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Ihshala, welcome back. I arrived after you left. You bring back some needed energy. And I concur entirely about your view of NY. I left upstate nearly 50 years ago, and it was heading downhill already. I wouldn’t go back to NY for anything. I’m a UB grad, and attended my graduation about 1500 feet above everyone else (in a Cessna 150 LOL!). I tried to time it so I could add as much noise to the main speaker (responsible for the earlier Berkeley riots, and subsequently those in the SUNY system). I was told that my noise drowned out at least a portion of his speech and got a standing ovation by many. I have the photo to prove my observation point – including the fact that about 1/3 of the graduates’ seats were empty in the stadium because so many simply would not even attend their own graduations either. Terrible times back then, and the occupation only got worse as you so painfully know. And sadly, as I said in another post, there are areas I LOVED – like the Finger Lakes region, even places outside of Buffalo itself (which one west coast sports writer once called “the armpit of the east”). Nice perhaps to visit at certain times of the year, but I wouldn’t live in the State again for anything. The sad thing is, even my area has deteriorated dramatically, especially after the mass migration from Katrina, many of whom never left – they stayed to attach themselves here (parasites), and suck us dry. Every Halloween we sit and watch the tell-tale cars drive slowly by, canvassing the neighborhoods, but not following any children out collecting candy. Then the crime waves hit between then and shortly after all the Christmas presents are in the houses. It’s become predictable. We’ve got security equipment I never DREAMED I’d “need.” Now, I either need it, or I’m paranoid. I obviously won’t admit to my delusions, so …. ;-)

Best wishes to you and Brulen up there. We may be about to experience what you got after Sandy, depending on which side of Florida Irene chooses. It’s hard being stuck somewhere with very difficult choices to be made, regardless of whether one stays or relocates. But this country has come to that – it’s part of the paralyzing plan (a consequence of the Cloward Piven strategy).