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Hardberger, Obama, & Gozer

Greg Harman
gharman@sacurrent.com

If bad polluting energy and economic rack and ruin had been loosed on the world as ghosts and gremlins, we may have collectively shut this depression thing down before it started to unwind a year ago. That is, we would have found the portal and slammed it shut back when the slime — or ectoplasm — from thousands of questionable lender's first started leaving slippery trails of familial heartbreak across our communities.

But, alas, it did not, and we did not. The despairing faces of our neighbors were not enough to move us.

However, if we were living through such a Real World remake of that Bill Murray classic Ghostbusters, the kumbaya moment of federal-local synchronicity we officially enter tomorrow would be portrayed by the glorious union (or, more specific in our case, the suggestion of glorious union to come) between Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis, the "gatekeeper" and "keymaster" that must make whoopie to save creation bring on the new world odor.* [See correction at bottom.]

Just remember, it didn’t have to turn out this way. That is to say (current global economic depression aside), it didn’t have to turn out so suspiciously perfect.

I’m speaking, of course, about the appearance (pre-release, mind you) of Mayor Hardberger’s “Mission Verde.”

Those who have been working for more than six months meeting in committee, gathering in public hearings, and reviewing and debating various consultants’ reports to the city, are feasting on the success of their two-parts-vision, one-part-luck approach today at the much anticipated roll-out of Verde, the Mayor’s sustainability plan for Alamo City.

It seems San Antonio is for once in perfect stride with The Fates — skillfully disguised this visitation as the Obama Administration.

Verde, eerily mirroring the president’s own stimulus priorities, is expected to be packed with plans for the weatherization of housing stock and municipal buildings, deeply engorged in mass transportation and hike-and-bike trails, and set to stimulate a future of low-carbon energy solutions and employment opportunity.

Mayor Hardberger’s advisor Larry Zinn said that while today’s energy and environmental aspirations weren’t exactly shrouded a year ago, more recent developments could not have been predicted.

“They all talked about renewable energy, green jobs, and all that,” Zinn said of the presidential candidates. “What we didn’t know was that the economy was going to crash and in his first weeks in office Obama was going to totally recreate the economy.”

Fortunately, Obama has been drawing from the same pool of experts as Hardberger and company. The newly-elected president and former community organizer was once a board member at the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, the same non-profit sustainability group that first served notice on San Antonio’s energy vulnerabilities (and opportunities) last June, creating a starting square for Verde’s development.

How far will Mission Verde go? Into what nether regions of the green development buffet will Hardy’s tongs venture? If you haven’t registered for the Chamber-sponsored State of the City Address being held today at noon, you’ll have to wait for the broadcast. As many as 880 people have already reserved seats — selling out the annual affair that typically brings in about 500 to 600, according to one chamber rep.

Don’t feel bad, though. This vision seems to be spreading. You’ll likely catch it sooner or later.

Keep watching the San Antonio Current for details.

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(* So uh, about that union ... I have been painfully alerted that I am in deep, deep error. In Ghostbusters, the two parties in question must be kept apart to prevent end-of-the-worldness, not "save creation" as I stated. You will see I struck two words and added a handful of fresh'uns. Hope you'll forgive.)

Posted by gharman on 1/27/2009 3:21:10 PM
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