I am not a political blogger by any stretch but I'm going to go out on a limb and state, in no uncertain terms, that telling people they can't grow vegetables in their own front yard is way past where I draw the line on government involvement in our lives. If it's not an illegal crop, the government shouldn't have any right to tell people they can't grow it on their own property.
But in today's news I ran across a story that is slightly different but no less remarkable in its ability to make you shake your head and ask "what is this world coming to?" In this case, the owner of an urban coffee shop in Philadelphia took it upon himself to clean up a city-owned vacant lot that had 40 tons - 80,000 pounds - of garbage at his own expense. And then he went a step further and paid to have the lot landscaped with benches, fencing and cherry trees. He did so after making 24 phone calls, 7 written requests and 4 in-office visits to the city's Redevelopment Authority to have them take care of it and all of those requests were ignored or refused. What's worse, the city had actually cited him in 2011 for the litter on this lot even though the city now acknowledges that he doesn't own the lot.
|The city's unimproved lot filled with refuse.|
And what thanks does he get from the city? Do they sheepisly forgive him the citation they wrote? Do they thank him and honor him as someone striving to make the city a better place? How about a symbolic slap on the back and an 'atta boy? Nope. They'd rather slap him with a lawsuit. Apparently the city sees this action as trespassing and unauthorized alteration of private property.
|After the clean-up and re-landscaping|