Walkability, by J.D. Meyer

Let’s explore walkability—a key concept in urban studies/planning. Does your city have enough sidewalks—especially downtown? Downtown Tyler, Texas has a commendable Walk Score of 72, but the overall city only scores 35. https://www.walkscore.com/TX/Tyler  I’ve lived in four Tyler neighborhoods; walkability scores range from 24 to 66. Midtown/Hospital District is the best (66), and Hollytree in South Tyler is the worst (24).. Suburban sprawl is based on the domination of cars, and that leads to more traffic and air pollution. Can you easily walk to nearby bus stops?

The only time I really love the term—conservative—is when it’s preceded by the adjective: “fiscal.” I’m not the kind of liberal who would claim a need for concrete sidewalks on both sides of virtually all streets—unless it’s downtown. As long as one side of a major street has a paved sidewalk, your walking experience will be adequate. Moreover, flat land could get away with a trimmed dirt path through the grass. Not just a bus rider, I have considerable experience walking in Tyler—mainly in Midtown (66), Downtown (72), North Tyler (49 & 55), and Southeast Tyler (31).

Sidewalks could be downright dangerous if the land is slanted at a 45 degree angle! Hopefully, the pedestrian would have crossed the street by that time. On the other hand, a hilly path like across the street from Shiloh Road Learning Center could be a hazardous walk without paving or a trail. I recall a sidewalk in Midtown that was dangerously broken, and it could have been improved with some asphalt. Furthermore, bus ridership can improve with good sidewalks on the way to the bus stops.

Let’s hope my observation as a bus rider/pedestrian helps in our development of walkability. Check out this most walkable cities article with a map (at least a 100K population). http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-most-walkable-cities.html

 

 

H-2A & H-2B: Temporary Agriculture Workers & Non-Agriculture Workers.

Visas: (1) Industries, (2) Construction, (3) Restaurants, (4) Lodging, (5) Golf, (6) Marine Salvage, (7) Landscapes, (8) Nurseries, (9) Agriculture, (10) Amusement Parks, (11) Shrimping http://www.fewaglobalorg

1. https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-2a-temporary-agricultural-workers U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Who May Qualify for H-2A Classification? (1) H-2A Program Process, (2) H-2A Eligible Countries List, (3) Period of Stay, (4) Family of H-2A Workers, (5) Employment-Related Notifications to USCIS, (6) Fee-Related Notifications to USCIS, (7) Inquiring About a Pending H-2A Petition.

2. http://www.fewaglobal.org/services Federation of Employers and Workers of America. Employers must show there aren’t enough U.S. workers & having temporary workers won’t hurt current conditions of existing American workers. Housing is required for H-2A Agriculture Workers, not H-2B Non-Agriculture Workers. Over half of agriculture workers are H-2A.

3. https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/archive/doc/migration/H-2A_Fact_Sheet8.6.pdf Center for Global Development. H-2A Program for Temporary Workers. It’s possible to extend H-2A employers and extend visas.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-2A_visa The Wikipedia article on H-2A temporary agriculture workers. It includes a history of the program.

5. https://maslabor.com/h2a-overview/ mas H-2A: The H-2A Labor Specialists. “The H-2A program allows employers to hire foreign workers for tough-to-fill seasonal jobs. It is the only legal, non-immigrant foreign worker visa program available to agricultural employers and is critical to American agriculture and the U.S. economy. H-2A workers typically come from rural communities (predominantly in Mexico and Central America), go home after each work season, and return to the same U.S. employer year after year.”………” We offer labor solutions for agricultural employers in more states, with a greater diversity of crops, than any other H-2A service provider…”

Cactus (Nopalitos): Why Fresh is Better than Pickled, by J.D. Meyer

I’ve been a major fan of sliced cactus (nopalitos) for many years.
I’d compare the flavor and texture to a cross between a bell pepper or
poblano pepper and okra. Admittedly, I’ve never bothered to buy the
whole pad from the vegetable section of the grocery store and carve
the quills out of them in my kitchen. However, usually I get the pickled
variety in a jar, and I save the jars for leftovers. Fresh bags of sliced
nopalitos in the vegetable section are confined to Mexican grocery
stores—such as La Michoacana. Cactus (Nopalitos) seems to find its
way to restaurants/taquerias either with beef fajitas or scrambled eggs
in a breakfast taco.

Finally, I read the nutritional information from two empty bags of
fresh nopalitos, and two jars from pickled nopalitos. The nutritional
data is staggering. Vinegar and salt deplete nutrients!
Let’s start by looking at that fresh bag of sliced cactus by Latin
Specialties. One cup contains the following: Calcium—39%,
Potassium—17%, Vitamin A—22%, Vitamin C—36%, Dietary
Fiber—20%, Iron–8%, Sodium—2%, Protein—6%, Carbohydrate—3% &
Fat—0%. The statistics for Ortega’s Nopalitos are virtually the same,
except the Potassium amount is unknown.

On the other hand, let’s look at the convenient pickled cactus in a
jar. Two tablespoons of Dona Maria Nopalitos has no Calcium, no
Potassium, Vitamin A—2%, no Vitamin C, no Dietary Fiber, no Iron,
Sodium—23%, No Protein, Carbohydrate nor Fat. Meanwhile, a half
cup of El Mexicano Nopalitos has the following: Calcium—5%, no
Potassium, no Vitamin A, no Vitamin C, no Dietary Fiber, Iron—6%,
Sodium—21%, Protein—2%, Carbohydrate—1% & Fat—0%.

Alternatives to the Environmental & Economic Damage by the Border Wall Joffre (J.D.) Meyer @bohemiotx

“This Twitter moment offers alternatives (technology & more) to the environmental & economic destruction–including ecotourism–by the proposed border wall. Executive Order 12898 (1994) is Environmental Justice in Minority & Low Income Populations.”

1. Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall by @bohemiotx https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Environmental-Ecotourism-Impact-of-the-Proposed-Border-Wall … #environment #SouthTX #ecotourism #EconomicJustice

2. Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall, Part Two: Smart Walls with Technology, by J.D. Meyer https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/environmental-ecotourism-impact-of-the-proposed-border-wall-part-two-smart-walls-with-technology-by-j-d-meyer/ … via @bohemiotx #Technology #BorderWall #Environment #Texas

3. Republican Congressman: Trump’s Border Crisis Is a ‘Myth’ https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/will-hurd-border-wall-myth-781204/ … via @RollingStone #NorthernTriangle #LiDAR #NoBorderWall #SmartWall #ambassadors

4. Marines commandant protests US border deployments, wall https://news.yahoo.com/marines-commandant-protests-us-border-deployments-wall-232037037.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw … via @YahooNews #military #NoBorderWall

5. The Texas-Mexico Border Wall Comes with a Dangerous, Costly Side Effect: Flooding https://www.texasobserver.org/the-texas-mexico-border-wall-comes-with-a-dangerous-costly-side-effect-flooding … #BorderWall #floods #environment

6. Forget Trump’s Border Wall. Let’s Build F.D.R.’s International Park. https://nyti.ms/2JcYIl1 #BigBend #environment #Texas

7. New alternative to Trump’s wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security [solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border]. #GreenEnergy #Border #economics https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/build-the-energy-wall?fbclid=IwAR3ed6Ai1UhYyC7Kz0Xt8mOeJrnBNsWMIhxwKo-3uR5t0LoacuoH2eYj1GQ

8. Future Energy, Water, Industry and Education Park (FEWIEP) https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/USMexico-Border-Proposal_WHITEPAPER-2019.pdf … #FEWIEP #environment #RenewableEnergy

Replying to @amyklobuchar @keithellison
9. Could Executive Order 12898–Environmental Justice in Minority & Low Income Populations (1994) help in the fight against the #BorderWall? #ecotourism #SouthTX

10. Christina McNearney @tmcnearney1 • Mar 16
We stand strong as one progressive movement against our president’s anti-immigrant, anti-environment agenda. #NoBorderWall https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/stand-with-immigrants–border-communities-for-environmental–social-justice-no-beds-no-boots-no?promoid=7010Z0000027Wv5QAE&utm_medium=recruit&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=addup&tc=false

Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall, Part Two: Smart Walls with Technology, by J.D. Meyer

A smart border wall uses technology—not just cement and steel. https://www.engineering.com/BIM/ArticleID/16775/Border-Walls-Get-Teched-Out.aspx Surveillance devices include “underground motion sensors, remote-operated cameras, long-range radar towers, aerostats (balloons and blimps) and drones.” Moreover, it’s cheaper. A 2017 estimate stated wall infrastructure should include the deployment of radar, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology and other sensors. This article begins with descriptions of “famous border walls across the centuries”: (1) The Wall of Mardo (Sumerian city of Ur), (2)The Great Wall of China, (3) Hadrian’s Wall (Roman Britain versus the Scots),(4) The Berlin Wall, and (5) Israel’s West Bank Barrier.

The cost could be as low as $500,000 per mile as opposed to $27 million per mile. https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/355354-technology-will-be-a-critical-component-of-a-good-border-wall The Israeli West Bank Wall uses such technology. Furthermore, this isn’t normally harmful to the environment; walls can cause floods; moreover, it takes forest-clearing to build them. Currently the 12,000 remote sensors can track people from up to seven miles away. Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) at places like the Hidalgo crossing can read the license plate, car, and driver. “While the new congressional budget didn’t include all the money for Trump’s desired super wall, it has allocated about $400 million for border technology, including $50 million for towers and $20 million for ground sensors.” “By far the most promising technology that the bill promises to consider is LIDAR, a system that uses lasers instead of radio waves to build up a 3-D image.”

On another note, the Texas Observer reports when the wrong technology in the wrong place can be harmful to animals. “An earthen river levee that runs through the 100-acre property would become a 30-foot concrete-and-steel border wall, bisecting the reserve and leaving more than two-thirds of the land stranded on the wrong side of the barrier. The wall will be littered with cameras and draped with at least 22-foot tall LED lights, a potential catastrophe for sensitive insects. Tourism to the center could crater, forcing the center to close and wasting 17 years of effort cultivating the refuge.” https://www.texasobserver.org/butterfly-trump-restraining-order-lawsuit-border-wall-texas/

https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Environmental-Ecotourism-Impact-of-the-Proposed-Border-Wall Environmental & Ecotourism Impact of the Proposed Border Wall (Part One).

33rd Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Tyler, TX 2019: “Living Together as Brothers.” By J.D. Meyer

The 33rd MLK Day celebration in Tyler once again began with meeting at the Downtown Square and marching to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral at Broadway AV & Front ST for a program with many speakers. At the Square, someone quoted MLK with, “No individual or nation can live alone. We can live together as brothers or die together as fools. Someone carried a cool sign with the following MLK quote, “We may have come in on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” The sound system wasn’t working downtown, so that part of the program was cut short, and the crowd marched down Broadway Avenue—Tyler’s major street—to the cathedral. There were at least a couple of drum corps marching with us: Texas College and Grace Community HS.
In the introduction, the speaker noted that scientific progress has made the world a neighborhood. Once again, someone asserted that a person or nation can’t live alone. That reminded of the current American president’s desire to withdraw from NATO—a military alliance between the USA & Western Europe since 1945 for protection versus Russia, formerly the Soviet Union.
Somebody wore a cool T-shirt declaring, “Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran, so our children could fly.” #LegacyMatters.
Joanne Hampton began by noting that we need to be mindful of our giving. Lift each other up by being aware. Local business success promotes sustainability. Yet we can stimulate global culture.
Mayor Martin Heines asked, “What are we doing for others?” Service to one another strengthens the community. To build a more perfect union, we all have a role through building with our service. This leads to more abundant opportunities for our children.
Next were four charming little kids with “Kids Aspiring to Dream (KATD) with their theatrical performance, culminating with Jonathan Martin’s dramatic soliloquy. The theme was “The Dream Lives on “It is Me.”
George Faber played, “Take the A Train (1941)” before a statement highlighting the term, “propel.” Through our roles in life, we encourage and propel equality by coming together often. Sometimes we don’t have the answers. We encourage our kids; something will propel them too.
The Keynote Speaker was Peggy Llewellyn, a History-Making NHRA Pro Stock Motorcyclist. She was the first minority woman to win an NHRA event. The speaker’s mom rode motorcycles too, and her dad was a motorcycle and car mechanic. Ms. Llewellyn likes to research new cities that she visits—noting that Tyler is the Rose City and home of actress Sandy Duncan, Keke Shepherd, and the HGTV Dream House.
Ms. Llewellyn’s Dad is Jamaican and he moved here in 1967—just three years after the Civil Rights Act. Racial tension was still strong. She noted that her family could have played it safe for Jamaica is a beautiful island with great cuisine. Nevertheless, the USA is a land of opportunity—in spite of struggles with racism. They settled in San Antonio, Texas. By 1977, her dad owned his own business. Nevertheless, some customers wouldn’t deal with him when they found him to be Black. Other customers wanted him to succeed, for they lived together as brothers.
Young Peggy didn’t grow up with dolls; she raced her brother on motorcycles. She liked the smell of burning rubber and reached speeds of 190 mph. They raced at Alamo Dragway. Color was not a measuring tool for herself. Novelty was something different for the team.
Sometimes her ability was questioned because she’s small, Black, and Jamaican. Ms. Llewellyn was determined to look past the negativity and going to race and win. We should love one another regardless of race or religion. Hate is too much burden; love is actually simpler, according to Ms. Llewellyn. Recall that saying, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Have faith so we work together, play together, and struggle together. She quoted Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong of good courage. God goes with you and won’t leave or forsake you.” All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. We must fight discrimination on basis of sex or whatever. In closing, Peggy’s Dad knew she had talent, and he prepared her for obstacles. Look past and above the negative. Love and respect helps one’s perspective. It’s a topic and attitude.

Here’s a photo of me at the MLK march; it was taken by Sarah Miller, the main photojournalist for the Tyler Paper. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10107171117769518&set=pcb.10218140711931630&type=3&theater

Emmett J. Scott Bio (1873-1957) by Anthony Neal Emmel

“A native of Houston, Texas, Emmett J. Scott garnered a reputation as Booker T. Washington’s chief aide. He was also the highest ranking African-American in the Woodrow Wilson’s Administration. The son of ex-slaves, Scott was born in 1873. In 1887, he entered Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, eventually leaving school in his third year. Soon he worked at the Houston Post, first as a sexton, and later as a copyboy and journalist. In 1893 Scott, along with Charles N. Love and Jack Tibbit, formed the Texas Freeman, Houston’s first African American newspaper. Scott also worked for Galveston, Texas, politician and labor leader, Norris W. Cuney.

Scott caught the attention of Booker T. Washington, who hired him in 1897. For the next eighteen years, Scott served Washington as a confidant, personal secretary, speech writer, and ghostwriter; in 1912, he became Tuskegee’s treasurer-secretary. Scott advocated Washington’s philosophy of constructive accommodation over immediate social integration. Scott and New York Age editor T. Thomas Fortune helped Washington found the National Negro Business League (NNBL) in 1900.

In 1917, two years after Washington’s death, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Scott special advisor of black affairs to Secretary of War, Newton Baker. Scott wrote reports on conditions facing African- Americans during the period, which were published as “The American Negro in the World War” (1919) and “Negro Migration during the First World War” (1920). From 1919 to 1932, Scott was the business manager and secretary treasurer of Howard University, retiring from the college in 1938. During World War II, Scott worked for the Sun Shipbuilding Company of Chester, Pennsylvania, and helped the company create Yard No. 4 for black laborers. Scott was married and had five children, all of whom graduated from college. He and his wife also raised his five younger sisters, who also earned their degrees. Scott died in Washington, D.C., in 1957 at the age of 84.”

https://blackpast.org/aah/scott-emmett-j-1873-1957

The Five Virtues of Ruism (Confucianism), 仁义礼智信, by J.D. Meyer

First of all, Confucianism is a Western-imposed misnomer. We prefer to be called, “Ruists.” Let’s start with The Five Virtues. 仁义礼智信

The Five Virtues are (1) humanity, (2) appropriate-assertiveness, (3) propriety, (4) wisdom, and (5) faith. Humanity (jen) is the first virtue, and its beginning is compassion. Mencius asserted that one would rescue a child that had fallen in a well out of compassion, not the desire to advance in society. The Chinese character for jen is a person standing next to the number two, symbolizing a person in society—a simple four stroke character. The last virtue is faith (hsin), meaning the completion of the other four virtues. Integrity and trustworthiness are two synonyms for faith (hsin). The Chinese character is a person standing next to “word.”

The beginning of appropriate-assertiveness (i) is shame. Through courage, we move from withdrawn shame to assertiveness. This concept is usually translated as “righteousness.” David Nivison introduced the more accurate translation as “appropriate-assertiveness.” The beginning of propriety (li) is deference. The beginning of wisdom (chih) is distinguishing right from wrong.

Here are two more observations on the development of virtues. “Goodness without a love of learning leads to simple-mindedness,” according to Confucius. Confucius wrote, “Straightforwardness without propriety is rudeness.”

Let’s examine propriety according to the concepts of pattern-principle and vital force—an original contribution of mine. If we don’t exhibit enough pattern-principle in our expression of propriety, we are rude. On the other hand, if we don’t show enough vital force, then we’re boring. Through appropriate-assertiveness, we add to propriety.