Wednesday, 31 August 2011

My Neighborhood

This is the typical "corruption-in-DC" story.

The District has tons of money sitting around....so they hand out grants which are funneled to them via the federal government.  You walk up, hand over the paperwork for some great charitable idea, and the money is funneled over to your charity concept.

So this organization....Miracle Hands Inc....came up and said they wanted use $330k to renovate a warehouse in DC (up in the northeast section of town)....as a job center for folks with AIDS.  It was a noble idea on paper.

So they got this money from the DC government. Then a strange thing happen with this building used for their paperwork.  It ended up having a significant amount of renovation, and opened up as a strip club.  The club....named the Stadium Club....is apparently a successful upscale operation at present time.

The city's prosecutor is a bit upset about this episode.  So they are going to court to recover the money.  Miracle Hands?  They continue to share their address with the Stadium Club. The guy who manages Miracle Hands?  This is another interesting episode.  The local news guys have finally figured this part out.....Cornell Jones.  This is a guy who at one point a decade ago was self-admitted top drug kingpin of DC, but then came out to say he was cleaned up and walking a straight line.  Yeah, he did have a couple of convictions over the past thirty years, but that probably wouldn't ever deny a guy the right to create a charity operation or ask the city for charity funding.

I sat and read up on Cornell.  He's got a five-star life story to tell.  As much as you can say negative about the guy....then you find all these stories where he sponsored sports in the local community for kids.  He might have spent some of spoils on himself, but he ended up as a Robin Hood-like character who tried to fix some wrongs that he saw.  The Miracle Hands operation?  This is another curious episode.  It's designed to help ex-Con's getting out of prison.

Somewhere at the end of this court episode....I'm suspecting that Cornell and his folks will prove that most of the management of the strip club....are ex-con's who might have HIV/AIDS.  And at that point....they might just walk into a DC courtroom to show that the strip club is really a job-training center of sorts.  The DC judge will sit there in astonishment....listening intently...and might actually buy this story. Stranger things have happened in DC.  Just my humble opinion.

My Neighborhood

There was a decision made a number of years ago....to eventually close down Walter Reed Hospital in DC....and move all operations out of DC....to the Bethesda facility.  There were a dozen reasons why this made sense at the time.  Congress was willing to fund the project to enlarge Bethesda's medical facility and the planners got to work.

While the construction phase is done and the Walter Reed folks are in the movement phase....there's a curious episode that has come up. There's this electrical substation at the National Institutes of Health....which is the site near the Bethesda which would provide all the power necessary to run this enlarged hospital.  Well....in this planning process....no one really sat down and looked at the other projects going on and the amount of power being consumed at the substation.  So now, folks have awaken and realize that they will pretty much tap out on all potential power in the local area.  The hint is....they basically have to stop hooking any more AC units, x-ray machines, or heating systems up....until congress pays for a enlarged substation.

Cost?  Over thirty million dollars.  The time frame? Well....that's the curious part.  Basically, by the time you figure congress into this mess....getting the money....having the enlarged electrical facility planned out....and everything operational, it'll be almost three years.  I'm guessing the hospital management folks are sitting there and trying to figure out the best plan "B".  The amusing thing is that they just might have to turn to the Army and ask for five or six big generators to provide excess power for three years....burning tons of diesel.  And the diesel bill?  It'll go straight to the US government.