to On The Qt #4. More funnies about morally bankrupt zanies
cutting capers in the halls of government and on the nearby
corner. Before the laff riot commences let's review QT's
raison d'etre. QT is non partisan. Neither the left nor
the right has a lock on political reform. The urgent need for
is producing a movement unto itself. From the
neighborhood to the national, Spring cleaning is in order.
QT erred in #3. We gave Mayor Bret Schundler of jumping Jersey
City an extra "t" and we placed a would be 60 story development
atop Midtown Manhattan's Biltmore Theater-- as opposed to next
door. Yipes! Given current construction standards (and cutbacks
in NYC building inspections) a tower atop the Biltmore might have
meant curtains for theater goers. A spirited dance routine could
have sent tremors rippling through sandcastle foundations. And
HOUSES BUILT ON SAND
consider Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler as presented by
the New York Times in "An Impolitic Republican Runs Against
Trenton's Grain". Schundler is making a run for New Jersey
Governor. The Times story paints him as a stand alone success
story tweaking the noses of New Jersey's middle of the
road Republican politicians. A sort of neocon
ABBIE HOFFMAN. Bundled unpaid tax liens! Sold them to Wall Street!
Cut municipal taxes! Promoted school vouchers! Reelected to
a second term by a landslide! Trouble with the Times account
is that the successes touted either took place at
the beginning of Schundler's 10 year old administration or
didn't happen at all. Take the
Actually a runoff in which a inexperienced unknown came close to
beating Schundler in the primary. By the final race a shaken
Schundler marshaled major developer bucks to financially overwhelm
his opponent. After a decade of Schundler, Jersey City's economy
rests almost entirely on waterfront development. The result is two
cities: there's the Gold Coast and then there's the rest. Long time
financial and organizational municipal weaknesses go unaddressed.
The poor (particularly the elderly) fear rampant crime in
neighborhoods they can't afford to leave. Schundler's constituents
rate him an overall C+. This in a poll taken by the Jersey Journal,
a newspaper that thanks Bret every day for making Jersey City good
enough to be New York City's bedroom. Is Schundler a successful
model for governor of a densely populated state like New Jersey? A
state with notably troubled cities?
New Jersey's capital is a once proud city (Trenton Makes, The World
Takes) that now evokes Berlin at the end of WW2. New Jersey
prosperity has swept by Trenton leaving it high and dry on a rock
of shrinking population, crime and decimated housing. Despite rich
Revolutionary War history, spectacular architecture and proximity
to the Delaware River. Given his urban record would "Governor"
Schundler be good for Trenton? Or for Camden? Or Asbury Park? None
of these cities have Wall Street across the way...
don't actual conditions in urban neighborhoods count when assessing
urban politicians? How is their success measured? To paraphrase
George Soros, it may be that when a society can no longer agree
on values, the only common measure left standing
After toting up the campaign
contributions, development funds,
HUD grants etc. the biggest hustler gets the most points. Who cares
whether the money bought any real improvements for residents of
urban neighborhoods? And publications like
are always ready to declare cities guided by a grifters "most
livable". Money Magazine endorsements are like those suspect
restaurant reviews that use euphemisms such as "casual dining" for
"what a dump". And while on the topic of dubious claims;
is how Mayor Jerry Jennings of Albany, New York likes to envision
a certain downtown strip. Andy Hardy town-- not. College towns
feature book stores, bike shops, health food restaurants, coffee
bars, etc. Though a few of these hang on bravely, the area's main
trade seems to be of another kind. Hookers and drug dealers work
the strip studiously. After late night grind sessions one can pop
into a convenience store. Like the nearby ones that turned out
to be in the drug biz. And we're not talking No Doz. But
Burgermeister Jennings is working on revitalization. An infusion
funds will cure all ills. Oh. Wait. One of the
DRUGS-R-US convenience stores already received
a $139,000 HUD
Enterprise Community grant, a $75,000 loan from the Albany Local
Development Corp. and a $25,000 loan from the Capital District
Community Loan Fund. But Mayor Jennings has a secret college town
CLEAN UP WEAPON!
He'll be applying it broadly any day now. No, it's not the Claudia
Schiffer Edition Palm Pilot. It's those provisions announced in the
Spring of 1999 by NYS Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Mayor
Jennings in a joint press conference. Provisions included in the
State Executive Law and Real Property Law which "with help from
city government" can result in court proceedings against landlords
who "ignore neighbors reports of drug dealing or allow their
properties to crumble and flagrantly violate the building and
how some politicos believe saying so makes it so. It's how
they become subjects of websites. Another way is by acting like
bullies gone bananas. At a business breakfast in Manhattan, Mayor
Rudy Guiliani held up Tommy Trout, an animated plastic
SINGING FISH mounted on a plaque. Mr.Trout sang "Joy To The World".
Rudy was appearing before a group of developers, hoteliers and
culture barons he hopes will help him crush the west side of
Manhattan beneath a gargantuan sports stadium. Why the faux fish?
Seems Hizzoner was making a little joke about how no spawning fish
would stop the stadium. Not like the Westway highway project--
where environmental concerns for fish love life in the Hudson
quashed developer wet dreams. "The last frontier for developers"
is how Iron Rudy and minions droolingly describe the low rise
section of midtown Manhattan west of 9th Avenue. The stadium where
Rudy hopes to stage his 2014 Olympiad is seen by locals as the
ultimate displacement tool. But political support for the kazillion
dollar project is by no means firm. So put your fish away, Rudy.
And save the spawning talk for Judith. Meanwhile Ohio Congressman
James Traficant's posterior had a
with an elephant. The Congressman from the northeast rustbelt area
of Ohio has been indicted on 10 counts of bribery and racketeering.
Accusations include his making his office workers bale hay and
build a corral. The charges are politically motivated claims
Democrat Traficant, saying "An elephant jumped up and bit me in the
ass". That explains the hay. But the corral? Ever notice when
corruptoids are caught (Hillary!) they always blame enemies with
political agendas? Earth to Corruptoids: who else would rat you
out? Your mother? It's all part of the checks and balances tango.
A dance made more
LOVELY WEBSITES & COMING ATTRACTIONS
Some sites that shine are included at the end of QT. This new OT
feature will appear in each issue and can be found on QT's website.
And don't forget your free website HUD buck! Coming attractions:
Summer Shark Alert-- Predatory Mortgage Practices/Corruptoid
Updates/Cities on The Edge of Tomorrow/Booze Barn Patrons Run
Wild/Proved--Boom Cars Cause Cancer/HUD's Historic Hovels/and
more more more!
"An America with two legal standards is an America with no
James "Tote That Bale" Traficant
"...since 1974, Buffalo, New York has received... about 598 million
over 26 years from the HUD Community Development Block Grant. We
believe that less than 20% of these funds have been spent on inner
city development projects. In other words, city leaders have turned
the Robin Hood thesis upside down. They rob from the poor to give
to the rich."
Professor Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
http://thecyberhood.net A beautifully designed site covering urban
issues. Lots of helpful info. An inspiring antidote for urban
http://www.stopbretschundler.com From the general to the
particular. An incredibly well researched site seething with
political antipathy for one particular mayor of one particular
city. We need a site like this in every city where public
officials don't do their job. The first amendment at its
inflammatory best. While in Jersey City make sure to drop in on
http://www.balcer.com for one of the most ridiculous photographs
of a politician ever. Also an impressive example of financial
oversight by a fearless
http://hellskitchen.net/ A neighborhood (and what a neighborhood)
covered in depth with great clarity. Complex issues are made clear
without being made simplistic. Lots of Manhattan flavor and an
obvious love for the area covered.
http://www.thegoldenear.com/ In honor of the beginning of the
Summer, when what used to be patriotic holidays are now noisy
drunken brawls, we spotlight a site focused on the issue of noise:
the numero uno quality of life issue in cities across the USA. This
site's creator was featured in the Smithsonian magazine offering a
bowl of earplugs.
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