Home › Monthly Archives › April 2012

Freedom Seder in Harrisburg

This is really one of the things I actually enjoy about our city.  I mean, I know Harrisburg has crime and other such problems, but it seems like it also really tries to be all-inclusive vis-à-vis the different religions its citizens practice.  For example, I just learned about a pre-Passover “freedom seder” that is being organized by Penn State Harrisburg which aims to “celebrate the shared commitment of blacks and Jews to freedom from slavery and oppression.” 

I know that Passover is really celebrated by the Jewish people, but I think this freedom seder is a great way to increase tolerance and understanding of different religions.  While the actual festival for the Jews is a retelling of the story of how the Jews escaped slavery from Egypt, it seems all of us somehow have our own type of slavery that we must try and escape from.  No matter what it is – from alcoholism, to other addictive behavior – everyone should really be on a journey from slavery to freedom.

So I read a bit more about it and learned that the first one that was organized took place in 1969, marking the Jews’ festival as well as the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death.  This occurred in Washington DC.

Beating Crime in Harrisburg

There’s definitely been too much crime in my city.  I really didn’t know about that before I moved in, but there again, it’s not exactly something I researched much.  I was just desperate to get far away from my ex.  But now that I keep hearing about all the crime, I’m seriously beginning to reconsider and look at the option of relocating.  It’s hardly the kind of place I want to be (part-time) bringing up my kids.  I mean, if people can go so low as beating up the elderly, what hope is there?

So, while I wouldn’t exactly say I was delighted to learn about the new measures our Mayor is implementing to try and beat this crime – I mean, I’d prefer we didn’t have the situation to begin with – learning about District Ed Marsico’s promise to provide the necessary funding to install cameras in the city as a deterrent, was good news overall.

Problem is though, I read recently that the Mayor isn’t too happy as this was meant to have happened already.  The money, it appears, just hasn’t come through.  Ms. Thompson thus plans on following up with him.  But apparently it might not just be Marsico’s fault.  He claims that it’s not just a case of putting cameras up – they need to be monitored. Oh politics, politics; it’s not my job, blah, blah.

Anyway the upshot is, I really don’t know what’s going to happen.  Tweeter JulieCBS21 recently pointed out that Harrisburg is ranked the 20th worst city for crime.    Of course, if you ask Ms. Thompson, she’ll claim the city is safe.  So I wonder what she would say to Heather Murphy’s claim on NeighborhoodScout.com that one’s “odds of being the victim of violent crime in Harrisburg are 1-in-62.”

Still, there are a lot of great things about the city.  The kids love coming; the restaurants are great and together with Thompson’s promises and Dauphin County’s generous donation of $25,000 to beat crime through various methods, I think things are going to look up.  At least, I hope they are.