Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What Is There For Kids To Do In New Albany??

This question was asked by a parent at a meeting I attended earlier this week and it occurred to me that I did not know. Apparantly no one else in the room did either for as far as I know, the lady never got an answer. Her queary was a valid one however following a presentation about street gangs and how they prey on our young people. She's looking for ways to protect her kids by finding safe ways and places to expel their pent up energy but like many of us, she doesn't know who to ask or what to ask for. I'm sure she is not alone in this quest.

This got to bugging me as I was waiting against a dock to get unloaded this morning, so I started by going thru the phone book.

I found that we have a Boys & Girls Club on Ekin Avenue that serves children ages 5 thru 18 from 9AM to 5PM Monday thru Friday. I was unable to get any more info on what this program consists of, but I left a message and was promised a return call. Their phone number is 944-4343 if anyone is interested in follow up. If you have additional info, please share!

Then when I got home, I went online to the parks department webpage and found this link: !

It seems that there are a myriad of summer activities for young people if one takes a little time to research.

If anyone else knows of other free or affordable activities, post 'em in the comments section and we'll spread the word!

This has been a public service announcement from your freindly Highwayman!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Woe be unto us all....!!

Chicken little was correct. The sky is falling, Armageddon approacheth, and nuclear holocaust is surely enroute! Of these facts there is irrefutable proof in todays edition of the CJ;

Scribner project considered a catalyst New Albany rebirth sought
By Ben Zion Hershberg

Concerning the impact that Scribner Place will have on downtown New Albany, Counciman Dan Coffey is quoted as saying "I think it will be limited" but then follows with "I could be wrong"

WHAT?? Dan the man admitting in print that he may be mistaken?? This is sure to rock the universe as we know it and will probably cause the earth to shift a few degrees on its axis!

But what am I to do?? I was long ago asked by the elders to resign my position in my home church, I don't have a fallout shelter buried in my backyard, and as sturdily built as it is, I doubt that my 80 year old home will withstand the heavens falling on it. I'm totally unprotected on all fronts!!

On the plus side I'll no longer have to worry about global warming! When life hands you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE!

I'll just spend my remaining few moments in this incarnation drinking said lemonade content in the knowledge that I was here long enough to see at least one of the Gang of Four admit a chink in their armor!

See you all on the other side!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Retraction..(of sorts)

When I started this blogsite it was for the purpose of having some fun and ascertaining whether or not people really read these things. As time went on, it became a way for me to express my views about a myriad of subjects that had been bottleted up inside in some cases for years.

It has now evolved into a vehicle in which I can not only do the above, but also help sort thru the volumes of information, misinformation, and speculations concerning our hometown issues right here in New Albany/Floyd County. The goal here being to get others involved in the conversation and hopefully the process of improving the lives of all New Albanians present and future.

This is a lofty undertaking and one that requires me to sort thru fiction to get to fact. To do that I attempt to talk directly to those involved in a given issue before posting about it. One of my failings in this process is that at the time I'm speaking with an individual, he/ she may answer the question I ask but it may or may not be the right question. Unfortunately this often does not surface until after the fact and when it does, I try, try again until I get it right!

On my previous posting (Chodo Fights On!), there were some questions raised in the comments following that I didn't answer completely/correctly at the time. These errors have since been pointed out to me and herein I'll try again.

One was, and I paraphrase, "who is geting the fat from this project?" The answer is that no one in the Chodo organization is making a personal profit from this endeavor. It is a non-profit and it is audited six ways to Sunday on a regular basis. The staff gets a salary, and the contractors get paid for their services and wares. That's it! The board members are all volunteer and receive not a penny for it. By the way, I now sit on this board and I have not seen any financial information to lead me to believe otherwise.

As to the ownership of the property, the direct heirs of the decendent signed away all rights to the Indiana Highway Commision in 1962. As I understand it at this point, NONE of the people who are involved in the lawsuit are heirs to the former owner in question. This is just their last ditch effort to prevent this project from going forward for reasons of their own. To their concern that this lady's benevolence be disregarded, I still suggest that another greenspace within the city be named in her honor. That way her memory lives on and all benefit from it.

Now concerning the State's involvement in the project. I miss spoke, plain and simple, for I had not done all of my homework. The Executive Director of Indiana Housing (a republican, by the way) has been supportive of Linden Meadows since it began. In fact, as part of National Homeownership Month, she is going to be here to spotlight Linden Meadows on June 28, 2006!

Again, the city as a whole, has nothing to loose and everything to gain from this project's completion.

So what's the beef??

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chodo Fights On!

The court ruled in favor of the Community Housing Development Organization concerning the Linden Meadows project. The plaintiffs however are not satisfied and have filed an appeal.

The original suit has delayed project about a year and cost Chodo around $140,000 in court costs. The appeals process will likely increase that figure to near $250,000 in not only additional legal fees but also increases in the costs of materials to finish the project.

Pending court action makes it more difficult and expensive for the organization to borrow funds to replace that which has already gone to pay legal proceedings.

All the while, these homes could have been finished, sold, and occupied by people who live, work, spend money, and pay taxes here in New Albany! Not to mention the matching funds from the federal government that would result from these sales to build or replenish other homes to sell to still more taxpaying citizens!

Seems like a lot of wasted time and money just for the sake of a park when you look at the dollars that could go into the city coffiures once this project is finished.

Why don't we look into dedicating another of New Albany's green spaces in the name of the deceased person who left the city this land in the first place? I doubt seriously that they would mind if they were aware of the good that could result from Linden Meadows completion.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Wanna Go Back To..........!

If I heard that particular statement once last evening, I heard it at least a half dozen times. The refrain has become commonplace at New Albany's Common Council Meetings. So much so that I am toying around with the idea of suggesting that we introduce an ordinance to amend either the Lord's Prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance to include the phrase. Such is it's importance to these proceedings.

I wanna go back and recall the mutant gene that came from my loins that caused my firstborn to enter this world with a heart defect! I wanna go back and stop my older brother from falling out of the barn loft into a concrete feed trough that resulted in his demise!

On second thought, no I don't! My son is now 27 years old and healthier than I ever was. My brother had been dead for over a decade when I was born! It no longer matters whose cow kicked over the lantern and burned Chicago to the ground. The Windy City is doing just fine thank you!

For the common council to spend hours, weeks, nay MONTHS in debate over whose administration or better yet, which individual in whose administration is responsible for a reoccurring sewage overflow in a ballpark in the west end is stupidity personified at best and outright theivery of taxpayer dollars at worst! After all, we are in the end, paying the light bill for the city county building.

A better use of time would be to corral the the city engineer, the head of the sewer department and a shovel and go down there to find out where the breech is . Then, and here is the part that no one wants to do, allocate the funds needed for the repair and stand there to see that it is done!

But we ain't got no money! Yes we do! There is something in the neighborhood of a million dollars in boat fund monies that is just laying around soaking up sunshine. But we may have an emergency and need it! We may have an ice age! We may get hit with a hurricane as it comes up from the Gulf! My kid could have died on the operating table! But he didn't. But they may abscound the money and use it elswhere! Oh, I'm sorry! I failed to explain that's why you stand there to see that the job gets done. But that ain't my job! I beg to differ. If you are an elected official of New Albany in any capacity, it is your job to serve it's citizens. That means YOU ALL, administrative and legislative alike, have oversight over IT ALL! You asked for it, you got it, now do it! But I gotta work for a livin'! Welcome to life! It's a bitch ain't it!

People, we can't go back. Neither can we stand still. We must move forward for nature abhors a vacuum. What convoluted series of events created this debacle is irrelevant. What we do to correct it is vital. Proposing solutions is a great first step but it requires follow through to accomplish the task.

This city is full of honest, hardworking people from all income and education levels that are not getting their moneys worth from their government. 2007 is an election year. Are we gonna step up to the plate, or are we gonna sit on our hands and watch the world go by?

You all have the floor.