ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹf a that ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yes, Bridgeport has come to town

This one caught my eye, a blog post from a local.

The link: We're Becoming An Inner City

The excerpt: If you’ve been reading the local papers lately before heading to work, or like some of the subjects in the stories, after getting up at noon to check the mail for their welfare checks, you’d have to ask yourself, what’s happening to the Wyoming Valley?

Even though I happily call Wilkes-Barre my home, I grew up (not really) 465 miles away from here in an idyllic Western Connecticut community not quite out of NYC’s long shadow.

And being that my mom and my step-dad separated about as often as Con Edison subjected us to rolling blackouts back in the day, even as a struggling young sprat, I could easily navigate those 465 miles like none of my childhood peers. Case in point: Thanks to the marital battles, I watched Route 84, segment by segment, being built.

As a kid living those carefree days during the 1960s, I visited Goshen, White Plains, Chester, Nyack, Suffern, Middletown, Newburgh, Port Jervis, Stewart Air Force base and points in between the Wyoming Valley and the Derby Valley. And I’m here to tell you that all of those aforementioned places were quaint, slow-paced hamlets begging out for their own Norman Rockwell paintings.

Thanks to the continuing legal after-effects of the long, bitter divorce, I made the road trip from here to there many times, but not with the same frequency as I did during the ‘60s. Basically, not much had changed. A couple of new highways and byways. But the places along the way basically looked and felt the same.

During the 1980s, I packed my kids in the back of a station wagon and set off to tour the places I had made reference to so many times over they years, the places that Wifey had never visited. While things had changed and while some landmarks were gone, these local ‘burghs still had that small town feel to them.

But during the mid to latter half of the 1990s, when I was a CDL truck driver and driving through these same areas once so familiar to me, the out-migration from New York City and New Jersey slapped me upside the head. I admit, I didn’t immediately realize at that time why these once sleepy towns such as Goshen then resembled the places I dared not walk as a parent-escorted kid visiting NYC some thirty years previous, but the reverse-gentrification was obvious, if not completely shocking.

The point is, yes, we are in fact becoming an “Inner City,” because the poorest of the folks from the big cities in the Northeastern United States have been beating it out of the big cities for decades on end.

And while I’ll not get into the changing demographics, or the racially-charged apologist politics and such, I’ll repeat this now thoroughly blurred rule of thumb…

The brown kids grow it, the black kids sell it and the white kids buy it.

The point being, when damn near everybody needs to be under the influence of legal, illegal or prescription mind-altering drugs so as to just get through another unemployed day, yep, the big city resettlement, the out-migration has clearly arrived on our doorsteps. We are an ‘Inner City.’

And it’s time to deal with that fact rather than blaming the slow-moving but now fast-arriving reverse-gentrification storm on the elected locals.

Going forward, we should be demonstrative and demanding on all things drug-interdiction. We should be outwardly and nosily protective of property values. And we should finally, finally hold our local politicians, our local chambers, our Good Old Boy network of corrupt do-nothings currently gone bed-wetters, our local congressmen and our local senators seriously, seriously accountable whereas the 50-year-long drought of new job creation is concerned.

No family-sustaining jobs in appreciable numbers? Abnormally low property values? Smallish to deleted police departments? Millions, maybe billions of local tax dollars gone the way of political corruption?

Sorry, but we were sitting ducks all along. We just didn’t know it. We were set up and sold out. The long-approaching societal storm has finally arrived, so shut up and pay your taxes!!!

Sez me.


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