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Comments by helmut

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Posted on August 23 at 9:38 p.m.

Barney- I was the City staff for the Environmental Review Committee during Burgergate. My good friend Dave Davis, however, needs a few facts clarified. Back then, the City did not have a building permit function and contracted building permits and inspections to the County. With an Outer State Street moratorium set to take effect Jan.1, Burger King hired Oliver Ziebarth, who was a friend of the County building official, to do a private and much quicker plan check. Mr. Ziebarth had served on the Environmental Review Committee when the Burger King was being processed. This was the first (and likely the last) time the County allowed private building plan checkers rather than their own staff plan checkers. Plan check was done in three days rather than six or so weeks it would have taken through the County process and they were breaking ground on New Years Eve in the pouring rain to become vested in the building permit one day before the moratorium would have prevented them building. Yes, the poop did hit the fan very quickly and very intensely and everything that followed was surreal incuding Mr. Ziebarth's untimely death soon there after. Later that year, the City Council passed an ordinance banning new drive thru anythings and the City soon got their own building inspection division. Years later, though we would have never matched up on paper, I actually became very good friends with the developer, known as "the Burger Queen". She tragically passed away in 2011. An amazing story and thanks for writing about it.

On Playing Chicken at Burgergate

Posted on April 16 at 1:43 p.m.

I tell you, floatopias are definitely trending upward. In San Diego a few weeks back, they had a similar event staged on rafts and inner tubes right off shore cleverly getting around the City ordinance banning alcohol on the beach. There were only about 120 arrests made of the many thousands in the water. And Nick, you are perhaps the first writer I know of to use the words "obtuse" and "oblique" in the same sentence when not discussing angles.

On Dewormed but Not De-Squirmed

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