Fight the drugs, take back Butler action groups

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Take Back Butler

Pittsburgh, PA

#1 Jul 10, 2007
Itís good to find a place where people actually have an opinion, positive or negative, about the state of the city of Butler. Anyone who has lived in Butler for an extended period of time knows that Butler hates change. I am 26 and have lived in Butler for the majority of my life, but it would take a new resident about five minutes to learn this lesson. Butler has perfected the art of looking the other way, when huge problems screaming for attention are right in front of your face. For the past year, I have watched the city council meetings and have observed only one of the members consistently propose new ideas that could lead to revitalization in the future. What I have not observed at these meetings is any discussion regarding what I firmly believe is the problem that will turn Butler into a ghost town, and that is the drug trafficking that takes place in every part of the city. I graduated from high school eight years ago, and since that time have watched heroin and crack explode in Butler. Many of my high school classmates, some of them close friends, have fallen into the grips of drug addiction and several have died as a result. What I donít believe Butler realizes or wants to admit is how bad the situation has become. The dealers and suppliers are serious. Individuals from New Castle, Youngstown, New Kensington, McKeesport, and Pittsburgh are cashing in on Butlerís reputation has a drug haven. On one of the postings, someone indicated that Councilwoman Kline was a resident of ďThe IslandĒ, if this is the case then she should be more than familiar with Butlerís drug epidemic, and if she is not, I would recommend watching what takes place on the streets of your neighborhood. If you are a resident of the city and have children that attend one of the elementary schools in the city, you should be concerned. A five minute walk in any direction from any of the schools will take you to a dealer or crack house. Your children may walk by these places everyday.
I place no blame on the law enforcement of the city. I have no doubt that they are aware of the problem and are doing everything possible to deal with the situation. Only so much can be done with extremely limited resources provided by a bankrupt town. The city government has failed the residents of Butler. For real change to occur, we must take an active involvement and abandon the apathetic and naÔve mindset that has plagued the residents of Butler for so long. I would like to try to find individuals from the different sections of the city (the Island, East Side, Institute Hill, Penn Street, etc.) that are interested in forming community action groups. The key word is action. Organizing yard sales or bake sales isnít going to work. We need to demand that the serious issues facing our community are brought to light on a daily basis. City council and the school board need to explain why crack houses exist across the street from our elementary schools. Parents, teachers, and residents need to demand safe zones around these schools. If the safety of our streets will not be guaranteed by the local government, then we must work with law enforcement, legal representatives, and the members of our community to drive the drugs out of Butler. It can be done; I have seen it happen in other cities. I hope this posting strikes a chord with some residents of the city who would be interested in discussing and possibly establishing some action groups.
Hear hear

New York, NY

#2 Jul 10, 2007
Butler needs to adopt some of the successful tactics of other cities to vanquish the drug epidemic. There have always been druggies in Butler (at least as far back as the 70s, perhaps before), but the problem has been entrenched and inceased exponentially since then. Some of the reasons for this include: 1) conversion to a magnet-style high school, forcing together many different walks of life into a single, massive pressure cooker which became a one-stop jackpot for pushers; 2) the high presence of Veterans who come for the VA hospital and bring many substance abuse and mental problems to Butler's door (not knocking vets at all, but it's a factor in Butler's social disorder); 3) the collapse of the steel industry, which swept across many hard-working, proud families and turned them into destitute, demoralized people who not only try to killed their pain with substance abuse, but eventually turned to selling to make money since the economy there is so poor; 4) the recent proliferation of a new variety of harder drugs; 5) the unchecked, indiscriminate entry of too many Section 8/HUD dwellers who not only show very little prospect of employability or self-improvement, but actually breed children that will never get proper parenting and spend all their uncultivated talents learning how to scheme and scam (again, not knocking all Sec. 8 recipients but there are many ne'er-do-wells who settle into Butler only to suck up social services, and their children rarely go on to fare any better); and 6) as TBB has well stated, Butler's "look the other way" policy.

The degradation has gone on now for far too long. I've watched this drug scourge cripple the youth there in the last fifteen years. It has directly affected members of my family and, by proxy, me, in very negative and probably permanent ways. This discussion is the first step I've seen toward gathering the better minds around this subject. Butler desperately needs people with vision and courage to take charge and kick the scum bags squarely in their filthy asses and out of town.
Yes

Pittsburgh, PA

#3 Jul 11, 2007
I agree
DARE

United States

#4 Jul 13, 2007
Something more needs to be done. If anyone who witnesses any drug activity, call tip lines set up by the D.A. and the police. The number is in the phone book. Unfortunatley there is alot of activity behind closed doors and the police need probable cause to search.
Time for change

Belle Vernon, PA

#5 Jul 15, 2007
Butler has perfected the art of looking the other way, when huge problems screaming for attention are right in front of your face.

I am 37. I was raised until I was 19 in butler. I remember doing my christmas shopping as a kid on main st.

Not that way anymore. Drugs and crime have taken over the city. In front of schools, houses, next to schools everywhere. We are not talking weed here! Drugs are killing your kids. The problem is getting worse. Why? Because your local government looks the other way. They have agenda of thier own.. No time to deal with the residents need for change.

How many times do you hear about drug related deaths in the paper? And how many of those are solved? I have had friends make the bad choice of these drugs and never made it.. Yet thats it? From what I have heard Butler County Pa has made Jay Leno's monalogue as drug capital of the USA.

Butler's Should make a change from Its city Police department up to the commisioners office and then you may see some results.
DARE

Millersburg, OH

#6 Jul 16, 2007
I keep hearing about this looking the other way. The truth is most of this activity is never seen out in the open. Maybe other drug addicts look the other way. The Police don't have enough man power to be everywhere all the time. I'm not making excuses, just stating facts. There is this thing called the Bill of Rights which keeps the police and detectives from going door to door and searching every house in the city and every person on the street. Drug users are treated like victims when they get caught or overdose. They are victims of their own choices. They choose to stick the needle in, smoke or snort. They know the dangers and they don't care. I've had to come face to face with some of these people and they are bold, ruthless and don't care about anyone else let alone themselves. They are looking for a quick fix to the pressures of life. If somehow we can help these people to not use, then the dealers will not have any customers. This may not be realistic. If you eliminate dealers, then more always come out of the woodwork. I don't believe that law abiding citizens look the other way. They are busy working to make a legitimate living and spending time with their own families to keep them from falling in to terribly tragic drug trap. If anyone sees drug deals or activity happening they should call the tip line or the police.

Since: Jul 07

Butler, PA

#7 Jul 16, 2007
Last week I posted the forum ďFight the Drugs, Take Back ButlerĒ under the name of Take Back Butler (I'm not from Ashburn, VA) and at the end of the posting, I mentioned that we as members of the community need to become involved on a daily basis. To further this idea, I would like to find individuals with the same belief that would be interested in organizing community awareness/action groups in Butler. These groups would include residents from a single street, several blocks, or an entire area such as the East Side, the Island, or Institute Hill. The purpose of the group would be to bring to light the issues effecting the residents of the particular area and combine the resources of the area to develop ideas and solutions. It is easy to point fingers and blame certain individuals or the city government as a whole, but at the end of the day it hasnít solved anything. If you are reading this posting and you are concerned about the level of crime in your area of the city, or the flow of drugs through the entire city, or the lack of any economic development, please respond with your concerns or suggestions. If you do respond indicate where you live in the city, a general street name or an area, there may be someone else from the same area watch these postings. The goal is to find a few people from different areas of the city that are willing to meet to discuss these issues and then gather support through word of mouth and door to door campaigns to build a following in each street, block, or area. Community groups in small towns throughout the country have been successful in creating change and fighting crime. There is no reason why it could not work in Butler. In the near future, I will be contacting the churches and schools in the city, as well as, the city police department to get the word out and try to stir up some interest. Any suggestions and comments are welcome. If you would like to make a comment outside of this forum or message board, I have set up a yahoo e-mail account
www.citizensforbutler@yahoo.co m

Denny

Butler, PA
Nancy

Butler, PA

#8 Jul 18, 2007
TO TAKE BACK BUTLER: You hit the nail on the head. Drugs are rampant in this town, we have to get people to get their heads out of the sand. I wish the Butler Eagle or some other source, could report more of the drug arrests and activites in this town and to follow up with outcomes. Of course the Criminal Justice System usually gives them a slap on the wrist any ways.
Homey

United States

#9 Jul 19, 2007
In regards to Nancy's post drugs are rampant in society period. the USA has 3% of the worlds population yet uses 70% of prescription drugs.got a hangnail, take a pill, stressed out take, a pill, need to have a better sex life take a pill ect.. this is what the kids see everyday from their parents, schools and media, no wonder kids are drug users.As far as more information being available on drugs in Butler from the authorities good luck, knowledge is power and they don't want you getting any of that, I say go to the source ask the kids

Since: Jul 07

Butler, PA

#10 Jul 19, 2007
Nancy,

Take Back Butler is now Citizens for Butler and I will be starting a new posting titled Citizens for Butler. Are you a resident of Butler, and if so would you be interested in working with Citizens for Butler. As I have posted above, Citizens for Butler is a community action group that will serve as a way for residents to bring about change within their community. We are in the early stages of organizing and are looking for individuals that believe change can happen. If you or anyone else reading this posting is interested, please send an e-mail to

citizensforbutler@yahoo.com

Since: Apr 07

Waldorf, MD

#12 Jul 23, 2007
SEE PAGE 13 -RAISLEY BLOG
why

Pittsburgh, PA

#15 Jul 27, 2007
You know, in Italy drugs are legal. Only you can only have enough for one person's usage. They feel that that is why they don't have a drug problem like we do here. Many Italians feel that the reason we have such a problem is because people start doing drugs because they are illegal.
boring in butler

Butler, PA

#16 May 21, 2008
Growing up in Butler I can tell you the top reason why everyones on drugs, there's nothing to do. If there was something to do on a daily basis, there wouldn't be such a bad drug problem. But unless the pools are open, theres absolutley nothing to do but drugs. If you want the drug problem to go down, give the kids in Butler something BETTER to do. I've lived in Butler my entire life.
get a job

United States

#17 May 22, 2008
Most of the drug offenders are in their late teens and 20s. Opening the pool(s) would not do a thing to keep these people off drugs.
At their age they should be attending school or working. Or both. They choose to party until it gets out of their control.
The excuse that there is nothing to do is not good enough.
How Revitalization Works

New York, NY

#18 May 28, 2008
About a 6-1/2 hour drive away from here is a city called Beacon, NY. The similarities to Butler are remarkable, and our planners and residents could learn a lot from their extremely successful renaissance. Unfortunately, the approach (or lack thereof) that Butler is taking does not at all resemble Beacon, so let us stop, look, listen and learn.
Beacon sits a couple counties above New York City between the Hudson River and a mountain. This city was a bona fide dump as little as ten years ago, having suffered a long term decline as a former manufacturing district. Main Street buildings were boarded up, drugs and crime were rampant, productive citizens were moving out and freeloading troublemakers were moving in. But the people who cared and had some vision and courage put their heads together, set their differences aside, and came up with a plan of action that overhauled the city and made it one of the most desirable places to live in the whole region.
In summary, Beacon pulled itself out of the doldrums in back into the limelight by adhering to certain basic values:
1) They revered and protected their historic buildings, including residential, especially their prized Victorian housing stock (think of the beautiful homes that have been or will be destroyed on Butler's Main St. by Nationwide and Armstrong, and the commercial structures now eyed by Rite-Aid, a failing drug store chain)
2) They go to lengths to protect their trees, reveling in their status as a "Tree City USA"
3) They defend the natural beauty and open space
4) They have an active, concerned citizenry who vote in elections and whose voices are heard at council meetings
5) They have a great mayor who is deeply committed to their city; he replaces one who held office for 18 years by being moderate, accountable, and a true public servant
6) They rooted out corruption in their police force and employed canines, both of which served to tamp down the drug problem
7) The opening of new businesses on Main St provided employment and legal places to congregate for many youths that might have otherwise gotten into trouble
The people of Beacon understood the importance of things like greenery, 19th century buildings, and other aesthetic attractions like art galleries, antique stores, and coffee shops - they bring in the kind of folks who have some education, work, make and spend money, take care of their houses, and raise their children to be good citizens. Over and over again, in Beacon and other successfully rehabilitated areas, we see that the most desired aspects are connections to nature and to history. Butler should keep this in mind before destroying more mature trees and old-fashioned buildings.
Take a look and see how Beacon did it:
A link to the city's web site, summarizing how they went from a downtrodden blight to a New York Times feature:
http://cityofbeacon.org/Tour/TourBeaconsRenai...
A post by a former city council member who chaired the long-term planning - note the level of detail and the kinds of things they found important:
http://www.beacondispatch.com/... #
never bored in butler

Butler, PA

#19 May 29, 2008
I have found that if you get bored easy then you must be a boring person! there is always a lot to do.If you can,t find something to do maybe you should change your interests.use your imagination a little.The world is full of wonders waiting to be discovered by you
wow

Charleston, SC

#20 Mar 3, 2009
click on my city and look at the news,
take back butler.. this thread is a joke
LAMES
Sidonia

Butler, PA

#21 Mar 4, 2009
I have lived in and visited cities around the world, and tried to look at Butler from that standpoint. The mayor's idea of putting in a convention center is a joke. The building on the corner near it is neat and redone well, but the ones on Main Street are not a well-kept, cohesive bunch. It is not the fault of the shop-keepers; many people I have talked to do not frequent downtown due to difficulties parking, ducking smokers, and how far apart the businesses are. McKean Street looks good near the proposed site, but if someone is scoping out the area for a conference and makes a wrong turn, good-bye to that conference. The rental housing past the unfinished and attractive prison is in horrible and unkempt condition. I feel for the long-term residents who work so hard to keep up their homes; they are buried in terrible conditions. As the weather clears, walk from the old Troutman building into each direction and record what you see. Would you want a conference for your business here? Its not hard to spot the bad areas; if a conference atendee enters the E-Z stop with his/her briefcase in hand, it must be left at the front. Same with the Friedmans in the same area. The problems for the tax-paying longterm residents must be fixed before any tourism and conference center has a snowball's chance of flourishing in our downtown area.
Architorture

Butler, PA

#22 Mar 13, 2009
who takes a brief case into a convenience store?
butler gossip is lame

Butler, PA

#23 Mar 14, 2009
Architorture wrote:
who takes a brief case into a convenience store?
Some people carry a briefcase full of cash everywhere they go.

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