Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Great Train Robbery of 2009

A group of thieves known as the "Fab5" held 138 police officers hostage for almost two weeks while absconding with improvement funds from two of Cincinnati's most distressed neighborhoods. "Progress" ring-leader Mark Mallory called this "comforting."

Ironically a train was not the robbery victim, but rather the beneficiary. Robbers had been misppropriating money to fund the hated trolley boondoggle; money which was supposed to pay police. Robbers initially threatened to terminate police, but later negotiated a partial reduction. Fab5ers have now seized money intended to construct the Avondale Pride Center, and emptied the College Hill Land Bank to makeup the difference, insisting that they are merely "borrowing it" to cover over a million dollars in salaries.

Mallory and other "Progressers" had previously insisted that funds for capital projects could NEVER be used for operating expenses. And now here they are doing exactly that. The Fraternal Order of Police has enlisted forensic accountants to untangle the Fab5's web of deceitful transactions, and vowed to bring the rogue gang to justice by denying them further sanctuary in their council hideouts.

Defiant gang members insist the trolley boondoggle remains "on track." Citizens are ready to "run them out of town on a rail," as the saying goes. But at seven miles per hour, it won't exactly make for a speedy getaway.
Trolley opponent Christopher Smitherman says, "The real goal of last week's "solution" was not to save City employee jobs, but to save the Mayor's and Councilmembers' jobs. The goal was to postpone the City layoffs until after the November 3rd, 2009 election. Once the election is over, the same workers will lose their jobs come the December holidays. The union leadership understands this strategy and will reject the current Council's mismanagement of City funds which then places more pressure on the Mayor and Council to actually get re-elected and balance the budget."
The "Fab5" band of hooligans have no regard for laws, police, or citizen rights. The only force they fear is voting. Citizens are therefore asked to help combat these thugs by Voting YES to reject the streetcar.

37 comments:

  1. Way to paint the picture as if the streetcar project went away or if your charter amendment passes that these police officers will somehow have their jobs secured and we'll have the money to pay them. If only that were true. Let's keep capital funds for city projects and not for Chris Smitherman backed public housing projects.

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  2. If the streetcar goes forward $2 million a year in operating losses will need to be pulled from the general fund, putting even more police and fire jobs at risk every single year.

    Support public safety. Vote for the anti-boondoggle charter amendment.

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  3. A city on rails is a city on its feet. Highways made citywide pre-interstate highway investments in sidewalks a wasted one, since people stopped walking and started getting fat.

    The streetcar returns population to vacant areas of the city, recovering that investment from decades ago, as well as unused roads, water, sewers, and electric infrastructure.

    More population and commerce in the city means increased revenue for the city, more than recovering the annual streetcar operations cost.

    But COAST is actually anti-revenue, as evidenced by their red light campaign. They want regular budget pinches so they have something to exploit.

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  4. Not to mention COAST stood in front of the recent Jail Tax which would've funded a whole plethora of public safety initiatives. However, COAST is against Cincinnati in all forms of progress. Ironic considering most of their members reside in the suburbs.

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  5. Anon -
    Crime rates are down County-wide inspite of the failure of the Super-Sized Simon Leis Jail Tax.

    Many pro-streetcar folks have extolled the reduced crime and safety of OTR. Which is it? Is OTR safe enough for the streetcar or not?

    Glad to see you supported yet another tax on the people of Hamilton County for more toys for Simon Leis. Si Leis told us there would be blood on the streets if his tax failed. He was wrong, and you're wrong now.

    Now you support unnecessary spending so that urban professionals can have a new toy to ride around in. Where does the tax and spending end?

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  6. heeheehee
    You some crazy mothafuckas !
    Glad you want to placate wasteful union spending !
    goofball, psycopath gooniebirds.....

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  7. COAST has attempted to make this a race issue, but they're the ones who live in all-white suburbs, not the so-called "white urban snobs". On what legs can these elitist hecklers stand? When's Smitherman going to start driving out and leading Anderson Township petition drives?


    >Which is it? Is OTR safe enough for the streetcar or not?

    You tell us -- you're the group who cites the recent #1 most dangerous neighborhood stat all the time.

    So according to you guys it's too dangerous, but then you say crime is down despite no new jail. Then you stand up for Cincinnati Police, when it took the Sheriff's patrols to get the job done in OTR.

    You stand up for Cincinnati Police in order to attack the mayor on behalf of Chris Smitherman, who thinks you're going to help get in the mayor's seat, but you'll just abandon him after you're done needing him for this year's project. You have no explanation for why it only took Si Leis & his boys a month to put an end to the nonsense that reigned in Over-the-Rhine for decades (there is of course a very obvious explanation to why a different police force was able to put the Vine St. scene on ice, but one that's all a little too scandalous to be discussed in public).

    So let's get this straight -- you guys (all four of you) are pro-suburb and anti-city, but pro-Cincinnati Police and anti the County Sheriff. You guys just need to get a new hobby, because you suck at this one.

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  8. "So let's get this straight -- you guys (all four of you)"

    Provost - How does it feel to get continually beaten by "four" guys? It must be depressing to get your butts handed to you so frequently by "four" lousy guys that you consider to be your intgellectual inferiors. HAHA

    And Quim - Way to keep it classy yet again. Not only did you continue your record of avoiding the issue at hand but you were able to slip in a bunch of insults and profanity in to boot. Congrats.

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  9. Provost,
    Hard to believe there's anything "too scandalous" for you to discuss. Doesn't sound at all like the Provost we know and love; more like a cop-out.;-)

    The explanation is both obvious and simple. Throw more cops into a crime-ridden area, and criminals begin taking their business elsewhere. It doesn't matter whether their uniforms match the other cops' or not. Policing has largely become a rote, policy-manual-driven activity. So the quantity of cops effects results much more significantly than the quality. Agencies all share the same performance standards, so only slight quality differences are even possible.

    We're not going to attract a younger, richer class of residents to OTR while national headlines proclaim it to be among "the most dangerous neighborhood[s] in America." It doesn't matter how many trolleys we put in. We have to take care of necessities like safety before worrying about luxuries like streetcars.

    And this administration has its priorities exactly backwards. Cannibalizing cops to free-up trolley dollars virtually guarantees that OTR, the streetcar, and the citizens paying for these will all lose. The remedy for crime is cops, not trolleys.

    Like you, we love our city. But parts of it are sick and suffering. We can’t just stand idly by as it wastes scarce dollars and time on some fad elixir instead of proven medicine.

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  10. "Cannibalizing cops to free-up trolley dollars virtually guarantees that OTR, the streetcar, and the citizens paying for these will all lose."

    COAST, the cutback on cops was to free up the enormous amount of uniformed officers working desk jobs to save money on the city's operating budget. The streetcar would be paid for with money out of the capital budget. The amount of cops on the street during a given beat has not changed, just the amount of cops employed.

    "The remedy for crime is cops, not trolleys."

    No one is proposing trolley's, they're proposing a modern streetcar. The trolley is not merely a remedy for crime, it would serve as a catalyst for urban and economic development and redevelopment. Improve the area, our police and public safety resources can then be applied elsewhere to help fight crime in other parts of the city as we gain a more attractive, vibrant and livable downtown/uptown.

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  11. COAST:
    We're not going to attract a younger, richer class of residents to OTR while national headlines proclaim it to be among "the most dangerous neighborhood[s] in America." It doesn't matter how many trolleys we put in. We have to take care of necessities like safety before worrying about luxuries like streetcars

    YOU ARE WRONG! I am a young person and I bought property in OTR two doors down from a crack dealer because of the plans of the streetcar. We are rehabbing it, blood, sweat, and tears.

    You guys don't get it, you won't get it, and shouldn't pretend to get it. Just stay in your suburbs and let us reclaim your city for you. Let us do the heavy lifting for you, I would just appreciate if you would just try paying for your own suburban endless asphalt nightmare. Thanks.

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  12. Here's the biggest 'Robbery' of the last decade:

    the Iraq War.

    Where is Wenstrup or any of you guys marching in the street, teabagging your hearts out about the 3 trillion (that's trillion, not billion) cost to the taxpayer that was unsubstantiated and based on trumped up ideology?

    Not even the slightest discontent with the debt that has strapped us with. Not a single mention of activism on your blog about stopping that perpetually sucking deficit problem that every expert says is going to end in Civil War regardless of how long we placate it.

    Once again, you guys are great at shooting down mole hills that actually improve the quality of life in this country, while your mortgaging our children's future with mountains of military adventurism debt.

    Why not drop all the baloney on this blog and get active in stopping the Wars? Believe me, you can keep way more of your hard earned cash if you just end those. You already owe $6,800 for the wars and it is going up every day. You want to stop .5 cent levies for schools? You must be joking. They are taking truckloads of your money out the back door and handing over to Halliburton.

    Teabag something important.

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  13. HAHA - You streetcar fruits are showing your true liberal colors. The Iraq War? Really? When all other arguments fail go back and blame George W. Bush. That is so tired.

    Anonymnous - If you don't like the Iraq War, then go out and protest. I don't see you in the streets marching agsinst it. Why not? Where are you? Put your money where your mouth is or keep it shut.

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  14. CAAST -
    You are wrong. These are NOT desk jobs. Cincinnati will be getting rid of the Vortex and cold crimes unit. These are the people that keep our most dangerous neighborhoods. Safe. Don't lie and say that all we are losing are desk cops. Nobody will ride the trolley if they don't feel safe, meaning the operating loss will be even more than the $2 million per year that is projected, meaning Cincinnati will have to pull even more money from the general fund, meaning even less cops on the street, and this situation will spiral down fast.

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  15. Bris, the amount of patrols and officers on beat won't change. Meaning the same police coverage and some amount of watch will be on the streets, just a reduction in the number of cops employed. Stop trying to paint the picture as if somehow the propsed streetcar project disappears these cops will magically get their jobs back, they wont streetcar or not.

    The Iraq War argument is null. Completely unrelated, especially when COAST is talking about a current local issue.

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  16. Bris, the amount of patrols and officers on beat won't change. Meaning the same police coverage and some amount of watch will be on the streets, just a reduction in the number of cops employed. Stop trying to paint the picture as if somehow the propsed streetcar project disappears these cops will magically get their jobs back, they wont streetcar or not.

    The Iraq War argument is null. Completely unrelated, especially when COAST is talking about a current local issue.

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  17. So, since upwards of 1,000 people run through a gauntlet of gunfire to patronize Findlay Market every Saturday, how many people does COAST estimate will come to Findlay Market if the dozen or so annoying characters who pass through the market area each day are thrown in cages? Oh wait, they can't cage them because COAST worked to stop the jail. Oh wait, more people couldn't actually come to the market if they wanted to because there's not enough parking. We could of course tear down the surrounding buildings for more parking lots, or dig a garage under the current lot, but that would cost money -- money COAST thinks could be spent on police, when it actually can't. It can't and they know it can't, but they say it anyway, because their whole campaign has been dirty from the beginning.

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  18. Provost,
    What do you mean it can't? Haven't you been paying attention? The Foolish5 just spent a million building & land bank bucks (capital money) on police salaries (operating expense). That proves it can be done if city leaders are in enough pain. We're being lied to AGAIN!

    As for the jail, all we did was say no to a new jail. Nobody touched any existing jails or the funding for them. Si closed our old jail to punish voters for denying him his edifice. Commissioners agreed because they'd rather spend elsewhere. The millions dumped into The Banks just this year would have easily covered all jail expenses. Weren't the developers supposed to be paying for that?

    I go to Findlay Market almost every week, and I never have trouble parking.

    Face it. Democrat politicians are the only ones willing to sell out the city's safety for a trolley. Except Mallory; he'll hang on to his personal cop.

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  19. CAAST -
    You didn't address my point. The police say they will have to do away with the Vortex Unit and the Cold Crimes Unit. Try telling the at-risk neighborhoods in the City that have been helped immensely by the Vortex Unit that there neighborhoods will be just as safe without them. If you or your family were a victim of crime would you rather have a Cold Case unit working to bring the perpetrator to justice? I sure would.

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  20. Bris, again, streetcar or not, these cops would still be laid off and these units still be done away with. I don't agree with I, but the streetcar project is not the one to blame. Nice try though, its a creative scare tactic.

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  21. In the link provided I read an article about the police unions accepting furloughs and making concessions to avoid layoffs, where is there a link proving that capital dollars were moved to the operating budget to pay these officers?

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  22. CAAST -
    You're right that these officers would be getting laid off with or without the streetcar. No doubt. The problem is that with the projected streetcar operating losses people are rightly afraid that Vortex and cold crimes won't be the end of it.

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  23. Anon 9:17,
    Link is here. It's been linked in the post too.

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  24. "I am a young person and I bought property in OTR two doors down from a crack dealer because of the plans of the streetcar."

    And I'm the Queen of England.

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  25. Right, the hundreds of people at the OTR tour of living this past sunday were all actors paid by The Vast Streetcar Conspiracy.

    Remember when Marge Schott bought a few dozen Buick's and had them parked on her lawn so that her dealership made a sales quota? I heard Chris Bortz personally owns 45 3CDC condos.

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  26. From what I've read, Fund 683, the "Anthem Demutualization Fund" were set aside as unrestricted funds, and thus could be used in either the capital or operating budgets if need be. Other capital funds, such as the Blue Ash airport sale, legally, must be kept as capital funds.

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  27. I bring up the Iraq war because you bunch of tired, lame post-Republican tea-baggers were absent for the last eight years when the Republicans were stealing cash left and right and giving hand outs to their cronies. Where were you? I was out protesting the war along with 10 million other people worldwide. I guess Fox News never showed that. They only show when 70,000 people recently went to DC to invoke 9/11 with the 9/12 project and gave erroneous claims of up to 2 million people. I invoke the war because you tax protesters won't even raise an eyebrow at a 3 trillion dollar price tag and sending our young boys to die, but you get all stirred up in your dander when we want to do civic projects that don't include roads, military bases, and oil company subsidies.

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  28. COAST, you are a complete idiot.

    The money was BORROWED, with the permission of Avondale and College Hill from funds slated for their community projects. Avondale and College Hill still retain rights to this money, and ostensibly stand to receive payback with interest as a result of this transaction.

    The money did not move from capital to operating budgets, it was loaned from one grantee back to the city for operating expenses. Translation: College Hill Land Bank and Avondale Pride Center now hold IOU's from the city which contain whatever terms that were agreed upon.

    You would know this if you were not completely incompetent in the matters of budgeting OR sixth-grade mathematics. However, were you at all competent in either of those areas, you would not be COAST.

    Yet another reason why you guys don't deserve to be listened to on your primary platform.

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  29. Coleman and Anon once again feed into the standard progressor response. When all else fails, throw around insults and call people names. Thanks for keeping it classy guys

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  30. If facts are the "standard progressor response", then I guess you've nailed me, Anonymous.

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  31. "I was out protesting the war along with 10 million other people worldwide."


    How did that work out for you? Did you stop the war from happening? Did the new President end the war? No, and No.

    To borrow a favorite hippie mantra - Think globally, act locally. That is what COAST is doing. Protesting on things that they can actually make a difference on.

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  32. Of course none of that has anything to do whether or not the Streetcar is worthwhile or not. Please stay on point. If you want to bitch about the War in Iraq go to Code Pink's blog. I'm sure there are plenty of people there who will find your tea-bagger comments incredibly insightful.

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  33. Bris,
    I would rather you use your brain than just "acting locally". You're right, the 10 million people who protested the war didn't do anything because the elected officials have the authority to make decisions and they got voted out of office. Why don't you extend the same courtesy to your elected officials in office now? Thanks for trying to throw our city into the rubbish heap of California ballot initiatives.

    If you could actually connect the dots of concepts that require abstract thinking you might be able to write beyond the rote comments you keep posting on here. It's indicative of why our country is trying to get back to the 50s rather than addressing the issues in the next millennium.

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  34. To her Royal Highness:

    Come visit me in the OTR and you can throw your crown in the trash.

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  35. I BOUGHT PROPERTY IN OVER THE RHINE AND I BOUGHT IT BECAUSE OF THE PROPOSED STREETCAR. I PAY TAXES ON THE PROPERTY. YEAH, WHAT A BOONDOGGLE.....

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We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.