2006.04.26 Four stars, no rats

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

As you’ve probably read across the page recently in my wife’s column, our son Ben has accepted a job with a landscape architecture firm in Miami. You might say that Colleen is making the best of that choice.

Crime and cockroaches, hurricanes and humidity—a lot of unpleasant things come to mind for her when she thinks of that city. Most of all, I suppose, is that it’s a long way from Morenci.

I remember driving an old beater to my first job interview after college, and I didn’t get hired. Ben was flown to five interviews and every one of the firms wanted him. Several of his relatives were rooting for Atlanta, but of course it was his choice and there were good reasons for choosing the company in Miami.

Now he’s in search of a place to live before work begins in June. Before he heads down in person, he’s been looking around via the angry, dissatisfied people who make comments at apartmentratings.com. Here’s a sample:

“You cannot have any guest parking so I hope you have about a million in meter change or risk parking across the street where the chance of your car being broken into is 75% and your walk to the building will be accompanied by crack heads.”

Well, I don’t know if that takes it out of the running. Let’s see what another reviewer says.

“The first time you go there you like it, but then start the problems. I’m agree that the smell where really bad. I also had a neighbor that always he opened his door a bad very bad odor came out his aparment. The hallway always smell it like cigarrette smoke blended with past food and dog excrement, a really bad smell.

“Next the Pool. impossible to take a bath there. Well I finally stayed only 4 months before I take my things and Go. Conclusion that apartment is really apartment for people without behave.”

Some of these places have dozens and dozens of ratings that are more like warnings to stay away. Topic headings like these abound: DO NOT MOVE HERE; Run away!; Rudest people in Miami; What a nightmare; You’ll be sorry if you move here; If you like to be abused, this is the place.

Amid these notes is an occasional high rating like this one: “Great location and the apartment quality is not bad; wonderful management and tenants very happy here. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Other times you get a more puzzling one: “very nice, beouse is like a house, tropical stly, beatiful pol.”

After one of the rare, five-star ratings are posted, someone else will come back with something about how only the management could have written anything like that. Don’t believe a word. Not even “beouse”? I liked that word a lot.

“Ceiling fans are only for decoration.”

“If air conditioning goes, expect a two-week wait for it to be fixed. If the windows are blown out by a hurricane, expect a six-month wait for them to be fixed.”

“Mosquitoes in the elevators.”

“Roach infested garbage bin near the pool.”

“Every floor has its own smell, food on some floors, garbage on others.”

“Elevators smell like dog droppings.”

Maybe these enants are just acting too harsh. What would they say about my house? Ratings are based on seven factors.

Parking: It’s dropped in quality a little since the neighbor’s vacant drive is now often used by a construction crew. I’d give us a three.

Maintenance: Let’s not even go there. Two stars.

Construction: There’s no work going on here, but does that make us five stars or does that reflect back on maintenance?

Noise: Give us a four. The dogs aren’t bad currently, it’s just those darn miniature scooters driving by.

Grounds: I just mowed Friday night and the bleeding heart is blooming. Four stars.

Safety: Five stars. No accidents to report. Just don’t walk around in the dark.

Office Staff: Five stars, and if you don’t like it you can move to Miami.

I give us a rating of four. Not bad at all. Top that, Ben. And to quote that one writer who was discussing Miami’s Design Place, “I have not seen any rats.”

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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