Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Street Cleaners Came Down My Lane Today

My back lane is clean. I mean, it has been swept clean. The street cleaners came by and swept the back lane. I do not know how many back lanes in the North End got this treatment, but my lane is squeaky clean.
Thats all I have to say on the matter right now. Sorry, no words today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do We Really Need A Native-Run Police Force?

I read an article yesterday, on the CBC website Manitoba chief calls for native-run police force. Interesting concept, I thought. The article mentions that there are too few RCMP in Northern Manitoba. It also mentions that even when the Northern Reserves contact the RCMP regarding alcohol and drugs coming onto their dry reserves, the RCMP act too slowly to take care of the problems. They make mention of the long process in getting the RCMP involved, and the long list of checks the RCMP go through in doing their jobs. Privacy concerns were also mentioned as a reason RCMP are not able to act on these issues. So the Chiefs say the fix for these issues is to make a native-run police force.
I am not too sure that setting up a native-run police force is really the answer to this issue. My thinking is that it would just cost a lot of money, and nothing would be accomplished except setting up another police force. This new Native-run police force would still have to go through all the same checks and balances, and follow all the same processes and procedures as the RCMP, and end up in the same place. Nothing would change. Except they would have to do all the administration of the new police force to boot.
And I was thinking those Northern Reserves are not so different from Winnipeg's North End. We have all those gang houses, and drug houses. We have all those guns, grow ops, and dealers. And we have all those intoxicated individuals and domestic disputes. The City Police are busy going through their long check lists, and following all their processes, before they can act on anything. I do not think the answer to the problems in the North End of Winnipeg is getting a Native-run police force. I think the answer is looking into the laws, procedure, and processes in place that are slowing the work of the existing police forces.
Maybe the Manitoba Government could get some help from the Aboriginal Leaders who are concerned about the crimes being committed on their Reserves and involving their people. Maybe those who are willing to jump on the Native-run police force bandwagon could help in adjusting the laws so the RCMP and City Police are able to do their jobs.
I mean, I am no rocket surgeon, but maybe that would be a good first step. Fix the broken system of checks and balances, privacy laws, and police procedures that are handcuffing the RCMP and City Police, preventing them from doing their jobs. And stop pulling the race card at every turn. We all want the same things here, less crime and more safety.
It doesn't matter where we were born or what color our skin is. We all want safer communities. Don't we?

Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP Jack Layton

I heard a comedian a few months ago. One of his lines was that when Canadians get angry, they write letters. It was funny when he said it. My delivery is somewhat lacking. But, we write letters. When we get really ticked off, we write letters.
And Jack Layton was no different. To the end, he fought for what he believed in. He spoke his mind. And in the end, he wrote a letter.
He wrote a letter just two days prior to his death. It ended with this message:
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.
Words to live by, I think.
No matter what your politics, I am sure you would agree that Jack Layton was a good guy and will be sadly missed.
In memory of Jack Layton, lets keep optimistic, share hope and love, and lets change the world.

One Year Anniversary Of "A Day In The Hood"

It was on this day last year that I starting writing "A Day In The Hood". Wow, has it been that long? Or Wow, I can't believe it has only been one year. So much has happened. And so much has been documented.
But what, if anything has really changed for the better?
I would have to say my writing has improved.
Here it is .... the post that started it all. In memory of that day, the day I got so mad, I started a blog.

A day in the hood in Winnipeg

I looked out my door on August 21 as I was getting ready to go out for the day. To the right of me, at the end of street was a police car. It was blocking traffic from going down the side street. Behind the police car was the swat team truck, and there was an ambulance sitting on the street as well.
Wasn't it just yesterday when there was an ambulance and two police cars on our street? It was to the left yesterday, so it was not the same issue. And it was yesterday when a guy in a half ton truck stopped at our dumpster to deposit his garbage. Apparently he feels it is his right to use our residential dumpster to deposit his door and metal construction scrap. He even told us to clean up our back lane and be happy that he is putting garbage in our dumpster.
Oh ya, and the day before that we had another guy come to the dumpster to drop off his construction material. He said he does have a dump truck, but the Brady Landfil charges him to dump garbage so he prefers to use the dumpsters in the north end.
The night before that our neighbours decided to bring their loud swearing, and screaming into their backyard. They started partying at about 2pm, but took the party inside while it rained. I guess the rain stopped by 4am, because that was when I woke up. I did call the police about the noise after a full half hour of screaming being heard, even after I closed the window. But the police are too busy with more violent activities to respond to a neighbourhood who cannot sleep.
If it was the only night we were without sleep, I would not be so upset. But it seems that every night that it is nice, either the rooming house / crack house or the duplex beside it is partying.
Well, I am mad and I am not going to take it anymore.
What I just mentioned was a small picture of my neighbourhood.
I am going to start writing about the activities in my neighbourhood. I don't know if it will do anything, or promote any kind of change, but it will allow me to get it off my chest.
In my wildest dreams maybe it will assist in some small way to help change the laws that allow the many issues to continue. Maybe we can have the "catch and release" of criminals changed to catch and discipline.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feral Cats Attacking Dogs

We have cats on our block. I am not talking about those Cougars found in Transcona. I am talking about kitty cats. But they are not your ordinary kitty cats. These are animals that are running loose in the streets and alleys. I can't tell you how many different cats go through my yard on a daily basis, but there are a number of them. Some are missing ears, one was seen looking really beat up, with no hair left on it's tail. These are not ordinary house cats. They are not pets. They don't let you get too close to them.
And we have neighbours that care about the stray cats. They feed them, and they don't want the cats trapped. For some reason, these feral stray cats are considered to be treasured kitty cats that need to be taken care of.
But, I am not sure that is the right way of viewing the feral cats.
In the last three weeks, I have heard  of three separate neighbours recount stories of feral cats attacking their dogs. One neighbour spent over $400 at the vet stitching a gash closed in the side of her poor pet dog. Another neighbour had her dog traumatized by the attack, while she took her leashed dogs for a walk. The third dog I heard about second hand, and don't have a lot of detail on.
The way I see it, we should be taking care of the pets we own. You know the kind. The ones you can approach without loosing an eye. The ones you take inside, or keep in a fenced yard or on a leash. We should not be feeding feral, dangerous stray animals. And we should not view these feral animals as cute little pets that need to be saved.
For those who don't want to hear it, close your ears or stop reading now.
It is time we got these feral animals under control.
Next time it might be your kids that are attacked by these animals, or it just might be YOUR dog that gets its side ripped open by the feral animals you are feeding.
I am sorry to be so harsh about this, but it just ticks me off when I keep hearing about yet another dog getting attacked by a feral cat.
Or at least that's the way I see it, as I chase feral cats from my yard, in the North End of Winnipeg.