Truth in a Hurricane

Wealth above all other social factors can push the door closed on people, especially when they are men without means or women, but only if they don’t push back. The righteousness of wealth will spin the story, wag the dog, and fake the news without fact or journalistic integrity. The “maleness” premise regarding errors of judgment, leading to lies, cover-ups, war for profit, and so on can be questioned for facts covering centuries of action. Yet, throughout human history, it has been, without doubt, the male force that sustains these errors of power with the equanimity of profound blindness. The challenges to power in the new age of data are new and different in the demand for balance.  It might make an important difference. If technology is stealing government, there must be a way for it to give it back.

The Truth in a Hurricane and Other Takings

Based on centuries of case law the last two SCOTUS appointments (2017 and 2018) challenge America’s ability to provide health care to all, it supports an imperial presidency and returns the claim on the bodies of women (See Rebecca Solnit). Given that legal precedent is now available in terabytes, exemplary change can come from an unseen hand to remove a regulation unfamiliar to many for an unknown entity. Other typical disturbances involve the role of state legislators and jurists in the service of wealthy individuals. The majority of these actions can be considered “for the good,” however, the question now posed is why the actions of some private actors that might be dangerous remain unknown until lethality is exposed. 

The law may be unable to mitigate or prevent the actions of an individual with a deadly assault rifle, but if this inability is extended to a corporation handling toxic chemicals the regulatory breakdown is complete and no one is safe in the biochemical era of many guns and randomly toxic compounds.

Hurricane Money

Congress members need at least $300,000 every two years (and more every six years for Senators) to communicate to their district or state if challenged in a primary and general election. A member’s salary is under $200K per year yet the average income is just over $1 million. Sadly, alternatives include saving money by suppressing the vote down to twenty-percent of their registered electorate. The nature of this numerical playground includes the pay to play problem and it occurs unscathed due to one presumption. Those who do not make profits (or win) are unfit. While the prerequisites of profit have merit over reasonable periods, instant profits on demand do not. The practice turns natural functions into risky behaviors such as breathing air into your lungs or altering the performance of the earth’s atmosphere. As these become recognized as a “long train of abuses.” the right, duty and the consent of the governed includes “throwing off” that government

Huricane Land

The following examples are worthy of the careful and devoted attention of writers. Understanding poverty for its cause on a broader footing focuses on the number of households of all kinds who are physically displaced over multiple generations. For example, recent climate change events intensify the identification of land ownership/control with the indices of poverty. Like equity, the use and power over land skew toward the top. The income only definition neglects land, not only for its value but the dangers associated with its location. Hurricanes and their floods contain truth in their wake. Land regulation, even in public ownership, serves unevenly. Historically, the land is the equity of all people, yet access to it is made to be patchy, unfair, and environmentally racist. Three words of the Marxist define the problem – property is theft. To which thr historic response is in six words “To f’n bad. I’ve got mine.” Hopefully, this leads to knowing the mean of all climate change events by household location. With that, the question of poverty will include land. Where is it owned (or rented) and how so? (Penn State Paper and World Bank)

Hurricane Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently deferred to the right of states to make their determinations of “public use.” In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, federal agencies acquired land for offices lost in the World Trade Towers. Today, projects managed by the Land Acquisition Section the U.S. Department of Justice includes obtaining land along hundreds of miles of the United States-Mexico border, ostensibly for the public purpose of curtailing illegal drug trafficking and smuggling. The public purpose of these acquisitions is to mitigate terrorism customs facilities. A similar practice on the displacement impacts of climate change is possible. However, this is where politicizing the law reveals a subtle, if not adverse effect.

In 2012, while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh struck down the Clean Air Act’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. In combination with the Acid Rain Program created in 1995, the Cross-State rule has brought steep reductions in the air pollution that causes acid rain and smog.  The people of the Adirondacks will tell you these efforts are the reason Bear Pond and the entire Saint Regis Canoe Area in New of York State is healthy again. In 2014, six Supreme Court Justices overruled Kavanaugh’s opinion, and the Cross-State rule was reinstated. It was the clarity of thinking by Justice Kennedy that sustains EPA’s authority to safeguard the nation’s air quality. In Kavanaugh’s opinions, it appears victims must show they are harmed or dead. Ruling against pre-emptive efforts not only reduces lawsuits against power companies and other sources of pollution it also reveals how the law may not be what rules the court.

View from Long Pond Mountain of the Saint Regis Canoe Area, NY 8/2006. Photo by: Mwanner

Models representing extreme heat days, extreme cold days, days with extreme precipitation, and extreme weather events (e.g., tornado watches) can be used to predict patterns of migration and displacement. The hedonic categories used to challenge these extremes become lease about the rights of wealth and refocus on the basic comforts of food, housing, renewable energy, and “other pleasures” as expenditures of a higher priority.

Hurricane Risk

Aggregated data on these four elements define a set of “marginal willingness to pay” factors from region to region. Each can be refined further by changes in median income per decade. Populations remaining in high extreme incident areas expose a percentage of households with the capacity to leave yet stay and those that are without a migration choice. Empirical examples are available for confirmation of these predictive models such as the household displacement from nine hurricanes that hit category five before landfall from 2005 to 2018 — Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Dean, Felix, Matthew, Irma, Maria, and Florence. Also, migration preferences are well known, such as the number of older households that migrate to warmer climates to avoid extreme cold days.

Two categories for national regions and the communities in them emerge in these models, those who can develop the strength to do bold things, in comparison to many others that build their strength only sustain their suffering and eventual displacement. The planning required to identify and act on this second category will not occur on predictive weather models or empirical fact. It will require central governance coupled with a market response to be effective.

Planning has begun to assess the national capacity for the absorption of household migration due to extreme events as well as households displaced directly. It is equally important to recognize that the investments in establishing safety criteria by region are not occurring in the name of national security or “health, safety and welfare” concerns but left to market forces and the private sector on a post-trauma basis. Few events more terrifying than a California wildfire can give you the feeling that we have become the consumers of an illusion. The social, environmental and financial practices that separate the “haves” from the “have-nots” are well known. With the advent of extreme events, the separation of the “knowing” from the “unknowing” is the fuel injection problem of the information age.

In “The Fifth Risk” Michael Lewis criticism of government agencies since the inauguration of POTUS45 is about gutting the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of people. The management function of our government’s 15 major agencies responds to legislation with the responsibility to anticipate problems and offers creative solutions. Research on best practices in health would not occur,  innovative investments in cybersecurity for elections would not occur and individualized support for local communities seeking to assure basics such as clean water, affordable housing, and education would not occur.

Managing Change

We the People Series: The following paragraph summarizes history’s “maleness” through the lens represented by Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS.  So here goes.

Prehistory social relations served human needs. Safety was on top of the list, but since then it has matured into a desire to live free from fear. The demand for physically strong leaders was followed by male dominance. Tribes form and trade or war between them became national security through conquest and this may mature to become interdependence through trade. Little has changed in this give and take between men and “their” families, tribe and nation for 5,000 years. One problem though, supremacy is still considered the final prize. It is not.  The variations of supreme powers are many. However, the connective tissue composed of dominant men throughout this history is failing. It must. Kavanaugh, the man is now a symbol of the triple bottom line (TBL).

Two out of three TBL arguments (seeking social, ecological and financial safety) are failing.  John Elkington’s introduction of TBL brings this point home in the last sentence of the first chapter.

“Developing this comprehensive approach to sustainable development and environmental protection will be a central governance challenge – and, even more critically, a market challenge – in the 21st century.”
Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business,” Capstone, 1997

The expression and fulfillment of need, once represented by trade as a social and economic activity has become the abstraction of “stock” as an economic act. Elkington asks, “Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork?” The annual value of trading derives from bets on labor. Today, the dividend value of this bet is thousands of times higher than the total paid in wage income in the same period. From the viewpoint of observers, this path leads to catastrophic social events, the most recent being the Great Recession of 2008. A few years later, January 2020 Elkingon’s prognosis of the challenge exposed once more the fagility of assumption built on capital and nothing but capital so help them God.

In the following decade, the “central governance challenge” has yet to be accepted. The Senators are talking without listening, members of Congress scurry better than ever.   There are warnings by Elizabeth Warren (D-CT) on the weakening of Dodd-Frank’s demand for accountability continues, the market challenge is failing as well,  see and here Bernie (I-VT) or Robert Reich on the subject.  Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), is the Senate’s most active advocate on climate change says we are failing. They were all right then, and today and it still does not matter.

How Did We Get Here?

One of the sources of this failure comes from an attempt to establish a basis for congressional independence and power.  There was Bruce Babbitt, Bill Bradley, James Fallows, Mike Kinsley, and Chuck Peters of course.  There was Nicholas Lemann, Gary Hart, and Paul Tsongas and some other privileged white males who were encouraged to develop a workable across the aisle relationship with the minority party and the Executive Branch. Upon implementation, that became Bill Clinton in 1992 and that is when the Congress of the United States lost its ability to govern. A new, very wealthy group of equity owners arrived to forecast the shift from manufacturing to the information age. Support for the working family and their unions slipped into a wink and a nod in favor of the technical professional class. Laborers lived in other countries. Economists called it the “death of distance.” The influence smelled like big packs of crisp hundred dollar bills in every urban electoral district. Government’s national leadership fell into vats of cash because they needed it. The tragedy of the George Bush wars and the obstruction aimed at the Barach Obama presidency like a shotgun exposed every raw nerve of America leading to POTUS45. If this sounds a little off, read about the Atari Democrats.  The Atari video game is gone, but not the rise of the neo-liberal compromise. Make your case for when and how we got into this mess (Comment) (NY Times Story).

The logic of how technology stole government, from the lessons stretching back to the Atari Dems to today leads this “we the people series” to the root of the problem of being good people to the third in this series. I will end it there and come back to it in a couple years. You can read under this title Truth in a Hurricane.

The Red Tail Plane

Toward the end of 2018 in New York City during blue sky days, several planes with red tails would catch my attention. Was this more than coincidental? I did what any curious person would do in this situation; I Googled it. The universe answered. People photograph, collect and share tail images. The phrase, “red-tail plane” yielded a loyal constituency sharing photos of the tails and planes of the entire airline industry. Each tail is captured and graphically consolidated into the wonderfully thematic world. Lesson: a strange query can keep you going.

The desire to share observations, coupled with the capacity to do so on millions of free to the edge platforms yields a subset of individuals that have leaped from that edge to ask and answer one question. What do I want and need to know? As any economist will tell you, descriptions of the differences and links between want and need fill volumes of hard textbooks and soft, entertaining paperbacks. It is the “what to know problem” that remains at the core of the debate in a world where there is nothing you can’t add.

The business of discovering how people, communities, even whole nations choose what they want and need to know begins with a helpful relationship with the world no matter what the experience. The ability to establish other relationships based on force is another, and that is where the red tail plane exists. What do these planes want from me? Why are they constantly in my line of sight? I eventually solved my planes with red tails problem like odors make you nose blind. I don’t see red tail planes anymore and that is when it hit me like a slap in the face.

I got a hold of Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail to hear about his experience since his work at Wired and his book.  Jumping from “red tail” to “long tail” is a switch to allow yourself the use of the power law to focus on modern life. Anderson’s real-time number driven vision of the world became future driven by playing robotics with his kids and online. This is where the red tail and the long tail gets interesting. He talked about meeting young engineer online and ended up building a drone factory in Tijuana. (Details).

When a sense of injustice threatens well-being, people flee, often in high numbers. Chris’s experience straightened me out.  He sees the importance of a north-south vision of the American continents and in his way foretold of the futility of Xenophobia slapped in our face like a wall. Then I saw it, the long tail of a 4,000 km march that began in San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras and ended along the Mexico border.

I know the why red-tail plane brought me to a 4,000 km long tail walk through Mexico. People like Chris Anderson figure out ways to prevent bloodshed and make those numbers in the long tail work. Sí, se puede my brothers and sisters, Sí, se puede.

New Building on 21st

The map (left) is clipped from the NYC zoning maps 16d and 22c to show the location of the Terraces R5B district in relationship to the proposed Quality Housing Apartment Building in the R7A District on the west side of East 21st Street. Zoning (Exhibit Record (I, II, III, etc.) CRFN No. 2017000, 2017001)

222 East 21st Street or 571 Ocean Avenue: In a brief look at past work of this developer and architect, there are concerns regarding the use of materials and the lack of detailing and the possibility that a brick façade and other contextual elements will be poorly done. If you are interested in doing some homework representing AKNA, use the Contact link.

Two reasons for compiling the following information for review so far:

  1. Do whatever AKNA can do to assure the developer and architect will produce a development that meets or exceeds Quality Housing Standards. (see below)
  2. Establish a relationship with city agencies (HPD, DoB, EPA) local organizations (FDC, CD14, CAMBA) and the City Council that will encourage this result.  Why? The quality of the 21st facade should not be compromised.

Questions that need answers:

  1. Who at HPD, DoB will be conducting reviews and inspections?
  2. Will it be 80/20 Inclusionary Housing?  The plan is for 115 Units.
  3. What is the history and reputation of the Developer and the Architect?

More detail is available below. Articles on the project  “The Real Deal”

The New Apartment Building

The reported nine-story, 115-unit mixed-use building image is misleading. Nevertheless, the construction of new housing will begin in the near future on the East 21st Street through-lot between Church Avenue and Albemarle Road. (see YIMBY).

The project could encompass 102,800 square feet and rise 80 feet in height. The proposed community facility space provides for a floor area bonus and its 58-car parking garage meets the 50% minimum. The Real Deal notes that according to filed permits (building information system) for the project’s average apartment size of 712 square feet is indicative of rentals. The reported project height of nine stores exceeds limits defined by the R7A and may be presented this way to produce the appearance of a give back to community objections. (See R7A description below)

Nevertheless, the project could add about 300 new neighbors to the area and add density. The density issue triggers the attention of watchdog allies from the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, CAMBA, and other housing advocates regarding the enforcement of housing quality standards and the affordability of rental housing.

The developer Bentley Zhao bought the property (through an LLC) in March for $11.5 million, according to property records. The same developer also filed plans for a nine-story condominium building in Sheepshead Bay earlier this year.

The site (picture above) is cited as a safety hazard. It contains the skeleton of an abandoned construction project. Complaints and violations date back 10 years and include rusted and leaning steel beams and structurally unsound fencing. Active violations include working without permits and other construction violations and according to Property Shark. The site is also described as a hazardous waste generator or transporter with a site address of 571 Ocean Avenue which would be the address and suggests the hazardous materials issue is not resolved.  Contact Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.  A particular concern would be asbestos made airborne in site preparation.

Established in 1987, the intent of the Quality Housing Program is to maintain the architectural character of New York City neighborhoods. The program rules concern height, bulk, lot coverage, street line, and more. Quality Housing is mandatory in contextual R6-R10 districts, but only optional in non-contextual R6-R10 districts.

The contextual Quality Housing regulations are mandatory in this R7A district. Typically, they produce high lot coverage, seven- and eight-story apartment building, and blend with existing buildings in established neighborhoods. R7A districts are mapped along Prospect Park South and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, Jackson Heights in Queens, and in Harlem and along the avenues in the East Village in Manhattan. The floor area ratio (FAR) in R7A districts is 4.0. Above a base height of 40 to 65 feet, the building must set back to a depth of 10 feet on a wide street and 15 feet on a narrow street before rising to a maximum height of 80 feet. In order to preserve the traditional streetscape, the street wall of a new building can be no closer to the street line, than any building within 150 feet on the same block, but need not be farther than 15 feet. Buildings must have interior amenities for the residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program. Off-street parking is not allowed in front of a building. Parking is required for 50% of all dwelling units.

Corridor Floor Area Deduction

Quality Housing grants two corridor deductions from the total floor area. Section 28-14 allows a 50% deduction of corridor floor area if there is a 20 square foot window in the corridor. Section 28-31 allows a 50% deduction if the dwelling units served by the corridor are less than the allowance in the section’s table. For instance, if a corridor serves 10 units or less, 50% of the corridor’s floor area is deductible offering some design flexibility trade-offs.

Recreational Floor Area Deduction

Quality Housing mandates the inclusion of recreational space as a percentage of residential floor area. For instance, R6 and R7 districts are required to include 3.3% of the residential floor area be recreational area. Section 28-21 states that no more than the required amount of recreational space in the table shall be excluded from the definition of floor area. Recreational areas can include space like gymnasiums, a popular building asset exempt from floor area.

For more see:

Other Sources (some may have been moved):

Applicant Website is not good, and not much housing. The need is to see some of the projects first hand and find the GC that worked the buildings

Business Phone: 718-765-1122Business Fax:     718-765-0813

$43M Sheepshead Bay Condo

Bentley Zhao developed building

Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development also operates an EB-5 regional center  
By Will Parker | March 30, 2017, 8:30 AM
Bentley Zhao and rendering for 2128 Ocean Avenue

Zhao filed an offering plan for a 56-unit condominium at 2128 Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, an application with the New York State Attorney General’s office shows. Zhao is shooting for a $43 million sellout at the 73,000-square-foot project, after buying the lot from Yu Xi-Liu last June for $3.9 million. The previous owners demolished a one-story garage at the site, but Zhao is yet to file new building permits.

Bentley Zhao’s New Empire

New Empire is based in Sunset Park where Zhao also operates the New Empire EB-5 Regional Center from the company’s 3rd Avenue headquarters. The investment center’s website shows that the EB-5 portion of the 2128 Ocean Avenue’s capital stack is already fully funded. Details on the website reveal that unit sizes at the project will average 890 square feet and range from studios to three-bedrooms. In addition to EB-5 money, New Empire obtained an $18.5 million loan from Banco Popular North America in September.

Zhao’s ambitions and current portfolio go beyond South Brooklyn, however. New Empire is planning a 49-story condo tower at 131 East 47th Street in Manhattan, a 122-unit project. Demolition of 19th-century rowhouses at the site commenced last spring. SLCE Architects is designing the new building, which will be at least partly funded with EB-5. Gary Barnett’s Extell Development sold the site to Zhao for $81 million in 2015.

New Empire is also raising EB-5 funds for a 105-unit condo in Prospect Park South, dubbed “Ocean Tower,” for a condo at 269 4th Avenue in Park Slope and at a boutique, seven-unit build at 409 West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

If you have any questions please review these Frequently Asked Questions, the Glossary, or call the 311 Citizen Service Center by dialing 311 or (212) NEW YORK outside of New York City.

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This project will continue to develop content based on the confidence embedded in the following idea.

  • Project-based and experiential learning builds a path to success in every effort.
  • Teachers that love to teach, teach their students to love learning.

Asperger’s Syndrome

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with an estimated incidence of 1 in 88 children.

autism speaks

Autism Speaks recently published an article on a report that helps people to understand the idea of a spectrum and where Asperger’s Syndrome fits. See the report review article (AS ON ASD) The deep-end paper is a 1.7M pdf (HERE) and published by the open access resource BMC Medicine.  (There are six papers using the search term “Aspergers” on this site.)


The Autism Society provides a direct and to the point description of Asperger’s Syndrome. It will be found on the Autism Society’s website (HERE) along with a path to resources that may be of use to you and your kid.