John, since you do know one of these poor people should they have been supervised in their living quarters? Don't know the whole situation and am hearing so many different stories.
I'm not in Utica right now but I did hear the fire started because of unattended cooking. Is that true? I have heard these people were not really able to care for themselves. Is that true? Could this possibly be just a tragedy that would have happened no matter what because of no supervision?
I do know this, last summer the Codes Department was on my street inspecting properties, and many were cited and had to comply with the repair demands Codes put on them. I am speaking of one family homes to. They spoke to me about my front porch that needed work and I showed them the contract I had by a company who was going to start the work in another 2 weeks. They did come back to check that the work was done. This was the first time in the 26 yeas that I owned my home that Codes ever did that. Have to state they are trying to get things improved.
Last Edit: Apr 4, 2008 23:25:26 GMT -5 by bobbbiez
I guess Fire Inspector means "cousin's cousin" in Utica.
Not a new phenomenem, either. Sometime around WW II, my dad managed to work himself up from tillerman on the ladder truck at No. 2 to fire inspector. What he saw in his short career there, before leaving to work at the OD, appalled him. Favoritism reigned, the kind purchased from the higher ups. Personally offered a small bribe by a slumlord to turn his head from a dangerous situation , Dad came home that night extremely upset to have learned how the world of politics really worked.
That's why someday I hope I win a huge case, and can afford to make 6 scholarships: 1. for my high school, 4 for my undergraduate, and 1 for my law school. My way of helping to give students a chance who might not have had the opportunity because of financial reasons or because of a rough academic start, but have demonstrated their ability to stay committed and improve their grades.
I'd also want to help fund a local competitive swim program and re-build new hartford swimming. But expand the program to help at-risk teens. Swimming is a wonderful sport that provided me with many life lessons. Without most of them, I would not be as successful as I am today (if you want to call working for free and still living with the rents successful). But seriously, I'm indebted to my coaches, parents, teammates, and teachers. Those are the best ways I can give back and try to leave the world in a better position than when I entered it.
That is a great plan and I hope you realize it. It's interesting what you said about swimming and how it taught you valuable life lessons. That's what sports was supposed to do long ago, before it became just a fire escape up from the ghetto (lousy metaphor, but you no doubt get my meaning.)
Dave, I was bringing out the fact that alot of these people have mental problems and should not be unmonitored. I live in the area, (same area where this fire took place), with many homes who house these people and they are on the streets with no supervision and many become victims in many ways. It seems to me that these people are released and no one in the right departments cares until something happens to them and then it's always someone else's fault.
This is why so many were let of of the hospitals and wound up in places like Hunter House years ago, and why they are where they are today.
Yes, some of them should be under daily supervision and really shouldn't be out on their own, but the State said otherwise. These people are not "falling through the cracks" as the State says there are no cracks for them to fall through anymore. We are not our brothers keeper any longer.
Now they get their results.
By the way...................did you send off that big check to help the starving, uneducated children in South America or those famine stricken families in Africa?
No Ralph, but I did send my usual donation just recently to our local Rescue Mission and to the St. Joseph's Indian School in South Dakota. I chose my charities very carefully and where I can see the results of my donations.
We do have to get back to being "our brothers keepers" and just by starting in our little neighborhoods is a great beginning. We can all do that by example to.
Just before Christmas I took a dish of macaroni over to one of my neighbors who had just lost their aging Mother. You can't believe the gratitude I received and how many present at their home was openly shocked that just a neighbor would do that. I was the only white person amongest the many blacks there consoling my black neighbors. Then recently when we had that bad wind storm some shingles on my house blew off and guess who repaired it for me since I was back up here in Constable and had no way of getting to it immediately. Yep, my black neighbors that enjoyed the macaroni I had brought over to them during their time of sorrow.
We can all start somewhere in the smallest way and not just leave it up to the proper authorities.
Dave, I.....seems to me that these people are released and no one in the right departments cares until something happens to them and then it's always someone else's fault.
Yes, sad to say, that's how it seems to work. As for keeping folks holed up in hospitals or letting them out, the deal was supposed to be that adequate services and money would be available to care for them. There was a time when we locked any oddball up. Today, we let them out with supervision, but when the dollars dry up or money is needed for some other politically popular program, these folks find themselves in circumstances that can be dangerous. I'm thinking of a guy I have worked with at our drop-in center who can best be described as "slow" and who can live by himself if he has someone to advocate for him occasionally. Housing is extremely difficult to find for these folks, because their SSD is often less than rent for suitable housing. How the hell can anyone live on $700 per month and afford housing? "Well," one agency would say, "that's another agency's problem."
So shall we talk about codes inspections? Dunno how it is now but back in the late 90s, I lost my job, my bldg. was shut down due to codes violations and then my g/f dumped me and destroyed nearly everything I owned. I received SUPERB help by the Mission, GOd bless them..so I went thru the old Utica Community Action and got a place on Park Ave...it wasnt the best (I was the ONLY tenant who was neither a hooker nor a crack user/dealer) but it was a start...I still remember all the codes violations I saw and reported and then a codes inspector Barry Spina turned up...He never left the porch. He played "paisan paisan" with Vinny Scalise the Utica Community Action Bldg Manager and they winked and nudged and all was well.
Needless to say, Utica Community Action is defunct, Vinny is doing God knows what and Barry is STILL ignoring blatant codes violations while harrassing Minorities who God Forbid have an unregistered car parked in their backyards.
And me, I am doing alright after this low point in my life. AGAIN I thank the people at the Rescue Mission for being by my side when I really needed help.
And I will not even get into the headaches i suffered at the hands of DSS.
But as the homies say, its all good. I picked myself up thanks to Pastor Rick and the Mission crew and thats what matters!
John, I know the people who you mentioned and I have to agree with you, but we have a new Codes Commissioner appointed recently and I have to give him credit for starting to shake up those who have been there and done nothing for years. I have seen immediate results in my neighborhood since the new Com. took over and I'm no longer hearing, "well, they're in court." It's a beginning.
John, good for you my friend. I'm so happy you found your way and that you had others at the Mission to help guide you along the way. I'm very proud of you as you should be about yourself. You've come a long way baby!!!!!
The Rescue Mission in Utica is one of the best agencies one can make a donation to. They have helped so many get back on their feet and really care about the people they house and counsel. They are the main charity I concentrated on. My sister and I spent many a Thanksgiving Day helping to serve those who would not have a meal, family or a home to celebrate the holiday. That opened my eyes to what this agency does for the needed and it's right here in our own backyard.
Please consider them the next time you'd want to be charitable.
Way back when I first started paying attention to municipal government (around the same time I started paying property tax), I remember reading about the proprietor of a new Chinese Restaurant on W. Dominick St being brought up on charges in City Court. Just prior the grand opening of his restaurant, he offered the fire inspector a bribe to give him a permit without proper ventilation over his kitchen.
He was found guilty and ended up having to pay a fine as well as take the proper corrective actions. I also remember anticipating seeing the city codes inspector file the same charges, but that never happened. I did spot the codes certificate on the wall the first time I ordered take-out there.
Last Edit: Apr 5, 2008 23:54:17 GMT -5 by frankcor
The random acts of kindness that we perform for one another, are far greater than any “miracle” we could discover or any riches we could accumulate. - Ralph