NYC Department of Education promotion policy: fail your way to the top

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BILL DEBLASIO CARMEN FARINA

Carmen Farina, promoter of the below average, with her boss and mentor, Bill De Blasio

I have a pet theory that some of the worst damage done to our cities is inflicted by local school boards. Recently, NYC Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña tossed my pet theory a large tasty bone. Continue reading

Houston Mayor supports men using ladies’ room; city subpoenas sermons of pastors who disagree

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Mayor Annise Parker, Lesbian Democrat and ham-fisted intimidator

Mayor Annise Parker, Lesbian Democrat and ham-fisted intimidator

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. Continue reading

Seattle banishes “evil” legacy of Columbus Day; celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

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Christopher Columbus, favorite 15th Century villain of leftists everywhere.

Christopher Columbus, favorite 15th Century villain of leftists everywhere.

On September 28, the Seattle City Council embarrassed themselves by voting unanimously to search citizens’ garbage and fine them for food scrap violations. On October 6, they embarrassed the entire country.

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Seattle gives you three choices: Eat all your dinner, have a smelly compost bin, or pay a fine

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Happy planet, happy composter, happy flies.

There’s a lot not to love about a compost bin: The smell. The fruit flies. The general ick factor. The Seattle City Council has a response to your concerns:  Get used to it or else. A little background: In 2009, Seattle passed an ordinance that said every resident, whether a single-family homeowner or apartment dweller, must practice mandatory composting or pay fines. The city delivered 13-gallon composting carts to every homeowner, and currently force them to pay a $5.15 a month pickup charge. They also offer a 96-gallon bin for $9.90/month. Continue reading

Arlington, VA says million dollar bus stop too expensive; will build next ones for only $539,000.

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A million dollars doesn't buy what it used to.

A million dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.

Transit Oriented Development is an innocent-sounding term that gets some critics of local government all wee-wee’d up. In a nutshell, it’s based on the belief that your Subaru is killing the planet, so we should all ride our bikes in the rain to a train that drops us at a station just a second soggy bike ride to the office. The city and county planners and regional agencies who dream up T.O.D. schemes exercise a twisted logic that says, build a light rail or streetcar line between Point A and Point B, and soon, “vibrant communities” will sprout up around the train stations and streetcar stops. Continue reading

Quote of the decade

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We have 5 1/2 years to go, but here’s the one to beat: At a city council meeting, a 20-something community task force member was asked when her group would pave a sidewalk near a school.

Her answer? “Oh, we don’t do anything. We’re just a Task Force.”

The gangbangers who couldn’t shoot straight; NYC shootings up 41%; murders down 15%

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Early in the morning of  Tuesday, July 1, two rival gangs bumped into each other in the Good Stuff Diner on West 14th Street in Manhattan. Their animosity soon tumbled into the street, where they proceeded to reenact the gunfight at the OK Corral. Continue reading

Who’s the looniest city in America? Introducing The MoonPie Award.

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First Prize. A dozen Original Marshmallow Sandwiches for you, a dozen for your favorite local politicians.

First Prize. A dozen Original Marshmallow Sandwiches for you, a dozen for your favorite local politicians.

So your city council is going to pass a resolution honoring the 71st birthday of the United Nations,  but is too busy to fix a pothole that broke three axles last month. Continue reading

Parasitic redwood tree moved 150 yards in Cotati for $150,000.

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Poems are made by fools like me, but bigger fools want to save this tree

Poems are made by fools like me, but guess who wants to save this tree.

A thriving redwood tree is one of nature’s most majestic creations. It can grow over 300 feet tall, with a trunk that can be more than 15 feet in diameter. One tree inspires awe by itself, and when gathered in groves, they create a deeply shaded cathedral that touches even non-believers like me.

The redwood in this story possesses none of those qualities. Continue reading