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Buehler Park Quarterly

Fall Equinox, 2014

BUEHLER PARK UNDER ATTACK


Dear Friends of Buehler Park:

          In this newsletter is:

1. BUEHLER PARK UNDER ATTACK — AGAIN!
2. PARKS AND RECREATION TAX INITIATIVE
3. PARKS AND RECREATION BUDGET CUT
4. TREES
5. PHOTOS
6. LATE AGAIN
7. WEBSITE
8. WORLD'S GREATEST PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH — SEPT. 21, NEW YORK CITY
9. SUIT TO UPHOLD MISSOURI'S RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD
10. GREAT RIVERS ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER

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1. BUEHLER PARK UNDER ATTACK — AGAIN!

The Rolla City Government still doesn't get it. Buehler Park is a dedicated park and the city of Rolla does not own it outright. Rolla is merely the park's trustee. Last April (just before the election) City Administrator John Butz proposed considering Buehler Park as the location for a new animal shelter — an act that would essentially destroy the park and put the city in contempt of court. (The city of Rolla is under a court order enjoining it “from taking action that is inconsistent with the property [Buehler Park]'s use as a public park.”)

It appears the city has not given up on destroying Buehler Park; and reminds us that the only thing preventing it is the court injunction and our vigiliance.

I discuss the attack on Buehler at
http://tomsager.org/ThoughtsOnParksAndRec_071714.html

Emails and phone calls to city officials asking them respectfully to stop attacking Buehler Park would be helpful. Contact info for city officials is at http://buehlerpark.org/RollaCityOfficials.html

2. PARKS AND RECREATION TAX INITIATIVE

The Parks and Recreation Tax Initiative went down to defeat in April by a margin of four percentage points. It's back on the ballot November 4 in a somewhat different form. I supported the initiative in April because money to rebuild our park system including Buehler Park is badly needed and long overdue. I lean heavily toward voting for this initiative in November, however, due to the recent attack on Buehler Park and the distinct possibility that tax money from this initiative might be used to build a structure that would degrade Buehler Park or degrade our park system in some other way, I am not taking a position on this tax initiative at this time.

3. PARKS AND RECREATION BUDGET CUT

The budget for Rolla's parks is being cut a whopping 35% as of October 1. The Parks and Recreation Department is looking for citizens who would pick up some of the slack. Anyone interested in helping out contact Scott Caron, scaron@rollacity.org, 573-364-4278.

Trash accumulates quickly at Buehler Park. Just taking a few minutes once a week to pick up trash would make a big difference.

4. TREES

It has been a relatively mild summer and our 35 young trees have done well. This has been the first year since the courts ruled on Buehler Park in our favor that we have not added a few new trees. Due to our watering the trees over the dry spells, the new dogwoods are growing fast. In a few years they ought to start flowering in the Spring. Some of the Tupelo black gums we planted in 2008 are almost 10 feet tall and are starting to burst into their Fall colors now.

A recent study shows that old growth trees are far more important in sequestering carbon than previously thought. Says co-author Adrian Das: It is as if the star players on your favorite sports team were a bunch of 90-year-olds. All of you who helped to save the 150-year-old trees in Buehler Park give yourself a hearty pat on the back.

5. PHOTOS

For those of you who can't get to Buehler Park, I'm attaching several photos. As you can see from these photos, Buehler Park is heavily used in spite of the lack of water and the city's failure to replace playground equipment that needed to be removed for safety reasons.

6. LATE AGAIN

Well I totally missed the Summer Solstice issue. Here it is, one week from Fall Equinox and I'm just getting started. I think the Buehler Park Quarterly needs a new editor. Anyone want to stage a coup and depose the old editor?

7. WEBSITE

I haven't done much work on the website this year either. Maybe we can depose the webmaster too. Check out our website regularly.

8. WORLD'S GREATEST PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH — SEPT. 21, NEW YORK CITY

Please consider going to New York for the WORLD'S GREATEST PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH on Sept. 21. World leaders will be meeting at the UN to discuss climate change and they need to hear from the people.

If you can't go to New York City, consider going to the satellite climate march in Columbia. Mark Haim of mid-Missouri Peaceworks writes:

“In conjunction with an historic UN summit on climate change, many national and local groups have called for a massive gathering in New York on the weekend of Sept. 20-21. Peaceworks is working with local allies to organize a local support rally and march here in CoMo. We will gather at Courthouse Plaza at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21. We aim to make this the largest local rally yet to focus on the need to address the climate crisis. More details forthcoming.

“We would also be happy to help facilitate transport to NYC for the rally there, if there are folks interested in carpooling. Please contact us ASAP if you are interested in participating. Click here for more info.”


Along with issues of War and Peace, the Climate Crisis is likely the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE of out time.

9. SUIT TO UPHOLD MISSOURI'S RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD

I promised to continue reporting on my suit against the Missouri General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to uphold Missouri's Renewable Energy Standard. We won a minor skirmish when the court ruled in our favor allowing the suit to continue over the objections of the defendants.

These kind of causes move through the courts very slowly. That is why it is important to elect officials who care about conservation, trees and renewable energy and are willing to stand up to the vested interests that profit from degrading our environment. Meanwhile, Missouri's privately-owned utilities: Ameren, Empire and KCPL that should by law be switching to renewable sources continue to rely on coal, the dirtiest form of energy, and continue to export Missouri's jobs in the renewable energy sector to far-away places like California. For details, see story on page 3 of Great Rivers Environmental Law Center Spring 2014 newsletter.

10. GREAT RIVERS ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER

I am being represented in this suit by Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, the same public interest environmental law center that represented us in preserving Buehler Park.

If you have not done so recently, please consider making a donation to Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. Checks can be mailed to Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, 319 No. Fourth St., Suite 800, St. Louis, MO 63102. Great Rivers is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Donations can also be made online from Great Rivers' website. Please help Great Rivers so they can help others as they helped us.

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Have a great day and thanks for your support for Buehler Park.

Tom Sager, Secretary/Treasurer/Webmaster/Editor
Citizens for the Preservation of Buehler Park
yushasager (at) yahoo.com
http://buehlerpark.org

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