Just now, a week later, waking up from my Thanksgiving food coma and attempting to fit into my thin jeans. No. Luck. I'll be out walking the dogs a lot before the winter feast.*
Thanksgiving dinner consisted of: stone-crab claws, deep-fried turkey, sweet potato pie, brussel sprouts, roasted rutabega, three bean salad, four pies, flan, cheeses, fresh bananas. Did I leave any thing out big brother? Oh yes, and twenty-two varieties of dark chocolate and probably 10 or 12 bottles of wine. What a great cook. Reminds me of Mom.
The Sam's Club chocolate, imported from Belgium, proved to be my favorite. Go figure.
*The epiphany party will be Sat. January 5th
this next year.
I'll blog from the road, as wireless connections allow, eat fresh fish and try not to talk politics with Republicans.
The last part has never happened before. We'll see.
I intend to bring up Florida real estate whenever Hillary bashing begins. Sobering figures on unemployment can change the subject.
They make me drive more thoughtfully at Montgomery Boulevard intersections. But all that revenue - where is it going?
City Councilors Mayer and Winter had the audacity to ask. The CAO called them naive and accused them of having a political motivation for wanting to know.
... "It wouldn't be possible to tell how money from any particular program was spent," said Bruce Perlman, the city's chief administrative officer. "Dollars don't have a certain color when they come into the budget from the red-light program. That's kind of a naive and mistaken point."
So then a separate account was established - doing what Winter and Mayer were naive and mistaken about wanting. Maybe they were only naive and mistaken to believe Marty would be accountable in the first place.
... Perlman said both Mayer and Winter's motivation is political. Both are Republicans. Chávez, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate.
If the motivation for wanting accountability for camera fines is political, so is saying they may come down as you begin a run for Senate. This is dealing the party card to players that know your tell.
The Journal North covers a proposal by a Santa Fe City Councilor to create neighborhood districts.
"Planning" isn't mentioned in the story except to lightly backhand bureaucrats in the planning department who are reportedly lukewarm on this prospect. Probably because the idea is stupid.
From the Journal story (my emphasis):
It might be too late for the residents of Juanita Street who opposed the towering three-story condominium currently being erected in their neighborhood. But a proposal to create neighborhood conservation districts— in which residents would decide what they do and don't want in their neighborhood— could put the kibosh on future construction deemed to be out of sync with the residents' wishes.
... (City Councilor) Heldmeyer said Thursday many Santa Fe neighborhoods have up to now had little to no voice in their own evolution. "There are a lot of neighborhoods that really have been screwed up," she said. "Hopefully, this will prevent more neighborhoods from being screwed up."
(...) Under the current proposal, neighborhood residents could define boundaries and establish rules on such issues as building heights, density, landscaping and more.
Two-thirds of the property owners within the neighborhood would have to approve of the standards in order for them to take effect. City staffers would then be in charge of explaining the restrictions to anyone submitting a building plan. "It's made to be very simple, not bureaucratic," Heldmeyer said. "This is something that's very grassroots."
Residents voting to enact zoning restrictions is a lot like residents voting to enact new taxes on themselves. It will have unintended consequences and create wicked inequities. Planning and zoning, in theory, attempt to balance land use impacts. Multiple zoning rules for multiple self-serving neighborhood associations would enable neighborhoods to restrict development - pushing uses perceived as undesirable into less powerful neighborhoods.
Down this path lies a parochial nightmare. This is an attempt to delegate what is the Santa Fe City Council's responsibility for sound growth and tough planning decisions.
Talk about screwed up.
I turn on the TV last night and there's Patricia Mulroy, The Water Empress. Only the News Hour with Jim Lehrer calls her the Water Czar. The first, more accurate title, was bestowed by High Country News in 2001. It is more in keeping with her
vampiric ageless stature.
Nevada is a bell weather for New Mexico and they have lots in common. We have written and thought much about Nevada's socio-political construct.
Mulroy got her own little segment in the show and didn't have to answer silly questions on the panel about whether growth was good or bad. She even got to bash planning in a sentence they used as her opening.
PAT MULROY: From a planning perspective, we're assuming the worst.
I hear disgust in her voice - like she's saying she always assumes the worst from planning. But I'm touchy, I know.
RAY SUAREZ: Pat Mulroy is called the water czar of Las Vegas.
Empress! She's the Water Empress! I yell at the TV jumping around trying not to spill the cab. Big dog sighs.
She describes why farming and ranching must die. And how its a natural thing. She's saving Vegas from drought, afterall. She looks like a tough cookie. If I were drought, I wouldn't want to mess with her.
(...) PAT MULROY: We have to protect this community from that drought, and there's only one way to do it, and that's develop a water supply that is hydrologically separate and apart and not connected in any way to the Colorado River.
So that project is not driven by growth; that project is being driven by what we see the consequences of climate change are on the Colorado River Basin.
RAY SUAREZ: Mulroy argues Las Vegas actually uses only about 10 percent of the state's water, compared to nearly 80 percent consumed by ranchers and farmers up north. And while she says she doesn't want to compromise the food that's grown in the region, it may be time to rethink whether it makes sense to have so many irrigated farms in areas that are naturally so dry.
PAT MULROY: It's the culture of the west, and a lot of what we're talking about here is cultural. You have, what, fifth-, sixth-generation families that have grown up on farms and have lived on farms and on ranches, and you're changing their reality.
And it will be difficult for them to envision it in a different way. I think there's a natural evolution already occurring where some of the less profitable, more difficult to ranch areas are already selling out.
RAY SUAREZ: Those are fighting words to ranchers.
CECIL GARLAND: We're not down there trying to Las Vegas' water. They're up here trying to take our water. That's the simple truth of it. And the point is that in the southwest, with an ever-exploding growing human population, it's on a collision course with the amount of water.
Those people down there are going to have to learn to conserve, have to live within the limits of their own ability to grow, and they have to recognize that. So far as I can tell, they're not willing to do that yet.
The panel talked about growth without ever defining it. There is population growth, gross receipts tax growth, gross national product growth. Regional, state or local measures of the economy - like job and income growth can be measured. And then there is growth in the number of developed acres. Building growth. Sprawl growth and redevelopment types of building growth. 18 hole golf course growth.
But Noooooo. Its all lumped together. Tree ring growth is the same as new casinos, is the same as 5000 new people a month. Growth is growth. It all needs lots of water and power.
Is the growth good or bad? The inane question begs the question. Is it cancerous?
The closing sentence bugged me too - something about how "city planners" say stunting growth will cost everyone. He didn't interview any city planners as far as I saw. Everybody but Moses was on the panel, but no city planner. A city planner might have said that sustainability depends on how you build to accommodate growth. You have to talk about the quality of growth, not just the amount.
Town Halls are funny. They aren't about towns and we don't call them halls anymore. And the idea of a virtual town hall is even funnier. Or silly.
It is exhausting to read the transcript. But then reading the transcript is not the point. You had to be there. So this is useful or persuasive to
geeks those online only. The rest of us roll our eyes at the kids.
"Have you smoked pot?" one participant asked. "Really, like did you inhale? Then eat and eat and eat and laugh and then get all paranoid?"
:Rolls eyes: Everyone knows you get paranoid first, then
you laugh about it and eat.
No wonder he didn't answer the question.
From the Santa Fe New Mexican:
"Tonight we made history," Chávez, who is mayor of Albuquerque, said at the end of the event. He predicted all candidates in the future will conduct similar interactive forums. Chávez said he learned from the questions being asked.
Like how silly video town halls are?
A connection between Sprawl and Politics? Land use matters? Well, Duh!
The difficulty is that uncontrolled growth is often a byproduct of a lack of local coordination. Localities suffer from a kind of “race to the bottom,” where different counties or localities are unable to institute growth control policies as a result of fear of losing businesses and developers (and therefore revenue) to neighboring localities that have more lax policies.
Basically, addressing traffic and sprawl is difficult to do on a national level. However, creative ideas such as a national “smart growth fund"- that would provide grants and assistance to localities pursuing “smart growth” policies ... At the very least, progressives on a national level should start talking about these issues and tap into the seething discontent that is starting to bubble to the surface.
Controlling growth. Can' t do it locally. Can't do it nationally. And the Private Property Rights movement just ate your land use plan.