Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat and Frog on a tiny island of serenity

This year has been filled with hard times, rich tenants that stopped paying rent, yet another layoff, health issues, car issues, a/c issues, ceiling caving-in issues, under-mount sink collapsing issues...
We are doing fine and moving forward.  But life is hard.

This NPR article talk about the cat/frog video.  I love kitty's expression.  It is how i hope to maneuver through the inevitable stress of life and our upcoming court date.

How municipalities in St Louis County profit from poverty

This is a great article.  Washington Post Article
Justin and I have both had negative experiences in the towns listed here.  One 100 degree day in Florissant, Justin's car was searched and he sat on the curb for a few hours while they did what they do. i cannot recall why they did it. They had no reason to and he wanted to refuse, but was afraid to since he had just started a new job, he was wearing a suit, and it was during the work day.  
I got a camera speeding ticket while driving through Uplands Park and when Justin went to pay it, they only accepted cash.  A few weeks later, they were in the news for corruption and missing money.  What a surprise!  They have been in the news multiple times in the last few years for corruption in various forms.  Here is one article...Missing money in Uplands Park  
I try to avoid driving through these municipalities at all costs.  And when i do, i am paranoid.  I get a pit in my stomach when i see police in certain parts of town. (Brentwood, Maplewood and Rock Hill are included on my bad list)  
In St Louis City, things are different.  I see police as protectors.  They are not out to make money, but to survive.  They have too much real stuff to deal with.  Cops in the county are bored and things need to change.  The article talks about one way can have any hope at all.  
"Just about everyone agrees on the main cause of this problem in St. Louis County.
“There are too many towns,” says Vatterott. There are too many towns, and not enough taxpayers to sustain them. How to fix that problem is another matter. There has long been a movement in St. Louis to merge the county with the city. That movement has picked up steam recent years as advocacy groups like Better Together have pushed proposals to merge a number of public services. But real change would require a good portion of these towns to merge with other towns, or to dissolve themselves entirely. That would require the town councils or boards of aldermen to vote themselves out of a job.
“You have these fiefdoms across the county where a small percentage of people hold power over a small bit of territory,” Kirkland says. “They aren’t going to let go of that easily.” Some towns have begun to share police services, or to contract police services out to St. Louis County. That at least means there are fewer cops per resident to hand out fines. But the cops and courts are still geared more toward generating revenue than promoting public safety.”