Monday, July 30, 2007

Michael Vick for President

Michael Vick, as most have heard, dabbles in the field of animal welfare issues. His involvement in this issue is commensurate with the welfare of dogs to the same degree George Bush's foreign policy insulates us here, in "The Homeland", from the terrorists out there.

Vick has mastered a portion of Bush's foreign policy in his prepping of dogs for the fighting ring. To wit: National Public radio reports that the United States is funneling twenty billion dollars ( I've got to spell it out 'cause I don't want to wear out the zero key ) in arms, such as bombs, bombers, and missile systems to the ever-friendly Saudi Arabian monarchy. But just to keep things on the up-and-up, we're also sending thirty billion dollars to Israel.

Just as Vick does whatever one does to keep a dog in tip-top fighting mettle, we are following a foreign policy regimen that gives the middle east that little edge; just enough to keep it interesting to the peddlars in the M/I Complex. Anybody got a tooth file handy?

What has this to do with the price of apples in New Albany? Only this, our tax dollars are sent off to Washington in incomprehensible amounts: $522 billion dollars for this year, (and the
Bush-war, for some arcane accounting legerdemain, is not even part of that number). We're spending so much we've got to arm both sides. Is there just a chance that money could have been put to better use here in "The Homeland"?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Utopian Greenway ?

These are pictures from New Harmony were taken in May. As we rode along the banks of the Wabash, I couldn't help but think this is what a true
greenway should look like.

The sense of the City of New Albany has been stated that Clark County can do as it pleases, New Albany will have a pedrestian-bicycle-oriented Greenway and that if a high-volume road is built in Clark it will be gated up at the border.

Well here is what a real Greenway should be. For any who wish to see it for themselves, take the scenic drive to New Harmony, walk down the lane between the Roofless Church and the Red Geranium restaurant. As you walk through the woods you may see a cultivated field of corn or beans on your left. As you exit the woods, you enter the scene shown in these photographs. It is refreshingly understated. It is in a word authentic. It does exactly what a proper Greenway should do; it provides a vantage point from which to view the river, it provides a place to enjoy the river but it does not assume a position apart from the river. It does not intrude .

The New Albany Greenway could be as bucolic as this if we have the good sense and the grace to accept Al Goodman's offer of his land for that portion of the Greenway. The Loop Island Wetlands is a jewel of the greatest potential in this entire city. Forgotten by industry, it has healed itself to become nearly pristine again. (And yet, that very industry has left behind two strong bridges over Silver Creek.) It is one of the few places in an urban setting where the river is able to provide habitat for wildlife and respite for humans. It would be an instance of stupidity to slash an automobile road through that property. That instance of stupidity would, in the future, be ranked with the utter dimwittedness of those responsible for tearing down the old Post Office in the 1970s.

Regarding access: for those who want to go, they will find a way.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yet Another Reason I'm Not a Republican...

For these people, GOP means Grossly Overstated Patriotism.

Monday, July 2, 2007

England's City Hall Idea

Last week, mayoral candidate, Doug England, offered a proposal to move the operations currently housed on the third floor of the City-County Building to the the fire house at Fourth and Spring streets.

I think his idea has merit. It would create a true City Hall. The current third floor offices, once moved, could be allocated space compatible with today's needs rather than the needs of 1962. The fire house is one of the nicer buildings built in New Albany in some time and it would be worthy of the name City Hall. It has ample parking for citizens conducting business with the city. The spreading out of city employees toward the eastern edge of downtown could benefit businesses somewhat. I'm sure Mr. England could add many more positive reasons for the move to the new site.

If Mr. England's suggestion is accepted it would have one obvious consequence. There would need to be a new fire house built to replace the formerly new fire house that would become the new City Hall.

One of the points raised against the location of the Fourth and Spring fire house before it was built was the greater distance from the west end neighborhoods and Silver Hills. Greater distance, it was feared, would mean longer response time. As far as I can recall this has, fortunately, not been a problem yet.

Location of the new fire house should be in the west end with access to that major population area as well as the businesses downtown, hotels, I-64 , Silver Hills and Scribner Place.

I believe a site worthy of serious consideration is the current home of the adult video store on Main Street. This business does not offer the best introduction to our city for people passing through to Caesars. Locating the fire house there would bring this critical service to the place it is needed. It would eliminate the contentious adult store which could not easily relocate because, you may recall, it was allowed to open since no law had been written to exclude such establishments. A tougher licensing law is now on the books.

If Mr. England would add this location of the new fire house to his proposal for the new City Hall perhaps he could get even greater approval of his idea.