Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

I should be in bed

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

But I can't sleep.

Hormones, what can I say? And sinuses. Oh, and the barking dogs. I don't know if those dogs ever sleep. I can understand them barking when the garbage or utility truck lumbers down the alley, but all morning while people are leaving for work? At midnight? There are two dogs next door to the barkers, and I hardly hear them. They've been trained. They're probably laying in their yard, paws over their ears, wishing their neighbor mutts would shut the heck up and stop giving the species a bad name.

I did manage to get the current database project under control, which takes a load off of my shoulders, at least in the short term. There's more work to do, but for now I can take a couple of days and relax.

I've been watching the comments pile up on this article in the local paper. (Update: Now that it's moved from the front page to the archives all of the comments are gone. Figures.) It's nice to see the paper doing some reporting on what's going on over here. The area in question is just about a mile from where I live. It's a mixture of older, gnerally well-maintained middle-class housing (larger than the post-war crackerboxes a few blocks to their east, and probably built better than the homes in this neighborhood) and apartments that have been neglected by their owners. Crime, drugs, and prostitution apparently thrive. The one apartment complex noted in the article is an eyesore. Once in a while someone slaps some paint on a couple of doors, but maintenance doesn't seem to be a priority.

The comments range from the uninformed to blaming the police to the east-west divide in this city to yet another tirade about DART. Light rail is the root of all evil, apparently, and is apparently relevant to everything from the the doings of a Cub Scout pack to the kid who won a scholarship to a privately funded event. The person leaving comments all over the web site doesn't seem to get that the tax dollars we pay DART wouldn't go back into the city coffers if we were to pull out. Our sales taxes would drop slightly, as the transit tax is supplemental. The city is already charging the maximum allowed by the state. If you're going to bang on about the transit system, at least get your facts right.

But I digress.

Several residents take the city council to task for ignoring the east side to develop the west side. Sadly, I have to agree. We're full of mostly empty shopping centers on the east side, yet the city bends over backwards to give a developer a variance to build on the west side.

Yeah, I'm upset. This is very close to home. Not as close as the body found a block and a half away from the Manor last year, but very close. But they're mostly illegals, so if they kill each other off, who cares? Well, I do. But I'm not rich or powerful, so my opinion doesn't mean a whole lot. Seriously, I do fear that nothing will be done until something very tragic happens. I'm also very afraid that the tragic event will involve children. I hope I'm wrong.

Well, I suppose I'd better try to get two or three hours of sleep. If the dogs will ever shut up.


Filed under: Life            


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