COAH dead – but is there any alternative?

From NJ Spotlight:


Declaring New Jersey’s affordable housing process “nonfunctioning,” the state Supreme Court on Tuesday removed from the executive branch jurisdiction over low- and moderate-income housing and sent it back to the courts, giving a clear victory to housing advocates.

This significant order comes 40 years after the court’s first decision establishing the so-called Mount Laurel doctrine, which holds that municipalities must provide their “fair share” of affordable housing, and in some ways turns back the clock to that time period, when individuals, developers, and advocates had to sue to prevent municipalities from blocking this type of housing through zoning laws.

Unless, that is, either the Council on Affordable Housing, which by law is supposed to set housing obligations and approve municipal plans for meeting those obligations, takes action or Gov. Chris Christie and the Legislature can agree to new rules. Several sources said yesterday that neither of those is likely, at least for a while.

“I wouldn’t expect the governor to act in any way that is productive,” said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and sponsor of a COAH reform bill that Christie vetoed in January 2011. He said he will begin working with other lawmakers on a new housing bill, using the one Christie vetoed as a template.

Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts, in a statement, said the governor wants to fix the process: “Today’s decision is a call to action to finally finish the job of reforming our affordable housing system so that it is no longer a costly burden to the people of New Jersey and actually encourages sound development.”

The “Supreme Court ruling stripping COAH of its power in the affordable-housing process and transferring it back to the courts is a sad, but necessary, day for New Jersey,” said Peter Reinhart, director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University and a 1993-2004 COAH member. “Since 2004, the process for providing affordable-housing opportunities has been mired in the failure of COAH to abide by the constitutional requirements and the delays caused by litigation in attempting to force COAH to act properly. Today’s decision will result in more litigation, but this time the judicial decisions on a town-by-town basis will result in enforceable plans to create affordable housing.”

And if municipalities do not comply, they could be forced to allow more housing units at greater density under the “builder’s remedy“ the Supreme Court allowed under its second Mount Laurel ruling.

This entry was posted in New Development, New Jersey Real Estate, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to COAH dead – but is there any alternative?

  1. funnelcloud says:

    Morning NJ

  2. Comrade Nom Deplume, The anon-tidote says:

    Housing could become to NJ what busing was to Boston in the 70’s

  3. grim says:

    I’ve always thought that a good strategy for speculation during the bust would have been to buy distressed commercial and industrial properties (not houses) in the towns with the highest numbers of unbuilt COAH unit obligations. It would have been a very risky strategy, but obviously one that at this point would be looking like a serious payday.

  4. Comrade Nom Deplume, The anon-tidote says:

    This issue isn’t in my wheelhouse, and I have no dog in this fight, but I think that it will make for some political strange bedfellows in the future. I can easily see the housing activists and the environmentalists at odds here.

  5. anon (the good one) says:


    Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver:
    “Apple Watch connects me to the future. My watch connects me to history, to eternity.”

  6. chicagofinance says:

    anon connects me with liquified feces

  7. chicagofinance says:

    “Last year National Journal reported that Netflix was “relishing” its role as the lead lobbyist for net neutrality, “not only advocating a position that would protect its profits,” but “also earning goodwill from web activists and liberals.” Today Netflix is a poster child for crony capitalism.”

    Netflix Recants on Obamanet

    Proponents of net neutrality appear to be experiencing lobbyists’ remorse.


    Corporate executives choose their words carefully at investor conferences hosted by the large investment banks, and analysts listen closely to decide whether to drive share prices up or down. Presentations are preceded by required securities-law disclosures, heightening the pressure to speak only carefully considered thoughts.

    With that in mind, consider what David Wells, chief financial officer of Netflix , said last week at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. He disclosed that Netflix, one of the few companies that advocated the most extreme form of Internet regulation, had lobbyist’s remorse only a week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to replace the open Internet with Obamanet.

    “Were we pleased it pushed to Title II?” Mr. Wells said to investors. “Probably not. We were hoping there might be a nonregulated solution.”

    Title II is the part of the Communications Act of 1934 that bureaucrats used to exert near-total control over the AT&T telephone monopoly. The FCC recently did President Obama’s bidding by voting to impose that micromanagement on the Internet. The FCC will decide what prices and other terms online are “just and reasonable.” The agency added a new “general conduct” catchall provision giving itself oversight of Internet content and business models.

    Netflix PR handlers claimed that Mr. Wells was just “trying to convey how our position had evolved.” But the company’s actions support Mr. Wells’s words. Last week, Netflix violated a core tenet of net neutrality when it launched its service in Australia as part of a “zero rating” offering by broadband providers, which excludes its video from data caps. Net neutrality advocates want to outlaw such deals. Netflix shrugged off this objection: “We won’t put our service or our members at a disadvantage.”

    Last year National Journal reported that Netflix was “relishing” its role as the lead lobbyist for net neutrality, “not only advocating a position that would protect its profits,” but “also earning goodwill from web activists and liberals.”

    Today Netflix is a poster child for crony capitalism. When CEO Reed Hastings lobbied for Internet regulations, all he apparently really wanted was for regulators to tilt the scales in his direction with service providers. Or as Geoffrey Manne of the International Center for Law and Economics put it in Wired: “Did we really just enact 300 pages of legally questionable, enormously costly, transformative rules just to help Netflix in a trivial commercial spat?”

    Opinion Journal Video

    Assistant Editorial Page Editor James Freeman on how prominent backers of the FCC’s plan to regulate the Internet admit they don’t understand the issue. Photo credit: Associated Press.
    Ironically, Netflix could end up the biggest loser with a regulated Internet. The FCC did not stop at claiming power to regulate broadband providers. It will also review the interconnection agreements and network tools that allow the smooth functioning of the Internet—including delivery of Netflix videos, which take up one-third of broadband nationwide at peak times.

    Net-neutrality advocates oppose “fast lanes” on the Internet, arguing they put startups at a disadvantage. Netflix could not operate without fast lanes and even built its own content-delivery network to reduce costs and improve quality. This approach will now be subject to the “just and reasonable” test. The FCC could force Netflix to open its proprietary delivery network to competitors and pay broadband providers a “fair” price for its share of usage.

    There’s no need for the FCC to override the free-market agreements that make the Internet work so well. Fast lanes like Netflix’s saved the Internet from being overwhelmed, and there is nothing wrong with the “zero cap” approach Netflix is using in Australia. Consumers benefit from lower-priced services.

    The FCC still hasn’t made public its 300-plus pages of new regulations, but there is increasing opposition against changing the Internet as we know it. Last week John Perry Barlow, the Grateful Dead lyricist-turned-Internet-evangelist, participated in a conference call of Internet pioneers opposed to the FCC treating the Internet as a utility. He called the regulatory step “singular arrogance.”

    In 1996 Mr. Barlow’s “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” helped inspire a bipartisan consensus for the open Internet: “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”

    The permissionless Internet succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations, becoming an unmatched outlet for creativity and innovation. Mr. Obama has defied the bipartisan consensus that made this possible. Unless Congress or the courts intervene, the future of the Internet will look like the past, when bureaucrats and lawyers, not visionaries and entrepreneurs, were in charge.

  8. Libturd in Union says:

    iWatch will be a ton of hype, followed by huge initial sales, followed by a drop off in sales to near zero once all of the flaws are revealed. This time next year it will about as popular as the Newton was.

  9. Libturd in Union says:

    In other news, making the drive up to Lake Placid tonight. Anyone know a good place for dinner off the throughway around Albany? Preferably with good salads?

  10. Ragnar says:

    you will take anon’s apple toys away only by prying him off Steve Jobs’ cold dead dick

  11. JJ says:

    Dont know any salads, but just pull over on one of those deserted reststops with payphones and you will find plenty of fruits

    Libturd in Union says:
    March 11, 2015 at 9:24 am
    In other news, making the drive up to Lake Placid tonight. Anyone know a good place for dinner off the throughway around Albany? Preferably with good salads?

  12. jcer says:

    Apple watch fail, not waterproof and not a long enough battery life, otherwise they’d sell a bunch. I like apple products but am not blind to the fact that they could literally put dog feces in a box and people like anon would buy it at $299.

  13. jcer says:

    Apple watch will promptly be followed by apple watch 2.0 that slowly fixes the complaints. It is all part of the apple strategy and it is brilliant they took a long time with phones to get to the big screen and add features others had years ago, it was all a ploy to sell smartphones to you every year….much like non replaceable batteries that go bad in 13 months…. Apple is a decent tech company but is above all else very good at making money.

  14. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Fully expect lines around the block for the first month or so. I remember when Crispy Crème opened up at the WTC, people acted liked they never had a donut before.

    Chick-fil-A is on the way

    Chick-fil-A, the popular fried-chicken fast food restaurant, is set to open its first ever free-standing New York City franchise at 1000 Sixth Avenue in Midtown.

    The new three-story outpost at the corner of 37th Street will span 5,000 square feet and boast 10 registers, more than at any other Chick-fil-A location. Though the eatery has never had a free-standing location in New York City before, it does operate a small outpost in a New York University facility. The next closest location is in Paramus, N.J., according to Crain’s.

    “We are beyond excited about opening our first freestanding restaurant in New York,” said Carrie Kurlander, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of public relations. “This location will allow us to serve fans who have been asking us to come to New York and to earn the opportunity to serve new customers.”

    Chick-fil-A has attracted media attention in the past for some of its unusual policies, such as being closed on Sundays, and for CEO Dan Cathy’s outspoken views against same-sex marriage. Cathy has since said that he will choose not to mix his personal feelings on social issues with business. The new location will, like all other locations, be closed on Sundays.

    The buiding is owned by the Cohen family, which was represented by Jack Terzi of JTRE Holdings. Chick-fil-a was represented by Jeremy Ezra of RKF. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann

  15. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Note to self, next time I’m in China check of how long it took to build the building. Seems like a disaster in the making.
    Time-Lapse Video: China Builds A 57-Floor Skyscraper In 19 Days!

    Sploid reader Xian Min Zhang sent us the latest time-lapse video of the construction of his latest building: A 57-floor 2-million-square-foot (180,000-square-meter) skyscraper fully built with energy-efficient, factory-produced Lego-like blocks. He claims that they are now building these at a record three floors per day!‘

  16. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Fast Eddie. Maybe you should also be writing a nice note to the owner when submitting your bid. I wonder how the NYT picks the city they choose to write about?
    Glen Rock, N.J.: Walkable, With Diverse Housing

    As has been the case with increasing frequency in Glen Rock, Ms. Kabnick found herself competing with three others for the 100-year-old house. Asked to submit her best offer, she came out the victor with a bid of $617,000, though she thinks it was the letter she wrote to the previous owners that clinched it.

    “I explained what I loved most about the house — the doggy door that would be perfect for my dog Addie, the soaking tub, the Craftsman style — and that I was looking forward to being able to enjoy the neighborhood. I guess it worked,” said Ms. Kabnick, a 42-year-old clinical consultant. She moved into her new home in October.

  17. Lib the log jam off of exit 20 on the northway. The Montcalm is right there to. I like taste of Poland in Lake Geworge but they are probably closed for the season.

    When you are outside of Lake Placid hit the Hungry Trout by Whiteface

    and The Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood brew pub, bring a growler home with you if you can :)

    Hockey toourney for gator junior?

  18. Log jam is only an hour past albany and well worth it, the rest of the way is a wasteland of Fridays and Caracker Barrels

  19. JJ says:

    Is Log Jam a Gay bar?

    I recall back in the 1980’s I used to take the 59th street bridge to city to go drinking on weekends (too cheap for tunnel or pay for train), there was a gay bar in at the time seed Long Island City called “Ye Old Log Inn” it actually had a log sticking our of sign like a giant dick. Funny as all heck.

  20. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [9];

    Can’t help for the immediate vicinity of Albany, but I’ve been a fan of Star Diner, Thruway Exit 20 – Saugerties. Standard NY-metro diner fare. Right at the foot of the off ramp, EZ-off/EZ-on as they say. If you make it to Lake George area (Queensbury) before stopping for dinner, I’ve eaten at Ambrosia Diner, to the right at Exit 19 off the Northway; and the Silo, a country store/restaurant (a la Cracker Barrel) just a bit farther right, same exit.

    I shouldn’t have to tell you you’re NOT going to find anything resembling a good salad at any of the rest stops.

  21. Anon E. Moose says:

    FKA [14];

    Poor decision by franchisee. The place will be a magnet for every maggot-infested left-wing trustafarian crackpot coven of 5 that calls itself a movement trying to get themselves arrested for “Fighting the Chicken… uh, Power”.

  22. Fast Eddie says:

    FKA 2010 Buyer [16],

    I’m done. I’m staying where I am. I do really feel sorry for first time buyers, though. The amount of financial burden they are taking on just for a POS house is stunning! How they can invest and pad a 401K while paying college loans, kids and maintenance on a house is dizzying!

  23. 1987 Condo says:

    #22..and drive (lease) high end cars….just got my 2001 Siena van reinspected..good through 2017!

  24. 1987 Condo says:

    I ran some numbers last night, Since buying my house in 1993 and paying off in 2013:

    Purchase: $195,000
    Additions/Renos: $200,000
    Interest: $125,000
    Property tax: $149,000

    Assuming, my house is worth $400,000, I have paid $275,000 for 22 years or about $1041 per month. 4br/3bath, 2000 sq feet, quarter acre, 1 car garage.

  25. anon (the good one) says:

    Iran hardliners are looking for ways to blame the West for talks breaking down. 47 Republicans in Senate trying to help.

  26. anon (the good one) says:

    “Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the letter a “propaganda ploy” and derided Republicans for failing to understand international and US law. Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith notes that Zarif has a valid point: the letter incorrectly states that the Senate has the power to ratify treaties, which it does not – a fact stated even on the Senate’s own website.”

  27. POS cape says:


    Wolf Rd. exit off the northway in Albany has lots of restaurants but mostly chains. Good thing is the road ends back on the thruway so ez on/off.

  28. Libturd in Union says:

    Thanks for all of the advice. I did the chains off Wolf Road in the past and they are always packed and typically crappy. Been to the Star before (on way to Hunter) and that’s a pretty good call. And yes, Jr. has a hockey tournament. We will be putting “the D” on skates for the first time too. He’s 27 months…it’s time. Will report back to you all from the road.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume, the anon-tidote says:

    [26] a-wrong,

    Technically, the professor is correct but it is, as we say in law school, a distinction without a difference.

    “The Senate does not ratify treaties—the Senate approves or rejects a resolution of ratification. If the resolution passes, then ratification takes place when the instruments of ratification are formally exchanged between the United States and the foreign power(s).”

    Soooo, the Senate can approve or reject a treaty, and over time, this process has taken the name of the instrument. But rather than educate the reader, the professor engages in some unprofessorial conduct by suggesting the Senator is wrong about who can approve a treaty.

    Aside from that semantic issue, I don’t see anything incorrect in the statement that an agreement based solely on executive action doesn’t bind the United States and can be undone by a future president, even a democrat. It does not rise to the level of a treaty.

    But keep being entranced by shiny objects.

  30. Ragnar says:

    Looks like Iran is much more skillful at the good cop bad cop scam than the US. If Oblamer was really interested in striking a genuinely tough deal with Iran, he should be privately thanking Israel and the Senate Republicans for playing their bad cop role so well. But libturds poop their pants again for someone in our own country “dissing” their dear leader (though they mostly have empathy for when foreigners piss all over Americans).

    What sophisticated diplomats don’t understand is that the religious nuts are 1000 times more primitive and evil than the “bible thumpers” they disdain in our own American south, and the end-game for folks like Iran, Al Queda, ISIS, etc., is to kill people in their quest to establish the global dominance of their religion.

    What I’ve noticed about Obama stylistically is that he only raises his voice and makes speeches to condemn other American citizens. Drive a gas guzzling SUV, make a lot of money while “only” paying 40% federal income taxes. Obama’s ready to preach to his choir about you, with his preacher-man emotional voice. But if you are a foreign Islamic terrorist or rogue state – Obama uses his “calm” voice, showing what a big boy he is, a sophisticated helmsman of the state. This is the contrast that Giuliani and I can hear – a scolding angry tome reserved for all sorts of productive, patriotic Americans from Obama, and cool tones for explicit enemies of America.

  31. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Eddie, this is the point that you are missing. People make money to spend it, not save it. Unless you are upper middle class or higher, you really should not be saving a ton of money. You should be spending it. If the costs of living were cheap and everyone was able to be rich, who the hell would work? It’s no coincidence that the places where people make the most money also have the highest cost of living. It’s supposed to be that way. An efficient economy doesn’t involve a ton of rich people that do not need to work and can live off their money for generations. That would destroy the economy. So try to understand that the system is built on spending money, not saving it. If everyone saved their money, no one would have a job.

    Fast Eddie says:
    March 11, 2015 at 10:47 am
    FKA 2010 Buyer [16],

    I’m done. I’m staying where I am. I do really feel sorry for first time buyers, though. The amount of financial burden they are taking on just for a POS house is stunning! How they can invest and pad a 401K while paying college loans, kids and maintenance on a house is dizzying!

  32. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    This is nothing. Remember the time the Dems wrote a letter to Saddam when Bush was in office? Or when the Repubs sent a letter to Kim Sung to stop North Korea from getting nuclear weapons when Clinton was in office? Me neither.

    The letter by the 47 was rather ballsy. Wonder if this letter will be bought up during the Presidential debates.

    The funny thing is Iran is willing to mediate talks between the Republicans and the WH.

  33. Fast Eddie says:


    I appreciate your satire.

    What are the other handle names that you use to post here?

  34. ccb223 says:

    The letter is absurd. Unprecedented and unproductive. Republicans are a joke. They’ll continue to need Pelosi to get anything done as they can’t get their own house in order.

    Democrats not much better.

  35. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Michael or Pumpkin. I’m just stating the truth. Not everyone can be rich. Some people must live pay check to pay check, just the nature of the beast. Why do you think the elite try to hold the lower classes down? If too many people move up, who will do all the work for them?

    Fast Eddie says:
    March 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I appreciate your satire.

    What are the other handle names that you use to post here?

  36. Fast Eddie says:

    lol! Sure! Whatever you say. :)

  37. Anon E. Moose says:

    ccb223 [34];

    The letter is absurd. Unprecedented and unproductive. Republicans are a joke. They’ll continue to need Pelosi to get anything done as they can’t get their own house in order.

    Except of course for the seven times in modern history that Democrats have gone around a sitting president of the opposing party to communicate with hostile foreign leaders?

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    [29] errata

    Because I’ve forgotten more Con law than anon knows, I decided to read Prof Goldsmiths diatribes for myself. And I was enlightened.

    No, not because I found anything that I didn’t know before, it’s just that I ascribed a motive to Prof. Goldsmith that wasn’t there. He recognized, as I did, that the language was a mere technicality. He further acknowledged that the rest of the letter it was factually and legally correct. The president is entering into a nonbinding agreement.

    My error was that I ascribed a motive to Prof. Goldsmith that he didn’t project. Rather that motive was projected by the tweeter and by anon. It was they, not the professor, who was attempting to put something out of context.

    For what it’s worth, one should read Prof. goldsmiths later posts on this issue. In it, he points out that the error really belongs to the Iranians in so far as they misinterpret international law and the context of the letter.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    [37] moose,

    What is even more egregious is the fact that some of the anon-types out there have floated a petition to have the 47 tried for treason. This is, of course, a joke. The elements for a charge of treason are simply not there.

    No, the true egregious nature of this can be found in some of the examples listed in your link. If you examine the actions of some of our senators and congressmen on the left who have gone to foreign leaders, and actively attempted to support the sitting administration, while I don’t think it lays out a full case for treason, some of the elements of a charge for treason are met by their actions.

    At a minimum, going to foreign leaders to applaud their actions against our country certainly sounds more like giving aid and comfort to the enemy than does a letter warning a regime that the current president does not have the authority to enter into a binding agreement.

    But then that distinction would be lost on anon or CCB, mostly because it doesn’t fit their views.

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    Support s/b thwart

    Voice recognition isn’t liking me today.

  41. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [37] Anon Moose

    I stand corrected. Although a letter by 47 people feels different than 1 or 2 people doing the same thing. It’s taking it to a different level of contempt.

    [39] Comrade

    Not sure the average Joe cares that much about Constitutional Law outside of the 1st and 2nd Amendments. And even then, only when it suits their purpose. So whichever side has the best spin doctor(s) will win this argument.

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    [41] fka

    Win the argument? Where, the Court of Public Opinion?

    Do you really want that to be your court of last resort? All controversies decided by whichever side screams louder?

  43. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    [41] fKA

    “I stand corrected. Although a letter by 47 people feels different than 1 or 2 people doing the same thing. It’s taking it to a different level of contempt”

    Yes, a lower level. Because it isn’t the same thing, and the number of actors doesn’t define the act.

    Please tell me you’re being obtuse on purpose.

  44. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [42] Comrade

    If you are running for office, yes the Court of Public Opinion matters. The mere fact that its being discussed proves that its relevant from a political talking point. Just like Romney’s comment on the 47% paying not taxes stuck in the minds of voters.

    Having said that, [political] talking points and public opinions are irrelevant in a courtroom.

  45. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    In other news . . .

    I was expecting this. Mass resignations of officials who, if they aren’t replaced anyway, aren’t going to want these jobs any more. This way, they keep their pensions and skate on to better things. . . .

    . . . leaving the mess for the taxpayers and citizens of the city, and eventually the county and state, when the place becomes a sh1thole and has to be bailed out.

    This is just the next, predictable, step in the Detroitification of that area of Missouri.

  46. chicagofinance says:

    Boystown in Chicago has THE CLOSET and THE MANHOLE next to each other….

    JJ says:
    March 11, 2015 at 10:20 am
    Is Log Jam a Gay bar?

    I recall back in the 1980′s I used to take the 59th street bridge to city to go drinking on weekends (too cheap for tunnel or pay for train), there was a gay bar in at the time seed Long Island City called “Ye Old Log Inn” it actually had a log sticking our of sign like a giant dick. Funny as all heck.

  47. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [42] Comrade

    Just did a cursory search and see arguments FOR this letter being a violation of the [1799 Logan Act]. In addition to the technical incorrectness of the letter in regards to “ratification” as you pointed out. Saw the counter arguments that state that the [1799 Logan Act] is desuetude as well protections under the 1st and 5th Amendment. So there are arguments on both sides.

    Nevertheless, pursuing this in court isn’t practical and the political obstacles would be problematic. The WH could have some fun a subcommittee convened to look into it but for now, public opinion for what its (not) worth will make a ruling.

  48. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [48] FKA

    Well, a WH petition on We The People crossed the threshold for requiring a response under their own rules. Now the administration has committed itself to answering whether or not they think there is (a) a Logan Act violation, or (b) an act of treason.

    I’ll be interested to see the response.

    Oh, and this is a pretty good summary. You be the judge (and I mean judge): Do the actions of senators in this context violate the Logan Act? Should the prior cases have been prosecuted?

  49. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [48] fka

    “The WH could have some fun a subcommittee convened to look into it”

    I don’t know how that would work. A subcommittee of what?

    And if Holder decided to get involved, there are gnarly questions of why prior cases weren’t prosecuted and whether this looks to be political retribution.

    We are undoubtedly headed toward a shooting war in my lifetime. Not in Iran, here. I predict it will start in Arizona.

  50. chicagofinance says:

    Alcoholic Beverages (clot Edition):
    New ideas include trying to brew beer from purified sewage water, composting bodies


    March 11, 2015 5:38 p.m. ET
    Garden-variety plastic bag and bottle bans or now-ubiquitous electronics and pharmaceuticals recycling efforts are old news. In Portland’s suburbs, a plan is brewing to craft boutique beer from purified sewage water.

    In San Francisco, thirsty residents are being asked to BYOB to a growing network of “hydration stations” where they can fill water bottles. And in Seattle, garbage haulers also serve as compost cops, slapping red tags on bins containing too much compostable material—banana peels, soggy salads, coffee grounds—a scarlet letter for sustainability sinners.

    Then there is perhaps the most extreme recycling notion yet: The Urban Death Project. Proposed by Katrina Spade, a Seattle designer and “climate fellow” with the nonprofit Echoing Green, it would allow the deceased to go to their eternal rest as compost themselves.

    Creative stabs at sustainability pop up regularly across the U.S., from cigarette-butt recycling bins in New Orleans to a Gilbert, Ariz., company that recycles bras. Cities increasingly pick through ways to divert trash from landfills.

    Since Jan. 1, new restrictions on how Seattleites must sort their trash have led to the issuing of more than 5,200 red tags, warning composting miscreants of the errors of their waste.

    The tags, which read, “It’s not garbage anymore,” are meant to educate, not shame, the city says, and let customers know that fines—$1 for each violation—will be assessed beginning this summer. Haulers don’t slice bags open, but if they can tell a bin contains more than 10% food waste, they’ll tag it.

    In the deeply green Emerald City, “we’ve had no customer complaints,” says Andy Ryan, spokesman for Seattle Public Utilities. “Like Portland,” he says, “we’re the butt of some national jokes for our green behavior. But our citizens asked for this.” He says a survey showed 74% of residents endorsed the requirement to separate food waste from garbage.

    Portland, of course, is the locale for TV’s “Portlandia,” which spoofs the city’s image of overly earnest progressiveness. The city’s sustainability efforts mirror that perception.

    Bathroom fixtures salvaged or donated from old homes are for sale at the ReBuilding Center in Portland, Ore. ENLARGE
    Bathroom fixtures salvaged or donated from old homes are for sale at the ReBuilding Center in Portland, Ore. PHOTO: AMANDA LUCIER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Residents can sign up for eight-week classes to become “master recyclers” by studying thoughtful consumption, alternatives to hazardous household products, green building and more. City-sponsored fix-it fairs teach attendees to repair goods like broken appliances rather than junking them.

    Jeanne and Dick Roy, co-directors of Portland’s Center for Earth Leadership, have advocated for recycling and reuse efforts here since the 1980s. Mrs. Roy says they never buy anything disposable, such as paper towels, and bring their own containers when ordering takeout.

    They compost and recycle so much, she says, that their only trash can—which they last emptied in March 2014—is just half full today. It holds such stuff as dental floss, incandescent light bulbs and non-recyclable plastic, such as the tear strips from frozen-juice cans.

    “Reducing consumption and waste,” she says, “has been the easiest lifestyle change for me to make—a lot easier than living in a smaller house or not driving.” Though she notes: “I’ve made progress in those areas as well.”

    Clean Water Services, a suburban utility, recently announced a challenge to home brewers to craft ales or lagers from highly purified sewer water, creating “sewage brewage” or “poo brew,” as some termed it. The water meets federal safe drinking standards, but its use for brewing still requires state approval before the contest can proceed.

    Ted Assur of Portland’s Oregon Brew Crew home-brewing club hopes to try. He says he finds the challenge “fun and cool” but would also like to make a point: “As water becomes more difficult to obtain globally,” he asks, “how do we break down some of the taboos about where it comes from?”

    San Francisco is the city to which many sustainability enthusiasts bow down. Among other practices, officials have banned the sale or distribution on city property of most single-serving bottled water, erecting instead “hydration stations,” taps where people can fill their own containers from the city’s water supply.

    Its efforts at recycling and composting, along with its ban of retailers offering plastic bags, have helped San Francisco divert 80% of its trash from landfills, the city says. It aims for a 100% goal by 2020.

    Seattle says it diverts about 55%, while Portland says it diverts about 70%. New York City, by contrast, diverts about 15%, a city spokeswoman says.

    The national average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is 34%.

    Todd Myers, environment director for the Washington Policy Center, a Seattle think tank, says there are better ideas than the city’s new composting program. He says cities such as his would get more for their money and do better things for the environment by, for instance, investing in renewable power instead of mandating composting.

    “The reason you get silly policies,” he says, “is that symbolic gestures are easier than effective gestures.”

    Purified wastewater is already on tap in some places. Southern California’s Orange County in 2007 opened what was believed to be the world’s largest plant devoted to transforming sewage into drinking water. Each day, it produces about 100 million gallons of potable water that flows to residents’ faucets, according to the county’s water district.

    Art Larrance, who runs a Portland brewery, says he proposed the beer-making contest to get people thinking creatively about all sources of water. “We’re just borrowing it,” he says of the water supply, “kind of like our time on Earth.”

    Which brings us back to perhaps the ultimate in recycling, Ms. Spade’s Urban Death Project. If regulatory hurdles can be overcome, she hopes to build urban composting centers where the recently deceased can be gently deposited in a huge bin, or core, among such compostables as wood chips and sawdust. After four to six weeks, she estimates, survivors could return and collect enough compost to plant a tree or donate it to a city park, where their loved one’s recycled remains could nurture the Earth for eternity.

    Ms. Spade calls her plan practical, respectful and more cost effective than traditional burial. “Our bodies turning into soil and growing something new,” she says, “is incredibly beautiful.”

  51. chicagofinance says:

    Here is one better…..
    Man Busted Selling “Energy Drinks” Containing Meth

    Boone County resident, Jasper June, 72, was arrested today on felony charges of manufacturing and distributing homemade “energy drinks” containing the powerful stimulate methamphetamine. The Boone County drug task force raided June’s tree fort (June lives in 200 sq. ft. tree fort on his brother’s property) to find Jasper wearing only an adult diaper and reading an Arabic p0rnographic magazine.

    June came under suspicion when he sold four bottles to several high school girls who hours later were checked into a hospital with internal bleeding. The children’s parents phoned authorities.

    A police report contained several statements from June:

    “They’re just energy drinks like Rockstar or Monster. It’s not meth in there. It’s just lemonade, caffeine, sugar and a couple drops of gasoline. I swear to God I didn’t put meth in there.”

    Customers would come to June’s home to buy the energy drinks for $20 per bottle. One customer spoke on the condition of anonymity:

    “I’m shocked Jasper put crank in his energy drinks. I didn’t know nothing about that. I just knew they worked good to keep me awake for a couple days. Stuff way better than Monster [energy drink].”

    Hours after June’s first statement, he confessed:

    “Okay, I put just a little meth in there to get them addicted and keep customers coming back. I know they’ll all testify against me so let me make something else clear: I pissed in every bottle.”

    June also faces child endangerment charges for ‘poisoning’ the girls who drank his homemade concoction.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    [26] a-wrong,

    The whole point of your tweet and Goldsmith’s comment reminded me of this joke:

    “A Texan is visiting a friend at Harvard, and they agree to meet at the library. He’s a bit lost, so he stops a passing student.

    Texan: “‘Scuse me, could you tell me where the library’s at?”

    HU Student: “Around here, we don’t end our sentences with prepositions.”

    Texan: “All right, could you tell me where the library’s at, assh@le?”

  53. Clifford says:

    It’s Making Me $1,575.90 – $2,556.80 A DAY And You Can Download It Here!

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