Watching…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

1984 is a little late, but it’s arrived in St. Paul.

 Those new blue recycling carts in St. Paul, you know the ones, you got one.  The City forgot to mention that each has an embedded microchip.

 St. Paul has mandatory recycling and the chips allow the trucks to see if you’re recycling enough.  The City claims they have no plans to enforce the recycling ordinance that way . . . but that’s what the State said about seatbelts, too.  Has nobody heard of the camel’s nose?

 When they quietly implement the next phase, the justification will be to save the planet ‘for the children.’ But that means the recycling company (hence the government) will be able to track not just how many pounds of recycling you submit, but also which brand of booze you drink, which magazines you read (Playboy ‘for the articles’, NRA kook stuff, survivor militia newsletters, right-wingnut National Review), what foods you eat (so they can assist you in healthier life choices no doubt), and so on.

 I suppose next, I’ll have to go sneaking around putting my recycling in neighbors bins so I don’t get targeted by the gun control squads coming to take my weapons and ammo ‘for my own safety.’  I tell ya, it gets harder every year to justify living in this burg.  

 Joe Doakes

Never put anything past Saint Paul.

For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.

Win-Win

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County Sheriff Bostrom is retiring to move to England to study whether it would improve law enforcement if they hired persons of good character as police officers. 

The fact he’s having to go all the way to Oxford to find anybody willing to seriously consider the question shows just how far American academic and law enforcement standards have fallen.

 Meanwhile, St. Paul has decided the less people know about law enforcement practices, the better police oversight will be.  So when civil rights activists complained the Internal Affairs Review Commission was biased, the City ordered a report of interviews with 25 people conducted by the U of M Center for Restorative Justice and now the Council has decided to adopt the recommendations of the “study.”  Kick the cops off, pack it with activists, move it out of the police department, hold meetings out in the neighborhoods and give its recommendation to the Chief of Police.

 My question is: when the Commission finds that a St. Paul cop acted wrongly but the Chief of Police declines to accept that decision on the grounds the reviewers don’t know what they’re talking about, will there be more peace in the community, or less?

 Joe Doakes

Either way, the needs of both the bureaucracy and the “activist” communities – both fully-owned subsidiaries of the DFL – are served.

And that’s called a win-win!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mayor Chris Coleman is running to replace Governor Deer-in-the-Headlights, hoping to bring the same vibrant economy to the rest of Minnesota as he’s brought to St. Paul.

St. Paul is facing a $32 million shortfall after the Supreme Court declared its special assessment scheme was illegal.  Black unemployment in St. Paul is nearly 20 percent.  St. Paul high schools graduate 75 percent of their classes but only 38 percent of St. Paul students can do math at grade level and only 39 percent can read at grade level. I can’t find current data on crime and shootings – looks as if bad news isn’t published anymore.

Brakes On Magic-Thinking Gravy Train

The Midway in Saint Paul – at least, the part between Selby and Thomas – could use a break.  After the “Green Line” strangled dozens of local businesses and ate up most of the parking that the street’s businesses depended on, the city looks ready to inflict a soccer stadium on the neighborhood.

But it appears at least one business thought it’d be worth taking a risk on stale, blighted, and ostensibly demo-bound Midway Center.

Which makes the local Soccergentsia nervous:

Magical thinking is, apparently, not robust thinking.

Public-Private Partnerships

A friend of the blog writes:

Neighborhood Facebook page was discussing what will happen when non-profits are no longer paying ROW fees in St Paul. I questioned exactly what our property taxes, which continue to rise, are paying for if the ROW assessments are paying for basic city services. Now, I see- people are paying higher taxes which then go into grants to small businesses to hire city contractors to pay workers double wages to do shoddy work

Read the whole thing; it’s a classic contractor horror story combined with a classic incompetent government story.

Exodus

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

Joe’s got some good ideas…

…but when you combine a “one size fits all” model of education, combined with a system that is designed to provide sinecures for the ruling political class’s care and feeding much more than “educating” people (despite the best efforts of a lot of teachers), what do they expect?

Or, more importantly, what do they expect you to expect?

Mystery!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 

Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

I’m not saying “Making the schools crappy” was a diabolical DFL plot to make conservative-leaning people leave Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to consolidate control forever in the hands of the DFL.

But if it were their plan, how would it be working any differently?

Follow The Trail

Fearless Prediction:  If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Black Lives Matter will disappear faster than you can say “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”.

Reason for my Fearless Prediction:  Given its funders, it’s bald-facedly obvious that Black Lives Matter largely exists to inflame the black vote for an election where the Democrats will be fronted by a geriatric woman, rather than an black man.   While it’s not strictly an arm of the Democrat party, it may as well be.

Evidence:  BLM has come out against charter schools – an institution whose most passionate supporters in the Twin Cities are in fact black families.  So much so that their controversial Saint Paul organizer, Rashad Turner, is resigning from the group:

Rashad Turner, who led Black Lives Matter St Paul for nearly two years, says he is leaving his position after the national Black Lives Matter organization joined forces with the NAACP to call for a moratorium on charter schools….Turner says public schools not only have a bad record of staff assaulting black students [to say nothing of consigning them to an inferior education – Ed.], but offer less options for black families, stating, “I think that this moratorium really takes away the student voice, it takes away the parent voice, because we’re seeing families in increasing numbers want to attend charter schools.”

Mark my words.   Budget cut to zero by January.

Planning!

A friend of the blog writes:

On the neighborhood Facebook page, someone was noting concern over the camps being set-up on the MNDOT green space at Snelling and I94. She then commented that she found out the city had loosened regulation on homeless camps and panhandling. 

A few months ago, I mused that the excessive green space being advocated for in poor neighborhoods must be for starting “Colemanvilles.” I may have been more right than I thought. 

If there is a positive to something like this, maybe meddling south of the freeway folks will stay away?

The correspondent is referring to the plague of plush-bottomed “progressive” activist yoohoos who live in tony, Subaru-sodden Merriam Park, south of I94, who seem to like to use the Midway, north of 94, as a social laboratory to romp and play in.

“In Your Best Interest, Peasant!”

The Midway.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood off and on for 29 years, and continuously for almost 23 years, now.

The neighborhood gets a bad rap from people who don’t know Saint Paul – which is about 95% of the population of the Metro Area.   When most of them think of the Midway – if they think about the Midway – they think University Avenue; hot and treeless in the summer, cold and wind-swept in the winter, lined with tatty big-box stores at Snelling, check cashing shops and Popeyes at Lexington, and little H’Mong, Lao, Latino, Black and African shops down by Dale and Rice that probably strike visitors from Eagan and Circle Pines and Kenwood and Crocus Hill for that matter as “sketchy and dangerous”.

The part they miss is that people live, work, play and socialize here.

Even at the McDonalds and Perkins in the huge parking lot by the Midway Center strip mall.  The two franchises are much-loathed by hipsters and pseudo-sophisticates and the entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set that sees itself as soccer fans, most of whom would likely crap a kitten if dropped into the colorful diversity of University Avenue street life that uses the two places as its social center.

It’s up by Snelling that the Saint Paul City Council gave approval yesterday to start working on building a Major League Soccer stadium, paving the way for billionaire Bill McGuire to get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build a stadium for a sport that resonates with precisely three classes of people:

  • Immigrants – many of whom play soccer, and many of whom don’t have the money to go to a big-dollar Major League Soccer game, with the inevitably inflated ticket and concession prices.
  • entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set, with their quadrennial “pretend to give a crap about the World Cup” ritual figuring prominently on their social “see and be seen” calendars.
  • Suburban soccer families – kids and their “soccer parents”.

Do the immigrants have the money to come out and see games?  Will the hipster class do soccer for more than a year, until the “been there, done that” sets in?  Will soccer families from Blaine and Apple Valley chance coming into the city, especially given that the stadium is going to have fairy minimal parking, deliberately forcing people onto the “A Line” bus from Rosedale and the “Green Line” train from other places suburbanites hate going to?

I doubt it in all three cases.

But that isn’t stopping those who seem themselves as members of the taste-setting class from trying to tell the Midway what it really needs; no more McDonalds or Perkins.

At the thought of “6,000 people” (dream big!) crossing McDonalds’ and Perkins’ property, one sniffed:

Yeah, soccer fans are a pretty tony lot:

Sign me up for the high freaking tea concession!

But no – let not the little people and their “businesses” and “social framework” get in the way of their betters’ plans:

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.30.05 AM

Can you imagine if a Walmart proponent had tweeted any such thing?

GOTV, Saint Paul DFL Style?

My district – House 65A – features a primary between two DFLers; incumbent Rena Moran and challenger Rashad Turner, who’s earned a reputation this past year as one of Black Lives Matter’s more militant organizers.  (And for those who want to get out of the fever swamp, it also features endorsed GOP candidate Monique Giordana!)

Over the weekend, this flyer started turning up on Saint Paul social media:

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First things first: I’m not positive it’s legit.  On the one hand, something smells funny about the flyer.

On the other hand, it is totally in character for the Saint Paul DFL, funny aroma and all.

Tradition!

If you can say one thing about “Minnesota United” – who, if all goes according to plan, will benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer largesse when they build their alleged stadium in the Midway one of these years – it’s that they’re a typical Minnesota team, through and through:

A Minnesota team?  Why yes – after leading the league in 2014 and coming in #2, MNU has dribbled down to #5 so far this season.

Vacuous Hipster Lives Matter

While I don’t support Black Lives’ Matter Twin Cities’ strategy or leadership, I don’t doubt for a moment that black people have every legitimate reason to protest against perceptions of excessive police violence…

…while noting that the loudest calls for more police in neighborhoods like the North Side of Minneapolis, the lower East Side of Saint Paul, and the North End come from…

…black and other minority residents, who are the main victims of crime in those neighborhoods.

I also will not pretend to be qualified to judge the violent demonstration that broke out Saturday night in Saint Paul – although Governor Flint Smith Dayton’s statements on the Castile shooting were deeply stupid.  I do think that the subtext of these protests is to try to drive everyone to one extreme or the other – to “Frame” them, in Alinskyite terms.

WIth all that out of the way?  Here’s the mug shot gallery of those arrested at the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday:

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I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you – to see that all but five of the 46 arrested were visibly annoying, Whole Foods shopping, oil-belching-Subaru driving and/or cargo-bike-up-Snelling-At-Universty-at-11PM riding, non-profit-“working”, amateur-“Professional-Protester”, Sanders-voting lilywhite hipsters.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, of course – but then, I won’t beg forgiveness, since what are these protests but judging all humans by skin color – for and against?

A Quick Favor

The House candidate in my district (65A), Monique Giordana, is running against Rena Moran, about whom the best that can be said is that she’s what you get when machines control cities.

Monique is a very sharp woman.  She gets healthcare – she’s a pharmacist at a cancer center, and sees the results of MNSure and Obamacare first-hand, every day.  She lives in the neighborhood (obviously).

And she got into the race late, but is running a good campaign so far.  She also needs to get to a $1,500 threshold, in increments of $50 or less, by Monday to get a subsidy from the state (I know, I know – but that’s how the game is played in this state.

So if you’ve got a buck or two, and could spare a few to help out an underdog in a race where it’d be fantastic to have a real impact, please go here and learn more about Monique, and if you can, peel off a buck or two for her over here.

She’s gonna be on the NARN this weekend, by the way, along with 65B candidate Margaret Stokely.

The Green Line Of Death: All Is Proceeding Exactly As Predicted

Two years after it first “rolled” out, the results of the “Green Line” train between the downtowns are, put diplomatically, “mixed”:

As Metro Transit’s $957 million Green Line project marked its second anniversary on June 14, even die-hard transit advocates acknowledge jobs, housing and commercial development have been a mixed bag.

“I think we’re on a great track with housing, and we always knew that housing was an area that would grow first,” said Mary Kay Bailey, director of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

Well, of course they knew that housing was an area that’d grow first; it’s being subsidized by various levels of government.

If you pay people to do something, someone’ll probably do it.

“But I think it’s time to keep our eyes on job growth. … We want to see it improve with more job-focused development. That’s an important piece for us as a city.”

While Minneapolis and St. Paul have increased their job base by 7 percent since 2011, the collaborative found that job growth averaged less than half that along the Green Line corridor, with wide variation from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some segments of the Green Line have yet to regain jobs lost since light rail construction began nearly six years ago.

The article mentions not a word about the crime rate in the neighborhood.  I’m not going to blame reporter Frederick Melo for that just yet – he does a generally conscientious job of covering Saint Paul.

But while the city’s various spokespeople will downplay it for all they’re worth, the general sense in the neighborhood is that crime is up, especially south of Thomas Avenue, four short blocks north of University.  And one undeniable fact – which, to be honest, may be a fluke; only time will tell – is that many of the city’s murders this year have happened up and down University Avenue.   Of course, it’s early to tie that statistically to the train  (notwithstanding one victim who literally died alongside the tracks last March) – but when you see smoke, it’s not unreasonable to think there’s a fire down there somewhere.

Your Smile Is Thin Disguise

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals claim the economy has been turned around for years, big recovery going on, stock market booming, unemployment at all-time lows.  I don’t believe the government’s statistics; I think bureaucrats manipulate the numbers to make the administration look good. 

 How about a more concrete number: vacant buildings in St. Paul.  856.   Economy is in a huge rebound thanks to the libs who have fixed all Bush’s errors but 856 vacant properties remain?  That’s nearly as high as during the bad years.  People generally don’t just walk away from their homes, their businesses, their investments, not without a damned good reason and in recent years that reason has tended to be “can’t afford to make the payments.”  That is not a sign of prosperity.

 When the city is littered with vacant buildings, businesses are moving out, restaurants are folding up, but the government statistics say everything is rosy, who are you going to believe: them or your lying eyes? 

Joe Doakes

There’s a place for “fake it ’til you make it”; the old Hungarian saying “the best way to become wealthy is to appear as if you already are” is one of the guiding principles of my life.

But not for “journalism”, thankewverymuch.

Interesting Times

It’s been a fairly violent year in Saint Paul.   This past weekend was worst of all; nine total shootings, with two dead:

On the upside, I haven’t noticed the metro’s anti-gun crones blaming the shooting wave on the law-abiding gun owner yet; partly, I suspect, because they’re still learning how to update blog posts, and partly because most Metro gun grabbers don’t know where Saint Paul is (outside the Griggs Building, anyway.  BTW, if you’ve ever asked yourself “why is there a Green Line stop at Fairview Avenue, it’s because the Griggs Building is the home for most of the Democrat, Union and “Social Justice” non-profits who provide most of the Green Line’s non-criminal riders).

The bad news?  It‘s still a DFL-run city:

Addressing the root causes of violence has also been important to the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, said Deanna Abbott-Foster, the executive director. Sunday’s homicide occurred in Dayton’s Bluff.

“We’re hoping not just to respond to violent incidents, like a murder, where we all rise up and say, ‘Oh no!’ and then go back to business as usual,” Abbott-Foster said. “We’re hoping to … take a more holistic approach and ask, ‘What’s happening here?’ There’s a lot of poverty, a lot of unemployment, all kinds of issues that lend themselves to violent outbreaks.”

Yeah, focus on that.  That’ll work.

Because poverty causes crime, right?   Like, as P.J. O’Rourke wrote 25 years ago, “if you took Thurgood Marshall’s bank account away, he’d wind up selling crack at the Port Authority”.

No.  A society where there is motive, opportunity, and increasingly little consequence for dumb people to try to take what isn’t theirs is the problem.

And after years of dodging that, er, bullet, Saint Paul is arriving in the 21st century in the worst possible way.

State Of The Union Depot

Two years ago, Saint Paul re-opened the Union Depot after a $240 million taxpayer-financed facelift.

Now comes news that Christos – a long-time anchor restaurant in the Depot’s lobby, since back the day when the Depot itself was the anchor, ifYouGetMyDrift,  is likely bailing.

OK, restaurants come and go – although it’s weird to think a place like Christos, that survived a couple of decades in the neighborhood before taxpayer-finance subsistence in the form of CHS Stadium and government-subsidized artist lofts finally came to Lowertown, is just now pulling up stakes and heading back to Minneapolis (although that is perhaps part of a larger series to be done, about why restaurants just can’t make it in Saint Paul, and so retreat to Minneapolis or the ‘burbs to make ends meet).

But behind that story?  The big news:  even with all the taxpayer-subsidized largesse descending on Lowertown, the Union Depot is losing $6 million dollars a year:

“It doesn’t go a week that somebody doesn’t stop me in the street and say, ‘You threw away my money,’ ” said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, who fought from the beginning for the Depot project. “How do you put a price on quality of life, mobility of community, which has a huge impact on economic situation?”

I do.  It’s in the property taxes I pay to finance Rafael Ortega’s version of “quality of life”.  It’s a very definite amount, and it takes away from my quality of life.

I digress:

If you can’t put a price, you can put a cost. Ramsey County says the Depot is bringing in $1.7 million in revenue, but costing $7.7 million to operate. That’s up from 2014, when revenues were $1.5 million and operating expenses $6 million — a $4.5 million gap.

Ortega, who is chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, and other county officials say the site was never meant to be a direct revenue generator. They note repeatedly that ridership, foot traffic and the Depot’s long-term social and economic benefits may not be realized until years — perhaps decades. And since its December 2012 opening, they have focused on attracting major carriers, and gotten them: Amtrak, Greyhound and Megabus.

They got them by squeezing out of perfectly adequate quarters elsewhere; Amtrak’s presumably long-paid-for station on Cleveland is now sitting fallow; the former Greyhound “station” on University, likewise.  Megabus?  In Minneapolis, Megabus picks up at a city bus stop by Target Center.  No need to spend hundreds of millions.

And don’t give me that “the long-term benefits won’t be realized for decades” claptrap, Mr. Ortega; that sounds a lot like “there’s trouble in River City and that starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool”.

Look, I get it.  It’s a beautiful depot.  But we warned you this would happen.

You Don’t Do Business Against The Family

A Saint Paul substitute teacher who went to the press about having had the crap beaten out of her by a seventh-grader is being blackballed by the SPPS:

On Tuesday, Egan said, she was subbing at St. Paul’s Johnson Senior High School when her employer, Teachers On Call (TOC), called. A manager told her the St. Paul Public Schools had contacted TOC to say Egan could not sub for the district again.

Candice Egan, a St. Paul substitute teacher, said a student repeatedly shoved her, including into a wall, at a St. Paul school on March 22, 2016. (Courtesy photo)
Candice Egan (Courtesy photo)
“She claimed it was because I didn’t notify Teachers On Call about what happened and that no one at Creative Arts (High School) knew what happened, and that I had gone to the media about it,” Egan said. But Egan said none of that was true.

Egan said she had told plenty of people at Creative Arts what happened, as well as Teachers On Call. And she spoke with the Pioneer Press after a reporter initiated contact with her.

“I think this is happening because I talked about it,” Egan said. “I don’t know if it’s because I filed a (police) report or not.”

The SPPS is reacting to the collapse in discipline in the schools…

…by waging a PR campaign to convince everyone that there’s no problem.

Just One

A friend of the blog writes:

When I read articles like this, I think of those kids who say to their parents, “If I just get this toy, I’ll never ask for anything anything.” Of course it’s not true and no parent believes it. So, why would we ever believe the city government when they tell us that ifvthey just take some of our money, magic will happen?

Because some people – people who believe in government solves actual problems – live in a continual state of denial. My

Thanks!

I owe someone some thanks.  And I have no easy way of reaching them.  But what the heck – we’ll try it the hard way:

Last night, I woke up to a knock on my door at 11PM.

After a quarter-century of living in the Midway, I know that there’s no such thing as a good knock on the door after dark – so I took, er, the necessary precautions, and went to the door.

A young woman identifying herself as “Shelby” told me she’d seen a car run into my daughter’s car, which was parked out on the street, and then drive off. She got the license number, called the police, left a note under my daughter’s windshield wiper…and then came and knocked on the door.

First, let me say two things; it takes guts to walk up to a stranger’s door at all, much less in the middle of the night, much less when you’re a (near as I could tell) 5’3, 120 pound woman.

Second thing?  I’m happy I live in a neighborhood where people feel they can walk up to a stranger’s door and knock in the middle of the night.

But I digress.

It was miserably cold last night, and I wasn’t in a state to let anyone in, #ifyacatchmydrift, but she basically told me everything I needed to call the police and the insurance company to get things taken care of.

To my astonishment, the cops actually found the car, and the driver – a woman from up north somewhere who was apparently lost and claimed not to have known she’d hit someone. I can find no record that charges were filed – the woman wasn’t drunk, according to the officer I talked with. I’m going to guess she was texting and didn’t see a black car on a dark street. That’s just a guess.

Thankfully, at least both parties are insured.

Anyway – I don’t know who you are, Shelby, and I hope you’ll forgive my less than stellar late-night hospitality, but I thank you for all you did last night.

And if someone out there in the Midway knows Ms. Shelby (twentysomething, African-American, probably 5’3, possibly a Hamline student), it’d make my day if you could pass on my thanks!

For Those Living In Saint Paul

The city is looking for feedback (or, possibly, “looking for feedback”) in re a new police chief.   Here’s where to give that feedback, if you live in the city.

Outgoing chief Tim Smith seemed to regard the law-abiding gun owner as a bigger nuisance than criminals – notwithstanding that the law-abiding gun owner has a crime rate of roughly zero in this state.

It’d be nice to get a pro-shooter chief – but given that the city is generally run by and for the Volvo-driving, Macalester-attending, Whole-Foods-shopping set, I’d be happy to get a chief who was knowledgeably neutral.

So if you live in St. Paul, by all means provide your feedback, for whatever good it’ll do.