Sign in to follow this  
spenser1058

Adios Au Revoir Auf Wiedersehen...Good Night!

Recommended Posts

Whether it's the beginning of zoning in Euclid, Ohio or the monumental decision to dedicate what could have become monumentally valuable real estate in the middle of Manhattan to parkland, the built environment is affected by government in politics.

That happens at every level: whether it's the city imposing the "visor" requirement to move away from the monotonous flat -topped high rises of the 60's or preserving historic neighborhoods from being levelled by rapacious developers. At the county level trying to hold off sprawl in the ecologically sensitive areas between the Econ and the St Johns. In Tallahassee, choosing to keep growth management statutes in place (or not) so the beauty of Florida depicted in Cross Creek still exists for our grandkids.

Yes, even at the federal level, where decisions by the EPA determine whether the air over Orlando is as deadly as Beijing's or as pure as the remotest region of the Rockies. HUD, which tries to figure out how cities can be affordable enough to live in to prosper. Our favorite topic, the FAA, deciding how tall downtown's buildings will be near Herndon Airport.

If you think any of those things happen without politics, you're wrong. One of my friends who worked for Sen. Paula Hawkins, for example, worked on persuading the bureaucrats to grant Sun Bank a variance to build a tower 441' tall. Given how most on this board think it should be even higher, aren't you glad a politician was there to make the case?

At the end of the day, every decision in our built environment is determined, for good or ill, by the political process.

But there's so much more than that. Particularly in Orlando, our strong-mayor systems ensures that the occupants of the office determines the very fabric of our region. Transit? Diversity? Public amenities? Each of those happened (or didn't) because politicians (and a heck of a lot of public debate) decided what we wanted Orlando to be when it grows up.

For me, growing up in the unincorporated county with hardly any parks, no nearby libraries  and a horrible privately-owned bus system to get to the "good stuff" downtown, it's been amazing to watch the changes for the better even as I bemoan the demise of acres of orange groves and the pervasive fragrance of orange blossoms in the spring. I also swam in Sand Lake and Rock Springs, able to look and see the bottom without worry that bacterial levels might kill me.

On the other hand, I stood at Buddy Dyer's first victory party as mayor where he noted how important the gay community had been to his success and knew for the first time that I was welcome in my own hometown.

All of that, my very history, is politics. Having been involved since age 12 starting with a chat with Lawton Chiles on Colonial Drive on his first walk across Florida, I know how the system works. I also know most people don't really understand the very odd combination of layers contained in our republic. 

That's why I'm willing to cut a lot of slack when folks go off on tangents when discussing how to make things better. Even if they go off into FOX News alternative facts land, it's because they're trying to make sense of our community. When it gets too crazy, I've generally just ignored the posts. I also welcome those who ignore my posts when I delve into how we got to a particular place and how we can use that history to move forward with fewer errors.

Today, from the responses I saw, I realized such digressions are no longer welcome on our board. So, I want to thank all of you for helping me see different viewpoints about our city and will simply lurk on these pages so as not to risk upsetting anyone. I wish everyone the best and the best for Orlando.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


If you're truly gone forever, please let me know if there is elsewhere you're going. Your posts are one of the main reasons I come to this forum. Thanks for all you've posted here over the years.

As for the politics, it is a shame that we can't have actual conversations about these things. I'd call it Trumpism but this crap from GOP voters has been going on far longer than Trump has. The Obama era was just basically nonstop Trumpism from establishment GOP. My GOP friends who try to distance themselves from Trump are the same ones who supported people like Palin. Palin was just Trump Light. They've been enabling this total intellectual disaster for a generation.

Now it shows up on this forum, and is rebuked for ... you know, obvious reasons. Sane reasons. To any reasonable person, anyway. It's met with, "Hey now this is no place for politics." What a joke. Everyone should pile on to the people spreading this misinformation. It's a crime against humanity, it's dishonest, disrespectful and just all around immoral.

I suspect that's just their way of dealing with it. Avoidance. I'm not wired that way. You aren't either. But I get it. It's exhausting.

Sorry to see you go. It will be a great loss for this forum. And what we got in return was a loss too.

 

Edited by castorvx
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I don't mind the digressions from "both sides" (although I am quietly judging some of you just as I would judge a cukoo bag lady ranting in public :P). I think some people get a little salty when a new post appears on a development thread when they are expecting the comment to be breaking news when instead it's just general conversation. I understand if that's where they're coming from, but OTOH having a moderator chop up the conversation and move it elsewhere really kills the mood. I wish there was a way to toggle back and forth on the same thread into an easily accessible coffee house subsection about each topic for those of who like to let the conversation meander "off topic". That way the thread can remain cut and dry for some - yet still be juicy for the rest of us who wish to delve deeper. Of course we're limited to the capabilities of this site, but I really think wikipedia-like talk page that offers dual layer convos about each topic would be the best compromise. If only I were a developer...

I recall a few years ago when you disappeared for a hot minute for whatever reason, and honestly this forum was just not the same. There are a few of you UP veterans that have contributed a certain character to this site over the years which IMO is the reason why the Orlando subforum is so active (when compared to other FL cities).

Spencer I hope you reconsider your decision. The electoral college does not always reflect the popular vote. There are many of us who enjoy and look forward to what you bring to the table, digressions and all ;). And as much as you like to remind us that you've been around the block for a while (hehe) I find it hard to believe that you would roll over and croak so easily since I'm sure you've endured worse... Unless what you're doing is choosing not to halve the baby in two; but then you must also consider the quality of life that proverbial baby will have lol. Good luck with whatever you decide.

UP cities.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

Whether it's the beginning of zoning in Euclid, Ohio or the monumental decision to dedicate what could have become monumentally valuable real estate in the middle of Manhattan to parkland, the built environment is affected by government in politics.

That happens at every level: whether it's the city imposing the "visor" requirement to move away from the monotonous flat -topped high rises of the 60's or preserving historic neighborhoods from being levelled by rapacious developers. At the county level trying to hold off sprawl in the ecologically sensitive areas between the Econ and the St Johns. In Tallahassee, choosing to keep growth management statutes in place (or not) so the beauty of Florida depicted in Cross Creek still exists for our grandkids.

Yes, even at the federal level, where decisions by the EPA determine whether the air over Orlando is as deadly as Beijing's or as pure as the remotest region of the Rockies. HUD, which tries to figure out how cities can be affordable enough to live in to prosper. Our favorite topic, the FAA, deciding how tall downtown's buildings will be near Herndon Airport.

If you think any of those things happen without politics, you're wrong. One of my friends who worked for Sen. Paula Hawkins, for example, worked on persuading the bureaucrats to grant Sun Bank a variance to build a tower 441' tall. Given how most on this board think it should be even higher, aren't you glad a politician was there to make the case?

At the end of the day, every decision in our built environment is determined, for good or ill, by the political process.

But there's so much more than that. Particularly in Orlando, our strong-mayor systems ensures that the occupants of the office determines the very fabric of our region. Transit? Diversity? Public amenities? Each of those happened (or didn't) because politicians (and a heck of a lot of public debate) decided what we wanted Orlando to be when it grows up.

For me, growing up in the unincorporated county with hardly any parks, no nearby libraries  and a horrible privately-owned bus system to get to the "good stuff" downtown, it's been amazing to watch the changes for the better even as I bemoan the demise of acres of orange groves and the pervasive fragrance of orange blossoms in the spring. I also swam in Sand Lake and Rock Springs, able to look and see the bottom without worry that bacterial levels might kill me.

On the other hand, I stood at Buddy Dyer's first victory party as mayor where he noted how important the gay community had been to his success and knew for the first time that I was welcome in my own hometown.

All of that, my very history, is politics. Having been involved since age 12 starting with a chat with Lawton Chiles on Colonial Drive on his first walk across Florida, I know how the system works. I also know most people don't really understand the very odd combination of layers contained in our republic. 

That's why I'm willing to cut a lot of slack when folks go off on tangents when discussing how to make things better. Even if they go off into FOX News alternative facts land, it's because they're trying to make sense of our community. When it gets too crazy, I've generally just ignored the posts. I also welcome those who ignore my posts when I delve into how we got to a particular place and how we can use that history to move forward with fewer errors.

Today, from the responses I saw, I realized such digressions are no longer welcome on our board. So, I want to thank all of you for helping me see different viewpoints about our city and will simply lurk on these pages so as not to risk upsetting anyone. I wish everyone the best and the best for Orlando.

Listen.... If what I (and one or two others) said about leaving politics out of our discussions had anything at all to do with your decision, please understand that I personally, was just expressing an opinion. I am not offended by political discourse even though it does tend to get a tad ugly sometimes. But if anyone or everyone else is willing to tolerate things occasionally descending into vituperative ideological arguments, I'm perfectly willing to tolerate it right along with everyone else.

Do some of us think politics is better left for other forums? Sure. But that is one POV and no one person or group of people outside of the board admin, have any say so over what is allowable for discussion here.

It is therefore that I encourage you to reconsider. This board needs as many participating members as possible to keep it fun and interesting. By leaving or not posting anymore, you are in effect, punishing the entire board for a simple opinion expressed by a few of us, about a very narrow issue. I don't think that is fair of you.

The same would apply to anyone else.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What! We are breaking up? Don't go! 

The voice of a few does not represent the whole. I have no qualms with a political discussion that relates to the complex social and city dealings that make cities unique. 

Whats been happening recently is borderline trolling and that should be called out for what it is.

I too, suggest you reconsider as we all universally enjoy your commentary and I think this provides a sense of enjoyment for you as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spenser1058, I urge you to reconsider. 

I said my peace to defend my stance on the point I was trying to make to those who reacted adversely to it.   Yes, I read Castorvx's post above.  I also read Prahaboheme's "borderline trolling" comment as well.  It's all good.  But replying to them right now is not the purpose of my post. 

I don't know if you're at all upset at my analogy that I posted about or not; I really don't know.  You did mention Fox News alternative facts though in your post, so I assume that maybe you are or might be, or might just be upset at the overall situation.  That's what it kinda sounds like.  That wasn't the intent.  Believe me, from an historical and analytical standpoint, the information and viewpoints you've discussed on these boards is fantastic and insightful.  I too am passionate about where we live, and more so, the direction our country is going in.  I worry about that.

Anyway, I personally want you to stay.  If I ever stirred a hornet's nest I assure you it wasn't intentionally, contrary to Prahaboheme's "trolling" comment.  And I don't want him to go either in spite of that comment.  And I don't want Castorvx to go either even though he goes off on a tirade about outright intimidation and censorship of a viewpoint that he disagrees with by calling it misinformation and having others pile on as well.  It's fine.  No offense taken if it was intended for me.

I agree with you that based on the responses that you saw that the perception is that "such digressions are no longer welcome on our board."  I wouldn't take it that way.  Some people are just more passionate than others is all.  It's all good though.  I think it does people good to hear a contrasting viewpoint.  Same goes for me.

Come back.

BTW, just so that you or anyone else knows, I did a breakdown of my closest friends and relatives, and colleagues, and believe it or not, the vast super majority of them think like most of the UP members here do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't ever come to the Coffee House because I'm only here for development news, so somehow I missed you leaving until it was referenced in other threads and I came to look.

I'll just say from my point of view... saying:

  1. "Rick Scott killed HSR, which led to this, this, this happening." or
  2. "The Demopublicans of 19xx led the charge that caused projects like ______ to fail." or
  3. "The Republicrats led by Political McPoliticsface were the ones who made this part of town so awesome with projects like _______."

is a ton different than some of the garbage people bring politics into.  That's not insulting and it's fine.  It's history and it's great to know why things happened and how they molded our area.

 

 

It really cheapens points made when partisan politics get involved.  Instant red flags for the conversation turning useless TO ME are things like "the liberal media" or "the conservative pundits" or "the left/right always does _____"

This forum is about Urban Development.  I totally understand that politics makes all development grow.  No brainer.  HOWEVER, insulting people who don't think like you do in the process of talking about it only detracts, it doesn't impart knowledge, it doesn't focus on the one that every person here is here for... it intentionally divides people and insults people.

 

You can be Republican, Democrat, Green, Labor, Communist, Socialist, Politically Atheist, Conservative, Liberal, Moderate, Seussian, Martian, whatever and still have an interest in Urban Development.

I firmly live by the motto that you don't make yourself better by making someone else look worse.  I try hard to do that.  I don't always do a perfect job of it, but you have to at least try to focus on what unites people instead of dividing people.  Notable exception being people who like concrete lattice work, those folks are evil.  :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a member of the Brise Soleil Party.

We advocate for the addition of brise soleils on all public buildings.

Our goal is a constitutional amendment.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While we often don't see eye-to-eye, because I don't have the same fondness for things having value simply for being historical, I also realize that I didn't grow up here and don't have those memories and connections.  With that said, the history and stories you provide are an immeasurable value to this community.  We'll all play nice :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to thank everyone for the truly kind words. I've been grateful to be a part of this community for almost 11 years now. I'll have more to say later this afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.