28 March 2009

Today was such a beautiful day--warm and sunny with so many flowers in bloom. I spent my Saturday afternoon at Washington Park with a group from Shiloh Seven-Day Adventist church feeding the homeless that hang in the park.

Everyone there isn't homeless because of misfortune, of course. You can look at the folks who can't help but to shake because of their alcoholism or you can see the gaunt features of the crack addicts who have yellowish burns on their thumb and index finger from the crack pipes they use. Either way these are people who need our help. Neglecting them because one doesn't want to admit that there's an issue isn't the way to go because it never works.

The city of Cincinnati seems to be good at doing that. For the longest time Washington Park and Over-the-Rhine were places "designated" for the poor, the addicted, the uneducated. Now that the city wants to turn the area round Washington Park into an arts district officials are jumping to fix things. Washington Park School, the neighborhood school, was torn down to create parking for Music Hall. A block up the new building for The School for Creative and Performing Arts is in the middle of being constructed. You have to audition to go there. That leaves the only neighborhood school 10+ blocks up from where Washington Park School was. Vine Street School is overcrowded and in need of renovation. The other neighborhood school, Rothenburg, was supposed to be renovated seven years ago but the Cincinnati Public School system proclaims that it doesn't have enough money to fix it. This school system is spending 72 million to build another SCPA but they don't seem care that the children of Over-the-Rhine are left hanging.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory wants federal money to build a trolleycar system. That wouldn't be such a bad idea if there weren't other pressing issues that need funding--schools, the Banks project, putting more cops and first responders on the streets, rehabbing Over-the-Rhine...

No comments: