Thursday, July 24, 2008

All American City?

Good afternoon. The sky is clearing, at least for a while,

If you don't care about New Haven, or what is going on in this city, read on anyway. I learned by working in Westchester County, N.Y., where people think the world ends at the border of their cities or towns or villages or hamlets, the problems that trouble one community are not that different from the woes that beset another.

The names may change, but the music and lyrics are often the same.

In reading the New Haven Independent today (, I learned that New Haven had again been named an all-American city (you shouldn't say all-America--that is trademarked, I think, by the NCAA). There was a party at City Hall for that and another for the first anniversary of the city's novel identification card.

I wasn't invited, despite the fact that I'm about to lay many thousands of dollars on the city to pay my real estate and car taxes.

The Independent story said the card helps all people who live in the city get into the library, city parks and open up bank accounts. It is especially aimed at illegal aliens because they are not able to open up bank accounts. For this reason, the card proponents say, they are targets for thieves because they are forced to carry large amounts of cash around.

The Independent, which has made no claim to being an objective observer in this matter, said the city has gotten grants to fund the card program, although a commenter said there was about $75,000 not covered by the grant and wondered at where the money was coming from, since the city said no public money was going to be used to fund the card program.

I need to ask a few questions. I have tried to get answers to these questions but not to my satisfaction.

First, which bank has allowed the illegals to open accounts with just the city's identification card. An officer at a local branch of an international bank said his bank wanted nothing to do with the cards because they were not official state-issued IDs, such as those you get from the Motor Vehicle Bureau. You know you can get an official state ID even if you don't drive, don't you?

Stories have said a regional bank will open accounts for people who show up with the card and a passport. I wonder how many illegals have passports. A source at a large regional bank said the Connecticut Bankers Association has agreed not to agree on a stand on the cards. That was a couple of months ago, but I don't think that has changed.

I'm talking about banks that already exist, not one that has been organizing for what seems to be a long time.

As far as city parks are concerned, I think anyone can walk into any city park. Ditto for the library...the only think they asked me for when I got my library card was an envelope with my address on it or a utility bill. As far as paying for parking is concerned, if you have a car to park, you must have a license to drive it. If you have such a license, you can open a checking account, right? If you don't have a license, what are you doing driving around? Yes, there are illegals driving without licenses.

The guy who police say hit Jerry Gross' car outside Gross' Forest Road home a few months ago didn't have a license, according to a lawyer close to the case. Gross died of his injuries a few days later.

The driver, an illegal alien, also was driving without insurance, according to the lawyer.

So, there are a lot of claims about the card but not, I fear, much proof that it does anything but bring accolades to the city and its mayor. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Unlike the nutcases who demonstrate in front of city hall against the illegals, I think anyone who is willing to work hard to build a future for himself and his family should be welcome here. Such a person doesn't cost money to the body politic, he or she contributes it. They pay taxes. They are a model for their community.

Those who come here and say, "feed me, clothe me, house me" should be shown the door. But those who work hard and try to make their way in the world get the welcome mat from me.

Like Paul Bass, the Independent editor, I guess I'm not an objective observer either.

Page 2

I haven't show my friend Al the story about the smash-and-grab for a GPS unit yet, but I know what he'd say. He'd say the guy should have hidden his GPS better.

Al told me about this guy who attached his GPS unit to his windshield with the suction cup they all seem to come with. The guy then hid the GPS, but it did him no good. Somebody broke in and stole the unit. These things go for hundreds of dollars, so they are on top of the crooks' hit parade.

They can be sold for nearly as much as a catalytic converter and are a lot less work to steal.

What happened, says Al, was the guy pulled the GPS off his windshield, but neglected to clean off the ring it left on the windshield. So, as Al says, it's like putting up a sign saying "GPS on board".

Al's right. If you must attach the unit to your windshield, clean the glass so there will be no telltale GPS ring. I was going to say something about ring around the collar, but most of you out there are too young to know the reference.

Page 3

Caught the new Batman flick last night. Senior night at the Connecticut Post mall. See any movie you want for $4.50. The offer is good all day and all night. All you have to be is 60 or over.

The movie was dark and Heath Ledger was as good as the critics say. The rest of the cast was good, too, but the real heroes were the hundred or so computer operators and programmers who did the special effects.

Some good things

I mentioned Jerry Gross up a bit. His son, Bruce, and daughter-in-law, Debbie, had a baby girl earlier this week.
Rabbi Yossi Hodakov and wife, Perel, had a baby girl earlier this week as well.

All the best to all.

Debbie is as good as it gets. Although she was quite pregnant, she was at her father-in-law's bedside almost constantly during his last days. Jerry's wife, Ruth, who is the new bubbie, or grandmother, was there all the time as well.

One hopes the happiness of the birth brings some relief from the grief they all are feeling because of Jerry's death.

Peace to all.

Until next time...

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