Archive for September 18th, 2011

Makes my Blood Boil

(Posted without the facility of adding images, links, etc… oh poo!)

From the “Are You Freaking Kidding Me??” department…

A Memphis, Tennessee math teacher, along with three students from his neighborhood, tend an urban garden, keep bees, make vermicompost, produce biofuel, and make soap with the byproducts of biofuel production. The teacher does this on his own time, on his own property, after spending all day teaching. This is the kind of teacher that wins awards, that students look back on years later as the one that made a difference.

But in Memphis, Tennessee, this teacher is a “public nuisance.” And he’s been ordered to dismantle his garden.

Raleigh-Egypt High School math teacher Adam Guerrero, who tends the garden with three neighbors and students, (Jarvis, Jovantae, and Shaquielle) was cited by the city for creating a public nuisance – specifically with violating city ordinance 48-38, which says that “It shall be unlawful for any owner of personal property to fail or refuse to comply with the orders of the manager of housing and code enforcement to remove from the premises abandoned vehicles, appliances, vehicle parts and/or any other piece or pieces of personal property if such personal property is dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare; or creates an unsightly condition upon such property tending to reduce the value thereof; or is a nuisance; or invites plundering; or promotes urban blight and deterioration in the community; or creates a fire hazard; or violates the zoning regulations of the city.”

Yeah. I can totally see how a garden and a couple of beehives (which are completely legal in Memphis, by the way) violates this code.

Guerrero is also in violation of city code 48-87, which says “All exterior property areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.”

Well, we all know how unsanitary gardens are. All that dirt, and life, and…. well I’m clutching my pearls just thinking about it. (By the way, if you’re interested in seeing photos of Adam’s not even remotely unsanitary, blight-inducing garden, the Memphis Flyer posted several of them on their website.)

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