COMMON SENSE from PAULA EASLEY's OP EDS in the ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
|7/21/07||Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News - Make Anchorage an opportunity city - New zoning and design standards are being considered to guide development in Midtown. With that in mind, I wondered if recent findings of well-known demographers and urban studies experts -- Wendell Cox, Joel Kotkin, Richard Florida and Randal O'Toole -- might apply to this important area...Houston, most reviled for its lack of zoning, qualifies as an opportunity city. It is said to have the highest living standards and lowest living costs of any large metropolitan area. (Someone earning $100,000 in New York can attain the same living standards in Houston on only $42,110.) Houston is unique in its reliance on voluntary deed restrictions to keep most land-use rules focused at the neighborhood level, thus avoiding the oppressive "culture of government control."|
|Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News - Environmentalists want your property - Politicians find creative ways to spend other people's money...virtually every federal or state mandate falls on our hometowns to implement...we pay more taxes for the mandates all these levels of government decide are good for us. In San Bernardino County, officials spent $3.3 million relocating a medical center to avoid a sand pit supposedly visited by an endangered fly...[These are] the most vivid examples of what happens when you pour oil on a slippery slope. There is no way to climb back up...Without major changes, government and land trusts will soon control when, where, how and if essential resources will be produced from "their" lands. Groups such as The Nature Conservancy will be the new land barons, and the rest of us might even enjoy becoming their serfs.|
|10/28/03||Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News - Eminent domain powers often abused - more than 10,000 homes, businesses, churches and vacant land parcels have been taken or threatened to be taken in the last five years through "eminent domain abuse." These takings weren't for a school, courthouse or power plant; they were for community economic development. In recent years state and local governments across the country have condemned anything they wanted, anywhere, for any reason -- the primary one being to generate more government revenues. ALRA Comment: What is the situation in Anchorage?|
|12/30/02||Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News - Control of land use is outrageous - It is ironic that so many liberals, self-proclaimed champions of the poor and downtrodden, have switched allegiance. They now profess their mission is to save nature and species, preaching that humans should not have dominion over the earth and its creatures; we are no more, no less, important than a fly or a cave beetle. Paganism, here we come. Property has always diffused power. Your worst nightmare is for someone with nothing to lose to gain control over it. There is no shortage of people who have well-meaning ideas for using and managing your property for "the greater good." Do not let them.|
|10/12/02||Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News - Ignoring land use policy is risky - Everyone practices the "rational ignorance theory." It's the phenomenon whereby we allocate our limited time and efforts to learning about what directly affects or interests us, remaining ignorant about what we think doesn't. This isn't irrational; it's common sense. We thoroughly investigate buying a house or a car, but we're unlikely to spend much time researching government policies, especially those that are too complex or those we feel helpless to influence. Also, the farther away issues are decided, the less likely we are to study them. It's why so few people vote or attend state and federal public hearings.|
|7/10/02||Paula Easley - Anchorage Daily News (Voice of the Times) - 'Smart growth' dumb for Alaska - Bureaucrats, national planning organizations and some Congress members will never stop trying to federalize land-use controls in America's 40,000 political subdivisions, despite the fact that such takeovers of local powers are repeatedly rejected...What should Anchorage and other Alaska communities do? Insist that ours will be unique, entrepreneurial places that put humans first. We can decide how to make our towns more livable. We can encourage liberty and freedom of choice and northern-climate improvements that meet our needs. We do it by saying "no" to federal money and top-down mandates.|
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