Florida Beachgoers Cling to a Right to Make the Sand Their Driveway | The New York Times


Beach driving, although popular among locals and Orlando visitors, has long been a subject of dispute. Environmentalists dislike it, saying it harms plant and animal life. They threatened to sue over sea turtles, which nest in the sand, and the county negotiated an agreement. Cars must now stay clear of nesting areas.

Others see such driving as an unnecessary danger. The beach has grown more crowded in spots because it is narrower than before and only 17 miles are open to cars. Since 2005, three people have been killed on the beaches, including two children, and 67 have been injured, according to Volusia County records.

Read more here.


Buchanan: “There Would Be A Revolution” If Government Confiscated Weapons | RealClearPolitics

There are 270 million guns in this country right now, John, and they’re adding to them at a rate of 16 million a year. – Pat Buchanan, The McLaughlin Group, weekend of January 5, 2013


via Buchanan: “There Would Be A Revolution” If Government Confiscated Weapons | RealClearPolitics.

Is Gun Control Possible without Gun Removal? | CNS News

“When you all go home and you’re talking to your buddies and you say, ah ‘He wants to take my gun away.’  You’ve heard it here,  I’m on television so everybody knows it.  I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.” – Barack Obama, Lebanon, Virginia, 2008

via FLASHBACK: Obama: I Will NOT Take Your Guns Away | CNS News.

Detroit tears down 12 houses by mistake | PCM World News

It appears that Detroit’s left hand knows not what its right hand does.

Two artists who bought a foreclosed house in Detroit for $500 at a tax sale found it in ruins, demolished by mistake, on a recent visit. The five-bedroom house was one of 12 torn down in error, The Detroit News reported Saturday. The other 11 had been bought by Sameer Beydoun, a Dearborn, Mich., developer who said he planned to fix them up.Kristine Divin said she and Micho “Detronik” McAdow hoped to moved into their house this spring. In December, when they drove to the house to take some measurements, they learned their dream was gone. “Instead of taking measurements for the boards we needed, we found our house in a pile,” she said.The problem, apparently, was that the house and the 11 purchased by Beydoun had been approved for demolition after the Detroit Fire Department determined they were potentially dangerous. At the same time, the Wayne County Treasurers Department had put them up for auction.

These things are easily solved by personally asking city staff instead of relying on computers to dictate action plans. Read on.

via Detroit tears down 12 houses by mistake | PCM World News.

Phonehenge West creator jailed: When folk art and building codes collide – CSMonitor.com

The builder of a fantastical fortress in the Mojave Desert has been sentenced to jail for failing to pay for the demolition of his lifes work. Why art isnt sacred in the eyes of code enforcers.

via Phonehenge West creator jailed: When folk art and building codes collide – CSMonitor.com.

Abortion as a societal litmus test for gun control

During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.
During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.
Banning guns is not the answer, according to Infowars’ Michael Snyder. The problem is much deeper.

We live in a blood-soaked society that loves and glorifies violence. And I am not just talking about video games and movies. The horrible truth is that more than 2000 children are murdered in the United States every single day in our abortion clinics, and most of our “leaders” actually approve of this practice. When you add in all other forms of abortion such as “morning after pills”, the number is closer to 3000 children a day….[T]he mainstream media seems absolutely obsessed with the idea that more gun control laws would solve our problems. Oh really? Adam Lanza broke at least three Connecticut gun control laws. Would adding a bunch more really make a difference?Just take a look at the city of Chicago. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the entire nation. The intent was to greatly reduce gun crime in the city.  But instead, Chicago is now being called “the deadliest global city“, and the murder rate is running about 25 percent higher than last year. Well, what about in other areas of the world?Down in Australia, gun murders rose by about 19 percent and armed robberies rose by about 69 percent after a gun ban was instituted. Ouch. The UK has some of the strictest gun laws on the planet.  So how has that worked out?  Well, gun crime in England and Wales rose by 89 percent over the course of a decade… The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year  –  a rise of 89 per cent. Banning guns is not going to solve anything.  The criminals are always going to be able to get guns.

via » More Than 2000 Children Are Murdered In The United States Every Single Day Alex Jones Infowars: Theres a war on for your mind!.

Gun control: After Connecticut shooting, could Australia’s laws provide a lesson?

On April 28, 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he was finished, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 more. It was the worst mass murder in Australia’s history. Twelve days later, Australia’s government did something remarkable. Led by newly elected conservative Prime Minister John Howard, it announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures. A decade and a half hence, the results of these policy changes are clear: They worked really, really well.

via Gun control: After Connecticut shooting, could Australias laws provide a lesson?.

Would this work in the United States, with its Second Amendment?

How the Tea Party Is Upending Urban Planning – Politics – The Atlantic Cities

Planners would do well to listen to Tea Party activists, not because they are funded by big interests and mega huge corporations, but because they can be a counterpoint to unmitigated coercive planning. As a planner, I was not trained to impose my viewpoint on the majority, on property owners or on anyone else. My training and practice has always involved inviting all stakeholders to the table to discuss and negotiate outcomes. Planning is a give and take between differing interests and viewpoints to arrive at the best possible solution for most of the community. While not everyone can be pleased, or ever will be pleased, neither developers nor city officials have carte blanche to impose regulations or projects. Fortunately, regulations reflect agreements, or should reflect agreements between different sectors of a community. When they no longer reflect these inherent agreements, they should be changed. Closer inspection by affected individuals should lead these to determine whether community regulations matter, whether they reflect the vision of the community. When they cease to reflect the true vision of the community at large, they become coercive. It is at this point that they should be revamped, community by community. Regulations are not one-size-fits-all. They must be customized if need be.

In the spring of 1968, Jane Jacobs walked into a high school auditorium in the Lower East Side and addressed a rowdy crowd opposed to the Lower Manhattan Expressway, a 10-lane highway proposed by Robert Moses that would have blasted through what we now know as SoHo.

The public hearing was a sham, she said. The city and state officials had already made all the decisions to move ahead – they were just collecting neighborhood opinions so they could fulfill the obligation to get citizen input. After leading a defiant march in front of the transportation bureaucrats, somebody ripped up the stenotype roll and threw it in the air like confetti.

For her trouble, Jacobs was arrested for inciting a riot and driven away in a squad car. The charges were knocked down to a misdemeanor, but one of the author’s greatest legacies grew out of that night: that when it comes to our homes and communities, the power should be with the people. Citizens must be truly involved with plans and projects, not just told that proposals will be good for them and society. A generation of planners and environmentalists has grown up dedicated to the notion of civic participation.

So it is with particular angst that many of these same planners now are forced to reckon with the modern-day Jane Jacobs, at least in terms of tactics and a libertarian streak: the Tea Party.

via How the Tea Party Is Upending Urban Planning – Politics – The Atlantic Cities.

Study: Electric Cars Made using Fossil Fuels Worse for the Environment than Conventional Cars

Is this a surprise? Often, the media and policy wonks discuss the consumer-side effects of environmental protection, but the environmental effects of manufacturing “green solutions” should not be taken lightly.

Electric cars actually harm the environment more than their gas-powered counterparts in many places, a new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has concluded. That’s in part because electric car production “proved substantially more environmentally intensive,” the report said, according to the BBC. “The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles.”

That higher production cost might pay off if you live in an area powered by clean electricity sources—particularly if the car stays on the road a long time. But if your area gets its power from fossil fuels like coal or lignite, “it is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles,” the report said—they may even wind up causing more carbon emissions than gas burners. In addition, electric car batteries require toxic minerals like nickel, copper, and aluminum, increasing the potential for acidification.

via Study: Electric Cars Hurt the Environment – At least in areas that burn fossil fuels for electricity.