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APA Dateline: May 6, 2002


A shadow of my former self
Staff member
-- Newspaper Editorials Back Lake Tahoe Decision --
The New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution both expressed
approval of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Tahoe Sierra
Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

According to the Journal-Constitution, the decision "squelched an attempt to
gut environmental law by rewriting the U.S. Constitution." The paper says
that "over the past 20 years, some conservative legal scholars have
attempted to rewrite [the Fifth] amendment. ... But as the majority [on the
Court] sensibly noted, temporarily halting private use of property is a far
cry from taking that property for public use. Furthermore, if government is
forced to compensate owners for every limit on land use, zoning and
environmental laws would become impossible to enact and enforce." The
editorial noted: "It's also important to point out how far to the right the
conservative movement has drifted. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the
entity that supposedly perpetrated a liberal assault on property values, was
created in 1968 with the support of a California governor named Ronald

The New York Times found that "The Supreme Court acted wisely this week to
preserve the ability of states and localities to institute land use and
zoning regulations to control growth and protect the environment. In doing
so, the court dealt a major setback to the conservative-led property rights
movement, ending its string of recent Supreme Court victories elevating the
rights of individual property owners over valid planning and community
needs. ... At last a majority of justices has confronted the practical
implications of the court's recent property rights jurisprudence and
restored limitations that respect the public, not just private property."
Read the Journal-Constitution editorial:
Read the New York Times editorial:
Read APA's amicus curiae brief in the Tahoe case:

-- White House Street Designs to Debut --
The National Capital Planning Commission's Security Task Force plans to
unveil designs for Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House at a
National Press Club News Conference on May 17. According to the commission,
the task force and four landscape design teams will unveil concept proposals
for "creating a safe and distinguished public realm on Pennsylvania Avenue
in front of the White House. The location is one of several the task force
is working on, with designers, to identify permanent and comprehensive
solutions to address security needs while preserving the historic urban
design and beauty of the Nation's Capital."
Read the news release: http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/first/0426-123.html
National Capital Planning Commission homepage:

-- New Report Highlights the Lexicon of Land Use --
The National League of Cities's recent publication "Building Quality
Communities" is a guide for local officials and citizens on how to "make
local land use decisions by choice and not chance." One section, called
"watch your language," identifies terms such as "sprawl" and "density" that
can pose problems because they are either unclear or poorly understood. The
report also contains analyses of the ways that race and racism affect and
are affected by land-use patterns; "talking points" for dealing
constructively with the private interest/public interest debate; and the
need for area-wide perspectives and solutions.
Read the report: http://www.nlc.org/nlc_org/site/files/reports/futrpt01.pdf

-- Sites Highlight Earth in Changing Images --
Stunning satellite images of the Earth are offered up on a regular basis by
Space Imaging and Digital Globe on their websites. Space Imaging offers an
Image of the Week taken by its IKONOS satellite. The site's store offers
images for purchase. Digital Globe's QuickBird Image of the Day page
features satellite images that change daily, as well as an image archive and
downloads for computer desktop wallpaper.
View Space Imaging weekly image:
View Digital Globe's Image of the Day: