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Zoning officer: New fish mural breaks city code

May 22, 2013

SALEM — Having the business name on the Moonstone Massotherapy fish mural on the side of the Ellsworth Avenue building violates city zoning code, city Planning & Zoning Officer Patrick Morrissey sai......

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May-26-13 8:03 AM

I have thick skin. I know who most of you are, now and that really takes the edge off of your comments. It is these young artists that I am concerned for. They don't understand this hatred. They are so proud of bringing beauty from ugliness. They are making positive change in our city. They don't understand why you should insult their work or themselves. Every artist has felt the same ridicule. Many of the greatest suffered negative criticism of their artwork before it was accepted. That is how new forms of art are borne. These are some very talented people. Because you fail to understand their art form is more a reflection on you than on them. I dislike some art and I love others that is fine - I do not say " that Picasso *****" because I do not enjoy some piece of his art. You people are hurting people. That is wrong. If you have to insult - lets keep that to me. I am old and I already know myself. I take full responsibility for the murals. I am very proud of them.

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May-26-13 7:53 AM

WOW - no - I NEVER suggested that I should commit suicide. Some fool explained that I should and helped me by telling me how to slit my wrists. I made light of it because I am a funny guy. Don't worry - no chance of suicide here. I love my life.

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May-26-13 7:49 AM

all of these people - so interested and so driven to opinion - and yet when it is time to stand up and state your case, when it is time to confront change where are they? They are in a dark room in their pajamas making foolish comments on the work of others. If you believe in something - make a stand. Rebel, confront, explain, stand up for what you believe. Things in Salem are changing. I am very proud of that. You are each part of this community. If your concerns are going unheard and mine are being acted on, perhaps that is because I stand up for what I believe. I use my real name and Lisa and I put our face in public and make our case. Perhaps you should put on "your big boy pants" and waltz your butt down there and state your case. This is your city, too.

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May-26-13 2:12 AM

Basically, this article confirms 2 widely held beliefs:

1. Zoning is just about useless.

2. Cahill is just about clueless.

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May-25-13 4:25 PM

questioner that is where it all starts. It will take months to get thru the process if it survives the many steps it must go thru. However change just for change's sake is not always good change. But that is up to our elected officials and the appointed planning commission. There will be a time for public input on the subject though. That is if anyone really cares.

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May-25-13 4:02 PM

Hey Concerned, if you're reading this, you were right on a posting elsewhere about signs, murals and change, because, according to a Salem Downtown TAC posting, "Tuesday at 6:00 the Rules and Ordinance Committee is going to meet to discuss the rules governing SIGNS for businesses." Maybe not impossible to make changes. (Just slow, but a start.)

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May-25-13 12:40 PM

this town is so black and white Cahill is bringing some color to this town. giving us writers a place to paint besides in the shadows illegally would rather see murals than crappy graffiti all over the place

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May-24-13 12:18 AM

@Viper & OSU - agree about that plywood downtown. It is hideous. The mural on N. Ellsworth is not to my taste, but at least it is neat & clean looking. That mess on State St. tells the world this town is headed in the dumper! THAT needs to be addressed more than the sign. Either way, it's Cahill making a mess of things.

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May-23-13 5:37 PM

Let Him keep making the off-the-wall extreme comments--it hasn't served him well. And while I admit I've repeated your comment to others (with a smile), when the response I've gotten was, "Someone said he should commit suicide??" I would say the comment, even i jest, crossed a line.

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May-23-13 10:49 AM

P.S. I don't want this comment to take away from my last comment, because I do think the questions asked there are important, but notSocialist, you probably should apologize (even tho a relatively large number agreed with you). But just like Mr. Cahill overstepped when he called those who don't like his murals fools, etc, your comment did cross some boundary lines.

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May-23-13 10:43 AM

People do keep mentioning drugs when they talk about downtown. The articles I've read mentioning drug busts have Not been downtown. I am downtown a lot--evenings included. I have not known of a drug problem there. Am I missing something or have the "reports"(??) been greatly exaggerated?

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May-22-13 6:57 PM

You people are worrying too much about bogus things that dont even matter. what about the drug problem we have the decaying downtown theres way worse things to deal with other than a mural in salem ohio..... haha you all crack me up. your a joke :)

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May-22-13 4:31 PM

Agree with Viper. These murals are an ugly addition to the downtown and need a good coat of whitewash

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May-22-13 1:17 PM

"Until I am dead, that will not happen," Cahill said."

NOW that was a real grownup response!

Cahill, put on your big boy pants and apologize to the community and FIX the problem. Morrissey busted you, now accept that your little vendetta didn't work and stop screwing up downtown Salem.

And to think, THIS coming from the man that wanted the taxpayers to hand him over 2 million bucks!

FISH MURAL? Really? As if nobody had a clue as to why you pulled this stunt to begin with!

Morrisey, if Cahill doesn't comply...START SLAPPING FINES ON HIM!

This is ridiculous!

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May-22-13 12:31 PM

Cant comment on that "MUral" as I haven't seen it. But if its like the one on state street I'll back Morrissey, take it down. And I think he is a poor zoning officer. When I go down main street and see that "mural" It feels like im in youngstown ghettos. Those arent Murals there plain out and out Graffiti and need removed. We do have laws on that. And we are trying to remove it from other places in town. But because someone chooses to pay for it ,its a mural! I think not. It makes this whole town look bad.

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May-22-13 11:27 AM

So the issue is the name painted on the wall. Cut a piece of wood to the shape, paint over it on the wall and screw up the wood signboard that your artist can re-paint for you with the name. Problem solved. Seems like a silly rule....

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May-22-13 8:33 AM

Cahill says: "if one drives around the city you will see dozens of examples of signs painted on buildings that are not in compliance. This is not a sign. This is art." Mr. Cahill, Things in existence prior to a zoning law being enacted is grandfathered in and does not have to comply with new regulations. Perhaps that is why there are remnants of the past. New zoning laws apply only from the time they are enacted going forward. they are not retroactive. Hmm not a sign???? Then why the name on it? Once you put the name of a business on a building, it becomes a sign. I am not saying I agree with the law or that I don't agree with it. I am just saying it is the law and it has to be followed. If you don't like the law, work to get it changed. But sir as long as it is the law, please respect it, everyone else has to follow the existing rules. Why should you be any different??

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May-22-13 8:25 AM

"notSocialist" Wow,you really are a class act!

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May-22-13 7:55 AM

Have a nice day and try to think happy thoughts.

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May-22-13 7:50 AM

STofit I agree. for many years there were signs painted on all of the downtown buildings. Remnants of many remain. There were signs on the store fronts, too. They were lighted and had neon. That was long ago when there was a successful downtown. We have fixed that with our regulation for the sake of regulation. Look at a picture from the past - back when people lived in our city.

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May-22-13 7:45 AM

Oh - long-ways not across the arm - now I just made a horrible mess and I am still alive and have to clean it all up! I agree that we must comply with the law. That said, if one drives around the city you will see dozens of examples of signs painted on buildings that are not in compliance. This is not a sign. This is art. Why do you suppose that it is THIS mural and not all of those on the skating rink and other buildings that so offends our City? Art is not a sign. Selective enforcement is unacceptable. - but you know that don't you?

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May-22-13 7:22 AM

What's the old saying? "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute chaos on mine!" Or "Get your ducks in a row before you do anything".Good job,Mr. Morrissey!

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May-22-13 6:50 AM

Zoning codes are just the desires of those that are in power at the time they are written. However, they are the law and must be observed as long as they remain the law. If one does not like a certain law they should work with the system and try to get that law changed, but to blatantly defy the law and shake your fist at it, I find to be very arrogant. I wonder if Mr. Cahill realizes that violation of the city code carries with it a hefty daily fine for everyday someone is in violation. Hopefully the city will enforce that fine if Cahill refuses to comply. Allowing someone to thumb their nose at a city law and get away with it, I think would be a big mistake and would open a door that the city may find very hard to get closed again.

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May-22-13 5:56 AM

Another reason zoning does not work. Buildings were painted with business ads for hundreds of years. There should never have been a zoning code against them. This is a case where the business owners that don't have a visible wall wanted to prevent the signs of one who does.

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