Friday, December 16, 2011

Courthouse Shooting and a Need for Change

I have to start by  sending positive thoughts to Tim Scannell and his family,
I  really appreciate Tim  both as our county attorney and a genuine human being.
My heart also goes out to all the people this entire episode has affected, both mentally and physically, and I hope everyone can move forward.

I hate to get political on this site but I have to explain the break in observatory progress.

It started years ago with my laundry.
 My laundromat is right across the street from our county courthouse, and as I waited for my cycles to run a combination of boredom and curiosity drove me to attending court and getting educated on just what goes on in our community.
After a year or so of court I got somewhat depressed and frustrated with it repetitive nature and all the dealing with alcohol.

I  then decided to changed my focus to the county commissioners meetings. 
Keep in mind that I had no local government experience what so ever, 
and I do mean none.
Now after over more then a year of sitting in the audience for 3 Tuesdays every month,  I have grown somewhat frustrated with the system, 
actually more frustrated with our fractured community and their thinking that 5 commissioners doing what ever their special interest constituencies what them to do, will fix anything.

Ghandi stated
"When the people lead, the leaders will follow"
I believe this to be true.

I wanted to live in Grand Marais since I was a child. I guess what I really wanted was
 to live in Mayberry.
(the fictional setting for The Andy Griffith Show)
Well this ain't it 
and the sad part is that I think it could be 
  but it's going to take 5000 people to come together enough to make some positive changes.

 Rolling around in the back of my mind all this time 
(lots of room for rolling back there)
I have been planing some kind of interactive, organic blog that might help and
 this was the perfect week to put pen to paper for the rough draft and outline.

The week was perfect because Cook County was having a large jury trial that was expected to last the week.
I know this doesn't seem like much but up here jury trials are somewhat uncommon and I haven't seen one before.
Monday  morning I showed up at the courthouse with pen and note pad knowing there would be slow times to think and compile my overview and outline.
The blog I'm thniking about  would give every person a voice,  a site were they could post and read positive suggestion's and solutions,
maybe inspire some out of the box thinking,
any avenue to bring a community together.
After three and a half days in the courtroom,  my note pad is pretty full of ideas,
 and final arguments in the trial are complete and the case is in the hands of the jurors. Around 1:00 in the afternoon  I left the courthouse to run some errands.
I had left my number with someone to call me when they had reached a verdict, receiving no call I headed back to our house around 5:00 pm. By 5:15 my phone started to ring with calls that there had been a shooting in our courthouse and that people I know and care about are shot and or traumatized

Where the f--ks my Mayberry?

I will try to get the new blog running soon so we won't have any political views on this blog but if 5000 people can't get it right were screwed as a society.


  1. Stan, Thanks for your post. I'll be watching for the new blog and wondering if something, anything can help build community. I've taken interest in the creative ways the Occupy movement has started doing some interesting flash mob things around community building without confrontation. Maybe there is hope after all.

  2. What a terrible thing to happen, positive vibes to your friends and community. This blog might be interesting for you to check out, sort of along the same lines as your idea but focused on local New Paltz politics. He's called the New Paltz Gadfly ( and is currently on hiatus for the holidays but will likely start writing again in the new year. He has quite the archive to sift through, enjoy! (and ps, can't wait to see you this weekend!)