Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Power-Hungry, Fascist Thugs of the Day

The Shrewsbury Housing Authority (Shrewsbury, MA)

SHREWSBURY - The flags must come down. So, too, must the deck chairs, wind chimes, and dozens of other staples of summertime evenings on the porch.

The Shrewsbury Housing Authority banned them all last week from residents' porches and patios, citing concerns about safety, in an announcement that has angered many public housing residents at the Francis Gardens complex.

"It's not fair," said Pat Henry, 64, who protested with 20 other residents at the complex yesterday. She wore a shirt with the slogan "Leave Me Alone" in huge letters across the front. "These things are all we've got, and we want to enjoy them before we go up yonder."

The new rule bans chairs, tables, flowerpots, wind chimes, flags, mobiles, birdhouses, and similar items from porches and patios. Entryways must be clear of floor mats, throw rugs, welcome mats, wall hangings, coat racks, shelves, furniture, umbrella stands, plants, and folding grocery carts.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I long for the day when I can turn on the TV and not be bombarded by news stories about senior citizens being killed in tragic welcome mat accidents, or getting strung up from renegade wind chimes. And, don't get me started on Massachusetts' lax birdhouse control laws.

Thank heavens someone is finally standing up and doing something to address the proliferation of these deadly implements in the homes of our nation's seniors.

Tenants who refused to comply with the new rule within five days of a written warning would have their belongings removed by the authority, which would dispose of them if no one retrieved the items after seven days.


[Judy DelSignore, president of the tenants' association], said that every time tenants attended a public meeting to protest the rules, housing authority officials would add more restrictions.

Gotta keep those uppity old folks in line. I mean, really, who do they think they are? Americans?

Here's the kicker.

[Dennis Osborn, director of the Shrewsbury Housing Authority] said the town's fire chief agreed that the ban is in the best interest of residents.

"Plastic furniture is combustible," he said, adding that it can emit hazardous fumes in a fire.


He also said residents are allowed to bring furniture and chairs outside, as long as they bring them back inside at the end of each day.

Because if a fire breaks out, it's clearly "in the best interest of residents" that the toxic fumes be confined to the area in which the old people will most likely be trapped.