Friday, August 11, 2006

You Can Still Hoop It Up in UP

I was happy to read that a really ridiculous government idea got scrapped this week: Officials in the tony Dallas suburb of University Park are backing off on an idea that would have outlawed portable basketball hoops in front of homes:
A week after University Park leaders seemed eager to ban shooting hoops in front yards, the proposal is headed for the bench – permanently.
City officials are pulling it because residents cried foul.
"I don't blame the people one iota for getting upset about it," said Syd Carter, a University Park City Council member. "I think I would have, too. It got out of hand."
Mayor Blackie Holmes said he wants to drop the proposal and plans to ask council members to do the same at their Aug. 22 meeting. He said the sudden change in direction was needed.
"We got a lot of input from residents and thoughts from your paper," Mr. Holmes said. "This was something that we thought could serve a purpose, but evidently they didn't want it, and we'll abide by that. We're only here to serve them."
The idea may have started out in a good place--residents had wanted restrictions on what could go in front yards of homes--but this proposal went too far, and after the Dallas Morning News wrote about it last week, the story spread around the country, generating hundreds of letters to the editor and responses to an online poll, most of which had the same basic premise: This idea is dumb, dumb, dumb.
One reader, Allison Doherty of University Park, e-mailed The News: "The families are the ones that make the schools, neighborhoods, and reputation so great. You are suggesting that this is the visual you want to erase."
. Look, I've been to UP, and I understand that they have, well, a reputation to uphold. Nobody wants cars parked in the front yard or anything. But if they're trying to sell themselves as a haven for old-fashioned Americana--albeit one with a lot of money--then driving kids out of their front yards (and back into their living rooms to get fat playing video games, as one letter-writer noted--is definitely not the way to go.

I'm glad the city officials came to their senses on this one.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum: The mayor of a Kentucky town is attracting attention because he has refused to mow his lawn for over a year.

Cool gadgets of the week: The Levitating Hover Scooter and the Robot Shopping Cart. (Hat tip for the scooter: Dave Barry's Blog)


Shawn said...

I absolutely can not stand it when people restrict what you can do to your own home (or at least your home financed to them)... I think it's stupid and more and more of Liberty is turning into this uptight suburbanite town that makes me sick. I love my 30-year home with giant trees and rather relaxed living restrictions. I love the fact that down the road an older couple have combated with mailbox smashers by installing a top-opening scuba tank (I'd love to see them try and smash that with an aluminum bat - which will happen). I love the fact that I can park my car in the street and not get hassled from it (although I rarely do - and the do issue warnings for parking on the wrong side of the street) and also the fact that you can have whatever you want in your driveway (including your car) which is nice... however some people take that liberty a little too far.

Kev said...

" I love the fact that I can park my car in the street and not get hassled from it (although I rarely do - and the do issue warnings for parking on the wrong side of the street)"

What do they mean by "wrong side of the street," exactly? Do they mean you have to park on the same side of the street as the house where you're living or visiting, or that you have to park in the same direction as traffic?

I'm pretty sure they don't do this anymore, but when I was at UNT, you could be ticketed for "backing into a head-in parking space." Bleh...

(Verification word for this comment: "rhgig." RH could be Rowlett High, where Aaron, the alto player in my band TD/D, is from; I've actually done some gigs there as a guest artist. Heh.)