Friday, 21 November 2014

My Old Neighborhood

From the three years I spent in Arlington.....one of the biggest deals of the community was the coming trolley-car episode.  I lived on the 'pike' and there had been a decade of people coming in....buying property and putting up new apartment/condo buildings.  Everyone was focused from the past decade on this project and how it would revolutionize the pike.

This week, as I noted in the news.....the county council finally admitted that local public pressure was intense against the trolley-car episode. Yeah, so, as shocking as it sounds.....they dumped the idea this week.

There was continued talk.....several hundred million dollars were to be thrown at the project which would have amounted to roughly four miles of a run.....on both sides of the street.  They wouldn't have even started this at the Pentagon (the starting point for pike buses), but in the nearby neighborhood.

The city council and the folks who pushed this theme for the past couple of years?  I'm guessing that the next election is tough, and they might be out of a job.

Why fight the trolley?  What most folks came to suggest was that one single element of Arlington was going to benefit, and oddly enough.....some people had invested millions to get ahead of the game, and win some 'poker-game' on profits in the years to come.

What can generally be said, during this ramp-up period.....millions were spent on the planning process, and was totally wasted.  The DC side of the same argument?  It's gone nowhere.....and there's some doubt if the DC trolley-car will be built.

Simply Observations

First, I watched a clip of the President's immigration executive order deal.  It's a curious piece.  With 2013 data, his order affects only 4.7 million illegals of the 11.5 million who were in the US last year.  Some folks think that up to 500,000 crossed the border this year, in anticipation of amnesty.  So, in effect, he's only helping about half of the folks.  Some get the deal....some don't.  The odd thing is that with the executive order.....he could have done this in 2010....but he simply sat and waited this out.  Court action to stop this?  Guaranteed.  Some Supreme Court hearing?  Timing makes this a question....it'd be fall of 2015 before it would get there, and maybe spring of 2016 before they'd toss the verdict out there.  Some judge could toss a 'halt' to the order for now, and just turn it into a political fight.  End result?  I think he's burnt just about every bridge possible at this point, and there's not much to salvage in 2015.

Second, if you sit and think about it.....eleven million illegals in the US....already working somewhere, for someone, then the system in place isn't working.  These are people who bypass banks, get paid in cash, and rent a house or apartment already without any documentation.  Even as this order gets processed and handed down.....there's at least 100,000 illegals in the beginning of the pipeline somewhere in Latin America, and heading up....expecting to be in America by Christmas.  The 4.5 million saved?  They will be completely replaced by the summer of 2016 (my humble guess).  There is no end or lack of illegals.

Third, I noticed that the Mexican government has finally approved a fee-program for coming into Mexico.  Basically, if you come to cross the border for more than seven days or intend to work in Mexico....you pay a fee of $28 (per visit, not per day).  Course, if you just want to come over for one or two days.....to go fishing or just sit at some cheap bar....no fee.  The odds of the fee escalating?  No one says much, but I'd bet on this progressing quickly up to $50 within a couple of years, and the time frame shrinking down to anyone staying more than a day.

Fourth, there's a CNN report that says the Ferguson cop will resign as soon as the Grand Jury says 'no case'.  No one expected him to return to uniform ever again.....so this was kinda expected.  What he does next in life?  I'd bet on him moving to Idaho and just quietly disappearing.

Fifth, there's a news piece out of Colorado Springs.....a company (Penrose-St. Francis Health Services) has decided that as of 1 January 2015....they won't hire anymore folks who say they smoke.  The folks currently on the payroll?  They can stay, but you can sense that there's going to be some internal disputes and pressure growing over this.  It's a small trend....going to a non-smoker employee base.  The amusing part of the story?  There's a drug test as you get hired, and they will test for nicotine in your system....so even if you had quit and were using the patches....it'd going to come out to be positive on the test.

Sixth and final, former DC mayor and now a council member of DC.....Marion Barry....was brought into the local hospital for observation.  Little is said but he apparently had some suggestion of a flu.  Considering the long life, chaos, and drugs.....Barry has been a pretty lucky guy in making it up to seventy-eight years old so far.