Posts Tagged ‘Community Investment’

Public Private Partnership Government

August 7, 2015

The news this past week was of the partnership between the United Way (you know them) and LGS Staffing (a temporary labor provider). (Newark Advocate “Bus to New Albany jobs is possible for workers” 8-5-15) All the Grow Licking County success stories are having a bit of a challenge including those residents who reside in the Licking County seat of government. Newark City Government may collect part of the tax revenue from the industrial park workers’ wages in Etna but Newark residents certainly don’t reside there. Living in New Albany while working in their industrial park would be akin to having a champagne taste on a PBRB budget. So the subcontractor LGS Staffing (in partnership with the United Way) wants to sub subcontract public transportation (a bus) provided enough people sign up as temps with them. Quite a commitment, er? Will the bus have wi fi, individual cell phone battery chargers, and an on board restroom? Analysis finds this whole arrangement of precarious workers paying part of their precarious wages to their temporary job agency in order to get them to otherwise inaccessible employment to be rather regressive, to say the least. LGS could just as well have teamed up with some public housing coalition (or administration) to develop a village within the industrial park confines and an LGS company store from which the employee residents could buy all their needs. That would have required a permanent investment (and commitment) in the community, something a temporary agency is definitely not willing (or interested) in making. Besides, company housing and company store are so yesterday. Before the Great War (WWI), workers from Newark rode trains daily to mine coal in Perry County. If it was good enough for great, great grand dad, it’s good enough for me! Analysis finds the entire scheme, by the partnership of United Way/LGS, of charging for transportation to a minimum wage job while insisting that a minimum number of minimum wage workers be on board to be ludicrous. Not only is employment decided and designated by LGS (in terms of who works, when and where much as migrant farm laborers are “managed”) but the entire arrangement is about precarious work to begin with. In addition, although riding the same bus, solidarity between workers is already undermined by each rider continuously being apprehensive, and suspecting (blaming) the other if the arrangement falls through (how could you get pregnant and stop coming to work?). Analysis discovers this regressive (and oppressive) initiative to be not only indicative of the disingenuousness of its creators but also highlights the failure of the public private partnership government of Licking County. On the one hand, there is no end to the job creating success self-promoted by the private segment of the Chamber and its Grow Licking County – never within reach of any city residents. On the other hand, there is the abysmal failure of the public segment of this partnership, the county commissioners who prefer to remain silent partners and eschew any regional public transportation responsibility while actively cutting back on services – all in the name of fiscal prudence. Analysis has repeatedly emphasized the unsustainability of such a public private partnership government, one that favors the private profit at the expense of the public. Analysis doubts San Francisco Google employees contribute 12% of their pay back to Google for a bus ride to work.

Got News?

July 17, 2015

Recently (June 2015) the Columbus Dispatch announced the finalization of its sale to New Media Investment group, a holding company. Gatehouse Media is now the publisher of the Dispatch. Gatehouse Media used to be Liberty Group Publishing (sounds pretty liberating, doesn’t it?) until it went belly up (bankrupt) and became (reorganized as) Gatehouse Media. Confused? You thought New Media Investment “bought” the Dispatch? Don’t be. They are all just entities existing only in contemplation of the law (SCOTUS definition of a corporation along with now being persons). Liberty Group, or Gatehouse sell stock to raise capital to run their operation to make a profit to pay a dividend to the stockholders who supplied them the capital through the purchase of the stock. In turn, New Media Investment is likewise an entity existing only in contemplation of the law. However, New Media (a holding company) operates by owning and manipulating the stock of other companies (and the companies themselves), thereby giving them ultimate say through either “holding” the majority shares of stock or all the shares outright (“wholly owned subsidiary”). Their day to day work (if one dares designate it as such) is buying up cheap or undervalued companies, restructuring companies (reorganizing, regrouping, downsizing, selling assets, etc.), as well as selling/trading the acquisition’s stock, etc. (money making money). Such New media Investment is now doing with the Dispatch through their anticipated move to a smaller building and eventual sale of the archive Dispatch location (an expendable asset). Leaner and meaner in the digital age though the Wolfe’s retained control of their broadcasting subsidiaries (acting in turn as a holding company with majority interest in WBNS, etc.). Gatehouse, however, will be printing the paper not only for the Dispatch but also for the Advocate, owned by Gannett Company, Inc. Confused again? Don’t be. The Wolfe family sale was the last major city, family owned paper to relinquish control and sell out to a corporate entity (Liberty, Gatehouse, New Media, etc. are all corporations while the Wolfe’s were, like Buffett or Pickens, majority stock holders in their own legally defined entities). It is the new now. Although Gatehouse, like Gannett, will have a digital presence online, it will focus on paper. In the paperless age, how is this possible? Scott Timberg, author of Culture Crash (2015), quotes from Robert Levine’s book, Free Ride – “According to statistics from the Newspaper Association of America, a print reader is worth an average of about $539 in advertising alone, while an average online reader is worth $26. The money saved on printing and distribution doesn’t come close to covering the difference.” Hence, Gannett owns the small town central Ohio papers, Gatehouse likewise does The Other Paper in Cols. as well as the local weeklies. What does that have to do with the news? Afterall, newspapers have always relied on advertising revenue, even when family owned. The difference lies not with where the money comes from, but where the money goes. Family owned, or employee owned for that matter, implicates integration in the very fabric of the locality, city or region that the business draws its customers as well as its employees. Profits earned in the community, directly or indirectly, return to the community. Gannett Company, Inc., which owns the Advocate, operates no different than New Media Investment Group. Ditto moving the Advocate newspaper operation to a smaller facility in anticipation of selling off its headquarters building downtown (after liquidating its printing operation – selling off assets). Advocate profits ultimately go to the Gannett corp and the shares bought and sold in the financial districts of Wall Street NYC. Profits earned in the community leave the community. Investment in the community consists primarily in lip service. The what, where, when, how and why of news now becomes solely a function of advertising priorities. Hence the lopsided Advocate focus on business news and sports. State, national and international matters follow Gannett’s USA Today “journalism of hope” – rewriting press releases, “reader’s digest” USA Today rehashes, and anything/everything favoring business, local or otherwise. This is evidenced by the almost total absence of any local writing in the Op Ed section where a stable of syndicated “columnists” provide the tennis game at center court. Ditto “letters to the editor.” One is led to believe that there is an absolute dearth of critical thinkers, writers or scholars within Newark on anything pertaining to the Newark community. Newark must be dumb. Woodward and Bernstein would be hard pressed to find employment with the Advocate for they totally relied on the backing and support of their editor and publisher. Shearer and Gannett are completely committed to advertising. Got news?

Business First

June 17, 2015

“You’re fired!” Donald Trump expressed his intention to be elected president of the United States. His wealth and business acumen were emphasized as priority qualifications of net worth for the job. Recently it was announced that the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, currently headquartered in Newark, was the largest such business consortium in central Ohio. More recently the editorial board of the Newark Advocate emphasized the everyday disparity of 14 active duty firefighters charged to serve a population of close to 50,000. Prior to that the paper was championing the projected $3 million purchase of 300 acres of church property (PIME) by the Newark Port Authority for development 20 years hence. It was deemed an excellent investment in the community. No development of public transportation in central Licking County is projected. Indeed, the little available is continuously eroded. The Port Authority prides itself on developments conducive to science and technology. 20th century technology verified the paradigm of cause and effect. The paradigm of 21st century science is that of big data correlation. That the county seat of the area’s largest business collaboration is unable to pave its streets or hire enough firefighters is a correlation not implicated by the Newark Advocate editorial board. Nor was any correlation made of a publicly financed purchase of private property for the benefit of future business with no current expenditure on the development of any public transit access to the area. Perhaps mid-century business parks are projected to be fully automated.

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places (and there are so many) where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

the late Howard Zinn (the last paragraph from the last essay, “The Optimism of Uncertainty”, in his book of essays, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. 2007)

Form Into A Body

May 6, 2015

On his weekly radio broadcast, Le Show, Harry Shearer sometimes refers to what he calls “the grand experiment.” Sure, manufacturers say their research shows their product to be perfectly safe for the individual human (when used as directed) but, according to Shearer, it’s anyone’s guess when combined with other products. Someone taking that Aleve to get through the day, inhaling petroleum fumes while fueling up, getting industrial strength cleanser on their hands from the store counter, ingesting some glyphosate overspray on their salad (with preservatives), etc. what then? This happens daily. The cumulative effect of continuous exposure/ingestion of multiple synthetic manufactured chemical compounds…. What? As Reich pointed out, public private partnership makes for less and less ability to study this.

Analysis finds this experiment to pale in comparison with the truly grand experiment currently playing out in California (“as we speak”). After years of drought, the water is running out. The experiment is not whether folks can live without water or how they will manage/solve the problem. The experiment is whether contemporary American culture can actually refocus and organize around the common good. Analysis (as well as others) has repeatedly shown that capitalism (from its inception) has been about the elimination of “the commons.” Privatization as a priority within the strategy of conservative governance is no accident or coincidence. Likewise, with only 7% of working Americans within the private sector organized as unions (15% if you include public employees), organizing, the ability to bring an equitable like minded affiliation of people together over a common concern, is actively disparaged and demeaned today. Right out of the box the grand experiment in California faces severe fundamental challenges. The state has always been like the torch on the statue of liberty. California has been the beacon of fulfilling personal pursuits and desires, the highlight of liberty. It is curious as to whether these can be set aside, deferred for the common good. Water is pretty much fundamental to life (prior to the pursuit of happiness). By nature, it slips through the grasping fingers of capitalist appropriation by being oh, so very common.

What does all that have to do with Newark? Newark itself is undergoing a grand experiment. Like Los Angeles, Newark has a large footprint. East to west the city spans 8 miles, north to south 6. All that for a city of nominally 50,000. This weekend witnessed an ostensible community event. Whose community? The community was ostensibly Newark. The existence of such a huge footprint (and growing “as we speak”) for such a small populace complicates any notion of community amidst the pursuit of happiness and individual desire. What event? Notably lacking in the city’s only daily paper (the Newark Advocate) was any mention or coverage of the Newark FAMFEST that had taken place over the weekend. Billed as a “community festival” in the many carefully orchestrated press releases prior to the event, its actual occurrence was never reported. For what purpose? Ostensibly the event was a celebration of the plethora of various cultural phenomena, talent, skill, and art capacity within the “Newark community” (“Shortly after Chris Ramsey arrived in Newark, someone told him there wasn’t really an art scene in the area. It didn’t take him long to realize that person was wrong. Ramsey said he meets local artists every day, whether he’s working at Sparta Restaurant and Coffee Shop or spending time with students at Newark High School. He’s hoping local artists of all ages, and community members who support them, will spend the weekend in downtown Newark participating in FAMFEST, a new festival focused on local film, art and music. “ FAMFEST to celebrate local art scene, Anna Jeffries 4-28-15, The Newark Advocate). The amazing abilities certainly were on display, but there was no, zip, nada post event coverage or critique by a paper that was only all too eager to promote the event (the actual event itself was not news?). Another ostensible purpose of the event was to “get people downtown.” Analysis finds this to be complicated at the least, disingenuous at the most given the displacement of the previously thriving Newark farmers market from the downtown way out to the fringes of Marne (“The market grew every year” Farmers Market Moving, Anna Jeffries 5-5-15, The Newark Advocate). Analogous to California, Newark is immediately challenged by the two fundamentals of organizing and commons. These mutually implicate each other. Corporate structure is not identical with community. It excludes commonality within a hierarchical structuring. According to SCOTUS, a corporation is an entity existing solely in contemplation of the law. Corporation stems from the Latin root word “corporatus” (“form into a body”). The words “Community,” “Commons” stem from a different root, the Latin “communis” (and retain the original meaning). Exemplary of Newark’s grand experiment, this year’s unreported Newark FAMFEST turned out to be a corporate event with community aspirations.

Just Say No

April 26, 2015

This all would be so funny if it didn’t hurt so many folks. No, not the fact that the city of Newark (and surrounds) is subsidizing the financial avarice of the Longaberger name. Remember what Dan Moder, executive of the Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said back in October of 2013? Of course you do. In case that memory chip is acting up again how ‘bout: ““There is something to be said for brand recognition. People recognize it. They trust it. They believe in it.”” (“The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same”. Kent Mallett reports Downtown Hotel May Become Double Tree (The Advocate 10-2-13). Now (4-25-15) Kent reports on the city that has never met a developer that it didn’t like . “The company is $250,000 behind on its tax increment financing payments to the city of Newark and Licking Valley School District and would be $350,000 behind by the end of 2015 without any payments, Licking County Auditor Mike Smith said. Overall, the company’s TIF payments to the city are $2 million shy of projections made in 1999 because of the late payments and a 2007 reappraisal that lowered the basket’s value. The city borrowed $3.2 million to make road and utility improvements on East Main Street and Dayton Road for the Longaberger development. The city has paid $6.8 million, including interest, but received just $4.1 million from Longaberger” (Longaberger struggles become city’s debt Kent Mallett, Newark Advocate April 25, 2015). “There is something to be said for brand recognition. People recognize it. They trust it. They believe in it.” With so many true believers maybe the big basket will become a church. The First (but not last) Evangelical Church Of The Gospel Of Endless Prosperity. “Get a handle on your unhinged life of trouble and toil!”

Back in July of 2014 Analysis composed a blog posting (Game Of Thrones) reflecting on the demise of The Trump Plaza, Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel casinos in Atlantic City New Jersey (something Chris Christie doesn’t speak much about). Analysis revealed “Visions of the second quirkiest landmark building in the US being vacant due to foreclosure do not make for savory Newark tourism. Would it still be on the charter bus itinerary?” (Well? Would it?). In the aforementioned 4-25-15 front page article Mallett quotes Mayor Hall as saying “But is (foreclosure) a solution?” (would the tour busses still stop?) A little later he writes “The city received $25,587 in tax increment financing payments in 2014. The 1999 projections were for the company to pay $364,587 annually for city infrastructure improvements to the area. The valuation of the property was cut in half in 2007, making its obligations about $170,00 annually. Russell Mack, a board member of Longaberger parent company CVSL, said the company has no plans to sell the basket building and challenges its tax bill. “Property values in the area have fallen over the years,” Mack wrote in an email response. “We are working with our real estate advisers, and we are disputing the assessed taxable value of the Big Basket building.”” Wait until foreclosure and the assessed taxable value will be even less. Better yet Mr. Mack, wait long enough and the city will use state home owners’ mortgage settlement funds to tear it down. (many “too big to fail” casino’s have been demolished in Las Vegas as well as Atlantic City). But would the tour busses come for the grand implosion?

That same month in 2014 we find this in the Newark Advocate: “Transit Board may cut Sunday service: Director says money being lost with few people riding Jul. 10, 2014 by Emily Maddern ““We’re just trying to find a way to survive and not go broke,” he [Licking County Transit Board Director and County Commissioner Tim Bubb] said. “It’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t do any good if you have to go into the red and shut it down.”” Of course it doesn’t. The city (and county) have met plenty of developments they didn’t like. One was that of making an investment in a fixed schedule public bus line instead of in a multi story Medium Market Basket. The payoff by now would be the residents of Newark being able to access jobs outlying as well as purchase in town homes or remodel existing ones from the savings of taking the bus. Public Transit certainly would be a development (or at least most cities see it that way). Or perhaps investing in affordable housing in town. Ditto same paybacks without having to fund private developer hysterical tax credits, etc. The Medium Market Basket comedy, in a city that won’t even have a weekly Farm Market this year with which to fill anyone’s basket, reveals a tragic romance (at best): spurning mundane public development for the unrestrained lusting and pursuit of a private developer. A city that has never met a developer it didn’t like. Someone once promoted a campaign of “Just say no!”

More Of The Era After Communism

April 24, 2015

“San Antonio, Texas, Chef Fights City Fine to Feed the Homeless” (ABC News) by Stefanie Tuder (4-22-15). “Joan Cheever has been serving free food to the homeless of San Antonio, Texas, every Tuesday for the past six years.” 4-7-15 she was fined $2,000 for this activity. Reason? ““The citation was issued for serving food from a personal vehicle, not the mobile food truck that Ms. Cheever is permitted to operate,” city spokeswoman Di Galvan told ABC News.” What does Joan Cheever have to say about this? ““I went to culinary school and got my food safety certification,” she said. “We’re careful with the food and so this is really hard to read that the police chief and the health department said that I was a danger to the community and they’re advocating passing out granola bars versus fresh vegetables.”” And ““It’s about every nonprofit and every person who wants to do a good thing, but are intimidated by the $2,000 fine and possible arrest.”” How does the city see this? ““Haven for Hope is the City’s designated service provider for the homeless population and is set up to accept private donations and accommodate volunteers.”” (city spokeswoman Di Galvan) Analysis asks the reader to recall Robert Reich’s insights quoted in the previous posting. Bear in mind that in today’s public/private partnership city government reality, Haven for Hope is probably not only contracted but very much like the institutions which Reich hears saying “There’s really no choice, we’ve got to go where the money is.” Time to roll the credits (Tuder’s ABC News article): “According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 31 cities nationwide have taken action “to restrict or ban the act of food-sharing.””

Silent Spring (Not By Rachel Carson)

April 8, 2015

Planting requires a past, ground that has been worked, enriched and cared for. Seeds are the future. They must be given space, have nourishment and be constantly reminded by what connects us all, mindful watering. Fela Kuti had a song entitled “Water, no get enemy.” Red Skelton used to end his inimitable performances by admitting he needs to be considerate of his enemies, because he made them. This summer will not see a Farmers’ Market in downtown Newark. A vacant lot or parking area could not be found? Was it really that long ago The Newark Advocate ran the series of “investigative reporting” on the food desert in Newark, of the lack of fresh veggies and fruits in most folks diet, of the further lack of incentive to produce/market these without putting a premium on local farmers? Milk comes from a cow, not a plastic jug. The climate change folks call this “carbon footprint’ (grapes from Chile and pineapple from the Philippines. No slow boat for these goodies!). The greenies call this “diversity” rather than monoculture (would you like that corn cob with soybeans or wheat?). The people prepping the soil, planting, nurturing, harvesting and marketing call this the cycle of life. Life is doing. One thing that will not be done this summer is weekly fresh local farm produce within the city center (y’all come downtown now, ya hear!). Oh yeah, the Advocate series coincided with the closing of Meijer up on the north side (still a rather large vacant lot). It also highlighted the future, the community gardens that were being fostered locally with great effort to make the food desert bloom. The absence of a Farmers’ Market marks a break in the cycle.

Another break in the cycle is word that the city intends to capitalize on one of its assets and develop land prepared, nurtured and cultivated as a thriving productive community garden. People, citizens of Newark, had no other reason to gather together than for matters of tilling the soil, enriching it and planting seeds for tomorrow (nothing to buy here). Within the cycle, past is honored, valued because it makes tomorrow, a community of caring/doing. Water, no get enemy. But the city of Newark chooses to follow in the footsteps of America’s mayor, Rudolf Giuliani. “This is a free-market economy – welcome to the era after communism.” he said as he ordered New York’s community gardens destroyed by (who else?) those sentenced by the courts to do community service work. So the gardens must go for development the city is 100% pro, pro River Road, pro Licking Springs, pro Downtown. Never met a developer they didn’t like; including one wanting to utilize the community’s garden spot. Those who yesterday the current administration (and The Advocate) praised and championed as vital, health giving, “positive”, today are looked upon as inconvenient squatters. No surprise there since the precedent was set by demolishing the Children’s Home with its story of prepping, nurturing and cultivation. The efficiency of that economy left absolutely no past, no memory of how once local government responded to the needs of community. Today, government “must operate with the speed of business” (John Kasich), part of Giuliani’s free-market economy with unlimited development promising an ever bountiful tomorrow. Analysis takes its hat off to the wisdom of a great clown. Water, no get enemy.


March 12, 2015

The news about Buckeye Lake damn seems to be sweeping across central Ohio. In the week prior to the news, one all a gush political leader advocated changing Buckeye Lake, Ohio to Ohio’s Buckeye Lake. Now most folks living there, or having businesses there are pretty spooked, to say the least. Analysis is surprised no one has bothered to check the credibility of the bearer of this bad news, nor asked for an independent assessment to be made (a second opinion). Given the Corps’ track record, that might not be a bad idea. Not only was the Corps to blame for the ineptitude that caused the massive flooding along the Missouri River some years back, but they also are playing it fast and loose with keeping the Asian carp out of the great lakes (“Trust us.” they say as more and more evidence mounts). Not only have they totally failed in maintaining/restoring the Everglades (as they were charged to do long ago) but they are also the culprits for the flooding of an entire city, New Orleans (a US District Court ruled that it was a man made disaster, with the Corps being the “man making” part). It is common knowledge that for electric utility companies the perfectly serviced city is one without any trees. For the Corps, the perfectly engineered flood control is for an area without any water!

And Newark, Etna Township, Heath, etc. when have we heard this one before (as well as where have we heard this one before)? From the state up north (akin to our state of residence in so many more ways than just football), we read AP’s David Eggert headlining “Michigan paying the price now for tax plan to save business” (3-11-15). “The state would provide $2.9 billion in tax credits to help upgrade Michigan auto plants for the future; the carmakers would agree to add and keep factory jobs on their home turf.” “Four years later, few are saying the deals were a bad idea but any sense of celebration is long gone. The bill for the job rescue — and similar ones in other states that used tax credits aggressively — is now coming due and providing a lesson in the downside of such measures. The auto companies and many others are cashing in hundreds of millions of dollars in credits a year, cutting deeply into state revenues at a time when the budget should be flush with a rising economy. A projected $410 million budget shortfall is triggering cuts in funding for hospitals and diverting K-12 money to other purposes.” “Though its economy is improving and unemployment rate is at a 12-year low, Michigan is going to voters in May to approve a sales tax increase for road improvements it cannot afford.” “The tax credit backlash is increasing sentiment among some legislators for business to accept a larger burden. Snyder and the GOP-controlled Legislature also slashed business tax rates after he took office in 2011. “We’ve got major investments we’ve got to make in public education and infrastructure,” said Rep. Jim Townsend, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Tax Policy Committee, noting that Michigan companies paid the country’s third-lowest share of total state and local taxes in 2013.”

Analysis proffers this twofer in order to help define “infrastructure” as roads, bridges or damns, with “existing infrastructure” as roads, bridges and damns already in place, being used.

Newark Selfie

January 12, 2015

The New Year serves up not only cabbage and pork but also reheated leftovers in the form of government self-reflection. One such deep dish helping comes from Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb with a guest column in the 1-11-15 Newark Advocate. This follows the more formal fare of Newark Mayor Jeff Hall’s Address to the City Council (as reported by Joe Williams for the Newark Advocate 1-6-15). One would think that the two would be roughly parallel if not at least complimentary, given that Newark is the county’s largest concentration of people. One would be wrong. For the most part the two assessments are quite dissimilar. Commissioner Bubb’s offering features a generous portion of Grow Licking County for whom he cooks, er, he is on the board. His recommendation is a full plate of commercial offerings, primarily western and southwestern style. “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” are the repeated staple. The Mayor serves up the same old hash but now highlighting a name change. As a requisite liability disclaimer, he rues his franchise’s legislated income erasure from the city menu. To alleviate heartburn, both cooks promote a healthy dose of the new and improved security service. Ask for it under the MARCS logo. Though not a product of either’s individual kitchen, both chef’s offer the projected Canal Market District as 100% local. In fact, the independently funded and outside originated dream whip is the one and only unaccomplished accomplishment within Licking County’s population center receiving rave reviews from both leaders simultaneously.

Who benefits?

Analysis recommends beginning with the heartburn alleviation. MARCS (along with the LC Regional Communications Center) makes it easier to deploy police from any jurisdiction with lightning speed, a veritable blitzkrieg of efficiency. This is timely relief, coming none too soon given the upcoming people’s exercise of democracy in 2016. Of course, the prime beneficiaries of corporate industries, such as Ascena, Bocchi Labs, etc. are the owners and corporate executives themselves (both US and foreign) who ultimately profit from the plethora of locals primed and conditioned for precarious employment, the custom made and cost free infrastructure catering, property and income tax breaks, abatements, credits, etc. Even the Advocate’s connoisseur editorial board recommends such a diet mainstay though their palate is partial to a Thornwood Drive expenditure to accompany the main course of Cherry Valley Interchange. Analysis yields the Canal Market District special, featured by both leaders, as somewhat indigestible. Its benefit defies even continuous regurgitation. Could it be simply for the trophy case or museum of great ideas? Not. “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”? Not. Housing development? Not. Feeding the 20% of children who are chronically undernourished? Not. Providing overflow for the dynamic downtown commercial center? Not. A future financial district? Not. Increased tax revenue for Newark? Not (unless there is a charge for use of the heirloom parking garage, originally phase one of this epic recipe). Analysis shows places like London (England), Las Vegas (Nevada), etc. have constructed giant Ferris wheels that function as landmark attractions, magnets announcing the city center as a “destination.” Analysis speculates this might be more compatible with the “Je ne sais quoi” ambience that the pre-existing giant basket office building on the edge of town exudes. Along with Commissioner Bubb and Mayor Hall, those on board could look down on the greater population of Newark, maybe even take a selfie with the city’s people in the background!


January 4, 2015

The Newark City Council is expected to take up the pressing problem of squeegeers, especially on the east bound Church Street off ramp where they have been vexing drivers since the intersection was upgraded not too long ago. What? Analysis has gone completely off the deep end this time! There is no problem with homeless squeegeers at the west side location, you say. Would it be any more outrageous to say that due to the continuous spate of horrific accidents on the east bound Church Street off ramp intersection, Newark City Council will agree to spend $80,000 to remedy this problem? What problem, you say. The one defined by a total absence of any reference to Newark city streets urgently needing repair/repaving or infrastructure/bridges maintenance past the “best if used by” date. The one described by the City Engineer as “Motorists now often use the exit ramp’s berm to maintain two lanes of traffic, Morehead said. “This will make it two actual lanes there,” he said.” ( Joe Williams, Newark Advocate 1-3-15, “Council OK likely for exit ramp lane”). Oh,THAT problem. It must be a priority for the ruling state PAC’s agenda; to be positive and promote the improvement of Ohio at the expense of the citizens of its individual communities while simultaneously superseding the needs and wishes of the residents of these very same communities.