Congress held discussions to sell the National Parks during the government shutdown through the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, spearheaded by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).
The sale would cover national parks in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, & Wyoming as a measure to “reduce the federal deficit.” We discuss the proposal on this Buzzsaw news clip with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace.
By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
Fourteen states are represented by at least two competing petitions. The extra efforts from two states — Missouri and South Carolina — would add enough petitions to warrant reviews by the Obama administration if they were combined into petitions launched earlier.
What do you do when the city where you live is dying? All over the United States formerly great cities are crumbling, but some are definitely in worse shape than others. One reader recently wrote to me about what she sees happening all around her in Reno, Nevada. The unemployment rate in Reno is now up to 11.7 percent, which is well above the national average of 8.3 percent. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The recent recession hit Nevada particularly hard and people have been moving out of the state in waves. In fact, the labor force in Nevada has shrunk by close to 20 percent over the past year as workers have moved elsewhere in search of work. But even though the labor force is now nearly 20 percent smaller, the unemployment rate is still well above 11 percent. There simply are not enough jobs in large Nevada cities such as Reno and Las Vegas. Unfortunately for Reno, it does not have the same kind of big corporate money pouring into it that Las Vegas does. The good news is that you can buy a house very, very cheaply in Reno because homes were foreclosed on in droves during the housing crash. Even today, some housing developments that were put up near the end of the boom times look like virtual ghost towns. The main industry in Reno is “entertainment”, but many of Reno’s strip clubs and gambling establishments have aged so badly at this point that they just look kind of depressing. I guess that is kind of fitting, because Nevada has the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation, and Reno has been ranked as one of the top 10 depressed cities in the entire country. As the city has declined, gangs have moved in and the drug trade is flourishing. Reno has been called the meth capital of America, and crime is on the rise. Despite being surrounded by tremendous natural beauty, Reno has become a very unpleasant place in which to live. But what is happening in Reno is also happening in hundreds of other communities across the United States. Our economy is collapsing and our cities are crumbling right in front of our eyes, and it is only going to get worse from here.
A reader of my site named Heather who has been unemployed since November of last year recently shared the following with me….
I am living in Reno/Sparks Nevada and I feel like it is ground zero for collapse. There are a lot of people who are in denial right now and cannot see the larger picture. I keep also saying we are the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country. It is quite depressing driving around seeing empty office buildings with vacancies and retail areas just empty. Went to the stores and retail seems pretty slow also. I am volunteering at ProNet locally and it helps unemployed people finds jobs and skills. It has been depressing there too with very little jobs out there for many people who need one.
She said that I should share what is happening in Reno with my readers. She wanted people to know what those living in Reno are going through. Continue reading »
An extended campaign in Nevada by Google has led to a new host of provisions which will allow automated cars to legally drive in the state. Starting March 1st, 2012 innovators like Google can officially apply for a new kind of robot driver’s license that will give them permission to openly test their cars on the road. Automated vehicles will be able to travel the same streets and highways as human drivers, with only a red license plate marking them as robots. Once research on those automated cars is complete (which may take years), the Nevada Department of Motorized Vehicles will issue them a neon green license plate – an indication that the robot drivers are good to go. Google, whose robotic Prius cars have already driven 200,000+ miles in California quasi-legally, will undoubtedly take full advantage of Nevada’s openness and further develop their technology for general use. Just as important, other states like Hawaii, Florida, and Oklahoma may follow Nevada’s example, paving the way for robot cars to operate all across the United States.
(PhysOrg.com) — The savvy among you may remember that back in May we told you about Google’s attempts to get the Nevada state legislature to consider allowing users to driver UGV, or unmanned ground vehicles, that are more popularly know as self-driving cars on the states roads. At the time it seemed like an interesting notion and a bit of a pipe dream.
As it turns out dreams become real for the search giant quickly. The Nevada state legislature has just passed has just passed a bill, Assembly Bill No. 511, that does two things. First, the law allows the Nevada Department of Transportation to create rules and regulations regarding the use of self-driving cars, so that they can be used legally on the road. The second part of the law requires the Nevada state Department of Transportation to designate areas in which these vehicles can be tested.
Following yesterday’s news out of Zillow of a 0.77% drop in April home values compared to March, today we get an update from CoreLogic which in turn looks at the latest trends on “underwater” (or negative equity) mortgages in the US. In summary: “10.9 million, or 22.7 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the first quarter of 2011, down slightly from 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, in the fourth quarter. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity, referred to as near-negative equity, in the first quarter. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for 27.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide. In the fourth quarter, these two categories stood at 27.9 percent.” The most impacted state is Nevada, which has 62.6% of all mortgages underwater (with another 4.8% in near-negative), followed by Arizona, Florida and Michigan. California is fifth with 30.9% of all homes underwater. We doubt these millions of “homeowners” are benefiting much from the wealth effect.
RENO, Nev. – Nevada has joined several western states in reporting that minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan’s damaged nuclear plant are showing up. But as with the other states, scientists say there is no health risk.
Extremely small amounts of the radioactive isotopes iodine-131 and xenon-133 reached a monitoring station by Las Vegas’ Atomic Testing Museum this week, said Ted Hartwell, manager of the Desert Research Institute’s Community Environmental Monitoring Program.
Hartwell said he’s certain the isotopes came from Japan because they’re not usually detected in Nevada. But he said the readings were far below levels that could pose any health risks.
“Unless you have an accident like this (in Japan) you wouldn’t expect to see this. No doubt it’s from Japan,” Hartwell told The Associated Press.