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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 56 total)
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  • in reply to: Historic Districts Want Rental Signs Removed from Houses #499760

    Oak
    Participant

    I’m a managing partner with some rentals in Athens at OU and the city there has enacted a pretty strict code on what cannot and can be used in the terms of singage to advertise rentals. Honestly I kind of welcomed the uniformity of the code and the equal enforcement across the city. Now that being said, Athens/OU isn’t nearly as big as OSU. Before the new code, there was a hodgepodge of signs in various colors, sizes and states of condition. Now it looks pretty nice. I’ve always had a property management company manage my stuff and they used standard realtor signs and I believe that has now become the city-wide standard. Do they get battered up, broken and sometimes stolen? Yep. That’s the cost of doing business in Athens. Just as buying the housing permits for each renter and having Code Enforcement walk every unit every year and making repairs to your units that they deem fit.
    Got to be honest, compared to OU, OSU landlords have it much easier.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #497027

    Oak
    Participant

    Twixlen – I don’t disagree with you, I’m all for technology to make the process more secure. I think that challenge here is to make these people responsible for their cards. The money is “free” and can easily be replaced so where is the incentive to be responsible? If they were responsible and made good choices, they wouldn’t be selling their cards or their benefits in the first place, therefore negating the need to create a more secure system.
    I think an online system where they could look at the balance would be nice, but again we get into a cost-benefit analysis. While I don’t know the exact numbers, previous research I’ve done showed that many people who are eligible to receive state/federal assistance do not have access to the internet except at public libraries, or they do not have the hard computer skills needed to operate and navigate to the appropriate resource.
    Is there incentive for the grocery stores to check the card against an ID? Probably not because would argue that checking ID’s drives up the cost of doing business. That’s the usual talking point when asking any corporate retail establishment to do anything.
    Lastly, we run into the argument of “what happens if the poor person doesn’t have ID to check against”. Many of my left leaning cohorts have said that “ID’s are too expensive, not easy to get, the poor can’t get to ID offices” etc when the voter ID legislation gets put up. So if the poor can’t get ID’s to vote, how are they going to have ID’s to check against the name on the EBT card?
    Asking people to be responsible isn’t class warfare.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #497020

    Oak
    Participant

    First – I’d like to thank everybody for keeping this discussion as civil as possible. I think that says a lot about the people in the discussion and I’m sure Walker appreciates a civil discussion where he doesn’t have to monitor the sandbox for bad behavior.

    Couple of things that I want to discuss, some aimed at my previous posts and others that came up. First, I do take my right to privacy and unreasonable search and seizure seriously. However,I just cannot wrap my mind around the idea that I would both ask for assistance, but simultaneously say “stay out of my business”. I happily guard my privacy when it is prudent and appropriate, but understand that in order for me to gain something, I have to give something up. The audacity in my opinion exists in the “want my cake and eat it too” mentality.

    Rustbelt – I overlooked the whole “food stamps haven’t existed in 10 years” post at the beginning of this thread, but now you’ve said it twice and I have to weigh in. It came off as condescending the first time and it didn’t get better the second time you said it. The common name for food purchase assistance is food stamps. Nobody anxiously awaits their “Electronic Benefit Transfer” cards to be recharged. They wait for their food stamps to come in. Trust me – I listen to my sister (who is on food stamps) call it that. And if I know bureaucracies, they probably tried re-brand “food stamps” as EBT to try and remove the perceived social stigma around food stamps. It is what is is.

    If people don’t think that fraud happens in all government programs; it sure as hell does. But this conversation isn’t about other programs, this is about drug testing Ohio welfare recipients. Let’s keep it on that. My dad investigated welfare and food stamp fraud for years when he worked for the state. He’s told me all the games. And while the transfer from paper stamps to plastic EBT cards have saved the state money in terms of getting the benefit to the recipient, the fraud still does happen on a regular and consistent basis. I digress; this isn’t a conversation about welfare fraud, but the point-counterpoint in testing welfare recipients for drugs.

    Back on topic: I agree with Rus from Local Champions point about how do they calculate the % of people who are on benefits that commit fraud. The same question exists in how do we calculate the number of people on benefits who also use illegal drugs. There is no way to extrapolate that data without doing some type of testing and the only way to test is to have people who receive benefits. If we do nothing, then the social perception continues about the correlation between welfare and drug use. If we do test, then my cohorts on the further left complain of invasion of privacy, class warfare and stigmatization. Wherein lies the compromise? Is the status quo really the best that we can do?

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #496998

    Oak
    Participant

    Ok, let me respond to a couple of those points:
    1) Probable cause and self incrimination are criminal law terms, not civil or administrative terms. The results of the drug test will not result in criminal charges, just administrative sanctions (denial of access to services) so probable cause and self incrimination are moot.
    2)Children unfortunately suffer the fools of their parents. The luxury of choice can only be given to the parents. The courts have held that in loco parentis (in the place of the parent) only applies in certain situations, so the child cannot be materially separated form the parent unless exigent circumstance exists.
    3)Well there are really two ideologies to consider here – both of which I addressed in a previous post. The idea of “public good” has both social (non-fiscal) value and maybe quantifiable fiscal value. Truncated from my previous post, if we were able to dispel the myth of the welfare druggie, doesn’t that have public good? If there were short term costs to a larger public good, doesn’t that have value? I think it’s difficult to put a true cost-to-benefit value on this situation. There can be value, but quantifying it as a budget line item isn’t exactly linear. For example, I believe that gay marriage is “good” but what are “costs” both socially and fiscally of allowing it to happen (my guess is none but others disagree) and what are the “benefits” to society (plenty I would think, but I don’t have any data to support that) both socially and fiscally – this too is a non-linear “public good” debate.
    With there being no empirical data (I won’t accept Florida’s data. As a sociologist I can’t accept Florida’s data set as representative of Ohio)is it possible to get a good representative set without undue consequence? If let people volunteer to give samples, then the data set is already biased and has to be disclosed as such. With there being 3 test counties, I think that might be the only direction to go before rolling it out statewide.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #496995

    Oak
    Participant

    See I think that’s where the mental obstacle is for me. I don’t believe that there is never a choice. In my world, there are always choices and there are always consequences. It’s this perception that there was no choice is the mindset that people use to absolve themselves of responsibility and/or culpability.
    People always have choices, even if the options in the choice aren’t ideal – hence the idiom “lesser of two evils”.
    People choose to be on public assistance. They may not like the alternatives (couch surfing, homelessness, etc.)but there is always a choice that they make. More often than not in my opinion, people lack the tools to make the proper choices, more so than there is truly the lack of choice.
    But it’s just not poor people that the government makes to pee in a cup, all government workers have to take drugs tests. The only people who don’t have to take drug tests are the ones we elect to make the laws. So the perception that poor people are the only ones that the government makes take drugs tests would be materially incorrect.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #496988

    Oak
    Participant

    So this thread has kind of derailed into a pharmaceutical debate (of which I know nothing) so I’m going to try and re-rail (is that a word) it back on topic.

    So here is something that I can’t quite understand. How is asking people who want something to give something? If I want to be employed and work – I have to give them some pee. Our whole society is derived from give-and-take. How is it asking someone to give something nominal (I mean really, it’s pee, worth almost nothing)in exchange for something of real value causing them to be degraded? I don’t feel degraded when I take a drug test for work either in the private sector or the government sector. It’s just a part of the process. I don’t feel like my “right” to privacy is being invaded in the least.

    I’m kind of in the camp where signing up for government benefits is something that you willingly do. You have to fill out paperwork, prove you’re eligible, etc. It’s not compulsory – it’s voluntary. I would be more inclined to believe that the government making you take a drug test for something that you HAVE to do to be crossing a line – but not for something you voluntarily do.

    Another good example of this is high school sports. The government makes you go to school, so it shouldn’t require a drug test. However, high school sports is something you elect to do. So if you want to play, you can’t use drugs. If drugs is more important to you than sport, then you don’t play sports.

    I guess I just don’t fully understand the argument that making a government benefits recipient take a simple drug test is some great misfeasance. And I would really like to better understand that argument so in the end I can make my own opinion on the matter.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #496974

    Oak
    Participant

    Rockmastermike: Thanks for the well wishes. Here is even the kicker – almost all of my family is in law and/or law enforcement (including me again) and we can’t seem to find the right method to get her clean. From experience, arrest isn’t the answer. Drug addiction is as much psychological as it is physical. But my mom and step-dad keep trying.

    cheap: You’re right – I have pretty much written her off. I only talk to her on Thanksgiving and Christmas when i’m forced to be around her. However she keeps causing me problem when agencies i’m applying with want to talk to my family for my background and she says some pretty crazy shit to them. She also does make my mom a wreck.

    in reply to: Welfare in Ohio – News & Updates #496957

    Oak
    Participant

    Let me play devil’s advocate for just a hot second – supposed there is some good unintended consequences to this whole scenario.
    What if they drug test welfare recipients and the tests show that in fact in Ohio there are very few people who are on drugs and on welfare. This in turn causes people to embrace social services because the urban myth of welfare druggies is gone.
    With this new appreciation for social welfare, the general public starts to support it more and it’s no longer a sacrificial lamb in budget debates.
    Additionally, those people who do come up positive for drugs are able to be referred to an agency that can help them deal with their substance abuse problem.
    Why can’t this be a possible outcome? Why is the portrayal of this “Rich old white men making poor blacks pee in cups?”.
    I think there is a valid urban myth that all people on welfare are drug addicts and that any research done in Ohio to create empirical data to prove one way or the other beneficial.
    For full transparency – my sister happens to be a drug addicted welfare recipient. She’s completely hooked on prescription pills. I’d appreciate help from the state to get her clean so she can take care of her kids. My family has tried and nothing has worked because she keeps getting food stamps, cash and a roof over her head after we tried to cut her off. She couldn’t afford food or diapers, but she always had her pills and beer.

    in reply to: The best writeup on Columbus Craigslist I’ve ever seen #115483

    Oak
    Participant

    +1 Hipster-ass Hipster Bike
    For seriously – buy my scooter. Maybe I just need to re-write the really dry “here it is” ad to something worthy of becoming viral and the thing will sell. Maybe I can get Austin Davis to write my ad since he writes screenplays. :)

    in reply to: City Campus – Renovation of Downtown City Offices #451620

    Oak
    Participant

    I’m glad that they’re getting a new building. The old one looked very “80’s”. Hopefully this one will have a more timeless look. Speaking of the old building – my dad had an office there right after it first was built and said the first good hard rain they had after they opened it – the whole place leaked like a sieve. He said there were buckets everywhere and just puddles on the floor. The wet suspended ceiling tiles were turning to mush and just falling. He said at one point it was so bad there was a stream running down the steps. Hopefully the new place will be better sealed.

    in reply to: Concealed Carry in Ohio #494087

    Oak
    Participant

    myliftkk: Actually criminals do run down a subconscious mental checklist before committing a crime. For a crime to be committed, they have to have the means, motivation and opportunity. When a criminal picks a victim, there is a “victim selection” process that happens. Do I as the criminal have the means (weapon or physical strength), motivation and opportunity (no cops around, dark, victim is distracted, victim has no means to fight back) to commit this crime? If all the indicators are “yes” then a crime might be able to be successfully committed. If there is an element of potential failure (victim might be armed)then the risk might be worth more than the rewards. At times, a criminals motivation might override good risk/benefit analysis and they attempt a crime which a reasonable person might believe would result in failure (and then they fail).
    But there is a victim selection process that criminals do go through and wondering if the person is armed does factor into that process. The unknown variable of CCW does present a problem in the selection process.

    in reply to: Concealed Carry in Ohio #494085

    Oak
    Participant

    I’m pro-police, a CCW license holder and gun enthusiast and I’m split on these two. 256 repealing training is crazy. I sat through the 12 hour class at Blackwing (they made it a great class btw). I didn’t really learn anything; I was just putting my time in, but someone who was new to shooting would have learned a lot. The class at Blackwing isn’t a firearms class (teaching you how to shoot) but a legal and ethics class on when to/not to shoot. I think that keeping the training is good.
    What is problematic, there is no checks/balances on the trainers. The law says you have to have 12 hours of training by a NRA certified trainer. But there is no one who actually checks to make sure that people are in the seats. It’s entirely possible (and I hear is happening out towards Zanesville after talking to the guys at Hocking Valley guns in Nelsonville) that someone out there is taking your $150 then giving you a certificate which you can then use to get your CCW permit.
    HB 422 is redundant for something that already happens. When you get your CCW permit, your record in LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) is updated to show that you’re a CCW permit holder and likely armed. If an officer runs your plates (and they’re registered to you) or does a database check of your other information, they will be made aware of your CCW status. So the requirement that you inform the officer that you are a CCW permit holder and armed is really redundant.

    in reply to: Short North Business Break-Ins #493641

    Oak
    Participant

    So the news only gets worse – if the redistricting of the police is in fact a cause/effect relationship with the uptick in crime, then everybody will be pleased to know that the new Columbus Police Chief is in fact the architect of the “grand plan” to redistribute the police force “where they’re needed”.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/04/05/jacobs-is-new-police-chief.html
    From the Dispatch: “In 2010, Jacobs was the architect of a redistricting plan that was designed to place officers where they were most needed.

    It went into effect over the objection of the city’s police union in July of that year. In October, neighborhood leaders interviewed by The Dispatch said the changes had gone smoothly and, in some cases, helped address police-coverage issues.

    So I would pose this question – now that the Short North seems to need more police, will there be a shift again? The reason the Short North had a lower crime rate was because we had police, not because there was a lack of crime. Now that the police are gone and the crime is back, does the Short North gets it cops back? My guess is no.

    in reply to: Secret Car Compartment Law #483429

    Oak
    Participant

    From the Buckeye Firearms Association:
    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/8296
    “Senate Bill 305, introduced to combat hidden compartments in vehicles used to transport illegal drugs, is not a “gun bill.” However, as with any law, SB305 could have unintended consequences for gun owners who use safes and compartments to secure their firearms in their vehicles. As a pro-gun group, we view our narrow mission as protecting firearm rights.

    When we made Governor John Kasich’s office aware of our concerns, his staff reached out to us to help change the bill to protect firearm rights. Substitute SB305, scheduled and adopted by the Judiciary committee today, reflects many of the changes we requested. These changes specifically exempt containers that are manufactured and/or advertised to be used to secure valuables, electronics or firearms in vehicles. Simultaneously, the bill was also re-focused to require the state to prove that hidden compartments in vehicles are used with the intent to transport controlled substances.

    We are pleased to be working with Governor Kasich’s team on areas where we agree, and Substitute SB305 is a good example. What originally could have been an unintended threat to gun owners has been modified to provide explicit protection to persons doing nothing more than securing their firearms in their vehicles. As a single issue group, Buckeye Firearms Association will not take a further position, for or against, Substitute SB305.”

    There are car safes that are made to fit under the front seat so that you can secure your firearm in it when you’re away from the vehicle. These aren’t “hidden” per se and are marketed specifically for this purpose. For people like me, who are CCW permit holders, we have to have somewhere to store our firearms when we go to places like Betty’s because Liz (and I do love her) thinks I’m going to shoot the place up.

    The “hidden compartment” that the bill is referring to are compartments that people create in their tail lights and side panels that are not easily accessible and that a reasonable person would conclude was created to hide contraband.

    Here is a link to the type of hidden compartments the law is trying to describe: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/October-2010/investigating-and-prosecuting-hidden-compartment-cases

    in reply to: Columbus Apartment Rental Market Getting More Expensive #492097

    Oak
    Participant

    All of the new apartment construction is based on the current market conditions and a hope that the conditions (demand is greater than supply) will continue so that rents will stay strong. The market is so strong that if the LeVeque can convert office space they must see something for at least a few years into the future. However there will be a tipping point where there will be more market supply than demand and rents will start to soften. When Zillow gives those averages, those are based on self-report rents from apartment community corporations and realtors. There is a whole “shadow market” in the residential rental industry (mostly individual owners and mom/pop operations) where you can actually get a better value.
    Just like the newly fashionable “eat local” movement, I think that people should “live local” too; meaning that by living in a rental home that is owned and managed locally you’re putting your money back into the local economy, as opposed to a national management company.

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