Posts Tagged ‘Newark Mayor Jeff Hall’

Home Rule

October 3, 2019

It has been about a year since Analysis wrote about Cleveland’s attempt to craft legislation creating a program of public defenders for those being evicted (Will The Real Governing Body Of People Please Stand Up 11-29-18). This legislation was to be modeled on a hard fought, and somewhat imperfect, similar one in New York City. Analysis questioned whether the GOP legislature of the State of Ohio would allow such city rule to be implemented. They have, and had, neutralized home rule through gun control legislation and, with Cleveland, outlawing their percentage of Cleveland resident workers/contractors on city funded projects legislation. 10-1-19 Robert Higgs for cleveland.com reports: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson signs into law program to provide lawyers for impoverished families facing eviction. With Cleveland’s creative solution to stem the growing problem of people without housing (nothing comes from nothing. One is displaced from some “place”) Analysis finds notable: “Cleveland City Council approved legislation to create the program Monday evening. The program is an effort to ease the upheaval that families face from eviction by giving them the ability to negotiate a better outcome through an advocate who knows the law. City Council President Kevin Kelley has said he hopes the program can be up and running by June 2020. United Way of Greater Cleveland is expected to manage the program, coordinating training for lawyers and getting them assigned to cases. Housing Court Judge Ronald O’Leary said Monday he expects a lot of eviction cases will be referred to mediation for settlement.” “Roughly 10,000 eviction cases are filed each a year in Cleveland, according to the Legal Aid Society, which provides lawyers for some clients with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty rate. Landlords have a tremendous advantage when the cases come to Cleveland Housing Court because only 1% to 2% of tenants have legal representation, Legal Aid’s research shows. About 75% of landlords appear with lawyers for eviction proceedings.” How many eviction cases are filed in Newark each year? With a census figure of approximately 48% of Newark residential housing being non-owner occupant, Analysis would surmise quite a few. Is such a creative solution to a justice disparity on the horizon of any of the candidates running for political office in Newark in 2019? The “legacy” minded incumbent for mayor is mum, hoping his “Outside the city” solution is not memorialized. The “cheerleading” challenger finds little enthusiasm amongst voters for tackling the inequity of eviction (private property rights and all). And those vying for the various city council positions? They’ve all committed to a vow of silence. The good news is that so far the legislators in the Ohio House and Senate haven’t quashed Cleveland’s creative attempt to stymie the national housing crisis. Let them know. Contact Republicans Scott Ryan and Jay Hottinger and thank them for allowing cities to exercise home rule with regards to the problem of those without housing.

Fire Service Kabuki

September 22, 2019

“The British are coming! The British are coming!” What American wasn’t introduced to that at some point in their childhood? The Disneyesque version has a patriot traveling through the land “warning” his fellow citizens of an impending British invasion. The more sobering, and less fanciful, historic account has it that this was no “warning” but rather a prearranged communication mechanism of a previously devised and agreed to plan. Exit Disney world and fast forward to contemporary Trumpland (equally as fantastic as the Disney magical kingdom). “The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming!” What Ohio registered voter’s household hasn’t received such a mailing from Ohioans For Energy Security? “In the coming weeks, don’t give the Chinese government your personal information, email, cell phone, address or sign your name on their petition.” It’s the last part (“sign your name on their petition”) that is the buried lead. After all, the only voters who have not received the mailing would be those who were recently purged. The voter rolls are accessible public data. Why bother with an expensive and ungainly petition drive to acquire easily accessible data? “Don’t sign their petition attacking House Bill 6!” appears elsewhere on the mailing. Ohioans For Energy Security insinuates that Chinese shareholders in petroleum centered companies want to monopolize Ohio’s energy sources; the presumption being that OFES, and their backers, are “clean” of such pollution. Journalists, pundits, researchers and academics find that global investors are just as much vested in First Energy (the prime recipient of HB6’s largesse) as in the natural gas and other energy suppliers; the inherent nature and definition of “global economics”. All agree that such an aggressive marketing campaign to deny a petition, before it is a petition, is unprecedented. And there’s much at stake. Number crunchers show that the owners of the nuclear and coal fired power plants stand to gain 20 to 30 times the couple million dollar cost of the “Chinese are coming” marketing drive (should HB6 remain unchallenged). So what is happening here? Back to Trumpland. On the day of his inauguration in 2017, the newly sworn in president officially kicked off his reelection campaign. The subliminal messaging of this marketing tactic was “You don’t need to bother with any organized resistance or opposition to my regime as my reelection is inevitable in 2020.” Today’s latest news (9-22-19) is that Alaska has dismissed a GOP presidential primary in 2020 (along with several other states who already have made that commitment). There are 3 GOP challengers for a spot on the ballot. The overt message is one of “No need to bother with a fundamental process of democracy as the course of events is inevitable, and invincible.” Analysis finds the same mechanism at work with the high energy marketing trying to dissuade voters from engaging with a petition to place the question of HB6 on the Ohio ballot in 2020. Also in the news this week was the uptick in commitment of American troops to Saudi Arabia, for their defense. When asked by the media why this was such a priority, Dear Leader replied “They [the Saudi’s] pay cash.” The same seems to apply with Ohioans For Energy Security. The cash HB6 guarantees them is hard to pass up. No need to bother with any organized resistance or opposition. Cash is king. The outcome is inevitable, and invincible. Saudi Arabia is, after all, a monarchy. And on the local level we find the kabuki of “public discussion” of authorizing the capital expenditure of a new fire station on Sharon Valley Road. The question of funding for staffing all fire and EMT service in Newark is happening amongst the kabuki administrators and “civic leaders”  behind the curtain, out of sight, No need to bother with a fundamental process of democracy as the course of events is inevitable, and invincible.

This, That And The Other

September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019 found the Newark Advocate running similar coverage of the candidates for Municipal Court Judge. “Recovery a driving force behind Sutton’s campaign for judge” was a one-on-one by Michaela Sumner with Max Sutton (Advocate, 9-15-19). Sumner supplied an adjunct point of view from Irene Kennedy, LC Democratic Party member. Originally from Newark, Sutton addressed his personal past and its articulation with what he is presenting to be elected. Kennedy gave her opinion based on her acquaintance with Sutton as well as the functioning of municipal court itself. Sumner used the same format to cover Matthew George “Faith, family and friends help George in campaign for judge” (same day, same paper, same page). The adjunct point of view was provided by George’s best friend since 2002, Matt Parker. Neither are originally from Newark. The latter resides and is employed elsewhere. George spoke of the process leading up to his decision to run, and his qualifications for the job. Matt Parker spoke extensively of George’s being over qualified for the job, both in background and character, as well as ideological commitment. “Parker said “When (George) decided to run for office, it was pretty obvious that I would help him on his campaign.”” Turns out that Matt Parker isn’t just a GOP acquaintance. He is a professional “political consultant”. He is George’s campaign manager. Though the format for each “meet the candidate” coverage was the same, Sumner provided George with a twofer – his own words plus those of a professional retained to market his candidacy (the candidate in his own words plus an advertisement for the candidate). Analysis concludes that if this were a tennis match, the score at this point would be “Advantage George.”

And now for something completely different. Who says we can’t have this AND that? The incumbent mayor of Newark, running for a third term, received some affirmation, of sorts. The mayor’s stated position on those found in Newark without a house to call their own is that they should relocate elsewhere – anywhere but Newark, as long as it is outside Newark. Many cities across the country (large and small)  have deployed this strategy of shipping the indigent without housing to somewhere else; sometimes to a place of their choosing, sometimes not. Writing for the NY Times, Mike Baker reports “Homeless Residents Got One-Way Tickets Out of Town. Many Returned to the Streets.” (9-14-19). The article covers the various rates of recovery as well as failure of such an approach. Success seems to impinge on a well thought out specificity of outcome – a potential job, family, treatment facility, shelter awaiting those sent away by bus (maybe even plane), etc. Recidivism rates vary, though it is technically not a crime to be a person without housing. Sometimes the people returning are originally from the city that facilitated their removal. Sometimes they have been sent there after being removed by another city. In the 1930’s people without means rode boxcars. Today, “As cities see their homeless populations grow, many are buying one-way bus tickets to send people to a more promising destination, where family or friends can help get them back on their feet.” Only problem is, Mr. Mayor, Newark hasn’t had city wide scheduled bus service in years, let alone interstate. And the Hall administration has done nothing to address either problem – being without a house as well as being without a bus. Besides, ““Just shipping someone out of town to experience homelessness somewhere else is furthering the trauma that person experiences,” she [Lauren McGowan, senior director for Ending Homelessness and Poverty at United Way of King County, Washington] said, “and furthering this crisis that we have all over the country.””

Speaking of which Dear Leader is promoting the ultimate solution for “the other.” He advocates housing them in camps, just as is being done with “illegal aliens”, though no person, in and of themselves, can be illegal (that’s just not part of the law). Cynically, the point is they would be housed, thereby technically eliminating them as individuals without housing. Both they, as well as the cross border refugees (for whatever reason) find themselves in a curious position. They are physically (geographically) part of the state or city (the migrant concentration camps are located on US soil as well as the proposed facility for city dwellers without housing). They reside there. Yet they are de facto NOT considered residents of the country or city in which that camp or facility is found (not having the same rights and privileges of residency as those acknowledged to be members of the country or city). That would satisfy Mayor Hall’s demand that they not be part of the city while still being located there (much as having a post office box gets you mail but no vote to cast in an election). In short, they are warehoused out of sight as biblical lepers – minimally fed and sheltered by the religious community but kept completely out of reach of the secular (business) one.

Silent Ischemia

June 1, 2019

The 5-31-19 online Newark Advocate announced “A Newark city councilman plans to propose an amendment to existing legislation to use new Ohio gas tax funding to target paving for neighborhood streets.” (Newark councilman to propose funds from Ohio gas tax target neighborhood streets, Michaela Sumner) Sumner’s quotes: “I believe that our residents have for years, been talking about wanting to get their roads paved,” [Jeremy] Blake said. “It’s those neighborhood streets that may not have been touched for decades. They’ve been paying their taxes and doing their due diligence and I think it’s time we get onto a regular maintenance schedule of paving these neighborhood roads.” Analysis finds “neighborhood streets that may not have been touched for decades” politely says that the city’s residents of those neighborhoods also pretty much don’t expect anything different. How so? In one section of his recent book, “Dying Of Whiteness”, Dr. Jonathan M. Metzl went to Kansas to consider the impact of GOP fiscal austerity on it’s previously historically great K-12 schools. On pg. 232 Metzl writes: “Pulling money out was not fixed simply by putting money back in. Rather, cutting money from schools cut off perfusion and oxygen as if by heart disease, leading to silent ischemia. Part of the reason why this was the case was because reducing funding and eliminating programs did more than simply reduce school capacities. Budget cuts also narrowed people’s expectations for what was possible from school in the first place and of what it cost to get there. As one superintendent put it to me: “It’s really hard to see the changes unless you’ve been a superintendent that whole time, because I don’t even think principals who change schools really fully grasp what’s going on. And it’s rare to have a board member that’s been on for ten or twelve years, and it’s even more rare to have a board member that’s been on that time that’s so engaged. It’s not anybody saying, “I don’t want this for my kids,” but they just don’t know what we had or what might be possible from great schools.”” It is likewise for the city of Newark. On average, Americans relocate their residence at or around 5 years. Homeowners average 13 years in a residence. With 48% of Newark residences being non-owner occupant, just about half of Newark’s current residents can’t recall what the neighborhood was like when Jeff Hall first took the oath of office as mayor for all of Newark’s neighborhoods (not just the downtown business association). “Budget cuts also narrowed people’s expectations for what was possible” not only with regard to the condition of the streets they lived on, but also any public transportation (which once was part of Newark), city wide public health services, sufficient emergency service personnel, residential building standards (rentals), neighborhood community services and programs such as art and recreation, etc. Non-owner occupant tenants feel little connection to Newark. Most simply assume that, like the building they reside in, the streets are maintained by “someone else”. Does that make the mayor the Landlord of Newark? With the loss of any genuine history with heart (Children’s Home, Gazebo, etc.) in favor of a fabricated history of profit (Downtown Newark manufactured to be Easton Lite), Newark’s current residents “just don’t know what we had or what might be possible from [a] great” city. Vying to be mayor, Analysis forecasts both Jeff Hall AND Jeremy Blake will repeatedly stress “what a great city Newark is” in their pitch to the Newark electorate.

Ischemia – “an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles.”

Location, Location, Location

May 19, 2019

On 5-16-19 The Freedom School of Licking County screened “Inside Akron’s Tent City” at the GMP hall in Newark. The film was about the tent city on private property in Akron available as a shelter opportunity for those without any. The showing was partially as a response to the unacceptable actions by the Jeff Hall administration in bulldozing the tent shelters of those without any alternatives this past winter. After the showing there was a lengthy discussion regarding various aspects of what can or could be done, what is being done, and what has been done elsewhere. Newark is not alone in having a population in need, of shelter, nutritional food, transportation, medical care and education. It is also not alone in refusing to address the need in any comprehensive or systematic manner. Ever since the first President George Bush advocated for his “thousand points of light” as a solution to community needs, Newark has embraced that solution. And the need only grows. One area of muddlement found in our culture today is that any discussion addressing these needs involves one and the same subjects. This mix up becomes divisive, branding a certain population as “always and every way in need.” A recent obituary described the deceased as a “proud and strong willed self made man.” The insinuation is that he was “self reliant” in meeting his needs. As the movie pointed out, it is damn hard and continuous work surviving Ohio’s climate without resources. True, the same person who is without shelter may be without any transportation options, which in turn challenges accessing food, medical care, or education. Analysis shows that food pantries are not located near grocery stores or restaurants. This is no coincidence. Food pantries rely on such establishments for donations of unmarketable yet still consumable goods. The business in turn wants credit for its contribution but not a direct link, knowing its customers would not pay for what they believed could be acquired otherwise. Distancing of source through chain of distribution to recipient is all but mandatory. So we find headlines like “Bikers bring 30,000 meals to feed migrants at facility in New Mexico” (USA Today 5-19-19) but never any announcing “Newark Landlord Makes 20 Units Available For Those Without A Place To Live.” Distancing of source through chain of distribution to recipient is practically impossible when it comes to addressing the need to shelter those without one. Knowing the other person is in class to be educated because they also need to learn is normal. Knowing someone else in the waiting room is in need of medical attention the same as you is not controversial. But having the next door neighbor living in an apartment just like yours without paying rent while you do can become quite dicey. Distancing of source through chain of distribution to recipient with regard to shelter has de facto been relegated to government. Analysis finds this to be ironic since the founding fathers went out of their way to prioritize those who have property from those who do not (see how and why the senate differs from the house of representatives as well as the electoral college). Meeting the need for shelter differs fundamentally and generically from that of other needs. It cannot be met through entering a room, receiving assistance, and leaving. It requires locating the individual recipient of care amongst those not in need or with other needs (see the hoops group homes, half way houses, etc. must jump through). And we all know that real estate is Location, Location, Location. Mayor Jeff Hall’s solution to those in need of shelter in Newark is to locate them OUTSIDE Newark. This is in keeping with the constitution’s founding fathers and the thousand points of light. A city’s official policies to real estate ownership and its citizens is fundamental to addressing the need for shelter for those without one. No one said it would be easy. “Landlords to challenge Seattle’s fair housing law” (Charlotte West, NBC, 5-19-19) makes that clear. Seattle opted for a “ban the box” ordinance for its returning citizens when seeking accommodations as one way to deal with shelter in a city where affordable housing is a challenge. “”There are laws and policies that are in place that prevent us from being successful people,” [ordinance advocate Michelle] McClendon said.” “But Seattle’s fair housing ordinance goes one step beyond “ban the box.” It doesn’t allow landlords to consider criminal histories at all. However, landlords who share single-family residences with their tenants or who rent out an accessory dwelling unit (aka “mother-in-law apartment”) are exempt. Property owners may continue to check the sex offender registry in some circumstances.” “Ethan Blevins, staff attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, represents the Rental Housing Association of Washington and other landlords in the lawsuit against the ordinance. He said that his clients recognize that people of color are disproportionately impacted by criminal records. “That sort of discriminatory impact begins much earlier with racist or discriminatory law enforcement practices,” he said. “The landlords shouldn’t be the ones who are saddled with the burden of dealing with a problem that was actually created by law enforcement practices that need to be reformed.” Blevins added that landlords oppose the ordinance because they want to be able to thoroughly vet tenants by using all of the information publicly available to them.” Analysis finds the need for shelter to be unique amongst the many public concern needs addressed by communities. It ultimately always hinges on how we govern ourselves. The basis of that governance (Constitutions and charters) de facto prioritizes property rights. And we all know real estate is Location, Location, Location.

Representative Of Dollars

April 17, 2019

The latest video/press coverage provided by the Newark Advocate, after the Monday night (4-15-19) Newark City Council meeting, is disturbing in the least, alarming at most. The mayor of the city is shown, or reported, claiming himself to be “not in charge,” “doesn’t run” things, “not head of the city”, etc. In short, he is a mayor of __? Analysis finds the only word that fills in the blank is “money”. He swears any aid to the homeless will not be free. Indeed, the only frame he can put around the “problem” of homelessness is that of money and cost. Given any celebration of downtown moneyed renewal, or Chamber event, the mayor would bask in the glow of leadership, for here the “problems” of cash flow are self-fulfilling (you only entertain the “problem” of lack of funds if you are certain they can be secured. See this blog’s “Attention To The Community” 3-22-19). But with the “problem” of homelessness he becomes a city manager and not a leader of the people (“We represent the taxpayers’ dollars … I’m saying we don’t just willy nilly spend money. We have to do it the right way. I’m not saying it’s a reason not to, I’m just saying, you’ve got to work out the details.”). Part of the details that make for the most efficient solution to the “problem” of the homeless is to relocate them out of the city entirely (“The mayor suggested land outside the city limits would be better because it would involve fewer laws and rules, and the zoning is more open.” Kent Mallett, Mayor confronted on Newark homeless issue after council meeting, 4-17-19). The alarming aspect of Newark’s city manager’s, er, mayor’s accountant disposition to the problem of homelessness is within the description – “homeless problem.” It is the problem of homelessness, not the homeless are a problem. In the recent ongoing Henry Louis Gates Jr. documentary series “Reconstruction: America After The Civil War” one of the contributors points out that all people have problems, but to say that a people are a problem is to dehumanize them. A city manager focused on “show me the money” solutions to problems would obviously fail to appreciate the nuance of the statement. No, Analysis finds it disturbing and alarming that Newark elects to have a city manager dedicated to representing “the taxpayer’s dollars” rather than a mayor of the people (“According to a new study, a group of 60 companies in the Fortune 500 booked nearly $80 billion in total profits in 2018, but each owed $0 in taxes. Worse: Many of these companies actually got rebates from Uncle Sam, totaling more than $4 billion.” Tim Dickinson for Rolling Stone, Billions in Profits, No Taxes: How the Trump Tax Code Let 26 Companies Off the Hook, 4-15-19. So much for corporate “personhood”, not when it comes to being a taxpayer!).

Failed Community Administration

February 19, 2019

The past week saw a barrage of local news appear in The Newark Advocate. Though apparently disparate in content, the aggregate spoke volumes about the Newark community. Analysis was intrigued by what the stories contributed to the overall larger narrative. There were a couple of stories about the growing population of homeless within Newark (by definition marginal to Newark’s self identity as community). There were likewise a couple of stories of projected capital improvements within the geography of Newark (by most accounts structures and institutions are what define community in Newark). In the final lines of ‘What needs to be done with homelessness in Licking County?’ (2-17-19) Kent Mallett quotes Newark’s mayor: “”No individual group, entity or person will have all the answers, but collectively, we’ll work together. The power of community is pretty strong right now.”” Previous to the mayor speaking Mallett wrote “The mayor said any sustainable answer has to include the public, private and non-profit segments of the community.” Analysis shows the mayor is cognizant of Newark as a community and his place within that community. He IS the mayor who is being interviewed and as THE community leader he is integral to not only what needs to be done but what IS done. ‘New senior housing, wellness center coming to Denison’ by Craig McDonald (2-16-19) is technically NOT Newark though the large footprint of The Art Space on Church St. definitely puts the DU in downtown Newark. DU likewise self identifies as a community with a mission of producing leaders for tomorrow (may or may not include mayors). From McDonald’s article it becomes obvious that there is not enough housing and group activity spaces on campus, and the community must generate more, and will. Likewise, the healthcare of the community is being inadequately provided and that too must be improved, and will. ‘Newark’s St. Francis de Sales announces $3 million expansion’ by Dave Weidig (2-17-19) projects an expansion of the downtown church to meet its urgent need, and the sundry reasons, plans and financing involved. DU takes a lot of pride in their generations of leaders, so small wonder that they actively address the immediate physical needs of their community. Pride is somewhat ambivalent within the context of the Catholic Church. Though an understatement, “”It will be a good street presence,” said Shannon Karrenbauer, St. Francis Business Manager.” suffices as an adequate surrogate. And Newark Mayor Jeff Hall? “While other cities are talking about what they can’t do, Newark is talking about what it is doing, Mayor Jeff Hall said. “You kind of have to get out and see what’s going on around and there aren’t a whole lot of cities in Ohio that got a lot going on,” Hall said.” (Newark may see downtown, north end developments, Kent Mallett, 1-5-18). Analysis finds this collection of reporting in the middle of February inadvertently reveals the disjunct of “community” when it comes to the administration of Newark. All three groups take pride in their community. On the basis of this pride the administrators of the leaders group as well as the religious organization address their present real concerns with projected solutions in the here and now. The administration of the Newark community? The mayor mouths the 100% correct analysis of what it takes to accomplish the goal of addressing the need (“The mayor said any sustainable answer has to include the public, private and non-profit segments of the community.”) but has failed to do any of the above. Akin to DU and the Catholic Church, Newark is not some isolated hardscrabble backwater struggling to identify itself, let alone flourish.  Along with being the government seat of a prosperous and thriving county, it is the headquarters of a bank with $7.8 billion in assets. Its membership rolls, along with its alumni and active promoters far outstrip anything that the local church or university can access. Yet the present Newark administration has not succeeded in generating any affordable housing, public transportation or public community centers. It isn’t that there is a lack of public, private and non-profit segments within Newark. Rather, Analysis reveals that the current Jeff Hall administration has totally failed the Newark community even though they know what it takes to do otherwise.

 

What Is This Nameless…

July 19, 2018

July 13, 2018 reporting for The Newark Advocate Kent Mallet wrote about Downtown Benches Becoming Beds For Some. The bulk of the article was about the Newark Development Partners, Safety Director, Mayor and how this is carryover from when the Gazebo was there (and why it had to go!). The buried lead at the bottom of the article (“Donna Gibson, director of operations for St. Vincent Housing Facilities, said they do drug testing for the 26-bed St. Vincent Haven men’s shelter and the 24-apartment Gardens on Sixth transitional housing. Those who test positive are not allowed in the facilities, but they try to get them help, she said. “We’ve seen a huge influx in people coming and asking for food, a huge influx of homeless people,” Gibson said. “We do the best we can with what we have. We’re full. We’ve never had a waiting list, but we’re telling people to come back.” Drug use has become an even bigger problem recently, Gibson said. “It’s been overwhelming lately,” Gibson said. “We’ve moved beyond an epidemic. It’s a plague. Meth seems to be the biggest problem we’re dealing with.””) speaks rather succinctly of the enormous reality of American bodies infected by addiction having no place to call home in contemporary America (literally homeless). Analysis finds many corollaries that illuminate this tragedy, outlining its invisibility. In his book, Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates quotes from another author, another book (Thavolia Glymph, Out Of The House Of Bondage) – “And there it is – the right to break the black body as the meaning of their sacred equality. And that right has always given them meaning, has always meant that there was someone down in the valley because a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below.” In one of his lectures at The College Of France, Michel Foucault (French social/cultural critic and philosopher) asked two simple questions —

Question: What is a wage?

Answer: It is an income.

Q: What is an income?

A; It is a return on capital.

As Analysis has often indicated, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall there is only one game in town (or globally). That is capitalism. Like it or not, we are now all capitalists. Only no one told that to those bodies sleeping on the courthouse benches. Which makes for the quandary posed to the DeLawders and Laymans of the Newark Development Partners Community Improvement Corporation, and for Newark’s Safety Director Steve Baum as well as the unawares Mayor Jeff Hall (“said he had not heard about people loitering downtown or sleeping for extended periods on the benches.”). Without capital there is no income. Without income one cannot play the game, the only game in town. Those without income are not only homeless but likewise useless and worthless within capitalism (they have no capital). Today we are all entrepreneurs. Our equality is purchased by our entrepreneurship, some more equal than others. To be an entrepreneur requires some capital, any capital, even if only that of a body to be sold. What is this nameless body sleeping on a bench, this “someone down in the valley because a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below”?

 

Be Active In 2018

January 6, 2018

Analysis woke to find sub zero temps and a wind chill alert for central Ohio, AND a Washington Post headline reading: Hawaii has record-low unemployment and it’s not a frozen hellscape. Why are people leaving? (Andrew Van Dam, 1-5-18) Huh? What is wrong with this picture? “Preliminary data back up the notion that Hawaii residents are continuing to vote with their feet. Moving company Atlas Van Lines found that, among its customers in 2017 (through Dec. 15), there were three moves out of Hawaii for every two moves in. The state is clearly a very nice place to visit. But it’s getting harder and harder to stay.” Dope slapping the side of the monitor for an attitude adjustment didn’t seem to help either. “Hawaii has the lowest unemployment rate of any state in recorded history, a good economic outlook, and — most attractive at this time of year — little chance of polar vortex or ‘bomb cyclones’. Yet in 2017 its population fell for just the third time since statehood in 1959. It only dropped a tenth of a percent, but that’s a worse showing than all but four states (Wyoming, West Virginia, Illinois and Alaska), according to a recent Census Bureau release. Which brings us to the core conundrum: people are leaving Hawaii even though the labor market is stronger than on the mainland, and even though it’s the high 70s in Honolulu this week. What could possibly be driving them away?” Do tell. “The preliminary seasonally adjusted [unemployment] reading for November was 2.0 percent — the lowest of any state since the Labor Department started keeping track in 1976, and less than half of the 4.1 percent national rate reported in November.” “A recent report from Bonham’s organization  [“Carl Bonham, economics professor and director of the University of Hawaii’s economic research organization”] projected continued growth for 2018, based on another record year of tourist arrivals, steady activity in the construction sector, and growth in health and tourism jobs. So why is anyone leaving? One answer trumps all others: home prices. Hawaii has the most expensive housing in the nation, according to the home value index from housing website Zillow. Rent costs trail only D.C. and (in some months) California. Overall, Hawaii had the highest cost of living of any state in 2017 (D.C. was higher), the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness found, and housing was the main driver. It’s always been expensive to live in Hawaii, but it’s getting worse. There’s just not enough housing on the islands, and Hawaii now has one of the worst rates of homelessness in the country.” The morning’s Newark Advocate headlined their parent company’s USA Today: Report: Columbus among top 10 trending destinations in the world (Chris Pugh, 1-6-18). “The study, released this week by travel booking website Airbnb, lists the Ohio capital as the sixth most trending destination in the world based on bookings for the first part of 2018.” ““In the United States, Midwestern cities like Indianapolis and Columbus are seeing some of the strongest growth, driven by booming downtown districts humming with new restaurants, nightlife, and local arts,” the report reads.” Analysis recalls in the past Newark Mayor Jeff Hall making statements like wanting downtown Newark to be a “destination.” Butt weight, maybe that’s coming into fruition. The previous days Advocate headlined: Newark may see downtown, north end developments (Kent Mallett, 1-5-18). “Momentum from a flurry of recent Newark improvements should continue in the new year, according to commercial developer Steve Layman. Development should begin on the vacant city block bordered by South Third, South Fourth, Market and West Main streets. Front Room Furnishings will occupy the former Connell’s Furniture space on North 21st Street. And, the former Kroger property on Deo Drive could be developed this year. Other downtown and north end sites also have potential. “Newark is constrained a little bit because of available land, suitable and available for development,” Layman said. “But, I think there will be infill development — apartments, condominiums and medical offices. “The economy is good, there are jobs aplenty, and the cost of living is moderate. There’s good value here.”” More shine being peddled from the Hall of Newark: “While other cities are talking about what they can’t do, Newark is talking about what it is doing, Mayor Jeff Hall said. “You kind of have to get out and see what’s going on around and there aren’t a whole lot of cities in Ohio that got a lot going on,” Hall said.” Newark may not be an island. What is happening in Hawaii is relevant to Newark. Analysis has also recently noted that Columbus was ranked second in the nation in terms of economic inequality. The last Analysis checked, tourism is considered a service industry (along with “restaurant, nightlife, and local arts”). Service jobs make up the bulk of Layman’s “jobs aplenty.”  Where are these folks to live? And how are they to get to work from there? Nowhere in Mallett’s journalism was any mention made of affordable housing, the homeless or the inability to get to work within a greater Newark metro area of well over 50,000 lacking fixed route/schedule public transportation. Layman and company simply assume that if their real estate values increase (development), unemployment is low, and the cost of living is moderate for the upper third of wage earners, then all problems are solved (the “rising tide” article of conservative faith). The actuality of Hawaii begs to differ and throws a kink into this faith based gospel of eliding very real social problems. After all, pushing the problem somewhere else is no solution when there’s no ocean between. Eventually they bump into each other. Selling “Shine” is what our tabloid president does. Admitting the problem and addressing the reality of affordable housing and public transportation needs is a very doable first step.

Due to weather event the meeting below has been rescheduled for February 3, 2018, 10-12. See you there.

Jan 13 Transportation Meeting

2018

January 1, 2018

With 2018 Analysis must admit that it has reached the end of analysis. What’s that mean? Sometimes “end” can mean finished (“The End” of the movie), sometimes “end” can mean conclusion (the projected end of a process), and sometimes “end” simply means that all the elements or reason’s for defining or pursuing something have displayed themselves, made themselves apparent, and there are no more elements to be determined or reasoning to be defined. After 5 years of writing, Analysis feels it has reached that point. The Longaberger Basket Building would be the case in point. (A ‘big vision’ in store for Longaberger basket building, Bethany Bruner and Maria DeVito, Advocate, 12-29-17). Analysis even questions the need for referencing the reporting. Previous blog essays have followed this debacle for years, almost from the inception of Newark News Analysis. Yet in Bruner and Devito’s report we read “The financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.” Why not? Poor investigative reporting or another case of “public private partnership” where the “private” doesn’t have to reveal how it is using the “public”? Wiki “corporate welfare.” Again, Analysis can point to what we do know, as reported previously (and once again on the 29th) the sale involved the city forgiving what was owed to it through various taxes, fees, and penalties. And the entire city administration and council were on board for that (“Licking County Treasurer Olivia Parkinson said the county is supposed to be receiving a check early next week for a “big chunk” of the back taxes Longaberger had owed. Parkinson said the new owners are planning to file an application to have the penalties of the most recent taxes owed remitted. Newark City Council had passed legislation earlier this month to allow the city to release some or all of the liens for unpaid water and sewer bills and other money owed by Longaberger in an effort to move the sale forward.”). The shapeshifter mayor of Newark (Jeff Hall) likewise speaks out of both sides of his mouth – “”But we do know it’s going to be a tax producing property again,” he said. “It’ll be a good asset in community instead of sitting as a vacant building deteriorating.”” “Hall said while the basket building is not very old, it is unique enough to qualify for historic tax credits. Coon will still have to apply for the tax credits, Hall said. “Without even that potential, it wouldn’t have been of interest to him,” Hall said. Hall said once the final plans are announced, it could take years before renovations are complete.” Newark’s Mayor belies his own public tax payer paid position by flaunting the new owners’ potential to not only NOT pay taxes, but also to be reimbursed by tax payer funds (“historic tax credits’). This in itself begs the questions of abatements during the “years before renovations are complete” and it becomes “a tax producing property again.” If you think this is just another manifestation of MAGA, you’d be more than correct in that the building would have to generate a ridiculous amount of tax revenue in its later years to offset the enormous bath the City and County have taken, something the early years of active business occupancy never produced. And what if the new owners choose to just flip their new acquisition? Of course, we also read “”It has been fun watching the progress in the Downtown and I’m excited to be a part of the movement,” he [Steve Coon, “a Canton-based developer who owns Coon Restoration, and his partner, Bobby George, of Cleveland, closed on the building Friday afternoon.”] said in the release. “The Longaberger Basket Building is known all over the world and I can’t tell you how excited I am to preserve and renovate this building and put it back into use.”” Where have we heard that before? (Clue– current and past owners of Longaberger since Dave’s demise) Who wouldn’t be giddy when they not only pay pennies on the dollar for real property, with few if any tax liabilities, but likewise elide full disclosure on the overall costs/benefits of the “public private” deal? We’re dealing! Shapeshifter Mayor Jeff Hall will probably pave the Cherry Valley Rd. dead end as well as the east of Dayton Rd. portion of East Main Street and sell it as “shine.” And city leaders will buy it and drink it! No, Analysis has reached its end. In the essay “Steve Bannon Declares Jihad On Infidels” (10-18-17) Analysis quoted Alternet’s Ivy Oleson’s embedded reporter’s report ““This is when I realize that what Ivy [Ivy El Zaatari, the Leadership Institute organizer/instructor] means is that Conservatism appeals to people on a level above facts: religion. Conservatives are skipping right over the whole logic bit and get straight to the good stuff. Ivy is hinting around about “philosophy,” because, like she said, “I’m talking about Conservatives, not Republicans. [..] They talk about their Bibles as much as their Constitution.” Sell ‘em a fantasy, and one with a moral, religious backing as well. Ivy has been trying to get it through our heads that the fear of God is how you can get people to vote against their best interests.””