Tag: public policy

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We All Need a Smiley Break

Flashback two years, to May 2, 2020: SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns compelled Californians to avoid anyone and to otherwise practice so-called safe social distancing. The seeming hardship would pale compared to racial riots that would erupt weeks later.

One of my neighbors literally put on a happy face—among several encouraging, or funny, street decorations to adorn this University Heights property and/or the sidewalk straddling Meade Avenue. Seems like every time I walked by something different greeted. Thank you.

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WHO Dunnit? Sweden or the United States?

Yesterday, my wife and I read an essay that praised Sweden’s approach to combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. The prescient tome published two years ago, only about a month after World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The country chose not to shutdown, unlike many others across Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. Outside health officials, assisted by the news media, lambasted the plan: Keep the economy and society stable while letting viral spread quickly achieve herd immunity.

I wondered: How well did Sweden fair and how does the outcome compare to the United States? So, today, I moseyed over to the WHO’s website for a look. As of April 22, 2022, in Sweden: 2,498, 388 confirmed cases (e.g. infections), from which there are 18,689 deaths. Divide one into the other and you get a case fatality rate of .75 percent.

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Traffic Rules Apply to Bikes, Too

San Diego is embarked on the Herculean task of creating new bike lanes—and they’re seemingly everywhere in Hillcrest, North Park, and University Heights. Today, while standing at Fifth and University avenues, I saw something surprising that probably shouldn’t be: Traffic lights for riders. In a community culture where bikers barrel through intersections like they own the right of way, the city seeks to tame them to the same rules that everyone else abides by.

Hell, yeah. Hey, Two-Wheeler, someone saved your life. Thank them.

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It’s a Cultural Cold War

The United States continues to seek new punishments against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, 2022. Americans rally to the cause with good intentions that may not mean much and that may do more harm than good. For example, pouring out Vodka and evoking spirit (no pun intended) of the Boston Tea Party accomplishes what?

As Dan Kois writes for Slate: “Stop Boycotting Random Russian Things. You are not stopping the war in Ukraine”. Nutgraph: “It is dumb to boycott things that have no actual connection to Vladimir Putin or even, in some cases, to Russia. But it’s also foolish to demonize every vestige of Russian culture, and ordinary Russian citizens, and Russians abroad, as a result of a catastrophic war launched by a despot”.

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So Which Is It Supposed to Be?

Yesterday, while walking to the used bookstore where receiving a U.S.  Constitution booklet and unprompted lecture, I came upon the oddest objects—on the outer fringes of University Heights’ boundary, along Georgia between Howard and Polk. Are these signs in the Featured Image more signs of San Diego bureaucratic bungling? This stretch is part of the Georgia-Meade bikeway, for which someone in the city authorized traffic circles with the wrong community name that later required sandblasting to correct.

Tell me, when have you ever seen a posting stating “Speed Humps Ahead”. Gasp, is that, ah, innuendo for approaching sexual activity (e.g. humping) in hedonistic Hillcrest? Yes, I am being facetious, but it’s not an unreasonable question to ask about the neighborhood.

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Let’s Not Save More Night for the Day

My work blog for JupiterResearch disappeared after Forrester’s acquisition during Summer 2008. I had long left the analyst firm and smartly brought a copy of all the content with me. On April 7, 2005, I griped about Congress’ plan to add two months to Daylight Saving Time, which, incidentally, commenced day before yesterday for 2022.

This afternoon, my newsfeeds flared with a report from Washington, D.C. that our, uhm, illustrious senators unanimously voted for the so-called Sunshine Protection Act, which would make DST permanent. Meaning: Year-round. I am almost impressed by their god-like gall—that they, and they alone, can protect the sun. Okay, they do need cooperation of the House of Representatives drafting like legislation and signature from the President. But aren’t they, as a collective group, one big ego? You don’t need answer.

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The Difference Between Today and Yesterday

Gasoline prices continue their relentless rise here in San Diego. Regular unleaded now is $1 or more per gallon than on Feb. 24, 2022—when started Russia’s Ukrainian invasion. The Featured Image and companion compare changes over one day. The Arco is located at El Cajon Blvd and Texas Street, where North Park and University Heights meet.

But 30 cents a gallon more than yesterday, or the day before, isn’t the bigger difference. I awoke this morning to news alerts that Joseph Biden banned importation of Russian oil. Price to pump fuel is least of the problems. This sanction, on top of the others, leads to one conclusion, and a single consequence: The United States and Russia are unofficially at war. All that remains is declaration by one side or the other.

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The Con is On

If you’re banging the drum of warning about impending climate doom or advocating essentially destroying Russia to save Ukraine, what will you say when the gasoline price soars past $6, $7, $8 a gallon or you’re hungry for lack of something—anything—to eat? Surely those, ah, causes will be meaningless then—and you lie to yourself if thinking otherwise.

Reason demands that people like you stop prattling emotions, wrapped in crisis, to sway public opinion and political policy. People like you share the critically common characteristics of grifters. Today, in the United States, following the change of administration in Washington, D.C., the con is on.

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Strike That: Nine More Class Days to Freedom

Is the timing deliberate or coincidental? March 11 will be the last day that California school students will may be required to wear face masks. On that date two years earlier, the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 a pandemic. Shall we just call the crisis over, with lifting of the order that compels kids to cover up?

Update, next day: On the morning news, officials from the San Diego school district held firm to masks—meaning students and staff will be compelled to continue wearing them. Reasoning: True that the governor has relaxed rules, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the county to be high risk and the organization’s guidance supersedes that from the state.

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The Urban Jungle Gym

What qualifies as a park in one of San Diego’s supposedly trendier neighborhoods? Answer: North Park Mini Park—and, yes, that’s the name of the community seen in the Featured Image. When I think of a park, particularly in a coastal region with three Summer seasons (Early, Mid, and Late), lush space with grass, greenery, and trees comes to mind. Apparently, not in North Park, where cement rules.

Say, can some stereotypical, anti-carbon emissions, stop climate change citizen living there explain the environmental benefits of building another edifice that absorbs heat and in the process quite likely also contributes to global warming? Wouldn’t heat-reducing, carbon-dioxide absorbing, oxygen-producing plants, shrubs, and trees make more environmental sense and be more interesting a refuge for residents?

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The Future of Transportation?

As part of its strategy to reduce so-called carbon emissions, San Diego is building bikeways through various close-in neighborhoods. The one starting at Georgia in University Heights and ending at Fairmont in City Heights is complete. My wife and I drove the length along Meade Avenue on Jan. 29, 2022 to attend the free-admission Lunar New Year celebration sponsored by the Little Saigon Foundation. However, Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park and the surrounding area was so packed, and parking so scare, we did a drive-by only.

A series of traffic circles and speed bumps has greatly reduced vehicular traffic along Meade—not that a marked increase in bikers is apparent. What I do see, and this is something that should trouble city planners and their long-term goals: An alarmingly greater number of motor-powered bicycles. Everywhere. Some are pedaled, too, and most are battery-electric. But not all.

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The House on Cleveland

Today’s question: How much longer before this lovely home is demolished and replaced with something ill-suited to the street? On Dec. 2, 2021, I used Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image, after my wife read about the property in University Heights Community Association News. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 12:18 p.m. PST.

According to public property records, the place sold for $1.595 million during October 2021. UHCA News reports: “This charming Victorian home at 4350 Cleveland is 2,000 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and built in 1905, according to the 2015 Uptown Historic Resources Survey Report”.