Had an amazing flight on West Jet ... on it's inaugural non-stop flight to Toronto on March 6th. Just an hour and 40 minutes total to get to this beautiful coastal community.
Such a fantastic place to visit... Great sites, including Niagra Falls and the nearby casinos.
For an awesome tour, visit www.genovatours.com to see all the different walking and van tours Bill Genova offers there. He is a lifelong resident of Toronto, great to spend the day with and incredibly knowledeable. Bill helped me gettng a good sense about Toronto... past and present... including its connections with the Confederacy and Slavery.
I went to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto and had dinner atop the revolving restaurant at the Skylon Tower in Niagra Falls.
Great restaurants and eateries, too... but don't miss a visit to Carousel Bakery in the St. Lawrence Market. The most delicious Candian breakfasts and desserts :) The market is packed with all sorts of other foods and unique items.
I also had lunch in an authentic Chinese restaurant there... in one of six Chinatown neighborhoods in Toronto. Did you know that Chinese is the #2 language in Toronto?
Facebook me if you need any advice or direction about visiting Toronto. It must be beautiful to see in the summer!
The website www.neighborhoodscout.com ranked Myrtle Beach as the 17th most dangerous city in the nation. FBI statistics show that our crime rate is 170 per one thousand residents. I don’t know about you, but I’m not pleased with that. It’s quite embarrassing and unnerving at the same time.
Local officials argue our population swells with tourists in the summer months and that the stats are derived based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 FULL-TIME residents. It doesn’t take into account the millions of tourists that roll into town each summer. With transient visitors comes crime… so when you apply it to the full-time population numbers, it is a disproportionate percentage and not a fair depiction. Those stats should be applied to the average number of people in town… not to full-time residents. Shoulda, coulda, woulda….
I get it. I really do… but here’s my question. What tourist would want to bring their family to a city that’s on the top 20 most dangerous city list? What business would want to invest in a seemingly crime-ridden coastal town? What happened to all the politicians running for election that paraded through our interviews saying that reducing crime is their platform? Does anyone care about the PR nightmare of being ranked so high on this list?
Did you see the Myrtle Beach police crime stats published by WMBF-TV on its website? The statistics show that both violent and property crimes increased from 2012 to 2013. Even though the total number of murders, rapes and robberies has decreased, the increase in aggravated assault alone pushed the number of violent crimes from 178 to 228. Makes you think about arming yourself, no? Or maybe moving? The total number of property crimes in 2013 is 6% higher than last year. The number of larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and arson increased, as well… Can you say “ALARM ME” or should I say “ALARMING!”…
This will be the first summer that I will be here the entire time. I’m bracing myself for traffic, crowds, long lines, motorcycles, golf carts… AND CRIME?!?! I have two teenagers. What the heck? I’m a bit afraid. I’ll be packing heat whenever possible, but what about my kids? What about you?
Local officials say that 46% of crime is committed by the homeless. Hmmmm. Then, how do the tourists factor into those FBI stats? How much crime is committed by tourists? How much by residents? If nearly half of the crime is committed by the homeless, then what is being done about the problem?
I’m not a crime expert, by no means, but now that I’ve complained I feel I should make a few suggestions:
1. The groups that “enable” the homeless to remain homeless need to cease and desist. Only the groups that provide acute care or that provide employment resources should be allowed to operate within the city.
2. Homeless people should be registered, photographed and documented within the city if they want to be on a job-finder or job-training roster.
3. Police the areas where homeless people congregate. More community policing. Research the best ways to handle it. Call upon experts!
4. Research what other tourist towns do to control tourism crime and crowds. Un-Armed Voluntary Auxiliary police force? Seasonal police force? Private security company? How could the current police force be as effective as they are in the off-season in the on-season??? They are completely out-numbered by droves of tourists!!
5. GANGS! DRUGS! PROSTITUTION! Get rid of it all. They bring down the city. They attract the lowest form of humankind. They bring in sex trafficking. They bring in illegal guns. They allow the drek of society to feed off the drek of society. LET THEM DO BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE! FORCE THEM OUT! They have no business doing business in one of the most beautiful coastal towns in America. HOW DARE THEY!?!? How could our local officials, business owners and we, the residents, allow these sub-human business owners to exist, and in some cases THRIVE, in this town???? It’s all about the money… it always is. GANGS are a business… so is PIMPING. You all know I'm not a big fan of strip clubs either. Some of those engage in shady activities, as well.
If you love this town, you would elect officials that do what they say they promise they will do. I know that’s hard to accomplish but at least you can vote the bad ones out. Don’t let them bait and switch.
A few fancy festivals and bikini contests will only put lipstick on a pig.
HIRE MORE COPS! PAY THEM BETTER! CREATE TASK FORCES! HELP COMMUNITY WATCH GROUPS THRIVE THROUGH TRAINING!
Consult with Rudolf Giuliani… He turned New York City around in a New York Minute. Before he took office, you couldn’t walk through the Bus Terminal / 42 st area without getting propositioned by a hooker, hustled by a beggar, tripping over a drug dealer or mugged by a thug. Remember that movie “Death Wish?” Yeah, it was just like that. You needed to protect yourself!
The time is now. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce works so hard to help this town thrive. The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and the “good” politicians work so hard to entice businesses to build and grow here for our economy. Small businesses concentrate on growing their businesses to create more jobs. The schools and colleges here are working hard to educate our future workforce. Parents are trying to keep their children safe. Volunteers help the community because they love the people here. Our veterans make us proud!
The future is bright…. The present is tarnished.
"One legislator accused me of having a nineteenth-century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an eighteenth-century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law-abiding citizens should be one of the government's primary concerns." – Ronald Reagan
Please consider donating any amount to assist Spartan Media Works in Conway, SC put together its first feature film shot in Conway... plus the funds will help support the First Nights of Independent Film Festival which will be held at the Theater of the Republic on Main Street in Conway on May 16th & 17th. Kevin Mayberry is the mastermind behind the festival and he hopes to make Conway the new hot spot for filming in the Carolinas. I am in the film "THREE DAYS" and will star in the film "THE CALLER." Both will premiere at the festival. ANY DONATION AMOUNT would help! Thanks!
If you are interested in being in an independent film, please contact Kevin Mayberry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIND THIS EVENT ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE OR ON MARKET COMMON'S FACEBOOK PAGE:
The Market Common is hosting a fundraiser for Heather Elvis on January 30th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm next door to the current Tommy Bahama store. (In the old Tommy Bahama Restaurant).
There will be a $15 cover charge for adults, $5 for children, ages 5 -12 and free for under 5 years old. There will be lots of delicious food donated by Crepe Creation, Gordon Biersch, Travinia, King Street Grill, Cold Stone (Ice Cream!!) and PF Chang. Piggly Wiggly is donating soda, water and paper products. And many of the residents and employees in and around The Market Common will be donating their time. Liz Callaway from WRNN Radio will be our MC for the event.
There will also be a silent auction. The reaction from businesses in the community has been overwhelming. Below is the current, not final, list of businesses that are participating. The items that will be auctioned will include donations from:
Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing
Legends in Concert
Grand 14 Theaters
Hotel Suites of The Market Commons
Yoga In Common
White House Black Market
Devo Olive Oil
The Orvis Company
The Kangaroo Pouch
SeaCoast Art Gallery
Breathe Pieces of the Soul
Again, this is the list so far!!! We are accepting donations!
The funds from the cover and the silent auction items will be donated to the Elvis family.
If you plan on coming, please join so that we can be well prepared.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this event!!
Yeah, I'm from New York... originally.... SO WHAT?
I'm not going through my life down here in Myrtle Beach thinking about all the things I can change here and all the things that are different.
Sure, I'll notice some differences in the way things are done... and usually I am quite pleased with the fact that they are different!!!
That's why I moved here.
Please note....I moved down here which means:
I pay taxes here
I earn a paycheck here
My daughter is enrolled in a school here
My son attends college here
I shop here
I dine here
I do community service here
I attend church here
I frequent tourist attractions and shows here
Key Word: HERE!
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO TO PROVE I WANT TO BE HERE and not THERE?
It's not that I don't like New York. It's my hometown! Of course, I love it. But, I wanted something more and DIFFERENT for myself and my kids! I did have the beach where I used to live, but now it's closer and more beautiful. I love living in a touristy area because the Day-Life and the Night-Life is so active. I love the natural resources here like all the outdoor things I can do. I do love the people I have met here... except for those nasty southerners on Craigslist's Rants and Raves that do nothing but polarize people and spew hatred.
Am I "Southernized," yet? Nah. Do I want to be "Southernized?" Sure, I'm expecting to assimilate into much of the culture here but I'm not expecting to ever pass as a true local nor do I really want to. I'm proud of where I come from. It's what makes me ME. It's where I grew up.
I'm from New York. So what? I make comparisons sometimes. So what? I'm not running for public office in the attempt to shove northern ideals down the throats of residents here. If I wanted New York to follow me down here, I would have just stayed there. Obviously, I am searching for a new life experience so I left high taxes, fast paced stress, mediocre schools and wacky liberal politics behind on purpose.
I'm now from the North AND the South. Fancy that?!?
Family values are very important to me. Giving my children the best chance at life is very important to me... as is enjoying and respecting the outdoors and social aspects of this town. Doesn't that sound familiar? Perhaps it sounds like the ideals of a typical southerner? Just guessing.
The bottom line is that I am an American whose mother is from Italy and father is a second generation Brooklynite. That's my background. I can't help it. It's how God made me. You want to hate me for it. Go 'head. I can't help that either. I'm not worried about that, really. I'm just worried about being the best I can be as a mother and a citizen of this great country.
I'm so pleased that the Hot Talk Morning Show on 99.5 FM spurs healthy debate amongst listeners regarding the issues facing the nation and our community. It's important to hear all concerns and fears of those who call this state their home. I believe that state leaders should have the ultimate say on what goes on in their home... not the federal government. Voters need to be sure to elect local officials that reflect their personal views so they can ensure their heritage, culture and moral views are represented ... The uneducated voter is dangerous to all of us. There are many moral and social issues facing the Myrtle Beach area: Homelessness, Joblessness, Adult Business Ordinances, Marriage Equality, Legalization of Marijuana, Crime, Criminal Justice System, DUIs, etc. Dialogue is good. It's how we gain a better understanding of each other's concerns. God Bless America.