If you want change here, start at the top
Regarding your recent Editor's Note, "The Savannah Tax: Why do you pay it?":
You can't be that young. Granted, it can take some folks years to finally throw in the towel.
My father lived here since 1928 and didn't move to Sylvania until 1989. My brother moved to Richmond Hill in 1984. My best friend moved to Clyo 5 years ago. I'm the last of the holdouts in my family.
Jim, you seem to have a good understanding of"the crap we have to put up with to live here" and what defines it but I'm not sure you fully understand the why and the how behind it.
All of these things you say are true to be sure. Hell I've been screaming about it for years. I have a file cabinet full of articles that chronicle the comedy of errors that we know better as the Sav. BOE. And arts? I've practically given up on music because it seems kind of pointless to try and sell 45 years of performing experience to an audience that thinks that beating a 5 gallon paint bucket with a stick is music.
And people wonder why the big ticket shows pass us by year after year. I remember a time when I didn't have to drive 4 hours to see Eric Clapton or Steve Winwood or Fleetwood Mac. Keb Mo would be nice. Ben Harper.
Crime is another one.They say you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. The only way to fix this is to throw out the whole carton.
I've been told that Savannah attracts people from other cities because it's easy to get on welfare. I would like to see the violent crime stats that show what percent of them that commit violent crimes moved in from another city. If we knew, there would be all kinds of charges of racial targetting and discrimination. So that won't happen.
But, if it is a significant factor then it should be addressed. But it won't be. The libs would never stand for it.
And while you think about that, think about this.
Every time another quality Savannah family makes an exodus out of town, how many would be criminals move in to take their place? People that stand for family values won't put up with places like Savannah. They move.
Savannah had a great opportunity to do something for its youth. We could have put something on Hutchinson Island. Maybe a water park or theme park of some sort. Even a band shell or concert venue. It could have been a place where these kids could work and have some fun along with a little direction.
But what did we get instead? A defunct raceway and another golf course. We did get something we could really use. A shiny new jail.I guess they figured it was cheaper than actually addressing the problem.
Now, you opened this can of worms Jim, so do something about it. How about a series to expose the root causes as well as the reason for the obvious foot dragging about fixing this mess.
What you have done is, you stirred the pot so the shit floated to the top and guess what? It doesn't pass the smell test does it?
Why is it that the same person that tried to shut down Locos, fought to keep Frozen Paradise open?
If you had any idea how many of these people are part of the problem, then rendering a solution would be easy. If I had pictures of every drunk city official that I had to try to take the car keys from in my life, I'd be #1 on somebody's hit list.
If you really want to get to the bottom of this, start at the top.
Perspective on Savannah
A first for me, I never write to editors. But after a conversation last night with a friend of a friend, who is considering a move here from NYC (as I did 4 years ago), your note struck a chord.
Yes, all the negatives you list are true. But having lived many years in two major world cities, and never before in a smaller city, I can tell you that you would be hard pressed to name a place that does not have problems- the ones you list and then some.
When I first came down here I worried about lack of certain things I took for granted- namely the arts, great restaurants, specialty shops. But now I think, well if I saw something fantastic at BAM chances are I was sitting in that audience with hundreds of pretentious wankers and then it took me an hour and much aggravation to get home.
I did luck out to work for such an amazing arts institution here, the Savannah Music Festival. And it bothers me that more of our citizens do not take advantage of the first class concerts we present. I am thrilled we are being discovered by folks from outside the city!
I guess what I am saying is, it's not where you live but what you make of it and how you perceive it. For years me and my friends used to complain about NY- the subways, the prices of real estate, the crime. the general hassle of just about everything you do.
When I finally woke up and said, okay, I am leaving- most of my friends thought I was nuts and whispered that I would be back. I have no intention of ever going back there to live and still take pleasure in how easy my life has become and how fantastic it is to have a garden.
Moderates leaving GOP
Arlen Specter leaving the Republican Party demonstrates the vacuum of ideas, not just Republican ideas, but the complete absence of well-thought-out alternative to Obama's plans. Somebody needs to sit down with the Democrats and discuss the ramifications the huge deficit we are leaving our children.
Yes, sit down with them, but leave out the name-calling, the questioning of Obama's patriotism, the character assassination, the potty-mouth, and the insistence that the only response to any Democratic suggestion is "No."
I am a fan of Obama, and a lifelong Democrat, but I recognize the danger of one-party rule, and today, the only party opposed to the Democrats is dominated by people who use terms like "baby-killer" to define their opponents. Republican leaders insist on describing Democrats in the worst of all possible terms, ascribing to them the lowest motives and morals. This one-note symphony is all you hear.
After the Specter announcement, Republican leaders clearly resisted any self-analysis, and simply hurled insults: "Take McCain and his daughter with you," and "We're better off without him." Republican ex-senator Rick Santorum couldn't resist getting graphically profane, and before the day's end, another Republican representative claimed that Democrats are responsible for Swine Flu.
Yes, Repubs just can't lay off the name-calling. They call Obama a "socialist," even though he's presiding over the largest corporate giveaway in US history, with very few strings attached.
That's sad, because on this one point, the far left and right actually agree: The administration is too chummy with Wall Street and the banks. The thinkers of both sides of the isle agree that the Administration's solution to our economic woes is too bank-centric.
Now, in countries with a parliamentary system, what we'd be witnessing right now is a strategic alliance between the left and right, designed to reign in the Administration's love affair with Wall Street. But for that to happen, the Republicans must put forth ideas, not just repeat the "lower taxes" mantra endlessly. Will they change?
No, because the people running the party believe their future lies in a firmer anti-gay and anti-abortion and anti-tax stand, rather than invite new thinking. In the coming days, look for more big-name Republican defections, followed by more glee from Steele and Limbaugh as the moderates flee in droves.