Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Links (I Know, A Little Late)

1. Wear and tear may have caused 737 hole. The National Transportation Safety Board investigators say they have found that the rivet holes appear to be too big and misshapen from the 737 that tore open last month.

2. Housing market still struggling. Foreclosures, persistent high unemployment, and just overall uncertainty in the housing market continues to drive down home values. Seattle saw a January decrease of 1.9% which has dropped home prices below June 2004 values.

3. The Sierra Club, stick to the Wilderness. In what could be considered a changing paradigm, the Sierra Club is teaming with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to fight the waterfront tunnel as a replacement for the crumbling Alaskan Way Viaduct. Over the past several months McGinn has stated his primary reason for vetoing the City Council’s recommendations for the tunnel build was his concerns over cost overruns.  Turns out this former state director of the Sierra Club might have other reasons beyond costs for vetoing the tunnel.

In true leftist fashion they spout off a bunch of reasons and alternatives to the tunnel:

Last year, in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, the Sierra Club launched a “Beyond Oil” campaign to reduce American dependence on petroleum.  It has opposed big highway projects in Salt Lake City and Florida and supports green transportation alternatives such as light rail, transit, biking, and walking.

The tunnel …encourages driving, contributes to greenhouse-gas emissions and sucks up transportation dollars that could be better spent on less-polluting alternatives.

Kathleen Ridihalgh says, “Investing in alternatives to wean ourselves off oil is the most important thing we can be doing for the environment.  For us, the tunnel issue is about not building another highway through Seattle.”

If the tunnel isn’t built, he (Brady Montz) suggests, there wouldn’t be surface street gridlock because people would drive less, drive an nonpeak times and use more transit. He said Government could create incentives to make the alternatives works. (Emphasis PACNW Righty) (Source: Seattle Times)

If that last statement isn’t the words of a progressive than nothing else would qualify. Just spend more taxpayer money. Basically what they are talking about is forcing people to do what they want. If people want to move about, make it so difficult that they HAVE to take mass transit or ride a bike or walk. If you don’t live close enough to transportation or to ride a bike, move downtown into an apartment or condo that you can’t afford.

4. Seattle Mayor votes against another highway project. As pointed out above, McGinn’s cost overrun concerns might not be the only reason why he doesn’t support an tunnel to replace the viaduct. I do share his concerns about the cost overruns and for that reason, he did take a good stand.  But it becoming increasingly clear that his votes are based on his environmental activism, groomed while he was the state president of the Sierra Club.  Now he was to lone dissenting vote to approval contract award for the Highway 520 bridge replacement. His reason? An environmental impact statement. Anyone want to bet there will be a lawsuit filed over this approval?

1. Some good news for the Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf were tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and did very well in crash testing. The heavy battery packs helped give the vehicle extra mass, which keeps the vehicle from being pushed around.

2. Unemployment benefits claims up again. The Obama Recovery still seems to not be gaining any traction. His massive stimulus bill that was supposed to create millions of “shovel ready jobs” has not panned out. Home values continue to plummet. Oil prices and stingy banks continue to put a significant damper on any gains. 2012 is around the corner!

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