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good morning america

I’ve been spending some mornings with Good Morning America. Plus side I get a little national news, a lot of pop culture nonsense, and some local weather. I have trouble staying up past 10 to catch the evening news and so far haven’t found anything else worth watching on ABC. The digital 2nd version has some classic TV I’ve been watching a little of that when I want some background noise. The Odd Couple is as preposterous as I remember and without the gloss of nostalgia its probably as crappy as anything on now. It drowns out the sound of the woodpecker out front.

The campaign continues to go well. Hitting doors every day, people more tuned into the election as we get closer and the weather gets warmer. Sun staying up later each day so I can get more time in. Got caught up on follow up calls last night. three hour and a half sessions was all it took. Of course meeting tonight and tomorrow so I’ll be behind again. I still felt confident enough to get back into it to try to go out Friday or Saturday night.

Big day today. Housing inspection in 1/2 hour and going to have to jump in the shower momentarily. Last step before refinancing. Probably won’t lower my payment but taking 12 years off the mortgage is huge. Also getting my broken step fixed. They have a big lip so we are going to reinforce the others and make it more sturdy for the long run. Kicking myself now for not getting them all refinished when Jamie offered. To many decisions to make them all right.

The inspector is here now and after I outlined my modest improvements to the home, kitchen tile, 1/2 a kitchen counter, new windows, fence, and though you can’t tell it in February landscaping he is on his own, photographing my messy house for inspector posterity. After work I have the Labor Meet & Greet, knock on doors, and then I am going to a new group CIVIC. They have organized to oppose the blight designation of about half our city as part of this thing called an Enhanced Enterprise Zone to lure manufacturing jobs, which we desperately need, back to the area. I am still studying the issue so have a little trepidation. I have a meeting scheduled with REDI (public/private partnership that is spearheading the EEZ) next week so I feel I am taking a balanced approach to learning more about the issue. It will be my first vote as a council person.

The other controversy raging in the city is our 6th shots fired incident in recent weeks with the last one taking out a window at Chuck E Cheeze’s. That has our sleepy public up in arms. The police made 2 arrests last night which I am thankful for as politicians who pander to people’s worst fears irk me some and move us in a direction that is not helpful. I wish I could tell people we can manage every scary situation they see on the nightly news but we just can’t. Having some police drive by their house ain’t going to necessarily help. My approach to community safety is to increase neighborliness and “eyes on the street” by making our outdoor spaces more user friendly.

Shots fired though that’s different then the property crimes that more people keeping an eye on things can realistically help. That has more to do with the relationship between the police and the communities of people who have the information that allows crimes to be solved. I think our current Police Chief is on the right track with a scientific approach to police work and a policy of Unconditional Respect to generate trust and manage unconscious biases that can creep into even good hearts.

The real reason I am blogging even though the inspector has moved outside and I could go to work and attack a nagging project that came out of nowhere is I had my most interesting door knock ever last night. Ann was driving and I was door knocking in a pretty sketchy trailer park. We passed this bombed out trailer with the yard strewn with debris and a bird flying out of a windowless section. I marked it “abandoned” and we turned around to go to the next and Ann says “Wait a minute, I see a light on, you gotta go in and see what’s up.” “No lets skip it”. “Come on your a social worker for God’s sake he might need some help”. “OK”.

I see him laying in bed and almost just leave a flyer but I knock. An old guy, looks pretty good, comes to the door and starts rattling on that he is moving tomorrow to some senior housing in the country which will allow him to continue his academic studies of Amish life. He runs on a 10 minute stream of consciousness rant on the Amish, the CIA drug smuggling and pediphilia, his struggles with the publishing industry and their CIA connection, the documentary on his life “Conspiracy of Silence” (4 copies at the Columbia Library), and many other topics. Since he’s moving he gave me the flyer back but I give him a card in case he wants to contact me. My life can always get more interesting, but I hope never as interesting as Michael Zielinski.

Categories: books, community, insanity, politics
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