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During my time as an economic development specialist I have worked some of the worst neighborhoods in America.  This blog will be a chronicle of my endeavors.


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Losing $750,000 Baltimore Country Fair, Middle River Maryland circa 1976

I remember my time when I made the transition from Memphis to Baltimore. I was a little buoyed by some unemployment compensation so I could make the switch with some income rather than trying to do it on the fly. One of the things you had to do was register for work with the unemployment office. When I did that, we were all there were waiting to see a counselor and people were coming and going and about 6 of us were sitting there. We were told when we asked, that they did not wait because it was veterans preference. Anyone knows that veteran preference is a numerical enhancement of your qualifications when they assess your tests and experience together to provide a numerical value there is usually 10 point veteran’s preference. But not waiting in line? I complained and was referred to the Baltimore County Executive’s office for a job.
New guy got the job...result of Spiro Agnew resigning. Why he resigned VP was for what he did in Baltimore County. The current County Executive Dale Ande…

Dangerous Labyrinth - Phoenixville circa 2008

One time when I was in Phoenixville there was a request from the Chester County Housing Authority to build a low income housing project to replace the one that was boarded up and ramshackled.  The fact they wanted a variance on the density to pack those low income people right on top of each other irritated me but that is another story.

This story involves the same person that later was fired, her appointment defined by me as nepotism.  Her flippedness with me was noted on a few occasions.  In these situations when a powerful Authority wants something and their goal attainment ids blocked they set out to attack the community on all sides.  The couldn't manage what they had let alone build new.

During the density debate in an effort to intimidate the locals the Housing Authority attempted to shoot an arrow in the heart of the Phoenixville Labyrinth...much to the chagrin of the Community Garden Manager Darlene.  The Community Garden was already in peril and now they were after the …

Stables in Patterson Park Baltimore MD circa 1978

In 1979 when I was in Baltimore I worked as a tenant counselor in the Paterson Park area of East Baltimore.  One of the unique things about the area was the guys that would go around the street selling veggies and the like out of horse drawn wagons.  They were called A-Rabs although they were Afro Americans.

All and all they were good guys and you would see them on the street yelling stuff like "melon" or "bananas" as they hawked their wares.  The citizen makeup of the area was almost all Afro-American families on the lower end of the economic spectrum and they welcomed the A-Rabs because it saved them from walking up to the market on Monument Street.

There was a side issue, the horses (they could have been ponies) were not potty trained and there was horse manure all over the place.  This led to some unsanitary conditions in and around the area which was infested with rats.  Some of the rats were very large and they would just be out on the street at times waddl…