Pseudo-Gangs VS. The Real Deal, how many years?

The Northwest graffiti incident has brought forth the talk of "gangs" in Roanoke. Even though most who were affected, including the police, have said there is no way this was gang related; people still talk about gangs being here.

I myself have said on many an occasion that what we have here is bored youth, bent on imitating what they think is cool, and creating nothing but damage and irritation where ever they go.

It is not uncommon to hear stories of girls who started smoking weed at 11, guys who started at 9. They are your "gang members" here. But what separates them from real gangs?


A series of gang assaults in a one-block area of the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx claimed one life, and police are trying to determine if they are part of a pattern.
The beatings apparently intensified over the weekend, when police say four young men were attacked by a large group of suspects on Friday and Saturday nights.

Police say on Friday night, two young men in their 20s were surrounded and assaulted by a group of males, as many as 10, in separate but similar incidents.

The first victim was attacked at the intersection of East Kingsbridge Road and Morris Avenue at around 10:15 p.m. Friday night, according to reports. The next victim was reportedly attacked nearby, just a few minutes later.

Both men were treated at a hospital for their injuries and released.

Then on Saturday, within a block of those attacks, two more men were surrounded by a group of 10 men and beaten, investigators say. One of the victims sustained cuts on his hand and head from an unknown object. The other remains hospitalized with a serious eye injury.

Most recently on Sunday, detectives learned that a victim of a previous attack had died.

And where did these youths start? Smoking weed at 11? Some. Tagging graffiti at 13? A few.

But much like up there, most of the real gang members started at birth. The home life was no life, and they found their way on the streets.

And if you think that 11 year old girl smoking weed is not going to spawn a 9 year old boy smoking weed - your kidding yourself.

While we might not have real gangs now, in another generation or two - we will. Because of the home life.

The little things don't matter - church, school, work. It's all about the home. And if there's little to no control at home - then there will be none in the next generations home.

Sometimes the problem can be controlled outside the home. Neighbors showing kids the proper way to be adults, but in all reality - if they are not getting it inside the home - then they will most likely not get it at all.

I know this post is out of the blue - but when you hear talk of gangs around here, and people cannot seem to figure out why - well, sometimes you have to write the answer on a shovel and smack them with it before they understand.


If you Trinkle

My dear Aunt had a sign that hung in her bathroom. It read "If you sprinkle when you tinkle be a sweetie and wipe the seatie."

I'm thinking about getting a new version made.

"If you Trinkle..."

Today's Times Commentary Page features 2 side-by-side columns about the amphitheater drama.

One is by Our Own Vice-Mayor, the other by Tom McKeon, chairman elect of DRI's Board of Directors and Exec. Director of the Higher Ed Center.

Tom's argument that the amphitheater should be located downtown is clear, concise, and gives examples. It's not a great argument by any means - but a valid one, and understandable.

Trinkle however goes on the offensive from line 1: "Well here we go again: Council makes a decision; council members on the losing side endorse malfeasance, wrong process, no input, scandals; council reverses its decision; nothing gets done. Right? Wrong!"

He goes after the Times, the citizens, the downtown organizations and anyone with a thought in their head.

But remember, you are all stupid and wrong.

Well, maybe not so much stupid as uninformed on the issues. But that's ok - if you have a problem with it - he already knows it and has spoken with you. Right?

"I personally have met with every group and individual that I knew was opposed to the river site to better understand their viewpoints. I have never hidden my thoughts on this subject, and only with one e-mail two weeks ago did I encourage the rest of council to likewise weigh in on their thoughts. After all of this input over a long period of time, one differential came to my mind: Where should it be today or where should it be in the future?"

How about where should HE be today, or in the future? Another victim of the Peter Principle?

Then there's this gem: "Win or lose on votes, as I have, I will always lean more toward optimism and avoid the showmanship, negativity and misleading accusations that really have no place at this level of the political game. "

Followed a few paragraphs down by this curious line: "The bottom line was four council members who took the time to be fully informed voted for the river, and we are moving forward despite clear negativism aimed at derailing the project."

Is that to imply that 2 of them were not informed? We know Mr. Wishneff was not present, but Lea and Fitzpatrick were. I hesitate to think that either one of those two men would not be "fully informed", given that one of them was the Vice Mayor just prior to your little coup Mr. Trinkle.

But who am I kidding - the guy has it all, a job that gives him everything he wants - both with the city and with Carilion, a restaurant across the alley way with his picture painted on the backside across from his medical offices, a series of young, hip, Forward kind of people shining his shoes to get the next slot in the city council.

But he's right - I have to wonder how "fully informed" he was considering the city has previously cleared the area off Orange Ave. for an amphitheater.

Oh, wait. They did not have the money or support to build it then.. think they have the money now to start work on Reserve Ave.?

Want to bet?