Hi,

Happy Chinese New Year, this is the year of the golden rabbit.  There’s always a lot of anniversaries to quote at the beginning of the month, because that’s when month long events are notated.  But February first is by far the longest list of the year.  I guess people are pretty board by now (actually tomorrow) and dream up all kinds of National Day of ……….. :)  Tomorrow is National Bubble Gum Day, Learn Italian Month, National Bird Feeding Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month to name a few. :)  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Greensboro Sit In and the start of Black History month.

I’m currently reading an appropriate book for me, Colonel Roosevelt, the story of Teddy Roosevelt after he left office the first time.  I didn’t realize how cool he was, he was all about reform of big business and government and pulling the masses of American middle class up.  Even though he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and really had little direct association with the middle class, he was their champion.  Which brings me to my soap box for today, why don’t they call me to tell them how to fix our economy?  Oil companies will again set record profits for 2010, as will the banks and investment firms.  Big businesses are set to record record profits in 2010.  And housing foreclosures and unemployment are at record levels.  The biggies aren’t sharing with us.  So how about a stimulus package for small businesses.  When I went to college several centuries ago :), one of the things I remember one of my business professors quoting was that 90+% of the American economy is fueled by small businesses.  I read an article in The Trib a year ago that quoted the same (93%).  LEND me $100k interest only for three years and I will create The Parador North with three new employees.  Better deal than GIVING billions to financial institutions that are still getting their bonuses.

Any of you that have been following my posts, awhile back, I was whining about the City’s response to bolster their anemic pension fund.  The biggest “fix” was to sell off our public assets (parking garages, lots and meters) and infuse most of that money to bring the pension fund up to the State mandated minimum.  There was lots of posturing around about getting us up to the minimum, but I haven’t seen any proposals to FIX the basic problems with the fund.  I digress here, I stated that I was in favor of the City selling these assets because they do such a lousy job of running them on their own.  One of the examples I gave of the City’s incompetence in running the Parking Authority is my street.  We did a street scape that was totally paid for (a large chunk by the residents.)  My side of the street is totally finished, completion of the other side has been delayed for almost two years over issues with moving the utility lines to the alleyways.  3/4 of the posts for the meters over on that side have been sitting their without meters (the meters were all bought through this street scape project and the ones for the other side of the street have been sitting in a warehouse).  Of course the mayor or any of my city counsel never answer their phones or respond to VM.  I pointed this out over a year ago to them.  The City makes a killing here Monday through Friday with our meters.  Free and easy money and we sat with no meters on one side of the street, until last week!  I doubt my suggestions to our “City Fathers” or my whining in my blog had any effect on this, but I’m happy to see they finally did something.

Whining does pay off, by the way.  After a year and a half of whining about The Rivers Casino not supporting local businesses (The Inn on the Mexican War Streets and The Parador Inn), and a major blow up with the Northside Leadership Conference a month and a half ago, I now have $10 free slot coupons for new patrons of The Rivers Casino.  I’ve had them for three days and already have passed two out.  And the casino is going to place a link from their site to mine.  Yeah!

They interviewed the lady that invented the beehive hair do, Margaret Vinci, 92 of Chicago, IL had been a hair stylist for a number of years when Modern Beauty Shop magazine (which became the current Modern Salon magazine) was looking for a distinctly new hair style.  As her inspiration, she saw a black velvet had shaped like a small bump and went to work in her family room late at night on a wig on a mannequin and the rest is history.  The Chicago Museum of History is including her wig, the mannequin and pill box hat in it’s display.

Fe Arts Gallery, 4102 Butler Street, Lawrenceville has it’s show “Getting Closer” on display until March 1.  It’s open noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and admission is free.  What they’re doing is taking art that has been created on the Internet and designed to be on the Internet (virtual instead of hard copy).  Kind of a different take on things.

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