Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The Douche Who Stole Christmas

Just saw a sad story on NBC 10 about a woman in Linwood who has had all of her kids’ Christmas gifts stolen.

Plus, I went to middle school with her! No joke!

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We’re Not Top 10

According to the 14th Annual “City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America” Philadelphia is not one of the 10 most dangerous cities to live in. Based on the nightly news reports over the last few years I would have thought we would have soared to the top.

While Philadelphia may not be a top tier crime city, our friendly neighbor (or maybe it is unfriendly neighbor) Camden, NJ is listed in the top 10. The list goes as follows:

1. Detroit, MI
2. St. Louis, MO
3. Flint, MI
4. Oakland, CA
5. Camden, NJ
6. Birmingham, AL
7. North Charleston, SC
8. Memphis, TN
9. Richmond, CA
10. Cleveland, OH

It should be noted that the report has drawn sharp criticism, with the American Society of Criminology calling it an “irresponsible misuse” of crime data.

Source: Yahoo! News

Nobody has to live this way forever.

Getting married makes you incredibly tired, for about a week. No one warned me about this, and I tried to go back to work right away. It’s difficult to focus with the constant yawning.

Now, onto the topic. I came across an interesting blog about the cycle of violence in major cities, especially Philadelphia which happens to be the writer’s home town. Beware, though, the author uses some strong language.

There is a total sickness going on in this country – my opinon. People (such as this young gent below) are so [expletive deleted] spoiled in the richest country in the world they have no [expletive deleted] idea what it’s like to live in a poor- third world country. If you are free, english speaking, have at least a highschool education – you have a choice! Specifically you have a choice when you turn 18. Nobody has to live this way forever.

Terrible days for dogs.

I was shocked to see this violent crime on the new this morning, in a rather upscale part of Mount Airy. A man walking his dog was held at gunpoint. When he did not have any money to give the assailants, one of them shot the family dog in anger. Then he was pistol whipped and told to run. Carpenter’s Woods Town Watch posted a heart-breaking first-hand account from the victim’s wife.

Up at the other end of Wissahickon Park, a hiker found two dead pit bulls in the bushes in Chestnut Hill near Forbidden Drive and Bell’s Mill Road; two bullet shell casings were found nearby as well. These were obviously bodies dumped following dog fights in another location. The PSPCA is offering a monetary award for information leading to an arrest in this situation.

“Dog fighting is a heinous crime and it is our intention to have those responsible prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Howard Nelson, chief executive officer of the PSPCA.  “We need the public to help us with this case before more innocent dogs are harmed or killed.”

The authorities call in their authorities.

I guess Sylvester Johnson isn’t relying too heavily on his cockamamy scheme to have 10,000 black men volunteer to patrol the streets. Today he announced he’s bringing in the state police for high crime areas, claiming the plan has been “in the works for several months.” He also said “bringing in state police is not an indication that Philadelphia Police cannot get the job done or that the city is in a state of emergency.” I can’t help but say a very sarcastic “riiiiiiiiight, sure it’s not.” Just like he’s not counting the days until his retirement.

Suburban Safety

I never thought I’d be sitting here in west Philadelphia writing a warning e-mail to my friends in infamously affluent suburban Lower Merion. Township Supervisor Bruce Reed released a letter warning residents of a rash of recent armed car jackings, one of which took place at my friends’ apartment building! I am very surprised they’ve been able to get away with this in a township with such a reputation for safety. I wonder if this will push people to move further up the main line as the two locations of the car jackings were not that far from the city line.

For anyone concerned, please see here for tips on how to avoid and handle a car jacking situation: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/carjacking.html#carjack.

Jury Duty in Philadelphia…more stuff

Each year, summonses are mailed to Philadelphia residents using a combined list of all registered voters and adult licensed drivers.
In order to qualify for jury service, you must meet the following requirements:
You must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
You must not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
You must be physically and mentally able to perform the functions of a juror.
You must be a United States citizen at the time you are summoned.
You must be a Philadelphia resident and at least 18 years of age.

If you are not mentally or physically able to serve as a juror, provide medical certification in the remarks section of the questionnaire. If you are requesting to be excused for a job related reason, your employer should certify the hardship in the remarks section.

If you are no longer a resident of the City and County of Philadelphia, please indicate your new address in the remarks section. You are not be required to report.

Q. How often must I serve?
A:If a person serves for one or two days, they need not serve again for a period of one year. If service is for three or more days, the exemption period is three years.

Q. Why have some people never been called for jury service and I’ve been called more than once?
A:As mentioned earlier, selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times. It is truly the “luck of the draw”. However, if your name appears one way on the voter list and another way on your driver’s license, your chances of being called increase. The court is not permitted to make changes to these lists.

But the point being made by Sherri W. is. If you must speak English in order to serve on a Jury why would there be a question in Spanish asking you if you speak English with a box for you to check YES? A box for NO makes sense but not a box for YES.

How do you say “Jury” in Spanish?

Jury%20Header.JPG

So I’ve been called to do my civic duty: in about one month I must report to the Criminal Justice Center for jury selection. Last time I did so, I was empanelled on a jury and was told that my service would exempt me from further notifications for three years.

And three years (almost to the precise DAY!) after I reported in summer 2004, my shiny new jury notice has arrived. And, as I filled out the official “jury eligibility questionnaire” that is a required part of the process, I noticed something that amused me a tiny bit.

(More after the jump)
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Not so funny.

One hardly need pay much attention to news and such to know Philadelphia has become somewhat of a joke. Most often, that joke involves Baghdad in the punch-line. My family, tucked away in quiet suburbs, joke as well, about us wearing protective armor. This brings in a lot of laughs, but if you actually live here they’re uncomfortable ones followed by silence. I’ve lived here for under four years, but even I can remember when we all felt up-and-coming. Now, when my friends relocate to the main line or plan to move to an entirely different city I never wonder: “What’s wrong with staying here?”

In a Crisis

195 people murdered in Philadelphia so far this year, an 11% increase over this time last year. The murders are mostly taking place in particular parts of the city as opposed to all over the city. Drugs also seem to be related to many, not all, of the shootings.

Do you have any thoughts about how to stop this carnage?

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