Comment 23113

By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted May 14, 2008 at 20:05:39

It is curious that there is no mention of a successful sports club having any impact on a city's overall feeling of pride.

This is how I see it. I collect information about this city from different perspectives each and every day. I read the Hamilton Spectator, I visit concerned citizen's blogs and forums, I observe persons, places and things around town in my travels. I talk to people I encounter in my service work 9-5, at local businesses and on the streets of my neighborhood. I believe this kind of information gathering produces a fair assessment of what the city is all about.

If I could sum it all up into a word, that word would be disenchantment. With the realities of our current economic situation beginning to sink in, the warlock's spell of "all is well", is quickly wearing off.

Here are some things I see around town that have a negative impact on my gut feelings and I'm sure many others will feel the same.

Graffiti is becoming a huge problem everywhere you look and it especially so in the lower city. These acts of vandalism are perpetrated mostly by our youth.

Scrap collectors and miscreant opportunists are ripping apart our homes and businesses to the tune of millions in insurance claims and unnecessary out of pocket expenses because the semi-precious metals market has become a gold mine for the city's more enterprising, dark alley disadvantaged.

The city is rampant with loud two-wheeled motor vehicles, degrading bodily expressions, uncomely clothing, ringtones, wired heads, hedonistic advertisements, absentee landlords, shortsighted irresponsible development, filthy air, viscous drug laden bacterial waters, vacant buildings, crack palaces, bug infested health care facilities, etc.

On the other hand, the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton will be making a major announcement on Friday that is directly linked to the message of summit keynote speaker Richard Florida. United Way CEO Darrel Skidmore says (of Florida's address) "...we should jump in with both feet." Hamilton Chamber of Commerce CEO John Dolbec said "We've been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and ambition coming from the summit." The Chamber is also considering a "large-scale" project. I hope this isn't just another planning over a "cliff-hanger" boondoggle.

What this city needs most is to "clean-up" its youth and give the idle hands of our society something meaningful and productive to do. The latest initiative by the city is an aggressive bylaw crackdown and I fully agree that this is a step in the right direction.

I guess we'll be on the edge of our seats waiting to see what Friday's big announcement brings to this discussion.

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