Thursday, November 29, 2012

A-Marting We Will Go, Again!

a twinkle in his shifty eyes and a few tricks up his sleeve. . .

A-Marting We Will Go, Again!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  Santa’s eyes are twinkling.
And reindeer bells are tinkling.
It’s that time of year again, the time of mistletoe and holly,
The  time of Marting’s madness and Albrecht’s folly.

   Like others, when I read  in the Portsmouth Daily Times (26 Nov. 2012: click here) that the Building (or Bilking) Committee is recommending tearing down both the Marting building and the former Adelphia building, and replacing them with a new Municipal Building and a new Justice Center, I thought they’ve got to be kidding.  Has the Daily Times become the Daily Show of the print medium? Is Frank Lewis Stephen Colbert, reporting  preposterous stories  with a straight face? How in the world is Portsmouth going to come up with the money? Isn’t this the city that’s under fiscal watch and isn’t it the seat of Scioto County, the first county that the State of Ohio ever put on fiscal watch?
   Perhaps fearing  sticker shock, the PDT article apparently didn’t dare print the estimated total cost of the two building projects,  but if you do the math on the basis of the figures provided—$200 a square foot for each of the proposed 75,000 square feet, that comes out to $15 million dollars, but I’ve been told the $200 a foot is not an estimate but a fantasy. The two existing buildings, for those who might not know their sordid histories, were virtually empty worthless properties that were unloaded on the city and its taxpayers with the  connivance of two crooked city officials: Mayor Greg Bauer in the case of the Marting building and appointed First Ward councilman shyster Mike Mearan in the case of the Adelphia building. The city foolishly paid almost $2 million for the Marting building and in the case of the freaking, leaking, black-molded Adelphia building, the city acquired,  or got stuck with, the  property by doing no more than excusing the delinquent  back taxes and allowing the Los Angeles absentee landlord to claim it was a charitable gift to the city, providing  him a  write off on his income taxes.

   I believe that what has long indirectly driven the downtown Marting nuttiness is Jeffrey Albrecht’s determination to get control, directly or indirectly, of the land on which the Municipal Building sits, right across from his new Holiday Inn.  He has doubled down on his original investment mistake, the Ramada Inn, the Queen of the Rust Belt,  and before the Holiday Inn too proves a financial failure,  he is going to do everything he can to convince the na├»ve and gullible that the Municipal Building has got to come down, no matter what the cost to taxpayers. The Municipal Building is about the same age as the U.S. Post Office, just up the street, and is of the same design and constructed of the same materials, so why is the one supposed to be at death’s door while the other is an architectural treasure of the city? Because corrupt city officials and greedy developers have been trying  for some time to kill the eighty-year-old gal to get the valuable ground on which she rests. Thats why.

   The history of Portsmouth real estate is replete with examples of well-to-do well-connected owners  unloading overvalued but nearly worthless property on the taxpayers. It goes with the territory.  The Bilking  Committee recommends that all unoccupied, unessential property “be sold absolutely at auction.” Absolutely? At auction? Presumably that  means all unused city property deemed unessential will be sold at auction, positively, post-haste, without question. I think this is  the Jeffrey Albrecht provision in the Bilking Committee’s recommendations. In a  recent article in the PDT, he predicted property would soon be bought and sold in downtown Portsmouth (i.e., in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn), and he said he hoped that property owners would not be greedy and ask too much of buyers. He obviously had not only heard but probably had something to do with the  recommendations the Bilking Committee came up with. Buy  cheap and sell dear is the first law of real estate, but Albrecht wants that law suspended, or reversed,  because he or his  accomplices will be the ones doing the buying. As long as something is built on the Municipal Building site that will create more business for the Holiday Inn, he will be for it, no matter what it is or what it will cost taxpayers. And of course, he wants the Municipal Building to be auctioned off. We know how adept he is reputed to be at rigging auctions because the state attorney general came close to taking legal action against him after shenanigans that took place at a controversial auction in Athens.

   Yes, Santa’s got a twinkle in his shifty eyes and a few tricks up his sleeve, for this is the season of Marting’s madness and Albrecht’s folly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paula and the Peacock

Paula and the Peacock

Like Jay Gatsby (born Gatz), Paula Broadwell
(born Krantz), an upwardly mobile Dakotan,
raced to the tiptop and tragically fell
 for a peacock, for a military man
whose colorful medals cast quite a spell.
Her narcissistic Daisy Buchanan,
her rapidly racing heartthrob from hell,
her jogging partner in Afghanistan
she loved him not wisely, but too well.
Life for her became a marathon
that she ran  like a bat out of hell,
from North Dakota to the Pentagon.
Like Jay Gatz, Paula Kranz got nowhere fast:
Love-sick gals, like love-sick guys, finish last.

                           Robert Forrey, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

City Manager Search


                 City Manager Search         

The search was thorough as can be,
They searched ev’rywheres in the county,
Considered ev’ry livin’ kin and kith
‘fore choosin’ ole Snuffy Smith.

*For the unhappy history of a past Portsmouth city manager, click here.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Portsmouth, Ohio, home of the bankrupt politicians

Having failed at handling their own finances, bankrupt Portsmouth city officials then went on and mishandled the city’s finances, misallocating funds intended for roads, public buildings, etc., to increase their salaries and benefits and the salaries and benefits of other city employees, especially the fire department. 

The current unelected mayor Malone, who likes to gamble, lived beyond his wife’s public sector salary and went bankrupt:

Former mayor Kalb lived beyond his grocery clerk salary and went bankrupt:

The deadbeat president of city council Haas lived beyond his means and went bankrupt:

City solicitor Jones lived beyond his means, is now insolvent, unable to repay his donut loan to the SOGP, and may go bankrupt if  he is not bailed out by his enabler, American Savings Bank:

In Portsmouth, the also-rans of life, the financial and moral bankrupts, with the support of the crooks who control the city, run unopposed for public office and pocket the difference.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Presidential Election, 2012

“Politics is the systematic organization of hatreds.”
                                                   Henry Adams

                     Presidential Election, 2012

The last ballot’s been cast, the last poll’s closed.
It’s been vitriol without precedent.
The querulous questions have been posed:
Who will be elected president—
The foreign-born Muslim filled with hate,
Or the greedy Mormon who lies like a rug?
The perpetrator of Benghazi-gate,
Or the goof who strapped his dog to the roof? Ugh!
The black who expanded the welfare state,
Or the white who thinks that blacks are moochers?
The Saint who wears the magic underwear,
Or the kin of Kenyan hootchy-koochers?
Politics proliferates hatred:
Elections bring it virally to a head.

                    Robert Forrey, November 6, 2012