Freewrite #6

July 30, 2009

  1.  The original inquiry at hand can be seen in my project proposal in Freewrite 2:

“ For my freewrite paper I was considering a few options to write about.  The first option would be the closing of the public golf course North Woodmere Park which is about two miles from my house.  I do not know what in fact they will be building over the course, however, I do know that there will not be a golf course there.  Without a public golf course, where people who love to play the game could go and have their fun without paying the fifteen thousand dollar fees it costs to play at other local clubs, where will they play their golf?  How will this effect their weekends, and their social life?  How will this effect the amount of golf they play and how much money they will be spending on top of what they already put into the game?  How about, what will they be building over the course?  If they will be building office building or houses, how would those structures affect the community both visually and physically?  These are important questions, and still, aren’t even half the questions I could ask myself, and/or the people of my community. “  When looking at the inquiry questions, I am not only asking and inferring about the golfers of the community, and their take, but the community members whom don’t use the course for golf as well.   The details of my gory inquiries have not changed over the past weeks.  I have been asking community members of all backgrounds what their position on a possible situation is, what they believe should be erected in its place, why they don’t think it should be destroyed, etc.  It is important to realize that, although there are many questions and alternating inquiries, it is important to keep this project concise and of the most important issues at hand.  What I am looking to extract from those in my community is, whether or not they support the deconstruciton of the course, the building of new properties over the land, their feel on private courses in the community, and what the course means to them.  I also have been asking basic questions on public space, and having them broadly define their take on what it is, and what should be done with such properties.  The research I have tried to go in depth about, is what will be built over the land, although I could only extract detailed rumors. 

 

2.  What I did not know was that the community knew a lot more about public space than I expected.  People shared with me their stories of childhood playgrounds and amenities that were spread all around the community, and what they are today.  People somberly described their memories of such properties, and ambitiously dismissed the importance of the properties that have been erected.  Selfishness definetely takes part in some explanations, and people tend to care less about changes as they get older, and less bitter.  However, the people in the community that don’t use public properties as often, still have a strong position on why they should be preserved.  People believe that our future children need to have outdoor amenities that provide them with both afterschool and weekend activities.  In todays world where obesity and drugs are both issues that are being instilled in our children, we need to fight such congruence with the persuasion of taking advantage of all outdoor activities and public space.  We should be looking to enhance these properties, rather than destroy them, in order to create excitement around them, and create interest around their use.  Without revealing all aspects of my knowledge about the research, I can share that I have learned a lot more about the meaning of public space in my community, and how my community members are reacting to such a situation, and to the use of public space as well.  One would be surprised about the values people of my community have to enhance public space, rather than destroy it for the use of growth of the community.  Most believe in a happy intermediary, yet, no one ever seems to understand, or like any such situations, when things they enjoy, and are apart of their lives, are being destroyed and/or taken away.

 

3.  I still don’t know enough about what is going to be built on the property.  I cant seem to find that information, and the people that work for the course have little to do with the deal, and are still unsure if there will ever be one.  What one needs to understand about a project like this, is that it is not about a situation that is absolutely happening, but a theoretical rumor that is being passed around.  I am instead trying to find out the contributions of one course to my community, how my community feels about such public space, their definitions of public space, their take on the issue, what they have heard/think would be appropriate to build on the lot, who should be in charge of deciding, and so on.  I have largely been trying to research online for articles that explain rumors on this particular subject, but that information cannot be found.  As of now, this is a theoretical project that deals with an appropriate topic at hand, which I am using to survey my community, and understand better the community I live in, and how they are/would react to a situation that is prevalent in most towns/states around the country.   

 

4.  The gaps that I am noticing in my research deal with the definition of public space, and how it should be governed.  People have been discussing this issue at large with me, and feel that what is important about my research is not the Golf Course, but rather the underlying issue that deals with our local government and board members of our community deciding to ultimately take away land that belongs to all of our community and shared communitywide.  Other issues that I can talk in depth about is what memories my community has of past lands that have been constructed over, and why this theme of taking away public amenities is going to come back and haunt every community.  Ultimately, why this theme is a backwards ongoing movement in the United States all around.  Dealing with secondary sources, the information I am retrieving mostly deals with opinions on public spaces that are being built over around the country, what public space means to a community, why we should stop the destruction of public space, and how a community should conduct itself in such situations.  In entirity, it is more often that I find both primary and secondary sources that parallel my own opinions on the subject.  For example, it is very rare that I find articles in support of the destruction of public properties of any and all sorts.  That being said my paper will only have limitations when it referrs to only a few inquiries.  There will only be argumental information in reference to budgeting information, how that should be resolved, and some disputes on a few other issues I can create through the use of primary sources.

 

5.  When it comes to public space, people of various communities take issues regarding such properties in very private manors.  It is often that you see something from your childhood being destroyed in an effort to “better your community.”  It is often that you see various neighborhoods “better” their communities by “enhancing” public space, and making room for the growth of their communities.  However, it is never mentioned what implications come with the absence of public amenities and properties that have traditionally existed in every community nationwide.  It is never mentioned how future generations of our community will exactly benefit/be effected by such immediate and strong changes in our cities and towns.  It has been found that although rumors have been surfaced of a deal in hand to destroy North Woodmere Public Golf Course exist, the people of our 5-town community are in no way in support of this happening.  It has yet to be discovered what will be erected on the property.  However, it has been discovered that people are not anxious to find out what the absence of various public amenities will do to our community.  To me, this is absurdity, there needs to be a line drawn in the hypothetical sand that severely undermines such construction projects.  When it comes to limiting our public space, the barriers of limitation must be absolutely defined and the reasons for limitation must be of most importance and beneficial to a community.  The land at hand is very true and dear to my heart, as well as the many hearts of my community and surrounding towns and villages.  Today, we live in a world where capitalization takes over most businesses.  People are in search for an easy buck, and any buck they can make/find.  However, in today’s economy, when that buck is hard to come by, people are trying to extract that hypothetical buck in the most expensive ways possible.  People are starting to drop funding for public space/amenities and sell of public lands that have more intrinsic value to a mass amount of people, than it does monetary. 

 

6.  Although the North Woodmere Public Golf Course does not serve immediate purpose to all members of my community, it acts as an important symbol of our right to exercise the use of our public space.  Without the public golf course, our rights are being limited, and we are forced to being subjected to exclusionary acts, more money out of our pockets, and amenities being forcefully taken from future generations.

Freewrite 5

July 25, 2009

David Sibley wrote a masterful piece on various exclusionary acts which he deems unfair practice.  He compares the situations and acts of different cultures through different time periods in order to connect a similar though process; exclusion, at any level, is wrong.  Starting with the second paragraph of his article, Sibley quotes Rabinow in a way to start his argument, and broaden the thought processes of his readers.  The paragraph is used to introduce the first of many examples of how exclusion is overlooked, or not realized in society, and how one should start and realize these actions amongst their everyday lives.   He also uses marx as a way to present a new point of view that counteracts, but at the same time agrees/complements with Rabinow’s thought process.  Throughout the rest of the paper, Sibley used various different sources to present ways different exclusionary acts were being presented.  The british documentary was used to directly support the argument at hand, representing examples of how exclusion is practiced in everyday life.  These facts coincide with the wall of the apartment building, used for the same purpose, to represent supporting facts.  Up until this point of his article, sibley connects all of his sources by both putting them into conversation with each other, and creating various arguments.  The article goes forward by presenting other sources which show examples of the act of rejection and being rejected, in an attempt to both deepen the argument and add strong emphasis.

 

After reading Sibleys article, I have a significantly better idea of how to conduct my own sustained research essay.  I have so many different sources.  I can both utilize sources of history and facts, and also utilize sources of opinion, honesty, statistics, and human thoughts.  I wish to start my essay by presenting the problem at hand.  Talking about a brief description of the golf course, what it means to me, and facts about the community.  These facts including the towns that utilize the course, prices of various private courses, restrictions for use of these private courses, and all other issues that coincide with the golf course aspect of the paper.  Then I want to discuss the ongoing problems with the “end of public space” as we know it; how each community is being affected, and which amenities are disappearing as the future takes its course.  I have plenty of both news and factual articles that coincide with these issues for which I will place the authors into conversation about these issues and facts.  Lastly, I wish to present facts towards my conclusion which add emphasis to my thesis, and support all arguments I have made in one last powerful attempt, and then, conclude with my, and my community that agrees with me, beliefs on the issue at hand. 

 

 

1. Wjla.com. Abc News. 21 July 2009 <http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0709/641094.html&gt;.:

Public Advocacy Article Titled: “Montgomery County Plans to Close Public Golf Course.”  This well written but concise article posts many concerns that are similar to those in neighborhood: “what is to be become of the land if greed overcomes the green.”  Green being a pun on words representing the public golf course in Montgomery County.  The author of the article stresses the upset thoughts of those who regularly utilize the course, while also representing their concerns for what could possibly take its place.  It details the positives of having a public golf course, and holistically, what it brings to the community.  It also voices a concern of what is to become of future properties when budgets get tight, money gets tight, and greed overcomes sympathy.
            Unfortunately, there was no Author for this article.  This article, however, was a news report that was listed on wjla.com, or channel 7 local news.  The news in general, when thought-out, is usually told in order to draw in, and rally up an audience.  When you watch the news on television, you don’t necessarily care about all the stories, but the ones you do have interest in allow you to further your interest.  This article has a lot of bias.  It is assuming that its audience has sympathy for public space like the aforementioned.  The author must have been well informed as it is apparent that he/she is correct that this is a growing concern, and people really have passion around a sport they can play on their own, and a place they can play for dirt cheap.  I understand that the news is always bias, creating stories they believe will attract the vast majority; it even drew me in, and stirred up compassion about how much I will miss my own course. 
            The article draws in the audience of not only golfers who cannot afford the outrageous rates of private courses, but draws compassion from all golfers across America.  The audience also includes people passionate about public space, and the right way to utilize and distribute the land.  The author assumes that everyone understands what its like to play on a public course, playground, or other park, free of charge, or close to it, when the private versions are only for a small grouping of richer America.  The article also assumes that the audience believes public space is good for a community; which I believe it assumes correctly.  The article is both relevant to my paper and current to its time.  It deals with a situation that is probably occurring across America as budgets are down in each state.  Its biases lean toward those compassion about public recreational areas and the conservation of and beauty of public space.

 

Page 1 of 1: “SILVER SPRING, Md. – Some Montgomery County (web | news) residents are teed off at a plan to shut down the popular Sligo Creek golf course in Silver Spring, one of the only public courses inside the Beltway.

 

People have signed petitions and gone to meetings, but in the end, it all comes down to money.”

This quote is not interesting because the facts they present, but the idea behind the lines at hand.  The people of Silver Spring are similar to those of my community.  They share the same passion for the sport of golf, and the all resort to using a single public course.  Rather than having options, it is either go private, or use Sligo Creek.  No one has argued that it is particularly the best course around, rather, that it is affordable and does the job, much like North Woodmere.  The quotation actually provides such parallelism, that I believe our situations are actually the exact same.  It is important to use in my essay as sibley used various examples of exclusionary acts seen in the british shopping mall and the walls of the apartment complex.  Quotes like such will come up when I need to show problems that exist in various communities that coincide with ones in my own, and how actors of other communities are reacting to such problems at hand.

 

“Now, the county is looking at other options. “If golf can’t be there then what can be there? It’s beautiful — it’s 65 acres of amazing, beautiful rolling terrain,” said Rachel Newhouse of the Montgomery County Department of Parks.

 

It may take more money for Peters and his friends to go somewhere else, but they say they’ll miss the familiar faces.

 

“You come here, you’ll probably play with someone that you know or played with before,” said James Sheldon, a golfer.

 

There’s a planning meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m. about what could become of the golf course.”

This quote can also be found in the Montgomery article and is also important as it parallels the personal aspects that coincide with my paper.  So many questions can be brought up about what is to come of my community and the land in question.  There are so many acres, yet so little answers about what will fill up all the land.  A community which originally resided on this course when it came to a social activity and public amenity such as golf is now being split up, and people want answers, like my own community.  These two previous quotes, when used together will form a great piece that parallels what Sibley used the British shopping mall and apartment wall examples for.

 

 

2. Arles, Brett. “”A Place to Play”” 21 July 2009. http://www.louiswittig.com/clipfiles/NonProfitLetter.pdf

 

Public Advocacy Article Titled: “A place to play.” This article is a little bit older than the previous 2, written in 2006.  However, it goes into talking about how that year 300 public parks/playgrounds were shut down in order to sell the land, and/or because of lack of funding.  The article tries to express to the reader the necessity to donate and pledge money to a foundation that is devoted to saving parks across America.  They stress this donation as they try to create the image of the memory each of us had growing up playing in our public playground, and what it could possibly be like not having our kids share the same experience

 

A closed playground may not sound that terrible, but consider that since 1999,

as budget woes have gripped municipalities across the country, parks departments

have shut down over 300 public playgrounds, and severely curtailed the hours of an-

other 4000. These moves have left tens of thousands children in neighborhoods just

like yours without accessible, welcoming places to just be kids.

 I know you want to make sure that today’s children can enjoy the same carefree

experiences you did. When you give to A Place to Play, you’re doing so much more

than allowing them to have fun.”

This quote will be important in many facets of my essay.  First it will also help strengthen my argument that public space is being severely limited and turned over for profit in todays society.  Then, it will serve to prove that, not only golf courses, but many other forms of public space are involved in the makeup of a community are being shut down, and the members that use these properties are feeling displaced and are experiencing a life change.  It raises the question of where will the line be drawn when determining what to do with future public space properties.  What will members of communities resort to without their public amenities? And other questions of this type which I will powerfully bring up in my essay. 

 

            Throughout the country, communities are changing, both physically and mentally.  As loans are being defaulted on exponentially, each of our communities are feeling the heavy burden of low funding, tougher to reach budgets, and empty houses.  Job losses and unemployment are keeping members of our community out of the workforce and into their homes, as their pockets are getting seemingly shorter by the day.  Some experts believe that the best cure to a changing lifestyle, is to find what’s stable, and hold onto that.  Some also believe that it is the hobbies that people create and maintain for themselves that allow them to get back on track and become more confident in their everyday abilities.  Today, communities are shrinking and the opportunity for taking advantage of all that a community has to offer is dwindling by the day.  According to an informational study conducted by Bret Arles, a University of Pennsylvania graduate,

 

“since 1999, as budget woes have gripped municipalities across the country, parks departments have shut down over 300 public playgrounds, and severely curtailed the hours of another 4000. These moves have left tens of thousands children in neighborhoods just like yours without accessible, welcoming places to just be kids.

 I know you want to make sure that today’s children can enjoy the same carefree

experiences you did. When you give to A Place to Play, you’re doing so much more than allowing them to have fun”

 

The important factor about this quotation is not the playgrounds, but the idea behind the playgrounds.  Communities are feeling the gripping pressures to meet budgets, as well as losses in many aspects around their community, that it is actually affecting all age groups equally.  With all burdens of the economy effecting individual households, people are losing sight of how infact they are effecting and changing their communities.

 

            According to a news report for channel 7 abc news, the community of Montgomery County is feeling the very effects of amenities in their public space being taken from their hands.  The golf course located on Sligo Creek, all 65 acres of it, is being sold, for what, however, is uncertain.  The main issue is that the people of the community have created such a binding relationship with the course and all its regular golfers, that it is of the same value to each member as the public library, playground, public parks, and so on.  What is being taken is more than just a golf course, it is a seemingly permanent fixture that has offered decades upon decades of fun loving, competitive, social, and most of all affordable rounds of golf and community activity.  Who will benefit is very hard to conceive when considering who is suffering.

Freewrite 4

July 23, 2009

Public Advocacy Article Titled: “Montgomery County Plans to Close Public Golf Course.”  This well written but concise article posts many concerns that are similar to those in neighborhood: “what is to be become of the land if greed overcomes the green.”  Green being a pun on words representing the public golf course in Montgomery County.  The author of the article stresses the upset thoughts of those who regularly utilize the course, while also representing their concerns for what could possibly take its place.  It details the positives of having a public golf course, and holistically, what it brings to the community.  It also voices a concern of what is to become of future properties when budgets get tight, money gets tight, and greed overcomes sympathy.
            Unfortunately, there was no Author for this article.  This article, however, was a news report that was listed on wjla.com, or channel 7 local news.  The news in general, when thought-out, is usually told in order to draw in, and rally up an audience.  When you watch the news on television, you don’t necessarily care about all the stories, but the ones you do have interest in allow you to further your interest.  This article has a lot of bias.  It is assuming that its audience has sympathy for public space like the aforementioned.  The author must have been well informed as it is apparent that he/she is correct that this is a growing concern, and people really have passion around a sport they can play on their own, and a place they can play for dirt cheap.  I understand that the news is always bias, creating stories they believe will attract the vast majority; it even drew me in, and stirred up compassion about how much I will miss my own course. 
            The article draws in the audience of not only golfers who cannot afford the outrageous rates of private courses, but draws compassion from all golfers across America.  The audience also includes people passionate about public space, and the right way to utilize and distribute the land.  The author assumes that everyone understands what its like to play on a public course, playground, or other park, free of charge, or close to it, when the private versions are only for a small grouping of richer America.  The article also assumes that the audience believes public space is good for a community; which I believe it assumes correctly.  The article is both relevant to my paper and current to its time.  It deals with a situation that is probably occurring across America as budgets are down in each state.  Its biases lean toward those compassion about public recreational areas and the conservation of and beauty of public space.

     Public Advocacy/Personal Article Titled: “Cheapest Public Golf Courses in St. Louis.” This is an article written by someone who has recently been overtaken by the sport.  The article talks about how, growing up, golf in Missouri just wasn’t the same.  It had only hosted 1 pga event and it was a small one in 1992.  However, the country in general has been playing golf these at an exponential rate, everyone wants to be like tiger.  The article talks about just how cheap public golf courses are, and the benefits that brings to a community.

     Public Advocacy Article Titled: “A place to play.” This article is a little bit older than the previous 2, written in 2006.  However, it goes into talking about how that year 300 public parks/playgrounds were shut down in order to sell the land, and/or because of lack of funding.  The article tries to express to the reader the necessity to donate and pledge money to a foundation that is devoted to saving parks across America.  They stress this donation as they try to create the image of the memory each of us had growing up playing in our public playground, and what it could possibly be like not having our kids share the same experience.

     News Media Article Titled: “Proposed Austin Budget Cuts could Close Public Pools, Playground programs.” Like the previous 3 articles this article stresses the importance of public parks, and how this cut will effect future kids

    This article was written by Rebecca Taylor, reporting for CBS news, channel 42 in her local area.  It was a short snippet directed towards the local crowd, but important for all of America.  It is both relevant and current to my paper, as it stresses the conservation of public space, and the ability to do with it as we please.  The article is short, and simply brings up the point, “what are we going to do with our kids?”  This meaning, with no more public playgrounds where will we bring them, what does this mean for our pockets, and out of boredom, what will our kids do with their time.  It is biased as it forgets about the money issue behind the reasoning of cutting over 300 parks, and neglects what the saved money will be used for.  However, it rightfully does so as it stresses the importance of doing all that we can to preserve these public properties.

    The audience of this article are mere viewers of a telecast, yet are being spoken to in order to invigorate change.  The issue at hand is not spoken about enough.  The news report was given in hope to reach out and ask people of the community to recognize a problem at hand, the disappearing of public space, and realize if they do nothing, remain unspoken, every community will change without their say.

     

                  What to do with public space is an issue for all time.  Some might say that the issue began the same date and time that democracy began.  From the beginning of time there have been leaders appointed, both righteously and wrongfully.  However, under those leaders the people of the majority were granted rights to do as they please under certain restrictions.  We call these restrictions the constitution.  The way that public space is utilized can be seen through the same light.  People come together as a community and utilize all forms of their public space in their community to really, do as they’d please.  So as long as their activities are both legal and safe, there really isn’t much they are not aloud to accomplish on public grounds.  However, people can only go as far and do as much as a their community will let them.  As the world changes, so does everyone’s community.  Swingsets that used to hang at the elementary school turned into grounds for pods, used to house outdoor classrooms because of over population of students.  Fields used to play football on snowdays and in November are closed off, sold, and used for construction.  Even trees, the very trees belonging to nature itself have been cut down in order to make room for houses.  Our country, unfortunately, is going through a dilemna.  Everyday people lose jobs, money, their mortgages, hope.  Everyday, people are moving in and out of communities and stationary objects within each community are changing.  In times like these, people need stability in their lives.  They need the knowledge and wherewithal that although most things are changing around them, the things that they can control, are changing or staying the same under their terms.  Funny, because in the article, “cheapest golf courses in St. Louis,” by Walt Crocker, Walt speaks about an example of something that should be taken advantage of that exists in many communities; public golf couses.  Walt talks of the beauty and fun that can be extracted from the game, and how the public aspects of each course offers so much back to a community.   

                Although Golf is just one way that a community can utilize its public space, the author of “a place to play,” a graduate student from the University of Pennsylvania, talks about how playgrounds, another facet of public place, are disappearing all over the country.  As said before, as the world changes, people need to be able to hold onto some sort of commonality.  Kids need playground to play and grow on.  Adults need golf to exalt unused energy and explore an admiration for the outdoors.  There are so many examples of what people in the many different communities need out of their public space.  However, these needs are not being met as they are being overshadowed by greed and the bigger thirst for a buck.  Our communities are changing in order to create money, and are throwing out the preservation of beauty, tradition, and necessity.  Brett Arles, the author of a place to play, would agree with walt crockers ambition to explore the golf courses of st. louis.  Arles would agree that people of the communities of Missouri need to utilize all their public space, may it be golf courses, and explore all that their communities have to offer.  Although Arles piece was written in an attempt to attract donators, Crocker also wrote to encourage community members to “use it before you lose it,” as many people in many different communities are losing their sources of entertainment, provided by their public space, each and everyday.  Rebecca Taylor, who reported news about public pools and parks of an Austin community being shut down, gave light about how communities are rapidly changing.  She even quoted a community member pleading, “where will our children play?” and “what will they do after school.”  All of us, as community members all across America need to recognize the changes being made around, the little control we are being given to govern and utilize our public space, and put a foot down in the right direction to appreciate and help preserve what each of us needs.

    What I want to Discover

    July 16, 2009

    The primary research I am conducting for this project will lead me to discover not only about a typical example of the “end of public space” as we know it, but much about my community as well.  Throughout this course we have all talked and blogged about what it means to consider something public space and the discourses that are involved.  We all live in houses amongst communities amongst towns and villages, and beyond that cities and states.   However, it is that area outside of the property we own that arguably actually is not ours.  That sounds strange.  However, it is the best way it can be said.  That area; the streets, the parks, the sidewalks, the swingsets in our local town parks, and the public facilities, are all really not ours to share.  In the end, some people just have that much more instake, and that much more say over how the “public space” is to be utilized, and what is to be done with it.  In my example, a public, free golf course, North Woodmere Park, is rumored to be sold sometime in the upcoming future, and turned into private development that is supposed to “better” our community.  However, who is to determine what will “better” my community by taking away something at least 5 different towns share, not including those coming from rosedale and other towns adjacent to my own and subsiding in queens.  Where will the line stop?  Will private contractors or communities deem other public parks outdated and ready to be transformed into newer and “better” developments to “better” our communities?  This project deals not only with my passion for golf as a sport, a passion I share with many in my community, but it deals with defining a line.  A line that says, I am part of this community too, and I, in the end will determine what best benefits all of us on that property.  I will be surveying those on the golf course and range, along with people in town and in various communities to find there take on a possible situation like such.  

    Golf is an interesting sport however.  Which is why there are two parts to my essay.  EXCLUSION.  exclusion such as what freewrite 3 was about, has influenced me to make this a two part essay.  Therefore, I will also be writing about how the golfers feel about the restrictions on private golf courses in the area, what there take is on the various reasons they cant join, and why it really is important to have a public park where they can play golf everyday and/or as often as they please.

    To make sure my biases are not reflected in my research methods, I will simply state that the closing of the course remains a rumor, and that I myself am completely indifferent.  I will set up a situation where both I and the person I am surveying feel completely at ease to comply.  All in all, I am excited to see how the research turns out, and if my passion for this public space, is shared fullheartedly all around my community.

    Sibley’s Article

    July 16, 2009

    “Introductions to Geographies of Exclusion,” by Sibley acts as a chapter of his text which represents the aspects of exclusionary acts in social space.  Although he relates back to Africa and Nazi Germany where such acts were of more severe context, he mainly focuses on the uses of public space, and how we as smaller communities exclude many different demographics of people from our social, yet conceivably “free,” environment.

    Rhetorical Situation

    David Sibley acts as a reporter searching for change when it comes to his chapter on “introductions to Geographies of Exclusion.”  He talks to us, the viewers and listeners, as initiators of change.  People who can read such an article, understand the malpractices and implications of social exclusions, and lobby for change.  Not only does this rhetorical situation set up a feeling of disgust with how people act towards each other, and exclude groups of individuals from “social” environments, but, it also calls for change.   It calls for us as the reader to change the way we act towards stereotyping, holding, and excluding various groups of individuals of different age, sex, and race, from our own social environments.  David Sibley goes from setting up disgust, talking about aparthides in Africa, and Nazi Germany, to exclusion of teens from shopping Centres, and Hippies from the walls of Apartment buildings.  Sibley creates such disgust that he setsup the reader to feel the same disgust towards those individuals whom lock out groups of individuals from this country, to ordinary places such as shopping centres, malls, golf clubs, beach clubs, and so on.   The article has other contexts which elude the reader to feel the same anger towards acts of “exclusion” as Sibley has/does.  The article talks about private golf courses, what makes them private, and how they are just a form seclusion in the current state of America.  He leaves out the fact that they are in fact private and in fact are no longer public space.  When the land was purchased, it resides in the hands of its owners, and no longer the community, so as long as the acts on the property are acts of descency and good, and not to commit crimes. 

     

    David brings up many good points in his article.  However, his view is infact just a view.  These are not facts, they are situations; America is not Apertide Africa nor is it Nazi Germany.  Those are extremes which still to this present day are not even in the same chapter, let alone the same book as excluding people from shopping malls or walls because of certain restrictions.  Both are wrong.  However, the first acts represented are wrong on all levels and lead to death, starvation, containment, torture, all that coincides with the maximum possibilities one man can punish another with.  The second set are wrong as well as they are acts of exlusion, and on some level, punishment.  However, these acts do not exist everywhere, and we as humans and Americans have a chance to salvage those acts, change our ways, and do right by others, legally, by our social change we impinge upon ourselves, and not the rules, laws, and/or regulations of our Country.  Its part of living in a Democracy, it both gives Freedom, and it takes freedom.  It allows it, and it “restricts” the very essence of it.

    Personal Interview

    July 15, 2009

    I am going to personally interview those who are on the golf range of the golf course on any particular day in the near future.  It will probably be a few different days, and i will both ask them to briefly fill out the previous survey, and then, in addition, without taking up much time, record some of their other comments.  Specific questions will include:

    Where will you play your golf on the weekends/weekdays if you play that often, if this course is closed for good?

    How will you feel about whatever is constructed in its place?

    If you knew the community was making cuts, and it was between selling the public golf course to private contractors, or cutting other budgets, which would chose and why?

    The topic I have decided to go along with is the Public Golf Course Dilemna.  There is no talk on the internet about this dilemna, and, it can be seen only as a tentative rumor as of now.  However, I still feel the necessity to find out how the people of my community would react to such a change in our community, and how they would react to whatever would be/possibly will be erected in its place.  The Survey will look like this:

    Age ___

    Sex ___

    Town _______________

    1.  Have you ever played the Game of Golf?

    Yes/No

    2. Do you have family members that Golf?

    Yes/No

    If yes, Do you belong to a private golf course?

    Yes/No

    If you do not belong to a private golf course, have you ever used any of the local public Golf courses, and how often?

    Yearly     Monthly    Weekly    Daily     Never

    3.  How would you feel about the destruction of North Woodmere Public Golf Course?

    Angered, where will the rest of us play?     Angered, how could you take away all that public space from the community?     Angered, I’m just an angry person.    Happy, I think its time it was closed!    Indifferent.

    4.  Do you live in the community? (if Yes, please state how you would feel about the close of the course, and the construction of office buildings and homes amongst the remaining property, if no, but still would like to comment, please do.)

    Yes/No

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    5.  Finally, what is your opinion on the public space in our community, and on whether or not the public has had a fair chance to utilize it as they’d please?  Also, what is your definition of pubic space and how does it define a community?

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Freewrite 2

    June 24, 2009

    For my freewrite paper I was considering a few options to write about.  The first option would be the closing of the public golf course North Woodmere Park which is about two miles from my house.  I do not know what in fact they will be building over the course, however, I do know that there will not be a golf course there.  Without a public golf course, where people who love to play the game could go and have their fun without paying the fifteen thousand dollar fees it costs to play at other local clubs, where will they play their golf?  How will this effect their weekends, and their social life?  How will this effect the amount of golf they play and how much money they will be spending on top of what they already put into the game?  How about, what will they be building over the course?  If they will be building office building or houses, how would those structures affect the community both visually and physically?  These are important questions, and still, aren’t even half the questions I could ask myself, and/or the people of my community.  

    The parking regulations in the town of cedarhurst are very strict on two hour parking in some areas, and other areas with meters, have been increasing in cost by quarters for hours.  Considering all the costs of driving these days, why are the streets of our towns becoming such a burden when you consider what you pay/ might have to pay for public parking, throughout the course of a week, a month, a year?  Who really prospers from this money, and where exactly is this money being put back into the community?  I just wan to understand why parking meters have increased from a quarter for 30 minutes to a quarter for ten minutes.  I want answers.

    The town of woodsburgh, the town I live in aside from Hewlett, where my high school resides, is breaking off from Woodmere and creating its own local government.  The “town” of Woodsburgh is so miniscule compared to North Woodmere, Woodmere, Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, and Hewlett Harbor, the other “towns” which make up the 1200 students that on average attend Hewlett High School.  How so does breaking off from Woodmere benefit the smallest part of the district residing in Woodsburgh?  Who benefits the most?  What has made this issue for breaking apart so necessary?  This topic relates to Long Islands recent debate about possibly breaking off from the State of New York to form its own State, due to 95 percent of all state income taxes coming from the very island itself, and the population, 20 million, being more than enough to be called a state.

    June 21, 2009

    There are many different types of “spaces” which were outlined by the authors that represent authorized/unauthorized zones, shared zones, private zones, and all different examples of zones which are used in definitive ways.  The first of these examples I would like to highlight is a secure zone.  The example of a secure zone can be found in the picture below:

    This picture can be found both in parking lots and in bathrooms, along with ramps and other public penetrations around the country.  In bathrooms, the sign acts as a zone which gives priority to handicaped individuals in bathrooms.  These stalls are supposed to be kept open for handicapped individuals to utilize because the stalls were built for their ease and comfort.  As a non-handicapped individual, it is wrong to be using such stall, and the sign presents a feeling of unjust for the wrongful user, letting them know that what they are doing is breaking common rules, and if caught, they should feel badly.  It is not enforced by law, pursay, but rather, by embarassment.  If you see this sign on doors and/or ramps, including other public penetrating areas, it means you must rightfully give way and access to the handicapped first, then proceed after if none are around; this too is not enforced by law.  However, when you see this sign on the floor in a parking lot, it means that it is ILLEGAL for an individual whom is not handicapped to utilize this spot, and it is fully enforced by the law, you are almost guaranteed to get a ticket.  This sign creates awareness amongst all humans of what is “right” and “wrong” in present situations regarding handicapped individuals.

    These individuals are called swiss-guards and they can be found guarding the walls of the vatican city and some unauthorized rooms and hallways.  They are promtly stationed all over vatican city and for the purpose to create a “jittery space.”  When one sees these individuals, they are supposed to realize that the point they are guarding is off limits, and they should not try to enter.  There are some areas where these guards are accompanied by men who would appear to be in a secret service and/or cameras, and these areas are even moreso jittery spaces.  They serve to keep the unauthorized out, and authorized aware of their behavior.  

    This last example, although a very obvious example of a crusty space, is in fact a crusty space.  I do not know this particular gated entry to this particular community.  However, I have seen them all throughout florida and know of a few families/people that live in such communities.  Outsiders cannot breach these security points without knowing and having authorization from those who are paid members and/or live inside these communities and/or clubs.  This a primary example of a crusty space as these communities have guard walls, gates, cameras, guards, servaillance cameras, and authorization points.

    It is interesting to think about how different places in public communities and areas can be utilized by public passers.  There are many spaces that may be found in this country that are not authorized to the average “passer.”  These spaces are often gated in, guarded, and/or have cameras.  Other times they have signs that present the fact that they are illegal to be occupying and or breaching.  These areas include private restrooms, offices, communities, parking lots, etc.  The structures often built to represent the privacy or seclusiveness of these areas are supposed to induce the feeling of breaking the law when the person breaches these areas.  This is important because these pictures are examples of how although a lot of the times humans are presented with public spaces they are allowed to use, these public spaces are often accompanied by areas the average human is not allowed to breach.  Security, and how secure the owner wants an area to particularily be, determines what kind of space it can be categorized as.

    Transgressive Semiotics5

    June 14, 2009

    According to Discourses in place, a “transgressive sign” is a sign which is in place but is in some way unauthorized.  This includes but is not limited to graffiti, trash, or discarded items.  The “transgressive” semiotic I have picked includes a no guns sign, which has bullet holes.  This sign is controversial/transgressive for a few reasons.

     

    The sign includes a symbol prohibiting guns, and then includes bullet holes all around.  This image is reflecting a controversial view on gun policy and gun prohibition.  On one hand it is highlighting a common view most people share in that guns should be illegal and gun control policies should be stricter.  On the other hand, the sign suggests that guns should be legal so that people can protect themselves in the future, as the future is uncertain.  This sign is “transgressive” as the people who created the sign chose to share their interests and utilize freedom of speech to speak out about a common controversial argument which is often spoken about; whether or not guns should be illegal, and whether or not people should be allowed to obtain guns in the service of protection.  In order for a sign to be transgressive, it must offer both sides of an argument, yet, at the same time, offer what the author believes is the “right” way a situation should be handled.  This sign is a perfect example of a theory to which the majority of people in America are actually split, and that is gun control laws, and who should and/or should not own one.

    Another Transgressive sign I found:

    This is also an extremely transgressive post.  This can be found at the particular church and it speaks out against lesbians/homosexuality in general.  This sign is not right, however, the mere fact that I am even contemplating an argument to this sign makes it transgressive.  It catches the eyes of all its viewers and stirs up constant argument.  However, this sign in particular stirs up such controversy that it actually is distateful, however, we cannot stop this church from erecting such signs as although it is harmful to the community in public space, it still represents freedom of speech.  The sign is disgusting, however, it is only one amongst many signs that other people find dispicable for many other reasons.  It represents a view, one persons view, and tries to persuade readers to feel a certain way about a certain group of people just from reading one persons beliefs.  

    When it comes to transgressive signs, I thought about controversy as the number one characteristic of something that can be viewed as “0ut of place.”  When searching the internet I found 2 controversial arguments that have been thrown to the public by way of transgressive semiotics.  One argument, pertaining to gun laws, and the other homosexuality.  When these controversies are thrown so liberally out to the public by way of signs in the public space, they now can be seen as transgressive because they truly go against public normality.  These are not everyday conversation pieces.  However, when these signs can be seen in everyday life, they become everyday/constant thoughts conjuring up in the heads of those who pass them by.