TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Party Line Dialing

Re: Party Line Dialing
21 Feb 2007 09:29:11 -0800

On Feb 20, 12:06 am, Neal McLain <> wrote:

> - Holly, Michigan. All numbers were in the form MElrose 4-XXXX and
> MElrose 7-XXXX; the initial 3 and 6 were absorbed.

Speaking of digit absorbtion, this was a major step as part of DDD.
In this way a town could have an addressable 10 digit nationally
unique phone number. However, locally residents would continue to
dial 5 digits. More importantly, Bell did not have to install more
switches in the chain to handle 7 digits, which would have been a huge

As an aside, an employer once had digit absorbtion in their centrex
which I discovered by accident. Their number was nnx-3000 (no longer
used for that organization today) and all extensions were 3xxx. I was
curious as to other access codes (8-n accessed various tie lines), so
I experimented. It turned out that the first 3 was absorbed. That
is, to call ext 3256 one needed to dial only 256. My co-workers
thought that discovery was pretty neat. BTW, the attendant
switchboard was a cord board, not a console; I thought consoles were
standard with Centrex.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note:

> the 1940's the village of Niles Center, Illinois (the former name of
> the village of Skokie), in its wisdom chose to destroy a perfectly
> beautiful apple orchard in order to build a commercial enterprise,

Was it the city govt that did it or a private transaction between the
owner of the farm and the developer?

> I am sure the farmer who owned the orchard which had been there for
> over a century prior must be very proud of what became of his land
> and his beautiful trees, etc.

In developing areas, the price offered to farmers for their land is
very, very generous. It's far more than they can earn farming the
land. It's really a no-brainer for them -- take a bundle of money and
then not have to do anything, or keep working their tails off for very

A second consideration is that after an area develops, the new
residents don't like the farms and give them grief. That is, they
discover that farming is not quaint like "Pepperidge Farm" covers or
Currier & Ives, but rather quite noisy and smelly, with slow farm
vehicles blocking the roads and chemicals in the air. The new
residents go to court and pass nuisance laws effectively shutting the
farms down. Further, the farmers get vandalized and robbed. It's no
wonder farmers sell out.

Oddly, the new residents don't want that either. They want the farmer
to hold onto the land so it isn't developed, but not earn any money
from it. (Yes, people actually say this at public meetings).

As to local jails, in NYC the big stores have their own private jails
(big article in the NYT on that.) Apparently legal.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Skokie did it with 'emminent domain',
which was the same thing here when Walmart had their eyes set on the
West Main Street property they eventually took over. Apparently the
theory of emminent domain can be liberally interpreted. At one point,
there had to be some _specific government use_ for property in order
for the government to condemn it and obtain it. Not so any longer; the
fact that some corporation merely _claims_ that their acquisition of
a piece of property will 'eventually' benefit the city or town is a
good enough reason. Old Orchard is all pretty much ancient history
now, and I cannot say what was on the mind of the original primary
tenant, Marshall Field and Company, when they moved in out there. I
know at the time, it was just barely outside the city limits of Skokie
in an unincorporated area of Cook County and just barely -- in the
opposite direction -- outside the requirements that another village
(in that instance, Golf, Illinois) had to give permission. Since that
point in time, Skokie has grown by leaps and bounds between Church
Street (formerly north end) and Golf Road (new north end) and going
west to the edge of the village of Morton Grove -- which we sometimes
call MORON Grove; remind me, I will tell you why sometime -- and the
village of Glenview's southeast corner where the Glenview Country Club
sits and the tiny, exclusive village of Golf, Illinois is
located. Back in the 1940-50's all the land between (the old edge) of
Skokie and Golf/Morton Grove/Glenview was farmer's fields.

Ditto with Independence: the city ended well before the point where
Walmart is located; there were a couple of farmers out there on the
south side of Main Street, which by that point geographically was
being referred to as US Highway 75 and 160. By jerry-rigging the city
boundary lines with a dip here and a slash there, the city eagerly got
the proposed property within -- barely -- the 'new' city limits in
order to benefit from all the sales tax Walmart would be producing. It
was the big issue here in 1999-2000; whether or not to 'allow' Walmart
to come into our town. The city renamed a couple of county roads in
the vicinity with 'street names' and arbitrarily numbered those
'streets' sort of in line with existing street numbers. As an example,
although Walmart should logically be the 3000 block of West Main
Street, they decided it would be known as '121 South Peter Pan Road'
and to hell with the other businesses close by. Instead of being some
number on County Road whatever, you will now be numbered on Peter Pan
Road; that's how Walmart wants it. What city did not know was the
amount of expense (versus the relatively little income from sales tax)
the area would bring in. Having city out there means sewer and water
are out there now, as well as police and fire. And if the police are
out there once per day, they are out there five or six times per day,
always for shoplifting, etc. And now they are talking about possibly a
_new_ Walmart store, the other side of town, but I do not think the
city will roll over for them as easily as they did five years ago when
the first store opened. We'll see if Walmart tries the old 'emminent
domain' trick again: 'our store will such a benefit for your town'.

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