new urbanism’s state of flux :

DC has changed considerably in 6 years I spent on the West Coast (1998-2004). And not always for the better. Some of that can be blamed on the rise of big government Republicanism — add thousands of Texas lobbyists and the 20 y.o. interns that blow work for them and see what your city turns into.

But there is something else at play here: the quaintness of new urbanism. See StrangeHarvest.com.

Or read the money quote:

This lightweight urbanism is driven by private money on a mission to create an individual dream. Curiously, these individual dreams add up to a collective vision. It undoubtedly harnesses the most powerful force in urbanism – desire, aspiration, identity, community all bound together. This period has had an ironic effect as the qualities once associated with metropolitan living have vanished: diversity, opportunity. Instead, the centre has becomes a wickerbasket wielding village fantasy full of specialty cheese shops.


this is how you fight crime :

DC’s mayor Anthony Williams sees ugly crime happening in good neighborhoods and declares a mockable “crime emergency.” And ushers in a hole boatload of get tough police state programs and proposals: curfews, CCTV in residential neighborhoods and thousands of extra cops.

Oakland, California, has also seen an upsurge in crime this summer. Their response?

Police and city officials Thursday unveiled their latest plan to get a handle on Oakland's surging crime rate, one that would offer the city's 100 worst criminals a chance to turn their lives around — or else.

“Every cop in Oakland will know who these guys are,” Mayor Jerry Brown said. “These are the people who have been wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods.”

Police Chief Wayne Tucker acknowledged it seems contradictory to crack down on crime by giving people who cause trouble another chance, with offers of job training, substance abuse treatment and other help.

“But it works,” he said, citing the success of similar programs in Chicago and Boston.

Instead of fronting like some right-wing thug, Oakland’s Jerry Brown takes the responsible compassionate way out. And this from a guy who is running for statewide office as Attorney General.

If ever there was a time to suck up to California’s right wing, it would be now.

What’s Anthony Williams’ excuse? He’s not running for anything.

Man, I miss California.