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Op-ed: Get the drugs out of the North End (by Peter Children)

The North End – what is it?

It is many things; it’s home for many families, families who have lived there for a lifetime. To them it has the feel of a favorite blanket, the one you reach for to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. To those who do not live there it’s just another section of this city….an unattractive area that seems locked in a time warp and doomed to remain so. It’s fate is now in suspension, or so it seems – up in the air until just now – whereas through the decades it was just a drive through on your way in or out of town. As we all know, this isn’t the first attempt to pay lip-service to this decrepit set of structures, it’s been on the front burner before, only to have the flame sputter and then go out.

Trouble seemed to erupt every so often at the Alley Katz bar
Trouble seemed to erupt every so often at the Alley Katz bar

This neighborhood needs a hell of a lot more than just paint and mortar. It needs an IV rammed into its main artery…fresh blood ($$$) pumped into it’s heart. It needs a new broom, one that will sweep it clean of criminal activity. Why would any sensible investor pour money into this area then watch it run down the drain like the former Ally Katz bar did. What killed the Ally Cat? Gangs that moved in and took control; driving out anyone that did not conform to their mode of behavior….until that night the lights went out for good.

Before any heavy construction equipment rolls up, there needs to be a deep cleaning completed in the residential areas that serve as pseudo pharmacies for those who spend their lives in a suspended state of subconsciousness. There needs to be a joint effort between the courthouse and the police; you see the police cannot enter without a just cause….and all the just causes live at the courthouse. A few years ago I had a conversation with retired Chief of Police that asked for anonymity, which of course I granted. This retired Chief told me that up to that time there were 36 known drug houses operating in the city….all of which were operated by ex-NIACC ball players who never left town after their short stint at playing catch was over. These people were given deferred grading….deferred until the season was over because you had to maintain a certain grade point in order to play….hard to do when you can’t read or write.

Now the local college has competition for its graduating class of pharmacologists; that being the State of Iowa’s liberal welfare laws. These laws as compared to the neighboring state of Illinois has caused a migration swing comparable to the Gold Rush days. It filled every empty apartment in Northwood, Iowa and is starting to do the same here on our North End. These are no labors, these are pharmacologists that are open 24/7. If the council wants to develop this area, you can’t just sweep the street, you need to clean house……..

Peter Children of Mason City

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