December 09, 2005

A Plight You Need to Know About

If you watch FOX news, and you watch Hannity and Colmes, then you will eventually see a bit that Hannity has been doing in a little city near where I live called, "Riviera Beach".

It is potentially the largest case of eminent domain in the nation. Potential only in the fact that is is not yet successful. Large in the fact that they are displacing over 6000 people.

Make sure you saw all the zeros there folks. SIX THOOOOUUUUSAND people.


To build... a Yacht Club, high rise condos, and... an aquarium. Rejuvenate the area they say, it is a 'blighted' area they claim... and so they will take the land and 'make it better'. For someone. Like the Mayor and City Commissioners.

But first, for a blow by blow on what happened on Hannity and Colmes, and for more facts, go HERE to Ogre's as he blogged on it EXTENSIVELY. It's a great post.

Now, as a person who lives 15 minutes from Riviera Beach... let me give you my 2 cents.

It is not a blighted community. There are parts that are. It is where our ghetto is located. Our crack houses and whores, drug dealers and general all around low life DO live in Riviera Beach. Parts of it.

BUT, there is much about Riviera Beach that is NOT all that. There are those old fashioned Florida concrete block homes, nestled close to the intercoastal. Nothing big and gaudy. Homes that are kept pristine with grown in landscaping.

And those homes... those homes my friends... are the ones the government in Riveira Beach REALLY wants. Forget the subsidized housing, the run down vacant rat shacks that harbor folks that are so strung out their worst fear is the DTs, not the rodents. Forget that.

Those are the EXCUSE. Those are the EXCUSE the government needs to get their hands on the Golden Chalice. Coastal Land that they can build upon... Claim other people's land as their own, shuffle them off somewhere with a pat on the head saying, 'See, we'll look out for you', moving them into some inner city apartment that has no family memories, no past Christmas dinners or children's growth measurements on a door frame.

They use the ghetto as the excuse to develop land they have no right to develop.

Development rules in South Florida. Development is King. Make a quick buck, land is getting expensive, but everybody wants it. But make a BIG BUCK if you can get your hands on some Coastal property and develop it... its even better when the government is on your side and TAKES the property for you.

The plight of the people of Riviera Beach... watch this one on the news folks. It ain't pretty. And it's in my backyard.

Posted by Boudicca at December 9, 2005 10:53 PM | TrackBack

One FYI point to add to Bou's good post: This is NOT a racial, "rich white man kicking down the poor black folks" story. The main person pushing this plan is a mayor elected four times on redevelopment platforms, who happens to be black.

Posted by: George at December 9, 2005 11:23 PM

Have you noticed that it is NOT the headlines in the Palm Beach Post? Wonder why it is NOT big news to our newspaper?

Posted by: vw bug at December 10, 2005 06:39 AM

It's not news there, VW? I wonder how much land in that area the editors and owners of the Palm Beach Post own in that area?

Posted by: Ogre at December 10, 2005 07:07 AM

I thought our state legislature passed a bill to stop that kind of governmental crap.

Posted by: TGOO at December 10, 2005 09:06 AM

The Palm Beach Post has written about this before. So when Bou mantioned it, I thought she was talking about old news. One set of stories The Post ran prevented officials from giving a well-connected political contributor a choice waterfront parcel in that area within the last year.

Out of town folks should check (Full disclosure: I'm a low-level, non-management employee of The Post, speaking here for myself, NOT the newspaper).

Posted by: George at December 10, 2005 03:32 PM

George is right. There has been excellent coverage in the Palm Beach Post. You can only cover the horror show so many times. I'll post when I see it next in our paper.

Posted by: Bou at December 10, 2005 04:54 PM

TGOO: I thought our state legislature passed a bill to stop that kind of governmental crap.

I thought so, too, especially after Kelo v New London was decided and Florida was used by some as an example of states that had the strongest laws to prevent something similar from occuring.

Obviously not.

To add to Bou's first-hand description of Riveria Beach, there's this from the Castle Coalition.

If you want a lesson on the games that are being played in Riviera Beach to get around state law, the LAT article they cite can be read in full here.

Posted by: Doyle at December 11, 2005 04:55 PM