Money, Money, Money, Ad Nauseam
- Money, Money, Money,Ad NauseamJudson Witham, an Ozark, Mo. (Christian County) JAILer, jurisnot@..., provides the following information of what is going on in the beautiful Ozarks. His source is the News-Leader Newspaper, but I am willing to believe that there has been some latitude exhibited in the reproduction of this article.Developer$ $ee new life in NEW blighted di$trictThe New WALMART Center and NEW Big Development$ next door had nothing to do with this PLEA$EDidi Tang
News-LeaderOZARK Private developer$ Thur$day night told an Ozark board that a blighted river$ide neighborhood could tran$form into a lively di$trict with loft$, $hops and community amenitie$ with unique architecture.
$ome al$o $uggested realigning $treet$ in the area, including con$tructing a roundabout where Jackson $treet curve$ into Third $treet or building a new thoroughfare acro$$ the neighborhood.
"It'$ exciting," Ozark Mayor Donna McQuay $aid $hortly after five development team$ pre$ented their propo$als to the Ozark Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority on the 47-acre neighborhood that was declared blighted last year. Kelo - Kelo - Kelo HELLO
"I like the roundabout," she said. "... I love the architecture. It'll leave a legacy."
But Shirley Jensen, who has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years, was far less excited.
"Leave me alone," she said. "Let me die in peace in my home."
Her house appears to be intact in two of the plans but is the site of new buildings or a roadway in the other three.
Rhonda Jones, also a resident in the neighborhood, asked the authority about its plan to preserve existing homes.
City Attorney David Collignon soon reassured Jones that the developer$' proposal$ are merely conceptual.
"All we do is to throw out ideas," he told Jones. LIAR
The authority is scheduled to meet in a work SeSSion at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to review all five proposal$.
They will be looking at Kevin Carleton's plan, in which the $pringfield developer proposes to build a new road west of Third $treet, con$truct a civic center along the river and extend Elm Street westward.
They will be looking at Jan Blase'$ plan, in which the Hollister consultant $uggest$ a di$trict with fountain$, condominium$ and $hop$.
They will be looking at Jerry and Bo Hagerman$' plan, in which the $pringfield planners envision $treetfront $tore$ along Third $treet, eight-plexe$ where a mobile home park $tand$ now and a new thoroughfare connecting the downtown $quare to the river and then to $outhwest Ozark.
They will be looking at Ron Hill'$ plan, in which the Ozark architect infuses the river district with European style.
And they will be looking at a plan by two Arkan$a$ firm$, in which the developer$ talk about $mells of bread and sounds of flowing water.
John Olson, president of $pringdale, Ark.-ba$ed RS Morri$ Companie$, and Bob Werner of Buffalo were the only development team that came to the authority Thursday without a map.
Instead, the duo touted their credential$, such as their involvement with BranSon Landing and $tonebridge Village in Bran$on, and they promi$ed to create "a unique, master-planned, retail, restaurant and entertainment de$tination that provides a vibrant, quality life$tyle for local re$idents and busine$$e$." (JUST NOT THOSE CURRENTLY LIVNG THERE)
Hill, who was the $econd to take the podium, talked about his travel$ to Europe, showed a $lide of a French town on a waterfront and promised to capture Old World elegance.
Hill's$plan, at lea$t in its fir$t pha$e, leave$ much of the neighborhood intact. However, he proposes to construct a roundabout where Jackson Street turns into Third Street and from there to spin a new street into the neighborhood. Better Than Nothing
He $ugge$t$ an amphitheater and a civic center be built where the trailer park is.
In their plan, the Hagerman$ al$o propo$e a roundabout at the $ame location, but they extend the neighborhood into the area east of Third Street, where the father-and-son team suggests a municipal facility can be located there.
But the main feature of their plan is a curved thoroughfare that starts near the downtown square, peaks at the river and flows down to connect with 17th Street.
Blase, who has developers Pat O'Reilly and Ron Middleton on his team, presented a neighborhood renamed "Finley River Springs," in which one- to two-story buildings will dominate the skyline and water will flow through the district.
Blase's team also briefed the authority about marketing and financial plans.
"They came prepared," said Frank Lorenz, who owns the Old Cheese Factory.
Carleton was the last one to appear before the authority.
"We try to breathe life into downtown," he said.
In his plan, only a small portion is designated for residential, but Carleton said he wants lofts above stores.
Also, his plan calls for parking lots in the center of the neighborhood, surrounded by stores to the east, community facilities such as a library and a recreational center to the north, and a bowling alley and a cinema to the south.
Stephen Ray, owner of the Third Street Books, said he is confident that he can keep his bookstore, noting it is adjacent to the Spring Creek tearoom, a popular Ozark eatery.
"I'm excited," he said. "I like to see growth."
But Pam Cooper, who lives in the mobile home park, asked the authority whether the district, once redeveloped, would have room for low-income families.
There is no answer yet, and members of the authority said they are seeking public input on the redevelopment plan.J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California July 15, 2005
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______________________________________________________It should be noted that while this article is dated, the subject matter is not. -Ron Branson
Jailing the innocent
Paul Craig Roberts
Every day, many Americans commit crimes of which they are unaware. Many of the crimes with which Americans are charged are absurd.
One recent case brought to light by Ellen Podgor and Paul Rosenzweig is that of three Americans sentenced in federal court to eight years in prison for importing lobster tails from Honduras in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes. Why this matters, no one knows. Moreover, the importers of the lobster tails have no responsibility for how the seafood was packed in Honduras.
Federal prosecutors decided that Honduran law was violated by the shipment because a few tails (3 percent of the shipment) were less than 5.5 inches in length.
The Honduran government objects to this interpretation of its law and filed a brief in behalf of the defendants, but federal judges nevertheless convicted their fellow citizens for violating the Lacey Act by importing "fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law."
To ensure a harsh sentence, the prosecutors loaded up charges against the defendants by bringing indictments for smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy. Smuggling is inferred from a few of the tails allegedly being undersized and illegal. Money laundering is charged because the lobster purchase and sale required money to be deposited in a bank. Conspiracy is charged on the basis that more than one person was involved.
In other words, these are totally trumped-up crimes.
The upshot is that three Americans have had their lives ruined by federal prosecutors and judges for violating a Honduran law that the Honduran president, attorney general and embassy say is not on their country's statute books.
For reasons no one knows, federal prosecutors spent six months trying to find reasons in Honduran law to indict the American importers of the lobster tails. If it took federal prosecutors six months to find something in foreign law that they could allege the importers to have violated, how could the importers possibly have known that they could be imprisoned for the ordinary everyday business of importing lobster tails for restaurants?
Legal scholars such as Rosenzweig at the Heritage Foundation and Erik Luna at the University of Utah Law School are calling attention to the overcriminalization that has made it impossible in America to conduct ordinary business activities without risk of indictment. It is tyrannical to burden Americans with the substantive obligation of knowing how federal prosecutors might interpret every foreign law. No sane person could regard the lobster importers' conduct as criminal. Liberty is extinguished where law is so broad and vague as to entrap even the most honest citizen.
Naive Americans tend to regard miscarriages of justice, such as the lobster import case, as rare examples of legal idiocy that somehow will be corrected by the legal system. However, such cases are routine and are seldom if ever corrected. In America today, law enforcement boils down to the exercise of power by unaccountable prosecutors. Justice is not served by ensnaring the innocent.
Married men who happen to own guns are being turned into felons by wives who ask for restraining orders when they file for divorce. Prosecutors interpret restraining orders as criminalizing prior gun ownership. A restraining order turns a law-abiding gun owner into a criminal. It is an example of unconstitutional ex post facto law at its worst.
Americans are uniformed about the tyrannical nature of their criminal justice system. Until they become personally ensnared in the system, Americans believe that police and prosecutors would never convict an innocent person. Once they experience the system, Americans are terrified by the system's indifference to whether a defendant has committed a crime.
Mary Sue Terry, former attorney general of the Commonwealth of Virginia, says the concern of the justice system "has turned from seeking truth to seeking convictions, and our post-conviction efforts are focused on denying any further review."
Ever widening arrest powers are bringing a reality check to more and more Americans. Just before Christmas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a police officer who discovers contraband in a car can arrest every occupant if no one admits to ownership of the illicit item. Warn your teen-agers never to get into a car with acquaintances who might have alcohol, drugs or weapons. And be careful whose car you get into yourself.
In a recent Cato Policy Report, Erik Luna says that "the sheer number of idiosyncratic laws and the scope of discretionary enforcement" are making criminals out of many Americans who had no intent to break a law or any knowledge that they had.
A country that goes out of its way to imprison the innocent has no business preaching democracy to the world.
©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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