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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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dem Bums!

In the dark ages of the nineteen-fifties when Eisenhower was president, the Boys of Summer aka the Brooklyn Dodgers, announced they needed a new stadium.  Ebbets Field was, I don't know, overgrown, outdated, too small, whatever.  The screed was, build a new ball park or we leave Brooklyn.  Believe me, Blogolanders, there were Brooklynites who screamed that if the Dodgers left Western Civilization would crumble, Coney Island would wash into the sea, the Gowanus Canal would give up its dead, Commies would buy houses on Brooklyn Heights.  OK.  You get the message.  The new ball park was also going to provide jobs, new businesses, new people, etc.  Here's what happened.  Brooklyn refused a new stadium.  The Dodgers moved to L.A.  Brooklyn pooped along as usual neither better nor worse and the Dodgers were forgotten with the rest.  The point of this posting.  TESC will not save Trenton.  If it is built, marvelous things will not happen.  If it is not built, Trenton will poop along as usual. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Trials of Trenton

Last evening at Thursday Nite Live, things moved along at a fair clip.  At the beginning, President Holly-Ward suggested the public not discuss the Glen Cairn Arms issue until February when the issue comes up for a second reading.  Dan Dodson was first to speak and let it be known he was not waiting till February.  Most speakers followed his lead.  Blogolanders, I have nothing against Thomas Edison State College; this institution serves a needs and does it well.  Glen Cairn is an eyesore that should be corrected.  The drawings of the new nursing school are lovely.  BUT this a bad deal for Trenton.  Any school built on that site will NOT lead us to the Promised Land.  For three houndred thousand dollars which will be spent in a month, we get another white elephant like the hotel.  Remember all the wonderful things the hotel was going to do?  And the new civil courthouse was going to revive downtown.  Yeah!  The new businesses that opened around the courthouse were lawyers and bondsmen.  Those of us who went out to eat (I was working there), went across to Gus's Restuarant or down the street to the Mill Hill.    Very, very few went toward the State Street area. 

I am also tired of the sneaky way things are done.  A week ago, Trentonians are told this scheme is in the works, but we have to move quickly because TESC has a tight schedule.  I was told last evening that TESC didn't get approved for the grants till last November. Maybe, but it still doesn't work. 

First, TESC had to write the grant proposal.  Let's say that was three before which takes us to maybe August 2012.  Before writing the grant, TESC had to scout around for sites - I'm guessing that TESC zeroed in on Glen Cairn last spring. 

Blogolanders, getting a nice piece of property for $300.000. is a sweet deal, but what if TESC had said to Trenton, "We'll give you $100,000. or even, "You Trenton, pay us, $300,000. and we'll take the property off your hands"?  How would the administration have reacted?

Now if the goal is to attract people to Trenton, increase revenue, and fix up that the property - I know let's build a casino!!! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday Nite Live

The Seven Argives were surprisingly quiet; let's see what happens this evening.  As I've said before, put something sexy on the docket, and Trentonians come out of the woodwork.  Such was the case on Tuesday.  Blogolanders, yes, the Glen Cairn Arms is an eyesore (I'm truly sorry is was allowed to fall apart, but we like to do that here in Trenton).  Thomas Edison State is a very fine school and serves a need - those who start college later in life.  TESC probably does need a nursing school.  But believe me, Blogolanders, when I say any such develop ment at 301 West State will NOT take us to the promised land. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Emotional Cripples

The idea for this blurb came from an op-ed by Bill Whalen published in the Trenton Times on Wednesday, January 9.  That date was the 100th anniversay of the birth of Richard M. Nixon, perhaps our most vilified president.  Actually, it might be a close run between Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.  They both had the seeds of greatness and the weeds of insecurity.  The weeds took over.  They were both intimidated by JFK; back in the sixties Iwas too young to appreciate insecurity.  Now that the sun is setting on my life, I appreciate how some people can be overcome by it.  Yes, JFK had looks, brains, charm, money, sophistication, you name it - I also had in-laws who dismissed him as a lucky Mick on the Make.  They had more regard for Lyndon Johnson because he and his wife were truly a team - together they got Lyndon elected and together they made a lot of money!  And let us not forget that the civil legislation was pushed through by LBJ; in truth, the Kennedys were not terribly interested in civil rights till they realized they needed the votes.  But Lyndon got sucked into Viet Nam; JFK had a great plan.  There would a coup in Saigon; the new government would ask the USA to leave.  It didn't work as planned, and Johnson let lacked the emotional security to say, "screw Viet Nam.  If the Commies want it, let them have it."  Too bad LBJ didn't go talk to Eisenhower who would have said, "I know what I'm talking about - let it go."  Eisenhower did feel that way.   So Lyndon Johnson will have a bad rep for years to come.

Which brings us to Richard M. Nixon.  I'm sorry he picked Spiro Agnew, but that choice was not a personal failing.  Watergate was.  It was not only stupid but also unnecessary.  And the handling was bad.  Maybe he wanted to protect his friends.  I could never understand why people were upset by recording devices; I thought then, and still do, damn good move.  What did Nixon do that was good?  Well, he finally ended the Viet Nam war.  And he decided it was time to recognize China.  (By the way, as hard as reporters tried, they could never hook him up with another woman - one of our few presidents who did not commit adultry).  But like LBJ, Kennedy made him feel inferior - he wasn't.  Everything Richard Nixon had from his education, his law practice, you name it, he worked for it himself, even his commission in the navy.  Everything JFK had was handed to him; Blogolanders, think of this.  How far would, could John Kennedy have gone on his own? 

So we have two presidents, both of whom had the seeds of greatness and both of them were overwhelmed by the weeds of envy.  Fortunately, there is revisionist history.  Here's my prediction.  In one  hundred years, some historian will write about the greatness of LBJ and RMN and about what a dud president JFK was.