About Me

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I trained as a journalist, then as an urban planner, then I worked as a writer and editor then as a planner. I learned to teach yoga, make quilts, do Photoshop, design websites and use MailChimp.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about the dilemmas involved for the seniors who live in the mobilehome parks. It seems that those who are there now can keep rent control on the units in which they live. But when they leave for one reason or the other, there will no longer be that alternative for that existing space. It will become market rent.

Some observations and questions on the issue.

--Mobile home rent control is (obviously) no longer a "sacred cow" for politicians in Oceanside. Is it because of demographics. Baby boomers start turning 65 this very summer. There must be research that they have other life styles in mind. Those who remain in the homes might not be seen as having the numbers to get a petition together for an election. (Demographics is my favorite factor in looking at a variety of issues.)

---The big issue that people raise is that they intend to use whatever rent-control protected equity they have for support in assisted living or nursing homes.

Is there anyone who has any actual data on this? Do we know how many folks are actually in this position? I know from my experience as does anyone who has or had an extremely elderly parent that this is an extremely complex issue. What medi-cal or even regular insurance provides is far from adequate. (Even people who have attended those seminars on "spending down" come to realize that fact. Extra dollars do help. But the whole issue of elder care needs a broader look than home equity. Even someone with a home with $500,000 equity a few years ago, now has only about $300,000 or less today. I know this is in a different court than what might be in a mobile home. But all of us have lost. Maybe there are more systems level comprehensive ways to provide for our elderly. I know that now it is a confusing maze.

Again demographics. Today's seniors are healthy, don't think about nursing homes.

--Are mobile home parks an economical way in this time to house folks. Indeed if you check out some of the local establishments there are several that have true "trailers." Of course they can be replaced by new units and sold or leased in combination with sales for more money. But will the new boomers prefer a condo or an apartment. Is this a dying way of life. Should some of these prime pieces of property have other uses?

--There is a lot of dirt floating around about greed and political contributions, some of which may very well be true. But for the interactions between demographics and future land use it is a most broader issue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City regulating pot dispensaries


My take on this issue relates to the inexorable progression of demographics.

Baby boomers beginning this summer start to reach 65. And as any senior knows there is really nothing medicine can do about some of the physical sensations that go with the age bracket: arthritis, abdominal and digestive issues, and so on.

Just ask anyone you know over 65. Read up on what to do about arthritis: exercise, aspirin etc. Those are helpful, but don't fully solve the problems for many.

Anyhow. anyone over 65 or 70 knows that taking very much traditional prescription pain medication doesn't help much, has many side effects and is even looked upon and rationed with suspicion by the doctor, who is worried about the regulations surrounding controlled substances.

There are even people in doctor's offices and hospitals who will subtly suggest use of marijuana. (Better than alcohol plus prescription pills for the liver).

So watch as the dispensaries begin getting the arthritic baby boomers in attendance and see the attitudes change!

I have also noted that something else that cities used to work on regulating via land use and zoning laws, massage establishments, has been taken by the state legislature out of the purview of local government. Massage therapists who are approved by a professional association are now outside the abilities of local government to regulate!

Cities need to look at what the real issues are: Is it creating bad looking neighborhoods? That can be controlled with zoning regulations for location and signs. People using the businesses illegally? This can be controlled with policing and/or requiring private security. The massage therapist model could be followed by requiring some certification as to knowledge and ethics.

The ultimate ambiguity in the paper is that the North County Times offers a full set of advertising to dispensaries!

As the population ages you will see, as you drive by the whole situation will change. The kids will move on to better things and the seniors will seek out another form of alternative therapy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Here's me.

I have a master's degree in city panning fromSan Diego State. It was signed by Jerry Brown the first time he was governor. I worked in all kinds of places at the City of Oceanside. Mostly as a planner, but spent some time in administration and even had aspot in the City Manager's Office for a while. (I can tell some stories.) For the most part the folks I worked for and with were serious, professional and hard working.

However it is a bureaucracy. In which sometimes situations and personalities are tolerated where they wouldn't be without civil service rules.

And color

And sunsets