Friday, December 30, 2011

The Illustrated Ballad of Dr. Lundeen




The office of Dr. James E. Lundeen in Portsmouth

This is the door of the controversial doctor
Who was accused of dispensing pain pills like candy
To “patients” who came from near and far
To a location that was handy—
The fourth floor of the Masonic Building
On Chillicothe Street in P’town.

Masonic Building, c. 1900

Was he practicing medicine or a swindle;
Was he high-minded or low-down;
Was he Hippocratic or hypocritical;
Was he hard working or just lazy;
Was he the sufferer’s best friend,
An angel of mercy—or just crazy?
He operated in God’s country, the Buckeye state,
Thirteen crowded so-called clinics
Where milling “patients” faced a long wait
That drove some of them to hysterics.
On entering, what his patients would see
Was a smooth shaven, bow-tied gent
Who was not only a bona fide M.D.
But had also been candidate for president.

For more on candidate Lundeen, click here

He proposed a foreign policy called SMITE—
A biblical assault on evil—
A reminder to enemies of God’s might,
Which could eradicate them like boll weevil.

In addition to providing a fix to those in pain,
The doctor also would ask for a donation
For his presidential campaign
To help relieve the pain of the nation.
He literally threw his hat in the ring,
A hat made by Cynthia, his millinery wife.
She was his one, his only, his everything—
His faithful companion for life,
His support hose, his holy staff.
She was the first to ask, “Jim, what’s the matter?”
The only one who could make him laugh—
She was both his dream of genie and mad hatter.

The Lundeens at Kentucky Derby in hats designed by Cynthia

The Lundeens in campaign hats designed by Cynthia

Having gone bankrupt in 2007,
Did Lundeen, when he came to P’town
Feel like he’d arrived in loser’s heaven?
Mayor Malone, President Haas, Kalb the clown,

Desimone, of Fork and Finger—
And a very close call for Kevin—
All had given creditors the finger,  
All were deadbeats, all Chapter 7.

Lundeen’s office was just down the hall
From the studios of WNXT,
Where Stephanie Haze, the SOGP’s moll,
Was always denouncing the CCG—

The fourth floor hall of Masonic Building where as many as forty patients sometimes waited to see Lundeen

The Concerned Citizens Group—
For criticizing the SOGP’s dirty tricks,
While, milling in the hall, dozens of cooped
Up addicts waited impatiently for their fix,
Waited like cars to get gassed on dope.

The shorn losing candidate in one of his cramped thirteen offices

Notice the box marked “Free Trial,” a sample,
As if it contained some evil dope
From the satanic Procter and Gamble,  
Which was into much more than soap. 

The former P&G satanic logo
 
The Southern Ohio Growth Partnership
Controls P’town like Tammany did Manhattan
And the military now does Egypt.
While the poor of Portsmouth repine, the SOGP fatten.

Only after the homeboy was not reelected
Did the state revoke Lundeen’s license;
Only after one in eight babies were born addicted
Did authorities finally stop the pretense.

Lundeen had been dispensing for five long years,
While Stephanie Haze ranted on the station
Against C.A.V.E. People and  the CCG’ers
For besmirching  P’town’s reputation!

The doctor has fled to Indiana or Pennsylvania.
On the fourth floor, WNXT has found the solution:
Thirty second plugs for Mohr’s Automania—
Instead of pain pills, it’s noise pollution.

Mohr noise



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Look Deeper






Look Deeper

He tried creating a blog of his own
But no one but himself would read the thing.
It was so damn boring and monotone,
Always scolding, always lecturing—
The blogger no one would ever mention.
Like a desperate nerd who always jogs
In heavy traffic for the attention—
He became a parasite on trafficked blogs,
Anonymously depositing comments,
Like lice in kids’ hair, fleas in  dogs’ fur—
The bench warmer who constantly torments
The loser coach to make him a starter.
Vaulter without a pole, player without a goal—
See him look deeper up his own asshole.

                             Robert Forrey, 2011


For more on Look Deeper, click here.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas





‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: 2011

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes a city manager soon would be there.

Mike Mearan was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of hookers danced in his head,
And Kalb on the toilet, in his dunce’s cap,  
Had just settled down for a long winter’s crap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Kalb sprang from the toilet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and smoked some hash.

The moon on the breast of a hooker below
Made him want to do wheelies in the snow,
When what to his wandering eye should appear,
But the recycled auditor swigging some beer.

A Kiwanian, looking dishonest and spent,
It could be nobody else but Trent.
Pixilated from playing financial games,
He whistled and called out some names:

“Here Horner! Here Raison! Here Tricky Nixon,
As sure as shootin’ I’m puttin’ the fix in.
You’ll all get raises, public employees all,
Cause your CPFA’s on the ball.”

“To Capital Improvements say bye-bye,
Cause they’re nothing but a lot of pie in the sky.”
Then up to the house-top he flew
Like an elephant jumping out of a zoo.  

Meanwhile, tinkling, Kalb heard on the roof
A drunken footstep that he thought was a  hoof.
Failing to flush the toilet, as Allison told him, he turned around
Just as Trent came down the chimney like a chow hound.

Like a black sheep from head to foot,
Covered all over with inches of soot,
He resembled a sweep who’d just come back
From supplying Mary Poppins crack. 

His eyes so twinkling, his smile so Kiwanis,
His bulk was just short of dinosaurus.  
A Certified Public Financial Administrator,
He was deficit financing’s favorite perpetrator.

He was chubby and plump, a gigantic old elf,
And Kalb laughed when he saw him in spite of himself.
A wink of Trent’s eye, which showed he would fudge it,
Made Kalb understand he would “balance” the budget.

Trent spoke not a word as he cooked the books,
Transferring funds to the usual crooks.
Then putting a finger up his nose,
He chuckled and up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his cycle and gave a whistle,
And away he flew like an unguided missile.
But Kalb heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Be sure to write Forrey an email tonight.”

                             Robert Forrey, 12/24/11


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Matt Dillon AWOL


Matt Dillon and friend outside of the bankrupt 
Shane DeSimone’s Fork and Finger Restaurant






(*For the Portsmouth Daily Times story, click here.)


Friday, December 16, 2011

Wanted for Pilfering from the C.I.P. Fund


WANTED
The Portsmouth City Council for Pilfering from the Capital Improvement Fund



Jim “Dopey” Kalb
Bankrupt head of the Capital Improvement Pilferers.
Chief parasite on the body politic of Portsmouth.


Trent “The Enabler” Williams
The Auditor who cooks the books


Mike “Donut Hole” Jones
The heavily mortgaged clueless city lawyer


John “Deadbeat” Haas.
Bankrupt President of City Council
who cares more for cars than kids.


Rich “One for the Road” Saddler.
The “Portsmouth Boy” voted for the motion to pilfer.


Kevin Johnson.
 The failed businessman who was for Kalb as mayor,
 for gambling, for the city manager form of government, 
and for the pilfering of the Capital Improvement fund.


Nick “Thundering Turd” Basham.
Ex-teacher, ex-bar owner, who served half price Pilfer Beer 
to disgruntled city employees conspiring to recall Mayor Murray.


*See the anti-pilfering briefs filed with the court by Frank Gerlach and Jane Murray by clicking here.






Monday, December 12, 2011

Trent Williams's Double Talk









In view of the double talk that City Auditor Trent Williams resorted to in order to evade answering the questions of Frank Gerlach and Jane Murray about city finances at the recent hearing at the Court of Common Pleas, the underlined excerpt from the minutes of  the Portsmouth City Council for 12 January 2004, shown above,*  is revealing. Williams announced in January, 2004, that there were no deficits for the  year just passed, 2003. First Ward councilwoman Anne Sydnor asked how this balancing of the budget had been achieved. Where had the revenues  come from to erase an anticipated deficit? The question could not have been clearer, but Williams replied he “was not sure to what figures she was referring.” Williams gave the same evasive answer more than once when Gerlach asked the same question earlier this month. Williams said he was  not sure what figures Gerlach was asking about. Gerlach, like Sydnor in 2004, was asking for an accounting of the revenues that had help erase the deficit. Williams said he was not sure which revenues Gerlach was referring to. Williams was being evasive because it was not  “revenues” that had erased the budget but rather funds that had been transferred from the Capital Improvement fund. In October, 2003, with the approval of Judge Harcha, the  city had made up the deficit in the General Fund by transferring money from the Capital Improvement fund. By law, the Capital Improvement funds are supposed to be used only for capital improvements, for the city’s infrastructure, and for such structures as the Municipal Building. But a loophole in the law allows the city to petition  the Common Pleas Court to allow the transfer of CIP funds, which is what was done in 2003 and which is what the city is asking to do again, in 2011. The Capital Improvement funds are the piggy bank that the city periodically empties to pay off city employees.  

The sorry condition of the Municipal Building today is a consequence of the funneling of Capital Improvement funds into the General Fund, which is used to pay general operating expenses, such as salaries and benefits for city employees, including fire and police personnel. The  city has been generous to the fire and police personnel in particular because they are a potent political force in Portsmouth, and politicians cannot expect to stay in office if they don’t cater to that powerful political constituency. Now Judge Marshall, presiding in the Common Pleas Court, is being asked again to make an exception, even though, as Gerlach pointed out, the city is not currently in a deficit and has revenues coming in that will assure that it won’t fall into a deficit. Why does the city want the CIP funds to be transferred again? What is the emergency? The emergency is that the politicians, including City Solicitor Jones (who, last time we checked, appeared to be  mortgaged to the hilt and beholden to those who control the city financially**) wants to make sure there is enough money in the city treasury to provide a reported 12% pay increase in wages for the fire department. Can that be right, 12% for fire personnel in these belt-tightening times? Surely the court is not going to reward the city’s  budget busting-infrastructure wrecking behavior by allowing the transfer again. Will the citizens again have to take it to a higher court to see that justice is done, as it did when it appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn the Common Pleas Court’s ruling that City Clerk Jo Ann Aeh had not mutilated recall petitions?

The city is now rehiring the same employees, the same people, who negotiated the contracts while Kalb was mayor that put the city in the financial bind that caused the state to put Portsmouth on a fiscal watch list. Kalb will once again be in a position to help take Portsmouth down the road to bankruptcy, a road he knows something about, having traveled it himself personally, as did the  unelected, out-to-lunch mayor David Malone and the deadbeat president of city council, John Haas. The court should not allow the city to continue to  follow the same path of misusing capital improvement funds, which  led the state to declare Scioto County the first county ever to be in a fiscal emergency. The city will end up like the county if Williams is allowed to get away with his double talk. The city and the auditor have made no effort to change the way the city mishandles its finances since the Common Pleas Court approved the transfer in 2003. By approving another transfer, the court will be condoning the way the city auditor cooks the books.




       *For more on the 2003 transfer of funds, go to Teresa Mollette’s invaluable website Portsmouthcitizens.info  by clicking here.
     ** For my earlier post on Solicitor Jones's personal finances, click here.






Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bankrupt DeSimone's Crappy Properties



DeSimone and Friends


In July, 2004, Shane DeSimone bought sixteen pieces of heavily mortgaged Portsmouth houses from Home Federal Savings and Loan, a Kentucky bank, for about $440,000 dollars. Three of the properties, 1701, 1703, and 1709 Jackson Street (not shown here), were renovated into the Fork and Finger Restaurant, which he is the owner of. But most  of the houses, including those shown below, were ramshackle and in the seven years since then have only gotten worse. The first house below, at 318 2nd Street, now boarded up, was a crack house for several years. The last house below, at 1525 Jackson, may still have tenants, with children, judging by a light inside and the battered playthings surrounding it. On September 27, 2011, four months after Home Federal Savings and Loan took DeSimone to court, he sold it to Hatcher  for $10,000, well below what the county auditor had it valued at. Hatcher may be doing what homeowners in the John St. area suspected him doing there—letting houses go to hell as a way of depressing property values so he can buy them for a song. DeSimone sued then mayor Murray for saying she thought he bought these properties to launder drug money. He claimed she defamed him, making it harder to achieve one of his ambitions: to be mayor of Portsmouth! Why did he buy these properties? Whatever the reason, he is now bankrupt and owes Home Federal about a half million dollars. His properties will be auctioned off at the County Courthouse, beginning at 1 PM, Wednesday, December 21.


You can see the County Court docket on his bankruptcy by clicking here.






























Thursday, December 01, 2011

Fiscalholicism



City Auditor in advanced stages of fiscalholicism 


After sitting in on the hearing at the Common Pleas Court on the morning of December 1, 2011, I reached the following conclusions: 

1. One of the reasons the city is in a fiscal crisis is because historically city officials and the mayor in particular get in bed with municipal employees unions, particularly the police and fire unions.

2. Elected officials do not negotiate with the municipal employee unions, they collude with them because the bottom line for elected officials is getting elected and getting elected or reelected without the support of municipal employees is hard as hell.

3. One of the ways elected officials have paid off municipal employees for their political support is transferring money out of the Capital Improvement account into the General Account.

4. Elected officials are reluctant to spend the Capital Improvement monies on capital improvements—roads, sewers, municipal buildings—because capital improvements do not vote.

5. People vote and municipal employees are people; increasing their wages and benefits makes political sense because they not only vote for the colluding public officials, they campaign for them.

6. The police and fire personnel are very good at campaigning. They do not hesitate to use scare tactics to get voters, especially elderly voters, to vote for measures, such as the increase in the city income tax, that are favorable to police and fire personnel.

7. Now that the city income tax has passed by a narrow margin, police and especially fire personnel are campaigning to get the transfer of unused money in the Capital Improvement account, where it can be used only for capital improvements, into the General Fund, where it can be used to further increase salaries and benefits for police and fire personnel.

8. Municipal unions, and particularly the fire and police unions, give unionism a bad name. Unions that must engage in real negotiations, such as teachers, who are not invited to get into bed with elected officials, are blamed for the higher taxes that result from the increased cost of salaries and benefits of public employees, particularly the police and fire personnel.

9. City solicitor Mike Jones represents the interests not of the taxpayers of Portsmouth but of the municipal unions, particularly the police and fire department unions. 


Fiscalholic City Solicitor Mike Jones, who represents the Police and Fire Unions in city government

10. Both Auditor Williams and Solicitor Jones vowed to Judge Marshall that if he transfers the funds, they will do everything they can to see that the city puts its fiscal house in order. Williams is not an alcoholic but he is a fiscalholic. Some of his answers to questions were so non-responsive and strange as to suggest he is in an extreme stage of fiscalholicsm.

11. If Judge Marshall agrees to the transfer he will be enabling fiscalholics in city government to continue what is by now a long standing practice of robbing the Capital Improvement Fund to pay for salaries and benefits for municipal employees.

12. The Municipal Building is the most glaring example of what happens when Capital Improvement monies are not used for capital improvements. People are very important, including rank and file municipal employees, but so is Portsmouth’s infrastructure, and that is what Capital Improvement monies should be spent on.


Capital Improvement funds have not been properly used to maintain the Municipal Building

The participation of Frank Gerlach and Jane Murray in the hearing, speaking against the transfer,  was outstanding; they are probably the most capable mayors Portsmouth has had in the last half century. We should not give up on Portsmouth when we have people like them speaking up for taxpayers.