Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pancakes, Guns, and Sustainability

Quite the headline, I know.  How can one tie together pancakes, guns, and sustainability?  I'll give it a shot.  First, I did not make it to the pancake breakfast at Dunwoody High School. 

The Dunwoody patch has a piece on that event HERE.

Opponent Terry was present and won the raffle.  Photo by Barton

My other opponent, Robert, was in attendance as well.  Photo taken by David Barton.
I took a break from the campaign trail and headed to the GSSF match at the South River Gun Club. For those of you interested in competition shooting, GSSF (for Glock owners) is an excellent program.  Locally the Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range hosts matches.  The range is located just over the western border of Dunwoody, near Quik Trip on Roswell Rd.  The range offers classes for new and experienced shooters, and has classes for women as well. 

I'm on the right, green shirt

For those of you who asked for yard signs, I'll be back in the Grocery-Getter this week, dropping off signs.  If you have yet to receive a sign and want one, please email me at rick@rickcallihan.com

So now, a word or two on sustainability.  First off, there is a forum scheduled for Tuesday, October 25th, at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.  I am not sure if all candidates are attending.

Dunwoody Candidate Forum on Sustainability
Sponsored by the Dunwoody Nature Center
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
6:00 pm
Dunwoody United Methodist Church
This is an opportunity for you to hear from the candidates for Mayor and City Council and their positions on such topics as:
·          Economic Development, Clean/Green Technology and Sustainable Business Practices
·          Sustainable funding and planning strategies for Parks, Trails and Green Space
·          Land use and city planning as it relates to development
·          Multi-Modal Transportation
·          Energy
·          Solid Waste Management
·          Social Impact on Sustainability: Aging Population, Demographic shift  from Single family to multi- family, Attracting & Retaining Young Professionals
·          Locally-Sourced Food Access
·          Air & Water Quality
·          Dunwoody Sustainability Plan / Sustainable Vision for Dunwoody
Date:     Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Time:     6:00 – 9:00 pm
6:00 – 6:45 pm: Coffee with the Candidates
6:45 – 9 pm Candidate Forum
The word 'sustainable' is one of those words that used to mean one thing, now means many. According to widely accepted reference materials, sustainability = the capacity to endure.

I'll accept that definition.  If something very bad were to happen whereas we had a collapse of society, could you endure?  Do you have the tools and skills to endure? Are you prepared to grow crops and feed your family?  Do you have seeds stashed away?  It sounds absurd to many of you, but give it some thought.  Currently I maintain seven garden beds, two at the Dunwoody Community Garden. My family consumes a decent amount of home-grown food.  Some of you may belong to a farm co-op, most of you purchase all your food from Publix and Costco.  The great thing about living in America is we can choose to grow our own food, or buy it from others.  Aside from growing vegetable and fruits, do you, as a carnivore, have the tools and ability to harvest your own herbivore for consumption?  If not, are you sure you are sustainable? Venison is a favorite here. No hormones, no food coloring, and no preservatives pumped into freshly harvested venison.

The 'sustainable city' is an entirely different species.  There are lots of resources out there on the topic - do a Google search.  Take a look at the topics proposed for the upcoming forum.  As a city, I don't think Dunwoody has much say in regards to water quality and waste management.  These are services provided by DeKalb County and/or City of Atlanta, depending on where you live in Dunwoody. Not sure how a local candidate can prepare for such topics.  Unless one of our candidates has an outhouse I don't see how one candidate can win over an audience on that topic.  Surely no one running for office in Dunwoody is in favor or mandatory toilet and faucet upgrades modifications to low volume fixtures. Maintaining the storm water system is important, as is limiting the chemicals used on lawns that make their way into the storm water system. Establishing best practices standards for surface runoff  (pavement, pervious surfaces, etc) is important as a city.  Already we have rule sin place for this topic.

Part of the sustainable city blueprint is high density.  High density seems to appeal to people who have little say in the matter - like the fine people of Europe and Asia.  When given the option (as we have here in America) many people will choose to live in a rural or suburban setting as opposed to an urban setting.  Think of your local sustainability folks - do they reside in a high-density apartment complex beside a mass transit rail station and shun automobiles?  No, they live in a single family home with a nice yard and green grass. 

In cities that are not growing out physically (Atlanta has no natural boundary like a mountain or ocean to stops its growth) like New York and Seattle, high density living is common.  Here in metro Atlanta, people seem to like the big home on a big lot.  Dunwoody has attracted families for decades due to our large residential lots and amenities nearby. One argument against expanding parks is the vast amounts of green space commonly known as your backyard (see HERE)

As the Perimeter area of Dunwoody grows jobs, it needs to have housing.  Currently there is ample supply of multi-family housing in Perimeter, and over 10,000 units are already zoned for future builds.  The High Street development has yet to break ground, so I do not see the need for additional units to be planned or built.  In neighboring Sandy Springs there are many multi-family units that will serve as homes for future PCID workers, and the area surrounding the PCID (not accounted for in the PCID LCI presentation) also has quite an array of multi-family housing.

One thing to make clear - the Perimeter CID does not just build things without approval.  Any new developments and zoning changes come before the city (prior to becoming a city DeKalb County performed  handled this function).  The city is in control.  The PCID can design all sorts of options for future land use, but it is ultimately the city council who decides what gets built. Same goes for land purchases; the city is in control.  Who will make those decisions for the city going forward?  The voters will make that decision in about 40 days.

Locally-sourced food access?  What role does our city play here?  Seems like a personal choice to me.  One can choose to consume mass-produced foods from food factories or one can source from other venues. I don't think it is the government's job to insure locally sourced food is available.  The open market does that currently.  It's also not the Government's job to restrict those wanting to grow their food crops.  You want to grow tomato plants in your front yard?  Please proceed.

Multi-Modal transportation?  If an area of Dunwoody wanted to offer trolley services and shuttles, I have no problem with that.  If a business near Perimeter Mall wants to shuttle employees/clients to and from a MARTA station, that's their business decision to make. Should taxpayers subsidize that?  We already have heavy rail in Dunwoody, something most neighboring cities do not have in place.  How the areas around the rail stations is developed could forever change Dunwoody - better or worse.


Site Admin said...

Now that you're an official candidate commenting should be even more fun, but I'll have to take a scatter-gun approach.


First, Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range is an excellent facility. Probably worth a full membership as every time I've been there the place is packed. Great place to people-watch and I love their artwork. And you'll never feel safer in this part of Georgia than when surrounded by people with guns who know how to use them.

Sustainability is a buzz-word fueled scam to the point the word has lost all meaning. Every group out there is green-washing itself and scamming the rather naive LEED scoring system to do it. Without the current marketing value of being green, sustainability would not survive in the face of affordability. Oh, and did you know that lead-free bullets are considered "green". Of course you did.

The hoopla over backyard gardens is baffling as I always thought that was part of the joy of "home ownership" (AKA renting from the bank & government). Was always for flavour and quality, never for survival. Or just for fun.

A sustainable city... That should be based on cashflow following a simple rule: cash out << cash in. "Take care of your needs and watch out for your greeds" and this proposed land grab for "Parks" seems to be a greed.

Though I am a fan of low-flow toilets, on this issue I'll simply beg for consistency. Rumour has it our fair city requires the installation of drip edging, rake and eave, when you replace your roof. Not when you sell the house, but whenever you "renovate". Not clear why requiring a low flow toilet upon reno or sale is any different. Only thing I can figure is roofers make more money on the drip edge, and our local real estate lobby will scream if $100 toilets are required for a sale. Money talks...

As for "locally sourced" food, first if a government "supports" it, it will then be compelled to regulate it. Already the zoning supporting the Dunwoody Green Market is a perfect example of why the government needs to stay out of this. "Green Market"? Local? Went there looking for veggies with farmer's market quality and freshness. Looking for some corn, pole beans, limas, squash, cukes, onions maybe some beefsteaks or heirloom slicers. What did I find? Pizza. Wood fired oven. By the slice. Oh, and perfumy hand soap. Boy was I in Green Market heaven. Not! Thank god for Fresh Market. Thank Dunwoody for another bait and switch.


RealHouseWifeofDunwoody said...

Looks like Rick is back to blogging and not campaigning. I am not sure how many votes calling out the hypocrites will get you, but glad to see you posting something with humor. The anti gun crowd probably not in your camp now either, but you will get the Tea party people. Your opponent rides in an electric golf cart Rick so you better walk or bicycle to that nature center debate. Best of luck.

Joe Seconder said...

A must-read for anyone living in Dunwoody and registered to vote