I sit here this evening reminded of that Jerry Jeff Walker song (written by Pat Garvey), “Trying To Hold the Wind Up With a Sail.”
The allergies are killing me.
I’m still trying to get my head around why an affordable housing unit can’t seem to be built for less than $475,000.
Hite reports that at the Mammoth Lakes Housing Board meeting on Monday, MLH went over the cost estimate for its 11-unit project proposed for 238 Sierra Manor Rd. The per-unit cost on that one is estimated at $483,000.
As we reported two weeks ago, he first phase of The Parcel (106-111 units) had an estimated price tag of $475,000/unit.
One clever reader suggested that the Town should simply buy out the proposed Yotelpad project at the corner of Main and Minaret. They’re advertising units in the $300,000s.
Another clever reader expounded upon my Sprinter van as affordable housing idea, suggesting we should sell advertising on the vans to help defray costs.
I’ve had yet others suggest we just haul a whole bunch of single-wides and set ‘em up on The Parcel as temporary housing while we wring our hands about preferred alternatives.
Why are all the creative ideas dismissed as crazy? And why are all the stick-in-the-muds with the recycled ideas who insist things get done “by the book” (As if there’s a book. As if anyone’s read it) taken so seriously.
All that’s gotten us to date is $475,000 units.
Consider this. How did Reagan break the Soviet Union? By proposing his crazy Star Wars Missile Defense system. Which the Russians took so seriously it literally broke ‘em.
How’d we get to the moon? Crazy.
And we all know there’s not a person in government who’s gonna make this Parcel project happen. Why? Because they’re not crazy enough. Anybody sensible enough to sign up for a job with a pension and benefits is ill-suited for the creativity and risk-taking inherent and necessary in real estate development.
Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the two-year anniversary of the ribbon-cutting for the MUF (Multi-Use Facility). It seems like only yesterday that it opened – Halloween 2017.
The great Peggy Noonan wrote the following in her column which appeared last weekend in the Wall Street Journal.
“The Democratic presidential candidates are pushing it too far. No left-wing idea is too much. Nothing, no sense of political reality, is hemming them in. They are like progressive Barry Goldwaters: Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue. The president meanwhile is so crazily taken with his own power that he redraws hurricane maps.
Everyone’s pushing it too far. My way of explaining this to myself is that everyone now making decisions grew up in the past sixty years, a time of historic wealth creation, human growth, relative stability. And they can’t help it, they think this is normal. They think life is nice! They’ve lost a tragic sense about history. They often accuse those who disagree with them of being on ‘the wrong side of history,’ as if it has a side, as if it flows ever upward.
It’s odd but in this cynical age they’ve grown too trusting of good fortune.
They assume no one will, through accident, miscalculation or madness, launch a nuclear missile. They assume these robots we’re inventing, the artificial intelligence, will ultimately be benign – the authorities will make sure they don’t make life monstrous. And so the busy geniuses in their genius campuses, all born in stability, mostly born in a post patriotic and post-Christian west in which old loyalties not only lessened but came to be seen as wicked, are doing their thing, largely unregulated and in secret.
Don’t you think it will all turn out well and only benefit mankind?
No. You think they’ll push it too far.”
You know what pushing it too far looks like around here? $475,000 affordable housing units. $500,000 housing consultants. $10 million marketing budgets.
Hmm. While I’m at it, how about 333,000 airport enplanements (Rusty’s projection, circa 2002), 60,000 PAOT (Persons At One Time), heated sidewalks on Old Mammoth Road (the heating coils should still be in place!), the Ritz-Carlton …
So tantalizingly close, that Ritz-Carlton. The Carlton part being just one small ‘e’ away from a chance at massive hereditary wealth.
Where is Sean Combs these days?
Where is Igor?
Finally there was the review in this week’s New Yorker by Hua Hsu of “Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost” by Caitlin Zaloom.
The review paints a book of real families dealing with crushing debt, because there’s really no limit as to what a parent will do when he/she feels the destiny of their child is at stake.
So the cost of college is naturally inflated, because college has always been touted as the gateway to riches. And it takes guts (and creativity) to look at it differently, and not get drawn into the narrative that University X equals Outcome Y.
“Throughout ‘Indebted,’” Hsu writes, “parents and children lament the feeling of burdening one another. Parents fear that their financial decisions might limit their children’s potential, even when those children are still in diapers. It’s a fear that loan companies often exploit.”
“‘Indebted’ … is a story about modern families, about how we understand our responsibilities toward one another in a time of diminishing prospects,” concludes Hsu.
And about that dance that occurs when parents almost simultaneously prepare children for adulthood while shielding them from it.
*I would note that college, even at its most grandiose, does not cost $475,000.