Sherry Lynn Gros for the Highland Park Review
April 18, 2023
The following story is for entertainment purposes only and should in no way be misconstrued any other way as these are the day-to-day sagas of this complex and multijurisdictional tiny organization.
Update on the work we’ve been doing: After arguing with Arlene all night about different things like calling me in the middle of the night because she was afraid people were spying into her email and for me to get out of bed right now and fix it in her demanding little stampy way (isn’t she nice though), to stay in her own yard and quit “fixing” Highland Park stuff like she fixed the dam by discharging WOTUS at whim until a fragile dam finally dropped under the constant pressure changes, and the fact she is hording a cache of corporate documents that belong to the HPca and have not been filed properly under administrative law, state or otherwise, I got up this morning and began to refresh my mind on Alabama drainage Law. Actually, Arlene and others picking fights with me is somewhat of a welcome relief from the constant academia of working to save the Mighty Milkhouse Creek. When you look at it, and all the millions of dollars getting dumped into the dog river watershed you have to ask yourself, Where is that money going? If it were going to the waters wouldn’t you think those same people would step in to help save rabbit creek, halls mill, and all the other waters like Milkhouse Creek being threatened by development, new constructions, and urban decay? Otherwise shouldn’t all waters weigh equally in getting monies to restore their watercourses? There was a woman out of Florida who came in to help me here at Milkhouse Creek and she was sure she could. I liked her spunk and confidence. She traveled all over the country to teach waterkeeper law. But something happened overnight. She was told something by the county and she grew cold on me in a heartbeat. Anyway, arguing with Arlene is actually a tension breaker from all the rabbit holes this project dredges up. Back in the early 2000s Alabama Power fought a group of people named Save Milkhouse Creek dot org at or near the Lamplighter subdivision area back in around 2009 I think it was. They people lost their fight and Alabama Power planted their power poles on the Creek disturbing the natural flow and flooding properties in the affected area so I am told. I called Mike Damoff to see how he was doing on the lawsuit end of this business, I have some material that might be of use to him, but he hasn’t returned my messages to date. I think he’s always out in the woods somewhere. Sitting at my desk today I am revisiting the Alabama drainage law and I’m pretty sure I’m right on this issue of the reservoir here at Lake Optimist Milkhouse Creek that the county and the city have a duty to care because they meet that criteria and they know it. But still there are those people who will buggy whip the back of your neck with their stock answer “It’s private property we don’t have to help with your concerns.” and to that I say, Anyone who uses, plans, develops, and builds into their plans use for our land for local area drainage have a duty to care because you use our land daily as a public service by always building it into your plans to use it for stormwater discharge (above and below ground) for a public purpose, and for local area drainage.” The county and the city share the liability, along with the neighboring HOA people for tearing down this dam because the municipalities use it everyday and over build on top of us more than the land can handle without regard to our damages or costs to us. The HOA people I refer to them because that is how they branded them selves is a Lord of the Flies type of consortium of people who gathered over the years in sheer desperation to save the dam actually hastened the collapse of the dam for lack of civil engineering knowledge causing a more costly repair job. They had no knowledge of how HPca owned the land, how it’s Articles of Incorporation worked or of the environmental sensitivity of the area and after awhile this consortium of people felt a sense of entitlement to the land. Until, that is, there was an issue! Which is generally how things like this go. Then the corporation gets up, shakes off the dust, looks around and says, “Time to get to work here.” One idea to help relieve some of the financial burden of the “dam” has been suggested by myself is that we notify the City and County to get their stormwater off our property or at least charge them for use so we could afford repairs caused by their continual and ever increasing force majeure. Just remember, the municipalities want everyone fighting. Peace is not in their best interest because peace between the warring subdivisions and people means we will waste our resources and not turn our energies and talents on them, the real partners who keep tearing down this dam without consequence to themselves.