Published August 27, 2006
When I was *still* in "exile"(or "forced sabbatical"-your choice) in Ashtabula I was asking why Y-town couldn't get help from the U.S.Department of Homeland Security. I queried:" When the good people of Y-town are incarcerating themselves in their _own_ homes-having metal bars installed on their windows and doors and locking themselves inside while there is *terror* on the streets-isn't *that* a **homeland security** issue ?" I continued to talk about the same issue when resurrected into Y-town radio. When the Mahoning County Jail was ruled _UNCONSTITUTIONAL_ last year and the emergency release program came into being-it became more apparent that Y-town was having a Homeland Security issue.
So, you can imagine that I am glad to see today's(Sunday,27Aug) UNCLE BERT'S TALES OF THE CITY a.k.a.: Bertram DeSouza's opinion column in today's Vindicator.
This community refuses to take a good,hard look at itself. Our elected officials attempt to paint a silver lining where they cannot find one. When Forbes Magazine, 22May06 lists Y-town as "Worst City in America to Start a Business" most in the local media *kill the messenger* as they did in 1999 when Mother Jones called us Prison Town USA. We go on buying into our own illusions that are rapidly become our delsuions.(yeah, maybe size DOESN'T matter but SUBSTANCE _DOES_ !)
HOW ARE WE CREATING FERTILE SOIL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH ???
I've said on-air that I'd like to see the good Community Corrections Association administer the Minnesota Mulit-phasic Personality Inventory to anyone from out of the area who wants to put a non-criminal justice related business in Y-town ! You tell me the justification for desiring to put a business in the city where there's a growing crime problem, an unconstitutional jail who's doors swing W-I-D-E open for all but a small percentage of offenders, where the brave women and men of law enforcement are unable to be pro-active due to the emergency release mechanism and do little more than re-arrest those who are instantly released from jail, the city and county(outlying) courts are chaotic at best, a failing school system, a reputation of political corruption,inefficiency, and a love affair w/ organized crime,etc. -A failing community more concerned w./building aquisitions than the hell perpetrated on those least able to deal w/it. Community "leaders" FAILING to stand up and speak out about a Sheriff unable or unwilling to perform his duties. Community "leaders" trying to fill the bathtub w/o FIRST plugging the drain!
If we can trust the numbers, maybe,again _MAYBE_ a few more of the children who attend the Y-town School system are doing better-but those children still have to return, after school, to their crime ridden,thug controlled neighborhoods that are filled w/ the uneducated and unparented parasites.
It's going to take more than advertising agencies to package and promote Y-town to the outside world. A junkie's a junkie whether you clean him up, fix his teeth , medicate him, cut his hair, shave him and put him in a suit-he's still a junkie! We need a good,hard look in the mirror-FIRST-and our ELECTED and PUBLIC officials MUST come together w/a critical assesment and then a PLAN. Our so-called "community leaders" that fail to recognize and prioritize the problems-that fail to identify the community's WEAK LINKS fail ALL OF US, ESPECIALLY THOSE PREYED UPON IN THE CITY-BUT SUBURBANITES,DON'T FEEL LEFT OUT-YOU'RE NEXT!!