Not going to pave paradise just yet; Voters smart: vote against shopping center but not all development ever…

June 6, 2012

The voters in Shasta County, California did a smart thing on two ballot measures, one to approve a shopping center in a rural area, and another to basically put all development on hold in the area for a number of years — they voted down the shopping center but also the measure to freeze development.

I say smart because all this should be the purview of the county Board of Supervisors, after the normal hearings before a planning board and so on, otherwise, why is there a board of supervisors (called board of commissioners or other such title in some places)?

I was not for the shopping center and voted against it and I think I also voted for the freeze (I actually can’t recall at this moment). I was ambivalent about the freeze and even thought voting on the other was not the way to go, but it was on the ballot.

The whole problem in a nutshell is that landowners want to get the most revenue from the property in which they have invested and developers are eager to make money too. And while one could argue that there must be a demand for something like a shopping center, the ironic thing is a few miles away inside city limits, portions of shopping centers or whole centers are vacant. It is a sad and ugly fact that throughout California (and other states) leap frog development has left blight in cities and paved over the countryside, which could have been left in productive agriculture or wild lands that support the ecosystem upon which all living creatures depend (including humans). Also, what is wrong with a green belt? Then there is the argument that building shopping centers creates jobs, both in the construction and then in the business they create. Well the construction jobs are short term (and often commercial construction is done by out-of-the-area workers who specialize in it ) and the retail jobs are relatively low pay, most of which cannot support a family by themselves. It is nice to have the support system of a shopping center, but there needs to be real industry too. I always say a service economy is like having an army made up entirely of clerks and no foot soldiers. Both make the army work, but you must have the soldiers in the field (although my analogy may become outdated as we seem to be going to all-drones for our military) .

You know, if the proposal had been for some type of factory I might have looked upon it with favor.

And I do think property owners have rights and I do think people should get what they are entitled to from the value of their property. That is why I believe in proper and fair land use planning developed by elected officials, not by ballot measure. But, like I said, it was on the ballot and I voted on the measures.

If a development plan, called the county general plan, was worked out an adhered to, people would have notice and know where they stand. I am not against compensation for loss of value where reasonable and possible.

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Farmers not always the biggest proponents of land preservation…

May 21, 2012

Farmers are not always the biggest proponents of preserving farm land or wide open spaces.

Sure they want to preserve what they have as long as it is providing their livelihood, but they also look to the future when they might want to retire or when farming seems no longer to be profitable.

So any restrictions on what they can do to their land, such as create housing tracts or shopping centers, is often met with resistance. After all, their land is capital. I am of course talking about those who own the land they farm, and not all farmers think alike.

But in my own neck of the woods there is an ongoing controversy about putting in a shopping center in what is now still a fairly rural and open-spaced area. There has been more than one effort through the years to develop this land. At one time there was a move to build a new truck stop across the street from an existing one there.

I can’t keep of track of what all the plans are. I know there was a plan to install something called an auto mall, and there is an existing plan for a shopping center.

(Actually, I know what an auto mall is. And they are ugly! Don‘t get me wrong. Cars are great things, but I see enough of them already. Give me the wide open spaces anytime. And we already have plenty of car lots in the area.)

Back to the farmers. Those who oppose the development often talk about preserving farm land or agriculture. But along the freeway there is some heavy farm equipment parked and a sign proclaiming, “preserve real agriculture” and vote for the development. Kind of sounds like a contradiction. But I think the idea is that farmers need capital to farm and if you devalue their capital, they can’t stay in business.

This also begs the question of what constitutes “real agriculture”.  Apparently to some it means large acreage operations with big expensive equipment, and probably run by people wearing caps with emblems of chemical companies on them. Raising a home garden would not qualify in their view. Or maybe running some type of small-scale organic operation for local consumption would not qualify either.

I’m not against big agriculture. As I have stated previously in my blog, I owe my living to it. I haul produce up and down the interstate. And nearly all of this produce comes from large commercial operations, many of them corporate farms, or family operations that are really corporate in size and nature. And certainly big agriculture has its place. It’s a necessity to feed the millions who do not live directly off the land.

I personally am opposed to the proposed commercial development because I think it is senseless to despoil the view, the aesthetic value, the agricultural potential, and the wild land that supports the ecosystem upon which we all depend (people do not seem to realize or accept this on a large scale).

Sure commercial development is necessary to the economy and to serve the public, but there is no shortage of space in the existing nearby urban areas. Many existing and relatively new shopping centers have empty buildings. And the distances people have to travel here are not far, that is to say the people who live in the area where the shopping center is proposed do not have far to travel.

If the locals — not the outside developers — would travel constantly as I do to the San Francisco Bay Area or LA, they would see the contrast to completely paved over land and the wide open spaces we have here. I believe the quality of life is much better here.

In addition, if land is to be developed it would seem that industrial development that both might produce high-paying jobs and actually produce something would be a better option. And we do have an undeveloped, or I should say, unfilled, industrial park for that.

The jobs this proposed shopping center would create would be relatively low-paying service sector jobs. The proponents point to all the relatively well-paying construction jobs it would create, but I ask, how many times do you plan to build this thing? Of course maybe they mean that is just the start. They won’t be done till the whole county is paved over.

The so-called service economy makes no sense (at least on low-end services). I mean it is like an army of clerks and no rifle-toting soldiers. Both are needed, but the solider comes first.

I just read a story today about the kind of farmer land use conflict playing out in New York State where some farmers want to be able to sell or lease, I guess, the mineral rights on their land for natural gas fracking, a controversial process of man-made hydraulic fracturing of rock, that reportedly in some cases causes environmental damage, such as water and air contamination. It’s being done in neighboring Pennsylvania, with mixed reviews. Some farmers enjoy the profit, while others report major damage to their land and livelihoods.

It seems to me long-range planning is the answer as far and land use conflicts go, so everyone knows what the rules are going in and so the best use can be made of the land. In cases where people are deprived of use of their own land due to new restrictions, possibly some type of compensation would be in order.

One thing I should add is that the area proposed for development locally which I was referring to is not in intensive agriculture overall — although there is some — and many former farms have already been turned into suburban acreages.

But again, long-range planning and then a will to stick to it, would help.

But in another life I was a local newspaper reporter. When the big money and folks in suits come in with rolled up plans and lawyers, planning schmaning! Money talks.

And it’s never fair. Back then I lived in a nearby county. I saw this old sloppily-dressed and grizzled farmer (I’m not putting down farmers; this guy was just sloppy — he was a local character) come before the powers that be with a plan to create a housing tract on his orchard land. Like me, they cited the need to preserve ag land. But I note that years later another rural landowner in the same area divided his land into housing tracts — must have had better lawyers.

And it’s also who you are. One time a group of local doctors and dentists came in with their rolled up plans for a development in a rural agriculturally-zoned area, and the local county supervisors nearly swooned. Whatever you want is fine with us.

Really what we need in all of this is whatever is best for all of us and God’s green earth.


Must we tear up and make blighted our earth and then depend upon computer-generated virtual reality?

May 1, 2012

 

BLOGGER’S NOTE:

What I have written here refers to specific geography, but it could apply to anywhere.

————————

Once there was a beautiful valley with a city and towns surrounded by beautiful countryside with farm fields and orchards — a Garden of Eden of sorts. Today it is a mass of concrete, urban sprawl, and much urban decay. Do you know the way to San Jose?

Once there was a bustling farm town in the center of California’s Central Valley, surrounded by rich farm lands. It had (and still does) an arch with the slogan on it that read or reads: “Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health”. That was penned by a great-uncle of mine. He won $5 in a city slogan contest back in the early 20th Century. I can’t say whether Modesto was ever a pretty town — it hasn’t been in my time, but overall, it is one ugly place today — there are good parts too, but overshadowed by the ugly. Another victim of urban sprawl and then decay. At least the farm lands around it survive. Zoning regulations have protected much of the farm land from being concreted over.

Much the same story exists in Fresno, another major city in the Central Valley.

I spent many of my early formative years in Tulare, another Central Valley town. Back then (1950s) it had an overall clean look to it. It was a mixture of humanity, with its poor sections, and with its racially-divided sections, such as Colored Town and Mexican Town, its middle-of-the-road sections, and ritzier sections. And then as you drove out of town, there were farms fields, much of them planted to alfalfa and feed corn (dairying being a major agricultural pursuit there) and cotton, and they were just beginning to make plantings of walnut orchards. Toward the foothills, citrus groves had long been a major crop. I’ve driven through there is recent years, and it seems the town is still in pretty good shape, but growth and urban sprawl has also injured its aesthetics to some extent. And the urban sprawl has even reached into the farm fields.

Agriculture in the Central Valley, in fact, has largely turned from an endeavor with bucolic atmosphere to just another major industrial effort, complete with the smog and ugliness one might expect in a factory town shortly after the industrial revolution. And that is why it is good to preserve much natural, wild habitat from even agriculture. It not only is aesthetically pleasing, but supports all the bugs and creatures that make up our ecosystem upon which we all depend for life itself, whether all of us realize it or not.

And now the people who always want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot have their eyes on the beautiful area where I now reside, Redding, Ca., at the very north end of the Central Valley, which is actually the Sacramento Valley. (Oh, yeah, Sacramento, our state capital, is a beautiful city in its central core, surrounded by a mixture of palatable urban sprawl, and some awful, decayed urban sprawl.)

I wrote about this once or twice before. But developers (read, take the money and run) want to turn an area south of here, known as the Churn Creek Bottom, into one big shopping center/auto mall/ strip mall/convenience store/big box store/urban jungle. And this while a fairly new shopping section in the city, adjacent to where I live, has many empty buildings (as is the case in other areas of the city). It’s called leap frog development. You make a shopping center and then it gets blighted and you move to another one out in the country and so on, leaving behind urban decay and tearing up farmlands in the process.

Now I mentioned where I live. Sure it was once in a natural state and was torn up to build houses and apartments and shopping areas. But it was not prime agricultural land and it was contiguous to the existing city. And yes, people have to live and work and shop somewhere. And that is why we have towns and towns do grow.

Fortunately, so far, it seems that the powers that be have done a pretty good job of allowing growth but preserving the natural aesthetics of the city of Redding, which is nearly surrounded by mountains and has a river that runs through it — the Sacramento.

But times are tough economically and there is the appeal of commercial development that promises to bring in tax revenue.

The Churn Creek Bottom is outside the city limits for the most part, but the county government has its eyes on that revenue.

To be fair here, the Bottom has already seen development. It is no longer a simple rural agricultural area. In fact, I don’t think there is any longer much (some, though) serious agricultural efforts there (although to the extent some people have their own vegetable gardes, I consider that serious). It has been subdivided into sort of ranchettes as it were, for the most part. But it is still a nice green buffer zone between towns.

There have been multiple efforts in recent years to install shopping centers in the Bottom area (and actually there already is some scale of commercial development there). But as the situation stands now, a prime spot on the Interstate has been approved for development, but due to some opposition, is the subject of a local ballot measure.

Property owners are often pitted against each other in these kinds of cases. Some want to preserve the aesthetics they have and others want a right to cash in a sell to developers.

And that begs the question: are property rights, that is the right of one to do anything he or she wishes with his property, absolute?

The answer of course is “no”.

For one, the concept of land use planning and zoning, to accomplish that, has long been around. People don’t want to live in a nice quiet neighborhood and then have a cement plant put in next door. Airports have been pushed out when housing tracts surround them, due to safety concerns — a result of poor planning.

It seems to me a compromise is always in order. There must be some way to compensate landowners for the loss in potential value and preserve quality of life at the same time. Maybe a tax break for preserving land?

And as to the argument over whether someone bought land as an investment, with the idea that some day he or she would cash in, that is why long-range land use plans are needed and should be adhered to. 

Also, if you are religious, I ask this question: who really owns that property, you or God?

You are but God’s caretaker.

And I hope the powers that be (to include the majority of the electorate) do God’s work in the Churn Creek Bottom issue.

 

P.s.

Even though I do not belong to a church and even though I am not a religious person in the strict sense, my God being somewhere between the biblical version and some mystical, amorphous being or entity we can call “Mother Nature”, I often invoke the name of God almighty.

You know, there just is a force out there bigger and more important than we as individuals.

P.s. P.s.

And must we destroy our environment and our humanity in the name of progress and then have to depend upon some computer-generated virtual reality?


So Irene was not as powerful as feared, what’s all the carping about?

August 29, 2011

UPDATE TO THE UPDATES:

Been so busy with my real job I have not had any time to do new posts since posting this, but as of now on 9-1-11 I read that the federal government is going to be stuck with billions of dollars in repair costs because so many people did not have flood insurance. Also, I saw a newspaper headline that said the Republicans are going to try to inject politics by refusing to fund extra money for hurricane repair unless they can get and equal amount of tax cuts. Have not had time to digest all that yet. Hopefully in a day or so I will have time to post more on this and other things, such as, and what about that Jon Huntsman?

(And I note that Wikipedia now lists 55 as the total U.S. death toll from Irene.)

UPDATE (8:39 P.M. PDT):

For a hurricane some say was over hyped, it seems awful deadly, with the U.S. death toll at 40 (with flooding causing much of the danger and damage) at the last I read.

UPDATE (8:24 A.M. PDT):

While not as strong as feared, Hurricane Irene has caused billions of dollars of damage to U.S. territory from Puerto Rico to Vermont, and there is massive flooding now in Vermont and flooding elsewhere, according to news reports this morning. Millions are without power, and it could be up to a week for some customers to get it restored, and there is expected to be damage to natural gas lines. Supposedly it’s been a boost for the economy since people bought supplies for preparation and are buying materials for repair and preparation for the next one and because there is a need for public works projects to repair damage. I don’t see how that would be a net gain, though. An economy based on disaster?

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I’m somewhat puzzled by the carping that officials overreacted to Hurricane Irene and that President Obama was just trying to make political hay out of it, showing that he was in charge and on top of things and there to save people and all.

As anyone who has ever listened to or viewed weather forecasts knows, weather predictions are still an inexact science.

The early reports classified Hurricane Irene as category 3 I believe and it was thought it could become category 4 or 5 (5 being the highest or worst). But by the time it made landfall over the last 24 hours or so it was downgraded to a category 1 and then a little later to a tropical storm.

In an unprecedented move, Mayor Bloomberg called for the evacuation of certain low-lying areas of Manhattan and shut down the mass transit system to include the subways. People all over the middle Atlantic were advised by governors to evacuate. Millions of people were affected.

The federal government did some advance work, with the president taking the necessary actions and giving the necessary orders.

But people, particularly in parts of the country away from the eastern seaboard, scoffed at what they saw as exaggerated predictions and unnecessary panic and political posturing.

At least eighteen people have died in events attributed to the hurricane and there has been much flooding and property damage and power outages, but it has not been as bad as it was feared in might have been.

But what if it had and all the preparations were not done?

There would have been all kinds of accusations of failed leadership.

While you can’t go into emergency mode every time there is a hint of foul weather, when the experts predict a good chance of catastrophic weather it is far better to be prepared than not and far better to be ready to swing into action once the magnitude of the damage is seen.

During and after the infamous Katrina several years ago in New Orleans when President George W. Bush was in office, all levels of government, local, state, and federal, fell down on the job, to put it mildly.

I could never figure out how people could be trapped but reporters could get in and out and how our military, to include our first line of homeland security and defense, the National Guard, could not have been rushed in with all its helicopters and amphibious equipment (some of it tied up in the Middle East).

Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO Radio, San Francisco, said Saturday night that at least the folks in New York and elsewhere in the path of the hurricane got a little lesson on disaster preparedness. He preaches that everyone should be prepared for disaster with food and supplies of water at their homes and even supplies to carry with them, lest they get stuck out on the road. His main concern is not weather but some type of nuclear device that is likely to be set off by terrorists. He always says that he and all the experts feel that it is not a question of if but just of when such a terrorist strike will happen. In such an event there would be such chaos and panic, with people likely fleeing coastal areas, where a strike is most probable, to the interior, but with nor real place to go, that authorities would not be in a position to help anyone, he warns.

But talking about weather disasters, he contrasted what happened in Katrina in New Orleans with extensive flooding in North Dakota. Up in the northland folks were able to get together and help themselves, rather than wait for Washington to rescue them (although I an sure federal resources helped too).

And I think that is the way it is in the more rural areas. People tend to be more self-reliant. Maybe that is why conservatism tends to be strong out in the hinterlands, with a more socialized, governmental approach popular in urban areas.

And then a lot of us are in between. We do the best we can, but in an emergency we need all the help we can get.

Am I personally ready for the big one? No way.

There is a danger that with all the hype that Irene got that it might be a little like the boy who called wolf. No one will listen next time.

But we all have to think about being prepared and being as self-reliant as possible.

And I applaud the president for showing leadership, but don’t expect him to get much credit for it.


If you don’t like California don’t let us hold you back, and the Great Money God wins again as shopping center developers prepare to pave paradise while cities decay…

August 20, 2011

A lot of people talk about how great things are in Texas, how many jobs there are there, and that they don’t have an income tax and don’t put onerous regulations on business.

I think they also talk about Idaho where the climate is apparently more friendly to gun ownership.

I was born and raised and have lived almost my whole life in California.

I for one would be glad to see as many people as want to leave.

More air for me to breathe here.

A lot of the malcontents probably originally came from somewhere else.

As far as I am concerned they probably should go back home.

I like Oregon but probably would not move there. I think too many Californians have already done that and some of them maybe have brought their own ruin-the-land ways with them. I mean we have done our best to do that right here in California by paving paradise and putting up a parking lot (s). Given time that may happen in Oregon, more than it already has.

Too many people is what has spoiled California.

So all of you who want to leave — so long, have a nice life.

I feel sorry, almost, for those who will have their paradise invaded, though.

Oh, I recently did a post about the Board of Supervisors holding a hearing on approval of  a rezone to put up a shopping center in a green belt between two cities in my home county here in Northern California. They voted in favor.

The Great Money God always wins (at least here on Earth).

Despite the claim of so many to be good Christians, what they really worship is money, not God nor his creations.

We really need that shopping center while ones in our town are becoming vacant.

The developers do their dirty work and then move on.

——————

ADD 1:

What I am referring to as far as development in this post is the Churn Creek Bottom in Shasta County, California. Redding, where I live, is the county seat. I guess a citizens group is still trying to put the kibosh on the shopping center through a petition drive. Indeed I was at a small market in the area yesterday and a woman had a table set up. I personally don’t sign petitions. I also found it curious that on the web one group who seemed to be anti-shopping center referred to itself as the Tea Party. I thought the tea baggers were a conservative faction and I always thought conservatives were for money no matter what it means to the environment (you know, the Earth heals itself and all). Actually I just looked at the Tea Party post again and I guess someone was giving an anti-shopping center talk to them. What their actual position is I don’t know, but it seems by the way they posted it they are against. An interesting thing the speaker said is that the center would not create new jobs because it would just take away jobs from stores closing in the nearby city. Also it won’t even mean many local construction jobs because for some reason developers use mostly outside contractors and labor. Also it will suck away more sales taxes from the nearby cities. Redding is already cuting police and firefighters for lack of revenue. But, anyway,  here is a link about the petition drive: http://www.krcrtv.com/news/28842944/detail.html

ADD 2:

I previously gave my views on such development as I refer to in this post in a previous post: https://tonywalther.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/while-the-cities-become-blighted-developers-move-to-pave-paradise-and-put-up-a-parking-lot…/


While the cities become blighted, developers move to pave paradise and put up a parking lot…

July 30, 2011

They’re at it again, trying to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. In the county where I live there is a nice, mostly green stretch between the city where I live and the one to the south.

It’s not all beautiful and it is not all in a natural state. There are some junkie places. There is the remnants of an old dairy farm, which was not all that pretty when it was functioning, especially in its final years, but which is a downright eyesore now.

But there is a lot of open land, called bottom land — a creek (not a river) runs through it — well actually a river, the Sacramento River, does form a boundary of the area I am talking about, so I guess a river does run through (or by) it after all.

——————

ADD 1: The specific area I am referring to is called the Churn Creek Bottom, between Redding and Anderson, Ca.

——————

But the point here is not this particular area, necessarily; it’s the idea that so-called undeveloped land has to be turned into shopping centers and what they call auto malls. And this even when there are acres of abandoned or nearly abandoned shopping centers right within the cities, especially in the one where I live.

It is a terrible waste of natural resources and destruction of the environment and contributes to blight and contributes to overall ugliness and has a deleterious effect on the quality of life. It makes the cities uglier, with all the abandoned buildings, and it makes the countryside uglier with all the asphalt and concrete — I mean we need both in our modern society, but not on every inch of God’s earth (I did not say green earth, because even in its natural state, not all of earth is green).

Over the years there has been development in this green zone, as it were. There is a truck stop, and there have been many proposals to build commercial projects around it, including the current one to build a shopping center, a shopping center that in no way is needed. We have plenty in the area, and as I have said, we also have a lot of abandoned buildings in shopping centers in the area, and these buildings are not all that old.

And that is how development spreads in heretofore green zones. Once any commercial project goes in, developers use that as a toe hold and say: one more development right next to it won’t change things, and then another and another and so on.

It’s really crazy. A lot of that abandonment of relatively new shopping centers came around 2008 with the great economic upheaval of the time. And now, even though that upheaval is in no way over, especially where I live, some of the  powers that be — especially professional developers and land speculators — want to leap frog out into the hinterlands and cover it all with concrete and asphalt.

Oh they say it creates jobs. Well those jobs would still be there if the businesses were located in the already-existing shopping centers. And those jobs are usually, make that always, relatively low paid. And I never have understood an economy, whether it be local or national, based on support services. You have to have something to support.

(In my area the reason the service economy works at all is because we have a lot of government workers due to the fact there are a lot of public lands in the surrounding mountains, and we have a lot of “equity” people who cashed in years ago by selling their houses in the LA and Bay areas.)

I believe in preserving farmland, and much of the area I am talking about is prime farmland. But the argument that prohibiting development there would be just to preserve farmland is not convincing to even me. For much of the area has been subdivided into small parcels, some of them called “ranchettes”, which for the most part do not produce food or fiber, with the exception that a lot of people raise vegetable gardens and I think some sell their stuff at local farmers’ markets, and that is worthwhile, I think. But at least the area is still relatively green and open, even with that subdivision of properties. It would be a waste of land just as bad as shopping centers, though, if it all were just little horse farms — and nothing against little horse farms per se — but that is not the case.

There is a lot of opposition from the local homeowners there, I understand. And of course there is a little hypocrisy there in a way. I mean I got my little green space, made possible by breaking up economically productive farms, now no one else can come in.

But the bottom line is the area overall is still beautiful and much of it in at least a semi-natural state, so it helps preserve the ecosystem, which is vital to the preservation of mankind, as well as quality of life, and there still is food-producing agriculture going on (not too much fiber, maybe, save for a few sheep; we don‘t grow cotton here).

I’m a long-haul truck driver and I see the difference between areas that preserve green belts and the ones that don’t. I prefer the green belts.

The oft-cited example of man ruining paradise is San Jose. The Santa Clara Valley used to be filled with farmlands and orchards. The vast majority of people lived and did their shopping in towns, such as San Jose. Today from San Francisco down the peninsula to San Jose it is one concrete and asphalt jungle (with some hidden islands of beauty), and overall not at all pretty.

And let’s don’t even talk about the LA basin.

Okay, when I was a mere child in 1956 my family went to Disneyland, not long after it had opened. It was in the country, surrounded by citrus groves. We also went to Knotts Berry Farm and it was really a kind of farm at the time, in the middle of the countryside.

Today you descend the Tehachapi Mountains into a basin with hundreds of miles of virtually nothing but concrete and asphalt, with only a little green space here and there. And it is not pretty for the most part. And with all the traffic, and pollution, to include smog, it is not all that healthy either.

Why people would be so eager to pave paradise in my neck of the woods is curious, except that often it is developers who have no local interest and just want to make money and landowners who see it as their retirement money — and they can move elsewhere if they don’t like what it becomes.

Now it is not always fair to put burdensome restrictions on private land and limit the right of landowners to make money on their investments. Sometimes tax incentives (and in other blogs I have called those tax shifts) are used to promote the conservation of farmland or green space.

Also it is important to have long-range land use planning. That way people know from the get-go what they can do with their land (of course unless the zoning is changed while they already own it). Also you get a more efficient and compatible use of land. Not good to locate houses next to a cement plant, or in my area, rock quarries are often controversial (but of course needed). And airports are often threatened by safety concerns once houses surround them.

But we do have planning where I live. But the way that works is that people who want to get around zoning hire developers and lawyers who specialize in getting around restrictions. I saw this when I worked as a newspaper reporter. When you see the suits and those folks with rolled up plans, watch out.

Where I live there is plenty of room for both commercial development, primarily within the existing cities, and farmland, as well as other forms of open space, and living room too. We have an empty, but ready-to-go industrial park on the edge of town.

But the leap-frog development, which leaves past developed areas blighted and gobbles up prime open space, is bad all the way around.

P.s.

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors has a re-zone of the Churn Creek Bottom property from agriculture to commercial on their agenda Monday evening in a meeting beginning at 5 p.m. at the courthouse in Redding, Ca. For more information: http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/BOS_Agenda/publishedmeetings.htm

P.s. P.s.

And thanks to Redding.com (the Record-Searchlight newspaper’s website) for keeping the public informed — that’s how I knew about this. But all opinions and descriptions and all content in this blog post are mine, except for the meeting date and the fact that there will be a meeting, which of course is just public record.


Huntsman says conservation is conservative; I like that…

July 29, 2011

Except for the fact that Jon Huntsman — one of two Mormon presidential candidates — looks like a clone of nearly every Mormon man I have ever seen (even more so than Mitt Romney, the other Mormon), kind of an eerie “Boys from Salt Lake City” thing, he could be the kind of conservative I could like.

I say that only because I just read a story in which he was quoted as asserting that conservation is part of being conservative. It seems that most modern conservatives eschew worries over climate change and the environment and even the idea of conservation (of the earth’s resources) itself.

To be fair, I think the idea of many conservatives is that although conservation and the environment are of course important, some people (they would say “liberals”) use the issue as a device to promote social programs and restrictions on individual liberty.

And the integrity of various climate change studies and the methodologies of them have come into question lately, with indications that some of their evidence was faked.

On the other hand, the yahoos I seem to hear all the time just spout ignorance and parrot what idiots such as Rush Limburger Cheese spout each day (and he does it just to make money, not that he necessarily believes what he says — at least that is the way I see it). Unfortunately, there is a lot of money to be made in promoting ignorance it seems.

And now comes Huntsman saying that the whole debate over climate change should be based on science instead of politics. Amen to that brother.

The fact that he has the guts to say this, knowing that it does not do anything to win votes among what is seen as the Republican base, and he is a Republican, makes me think that he might be sincere, if not politically savvy. Then again, a conservative who could draw in moderate (and even some liberal) voters might just stand a good chance of winning.

(He made his remarks at a meeting of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Sounds dubious, but then again Richard Nixon, a Republican, was the one who created the EPA — go figure.)

And this paragraph is kind of out of place here, but this is a blog — even liberals know that if the country goes broke all their social programs a schemes go down the drain.

But I doubt I would like much of what Huntsman stands for other than what I have just noted — don’t know much about him yet, though.

Like I always say: I almost could be a Republican at times if they (Republicans) would give me a reason to be one.

A link to the story I mentioned:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/jon-huntsman-climate-change_n_912884.html