Like most places in America, there are things you can’t do in Farmington, NM for a while: Enjoy dinner at your favorite restaurant. Go to the movies. See your dentist. Work out at your gym. Have an IPA at Three Rivers Brewery. Or get a haircut.
Fewer regulations. Lower permit fees. Faster permit approvals. A talented workforce. These are a few of the reasons businesses gravitate to one city over another. They are also the key reasons why in the past eleven years, over 13,000 California businesses have left the state for friendlier destinations in Nevada, Texas, and beyond.
There used to be hundreds, probably thousands of them. Felons who were out there, still uncaught. And felons who had done their time, and were back on the streets, looking to get a decent job, or slipping back into their own habits.
But now, because of a unanimous resolution passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in July, there are no felons. They’ve been magically replaced by “Justice-involved persons”, “Formerly incarcerated persons’, or, my personal favorite, “Returning residents.” By the way, there are no more juvenile delinquents, either. Thanks to the same resolution, they’re now a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”
Last year, the City Council of Berkeley CA saved the planet from being destroyed by plastic straws, and by serving only vegan meals at all city-owned facilities one day a week. But just a few months later, AOC famously said ”… We’re like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change…”
Well, like, evidently, banning plastic straws wasn’t, like, you know, enough. So on July 23, Berkeley took AOC’s message to heart, and like, you know, did something.
- They banned the gender-offensive term “manhole ”. It will no longer be permitted in city documents, including RFPs and contracts. It will be replaced with “maintenance cover.”
- They banned natural gas cooktops and ovens in all new homes and commercial buildings.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the quickly melting iceberg. The details get even loonier.
In the last five years, Austin TX has seen the second largest increase in home values in the state. From December 2013 to December 2018, the median home price jumped 33 per cent, from $226,000 to $301,391. Thanks to the Austin City Council, those increases are likely to come to a screeching halt.
Why? Besides the music on Sixth Street, and not having to fly to SXSW, what do you really get for your $300,000? You get to pay $5,946 every year in property tax. Money that your city and county are supposed to use to keep your neighborhood clean and safe.
Because of a new ordinance that became effective on July 1, you also get to have a homeless camp on your sidewalk, complete with mattresses, tents, and shopping carts. And you can’t do a thing about it.
Cauliflower Chickpea Patties. Zucchini & Tomato Lasagna. Crispy Tofu Nuggets. What could make these vegan entrees any less appetizing? A city ordinance that says all movie theatres and sports venues are legally required to serve gag-worthy Vegan dishes like these, whether patrons want them or not.
Nearly a hundred years ago, Will Rogers said, “Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.” But even Will would have been at a loss for words to describe a recent decision by the Sacramento City Council to pay the 50 most well-known, trigger-happy gang members up to $500 a month, for up to 18 months, not to nine each other.
On August 28, 2015, Ian Hespelt, a 39-year old San Francisco bicyclist, attacked a woman’s rented car with his bike lock, smashing the driver side window, and nearly missing her head.
If you look at the colossally dumb videos on YouTube and Facebook, and the off-the-charts sales of Selfie Sticks, you’d think the whole world couldn’t wait to get their 15 minutes of fame. But evidently the 12,000-plus members of the Chicago Police Department feel differently.
On April 26, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s now-famous statement moved the bar for responsible city government to an all-time low. What she meant to say was that, in the process of trying to give peaceful protestors the space to demonstrate about the death of Freddie Gray, marauding thugs were given free rein to sack her city.
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”
– Nat King Cole
“I have a fireplace in my kitchen that I light every night, no matter what.”
— Alice Waters
“We thought of this as a doable way of trying to get our wood-burning emissions in the Bay Area ratcheted down over time.”
— Wayne Kino, Director of Compliance and Enforcement, BAAQMD
When a building that was budgeted to cost $3.2 million winds up costing $11.5 million, something is likely to hit the fan. But in this case, the unhappy noise is local and migratory birds smacking into its environmentally-hip, LEED-Certified wall of windows.
Clashes between evangelical Christians and the gay community are hardly news. Because I think people’s private lives should be private, nine times out of ten, I take the side of the gay community.
Since he took office in 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown has granted 283 commutations and 1,332 pardons; more than any California Governor since the 40s.A lot of those happen on Christmas Eve, and this holiday Brown granted 143 pardons and 131 commutations. But the list did not include Napoleon Brown (no relation), who has served 18 years of his 44-year manslaughter sentence for a particularly brutal night of crime. Napoleon Brown is the older brother of San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who took the unusual step of using her Progressive cred in an attempt to get her brother some leniency.