tagged w/ Local Politics
After three plus hours of testimony and the agony of parsing definitions during this second hearing of an ordinance violation, Mr. Vern Verduin of Gaines Township wins the right of Free Speech!
Mr. Verduin parked two semi-truck trailers on his 40 acre farm that violated the 20 square feet allowed for political signs. His signs stated: Marxism/Socialism = Poverty and Hunger and Obama’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ : 8% Unemployment 16 Trillion Debt. If the signs advertised his business, the signs could have been twice as big. He was fined for violating the township ordinance after declaring his right to free speech by leaving the signs up.
Gaines Township took legal action against Mr. Verduin in an attempt to force him into compliance. After deliberating permanent vs temporary signs, content based vs content neutral, and debating the definition of vehicular signs, Judge Steven Servaas of 63rd District Court declared Gaines Township’s sign ordinance unconstitutional “because there is a distinction between commercial and political”. The Judge added that the law has to treat commercial and political speech the same. The Township’s ordinance allows a bigger sign to sell a product than a political idea. Constitutionally, this ordinance is upside down. The proper role of government is to protect the rights of the people; one of the most fundamental rights being the First Amendment.
As Mr. Howard VanDenHeuvel, the defendent’s attorney, states: “Political speech is the most valuable type of speech…and should be given the strictest protections.”
Full Story: http://mindsofliberty.com/2013/04/first-amendment-victory-in-michigan/#sthash.kxyschOg.IjwodRBD.dpufAfter three plus hours of testimony and the agony of parsing definitions during this... more
Tuesday is Wisconsin's recall election and the stakes are high for progressives. Not only does the vote provide a chance to outst Republican Gov. Scott Walker, but it could also be a preview to November.
We've rounded up a primer on the recall election, as well as a list of ways you can help (even if you don't live in Wisconsin).
What are you doing to help the recall efforts?
(Photo: Getty Images)Tuesday is Wisconsin's recall election and the stakes are high for progressives.... more
When conservatives successfully dismantled ACORN, a powerful voice for the disadvantaged was lost on the national, state and local levels. Although no other community organizing group has ACORN's size or power, there are still many organizations that perform similar works.When conservatives successfully dismantled ACORN, a powerful voice for the... more
News and opinion about the secret sewage deal in Winnipeg Manitoba and its relation to municipal politics.News and opinion about the secret sewage deal in Winnipeg Manitoba and its relation to... more
How many political ads have you seen in your TV viewing this cycle? Be it Obama or McCain ads, or perhaps the congressional candidates... Maybe even hotly contested local races in your area have peppered stations with their advertisements showing flawless figures (coming off like robots) pleading for votes.
A Get Out the Vote effort in the Tampa Bay area called Vote Local Now has been responsible for promoting the down ballot candidates through the area by way of online videos and other promotions that raise the Name ID of the candidates. And in an attempt to spice things up, a new element has been added to the these online clips: Humor.
Yeah, it's a blooper reel... And shows these people are real. How many political ads have you seen in your TV viewing this cycle? Be it Obama or... more
TouchArt's friend Bill Brown up in Taos, New Mexico sent this good news from green architect and visionary Santa Fean Ed Mazria on how our city councils can help save the earth.
Greetings, All -- Pertinent Sage West Consultants' work on the Town of Taos, New Mexico High Performance Building Ordinance is the article below indicating how local building codes "...are fast becoming the Titans in the battle against climate change."
To get an idea of the numbers involved in energy use by buildings and sectors, see http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pzrff2j0rl2yXwUi2YAPWRg
As always, please contact Sage West Consultants principals with your questions.
See http://gristmill.grist.org/print/2008/7/8/15370/78756?show_comments=no for additional tabular information and guest comments on the article below.
-- Bill Brown for Sage West Consultants
Read Ed Mazria's essay at link below.
From TouchArt.net and OneEarthBlog.blogspot.com
where everyday, is, and always has been, Earth Day.TouchArt's friend Bill Brown up in Taos, New Mexico sent this good news from... more
The two competing ballot proposals concern redevelopment in the Bayview/Hunter's Point neighborhoods.
Prop F supporters say:
"Proposition F guarantees that 50% of the housing in the proposed Bayview-Hunters Point development is affordable to working families. This means that people with incomes under $92,000 per year can purchase the new homes at below-market rates - so valued members of the San Francisco workforce can live in the city they serve."
Prop G supporters say that guaranteeing 50% will scare off the builder, The Lennar Corporation, and pretty much dash hopes for any redevelopment; they propose a lower percentage, around 25%.
Would love to hear comments on how people plan to vote - I'm up in the air but leaning toward Yes on F, no on G. It's one of the harder ballot questions I can remember in recent years.
The two competing ballot proposals concern redevelopment in the Bayview/Hunter's... more
Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 – June 4, 2004) was a skilled American welder and owner of an automobile muffler repair shop. On June 4, 2004, frustrated over a failed zoning dispute, Heemeyer used a Komatsu D355A bulldozer modified with armor in the forms of steel and concrete to demolish the town hall, a former judge's home and other buildings in Granby, Colorado. The rampage ended when the bulldozer became immobilized. After a standoff with law enforcement agencies, Heemeyer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 – June 4, 2004) was a skilled American... more
SOIL AND SAND
A film by Alex van Boer
I grew up in the small hamlet of Sagaponack, a rural Eastern Long island, New York farming community, where I spent the first twelve years of my life. During the last few decades, Sagaponack has undergone some major changes; widespread development, skyrocketing land values and the end of many local family farms. A combination of video and oral history, my senior high school project is a short documentary on the community during its current bid for incorporation, an attempt by its citizens to protect the home that they love. Through a series of interviews throughout this tumultuous time (2005), the film explores how residents are dealing with these changes and their aspirations for Sagaponacks future.
Film Date: January 2006
Film Running Time : 15:30
Original Film Format: Mini DV
Presentation Formats; DVD, DVCAM, DIGIBETA
World Premiere: Hamptons International Film Festival (Oct. 2006)
Awards: Carolina Film and Video Festival (February 2007)
TV: PBS / WLIW 21- Snapshot- Program 117 ( March 2007)
SOIL AND SAND A film by Alex van Boer I grew up in the small hamlet... more
This guys supporters might have looked like this guy at the end of the long day of campaigningThis guys supporters might have looked like this guy at the end of the long day of... more
Bay Area officials may ask voters to approve a new gasoline tax - perhaps 10 cents per gallon - to pay for transportation projects even though Californians already pay some of the nation's highest gas taxes.
Combine the federal, state and local taxes, and you're paying about 59 cents for every gallon you buy in California. That's roughly 13 cents more than the national average, enough to give us the nation's third-highest gasoline taxes behind New York and Hawaii.
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to commute exclusively on public transportation. Others have to commute from far & wide exclusively by car and are already feeling the pinch at the pump. Are you willing to pay for more for gas in order to possibly help fight global warming? Do you even trust the govt agencies collecting these taxes to spend the money as it should be?Bay Area officials may ask voters to approve a new gasoline tax - perhaps 10 cents per... more
Thank you very much! We already have 80 - yes 80 Starbucks in San Francisco.
Starbucks' effort to flood San Francisco with coffee shops ground to a halt Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors blocked a new outlet in the Richmond District under chain store regulations passed by voters last fall.The board voted 9-1 to overturn the Planning Commission's June approval of a Starbucks at the corner of Geary Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, killing the proposal.Thank you very much! We already have 80 - yes 80 Starbucks in San Francisco.... more