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PHTPL

Urban development, schools, and crime

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This morning I read a pretty alarming story about the drop out rates for all 4 city high schools. This comes after I was just informed by someone in the know of an apparent armed robbery last night of two girls, around 10pm, outside of the Meanwhile bar. And I should mention my car was broken into Sunday night on Cherry and Morris causing 1,400 in damage.

I'm not at all disillusioned to these stories or what's happened to me, but with all of the development being seen downtown, in its neighborhoods, and one I am currently planning, what responsibilities do developers have in giving back to it's people? And perhaps equally as important and one that I have difficulty with when driving through certain parts of town. What should be asked or expected of residents to improve on impoverished neighborhoods or pockets of town?

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/grmetro_a...x?storyid=82932

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2007/10/scho...ys_dropout.html

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This morning I read a pretty alarming story about the drop out rates for all 4 city high schools. This comes after I was just informed by someone in the know of an apparent armed robbery last night of two girls, around 10pm, outside of the Meanwhile bar. And I should mention my car was broken into Sunday night on Cherry and Morris causing 1,400 in damage.

I'm not at all disillusioned to these stories or what's happened to me, but with all of the development being seen downtown, in its neighborhoods, and one I am currently planning, what responsibilities do developers have in giving back to it's people? And perhaps equally as important and one that I have difficulty with when driving through certain parts of town. What should be asked or expected of residents to improve on impoverished neighborhoods or pockets of town?

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With unemployment, foreclosures, credit card debt, and (now add) the drop out rates skyrocketing, somehow GR is opening swanky new eating/drinking establishments and people are falling over themselves to get in and spend their money (that they may or may not have). If our schools don't get fixed the upcoming generation in this area will not be able to support all the businesses that are opening.

To answer the question PHTPL posed, developers who want to "give back" can be very supportive of K-12 and post high school education. That may mean voting for government officials who are pro public education, passing millages, and so on. Without a strong educational system, eventually we all end up failing and paying even more than we would have to support education in the first place. Education breeds hope and empowerment, without it, kids end up hopeless, doing armed robberies and worse that we all read about.

*fish

This morning I read a pretty alarming story about the drop out rates for all 4 city high schools. This comes after I was just informed by someone in the know of an apparent armed robbery last night of two girls, around 10pm, outside of the Meanwhile bar. And I should mention my car was broken into Sunday night on Cherry and Morris causing 1,400 in damage.

I'm not at all disillusioned to these stories or what's happened to me, but with all of the development being seen downtown, in its neighborhoods, and one I am currently planning, what responsibilities do developers have in giving back to it's people? And perhaps equally as important and one that I have difficulty with when driving through certain parts of town. What should be asked or expected of residents to improve on impoverished neighborhoods or pockets of town?

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[

To answer the question PHTPL posed, developers who want to "give back" can be very supportive of K-12 and post high school education. That may mean voting for government officials who are pro public education, passing millages, and so on. Without a strong educational system, eventually we all end up failing and paying even more than we would have to support education in the first place. Education breeds hope and empowerment, without it, kids end up hopeless, doing armed robberies and worse that we all read about.

*fish

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I would argue that by definition, a developer IS giving back by infact DEVELOPING in their neighborhood. For example - the couple who is taking a risk and developed the MEANWHILE BAR, is giving back by being their. If they are smart business people, with an armed robbery so close so soon after opening, they will add in security on the expense column because if the perception is that it is unsafe - they will have no chance to succeed no matter how cool the place is.

In the end, we all will continue to suffer the effects of pockets of populations who do not show any value of education. The real question then begets - how to change that, not electing pro public edu and more taxes types of officials. Change the culture and the rest will follow. How to do that? A good start would be to pick up a copy of Bill Cosby's recent book "Come on People".

I'm sad to read about the Meanwhile Bar incident - by reading the review I was planning on taking my wife there Sat evening - guess not now. :huh:

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I'm sad to read about the Meanwhile Bar incident - by reading the review I was planning on taking my wife there Sat evening - guess not now. :huh:

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In the world of bicycle transportation, we have a saying: the more people there are riding bicycles, the more people will ride bicycles.

Meaning that if you see one lycra-clad neon jacketed fool riding in traffic, you'll think "what a fool"; you certainly won't see this as an option for yourself. But if you see ten, or 50, commuters riding in traffic, you'll realize that you could fit in.

If the streets empty, we'll have given up. Seems to me that the answer is to flood Wealthy St with dozens of people.

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Veloise - I definitely agree with you, and I'll continue to stop into the Meanwhile and support the surrounding businesses. However, without sounding elitist, but at times I feel like why would anyone want to piss where they sleep? Are residents doing enough to police the ills of the neighborhood? You could have a security guard drive around Wealthy and Diamond Streets 7 days a week but it won't deter crime until the residents take action. How does a developer come into an area and bring up these points with out sounding like it's only for the good of the business and not for the neighborhood as a whole?

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If the streets empty, we'll have given up. Seems to me that the answer is to flood Wealthy St with dozens of people.

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Amen kids.... just because there's an armed robbery doesn't mean I'm going to stay home and drink Bud Light on the couch.

See you at the Meanwhile....with something tastier than Bud Light. :)

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I think that WOT's main point was that the bar would be smart to upgrade their security to mitigate the perception of it being an unsafe place due to the crime report. Sure, the "wrong place at the wrong time" argument makes a lot of sense statistically. You could apply that to the two people who were robbed even. The chance that they'll be robbed a second time at that bar is virtually non-existent, so there is no rational reason for them to avoid going there in the future. But this is not how most people think.

And I think that many people will avoid filling up at a gas station at night if they can avoid it. There's also the belief that it's the gas station clerk who is at risk more than the customers of an armed robbery at a gas station. And if you hear that a gas station was robbed in broad daylight, then yes, I think a number of people are going to be influenced by that.

And when you add children/family to the mix, the perceived risk goes up an order of magnitude.

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Instead of that approach, why not bring your wife, friends, family, and everybody else to drown out the bad stuff? Let's take back the streets, not give them away without a fight.

Don't worry Grand Rapids. I'll still go to the Meanwhile. I'll still walk down Wealthy after dark. I'll still say "hello" to everybody I walk by--regardless of apparent education or income level.

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"Its usage among young blacks has been parodied ad nauseam among clueless suburban whites."

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"Word" is the shortened form of the phrase: "my word is my bond" which was originated by inmates in U.S. prisons. The longer phrase was shortened to "word is bond" before becoming "word," which is most commonly used. It basically means "truth." Or "to speak the truth."

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I hear a lot of kids using it far beyond that, even. I've heard kids using "word" simply as a means of showing they're listening, rather than nodding their head or saying "yup, uhuh, mmhmm," etc.

Not a catch-'phrase' I will allow into my vocabulary.

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