NuGlarus Initiative of Switzerland, by Roberto Balmer (Translated from German by Google)

“The NüGlarus initiative wants to create the digital canton and build up innovation clusters. And then become a national model.

An initiative supported by industry and the private sector wants to use the rapid digital development in Glarus to make the canton attractive for start-ups. The young companies are wooed with the favorable tax foot which the rural community has just passed. At the same time, however, firms in the canton should also receive support for the economic changes that are likely to occur with digitalization. The initiative, organized as an association, is presented in the Glarner dialect as “NüGlarus” with the website of the same name, and not only started with initial private and company members, but also with concrete technical projects.

The initiative, launched as a non-profit organization, does not have its own office and all inquiries are processed online, promises
,
Companies, the administration and the private, to use development opportunities and niches. In the end of 2018 Glarus will be able to access the “fastest and cheapest data highway in the Alps”. Furthermore, new startup services will be rolled out and so-called co-working opportunities will be realized in all major locations in the canton. As the board of directors of Roberto Balmer explained on request, it is concretely about bridges, Glarus, Schwanden, Näfels and Linthal.

The fast data highway in detail
The good tax conditions for start-ups that want to settle in the canton are, moreover, determined by the government, which is represented as an observer through its business support. Balmer explained that the government had agreed on a quick and uncomplicated settlement, which did not presuppose the establishment of a company.

In addition to taxation, NüGlarus also promotes the deep space costs, the wide range of local services and good networking with local companies.

Ivan Büchi, privately in the steering committee of the initiative of dedicated head of the digital office of Glarner Kantonalbank, explains the specifications of the planned data highway. It will consist of a redundant network that provides the cloud connections with 0.5 milliseconds to data centers up to 80 kilometers away and delivers 2.5 milliseconds to all other Swiss data centers. It has already been implemented for the Glarner Kantonalbank and is now being expanded by Glarus (TB.glarus) and HIAG Data, with the result that the entire canton is now fit for new, eg cloud-based business models.

Discounts and expansion plans
NüGlarus also lures its members with discounts for offers of participating companies. It is always about innovation projects. For example, the first NüGlarus partners already promise special prizes, such as the telecom sector, premises for virtual collaboration, or for the field of hololens or special drones. At the same time, private persons can benefit from the Internet, TV and telephony. NüGlarus promises to expand its partner offerings on a continuous basis.

Mit-Initiator Balmer emphasizes that you have found strong support in the last few days. But it was necessary to support further Glarner, Neuglarner, Heimwehglarner and sympathizers. “Our instruments and fuel are ideas, networks and financial resources,” he adds. “As long as so many innovative sponsors, partners as well as private and company members join us, we can do something and will continue to engage with the initiative.”

As an ambitious one, one can describe the plan to make the initiative “nationally” a model for other regions. NüGlarus writes in any case that the expansion is already in the pipeline.

Currently, the HIAG Data initiative, TB.glarus and Netstream are active as telecom partners. In addition, the Rapperswil University of Applied Sciences, as well as Linklabs, IT service provider Glaronia, co-working provider Ungleich, the video producer BSV and the consultant ob8. (VRI)”

PROPOSED BUDGET CUTBACKS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD), 2nd Edition

May 16, 2017 by bohemiotx under Department of Housing & Urban Development, urban planning, urban studies

The Trump HUD Proposal
Trump’s budget proposal has severely threatened the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be destroyed. Apartment rent subsidies for the poor would be in trouble too–especially since it’s a federal-only program, unlike Meals-on-Wheels. Let’s check an article from The Atlantic on this proposal–Sadly it was on March 16, 2017–my birthday.

“It also eliminates funding for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides grants for low-income people to buy or rehabilitate homes, and the Choice Neighborhoods program, which provides grants to organizations attempting to revitalize neighborhoods. The proposed budget also eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates how 19 federal agencies respond to homelessness.” There would be cutbacks from two other departments: Education and Health & Human Services “How Trump’s Budget Would Impact Cities’ Poorest Residents” https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/trump-budget-hud/519870/

Carson’ s Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of HUD
However, two months earlier at Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, The L.A. Times summarized, “For worried Democrats, he gave assurances that he would not try to strip programs like rental assistance and said he wanted to intensify efforts to remove lead and other hazards that harm children living in older housing.”
“When it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative,” Carson said. Carson proposed he wanted to get businesses and faith groups more involved in helping people in HUD-backed housing, and find ways to enlarge the role of private industry in backing home mortgages. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-carson-hud-20170112-story.htmlBen Carson at Confirmation Hearing (HUD)

Apartment Subsidy Experience in Tyler
A Neighborhood Services inspector checked my efficiency–my fifth annual inspection. This time, I was required to scrub my oven and change the oven pans. Otherwise, it was adequate from my side. Meanwhile, the apartment’s maintenance man got a report on repairs–such as weather-stripping for the door and replacing an outlet. I utilized my social skills by turning down the news and turning on some Tejano music for the maintenance man and myself. A few days later, the apartment manager signed for the repair completion. We have monthly insecticide sprays too, so the apartment better pass inspection on a monthly basis to avoid fines.
I brought my annual apartment subsidy paperwork to our Neighborhood Services office, located on West Gentry & Palace on the North Side. While I waited for the Green South bus, I not only ate and shopped, but copied information on the Community Development Block Grant program.
Let’s start with the definition of how Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds are used. They “may be used for public facility and infrastructure improvements in low income areas. The funds are concentrated in the annual ‘target area’ for a variety of projects, including street renovations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and water, sewer and drainage improvements.” Park improvements may be to create new parks or enhance existing parks. There’s also a Home Buyer Assistance Program that includes using the voucher towards buying a house, provided the individual completes Home Buyer Education workshops. Here’s the description of CDBG on the City of Tyler website, including eligible and ineligible activities. http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/NeighborhoodServices/CommunityDevelopment/CDBG.aspx City of Tyler: Neighborhood Services, CDBG

Conclusion
As you can see, these HUD programs are relatives of infrastructure repair programs. My voucher keeps me from spending over half my SSDI (disability) check in rent. At least I have one more year. I can only earn $120/month and still keep Medicare D. My COPD has improved from severe to moderate in the past year, contrary to folk belief that we either get worse or stay the same. Let’s save these fine programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by Congress voting against these proposals.
Excuse me for adding new information to a conclusion, but I received an article from Andrea Wilson entitled, “Congress Reaches Deal on FY17 Spending,” http://nlihc.org/article/congress-reaches-deal-fy17-spending We have a reprieve for the rest of 2017; none of the drastic cuts were approved because Congress wanted to avoid a shutdown. Mrs. Wilson works for PATH (People Attempting to Help), and she volunteers with me at ETHNN (East Texas Human Needs Network)–but in the housing committee. We may not be out of trouble yet, but the midterm elections in 2018 may help us. At least, Secretary Carson expressed an interest in looking for assistance from local business and faith groups, as well as private industry. Efforts to help the poor would need to come from local sources more often. Neighborhood Services has always been a jewel for the City of Tyler.

SOL 17: City Planning Meeting

I attended a city planning meeting about the widening of I-16, an east-west street north of Tyler that turns into Hubbard, once it hits Lindale, the most expanding town in East Texas. This road crosses the northern boundary of Hideaway Lake. It’s north of I-20, a major highway that goes to Dallas. I was invited to attend the meeting by the Director of the Transportation Committee of the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN).

I took the opportunity to voice my concerns about raggedy sidewalks. Currently, sidewalks may not be repaired with asphalt. I’ve suggested twice that we start by applying a strip of asbestos when on cement block is higher than the next block. This would prevent tripping. A nurse friend broke her hand under such conditions a couple of years ago! Alternatives to the car must be nice, not just possible. The poor will put up with torn up sidewalks because we have no choice. But more bus riders would relieve street congestion.

Once again, I suggested that bike racks be installed at the central bus hub near Downtown Tyler on Oakwood, as well as at the Bergfeld Center in the south.

Anyway, I took a bus to get most of the way to the meeting, but I walked home–a distance of 1.1 miles. Is that COPD Olympics or what?…lol

Proposed Budget Cutbacks to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)–Including the End of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The Trump HUD Proposal

Trump’s budget proposal has severely threatened the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be destroyed. Apartment rent subsidies for the poor would be in trouble too–especially since it’s a federal-only program, unlike Meals-on-Wheels. Let’s check an article from The Atlantic on this proposal–Sadly it was on March 16, 2017–my birthday.

“It also eliminates funding for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides grants for low-income people to buy or rehabilitate homes, and the Choice Neighborhoods program, which provides grants to organizations attempting to revitalize neighborhoods. The proposed budget also eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates how 19 federal agencies respond to homelessness.” There would be cutbacks from two other departments: Education and Health & Human Services
How Trump’s Budget Would Impact Cities’ Poorest Residents

Carson’ s Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of HUD

However, two months earlier at Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, The L.A. Times summarized, “For worried Democrats, he gave assurances that he would not try to strip programs like rental assistance and said he wanted to intensify efforts to remove lead and other hazards that harm children living in older housing.”

“When it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative,” Carson said. Carson proposed he wanted to get businesses and faith groups more involved in helping people in HUD-backed housing, and find ways to enlarge the role of private industry in backing home mortgages. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-carson-hud-20170112-story.htmlBen Carson at Confirmation Hearing (HUD)

Apartment Subsidy Experience in Tyler

A Neighborhood Services inspector checked my efficiency–my fifth annual inspection. This time, I was required to scrub my oven and change the oven pans. Otherwise, it was adequate from my side. Meanwhile, the apartment’s maintenance man got a report on repairs–such as weather-stripping for the door and replacing an outlet. I utilized my social skills by turning down the news and turning on some Tejano music for the maintenance man and myself. A few days later, the apartment manager signed for the repair completion. We have monthly insecticide sprays too, so the apartment better pass inspection on a monthly basis to avoid fines.

I brought my annual apartment subsidy paperwork to our Neighborhood Services office, located on West Gentry & Palace on the North Side. While I waited for the Green South bus, I not only ate and shopped, but copied information on the Community Development Block Grant program.

Let’s start with the definition of how Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds are used. They “may be used for public facility and infrastructure improvements in low income areas. The funds are concentrated in the annual ‘target area’ for a variety of projects, including street renovations, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and water, sewer and drainage improvements.” Park improvements may be to create new parks or enhance existing parks. There’s also a Home Buyer Assistance Program that includes using the voucher towards buying a house, provided the individual completes Home Buyer Education workshops. Here’s the description of CDBG on the City of Tyler website, including eligible and ineligible activities. http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/NeighborhoodServices/CommunityDevelopment/CDBG.aspxCity of Tyler: Neighborhood Services, CDBG

Conclusion

As you can see, these HUD programs are relatives of infrastructure repair programs. My voucher keeps me from spending over half my SSDI (disability)check in rent. At least I have one more year. I can only earn $120/month and still keep Medicare D. My COPD has improved from severe to moderate in the past year, contrary to folk belief that we either get worse or stay the same. Let’s save these fine programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)or find alternatives. At least, Secretary Carson stated he’d look for assistance from local business and faith groups, as well as private industry. Efforts to help the poor would need to come from local sources more often. Neighborhood Services has always been a jewel for the City of Tyler.

Transit Annotated Link Page, by J.D. Meyer

Member: Consumer Advocates in Transportation (CAT)

for Texas State Independent Living Council (TXSILC)

  1. http://www.capmetro.org/transitbenefits/    Savings, Health, & Green Wins. Here’s a great persuasive document about why one should consider riding the bus.
  1. http://www.capmetro.org/csac/   Consumer Satisfaction Action Cmte.  “The Customer Satisfaction Advisory Committee (CSAC) is comprised of 9 members who regularly use transit, and are appointed by the Capital Metro board of directors upon recommendation of the Capital Metro Chief Executive Officer.” Austin, TX

 

  1. http://www.capmetro.org/aac/   Access Advisory Cmte.  “The Access Advisory Committee is appointed by the board of directors to provide guidance and advice on how to better serve riders with special needs, such as customers with disabilities, language barriers, or other challenges to the normal riding experience.” Austin, TX
  2. https://asunow.asu.edu/content/transit-oriented-development-helps-cities-ease-gas  “Transit Oriented Development Cities Ease Gas, from Arizona State University—an article in a series about sustainable cities. Features that lead to more bus-riding: (1) short blocks, (2) intersections that are easy to cross, (3) short distances between destinations, (4) well maintained sidewalks, (5) lighting and other safety features, & (6) an aesthetically pleasing environment. {Much more info in this article!}

 

  1. https://maps.bts.dot.gov/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8aa7d21846524c09a1fbf72d89e9b38dHere’s a map of participating transit agencies in a national map. Dallas and Austin are among the participators. Tyler hasn’t joined.

 

  1. http://www.capmetro.org/uploadedfiles/Capmetroorg/Schedules_and_Maps/System_Map.pdf Austin Bus & Rail Map & Schedule.

 

  1. http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12215879/jta-encourages-drivers-to-dump-the-pump-and-ride-public-transit Eleventh annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 16.The Jacksonville, FL Transit Authority is a multiple award winner.

 

  1. http://www.masstransitmag.com/article/12244552/election-2016-which-outcomes-should-transit-fans-cheer-for Election 2016: “Which outcomes Should Transit Fans Cheer For?” The positions of Clinton vs. Trump & Democrats vs. Republicans are listed.

 

  1. https://ioby.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Trip-Final-090914.pdf “5 Projects Any Community Can Do To Improve the Transit Experience in 5 Easy Steps.” (11 pages).

 

  1. https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/tyler-tx-transits-two-bus-hubs-why-it-works-in-a-rectangular-cityintroduction-to-riding-the-bus/ “Tyler, TX Transit’s Two Bus Hubs: Why It Works in a Rectangular City/Introduction to Riding the Bus,” by J.D. Meyer. This essay includes a link to the main Tyler Transit map. Most of Tyler is considered “south.”

 

  1. https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/frequent-tyler-tx-bus-rider-survey-by-joffre-jd-meyer-midtown-resident/ “Frequent Tyler, TX Bus Rider Survey for a Midtown (Hospital District) Resident,” by J.D. Meyer. This question and answer essay is designed to help people read the bus map in my neighborhood.

 

  1. https://bohemiotx.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/frequent-tyler-tx-bus-rider-survey-answers-for-a-northside-resident/ “Frequent Tyler, TX Bus Rider for a Northside Resident,” by J.D. Meyer. Same format as the survey for Midtown.

 

 

SOL Tuesday: Shopping at Family Dollar for a Low-Fat/Low-Sodium Cardiac Diet

I spent a half week at the East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) Cardiac floor for COPD & hypertension. I’m on disability for COPD and asthma. Usually, my blood pressure isn’t bad, but in it was in mid-September 2016. It was my first overnight stay in a hospital in five years. Previously, I’d assumed my diet was okay because I eat a balanced diet. I’m no carnivore, for I like grain, vegetables/fruits, and dairy. My diet is if I see food, I eat it. Recently, I’d become aware of anti-inflammatory foods to cope with my Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation Foods that Fight Inflammation

So I’ve been shopping with memories of the Cardiac Diet in my mind. Now, I check all foods for saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. I made sure I bought Mrs. Dash, the salt substitute, for starters. Texas Pete, a Louisiana type hot sauce, makes the cut with only 3% sodium per tsp. Texas Pete is the hot sauce for Church’s Chicken too.

Cheese was on the not-there list at the hospital. So I surveyed all the cheese at Family Dollar. Much to my amusement, the lowest fat/lowest sodium cheese is the cheapest generic cheese in Family Dollar! It’s simply called, Singles, an “imitation pasteurized process cheese food.” Saturated fat is 5% and sodium is 9% per slice, and the package has 16 slices for a mere $1.25! However, it didn’t melt well, so I’ve switched to Shredded Velveeta at 10% saturated fat, and it tastes way better.

Unfortunately, that delicious slab of generic dark chocolate is off-the-scale for saturated fat at 41%! Hershey’s with Almonds has a staggering 71% saturated fat for the day. But all is not lost, Family Dollar chocolate syrup has no saturated fat! Here’s a pleasant surprise. Snack-Pack Chocolate Caramel Pudding has only 8% saturated fat and 5% sodium per cup. Furthermore, a four cup package only costs $1 at Family Dollar.

My beloved Family Dollar Sweet & Salty Peanut Granola Bars are OK at 10% saturated fat and 7% sodium per bar. Those peanut granola bars are so good with beer! Another generic granola bar favorite is Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Chewy Bars. They’re a bit high in fat at 15% saturated fat, together with 7% sodium per bar. Snicker’s Ice Cream has only 15% saturated fat and 3% sodium for a half-cup–another mega-relief! I had to indulge myself on Halloween but within reason. So I bought a package of 6 “Fun-Size” Snickers bars. Two bars have 15% saturated fat and 3% sodium

Margaret Holmes Seasoned Collard Greens have 16% sodium per half cup, but a staggering 130% of your daily Vitamin A, and of course, no saturated fat. Family Dollar Diced Tomatoes have no fat and 8% sodium per half cup. Both are considered anti-inflammatory foods.

Dean’s Zesty Guacamole Dip from Brookshire’s–Tyler, Texas’s major grocery store– has 15% saturated fat and 8% sodium per 2 tbsp serving. Speaking of other favorite grocery stores, Granvita Ganola from La Michoacana only has 4% saturated fat and 1% sodium per serving. I also mix horchata (cinnamon rice milk powder) with low-fat milk from Meals-on-Wheels. Horchata only contains 3% saturated fat per 4 ounces, and I only need a tablespoon, as I mix the half-pint of milk with a half-pint of water. La Michoacana is the leading chain Mexican grocery store in Texas. Hey, sometimes I catch the bus instead of walking a block.

Sardines–my favorite seafood in a can–tomato, mustard, plain; which is the healthiest choice? Pampa Sardines in Tomato Sauce wins with 5% saturated fat, 11% sodium, and 15% cholesterol. Furthermore, a serving has 20% of daily Vitamin A. A 15 ounce sardines-&-tomatoes can has seven servings, and it’s only $1.75! Our sardines are a product of China that’s distributed by a Miami company. I love globalization. Alas, sardines in mustard sauce–my former favorite–finishes last in my health measures with 15% saturated fat, 17% sodium, and 20% cholesterol.

Peanut butter is a mandatory fixture in my pantry, so let’s check it out. Value Time Creamy Peanut Butter (a generic) has 15% sat. fat & 6% sodium in a 2 tbsp serving size. Total fat is far higher at 25%, not a common large gap between total fat and saturated fat. Gold Emblem Crunchy Peanut Butter has 12% sat. fat & 6% sodium per 2 tbsp serving size with 23% total fat. I bought my crunchy peanut butter at CVS Pharmacy. Did you hear CVS bought out Medicine Chest? Peanuts show a range of saturated fat/sodium, depending on the seasonings. Japanese peanuts win with only 11% saturated fat & 9% sodium. Honey peanuts contain 17% saturated fat and 5% sodium. Meanwhile, the two spicy peanuts clock in at 20% saturated fat & 15% sodium and 17% saturated fat and 14% sodium.

CONCLUSION: Hopefully, you liked my analysis of some key favorite foods–mostly from Family Dollar. I’m no health professional, just a disabled teacher. However, I’m certainly going to research what I eat from now on, and I seem to be improving. Furthermore, I can guarantee another revision with a sat.fat/sodium analysis of more food. I was glad to pass this article to a Family Dollar employee, who had some heart issues about a month before I got sick. Don’t you feel sorry for those who live in food deserts? Some apartment complexes in town aren’t close to any stores–let alone hospitals, pharmacy, and a pulmonology clinic. We’re really happy to have a dollar store–Family Dollar–in this neighborhood: Midtown (aka. Hospital District), Tyler, Texas.

Tiny Houses: Sequel to Northside Revitalization for Tyler 21—Annotated Link Page, by J.D. Meyer

The North End Revitalization document for Tyler 21 emphasized the significant amount of vacant land in North Tyler—residential and non-residential: 25% of parcels and 40% of land (including non-developable land) (pg. 72). Furthermore, “the current number of households and median household incomes in North Tyler are too low to attract national retail chains.” (pg. 64).

1.thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement What is the Tiny House Movement? Sustainability, save money, less clutter, freedom, travel & engage with community. Design tip: Drawers>closets. Spend time in one before buying.

  1. http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/news/the-top-5-states-for-tiny-homes_o The Top 5 States for Tiny Homes (CA, OR, TX, NC, & FL), by Katie Gloede. Rated on six categories: (1)Tiny Home Communities, (2) RV Parks Accepting Tiny Homes, (3) Permitting/Zoning Opportunities, (4) Tiny House Builders, (5) Tiny House Architects, and (6) Towns Specifically Welcoming Them.
  1. tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/227648/sellers-market-for-tiny-homes-in-smith-county “Sellers market for tiny homes in Smith County,” by Roy Maynard. 11-28-2015. Jason Campbell of Campbell Custom Homes. Model mini-house is 729 sq. ft. & $58, 420; metal exterior & wood panel interior. Slab-extra $4274. Median house as of October 2015, Smith County: $160K.
  1. tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/234003/tiny-homes-built-in-east-texas “Tiny homes built in East Texas,” by Andrea Martinez 4-9-2016. Andrew Pleban: American Tiny Homes in Longview, Founder. The 360 sq. ft. home in the photo is going to San Francisco.
  1. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+National/226403/think-you-want-a-tiny-house-heres-a-way-to-try-one-on-for-size “Think you want a tiny house? Here’s a way to try one on for size,” by Collin Brinkley (A.P.) 11-6-2015. Harvard’s Millennial Housing Lab started Getaway in Croydon, NH so people can temporarily stay in a 160-sq. ft. home. Jon Staff is the Founder &CEO.
  1. lpratthomes.com Pratt Homes. 310 SSE Loop 323; Tyler, Tx 75702. (903) 593-6300. Your Modular Home Builder: BBB A+, Tyler Chamber of Commerce, Tyler Area Builders Association. www.lpratthomes.com/tiny-houses/#View7houses-floorplans&pics www.lpratthomes.com/live-big-in-a-tiny-house  
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqoHpsz1Yss Legal vs. Illegal Tiny Houses Most are on wheels and don’t pass building codes. Ceiling height must be at least 6’8”. Steps with drawers no more than 8” riser. Over 2 steps, need railing. Zoning may prevent one from parking in a backyard. Utilities could be an issue. Minimum square feet for plot.

http://goingviralposts.biz/group-build-community-tiny-homes-homeless-veterans/20 feet from end to end, and 240 square feet. That is the extent of every house under development in Veterans Village – a task began by the Veterans Community Project in Kansas City, Missouri.

 9. http://la.curbed.com/2016/9/22/13020562/shipping-containers-homeless-housingOn a once vacant lot in Midway City, American Family Housing is building Potter’s Lane, a two-story apartment complex made entirely out of old shipping containers. When completed, Potter’s Lane will offer 16 units, each measuring 480 square feet.” Orange County, California.

Northside Revitalization, Tyler 21: Annotated Link Page (2nd Edition), By J.D. Meyer

  1. http://www.lisc.org Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Our Initiatives: (1) Affordable Housing, (2) Education, (3) Economic Development, (4) Financial Stability, (5) Health, (6) Safe Neighborhoods, (7) Community Leadership, and (8) Policy & Research.
  1. http://www.knowledgeplex.org The Affordable Housing & Community Development Research for Professionals Topics: (1) All Topics, (2) Affordable Housing, (3) Economic Revitalization, (4) Fair Housing, (5) Homelessness, (6) Homeownership & Mortgage Markets, (7) Land Use & Housing Planning, (8) Personal Finance & Asset Creation, (9) Public Housing, and (10) Social & Comprehensive Development.
  1. communityprogress.net Community Progress (Used to be National Vacant Properties Campaign) www.communityprogress.net/filebin/pdf/toolkit/NVPC_VacantPropertiesTrueCost.pdf The True Costs of Vacant Properties
  1. http://www.foodsecurity.org/primercfsuac Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security in the U.S.: Farming from the City Fringe to the Urban Fringe, by Katherine H. Brown, et al. 27 pages & 7 chapters.
  1. https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-economics-of-historic-preservation The Economics of Historic Preservation, by Randal Mason, 75 pages. The first ten readings in the annotated bibliography are the “best to initiate and inform a reader new to economic preservation issues” (pg. 29).
  1. https://segmentationsolutions.nielsen.com/mybestsegments/ Nielsen: My Best Segments Where Can I Find My Best Customers? Go to the third section on the right and enter the zip code you’re studying; North Tyler is 75702. https://segmentationsolutions.nielsen.com/mybestsegments/ The 68 PRIZM zip code clusters. They’re subdivided into three categories based on life stage and several social groups based on the urban to rural continuum.

Follow-Up to the 2015 Smith County 2015 Education Report, by JD Meyer

The Smith County 2015 Education Report by Tyler Partnership for Education http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/ was held on Tuesday, October 20 at the Rose Garden–starting with an address by Mayor Martin Heines. This unprecedented collaboration between various groups–including all local school districts–has the goal to increase post-secondary education credentials in this part of East Texas. Unfortunately, poverty reduces chances for success and Tyler, the county seat, and Chapel Hill are doing the worst for childhood poverty in Smith County. As a former teacher, who taught in all grades at least as a substitute, a Developmental English instructor at the college level for ten years, and an ESOL teacher of all ages, I’m in a unique position to share my observations. Most of this article analyzes the dominant occupation clusters of Smith County/Tyler, such as the College/Hospital industry, in an effort to find pathways to build the middle-class.

A Proposal for Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) Strategy #1

My initial reaction was to recycle my publication about Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) at the University of Texas at Austin from 2010 as a solution to Tyler’s Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) Strategy #1: Increase money generated per college student. The IE program has special popularity with minorities and first-generation college students. Moreover, Tyler has a branch of the University of Texas and a global education program–GATE. http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf As you’ll notice from the URL, my article found a home at the University of Toronto’s Creative Class website, directed by Dr. Richard and Rana Florida.

Apprenticeships: Not Just Degrees & Certifications

Post-secondary education isn’t limited to degrees or certifications; apprenticeships are a time-honored alternative. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an executive order in 2013 for state agencies to consider contractors that participate in accredited apprenticeship programs or hire in high-unemployment areas. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/marylands-procurement-process-aiming-to-create-more-stable-employment

Furthermore, I suspect most apprenticeships are more hands-on and shorter to complete than certifications and degrees, so teens from poverty may be more likely to complete them. Upon reading this article, Dr. Bich-May Nguyen, M.D. (and Harvard Master’s in Public Health Policy) messaged me through Twitter, “I think supporting apprenticeships can help some young adults into occupations that can’t be outsourced and without as much debt.”

The Education & Medicine (“Eds & Meds”) Economy: Colleges & Hospitals: Pros & Cons

Lately, I’ve been investigating the “Eds & Meds” (Education & Medicine) concept of economic development–the hallmark of Tyler, Texas. Sure enough, the results for this model are mixed, as it’s not a panacea, particularly in mid-sized cities without much research.

But let’s start on a positive note: the new physical therapy assistant program at Tyler Junior College. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/225926/tjc-offers-new-physical-therapy-assistant-courses “Texas is the second largest employer of physical therapy assistants in the nation. There is a large utilization of physical therapy assistants in the area and definitely job opportunity,” Dr. Christine Melius, TJC department chair and program director, said.

In “Where Eds and Meds Could Become a Liability,” by Richard Florida http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/11/where-reliance-eds-and-meds-industries-could-become-liability/7661/, Dr. Florida notes the rise of the MOOC on-line college courses, as well as cost-efficient big hospitals in larger cities being a draw for Wal-Mart as a place to send its sick employees.

In an earlier article, “Why Eds and Meds Alone Can’t Revitalize Cities,” http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/09/eds-and-meds-alone-cant-revitalize-cities/3292/ Richard Florida warns about the skyrocketing costs of health care and education. Furthermore, regions with larger population of the elderly have a greater demand for health care, so there are more health care occupations and less workforce in other productive activities. Isn’t Tyler a Senior Welcoming City? Dr. Florida cites Charlotta Mellander whose studies showed the fields associated with greater economic prosperity: (1) business and management, (2) science and technology, and (3) arts, design, media, and entertainment. Could this indicate that there are lots of CNA’s cleaning house for the elderly at minimum wage in some cities?

On the other hand, Dr. Florida points out big cities that can thrive with Eds & Meds: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston (biotech firms), and Houston–home of the world’s largest medical center. The shift to education and medicine was understandable with de-industrialization, suburbanization, and the aging American population.

Aaron M. Renn goes further on the downside in http://www.newgeography.com/content/003076-the-end-road-eds-and-meds “The End of the Road for Eds and Meds” by pointing out that hospitals are typically non-profits that don’t contribute to a city’s tax base while he also notes that college prices are spiraling upward out-of-control.

I saved the best “Eds and Meds” efforts for last! The Cleveland Foundation is an initiative that helps local residents “become owners of new businesses that serve a cluster of hospitals, universities, and cultural institutions on the city’s struggling East Side, including the famed Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.” The Cleveland Foundation collaborates with Ted Howard of Democracy Collaboration at the University of Maryland to create the Evergreen Cooperatives: (1) Cooperative Laundry (environmentally friendly), (2) Green City Grower Cooperatives (giant greenhouse for vegetables/fruit), and (3) Evergreen Energy Solutions (photo-voltaic panels and weathering improvements). https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/jay-walljasper-how-to-revive-low-income-neighborhoods/. I should recycle an article of mine on Urban Gardens (relevant to Cleveland #2), and it has lots of links https://www.academia.edu/1084754/Urban_Gardens Plus, I’m sentimental about this article because it began with my interview of a middle school teacher who was visiting a sick relative, also in intensive care like me. I had an extra bad COPD exacerbation before my Medicare/Medicaid era.

Furthermore, the University of Maryland Democracy Collaborative has developed the Anchor Dashboard http://community-wealth.org/content/anchor-dashboard-aligning-institutional-practice-meet-low-income-community-needs. It identifies twelve areas where anchor institutions can help low-income areas. Hospitals and universities spend more than $1 trillion/year and employ 8% of the population, but risk leading to “gentrification and subsequent displacement.” https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/a-guide-for-your-local-eds-and-meds-to-become-better-neighbors

Oil & Gas Production

However, let’s not oversimplify the Smith County economy as just “Eds & Meds,” for oil and gas production is a significant employer too, according to “Counties with Highest Concentration of Employment in Oil and Gas Extraction.” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/counties-with-highest-concentration-of-employment-in-oil-and-gas-extraction-june-2014.htm Only 21 states have counties with twice the location quotient (over 1), an industry’s share of employment in the oil/gas industry. Five of the ten biggest counties are in Texas. Washington County, Oklahoma is in first place with 139.8 while Upton County, Texas at 126.9 is in second place. Both Smith County, Texas and neighboring Gregg County (Longview–county seat) have a 5.1 quotient–solid if not spectacular.

Hospitality Industry (Restaurants & Hotels)

The hospitality industry–restaurants and hotels–is really strong in Tyler too. http://www.tylertexasonline.com/tyler-texas-hospitality-jobs.htm Restaurants seem to follow an “Eds & Meds” economy. Moreover, restaurants are getting more popular as a national trend. http://www.kltv.com/story/30311898/report-shows-americans-spending-more-at-restaurants-than-on-groceries#.VilW8SET4DA.facebook Fewer people know how to cook, and home economics courses have been discontinued, observes a chef at The Cork. Tom Mullins, Director of Tyler Economic Development Council, notes that restaurants do especially well in Tyler. Nationwide in the past year, restaurant sales have increased 8.5% while grocery sales have gone up only 2.8%.

When Tyler finally went damp in December 2012, the beer and wine sales helped the economy and many local businesses, while bringing and estimated $440,000/year in sales tax revenues. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/220812/beer-wine-sales-boon-to-tyler-bust-to-outlying-areas  Moreover, DWI charges plummeted 46% in two years with fewer people driving to Winona, Kilgore, and Coffee City. Tom Mullins observed that the new southermost shopping center–The Villages at Cumberland Park–probably wouldn’t have been built because the World Market is its anchor, a beer/wine seller. It was tougher to attract businesses and entrpreneurs to a dry city. Attracting conventions and conferences is also easier because special permits for a hospitality room are no longer required.

Few Tyler businesses, if any, hit the jackpot like Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q. Already highly regarded for its food, alcohol sales with live bands in a much larger building led to an increase in sales of 145% in 2013 over the previous year–a total of $2.5 million. Owner Nick Pencis was named the Small Business Association (SBA) Dallas-Fort Worth District Small Business Person of the Year in 2014 https://www.sba.gov/content/sba-dfw-district-office-announces-2014-small-business-award-winners

Home Construction

Tyler and Smith County is enjoying a home construction boom, despite the national dip, ever since 2008 when the economic recession ended, according to Tom Mullins—Director of Economic Development. Texas overall is issuing thousands more building permits than California and Florida. It’s a situation that brings in high-skill jobs. Prices for land and homes are less expensive as well. Nevertheless, there’s less development in local rural areas. http://www.kltv.com/story/28527392/home-construction-booming-in-e-texas .

“Demand is on the rise—especially for high-end homes ($300K +)–but housing inventory is dwindling, creating a tremendous opportunity for builders in East Texas.” The average new house in Tyler sells for $238K. The median days for a new house on the market is only 42 days, the lowest in 20 years and under half the ten-year median average of 90 days. http://blog.hbweekly.com/tyler-prepares-for-a-building-boom/. Thanks go to Wes Hart for alerting me to the home construction boom.

Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV): Improving in English through Cognates Awareness

On a more controversial note, I sent a summary of my research on Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary to some civic leaders. Spanish subtitles for Limited English Proficiency (LEP), aka. ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) children after elementary school is normally considered a damnable heresy in education–even though most secondary textbooks contain Spanish and English glossaries. Simply, the major roots of English are as follows: Informal-German, Technical-Latin, and Formal-French. The latter two are in the Romance languages with Spanish, so we could do a search for cognates with our students! This link branches into three, including the outline at my WordPress site. https://www.academia.edu/1744169/Bilingual_All-Level_Academic_Vocabulary If the newcomers have just learned how to ask where the cafeteria is located or lament, “Mr. Meyer is complaining again,” then they need cognate awareness for science and social studies. Just imagine, “inundacion” is the Spanish word for “flood,” and “inundated” is a really advanced English word! The booklet from the 2015 Smith County Education Report (pg. 13) observes that the Hispanic child population is larger than the total Hispanic population here (29% vs. 19%) while the Caucasian percentage is declining (60% vs. 48%) and African-Americans are remaining constant (18% vs. 19%).

College Student Retention

College readiness, retention, and completion are the thrust of the Smith County 2015 Report on Education. Catch the Next was one of three winners in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Academic Advising Challenge (2013). It’s “a non-profit organization focusing on college readiness and completion.” Catch the Next is based on the Puente Project of University of California at Berkeley–an interdisciplinary program–focusing on Language Arts, Counseling, Mentoring, and Professional Development. CTN has several partners in Texas–including four colleges and the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, a group affiliated with their Intellectual Entrepreneurship program! A staggering 83% of developmental education students complete their remedial classes with help from CTN. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-college-success-program-a-winner-in-gates-foundation-competition-for-educational-innovation-225263752.html

Conclusion

Well, I’ve written enough for now. We’ve examined the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program at University of Texas at Austin, some pros and cons about the “Eds and Meds” economy model, other Smith County industries (oil/gas, restaurants/hotels, home construction)and Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV), and the CTN retention program. By the way, I bet a major reason for Developmental English/Writing courses in community colleges and open-admissions colleges is the over-emphasis on literature in high school. Let’s end for now with my review for the Developmental English/Writing exit exam. It’s based on the actual THEA Practice Exam. https://www.academia.edu/18726274/THEA_Study_Guide_for_Developmental_English_Writing_Exit_Exam  Stay tuned.

References for Follow-Up to 2015 Smith County Education Report

1. http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/ Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education “Did you know that the single greatest indicator of economic prosperity and quality of life is the percentage of the population with a post-secondary credential or degree?”

2. http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf “Intellectual Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas: An Answer to Industry Growth Initiative Strategy #1: Higher Education Consortium,” by J.D. Meyer. Originally in The Daily You. June 15, 2010.

3. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/marylands-procurement-process-aiming-to-create-more-stable-employment “Maryland Procurement Gets More In Line With Stable, In-State Employment,” by Bill Bradley. Sept. 24, 2013.

4. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/225926/tjc-offers-new-physical-therapy-assistant-courses “TJC Offers New Physical Therapy Assistant Courses,” by Betty Waters. Oct. 27, 2015.

5. http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/11/where-reliance-eds-and-meds-industries-could-become-liability/7661/ “Where Reliance on ‘Eds and Meds’ Can Become a Liability,” by Dr. Richard Florida. Nov. 26, 2013.

6. http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/09/eds-and-meds-alone-cant-revitalize-cities/3292/ “Why Eds and Meds Alone Can’t Revitalize Cities,” by Dr. Richard Florida. Sept. 18, 2012.

7. http://www.newgeography.com/content/003076-the-end-road-eds-and-meds “The End of the Road for Eds and Meds,” by Aaron Penn. Sept. 9, 2012.

8. https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/jay-walljasper-how-to-revive-low-income-neighborhoods/ “Jay Walljasper: How to Revive Low-Income Neighborhoods,” by Jay Walljasper. April 9, 2014.

9. https://www.academia.edu/1084754/Urban_Gardens “Urban Gardens: Interview with Ray Cook–Middle School Science Teacher for Athens (TX)
ISD.,” by J.D. Meyer 14 Links. (Once at KLTV in your community).

10. http://community-wealth.org/content/anchor-dashboard-aligning-institutional-practice-meet-low-income-community-needs “The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low Income Community Needs,” by Steve Dubb, Sarah McKinley, & Ted Howard August 2013. 52-page PDF from the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland.

11. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/a-guide-for-your-local-eds-and-meds-to-become-better-neighbors “A Guide for Your Local Eds and Meds to Become Better Neighbors,” by Bill Bradley. Sept. 25, 2013.

12. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/counties-with-highest-concentration-of-employment-in-oil-and-gas-extraction-june-2014.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Counties with the Highest Concentration of Employment in Oil and Gas.” Jan. 9, 2015.

13. http://www.tylertexasonline.com/tyler-texas-hospitality-jobs.htm “Tyler Texas Jobs in the Hospitality Employment Sector.”

14. http://www.kltv.com/story/30311898/report-shows-americans-spending-more-at-restaurants-than-on-groceries#.VilW8SET4DA.facebook “Report shows Americans spending more at restaurants than on groceries,” by Kim Leoffer. Oct. 21, 2015.

15. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/220812/beer-wine-sales-boon-to-tyler-bust-to-outlying-areas “Beer, Wine Sales Boon to Tyler, Bust to Outlying Areas,” by Ron Maynard. June 15, 2015.

16. https://www.sba.gov/content/sba-dfw-district-office-announces-2014-small-business-award-winners “SBA Announces 2014 Small Business Award Winners,” by Ahmad Goree. April 20, 2014. {Nick Pencis, Owner of Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q: SBA Buisness Person of the Year for DFW District}.

17. http://www.kltv.com/story/28527392/home-construction-booming-in-e-texas “Home construction booming in E.Texas,”by Alex Osiadaez. March 16, 2015.

18. http://blog.hbweekly.com/tyler-prepares-for-a-building-boom/ “Tyler Prepares for a Building Boom,” by Wendy Wilkerson. May 19, 2015.

19. https://www.academia.edu/1744169/Bilingual_All-Level_Academic_Vocabulary “Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV),” by J.D. Meyer (Academia.edu link goes to 3 articles. WordPress outline article April 19, 2014).

20. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-college-success-program-a-winner-in-gates-foundation-competition-for-educational-innovation-225263752.html “Texas college success program a winner in Gates Foundation Competition for Educational Innovation,” by Maria Chavez. Sept. 25, 2013.

21. https://www.academia.edu/18726274/THEA_Study_Guide_for_Developmental_English_Writing_Exit_Exam “Study Guide for the Developmental English/Writing Exit Exam,” by JD Meyer )In copyrighted textbook 2008).

Tyler, TX Transit’s Two Bus Hubs: Why It Works in a Rectangular City/Introduction to Riding the Bus

The Tyler Transit changed to a two bus hub structure a few years ago for its five lines; four meet downtown (210 E. Oakwood ST) at the central offices/train museum, and three meet at the Bergfeld Shopping Center (9th & Roseland). Tyler, TX is a rectangular city with most of its territory considered to be South Tyler. These are the five Tyler bus lines: Red (north-south), Blue (west), Green (east), Yellow (southwest-southeast), and Purple (north-south with east jog to Hospital District, aka. Midtown). https://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/TylerTransit/MapandSchedules.aspx

The four bus lines at downtown are Red, Blue, Green, and Purple. Purple doesn’t go further north than downtown–unlike the other three. Thus, only three of the five bus lines run in small North Tyler: Red, Blue, and Green. The Red Line goes to the northern edge of the city. The three bus lines at Bergfeld Shopping Center–six to 13 minutes south of the Transit Depot–are Red, Yellow, and Purple. The Yellow Line doesn’t go further north than the Bergfeld Shopping Center. The Blue (west) and Green (east) Lines don’t meet at that southern hub. The Yellow Southwest goes to FRESH, an upscale branch of Brookshire’s Grocery Store. The Yellow Line Southeast goes to University of Texas at Tyler. The Green Line unites all three colleges: Texas College (north), Tyler Junior College (east-central), and UT-Tyler (far southeast).

The Red and Purple Lines usually run parallel to each other on Broadway–Tyler’s major street: a north-south street that runs its entire length. The Red Line’s southernmost point is the Carmike Shopping Center, while the Purple Line’s southernmost point is the new Cumberland Shopping Center in far south Tyler at the intersection of South Broadway and Loop 49. The Purple Line is the newest transit line in Tyler. It includes a twist to the east down E. Houston Street to S. Beckham–where the two hospitals are located–followed by a turn on E. 5th back towards the center of the city.

To conclude, the bus hub transit structure of Tyler, Texas makes sense because it’s a rectangular city with most of its land in the south. A circular city would benefit from one big hub in the center. I was motivated to write this article as a response to a friend’s nostalgia for the one bus hub era. Plus, you got to do something for the National Day on Writing, especially if you taught English!