October 26, 2007

story 2 blog post

Apparently the renting issue in Duluth has reached its boiling point. It seems as if the next few months will determine if Duluth will decent into a pit of chaos where college kids run around drunk ruining the lives and property of the citizens who have made Duluth the permanent home.
Clearly it’s the most pressing matter we face. The Duluth News Tribune has dedicated the front page story and some potentially questionable reporting tactics to renting for the last few days. Either this really is the deciding moment in Duluth history or there is an election right around the corner.
After reading the news that has been published, a ground breaking discovery has been found. It now appears as if the home owners just want the college kids to show a little respect. The mind blowing twist is that college kids seem to want the same from home owners.
Maybe this is just one outlook on the whole deal, and it’s possibly a sarcastic look at that, but here we are, stuck in a stalemate of wills. The unstoppable force vs. the immoveable object. On one side we have the students. They are an economic force that some would argue keeps the city alive in winter. On the other side sits the home owners. They’ve worked to get what the have and they have no intention on giving any of it to those damn kids.
Clearly these two sides can’t resolve this problem on their own. The city council, which just happens to have a few seats up for grabs this year, has tried to find solutions. One of the proposed solutions was to stop rental properties from springing up all over neighborhoods by making new rental properties be at least 300 feet from existing residential properties. It wouldn’t have helped people who are already surrounded by rentals, but the other neighborhoods in Duluth would have been assured a future of peace and quiet. Like the other great plans the city council has had, this one was sure to work (what?... heath benefits for life?... no way that could ever be a problem). It would have worked, or maybe still will depending on how you look at it. The only catch was that there was a 30 day period between the proposal being passed and it actually kicking in.
So what happened? Well, a lot of applications for rental licenses came in. Mike Schraepfer, a local landlord and member of the Duluth Association for Responsible Rentals (DARR) says the number is over 450. The majority of those applications came from home owners.
That doesn’t make sense though. Why would home owners, the same people who are fed up with the increasing amount of rentals in the city, apply for 450 rental licenses?
“People had to protect their investments,? says Schraepfer
If a home owner wants to sell their property ever it will be worth much more if it can be used as a rental unit, especially now that it will be difficult to find property to put rentals on. Only in America could a group hate something, but jump at the first profitable chance to exploit the thing it hates.
The city hasn’t limited its attempts to correct the problem to one little rule. The city seems to feel that this is an issue that needs the utmost attention. One has to wonder if the members and hopeful members of the council will still care as much after the election numbers are sorted and final.
If not, the only group left to mediate would be landlords. Some could argue that they should have a better handle on the issue anyway. It is true that they can’t supervise the lives of the people they rent to, but it is their property. Dose that make it all their responsibility though?
Landlords are playing on both sides of the field. They are obviously home owners and they trade their property for monthly payments. It seems unfair to put all the weight on the middle man.
That is why a group like DARR is possibly a real opportunity. The group brings renters, home owners, landlords, and police together and gives them a chance to converse on the issue. DARR itself can’t make the changes. People need to realize that there is no one answer here. We’re a free society, students can’t and shouldn’t be obligated to change their lifestyles just please home owners. It works the other way too. Home owners shouldn’t have to just sit back and deal with what they see as annoying behavior from students. At the same time the city shouldn’t need to focus all of its attention on an issue that could be solved by the community. Everyone is going to have to back off a little and show some respect. After all, respect is all anyone is really looking for here.

October 22, 2007

talking about blogs blog

This blog was about christian peacemakers. It's about a couple of people. One worked in Iraq and the other in Isreal and Palestine. I thought it was fairly well written. The writer didn't soak it with opinions. The two people in the story did most the talking.

I'm not sure if this is just a daily blog or if it's a chapter from a book. It's just kind of a play by play of a night in Iraq. The guy that wrote it is in the army. I assume he's in some sort of leadership role.

October 17, 2007


yeah... so, what the hell is going on here?