Thursday, March 12, 2009


How would you like a criminal element visiting you next door? How would you like an extension of the arm of the reforms department approximately twenty feet from your front door every day for the rest of your life from 5-7:00 p.m. and 7-9:00 a.m. every day 365? You'd be a NIMBY, right ("Not In My Back Yard"). When you wake up, there they are. When you get ready for bed, there they are, up and down my alley, all over the place crawling like roaches.
Welcome to MY world. A world I wasn't even asked upon if I wanted to participate, a world that without a democratic vote, assumed it would be OK to put a "24-7" program in the parking lot RIGHT NEXT to my house. Folks, I'm talking 20 feet from my door step.
For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a program developed (probably all over the U.S.), but in MY county, Pennington County, South Dakota, for repeat alcohol law offenders. I don't mean the once-in-a-lifetime, whoops of a DUI. What that means in laymen talk is people who've had so many DUI's that they are ONE step from committing a felony and going to prison. They come to a little building twenty feet from my house for a urine analysis twice a day, every day of my life starting this week.
Let me clarify some things. I live downtown. I realize that living anywhere downtown means loud noises, public buildings, traffic. That applies to any city or town, large or small. But this, when you get right down to it, is a drug-enforcement program in my yard.
This needs to be held in an area that is NOT residential.
Let me paint you a picture. Every day now, since its inception this week, a tiny area, the size of a tennis court, is filled with 75-200 cars, all honking, doing burn-outs while leaving, trying to fit into a tiny area to get an urinalysis test. Let me also fill you in. The majority of these are not polite people. This isn't a senior citizen center or a Big Brothers Big Sisters Center. There's honking, fighting. Two fights already broke out between men waiting in line. There's constant horn-honking, swearing, screaming, burn-outs. And all this, outside my door.
In fact, as a single woman, many of these people waiting in line are men, men who are obviously troubled. Am I a sitting duck for trouble? What about the children in this neighborhood, too? The elderly walking their dogs in what was a quiet neighborhood?
My neighborhood is a landscape full of families and retirees. This is not the place for a drug-rehab business operated by the county. Property values will sky-dive.
And who's responsible? N.A.U., the college next door are the culprits. They decided to lease out one of their buildings not in use (I'm sure due to declining student numbers).
Thanks, N.A.U. What a paragon to higher-education you are. And thanks for what you've done to this old community.
Fist fights, screaming, yelling, honking, already a criminal element. Don't think I'll take this lying down.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

OH, this sucks! Can you protest in any way? I would try to fight it if you can. A couple years ago my neighbors and I had to fight a DRAG STRIP wanting to be built by a shady developer in my peaceful ag area! We fought it every step of the way!

I feel for you, I really do. It just totally changes the landscape of wehre you live. And with your reasonable rent it's not like you can just pick up and move somewhere else. Plus your neighborhood is convenient and your house so quaint.

As a sidebar, my neighbor's grandson who is 23 , goes over there all the time for target practice and it has always bugged me to the core that he will pick the really nice weekend days to be out there shooting when my kids are napping and while I'm reading on the porch--the sound of those gunshots going off are really jarring. Well, now he's in jail for 6 months for having so many DUIs. So I get 6 months of peace...