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Goner Message Board / Memphis / Overton Park - this is seriously screwed up
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 7:56 am
 
I've gotten several of these announcements in the last few days. The powers that be want to turn the field in front of Rainbow Lake into a big run off storage drain! Absolutely unbelievable. Please take a minute to email your opposition to this plan if you are so inclined.

To all who love Overton Park:

The city plans to dig out the Greensward in Overton Park, and we need your voices to speak up to defend it. The city engineers want to improve drainage in the nearby Lick Creek by digging out the field by Rainbow Lake and making it a bowl 18' deep (as deep as a two story building sunk into the field). The bowl would collect storm drain run-off (and the trash, oily residue, lawn chemicals and everything else that gets washed down storm drains).

This is the ONLY field in the park that is not part of the golf course, zoo, or other organized, paid-for activity. We need this gathering place for picnics, kite-flying, dog walking, game playing, and general hanging out. That's what parks are for, and this one is constantly in use by the people.

According to the engineering plan, 411 parking spaces would be set aside for overflow parking from the Zoo, but the rest of the field would be converted to a bowl or “retention basin.” The engineering maps and more information are posted at overtonparkforever.com.

This project is typical of the way that the some city agencies look at irreplacible park land as targets of opportunity for projects which they would not consider worthwhile if park land were not available.

Since there is no longer a civilian “Park Commission” which was the official voice for the park, we need citizens to speak up to protect it. The Vollentine-Evergreen Community Association http://www.veca-neighborhood.org will host a public meeting at their headquarters, 1680 Jackson Avenue, at 6:30pm TONIGHT, Wednesday, March 11, to discuss the issue of Lick Creek flood control. Representatives from the City of Memphis will be on hand to answer questions. Feel free to carry some "SAVE OUR PARK" signs.

Whether you can attend the meeting or not, your written comments may be sent to Hugh Teaford at the City of Memphis Engineering division. His email is Hugh.Teaford@memphistn.gov and his address is 125 N. Main, Room 644, Memphis TN 38103.

Here are the key decision-makers to copy on your written comments:

Mayor Willie W. Herenton
mayor@memphistn.gov

Director Wain Gaskins
City of Memphis Engineering
125 N. Main St. Room 644
Memphis, TN 38103
Email: wain.gaskins@memphistn.gov
901-576-6700

Director Cindy Buchanan
City of Memphis Park Services
2599 Avery Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112
Email: cindy.buchanan@memphistn.gov

Councilman Jim Strickland
Memphis City Council, District 5
125 N. Main, Room 514
Memphis, TN 38103
Email: jim.strickland@memphistn.gov
Email and addresses for other City Council Members are on line at http://www.cityofmemphis.org/framework.aspx?page=689


Congressman Steve Cohen
U.S. Congress, District 9
167 North Main Street, Suite 369
Memphis, TN 38103
Email via his website http://cohen.house.gov

Please help preserve this priceless park for future generations.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 8:27 am
 
Stupidest idea since the Interstate 40 fiasco.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:04 am
 
I do really like that field, and I hate parking all over the grass at the edge when the zoo is full. Has anyone behind this effort made any alternate suggestions for dealing with the overflow of cars and creek?
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:09 am
 
Frederick Law Olmstead, we need you now. What the fuck is wrong with these mopes?
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:15 am
 
I've never even heard that there was a problem with Lick Creek runoff. As for overflow parking - well, I think there are plenty of public streets where you can park around the zoo when the lot is full.

Way to go, Memphis. Let's put a huge cesspool in the middle of Overton Park. Fucking brilliant.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:34 am
 
Alisa, I have been pretty much stuck in the zoo parking lot with zoo employees directing me and the convoy of cars behind me to park on the grass at the edge of the field. There is a whole 'nother parking lot next to McLean that was full, and there was no parking left on the street. Maybe this is when the zoo should start turning people away, but there should be a better parking system than the one that is currently in place, or people will be saving the field so that it can look like somebody's parked up yard.
I am all for preserving the patch of land in question, and I hope that someone will come up with a way to work around it.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:46 am
 
Yep, the parking is a problem. But people can park on Galloway, in the neighborhoods around Snowden, on Buena Vista, etc. Maybe the zoo could consider a shuttle spot. How about that huge parking lot at the mostly defunct Overton Square? That parking lot is just a huge sea of asphalt on weekend days anyway, when most of the zoo parking problems occur. As far as I know, there are no plans to build anything in that lot.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 9:57 am
 
I like that a lot. It would be good for Overton Square to get all that zoo traffic, too, hungry, thirsty people who didn't want to eat at Cat Country.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 10:19 am
 
Exactly! And that lot isn't five minutes from the front gate of the zoo. The zoo has a lot of donors with deep pockets, and I'm sure such a system could be implemented without too much trouble. Might even provide some jobs for shuttle drivers and some zoo presence outside the center of the park.

In other (and better) zoo news...
I cut a ton of bamboo down in the backyard the other day. Called the zoo and asked them if the pandas could eat it. They pulled this cute little refrigerated truck (the Panda Patrol?) up to my house not an hour later, and hauled it all away. Got a call the next day asking me to please call them anytime I had bamboo...that they'd come get even five or ten stalks.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 11:42 am
 
goner board solvin problems!!
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 12:59 pm
 
But people can park on Galloway, in the neighborhoods around Snowden, on Buena Vista,

I'd love to hear what these folks have to say about this suggestion, though I am all for it!
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 1:37 pm
 
I just saw a presentation a few weeks ago about the flooding issues in that neighborhood as presented by engineering consultants to the City of Memphis. They had a brilliant presentation and an amazingly high-tech approach to making decisions about water issues in this neighborhood - how to fix them in the most efficient and cost-effective way with the least impact to the neighbors. Learn the details of this project before giving negative feedback to the decision-makers! There are extreme flooding issues in the areas neighborhoods that could greatly benefit from this kind of project and possibly result in cost reductions to flood/homeowners insurance for property owners. I don't personally know the details of THIS project, but typically detention basins can still function as recreation areas - the two are not mutually exclusive. For example, the new soccer field at Christian Brothers has been designed as a giant retention basin to alleviate flooding issues in several Midtown neighborhoods. It will still used as an active athletic field.

Oh, and I am a zoo member and frequesnt the park OFTEN and have never ever seen the parking lot at the zoo full except for special zoo events.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 2:19 pm
 
I don't personally know the details of THIS project,

more info here: http://overtonparkforever.blogspot.com/
and here: http://inthebluff.blogspot.com/
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 2:37 pm
 
As a city planner by profession (no, I don't work for the City of Memphis or Shelby County!), this is the kind of stuff that REALLY pisses me off - neighborhood groups jumping to conclusions and spreading rumors by email/blog/newsletter to get residents all riled up before they fully understand a project. Argh! As described in this article, the project will be designed as I suspected (above). The new "retention basin" would be a FIELD that would flood in heavy rain events (which happen several times a year) to take on the water that would otherwise flood the neighborhoods. The rest of the time it would still be a (slightly bigger) recreation area - grassy and useable for dogs, kite flying, frisbee, soccer, etc. except for the few days per year when it's flooded.

As someone who owns a house three blocks from this project site (and moved there in large part BECAUSE OF its proximity to the park), I see it this way: we loose zoo parking spaces, but gain improved drainage in the neighborhood in storm events and a larger grassy rec area than we have now!! Yes, the field will be dug up and unuseable for a few months, which is an inconvenience. But after it's copmplete the neighbors and the community at large will benefit from better drainage and probably a nicer field at the park. I love love love Overton Park (just the way it is), but I fully suport this project.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 2:45 pm
 
I have to say sometimes you gotta weigh both sides prior to making a decision. Thanks, Gina, I'll take a look.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:01 pm
 
I don't understand how an 16-18 feet concrete bowl there would be "gently sloping". Don't really understand why the flooding of that space three or four times a year would be in any way acceptable with all the crap that goes into our drainage system.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:04 pm
 
I fully suport this project

And I'm a terrible typist. Typos aplenty!! Sorry!
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:28 pm | Edited by: dirtywhite
 
Sometimes, I post so slow. Thanks for the link,Gina.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:36 pm
 
I have seen plenty of these "ponds" in Florida. They are literally everywhere as they have to be. Some look better than most and are habitats for ducks and other cool waterfoul, like blue cranes. Usually the ones I liked in terms of aesthetics were the relatively smaller ones. Some of the massive ones were a bit ridiculous and ugly.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:49 pm
 
I usually refrain from getting on my soapbox on the goner board and HATE that I am right now, but...

I consider myself to be borderline tree-hugger and I earned a college degree in historic preservation, so I don't take the kind of impact this project would have on Overton Park lightly. At all. It would be huge.

I know a 16-18 foot change in grade is difficult to envision. That's a little less than the height of a 2-story house, which sounds scary (!) but when it's "sloped" over a LARGE area would not be a steep hill.

As part of my work, I've seen design plans and photos for these types of retention basins and have seen three of them in person. They look like fields. They don't look like a pond or a lake or a " concrete bowl"! They're essentially grassy fields with "engineered" layers of materials (including concrete) beneath the soil/surface (invisible to the eye) so that the water filters back into the soil and then to the stormwater drains. To build them, they dig out a big huge area (like the entire area of the existing field at Overton Park, dug out 30 or 40 feet deep - yikes!), install all the "engineered" stuff (I'm clearly NOT an engineer - my dad is, though, and would surely cringe at my description here), and then cover it over with soil and grass at the appropriate slope/grade to make it drain properly and not be a mushy, soggy mess 99.9% of the time. When properly designed and installed, they work remarkably well and don't require maintenance. It's expensive and time consuming to install, but is probably the most eco-friendly, longterm solution Midtown is ever gonna see to effectively address its old ass, failing drainage infrastructure. This type of project is what cities SHOULD be doing instead of just installing bigger concrete drainpipes that cause other problems (erosion, river and stream pollution, habitat degradation, etc.). This type of project is pretty much in line with "green" or "sustainable" design.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:53 pm | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
16-18 feet concrete bowl

Because it's filled in with stone of different sizes to allow it to drain smoothly. It'll be covered up and you won't even know the concrete is there. If it is what I think it is, gina -I think you might even be mis-describing it, it's going to approximate the grade that's already there. It is not what you think it is Kristin, those are like those ugly fucking ponds out in Germantown next to subdivisions.

I work with the guys who did this study, probably the very presenters and they're very intelligent, very knowledgeable and very pro-environment. They also did the Christian Brother retention basin. This is the best, most cost effective option and Overton Park is not a target but a valuable resource for the city. The city doesn't have the money to buy out the people on Galloway, whose homes routinely flood because of this, and build the retention basin there. They don't have the money to buy anybody out over this -where else are they going to retain Lick Creek's overflow?

If the Friends of Overton Park thought about this for a second, they would realize that the retention basin would actually limit the Zoo overflow parking that they are always bitching about. What a bunch of reactionary idiots. Clearly the FOP have no idea what a retention basin is or what we can do with the storm water. Also, fuck them, wasting peoples time on "saving" the park (imposing their own agenda rather than what's most beneficial for the community at large) when we've got a city full of real fucking problems.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 3:55 pm
 
So this is a new solution to purposeful flooding? I like the description honestly. I would like to see someone visually describe it to me, like Gina obviously had the opportunity to see. It is difficult to understand how it would work and not be mucky.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 4:10 pm | Edited by: Alisa
 
Well, thanks for explaining that, Gina. Really. I'm no engineer or planner and find it very hard to conceive.
And you too, Sam!

When properly designed and installed, they work remarkably well and don't require maintenance.
And I don't want to be knee jerking here, but when was the last time a public works project in Memphis was properly designed and installed? Willie's so knee deep in cronyism that I can't imagine it will be handled properly.

Apparently this has been in the works since 2006. Why are we just hearing about it now? Have other sites been explored?

Try not to get pissed off at the neighborhood groups around the park. It's totally natural that this plan would be met with huge opposition and suspicion, especially when it concerns the park. Many people (me being one of them) lost their homes in the I-40 debacle. That was long ago, but it's a very real memory for a lot of Midtowners. No one in these neighborhoods wants something of this magnitude done to the park "Memphis style".
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 4:14 pm
 
Think of a box full of basketballs. Imagine they are rocks. Water fills the void spaces between the rocks. Now empty the box and fill it with baseballs. You can fit way more baseballs in the box and less water in the spaces between the baseballs (because they are closer together). Now imagine golf balls, even less void space between golf balls for water.

You put your largest rocks on the bottom, then put layers of smaller rocks on top of them, then another layer of yet smaller rocks. Over the top of all this, you put a couple layers of some sort of inert plastic mesh as a filter, and put some topsoil over that (in which you can plant grass). Suppose this is 18 feet feet deep. Water is going to drain much quicker through this than 18 feet of tightly packed dirt. Couple that with the fact that Memphis has a clay layer about 1 foot under ground that extends for a couple of feet and the 18 feet is practically impenetrable. You're directing water to an area that can drain water faster than the surrounding soil.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 4:16 pm
 
what about bocce balls? where are they going to play?
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 4:20 pm
 
Sorry to be so ignorant, but then why does it flood to lake size several times a year when this doesn't happen now?
And it has been presented as a "concrete bowl". If they fill the bottom with concrete doesn't that defeat the purpose?

I do garden and know a bit about the physics of drainage...always mix in gravel and sand when I dig new beds. So, I get that part, at least...
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 5:24 pm
 
Try not to get pissed off at the neighborhood groups around the park.

Believe me, Alisa, I'm certain that neighborhood groups are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. If it wasn't for them, the consultants, city/county staff, decision-makers and elected officials wouldn't get asked the right questions or pay enough attention to solve the problems that "serve the public," which is what we get paid for! I know the City of Memphis has royally screwed up many a project, so mistrust about a project like this is fully warranted. (One of the many reasons I DON'T work for them is their supremely crappy reputation.) I just hate it when these groups spread misinformation through shocking, often false statements in order to get neighbors involved in the public decision-making process. I'm all for maintaining a healthy suspicion of government! But making inflammatory statements to publicly perpetrate uneducated opinions burns me up.

Thanks, Sam for your examples and explanation. My understanding, like yours, is that the grade of the field post-project wouldn't be unlike its current grade/slope.

As we all know, water flows downhill or, more accurately, to the lowest point around. Memphis is an OLD city. As a result, the existing drain pipes are ancient and in a variety of sizes and states of repair/disrepair. They're overwhelmed when a sudden storm dumps many inches of water in a short period of time. When they're overwhelmed, they overflow and we get the flooding. If they change the grade of the existing field in Overton Park, so that it becomes that low point in the neighborhood, that's where more of the stormwater will flow to. And if it's engineered properly, the field will take on more water, more slowly and distribute it through the system in a more regular way than the existing field does naturally so as not to overwhelm the drainage system.
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 7:45 pm
 
My understanding, like yours, is that the grade of the field post-project wouldn't be unlike its current grade/slope.

I thought you thought there would be an actual 16-18 ft grade difference over the length of the greensward. It's probably what, like 5-10', right now?

but then why does it flood to lake size several times a year when this doesn't happen now?
And it has been presented as a "concrete bowl". If they fill the bottom with concrete doesn't that defeat the purpose?


Currently, the water floods the Galloway street area (as I heard them talking about at work the other day), as well as some other areas maybe... The engineers are trying to redirect the backup to a big piece of "empty" land. Ostensibly, it will flood during the actual rainstorm (when nobody will most likely be using the park) and then empty before people can actually get to the park to use it.

The concrete bowl will be to keep the water from mixing with the surrounding natural fill dirt (to prevent erosion washouts in the surrounding areas and clogging of the rock fill I would guess) and redirect the water to the bottom of the bowl where a big, huge, most likely concrete, pipe will take it to where ever it needs to go. I'm not an environmental engineer btw and I haven't talked to them about this but I'll ask them on Monday.

But I'm pissed off just like Gina. Obviously, none of us want to see a big concrete bowl there (even a skatepark wouldn't be worth giving up the greensward). What the fuck are FOP doing spreading what's supposed to be an "informed" opinion that's full of mis- and dis-information? They're really just trying to (literally) scare up an opposition from concerned people like ourselves but they're quoting only half the story (or half the structure -sure it's 16-18 ft high but only if you measure from 16 to 18 feet underground). WTF?

AND Bruce, you hide behind your concern for the bocce ballers but I know you're secretly worried about your drumb circle. There's more than one place to score weed and scope out bra-less hippie chicks you know... I don't, but you must.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 10:59 am
 
P.S. I fucked up, everyplace I said Galloway, I meant Bel-Air or however it spelled.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 11:42 am
 
I just hate it when these groups spread misinformation through shocking, often false statements in order to get neighbors involved in the public decision-making process. I'm all for maintaining a healthy suspicion of government! But making inflammatory statements to publicly perpetrate uneducated opinions burns me up.

I understand, and this is the reason I'm not a "joiner" - havent gone in for FOP even though I'm pretty unhappy about cutting the old growth forest for the zoo.
I received this first from the VECA newsletter, and the guy that compiles the newsletter is someone I actually know and respect, and he's some kind of engineer, too.
I still don't trust this project, and don't want that bit of land sacrificed and turned into a storm drain! But obviously don't know enough about it yet.
Thanks for somewhat enlightening me.

So, what about the nasty stuff that collects under the field? Where DOES that go, and is it safe for it to flood the field and still let your baby crawl around on and/or eat the grass?
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 11:59 am
 
Having followed all the links posted, I can't find a park activity that would be squelched by the proposed draining system. Not only that, but I haven't seen any other options presented by the plan's opponents.
As for the parking, I am not sure if the 411 spaces is more or less than the current allotment, but it does seem like that bit of the Greensward is destined to be a bald-ass parking lot eventually. Not pretty, but it has its function.
I really think this basin sounds pretty unintrusive , but if it gives anyone pause about flying their kites and walking dogs and such, there are plenty of beautiful parks in Memphis that aren't on basins and would really benefit from a heavy flow of legal activity.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 12:16 pm
 
I really think this basin sounds pretty unintrusive , but if it gives anyone pause about flying their kites and walking dogs and such, there are plenty of beautiful parks in Memphis that aren't on basins and would really benefit from a heavy flow of legal activity.

YES!
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 12:23 pm
 
Not only that, but I haven't seen any other options presented by the plan's opponents.

There were quite a few in the comments section of the Commercial Appeal article. One involved the use of land around the dairy. Seemingly that makes sense to me, as Belleair backs up to that area.

there are plenty of beautiful parks in Memphis that aren't on basins and would really benefit from a heavy flow of legal activity.
Well, that's the truth! It always amazes me that no one really uses Tom Lee.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 12:51 pm
 
the use of land around the dairy.

The city would still have to buy that land from the dairy, or pretty much any other site around there...
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 1:01 pm
 
We have three parks in this neighborhood alone; Memphis is packed with them.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 1:18 pm
 
Also, the retention basin couldn't support the weight of those trucks from the Turner Dairy or the cars from Overton Square.

Those comments on the CA article are the same 1/2 informed (or at least the kind that only 1/2 address) crap.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 1:19 pm
 
It always amazes me that no one really uses Tom Lee.
On the weekends it is PACKED!
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 2:13 pm
 
What the fuck are FOP doing spreading what's supposed to be an "informed" opinion that's full of mis- and dis-information?

They've been doing it for years. At least since the mid-90's, that I can remember. I'm all about Overton Park, the Shell, old-growth trees and everything, but I think they got their "Civic Awareness" merit badges from the same place Dee got her "Save Libertyland" rhetoric from.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 3:03 pm
 
some hilarious tree-hugger graffiti along the zoo's fence facing the trees that are to be cut. if you're out walking your dog or having sex with a male prostitute in the overton park forest, i highly recommend taking a look.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 4:49 pm
 
I think they got their "Civic Awareness" merit badges from the same place Dee got her "Save Libertyland" rhetoric from.

n.b. Dee was quoted in the Flyer (something she posted on their webpage -their printing of webpage comments is pretty deplorable) on this very topic and she dragged Liberty Land into the debate.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 7:40 pm
 
We could hire all those poor Orange Mound teens to dig the hole! That would keep them from being criminal shits all summer.
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 10:02 pm
 
1) why are we burying basketballs and baseballs again? I think those Orange Mound teens could use those! Hello!

2) if it's not skateable, who do we talk to to try to get some vert? Email your Congressperson NOW!

3) These rational, informed decisions by people who actually work in these fields have no place on the interweb.

I have half a mind to delete this whole thread.

But then again, I only have half a mind.
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 3:42 pm
 
Does anyone know what's going on at the zoo today? It's all parked up like crazy in both lots.
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 3:49 pm
 
it was like that when i came home yesterday as well
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 3:50 pm
 
Look up....it's pretty out....a load of schools are on spring break
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 5:13 pm
 
spring break, and I think it was free day (Tuesday).
My ex who lives on Buena Vista was sure bitching about it!
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 5:31 pm
 
Yeah, there was a lot of overflow onto the neighborhood streets. I guess that's to be expected on a day this beautiful with schools out. Today is Wednesday, though. Maybe it was overparked yesterday, because it was a free day.
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 9:20 pm
 
Well, that's the truth! It always amazes me that no one really uses Tom Lee.

I could barely ride my bike through all the people that were there on this lovely Wednesday afternoon...
Posted: Mar 19, 2009 11:50 am
 
Flooded Monday as well.
Posted: Mar 19, 2009 2:33 pm
 
I could barely ride my bike through all the people that were there on this lovely Wednesday afternoon...

That's really nice to know. Guess I haven't been down there in a while.
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 10:53 am
 
It's not often that busy. Spring break. NO RULES!
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 11:40 am
 
uote some hilarious tree-hugger graffiti along the zoo's fence facing the trees that are to be cut. if you're out walking your dog or having sex with a male prostitute in the overton park forest,

Will, I know for a fact you don't have a dog, so i guess we know what you were doing out there...
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 12:37 pm
 
took my dog to overton park yesterday, not too many folks picnicking but we had a nice walk around the lake. allergies acting up for sure! heard much from friends with kids about the zoo crowds, it's like that everywhere when school is out. i took some middle school age kids to the movies on MLK day, and we had to stand in line for an hour for tickets. they should give kids a day off once a month just to boost the economy!
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 2:20 pm
 
a dude's gotta make a buck any way he can in this economy.



(my girlfriend's dogs need walks. and sedatives)
Posted: Apr 17, 2009 8:06 pm
 
more misguided do-goodniks attempting to stop the drainage with petitions & mass emails... argh.
Posted: Apr 17, 2009 8:56 pm
 
Eric, tell them I hate them.
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 12:46 am | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
P.S. I was wrong about the system I described above. To do a covered retention basin like I described would be on the order of ten times the cost.

Even with a depression however, there will be no "concrete bowl". It'll be an earthen work structure and the whole thing will be covered with grass.
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 9:30 am
 
But SAMBEAUX! They'll be digging something in the ground! Sacred ground! Where will the dogs and children of our future play? Don't listen to reason, Memphis! Fight reason at any cost, especially if it makes perfect sense!
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 10:38 am
 
YOU CANNOT ENGINEER NATURE, SAM!
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 10:45 am
 
Fight reason at any cost, especially if it makes perfect sense!

Especially when they're doing the "green thing" that other cities have pioneered and Memphis is picking up the slack on.

The engineers who came up with this solution are some of the most liberal and eco-conscious at my company.

The politics behind this thing are stupider than I'd thought. I can't write about it on here but the F.O.O.P are pawns of other interests.
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 12:26 pm
 
Where's no car mommy when she's needed?
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 12:30 pm
 
They've quoted her in the Flyer in the column where they reprint ignorant comments from their webforum.

I believe she's in Arkansas though.
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 1:45 pm
 
The politics behind this thing are stupider than I'd thought. I can't write about it on here but the F.O.O.P are pawns of other interests.

Perhaps an overly-knowledgable sock puppet could comment!
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 1:58 pm
 
F.O.O.P

Fraternal Order Of Poofs?
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 1:59 pm
 
Fight sock puppets with all your might Memphis!!!
Posted: Apr 18, 2009 6:09 pm
 
overly-knowledgable sock puppet

It's not really funny enough for he or her to make an appearance, nor is it seedy enough to be really that interesting.

In true Goner Board fashion, I'll tell the next ten people that call my house.
Posted: May 22, 2009 5:29 pm
 
So, from a very reliable source, the greensward project is dead in the eyes of the City Engineer because of the overwhelmingly ignorant "save the greensward" response. All of the "ideas" put forth by the savethegreensward people were insufficient garbage -not suitable for the volume of stormwater being handled here (akin to pop-psychology or Internet diagnoses for illnesses). The current solution is something along the lines of choking up the down stream points to keep the private property owners' private property dry and flood the greensward with storm water already running through the system. Essentially, the 1.5 million dollar detention basin was an attempt to "save the greensward" -it was an economically viable and green solution to keep the greensward in the best possible shape.

Now, when the rains come, the area down by rainbow lake, the playgrounds and restroom area will flood and turn into a swamp for an indeterminate amount of time. The trash and chemicals that the idiots at "save the greensward" were so concerned about that would be limited and evacuated, respectively, with the detention basin structure, will now become things that the area will have to contend with. By "saving the greensward", they have effectively ruined it. Twenty years of studying the watersheds and a group of uninformed, uneducated fools have shitcanned it all. Fuckers, thanks for ruining MY GREENSWARD.
Posted: May 22, 2009 5:42 pm
 
Well, maybe they should have invested in a little PR to educate the "fools" then. I am not a fool, and it sounded like a perfectly shitty idea to me. So tell me again why the needs of the individual private property owners outweigh my need for a public park?

Here's a tip as to how to win me over: don't start by calling me a fool.
Posted: May 22, 2009 5:50 pm
 
It's a Jump to Conclusions Mat! You see, you have this mat, with different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO!
Posted: May 22, 2009 7:00 pm | Edited by: dirtywhite
 
If you are going to take a stand against something, it's your responsibility to educate yourself.
Posted: May 22, 2009 8:17 pm | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
maybe they should have invested in a little PR to educate the "fools" then

This is part of what I was going to write about earlier. Apparently, Parks had been "on board" with the City Engineer the whole time, the City Engineer's office had a whole program planned where they were going to educate the citizens about it -I think the people from my office who did the study were going to present it, with graphics of how the park looks now and how it would look in the future (with the detention basin in place). It was a 3D computer graphic presentation on par with Halo or some video game shit where the current greensward would morph into the plan. Well, for some reason, nobody I've talked to knows, the city went ahead and jumped the gun and pre-emptively presented it to the citizens without knowledgeable engineers present, planting the seeds of misunderstanding... Whether they deliberately mislead the public or just ineptly presented it is debatable, but the result was riling up a bunch of people, mostly the Lorax Has a Posse contingent (don't get me started), who don't know shit about anything much less city planning and storm water management.

ell me again why the needs of the individual private property owners outweigh my need for a public park?


Uh, I think if you had the storm water cess-river flowing through your basement, you'd probably feel differently. It's the city's responsibility to route this water somewhere and there isn't anywhere else nearby to build such a basin. CBU, PDS and maybe even St. Mary's have sports fields that double as retention basins. They work great and are totally green (in both senses). I believe they donated the land for these causes (I think the city might have picked up the tab on the engineering and part of the construction, but I'm not sure). In this case, the city would not have to have the land donated but would still have to pay the engineering and construction. Unfortunately, people were inconvenienced by the change in elevations. Well, it looks like the "fools" sacrificed the quality of the park for the topography. HIGH FIVE!
Posted: May 23, 2009 1:27 pm
 
I love strip malls
Posted: May 23, 2009 1:31 pm
 
rainbow lake can suck it
Posted: May 23, 2009 1:36 pm | Edited by: littlemisslinda
 
pawn shops, next to gay dance clubs, next to strip bars, next to liquor stores, next to adult vidieo arcades, next to some form of legalized gambeling, with different alcohol serving music venues inbetween each one as far as the eye can see
Posted: May 23, 2009 1:40 pm
 
oh yeah, I forgot about hotels, head shops, and gun shops
Posted: May 24, 2009 5:36 pm
 
hey SAMBEAUX not tryin ta get on your badside by trying to get you started,
but I thought the lorax posse was just a cute way of bringing attention to the old growth forest part of overton park.
i''m curious what;s your beef with that? its altogether separate from the greensward thing

the Lorax Has a Posse contingent (don't get me started),
Posted: May 24, 2009 7:52 pm
 
i want to know more about halo and shit
Posted: May 25, 2009 8:47 pm
 
^^ yeah me too, "they" (was it the same people?) did a better job presenting future plans for that other park---Shelbyfarms
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:39 am
 
I thought the lorax posse was just a cute way of bringing attention

Don't want to speak for SAMBEAUX, but I would imagine that it has something to do with being a "cute way" for something. Just a wild guess!
Posted: May 26, 2009 9:16 pm | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
Well yeah, besides being an obnoxious and elitist combination of two semi-obscure cultural referents at the expense of alienating some who might otherwise buy into their misinformation, there is the misinformation and half-truths they spread in attempt to invest the old growth part of Overton Park as something that should be preserved at the price of the expansion of the zoo.

I side with the zoo because I feel like it's one of the few worthwhile non-Christian family amenities this city has and is of a much greater value to the citizens of Memphis than the overgrown, unmanageable expanse of wilderness. If the acreage that makes up Overton Park were under attack BY ANY OTHER interest I would side with the "Friends of Overton Park" (who are indeed the people behind both the greensward campaigns and, at least the licit, anti-zoo protests). The fact that equate the zoo with any other land developer is just absurd and their propaganda campaigns I find to be particularly distasteful in their deception.

more about halo and shit

The software packages they used to render the graphics were on par with the stuff that the video game companies use for their 3D stuff.

"they" (was it the same people?) did a better job presenting future plans for that other park

Don't believe they had anything to do with Shelbyfarms... I could ask.
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:32 pm
 
an obnoxious and elitist combination of two semi-obscure cultural referents

SAMBEAUX. You rule.

Plus the Lorax was boring compared to the Cat in the Hat who fucked shit up. But I guess the Cat in the Hat is too common.
Posted: May 26, 2009 11:00 pm
 
just a cute way
Just a wild guess!
cute works better for pandas then trees and topsoil, esp if the references are too weird &obscure as mentioned by
>>SAMBEAUX whom I think made some really good points, thanks, I think i get your point of view. I'm torn up by the alienating streak of the CPOP, I think that could backfire for them, and I'm partial to woods myself, tho visited the zoo and woods parts of the park about the same.

Has the whole greensward saga been settled then? Seems like another presentation should be sheduled to show the graphics and further educate the curious like myself, esp. if it is the better plan. City Parks website action would be even better. even tho I don't stay in tha M anymore.
Posted: May 26, 2009 11:04 pm | Edited by: Shawna Graves
 
yeah, Saisapa I still do not know who Lorax was/is except vaguely. And if there is another cultural ref I guess I still don't get it.

But I liked the stickers...

=-(

Cat in the Hat rules
Posted: May 27, 2009 8:44 am
 
I never got into the original "Ecology" thing of the early '70's for which the Lorax was a latter-era Dr. Seuss creation. I was more into the idea of individual rights, freedoms and anti-discrimination (of children...go figure...I had a book called "I am Not a Short Adult!" which, of course, I AM). Thus, Snoopy and Cat in the Hat were way more emblematic for me than some hairy weird Lorax.

Anyway, yeah the CPOP are far more alienating than they want to believe.
Posted: May 27, 2009 10:00 am
 
lorax play's bass for a rock-n-roll band called "the MELVINS".
Posted: May 27, 2009 12:05 pm
 
Not THAT Lorax, Linda!!!
Posted: May 27, 2009 2:38 pm
 
Well, I know one of the people in CPOP hence my interest in keeping tabs on it. Have never quite been able to put my finger on what all bothered me, and brushed off minor(?) things like anonymous posters not being able to post on their site. Never knew how to talk to this person about the snarky put-offing stuff, still trying to figure that out or leavit alone. It seems to hurt tha cause.

Bah! Anyway, off to tart around Austin with my Grandma & then go joggin on the AWESOME trails here.
Posted: May 27, 2009 10:44 pm
 
And if there is another cultural ref I guess I still don't get it.

The other part being the "Andre the Giant has a Posse" stickers themselves -even if somebody knew what the Lorax was, which is somewhat arcane, they're probably less likely to know about Was Monty Python out of quotes they could plunder?

The CPOP is so completely inflexible and stupid and the whole situation has turned into an ugly smear campaign. The zoo has conceded to use the rest of their "old growth" holdings as an exhibit high-lighting the ecology of an old growth forest. They approached the engineering firm I work for about designing a boardwalk that would be suspended 3 or so feet above the forest floor with the stipulation that it be constructed progressively. The idea would be that they would roll it out as they went, keeping off of the forest floor as much as possible and only encroaching on an area equal to the final footprint of the boardwalk (the result was going to be much more expensive than if conventionally constructed). This gesture was not appreciated; it was said the zoo couldn't be trusted because they "surprised" everyone by cutting down the trees for the Teton Trek exhibit. Anyone paying attention for the last 7 or so years would have known that the zoo had been planning this exhibit so long -they had published it as part of their 10 yr plan, other parts of which had been successfully negotiated and scaled back in the interest of conservation of the park. The CPOP has implied that the zoo cannot be trusted and portrayed it, with the assistance of the Flyer, as some sort of malevolent organization that would blacktop the whole park. The Flyer did a particularly shitty job, last summer or fall, of presenting the situation in a newsworthy and unbiased manner, giving voice to more than a fair share of uninformed and prejudiced sources from the CPOP side. They be trifling.

Sorry for the digression, it just pisses me off.

lorax play's bass

You should hear the Clown Alley reissue that Southern Lord put out (Lori Black's pre-Melvins thrash band). It sounds like Prong crossed with Septic Death. Totally awesome.
Posted: May 27, 2009 11:35 pm
 
You should hear the Clown Alley reissue that Southern Lord put out (Lori Black's pre-Melvins thrash band). It sounds like Prong crossed with Septic Death. Totally awesome.
did she live underneath bag o hammers? i know the chick from hole did but there was someone else before her?
Posted: May 28, 2009 8:18 am
 
The CPOP has implied that the zoo cannot be trusted and portrayed it, with the assistance of the Flyer, as some sort of malevolent organization that would blacktop the whole park. The Flyer did a particularly shitty job, last summer or fall, of presenting the situation in a newsworthy and unbiased manner, giving voice to more than a fair share of uninformed and prejudiced sources from the CPOP side. They be trifling.

This is infuriating. I agree the Flyer did a totally half-ass job with this and in the pure muckraking-and-or-last-minute-coke-jag journalistic fashion that they excel at, they made the Zoo look worse than John Calipari (sorry, SAMBEAUX) in terms of nefarious sneakiness.

That Midtown striver brigade drives me absolutely batshit crazy. Look 1 inch into their collective closet and you'll find a White Station grad who never set foot in that old growth forest until they didn't have anything better to do after they had their Waldorf and Montessori kids and moved to Evergreen.
Posted: May 28, 2009 3:22 pm
 
Posted: May 28, 2009 4:08 pm
 
thx lettuce.

i do like the insertion of class and midtown xenophobia into this debate.
Posted: May 28, 2009 8:52 pm
 
Maybe I was thinking of every back page Tim Sampson writes as this one is seemingly Coke free. But muckraking and getting hackles up with not much in the way of depth is the Flyer way in far too many stories. I guess that's what sells a free paper!
Posted: May 28, 2009 9:02 pm
 
at least andria's writing for them again
Posted: May 28, 2009 9:27 pm | Edited by: saispas
 
Good! I also like how their food writer gets useful info too. I still say that article regarding the zoo made them look like dopey Disneyland creators overtaking the lovely old forest and the mommies. Nothing against mommies but I know plenty of them who enjoy the really good zoo we have these days.
Posted: May 28, 2009 11:08 pm
 
insertion of class... into this debate.

C'mon, if the Memphis public school system was my kids' only option, do you think I would be wasting my time worrying about the zoo and the park?

Likewise CPOP.
Posted: May 29, 2009 9:38 am
 
Thank you. This debate has always included issues of class. Explain your version of "Midtown Xenophobia": Midtowners fearful of everything on the outside or those on the outside fearful of all things Midtown? Both sides exist and cancel each other out most of the time which just hurts the general let's improve Memphis cause. To paraphrase Ray Parker Jr, I ain't fraid of no Midtown!
Posted: May 29, 2009 10:09 am
 
midtown is full of hippies
Posted: May 29, 2009 10:14 am | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
To paraphrase Ray Parker Jr, I ain't fraid of no Midtown!

Aparently Ray has spent the last couple decades worrying that his '84 hit "Ghostbusters" somehow offended the spirit world and "they" have consequently affected his celebrity status and hit-making mojo. Watch out, Saispas!
Posted: May 29, 2009 11:37 am
 
but... saispas... are you in love with the other woman?
Posted: May 29, 2009 11:44 am
 
No, but this woman needs love (just like you do)!
Posted: May 29, 2009 1:41 pm
 
i'm even way more glad that ray parker jr. has been inserted into this debate!

Look 1 inch into their collective closet and you'll find a White Station grad who never set foot in that old growth forest until they didn't have anything better to do after they had their Waldorf and Montessori kids and moved to Evergreen

and this is what i was referring to. no biggie. just seems like sometimes on this board when we disagree with people we then have to point out that they are different from us in every way possible, relevant or not.
Posted: May 29, 2009 2:12 pm
 
based in truth and generalizations on the internets can be fun. I'm fairly certain you know me well enough to know even I don't firmly believe this is indicative of everyone involved in this but the New Midtown kinda reeks of this from time to time. Understand this was the neighborhood I both grew up in and spent a chunk of my adult life. I'm sure you can speak about changes in your hometown that I know little of. I will always love Midtown but Evergreen of 1985 and the neighborhood today are very different. And in my opinion, it isn't a change for the better in certain ways.
Posted: Jun 3, 2009 10:06 am
 
I guess that's what sells a free paper!

Where is "schoembsie" a.k.a. Mrs Paxton?

gave me some fun "facts" about memphis flyer misinformation

Called them LIARS the other week
Posted: Jun 3, 2009 10:13 am
 
OK, I gots to check in with Schoembsie then!!!! Just saw her a couple of weeks ago with Miss Hanney at my sale! Boy did they look as cute as ever.
Posted: Jun 3, 2009 12:41 pm
 
Boy did they look as cute as ever.

preaching to the chior
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 1:51 pm
 
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 6:35 pm
 
Infuriating horseshit. Feed her to a chipper/shredder. She doesn't know anything and her blogpost is full of half-truths, blanket statements and a fundamental lack of understanding about the magnitude of the impact of the problem and the solution. If she would just petulantly cross her arms, pout and say "because I don't want it", it would be less maddening than her misrepresentation of every aspect of what's going on. The park is already a "mudpit" when it rains, the greensward detention basin would have made it less of a mudpit. They're trying to keep the flooding out of the zoo, where it could damage property (the zoo's and the zoo patrons who park in the parking lot). This berm that they're talking about constructing could be landscaped and beautified -it's simply to keep water out of the zoo, but the FOP are against it because they would "have to see it".

The city has GOT to do something -why should a neighborhood have to deal with their property being flooded because our storm water system can't handle more than it was designed for? The system is taking more water because of the development of the land that feeds into it (by private property owners). Something has to be done with this water. The city owes it to one neighborhood as they owe it to all neighborhoods. The FOP are providing no solutions to fix the problem, just vetoing every solution that gets presented. They're not offering any compromise either. Every outright refusal results in a back-to-the-drawing-board that WASTES our tax dollars.

And what they don't realize is that the City Engineer is their greatest ally. He has conceded to them all over the place when they don't really have any power. He's most likely afraid of a lawsuit that he might not win, recalling the Interstate thing, but really, it's not the same thing at all. At least a trial would establish the factual information for what it is and cut through the bullshit.
Posted: Nov 15, 2009 5:17 pm
 
Something that is really interesting to me that I've noticed since I left Memphis is that it's a city that resists infrastructure improvements more than any other I've known well. It explains a lot about how things have gotten as bad as they have. I don't know what to attribute that to- maybe stubbornness, or lack of education, or not knowing that things can be better? Maybe it's that white flight attitude of just picking up and leaving rather than fixing what's already there? Whatever it is, Memphians as a whole are so much more apt not just to let things rot, but to let them rot and be PSYCHED about it.
Posted: Nov 15, 2009 6:20 pm | Edited by: saispas
 
"After all this time, and all the money spent on planning, City engineers have still not provided the public with hard facts to justify the need for this project. They estimate it will cost $4 million to build, but they haven't bothered to explain why it's necessary in the first place.

For example, how many Belleair Circle homes have been flooded by Lick Creek? How often does the Memphis Zoo experience flood damage, and where does this occur? How much does flood damage cost the Zoo and Belleair Circle homeowners each year? None of these questions have been answered.

In addition, City engineers have not provided any facts to support their claim that sacrificing a portion of Overton Park is the only possible way to reduce flooding in the upper Lick Creek watershed. Why is our park the only target on the radar? Is it just because the land is publicly owned and can be used by the City for free?"


Reading this from the site, makes me think these people are protesting for the protest's sake. On one hand they are minimizing the flooding issue or insinuating that there is not even a flooding problem to be concerned about. Oooh! A conspiracy! Then in the next paragraphs, they seem to concede there "may" be a problem "somewhere" in regards to the flooding of Lick Creek, but the proposed plans to deal with it--even though the creek goes right through Overton Park--are only involving the Park because it is the "free land" that the City can more easily manipulate. I mean, this is fucking crazytalk.
Posted: Nov 15, 2009 6:47 pm | Edited by: SAMBEAUX
 
K pointed out how smarmy the "have we met before?" thing was... I mean, just imagine, me having the gall to argue with her publicly on her blog. Too elitist. Too condescending.

let them rot and be PSYCHED about it.

HA!

As I tried to point out, nobody wants to ruin the park, but they're trying to fix something that's fucked up and has been fucked up (or at least has gotten more fucked up over the years. The engineers have been collecting data on this for over 10 years, they know what they are doing. She complains that the city engineers (there's in, actuality, only one) haven't answered CPOP's suggestions but they city engineer has passed the suggestions along to the consultants (who are actually doing the analysis and design) and they've explained to me that their suggestions aren't feasible for the scale of the project or for an infrastructure retrofit (they couldn't plant nearly enough plants to absorb the water, repaving sections of concrete and asphalt with permeable material would require private property owners to comply and absorb the cost and also require a huge area, etc.). But these consulting engineers work for the city, the city is their client, not the CPOP. They don't get an answer unless the City Engineer wants to pass it along and he might not be comfortable relaying the answer (I don't know what discipline his background is in).

protesting for protests sake

Yeah, it seems they want to keep the park in a complete state of suspended animation... I'm sure George Kessler didn't figure the Veteran's Memorial in his master plan -he must be rolling over in his grave, let's tear it down!
Posted: Nov 15, 2009 8:33 pm | Edited by: saispas
 
K pointed out how smarmy the "have we met before?" thing was... I mean, just imagine, me having the gall to argue with her publicly on her blog. Too elitist. Too condescending.

I caught that too. She was talking to you like she was Mary Astor and you were some grubby little Anarchist trying to light her cigarette in a hotel bar circa 1932.

What kills me is their "proposed solutions" that everyone is supposedly ignoring are placed in a little sidebar on their site. Then you click on them and they aren't links to any specific proposals for Overton Park, but its as if they Googled some ideas and just linked up sites from that search! Pure bush league-ness there.
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 7:38 pm
 
Parks built around/above creeks require constant modification and work and upgrading. So does ANYTHING built around/above a creek. My whole neighborhood was built where a brook was once (now rerouted) and we're surrounded on almost all sides by Olmsted parks. There's a reason they've survived and still look nice all these years later- say it with me- infrastructure maintenance!

If this group was really serious about coming up with a solution rather than just being hippies or whatever, they'd hire somebody to give them a professional opinion that benefits them- an architect, urban planner, even a freakin' landscaper. They ain't got NOTHIN'!
Posted: Dec 7, 2009 8:13 am
 
Don't a lot of homosexual men have anal sex in the woods around there?
Posted: Dec 7, 2009 11:33 am
 
You thinkin' of moving back to Memphis?
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