Get Out of Town You NIMBY-wimbies!!!

Over the last couple of years, there have been a number of pseudo-controviersies that I classify as NIMBY stories (Not In My Backyard – I realize that this is not an original term).
A couple of years ago, there was the whole downtown loopers controversy. Instead of an easy solution of simply hosting a continual police presence, our showboating city councilors instead gave them the boot, which just meant that instead of congregating in one easy to control area these people were spread out to private parties and empty parking lots all across the city.
Of course, we also have the continued harassment of a small-town strip club by the moral minority in Salem. A couple of weeks ago, I took a small detour on a business trip to Mitchell to check out where Racehorses is located. It’s miles out of town, located literally in the middle of nowhere. If it wasn’t for the publicity, I doubt if most people would even know it exists. I would also bet that its existence has actually been a benefit for quite a few cornfed cows who haven’t gotten any from their husbands in quite some time.
Along the same lines, there’s also the situation with Annabelles. Oh, the outrage. We certainly can’t have an adult toy store in our god-fearing town. Where’s the family values? Again, there should be no ill effects as the building is tastefully designed and is blocks from any residential areas. As for morality of negligee and toys – well, even Christians have sex and nothing but good occurs when bedroom activities between two (or three, four, or more) consenting adults is enhanced.
On a more serious note, there have been a number of issues in recent months concerning rehab centers, halfway houses, and other organizations that offer aid to those that are down on their luck. While I can understand the concerns of the neighbors affected by such facilities, there is a reality that these sorts of buildings need to go somewhere and people in need must have somewhere to go. Until we become a gated community, we will occasionally come into contact with homeless people. As long as these facilities have plans to deal with those that don’t follow the rules or affect others in negative ways, they have every right to exist. The greater good of the Banquet more than offsets the occasional act of idiocy that already occurs in the area in question.
I don’t want to sound like a tree-hugging liberal, but it seems to me that nobody is addressing the big question when it comes to addiction and homelessness. Why do these problems even exist, and what can be done to lessen the numbers affected? Rehabs are generally only used as an alternative to jail, which dramatically lessens the success rate. Affordable housing is growing into a bigger and bigger problem every day, particularly in the downtown area as big-ticket condos and apartments are the latest fad for the handful of realtors who actually run our city.
I’ll admit right now that I’m not smart enough to come up with real-world solutions – the only solutions I can come up with come straight out of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. But there are plenty of bright people in this city that should put their heads together for issues more important than where over-the-hill corporate rock bands and minor league sports teams will play to half-empty crowds. In the meantime, let’s work with (instead of against) those that are willing to put in the time to help those less fortunate.


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