Justice for Colby Ross, Fire Sheriff Streck

The Sheriff killed him: the unnecessary death of Colby Ross

There is no excuse for stupid. Sheriff Rob Streck tried to make excuses for the stupidity of his deputies, but helicopter or no helicopter, there was no reason to conduct a high speed chase of Melissa Hutchins on the West Side of Dayton- especially when you have a helicopter. Not only that- the law is very specific:

General policy: 1. Pursuits at high speed are justified only when the individual officer knows or has reasonable grounds to believe the person being pursued has committed or attempted to commit a serious felony.

https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Briefing-Room/News-Releases/Policy-and-Legislation/Vehicular-Pursuit/City-of-Marion-Pursuit-Policy.aspx
Melissa Joan Hutchins mugshot
Melissa Joan Hutchins Mugshot

Melissa Hutchins has been a perennial problem child according to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts site:

2011 CVG 01119 WFORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (MCFED)HUTCHINS, ET AL, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2013 CVG 00743 WFORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (MCFED)HUTCHINS, ET AL, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
1996 CR 01043 /2CONVERSION (C)HUTCHINS, MELISSAOPENDEFENDANT
1998 TRD 00134 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1999 TRD 08786 WINTERSECTIONS-RULES FOR TURNS (4511.36 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 CRB 01744 WTHEFT (2913.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 TRD 08012 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2001 TRC 02111 WOVI (4511.19 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CR 00116POSSESSION OF COCAINE (1gram but <5grams-CRACK) (2925.11(A)-20(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CR 04576POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CV 06552OTHER TORT (OT)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2007 CR 02615POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2010 CV 09232MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE (MF)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2011 CR 00042POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CVF 01310 ECONTRACTS (MCCVF)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
1991 TRD 10395 WTWO HEADLIGHTS DISPLAYED (4513.14 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1992 CRB 03020 WPETTY THEFT (131.08 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1992 TRD 02650 WSPEED (4511.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1993 CJ 063503CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT TO STAY FROM ANOTHER OHIO COURT (CJS)HUTCHINS, MELISSA JOPENDEBTOR
1993 TRD 05085 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1996 CRA 02099 WRECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (2913.51A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1999 CRB 03355 WDISORDERLY CONDUCT (2917.11 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 TRD 03328 ESPEED (333.03D MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2002 CV 07075PERSONAL INJURY (PI)HUTCHINS, MELISSA JCLOSEDDEFENDANT
2005 CRB 01051 WDOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2919.25C MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 CRB 01609 EDRUG PARAPHERNA (2925.14A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 TRD 03079 WDUS/REINSTATE (4510.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 TRD 04534 EDUS/FRA SUSP/NON PAYMENT (4510.16 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2016 TRD 02415 WDUS/VIOL OF RESTRICTION (4510.11 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CRB 00886 WDOG REGISTRATION REQUIRED (955.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 TRD 02029 WDUS FRA/NON-COMPLIANCE (4510.16A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2023 TRD 01735 WHIT SKIP (4549.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2007 CR 02160ASSAULT (PO) (2903.13(A)(PO))HUTCHINS, MELISSA J.6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CRB 01295 WUNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE (2913.03A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J.6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2001 CR 04267POSSESSION OF COCAINE (1gram but <5grams-CRACK) (2925.11(A)-20(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA JEAN6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
Civil Historical Index1 Records Returned
HUTCHINS MELISSA J
METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE CO VS MELI
1993 CJ 063503
Criminal Historical Index3 Records Returned
HUTCHINS MELISSA J
AKA 1:

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1996 CR 001043
HUTCHINS MELISSA JOAN
AKA 1:

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1992 CR 000173
HUTCHINS MELISSA JOAN
AKA 1: MISSIE HUTCHINS

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1996 CR 002771
https://mcclerkofcourts.org

All those offenses, yet, nothing like she’s going to go kill someone (a “serious felony”). Yet, they felt the need to chase her car at high speeds after deflating her tires. Everyone was having fun playing Grand Theft Auto- up until she hit a BMW convertible driven by someone I know, 35 year old Colby Ross.

Colby is now dead, and Sheriff Streck was rushing to make excuses. Excuses don’t bring Colby back.

On Friday, the charges were made:

1INVOL MANSLAUGHTERF12903.04 MC
2AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR HOMICIDEF22903.06A2A MC
3FAIL COMP OFFCRF32921.331BC5 MC
4POSSESSION OF COCAINE (<5g but not >25g-other than crack)F42925.11 A-19 MC
The charges against Melissa Joan Hutchins

His father is Skip Ross, who now owns the old Channel 45/22 building on Gettysburg. Skip has been running channel WRCX 40 and provides an alternative media channel for the community. Colby was his right hand, and his heart. Colby had a wife, 2 kids, and a growing tiktok community with his Tattoo Broker channel. He and his Dad had a plan- to build a media empire focused on the Black community and they were well on their way.

Sheriff Streck and his lawless deputies just killed that dream. For what? To bust a woman for possession of drugs? For driving under suspension? They wouldn’t do a high speed pursuit on I-75- but the West Side- no problem. The real menace to society once again in Dayton, is unqualified people pretending to be the long arm of the law. You know, the same ones who pepper spray inmates point blank while in 7 point restraint chairs.

A Butler Twp. police officer broadcast around 4:40 p.m. Monday that a white SUV was wanted for felony failure to comply charges. The SUV’s driver fled from police during rush hour on Interstate 75 in a construction zone, Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said Tuesday.
About three hours later, a sheriff’s detective spotted the SUV on Free Pike Avenue and used a tire deflation device. The driver fled and a deputy initiated a pursuit with aerial support from a law enforcement partner.

Ibid DDN

For those who don’t know what “Failure to comply” is- you really need to read the law. Section 2921.331 | Failure to comply with order or signal of police officer. It’s pretty specific-

(A) No person shall fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.

(2) A violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

In order for it to be a felony- the next rules require the decision of a judge and jury- not a police officer.

Melissa Hutchins wasn’t an imminent danger to our community. Sheriff Streck on the other hand, well, he was busy preparing a statement before he’d even notified Skip or Chenea Ross, his widow of his passing. They left that to the coroner, long after Colby had been transported first to a hospital and then the morgue.

The real question is how much did Sheriff Streck pay recently reinstated NAACP president for life Derrick Foward to issue this statement:

Foward said. “Not only that, she is also an individual who has run from police before, so we need to make certain that we are doing everything — the full weight of the law — to hold this young lady accountable for this death.
“She is the culprit in the cause of Colby Ross’ death.
Make no mistake about it. It’s not the police’s fault that this individual is dead,” Foward said.

https://editions.daytondailynews.com/app/DDNFEE/editionguid/59183da7-4b94-431f-add9-168e1ce5b36f

It’s time for Forward to resign and go quietly off the stage before he says anything else this stupid.

You might have known on Facebook before the family even knew that Colby Ross was dead. Streck knew this was a huge mistake, and we, the taxpayers who elected this failure, will pay for his mistakes. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party hasn’t mounted a candidate for sheriff for almost 20 years (Last one was former DPD officer Mike Tenore). That’s in exchange for the R’s not running anyone against the Democratic embarrassment for Prosecutor Mat Heck.

The family of Colby Ross has hired attorney Michael Wright to represent them. Wright will make the county pay – but, the incompetence within the Sheriff’s department will continue. When Sgt Judith Sealey was caught pepper spraying inmate Amber Swink, she was put on paid leave by then Sheriff Phil Plummer, and then promoted to Captain before taking medical retirement. Sealey later pled guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, and was given a slap on the wrist. Plummer was promoted to State Representative and Streck was promoted. Funny how things work in the Sheriff’s office.

Make no doubt about it, the decisions of the Sheriff’s office to continue this pursuit at high speeds, resulted from them choosing to be judge, jury and executioner, without any adherence to the law- or considering the public’s safety. With the tires deflated, and a helicopter to follow her, it would have been much better to follow at a leisurely pace and wait for her to be in a place where there was no chance of endangering others- or when she runs out of gas.

Colby Ross doesn’t need a law named after him, he needs the law enforced, with those responsible for his death being punished, starting with Sheriff Streck.

Justice for Colby

Joe Bidens last stand

How Joe Biden might have a snowballs chance in hell in November

Ignoring polls seems to be a genetic failing of democrats. Failing to find a clear and concise message eludes them as well. It’s tough when you can’t say anything you want- true or untrue, and do anything you want, legal or illegal, and get away with like his opposition.

There was a time where a divorce or a bankruptcy would instantly disqualify you from running for president. Same thing for infidelity. Trump can pretty much get away with anything- and still have a following.

Let’s be clear, there’s no way Trump will win the popular vote. The only reason he’ll win is the electoral college- and we’re not going to be able to change that anytime before November.

Even if he’s in prison on Jan 20th 2025, he can just pardon himself and get on with it. Why? Because the founding fathers never thought people would vote for someone of such low moral character. Basically, the job description is be born in American and at least 35 years old. Good job guys.

Biden and the democratic party work for the billionaires that get them elected. We waste in excess of $15B every election cycle to smear each other. It ain’t coming from the people that vote- it’s coming from the people that want something- and that something is to be richer by the minute.

Since 2000 America’s billionaire class has quadrupled and continues to grow. The multi-millionaires are richer than ever before. And the common man, the voter, is the poorest he’s ever been.

So what did Biden do? He wrote off college debt- helping out the people who ostensibly already make more than the poorest in this country. It was a STUPID move and totally unnecessary. It just divided the country even more- with those who’d made their payments faithfully- and paid their debt off- say “WTF- Unfair.”

The answer wasn’t to write it off- but to refinance it all at a super low affordable rate like 2.5% and move on to something that would really have an impact: Cap the maximum rates on credit cards to something that people could actually pay off. Currently it’s at 29.99% which is usury. It’s a fact that at rates this high, folks never will get out of debt. (pro tip- Credit Unions can’t charge more than 18%).
This is an insane factoid- there are actually people in Congress who’ve talked about capping it under 20% from BOTH parties:

Sen. Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican, introduced legislation in September to cap credit card interest at 18%. Four years ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, proposed to cap card rates at 15%.

Lenders and their advocates have opposed the caps, saying they might limit the ability of Americans with weaker credit to borrow.

“It would surprise me if we ever got a credit-card rate cap in this country of any significance,” said Schulz of LendingTree.

Source: Credit card interest rates climb to 33% in some cases (no, really).

This would be a huge instant help to the people enduring the squeezes caused by everything else that Congress is failing us on: not enforcing anti-trust laws (Capital One buying Discover for instance), capping prescription drug price hikes, reeling in the costs of higher ed, dealing with the health care crisis and runaway costs- and as Senator Sherrod Brown keeps telling us in his bad commercials- shrinkflation which is driving up food costs.

The billionaires have control over the costs of meat, gas, corn, chicken and have been buying up housing stock and jacking the prices up – because they can. We need to realize that they have enough money to ignore the Fed- and can pretty much do as they want. So maybe, it’s time to put anti-trust laws into effect limiting single family home ownership? And force requirements to provide at least 20% of any single entities housing holdings to be affordable to minimum wage workers if you own more than 200 units? Of course, all of these would take time- which is why the credit card rate cuts could have an instant effect.

Joe Biden is running out of time to pull a rabbit out of a hat. I just gave him both. Unfortunately, he’s not a subscriber- nor is anyone in the Ohio Dem Party.

And the song for this post: Joe’s last stand

What kind of community do you want to be a part of? Live in?

What is the “collective soul” of a community, and why is it critical?

This post has nothing to do with the band “Collective Soul”- but it does have a lot to do with everything that’s been spinning around my head over the last few weeks. The question of what’s really important and what is a distraction and why, is a lens a lot of things need to be viewed through.

First topic: Indianapolis makes their bike share system free for all residents:

Indianapolis will be the first city in the United States to offer all county residents access to a free annual bikeshare pass.

The IndyRides Free is a new program that offers a free annual pass for Pacers Bikeshare to all Marion County residents. A first-of-its-kind program in the nation that provides the public with access to hundreds of e-bikes at no cost.

“While other cities offer reduced-cost or free annual passes to specific groups, to our knowledge, Indy will be the first place where all county residents have access to a free annual bikeshare pass,” said Kären Haley, executive director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which manages Pacers Bikeshare.

Source: Indianapolis offers free bikeshare passes to residents

Indy bought B-Cycle, the same system that I introduced to Dayton long ago- and they eventually bought (you can read all the posts on this blog here). The cost in Indy was underwritten by a non-profit and the Pacers:

“The free annual passes for Marion County residents were made possible through support from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation and Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

“Our focus has always been making positive impact off the court as well as on it, and this important partnership will help create greater connectivity and accessibility for all residents and visitors to our city,” said Rick Fuson, chief executive officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Being able to do that while also encouraging activities that promote better health and well-being simply adds to the appeal.”

ibid

The reality is- free bikes do all kinds of things- like make perimeter parking more valuable (park where it’s free- ride the bike to where it’s not), gives poor people access to mobility, improves air quality, and most importantly- creates a sense of ownership for the whole community. It’s now “Our Bikeshare” system- not just the people who can afford it.

And, that’s where I feel like this kind of action makes a huge difference. Considering the people of Dayton paid for the Dragon’s stadium- but did they all get a discount? Or a free ticket? Extrapolate that out to the Schuster Center, to all the other “economic development dollars” we’ve “invested” – what is in it for the over-taxed, under-paid, under-appreciated people in the city?

While I absolutely love “The Flyer” free shuttle and use it a few times a year, I often wonder why we don’t just pull the trigger and make the entire bus system free. The fares contribute a tiny bit toward operating costs- and by the time you figure all the expenses in collecting and accounting for fares- compared to the value to those who ride, what purpose are we really serving by charging for “public transit?” If you followed the link above- you realize I consider it racist that the only part of town served by a free bus- is the whiter, wealthier part.

Soul crushing in advertising

This week Apple did something that doesn’t happen very often – a major corporation apologized for an ad they released. As an Apple fan boy since the early days, and one who makes their living using Apple tools, this was pretty epic. Yet, there were people who didn’t know what all the fuss was about- and others who thought the fuss was epic. Here’s the Apple spot-

Apple squeezes the soul out of the emoji ball- and their brand

The idea was that they had taken all these well loved, creative tools, like trumpets, pianos, vinyl turntables, paint, a piano and on and on- and compressed them into the thinnest iPad ever. Or, not.

Others saw them crushing the soul of the artist, ending the analog age, and destroying our artistic heritage with a soulless, albeit thinner, iPad.

From the days when Steve Jobs talked about Apple building “bicycles for the mind” to now replacing the bicycles with a thin piece of electronics that will be rendered worthless in 10 years by something newer, faster, thinner- is contrary to the ethos of the Apple brand. Yes, I have a MacPlus sitting on my front desk, but, it’s value isn’t the same today as if I’d bought a Selmer Mark 6 sax with that money back in 1985. Like it or not, computers are more like hammers and screwdrivers- which can help an artist create, but, lack the soul of the creator.

Just because I can, and I (along with quite a few other people) came up with the same twist on the spot- it’s really better backwards:

The Next Wave fix of the Apple Crush ad

Which brings us back to “collective soul.”

Our society has been actively being torn apart and forced into taking sides on so many things, from trans bathrooms to banned books, immigration to the Israeli/Hamas war. All the while, the algorithm keeps grinding away in the background deciding what to feed you next.

I have a friend who abhors social media and avoids it. However, he’s addicted to TikTok. What he gets fed is very different than what my feed looks like. His is one conspiracy rant after another. I get dancing couples, lip sysncs, recipes for famous chicken roll ups, comedy, Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood doing “Walk this way” together on stage, Ted Lasso clips. Now- here’s the thing- after 2 minutes of being fed things I could find on Youtube if I was truly interested- I walk away from TikTok- he doesn’t.

But he shares stuff constantly to me. Stuff that’s so out of whack with the person I’ve known over 30 years, who I talk to at least once a week for an hour. And I know- there’s powers behind the curtain working hard at “divide and conquer” and it scares me.

The last time I remember America coming together unconditionally, was after 20 shitbirds from Saudi Arabia attacked our country with our own planes and killed 3000+ Americans on 9/11. Since then, I’ve watched us start to unravel at the seams. Our collective soul is taking a self-induced beating.

I drove up to Chicago yesterday with a friend to pick up a deal from Facebook marketplace that I found. My friend had lived in Chicago- and extended our stay for a while longer than I planned- and I got home at 4:30 am to a house where my dog had pooped and puked in the backroom. But, one of the things we did in Chicago was visit a bar called “The Violet Hour.

It made it all worthwhile. Because, it reminded me of the importance of folks who remind us to stop doing what we’re doing- and smell the flowers. The first clue is in the very gritty waiting hall, once you’ve made it past the building front which looks like a boarded up, graffiti covered wall (they re-do it monthly- so it always looks different). They have their house rules- where they tell you- put your phone away.

The Violet Hour House rules- No cell phone use inside lounge. Proper attired requested. Please, no baseball hats. Sorry, no reservations. If you have a party of four, we'll give you four chairs. If your party is Eight, we'll arrange eight chairs for you. No "Party add-ons" without prior notification. No O-bombs. No Jager-bombs. No bombs of any kind. No budweiser. No light beer. No grey goose. No cosmopolitakns. And finally, please do not bring anyone to the violet hour that you wouldn't bring to your mother's house for Sunday dinner.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t fly in Dayton- “what, I can’t come sit in your bar and be anti-social, doom scrolling – instead of actively talking to the people I’m here with???!!!”

And it reminded me, we can choose what kind of “collective soul” we want, for our neighborhood, our schools, our city, our state, our county, our planet.

But the first thing is – we need to be consciously aware of that soul, and provide it with the proper care and feeding, or it will wither and die.

Does Dayton need a whole bunch of new hotels downtown? Do the Dayton Public Schools need a vision and mission statement? Do we want to accept folks who want to (or may) be different than us? Are we going to have to vote between 2 ancient folks to lead our country? Is the algorithm the source of all evil? Should there be billionaires while people starve? These are the things that run through my head.

Religion used to be counted on to provide us guidance on so much of this- and yet, that institution has self-destructed as well. The golden rule still works, “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”- yet, we seem to have added a clause- “unless, you can get away with it, and advance yourself and your self interests before anyone else notices.”

And, here you are at the end of this post, wondering, WTF is Esrati doing playing moralist? Hopefully, the reason you’re here is because this is a place to discuss our community- and it’s “collective soul” outside the structures that we used to depend on providing us with the information we need to guide us through our political selection process. Our local established “journalists” have lost their edge at real reporting (the most recent article about the things going on in New Lebanon- totally ignored informing us of what the preliminary finding of the investigation were).

I’d like to know what things you think need re-aligned to help us get our soul back? Please add your ideas in the comment section.

And the song for this post: “Our Collective Soul”

When your nasty neighbors leave your neighborhood

When your neighborhood cancer goes away

This story started 18 Aug. of 2008. It ended Feb 14, 2024. 16 years of hell on Bonner Street thanks to one house, holding one family and a community powerless to stop the insanity.

My neighbors and I are all still in a state of disbelief. No longer do we have to listen to vehicles with no exhausts, pealing out burning rubber, blasting music, screaming fights, police visits, fire trucks, ambulances, shooting, burning toxic trash, barking dogs, daily disruption. The cancer has left the building- and the only question is why did it take this long?

If you don’t know the back story, it’s well documented in this post: Dealing with a neighborhood cancer. You should probably read it and cycle back here.

I’m not sure if rising property taxes drove them to do it, or as the mob would say, they “got an offer they couldn’t refuse.”

It took $110,000 to get them out of here. Money, the neighbors would have almost surely paid themselves if they knew it could cure our little block of the disease that this family brought to our block.

Enriquez Investments LLC, owns 30 properties in Montgomery County, including one other in South Park on Jay street . The Secretary of State lists the owner as Aldo Enriquez 1138 Driftwood Dr. Fairborn OH 45324. Aldo is our savior who bought 121 Bonner. Yet, he is suffering the same issues in 2024 that started my political career in 1986- he’s run afoul of the City’s historic zoning machine- where there is no restrictive covenant or warning in the deed of the special requirements to rehabilitate a junk house in the historic district.

121 Bonner is bigger than my house by at least a bedroom- and yet, the Crouch’s paid $500 less for it in 2008 than I paid for mine in 1986. Poor Aldo paid through the nose to take over a property that had 2 30 yard dumpsters worth of junk in it- and a yard that was full of junk and debris. And now, he has a stop work order plastered on the door. Almost 40 years later- and our city still hasn’t figured out how to work with investors/home owners to rehab these old homes properly.

This isn’t the only problem house on our block, but it was the worst cancer. We still have a hoarder who was forced out of his beautiful home that he’d destroyed by filling it with 7 30 yard dumpsters full of junk. When his wife had a stroke in the upstairs bathroom, the fire department had to lower her out the window- because they couldn’t get the gurney through the house. The house was condemned and they moved 2 doors down into a small shotgun cottage rental (which has a zombie title and can’t be sold). They are planning to move back into their wreck of a home- and he claims the city isn’t requiring an occupancy permit (may or may not be true). What I do know is that he only parks 2 of his diesel VW’s on the street now- instead of the 6 clunkers he had (2 burned behind the cottage last year).

The house between the hoarders home and the hoarders rental, directly across the street from me has sold twice last year- first in foreclosure for $103,200 in May and then for $130K in July. There were dumpsters full of crap hauled out- and a mad rush to fix it up to flip- and then, nothing for months. It was the only house on this block that looked well kept when I bought mine in 1986, and I thought then- they fixed theirs up, then I do mine- and soon, I’ll be able to sell and make good money and leave. Here I am, 38 years later- and owning 4 buildings on the block.

How our property taxes are calculated is part of the problem causing not only gentrification and social stratification- but, also making it more difficult to keep affordable livable housing viable in our community. Very few neighborhoods are able to do what South Park has done in the last 40 years- and it’s not all necessarily a good thing. What was once one of the most diverse both racially and economically neighborhoods in the city- has become less diverse on both counts.

The one thing that helped were the historic zoning ordinances that stopped the demolition of questionable homes. We’ve had multiple properties come back after fires- where as in other neighborhoods there would be an empty lot. We’ve had some infill built- mostly with city subsidies during Rehabarama days. We’ve had a few investors take on a large number of homes and turn them around themselves- without getting rich- but making our community a richer place for all.

What we’ve not been able to do, is deal with folks like our cancer- who made it harder for all to live here. Long gone is our community based police officer, who once worked with a social worker paid for by Miami Valley Hospital- who tried to mediate and work with problems like that.

We’re only now seeing a return of a neighborhood building inspector, who comes to the neighborhood meetings. Who writes people up for building violations or trash on the porch or in the yard.

The neighborhood is experiencing a baby boom. In fact we have so many folks with kids under 5 meeting at Blommel park, that when our new playground equipment came and was for ages 5 and up, they banded together and raised $70K in less than 3 months and bought some under 5 friendly equipment and had it installed. The big question is will they stay once their kids hit 5- or will they move out or send their kids to any schools other than Dayton Public? For years, I’ve watched the exodus of families once the kids turn 5, and prayed for the day when they stay.

For now, there’s peace on Bonner Street, and a huge dumpster that’s been sitting for 3 weeks- awaiting the lifting of the Stop Work Order. Neighbors are happy, and the biggest disturbance is the insane car traffic Emerson School has funneled down our street each morning at 7:15- but that they are planning to change the drop off plan for next school year.

Word is that the cancer moved over to the Huffman Historic district- and within a day, someone told them they can’t park their truck half in the street and half in the yard… they complained that they had an “Esrati over there” to their relative who still lives 2 doors the other way over from me. Sorry Huffman, you’re on your own- the city still doesn’t know how to enforce community standards that work for all of us. The cancer didn’t die, it just moved.

And here’s a musical addition to this post:

Diabetes and me. Maybe, help for you?

Everybody has a different diabetes story- and everybody is different. So what worked for me, may or may not work for you. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. But, within 6 months, I got off Metformin, dropped weight, and had my A1c go from 8.8 to 5.5 (currently at 5.9). I got a ton of conflicting advice- and the worst of it was from health care providers who almost always prefer pharmaceutical solutions to actual solutions.

I’ve been high risk for diabetes from birth. My mothers side has plenty of folks with it, my father developed it around the same age I did- 60. He ended up on insulin and it contributed to his death at 89. He and I have much different lifestyles- I never smoked, I’ve always been active, and I never ate a stick of butter wrapped in a piece of bread in my life.

My A1c had hit 6.0 almost 2 years before, but for some reason, the VA didn’t check it in the year between. This is why it’s important for you to check on what the doctor orders. When I hit 8.8, they delivered Metformin to me before even having a discussion about the diagnosis and what it meant. After a few days of gastro discomfort, I tolerated it. But, at the same time, I radically changed my diet- giving up carbs. I went keto. Meats, fats, veggies, but no potatoes or bread. Out went pasta, pizza, and the granola I ate in the morning. I also started monitoring my blood sugar with a meter- that arrived much after the metformin (go figure). A fellow vet who was a diabetic gave me one of his old meters long before the VA gave me one- and I started sticking myself 3-5x a day. My blood sugar was all over the map- but, data was very helpful.

In fact, the idea of healthy people monitoring their blood sugar isn’t a bad idea either- because having a numerical reading of how your body is feeling/feeding is cathartic- mind blowing. At first, I realized that I could actually feel high blood sugar (170+). When it shoots up, I get a tension in the back of my neck- just behind my ears. Time to walk and drink water was what I learned. When my blood sugar used to drop to 100- I’d feel like crap, and sluggish. Eat a piece of fruit or some protein and things got better. Now, it had to fall to mid-eighties before I feel out of it. I started learning that if I eat enough protein, a little bit of carbs isn’t bad. I also learned, there’s sugar in EVERYTHING- and finding out that the ketchup is as bad as the fries really ruins everything (except I’d given up french fries- and ketchup).

Less the 4 months on Metformin, I’d dropped from 230lbs to around 205/210. And then, the awaking happened. I’d missed my morning dose in the AM, and taken it around 1pm. At 7, I took my evening dose. Next thing you know- I’m sitting in my recliner shivering, shaking and in a mental fog. I couldn’t figure out what to do- or what I needed to do. My friend Pam, who’s a nurse, is also my housemate. Luckily she came in- found me blubbering- and started stuffing carbs in me. It took about 45 minutes to come back to the world. At that point I decided that I’m going off the metformin and doing this without big pharma.

The VA had a fit. First, keto was bad. And my cholesterol was already high- and I don’t do well on statins. Well, a year and half later- while my cholesterol is still high- it’s dropped, thanks to diet, exercise and weight loss. So here’s the rest of what I’ve done- and my suggestions to you.

I started swimming daily. A half mile every day. It takes me 30 minutes in the pool. City of Dayton rec pass for a veteran of my age is $60 a year. They have 2 pools, but are not competent enough to keep both open 6 days a week. I like swimming because it’s low impact- and because I almost find it to be like meditation. I have an Apple watch that tracks my laps and calories burned. I do it first thing, before I eat in the morning. BTW- my morning blood sugar norm is now around 115, down from the 140-160’s when I started.

I use the app MySugr which links to my meter. If you stick yourself 3x a day for a week, it will estimate your A1c. However, the cost of test strips is insane (luckily the VA pays for mine) and sticking yourself that many times a day sucks.

I eat the same breakfast every day. And, if you don’t have a Costco membership, I highly recommend one, they have lots of amazing things that people on Keto or low sugar diets will love.

My breakfast is Greek yogurt (protein) with a half to whole teaspoon of cinnamon mixed in (cinnamon is supposed to help process sugar), on top of that fresh blueberries and fresh strawberries. The finishing touch is a keto friendly granola that is the best granola I’ve ever eaten, NuTrail Blueberry Cinnamon (I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link, but your Costco membership will save you about $4 a bag).

I also usually eat a banana. Now, here’s where I get bad- another product that I found at Costco- made by a company called Catalina Crunch out of Indianapolis is a little treat. I order these by the 16 box case about once every month. They are their Vanilla Creme keto cookies- and with bananas – oh so good.

I can’t get these at Costco- but, I became a Catalina Crunch affiliate, so here’s the link to them. Shop Our Keto Sandwich Cookies! I also get the Chocolate sandwich cookies. They don’t taste like Oreo’s- but if you are eating keto- they are the next closest thing. What I can get at Costco is their version of “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” without the sugar- and again, a Costco membership will save you money, but here’s an affiliate link:

KETO FRIENDLY CEREAL from Catalina Crunch: 0g Sugar, 8g Protein, 5g Net Carbs and 7g Fiber. Gluten & Grain Free I eat this sometimes for a snack dry- or for dinner when I’m too tired to cook. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk with it. Sometimes I add strawberries or blueberries or both- or some of the NuTrail granola. Pure heaven. I’ve never tried any of the other cereal flavors. I love this stuff.

Usually by 11am I’m starting to get hungry again. This is where I eat a piece of string cheese, sometimes with some beef jerky (I’d like to cut the jerky out- because while it adds protein, it also almost always has too much sodium). There are also some Costco Kirkland protein bars that I probably shouldn’t eat- but they have 10g of protein- and keep me from having a blood sugar drop.

A former girlfriend dropped off a “Legendary” protein Pastry- with 20 G of Protein and 4g net carbs- she gets them at Target, but Amazon has them too. So good- like a poptart- but not sickly sweet. I had the “brown sugar cinnamon” flavor.

I never drank a lot of soda, I don’t drink coffee or tea, I don’t drink alcohol either- so it’s been water for me. I’ve always tried to drink a few quarts a day. and it’s even more important now. So while a lot of you think diet soda may be ok- I’d rather eat protein- even if it includes some dark chocolate (which is keto friendly).

For snacks, another thing that Costco has that’s interesting is chick pea based products. They have pasta and a fake cheese puff made out of them. They also have hummus, but if I have time I make my own. The pasta is from Banza and is passable for pasta (you are talking to someone raised on pasta). The cheese things- are from Hippeas, who have the brilliant tag line “give peas a chance.” They aren’t crunchy- but they are tasty. This is my normal side for my lunches.

Some neighbors who eat low carb turned me on to Aunt Millie’s Live Carb Smart breads. I can eat the white bread, I can say I like the wheat, and I love the hamburger and hot dog buns, but I would marry their Hawaiian rolls. Sometimes I find the Hawaiian rolls at Meijer, sometimes I find the buns at Kroger, but no one ever has them all at once. However, their bagels and English muffins- I wouldn’t feed to my dog- you’ve been warned.

For lunch- I’m usually in a rush- so it’s either an Italian Sausage or a burger on the Breville pannini grill that my dear friend and neighbor Amanda gave me. It makes quick work of heating frozen burgers, and generally drains the fat. The other device I find useful is an air fryer- but, mostly for warming things up.

Dinner is often grilled meat, or homemade chilli, or a cauliflower crust pizza in desperation. Salads, steamed broccoli, etc. One of the things about eating keto for a while- is that I get full faster on less. Smaller portions have been the norm.

Eating keto is expensive, so eating out has decreased considerably. Treats out include sushi, or the occasional Popeye’s chicken sandwich, or salad and kufta at Olive Mediterranean Grill downtown.

For rewards, I’ve come to like the Rebel brand keto ice cream (check out the flavors) I can usually get it at Meijer or Kroger. It’s almost $6 a pint. Pro tip- let it sit out for about 5 minutes after you scoop it into the bowl. For added fun, I sometimes toss some crushed nuts on top.

I’ve also found the Yasso brand frozen treats at Costco. Their “Poppables” which are little frozen pieces of yogurt dipped in dark chocolate are amazing- with restraint. Unfortunately, they don’t always have them- and sometimes I have to settle for the yogurt on a stick.

Costco also carries the Skinny Dipped line of low sugar treats. The Peanut butter/dark chocolate cups are really good, but the lemon bliss yogurt covered almonds are like crack. You’ve been warned.

A few other things that really have made a difference is that I try not to eat after 8pm- and I’ve been working super hard at getting more sleep. My Apple watch has an App called AutoSleep that tracks my sleep length, type and quality and I it does seem to make a difference when I’m not in sleep debt (I aim for 6 hours a night) and I get 100 on the “sleep-o-meter.” Note, the watches Apple sells now do not have the pulse ox sensor – so try to find an older one if you don’t have one that does it now.

I know my body is changing, I feel better, leaner, and stronger. I could still lose some more weight- but, it’s coming off slow- which means it will more likely stay off. When I was down to 205- I wasn’t feeling great, but then again, I was still on Metformin.

The VA diabetes coach fired me in November- she said there was nothing more she could help me with, I was doing great. I do think I need to add in some more exercises- either the rowing, weight lifting (now that my rotator cuff is fully healed) and possibly resubscribe to Supernatural on the Meta Quest headset which I loved before the rotator cuff went south.

I don’t feel like keto is very hard to maintain- I can always eat a salad anywhere. The hardest part has been cutting back on bread and pizza. Est Est Est in the Arcade has one of the best cauliflower crust pizza’s I’ve ever had, and Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory has a cauliflower crust (really good) with their funky toppings, but only in a small pizza.

I know this post is a bit long as it is- but I hope that more than one of you finds it helpful- especially, anyone who has recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. If you have any products you love- or suggestions- please leave them in the comments.

Here’s the song for this post. Sweet Freedom Diabetes.

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