Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Back Lane Patrol Dec 8, Snow And All

I went for a walk this afternoon down my back lane. I have been walking down the lane at least once a week since the winter snow fell, and have periodically found bulky items hiding under the snow. I guess winter is not stopping people from cleaning out their houses and leaving the remains in the back lanes of the North End. Last week I let 311 know there were some mattresses behind one of the dumpsters in my lane, and today I see that it has been taken away.
My back lane was clear of any excess bulk garbage today, but in the lane down the street from me there were two dumpsters with a mattress each, and one dumpster having a sofa chair beside it. The next street over had two dumpsters with wooden furniture or dressers beside them. All bulk items have been reported to 311 and should be picked up sometime within the next week or so.

I will be going to my second meeting at City Hall tomorrow, for the Stakeholders Advisory Committee to the Garbage Master Plan. At the meeting I will be recommending these bulk items to be picked up on a weekly basis, by a regularly scheduled garbage truck.  There is enough garbage being deposited into the North End that the current system of reporting single items for pickup is far too time intensive and expensive for us to continue with. Until this illegal dumping gets under control, the garbage must be picked up. At the Stakeholders Advisory Committee meetings I have learned two important things so far. First, they are very much aware that illegal dumping is a huge problem. And second, the picking up of garbage in cities is done because garbage is a health concern. This bulk garbage must be picked up in a timely manor because the city is supposed to be taking care of it for health reasons, at the very least.
Now, as far as the illegal dumping of garbage goes, everyone in the North End knows there are bulk items being dumped in our back lanes. We all know they appear mysteriously in the night and are often coming from outside the area.
Although it is against the law to illegally dump these items in the back lanes of the North End, nobody is ever prosecuted. At this point you are wondering why I should care so much about all this garbage being deposited outside my yard, in the dumpsters behind my house, in my lane, and in the North End in general?  Why should I keep writing about garbage, and why should I get so upset that I go to the extent of attending meetings at City Hall?
Well, I will tell you why. I care because the people who are doing the dumping are making a statement. They are saying the North End is not worth caring about. They are saying they have no respect for the North End and feel there is nothing wrong with tossing their garbage in our lanes. They are saying the North End is nothing but a garbage dump. And they are beating us down with the trash they are depositing on us.
City Hall is allowing these actions to take place. They are turning a blind eye to the illegal dumpers and ignoring any hints that the Community By-Laws Offices are not doing their jobs. City Hall is saying to the North End "We don't care about you". They are saying the North End is not worth fighting for and not worth upholding the laws for. And City Hall is saying the North End is, was, and always will be a garbage dump.
It's amazing how City Hall can say on one hand how concerned they are about Crime in the North End, and hail the new helicopter as a great resource in the fight against Crime, and on the other hand do nothing about the criminals dumping their garbage in the area, creating a huge culture of disrespect for the children of the North End to grow up in.
My little issue of garbage is the tip of the iceburg in building respect and raising children that care about themselves, their property, and their community. It's far more than one guy driving a truck into the North End and throwing a pile of construction material into a dumpster. Car theives and shotgun weilding gangsters don't just wake up one day and say they are going to be criminals. They are moulded into that life by their experiences and their environment.
Help me help the city become a better place. Lobby City Hall to start enforcing the By-Laws and lets get this illegal dumping under control.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winnipeg's New Bat Copter Unveiled

Am I the only one who feels I am in Gotham City, with the great unveiling of the new Bat-Copter at the airport?

I just received the latest Winnipeg Police Services News Release. In it, Selinger is committed to "public safety and crime prevention initiatives". Katz has given the WPS the "tools necessary to reduce crime in our city" believing the helicopter will keep the citizens of Gotham City, I mean Winnipeg safe. And Police Chief McCaskill says it's "an exciting day for the Service", believing the copter will "improve the safety of the community".

I am feeling safer already .... No I'm not!!! What I am feeling, is that there will be a new noise in the North End keeping me up at night. Not only do we have dogs, all night parties, sirens, cars without mufflers, but now we are going to have the noise of a helicopter overhead. Somehow, I don't think the helicopter is going to make our City and our Streets safer. It does not run day and night, it only goes in the air when needed. And how long does it take to wake up the pilot, get him to the airport, get the copter running and in the air, and going to the area of interest. By the time the helicopter gets to the crime scene, there is nobody in sight except the police, who have already been scouring the area, and the canine unit with a dead scent.
I don't think we are spending our money wisely on this one. I think we could have done far more good with the funds going into social programs, or more Police and Cadets on the streets, or more 911 operators.
But, what's done is done. We have a new helicopter that will patrol the City from the air. It will shine it's light down on us in search of criminals. And the City will be given that false sense of security that it needs.
I wonder how they will notify the helicopter to take to the air. Maybe "Help, someone just stole my purse ... turn on the Bat Signal".
Crime will continue as it did yesterday, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.