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  1. #16816

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    The joke in Minnesota was: We have two seasons, winter, and two weeks of bad cross-country skiing. GH
    The other version of that joke that I've heard many times - in Canada we only have two seasons - winter & road construction.

  2. #16817

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Wayoming is one of the most beautiful states in US. That's got to count for something.
    Does it though? It wouldn't erase the many other problems with the state for me.

    Also, anyone who wants to answer Jackson Hole for Wyoming as their one city, I want you to attach a photo of your bank statement to your post.

  3. #16818

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    It would for me partially. Hiking and generally being outdoors is in my nature.
    Roger forever

  4. #16819

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Colorado is awesome, if you like snow.
    New Mexico is really nice too.
    Louisiana is not even close to my TOP TEN states NEVER to live in. Great food, and nice scenery. The northern portion is very pretty. It would easily beat GA, FL, Mississippi or Missouri, Alabama (Alabama!!! ), Texas (except San Antonio, indeed), Nevada or the Dakotas.
    But then, it would still not be my place of choice, even though I know it quite well. It is indeed backwater and the culture of the state is way too southern. If you catch my drift.
    I would stay in my sleepy little Colorado town.
    They say Louisiana has bad roads, crooked politicans and good food.
    2017 & 2018 Australian Open Champions

  5. #16820

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    We went to New Orleans over a Memorial Day Weekend. It was just warm enough to work up a good sweat on the way to the River Walk but the infamous humidity wasn't leaving people unfamiliar with it passed out in the street.
    Most people either love or hate New Orleans I notice. There isn't any middleground.

    Would I move to Louisiana? No way

    I liked Savannah too. My father's family is from the area and I would like to go back for a visit. Would I move to South Carolina? Nope.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  6. #16821

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick View Post
    They say Louisiana has bad roads, crooked politicans and good food.
    Could be the slogan for Chicago too.

  7. #16822

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Responding to Jazz in post 16814:

    By the way, Alabama was the last state to get left out, so it was our 5th from the bottom.

    We didn't make any rules for criteria when discussing this. It was a very casual discussion about where would be least likely to move. But I would say that Iowa City would keep Iowa off that bottom 4 list. And there are places in South Dakota that might do that. It is very hard to explain why North Dakota wasn't on the list, probably should be close. And Nebraska has Lincoln, but otherwise should be a very strong contender.

    I'm totally with Suliso on Wyoming...beauty, hiking, etc. I spent some time once camping with my dog in the Big Horn Mountains near Sheridan. Sheridan is quite a cute town, and those mountains were fabulous. They are also way off most people's list of places to visit, so it is very easy to find solitude there. They are a few hours east of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, sort of just stuck there. But I loved them. For reasons of politics, I wouldn't fit in in Wyoming at all, but it would be nowhere near the bottom for me. (keep in mind that I live currently in a county that I can't believe I live in...also for political reasons).

    Bottom line is that there are easily 15 states that I would only move to kicking and screaming.

    GH

  8. #16823

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    This is certainly an issue that needs to be tackled. From the Christian Science Monitor:
    By Francine Kiefer Staff writer
    Martin Kuz Correspondent
    LOS ANGELES AND SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
    Housing crisis or health crisis? On the streets of California it’s both.
    WHY WE WROTE THIS: Housing the most vulnerable of California’s homeless people is a humane response to a public health crisis. It could also uncork solutions to a chronic housing shortage after the pandemic is over.
    LA 2.jpg


    Propelled by the novel coronavirus, California is rushing to shelter thousands of its most vulnerable residents – homeless people who live outdoors and can’t “stay at home” to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

    Day One of that unprecedented effort in Los Angeles revealed the daunting struggle that lies ahead across the state. By dinnertime on a recent Friday, a shuttle bus had dropped off only four homeless people at a community center that was being turned into a shelter in the Echo Park neighborhood.

    The four clients sat on the curb, waiting to be checked in. But the nurse had yet to arrive. Cots had not been delivered. One of the four, a distraught older woman in gray sweatpants, kept repeating “food, food.” When a helper tried to escort her to a restroom across the street to wash up before eating, she would not follow. Eventually, she wandered off and could not be coaxed back.

    “It’s tough,” admits Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We’ve never moved this many people, ever.”

    In a matter of weeks, the city is trying to voluntarily move 6,000 unsheltered people into 42 community and recreation centers that are being converted into shelters. Those who are especially vulnerable, though not showing symptoms of COVID-19, as well as those who need to be quarantined will be sent to hotels, motels, or care centers.

    But the mayor and others deeply involved in this issue are also looking ahead to after the crisis, whenever that comes. And how California responds to the needs of homeless people during a pandemic – particularly the unsheltered – may well shape thinking about what is still needed to address a vexing, complex problem that was a crisis long before the coronavirus hit.

    “It’s certainly something we’re thinking about now,” Mayor Garcetti told a press briefing. “What can we do … to get the homeless, not just out of this crisis, but off the streets?”

    A first-order priority
    California is ground zero for America’s homelessness crisis. About 150,000 people are homeless here, living in shelters, on sidewalks, in tent encampments, canyon washes, and under bridges in the Golden State, often in highly unsanitary conditions. Many are older and in poor health, which heightens the risk of an explosion in severe virus cases that could further strain medical and city services.

    Before the coronavirus hit, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom had made homelessness his first priority, devoting his entire State of the State speech to the subject. It polled as the top issue among voters as well. Now COVID-19 has added even more urgency to the issue, underscoring what people who work with the homeless population have known all along – that the challenge is not only in tackling a housing crisis but also a health one.

    To slow the growth of the virus, the governor, in a March 18 executive order, directed $150 million to localities to help with shelters and hotel and motel rooms. The state also purchased more than 1,300 camper trailers for people who might need to be quarantined.

    So far, the effort has been intense but spotty, accompanied by a debate about whether to move people into shared shelters or individual motel rooms.

    As of April 1, Los Angeles had converted 13 community centers to shelters with 565 beds. The shelters are 95% full. More shelters as well as hotels, motels, and 1,000 quarantine beds are expected to come online in the next few days; 900 are already available. So far, five cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the homeless community.

    Some homeless people are skeptical about the safety of shelters in a pandemic. “We’re safer out here than in a shelter,” says Ayman Ahmed, who sleeps in a tent at Echo Park Lake, voicing a common sentiment.

    Still, the crisis is clearing away barriers that would normally hinder progress. Resources are being freed up, regulations eased, and eviction moratoriums declared in an all-hands-on-deck response that people who work with the homeless population hope can be extended after the pandemic ends. As those who are unsheltered enter temporary accommodation, even gathering data about them could be helpful in the long term, because so little is known about this population.

    “We don’t know how many people are disconnected from homeless and health services. We don’t know the length of time the unsheltered have been on the streets. Both are predictive factors that show how hard or easy it may be to stably house someone,” says Gary Painter, an expert on homelessness at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

    Meanwhile, community support for emergency sheltering – instead of resistance – has been “pretty fantastic,” says Heidi Marston, interim executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “As bad and unfortunate and uncertain as this pandemic is, it’s renewing a sense of crisis response and urgency that we have been looking for across the whole system.”

    Cutting red tape
    Bay Area Community Services, based in Oakland, runs programs that provide short-term and permanent housing for homeless residents, with an emphasis on seniors and those with physical or mental health conditions. Outreach workers have fanned out across the San Francisco Bay Area to educate those living on the streets and in vehicles about the coronavirus.

    “What we’ve seen is that a lot of people don’t know the severity of the crisis,” says Jamie Almanza, the group’s executive director. As workers attempt to shepherd people into shelters and other temporary housing, she adds, “The question is how to capture this moment and this sense of urgency we’re seeing.”

    LA homeless tent.jpg
    Homeless people sleep near Los Angeles City Hall on March 27, 2020. On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the surge in COVID-19 that health officials warned about will worsen.

    Governor Newsom’s emergency order has sliced through red tape that can slow down efforts to house those who lack permanent shelter. A pair of hotels in Oakland will provide housing for almost 400 people living in encampments, and in San Francisco, officials have identified some 8,500 vacant rooms in 30 hotels where they will seek to place homeless individuals and families in the days and weeks ahead.

    As cities and counties work with state and federal agencies, Ms. Almanza says public officials are releasing emergency funds and relaxing rules on existing spending on homelessness. To locate available housing, officials are relying on local nonprofits. Ms. Almanza hopes the increased cooperation and trust will last beyond the pandemic given that, with or without the threat of COVID-19, those living on the streets and in shelters face a daily life-or-death struggle.

    “It’s becoming crystal clear during this crisis that the nonprofit organizations are the front-line first responders,” she says. “And what this could mean for the long term is a better understanding by government funders of what can happen when we all really come together.”

    Lessons learned in Fresno
    The 2007-08 housing market crash contributed to a rise in California’s homeless population as banks foreclosed on homeowners and large encampments sprouted in cities across the state.

    In 2008, officials in Fresno embarked on a 10-year plan to reduce homelessness, funneling more funding and resources into rapid re-housing, permanent housing, and supportive services. By 2017, the city’s homeless population had fallen almost 60%, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, a much steeper decline than seen elsewhere in California.

    The numbers have climbed again over the past few years as Fresno – like the state as a whole – contends with an acute shortage of affordable housing. But city officials assert that, in the same way they learned lessons from the housing crash, the pandemic response can inform policies for aiding the homeless population now and in the future.

    “This is a crisis within a crisis,” says H. Spees, director of strategic initiatives for Fresno Mayor Lee Brand. “You have the homelessness crisis being enveloped by the COVID-19 crisis, and with that, you have the opportunity to leverage short-term responses into long-term solutions.”

    Last week, in the span of 72 hours, the city opened up 300 new shelter beds in a vacant hotel and two other buildings and began housing homeless residents. The swift action could serve as a template for the city long after the pandemic passes.

    “We don’t have all the answers,” Mr. Spees says. “But we are seeing waves of public and private resources come together to speed up the street-to-home transition, and it’s demonstrating that moving people off the streets can happen quickly when we have collective effort.”

    Removing barriers
    In East Palo Alto, south of San Francisco, the Rev. Paul Bains laments that it has taken a pandemic to bring greater urgency to the cause of ending homelessness. At the same time, as the president of WeHOPE, a homeless shelter and supportive services provider, he recognizes that the coronavirus response presents an opportunity.

    “There is so much attention right now on getting people off the streets and out of the elements and giving them a chance to get healthy,” he says. “Barriers are being removed because people are realizing what the risks are for someone who doesn’t have a place to live.”

    In the past week, Mr. Bains has secured $230,000 in funding to expand WeHOPE’s fleet of mobile shower trailers and purchase 15,000 face masks to distribute to homeless individuals, outreach workers, and emergency responders. He credits local officials and Governor Newsom for creating momentum to prioritize initiatives on homelessness.

    “What we’re seeing is that, with community collaboration and strong leadership, we have the wherewithal to address these systemic issues,” Mr. Bains says.

    But it’s not just a spirit of collaboration that will be needed, says Margot Kushel, director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, San Francisco. It also takes a serious, sustained, financial commitment.

    “Homelessness is a catastrophe,” she says. “It requires a level of response that is not going to be free and is going to cost money, but is absolutely essential to preserve health.”

    That money could be harder to find as the U.S. goes into a recession that will sap state budgets. California has a substantial rainy day fund, but it is likely to be drawn down rapidly in a deep economic downturn.

    Dr. Kushel believes that hotels could perhaps play a larger role in a long-term solution to homelessness in California. When the crisis is over, some of the high-end hotels will go back to being hotels, she says. “There might be others who believe that having full occupancy brings more value to their properties.”
    Link: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Societ...rnia-it-s-both
    Last edited by Jeff in TX; Yesterday at 12:01 AM.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  9. #16824

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    The joke in Minnesota was: We have two seasons, winter, and two weeks of bad cross-country skiing. GH
    I thought that I would give an update for northeastern Minnesota. While the nearby town of Silver Bay is largely free of snow, I still have a foot of snow at my place. Which is better than the two feet of snow I had last week. Spring is making it's way to up here. While it is cold, it is also beautiful, in my opinion. I obviously like it here, since I migrated here when I retired.
    My Suicide Draw Pool avatar

  10. #16825

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by dave g View Post
    I thought that I would give an update for northeastern Minnesota. While the nearby town of Silver Bay is largely free of snow, I still have a foot of snow at my place. Which is better than the two feet of snow I had last week. Spring is making it's way to up here. While it is cold, it is also beautiful, in my opinion. I obviously like it here, since I migrated here when I retired.
    Dave, why do you have snow if a nearby town doesn't? Is it lake effect snow?

  11. #16826

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    Dave, why do you have snow if a nearby town doesn't? Is it lake effect snow?
    Yes, in part. Some of the snow is lake effect snow, and since I live uphill of the town, I get more lake effect snow than the town. Also, the main portion of town has relatively few trees, while my area has a lot of trees, and therefore less sunlight on the snow.
    My Suicide Draw Pool avatar

  12. #16827

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Also, Minnesota is weird that way. I lived about 75 minutes south of the Twin Cities. It was common that we would get 2 inches when they got a foot and we'd get a foot when they got 2 inches. Snow comes across that state in weird bands, such that the amounts can be all over the place. Your opinion, too, Dave? GH

  13. #16828

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    Dave, why do you have snow if a nearby town doesn't? Is it lake effect snow?
    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    Also, Minnesota is weird that way. I lived about 75 minutes south of the Twin Cities. It was common that we would get 2 inches when they got a foot and we'd get a foot when they got 2 inches. Snow comes across that state in weird bands, such that the amounts can be all over the place. Your opinion, too, Dave? GH
    Oregon can be like that too. The town 3 miles from me got a bunch of snow last week, but only a little frost here. Meanwhile, anytime I get snow, my aunt 25 miles away is like "Whaaat!? You got snow!?" Lots of variations in elevation around here. I think I read somewhere that Oregon is the only state that has every type of climate.

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