“Don’t Just Visit, GO There”……Dateline: Anchorage, Alaska, June, 1997. There is a $100,000 lot for sale at $55,000! The property is assessed for $105,000! What’s up?

 

So, I find out the owners are a family partnership who moved out of Alaska and want to dissolve the partnership. Out of the 35,000 square foot lot, approx 4,500 sq ft are designated B-Wetlands, so before I close, I go to Corps of Army Engineers Regulators and am told to go for it, but no permits will/can ever be allowed for speculative projects!

 

Fine with me, so I close on the lot and submit an application to build a retail/office/warehouse to fit into the neighborhood nicely. Later on I am told the Corps, EPA, National Fisheries, AK Fish & Game, ADEC and the Muni of Anchorage; want me to get out the way, so they can preserve the entire 35,000 sq ft.

 

They had talked to Alaska DOT, who needed a permit from same Regulators to complete an adjacent improvement on Old Seward Highway, and assured me they would get an offer.

 

[NOTE: I was well aware of the DOT project and intended to allow them to save money and time and save me money, as well, since they could use my lot to discard fill there instead of having to move it miles away from the job site. It would be a Win-Win situation.]

 

[NOTE: I was not aware that there was a monetary value attached to wetlands called “preservation credits.” DOT had paid upwards of $100,000 for each credit for a project at the airport, so there was a comparable sale available. There were more than three on this 35,000 sq ft lot. At that time, we certainly would have accepted any amount between our purchase price and the assessed value!]

 

Upon a resounding meeting of the minds consensus, I was implored to withdraw my application so DOT could make an offer to purchase. All sounded on the level with me, but after seven months had come and gone, I asked DOT what was up? They said “No offer” in April, 1998. I re-applied with the same project plan. Regulators said “NO,” but had me keep making submissions while assuring me they would get DOT to make an offer. Another year goes by and I find out DOT paid a conservation group $56,000 for a half a credit! WHAT?

 

To shorten this awful tale of abuse, I was asked to withdraw my 2nd application so the conservation group would make an offer. In February of 2000 (nearly three years of abuse by everybody involved) I was offered $58,000 for the lot, which had cost me a total of $167,000 to hold, manage and maintain for nearly three years! I verbally countered with $167,000 and that was that. [It should be here reported that with money received from the federal preservation credit scheme the conservation group bought an unthreatened property for $400,000 later that year!]

 

The lot then became two lots, one with credits and one for use. The one for use was a total of 6,500 square feet and could in no way be used for anything but speculative use! In 2003, the one with credits sold for $151,000; In 2006, the 6,500 sq ft one for use cost me $90,000 to fill (DOT had come and gone, of course), leased it to carry that cost and sold it for $125,000 in 2010. It is a used car lot.

 

WHY? WHY? WHY?  Win-Win-Win to Loss-Loss-Loss….NEEDLESSLY.  This kind of thing is the source of America’s distrust and discontent.  Is this taught in elementary schools? High schools?  Colleges?  Government?  Where is it taught to be OK or acceptable in any way?

 

The regulators called this travesty of events a success. There have been no apologies for The Making of Lot 9A. It took several local, state and federal agencies to get this done and it can happen again and again and again.

 

 

The events were called a success. There have been no apologies for The Making of Lot 9A. [FYI: It took the Village, the State and the Country to get this done!  There are no “Drive-By” solutions.]

 

First: At our September 10, 1997 meeting, the Agencies should not have asked me to sell.

Second: The preservation value should have been disclosed to me when I was approached.

Third: Eminent Domain was the appropriate vehicle.

Fourth: I should not have been asked to withdraw my application.

Fifth: I should have been told there was never any intention to give me a non-speculative permit.

Sixth: I should not have been encouraged to continue submitting non-speculative applications  

Seventh: The conservation group should not have been referred to me to be serious/caring buyers.

Eighth: Political leaders should have been able to intervene and protect me from being mistreated.

Ninth: There should have been a thorough examination of what happened.

Tenth: Government Incompetence must have consequences!

 

[There is more that can be learned, but this provides a start.]

 

 

The artwork using the above quote from Abe Lincoln is a likely candidate for display on T-Shirts, Tote Bags, Containers, and other novelty products.

I can’t insert pictures of proposed products displaying the ‘FOLLY’ image, because the image itself is a work in progress.   For now, it is just another “hopeful thinking” idea.

The FOLLY image seen on the HOME Page might inspire a sculpture, maybe, symbolic of why “Giving-A-Squat” will always help us stay aware of ground level situations that require attention.   Why not?  We can’t just be “Willing;” we must also be “Able.”

HEY!!…sometimes tails do “appear” to be legs, from different distances and angles (points of view).  We must get closer and squat down or kneel to recognize and acknowledge the facts. It is not what we call ‘Fun’; there is ‘Work’ that must get done:

 

Willing and Able

Some are willing but not able;

Some are able but not willing

The willing must go to the able;

The able must go to the willing

Nobody cares to be needy;

Nobody cares to be lacking

When “Nobody cares” …. We got U.S. a problem.

 

Politicians, Hollow Visions, and Newscasters as our guides; The Golden Rule….that’s dying, too….A truth we can’t deny. Don’t you know we’ve lost our minds; Recognize the self-attack.

     “Calling a Tail a LEG doesn’t make it true.”