My conversation with Ms. Ramona…

Prepared by, Akesha Day

On my way to Ms. Ramona’s house to my hair appointment, I thought to myself, “Hey I should talk to her about her experiences as a south phoenix resident of 21 years.” While I was getting my hair done our conversation ranged from her mobile home I would love to take from her, to how her taxes went up when the building started in her area.

    Ms. Ramona has been doing my hair and my mother’s for over 10 years. Ms. Ramona has done hair, in general, for over 30 years. She has worked in different hair salons, and even owned her own shop on 15th St. and Washington. Now she does hair in her home in South Phoenix.

Ms. Ramona has lived in her house for 21 years in the Central Ave./Piedmont area. She says, “ South Phoenix is a nice place to live as long as you don’t own property.” I asked her how does she feel about all the building going on around her. Ms. Ramona said, “ At first I thought it was going to be good. The traffic is really bad now and the crime is up.” From what she tells me the residents in the Central Ave./South Mountain St. area started complaining a while back about the traffic in the area. The next thing you know the city put a stop light up on that corner. She doesn’t feel the light has helped very much. Ms. Ramona also said, “ People from the “outside” are bringing the crime. People who live here do not want to mess up the area where they live.”

A few other things we talked about were taxes, mortgage, insurance, charter schools and the Thunderbird Golf Course. Since the building began in her area her taxes have doubled. The mortgage also went up a few hundred dollars. Ms. Ramona was told her mortgage went up to offset the increases in the taxes. The insurance for the blockhouse she lives in also went up. Ms. Ramona said,” I feel like we are being penalized because we live in blockhouses. Stucco homes are cheaper, the insurance should be high for them.”

As far as the charter schools go she said she knew somebody who put their kids in one of the charter schools, and it ended up closing down. When the children had to go back to their public school the other children teased them. They said, “Yeah, you thought you were better than us going to that “private school”, and now your right back with us were you started.” Ms. Ramona was not sure why the school closed, and she did not want to give the name of the school. From what I was told a lot of people took advantage of the grant money, and free school uniforms that were offered. Some people were lying on applications to get more assistance and lying about home addresses. When the schools found out they cut the people from the program and basically said see we can’t help this people over here on this side of town why bother.

The Thunderbird Golf Course is literally in Ms. Ramona’s backyard. She said at first there was a problem with the golf balls going in the yards, pools etc. When the construction was completed on the golf course the design of the course changed, so the problem with the golf balls ended. You have to be a member and pay a large fee in order to golf at the course. I asked Ms. Ramona do the people in the neighborhood get an opportunity to golf. She answered, “Of course not.”

After that response about the golf course I thought to myself, I would be very upset to have something dropped in my backyard and I couldn’t even use or enjoy it. I think the Thunderbird Golf Course is one of the many structures in South Phoenix that make you go “hmmm”, and wonder.

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