Archive for March, 2009

Community Policing, would it benefit Canton Ohio?

I can’t be bothered to make some silly quip about residents working hand in hand with the Canton Police Department being the building blocks of making a better community or whatever.

I will say that cooperation is the only way to clean up the City.  STEAL from other cities’ programs, but only their ideas, not the money.

Money, in fact, will soon be pouring into Canton as $21.5 millions in stimulus funds are on their way.

What better way to use these (after a job creation initiative) than to start a Community Involvement/Policing Program.  More neighborhood watches, with citizen patrols.  Neighbors looking out for one another.  Annual block parties throughout the wards to encourage neighbors to get to know one another, and have the police officers attend these so that the people can get to know the fine men and women that have the dangerous job of protecting their lives and property.

I also had the idea of equipping responsible and concerned citizens, temporarily, with cheap, but decent quality video cameras, to provide evidence of crimes going on right outside their homes.  From drug deals, to prostitution, you could publicize license plate numbers, and use the CONFIDENTIAL footage to help build cases against those breaking the law and actually crack down on crime in Canton.

Community support must be there for any of these type of programs to succeed.  I would hope that Canton would hold informaional meetings in all the wards to have actual dialogue with the citizens.  To target what each sector of the city needs to be a better and safer place to live.  To sign up residents to help.

I also hope they would first have police explain the laws to them, over what is and isn’t legal in the Community Policing Initiative.  Citizens’ Arrests (very rare, I believe) should not be encouraged, as it’s a good way to get hurt, or hurt someone and have them sue you.

The plain fact is that an armed and conscientious citizenry deters crime.  I’ve done a lot of reading on a lot of subjects, and gun control is one of them.  It doesn’t work.  Criminals will always be able to procure a gun, and part of the reason we have such a low crime rate in this country is because of the gun that MIGHT be in the bedside table.  If you look at Australia, which has been anti-gun for years (they even have fancy laws that say a gun and its ammunition must be XX feet away from each other and always stored under lock and key).  They’ve also been destroying guns for years over there.  So what happens?  Young hooligans break into elderly folks’ homes because they are CERTAIN these people have no way to defend themselves.  In the U.S. though, criminals usually don’t go breaking into occupied homes at night, for fear of the old ‘shotgun enema.’

Now, if you want to scream about children and how they will inevitably slaughter each other if they even see a gun in the home, I call horseshit.  The NRA has a very effective “Eddie Eagle” or whatever it’s called program, that teaches kids the first thing you do if you find a gun is to go get a responsible adult.  But kids without any safety training will usually play with it and point it at each other and pull the trigger.

The only reason the child death rate is so high (due to gun induced homicide) is that people with no common sense slant the facts and the studies to make it so.  Did you know that children includes everyone up to the age of 19, and all drug violence as well.  When you exclude these statistics, and put it down to accidental death by guns, SWIMMING and BICYCLING each kill more kids every year than “dangerous guns,” so where are the parents’ groups trying to outlaw those killer activities?

Coded trigger locks, when used properly, can prevent many of those very few accidental shootings in this country.

I forget which book I swiped these facts from, and they are facts.  I would credit it if I knew.  Anyway, police officers actually LOVE an armed and conscientious populace.  The shooting rate for police is much higher than the shooting rate of private citizens with guns, because the police are always forced to act, whereas a citizen has a choice to get involved or not get involved in a situation.

The citizens of Canton, Ohio, do not all need to be packing heat to deter criminals, they just need to be encouraged to do so, and make sure it’s widely publicized.  I’ve heard that some of the most polite people you’ll find reside in towns that are ‘open carry,’ and I don’t really suggest we take it that far, but it’s definitely a working deterrent in some areas.

Also, to those who would try to claim that ‘increased guns on the street lead to increased violence,’ I say:  ‘only in certain cases.’  Increased guns in law-abiding citizens’ hands increase defense.  Increased illegal guns all over the city increase the chances of gun violence.

I’d like to tell you a little story that was told to me once by a college professor, paraphrased of course.

“Back in the day, in the Middle East, there were a bunch of terrorists that wanted to kill a whole bunch of people (be they Jews, or another sect of religion or whatever).  So they gave them guns and stories of martyrdom and sent them to the market square.  The terrorist pulls out his gun and *pop*pop*pop*, shoots three people of the hated ethnicity/religion, and panic ensues.   But by the time he goes to pull the trigger again, the local shopkeeper has emptied his skull with his personal weapon.  See, that’s the reason they use RPGs and automobiles for shrapnel bombs, because their gun idea failed miserably at killing and maiming as many people as possible.  Plus, with the ready availablity of weapons over there, many citizens are armed for personal defense.”

Anyway, I’ll debate anyone who wants to disagree with me on these points in the comments, as long as they are respectful, with cogent arguments, I’ll promise you the same in return.  Granted, I’ve not provided a tonne of useful links in this post, but the proof is out there for anyone who cares to look with an open mind.  Of course I don’t really expect any responses, seeing as how I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit, but hey, what can I say, life has been hectic.  More posts that would benefit Canton, Ohio are coming soon.

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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 Politico No Comments

If I were Mayor of Canton, Ohio (yikes)

First order of business as Mayor would be to reduce city expenses, without detrimental impact to services.

I would immediately take a pay cut for the first term in office.  Placing the money back into the City General Fund, or using it to help pay for certain initiatives mentioned in this post, or later on.  I have not looked into how much the Mayor of the City of Canton “earns” per year, but I know that I get by on significantly less than $50,000 a year.  Whatever the pay is, I’d be more than happy to give half, or more of it back to the City.  IF I did a good enough job to be re-elected, perhaps I’d take 2/3 of the full pay in the second term, and I’d work extra hours researching all sorts of ways to improve the City, balance the budget, and bring jobs to Canton throughout my tenure as Mayor.  If the people were happy with the results of my leadership, I would then take the full salary as a reward for a job well done in a theoretical third term, and as incentive to keep improving the quality of life for all the people of the City in a .

I would get rid of all but the most essential government Vehicles, and all Cell Phones.  Every vehicle is an expense, they depreciate, they need costly maintenance, and allowing employees to take them home?  Unless they are leaving from their home to go inspect a building or something  on their side of town… no taking the cars home.  Only when there would be mileage and/or gas savings.  Logging mileage would be required, stop or deter theoretical abuse of the system.  For cell phones, I would perhaps look into a discount plan, but the workers would pay for their own plan, then perhaps the city would kick in the difference for the “unlimited minutes” or whatever.  Probably some good savings to be had there.

$6200 per car per year! yikes!

I would also require that every employee in the City Government, from the upper ranks such as the Traffic Engineer down to even the Street Department Workers, Police Officers, and even Meter Maid(s) come up with at least 1(one) idea in every calendar month for saving money, or improving the quality of life in the city.  More efficient patrol patterns, reducing paper usage, increasing recycling, entering a collective supply ordering cooperative with other cities in the region, etc, to get discounts (if not already done).  Perhaps paying bonuses of 10% of the amount of money saved, we’d have to wait and see.

Then as far as I could manage, no layoffs and no firings (you know, within reason).  I would keep all current employees as long as they were good workers and willing to work hard with me regardless of differences and cared deeply for the City and its residents.  There are many, many unemployed people out there that NEED a job, ANY job, and a lot of them have college degrees, and might be able to help turn the city around.  I would not hire or give contracts to friends or colleagues (sorry guys and gals), let alone political donors.  Unless they were somehow world class geniuses and would work cut-rate for the City (and even then I’d still have plenty of oversight on myself to guard against any improper influence in either direction).

On top of that, I would work with City Council, to do what’s best for the people of Canton.  No political fighting, no name calling, I would not promise them anything, except to work my hardest in cooperation with them at making the City a better place.  No trading votes for each others’ proposals, or political deal making.  Find out all the facts on an issue, and then make the best decision for the citizens.  If City Council refused to cooperate in helping pass the much needed improvements, I would go directly to the voters and argue my case, explaining it in detail, and implore them to lean hard on their council members.  Many of the proposals I’d put forth would be common sense, and easy to understand, so I wouldn’t anticipate any argument or dragging of the feet from City Council at all.

All of the employees would be subject to at least one twice-yearly review, be given clear objectives, and the support, oversight, and most importantly, freedom to meet those objectives.  Whether it be reducing delinquencies on tax and other bills, or providing more efficient and necessary services to the community, continuous verifiable improvement would be the mission.  All of the workers would be held personally accountable, all the way up through the ranks.

I would investigate how to get a program(s) or Grant to get started and help guide people through the process of founding their own small businesses.   Because 10% of this country can’t just sit around and wait for something to be done.  We all have to try to do something positive to help our friends and neighbors get back on their feet.  Jobs can be grown from our most precious resource, our people and their ideas!

Everyone wants their street repaved, but that would not be happening.  Needs most gets first.  Triage for the City’s main arteries, then we work on a comprehensive plan to get everything that’s been neglected back into shape by age and deterioration, as well as traffic load figured in.  For safety and efficient traffic flow improvements, we’d definitely look into synchronizing more traffic lights, extending yellows in dangerous intersections (even a half-second can result in decreased violations and accidents, and these results do NOT revert back to dangerous conditions “once people learn the new light timing”, as well as using the motorcycle cops to chase down egregious red light runners at the worst intersections).  The best way to do this may be by using discreet cameras (concerned citizens could volunteer to record and identify the worst intersections for violations using their own equipment, after the amber signal adjustment of course) and then tally the violations, and submit the footage, and we would start enforcing the law.  Deploying mobile speed bumps in neighborhoods where people speed and cut through is one idea, as they pop up if a motorist is going too fast in a residential neighborhood.

Well, crap, I don’t wanna get carried away and shoot all my ideas out at once.  That’s a wrap for today, check back tomorrow or Monday for whichever issue I decide to recommend action on next.  Should be interesting.

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Friday, March 20th, 2009 Politico No Comments

Nothing Fancy, Moving On

No ironic picture, and no fancy ‘I told you so’ here.  This is just a simple post to bring everything down to a simmer with the Redflex situation in the City of Canton.

It looks like the vote is not going to happen this coming Monday, or until the Mayor feels he has enough votes to ram it through city council (hopefully never).

I am still itching to start the petition to outlaw photo enforcement in Canton, Ohio.  I suppose though, I can promise not to embarrass the Mayor further by rubbing salt in the open wound.  The citizens have spoken, and the words are “no cameras.”   Let’s hope he’s got the listening hat on.

Steve McKinney has been invaluable in getting the facts about the way Redflex (and other system operators’ schemes work, and how they fail).  You should check out his in-depth coverage @ if you haven’t already.

I’ve been a little busy, so I didn’t know about the March 17th meeting that the City Council Members (and Mayor apparently) had.  I’m happy the citizens turned out in such numbers and voiced their opinions against the Red Light Camera scheme.

I was all set to help join all the anti-photo enforcement groups together to stop HB 2 or get it repealed because our State Legislature was trying to put Photo Enforcement Radar Speed Cameras out in construction zones all over Ohio.  At $300 a pop, that’s an expensive reminder not to speed in construction zones, and unnecessary too!  People do slow down in construction zones, many times they are empty, but with that scheme, it wouldn’t cost them anything to sit someone in a vehicle doing paperwork and call the construction zone “occupied” so they could rack up the fines.

85% or so of injuries and accidents in construction zones are not caused by motorists!  Talk about another dubious safety scheme that ends up being nothing but a blatant cash grab!

Anyway, since that looks like it’s a dead issue (so far), I’ve decided to move on to a series of posts with ideas of what could really be done to help improve the City of Canton.  I could have gone negative and reported on all the shenanigans and political fighting and such that’s going on with the Mayor, Council, etc, but I feel that The Stark County Political Report is doing an excellent job thoroughly covering those stories, as well as reporting on the conflict of interest and The Repository’s kinda sorta softball coverage of anything to do with Mayor Healy.  I alluded to having suspicions about their coverage of the Redflex issues in my previous blog post, but I didn’t expect the truth to out so quickly!

Anyway, I’ve got a minimum of five good blog posts about how A Mayor could help to turn the City of Canton around.  Maybe more than that, so check back later to read some zany common sense ideas from yours truly, Nicholas Cincinat.

Thanks for reading, hope to see you back here soon (no I am not spying on you!  I only know how many views my blog gets in a month! That’s all).

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

Canton Red Light Camera Civil Code Vote Delay and Repository Editorials

The vote on Canton’s proposed civil code language has been delayed until March 23rd, as I’m sure you know from reading the Repository, or checking up on the issue on The Canton Red Light Cameras Blog.

This is so that the Mayor, William J. Healy II, can try to somehow muddle the issues and come up with some sort of compromise.   I’m sorry, but there is no compromise to be had.  Red light cameras are a true “black and white issue,” there are no shades of grey.  You are either for freedom from surveillance and “gotcha” enforcement of traffic laws, or you are for abusing and terrorizing the citizenry and motoring visitors that drive in your “fair” City.

Finally, I have some words about The Repository’s current coverage of the red light camera issue.  Initially, Bob Russ and Charita Goshay came out with opinion pieces that rightly called the city out on its greed.  But after they covered the informational meetings and got some good information out there (as well as some quotes from yours truly), their direction on the camera issues changed quite inexplicably.

I can’t say why they reversed their opposition of these systems, but maybe it was a simple case of “management” overriding the employees.  I don’t have any sort of inside line to The Repository, or their reporters, and I have considered calling them to ask, but don’t know that I would get a 100% open and honest answer on what would be perceived as “belligerent questioning.”

I am not accusing The Repository of any impropriety, but would like to engage in some wild speculation as to what may have gone on behind the scenes.

1.  Redflex sees the veritable poo-storm unleashed by residents’ vehement opposition to red light cameras, and decides ‘we have to do something or we’ll lose this contract.’

2.  So they contact The Repository, whose main editorial backed off the hard-line anti-camera sentiments of its opinion writers, and floated the idea “Let’s try these cameras for a year.”

3.  Then they receive a prepackaged article full of graphics and explainations of “how the system works” to run on the front page in Sunday, March 8th’s edition.  Much like how many news channels will receive pre-packaged news stories from marketers and even the government.

The article “Red or Green” was not posted on the website until Monday though, maybe an “honest oversight” or maybe deliberately held back so that many, many negative comments could not be added before the supposed Council vote on the issue that was to take place Monday night.

In the editorial on TTAC (the truth about, it was pointed out how Redflex and ACS executives have never received (or never paid) violations from their own sysem, but have violations from each other, and they detailed the story of one Michael Ferraresi, who:

has been through a revolving door with the Australian camera vendor and the Arizona Republic newspaper. After writing stories about the company for the Republic, Redflex hired Ferraresi to be spokesman– often speaking to his former colleagues at the paper about the company. Ferraresi is once again reporting for the Republic, a paper that offers enthusiastic editorial support for the use of speed cameras and red light cameras.

So one of my questions would have been, “Were there any offers from Redflex to a certain reporter who seems to be supporting these fraudulent ticketing systems for such an ‘ambassadorship’ job?  Or was The Repository paid or otherwise influence to come out in favor of the cameras?”

I’m not making these accusations seriously, I’m just playing “what if,”  but this exercise does raise some very valid points.  I don’t know why all three bodies, The Mayor, The City Council, and The Repository might betray the public’s trust by reccommending flawed, dangerous, and illegal systems such as these (uh yeah, finding people guilty without due process and ‘prosecuting’ people with a system of ‘guilt until proven innocent’ directly contravenes the U.S. Constitution, therefor, illegal, no matter what the apologists say).  Oh, I’m sorry, yes I can think of one reason for all these people who should be living up to their responsibility of respecting and defending the rights of the citizenry would commit to such a repugnant policy;  Money.

Time and time again, these cameras and their support systems have been found to violate the due process rights of the motorists caught by them, have been set with too short of an amber signal, have been caught not having any review by police officers, and increased accidents, etc.  The problems seem to be endless.  If the Canton City Council won’t send these frauds packing, then the people will stop the cameras through a petition or whatever other means necessary, and they will send those members of City Council that were blind and deaf to the wishes of their constituents, even if it means recalling them (which would be easy to do folowing the passage of any contract with Redflex, even if after re-election).
That’s all for now.  More, as it develops, my three loyal readers.

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras 2 Comments

You are not an interesting person

When you list your interests and passions on the internet, do not list ‘rock climbing’, ‘skydiving,’ ‘cattle rustling’, or any other ‘faux dangerous’ activity as a hobby/activity you do, UNLESS YOU DO IT MORE WEEKENDS THAN YOU DON’T.

Going skydiving once does not make you an interesting person, going skydiving a million times, doesn’t mean you’ve lived your life to the fullest.  Not lying to yourself, and giving other people some respect, by not pretending you are something you aren’t is what it’s all about.  I read too damned much, a lot of it comic books, pretty much weekly or monthly, and I get quite a bit out of it.  Such as this paraphrased little gem out of ‘Ultimate Spider-man’ written by Brian Michael Bendis:  “You see all these people running around just trying to SEEM like they are better than what they really are, not actually putting forth any EFFORT to learn anything or improve themselves or even acknowledge the existence of their fellow man.”

The moral of this rant is… put up or shut up, don’t lie to the world about who you are, don’t try to make yourself SEEM (fecking) better, be the person that calls out the bullshitters, regardless of who you might piss off.  Surround yourself with people who add to the world, not those who constantly ridicule or detract from it.

Anyway, I’m off to work on my Spider Jerusalem Quotes Page.

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Monday, March 9th, 2009 Rant, Things you cannot find No Comments

125+ Other things your $125 Redflex ticket could buy (besides paying off these crooks)

1.  125 McDoublesTM

2.  25 $5 Footlong Subs from SubwayTM


4.  Website hosting for one year (cornerhost)

5.  School supplies for your children

6.  School clothes for your children

7.  62.5 gallons of Gasoline (@$2/gal.)

8.  One month car insurance

9.  5+ Cases of Beer

10.  Life insurance premiums

11.  Almost three full months of SARTA tickets

12. Car Maintenance or Repair

13.  New Door or Window for your home

14.  Donation to your favorite charity

15.  Donation to your favored political party or candidate

16.  One or two fancy dinners with your wife or girlfriend

17.  Replace all the light bulbs in your home with CFL energy saving bulbs

18.  New pillows and sheet and comforter set.

19.  288 rolls of toilet paper, over five years’ worth (24 rolls @ $10, 1 roll per week consumption 52 week year)

20.  138 Loaves of bread ($.90 ea. @ the Nickles’ Bakery Thrift Store)

21.  125 dozen eggs (on sale @ $.99/dozen)

22.  41 Gallons of milk (sale $2.99/gal.)

23.  17 months of a generic prescription ($7 various pharmacies or insurance co-pay)

24.  5 months sewer bill @ $25 per month

25.  School books for your child

26.  Used computer from Craigslist

27.  Bicycle for your child

28.  12 movies

29.  2 new video games

30.  30 comic books

31.  80 movie tickets at Movies 10 (the dollar theatre, actually, $1.50 now)

32.  15 first run movie tickets from Tinseltown ($8.25 ea.)

33.  10 custom made T-shirts with your very own original design from

34.  Large libary fines from forgetful children

35.  Build your own home gym

36.  Books

37.  CDs or MP3s

38.  Buy Eyeglasses from an online store (5 pairs or more)

39.  Concert Tickets

40.  Sports Event Tickets

41.  Hats (everyone loves pretty hats)

42.  Car Stereo Head Unit

43.  Digital Music and Movie Player (not iPod)

44.  Shoes

45.  Cable TV service and Internet + Premium services for a month

46.  Digital Camera

47.  Super Fancy Programmable Thermostat

48.  12,500 pennies to throw in wish fountains

49.  5 months membership to the YMCA

50.  50 games of bowling (2.50 per game, excluding shoe rental)

51.  A blender, a toaster, and a coffee machine.

52.  A new Microwave

53.  Lots of socks

54.  Lots of underwear

55.  A one way plane ticket out of the Canton area (from the Canton-Akron Airport)

56.  Round trip Greyhound ticket from Canton to Atlanta, GA (14 day advance purchase)

57.  Your electric bill

58.  Your natural gas bill

59.  41 euchre tournament entry fees (@ $3 ea.)

60.  A fancy watch

61.  A new cellphone

62.  4 months cell phone bill

63.  Pet Food

64.  Veterinarian appointment

65.  125 bags of marshmallows

66.  6 rounds of miniature golf for a family of four (@ $5 each)

67.  VOIP telephone service for a year (not unlimited)

68.  Windows XP operating system disc

69.  Newspaper subscription

70.  Donate to the EFF and help protect all our digital rights

71.  Gloves hats and scarves for winter

72.  Ties

73.  Belts or suspenders (whichever way you roll)

74.  Batteries for your remote control(s), for life

75.  297 Forever Stamps (at $.42 ea. that’s almost two and a half years if you mail out 10 letters/bills per month!)

76.  A Nintendo DS

77.  A used PSP

78.  $125 Cow that pays for itself at $1 per day earnings

79.  New Toilet

80.  New faucet for kitchen or bath

81.  Massaging shower head

82.  A framed print of art for your wall

83.  A printer

84.  Furniture

85.  Lamps

86.  46 High Speed 6′ HDMI 1.3a cables

87. 5,250 business cards (vistaprint 250 free business cards with $5.95 shipping x 21 orders)

88.  1 Case of Bubblegum Flavored Floss (2,593 ft.)

89.  6 pet bunnies

90.  A TV capture card for turning your home computer into a DVR

91.  A whole classroom of students their own individual calculators

92.  125 shares of CItiBank stock

93.  An hour long massage

94.  1,250 copies

95.  10 flashlights

96.  5 smoke alarms

97.  5 Dairy Queen Ice cream cakes….mmmmmmmmm

98.  A paintball gun

99.  An airsoft pistol

100.  A bunch of Lego

101.  60 yards of Duct Tape

102.  A set of used tires.

103.  Numerous stopwatches

104.  A small claims court lawsuit

105.  250 DVD+/-Rs (1,175 GB of storage!)

106.  A 1TB internal or external Hard Drive

107.  25 2 GB SD cards

108.  A ceiling fan

109.  Space heater for the garage

110.  Vacuum cleaner or Shop Vac

111.  Alarm Clock

112.  Folding Table and Chairs

113.  Seamonkeys

114.  Board Games

115.  Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and Sympathy Cards for the year

116.  3000 Cheques

117.  9 Doctor Visit Co-pay

118.  Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

119.  New curtains for your home

120.  Rat poison

121.  A lawn mower

122.  Nearly 10,000 Acetaminophen tablets

123.  Paint

124.  12 haircuts

125.  Lottery tickets


126.  Anything else YOU want!  Instead of being forced to pay a fine that is illegally generated, and if you want to contest it you must go to court and in that court you are guilty until proven innocent.  Hell, even with proof you ARE innocent you are still found guilty in Chillicothe, Ohio!

(Special thanks to Steve McKinney, he’s the one who found that link to the Chillicothe tragic miscarriage of justice, and thanks to Mom for helping me finish out the list when I got stuck and ran out of ideas)

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Friday, March 6th, 2009 Politico, Red Light Cameras No Comments

Dirty, Dirty Redflex

Redflex Red Light and Speed Enforcement Cameras have supposedly NEVER caught their own executives speeding or running red lights.

Yet ACS equipment has fined Redflex Executives, and Redflex Equipment has fined ACS Executives.

I find it very curious that this is the case.  Both companies are in the Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera business, and business is BOOMING.

The executives cited in the above editorial avoided paying their tickets by ignoring legal summonses and refusing to pay them.  Granted, in the one case, the violation occurred BEFORE the executive in question was employed by Redflex.

But on the Media side of things, I have to call foul.  When you hire someone to preach to his buddies at a newspaper about the virtues of red light cameras, and that publication comes out in support of red light cameras, I find it difficult to believe that they should be allowed to run any story in their “newspaper” without a huge disclaimer detailing their exact relationships with the issues and stories in question.
This is a gigantic miscarriage of the public trust.  It smacks of bribery and back-door collusion.  No one, with ANY brain, approves of Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Enforcement;  not when educated on the FACTS about the issues at hand.  Personal privacy issues, illegal surveillance, bribery, perjury, falsification of documents, quotas, criminal FCC code violations, and lies, lies, and more lies.

Tainted study results, invalidated studies and conclusions, these are not charges to be bandied about lightly, and they are ALL TRUE!  As Spider Jerusalem said:  “Lies are news, and The Truth is obsolete!”

Next we have Redflex conveniently “forgetting” to file their contractually mandated equipment maintenance and calibration reports:

The City didn’t care, until they got embarrassed when The Rocky Mountain News requested those reports.

Redflex also falsifies certification documents for equipment located in Louisiana.  Small problem, the notary was making up certification documents in Arizona at the time.  Never touched or even viewed the equipment, let alone properly tested it:

I’m sorry, I should really just leave them alone.  Redflex continuously and callously violates the law, creates hazardous situations, contributes to increased accident rates, falsifies documents and data, and manipulates studies so badly that they’re declared invalid in their entirety.  I’d say this company is doing fine destroying itself without my help.  But it’s taking hundreds of millions of dollars from innocent people each year, and that is despicable beyond words.  They need to refund every ticket ever issued and fold the company, and work in public servitude for the rest of their unnatural lives for atonement of their sins.

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Friday, March 6th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras 2 Comments

Redflex Flashers Blinding Motorists (temporarily)

Redflex Red Light and Speed Cameras Strobe Lights are blinding drivers (temporarily, especially at night) and even potentially causing Veterans to have flashbacks (pardon the pun):

Drivers coming the opposite direction as the “violators” have been blinded by the super-bright flash, and apparently the flashes can go off in quick succession, mimicking the muzzle-flash of weapons.

There are also a lot of problems with the positioning of these systems, as Redflex has been caught placing speed camera vans in dark areas such as underpasses, and many other horribly unsafe locations where they are very surprising and extremely dangerous to motorists.

They also tried to park and issue tickets on top of a concrete wall, just above the freeway!  See:

Redflex is constantly endangering the safety of motorists in our intersections, on our nation’s highways and byways, everywhere they are allowed to operate their poisonous to freedom and privacy, accident increasing systems.  This must end before it begins in Canton, Ohio!

Anyway, I’m trying to push out as many of these blogs as possible before the March 9th vote on approving the civil violation code for the City of Canton.

Check out Steve’s coverage of the issue at the Official Canton Red Light Camera Blog.

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras 1 Comment

(Redflex) Traffic Enforcement Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions Part 1: Who

That cover to the left is how this pamphlet of lies begins, and we’ll be dissecting it.

Now for the benefit of all drivers, Canton natives, taxpayers, and visitors, I will shed some light on the problems with these systems, point by point, as outlined in this pamphlet.  With plenty of references to links of actual occurrences of these problems, lest you think I’m making it all up.

I had to rush to get these posts up, and some links and proof will have to be added at a later date, because I wanted to get this out there before the vote and before the hubbub died down, especially if the Red Light and Speeding Camera issue is reversed and defeated in the City of Canton, Ohio.

I was really spoiling for a fight.  I stole the ballot initiative language from The Cincinnati Campaign (relax, I was gonna ask permission).  I had already talked to the Stark County Board of Elections about petition signatures and how many would be needed (10% of voters that voted in the last gubernatorial election, which was 2006).  I was almost set to ruin a vile and despicable company’s day by outlawing traffic enforcement in Canton, Ohio, then City Council had to go and research the issue (instead of blindly chugging the Redflex Kool-Aid), and found out what we’ve known all along.

Safety is the first casualty in the crosshairs of these camera systems.  Next is your civil liberty, and finally, your hard earned money.  But without further ado, let’s get THE TRUTH started…

Section 1:  Who

I don’t believe these statistics.  You have 16,000 accidents each year, working out to more than 40 accidents a day in the City of Canton.  Pad those figures much?  You know, all those accidents that are just fender benders, or are on private property and not public roads, are those numbers being involved?

Then out of that 16,000 you have less than 10% injury rate, and with ONLY 7 fatalities, a 0.0004375% fatality rate.  That should make Canton one of the safest cities in the nation!

Plus, the way the figures are stated, apparently every single accident is attributed to running red lights and speeding in school zones.

I’d say that installing camera systems that cause increases in the number of accidents would divert police forces to deal with traffic accidents from other, more important duties such as arresting drug dealers and patrolling high crime areas, but that’s just me, I must be stupid to think that way.

Wow, so y’know, they cost a lot.  But that’s okay, because we’ll make all the drivers we catch or wrongfully accuse pay big fines so that we can send half of your taxpayer money (since you got caught) that isn’t spent on taxes, that money now has to be spent on the violation you were issued.  Yeah, it’s going out of state, and out of country, to Redflex.  Did you know that many of the contracts have TICKET QUOTAS!!!  The City pays a penalty for every month they don’t exceed “X” number of violations.

Sure, they will game the light timings and shorten them so that they catch as many “violations” as they can trick people into committing, and while plenty of “out-of-towners” will be getting tickets, so will MANY city residents.

And there you have it, the last sentence is the most telling.  The money will be used to prop up city operations, will not be earmarked for ANY safety programs, or be funneled ENTIRELY to the police department (which could be arguably be justified for “safety”), but will shore up an increasingly shaky city budget.  That is, until revenues decrease, then we’ll add more cameras!  Or reduce yellow light timing even further to create more violations!  This is the most damning evidence so far.  These systems are completely about the money, nothing else.

(Oh, and I hope they won’t pull an “Ohio Lottery” and promise to give the city police all the funds from the red light cameras, but yank an equal amount of dollars away from them out of the police budget from the general fund)

We must keep on.

Y’know, the camera company doesn’t issue violations, except when they do.  They have been caught a bunch of times  Proof here.

Sometimes no one.  Sure, we’ll claim that “police officers” will be reviewing the violations, and approving each ticket we (Redflex) sends out, but we’ve been caught issuing tickets with no review before (proven by court testimony and other evidence in Arizona, California, Ohio, and Canada), what makes you think we won’t get away with doing so here in Canton as well?

Rhetorical question.

Well, at times it won’t be the vehicle owner.  It will be a completely different make, model, and year vehicle from the one you own.  The license plates won’t even be a match yours, though they may be similar.  There is next to no due diligence done on photos to make certain they have the proper license plate number and model of vehicle before the violations are sent out.

Also you should check out The Official Canton Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Blog

The writing is probably better, and he attacks the issue much more thoroughly and scientifically than I do.

on to part two

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras No Comments

(Redflex) Canton Ohio Traffic Enforcement Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions Part 2: What (if)

Sooo, no matter how many red lights I run, and no matter how fast I go in a school zone, as long as I pay the fine, there are no other penalties?

Awesome!  I think the unrestricted speed in my ’94 Taurus Wagon is 134mph.  Let’s see if I can hit that in a school zone in Canton and get a Redflex ticket for it.

Hey, as long as nobody creams a school-kid, there’s no problem with any speed they’re doing, as long as they can pay.  Now that’s safety!

Next, we have this:

So, you have to “rat” on whomever was driving your car, signing a sworn statement pointing the finger at some other party.

Or you are automatically guilty of the violation.  Wow, guilty until proven innocent, a prosecutor’s wet dream.

Never mind the fact that you can blame your violations on your minor child or relative and tell them to refuse to pay.  As far as I know, they can’t collect any such civil judgments against a minor, so go nuts, people

Precautions are for sissies.  Precautions don’t feel good, they might get in the way of our pleasure of collecting on our fabricated tickets.  Especially the ones like the guy that got a ticket for over 130mph in a truck that had a top speed of 99mph NEW!

Yes they claim they will have Canton Police Department officers reviewing the tickets, but they’ve been caught NUMEROUS times violating this promise in various states and even Canada.  Issuing all sorts of tickets with no review what-so-ever.  Chillicothe was one of the locations ( according to quarterwave).

Well then.

This first point is one I can’t really take an issue with.  According to their claims (uh, how far can they be trusted anyway) the system doesn’t trigger unless you cross the line after the light turns red.

But I will take huge issue with their assertion that “we don’t ticket on legal right on red turns.”  There are a huge number of cases where this was found to be false.

The short answer is: “Yes, you will always receive a ticket, no matter how legal your actions were.  Enjoy forking your money over and don’t even try to think about fighting it.”

Let’s continue, shall we?

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras No Comments