Posted by: coastcontact | December 1, 2016

There are no Affordable Housing Requirements in Los Angeles

We have a living problem in Los Angeles that is prevalent in all the large coastal metropolitan areas of California. The cost of housing is too high for many families.

Los Angeles County has added more than 475,000 jobs since the depths of the Great Recession, and it’s expected to gain another 334,200 jobs by 2020 according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. in a report they just released. The families that have these jobs cannot afford most of the housing in this area.

The L.A. County report notes that more than a third of the county’s projected job openings over the next five years will require workers without a high school diploma and no work experience. Another 30 percent will go to people with a high school diploma or the equivalent with no work experience.

As the number of jobs has grown so has the number of new apartments throughout the area. The problem is that the new housing is renting for what the builders and owners say are “market rates.” Those are rates that I call “unaffordable rates.” Despite the need for affordable dwellings the cities and towns of the Los Angeles metropolitan area have approved the construction of those unaffordable units for those obtaining the new jobs.

In my own community the local community council approved a 150 unit development that consists of one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom units. The two bedroom units are going to rent for $2,200 per month. Older two bedroom units are currently renting for $1,500 to $1,700 per month.

apartment-house-proposed-in-silver-lake

Rendition of Apartment House Proposed in Silver Lake District

Developers seem to think that 10% of their new projects devoted to “affordable housing” is sufficient. A 33 unit project in my community includes 3 affordable units. A proposed 67-unit apartment complex in Silver Lake area includes seven of the units to be reserved for “very low-income residents.”

Citing an affordable housing crisis of “epic proportions,” the California Supreme Court made it easier Monday for cities and counties to require developers to sell some housing at below-market rates. The unanimous decision, written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, follows study after study documenting a lack of affordable housing in the state, especially in California’s coastal regions.

The decision clears the way for Los Angeles and other cities to require developers to sell a percentage of the units they build at below -market rates as condition of a building permit. Developers also could be given the option of paying into a fund for low-cost housing.

Where is the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Supervisors? There is no law that requires affordable housing in new developments. The city will permit variances to zoning and use that as an opportunity to require affordable housing.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 28, 2016

Not a Member of a Political Party

I am not registered as a member of any political party. Given my interest in politics it may seem an unlikely scenario. Let me tell you my reasoning.

The Republican Party historically in the 20th century was the party supporting business. They fought for lower taxes and less regulation. Who can be opposed to those objectives? Then the conservative religious groups evolved inside the G.O.P. Instead of being the business party they became the party of Evangelical Christians and other orthodox religious groups that put their religious beliefs ahead of business and the rights of non-believers. Today, thanks to Donald Trump, the G.O.P. has become the party concerned with helping the working classes of the country and the party of the extreme right wing (alt-right/neo-Nazi) hate groups. This is not a pretty picture.

Sadly the Democratic Party is no longer the party of the working class and middle class America. Extreme left wing socialists have become the driving force within the party. Senator Bernie Sanders has become a leader of this socialist perspective. America does have some socialist services but not to the level that the left wing aspires to bring to America. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare for the needy are all socialist programs but I do not support government ownership of businesses that should be operated privately (car manufacturing companies, aircraft manufacturers, etc.).

Third parties have had an inconsequential impact on American politics.

I am left with selecting candidates that have said or done something that catches my attention. I voted for both Democrats and Republicans in November. Some races were left unmarked for any candidate.

Donald Trump appears to be a thin skinned man who takes every slight as a major insult to him. How will he conduct himself as president? His behavior as a candidate has not changed since he won the election. The only thing that might stop him from starting a nuclear war might be the decisions of a wiser military.

How did America get itself into such a predicament?

Posted by: coastcontact | November 22, 2016

The Fairness Doctrine

From 503ME Blog

We used to have something called the fairness doctrine –

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was — in the Commission’s view — honest, equitable, and balanced.

Fairness Doctrine – Wikipedia

It was abolished under Reagan
Under the Reagan administration, the FCC killed the Fairness Doctrine (in 1987), doing away with a policy — put in place in 1949 — that required broadcasters to cover controversial issues of public importance and offer contrasting viewpoints on those issue
The equal time, or more accurately, the equal opportunity provision of the Communications Act requires radio and television stations and cable systems which originate their own programming to treat legally qualified political candidates equally when it comes to selling or giving away air time.
The law against using propaganda on American citizens was eliminated in 2013.  And then the supreme court ruled it legal for politicians to lie-
, “The truth or falsity of political speech should be judged by voters, not government bureaucrats” became the law concerning if you can sue a politician for lying during a campaign…..in other words, the courts are not going to make a decision of rather or not a politician lied during a campaign. If you think the politician is lying to you, then don’t vote for him or her
Then there is the court case in Florida where the courts ruled that it was legal for fox news to fire two reporters who refused to lieIn February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting … FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003the Florida Second District Court of …
 now we have Facebook and google saying that they will try to curtail fake news sites-
This is the reason why we do not have actual news in our country and also 95% of our media is owned by only 6 mega media corporate giants and that means all media and not just news.
Posted by: coastcontact | November 21, 2016

The Future of Jews in America

Historically, when a country has economic issues the leadership frequently blames the Jewish population.  It is a convenient scape goat that is usually a small part of the total population.

‘Hail Trump’: That’s how a group of white nationalists saluted the November 8 victory of the president-elect this weekend at the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, as seen in an exclusive video filmed by The Atlantic. The disturbing scene came during an after-dinner speech by alt-right leader Richard Spencer, who among other anti-Semitic and racist statements described America as “a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity.” His audience cheered, and many raised their arms in Nazi salutes. Trump has not endorsed these statements, of course, nor has he asked white nationalist groups for their support. But the sentiment is alarming.

Meanwhile Congressman Keith Ellison is the leading candidate to head Democratic National Committee.  A growing number of pro-Israel activists and Jewish community figures are expressing concern that Minnesota’s U.S. Rep. Ellison will turn the Democratic Party away from Israel if he is elected party chairman.

While I am not a Zionist I do appreciate the fact that Israel is the only majority Jewish nation in the world.  “Hail Trump” frightens me and so does a congressman who has a history of relations with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement. The Jewish News Service reports on Ellison’s relationship with Farrakhan in detail.

My family thinks I am too involved with politics and my fears are unfounded.  Sadly history seems to support my fears.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 20, 2016

The Greatest Concept Cars of the 1950s

In the 1950s, the American economy was booming, the suburbs were sprawling, and automobiles took on newfound importance. At the same time, inventions, pop culture, and technological innovations touched our lives in new ways, from the Space Race and the credit card to the Barbie doll and beyond. With jet planes and research rockets soaring above us, not even the sky was the limit anymore.
Few objects of any sort embodied the spirit, the extravagance, and the confidence of 1950s America as well as the concept, or “idea,” cars displayed at the country’s auto shows and, in some cases, on its roads. Designers and engineers experimented with wild styling, clever features, and new solutions to old problems, some of which worked and some of which didn’t. The Jet Age was upon us, and the carmakers were not about to let us forget it. And so you don’t forget them, here is a collection of what we consider to be the greatest concept cars of the decade.

1951-gm-lesabre

1951 GM LeSabre

No company put out more captivating concept cars in the 1950s than General Motors, in large part thanks to GM design boss Harley Earl, who dazzled the world in 1951 with the GM LeSabre. The LeSabre (a name not yet associated with Buick) captured the dawning Jet Age from every angle, starting with the protuberant center grille that concealed twin headlamps. Its distinct, fuselage-like upper body contours flowed all the way to its afterburner-like center taillamp, all flanked by low and wide fenders and tailfins sprouting from its outboard flanks. The latter theme continued to define the era. The LeSabre was a runner, too, powered by a 335-hp aluminum supercharged V-8 with a rear-mounted automatic transaxle. But unlike most concept cars that followed, the LeSabre was no trailer queen: Earl used it as his everyday ride for a few years, ultimately putting 45,000 miles on it. Strong public reaction to the LeSabre helped convince GM to include concept cars in its famous Motorama traveling car shows of the 1950s.

1956-oldsmobile-golden-rocket 
1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket

Oldsmobile was a powerhouse in the 1950s, and its shark-nosed Golden Rocket concept, which made the rounds as part of 1956’s General Motors Motorama, showed how ambitious the brand was. Decidedly sporty, if a little strange-looking with its round headlamps tucked between the skinny grille and high-set, missile-like fenders, the fiberglass-bodied Golden Rocket could have outaccelerated a Corvette at the time, thanks to its 275-hp V-8 and lithe 2500-pound curb weight. Sadly, few of its nifty styling features made production, save for the wraparound split-rear-window treatment, which appeared on the 1963 Corvette. As fast as it was, its luxury features were equally interesting, including a power-tilting steering column, seats that automatically raised and swiveled out when the doors opened, and twin roof panels that tilted upward to facilitate ingress and egress, adding even more drama to arrival.

 1954-lincoln-futura
1954 Lincoln Futura

Italian coachbuilder Ghia kept busy in the 1950s and built the gorgeous Lincoln Futura in 1954 for display at the 1955 Chicago auto show. The Futura’s furrowed brow was the most consequential styling element as far as Lincoln was concerned, but the car itself became a cultural icon more than a decade later when, in 1966, it was given a batlike face, fluted fins, and black-and-orange paint, becoming—you guessed it—the Batmobile for the Batman series. Fifty years later, it remains one of the most famous and beloved automobiles in history, selling at auction in 2013 for $4.6 million.

 1953-1954-and-1955-alfa-roneo-b-a-t-cars
1953, 1954, and 1955 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. Cars

Concept cars weren’t just an American thing. In the early 1950s, Alfa Romeo commissioned its fellow Italians at the Bertone design house to assist its aerodynamic research efforts. The collaboration resulted in three amazing B.A.T. (Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica) concept cars: B.A.T. 5, B.A.T. 7, and B.A.T. 9. No relation to Bruce Wayne’s favored ride, Alfa’s trio appeared in successive order at the 1953, 1954, and 1955 Turin auto shows brandishing tapered greenhouses, curved fins, and fenders that were covered in smooth bodywork. Each car looked more producible than the one before it, but they were never built for customers. They did, however, help Alfa Romeo gain a better understanding of aerodynamics, with the best one claiming a heroically low 0.19 drag coefficient, a figure achieved only by the GM EV1 and the Volkswagen XL1 in modern times.

 1955-ford-mystere
1955 Ford Mystere

With its one-piece glass roof, forward-thrusting front fenders, and dual afterburner taillamps, the Ford Mystere could hail from no other time than the 1950s. The Mystere’s four passengers would enter and exit through the rear-hinged swing-up canopy, with the overhead scoop providing much-needed ventilation considering how much sunshine the cabin would get (and that there was no way to open the glass). Intended for a gas-turbine engine mounted in the back, the Mystere is said to have arrived at the 1956 Chicago auto show unable to move under its own power. It also supposedly had a radio telephone between the front seats and an aircraft-like “throw over” steering system that could be moved for operation from either front seat.

 1956-1957-chrysler-dart-diablo

1956–1957 Chrysler Dart/Diablo

Of the numerous Chrysler/Ghia collaborations of the 1950s, the 1956 Dart/Diablo was arguably the greatest. This concept was built on the chassis of a 1956 Chrysler 300 and was originally dubbed the Dart, featuring a low, ovoid, horizontal grille rendered in chrome that streaked all the way down its clean, unadorned body sides. With its smooth body and inset wheels, the Dart was extremely aerodynamic, so gigantic fins were used for stability as well as style. It originally featured a trick, if unreliable, retractable hardtop that slid back in three positions—sunroof, landau, and fully retracted—but in 1957 it was sent back to Ghia, where the elaborate roof was swapped for a more conventional ragtop and the tailfins were shaved down to more relatable proportions. Thus equipped and renamed the Dart Diablo, the nearly 21-foot-long show car was shown to the public at the 1958 Chicago auto show. In 2013, it sold at auction for a cool $1.4 million.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 19, 2016

Los Angeles booms as a startup hub

From The Economist, Nov 5th 2016

surfing-at-venice-beach
Surfing at Venice Beach

HOLLYWOOD has produced plenty of films about underdogs rising to claim the limelight. Now Los Angeles is experiencing its own real-life Cinderella story, as the area’s technology scene has been transformed from backwater to boomtown in just a few years. Hordes of venture capitalists from northern California, once long dismissive of their southern neighbour, now regularly commute in search of deals in a less heavily hunted spot than the Bay Area. In 2016 the city’s startups received around $3bn in funding, around six times more than in 2012, according to CB Insights, a research firm.

Evan Spiegel went to Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley, but he wanted to live and work close to the sea. So he based his new company one block from the Pacific in Venice Beach, which is better known in Los Angeles for its silicone-enhanced bodies than the silicon chips that gave the Valley its name. Mr Spiegel’s firm, Snap, is best known for its ephemeral Snapchat social-media messages and is now valued at a whopping $18bn. Other successful technology firms are thriving nearby, including Dollar Shave Club, an e-commerce firm recently sold to Unilever for $1bn; Ring, a “smart” doorbell company, and Riot Games, maker of “League of Legends”, a popular online multiplayer contest.

Los Angeles is now the third-most-prominent outpost for startups in America, after San Francisco and New York. It has several advantages, including good universities, warm weather, a relaxed culture, proximity to San Francisco and much lower costs. Michael Schneider, the boss of Service, a customer-relations startup, reckons he would need to have raised at least 40% more money if based in San Francisco, “just to pay for the same space and people”.

Although Los Angeles has fewer experienced engineers, those that are there tend to be more loyal, not least because there are fewer firms out to poach them. Startups can convince people to move. Ophir Tanz of GumGum, an advertising startup, says he has recruited several employees looking for a more balanced life away from cities like New York and San Francisco.

Los Angeles may at last be getting the attention it deserves. “The original monetisation of the internet was created here, not Silicon Valley,” says Mark Suster, a venture capitalist with Upfront Ventures, referring to pioneers such as Applied Semantics, bought by Google. But for Los Angeles to establish itself as an enduring place for startups, it needs Snapchat to continue to thrive and go public, which could happen as soon as next year.

 

Posted by: coastcontact | November 16, 2016

History of Motor Trend Car of the Year

2017 Motor Trend  Car of the Year

Chevrolet Bolt EV

chevy-bolt-ev-motortrend-car-of-the-year-2017Would you buy this car? General Motors hopes you will ignore their reliability track record.

I have owned a Buick, Chevrolet, and Oldsmobile. The Buick was the best of the bunch but the interior finish was sloppy.  The Oldsmobile engine turned off as I was driving down a freeway at 65 mph (that was frightening).

Motor Trend magazine has announced it choice for Car of the Year Award for 2017.  Chevrolet Bolt EV.

This is not GM’s first all electric car.  The General Motors EV1 was an electric car produced and leased by General Motors from 1996 to 1999.  You could not buy that car.  GM believed that electric cars occupied an unprofitable niche of the automobile market, and ended up crushing most of the cars, regardless of protesting customers.

The issue is should you buy a new car, even “Car of the Year”, in its first year of production?

Consumer Reports has a list of cautions in buying a new car including this. Wait a Year or Two Before Buying a New or Redesigned Model. It’s true that a few brands, like Lexus and Toyota, have lines that are consistently reliable, but even they can launch a few clunkers. The redesigned Tacoma pickup was unreliable in its first year, and it took three years after being redesigned for the Ford Escape to improve to average reliability. It can take years for an automaker to work out the kinks. When a car model is brand new or “completely redesigned,” that can mean new parts, new systems—and new problems.”

Another thing to do is look at the history of Car of the Year selections.

2015 Volkswagen Golf line-up

2012 Volkswagen Passat

2007 Toyota Camry

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

1971 Chevrolet Vega

1960 Chevrolet Corvair

Motor Trend’s criteria for its selections does not include reliability:

Criteria Note
Design Advancement well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; selection of materials
Engineering Excellence vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective technology that benefits the consumer
Efficiency low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle’s competitive set
Safety active: help the driver avoid a crash; secondary: protect occupants from harm during a crash
Value competitive price and equipment levels, measured against vehicles in the same market segment
Performance of Intended Function how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended
Posted by: coastcontact | November 14, 2016

PBS newscaster Gwen Ifill has died

by Dylan Byers and Brian Stelter   @CNNMoney

gwen-ifill-dead-at-61-on-11-14-2014

Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and newscaster who co-anchored “PBS NewsHour,” has died, PBS said Monday.

Ifill, 61, broke gender and racial barriers and became a role model for journalists across the country. She had been battling endometrial cancer while covering this year’s presidential election.

PBS said in a statement that she died Monday “surrounded by family and friends.”

“Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Paula Kerger, the PBS president and CEO, said.

“She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society,” Kerger said.

During a press conference on Monday, President Obama described Ifill as “an extraordinary journalist” who “always kept faith with the fundamental responsibilities of her profession, asking tough questions, holding people in power accountable, and defending a strong and free press that makes our democracy work.”

Ifill, who worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News, became moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999. She was tapped to be the co-anchor of the “NewsHour” in 2013. Ifill and co-anchor Judy Woodruff were the first women to jointly lead a national nightly news broadcast.

Ifill also moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates, as well as a 2016 Democratic primary debate.

“Whether she reported from the convention floor or from the field, whether she sat at the debate moderator’s table or the anchor’s desk, she not only informed today’s citizens, she also inspired tomorrow’s journalists,” Obama said. “She was an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, her tenacity and her intellect, and for whom she blazed a trail as one half of the first all-female network anchor team on network news.”

“I think we’re all diminished without Gwen,” CNN’s Gloria Borger, a longtime friend of Ifill’s, said after the news of Ifill’s passing was announced.

Borger recalled that Ifill’s “preparation for those debates was stunning.”

“She was such a role model for me, and for so many people,” CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson said.

“We all loved her,” CNN’s Jamie Gangel said, remembering Ifill as smart, funny and fearless.

Ifill was a pioneer for women and for African Americans in journalism, becoming the first African American woman to host a major political talk show when she took the helm at “Washington Week in Review.”

Her path to prominence was hard-fought: While in college in the late 1970s, Ifill secured an internship at The Boston Herald.

“They didn’t know what a college-educated black woman was and they didn’t know how to treat me,” she once told The Washington Post. One day, she told the Post, a staffer left her a note in the photo lab that said “Nigger go home.” The editors were so apologetic about the issue that they hired Ifill after her 1977 graduation, she recalled.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 12, 2016

A Sad Decline for America

I am not happy as I did support Hillary Clinton. However I did not support her because she had anything worthwhile to offer. She was “the lesser of two evils” in my opinion. Trump won because he promised change. That was the Obama promise too. We all know how that turned out. Millions of people believed that Mrs. Clinton was just a continuation of the same gridlock that has kept the same bunch of elected people in office (and that includes Republicans and Democrats).  It’s unlikely Trump will be successful but the public keeps hoping.

Charles Krauthammer in his November 11, 2016 column mostly wrote about how a Republican congress can now cancel Obamacare, end Dodd Frank consumer protection, and impose their solutions for illegal immigration.  One point he made does make sense: “Trump spoke to and for a working class squeezed and ruined by rapid technological and economic transformation.” While Krauthammer was correct in that analysis his solutions make no sense.

The greater question for me is what will Donald Trump actually do as president?  His history of remarks and promises is full of contradictions.  Many of those contradictory statements have been played on CNN and elsewhere. A good example is in 1999, when Trump forcefully argued for universal health care, telling CNN’s Larry King, “If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.”

The world has changed dramatically over the last two decades.  Donald Trump cannot roll back the impact of globalization.  Our congress is filled with people with an average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 114th Congress of 57.0 years; of Senators, 61.0 years.  These are a bunch of older people many of whom do not understand the changing world.  This is not the group likely to lead this nation in a rapidly changing technology world.

Sadly, we are likely to see an America in decline.  Tell me I am wrong and why.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 10, 2016

California Secession #Calexit and #Caleavefornia

nov-8-2016-vote-results-by-county-map

The above map shows the national results of the November 8 2016 election by county.  It is obvious that the most populace parts of California voted for Hillary Clinton.  54% of the voters chose Mrs. Clinton. 30% Chose Donald Trump.

California holds significantly different views of the world from most of the United States.  Immigration and the environment are the two really big differences.  Donald Trump by his own words does not believe there is any climate change and he intends to deport millions of “illegal aliens.”  He says immigrants will be subject to extreme vetting. Trump intends to end Obama Care.  All of these views are diametrically opposite of those held by most Californians.

“If Trump wins,” venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar wrote, “I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation.”  That was reported in the Los Angeles Daily News.

California is approximately 38% Latino and 38% White.  The rest of the state is a mix of Black, Asian, and other groups.  Clearly this is not a White state.

California has more millionaires with over $1million to invest than any other state.

Compared to countries California’s economy ranks 6th in the world.

40% of America’s imports arrive through the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach.

http://www.yescalifornia.org/  In the Spring of 2019, Californians will go to the polls in a historic vote to decide by referendum if California should exit the Union, a #Calexit vote.

You will have this historic opportunity because the Yes California Independence Campaign will qualify a citizen’s initiative for the 2018 ballot that if passed would call for a special election for Californians to vote for or against the independence of California from the United States.

Yes California is the nonviolent campaign to establish the country of California using any and all legal and constitutional means to do so. We advocate for peaceful secession from the United States by use of an independence referendum to establish a mandate, followed by a nationwide campaign to advocate in support of a constitutional exit from the Union.

This would be a VERY BIG step. It is worth thinking about.

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