Open Thread for Thursday, May 21, 2015

Talk about what you like, but here are some suggestions:

  1. Savannah minor-league team moving to Columbia — It’s going to be single-A, part of the New York Mets organization. Sally League. Didn’t we have the Mets’ single-A team before, or am I remembering that wrong? I mean, I thought that team went to Greenville. Maybe y’all can ‘splain it to me.
  2. ISIS Takes Full Control of Palmyra — First Ramadi (which POTUS terms a “setback”), now this. Our team’s not doing so good, people.
  3. Senate votes to advance Obama trade legislation, fast-track authority — Which sounds like progress to me, but then, I’m not Elizabeth Warren.
  4. Boy Scouts President Calls for End to Ban on Gay Leaders — That would be Robert Gates, ex-head of Defense and the CIA. There’s no actual proposal; he seems to be just testing the waters.
  5. The Man Who Lost $14 Billion in One Day — Bummer. As my friend Dennis Boone used to say, that’s more than I make in a year.

And whatever else y’all bring up…

34 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, May 21, 2015

  1. clark surratt

    Brad, yes, the pro club in Columbia was affiliated with the Mets since the team came in 1982. Local owners can call the local team what they want. Working agreements have MLB team paying the players and the local owners running the venues..
    Today’s development was another in a minor league arms race. Greenville team owner tried to get Columbia to build new park. Columbia wouldn’t, Greenville would. Team moved. Savannah team owner tried to get Savannah to build new park. Savannah wouldn’t, Columbia would. Team moves.

    1. Barry

      It’s wasn’t an “arms” race.

      Cap City stadium facility 25+ years behind current standards (and ran into ADA problems too)- and had such severe repeated drainage problems that games had to be postponed even when there was no rain on game days.

      It wasn’t an arms race. It was a quest to have a decent playing facility.

      While some minor league stadiums are indeed incredible facilities – most of the ones where a team leaves it’s current home for another involve more than just wanting the best stadium – it almost always comes as a result of playing in badly outdated facilities that aren’t up to legal standards- or standards set my Major League Baseball.

      Few MLB teams want their investments playing on fields that are substandard.

    2. Norm Ivey

      Anybody remember the old guy who used to do the “Give me an M” cheer? What do dat spell? One of the draws of live baseball is the colorful experience. That doesn’t happen with football.

      Really looking forward to minor league ball in Cola Town.

  2. bud

    Not sure Arial’s cartoon is accurate. A gigantic stretch limo would be more appropriate given the GOP propensity to cater to the zillionaires.

      1. bud

        Actually, it might work even better. Since there are soooo many GOP candidates even a huge limo could be problematic.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    How about the Free Times cover story on the explosion of student housing. Folks in town are getting concerned and not sure how this will all shake out. Reportedly, some of the complexes out Bluff Road are losing a lot of student tenants and becoming gen pop rentals. Crime is on the rise out there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I had to look up gen pop. I knew the term; not the abbreviation.

      I guess we’re seeing the marketplace at work. That was always, to me, a weird proposition. Who on Earth in his or her right mind would want to live out there in the boonies instead of near campus? It made no sense.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Those complexes were developed in the county before the city added a zoning classification for student dorms that allowed more than three unrelated persons to live in a dwelling unit.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      And you realize, don’t you, that using a term like “gen pop” to describe the demographic replacing students out there could be interprete, by someone like the woman who wrote that Slate piece the other day, as you wearing your privilege goggles and using dismissive language to describe less-fortunate peoples…

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Except I readily acknowledge that tenants are people, too, and constantly have to remind the oligarchs in the big houses up on the hill than you cannot constitutionally outlaw renters.
        Frankly, gen pop renters tend to be considerably more desirable neighbors than privileged frat boys. I used the term gen pop as a cutesy abbreviation for renters at large, not necessarily former convicts. In fact, the new tenants are reportedly military. Underprivileged folk cannot afford the rents…. yet.
        The crime increase, I suspect, is b/c the Bluff Road communities closer to Alvin S Glenn in more ways than one realized that students are generally well-off and careless.

    3. Mark Stewart

      Real estate is first about location.

      Bluff Road is a doomed proposition for students as downtown fills with opportunities for them. The real question is will the houses in Shandon begin to be sold for owner occupancy as the kids find better options to the demised and neglected wrecks that blight it and the surrounding neighborhoods.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Kit Smith found a UGA study that said some students still preferred private houses b/c of cost and “freedom”—my personal observation is that also students who want dogs….
        When the Greek Village opened up, University Hill was covered in For Rent signs that fall. Then the landlords started fixing up the places a bit and the next year, no more signs.

  4. Phillip

    The Free Times piece quotes USC President Pastides as saying the university’s growth “will be controlled and carefully monitored over the next decade…and will come with plans to address enhancements needed …enhanced parking and transportation options.” With all due respect to my boss, I think that it’s vital for him and Columbia city officials to present those plans in a HIGHLY public and visible way, a clear explanation of how THIS many more students will be able to be housed in the area where most of these buildings are going up. They’ve got to reassure us (with numbers, hard facts, etc., not just verbal reassurances).

    Public transportation/walkability/bike-ability is the key. If every student in these new units continues to insist on owning and driving a Ford F-150 (they haul all their textbooks in back, you see) and being oblivious to the “don’t-block-the-box” principle at intersections, then the mess that we already sometimes get at lunch hour and rush hour near Main/Blossom, Assembly/Blossom, Vista, is going to seem like a quaint memory of simpler times.

      1. Barry

        anyone that used common sense.

        those “scooters” (many of them Chinese made) can go 55mph and the price of gas hit $3.00 at one time.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        B/c scooters can be parked a lot more places (but USC is cracking down on that) but don’t require effort to ride uphill. God forbid the Special Snowflakes ride the buses.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Or just ride regular ol’ bicycles, like we did way back in the day when I was in college….way back in 2000-03.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            but….effort! These are elite athletes. You can’t expect them to pedal uphill! Good God, man, have you taken leave of your senses!

          2. Barry

            Campus is even more spread out now than in 2003.

            Scooters are cheap, run forever on a tank of gas, and can get from one end to campus to the other in 5-7 mins- and the ones that are popular are fast.

  5. Bryan Caskey

    Brad, you really don’t need to worry about ISIS taking Ramadi and Palmyra.

    President Obama is actually correct in saying that “we’re not losing“, despite the fact that ISIS controls most of the trade routes in Northern Iraq/Eastern Syria, is slowly starting to encircle Baghdad; and is advancing on Damascus.

    We aren’t losing.

    You can’t lose if you don’t play. We ain’t even in the game, man.

    1. Bart

      Posted with sincere apologies to Kenny Rogers for co-opting some of the lyrics of his song, “The Gambler” and applying it to your last sentence Bryan.

      “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
      Know when to fold ’em
      Know when to walk away
      And know when to run
      You never count your money
      When you’re sittin’ at the table
      There’ll be time enough for countin’
      When the dealin’s done.”

      On this one, Obama is hitting on all the lines in this stanza.

    2. bud

      That’s easy to fix. Just pull ALL US assets out of Iraq. Then, since WE are no longer taking sides, WE can’t be losing. Voila. Problem solved.


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