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Bits and Pieces






George Schmok, Publisher


o The ASLA Annual Meeting was great fun in "sunny" Ft. Lauderdale, with so many of you stopping by to say "hey" . . . OK, so I am writing this two days before leaving for the show, but I know it will be great fun and you shoulda been there . . . As always, though, there will be several old friends who had had their last show and will be forever missed . . .

o But speaking about predicting the future . . . Last month I was worried that another hurricane would hit the bayou and days later, Hurricane Rita grew out of the Keys. Some say it was too bad it didn't retrace the steps of Katrina since that area had nothing left to destroy . . . The good news is they say only 11 hurricanes since 1944 have hit land in October, so hopefully the season is over.

o I also made a mistake, though, in last month's commentary . . . Reacting to graphic images of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, I said that due to poor planning in New Orleans the cost of lumber, concrete and steel would rise. While it is true those costs will increase, most of the images of downed houses and buildings were from outside the New Orleans area. So, poor planning in New Orleans did not cause those buildings to be blown apart . . . No . . . it was poor planning in the entire region . . .

Hopefully at the meeting there will be a fruitful discussion on how Landscape Architects can better plan for strong hurricanes. I wonder . . . if the right trees were planted around a house, would it buffer the winds? I also wonder if berming might save neighborhoods? Who knows what good things could come out of participation in the conversation of redevelopment . . .?

o With the entire region being rebuilt, you might want to be looking at opening that new office in the southern states . . . That is, if you can find people in the area who can work or that have a place to stay . . .

o You may have to wear a bullet proof vest, though . . . turn to page 139 to read about the heroism of a New Orleans LA who nearly died from gunshot wounds saving an assault victim . . . Back in 2002 . . . You got to love New Orleans . . .
o The Annual "Playgrounds" issue is one of the most fun issues of the year for us at LASN. It is always great to see the imagination that so many of you have been able to release from what must be very varied childhoods . . . What ever happened to galvanized steel and monkey bars? I'd love to be a kid today and have one of these playgrounds on the other side of the fence . . . Ok . . . so my wife thinks I am a big kid . . . That's a different story altogether . . .

o On a more serious note, one thing I have really noticed over the years has been the acceptance of the ADA guidelines. Today, it is almost second nature to make virtually the whole playground accessible to kids with mental or physical disabilities. Way to Go!
o Before you write to me about the safety hazard of having a girl jumping off a slide on the front cover, remember that a good many of the slides today are designed to stop the kid on the slide-not let them drop off onto the baby underneath. Just thought I'd save you the postage . . .

o Last month we kind of celebrated the 20th anniversary of LASN and, over the past year or so, I've been "writing reminiscent" about the years of growth. The original plan was to get some LASN history into every issue.

The thing is . . . We have been so busy that I only got around to writing about LASN's history once in a while. Same with the "Covers of LASN" from that last issue . . .
We ended up picking a few things and missed so many stories, people, and who knows what, that at first I was feeling guilty . . . But now I realize that the best thing about hitting 20 years is that we are only mid-stride.

LASN is just out of its teens and way too busy and focused on the future to be thinking about yesterday . . . That day will come, but for now you're going to have to forgive us if we just get ourselves back to the task of enjoying old friendships, seeing new 'sites', and making LASN the best possible magazine in the hands of the Landscape Architects and Specifiers across this continent . . .

--God Bless

George Schmok, Publisher



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December 14, 2019, 7:50 am PDT

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