Hyde Park Herald Publisher Bruce Sagan, NIMBY Heart-Throb
(Picture found in girls locker room of Hyde Park Hysterical Society)
Because the Hyde Park Herald is essentially the vehicle for a personality cult, once in a while something useful actually results from the homages, celebrations, panegyrics, whiggishness, festschriften, glorifications, and pats-on-the-back to publisher Bruce Sagan that appear every year or so.
On the occasion of Bruce Sagan's 80th birthday, his sons have done us all the favor of digitizing half a century of the Herald's plentiful NIMBY-ism, and we should all be thankful. No more tedious trips to the Regenstein, or stuffing our file cabinet full of clippings documenting the local insanities of Hyde Park's Greatest Generation.
No, now it's all on line for die-hard NIMBY hunters, who may now clear away all the Herald clippings blowing about their garage.
We decided to test out the search engine in the New NIMBY Archives. So what do we think of this new feature? Here's one of 2 results we got when we typed in "NIMBY":
So we tackled the problem from another angle, substituting the synonymous term "parking" for "NIMBY." Outcome: 5772 results. Now we're talking!
We find that on November 6, 1996, Judith Kritzberg, one of the team of hard-core obstructionists that pushed the dry vote in the 5th Ward's 39th Precinct in November, 2008, like other dry-voters, was already complaining about parking. Specifically, she doesn't like permit parking and makes arguments against the idea that people have a right to exclusive use of the street in front of their homes to park their cars.
I wonder what happened to that line of reasoning last November?
In any case, the ease of searching and reproducing the results bode well. The results of other searches varied in surprising ways.
A search for entries including "Jack Spicer" returned only 2 results. A search for entries including "task force" returned a much more satisfying 277 results. "Save the point" scored 160 entries, many of them advertisements, and other letters such as that dated June 12, 1963 and titled: "Save our Point from Riff-Raff."
We decided to finish our trial run with a by now classic euphemism for NIMBY-ism: Hans Morsbach.
Lo and behold, we have a goldmine of 43 results going back to the 1960s. From a random sample, I've learned that back in 1970 Morsbach was the target of a neighborhood petition to close one of his restaurants for attracting too many undesirable people.
This is going to be very useful after all.