Blog Vacation

Hello Everyone:

I’ll be taking my Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year break from blogging so won’t be back until Monday January 3, 2022.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Take care.

David

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Getting to Work

Excellent analysis in this report from New Geography.

An excerpt.

“Advances in information technology have made it possible to provide estimates of job access by transportation mode in metropolitan areas. The University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory has positioned itself as the leader in this field.

“Data for the average metropolitan area resident is now available for 2019 for 50 of the largest US metropolitan areas for autos and transit. A 30-minute standard has been generally adopted for comparing metropolitan areas. This is similar to the average one-way work trip travel time in the United States, which was 27.6 minutes in 2019, according to the American Community Survey.

“Best Auto 30-Minute Job Access

“The best auto access is in metro Salt Lake City (Figure 1), where about 114% of the metropolitan area’s jobs are accessible to the average resident worker. This may seem impossible, but favorable employment geography is responsible. The highest urban core of Salt Lake City, which includes not only downtown but also the highest densities in the metro area and Temple Square is about five miles south of the Ogden metropolitan area line (Davis County), This makes it possible for Salt Lake City residents to reach jobs in the two adjacent metropolitan areas. Not only is there continuous urbanization to the north, the area along Interstate 15 to the Provo metropolitan area (Utah County) also provides nearby employment opportunities for Salt Lake City metro workers. The employment in these two adjacent metros is nearly as large as that of metro Salt Lake City.

“Five more metropolitan areas have 30-minute job access of 80% or more, Las Vegas, San Jose, Hartford, Raleigh and Milwaukee. San Jose’s 88% figure is especially impressive given its location in the traffic clogged San Francisco Bay Area. Like Salt Lake City, San Jose residents benefit from access to the adjacent San Francisco metropolitan area and the jobs-rich, dispersed f Silicon Valley into San Mateo County.

“The best 30-minute transit job access is in the San Francisco metropolitan area, at 3.51% (Figure 2). This compares to the 29.1% of San Francisco metropolitan area jobs that can be reached by autos in 30 minutes, 8.3 times (830%) that of transit.

“Salt Lake City ranks second in 30-minute transit access, at 2.54%, followed by Milwaukee at 2.43%. Milwaukee is not surprising, because in my days of chairing American Public Transit Association committees (1980s), Milwaukee was often referred to as a particularly good transit city.

“Perhaps surprisingly, New York, which dominates US transit ridership and has by far the most comprehensive transit system in the nation yet ranks only fourth in 30-minute transit job access, at 2.39%.

“The city of New York accounts for about one-half of the jobs in the metropolitan area. The transit market share is 32% in the metropolitan area — no other metro reaches even 20%. Transit carries 58% of commuters to jobs in the city, but less than six percent of the equally large number of jobs outside the city.

“Even so, 30-minute transit access within the urban core is impressive. This can be illustrated by data from the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s alltransit.cnt.org website. Transit 30-minute job access in the city of New York is about four times that of the metropolitan area. And within Manhattan (New York County) transit 30-minute job access for the average resident worker is about 107%. CNT ‘s 30-minute access criteria differ from that of the University of Minnesota. The CNT figure is more than three times as high for the New York metropolitan area, presumably reflecting more liberal criteria).”

Retrieved November 19, 2021 from Auto 30-Minute Commutes Substantially Top Transit | Newgeography.com

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Sacramento Crime

A disturbing article about it from the California Globe.

An excerpt.

“The crime wave across California has come to the front doors of millions in once-safe cities. As the Globe recently reported, in the once sleepy cow town of Sacramento, California, there are now regular (daily) shootings, stabbings, even machete attacks, bank robberies, assaults and homicides.

“We’ve been compiling long lists of violent crimes. This one is a rundown of just some of the crime in Sacramento last week. And this happens in Sacramento residential neighborhoods without acknowledgment of the seriousness or impact on the quality of life by Sacramento’s Mayor Darrell Steinberg, most members of the City Council.

“I will add one more weird crime to the list: There was another middle-of-the-night explosion in Sacramento’s William Land Park Saturday night, a large regional park in the City of Sacramento. The park is surrounded by residential housing and local businesses, and includes the Sacramento Zoo, Land Park Golf Course, Fairytale Town, Funderland and a corral for pony rides.

“For more than one year now, someone or some persons are setting off what sounds and feels like bombs – a very loud explosion in the middle of the night. The response from the city: Silence. Crickets. Local residents and neighbors have noted these explosions on local social media including Nextdoor and Facebook, and have asked the Mayor’s office and Sacramento Police what is going on, but no acknowledgment or response has been provided.

“One home’s Ring camera caught this video of a car going the wrong way down a downtown alley in the middle of the night, dropping something, which eventually explodes sounding just like all of the other explosions. While we are not Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians, these aren’t bottle rockets, but certainly could be homemade explosives.

“As I write this Sunday evening, another loud explosion just went off in the park at 5:53pm. The Globe immediately notified SacPD.

“Recently I also reported being awakened at 2:25am by gunshots and then a short burst of automatic gunfire somewhere nearby in my neighborhood.

“Here is a running list of last weeks’ crimes as reported by SacPD:”

Retrieved November 15, 2021 from Sacramento Crime Log Grows; ‘Crickets’ from Mayor and City Council – California Globe

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Environmentalism & Fossil Fuel

Good info too often forgotten, from New Geography.

An excerpt.

“Over the last decade, climate activists have successfully pressured governments, banks, and corporations to divest from crude oil and natural gas companies. The energy infrastructures are just like the “civil” infrastructures the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Cards constantly addresses, and the resultant poor “grades” given to the infrastructures of our economy. Under-investment in infrastructure leads to deterioration and supply chain issues that more adversely impact the economy.

“ESG “Environmental, Social, and Governance” investments are all the rage on Wall Street these days as climate activists continue to pressure governments, firms, and banks to divest from oil and gas exploration. The ESG investment directions are impacting the energy markets and the supply chain of products and fuels manufactured from crude oil and are, paradoxically, causing rising coal use, carbon emissions, and shortages.

“Meanwhile, China, India, East Asia, and Europe are all mining and burning more coal to make up for the lack of natural gas. China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, and Africa will have more than 3,000 coal fired power plants by 2030 in those developing countries with billions of people seeking abundant, affordable, and reliable electricity.

“The ESG considerations now propagating throughout corporate America account for much of the decline in capital expenditures by international oil companies in recent years. Big financial institutions such as Bank of America and Mastercard, investment managers such as BlackRock and Vanguard, and hundreds of corporations are going all-in on the financial and commercial portion of the Great Reset, pushing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.

“As we have learned from the ASCE Infrastructure Report Cards, under-investment in oil and gas exploration is “supposed” to facilitate the deterioration of fossil fuel infrastructures and lead to an economy rife with inflation and supply-chain disruptions.

“Of the three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil, the ESG enthusiasts do not understand that crude oil is seldom ever used for the generation of electricity.

“For electricity, most of the worlds continuous uninterruptable electricity generation is by coal, natural gas, hydropower, and nuclear. Crude oil is a non-player for electricity generation.

“The primary usage of crude oil is not for electricity, but to manufacture oil derivatives that make 6,000 products used in our daily lives, and the transportation fuels needed by the world’s:

  • Militaries
  • 23,000 commercial jets
  • 20,000 private jets
  • 10,000 superyachts over 24 meters in length
  • 300 cruise ships
  • 53,000 merchant ships, and
  • 1.2 billion vehicles

“The economic comeback from the covid pandemic has pushed up demand. The underperformance of electricity generation from breezes and sunshine has meant higher demand for both natural gas and coal, to provide continuous uninterruptable electricity generation.

“With ESG investment guidelines hovering over corporate America, oil and gas firms have since refused to expand production, even though the proof of this desperately needed infrastructure is in the data. Fossil fuels’ share of global energy production remain unchanged at 81 percent. To the extent emissions in Europe and the US declined, it was largely due to the transition from coal to natural gas.

“Socially responsible investing is decades old, but ESG was embraced over the last decade by large university endowments, investment banks like Blackrock, governments, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and eventually by oil and gas companies themselves, including Shell, Total, and many others. In May, a court in The Netherlands ordered Shell to reduce its emissions, a ruling that made firms reluctant to invest in new oil and gas exploration.”

Retrieved November 10, 2021 from Without Fossil Fuel Infrastructure We’re Supposed to Have an Energy Crisis | Newgeography.com

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War on the Suburbs & St. Louis

Reflective article in New Geography from a California resident visiting St. Louis.

An excerpt.

“Sacramento politicians and the urban growth lobby they so diligently serve have created a narrative that there is something very wrong with living in (or wanting to live in) a single-family neighborhood. Single-family neighborhoods are — so the narrative goes — “racist,” “immoral,” and “evil.”

“Three sub-narratives disseminated by density fetishists dominate discussions aimed at demonizing what for a vast majority of Americans, represents a lifestyle preference.

“Single-family neighborhoods are racist (OK, ignore the role of banks and the real-estate industry in suppressing Black homeownership, and reward them by effectively putting them in charge of urban planning).

“Single-family neighborhoods preclude housing affordability because urban density is required for affordability (well, not exactly, according to demographer Wendell Cox).

“Single-family neighborhoods accelerate climate change (except it isn’t the lack of density that causes climate change, but increased consumption).

“The reasons Sacramento politicians cling to these narratives when carrying the water for the density lobby is fairly self-evident: money and power. For them, the commodification of housing serves numerous constituencies — developers, Big Tech, the construction unions, and Sacramento politicians. These are aided and abetted by a vocal Twitter mob of WIMBY (Wall St.in my back-yard) true-believers.

“Of course, these policies are at odds with what most Californians and Americans prefer. The move to force ever more urban density down the throats of Californians has left many of the state’s residents feeling helpless and frustrated. In effect, their preferences (are being derided by efforts to discourage homeownership and turn us into a state of renters ( a nifty and reliable source of recurring revenue for corporate landlords and private equity investors.

“Now that Sacramento politicians have taken measures to eradicate single-family neighborhoods, reduce homeownership, and to force density upon communities, other states should take notice and react accordingly. The same vested interests have power in many communities and would like to impose this approach on them.

“But those states throughout the nation that are willing to accept a diversity of lifestyle choices and to embrace housing pluralism, should promote this as a virtue and use it to their advantage. . States that are willing to embrace tolerance, including when it comes to people’s housing preferences should let people in states with fewer housing options know that they exist and would welcome new community members.

“California’s historical tolerance of people of all stripes has been a strength and a way for the state to attract new residents. But as the “progressive” (well, really corporatist) clerisy tightens its grip here, there is an opportunity for other states to attract people of all stripes. This could turn the tables on California — usually brashly seeing itself as harbinger of the future — for a change. Other states have the opportunity to turn “California’s lack of tolerance into a strength, into an asset, into a way to make people feel accepted, welcome, and at home within their states and within the communities in their states.

“The notion that California is simply somehow “better” than other places is increasingly outdated — except of course for our weather.

“If Sacramento politicians take the state’s residents for granted and are comfortable telling them that they are not allowed to look for and live in the housing they prefer, then other states can offer a that opportunity to attract the talented and dynamic current residents of the Golden State, many of whom like living in a home with a garden in a neighborhood of homes with gardens.

“We can already see an advertising campaign in California touting the virtues of Ohio as a place to relocate to. Why not consider Ohio as a place to lay down roots? And while Ohioans might not give a damn for the whole state of Michigan, why not Michigan, for that matter? Californians have headed to Texas, Arizona and Nevada, states not more attractive in physical terms those in the Midwest.

“Last month I was in St. Louis for a few days. It’s a city I had never spent an appreciable amount of time in.

“If we’re going to “build back better,” then there aren’t many better places than St. Louis to do so.

“The population of St. Louis is currently just above 300,000 residents. This is less than in 1870. It’s a mere 35% of the St. Louis population in 1950. In the 50 years from 1970, St. Louis has lost more than half its population, even as its suburban population rose dramatically.

“Like any city, St. Louis may have its share of problems. But it is quite simply a great city. Wholesome Midwestern values (on a human, person-to-person level; I am not making any political commentary here). Extensive infrastructure. Good food. Nice people. Great beer. For all the talk of Austin, Boise, Bozeman, and Nashville, St. Louis seems like a great place to live, laugh, love, and work. And it definitely deserves to be a success.

“St. Louis has a beautiful, historic downtown. It has world-class universities, major museums, impressive cultural institutions, huge, well-maintained parks, and great professional sports teams. It has one of the most incredible man-made landmarks anywhere in the world.”

Retrieved November 9, 2021 from Meet me in St. Louis: When One Golden State Closes, Another May Open | Newgeography.com

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California Environmentalism, Taxes & the Poor

Good article from City Journal.

An excerpt.

“The Biden-Harris administration has praised California’s progressive elected officials as model leaders on climate and environmental issues. But what have those state leaders and their policies actually produced? A fixation on renewable energy, along with the closure of natural gas and nuclear plants, has helped drive the cost of electricity and gas in California higher than anywhere else in the continental U.S. And the lion’s share of these costs is borne by low-income families. Adjusted for cost of living, California has the nation’s highest poverty rate—about 7.1 million people—due in part to the high costs of essentials like housing, gas, and electricity.

“This is largely the result of California’s regressive tax policies. The state sales tax, property tax, and any user fee, be it a road toll or bus fare, hits lower-income workers harder because these levies take no account of the payer’s lower earnings. A $100 fee hits the budget for a lower-tiered earner harder than it does a higher-tiered one. Consider the gas tax. One of the biggest financial shocks for consumers in recent months has been the ever-escalating cost of fueling their cars. A gas tax is a recessive excise tax that disproportionately penalizes lower- and middle-class households, since they spend a larger proportion of their annual income on gasoline than do high-income families.

“California’s gas tax grew even worse for families this year when an automatic tax increase went into effect in July, thanks to Senate Bill 1, passed in 2017. The law incrementally and automatically raises the fuel excise tax each year, ostensibly to help fund road and bridge repairs. Californians affected by the bill have pleaded with Governor Newsom to intervene, given recent economic troubles, but he has remained silent on the issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at $4.44 a gallon, Los Angeles-area consumers paid 32.1 percent more than the $3.361 national average in August 2021. These costs put a disproportionate burden on low-income residents.

“Many progressive elected leaders favor nudging residents away from gas-powered cars altogether in favor of electric vehicles. But EVs cost on average between $10,000 and $15,000 more than a similar gas-powered model. EVs make up a mere 3 percent of car sales nationwide, but about 40 percent of EV registrations are in California. Nearly 80 percent of battery-powered cars sold last year in the United States were Teslas. A midrange Tesla costs $60,000 and up, but it’s a great deal for high-income earners in California, due to a $7,500 federal tax credit and generous state incentives and subsidies—“Green Welfare for the Rich,” as the Wall Street Journal described it.

“Los Angeles County’s transit agency is now considering using congestion pricing to charge those driving on the roads and highways that they are already paying for with their state taxes, including at the pump. This pricing structure would charge drivers based on how far they travel, and how congested roads are when they travel. In essence, this is a toll, for which both high- and low-income drivers pay the same rate. You don’t have to be an economist to understand that low-income households typically drive more miles each day to get to work, since they can’t afford to live in more expensive urban areas where most of the jobs are.

“The state’s green push has even followed Californians into their homes, where environmental groups want a complete ban on natural gas. The use of natural gas in buildings, however, accounts for only about 10 percent of California’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to the California Air Resources Board. Nevertheless, more than 40 cities and counties in California have tightened rules on natural gas in new housing, and a few have banned its use entirely, including San Francisco. Natural gas has been an important means of home heating for years, powering furnaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers, among other appliances. The main difference between gas and electric appliances is cost. A gas dryer will finish a load of laundry in about half the time of an electric dryer. For some reason, California’s green policymakers can’t grasp this.”

Retrieved November 9, 2021 from Greener—and Poorer | City Journal (city-journal.org)

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Wonderful News

From City Express.

“A delegation from the City and County of Sacramento recently visited Haven for Hope, a nationally recognized program for people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio, Texas.

“The program, which serves hundreds of people simultaneously, offers a full spectrum of programs, services and shelter all on one self-contained campus.

“It’s been eye-opening to come to Haven for Hope,” City Councilmember Jeff Harris said while visiting the site. “They have aggregated their services in one location. They’ve put together physical services — mental and behavioral health services — all together. They have a courtyard campus model, which is unique, and I think really effective.”

“Harris said that many of the same programs and services already exist in Sacramento, but not all in the same location.

“Sacramento County Supervisor Rich Desmond also travelled to San Antonio and noted the importance of offering a one-stop-shop. “It makes it much more likely that we can get folks connected with the services they need,” he said. “And that’s where they (Haven for Hope) see such success in changing the arc of folks’ lives.”

“Haven for Hope offers space on its campus to more than 70 social service agencies and non-profits. Once someone enters the Haven for Hope system, they can receive help with everything from health and dental care to job training and placement.

“Haven for Hope’s campus includes “the courtyard,” a low-barrier safe place where people to escape the elements, get meals and water, use bathrooms and showers and have access to other basic services. If they need a place to stay overnight, admission into “the courtyard” includes indoor areas where they can sleep.

“Many people who initially stay in the courtyard become connected to services that help them transition into Haven for Hope’s supportive housing and later permanent housing.

“Bridgette Dean, director of the City’s Department of Community Response, coordinated the fact-finding trip for a small group of community leaders after visiting the campus herself earlier this year.

“I had heard about Haven for Hope, and when I saw it for myself, I knew we had to bring some other people from Sacramento to see the campus model,” Dean said. “One of the hardest things about really helping people who are experiencing homelessness is coordinating their progression from one program or housing setting to another. Haven for Hope has a model that works.”

“The City and County representatives who participated in the trip said they now will evaluate the information gathered to determine if any elements of the Haven for Hope model could work in Sacramento.”

Retrieved November 3, 2021 from Could this Texas-based ‘one-stop-shop’ for homeless services hold answers for Sacramento? – City Express (sacramentocityexpress.com)

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Good News for Salmon

Very good news from KCRA 3.

An excerpt.

“It’s the season for chinook salmon to begin their journey from the ocean to the waterways where they were hatched.

“For millions of fish, that means a trek up the American River to the Nimbus Hatchery where they were spawned.

“Waiting for this year’s run of fish is a brand-new fish ladder that extends 1,900 feet from the Nimbus Dam to the hatchery building.

“The new ladder makes it easier for fish to find their way to the hatchery and easier for workers who had to build a temporary weir for every spawning cycle.

“Nimbus Dam is now that barrier that we used to install, so that’s going to naturally force the salmon into the new fishway and we will collect them as we have in the past,” said Drew Lessard of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the hatchery along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The hatchery makes up for lost breeding grounds destroyed by the construction of Folsom and Nimbus dams.

“The new fish ladder offers many more opportunities for visitors to see the fish not only from above but also below the water.

“We are going to have what we call a new gallery zone, an area where the actual fishway has cutouts with windows where you can see the water flowing by and occasionally when they are collecting, you will see fish in the raceway or fishway, so that’s going to be neat,” Lessard said.

“The visitor center remains closed due to the pandemic for the fall season, but the hatchery grounds and walkways along the new ladder are open daily.

“Officials expect to collect salmon until about the first of the year and will then transition to harvesting steelhead in the first part of 2022.”

Retrieved November 2, 2021 from New fish ladder welcomes fall run chinook salmon at Nimbus Hatchery (kcra.com)

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Climate Change

Interesting article from Newsweek.

An excerpt.

“Few things in life are as predictable as the rhetoric of climate change summits like this coming weeks in Glasgow. Over the next week, you will hear again and again that the planet is dying and that climate change will cause mass dislocations and starvation. The end is nigh, the UN has told us, and only green house gas reducing penance can save us.

“We have been hearing this now for decades, with each global confab upping the ante, insisting that with the inevitable denouement“not enough” is being done and what we need is to get more militant. And this despite whatever progress has been made.

“The climate industrial complex, as economist Bjorn Lonborg has aptly called the climate doomsday crowd, has persuaded the media to indulge consistent exaggeration and predictions that link virtually any weather event— droughts, floods, hurricanes or heavy rains—directly to human caused climate change. As President Obama’s undersecretary of energy for science, physicist Steve Koonin, pointed out, the most widely reported projections reflect only highly improbable worse case scenarios based on such things as ever growing coal usage and no significant technological improvement.

“Increasingly, even climate scientists are noting that the constant, and often poorly supported doomsaying threaten the credibility of the movement itself. And there have been quiet reversals; the more extreme predictions have been abandoned or walked back, even by the UN itself. And yet, in the U.S., the vast majority of young Americans continue to believe that we face imminent environmental catastrophe. And Canadian psychologists have found elevated levels of anxiety among young people, some of whom see climate as justifying the decision to not have offspring—not surprising given that they are constantly told that their world will be coming to a catastrophic end.

“Of course, some climate change is real and deserving of our attention; it needs to be addressed. But what we need to combat it is not despair, but rather, a willingness to face future climate changes of any kind, including those that may be induced by human activities, with positive effort. The environmental movement needs to give up “utopian fantasies,” writes Ted Nordhaus, a longtime California environmentalist, and “make its peace with modernity and technology.”

“A mix of diverse options from nuclear power and hydroelectric generation to replacing coal with abundant, cleaner natural gas and geothermal, as well as entirely new innovations could reduce emissions over time without catastrophic economic and social consequences. This is particularly true in the developing world that remains critically short of reliable, affordable energy.”

Retrieved November 1, 2021 from Elites Are Using Climate Hysteria to Immiserate the Working Class | Opinion (newsweek.com)

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Crime in Sacramento & Parkway

Article from the California Globe.

An excerpt.

“Friday night in the once sleepy cow town of Sacramento, California there were multiple shootings, stabbings, and a transient attacked someone with a machete. This is just what was reported by the Public Safety News Network.

“Around 12:25 a.m., Sacramento Police responded to reports of someone being stabbed with a machete or large knife near 9th St and I St.

“Police were able to locate the suspect on scene and place them into custody.

“The fire department arrived shortly after and transported the victim to the hospital with non life-threatening injures.

“A second machete incident took place last night when a homeowner confronted someone in his garage, according to GoodDay Sacramento. “Ryan Savino says he was wearing nothing more than underwear when he ran to his garage. He says he got an alert on his security camera that something was happening.  Savino says he confronted the suspect who was holding a machete he’d taken from Savino’s truck. Savino managed to chase the suspect out of the garage with a baseball bat.”

“Savino says he’s frustrated because it’s not the first time he’s had a break-in at his locked, gated complex.”

“One of the three shootings was a “multi-casualty” incident – 5 shot, 2 dead at Garfield Ave and Palm Ave.

“Another shooting that took place was on the American River Parkway, a once lovely bike trail. The 32-mile trail was recognized as a national trail in 1974, and voted the Number One bike path for 2006 by Trails.com. Now it home to a burgeoning transient population.

“There was a bank robbery in broad daylight at F&M Bank located at the 1300 block of J Street downtown. One resident said, “Probably a felon that our governor released back into general population, or maybe it was someone who ran out of EDD benefits.”

“Another resident asked, “Who’s really surprised?”

Retrieved October 30, 2021 from Sleepy Cow Town Sacramento Is Now A ‘Dangerous Hellhole’ – California Globe

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