Home » Books » Currently Reading:

ACC & Urban Review: It’s All Good

June 1, 2006 Books 15 Comments

This morning Dave Drebes, publisher of the Arch City Chronicle, and I sat down for a good old fashioned face-to-face conversation to discuss recent events (see prior post). The meeting was prompted and attended by mutual friend Thomas Crone of 52nd City and numerous other projects.

We had a good conversation and I can report there is no animosity between us. In some respects we agreed to disagree. You’ll see my name appear again in the ACC and most likely you’ll read posts here where I take them to task on their coverage.

Where we all agreed is that dialog and public debate is a good thing.

– Steve


Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. thomas says:

    I smokes the peace pipe like Hans Blix, yo.

  2. Margie says:

    Thomas Crone, once again working to keep the left from devouring itself. Thomas, thank you for reminding us all that we are the world, we are the children.

  3. stlmark says:

    Hugs are nice. Glad to see you guys found some peace. By the way did you find out who sabotaged your site awhile back?

    [REPLY – Good question, I will be posting on that very subject in tomorrow’s edition. – SLP]

  4. thomas says:

    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbayah

    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

  5. Margie:

    Whoa, if this is the left where does that put me?

  6. I consider urbanism by defition to be conservative, as it generally stresses preservation, along with modern types of progress. Quite the twist.

  7. Dustin says:


    Oooh, it’s like that episode of Star Trek where they went to the warring planet of people who were half black on one side and half white on the other against the people who were half white on one side and half black on the other (kind of like black and white cookie people, are you following me here?). They both thought the other “race” was profoundly evil because way back one did something horrible to the other. They fought and fought and one side was good, then it was bad, then it was good, but when they thought about it no one could remember which side actually had committed the transgression so they just gave up and lived in harmony. Ahhh, TV. So sometimes conservatives are good (not the fundamentalist Christian kind). I mean, I suppose I could be a Republican (maybe in the time of Lincoln)if they weren’t such damn hypocrites about live and let live, small government, personal freedom, low taxes, blah, blah, blah. My point is not what you call yourself, but what you believe and how you live. Truth in fact: Most “Conservatives” aren’t…

  8. Margie says:

    Dustin, if only you’d brought Star Trek into this sooner, it could have saved so much bloodshed.

    Michael, you occupy a zone all your own, somewhere to the left of the left, but floating above it all (I also see cherubs strumming ukeleles fashioned of Sullivanesque ornamentation).

  9. craig says:

    New urbanism is conservative just because you like to use old buildings? Uh, no. New urbanists often speak against a main tenant of conservatism: property rights. Conservatives tend to let people do with their property what they please. New urbanists like to impose standards dictated only by their own taste. See the McDonalds debate.

  10. Steve Wilke-Shapiro says:

    ^ Craig, come on. Nobody wants to let anyone do anything they please with their property. I don’t know where you live, but I’m going to guess you wouldn’t be happy if someone purchased the building next door to you and decided to put in a (http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/mera/iloodoreffects.html hog confinement facility or a trash transfer station. If you would in fact be ok with these, forgive me for assuming. If not, you are in luck. It’s likely that you don’t have to worry about that ever happening – thanks to the local zoning ordinance, which seeks to balance an individual’s right to do what he or she wishes with privately held property against the rights of adjacent property owners to enjoy their property and preserve its value.

    Local zoning ordinances predate the New Urbanism movement by 75 years. Citizens of the United States have long held that individuals DON’T have the right to do anything they please with their property. Some New Urbanist developments (primarily new greenfield construction) institute local ordinances and covenants that specify building typologies and detailing. Most do not. Most New Urbanist plans and projects in existing urban areas have the opposite problem – zoning ordinances are typically geared towards an automobile-centric way of living so compact, pedestrian-oriented projects have to go through extensive planned development or zoning amendment processes.

    The McDonald’s debate has absolutely nothing to do with New Urbanism. It is fundamentally a conflict over the local zoning ordinance. The people promoting the McDonald’s want to amend the ordinance to allow an otherwise prohibited use. The people against the McDonald’s want to keep the ordinance as is.

    Without going into the individual arguments (which have been laid out quite nicely elsewhere on this blog), the local zoning ordinance looks only at use, site planning, parking, density, and signage – those elements which have a demonstrable effect on adjacent property. I would even go so far as to say the people who purchased in Keystone place probably don’t give a hoot about New Urbanism – they just want the developer to follow through with its promises, and the City to enforce the current zoning ordinance. In fact many of the provisions in the current zoning code go against the principles of New Urbanism.

    There are 27 “principles” of New Urbanism (http://www.cnu.org) I could probably count on one hand the number of people involved in the McDonald’s action able to come up with more than a third of the principles without help.

  11. Craig says:

    Mr. Wilke-Shapiro:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. Steve, the proprietor of this site, has posed the same argument about zoning to me before. My response to him, and to you, is that if an unsavory neighbor (like a hog farm, gun club, trash transfer station) moved next to me I would be upset. Very upset.

    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that a property owner should be able to do whatever they want with their property as long as it doesn’t physically interfere with my own. I think physical interference is a good, clear line to draw. In that case, nuisance law would take care of the problem. As you probably know, there are cases holding hog farms and gun clubs to be nuisances when residential areas have sprung up around them. Of course, nuisance law has gone too far in many respects and has been unmoored from it beginnings as a way of stopping physical interference with another’s property, but that’s another story.

    Zoning has gotten out of control as well.

    I disagree with many of the principles of “zoning” and believe that it allows governments far too much control over people’s property–often based on trivial matters of taste. If new urbanism disagrees with zoning, it is because local governments don’t have even more power to legislate taste.

  12. Jim Zavist says:

    Am I cynical, but isn’t there a direct connection between support for Ald. Florida on page 2 of the ACC (v.4, i.14) and a paid ad by same on page 4?! All the news that will fit? The best press money can buy?

    [REPLY – I guess you are cynical. Dave Drebes said a single ad is so small relative to the overall costs that it would be silly to think it could hold such importance. – SLP]

  13. Thomas says:

    This Zavist post is has been sitting with me all day, in that it reflects a lot of the “get inside heads/hearts/motivations” posting that’s gone on, particularly in relation to the McD’s situation.

    Jim, you see someone bought off for a $50 ad. That’s your right and Dave’s put himself into a enough of a public place that you can tag him as you see fit. One could also argue that he’s someone who: left a corporate job to take the plunge into the very uncertain world of independent publishing; is taking up his business residence in the City; is providing jobs, full- and part-time, in the City; and is adding to the overall civic debate, with distribution and editorial emphasis on the City. Could be the pair of rose-colored glasses I was recently fitted with causes this vision, rather than yours.

    As someone who’s written Dave on any numbers of levels – tips, ad leads, annoyance at stories, etc. – I’ve found that he’s usually responded within an afternoon, if not an hour. I’d suggest that if you’re puzzled, concerned, or even repelled by some of his ad copy, that you contact him directly, rather than attempting to parse out the successes and failures of his endeavour in the context of a third space.

    Also, you may consider writing for Dave. Or providing ad leads, so that this entity lasts; I still tend to think STL is better with more media than less. You may also find that even as you disagree with one section of the paper, you may agree with another; that kind of flux happens to me every time I pick up the paper, it seems, and that’s okay.

    Why pissing on the ACC is suddenly such a fashonable activity – from South Grand to Chicago to points-between; and you live where, Jim? – is a curiosity to me.


  14. Jim Zavist says:

    My comment was meant mostly as a rhetorical, tongue-in-cheek wise crack. I’m not too familiar with the ACC, so what I was looking for (and got) was a resposne from Steve . . .

    Bigger picture, I’ve seen a lot of free weekly papers around the country who are way more interested in selling ads and will print pretty much anything as filler (the Suburban Journals that litter my lawn twice a week are a prime example). From what little I’ve seen of the ACC, my take is that they’re very much an independent voice, and likely one that’s just scraping by financially, given its relative small number of ads. And I make take you up on the thought of writing for it – if I can find the time.

  15. ed hardy clothing says:

    We'r ed hardy outlet one of the most profession
    of the coolest and latest ed hardy apparel, such as
    ed hardy tee ,ed hardy bags,
    ed hardy bathing suits, ed hardy shoes,
    ed hardy board shorts , don ed hardyt,ed hardy tank tops, ed hardy for women,
    ed hardy swimwearand more,
    ed hardy clothing. We offers a wide selection of fashion
    cheap ed hardyproducts. Welcome to our shop or just enjoy browsing through our stunning collection available wholesale ed hardy in our shop.

    our goal is to delight you with our distinctive collection of mindful ed hardy products while providing value and excellent service. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and we offer only 100% satisfacted service and ed hardy products. Please feel free to contact us at any time; we are committed to your 100% customer satisfaction. If you're looking for the best service and best selection, stay right where you are and continue shopping at here is your best online choice for the reasonable prices. So why not buy your ed hardy now, I am sure they we won’t let you down.


Comment on this Article: