Sensor Be, Censor Me

I have become a total egress safety bee, an inadvertent advocate due to necessity, despite [mostly self] efforts to censor me.  Yes, something is wrong with the sensors at the International Towers apartment building in downtown Youngstown. Again. I wrote about it here and there before. Word has it that this time, the blue fobs AND keys failed to unlock the main egress doors from the outside.

Yes, tenants wandering home at odd hours this weekend were locked out, which may be better than being locked in… but, if keys do not work, that means even the frikkin FIRE DEPARTMENT would be locked out as they pull keys from an outdoor lockbox to open the doors.

Thank goodness firemen carry axes and big sledge hammers, eh?

At least management does acknowledge that there is a problem this time.

Main egress doors, controlled by electronic sensors.

Main egress doors, controlled by sensors.

And here is a close up snap of the sign:


Odds are, they will have someone figure out WHY the sensor failed and have it fixed ASAP as they are so concerned about non-tenants entering the building that they LOCK the OTHER exit doors (solid doors, no windows) from the INSIDE at night to stop tenants from sneaking friends into the building.

Or, so I hear… I don’t know for sure as I have not personally tested those doors in the middle of the night.  If it is true, that is a SERIOUS problem as the door at the far end of the building is a FIRE EXIT!

The sensor problem might have something to do with that pesky drip that has been hitting people in the head as they walk through the doors now for over a year. They may need to do some serious waterproofing. Or, they may just need to replace that crappy looking awning over the doorway. That in itself is an eyesore, almost as sad as the tattered American Flag on our pole.


Alas, I can almost hear staff echo words of “no money for that” as if just because most residents are impoverished means that the building owners are, too. That don’t fly with me because rental properties are a profitable business.  Just spend a little time on the owner’s website if you think otherwise.

I don’t know what the problem is… the owners are winning awards for being great landlords, and this place is going downhill. Remember the broken bench in the court yard?  (Oh, sorry… no links. I deleted those posts from last year while censoring myself.)  Here is what it looks like today:wpid-img_20150329_152342.jpg

Part of me says it don’t matter, I can walk away… go live somewhere else.

Not everyone has that option.

Sooner or later, I will move.  In the meanwhile, I find myself as an unwitting unwilling advocate here…  what’s that Nanny McPhee saying? “When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay.”

My advocacy is kind of like that, only different.

In other words, I cannot be silent when things are not right.


Call for 5×7 Donations

5X7 Artwork Donation

A share for our local YWCA.  I donate because their housing programs help homeless women and women at risk of homelessness (with or without children) right here in Youngstown, Ohio.

The juried “Women Artists: A Celebration!” show is an annual fundraiser for a worthy cause that attracts a nice crowd of art collectors and benefactors. It is very well presented.  The donation display is like a show within a show.

Last year was the first year of including donated 5×7 art and most of the art donated was from local artists and/or artists known by someone on the art committee.  They were amazed to receive a donation from an artist in Chicago, so I think it would be really cool and totally blow their minds if donated art arrives from all over everywhere. So, feel free to share!

Thank you!

NOTE:  Here is the call for donations as a pdf for easy printing: 5X7 Artwork Donation

First Ink

Ye 20 years ago, my Aunt said, “Nancy, will you go to church with me tomorrow? Then after church, we’ll go out to eat and stop and get tattoos.”

I said, “Okay.”

And that is what we did. She got roses on her ankle; I got this on my left calf at Big Ed’s in Damascus. Then we ate meatball splashes at some place down in Lisbon.

first ink

Of course, my legs were prettier back then even with the surgical scars.

My mother flipped in disbelief – she kept asking if it was one of those temporary stickers – and my oldest cousin flipped on his mother by giving her a stern lecture on the dangers on getting tattoos.

She is 85 years old now and still as spunky as ever.

I went to see her in the ICU yesterday. Doctors gave her a choice: do nothing OR fly to Cleveland for a risky procedure. There are complications, but she is a fighter. She opted to fly.