Friday, May 31, 2013

Mass Palestinian grave found in Tel Aviv - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Mass Palestinian grave found in Tel Aviv - Middle East - Al Jazeera English:

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One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find

One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find:

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8 College Graduates Who Are Getting Crushed By Student Debt



Should have gone to Germany or someplace else cheaper, but I think Germany is hard to beat for quality and price

8 College Graduates Who Are Getting Crushed By Student Debt

Uni raises tuition fees for non-EU foreigners



After BRT- 2d Brazilian innovations being used in US



Participatory budgeting keeps up its slow spread across the U.S., with Chicago this month wrapping up a vote in four of its wards to determine how to divvy up more than $4 million in infrastructure funds. Since 2009, the city's 49th ward has decided by ballot how to spend some of its alderman's discretionary "menu money." This year, it was joined by the 5th, 45th and 46th wards. 
Chicagoans Opt to Pay for Police Cameras, Pigeon Protection

First adopted in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to engage residents in generating solutions to severely unequal living conditions, participatory budgeting has become a popular tool for direct democracy around the world. In 2012, Vallejo, Calif., a highly diverse industrial city on the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area, became the first U.S. municipality to fully adopt participatory budgeting.



"In 2012, the Vallejo City Council established the first city-wide Participatory Budgeting (PB) process in the United States. Through PB, the community is helping decide how to spend over $3 million of revenue from the Measure B Sales Tax. Vallejo residents and stakeholders proposed over 800 spending ideas and volunteers have developed dozens of project proposals"






Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shani, you were lucky to miss it on Tues!!

Fillmore; no reopening in sight  

 you were lucky to miss it on Tues!!


View map of incident

A portion of Highway 126 in Fillmore was closed Thursday because of a sinkhole, and authorities said it would remain closed indefinitely.

Eastbound traffic was diverted at A Street. The sinkhole was east of A Street near Central Avenue.

A mobile camera was sent into the hole to determine its depth and what caused it, said Fillmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros.

The closure caused a significant traffic backup on the eastbound side of the highway heading into the city, Landeros said. He advised motorists to avoid the area if possible.

The hole was only a pothole a few days ago. It has grown to about 3 feet in diameter but is wider underground, officials said.

Caltrans was working on closing the hole and put up detour signs in the area, said Ventura County sheriff's Capt. Rob Davidson.

Authorities said it would easily be closed until Friday if not longer.



Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/30/sink-hole-causing-detour-on-highway-126-in/#ixzz2Uq5fGzWK
- vcstar.com 
Iqbal  Quidwai   
  1. Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder.– Jalaluddin Rumi

Thousand Oaks car dealership trades in tall sign plans for something shorter

Thousand Oaks car dealership trades in tall sign plans for something shorter
 By Teresa Rochester 
Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:24 p.m.



Silver Star Chevrolet is abandoning efforts to build a 15-foot-5-inch pole sign at the dealership on the edge of the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall.

However, there will be a new sign at the southeast corner of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Auto Mall Drive, city officials said Thursday.

With the blessing of General Motors, Chevrolet's parent company, the local dealership will put up a sign at the corner that's 6 feet by 8 feet.

"General Motors has agreed to let them to put up a 6-foot sign, which would not require a waiver or (planning) commission or (city) council review," said Mark Towne, the city's deputy community development director. "They will be submitting the new sign designs as soon as possible."

Its size meets the city's code, so any review would take place in the planning department, not before a board.

The current Silver Star Chevrolet sign is 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

The Planning Commission rejected Silver Star Motor Co.'s plans for the pole sign in March despite the dealership's offer to reduce its height to 12 feet.

Susan Murata of Silver Star said the 15-foot-5-inch sign is the standard height for General Motors signs.

Silver Star appealed the March decision to the council and offered three heights — 15 feet by 5 inches, 12 feet and 10 feet — for the panel's consideration.

On Wednesday, the company pulled its appeal, which was set to go before the council next month.

"We're good corporate citizens, and we want to do what's right for the city," Murata said, adding that in all of the discussions with the city it was clear that officials "really want to give us a 6-foot sign ... . Quite frankly, General Motors didn't understand why there was a 6-foot limit because there are signs in the Auto Mall that are 15 feet, but they were on Auto Mall Drive."

The large sign triggered letters to the editor criticizing the proposal, while the March hearing attracted six community members who spoke against the project.

Assistant Planner Joey Lin said the city received a letter from a homeowners association across the street from the dealership and one email in opposition. After the hearing three emails were sent to the city asking whether Silver Star had appealed and when the council would consider the appeal.



Iqbal  Quidwai   
  1. Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder.– Jalaluddin Rumi

Rethinking Colonialism and the Origins of the Developmental State in East Asia









South Asia  also remains cursed with  inherited ''extractive colonial institutions''


"In 1820, the richest country in East Asia was the Philippines, while the poorest area
was today's Taiwan. A hundred and fifty years later,c. 1970, the level of economic
development in Taiwan was double that in the Philippines. Thirty years later, we
now pay witness to Taiwan with a per capita income seven times higher than that
of the Philippines. The difference between their rates of growth in per capita income
is remarkable as well. For 1970-2000, the average growth rate in Taiwan was 7%,
while that in the Philippines was 1%. Using Lucas' (1988) rule of thumb to obtain
the number of years it takes for income to double (divide 70 by the growth rate), we
can see that the Philippines' per capita income will double every 70 years; Taiwan's,
every 10 years. Taiwan has achieved an economic miracle, while the Philippines is
locked in a poverty trap. "
 
"The general purpose of this article is to explain why this happened. The
predominant explanation has been provided by the developmental state theory.
Although the previous studies in this research paradigm are successful in identifying
the positive features of the East Asian state apparatus that contributed to
phenomenal economic growth, they have neglected the question of the origins of
the developmental state. ...
Based on the 
theoretical framework of comparative colonialism recently developed in the field of
political economy, I argue that the developmental state fundamentally requires
relative income equality as the initial socio-economic condition. Some of the
Northeast Asian countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan and Korea) undertook radical land
reforms that dramatically equalised income in society. While most Southeast Asian
countries inherited ''extractive colonial institutions'' that perpetuated income
inequality, Korea and Taiwan were able to break away from the colonial legacy,
which allowed the emergence of the developmental state."

Rethinking Colonialism and the Origins of the Developmental State in East Asia

Note:Land reforms in India nothing like what happened in East Asia
See also:
"Our key findings are as follows. Overall, land-reform legislation seems to have had a
negative and significant effect on agricultural productivity in India
. However, this hides
considerable variation across types of land reform, as well as variation across states.
Decomposing by type of land reform, the main driver for this negative effect seems to
be land-ceiling legislation. In contrast, the effect of tenancy reform, averaged across all
states, turns out to be insignificant. However, in West Bengal, one of the few states where
tenancy laws were implemented rigorously, the negative relationship between land reform
and productivity is absent.
 More generally, there seems to be a wide range of state-specific
effects, which suggests that focusing on average treatment effects can conceal a considerable
amount of heterogeneity. Finally, tenancy reform seems to have increased the inequality of
operational holdings in India if we exclude West Bengal, which suggests that in anticipation
of the new tenancy legislation, landlords could be engaging in eviction of tenants in states,
other than West Bengal, where tenancy reform had been poorly implemented.
 
Land reform and agricultural productivity in India: a review of the evidence
Meanwhile now Vietnam has done  better also with land reforms:
"Vietnam has already reduced the poverty rate from 60 percent in 1993 to less than 30 percent right in 2002 and just 10 percent currently."
 
 








legacy:
"India's invasion by the British brought about, in the course of time, a complete transformation in the country's land tenure system."
 
"After some time of experimentation, in 1793, Corwallis' Permanent

Settlement brought a final regulation of the procedure for levying taxes,
which led to decisive changes in land tenure. The British did as if all the
land belonged to the state and was thus at their disposal. They registered
the local tax collectors, who were called zamindars, as owners of the land
in their district. These zamindars had to collect and deliver the taxes; the
amount was fixed at the beginning and remained the same permanently. To give them an incentive, they were free to decide how much to demand from the cultivators. On the other hand, the fixed lump tax sum was an incentive to put more land under cultivation and, thus, have more taxpayers in one region. In order to do so, one could rot bleed the individual farmers too much.
The right to the land conferred on the zamindars was alienable, rentable, and heritable. This meant the introduction of a complete novelty, in India. The privilege of utilizing land had become a saleable good. Those who had been cultivators until then obtained the status of 'occupancy tenants.' These occupancy rights were heritable and transferrable and were not tampered with as long as the holders paid their taxes. In contrast to these, the tenants who cultivated land owned by the tax collectors were'' tenants at will', i.e., they could be evicted.
In the beginning, there were hardly any problems. The scarcity of cultivators prevented the zamindars from demanding too high taxes. They were interested in attracting people to cultivate the land and, thus, to increase the number of tax payers in order to increase the difference between the revenues and the fixed amount that bad to be remitted.
The detrimental consequences of recognizing the tax collectors as landlords and of introducing the legal institution of saleable private landed property first became evident as, later, considerable changes occurred in India in the demographic and economic situation. The industrial revolution in England, namely, brought about a change in the British policy in India. The objective was no longer to import from India, but to sell English products in India. Since the textile industry played an important role at the beginning of industrialization in England, very large amounts of cheap products manufactured by mechanical looms were exported to India and this soon led to a collapse in the textile home industry in India. A large number of weavers became unemployed. In order to secure a basis of existence, they migrated to the rural areas and tried to lease land they could farm. The scope of this migration-Dacca's inhabitants alone decreased from 150,000 to 20,000 between 1824 and 1837- caused pressure on the rural areas and brought about a complete change in the relationships between zamindars and tenants. The monopoly of controlling the means to secure livelihood shifted power unilaterally into the hands of the zamindars who were able to extort more and more taxes as the demand for land increased. This led to indebtedness and often to the loss of occupancy rights and relegation to tenants at will."
 
Changes in Land Tenure under British Rule

India has a problem with inequality, and it won't be solved easily

Why government policy and jobless growth have let inequality worsen in recent times




Jobless growth is now official

Create more productive jobs to absorb the shift from agriculture










Germany- tuition is cheap way cheaper than US




Going to school in Germany is really cheap!
I am surprised more students from developing countries haven't braved language barrier and  gone there instead of exorbitantly expensive US/UK and other English speaking country schools. Maybe they have not done their research and are paying the price.
 In fact American students should learn German and head there rather paying ridiculous fees here!



Compare to US. For US it makes more sense to get grad school here rasther than undergrad and grad. Community College are not quality schools. What does it say about a country when it forces  those who pass high school to have this options? Does it want its college grads to be less competent, since only wealthy can go to college?

Americans cannot afford this right now without taking on student loans, they then cannot pay because of poor job market? What about  minority-majority era students where parents will only be able to afford community colleges?????

How much does MPA@UNC cost?
  • The program cost is $52,800 (includes tuition and fees). In comparison, the fee for the on-campus MPA program for out-of-state students is $49,566.
 
NC Residents $23,416
Out-of-State Residents $45,806
 
University of California fees comparable to UNC:
 
2012-2013 Tuition
$41,456
 tuition and fees


How Student Debt Tripled In 8 Years, And Why It's Becoming A Growing Economic Problem
http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-is-college-worth-it-student-debt-ny-fed-report-2013-2
This Chart Will Help Put An End To The 'Is College Worth It?' Debate

















a different beat, a different city OJAI Meeting no chain stores No Starbucks!!

Ojai council refuses to relax ban on chain stores

The Ojai City Council refused this week to change the ordinance that prohibits chain stores within the city, despite a plea from a local merchant concerned about retirement options.

Terry Starr, owner of the Starr Market, requested a variance in Ojai's "formula business" ordinance. He argued it would be difficult to find a buyer for his 21,000-square-foot grocery story that would not be considered a formula business under the ordinance.

While Starr said he has no immediate plans to sell the store, he wants to make sure he has options when he decides to retire.

After hearing from a few residents at a council meeting Tuesday night and getting emails from residents objecting to relaxing the rules, Councilwoman Carlon Strobel moved that the council go on record as opposing any changes. The council unanimously agreed.

Cathy Cluff, who manages The Oaks spa in downtown Ojai, said she was one of those who pushed for the ordinance, which was approved in December 2007 and revised in March 2012.

"We knew some of the bigger businesses — Starr Market, Rains and The Oaks — would be affected more than others," Cluff said. "As owners of The Oaks, we knew we would be affected. But that's the reason we support the measure. We market the unique value of Ojai. It's the town without a Starbucks."

In other matters Tuesday, the council moved forward on implementing the second phase of the city's housing element.

Voting 4-1 after a public hearing, with Councilwoman Betsy Clapp voting no, the council implemented a slew of programs outlined in the element. The state-required element, part of the city's general plan, sets housing guidelines and goals and ways to achieve them.

The second-phase measures include density bonuses for developers who include low-income units in housing plans, and housing accommodations for people with disabilities and the homeless.

The council on a 3-2 vote also approved zoning ordinance changes to clear up procedural issues with the housing element. Lara and Clapp voted no.

The council delayed reconsidering exterior lighting standards and policies, after Clapp said new standards were being issued by the state. According to Clapp, the new standards call for a different way to measure light pollution. Rather than having a city ordinance superseded by state regulations, she asked that city staff look over the proposed state regulations and incorporate them into a new ordinance.

Councilman Severo Lara requested that city staff look into how much light pollution comes from Tivoli or decorative string lights. Councilwoman Carol Smith has expressed a dislike of string lights and asked that they be banned. Lara said if the lights aren't significant sources of glare or light pollution, such a ban would only be a matter of personal taste.

Greg Gamble of the Ojai Land Conservancy asked the council to skip an agenda item calling for the city to contribute $20,000 to finalize the purchase of the 195-acre Valley View Preserve. Gamble said the $650,000 needed to purchase and maintain the land had been raised and city funds were no longer needed.

The council also reviewed the makeup of the planning, historic preservation and other city commissions.

Mayor Paul Blatz said he had been approached by residents about restricting the number of nonresidents on such commissions. The council, however, decided that people who live in the Ojai Valley but outside city limits should still have a voice on matters, and no action was taken.

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All righ



Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/30/ojai-council-refuses-to-relax-ban-on-chain/#ixzz2UnvNO1NB 
- vcstar.com 

Iqbal  Quidwai   
  1. Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder.– Jalaluddin Rumi

U.S. GDP In Q1 Revised Lower As Austerity Measures Bite

U.S. GDP In Q1 Revised Lower As Austerity Measures Bite:

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MSNBC Lands In Fourth Place In May; Maddow Hits Ratings Lows

MSNBC Lands In Fourth Place In May; Maddow Hits Ratings Lows:

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David Petraeus To Head Private Equity Firm KKR's New Global Institute

David Petraeus To Head Private Equity Firm KKR's New Global Institute:

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Major gas leak finally fixed in Newbury Park AKREY's is no more!!!!


Major gas leak finally fixed in Newbury Park

TROY HARVEY/The Star  Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

PHOTO BY TROY HARVEY // BUY THIS PHOTO

TROY HARVEY/The Star Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

TROY HARVEY/The Star    Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

PHOTO BY TROY HARVEY, VENTURA COUNTY STAR

TROY HARVEY/The Star Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

TROY HARVEY/The Star    The Ventura County Fire Dept. Hazardous Materials Team is seen at the staging area of a gas leak that occurred near Newbury Road Wednesday afternoon.

PHOTO BY TROY HARVEY, VENTURA COUNTY STAR

TROY HARVEY/The Star The Ventura County Fire Dept. Hazardous Materials Team is seen at the staging area of a gas leak that occurred near Newbury Road Wednesday afternoon.

TROY HARVEY/The Star    Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

PHOTO BY TROY HARVEY, VENTURA COUNTY STAR

TROY HARVEY/The Star Firefighters are seen at the sight of a gas leak, which occurred near Newbury Road in Newbury Park Wednesday afternoon.

A major gas leak Wednesday at a Newbury Park construction site led to the evacuation of a wide area, but no injuries were reported.

The leak was reported about 10:05 a.m. in a high-pressure line below a construction site in front of the defunct Akrey's Tavern at 1228 Newbury Road, near Ventu Park Road. The gas flow was stopped at 1:29 p.m., according to Dustin Gardner, a Ventura County Fire Department battalion chief.

It took another 45 minutes to fix the leak, rescind the evacuation and reopen Newbury Road, fire department spokesman Mike Lindbery said.

Southern California Edison was still working late Wednesday to restore electricity in the area, which had been cut as a precaution, Lindbery said.

Officials said the cause of the gas leak was unknown. Tom Bednar, superintendent of Bednar Building Corp., said one of his employees triggered the leak.

The worker drove a truck over a metal plate in front of the bar. The plate cracked and broke the large gas line, Bednar said.

Firefighters arrived to find a dust cloud and heavy smell of gas, Fire Division Chief Ted Smith said. Winds pushed the gas toward Highway 101 and nearby mobile homes, officials said.

Officials considered closing the freeway but kept it open. Newbury Road, however, was shut down about a quarter-mile in each direction.

Initially, residences within a half-mile of the leak were evacuated, but firefighters later asked people to shelter in place. Nearby businesses remained closed for much of the day. Meanwhile, the American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Thousand Oaks Community Center.

Patty Stolze, 46, of Thousand Oaks and her sister, Frances Vargas, 52, of Newbury Park drove to the evacuated area to see if their parents' three dogs were OK. Authorities stopped them, but the sisters left with happy news. Readings taken at the apartment complex found no traces of gas, and the dogs were safe.

Joyce and John Swanson were at home Wednesday morning in the Elms Plaza mobile home park, next to the bar, when they heard fire engines outside.

"We could hear something going scheeeeeeee," John Swanson said. "I thought it was water or something."

Firefighters knocked on their door not long after 10 a.m., and the couple, along with other residents and workers at businesses, had to leave.

The Akrey Tavern is next to the Conejo Mobile Home Park, which was shuttered by owner 1200 Newbury LLC in 2011 and later demolished to make way for a 55-unit condominium project. Bednar said the bar was closed as part of the project.



Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/29/major-gas-leak-reported-in-newbury-park/#ixzz2UnDgMKv6 
- vcstar.com 

eitman#226460 writes:

"Newbury Road has been SHOT down about a quarter mile in each direction, Lindbery said."

Poor Newbury Road don't get no respect.



OnTheOutside writes:

Guess we can blame this on fracking too?



Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/may/29/major-gas-leak-reported-in-newbury-park/#ixzz2UnDX7YBP 
- vcstar.com 

Iqbal  Quidwai   
  1. Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder.– Jalaluddin Rumi