Canton OH

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

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

(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

Redflex, Canton Ohio, and Red Light Camera Studies

Red light camera studies abound.  In the final informational meeting for Canton Ohio’s proposed red light and speed camera ticketing system, Aaron Rosenberg, the Redflex Executive Vice President brought his “A” game.  This presentation was much more involved, cited more statistics and studies, and was thoroughly debunkable.

In starting the meeting, he gave a backhanded compliment to me.  He gestured towards me mentioning that “I have my figures and this gentleman has his…” in regards to whether or not accidents are reduced at intersections with ticketing cameras.

But what is the truth?  The Truth About Cars has a nice article about how gaping chasms of lies, half-truths, and skewed results seem to be in every study commissioned by those with a financial stake in these cameras.  The Newspaper, whose excellent English coverage of all things traffic camera related is a godsend, has a handy roundup .  Plenty of quotable quotes in there, including a couple of studies from researchers in Australia its self, where Redflex is based.
During the last meeting Rosenberg quoted a North Carolina study, attributing it to “a college” and he continued that “you know they are impartial because they have no financial stake in the red light cameras.”  This study may or may not be it.

He also referenced the Oxnard, CA study saying that “Fully 80% of residents were pleased with the Red Light Camera Systems and their performance.  They called and interviewed 1006 people.  I don’t know the population of Oxnard, CA, but I do know that this study has been used for years to sell cities on installing Redflex’s systems.  One fairly glaring problem:  The study is complete hogwash.  Actual independent analysis concluded that:  “The Oxnard red light camera study violates many basic principles of sound statistical public health research and lacks internal and external validity,”  Florida researchers concluded. “All red light camera investigations should be scrutinized for adherence to applied research methods since studies with greater adherence to quasi-experimental research designs have concluded red light cameras are associated with large increases in crashes and since special interest groups with a financial stake in red light camera use are actively working to influence public opinion and policy.” (quoted from The Newspaper article linked from “Oxnard, CA” above).  Which means they paid for the studies, and got the results they were asking for.

Anyway, also read this admonishion from Topix user quarterwave details the plethora of problems that Chillicothe is having with Redflex and their crooked cameras.

Quite damning, isn’t it?

An increase in crashes means an increase in injuries, something that Redflex and the cities partnered with them want you to ignore.  This blatant disregard for citizens’ and visiting motorists’ safety is disgusting.  All the cities with these crash inducing systems are exposing themselves to ENORMOUS liability.  There will be lawsuits when people get spinal or whiplash injuries, especially those that can barely be treated, or leave them paralyzed for life.

Well, we’ve only started our journey into the dark and devious world where Redflex stalks every driver, tickets many of them maliciously and erroneously, and steals as much as it can grab.  Follow me down the rabbit hole, and let’s expose these villains for what they are.   See you next crime.

-Nicholas Cincinat

Cold and fuming, Navarre – Feb 11th, 2009

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras No Comments

Redflex, Canton Ohio, and red light cameras uncensored

Warning! Graphic accident footage. Not for the squeamish, may be NSFW!

The above video was taken at the last informational meeting for the city of Canton, OH’s proposed Redflex Camera Initiative.  The pedestrian, which was crossing on a don’t walk signal, was pronounced dead at the scene, but was later revived, so there were no fatalities in this accident.

I attended the first meeting of the four they held in Canton, as well as the last, where I filmed that clip. I had called ahead to make sure I would be allowed to attend the first meeting, especially as I am not a city resident.  They are probably regretting allowing me to attend and ask questions by now.

A few things I want to make clear.  I acted, probably more than a bit, like an ass at that first meeting.  I’d like to sincerely apologize here, and I had already half-apologized to Mayor Healy, and Mr. Rosenberg, the Redflex salesman in the comments from the newspaper article I was quoted in.

Secondly, I do not have any children of my own, the ones I was quoted as being worried about were my brother’s three beautiful kids, that love to hang out with their “Uncle Nick,” and also enjoy riding in the ‘way-back’ jumper seats in my station wagon(s).  I will admit that I became more than a little emotional, and I increased my volume to try not to let my voice crack when I yelled that ‘any increased accidents and injuries would be their fault.’

Thirdly, I was utterly negligent in accusing the Redflex representative of his company and employees committing various crimes such as deleting ticket violations for the CEO or other executives.  Never happened.  The article I read basically stated that ‘Redflex and ACS ticketing systems have the ability to make sure their employees are not issued violations.’  I will be linking these, and many more articles in this blog soon.

I would like to point out that I did attend the final informational meeting at the North Branch of the Stark County Library.  At no point did I interrupt the meeting.  I didn’t make any speeches, or try to get myself on WEWS Channel 5 News, which was there covering the meeting.  I was not permitted to speak, as there were plenty of extremely concerned residents attending, and I fully understand their reluctance to let me do any more damage to their cause, ESPECIALLY since I had thrown around such unfounded allegations before.  I may have made some snide comments directed towards the ears of the persons seated around me, but I’m sorry, it’s hard for me to hold my tongue in the face of outright deception.

Well, since then, I’ve done the research I should have completed before the meetings on these systems, and I have no excuses to offer other than laziness, and procrastination, for my previous mistaken allegations.  I have found concrete, verifiable problems though, and proof that Redflex blatantly violated State and Federal laws.  As any company would be severely remiss not to send Cease & Desist letters to any website or newspaper that reported anything untrue about them, lest their image be irreversibly tarnished, I believe the sources I’ll be using are completely trustworthy, and reporting the full truth of the matters of Red Light Camera Systems.

Now, at the conclusion of this editorial I wrote for TTAC, I stated that I’m starting a petition to put the red light camera issue before the voters.  It is due by August 20th of this year (2009), but I hope to file the signatures much earlier than that.

I will be dissecting the arguments made by Canton, and Redflex in this, my personal blog, as well as updating the status on the efforts to get a petition filed so that the voters can decide whether or not they need these types of systems in Canton, OH.

There is also another Canton Red Light Camera Blog.  I do not know the gentleman who is currently running that website, but I am glad that others are now giving the issues some of the attentions they deserve.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am going to confess that I, Nicholas Cincinat, have had red light and stop sign “violations” in the past.  Each and every one of these was paid for, by me, and while I may have groused about them a little at the time, I admitted my mistakes, and owned up to them.  A couple of the violations I have perfectly reasonable excuses for why I absolutely HAD to ‘run the red light,’ and for the rest, I have nothing but explanations.  The city of Canton, OH, Redflex, or some pro-camera citizens group may try to use these against me in a smear campaign to try to paint me as a “dangerous driver” or “scofflaw,” so I wanted to get this out there now, for everyone to see that I have nothing to hide.  I have only ever been in one accident in the past, which I was not at fault for.  Also, even Mr. Rosenberg admitted to having red light or speeding violations in the past so let’s keep things on the real issues which are the Company and the Cameras.

Anyway, I hope that the citizens of Canton Ohio will be permitted to decide this issue, based on the facts, for themselves.  Thanks to both of the people who got lost and ended up here for reading this.

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Saturday, February 7th, 2009 Automobilia, Politico, Red Light Cameras No Comments