Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Catching Up Edition

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”

Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Divvying up $200 million, Bay Grocery Plan, Habitat and Putting on the Blitz, Gulfport Library Building Slated for Discussion and NOLA GO Zone Bonds Going Unused

Time is very short for me today so I’m going to dive straight in.  First up is the plan for spending the $200 million dollars of Hurricane Katrina relief funds recently allocated to Hancock County. I have news for Wayne Brown at MDOT, they had better make use of the recovery money for Highway 603 or he is liable to find a bunch of angry residents with baseball bats looking for him. JR Welsh at the Sun Herald has the story:

What has been a closely held secret by some local governments has now become public – who may get what from nearly $200 million in federal money for long-term recovery projects countywide.

It hasn’t yet been officially approved by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but a proposed list has been sent to Washington from the Mississippi Development Authority. The list of projects approved to split $198.4 million in grant money contains good news for some agencies and bad news for others. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Divvying up $200 million, Bay Grocery Plan, Habitat and Putting on the Blitz, Gulfport Library Building Slated for Discussion and NOLA GO Zone Bonds Going Unused”

The Sun Herald Reports on the Gulfport Library

As posted yesterday on slabbed the library group We the People were very pleased with the Landmark designation decision made by the State Department of Archives and History. There are still many hurdles ahead but yesterday’s news represents a big step. Melissa Scallan reports yesterday’s developments for the Sun Herald in a story that also contains a good account of the major events that lead to the designation:

The Gulfport Library got a reprieve from the wrecking ball on Thursday.

The permit committee for the state Department of Archives and History agreed Wednesday to consider designating the building a Mississippi Landmark because of its architectural significance, the role the building has played in the community and public sentiment.

If the library, built in 1965 in the New Formalism style of architecture, is made a landmark, it can’t be torn down without permission from the department’s board. Continue reading “The Sun Herald Reports on the Gulfport Library”

The News and the Muses Come to Me. A Quick Hello to the Library Group

Finally I finish my posting frenzy by acknowledging it is burying Nowdy’s excellent Facts and Assumtions entry which I highly encourage our visitors to read and comment upon. However I find myself compelled to mention today’s Sun Herald story on the Gulfport library. I’ll borrow Sid Salter’s phrase “editorial wood” to describe slabbed’s registration of displeasure on the mixture of the Library and Grass Lawn issues and disclose Deb is still talking to me despite my laying the smack down in the post on that subject. That entry has proven to be very popular in terms of page views.

The passage of time and some introspection has provided some perspective on the political brier patch We the People found themselves at Gulfport City Hall last month. It also allowed the group to refocus their efforts on the Library and the process involving it’s demolition. Deb sent me a pdf that explained why the County suddenly lost it’s ardor to immediately tear the storm damaged building down. Continue reading “The News and the Muses Come to Me. A Quick Hello to the Library Group”

Gulfport Library Demo Delayed

The board of supervisors are going the extra mile checking with the Department of Archives & History to be certain the building isn’t legally historic before awarding the demolition contract. Ryan LaFontaine at the Sun Herald has the story.

The old downtown library lives on, at least for a few more days. 

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors was expected to hire a demolition firm Monday to break the old library to pieces and haul it off the beachfront property.

However, the county decided to delay the move until it hears back from the state Department of Archives & History on whether the old building has any historical value.

County officials said a report from FEMA determined the building had little historical value, but to be sure, the supervisors voted unanimously to check with the state Archives & History. Continue reading “Gulfport Library Demo Delayed”

Politics and Grass Lawn Part 4: Threaten the Local Paper

I have limited time and literally too many topics to write about but I could not let Brian Carriere’s path to political self destruction go without mention. To catch up our new readers Grass Lawn was an historic mansion so important to the City of Gulfport it was included in the city seal. Taken by Katrina, it’s importance as a symbol of recovery was even recognized by FEMA who changed program regulations to allow for the use of federal funds in its replication. Grass Lawn fell victim to the old style tit for tat gotcha politics that held back Gulfport for years before the last election. We have posted entries on the topic beginning here.

Just when you think City Council member and Grass Lawn opponent Brian Carriere finally screwed his head on right we get today’s Sun Herald story where he threatens the paper with legal action because they dared to print an email he sent out blaming a secretary for the political problems his stand on Grass Lawn caused him. Councilman Carriere how far your star has fallen……

City Councilman Brian Carriere was less than pleased with a Sun Herald report over the weekend about a scathing e-mail he sent out last week threatening to fire a council clerk he believes is floating rumors about his political future. Continue reading “Politics and Grass Lawn Part 4: Threaten the Local Paper”

Politics, Grass lawn and the Gulfport Library

My initial reaction yesterday upon hearing the news that the Gulfport City Council turned down funding to rebuild Grass lawn was anger and disgust. Deb, a member of my small business family and one of the founders of We the People, broke the news to me as she was in attendance at the meeting. The save the Library group lost a 4-3 vote to rescind the demolition order for the library. That vote was a disappointing outcome. The ladies worked very hard for that issue; one which they share a mutual passion.

Today we are greeted with both a news story on the Grasslawn vote and an editorial in the Sun Herald. I am most disturbed by the news story, which indicated the library group was used as pawns by a faction of the City Council opposed to all things Brent Warr to help scuttle rebuilding Grasslawn. Here are some excerpts from the story by Ryan LaFontaine:

A day after they surprisingly said “no thanks” to a $500,000 grant to rebuild a historic icon lost to Katrina, some City Council members were hinting at a do-over. Continue reading “Politics, Grass lawn and the Gulfport Library”

Gulfport Library on Tomorrow’s City Council Agenda

DLP sent me an email asking to publicize tomorrow’s City Council meeting where a vote will be held to rescind the demolition of the old Gulfport Library.  The post which describes the events leading up to tomorrow’s vote is here. This issue merits further public discussion and input. Vote with your feet and show the City leaders you care about this issue. Be there tomorrow at 2:30PM.