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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
August 21, 2003     The Columbia Star
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August 21, 2003

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Ik4 B I A STAR -- S C gar- why ear- the fer- nine when- sched- even in rains and suffi- neigh- ab znterim, rows had Urban garde Piece of years AUGUST 2 ners produce crops in West Columbia setting it aside as an ease- ment. When the utility company no longer needed it, Trinity United Methodist Church bought it and let church gardeners divide it into nine garden plots. One couple, Ken and Becky Long, asked if they could have back the plot they had gardened before. "Theirs is probably the prettiest garden in here," said Ted Frady, one of the garden's most avid grow- ers. "I don't think you could find a blade of grass in there." The Longs vigilant weeding does not change their perception of them- selveS. "We are not farm- ers. Farmers are able to get money out of their land. Gardeners put money . into it," admitted Ken Long. Although most of the gardeners adhere to the trowel and error method, the group recalled one mas- ter gardener who worked one of the plots as long as his health held up. "The most important thing he tauSht us was how to lean on the hoe," Frady joked. The urban gardeners are looking forward to a fall crop of collards and possibly sweet potatoes before they begin preparing their plots for winter. The nearly year-round endeav- or keeps the toilers well-fed, physically invig- " orated, and deeply-rooted 1 2003 - 1 5 Rachel Haynie Ted Fradey (I), Franklyn and Carey Huffman, Ken and Becky Long and football season th Annual Football Sportslarama, by Richland School DiStrict One and and Sertoma Club, is Friday, AuguSt 22 at a t Memorial Stadium. Will be four games with teams playing two quarters: Columbia and C.A. Johnson, 5 and Ben Lippen at 5:40 pro; Eau Claire 6:20 pm; and A.C. Flora and Fairfield Pro. Each team is limited to two timeouts Other SC High School League rules will is designated "  Seating by School. All bck- from ticket sales are divided among pating schools. ConceSsion sales by te :ch!a.nd Srt0ma Club to Hlth, ;dUbtibnl, nU rcr- information, call Dr. Carlos Smith, recto,, at 23:}-7496. feeds the a landmark at the corner of Taylor and Assembly Streets. However, when the landlocked mission took initial steps recently toward moving its head- quarters to gain space, the Planning Commisi0n denied a zoning change from M-1 to C-1. Approval of the zoning request would enable Oliver Gospel Mission to renovate a vacant ware- house at 1824 Barnwell Street. The last occupant of the warehouse, zoned M-1 for manufacturing, was Federal Express, although what the giant package handler produced was service, judt as Olivdr GoSpel Mission dnerates service. The mission's board of directors has requested a zoning change to a C-l, commercial status. Proponents of the move for space believe the Planning C0mjnission's denial was based on fear that voting constituents would oppose the location of a shelter in their area instead of voting on the official criteria for zoning changes. A scheduled neigh- borhood meeting was scrapped when mission officials realized such a forum was not a likely environment in which they would be allowed to make their case. "How could OGM benefit from having such a meeting?" 'questioned Fields. Instead, OGM board members have been meet- ing one-on-one with members of Columbia City Council hoping to discern where each Stands on the matter and to dis- cuss with them the posi- tion taken by the Planning Commission. One of thA allies OGM board members had counted on at the very 2003 kicks homeless least to help them deci- pher municipal jargon and interpret bureaucratic pos- turing is Interim City Manager Clarles Austin. Instead, Austin has remaized conspicuously quiet on the matter. Until recently Austin juggled administrative responsibilities attendant to that top-level job along with those of police chief, a position he held for many years. Austin is also an ordained Methodist minister, and OGM is offi- cially a ministry within the SC United Methodist Conference. While deliberations continue, OGM is at a standstill, and its invest- ment is also on hold. Before the OGM board could make the zoning change request to improve a vacant center-city build- ing, it had to sink hard-to--come-by non-profit dollars into due diligence. "Already, more than $4,000 has been invested in research and information gathering rel- ative to the Barnwell Street site," acknowledged .Fields. When Oliver Gospel Mission's board of direc- tors meets again early next week, its members will reassess their posi- tion and strategies in anticipation of the September 10 City Council meeting at which council members are expected to rule on the Planning Commission's recommendation. Board members and officials have said they are committed to making a move for space, hopeful- ly to the 3,000 square foot Barnwell Street site into which they have already invested. Fields said the his- toric mission cannot con- tinue its commitment to help Columbia shoulder its responsibility to the homeless without expand- ing its physical space. itself of a hand for 115 the the shoul- cic rhe the Wayne issue ' aore en in their community of gar- deners. Jennifer Baldwin enjoy the reap what you sow proverb. Rachel Haynie City bites the hand tl00at