Archive for March 30th, 2004

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Worry, who, me?

Well, we saw it coming. Smart growth law gets warm greeting, in today’s newspaper, tells us the Gov. McGreevey signed a law that “permits municipalities to steer development to designated growth areas”. The article explains that, “For municipalities that adopt a program under the new state legislation, developers purchase development rights to build in a “receiving area” that is targeted for growth. Those funds are then used to permanently preserve land in the “sending area” at no cost to the taxpayer”.

I’ve lived in NJ long enough to be wary of anything that has to do with

a. Government intervention in property markets

b. Designation of areas of any kind (who does the designating?)

c. Anything from the government that promises “no cost to the taxpayer”

Jim Hess, v-p of planning with the Regional Planning Partnership, put it like this, “Hopefully it will address the issue of property owners’ loss of equity, and it will allow towns to preserve critical natural resources without having to spend money of acquisition.”

We’ll see.

No chads will hang in the Principality

The Township hall will host a display of digital voting machines Wednesday and Thursday. The county budgeted $4.2 million to buy 600 state-of-the-art voting machines. I wonder if originally they were supposed to come at no cost to the taxpayer.

Just how short do you want your haircut?

The Board of Education will vote on its $62.1 million 2004-2005 budget. It means the average Borough homeowner will pay 6.8% increase in school taxes to a total of $5,382. The average Township homeowner’s increase will be 5.2%, for a total of $5,600.

Must I remind you that these numbers do not include state taxes or local property taxes?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Cultural items

Back in the 1980s I went to the MOMA whole-museum Picasso show, and a couple of years later to Picasso’s house in Spain. The result of that was that I can’t stand most of his work. What I’ve read about the man hasn’t been all that pleasant, either. This morning I came across this commentary by Jerome du Bois, based on Calvin Tompkins’s bio of Duchamp, which only confirmed my original impression.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

British-born American Alistair Cooke died, age 95. The New York Times and the BBC have his obituary. Because of him I learned to appreciate a topic well-reasoned, well-developed and clearly presented. Update A friend sent this article from The Telegraph