Sunday, June 28, 2009

Problems on the Bayside Street Ends

I'm looking for some help here, as I'm deeply conflicted. Here's the issue: on some nights or even during the days, people camp out on the street ends, often leaving a nice pile of beer containers and trash, and sometimes partying quite loudly and smoking whacky tobaccy. These street ends, which number more than 20, are like mini-parks and several offer pretty good fishing as well. So we're trying to figure out how to control that, which keeping the public roadways public and improving on bay access (nice sunsets, too). The rowdy behavior happens mainly during the peak summer tourist days and the 4th of July should be a real corker if this beautiful weather keeps going.

We have all kinds of ordinances against parking in the street, noise, littering, drinking, loitering, peeing in public, and all kinds of nuisances and misdemeanors in addition to the state laws. But a group of concerned residents want more, such as to have curfews, no parking, no fishing, and more signs. Here's where they start to lose me - if we already have the enforcement tools, what good will putting up three signs do? You still need a cop or a code enforcement officer to make the patrols, do surveillance, and catch the perp. Frankly, I never saw a sign that was very effective, that is unless it says "Free food, free gasoline, free prizes."

So we have about three to five street ends that seem to have a problem, as well as some very irate residents. It certainly isn't all of the plus-20 street ends that have a problem, and our street ending doesn't. So you have some very vocal citizens who want something, anything to help them. So the question is how to address such a legitimate concern while not over-regulating the whole bayside of the island.

My initial thoughts are that there is a mightly temptation to write an ordinance and put up signs as a "feel good, law and order" kind of thing. Remember, we still have all the enforcement tools and that is exactly what it is - public land. "Public" means not just the property owners on that street, but anybody legally here in the United States. I also fear that some of the draconian rules could prevent me from enjoying my street end - what if I want to fish at night under a full moon? I just don't know, other than some people think such an ordinance would make their street safer, raise property values, and make the neighborhood more "friendly." (Do you see the irony there too? Friendly for kicking people off your street?)

Basically I think you're trying to run off anybody you don't like.

I realize that we don't have the Open Beaches Act for the bayside, which on the Gulf requires open access to the beach as if it was a state park. You can't discriminate against non-locals there. And I realize there is bayside one street in particular, named Campeche, that is the problem child that needs to be addressed -- it has the best shore fishing on the island. But obviously, I'm deeply conflicted abut how to proceed. Thanks for any thoughts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Let People Jack You Around

Here's a picture that I found that reminds me of all the evil people who try to bring you down and give you a hard time. It's a picture of "Saint Anthony having Doubts" by none other than Leonardo Michelangelo when he was only 13 years old. It reminds me of folks who routinely attack me on the forums. Perhaps you have your own negativity to deal with as well.

The only remedy is to laugh and smile, and all the harpies, gremlins and boogies will immediately vanish. Begone, you useless twits of my imagination! Hah-ha! Poof, they're gone...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now We're Cookin'

Well we finally did some shopping so we have that mysterious stuff called food. We've been eating too much restaurant and junk food with Lori at work and then at school all evening. It feels good to look at the refrigerator now.

I'm way off my gardening this year because of the severe drought, so nothing is growing ... some tomatoes, onions, and herbs would have been nice. It's just too blasted hot, and the sandy soil just won't hold any water. In fact I put out the hose the other day to water some plumeria and the water just went straight down - I was wondering if I was inadvertently watering some place in China.

And that's a shame because I always had an herb garden up in Austin. The rosemary turned into giant bushes, and I learned that if you got a cilantro patch going, leaving some seeds to replant, you'd have cilantro all the time - and some rather strange caterpillars. Chives were a little bit more of a challenge, so I went to small, multiplying green onions just fine. Thyme, rosemary, dill, ginger, Oriental lemongrass. and others were a pleasure to snip with the scissors and just throw in the pot, in the pan, or onto the grill. Dried stuff from the supermarket just doesn't work as good, so maybe this fall it will get better for gardening.

I don't eat a lot in the summer but somehow, making a small amount with just the right herbs really does something. Even parsley, now that stuff is good for ya!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tiki Summer Days

It's hard to believe that Memorial Day came and went, and now it's full summer, and hot enough to prove it. The island business and traffic seems to be jumping along quite well, steady so far. Anyway, this picture appealed to me, the old car, the bikini babe, and the Tiki - now that's summer for ya!

We're lucky so far, since although we need the rain the weather has been kind to us. There were a few good offshore fishing days right after the wind quit after memorial Day, but it's back up to 20 to 30 MPH and I couldn't hitch a ride on a boat - so surfing will have to do. Gosh I love all kinds of surfing, and the ocean breeze makes it feel cooler.

Ah, the Tiki. Not sure what it means than tacky bars with weird drinks like the Zombie, Mai Tai, Scorpion Bowl, and Navy Grog. Of course, the Wanna-Wanna has a similar three-rum drink with the similar two-drink limit - it'll make you "wanna" a little too much I guess. It's about the glaring sun, the shocking moonlight, the secret looks at cuties, the lazy, tacky, do-nothing days of summer. Let's go build a semi-pornographic sand castle, yippie!