Thursday, September 24, 2009

Part#4: Decay, waste and ruin in Pinal County. . . . It’s all around us.

Does anybody out there remember the popular 1990 action, comedy movie. . . . “Tremors” with Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward? Thunderbird Farms is very much like “Perfection, Nevada” the only difference is, we don’t have “Graboids” crawling under the ground. The mini-farms area has a run down store, lots of falling down buildings, open garbage dumps and fly by night wannabe handymen a.k.a. alcoholics. We also have a gun-toting man that drives a pick-up truck and carries an assault rifle. Oh, that’s me.

As you can plainly see by my photographs, there’s no shortage of material illustrating rural blight in my neighborhood. Every photo I have taken thus far is within a two mile radius of my home. I often find it difficult deciding which ones to use. There are no fewer than 30 vacant homes in this area. I was beginning to wonder why there was not as much traffic as there used to be. The reason is that so many people “bugged out“.

At one time, it seemed that people drove around the block all day because they had nothing better to do. Today, its unusual to see cars on my street. I ultimately discovered that many of these people were driving in circles looking for dope or something to steal so they could buy dope. Some of these empty homes probably housed meth labs at one point in time.

I am aware that a local church was a once meth lab. Prior to becoming a church, it was a home owned by a local career criminal. I wonder if that was disclosed to the buyers at the time of the sale. Who knows what kind of chemicals permeated throughout that structure via the duct work. Toxic chemicals such as Coleman Fuel, muratic acid and anhydrous ammonia are often used in the manufacture of dangerous drugs. For those of you who want to know, it’s the Mountain View Community Church at 50881 West Papago Rd.

There are a couple of rental properties on my block owned by a “slum lord“. These structures are not livable, but to an illegal alien, they look pretty good. People that are used to eating and shitting in the same room really don’t mind living in squalor. It wouldn’t surprise me if the property owner never bothered to report the fact that his/her properties are being used as a rental units to the county assessor.

My property tax bill arrived last Saturday. Trick or treat? It certainly was no treat. Despite declining home values, the bill keeps getting larger. Most of us out here see little or no return for that check we write every year. We pay for schools that can’t teach kids how to read. We pay for arsenic tainted water that’s harmful or fatal to infants. We pay for falling apart roads. If the road gets bad enough, we might get a little cold patch that makes it bumpier that it already was. After a couple of months of 110+ degree weather and trucks full of melons beating the asphalt, the patches crumble, making the hole even larger than before. If we’re lucky, we get to pay for that fat litterbug county worker that mows a 20 foot wide swath on each side of the road even when there‘s nothing to mow. I often mow it myself because he does such a crappy job. Is that really worth $1500+/year?
Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline

“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes. . . the volatile result of the change of eras and the fall of empires. This fragility leads us to watch them one very last time: to be dismayed, or to admire, it makes us wonder about the permanence of things.”

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.,

There’s a rather successful Blogspot page known as “Detroit Is Crap”. I happen to be a follower. If things get much worse here, I might start a blog called, “Maricopa Is Crap”. I’m sure the rest of the world would like to read about a place they should go out of their way to avoid.

I hope the rest of you enjoy paying your property taxes as much as I do. I never did like the idea of paying “rent” to the government for land that you own. I think renters should have to pay taxes too. This state could generate lots of money for education if renters had to pay a school tax. Other states do this. States that are not ranked 49th in education like Arizona is. I suspect, ignorance and/or the lack of education are contributing factors to Pinal County’s rural blight. At the current rate, Maricopa may someday be known as the “Detroit of the Southwest”.
"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy." --Winston Churchill

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