Saturday, September 28, 2019

Doomsday Predictions from the First Earth Day in 1970

18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year


April 21, 2019

Tomorrow (Monday, April 22) is Earth Day 2019 and time for my annual Earth Day post on spectacularly wrong predictions around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970…..

In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now: The planet’s future has never looked better. Here’s why” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 19 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”

15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

MP: Let’s keep those spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day 1970 in mind when we’re bombarded in the next few days with media hype, and claims like this from the Earth Day website:

Global sea levels are rising at an alarmingly fast rate — 6.7 inches in the last century alone and going higher. Surface temperatures are setting new heat records about each year. The ice sheets continue to decline, glaciers are in retreat globally, and our oceans are more acidic than ever. We could go on…which is a whole other problem.

The majority of scientists are in agreement that human contributions to the greenhouse effect are the root cause. Essentially, gases in the atmosphere – such as methane and CO2 – trap heat and block it from escaping our planet.

So what happens next? More droughts and heat waves, which can have devastating effects on the poorest countries and communities. Hurricanes will intensify and occur more frequently. Sea levels could rise up to four feet by 2100 – and that’s a conservative estimate among experts.

Climate preacher/scientist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez predicted recently that “We’re like… the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” You can add that to the spectacularly wrong predictions made this year around the time of Earth Day 2019.

Finally, think about this question, posed by Ronald Bailey in 2000: What will Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030? Bailey predicts a much cleaner, and much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty, and longer life expectancy, and with lower mineral and metal prices. But he makes one final prediction about Earth Day 2030: “There will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future–and the present–never looked so bleak.” In other words, the hype, hysteria and spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by the virtue signalling “environmental grievance hustlers” like AOC.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

In 1964, several white and black protesters jumped into a pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla., in what The New York Times described as a “dive-in.” A white police officer in plain clothes later jumped in to arrest them.CreditCreditHorace Cort/Associated Press

By Niraj Chokshi
Aug. 1, 2018

The poolside confrontations keep coming.

This summer, a black boy was harassed by a white woman in South Carolina; a black woman was asked to provide identification by a white man in North Carolina; and a black man wearing socks in the water had the police called on him by a white manager of an apartment complex in Tennessee.

The encounters, some captured on video, have prompted widespread anger and resulted in consequences for white people involved. But they are hardly new: The United States has a long history of people of color facing harassment and racism at swimming pools.

Pools are supposed to be places to relax, but ever since they exploded in popularity about a century ago, they have served as flash points for racial conflict — vulnerable spaces where prejudices have intensified and violence has often broken out.

“That’s the most intimate thing,” said Greg Carr, chairman of Howard University’s Afro-American studies department. “I’m in this water, you’re in this water, it’s in me, on me.”

Here’s a look at the resistance black Americans have faced in trying to access pools.
Mixing the sexes and separating by race

In the 1920s and 1930s, pool construction accelerated as cities built lavish public facilities, Jeff Wiltse, a University of Montana history professor and author of “Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America,” said in an interview.

In many cities, white and black people historically swam together, separated by sex. But norms began to shift as pools multiplied, with men and women increasingly swimming together, eliciting racist anxieties.

In 1931, Pittsburgh debuted a new facility at the popular Highland Park, featuring a sandy beach with two large pools, according to the book. But, unlike the city’s other pools, men and women could swim together there.

On opening day, thousands showed up, including many black residents who were asked by pool attendants to provide “health certificates” proving they were disease-free. Several later complained to an official, who assured them access going forward.

When about 50 young black men arrived the next day, attendants let them in, but a larger crowd of white poolgoers jeered and attacked them, according to a newspaper report.

That white resistance to integrated swimming was rooted in a fear of interracial contact between men and women, Dr. Wiltse said. The violent opposition continued for weeks, peaking when several hundred white youths severely beat about 40 black swimmers, The New York Times reported.

The opposition persisted for a few summers, spreading even to single-sex facilities, according to the book.

The New York Times, Aug. 21, 1931.

Fighting for the right to swim

In 1949, a St. Louis official determined the city could no longer segregate pools, concluding that, like other citizens, black residents “have a right to use public property,” according to a Times report.

The next day, about 50 black swimmers showed up at a luxurious facility at Fairgrounds Park and were attacked by almost 200 white teenagers carrying baseball bats and heavy sticks, the report said.

The clashes spread, and Mayor Joseph Darst ordered pools to be resegregated the next day.

The following year, a local N.A.A.C.P. chapter successfully sued the city over the policy, according to reports, previewing the broader civil rights movement.

Mayor Darst, who was white, agreed to comply with a judge’s order to integrate pools, according to “Contested Waters,” but he also decided to resegregate them by sex.

The fight was not limited to pools, either.

In the 1960s, black protesters organized “wade-ins” to demand equal access to the beach in Biloxi, Miss. Fierce resistance led to what an Associated Press article published in April 1960 by The Times described as “the worst racial riot in Mississippi history,” involving “gunfire, stonings and street clashes.” By 1968, though, a federal court would rule the beach must be open to all.

[Sign up for our Race/Related newsletter to join a deep and provocative exploration of race, identity and society with Times journalists.]

Images that captured the nation’s attention

In 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference started a campaign in St. Augustine, Fla., to support local protests against discrimination and raise awareness of the civil rights movement.

It included sit-ins, marches and what The Times described as a “dive-in” at the Monson Motor Lodge, where several white and black protesters jumped into a pool, a moment memorialized in famous photographs.

One image, published on The Times’s front page, showed a white police officer jumping into the pool to arrest protesters. Another showed the white motel manager, James Brock, dumping muriatic acid, a cleaning agent, into the water near visibly distressed swimmers.

In 1964, several white and black protesters jumped into a pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. The white motel manager, James Brock, dumped muriatic acid, a cleaning agent, into the water near visibly distressed swimmers.CreditBettmann, via Getty Images

The images took on near-instant significance. President Lyndon B. Johnson mentioned them in a phone call the following day, according to a recording of the call. The outrage, he said, underscored the need for civil rights action.

“Our whole foreign policy and everything else could go to hell over this,” he said.

The day of the call, the Senate passed a compromise bill prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, at public facilities and polling places, and elsewhere. Within weeks, Mr. Johnson signed the bill into law, enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

[Catch up on a discussion on Facebook about pools and racial tensions with a Times journalist and experts.]

Mr. Rogers encourages shifting attitudes

Five years later, the television personality Fred Rogers weighed in, in his understated way.

In a 1969 episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” he invited Officer Clemmons, a recurring character played by the black actor Fran├žois Clemmons, to join him in soaking his feet in a wading pool.

“They didn’t want black people to come and swim in their swimming pools,” Mr. Clemmons said in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” a 2018 documentary about Mr. Rogers. “My being on the program was a statement for Fred.”

The two recreated the scene when Mr. Clemmons returned to the show in 1993. In that episode, Mr. Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, helped Mr. Clemmons dry off his feet, evoking a biblical gesture.
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? - Official Trailer [HD] - In Select Theaters June 8CreditCreditVideo by Focus Features

Taking the fight to the Supreme Court

As segregationist policies unraveled, many white Americans in cities retreated to suburbs with private or community-managed pools. But prejudices persisted.

In 1962, T. R. Freeman Jr., a black economist for the Agriculture Department, rented a home in Fairfax County, Va., which included swimming club access. After Mr. Freeman’s membership application was denied, the white man who rented him the home, Paul E. Sullivan, protested on Mr. Freeman’s behalf, and had his own membership revoked, according to The Times.

Both men sued and the matter reached the Supreme Court, which found in 1969 that pool access was a property right that could not be limited by race.

From the 1970s to 1990s, cities faced with shrinking populations and rising budget deficits stopped building new pools or maintaining existing ones, Dr. Wiltse said. Public pool attendance dropped, and private pool construction increased drastically.


Protesters outside a swimming club in a mostly white suburb of Philadelphia in 2009.CreditMark Stehle/Associated Press

A city camp’s thwarted summer plans

In 2009, a northeast Philadelphia youth camp struck an agreement to bring a group of predominantly black and Hispanic children to a swimming club pool in a mostly white suburb.

On their first visit, several children and the camp’s director reported hearing “disparaging” remarks, according to a lawsuit filed at the time, including from a white woman who said: “What are all these black kids doing here? They might do something to my child.” Before a return trip, the camp’s contract was revoked, according to The Times.

The club said the pool had become unsafe with so many children in it, but the camp argued racism was to blame.

A state commission investigated and sided with the camp and, after the Justice Department intervened, the club agreed to a settlement.

Simone Manuel with her Olympic gold medal at the Rio Games in 2016.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Simone Manuel wins the gold in 2016

When Simone Manuel, at 20, became the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming, the significance was not lost on her.

“I’m super glad with the fact I can be an inspiration to others and hopefully diversify the sport,” she said then. But “I would like there to be a day where there are more of us and it’s not Simone, the black swimmer.”

Last year, U.S.A. Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, found that 64 percent of African-American children have no or low swimming ability, compared with 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children.

“Just imagine all the untapped potential,” Lia Neal, an American swimmer of African and Chinese descent who has won bronze and silver Olympic medals, said in an interview.

“It’s great that we can use our platform and inspire kids who look up to us because they see themselves in us,” she said. “But we’re also not an easy fix for racism.”

In an interview, Ms. Manuel said she experienced prejudice when she was 6 years old and a swimming teammate told her that he would not play with her on the playground after practice because she was black. Years passed before she told her parents.

“I think I was protecting them from any negativity about their raising an accomplished black swimmer,” she said. “I guess for me, I didn’t really think I was different. It’s just a very innocent age. To think that someone that age could think like that is very disturbing to me now.”

2:03Swimming While Black: Then and Now
From 2017: Black children drown five times as often as white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Harlem Honeys and Bears, a senior synchronized swim team, is trying to help by offering free lessons for young people.CreditCreditNeeti Upadhye/The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.

Poolside confrontations continue

In 2015, Dajerria Becton, a 15-year-old black girl, was at a pool party in McKinney, Tex., when a white police officer responded to a fight and disturbance. The officer grabbed her by the hair, pointed his gun at others in attendance and shoved her to the ground as she called for her mother.

The episode, captured on video, drew national attention and sparked protests and a lawsuit. The officer resigned and the city paid Dajerria and her family nearly $185,000.

0:46Video Captures Texas Pool Party IncidentFrom 2015: A video shows a police officer detaining a girl on Friday and pulling a gun on other teenagers after a disturbance at a neighborhood pool party in McKinney, Tex.

This summer, in South Carolina, a white woman, 38, was charged with assaulting a black boy, 15, at a neighborhood pool, telling him and his friends to “get out.” In North Carolina, a white man lost his job after calling the police on a black woman who refused to show him identification at a private pool where she had an access card.

And white female managers at apartment complexes in Memphis and Indianapolis were disciplined after they confronted black male poolgoers. In one incident, the poolgoer was wearing socks and dipped his feet in the pool. In the other, he refused to provide his address to prove his residency, though he displayed a pool access key.

[Read more about other recent, high-profile incidents where black people engaging in everyday activities have had the police called on them for the thinnest of suspicions.]

Karen Crouse contributed reporting, and Doris Burke contributed research.
A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 4, 2018, Section SP, Page 2 of the New York edition with the headline: A Place to Relax, With a Long History of Racism. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Marinwood CSD Staff proposal to ban "Outsiders".

Editor’s note: There is not a single improvement to security mentioned in this memo. It presumes only “outsiders” will break the law.  How convenient for those looking for an excuse to ban the Latinos who represent the majority of our rentals.  Another factor not mentioned is the loss of significant revenue for the CSD. Who will they layoff to make up for the shortfall of funds? Other Community Centers earn 100k+ renting their halls for family events with proper security considerations. Why can't the Marinwood CSD?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Call the Police and Fine the Mariachis" remark defended by Marinwood CSD

Part one and two of the  "Fine the Mariachis" remark by current Marinwood CSD director Sivan Oyserman in June 2018. I bring it to their attention and am attacked by Isabela Perry.  A year later in 2019 Marinwood CSD finds an excuse to ban booking events to "outsiders" who largely are Latinos celebrating family events.It has cost the district thousands in lost revenue and was done silently to avoid public scrutinity.  It is discrimination by a handful of entitled people and does not represent the average resident.

Proposition 13 works and remains popular. So why are special interests attacking it?

Proposition 13 works and remains popular. So why are special interests attacking it?

Howard Jarvis, circa 1978. (Photo courtesy of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.)

By Rob Lapsley and Allan Zaremberg, Special to CalMatters

Backers of an initiative to eliminate Proposition 13’s protections for some groups finally acknowledged something we have known all along: the measure is fatally flawed, would be bad for California and would shortchange school districts contrary to the stated purpose of the initiative.

This admission came after they spent millions of dollars to place the “split-roll” measure on the November 2020 ballot.

Now, they’ve decided to scrap that measure, write a second draft, and attempt to qualify it for the 2020 ballot.

The real question is why not withdraw the old, flawed ballot measure now? Do they really plan to present voters with an admittedly flawed constitutional amendment if they can’t replace it with their new measure?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

A split-roll initiative would remove Proposition 13’s protections for commercial and industrial property and raise their property taxes by billions of dollars a year. Businesses would have no choice but to pass those increased costs onto you and me, raising the prices on everything we buy, from gasoline to groceries, while also raising our utility and healthcare bills.

Unfortunately, these special interests are so intent on destroying Proposition 13 that they’ll leave the first poorly written measure on the ballot as a backup just in case they can’t qualify the new measure.

This is the clearest evidence yet that those behind the split-roll measure aren’t concerned with what’s best for Californians. They’re focused on raising taxes at any cost, even through a terribly flawed measure.

If the old measure is pulled from the ballot and replaced with this second draft, it still would be the largest property tax increase in state history and the most direct attack on Proposition 13 in a decade.

Public polling consistently shows that the split-roll property tax fails to earn even 50% support.

A June 2018 survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) showed just 46% of respondents support the tax. This is the lowest level of support for a split roll tested by PPIC since 2012.

In contrast, Proposition 13 continues to remain popular with voters. The same PPIC poll showed 65% of voters believe Proposition 13 was good for California. That’s the same percentage that passed the measure 41 years ago.

Proposition 13 was passed by nearly two-thirds of California voters in 1978 because our property tax system was out of control.

The initiative stopped skyrocketing property tax bills by capping annual increases in property taxes at 2% per year. It also calculates general property taxes based on 1% of the purchase price rather than market value, protecting property owners and local governments from drastic booms and busts in the real estate market.

Proposition 13 creates stability for homeowners, renters and businesses, ensuring they won’t be broadsided with dramatic property tax increases. It also creates a reliable tax revenue stream that has grown on average 7% a year since the passage of Proposition 13, and is projected to reach an all-time high of $74 billion.

The pros and cons of a split roll will be argued before the voters next year. We’ll work hard to educate voters about why they should reject this attempt to gut Proposition 13.

Papa's got your bathwater on -Tuba Skinny

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Marinwood CSD security review after April 2019 crime requested

Linda Barnello, politely asks for a security review of the April 2019 armed attempted rape of a minor. Earlier in the meeting Jon Campo, Parks Commissioner sitting on the left said "I feel like it is a random incident" and seemed unconcerned about the laggard response by Eric Dreikosen, General Manager. Do these commissoners have children?  It is outrageous that a review was not done immediately after the incident in April 2019.  Security cameras, increased security requirements, deposits are required by other recreation centers especially when alcohol is served.  The only "security" that evening was a building attendent who was unaware what happened.  Why did Eric Dreikosen hide this incident from the public? He only answered questions after an article in the Marin IJ on August 25, 2019.

The Marinwood CSD directors should hold people accountable and demand swift action to improve security to the same levels as our neighboring cities.

Marinwood resident asks that Parks Commission to continue walk throughs of the Park

Linda Barnello request a civil public process and in person inspections of Marinwood Park. She is treated rudely by Jon Campo and John Tune who thinks that the public should not be allowed to speak. Tune and Campo show utter contempt for civil democratic process.

Marinwood CSD plan to keep public quiet: Threaten to arrest them

Jon Campo, Marinwood CSD Parks commissioner voices concern that public wants to speak during public meeting. He calls it an attack on civility.  In fact, he literally believes he has no obligation to listen to the public. He says that he works for the staff.   Obviously, he never picked up a high school civics book to learn about democracy and public process.

Eric Dreikosen, Marinwood CSD manager answers his concerns by suggesting hiring a police officer to intimidate the public into silence with threat of arrest may be a good way to do it.

Do either of these fools understand that a public agency works for the people?  The right to redress the government is enshrined in the Constitution.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Growth does not pay for itself

The Villages proves the big Florida lie: Growth does not pay for itself | Editorial

SEP 18, 2019 | 6:00 AM

The houses are crowded together at The Villages retirement community. (STEPHEN M. DOWELL / ORLANDO SENTINEL)

The Villages is the fastest-growing metro area in the nation.

In. The. Nation.

If growth pays for itself, as we’ve so often heard in Central Florida, then local governments like Sumter County — the epicenter of The Villages’ development — must be swimming in cash.

Instead, it’s acting like a government drowning in the costs of growth.

Sumter is so desperate for money that its five Republican county commissioners look ready to vote next week for a whopping 25.6% increase in the current property tax rate. (We’ll leave to your imagination the reaction if a group of elected Democrats proposed such an increase.)

The county concedes in its own budget documents that the main culprit for this tax increase is the breakneck rate of growth tied to The Villages’ success.

From July 2018 through June 2019, The Villages added 2,100 new homes, and several hundred others were built outside the retirement community. The county added 159 new commercial buildings with more than 2.5 million square feet of business space.

Even without a property tax increase, Sumter would rake in millions more than the previous year. It’s still not enough.

The county needs even more money to hire deputies, build fire stations and, particularly, to build roads that The Villages must have to continue its relentless march south. The development designed for retirees already is home to 128,000 people, an increase of nearly 40% in less than 10 years, and it has plans for tens of thousands more rooftops south of State Road 44 and Florida’s Turnpike.

It doesn’t help when governments like Sumter refuse to raise taxes until they reach a tipping point, which Sumter apparently has.

According to Florida TaxWatch, Sumter’s various governments in 2017-18 collectively averaged the fourth-lowest property tax rate in Florida. That’s a real selling point until you tell people they’re going to get slapped with a nearly 26% bump in their tax bill in a single year.

On his Sumter County bio page, County Commission Doug Gilpin wrote that the intended to “continue working with my fellow Commissioners to improve services and keep our tax burden low.”

That they did, until now.

Sumter County government doesn’t help itself by charging transportation impact fees designed to favor The Villages. Impact fees are one-time charges on new construction that are supposed to offset the cost of improving or building roads necessitated by that construction.

In Sumter County, the transportation fee charged for a new home is $2,600. Unless that new home is in a retirement or age-restricted community, in which case the fee for each new home is $901.

The Villages is one big retirement and age-restricted community, so homes built there enjoy the lower impact fee rate. Good for them. Bad for nearly everyone else.

The Villages is a textbook example of the big Florida lie that growth is self-sustaining.

And yet, elected officials continue to be dazzled by developer promises of growth delivering more jobs and more taxes.

Growth does mean jobs. The Villages has created many hundreds of them. But many are low-paying service jobs, which has resulted in an affordable housing shortage in Sumter. (That should sound familiar to the rest of this region.)

And all those new tax dollars? Not nearly enough to pay the bills.

Counties like Osceola, consistently among the nation’s fastest-growing areas, are familiar with that tune. Osceola’s had gangbusters growth for years but was so desperate for road money that it tried to get a 1-cent transportation sales tax approved by voters earlier this year.

It failed, as we suspect a 26% property tax increase would if the voters of Sumter County had the opportunity to cast a vote.

We’re not here to say cities and counties should stop growing. We are here to say that bureaucrats and elected officials need to have eyes wide open when developers pitch projects with idealized names like River Cross or The Grow or Sunbridge.

These projects will create jobs. They will generate taxes. And they come with a bill that one day has to be paid.

Just ask property owners in Sumter County.

Marinwood Park public Agenda 9/24/2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Maintenance Shed as Proposed to Marinwood CSD board on May 8, 2018

Here is the Maintenance Shed proposal by former Marinwood CSD Director Bill Hansell on May 8th.  The proposal calls for 4400 square feet of structure and the demolishment of the existing buildings and portable office.  It will definitely cost the district upwards of $250,000 for a shed structure where a standard maintenance shed could cost the district less than $80,000 , take 1/4 of the space .  Aside from the encroachment on the creek conservation area and cost, the Hansell design is rectangular and will make access less efficient for accessing tools and equipment.  Vehicles would have to be moved in and out for access to the back of the shop. Pathways would have to remain open to allow movement.  

In contrast, the "shed bay" design allows each individual vehicle to move independently and tools and material storage will line the walls. A bay could be emptied for temporary projects and the entire structure is much smaller and less expensive.  Virtually EVERY Maintenance department in Marin County has a "shed bay " design facility. And NO government facilities, including the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Civic Center have fancy buildings for work trucks.  Space is at a premium and work efficiency must drive design.  I have included three practical and attractive "shed bay" designs at the end of this posting. 

What is not readily apparent in the Bill Hansell proposal is that the building will occupy virtually all of the space on the fire road and will block the view of the nature trail, possibly creating some security concerns.  You can see the proposed building footprint compared to the existing footprint on the first building slide.  I am also concerned that the awkward access to the horizontal building will mean that vehicles and materials will be regularly parked outside the structure creating even MORE of an impact to our precious park area.

While I am delighted that we are finally getting around to rebuilding the maintenance shed, I think it is important that we fully vet this project with the public and the workers who will actually be using the facility.  Our parkland is too precious and we need to use space wisely.

The new building blocks the entire existing fire Road and is as large as the existing facility.  Not included in this picture are the massive brush piles, vehicles and materials storage. A new solution needs to address this and sadly this project does not.
Add caption

The project footprint is roughly 45' x 150'.  This is massive and spans two backyard fence lines. The alternate designs below span about half the space.

The design is attractive but has poor vehicle and material access.  This vantage point is from the drainage ditch and will not be seen.  The ordinary view will be the gates on either end on the fire road.

There is no question that Bill Hansell has put thought into his design.  Such architecture is largely wasted for such a facility .  A much better use of his talents should be used for a community gathering spot such as an outdoor stage or seating area.   With the savings from a stock maintenance shed design, the rest of the budget could be used for vitalizing our main park area near the Community Center.

Here are alternate designs from Modular Building companies start at $10,000 installed.  They are more functional and save space, too

Architectural Drawing HERE  

These designs could have a fourth bay added and would have a foot print of roughly 24' x 55" and would span only 1 fence line and still allow visual access to the nature path.   A small office on the end is adequate for daily use.  It is about a third of the size of the Hansell initial design. The access is far easier for daily work and fits the conventional layout of maintenance facilities.  The building is essentially as long as the existing office trailer and twice as wide. Much space can be saved with a design of this type and would allow the creation of a childrens nature playground and/picnic area next to the creek.

Editors Note: September 22, 2019  The original Bill Hansell design has had several revisions and enhancements since this was written in May 2018.  The original estimate for Bill Hansells architecture fees was $13,000 in February 2018 as testified by Marinwood CSD manager, Eric Dreikosen.  Hansell received a very generous "time and materials" design fee that has allowed him to unlimited billing for his services. We estimate that he has billed the Marinwood CSD more than $50k BEFORE the plan has been approved by Marin County.  The CSD Board, has allowed this WASTE AND ABUSE of the taxpayers.  They will not even allow discussion of the total cost of the project in Board meetings.  It is corruption in slow motion and people need to be held accountable.

FABLE: Crow Brings the Daylight-an Inuit Myth

Crow Brings the Daylight

An Inuit Myth

retold by
S. E. Schlosser

Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. They had never heard of daylight, and when it was first explained to them by Crow, who traveled back and forth between the northlands and the south, they did not believe him.
Yet many of the younger folk were fascinated by the story of the light that gilded the lands to the south. They made Crow repeat his tales until they knew them by heart.
"Imagine how far and how long we could hunt," they told one another.
"Yes, and see the polar bear before it attacks," others agreed.
Soon the yearning for daylight was so strong that the Inuit people begged Crow to bring it to them. Crow shook his head. "I am too old," he told them. "The daylight is very far away. I can no longer go so far." But the pleadings of the people made him reconsider, and finally he agreed to make the long journey to the south.
Crow flew for many miles through the endless dark of the north. He grew weary many times, and almost turned back. But at last he saw a rim of light at the very edge of horizon and knew that the daylight was close.
Crow strained his wings and flew with all his might. Suddenly, the daylight world burst upon him with all its glory and brilliance. The endless shades of color and the many shapes and forms surrounding him made Crow stare and stare. He flapped down to a tree and rested himself, exhausted by his long journey. Above him, the sky was an endless blue, the clouds fluffy and white. Crow could not get enough of the wonderful scene.
Eventually Crow lowered his gaze and realized that he was near a village that lay beside a wide river. As he watched, a beautiful girl came to the river near the tree in which he perched. She dipped a large bucket into the icy waters of the river and then turned to make her way back to the village. Crow turned himself into a tiny speck of dust and drifted down towards the girl as she passed beneath his tree. He settled into her fur cloak and watched carefully as she returned to the snow lodge of her father, who was the chief of the village people.
It was warm and cozy inside the lodge. Crow looked around him and spotted a box that glowed around the edges. Daylight, he thought. On the floor, a little boy was playing contentedly. The speck of dust that was Crow drifted away from the girl and floated into the ear of the little boy. Immediately the child sat up and rubbed at his ear, which was irritated by the strange speck. He started to cry, and the chief, who was a doting grandfather, came running into the snow lodge to see what was wrong.
"Why are you crying?" the chief asked, kneeling beside the child.
Inside the little boy's ear, Crow whispered: "You want to play with a ball of daylight." The little boy rubbed at his ear and then repeated Crow's words.
The chief sent his daughter to the glowing box in the corner. She brought it to her father, who removed a glowing ball, tied it with a string, and gave it to the little boy. He rubbed his ear thoughtfully before taking the ball. It was full of light and shadow, color and form. The child laughed happily, tugging at the string and watching the ball bounce.
Then Crow scratched the inside of his ear again and the little boy gasped and cried.
"Don't cry, little one," said the doting grandfather anxiously. "Tell me what is wrong."
Inside the boy's ear, Crow whispered: "You want to go outside to play." The boy rubbed at his ear and then repeated Crow's words to his grandfather. Immediately, the chief lifted up the small child and carried him outside, followed by his worried mother.
As soon as they were free of the snow lodge, Crow swooped out of the child's ear and resumed his natural form. He dove toward the little boy's hand and grabbed the string from him. Then he rose up and up into the endless blue sky, the ball of daylight sailing along behind him.
In the far north, the Inuit saw a spark of light coming toward them through the darkness. It grew brighter and brighter, until they could see Crow flapping his wings as he flew toward them. The people gasped and pointed and called in delight.
The Crow dropped the ball, and it shattered upon the ground, releasing the daylight so that it exploded up and out, illuminating every dark place and chasing away every shadow. The sky grew bright and turned blue. The dark mountains took on color and light and form. The snow and ice sparkled so brightly that the Inuit had to shade their eyes.
The people laughed and cried and exclaimed over their good fortune. But Crow told them that the daylight would not last forever. He had only obtained one ball of daylight from the people of the south, and it would need to rest for six months every year to regain its strength. During that six month period, the darkness would return.
The people said: "Half a year of daylight is enough. Before you brought the daylight, we lived our whole life in darkness!" Then they thanked Crow over and over again.
To this day, the Inuit live for half a year in darkness and half a year in daylight. And they are always kind to Crow, for it was he who brought them the light.