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California Housing Crisis

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In a recent article by Fox News and video titled, “California housing crisis reaches boiling point.” Fox News highlights what so many of us in California already know, overbearing regulations imposed by Sacramento has stalled new home development by years. As well as, overburdensome environmental regulations which open the floodgates to environmental lawsuits which in turn delay projects typically up to five years.

The overall consequence of our broken system is very few new homes are built in The Golden State. According to Fox News, “In 2016, the cities of Houston and Dallas built more homes, 63,000, than the entire Golden State, which built 50,000, according to US Census Bureau figures.”

This politically induced crisis has resulted in not enough homes to meet supply and high-cost regulations and litigation costs skyrocket the prices of homes to unaffordable levels for the average Californian.


The Numbers

According to Fox’s reporting, the housing crisis numbers paint a bleak picture:

* 75 percent of Southern Californians can’t afford to buy a home, according to the state realtors association.

* 16 of the 25 least affordable communities in the US are in California, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

* Officials this year declared a homeless emergency in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.

* 56 percent of state voters say they may have to move because of a lack of affordable housing. One in four say they will relocate out of state, according to University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

* A median price home in the Golden State is $561,000, according to the realtors association. A household would need to earn $115,000 a year to reasonably afford a home at that price, assuming a 20 percent down payment. Yet, two thirds of Californians earns less $80,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

* The household income needed to afford a median-priced home in the Silicon Valley town of Palo Alto is $450,000.

* In San Francisco, a median priced home is $1.5 million, according to the Paragon Real Estate Group.

* Home prices in California are twice the national average, and 70 percent can’t afford to buy a home, according to state figures.

* Median household income in L.A. is $64,000. That’s half what is necessary to buy a home.

*1 in 10 residents are considering leaving because they can’t afford a place to live, according to a state legislative study, while US Census figures show 2 million residents, 25 and older, have already left the state since 2010.

* In 2016, 30 percent of California tenants put more than 50 percent of their income toward rent and utilities, according to the California Budget & Policy Center. Economists consider 30 percent the limit.

* California needs to double the number of homes built each year to keep prices from rising faster than the national average, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.


The Solution

As a candidate for California State Controller, I will not have any legislative ability to address this issue but my plan is to introduce Trickle-up-Taxation to voters with a ballot initiative in 2020. Trickle-up-Taxation will indirectly help address our housing crisis because with Trickle-up-Taxation, regulatory reform and realigning of regulatory agencies will be necessary, and those reforms will not only help with the housing crisis but a myriad of other failed state governmental policies and structures.

Trickle-up-Taxation isn’t just about bringing much-needed tax dollars into your community to address the needs of your community. Trickle-up-Taxation will give greater flexibility to your local elected officials to streamline new development and cut down costs. Your elected officials live in your community and it is to their benefit to create a sustainable building model that meets the needs of their community.

Remember, your elected officials most likely owns a home in your community. They understand that if too many homes are built that exceed supply then home prices including their home will dramatically decreasing, thus causing a backlash from current homeowners. If they don’t provide enough homes then a backlash from voters that want to buy a home but can’t afford it will occur as well. Long-term planning and sustainable building can meet demand, as well as, work as a political solution to keep homeowner and future homeowners happy.

That is why planning and the vast majority of regulatory authority should be controlled by your county and city governments, not the state. Also, tort reform to prevent frivolous environmental lawsuits that almost never succeed needs to occur to speed up development and cut down cost. These lawsuits are not about protecting the environment. I am all for protecting our environment. But if the fact that even with California’s stringent environmental regulations allow for the building of these projects and these lawsuits continually fail then we must address this issue so that we can provide affordable housing to California residents. We shouldn’t be held hostage to special interest groups that want to prevent environmentally friendly housing development.

Housing is a local issue and should be addressed locally. Your elected officials and groups like the Building Industry Association and their local chapters commissioned a study and found that up to 40 percent of the cost of a new home is attributable to the 45 regulatory agencies that govern home building in California. Our local elected officials should work with groups like BIA, realtor groups, planning commissions, community groups, and residents to create a local plan and model to address our housing crisis.

Until we do this, we will continue to see an ever-growing housing crisis that will continue to drive businesses and residents out of the state.

Follow Konstantinos Roditis on Twitter. Have a comment, leave one below or direct message me on Twitter.

News

In Jordan’s ancient Petra, sirens warn of flash floods

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In Jordans ancient Petra sirens warn of flash floods

PETRA, Jordan (AP) — In ancient times, Arab tribesmen dug diversion tunnels to protect their low-lying trading post of Petra against desert flash floods. More than two millennia later, an alarm system warns visitors if flood water rushes toward what has become Jordan’s main tourist attraction.

Earlier this month, the alarms were activated for the first time, said Hussein al-Hasanat of the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority. Sirens blared minutes before a torrent fed by heavy rains approached the UNESCO World Heritage site carved into rose-hued rock face.

Hundreds of tourists were able to seek higher ground and were later evacuated, he said.

Amateur video posted online at the time showed visitors running through a steep, narrow canyon leading to the Treasury, Petra’s main draw, as guides urged them to hurry. Later, visitors were seen standing on a higher patch near the Treasury as knee-high water poured through the canyon.

Elsewhere in Jordan, such alarms are still missing. Thirty-four people were killed in flash floods in late September and early November.

The last fatal flash flood struck Petra in 1963 when 22 French tourists and a local guide were killed by rapidly rising waters. In response, Jordan’s Department of Antiquities built a dam to keep water from entering the canyon leading to the Treasury.

In 2014, the alarm system was installed as added protection, with sirens set to go off when flood water rises above a certain level.

On Nov. 9, the system was triggered for the first time, through a computer in the Petra Authority’s control room. The computer is connected to eight rain forecast systems and two water detection stations placed in the area, within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of Petra.

The network generates instant data allowing officials to measure possible danger and warn people by the time the water reaches Petra.

Omar Dajani, a meteorologist at the Arabia Weather company, said alarms should be installed in all vulnerable areas in Jordan.

He said urban sprawl has exacerbated the flood risk, which is particularly high in dry areas.

“Now towns have spread so much and many of them were not built with respect for the geography of the region, such as valleys for example, where the water has naturally caused floods for millions of years,” Dajani said.

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News

Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

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Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

The nightmare is over. Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections supervisor who we believe is either incompetent, corrupt, or both, has submitted her resignation.

I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our voters,” she said in her resignation press conference.

Florida finalized election tallies earlier today after a hand count confirmed the original results. Rick Scott was confirmed as the next Senator, unseating Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).

It may be a bittersweet end to the 75-year-old’s tenure. She seemed more at ease during the press conference than she has since entering the spotlight once again the day after the midterm elections when Broward County failed to report ongoing results as required by Florida law.

Brenda Snipes submits her resignation as Broward elections supervisor

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-brenda-snipes-resigns-20181118-story.htmlDuring the final days of the recount, Snipes looked exhausted to people who have known her for years. And she foreshadowed an early departure as elections supervisor when she said last week “it is time to move on” but didn’t specify a timetable, saying she wanted to talk to her family.

Snipes was appointed supervisor of elections in 2003 by former Gov. Jeb Bush, after he removed a previous supervisor of elections for incompetence. Bush became one of her critics last week, writing on Twitter it was time for her to go.

Depending on when her official resignation is effective, either Governor Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis will appoint her replacement. The position is coming up for election in 2020.

My Take

It’s good that she’s leaving, but at least a part of me was hoping she’d stay and come under the scrutiny of governor-elect Ron DeSantis before the 2020 election. If there was corruption, then it’s important we learn about it sooner rather than later.

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Guns and Crime

Chipotle knew Masud Omar Ali bragged about dining and dashing before they fired their manager

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Some are cheering on Chipotle for doing the right thing by considering rehiring the manager they fired following a viral video showing her asking African-American patrons to pay up front before placing their order. Evidence has emerged since the firing that the poster of the viral video made a habit of “dining and dashing” at Chipotle and other restaurants, apparently vindicating the manager for her decision to protect the store from theft.

Here’s the problem. According to Matt Palumbo who contacted Chipotle about the incident, they were aware of the history of the customer before they fired their manager.

All of this stems from a viral video posted by Masud Omar Ali

on Twitter.

It ended up getting over 30,000 retweets, 72,000 likes, 5,500 comments, and an astounding 5.5 million views. Many of the comments immediately following the post claimed racism on the part of the manager and Chipotle in general because Mr. Ali is African American. His racially charged Tweet made it seem like all of this was driven by racism.

As it turned out, his own Twitter feed revealed something that he regularly practiced, “dining and dashing.” This is where someone orders food from a restaurant, eats the food, then leaves without paying for it.

Ali seemed quite proud of his thefts and very satisfied that he was able to get someone fired for trying to stop his criminal activities.

Masud Ali Tweet 1

Masud Ali Tweet 2

Masud Ali tweet 3

Now that the “victims” have been exposed as the actual criminals, people on both sides of the aisle are speaking out. Some noted that falsely calling out racism masks real racism. Others talked about the hypocrisy of getting someone fired for trying to stop theft in her store.

This video by self-proclaimed liberal An0maly calls for truth even if it doesn’t fit the narrative of mainstream media, social media, or corporate America.

It’s sad that the truth wasn’t enough to keep Chipotle from firing their manager over false racism. The backlash is what made them act. Even if they rehire her, Chipotle still looks terrible for embracing political correctness in the first place.

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