Thursday, February 24, 2011


I keep saying I'm taking a break....and then things draw me back into the dialogue. We have been having a local issue regarding the use of Eminent Domain for taking privately owned property for greenways, walking trails, and "open areas." So I was "taking a break" from writing, when I discovered our County Commissioners are deliberating this evening on this same subject. Our City officials have already proven to be pawns in the game of land confiscation for the anti-private property rights environmentalists. I felt it was necessary to jump back in to encourage the County Commissioners to uphold private property rights and reject the use of Eminent Domain, taking property for these environmentalists who lack respect for property ownership and want the entire world to belong to a "common."

Here is a copy of my editorial published in the Gaston Gazette today:

Eminent Domain For What?

If someone told you that some or all of the property you own could be confiscated against your will for a common area, an open area, a walking or biking trail, what would you say? You search for and find that perfect property to buy, only to find out that a 10 or 20 foot swath of that property next to a creek or stream is required greenway? Would you still want to buy it? Let's say you bought a piece of land for the scenery, the quiet solitude, and the privacy. Should government force you to relinquish your land for the sake of recreational common access? Maybe we should ask Mayor Stultz.

While environmentalist conservation groups avow that they have no "eminent domain" powers, they create partnerships with local governments in order to use those governments to do the dirty work for them. Greenway websites emphasize that all land acquisitions are "voluntary." As we have seen recently in Gastonia, that is not exactly the truth with regard to the recent greenway project.

Eminent Domain is a property-taking law originally devised for the government to take land for critical infrastructure such as roads and utilities, to provide service to the population surrounding the property in question. Environmentalists have convinced politicians that they have the power and right to take privately owned property for “public benefit” by means of eminent domain on the basis of walkways, biking trails, and the vague definition of "open areas."

Greenways’ websites promote all kinds of utopian benefits through restricting land use, creating open areas, and building walking and biking trails. They even call greenways "alternative transportation" to get grants from the State and Federal Departments of Transportation. Do you wonder where our transportation money is going?

The operating capital for these groups is government grants and tax-deductible donations. This means governments are giving tax dollar grants to organizations with which the governments are partnering, while at the same time governments are handing out tax deductions to donors who give land or money to the greenways, trails, and conservancy organizations in order to encourage people to fund the taking of property. Cleverly, the money trail is the real trail being created under the guise of greenways. The conservancy foundations are not working for free. The more government grants and tax deductible donations they get, the fatter their salaries and bank accounts grow.

Recently I found a published plan on the City of Gastonia website. It is at or you can google search "Gastonia 2020 Plan For Our Future." The plan states our government should "Encourage the protection of land through foundations and land trusts." It states our local government is to "partner with land conservancies and other public and nonprofit environmental agencies." What would be the purpose of such partnerships? Would those "partnerships" involve tax-funded grants for the taking of private property? In this instance, the word "protection" means "restricted use."
Historically, the “mob” always demanded "protection" money, too. What a coincidence! Did you vote to have our government partner with land trusts and conservancies to "protect”……oops, I mean “restrict” land use? If you did, was it your own land or land belonging to someone else you wish to restrict? Did you vote for a plan allowing our local government to take land by eminent domain for a greenway or a bike trail? You didn't? Neither did I.

Instead of encouraging private land ownership and industries, our local government wants you to believe that by partnering with anti-private property rights groups, restricting land ownership, we will create some desirable location attracting businesses and lots of industrious, educated people. What industrious and educated persons want to buy or own a piece of land that could be taken or restricted at any whim of the local government for any reason whatsoever such as greenways? I think there is an oxymoron in there somewhere. Should we ask Mayor Stultz about that, too?

Our County Commissioners are deliberating the threat of eminent domain for the Carolina Thread Trail on Thursday, February 24. You can show your support for our guaranteed Constitutional property rights by contacting them and telling them you are against the use of eminent domain for any such purposes as greenways, trails, and open areas.

So there it is. Our local problem is not just happening to us. The drive for property-taking by local and state governments, operating in unelected partnerships with environmentalist groups, is going on all over the United States. If you are reading this from whatever town in anywhere USA and are facing the same onslaught from these nonprofit land grabbers, please feel free to use my op-ed as a model to go after the offenders.

Below: Written by Adolf Hitler in 192o / The platform of the National Socialist Workers Party

(Two articles down in this blog is Hitler's entire list.)


  1. We should be SCREAMING at local meetings about AGENDA 21 and demanding that so called "officials" honor the AMERICAN oath of office. Not a twisted version designed to EVADE the part that says ..."I take this obligation freely , without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion ; and that I WIL WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE ON WHICH I AM ABOUT TO ENTER... so help me GOD . "... After all , that binds them to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights... If we don't start vetting LOCA candidates and holding them accountable when they prove to be LIARS , then we are to blame for the loss of property and freedom... They should be exposed BEFORE THEY BECOME CANDIDATES FOR RE-ELECTION WHEN THEY ARE KNOWN TO HAVE USED POWERS TO EXPAND GOVERNMENT ....

  2. my wife came to this country from post-war Germany as an adopted child of a career Army Master Sergeant. She has always believed in the American Dream. She has always wanted to leave something behind, something that would contribute to the greater good of her community and of her adopted country. She is now severely disillusioned and is beginning to believe the dream is “only an illusion”. Please allow me to share with you an example of the negative effects uncontrolled governmental actions can have on our citizens, on how the desire to do something good can be destroyed leaving the “beneficiary” of government actions to decide:”what is the use”.
    The purpose of this letter is to share with you the saga we have had to endure to realize a dream of being able to make a significant contribution that would change the image of our poor community for decades to come. The contribution, a regional Botanical and Sculpture Park is described below. The saga: The city Parks Board has conducted a six year campaign to drive us out of town by attempting to seize a 30 foot strip through our front yard for the purpose of continuing a walking/biking trail to the adjacent subdivision . Ours would become the only residence in a two county area with such a trail going through the front yard and across the drive. We have fought their efforts because of these facts, and because of the destruction such a trail would have on the ambiance of our residence and of the entrée to the future Serenity Garden.A trail which has only 100 users does not bring as much to “The Greater Good’ as a cultural facility which will bring over 600,000 visitors per year into the community. The impact on this rural town of that number of visitors will be great, but the financial impact will be small compared to the impact this facility will have on the self image of our citizens.
    When my mother died in 2004 we had the opportunity to acquire the remaining 3.5 acres of the family farm which had been in the family since 1930.We decided to develop it into a formal garden/arboretum in her memory and to leave it as a donation to her community.
    We are trying to acquire an adjacent field for a larger arboretum with component gardens, memorial and educational areas, a visitors’ center, and an amphitheater. The amphitheater will be used for concerts in the park, and special events. The visitors center will be used for revolving art shows, educational programs, a bookstore and a garden oriented café. In addition, works of art, will be incorporated into the trail design in such a manner that the arboretum will also serve as a “Sculpture Park”, where visitors and students will be able to study and enjoy a wide variety of sculptural art currently not available for viewing in our region.
    one of our motivations in developing these two entities is in bringing the concept of “Exposure to Nature as a Therapeutic Experience” to life for our local/regional residents. Over the past 30 years many research projects have proven the therapeutic benefits of such exposure for the elderly and for those recovering or suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. In addition to the benefits to adults of having a place to sit and meditate, reflect, and reconnect to nature, a growing garden of evidence over the past 10 years have shown these same exposures to be beneficial ( possibly necessary) for healthy childhood development.(Even labeling the absence of such exposure as “Nature Deficit Disorder”.) Therefore we have expanded our mission to also include children. (
    We plan to enlarge our program so that it would also benefit our soldiers and veterans returning with PTSD.
    If anyone reading this has any suggestions on how to save this project and stop the land siezure of our front yard so that we can have the time tio raise the $1,345,000 needed to purchase this field for the arboretum and for GIVING the city an alternative route for their trail, please write to

    1. Your story is full of contrasts and irony. The type of arboretum you discuss trying to create is exactly the sort of "open spaces" the government is forcing upon people by taking land out of private hands and into the public domain. If you are paying property taxes on the park/arboretum land that you own (I assume you are), and since it is your intention to donate this park/arboretum in your mother's memory anyway, then....why not make a deal with the local government saying you will donate the park in exchange for what you want...i.e. your mother's name on it and they leave your home property alone regarding the greenway. ?? No?? I don't know the monetary value of that exchange, but maybe that would be possible? I'm sorry your wife is feeling so disillusioned, but she is in good company. Each of us with any regard for America are grieving and heart-broken at the scene we are witnessing ...just the same path that the Weimar Republic took leading to Hitler. It is tragic. You wife is not alone in her worried outlook. I share it. And I am fighting every day with my writing and speaking to try to stop it. Good luck with that greenway experience is they will just use eminent domain and take what they want. I hope you can stop them.

  3. What ever happened to our 5th Amendment rights? Shouldn't this protect us from such seizures?
    If anyone has a great link on how to apply this Constitutional Right to our battle please send it to

    1. are correct that the 5th Amendment should be the protection against this. Unfortunately, the victims most often are not wealthy enough to sue ...and even if they do, the Kelo Decision has prevailed...allowing takings for "common benefit." This is definitely against the Constitution. Frankly, the Kelo Decision killed the "takings clause." Wish I had better news.

  4. Subject: Your project has launched!

    We may have found a way to block the city Parks Department from taking title to a 30'strip across our front yard for continuing a walking trail to an adjacent sub-division. Solution: Buy the adjacent farm, convert it into a public arboretum and sculpture park and donate one acre down its side to connect their trail to the rear of the sub-division. But to accomplish this we need your help--Please distribute the following link to your readers and hopefully we will find a philanthropist willing to help us accomplish this project. I can supply a complete BUSINESS PLAN if anyone would like to read it before deciding to help us (
    Your project, A NEW THERAPY FOR PTSD TO BE OFFERED BY ARBORETUM AND SCULPTURE PARK, is officially live on Kickstarter! Congratulations. Let's get rolling!

    Here’s your project URL:

    Now it's time to spread the word and get some backers

    1. There you go! I think that is the way to play the game. I wish tons of luck for this project and sincerely hope this gets the government monkey off of your residential property! Seems to me you and your family are giving quite enough and I hope you can get it in writing, in blood, or concrete, or solid substantiation that this trade will keep them from taking any land from your yard whatsoever...."in perpetuity." Wonder if a veterans organization can help you with purchase the land for the farm / park?
      Good luck!

  5. Cheryl--The word "PUBLIC" was in error/misleading. The proposed Park was to be developed through an independent foundation and would sell memberships and have admission fees for non-members and for special events. This is what we meant by saying "It would be given to the community>" We informed the city government, up-front, we would not give it to the government.
    We are still in the battle having just this week endured the second set of Court hearings on Eminent Domain. I hope the Court Decision will again be in our favor but see a third go-around looming on the near horizon. So I need to ask you if you know of any organizations willing to help fund a legal battle--this time based on Constitutional Grounds.
    The timing is best stated as "URGENT"

  6. Idaho seems to be on the right path. are there any others?--see below
    Sixty-second Legislature First Regular Session - 2013
    SENATE BILL NO. 1046
    1 AN ACT
    5 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
    6 SECTION 1. That Section 7-701A, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
    7 amended to read as follows:
    9 RENEWAL OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES. (1) This section limits and re10
    stricts the use of eminent domain under the laws of this state or local
    11 ordinance by the state of Idaho, its instrumentalities, political subdi12
    visions, public agencies, or bodies corporate and politic of the state to
    13 condemn any interest in property in order to
    ...edited....2) Eminent domain shall not be used to acquire private property-----edited---3 (c) For trails, paths, greenways or other ways for walking, running,
    4 hiking, bicycling or equestrian use, unless adjacent to a highway, road
    5 or street.

    Do you know of other states doing the same?

    1. I forget what state you are in...if I ever knew.
      Not sure who to send you to for legal help who would help fund a trial. Looking around for you...found this site:

      I'm finding something called the National Association of Reversionary Property Rights. At the moment they seemed to be focused on rails to trails, but are fighting against the land grabs for greenways and trails. You might check them out.

      Here is a list I found from 2004 of various property rights might google them and see if you can find any help there.

      Citizens for the Protection of Property Rights, and thirteen other property rights organizations nationwide, invite you to the 2004 National Property Rights Conference.

      Co-sponsors include:

      American Land Foundation
      American Land Rights Association
      Center for Individual Freedom
      Citizens' Equal Rights Alliance
      Citizens for the Protection of Property Rights
      Coalition for Property Rights
      Competitive Enterprise Institute
      League of Private Property Voters
      National Association of Reversionary Property Owners
      National Grange
      Ohio Grange
      Ohio Lakefront Group
      United Property Owners

      As for a state that has laws against this...I would look to Alabama that has passed legislation against Agenda 21. They may have something for you.
      Good Luck!!

      Let me know what happens and how it goes...