Aug 17, 2013

Going Down

Going DownGoing Down by John Tuepker
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Some of the information in the book was erroneous for example on page 627-628 Tuepker says "For a brief moment there was a rough plan to re-route the railroad about 10 miles north, going generally through woods, marsh and farmland" This was incorrect the land in question contained peoples HOMES. Homes that did not have flood or wind damage from Hurricane Katrina. The land in question in Jackson County was mainly suburban HOMES on 1 - 5 acres of land. In Harrison County the land would have affected an area where a large number of minorities owned homes. And none of us wanted to listen to a noisy railroad any more then Mr. Tuepker did and unlike Mr. Tuepker we did not purchase homes close to a railroad track. The people who tried to relocate the railroad tracks were mainly the rich with beachfront mansions that wanted to make the inconveniences of the railroad someone else's problem. He also seems unaware that in Jackson County the land the Railroad is located on is not owned by the railroad but exist by a prescriptive easement. This means if there is any attempt to cease the use of these tracks by the railroad the land will be returned to the heirs of this property. To be fair the consulting firm of DMJM Harris who was hired by MDOT to come up with an alternate route for the railroad were using outdated maps and at some of the earlier meetings insisted that there were no homes in the path of the railroad, until residents from Latimer showed them on their map our homes that were right smack dab in the middle of the new route (WHICH OF COURSE ADDED TO THE COST OF THE ROUTE). I blogged about this issue here  Porkbusters also did several pieces on it, and there were several Letters to The Editor in the local paper, I am not sure how Mr. Tuepker missed those.

I am actually a fan of public transportation and often make use of it when I travel. I do think he needs to consider several things. ONE our climate is not remotely like Oregon's. Expecting people to walk in torrential downpours and heat and humidity isn't realistic. Washington DC has tunnels for you to walk in so you don't have to deal with the weather, but because of our high water table tunnels wouldn't be feasible here. Secondly we are very spread out and plans for public transport would have to factor this in. WE DO HAVE A PUBLIC BUS SYSTEM SOME OF WHICH HAVE BICYCLE RACKS.

I enjoyed the part of the book that was autobiographical some of the info was dated as the book was written before the Presidential Election and he spends a lot of time talking about the candidates. And like lots of people of my parents generation he spends a lot of time ranting about the changes that have taken place since the 1950s.

As a victim of Hurricane Katrina, I was surprised he didn't mention the need for All Perils Insurance as championed by former Congressman Gene Taylor (D).

He also advocates a luxury sales tax on some items, but as his list of items demonstrate it is patently unfair. He thinks makeup should be taxed at 20%. Since he is a man I am sure he doesn't use makeup and apparently sees no need for anyone else to do so. Never mind that most of today's makeup contains UV protection that helps prevent skin cancer. He also list cell phones as a luxury item completely oblivious that some families have chosen to do away with their land lines.

It was an interesting read.

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