Thursday, March 03, 2005

NIMBYs On Patrol

Ahhh, the sweet sounds of the DC area: "Get off my lawn!," "Stop tailgating me!," "You can't put that there!"

The Mid-Atlantic Raging NIMBY has returned from its winter hibernation to reassert its dominance over the region. (The genetically-similar Northern Virginia House-Frau can't be too far behind either!)

Our fair local team wanted to set off some fireworks on opening night, and on the Fourth of July. There were also plans to set fireworks off ever Friday night, as well. Enter the NIMBY.
Veronica E. Raglin, advisory neighborhood commissioner in nearby Kingman Park, fired back with a letter to city leaders: Fireworks, she wrote, were totally unacceptable.

"Fireworks are something that lower the standard of living," she said in an interview yesterday. "It's not just the noise, but the smoke and fumes and the trash. . . . I want people to enjoy baseball. But I do not think we should be put at a disadvantage and have our quality of life reduced."

The team has indicated they will back off the Friday-night fireworks, which is a reasonable request. But the NIMBYs smell blood. They want more: no fireworks on the Fourth or opening night.
Allowing the team to use fireworks once or twice would set a bad precedent, Raglin said. "It would be 'give an inch, take a mile,' " she said. "Before you know it, they'd be doing it 81 times a year."

Oy! I realize that you need to protect your property rights, but, at a certain point, you have to be a good neighbor--and that means cooperating with others, even if they don't live within three blocks of your house. The team seems willing to compromise by doing away with Friday fireworks and you're unwilling to budge?

This isn't quite as bad as the idiots in Old Town who whine about the noise from National Airport, (Sorry, Grover, Ronald Wilson Reagan Washington National Airport.)

But, sometimes you need to live with a little inconvenience, especially when you know it's only temporary, as it is in this case. And seriously, opening night would be the only inconvenience, unless the NIMBYs plan on shutting down the Mall fireworks on the Fourth as well.

This kind of thinking drives me crazy. Yes, stand up for your rights, but don't be so inflexible that you poo-poo everything. It'd be one thing if they wanted to dump lead in the water pipes. All the Nationals are asking for is 15 extra minutes of noise and smoke. (Besides, how will they distill the noise from the fireworks from the noises of gunshots coming over the river, or the firework smoke from the serial arsonists blazes? /cheapshot)


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