Saturday, July 08, 2017

How was your week? Mine was interesting…

How was your week? Mine was interesting…

By Staff Writer, Brian E. Clark

Among a whole list of other things I am, I am also a writer. Actually, a journalist. I say that because every story I’ve written, I’ve never closed a case. Everything was still unfolding, and there may be follow-up stories. But like life, at the end of one story begins a second. In that respect, I have been enamored by the Arrigoni  Bridge, and how many lives it’s taken, and I’ve gone as far as to study the Pathology or Suicide by Bridge. We’ve only kept records (The Middletown Police) since 2008, but since then, there have been 76 incidents. Since Aaden Moreno was killed, there have been 14 more incidents, but those records only record to April, and I know personally that there were 3 more since then. The total number isn’t what’s important here, the problem is that they occurred at all!

Certain websites have the Arrigoni Bridge as the 8th most popular, Destination Suicide (Yes it’s a thing!) Bridge. That was out of 10, and of course, the Golden Gate was #1, and I got my education in this whole thing using the Golden Gate as my model for my education. The one factor I knew going into this, I was told by the State DOT, basically, there aren’t fences or nets on other bridges, so don’t expect to be special. (I’m paraphrasing) So, when Steven DeToro died on May 31, I was the Writer to write the story, as I was for the Moreno Baby. And back in 2015, for about 5 minutes, we all heard Dan Drew promise to put the highest fences and the biggest nets…. And nothing ever happened. Then May 31 rolled around this year, and please understand from my driveway I can see the whole road span of the bridge, and even though Steven Detoro was on the Portland side, I knew we were going back to what we do as a City…. Absolutely Nothing. Oh No! My Ass we’re not doing something! (This was my generalized reaction) The copout answer to any question about the bridge is, “Well, the State does own it.” Again, my ass! I don’t care if the State owns it. We have a right to protect our citizens!
Photo by Editor

Before I go on, How about getting what I want to see get accomplished, I’ll be completely honest when I say I don’t have a clue, but we’ll cross these bridges when we get there. (Pun intended) We have a good group of supporters, and I have met some brilliant professionals regarding these matters. We are in good hands because I’m one of many. I’m just the one with a pen and an outlet. The first play to make here is to see the Mayor and discuss this. Sounds simple enough, but I can’t even get a Councilwoman on our team to get an appointment with him. So I resorted to writing letters, asking for a meeting, and promising an on the record conversation, where we’ll be limited strictly to the Bridge, and for it to remain as non-political as possible. I delivered my 3rd attempt today, by hand to the Mayor’s office, where the Mayor was in, with an open door, so I asked that the Mayor receive it, and I need a receipt. He did it. I was surprised. But, even though he possesses it, It’s a 50/50 on whether he reads it or not, so I’m already planning for round 4.

This is ridiculous though! I’m not being an annoying pain in the ass because I want a park reseeded with grass. These are human lives we are losing, and not only that, that person was a member of this community, and we are weaker for losing them. I don’t know what you felt like on 9/11, but for me, it didn’t matter where you were, I felt an enormous connection with everyone I saw. And I was glad to see them, and that they were ok. People make Middletown, and Portland what they are. For better or for worse, we are our community. And when we lose one senselessly, it hurts. Not just their family, but it hurts the community because one less of us is there.

Next week, I will attempt to deliver another letter to the Mayor, because this can’t be forgotten about. And what happens from there is anyone’s guess, but I bet it won’t be nice.

Brian E. Clark

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