Friday, August 16, 2013

All Aboard! Setting Sail For Disappointment

Destination: Dino's

The sad story of the demise of Dino's restaurant in Racine made the rounds two weeks ago. The story was the bank foreclosure of the Racine pizza institution who had served Racine customers for more than 60 years.

It was a camera-ready story actually. Big, bad bank won't renegotiate the loan on family business after missing only 3 payments.

The plight of Dino's went viral on the blogosphere for a few days - no doubt because of the seemingly harshness of the bank's actions. The articles practically wrote themselves as the perfect allegory of living in the post-recession world.

Too perfect, as it turned out.

Shortly after the Journal Times posted the story online, reader comments started coming in - and they weren't all fond memories and regrets of the Dino's business sunset. In fact, the comments were from former employees with tales of mistreatment, family member's sordid history of ripping off vendors and numerous suits of credit card theft and unpaid taxes.

The comments were so vicious and damning, the Journal Times had to turn off the comment link.

They only missed three mortgage payments, huh? Turns out, Dino's family members where basically a gang of grifters and the only one who didn't know was Dino and the Journal Times.

Of course, anyone who ever read RacineUncovered back in the days before Beth David reinvented herself as a do-gooder on Jacato Drive, will remember her blog posts were followed with great enthusiasm by a particularly nasty commenter known as "Pizzaman."

Pizzaman was Dino's grandson, Davis Ferderer, or his alias, David Ferder, which was the name he gave the press so they wouldn't find out about his rather lengthy ccap sheet of credit card fraud, bail jumping, obstructing an officer, DUI's, evictions and small claims debts.

Pizzaman used to help David operate a "Dinocam" on RacineUncovered of activities outside the restaurant on 16th street.

Mostly it was used an excuse to vilify low-income people in the neighborhood, who were treated - as customers of Dino's - more like they were criminals. David has carefully scrubbed her website of those days and conversations - so you'll have to take our word for it - Ferderer was a major douche-bag and fringy teabagger type and we didn't even know about his record as a scofflaw.

Pizzaman's mother, Rosalie, had utility bills and past due taxes totaling more than $53,000 that the bank didn't feel like paying and little David still hasn't paid any of his debts from previous suits either.

The Journal Times was forced to publish an updated article that outlined the dismal financial history of Dino's descendants - and once again, no comments could be posted. That's some serious hating.

Pizzaman and Rosalie are no longer returning calls from the press. It was a nice story while it lasted.

Destination: Debtor's Island 

Funny how these teabag types never pay their taxes. The Siren told you yesterday that Mount Pleasant Village President, Mark Gleason, had not paid his 2012 property taxes. He owes about $6000. The Patch also discovered Sturtevant Village President, Steve Jansen, hasn't paid his property taxes either.

Jansen has at least made one payment on his taxes and admitted legal expenses from his stalking and disorderly conduct convictions put a pinch on his cash flow, saying:
"I've been current every other year, and I need to do a better job of setting an example for the rest of the village," he said."
We cannot say if he means the stalking or the taxes or both - making it the most hilarious understatement by a public official this week. That was at least more of a statement than Mark Gleason has made about his taxes - who as far as we know hasn't even admitted he hasn't paid his taxes. Maybe he doesn't understand public records.

But, let's pause for a second to acknowledge the girlfriend stalking, tax evading, Village President actually looks like the good guy of the two.

The Gleason family is a well-known and well-heeled family. Mark Gleason personally owns numerous properties in the area as well as a vacation home. Villages like Mount Pleasant run on revenue generated by funds like property taxes and for a town who has had aging ambulances breakdown on emergency calls - revenue is an important thing.

There is absolutely no acceptable reason for Mark Gleason to be delinquent on his tax bill - and if there is a reason he better come out with it now. If he just hasn't gotten around to paying it - he should be fired, or recalled or at least asked about it by the one local print newspaper in the area - who just can't quite get the hang of the "follow up question."

For as many inches the topic of taxes takes up on a given day in the press - you'd think it might be relevant. Right? We bet Ron Meyer has paid his taxes.