Ron and Anna Winship, over at Orange Juice, have written an interesting post discussing the benefits of "Underground Utilities".
They praise their presense in Irvine, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo, mention how people have been asking for them in Newport Beach and discuss the lack of them in Santa Ana.
Where I choose to take issue with the article concerns shoes.
Tennis shoes, to be exact:
Several months ago...we were traveling to the County offices in Santa Ana and as we stopped by the Bush Street Post Office we had passed about six power poles with several sets of tennis shoes over the lines.
We later found out that these were "sign" of either drug activity or gang members intimidating non gang members in the various neighborhoods.
We wrote a letter to Mayor Pulido and were surprised and rather honored that he had responded to our concerns. He was even kind enough to pass our concerned communication off to others in his City government.
A few months later we returned to the same neighborhoods and found that the tennis shoe problem had been abated and we could only find one set of tennis shoes in evidence.
This brought to our attention how personal conduct does very much influence both property values and the safety of our neighborhoods.
How do they know they were just "Tennis Shoes"?
Did they get close enough to the shoes to absolutely determine this?
And, if they were only representatives of the humble tennis shoe, how can it be assumed that their presense, hanging "from the rafters", was some sort of gang ritual, and not just some prank by kids, or some idiots amusing way to retire his old pair of shoes?
Come on, everyone knows that gang bangers and drug dealers spend hundreds of dollars of their hard earned cash on expensive Air Jordans, among other fancy varieties of "Athletic" shoes.
Who told them these shoes were "Gang Sign" and how could they tell?
Inquiring minds want to know! ;-D
Anyway,"tennis shoes don't sell drugs, people do".
Ok, now that I got that off my chest let's move on. ;-D
Underground Utilities are our friend.
That seems to be the point the writers want to make.
When they aren't dissing the poor, put upon, tennis shoe. ;-D
They wonder why it's so difficult to put "Underground Utilities" in older neighborhoods.
They believe Santa Ana could benefit from them.
So. Cal Edison offers a yearly fund for each community that
offers a free underground grant program. The problem has been
that most cities do not target or prioritize where this effort
should be targeted...
We believe that law abiding residential areas of any city can
truly benefit from "Underground Utilities". In fact, all "iffy"
crime associated areas can benefit greatly.
Now back to those poor put upon shoes.
A couple of commentors to the above piece have pointed out 2 reports that shoot down the implications put forth by the authors:
ABOUT.COM - Urban Legends:
It seems that the reasons why are as numerous as the shoes themselves and quite interesting as well. ;-D
The full article on Orange Juice: