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I agree, I think there are many things Downtown could learn from the burbs considering theres a big portion of Houston's population that live in the burbs. I also think the park is a good idea because any green space that can bring quality to life in an urban setting is a good thing. The garage I also think is a good idea because it took one ugly surface lot and turned it into a park, and took away no parking spots. I just think its neat a park over a parking garage. It dose sound almost like putting a freeway under a park. Could That Happen?

Yeah, a freeway under a park can happen. If you have ever been to Washington D.C., the fountain in front of the Capitol Building has a freeway running through it.

This parking garage/park is a good idea. No parking spaces lost, and it would be needed in the future. Should create an urban-style enviroment.

Edited by CincoRanch-HoustonResident

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Hey, it's a (somewhat) free country. For those of you that want the "less is more" approach to parks, there is Market Square Park, with virtually nothing more than grass. For those of us that want business, maybe the GRB park will satisfy us.

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Since there is going to be an underground garage, perhaps the focus should be on constructing those elements that don't require trees over the garage. A pond, restaurants, a band shell and/or a children's playground. It seems that would leave quite a bit of space for plenty of grass and live oaks. The published plans seem a bit too contrived and fixed. Large green open spaces with large trees combined with the above sounds appealing to me.

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What if we expanded the site by almost 50%, to 12 acres? Would you be happy then?

The park WILL actually be roughly 12 acres

Did any of you complaining about the park actually go to the focus sessions? There were a lot of concerns raised and I thought the committee did a fantastic job explaining the different features and how they will relate. If you guys were so passionate about this park looking a certain way, why did you not voice your opinions at the meetings when the designers were actually listening?.

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the point is..........WE'RE GETTING ANOTHER PARK DOWNTOWN!!!! who'd have thought 5 years ago that a park this size, with so much interest would be on the drawing boards with financing, etc.? the property fits perfectly in front of the GRB and the hilton, and has space on it's perimeter for new development. the brainstorming/creative input from the community is phenomenal. even if the park were one huge green space with a reflecting pool in the middle of it and a parking lot under it, it would still be better than surface parking.

although the current plan may be ambitious, many of the ideas will be refined (some might say watered down) due to financing, interest, space, construction issues, etc.

i'm just excited were getting another park.

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Hey, it's a (somewhat) free country. For those of you that want the "less is more" approach to parks, there is Market Square Park, with virtually nothing more than grass. For those of us that want business, maybe the GRB park will satisfy us.

Agreed...and it would also nice for those of us who would like to have a place downtown to take our children. While a Zen meditation space might be a good idea, try keeping a 2-yr old entertained and out of trouble on an empty plot of grass and trees. Besides, most of us in the 'burbs already have empty green serene spaces in our own back yards--no reason to go downtown for that!

I agree with MidtownCoog that this park seems a little busy on paper, but if it draws families, children, and others who will actually spend money downtown, it will lead to development. In that case, I'm all for it, flaws and all!

Edited by mike1

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The latest issue of "Cite" has the preliminary rendering for the park and an article about it.

At first I was somewhat dubious about the park, but after seeing the plans I think it's pretty exciting. I can see it being very popular, especially with the pond and water features, like the redesigned Hermann Park reflecting pool. The dog park is a nice feature, but I'm not sure it will draw too many pups away from Allen Parkway dog park with bayou access. :) I think you need more than just an expanse of grass to draw crowds, but this should do it.

It's great to see the effort being made for this to be a really first-class park. I think sometimes in Houston we are too ready to settle for, or even embrace, second-rate architecture and design. This will be a great addition to downtown.

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Market Square Park

Market Square Park is not really a park. It's a square.

And squares are traditionally surrounded by business. Kinda like Treebeards, Warrens, La Carfe, Le Grivales, Kim Son surround Market Square Park.

Do they really call it Market Square Park? I always just call it Market Square.

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Market Square Park is not really a park. It's a square.

And squares are traditionally surrounded by business. Kinda like Treebeards, Warrens, La Carfe, Le Grivales, Kim Son surround Market Square Park.

Do they really call it Market Square Park? I always just call it Market Square.

http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/index.html

On the left side, scroll to parks and click. Click on Park inventory. Scroll down to "M".

As to whether it is a square or a park, I would suggest that it is in fact a square park. Does that make it any less usable?

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I won't/can't name sources, but I'm hearing bad things about the park development plans...has to do with money. Anyone able to expand on this?

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It would not surprise me if they did have money trouble.

Considering all that whacky crap they want to dump into the park from day one.

I'll still stand by my "baby steps" for this park. Start green and start simple.

And forget about the underground parking. What a waste of money.

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And forget about the underground parking. What a waste of money.

That's a great idea. Have surface parking, but give a $2 price break if you agree to cover your car with potted plants. :blink:

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There is already plenty of parking near by.

How many blocks will this park cover?

By your reasoning, we should put a parking garage under Herman Park and Memorial Park while we are at it.

Edited by MidtownCoog

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There is already plenty of parking near by.

How many blocks will this park cover?

By your reasoning, we should put a parking garage under Herman Park and Memorial Park while we are at it.

Hopefully they are being progressive and know that those surface lots that surround the park will be future development.

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I think they should just do it already. People are going to have to agree to disagree. I hear all the time the city is shortsighted and has terrible planning. True, but then as soon as someone has a vision or the city plans to do something, I start hearing They need to keep it simple start slow.

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I think they should just do it already. People are going to have to agree to disagree. I hear all the time the city is shortsighted and has terrible planning. True, but then as soon as someone has a vision or the city plans to do something, I start hearing They need to keep it simple start slow.

Huh? I don't think this is one of those times. I only know one person that is downplaying this plan, which is predictable with every project.

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??? Just my opion don't take it personal!! I was just saying in genral.

Edited by T 2 THA C

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??? Just my opion don't take it personal!!

I didn't. I just know that Houston has had its fair share of anti-development people lately and I was just saying I have not heard to many negatives on the park except from the "usuals".

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The park is fine, but it's a boondoggle.

See the master plan. It's a bit much and over the top. Looks like Tilman created it.

Sometimes less is more when it comes to features in a park.

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The park is fine, but it's a boondoggle.

See the master plan. It's a bit much and over the top. Looks like Tilman created it.

Sometimes less is more when it comes to features in a park.

Well first we do not even know what the thing looks like. Second, I guess it would have been nice to extend what is now Houston Center Gardens :closedeyes: so it could evolve and do what it has ben doing for the past few years. Absolutely nothing. Atleast if there is an initiative to bring residential development around the park, the residents or visitors have something to do which there is plenty of. From what I can see, there is still a decent amount of park space in the development. I believe Finger already has plans to take up the northern border of the park for a residential development.

Edited by WesternGulf

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I won't/can't name sources, but I'm hearing bad things about the park development plans...has to do with money. Anyone able to expand on this?

I'm sorry to hear that. I know this is a bizarre, shocking suggestion for Houston, but couldn't they just skip the underground parking garage? That has to be the most expensive component, by far, of the park design, and that area isn't exactly hurting for parking. Of course, the way things seem to work, I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to skip the park and keep the garage. :huh:

What I don't want to see is the park scaled back to something second rate so they can pay for a parking garage. This is an opportunity to have something really great for downtown, and I would hate it if they blow it this time.

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I'm sorry to hear that. I know this is a bizarre, shocking suggestion for Houston, but couldn't they just skip the underground parking garage? That has to be the most expensive component, by far, of the park design, and that area isn't exactly hurting for parking. Of course, the way things seem to work, I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to skip the park and keep the garage. :huh:

What I don't want to see is the park scaled back to something second rate so they can pay for a parking garage. This is an opportunity to have something really great for downtown, and I would hate it if they blow it this time.

In all seriousness, I did not even read the Niche's post. I agree that if cost is an issue, I am sure there are alternatives to the underground garage. If that is the case, I actually agree w/ MidtownCoog. The garage was a smart move in my opinion if we are trying to cut down on the need for parking for future developments but I am sure it is not imperative to have if it is going to remove the entire possibility of getting the pak done. I am sure minus the 20 million dollars for the garage would fix the financial issue.

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Don't forget how much the city has already spent to buy the couple of blocks they needed for the park.

I think Finger graciously sold them the needed blocks, and they are now well positioned to cash in when the time is right with their new "residental" development.

Hmmm.

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It's my understanding that many of the parks which dot Paris and make it such a lovely city were built atop underground parking.

The only way to increase density without creating sprawl is to go vertical. That doesn't always mean up. The underground parking which this development will provide is the most important element of the project. Whatever is built on the surface is merely a detail.

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the most important element of the project

Not sure about that. This parking garage was actually added at the last moment.

There were no initial plans for a parking garage. Just a park. Then all of the sudden....

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I've already stated my views, and I still agree with you Midtown Coog.

Again, what if we took the money and spend it on Buffalo Bayou. Between Buffalo Bayou, Eleneor Tinsley, and Sam Houston parks, you have over a hundred acres of parkland. Add to that all the work being done to the bayou all the way to Allens Landing park. That is what you call a "jewel" park, not some 9 square block themepark.

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If the $21.5 million dollar garage cause a problem, it should not (and probably won't) kill the entire project. Since the year 2000, two very large parking garages have been constructed within a few blocks of the park. They will probably adequately serve the area for a few years until the garage can be funded.

As for the suggestion that the park is too "busy", or resembles an amusement park, look at the proposal, linked earlier in this thread. Of the 11.8 acres, 7.4 acres will be lawns, gardens, ponds or trees. That's 75% of the space. The Great Lawn itself is 3 acres, the size of 1 1/2 city blocks. Hardly overdone or amusements.

An additional 1.25 acres will be the Promenade, essentially converting the existing street into a pedestrian walkway. This will allow festivals, such as the I-Fest, to be held in the park, a wonderful use of the facility. Very little of the space will be dedicated to restaurants or kiosks, essentially the NE and SE corners, but those spaces will provide rental revenue for upkeep on the park.

Sounds like smart planning to me. But, what do I know. I always thought Eleanor Tinsley Park supplied our "less is more" needs...and it is only across the bayou. I always thought the intent of this park was to give Houston a central, identifiable meeting place.

Edited by RedScare

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Not sure about that. This parking garage was actually added at the last moment.

There were no initial plans for a parking garage. Just a park. Then all of the sudden....

That is not correct. The underground garage was part of the plan from the very beginning. As part of the original agreement when the city conveyed the land to the park conservancy, the city retained an easement to allow it to build the underground parking garage.

Don't forget how much the city has already spent to buy the couple of blocks they needed for the park.

I think Finger graciously sold them the needed blocks, and they are now well positioned to cash in when the time is right with their new "residental" development.

Hmmm.

Wrong again. Finger did not own the land on which the park will be built. You really should try not to engage in slander.

I'm a little surprised at all the hand-wringing about the parking garage portion. It is financed totally separately from the park and is most likely self-financing. If anything, it may help pay for the park improvements.

Edited by Houston19514

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That is not correct. The underground garage was part of the plan from the very beginning. As part of the original agreement when the city conveyed the land to the park conservancy, the city retained an easement to allow it to build the underground parking garage.

Wrong again. Finger did not own the land on which the park will be built. You really should try not to engage in slander.

I'm a little surprised at all the hand-wringing about the parking garage portion. It is financed totally separately from the park and is most likely self-financing. If anything, it may help pay for the park improvements.

Thank you Houston19514 for actually pointing out the facts instead of ranting with no foundation.

B)

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That is not correct. The underground garage was part of the plan from the very beginning. As part of the original agreement when the city conveyed the land to the park conservancy, the city retained an easement to allow it to build the underground parking garage.

Wrong again. Finger did not own the land on which the park will be built. You really should try not to engage in slander.

I'm a little surprised at all the hand-wringing about the parking garage portion. It is financed totally separately from the park and is most likely self-financing. If anything, it may help pay for the park improvements.

Houston19514 speaks the truth. I wish I could go into more detail on this, but all I can do is provide abstract theories right now:

The city is attempting to stimulate very rapid and very dense growth (especially of a residential nature) in the eastern portion of downtown; that has been a goal for a very long time and has prompted hundreds of millions of dollars of public investment.

This is most likely why a very 'busy' park has been designed as opposed to a more empty one that is more appropriate for employees of office buildings. You don't put in places for people to bring their dogs without people living near by...unless you want people to live nearby. In regard to parks and other public/quasipublic amenities, demand creates supply in the short run, but supply creates demand in the long run. In this case, the long run trend was immediately manifested in the Finger project...but it certainly wouldn't be the last. For this reason, I would support the 'busy' park.

So if we come up short at present to pay for an underground parking garage, what then? If we know that there will be a need for the parking in the future (and I think that the need could be justified 20 years out) then are we willing to accept that either 1) we can tear up the park with all its amenities and mature trees in order to build the parking garage in 20 years, once there gets to be enough demand, or 2) we can build the garage right now and postpone the park a few years until adequate funding can be lined up...and then do it right, have a functioning garage, and a park built for generations that those of us alive today will never have the pleasure of knowing?

Of course, the third option is to build the park well and never to have a parking garage, but that foregoes a major opportunity. See, by building lots of new public parking spaces, the city would force operators of parking lots to price spaces more competitively in order to attract customers, forcing their revenues down. By diminishing the revenue that can be had by operating surface parking lots, land prices can be lowered to the point that (at least on the margin) surface parking lots are no longer the highest and best uses of land. Land prices are the big obsticale to fostering residential development in the CBD...if that problem can be solved, then the eastern district within downtown may very well evolve to the point at which the investment in an underground parking garage not only justifies itelf through the promotion of new developments or by creating more taxable and valuable real estate, but through revenues from providing public parking spaces by itself.

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Is it slander to say the people in charge of this project need to be fired?

We can't even pave over a parking lot and put grass on top it.

Think about that for a second. A nine square block park.

And to call this park a crown jewel is a joke. There was already a park in the area.

On a related note, who did sell those lots to the city? I can't remember and don't have time to dig up the old article.

No doubt investment squatter Hakeem is rubbing his greedy hands near by.

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I'm with CityKid09 on this one. You can't really get too excited about a park. What is going to be so special about this so called "urban" park in front of GRB. Westerngulf said earlier that there will be amentities to it. What amentities will be so special about this park as opposed to any other park near downtown?

And what is really going to be so different about this park and the park that they built last year with the brand new basketball goals pretty close to Austin Street on the east side of downtown?

Edited by C2H

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On a related note, who did sell those lots to the city? I can't remember and don't have time to dig up the old article.

Crescent Real Estate Equities Trust, which owns shares of most of the Houston Center buildings and much of the surrounding land. My understanding is that Hakeem, who owns the ground on which the Finger project is to be built, purchased it from Crescent as well...but that was a while back and I could be mistaken. Check the tax rolls if you're really interested.

Edited by TheNiche

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Oh and P.S: your website link is not working for me.

Not really defending 19514 or further criticizing you, but I had to go back to the previous page and about 20 posts up just to see what Citykid had even said. In between that gap, the site activity plan was mentioned a couple of times, in addition to some of the amenities. I tried the website link and it does work - its a pdf file. What will be "special" about the park is that it is downtown and is will cover much of what are currently surface lots and incorporate a lot of different things in it, in a smaller space. It is not necessarily a complete green space - which is where the arguments start on this board. I personally like the fact it will be more than green space, because we already have parks that are green space. Others think the ideas are too many for a smaller area. Whatever.

However, some of the amenities include a restaurant, a cafe, dog park, picnic area, "Oak Alley", great lawn with informal sports area, food vendors, children's play area, a few stages. Its hard to describe in full, but I would suggest trying the link again and realize it is 44 pages, thus takes a while to load.

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Not really defending 19514 or further criticizing you, but I had to go back to the previous page and about 20 posts up just to see what Citykid had even said. In between that gap, the site activity plan was mentioned a couple of times, in addition to some of the amenities. I tried the website link and it does work - its a pdf file. What will be "special" about the park is that it is downtown and is will cover much of what are currently surface lots and incorporate a lot of different things in it, in a smaller space. It is not necessarily a complete green space - which is where the arguments start on this board. I personally like the fact it will be more than green space, because we already have parks that are green space. Others think the ideas are too many for a smaller area. Whatever.

However, some of the amenities include a restaurant, a cafe, dog park, picnic area, "Oak Alley", great lawn with informal sports area, food vendors, children's play area, a few stages. Its hard to describe in full, but I would suggest trying the link again and realize it is 44 pages, thus takes a while to load.

You beat me to it.

I don't think 19514 was trying to be rude, he/she might of just got annoyed that people go on about something when it's already been discussed. And that person could of avoided the question(or rant/ comment) if they would of just skimmed through the thread.

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Just a little research on the subject at hand scrolling through the thread makes a difference.

Oh well, We have strayed off subject so everyone should drop it.......if anyone else has anything else about it they should just IM, drop it, or go to the thread about reading threads before posting( it exists) :D

Edited by Subdude

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Just a little research on the subject at hand scrolling through the thread makes a difference.

Oh well, We have strayed off subject so everyone should drop it.......if anyone else has anything else about it they should just IM, drop it, or go to the thread about reading threads before posting( it exists) :D

P.S.

yeah he could of responded nicer

Oh yeah??? You tryin to tell ME how to scroll??? Meet me in the park after school, BUB! :lol:

B)

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Back on topic, judging from his response, I guess Houston19514 is all up Mr. Finger's butt for some odd reason.

Do you work for Mr. Fringer?

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Back on topic, judging from his response, I guess Houston19514 is all up Mr. Finger's butt for some odd reason.

Do you work for Mr. Fringer?

Unbelievable. Really unbelievable. No, I do not work for Mr. Finger. I've never met the man. I don't quite understand what your obsession with Mr. Finger is all about. I just prefer to keep things on the board a little more closely related to FACTS rather than slander, rumor, and stuff that is just plain "made-up."

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Back on topic, judging from his response, I guess Houston19514 is all up Mr. Finger's butt for some odd reason.

Do you work for Mr. Fringer?

Actually Midtown Coog, your comments about Mr Finger were kind of confusing to me too.

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I just prefer to keep things on the board a little more closely related to FACTS

Yes, you are quite the slave master. Telling people to scorll up, don't repat things, read the entire thread, etc.

Lighten up, Francis.

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By diminishing the revenue that can be had by operating surface parking lots, land prices can be lowered to the point that (at least on the margin) surface parking lots are no longer the highest and best uses of land.

If that's the thought process that went into this park idea, then I think whoever came up with this one is an absolute genius. It's sort of like a subsidy, except it's revenue-producing, and everyone gets a park out of it! Brilliant!

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I appreciate 19514's posts. He seems thoughtful and connected and uses factual information to back up his posts. More people should try that route...

As for parks with underground parking and "busy" amenities, just look to Boston.

The Boston Common is the nation's oldest public park. It has 3 levels of underground parking, tennis courts, a softball diamond, a dog run, two stops for the T, a frog pond that is used for iceskating in the winter, a pavilion that hosts movies and plays during the summer months, a gazebo used for demonstrations and a great lawn expanse. Across the street lies the Boston Public Garden with gardens, a pond with the famous "Swan Boat" tours, walking paths, and statues.

I am not sure why a city like Boston can embrace such a park but in Houston, it's a boondoggle, a worhtless endeavour, a waste of tax payer money, a pipe dream, and all the other things it has been called. Sigh.

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i like underground parking. it seems to me that it will benefit all surrounding developments, like the GRB as well as new development. also, it will be nice for festivals.

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I am not sure why a city like Boston can embrace such a park but in Houston, it's a boondoggle, a worhtless endeavour, a waste of tax payer money, a pipe dream, and all the other things it has been called. Sigh.

I agree, KinkaidAlum. Reading these forums is a perfect cure for anybody who is too positive or optimistic about life. The pessimism and bitterness out here is unbelievable!

Back to the topic ...

Build the park. Make it big. Fill it with a variety of things to do. Provide plenty of parking that properly balances the need for parking with the needs of the trees and vegetation.

How about this? Underneath some of the larger trees, build hollow glass columns that extended down into the garage. People can get a subterranean view of the park with a close up look at the roots.

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I agree, KinkaidAlum. Reading these forums is a perfect cure for anybody who is too positive or optimistic about life. The pessimism and bitterness out here is unbelievable!

Back to the topic ...

Build the park. Make it big. Fill it with a variety of things to do. Provide plenty of parking that properly balances the need for parking with the needs of the trees and vegetation.

How about this? Underneath some of the larger trees, build hollow glass columns that extended down into the garage. People can get a subterranean view of the park with a close up look at the roots.

I'm all for optimism, but you do realize that the dirt surrounding roots is opaque, right?

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Back on topic, judging from his response, I guess Houston19514 is all up Mr. Finger's butt for some odd reason.

Do you work for Mr. Fringer?

Yes, you are quite the slave master. Telling people to scorll up, don't repat things, read the entire thread, etc.

Lighten up, Francis.

Coog, read some of the remarks made by other people on this forum. You're not taking the hint.

If you don't stop the name-calling and insulting remarks, the editor's going to come down on you. We don't want to lose good members because of your antics.

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