"About what?" I said, the panic button in my heart starting to flash.
"About Nexus," she said quietly, near tears.
Whew! Only Nexus again... I relax, greatly relieved. I nearly jump for joy! Only Nexus again... When you're talking to an 85 year old lady, a cancer survivor whose bones are so brittle that they literally break sometimes when she moves wrong in a chair; who nearly died a year ago from a triple by-pass surgery gone awry... make that THREE surgeries in a row, lickety-split, including the emergency exploratory for the perforated ulcer (that former Nexus CEO and current Plaintiff Jim D'Angelo - our new "good neighbor" viciously suggested I caused, nice guy that he is); a bright, spirited woman who has had a long life of Been There, Done That - to the point where not much rattles her anymore; one who has experienced so much upset - not only the loss of her parents and brothers, husband and daughter, and oh so many, too many old friends ... you know she doesn't "sweat the small stuff." So yes. I was happy that she was upset about Nexus and wasn't about to hit me with bad news, some new life-threatening medical crisis. After all, since Nexus invaded our lives a year and a half ago, everyone in my family has been in a constant state of upset.
"What now?" I asked her. "Why are you upset?"
"I just got my tax statement. Property taxes went up," she said.
"Over a thousand dollars," said the old woman on a fixed income. "They were just over three thousand. Now they're up to almost five thousand dollars! And its because of NEXUS"
I know that this is an unappropriate reaction, but I started to laugh. It was a bitter laugh. Think about all of those venomous pronexus jerks who have been so nasty to Hannabelle... I've told them the truth, and not only did they not listen, they got MAD at me. Like Chicken Little, I warned them that the sky is falling, the sky is falling. They looked at the ground and said, "No its not." More accurately, they said, "No its not, you bitch!"
They said: Nexus is an "academy" for "poor troubled boys" who have been abused. I said: Nexus is a correctional institution for convicted juvenile sex offenders who have caused harm to others. They said: Nexus provides jobs that our local people rely on. I said: Over 60% of Nexus employees live outside of Mille Lacs County. They said: If Nexus leaves Onamia, the town will crumble and wither away. I pointed out that Nexus has been here for almost twenty years - while, under Larry Milton's tenure as mayor, the town has crumbled and withered away. Go figure. Perhaps without Nexus and without Larry, the town might prosper and grow???
They said: If we don't give them tax exemption, Nexus will move to Brainerd or even out of state! I said: Brainerd refused to give them tax exemption. Its all a bluff. Nexus isn't going anywhere. Call their bluff. You'll see. (I was right. Nexus didn't get tax exemption and didn't go away.) They said: If we don't give them tax ABATEMENT, Nexus will leave! I said: They said they'd leave if they didn't get tax exemption and THEY'RE STILL HERE! Don't you get it? Its a BLUFF! They said: We can't risk losing them! We neeed Nexus! Nexus has been a "good neighbor". I said: "With all their millions, what have they done for the community? Where's the Nexus Library? Where's the frickin' Nexus PARK BENCH - fer cryin' out loud?" Nexus isn't a giver. Its a taker. They said: But the "boys" rake leaves for the seniors [i.e. senior citizens like my mom] and they're "very well-behaved in church". I admit that argument leaves me speechless. Just how gullable are these people?
They said: Nexus doesn't have to pay taxes because they are a "charity". I said: The Minnesota Department of Revenue says that Nexus doesn't qualify as a charity and does NOT qualify for property tax exemption. They said: But they can't afford to pay their taxes. I said: And YOU can? With an annual budget of 38 million dollars, the LEAST they can do is pay their taxes. They can pay their taxes so that WE don't have to. After all, Nexus is a parasite (so sue me some more, asshole). Nexus is a PARASITE. It exists and is sustained through our taxpayer money in the first place. That's how they make money... a whole sh*tload of money - by leeching off OUR taxes to support sex offenders, to build their sex offenders a new ball field, a new gym, a state-of-the-art facility. And, of course, to pay huge corporate salaries to their administrators so they can afford vacations in Palm Springs or a month in Italy with money that came from YOU. What do they give back to the taxpayers? When was the last time YOU went to Italy for a vacation?
"I don't think its right that Nexus doesn't have to pay taxes," she said.
"Yeah, Mom. I don't think its right either."
"Why do WE have to pay for them?" she said. It was rhetorical.
"And its not right that they're suing us," she said.
"They're not suing 'us', Mom. They're suing ME. Don't you worry about it."
"But you didn't do anything wrong!" she said. "How can he sue you for calling him Poopsie? There must be something wrong with him." *1.
"I know, Mom. I know..... Hey, how's your broken rib?"
"It hurts," she said.
"Same rib that broke before?"
She nodded solemnly.
She lives a quiet, unobtrusive life. She watches her "soap", and Jeopardy. On weekends she comes up to our house to watch PBR bullriding. She has her books (lots of Koontz and King) and her Nintendo. She particularly likes to play Tetris and all the Zelda games, but also enjoys Paper Mario. Right now she is playing "Symphonia" for the second time. More power to her. She loves to watch the wildlife out of her windows. This summer, we got a daily report on the activities of the woodchuck family. She also enjoys sharing the amusing antics of her two cats, Sam and Pippin.
At 85, she exceptionally frail and in constant pain, but her mind is still sharp as a tack. She pays attention to politics and can give you a dozen reasons why Sarah Palin should go back to Alaska and disappear. After all, my mom remembers the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the "Fireside chats" on the radio, WWII when sugar was rationed and men went off to die across the sea. Fortunately (especially for me) her three brothers and my father came back from the war alive and whole. She grew up on a farm, went to school and after earning a teaching degree, taught the three Rs in a one-room schoolhouse. She still remembers most of her students names, and talks about them every once in awhile - always as if they never grew up, married or didn't, worked and lived and maybe died before her. To her, they will always be the children she remembers, suspended in Time.
She raised two daughters. She watched her oldest die of a sudden heart aneurism as they were discussing what to do for dinner that night. Just like that. Can you imagine? Watching your child drop dead and there's nothing you can do? But somehow my mom got through it. She's strong. A few weeks after having a mastectomy, her chest still bandaged, my mother found the strength to push me around Mayo in a wheelchair when Death came to my own door. (We didn't let him in...) She was there for me, as she always has been. She didn't want to lose me too. Her older sister, her college roommate, and me were all she had left... Now she has Poncho too, her son-in-law, whom she loves dearly. Oh, and 94 unwanted convicted sex offenders moving in down the street, whom she does not. Let's not forget them! Lots of new people in her life. oh joy. Lucky her.
I've been so upset about the way the local government has "raped" us this past year and a half, that, lost in my own anger I sometimes forget the impact Nexus has had on my mother. She has her own anger - which is contrary to her gentle nature, and has legitimate fear of the young men soon to occupy our corner's unlocked sex offender facilities. It makes me even more bitter that HER rights have been violated than it does my own. At least I could DO something to try to stop this outrageously wrongful thing. She could not. I was able to go to the pitiful public "We're Not Listening" hearings and I could stand up and fight for our rights and I could exercise my First Amendment rights at public meetings and on the Internet and I could sacrifice my life savings in a bogus lawsuit SLAPPed on me by a creepy, vindictive asshole and his sidekick.***2. I'm pretty tough. I'm a Ted Bundy survivor, after all. But my mom... She was nothing but collateral damage to them... Her life, insignificant. What disgusting, ruthless people!
(But well-behaved in church...) And to top it all off, her taxes go up.
"Mom, let me get that!" I say as she gets up to answer the call of the teakettle whistling on the stove.
"No, I've got it," she says.
"But your rib..."
"I'm okay," she says as she makes the instant coffee, moving slowly, carefully. I watch her with an odd mix of sympathy and guilt. I'm helpless to protect her from broken bones and sex offenders. The least I could do, if she would let me, is to pour the instant coffee.
I sigh. Yes. She is okay. For now. That thousand dollar increase in taxes hurts more than her broken rib and Nexus has left more scars than her mastectomy and triple bypass combined. Assaults on one's spirit are sometimes worse than physical pain. If you haven't been through what we've been through, I'm pretty sure you can't understand.
But now. NOW. Now, everyone in the county is getting their own taste of Nexus as their own property taxes leap. They said: Get over it! Nobody cares except YOU, Hannabelle. I said: Nexus affects us all. Watch your taxes go up. They only sneered. I only smiled.
Now the fit has hit the shan. Who's crying now: THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING! I smile wanly and say: Uh-huh. You finally looked up. You see it now? Right there on your own property tax statement. Nexus' calling card.
Maybe Hannabelle isn't the only one who cares anymore. Nexus is in everybody's back yard. Just like I told you so.
For Vic - D'Angelo and Freeman's lawyer.
***1. Please, mr lawyer don't sue me no more for saying there is something wrong with your client. Although I share my mom's opinion that your client is a SICK man, anybody who would misuse a city council to change city ordinances in order to force sex offenders onto citizens who do not have the power of the vote (your client said we do in his affidavit - which was untrue, but then, your client is a proven liar) - and then turn around and sue a disabled woman for calling him Poopsie, well, don't sue me again - I'm just reporting a real conversation we had. Contrary to your silly claim, I do not just sit at my computer making things up about your clients because I think its "funny". There is nothing funny about the damages your clients have caused to me and my family. Real damages. Hard core damages.
***2. It is MY OPINION that your clients are creepy, vindictive assholes. I formed my opinion from my personal experience with them, from their actions and the way they've treated us. I have lots of opinions. Even opinions about you.
Vindictive: showing malicious ill will and a desire to hurt; motivated by spite. Disposed to seek revenge.
You should know this, Vic. This is what you accused me of. And you're wrong. I may be angry, with good reason, but I am not a malicious person. I was just sitting here for thirty years, minding my own business when your clients imposed themselves on me. I wasn't looking for a fight. My fight is with the government. My initial intent was only for your clients to go away (to a proper location with proper zoning) and leave me alone. Oh, you should know that too. That's what your client said when I asked him why he was suing me. He said, "We thought you'd go away." (I'm so glad I have witnesses to that one!) We had bets that he'd lie on his sworn affidavit and sure enough, he did. Unfortunately, we couldn't collect because nobody bet against us. Think about that. About not being able to collect.
It is MY OPINION that their lawsuit illustrates what kind of slimy creatures they really are. (You can add "slimy creatures" to the list. My lawyer is fine with that.) Please keep in mind when you tell Judge Number Six that I called your clients slimy, creepy, vindictive assholes, heartless, a "snake", etc. etc. that I, in turn, will tell the judge WHY I said what I've said. As you probably know by now, the FBI has been involved. Yes. For real. I told D'Angelo that BEFORE he sued me. Not my fault that he didn't believe me. As for calling your client a liar, well.... besides having lots of witnesses, I have written documentation. Tell D'Angelo that if he wants me to shut up, he's made an error in his psychological strategy. It ain't working. Being experts in psychology and social work, you'd think they'd know better. And being brutal - trying to break a person's spirit or their bank account doesn't demonstrate superiority and doesn't garner respect. It just shows brutality. My mom thinks you should be ashamed of yourselves. I suppose you'll sue her next, huh.
For MY lawyers: Sorry. But look at it this way, more work for you. :) Well, at least until the money runs out, which will be soon. No, I don't care if they know. Hell, I want everybody to know. It may even be a new cause. People like them shouldn't be able to sue people like me over things like this.
For my READERS: Please click the DONATE button at the upper right of the screen and kick in a few (thousand) bucks. I'm fighting for YOUR rights too. Thanks.