SB 827 Autopsy – Why is affordable housing is so scarce?

For the past four months, California state Sen. Scott Wiener has been on a quest to strip his staunchly left-wing hometown of its power to maintain single-family residential neighborhoods. His Senate Bill 827 would have required California cities to permit midrise-apartment construction—buildings rising up to 45 or 55 feet—around train stations and busy bus stops. It was a radical attempt to subvert local control in the interest of creating more homes and would have opened up neighborhoods in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area to row houses and small apartment buildings. Transit-rich San Francisco, where Wiener, a first-term legislator, previously sat on the board of supervisors, would have been almost entirely rezoned to accommodate a residential scale about half that of a typical Parisian street.

Opposed by virtually every Californian in a position of power, Wiener’s bill failed in a Sacramento committee on Tuesday. This had been widely anticipated; what Wiener and his co-sponsor Nancy Skinner, representing the East Bay, proposed was nothing less than to upend the entire framework for the past century of American racial politics and wealth building.

From a bird’s-eye perspective, though, it’s not clear that things can get much worse. Consider the Bay Area, where the nurse in San Jose flies into work from Idaho and where families living in cars dump their feces into storm drains across the street from the future Chan-Zuckerberg School, a philanthropic endeavor of the Facebook founder and his wife that’s a five-minute drive from the company’s global headquarters. In the past five years, the Bay Area has added 373,000 jobs and built only 58,000 units of housing. California homes cost 2½ times the U.S. average, and higher still in the coastal metros that SB 827 would address. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated in 2015 that the state’s major metro areas between 1980 and 2010 built barely half the number of housing units needed to keep price growth in line with the U.S. average. Hundreds of thousands of low-income households have left the state over the past decade, replaced by high-earning new arrivals. California is basically one enormous gentrifying neighborhood. What does “worse” look like?

Via Slate

TIME – 81-83 / PLACE – New York City.

NY Times Style Magazine has a pretty groovy thing on this thirty six month period in the Big Apple.Were those three years an inflexion point?

A polarizing Republican in the White House. Protests for equality in the streets. A new wave of sexual self-identification. This was N.Y.C. in the early ’80s, during the 36 months in which it changed art, design, activism, food, literature and love — forever.

Frank Bruni makes the case.

Actors reminisce.

24 hours/Oral History.

Denver Post Airs its Concerns.

A flagship local newspaper like The Post plays a critically important role in its city and state: It provides a public record of the good and the bad, serves as a watchdog against public and private corruption, offers a free marketplace of ideas and stands as a lighthouse reflective and protective of — and accountable to — a community’s values and goals. A news organization like ours ought to be seen, especially by our owner, as a necessary public institution vital to the very maintenance of our grand democratic experiment.

The smart money is that in a few years The Denver Post will be rotting bones. And a major city in an important political region will find itself without a newspaper.

Denver Post

Daisy

220px-Bellis_perennis_white_(aka)

Bellis perennis is a common European species of daisy, of the Asteraceae family, often considered the archetypal species of that name.

Etymology
Bellis may come from bellus, Latin for “pretty”, and perennis is Latin for “everlasting”.

The name “daisy” is considered a corruption of “day’s eye”, because the whole head closes at night and opens in the morning. Chaucer called it “eye of the day”. In Medieval times, Bellis perennis or the English Daisy was commonly known as “Mary’s Rose”. It is also known as bone flower.

The English Daisy is also considered to be a flower of children and innocence.

Daisy is used as a girl’s name and as a nickname for girls named Margaret, after the French name for the oxeye daisy, marguerite

Wikipedia

MacGuffin

The director and producer Alfred Hitchcock popularized the term “MacGuffin” and the technique with his 1935 film The 39 Steps, an early example of the concept.[6][7] Hitchcock explained the term “MacGuffin” in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University in New York:
It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh, that’s a MacGuffin’. The first one asks, ‘What’s a MacGuffin?’ ‘Well,’ the other man says, ‘it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers, ‘Well then, that’s no MacGuffin!’ So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.
Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Hitchcock explained the term “MacGuffin” using the same story.[8][9]
Hitchcock also said, “The MacGuffin is the thing that the spies are after but the audience don’t care.”[10]

wikipedia

Parable of the Mass Transit Commuter

A man gets on the bus. A hobo gets on the bus a stop or so later. The hobo smells unpleasant and is babbling loudly.
The man says to himself, “Please God, don’t let him sit next to me.”
The hobo walks by a couple available seats.
Again, the man says to himself, “Please God, don’t let him sit next to me… Please God, don’t let him sit next to me.”
The hobo stops and settles down in the seat next to him.
“Do you know why I sat next to you?” The hobo asks the man.
The man shakes his head.
“God told me to sit next to you.”

Origin unknown.

Built Houses for a Month

One common way to gauge whether an English verb phrase is telic is to see whether such a phrase as in an hour, in the sense of “within an hour”, (known as a time-frame adverbial) can be applied to it. Conversely, a common way to gauge whether the phrase is atelic is to see whether such a phrase as for an hour (a time-span adverbial) can be applied to it.[2][3][4][5] This can be called the time-span/time-frame test. According to this test, the verb phrase built a house is telic, whereas the minimally different built houses is atelic:
Fine: “John built a house in a month.”
Bad: *”John built a house for a month.”

→ built a house is telic
Bad: *”John built houses in a month.”
Fine: “John built houses for a month.”

→ built houses is atelic

wikipedia

Zhengzhou / iPhone City

It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China. Running at full tilt, the factory here, owned and operated by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn, can produce 500,000 iPhones a day. Locals now refer to Zhengzhou as “iPhone City.”

A 32-gigabyte iPhone 7 costs an estimated $400 to produce. It retails for roughly $649 in the United States, with Apple taking a piece of the difference as profit. The result: Apple manages to earn 90 percent of the profits in the smartphone industry worldwide, even though it accounts for only 12 percent of the sales, according to Strategy Analytics, a research firm.

They file steadily into dozens of factory sites, spread out across 2.2 square miles. At the peak, some 350,000 workers assemble, test and package iPhones — up to 350 a minute.
Apple’s labor force, the size of a national army, relies heavily on the generosity of the Zhengzhou government.
As part of its deal with Foxconn, the state recruits, trains and houses employees. Provincial officials call townships and villages to ask for help finding potential worker


NY TIMES December 2016

Floating World

Ukiyo (浮世, “Floating World”) describes the urban lifestyle, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects, of the Edo-period Japan (1600–1867). The Floating World culture developed in Yoshiwara, the licensed red-light district of Edo (modern Tokyo), which was the site of many brothels, chashitsu, and kabuki theaters frequented by Japan’s growing middle class. A prominent author of the ukiyo genre was Ihara Saikaku, who wrote The Life of an Amorous Woman. The ukiyo culture also arose in other cities such as Osaka and Kyoto.
The famous Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the Floating World”, had their origins in these districts and often depicted scenes of the Floating World itself such as geisha, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, samurai, chōnin, and prostitutes.
The term ukiyo (when meaning the Floating World) is also an ironic allusion to the homophone ukiyo (憂き世, “Sorrowful World”), the earthly plane of death and rebirth from which Buddhists sought release.[2]


wikipedia

Commute

The word commuter derives from early days of rail travel in US cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago, where, in the 1840s, the railways engendered suburbs from which travellers paying a reduced or ‘commuted’ fare into the city. Later, the back formations “commute” and “commuter” were coined therefrom. Commuted tickets would usually allow the traveller to repeat the same journey as often as they liked during the period of validity: normally, the longer the period the cheaper the cost per day.[2]


Wikipedia

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

William Wordsworth