Monday, May 11, 2009

Letter to Keith Patin

Dear Keith Patin,

My last letter to you might have seemed strong. I assure you I held a lot back. I know all too well the red tape you must go through to present a request, much less complete a project in the name of Consolidated Government.

I was asked to contact you, and I did it with mixed emotions. With a somewhat naive optimism, being new to the area, I was confidently set to see this through. The importance of securing this area from negative influences manifesting themselves unchecked seemed a worthwhile cause. I told my neighbors that surely if the proper authorities would be contacted the years of neglect and overt danger in this area could and would be averted.

One predominate negative was the overwhelming sentiment by them that our duress and subsequent requests would continue to be ignored, based on previous attempts by others. I found that to be incredulous, but now see the point well taken, as no American citizen should have to request safety. It should be freely given. You emphatically told me something would be done, and I took you at your word.

Though patience is considered a virtue, it is not one of my primary graces, and is indeed a failing. Surly with something of such high importance, security, it can be forgiven. Nearly nine months has elapsed since you first came to my home with your ideas, and to me that is a long time to wait for such a benefit.

You disregarded the collective thoughts of our subdivision which I proposed to you in their name. From the start I saw a flaw in your answers, and you took offence to my questioning them. With a bit of condescension you told me that you emphatically knew that a sign indicating a camera would be “laughable” to those who use the area for illegal activity. You told me also that you had “scoped” the area yourself and saw a man who fit the description of a “pedophiliac.” Never-the-less, I thought you to be serious and decided to trust you, telling everyone in a newsletter that you were on the job, and that our long wait was over.

It is not normal to be afraid of the dark Sir, and what dangers it will bring. It is not normal to have leaders who play lip-service, make promises, and use disparagement for the very real and long standing concerns of the community. It is no reason why these hooligans thumb their noses at authority, and why honest and hardworking citizens would scoff at the idea you could help. With music blaring and headlights on high they have completed the job of grotesque art, and it is full of hate, lusts for violence and sex, and a complete disregard for you, our representative authority. This is a mockery Mr. Patin, of our very society, and the values we hold dear...

Perhaps you should find items like used prophylactics, needles, beer cans, paper bags of fast food discards, and empty cans of paint on your front yard. A ‘dough-nut” on your front lawn might prove a point, and make you more empathetic. But I hope you never have to deal with this...

I know all too well the signs of a neighborhood in trouble. Being from New Orleans I watched as a young man my world disintegrate by lawlessness and so called leaders who were out of touch with reality and accountability. Because of that I moved to Crowley to raise my family, and have now moved to Lafayette where I see Acadiana to be the finest place in Louisiana to live.
I am very reluctant to see this area so disrespected, so emphatically unappreciated, with solutions so easily acquired.
Lighting the dark, recording what goes on, even periodically, with signs that do not take away our civil liberties in the process is not too much to ask after many years of authoritative failure, as you indeed represent leadership, and yes accountability too. Is painting over the graffiti too expensive? Perhaps we could take up a collection? Surely that couldn’t be more absurd then your suggestion to have the Boy Scouts do it.

You are indeed responsible too Mr. Patin, and if you do not relish that responsibility, please pass the baton on to someone who does. Something very bad is poised to happen under that the Camellia Bridge. It is bound to unless someone with the power to implement what is necessary steps forward.


Ken LaRive

P.S. Since my last letter a young drug user who lived across the street from my home broke into my home while I was upstairs. Holding a gun on him I ordered him out of my bedroom and home. It took four police officers ten minutes to subdue him in front of my home. It was found he was on a wide variety of drugs, and has several charges on him and a court date coming up where I am to be subpoenaed. I would have been in my rights to have shot this man, but had the good sense to gauge the situation and look for an alternative. If this doesn’t indicate a change in our subdivision, nothing will.

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