Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mosh Pit

I read on Facebook this morning that my niece went to a rock concert and was in the mosh pit. I've never been to a concert that had a mosh pit. I can only imagine what it's like being shoved, pushed or nearly crushed by a crowd of loud sweaty people I don't know. I think I would be overwhelmed. That's sort of how I feel right now, which is why I haven't posted for two weeks. Unusual for someone who has plenty to say about everything, like the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the right wing idiocy that has followed and the complete lack of common sense of Roseanne Barr, who posted on Twitter the home address of Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman. Or the Supreme Court hearing arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and diminishing its importance by equating it to forcing every American to eat broccoli. Or the failed attempts of Mitt Romney to convince voters that he feels their pain...while building a 10,000 square foot home on a bluff in La Jolla, California, with an elevator for his cars ("I love cars!" he has exclaimed on more than one occasion), while hiring a building code "lobbyist" to "walk through" all the city and building codes to be certain his new project is built to his specifications without interference from city officials. And that particular piece of information got me thinking....

Two weeks ago I wrote about the continued Kroger expansion and the new perimeter lights that have illuminated our property, providing daylight 24/7.

We've had some emails back and forth with Bryan Patrick, director of the city planning department. He apparently conveyed our concerns to Dennis Cobb, the senior construction manager for Kroger mid-central region. Within a few days, some of the perimeter lights were disabled except for the two lights adjacent to our property, which have remained lit. A few days later, residential shields were installed on some lights except for the same two adjacent lights. Those modified lights were turned on again and from what we can see, they shields appear to make a significant positive impact. So it appeared that we were on our way to Kroger's compliance with the terms and limitations of the PUD (Planned Unit Development) under which the expansion was approved. So why am I in a mood?

"And let me tell you why..." is a code phrase that Tom and I use to warn each other that a rant is about to take place. If one of us just needs to blow off steam, we call the other and when the other answers, we don't say "hello", we don't say "hi, how are you" or even "do you have a second". We merely say, "And let me tell you why...." and the other knows to merely respond by saying "go ahead" or "what" and the rant will begin.

So, And let me tell you why.... Last Thursday night we received an email from our neighbor simply stating that he noticed that Kroger's perimeter lights were back on and inquiring whether the light was "still as bright in your backyard ?" I sent this response, "It is still like daylight 24/7 in our backyard. Nothing has changed. The two lights at the far end next to Kroger have residential shields on them. Our light and the one behind Rod and Amanda's house do not have any shields. The shields that have been installed appear to make a difference." Our neighbor then forwarded our email to Bryan Patrick, who responded, "I will forward to Dennis Cobb tomorrow. Bryan"

Well, yeah, that's sort of what he did. What Bryan Patrick didn't do was explain to Dennis Cobb that Kroger was not in compliance with the PUD and advise him that the lights need to be turned off until they were in compliance. What Bryan Patrick didn't do was ask code enforcement to come out and evaluate the compliance of the other lights that have been adjusted. What Bryan Patrick didn't do was his job. What Bryan Patrick did was to let Dennis Cobb and Kroger know that the neighbors were complaining again. Yes, complaining, once again, that Kroger is not in compliance with the limitations and regulations set forth SPECIFICALLY to protect our quality of life and minimize the negative impact on the adjacent residential properties. Just what professional vernacular did Bryan Patrick use to convey the necessity for Kroger to immediately comply? He sent this email to Dennis Cobb, "Dennis, FYI - The lights are back on and the neighbors are not happy. Thanks, Bryan"

Reading over Bryan's words again makes my lips purse, my face turn red and the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The only words that come to my mind are What an asshole.

But, thanks to Mitt Romney, I finally figured it out. Kroger has hired their own city code lobbyist in the form of Dennis Cobb. We just need to come up with the dough to hire one of our own to fight for the rights and protections we were given at the outset.

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