Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Oct 30 2006

Saving-habits better in Boston than Memphis?

I found an interesting list of the best (and worst) savers in larger cities. I was a bit surprised at how many metropolitan areas in the West and Northeast made it to the Top Ten for saving money, since the cost of living is higher in some of those areas. I wonder if the pressure to earn more just to keep up makes folks in these more likely to plan for rainy days?

posted at: 09:04 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Middle-class flight from the coast?

The Santa Cruz Sentinel carries an article this morning of Californians leaving the state for places like Bend Oregon. I know two of the people who were mentioned in the story and I know they hated to leave the Santa Cruz County area, in some ways. But they knew they could have more choices in life if they were not hampered by certain conditions here.

My concern is that, like the article mentions, people moving in droves to Oregon and other states may soon be presented with conditions more like conditions right here.

I talk to some folks who are a bit peeved that they sold their homes here and moved away while recent immigrants continue to flood into this area and are given preference on affordable housing. I don't work within that whole system, so I don't know very much about the screening process. I've been told that the hit developers appear to take on providing all this affordable housing comes back in the form of items such as higher property taxes for other homeowners and with state grants, which are also ultimately paid for by taxpayers. I've also heard of local situations in which developers were actually pressured, and granted an easier permit process, if they made housing units more dense on properties, in order to provide more living units that were labeled as affordable. What that might mean is that those peeved folks who moved away from here still got more house and more land. The new houses sale that are being built here now are mostly narrow, 2-3 story-high units on small lots with a planned park or two somewhere in the development. They are so close together that I would hesitate to truly classify them as single dwellings. If two neighbors reached out their side windows they could almost hold hands. I've lived in apartment complexes that had better spacing and privacy than that.

A few available large parcels in the county are being fought over by land sellers, developers, community groups, existing neighbors, politicians and area planners, the last of whom are under pressure from the state to provide more housing.

Why aren't local land issues being handled more locally? I once heard a man give a presentation that I thought might have sprung up from extremist fears, but I have since learned that there are interesting facts that give his presentation a lot more support. Rather than give you my own slant on it, I invite you to use a search engine to look up clusters of terms such as "United Nations", "land use", "sustainable" and "population distribution". Read from several sources and form your own opinions on the issue. You may eventually find yourself asking more questions about the local planning in your own area's development and use of land, whether you live in California or or some other state.

In areas like ours, where population is growing by leaps and bounds, I have to wonder why we have so many people crowding into the area and demanding cheaper housing while so many other people can't wait to cash out their homes and get out of here and then bunch up into new areas which are also about to explode with growth. There is something amiss about it all. Want to help me solve some of the mystery? Do some research.

posted at: 08:50 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!