Friday, October 23, 2009

C'mon, Connecticut Magazine. Get real

Happy Friday.

I know it's a lot to ask for, but wouldn't it be great if the Filthy Swine, otherwise known as the New York Yankees, were to repeat the Chokes on Us, the worst choke in the history of sport, this year and lose to the L.A. Angels in the American League payoffs.

I saw the look on some of the Yankees who were on that fateful team, that "no, not again" look, as the Angels clawed back after the Yanks clawed back, and then went on to win, sending the Yanks back home to the new stadium and the virgin lawn. That's the lawn that other teams had not danced on. The Red Sox, in 2004, had danced on the old stadium lawn.

Maybe now, it's the Angels' turn. Wouldn't it be nice...

Page 2

I know it's hogwash, but the Connecticut Magazine ranking of the state's cities has gotten my goat.

The magazine, in its November issue, ranked many of the state's cities and towns on the following categories: education, economy, cost of living, crime, leisure/culture.

I think New Haven got a bum rap. Here's why.

OK, New Haven, like all cities, has crime. Some of it is fun to report, like the guy who robbed a downtown bank, got covered in red dye when the pack went off (notice, please, that I didn't say he got caught red-handed) and got caught while waiting to pay for a soda.

Most crime, however, is hurtful to the victims and the general community. But reading the statistics doesn't give you the whole picture. I think the city deserves more than a next-to-last rating for the work the chief and his officers are doing trying to contain it.

For education, the magazine used mastery tests and other scores, you know, like No Child Left Behind did. Wrong. How about the moves the city is making to bolster its education. All my kids went to New Haven schools during most of their elementary and secondary school careers. Two of them went to Russia on exchange programs, another went to Eastern Europe on a program. All went to college and two earned masters degrees. Not so bad. Don't blame the education system for the lack of parent involvement. Having Yale here doesn't hurt. Many high school kids take courses at Yale and Southern Connecticut. Not so shabby.

Cost of living, no problem. Leisure drew a first-place award, as it should. New Haven has as many cultural opportunities as any city its size -- and many a lot bigger -- in the nation.

The one that really gets my goat is Economy. The survey gave New Haven 14 out of 17, with the highest number being the worst. This is really stupid. What's the criteria? A score issued by the state that rates population, per-capita income, equalized grand list per capita, unemployment rate, mill rate and per-capita aid for children.

New Haven has a lot of nontaxable buildings, the highest in the state, between Yale, Southern Connecticut, other colleges, hospitals, and the like. It said adjusted equalized grand list that might take some of that into account. It should say so.

But, Charlie and friends at Connecticut Magazine, get out of Trumbull and take a drive to New Haven. You could have stopped by coming back from that eating junket you all took to the casinos.

The place is a forest of cranes. The new cancer center, the Gateway college project, the 360 State Street project, the buildings along Route 34 corridor including all the research buildings, the new research building that will start construction as soon as the state gets off its butt and turns over the Lee Connector to the city. Come on. Is there a place in the state as busy? I don't think so.

So, Charley, I think you know better. So, like the Dodger fan of yore, I'll wait until next year.

Page 3

Our friends at Gannett, my former employer, saw profits tumble 53 percent, but results still beat raised expectations, helped by cost cuts. The company's operating expenses fell 14 percent in the third quarter, according to a published version of the company's release.

Well, it didn't hurt that, at the Journal News, which forced all staffers to reapply for their old jobs, 22 said the hell with it and refused to reapply. In this economy, that is saying something.

So, if you think you have it bad, think of having it so bad you would walk away from your job. Or, as someone told me years ago, consider starvation as a viable alternative to working there.

That guy was wrong when he said it in 1991, but he'd sure be right now.

Page 4

It's Friday. It's supposed to be weepy, but who cares. It's the weekend. Gave a great one and, for our friends in the Tribe, have a great Shabbos.

Until next time...


Anonymous said...

best rant I've seen in a long time!!!

pete said...

Connecticut Unemployment Trends - August 2009

Connecticut Unemployment Trends in Heat Map form:
here is a map of Connecticut Unemployment in August 2009 (BLS data)

versus Connecticut Unemployment Levels 1 year ago