The “magic” of Riverside Plaza

Riverside Plaza is the 1300-unit apartment building in a crime-ridden section of Minneapolis that is about to get a $65 million government gift towards a makeover.  It’s also the center of the Somali “community,” and it’s privately owned.  Privately owned yet taxpayers are footing most of the bill for the “public housing” wreck?  Is this magic or what?

From The Republic:

That vitality is why the federal government and others are plowing $65 million into Riverside to address leaky pipes, moldy ceilings, outdated utilities and the general battering of nearly four decades of operation.


Riverside’s renovation is part of a $132 million refinancing package assembled by the federal government, the city of Minneapolis and more than 14 other public and private sources. Sherman Associates, the company that owns the 11-building campus, is contributing $3 million to the project.

Big whup!  Sherman Associates, the owners, will be putting up $3 million.   Sounds fishy, Sherman must be politically well-connected [I hope not to former governor Tim Pawlenty!]

More magic?   Half of the apartments are government subsidized.

Mixing the market-rate and subsidized units together never panned out, as the federal funding required the units to be separated, and over time Riverside became something very different. Today, about half of Riverside’s 1,303 units are government-subsidized and half are market-rate. The more than 4,500 tenants also make the complex unique: about 70 percent are Somalis, 14 percent are Ethiopians and nearly 10 percent are Vietnamese.

No!  here is the real “magic” of Riverside Plaza!

“It works really, really well as villages within a city,” she [director of the tenant’s association] said. “If you live here, you can be with your own folks, speaking your own language. … And I think that’s the magic of the place.”

Yup, that’s it, no need for the American melting pot—just huddle with your own kind, speak your own language and create ethnic enclaves within American cities.   That is magic alright.

Texas food stamp fraud investigation has a new partner

Another big immigrant food stamp fraud arrest happened this week after a grand jury indicted three in Brownsville, Texas.  This is the first case I’ve seen that was investigated with the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security.  Usually only the Dept. of Agriculture is involved.

From MMDnewswire:

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (MMD Newswire) April 29, 2011 — The owner of a local dollar supermarket and two of his employees were arrested on Tuesday, after a federal grand jury indicted the three men for food-stamp fraud, and other charges. The arrests were announced by U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas. The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Inspector General.

Parviz Sheikh Rezaei, 55, owner of Pariz Dollar Supermarket in Brownsville, Texas, was arrested April 26 on the following charges: fraud under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food-stamp fraud, wire fraud; money laundering; money structuring; and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Gabriel Garza and Juan David Fernandez, employees of Pariz Dollar Supermarket, were also arrested on Tuesday for food stamp fraud. All three defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio on April 26 and have been ordered temporarily detained until their arraignment April 29,. at which time the issue of bond will be decided.

Another report at KRGV-TV tells us they ripped off American taxpayers and poor people to the tune of $4 million, that’s one of the largest thefts I’ve seen to date.

Parviz Rezaei, Gabriel Garza and Juan Fernandez have been indicted on 45 counts of taking nearly $4 million from the federal government.

Federal agents arrested them Tuesday at a grocery store called Paraiz Supermarket in Cameron Park.

Federal documents claim Rezaei owns two Cameron Park stores and that he, along with his two workers, would trade cash for the food stamps. They allegedly would give the recipients money and charge a 23 percent handling fee then charge the federal government as if they were buying food.  [Heck, these guys weren’t so greedy, in most cases the ‘take’ is 50 percent.—ed]

Wonder what country they were transmitting money (redistributing wealth) to?   I gotta hand it to the Obama Administration these food stamp fraud busts have really been picking up lately.