Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Ghost Towers in Our Hearts

When I visited Franklin Court in Philadelphia, several years ago, I was struck by the power a silhouette can have over us.

Benjamin Franklin's home was destroyed by fire in 1812. In 1976, for our nation's bicentennial, they wanted to reconstruct the house in honor of Franklin but they only knew that it was a 3-story, 10-room building, its approximate size, and where it once stood. So the renowned architect, Robert Venturi, designed a "Ghost Structure" to stand where the house had been and to represent it. It is truly beautiful and powerful.

Since 9/11 there have been many things to represent our extreme sadness and horror surrounding that terrible day. We have many wonderful pictures of the ruins right after the attack and the brave men and women working there. We've had the beautiful beams of light shooting up where the towers once stood - in their own right a stirring silhouette. Now we have the new memorial.

They say if you lose your true love then your heart is changed, forever. For those of us who were alive on 9/11 and were paying attention, our hearts have been changed forever too - we now have a Ghost Structure - 2 towers - superimposed on our hearts. I think that is the way it should be.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I said.

I was recently quoted in the article, "Valley tax scandals in spotlight; thefts, improprieties in towns breed mistrust", that was published in the New Haven Register on Sept 2. The Register quoted me correctly and used my quote appropriately but I still felt a pang because the need for editing, by any newspaper, waters down one's thoughts. Below are the 4 questions from the New Haven Register together with my unedited answers:

Q1. What do you think can be done to prevent anything like this from happening again?

Ans: For prevention we need to review our outstanding audit findings (and every city and town has outstanding findings) and shore up any holes.

Q2. How have these scandals affected the reputation of your town/city?

Ans: I don’t think it has affected any single town’s reputation but it has eroded trust, even more, in the local government system, deserved or not.

Q3. As a taxpayer, do you feel betrayed by these events, and have you lost faith in the people entrusted to handle your taxes?

Ans: I don’t feel betrayed and I haven’t lost the faith because I know that the people entrusted to handle our taxes are, for the most part, hardworking honest people.

Q4. How rare do you think something like is, espcecially effecting three (actually, four Valley towns with Oxford) almost hitting at the same time?

Ans: It’s not a coincidence that it hit us all at the same time. Oxford’s problem came out first with their Tax Collector and that caused all of the other towns, and some of the local newspapers, to take a closer look at their own operations, and so the dominoes started to fall. It’s human nature ... we get complacent, things start going awry, we notice it, we look around and find other related issues, we fix it, and we start all over again.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Who do you listen to - who do you trust?

I don't use TV or print newspapers for my news - I find everything I need online. However for the national political conventions I prefer to find a good TV channel, leave it on all evening, and check in periodically.

But I couldn't find a good channel last week!

Some channels have a liberal bias and I don't trust what they say or like their style of reporting. It doesn't work for me.

Some are too conservative and I'm afraid they'll just tell me what I want to hear. That's not good for me either.

Some claim to be fair and unbiased. I think that's very hard to achieve so I tend to question everything they say too. It makes me uncomfortable.

I ended up channel surfing and came away from the whole GOP convention process highly unsatisfied. I'm trying to think of a different way to approach the Democrat convention this week.

Truth isn't that easy to find.