Archive for September, 2008

The Fight for Trees Begins Here

I read in the Nashville City Paper online this morning that a new tree density ordinance will be introduced during the Metro Council on October 7:

Sponsored by At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry and District 6 Councilman Mike Jameson, the resolution would require builders to include a required number of trees in their residential developments.

Metro already has a tree ordinance pertaining to commercial development, dating back to the 1990s. Residential areas were excluded from that resolution, but a study by the Metro Tree Advisory Committee, completed in May, said Davidson County’s tree canopy was too low.

The proposed resolution would require new residential developments to plant or maintain a certain number of trees.

We moved into a new neighborhood 12 years ago in southwestern Davidson County, also know as Bellevue. The developer, Fox Ridge Homes, planted a Bradford pear in the front yard and a dying tree in our back yard. Our Bradford pear died in the July heat shortly after we closed on the house in late June. I asked the agent for Fox Ridge to replace it with a tulip poplar, and I was told that I had to replace it myself with a Bradford pear. I refused and later planted a silver maple. Luckily, the silver maple has prospered. We have some shade from the afternoon sun.

Meanwhile, many of the Bradford pears, planted in the neighborhood, also prospered. I sneezed heavily each spring during the snowstorm of blooms which blew off the trees. Unfortunately, last year many of the trees split during wind storms. One Friday afternoon, I counted seven split trees, when I returned from work. And the trees continue to split.

Recently, I was blogging on a Sunday afternoon and heard a whish sound from the street. One of the Bradford pears in the yard across the street from us split. There was no breeze. I rushed outside and the neighbor joked that my cat had pushed the tree causing it to split.

Let’s support this tree density ordinance, but let’s enforce that native trees be planted. Please email your Metro Councilperson NOW in support of this ordinance.

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Housing Market Crisis Trash

When I visited the abandoned construction site atop the hill in the Riverwalk subdivision, I found this sign on the ground. These townhomes were to be built by Rochford Construction:

Available is right.

The site has been abandoned for over a year.

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Financial Crisis and Trash

I’m very aware that during the Nashville gas crisis that there is a global financial crisis happening. Recently I visited an abandoned development in the Riverwalk subdivision and found this sign promoting ZERO down financing. I love the URL, www.TNfasthomeloans.com.

I’m not calling. I’m paying down my 15-year fixed rate mortgage as fast as I can.

The website is still working. Enter at your own risk. If you have bad credit, you still need a down payment according to the site.

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Epilogue: Nashville Gas Crisis

I last purchased gasoline on September 14, a few days before the worst of the shortage. When I told the attendant at Costco that on September 27, he told me that some drivers would come in every day to top off the tank during the crisis and often only spent $5 at the pump. These drivers probably wasted $5 by making the extra trip to Costco.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to alter my habits during the recent gas crisis because:

  • I drive a fuel efficient car.
  • I combine trips.
  • I regularly use public transportation, which is difficult for most Nashvillians.
  • I drive at or under the speed limit.
  • I use cruise control to keep my speed steady.

Finally, I know that I have several options to conserve gasoline. I could ride my bicycle to and from the bus stop. This might be a little dangerous for a 50-something with clipless pedals, but I could try it. I could telecommute at least a couple of days a week for my job. A wireless lap top and a cell phone handily help me do this.

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Day Eight: Gas Crisis in Nashville

Although I could have put another 50 miles on the tank of gas I had in the Mini, I stopped by Costco today to purchase gasoline for the first time since September 14. Luckily, Costco now had a supply of premium. Most stations in Nashville are getting a regular supply of octane 87, but only a few are getting premium. One of the local TV stations announced tonight, “That the crisis is probably over.”

Check this out. By driving under the speed limit, I got 42 mpg in my Mini during the gas crisis:

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Day Eight: Gas Crisis

It’s not really a gas crisis any more because most stations have regular gas.

When you see a sign like the one below, Nashville drivers know that only regular is available.

I’ll have to buy gasoline for the first time since September 14 this weekend. I can’t wait!

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Purity All Natural Tea: More Plastic Trash

Why I had no idea that Purity Dairies bottled All Natural Tea! I learn a lot of things when I walk upon other folks’ trash.

Bottled tea to me is like bottled water. Why? Southerners always have a pitcher of tea handy.

P.S. The gas crisis has become mundane. I’m down to 2/5 of a tank. I’ll have to buy around Sunday — two weeks after I last filled the tank. I hope my Mini likes regular.

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