The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on September 11, 2013, 08:37:11 AM

Title: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on September 11, 2013, 08:37:11 AM
Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Urban-Issues/Hemming-Park-Clusterfuck-of/i-sh7CvMq/0/O/10.jpg)

"Any changes to Hemming Plaza would occur only after collaboration and discussion with City Council, the Downtown Investment Authority and other stakeholders.  There is no action under way and has been no decision to proceed as described in your email, although the City of Jacksonville could obviously take steps to replace any tree based on the condition of the tree and safety of the public."
 

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-sep-deliberate-hemming-park-neglect-and-deamenitization
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: coredumped on September 11, 2013, 09:04:50 AM
Once the pride of Jacksonville. Such a shame.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: peestandingup on September 11, 2013, 09:11:20 AM
Hehe, you guys used my Redman meme. ;D And I'm really glad we're talking about this. Over the past year, I've noticed a rapid decline in this park. It was alluded to a couple months ago by a few folks (me included) that it was indeed intentional. Sadly, I'm beginning to believe that's exactly the case. Its obvious actually.

^It's not just the mayor, the Jax general population doesn't want taxes raised either.  I guess it is hard for people to make the connection that in order to have "nice things" we may have to raise taxes.  Whenever raising taxes is mentioned all the ex-Tea partiers start crying.

Its not that simple. A lot of times when you raise taxes, it lines the pockets of special interests. But granted Jax as a whole doesn't seem to give two shits about anything that's for the public (public spaces, parks, mass transit, etc). You see it everywhere you go here.

I too have noticed the parks becoming less & less desirable places to want to hang out. I personally think its done on purpose to make them more of a dump, attract the wrong elements & to justify even more why not to spend any money on them (just like transit in this town) Me & a friend biked by Hemming on Saturday afternoon & it looked worse than I've ever remembered seeing it. Trash everywhere, lots more homeless, none of the fountains looked like they ere working, etc.

Like I said, on purpose.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Bill Hoff on September 11, 2013, 10:26:01 AM
Unfortunately, this type of neglect can be found all around Downtown and some of it's surronding neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: GoldenEst82 on September 11, 2013, 11:00:54 AM
My Studio is right off the park. I am there at pretty late at night, and well- the 7-11 on Julia and Forsyth is scarier than Hemming. Except for the rats, they're scary.

One thing that absolutely BOGGLES my mind are the Laura St. "improvements" with the redundant street signs and rattle free ride, (insert eyeroll) that went in in 2009 did nothing to fix the issues with the homeless.

I once asked Mayor Payton, just before this project started; how he could justify the expense when it didn't even deal with the real problem.

He told me the only reason we notice the homeless is because there is no one else there. Oh, yeah- and the up-lighting of trees and tearing up (not fixing) of the roads is supposed to bring in the crowds?

Aaaand, 4 years later- the homeless remain- and those intersections SUCK ASS.

I wish that money had been put into the "day center" that Mayor Brown proposed- and into our public mental health system. THAT would have done something, other than rattle my car to bits and piss me off.
/rant :D
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fsujax on September 11, 2013, 11:05:11 AM
Yes, this is just a microcosim of how this City treats its parks and ROW, especially in the urban core. If the residents of the neighborhoods did not come to gether and do what they do, could you imagine how much worse it would be? We continue to subsidize suburban sprawl at an alarming rate with no plan to restore the urban core of the city (other than a few sq miles of downtown).
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Riverrat on September 11, 2013, 11:09:34 AM
It's disgusting that this is the FRONT YARD to CITY HALL where our CITY LEADERS work every day. They do nothing about it. Absolutely disgusting that they let this crumble right in front of their own eyes - under their watch. They should all be ashamed.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on September 11, 2013, 11:13:16 AM
Looking at these pics, I'm amazed we want to see more buildings taken down for more green space. We should be ashamed.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: GoldenEst82 on September 11, 2013, 11:16:49 AM
It's disgusting that this is the FRONT YARD to CITY HALL where our CITY LEADERS work every day. They do nothing about it. Absolutely disgusting that they let this crumble right in front of their own eyes - under their watch. They should all be ashamed.
+1000
If our front lawns looked like that...
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fsujax on September 11, 2013, 11:17:43 AM
^^then the city would fine us.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: nagrom73 on September 11, 2013, 11:52:22 AM
Question: did you pick up any of the trash after taking pictures of it or did you just leave it there?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: isphil on September 11, 2013, 11:54:34 AM
Hemming is indicative of what has happened in Jacksonville over the years.  Downtown, along with other areas of the city have been allowed to decay while city & business leaders go home to their 'safe' neighborhoods every evening. When the decay & neglect lead to crime &vagrancy, they attack the problem while ignoring the source.  There's a lot of 'me first' in this city and a lack of collective pride. That has to change if we ever expect to move forward.  I think it's clear at this point, it's not going to happen under a Brown administration.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 01:44:49 PM
Question: did you pick up any of the trash after taking pictures of it or did you just leave it there?

Actually some of us went out with a small clean up detail and helped pick up litter the next day.  Thanks for asking.

If you have a contact number wed be glad to have you next time.  That is, in addition to your tax money thats supposedly being spent to do this exact thing.

But if you take a look, we photographed worse problems than just litter.  Removal of seats and benches, destruction (by the city) of the electrical resources, broken infrastructure, maggots, etc.
Thank you for your time and effort spent to pick up the park.  To the issue of the electric box, this looks to me like a safety hazard.  Could it be that the city is looking for another lawsuit? 

I find the neglect, litter and overt mess that is currently Hemming Park to be an outright disgrace.  It is one thing to say we can't afford something and another thing altogether to let basic maintenance of a public park at the doorway to City Hall become more than an eyesore, but in some ways a true hazard to those who visit.  Who is responsible for picking up the park, cleaning the flowerbeds, keeping the wiring safe and basic repairs to park furnishings as opposed to the removal of assets we, the taxpayers paid for?  This is unacceptable and will not stand.  I have to think this over a bit more and look into certain legalities with regard to electrical outlets owned by the city.  There is something terribly wrong here and it cannot stand. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: nagrom73 on September 11, 2013, 02:12:08 PM
My husband and I do the same at murray hill park. Pizza boxes, juice boxes, cigarettes, weave, etc.. Thank you for being one of the few who don't just point fingers.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 02:22:48 PM
Diane Melendez
2:20 PM
To: mweinbaum@coj.net

Dear Michelle,

As per our discussion I am sending you a link to a story that has several pictures of the issues I discussed with you on the phone moment's ago.  Most worrisome is the fact that there are boxes containing electrical wiring in various planters that have the wire cage protecting the electrical connections pulled away and are currently exposed.  This certainly appears to be a potential hazard if in fact those are working electrical boxes.  If they are not working I would like to know why as well.  The pictures also show a broken park bench, a simple repair as well as broken concrete near planters, empty planters an unclean water fountain and water filled garbage cans with floating garbage.  All of this at the front door of City Hall.  Frankly, it's shameful.

I would like Kelly Boree to phone me directly to discuss the issue of a decaying city park that front's city hall.  I want to know who is responsible for daily clean up, emptying the trash cans, safety of electrical outlets, broken planters, empty planters, overgrown weeds and the neglect of the most simple repairs such as a coat of paint on a bike rack?  This is really a sorry situation and needs to be corrected a.s.a.p.  I would also like Ms. Boree to explain why so much of the fixed furniture was removed as opposed to simply being repaired.  Clearly had it been maintained as it should have been it would not have decayed to the degree that removal was even a consideration.

Here is the link.
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-sep-deliberate-hemming-park-neglect-and-deamenitization

Looking forward to a call from Ms. Boree in the hope that we can straighten this issue out without further involvement of the city council and media.

Sincerely,

Diane Melendez
Avondale
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: nagrom73 on September 11, 2013, 02:23:07 PM
While I find the electrical issues to be a disgrace, I don't think it sends a good message to the city that people abuse the area in the way they do. Not excusing the city, but it just turns into a viscious cycle where nothing gets done. If you do another clean up email me at nagrom73@comcast.net. if I'm not doing boy/girl scout thing, I will try to help. Give me at least couple days notice.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fsquid on September 11, 2013, 02:25:18 PM
didn't they cut back how often they are cutting the grass and picking up trash at all of the JAX parks?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 02:31:01 PM
didn't they cut back how often they are cutting the grass and picking up trash at all of the JAX parks?
They did but then according to Alvin Brown, some of that was restored when he found some money after his last short budget which he claimed would be used to address these issues.  If someone did not have the common good sense to know that the park in front of city hall should top the list, I want to know why.  It should be at the top as it directly makes a statement about how we feel about our city and how it is perceived.  Right now, the park says a whole lot of unflattering things. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: tayana42 on September 11, 2013, 03:07:50 PM
Why not build a facility for the homeless: a place to take a shower, to use a computer, to get mail, etc?  Until we do, why wouldn't they continue go use Hemming Plaza...it's halfway between breakfast at Clara White Mission and lunch or dinnner at Sulzbacher.
The homeless are human beings; as civilized people we should provide such a facility.  Didn't Jesus say, "what you do the least among us you do to me"?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 03:16:19 PM
Why not build a facility for the homeless: a place to take a shower, to use a computer, to get mail, etc?  Until we do, why wouldn't they continue go use Hemming Plaza...it's halfway between breakfast at Clara White Mission and lunch or dinnner at Sulzbacher.
The homeless are human beings; as civilized people we should provide such a facility.  Didn't Jesus say, "what you do the least among us you do to me"?
As far as the issues being discussed on this particular thread, none of them have anything to do with whether or not the homeless visit Hemming Park.  It is about maintenance and safety.  The city has failed to provide proper upkeep of this park at the heart of the downtown core.

There is also a new daycare center that opened for the homeless that is addressing some of the issues you spoke about.  It is currently open three days a week.  I have not heard how it is working out though.  The mayors office which kicked the effort off has been silent about it's progress. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: InnerCityPressure on September 11, 2013, 03:26:19 PM
I don't care if the park looks like this...as long as they don't raise my taxes  :o  :o  :o
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 03:26:40 PM
Just received this email.

Diane,

Thank you for providing this information so that we can review and address it.  Our electricians were on the way to the Plaza when you sent this (and may already be there) so that they can immediately evaluate any potential safety hazards related to electrical wires and, if necessary, take the steps to ensure public safety before, during and after repairs.

 

Thank you,

 

Michelle A. Weinbaum

Executive Assistant

Department of Parks and Recreation

214 North Hogan Street

3rd Floor

Jacksonville, FL 32202

(904) 255-7907

www.jaxparks.com
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: coredumped on September 11, 2013, 04:07:24 PM
Just received this email.

Diane,

Thank you for providing this information so that we can review and address it.  Our electricians were on the way to the Plaza when you sent this (and may already be there) so that they can immediately evaluate any potential safety hazards related to electrical wires and, if necessary, take the steps to ensure public safety before, during and after repairs.


They didn't address any of the other concerns, only the stuff that they could get sued over for a safety hazard :( Please let us know if you ever get that phone call Diane. Thank you for keeping on top of this.  ;D
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Bill Hoff on September 11, 2013, 04:11:50 PM
Why not build a facility for the homeless: a place to take a shower, to use a computer, to get mail, etc?  Until we do, why wouldn't they continue go use Hemming Plaza...it's halfway between breakfast at Clara White Mission and lunch or dinnner at Sulzbacher.
The homeless are human beings; as civilized people we should provide such a facility.  Didn't Jesus say, "what you do the least among us you do to me"?
As far as the issues being discussed on this particular thread, none of them have anything to do with whether or not the homeless visit Hemming Park.  It is about maintenance and safety.  The city has failed to provide proper upkeep of this park at the heart of the downtown core.

There is also a new daycare center that opened for the homeless that is addressing some of the issues you spoke about.  It is currently open three days a week.  I have not heard how it is working out though.  The mayors office which kicked the effort off has been silent about it's progress.

The new day center is not yet providing services.

The day center, once operational, will have little impact on homeless hanging out in Hemming Plaza.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 04:17:42 PM
Just received this email.

Diane,

Thank you for providing this information so that we can review and address it.  Our electricians were on the way to the Plaza when you sent this (and may already be there) so that they can immediately evaluate any potential safety hazards related to electrical wires and, if necessary, take the steps to ensure public safety before, during and after repairs.


They didn't address any of the other concerns, only the stuff that they could get sued over for a safety hazard :( Please let us know if you ever get that phone call Diane. Thank you for keeping on top of this.  ;D
I know they didn't and frankly I did not expect those answers today.  If Ms. Boree does not contact me in a "reasonable' amount of time.  I will pursue other avenues to get this situation addressed and resolved. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 04:19:01 PM
Why not build a facility for the homeless: a place to take a shower, to use a computer, to get mail, etc?  Until we do, why wouldn't they continue go use Hemming Plaza...it's halfway between breakfast at Clara White Mission and lunch or dinnner at Sulzbacher.
The homeless are human beings; as civilized people we should provide such a facility.  Didn't Jesus say, "what you do the least among us you do to me"?
As far as the issues being discussed on this particular thread, none of them have anything to do with whether or not the homeless visit Hemming Park.  It is about maintenance and safety.  The city has failed to provide proper upkeep of this park at the heart of the downtown core.

There is also a new daycare center that opened for the homeless that is addressing some of the issues you spoke about.  It is currently open three days a week.  I have not heard how it is working out though.  The mayors office which kicked the effort off has been silent about it's progress.

The new day center is not yet providing services.

The day center, once operational, will have little impact on homeless hanging out in Hemming Plaza.
Thanks for that update Bill.   No wonder we haven't heard anything from the mayor's office on this recently.  Would you happen to know if the hold up has to do with the modifications of the space and when it is supposed to be open?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: HisBuffPVB on September 11, 2013, 05:38:31 PM
It is a vicious cycle. Phone Calls from citizens about complaints should always be returned, if they are not it is because the Mayor does not emphasize service to citizens. Every call deserves an answer. Beware of public employees who do not think that their main reason for existence is to serve to public.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 11, 2013, 06:01:14 PM
It is a vicious cycle. Phone Calls from citizens about complaints should always be returned, if they are not it is because the Mayor does not emphasize service to citizens. Every call deserves an answer. Beware of public employees who do not think that their main reason for existence is to serve to public.
It's called accountability and very often there is none.  Bottom line is our taxes pay the salaries for all city department heads and employees and we deserve to get timely and appropriate responses to our inquiries.  Something that any employer would expect. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: DDC on September 11, 2013, 08:21:04 PM
It's disgusting that this is the FRONT YARD to CITY HALL where our CITY LEADERS work every day. They do nothing about it. Absolutely disgusting that they let this crumble right in front of their own eyes - under their watch. They should all be ashamed.
+1000
If our front lawns looked like that...

My thought exactly. If this park or the Southbank Riverwalk were operated or owned by a private entity it would be shutdown in a heartbeat and/or fined out the yingyang until it is brought up to code.

I move we dock the pay of who ever is in charge of maintaining the park system until they are up to par.

Would that be Ms Boree?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: iloveionia on September 11, 2013, 08:23:58 PM
Reason 1,562 why I couldn't live in Jax fulltime: ignorance.
Anyone filed a CARE request? 
The park ought to be condemned.
We are held accountable as homeowners, yet the city does whatever they want.
Welcome to corrupt Jax!
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: simms3 on September 11, 2013, 10:46:32 PM
Great job highlighting the neglect, but I fail to see the big difference between how the city treats Hemming Plaza and the rest of the city maintained parks.  The only attractive, well-maintained, tastefully landscaped, and generally well used parks in the city are those that have benefited from private $$.  And overall, that makes sense as all great parks in all big cities are mostly run off of private $$.

But from a municipal level, Boone Park is shit, Riverside Park is eh at best, Memorial Park always feels like it's lacking and needs work as well, the parks in Ortega that aren't Stockton or Baker Point are jokes at best, even the Riverwalk is laughable when compared to other riverfront/riverwalk parks elsewhere.

The most obvious neglect to me is the string of parks separating Springfield and Downtown.  In my opinion, the city should have NO say at all on what goes on in Springfield until it makes some sort of concerted legitimate effort to integrate the area as a neighborhood that's actually tied in with the city.  By starting with those parks.

I don't understand how a city given so many natural resources can waste and squander all of them.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: CG7 on September 12, 2013, 08:15:55 AM
How is Boone Park shit. The tennis courts are well maintained, the 2 playgrounds are well maintained, there are no broken benches or picnic tables. Plus the grass gets cut on a regular basis. So please explain exactly how Boone Park is shit.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: peestandingup on September 12, 2013, 09:47:13 AM
It's disgusting that this is the FRONT YARD to CITY HALL where our CITY LEADERS work every day. They do nothing about it. Absolutely disgusting that they let this crumble right in front of their own eyes - under their watch. They should all be ashamed.
+1000
If our front lawns looked like that...

My thought exactly. If this park or the Southbank Riverwalk were operated or owned by a private entity it would be shutdown in a heartbeat and/or fined out the yingyang until it is brought up to code.

I move we dock the pay of who ever is in charge of maintaining the park system until they are up to par.

Would that be Ms Boree?

The city at this point should have zero say so in the going ons in many of these public spaces & parks, seeing that they can't even maintain them. They do what they want & get away with stuff like this because no one holds them accountable. Not only should those in charge have their pay docked (or be outright terminated), but the city should relinquish their control of these spaces, which are deemed hazardous or neglected, directly to the people of the neighborhoods that surround them. Special committees & funding could be setup internally within said neighborhoods to make sure the parks are maintained, keeping inadequate government entities out of the process entirely.

If they don't want to do that (which they won't), then I could see a day where some might move on to more drastic measures involving protests & disruptions. I'd personally hate if mounds of garbage suddenly showed up on the lawn of that shiny new courthouse. Also, do not even think about staging some kind of "trash in" in large numbers on your own properties to point out the double standard of what happens when you do it VS the city.

Yep, seriously, don't do it. Nope nope nope.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 12, 2013, 12:05:40 PM
Just FYI, as I passed through it on the way to the Consolidation Meeting, the park was filled with an unusual number of city workers, cleaning the fountains and poking around in the bushes.  We shall presently see what this means.

Thank you for sharing Stephen.  I have not had a call yet from Kelly Boree which is probably a good thing because I have a lost my voice due to a severe sore throat.  I am hoping that the fact she has yet to call may be because she would like to update the situation after what is being done today.  If I don't hear by tomorrow afternoon.  I will see what the status is next Monday.  I will also pursue answers to the questions that I posed earlier about maintenance of the park and removal of the furniture. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: tom joseph on September 18, 2013, 11:57:59 AM
I find this very revealing of the current changes in Jacksonville. I always used the park from back in thee1950s as a kid and on. There were bus stops back then and people in the park even at night. It was safe and interesting. My parents would let me go from the table at Morrison's Restaurant on the park and go play.

Jump forward in time and I recently remember the Occupy Jacksonville activities there. It was OK friendly and trouble free, if annoying to some.

If the City decides to lease the park to a private company, then the Council members who vote for that should be removed. Why? Because the park is public property that belongs to all of us. It is exactly why Jacksonville cannot have nice things. If the general public cannot keep access to a nice park in front of City Hall then why not close City Hall and lease it to some private company also?

The total mismanagement of the city for years has been led from City Hall not from Hemming Park. The embarrassing characters that give the city a bad image are inside City Hall not in the park.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on September 18, 2013, 01:00:36 PM
Friends, I was unable to catch up on the status of this as promised this past Monday.  Ended up in the hospital with not one but two bacterial infections and a temp over 105.  Was released but still pretty weak and really unable to talk on the phone.  I promise to catch up on this when I am a bit stronger.  :) 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: BridgeTroll on September 18, 2013, 01:18:24 PM
Friends, I was unable to catch up on the status of this as promised this past Monday.  Ended up in the hospital with not one but two bacterial infections and a temp over 105.  Was released but still pretty weak and really unable to talk on the phone.  I promise to catch up on this when I am a bit stronger.  :) 

CC... it is more important to get well.  Take your meds and get some rest... :)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: bigpainmike on September 18, 2013, 02:02:07 PM
It is appalling to see how the city has dealt with the homeless as well as city amenities. We can thank President Reagan for creating the army of mentally ill homeless people when he defunded the safety net back in the 80s that helped families pay for needed treatment and housing. Since then, we've all been told to do more with less. You can see this type of neglect all over the country. It's difficult to make the case for bringing suburbanites downtown, when public amenities are allowed to deteriorate. I am in Mr Redman's district and will do my best to see that he is not my council representative in the next election. The problems with Hemming Park are there for all to see. The Hogans Creek area could be a tourist attraction, if the powers that be would recognize its value and correct the neglect. Hemming Park is the heart of the city and it's neglect says more about city priorities than any lip service from those involved in it's current status. I voted against the 'Better Jacksonville Plan', not because I didn't see the needs of the city, but because I saw it for what it was - a way to fund county road projects that would help the development community to create more sprawl. Anyone who was here then can see what it was all about now.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: johnny_simpatico on September 18, 2013, 06:36:07 PM
I am seeing evidence of an annual "Leadership" trip to Charlotte. Before City leaders and the well-connected  sprinkle money around Charlotte, San Antonio, Indianapolis, or any other city  as a means for inspiration, they need to fix what is obviously broken in Jacksonville. Hemming Plaza and the parks along Hogans Creek are a disaster.  They should be restored to their original splendor -- and properly maintained. (Riverside and Memorial Parks could also use some work.)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on September 18, 2013, 09:36:25 PM
Quote
Jacksonville Public Library leaders who advocated for funding restorations last month were back at the budget table Tuesday, explaining to a City Council panel why the Main Library will be closed Saturdays — a decision several council members aren’t happy about.
As part of the August budget review, the Council Finance Committee restored about $1.8 million to keep open six libraries — Beaches, University Park, San Marco, Willowbranch, Brentwood and Maxville — and maintain Sunday hours for four branches.

The cuts were in Mayor Alvin Brown’s budget and presented by the library board in an attempt to meet an almost 14 percent departmental reduction required by the mayor.

The committee approved refunding most of the library’s requests, but did not restore $449,641 for Main Library hours and $173,370 for materials.

In response, the library board voted to close the Downtown branch Saturdays instead of another day of the week. The Main Library is one of many open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and one of five open 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=540553

Closing the one large thing that fronts Hemming Plaza, that's open on Saturdays, only puts another nail in downtown's coffin. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: tufsu1 on September 18, 2013, 10:50:11 PM
that's a horrible idea
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 01:28:28 PM
Looks like there have been some improvements and not all of them approved.  I am loving the electrical box and who would have imagined that the city would allow it to remain.  :)  See the second article on this link from today's Daily Record.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/downtowntoday.php?dt_date=2013-10-08

(http://i.imgur.com/lTBdhqd.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fsujax on October 08, 2013, 01:34:48 PM
I was in Missoula,Montana this past week and they have all of their traffic control boxes painted, it looked really cool. Great display of public art.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 01:46:22 PM
My thought when I saw the electric box was that it might be very cool if other artisans did the same and the city would allow their contributions.  We might just see some exciting art in the park that will begin to give Jacksonville's core park a more creative and vibrant personality.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: edjax on October 08, 2013, 03:25:57 PM
Btw per story also in the Daily Record regarding the 124k for trimming the trees. This was a concern noted in the city budget thread. The story indicated the 124k is a one year contract for them to trim trees for all city parks.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 03:56:21 PM
I just got off the phone with Michelle at parks.  She was unable to give me any updates on the park.  She said that David DeCamp in the mayors office wanted to speak to me about Hemming.  I have called and left a message.  Well let you know when I hear back.  ;)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: mbwright on October 08, 2013, 04:59:49 PM
A pretty mosaic, and a dysfunctional fountain. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: edjax on October 08, 2013, 05:05:27 PM
^^hey. At least we get pretty!  Who doesn't like pretty things?  Most pretty things are not really functional!  :D
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 05:14:46 PM
Well we know there was an additional 200K put into place to address maintenance.  I will ask David DeCamp what they plan on using the money for.  Off the top of your heads, in addition to the items pointed out and photographed in this original report.  What do you think should be done to get the most bang for the buck in Hemming Park?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: edjax on October 08, 2013, 06:09:29 PM
^^ as I recall the additional 200k was not just for maintenance.  But was also for programming.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 06:58:40 PM
^^ as I recall the additional 200k was not just for maintenance.  But was also for programming.
I didn't know that.  I will ask David when I speak with him if firm plans have been made for the new funding. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: edjax on October 08, 2013, 07:26:07 PM
Diane, following is the specific wording from the Lee amendment passed:

LEE SECOND FLOOR AMENDMENT
Council Member Lee offers her second floor amendment to File No. 2013- 464:
(1) Transfer$200,000fromSpecialCouncilContingencytoParks and Recreation for the purpose of Hemming Plaza programming and maintenance.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 08, 2013, 07:45:59 PM
Diane, following is the specific wording from the Lee amendment passed:

LEE SECOND FLOOR AMENDMENT
Council Member Lee offers her second floor amendment to File No. 2013- 464:
(1) Transfer$200,000fromSpecialCouncilContingencytoParks and Recreation for the purpose of Hemming Plaza programming and maintenance.
Thanks much ed.  I will see if they have broken it down from there.  :)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Debbie Thompson on October 08, 2013, 09:33:30 PM
to paraphrase the venerable President of the Council I guess its just part of that ongoing conflict between Dreams and Reality.  The dream being that you can make a place completely inhospitable and inaccessible to the public but it will still thrive.

The reality being that it won't and even the flagship library will have to close down because of the shocking lack of public attendance to the facility. 

Quote
"Council President Bill Gulliford serves as the library board liaison and said he listened to members “anguish” over the decision much like council members did, but the library board’s charge is to oversee the service to the best of its ability."

(http://i1098.photobucket.com/albums/g374/sheclown2/381d9051-41fd-4453-95a6-fde1edde3c5f.jpg)

I can't believe the city it STILL whining about the ONE house that had unanticipated issues that caused it to go to $200,000.  ONE.  15 YEARS AGO!  15 YEARS!  Let it go already, Kim Scott.  How many thousands upon thousands of dollars in tax revenue has the City realized from the many historic homes that have been restored? Far, far many more thousands than that one house took away.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 09, 2013, 01:50:47 PM
Just received a phone call from a Aleizha Batson in the mayor's office.  She is going to speak with the Parks dept folks and get my initial email which discussed concerns over Hemming Park and linked to the Metro Jacksonville article and pics.  I have asked her for an update on the status of the items outlined in the MJ report.  She is going to get the info and call me back.

As far as the 200K for maintenance and programming.  There is no current plan that discusses how those funds may be used.  This might be an excellent time for members of the public to make suggestions about the most immediate maintenance issues, what else might appropriately fall under maintenance, like replacing broken or removed furniture and programming.  Brainstorm now Jacksonville.  :)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: HisBuffPVB on October 09, 2013, 02:07:23 PM
Get the chain link fence out of the park, disgusting. Bring in the firetrucks and wash down the sidewalks(Jake would have done that on day one), clean it up, at least twice a day, circulate both social workers and security through the park, Make it a welcoming center of town for everyone. Flood it with activities, James Rouse told the Amelia Island conference that back in 1974. Put the confederate statue in confederate park, have a city wide contest for a new piece of art work for the center of the park.  Set up a bully pulpit at some place in the park, for those people, who have something to say, not unlike parks in Chicago and London. I thought somebody was providing ambassadors for downtown, if so , should be in the park all the time, making people feel comfortable and secure.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 03:53:47 PM
This is a cool postcard of Hemming Park back in the day.  Not sure of the year.  Maybe someone else will know.  The plaza sure looked inviting back then.  :)

(http://i.imgur.com/bk9Zyw1.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: HangingMoth on October 12, 2013, 04:14:33 PM
Uh oh... what are all those people doing in the park, quick get rid of all the benches and trees ;D Pretty cool, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 04:44:05 PM
Uh oh... what are all those people doing in the park, quick get rid of all the benches and trees ;D Pretty cool, thanks for sharing.
Isn't it neat?  I wonder what the building with the red roof was?  I hope one of our history buffs will know more about the pic.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on October 12, 2013, 07:28:20 PM
I believe it was a comfort station.  Here's another view:

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-4742-hemming-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Jaxson on October 12, 2013, 07:44:11 PM
Was it a visitors center?  I thought that the public restrooms were elsewhere in the park...
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 09:37:56 PM
It looks more like a visitors center because of the size of the windows.  That privacy thing.  :)

Below is another cool postcard image from 1936 that shows both Hemming Plaze (park) and the downtown skyline.

(http://i.imgur.com/aMWb74v.jpg)

Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Ocklawaha on October 12, 2013, 09:57:42 PM
Put the confederate statue in confederate park, have a city wide contest for a new piece of art work for the center of the park.

We could even have text books printed that tell our kids that Florida was part of Mexico during the Civil War...  I didn't have to wonder how long after the 'Just change the name of one school' mob would take before they moved on to other touchy-feely projects.

Hemming Plaza WAS a Confederate Signal Corps station during the war, part of a network of tall signal towers that stretched from St. Johns and Yellow Bluff through downtown to Camp Finegan, Camp Milton, Baldwin, Sanderson, Glen St. Marys, etc.
When the city was taken by the Federal fleet the tower was rebuilt for use by the Union cause. After the war the park remained a base of occupation troops for some time. Civil War TOURISM is riding a 150 year high, it's worth billions of dollars and Jacksonville, with some of the best preserved sites, typically slumbers.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 09:59:37 PM
Another view of Hemming.  Don't know the year on this one.

(http://i.imgur.com/tsvRb7l.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 10:01:42 PM
Hemming Plaza Windsor Hotel 1910.

(http://i.imgur.com/2aIHUuL.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 12, 2013, 10:02:59 PM
Put the confederate statue in confederate park, have a city wide contest for a new piece of art work for the center of the park.

We could even have text books printed that tell our kids that Florida was part of Mexico during the Civil War...  I didn't have to wonder how long after the 'Just change the name of one school' mob would take before they moved on to other touchy-feely projects.

Hemming Plaza WAS a Confederate Signal Corps station during the war, part of a network of tall signal towers that stretched from St. Johns and Yellow Bluff through downtown to Camp Finegan, Camp Milton, Baldwin, Sanderson, Glen St. Marys, etc.
When the city was taken by the Federal fleet the tower was rebuilt for use by the Union cause. After the war the park remained a base of occupation troops for some time. Civil War TOURISM is riding a 150 year high, it's worth billions of dollars and Jacksonville, with some of the best preserved sites, typically slumbers.
Interesting information Bob.  I did not know this and I bet many other people don't either.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 14, 2013, 07:46:12 PM
I have received an answer to my follow up questions about the repairs in Hemming Park.

Quote


==================================================================

 

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns with Hemming Plaza.

 

As you may have guessed, vandalism is a reoccurring and ongoing issue in some of our high use facilities, such as Hemming Plaza. We do work with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to prevent or reduce these acts of vandalism, but the outlets, tables, chairs, bike racks, etc. are heavily used on a daily basis and take a fair amount of abuse from the daily park visitors.

 

Outlets and wiring seem to be a particular target for vandalism and park electricians routinely make repairs to the outlets, boxes and wiring at that facility. The pictures on the link you sent show some of the remnants, such as the caging which has been installed to help deter this vandalism. Hemming Plaza does have working electrical hookups, however the electricity is only turned on during special events such as Art Walk, which is held the first Wednesday of every month.

 

Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.

 

While on-site, the park maintenance staff completes routine maintenance of the fountain and grounds, including litter removal, debris removal from the fountain, emptying trash cans and general landscaping. As mentioned above, Hemming Plaza is a heavily used facility and there is no shortage of litter left in the park on a daily basis. Most of the litter seen in the park at any one time is from that day and staff does walk the park daily to pick the debris up from the planting beds, as well as all other areas of the park. As for collecting water, the majority of the park maintenance occurs early in the morning and with our traditional afternoon summer storms, water does collect in the receptacles in the park, however that water is dumped out the following morning.

 

The pot style planters were recently moved from the stage area to the fountain and were replanted with a donation from Lowe’s. The Parks Department is planning additional plantings in the raised beds, which will be completed with the assistance of volunteers and Downtown Vision. The plants which are referred to as “wild grass” on the provided link are both African Iris and Mondo Grass. Ideally they should be planted a little thicker and look a little healthier but the plants struggle under the regular foot traffic.

 

Downtown Vision is working with the City to complete a low pressure wash of the fountain with soda ash to remove the build-up, as the more traditional cleaning efforts have had only a minimal impact with removal of the build-up.

 

In partnership with volunteers, outside organizations and other City entities, the Parks Department is working to maintain and improve Hemming Plaza’s appearance, as we want all citizens to be proud of the many assets and recreational opportunities the city has to offer.

 

We do appreciate input from concerned members of the public and have regular public meetings for that purpose. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in attending the public meetings to discuss Hemming Plaza (such as the Downtown Investment Authority’s Hemming Plaza Committee) or in any of our volunteer opportunities, please let us know and we can point you in the right direction.

 

 

Aleizha L. Batson

Deputy Director of Communications

Office of Mayor Alvin Brown - City of Jacksonville

117 West Duval Street, Suite 240

Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Office: (904) 630-1871
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Charles Hunter on October 14, 2013, 08:58:01 PM
The MJ pictures showed more than a couple chairs and a table having been removed - the letter did not address those.  When can we expect them to be returned?  Why weren't the badly damaged table/chairs replaced?

Time for a targeted email, with a question (or questions) about one issue - like the missing tables and chairs - asking for specific answers.  A letter with a whole lot of questions makes it easy to obfuscate.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 14, 2013, 09:10:32 PM
The way the email reads, it seems to say that within the last year there were only two chairs and a bench removed and neither could be repaired.  That being the case we are left to surmise that all the other tables and chairs now gone were removed over a year ago.  What was not discussed was why all those other pieces of furniture were removed and not replaced.  We don't know if they were broken or if someone in the city decided they wanted them removed for other reasons.  I would like to know when and why the other furniture was removed.  This also brings us to another consideration which is with 200K now in the budget for entertainment and maintenance in the park, now may be the time for the missing furniture to be replaced, what is there repainted along with the bike rack. 

This is the the portion of the email discussing the furniture.

Quote
Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Charles Hunter on October 14, 2013, 10:14:37 PM
If a couple items were "not repairable" they should have been replaced.  I bet if a chair or desk or some other piece of furniture in City Hall breaks it is replaced (more quickly the higher up the food chain).
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Non-RedNeck Westsider on October 14, 2013, 10:41:47 PM
I would like to know when and why the other furniture was removed.  This also brings us to another consideration which is with 200K now in the budget for entertainment and maintenance in the park, now may be the time for the missing furniture to be replaced, what is there repainted along with the bike rack. 

This is the the portion of the email discussing the furniture.

Quote
Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.

From an earlier thread:

Topic: Jerry Moran Triumphant? Parks Dpt. To Quietly Remove Tables from Hemming  (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,18733.0.html)

Got the message and photo's Stephen.  The photo's clearly show that some of the furniture was removed and I believe folks told you that was about two month's ago. I spoke with Parks Department on June 21st, so my guess is that the furniture in the pics you shared was already gone by the time of my call.  When I spoke with Michelle, it was clear from the conversation that the info she shared with me was based upon documents and discussion in the office that she had been privy to at that time. 

You know, when it comes to city departments it is not unusual for them to speak to a situation as it occurs on the date of initial contact with them.  When I called I asked about any plans to remove the existing furniture in the future.  My guess is that their response was geared to any plans to remove furniture after June 21st, which if the department is to believed is not planned at this point.  So technically, they could make that statement to me and have it be true. 

Clearly, furniture was removed from the park.  I wonder if it was done by the Parks Department or by Public Works?  There would have to be a work order somewhere directing the removal of the furniture and some statement as to who ordered it removed and why.  Perhaps a request for said work order is called for in order to get to the when and how of this action.  Looks like slippery dealings to me.
(https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/944205_10151716154128979_347857438_n.jpg)

And if I remember correctly, there were several chairs and a table or two removed in the name of ADA compliance, though I couldn't find that particular thread.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 15, 2013, 01:31:09 PM
^Ah, ADA as the reason for some of the removals.  Sounds about right. I guess the question becomes what is the lawful requirement for access to the tables?  Are they using a percentage or what?  It would be great if someone involved with the original article that shared the pictures of the problems in the park could get back out there and actually take a count of how many chairs and tables are missing. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: TheCat on October 15, 2013, 02:09:58 PM
How much did it cost to trim the trees at Hemming? $124k

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Other/mi/i-w2ZJVZT/0/X3/CrystalViewer2_Page_1-X3.jpg)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: sheclown on October 15, 2013, 02:14:45 PM
wow.

Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cliffs_Daughter on October 15, 2013, 02:15:00 PM
Aha... a master Blanket PO.

So that's not just a one-time charge, but set up to cover all expenses over the coming year?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fieldafm on October 15, 2013, 02:16:14 PM
WOW
For 124k, I could program that park almost nonstop. 

Was this part of the 200k just allocated to Hemming??
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on October 15, 2013, 02:18:32 PM
That's $124k for the full year.  I don't believe this is a part of the recently allocated $200k.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: sheclown on October 15, 2013, 02:18:57 PM
why aren't we using someone local?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cliffs_Daughter on October 15, 2013, 02:20:20 PM
why aren't we using someone local?

I'd love to see the actual BID that went out requesting this, to get a clue why other vendors passed.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 15, 2013, 02:27:34 PM
This amount is not part of the 200k.  According to city reps the 124k was being used for tree services throughout the city not just Hemming. BUT, how the heck can a company get a blanket P.O. for 124K with no specific work listed? Where is the RFP on this and why do the same contractors seem to get all of this work?  The law requires that all work exceeding 50k be put out for bid. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: HisBuffPVB on October 18, 2013, 01:36:45 PM
Open Ended Purchase Orders without specifics are a disaster for a government. No way to measue productivity. Purchasing Department should never allow or approve.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Non-RedNeck Westsider on October 18, 2013, 03:09:16 PM
Open Ended Purchase Orders without specifics are a disaster for a government. No way to measue productivity. Purchasing Department should never allow or approve.

It's not open ended...  it's capped at $124K.  Lol.

That said, is there any way to track the additional invoicing that Lewis submits outside of this PO?

I'm also sure of the fact that no change orders will be submitted referencing this PO either....  ::)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Noone on October 18, 2013, 03:41:52 PM
If a couple items were "not repairable" they should have been replaced.  I bet if a chair or desk or some other piece of furniture in City Hall breaks it is replaced (more quickly the higher up the food chain).

Kind of like 2012-202. Wait a minute that legislation had to do with robbing from 4 separate accounts to pay for council members free parking. What was the bill number that was taken up as an emergency with no competitive bid and  No Public hearing that provided 20 new city council comfy chairs for $20,000? At some point it becomes real money.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Noone on October 18, 2013, 03:52:04 PM
This amount is not part of the 200k.  According to city reps the 124k was being used for tree services throughout the city not just Hemming. BUT, how the heck can a company get a blanket P.O. for 124K with no specific work listed? Where is the RFP on this and why do the same contractors seem to get all of this work?  The law requires that all work exceeding 50k be put out for bid. 

Hemming Plaza was item #3 on the 10/16/13 DIA Board meeting agenda and it will tweaked and it appears that some of the risk management issues will be incorporated with this new legislation that is coming from the administration.  Just a guess on my part but given how many other things were taken away by OED this project is front and center with the DIA.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Cheshire Cat on October 18, 2013, 04:24:43 PM
This amount is not part of the 200k.  According to city reps the 124k was being used for tree services throughout the city not just Hemming. BUT, how the heck can a company get a blanket P.O. for 124K with no specific work listed? Where is the RFP on this and why do the same contractors seem to get all of this work?  The law requires that all work exceeding 50k be put out for bid. 

Hemming Plaza was item #3 on the 10/16/13 DIA Board meeting agenda and it will tweaked and it appears that some of the risk management issues will be incorporated with this new legislation that is coming from the administration.  Just a guess on my part but given how many other things were taken away by OED this project is front and center with the DIA.
Thanks Noone.  I will see if I can find out more.  :)
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: joshuataylor on February 22, 2014, 04:22:57 PM
Looks like we're at it again:

Noticed this on my last stroll through Hemming Park... all the tables and chairs closest to the City Hall entrance have been removed.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Urban-Issues/Hemming-Park-Chair-Removals/i-X8LbNq3/0/L/IMG_0174-L.jpg)

There's nothing but a sea of concrete-filled holes.

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Urban-Issues/Hemming-Park-Chair-Removals/i-bz3Kwh3/0/L/IMG_0175-L.jpg)

I wonder how long before the rest are gone?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: IrvAdams on February 22, 2014, 05:04:40 PM
This is ridiculous, I cannot see any possible reason to discourage people from sitting down. This makes it just a big walkway.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Charles Hunter on February 22, 2014, 05:58:19 PM
Don't you realize those chairs and tables were dangerous?  Just sitting their waiting to attack unsuspecting citizens?

Wonder how many tax dollars were spent to remove them?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: IrvAdams on February 22, 2014, 08:20:52 PM
I think I'm going to donate some lawn chairs and tables.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Noone on February 22, 2014, 11:43:20 PM
At the 2/19/14 DIA Board meeting Hemming Plaza was item number III on the agenda for Information/Discussion Items.
A new Authority
Embrace It
Or
It will Embrace Us
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2014, 07:37:33 AM
What was discussed about Hemming Plaza at the meeting you attended?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Noone on February 23, 2014, 08:00:58 AM
To tell you the truth after listening to the Enforcement parking code update and how parking fine notices are going to be sent out along with the penalties then rolling fines I just don't seem to recall any substance given when Hemming Plaza came up. Terry Lorrince with DVI was there. A lot of this going forward in my opinion will be done behind the scenes then snippets of positive or negative announcements without any information for the Public.

There were a lot of other people there and maybe they can add an observation.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: peestandingup on February 23, 2014, 08:11:56 AM
They couldn't be bothered with at least replacing the holes with bricks so it doesn't look like complete crap?? Fucking savages. >:(
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: IrvAdams on February 23, 2014, 09:21:18 AM
I like seeing people in the park; talking, playing board games, relaxing, preaching - whatever. It's a park. A gathering place. A place to meet, not pass through.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2014, 10:19:01 AM
Unfortunately, there are those in influential positions who don't like the park's economic and racial balance.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 11:31:25 AM
Hemming Park conveys truths about our society, and therefore it conveys beauty.  It conveys realities ..  the needs of the community, the need for jobs, and need for concern for those less able, as a consequence of our destroyed economy, to survive within it.   

Although I understand the efforts by some to cleans it, to replace truth and beauty with a false and unreal perfection -- we should consider the value of the truths portrayed -- as the truth can be a force for fundamental change -- a much needed gain for those less favored by the circumstances of our failed economy.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on February 23, 2014, 12:34:04 PM
When the economy was booming there still was those less favored. You can create as many jobs as you like,, homeless people will still be there. Some not all don't want to work.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: peestandingup on February 23, 2014, 12:41:45 PM
When the economy was booming there still was those less favored. You can create as many jobs as you like,, homeless people will still be there. Some not all don't want to work.

You do realize a large chunk of the homeless population have some sort of mental illness, right?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on February 23, 2014, 12:44:19 PM
You did read the part where I said some right?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ChriswUfGator on February 23, 2014, 12:50:17 PM
When the economy was booming there still was those less favored. You can create as many jobs as you like,, homeless people will still be there. Some not all don't want to work.

You do realize a large chunk of the homeless population have some sort of mental illness, right?

That plus the simple fact that there are no longer enough low and mid-level jobs for the size of the workforce in this country. Offshoring has had real consequences, and the surge in the homeless population nationwide is a visible reminder. Most of these people got where they are because they can't find jobs. Nobody "chooses" to live under a bridge and eat at the soup kitchen, I'm surprised when I read comments to that effect, like the one you responded to. What do people expect? There is a structural problem, we've reduced unskilled employment opportunities without substantially shrinking that segment of the workforce. The people don't just disappear once they no longer have a job. They move into cars, friends' houses, and ultimately when all of those resources are exhausted, where do people think they're going to go?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2014, 01:30:11 PM
Add to that, most people in Hemming aren't homeless.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: peestandingup on February 23, 2014, 01:43:48 PM
When the economy was booming there still was those less favored. You can create as many jobs as you like,, homeless people will still be there. Some not all don't want to work.

You do realize a large chunk of the homeless population have some sort of mental illness, right?

That plus the simple fact that there are no longer enough low and mid-level jobs for the size of the workforce in this country. Offshoring has had real consequences, and the surge in the homeless population nationwide is a visible reminder. Most of these people got where they are because they can't find jobs. Nobody "chooses" to live under a bridge and eat at the soup kitchen, I'm surprised when I read comments to that effect, like the one you responded to. What do people expect? There is a structural problem, we've reduced unskilled employment opportunities without substantially shrinking that segment of the workforce. The people don't just disappear once they no longer have a job. They move into cars, friends' houses, and ultimately when all of those resources are exhausted, where do people think they're going to go?

I honestly don't know the answer. At least not without drastically changing our system as a whole. The middle class, and really the country as we know it today, was pretty much built on plentiful jobs from the industrial revolution onwards. Since corporations have shifted that towards taking advantage of offshore labor for pennies on the dollar, we've kind of been meandering around for the last couple decades propping ourselves up with a debt-based economy. Pretending, basically. Although I'm not sure how well it would have worked out anyway since many of those positions will become automated as we go along. From factory lines, right down to a McDonalds drive through.

To your point about how some of these people view the homeless, I think to admit some of the reasons as to why they're in that situation is as admission of failure in the system we've all been indoctrinated with since birth & fought entire wars over. That type of iron clad stubborn way of thinking we hear from some will only lead to further despair. Its like someone with cancer not wanting to accept it, so they delay treatment & only get sicker.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 01:51:14 PM
One can be homeless or jobless for many reasons.  Whether one is mentally deficient to the extreme, or only to the degree preventing one from working, the fact is that they are unemployable.  The other reason for the homeless or unemployed is simply that the economy is dysfunctional to the degree that there are not enough jobs for those wanting to work   Our economy has worsened as a consequence of offshoring and increased efficiencies in manufacturing and other areas of the economy.

Due to weak presidential leadership and bought congressional leaders, our federal government has allowed legislation, pressured by corporate lobbyists, to destroy the manufacturing base, and to offshore many jobs .. all to maximize profits for shareholders, and to accommodate the greed culture on wall street. 

Increasingly, as the economy sinks further into dysfunction and stagnation, only the deluded will continue to say that people do not want to work.  We will finally realize that unemployment is a consequence of a failed system, and not a consequence of too many people not wanting to work.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: strider on February 23, 2014, 02:47:05 PM
The bottom line is that the City at the request of a few seems intent on making Hemming Park unusable to all simply to spite the few they do not like from exercising a public right to sit on a bench. 

Someday, some when, maybe, just maybe, we can be proud of Jacksonville once again.  Just not today.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Dog Walker on February 23, 2014, 04:55:05 PM
Unfortunately, there are those in influential positions who don't like the park's economic and racial balance.

Ennis, you are a gentleman and a diplomat!  How gently and kindly you have exposed a truth without inflaming the issue.  Tip of the hat!
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 06:06:53 PM
Poor Jerry .... is he too often the victim of verbal attacks?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 06:34:17 PM
Do you believe it is fair and productive to relentlessly attack someone who is, if all factors are weighed, a big plus, a big draw for the downtown core? ... a core which needs all the draw we can muster?   
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 06:44:05 PM
Where is substance?  Are you afraid of me?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 06:46:44 PM
After all, Jerry’s La Cena has survived many years in the city core while many have come and gone.  Many, including you, are quite familiar with failure in the core.  One would think that anyone, such as Jerry, who has survived in the core because of hard work and dedication, would be supported when possible by those who claim to want revitalization for the city core. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on February 23, 2014, 06:54:28 PM
Unfortunately, there are those in influential positions who don't like the park's economic and racial balance.

Ennis, you are a gentleman and a diplomat!  How gently and kindly you have exposed a truth without inflaming the issue.  Tip of the hat!

A lot of time we sugar coat the reality but it is what it is and it's pretty pathetic, IMO.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 07:15:41 PM
Again, do you believe it is fair and productive to relentlessly attack someone who is, if all factors are weighed, a big plus, a big draw for the downtown core? ... a core which needs all the draw we can muster?

Jerry is doing well because he has one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.  The ambience is great.  The music is great.  The food is superb.  And as an additional plus, Jerry is a real character. 

The core needs La Cena.  Why verbally attack a positive force surviving in the core, one of the few businesses providing a great service for the core.  Jerry endures and provides life for the core while most business startups avoid it, taking the easy route around King Street/Avondale/Riverside.  Give support please ... not criticism and verbal attacks ... especially not from the position of a media forum.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 07:55:10 PM
As expected ... very little substance from you Stephen .... the usual hogwash, as is the case when you are caught saying something stupid.

My objective of course, is to encourage you to consider the harm you do to an established business in the core when you relentlessly attack and denigrate without good cause.  So let's acknowledge that everyone has their faults, except me of course, and that Jerry has his. 

Jerry is aware that he has been at times rather harsh on panhandlers and transients around the core and in the park, but my observations inform me that he is becoming more reasonable in his approach to them.  After all, he has endured the worst of the transients and homeless over the years, before we even arrived in the core.

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my presence.   
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 07:57:24 PM
Thanks again Stephen.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 09:08:35 PM
Substance?  I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to take from your history lesson.

Again, the issue is, and my concern is, that on this forum we avoid unwarranted negatives targeting those individuals and businesses surviving in the core, those who work hard to maintain a business in the core, those who have not abandoned the core, those who are determined to remain in the core in spite of the partial desolation.  Why verbally attack, repeatedly, businesses that give so much to the downtown core?  Do you wish for La Cena, and perhaps my bookstore/cafe to fail, and exit the core?  Your continued attacks, work to this end.  Why the relentless attacks? Are you jealous of our prosperity, of our ability to survive.... perhaps because you failed to survive in the core?

 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: ronchamblin on February 23, 2014, 09:12:54 PM
Okay .. just remember ..... no more unwanted attacks against us survivors in the core .... and there will be peace.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: icarus on February 24, 2014, 10:56:53 AM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: TheCeleryStalker on February 24, 2014, 11:12:27 AM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??

I wonder if someone (perhaps a corporate sponser) would be able to pay the homeless to help take care of the park?  I think it might be a good avenue to help some people get back to work at a place they are familiar with. 
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on February 24, 2014, 11:46:37 AM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that removing seats and chairs really doesn't matter in a space that's got several times as much linear seating area in the form of concrete planters.   All you've done is made the space more pedestrian hostile to the crowd people claim they want to attract.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: JayBird on February 24, 2014, 03:44:39 PM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??

I wonder if someone (perhaps a corporate sponser) would be able to pay the homeless to help take care of the park?  I think it might be a good avenue to help some people get back to work at a place they are familiar with.

This actually was happening. Catholic Charities used to pay people to pick up the park, and all of the Northbank downtown streets 7 days a week. You used to see them wearing vests and pushing yellow trash cans or on the Skyway the two days a week they went to clean the few south bank business streets. They'd also clean up at ArtWalk and some of the parades and festivals downtown. Terry Lorrince stopped this when she joined onto the contract with SMG.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: JayBird on February 24, 2014, 03:48:56 PM
^ it was when SMG came into the stadiums and other city places. Why downtown vision would want to spend more baffled us, but figured that SMG forced a package deal.

Edit: plus it was rumored that she was under pressure from the St James bldg because those ex felons and homeless were "representing the city"
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Dog Walker on February 24, 2014, 04:28:20 PM
In Amsterdam they are doing something of the sort except they are paying the homeless in beer. Cut out the middleman?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/world/europe/amsterdam-has-a-deal-for-alcoholics-work-paid-in-beer.html?_r=0
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on February 24, 2014, 04:45:00 PM
Wow that's bad
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Tacachale on February 24, 2014, 05:20:45 PM
Wasn't replacing permanent seating with moveable seating part of the plan at one point or another? What happened with that?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Tacachale on February 24, 2014, 05:26:18 PM
So what happened with that? Is the park bringing in movable chairs?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: TheCeleryStalker on February 25, 2014, 02:38:26 PM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??

I wonder if someone (perhaps a corporate sponser) would be able to pay the homeless to help take care of the park?  I think it might be a good avenue to help some people get back to work at a place they are familiar with.

Perhaps the two hundred thousand a year money they were going to pay a management company to do this would help defray the costs as well?

Sounds good to me.  When it comes to Hemming Plaza, they constantly attack the symptoms and never address the problem.  Instead of thinking "How do we keep these homeless people out of "our" park" and then removing the tables and benches, they need to be thinking "why are these people homeless and is there a cost effective way to help them get back into the workforce?".
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on March 07, 2014, 12:10:01 PM

Quote
Hemming Plaza getting a new look for One Spark

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer
The most comprehensive landscape improvement for Hemming Plaza in decades is scheduled to begin today.

In the first phase of the plan, volunteers from Naval Air Station Jacksonville will remove almost all of the existing plants in the landscape beds to make way for new foliage, flowers and shrubs.

Soil amendments will be added, if needed, and the irrigation system will be inspected.

“It’s the most attention the plaza has gotten in a long time. They’re going to take out everything except what’s worth saving,” said Anna Dooley, Greenscape of Jacksonville executive director.
http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542410
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: TheCat on March 07, 2014, 12:31:41 PM
Quote
They’re going to take out everything except what’s worth saving,

Are we placing bets?
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: IrvAdams on March 07, 2014, 01:04:30 PM
The landscapers sound like a good group. The plant mix could probably use a makeover for Spring, which really is coming, although it doesn't seem like it today.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Overstreet on March 07, 2014, 01:14:33 PM
I sometimes take the people mover to Hemming Plaza for meetings to avoid the hassle of parking downtown.

What I find most ironic about this situation is that the homeless and underemployed have started sitting on the steps and flower bed walls closer to the people mover station so it seems that removing the seating simply has transformed the problem ... not eliminated it.  Now, if you buy lunch from a food truck .... where are you going to sit??

I wonder if someone (perhaps a corporate sponser) would be able to pay the homeless to help take care of the park?  I think it might be a good avenue to help some people get back to work at a place they are familiar with.

Perhaps the two hundred thousand a year money they were going to pay a management company to do this would help defray the costs as well?

In my company we couldn't hire them.
A. They probably don't have the required ID + other documents to be hired and pass I-9 verification.
B. there's a drug test.
C. Our Loss prevention office and Workers Comp Insurance company would have a fit.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Lunican on March 07, 2014, 01:42:23 PM
So what is considered Jacksonville's premiere park? The northbank riverwalk maybe?

All of the parks seem to be in varying states of disrepair.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: thelakelander on March 07, 2014, 01:59:38 PM
^That's a pretty difficult question. I guess it would be the riverwalk.....which is really a sidewalk moreso than a traditional park.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: acme54321 on March 07, 2014, 02:55:45 PM
^That's a pretty difficult question. I guess it would be the riverwalk.....which is really a sidewalk moreso than a traditional park.

I think the proper spin/buzz word is "Linear Park"  :P
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: tufsu1 on March 07, 2014, 03:46:42 PM
So what is considered Jacksonville's premiere park?

I'm betting that would be either Memorial Park, Riverside Park, or Stockton Park in Ortega
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: fieldafm on March 07, 2014, 03:56:37 PM
Quote
Memorial Park, Riverside Park, Stockton Park in Ortega

While all of these have maintenance issues... all also have private people raising money to maintain/enhance these public spaces... that is certainly not an insignificant trait when you paralell with Hemming.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Lunican on March 07, 2014, 04:09:31 PM
I'm betting that would be either Memorial Park, Riverside Park, or Stockton Park in Ortega

Premiere doesn't mean meet the basic minimum requirements for a city park. Or maybe it does...
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: IrvAdams on March 07, 2014, 05:56:25 PM
The fountain has had some cool upgrades at Friendship Park. And then there's the rebuilding of the Southbank Riverwalk. Nice place to take guests.
Title: Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
Post by: Noone on March 08, 2014, 07:39:10 AM


Perhaps the two hundred thousand a year money they were going to pay a management company to do this would help defray the costs as well?

And I'll raise you $750,000 for a group to run a new $2,000,000 Public park next to a retention pond. This is all positive.