Stimulus Watch: Refugee housing for Salt Lake City

Your tax dollars:

Earlier today I told you about this fun site called Stimulus Watch where you can search for ‘shovel ready’ projects across the fruited plane.  Here is one I just found to benefit refugees.   It’s for the construction of 175 housing units for refugees in Salt Lake City, Utah.   The cost is projected at $27 million.    No comment.

Utah is having a big problem with housing for refugees, see my post of just last week here.

Lewiston Dog Parks proposal gives new meaning to shovel-ready

Your tax dollars:

Yesterday our friend Janet sent a link to this very neat database called Stimulus Watch here.    Keep in mind these projects are not in the Stimulus package per se but as the site says, they are listed as projects that are more or less “shovel-ready” for when the bill passes. was built to to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed “shovel-ready” projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes.

So, imagine my surprise to see Dog Parks proposed for Lewiston, ME— project cost $50,000, 2 new positions available.   What is so funny you ask?  I immediately thought of the large Muslim Somali population in Lewiston (we have been writing about it as recently as two weeks ago) and wondered if these parks were proposed for cultural sensitivity reasons!

In January of last year, Lewiston (home of the ham sandwich of hate) had another of its provacative incidents by locals unhappy with the large and every growing Muslim population of the city.  Someone posted a lost dog poster and the vicious-looking dog was named Mohammed.   I went back to my post and found the link was no longer good to the original news story, but found it here at Atlas Shrugs.

Islam has a top ten list of really dirty stuff and in addition to things like urine, feces and dead bodies, pigs are on the list as are dogs.   

Dog parks, in which dogs can run and defecate, are something one thinks of in big cities.   I’m wondering if the town fathers of Lewiston are trying to keep the dogs separated from the Somalis?  Just wondering!

The $50,000 cost of the project must include salaries for two workers with shovels ready.

Refugee chic: gay guys and heavy metal rockers

Awhile back we told you about the gay Iraqi refugees who used their cache as refugees to pick up dates.   Well now we have a heavy metal band, refugees from Iraq, getting VIP treatment and being featured in the New York Times (be sure to check out the photo!).

Acrassicauda had been through hell as a rock band in wartime Baghdad. Its practice space was bombed. Its members were branded Satan worshipers and received death threats for making Western-style music. Then they suffered through two purgatorial years as refugees in Syria and Turkey, killing time and dreaming of rocking out in the land of the free.

And on Sunday night, two days after the last of the band’s four members was resettled in the United States, they enjoyed what any metal fan would have to call heaven: bearhugs and “Wow, dude” heart-to-hearts backstage with Metallica at the Prudential Center in Newark. It probably wasn’t necessary for James Hetfield, Metallica’s lead singer, to surprise them after the show by handing over one of his guitars, a black ESP, and signing it “Welcome to America”; their minds were already blown.

I’m too weary with this story to write more, just go read it.    They say they received no special treatment in the resettlement process, yeh right!   What about the women and kids they displaced, or the desperate interpreters we have been hearing so much about?

You know, I wouldn’t be so annoyed by stories like this if the mainstream media would say why they were being  persecuted, or why the gay guys are persecuted.   Islamic fundamentalists persecute them!  Why is that so darn hard to say?

Nashville refugee outfit changes its name, I wonder why?

This is one of those puff-piece news stories about refugees I’m always mentioning, and so it’s not surprising that it comes from the Tennessean.    I have never seen that paper write anything about refugees other than those glowing accounts about the joys of multiculturalism in the “Music City.”    Hat tip:  a friend from Tennessee.

I’ll let you read the whole thing [June 2009, I see one must now purchase this article from Feb. 3rd to read it], but take note too that Lavinia (Whoop-de-do) Limon of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is whining, as always, about how refugee agencies don’t have enough money.   Readers may recall some of her subcontractors have been closed or told to shape up by the State Department for inadequately caring for refugees they were contracted to resettle. That Waterbury, CT subcontractor mentioned in the ‘Whoop-de-do’ post was subsequently suspended by the State Department.   But, that’s another story!

Here is the part of the Tennessean article that  perked me up.

The latest State Department figures show Nashville ranks 28th in the nation for refugee resettlement, with nearly 3,100 placed here since 2002 — about 1 percent of the national total. Newcomers are becoming so diverse that the former Somali Community Center was recently renamed the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee. Its development director, Carter Moody, is busy seeking grants to assist an influx arriving at a difficult time to help them.

“Over time, Nashville and several other heartland cities — Denver, Iowa City, Minneapolis — have gained more mature social services [lucky Nashville! No English required there either!] that were on par with the East and West Coast,” Moody said.

So they convienently dropped the name, Somali Community Center, eh?  Could it be they want to shed their bad image with federal granting agencies?    We have heard of this before, some agency or volag gets into grant trouble and pretty soon they are going by another name, I suppose hoping that new federal or state grantors (or the public!) won’t link them to the former bad acts.

A reminder to readers, the Somali Community Center got into hot water with the federal government over misuse of grants and with a possible connection to terrorist activities back in 2007.   Check out this important and shocking story from Nashville’s Channel 4 news at the time.

A Channel 4 News I-Team investigation has raised questions about why a local community center is still getting funds after being investigated for having terrorist ties.

According to annual reports, the Somali Center in south Nashville receives $400,000 per year in taxpayer dollars from federal, state and local governments.

But what has some asking questions is how the center’s executive director, Abdizirik Hassan, is still getting grants after pleading guilty to making false statements during a government investigation.

In 2001, Hassan’s Nashville bank was shut down by counter-terrorism investigators because they said the bank was linked to Al-Barakat. Al-Barakat is a bank and wiring transfer service that is linked to al-Qaida, according to investigators.

Hassan was arrested and charged with felony illegal banking.

While out on bond, Hassan and the Somali Center were awarded a grant in the amount of nearly $500,000 by the same federal government that indicted him.

One of the grants involved went to an Imam to administer, but he is now unavailable for comment after hopping a plane to Kenya.

Hassan hired his friend and Imam of the Al-Farooq Somali Mosque, Abdishakur Ibrahim.


Second-hand sources said that Ibrahim now lives in Kenya and there are no answers for his sudden departure from Nashville.

Mr. Moody must be figuring with a new angle—more diversity in Nashville’s refugee population and a changed name—- federal grantors in a new Administration might not notice the past indiscretions.