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.”

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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