Affordable Housing & Increased Interest in Downtown Revitalization in Tyler, Texas by J.D. Meyer

“Affordable housing in Tyler: What do you want to know?The Tyler Loop, an in-depth digital magazine, and the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler’s daily newspaper, are teaming up to help our community better understand a topic that’s on a lot of people’s minds.” My editorial will provide some answers to two of the five questions. “What does affordable housing in Tyler look like today? Where is it?” https://thetylerloop.com/what-do-you-want-to-know-about-affordable-housing-in-tyler-were-reporting-together-to-answer-your-questions/ Furthermore, I will address the “increased interest in downtown revitalization” too.

As a former teacher, who has a HUD-subsidized apartment, I feel compelled to provide information and maybe some commentary. Furthermore, I have been volunteering with the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) for several years, and their Housing Committee provides these findings. http://www.ethnn.org/housing.html

The WorldPopulationReview.com http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/tyler-tx-population/cites the census for its statistics on average income and rent. The Tyler Texas 2019 population estimate is 105,729. Tyler median household income is $46,463/year, and the median rent is $864/month. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/  Spending no more than 30% of your income on rent is acceptable; this figure is only 22.21% on rent. Yet the average earnings are only $31, 414/year. According to this figure, we spend an average of 33% on rent. Poverty is 20.21%.

Section 42 Internal Revenue Code makes apartments affordable through cooperation of private industry and the federal government. Even if I wasn’t on HUD, there’s a smaller discount for those looking for affordable apartments. My complex has the plaque on an office wall. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-Income_Housing_Tax_Credit

Here’s a list of 20 Low Income apartments in Tyler. Our listings include:
  1. HUD apartments
  2. Section 8 apartments
  3. Public Housing apartments
  4. Non-profit senior and family low income apartments
  5. Low income tax credit apartments (LIHTC)

https://www.lowincomehousing.us/TX/tyler.html

This should represent a good start for a study of affordable housing in Tyler. Tyler attracts a wide age range through its three colleges, and it is a senior welcoming city. Healthcare, with its two large hospitals and many different types of doctors, is the leading employment field of the city. https://livability.com/tx/tyler Cities like Tyler are nicknamed “Eds & Meds” economies.

Now let’s look at Downtown Tyler and the interest in continued revitalization. It began with the Heart of Tyler https://www.heartoftyler.org in 1987. It became a Main Street program in 1990. The Main Street 4-Point Approach is Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring, and Design. Tyler Center is Houston ST on the south, Beckham AV on the east, Palace on the west, and Bow on the north by https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/tyler/city-center.   This website analyzes the real estate situation. Nearly 1/3 of rental properties are small 2, 3, or 4 unit apartment buildings—higher than 95% of the USA. Median real estate price is $73, 655—less expensive than 90.5% of Texas. Rental price is $953/month, better than 81.7% of Texas. The majority of the Tyler Central population is low income—more than almost 94% of the USA! More people are moving to Downtown Tyler, as almost 98% didn’t live there five years ago. At 25.6%, the real estate vacancy is higher than 91.5% of the USA.  To conclude, Central Tyler should continue to draw in more residents.

This analysis of Downtown Revitalization could have focused on a variety of factors—such as the Art Gallery, restaurants, murals, etc. However, I chose to analyze who actually lives there and why you could move there too.

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

 

 

Xing Tan of Guizhou, China & his Plans for Tyler, TX: My Take for Assistance, 4th Edition—by J.D. Meyer

1. http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2102390/apple-build-massive-data-centre-chinas-new-hi-tech-hub-guizhou Apple built a data center in Guizhou’s capital city—a poor area in China!

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guizhou General info on Guizhou, China.

3. https://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2rgbt0/america-hongyun-city-international-enterprise-group-llc Xing Tan’s (aka. Zhixing Tan) concept of Hongyun City

4. Here’s my article that’s a response to the 2010 Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) in favor of starting a branch of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program at UT-Tyler. UT-Austin has had this consortium for decades. My article ended up at the University of Toronto’s Creative Class consortium, directed by Dr. Richard Florida.
http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf

5. http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/china/data/sistercities Nine Texas cities have Sister City relations with 12 Chinese cities. Laredo leads with three, & San Antonio has two. Fort Worth is Sister Cities with Guiyang in Guizhou province. Xing Tan is from Guizhou! ……….Check out East-West Medicine sites; many are in California.

6. http://www.chinatourguide.com/guizhou/index.html Norway & Guizhou, China started China’s first ecological museum. Lots of tea is grown in the province too.

7. http://emwcenter.com/ East Meets West Holistic Center Based in Los Angeles, the center treats depression & anxiety, weight management, stress, pain management, women’s health, and fertility. … Acupuncture, Mindfulness, and maybe Yoga are a slam dunk! Tyler has many of those types of medical facilities.

8. https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/25/how-universities-could-drive-more-innovative-research-to-market-and-share-in-the-profits/ A venture search fund model was developed at Stanford. This article was liked by UT-Tyler’s Graduate School after I posted it on Facebook!

9. http://www.forerunnercollege.com/en/Menus.aspx?id=22 Check out Guizhou Forerunner College and its corporate partners!
“GFC prides itself on partnering with a range of corporations and institutions. These partnerships aid to promote a rich learning environment for students. Businesses such as Marriott International, HTC, Lenovo, Baidu, Ecological Agriculture Co. Ltd, Red Cross Foundation and Chengdu Industrial College work closely with GFC students by providing material, job placement and internship opportunities.”
10. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2013/12/16/traditional-chinese-medicine-herbs/ Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Lung Cancer Approximately 133 Chinese herbs have been historically used to treat lung cancer. The herbs used most frequently for lung cancer tend to exhibit healing effects on the lungs and stimulating effects to the immune system. Here are the top 6.

11. http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2127841/how-one-chinas-poorest-provinces-morphing-world-class-hi-tech-hub More news on Guizhong Province becoming a hi-tech hub and experiencing the 2nd highest increase I GDP among China’s provinces.

12. https://www.jiangtea.com/green-tea/meitan-cuiya-guiding-yunwu/#.WrPacLgpXCc The green tea of Guizhou grows well because of the lack of air pollution in this Chinese province.

13. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/D432868.html Polyhedral bowl by Zhixing Tan of Zunyi City. Check out a patent by Zhixing Tan (aka. Xing Tan).

SOL18: Report on TX SILC Transportation Works Summit to ETHNN Transportation Cmte, Part 1 by JD Meyer

I attended the 2nd annual Transportation Works Summit in Waco, TX “Collaboration & Connectivity” on Thursday, January 25 through Friday, January 26th in Waco. Last year’s conference was in Austin, and the theme was “Identifying & Removing Barriers through Innovation.” Major topics included city transit, paratransit, Uber and Lyft, violation of parking for the handicapped, and sidewalk concerns. If there was less dependence on cars, there would be increased efficiency and safety because there would be fewer cars on the road.

The first speakers were from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Their topic was “Emerging Issues & Advances in Accessible Transportation.” Low-vision people can be helped through Smart Cane Assistive Navigation (SCAN). Pathway Solutions for wheelchairs examines sidewalk conditions and curb cuts. Carnegie Mellon developed smart phones with traffic signals.
Houston METRO has 12 routes with 2400 stops and aspires to have 9600 stops. Plus, they’re being funded by Google! Houston also has a paratransit feeder service pilot program. It serves an area within a ¾ mile area around fixed routes, as well as beyond the required area. Capital Metro of Austin’s grant application, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP IDEA), integrates transit and pedestrian planning. The technology is Open Source, so anyone can use it. San Antonio has a bunch of bond initiatives, including sidewalks.

The speaker hoped that someday sidewalks would be viewed as important as roads. Later we heard from Brian East, that sidewalks built after 1-27-92 must have curb ramps. Brian East works for Disability Rights Texas.
As for other states, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has a paratransit agreement with Uber and Lyft. Washington Metro Area has an on-demand paratransit that’s partly subsidized and allows service animals. Some places are experimenting with autonomous vehicles; that means they can drive themselves without a driver. Texas A&M has low-speed autonomous vehicles that are golf cart look-alikes for its giant campus. Automated Vehicle proving grounds are in seven Texas cities: Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Huston, and San Antonio.

Wheelchair passengers riding planes is a concern as a staggering 98% of them don’t travel by plane. However, more children would survive a plane wreck than a car wreck. Qstraint is the leader of wheelchair tie down services, and it’s passed a 20G crash test—doubled in eight years! Wheelchair test criteria examines if the rider would be thrown out of a plane, fall over on its side, be ripped away from the floor, and if the straps were adequate. Partnerships have developed between airlines, plane manufacturers, wheelchair manufacturers, and universities. Recall that Collaboration & Connectivity was the theme of the 2018 transportation summit.

At the Lunch Panel, we found out that Texas is a leader in accessible buildings. There have been efforts to move into rural areas with Uber and Lyft because the drivers would have their own vehicles. Public transport is stronger when cities are bigger. It’s expensive for transit to run paratransit.

Upon hearing that paratransit can be hampered by a lack of funds, when I returned to Tyler, I proposed that we look for the for-profit businesses that would have a vested interest in paratransit and get a tax deduction for donations! “Eds and Meds” place like East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) and UT Health-NE are the most obvious. But how about banks? Tyler has a bunch, and it could be really good public relations. Then a lawyer friend suggested looking for businesses that have a large percentage of employees using Tyler Transit as possible donors.

#SOL My New Apartment, by JD Meyer

I moved to a new and improved apartment at the start of February 2018. It’s my fourth neighborhood in Tyler: South, North, East-Central (Midtown/Hospital District), and now Southeast. My new place is almost double the size of my previous efficiency! It’s a one-bedroom with a dining room, dishwasher, and balcony.

I still receive a HUD discount and received a lot of help from Neighborhood Services when I was trying to move. I’m a retired teacher on SSDI with COPD among other issues. My major teaching fields were Developmental English/Writing, the pre-College Composition remedial education course, and ESOL. I at least subbed in all grades from PK-12.

Choosing a good location isn’t easy–especially if you ride the bus or walk and no longer drive. For example, there are a couple of apartment complexes in Far North Tyler that are on the other side of a river and a few miles away from any stores. Another time, I hiked a couple of blocks east to find an apartment complex that cost less than average but nowhere near a HUD discount. Now I live close to a giant WalMart and a few convenience stores with plenty of beer. I’m close to a bus stop, though not as many as before.

Importantly, I’m quite near East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN)–the non-profit organization where I’ve volunteered for several years. We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, and Transportation. Transportation has been my major focus, but I’ve also gone to Education and Healthcare meetings too. I’ve organized Tyler Transit field trips with lunch for each of the five lines–going to both malls, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. Now I’m going to more meetings than ever and doing more research too. They helped me with the move financially, and a neighbor non-profit donated some wide metal file cabinets to me! All this excitement occurred a week after my all-expense paid trip to Waco for my second Transportation Works conference for Texas Society of Independent Living Councils (TX SILC). Last year, my Cigna representative nominated me as a Consumer Advocate for Transportation(CAT), one of 30 in Texas and the only CAT in Tyler. Our Transportation conference was in Austin last year.

I just called the two Neighborhood Services ladies, and they got my note under one of their department’s cars that was in my complex’s parking lot a week or so ago. I went two weeks without TV, phone, and Internet. Glad to have seen a rerun of the Super Bowl last Sunday night. I’ll return after some more breakfast–anew invention–guacamole dip with cold collard greens, chopped onions, pickled cactus (nopalitos), minced garlic, cilantro, and spices. I’ve been more creative lately.

Just did some editing after the Healthcare Committee meeting; last Tuesday was the Education Committee meeting and next Tuesday is the Transportation Committee meeting. I’ve revived my Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV) project, as well as publicizing the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) consortium at UT-Austin again. Much of my motivation, besides the kindness of my movers, is the UT-Tyler President’s plans for university improvement and the upcoming arrival of Chinese businessman, who wants to build condominiums, bring exchange students and retirees, and research East-West medicine. Earlier in the week, I sent my article on the personality type-major-vocation choice link to the UT-Tyler Faculty Senate President. That was my answer to improving the graduation rate.

Hopefully next Tuesday, I’ll describe some of my interior decorating moves–such as hubcaps and a bar stool look great on a balcony. Plus, my review of the Transportation Works conference in Waco will be due. Do you think for-profit businesses with a vested interest in the senior population would donate to local transit to help finance a struggling paratransit service for tax deductions?

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 (2nd Edition)

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 Later at the annual Northeast Texas Community Health Worker (CHW) Coalition conference in July 2019, we heard that grocery store tours–including how to shop at a dollar store–are available in some sectors. That lecture was “Meeting your clients where they are to promote healthy changes,” by Ardis Reed.

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 tried Shredded Velveeta at 10% saturated fat, and it tastes way better. Then I found delicious, generic shredded Mexican 4 Cheese Blend with a comparable low-level of saturated fat; the four cheeses are Monterrey Jack, cheddar, asadero,and queso quesadilla. But the winner of the low saturated fat award for cheese goes to Family Dollar’s Salsa con Queso with only 4% saturated fat in a 2 tablespoon serving. Plus it’s ready for dipping whether you heat it or not.

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 Developmental English and ESOL (mostly)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. Moreover, I no longer buy generic CoQ10 at the dollar store, but get the CVS Pharmacy choices– such as gummies and Qunol CoQ10. 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. Technically, most would consider a grocery store to be a far more valid dodge of food desert classification than a mere dollar store. But a dollar store is way better than nothing or mere snacks at a gas station.

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.

 

 8. 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 (3rd Edition), By J.D. Meyer…….9-4-19

  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. https://www.communityprogress.net/ Community Progress https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-34 Vacant Properties:Growing Number Increases Communities’ Costs and Challenges
  1. http://foodsecurity.org/committees/ Active committees are Community Economic Development, Food & Faith, International Links, Policy, & Urban Agriculture.
  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. http://kantarmedia.srds.com/common/pdf/claritas360/ClaritasPRIZMPremierSegmentNarratives.pdf Claritas PRIZM Premier Segment Narratives 2018. The 68 PRIZM zip code clusters are subdivided into three categories based on life stage and several social groups based on the urban to rural continuum. https://claritas360.claritas.com/mybestsegments/#zipLookup Here are the five most common clusters for 75702 North Tyler. View by lifestage and social group. The zip code is also clustered by household income, household population, population by age, & population by race & ethnicity.