Archive for April 2009

Harrisburg’s Racial Divide

If you live or work in the City of Harrisburg, then you should be well-aware of the fact that a racial-divide between African Americans and Caucasians exists, but it’s not just a divide.

It’s like the Grand Canyon.

And during the latest round of Candidate Forums held at the South Allison Hill Community Center last week, the topic nudged its way toward the surface.

We can spend all of the time and effort we want pointing fingers at things like the incinerator, police and fire residency requirement, diminished public services like snow plowing and road repairs, a questionable annual city budget, and infighting amongst council; but the only way that we, as a city, will resolve any of those issues is if we are, truly, a unified community.

Acknowledging the fact that, yes, this is not just a Harrisburg issue, we can also make note that national change starts locally.

Don’t get me wrong- I don’t think that the national race issue will be resolved in Harrisburg. But we can try to do our part.

And it’s going to start at the top.

This is high time for all of the candidates running for Council, School Board or Mayor to pay attention to that giant elephant in the corner and talk about ways that we, as a city, can get past our differences and focus on our similarities.

We all have been oppressed in some way or another by the current administration.

The disparity between the percentage of black students and black teachers does affect each of us in some capacity.

And yes, we’ve all likely traveled to other cities where nationalities coexist relatively harmoniously.

Why can’t we do the same here?

Obviously, it’s going to take more than just talking about things. And there are abundant social and cultural differences between the black, white, Asian and Middle Eastern communities to acknowledge.

But it seems to me like we all want the same things in this incredibly heated political season.

We want transparency from our leaders. We want them to be held accountable for their actions. We want them to be beholden to the constituency which will elect or defeat them. And we’re all (black, white, Asian or ‘other’) tired of local government putting personal gain ahead of the good of the citizens.

Hope and change? Sure.

“The best way of saying is doing” and our candidates have been saying a lot these days.

But my vote will go to the ones who are going to do what they say.

And the number one priority should be getting the residents of this city to work together.

And that’s going to start at the top.

April 26, 1992

[I don't know if you can, but can you get an order for Ons, that's O-N-S, Junior Market, the address is 1934 East Aneheim, all the windows are busted out, and it's like a free-for-all in here and uh the owner should at least come down here and see if he can secure his business, if he wants to...]

April 26th, 1992
There was a riot on the streets
Tell me where were you?
You were sittin’ home watchin’ your TV
While I was paticipating in some anarchy
First spot we hit it was my liqour store
I finally got all that alcohol I can’t afford
With red lights flashin’, time to retire
And then we turned that liquor store into a structure fire
Next stop we hit, it was the music shop,
It only took one brick to make that window drop
Finally we got our own P.A.
Where do you think I got this guitar that you’re hearing today?

(Homicide, never doin’ no time)

When we returned to the pad to unload everything
It dawned on me that I need new home furnishings
So once again we filled the van until it was full
Since that day my livin’ room’s been much more comfortable
Cause everybody in the hood has had it up to here
It’s getting harder and harder and harder each and every year
Some kids went in a store with their mother
I saw her when she came out she was gettin’ some Pampers

They said it was for the black man
They said it was for the Mexican
And not for the white man
But if you look at the streets, it wasn’t about Rodney King
It’s this fucked-up situation and these fucked-up police
It’s about comin’ up and stayin’ on top
And screamin’ 187 on a mother fuckin’ cop
It’s not in the papers it’s on the wall
National guard
Smoke from all around

[Units be advised of an attempt 211 to arrest now at 938 Temple, 9-3-8 Temple, many subjects with bats trying to get inside the CB's house...they're trying to kill him]

Let it burn
Wanna let it burn, wanna let it burn
Wanna wanna let it burn (I feel insane)
Riots on the streets of Miami
Whoa, riots on the streets of Chicago
On the streets of Long Beach
In San Fransico
Riots on the streets of Kansas City
Tuskaloosa, Alabama
Cleveland, Ohio
Fountainberry, Paramount, Vista Buelle
Eugene, Oregon
Eureeka, California (Let it burn, let it burn)
Hesperia (Won’t you let it burn)
Santa Barbara (Let it burn, let it burn)
Mother fuckin’ Nevada
San Diego
Lakewood, Florida
Fuckin’ 29 Palms

[Need a unit to... structure fire and numerous subjects looting]

[10-15 to get rid of this looter]

My Band Needs A Manager (Or Does It)

My friend Dave from Ropeadope just published a pretty informative piece on the Band/Manager dichotomy.

Read it HERE

(Consider it a ‘must-read’ for up and coming bands)

They Should All Be Like Ms. Penn

I wish they were all like Tiffiney Penn.

If you have a child in the Harrisburg School District, then you’re going to want a woman like Tiffiney Penn on the elected school board.

Now please, do some research of your own. I’m basing this post on what I witnessed at the Candidates Forum at the South Allison Hill Community Center last night (4.23.09). But what I heard and saw was a passionate, level-headed, dedicated parent who will demand excellence and transparency from, not only the governing body of the school district but, the parents of the students as well.

Again- my child doesn’t attend Harrisburg schools. (And she likely never will), but if she did- I’d want her to be under the watchful eye of a woman like Ms. Penn.

I was in the back of the room- talking quietly with Brad Koplinski- while most of the school-board candidates were having their debate. At one point, I leaned over to Brad and said “Y’know, Brad…we can have the most capable, balanced, honest, educated and well-equipped school board and system in the country…but if the parents of the students do not provide a solid foundation for learning and achievement, then it’s all a waste of time.”

Tiffaney Penn’s next statement echoed what I had said to Koplinski not thirty-seconds prior.

Sure, there’s been much controversy over the past week surrounding the sparring match between Ms. Penn and Randy King regarding a questionable comment made at the candidates forum on Tuesday. But pushing that all aside- the reality of the matter is that the Harrisburg School District doesn’t need any more “Yes Men” (or women).

The school board needs concerned parents; active and involved in their childrens education and discipline.

And from what I saw last night, Ms. Penn is six-links ahead of the rest of the candidates.

Springsteen’s Bad Luck

From the “holy shit” files-

Social Distortion’s Mike Ness joined Bruce Springsteen on stage in LA a few days ago.

What did they play?

Bad Luck.

(And Mike Ness just rocketed past Craig Finn in the “luckiest musicians to get a nod from The Boss” department.