The city is busy making patches to keep its Harrison Square deal from falling apart and trying to recover from the hash it has made of the public safety academy. In the meantime, it is flunking the fundamentals by losing a neighborhood:
The emotion poured out of Sara Tracey on Wednesday as she stared at the bullet hole about 2 feet above her front door at 4035 Reed St.: The fear she felt Tuesday night after plaster from the bullet striking the home sprayed her and her six young children as they did homework in the living room.
[. . .]
Tracey’s home was one of at least three hit by gunshots, along with a pickup, when a gunfight broke out around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday among several men in front of 4030 Reed St. and those inside a passing car, according to witnesses and Fort Wayne Police.
Witnesses said they heard approximately 20 shots and saw the men picking up shell casings outside 4030 Reed St. Police seized two semiautomatic rifles from the home and detained several men. Angela Graham, who lives in the home, declined comment Wednesday.
This is basic stuff. Before you build baseball stadiums or enter into elaborate public-private relationships, you pave the streets and get the trash hauled and fix the streetlights and make people feel safe in their neighborhoods.
This shootout happened just a few blocks from Reed and Senate, where my parents were finally able to buy their own house. After my father died, my mother and sister lived there, until the night bullets hit the house. We never did find out what actually happened, but the consensus seemed to be that it was a gang initiation — drive by a few houses and toss a few bullets in, welcome to the club. The bullets went into the wall just a couple of feet above my sister’s bed. She had been sitting up, reading, and had just lain down. A minute or two earlier, and she would have been killed.
We got my mother and sister out of that house in a few days and into an apartment on the north side. I’ve never been anywhere near that neighborhhod since, and I never intend to be. As far as I’m concerned, they can start at Reed and Senate and just start razing the whole neighborhood from there.
I realize my attitude can be attacked as unhelpful, but do you think I’m the only one who feels that way? How do the people feel who are still trapped in that neighborhhood? If I were still there, I would let the city know that the situation is unacceptable. Commit whatever resources are necessary. Put a cop on every corner and keep them there till all the thugs are gone or dead.