Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HeraldTrib Today: Feb. 20, 2008

No doubt readers remember my post from Halloween. So I hate to bore you by repeating portions of it, but I must remind you of it now as it has bearing on today’s news.

Last Halloween I wrote that I was happy that Paradigm Development Co., which owns the large, fenced-in field at the corner of N. Thomas Street and N. Henderson Road, had cut down brush and planted grass inside the fence.

Naturalist,” in a comment to that post, said he (she?) was unhappy because the brush provided cover for small non-rat rodents and food for songbirds. Here’s a quote from the comment:

“The ‘brush’ was actually a meadow area that contained wildflowers and food and habitat for butterflies and other insects, as well as shelter for rabbits and other animals that you may not notice (but probably not rats, unless people were throwing garbage there). The insects provided food for song birds.

“Mowed grass is not hospitable for wildlife. It feeds few birds, except sparrows, starlings and pigeons. That's why Buckingham has so many of these, and so few songbirds.

“If you want to see mowed grass, look at any lawn. However, if you want to see butterflies and colorful birds, look at meadows such as the one that Paradigm destroyed.”

I read that and filed in the back of my head that I should call Paradigm and ask if a few Buckinghamsters could go in, till up some soil, and plant a wildflower garden, attract a few butterflies, and maybe a handful of songbirds.

Remember that Paradigm plans to use that space for more townhomes, like those on the corner of N. George Mason Drive at N. Henderson Road. However, Micheline Castan-Smith, the project leader for that development, has given the idea of a flower garden a tentative “yes.”

So, I am wondering who among you out there might want to help with a project like this? The garden I envision would be something small, and something that could live on with little care. That’s why I was thinking wildflowers just might do the trick.

I think most, if not all, of the cost would come from our pockets.

There are many details to be worked out, but what Ms. Castan-Smith was concerned with right now is that anyone who gets involved must understand that the gardeners might have to be cut-off from the garden with little, if any, notice, and the garden might just be plowed under, should Paradigm decide to use or develop the property.

All that said, who’s interested?

Email me BY FRIDAY FEB. 29, and I’ll set it up. If other people sign-up, I’ll join-in, too.

The Catholic Herald came to Buckingham with Lois Athey, a longtime activist with the BU-GATA tenants association, William Silva, a longtime leader in BU-GATA, and members of the “JustFaith” program in the Catholic church.

According to the story, JustFaith participants having been learning about and discussing various social issues “ranging from racism to poverty to the dignity of workers.”

It’s a nice piece about gentrification in the neighborhood.

To read more, click here.

Poll worker Carey Johnston added an excellent comment to the “iPod letter.” I think everyone should read it, Click here. The letter was concerned with whether or not people could bring iPods into polling places last week (was it only last week?). One county official told me it should be put away, but Carey says different.

The survey is up! I finally put it together last Thursday. I’ll have more stories on that soon enough, but the basic statistics are there. Check it out here.

The Week’s Headlines…
As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

Today's Headlines:

  • Police Notes for Buckingham Feb. 20, 2008
  • Pedestrian Bill Update with My Take It's time to change drivers' attitudes.

  • Headlines from Earlier in the Week:

  • Sure, They're Virginia's Bird, but They're Not So Bright (Or: Misguided Cardinal Attacks Window.)
  • School Board Votes to "Punt and Buy Time" Was that only last week?
  • Finally, the Survey Results! Basic statistics from the survey of Buckingham HeraldTrib readers regarding retail space in the neighborhood are posted.

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