sod it


One hears about road devolution, unfunded mandates and reductions in force. Insufficient funds at the state level. Why is there enough money for sod as University of Virginia beautifies for finals exercises this weekend.
Why not grass seed and straw in a time of austerity?

The cost of installing a lawn does vary depending upon how much work a homeowner is willing to do himself. It also depends upon the market. Price of sod can run between $0.50-$1.00 per square foot, with installation running between $150 and $300 per pallet. Grass seed costs about $0.01 per square foot. Installation varies widely depending upon the method used. Seed can be spread with rotary spreaders, or can be blown out of a hose with a material that keeps it in place. The cost of professional seeding is much lower than sodding, as it is less labor-intensive, and requires less energy to transport the materials.–lawncare.net

Arbor Day


Charlottesville schoolchildren measure the circumference of Quercus alba at Forest Hills Park.

CATS plaque
The Tree Stewards stressed that this tree is a survivor. Its life recently hasn’t been easy. It’s under professional care. Time will tell.


There is a saying about oaks, something to the effect of :
“They spend 100 years growing, 100 years thriving and 100 years dying.”
No telling how old these trees are. They were located on the woodland of the James Fife’s farm “Oak Lawn”. Thanks to the Fife folk for seeing beyond the timber value of these trees.


One of my few regrets in life is that I didn’t start planting trees earlier. Maybe these people will grow up without that regret.

Councilor Smith and TC chair Waters
Is there space for trees in Charlottesville? Do “ecosystem services” matter? These issues are under discussion by the Planning Commission and the City Council. Now there is a Tree Commission in the mix.

Light switch?

landing strip
This evening, 7:00-9:00 pm, there is a City roundtable discussion about budgetary matters. It’s hard to take these meetings seriously after many years, hard not to be sarcastic. The public attends, and speaks. Roundfile…

fine print
Budgets are about shepherding and allocating resources. The little money adds up to big money. Our City pats itself on the back for being “Green”. Buying battery operated cars. Hey fellows? Where is the light switch? 13.7 footcandles of light falling on that newspaper. The hot spots on the sidewalk are 47 footcandles! Super size me…
A lighting designer could take the electricity being used on this bridge and light a small village.
Elsewhere on Locust Avenue, north and south of the bridge, illumination levels are sensible, around 0.2 footcandles.


Running through the tanning salon.


Beneath the Locust Avenue bridge is the Richmond Road, Route 250. I tried the pedestrian experience beneath the bridge. There are narrow sidewalks on the left and right. Harrowing.

reenactors

confederate
Our City is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. That is put into perspective when one sees a 30th generation Japanese rice farmer displaced from ancestral fields by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear melt.
We don’t have that sort of multi-generational continuity here. We don’t have any 250 year old trees, people get impatient and cut the big ones down. We do have a nuke-u-lar plant the next county over. We care for the parts of our history that don’t interfere with the seamless operation of automobiles.
We are sensitive revisionists, we ask “is the military statuary appropriate?”
We remake the place. We remove the parts that offend. Then we apologize.

Teachable Moment

members of the public speak
Via the stepwise Parks and Rec ten part “Park Master Planning Process” members of the public are halfway to the finish line, the 18th hole, the goal posts, whatever lousy sports analogy you want to employ. Halfway to adoption by the City Council of a McIntire East Park Master Plan.
(One suggestion to P&R, can we take out the qualifier (Master)?
Were there UVA anthropologists/sociologists (or maybe systems engineers or religion majors) in the room February 28, in native dress, doing fieldwork? Extracting the academic relatable lessons from this painful and painstaking process?

Pictured above, Public Mtg. 4, the Venting phase. Earlier in the evening Chris Gensic oriented the Public and answered questions. Following Mr. Gensic the Public was invited to speak. The Public can be characterized in many dualistic ways. Male/Female, republican/democrat, grid/cul-de-sac, old/young, elitist/populist, eggheads/athletes, polemicists/harmonists, tree-hugging/bulldozing, orator/listener, round-ball/no-ball. The binary way of thinking is divisive, but we think like we walk.

And so people stood on their hind feet and said stuff. Mostly flights of rhetoric, emotional pleas, cants and rants. Some information emerged. For the hardy and open-minded, there were things to learn, as least two of the City Councilors dropped by.
NEXT MEETING: Monday, March 26th, 6:00pm at the Buford Middle School Auditorium, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Public Hearing.

flow chart

Many of the speakers represented the local chapter of The First Tee™ .
The First Tee™ was established by the World Golf Foundation in 1997 as a 501(c)3. The initial focus was on creating affordable access for those not previously exposed to the game of golf.
The First Tee™ headquarters is located in the World Golf Village, a 6300 acre real estate development (almost the size of Charlottesville). The World Golf Village is located South of Jacksonville Florida in St Johns County, I-95 south to exit 323, then take the International Golf Parkway.
As of today March 2, 2012 the average home price for homes for sale in World Golf Village is $270,214,
The First Tee™ headquarters gets a walk score of 46, it is located in a suburban landscape.
Honorary Chair of The First Tee™ is President George W. Bush. Former honorary chair was President George H.W. Bush.
The mission of The First Tee™ is “to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.”
The life-enhancing “Nine Core Values”:
– Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgement.
The CHO Chapter of The First Tee™ has been chartered since 2004 and is one of 202 Chapters operating in 46 states and five countries.

Amen.

Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story

Urban Design

Our City is currently involved in several urban design discussions simultaneously.
Are cities gender neutral? Our city, being Charlotte’s Ville. Maybe she can multitask. Talk about redesigning her central park and her bridge downtown and not cut off the wrong leg by mistake.
I have missed the bridge-design events & discussion. Watching the video by Dan Bluestone and Brian Wimer has me playing catch-up.

Why do we allow our bad things to happen to our cities? Why do we allow our cities to be designed by autos and fire engines?
Jim Kunstler talked a bit about the Law of Perverse Outcomes in his November 2011 “Eyesore of the Month”.

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_201111.html