August 31, 2007

Related Group; Corporate Thugs Still Up to Dirty Tricks

Once again, The Related Group has decided to sue someone for exercising their constitutional right of free speech.

This isn't the first time the development corporation has viciously attacked its opposition; earlier this year, the repugnant company filed suit against the Stranahan House, a museum and historic landmark in Fort Lauderdale.

RG bought a property adjacent to the landmark property, surprising everyone in Broward County; the board of the Stranahan House and the City of Fort Lauderdale had tried to acquire the property, but were rebuffed by the owners. As soon as RG announced its plans for the site, the citizens of Fort Lauderdale voted in support of plan to purchase the parcel from RG and either create a public park, or add it to the Stranahan House parcel.

Related Group, in its typically greedy disregard for the will of the people, pushed ahead with its unwanted project, refusing to negotiate with the city. And then, because simply telling the people of Fort Lauderdale to fuck off wasn't enough, they sued Stranahan House - and a protest organizer - for "loss of income."

As you can see, RG's glass and steel monstrosity dwarfs the Stranahan House. Much in the way Vizcay has complained that RG's new project would dwarf the historic mansion.

Jorge Perez
Now, I guess because Related Group's CEO Jorge Perez hasn't disenchanted enough taxpaying citizens, he's suing City Commisioner Marc Sarnoff.
Marc Sarnoff

Related Group accuses Sarnoff of "writing a memo that's defamatory and reflects a ``reckless disregard for the truth.'' They seek a copy of the memo, and $15,000 in damages for the defamation. ''I have a good-faith reason to believe that the contents of this document are extremely, extremely defamatory with respect to the corporate reputation of Related,'' claims their shyster lawyer, John Shubin.

They haven't explained how this is remotely possible. After all, according to Sarnoff's attorney Alan Wachs, ''To my knowledge, only three people have ever seen this document.'' Presumably, Sarnoff and Wachs are two of the three.

Wachs goes on to say that he personally told Related's shyster counsel to simply subpoena the document as part of the pending court action.

It's apparent even to small children that this lawsuit is intended to defame Commissioner Sarnoff. As Wachs put it: "They're trying to put a muzzle on Marc."

But Related group didn't stop there: as in Fort Lauderdale, they are suing the historic landmark that has been vigorously opposing the condo project.

From the Herald article: "...The Related Group...accused The Vizcayans...'of secretly engaging in ''a campaign of rumor and innuendo'' aimed at injuring the developer's corporate reputation."

Hmm. Maybe The Related Group should try suing themselves. No one has damaged their reputation as much as they themselves have. Suing not one but TWO charitable organizations? Suing a lawmaker to get a memo that they could already request via a subpoena? Hardly the action of a company concerned with its public image.

Let's face facts: Related Group itself is responsible for the bad press these projects have generated. No one forced Related Group to pick the hospital grounds for their project. Their project isn't appropriate for the zoning of the parcel. The Zoning Department reviewed the project and rejected the request for a variance. The Zoning Department also recommended to the City Commission that the zoning change should be rejected. The neighbors - which include Vizcaya - do not want the zoning changed.

In the United States, citizens have a right to speak out against changes in their community. They have a right to lobby their government to reject projects or changes in law. Related Group's actions are a blatant attempt to silence the citizens of Fort Lauderdale and Miami. After all, The Relate Group is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, has access to entire law firms, and can write the costs off their taxes as a business expense. Private citizens and charitable organizations such as the Stranahan House and Vizcaya do not have the financial resources to fight a protracted, if frivolous, lawsuit. And that's why Related Group filed the suits.

Of course, there is an ongoing investigation to rumors that Related Group bribed a city commissioner to change the zoning for the parcel involved: currently, that parcel is zoned for use as a hospital or related supporting structures. The City's own Zoning Department has repeatedly rejected the zoning change. The Commission is ignoring its own rules and its own plans, with no explanation as to why they are disregarding them.

Hmm, zoning board rejected the plan, the parcel is set aside for a specific use, a neighboring national landmark warned it would detract the historic site, and still some commissioners voted for this loser. Damned RIGHT there's a criminal investigation!

And then there's this story: "the Third District Court of Appeal concluded that Miami officials flouted the city's development rules by permitting the $162 million Coastal on the River project, a 633-unit, twin-tower high-rise on the south flank of the river."

This is the SECOND TIME THIS MONTH that the court has overturned a decision by the City Commission to approve land-use changes against its own standing zoning and land use policies.

It seems that the courts aren't as easily bought swayed as the City Commission is. And that's probably why Related Group is using sleaze-ball tactics to scare its opponents; they are desperate to knock out the opposition and get this unwanted turkey started before the law catches up with them. In slapping their vocal opponents with these frivolous lawsuits, Related Group is blatantly trying to distract everyone from something most of the community already knows:

By approving this project, the Commission has acted against the best interests of the citizens of Miami, and has violated its own policies in the process.


The Old Grover weighs in.

August 28, 2007

The Lottery; better than Bottled Water.

You've probably heard of The Motley Fool; and if you listen to NPR, you might have heard them discuss the lottery during one of their many broadcasts. And perhaps you remember they have another name for lottery: "the stupid tax."

They call it "the stupid tax," because only stupid people play pay it. Your odds of winning the lottery are extremely poor. Or, as the Motley Fool puts it:
"You'll never win the lottery. Not "The Big One." Not in your lifetime."

So in terms of investing, playing the lottery is basically the same as throwing your money away, only you get the benefit of crushing depression when you read the paper to see if your number came up.

Which brings us to BOTTLED WATER.

I suspect that most of you reading this have a bottle of water nearby. Maybe you went to a vending machine to get it, or perhaps when you gassed up your car you picked on up. Maybe you bought a couple of cases when they were on sale at Publix, or Home Depot.


First, we must determine WHY you are drinking water from a plastic bottle that cost you $1 to $3, instead of drinking the unlimited supply you get free from your own faucet.

It's better than tap water because it comes from [fill in the blank];

Most of you probably believe that bottled water is better than tap water. You probably believe that bottled water is carefully drawn from a pure mountain spring, or collected from some remote glacier as run-off from global warming. It's "all natural", while your tap water is "man-made" via some industrial process you don't quite understand.

Which only means you haven't actually read the small print on the label, or you don't read the news. Gwan, read the label; you'll find that virtually every bottle will have a disclaimer. And that disclaimer translates roughly as "we turned on the tap and filled the bottle."

Some water DOES, in fact, come from remote springs. Perrier, for example. Oops.

In 1990, Perrier had to recall its product because it had been contaminated with benzene. How? Perrier says that it was "an accident during the filtering process."

That's right; 'Nature's Soft Drink' goes through a "filtering process" in a place where, apparently, you can sometimes find benzene.

It's safer than tap water because it hasn't been processed.

Well, as noted above, Perrier IS filtered, even though it comes from a spring.

In fact, ALL bottled water starts as tap water. Every plastic-encased ounce of it. That's what the teensy-weensy print on the label tells you - if you get out a magnifying glass to read it.

It's safer than tap water; tap water in the United States just isn't very good.

Well, no. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) did a study on bottled water.

And their findings?

"While most of the tested waters were found to be of high quality, some brands were contaminated: about one-third of the waters tested contained levels of contamination -- including synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria, and arsenic -- in at least one sample that exceeded allowable limits under either state or bottled water industry standards or guidelines."
OK, but if bottle water had these problems, tap water would be worse, right?

"Even when bottled waters are covered by the FDA's rules, they are subject to less rigorous testing and purity standards than those which apply to city tap water."
And it gets worse:
"...bottled water is required to be tested less frequently than city tap water for bacteria and chemical contaminants. In addition, bottled water rules allow for some contamination by E. coli or fecal coliform (which indicate possible contamination with fecal matter), contrary to tap water rules"
The bottom line is that the water from your tap undergoes more testing to a much more rigorous standard than the bottle of water you bought at the vending machine. And it also means that the Federal Government says it's ok if there's some crap in your $2 bottle of Evian.

Bottled water tastes better.

Well, I have to admit, you may be right. I don't like the taste of the water out of my tap. While tap-water is guaranteed not to contain fecal matter or bacteria or industrial contaminants, it does taste like they've added a little chlorine to it. Which they have, of course; that's how they keep bacteria and algae and fungus from growing in it.

Which is why I bought a water filter for my tap. I paid $25 for it 15 years ago, and I replace the $4 filter three or four times a year. Which means that I've paid about $17 a year for the last 15 years for water of better quality than you've been purchasing by the case at Publix.

In fact, it's very likely that you spend as much in a week on water as I spend in a year.

And hurricanes? I have several camping jugs. I fill them the day before the storm. If the storm passes (or doesn't knock out the water), I use it up until the jugs are empty.

Tap water will last for days, if stored in a clean and tightly sealed container.


Ah, right, what does the lottery have to do with bottled water? I didn't forget that, honest.

The lottery is basically a tax for stupid people; you give money to the government, and they use most of it underwrite education-related things. And they give a small amount of it to some sucker who uses it to go into debt.

People who purchase water are basically paying money for a product inferior to one that their tax dollars have already delivered to their homes in huge quantities. That money goes to huge corporations who distribute it to really wealthy people who probably don't pay nearly as much income tax as you or I.

Either way, you're simply throwing away your money, but at least the lottery pays for school supplies. Oh, wait, teachers do that. Um, lottery money builds schools- no, that's property tax money.

Whatever. Go get yourself a water filter for your filter, and use it to refill your empty bottles. You'll save a fortune, and have better water to drink.

And you can smugly watch the stupid people fill their carts up with cases of bottled water while tucking their lottery tickets into their pockets.

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August 27, 2007

SPIRIT Airlines; spiriting away your money.

There have been lots of stories about Spirits' flagging ability to deliver product (timely flights at a good price), but I'm commenting based on THIS story, in the Orlando Sentinel. (SOTP has also been covering this issue).

I've flown Spirit; the last time flying out of Fort Lauderdale to Atlantic City, it was a nightmare of mis-management and general incompetence. First, the lines were backed up all over the terminal. I was sent from one line, to another, and to another. Having arrived at the terminal 2 and 1/2 hours early, I barely made my flight; simply because it took THAT long to get to the check-in counter. Never mind the security line - which took up what space the check-lines for Spirit weren't taking.

From there, I was lucky; I got on the plane, I had my seat, we took off on time.

But given that experience, on top of the current news stories, I'd be an idiot to fly Spirit.

The defense Spirit is offering simply doesn't hold up under scrutiny. They claim the delays are caused by the weather. And once in a while, the weather cooperates by actually being bad enough to affect airline traffic.

But the truth is that the weather has very little to do with Spirit's problems.

Spirit follows the industry practice of over-booking its flights; knowing they only have 150 seats, they sell 200, figuring that maybe 25 people with seats won't show, and 30 people on standby won't show either.

Which is fine up until everyone shows up. And with low fares to popular destinations, EVERYONE shows up.

And even this would be excusable it it only happened once or twice a month.

Now factor in the number of flights, and the available flight crews; crews have a strict limit to the time they fly in the air, set by the FAA. Once they reach that limit, they can't work any more hours until they've had a mandatory downtime to rest and refresh themselves. Knowing the crew's schedule, and knowing that flights can be delayed, Spirit still schedules their crews with no margin of error. And that leads to crews having to leave planes, and all the delays we read about.

Spirit doesn't argue this point about over-booking. They absolutely admit that their low prices and high volume of sales have caused problems. They admit that the throngs of people jamming into Fort Lauderdale International Airport push the limits of what's available.

They do what other airlines do; they offer seats on later flights, or new tickets on a later date, and other bonuses to make up for the delays. And that would be fine, again, if this were not a daily occurrence.

Spirit claims that the driving reason people fly Spirit is COST. And that's not true. That's certainly a PART of the equation, but the OTHER part is delivery of the service. And part of the service is "timeliness." People go to Spirit because Spirit promises to get them from point A to point B in a timely manner for a low fare.

They've got the low fare down; it's the timely delivery of service that they are lying about.

They know that they've over-booked all the flights.

They know that they have over-booked the flight crews.

They know that on any given day, a certain percentage of their flights are not going to lift on time, and that a certain percentage will have to be canceled outright due to lack of flight crews.

Spirit may well be deceiving the ticket buyer when they enter into the contract with passengers at the outset: after all, Spirit is promising them a product that the airline knows it may not deliver, for reasons due solely to factors under control of the Airline.

Sure, if it was ONLY the weather, that's an act of Nature. Spirit can't control or predict that. But they know how many seats they have, and how many flights, and how long those flights take, and how many hours their pilots can fly. Spirit DOES control ALL of those factors.

And yet, they blithely accept money from passengers, and smugly deride the passengers for their anger. It borders on fraud.

Spirit CEO's Ben Baldanza's comments are chilling:
"Let him tell the world how bad we are. He's never flown us
before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny."
Well, Ben, he did just that; he's told the world. And contrary to your cynicism, some of us recognize that this is YOUR hypocrisy, not the passengers.

The Boswells trusted you, and you failed to deliver the product you promised.

Cheap tickets are great - but only if you actually get to your destination. And Spirit can't seem to live up to that commitment, and doesn't seem willing to correct their errors. A free ticket on an airline that can't get you to your meeting on time isn't worth anything. You failed to deliver the first time, so you'll give them a chance to miss their appointment again?

Geez, Ben, you must be a complete moron.

But you demonstrated that when you clicked "reply all."

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Coconut Grove Playhouse; Bike Shop

The Grove has been in the news the last few weeks because of the property known as "The Bike Shop."

This building housed a bike shop at the time it was acquired by the Coconut Grove Playhouse, hence the name. It was used for a brief time to store costumes, until the roof "caved in" or developed a major leak.

It has been emtpy since the costumes were moved out, occupied only by squatting vagrants.

Because most of the building is concrete block, it's hard to see the damage, but this is the back door into the building, and it is typical of the condition of the wood throught the building.

August 25, 2007

Psst! Fidel is dead: someone please tell Fidel. (updated)

Most of the country doesn't really give a rat's ass, but I live in Miami, where Fidel Castro's health and well-being are discussed at every cafe and bar in the county.

It started on babalu, and by Friday even architecture-centric Boom Or Bust was speculating.

Stuck on the Palmetto
does a great job of re-capping the last week.

The sad part is that the gomers running Babalu are unrepentant; this isn't the first time they've declared that Fidel is dead. It's not even third or fourth. They don't seem to understand that it's THEIR credibility they are undermining.

No, they will cry, we were right! Fidel IS dead, it's just HIS fault that he won't admit it! He is refusing to die just to make us look bad!

The cause of the hullabaloo is revealed at the WFOR website:
"Premature rumors of Castro's death were pushed into overdrive on Friday by a meeting of local officials to go over their plans for when Castro really dies and a road closure in the Florida Keys that was actually due to a police standoff."

August 22, 2007

Anthony Bourdain, Rachel Ray and Julia childs

I was reading this CNN article on Anthony Bourdain. It's a typical promo article, talking up his show on the Travel Channel, with little bit of biography sprinkled over it.

I like Bourdain. He knows good food, and he usually judges it on its actual merits, and not some pre-ordained dogma of cuisine. That's to say that if he's tasting burgers, he measures it on a burger scale and not a filet mignon scale. At the same time, understanding the difference between a feast and a meal, he knows how to step up a basic entree and make it something...more. And he will try ANYTHING at least once.

And he's an honest to god New Yorker. He's the real deal, and if you don't know what that means it just goes to show that there are not as many of them as there used to be. What I mean is that he isn't afraid to voice his opinion even if it might get him beaten up. It's a New York thing. Politically incorrect? F**k that.

In a recent blog about TOP CHEF, he discusses his widely discussed critique of chef Rocco DiSpirito . He mentions that his biggest ire isn't that Rocco "sold out" or that he's jealous of DiSpirito; it's that DiSpirito isn't cooking.

Bourdain, bless is cynical New York soul, is an idealist. He apparently believes it is the job of every chef to not only prepare fantastic meals, but to explore the boundaries of cuisine, to find new ways to excite our palette.

Which brings us to Rachel Ray and Julia Childs.

In the "cooking community", Rachel is held in some contempt. They complain that she doesn't pay attention to nutritive content, or that her meals are too basic. They slam the premise of her "30 Minute Meals" program, and the recipe books that are spun off from it.

Julia Childs, on the other hand, is rightly regarded as the messiah, who turned Home Cooking into American Cuisine by teaching us the techniques perfected by the French.

What do they have in common? To start with, they both hosted extremely successful TV cooking shows. It's not surprising that someone might ask Bourdain about possible comparisons:

"Julia Child was about aspirations, about becoming better, cooking
better, saying 'you can do this,' " he said. "I don't just feel that's
the business that Rachael Ray is in. Somebody with that kind of power
and influence to aim so low -- it bothers me."
Tony, I'm going to have to disagree with you. I don't think she's aiming low at all; I think she's performing the same service as Julia Childs. It's just that everything else has changed. You have to put both women into the correct context, just like you do with cuisine. All things, including cuisine, are relative.

When Julia Childs emerged, most American households were anchored by the housewife. She kept the home, and cooked all the meals, while hubby went out and worked to support the household. Their meals were prepared in accordance to Home Economics classes, and what they learned from their mothers. They were taught to prepare menus based on some obscure studies (or the tastes of the textbook authors); a meal containing a meat entree, potatoes, and a vegetable. Preparation might be as simple as boiling each entree, or frying one or two of them. Pepper was an extreme spice. A roast on Sundays, Chops on Monday, chicken on Tuesday, leftovers on Wednesday, Meatloaf on Thursdays, fish on Friday, and steaks on the grill on Saturday. Repeat with minor variations, ad nauseam.

So along comes Julia Childs. Women were already cooking most meals, but she showed them that it wasn't hard to turn a meal into a feast. Don't FRY in lard when you can SAUTEE in BUTTER. A little garlic is your friend. Different meats can be cooked in a VARIETY of ways. She completely changed the way we prepare our foods; steaks got rarer, vegetables got crisper, and potatoes gave way to rice and pasta.

So you can see that Bourdain is absolutely right about Julia Childs; she helped us to see that not only was there a next level, but that any of us could reach it.

But that was the sixties.

In the seventies, women roared and stopped spending so much time in the kitchen. They were helped by a leap of technology. While TV dinners had been around in the fifties and sixties, women spending the day at home were scorned for serving them. But mom's out having a career - and that doesn't leave a lot of time for cooking. Manufacturers had created a wide variety of palatable frozen dinners, and these meals could be ready almost instantly in that new appliance, the microwave oven.

It didn't happen overnight. First, it would be once a or twice a week. Moms would still cook several days out of the week. But leftovers cook up real nice in the microwave; so she'd cook a big meal twice a week, you'd have two nights of leftovers, and the balance would be filled by frozen prepared meals or takeout.

Schools, pressured to teach more for less money, phased out Home Ec courses. People, and by that I mean girls, weren't learning to cook at school, and their mothers weren't cooking much at all. And those mothers that did still prepare meals were supplementing more of them with prepared elements; she'd bake the chicken and throw a vegetable dish in the microwave. Hamburger Helper might be a complicated meal in most households

So at the dawn of the 21st century, we have an army of people who don't really know how to cook - at all. I actually know some young women - and men - who can't boil water. They don't know what "simmer" means, or "rapid boil," and they are terrified of the concepts. "Cooking" is now throwing some complete meal in a microwave and heating it up. Breakfast is cold cereal, or a waffle in a toaster, or a bagel with a shmear.

And along comes Rachel Ray.

She correctly identifies that the major problem facing Gen-X home makers isn't how to cook BETTER, it's how to cook AT ALL.

So she makes the meals simple, and quick to prepare. Tony, you might have three hours to prepare a dinner, but I get home at 6pm, and I want to eat before primetime TV is on. And so do a lot of other people.

Rachel Ray isn't "aiming low", she's doing EXACTLY what Julia Childs did: she's saying "you CAN do this!" She's showing a generation of americans that they CAN cook a good meal, that they have all the skills to do it, that it doesn't take years at the Sorbonne to prepare a meal that you can serve your friends and family.

You see, Rachel Ray isn't aiming at helping people like me; I can already cook. I don't watch her show, because she has nothing to teach ME. (Yes, I have SEEN the show. Damn, she's perky!)

Rachel Ray has had at least the same impact on America as Julia Childs did; but she's not making Americans into better cooks; and she's not turning them from cooks into chefs; she's turning unskilled people into people who can cook. Rachel Ray is sending America back into the kitchen.

And from where I sit, Tony, that ain't aiming low.

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August 21, 2007

It's against the law

Woman dies after falling from pickup on I-95

Another person is dead after riding in the back of a pickup truck.

The auto industry has spent billions of dollars making our vehicles safer; improved bumpers, cages built into the passenger cabin, seat belts, air-bags, and even side impact bags. All these features have made our vehicles tremendously safer.

But only if you're riding in the passenger compartment.

In this case, someone fell off the back of the truck; more often the truck is involved in a collision and the passengers in the truck bed are sent flying. Sometimes they survive. Sometimes they can even walk again, eventually. Sometimes.

It is illegal to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, or the back of a delivery truck. In fact it's illegal to ride anywhere on a vehicle not specifically designed to seat passengers.

This is illegal!!!

We see people riding in the backs of trucks ALL THE TIME. A family coming back from a fishing trip, or some gardeners riding in the back of a step-van with their lawn mowers. I've seen police cars and FHP cruisers sliding past these trucks without a flicker of interest.

Don't believe that it's against the law? Here's the relevant law:

316.2015 Unlawful for person to ride on exterior of vehicle.--
(1) It is unlawful for any operator of a passenger vehicle to permit any person to ride on the bumper, radiator, fender, hood, top, trunk, or running board of such vehicle when operated upon any street or highway which is maintained by the state, county, or municipality. Any person who violates thissubsection shall be cited for a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.
(2)(a) No person shallride on any vehicle upon any portion thereof not designed or intendedfor the use of passengers. This paragraph does not apply to an employeeof a fire department, an employee of a governmentally operated solidwaste disposal department or a waste disposal service operatingpursuant to a contract with a governmental entity, or to a volunteerfirefighter when the employee or firefighter is engaged in thenecessary discharge of a duty, and does not apply to a person who isbeing transported in response to an emergency by a public agency orpursuant to the direction or authority of a public agency. This paragraph does not apply to an employee engaged in the necessarydischarge of a duty or to a person or persons riding within truckbodies in space intended for merchandise.

If you OWN a pickup, don't let people ride in the back, PARTICULARLY if you are heading out on the highway. And if you're a cop, pull the morons over and write'em a ticket. The law can't protect ANYONE if it's not being enforced.

August 19, 2007

August 13, 2007

Bicentennial Park: Restaurant

Probably the biggest surprise for me during my recent visit to Bicentennial Park was the discovery of a restaurant there. Well, concession stand. But a very large one.

It's closed, of course.

But here's the first image of it: the kitchen/service counter on the right, and the seating area just beyond the trees:

This is the concession stand; it's quite large, the service counter is about 20 feet long. Restrooms are included in this building (sealed now).
The underhang is now home to any number of the homeless. The restrooms sealed off, they've been relieving themselves in the recesses. Piles of their belongs are strewn underneath. I didn't take pictures of the service counters because I didn't want to incite the locals. You can see a man sleeping under the trees to the right of this photo; there were several more around.

The seating area:
The tables and chairs have been stripped; I don't know if the city did it, or if the homeless stripped them for firewood. This area used to have a roof over, but decay made it ripe for a hurricane to rip it down, and I've heard Wilma did just that.

Several men and a woman were drinking beer and grilling sausages. I don't know if they are homeless, but the grill setup looks like it's been there awhile. I don't know what this structure actually is; probably some sort of equipment bay.

The View:
This restaurant has an incredible view of the waterway; you can watch the cruise ships turn around and depart for the Caribbean, and there was a constant flow of boat traffic. And yet it's very quiet and peaceful. This should be a "best-kept secret" sort of place.

This restaurant was open when the park opened; there were very little interest in running it. When someone finally did agree to run it, they were murdered in front of a lunch crowd by a gang just a few weeks after opening.

Times have changed, and downtown is booming. I'd like to see the Park Department make a deal to re-open this restaurant; help a prospective tenant clean it out and set it up. I want to have breakfast in front of this view.

August 12, 2007

Not-So-Appropriate Public Art

I recently flew into Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a family reunion. (No, I'm NOT from Iowa. Don't ask.)

Everyone jokes about Iowa being one big cornfield, and the Cedar Rapids Iowa won't disabuse you of this notion; it's SURROUNDED by cornfields.

You can see the fields beyond the parking lot. But you can also see some sculptures that have been placed between the airport and the cornfields.

I suppose it's an attempt to show arriving passengers that Iowa isn't all corn and pig farmers, and that they have art, too.

And not just any art: MODERN art.

The problem is that the sculptures kind of look like the tails of airplanes.

That makes the message something like "WHEW! You had a better landing than THESE guys!"

I wonder if this one is called "Whoops!"