Eighth wonder of the World

SeaWeed the eighth wonder of the world

Seaeeed the eighth wonder of the world

I guess the Galveston Parks Department is Just trying to make the best of things. after all there isn’t an easy answer or solution, but j think that the most of us agree that its a pretty stinky ugly mess.  I didn’t notice anyone on a seaweed scavenger hunt.

It does look to me that instead of piling into huge seaweed mountains, they have decided to attempt to clean some of the beaches and spread it out on some of the others and hope to gain some beach reclamation. I don’t know how successful it will be but its not pretty

acres and acres of seaweed

Acres and acres of seaweed

and its got to be raising hell with the tourist industry.  While some of the beaches aren’t this bad, there is seaweed to be found at all the beaches. Personally I’m not tempted to go scavenger hunting on this particular beach. happy hunting to those who choose otherwise.

Radio Free Galveston

I  changed the Tagline of the blog to today. from “Observations of a Yankee Living in Galveston”  to “Radio Free Galveston”.  The old Tagline was lame and didn’t reflect about what the blog is really about.  The new one in three small words defines  the things I want to post about, and combine to make a tribute to an  effective free press operation.

The new Tagline suggest:

Radio. Is my newest interest and I am  fascinated by different aspects of Amateur radio.

Postings of Galveston news , happenings and politics. Now that the newspaper the Galveston Daily News has turned in a shadow of itself and the website has been buried behind a paywall, There aren’t aren’t as many choices as there used to be.

Free as in freemen (women too) there will always be free people and those who wish to take those freedoms away.

 

Sucker Born Every Minute

The New Pleasure Pier opened on Galveston’s Seawall on Memorial day weekend.

It is different from the Kemah  Boardwalk, The Santa Monica Pier or the Atlaantic City Boardwalk.  They charge $10 bucks for the privilege walking  on the pier. Yet the crowds still came.

Hey, Murdock’s doesn’t charge to go out on their pier.

Occupy Galveston

The Occupy 5 at Galveston

The Occupy Galveston folks were all set up on the seawall this afternoon. There were only 5 of them although I believe one may have been just a passerby. They were older than most of the Occupy people that I’ve seen on the tube around the country, and they were enjoying themselves.  There isn’t any encampment and the area around them was pretty clean. I wonder if they realize that most of their complaints are pretty much the same as the TEA Partiers  and libertarians,  and that the fix for their issues just might be Hope and Change for  November.   If they change their minds perhaps all those signs could be made into a shelter or two.

Yes, Galveston different and Occupy Galveston is likely different from any of the other Occupy groups.

Stacking Rocks in Galveston

Staked Sedona Red Rock

Scattered alters of stacked sandstone red rock.

We went to Sedona a few weeks ago for some R & R  a beautiful place that has a reputatation as a gathering place for mystics, hippys and other odd sorts.   I wasn’t surprise when I visited the Airport Mesa, a place concidered a vortex,  that people had stacked the red sandstone rocks to make pillers. These seemed to me to be a sort of hippy alter built assist communication with  some unknown god. The formations were scattered but all around the area. I  wondered what the people were thinking that would spend the time gathering and stacking these stones.  It is what one should expect in the land of hippies and new agers I supposed. I have seen lots of silly things in Galveston, we here tend not to take things very seriously, and do have an apreciate of art and music, but I never expected this type of thing here.

Seawall Rock Stacks

Hundreds of rock stack alters on Galveston's Seawall.

On the seawall at Fort Crockett Park there was a breakwater built into the seawall made up of broken limestone rocks of various sizes.  Over the last few  months its grown to something rather large if not surreal.  The people I saw stacking rocks seemed to be just kids doing it just for fun. But some of these were pretty massive.  Every one has things they like to do for fun and entertainment, but making rock piles seems pretty weird to me.  One expects to find the hippys and newagers in Sedona, but here in Galveston??  It just doesn’t seem right.  I wonder now if Fort Crockett Park isn’t a new vortex. A letter to the editor of the Galveston Daily News implies that at least someone thinks these things have some value and they may be a tourist attraction. We were promised that the enhancements to Crockett Park would be a tourist attraction. I don’t think stacked rocks was what they had in mind though.

A collection of artwork involving stacks of rocks has drawn visitors to Fort Crockett Park in Galveston.

Vandalism Shows A Lack Of Appreciation

I am appalled, disgusted, furious (I could go on) because some idiot, ruffian, criminal, fool (I could go on) has knocked down many of the stacked rocks on the beach at about 49th Street.

They were beautiful, peaceful, intriguing to look at and already had become a tourist/resident attraction. People were stopping by to take photos, admire the work and even try their hands at stacking.

This is the second time that I am aware of that they have been destroyed. I do not know what can be done, but it is a sad commentary on contemporary society that this has happened.

We can only hope and pray that the artist or artists come back and restore these fantastic stackings.

I don’t really have any issue with any of this, but I do find it a bit strange. Art is all in the eye of the beholder, and in this case perhaps the builder.

Rock Stacking

Folks Stacking rocks on the Galveston Seawall

 

Galveston’s Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere

In Galveston there is a bridge. It spans an empty lot and leads to nowhere  in particular. The bridge seems to have been built to replace the railroad drawbridge that runs near the causeway.

Another Case of the Government Knows Best Gone Awry

Remember the Supreme Court Decision of “Kelo vs New London“?

Washington, D.C.— Today, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to home and small business owners throughout the country by allowing the government to use eminent domain to take homes so that businesses can make more money off that land and possibly pay more taxes as a result.

New London Claimed that condemning the property was part of a larger scaled project called the Fort Trumble Project would serve the common good because the development project would bring lots of money to the community and into the city coffers. Things didn’t quite work out as claimed.

Meanwhile, in New London, the Fort Trumbull project has been a dismal failure.  After spending close to 80 million in taxpayer money, there has been no new construction whatsoever and the neighborhood is now a barren field.  In 2009, Pfizer, the lynchpin of the disastrous economic development plan,announced that it was leaving New London for good, just as its tax breaks are set to expire.

$80 Million later the weed infested lots have been put to use:

As regular readers of this blog know, the redevelopment project that gave rise to the wretched U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, never came about. In spite of the city’s boasting about the quality of its plans, nothing was ever built on the Fort Trumbull site from which the city displaced an entire unoffending, well maintained lower middle-class neighborhood. Though the formal taking took place in 2000 and the U.S. Supreme Court gave its approval to it in 2005, the city’s project has been a failure, with 91 acres of waterfront property sitting there empty and overgrown by weeds.

Now, we learn from the local newspaper, The Day, that following the hurricane Irene, the city has designated the Fort Trumbull redevelopment site as a place to dump vegetation debris. For a video of locals dumping that stuff on the site, click here.

Closer to there was a similar case in Bayport, Texas with similar results. Where a hyphenated Judge screwed a landowner.  They invested millions of  taxpayer dollars into a never used cruise terminally  yet we continue to pay security and maintenance fees for a facility that will likely never be used.   At least Fort Trumble is serving some purpose today, The Cruise terminal just sits there.

Obama’s Revenge

Obama’s one contribution to reducing the size of government begins today with the completion of the last  Shuttle Mission. Obama doesn’t like us here in Texas, We are the land of bitter church going gun clingers. We as a state provide 2 recent somewhat conservative presidents and the districts surrounding the Houston NASA facilities sent Tom Delay and Ron Paul to represent us.

Today ends America’s manned space program.  Huge layoffs that will mark the beginning of a decline in the League City/Clear Lake area as the area joins the rest of the nation in the great Obamian recession.

Turmoil in Galveston

Galveston is caught in a juncture of rebuilding and building for the future. City Council  fired the popular City administrator Steve LeBlanc over his supposedly lack of vision. While the voters thought that vision was what  the mayor and city council were supposed to provide and that the city administrator was to impliment.  Maybe it is because the vision isn’t all that great?   Apparently the beloved leaders think we need growth:

Hurricane Ike bit into the island city’s population in 2008, knocking it from 57,000 to about 48,000.

“Our population is going to recover from a bottomed-out low point,” Mayor Joe Jaworski said. He wants to restore the population to 50,000 in one to two years. “My sweet spot is to get it up to 75,000,” he said.

I think they need to explain to us why growth is in the voters interest.  Is more traffic, and drains strains on  our small islands sewage and water resources going to benefit the voter taxpayer and home owner.   Personally, I find Galveston more livable after the Ike than it was before. Its cleaner with less traffic, with seemingly less crimes and fewer panhandlers. Its becoming apparent that the city wants to represent the people who are not here yet rather than the voters who already exist.

The idea, echoed by others in the community, is to capitalize on the layout of the historic neighborhoods, historic downtown and seashore by making the city greener and pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

Jaworski says people are leaving the island for three reasons: a misperception that the schools are poor, the shortage of affordable, attractive housing, and a sense that the city lacks cleanliness and safety.

No Joe, you have it all wrong! They are leaving because of the threat of hurricanes and the extremely high cost of wind and flood insurance.  While any efforts to improve the quality of lifestyle for us existing residents is much appreciated, Any efforts by the city should be done improve things for those who live here, but not to encourage growth.  If we do certain things to improve the lifestyles, growth will likely happen. An unfortunate side effect of an otherwise good thing. Population growth just for the sake of population growth is against the residents best interest. If we wanted to live in a big bigger city  Houston would be most accommodating .  We aren’t League City or Clear Lake City and we don’t want to be.

There is currently a recall petition to get rid of Joe Jaworski and some of his coherts in the City Council, Probably not a good idea.

By contrast, the people who are organizing the drive to recall Jaworski do not seem to have a vision for Galveston’s future — at least not one that most islanders can rally to.

Bill Quiroga, who is heading the drive, has offered himself as a candidate for office before. When he ran for mayor in 2010, outlining his vision for Galveston, he received 2 percent of the vote.

We as a city voted for Joe, and really want him to succeed in leading us into the future, but he needs to understand what is best for the voter and residents isn’t always what is best for developers and real estate agencies

 

Parking Meters Passed

The votes are in. They will be charging for parking on the seawall.

Seawall paid parking will be implemented in accordance with a neighborhood parking and security plan and adhere to state law provisions governing the expenditure of beach user fees.  Paid parking will expire seven years from the date the fees are first collected unless otherwise renewed or amended by a majority of qualified voters.

Proposed Seawall Paid Parking Plan Elements:

Parking Fee: $1.00 per hour up to $8.00 per day or $25.00 annual parking pass
Times & Dates: Year-round; 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Seven days a week
Method of Collection: Pay stations
Income Usage: Up to 10% for administration. 15% reserve to replace capital improvements. 75% Seawall enhancements either through debt service or M & O

This will be troublesome for businesses and their customers along the seawall. Those who provide free parking will be fighting squatters who don’t want to pay.