Sunday ROundup

GASD Test Scores: The Recorder compares the GASD to other surrounding districts on recently released test scores(here). Like I’ve mentioned seemingly innumerable times, it’s hard to drive families here with such a disparity. Instead of a demand driver (strong schools), we get left with a supply driver (lower real estate prices) to offset the lack of demand. Why no one gets this from a policy side, beats me.

Respect My Authoritah! : The Recorder editorial gets it right with this phrase(here) on the DPW, mayoral, council triage: While hearing from management and employees would help lawmakers have a better understanding of the issues, they shouldn’t try to fix it. As the chief administrator of the city, that’s Thane’s job.

Cloudy Numbers:An interesting op-ed on green and ostensibly renewable energy (here) in the Recorder. Unfortunately the numbers are wholly incorrect as they in essence rely upon using underpowered yet large, expensive panels. You can crunch the numbers (here) to see that you need nowhere near 300+ panels but in the neighborhood of 50 or so panels with a price somewhere around $45-50K versus $220+K. Even worse, the projected weight of the panels in the op-ed  is incorrectly calculated at 5300 tons which suggests a per panel weight of 13.25 tons per panel. WTF!

Finally, the return should be calculated with some expectation of future energy prices which is safe to assume will be higher than today. Getting to an economically feasible renewable solution relies upon innovation and technological change with renewable sources and it’s not inconceivable that the public sector should help fund that innovation especially given the vital importance of energy to national security and the broader economy.

Everywhere but Here: The town of Glen heard a proposal to develop a housing project with homes in the range of $150-$250K (here). I could not imagine that meeting in the city as the very notion of that would be mocked relentlessly as elitist dreams that someone would pay that much for a house. As it’s Sunday and the start of Open House season, I encourage everyone to drive out of Amsterdam and look at some open houses in the surrounding areas to maybe get a different perspective of the real estate market via a compare and contrast. For those who doubt growth as a strategy, look at the Town of Glen as but one example of a community in Montgomery County that will likely grow versus decline. Growth is achievable but you will never get there if you pursue policies built upon a preordained decline of your own volition.

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