October 31, 2001

TRASHVILLE TEXAS

An anonymous letter arrived at THE HUNTSVILLE NEWS yesterday. No one wanted to open the envelope as it had no return address and the U.S. Post Office had advised against opening envelopes of unknown origin.

Finally a volunteer stepped forward and inside we found a copy of a letter to “Mayor Bill”. 

The writer advised Mayor Bill about a number of things which have turned Huntsville in to Trashville. In order to verify the accuracy of the contents of the letter we sent one of our intrepid reporters to see for herself.

Following is a list of some of the complaints in the letter:

1. loose gravel safety hazard on city streets.
2. loose sand at the intersection of Avenue I and 20th Street.
3. litter and trash throughout the city and trash in the roadways.
4. garbage at the roadside in torn plastic bags.
5. burning leaves.
6. other road hazards including broken plastic crates, glass and nails.

Finally the writer added: “The sad part of all this is that Huntsville used to be a great place, but because the focus has been so much on the commercial side for the last 15 years, the quality of life here is in the tubes.”

Our investigative reporter discovered that all of the complaints were accurate except that no leaves were burning at the moment.

In addition our reporter, who traveled the route outlined in the letter, discovered even more trash, filth, debris, hazards, and ugliness. Below are a few of the observations:

1. an abandoned vehicle.
2. abandoned couches, chairs and shopping carts.
3. broken business signs.
4. businesses with yards full of junk tires, airconditioners
5. cans, bottles, wrappers, plastic, and other trash both in the streets and in the yards of homes and businesses.

We would like to thank our anonymous writer for his or her insight into the problem of Huntsville becoming Trashville, Texas USA.

EDITORIAL COMMENT by George H. Russell, editor

I feel confident that ‘Mayor Bill’ will pay absolutely no attention to the letter or of this article. His focus is on ‘growth, growth, growth’ even if it is of a cancerous nature. The main focus of ‘Mayor Bill’ has been the harassment of citizens who have been attempting to beautify Huntsville by providing habitat for birds and butterflies and destroying local businesses by using tax dollars to subsidize multi-national corporations. 

ITEM PART OF HUGE BILLION DOLLAR CONGLOMERATE

The Huntsville Item is no longer the locally owned newspaper of the past. In recent years it has passed from one huge corporation to another and has finally landed in the billion dollar newspaper empire headquartered in Alabama.

This information came courtesy of one of our field reporters, who further answered the question about the dozens of Alabama golf course ads which are printed in the Item.

He informs us that the same group of retired government workers in Alabama, also own a string of golf courses and that there is some sort of agreement which forces each of the 200 or so newspapers they also own to waste paper and print advertising golf courses which are hundreds of miles away.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

Ever since the Item first became a pawn of huge corporations, it has placed profit above the right of the people to know. Filler material off the wire, stories which have nothing to do with Huntsville, and such as ads for Alabama Golf Courses take priority over local events and local news.

Far worse than making the bottom line rule over the people’s right to know is the concentration of hundreds of newspapers all over America in the hands of a very few media power brokers. Our First Amendment freedoms and rights are threatened when a single individual or group of individuals are in a position to control just what we read and how it is presented.

We believe that anti-trust legislation should bust up these huge media empires and return local newspapers to local ownership.

George H. Russell


October 29, 2001

ENVIRO-CRIME IN HUNTSVILLE

There is a devastating enviro-crime which is taking place all over America on a daily basis; the crime is forced monocultures at the expense of native ecosystems. An example occured in Huntsville, Texas "The City of Death" recently.

A Washington consultant was paid $28,000 by the city government to determine why tourists did not visit Huntsville and stay over night. He determined that there was too much 'overgrowth.' This brought the 'weed police' out in force. They began a campaign of harassment to force citizens to destroy bird sanctuaries and butterfly gardens. One small butterfly garden had over 90 species of trees, shrubs, flowering vines, and grasses.

All over the country ordinances require the destruction of native prairie and native forest ecosystems and require a chem-lawn approach which destroys millions of birds and butterflies.

George H. Russell


October 20, 2001

RETURN OF THE PELICANS


A boat trip along the shores of the Great Spirit Wilderness on Lake Livingston revealed that the Pelicans were back in force. Approximately 200 were resting on the eastern shore and others were swimming about and resting on floating logs adjacent to the Wilderness.

In addition to the Pelicans, hundreds of Terns, a baby Eagle, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and American Coots were happily fishing.

After hundreds of Hummingbirds had passed through on their way to Mexico for the winter, a lone straggler continued to visit a feeder.

For information on birding at the Great Spirit Wilderness or the Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral e-mail us at: ghr@huntsvillenews.net.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

In the mid-1970’s, the Huntsville Audubon Society convinced the Huntsville City Council that our city should be declared a bird sanctuary. Subsequently, the City has destroyed many acres of bird habitat and continues to do so at an alarming rate. The hypocrisy is almost beyond belief except for the fact that Huntsville has for decades been run by an oligarchy made up of people who’s main motive in life is self-importance and a big bank account. Birds, beauty, culture, education, tradition, ethics, heritage, and the future of America mean nothing to them. Their obsession is with their own overblown egos and their dominance over citizens who possess even less education and class than themselves.

BIRD AND BUTTERFLY HABITATS

The Huntsville Garden Club recently hosted an official with the Texas Garden Clubs who presented a program on bird and butterfly habitats.

Susan Harris, the club’s president, reported that the presentation, given by Margaret David, was excellent. 

Ms. Harris went on to say that since the Huntsville Garden Club has expanded their areas of interest from being limited largely to formal gardens to a wide range of gardening interests which include composting, vegetable gardening, and landscaping using native plants, membership has grown considerably.

She was extremely enthusiastic about backyard habitat programs available through Texas Parks and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation. Thousands of Americans are protecting and preserving native plant communities as habitat for birds, butterflies, bats, beneficial snakes, insects and other wildlife which can thrive in an urban environment.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

It is extremely gratifying to learn that the Huntsville Garden Club is developing a new awareness about the importance of protecting both our vegetative and wildlife heritage. It is strange indeed that the “Huntsville Weed and Overgrowth Police” are at the same time harassing and threatening citizens who are trying to keep Huntsville green and beautiful with a healthy bird and butterfly population. Citizens who believe that the City should support the efforts of the Huntsville Garden Club should tell Mayor Green to stop the threats and harassment of citizens who are attempting to preserve the quality of life in our City.

Mayor Green may be reached at his office at 294-1267 or at home at 295-6028.


October 17, 2001

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

The Huntsville News is looking for free-lance investigative reporters who can shed light on the following unanswered mysteries:

1. Who burned “Old Main”? 

2. Did bigotry play a role in the destruction of the nationally significant “Manor House” at Elkins Lake?

3. How much money was in the Elkins Lake coffers at the time the citizens of Elkins Lake were told that there weren’t sufficient funds to restore the “Manor House”.

4. Who destroyed the ancient Eastern Red-cedar trees and National Champion Yaupon Holly on the new Post Office site?

5. Why was construction of the addition to Walker County Hardware delayed by City Hall at the same time City Hall was lobbying to bring Home Depot to Huntsville at a cost to the taxpayers of $700,000?

6. Who is profiting from the “Sam Houston Statue” and how much are those profits?

7. Who benefited from the purchase and then gifting of the “Sam Houston Statue” and what was the ultimate cost to the taxpayers?

8. How was the tourism consulting firm that inflamed the “weed and overgrowth police” chosen?

9. Exactly who is giving the marching orders to the “Weed Police” and how many citizens have been threatened?

10. How did publicly owned property belonging to the Hospital District end up in private ownership?

11. Who actually owns the “Huntsville Item”?

12. Why do Alabama golf courses run huge costly ads in the “Huntsville Item” and where does the money come from to pay for the ads?


October 2, 2001

HUNTSVILLE BEAUTIFUL OR HUNTSVILLE UGLY?

Paul Culp, Director of the Thomason Room at the Sam Houston State University Library, stated that without Huntsville’s prolific native vegetation our community would be just as ugly as any pathetic West Texas town.

Culp,  a noted environmentalist, historian, world traveler, and Renaissance intellectual, was responding to the reports that Mayor Green and the City of Huntsville “Weed Police” had launched a Jihad against wildflowers, native shrubs and trees in order to expose our community’s touristic assets to visitors.

The latest target of the “Weed Police” is the urban bird and butterfly refuge located at the corner of 16th Street and Avenue M. When The Huntsville News asked Dr. Jim Carter, to examine the area to determine if it was a refuge for rats, fleas and other vermin he was shocked.

Carter’s on-site examination determined that destruction of the native and exotic vegetation on the site would expose the back-side of The Huntsville Funeral Home to public view which he felt would be even more reason for potential tourists to go elsewhere to spend the night and spend money.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

Tragically Huntsville is ruled by citizens who unfortunately have no sense of history, culture, aesthetics or what quality of life actually means.

It appears that their concept of “quality of life” is based on the amount of money in their personal bank accounts.

Their concept of history is a parking lot with a plaque letting the visitor know what was bulldozed down in the name of progress.

Their concept of culture is a deer head mounted on the wall of their den, a trip to Vegas, a football game, or a visit to the latest trailer park.

Their concept of aesthetics or beauty is leering at a ‘nekkid’ girl, an expansion of the Walmart parking lot-a new clear-cut, or the sun glistening off a splatter of grease dripping from a two pound grease burger.

ELKINS LAKE PARADOX

EDITORIAL COMMENT

For tens of thousands of years deer frolicked in what is now the Elkins Lake Subdivision. As an integral part of God’s Creation, deer played an important role in God’s plan and were fundamental parts of the complex web of life on Planet Eden.

A few decades ago humans began to inhabit Elkins Lake and were delighted to be a part of nature and Creation. Over the years a few politically powerful, self-centered humans, egotists, hubrists, and others moved into the area and decided in their arrogant minds that God’s beautiful creatures did not belong in their realm and so began pogroms against cormorants, deer, and other examples of God’s wonderful Creation.

Many of these humans proclaim to be Christians, but by their behavior act in ways which would make Jesus very unhappy.

Perhaps if they were to read and believe the Holy Scripture in Revelation 11-18 they would repent and change their anti-Christian behavior. We can only hope.


October 1, 2001

WEED POLICE CONTINUE REIGN OF TERROR

The, City of Huntsville Weed Police, sometimes mockingly referred to as a branch of the Taliban, have continued their aggressive war against taxpaying citizens by publishing a notice in The Huntsville Item, Sunday, September 30, 2001 edition, threatening Jerry and Nancy Hollis that if they do not destroy their bird and butterfly sanctuary at the corner of Avenue M and 16th Street that the City will and force them to pay for the destruction.

The “Weed Police” claim that the wildflowers, native shrubs and crepe myrtles harbor rats, fleas and mosquitoes.

Dr. Jim Carter, an environmental authority who has conducted nationally significant ecological studies for the Federal Government, inspected the property hours after the legal notice was posted and could find no evidence of rats, fleas, or mosquitoes.

Carter said, “There are probably more rats and fleas residing in the homes of City Council Members and City Officials, than on the Hollis’s beautiful nature preserve.”

“I suppose that the City of Huntsville should give them notice to move out of their homes so that they can be bulldozed down to save our community from vermin”, he continued.

Carter had taken City Manager, Bob Hart by the property just days before the legal notice was posted and pointed out to Hart that both the Hollis property and that of Danny Pierce, who had received a threatening letter from City Hall, were among the most beautiful areas left in downtown Huntsville.

Eric Keith, a renowned botanical expert, had identified over 90 species of native and exotic plants in the area during a recent study and determined that many of the species were important to the survival of butterflies and birds.

City Council members Ralph Davis and John Escobedo, when asked for comments acted as if they were unaware of the harassment of citizens and indicated that they would look into the matter and respond to the Huntsville News reporter.

Councilpersons, Mark Erb and Vance Howard could not be reached for comment. 

Knowledgeable sources believe that Mayor Bill Green is the source of the orders to City Officials to harass citizens about their urban wildlife sanctuaries because he believes that tourists will flock to Huntsville once the community is barren and resembles West Texas, apparently since foreigners think of all of Texas as being desert-like from the movies they have watched.

The other theory is that a politically powerful group wants to purchase a block and a half area adjacent to the University for a mystery development which other sources believe to be high profit student housing and that the City Staff is unwittingly being used to harass the owners of the property to the point that they will sell-out to avoid further harassment.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

If our American Government has been mistreating other governments to the same degree that our Huntsville City Government has been mistreating our own citizens, then there is little wonder that we are hated around the world.

Government should serve the people rather than the people being forced to serve government. Our founding fathers would be shocked at the lack of ethics at all levels of government today.


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