we should be dancing in the streets; how it is the salvation of Trenton, etc., etc., etc.

The fact that we have heard this song before, and it always fell flat is of no importance.  Those who questioned, well they are obstructionists who get their jollies from criticizing everything.  Emotions were running high and were being fanned. 

Kevin Moriarty has done some research and found no mention of $300,000. to the city.  The sale price seems to be ONE DOLLAR.  Another citizen got a copy of the legislation, read it, and noticed that TESC could rent property.  To sum up, I have this creepy feeling that we, the taxpayers, are being screwed again.

To sum up, I am pissed at the reaction to a letter written Dan Dodson and published in the Trenton Times on January 31.  So many are insulted that Mr. Dodson  wrote that far too many of us do not think.  Do not look at things in cool dispassionate way.  Far too many become emotional immediately.  Well, he happens to right. 

The weaker argument is always an emotional one.  Believe me - when people start playing to your emotions, they are up to something - be scared.  When you are presented with a cold, logical, analysis, then listen.  Take notes.  Ask questions. 

The fact that Mr. Dodson wrote that far too many of us think with our hearts and not our brains - well that's true.  It is also one of the reasons we are in the financial mess we are in.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let the Sun Shine In!

Blogolanders - where to begin?  I attended the TESC/GCA meeting yesterday afternoon.  First, you've heard the expression, "Politics makes for strange bedfellows."   I never thought Councilwoman McBride and I would ever be bedfellows - but politics, etc.  She also did a good job of chairing the meeting and kept all under control.  Before I continue, I support and admire TESC.  It serves a purpose does a dman good job fulfilling that purpose.  I believe that any nursing program at TESC would be A1. 

My objection to the current deal is that Trenton could have/should have negotiated better terms.  That's all.  The other problem is the promise that such a nursing school will do wonders for the neighborhood and for the city!  Most our municipal problems will be solved!  OK, Blogolanders. 
Remember back in the days of urban renewal?  When the neighborhood around Market and Warren was knocked down and state buildings put up?  Trenton traded taxpaying properties for state owned/tax free properties.  Wonderful things were going to happen.  A new day would dawn.  No such thing happened.  Remember the arena?  Same promises.  Remember the ballpark?  Same promises.  Remember the new courthouse.  Same promises.  And what did we get.  Nothing. 

The other thing I don't like is that a few years ago the Honorable Mayor formed some sort of economic development committee, board, club, who the hell knows.  No one seems to know when the group met; no one has seen minutes, AND and a member was George Pruitt, Ph.D, president of Thomas Edison State College. 

Last evening, J.R. Capasso, who is heading the city housing/economic development department, told me deals such as the TESC/GCA are conducted in secret.  And he give a number of reasons why, etc. 
While there my be some logic to this behavior, my reaction was, and is, bullshit.  You're negotiating the disposition of publically owned property (that means you and I own it) to another public institution, TESC which you and I support with our state tax dollars.  You're not planning Operation Overlord.  Maybe if these negotiations were made public sooner, there would be time to chew over the details.  And, yes, I know about the bond approval last November, etc., etc. 

Lastly, I would strongly advise Dr. Pruitt, who does not live in Trenton, to get off his high horse and stop speaking to the public as though we were a group of simple-minded children. 

As a taxpayer, I am very tired of these schemes being pulled out of a hat and being told how lucky I am that the scheme is taking place.  By the way, Blogolanders, last evening, Dr. Pruitt made at least three grammatical errors that I heard. 

This a crappy deal for Trenton and very few seem to give a damn.