Monthly Archives: July 2015

Trash Dump at 2416 Adams Ave

I think the trash originated from a property at 2308 Adams Avenue.

The reason I think this is that the property was recently vacated and was cleared out by a contractor.


Can you see the fire hydrant?

This is not “natural” vegetation.
This is kudzu.

Fire hydrant at 2404 Adams avenue.

I complain about these lots constantly.

When will they go up for tax sale?

The owner clearly does not care about them.

Why do I get a letter from the city for lawn grass grown over 12 inches, when this neighbor who has 5+ years of delinquent property tax gets a free pass to destroy a wooded property and endanger neighbors by letting it get destroyed by non-native kudzu?

Q on New Environmental Layers / Data Management Needs for SDMs?


I’m taking a "Programming for GIS" class this summer, using Python.

We have a final project due about a month and I need to choose a topic.

I’d like to do a programming project related to the Maxent modeling in the Park.

Integrating the maxent.jar file into a Python script for ArcGIS has already been integrated into Desktop ArcGIS, as shown here:

I’d like to work on a script like this for the Smokies to use.

I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for programmatically accomplishing data management tasks related to the Maxent models?

For example, I remember you mentioning you’ve written some programs that generate basic metadata.

That sounds valuable, and worth incorporating into a Python script.

Can you share the Python script you wrote for generating metadata? I’d like to include metadata creation as a step in whatever script I come up with.

Another useful step in the script might be actually assigning X,Y Coordinates to input data using Python, sort of data "pre-processing" the coordinates coming out of the ATBI database for analysis in ArcGIS – and not to get too greedy, but I’m wondering if extracting point coordinates from Chuck Cooper’s MySQL database could be accomplished programatically.

As an aside, I’m also wondering if you’ve got new environmental layers? I can use the old ones I already have, but I might as well use the new ones if they’re available.

For one more potential programming application:

I understand that Todd Witcher is interested in getting his interns involved in doing field verification of the species distribution models.

I was thinking it might be possible to write a program that could choose random sampling locations within a given buffer zone (for example, random sample locations in areas defined as the union of reasonable access to a trail, and either above or below the threshold for predicted "presence" or "absence."

From an earlier project, I seem to recall that the threshold value of "predicted presence" versus "predicted absence" was different for each species modeled, so that might be difficult to accomplish programmatically, but it’s definitely an interesting research question.

If doable, I’m thinking this’d be a way to generate a lot of sample sites in a consistent, reproducible manner.

Any thoughts on that?

I know summer’s a busy time for you –

Would love to check in via phone if that works better.



Fw: From Removal of Confederate Battle Flags / National Flags at Fort Sumter

Hi Julia,

I noticed your name listed on the June 24 2015 memo from Director Jarvis as a contact concerning display of Confederate flags in National Park units.

Brent Everitt with Fort Sumter National Monument mentioned that Fort Sumter is "in consultation" with regional and national offices concerning the historical flag interpretive display discussed here:

I’d asked Brent if he could provide appropriate regional or national contacts to direct inquiry on this display; he directed me to the "Contact Us" form on I’m not a fan of "Contact Us" form mail, so I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you directly via e-mail to inquire:

As a point of contact on the June 24 memo, I wondered if you or NPS employees under your direction are/have been in consultation with NPS employees at Fort Sumter National Monument concerning the historical flag interpretive display?

The reason I ask is Brent mentioned that any correspondence concerning the interpretive display at Fort Sumter that is sent to state representatives at the federal level is then forwarded on to Fort Sumter National Monument for consideration.

If you or employees under your direction are indeed involved in Fort Sumter National Monument’s review of their historical flag interpretive display, can you tell me if copies of any correspondence sent to Congress pertaining to interpretive displays of Confederate flags at a specific Park Service unit are also delivered to appropriate regional and national contacts for the purpose of consideration during regional and national office consultations with specific Park Service units?

Sorry for any imposition in my line of inquiry; I’m just trying to figure out how everything works in the most efficient way possible.

I’d like to pass on to interested individuals the best way to reach out to the Park Service on the topic of the historical flag interpretive display:

Is directing correspondence concerning interpretive displays at National Park units to state representatives in Congress the most efficient way to ensure that such correspondence is delivered to all appropriate parties at the national, regional, and specific Park Service unit levels of Park Service administration?

If not, I’m wondering if you could inform me of whom within the Park Service at national and regional levels above specific park units would be most appropriate to direct correspondence to concerning interpretive displays of Confederate flags at National Park units?



Confederate Flag RDs ADs Superintendents Memo 2015-06-24.pdf
PR Confederate flag.docx

From Removal of Confederate Battle Flags / National Flags at Fort Sumter

Good Afternoon Brent,

Glad to hear my writing comes across as polite.

It’s likely apparent that I’m interested in the transparency of the decision making process influencing historical flag display at Fort Sumter.

My previous experience interacting with the Park Service concerning policy changes includes supplying commentary on a power line proposal impacting the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

There was an opportunity for the public to submit comments online at: <>.

The comment period was open July 9 to September 14, 2010.

Public comment summaries are archived online at <>.

I’m uncertain if it escaped your attention that I made a point to ask if the NPS was soliciting public comments on the forthcoming regional/national decision concerning the flag as displayed at Fort Sumter.

Your response seems to suggest that the NPS is not actively soliciting public comments on a regional/national policy discussion that might affect the historical flag display at Fort Sumter.

As a fan of U.S. Civil War heritage sites, I’m interested in the broader implications of a regional and national policy review conducted in the apparent absence of an effort to solicit input from stakeholders.

From the NPS Website, I have the physical mailing addresses for Regional and National NPS directors.

If you happen to have electronic contact information for these offices, I would appreciate your forwarding that on to me so that I can run my inquiry into the regional and national policy discussion "up the flagpole," so to speak.



HDIAC Inquiry 2015-0945

Hi Crystal,

I think my inquiry might have been misunderstood.

I also think the information provided here conflicts with that provided on the DHS website:

"The Department of Homeland Security distributes grant funds to enhance the ability of regional authorities to prepare, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks and other disasters. Localities use grants for planning, equipment, training and exercise needs."

I’m interested in learning of any potential funds available specifically related to protecting critical infrastructure related to electric power distribution, such as step-down substations.

I believe this activity would fall within "cybersecurity."

I am curious if there are funds available for "homeland defense" activities centered on hardening electrical power distribution sites.

For example, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), State Homeland Security, and Buffer Zone Protection grant programs.

This document, Fiscal Year 2010 Buffer Zone Protection Program Guidance and Application Kit, suggests funds are (or were) available for:

• High profile hotels

• High occupancy stadiums and arenas

• Large retail facilities

• Office buildings exceeding 850 feet

• Highest consequence chemical facilities

• High consequence liquefied natural gas facilities and oil refineries

• Centers for Disease Control Tier 2 stockpile repositories

• Biohazard Safety Level-3 facilities

• High risk international and suspension bridges

• Critical water/wastewater systems

The 2010 document suggests applications for DHS grants are available at

However, I have not found more recent information on the Buffer Zone Protection program and thought that HDIAC might be a good place to start my inquiry into the current state of federal programs supporting protection of electric power distribution infrastructure.