Local Issues (Revised!)


Nick, the editor of the Hampton Chronicle, found a glaring math problem in The Alternative so here is the revised version. I’m forever indebted to Nick for making me look like less of a fool (and Dawn too, who does it every day).

So I read the local paper and these glowing oddities jumped out and tried to choke me. I think, “really, people read this and accept it as just way it is.” Oh man.I could be a real happy man. I must have a bug like thumbinthedikeism. So I go on complaining in hopes that each individual who recognizes the waste in their world will understand that it is the same for everybody; that we are a group of our own. A group of victims. Eeeek! We are one of them.


Notes on the Local News

Every once in awhile the Chronicle has a couple of doozies. We are all busy, so oftentimes we can read a truly amazing news story and not think much more about it.

Last week there was a story about the Hampton Public Library and another story about a Mexican in an alley with a .22 caliber pistol. Both stories deserve further thought.

The bowing wall at the library is certainly tragic. Each Carnegie library is a testament to how creative minds and economic freedom enrich our world. Andrew Carnegie’s wealth didn’t just trickle down, it rained. There are 3,500 Carnegie libraries throughout the world.

With last summer’s graffiti incidents, I’ve got to mimic my punster brother-in-law and say the handwriting is on the wall. Maybe it is the frugal genes from my mom, maybe just a holdover from our farming beginnings in the 1980’s agricultural depression. But when I see that the library board already has $226,000 earmarked for an unnecessary improved parking lot and new courtyard, the discovery of the collapsing wall should inspire a new look at priorities. It would only take an additional $1,000 to restore the library.

I’ve never seen a lack of space to sit in the library. I could see how in nice weather, a space for kids to be read to or discuss books would be handy. But what about Bandshell Park across the street for that? It is already there and I’ve never seen it too crowded. A walk over there or from a parking spot would do a little bit in the fight against the obesity epidemic and it’s good for the soul. Crossing a street or alley is something we all have to do someday. It is a dangerous world and I can’t think of a better place to begin to learn how to navigate it than a town like Hampton.

I heard the mayor on the radio this morning talking about the library projects as a responsibility of the city that could compete with street repair. Let’s not forget that the library was built with private money earned through an individual’s ambition. It would further honor the memory of Andrew Carnegie to stay true to that vision and fund additions to the library with private donations. The paved parking lot and courtyard are not necessary infrastructure like the streets, but the wall is.

The story of the Mexican in the alley is as good an example of our bizarre legal system as any. A citizen of Mexico, here illegally, is imprisoned for a year because it is illegal for an illegal immigrant to possess a firearm. Instead of deporting the man we pay his room and board for a year, then three years of babysitting called supervised release? It sounds to me like he is a dangerous individual that hasn’t gone through the right channels to live in the U.S. His first crime was being here. The gun crime got him caught.

We paid a federal prosecutor, the city police, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement Removal Operations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to get this guy a room for a year. And prison cells are not cheap.

Just think of the savings if two officers drove the man to the border and then came home to protect and serve here.

I had a reader say recently that he likes my articles but people don’t care. I think they don’t care because the out of pocket costs of these individual events don’t amount to a hill of beans on their own. We don’t see the impact as being able to afford burgers instead of steaks on the grill, but that’s what it is.

Speaking of exercise and burgers, walk on over to Korner Bakery for the buns that make a burger better. Shopping locally should be about better products, not charity for local business.


One response to “Local Issues (Revised!)

  1. That seems exceptionally excessive for a courtyard. I’m all for a flat area with some tables, but are we building the Taj Mahal for $226k? Honestly. Save the library with the $91K and call it a day, people.

    Agreed on the Mexican case. I’m not at all in the, “build a wall” camp, and agree whole-heartedly on immigration reform to get people here legally who want to be good citizens, but if you have an illegal firearm or other serious offense, out you go.

    “Shopping locally should be about better products, not charity for local business.”

    I love the above sentence; I get highly annoyed at folk who tout shopping locally for the mere case of shopping locally. Why do I have to shop local and get crap, or shop local and pay excessively more, just for the sake of “shopping locally”? That never resonated with me. Give me a *reason* to shop local and I will. Quality, service, smiles, value….whatever it is. Asking me to shop local because it’s local doesn’t fly.

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