Friday, October 19, 2007

From the "I Can See It Coming From A Mile Away" Department...

I wondered what the excavation equipment was doing in front of the Clay Center when I passed by yesterday. This article in the Gazette solved the mystery. They are moving ahead with the first phase of the landscaping plan that will provide a softer look to the large sterile front lawn, and part of that plan is for a bunch of low granite seatwalls that will "give schoolchildren that extra place to sit and eat their lunch."

I don't it takes a rocket scientist to see what is going to happen soon after the project is completed.

Remember Slack Plaza? Remember how Mayor Jones, tired of the rabble sitting around on the low seatwalls there had "loafer rails" installed to make it less comfortable for people to sit on them? Then he had the shade-providing trees cut down to make it less hospitable. Have we forgotten? It was only last year.

I would like to remind us all that the Clay Center is located less than two blocks from three homeless facilities, soon to be four with the addition of the new veteran's shelter. Once the landscaping plan is finished there will be dozens of homeless folks who will want to use the nice shady area as their daytime gathering area. I don't blame them; it looks like it will be a nice place to sit and relax.

But how long will it be before people will complain about the large gathering of homeless people on the corner that will serve as the primary gateway entrance to the city? How long will it be before those school children are denied the use of the seating because of the homeless patrons who claimed it first?

How long will it be before the Clay Center calls up the Mayor to ask him where they can buy loafer rails and chainsaws?

Why are Clay Center leaders so oblivious to issues in our city and out-of-phase with City government? Are they really that "pie-in-the-sky" in their planning processes?

Years ago in the "B.C." cartoon series, B.C. was often shown leaning on a rock that had the word "Answers" scrawled on the front. Other characters would come and ask questions and he would provide a snappy answer. In one cartoon Peter asks B.C "What makes you think you're so smart?", to which B.C. replied, "Your questions." That's kind of how I feel about this blog - "why do I think I am qualified to make criticisms of the Clay Center's and City government decisions?" Well, it's simply because they keep making me feel smart.


Drifter said...

you have a point, but there is a distinction-- although perhaps one that will not be exploited. Slack Plaze is city property open to the public and the city cannot remove people who are not caught violating the law.

The Clay Center is owned by a private non-profit foundation and has the legal right to require people to leave for no reason beyond that they are not paying for use and are unwanted on the property. Now, it would be troublesome PR to have the Gazette write about CC security guards running off folks (whether there is an aspect of profiling and only poor looking folks are tossed or it simply runs off all non-paying interlopers including downtown workers enjoying an al fresco lunch) but it could be done.

Wv Sky said...

And when the "Greenspace" (Park) is completed across the street from the Clay Center, it will be like Disneyland for the homeless. Personally.. I like it! It's about time the high and mighty felt the wrath of the Rev Jim Lewis!

Olfrt said...

I made the mistake of standing on the corner at the Clay Center with a sign for the Vote NO group. I was asked to leave by the security folks of the Clay Center. I can only wonder how they will treat the unwanted folks that will visit the area.
I of course told them to fly a kite,it stunned them, after I explained it was the sidewalk and they had no say.