Minneapolis, Tackling Housing Crisis and Inequity, Votes to End Single-Family Zoning

By Sarah Mervosh : nytimes – excerpt

In a bold move to address its affordable-housing crisis and confront a history of racist housing practices, Minneapolis has decided to eliminate single-family zoning, a classification that has long perpetuated segregation.

The Minneapolis City Council voted last Friday to get rid of the category and instead allow residential structures with up to three dwelling units — like duplexes and triplexes — in every neighborhood. Minneapolis is believed to be the first major city in the United States to approve such a change citywide… (more)

No doubt having a developer for a president, will bring a lot more support for developers and less support for residents and taxpayers. They want to bleed us dry with inflationary spending at all levels of government. This follows the Opportunity Zoning Program, put together by the Trump family to incentivize, (as if they needed any incentive) building more high-rise multi-family units.

Our only hope is that the Democrats may see this as an issue their constituents will oppose. Wake up and read the anti-tax sentiment coming out of Europe. People are angry and divided in their allegiances. This is not a good way to start a new year.



One killed and hundreds injured in French anti-Macron protests

By Kim Willsher : theguardian – excerpt

Death at ‘gilet jaunes’ demonstration caused by panicking driver as anti-fuel tax blockade grips country

One protester has died and more than a hundred were injured after a nationwide wave of peaceful protests aimed at French president Emmanuel Macron turned to tragedy.

Demonstrators from the gilets jaunes – yellow vests – movement had called for people to turn out and gridlock France’s road network to show their anger at increases in fuel taxes…

“We need reform, but not to the detriment of people’s pockets. We all bought diesel vehicles because we were told they were good, now they are punishing us because they say diesel is bad,” said Roger Ordonez, owner of a building company. “They are killing us off. We open our mouths they tax us, we shut them, they tax us. What is happening is totally unfair and we are totally fed up with this government.”… (more)

Looks like too much to soon is a global problem for all governments who are trying to push the strings when they do not have the support of the people who are seeing beyond the knee-jerk reactions. lies and downright miscalculations and mistakes of the authorities. A new level of confusion over policy and priorities is sending a wave of protests and dividing the already divided.

Just got this information from a reader: the French are required to carry those vests in their cars in case of an accident.

Dear Amazon, New York doesn’t want you. Go find another city to destroy Hamilton Nolan

theguardian – excerpt

Jeff Bezos wants to build a colossal HQ in Queens. We’ve already got Wall Street – must we be flooded with rich techies on top of that?

New York is a metropolis. It has been able to withstand centuries’ worth of threats to civic harmony, from the Five Points gangs to the administration of Rudy Giuliani. We have successfully absorbed striving immigrants from around the world, weekend partiers from Jersey, and post-college seekers from the midwest. But one thing that New York City has never truly had to battle is a massive influx of rich techies. Let’s not start now.

For a full year, Amazon – a trillion-dollar company led by the richest man on earth – has been busily extracting subsidies from cities across the country, all of them desperate to lure a promised 50,000 jobs and $5bn investment for Amazon’s second headquarters. The “HQ2” became necessary after Amazon filled metropolitan Seattle edge-to-edge with glass towers full of Amazon employees.

This week, at last, it was reported that Amazon had decided to divide its new headquarters bounty between the suburbs of Washington DC and the Queens riverfront. Having tired of the amusement of watching second-tier cities debase themselves in a desperate bid for something they were never going to get, the company has apparently settled on “the two most obvious major cities on the east coast”… (more)

Forcing us to take in a flood of rich tech people is like giving the flu to someone who already has chronic diabetes

Well put. Forcing being the primary term here. Government forcing citizens to choke down anything they object to is “un-American” and there are some very negative words for top-down autonomous governments that partner with corporate entities to remove entitlements from the citizens they supposedly represent. Ask yourself, is your city guilty of these practices and what can be done about it. Nobody wants to be redeveloped. This country is full of undeveloped areas that welcome more jobs. Why are they piling them all onto people who are suffocating already?

Votes still being counted in race for governor, senate and ag commissioner

The Fort Myers News-Press – excerpt (includes video)

Floridians woke up Friday morning still not knowing who their next governor, senator or agriculture commissioner is, come January.

With votes still being tallied, as of Friday morning, the governor’s race got even closer, a .44 percent difference, with Republican Ron DeSantis leading, 4,072,796 votes, to Democrat Andrew Gillum’s 4,036,585. That’s just 36,211 between them.

The margin between North Fort Myers real estate appraiser Matt Caldwell and Fort Lauderdale attorney Nikki Fried continued to shift in Fried’s favor… (more)

Did the Red Tide play a negative role in the race for change in the sunshine state? Did the students and youth vote count or is it just a matter of a shift in priorities in the state that needs respite from bad news?


The Arizona, Florida, and Georgia election recounts, explained

By : vox – excerpt

As vote counting continues from Tuesday’s midterm elections and three states have a handful of elections with razor-thin margins, the fight has become about whether all the votes should be counted.

The races for Arizona’s US Senate seat, Florida’s US Senate seat and governor, and Georgia’s governor are all extremely close — close enough that under some state laws, a recount is warranted… (more)

In Georgia, Kemp Claims Victory, But Won’t Oversee Potential Recount

NPR – excerpt

“Stacey Abrams can’t accept the fact that Georgians rejected her radical agenda at the ballot box, so now she’s desperately trying to steal this election in the courtroom,” said Ryan Mahoney, the campaign’s communications director, in the statement… (more)

In Historic Move, Florida Approves Automatically Restoring Voting Rights To Felons

By Sam Levine : huffingtonpost – excerpt

The move, reversing a Jim Crow-era policy, is one of the most significant expansions of the franchise in modern times…

Floridians approved a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions once they complete their sentences, a historic move expanding the right to vote to about 1.4 million people and reverses a state policy rooted in the Jim Crow South.

The move is one of the most dramatic expansions of the franchise in modern times.

Florida is one of four states that permanently prevents people with felonies from voting, even if they’ve completed their sentence, probation and parole. The 1.4 million people in the state who have been disenfranchised by that policy represent an estimated 10 percent of Florida’s voting population and a quarter of the total disenfranchised population in the United States. More than 1 in 5 African-Americans in the state are disenfranchised because of the policy, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project. The only way people can get the right to vote back is if the governor decides to grant it to them through a process that takes years.

People convicted of murder and sexual offenses are exempt from the amendment and won’t have their rights automatically restored…(more)

A silver lining on the election results in Florida. Hope the Governor solves Florida’s “red” tide this year.

Scientists may have found the key ingredient for a universal flu vaccine, and it comes from llamas

By By Melissa Healy : latimes – excerpt

Along with soulful eyes, endearingly long necks and warm fuzzy coats, llamas have a far less appreciated feature: They make an array of immune system antibodies so tiny they can fit into crevices on the surface of an invading virus.

That feat could one day protect humans from entire families of flu viruses that bedevil scientists with their unpredictable and shape-shifting ways.

All, potentially, with a once-a-year puff up the nose.

In a study in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, a team from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and their international colleagues have taken a major step toward the long-sought goal of developing a universal vaccine against influenza…(more)


Five countries hold 70% of world’s last wildernesses, map reveals

By Lisa Cox : theguardian – excerpt (includes map)

First map of Earth’s intact ecosystems shows just five nations are responsible for most of them – but it will require global action to protect them…

The UQ and WCS study, published in the journal Nature, identifies Australia, the US, Brazil, Russia and Canada as the five countries that hold the vast majority of the world’s remaining wilderness… (more)

Restoring Localism

by Joel Kotkin : newgeography – excerpt

Americans are increasingly prisoners of ideology, and our society is paying the price. We are divided along partisan lines to an extent that some are calling it a “soft civil war.” In the end, this benefits only ideological warriors and their funders.

One key source of this deepening division is the relentless centralization that has overtaken both our economy and our politics. Leaders of both parties have sat by while the forces of capital and government have centralized power and authority in ever fewer hands. When the federal executive branch changes hands, it’s not a political shift in the constitutional order but something closer to the kind of regime change associated with unstable countries. Increasingly, progressives favor ever more government control over people’s lives while conservatives see no limits to the power of the market.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma: a shift to local control. In a country that is ever more diverse culturally, racially, and economically, the best option is, within limits, to allow localities to determine their own fate, congruent with their own values and aspirations… (more)