From the “fiscally responsible” Commissioner, Joey Williams?

On the campaign trail, Commissioner Williams talks about how he brought fiscal responsibility to City Hall under his watch.

Sure, that’s why the city spent over $4 million first declaring part of Twin Towers blighted, then paying for appraisals, options and buildings in a 12 acre parcel over 5 years of his watch- with no contract from either the developer or Kroger for them to take possession of the parcel or to build a new Kroger.

We don’t talk about that.

Matt Luongo at the Dayton Revival

Matt Luongo, visionary, hero, concert promoter, at his brainchild, the Downtown Revival in Dayton OH Sept. 8, 2012

But, now, we’re going after Matt Luongo. Who? The guy that actually delivered something- a music festival in Downtown Dayton that bombed financially- but, was a pretty good freshman shot at doing something positive in the city.

Here’s parts of the story from WDTN’s Pam Elliot, who seems to be the only real reporter in town these days:

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It was supposed to put Dayton in the national spotlight and generate millions for the city. Instead, it’s left some people singing the blues and chanting “show us the money.” Even taxpayers are out for now.

2 NEWS Investigates obtained a letter in which the president of the limited liability company set up to put on the music festival, “Downtown Revival” reports more than a $200,000 loss and little hope to pay those he owes….

The trail of unpaid services doesn’t stop there. 2 NEWS Investigates found out your tax dollars ended up supporting what was to be a privately funded event. That’s because Downtown Revival, LLC hasn’t paid the City of Dayton either, and the city leaders who agreed to a contract with the company don’t seem to know where your money is.

When Mayor Gary Leitzell’s assistant told us he wouldn’t be talking about it, we approached the mayor at City Hall. He said he’d talk with us when he looked at the details. A week later, there was still no word from the mayor.

City Commissioner Nan Whaley did agree to an interview. “We’ll certainly try to recoup the money paid to the city for those efforts. We recognize, too, that Matt’s trying to do something, trying to support that effort but we’ll go after the money as well,” she told 2 NEWS.

The money amounts to more than $60,000 for help from police, fire, and public works. Our public records request produced only one check to the City of Dayton, that being for $10,000 dated September 7, 2012.

The City’s public information officer was reluctant to comment.

Pam Elliot : So is it in the legal department now?

Tom Biedenharn: No. It doesn’t necessarily have to go to the legal department.

Elliot: So what is the process?

Biedenharn: We work with the vendor.

Elliot: Is Matt Luongo or Downtown Revival, LLC coming forward with money?

Biedenharn: We are working with him.

Elliot: Are you confident you’ll get the money?

Biedenharn: Sure. Sure.

But 2 NEWS Investigates doesn’t know why the city is so sure it will get paid. Rice and Nye received an identical letter this year from Matt Luongo, President, Downtown Revival, LLC, which reads, “We will not have assets sufficient to satisfy any of our remaining liabilities. On behalf of Downtown Revival, I offer my sincerest apologies.”

The letter directs them to take their questions to Tom Whalen, attorney for Downtown Revival.

We did, but got no answers….

The city says the city manager’s office has been in conversations with Luongo to work out repayment, but if that doesn’t work, they’ll send the matter to the Finance Department’s collection program.

via Big dollars owed City and vendors | 2 NEWS Investigates.

For those who have no clue how Luongo got to do what he did, you might want to look at where he worked previous to his turn in the sun at the community’s expense. His father, former CEO of the Berry Company, opened doors for him- at the Dayton Development Coalition and then UD.

Director of Development, University Initiatives
University of Dayton
December 2009 – August 2011 (1 year 9 months)

Dayton Development Coalition
Director, Business Recruitment
2005 – 2009 (4 years)

Somehow, someone looked past the facts that he had no experience in concert promotion, wasn’t signing for anything personally, and had no personal assets on the line.

That’s fiscal responsibility Dayton Style, thanks to Commissioner Williams. As to Ms. Whaley, a local businessman told me she had no clue what an LLC was. Well, maybe now she does.

But seriously, folks, $200K is about what we pay Steve Budd at Citywide a year, it’s about what the Dayton Development Coalition spent on their annual meeting a few years ago where they brought in a Las Vegas artist to do a painting of John Lennon while spinning the canvas and giving away t-shirts in plastic tubes. This is small fry theft, but I’m sure Matt Luongo will be hung out the way Raleigh Trammell was too- while letting the big crooks walk.

(and btw- there are links that I could put all through this post- from old posts on Esrati.com talking about a lot of these things- but, that would take time- and I’ve got work to do. Wayne Ave. Kroger has its own category, search for Trammell, Luongo, Dayton Revival, etc.)

Inspector Gotcha at work in Vandalia

Last night we heard both Presidential candidates talk about being pro-small business.

What we needed to hear was that if either was elected, “Inspector Gotcha” would be put on America’s Most Wanted List and hunted like Bin Laden.

Thanks to Vandalia, we get to see another prime example of stupidity in power:

One building code issue remains unresolved between the city and the new Scene 75 entertainment complex on Poe Ave. near Wyse Rd. next to Interstate 75.

The city says the fire alarm system isn’t loud enough. Scene 75 owners say it meets code, especially since it is teamed with a visual system.

Until the issue is resolved, an occupancy permit will not be issued and the building will continue to operate under a temporary permit.“We think we’re in compliance,” said Les Sandler, part of the ownership group of Scene 75, which opened in early July. “We have two systems, a sound system and a sight system. The place lights up when the system goes off.

“We’re continuing dialogue with the city. We’ll get past this.”Vandalia building inspector Ted Baker informed the city council in a work session this week the sound system for the alarm is not enough, especially on weekends when 1,000 or more people are in the building, which contains a restaurant, bar and snack areas and several entertainment venues such as go-karts, miniature golf and a 4-D theatre.

“The system designed on paper met code,” said Vandalia building inspector Ted Baker, “but it didn’t pass muster when it went into the field.

”Because of that, Scene 75 has been granted three occupancy extensions as long as firemen are on the scene as a temporary measure in what is called a “fire watch” in case there are problems.

via City, Scene 75 in dispute over fire alarm system | www.daytondailynews.com.

Let’s be absolutely clear- the system meets code. However, if there is a fire, Inspector Gotcha doesn’t think’s that Scene 75’s patrons will be able to hear the alarm and will stand around, despite the lights all coming on, sirens going- and continue to play their games as if nothing is going on. Employees, who have been trained on evacuation techniques and procedures, will also stand around either mute, or will high tail it out, leaving the video gamers and go-cart drivers to fry into crispy critters because, well- the sirens aren’t loud enough.

This has caused the owners of Scene 75, or the citizens of Vandalia to pay to have firemen on the scene while Scene 75 is open (over 3 months) and frustrate and hassle a new small business that has more important things to focus on.

While I’m sure Inspector Gotcha thinks he is doing his job, this isn’t the seventies or the Beverly Hills Supper Club. The risk to the owners of Scene 75 of not having a system and procedures to evacuate a building in case of a fire is clear and they have met code. It’s time to stop Inspector Gotcha from rewriting the laws on the spot. If government bureaucrats had their livelihood on the line and had to take responsibility for their actions, we wouldn’t see this kind of pedantic, capricious behavior.

This is the kind of over-regulation small business really worries about, and the kind that Wall Street Banks aren’t.

Fire Inspector Gotcha now- and let Scene 75 have their occupancy permit.

“The last nail in my political future” – supporting gay marriage

Yesterday, the president, our first black president, finally took the correct stand on gay marriage- to support it. It’s not about god, the bible or religion, it’s about equal rights. The same equal rights that were so long in coming to the black community, are starting to have a chance for the LBGT community.

On twitter and Facebook- I made some comments- including that this may be the biggest small business stimulus package the president could make- florists, wedding photographers, caterers, DJ’s, tux rentals, limo rentals, event facilities- all could see huge rises in business if we follow through and make it the law of the land- without any federal “stimulus” involved.

A few haters came out on Facebook, including from a friend who happens to be black and a minister.

David watch this. You may be putting a nail in your political future in the city.

a second message

Well you remember you said this when we you are soliciting the ministers I influence. Wrong position to take because I will tell them not to support you! There are more people who oppose this postion (sic) than you think. And yes there are a lot of churchs (sic) that are standing with us in our Moral Majority and Traiditonal(sic) Family Values. You are out

I never knew I was in. I’ve been to the screening committee of the ministers several times- and never once been endorsed.

And, my final answer to him:

I believe “single issue” voters are one of the biggest problems this country faces. Judging candidates on issues that have ZERO bearing on the office they are running for (when I’m running for City Commission for instance) is a huge mistake.
It’s polarizing this county and causing us to ignore the much bigger issues. Gay marriage won’t make one iota of difference to most of the people who will vote against me over it-
it’s like you worrying about your next door neighbor’s back yard flower selection-
the current city commission offers you zero candidates btw- so what now?
There are many white voters who didn’t want to give equal rights to “niggers” either- how do you feel about that?

Yep, I used the “n” word.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t really make decisions based on either my political future- or what’s politically correct for my livelihood either. I run a small business in this town- and have attacked many of the biggest possible accounts in this town and have been turned down even for working with charities because I have attacked the “powers that be.” We once did a project for Caresource- that will never happen again after my post comparing the crimes of their CEO vs. the crimes of a leader of the black ministers. I dug into the Dayton Development Coalition and their hiring of Lori Turner’s firm (wife of Congressman Turner) on a no-bid contract and went after improper campaign donations to Steve Austria by the local poster child for misguided corporate welfare – Qbase (and no, I don’t have time to get you all those links). I’ve had the nerve to go and look for work from Teradata’s COO (former chair of DDC) and look him straight in the eye after mocking their status as a public welfare leach (to his credit- he took the meeting and didn’t have a problem looking me right back in the eye- and yes, Bruce, my firm does better work than what you’ve been buying, but that’s your problem).

Last Saturday night I got called every name in the book by an elected official, because I’d been too hard on him in a post. I’d betrayed our friendship, and he was right- I was too hard and I did a quiet edit of the post (David Lauri, please leave this alone- I know you love to show off your Google cache recovery skills).

It’s not easy sticking your rear end on the broiler over and over. Some would say I’ve cooked my goose by speaking out, and others would say I’m toughening the meat. But unlike the president, I can’t waltz into George Clooney’s mansion and pick up $12 mill the next day. There are a few readers who’ve gone out of their way to send some business my way, despite “the risk”- TP, BW, LW, – I thank you. I hope the work that we at The Next Wave have done has been worth your risk.

I also have to thank the one elected official brave enough to endorse what I do and mean to this community on video: Stacy Thompson of the Dayton Board of Education. When I put the call out asking for support, she was the only one who stepped up.

If my endorsement of equal rights was the last nail in my “political future” I guess I should be writing my obituary now, because I’ve never done any of this for a political future- I’ve done it because I wanted to speak out for truth, justice and to prod our community into thinking beyond the drivel that has passed for a discourse on the future of our region. I don’t do this for me, I do it for us, you included. This site is my hammer, and thanks to the shallowness of some of our loudest voices in this community, I’ve got an endless supply of nails.

And, if you want to see this voice grow stronger, and you need better marketing, I have four employees who would be very grateful for a chance to work with you. The nails, unfortunately, do hurt them.

 

 

When the State wants to dig in your dirt

The Ohio EPA is discussing the licensing of compost heaps. Not the one in your backyard- but, if you have a community garden- the new standards will require logging of all waste contributed.

That’s right- want to throw your banana peels and coffee grounds into a community compost pile (like we have in South Park) and according to the new rules- you can’t.

Community compost piles come under Class IV

This proposed rules revision creates a new Administrative Code chapter solely for composting regulations and extensively reorganizes the rules. All composting rules will now be found in Chapter 3745-560. ….

3745-560-400 to 499 Class IV

via Composting Rules.

I could write a full post on this- but, the people at Garden Station have info on their Facebook page-http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184707348240364

Basically all community gardens would be required to register their compost piles with the Ohip EPA and keep meticulous records of everything added to the pile, how much, from where and when as well as what is removed from the pile, how much, when and where it went. If the garden registers as a “class 4” composting facility it does not have to pay registration fees but is subject to inspection by the EPA and is severely limited as to what materials it may compost. For this classification all materials must be from the site and be considered “yard waste” only. These can include wood chips, sawdust, straw, newspaper, brush, Christmas trees, garden waste, grass, green plants, leaves, branches and old mulch. The representative admitted that under the current regulations even throwing a rotten tomato from a garden plot into the compost pile would be breaking regulations for a class 4 site because it would require a different class of license, additional regulations and a registration fee.

and the DDN farm blog has more info as well: http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/farmlife/entries/2011/03/16/compost_oh_epa_to_inspect_regu.html

the EPA planned to inspect community gardens (when I talked with them on the phone, I thought they could be exempted if their compost wasn’t much bigger than a residential one), I wasn’t too concerned. But yesterday, a representative from the Dayton branch of the Ohio EPA talked with a group of (quickly upset) community gardeners about how composting regulations apply to community gardens – and that the OH EPA would be coming out for inspections.

When laws are made- that can’t possibly be enforced, who is our government serving? Will there be a “Composting Police”- will they write tickets, put community gardeners in jail? Come in with a bulldozer and flatten your raised beds? Confiscate your cabbage?

These regulations are right up there with sodomy laws- a place the government doesn’t need to be involved in, and would have a hard time proving a transgression has taken place. However- they both are about crawling up the people’s rear ends- where they don’t belong.

Time to test voters in Ohio?

Yes, we’re the state responsible for GW Bush’s reelection. We also gave the Country John Boehner. And now, despite every indication that money spent on all-day kindergartens is probably the best education investment that we can make- 30 Republican senators think it’s a bad idea:

Removing mandates will be a way to relieve financial pressure from school districts, which will likely face further budget cuts once the state budget is set, said State Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, who plans to introduce a bill that would eliminate all-day kindergarten….

West Carrollton Superintendent Rusty Clifford said they have no plans to turn back to half-day after seeing the difference in their students’ vocabulary, reading and writing. “By the middle of February, our students in an all-day program are already at the place where our half-day students were at the end of year.”

via Cost is the main reason why more districts don’t do all-day kindergarten.

If you need supporting evidence on the value of K and pre-K education, read my previous post on Geoffrey Canada and his world-famous efforts with his Harlem Children’s Zone. Also remember that the state has been in contempt of court for almost 20 years- for its unequal funding system for schools.

However, there were two absolute justifications for this boldly stupid move by Republican lawmakers in the very same edition of the Dayton Daily:

“Lobbyists – Affluence & Influence,” prepared by Ohio Citizen Action’s Money in Politics project, found that during the last legislative session, members of the Ohio Senate’s Finance Committee received 60 percent of their contributions — $1,523,365 — from lobbyists, firms that employ them and other lobbying entities such as law firms specializing in government relations.

House Finance Committee members received nearly 50 percent of their campaign contributions — $3,301,561 — from lobbying entities, the report found.

The full report can be found at http://moneyinpoliticsohio.org.

via Lobbyists are big donors to state budget writers.

And this gem, possibly explaining a lot more about the state of our state:

Ohioans set another liquor record last year, purchasing 11 million gallons of booze.

Call it a 13-year high. Since 1997, Ohioans have purchased more and more hard liquor each year.

The Division of Liquor Control said Tuesday that 2010 sales of spirituous liquor hit $753.7 million, which exceeded 2009 sales by $19 million, or 2.6 percent. Spirituous liquor contains more than 21 percent alcohol by volume.

via Hard liquor sales climb in Ohio | Ohio politics.

Just remember, we always have money to lock our citizens up for being stupid- and we always have money to elect stupid people. Why does smart scare Ohioans so much?

It’s time to eliminate all funding for “economic development” in this state, raise taxes on booze and smokes, legalize and tax pot and prostitution- so we can balance our budget and start focusing on having people smart enough to understand the costs of stupidity. The rest of you can go to Kentucky (which was smart enough to ban smoking and posts the health departments ratings in the windows of restaurants).

We may need to have a sobriety test at the polls at this rate, and while we’re at it- let’s have a literacy test for voting too. Because we can’t afford to keep electing idiots to represent us.

Symbolism, rhetoric and idiots on parade

Today is 9/11 (2010)
Up until 2001 if you said it- I thought of a Porsche. German engineering at its finest.
Of course, the association of German engineering overlooked the German-engineered genocide during WWII.
But, as Americans, we’re not going to let go of a terrorist attack so easily. We can’t- because it has been used as justification for two wars, the unconstitutional addition of the “Patriot Act” and the creation of the department of “Homeland Security” which may be a bigger oxymoron than “military intelligence.”
The latest round of firecrackers added to the fire and brimstone that we conjure up with 9/11 has been to threaten to burn the Qur’an. A stunt crafted by a sociopathic man of the cloth- who’d rather preach hatred than love. The media has given him the fuel to feed his publicity engine for more than the 15 minutes of fame that everyone should be entitled to according to Andy Wahol.
But, burning books is nothing new- especially here in Dayton.
It was soon after I arrived here- that another “Minister” decried that books were tools of the devil and staged a book burning on W. Third Street near Gettysburg. I was incensed- because this wasn’t the America I had sworn an oath to protect with my life- it was a cruel caricature, a series of side-shows, hell, one big sideshow. What our founding fathers had created, after a profound amount of intellectual discussion and debate, had been turned into something only P.T. Barnum could relate to.
The days of four hour debates by candidates is long gone. In fact- the art of debate is a dying skill, replaced by sideshow symbolism and the rhetoric of scalawags.
25 odd years later- that same preacher who burned books in Dayton somehow managed to find his way into my office seeking help in communicating his new message. It took me a while before I made the connection, and was surprised at how time and maturity had changed both the man and his message, because after the cameras leave, and the papers stop writing about the stunts and speeches we still have to step back and account for our actions. He’s now a pioneer in urban aquaculture- teaching inner city youth how to farm fish. He’s still a bit on the fringe- driving a H1 Hummer with a message to accept Christ or suffer eternal damnation, but he’s not burning books anymore.
The terrorist action of 9/11 2001 was a made-for-the-media event. However, the rules of media physics are totally different than Newton’s laws- events now create reactions by orders of magnitude greater- and the big ones, it’s on a logarithmic scale. Bin Laden understood the symbolism and the effect- and did if for the expected knee jerk- we complied.
How do we rationalize the responses to 9/11? Was giving up much of our freedom and privacy really what we wanted to do? Or is it what Bin Laden wanted?
Attacking a Third World nation like Afghanistan and losing thousands of our soldiers and trillions of our dollars to achieve what? Bin Laden is laughing at us from a cave somewhere.
The folly of Iraq, where we’ve also spent trillions and lost thousands- how do we justify it?
Never mind how many civilians we’ve killed- or Afghani and Iraqi patriots who are defending their countries in the same way we’d defend ours. It amazes me to think that any proud people would ever accept an invasion- and accept the rule of another country- because we sure wouldn’t. You know you’d be tempted to take pot shots at foreigner who dropped bombs on us? Of course you would, it’s the American way.
Terrorism is a poor man’s way of waging what professionals call an asymmetrical war. It’s how the little guy topples the big guy. It’s why conventional warfare is obsolete, even though America hasn’t accepted it yet.
With our economy in shambles, over 10% of our population unemployed, the gap between the haves and the have-nots widening at a pace never before imagined, Bin Laden and his 20 suicidal warriors have inflicted what could be considered a near mortal wound to our nation.
Trillions spent on the war, another trillion or two on propping up the economy with no end in sight- and we’re allowing an idiot who wants to burn a book to take central stage?
What is the appropriate symbol we need to set this country back on track, where we worry more about solving our problems and rebuilding our own economic engine?
It’s not hope or change as spoken by our President, we’ve cashed those chits out. It’s not a revolt against taxation as the tea party rants on. What will it take to get our country back to thinking about itself in a macro healthy way?
It’s this same kind of economic mess that helped lead Germany to the “National Socialist” party. Are we heading in the same direction? Closing off our borders to immigrants and the strong anti-immigration policy is reminiscent of the Nazis’ “Master Race” ideas.
To me, 9/11 is becoming less significant every year, to others, it’s become a near holy day. I’d much rather celebrate a day of our triumphs than a day of travesty, but, that won’t keep the rhetoric engine stoked as well.
It’s 9/11 and if you want to do something patriotic- hire an American, buy local, and call for our troops to come home. It’s time to move forward again.
It’s time to stop allowing the sideshow of a book burner to distract us from the true task at hand- rebuilding America and our global reputation.
It’s not politics or the power of the best military in the world that will do either- it’s the principles espoused by the golden rule- do unto others as you’d have others do unto you.
We’ve forgotten that.
We’ve been caught up in too much symbolism and rhetoric, led by idiots on parade.

When business and politics don’t mix

It didn’t take long before I got an email suggesting NOT to shop at the following businesses because of their support of the Tea Party.

It’s this kind of partisan BS that is killing our country. However I can tell you that my company has lost business because I choose to take a political stand. From the DDN article (and the e-mail)

The local merchant then gives 5 percent of the sale revenue to the local Tea party chapter to help fund rallies.

Participating businesses:

  • Anderson Mechanical Associates, LLC
  • B & K Heating, Inc.
  • Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Pub
  • Cool Solutions Heating & Air Conditioning
  • D.A.R.E. Automotive Specialists,Inc.
  • Essex & Associates, Inc.
  • Essex HR & Associates
  • Evans BMW, Volvo, Volkswagen
  • Flash Quick Copy, Inc.
  • G.L. Dart General Contracting/A-1 Roofing
  • Gamber Family Dental
  • Graphic Impact
  • HouseMaster Home Inspections and Radon Testing
  • Marketing Consultants
  • McAfee Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
  • O’Learys Pub & Grub
  • Reiber Cleaners, Inc.
  • Rich Roofing
  • Right at Home-Dayton
  • Ryan B. Walker CPA Inc.
  • Safeguard Print & Promo
  • Screen Works, Inc.
  • Tea Party Payroll, LLC
  • The Accounting & Business Coach
  • The Bronze Salon Tanning

via List of businesses participating in Tea Party discounts.

As a marketing consultant I can tell you that almost all cause marketing can have unexpected consequences. Recently even Target, which has made a major effort to be “Gay friendly” got caught for a donation to an anti-gay marriage candidate in Minnesota.

The sad part of the email blast to me- is that all of these are small local business people. This is a drop in the bucket of our local political machine.

Never mind that the big companies, with their political action committees, do much more harm to the political system. NCR used to be a cash trough for a certain Congressman, and if you look at the “non-profit” hospital groups’ executive teams, you are looking at more political donation juice than all of these independent businesses will generate.

Boycotts are nice, but if we want real change, what we need is campaign finance reform- eliminate all political donations- and we might start to see the results we want.

And btw- the comments on the DDN seem to indicate that this isn’t such a hot idea either.

Dayton Trash Fees going up: Commission thinks DOH! is an answer.

Anytime you see “emergency ordinance” take a second look. Most of the time it means either: the commission is made up of idiots who didn’t see something coming, or they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. In this case- both.

And, it’s our first Gary Leitzell no vote- with no real solution to the problem offered (of which I’ll provide- because I’m not an idiot). From the DDN:

City of Dayton trash customers will pay more for the service beginning with their April bills.

In a four-to-one vote, City Commissioners Dean Lovelace, Joey Williams, Nan Whaley and Matt Joseph pushed through an emergency ordinance raising annual waste collection fees from $91 to $113, beginning with April bills. The rate increase will generate $1.3 million annually for the city.

“Without that increase, we would have to make further budget cuts,” said City Manager Tim Riordan, adding staff proposed the increase in November as a way to balance the 2010 budget.

Mayor Gary Leitzell said he could not vote for an ordinance that both increased the cost to residents and decreased service. Dayton customers will still have trash pick-up once a week, but bulk waste pick-up goes from twice per month to once.

“I think we need to look at alternative ways of saving money,” Leitzell said.

The mayor suggested the city explore ways to reduce tipping fees paid to Montgomery County for dumping trash and recyclables.

In 2008, Dayton paid $38.25 per ton for trash disposal, or about $2.36 million for the year. Tipping fees for recyclables cost much less at $14 per ton or about $31,864 per year.

“Recycling cost less. The goal, in terms of a long-range budget solution, is to get more people to recycle,” Whaley said. “I know it’s hard for all of us to do these kinds of things, but it is part of governing.”

Whaley and Williams both said Leitzell’s suggestion should be researched, but said the reality of the mayor’s solution is that it would not generate enough money to prevent a budget shortfall.

About 27 percent of Dayton’s residents recycle, but only account for about 3 percent of the city’s waste stream. To generate the desired $1.3 million, recycling would have to make up 88 percent of the city’s waste steam.

via Trash collection fees going up in Dayton.

Trash and Recycling Bins in Savannah are equal sizes

Dayton provides two different sized trash bins. And, the size of the bins is the first indication of which has more importance. Take a look at Savannah GA bins in the photo at right- see a difference?

We get what we ask for- little recycle bins- collected every other week- and you get less recycling.

Secondly- in Ontario Canada they give you the bins for free- but, won’t pick up unless it’s in a trash bag you pay for. You pay big bucks for the ones to hold trash- and the recycling bags are FREE! It’s pay as you go trash bills- and forces people to feel the pain of not recycling.

Solves part of Dayton’s problem. Of course now that we’ve finally stopped the insane practice of paying trashmen double time to work holidays- maybe we can also start looking to making them put in a full 8 hour day every day?

We’ve cut the number of public trash containers in parks- which leads to bigger messes and a less pretty city. We’ve cut back the number of hours we sweep streets (ineffectively- since we don’t move cars first) increasing our costs of cleaning out catch basins and road repair. Maybe if the trash collectors put in a full day keeping our city clean- citizens wouldn’t have to waste their time picking up trash on alley sweeps- and could spend time working on other things to make our city beautiful.

Just voting no doesn’t get it Mayor Leitzell. Let’s see some ideas.

The terrorists at Toyota

Fear.

It’s a powerful weapon. It’s also a great diversion. While you’re terrified, you typically don’t think about things rationally- or tend to make good decisions.

Masters of propaganda know this. Manipulated masses don’t.

The whole “news story” about Toyota’s engineering problem is just another instance of the magician distracting you while they do their magic.

As Toyota rolls out fixes for sticky gas pedals, the automaker is coming under scrutiny from federal investigators who say the faulty pedals are not the only cause of sudden acceleration. Electronic defects may also have contributed to the problem, say investigators and independent safety experts. Federal safety regulators have begun an investigation into Toyota’s electronic throttle control system, which connects the accelerator pedal to the engine via sensors that send electric signals, rather than a mechanical cable.

via Toyota recall: Are sticky gas pedals the real culprit? / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com.

Even if hundreds of people had died daily (instead of the 18 over years) from this rare defect, it’s still less than killed daily from lack of access to adequate health care in this country.

What’s even more interesting is the questions being raised about the process of reporting and reaction to this issue. We seem to take more interest in if Toyota was “covering up” this “crime” and taking glee in watching the Japanese David that toppled the US Goliath (GM).

To have the U.S. Transportation Secretary even waste his breath on this with his misstatement borders on lunacy. The reality is you probably have a better chance of being struck by lightening twice, killed by terrorists or slipping on a banana peel than dying from a Toyota gas pedal.

Where is the investigation of how Wall Street bankrupted the county- from your 401K to the State, County and City treasuries? Why is this country afraid to face the reality that people are still buying and trading in Credit Default Swaps- on entire countries debt?

If your greatest fear is to drive your Toyota- there is no hope for you.

While Rome burns? Here’s Greg on the Toyota gas pedal issue:

Wacko mail author identified, questioned, let off easy

For years I’ve been accused of sending out bizarre snail mail- often photocopied, cut and pasted, taped together. Sometimes it has my return address, sometimes it has someone else’s- and I would get it, too.

I’ve had letters written back to me from Mayor McLin, Maureen Pero- thanking me curtly for my “notes”- for a long time, it severely damaged my reputation. I wrote about it on the site to let people know it wasn’t from me back in January of 2007, but the mail had been going out for years. In September of 2007 I posted offering a reward- and included a profile of the person-

  • Male, Age 55-65
  • Lives in Oakwood now.
  • Comes from money (or has it now)
  • Gets the NYT on Sunday.
  • Has some reason to travel to Oregon (some clippings from the Oregonian).
  • Went to Fairview High School
  • Gets the Dayton Jewish Observer, but may not be Jewish.
  • Has been to Australia.
  • Does business in Cincinnati (or travels there frequently)
  • Makes the rounds of the better restaurants (Carver’s, Pine Club, Oakwood Club, Madison’s)
  • Has a photo copier
  • Has juvenile handwriting

I’d called the postal inspectors, the Dayton Police Department and the Oakwood Police Department. No help. I’d talked to the F.B.I. – no help. I got an anonymous tip one day pointing out someone – but the lead didn’t seem to pan out. About three months ago, someone with more juice than me got the police department interested and the word is that they brought someone in on Monday. He admitted he was behind the mail- and said he’d stop.

The person fits my profile pretty well- and some of you may know him:

As a teenager, Sidney Schultz had no intention of staying in Dayton and running the family business. The plan was to become an English professor.

Yet here he is, closing down General Surplus Outfitters later this month after 60 years in business downtown at Third and Patterson.

via News summary | Dayton Daily News.

While I’m relieved that this nutcase has been caught, it doesn’t undo the years of damage he’s done to my reputation. The next question is if the prosecutor will press charges, or if it will be up to those of us who’ve been disparaged.

I hope to get the full details from the Dayton Police tomorrow.

And, if any lawyer is interested in taking this case, please let me know. Payback is going to be expensive for Mr. Schultz.