Why Isn’t Harrisburg Trimming Its Weeds?

Tara Leo Auchey, Penn Live, July 10, 2013

Why is the city so overcome with weeds, especially Riverfront Park?

It’s because it’s been a very wet summer so far. Consequently, the weeds are lush and profusely doing what weeds do.

Why isn’t the city maintaining the overgrowth of flora along the banks of the Susquehanna River, at the base of street lights and trashcans, and throughout roadways?

Well, that’s not quite as easy to answer as the first question.

As residents of Harrisburg, a city in state receivership, we often hear the phrase “vital and necessary” in reference to the services the city provides. Such services are deemed fundamental and must be delivered by government such as police and fire, sanitation, and fulfillment of debt obligations. In fact, on page five of PA Senate Bill 1151–locally nicknamed the “Harrisburg takeover bill”you’ll find a list of vital and necessary services of a fiscally distressed municipality.

Weed whacking is not one of them.

Still, that does not quell the complaint or frustration of residents and visitors who walk the riverfront, drive city streets, or strive for a view of the Susquehanna now impeded by a variety of indigenous vegetation growing monstrously tall.

Grievances have been pouring in to Harrisburg’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Enrichment, the Department of Public Works, and the city council. In response, city government says it’s doing what it can with the little resources it has. It’s not even just about the money but also about workforce, priorities, and equipment. Ironically, one of the city’s mowers was broken for most of June.


Collaboration, though, will be the key to a steadfast plan of upkeep of the city. Residents and business owners should be encouraged to pull what overgrowth they can around their homes and establishments. Organizations and community groups will have to step up their adopted maintenance of parks and median strips.


[Editor’s Note: According to the 2010 Census, Harrisburg is 52 percent black, 25 percent white, and 18 percent Hispanic.]


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  • Oil Can Harry

    Blacks don’t trim weeds, they smoke weed.

    • bigone4u

      Someone should tell them that the weeds growing in Harrisburg offer a big high. Then they would be harvesting them with stolen John Deeres. Problem solved.

      • Alexandra1973

        Not for the John Deere owners, silly!

    • MawellAxel

      they ARE weeds

  • No money to trim the weeds because the city needs to buy lots and lots of concrete chalk for the cops.

    • 1stworlder

      The west side of the river is mostly white. The city had a white democrat mayor for 20 years who even bought millions of artwork for the city museum. The city gave a contract to a minority owned business to fix the incinerator that ended up causing several times the damage as the amount they got paid. The company never did a project 1/4 the size and failed to be bonded. The white mayor got replaced by “gimme dat” Thompson after 2 black criminals where shot dead in one month, one on probation& the other had a warrant for his arrest. The local NAACp asked the gov to bring the national guard in to declare martial law 1 year after Thompson was elected and had 12 blacks killed by blacks in one month.

  • Spartacus

    I knew it was a black city before since I saw the title.

    • Gislia Jackson

      Reminds me of Jack Finney’s novel “The Body Snatchers.” One of the first things that happened after the pod people took over was that people quit mowing lawns, potholes didn’t get fixed, even traveling salesman avoided Santa Mira. The pod people just didn’t care about aesthetics or anything else, they only cared about creating more pod people.

      • The__Bobster

        My company used to participate in the United Way Day of Caring. Every year, our high-paid professionals volunteered to go into the inner city of Buffalo to clean it up while the lazy natives looked on.

        I told my company that I didn’t “care” and that it would be more cost-effective for them to hire a real cleaning crew for a day to do that job.

        • Imagine a city hiring its own worthless citizens to clean up their own yards. We are in comic territory now.

          • Neuday

            There are some who think able-bodied welfare recipients should perform civic improvement work, such as picking up trash and taking care of medians. Of course, that is a little too close to slavery and more than anything we want to avoid the sight of a negro doing outdoor work.

  • bigone4u

    If I was a weed I’d be a happy little weed growing in a black city, knowing that the mean old white people and their lawnmowers were not going to mow me down. As a human I prefer to avoid being mowed down by black gunfire, so I’ll avoid black cities.

    • Puggg

      If you were a weed, what kind of weed would you be?

      Deep philosophy Friday.

      • bigone4u

        I’m no expert on weeds. The only one I know is Johnson grass. It’s tough. Nothing kills it, so I guess that would be it. Although it might be nice to be a dandelion, if that doesn’t sound too gay. I guess Dandelions are weeds.

        • Dandelion leaves make tasty salad greens.

          • Wethepeople

            Dandelion tea is rather enjoyable aswell

          • I’ve had dandelion brandy, and that stuff was glorious.

          • Alexandra1973

            At sixth-grade camp, way back in 1985, I found out you could eat dandelions. They gave us a little course in survival skills and edible plants.

            Found out evergreens taste like orange juice.

          • MBlanc46

            Did you see the John Kass column about the retiree who was picking dandelions the a Cook Co. forest preserve and got ticketed for it? $70 fine I believe it was.

        • MBlanc46

          A weed is a plant growing where you don’t want it. In a cornfield, a rose is a weed.

          • Rhialto

            Exactly, the rose diverts sunlight, water, and nutrients from the useful crops.

        • Dandelions are edible. Every part of the plant can safely be consumed by people. I consider them to be more of an accidental crop.

    • You are actually 100% correct. If a white family lived next to an empty lot, they would bitch about it but mow it, or at least a portion of it.

      There is a legal thing where you can claim title to a section of property based on use. (If my driveway was halfway on your property and I had been using it for such a time, you have to sell it to me when the border issue is discovered, if I wish to buy it.)

      Of course all this property has reverted to city ownership no doubt due to unpaid taxes, so good luck claiming an empty city lot at a reasonable price in this manner.

      • bigone4u

        I read that Detroit was selling houses for $1. The problem is you’d have to live in Detroit. Harrisburg’s demographics are not encouraging either.

        • If a house is $1, then a lot should be what, $0.25?

          Cities should not be in the business of owning property. To be honest, they should have no right to tax or take property.

          • Alexandra1973

            Property tax amounts to squatters’ rent.

          • Terra Magnum Imperium

            Never understood the concept of property taxes myself.

  • Luke N

    Most colored people are like this. Here, do this. Go to a good, rich neighborhood, and you’ll see some Indians (south Asians). Look at their lawn. 90% of the time, it will be poorly kept. So, even though they are rich, the Indians behave like typical colored people. Same for rich blacks, rich Chinese etc. The concept of cleanness, beauty, etc. is foreign to colored people. The exception being high IQ, Japanese and koreans, who appear to be able to have white standards of living.

    • GM (Australia)

      What I have noticed here that successful South Asians will park their Mercedes in their totally neglected front garden! I think that says it all.

      • Jefferson

        A phenomenon I see here in the U.S are Black males who drive very nice cars, but live in crappy neighborhoods.

        Black men driving Mercedes, but are living in a neighborhood where the median household income is only $20 thousand dollars a year.

        • The__Bobster

          Just because they drive them doesn’t mean they own them.

        • IstvanIN

          45 years ago as a kid my grandfather always said you could tell a colored neighborhood by the houses that could only stand up by leaning against each other but there would be a new Cadillac out front. Only the make of automobile has changed.

        • A person often can’t tell a bad Chicago neighborhood by the cars on the street. There are companies that give them 6-10 year loans for used cars.

        • Creepy as a cracker!

          Blacks have been doing this for generations. Their favorite status symbols are white women and fancy cars. It doesn’t matter if they live in a cardboard box, housing is not their #1 priority.

          • 1Forced_Registration

            I had a simpler philosophy when I was younger that the quality of a community was determined by its ratio of problem creators versus problem solvers. Yes, its very simplistic, but every so often I revisit that mindset and the basic concept still holds true.

            If I had redesigned it today I would say that the ratio of problem solvers to creators has to be higher than 12 to 1 to have even a semblance of a decent neighborhood.

          • Creepy as a cracker!

            I never thought of it like that but that theory sounds very plausible.

    • bigone4u

      Many Mexican neighborhoods in Texas are extremely well kept, if eccentric. There will be a beautiful yard, with a religious statue in it. The paint or trim color will be purple or neon pink or somesuch. The older Mexicans are often very proud of their properties, even though there are modest in size. Many of them are nice people too. It’s the young gang members you have to be careful of.

      • ShermanTMcCoy

        And whose children are these young gang members?

      • The__Bobster

        Eccentric = Garish.

        And these “nice people” will be up all night blasting their mariachi music.

    • The Final Solution

      It’s because non-whites have no common sense and very little interest in the outdoors. Spending time mowing the lawn and working on the house are white man’s activities because we enjoy making things around us better and order and aesthetics are part of civilization. If you go to Asia, Korea and Japan, you will notice right away that they do not have many trees or landscaping. In the cities, businesses do not have grass, trees, plants, or any kind of landscape. I once was dating a girl in Seoul – she brought me to this big patch of grass in the middle of the city. I said ‘what’s this?’ She said it was a lot of grass to sit on or whatever, I said who cares my parents’ yard is bigger than this. They do not value aesthetics because they are less intelligent than whites, who intentionally plan their cities with green spaces in mind. I remember reading about how Seoul was extremely poorly planned and how it was affecting the Korean tourism industry.

      I have some Asian people that live in my house that I rent – they are absolutely stone cold stupid when it comes to anything involving property maintenance. They water the plants until they drown. They do not know what to do with the trash. They can’t even replace a light bulb.

      • Luke N

        That is a good observation. Even, go to Europe, and you see beautiful monuments, statues, old historic building, etc. No other civilization in the world has such things. It is because only the whites have civic values. Only the white race values beauty and reason and art.

    • Pelagian

      This is probably true. But what is it *genetically* that makes white people keep things clean and beautiful? Even the most rabid geneticists among us would not assert evidence for a “clean gene”.

      No, it’s cultural among white people. I’d like to suggest one prominent cultural influence on white people that makes them admire beauty, cleanliness and order: Christianity. When you believe that God entered this mortal coil and fused Himself with matter, with creation, … then you believe matter was transformed at that very moment. Every weed, rock and stone. Ideas have implications. In this case, implications for the white race … which is largely Christian by cultural heritage.

      So what do all those groups you name that DONT trim have in common besides non-whiteness? Answer: non-Christianity.

  • sbuffalonative

    I wonder if the money that used to be wasted trimming lawns has been diverted to other more pressing needs like paying the salaries of friends and family members in newly created positions.

  • The__Bobster

    Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson’s remark about rural “scumbags” who dump items in the city is coming back to haunt her — on her own campaign signs.

    WHTM-TV reports someone has scrawled the word “scumbag” on several of the mayor’s campaign signs in the wake of her comment last week.

    That’s when the mayor, in referring to problems the city has with illegal dumping, said city officials would no longer tolerate such behavior by “some scumbag” from Perry County.

    Officials in the neighboring rural county have demanded an apology, but Thompson says her comment was just one of several hypothetical scenarios she offered about the
    dumping and insists she’s not laying blame on anyone specifically.

    Thompson is running against three other Democrats in the May 21 primary. Thompson, a Harrisburg native, took office in 2010 after previously serving on City Council.

    Pa. Primary Results Yield Winners And Losers
    May 21, 2013 9:19 PM

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Harrisburg Mayor Linda “Scumbag” Thompson lost the Democratic nomination for a second term Tuesday as challenger Eric Papenfuse emerged as the winner of a fiercely competitive primary contest.

    In other mayoral nomination contests, Democrats tapped veteran city Councilman William Peduto as their standard-bearer in Pittsburgh, city Tax Collector Bill Courtright as their nominee in Scranton and Kim Bracey for a second term in York.

    • NM156

      In my lovely city of Chicago, Black Alderman representing geto wards were taking payoffs from contractors for dumping of construction waste in empty residential lots and in abandoned industrial land. The arrangement was significantly cheaper for contractors, who were sick of being gouged by rent-seeking minority council members for waste disposal. Maybe the dumping problem for Harrisburg is not suburban whites, but Harrisburg Blacks themselves.

  • SWPL2

    Let’s all volunteer to clean up Harrisburg. Let’s make a difference(!).

  • IKantunderstand

    Oh my. the capital of PA. used to be beautiful. Pennsylvania used to be one of the most naturally gifted states in beauty. What has happened? Do we not have any place in this country that is ours? Excuse me, but I consider this entire country to be OURS! We fought for it, our ancestors died for it, our forefathers conceived of it, why are we just rolling over and allowing it to be taken over? Why are we thinking about moving to the northwest? Why are we thinking about seceding? This land is OURS. We are White people, we have ALWAYS fought over territory, so, why should we stop now? WHITE POWER.

    • bigone4u

      I appreciate your sentiments, but unfortunately our white ancesters legalized black slavery before they died to make it illegal. If former slaves had been sent to Africa or Central America, we wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in today. The problem whites face now is that other whites, the liberals, miscegnationists, Marxists, professors, etc. would gladly use massive firepower against a white secessionist movement of any kind. They are brainwashing our children and putting them on drugs (legal tranquilizers) to control us. A good first step in my opinion would be to cut ties to the corrupt anti-white educational system by homeschooling and voting down school taxes.

  • Greg Thomas

    So 70% diversity and 25% White. I think we have our answer.

  • Alexandra1973

    “City in state receivership,” it says. Hmmm. There’s a hint.

  • Alexandra1973

    Their reasoning: You can live in a car but you can’t drive a house.

    My dad said one time, “You know why these blacks can afford these fancy cars? They just pay interest on them.”

    Looking back I realize he was a realist (more or less behind Mom’s back).

  • cecilhenry

    Why write an article like this…. and then avoid the racial and civilizational realities behind it?

    ITs so duplicitous as to be beyond contempt.

    Seriously, there is a weed problem, and this is news?

    Funny how the fact that the ‘indigenous vegetation’ has been crowding out everything good is worth noting, but NOT the racial crowding out.

    Stupid people writing stupid articles who can’t say the truth but NEED to say something.

    Watch the silence–and point it out.

  • Mark Hillyard

    Sheeesh guys, I keep a fire break around my house and into the empty lot next door and in the street. It’s not that dog-gone hard to do just takes a few hours every month or so.

  • IstvanIN

    In the bad old white days I bet the city could get together a bunch of volunteers to mow the grass and do some basic clean up during a fiscal emergency.

  • DiversityIsDeath

    “Why isn’t Harrisburg trimming is HUMAN weeds?” (That’s the kind of “weed whacking” I wanna see!)

  • Pelagian

    And the 25% who *are* white have the entitlement mindset because they or someone in their family is probably a state bureaucrat. (-:

  • Pelagian

    Plus, the 25% who *are* white have the entitlement mindset because they or someone in their family is probably a state bureaucrat. (-:

  • Pelagian

    Unfortunately, I dont know enough about either Christianity’s influence on Korea or Korea’s cultural view of beauty and arrangement.

    But thanks for responding to my post. Unfortunately, Disqus’s algorithm gives short shift to comments that are filed late in the game.