Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sinking $eaport

Those are the breaks, and why are they building there as if nothing is going to happen?

"How should Boston prepare for a future in which rising sea levels brought on by climate change would leave parts of the city chronically under water?" 

Call it the Venice of AmeriKa instead of the Athens. Hell, history is being spun aroundwashed away, and pulled out to a sea of political correctne$$ these days so I'm just I'm lost.

"Boston aims to help developers plan for rising seas" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  June 18, 2015

Mayor Martin J. Walsh wants to make it easier for Boston’s building owners and developers to prepare for future flooding and rising sea levels.

City officials say the mayor has directed the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the city’s environmental services and inspectional services divisions to reduce the red tape involved with building or modifying a structure if it’s for the purpose of making it less prone to flood damage.

In other words, please the property owners once again.

In particular, the three city agencies will determine whether it’s OK to raise height restrictions to accommodate putting mechanical systems on a higher floor, or on the roof. To avoid flood damage, electrical and HVAC systems would be located above the ground floor. But that could take away from valuable office or residential space. An extra height allowance could give owners and developers room to make up the difference.

Could get tricky, but okay.

Some waterfront developers are already considering sea level rise in their designs....

I've heard and seen evidence for both sides, so I'll just have to roll with the tide on this one. Sorry.


Also see:

"The state’s commercial real estate industry is squaring off against two prominent environmental groups on pollution-control rules for the Charles River that it says could cost property owners in Greater Boston more than $1 billion. Stormwater systems can include underground vaults and above-ground gardens and landscaping that filters out phosphorus, which can fuel algae blooms and make waterways inhospitable to fishing and swimming. Phosphorus can be found in car exhaust or decaying plant matter, for example, and can be washed by rainwater into storm drains that eventually empty into the Charles. While sewage-related pollution has improved significantly in the Charles in the past two decades, Bob Zimmerman, executive director of the watershed association, said phosphorus levels are rising steadily as more of Greater Boston gets paved."

Oh, never you mind the stench of sewage or the lifeless water caused by pollution, it's so damn hot and there is one reason why! The whole world is being covered in asphalt!

"Boston’s historic Freedom Trail is getting an expensive facelift that will render its sidewalks and ramps safer for pedestrians, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement Tuesday. The $700,000 upgrades will coincide with the city’s Connect Historic Boston project, a $29 million effort that will remake many of the trail’s streets." 

What do you think they mean by that? 

Pretty hard to plant a tree in cement, isn't it, no matter how much water you give it? 

I will now retire from the issue and hold my poot (in a year when the stock market exploded upward)!


Boston office buildings commanding lofty prices

But how long can the bubble last?

Seaport garage to add two stories of office space
Designing outside the box for new Seaport tower

It's the traffic that is the problem (just get rid of the park), and some are already getting out of town.

City Council wants both state, local police to patrol Seaport

To keep the, you know, out....

"What was once the dilapidated neighborhood of the feared “Columbia Point Dawgs” gang is now Harbor Point on the Bay, an upscale-looking, mixed-income, gated residential community with a fitness center, tennis and beach volleyball courts, and a prime ocean view near Carson Beach on Dorchester Bay."

Better yet, the current drug gangs don't get busted when they come from that cla$$.

And what if it isn't a flood?

"Major quake expected in N.E. once every 1,000 years; Region’s tremors typically small, but bear watching" by Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  July 23, 2015

An alarming article published in The New Yorker magazine this month and widely shared online cited how geologists, seismologists, and other experts believe the Pacific Northwest is due for a massive earthquake, perhaps as strong as 9.2 magnitude.

Look, I pray it doesn't happen. I wish I wasn't leaning back the other way when it comes to HAARP and all that stuff; however, there is more than heaven and earth, there is evil on the ground of this planet. 

I've been hearing this kind of stuff since the early 1980s when I was introduced to the whole Nostradamus business, and I'm not really buying him anymore but I'm all feared out. Between the terrorists being waved in our face to justify the wars of conquest we must fight to the collapsing economy the corporate pre$$ isn't really talking about (everything will be all right; they are applying failed solutions and running out of them but....).... I'm numb now (blog editor frowns).

That event, which the story said may happen in our lifetimes, could trigger a tsunami that would imperil thousands of people and billions of dollars in infrastructure.

There was one over Japan way where the radioactive water being poured into the holes is leaking out to sea to the tune of 300 tons a day and leaving sea life dead on the sea floor while creating so monstrous mutations.

However,  John E. Ebel, a senior research scientist at the Weston Observatory and chairman of Boston College’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said such powerful earthquakes are not considered to be possible here, because historically they have only happened in regions like the West Coast or parts of Japan, which are located above large, active faults.

I sense a but coming, but wait a minu.....

"A short, sharp earthquake rattled the San Francisco Bay Area early Monday, breaking picture frames and cracking plaster. There were no reports of injuries or major damage."

Getting ready for a bigger shift (maybe the fracking out there wasn't such a good idea).

The strongest known earthquake to hit New England was in 1638.

Who was around to keep records? Or was it the Native American remarking on the landing of White Europeans as the earthquake it was?

Is going back a ways though.

Researchers are uncertain of the earthquake’s exact location or how strong it was, but believe it was centered somewhere in New Hampshire or Vermont and measured around 6.5 magnitude. 

Now your picks for Sunday's football games please?

The Rhode Island earthquake Wednesday, by contrast, measured 2.3.

The strongest known earthquake in Massachusetts had an estimated 6.2 magnitude and was centered off the coast of Cape Ann in 1755, damaging hundreds of buildings.

Ebel said he believes our region could see earthquakes as strong as a magnitude 7.5, based on reports of earthquakes that strong in similar geologic settings.

While scientists have found and mapped numerous faults below New England, they are all considered to be relatively small, inactive, and long-dormant, said Ebel.

No active faults have been identified in our region, but researchers hope that with more time and that by collecting more data, they will find any that exist....

I'm starting to believe I'm at fault for reading this. 

Who hopes they will find a massive fault that will imperil so many?


(Blog editor's heart sinks a little lower in his chest)

I'd say head down to the beach, but:

Scientists pursue specific cause of mystery beach blast
Mystery solved: Buildup of hydrogen gas caused R.I. beach blast, officials say


Look at what the bomb blast, sorry, explosion ruined:

Constitution Beach transformed with sand art
Sand sculpture festival enlivens Revere Beach
Sand art that’s here until the next high tide

Wait until the in$urance bill is due (maybe one ancillary rea$on to talk all this up, them being a reservoir of capital formation):

"Winter bill for homeowners insurance comes due; After a damaging winter, Mass. allows prices to rise 9%" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  July 13, 2015

The bill for the winter’s ice dams, cracked roofs, and water-logged walls is coming due as insurers raise premiums on homeowner policies by some of the largest amounts in years, to recoup what they paid out for repairs.

The state’s biggest insurance companies have received approval from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance to increase their overall rates by about 9 percent, a departure from the modest increases that homeowners have experienced in the past. More companies will probably boost their rates, too, industry specialists said.

The increases could translate to an additional $100 on the average Massachusetts premium of $1,150.

The state’s largest home insurer, Mapfre USA Corp., previously known as Commerce Insurance, will increase rates by 8.9 percent, on average, beginning Aug. 1. Last year, the company, which insures more than 214,000 homeowners in the state, increased its rates by 2.3 percent.

“The unprecedented weather-related events and claims activity this winter have negatively impacted the insurance industry,” Daniel McCabe, Mapfre’s vice president for New England, wrote in a recent bulletin to independent insurance agents explaining the rate increase.

Insurance companies consider several years of weather trends, along with the rising costs of building materials and home repairs, in determining rates, said Chris Olie, chairman of Bunker Hill Insurance.

“Needless to say, Mother Nature plays a big role in homeowners’ losses,” he said....



"Last winter, the total snowfall at Logan International Airport reached a record 108.6 inches. That harsh reality is still imprinted on residents’ minds. “My first winter was godawful,” said Reshma Mohan, 19, who came to Boston a year ago. “It’s weird seeing weather going from one extreme to another.” 

It's New England and I've heard the (true) cliche of "wait a minute, the weather will change), but even I must admit some of this stuff is downright freakish. I know I'm going to have a difference of opinion with some, but I think one thing we can agree upon is that the propaganda pre$$ reports always cloudy.


Hailstorm shatters Suffolk County windshields, records
Pricey car insurance policies test consumers
State Senate to review home insurance rate increases

Of course, looking on the bright $ide....

"US to expand access to solar energy; Program targets renters, those with low incomes" by Chris Mooney Washington Post  July 08, 2015

WASHINGTON — The White House Tuesday revealed an array of new measures to extend access to the most rapidly growing source of US energy — solar — to a much broader group of Americans, including low-income communities and individuals who rent their homes.

That includes an initiative to expand “community solar” projects across the country — programs in which one installation supplies energy to multiple homes or individuals — with a focus on serving low- and middle-income Americans. It also includes a pledge to install a total of 300 megawatts of solar and other renewables in federally subsidized housing developments by the year 2020 (each megawatt represents roughly enough energy to power 164 homes).

As they force you into shipping containers and micro-apartments (the wealthy can keep and expand their mansions).

The announcements came a week after the administration pledged, in a joint agreement with Brazil, that the United States will get 20 percent of its total electricity from renewable sources by 2030 — a target that would require tripling renewables beyond current levels.

“It’s very important not only that we achieve that goal, but how we get there as well,” Brian Deese, a White House senior adviser, noted on a media call. “We know there are significant challenges in the scope and geographic reach of solar.”

Some people will Mined.

More voices of late are airing concerns about equal access to solar energy. “The rapid decline of solar panel costs in recent years has ushered in a solar boom that has not spread uniformly across the spectrum of US household incomes,” a recent paper from the George Washington University Solar Institute noted. Despite being more vulnerable to energy costs, lower-income Americans have lagged in adopting solar and realizing its benefits.

So who did it go to, or should I even a$k?

Chief among those benefits is lower electricity bills — something that would make a much bigger difference in the lives of lower-income Americans than of more affluent ones. But renters can’t install solar equipment because they don’t own the property. Meanwhile, those with lower income or savings often can’t qualify for the financing deals that have played a key role in expanding solar installations.

The result is an increasingly conspicuous solar access gap. “The 49.1 million households that earn less than $40,000 of income per year make up 40 percent of all US households but only account for less than 5 percent of solar installations,” noted the George Washington report. The White House estimates that close to 50 percent of US homes and businesses are either renters or lack “adequate roof space to install solar systems.”

The initiatives also include $520 million in pledges from states, localities, and the private sector to make investments in community solar, focused on low-income communities, and 260 new projects by power companies, rural electric co-ops, and housing authorities to expand low-income and other forms of solar access.


Not in Massachusetts, and how aesthetically unpleasing.

"Nonsolar users bear burden of net metering" by Bob Rio, Amy Rabinowitz and Camilo Serna   June 29, 2015

The solar energy boom in Massachusetts has been exciting and there is little debate over whether further expansion is important. We are strong supporters of solar energy, but only at the right price for the state’s businesses, municipalities, and residents, including low-income customers. It is they — not utilities — who are shouldering the high cost of electricity produced by solar power.

As the conversation about how to finance the future of solar energy in Massachusetts continues, it is important to set the record straight about what maintaining the status quo — or raising the net metering cap — means for utility customers statewide, as well as what it means for solar developers.

I'm so glad this discussion never comes up when it comes to showering loot on Wall Street or funding the bloated war machine. Had they spent the last dozen years outfitting every one with solar.... never mind.

Net metering – one of the state’s solar incentives – rewards solar energy owners or developers by paying them for the power they produce at the same rate they would pay if these owners and developers were consuming electricity from the grid. This rate includes payment for benefits and services that solar developments do not provide. In addition, when solar sites produce more than they consume, they don’t have to pay for services such as the use of the wires and poles operated and maintained by the utility and financed by utility customers. For large solar projects, these reimbursements far exceed the value they bring to the electric system. As a result, Massachusetts pays more per kilowatt-hour of solar energy than anywhere else in the nation, and about twice as much as neighboring New England states.

This leaves utility customers who do not have solar with a grossly inequitable share of the burden of Massachusetts’ overpriced solar energy. Given this structure and steep subsidies, it is no surprise that developers are feverishly pushing for an increase of the net-metering cap.

The Net Metering Task Force, on which we served, estimated that nonsolar customers will pay nearly $4 billion between now and 2020 if current policies remain in place. That is unfair and unsustainable.

We support the creation of new policies that continue to promote the expansion of solar energy in Massachusetts without forcing nonsolar customers to subsidize millions of dollars in profits for developers.

Maybe they are $elf-$erving, maybe not, but they kept the Hollywood tax credits to the tune of tens of millions.

In the meantime, we believe that raising the cap is not needed to ensure the ongoing development of solar power installations. This is evidenced by the applications — for systems of various sizes — that National Grid continues to receive even after meeting its cap. The cap does not apply to residential projects or those that produce electricity to be used exclusively on site. In addition, net metering is not the only incentive for solar.

Let’s not rush to strap customers with paying for additional subsidies for the solar power industry before we shine some sunlight on the real costs and benefits of solar for everyone in the state.


They are blinding me:

"With lawmakers reconsidering state support for the solar industry, the sector’s rapid growth is likely to come to a halt this year in Massachusetts, according to a market research company. A report prepared by GTM Research predicts that total solar panel installations will drop 1.2 percent this year after several years of rapid growth. Last year, the company’s data says Massachusetts homes, businesses, nonprofits, and governments installed 308 megawatts of solar power, a number set to drop to 304 megawatts this year. The drop reflects concerns over “challenges and regulatory uncertainty” facing the sector, according to Cory Honeyman, an analyst with GTM Research."

Turns out it is not a good deal:

"Consumer advocates seek electricity refunds, lower rates; Healey seeks $180m in electricity rebates, also asks rate cut of $74 million a year" by Jack Newsham Globe Correspondent  June 25, 2015

Attorney General Maura Healey is asking an administrative law judge to order the state’s largest utilities to refund up to $180 million and cut electricity bills by $74 million a year.

Healey, at a series of hearings beginning in Washington Thursday, will argue that federal regulators allowed Eversource Energy, National Grid, and their investors to earn too much in profits from power transmission lines. If Healey is successful, the average Massachusetts household would receive one-time saving about $70 on its electric bill, plus annual reductions of $29 — about $2.40 a month.

Did you see who brought the unneeded price gouging to their attention?

“The public may not appreciate that transmission costs do have an impact on their bill,” Healey said. “These savings may seem, or are, incremental, but we’d rather have them than not have them.”

Oh, no, I appreciate the extra $70 bucks back, believe me.

Transmission charges, the fees for operating high-voltage lines, account for 10 to 15 percent of an electric bill. The costs of electricity and distributing it to homes and businesses account for the most of the bill.

The hearings are the latest confrontation in a long-running dispute between utilities and the Massachusetts attorney general, who acts as the advocate for utility customers, over the financial return the companies earn from transmission.

Regulated utilities must get approval to undertake big, expensive projects like installing transmission lines because customers ultimately pay the cost of such improvements.

If regulators decide the projects are necessary, they typically allow utilities to raise rates to recover the costs, plus a reasonable rate of return, or profit....

Looks like a "public" utility rip-off to me.


My motivation is sinking and it's getting a little dark out there:

What you should know about installing solar panels

Did you read the fine print or were you blinded by the $un?

See how much you can save with Google’s new solar map

Facebook will test Internet drones

Pilot drone sightings more than double from last year

Pentagon plans to increase drone flights by 50 percent

"The near-miss in September in Nevada City shows why drones have quickly become a serious concern for first responders, fueling calls for more oversight."

And down we go....

NDU: New Florida sinkhole opens where man died

Also seeNewest Shake Shack coming to Seaport

In North Dakota, test drones will fly night and day 

Going to have infrared sensors for detection on them, so no hiding, even inside your home. You will have to go underwater!