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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Quote du jour

"Three hots and a cot is more than I got." -- Biloxi, Mississippi resident Elaine Parker, whose house and neighborhood are threatened by plans to build casinos and other touristy crap in the wake of Katrina. The context for the quote, from the NY Times:
Ms. Harris's fears are resounding through Point Cadet's shattered streets as wholesale land clearing by the government rolls slowly westward from the point's eastern tip. Three blocks from the water on Oak Street, Martha Bryant, 44, a licensed contractor, said she is rebuilding her house with her friend, Richard Fredrickson, despite what she sees as resistance from the city.

"They've made my life a living hell since they found out I'm going to move back there," Ms. Bryant said, requiring permits that she found excessive.

She noted that plans for a $400 million Golden Nugget resort with a 60,000-square-foot casino near her home were announced in late November.

"They want to put up an amusement park, a golf course," she said. "I'm east of Oak Street. They're saying everything east of Oak is going to go."

Ms. Bryant, who owns a painting business, erected a multicolored plywood sign on the front of her house that reads: "Hell No I Won't Go."

Her neighbor Elaine Parker, 61, with whom Ms. Bryant made a pact not to sell their houses, hung a protest sign as well. It read: "Now Recruiting Point Cadet Militia People vs. City."

Soon after she hung the sign behind her front fence, a city code enforcement officer came and took it down, she said, for being on city property.

"Of course, you had to be born and raised on Point Cadet to understand the humor in it," Ms. Parker said. Point Cadet has historically been a tough part of town. "We've lost everything, and now are you going to take my sense of humor away from me?"

Ms. Parker asked the enforcement officer whether she could hang the sign on her house, well within her property line. "He said a citation will be issued and you will be put in jail for up to two days," she recalled.

"Can I get 30 days?" she said she asked him. "Because three hots and a cot is more than I got."
It's depressing to read that the "New Urbanists" seem to have teamed up with MS governor Haley Barbour and other Repug developer types in the vegas-ification of the Gulf Coast. I've admired New Urbanism's plans for walkable communities, but I don't think Myrtle Beach should be the model, and it shouldn't be built over the homes and objections of long-time residents. If the only future the Gulf region has is gambling and golf, well, it has no future.