7/13/07

Howz about them apples?

Well, it appears the City has decided on a "tentative" design and scope for the Market Garage project.

How about this? Adding another 6 floors. And only 70 parking spaces.

That's right - Fire Station #1 is about to be loomed over by commerce, housing, or some combination of the two.

So aside from the fact that once the addition goes on - you have now just plunged that intersection into perpetual twilight, explain to me how with either commerce or residential - it makes sense to do it on a tight street with bad access for emergency vehicles?

Well - it would not be so bad, but you removed the closest ones.

And speaking of Fire Station #1 - Kudos to Wishneff and Lea, for finally realizing they are done with the City Council, and taking it to the streets. They are absolutely right about the downtown Amphitheater, Elmwood park would require little modification beyond seating and sculpting.

Plus the benefits to the downtown businesses and residents would be numerous. But, and this is not my but, the "For the City" crew has shown themselves clearly for what they are.

From the Breaking News article the day of the press conference: "The press conference, held at Fire Station No. 1 and attended by about 20 downtown business owners, citizens and members of the media, was not without contention. Local musician Cyrus Pace and John Anderson, president of the Farm, an advertising agency, challenged Wishneff and Lea.

Pace argued that the vote has already been made, and Anderson said the three “For the City” council members who voted for the river location were carrying out a mandate delivered to them when they swept the 2006 council election.

“Why can’t you guys just accept the decision?” Anderson asked.
(emphasis added -ed.)

Lea and Wishneff said they were responding to citizens’ concerns and providing an alternate proposal.

Wishneff said after the press conference that he expects the amphitheater will continue to be an issue through next spring’s municipal elections, when voters will select a mayor and three council members. Wishneff's and Lea’s terms will each be up, along with those of Councilman Bev Fitzpatrick and Mayor Nelson Harris."

I'm sure a bit of digging would reveal some interesting connections between Mr.'s Pace and Anderson and "For the City."

And speaking of Tweedle Dee, Dum, and Doh! - they're reaction (next days article - no mention of the hecklers) - well Dowe says "it's an option" if they do not like what they receive from the Request for Proposals. But "once the council decides to make a decision and go forward, we're in a position where we have to see that through. We have to respect the integrity of that process."

Integrity.. right. Just like back when you were a... no - save that for later. But it is interesting to note that Alfred "Token Candidate" Dowe might actually have some sense about him - and be willing to voice it. He won't be around for long.

Gwen "I'm much funnier than Jackie" Mason had this to say: "The ayes and the nays have been counted, and I'm sure that Mr. Wishneff and Mr. Lea are prepared to put their good brains to work on other issues that are facing the city. But the decision on the amphitheater has been made," Mason said.

SO there. I bet she even pouted a bit after saying it. So what do you think was intended by the "good brains" comment? Is Ms. Mason a zombie? Well.. maybe...

And our sincere and wise Vice-Mayor.. what have you to say? "I think what's going on is to a degree they've learned that a decision is never a firm decision recently. That's really been holding Roanoke back," Trinkle said. "If you can constantly re-debate or make it an election-cycle issue, nothing gets done and the bigger issues like schools get muddied. It's not good leadership to constantly bring old issues up for debate instead of moving on."

Displaying a mastery of how to structure a sentence, Dr. Trinkle reminds us all of how He and his crew even got elected in the first place. Making a non-issue distraction into a political windfall using the shadiest of practices.

Well, I know I've been quiet lately - but it looks like that is all coming to an end. If these half-wits keep things up like this, I might have to make this a full time job.

Oh - and someone tell me why there is a 5 minute "Mill Mountain Incline Update" on the agenda for the next council meeting?


3 comments:

Jeff St Real said...

Sorry, gonna have to disagree with you on this one. We don't need an amphitheater at all, if you ask me, but if we're going to get one anyway, down by the river is where it ought to be.

Yeah, yeah, I know: it might get flooded a time or two. So does the hospital, the armory, the grain mill, and everything else nearby. They remain standing.

Victory Stadium had to go years ago. Not because of the flooding, but because it was antiquated.

The Elmwood site has it's own problems: #1, as always: parking. #2, the PH Hotel is supposedly going to be an old folks home (we'll see if that ever happens), so that's not exactly an optimum juxtaposition of urban real estate. #3) They will have to bulldoze the library to create an amphitheater of any size.

Elmwood Park serves us well as is: for smaller concerts, Festival in the Park, Local Colors, etc. I would hate to see us lose that.

The Victory Stadium site, at least right now, is being used for nothing except if you like watching grass grow.

Like it or not, the Jefferson St., Reserve Ave, River's Edge area is going to be developed significantly over the next couple decades. It would be nice to make it an area the whole city can use, including recreational opportunities and not just office/medical buildings.

I just don't see the For the City candidates as being as conniving, corrupt, or ignorant as you portray them. They have stated positions they believe in and defended their opinions. I think that's just politics, not any sort of shenanigans going on.

Having said that, I do respect Wishneff and Lea for sticking their necks out again and again over the years. Sometimes I agree with them, and sometimes I don't, but they've been getting steamrolled for years, even long before For the City were elected.

RoanokeFound said...

In the past, I have been all for the amphitheater going up at the old VS site, and I still am. I think it's a great draw for business when you can leave your car at work and go check out a concert.

Of course, now I'm wondering why they even spent the money to get the grass in shape to play soccer, only to destroy it before a game is played there.

And sorry, I do not believe that Elmwood is a poor choice for a smaller.. 3,000 seat amphitheater.. as long as it does not look like an empty amphitheater when it's not in use. But given the natural bowl shape of the stage area now, installing some form of seating (or even terra-scaping seating)would and should work.

Then we might be able to enjoy all those normal outdoor things - Shakespeare in the Park and such.. not just the odd concert and festival.

I don't think the FTC folks are intentionally evil, but I do think that the limited scope of their focus and experience has them convinced this is what the rest of the world wants and needs. I do, however, think they can play dirty when they want to.

And for a moment, consider Lollapalooza's layout - 3 stages, each a good distance from the other, with varying kinds of music on them.

Now think of Festival in the Park with 2 venues, and a easy to use method of going between them.

Anonymous said...

Wishneff and Lea. Puhleeeze! Can these two troublemaking obstructionists just crawl away! I think a majority of the citizens of Roanoke are very pleased with the decisions and direction made by the "For The CIty" group. Finally, something is getting done around these parts without it being dragged out for years. I'm not embarassed to say I live in Roanoke anymore when visiting other areas, and that's a refreshing change.