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Looking Forward to a New Era


Dear Source:
On New Year's Eve, around midnight, the usual volley of gunshots rang out in my neighborhood. Not in my immediate area but they echoed from down the street and went on for so long that I called 911. The dispatcher was polite but advised that the department was aware of it but that it was "New Year's Eve."
As just my personal comment on this, I've lived here long enough to know that this gunshot barrage is for some bizarre reason a customary practice, but I also know that innocent people can be wounded and killed by such randomly fired bullets. What goes up comes down and can also be deflected.
So this "custom" leaves me cold and also makes me wonder why VIPD patrol cars aren't obviously stationed in certain areas on New Year's Eve to not only deter this potentially lethal practice but check on the people firing these guns to see if the guns are properly licensed and further apprehend those who are firing them. On the other hand, and on a brighter and more optimistic note, there was a public "block party" down the street from me on New Year's Day afternoon/night. It was either a gubernatorial inaugural celebration or maybe just a usual New Year's Day celebration. The side of the main road in both directions quickly started filling up with vehicles, as did the side road adjacent to my business.
I'm sure to some I'm a bit funny/idiosyncratic about my property and the parking lot but with good reason. I've chased off drug dealers, hooker hook-ups, etc. over the years, get tired of picking up soda and beer bottles tossed all about and that's why I have the property posted as private property, no parking, etc. I think the neighborhood has improved enormously over the years partly because I DO care and stick my neck out.
So having gone through all this before, I watched and called out to those trying to park, "Excuse me ma'am/sir, private property, please don't park here!" I venture to estimate that, unlike in times past, only a dozen cars tried to pull into my parking lot out of the probably hundred cars who pulled in and turned around to look for a spot away from private property. And out of the drivers of the dozen cars who tried to sneak in, only three became verbally abusive (all males!), calling me "whitemfb," etc. "Your vehicle will be towed" stopped them in their tracks and of course they moved.
But the majority was really pleasant, saying, "OK, so sorry" and quietly moved on with no bad language or attitude. I was really flabbergasted by the pleasant reaction which was so alien to that which I've experienced for so long.
I think our new Governor has maybe already made an impact on attitude in general by both encouraging and engaging residents to participate in and become a part of government. He and his team face a tough path in some respects. There is much to be done and undone and the old adage about Rome not being built in a day should prevail. Not everybody is going to be happy as time goes on and there is certainly going to be major angst in certain areas.
John deJongh and Greg Francis are indubitably going to be very unpopular in certain sectors as time progresses. But those certain punks comprise just a very small segment of our society and it behooves all of us to watch out for the fringe idiots and promptly report them so that we can look forward to a new era.
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

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