Friday, July 31, 2009

Online Tax Payments

I've been waiting eagerly to use the city's new online payment option for property taxes, launched this summer. Today was payday and my car tax is due August 3rd, so today was the day to do it.

I'd been reading the letters to the editor in the Rep-Am written by taxpayers who were angry at having to pay a 3% convenience fee for paying by credit card. I didn't think this was a real problem, since they have always done that. The credit card companies charge the city that fee, so the city passes it on to the credit card user so that they don't lose any tax revenue. Nothing new there.

A letter to the editor from Steve Gambini, the Mayor's aide, seemed to clarify everything. Yes, there's a 3% fee for using a credit card, but that's normal. If you pay online by check, the fee is only fifty cents. Given that a stamp costs nearly that much and snail mail requires an earlier payment, I was content.

I went online this morning and eventually manoeuvred through the bill pay site (I had to do it twice--after I got through maybe five or six screens, I got a message telling me that I was using the wrong browser and needed to switch to Firefox). I finally got to the section where you actually pay the bill and was shocked by what I saw.

For a payment of $155.89, there is a mystery convenience fee of $4.68 which appears to be completely separate from the "convenience" fees related to the form of payment. That's a 3% fee, completely unexplained. I started getting very upset, but in the interest of properly testing the system for myself, I continued with the payment (also, I really didn't want to go wait in line for an hour at the Tax Collector's office).

Lo and behold! When you enter your direct debit information and move on to the next screen, the 3% fee magically transforms into the 50¢ fee!

I'll keep using the site to pay my taxes, but whoever designed the tax payment site needs to take a remedial course in User-Friendly Design.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


If you are registered as a Democrat in Waterbury and would like to be able to vote in a primary in September, we need your signature! We're going all over the city, but we simply don't have time to go to every single door.

If you would like to sign the petition, simply stop by Vance HQ in the little plaza at 451 Meriden Road or call the HQ at 510-3175.

The Vance slate is as follows:

J. Paul Vance, Jr.

Board of Aldermen
Bernard Bailey, Jr.
Francis J. Caiazzo, Jr.
George F. Flaherty, Jr.
Raechel E. Guest
Martin J. Misset
Paul M. Nogueira
William J. Phelan
Ruben A. Rodriguez
Richard J. Scappini

Board of Education
Lisa A. Cheney
Robert C. Lyons
Melissa Mancini Torrance

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Farmer's Market on the Green

I finally made it to the Farmer's Market last Thursday. As always, it was very sociable and full of good food. It seemed like there were more vegetables this year and definitely more pastries!

Below are a few pics from last week. The Market is open Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun with Quotes

I was very disappointed by the Republican-American's coverage of last night's Democratic Convention, which seemed strongly biased in favor of Mayor Jarjura. Last week the newspaper wrote, in an overly opinionated way, that Vance would have to scramble at the last minute to put together his slate of candidates. Today they failed to mention that he had his slate in place at the convention, just as they failed to mention the names of anyone running with him (which includes incumbent Alderman Martin Misset, who was at the convention).

I think this quote in the article stood out most for me: “What does it say about the Vance campaign that even the rival party thinks I’ve done a good job? I mean, when even your rival party won’t run against you, how can a real, true and loyal Democrat find fault?” Jarjura asked after the convention ended. “It’s petty.”

First of all, define "good job". When Jarjura first became mayor, the state Oversight Board (remember them?) was making the hard decisions and required actions to pull us out of an economic morass. Jarjura didn't fix the city's budget all by his lonesome. He has stayed the course and done the basic things that a mayor should do. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, after so many years of corrupt government, people in Waterbury think this is something outstanding. It's not. It's the bare minimum.

Here in Waterbury, we think it's highly commendable if the Mayor isn't corrupt and on his way to jail. It's not. It's the bare minimum.

So if by "good job" Jarjura means "hey, great, we've got a balance budget and the mayor hasn't been arrested", then yes, he's doing a good job.

Second, the reason the Republican party isn't running against Jarjura has more to do with their party being dead in the water. Waterbury voters still equate their party with Giordano. There was absolutely no point in their running a Republican candidate against Jarjura. It's going to be a long time before the voters will trust a Republican mayor again. The Republicans have endorsed Jarjura in order to save their own party and to oust the Independents.

Third, considering that Jarjura has set himself up as the Republican candidate, I don't think he has any right to talk about being "a real, true and loyal Democrat". Cutting a back-room deal with a rival party is about as far as you can get from being loyal to your own party.

Fourth, saying that it's petty for a fellow Democrat to find fault with the sitting Mayor sends chills down my spine. The last time I checked, this was a free and democratic nation. The Office of Mayor is not a dictatorship. It is not petty to find fault with one's government--it is our patriotic duty to speak up when we don't agree.

Neil O'Leary came very close to joining Vance in challenging Jarjura in a primary, does that mean he is petty as well?

If there was as strong possibility that the Republicans or Independents could win the mayoral election, I could almost agree that this is not a good year for the Democrats to be divided. But that possibility doesn't exist. The voters deserve choices.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome to the Campaign!

When I started this blog in 2005, I was very dissatisfied with how the city was being run. Yes, things had improved since Giordano was removed from office, but the only noticeable differences were a balanced budget and a mayor who wasn't a sleaze bag. Waterbury has suffered for so long under political corruption that this seems like a great thing, but a balanced budget and a mayor who isn't on his way to jail should be the bare minimum expectation. It is time to demand more than the bare minimum.

In the past four years, I have become increasingly involved with making a difference. As a volunteer with Main Street Waterbury's Design Committee, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand how the city works and how it doesn't work. I have also had the opportunity to help bring about positive change.

I am honored to say that I have been offered a new opportunity to do what I can to help Waterbury achieve its potential to be one of the best cities in the country. At tonight's Democratic Convention, it was announced that I am running as a candidate for the Board of Aldermen. I am delighted to say that I am running with Mayoral Candidate J. Paul Vance, Jr. I firmly believe that it is long past time for a new Mayor in Waterbury and that Vance is eminently qualified for the job.

Tonight's Democratic Convention was my first political convention (talk about diving in head-first!), and I don't think I have ever been as nervous as I was right before my name was announced as a candidate for the Board of Aldermen. At the beginning of the convention, the majority of the Town Committee refused to allow Vance the opportunity to speak. At the end of the convention, when Jarjura and his slate naturally received the endorsement (apparently a large number of Committee members are either city employees or Jarjura's family), he was permitted a long speech. At least a third, maybe half, of the room got up and left when Jarjura started speaking. I stayed to hear what he had to say. When he was nominated by Ned Cullinan, there was a moment when I was so outraged (see below) that I almost shouted out loud, so of course I had to hear more.

Settling into our seats at the Convention.

In his speech, Jarjura claimed that Waterbury is in excellent economic condition, that we are somehow better off than any other city in Connecticut. The facts tell a very different story. In 2007, 19.4% of Waterbury residents had income below the poverty level, while the state as a whole was at 7.9%. As of May 2009, Waterbury's unemployment rate was at 13%, the second-worst in the state. Last year there was a big effort to shut down tent cities, a symptom of severe economic distress, along the Naugatuck River. The Republican-American ran articles and photos deservedly lauding the city for its efforts to help the homeless. Last week I was informed by a reliable source that there are currently 23 tent cities down by the river. None of this sounds like a good economic condition.

As a follow-up, Jarjura implied that Mayor Vance would somehow bring economic ruin to Waterbury. This is ridiculous rhetoric. Vance has been President of the Board of Alderman since 2001. He served as Chairman of the Budget Subcommittee from 2002 to 2008. He has a Master's Degree from Columbia University in Public Administration. He is a smart man, and an honest man. We can trust him with the city's economics.

I was disturbed by Jarjura's attempt to strike fear in the hearts of the voters present. He seemed to be saying "if you vote for Vance, bad things will happen." I have never had any respect for any politician who attempts to sway voters by appealing to their fear of the unknown.

I was even more disturbed when Jarjura demanded that everyone, including those of us running with Vance, abandon any interest in a primary and just go with the endorsed ticket. Seriously, he wants those of us who are dedicated to collecting enough signatures for a primary, those of us who believe that Waterbury will be better off with a new administration, to suddenly jump ship and do what we're told. I thought this was a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Perhaps Mayor Jarjura is afraid that he will lose the primary. After all, he lost a primary to Karen Mulcahy, and Paul Vance is a vastly more qualified Mayoral candidate. But there's good news for Jarjura! If he loses the Democratic primary, he can still run as the Republican candidate! That's right, the man who insisted in his speech tonight, over and over again, that he is a Democrat, has agreed to be the Republican party's candidate for Mayor.

Jarjura also spoke about being "pro-family". This one made me laugh. The same man who was quoted in the newspaper blasting Vance for being with his wife and their first baby, only hours old, instead of a public function, is claiming to be pro-family. How can you claim to be pro-family and also say that Vance will make a terrible mayor because he chose to be involved with the birth of his child?

As mentioned above, I was outraged during Cullinan's speech about how wonderful Jarjura is. Amongst the many things that Jarjura is supposedly responsible for was the Facade Improvement Program. Believe me when I tell you that Jarjura has had no involvement in that program other than, perhaps, to have been persuaded that it is a good program. All of the work of the Facade Program has been done by Main Street Waterbury's Design Committee and by the Waterbury Development Corporation. I wrote the guidelines for the program. The Design Committee sub-committee, many years ago, approved the plan. The program languished for years under bureaucratic folderol. Carl Rosa and I continued to press for the program to move forward. Kathy McNamara and Geoff Green at WDC cut through the red tape to make the program viable. The new sub-committee, made up of member of Design Committee and WDC staff, have selected 7 buildings for the program. The last update I had on the project is that it is languishing at the city's Corporation Counsel (as of July 13). There is absolutely no way that the Facade Program can be credited to Jarjura.

I have a tendency to avoid bragging about my accomplishments, but when I hear other people taking the credit for my work, it makes me angry. There was, however, a delightful and long moment in Jarjura's speech when he all but endorsed me (and Republican Aldermanic candidate Bryan Baker). Jarjura gave a poetic description of how tired and worn down and dilapidated the City Hall building was when he first became Mayor. He spoke of staring out the windows of the Chase Building at the poor, forlorn City Hall, a relic of Waterbury's better days. He spoke of the pleasure he now has, able to look across the street at the construction project that is steadily restoring City Hall to its past glory. If only he had given credit where it was due: when the fate of the building was being hotly debated, when it looked like the historic and important City Hall building was going to be either torn down or boarded up and abandoned, I spoke up at Design Committee meeting and said "shouldn't we be fighting to save the building?" The rest of the Committee agreed, and we began a campaign involving impassioned pleas to the Board of Aldermen and letters to anyone and everyone who might be interested. We joined forces with the Mattatuck Museum and the Waterbury Foundation to coordinate the Cass Gilbert Symposium, during which I led one of the tour groups. I was dismayed when Jarjura caved in to pressure from Larry DePillo and refused to allow the full renovation/restoration project to move forward, but I was relieved that he was willing to allow the bare minimum to happen. So thank you, Mayor Jarjura, for praising an improvement project I fought for. Next time don't forget to mention who was involved.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

State of Absurdity

Some days it seems like I can't read the newspaper without getting annoyed. This time it was the article about the state Department of Public Health requiring barbers and hairdressers to "pass a state licensing exam in English or, if an applicant has earned a license in a state that gives exams in languages other than English, they must pass an English proficiency test."

Waterbury will begin inspecting salons later this year and will inform the state DPH of any barbers or hairdressers who are unlicensed. On the surface, that sounds perfectly reasonable. The problem is that Waterbury is an immigrant city, full of Dominicans, Mexicans, Albanians and others who do not speak or read English. Granted, they will in theory have had several months to prepare and pass the licensing exam, but imagine trying to pass an exam in a language you don't speak. That can't be easy.

First level of absurdity: since when has proficiency in English had any bearing on someone's ability to be a good hairdresser?

Second level of absurdity, as printed in the Republican-American: "But the state Department of Public Health said it is too expensive to offer the state exam in other languages, at least right now while the state is grappling with its huge budget deficit, Gonzalez said. It won’t allow translators out of fear of cheating, she said."

Actually, I think that's the second and third levels. Too expensive? If this is a written exam, how expensive can it possibly be to hire translators for the most common languages? At most, probably fifty grand. Balance that against the number of barbers and hairdressers who will become unemployed because the test is available only in English. Add to the mix the number of empty storefronts and the loss of revenue from those businesses.

Connecticut will lose tax revenue if they shut down businesses because the state refuses to spend the money to translate the test.

As for fear of cheating, if the test is a written exam, I don't see how cheating is a problem. Hire reputable college professors to do the translation. If the test is an oral exam, well, there's just as much a risk of cheating in English as there is in any other language.

When my great-grandparents came to this country one hundred years ago, they spoke no English but were able to support themselves and their family by starting their own business. I wonder if they would have had a harder time doing that today, or if the difficulties and challenges, while not the same, are equivalent?

Friday, July 24, 2009


After the flooding we had on July 2, I started thinking about the Flood of 1955 and went back through my notes for the exhibit I curated at the Mattatuck Museum in 2005 to remind myself of the sequence of events that led to the 1955 flood. Circumstances are certainly different today--numerous flood control dams were constructed after 1955--but I still wonder just how bad things could get.

The immediate cause of the 1955 flood was a double-whammy of hurricanes. Hurricane Connie dumped 3.5 inches of rain on Waterbury on August 13, while Diane brought 8.06 inches on Waterbury and 14.25 inches on Torrington a week later, on the night of August 18-19.

Flooding on the Green, August 19, 1955 (Collection of the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center)

There have been other major floods in Waterbury's history: in 1896, heavy rainstorms on February 6, February 29 and March 19 turned the streets downtown into rivers five feet deep; a flood on November 19, 1853 took out nearly all of the bridges on the Naugatuck River; while the first recorded flood, in February of 1691, wiped out farmland and drowned the Green.

On July 2 this year, an estimated 4 to 5 inches of rain fell in three hours, manhole covers popped off and many streets were under several feet of water. As we all know, we've had a tremendous amount of rain this year. The river is higher than normal (I've been told four feet higher, but I haven't fact-checked). The flooding we had this month is presumably linked to the city's sewer and drainage system being unable to handle that volume of water, but I've also been told that the elevated height of the river relative to the drains is part of the problem.

View of the flood on August 19, 1955 from Waterbury Hospital (Collection of the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center)

Considering how much rain we've had this summer, and considering just how saturated the ground and rivers are, I'm a little concerned about hurricane season. Yes, we have flood control dams now, so the overall devastation surely wouldn't be as bad, but what we saw on July 2 suggests that we could be in for a lot more localized flooding and wash-outs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last year I wrote about the sole grasshopper living in my front yard. This year there are more--at least two, possibly three. Okay, I have no idea how many, so far I've seen two at one time. The first time I saw one was at least a month ago, when it was just a tiny little speck of pastel green. They're bigger now, with a little more variation in their coloring.

I know absolutely nothing about grasshoppers. I am going to have to assume the one in my yard last year was a female, and I'm wondering if there was more than one and I just never noticed the second, or was she already pregnant when she arrived with the plants I bought, even though she was just a tiny little thing?

Also, how do they survive the winter? According to the only information I've ever read about grasshoppers, they spend the summers singing and partying and then end up starving to death in the cold, cold winter while the industrious ants it living it up by the fireside.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lady Godiva

I had a great time painting at Goldsmith's on Friday. It was a productive painting session, and some great visitors stopped by to say hello (and I got a copy of American Brass--great stuff, check it out!). The highlight of the afternoon, however, was Lady Godiva.

About mid-afternoon, a woman came into the store and was in the back talking to Todd for a while. As she was leaving the store, she stopped to talk to me and shared the fantastic story of her 40th birthday and the horse fountain.

When she was a little girl, she declared that she wanted to climb up the fountain and sit on the horse just like Lady Godiva, completely naked. Her mother, not surprisingly, refused to let her do that. Decades later, on her 40th birthday, she was drinking at a bar downtown and decided that it was time to make her life-long dream come true. She stripped down in the bathroom, ran out of the bar wearing nothing but a coat, and climbed up onto the horse with a little help from a milk crate. She was a little dismayed to find the horse's back was covered in bird droppings (and was worried about getting ringworm, so she washed herself off back at the bar afterwards), but she had a great time, whooping and hollering, sitting on the statue of Knight just like Lady Godiva. She had only two regrets: her mother wasn't alive to see this finally happen, and it didn't make the newspaper.

I wondered what Carrie Welton would think, but somehow I suspect she might approve.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Juvenile Delinquents

Remember those teen gang movies from the 1950s and '60s? Waterbury is beginning to look like them. The big news in the paper this week (so far) involves 20-30 kids fighting outside the Arts Magnet School downtown, and 70 kids fighting in Washington Park.

I don't know how long this trouble has been brewing, but I saw it start to manifest in my neighborhood this spring. For a couple of weeks, there were numerous teen fights involving large groups of kids, some with weapons. The girls seemed to be the ones most eager to fight and to use weapons. On the worst day, the police had to break up fights five or six times.

I don't know all the details, but one thing I heard from a neighbor was that a girl in the 8th grade was feuding with another girl and was coming to our street to start the fights. For at least one fight, her mother came to help her fight. Craziness.

The paper also recently reported on a fight between two young women that resulted in one of them getting stabbed. They were allegedly fighting over a man who had been dating both of them. More craziness--never attack each other, go after the jerk who was two-timing the both of you.!

Seriously though, why is there so much fighting going on? We could blame video games or television (I once read an article blaming the tv show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" for inspiring teen girls to fight one another), but I think that's pointless. Violence existed long before modern technology.

We seem to have a city-wide problem with teens fighting. Punishing the ones caught fighting (if you can figure out which ones were doing the fighting) isn't going to solve the problem. Maybe there is an established program for teaching kids that fighting isn't the solution to their problems. I'm sure there must be. The schools must be able to identify the kids most likely to be involved. There's probably even funding somewhere for this sort of thing.

I think another part of the equation, as much as I hate to say it, is that Waterbury is now a party city for teens and young adults. There's been a growth in the number of popular nightclubs and in nightclubs with 18+ events. (Not to mention the illegal rave in the former Odd Fellows Building on the Green--now we know what it takes to get 500 people to attend an event downtown! -- just kidding).

Waterbury has been described as a "kindergarten town" for many years. Until now, there's been nothing for teens and young adults in Waterbury (other than hanging out at the mall). Now we have nightclubs, raves and fights. Rather than seeing this as just a problem, hopefully we can see the opportunity as well. We finally have young people coming to Waterbury for their entertainment--surely there is something a little more classy and upscale that we can offer them.

Monday, July 13, 2009


[Disclaimer: I'm in a bad mood about this. Maybe it won't be as bad as I think. Or maybe it will be worse.]

I think the administrators at Metro-North need a good, swift kick in the pants. They need to make extensive repairs along the Waterbury branch line. Instead of doing the work at night, when the trains aren't running, they've chosen to simply not run the passenger trains for a full month, starting today until August 14. Instead, they're running buses.

The newspaper has run a couple of stories about this which included the suggestion that there might be an express bus between Waterbury and Bridgeport. I don't know if this is true or not. I'll find out tomorrow morning.

What has me very unhappy right now is the posted bus schedule. My normal train for commuting to NYC leaves Waterbury at 6:40. The replacement bus leaves at 6:25 a.m. and, according to the schedule, makes every stop along the way. No express. The same story applies to the return train at the end of the day.

They're doing the same thing to the Danbury line, but only during Off-Peak hours. I'm going to lose half an hour of my day because Metro-North loves to screw over Waterbury.

I can't wait to see what kind of bus they stick us on.

[Update, the next day:]

I take it all back. I'm still not happy about getting up a little earlier, but Metro-North has definitely put a lot of effort into making this as painless as possible. They had ten or twelve representatives on hand this morning to help out, and there were four coach buses, two of which were Peter Pan buses. In addition to which, they did run an express to Bridgeport. I'm willing to concede the earlier departure time is designed to guarantee we avoid getting stuck in traffic (not a problem when we're on the train!).

I had a little bit of motion sickness from the bus, and my toes turned blue because the a/c on the bus was set to an extremely low temperature, but I did get into NYC half an hour earlier than normal.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

South End

I've been planning on writing this blog post for a few weeks now. The theme was going to be "why South Main Street is a terrible location for the biofuel plant." Earlier this week, I had decided that today was the day I finally would have time to get this done. Lo and behold! this morning's newspaper announced that Chestnut Hill had decided to give up on moving into Waterbury.

I was sorry to see how much animosity was involved in the announcement. I can understand their sentiment, however, since they probably assume that Larry DePillo represented all of the opposition. DePillo devotes a tremendous amount of time to protesting just about everything (okay, I'm exaggerating, it just seems like that sometimes) and he typically cites information that is either completely wrong or is correct but misinterpreted. More than once I have seen outsiders to Waterbury become exceedingly frustrated and flat-out baffled by DePillo's speeches at public hearings. While I appreciate the energy he puts into his causes, I wish he would take the time to get his facts right. He makes all of us look bad.

The Republican-American has run a few stories suggesting that those of us opposing Chestnut Hill never bothered to research the facts before arriving at our decisions to oppose the plant. I certainly was more than willing to consider their proposal in full fairness, and from what I can tell, many other opposition voices also did the research first. For more on the topic, see Bryan Baker's blog post, "Good Riddance".

Unfortunately for Chestnut Hill, the facts were damning. Their poor track record is unsettling. Their venture in New Jersey was a colossal environmental and health disaster. Their lack of respect towards the Waterbury community compounded the problem. Factor in the unsuitability of the location relative to several plans to revitalize that neighborhood, and factor in pollution concerns, and the proposal falls flat.

One question that I was going to raise before reading the news this morning, but that I think is a valid concern going forward, is the issue of pollution levels. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, but it seems like the amount of pollutants legally allowed for each site creating pollution (like FirstLight and Phoenix Soil) is based solely on the output of that single business. [If someone knows the answer to this, please share!] While the amount of pollutants being produced by a single business might fall within legal safety limits, the combined total pollutants being produced by all the businesses in Waterbury's flood plain area is, logically, higher. If a company wants to add a plant that creates even a miniscule amount of pollution, shouldn't the acceptability be based on the total existing pollution level?

Speaking of which, what is the current total existing pollution level in downtown and the South End?

Now that Chestnut Hill has decided to forget about Waterbury, we're left with the question of what to do with that factory site. A few people have expressed bitterness over the loss of Chestnut Hill (which I don't think is that great a loss). The great thing about this whole situation is that people are demanding to know how the city will bring that site back to life. This is fantastic. One year ago, this neighborhood barely registered on anyone's radar. The Loyola group has struggled for support. The residents of this neighborhood have struggled to have even their most basic needs met. Our success in preventing Chestnut Hill from starting their biofuel factory on South Main Street is only one small step in revitalizing an important part of our city.

The question remains, what is the future of that property? It's a large tract of land with a rich history and loads of contaminants. I decided that I should stick to my original plan of visiting the site before tossing out any suggestions.

I drove down to the South End this afternoon and parked in the side lot at PetSmart. I wound up spending almost two hours walking the perimeter of the Anamet facility (a good chunk of that time was spent talking with security guards at Ansonia Copper & Brass / FirstLight -- I was accidentally trespassing, but after I explained myself we had a really good conversation about the brass industry and what's going on now with old factory sites). I took a lot of photos and came to a few conclusions.

Basically, I have to say that the property is not well-suited for industry. Times have changed, as have logistics and expectations. The only practical way that large trucks can reach the site is from the Meadow Street exits of I-84, but even then it's a little tricky with some of the turns.

In times past, the Naugatuck and Mad Rivers were seen as power sources and convenient sewage systems. Today they have the potential to be fantastic recreational facilities and therefore a reason for people to choose to move to Waterbury. We should be working to convert the rivers to parks, rather than encouraging the restoration of industrial facilities on these magnificent resources.

Also in times past, it was considered perfectly acceptable to locate people's homes directly across the street from factories. This can't possibly be seen as acceptable today. It's just plain uncivilized.

There are factory buildings running along South Main Street from Jewelry Street to Washington Avenue. They are bleak, bland and crowd the street. They have no architectural value. Tear them down and widen South Main Street, turning it into a tree-lined boulevard with bicycle lanes and ample sidewalks. Find money from somewhere to clean up the brownfield pollution (yeah, I know, it's not that easy a task, but let's not be stopped--if we continue to complain and protest and fight like we've done the past few months, just imagine what we could accomplish!).

I don't have any answers as to what should replace the factory buildings. It needs to be something that works well within a residential neighborhood and can function as a buffer against the FirstLight facility on the other side of the river. Imagine a greenway running along the river. That could be enough of a buffer. The Anamet property could become a mixture of condos and retail.

I took too many photos to post here, so I've got them loaded onto Picasa. You can watch them as a slideshow or you can click on this link to the page and see them individually with captions/commentary and some map locations.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

North Walnut

I'm back to thinking I can stick to an exercise regime, so I went for a long walk before dinner tonight. There are some areas of the city that are very rural, even if they are looking out over very urban neighborhoods. It's all due to the trees.

I was startled when I realized what a great view there was on North Walnut Street. I think the gorgeous woods are part of Lakewood Park.

The one thing I don't like about my house is that it doesn't have views like this. Oh well.