Thursday, February 24, 2011
Along S. Rocheblave
This evening, I was out photographing the S.W. Green Mansion along the edge of the VA Hospital Footprint. High winds were blowing dust everywhere when I encountered Ms. D standing outside her residence. She told me about the many inconveniences that have piled up for the people living just outside the footprint - the people who weren't planned for. She was quite upset, and said she recently had to go to the hospital due to breathing problems she blamed on the site preparation just across the street where tons of river sand have been placed as fill on the roughly 30 acres of cleared land.
Her neighbor, also upset, asked me to wait a minute. When he returned, he laid out a long row of medications and said that all of his troubles stem from the hospital project work across the street - and the dirt road track that passes for a street itself. He insisted that I take a photo.
Another neighbor is actually a construction worker - and he, too, pointed out the many failings of the site preparation work when it came to inconveniencing and endangering neighbors.
Poor Derrick Morrison, who was flyering the area for the Committee to Reopen Charity, got an earful from the residents - who peppered him with complaints and questions about problems that were not his doing. The dust, the lack of sidewalks, the gaping open holes, the vibrations, the occasional intense lights shining in windows at night, the occasional pitch darkness, construction debris and equipment in yards, the general uncertainty, etc., that were being caused by government actions - are things Derrick has consistently raised as issues for the news media and for city officials on behalf of the residents. In fact, I'd say he's done more for the residents affected by the project than just about anyone else.
Across the way, a band of kids chanted in unison as they pretended they were in a military unit or a band and marched across the VA Footprint - with stakes of some kind in hand.