In recent months, as rhetoric grew red-hot over healthcare reform and immigration, the wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been the target of numerous death threats. Her local office in Tucson had been vandalized and the corner across the street had become a central location for protests. Most recently, a Sarah Palin graphic depicted her district in the crosshairs of a gun.
Politicians in Arizona used the immigration debate to spread falsehoods about mass killings in the desert near the border, sparking hysteria in the streets, portraying a state under siege by immigrants.
The discourse quickly turned venomous. The dangerous rumors were being perpetuated on Internet blogs and by the noisy back-and-forth bickering on cable news networks that covered the congressional campaigns.
As we see now, this practice of feeding on fear and spreading hate is dangerously irresponsible and potentially deadly, and yet, in today’s America it seems there is no escaping it.
I’ve had one of those famous Slabbed moments of serendipity where events have connected thus I feel compelled to write a post on the topic especially when news stories which I’ve been holding close marry well with seemingly unrelated events and involve the Slabbed Nation’s Jefferson Parish Branch.
The environmental agreement MDOT reached with federal agencies would forever end proposals for commercial development just south of I-10 between U.S. 49 and Canal Road. The agreement also would allow MDOT to go forward with construction of a state port connector road from I-10 to U.S. 90, a route crucial to the port’s plans for expansion.The road would destroy 162 acres of wetlands. In exchange, MDOT plans to buy and place 1,638 acres in perpetual conservation easements. The state Department of Marine Resources would own the land, but about 447 acres on both sides of Turkey Creek would be managed by a nonprofit, the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.
Enter Mayor Schloegel who is concerned over the impact to the city’s tax rolls:
Schloegel said the Ward family, who owns about 1,000 acres of the land, had plans to open Creosote Road south of I-10 from Prime Outlets west to Canal Road.
“It’s my understanding that a good bit of this area is in a wetlands zone, but also that there is approximately 400 acres that is high and dry,” the mayor said….
As our Jefferson Parish friends well know the Ward family is used to getting what it wants. In Louisiana they own (or at least rent) every NOLA area pol down to Mr Mayor Elect himself so it would naturally follow they would aggressively try to protect their investment and vision for the wetlands in Turkey Creek area but I’ll admit to being a bit surprised when less than a week later Anita followed up with another story, this one originating from the Sun Herald building itself as Mayor Schloegel brought a new Ward into the picture, Jerard “Baby Butch” Ward to plead his daddy’s case and it is there we stop next:
That our fonts have turned blue? Normally I’m the quiet behind the scenes guy who trouble shoots such things here at slabbed but frankly this one has me stumped.
In other news Brent Warr announced he won’t be running for re-elction due to the fight to clear his name in USA v Warr. The FEMA charges will prove problematic for he and Mrs Warr IMHO. [vodpod id=ExternalVideo.791097&w=425&h=350&fv=player_id%3De2d2019393ae655fb9564c7e96777ab5%26token%3Dfcb4c93c751b7b266c41e703a62ed2e1]
The city must move on and with George Schloegel qualifying for the mayor’s race in Gulfport the City will be getting a great man with a lifetime of wisdom running Mississippi’s largest publicly traded company. George comes equipped with mucho business sense to hit the ground running and continue the task of rebuilding Gulfport’s beachfront and downtown. Uncle Leo would no doubt be very proud.
Wait a second Sop are you coronating George Mayor in advance of the election? The short answer is yep, sure am.
I’ve been faithfully saving news links of interest but have been short on time to gather them in a coherent post so today I’ll throw several out for your reading pleasure.
First off is the historic Grass Lawn property and movement in the rebuilding process. Ryan LaFontaine filed the story for the Sun Herald:
City Hall is searching for a construction company to build a detailed replica of the historic Grass Lawn mansion.
The antebellum home, built in 1836, meant so much to Gulfport that the old house had its own place on the city’s official seal.
Hurricane Katrina wrecked the mansion in 2005, washing away more than a century’s worth of history. Last week, the council authorized City Hall to solicit construction bids.
The city already has insurance and FEMA money to rebuild Grass Lawn, and earlier this year, the City Council voted unanimously to award a design contract to architect Frank Genzer.
Then in April, the council voted against accepting a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Archives and History to help rebuild the mansion. But two weeks later, after several days of what some council members considered unfair media scrutiny, the council voted 6-1 to accept the money. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Catching Up Edition”