Between teaching at Garrett Morgan School of Science in Ohio City, and Max Hayes High School in the Detroit Shoreway area, I've worked in this near westside neighborhood for more than fifteen years. My adopted "hood", I've explored it's sidewalks from W.25th Street and Lorain to W.65th and Detroit Avenue.
We are a part of 'Cool Cleveland'.
Expensive townhouses are beggining to gentrify blocks of the inner-city that, only a few years ago, were the domain of the dealer. The creative class moved in, displacing the desparate and disfunctional. When the infamous Jay Hotel finally closed it's doors, the community breathed a collective sigh of releif, and we all felt a little bit safer.
Fresh facades and familiarity provide a false sense of security.
The police blotter tells a different story. Thugs and perverts continue to troll for victims. Passengers waiting at bus stops and conveinience store clerks are easy marks. We keep our eyes open as we hurry to our cars after work.
Yesterday morning two adult males came into the school lobby and robbed one of the senoir boys. They were armed with guns, took the boys shoes and some other belongings (from what I heard) and immediately left the building. We haven't been told whether or not the police have arrested anyone, or even have any leads.
Before this week, I never felt unsafe here at school. There were always plenty of security guards and a police mini-station in the building. The crisis in school funding has forced the eliminaton of most of the security staff. Word on the street is we are easy pickins now...walk right in.
When will our officials pay attention? When will the community demand safe environments for our children? The community should be outraged, yet this incident didn't even merit a mention in the news. The media was too busy gushing over the new plans to rebuild the Flats entertainment district.
Brand new condominiums, stores and restaurants will replace the old bars and night clubs.
It was announced that public money will be needed for that project.
Hmmmm...I wonder who those hard-to-get tax dollars will go to first?