Thursday, March 11, 2010
There are news reports of neighborhoods that have fallen into the hands of derelict landlords, drug dealers, gangs and prostitution, not necessarily in that order. It could be easy to imagine that these types of crimes only happen in the “bad” neighborhoods but these issues can happen in any neighborhood. All it takes is one small step - neighbors let it happen.
Now some may say that “neighbors let it happen” is too harsh but who is responsible? Some blame these activities on the lack of patrolling police or the irresponsibility of landlords. Some may blame their City Administration or City Council as just not caring enough. Some may blame it on the “signs of the times” sighting a moral breakdown within society.
However, I do not want to lay blame but to come up with a simple plan of action. You and I are the first line of defense for our homes and families. If my neighbor allows crabgrass to flourish in their yard I can do one of two things: I can grumble and let it all spread into mine or I can grumble while putting “Weed & Feed” on my yard. It is the same thing about the activities I see in my neighborhood.
There are numerous Neighborhood Watch Programs. There is a program where citizens create teams who walk their streets with radios, cell phones and cameras. Another program has a type of “team leaders” with a military sense of training about it. I don’t mind telling you that if these are necessary for you to impact your neighborhood I will do everything in my power to encourage you and pray for your safety. As an old infantry soldier and preacher, I mean this!
Yet, here in my Brewer Heights neighborhood in Chillicothe Ohio, I do not see the need for these programs. Over the last two years I have been to almost every home in Brewer Heights. My goal is to “rally the troops” if you will with a simple plan. Get to know your neighbors and “Live your faith values outside your place of worship in your home and with your neighbors.”
Here’s how this can be put into practice: Build a line of communication with your neighbors. Get to know their names, where they work and what cars they drive. Get to know the hours they work too. Maybe your dog is keeping them awake when they work nights. Maybe your music is a little loud or not their type. If you see your neighbor’s trash can blowing into the street, move it for them. If you know your neighbor gets their newspaper by 10AM every morning and at 1PM it’s still there, check on them. If you see your neighbor’s garage door open late at 11PM and you know it is usually down by 10PM, check on them. Again, “Live your faith values outside your place of worship in your home and with your neighbors.”
I want the word to go out that in our city people are watching here in Brewer Heights…because we care. As we join our faith values together actively living on our streets things are going to be seen in the positive. People who may never attend your place of worship are going to see that you live what you say you believe and if they ever need someone to help them or pray for them, they are going to call on you. Wow, what a concept! It can’t be taxed, hired or outdated!
So, that’s my Brewer Heights Neighborhood Watch Program concept. We started it two years ago and I know you’re watching me and I want you to rest assured that I’m watching you. Why? Because we care about our neighbors, our neighborhood and our city.
Be a Good Neighbor: Think of the Possibilities!
H. R. Grimm
“Catch the Vision of Possibilities”
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
On an old television program there was a Sergeant Friday who was known to say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” Yet, facts are odd things, aren’t they?
Some people say that you can’t argue with facts as these are the plain simple truth. Yet, some people say that facts are like statistics, they are easy to manipulate.
Of course, there’s COL Jessup from the movie “A Few Good Men” with his quote “You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth!”
Undeniably we must admit that facts are all around us screaming to be examined and heeded. Unfortunately, our acceptance of the facts and acting on the facts is as old as the human struggle itself. The pages of history are filled with many a parent who tried to get their teenager to listen to reason only to be ignored. Alas, the heartache that follows lingers long after that momentary thrill and that’s a fact of life.
Sometimes, facts are just too obvious to ignore and they shock us when they are presented. My youngest daughter was four years old when my mother died. This little angel of mine was standing next to me in the funeral home when an elderly woman came over and said sympathetically, “I am so sorry about your grandmother.” My little daughter looked up at this lady and with child-like acceptance of the indisputable truth said flatly, “She’s dead, you know.” This factual statement shocked the lady but it was a fact, you know.
Facts can make us uncomfortable. Do you really want the facts about your favorite dessert? Do you really want the facts about global warming, racial issues, your politician, preacher, religion or your kid? Then there are the personal facts: How old you are, how much you weigh, how fast you were going, how much you had to drink, who you were with or what you were thinking. Many a man has been wounded in needless battle because he failed to remember COL Jessup’s quote above when answering a beloved in regard to weight or dress. Again, all too late a simple fact was ignored.
Honestly, we must let the record show that there have been times the actual details were manipulated to present a point of view that was misrepresented. This partial presentation of information is as old as the human race. Need I remind you of the Garden of Eden and a fruit tree? I’m just stating a biblical fact.
Here are some facts: Chillicothe Transit System holds the honor of being the largest rural transit system in Ohio (ODOT “Status of Public Transit in Ohio, July 2009). Chillicothe population grew approximately 2% from 2000–2008 (citi-data.com & bestplaces.net). Chillicothe is 625 feet above sea level (citi-data.com). Ross county received $124,000,000 in tourism for 2007 (tourismeconomics.com).
Now there are other facts that must be addressed and they will be in time. That too is a fact.
Facts abound and based on what you want to do with the facts you can build a place up or tear it down. I chose to build. Fact is, in my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio I see potential for lasting improvement and future development. Fact is, people are people where ever you go but if the truth be told, we have a tendency to see in people what we want to see and that’s a fact.
(c) 02MARCH2010 hrg