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Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned homes
AFP ^ | 08/14/05 | AFP

Posted on 08/15/2005 9:59:30 AM PDT by Pikamax

Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned homes Sun Aug 14, 5:03 PM ET

Rats or lead poisoning. When it comes to the threats from the broken down house next door, Dorothy Bates isn't sure which is worse.

"When it's lightening and thundering you can hear the bricks just falling," the 40-year-old nurse said as she looked at the smashed windows and garbage-strewn porch. "If you call and ask (the city) about it they say they don't have the funds to tear it down."

There are more than 12,000 abandoned homes in the Detroit area, a byproduct of decades of layoffs at the city's auto plants and white flight to the suburbs. And despite scores of attempts by government and civic leaders to set the city straight, the automobile capitol of the world seems trapped in a vicious cycle of urban decay.

Detroit has lost more than half its population since its heyday in the 1950's. The people who remain are mostly black -- 83 percent -- and mostly working class, with 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau.

The schools are bad. The roads are full of potholes. Crime is high and so are taxes. The city is in a budget crisis so deep it could end up being run by the state.

And it just got knocked off the list of the nation's ten largest cities.

"Detroit has become an icon of what's considered urban decline," said June Thomas, a professor of urban and regional planning at Michigan State University.

"The issue is not just getting people in the city. It's getting people in the city who can become property owners and stay property owners and pay taxes."

Perhaps the biggest challenge to luring the middle class from the area's swank suburbs is overcoming racial tensions, said Stephen Vogel, dean of the school of architecture at University of Detroit Mercy.

"Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they're afraid to come to the city," Vogel said. "There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

Most American cities have experienced a shift towards the suburbs.

What made Detroit's experience so stark was the lack of regional planning and the ease with which developments were able to incorporate into new cities in order to avoid sharing their tax revenue with the city, said Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan.

The fleeing businesses and homeowners left behind about 36 square miles (58 square kilometers) of vacant land. That's roughly the size of San Francisco and about a quarter of Detroit's total land mass.

While a decision by General Motors to build its new headquarters smack in the middle of downtown has helped lure young professionals and spark redevelopment in some of the more desirable neighborhoods, there is little hope the vacant land will be filled any time soon.

In his state of the city address, embattled mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said even if 10,000 new homes were built every year for the next 15 years "we wouldn't fill up our city."

And Detroit is still losing about 10,000 people every year.

One solution Vogel has proposed is to turn swaths of the city into farmland. In the four years since his students initiated a pilot project dozens of community gardens and small farms have popped up.

But first the city has to get rid of the crumbling buildings that haunt the streets, luring criminals, arsonists and wild animals and creating a general sense of hopelessness.

"It's partly a resource issue and it's partly a bureaucracy issue," said Eric Dueweke, the community partnership manager at the University of Michigan's College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

"It takes them forever to find the proper owners of the properties and serve them with the proper paperwork," he said. "They're tearing them down at the rate of 1,500 or 2,000 a year, so they're really not cutting into the backlog in any significant way because that's how many are coming on stream."

Dorothy Bates has been waiting three years for the crumbling house next door to be torn down. There are nine more on her short block along with several vacant lots that are overgrown with weeds.

Bates does her best to keep her five children away from the rat nests, but the lead creeping out of crumbling bricks and peeling paint drifts in through her windows.

The most frustrating part of it, says her neighbor Larry, is that so many of the abandoned houses could be repaired. The foundations are solid. The buildings are beautiful. Or at least, they were once.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: democraticcity; detroit; liberals; onepartyrule; urban; urbancesspool; workersparadise
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To: RJL

So does St. Louis.


51 posted on 08/15/2005 1:25:58 PM PDT by DownInFlames
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To: deadeyedawg
Liberals have the "dodo touch". Everything the touch turns to poop. Detroit, Chicago, DC, LA, SF, Seattle... anyone else see a trend here?


Lesee now Buffalo, East St Louis, Gary, Indianapolis, Louisville...

52 posted on 08/15/2005 2:13:59 PM PDT by Nat Turner (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME)
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To: Pikamax

"But first the city has to get rid of the crumbling buildings that haunt the streets, luring criminals, arsonists and wild animals and creating a general sense of hopelessness."

"luring wild animals - - "

Detroit should talk to GangGreen and Lil Debbie about getting Federal money to establish an "endangered panther" program. After a panther 'dissed' a druggie, that panther would most certainly be "endangered", Endangered Speices Act or no Endangered Species Act. ;o)

Then GangGreen could ask for more 'enforcement personnel' to protect the cats.

And the battle would be on!

Cat lovers and GangGreen against the druggies - can I claim TV rights?


53 posted on 08/15/2005 2:57:07 PM PDT by GladesGuru ("In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles)
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To: Uncle Joe Cannon

The minute you come in there writing checks, you'll pop up on the government looters' radar screen and they'll grind you down until they have vaccumed every last dime possible out of your wallet and leave your big plans for big money in Detroit real estate in tatters.


54 posted on 08/15/2005 2:57:14 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel

Another house was abandoned today as my caucasian daughter and husband were forced out of their house today. Three years ago they bought a wonderful old house to renovate. When it was just about done, a suspicious fire destroyed everything. They were determined to start again, but the bank forclosed on them and today were locked out. Detroit will never revive because of the policies of the city goverment. They turned the lights out when they left.


55 posted on 08/15/2005 3:07:54 PM PDT by KYGrandma (Ky girl who wants to go home)
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To: Pikamax

Friends don't let friends live in Detriot or is that Cleveland?


56 posted on 08/15/2005 3:09:51 PM PDT by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: maestro
....Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned.....HOUSES

I bet the local pols are still talking about having a homeless problem.

57 posted on 08/15/2005 8:40:03 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (I)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

They just need reperations...thats all


58 posted on 08/16/2005 8:31:32 AM PDT by Youngman442002
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To: Youngman442002
So make like good libs. Use eminent domain to condemn the abandoned homes. Give away one to anyone who applies for reparations. Then send them their Detroit property bill.
59 posted on 08/16/2005 11:54:31 AM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (I)
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To: Pikamax
Detroit is the poster child for "racist socialism". There are third world countries much better run than this city. It is the wet dream of Liberalism, writ large. Just about every thing Liberalism desires to do has been tried out here. It deserves to die - the sooner the better. And will. The only amazement here is it doesn't die more quickly.

One of my fonder memories is seeing Detroit disappear in my rearview mirror for the very last time.

60 posted on 08/16/2005 2:29:27 PM PDT by Gritty ("The bumper-sticker, 'War is Never the Answer', depends on the question! - Mark Steyn)
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To: Pikamax

The former residents of New Orleans can move up there, fix them up and start a new life there.


61 posted on 09/02/2005 11:59:04 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

What the heck do you have against the residence of New Orleans?


62 posted on 09/02/2005 12:02:24 PM PDT by TXBSAFH (Free Traitors are communist China's modern day "Useful Idiots")
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To: Uncle Joe Cannon

I knew a guy who grew up in the city...and went back two years ago. In 10 minutes, he saw 40 houses that were abandoned. You have whole streets where half the homes are empty. Its unlike any major city in the US.


63 posted on 09/02/2005 12:04:53 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: TXBSAFH

No kidding. Detroit is a bigger cesspool than NO in its current state. People would get there, take one look at the abandoned buildings, and beg to be taken back to the Superdome!


64 posted on 09/02/2005 12:05:27 PM PDT by Trust but Verify (( ))
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To: All

I realize that this is an old blog. Most of the conversation seems to be about the inner city. What about downtown Detroit. What do you think caused its demise, my theory has been that the "White flight" and J.L Hudson's what do you all think.


65 posted on 12/07/2006 1:51:29 PM PST by Sha in the D
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To: All

GEEE!... Why would anyone want to leave BEAUTIFUL Detroit?... [chuckle]


66 posted on 12/07/2006 1:53:15 PM PST by ElPatriota (Let's not forget, we are all still friends - basically :) - despite our differences)
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To: BluH2o

Detroit, at one time, was one of the most architecturally interesting cities around, with absolutely beautiful homes. It's a real shame. There is a website devoted to photographing abandoned nutcase asylums and factories, underground tunnels and similar urban wilderness, and has a sort of cult following. Detroit landmarks feature rather prominently, it might be interesting to use Google Earth to pan around some of the areas a bit more safely.


67 posted on 12/07/2006 1:55:13 PM PST by Freedom4US (u)
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To: Pikamax
And despite scores of attempts by government and civic leaders to set the city straight...

Thats a flat out lie. In fact, the democrats/socialists who keep on getting elected are responsible for the one state recession that is Michigan.

68 posted on 12/07/2006 1:55:58 PM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Pikamax
And despite scores of attempts by government and civic leaders to set the city straight...

Thats a flat out lie. In fact, the democrats/socialists who keep on getting elected are responsible for the one state recession that is Michigan.

69 posted on 12/07/2006 1:55:59 PM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Pikamax

amazing what do godders and socialists can do to athriving metropolis in a couple generations.


70 posted on 12/07/2006 1:56:25 PM PST by globalwhiplash (so sad)
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To: Ken H
I thought the War on Poverty was supposed to have fixed this sort of thing.

Poor people are resourceful and it looks like some have survived. - tom

71 posted on 12/07/2006 1:57:26 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: Pikamax

Allah will fill those vacant houses.


72 posted on 12/07/2006 1:58:42 PM PST by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
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To: Pikamax
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
73 posted on 12/07/2006 2:00:26 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Pray for our President and for our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world!)
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To: Pikamax
"Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they're afraid to come to the city," Vogel said. "There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

BULLSH*T.

It is NOT racism when you fear for your life when going into an area infested with crime. It wouldn't make a hill of beans difference if the area was 83% white and had the same level of crime. The fear is the same.

Crime is crime, no matter WHAT the color of the criminal's skin is.

God, I hate this PC bullcrap.
74 posted on 12/07/2006 2:01:06 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (A liberal is a suicide bomber without the guts)
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To: Clemenza
That's ok. This is the first time I have seen it.
75 posted on 12/07/2006 2:01:36 PM PST by MamaB (mom to an Angel)
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To: Pikamax

Cool City??


76 posted on 12/07/2006 2:01:39 PM PST by Snoopers-868th
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To: Pikamax
The buildings are beautiful. Or at least, they were once.

There are unbelievably beautiful Victorian homes and buildings literally falling apart all over this city. It's enough to make one cry.

Most cities treasure their architectural gems - here in Detroit we let them rot.

The workmanship in some of these building can never be duplicated. It makes me sick when I drive around this city and see the decay. Detroit used to be one of the most beautiful cities in the country - it used to be called "The City of Trees" because of the beautiful elm trees that fell to the Dutch Elm disease in the 50s and 60s.

Trees are one thing, irreplaceable architectural gems are another.

77 posted on 12/07/2006 2:02:15 PM PST by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: Pikamax
When it comes to the threats from the broken down house next door, Dorothy Bates isn't sure which is worse.

If she owns the home in which lives she should ask the city to give her title to the abandoned home. She can then have it ripped down herself, double her property and improve the condition in which she lives, along with the neighborhood in general.

78 posted on 12/07/2006 2:03:50 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

Let's see, what could we do? Maybe the government could send the military after all of the white people that moved out and make them move back. Kind of like the busing success. Government always has the answer or with all of the homeless in America we could bus the homeless to Detroit and give them free homes.


79 posted on 12/07/2006 2:06:56 PM PST by Plains Drifter (America First, Last, and Always!!!)
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To: Sha in the D

Welcome to FR


80 posted on 12/07/2006 2:07:32 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Pray for our President and for our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world!)
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To: linkinpunk
Burn them down.

That's what "Devil's Night" is for.

81 posted on 12/07/2006 2:08:39 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Check out the link in post #73


82 posted on 12/07/2006 2:10:05 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Pray for our President and for our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world!)
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To: Sha in the D

D'oh! posted to myself!

Check out the link in post #73


83 posted on 12/07/2006 2:10:48 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Pray for our President and for our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world!)
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To: Pikamax
Detroit has lost more than half its population since its heyday in the 1950's. The people who remain are mostly black -- 83 percent -- and mostly working class, with 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau.

The schools are bad. The roads are full of potholes. Crime is high and so are taxes. The city is in a budget crisis so deep it could end up being run by the state.

Liberals run Detroit from the top to the bottom, what's the problem?

The one unassailable liberal touchstone is the desire to tax us into prosperity. So let's get going, raise taxes and raise them again... more freebies and benefits for everyone!

84 posted on 12/07/2006 2:12:44 PM PST by RJL
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To: Pikamax

>>"If you call and ask (the city) about it they say they don't have the funds to tear it down."<<

Box of matches, $.75.


85 posted on 12/07/2006 2:13:18 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: linkinpunk

"12,000 abandoned homes equates to 48,000 Democratic votes."

But at least those dead people moving to the 'burbs can't vote anymore.


86 posted on 12/07/2006 2:15:45 PM PST by geopyg (Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: Pikamax

I've been to detroit on several occasions (the company I used to work for is based in their downtown.

It is a pit. Some say it will be our first "ex city". I've posted that here before. It is becoming quite obvious they were right.

I always wondered just how big a ghost town could be.


87 posted on 12/07/2006 2:17:52 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I understand that Detroit is like a donut: Lots of development going on around the city as the city becomes the hole.


88 posted on 12/07/2006 2:18:50 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: linkinpunk; Pikamax
Burn them down.

We used to, then someone had the brilliant idea to gather up volunteers on Devil's Night and stop the arsonists. They call it Angel's Night now. I wish the angels had applied themselves to voting out King Kwame and the circus act that is the city council, but there's no end to that freak show in sight.

It may be a little known fact outside the metro area, but one of the major tentpoles of Detroit's economy is the sale of scrap metal. Copper wiring and plumbing, sewer grates, etc. The abandonment of these houses opens up Detroit's rich vista of mineral wealth to our entrepreneurial scrappers.

Friends don't let friends live in Detriot or is that Cleveland?

Detroit. Cleveland has a better public transit system and is better-integrated with the suburbs. It's got lower crime. No notable fires since that unfortunate event with the river. Better academic and cultural community. Great Lakes Brewing Company. (Michigan doesn't even allow microbrewers to bottle their product!)

I'd feel comfortable living in downtown Detroit if I had a car and a CCW, but there's many places in Cleveland where I'd feel comfortable even without a car or a firearm. I wouldn't recommend anyone with a family live in Detroit.

89 posted on 12/07/2006 2:20:11 PM PST by Caesar Soze
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To: Pikamax

I don't know how they can say Detroit is shrinking. I seem to recall that there are more votes cast in Detroit precints with every election.

Some of them even get 125% of the registered voters to cast ballots.


90 posted on 12/07/2006 2:20:17 PM PST by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: linkinpunk; Pikamax

Oh gosh, I got hit by thread necromancy. Sorry everyone. I feel like a product of the DPS.


91 posted on 12/07/2006 2:21:45 PM PST by Caesar Soze
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To: Youngman442002

Ping!


92 posted on 12/07/2006 2:22:30 PM PST by Plains Drifter (America First, Last, and Always!!!)
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To: Capt. Tom

Detroit sounds like a truly wonderful place to celebrate Kwaanza!


93 posted on 12/07/2006 2:36:44 PM PST by Plains Drifter (America First, Last, and Always!!!)
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To: 2banana

Two things killed Detroit.
The July,1967 riot
The demise of the American auto industry.

Oh,and the abysmally bad school system makes it three.


94 posted on 12/07/2006 2:38:28 PM PST by Riverman94610
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To: Pikamax
The people who remain are mostly black -- 83 percent -- and mostly working class,

The author of this piece missed to mention that at this point Detroit has a genuine opportunity and a challenge to show the rest of the nation, that black folks can revive down trodden neighborhoods without "white" interference.

It is right up the alley of the Rev's Jackson and Sharpton, who repeatedly, in various statements blamed the "whites" for suppressing the black ascension on the economical/political ladder.

95 posted on 12/07/2006 2:49:20 PM PST by danmar (Tomorrow's life is too late. Live today!)
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To: Sha in the D
What about downtown Detroit. What do you think caused its demise, my theory has been that the "White flight" and J.L Hudson's what do you all think.

The obvious answer is that the companies and people didn't like the treatment they were getting in Detroit so they left.

What didn't they like? I'd guess high taxes, high corruption, low delivery of city services and strangling regulations.

Nothing has changed, the current mayor gave his wife a luxury Lincoln SUV vehicle that had been donated for the city's use and then claimed racism when called on it. He then did exactly the same thing with a Cadillac SUV.

Would you risk your life savings investing in Detroit after seeing what liberals did to a once thriving and beautiful city?

The minute you buy one of those buildings or homes the Detroit city inspectors will descend on you with a list of demands for lead paint removal, building permits, demolition permits, unsightliness orders et al that will empty every dime in your pocket.

Unless you have almost unlimited funds and time to wait for honest conservative government it's much safer to invest elsewhere.

96 posted on 12/07/2006 2:56:49 PM PST by RJL
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To: jimbo123
The former residents of New Orleans can move up there, fix them up and start a new life there.

Muahahahaa! That involves EFFORT! Those scum will only be begging for handouts. Of course, i do not refer to the working people, because the vast majority of those who would get involved in your plan have already found a way to make a new start.

97 posted on 12/07/2006 3:12:10 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (SAY NO TO RUDY!)
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To: Pikamax
"There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

Racism?

I presume he can establish that crime statistics do not alone justify the fear. . . . . . Yeah, right.

98 posted on 12/07/2006 3:15:57 PM PST by Petronski (I just love that woman.)
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To: longtermmemmory

They did it here in Georgia from fulton county. 2 so far and the county could not stop it. all sevices are privitized.


99 posted on 12/07/2006 3:20:29 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: Pikamax

"Bates does her best to keep her five children away from the rat nests, but the lead creeping out of crumbling bricks and peeling paint drifts in through her windows."

That's the biggest load I've read in a long time.


100 posted on 12/07/2006 3:25:05 PM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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