And as summer progresses, many of these homes have high grass growing around them, extending many inches (if not feet) into the air.
To notify the owners that their lack of grass cutting has broken a city ordinance, the city has placed large orange stickers on the windows of the main entrances to the home to notify the occupants of the situation.
But to solve the primary problem, is this policy creating a secondary problem that's even worse?
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At some point, the grass is cut at the house.
It's mowed by concerned neighbors, or the city, or maybe it even doesn't get cut in a reasonable time.
But what's now apparent, for everyone to see is that there is a bright, eye-catching, orange sticker alerting any person driving or walking by the possiblity of a completey vacant house.
In fact, the orange sticker is crying out:
"Hey, I'm free for the taking. Please steal my copper pipes. Please break my windows. Please perform other illegal activities inside."
And to say the least, some residents are really upset that the city has taken the step of marking these houses in this manner. Here is a nice article from the Youngstown Vindicator looking at the problem in Boardman.
Wow, if it's bad there, imagine what the case is like if they were to look in the city.
Metro residents claim that not only do the orange stickers look ugly, but they make other houses around them look bad as well.
So here are some questions:
What is the intent of these orange stickers?
Is it to alert the owners of their violation? Are there other ways to accomplish this goal without producing a visible sign of vacancy to all who pass? If the house is vacant, then is an orange sticker really useful if no one is there?
Youngstown has some neighborhoods that are labeled "in transition" by city leaders. They are the ones starting to slip down the slope of disinvestment and will either rebound or fall into oblivion . . .
The central quandry I want to leave with all of you readers is this:
Are these orange stickers helping our neighborhoods, or speeding up their downfall?
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And speaking of things growing like crazy, nine, count em, nine new blogs have been recently added to the Youngstown blogging machina. Good luck to them.
Please update your reading lists and blogrolls accordingly.
- The Supopular
- Steel Valley Outdoors blog
- The Youngstown Renaissance blog
- YSU's Student Gov blog
- Tales from the North Side blog
- The DIY Youngstown blog
- The Stark Raving Youngstown blog
- The Save Youngstown For Them blog
come on in folks, the water's warm. start your own blog!
and welcome to the party . . .