Does Michelle Obama Know About This?

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Oak Park, Michigan:

Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass, one Oak Park woman put in a vegetable garden and now the city is seeing green.

The list goes on: fresh basil, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cumbers and more all filling five large planter boxes that fill the Bass family’s front yard.

Julie Bass says, “We thought we’re minding our own business, doing something not ostentatious and certainly not obnoxious or nothing that is a blight on the neighborhood, so we didn’t think people would care very much.”

But some cared very much and called the city. The city then sent out code enforcement.

“They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard. We didn’t move them because we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, even according to city code we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . .

City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are what Basses see as suitable.

However, Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common. You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.”

So what is suitable? From another local news report:

 . . .  we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable.

“If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” he said.

God forbid your yard doesn’t include beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. It’s your job, Oak Park citizens, to give Kevin Rulkowski pretty things to look at. According to Bass’s blog, she’s demanding her right to a jury trial. So the city plans to throw the book at her.

our attorney spoke to the prosecutor today. (for the record, my crush on him is totally finished after today.)

his position: they are going to take this all the way.

officially, this means i am facing 93 days in jail if they win.

no joke.

 


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693 Responses to “Does Michelle Obama Know About This?”

  1. #1 |  Skyehaven | 

    There’s an easy fix. The Basses simply need to find some like-minded neighbors, at which point their front yard garden will automatically become “suitable”. Problem solved.

  2. #2 |  Reformed Republican | 

    Looking here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/suitable
    I do not see common listed as a definition or even a synonym.

  3. #3 |  ThinkAnarchy | 

    What a crazy woman. Where did she get the stupid idea she should have control of what she plants on her front lawn? The nerve of these citizens who refuse to follow rules that are in intended for the good of all humanity. Just imagine if she were growing a plant with vines, a child could easily get caught in them while trespassing, resulting in death from strangulation.

    I for one am happy they are prosecuting her and think possible penalty is to light.

  4. #4 |  Brandon | 

    What the fuck kind of dictionary does Kevin Rulkowski have? Whoever taught him english should be ashamed of themselves. “Suitable” in no way means “Common.” You can’t even stretch the definition to make them synonymous. That is just unreal.

  5. #5 |  Sean L. | 

    Je-sus H. Tap-Dancing Christ!

  6. #6 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    The important thing for the city to remember is that this woman is clearly the type to resist any sort of government action so in future altercations, a SWAT team should be sent to her home so ordinary police officers aren’t put in harm’s way by this obvious lunatic.

  7. #7 |  a leap at the wheel | 

    Can anyone point to any definition, anywhere, where suitable is defined as common? For reference:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suitable

  8. #8 |  M | 

    I always joke about planting bamboo as an F you to the neighbors who complain about my yard.

  9. #9 |  Nathan A | 

    http://www.oakpark-mi.com/city_directory/page04.asp

    Click on Rulkowski’s name and send him an email letting him know what you think of him. I did.

  10. #10 |  SJE | 

    Its going to look really good throwing this lady in jail.

    Not only for the ridiculousness of the specific issue, but that the only way you can fight something is to go to court with a chance of 3 months in jail. Do they do this for parking tickets in Chicago?

    Also, suitable does not mean common: it means appropriate for the situation. This law could be unconstitutional on its face for being vague. I wear “suitable clothing” at work, but it does not mean I wear a uniform.
    Don’t forget that Daley planted millions of trees: before that, trees were not “common” in parts of the city, but it was for the good of the community that he planted them, and their were “suitable” for their location.

    Yet another thought: Cabbages are used as decorative plants around many city buildings, and are used as such in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. What makes her cabbages “not suitable.” Is she allowed to prune them, but not harvest them?

    So much ridiculousness on this. I can see her going onto to City Council for this one issue.

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    “They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard.”

    So, did they tell the bureaucrat that, on the cited basis, he had to leave?

  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    I am tempted to go plant some veges in the front yard in support of this woman.

  13. #13 |  Abersouth | 

    Good one Aresen.

  14. #14 |  Aresen | 

    In a similar vein, my municipality prides itself on being “green”, in the politically correct, environmentalist sense.

    But they ban people from having clotheslines of any sort in their yard, front or back.

  15. #15 |  Professor Coldheart | 

    Glad someone’s cracking down on this. The Detroit metro area needs uglier, less useful lawns.

  16. #16 |  SJE | 

    My mistake: she is in Oak Park MI, not Illinois. OK, so she is in suburb of Detroit. You’ld think that local govt would be more concerned about OTHER things in the Detroit region, instead of driving out taxpaying residents.

  17. #17 |  Jeff | 

    Huh. Walking through my little city, I occasionally see gardening boxes in a front yard. It always makes me smile, as it seems like a good use of space. Dare I say suitable?

  18. #18 |  Monica | 

    When I look at that yard I see a thing of beauty. If I were them I’d be moving pronto. No one should have to put up with neighbors who are that big of assholes nor a city that coddles them.

  19. #19 |  Aresen | 

    During WWI and WWII, people were actually encouraged to turn their yards into “Victory Gardens” with vegetables in the front and back to ease pressure on the food supply due to the war.

  20. #20 |  Lisa | 

    How sad. I think her raised bed garden spaces are very well manicured and look very nice. It’s a shame the city doesn’t encourage that sort of landscaping for residents. As long as the space is maintained, I don’t see why it should matter if the plant is purely decorative, edible or produces vegetables.

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    In 2010, the Mayor of Oak Park MI issued a proclamation for “Forgotten Harvest” which uses food that would be thrown away and gives it to the poor. The proclamation recognized Forgotten Harvest for combatting poverty and waste. http://www.oakpark-mi.com/city_council/files/proclamation_forgotten_harvest.pdf
    Isnt growing your own vegetables part of the same instinct?

  22. #22 |  awp | 

    In general, grass lawns are not suitable. If they were, they wouldn’t need so much watering and fertilizer.

  23. #23 |  Andrew S. | 

    Flowers are common on front lawns. Can she plant flowers that spell out “Go f— yourself Kevin Rulkowski”? Because she should.

  24. #24 |  omar | 

    Her yard is beautiful.

    Maybe Dingleberry McGee is jealous.

  25. #25 |  efgoldman | 

    What she should do is pull up all the veggies and plant “grass.”
    The other kind.
    Naah, that would get her arrested, too.

    Better: Wildflowers. Lots of those are “weeds”.
    Or pave the damned yard.

    Seriously? I can’t see any judge not named Alito finding for the city.

  26. #26 |  GT | 

    Here’s my e-mail to the offensive scrote tax-parasite:

    _____________________________________________________

    Your persecution of Julie Bass marks you unambiguously as an ideologically hidebound idiot who thinks his tax-funded sinecure gives him rights to determine what productive members of society do with properties they bought and paid for.

    You’re a career parasite every bit as bad as any ‘crack mom’ or welfare queen, and you deserve to be hounded out of office.

    Expect several hundred more emails about this, from all over the world… people are sick and tired of petty tyrants whose entire lives are funded by taxes, who then turn around and bite the hand that feeds. Although they’re not remotely responsible for their father’s idiocy, I think you’ll find that as this goes viral, your kids will get hazed by their fellow students… nobody likes a kid whose father is an internationally-renowned moron.

    _________________________________________________________

  27. #27 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director

    Well, there’s your problem right there.

  28. #28 |  Spanky | 

    I’d want to know who’s the little tattle tale that called the city. Maybe they have a grudge against Ms. Bass. I bet there’s some history there.

  29. #29 |  Marty | 

    #11

    the winner!

  30. #30 |  shano | 

    I called. The guy unhooked his answering machine.

  31. #31 |  Wavemanns | 

    The solution, of course, is to get all of her neighbors to follow suit in support. Then it would be common.

  32. #32 |  GT | 

    Oh, and I forgot – when you tweet items like this, be sure and either cc @AnonymousIRC or append the #antisec hashtag – do what you can to get these tax-feeding shitbirds onto the appropriate ‘target list’ (note to the fucktard whose job it is to trawl the web and scan for threats to tax-feeders: that’s meant to mean that the server will be targeted, not the people… now run along and get a real fucking job you welfare whore).

    As you might be aware, the #hacktivism community is starting to ‘free its arms’ (as we say in cricket when a batsman starts to play more aggressively).

    For example the entire Zimbabwe government server’s database layer is now posted as a torrent; a local government (Mosman) in Australia – who did something to annoy someone – likewise.

    In fact it is almost impossible to keep up with all the data that is being liberated – the booty now stored on freenet is staggering. TERABYTES.

    Anonymous and other anti-tyranny phyles (or as I call them, kratoclastic – power-breaking – phyles) are really only the tip of the iceberg.

    Not only have the hacktivists not let slip the dogs of war, they have not even yet cried “Havoc!”…. for now (moving to ‘Coriolanus’) we “but hunt with a modest warrant”.

  33. #33 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I recommend she remove the veggies, plant grass, and stick a couple of old beat up recliners out there with a nice old round-tube console color TV.

  34. #34 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #27 Marty

    #11

    the winner!

    Ditto that! I miss those karma buttons.

  35. #35 |  Abe Pafford | 

    “Suitable” is not a synonym for “common.” Not even remotely close. No way this should even go to trial.

  36. #36 |  steve | 

    The 93 days isn’t for having a vegetable garden. It is for opposing the will of the city.

  37. #37 |  jppatter | 

    Racism, tyranny and oppression are “common” around the world. Does that make them “suitable”?

  38. #38 |  Zargon | 

    Or pave the damned yard.

    That was my first thought. Pave the whole front yard, then plop the boxes down right where they currently are.

    Of course, that’s only practical if following the letter of the law (which only pertains to unpaved parts of the yard) actually worked. No doubt they’ll continue to escalate the situation with increasingly dire stakes until this lady capitulates under the sheer horrific risk of the charges they could come up with if they wanted to. After all, that seems to be the one and only mode that our “justice” system runs on anymore. Decide what the punishment will be, then threaten to charge them with 10-100x more (with a 90% conviction rate) unless they fold. No need for evidence, or wrongdoing, or even any broken laws to be involved.

    If this does go to trial, I’ll be shocked if Bass wins, because it’ll be easy for the prosecution to paint her as a troublemaker wasting court time over a trivial affair, and because the jury will likely be under the impression she’s facing a fine, rather than months of prison time, an impression that the defense will be forbidden from correcting.

  39. #39 |  Why Are There So Many Intrusive Nazi Busybodies in America Now? » ReasonAndJest.com | 

    [...] Balko has a post on the latest zoning Nazis, in Oak Park, Michigan, who are helping a woman’s Nazi neighbors take away her vegetable [...]

  40. #40 |  JS | 

    Once again. Americans hate freedom.

  41. #41 |  BSK | 

    Fired off a letter. I didn’t bother going down the whole ethical path, because there is just too much room for gray area nonsense (I think most of us would agree its obvious but whatever). Instead, I just pointed out the definition-fail that his whole approach is based upon. I’m curious to see if I get a response.

  42. #42 |  Robert | 

    This sounds like a job for the SWAT team. A destroyed front door and a few flashbang grenades along with an M-16 to the back of the head should change her mind.

  43. #43 |  ThisIsVicodin | 

    Perhaps a pink flamingo would be more appropriate than a garden…..or since it’s Detroit, an old GM product on concrete blocks.

  44. #44 |  Joe | 

    That is such bullshit. And that code certainly includes veggies like that. Oakpark has their heads up their asses.

  45. #45 |  Joe | 

    #35 | JS | July 7th, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    Once again. Americans hate freedom.

    Most Americans love freedom. Petty municipal kommissars hate freedom.

  46. #46 |  omar | 

    This sounds like a job for the SWAT team. A destroyed front door and a few flashbang grenades along with an M-16 to the back of the head should change her mind.

    They may bust down her front door to look for more unsuitable yards.

  47. #47 |  marta | 

    omfg

  48. #48 |  JS | 

    Joe “Most Americans love freedom. Petty municipal kommissars hate freedom.”

    I don’t think most Americans do. I think most Americans love the fact that the government assigns them a number at birth, keeps track of them their whole lives and forces them into a government mandated retirement plan. I think that most Americans love uniformity, they love prissy manicured lawns that are mandated by law to look exactly like every other prissy manicured lawn and they think property values trump freedom. I can see your point about the petty tyrant bureaucrats but generally we have become so incredibly Soviet like because most Americans genuinely hate freedom.

  49. #49 |  Jared | 

    Someone needs to inform the jury about jury nullification.

  50. #50 |  TXSwede | 

    email just sent to the mayor, Gerald Naftaly, cc’ing Rulkowski:
    Mr. Naftaly,
    I read about your city in this article, http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/julie-bass-of-oak-park-faces-misdemeanor-charge-for-vegetable-garden-20110630-wpms, and I am wondering if you realize how silly your City Planner is making all of you look.
    It is always sad to see the ridiculous steps some in government will take for trivia, but it has been a long time since I have read about an issue that is this small being blown up to be this big. Are you really going to allow Mr. Rulkowski and your prosecutors to threaten a citizen with 93 days in jail for growing vegetables?
    You should step in. You will look good, and probably increase your standing with the electorate. More importantly, it is the right thing to do.
    Sincerely,

  51. #51 |  karl | 

    We should find a way for those who manage Oak Park and Nashville to meet each other halfway — in the middle of the Wabash River.

  52. #52 |  Ben | 

    In Portland the front yard garden is extremely common. Also the dictionary defines “common” as belonging to two or more people. So as long as she and her husband both own it, it’s common.

  53. #53 |  Leah | 

    This is so ridiculous. And for all the “green initiative” crap municipalities are drooling over, THIS is what they should be wanting. Removing wasteful, environmentally harmful grass and putting in useful and cared-for plants that people benefit from. There are so many people who suck, and so many of them work in government.

  54. #54 |  Katherine | 

    In case anyone else wants to e-mail the mayor, his e-mail address is gnaftaly@att.net

  55. #55 |  Shawn | 

    ‘City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.’

    Well, pave the whole yard. Then make raised beds on the concrete. Use 2-tone concrete to spell some obscenity directed toward the city council. Bonus points, if you can make the concrete job look really ugly.

  56. #56 |  CB | 

    “Suitable” means what’s suitable to the city, obviously. It’s just a word that’s formed by ink on paper and the ink is always interpreted by the state in a manner that justifies the state’s use of guns and cages.

  57. #57 |  Z | 

    I don’t know where Oak Park is, but I think its one of the many suburbs of Detroit, which brings me to my point: tons of places in Detroit would love, love, love a veggie garden (http://www.oprah.com/world/Gardening-in-the-City-Changing-Detroits-Landscape for example). So why not move there? I’m sure Oak Park doesn’t need taxpayers and wouldn’t mind vacant houses/lots.

  58. #58 |  Z | 

    #48- with freedom comes responsibility. The two can’t be separated. A nation that professes to love the first but completely rejects the second, except of course as it applies to other people, won’t last.

  59. #59 |  JS | 

    Z “#48- with freedom comes responsibility. The two can’t be separated. A nation that professes to love the first but completely rejects the second, except of course as it applies to other people, won’t last.”

    This case has fuck all to do with responsibilty. What possible “responsbility to the community” is being violated by growing vegetables?

  60. #60 |  overgoverned | 

    The jury doesn’t need to bother with jury nullification in this case — the “look in Merriam-Webster!” stretching of the language of the law is laughable. It would be a pleasure to go to court against some weak bullshit like this. First the acquittal, then the lawsuit. Then the salad from the front yard.

  61. #61 |  jay rizzle | 

    when did landscaping become illegal? do i think her veggie boxes look terrible? yes. should it be against the law? no! people do stupid things with their front yards all the time. like topiaries, for example. ive never taken a walk in the woods and found a shrub in the shape of a spiral, so they arent “common”. but people have them in their front lawns because they like topiaries. that means they are ‘suitable’ to them for THEIR landscape around THEIR house. that doesnt mean they should be fined, cited, and possibly jailed for it. the govt wonders how to cut spending to reduce the national debt: start by saving money and firing the dillhole who just wasted tax payer dollars because someone planted veggies in their own yard! this reminds of a story i heard earlier this year where city officials in deleware tore down peoples basketball hoops because of some stupid code. go to youtube and type in, ‘deldot removes basketball hoop’. this shit will blow your mind! im not opposed to govt. just opposed to abuse of power….

  62. #62 |  Zak | 

    If they fight it they’ll win. In merian websters dictionary the first definition is: “obsolete : similar, matching.” Webster says in their definition that this is no longer the current meaning for the word. Also the meaning is what the judge derives from it, not what the dictionary states. I would definitely fight this.

  63. #63 |  John C. Randolph | 

    I think the people of Oak Park should be asking questions like: “why in the world does this Kevin Rulkowski character draw a salary from our taxes?”

    -jcr

  64. #64 |  nobody | 

    Here is that guy’s email address.
    krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us

  65. #65 |  BoscoH | 

    Webster shows an obsolete meaning of “suitable” to be “similar, matching”. I sent this email to Rulkowski:
    ———-
    Mr. Rulkowski,

    Various news accounts indicate that you misunderstand what suitable means. Webster’s online dictionary indicates that your usage of the word, meaning “similar or matching”, is obsolete. Perhaps you should consider retiring and letting someone with a more modern understanding of the English language persecute vegetable growers in your city.

    Best!

    -Brad

  66. #66 |  sigh | 

    So now not only are most people unable to actually own their own land (I don’t care what name they call it, having your home seized for failing to pay a yearly sum in cash isn’t ownership), now they’re getting after people for growing food on it. Nice.

    I really have no complaints when people in these sorts of situations decide to do something drastic. Jail time – locking someone in a fucking cage – is not something to be taken lightly.

  67. #67 |  Z | 

    #59- you miss my point. #48 was saying that people don’t want freedom, they want coddling. I agreed and explained why I agreed. The reason cases like this exist is because Americans make a bargain with the state- don’t make us think/work too hard and we’ll tolerate anything.

  68. #68 |  Silly citizen thinking she can grow vegetables in her own front yard. at SatelliteHeadlines.com | 

    [...] by aaaaaasdfgrdgbfzs to politics [link] [32 [...]

  69. #69 |  Chris | 

    Wrote this to Kevin and CC’ed the rest of the officials

    “As of 2010, there are now millions of people planting urban farms in the U.S.. The trend is up 35 percent over the past year. 15 percent of the U.S. now has a vegetable garden. Over 40% of all tropical forests have been destroyed and another acre is lost each second. Much of this is due to increasing demands for agricultural production outside of the urban centers. These forests, or lungs of our planet, help us breath clean air, they need to be preserved as best as we can, every garden helps.

    Do you remember the victory gardens which supplied over 50% of our national vegetable needs during World War II. Currently, we’re in a recession and a military engagement pattern that is more costly than World War II, people not only WANT but NEED to grow vegetables for sustenance and for national security.

    Oak Park would benefit from learning a common definition of suitable. Suitable is not common, that is a stretch of the imagination.

    I recommend you follow other environmental leaders such as San Francisco who support urban agriculture and the many benefits that come with it.

    Caring for the earth, stewarding our own food is the only just thing to do when millions are starving and budget cuts are forcing more into challenging situations.

    *** Benefits of Urban Agriculture ***

    ** Community Health **
    Diet and obesity related diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes) are the biggest killer in the Unites States today. [4] (Jamie Oliver) Obesity costs Americans 10% of our health care bills, approximately $150 billion dollars per year. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years to $300 billion per year.
    We know that our culture is facing a nutrition-related health crisis. It starts with the rise in obesity and leads to other diseases. Community grown healthy food is part of the solution.

    As any current gardener can attest, a garden becomes a magnet and a catalyst for community connection. A magnet, because of visibility. As neighbors see other neighbors enjoying the bounty of backyard garden, perhaps pausing in the morning to enjoy the sweet flesh of a sun ripened strawberry, it often leads to conversation over the fence or out on the sidewalk. Connections are made and bonds are established simply by the presence of seeing primary food production so close to the kitchen. Community bonds frequently follow a surplus as extra veggies and fruits are shared with neighbors.

    ** Local Food Production **
    Today lettuce in the ‘big box’ supermarket may have been shipped all the way from Turkey, while the apples may have come from China. Shipping these distances greatly reduces freshness and consumes a lot more fuel. By producing food locally, our community can produce healthier food that is packed with nutrition, bursting with heirloom flavors and good for the planet.

    Producing local benefits the entire planet by reducing the enormity of waste in the industrial food system. At least 40% of the food produced in the US is wasted (http://www.nextgenerationfood.com/news/looking-at-food-waste/); lost in harvest, distribution, processing, packaging and consumption. Food gardens enable food to be harvested at the moment of consumption eliminating the opportunity for this gross waste.

    These are just a few.

    Thank you for listening … “

  70. #70 |  ScoJo77 | 

    Wow. Lame neighbors and lame city. No wonder people keep leaving Michigan.

  71. #71 |  Diane | 

    I grew up 10 blocks from that house – it looks like the street I grew up on. My father always asserted that he wouldn’t let anyone tell him how to paint his house, or build a fence, or any other number of things on property he owned. However, he did do things that looked nice in the neighborhood. That code must be from the 50’s and 60’s when people were really worried about uniformity and when inflation wasn’t so bad and when food-borne illness scares weren’t in the news every other week. If the sun is in the front, that where the vegetables need to be grown. It does look different than the other yards. So what?!? I hope she wins her case. This is such a clear example of government intrusion into privately owned property. There is no health issue here, it is strictly a matter of esthetics.

  72. #72 |  Diane | 

    An esthetically, speaking, it looks nice. If I was her neighbor, my front yard would look the same by the end of this weekend. Hope her neighbors pick up the call to protect their rights and support her with their own vegetable planters.

  73. #73 |  JS | 

    Sorry Z, I did indeed miss your point.

    sigh #63, sadly, locking someone in a cage is something taken lightly in America nowdays. And you’re spot on about home ownership. You don’t “own” anything in America anymore. The government owns everything.

  74. #74 |  Dixi Normous | 

    I would just plant a shit ton of poison ivy

  75. #75 |  Eileen | 

    Please educate the jury about jury nullification.

    The primary function of teh independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking the various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

    The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means the government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty or property. Jurors can say NO to government tyranny by refusing to convict.
    If the jury finds the law to be unjust, then no crime was committed. http://www.fija.org.

  76. #76 |  Melbourne | 

    In Melbourne Australia every second house front yard is a vegetable patch, in fact we have a national school program which turns the school yards into vegetable patches.

    This blows my mind.

  77. #77 |  Jeff | 

    BoscoH, the “Best!” is a nice touch.

  78. #78 |  demize! | 

    I can’t say for sure but I feel the majority of Americans are boot licking imbeciles, those that aren’t have constant agita. What I can say for sure is that the definition or synonym of suitable isn’t common, but the definition of Rukowski will from now foward be Douche. Language is funny like that…

  79. #79 |  Steve | 

    Botanically, corn is a grass, tomatoes are in the nightshade family, etc etc etc.

    Also, a Google search for “front yard garden” yields millions of hits, including a book by that title on Amazon. Apparently other people think it is “suitable. ”

    A good discussion of unconstitutionality of municipal codes can be found here: http://www.tml.org/legal_pdf/ConstChallenges.pdf

  80. #80 |  ADR | 

    Take your vegetables and go back to RUSSIA you goddamn COMMUNIST!

    This is AMERICA where people are free to grow whatever they want in their own ya–oh… uh, nevermind…

  81. #81 |  Doug McCaughan | 

    You know… those plants are going to be dead after 93 days in jail…

  82. #82 |  Ronnie Schreiber | 

    The city planner, Kevin Rulkowski, has the audacity to blatantly lie to the press. He says that the Bass’ vegetable garden “consumes the entire front yard”, when the photographs clearly show that less than half of their front yard is taken up by the garden planters.

    Julie and Michael are nice folks. Nicer than I am. I would have responded by using grass seed to spell out Oak Park Officials Are Jerks.

    This doesn’t surprise me. Last year I got called a motherf*cker by an Oak Park parks & rec employee. After it took two weeks to get the city to admit it happened, when I told the city manager that I wanted a personal apology from the employee he said, “that’s not going to happen.” When I went to the city council meeting to complain about the runaround that I got and how the city managers were more intent on protecting that employee than anything else, I was greeted by a uniformed police officer who not only told me that I couldn’t use the word in question but she also censored my prepared remarks, telling me that I could not use the phrase “sexual intercourse with my mother” in council chambers. Once before the council, before I even opened my mouth, the mayor warned me about language and prohibited me from mentioning the employee’s name, saying that it wouldn’t be fair since he wasn’t there to defend himself. This was after they already claimed he’d been “verbally reprimanded”. Trying to explain the concept of the First Amendment and “prior restraint” was fruitless.

  83. #83 |  jb | 

    heres my Email to kevin:

    Fuck you.

  84. #84 |  The Pale Scot | 

    somebody needs to check Rulkowski’s immigration status, I’ve been an editor at publications that had many ESL writers, and he’d be shown the door the first day

  85. #85 |  whar | 

    It says all UNPAVED areas. So just pave an inch around the boxes with cement and bingo.. You are in complience

  86. #86 |  teequu | 

    My landlord bought 10 acres of property that is zoned commercial and the power abusing jerks here in Pataskala, Ohio fined him for having too many vehicles parked on the property. They claimed that people driving by were complaining that the property didn’t look nice with all those cars. My landlord is a skilled mechanic and repairs cars in the evening when he gets home from his other full time mechanic job. Oh, and the traffic drives this property on a 50 mph U.S. highway.

  87. #87 |  Ronnie Schreiber | 

    The 93 days isn’t for having a vegetable garden. It is for opposing the will of the city.

    Nah, the residents of the city are overwhelmingly on the Basses’ side. The prosecution is for opposing the will of public employees.

  88. #88 |  Jay | 

    Petty laws from stupid flatlander towns,
    serves them right for living in a horrible neighborhood. Why the hell would anyone put up with a homeowners society. My house value, wannn :( Those house ain’t worth anything. Track homes are worthless and a stain on the earth :(

    oh and

    #40 | JS | July 7th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    is a moron and ignorant

  89. #89 |  229Mick | 

    Oppressive government suppresses self reliance at every turn. They should pull out their garden and get on food stamps like good little citizens. Then they can purchase all their fritos and high fructose corn syrup.

  90. #90 |  Geoff | 

    Just posted this to Story Ideas on the Daily Show’s forum…
    http://forums.thedailyshow.com/?page=ThreadView&thread_id=42889

    …and to a similar forum on Colbert’s site:
    http://forums.colbertnation.com/?page=ThreadView&thread_id=27537&pg=1

    Wouldn’t it be nice for one or both to pick this story up. Some serious public shame is what these guys deserve.

    Cheers,
    Geoff in Royal Oak

  91. #91 |  Merriam-Webster | 

    According to Merriam-Webster, suitable means:
    a) adapted to a use or purpose, or
    b) satisfying propriety : proper, or
    c) able or qualified

    Basically, this is a poorly written municipal code has a completely subjective standard. Nobody can know in advance where is the actual boundary between “ok” and “not ok” in Oak Park.

  92. #92 |  Decon | 

    Such a fantastic fucking country we live in that even though you bought your property, you STILL don’t own it and can’t do what you want with it.

  93. #93 |  SorgA | 

    My heart goes out to any of you who have to live in a controlled city like this in your country

  94. #94 |  Intrinsic Value | 

    Dman, talk about being a tight wad.

  95. #95 |  Nick | 

    We in Michigan call it Jokeland for a reason.

  96. #96 |  Oak Park, MI ups the ante on the on how to be petty neighbors | randomandinteresting.com | 

    [...] [LINK] This entry was posted in culture, gardening, politics and tagged environment, environmentalism, garden, Michigan, oak park, politics. Bookmark the permalink. ← Beauty & Culture [...]

  97. #97 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Lawns are fucking ugly useless monocultures unless you’re a sheep herder. Just saying.

  98. #98 |  WHAT | 

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suitable

    Can we sue this guy for making that up?

  99. #99 |  Brandi | 

    don’t waste your time emailing Rulkowski, find out who his bosses boss is and bombard him with emails, letters and phone calls That shit will be shit down in days.

  100. #100 |  Stephen | 

    But…but…we MUST borrow money from China to pay for stopping the evil vegetable gardens!

  101. #101 |  garth | 

    merriam-webster:

    Suitable.
    a : adapted to a use or purpose
    b : satisfying propriety : proper
    c : able, qualified

    Dude does not know what suitable means.

  102. #102 |  grinch337 | 

    Since the rule is for -unpaved- surfaces, the occupants should have the front yard paved over with a concrete slab, and then put the wooden vegetable planter boxes on top. I’m sure the neighbors will love to see what happens when they’re property values actually go down from loopholes in stupid and poorly thought-out city ordinances.

  103. #103 |  Mike Alright | 

    I’m glad you think you “own” your house in this so-called “free” country (I laugh at you home “owners”). Just so you know, you just “rent” your house from the city you live in (but you pay a lot more for it – hahahhaha)….

  104. #104 |  Dean | 

    How dare this woman exploit a tax loophole that allows you to grow your own vegetables instead of supporting the government run farms! And doing it on her own property no less? She should be punished!!!

  105. #105 |  Anthony | 

    He might have turned off his answering machine but you can dial 248.691.7451 and leave a message for his aide or someone who works near him.

  106. #106 |  Sean of Detroit | 

    I actually live in this community, and totally disagree with this. Kevin Rulkowski is a piece of work. I would advocate either gathering area petition signatures, or taking out the garden. Instead, put the money and effort towards changing the law and maybe contributing to a campaign to get Kevin Rulkowski out of that position. Rulkowski is wasting taxpayer dollars, violating basic rights, and not working on clarifying the law. Frankly put, Kevin Rulkowski is abusing his power.

  107. #107 |  Sean of Detroit | 

    I actually live in this community, and totally disagree with this. Kevin Rulkowski is a piece of work. I would advocate either gathering area petition signatures, or taking out the garden. Instead, put the money and effort towards changing the law and maybe contributing to a campaign to get Kevin Rulkowski out of that position. Rulkowski is wasting taxpayer dollars, violating basic rights, and not working on clarifying the law. Frankly put, Kevin Rulkowski is abusing his power.

  108. #108 |  Susie Quint | 

    So…I am assuming that it’s the whole vegetable garden thing that is so unappealing to neighbors….or perhaps jealousy over the fact that they themselves don’t have a green thumb, I myself have had several attempts over the years and have admittedly started with a green thumb and ended with a black, but it hasn’t stopped me from using the land I live on and pay taxes for to try and save money by feeding my family with fresh vegetables I had grown in my garden. Judging by the picture a raised garden is considered a container (contained) garden and I still see grass….if “they” are saying it’s against ordinances then I again can assume everyone in that city is violating that ordinance when and if they place a potted plant in their front yard area. Period…..

    Also, if they want to really get arguments going, how about considering the number of fruit trees that are planted in front yards….are those common to you all.

    Gees, some people are a-holes beyond the more common definition of a-hole.

  109. #109 |  Sean of Detroit | 

    You can e-mail Kevin Rulkowski at krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us or call him at 248.691.7450.

  110. #110 |  netwrok | 

    If anything is “suitable” for a human to grow, it would be something edible and preferably tasteful. Vegetables and herbs would be a much better choice for this than grass or shrubs, obviously this is more “suitable”.

    What is it with lame-brain “politicians” these days? Is there some sort of race between them to see who can be the craziest petty fascist?

  111. #111 |  Evgeniy | 

    It’s very crazy to hear such things from USA. USA is the model for all the world??!

    In Russia it’s usual thing to grow what you want. And if you have a great garden, it means you’re great house master and must have even some respect.

    Seems, USA turns more and more in this Antiutopia, like 1984 etc… Congratulations!

  112. #112 |  Theresa | 

    This kind of thinking would apply to any forward thinking designer or homeowner. Adaptation to new environmental or social needs would be prohibited. And really, as everyone else said, when did suitable mean common? This family are pioneers for local resilience and community engagement towards a more self reliant and sustainable future. Get it right Oak Park, you should be lauding their creativeness and community building.

  113. #113 |  Evgeniy | 

    And I found “the great e-mail for kevin: Fuck you!”
    If guy added @ for example, I could think it’s sort of a good joke…

  114. #114 |  Jim | 

    Perhaps the town would be happier if she put a giant gnome which pours water out of its ass.

  115. #115 |  Darwin | 

    People are starving all across the globe and we are prohibited from growing food…AMERICA, F*** NO!

  116. #116 |  Carol Ann Glidden | 

    I am totally disgusted by this. What the hell?? I have gardens just like hers on my ‘front’ lawn. I would flip my lid if they charged me for having a vegetable garden. I really can’t believe this. I hope she prevails in court. If not, or system is even more fucked than I thought!!1

  117. #117 |  CharliDenae | 

    Ridiculous! I think her front yard looks nice and neat. So, if she were to move the vegetables to the back yard and fill the area with flowers or shrubs, it would be OK… how stupid! Neighbors need to mind their own damn business. I could see if there was garbage or old cars everywhere, or if her yard was all over-grown by weeds, but this seems just fine to me.

    In this economy, I think it’s smart to make use of all your resources… We should all start front yard veggie gardens… grass is a waste unless it’s feeding animals.

  118. #118 |  SJE | 

    If you look on the web, it seems Oak Park is less about the Oaks and more about grass. The place is full of large boring lawns, with very little imagination re shrubs, flowers etc.

    Kevin seems to be a bit of a thing for lawns For example, a few years ago Kevin was fussing about the abandoned housing, with people stripping out the copper pipes, etc. How do you fix up a house and make it nice: according to Kevin, you need to plant a lawn. http://dailytribune.com/articles/2009/09/13/news/srv0000006370531.txt?viewmode=fullstory

  119. #119 |  sky | 

    Sounds like someones asshole of a neighbors has connections. Oh, the wonders of our gov. system.

  120. #120 |  Tony | 

    She can possibly argue the law is void for vagueness at her trial.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Void_for_vagueness

  121. #121 |  Wisdom_from_the_ages | 

    The guy ought to lose his job for having such an inadequate understanding of the English language.

    Common? Really?

  122. #122 |  Lee | 

    Emailed To the Mayor:

    Good day to you sir. I’m writing in response to an article concerning vegetables in a front yard of one of your constituents. I strongly suggest you help Ms Bass in her plight by removing only one vegetable we like to refer to as Kevin Rulkowski. The good PR/karma will serve you longer than any other option you have in this case.

    Your city has an ordinance requiring yards to be outfitted with suitable plants, or pavement. Kevin R (veggie man) wants us to believe that his dictionary defines the word suitable as common. Another word for common is ordinary. A number of us have tried to confirm this definition without luck.

    It appears your city (Kevin) wants to prosecute a middle class home owner for planting veggies in her front yard. Surely this is a case of a lone bureaucrat trying to make a name for himself. Send him congratulations – he has succeeded in his quest.

    All sarcasm aside – Ms Bass has created a beautiful front yard that is unique, innovative, environmentally friendly and good for her and her families health. From the size of her garden, I bet she’d be willing to invite you over for fresh veggie salad this fall.

    Finally, I used to live in Iowa, not too far from you. This was in the late fifties when I was a small child. One of my few memories of not only that place, but also my long deceased father is him and I sitting in the dirt of our front yard garden with a salt shaker, eating a pair of tomatoes right off the vine. I’ve been trying to find a tomato that tastes that good ever since.

  123. #123 |  Shannon | 

    What is the world coming to? Fuck these people who think their badge is their right to tell people what to do with their lives.

  124. #124 |  Gene | 

    Julie, you just continue on. You will win and you will become famous. We need you to do this for the benefit of every person living in what is becoming a very screwed up country.

  125. #125 |  Maria | 

    Mr. Rulkowski meet the internet.
    Internet, have fucking at it.

  126. #126 |  DK | 

    As some commenters have pointed out above, the suitable=common definition is obsolete. Perhaps Mr. Rulkowski does not know the meaning of obsolete. Hey, Rulkowski! Try watching The Twilight Zone episode, The Obsolete Man.

  127. #127 |  mithoviel | 

    That yard looks beautiful in the photo. No weeds. Plants kept nicely in boxed out areas. All I can say is: WTF?

  128. #128 |  Kristine | 

    I borrowed a few things from other peoples comments in the composition of this, because you all are so eloquent. Here is the e-mail I just sent to the Mayor and cc’ed Mr. Rulkowski

    Mayor Naftaly

    I read about your city in this article, http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/julie-bass-of-oak-park-faces-misdemeanor-charge-for-vegetable-garden-20110630-wpms, and I am wondering if you realize how silly your City Planner is making all of you look.
    It is always sad to see the steps some in government will take for trivia, but it has been a long time since I have read about an issue that is this small being blown up to be this big. Are you really going to allow Mr. Rulkowski and your prosecutors to threaten a citizen with 93 days in jail for growing vegetables? I am speechless by the outrageousness of it, to think that an American citizen is not allowed to plant vegtables (not an eyesore) in their own yard, how much more unAmerican can it get? And for all the “green initiative” municipalities are drooling over isn’t this type of thing what they should be wanting? Removing wasteful, environmentally harmful grass and putting in useful and cared-for plants that people benefit from? Would it be safe to say that Mr. Rulkowski and the complaining citizen of Oak Park want Stepford citizens and yards in said area? To conform, conform, conform. This is what it reads like.

    Seriously. They have not built an addition on their house without a permit, they have not stuck some awful sculpture on the lawn. The yard is neat and tidy, and a vegtable garden does not force property values down. As long as the space is maintained, I don’t see why it should matter if the plant is purely decorative, edible or produces vegetables. Would Mr. Rulkowski rather they have a grass lawn that they don’t mow filled with dandylions? I am sure Mr. Rulkowski would have fun running over there everytime the complaining neighbour has an issue with how tall their neighbours grass is. Hmmm you would think he had better things to do.

    I am sure that you Mayor Naftaly have better things to do, but I think you might want to step in on this one.
    You will look good, and probably increase your standing with the electorate.
    More importantly, it is the right thing to do.

    Sincerely,

    Canada

  129. #129 |  Drake | 

    If they are going to penalize her for some vegetables; I would hate to see what they would do if she had a fruit or nut tree.
    She should be able to plant whatever she wants to plant.

  130. #130 |  Rudi | 

    Now all she needs to do is grow hedge in front of her house so it won’t hurt Rulkowski’s eyes

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/H%C3%B6fen_hecke1.jpg

  131. #131 |  Pjt37 | 

    “Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass…”

    “City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.”

    Unless the DPW put down grass seed when they ripped up her yard, they broke the law too. why weren’t they arrested?

  132. #132 |  Melissa | 

    I think the raised beds are beautiful and tastefully done. It’s not like she plopped an old toilet in her front yard and planted vegetables in the bowl! Grass lawns are one of the dumbest things ever: they require large amounts of water, have to be treated with chemicals, require mowing which uses petroleum/creates carbon dioxide and isn’t as tasty as all the things Ms. Bass planted in her raised beds. Here is another link to support the idea that what Ms. Bass is doing is suitable and common: http://www.beginningfarmers.org/350-garden-challenge-in-sonoma-county-ca-may-15-16/

  133. #133 |  Anonymous | 

    America the land of the free, where you’ll be hauled off to the jail for trying to grow your own food instead of goose-stepping to your nearest mega-chain to get your Monsanto frankenfood.

  134. #134 |  David | 

    I like the start of what she’s doing with her lawn, but I think it would be even better to convert the whole front lawn to planters and woodchipped areas, the half grass half woodchips looks a bit funny.

    I’m writing to Mr. Rulkowski as well, what a silly thing to fight.

  135. #135 |  Watchman | 

    Plant the whole front in corn, by definition it is a member of the grass family. Then again, do they have a mowing ordinance ?

    or pave the dam thing and grow in containers.

    Be careful giving the produce away, they will have the FDA over next…
    CONgress already passed the UN food “safety” laws

    It’s all about control, find her address and send a few bucks for a defense fund, we need to fight this crap wherever it rises up.

  136. #136 |  David | 

    Written to Kevin Rulkowski:

    Dear Mr. Rulkowski,

    I believe your decision to penalize Julie Bass for her front yard vegetable garden is a poor one.

    While it may be true that a garden in the front yard is a rare occurrence in your area, that doesn’t suddenly label it wrong.

    From a photograph posted on theagitator.com, her property appears to be fairly well kept and the portion containing the vegetables appears far more pleasing than the traditional grass look. If it was my decision I’d do away with the grass entirely.

    A personal example of the fantastic possibilities of this lies with the apartment complex next to mine. The manager of the complex took it upon himself to turn the lawn bordering the complex into an intricate garden of varying produce, even including corn. What began as an odd curiosity now appears to be one of the highlights of our neighborhood, and certainly the best looking lawn area of any of the complexes nearby.

    While her actions may be unconventional, I do believe her decision to grow things in a visible area may end up being the future of yard space.

    What you may consider is some kind of compromise. As an example, you may provide assistance in improving the aesthetic of her decision to create a planting space in the front yard. I’d suggest you use this time to provide a reasonable solution that works for both the aesthetics of the city, and her decision to plant vegetables in the front yard.

    Pressing forward with a lawsuit is a waste of your time, the city’s money, and is causing negative press. End this on a positive note by coming up with a good compromise, and people will support your decision.

    Thank you for your time,

    – David Rutan

  137. #137 |  Seymore Kellborn | 

    Does this mean I need to move my Audry II’s?

  138. #138 |  Kenneth | 

    This guy needs a good old fashioned “neighborly” beating. Maybe I missed something, but isn’t the state of MI reeling from a mass exodus of employment and employers leaving the state?

    I think the last thing I read about Detroit was that wild dogs were taking over the city. Yep here it is: http://www.detroitblog.org/?p=287

    Way to go sir, way to take a oppress a citizen over absolutely nothing. I bet your wife and children are quite proud and enjoying the national publicity for your heroic actions.

  139. #139 |  sean | 

    FIRST

  140. #140 |  Ronnie Schreiber | 

    Pjt37, the lawn was dug up by a private contractor, my cousin, the Basses’ plumber.

  141. #141 |  Grt | 

    I’m completely confused by the title of this article. Considering her love of overbearing intrusive government in general I’m sure Mrs obama would be perfectly happy with this.

  142. #142 |  Monte | 

    Just so Ms. Julie Bass has some backup on this issue. In the city of Provo, Utah they plant all kinds of fruits and vegetables around city property and on patches of land between the sidewalks and the streets. So perhaps it is more “common” to grow vegetables than originally thought. At her request I would be more than happy to take video footage for her defense. I suggest that other people who have also grown fruits or vegetables in their front yards take pictures or shoot video to give her some help in court.

  143. #143 |  Tired of it all | 

    Hello America, there is a global food shortage and this is how you act??

  144. #144 |  Resistance | 

    Here’s hoping that some kind soul in Oak Park does the right thing and burns Kevin Rulkowski house to the f*cking ground.

  145. #145 |  Tyler | 

    Wow. Kevin Rulkowski = egg on face. Good job, smarty pants.

  146. #146 |  eb | 

    If its not piled with junk and you OWN IT and pay the bills there then they should shut their trap and learn to live with it. Really people this is such a petty thing to bitch about. Kids are being abused and drunk drivers are out killing people and we are freeking out about what some lady chooses to do with her front yard? Lets worry about bringing home our troops and taking care of our own country and stop worrying about what she wants to plant in her yard it is her yard after all she has the right to do with it what she wants to.

  147. #147 |  Concerned Citizen | 

    Suitable- adj. That is suited to one, one’s needs, wishes, or condition, the proprieties, etc: appropriate; fitting.
    (Webster’s new Collegiate dictionary, (c)1961; Page #848)
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suitable
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/suitable

    I think this sufficient to prove that public servant wrong, and I hope you beat this abuse of police/political power.

  148. #148 |  Alter Thought | 

    Mr. Rulkowski, do you own shares of the local grocery market???
    I realize that one could say “he is just doing his job”. However, I believe that one must have a basic grasp of the English language in order to obtain a job with a skill level above “would you like fries w/that?”

  149. #149 |  Thaddeus S. Kaczor, Jr. | 

    So much for property rights! The yard, while unusual, does not fit the legal definition of ‘Blight’ or any other actionable offense. If the city is allowed to prosecute this successfully, are we to have ‘Yard Gestapo’ agents patrolling the streets, citing those who fail to ‘Conform’ to some arbitrary or imaginary standard? Oh, yes… here in Sterling Heights, they closed the city’s Cable Access programming, and reassigned the workers to the ‘Shine Patrol’, ostensibly for ‘beautification’ and to ‘help citizens maintain their property’. But we all know it’s about strict code enforcement and revenue from violation citations. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and any standard other than true ‘blight’ is purely subjective, impossible to legally enforce and blatantly unconstitutional. I’m sure Oak Park (and other Metro Detroit cities) have more than enough money to pursue ridiculous (and expensive) lawsuits like this! We should lay off all the Fire Fighters and Police officers so we can force residents in court to maintain their ‘environmental purity’. Get a life, get some common sense and quit wasting taxpayer money on un-winnable and unconstitutional enforcement of arbitrary laws.

  150. #150 |  Neon Pirate | 

    Poison Ivy is common in nature and in lawns all over. Mostly those not so well tended. Plant plenty and invite Kevin Rulkowski over for a nice walk through to inspect.

  151. #151 |  SCBass | 

    So I am the oldest child of the woman in question and just want to say thank you for this outpouring of support. It would be a travesty of justice to lock away this mother of 6 who is just trying to provide a better and healthier lifestyle for her family while at the same time incorporating lessons in science for the entire neighborhood. For the record- the reason this garden could not be placed in the backyard is that we have two dogs and they both like to dig and get into things like vegetable beds(tried last year). The reason this entire thing came up is that the city planted a tree many years ago. That tree now has many roots that went deep underground. One of said roots caused the sewer pipe to burst and cause major flooding in the house(twice over the last year). The city takes no responsibility for the tree it planted and offers no compensation for the major damage it caused. Estimates to redo the whole front yard in grass were astronomical and this was a much more practical and efficient way to go about things. Again I would like to thank you all for your support and you can follow the ongoing situation at my mothers website- http://oakparkhatesveggies.wordpress.com/

  152. #152 |  Trizird | 

    Dear city of Oaks Park, Michigan,
    Hello! How are you today? I just recently read an article having to do with your city, and couldn’t help personally sending you commentary about a problem you’re having in your town. I understand that there is a family within your city limits who decided to put in a vegetable garden in their front yard after tearing it up to hook up to public sewer. After this insane family put in the offensive garden, the city (IE: you) received phone calls complaining about said garden, and you dispatched a code enforcer to take care of the problem. Ultimately, Mrs. Bass was charged with a misdemeanor and received a fine, and may face up to 93 days in prison should she lose the resulting court action she has decided to follow-up with.
    This story concerns me, mostly because it is obvious that your city should be using its resources elsewhere. You see, it has become quite clear to me that some of your citizens and city officials are smoking some kind of powerful crack-cocaine, because it is ridiculous to charge a private citizen who puts a vegetable garden in any part of their yard with a crime. Heavy drug use is the only explanation for such a gross overreaction from both the other residential owners of the neighborhood, and the city.
    If I may suggest, perhaps the people in the neighborhood in question should make sure that no sticks from the “suitable, common, beautiful trees” found in their yards have accidentally lodged themselves up their asses. Should that turn out to be the problem, they should probably see a proctologist or other professional to have them properly removed, as they must be way, WAY up there.
    I hope you all continue to have a wonderful summer, and don’t want any delicious, award-winning zucchini bread that family is sure to make.

  153. #153 |  The Borg | 

    @ #133:

    Resistance, you should know that’s futile.

  154. #154 |  Dr. Mordy | 

    Show your support for the Bass family by signing the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/oak-park-hates-veggies/

  155. #155 |  Timon Singer | 

    I am seriously considering leaving this country.

  156. #156 |  Dan | 

    bribe them with tomatoes

  157. #157 |  VSG | 

    Another case of government official confusing his/her personal preferences with the law.

  158. #158 |  Steve | 

    Others should be following by example. The people of the US will need these lawns to grow their own food soon enough as their economy is sliding into the toilet.

    There needs to be a movement to grown your own food at home. Perhaps not as a main source, initially, but as a supplement to your grocery shopping. People need to learn this skill.

  159. #159 |  myownbush | 

    its no one fucking business what i grow on my lawn. u should see my bush i haven’t shaved it for months… hopefully the city wont give me a ticket for that

  160. #160 |  Alex in Toronto | 

    She needs to put up 6′ high fencing around her front yard so that her blight on the urban landscape is unseen. What a bunch of maroons at City Hall.

  161. #161 |  Stop This Horrible Blight! | 

    [...] Radley Balko has lots more.. [...]

  162. #162 |  Ax | 

    If I want to sell hotdogs at the end of my driveway I can’t. Fuck the states.. move..

  163. #163 |  Stephen George | 

    I sent an email asking for clarification.
    I await his reply with interest.

  164. #164 |  eamo | 

    ‘If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common.’

    He obviously cant read the dictionary, he just looks at it, and makes up his own meanings. What a fucking vegetable.

    krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us

  165. #165 |  John | 

    If you do not mind dealing with people who’re slightly fanatic about the subject, consider contacting these folks:

    http://www.chezpanissefoundation.org/our-founder

    http://www.slowfood.com/

    I suspect they’d be more than happy to provide some militant support.

  166. #166 |  David | 

    Glad to see she and other Americans are finally starting to fight back against all these Little Hitlers who believe they have the right to be little dictators over ordinary folk, destroying their liberty in the land of the free, in which our forefathers died for that liberty, and these people spit on the graves of those who died. It’s time to send a strong message to these petty tyrants that they will at least have a fight on their hands.

  167. #167 |  David | 

    So it seems it’s gotten so bad in the Land of Liberty that growing a vegetable garden is now literally a subversive act. Citizens, you know what to do – start planting more vegetable gardens.

  168. #168 |  croaker | 

    Tar.
    Feathers.
    Fence Rail.
    Government Bureaucrat.

    Some Assembly Required.

  169. #169 |  croaker | 

    @133 That might be a tad excessive. However, taking a page from “The Window War” might be appropriate in this instance.

  170. #170 |  Karl | 

    I looked up ‘Rulkowski’ in the dictionary. Turns out it’s synoymous with ‘Jack@ss’

  171. #171 |  Brian | 

    As an attorney I would argue that the municiple code is unconstitutionally vague. A person has to be able to read the code and determine exactly what conduct constitutes a crime. This code appears to fall short because it leaves it up to someone else to define the term “suitable”.

  172. #172 |  David B | 

    Fee Fi Fo Fun I smell a Republicon, Folks this is why democrats s a big one….

  173. #173 |  bob mirable | 

    get a pro bono attorney and sue the municipality and all of them personally for violating your rights and for harassment under any laws or 1 st or 4th amendment rights
    once you sue the entire county with a free attorney those clodheads should back down

    if they dont back down run for office and kick them the hell out

    last time I looked we are still in America….

  174. #174 |  bob mirable | 

    didnt we call these gardens Victory gardens back in the day let it be your victory

  175. #175 |  Charles Stone | 

    Welcome to the new Soviet Union folks.

  176. #176 |  Lance | 

    I am 50 years of age, lived about 45 of those in the United States. I just took a job in South Korea last August. Here, EVERYONE grows food EVERYWHERE. Having a useless lawn which requires the purchase of a lawn mower and time to maintain it seems pretty sill now that I see how things are done here. Is the USA still a free country? How much of this silly ‘code enforcement” business do we want to continue to tolerate and, oh yes, PAY GOOD MONEY for?

  177. #177 |  jb | 

    nazi cops and city just mind your freaking business and get the hell out of peoples lives.. di@#weeds

  178. #178 |  Russ F | 

    So if everyone started burrying dead bodies on their front lawn, then that would be “suitable” as well? Defining suitable to mean “common” makes the ordinance void-for-vaugness. In other words, for a law to be constitutionally specific it must, inter alia, give sufficient notice to the person committing the “crime” that such conduct is prohibited, and also not be susceptible to arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement. Here, the attorney’s definition is circular, refering to “common”, and is arguably unenforceable.

  179. #179 |  ephil | 

    There is even a landscaping books called the Edible Front Yards, look on Amazon for an extensive list. If there are popular books on the subject, how can it be unsuitable? Perhaps in Beverly Hills but really I think Michigan really has other issues to deal with like trying to encourage people to WANT to LIVE there!

  180. #180 |  stan_in_usa | 

    I see it all now. Today its a front yard garden. Tomorrow its the American flag.

  181. #181 |  Aleina | 

    Nice.Twin brothers Giant Pumpkin Is Set To Become The World’s Largest Pumpkin.

    http://funnyandspicy.com/twin-brothers-giant-pumpkin-is-set-to-become-the-world%e2%80%99s-largest-pumpkin

  182. #182 |  Guido | 

    I love anonymity! It’s so much easier to stab my neighbors in the back and call the government in on them than to let them express their individuality.

    Actually, I don’t give a fig what my neighbors do as long as it doesn’t involve me. I had a neighbor come up to me to get my signature on a sheet because she got a new door with a window in it and some nosy neighbor commented on it. She hadn’t gotten official HOA permission to change anything in the appearance of her home and wanted to cover her rear. Pathetic. I hate HOAs and nosy neighbors.

    I hope this woman wins what should be a fairly easy case and enjoys her garden all the way to the dinner table. If she has to pull the plants, perhaps she can plant some nice greenery, like skunk cabbage, for the neighbors to enjoy. Or some pretty flowers that spell F… You to passersby.

  183. #183 |  Anton | 

    If I was a neighbour I’d plant vegitables in my front yard.

  184. #184 |  Mike | 

    The government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.

  185. #185 |  Justin Case | 

    What a piece of junk the code is. What a piece of junk this guy is. I hope she sues him personally and wins. I wants to see her take his property and redistribute it. All code enforcement needs to be done away with when it comes to the property owner and what they do on their own property. Can you imagine if she wanted to put up a fence without notifying the city. Piss on CODE ENFORCEMENT.

  186. #186 |  Terry | 

    TURN THE QUESTION AROUND A LITTLE: If those raised beds featured FLOWERS would the city/neighbours have complained? Of course not. Utterly ridiculous.
    Too much govt in peoples’ lives these days, and too many idiotic, DEAD COMMON, classless neighbours. Time to move out and pay property taxes to a friendly town!

  187. #187 |  Warbelo | 

    Dennis Rader, known as the BTK strangler, was a “Compliance Officer” in Park City, Kansas. These vermin have a warped, distorted view of the world and are nothing but 2-bit power-hungry pathetic losers.

  188. #188 |  Guido | 

    I knew an Armenian guy years ago with a few interesting stories. One of his uncles had a home up in PA and wanted to make some changes, however his nosy neighbors made trouble for him, so he hit on an awesome plan.

    He turned his home into a halfway house for unwed aids-infected teenage moms. Property values plummeted and his neighbors decided unwed aids-infected teenage moms weren’t the right folks to live near, so they sold and moved away at a loss. Armenian uncle then buys up their properties, closes the shelter, and sells at a profit. Now THAT’S the American (Armenian?) Dream!

  189. #189 |  don quixote | 

    She should have gotten a permit.

  190. #190 |  Woman could get 93 days for planting vegetable garden in front yard! - In the News - MilitarySOS.com | 

    [...] could get 93 days for planting vegetable garden in front yard! Does Michelle Obama Know about this? This is just SO wrong on so many levels. I'm so glad I live in the country where we don't have [...]

  191. #191 |  CATHERINE | 

    DON’T WORRY HONEY, the cities are broke THOSE FREAKS WILL BE LOSING THEIR JOBS BEFORE YOU CAN DO JAIL TIME, and call your jail THEY ARE BROKE TOO, you have to murder about 5 people to get a bed in our overcrowded jails now…….

    17 more months people, THROW THESE LIBERAL IDIOTS OUT………..MOOCHELLE CAN GROW AND NO ONE ELSE, HITLER MADE THOSE SAME RULES

    THESE LITTLE FIFEDOMS THAT WE HAVE ALLOWED OUR TAX DOLLARS TO BE STOLEN AND BUILD ARE OVER,……………LOCAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS ARE DEAD, THE STATE WILL SUCK UP WHATEVER MONEY IS AROUND AND GUTTING COUNTY AND LOCAL WOULD BE TWO LAYERS OF GUBMENT GONE….

    YOUR VEGETABLES WILL BE THERE A LOT LONGER THAN YOUR LOCAL POLITICIANS……..AND WHY BECAUSE THE IDIOTS WASTED ALL THEIR TIME ON GARBAGE LIKE THIS…………..AND BE CAREFUL WITH THE UNEMPLOYMENT AT OVER 400,000 A WEEK NOW FOR 3 YEARS……..PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE STEALING THOSE VEGGIES……..SAD BUT TRUE

  192. #192 |  michael | 

    How stupid can one government official be? Okay, silly question.

    I’m just a few miles away from this house in an adjoining city- and I think I’m going to start growing veggies in my front yard, too.

  193. #193 |  Jim O'Hagan | 

    I actually own a dictionary and know how to use it. Oxford’s definition of suitable is “right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation.” nothing there about right for everyone else in the neighborhood or government.
    By the way, the definition of common includes “showing a lack of taste and refinement, vulgar” and “of relatively minor importance”
    Government, and neighbors, should mind their own business and leave these folks alone.

  194. #194 |  j | 

    Let’s help her plant a privacy hedge so the cretins can’t see her front yard.
    My thought would be Mock Orange, Barberry, and Poison Ivy. Just let them sneak through that hedge!

  195. #195 |  Nikki | 

    I think someone is letting his “power” go to his head! I also think he needs a dictionary that is already printed, not one where he writes in his own definitions!

  196. #196 |  Joe Dirt | 

    get rid of the garden and leave the front yard plain dirt so that hideous weeds grow and see how the city feels. i’m sure weeds are pretty “common” in most of the Detroit area abandoned yards!

  197. #197 |  twolazy | 

    In World War II, the various governmental entities encourged you to plant a “Victory Garden” … welcome to America, home of the FREE?

  198. #198 |  Kim Skelton | 

    Liberal town, Liberal state… Want to keep private property private? Don’t vote for people who believe government is the answer for everything, including toilet paper, light bulbs, and those who want to tax you for breathing. Move to Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, Texas, or any other state that is not of the ideology that we the people must be regulated because otherwise we (the stupids) will destroy the planet…

  199. #199 |  Bill | 

    So let folks plant gardens in the front yard and it WILL become common!
    Geesh, what a daffynition.
    Others would do it if she was allowed to. I’d rather see folks “going green” raising their own food and having nice raised gardens like that than BORING COMMON grass………
    Get a grip – it’s plant life, it’s “green”, the Obama’s would be saluting her efforts.

  200. #200 |  James East | 

    Hey Kev!!!!
    http://www.dictionary.com

  201. #201 |  Christa | 

    Unbelievable story. What about the outrageous tax money to be spent (already spent) prosecuting and convicting these obviously dangerous people! Absurd! All like-minded neighbors should grow veggies in their front yards, then the dumb-F*&k who ratted on them (still having a lawn) would be now “unsuitable” and not common — another dubious decision/definition being used by the city.

  202. #202 |  pat | 

    I live in southern Maryland, and yes I have tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and herbs planted in my front area. Some are in the ground and some in containers. To Ms. Bass, go for it!

    How about you claim poverty and are growing veggies to stretch your food budget? How about you take the tact that you are going green and eating locally produced foods to lessen your carbon foot print?

    This PC crap has gone so far to the left it is now not only insane but inane. I went to the store to get dog biscuits, and found granola bars for dog. That tore it!

    Anyone up for sending boxes of rotting veggies to the commissiors office?

  203. #203 |  Kevin | 

    This is exactly what the Democratic Party platform is all about. Increase the size of government. And increase regulation over our lives because we obviously can’t self govern. When will people wake up and break the chains that bind them to the Democratic Party?

  204. #204 |  Jose Sanchez | 

    Keep electing liberals and the insanity will continue.

  205. #205 |  kently | 

    Thank God (or in “his” country allah) this is not in the United States. It is understandable this would occur in a third world country such as that of obamaland. Perhaps if he and eric ever develop a racial weapon, they can attempt to infiltrate my country, but somehow, I doubt it.

  206. #206 |  Pat | 

    That’s some nice garden work. Well-executed corners on the carpentry. Mulched inside and chipped outside. Orderly planting. I’d be proud to have those in my yard, and envious if they were in the neighbors’.

    Someone said Alito would support the city – fat chance. By all means, the city’s argument for the privileges it is claiming fails under a strict constructionist reading of The Constitution.

    However, if we incorporate “common” international laws in many European countries (a practiced favored by Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kennedy, and Kennan), the state or city government should have full rights in dictating what is or is not “suitable,” even on private property. And I’m sure former Justice Souter would have been friendly to an emminent domain argument that the yard (maybe even the house) should be annexed for the city’s use.

    Forget the city SWAT team, this should be a federal matter. Where are the Department of Education stormtroopers when you need them?

  207. #207 |  Dave | 

    Jail her immediately! This is outrageous, you do not own your property, your property is the owned by everyone but you!

    Seriously, my company has the same problems with the local town council’s ever-changing version of municipal code interpretation. The “code’s” meanings are determined by the town employee you are dealing with at the time on that particular issue. Took us SEVEN MONTHS to open a new business in a recession in a small town in N.C.

  208. #208 |  Finbar | 

    Nashville needs a suitable government.

  209. #209 |  JacobW | 

    Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common.”

    Sir, did you actually look up the definition? Suitable does not mean “common” it means appropriate. Since the “City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.”, it is clearly allowing live plant material other than grass, ground cover or shrubbery.

    This woman is in compliance. If you don’t want vegetable gardens in front of houses, then your code should say so. So, leave this taxpayer alone and modify your code.

  210. #210 |  Rob Seattle | 

    Suitable = ‘Appropriate to a purpose or an occasion.’

    What strikes me about this is the Stalinist behavior reminiscent of the old
    USSR found in one of this lady’s neighbors, and in this petty ‘official’. In the old Soviet Union you found little old ladies employed by the state who would keep an eye on everyone, and tell on them for any ‘infraction’ of multiple so-called rules. We are finding more of this in America today – – plenty of busybodies quite willing to spend their time & energy minding others business. These control freak fools get a sense of inflated self importance, while their cities and country goes down the tube. And many Americans actually voluntarily agree to put themselves in areas with ‘covenants’ to restrict their personal freedoms. I’m sure the founding generation would have found this absolutely remarkable. ‘Land of the Free, Home of the Brave’ ?
    The informer and petty ‘official’ are nothing but little tyrants. They probably think a nice garden “will bring down property values” or some such non-sense – – – while they live in a suburb of that gutted out pit called Detroit, that ain’t coming back for a very long time. What morons.

  211. #211 |  Julia Sironi | 

    This is mad, the benefits of growing and caring for your own food, reducing carbon food print and improving your health far outweighs the possibility of an overblown toad of a man implementing an archaic law. I suppose Raspberry bushes around the perimeter of her property would be irreverent?

  212. #212 |  Jeff Wagnon | 

    Another glaring example that Liberalism is a Mental disorder.

  213. #213 |  Dave | 

    Oh yeah, sorry for double posting but you eliminate their objections by installing a wooden fence. Out of sight out of mind, game over you win.

  214. #214 |  Eric B | 

    So…. we’ve got mutiple offense murderers, rapists and drug-dealers walking the streets. We’ve got illegal aliens jumping the border like it’s a sport and politicians fighting to keep them here. We’ve got the muslim organizations that support terrorists and we protect their rights

    but

    this lady is supposed to serve 93 days in jail for growing vegetables on her own property

    HEEEEEELLLLOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

  215. #215 |  Krakondack | 

    How dare she plant a garden to produce her own food. She should know, only government-approved corporate farm conglomerates are allowed to produce pesticide-laden, genetically modified food.

  216. #216 |  Rand Taylor | 

    So let me see if I have this right…….Oak Park is a few miles from Detroit, a municipality where entire blocks that were formerly houses are now inner city farms http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/11/detroit-urban-renewal-city-farms-paul-harris Now that’s surely “uncommon.” Are they “unsuitable” too? This is just one more example of political correctness run amuck and a total loss of “common” sense. Enjoy your 15 minutes of infamy you putz. Time for the residents of Oak Park to rethink a few things.

  217. #217 |  Sam | 

    I guess this means if you have a chestnut, walnut, hickory or any other fruit or nut bearing tree in your front yard you will have to have it removed since it produces food.

  218. #218 |  actually... | 

    according to the Merrium-Webster dictionary, “suitable” does NOT mean common… in fact just the opposite. According to the dictionary quoted by Rulkowski, suitable means adapted for use… in other words, it is unique or intended for other purposes and made proper for a new use. This is very different from being common.

    Here is the first definition provided: “adapted to a use or purpose”
    Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suitable

  219. #219 |  Francis | 

    Years ago the local TV showed how a elderly man took an abandon lot in the city (I think New York) and turned it into a beautiful Garden. He was rightfully hailed for his efforts.
    The unions have destroyed Detroit and now the local government folks are trying to finish the job.
    This exposes how government is too involved in our lives. Recall this official!

  220. #220 |  Vil | 

    If I wanted to paint My home black and put gargoyle statues on My porch and front lawn, I would be disallowed by the community, as it would drive down property value and make the neighborhood look less appealing. What she is doing is wrong for the very same reason. It’s unwanted by the community and leads to a drop in value, as the neighborhood loses its uniformity. If she wants a garden, it should be in the back, where it belongs. That she flaunts her decision to disobey and then faces jail time should be no surprise. We’re a nation of laws. Many of those laws suck, but they are laws, none the less. Civil disobedience has its place, but don’t disobey and think that you don’t deserve the consequences or won’t suffer them. She should do the time and pay the fine.

  221. #221 |  Sam | 

    No, Dave, they probably have an ordinance against wooden fences around the front yard, too.

  222. #222 |  Endyr | 

    If you must ask permission to do something on your own property, then it really isn’t your property, you are just paying for it.

  223. #223 |  david clark | 

    Do we haul this criminal to jail or execute her on the spot. Someone call SWAT. Once again the government is acting stupidly. I love what the lady has done to her front yard. It looks very well maintained. We all may be doing the same soon should the economy get worst due to government retardation. I love this lady!

  224. #224 |  MassJim | 

    Every day I see more and more freedoms trampled upon by more and more self important big government bureaucrats. What the h..l is a Panning and Technology director? Those elected officials who appointed this guy to his throne should be ridden out of town by all freedom loving citizens. How much more are the citizens of this country going to stand. Next thing you know they will be dictating what kind of light bulbs you can use and how much water your toilet can use per flush. Talk about giving an inch and they will take a mile!

  225. #225 |  JR | 

    rulkowski – 1) verb, meaning to apply whatever definition suits your purpose in a given situation; “In totalitarian states, they often rulkowski the meaning of the word democracy.”

    2) noun, meaning one who seeks controversy where none exists; “He’s a reflexive rulkowski. In what was otherwise a peaceful office, he repeatedly complained about the coffee, the heat, the copier, and anything else that he could think of.”

    3) adjective, meaning a petty tyrant; “The rulkowski old woman would sit in the playground section of the park and berate the mothers of unruly children.”

  226. #226 |  Miles | 

    Greetings from Australia

    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin
    I’m surprised you gave this guy so much air. I’d have had some of your SWAT SEALS wiping out this miscreant quick smart. If I see a cabbage, a cauliflower or any type of foliage of an edible vegetative nature in front of a front door…well I just go bloody mad and want to kill everything in sight, so I fully understand your bile and anger. These people need to be taught a severe lesson and I think you, Kevin Rulkowski, is just the guy to do this. It’s the thin edge of the wedge. If you don’t stamp this out NOW, well… next thing is you’ll start seeing AstroTurf and concrete spring up everywhere. Bankrupt them, you have deep pockets and I’m sure the good burghers of Oak Park think you’re a freekin’ hero. God bless America, the land of the free. Well some are freer than others.

  227. #227 |  Stormy | 

    Dictionary.com defines “suitable” as – appropriate; fitting; becoming.

    Black’s Law Dictionary (Ninth Edition) defines “suitable” as – (Of goods, etc.) fit and appropriate for their intended purpose.

    In this day and age, I think that it is appropriate, fitting, & becoming that this Julie Bass planted a vegetable garden in her front yard.

    If the city of Oak Park did not define their use of “suitable” in their code, then this case should be null & void.

    Good job Julie Bass for fighting this and not just taking it!!!

  228. #228 |  Alex | 

    What a shameful display of government overreach. These people should be brought up on charges of abuse of power.

  229. #229 |  icetrout | 

    I hate civil servants,they all think their superior to Citizens .

  230. #230 |  wildman | 

    Why is the person who complained allowed to be Anonymous? don’t we have a right to know our accuser? we have too many of these anonymous complainers in our midst. if we know who they are, a good old fashioned shunning would be in order.

  231. #231 |  Josh | 

    If she had not mowed her yard in months and had a couple broken down cars in the yard they probably wouldnt have bothered to come to her house. If I were her I would tear up the rest of the grass and plant some corn and tell them its a natural fence.

  232. #232 |  Rob Seattle | 

    If this comes down to a lawsuit – – – I hope these folks or a supporter will set up a website where lovers of Liberty (and common sense self sufficiency) can donate. Too many times these tyrants waste their community’s limited resources to beat down challenges to their inflated ‘authority’. I’m sure there are many people who would want to help this gardener lady out.

  233. #233 |  Barack | 

    How horrible this woman thinks she has this kind of freedom.

  234. #234 |  Sharingnews | 

    Just so you all are aware, since this is a supposed law, the definition for suitable must be the LEGAL definition as presented under the law. Using a civil definition is laudable, and the fact that sir City Planner tried to use it is a disgrace in this situation. Legal definitions can be found on law.com, if you have LexusNexis, or if you reference Black’s Law Dictionary. Unfortunately I’m on a phone, so if I try to look it up I’ll be moved from this page.

    Also to Julie Bass,

    Julie, find out what degree your planner has. Most planners have degrees in civil engineering, and sometimes Landscape Architects. I would recommend finding an L.A. And asking them the definition of suitable as well. Find a professional who does what he does, or teaches about it, and ask them if they’d be a witness to the profession.

    Anybody in the profession and looking for a job should send their resume to the mayor. After all, why would you keep Kevin and all his rules when there are so many rights advocates that are also in the profession.

    And neighbors, if you didn’t tattle, show some support. You know, the famous “They came for the Jews, Catholics, etc. But I wasn’t them, so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for me, and there was no one to speak up.” Show some support, because you might have a fight down the line similar to this, and you don’t want to be thinking where’s Julie Bass. Put a garden in your front yard (even temporary) and make it COMMON.

  235. #235 |  C Stein | 

    To #32 GT:

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  236. #236 |  Paul | 

    No jury will ever find her quilty. At that time she will be entitled under the law to sue for defamation of character, melicious prosecution and abuse of power. Oak Grove will be left holding the bag on this one and she will have pleanty of money at that point to plant whatever type of garden she sees fit.

  237. #237 |  Justin Case | 

    Bob Mirable… You are right, this is America but she ain’t so free anymore. America is now closer to communism than freedom because no one stood up to the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches. The lazy TV heads called Americans don’t care if this is the USA or the USSA as long as they get the lotment of TV and food. Lazy bastards!

  238. #238 |  Mr. Gardener | 

    At one time slavery was common, did that make it suitable?
    At one point it was common that women could not vote, did that make it suitable?

  239. #239 |  Young Americans for Fre--Fascism | 

    This woman, like radical Islam, is a dangerous threat to American society!

  240. #240 |  SKIRK | 

    Suitable:

    Adjective

    suitable (comparative more suitable, superlative most suitable)
    1.Having sufficient or the required properties for a certain purpose or task; appropriate to a certain occasion.

    Synonyms
    fit for purpose (British)
    up to standard (British)

  241. #241 |  Joel | 

    Yeah, every dictionary I look at has “suitable” as the definition as “right” or “appropriate.” Common isn’t even in the thesaurus.

    The city just wants money and/or to feel like they have actual authority over people’s private lawns.

  242. #242 |  Tristan | 

    I also wrote Mr. Rulkowski to inform him that I stand with the Basses. I would also be willing to contribute to the Basses defense fund. Hopefully they will read comments like this and start a fund. If they start a website for donations, they could easily have all their defense needs met by donors around the country.

  243. #243 |  Hoofie of Falls | 

    This is World Class Stupid. May this woman rise to Joan of Arc status and HOLD HER GROUND- and I beg the country to rush to her support!

  244. #244 |  CECURE | 

    It is time to stand up for your God given rights people. I expect to see large, peaceful protests against this over-reaching power hungry local politician and the regulations that drive us all underground. Forget that! We are not going to stay down you tyrannical thugs. Throw the bums out! Go in peace but prepare for anything…

  245. #245 |  peoplerrrstupid | 

    What a stupid, clueless f. ing city worker. THIS is what’s wrong with our country.

    Come tell me what I can plant in my yard, and I’ll politely show you the quickest way to get the eff off property.

    A) I applaud the woman for demanding her right to a jury trial.
    B) the prosecutor’s office should be ashamed of itself.
    C) The city planning guy should to, but he’s obviously too stupid.
    D) I hope some nice lawyer will donate his/her services to this woman and offer to counter-sue the city for their malicious attack on common sense.

  246. #246 |  peoplerrrstupid | 

    What a stupid, clueless f. ing city worker. THIS is what’s wrong with our country.

    Come tell me what I can plant in my yard, and I’ll politely show you the quickest way to get the eff off my property.

    A) I applaud the woman for demanding her right to a jury trial.
    B) the prosecutor’s office should be ashamed of itself.
    C) The city planning guy should to, but he’s obviously too stupid.
    D) I hope some nice lawyer will donate his/her services to this woman and offer to counter-sue the city for their malicious attack on common sense.

  247. #247 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #45 Joe

    Most Americans love freedom. Petty municipal kommissars hate freedom.

    No. Americans do not want freedom in the broad sense that libertarians think of it.

    What Americans want is social conformity. They just call it freedom because it sounds better.

  248. #248 |  Dauphin | 

    Just think of the consequences that could come from their definition of the word “common”. Look at all the uncommon, politically correct bs that the Fed, State and local governments along with the media support. I would think those publicly against the front yard garden would watch every little thing they do so that someone doesn’t get them into trouble for being “uncommon” LOL

  249. #249 |  Property rights | 

    Hey children, the city code protects all property owners rights. All immediate neighbors values plummet when adjacent to a house like this. This is why there are rules, clearly no one on this board does not own a house. That said, it doesn’t look all that bad to me. And guess what, ALL code is interpeted locally that’s why you will find some areas more acceptable of this than others. You will figure all this out when you grow up.

  250. #250 |  AlgerHiss | 

    “The city then sent out code enforcement.”

    Let’s not forget another notorious code enforcement officer: Dennis Rader.

  251. #251 |  Michelle | 

    I do agree with the city…I wouldn’t like it much if neighbors planted vegetables in the front yard. Can you imagine if everyone did it..it would look like a mess. Just move the plants to the back yard already. They should be in the privacy of your back yard anyways. You wouldn’t put a swimming pool in the front yard would you? people are so silly!

  252. #252 |  Steve | 

    It looks like a victory garden, such as those encouraged during WWII.
    We have been at war for over ten years now, the war against terrorism.
    It goes on.
    Perhaps the victory garden is the most sensible think that has happened yet.
    Considering the devastation of the Detroit region, due to loss of jobs and the collapse of auto manufacturing, they need to try something different.
    Perhaps this attack by the city government on a productive citizen is an indication of why the region is in a state of collapse.
    Cities with collapsing population base and loss of manufacturing revenue are demolishing neighborhoods and returning them back to ground cover to prevent erosion and get rid of vacant houses which are targets of vandalism and homeless squatters.
    I think the front yard garden is a great idea myself, and expect to see more of it, especially with collapsing employment, homelessness and that real frightening specter of increasing hunger.
    Perhaps returning land to useful use, rather than ornamental use should be encouraged with tax abatement, or decreased property tax.
    Once the city is in court, and if subjected to a jury trial, there is no telling how it could turn out. It could be a landmark case taken to supreme court.
    If the city is smart, they will dismiss the case, since the negative publicity probably will put their city on the map.

  253. #253 |  Pensieve | 

    My husband did well, so I guess you could call us upper middle class, and I bring that up only to say that a love of gardens in the front yard can’t be explained away as some kind of low-class thing. When we moved to fancy, schmanzy Concord, MA, what put one house over the top for us was that it was located on a street where a few neighbors had vegetable gardens in the front yard – it seemed so homey, and comfortable, and not stuck-up to us. I liked watching my neighbor across the street cultivate his blackberries, blueberries, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and what-not. (it was a BIG garden.) That was were the sun was. Eventually, I put a vegetable garden on one side of my driveway in the front. I don’t know how Oak Tree stacks up against Concord, but nobody in that uppity town ever minded about the vegetable gardens in the front yard.

  254. #254 |  duh_swami | 

    This is really simple…The government is out of control…

  255. #255 |  Josh | 

    I wrote the City Planner and asked for the charges to be dropped. I also renamed my garden in honor of Ms. Bass.

  256. #256 |  peeb | 

    He needs to read ‘Mr. Plumbeam and the Big Orange Splot’. A wonderful book that teaches children to break away from the pack and be individuals using peoples houses as the teaching tool.

  257. #257 |  Rajeve | 

    Rulkowski probably learned his English at a Public School, run by big government types, where anything can mean anything – like suitable = common, Public servant = Master over Citizens, Good = Evil etc.
    This is one reason we Home School!

  258. #258 |  David Smith | 

    I can’t believe what I am reading. Has the Government have so much control over your life? They raise your taxes, kill the economy and force us to survive any way we can. The preach to us how we must take care of ourselves by eating right. Now they will go after these people? And the readers are so worried about a single word?

    Folks, Russia has more freedom than we do. These people growing a garden should be given an award for just surviving! That city should have new leaders. My god, what has happened to my country?

  259. #259 |  LansingCat | 

    Find several backyard gardens in the city and use a 14th amendment defense! I don’t think that the code differntiates between front and back yards

  260. #260 |  Mark Pipich | 

    I hope Julie Bass runs for mayor of her little burg. She might become the next Sarah Palin!

    The only thing missing from “Common” is sense.

  261. #261 |  James | 

    my letter to mayor:

    Dear Sir,

    After reading an article about your city and your prosecution of a woman for growing vegetables in her front yard, I am shocked and embarassed that this can happen in America. With all of the green initiatives that municipalities are pushing these days, this woman should be held as a model. Furthermore, your staff is an embarassment, especially with his statements that “suitable” means “common” according to his dictionary. He must have a completely different dictionary than the rest of America. As a matter of fact, the vegetable garden meets the very definition of the word in so many ways.

    As a suburb of Detroit, I would think that there are more serious issues facing your community than whether or not a woman grows a vegetable garden in her front yard. With today’s budget issues, I am not sure why you are employing a staff that has nothing better to do. Its a waste of tax payers money, its bureaucracy run amock…you work for your citizens, not the other way around. Not that you guys are alone with that issue. Get rid of these wastes of space and possibly hire more police officers, or for heavens sake possibly stick the money in the bank. Now there is a novel concept for government.

    As a citizen, I can tell you that I would respect and vote for a mayor who came out opposed to such ridiculousness and guided his overzealous desk jockeys back on task.

    Please step back away from your ordinances and your red tape and your career municipal officials and just look at this issue and how ridiculous it is.

    Thanks,

    James

  262. #262 |  Chris Hall | 

    The garden idea is probably not what is making the neighbors upset, I would guess it’s the choice of materials and the scale of the project. Perhaps she could meet them halfway and cut the sideboards down somewhat and paint them green to help them blend in better. However, I think it’s a mistake to discourage people from growing their own vegetables or fruits, so long as the residents take care of the gardens and keep them from becoming an eyesore. No matter what, the threat of jail time is ridiculous.

  263. #263 |  Arcangel | 

    What a backward Law, what else do you expect from USA. Same as this Leasehold crap, you buy a house but don’t own the Land ? LOL Whats that about. Crazy country.
    The reason shes not allowed to grow Veg is simple in one word “Monsanto”. If its not GMO its not on. They hate home growers period, as they cant control the crap that goes in them. They’ve missed the boat anyway.

  264. #264 |  ROy | 

    Sorry Oak Park will loose. When they state-

    “City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.”

    Suitable to who? You or them? The law is vague and therefore not constitiutional.

    For Rulkowski you need to open a dictionary. Suitable means “Appropriate to a purpose or occasion”

  265. #265 |  Andy Fariss | 

    In WW2 this was a Victory Garden. This household would be applauded for doing their patroitic duty. This is a primary example of how a voter revolt on a local level could fix things like this nonsense. I also think the place looks great.

  266. #266 |  cricketmike | 

    What a moron-this is why Cities have codes. We need to keep order and security in the Cities, and wackos like this prove the need.

    Individuality can lead to crisis

  267. #267 |  Adam | 

    I would think that the white sewer cap in front of the house would have to go before any vegetables. And how about that picnic table in fron of the house?

  268. #268 |  Linda | 

    But Casey Anthony walks.

  269. #269 |  benth165 | 

    I’m all for getting even….. Take some Round-up and in the middle of the night and spray all of thier lawns and or shrubs, or better yet write something on thier lawns with it, like FU, or MORONS, or IDIOTS, then dispose of the empties in a dumpster in town.
    Self righteous idiots need to slapped across the face and warned that to continue with this sillyness may be hazardous to their health. There are ways of getting even without getting caught. Take it to the next level, and let people know that to force someone to your bidding may get you hurt.

  270. #270 |  ROCKY | 

    I hope the city does try and throw the book at her and that she cleans their clocks and wins. Because if she does it will become legal precedent and then the city is screwed for ever along with every city in the country lol. You go girl!

  271. #271 |  Rob Seattle | 

    Who knows how it may apply in this particular case, (perhaps not at all) – – – but do a little bit of research and you’ll see there is a strong push to prevent Americans from becoming a little more self sufficient in the area of food production. There are all sorts of regulations regarding gardens, sharing grown food with others, small farms, weekend farmers markets, etc. People commonly grew a little garden during the last Great Depression and had ‘victory gardens’ during WW2. (Of course all these food regulations are put in baloney ‘safety’ terms – -even though people have planted gardens for thousands of years & done quite fine.) Could it be that Big Agri doesnt want you growing some of your own healthy food ? How is it that Americans are so obese and unhealthy – – – does that processed garbage they consume have something to do with it ? – – – – Yes these may be side issues to the topic we’re talking about, but these kinds of stories (about regulations against gardens, etc) are very common if you do a little web research. Regards everyone, – -

  272. #272 |  Gail Barrett | 

    By all means, throw her in jail. Surely it’s better to jail her than a rapist or murderer. I mean, what if everyone followed suit and decided to grow vegetables? Total anarchy!!!! We definitely can’t have that.

  273. #273 |  Tina | 

    Who was the uptight neighbor that complained? It always starts with an uptight neighbor that can’t handle someone being different

  274. #274 |  Heidi | 

    Last I heard – There is a veggie garden planted on the lawn of the White House….and didn’t the First lady request the garden be made bigger this year? If it’s good enough for ‘the people’s house’ I think it’s “suitable” for any yard.

    Just another fine example of why people need to start paying more attention to who they are voting for on a local, state, and federal level – Libertarians & Constitutionalists rise up and stop this nanny care government!!

  275. #275 |  Kevin Rulkowsky | 

    If this woman doesn’t comply with my edict soon, I’ll be FORCED to deploy drones to raze the home and destroy any occupants.

    Also, everyone on this website is going under surveillance for possible violations of “Pointing out the Ridiculousness of 99% of Public Employees Act”.

  276. #276 |  cwrink | 

    Move to Texas

  277. #277 |  Faith | 

    Casey Anthony gets less time than they do….does this make sense

  278. #278 |  Katz P Ajamas | 

    Land of the free

  279. #279 |  Philip | 

    This argument will never stand in court, this definition is not even in the Webster dictionary, the city is just stupid. Doesn’t the city have anything better to do?

  280. #280 |  Wayne | 

    The best part of this is in the picture. Which is more of an eysore the the white PVC sewer cap the city left in the yard sticking up out of the ground or the planter boxes the property owner put in thier yard.

  281. #281 |  linnilu | 

    She should have killed a 3 year old and left the body in a swamp. Then she’d have been fine. But veggies? Good God, what was that woman thinking?

  282. #282 |  Idea | 

    Since the city just tore up the front yard. Its seems fair that they should let this slide this year. Then warn them about next year.

    That way its a win win for everybody.

    Just think of the taxpayer dollars that were spent on all of this.

    Ridiculous.

  283. #283 |  Jen | 

    As I read it, the Planning Director (?) used the word ‘suitable’. Not the prosecuting attorney who will write up the charge. So I’m not yet clear on what exactly she’ll be charged with. We might be more useful to wait until we can read her charges, see if the judge agrees she should be prosecuted, and THEN put our internet power to work to help her defend herself. Specifically, read a copy of the planning and zoning laws they’ll be using to charge her. THAT’S when holy-hell breaks out. As ludicrous as it is to charge someone with a crime for growing food for her family in a recession, the point remains that she MAY be in violation of a city ordinance or code. Let’s all stay with her to help her defend herself, because clearly she won’t be granted a Public Defender ~ she’s a homeowner (?) and too honest to lie on her application!

  284. #284 |  ogre | 

    have the whole street plant gardens in the front yard. Then it will be both common and suitable

  285. #285 |  Dave | 

    This is what some people call “anarcho-tyranny”; Criminals run wild with relative impunity, while ordinary citizens are prosecuted for increasingly arcane and petty offenses.

  286. #286 |  Joseph BenJudah | 

    First Have the Seals sent a demoition team. Second. Have the Marine Recon team seal off the are. Third. take the police out the the local donut shop and have them seal-off a mile area around this home. Finally, have the homeland-insecurityity send body scanner and strip search all the neighbors. The behavior on the part of this woman is a total Shonda. Nature never intended human being to grow fruits and vegetables. lol B”H btw what would Janet Rhino do and is the team that attacked Rudy Ridge still operational.?

  287. #287 |  Kim | 

    Michelle, who are you to say what’s acceptable and what isn’t in someones front yard. The woman owns the property and pays taxes on it and if she wants a veggie garden than its none of your business what she does on the land she owns. Pools are different as they can be a safety hazzard but a veggie garden hurts no one.

    I myself think it looks much better than the McLawns I see everywhere. People with McLawns lack imagination and are part of the sheeple class that want to fit in. That to me is an eye sore. My opinion only and my neighbors all have them but you don’t see me butting into their business as I am too busy taking care of myself and my own yard.

  288. #288 |  Mac | 

    Welcome to the United Socialist States of America: where your private property is not your private property anymore–the Politburo will decide what, and if, you get to plant in your own front yard.
    Elections have consequences. Next time vote for liberty and freedom. Not hope and change.

  289. #289 |  Gazinya | 

    An uncorrupted mind would not nor could not come to this same conclusion. A wholly and totally corrpt mind would have no other choice than to deem a well tended and ‘clean’ garden to be offensive. What would be ‘suitable’ would be for the citizens of this community to check out this guy and find out why he is so corrupt.

  290. #290 |  Feech LaManna | 

    Looks very presentable to me, but I’m not a meddling, freedom-hating liberal.

  291. #291 |  malibu | 

    FREE DUMB!

  292. #292 |  mikeintx | 

    Looks like stupidity is a commodity and Kevin Rulkowski is trying to corner the market.
    It could be worse. He could be working as an Obama economic adviser.

  293. #293 |  Joe | 

    The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.

    James Madison

  294. #294 |  Kevin | 

    1943 Websters Collegiate Dictionary

    suitable; That is suited to one, ones needs, wishes or condition.

    HMMMMM…….

    Sounds like she needs to be left alone. Hey government, get the heck OUT of our lives.

  295. #295 |  Gutenberg | 

    With “swift” court system we have, the vegetables will be harvested before the trial ever happens.

    My son and daughter-in-law planted their entire front lawn in a vegetable garden. They even live across the street from the borough office. However, they planted a row of flowers along the front edge by the sidewalk. Perhaps that is all this couple needs to do is add a flower here and there. Problem solved. But not really. They should be able to plant whatever they want.

  296. #296 |  Gareth | 

    I think that if one plants their vegetable garden neatly, as she has done, that it is perfectly fine. Far more beneficial use of the space than grass and pretty flowers!

  297. #297 |  Tom | 

    This was my email to him….
    Kevin,
    I was thinking of moving my family to your fair city. One of the most enticing things that led me to this conclusion is your extremely low crime rate. How do I know this? Simple. You obviously have nothing better to do than trying to prosecute someone for growing a garden on their front yard! How do sick bastards like you ever get into positions of power? On second thought, I wouldn’t want my family near any community like yours.

  298. #298 |  Kim | 

    I agree with you Rob Seattle, Heaven forbid we want to grow our own food and take care of ourselves and our own families!! Big Agri wants to control everything and doesn’t like the local grown movement one bit as evidenced by how they pushed out the local small farmers from business. Shameful and its time we as a society stand up against nonsense such as this. Government continues to get more intrusive each day and we cannot allow it. Grrrrrr….This article really upset me. Not a great way to start a Friday…

  299. #299 |  Bill_Zebub | 

    Why does she pay taxes on property controlled by the city? In these economical hard times a damn garden in the front and back yard is very suitable and the city needs to shut down the douche bag prosecuting someone for Growing plants in their “OWNED” and tax paid properties.

  300. #300 |  owudoin | 

    the city says ground cover is “suitable”. I would plant zucchini, watermelons an squash.

  301. #301 |  Lucy | 

    Times are tough and in an effort to save money and get self-sufficient, this woman should be applauded for her efforts. “They” tout renewable energy but forbid clotheslines. I don’t know her neighborhood but there’s also a possibility that her produce will be stolen once it’s ready for picking.

    Nevertheless, we all should be planting vegetable gardens and getting ready.

  302. #302 |  Huddlebu | 

    Since the invention of property taxes and the consequences for not paying them, the government has clearly established that one NEVER actually owns a piece of property.

  303. #303 |  StaticKlingon | 

    The Bass family will not be able to reach their potential as gardeners in the space they currently occupy. Make a deal with the prosecutor to use the funds he would have wasted going after them to hire a moving company to help them out of town or out of the state. No one should remain in a locale where oppression is “common” and “suitable.” Supporting these areas with your tax dollars is self defeating. Quit tending them and let their fruit rot on the vine!

  304. #304 |  John Davis | 

    This is a TOTAL OUTRAGE! There are over 44 million people on food stamps and the government is broke…… Fire the entire city management!!!!

  305. #305 |  Is America a Police state? - Page 19 - Religious Education Forum | 

    [...] forbid you should plant a garden in your front yard….& face jail time for it. Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator __________________ It's my money! And I need it now! JG [...]

  306. #306 |  Gorilla Atheist | 

    #1 Comment got it right… sometimes you just have to play the game better…

  307. #307 |  David | 

    Here is another example of Collectivism/Police State run amuck. The Constitution was written for the Individual, not the Police State. RON PAUL…the R3VOLution!!!!!!

  308. #308 |  Thisuldo | 

    I live in the Greenville SC area and have four raised garden boxes for vegetables. This year, the local gardening club sponsored a “urban garden tour”.

    One of the homes had a regular garden (no boxes, just rows of vegetables) in the front yard in a well established neighborhood in the city.

    Another had built and installed boxes that covered the paved driveway.

    Sure glad I live in South Carolina.

  309. #309 |  lance getty | 

    she must have seen “living well” with joan lunden on pbs. It talked about the healthy benefits of planting your own garden. How dare her try to eat healthy. I thought we were trying to get people to eat their veggies?

  310. #310 |  Marc M | 

    This clown needs to loose his job over this absurd abuse of power. I hope he looses the trial, and the city takes the court costs out of his final check.

  311. #311 |  Exile | 

    The law is overly ambiguous. To make that kind of law effective it would need to be changed to specify “no fruits or vegetables,” and would have to specifically allow ornamental fruit trees if it is desired. As it is written I don’t believe the law can be enforced. The threat of 93 days in jail is disgusting intimidation; pure, unadulterated power play by the local government to suppress and control the people. Very ‘not cool.’

  312. #312 |  Annie | 

    Let this be a warning about being self-sufficient and resourceful!

    Don’t you dare try it!!

    suitable, according to the dictionary on my Mac:

    suitable |ˈsoōtəbəl|
    adjective

    right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation : these toys are not suitable for children under five.

  313. #313 |  JK | 

    This statute is clearly ambiguous on its face. Ambiguous statute = fails to provide proper notice of the law = unenforceble.

  314. #314 |  Andy Eppink | 

    No morality, no freedom. It’s pretty obvious. You want braindead petty Obamastyle diktaters (what you get when you cross a penis w a potato) bulldozing every aspect of your life just keep up w the immorality, ignorance and corruption. Freedom used to be a uniquely American concept. No more.

  315. #315 |  Newk2 | 

    It looks to me like the Oak Park Planning and Development department has a vegetable in their front office. Or is he gestapo.

  316. #316 |  Joey D | 

    How to get revenge: put a clotheline up on your front lawn and insist it is a renewable solar energy source. Cant speak to MI, but in FL, no governmental body of any type, even HOAs can userp state law that allows this.

  317. #317 |  StaticKlingon | 

    Those who suspect that Agri-Business conglomerates like Archie Daniels Midland, Cargill, Monsanto, etc. have their footprints all over government intrusions like this may well be right. Get a copy of Food, Inc., or any of a number of documentaries out there that disclose what’s going on with the food industry. If the food supply issues have not been on your radar, they dam(n) well should be. Agri-Business has politicians at every level bought and paid for, and if you want access to healthy, nutritious food, we must not allow small growers, farmers markets, neighborhood gardens, to be stamped out under the combined feet of industrial farming and government. THIS IS SERIOUS!!!!!!

  318. #318 |  Peter C | 

    I think this is just plain wrong and I believe the city needs to stop this nonsense. It looks nice, its healthy and green and that there are many other items that the city should be looking into other than a persons nice looking front of their home.

  319. #319 |  Apeon | 

    How ABOUT SUNFLOWERS-!-!-!

  320. #320 |  Mike Hunt | 

    Time to spray the tattletales lawn with roundup words some dark night. the citys lawns too

  321. #321 |  Jason | 

    “City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.”

    I think she should remove the vegetable garden and then pave her front yard. That should really piss off the neighbors.

  322. #322 |  Cs Lewis | 

    Ummm Yankees love their grass.

  323. #323 |  james | 

    Only an idiot would use Websters as an authority in a situation such as this. The dictionary used by the legal profession and commonly referred to by the judiciary is Black’s Law Dictionary.

  324. #324 |  Tom Dubya | 

    This is a fundamental abridgement of human rights -the law, the action of the local government. Sure – have a moderate law that requires homeowners in high density areas to maintain homes and lots, remove noxious weeds, mosquito infested sumps, etc. but the government’s intrusion here is unacceptable. I lived in Seattle in a neighborhood with high end apartments and single family homes with hippies next door in a rainbow painted 2 bedroom clapboard bungalow. There was variation everywhere — why is there always people and governments trying to make every single person and community to conform to someone elses idea of perfection. Let these conformists go off and build their own mono cultural locked and gated 6 square blocks and let the rest of us alone.

  325. #325 |  simon | 

    The City needs to learn to choose its battles wisely. This one is a fool’s errand. I don’t believe a jury would ‘convict’ this woman — I certainly wouldn’t if I was a juror.

    Additionally, I have a very hard time believing that a judge would actually sentence her to 90+ days in jail — especially when TRUE criminals use jails as revolving doors.

    In the end, if she loses, the appropriate thing to do is to plant the front yard in grass, install an underground fence, and move the dogs to the front yard and re-install the garden in the back yard.

    Having a couple of yapping, barking dogs charge at one as he walks down the street is always makes for a pleasant stroll.

    BTW, if suitable means “common” only in Rulkowski’s mind, then it would be correct to say that “the definition of suitable in Rulkowski’s mind is not suitable”

  326. #326 |  David R. Usher | 

    This prosecutor is in trouble lying about the dictionary. Per Webster’s dictionary online:

    1 obsolete : similar, matching
    2a : adapted to a use or purpose
    b : satisfying propriety : proper
    c : able, qualified

    Thesaurus:
    applicable, appropriate, apt, becoming, befitting, felicitous, fitted, fitting, good, happy, meet, pretty, proper, right

    Even an english professor couldn’t win this case for the City.

    But law does not care about Webster’s. It uses legal definitions, which are quite different from what writers and humans use.

    Per Black’s Law Dictionary: “Fit and appropriate for the end in view”.

    It is fit and appropriate in the owner’s view. Case closed.

  327. #327 |  Mark Houston | 

    I’m so sick of these little tin pot dictators called bureaucrats.

    I say its time to send all these leeches packing, take away their pensions and cushy pay raises, make them work without certainty just like the rest of us. Its high time the gravy train days are over for public workers and governments in general, but they just don’t get it . . . . yet.

    We need to wrestle our freedom back and burn the bureaucrats beloved little “Code”.

  328. #328 |  bob | 

    Are we ever going to take back our Country?

  329. #329 |  Eggs | 

    Get your learn on…http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1933045744/theagitator-20/

  330. #330 |  dave | 

    “suitable” does not mean “common” IDIOT!

  331. #331 |  not cool | 

    Kevin Rulkowski
    City of Oak Park
    13700 Oak Park Blvd
    Oak Park, MI 48237

    Tel: 248 691-7450
    Fax: 248 691 7165

    Mon – Thur 8am – 5pm

  332. #332 |  Mark | 

    Sweet delicious red ripe ruby ridge. Stand your ground against these city hacks. Need money for legal expenses? Let us know. I recommend someone go to the city jerks home and see what violations he has committed.

  333. #333 |  workingman | 

    sent him a email told him he’ll need some luck next election! krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.usn!

  334. #334 |  Richard in Iraq | 

    I have been teaching at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Since February my students have been excited about demonstrations throughout the Middle East — demonstrations against corrupt governments and outrageous government officials. It’s personally embarrassing, as an American citizen, to know my students can read this abuse of power in America.

    Is there a petition for the firing of Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski? I’d like to sign it.

    Has anybody alerted the ACLU? Isn’t this the kind of abuse of civil liberties they love to get involved in?

  335. #335 |  Blighted area | 

    These people did nothing wrong, fine the people who don’t take care of their property, the people who have trash piled up and the hoarders. Is it common to have a garden on a property, Yes it is. Don’t pay the fine, take it to court, the town can go pound sand! Other suitable live plant material can be vegetables! If you own the property, you should be able to put a garden in your front yard if you damn well please. The town/city would be wasting the tax payers money having to fight this out in court.

  336. #336 |  MS | 

    Check out http://www.growingyourgreens.com. John Kohler has turned his whole front yard into raised bed gardens in a neighborhood in California and puts a short video on Youtube several times a week.

    Also Jules Dervaes turned his whole yard (about a 1/5 of an acre) into all edible trees and raised beds. They also have ducks, chickens and two small goats. You can see their videos at
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IbODJiEM5A

  337. #337 |  Meg | 

    Hope she doesn’t try to sell any of those veggies to her neighbors to pay for her defense, Obamao will have her imprisoned for that evil conspiracy. Welcome to forever 1984.

  338. #338 |  King | 

    I lived in clean conservative Grand Rapids Michigan for 40yrs.

    The armpit of Michigan is Detroit and the surrounding area. They should wish even a fraction of the homes looked that good there. Most of South east Mich looks like a war zone. Run and operated by Democrats for many years. Obamaville….

  339. #339 |  growsomevalues | 

    I suggest sending this fool Kevin Rulkowski an email.

    Here is is work email address.

    krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us

  340. #340 |  Liber Alles | 

    …oh… it’s Michigan. Hello, left-wing/muslim/bureaucratic haven of fail. You’ll chase everyone away until that loathsome liberal dirt patch is filled with nothing but welfare sponges, thugs, violent criminals, union members, and terrorist organizations: the perfect Democrat voting base. Well done!

  341. #341 |  IdahoJames | 

    This lady is a terrible neighbor! Her garden is an eye sore and would really piss me off. My neighbor is doing the same thing this year. It really looks terrible and I let him know it! But…it shouldn’t be illegal and the city should mind its own business.

  342. #342 |  King | 

    I lived in clean conservative Grand Rapids Michigan for 40yrs.

    The armpit of Michigan is Detroit and the surrounding area. They should wish even a fraction of the homes looked that good there. Most of South east Mich looks like a war zone. Run and operated by Democrats for many years. Obamaville….

  343. #343 |  Pffffttt | 

    Welcome to Obamaville!!! YOU DO WHAT WE TELL YOU OR GO TO JAIL.

  344. #344 |  King | 

    :-))

  345. #345 |  TimSinDC | 

    I bet Monsanto is behind this.

  346. #346 |  Montana | 

    We are now assured that not only are politicians and government officials in Michigan are nonsensical control freaks, but they are permanently stupid. With more than 15% of Michigan out of work and 12%+ of the population on welfare and public food programs it is a surprise more thrifty productive citizens have not planted gardens to produce food…….

  347. #347 |  family farm 50 | 

    Amazing. You Yankees need something else to fuss about? Detroit is in ruins, city, county and state coffers are empty and the petty DA has time to mess with a family producing there own food, in their own yard that they pay taxes for? Get real

  348. #348 |  j ryder | 

    not only would I like to plant bamboo and watch it grow up to 4 inches per day but I would like to slip an Asian carp into all the Coy ponds the aloof neighbors have on their property.
    Maybe a dishwashing liquid bottle filled with a defoliant and a late night walk on the neighbors property is the answer.

  349. #349 |  Michael L | 

    I might have missed it, but: Anyone have the official address for the Mayor and the Landscape Nazi for Oak Park, MI? I’d like to send a letter to both.
    Mrs. Bass should plant red blossoming flowers amidst her vegetables, that spell out “F— you”, in honor of Mr Rulkowski. See how ‘common and suitable’ he finds that to be.
    Scumbag. Government Parasite. Stay classy, Mr Rulkowski. Loser.

  350. #350 |  liz in cleveland | 

    The sad thing is that the more they take away our freedom, the more obnoxious and reactionary we become, making ourselves self centered spectacles. Whatever happened to a sense of community and living harmoniously without offending thepeople around us? Why does “freedom” give us the freedom to piss people off? If everyone in her neighborhood has traditional looking lawns, of course they don’t want her look_at_me landscaping next door. If she was a lesbian would it be cool for her to plant her whole lawn with purple grass? No.. every one of you freedom lovers would hit the roof if she was your neighbor doing that. Or since I believe in Jesus I should just put up a 12 foot statue of Him in my front lawn. No. These concepts should not be legislated from the bench; people should have enough common sense to avoid pissing off all their neighbors.

  351. #351 |  Fred | 

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance”. Time for the 2nd American Revolution.

  352. #352 |  Peter | 

    When the collapse comes, people like Kevin Rulkowski will most likely find themselves hanged from one of the beautiful trees then used as fertilizer for gardens.

    Keep pushing us.

  353. #353 |  Mark | 

    #249 | Property rights | July 8th, 2011 at 8:31 am
    Hey children, the city code protects all property owners rights. All immediate neighbors values plummet when adjacent to a house like this. This is why there are rules, clearly no one on this board does not own a house. That said, it doesn’t look all that bad to me. And guess what, ALL code is interpeted locally that’s why you will find some areas more acceptable of this than others. You will figure all this out when you grow up.

    So what you are saying is everyone has rights over this woman’s property except for her….the actual property owner. Fish in a barrel. My dog argued this rebuttal for me.

  354. #354 |  Jake | 

    Two words: Jury nullification… the prosecutor is going to get his/her arse handed to him/her in a sling.

  355. #355 |  Ordinary Citizen | 

    Where is the swat team? Does she own dogs they can kill to make an example out of her? Re-education camp is in order for her future.

  356. #356 |  Emilio | 

    I just e-mailed Kevin. Is this why we need bigger more intrusive government???
    Disgusted.

  357. #357 |  Col AG | 

    Just another example of yankee politicians and their anti social socialist ways!

  358. #358 |  Ruth Germaine | 

    I wish I lived there so I could plant my own vegetable garden in my front yard. I hope everyone there does that in response to this nonsense. Is this all this government official has to do? They need to cut his job and save the municipality some money. And what does the rest of America think of Oak Park? I remember as a little girl planting a Victory Garden with my mother in every available plot of ground we had. It was a lesson I never forgot. Maybe everyone should do that with their kids and get them outside and away from the computer and t.v. And who doesn’t think that vegetable plants are not beautiful and would enhance anyone’s property?

  359. #359 |  obama | 

    Is Obama The Antichrist…?

    ***OBAMAMAITREYA.COM ***

    SHOCKING! CONTROVERSIAL!

  360. #360 |  cleatus | 

    I have a garden in my front yard and I love the taste of fresh vegetables but I don’t like the vegetables that are Government workers who steal the freedom of Americans!

  361. #361 |  I hope a massive Earthquake shakes this stupid country apart | 

    I’d be looking to move the hell away from that area. I’d also be figuring out a way to cause a massive sewage spill or something before leaving.

    Get a job driving around sucking out septic tanks or Pot A Jons, something like that.

    My life would be based upon getting some serious REVENGE for the bullshit and most importantly, Getting away with it!

  362. #362 |  Joshua james | 

    Yeah this nice lady needs to be severly punished for providing her own food. This is a human rights violation, humans shall not grow food anymore at all.< I'll bet those seeds are unauthorized. All of her neighbors need to march on down to that city council of theirs and demand corporal punishment for this criminal.

  363. #363 |  Joshua james | 

    Yeah this nice lady needs to be severly punished for providing her own food. This is a human rights violation, humans shall not grow food anymore at all.< I'll bet those seeds are unauthorized. All of her neighbors need to march on down to that city council of theirs and demand corporal punishment for this criminal.

  364. #364 |  Kate | 

    http://www.oakparkhatesveggies.wordpress.com

    This is the Bass family blog about their garden. They also have a Facebook page.

  365. #365 |  Eugene | 

    Dear Mr Rulkowski,

    I support you in you persecution of Julie Bass. I hate vegetables too. They suck. My mom makes me eat them. I am also mean to people like you are, as much as possible without getting in trouble. I want to be like you when I grow up but my dad says you are a real butthole and need a beatdown. How can I be a Legal Persecutor, like you? Not just a kid who acts bad toward people but a real man who has power to persecute people and make them do stuff they don’t want to do and put them in jail. Can you have the lady tied up and hurt or whipped and put it on Youtube so I can watch it? If possible please use a tractor and dig out the garden and tape it for Youtube. I think the lady that planted this garden also made her kids eat them and they should be taken away. If the vegetables are illegal then maybe you could also take her house which would be good too. If possible, please persecute this woman to the full extent of the law and also please put a tape of the woman crying or being mad or something on Youtube for me to watch. I look forward to becoming like you and getting paid as well to do mean things to stupid people. I will have REAL power like you. Maybe I can come to visit your office. Would that be OK? Thanks.

    Your Friend,

    Eugene
    Age 12

  366. #366 |  Myck | 

    “Dear Mr. Krulkowski,
    You Sir are an impetuous moron. This lady clearly is in the right. Why should anyone be limited to planting only grass, bushes, flowers or trees in their yard? I believe that there are many beautiful fruiting plants, plants that provide more than visual stimulation, plants that provide sustenance. Have you ever seen a cucumber plant bloom before it fruits? Quite lovely, and then you get cucumbers, holy crap!!
    It’s too bad that Mrs. Bass isn’t growing pineapples, because you sir need one where the sun doesn’t shine. Maybe that could shine some light on your vision of conformity and common ism.”

  367. #367 |  Rob | 

    Let me get this right…..a woman plants a garden in her front yard and gets 93 days in prison. A woman kills her daughter, hides the body in a swamp, and lies to the police for six months and she gets off with time served (less than 4 years), and a $4000 fine. Gotta love this country and the total stupidity of the Justice System.

  368. #368 |  wazoo enrique | 

    City stupid, woman smart!

  369. #369 |  Tracy | 

    My grandfather lives on James Island, Charleston, SC, in an older, well-established neighborhood. A neighbor around the corner has a similar garden in the front yard, has had it for several years. No complaints around here. I’d be happy to send you a photo if it would help.

  370. #370 |  Pilgrims Pride | 

    “Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski”

    Hmmm… Rulkowski.

    Now there is an All American name if ever there was.

    There is a reason the (true, authentic) Americans did not want eurotrash peasantry here one hundred and fifty years ago. They knew full well that serfs, peasant oafs bred to servitude and submission would become petty tyrants should they ever find themselves with the smallest amount of authority or power over their fellow inhabitants.

    This bum should go back to his hut in Galicia or whatever land he was meant to till and toil. He is unfit to breathe American air — or eat American vegetables.

  371. #371 |  Mark Matis | 

    When is it time for the pigs to rot in hell?

  372. #372 |  dd | 

    Merriam show synonyms of suitable as “able, capable, equal, fit, good, qualified, competent. Their garden is certainly able, fit, good, and competent! Cambridge AMERICAN English says “being right or correct for a particular situation or person”. The Bass’ front yard is right for them! And MacMillan: “right for a particular purpose, person, or situation”. I think Oak Park may have trouble with the workding of their code (“other suitable live plant material”) in court. Go Bass’s!!

  373. #373 |  bddd | 

    Time to hit professional politicians where it hurts the most. Vote them out. They can’t survive without the govt teat. Boot every electable official that is an incumbent when their term comes due.

    As far as the prosecutor, I hope their lawyer can show it’s a malicious prosecution and pierce his immunity and SUE!

  374. #374 |  Mike | 

    Sounds like the city was hinting that they would be better off planting swastika topiaries. Lets keep it clear, your front lawn belongs to the public, not you. You just have to pay for it and maintain it. You work for the state & fatherland. Now be a good citizen and get down on your knees and sign your constitutional freedoms back to your leaders, hes feeling peckish and needs dreams to crush. All heil Kevin Rulkowsky!!!!!! He saves us from our own stupididity!

  375. #375 |  It’s your job, Oak Park citizens, to give Kevin Rulkowski pretty things to look at « Sago | 

    [...] doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . . Click Here Share and Enjoy: Tyranny   front, job, Kevin Rulkowski, Oak Park [...]

  376. #376 |  Dar | 

    Hitler banned growing vegetables. Why would anyone want to do anything that he did?

  377. #377 |  Sig Sauer | 

    I have just called the police to turn myself in. I too have a garden in my front yard. It’s an herb garden. After reading these posts I just felt that I had to confess. I’m sitting here waiting…. Fellow Citizens I’m sooo sorry for defying the state. Oh wait.. I’m in Ohio… The Rulkowski law doesn’t apply here. Hum, better call and cancel the police…

  378. #378 |  Faith | 

    It looks well kept. Your yard, your rules. There should NEVER be a law against growing your own food. People are struggling enough with job loss and now this neighbor wants to be the south side of a donkey going north? How rude. And as for the jerk that replied something about a vine that could capture and strangle a child, tsk tsk tsk, what a moron. This is sooooo lame, there are more important things that should be taking up the time of the courts like murders, theft, illegal drug distribution and labs etc… This issue is a joke

  379. #379 |  Jd | 

    I think there may be a loop hole here!
    The boxes are not permanent structures and the root base is not in the yard itself, therefore it superceeds the code statute!

  380. #380 |  rk | 

    Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski

    Such a long title for such a small man.

  381. #381 |  Chuck Staikz | 

    Fortunately, as the wheels of justice slowly turn, that beautiful garden just keeps growing. With luck, the delicious harvest will come in BEFORE their day in court.
    I propose that Mrs. Bass & her co-conspirator husband enjoy a few well-earned meals — and then deliver a gift bucket or two of the resulting “used food” to the Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski.

    This will ensure that BOTH averse parties in this matter will benefit from a well-deserved outcome.

  382. #382 |  george peak | 

    In her trial all she needs to do is claim that it is a flower garden as many of the plants have flowers that have to be polinated before they will produce fruit and some are large attractive while some are small but are still flpwers.

  383. #383 |  Morning Media Summary | 

    [...] a mecca for allegedly illegal Internet gambling cafes may be a thing of the past.”Health / Safety:Does Michelle Obama Know About This?: ““They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no [...]

  384. #384 |  John P | 

    For the record, “common” is typically considered the antithisis of “beautiful”. Common, base, vulgar all pretty much mean the same thing and trees and flowers are none of these. So Rulkowski obviously fail his grade school volcabulary to make two obscene vernacular mistakes in the same statement.

  385. #385 |  Grumpy | 

    To: ‘krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us’ THE MORON
    Cc: ‘rfox@ci.oak-park.mi.us’ THE CITY MANAGER
    Subject: Bass Family Garden

    You are a COMMON moron. That does not mean that you are SUITABLE for your job. I hope your boss realizes that before you cause further trouble for the Bass Family and international embarrassment for the city.

    GRUMPY

    Sent 07/08/11 08:20 CDST

  386. #386 |  Tim | 

    “Suitable” = “common”??? REALLY??? Someone buy this clown a dictionary and some classes on how to read it!
    (Does that make my comment “suitable” since it has a tone that is pretty common in response to this article???)

  387. #387 |  KC | 

    Mr. Rulkowski, your decision to punish the Bass family for growing vegetables is stunningly arbitrary and arrogant. Freedoms are truly eroding in this once great nation thanks to morons like you in positions of power.

    According to your definition of common, it would be legal for the Bass family to just pile excrement in their front yard, since that is most likely commonly found on lawns throughout Oak Park.

    I learned in kindergarten that just because everybody is doing something, that does not make it right. Just because everybody plants grass, does not make planting grass “right” and planting other things “wrong.”

    Please leave the nice Bass family and their productive vegetable garden alone. I, like millions of angry citizens in this country, am willing to contribute $ to help defend this cause. Just back off!

  388. #388 |  m | 

    The planting of fruits and vegetables in ones private front yard. Must be the main focus of the Michigan justice system. Any other peripheral issues like violent crime, larsony and public safety are a waste of TAX PAYER DOLLARS!

  389. #389 |  C. Lee | 

    Just another tidbit of “government” butting in where it’s not needed or wanted. Probably an off-shoot of B.O.’s thugs reaching into the private communities with the intent to strong-arm. Hey, isn’t there enough REAL crime out there you need to be taking care of?

    I agree with whoever said it, that some of this lady’s neighbors ought to do the same thing. Then maybe a few more will get the idea and so on, and so on….

  390. #390 |  JCG | 

    Have these knuckleheads seen the Heidelberg Project in Detroit? ugghhhh…

    So now, in AMERICA, growing a garden makes one a criminal, but hanging trash all over the place and calling it ART is ok.

    Making the homeowner should label this as AGRICULTURAL ART instead of a garden.

    Or even better, call it a farm and demand restitution from the USDA as part of the Claims Resettlement Act.

    Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!

  391. #391 |  Donn Searle | 

    __Suitable is what suitable does. Where my wife grew up, “suitable” front yards are decorated with either a whitewashed tractor tire filled with garden soil and containing a lush growth of geraniums, or an old Maytag with its legs removed, for the container. An occasional really nice, large front lawn may also have the carcass of a 1948 Dodge beneath a mature white oak.
    __Didn’t care for the ’48 Dodge? Just proves the old adage that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

  392. #392 |  AZJavaRooster | 

    The problem here is that ALL YOU nitwits voted these clowns into office.
    City officials nowadays are just the power mongers from the HOAs that move up to bigger and better power positions that make us all nuts.

    Screw ‘em, keep your garden and get the neighbors to join you. Time for US all to take a stand against STUPIDITY at every level.

  393. #393 |  Jake | 

    For a start, they ought to uproot the “vegetables” in Oak Park City Hall

  394. #394 |  JCG | 

    MAYBE the homeowner should label this as AGRICULTURAL ART instead of a garden.

  395. #395 |  NIMBY | 

    I’m glad she is not my next door neighbor.

  396. #396 |  george peak | 

    In her trial all she needs to do is claim that it is a flower garden as most of the plants have flowers that have to be pollinated before they will produce fruit and some are large and attractive while some are small but are still flowers.

  397. #397 |  Rune | 

    Hep hey, welcome first timers!

    Might I give you a small piece of advice? When displaying your outrage on this issue at this site, you won’t find any support from habitual readers for arguing against Ms. Bass’ incarceration by mentioning how the streets are full of murderers, rapists and drug-dealers and illigals jumping the border in droves. Also, birther arguments don’t really fly on this blog either. Democrat bashing is a national sport here, but not to advance Republicans. This is an equal opportunity bashing site where politicians from both wings of the governing Republicrat party get roasted, when deserved. It’s like that South Park episode, remember? None of the above to both Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich.

    Once more, welcome.

  398. #398 |  Cryptogon News Network | 

    Woman Faces 93 Days in Jail for Planting Vegetables in Her Front Yard…

    This article has been featured on Cryptogon News Network…

  399. #399 |  SK | 

    Emailed to Komrade Rulkowski:

    Kevin

    http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/

    In regards to the story above, I must say your quote shows your ignorance of the English language.

    “If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,”

    a : adapted to a use or purpose
    b : satisfying propriety : proper
    c : able, qualified

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suitable

    I also find it rather comical that you would take the time to harass someone over something as trivial as a garden. It shows how far bureaucrats, which no doubt you are, will go to feel relevant.

    Regards

  400. #400 |  kimdi01 | 

    “WEBSTER’S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY OF THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE, College Edition;” copyright 1968.
    suitable: ‘that suits a given purpose, occasion, condition, etc.; fitting; appropriate; becoming.
    The vegetable garden provides the family with fresh, chemical free vegetables at below grocery store inflated prices.
    The vegatable garden provides the family with extended exercise time while tending the garden.
    The vegatable garden does not extend nor infringe upon neighboring property.
    The vagetable garden does not require gasoling powered lawn mowers to keep it in shape and thus does not add CO, CO2 and any other noxious gases into the atmosphere.
    Now, in keeping with the definition of the word “suitable,” according to Webster’s dictionary, what is wrong with this? I’m sure the city allows xeroscape lawns, doesn’t it? If not, why not? They require less water. This “lawn’ also requires less water to maintain thus saving the home owners and the community precious water usage.
    Legal authority going to the head of a few city PUBLIC SERVANTS.

  401. #401 |  Jason Gentry | 

    This is the USA? What on earth…..Unbelievable!!!! Do we not know what freedom means anymore? Losing our way, keep losing our way, cant you help us find our way?

  402. #402 |  FoolKiller | 

    What was she thinking? Do you know what would happen if people realized they could grow their own food and NOT be dependent on the government for EVERY bite they take??? Talk about a troublemaker! (Sarcasm WAS intended, for those that haven’t had their coffee yet.)

  403. #403 |  Trejo | 

    You can GOOGLE “Front Yard Vegetable Garden” and fine out how “common” and “suitable” they are throughout the USA and the rest of the world.

    http://www.sunset.com/garden/fruits-veggies/veggies-up-front-00400000014661/

    Growing up in the early 50’s, planting edibles in the front, side, back of the house was common, and helped add food to table while helping preserving the family’s tight budget.

    Perhaps a bit more aesthetics to area around the planters–but this can be done on their budget and in time.

    Asinine local government officials and to whomever lodge the complaint should be told to mind their own business–but allowed them to control every aspect of our lives.

  404. #404 |  ozzy | 

    Vulgar, vulgarus, common, like dandelions, plantains,
    thistles – plant those in the front yard and make everybody
    happy.
    They’re native and ecologically friendly.
    Grass is not common, it needs to be specially bred, planted,
    cut, and sprayed with chemicals to keep the dandelions, plantains and thistles out.
    Actually I prefer man-eating plants from the Amazon on the front lawn, especially the one’s that eat city bureau-crats and meddling neighbors – they’re more stealthy than cranky pitbulls and dobermans.

  405. #405 |  Coincidence? | 

    Uh, let’s see…democrat controlled city. Democrat appointees. All funded by union workers. Why would anyone be surprised–at the law, the reaction, or his “definition” of “suitable?” Conformity is the foundation of socialism and unions. I feel bad for this lady if she’s neither democrat nor union. Otherwise, she’s reaping what she has sown…just not from her front yard apparently. And Rob Seattle, you’re on point, though I would argue that it’s less “Big Agri” and more “Big Gov” that eschews independence and self-reliance in its subjects.

  406. #406 |  Paul | 

    Here is my email

    Mr. Krulkowski,

    I’m sure by now that you have been referred to (or even received) a dictionary. Assuming you have availed yourself of it, you now should realize that in no way and by no stretch of the imagination is “suitable” a synonym for “common.”

    Speaking of what is “suitable,” you will find that as our economy crumbles Julie Bass’ idea of what is suitable will become “common.” Many people are beginning to realize the wisdom of providing what food they are able for themselves. How do you yourself plan to address this issue in the case that your family can no longer afford or possibly even have easy access to foods you enjoy? You must realize this scenario is a distinct possibility with the current state of the economy at this time in our history.

    Finally, I would think that given the state of the economy your city would have substantial, real issues that your time would be better suited to addressing rather than spending it attempting to make this woman into an example to other citizens that they dare not attempt anything that might arbitrarily and capriciously be determined by your department to be not suitable.
    Get your priorities straight sir.

    Thank you for your time,

    Paul Brown

  407. #407 |  iconico62 | 

    Classic example why we need to weed out ,and trim radically, government officials. In this economy, it is a good thing if I can help save a dime or two by planting my own veggies IN MY PROPERTY. I’d like to know the neighbor who snitched.

  408. #408 |  Jake | 

    I may be in the minority here, but those planters look awful. I would be pissed if my neighbor did that. It looks like they’re unpacking a bunch of giant crates on their front lawn, like they just had a bunch of appliances delivered or something.

  409. #409 |  Rowwdy | 

    Where to start. Oak Park appears to be a Gestapo town. It should be dubbed the “cookie cutter” town where everyones yard looks alike. I found the following comment from their city website; “Providing uniform, attractive barriers between residential neighborhoods and business/industrial areas will provide improved identity and pride for both sides of the fence”. Can you say “Stepford Wives”? Please explain how a “uniform barrier” (hedge) “improves identity”? Sorry, but I just can’t see MY identity being based on a “uniform barrier”.

    I went through the real estate listings and trust me, this family’s garden looks better than some of the grass yards. Actually, using imagination and ingenuity should be commended instead of criticized by some pompous jackass from the city. The medium household income is $45,800 ($54,000 for a couple) a year. That is really rolling in big bucks. People are trying to survive this crappy administration’s depression, ergo more and more people have returned to gardening. Yes, we do need some city ordinances, but this is waaaaaay beyond reasonable.

    The Bass’s neighbors need to shut the hell up. The yard is very clean and very tidy, definitely not an eyesore. I bet if those boxes held flowers, no one would complain. Residents of Oak Park also need to look at city salaries and frivolous spending. No wonder they look for ways to fine their citizens. No wonder people are leaving OP.

    I hope Mrs. Bass wins. We have enough stupidity in this country without city zealots acting like storm troopers.

  410. #410 |  Virginia | 

    The yard looks well tended–isn’t that the bottom line? I bet down the street there’s a home with fruit trees, berry bushes, etc. that isn’t cared for at all. Wonder if they’ve gotten a warning? Also, all the yards that haven’t been mowed? Geesh! Apply some common sense! Actually, most of what has been planted does flower. Since one can eat flowers such as what they deem flowers, I see no violation. Go tend to your economy. The neighbors must be unemployed and have idle time. Get out of that devil’s workshop!!

  411. #411 |  LP | 

    The village is totally within it’s rights. There are village laws in place that are your responsibility to know when you move into that town. Some have associations with bylaws that you sign and agree to. This is a farm in her front yard, looks like crap, and brings down the property value. If it were next door to me, I’d have a fit. It is totally inconsiderate to her neighbors and looks like hell. Same as basketball nets. If you want and like that kind of thing, you need to move out to the country.

  412. #412 |  Dave in the D | 

    More LIBeralism gone amok. These pinheads think that they can and should control every aspect of our lives, right down to what we eat, how much water we use, what kind of car we drive, and what we do with our homes and property. What a joke. I guarantee you that Ron Paul (conservative Republican) would fight for this family’s right to plant a veggie garden (btw, from the pic, you can see that it takes up just a PORTION, not all of their front yard) while Nancy Pelosi (liberal Democrat) and her ilk would side with her bureaucrat friends. Power to the People, remember? Good God. What WON’T these people tell you what you can and can’t do? Oh, yeah, they will never tell you that you can’t kill your unborn child. That they’ll never do. That’s a sacred right to a LIB. And THEY decide what rights THEY will allow us to enjoy.

  413. #413 |  Morris Fraser | 

    Search hardcover or online dictionaries for “suitable”, either for definitions or synonyms. “Common” probably will not come up. So the city bureaucrat offering that definition better come up with a better reason.

  414. #414 |  John | 

    This is but more proof that giving absolute power of a few over the masses leads to corruption at every level. Our representatives no longer represent us. They long to rule us.

    The real problem is with the uninformed voters who continue to return these idiots to office. A well informed voting public will keep this nonsense from happeneing.

    Read these responses. There is no way the public is being represented in this action. Remember the people involved and vote their egotistical power hungry butts out of office at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Word will get around quickly that there are consequences for ruling against the will of the people.

  415. #415 |  Russ | 

    May I suggest a wrongful prosecution suit against Mr. Rulkowski, based on any edition of “Ask Mr. Webster?”

    Secondly I would strongly advise continued propagation to various media outlets — and though I sense a strong conservative streak this sort of thing is RIGHT up Mother Jones’ alley.

  416. #416 |  Fred Fox | 

    An adult in city government has to convert this from a prosecution to an AWARD for leading citizenship, immediately, right? In my neighborhood, with many retirees, an increasing number of vegetable beds have appeared in front yards over the last few years, we now have walking or bicycling passers by who call out comments about choices of plantings and how well the vegetables are looking.

  417. #417 |  Spinnermagaidh | 

    Here is a link to Rosalind Creasy, the goddess of edible landscaping. Pretty ones, too. http://www.rosalindcreasy.com/edible-landscaping-basics/
    The city should read up.

  418. #418 |  Dutra | 

    Beautiful!

  419. #419 |  Oren | 

    Democrats right? Put the people who are threatening in jail and throw the key away. This is PC gone mad.

    Ever hear of Liberty gardens during WWII? The is the same thing, only liberty from imported food.

    Rune,

    Thanks for defining the limits for everyone else, EXCEPT YOU. Who made you the judge on here? Equal opportunity bashing for all.

  420. #420 |  Mike | 

    We need a vaccine for the Napoleon complex that is EPIDEMIC in the US.

  421. #421 |  Paula Mooney | 

    This is a victory garden…

    My neighbors have one…

    And it is very suitable…

    At least they care about making things better, not worse.

    The city should focus on people who aren’t trying to improve their surroundings.

  422. #422 |  Not a Lemming | 

    #220- you sound like Kevin, or the whiny, cowardly neighbor who called the city. The law is typical of most local municipalities who want to control everything, so leave it as ambiguous as possible. That way, anything decide is a violation, is a violation.

    Wake up- we pay the taxes, we make the laws about how we want our cities to be run. The problem everywhere is that we have allowed local ‘Czars’ to tell us what we can and cannot do. When did we forget that this Republic (not a Democracy) was ” …Of the people, by the people, for the people…” We all need to attend town council meetings and start nipping this b.s. in the bud, so to speak.

    It is time for the citizens of this country to remind the ‘ruling elites’, whether in Michigan, Minneapolis or D.C., they ‘rule’ at OUR pleasure, and we are not pleased.

  423. #423 |  John Blutarsky | 

    someone ought to check the front yard at this address to determine how common it is. it could probably use several dozen pounds of lentils distributed over its lawn.

    19573 Wilshire Blvd
    Franklin, MI 48025

  424. #424 |  JimmieM | 

    Why didn’t the government just do what government does best….simply seize the property? and as a bonus if they find any guns they can send them to the Mexican Drug Lords…..you know to kind of track them or something?

  425. #425 |  Gorgon Telliqua | 

    I don’t know if they did this on purpose or not, but the irony seems priceless. At the top of the page there was a banner ad for “TRU GREEN” (formerly known as “Chemlawn”). Better Homes and Gardens had an edible landscaping article – that is a pretty “common” magazine, isn’t it?

  426. #426 |  adam | 

    I really do wish she would plant some old refrigerators and rusty cars in her front yard. Then, at least, the prosecution might have a case.

  427. #427 |  The Daily Ball: Zipline Wedding, Disturbing Furniture, Best Burgers, Spot a Narcissist + more | Be on the ball | 

    [...] Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator [...]

  428. #428 |  josh | 

    Is this seriously happening? People cannot grow food in their front yard?!?!?!?

    Today I am ashamed to be an American.

  429. #429 |  Adam Missler | 

    This is just dumb.I chafe under restrictions.Thing is if I told these people how to live and do things theyed be quick enough to tell me to get screwed and thats exactly what id tell them.Plus id get some media attention.If your gonna make a scene-be seen

  430. #430 |  shirin | 

    Walking around my upscale, resort town, neighborhood whose power hungry POA will make you tear down your fence if you have it an inch over the line, made me get rid of my kid’s two pet hens even though the coop and run were not visible to the neighbors or the street, and requires everybody to have them approve fences and other structures on pain of paying for them to be torn down, I see lots of front lawn raised bed vegetable gardens! Good gravy, dontcha know that everybody’s backyards are heavily wooded and slope to the lake? Where else can you get some sunlight on your tomatoes? Nobody, but nobody complains about the vegetables. Not even the summer people complain. Honestly, my raised bed vegetable garden would be in the front lawn too – better sunlight – except that the deer destroy anything other than Jerusalem artichokes and onions – which grow fine in clumps as ornamentals – and the POA won’t approve me a front yard, deer proof fence because I’m on a corner and it would cause a traffic hazard.

  431. #431 |  G D BAUGH | 

    They can have my garden hoe when they pry it out of my cold, dead, mulch covered fingers…

    I’m done for now..

  432. #432 |  sonnymt | 

    Two words: Jury Nullification.

  433. #433 |  Woman faces 93 days in jail for planting garden in front yard « InvestmentWatch | 

    [...] Source Contribute content like this. Start here. [...]

  434. #434 |  Kobutsu | 

    On the “genkaku-again” blog http://genkaku-again.blogspot.com/

    FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011
    unsuitable activities
    .
    Received in email:

    A Michigan woman seems to be facing 93 days in the slammer because she put vegetables in her front yard after it had been dug up for sewer work. The issue is pegged to an ordinance that refers to what is “suitable” for yard planting. The town maintains that “suitable” means that everyone else is doing it.

  435. #435 |  RonC | 

    Meanwhile Casey Anthony is about to walk free after murdering her child…
    Vegetable garden: bad!
    Murdering your child: acceptable (or “suitable” or “common”, according to Rulkowski)

  436. #436 |  wvit1001 | 

    So what happens when the next person down the street wants to have some nice pretty well maintained chicken coops in their front yard?

    The reason we have zoning regulations, housing ordiances, etc. is so that people can live together without killing each other over stupid stuff.

  437. #437 |  George | 

    The city will through you in jail for having them and if civil unrest happens the same people will confiscate them from you. Both under the grounds of jail time. No laws just we are the only ones with guns.
    Wake up sheeple you are next my friends.

  438. #438 |  Mike | 

    The home belongs to her. The State has no right to tell people what they can and can not grow on their own property.

    Property rights trump.

  439. #439 |  Rowdy Boots | 

    LET ME GET THIS STRIAGHT:

    In the “WORST RECESSION SINCE THE DEPRESSION” the city is FORCING this woman to move her GARDEN?

    AMERICA, YOUR IGNORANCE IS ASTOUNDING–YOU HAVE FAILED AS A BEACON OF FREEDOM WHEN YOU BEGRUDGE A PERSON FROM GROWING A GARDEN ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY.

    UH…MAYBE OBAMA CAN TRY TO HELP THIS INNOCENT PRODUCTIVE PERSON INSTEAD OF USING HIS VALUABLE TIME TO HELP A MURDERING, DISGUSTING MEXICAN RAPIST?

    nawwww…too much to ask

  440. #440 |  R.C. Fallis | 

    My Fellow American,

    Fly your Flag and Be Proud of America, Put a small “VICTORY GARDEN” sign in the front yard and announce “I’m doing my part”. Uncle Sam, the Federal Government and Dept of Agriculture asked Americans in the past to plant a victory garden to help with the war effort and cut food cost.

    Historic Victory Garden: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden
    Todays Victory Garden: http://www.modernvictorygarden.com/

    Do a little research and you will find not only Federal support but International support also. All of your neighbors should be doing their part. The food shortage problem is on the horizon, The fact that “We Are” currently “At War” and demand for fresh food is driving prices up demands we “Do Our Part.” Print one of the Uncle Sam Victory Garden Posters and go visit your neighbors to support the Victory Garden For America.

    R.C. Fallis

  441. #441 |  willywonka | 

    Dont you guys have the death penalty for these crimes :)

  442. #442 |  Mike | 

    To Rune:

    Are you the Queen here? Shut the heII up.

  443. #443 |  DobeBill | 

    You all are having fun at the government’s expense. Just one question–how many of you homeowners would be happy if your next-door neighbor had similar landscaping?

  444. #444 |  clk | 

    That’s what this country is coming to. We all need to think, act, look alike, talk alike, buy the same things, have the exact same opinions, absolutely ridiculous. I see a lot of front yards with tomatoes, etc. Who the hell cares. Whatever works for people is fine with me.

  445. #445 |  31337 | 

    Again we all know what this is, its simply the government trying to do its job. The problem is not with the local government but the neighbors of this person. They need to STFU, and worry about their own issues/property. While I agree with the person doing whatever they want with their property, I also understand there are rules to be followed to keep the value of other homes in the area up, not to attract pests (rodents, democrats, and other like animals) and of course community standards. We all want our homes to be unique, but we all must conform to the community standard. This Zoning officer person is most likely quoting from what the city lawyers wrote up and their twisted and wrong definition. He needs to tell the people who demoratted this person out to mind their own business, and then walk way and not make a bigger deal out of this then necessary.

  446. #446 |  Melvin Toast | 

    Dear Ms. Bass,

    Don’t stop. Don’t let up for ONE minute!

    Take these taxpayer-funded Marxists with their taxpayer-funded sinecures in the form of “cashed in” sick days and defined benefit pensions and body slam them into the wall of justice.

    Let’s take the elites down a couple of notches today.

    Sincerely,

    Melvin

  447. #447 |  uncorrectedvision | 

    Get used to this folks. It reflects the mind set of government. Your property and your self are not really yours. If you can choose what plants to have in your yard than what is next. Will your ugly dog be banned from a daily walk or your pale fat child be required to stay out of the sun? It may sound absurd to think that our own government can get totally out of control but who would have thought that planting vegetables would be a crime.

  448. #448 |  Kevin Rulokowski | 

    I apologize for giving people of Polish heritage a bad name with my utter stupidity. I must admit I made a mountain out of a mole hill. I just wanted to flex my authority over an ordinary citizen. I admit that I am a douche bag for doing this and hope that you can all forgive me.

  449. #449 |  Major Kong | 

    Someone ought to investigate the front yard at the following address to determine if it is common. It could probably stand to have a few dozen pounds of lentils distributed over its lawns.

    19573 Wilshire Blvd
    Franklin, MI 48025

  450. #450 |  Mark Bacon | 

    Rob Seattle, #267 has hit the nail on the head.

  451. #451 |  jack | 

    Rulkowsky should be euthenized for self-impressed STUPIDITY.
    j

  452. #452 |  Joann Redmond | 

    According to Webster’s dictionary (hard copy):

    Suitable: adjective. “That is appropriate to a given purpose”.

    No “common” in the description……

  453. #453 |  Brad | 

    A garden in the front yard is very “suitable” in this economy – we may all need gardens soon.

  454. #454 |  Mike | 

    Weeds are common! Plant lots of them. Some are edible too. If the moron wants to equate common with suitable, then go for it!

    Seriously though, the law is unconstitutionally vague on its face. One warning though: In many/most jurisdictions, the local judge used to be the local prosecutor, and has a bias toward the prosecution. The jury trial will cost them time, money, and good will, so they will want to win it or make a backroom deal. Make lots of noise and talk to your neighbors – many may wish to testify. Also, get a good lawyer(if such a thing exists). Make sure he doesn’t make a deal with the prosecution, or try to “comply”.

    My congratulations to the gardener – I’d be proud to have her as a neighbor! This is an important fight, and you have massive support against these local tyrants. Been there and done that, but there was no option for a jury trial where I was.

    Good luck!

  455. #455 |  student1776 | 

    The city officials involved in this statist action and their families should be picketed and shunned by all decent people. This is absolutely outrageous. These busybodies have absolutely no right to specify that grass is acceptable for a yard but other plants are not. Who do these people think they are? Conformism carried to the level of communism.

  456. #456 |  Pete | 

    She should get other neighbors to put a couple of veggies in their front yard ASAP then she can argue the “common” point at trial.

    Front yard food USED to be the norm. It got moved to the back yard when people became affluent enough not to use all of their available land for food production. Conspicuous consumption in its early days I suppose. If ever there was a time NOT to legislate this behavior, I think now is that time.

  457. #457 |  Ray Marshall | 

    Doesn’t Oak Park have a City Council? Or did they hire people from the state mental hospitals to run their government for them?

    Can you imagine the mental breakdowns in City Hall if perchance a sane judge is found who would acquit her and then fine the City for court costs?

  458. #458 |  Eric | 

    Miriam Webster does have the definition “similar” listed under the word “suitable”, but in its newest edition, it’s listed as an obsolete definition. This will be the quickest case in history.

  459. #459 |  Kevin | 

    It seems to me that the city code is unconstitutionally vague because the term “suitable” is apparently undefined in the code and subject to arbitrary enforcement by city officials such as occurred here. If I were defending her I would argue the code provision is unenforceable.

  460. #460 |  verna | 

    she should remove the boxes and spray the front yard with roundup and use it to park cars

  461. #461 |  aLVIN mALDONADO | 

    Argue every point in court and for sure a jury trial. If the ruling is against you. Here is the fun. Vengeance is a meal best served cold. You learn to write an Appeal and you appeal in fragments of any ruling. Claim pauper status so its free. The City has to answer and make sure they don’t send code agents, make sure its a real lawyer, because no one practice law without a license. if that happens enough to these cash strapped towns, that won’t bother people with nonsense.

    I once dragged a foreclosure for 7 years, and that 44 thousand dollar house caused that bank nearly a 3/4 a million dollars in legal fees. Needless to say soon after they went under. I am sure i contributed to the end of Crown Bank and today its taken over by another Bank.

  462. #462 |  Publius | 

    Is anyone up for making Oak Park, MI the front-yard vegetable-garden capital of the USA? Sounds good to me!

  463. #463 |  1066andalllthat | 

    Please, some talented cartoonist out there, please, take this issue up! Do you suppose this is really what the Founders and the ‘winter soldiers’ at Valley Forge had in mind? Were they really trying to lay the groundwork for the exercise of petty authority by useless, expensive government workers? What have we come to?

  464. #464 |  ML | 

    Well, we are a group of Catholic Sisters and we reside in a similar narrow minded association who have arbitrarily decided we can’t have 2 24″ religious statues on our lawn. One of the damned fools even referred to the bylaws which state we can’t have “structures” on the lawn without a vote. Since when are statues “structures”. Ignorant people here in Libertyville, Illinois (the irony of the name!)

  465. #465 |  Tron | 

    Vegetables in the front yard you say? This is clearly an act of terrorism, we need SWAT dispatched ASAP to the wrong house (preferably being shot to pieces in the process) to deal with this situation immediately.

  466. #466 |  Rick C. | 

    Today it’s planting a garden, but it could easily escalate into tearing tags off of mattresses. Stop her now!

  467. #467 |  Melaine | 

    Please put me on that jury. Please!!! Ever hear of jury nullification? Rulkowski sounds like he has way too much time on his hands and this is one government job that could be eliminated to help with lowering the city budget. His attitude seems to be like many government employees: diagree with me and I’ll throw the book at you because I have the power and I can.

  468. #468 |  Michigal | 

    Mind you, as one commenter pointed out, this is a suburb (a close one) of DETROIT. Where many people are unemployed or working part time. You’d think the couple would set a wonderful trend of growing your own food that would be endorsed by MI municipalities. Problem is, it’s in Oakland County — the most affluent county in the metropolitan area. I can’t tell you how many front lawns I’ve seen that are whole, elaborate, crazy perennial gardens. Does that seem “common” to you? Nope! But perennial flowers convey a perception of wealth, whereas vegetable gardens do not.

    This state is so doomed…

  469. #469 |  Thomas D | 

    Drudge almost never links to blogs (and in fact seems to harbor a deep antipathy toward them in general). Way to go, Radley.

  470. #470 |  Kathy Capadagli | 

    I compare it to one person having rosebushes when everyone else has shrubbery. The ordinance says it all: ” suitable ground cover”. What could be more suitable?!

  471. #471 |  Lorenzo Quijano | 

    suitable |ˈsoōtəbəl|
    adjective
    right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation : these toys are not suitable for children under five.
    DERIVATIVES
    suitability |ˌsoōtəˈbilitē| noun
    suitableness noun
    suitably |-blē| adverb
    ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from the verb suit , on the pattern of agreeable.

    suitable
    adjective
    1 suitable employment opportunities: acceptable, satisfactory, fitting; informal right up someone’s alley. ANTONYMS inappropriate.
    2 a drama suitable for all ages: appropriate, fitting, fit, acceptable, right. ANTONYMS inappropriate.
    3 music suitable for a lively dinner party: appropriate to/for, suited to, befitting, in keeping with; informal cut out for. ANTONYMS unfit.
    4 they treated him with suitable respect: proper, seemly, decent, appropriate, fitting, befitting, correct, due.
    5 suitable candidates: well qualified, well-suited, appropriate, fitting. ANTONYMS unfit.

  472. #472 |  Bill Riordan | 

    This is the email I just sent to this moron:

    Dear Commissar Rulkowski:

    I have just checked a thesaurus and, not surprisingly, the word “common” is not listed as a synonym for “suitable.” Words that did make the list are: advisable, applicable, apposite, apt, becoming, befitting, commodious, condign, convenient, copacetic, correct, cut out for, deserved, due, expedient, felicitous, fit, fitting, good, good enough, handy, happy, in character, in keeping, just, kosher*, legit, meet, merited, nice, okay*, opportune, peachy, pertinent, politic, presentable, proper, reasonable, relevant, requisite, right, righteous, rightful, satisfactory, seemly, sufficient, suited, swell, up to snuff, useful, user friendly

    I would not expect that you have ever used a thesaurus , much less that you even know what one is.

    I expect that your family must be proud of your actions. I would also be willing to assume that you were picked on when you were in grammar school. I am sure that you will be too busy to respond to this email; you are probably out with a SWAT Team dealing with unlicensed lemonade stands being operated by 10-year-old kids.

  473. #473 |  urbanpirate | 

    If “suitable” = common, it seems this is the perfect time to put all that wonderful, free municipal compost in oak park to some front yard use.

  474. #474 |  Brian Baker | 

    I think that Lansingcat has a good point. Does the city ordinance differentiate between the front yard and the back yard? If not couldn’t all back yard gardens be in violation as well or does that make her garden common? Does the ordinance specifically ban vegetables in general or just specific ones? If the ordinance is to be interpreted that all non-paved areas covered in lawn or grass is the city incarcerating anyone who does not have full coverage of their non-paved areas? I know that in some areas I have lived that a tree in the yard makes grass growing nearly impossible leading to bare areas. How many citizens have been told to take out their window boxes or any other small flowerbed gardens containing herbs or other edible plants? Just because they are smaller in scale and probably less noticeable does not make them any more legal. Unless investigated this may be more “common” than they think.

  475. #475 |  Tonia | 

    I really think everyone in Oak Park should plant some veggies in their front yard to support this woman. You will all get some good out of it! Eat your veggies!!

  476. #476 |  IowaCitygirl | 

    A woman tried that here and a neighbor complained about it. The result was that a different neighbor also changed their front yard to a garden and started a movement. The complainer moved. Now we have several people turning their yards green with organic gardening and they look great.

    People used to grow gardens in any space they could as a means to survive.

    If they put decorative brick around the bases of the wood with pea-gravel or path ways between, it would make them have more curb appeal and look like a heritage garden.

  477. #477 |  You'reKiddingRight? | 

    Unbelievable..even if this A-Hole proves she is in the wrong, all she has to do is prove to the jury the law is unjustified. Nullify the BS law with a hung jury!

    EVERY CITIZEN MUST KNOW THIS..

    “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in the controversy”
    – John Jay, 1st Chief Justice of Supreme Court, 1789

    “The law itself is on trial quite as much as he cause to which is to be decided.”
    – Harlan F Stone, 12th Chief Justice of supreme court, 1941

  478. #478 |  Tom Mix | 

    In a world wide depressed economy.. where billions go to bed hungry.. God forbid someone should go to jail for growing food. Shame on them. They are doing a great evil in persecuting this woman.

    Personally, I find a lush garden more beautiful than shrubs. I enjoy seeing peoples gardens. Shrubs are so common that I don’t even notice them.

  479. #479 |  Detter | 

    It’s the new wave of government…full control…especially if you have a grow coop…they come down hard on ya for that…and heaven forbid if you sell anything to a neighbor.

    They say we should have gardens then look at what happens when you do.

    The cost of living is outrageous and the government is totally out of control.

  480. #480 |  Craig S. | 

    My Letter:

    “Mr. Rulkowski, Please leave Julie Bass and her home alone. She is actually using the land for something besides throwing water and money down the drain. How many people do you see actually using their front lawns? And why is it any of your concern if they want to plant a garden there!?! You should be supporting her, not trying to tear her down. I don’t know who is lining your pockets with cash to go after her, but you should grow a back bone and do what is right.

    I’m sure your grandparents, and defiantly your great grandparents would be ashamed and embarrassed by your actions. Of course I don’t “know” them, but I’m sure they had a garden and worked in it to feed your family whom brought you into the world.

    Do what is right with your authority. “

  481. #481 |  Chris de Vidal | 

    “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

    “…land of the free…”

    MAN I would like to move to another country!! :-(

  482. #482 |  Joann Redmond | 

    Question: When the yard was all screwed up because of sewer issues, was that considered “unsuitable”? They left it that way. She fixed it. Are there other yards in the neighborhood with uncut grass? Or maybe flowers that are past their time? Or trees that need to come down? We are not clones here. Everyone who owns their own home (and it looks like this one is not in a subdivision with a covenant of any kind) is able to do with that home whatever he/she wants. I say, paint the house Pepto-Bismol Pink and see what happens!!

  483. #483 |  Dutch | 

    I think that she should place a statue of Mickey Mouse in her Garden TOO! :)

    I think as a lot of the rest of the Worlds Population think the USA is pretty funny … (NOT)

    They call themselves the land of the Free ….

    Now how’s that?
    I’ve seen and read a lot of newspaper articles telling me this (Freedom) is not actually the case. Only if you are very very RICH .. maybe.

  484. #484 |  RVT1K | 

    I’m willing to donate money for this woman buy a rifle with the understanding that she uses it to blow the head off the first a-hole who tries to enforce this BS.

    Rise up and arm yourselves and this type of nonsense will go away.

  485. #485 |  BitterHeartlander | 

    A long ways from WWII “Victory Gardens”. At that time the government actually encouraged people to plant gardens and it was considered a patriotic act. Maybe they should put a big Christmas deoraction on the roof and leave it up year round. Possibly a pink RV in the driveway too?

  486. #486 |  Anon | 

    More big gubbment demoshats shitting all over individuals and their right to grow their own food. Nothing new to see here.

  487. #487 |  Knews5 | 

    I’d like to know the name of the bitchy neighbor who couldn’t talk to mrs. Bass in person but had to call a government official on her neighbor. Thats the one who needs to be inundated with nasty emails.

  488. #488 |  Paul B. | 

    Actually, there is a solution to this, and it’s pretty simple. Plant some nice shrubs in front of those boxes to soften their appearance, then grass the frontmost section. Yes, it will cost a bit extra, but it won’t look like a farm. It’s not an unreasonable compromise.

    But I can understand the need to take a stand against overreaching government.

  489. #489 |  GWB | 

    Hmmmmm…. Using a multi-dictionary site, I can’t find any definition of “suitable” that includes “common”. The closest I can find is in a legal dictionary, where it is a synonym with “commensurate” and “commodius”.

    But, we have these sorts of laws where I live, too. An acquaintance of mine is still working off a fine because the city “had to” come in and tear up the landscaped flower garden that occupied a large piece of his front yard, since he wouldn’t do it. Absolutely ludicruous.

  490. #490 |  gregg | 

    Bamboo is a part of the grass family, I suggest she plant her front yard with bamboo.

  491. #491 |  Dear Russia, please nuke our dumb stasi asses | 

    I guess Michigan isn’t as friendly towards vegetables as New York is to its fruits.

  492. #492 |  Off Me Chump | 

    Back in the day this peaceful citizen and like-minded neighbors and friends would march to city hall and drag these self-appointed ‘officials’ out of their lair and slaughter them in the street. The next person to fill that job, for a time, would be a quiet, respectful ‘public servant.’ The government feared the people they are supposed to serve. We don’t have that right now; indeed, they’re actively working to put us under U.N. rules and mandates to control every aspect of our lives. You are the resistance.

  493. #493 |  Dear Russia, please nuke our dumb stasi asses | 

    I guess Michigan isn’t as friendly towards vegetables as New York is to its fruits.

  494. #494 |  david7134 | 

    I hate to tell you this but according to the federal government, it is against the law to grow a garden, period. Doesn’t matter if it is front or back. This came from the book, The Forgotten Man. The fact is that we do not live in a free society, when you take off the blinders and look around, you will find that we are some of the most oppressed people on the planet. Yes, I know North Korea is worse, I am only saying that we are not the free and the brave that we think. Lets take it back!

  495. #495 |  Keith | 

    Make sure the courthouse is surrounded with people distributing Jury Nullification Phamplets. They could find you not guilty and over turn the law in one move.

  496. #496 |  Augustus Tiberius Franklin | 

    so organize a militia as the constitution states and take down your tyrannical local criminal government. I say invade them as the foreign occupier they are, un elected tyrants.. Arrest them and put THEM in jail

  497. #497 |  KENDRICK1 | 

    Beauty versus hunger!! “Let them eat cake!!!”

  498. #498 |  Louis | 

    I don’t think anybody’s posted this, but you can read the official code here:
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/10289/level3/PTIICOOR_APXAZO_ARTXVIIGEPR.html#PTIICOOR_APXAZO_ARTXVIIGEPR_S1716SCLA

    As far as I can tell, I don’t even see a distinction between front and back yards made, so I am not convinced that this ambiguous code is even relevant.

  499. #499 |  Robert Beeley | 

    My wife and I visited Nashville and Tennessee for the first time last April. We immediately began talking about how we’d like to relocate from NY. No toll roads, meals and hotels were measurably less expensive as were gasoline and especially (sorry, wife’s a smoker) cigarettes. But what we liked the most was the friendly personalities of virtually everyone we met as well as people’s noticable tendenies to not be concerned with other people’s business or lifestyles. Coming from NYS where our legislature tried in April to pass a law requiring all bicycles to be registered at a $25 fee and to display a license plate (not kidding…language of the bill would not have excluded even tricycles), where transfats have been banned from use in restaurants, where smoking is not allowed in many outdoor public places, and where they are trying to ban the use of salt in the preparation of ANY restaurant served meals I thought Nashville was THE place to move to. I’m not discouraged by this but folks…..stand up for your property rights down there or they’ll be gone before you know it. I used to think that (although I lean a bit right) NY was forward thinking. The more I travel around the country the more I realize that we’re backwards idiots and it’s much of the rest of the country that still knows how to do American freedom righteous.

  500. #500 |  Roy Faust | 

    “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common.” So when did the book publishers get the right to interpret legal definitions? They didn’t! If the code inforcement had to rely on the common dictionary to interpret the law, they lack juistiction due to no legal definition in the code. Shove that ticket up their…

  501. #501 |  Brace | 

    So… this is what my tax dollars are going for? Bringing people to court because they plant a vegetable garden in their yard? Kevin Rulkowski needs to get fired over this; his clear lack of judgment in this case calls into question his judgment in all cases concerning his job and is thus undeserving of my tax dollars.

    Further still, the definition Kevin Rulkowski is using of “suitable” is, according to Merriam Webster, obsolete. His case is pathetically weak if he’s emphasizing this one word, as “common” or “matching” is not only just one of numerous possible definitions (why should we pick only that one and not the others?), but it happens to be noted by the authority of definitions (Webster) as obsolete.

    Pick your battles, Kevin. This isn’t one worth fighting and you’re wasting people’s time and money to not only make yourself look foolish, but to harass an innocent civilian.

  502. #502 |  paul ford | 

    stupid people. I prefer Common Sense over liberalism Any Day!

  503. #503 |  Dlynne | 

    Did these local city officials receive campaign funding from the local grocery chain stores?

  504. #504 |  Dawnette Franklin | 

    Perhaps if the homeowner could plant a hedge or erect a fence this would keep prying eyes out of their yard. I suppose there are ordinances for that also. Who ever heard of planting grass over the ability to feed oneself. Ridiculous. Food crops and edible flowers can be planted as ornamentals

  505. #505 |  Charles | 

    If she has enabled the enforcement authorities to throw her in jail, then the authorities should have to provide her with a warrant before they can begin to speak of jail time.

    Was she given her Miranda Rights?

    These are all inportant questions.

    Were these accusations delivered under due process?

    I would get the neighborhood to all start growing vegatables in their front yard as they will need them with our Obama/Hindenberg economy crashing.

    More Chuck Less Pork

  506. #506 |  Jay Demont | 

    here it is tweet this!

    Technical & Planning Director
    Kevin Rulkowski

    City of Oak Park
    13700 Oak Park Blvd
    Oak Park, MI 48237

    Tel: 248 691-7450
    Fax: 248 691 7165

    Mon – Thur 8am – 5pm

    his photo is here

    http://www.oakpark-mi.com/technical_planning/planning.asp

  507. #507 |  ll | 

    Stand up and fight this … you will eventually win. To think Casey Anthony will serve only a few months more tells you how ludicrous things have gotten in this country.

  508. #508 |  Thomas | 

    I looked up suitable… it does not say common.

  509. #509 |  Sovereign | 

    Why is this Lawyer using websters dictionary as reference as law and not a Blacks dictionary which is built upon the STANDARD for legal terms???
    Oh yeah because suitable is not common!!

  510. #510 |  Oak Park, MI woman faces 93 days in jail - INGunOwners | 

    [...] a garden on their own property. Our freedoms are eroding faster than we can hang on to them. Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator I'm wondering if they'll throw me in jail for raising chickens, rabbits & a dairy goat on my [...]

  511. #511 |  Phillip | 

    Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that if convicted, this woman will spend more time – post trial, then Casey Anthony does?

    If you are up to it, send a few emails to the folks at http://www.michigan.org who are spending millions in advertising to make Michigan look like an appealing tourist destination. Point out this sad little tale to them. Might get some pressure from the PR police up the road to this Oak Park government maggot.

  512. #512 |  thepoliticalchef | 

    I would advise her to put up a fence…unless there is a covenant restriction against that, her garden would be “out of sight, out of mind”…I find it a little odd that she is being singled out for growing a garden to feed her family. Her home looks well kept and neat so its not like the property is an eye-sore…this story ranks right up there with story about the farmer who got charged for giving away vegetables…STOP the madness…

  513. #513 |  Greg | 

    What would George Washington and Thomas Jefferson think about this?

    Are we free men or not?

    Live Free or Die. She is 93 and should tell them to” come and take it”.

    That is if they are willing to shoot me for it because the minute you storm my property you’ll meet a hail of bullets! Is it worth it?

  514. #514 |  SerfCityHereWeCome | 

    I’ll bet these people wish they could’ve been around during WWII so they could’ve jailed people for planting their Victory Gardens and help their beloved Fuhrer finish off the Free World.

  515. #515 |  Mud | 

    For those of you writing letters, feel free to reference they mayor’s message:

    http://www.oakpark-mi.com/mayors_message/index.asp

    I think the first line might catch your attention, as well as the rest of the letter noting fiscal struggles. But don’t worry, the City of Oak Park ” remain[s] committed to providing the best possible services to residents.”

  516. #516 |  KATHI | 

    The country is in a giamundo recession, there is drought and natural destruction everywhere, people are homeless and without food…and THIS is what the NIMBYs and their ilk waste their energies on?? Next it will be no gardening in THEIR White House. What shallow and sad lives these people lead….

  517. #517 |  ruth | 

    Webster’s does NOT give “common” as the meaning of “suitable,” nor as a synonym. Here’s the real defintion: ” Right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation.”

  518. #518 |  Eugene E | 

    Dear Mr Rulkowski,

    I support you in you persecution of Julie Bass. I hate vegetables too. They suck. My mom makes me eat them. I am also mean to people like you are, as much as possible without getting in trouble. I want to be like you when I grow up but my dad says you are a real butthole and need a beatdown. How can I be a Legal Persecutor, like you? Not just a kid who acts bad toward people but a real man who has power to persecute people and make them do stuff they don’t want to do and put them in jail. Can you have the lady tied up and hurt or whipped and put it on Youtube so I can watch it? If possible please use a tractor and dig out the garden and make a video for Youtube. I think the lady that planted this garden also made her kids eat them and they should be taken away. If the vegetables are illegal then maybe you could also take her house which would be good too. If possible, please persecute this woman to the full extent of the law and also please put a tape of the woman crying or being mad or something on Youtube for me to watch. I look forward to becoming like you and getting paid as well to do mean things to stupid people. I will have REAL power like you. Maybe I can come to visit your office. Would that be OK? Thanks.

    Your Friend,

    Eugene
    Age 12

  519. #519 |  matt | 

    emailed Krulkowski. semi-politely…..

  520. #520 |  Olivia | 

    Huh! If I hadn’t been so busy watching Casey Anthony use her get-out-of-jail-free card this Summer, I too would be under the ever watchful eye of big brother. Have a fine boxed-in site where bushes were removed last year, and planned to turn that into a little well kept garden. How ridiculous of the neighbors who reported that woman, for minding her own business.

  521. #521 |  Self-sufficinecy is not a crime » The Blogging Nurseryman by Trey Pitsenberger | 

    [...] a families home in Oak Park, Michigan. Seems they have run a foul of local ordinances. According to theagitator.com “‘City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or [...]

  522. #522 |  SherrMarion | 

    I wouldn’t grow vegetables in my front yard bacause some one would probably steal the vegetables.

  523. #523 |  V in MI | 

    Just add a few suitable “common” plants. Don’t remove the garden. There’s no dispute from the picture that it’s well kept and orderly.

  524. #524 |  bill | 

    go to the state archives and look up when this was passed and who sponsored it…then check to see if there was any discussion on the floor mentioning this bill…these comments can usually be entered as evidence…someone in your state representatives office may be able to help you as well..all the best.

  525. #525 |  gson | 

    So this is what you get when you live in “small-town” America – small minded people!! I would think there would be much more important issues to solve than a rather nicely down garden in the front yard. From the photos posted, she did a lovely job of creating planter boxes with spacing…. She should be applauded for her creativity and her ability to come up with a novel idea.

    Maybe if she gives some of her fresh veggies to the apparently very sad, nosy neighbor who “turned her in”, all will be forgiven. Although I would save all the rotten tomatoes for the city planner.

  526. #526 |  Thomas | 

    Everyone, where is the web petition that requests that this person be let go from his job? I will sign it. And I will get ten friends of mine to sign it. Where is the petition?

  527. #527 |  Scott | 

    It is time for ordinary people to have their voices heard. This is a DEMOCRACY.

    Hello Mr Rulkowski,

    I respectfully write to you in support of Julie Bass and her front yard garden. The tax payer funded government is clearly overstepping boundaries in order to interpret the laws based on personal bias. This is nothing more than an attack on personal freedom. A person should be allow to provide for their own nourishment, whether it be in the back yard or the front. In a country where lawn gnomes and pink flamingos are accepted how can basic resources be criminalized. This is a slippery slope Mr Rulkowski. America just celebrated Independence Day a few days ago but we have been losing the battle for independence from bureaucrats slowly over the years. Where does the illogical harassment of citizens stop?

    Sincerly,

  528. #528 |  Whit | 

    Click on this link then on Rulkowski’s name and tell him to get a life!!! I did!! : http://www.oakpark-mi.com/city_directory/page04.asp

  529. #529 |  tham | 

    @ Dave Krueger — I fear you are right, Dave. We are not impassioned by our own freedom but driven by fear for our security and not being “offensive” to anyone. That is certainly why so many suburbs have passed laws such as the one this Kevin Rulkowski is using to bully a woman using the threat of 3 months in jail for growing vegetables.

    Maybe we’ll rediscover the joys of freedom again someday.

  530. #530 |  buckeyejim | 

    Are you kidding, the way some neighborhoods look iin Michigan and Detroit the city should give these people a reward. Goverment, thats what we need more goverment. I would ubderstand if the lady had covered her lawn with old tires, and you can see by the picture what she did looks nice. Oak Park , Michigan, great place to live………not.

  531. #531 |  BigBubbaBlackwell | 

    Someone get that pipe smokin’ Janet Reno on the horn now! She’ll have a team of Feds reign down some fire on that house and garden in no time flat! 93 days in jail? Ha! You’re gettin an eternity in bureaucratic hell lady!

  532. #532 |  David Lloyd | 

    Start a door to door campaign. Ask citizens to each plant corn in their front yard, and ask each volunteer to sign up two neighbors who will be willing to do the same. Very little progress on this project will actually be needed before the city drops all charges. The won’t arrest even 5% of the population. This percentage of compliance can easily happen within a week with very little effort. The city bit off more than they can chew. Have fun! Wish I lived there, but I’ll plant ame corn here in solidarity.

  533. #533 |  Jessica | 

    Small farmers in Obama’s administration are having their water turned off and/or told portions of their farmland cannot be farmed because of environmental reasons, etc. making it DIFFICULT for farmers to farm.

    Is it any stretch that towns wouldn’t follow their “marxist” leader and deny even its own residents the right to grow their own food on their own land?

    Spreading the wealth means getting government food stamps – NOT being independent thinking and saving money by growing your own vegetables.

  534. #534 |  errynne | 

    Win for the busy boddies of the world who have nothing better then to dictate how the rest of us live our lives. At a time when resorces are becoming more precious one would think that a well kept veggie garden would be welcome. Dosn’t Oak Park have real crim to fight?

  535. #535 |  Kelly | 

    The homeowner is out of line. Her front yard looks like crap, and brings the neighbors’ (and the city’s) value lower. She has no more right to do crap like this than to plant dense pine shrubs in her front yard and shape them into pornographic shapes. People need to remember that they have neighbors.

  536. #536 |  wilmur | 

    I wonder how long it will be before the local SWAT team thugs kick down their door, trash their home and beat the crap out of them for planting vegetables in their front yard?

  537. #537 |  Joe Public | 

    Benjamin Franklin said the greatest threat to freedom was a small person with a little authority. Do you think he was referring to Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski?

    The guy isn’t elected but his bosses are. They need to make stopping wasteful spending and firing fools like this a campaign issue.

  538. #538 |  Melody | 

    I fired off an e-mail to this idiot. This is completely ridiculous. I hope this woman wins.

  539. #539 |  ancientemplar | 

    anyone want to venture a guess at what is wrong with Michigan?

  540. #540 |  Marc | 

    As per Websters online and UPDATED version of the word:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/suitable

    it does NOT include the definition “common”.

    What a fucking douche.

  541. #541 |  Energy Moron | 

    Uh, 5% of the air pollution (at least here in Texas) is caused by mowing lawns.

    5%

    Will cities next try to fine me for my Fusion hybrid since it is not “common”?

  542. #542 |  Jane | 

    What if your backyard is in the shade? In the next couple of years, all of us will be depending on our gardens. This is just another case of the government sticking their nose where it does not belong. This lady’s front yard looks neater than a pin. I will bet her neighbors are looking forward to the fresh veggies that she will probably share with them.

  543. #543 |  Mikey | 

    Put her in jail. After she gets out, put her in Obama community organizing re-education camp. Government is law. Don’t she ever forget it.

  544. #544 |  AdaMo | 

    If things get much worse in this country (joblessness, hunger issues, foreclosures, more Obama, etc.) I wonder how much we will care if someone plants veggies in the front yard. The problem then won’t be the dang city fathers coming after her, it will be desperate, hungry people trying to loot her garden and take it for themselves! See the movie “The Road.” Gives me chills!

  545. #545 |  Amy | 

    maybe she should plant something really invasive…It is her house and her yard……or put a cute picket fence in front and a hedge….satisfy the yard Nazi’s.

  546. #546 |  Deskboy | 

    I see nothing but beautiful flowers in common flower boxes.

  547. #547 |  Al | 

    So I just fired off an email to Captain Jackass…

    Good morning

    I just got done reading about Julie Bass, an Oak Park resident that attempted to grow vegetables in a recently disturbed portion of her front yard, and your response to the situation.

    Sir, I am not only utterly dismayed and disquieted at your response to this situation, but I am actually angry about it, as well. As a resident of nearby Lathrup Village, I am quite familiar with the onerous tax burden that Oakland County residents pay for the “privilege” of home ownership within the county. It seems to me that if one has bought a home and property, and they pay their taxes, they should have certain rights to use their property as they would wish. I might understand your, and therefore the city’s, action if her property were decorated with junked cars or debris, or she just started planting things and made her property appear to be derelict. However, that was not the case here, as vegetables planted in planters certainly do not suggest abandonment or neglect to any thinking person. For that matter, what is the practical difference between a shrubbery or flowers planted in a planter, versus vegetables planted in the same planter?

    Your actions, sir, do not strike me as the actions of a sane or thinking person. Rather, they strike me as the actions of a small-minded automaton bureaucrat that lacks the intelligence to make conscious decisions or to refrain from harassing the citizens of his town when one of them dares to challenge him. A thinking person would have seen landscaping done to improve the appearance and curb appeal of a property within the city, and would have left it at that. Suitable, as in suitable ground cover, does not mean common, as a brief consultation of any dictionary will confirm, and in the context of city codes, the intent is to keep properties from appearing to be derelict or abandoned.

    At this moment, I am simultaneously happy and dismayed that I am not an Oak Park resident. On one hand, I’ve met Lathrup’s code enforcement officer, and he actually takes time to hear a citizen’s concerns rather than acting like a small-minded self-important bureaucrat that simply issues a ticket and turns it over for prosecution just because he can and feels slightly put out. On the other hand, not being a resident of Oak Park means I have no legitimate reason to come to future city council meetings to rail against this utterly farcical stupidity and sheerly hubris-driven harrassment of citizens.

    Sir, I genuinely hope you will reconsider your previous choices and make right by Julie Bass, and judging from the comments on myfoxdetroit.com’s article about this affair, there are a bunch of other Metro Detroiters that would agree with that.

  548. #548 |  Big E | 

    She should open a lemonade stand on her front yard.

  549. #549 |  jmeves | 

    People pay way to much money for real estate to be dictated to by troll neighbors and local officials,she should be able to have chickens in her yard and it seems the way things are going the day is near they will be sorry that they don’t.

  550. #550 |  Dennis | 

    Answer:impose a new tax…call it the vegetable gardeners tax…
    Don’t laugh this is in the washington works in the form of a new permit required before someone can plant a garden in their own yard …kind of like a fishing license.
    This permit gives the local health dept the right to inspect your private property.(Kind of like at the airport.)

    the obama’s feel we might harm ourselves and our neighbors with the food we raise.so it must be inspected.can’t make this stuff up folks….wake up…

  551. #551 |  Tomas O | 

    Well she was given permission by the city to plant flowers in the front yard; tomatoes, peppers and the like all flower. And by the way, these are fruits because they do flower. This isn’t even a ‘vegetable’ garden. I would fight the city on this one and sue their collective a$$es for wrongful prosecution.

  552. #552 |  MDWhite | 

    I looked in the dictionary, found the word “idiot” and was is Kevin Rulkowski’s picture.

    Flipped over a few pages, looked up the word “officious” and …whoa!…there he was again!

    Did the same with “moron,” “bureaucrat,” “meddle,” “stupid” and “hemorrhoid” and…guess what?

    What a guy.

  553. #553 |  Gary W | 

    I’d be more worried about the neighbor’s house catching on fire – what govt a$$hole (a.k.a. “city planner”) allowed houses to be built that close to each other? (Oh, yeah – the one who took a kickback from the subdivision planner so he could squeeze every last penny out of every square inch of land)

  554. #554 |  ericswan | 

    I am surprised at the umbrage expressed above. This use of your front yard is universal. None of us are allowed to garden in the front yard.

  555. #555 |  M | 

    Perhaps what they are really upset about is the boards nailed around the plants. If she takes up the boards and sprinkles a bit of grass seed around, perhaps that would be good enough to satisfy the city. Also, grains are grasses, so it seems she could be growing wheat, barley, etc in her front yard.

  556. #556 |  Gloria | 

    Maybe if she just planted a nice hedge around the outer edge of the lot, then no one could see her garden… In this day in age, everyone should be planting a garden of fresh veggies… we have open lots and people are encouraged to plant a garden…

  557. #557 |  Ginger Mary Anne | 

    She should have planted some weed as in marijuana. That is pretty common now-a-days, and it is probably what these clowns at the city code enforcement office are smoking on a regular basis. Only a pack of drug addled fools could come up with this ridiculous nonsense.

  558. #558 |  Tami G. | 

    Be sweet to the bitter, after harvesting her bounty (unless she’s in jail) she should give all her delicious veggies etc… to her cranky neighbors and the city official with a big smile. They won’t know what to do because they will feel like the idiots they are.

  559. #559 |  Bob Z | 

    The problem isn’t this beautiful use of a front yard. The problem is that these well-intentioned vegetable gardens quickly become full of crabgrass and tall weeds if not religiously maintained, and are much more difficult to maintain than a yard full of weeds that can be buzzed with a mower every couple of weeks. If you let folks decorate their front yards with vegetable gardens, you’ll soon have everyone up in arms that some folks don’t weed theirs, and have six-foot-tall patches of weeds blocking a neighbor’s view. It’s ‘safer’ to tell folks to keep gardens like this in the backyard, out of street view, just as it’s safer to force people to maintain decent yards in some neighborhood ordinances.

    (Just my opinion on the possible reasoning of the city. I could be dead wrong.)

  560. #560 |  DonL | 

    I think the city is missing something – a windfall of potential income sure to cure any of the city’s financial woes. The e-article quotes the City Code as: ‘City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.’ Note that this does not specify front, back or side yards. If the veggies are not suitable for the front yard they are not suitable anywhere. The city should go after all gardeners – no matter the physical location of the nasty offensive growth. One again our governmental staff has not disappointed me in their relentless efforts at finding new and creative ways to waste time, money, resources, attention, and more. Congrats Oak Park city employees for a job well done.

  561. #561 |  Concerned | 

    This is defiantly the workings of a fringe (AGGG)Anti Government Garden Grower. Her Defiance to authority is extreme and I can see another WACO or Ruby Ridge here folks. Bring on the Tanks, Bull Dozers and Machine gun clad SWAT…
    This growers got to go!!

    /sarcasm off

  562. #562 |  Michael Gonzales | 

    I for one think that they are taking this too far Its a “Garden” you know things we eat i think it is a beautiful garden and people are too “anal” about perfection. They should worry about themselfs and not what other people are doing that is whats wrong with todays society they worry about pity things and not whats important.

  563. #563 |  Hazel Burke | 

    funny the garden looks absolutely beautiful to me. Not just in aesthetic appeal but the sense of self sufficiency it communicates in an area that is in so desperate need of such a message.

  564. #564 |  Timbo in Columbus | 

    #48 | JS | July 7th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Joe “Most Americans love freedom. Petty municipal kommissars hate freedom.”

    Hey JS and Joe. Most American’s want to take away the Freedom’s of others who they disagree with. Americans want Freedom at the expense of others.

  565. #565 |  Concerned | 

    This is defiantly the workings of a fringe (AGGG)Anti Government Garden Grower. Her Defiance to authority is extreme and I can see another WACO or Ruby Ridge here folks. Bring on the Tanks, Bull Dozers and Machine gun clad SWAT…
    This growers got to go!!

    /sarcasm off

  566. #566 |  Miguel | 

    I’m proud of Julie Bass, first for her garden, but mainly, second, for her going all the way against this city’s insular and insolent city government. The Nazi in all of us gets a free run inside city governments all across our land, with state and federal government officials and bureaucrats leading the way.

    Julie Bass is battling the same mentality which erupts in the many infamous home-owner associations which routinely commit crimes against anyone who gets their attention, like flying an American flag, paying their dues late, creating a garden, or painting their house a color not beige.

    Agreeing and disagreeing with both Seattle Rob and Rune, it is true that city government “gangs” so to speak, do allow criminals to run free on our streets because it’s easier that way. Citizen safety? Let’em eat cake. Part of this “government gang” crime being committed against Julie Bass is this “us vs. them” gang inside city government now feels the need to justify it’s existence and what easier target than a woman creating a garden on her own property?

    This is a micro version of all that has become wrong with American governance, from our local park districts all the way to the White House. Just as the national government seeks to take ever more cash/land/etc from the citizenry, this small government gang wants to take Julie Bass’s own land from her, effectively making her land: “government land”.

    Julie is strong. The original patriots in 1776 needed people like Julie Bass to carry on the battle for Freedom of the Common Man/Woman in the face of so many weaklings who opted to run or or not fight the British Crown.

    This issue can unite both political parties. Down here just in Sacramento, CA, we’ve seen far, far too many Kevin Rulkowskis destroy hundreds of businesses and along with them the hopes and dreams of supposedly free Americans. The Kevins have destroyed California;s once golden dream as of now. I’m hoping Julie Bass can help lead the people against your Kevin Rulkowskis up there.

  567. #567 |  James Mattison | 

    Whenever I see another incident like this, I’m reminded of a phrase that I coined a few years ago. The phrase is;

    TOTAL CONTROL

    This seems to be the objective of government, especially liberals, since they are not able to think for themselves.

    Their artificial intelligence seems to challenge their natural stupidity.

  568. #568 |  Faith | 

    well Rune, the donkey comment wasn’t political and the (murder dealer etc…) was about how lame it is to take up court time with such silly, pettiness. I stand by my comment.

  569. #569 |  Josh | 

    Jury Nullification. Everyone look it up, study it, know it, and use it!

  570. #570 |  jenny | 

    All the neighbors should plant some vegetables too.. that way it’s common. I’d do that if I was her neighbor. It’s your house, do whatever you want with it!! :)

  571. #571 |  NY Backwoods Adk | 

    As previously stated by others, move to an area with like-minded neighbors. Can’t do? Bring the city to court; you’ll win. Use the money won from the city to move, or to buy more seed. Plant out your backyard as well. Then buy the house next door to your complaining neighbor and plant some more. BUT WAIT, there’s more! When our economy crashes completely, as it soon will, and this “neighbor” knocks at your door for a little produce, then do what’s neighborly “suitable.” My guess is that kind of neighbor would take without asking anyway. BUY a tall fence and a few guns with your lawsuit winnings! Better yet, MOVE!

  572. #572 |  3cats | 

    my email to rulkowski:

    Mr. Rulkowski,

    You are a raving lunatic, and a disgrace to Oak Park. My neighbor has a ‘common’ yard with dried up grass, dead trees and unkept bushes. Apparently there is no crime for looking like a vacant / drug dealer’s house. Stop the insanity. This lady’s house looks well kept and attractive. I’d much rather see her yard next door. Give up the Nazi ‘YOU VILL DO THIS MY WAY’ threats and stop pestering the Basses — find something useful to do — like picking up trash by the side of the road.

    I’m not going to throw rotten tomatoes at you ~ but if someone does ~ and if that picture makes the front page of The Agitator, I’ll clip it, frame it, and hang it my wall. Veggies might not be ‘suitable’ pummel material, but they sure are ‘common’.

    Cheers to Radley Balko for this enlightening story on the Drudge Report this morning. I really think you should read some of the comments it sparked, Mr. Rule-With-a-Weak-Skill-Set. This goes for all the above names as well… ‘According to Bass’s blog, she’s demanding her right to a jury trial. So the city plans to throw the book at her.’ Just a thought here: If Ms. Bass gets her jury, which side do you think these wise voters might be on?

    (also forwarded to ev1 at the oak park city offices)

    dkyte@ci.oak-park.mi.us; ctipton@ci.oak-park.mi.us; dbush@ci.oak-park.mi.us; sgrewal@ci.oak-park.mi.us; ccooper@ci.oak-park.mi.us; mbrandimarte@ci.oak-park.mi.us; jneal@ci.oak-park.mi.us; rfox@ci.oak-park.mi.us; dlemanski@ci.oak-park.mi.us; smoulton@ci.oak-park.mi.us; gnaftaly@att.net; mmseligson@comcast.net; adjack@comcast.net; paul4oakpark@yahoo.com; duplessis2@aol.com;

  573. #573 |  Mark Gross | 

    This is what happens when minor municipal functionaries have to think.
    But since he did think, he did not think enough. This woman should be taken out of her house in restraints, flogged, maimed and then jailed. The trial can then be held. And this is what our nanny state country has become.

  574. #574 |  mrbeverage | 

    maybe she should have planted “medical” marijuana in its place…. she would have then qualified for a tax credit.

  575. #575 |  Honkey | 

    It’s Oak Park…..they should have planted weed instead, then it’d been fine.

    Oh, and “vines, so a kid could get caught in them and die”……..really??!!

    They pay taxes on that property, they can do with it whatever they see fit, in my opinion…..they could build a scale model of the Edmund Fitzgerald for all I care.

    And what about the houses that put up ridiculous Halloween, and Christmas decorations….extension cords going everywhere in the lawn, across the sidewalk to the “cities property”…..nobody says anything about that….

  576. #576 |  Simon B | 

    Careful Michigan, you are on the verge of replacing Floridahhhh as the dummiest state in the nation….

  577. #577 |  Honkey | 

    LOL…..Oak Park, Michigan…..not Illinois.
    Disregard the weed part…..everything else stands true though.

  578. #578 |  maven | 

    I think Mr. Rulkowski thinks “suitable” means “common” because he is one of the “suits” and he know he is insufferably “common”.

  579. #579 |  Laura | 

    What Kevin Rulkowski does not realize is that most, if not all of the plants mentioned, are in fact flowering plants: cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, carrots. He wanted flowers, he got them. I guess the grass around the boxes is what he’s after? They should plant sedge to spite him.

  580. #580 |  Chris H | 

    People who wear beachware (flip flops, shorts, t-shirt) to a restaurant with a business casual ambience. Common? Yes Suitable? No

  581. #581 |  SDW2001 | 

    1. This is outrageous in the extreme.

    2. It is a perfect example of how powerful and overreaching our governments have become, from the feds to the states to the local. We are nearly living in a police state.

    3. Now that this is public, it’s going to go away. In fact, it probably doesn’t even matter. The city “Planning and Technology Director” is going to have his ass handed to him if he goes to court or any board of appeals. His definition of “suitable” is not going to hold up. In fact, the WORD “suitable” is probably not going to hold up in the code, because it’s vague and begs the question..”who determines what suitable is?”

    My brother is a lawyer, as is a friend of mine. I’ve dealt with things similar to this with respect to my homeowners association. This guy is not going to like the resolution, nor the publicity.

  582. #582 |  Chris | 

    Just like the notorious ATM’s, this takes away American jobs. Voila, no home gardens- more American jobs?

  583. #583 |  Me | 

    For those seeking clarification on the municipal code, or who have other questions.
    Technical & Planning Director
    Kevin Rulkowski
    krulkowski@ci.oak-park.mi.us

    City of Oak Park
    13700 Oak Park Blvd
    Oak Park, MI 48237

    Tel: 248 691-7450
    Fax: 248 691 7165

    Prosecutor
    Jessica R Cooper
    248-858-0656
    West Wing – Building 14E
    1200 North Telegraph Road
    Pontiac, Michigan, USA 48341-0461

  584. #584 |  BeauW | 

    I think she should tear out the gardens, plant grass and spread weedkillers and fertilizer all over so it can make a beautiful lawn that will be ‘suitable’…. Never mind that all the chemicals will end up in the aquifier or a waterway. Remember it’s ‘common’ for people who take care of their yards to do this.

  585. #585 |  Ethan tucker | 

    This is by far the most ridiculous headline I have heard in a while. The city should be ashamed of itself! They are vegetables! Not marahuana plants. Furthermore, the residents that complained should be even more ashamed of themselves. Stick to your guns on this! We are in a resesion. Gardens are great!

  586. #586 |  Scott | 

    In today’s world, “civil servants” are neither.

  587. #587 |  jgribbin | 

    According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:
    Suitable: 1 obs: Similar, Matching 2 a: adapted to a use or purpose b: satisfying proprierty: Proper c: able, qualified <a ~ candidite for the job. Syn see fit.
    I would say they both have a valid point although if she can prove they use this to substitue there food cost then they have a very solid case as it would be Adapted to a use or purpose. Yet it is Chicagoland and hence maybe she should offer to provide free vegitables and spices to Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski. I understand code enforcement getting involved with building structures or pipelines etc, these are Safty Issuies hence why code enforcement is usually set up so that contractors use the correct methodes etc. It is amazing to me that Liberals always want it both ways, eat healthy but dont do it for yourself if we are somehow offended by your attempts to be selfsufficient and not dependent on the goverment then you offend us and we will tell you how evil you are for not depending on us

  588. #588 |  Chad | 

    Not sure what urbandictionary they’re using in Oak Park, but suitable doesn’t mean common in any modern usage.

    So if the city’s defense is the dictionary, someone needs to throw the book at them.

    1 obsolete : similar, matching
    2 a : adapted to a use or purpose
    b : satisfying propriety : proper
    c : able, qualified
    — suit·abil·i·ty noun
    — suit·able·ness noun
    — suit·ably adverb

  589. #589 |  RonCee | 

    I bet if they’d just put up a GIANT sign in front of the veggies that says “WE LOVE OBAMA!!” the govt pukes would leave them alone. In fact, I bet they’d get a civic award from the city, they’d make the national news w/ the lamestream media fawning all over them, and the DNC would give them certificate of appreciation.

  590. #590 |  john cummins | 

    According to the below synonyms and definition, growing veggies in the front yard is very suitable. It is very advisable in this economy to grow veggies! It was very FIT for the person being falsely charged by the evil corrupt Detroit government. It is correct! It is happy! It is okay! It is reasonable! It is just! It is fitting and seemly! As a peach grower (in my backyard…hands off cops), I can say it is peachy! And it is certainly user-friendly, what is better than grabbing a tomatoe on the way out the door?

    Suitable:

    Right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation.

    advisable, applicable, apposite, apt, becoming, befitting, commodious, condign, convenient, copacetic, correct, cut out for, deserved, due, expedient, felicitous, fit, fitting, good, good enough, handy, happy, in character, in keeping, just, kosher*, legit, meet, merited, nice, okay*, opportune, peachy, pertinent, politic, presentable, proper, reasonable, relevant, requisite, right, righteous, rightful, satisfactory, seemly, sufficient, suited, swell, up to snuff, useful, user friendly

  591. #591 |  Ash | 

    I don’t understand…since when are veggie plants dangerous to anyone’s well-being?
    If they aren’t harming anyone, why persecute?

  592. #592 |  Paul Veazey | 

    I just went to MerriamWebster’ on line. “Common” is not used in any of the definitions of “suitable” and is not listed as a synonym.

  593. #593 |  TEWK | 

    Exercising power because you can. Government is mean, stupid, wasteful, corrupt and ultimately…murderous.

  594. #594 |  JS | 

    I just sent this link to the mayor of my town. Eveyone should do that as a warning of the kind of storm these petty tyrannies can produce.

    “When the government fears the people there is liberty, when people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

  595. #595 |  Anonymous | 

    Petty bureaucrat goes viral. Good going! Expect demotivational pictures with your name on it!

    ~Here’s a must view/read for all Americans:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/9104389.stm

    Go America, #1… or not.

    Any civilised country with that degree of social and economic urban blight needs to wake the muppet mucking up and applaud grass root gardening such as this. [Although: serious note - depending on air pollution, dioxin levels in urban gardens can be something of an issue if the soil is not replaced frequently - this is esp. true of old 'brown field' sites, e.g. WWII arms factories given over to local governance for redevelopment].

    Oh, and if you want the [b]REAL[/b] reason she was reported?

    The [b]EVIL HUSSEY[/b] was [b]TEACHING SCIENCE WITH HER GARDEN[/b].

    This is clearly against God’s will, and she needs burning at the stake.

  596. #596 |  Down With Veggies | 

    Oh my gosh, this comment was too funny. Thanks Aresen for a much needed smile…..

    #11 | Aresen | July 7th, 2011 at 4:33 pm
    “They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard.”

    So, did they tell the bureaucrat that, on the cited basis, he had to leave?

  597. #597 |  Anne | 

    I suspect all the property owners really need to do is plant a hedge to block the view of the beds from the street. That would give the city its “common” look and the property owners could keep their veggies intact.

  598. #598 |  Osamas Pajamas | 

    We are ruled by armed force and by fraud by lying, corrupt, stupid bastards — by dictators whom we should overthrow by whatever means it takes to get rid of them. We need an “American Spring” which drastically reduces the power, scope, cost, and expense of government — and I DO NOT CARE IF THE TERMINATED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES STARVE TO DEATH.

  599. #599 |  Mr Sinclair | 

    Lets not call them Repubs and Dems, they are elitist sociopaths seeking permanent intrusion into and control of our lives. Metaphorically only I suggest beating them with garden shovels.

  600. #600 |  Jim Chester | 

    Well, it IS up North. Doesn’t matter what the issue is, yankees generally don’t cotton to independant po’ folks thinking they might live in a free country and doing things the local power establishment don’t like. (They do the same sort of stuff in their covens in south Florida too.)

  601. #601 |  anon | 

    This sounds just like our city lawyer (also city persecutor, or prosecutor) in Pflugerville, TX. Not even a resident of our city, sits on city council, and presides on many city committees and has WAY TOO much direct influence, for an unelected position which has obviously gone to his head. Convicts people for not using turn signals for their own driveways. Completely corrupt and prejudiced. He even admitted it in court, that he doesn’t have to listen to a defendant, because “I know he is guilty”. Turns out he was wrong, and helped the cops to testi-lie. Judge had no problem with his admitted prejudice. Quite the little scam they have going. These little despots are littering this country and are the “agents of the state sent to eat out the substance of the people” mentioned in the constitution.

  602. #602 |  Dennis | 

    I sent the city planner the following link:
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=definition+of+suitable

  603. #603 |  AJ Morris | 

    My sister lives in a very nice suburb of Cleveland. She also has a garden in her front yard and it is on a very busy road but there have never been any problems.

  604. #604 |  Stephen | 

    http://www.oakpark-mi.com/city_directory/page04.asp

    I agree we should let the town know what we think…

  605. #605 |  ypcpn8 | 

    Came from Drudge. I don’t know where this foreign city is sitting (N-Korea, maybe?) but this city or state is NOT common to or suitable for any of society that embraces liberty.

  606. #606 |  Rufus Dogg | 

    I thin she should build a chicken coop and raise urban chickens next to the veggies! Our entire back yard in St. Paul was tilled up and converted into a Victory Garden where we grew corn, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, okra, carrots, radishes, strawberries and others veggies. Us kids watered and weeded and my mom canned everything. That is what we ate all winter. I learned a lot about food from that hell my parents put us all through.

    On a larger note, nobody owns their own property anymore. I say all the time, “If you think you have freedom in America, take a pee on your front lawn and let me know how that works out.” For a country that loves to tell the world how much freedom we have, we’re sure being told what what we CAN NOT do a lot.

  607. #607 |  TroubledJoe | 

    Mr. Rulkowski’s decision to punish the Bass family for growing vegetables is stunningly arbitrary and arrogant. Freedoms are truly eroding in this nation thanks to morons like Mr. Rulkowski in positions of power.

    In kindergarten we learned that just because everybody is doing something, that does not make it right. Just because everybody plants grass, does not make planting grass “right” and planting other things “wrong.”

    Please support the Bass family and their productive vegetable garden. I am willing to contribute $ to help defend this cause. Please let us know how we can help.

  608. #608 |  opiemuyo | 

    this little berg probably was with the rest of the country encouraging folks to grow “victory gardens’ just like this during WWII. It was considered a patriotic think to do to help for the war effort.

  609. #609 |  emdub | 

    Lawns are a huge waste of water, energy and contribute to toxic chemicals entering waterways. This woman should be given and award for doing good in her community.

  610. #610 |  PC Bob | 

    I also vented my outrage to Mr Rulkowski in an email. I told him I hoped he receives about a million emails just like mine, feeling he probably had a lot of time on his hands. This will give him something to do. Of course, the media attention will likely not be too welcome to his boss, the Mayor. As for nosey anbd snoopy neighbors; A pox on them, everywhere.

  611. #611 |  m. t. pockets | 

    Personally, I think the picnic table and covered swing are less “common” in front of a home than raised boxes of vegetation (there ARE flowers in a couple of those boxes, not veggies). I wonder if whatever is going on in their
    BACKyard is the cause of the enmity that brought this whole thing on in the first place. In any case, having lived through the “Victory Garden Age” of WWII, and recognizing now how the price of vegetables is going through the roof and how many retired and unemployed folks are finding their savings going too fast, I think every darned city, town or hamlet should proclaim that
    veggies are indeed “common” back, sides and front of any place where people are trying to feed themselves. Maybe there’d be fewer food stamps spent.

  612. #612 |  Kasey Burt | 

    I am looking at the picture of her front lawn. It is SPOTLESS, neat and orderly. The garden looks GREAT!!

    I bet someone could do a 3 block radius of her home and find a few lawns that look like “garbage” and no one is reporting those!

    This is what tax payers are paying for???? Someone needs to challenge and abort that “City” law.

    Clean, neat, orderly….Yes, but dictatting what can be grown on the property you OWN????? INSANE!

  613. #613 |  graham | 

    Gov’t goons do stuff like this every moment of every day. What is new here? We need to remove them, revoke their pensions, and drive them from our midst. Pitchforks, tar and feathers, even a noose would be “suitable” to the task.

  614. #614 |  kelly | 

    You know, because jailing someone for something like this is much easier than dealing with Michigan’s “other” problems. I love me a nice bureaucracy.

  615. #615 |  MI Gardener | 

    The city has their Bass’s ackward

  616. #616 |  Chuck M | 

    Looks like some city official needs something to do, just shows idiots in all places. Poor Lady

  617. #617 |  Melvin Toast | 

    May I suggest topiary in the shape of a giant phallus.
    And perhaps, a couple of pumpkins nestled at the base.

    May the symbolism not be lost on these taxpayer-supported government officials.

  618. #618 |  Kel N | 

    Her “suitable” might mean suitable uses of the yard to produce food to help feed her family. In this economy, suitable ways of making ends meet can mean just about anything… I applaud her for exposing stupid people who have nothing better to do than complain about everything. There is no turning back now and it reminded me of a great Eleanor quote.

    “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
    — Eleanor Roosevelt

    Good Luck Julie!

  619. #619 |  Local Governments Out Of Control | The Moderate Voice | 

    [...] arbitrary these can get is highlighted today by a story out of Oak Park, Michigan, where the city government is threatening to put a homeowner in jail for 3 months for the crime [...]

  620. #620 |  myipis myname | 

    In the united states of russia or china

    -She has no rights to plant cabbage and potatos
    -no right to breast feed
    -no rights to use natural vitamin suppliments (soon FDA)
    -no rights to fly unless fundeled or basically raped (with fingers )
    -no rights to speech (you can actually go to jail for speaking) like that “dont taser me dude)
    -no rights to film a cop while they are doing their dirt from your own backyard

    you sheeps are awake yet?

    I weep for this country once home of the free and brave becoming home of slaves and cowards.

    have a good day

  621. #621 |  Michael D | 

    And you slaves thought you owned your property, just shut shut up pay your taxes and do as we say! Or, its 93 days in the hole for you.

  622. #622 |  Joseph Stalin | 

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. You people are making a big deal out of nothing.

  623. #623 |  Gary V | 

    I wonder if she is using Mel’s mix in her raised gardens?

  624. #624 |  George Johnson | 

    And lets not forget the “extra” punishment just for exercising your right to a trial. What a bunch of little thugs you have there.

  625. #625 |  bert | 

    how about the precedent set by victory gardens if it was a precedent? was this code in place before wwii? have you read the food safety act?? all gardens will be eliminated over time thanks to this ridiculous piece of legislation that your president signed into law this jan., although a repub would have signed it to.

  626. #626 |  Little Annie | 

    appropriate; proper; fit

  627. #627 |  David | 

    I bet this lady’s garden looks a damm sight better than other yards in this neighborhood.

    Take it to the street! Live free or die!

  628. #628 |  Zed Conex | 

    Kevin Rulkowski… is your TV broken? The fridge outta beer? Perhaps you had a troubled youth and your mommy made you eat vegetables against you will?

    Do you hate brassicas?

  629. #629 |  slider | 

    First they came for the vegetables…..

  630. #630 |  LetItBeFormerlyX | 

    Perhaps part of what underlies little cultures here and there of
    judging, pacifying oneself at a neighbor’s or family member’s
    expense, scapegoating is the following.

    THE FOLLOWING REFLECTS THEORY, PERSONAL SUPPOSITION
    CITED SELF-AVOWELS OF BEING GAY NOT KNOWN BEING VALID
    THEORY IS AS TO A GENERALIZATION–NO PARTICULAR INSTANCE’S GENETIC
    CAUSATION KNOWN–NOTHING KNOWN OF THE PSYCHE OF ANYONE
    CITED DIRECTLY OR BY IMPLICATION–SINCERE DISCLAIMER: FOR STARTERS, PEOPLE ACT SIMPLY STRATEGICALLY

    SEE the following, PRESENTED BY:
    http://goo.gl/HTped
    https://sites.google.com/site/holychanges/

    http://pages.citebite.com/c8w5h0k3efgn

  631. #631 |  SunnyvaleKen | 

    The definition of suitable in my dictionary does not include common. It includes appropriate, convenient, adequate, compatible and accordant.

    So we have another government bureaucrat trying to force his personal views on the property and mortgage paying citizen. Screw him. I hope he loses the case because he deserves to.

  632. #632 |  Deanna | 

    They should leave this family alone. Their yard looks tasteful and well kept.

  633. #633 |  Jeff Shaffer | 

    Send this family to the concentration camp. The are guilty of not being part of collective thinking. Go through their home and look for banned gardening books. Look for illegal shovels. What about the children? OMG. Where did they get the seeds? Are the Tomato Terriorist involved. What is the position of HOMELAND SeCURITY? Were these illegal plants fertalized? Do not take these actions litely commrads. We must protect the state with our lives and our fortunes. The sky is falling.

  634. #634 |  dnewton | 

    We have the same problem in Tennessee. In Cookeville, we have a rule that new trees must be Bradford Pears. The blossoms stink and they are easily damaged by wind or ice storms. Even the industrial park is expected to have Bradford Pears. The old trees can stay of course but we have to pay somebody to tell us how to trim them. Without brown shirts and a swastickas , we just are not smart enough to see a Nazi when we vote for one.

  635. #635 |  Hank | 

    A garden seems like “suitable” ground cover to me.

    Actually, it goes from just “suitable” to actually being “pragmatic”.

    I support her “civil disobedience” to the yard-Nazis!

  636. #636 |  MattInCali | 

    The dictionary says that? Let’s see…
    From Websters:
    Suitable
    a : adapted to a use or purpose b : satisfying propriety : proper

    Well, I think the city just helped her along with her case! I think her garden is VERY suitable, as she has adapted it to a specific use and purpose, and I know I would be satified with having my own food to eat!

  637. #637 |  LeadFoot | 

    Beware the lowliest bureaucrat who wields the power of the State. Perhaps he’s attempting to compensate for something. North Korea, Venezuela, and Obama’s re-election committee should be very interested in this useful idiot.

  638. #638 |  Mark | 

    Fight this BS all the way! A CRIMINAL for growing food!? Screw the neighbor who complained, and screw the city! There is simply NO WAY a jury will convict this woman. It’s a huge waste of taxpayers dollars. These people are out of touch with reality. Wow, just wow.

  639. #639 |  bestintexas80 | 

    Wow… This is a clear cut case of abuse of power, where the code enforcement people are wrapped up in their own vision of what things should look like and therefore apply their own meanings to words that otherwise connote and denote completely different things from their inferred and self-serving definition.

    I searched for the definition of suitable and here are the highlights:
    Convenient
    Appropriate to a purpose or occasion
    Suited to one’s end or purpose: appropriate, befitting, convenient, expedient, fit1, good, meet2, proper, tailor-made, useful.

    It seems to me that these definitions (from many dictionaries) would actually aid the Bass family in defending themselves. At a suitable time, when it was most convenient for them, the Bass family made the best of a torn up yard by building a national-policy-makers-endorsed and entirely appropriate in a time of austerity vegetable garden.

    The only definition I was able to find that would even come close to backing the code-enforcement thug’s PoV is this: Qualified… as it seems that the public servant who is about to lose his job in disgrace believe he is the judge of all that is qualified.

    Please note that codes are meant to ensure public safety… we are supposed to maintain our front yards to avoid posing a hazard to others in any way… I cannot remotely see how that standard is not being met by the Bass’s example.

    Fight the good fight, it is the principle of the matter

  640. #640 |  Lisa | 

    Wow… I’m actually doing this right now to my yard! I can’t even believe a city would waste their time and money PROSECUTING this woman for making a statement about how our ENORMOUS population needs to shift its values… wow… just wow…

  641. #641 |  Crazy_Redneck | 

    When there’s no victim, there is no crime. Wait, the Bass’ are the victims here. The crime is the city against these people. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this kind of crap.

  642. #642 |  Sharon | 

    In looking up the definition of suitable, I discovered a definition in the form of the root word suit (n) that reads as follows: “3. a number of things the same, or of a similar kind, intended to be used together whether dependent on each other or not, usually with some similar element, as material, form, etc.; as, a suit of clothes; a suite of sails.” Still not “common” but close. This definition was taken from the Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language copyright, 1957. However, nowhere in this same dictionary is the word suitable defined as “common”.

  643. #643 |  Little Annie | 

    I dont know about the rest of you but that garden of veggies is appropriate, proper and fit. In todays society, everyone is talking about healthier. This includes Michelle Obama, who on many commercials with Disney Channel is talking about healthier eating. So the Bass’s vegetable garden is in their front yard, so what? With the promotion of “healthier” from the Obama’s, it is an approriate decision to make. It is enabling others to find a more suitable way of living to be healthier in today’s times.

  644. #644 |  jncarlos007 | 

    ha ha fools, you thought you lived in a FREE country

    but what they have taught you is that FREE is the crap they decide to give you
    not the stuff you can actually do…

  645. #645 |  Renni | 

    Let’s all plant herbs and veggies in our front yards to make it “common” – problem solved! With the price of fresh fruits and veggies it would benefits us all. And many people in warm states have lots of fruit bearing trees and all in their front yards…

    Or maybe you could plant some shrubs as a buffer so the veggies are seen from the street…I can’t see them arguing with that.

    Our front yard gets way more light than our backyard which is all shade from large trees. We wouldn’t have much choice if we wanted to grow a garden of any kind.

    And who’s to say the veggies aren’t just as visually appealing…it’s all a matter of perspective.

    I’m in your corner.

  646. #646 |  sandy | 

    I’d advise you to contact Gloria Allred, tell her your story has made Drudge and that you would like her help. It’s worth a try. You’ve made big time news honey, you need big time help. Good luck and God Bless.

  647. #647 |  Grow veggies in your own yard? ‘You’re heading to jail, you criminal’ « David McElroy | 

    [...] first heard about the Detroit-area “veggie criminal” at the Agitator, which has good commentary about the story. [...]

  648. #648 |  Woman faces 93 days in jail for planting garden in front yard… | The Daily Conservative | 

    [...] (Second column, 3rd story, link) [...]

  649. #649 |  creativeoptions.com » Oak Park Nixes Gardens In Front Of Homes? | 

    [...] I just read an article here that has my blood boiling. I attempted to voice my opinion but the comments were closed on the discussion. So I'm going to re-open the discussion right here. First go to http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/ [...]

  650. #650 |  There Is No Freedom In The USA | Dystopia Earth | 

    [...] “They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard. We didn’t move them because we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, even according to city code we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . . -TheAgitator.com [...]

  651. #651 |  Criminal veggies - City-Data Forum | 

    [...] Criminal veggies What? Why? Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator [...]

  652. #652 |  This May Be All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day - The Daily What | 

    [...] / theagitator / thanks christopher!] Incorrect source or offensive?All Kinds Of WrongJulie BassOak [...]

  653. #653 |  Michigan woman faces jail time for planting vegetable garden in front yard | Michigan News Press | Michigan Breaking News Headlines | Michigan News Directory | 

    [...] An Oak Park, Michigan, lady is confronting 93 days in jail if she doesn’t yield to supervision final to mislay a distortion sullying her front yard. So what has city officials all wee-weed up? Is there an deserted automobile or rusted appurtenance tools littering a lawn? Nope, it’s a unfeeling garden—and a rather nurse and appealing one during that, judging from a print (h/t The Agitator). [...]

  654. #654 |  No Veggie Garden For You! | Fellowship of the Minds | 

    [...] following is from “Does Michelle Obama Know About This?,” The Agitator, July 7, [...]

  655. #655 |  Fruit or Vegetable, a Tomato is Uncommon and Possibly Illegal : NOLA Notes | 

    [...] Buddha Nursery posted a link to this article today on Facebook. And it got my blood good and [...]

  656. #656 |  links for 2011-07-08 « Marty Andrade | 

    [...] Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator // A woman is facing 90+ days in jail for having a vegetable garden in her front yard. It's funny to me, since one of the reasons for owning arable land, even a small urban amount, is its ability to produce food. Once the government takes away your right (or your nieghbors take away your right) to tap into the resources of the land you hold, there's no point in holding the land. (tags: gardening survivalism sustainability governmentstupidity) [...]

  657. #657 |  Oak Park Resident May Face Jail For Planting Vegetables « Down on the Pharm | 

    [...] Click to check out this cool garden: Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator. [...]

  658. #658 |  Johan Hedberg Daily Links – July 9, 2011 | Blissnation | 

    [...] http://www.theagitator.com – Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator [...]

  659. #659 |  Woman faces 93 days in jail for planting garden in front yard... | Breaking News | 

    [...] (Second column, 12th story, link) [...]

  660. #660 |  Plant a Garden in your Front Yard and go to Jail | 

    [...] [...]

  661. #661 |  Not time for gold yet (but soon) — Buy-High-Sell-Higher.com | 

    [...] the way it is, apparently. I’m sure by now you’ve seen the story about the lady who installed some beautiful raised planter beds in her front yard and planted vegetables, which is apparently illegal, and now could face up to 93 days in [...]

  662. #662 |  Desert Snow – Water – Super Highway – Middle Class Unrest to HIT the USofA… : poweroftheweb.net | 

    [...] http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/ [...]

  663. #663 |  Watch Where You Plant that Basil… | rodalena | 

    [...] can be just as moronic as national ones. Get a load of this ridiculous story out of Oak Park, MI:  The Villainous Veggie Garden. An obvious criminal mastermind had the unmitigated gall to plant a (shudder) vegetable garden in [...]

  664. #664 |  Poster's Paradise » A new kind of terrorism! | 

    [...] http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/ [...]

  665. #665 |  Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator | snarkarchive | 

    [...] Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator. [...]

  666. #666 |  Truth And Common Sense − Another example of social engineering disguised as “for the good of the children.” And the vegetable garden police. | 

    [...] too much time on their hands.  Apparently, somebody took offense to a person, on their own land, growing food.  Weird huh… Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of [...]

  667. #667 |  What could possibly go wrong with a Comprehensive Plan? « Mark Parham « Louisiana Conservative Dot Com | 

    [...] if she loses she is looking at over 90 days of jail time for growing and eating fresh vegetables. http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/  Now this is Michigan and surely this kind of idiocy is not happening in your town, right? Crap, I [...]

  668. #668 |  When Your Property Is No Longer Your Own – It Is Already Too Late | DRScoundrels | 

    [...] Thanks to theagitator.com for some of the information and a great picture! [...]

  669. #669 |  Julie’s Garden | 

    [...] in planter boxers and grow some vegetables.  (You can see for yourself what the yard looks like in this photo) Julie Bass says, “We thought we’re minding our own business, doing something not ostentatious [...]

  670. #670 |  Arrested for gardening? - Bananas.org | 

    [...] by asking a few neighbors to plant some veggies in their front yards thereby making it common. Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator __________________ [...]

  671. #671 |  20 Political Decisions Too Stupid to Believe–but all recently happened, just check the linked sources « Dregs of the Future | 

    [...] #3 Who decided that it would be a good idea to try to put a woman living in Oak Creek, Michigan in jail for 93 days for growing a garden in her front yard? Also this, and this. [...]

  672. #672 |  This doesn’t seem right… « | 

    [...] http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/ View This Pollonline survey [...]

  673. #673 |  The Grass Mafia — Why Now? | 

    [...] The Agitator got the ball rolling by picking up the story from a Fox affiliate in Detroit : Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail For Planting Vegetable Garden Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass, one Oak Park woman put in a vegetable garden and now the city is seeing green. [...]

  674. #674 |  Breakfast Links | Points and Figures | 

    [...] cannot believe this. If I had a yard, there would be no grass. Just flowers, prairie grasses with herbs, fruits and [...]

  675. #675 |  Government Insanity : Inside the Mind of Micah Sparacio | 

    [...] Part of the reason I moved out into the country was to escape this kind of government nonsense. [...]

  676. #676 |  Simply Shiny Life » Blog Archive » City of Oakpark vs Julie Bass: Vegetables in one’s front yard are BAD for the community | 

    [...] some other links with info: Does Michelle Obama know about this?  Make sure you check out the comments [...]

  677. #677 |  Hey Oak Park, MI–Let Julie Grow! | Grow With Me In My NJ Garden | 

    [...] [...]

  678. #678 |  All American Radio, Volume 3, Episode 5: The Flood | All American Blogger | 

    [...] The Agitator: Does Michelle Obama Know About This? [...]

  679. #679 |  DP Challenge--Name 2 things in your life that arent taxed or regulated by the Gubmint | 

    [...] by SheWolf starting your on vegetable garden… no regulations Wow….where have you been? Does Michelle Obama Know About This? | The Agitator ……93 days in jail…..for starting a garden Archived-Articles: First Health Care, Next the [...]

  680. #680 |  Oak Park, Michigan: Where Growing Vegetables is a Crime | Care2 Healthy & Green Living | 

    [...] Story and image sourced from TheAgitator.com [...]

  681. #681 |  Survival Podcast Listener Feedback for 7-13-11 | The Survival Podcast | 

    [...] 93 Days in Jail for a Front Yard Garden [...]

  682. #682 |  Do statists expect people to be angels? « Blunt Object | 

    [...] On a large scale, however, that’s a relatively small problem.  The larger problem is ensuring that the state uses its powers for good*, rather than producing legislation that ends up hurting people.  For example, we probably don’t want the state to make it illegal to feed the hungry, or to send people to jail for growing vegetables in their front yards. [...]

  683. #683 |  To vegetable or not to vegetable…Citizens revolt! « Sustainable Design and Development Blog | 

    [...] Bass deserve jail time for planting a vegetable garden that even her neighbors might enjoy?  Read more in this excerpt from the source. Bass edible front yard – suitable or not suitable? [...]

  684. #684 |  J.A.R.D. v.7.17.11 « Falcon’s Eyrie | 

    [...] * – ah, nanny-state idiocy… [...]

  685. #685 |  Front Yard Garden Lady Nailed Again for Dog Licences « Down on the Pharm | 

    [...] at Infowars, we learn that Julie  Bass of Oak Park has shed one  criminal charge, over the  edible landscaping in her front yard, due to the spotlight of national attention.   The city planners apparently did [...]

  686. #686 |  Homeowner could go to jail for 93 days because she planted a vegetable garden | Brian Brown's Official Website | 

    [...] on her property. (See the picture of her home here http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/) She has been given a ticket, formally charged with a misdemeanor, and—if this farce is [...]

  687. #687 |  Is growing your own food going to become illegal? - City-Data Forum | 

    [...] S510 doesn't exactly make it illegal to grow your own food, but it comes close. Sooner or later it will happen, as any and every means of self sufficiency is being criminalized. You MUST be dependent on the state. Welcome to the New Freedom. Related to the New Freedom: Misdemeanor charge for front yard garden: http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/0…ow-about-this/ [...]

  688. #688 |  Here’s to America’s once-great Space Program « wildstar84 | 

    [...] More government that’s gotten too big¡ [...]

  689. #689 |  The Paleo Post has been updated « The Paleo Garden | 

    [...] Does Michelle know about this? [...]

  690. #690 |  Top Agitator Posts of 2011 | The Agitator | 

    [...] 1. Does Michelle Obama Know About This? [...]

  691. #691 |  Monday Grab Bag of Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge | 

    [...] Liberty / Govt. California’s Top-One-Percent Bureaucrats Perry is collecting Texas state pension Rachel Maddow on Obama’s Indefinite detention ideas 5-21-09 – YouTube Is America Waging a Covert War on Iran? The Myth of Withdrawal from Afghanistan This Is What The Government Told Gizmodo About Osama Bin Laden’s Body Does Michelle Obama Know About This? [...]

  692. #692 |  The latest on the state of world agriculture, and how far we have to go to fix it - Philobiblon | 

    [...] proportion of their own food, but current planning policies actively work to prevent this. (This madness being just a small example.) And he’s big on the need for cities to preserve nutrients (yes, [...]

  693. #693 |  Book Review: The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do To … | Food Science Chef | 

    [...] their possess food, nonetheless stream formulation policies actively work to forestall this. (This madness being only a tiny example.) And he’s vast on a need for cities to safety nutrients (yes, [...]