Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Good Reminder, Stay Vigilant

A concerned reader writes in:
"I just wanted to write in and say that I was in Three Harmony (at Wilson & Magnolia) earlier this evening when it was essentially overtaken by about a group of 6 or 7 young females and males. I noticed there was a child, no more than four years old sitting there while I waited for my chicken and rice. Within a span of about five minutes (fast service at Three Harmony!) I witnessed drugs change hands, not once, but twice. Meanwhile, a young woman was demanding this and that (very rudely) from the young woman at the counter. Needless to say, she seemed scared, but in a seasoned sort of way after you see these things every day. I left and promptly called 911.

Which got me to thinking, what about the poor business owners who are too scared to do anything while illegal activity takes place right in front of them? Those who aren't too scared (i.e., most people who read UU) need to frequent these businesses and call 911 often. Tell the operator that there is illegal activity (with sufficient detail) going on inside the establishment. I guarantee that if someone deals drugs in a particular restaurant and gets caught once or twice, they will never go to that restaurant again.

Similarly, I encourage everyone to go to businesses they wouldn't otherwise go to for the same reason. See lots of activity in/around Popeyes? Go there and just order a drink (they have mice). How about "Top Choice" right next to Three Harmony... many of us ordinarily won't go in there, but I encourage you to do so and grab a pint of milk. Look around and report any activity. I guarantee that the owners of these businesses do not want this type of environment in and around their business, but are likely too scared to do anything."


  1. I wrote about this two weeks ago and got all kinds of rebuttals from the Shillerets.

    The Ironic thing is I ordered from Three Harmony last night. I tried to speak to Jin about the problem but I am not sure she understands what is going on. It does get very dangerous in and around this location. I really do not think they understand how much business they loose from families being tentative to enter.

    Maybe this is something we could bring to the attention of WAMA? Maybe they could reach out to them?

  2. Its just too bad as I hope something can be done. I say report it not to the city police but the states attorneys office of gangs and drug control. They handle it much better then the city cops........In the old days where I lived things like this never was allowed to happen in good old bridgeport. The guys on the corner of our area made sure it didn`t. They let baseball bats do the talking. I know it can`t be done now adays but the states attorney is much better to handle it then on good old city police........

  3. "Maybe this is something we could bring to the attention of WAMA? Maybe they could reach out to them?"

    Have these folks reached out to WAMA? Have they spoken with the police about their troubles and concerns? What have they done to overcome this problem? Are they sitting back just hoping things turn around?

    Just like those on the public dole who don't get up and decide to MAKE things happen I refuse to offer sympathy for business owners that are not pro-active to change. No excuses. Take action. It's not the responsibility of patrons to police the businesses. If a business person cannot, for any reason, run a respectable and safe place for customers to patronize than maybe they are in the wrong profession.

    Harsh of me? Yes. But if you don't respect your business and neighborhood enough don't ask me to spend money with you. I'll go elsewhere more welcoming.

  4. It's not just Three Harmony. A friend of mine was at Subway a few weeks ago and witnessed a drug deal just outside the window. It's the strip mall.

  5. Chuck, I see your point to be sure. However, I am wondering if the seeming lack of proactive response on the part of the business owners has to do with the fact that every business in that little strip is run by immigrants. What I mean is that they may have
    carried with them certain negative attitudes about the police. Based on their experiences with police in their home countries, we have to consider that they may have a general fear or distrust of police.

    Also, they may have a diminished sense of their own ability/power to affect any real change. I have worked with immigrant populations for years and often, you get this sense that they are living here but they aren't really a part of things. They are kind of on the sidelines watching the game. This is much more common with older people or those who do not speak the language well.

    Lastly, they may be afraid of any repercussions from the gangbangers, who are an ever-present and immediate threat.

    I think if we want to help the business owners(and ultimately us as patrons)clean up this little mall, we need to work with them and call 911 anytime we are there and weird stuff is happening. Show them that we won't tolerate this and they shouldn't either. It's OK to call the police. That's how it's done in this neighborhood.

  6. Chuck you bring up valid arguments, but you fail to address the problem.

    WAMA (Wilson Area Merchants Association) would be the perfect organization to reach out to Three Harmony. I will speak with Robert from WAMA this week, and discuss it with him. Maybe we can come up with a game plan.

    No one is asking for your "Sympathy" Chuck. While the anger in your rants is justified, it really does not help to address the problem. If that strip mall becomes vacant then we will really have some problems on our hands.

    Just call me a kinder more gentler Chip Douglas...