Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lester Street

Sweet Jesus, I agree with everything that another blogger has said in his post about Lester Street.. He's absolutely right. For a moment, we must forget the messenger and focus on the message. It IS time for this community to come together and develop a solution to this problem. Open an honest and respectful dialog that leaves the tinges of racism out of it and focuses on humanism.

If we don't get a handle on the crime problem then we won't attract new businesses to the area which means no new jobs and that just feeds the sense of helplessness of some members of this community. We must also get a grip on the education system. A new business can't or won't hire an employee that can't read or write. We must move away from the idea that an education is a right. It's not. It's a privilege. Those who really want to learn shouldn't be burdened with those who don't. Get the troublemakers out of the classroom and out of the school building. Develop alternatives which may include some sort of social service and have them fulfill that service and another country. Let them see just how sweet they have it here. Let them see what those in Africa or South America go through to get an education. Let them carry their daily ration of water 5 miles to their hut for a year or more then bring them home. I'd bet we'd see a difference. Give those who want to learn a safe and inviting place to do it.

If we don't get a handle on children having children then we will continue to increase a generation who doesn't know what it's like to be raised by parents who understand what it means to be a parent. This will require comprehensive sex education and access to good birth control. We've learned that not talking about how one gets pregnant does NOT prevent one from getting pregnant nor does teaching one how that happen increase sexual activity. This is no time to be a prude or embarrassed. A 16 year old knows NOTHING about how to raise a child and we see the effects of children having children every day. It must stop.

The solutions will call for strong talk, strong action and some hard work on the part of this community. We must get angry but not at each other. Get angry at the problem and channel that anger into positive action.

We can clean this up but not if we continue to call each other names and finger-point.

There is a quote from a movie that has stuck with me ever since I heard it. "All I know is that the choices we make dictate the lives we live." It's time to take our choices seriously and to hold those responsible who make bad choices. This city MUST come together and push from the same side so that we can turn this Titanic around. We can't do that if we're pushing against each other.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I finished the porch and stair railing today. Both boys helped. I stared at 8:30 this morning and finished at 4:30 this afternoon.

It's all about the right tools. Kinda like life. I had to rent a hammer drill which made short order of drilling into the brick. What took so long was the tediousness of finding the right angles for the handrails and the right length and angle for all of the spindles that we put in by hand down each handrail. I couldn't gut them en masse because the heights weren't the same. I'm not sure how that happened because I measured but that's beside the point.

It's done.

Another job tackled and tamed.

And what did my boys learn today? Use the right tool to get the job done correctly. That goes for Math, English, History and Science. It just goes for life which is what I'm trying to teach them. Go out into the world unprepared and you'll get your ass kicked. The oldest got his kicked today. He couldn't hang until the end and had to send the youngest in to cover for him. I can still work circles around them. Life is GOOD.

The sunroom is next if it doesn't leak during this next rain. Keep your fingers crossed.

Now, where's the tylenol?