Creative stock photo, blog post by John Hoff
(This post contains sentences written in a hyperbole joke font to entertain and engage readers. For the record, my ego may be big but it's not THAT big)
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
I have fairly good, somewhat dated secondhand information that a representative of Proton Investments, Inc. uttered My Name from his philistine lips in a less than reverent manner.
This has caused me to, yes, RAISE MY EYEBROWS.
Here is the backstory, which involves the Proton Investments, Inc. property at 2719 Sheridan Ave. N., a veritable thorn in the flesh of neighbors nearby, one of whom CRIED OUT TO ME and I heard the cries, oh, yes...
It Sounds Like He Is Killing Her
About three weeks ago, according to epic emails I received, neighbors were compelled to call 911 after "hearing a horrific screaming and witnessing the manhandling of a pregnant woman." This property has only been owned by Proton for four months, according to my source. I can't confirm this because the city's property website sucks as usual when it comes to updating sales information.
Looking outside, more than one neighbor witnessed a visibly pregnant woman sitting on the stoop, trying to protect herself with hands and arms, and a man screaming at her to "Get the f*** back inside." My source ran to the phone to call 911. Returning to a view of the scene, the neighbor saw the man grab the woman, yank her to her feet, turn her around, and forcefully push her back into the house, not seeming to hold back at all but using (as my source put it) "full force."
Once he had her back in the house, he slammed the door. The screaming continued. Meanwhile, 911 was not picking up after 10 rings so my source hung up.
(JNS says: Don't do that. Stay on the line)
The 911 operator called back. Not knowing the number on the house, this good citizen had to take some risk, walking outside to read the address. Meanwhile, another "visibly shaken" neighbor came out and said, "It sounds like he is killing her" and also went inside to call 911. All the windows on the house were shut tight and still the screaming could be plainly heard.
The cops arrived. The man exited the house and put his hands behind his back like he knew the drill, but when the incident cooled down, it didn't look like he was brought to the jail.
"You Must Be Posting On Johnny Northside"
OK, now we get to the DISTURBING part.
One neighbor knew enough to call "Alex at Proton" to report what was happening at the house. In the course of that phone call, the neighbor said words to the effect "if you can't get your tenants in line, you should sell the property."
To which Alex at Proton reportedly said, "Well, do you have anyone in mind who'd like to purchase it? You must be posting on Johnny Northside."
BLASPHEMING THE BLOGGER. Plain as day. What, Alex, you think that's going to ENDEAR you to me? You think that kind of thing doesn't get BACK to me? You think just because you have the same first name as my beloved son (in whom I am well pleased) that I won't SMITE THEE BY THE POWER OF MY TRUTHFUL WORDS?!
Oh, yes, Alex at Proton, you might be a second or even third tier villain as far as I'm concerned, not in the same league as Keith Reitman, Bashir Moghul, Mahmood Khan and others. But just keep up the trash talk and see if you don't hit my radar like a sex offender chasing a girl on a TRIKE.
Let me tell you, ALEX AT PROTON INVESTMENTS, INC and whoever else is reading, THERE IS A NEW REGIME IN TOWN. Decent, law abiding citizens are taking back the Northside, gathering hard data about slummy slumlords and so-called "investors" who warehouse unsavory people for fistfuls of filthy lucre, crapifying our neighborhood. Where do those facts end up? A lot of those facts end up RIGHT HERE, with a creative stock photo.
A VERY creative stock photo, sometimes.
Exhibit A of this "ugly slumlord facts end up on Johnny Northside" phenomenon happens to be this eyewitness account of what happened at 2719 Sheridan Ave. N., followed by some pithy commentary about your company in the same series of emails, the kind of commentary that's so pithy I look at it and think, "I could have written that MYSELF."
Where were we?
Oh, yes, the domestic incident and Proton's response. Not as serious as My Name being taken in vain, but still worth noting.
"Your Son Cannot Behave This Way"
"To their credit, Proton immediately (within 10 minutes) sent a representative to the property who spoke to the lease-signed renter" and neighbors. "Strangely enough, the assailant's mother" (who is on the lease with her son, reportedly) approached neighbors to justify her son's actions as a response to the pregnant woman's "insanity." The mother claimed not to be responsible for the son because (and this was the incredible rationalization) "she leaves the property out the back door and he comes in the front with his friends."
At this point I am withholding some commentary on the mother's appearance and what kind of life she's probably lived, based on that appearance.
"Again," says my source, "I'll give Proton some credit, here." The Proton rep responded by saying, "I saw the bruises around the girl's neck. They were serious and your son cannot behave this way."
The source claims to have witnessed "cars filled with 5 or 6 people sitting for hours in front of the house, peeling off at high rates of speed, and overly ritualized hand shaking and otherwise constant in and out traffic." In a single day, 8 or 9 young men in their 20s passed through the house. And this is EVERY DAY. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do the "Northside math" here, and figure out what's going on in the house.
One neighbor claims to have been told by the police that it's not a crime to sit in a packed car for hours. Well, it's not a crime, either, to take pictures in a public street and send the pictures to a blogger, who can note, over and over, where the activity is taking place and who owns the property.
Could Evict Immediately, But Won't, Says Proton Investment Rep
After a 30 minute visit with the renters, the Proton rep explained to neighbors that he'd told mother and son he had enough evidence to evict immediately, but he wouldn't. He didn't want to throw the mother "out on the streets or into a shelter." There was some long explanation by the Proton rep about how actions against THE SON would somehow boomerang against THE MOTHER. The fact Proton would have to find another tenant, maybe lose some rent money...THAT part wasn't explicitly referenced by the Proton rep in the conversation with my source.
Supposedly, if there are more problems the renters will be sent packing. My source highly doubts it, but has "another number" at Proton to call if there's a problem and notes "so far we haven't heard a peep from that house."
Tell Me How You REALLY Feel About Proton Investments, Inc.
My source says:
Proton also has a public Facebook if you are interested. I looked through and it's mostly photos of themselves at get-rich-quick weekend hotel seminars, and what they describe as "commercials" on YouTube with the three or so non-derelict types who sold property to them in the past 12 months.
(JNS says, "Ouch." By which I mean, "Ouch, it hurts to see others can write pointed, highly-critical sentences as good as my own.")
"Point of comparison is the rental at 2701 Sheridan," my source continues. "It's kind of a shack, but perhaps that is the type of house that is perfect for a rental instead of *potentially* destroying larger and architecturally significant properties."
(A while ago) "the owners threw their trash outside, dealt drugs and were simply disgusting to look at. After it foreclosed and was purchased by the current landlord, we visited the construction crew and toured the house, introducing ourselves as across-the street neighbors who were interested in maintaining normality on our end of the block. A few weeks later the new tenant moved in. She immediately put up a We Watch, We Call sign, keeps the yard mowed, has never been a nuisance, can manage to have family and friends over without fighting or excessive noise, and lo and behold, the landlords are there all the time fixing this and that. They just finished painting the exterior and installed new railings for the porch two weeks ago. Amazing."
Blogging Is Forcing Proton To Address Problems, Source Believes
"Bottom line," says my source, "is they are reading your blog very closely and I believe it is forcing them to act rather than ignore problems." My source also adds, "The rep told us Proton owns roughly 90 properties in North Minneapolis and considers themselves one of the largest 'investment property' companies in the area."
My source says I may find that information of use. I certainly do find it of use. I'm putting out requests to my usual helpers about getting me a list of Proton Investments, Inc. properties so I can publish that list.
My source also added some information about 2715 Russell Ave. N., another Proton property which has its own issues. I'll probably write about that one later.
It's good to see Proton might be responding in a positive way to negative feedback. But they have very far to go. Stocking the fish pond of rental housing with criminally-inclined human tilapia may have cut it back in the old Murderoplis days...
But that isn't going to cut it anymore, not if individuals such as myself who are making forceful use of social media have ANYTHING to do with it.