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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.