I ♥ Bargain Books & Fund Teen Center!

What to love and loathe about living in East Greenwich this week.

RAVE: Mea culpa. I know I complained about the proliferation of billboard signs popping up around town a few weeks ago, but I have to admit that I am loving the rogue homemade library book sale ones.

The Friends of the Library, who put on the annual book sale, have limited funds and would much rather the money go towards things like community programming and updating the library’s equipment than printing signs. So it’s great to see our community step up on their own and post (and I hope eventually remove) their own signs.

I can understand their enthusiasm. Though I've been telling myself for the last couple of months that I'm not allowed to buy any more  books for the foreseeable future (and to use the library resources instead), I HAD to make an exception for the library book sale. I mean, how could you NOT go? For those of you who are bargain shoppers like myself, here is a list of some of the books I scored at the sale last year:

• The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest• Water for Elephants• The Help• Cutting For Stone• Eat, Pray, Love• Little Bee• Sarah’s Key• The Hunger Games
Total Spent: $8.00

Not bad, eh? For those of you too lazy to do the math, that comes out to just under a dollar for each book. A cup of coffee costs more (and now I’ve saved enough to upgrade to latte). 

RANT: Recent events in our neck of the woods as reported on these pages:

“A white male with a handgun held up the Sunnybrook Farms at 1002 Main Street Tuesday night, according to police. No one was hurt.” May 9, 2012

“A suspect broke into a house on Frenchtown Road west of Tillinghast Road late afternoon Monday and a young girl was in the house at the time…” May 7, 2012

“Police arrested three juveniles, ages not available, at the corner of Chestnut Drive and Hamilton Drive on drug charges Thursday evening (exact time was not made available). One youth was charged with three counts of drug possession; another youth was charged with marijuana possession and receiving stolen goods; the third youth was charged with possessing marijuana.” April 12, 2012

“After receiving a report of a house party on Falcon Circle, police found a party in a garage on that street. As they arrived, according to the report, several young adults ran away.” March 30, 2012

East Greenwich is not a high crime area. Some of the unlawful behavior reported in the Police and Fire Log borders on Mayberry RFD. One of my favorites was last Halloween when a River Run resident reported to the police that a candy and a note had been left in their yard and requested that they remove the offending jack-o-lantern. Most likely, she had been “booed” — a new seasonal tradition-in-the-making in which a note or poem is left with a bag of goodies outside a favorite person’s door. Point is, downtown Detroit, it ain’t.

However, one thing guaranteed to raise crime in a neighborhood is a reduction in juvenile serves. This is not an opinion; it’s fact: study after study has found that there is a spike in teen crime, violence and general misbehavior when the kids have nowhere to go. So while I sympathize with the Town Council’s task of creating a workable budget, it seems cutting back on the teen program is going to ultimately have a boomerang effect of costing us more in the long run. Crime costs a community in riches, resources and reputation.

I know no one is ever supposed to utter these two words in the same sentence, but perhaps the solution is to raise taxes. If we want a town that excels in its education system, desirability as a place to live and services to its community, we may need to pay for it. Some would argue that a high tax rate is not exactly a siren call. But neither is a broken town. The money that pays for good infrastructure, good schools and good services has to come from somewhere and it seems reasonable that the source should come from those who most benefit from it — we, the people.

Otherwise, perhaps the town should turn to the social media’s form of venture capitalism and set up Kickstarter programs for what needs fixing and funding in this town. If nothing else, it would clarify where our priorities are. 


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