123CommonSense

123CommonSense

142p

24,210 comments posted · 44 followers · following 0

203 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Boulder to add 203 per... · 0 replies · 0 points

The city shouldn't be spending money to kick some people out of Boulder in order to bring in other sorts of people. There is no excuse for the city to be spending public money to discriminate that way. Private citizens are free to create a charity to do this if they wish to, if they can convince people that spending money to subsidize people living in Boulder is a better use for their money than say giving funds to cure diseases or to help the truly dirt poor in third world countries.

There are many places to live in the state and country, there is no reason for government to decide to help certain people to live here at the expense of pushing others out (since with finite space, bringing on some people means others have to leave). If they claim they need this for employers to find workers, then those employers can merely pay more rather than rationalizing corporate welfare.

The city is creating a de facto immigration policy where the housing folks get to determine who lives here, since of course not everyone who wants an affordable unit can get one, and by taking market price units off the market they drive up the price of market rate units and push other people who can no longer afford to live here out of the city.

203 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Boulder weighs 2 alter... · 0 replies · -5 points

re: "Nearly two-thirds of respondents to an online survey"

While I'm inclined to think the results are likely representative, I'm curious how many people took the survey and where it was placed and what notice was given and what the exact questions and response totals were. If the Camera doesn't give more details on a story like this, there should be a link to whatever city document gives these results. I don't see a city press release with this information.

204 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - The Latest: Police say... · 0 replies · -5 points

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2015/07/24...
"Louisiana Shooting: Movie Theater Is A Gun Free Zone ...

Yet, just like the other horrific shootings that occurred in Chattanooga last week at a U.S. Navy Reserve center and military recruitment center, the Grand Theater is a gun free zone, according to its code of conduct. ...

' At some time, people have to recognize that, with just two exceptions, at least since 1950, all the multiple victim public shootings in the United States have taken place where guns are banned. ' "

205 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Boulder\'s purchase of... · 0 replies · -2 points

It seems likely that the reason the city was able to get the property for $16.3 million less than the assessed value is due to scaring off other bidders who fear that the city government would tie their attempts at development up in knots in retaliation.

It is interesting that the liberals backing this don't mind that their effort to get a deal will presumably impact the price comparatively poor people pay for healthcare since BCH has gotten less money for their property. That makes it more likely they'll make up for it by seeing prices continue to rise even more than they otherwise would if they'd gotten market price. That leaves those with high deductibles and co-payments needing to pay more for healthcare

I am curious how much more the city will wind up paying to use COPs to avoid a vote that would be required if they used bonds:
https://www.bondview.com/bond-education/glossary/...
"Certificates of Participation (COPs)...

A very popular financing device in California since Proposition 13 because COP issuance does not require voter approval. COPs are not viewed legally as "debt" because payment is tied to an annual appropriation by the government body. As a result, COPs are seen by investors as providing weaker security and often carry ratings that are a notch or two below an agency's general obligation rating."
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/investing/risky-t...
"4 risky types of municipal bonds ...

Cummings recommends ditching another type of complex muni -- certificates of participation, or COPs. These are municipal bonds tied to more obscure income streams such as lease revenue, which isn't legally considered debt.

COPs can be called before redemption by issuers, which means you may not get your full interest payments, Cummings says. 'As municipalities are increasingly pinched, more may be calling these bonds.' "

205 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Boulder\'s purchase of... · 0 replies · -2 points

The city council just locked the public into spending a large amount of money without much time for public input, let alone a vote on the issue. Once they buy the property, they also need to spend money to develop it, and a prior article says:

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_28327767/bould...
"city officials have estimated the cost of purchasing and renovating the Broadway campus, with 293,111 square feet of space, at $151.8 million. The cost of demolishing the existing building and constructing a new 200,000-square-foot building would be around $128.3 million."

Except it will be far larger than that when financing costs are included (e.g this article talks about $3 million for 30 years just to pay off the $40 million part of the costs).

One purpose of TABOR was to require voters to give approval to large amounts of government debt. The public should note that they are explicitly doing an end run around the voters by using certificates of participation rather than issuing bonds, even though COPs have higher finance costs. The city council packet for that meeting last night doesn't even bother talking about the financing cost difference or ever consider bonds, it merely states:
https://www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/20150...
"The Colorado Supreme Court has expressly held that COPs are not a multi-year fiscal obligation and therefore do not require voter approval under TABOR..."

205 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Patricia Kay Youngson:... · 1 reply · -4 points

The letter neglects to mention that bees may have died, but other bees were born so the 42% figures is incredibly misleading
http://www.perc.org/articles/bee-pocalypse-now
"But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high.

Almost no one has reported this, but it’s true. You can browse the USDA reports yourself. Since colony collapse disorder began in 2006, there has been virtually no detectable effect on the total number of honeybee colonies in the United States. Nor has there been any significant impact on food prices or production."
This shows graphs of the trends:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/263786858/What-Bee-poca...
"What Bee-pocalypse? Managed Beehives worldwide show no signs of collapse "
http://iwf.org/blog/2796795/Super-sized%20Alarmis...
"My recent study on the topic, published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is designed to clear some of the confusion by taking a tempered look at the research and data on the topic. It shows that many of the things you may read about honeybee health issues are plain wrong, and some proposed solutions may do more harm than good. Here are some highlights from the paper:

Honeybees are not even a “natural” part of any ecosystem in the United States. A narrative popular among environmentalists suggests that the problem is mankind’s “tampering with nature,” but honeybees are not even “native” to the United States. Instead, they are a farmed agricultural commodity, imported from Europe during the 17th century for honey production and crop pollination. Like cattle, they are largely an agricultural commodity that is farmed and managed by human hands, in this case beekeepers.

Honeybees are nowhere near going extinct. In fact, the number of hives has increased globally. Globally, far more honeybees are used for honey production than pollination services, and the amount of honey produced has increased. U.S. and European commercial hives have decreased because honey production simply moved to other nations, where the number of hives have grown substantially. According to the United Nations Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) statistics the number of beehives kept globally has grown from nearly 50 million in 1961 to more than 80 million in 2013.

Surveys in 2014 show that honeybee hives have improving survival rates. Hives kept for pollination services in the United States and Europe have shown better survival rates in recent years, much closer to what beekeepers consider normal. This occurred despite continued use of neonicotinoids."

206 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Foundation, neighborho... · 0 replies · -1 points

I'll note that a prior article:
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_28327767/bould...
mentioned the huge costs of re-development of the property in addition to its purchase, and referred to: "Financing a project that large could require the city to issue either certificates of participation or bonds and ask voters for approval."

It seems like any offer then would need to be contingent on voter approval of the bonds, unless unfortunately the city is going to use the "certificate of participation" scam which is apparently a way they have found to do an end run around TABOR to avoid asking for voter approval for what is the equivalent of long term debt, but technically isn't so they don't need to get a vote. (though it likely winds up leading to higher financing costs which politicians don't mind paying since it isn't their money they are using to squirm around the need for voter approval).

That article also said:
"The assessed value is around $50 million, but the market value likely is much higher."

I'm curious if the lower price is due to the fact that other bidders realized the city government could tie them their projects up in knots in retaliation if they dared to bid against them.

206 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Construction on Boulde... · 0 replies · +5 points

re: "The "right-sizing" plan was developed as a pilot program designed to"

As far as I can tell it was designed merely to apply current road design fads to places in Boulder, whether they are applicable or not. I've seen no indication they went looking for the problem areas, e.g. the "tall poles" of bicycle accidents or things like that and tried to find solutions to them. It appears they took these "solutions" and went in search of where to apply them. The Camera has failed to report that contrary to claims by the city, and counter to the impression given by misleading wording in a recent Camera article, the traffic on Iris for instance is above the federal guidelines for when to consider a road diet (as I have posted before with links to studies on road diets, the federal guidelines, and the city's own traffic data).

The traffic on Folsom as reported recently is within a range where it should be cautiously evaluated since there may be issues, however I've seen no indication they have collected much data on Folsom (unlike Iris that has decades worth of data). It isn't clear if they collected data for merely a single day (which won't catch statistical variations due to traffic jams on other roads like 28th or variations throughout the week due to schedule differences) or whether it was for a whole month (which is still ignoring then variations due to say snow during other months).

The biggest goal seems to be to find excuses to try to inconvenience people driving. The current guidelines claim they wish to get to 30% bike trips, which is above where any US city currently is and seems to be such a drastic change from Boulder's current usage that to achieve it they need to go beyond making biking more convenient to making driving drastically less convenient.

206 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - Boulder, BCH to enter ... · 0 replies · -1 points

A prior article said:
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_28327767/bould...
"The assessed value is around $50 million, but the market value likely is much higher."

I'm curious if the lower price is due to the fact that other bidders realized the city government could tie them their projects up in knots in retaliation if they dared to bid against them.

I'll note that the other article also mentioned the huge costs of re-development of the property in addition to its purchase, and referred to: "Financing a project that large could require the city to issue either certificates of participation or bonds and ask voters for approval."

It seems like any offer then would need to be contingent on voter approval of the bonds, unless unfortunately the city is going to use the "certificate of participation" scam which is apparently a way they have found to do an end run around TABOR to avoid asking for voter approval for what is the equivalent of long term debt, but technically isn't so they don't need to get a vote. (though it likely winds up leading to higher financing costs which politicians don't mind paying since it isn't their money they are using to squirm around the need for voter approval).

206 weeks ago @ Daily Camera.com: - From the Editorial Adv... · 1 reply · -1 points

re: "More market-rate housing isn't the answer."

I suspect whether he admits it (even to himself) he wishes to be able to make money off his own property as do many of those who own property in Boulder. By reducing market-rate housing they lead the existing housing stock to rise in price.

All the housing units Boulder takes off the market for "affordable housing" means fewer market rate units and that drives up the price of those remaining market rate units. It drives out the middle class that isn't able to afford market rate units and earns too much for "affordable housing" (or is two honest to game the system to try to get it, or merely didn't manage to get one of the limited number of affordable units). When there is limited housing stock and more people who want to live here than can fit, then a policy which leads person A to be able to come here (for an affordable housing unit) that means that necessarily some other person B wasn't able to live here. It did that via raising up prices and driving middle class person B outside the city. Why should the city be discriminating against person B on behalf of person A? The city is essentially setting up a de facto immigration policy where those who make the rules on affordable housing decide to let some people in while forcing others out for the crime of not being poor or dishonest. That isn't appropriate.

There are many places to live in this country, state, and metro area that are cheaper overall. There is no reason for the government to be discriminating in terms of who gets to live here and who doesn't. If some people think that some poor person A deserves to get to live here merely by virtue of being poor, then they should setup a charity to raise money privately to fund that. Then people can decide whether it is a more worthy goal to fund someone to live in Boulder instead of some elsewhere, or whether it is better to say put money towards the actual dirt poor in third world countries or to curing diseases or whatever of the other problems that exist in the world. Some may consider resources spent to merely allow some wealthy people here to feel like they are being magnanimous to let someone poor live in Boulder isn't the best use of their charitable donations.

Sometimes people use the argument that workers in low skilled jobs need to be able to live here. In that case if employers can't find enough workers they can pay more to bring them here rather than essentially seeking corporate welfare to have their workers subsidized. Again, if people wish to personally donate to the cause of letting low income workers live here in order to help employers, they are perfectly free to do so. The government however shouldn't be involved.

re: "a political climate that favors creativity and entrepreneurship."

The "political climate" doesn't directly favor entrepreneurship in anyway (except for inappropriate corporate welfare handouts occasionally to friends of those in city council or high up in city government to companies they claim they wish to keep here, when with a low vacancy rate the claimed need for it strains credulity). Entrepreneurs come here due to other entrepreneurs being here, access to funding, the quality of the workforce, geographical location and climate, etc, and for whatever reasons they like the city as a place to live and work that have nothing to do with the city's policies regarding entrepreneurs. If anything those that are business and economically savvy come here despite nonsense like the greenwashed muni-scam (though granted some may come to be handed corporate welfare from their buddies on council if the muni happens). They come here despite nonsense like the attempt at wrong-sizing roads that many sharp tech workers who bother looking into it in detail (vs. blindly trusting the city) are capable of seeing is poorly considered.