Saturday, January 26, 2013

Apparently Parenting

Most parents inately understand their role in who their children become.  Teachers and coaches, scout leaders and clergy also accept and acknowledge their roles in growing children into productive adults.  Even civic leaders, who taut children as the reason for enacting certain laws, recognize the importance of tending to the next generation.  We all have become who we are because of the community of adults that guided our growth. Remember Hilary's book "It Takes a Village"? Like her or not, she was right on point. It does take a village or a community to raise strong children.  As a whole, we are called to parent, apparently. 

So why - as a society - do we tend to blame solely the parents when a child's behavior goes awry? "Where were the parents?" "Why were these kids allowed to act like this?" "Fine the parents, that'll make them act like parents." "How could the parents not have known?"  Like Harry Truman, culturally we believe the proverbial buck stops there. They have the ultimate responsibility and when a child causes harm to others, our culture sees it as a failure on the parent's part.  We're right yet we're not focused on the bigger picture.  The community too bears responsibility. 

MYOB doesn't work where the growth of our future is concerned.  It is our business 'cause it affects us as individuals whether directly or indirectly.  Act as if every child is your child and understand that discipline is not a dirty word. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Invested Interest

Non-resident property owners (aka investors, landlords) aren't necessarily known for taking the same interest in their properties as an owner occupant does.  Shouldn't they though? Taking care of an investment is after all in the owners best interest, right?

They've invested their hard earned money expecting to make more money. Known as return on investment, ROI is the bottom line for every investor and that includes owners of rental property.  So why is it that it seems most non-resident property owners don't show interest in their investments?  Unfortunately, many find it more cost effective to do the minimal amount of upkeep to ensure the highest ROI. 

They'll hire local property managers to tend the investment, collect the rents and keep the city's Code Enforcement Department at bay.  They'll hire the least expensive one they can find without properly vetting them and as long as code doesn't fine them (fines cut into that ROI), they think that what they're paying for is getting done.  In turn, these property management companies (who have ROI's to think about too) will do no more than they have to to keep their bottom lines healthy and the investor happy.
Buildings are much more than mere brick and mortar. They're living testaments to history. The history of architecture and architects. The history of business owners and employees. The history of leaders and congregants. For most property owners, taking care of their home or place of business is of utmost importance. How they care for their property displays their character.  It's time to see some interest invested by non-resident owners and their paid management companies too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Persevere to Preserve

History counts. I know it's not exactly everyone's favorite subject in school yet it is as important as math, science and reading.  History teaches us not to make the same mistakes and to applaud the strength of our ancestors.  When I argue for preservation of a property, I urge honor for our ancestors and hope for our children's children.  When something can be touched, seen, felt its impact is greater.

Some are asking what a church in Watervliet has to do with Troy.  It has to do with history.  Watervliet was once West Troy so holds the hearts of Trojans in a strange way.  St. Patrick's soaring structure - its pure magnificence - is the beacon of Watervliet for all who travel 787 & Route 7 every day.  No supermarket will be that and that's for sure.

I will persevere to preserve.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's a Hard Knock Life for Us

A post on fb this morning by my friend Lisa Belli got me to thinkin'.  Quoting her mom  "You're living my tough life now.", her post was about how difficult it is being strong all the time.  It's a way of being that I am all to familiar with. I stopped asking "What next?" a long time ago.  I figured out that I'm better off NOT asking, just accepting whatever comes my way.

Little Orphan Annie had it right. It's a hard knock life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Did ya miss me?

I've been a little lax in writing, did ya miss me?  I hope so.  I've missed writing.  2012 was a transitional year for me.  2012 was one of those years (we all have them) - a life-changing year.  2012 wasn't a sharing kind of year for me.  2012 was a year of passion though.  I've had to learn new ways of relating with this world.  New ways of living from a different view.  A broader view.  Historic.

Me, myself and I have gone through some stuff together.  Haven't we all?  Funny how we use that phrase; A triumphrirant of self awareness.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stand Behind Your Product

Opinions are the product of our individual selves.  The seeds are sown in youth by our families, nurtured in our teens by our friendships and ripened in our adulthood by our experiences.  They are colored by emotion - by passion - by experience - by life.  In case you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm a bit outspoken.  I have no problem telling it like I see it and letting people know that it’s me saying it.  I began blogging in April 2010 as a means of sharing my Unique Perspective.  From my first blog Sharing is Good  to Lessons Lost to Life's Too Short , I’m proud of every blog I’ve written. Each blog is the product of my opinion on a particular subject and I stand behind my product.

Besides blogging, I’ve written for TRIP’s bi-weekly Troy Treasures column in The Record, which have been well received.  It’s a great opportunity for me to write about my favorite subject – the history of Troy, my beloved hometown.  Whether writing about neighborhood kids getting together for a reunion, Troy's baseball history, or our Bintz pool at Prospect Park  the history I share comes with my personal take on it and I stand behind my product.
It may sound twisted but I actually like standing behind my product.  If I’m still collecting data on a subject, I wouldn’t declare my opinion.  Why?  It hasn’t been formed yet.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve remained generally silent on the voter fraud debacle.  I read the latest blog entry by Tina Urzan and, boy, I couldn't agree more. If I'm speaking out on something or writing about a subject, the data has been collected and my opinion thus formulated.   I, like Tina, always identify myself when commenting on a digital article at The Record.  Who at this point does not know that The Dartlady is Peggy Kownack? 
I do the same when posting comments on fb pages like Troy NY Memories, Restore Troy NY’s Uptown Neighborhoods, Troy Neighborhoods Action Council or North Central Neighborhood Assn.   In my mind, those that comment without putting their name to it don't feel that they can stand behind their product.  Perhaps they shouldn't be trying to sell it.  My grandmother taught me not to say anything if I had nothing nice to say.  Here's a modern day translation: If you can't sign your name to it perhaps you shouldn't write it.  I stand behind my product.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What a Month....and I'm not just talking the weather

October's been one heck of a month for me.  Turning 50, Central Little League, Uptown Troy Community Harvest Festival Refresh Project, Steven Elisha and Mr. Cello Residency, Gear up for November's Refresh Run,   my Godmother passing, Mom, and Aliz.  It's been a rollercoaster emotionally, an endurance race physically and an awakening experience spiritually. 

Turning 50 - If the first half century is any indication, I'm in for a great journey in the next half century.  I'm looking forward to seeing Halley's Comet again in 2061.  'Nough said.

Troy Central Little League - The league of my brothers and friends as we were growing up, the league I learned the game of baseball and how to teach kids to play it couldn't be lost to today's kids. Having operated the league for 31 years, the outgoing board of directors were ready to shutter the doors for good and sell the fields.  Many of you may have even seen the "For Sale" signs hung out.  Their resignation became effective September 30, 2011.  With support from Little League International and local Little League representatives, a dedicated group of volunteers stepped forward to ensure baseball's continuation in Uptown and on October 19, at the general meeting of the membership, I was elected President for 2012.

Uptown Troy Community Harvest Festival - The goal was realized fully on Satuday October 29th when the festival kicked off despite wickedly warmthless weather.  Hours of planning, contacting, connecting, organizing and staffing went into making sure the kids of Troy could have a blast that day.  I'm grateful to the volunteers who stuck it out, to the folks that came to enjoy it and to the vendors that helped make it happen.  So many small miracles occurred on Saturday, it's worthy of a blog all its own.

Steven Elisha and Mr. Cello - In conjunction with the Harvest Festival, my Refresh Grant allowed me the opportunity to bring something truly special to students throughout Troy.  Steven performed for students at the Ark Community Charter School, Susan Odell Taylor School, School 2, Knickerbacker Middle School and Troy Prep.  Each group of students was as unique as the buildings they are being educated in.  Kudos to the administrators of these schools for recognizing the importance of the arts in education and allowing their students to experience a personal performance by a Cello Virtuoso.  This too deserves a blog of its own.

Gear up for November's Refresh Grant run - My dear friend Xenia Allen's project Transform North Central Troy: Restore our American Neighborhood has been selected to compete in this month's campaign.  Given her committments, I've agreed to take "lead".  In otherwords, be prepared to be bombarded on facebook.  We'll be supported in this effort by our friends in North Carolina, We've entered into a formal partnership with SWOOP and National Inclusion Project.  Power caps are no longer in play, so it's up to us to muster as many online and text votes as possible.  Watch for a voting hotlink.

My Godmother - On October 22nd, during the Uptown Clean and Sweep Make A Difference Day project at Central's fields, we received a call letting us know that my dad's sister Joanne Mace had passed away.  She was now at peace, back home.  Aunt Joanne was my Godmother.  We said our farewells on October 26th.

My Mom - Friday, October 28th was a busy day.  It was Steven's first day in residency and the final day of preparation for the Harvest Fest.  My fellow Commando Cleaner Nina Glandz and I shopped our little hearts out at Sam's Club on the 24th and picked up all the burgers and hotdogs.  We dropped all that off with Pastor Willie at Missing Link Street Ministry and told him we'd get the rolls on Friday.  Friday came and while Nina was picking up those, I was meeting the delivery guys with the port-a-potties between Steven's performances.  That's when I got the call.  Mom, who had been suffering from a severe cold for over a week, was headed to the ER.  She was admitted that afternoon and is still at Samaritan as I write.  The cold turned into pneumonia. We're hoping she comes home on Wednesday.

Aliz - Aliz Koletis, a bright-spirited piece of sunshine I call friend, was involved in a terrible car wreck on Saturday after having been at our Harvest Festival.  She was at the festival as a neighbor, a supportive friend and a reporter.  As a reporter for the Parentology Show (airing on Channel 10 Sundays at 10 am)  Aliz was covering the festival for a segment.  She's one tough cookie and I have faith that she'll come through this even tougher.  My heart goes out to her parents who are sitting in a very tough place.  I know.  Been there, done that.  Fortunately, she's progressing well and her test results have been bringing back good news.  Please send out good thoughts for her continued recovery.