Member since Jan 23, 2013

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Recent Comments

Re: “Ticky Tax

They aren't discouraging anything. No one in the state of Virginia who was planning to buy a hybrid will suddenly choose to buy a normal car because of a $100 fee, because everyone who purchases a hybrid derives more than $100 worth of marginal benefit per year from owning one. The state is just grabbing a fee where it can. This is not revolutionary, this is how the government collects all of its revenues. It finds areas of surplus and imposes a tax smaller than that surplus in order to fund itself without dramatically effecting the economy.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 02/26/2013 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Ticky Tax

The government is just trying to capture the lost revenue from fuel taxes. McDonnell's plan to do away with the fuel tax has nothing to do with boosting the economy and everything to do with cutting a shrinking revenue stream and replacing it with a new one. Revenue from gas taxes has been declining for years. People are driving less because of the recession, and even normal cars are more fuel efficient with every passing model year.

Taxing hybrids is a perfect way to replace that revenue stream in the interim. With gas prices at all time highs (again) the demand for hybrids continues to be strong. The $100 will simply come out of the net surplus the customer receives from driving a fuel efficient car. This will change nothing, since people who drive hybrids almost always save more than $100 per year in fuel costs and also receive a non-monetary benefit in the form of "helping the environment."

Hoffer may be "boggled" at this plan but I find it even more mind boggling that he doesn't understand this as an Economics professor. If transportation taxes were really used to pay for roads then 1) they'd be much higher, in the $1-$2/gallon range which would actually be prohibitive and 2) the state wouldn't have to continually issue mountains of debt to pay for highway projects.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 02/26/2013 at 2:36 PM

Re: “Learning Curve

I would be interested to know the logic behind the idea that most teachers could double their salaries in the private sector. My brother (a teacher), who has a math degree could likely do so, however I highly doubt someone with a BA in Elementary Education can find an $80,000 per year job in the private sector. What job does a history degree prepare one for? I was a liberal arts major in undergrad, and it prepared me to do absolutely nothing except return to academia and continue writing papers. So now I am going to school to learn something practical. When life doesn't work out, you put your head down and figure something else out. This is what my grandfather (and none of my teachers) taught me.

The Indian education system is pumping out 200,000 brilliant mechanical engineers a year, and all America's system is bringing to the table are joke unions. I had 25-30 different teachers from K-12 once you factor in electives, plus another 3 or 4 various "guidance" counselors during that time. I can honestly say that 5 contributed something useful to my education while the remainder were on cruise control. I was lucky enough to be in one of the best public school systems in the state, I can't imagine the misfortune of kids in the city system.

There are thousands of jobs in this country that are much more difficult than teaching. My brother is not a self-aggrandizing jerk who cries about how difficult his life is because of parents, administration or the government. He does the best he can with the resources he has, perhaps others should follow his lead. I don't see anyone crying for the nurses in this country who work worse hours, 12 months a year, without a pension. It's time to stop whining. After 50 years of under-performance, no one feels sorry for you anymore.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 02/21/2013 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Inward and Upward

Emma, perhaps you should take your own advice. South University has a 6 year graduation rate of 27%, in fact less than 50% of students return following their freshman year. This data is directly from South's website. As a bonus, its tuition is 30% higher than MCV/VCU and established program with many successful alumni. For profit schools like South are the main contributing element to the growing student loan bubble in this country. They essentially accept everyone (75%) and saddle these kids with government-sponsored debt

Not that this has anything to do with WBV, just wanted to give you a bit of insight. I'm glad your daughter found a job. I hope she didn't have to take out $45K in loans like the majority of students in her school.

You say I should concentrate on what is going in New York, because that's where I live and if I don't like something then I shouldn't read about it. This is the most ignorant possible attitude one can have about the world. Many of the best ideas in human history have been unpopular at some point (American independence, women's suffrage, equal rights for minorities, etc. etc.). If everyone who didn't like these ideas took your advice, where would we be, Emma?

I was born in Richmond and lived there for the majority of my life. The majority of my family and a large number of my friends still live there. I am passionate about the city because I believe it's one of the best places in America to live. For a city with a relatively small population Richmond has unmatched arts, food, music and history. It is because I believe this so passionately that articles such as this one and developments such as WBV concern me so much. I do not want to see my hometown turn into Northern Virginia on the James.

Just because someone says something you don't like, it doesn't make that statement rude. If you believe this, then you need to consult a dictionary.

I've already addressed the rapid pace of sales. This logic makes no sense whatsoever. The "Real Housewives" series is one of the most popular in television history, does that necessarily make it one of the most influential, informative and artistically significant creative works in human history? Absolutely not. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was one the best selling cereals during my childhood, but luckily my mother didn't believe the popularity of something gave it merit. I probably would've had a mouthful of cavities like some of my friends.

16 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 02/03/2013 at 4:13 PM

Re: “Inward and Upward

Mr. Bonbright, I am curious to know what about living in an apartment encourages people to consume mail-order steak. Are the apartments in WBV not equipped with refrigeration?

I live in an apartment myself in downtown Manhattan (Style reader because I was born in RVA and lived there until 2012) yet by some miracle I am able to eschew mail-order steak for a relatively balanced, healthy and inexpensive diet. The reason why I touch on this is that it's exemplary of your generation's outlook:

"I know ____ about the world, things don't change and if anyone tries to correct me it's bad manners/disrespectful"

I am sorry that I had to be the one to state to you for the first time, the widely held view that Short Pump is a cookie cutter suburb with no substance. The fact of the matter is that there are things in this world which lack cultural value, such as mail-order steaks and cookie cutter "urban brownstones." There are also things that contribute a great deal of value, such as meat from a local butcher and a home that contributes architecturally to its surroundings.

No, I'm not a socialist. I'm glad Eagle was able to bilk retirees out of another half mil before they hit the dirt. I just wish they didn't do it in my hometown. But that's not their fault, Eagle will build whatever development they can make a profit on. It's up to people like you Mr. Bonbright to demand it so they can supply it.

The rest of your points are basically irrelevant, adding the fact that you were formerly in the military and are surrounded by teachers and small business owners is moot. WBV could be populated entirely by Nobel laureate physicists and it wouldn't change my argument. Sorry about incorrectly stating which space age material your house is coated with.

19 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 01/31/2013 at 5:19 PM

Re: “Inward and Upward

Mr. Bonbright, the reason I'm critical of the "urban brownstones" is because:

1)They display none of the characteristics of an actual brownstone aside from the fact that they are physically attached to the houses on either side. They are neither urban or brownstones, the ridiculous moniker only works because most of the purchasers have likely never been to Brooklyn or have even the slightest clue what a brownstone actually is.

2)They are objectively ugly from an architectural standpoint. Greek revival terraces topped with cheap shingles and made out of...brick? These are the houses I designed as a child with Home Plans '92. Do some of these "brownstones" have vinyl siding on them, seriously?

You ask me to respond to the "record" pace at which these faux historic homes were sold. I'm not really sure what conclusion can be drawn aside from: people who buy in Short Pump have no taste? There is a store in this neighborhood where you can buy flash frozen mail-order beef and heat-and-serve baked potatoes. Does that sound like something that appeals to people with good taste?

If you wish to compare WBV to other "condo developments" then perhaps it is better than the 21st century Hoovervilles that Centex smears all over the area. If, however you compare WBV to a real urban development, such as The Fan then it falls far short. The houses in the Fan are architecturally unique inside and out, they lie within walking distance of hundreds of great local businesses and stores, there is a wide distribution of income levels and the residents have the option of walking, biking, driving or taking public transportation to thousands of high, middle and low income jobs.

Even the school in WBV is a joke. Seriously, what are kids expected to do with a $60,000 debt-funded Associate's degree in Criminal Justice?

30 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 01/31/2013 at 1:38 PM

Re: “Inward and Upward

West Broad Village is not even close to "New Urbanism" it is exactly the same as every other strip mall in Short Pump with the notable exception of having apartments above the stores.

Location: As mentioned, West Broad St. is difficult to cross and will likely stay that way as the resulting gridlock from a 1 minute cross signal would more than offset any perceived benefit. No public transportation means a car is required to do anything aside from injest 3700-calorie pork "tempura" from Kona Grill.

Architecture: The argument could be made that the development is congruous with it's surroundings, as it is surrounded by generic 00s-era sprawl. The quality of Eagle's homes is immaterial as none of these people will live here in a decade, however the design is downright awful. There is ample inspiration the architects could have drawn on in Richmond proper, but clearly this project was just copy and pasted from Celeveland or god knows where.

Sustainability: The only jobs created are minimum wage, yet homes are $300k+. Sorry, even Fannie Mae circa '06 isn't giving a mortgage to someone operating a tanning bed at ACAC for $8/hour. No public transportation because Short Pump residents are scared of poor people unless they're properly dressed in a Whole Foods uniform, so the low wage workers have to commute from Chester.

There's nothing wrong with economic homogeneity, my parents live in the 'burbs and love it. Just don't try to portray it as anything more than what it is: a vapid, culturally devoid ticking time bomb of greyfield land.

33 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Bryant Anderson on 01/31/2013 at 11:24 AM

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