In 2005 the Union Editor ask the Reader Board for some predictions for 2006. I submitted the predictions below, but they were not considered printable. So, I posted my predictions on NC Media Watch. Let’s see how I did.
1) Grass Valley and County will still be talking about “affordable housing,” with no concrete action to solve the problem by years end.
While some small projects were approved in Grass Valley, this is still a major issue, as several large projects were rejected. The two largest factors in affordable housing are supply & demand, and government regulations. Neither of these problems are being adequately address in Grass Valley. On the other hand, Grass Valley has an Affordable Housing and First Time Homebuyer Program and held Workshops on this program through out the year.
But, without an increase is supply housing prices have not declined, as they have in other parts of the state. Even in fast growing Placer County, the prices of houses have come down as the supply exceeded demand. The lack of affordable housing programs was also an issue in the City Council election. http://www.theunion.com/article/20061010/NEWS/110100167/-1/THEMES36
2) At the end of 2006, none of the four SDA issues will be resolved.
Still unresolved, and without approval of the sales tax for Dorsey Drive, it is highly unlikely that the most promising Loma Rica development can go forward. South Hill is now in review and discussion, but not resolved.
3) More housing projects will be delayed due to unreasonable concerns over traffic congestion by no-growth neighborhood organizations.
We can let these unreasonable organizations speak for themselves: Citizens Concerned About Traffic in SYRCL’s Fall Sierra Citizen:
Says Grant Cattaneo, one of CCAT’s founders, "We have been asked a lot, why CCAT? CCAT formed because we wanted our local governments to be more concerned about traffic. CCAT’s founders are not interested in stopping projects. Rather, we’re interested in ensuring that traffic issues are addressed before [development] projects come on-line." More on CCAT at SYRCL’s Sierra Citizen.
Building the roads before building the houses, is certainly a delaying tactic. Especially, under the current mitigation fee program, which collects fees as part of the permitting process. Taking out a permit and then waiting two or three years for the roads to be build would stifle development. I would call this approach an unreasonable demand, which is delaying affordable housing development.
4) Nevada County will be no closer to funding the Dorsey Drive overpass by years end.
Yep, the sales tax was defeated.
5) The Union will still be seeking ways of attracting 18-24 old readers by years end.
I do not know what the numbers are, but I see some progress with pod casts, video casts and focus on the youth music scene as a moves to attract more 18-24 year olds. With a more hip technical savvy editor, we should see more progress in 2007. I hope the blogs return. More insight into the thinking that goes on in choosing stories, and what make one story more important than another, would be a nice addition to the Union. I will take a punt on this one.
6) The Union will become embroiled in a nasty political campaign conflict, editor’s job in-doubt.
I think the Union’s conflict with Rep Doolittle, and covert support for Brown, can be classified as some nasty campaign politics. Although Pat Butler is gone, I was told it was a money issue, not his politics, or the Doolittle conflict. But, then again what we hear is not often reality. This is punt.
7) John Spencer will be reelected District 3 Supervisor.
A hands down win!
8) Stasis and conflict with grow at the Grass Valley City Council, as 2006 election approaches.
There was more than enough conflict and stasis with two members deciding they have had enough “public comment.”. Dean Williams resigned with his friends citing frustration over his inability to make progress on a slow growth agenda. The lack of full Council support for the sales tax initiative, only one Council member walked the neighborhoods, and the slow resolution of the SDAs speaks to the stasis issue.
9) Research will reveal California’s greenhouse gas reduction policies are truly based on junk science.
Wow, another clear winner. The National Academy of Science and the Wegman Report pulled the supports from the iconic hockey stick and any claims that current temperatures are the highest in a 1,000 years. Remove the bristle cones and foxtail pines from the hockey stick data sets and the hockey stick vanishes and the Medieval Warming Period returns with temperatures higher than those we are experiencing today. The NAS report said the bristle cones and foxtails should not be used for temperature proxies. In fact the NAS report said that proxy temperature data beyond 1600 was unreliable. The NAS report also confirmed the math and statistical analysis errors in Dr Mann’s studies, upon which most to CARBs argument for greenhouse gas reductions relies. Now the “divergence problem” has come to the fore. Most to the tree ring studies cut off about 1960, when the data record went to 2000. Why, people wanted to know? Here is why:
Click for a larger image. [From Climate Audit]
During the period when the most global warming was supposed to be taking place, the tree rings show just the opposite, indicating reduced growth. Which raises the question, are tree rings good indicators of past global temperatures? If not, then the case for global warming is based on junkscience.
Also, a study by atmospheric scientist Ken Caldiera, of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, reported that the cooling and warming effects of forests largely balance out in the middle latitudes and warm in the higher latitudes. Thus, trying to fight global warming by planting trees is “a waste of time.” Planting trees was a major part of California’s greenhouse gas reduction program. More junkscience.
You will have to be the final judge, but with some clear wins, a couple of punts and no major losses, I take pride in my picks for 2006. Now to start working on 2007, with this kind of track record the pressure is really on.