PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Archive for the ‘Kurt’s Rants’ Category


Posted by ppna on March 26, 2009

Over on the Mark Maynard site there is a lot of discussion about the graffiti ‘artists’ that were arrested the other night.

Here are the facts as I understand them —

The owner of the vacant ‘Smiths’ furniture building downtown sat on his roof waiting for the ‘artists’ to come by. The fact that he is a landlord that maintains an empty building should not have any bearing on the fact that he didn’t want graffiti on his building.

The owner contacted the police and they responded in force. They caught the ‘artists’ with 7 cans of spray paint and some stencils.

Some folks in the community expressed support for these stenciled pieces of ‘art’ which have appeared throughout the city. Other people want to see this type of thing stopped or offer an alternative location for public art.

I do know there has been official discussion about a ‘graffiti wall’ or some sort of area for public art and I can see this happening in the cities future.

Personally, I don’t find the stenciled items interesting but I understand that there are people that enjoy these works of ‘art.’ The main issue I have is when these folks place their ‘art’ in totally inappropriate places like on historic markers or on places which are incredibly difficult to remove. If these works of art were placed in a ‘temporary’ fashion I’d probably enjoy them.

In the same conversation on Mark Maynard the subject of the sticker folks was also brought up. The people that put stickers on signs are not artists they are just vandals. Defacing a street sign which the city has to clean or replace isn’t art. Placing a sticker of a slice of pizza over the hours of permitted parking is not creative in any way. Putting a Dirty Bros. sticker on every crosswalk sign in the city isn’t creative.

In defense of public artists I must say that I really enjoyed the ‘found kitten’ flyer that was posted outside the Corner Brewery a couple of days ago. If you didn’t see it it was a typical ‘found kitten’ flyer except it had a picture of an angry possum. This flyer was creative and non destructive and I enjoyed it a lot.

Is This Art?

Is This Art?

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The Europeans have a 65mpg BMW why can’t we?

Posted by ppna on October 16, 2008

It seems amazing in a time when all the talk is about Hybrids and Electrics being the only option to save the world from our gas-guzzlers there are already a lot of options in Europe that do better. The technology is called Diesel fuel. A few years ago when the PT Cruiser came out with horrible gas millage for it’s size (ab. 25) I was able to drive a PT Cruiser 5 speed Diesel that I believe got around 40mpg. The diesel PT seemed a lot more sporty to me. The auto writer (who had the car) told me American’s don’t except diesel it was something they tried and it didn’t work. Let me tell you that the new diesels aren’t as loud and smokey as the old ones and they don’t need to be plugged in during the winter (in most states).

I just read of the BMW built Mini D — the report says that BMW is working hard to bring this car to the US. Wouldn’t it be nice if the big 3 could use a small portion of that 25 Billion they just received to develop a single platform safe, fuel efficient, diesel/bio-diesel. If we got the big-three to combine efforts on a small city car “America’s car” it would be inexpensive, reliable, and ready in a few years without the questions like battery reliability or how to plug it in on the road. A properly produced small diesel would be the stop-gap we need until cleaner burning technologies are completed.

What we don’t want to do is sell people electric or hybrid vehicles that don’t work or are put to market too early just to get ahead of the curve. I’m worried if they don’t work people we say ‘we tried that and we don’t like it’ without realizing they tried chuck-steak not NY strip.

Read about the MINI D
DETROIT–I’m cruising south on Interstate 75 at a steady 64 mph. If the fuel economy gauge in the car can be believed–and there’s no reason that it shouldn’t–I’m burning one gallon of fuel every 74 miles.

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Calculate your Tax savings: McCain V. Obama

Posted by ppna on October 15, 2008

The New York Times posted these links and I thought I’d pass them along.

They calculate your estimated taxes using both McCain and Obama’s tax plans.


Have Fun

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The Great Bobini

Posted by ppna on October 15, 2008

I’ll get a photo up soon but I thought I’d point out a house in my neighborhood that is the most fabulous Halloween house in the city. I believe the address is 815 Hemphill. The house belongs to the Great Bobini – a magician. He spent the entire weekend making his house into a castle. If you are coming through the neighborhood I’d suggest stopping by and taking taking a look at it, it is a fabulous site.

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Police officer shifts

Posted by ppna on October 15, 2008

While I was reading Mike Eller’s web page he stated that the number of police officers on patrol were sometimes as low as 2. This struck a red flag with me since it seems fairly unsafe. I will say I’ve never had a problem with a lack of police response and I think the YPD does a great job. I asked the Chief of Police what the deal was with Eller’s comments and his response is what follows.

With regard for the comment about staffing, it is not common for the shifts to
dip down to 2 officers. In fact, other than a two-hour block (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.)
in the early morning, it is very infrequent and unforeseen, such as when we have
a sick call or an injury that we were unaware of until the last minute. The
early morning staffing issue normally occurs due to one of the shift officers
starting the shift at 8 a.m. This is done to allow an overlap from 6 p.m. to 8
p.m. to keep officers out on the road during shift change.

I should mention that regardless of the number of officers on a shift at
anytime, there is also a patrol sergeant that can assist with handling calls for
service when patrol staffing dips too low. Additionally, there are other
personnel, such as the shift lieutenant, K9 and NPT officers, that add to
staffing in the afternoon and evening hours that increase staffing above the
mandated four officers per shift.

So there you go — That is the deal with our officers

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YPD right where I needed them.

Posted by ppna on October 10, 2008

Last night after leaving DaLat with a few friends we were getting in the car and from across the street came some yelling.   It was a guy apparently trying to start a fight with us but we weren’t sure.   He just kept yelling, ‘What are you looking at,’ and putting his arms in the air.   When one of the girls asked if he were talking to her he got even more angry.  He threw his coat on the ground and started yelling and puting his hands up more.  All the time we kept with our business of getting in the car but still trying to figure out just what was happening.  As we were pulling away I was contemplating calling the non-emergency police phone number just to have them drive by and check the guy out but as luck would have it, we turned onto Washington and there was a patrol car at the light.   I jumped out and explained to the officer that there was a guy screaming and apparently trying to start a fight with us.   I think the guy saw the brake lights of our car but couldin’t see the cop car so he really started screaming, unknown to him the officer could hear him too.  The Officer explained that he couldn’t arrest him, which I didn’t expect but I thought it would be nice if the Officers talked with him to explain that the way he was acting was unacceptable.   The officer said he’d have a talk with him and if the guy had a warrant he’d pick him up.    Out of curiosity we drove around the block and by the time we reach Michigan ave. there were 2 patrol cars and the guy was being patted down.  I’m glad the guy finally got a confrontation but probably not the one he wanted.

Thanks, Y.P.D. on another job well done.

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The Fence is gone, Wowsers wowsers the fence is gone

Posted by ppna on August 25, 2008

For the past 2 years I have been complaining about the rented fence that lined Michigan avenue along the Water Street property. There were several reasons why I hated the fence, It was ugly, it didn’t secure anything, and it was costing $400.00 a month. Thankfully, a couple of days ago I saw the rental company out there picking up the fence and taking it away. I’m not sure what we could have done with that $20,000 we spent on the fence but I’m sure it would have been better than the fence.

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What is trash to some is art to others

Posted by ppna on August 11, 2008

Today I was walking down the stairs from the Riverside Arts Center into Riverside Park and I couldn’t believe how much trash is on those steps. As part of a ‘Capture the Trash’ team this spring I know that area was spotless. The trash is the cause for 3 concerns. The first concern being the idiots who throw the trash in the first place. The second being that the DTCDC hasn’t organized any force to take care of incidentals like trash clean-up. The third problem is the folks at the River Side Arts Center. I consider those steps into the park as part of their property (weather they are or aren’t) and they should be expected to maintain it. The city has been incredibly generous with money for the R.A.C. and it would be nice if some of the folks benefiting from the tax dollars would take a few minutes a day to maintain the stairs which means cleaning trash in the summer and shoveling in the winter.

It’s the little things that keep a community clean. I realize I should have stopped to pick up the trash but I was working on another volunteer project at the time I noticed it and didn’t have the time.

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A little to much freedom of information??

Posted by ppna on July 17, 2008

Today I came across this site FundRace.Huffingtonpost.com It is a searchable list of people and their political contributions. You can search by zip code and even name. The results give you a map with the name, amount of contribution, beneficiary of the contribution, address, and occupation of the donor.

Have fun with it


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Lack of posts

Posted by ppna on July 16, 2008

Sorry readers,

The summer has caught up with me so I haven’t been spending as much time behind the PC.  My garden and my pond are much happier for it.  That being said and a the city council primaries coming up I promise to start posting more regularly.


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