Monday, September 14, 2009

RNCIC news release strangely timed

I think you may be missing the point of the huge amount of information I provided this weekend on this site and others.
The RNCIC announcement was issued by officers of the RNCIC to the Springdale office of the Morning News. They live in Springdale and have never attended a meeting of the Town Branch Neighborhood Association.
Had they chosen to ask the members of the RNCIC to support their comments, which they decided to make after having a private meeting with a representatives of the company seeking to rezone the National Cemetery to allow it to build 500 bedrooms in three-story buildings next to the National Cemetery, they would have waited until 10 a.m. Saturday and brought up the text for consideration during the monthly meeting.
They did not attend the meeting. The vice president chaired the meeting and someone else had to do the secretary's work during the meeting. He said something about the group being done with the sale-barn issue. He appeared reluctant to allow discussion and managed the meeting to get it over fast.
I stated clearly that the neighbors would continue to try to protect the cemetery and the neighborhood from the risk of having multistory buildings with 500 bedrooms adjacent to the National Shrine.
The 7 or 8 people who attended may or may not have voted to send out the news release.
The effort to buy and destroy the existing single-family homes on Hill Avenue and Government Avenue was their second choice more than a decade ago when there was no indication that the Washington County Livestock Auction property would come up for sale.
We appreciate what the RNCIC has done to enlarge the cemetery in the past. But the thousands of members of veterans' organizations and others who have contributed to the effort must be considered also.
My personal conversations with hundreds of them make me confident that the majority would not support the RNCIC news release.
I hope the RNCIC will gain membership, especially members who are younger and more energetic than most of us at Saturday's meeting and will remember what was required to serve and get the right thing done.
New members who believe that the effort to raise money to buy the sale-barn property will have to make it happen. Some of the longtime members express total disappointment with public officials who haven't supported their efforts in the past, which means they won't even attempt to push for support now.
However, the threat of construction next within 100 feet of the graves in the cemetery has created incredible support for expansion of the cemetery.
For this cemetery to be wrapped in huge apartment complexes would be abominable.
When the City Council votes down the rezoning on Tuesday night, then the fund-raising effort must begin in earnest.
After the quick closing of the meeting Saturday, one person pointed out to those of us lingering over the coffee pot at the American Legion building that only $10 each from the veterans in the four-county area eligible to be buried in the Fayetteville National Cemetery would bring in the first million dollars.
The RNCIC is a nonprofit organization founded years ago to gather funding for "improvement" of the national cemetery. Putting out a statement basically allowing the public to get the idea that incompatible development next to the cemetery might be OK isn't part of its mission statement.
Compromising with the enemy just when the public has actually stepped up to support them makes no sense.
The RNCIC was trying to buy the land across on Hill Avenue before the plan to build Aspen Ridge was proposed.


Anonymous said...

Aub, what is the deal with the realtor? The KW cares site says it helps its employees. I followed your link, even though you didn't make it easy by making a hyperlink.
Is it unusual for them to donate to charities such as the RNCIC? Is their effort to help raise money to buy the sale barn property or is it to help the North Carolina developers get the RNCIC to say what they said in the news release.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind donating a decent amount to the RNCIC, but I will earmark mine only for purchase of the sale-barn property. The main thing is to keep the cemetery spreading to the east and preserve expand what can be seen from the surrounding hills. That is a magnificent site. Tearing out the houses and the trees and filling the wetland would simply make the RNCIC and the government look really foolish and our "green valley" look foolish and short-sighted.
I hope that a couple of years from now city officials will not have to look back as they did on the Aspen Ridge debacle and wonder when Aub and his neighbors would start saying "I told you so."
The council can end this charade TONIGHT and never have to say "I'm sorry."