The Alternative, by Fritz Groszkruger
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.
I could easily see the community rise up in support of the $91,000 rebuilding of the curved wall. But then I got to the end of the story and it really felt like the end of the story to me. The courtyard and parking lot project will go on as planned. First of all, there already is a parking lot. It has good rock and doesn't need paving.
The courtyard idea seems extravagant to me. 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 distant parking spot would do a little bit in the fight against obesity 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. If the $226,000 courtyard and parking lot ideas were scraped and the wall rebuilt for $91,000, the question would then be, what to do with the remaining $135,000.
If enough people like the library board's idea, that's fine. The voluntary nature of the funding is inspiring to me. But when government grants are sought or other taxpayer funding, you lose me.
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.
Don't forget to visit the blog: www.alternativebyfritz.com, although spring work might make for some slim pickens on occasion.