wigandpenAs overboard as I believe our CPS goes sometimes, at least we aren’t Britain, where parents are being warned that they will be reported if kids play the wrong video games.

The standard model of physics isn’t providing all of the answers that we need. Here’s how we’re trying to bridge the gap.

Residents are doing what it can to keep college students, the young poor, and the poor more generally, out of Bellevue, Washington. This shouldn’t be necessary, though, because developers only want to build luxury condos, right? (I am a localists in some respects, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that housing accommodations as a local matter create problems.)

I collect 3D-generated landscape images. It’s a hobby. I’ve subscribed to Digital Blasphemy, Mike Bonnell, and others. This geyser in Nevada makes me think of those, except it’s real!

This story, about a man who refused to stop and help an injured person on the side of the road that turned out to be his mother, sounds like a contrived TV show plot.

News I can use: Facts about urine, including how to train yourself to pee less often.

Scott Mandelson argues that Hollywood needs to do less remakes and more rip-offs. I agree from a cultural perspective, though from a financial perspective you want to retain the original audience. Remake-mania isn’t about a lack of ideas but an overabundance of caution.

UFOs are apparently most prevalent in the west.

Tour an 80’s-era abandoned mining town.

I disagreed with Sonny Bunch about women in comic books. The more I’ve read about recent efforts, though, the more I am thinking he might have been more right than wrong in some respects.


Category: Newsroom

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6 Responses to Linkluster Free Octominoes

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Re: Bellevue

    I remember this when the first rumblings started. People were upset at the damage done to the character of their neighborhoods, but even more upset at how it happened. Single family homes were being bought by investors sight unseen who would arrive with cash, usually quite a bit above the asking price, and they would waive the inspection, etc. In a slow(ish) real estate market, sellers would be insane to not take those offers, especially before it became obvious what was happening. These purchases & conversions were done quietly, with no city or community input.

    And I get it, as a home owner, you buy a home not just for the shelter, but also for the community. If something acts to change that community in a potentially negative way, especially without any input from the community, then people tend to over-react and clamp down on it. Perhaps unfairly, but there it is.

    And finally, Bellevue College has to own some of this. Their growth has been a constant thing and they were aware of the lack of affordable housing. They should have been proactively addressing this a while ago.

    • trumwill says:

      This is where my own extremism kicks in, I guess, in that I’m not sure why the developers had some sort of obligation to announce what they were doing. And given what the response was, it seems to me that they were wise not to.

      • Oscar Gordon says:

        I look at as a development issue, and a zoning issue. If a developer wanted to raise an apartment building across the street from you, they’d have to go through a process, apply to the city/planning commission/etc. So in that sense, the neighborhood does get to know what is going on.

        Also, if an area is zoned single family, that kinda means, single family, so (ignoring for the moment the issues with urban zoning), a boarding house could violate zoning rules.

        Finally, some of these homes were modified without permits. Which questions the safety of the modified homes.

        I mean, my inner libertarian says it’s no one’s business what a property owner does with their property, as long as externalities are dealt with. However, a high density, low income boarding house in a mature, UMC single family neighborhood will negatively affect not only property values, but also the quality of the neighborhood. Something I mentioned above as being part of the value people seek when they plunk down $500K for a 50’s Ranch or Rambler. That externality was being ignored by the investors putting together boarding houses.

        • trumwill says:

          If it’s against zoning, then it’s against zoning. The move here seems to me to make it against zoning, though, which is not quite the same thing.

          And the notion of “preserving the community” and more specifically of preserving the property values by restricting the actions of others is a core of NIMBYism. It can be used to block virtually anything… and so often is. Property values as an externality can prevent almost any development in a tight housing market, where development is needed the most.

          Home ownership purchasing should not be contingent on the surrounding properties. Or, at least, should be minimally contingent. We’re next to a huge bird sanctuary. It was a selling point of the house, but that shouldn’t give us much right or authority to dictate what future owners of that property do with it. (Right now it’s zoned to prevent development, which even that I have some mixed feelings about, and even that is or should be no guarantee against future development.)

          The “modified without permits” is an issue.

        • Oscar Gordon says:

          It isn’t the home value in dollars I’m concerned with. Markets do a pretty good job at demonstrating just how variable those can be. It’s more the subjective value, the aesthetic, that is being damaged. If the bird sanctuary was part of the aesthetic you paid for, then yes, you should be made aware if that will change, and you should at least have an opportunity to voice an opinion about it. I don’t think you should be able to directly raise a legal challenge (i.e. you can’t sue to stop the change), but you should be able to at least let the developer know your opinion, and give the developer an opportunity to allay your concerns.

          FYI I live in a Master Planned Community, we have these discussion all the time with developers. No one has the power to stop a developer from doing something that falls within the Master Plan, but no one is taken unawares that change is coming, and developers are responsive to concerns, and react to them. It actually works out nicely.

        • fillyjonk says:

          Yeah. I tend to come down perhaps a bit stricter on some than the whole “following zoning” thing. I had an experience where, about a year after I bought my house and moved in, a neighbor died, and her kids thought it would be dandy to earn money renting out her house.

          But they were clueless about it, and wound up renting to a large group of 20-somethings who might or might not have been drug dealers (they had cars come and stop at their house, and then leave again some five minutes later) and who partied ALL NIGHT LONG.

          it was a terrible helpless feeling for me: I had just moved from a bad apartment situation, and now this. And I wasn’t up for moving again right away, and anyway, how could I sell my house with the partiers? (they also threw garbage onto my lawn). I called the cops on them (noise complaints) but of course nothing changed.

          Fortunately, they wound up getting evicted after creating a rodent problem that affected the entire neighborhood.

          However, rental houses weren’t against zoning in my neighborhood….then again, I think there’s a “don’t be a jerk to the neighbors” that should be a rule people live by.

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