Reynolds bails on downtown

Sprawl will kill us all.

In the final act of a three act play, orchestrated by corporate chieftains and played out by foolish bureaucrats, the series of tax breaks and “development deals” finalizes with the CEOs laughing- and the taxpayers not getting what they were promised.

Reynolds & Reynolds used to be entirely in Dayton. Then a rift between then CEO Dave Holmes and then Dayton Mayor Mike Turner started Holmes on a shopping trip for a new location. Kettering offered a great deal- and Reynolds first spun off “Relizon” (now “WorkflowOne”) to Kettering- then got a deal from Dayton to move them back to the old Sears location across from Riverscape (2 tax break deals and counting) – then the deal with Dayton Public Schools to buy the HQ and the buildings on Washington Street (Deal three) so that they could then move everything to Kettering. The city begs- and gets a bone thrown to them- the former Elder Beerman store will become the TAC- funded by CityWide (Deal four)- only for Reynolds to now bail on location- figuring that paying lower income taxes in Kettering- not having to deal with parking- or the City is cheaper than staying the course. 400 jobs move out- and the city stands with yet another empty building with almost new class A space (maybe CareSource will sublet it- if their building isn’t done on time).

Reynolds and Reynolds Co. told Dayton city officials Wednesday morning that it is leaving downtown Dayton, moving 400 jobs to its campus in Kettering.

The company intends to relocate its Technical Assistance Center (TAC) operations from leased space in downtown Dayton to the Reynolds and Reynolds headquarters at the Research Park in Kettering.

The move will occur gradually during the next several months. Dayton city officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The move will bring the total number of employees working in Kettering to about 1,500….

In February, Steve Budd, CityWide president, said that Reynolds still has 11 years left on its lease at Courthouse Crossing and would more than likely try to sublease it if it decided to move operations to Kettering.

Otherwise, Reynolds would have to continue to pay for the space, Budd said.

“It’s the energy the employees project that makes the downtown vibrant,” Budd said. “If they were not in the space, that would have repercussions.”…

Courthouse Crossing is owned by New York-based ACG Equities LLC, which bought it from CityWide Development Corp. in 2004 for $16.2 million dollars.

CityWide still manages the property, which also houses a CVS Pharmacy, the United States Postal Service, Boston Stoker and Roly Poly sandwich shop.

Reynolds to move 400 jobs out of downtown – Dayton Business Journal:.

The zinger on this story- maybe if the City had spent as much time and money on the basics: schools, streets, safety, recreation- and found ways to live on less than the 2.25% income tax- maybe companies would want to locate in Dayton.

An architect/builder told me long ago- “you can’t build anything good on a bad foundation.”

Dayton’s problems aren’t going to be solved by “economic development”- they’ll be solved when we take care of the basics better. It’s time to shut the slush-fund CityWide Development down, and work on doing government 101.

Reynolds & Reynolds TAC: 2001?-2008 R.I.P.

Time to sell gas guzzling trucks to OPEC countries

There are people who can still buy gas for under $2 a gallon- they’ve got it coming out of the ground. The solution for GM is to start exporting all the Hummers, TrailBlazers and Escalades to sell in UAE and Saudi Arabia. With the weak dollar, cheap gas and empty tankers going back every day- we just need to figure out how to fit the trucks in the tankers….

Instead- we’ve got local officials spending their time, on our dollar, trying to tell GM how to run their business:

The General Motors Corp.’s Moraine plant took another step towards the end of the line Monday, when officials announced that they will eliminate the second shift starting Sept. 29.

The decision will cut about 1,000 hourly, salaried and temporary employees from the payroll, said Jessica Peck, a plant spokesman, leaving about 1,400 workers left.

Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge, co-chair of the GM Task Force, said the cuts are a surprise and officials did not expect the ax to fall this quickly after GM (NYSE:GM) announced in June the Moraine plant would close in 2010.

“Not this soon, we had heard from the rumor mill it would be the first of the year,” she said. “Was it quicker than we would have liked? Heck yes.”

GM to cut second shift at Moraine, costing 1,000 jobs – Dayton Business Journal:.

If we hadn’t provided so much corporate welfare to GM over the years with tax breaks, TIFF’s and other ways to funnel our tax dollars back to the biggest companies- maybe GM would have had to be more competitive.

In the mean time- how much is it to open a Hummer franchise in Abu Dabi?

A strange bit of Dayton history and race relations

Apparently, being a Dayton cop and beating up African Americans was a punchline in 1938- and the perception still remains that this is what cops do- all the way 70 years later.

The thing is- it was manufactured then- and now, it is still hinted at.

Read the entire story on the NYT site- it turns out, that Powell wasn’t a cop, and died a common criminal-but that his comments, helped start the integration of pro baseball.

No plaque or distinction will ever be accorded Jake Powell — nor should they — but his racist comment 70 years ago broke the conspiracy of silence that protected segregated baseball.

Jake Powell, claiming to be an off-season police officer, said he used a nightstick on blacks.

During a pregame interview at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 29, 1938, the WGN Radio announcer Bob Elson asked Powell, a Yankees outfielder, what he did during the off-season. Powell replied that he was a policeman in Dayton, Ohio. When Elson asked him how he stayed in shape, Powell, using a common racial slur, replied that he cracked blacks over the head with his nightstick.

A Public Slur in ’38 Revealed Baseball’s Racism – NYTimes.com.

The real question is why, after all these years, we still have a public that believes that our department is full of racists who want to beat or shoot African Americans?

Even with editing, our Mayor the trainwreck.

The Drum Major Institute of Public Policy out of NYC has started MayorTV where they post video inteviews of American Mayors.

They interviewed Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin in Miami, Florida at the Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors a few months ago- even with kind editing- you can understand why the citizens of “greater Dayton” don’t have a lot of faith in our Mayor. Watch and weep as you hear a whine about the problems- with no hope in sight. No answers, no questioning how we got here- just- poor us.

On the foreclosure crisis- she’s talking about people losing their pets- instead of outrage against a banking industry that’s being bailed out by the Fed after years of unregulated profiteering.

On the subject of “young people” she talks about the city working to entice them back. Let’s see- the Rob Drydek skate park is in Kettering, after the city of Dayton refused to build one. Motorcyclists who used to come to the Oregon District got chased off with the “one vehicle per spot” parking idiocy. The city of Dayton can’t even build a public dog park downtown for urban dwellers.

I like Rhine as a person, however, her public persona screams clueless.

Compare her interview with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (Nashville has UniGov):

Your thoughts?

The takedown of Jack Brooks.

In today’s Dayton Daily News, the other side of Dayton Police Officer Jack Brooks has finally started to be told. After the shooting, the focus was on how he was about to be fired- yet, Chief Biehl still let him out on patrol solo.

No cop wants to shoot someone, especially, on his last days on the job. I’ve received a few e-mails from readers saying that he’s also gotten a few commendations in his short DPD career- but, those remain in the job jacket for now. Today we learned he is a family man, who played basketball at Wayne:

The image Huber Heights resident Kelley Britt carries of rookie Dayton police Officer Jack Brooks is that of a dedicated husband, loving father of twins and drummer in the Prase Band at the YMCA Campus of Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church.

Supporter of Brooks: ‘I just hope some good comes of this’.

But, as I walked into the locker room at the Downtown YMCA this morning, there was a flyer posted asking for money to help bury Ricky Moore- who was “murdered” by a Dayton cop.

No judge has ruled on this, no jury has been called- however the court of public opinion is already ready to hang Jack Brooks- when in fact these questions should be asked:

  • If he was unfit for the department and about to be fired- why was he on patrol, solo?
  • Why does Dayton continue to run its own police academy, when every other jurisdiction allows officers to be trained by the State?

I’ve asked before about the academy, and its elitist  attitude and cost to the tax payers. Now, I’m questioning our chief and his Majors who saw a problem, started the process, but couldn’t pull the proverbial trigger.

And, would Ricky Moore be dead if there were two police officers in every patrol car? Is the city to blame for under-staffing? Would Ricky Moore be dead if Twin Valley was still open?

In comparing the life history’s of Jack Brooks and Ricky Moore- one can only see two very different paths. Moore’s path through prison and psychiatric care, Brooks- a student athlete who ended up in uniform. It’s unfortunate that Moore is now dead, but, before we kill off Brooks as the sacrificial lamb, maybe we need to look at the bigger picture.

We’ve failed both of these men. And Jack Brooks shouldn’t be the only one we’re pointing fingers at.

How to get shot by a cop.

I’m going to say it right now: No matter how bad a police officer Jack Brooks is made out to be, Ricky Moore is the only one responsible for his own death (unless of course we want to blame Governor Strickland for closing down Twin Valley Behavioral Health Care where Mr. Moore has been for treatment).

When a cop stops you here are a few hints on how to get shot:

  • Hit the cop, knock him down, wrestle with him. Now, granted, this can still be classified as a misdemeanor- while threatening his life or his family (even when shackled in the back of a cop car) will qualify you for a felony and a three year mandatory term (note- only if you are black and arrested in Greene County).
  • Carry a concealed weapon and not warn the cop the moment he starts talking to you. Cops hate to be “surprised” by knives, guns or brass knuckles on the pat down.
  • Run, either away, or toward a cop when he speaks to you.
  • Lie about your identity.

Now, once you know how to get shot- lets start looking for reasons to blame the cop for pulling the trigger, even though you are an x-con, with a history of mental illness, who is uncooperative.

Race always has to be the first issue- since all white cops join the force to be given a legal right to shoot black people.

Experience, because all cops should have to face crazy people who hit them everyday and just say, “can’t we all just get along”- remember what happened to Officer Mary Beall, as she tried to calm a suspect holding a gun on her? If cops weren’t supposed to shoot people who don’t follow instructions- why do we give them guns?

The Dayton Daily News Editorial board and the front page story today about Jack Brook’s qualifications all suggest that somehow, Ricky Moore didn’t make more mistakes than Officer Brooks made- and that we should be questioning the entire Dayton Police Department for having the misfortune of having to try to do their very difficult job.

No cop wants to discharge their weapon when they strap it on each morning- too much paperwork is only the beginning of it. Yet, the paper seems to think that this is somehow a big emotional issue for the community- when in fact, this is not. Read the following excerpts from the Editorial and see how they are secretly hoping to uncover some sort of “gotcha” story out of a tragedy for all involved:

Our view: Judgments have to await facts in Moore shooting
The shooting by a young Dayton police officer of Ricky Moore demands a thorough investigation and a full public accounting. Pending that, judgments are premature.

Emotions are running high, in part, because legitimate questions from Mr. Moore’s family and others can’t yet be answered.

What’s believed is that Officer Jack Brooks, 22, stopped Mr. Moore, 35, for questioning. Then, after talking to him, Officer Brooks started to handcuff Mr. Moore, who became violent. There was a struggle, then the shooting.

Whether Mr. Moore had a gun has not been established. But some witnesses say that the officer had reason to fear for his safety. Another witness, however, has told the Dayton Daily News that he questions whether Mr. Moore had gotten hold of Officer Brooks’ Taser, which Officer Brooks reported that he feared.

On Wednesday, July 23, personnel records for Officer Brooks were released. A probationary employee, he’s been in deep trouble with more than one supervisor. Two were recommending he be fired.

The complaints are extremely serious, ranging from competence to his truthfulness. (The police chief says some are unfounded, but not all.)

There can’t — and won’t be — any cover-up of what happened Saturday. There are multiple witnesses to the altercation and shooting.

Their differences are frustrating for everyone — Mr. Moore’s family, Officer Brooks, the police department, the community. But that people saw different things is not shocking. Whenever an event happens quickly, especially if people are frightened, memories collide.

Racial concerns always arise in cases like this. Mr. Moore is black, Officer Brooks is white. The police department is overwhelmingly white.

At the same time, concerns about police over use of force arise. This is the fourth shooting by Dayton police since May; the third fatality.

However, reasonable people, including Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin and City Commissioner Dean Lovelace, both of whom are black, have been generally satisfied that police are not abusing their authority. The city government — with blacks in such positions as mayor, city manager and police director (until recently) and with a city commission majority — has always been sharply focused on the problem of police-community relations, especially in matters of race. Richard Biehl, the new police chief, was hired with an eye on the good reviews he got for his work in Cincinnati on this score.

None of which, of course, resolves this situation.

Chief Biehl is, arguably, on trial himself. This situation requires competence and candor.

He’s right to come to no conclusions himself until he has more facts and to assure the community that there will be a full investigation; and to make clear that he understands that the sheer number of shootings demands his attention.

He said he is reassigning more supervisors to the streets to lead younger officers, as well as doing more police training and community education about how to respond to police.

The community does understand that police in the city have a difficult and dangerous job, and that Mr. Moore, who has been under psychiatric care and who has a prison record, responded aggressively.

But the reviews of Officer Brooks are going to raise questions that can’t easily be swept away.

What remains to be determined and made public are all the facts. In anticipation of that, the community’s discussion should not devolve into knee-jerk conclusions, with people giving in to pro-police or anti-police biases. That helps no one determine what really happened last Saturday.

The only people trying to jump to conclusions are the people at the newspaper. There isn’t a police shooting that isn’t thoroughly investigated, over and over.
That 4 officers have used their weapons in the last 4 months isn’t a trend, or anything else- it just means 4 people didn’t behave properly when an officer confronted them.

The proper thing to do when an officer asks you to do something is to comply. Not to raise your voice, or argue or make sudden movements. It’s really simple. The officer, just like you and me, wants to do his job, go home at the end of the day- and not have to relive our meeting over and over for weeks, months or years.

Ricky Moore apparently never learned how to react to a cop. That’s the real story, and it didn’t have a happy ending.

As a public service- I’m including Chris Rock’s “How to not get your ass kicked by the police” to this post thanks to a tip from a reader in Texas.

I got a parking ticket- and I’m happy.

I pulled up in front of my office to unload the car yesterday- and parked facing the wrong way.

I didn’t do my usual run back out and move the car- it was going to be less than 30 minutes- and voila, Officer Willy Hooper did his job and wrote me a ticket!

$35 or $25 if I pay within 72 hours. No online payment, or pay by phone- just in person or by mail- but, hey, at least the cops are finally realizing that the city can earn revenue from tickets.

Now, if they’d actually start running speed traps, writing tickets for running the stop sign at Bonner and Adams, and enforcing the noise ordinance- we’d be making real progress.

(hint) People don’t speed in Oakwood for a reason.

Pacchia reopens for lunch- check it out.

Pacchia has reopened for lunch. Salads, sandwiches, and a few entrees. The sandwiches include a Club, Reuben, Burger and Felafal all grilled Panini style at $9 with hand cut fries or a side salad.

The entrees run as much as $14 for steak- but most are around $12

Parking is down by Gem City Records or on the street- and you can dine in the front and be seen, in the back and be discreet, or on the back patio and be (today) warm.

They are still getting things running- so it’s a soft opening and things may be a little slow at first, but it’s good to have another downtown option for lunch.

Pacchia is at 510 E. Fifth Street at the corner of Brown St, in the Oregon District.

Volatility is the enemy: the difference between an investor and a speculator

Would you go into business with an investor who would only invest in your venture for a few hours- or days?

No. Not just no, but hell no. Business isn’t something that ebbs and flows by the minute, hour, day, week or even month- business is a planned program to make money over a period of years, based on some sound business model. Like- make something that people want, for less than it costs you to make.

Pretty simple stuff. So, if you are wondering why the wheels are falling off the American economy, and affecting the global economy, it’s because the idiots running the zoo decided to allow a legal casino run our financial markets.

Instead of investing in a company because it makes great products that fill a need, and boost human productivity with creative, innovative, distinctive products like Apple, we’ve allowed entire industries to be build on speculation about the rise and fall of share price based on popular opinion and the prevailing wind.

When we stopped using supply and demand to set prices- but instead let speculation about how high or low the price could be based on emotion, instead of fact- we get what we have with the oil futures markets.

Now that the price of fuel, which is directly related to the price of everything else, are on the end of a string attached to yo-yo’s running an emotional betting parlor, we have thrown all standard business models and our economy into the trash, just so people can profiteer from fear instead of intellectual and professional business discipline.

The news of today’s oil sell off sums it up:

Oil price slides as sell-off continues – CNN.com
Perhaps just as significant as the declines is the sudden increase in volatility. Prices whipsawed by more than $10 Tuesday and by more than $7 Wednesday…

The Labor Department said consumer prices shot up 1.1 percent last month, the second fastest pace in 26 years. Rising energy prices accounted for two-thirds of that increase, which was far worse than expected.

We need to put a clamp down on the commodities markets and on the stock market. Unless you are in the business that uses the fuel, you can’t buy futures. No more middle men, no more gambling.

You buy a future- you use the fuel. You sell it, you can’t buy more.

Quick end to this craziness.

In other words- no investing in a business for a minute, hour or day- financial markets are for long term financing, not a bookie’s window.

Restaurant news you can use- Blue Moon chef to Amelia’s in Bellbrook

Well, the Miami Valley Restaurant Association has a page with soon to open and recently closed places.

A few things- La Pergola with the amazing calzones which closed a few months ago- has a new occupant- Barbie’s Bistro. It’s tucked behind the flower shop on Dorothy Lane by Wagner Lumber. Been there once- moderate price, outdoor dining- give it a shot and share your opinion. The way the dressed the asparagus with asiago cheese was a treat.

They mention that there will be a new place in Bellbrook- in the old Garsakas (Spelling?)- and it will have a familiar face running the show; Greg Fitzgerald, formerly of the Blue Moon and most recently Madisons Bistro.

I’ve missed the Blue Moon- and will be happy to enjoy his cooking again- even if it means I have to use gas to get there.

Miami Valley Restaurant Association

I was dreaming about Greg reopening the Blue Moon, now that John Henry’s isn’t serving food, but, this will have to do.