[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re[2]: [at-l] Eminent domain

Well the issue is slightly different this time than in 1997. I think the 
issue then was
surly locals.   But I am still really torn about the viewshed aspect of the
Saddleback issue.  In fairness to those who have written via TP, they were told
to choose alternative number one.  But Bucky is right.....some of those letters
gave me the creeps. I WANT, IWANT, FOR ME, FOR MY HIKE, WHEN MY
TURN COMES.  I didn't read them all but I couldn't find any one who broke
with the prescribed formula and recommended any compromise or any
consideration for the rights of the people who bought the land fair and square
and could possible loose their right to control their own property.

I do understand and agree that dodging skiers would be uncool.  But this
whole thing is really starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I just can't
help but think of ALL the people who lost their homes and their heritage
to build the trail.  What a sacrifice they made, wether willing or not.
If you want to read what I posted about my family's experience, I dug it
out of the achieves and posted it below.  The thought that this new level
of viewshed protection might be extended to the whole trail is scary to
me.  I wonder if anyone has ever gathered the stories
of the people who used to call the AT home?  No answers here either.....
just asking myself if I' wouldn't be more averse to this 'taking' if it was
someone's home instead of someone's business.  And that makes me really

     Subject: [at-l] Re: Eminent domain
     From: kahlena <kahley7@ptd.net>
     Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 08:40:28 -0500
     Organization: not really

kahlena wrote:
 > This whole E.D. thing....I understand it is for the good of all
 > the people.
 > I understand we'd be poorer as a country without it.
 > In my previous post I said that public lands are precious to me...
 > more so, perhaps since I also understand what the proceedings
 > can do to people.
 > Been there...
 > In 1956, my Parents bought my Grandparents home. This was
 > not a farm...just a house on a double lot near the edge
 > of town.  Our homestead, none the less, for four generations.
 > As my Dad puts it, the ink wasn't dry on the loan, before the
 > state came around and started pounding stakes in the yard...
 > surveyor's marks.  He asked the man what this was about and
 > was told that the home might be taken to make room for the
 > entrance to the new bridge.  Everyone in the area knew the
 > old bridge needed replacing (it was built for horses and
 > trolleys),  but being blocks away from the river, my folks
 > hadn't thought the house in danger...until now.  The surveyor
 > told them that there were several proposed routes...nothing
 > had been decided...they'd be notified.
 > And then, they heard nothing...they inquired and were told
 > it was only in the planning stage....hadn't been budgeted,
 > an election was coming, nothing would be decided until then.
 > My folks were left to wonder.  And every month, as they wrote
 > the check for the mortgage, instead of the feeling..one month
 > closer to owning the house, it was, one month closer to what?
 > Six years later, the surveyors came again. I remember my Father,
 > barely waiting till the men had left, before he grabbed the biggest
 > sledge he had and pounded those stakes deep into the ground,
 > out of sight.  He said it was because he didn't want to break
 > the lawn mower on them but I knew the real reason.  Funny thing
 > is, just weeks after the surveyors came, a bad storm proved to
 > us that the roof needed replacing.  Now, any homeowner knows,
 > when your roof needs redone, if you can swing it, you go for the
 > 30 yr. roof. But with the stakes in the yard, the question was
 > 'Will the state pay extra for the 30 yr guarantee?'
 > In fact, that question had to be a factor on every decision made
 > about the house.  Tired of hauling ashes up from the cellar?
 > Switch to gas heat!  Why...so the state can bulldoze the brand new
 > furnace along with the rest of the house?  Everytime we run the
 > vacum while the Christmas tree lights are on,  we blow a fuse.
 > Time to rewire the house!  Why...if it burns down, we'll probably
 > get more from the insurance than we'll get from the state.  The old
 > cherry trees have passed their prime.  Time to plant new ones!
 > Why....will we ever get a chance to eat the fruit?  And I know of
 > no one who enjoys the chore of painting the house.  But at least
 > there should be some comfort, while you're hanging on that ladder,
 > that you are caring for something that those who came before you
 > cared for and that your kids will care for after you. Instead,
 > this chore was doubly onorus...the state wouldn't care how carefully
 > we sanded the blank blank trim.
 > And every couple of years, the surveyors came back.
 > This wasn't just happeneing to our family but to that whole
 > end of town....30 sq. blocks....a hundred families  with stakes
 > in their yards.  Those less tied to their homes, moved.  And
 > because of the threat of E.D. the property values went down.
 > The new owners were often absentee landlords who did minimal
 > up keep. Those who stayed, like our family, postponed major
 > upkeep.....waiting....waiting...waiting for the state to make
 > up it's mind.  And whenever we asked, the answer was always
 > "No final routing decisions have been made yet."
 > The neighborhood died.
 > Twenty five years....twenty_five_years after the first surveying,
 > the bridge was built. They put it three blocks south.  Our house
 > still stands...other people's houses do not.  I_grew_up_waiting
 > for the other shoe to drop.  I look at the lines on my Father's
 > face and the grey in my Mom's hair and I wonder how much different
 > life would have been without those twenty-five years of worry.
 > So if you run into a landowner who's less than cordial, look at
 > the lines on his face.  Maybe some of them are there because he's
 > been living under the E.D. Sword of Damocleas for a while...
 > wondering and worrying how long it will be before the state decides
 > that his home or his land or his farm that he and his, have loved,
 > must be 'acquired' so that the hikers don't have to look at it,
 > as they walk by......           Kahley
* From the Appalachian Trail Mailing List |  http://www.backcountry.net  *