Decatur City Commission to Vote Tonight on $40,000 Grant for Urban Market Garden

Tonight, the Decatur City Commission is set to vote on approving a $40,000 grant to Refugee Family Services, to help with “start up and initial development costs” for the urban garden market set to be established on two acres of land at United Methodist Children’s Home, just outside the Decatur city limits.  The city of Decatur asked Refugee Family Services to manage the garden for the city, after city staff discovered that RFS was running a successful garden operation on Sams Street.

RFS has also recently applied for and received a grant for $60,000 from the DeKalb County Board of Health for the garden’s development.

Read City Manager Peggy Merriss’ full letter to the commission on page 11 of the meeting materials PDF.

72 thoughts on “Decatur City Commission to Vote Tonight on $40,000 Grant for Urban Market Garden”

  1. Why is approval necessary from the commission when the letter from the RFS showing the agreement between the city and GGN agreeing to $40,000 was written in December? Love the idea of an urban garden, do not like that it is rubber stamped before a vote. Will the city have any oversight on the grant? Just wondering …

  2. $100000 for a small garden sounds very expensive. I’m sure the local farmers at our markets will be thrilled with taxpayer subsidized competition too. What is the rationale for thos project?

      1. Fair enough. Then we’re subsidizing a large garden/tiny farm to compete against the farmers who are currently selling food in Decatur. I can’t help but think that if Decatur and UMCH had gone through an RFC like process, that we would have found an organization willing and eager to build and operate a market garden on that property for “free”.

  3. So what is it that Decatur gets (or Dekalb for that matter) in exchange for the $40,000 and $60,000 grants? The ability to claim bragging rights does not justify the expense in my mind.

  4. Did some research:

    “The minimum amount of agricultural land necessary for sustainable food security, with a diversified diet similar to those of North America and Western Europe (hence including meat), is 0.5 of a hectare per person. This does not allow for any land degradation such as soil erosion, and it assumes adequate water supplies. Very few populous countries have more than an average of 0.25 of a hectare. It is realistic to suppose that the absolute minimum of arable land to support one person is a mere 0.07 of a hectare–and thisassumesa largelyvegetarian diet, no land degradation or water shortages, virtually no post-harvest waste, and farmers who know precisely when and how to plant, fertilize, irrigate, etc. [FAO, 1993]”

    1 acre – 0.404 hectare. Therefore, if the above estimate is true; you can acheive food security for 2 people at $50,000 per person ( plus ongoing yearly expenses )

  5. When thinking about whether the $40,000 is worth it, consider that it is the full property tax bill on about 8 average valued houses in the City of Decatur.

  6. Based on the information in the agenda provided by the city (can’t copy and paste it for some reason) it sounds like the city requested this project, found a location they could use, and then caretakers for it. (they list their reasoning for doing all this in the attachment.) But basically, the city gets closer to their goals, and as a bonus RFS gets to expand its services. It sounds like the project was well orchestrated, and not a total waste of cash.

    1. Sorry Rebecca,
      But it seems to me that the PROCESS was well orchestrated which in no way improves the outcome which is arguably a near complete waste of cash. See WW’s post above based on the commissions stated goal of “food security”.

        1. Yes, I saw that. The other goal was to “reduce childhood obesity” or something similar. Another snake oil justification for a decision that otherwise could not stand on its merits. My conclusion stands.

          1. I’ll grant that these things are awfully vague. And it’s a fairly common sentiment that childhood obesity should not be a government concern, so any money or education efforts towards this are considered waste. I don’t agree. And my opinion here is that if the garden is being used to educate people/students re: gardening as was my interpretation when they referenced community outreach, and if schools are receiving some of this as was my interpretation when they listed institutions as recipients, then it’s not exactly throwing money to the wind. The non-profit is able to serve more people, the community benefits in the process, and I just can’t find anything wrong with that in this particular case. I may agree with you more if you questioned the amount of the contribution by the city, but a total waste indicates this money is essentially benefits no one, which doesn’t sound like the case.

            1. Exactly how does the community benefit? And I am not looking for some vague, wishy-washy idealistic response. What tangible benefits will the community receive? It seems like a lot of money for very little in return.

              How will the garden be used to educate students? Annual field trips? C’mon. It seems to me that we can teach the benefits of gardening for free.

            2. Hi Rebecca,
              In my post I believe I said “near total waste” and I would categorize the potential to improve educational oportunities (over and above those already present with facilities such as the Oakhurst Garden) as in the “near” portion of my statement.

          2. You’re neglecting the part where the city commission is acting on specific directives provided by the residents of Decatur. Would you prefer they simply follow their own arbitrary agendas? Being responsive to what the community has asked for seems considerably better, as I see it. Specifically, from the Strategic Plan:

            Task 12C: Support the expansion of urban gardening opportunities. Urban gardening benefits the community by promoting physical activity, bringing neighbors together, improving food quality, and keeping dollars local. In addition, it begins to change society’s relationship to food in a positive, sustainable way. Efforts to expand urban gardening could include increased community garden sites, creation of a neighborhood tool bank, information sharing, removing regulatory barriers, material support, or expanded farmer’s markets.

            Task 5D: Support efforts to expand diversity in community leadership roles.

            An urban farm run by a nonprofit refugee organization seems to fit the bill, no? I don’t see how implementing the will of the community can classify as a “near complete waste of cash.” Not that cost/benefit is an irrelevant concern. Just that the relevant question should be: Were these goals achieved in a fiscally responsible way.

            1. Scott,
              My concern isnot that they are acting on an approved agenda. Its that they are OVERACTING. They could support the concept of fostering urban gardens by investigating and removing roadblocks to them being established. They don’t have to go and buy a garden to foster the goals.

              If this is such a good idea financially, then why not form an LLC and let people who agree with the concept buy into it?

              I think the urban beer is a desireable thing but that doesn’t mean it is good forthe city to takeit on themselves to provide funding for clones of the Brickstore.

              To answer your relevant question “Were these goals achieved in a fiscally responsible way?” seems clear to me that the answer is demonstrably and catagorically NO which is what makes the enterprise a near complete waste of cash.

            2. Scott, I agree that the commission may be responding to wishes of Decatur residents. However, that “directive” is not a carte blanche and it is certainly appropriate for the residents to question how the plans are being implemented.

              Perhaps this is the most efficient and/or inexpensive way to support urban gardening, but the residents of Decatur are certainly correct to question this expense and ask for some data, justification, etc. regarding the expected benefits. Further, if this is the best way to support this goal, the residents are entitled to change their collective mind once the costs and benefits are quantified. Maybe this is a great idea in theory, but, in reality, it may not be worth it give the current economic environment. Maybe it is worth it. My point is simiply that the residents are entitled to evaluate each proposal on its own merits.

              1. I don’t disagree, DawgFan. It is indeed the citizen’s right, perhaps even responsibility, to monitor the financial dealings of their government. My real point in chiming in was because many of the comments seemed to suggest an arbitrary, valueless boondoggle and I felt it was important to clarify that a) it’s not arbitrary but responsive to the will of the community; and b) its degree of value is dependent on the lens through which it’s measured. Keeping dollars local, building community connectedness and fostering diversity in community leadership roles are all worthy goals that I don’t think were really acknowledged in some of the earlier comments.

                It may still be too much to spend. I’m not commenting on that. I just want the full story on the table so evaluation is better informed.

                1. This response isn’t meant to be directed to you, but instead at your summary of justifications for the project by others. IMO, there are several unanswered questions.

                  How is fostering diversity in community leadership roles furthered by this garden? The refugee group is a contractor hired to start a garden and no different than any other third party hired by the city to perform a specific task. How is tilling and fertilizing the ground which is located on private land equate to a “community leadership role”? Are the individuals who run the company hired to operate the courthouse deck community leaders?

                  Further, and this is probably a different conversation, but why is the stated goal of fostering diversity even appropriate or relevant in this context? Even assuming for argument’s sake that this is a community leadership role, by your logic, this project is acceptable b/c we are “promoting” african refugees to a leadership role, but it would not defensible if your hired me, a white guy to do the same job?

                  How does this garden promote “community connectedness”? While the goal may be worthy, how does the garden help achieve this goal (other than we are all connected by the fact that our tax dollars are being taken and “invested” in an endeavour with little expected return)?

                  1. Like I said, I’m not commenting on whether or not the cost is justified. It seems pretty clear that everyone here already has their own personal assessments about that. It doesn’t bother me; it does you. M’okay.

                    As for the diversity question, it’s my understanding that the refugees are not a contractor being hired by the city but a partner handling operations. They will be responsible for running it, including the costs of doing so, beyond the $40K start-up grant. Down the line, there will likely be educational programming and community volunteering opportunities factored in and, in this capacity, the refugees will serve as the on-site faces of the project. So, to me, if you enter into a partnership with the city, take on the responsibility and long-term cost of running something, and serve as its spokesperson, that constitutes a community leadership role. It would not, however, surprise me if you disagree.

                    As for “connectedness,” my comments reflect my assumption that the garden will ultimately offer opportunities for volunteering and, perhaps, personal garden plots, as well as being factored into, in some way, Farm to School and CSD curriculum. All of these things involve people coming together and assuming a sense of shared ownership over something, which is the basic premise of connectedness. Again, your take may vary.

                    I’ll leave your query on whether or not diversity is an appropriate goal to another time, another thread…

                    1. You and I may just have different understandings of the role of the group hired to implement the garden. You may be right. Regarding the connectedness, those are alot of assumptions. Again, you may be right. I still question whether all of this is worth $40,000.

  7. So the city is spending $40K of our taxes so someone can sell me a $2 tomato. Is that what is called an investment?

    1. That would be if they can sell 20,000 tomatos.

      My guess is the cost per tomato will be a bit higher…

  8. Having heard David Junger enthuse over the possibilities of this project, I can’t think of many things that I’d rather have my tax dollars used for. Sometimes it’s the intangibles that come from something unique like this — keeping our City Folks fired up that they’re not just there to plug along day after day, addressing folks’ complaints, but to also get to bring to fruition the dreams that truly enrich our community — that are the best benefits of all.

    And to the pre-crop bean counters- It’s not all hard $$$, but skills and equipment usage too (link in post), meaning many city employees will get to participate in this special endeavor. Hopefully, we can all agree that there’s a real value in that.

    1. If the city leaders are no longer “enthused” about their jobs, lets replace them with people who will be excited to come to work each day and “bring to fruition the dreams that truly enrich our community”. I, for one, do not want to spend a single tax dollar for this “benefit”.

      Noone is questioning that there will be some value. Rather, the question is whether there is $40,000 in value.

      1. You know that reading how bent you’re getting over this counts as another benefit to folks like me, right? :0)

  9. An honest question (not intended to be of the tin-foil-hat variety): City dropped its bid to annex UMCH property a few years ago — does this investment represent its creeping in that direction again? Does it matter?

  10. I’m not sure the city can legally spend money outside its boundaries anyway. And for charity purposes. At a church site.

    Red flags all over the place.

  11. It’s good to have a vigorous debate on this issue. But is DM the best venue for it? Folks concerned about the use of City resources should have gone to last night’s commission meeting and voiced their concerns. There were no speakers during the public hearing portion of last night’s meeting. Writing about it here really doesn’t accomplish much nor does it fulfill the City’s obligation to have an open hearing if the debate occurs in cyberspace and not in City Hall.

    1. OK. I had thought you would begin to catch on, but maybe not. You must be new to the community, otherwise you’d be aware that:
      (1) Our City Commissioners and city management staff do follow and pay attention to discussions in this forum and elsewhere around our cyber-town. BTW, the City’s obligation to have an open hearing is fulfilled regardless of whether or not anybody avails themselves of the opportunity to speak up.
      (2) It’s quite possible and even likely that people registering opinions here–about the garden grant or anything else–have also communicated with city officials about it. Plus, Decatur is full of people who have never heard of DM but who participate in the community by communicating with city management and commissioners. Just because you don’t hear it yourself, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
      (3) Discussion on DM sometimes translates into actions/results in the “real world” (as opposed to cyberspace). Just because it happens electronically doesn’t make it meaningless or futile.
      (4) Many of us consider discussion here to have intrinsic value that is completely independent of any direct impact it might have on events.
      (5) Constant scolding is not the most effective way to promote your agenda around here. Based on your comments on other threads, it’s clear you have an agenda of some kind, but so far, it’s difficult to tell just what it is or why I might support it–or even be interested in learning more about it–because of your patronizing tone.

      1. That’s not what I wrote Smalltowngal. I wasn’t scolding anyone. Yes, elected and appointed officials do read newspapers, watch TV, and read blogs. And yes, those officials are influenced by what they read. But unless the blogs or other sources are entered into the official record, for all intents and purposes they have no standing. If they have no standing, they don’t exist in any legal sense. DM posts are not a matter of public record in the same way a City Manager or Planning Director’s staff report would be. Nor are they a matter of public record in the sense that a hearing/meeting summary or minutes would be.

          1. *slayed*

            Girl, If I wasn’t a straight woman & already hitched, I’d beg you to marry me (regardless of your own orientation, whatever that may be)!

            Alas, I’ll content myself with permanent fangirl status. *batting eyelashes worshipfully*

      2. As a tax-paying resident of Decatur, I have an expectation that public officals (both elected and staff) have accountability for their decisions. The purpose of a formal administrative record of meeting agendas, minutes, staff reports documenting recommendations and data considered in making the recommendations is to provide transparency to the public to which the officials are accountable – and to provide equal opportunity for every citizen to have input. As an example, when decisions are made without being placed on the published agenda in advance of the meeting, there is no opportunity for public input.

        While we may be very fortunate to have public officials who are actively meeting with their constituents, monitoring blogs and listening to input in other ways, there is no way to be sure that will always be so or even that it is so now without an offical public record of what is planned to be acted on (agenda in advance, staff reports with recommendations and supporting data), and what action was taken and why (meeting minutes). The technology to make a complete public record available is so abundant, cheap, and accessible that it is just a no-brainer to take advantage of it, in my opinion. What would be the downside?

    2. You seem to suggest that people didn’t go to the meeting last night because they failed to understand the appropriate venue in which to voice their concerns. I don’t think that’s the case, as most posters here seem quite civically engaged and well aware of how to interact with government.

      I’d say it’s more a case of choosing battles, then choosing forums accordingly. My guess is that commenters here wanted an opportunity to discuss their opinions with other Decaturites but did not feel so strongly that they felt the need to challenge the commission. If it meant that much to them, they would have gone.

      Just my guess. I’m not speaking for anyone other than myself. Opponents are free to correct my assumption, of course.

      1. No Scott. I don’t think Decaturites are any less civically engaged than anywhere else. I’m just accustomed to living in a community where online debates complement public participation in government meetings. It’s culture shock, I guess, to see such passionate involvement in civic affairs online that doesn’t get translated into venues that become part of the official record. These online dialogues therefore potentially get lost from the historical record and potentially may be discounted by decision makers because the discourse took place online and behind mostly anonymous screen names.

        1. Okay, I see where you’re coming from. Depending on how new you are to town (if, in fact, you are), this may help with the context:

          Decatur *is* different from many other towns in the fact that city government goes to great lengths to understand what people want them to do. This became procedural with 2000’s Strategic Plan, in which 600+ participants help lay out the to-do list for the new century’s first decade. By its end, the city had accomplished about 85% of the action items. That’s a pretty strong basis for a trusting relationship with citizens. Then, in 2010, the process was repeated for the next ten years and over a thousand people participated. Again, a to-do list was generated and it is the basis not just for city commission decision-making but for budget setting in every city department. Everything is tied to the plan (such as the farm voted on last night), which derived from vigorous resident participation.

          Now contrast that with a lot of other cities where decisions are not driven by any larger, collaborative vision, are often at the whim of self-serving individual politicians or are, at best, in loose accordance with a Comp Plan written largely in isolation and carrying no legitimate political weight. That’s where people are on guard, for good reason, and use commission meetings as a way to be heard. They feel removed from the workings of government and it shows.

          I’d suggest that commission meeting participation is very low in Decatur because the city has invested the effort to understand what the community wants, to initiate projects and expenditures in accordance with those wants, and to vote in support of those initiatives. Their track record for doing so has made a lot of people comfortable with not being so vigilant all the time. There is trust and it is earned.

          As for your comments on the historical record, which are something I hadn’t thought all that much about, I’d suggest it’s not that citizen participation is lacking from the historical record. It’s that it happened pro-actively on the front end rather than reactively at commission meetings. Research the 2010 Strategic Plan a bit. Every meeting, every citizen comment, was dutifully recorded and will always be available for those in the future looking to understand how early 21st century Decatur functioned.

  12. Wanted to respond directly to some of smalltowngal’s comments:

    ‘(2) It’s quite possible and even likely that people registering opinions here–about the garden grant or anything else–have also communicated with city officials about it. Plus, Decatur is full of people who have never heard of DM but who participate in the community by communicating with city management and commissioners. Just because you don’t hear it yourself, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.’

    True enough, but this is not just about communicating with public officials – it is about having transparency in decision-making. The concerns about why the city is spending $100k on a community garden could be addressed through improved transparency – not that everyone would agree, but we would know what was decided and what alternatives were considered and who was in favor and who was not – in black and white. Transparency -> accountability.

    ‘(3) Discussion on DM sometimes translates into actions/results in the “real world” (as opposed to cyberspace). Just because it happens electronically doesn’t make it meaningless or futile.’

    Nobody said anything of the sort – but DM is not the official factual record of all of the inputs and outputs of administrative decision-making – it isn’t and should not be the official source of community input.

    ‘(4) Many of us consider discussion here to have intrinsic value that is completely independent of any direct impact it might have on events.’

    Absolutely – but again, it is not an official administrative record.

    ‘(5) Constant scolding is not the most effective way to promote your agenda around here. Based on your comments on other threads, it’s clear you have an agenda of some kind, but so far, it’s difficult to tell just what it is or why I might support it–or even be interested in learning more about it–because of your patronizing tone.’

    What agenda? If we aren’t all free to express opinions here, including those you disagree with, then I am misunderstanding the point of having a blog like DM in the first place. Playing devil’s advocate shouldn’t get someone flamed.

    Returning to my happy lurkdom again…

    1. If you think my post represents a flaming, then you’ve been lurking in some extremely polite venues. In reverse order…

      My comment addressed David’s collective communications across several threads, as well as in this specific discussion. It is my distinct impression that he has an ax to grind and at least one other person has made the same observation recently. If he does not, then it reinforces my view that he might want to think about the tone he projects that creates that impression.

      Of course DM is not an official administrative record. Who said it is? Who said it needs to be?

      As for transparency, I’m all for it. I have not commented one way or another about people’s concerns pertaining to the grant. I had questions myself, when it first came up several months ago. I was simply responding to David’s comments, which specifically pertained to how/where people were choosing to air their viewpoints.

    2. Just clarifying that the city contribution is 40k, the remainder is Dekalb.

      I have been reading this blog for about the past 2 years, and STG is not a flamer. You may not agree with her, but she absolutely is not.

    3. I now understand why Decatur’s Token Republican, aka Lyrics Only Guy, decided to go to Lurker Only status. I’m usually as confrontational as anyone but even I am just disheartened by the immediate resorting to personal attacks. I really do not understand what is wrong with some of you folks…

      1. Hmm, perhaps this was not the most appropriate place to post this. But take a step back and view this comment in the overall context of several threads from the past few months. As someone who shoots from the hip and perhaps lacks the self-censorship and editing that many view an essential element of modern discourse, even I am pretty much discouraged from entering most discussions here because of the race-to-the-bottom mentality that seems to prevail more often than not. I wish there was an easy solution to the problem but I fear that there’s not and that’s too bad. I guess the late Royal Marshal said it best when he said “Just damn!”

  13. Don’t get discouraged. Although I do my fair share of pissing people off with my comments, I am infinitely more informed about what is going on in Decatur since I stumbled across this site a few months ago. Plus, I always enjoy a healthy debate.

    1. How exactly does “You look like the fool” contribute to a “healthy” debate? Not to mention your other nasty little quip at STG last month that was promptly moderated. I can bring out my inner brat, but you frequently cross the line from snark, into downright nastiness which sets an unpleasant tone here to say the very least.

      1. Once again, you need to look in the mirror. How does your post add to a healthy debate when the whole point of your response is to attack me and my “nastiness”. This is the not the first time that the entire point of your post is a personal attack on me. I am sorry you feel so threatened by me and my contrary views.

        My fool comment was a response to a jab (meybe made in jest) directed at me. If she can’t take it, she sholdn’t dish it out. Further, if she honestly thinks we should spend tax dollars to “enthuse” elected officials, well then…let’s just say I am entitled to my opinion.

        Again, the other quip you were referring to was not directed at STG. It was directed at a comment she made. I have repeated this now several times, but yet you still can’t comprehend the distinction. I actually think highly of STG although I don’t always agree with her. Her posts are generally well thought out and articulate. That one post, however, in my opinion, was not, and I pointed it out not to attack, but rather in an attempt to shed some light on the flawed logic (and unconstitutional nature) of her proposal. Maybe my delivery was flawed, maybe it wasnt.

        1. DawgFan-

          Huh. Looks like your comment got caught up in the trash trap…

          You tickle me. Pressing your buttons is too dang easy. Just in responding to my first comment, you showed your penchant for mocking others, along with some distorted thinking—speaking poorly and seemingly ready to fire the City Staff based on my thoughts, not anything David Junger said?!? Seriously?!? Although your “You look like the fool, not me” comment was good for a chuckle (and unfortunately got my brain stuck on churning through a bunch of farm groaners– digging a hole, getting your goat, milking it for all it’s worth… ), it was otherwise too schoolyardy to reply to. What would be the point if you don’t have any interest in a point of view different from yours?

          On a serious note: It’s revealing — and not in a good way– that you carry the moniker DawgFan, but didn’t offer up a single word of defense for the Head Dawg. When I read the snark by J_T (who I think hung the moon & stars, but was wrongwrongwrong in his comment!), I was ready to set to fussin’, but was preempted by my Dad’s arrival (funny enough, to help me out with a project for my neighborhood’s garden– yep, love those intangible warm & fuzzy benefits!). Alas, upon my return, the thread had gotten far too complicated to weigh in– what with the arrival of Laura, David’s other half, swooping in to rescue him from yet another online mishap (which David seems to find himself in quite often… hmmm…). I couldn’t quite figure out how to reenter to stand up for Mark Richt, a shining example of a man of integrity, when it was just too dang tempting to jump into the fray myself. I reckon that means we’ve both got things we need to work on. Well enough on that…

          [J_T: I’m not all hip to the nuances of football, despite growing up about a mile from UGA’s stadium, but I AM a hometeam gal, so be counting on me to come dog you on game day if you keep after our Coach! Mark Richt’s the real life Coach Eric Taylor to me! :0)]

          1. I fear you misunderstand my comments, Deanne. I was not mocking or insulting Mark Richt. I was mocking and insulting the UGA fans who hate him and want him gone. I would estimate that at least 75% of the Dawg fans that I know think Richt is a moron and wanted him fired a year ago, if not tomorrow. Worse, that’s all they can seem to talk about. So, of course, I figured that someone who called himself DawgFan would be one of the pitchfork carriers!

            Seriously now, I went to Penn State. I would have loved for CMR to say “screw you guys” to the Dawgnation after the Outback Bowl and head north to rescue our program from its current scandal-ridden mess!

            1. Whew! Glad to have gotten that one wrong! Then we share the same outlook on UGA’s “fans.” For all the things that I fondly associate with UGA football– our mascot, Larry Munson’s game calling, red & black (& silver britches), The Hedges, hearing the band practice during the week– the ugliness of what folks think is acceptable to say nicks away a piece of my soul every time I hear it.

            2. I am not one of the pitchfork carrying crazies out for Richt’s head. With all that is wrong with college football today, he represents UGA extremely well. Plus, he is a pretty darn good football coach. I think the same about JoePa, and I am hopeful that history won’t prove me wrong.

              I do wish he was a little less loyal to undeserving assistants (i.e. Bobo). Yes, the offense put up great numbers overall, but when you look a little closer, they often weren’t in big games or critical drives. Not necessarily saying fire Bobo, but something needs to change to address the inconsistencies.

              Sorry to disappoint Deanne. I too got derailed.

              1. If it wasn’t for the “fool” comment, I’d think you were my brother-in-law! Nothing makes him happier than to argue government spending and “the Dawgs need to’s!” :0)

                1. Sorry bout my comment. I was a little out of line.

                  And how do you know that I am not your bro-in-law?

                  1. Because my brother-in-law learned real quick that there’s no worse fury than a hopping mad me! He wouldn’t dare risk that I might somehow pinpoint it was him! :0)

                    [My brother-in-law and I may do a whole lot of eye rolling and sighing– me over his ultra conservatism and him over my hippydippy ways, but we’ve also come to realize that you can’t enjoy a good sparring without a partner who’s game. Now go on and square things up with my gal Rebeccab!]

        2. I’m not threatened by you in the least, which is why I have no problem calling you out. We actually do share similar views on some topics, but no matter what views I may have in common with someone, when they’re not playing nicely, I’ll speak up. That’s true in the real world, or here.

        1. Great minds sista, and pooches gracias. (Saw that with cute pups on a card earlier, and had been eager for the opportunity to use it all afternoon)

    2. Thanks DawgFan, but I gotta agree that the “fool” comment went against the site’s comment policy. I was away from my laptop most of the day yesterday, but if I have seen it and understood its context comment, I would have moderated it earlier.

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