Saturday, March 26, 2016
A member of the endangered subtype of human, who possesses the unusual abilities to calmly reflect on situations and view the world from others’ perspectives, is reintroduced into the population.
NEWSMarch 25, 2016
VOL 52 ISSUE 11 Science & Technology ·Science · People
ITHACA, NY—In an ambitious attempt to revive a population long considered to be on the brink of extinction, scientists announced Friday they have slowly begun to reintroduce normal, well-adjusted human beings back into society.
According to officials at Cornell University, where for the past 18 years conservation researchers have operated an enclosed sanctuary for humans who are levelheaded and make it a habit to think before they speak, the endangered group is being cautiously reintegrated into select locations nationwide in hopes that they can reestablish permanent communities and one day thrive again.
“We’ve worked for years to stabilize our society’s dwindling population of sane, generally reasonable people, and within the safe confines of our refuge we’ve finally seen their numbers start to bounce back a little,” said Josh Adelson, head of the Cornell research team, which moved the remaining members of the group into a protected habitat in 1998 to keep them from dying off completely. “Now, we can very gradually begin to release this rare breed of rational humans back into the general public. With luck, they can survive and prosper.”
“Even if this small group of humans able to deal with their negative emotions in a nondestructive manner manages to flourish, there’s still no telling whether the next generation will be able to survive.”
“Our hope is that within a century or so, the traits for making sound long-term decisions and being able to tolerate people different from oneself will propagate and begin to reemerge within the species at large,” he continued.
Prior to the conservation efforts, it is believed that even-tempered people with sound judgment and the ability to put the needs of others before themselves had dwindled to less than 150 within the country’s borders, and had gone completely extinct in the nation’s businesses and civic institutions. Experts widely agree that without isolation, protection, and captive-breeding programs, the remaining thoughtful, foresighted individuals would have been totally wiped out.
While admitting that the project’s reintroduction phase would be complex and its success far from assured, Adelson stressed that such measures were nevertheless absolutely necessary if responsible and emotionally mature humans able to see beyond the immediate gratification of their basest desires were ever to reestablish a foothold in society.
“Obviously, we have taken great precautions before releasing these individuals into an environment where demonstrations of good sense, open-mindedness, and basic human empathy are perceived as signs of weakness and quickly preyed upon,” said Adelson, who noted that to ease the transition during their first month acclimating to society, the endangered population would be kept away from television, the internet, advertisements, and all other forms of media. “For example, we’ve trained them for the inevitable encounters they will face with large groups of people incapable of separating emotions from arguments.”
“It hasn’t been easy,” Adelson continued. “Last month, members of our trial group were confronted by several aggressive and predatory individuals, and another was nearly torn apart by angry hordes on social media within just 48 hours of being reintroduced into a metropolitan area, forcing us to bring them back to our refuge immediately.”
Though researchers have expressed cautious optimism for the reintroduction program, many leading scientists have noted that the number of areas in the U.S. capable of sustaining well-adjusted humans has drastically decreased. According to experts, there is almost no chance the population will ever thrive again anywhere in the state of Florida.
“Even if this small group of humans able to deal with their negative emotions in a nondestructive manner manages to flourish, there’s still no telling whether the next generation will be able to survive,” Adelson said. “There are a lot of unknown variables, and we realize we’re taking a big risk here. But this program is our last, best hope of ensuring that people who are willing to go out of their way to help someone who can’t immediately offer them anything in return remain a part of our world.”
Top researchers confirmed that it was already far too late to halt the country’s dominant breed of humans—assholes—from spreading uncontrollably to every region on earth.
This company promises solar at a fixed price $13 cents kwH vs. variable rate of $30 cents kwh that we are getting with SolEd.
|Marinwood got burnt with their Solar Deal from the Solar SEED Fund at least DOUBLE the cost of similar projects. Fortunately, it is not too late to fix it.|
Portland, Seattle top list of nation's worst traffic cities
BY KATU.COM STAFF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23RD 2016
Seattle traffic - SBG photo
For those living in the Pacific Northwest, it should be no surprise to see Portland and Seattle among the cities with the worst traffic in the nation.
The TomTom Index of Traffic ranks Portland as the 9th worst city, while Seattle placed 4th on the list.
The new survey ranked cities based on the ones with the most traffic-clogged highways. It estimated it takes about 30 percent longer for drivers in the top cities to get where you need to go due to traffic.
The survey found Los Angeles had the worst traffic in the nation, with San Francisco and New York rounding out the top three. Check out the full list on TomTom's website
|When we all live in high density houses and take mass transit, we will achieve a glorious future!|
Friday, March 25, 2016
Plan Bay Area is so 2014. Now we want a MEGA region with Sacramento, Monterey and the Central Valley
Plan Bay Area is so 2014. Now they are planning a MEGA Region with the nine Bay Area Counties plus Sacramento, Monterey and the Central Valley!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Look what ABAG has been planning for Marin since 2001. Note how much mixed use development is planned. North Novato, San Marin, Green Point, Kentfield and Ross is almost entirely Mixed use.
See the original full size Map HERE
See the original full size Map HERE
Inverse condemnation is a term used in the law to describe a situation in which the government takes private property but fails to pay the compensation required by the 5th Amendment of Constitution. In some states the term also includes damaging of property as well as taking it. In order to be compensated, the owner must then sue the government. In such cases the owner is the plaintiff and that is why the action is called inverse – the order of parties is reversed, as compared to the usual procedure in direct condemnation where the government is the plaintiff who sues a defendant-owner to take his or her property.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue
The devices would track every mile you drive —possibly including your location — and the government would use the data to draw up a tax bill.
Ryan Morrison is chief executive of True Mileage, a Long Beach company testing devices that can track drivers' mileage. "People will be more willing to do this if you do not track their speed and you do not track their location," he says. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times / October 24, 2013)By Evan Halper
October 26, 2013, 7:11 p.m.
WASHINGTON — As America's road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.
The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America's major roads.
The usually dull arena of highway planning has suddenly spawned intense debate and colorful alliances. Libertarians have joined environmental groups in lobbying to allow government to use the little boxes to keep track of the miles you drive, and possibly where you drive them — then use the information to draw up a tax bill.The tea party is aghast. The American Civil Liberties Union is deeply concerned, too, raising a variety of privacy issues.
And while Congress can't agree on whether to proceed, several states are not waiting. They are exploring how, over the next decade, they can move to a system in which drivers pay per mile of road they roll over. Thousands of motorists have already taken the black boxes, some of which have GPS monitoring, for a test drive.
"This really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do," said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is planning for the state to start tracking miles driven by every California motorist by 2025. "There is going to be a change in how we pay these taxes. The technology is there to do it."
The push comes as the country's Highway Trust Fund, financed with taxes Americans pay at the gas pump, is broke. Americans don't buy as much gas as they used to. Cars get many more miles to the gallon. The federal tax itself, 18.4 cents per gallon, hasn't gone up in 20 years. Politicians are loath to raise the tax even one penny when gas prices are high.
"The gas tax is just not sustainable," said Lee Munnich, a transportation policy expert at the University of Minnesota. His state recently put tracking devices on 500 cars to test out a pay-by-mile system. "This works out as the most logical alternative over the long term," he said.
Wonks call it a mileage-based user fee. It is no surprise that the idea appeals to urban liberals, as the taxes could be rigged to change driving patterns in ways that could help reduce congestion and greenhouse gases, for example. California planners are looking to the system as they devise strategies to meet the goals laid out in the state's ambitious global warming laws. But Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has said he, too, sees it as the most viable long-term alternative. The free marketeers at the Reason Foundation are also fond of having drivers pay per mile.
"This is not just a tax going into a black hole," said Adrian Moore, vice president of policy at Reason. "People are paying more directly into what they are getting."
The movement is also bolstered by two former U.S. Transportation secretaries, who in a 2011 report urged Congress to move in the pay-per-mile direction.
The U.S. Senate approved a $90-million pilot project last year that would have involved about 10,000 cars. But the House leadership killed the proposal, acting on concerns of rural lawmakers representing constituents whose daily lives often involve logging lots of miles to get to work or into town.
Several states and cities are nonetheless moving ahead on their own. The most eager is Oregon, which is enlisting 5,000 drivers in the country's biggest experiment. Those drivers will soon pay the mileage fees instead of gas taxes to the state. Nevada has already completed a pilot. New York City is looking into one. Illinois is trying it on a limited basis with trucks. And the I-95 Coalition, which includes 17 state transportation departments along the Eastern Seaboard (including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida), is studying how they could go about implementing the change.
|"OMG. A new bridge toll and now a mileage tax?"|
In Nevada, where about 50 volunteers' cars were equipped with the devices not long ago, drivers were uneasy about the government being able to monitor their every move.
"Concerns about Big Brother and those sorts of things were a major problem," said Alauddin Khan, who directs strategic and performance management at the Nevada Department of Transportation. "It was not something people wanted."
As the trial got underway, the ACLU of Nevada warned on its website: "It would be fairly easy to turn these devices into full-fledged tracking devices.... There is no need to build an enormous, unwieldy technological infrastructure that will inevitably be expanded to keep records of individuals' everyday comings and goings."
Nevada is among several states now scrambling to find affordable technology that would allow the state to keep track of how many miles a car is being driven, but not exactly where and at what time. If you can do that, Khan said, the public gets more comfortable.
The hunt for that technology has led some state agencies to a small California startup called True Mileage. The firm was not originally in the business of helping states tax drivers. It was seeking to break into an emerging market in auto insurance, in which drivers would pay based on their mileage. But the devices it is testing appeal to highway planners because they don't use GPS and deliver a limited amount of information, uploaded periodically by modem.
"People will be more willing to do this if you do not track their speed and you do not track their location," said Ryan Morrison, chief executive of True Mileage. "There have been some big mistakes in some of these state pilot programs. There are a lot less expensive and less intrusive ways to do this."
In Oregon, planners are experimenting with giving drivers different choices. They can choose a device with or without GPS. Or they can choose not to have a device at all, opting instead to pay a flat fee based on the average number of miles driven by all state residents.
Other places are hoping to sell the concept to a wary public by having the devices do more, not less. In New York City, transportation officials are seeking to develop a taxing device that would also be equipped to pay parking meter fees, provide "pay-as-you-drive" insurance, and create a pool of real-time speed data from other drivers that motorists could use to avoid traffic.
"Motorists would be attracted to participate … because of the value of the benefits it offers to them," says a city planning document.
Some transportation planners, though, wonder if all the talk about paying by the mile is just a giant distraction. At the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area, officials say Congress could very simply deal with the bankrupt Highway Trust Fund by raising gas taxes. An extra one-time or annual levy could be imposed on drivers of hybrids and others whose vehicles don't use much gas, so they pay their fair share.
"There is no need for radical surgery when all you need to do is take an aspirin," said Randy Rentschler, the commission's director of legislation and public affairs. "If we do this, hundreds of millions of drivers will be concerned about their privacy and a host of other things."
In a unanimous decision, the Marinwood CSD adopts a new Integrated Pesticides Management plan that allows the use of pesticides in all areas of the Marinwood Parks and Open Space. I was the only speaker in the room that objected to its use especially in open space . An outright ban of glyphosate (roundup) is being proposed all over Marin at this time by environmental organizations. Glyphosate has been declared a carcinogen by the State of California.
all support a ban on Glyphosate in Marin County
By Nels Johnson, Marin Independent Journal
Al Dugan of Novato says the people of Marin deserve a better shake at the Marin County Civic Center.
That’s just what they’ll get, the 65-year-old Dugan said, if he’s elected to represent the 4th District on the county Board of Supervisors.
Dugan, a retired insurance executive who now provides risk management consulting services, is among eight candidates running for the seat of retiring Supervisor Steve Kinsey. The post at stake on the June 7 ballot covers West Marin and Corte Madera, as well as parts of San Rafael, Larkspur, Novato and Southern Marin.
Dugan, a prolific letter-to-the-editor writer with views on issues ranging from the problems with regional government to local housing policies, thinks the people who pay the bills don’t have enough say in what goes on or how their money is spent.
“Homeowners are under-represented in Marin County,” he said. “They don’t get the representation they need,” he added. “The taxpayers and property owners of Marin are our shareholders.”
Speaking of taxes, “I think the property tax has reached a point where it is significant, and I don’t believe we should be looking at add-on taxes or parcel taxes,” he said. “There’s enough revenue coming in ... more than enough,” according to Dugan.
The key problem with county decision-making is that residents have little say in what happens, he said. “My biggest complaint is the lack of transparency” with decisions “pre-determined before the meeting,” he said. “There’s an over-reliance on third-party consultants and special interests.”
The county has failed to engage with the wider community it is supposed to serve, he asserted, vowing to attend local homeowner and neighborhood association meetings, launch programs that promote participation in public affairs such as town halls, and beef up county communications including video media.
“We should use media to educate the people,” he said. “I plan to work with community leaders who are directly involved with the issues to come up with the best solutions.”
Dugan said he is running for election because officials have failed to tackle key issues “such as excessive development, making sure Marin got a proper housing allocation from Association of Bay Area Governments, fiscal sustainability and the need for real transparency and community engagement.” The key issue is “intolerable traffic and excess development, which are inextricably linked,” he said. “I want to maintain our small-town suburban rural character (and) will work for better planning and more realistic housing allocations with community engagement that are in sync with the general plans of the jurisdictions.”
Local control is critical and “ABAG got it wrong” although the regional agency is improving amid a welter of planning criticism, he said. “The danger we have ahead is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission taking over” planning for jobs and housing. “Job growth and housing should reflect the general plans of the jurisdiction,” he said. See the full Story in the Marin IJ HERE