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Old 10-03-2007, 05:27 PM
 
25,463 posts, read 24,225,065 times
Reputation: 23919

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Badfish, you wrote this?

I mean, as in...off the top of your head? I hope I'm understanding that correctly so I don't come off sounding foolish, but...you have a talent. I'm guessing you already do some writing "here 'n there," possibly freelancing...is that correct?

This piece was astounding. Sorry to take it to a more serious level when the thread is so funny, but I just wanted to point that out. From a local interest piece standpoint, it's tight. Good "hook" opening, good opening paragraph basic summary/closing paragraph, just...good writing! Point-specific "filler" with verifiable and newsworthy information (if it were real, anyway!) dotted with local commentary for interest. Good stuff...I loved this! I'll bet you had at least a 3.8 GPA.

Way to go, badfish!!!!!!!!!

Okay. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Last edited by JerZ; 10-03-2007 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:35 PM
 
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,356,567 times
Reputation: 1087
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v678/chinamom84/popcorn.gif (broken link)
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,636 posts, read 65,737,729 times
Reputation: 15129
This has to be one of the most thought-provoking threads I've ever come across on the NJ forum, where most of you people just rant and rave incessantly about taxes and corrupt politicians. Badfish and I are a match made in heaven. The urban sprawl here in Northeastern Pennsylvania is becoming horrific as well (ironically as you New Jerseyans flood here looking for more "open space" to develop); I'm in complete agreement with him that we need to start NOW to reinvest in our core cities and towns so that future generations can enjoy what is left of our natural woodlands and mountains.

I want my children to be able to take their children to the same mountainous vistas and hiking trails we currently enjoy just a few minutes out of the Scranton city limits. Now that the population near me is exploding, all sorts of sprawl is creeping in to accomodate this growth. This is why I push so hard on these forums to get people to move into Scranton itself as opposed to its rapidly-expanding suburbs. Why not live in a safe older neighborhood in the city with great schools so you can help preserve our open space for everyone to enjoy? I've never understood why so many people in NJ (and now PA as well) feel as if living on a cul-de-sac is the only way to go---don't you people miss being able to walk to anything? I currently live in a rapidly-developing suburb midway between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, and I can't walk anywhere from our current home because we're growing so quickly that we don't even have SIDEWALKS for crying out loud! I yearn to live in a major city like Scranton where I could walk my children to churches, parks, their schools, etc. I could walk to my downtown office. I could walk with my partner in the evenings to see the Philharmonic, hit up the cinema, check out an art gallery, sip some coffee, etc.

Too many people in NJ and PA have the "cities have cooties" mentality. You know, not every pre-existing neighborhood is Newark Jr. or Camden II. Why are so few of you unwilling to give in-town living a chance in order to preserve our beautiful countryside for years to come?
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,636 posts, read 65,737,729 times
Reputation: 15129
Take it from a fellow writer, Badfish: You've got talent! I actually initially thought this truly was an Associated Press article, and my blood started to boil as I thought to myself "What a bunch of uneducated, short-sighted morons they interviewed!" Then, I eventually realized you were being facetious, and I had a hearty chuckle. Way to go on even stumping El Nerdo! LOL! It's rare that I meet someone on this forum who can leave me speechless, but you managed to outsmart even me! Great job, Badfish; keep 'em comin'!
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:25 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 30,988,694 times
Reputation: 5190
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
This has to be one of the most thought-provoking threads I've ever come across on the NJ forum, where most of you people just rant and rave incessantly about taxes and corrupt politicians. Badfish and I are a match made in heaven. The urban sprawl here in Northeastern Pennsylvania is becoming horrific as well (ironically as you New Jerseyans flood here looking for more "open space" to develop); I'm in complete agreement with him that we need to start NOW to reinvest in our core cities and towns so that future generations can enjoy what is left of our natural woodlands and mountains.

I want my children to be able to take their children to the same mountainous vistas and hiking trails we currently enjoy just a few minutes out of the Scranton city limits. Now that the population near me is exploding, all sorts of sprawl is creeping in to accomodate this growth. This is why I push so hard on these forums to get people to move into Scranton itself as opposed to its rapidly-expanding suburbs. Why not live in a safe older neighborhood in the city with great schools so you can help preserve our open space for everyone to enjoy? I've never understood why so many people in NJ (and now PA as well) feel as if living on a cul-de-sac is the only way to go---don't you people miss being able to walk to anything? I currently live in a rapidly-developing suburb midway between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, and I can't walk anywhere from our current home because we're growing so quickly that we don't even have SIDEWALKS for crying out loud! I yearn to live in a major city like Scranton where I could walk my children to churches, parks, their schools, etc. I could walk to my downtown office. I could walk with my partner in the evenings to see the Philharmonic, hit up the cinema, check out an art gallery, sip some coffee, etc.

Too many people in NJ and PA have the "cities have cooties" mentality. You know, not every pre-existing neighborhood is Newark Jr. or Camden II. Why are so few of you unwilling to give in-town living a chance in order to preserve our beautiful countryside for years to come?
in NJ, it's really quite simple: those "walkable" cities with great schools (i.e. Summit, Westfield, Chatham, Millburn, Ridgewood, etc) are cost prohibitive to most, and i wouldn't send my worst enemy's child to the schools in the others. it's unfortunate, but the reality.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:55 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,071,275 times
Reputation: 3317
Wow-sure didn't expect all of the accolades. Thanks all! To answer JerZ's questions, yes, I wrote it on my lunch break. I do quite a bit of writing for my job and I'm an avid reader. My fiancee is an English teacher and is pursuing a Master's in writing, so I guess that doesn't hurt either. The post I engaged in about Trenton inspired me to write, which in case you couldn't tell, I feel passionately about. It really burns me when folks literally turn their backs on the cities that spawned the communities they live in and in many cases, their ancestors! The same people who now live in the outlying suburbs of the city (myself included) more often than not have ties to it.

I have the same perspective on cities as ScrantonWilkesBarre (thanks for the kind words by the way) which I gained from having a very "split" upbringing. My mother is from a working class neighborhood in Trenton and my father grew up on a small farm in Hamilton. I got my street smarts and appreciation of urban life from my mother and my common sense rural know how from my father.

My whole outlook is that cities need to be made livable again, not forgotten about and left to rot. IF and only if we make them safe, clean, healthy places for children to grow, and people to live in general, we can stem growth of the ever expanding suburbs. New Jersey has done a lot of bad things in the past with regards to sprawl, but its done a lot of great things too, like preserving the Pinelands and turning the failed Tocks Island Dam project into the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. However, we need to do more before ALL of our family farms and otherwise unprotected open space disappears. Case in point-here in Washington Township (one of the 7 or so in NJ ) there exists the "Washington Town Center." WTC is a planned community of mostly townhomes, some "loft" (they're new construction, not NYC style converted factory lofts) condominiums, and light retail all mashed into about 350 acres of what USED to be rowcrops. Someone please tell me how forced urbanization of what was clearly rural works. The developers touted the fact that people wouldn't have to use their cars as much because they could walk to the store. Big deal. WTC isn't near any rail, light rail, bus, etc...so people will still be leaving en masse in the morning to go to work in their cars and doing the reverse at night, bringing untold amounts of congestion to the area.

Meanwhile we let beautiful 1850s era housing stock rot in the city of Trenton. Mom and pop businesses close because people refuse to go into the city, and the sidewalks roll up at night when the state workers go home. People in Hamilton and elsewhere either lament the changes or simply "don't go there" anymore. What Hamiltonians are quickly finding out though is that gang members realize that relatively few folks in Trenton are worth robbing, but the safe suburbs of the outlying municipalities are ripe for the picking. One can only hope that soon many residents will shake off the notion that they can simply ignore the problem and instead will join the fight to do something about it.

Anyway, before I get too carried away with myself I'll stop, because the point of this thread was to defuse the growing anger in the original thread with humor. I like to think I'm the kind of guy who knows when to be serious and when not to be. So call me a hippie, call me a bleeding heart, call me a member of the P.C. police trying to lure unsuspecting suburbanites to certain doom in New Jersey's cities...but don't you dare move next door to me and complain about the noise when I shoot the raccoon that's been getting in my garbage, the deer that's hanging from my tree, or the sound of my Powerstroke diesel firing up at 6:30 in the morning. I sound like the typical pinko commie liberal right?
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:05 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
9,696 posts, read 9,505,583 times
Reputation: 6811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Giam View Post
One point I will say though is that the Khovarion homes on Tennent Road in Manalapan were supposed to be part of protected space and some politician pushed them though. Good Luck as they are built on Wetlands, could sink.You could barely drive up that road now.

Diane
Wait! Kevorkian is building homes now!? I thought he was still in jail. Well now I've seen everything. I wouldn't buy one of his homes. They probably all have gas leaks or some other type of fatal flaw.

Hmmm. I wonder how many windows he puts in them.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:09 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 30,988,694 times
Reputation: 5190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
Wow-sure didn't expect all of the accolades. Thanks all! To answer JerZ's questions, yes, I wrote it on my lunch break. I do quite a bit of writing for my job and I'm an avid reader. My fiancee is an English teacher and is pursuing a Master's in writing, so I guess that doesn't hurt either. The post I engaged in about Trenton inspired me to write, which in case you couldn't tell, I feel passionately about. It really burns me when folks literally turn their backs on the cities that spawned the communities they live in and in many cases, their ancestors! The same people who now live in the outlying suburbs of the city (myself included) more often than not have ties to it.

I have the same perspective on cities as ScrantonWilkesBarre (thanks for the kind words by the way) which I gained from having a very "split" upbringing. My mother is from a working class neighborhood in Trenton and my father grew up on a small farm in Hamilton. I got my street smarts and appreciation of urban life from my mother and my common sense rural know how from my father.

My whole outlook is that cities need to be made livable again, not forgotten about and left to rot. IF and only if we make them safe, clean, healthy places for children to grow, and people to live in general, we can stem growth of the ever expanding suburbs. New Jersey has done a lot of bad things in the past with regards to sprawl, but its done a lot of great things too, like preserving the Pinelands and turning the failed Tocks Island Dam project into the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. However, we need to do more before ALL of our family farms and otherwise unprotected open space disappears. Case in point-here in Washington Township (one of the 7 or so in NJ ) there exists the "Washington Town Center." WTC is a planned community of mostly townhomes, some "loft" (they're new construction, not NYC style converted factory lofts) condominiums, and light retail all mashed into about 350 acres of what USED to be rowcrops. Someone please tell me how forced urbanization of what was clearly rural works. The developers touted the fact that people wouldn't have to use their cars as much because they could walk to the store. Big deal. WTC isn't near any rail, light rail, bus, etc...so people will still be leaving en masse in the morning to go to work in their cars and doing the reverse at night, bringing untold amounts of congestion to the area.

Meanwhile we let beautiful 1850s era housing stock rot in the city of Trenton. Mom and pop businesses close because people refuse to go into the city, and the sidewalks roll up at night when the state workers go home. People in Hamilton and elsewhere either lament the changes or simply "don't go there" anymore. What Hamiltonians are quickly finding out though is that gang members realize that relatively few folks in Trenton are worth robbing, but the safe suburbs of the outlying municipalities are ripe for the picking. One can only hope that soon many residents will shake off the notion that they can simply ignore the problem and instead will join the fight to do something about it.

Anyway, before I get too carried away with myself I'll stop, because the point of this thread was to defuse the growing anger in the original thread with humor. I like to think I'm the kind of guy who knows when to be serious and when not to be. So call me a hippie, call me a bleeding heart, call me a member of the P.C. police trying to lure unsuspecting suburbanites to certain doom in New Jersey's cities...but don't you dare move next door to me and complain about the noise when I shoot the raccoon that's been getting in my garbage, the deer that's hanging from my tree, or the sound of my Powerstroke diesel firing up at 6:30 in the morning. I sound like the typical pinko commie liberal right?
i don't disagree with you *at all*, i would love to see what you and SWB wish come to fruition. the problem is (and while I speak for myself I'm sure a lot would agree, and I've said this before) - i'm not going to front a revitalization movement at the expense of my children's education. that's the bottom line.

eta: yes, NJ has sprawl, PA has sprawl - but you ain't NEVER seen sprawl until you've been to places like the 'burbs of Phoenix, Sacramento, Orlando and Denver to name a few. It makes our sprawl look completely "juvenile" (for lack of a better word).
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:22 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,071,275 times
Reputation: 3317
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
i'm not going to front a revitalization movement at the expense of my children's education. that's the bottom line.
I wholeheartedly agree and will be the first to say that few people would do what you're proposing. When you look at revitalized areas be they small post industrial cities such as Hoboken, Red Bank, etc...or neighborhoods of Philadelphia and New York City, they all follow the same pattern. The first folks to move in are:

Gay couples
Singles
Young couples starting out
Established career couples with no kids
Empty nesters
Artists/hipsters (usually single or young without kids)

They all share the common thread of not having to worry about a school system. Because they don't have to worry they are free to move into the low rent sections of the city, fix up the homes, start up businesses, etc... They are the folks who "re-settle" run down areas. The Mill Hill neighborhood in Trenton is a textbook case of this. The school systems depend on two things-a stable tax base, and strong families. In revitalization, these things always come last. Trenton and many other small cities are still in the very beginning stages. In the meantime however, dining, seeing a show, taking in a museum, or simply patronizing the businesses of the city can only help the process along.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:41 PM
 
110 posts, read 380,601 times
Reputation: 49
I thought for sure I was reading "The Onion." Nice job badfish!
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