Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
CityConnect posted this this evening about the proposed new zoning classfication:
Zoning Change Would Allow for Community GardenI was one of those 'few citizens' (HEY! Get Out Of My Garden) who asked some questions. When first presented at City Council on Monday evening, this is how the summary for Council Bill 2009-124 was worded:
On Monday, City Council approved initiating a zoning change that would permit less-intense urban garden uses in all zoning districts, while requiring a conditional-use permit for higher-intensity gardens. On Tuesday, we posted a news release about changes.
This has prompted some questions from a few citizens. Some have perceived this change as the City attempting to regulate the garden in your backyard. That, of course, is not what's going on. Here are a couple of questions we received today, followed by our reply. The proposed change is coming as a result of a citizen request.
What is the difference between a low intensity garden and a more intense garden? Why this amendment at this time?
A couple that owns property located in west Springfield approached the Planning Department because they were interested in starting a community garden on their property.
Their property is zoned residential and a retail rezoning would not be possible because it is surrounded by residential zoning. Their vision is to have a “subscription” program where a customer could reserve a certain quantity of produce to pick up at an on-site stand, as well as selling fresh local produce to restaurants or at farmer’s markets. The current City Zoning Ordinance does not allow “agricultural uses” for a business operation on less than 20 acres unless the property has been grandfathered in.
Because of this couple’s inquiry, as well as the general growing interest in community gardening, etc., the Planning Department wanted to develop a way to accommodate this type of land use in a residentially zoned area. The intent is to see if this type of zoning could be developed and accepted by the community, Planning & Zoning and the City Council.
This has no effect on home gardeners who grow produce and share or pool on some informal basis that doesn’t involve a retail stand/greenhouse/additional traffic, etc. It also will only address crop gardening, not raising animals.
The conditional use being explored for high-intensity uses would apply to situations where someone may want to do something along these lines on larger pieces of property approaching that 20-acre size. It’s possible that with a piece of property that large, the owner/operator may want to use heavier machinery and that could create noise issues in residential neighborhoods in particular. While that is not the intent of this couple’s project, the Planning Department thought it would be worth considering other scenarios for this type of zoning amendment.
The action Council took on Monday simply starts the process of creating this type of zoning. Daniel Neal, the planner assigned to this project, says the couple intends to speak about their goals at the public hearings to be held before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, July 9, and before City Council on Monday, July 27. (Both begin at 7 p.m.) A staff report describing the proposed amendment in detail will be delivered to the Planning and Zoning Commission and made available to the public on Thursday, July 2, 2009.
Neal said the couple understands that they may only be able to do late-season planting this year if this moves forward, but that they are looking toward the future because they moved here from an area where sustainable gardening was more common and want to see it happen more in Springfield.
posted by Mike Brothers, Public Information
This amendment is being proposed to allow for more sustainable living in neighborhoods around the City. Municipalities across the country are recognizing the benefits of urban gardens and sustainability which ultimately result in an improved community or neighborhood environment. This amendment would allow these types of uses in all zoning districts either by right or with conditions.I asked the city's PIO what was the city's definition of urban garden, and what was meant by the terms "low intensity" and "more intense" (as mentioned in the city's news release).
I was told that the definitions would be worked out as the process develops and that
This issue was sparked specifically by a neighborhood group that wants the proper zoning to put in a community garden with enough bounty not only to feed the participating neighbors, but to take to Farmer's Markets, sell to local restaurants, etc. So, there is that factor, but also the heightened interest in community gardens in general with some people working on the 1,000 Gardens concept here, the "crisis" gardens from another perspective, etc.From what is described on CityConnect ("Their vision is to have a “subscription” program where a customer could reserve a certain quantity of produce to pick up at an on-site stand, as well as selling fresh local produce to restaurants or at farmer’s markets"), it sounds like the couple is wanting to start a truck garden (which would require a retail zoning) in an area that is zoned residential. Under current zoning laws a retail rezoning would not be possible because their land is surrounded by residential zoning.
Instead of calling their project a 'truck garden', they are calling it a 'community garden.' Truck garden has a more commercial nuance than community garden. Remember that the news release specifically said, "Delete all references to truck gardens, which are not defined, in the Zoning Ordinance." Fassnight Creek Farm is a local example of a truck garden.
My issue is that this was presented to us as coming from a neighborhood group who wanted to share their bounty with their neighborhood. Only by asking questions did it surface that this was in response to a citizen who wanted to change the zoning of their property from residential to retail so they could go into the business of truck gardening. Ok, community gardening. (Do you think this matter would have gone to Council if the couple wanted to put in a car lot or a Maid-Rite?)
With all the issues facing the city today, this amendment is small potatoes. But if we are given a false picture of something as small as this, if the city couldn't tell us outright that this was basically about a zoning change request from residential to retail ---
Let me give you this example: My Mother, may she rest in peace, didn't tolerate lying. I remember as a kid growing up, hearing her say, "If you lie about little things, you will lie about big things."
I am not interested in 'gotcha journalism' and I am certainly NOT saying the city is lying to us but it appears staff can be selective sometimes with information presented to Council. If the city isn't giving us the complete picture on something as small as an amendment to the zoning code (and it certainly appeared to be the case until a few citizens started asking questions), how do we know we are getting the complete picture on the big things?
An Ozark oldtimer from down around Protem may have expressed the sentiment far better than I have when he said "Heck, I ain't paranoid, I'm jist wary of the gubmint."
The third largest city in the state is governed by volunteers.
MODOT issued the following press release this morning:
May 20, 2009What happens when a state repeals its helmet law? Read this. This site also has some information about motorcycles and accidents.
9 to 1
Missourians Support Motorcycle Helmet Law by nine to one ratio
JEFFERSON CITY - Nine to one.
That's the ratio by which Missourians support the state law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets according to a new telephone survey. The survey revealed 84 percent of Missourians support the state's current law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Only nine percent opposed the helmet requirement. At the same time, 75 percent of those who have ridden a motorcycle in the past year support the law requiring helmet use.
All motorcycle riders and passengers are currently required by law to wear helmets. The Missouri General Assembly recently amended Missouri's all-rider motorcycle helmet law, which has been sent to the governor for his consideration. The current law has been in effect for more than 40 years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 42 additional lives were saved in Missouri in 2007 because of motorcycle helmet use.
"By a nine to one ratio, Missourians know this simple fact: motorcycle helmets save lives," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said. "I urge Gov. Nixon to veto Senate Bill 202 and save precious lives."
Rahn said changing the motorcycle helmet law couldn't come at a worse time - motorcycle crash deaths in Missouri are on the rise. In 2008, there was a 13 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 93 in 2007 to 107. In fact, even though traffic fatalities as a whole are down significantly in Missouri, motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled since 2004.
Repeal of the helmet law will cause even more senseless loss of lives. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study of 10 states found that when the helmet laws were repealed, helmet-use rates dropped from 99 percent to 50 percent and motorcycle fatalities increased significantly.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I did a google search on "urban garden" and this website, Urban Gardening Help was the second website listed (the first one was a person's personal site):
Urban landscapes are often viewed as barren and cold scenes of concrete, asphalt and glass. They are portrayed as the opposite of the rural pastoral setting, rich in vegetation and greenery. However, in the biggest city, in the tiniest apartment, there exists the possibility to reconnect with the natural world through gardening.
Your urban home or apartment does not have to exist as a lifeless box of concrete. Nor do you have to give up the advantages of a big-city metropolitan lifestyle to take pleasure in the joys of gardening.
Whether you plant herbs in a window box, maintain a large flower garden in your backyard, or grow veggies in a local community garden, you can garden in the big city. Additionally, the simple act of planting a small flower garden, a tree, or vegetables helps the environment and instills more pride in your community. Even if you aren’t an avid gardener, you can still get involved in local gardening and urban agricultural projects such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Urban gardening and urban agriculture are ideas that are becoming increasingly important as our world becomes more urbanized and developers transform agriculturally fertile lands and open spaces into sprawling suburbs. This site is dedicated to those environmentally-conscious urban dwellers who want to create a green corner devoted to nature in their own home, or who want to support community-based gardening or agriculture projects in their neighborhood.
"The City" issued this news release today:
Council Initiates Urban Gardens Zoning Amendment
The Springfield City Council Monday approved initiating a zoning amendment that would permit less-intense urban garden uses in all zoning districts, while requiring a conditional-use permit for higher-intensity gardens.
Council Bill 2009-124 simply starts the process to consider this text amendment to Springfield’s Zoning Ordinance.
The following changes to the Zoning Ordinance are proposed:
Add the definition of “Urban Gardens” in Section 2-1100;
Modify the Permitted Uses section in all zoning districts to allow low-intensity urban garden uses;
Modify the Conditional Uses section in residential zoning districts to allow more intense urban garden uses;
Add a section to the Conditional Use Standards that addresses intensity issues such as noise, heavy machinery, hours of operation, accessory buildings, off-street parking, chemicals and fertilizers, and retail or wholesale businesses located on the premise, and;
Delete all references to truck gardens, which are not defined, in the Zoning Ordinance.
Council’s action Monday night begins the process of review and recommendations by the City staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission before it would return to the City Council for final consideration.
Public hearings will be held before the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, July 9, 2009, and the Springfield City Council on Monday, July 27, 2009.
Both hearings will be held at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, on the third floor of Historic City Hall. The public have the opportunity to speak to the proposed amendment at both hearings.
A staff report describing the proposed amendment in detail will be delivered to the Planning and Zoning Commission and made available to the public on Thursday, July 2, 2009.
For more information, contact: Daniel Neal, Senior City Planner, 864-1036.
What is the definition of "urban garden" as described in Second 2-1100?
What is the difference between a "low intensity" and a "more intense" urban garden?
Why is "The City" giving me permission to do something (plant a garden) I already can do without their permission? The amendment probably makes sense to Colonel Scheisskopf ("Due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no big parade this Sunday afternoon.")
I live down the road from Fassnight Creek Farm---is that a truck farm or an urban garden? (Locally produced food presumably doesn't have as big of carbon footprint as food trucked in from California.)
If we do what Ozarks Harvesting Hope suggests, do we shift from a 'low intensity' garden to a 'more intense' garden?
If this "simply starts the process to consider this text amendment", who deigned it necessary? Dan Chiles? He was the sponsor of the bill. But under each bill, after the sponsors name, is this statement: "Sponsorship does not denote Council member approval or support."
I gotta agree with the Jackehammer on this one.
Stunning news: a recent Gallup poll of over 7,000 national adults over 18 with land or cell phones, indicates that the only demographic group that has not declined in their support of the Republican party is that group defined at "frequent churchgoers.
Using that information and the data presented in this blog entry, you may be shocked to learn that if you are a frequent churchgoer, live in the Ozarks and is underinsured or uninsured, you probably identify and vote for more Republicans than Democrats.
Only 7% of beer drinkers had a beer in a Sports Bar in the past week.
Almost 93% of beer drinkers claim that their most often brand is worth the price.
Slightly more than one-third of beer drinkers claim to have bought beer at a Liquor Store in the past three months.
Households earning less than $20,000 account for 20% of total beer consumption.
About 43% of beer drinks claim that they like to have friends who are different from themselves.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Man calls 911 over 28-year-old son's messy bedroom
From the Associated Press:
BEDFORD, Ohio – An Ohio man who argued with his grown son over a messy bedroom said he overreacted when he called 911. Andrew Mizsak called authorities Thursday after his 28-year-old son — who's a school board member in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford — threw a plate of food across the kitchen table and made a fist at him when told to clean his room.
The son, also named Andrew, lives in a room in his parents' basement.
The father declined to press charges and told police he doesn't want to ruin his son's political career.
The son, who also works as a political consultant, said he's lucky to be living in the house rent free. He also promises to keep his room clean.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
all too well the night of March 12, 2006. Your TV Coverage then saved lives. To those who were upset about missing American Idol or the finale of Lost, look at these pictures of my brother's place and "kwityerbitchin".
Heading east on Division, west of Glenstone, almost to Fremont.
Car in front of me slams on brakes to make left turn onto Fremont.
I stop with heavy pressure on the brakes, didn't skid my tires though.
The Dodge quadcab behind wasn't so quick on the brakes.
He slid about 25 feet right into the back of the Suburban.
My trailer hitch head went through his transmission cooler.
My trailer hitch brackets went through his bumper.
He got the ticket and had to be towed.
I got a sore back.
The Suburban got a bent bumper.
I'm glad I wasn't in the S-10!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
All of Springfield is a twitter over the limited edition dolls released for the Greater Springfield market. These are sure to become collector's items and are only sold via email.
"Highland Springs Barbie"
This Princess Barbie is only sold at The Battlefield Mall. Comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, Lexus SUV, long-haired foreign dog named Honey and cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.
"Ravenwood South Barbie"
This Modern Day Homemaker Barbie is available with Ford WindStar Minivan and matching gym outfit. Gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.
"West Plains Barbie"
This Recently Paroled Barbie comes with 9mm handgun, Ray Lewis knife, Chevy with dark-tinted windows, and Meth Lab Kit. Model only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills).
"Fremont Hills Barbie"
This Yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, American Express card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, Nascar T-shirt and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. Accessories include six-pack of Bud Light and Hank Williams Jr. CD set. Doll can spit over 5 feet and kick Mullet-Haired Ken's butt when drunk. Pickup truck sold separately but you get a Confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free!
"The Pickwick/Walnut Street Barbie"
This collagen-injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks Cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available, as well as a warehouse conversion condo.
"Little Italy Barbie"
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gutted Ken out of Barbie's palace. Ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Galloway Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon with bike rack, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.
This classic Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.
She's perfect in every way. She can sing and dance and her hair never moves. We don't know where Ken is because he's always hunting or fishing.
"Commercial Street Barbie/Ken"
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple snap-on parts.
(I asked my email correspondent who sent me this piece who is responsible for the dolls. He replied, "I just received it and do not know the source. Can't you attribute it to a creative, unknown source? Give praise to the local talent who created it and tell them to keep up the good work.")
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Bryan: This is Bryan, do you have a few minutes to take part in a survey?
Bryan: Do you consider yourself pro-life?
Bryan: Judge Souter is getting ready to retire. President Obama will choose a replacement. Do you agree with me that activist judges like Judge Souter should not be overthrowing our country's abortion laws?
Bryan: Are you over 50?
Bryan: Are you male?
Bryan: Have you ever contributed money to a political candidate, party, church or cause?
Bryan: Thank you. This survey was paid for by Americans In Contact dot org and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
This guy committed suicide.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Yes, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Springfield is a wonderful town / city.
I live in the Fassnight neighborhood. The boundaries of the Fassnight neighborhood are Kansas Expressway on the west, Sunshine on the south, Campbell on the east and Grand on the North. Here is a map of the Fassnight neighborhood.
There are a lot of good places to shop and eat in our neighborhood.
I like to shop at the Disabled American Veteran's Store. I am a veteran and I shop at the DAV because it helps our wounded troops.
Braum's, Sonic, Pizza Hut, Subway and Chicago Style Fried Chicken stores are also in our neighborhood. So is Dollar General, Salvation Army, Momma Jeans, Maschino's and a whole bunch of stores in Wedgewood Shopping Center. All these stores are in the neighborhood.
There are gas stations and laundrymats in the neighborhood also.
Immediately north of the Fassnight neighborhood is the West Central Neighborhood. Here is a map of the West Central Neighborhood.
Some neighborhoods don't have a neighborhood association.
Does your neighborhood have a neighborhood association?
My neighborhood, Fassnight neighborhood, is having a neighborhood cleanup day later on this month. We also have neighborhood dinners and meetings. I like living in the Fassnight neighborhood.
Life in the Garden and I live in the same neighborhood and take an active role in the neighborhood association.
Sometimes people don't know what neighborhood they live in. Can you find your neighborhood on the map? If you click on the map it will get bigger.
The following information was received from the City Of Springfield regarding the May 12, 2009 Council lunch. Interested citizens can sign up to receive information ( news releases, etc) from the City as it is disseminated by suscribing to this link or emailing the City's Public Information Officer.
Note: The regular Council lunch will begin after this special meeting is completed.
Springfield City Council
May 12, 2009
4th Floor Conference Room
SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
1. ROLL CALL:
2. EMERGENCY BILL:
3. COUNCIL BILL 2009-108. (Ibarra)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into and accept a grant from the United State Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, to the City, by and through its Airport Board, in the amount of $14,878,026 for the purpose of providing funds for the Springfield-Branson National Airport Board to design and construct a new parallel taxiway to the southwest of Runway 14/32 at the Springfield-Branson National Airport; amending the budget provided for the Springfield-Branson National Airport Board for Fiscal Year 2008-2009 in the amount of $14,878,026; and declaring an emergency.
4. ANY AND ALL MATTERS WHICH FALL WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE COUNCIL.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
"I'm really, really open with my son like, I don't want him to become like, I mean, no offense like, gay when he's older. so like I'm always naked in front of him now."
“Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do–what man and woman are for.
"I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing."
"I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman."
Well, at least it was a fruit pie.