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Thread: "CNU-A CNU accreditation

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    "CNU-A CNU accreditation

    Has anyone pursued the CNU-A accreditation? Seems that you take an online class from the University of Miami and then can sit for the exam.

    http://www.cnu.org/accreditation

    10. How do I prepare for the Exam?


    A recommended reading list has been developed for the exam, see below. In addition, the University of Miami School of Architecture offers a The Principles and Practice of New Urbanism course online three times a year.

    Charter of the New Urbanism, cnu.org/charter
    New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, 4th edition, by Robert Steuteville, Philip Langdon, et. al. (Ithaca, NY: New Urban Publications, 2009).
    Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (New York: North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000).
    Sustainable Street Network Principles by CNU Project for Transportation Reform (2012).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Sounds like a scam. Everyone is jumping onto the accreditation/certification bandwagon!

    They know students or young planners are desperate to 'prove' themselves.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I took it cold-turkey just to prove how easy the test is. I passed.

    part of my reason for doing it is that another planner with that designation was trying to tell me it was the equivalent to AICP.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    If AICP is not required for employment or promotion and the man doesn't pay for it or teh CM hrs;
    tell me why this would be or why I should pay for it ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
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    The other way around

    I am a landscape architect and urban designer. Yeah the last title is nebulous at best and some, very few planners, and far more landscape architects and architects have the training, background and quals to use that moniker. I took the AICP exam "cold turkey" and passed. I took the CNU-A exam and did not. I did the second time. To quote a memorable line from "Good Will Hunting"

    "How do you like them apples ?"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
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    JNA, I think you are being overly cynical about AICP. I am a fed. Unless a certification/license is required for a position a federal agency can not pay dues. This is the law. Still plenty of us who have positions where certification or licensing is not required have them.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    CNU certification? Are you kidding me? What a joke this profession has become.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    CNU certification? Are you kidding me? What a joke this profession has become.
    Why would i need a certificate to tell me i know how to practice/implement the way we used to do things..err umm.. i mean new urbanism. Such a scam.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    CNU certification? Are you kidding me? What a joke this profession has become.
    The profession isn't falling for the Duanyhuckster's snake oil. Some individuals may, but their gullibility doesn't tarnish the profession per se.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Dharmster View post
    JNA, I think you are being overly cynical about AICP. I am a fed. Unless a certification/license is required for a position a federal agency can not pay dues. This is the law. Still plenty of us who have positions where certification or licensing is not required have them.
    I was being cynical about CNU-A cert. I just have to choose what cert and Continuing Ed I spend my money on.
    one for sure, maybe two but not three.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
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    A Reality Slap in the Face

    The condescending smugness many of you show here is disturbing..... In what way ? The irrrefutable fact that most MURP planners coming from the programs they do, can't creatively and expressively draw, either digtally or by hand. That creative expression, needs to be fundamentally informed by solid urban design skills and practice, another gaping deficit. I have worked with enough of conventional planners to know this, flat out and first hand. I have also worked with MURP planners who have come from programs where the true design professions are far more integrated and collaborative. Guess what ? Those graduates have design proficiencies and talents.

    To reject CNU-A as a marketing scam slaps your reality in the face. That reality is that the general perception (and well founded) is that most MURP planners can't design their way out of box. Sorry, but your viewed as "policy planners". Cold hard truth.

    You want to boost your design appeal, get some kind of accreditation that states "I am a design practicioner" .

    Let it break it to you this way brethren. When our national economy does rebound (around 2017) urban infill and downtown redevelopment (unless your in California) will be where the market is. The few lenders out there that are risking real estate development loans right now, are funding New Urbanist oriented projects. The suburban master planned community model is a decaying dinosaur.

    Get some design cred. Any reputable kind will advance you. Or you can also chose to become a fossil.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    The condescending smugness many of you show here is disturbing..... In what way ? The irrrefutable fact that most MURP planners coming from the programs they do, can't creatively and expressively draw, either digtally or by hand. That creative expression, needs to be fundamentally informed by solid urban design skills and practice, another gaping deficit. I have worked with enough of conventional planners to know this, flat out and first hand. I have also worked with MURP planners who have come from programs where the true design professions are far more integrated and collaborative. Guess what ? Those graduates have design proficiencies and talents.

    To reject CNU-A as a marketing scam slaps your reality in the face. That reality is that the general perception (and well founded) is that most MURP planners can't design their way out of box. Sorry, but your viewed as "policy planners". Cold hard truth.

    You want to boost your design appeal, get some kind of accreditation that states "I am a design practicioner" .

    Let it break it to you this way brethren. When our national economy does rebound (around 2017) urban infill and downtown redevelopment (unless your in California) will be where the market is. The few lenders out there that are risking real estate development loans right now, are funding New Urbanist oriented projects. The suburban master planned community model is a decaying dinosaur.

    Get some design cred. Any reputable kind will advance you. Or you can also chose to become a fossil.
    Your vs. You're. Maybe you should have gone to a policy school too!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    The accreditation is only as good as how many people recognize it's importance. Even the recognition of AICP is kind of dicey with employers. So getting a newly created accreditation is kind of a waste of time and money until people start hearing about it.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    The condescending smugness many of you show here is disturbing..... In what way ? The irrrefutable fact that most MURP planners coming from the programs they do, can't creatively and expressively draw, either digtally or by hand. That creative expression, needs to be fundamentally informed by solid urban design skills and practice, another gaping deficit. I have worked with enough of conventional planners to know this, flat out and first hand. I have also worked with MURP planners who have come from programs where the true design professions are far more integrated and collaborative. Guess what ? Those graduates have design proficiencies and talents.

    To reject CNU-A as a marketing scam slaps your reality in the face. That reality is that the general perception (and well founded) is that most MURP planners can't design their way out of box. Sorry, but your viewed as "policy planners". Cold hard truth.

    You want to boost your design appeal, get some kind of accreditation that states "I am a design practicioner" .

    Let it break it to you this way brethren. When our national economy does rebound (around 2017) urban infill and downtown redevelopment (unless your in California) will be where the market is. The few lenders out there that are risking real estate development loans right now, are funding New Urbanist oriented projects. The suburban master planned community model is a decaying dinosaur.

    Get some design cred. Any reputable kind will advance you. Or you can also chose to become a fossil.
    My questioning the marketing value of CNU-A has nothing to do with my ability to draw or approve client designs, nor does it have anything to do with my ability to write code to get good design in my jurisdiction.

    I also can see flawed and specious argumentation when I see it, but that doesn't have anything to do with my ability to freehand in perspective either.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Ok.. I will bite...
    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post

    To reject CNU-A as a marketing scam slaps your reality in the face. That reality is that the general perception (and well founded) is that most MURP planners can't design their way out of box. Sorry, but your viewed as "policy planners". Cold hard truth.
    I don't think we are discussing what MURP planners can't design. I am not one, so I can't discuss their merit of being able to design their way out of a box. What I can discuss, as a person involved in hiring and a person that has had "professional design experience" is credentials. Industry standard is AICP. Those in the Consultanting realm could tack on an AEP (Accredited Environmental Professional) or to a less extent LEED AP/LEED GA. These carry some significant weight simply because they have been around for sometime now. CNU-A is relatively new, but in all seriousness it does not take a rocket scientist to practice the "principles of new urbanism (old urbanism)." CNU states:

    The purpose is to elevate the practice of the principles of New Urbanism through professional accreditation and to develop the CNU Accreditation program as a premier standard of professional excellence in the design of the built environment.
    Ok so it takes both policy and design to implement these things. In all reality you learn to do this in practice, not through some accreditation program. Sure I can advocate zero lot line development all day long, with garages set to the rear or alley loaded fronts. Hell, I can sketch you up a nice little mixed use development through a form based code and show how mixed use and walkability will go hand in hand, but there are real world problems that really can't be taught in a classroom such as where utilities are placed in the front setback, the ramifications of easements, how to handle the use and maintenance of planters, etc. Do you think a class and a certificate can teach you these things? No. Sorry, you learn this through some OJT. Honestly have a CNU-A certificate means nothing to me if you have no design skills whatsoever or if you skills don't match what I am looking to hire for, so in the end, it seems more times than naught, a waste of money.


    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    You want to boost your design appeal, get some kind of accreditation that states "I am a design practicioner" .
    Or conversely, design something or go under someone's wings. You can master this in your own time or take additional classes. A CNU-A doesn't equate design practicioner. I means you took and passed a test. How you got there, well, who knows, but if you have no portofolio to back up the whole "design practicioner" statement, well, it's just a piece of paper now isn't it?

    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    Let it break it to you this way brethren. When our national economy does rebound (around 2017) urban infill and downtown redevelopment (unless your in California) will be where the market is. The few lenders out there that are risking real estate development loans right now, are funding New Urbanist oriented projects. The suburban master planned community model is a decaying dinosaur.
    What lenders? Construction loans are hard to get. Again, I am not discounting the benefits of new urbanism, or the priniciples, they are good practice in design, however urban infill/redevelopment loans are ridiculously hard to come by unless you have some strait cash homie, i.e. some private equitity financing this thing. The suburban model is not dead, as a matter of fact will probably pick up. Why? Because it is a proven financial model that eventually lenders will go back to. The master plan community will not die. It will just get a new fashionable name, like a new urbanist community since we all know where those things tend to be located...

    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    Any reputable kind will advance you. Or you can also chose to become a fossil.
    Again, what's reputable? When hiring i am looking for a specific skill set, now some fancy certificate. We will not live and die by certificates alone.
    Last edited by Raf; 21 Jun 2012 at 3:40 PM.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  16. #16
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    To reject CNU-A as a marketing scam slaps your reality in the face. That reality is that the general perception (and well founded) is that most MURP planners can't design their way out of box. Sorry, but your viewed as "policy planners". Cold hard truth.

    You want to boost your design appeal, get some kind of accreditation that states "I am a design practitioner”.

    Get some design cred. Any reputable kind will advance you. Or you can also chose to become a fossil.
    Additional credentials can be beneficial, but as you're aware, not all credentials are the same. While we’re faced with a tough job market, the younger planners are doing everything they can to stand out, and seeking every type of credential they can. But, is this one worth it? I’m having a difficult time seeing a quantifiable value to this particular certification, and can see the resistance towards the cert. As DetroitPlanner said, everyone is jumping on the cert bandwagon, regardless of what the cert actually does. And, as you said previously, the title given (in this case) seems nebulous at best. I’d rather learn the concepts on the job, and build a portfolio that combines design skills that is supplemented by real land-use issues (like easements, zoning regulations, etc). I feel like that would be a better indicator that you can design your way out of a box. Titles do not necessarily mean you’re better at your job; you do not become a planning idol just because you have an AICP Certification. The value comes from the perception of the certification, which seems to stem from its wide acceptance and the rigor within its testing requirements. I am unsure if the CNU-A certification will carry enough weight to make up the difference you’re spending. If people have experienced otherwise, then I may change my mind.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  17. #17
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    CNU-A Accreditation - Touching a nerve ending

    First of all, I have read and appreciate all of the collective comment here since I first posted. Clearly, there is a variety of perceptions about the relative value of the CNU-A certification. Let me be clear here, I have no way of knowing if gaining that certification has benefited me in any verifiable way. Like many of the respondents here, I am of an advanced stage and age in our professional planning career. Like some of the younger planning aspirants some of you have mentioned here, I sought the CNU-A certification during the "down" time of the last few years, which continues now and will so into the next few years. I had pretty debilitating period of unemployment and finally had to go abroad to continue my career, and still remain there. While in the States, and having gone back at least once to try and find stateside employment, I included the CNU-A acronym after several others (Landscape Architect, AICP, LEED-AP) and like mentioned above, there was never any positive response or indication that the CNU-A moniker advanced my standing in any way. Was it worth it or has it made a difference ?

    Many of you call that question into further examination, and I have nothing more to offer you than this. I see the New Urbanism (or Old Urbanism...... yes I see it the same way .... in an unknowing and unaware way established that form of anurban development model long ago, forgot all about it and abandon it when the car came along...and have rediscovered and hyped and marketed it ever since....so what ? the real benefits of that model are meritorious and hard to find any fault with...and they still fit the missing marketplace of today) as one of the few viable and promising forms of new urban development, whenever our nation restarts new urban development.

    For those of you who still think the suburban sprawl (even with elevated densities) model still has relevance and "legs" then stick with Joel Kotkin and his ilk. I think they are decidedly wrong. Sure thing,
    we did not learn anything from the S&L crisis of the 80's and started loaning again on the same kind of residential projects under the moniker of "master planned communities" when the most recent housing explosion took place. Mea Culpa...... I took part is several of those. Some got entitled, some went bankrupt and into foreclosure. None have been built.

    When and a BIG IF, the housing market does come back and construction lending does become more available, it will become more favorably available to those projects that are mixed-use, diversified
    and are well pre-leased out or have measurable econometrics in their favor. That is not the decaying and debilitated surburban model in any form of representation, including faux new urbanism.

    I share the views of the likes of Christopher Leinberger and others (James Howard Kunstler) who forcibly and factually contend that the surburban form of residential development will not happen again, and probably in the lifetime we all still have left. While I was recently back in the States, seeking work again, I attended a presentation by Leinberger in Portland, Oregon. And in the interest of full disclosure, it was sponsored by 1000 Friends of Oregon and highly attended by CNU members and true believers. Lienberger had current and convincing examples that infill and redevelopment projects were getting funded and built (2011) and by comparison, the suburban counter-example was not. Simple, clear and compelling market fundamentals and the reality of the new development marketplace we now face. In my humble opinion, this is not an aberration or momentary trend.

    Sorry to have to repeat here again, but I absolutely stand by my earlier contention that planning professionals that have come from academic backgrounds with strong or total emphasis on "policy planning" with little or no exposure to the pure practice of urban or community or neighborhood design (pick your scale) are at a great disadvantage. Most of you are less able to competently and convincingly "weigh in" on and make an influential and consequential difference at least in the formative "design" stages of any new development project. I will give you complete credit in being able to
    translate those design concepts and plans into code and even "form-based" codes. Actually, I have had to prepare those same "form-based"codes for you policy-oriented planners to translate into
    a revised development code.

    Lastly, for the incredibly myopic and short sighted individual who only zero-ed in on my misuse of "your" ...Tell you what Cochise,.... you go back to graduate school to get another degree in policy planning so you can be more gramatically correct than you even are now.... I will use spell check and save tens of thousands of dollars.
    "weigh-in" with the abilities and capabilities to

  18. #18
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post

    Many of you call that question into further examination, and I have nothing more to offer you than this. I see the New Urbanism (or Old Urbanism...... yes I see it the same way .... in an unknowing and unaware way established that form of anurban development model long ago, forgot all about it and abandon it when the car came along...and have rediscovered and hyped and marketed it ever since....so what ? the real benefits of that model are meritorious and hard to find any fault with...and they still fit the missing marketplace of today) as one of the few viable and promising forms of new urban development, whenever our nation restarts new urban development.
    ... Christopher Leinberger and others (James Howard Kunstler) who forcibly and factually contend that the surburban form of residential development will not happen again, ...
    I think many here are quite clear - and have even stated implicitly or explicitly here and elsewhere - that CNU is merely a new word tacked on to development that happened everywhere prior to WWII. I'm sure I've implied on this site that it is a fad, but that doesn't mean I reject thoughtful development or would deny a NU permit.

    Also, too, I don't need mad drawing skillz to make thoughtful development happen. No one does. Maybe I'll start an online course to make a TND-A accreditation because I think TND is da bomb. Or maybe a Stormwater-A because I think that's important.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    The profession isn't falling for the Duanyhuckster's snake oil. Some individuals may, but their gullibility doesn't tarnish the profession per se.
    Oh, I think the profession did fall for the snake oil. And hard. All in an attempt to cling to legitimacy as the world's need for planning as we knew it dwindles slowly and painfully. Another good example is "LEED Professional Credentials."

  20. #20
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    I'll start an online course to make a TND-A accreditation because I think TND is da bomb. Or maybe a Stormwater-A because I think that's important.

    ColoGI: Your a little late to the starting line with your TND-A accreditation. Like you well know, that is another interchangeable acronym of CNU-A or OldNU-A (not nearly as much sex appeal, huh ?) and I tend to think your version of the scam you think and feel CNU-A is now and continues to be. The old and highly reliable saying of "opinions are like a__holes, everyone has one" certainly applies here. Tell ya what, go get your Stormwater-A certification. I already deal and have deait with such matters as a LICENSED landscape architect. If choose to defect to the dark side and am on the receiving end (the other side of the permit counter) when you come to submit your plans with your new, trendy certification, I will be happy to refuse to even accept them and hand them back to you. Then you can hire someone who knows what they actually are doing, resubmit them, and your on your way.

    Hey Chipster, wake up and smell the aroma of Chocolate in the air these days. Many, many of few employment ads out there these days, both nationally and internationally, express a preference for the LEED accreditation (got that one). Far, far less for CNU-A (actually I have seen none). The preference or desire for a LEED certification, far more so in the private (where you need to know how to design and draw -digitally or by hand) andt the public realms (where you hardly ever need to) is almost now as commonplace as AICP (got that one too). Does that mean the LEED-AP and AICP or on equal and illegitimate footing ? Reconsider your viewpoint.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    ...The old and highly reliable saying of "opinions are like a__holes, everyone has one" certainly applies here. Tell ya what, go get your Stormwater-A certification. I already deal and have deait with such matters as a LICENSED landscape architect. If choose to defect to the dark side and am on the receiving end (the other side of the permit counter) when you come to submit your plans with your new, trendy certification, I will be happy to refuse to even accept them and hand them back to you. Then you can hire someone who knows what they actually are doing, resubmit them, and your on your way.
    Ah. You are justifying your purchase, much like the MPG on the new car, or the # of cupholders to hold the Slurpees. Got it.

    I also inform and correct LArch issues all the time, as I have a hort degree and speak of the issues often across the country and internationally (not at ASLA this year, tho). I can walk down the street and ID a plant and the likely soil type and cultural requirements and suitability. In my sleep. So there.

    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Oh, I think the profession did fall for the snake oil. And hard. All in an attempt to cling to legitimacy as the world's need for planning as we knew it dwindles slowly and painfully. Another good example is "LEED Professional Credentials."
    Some did. Not all. Let us not fall into the trap of hasty generalization fallacies. The basics are the basics and there is no need for letters after your name to make the basics happen.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  22. #22
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    I am very appreciative

    Of the material you all give me to work with here, especially ColoGI. One small suggestion to you in particular. I would recommend a minor change to your username here on Cyburbia. I would add a "U" between the "G" and the "I". That would be more fitting and accurate for "Grotesquely Uninformed". As far as your horticultural prowess, why don't we do this. You pick the street. We meet and I will bring a Red Flyer wagon. As an added incentive, I will buy you the Slurpee flavor of your choice. You can sleep in the wagon and I will be happy to pull you while you do. While the Slurpee melts all over you, we can roll up to a Sorbus americana. I will slap you into semi consciousness and we will put your horticultural acumen to the test. If you stammer and stumble, I will be happy to reintroduce you to this tree and everything about you need to know including the soil types it thrives in best.

    We will have a minimal green footprint that day since we will be completely fossil fuel free, get great MPG and the only damage to the environment will possibly be some of the toxic fumes you spew here on Cyburbia.

    Let me know the next conference you will be speaking at. If I happen to attend, I will go out of my way to miss your presentation and attend something that is meaningful, measurable and makes a real difference.

  23. #23
    Okay, I'm not sure what the hell this thread is about anymore. I thought I was the malcontent shit-stirrer around here!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Ah. You are justifying your purchase,
    Quote Originally posted by landplnr2001 View post
    ... "Grotesquely Uninformed". As far as your horticultural prowess,
    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Okay, I'm not sure what the hell this thread is about anymore. I thought I was the malcontent shit-stirrer around here!
    Me neither. I thought he was sad because he was justifying a bad purchase. Maybe he's sad because he also spent time on a CNU board lobbying for the CNU-A idea, and didn't know it was a scam? It couldn't be the standard LArch arrogance, no sir. Must be something else.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    What that kind of attidude one wonders why someone with a LEED AP, CNU-A, LA, AICP, all behind their name can't find a job stateside.. just sayin
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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