Achieve the Four Modernizations.

pragmatition
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Sep 18 pragmatition commented on The Dirty Secret of Electric Cars.
I wonder where Ansel gets his figures. Worst case - where 100% of electricity is produced from coal - would put the Tesla S about 2 times the Prius C. Of course, we're talking only about CO2 here, not methane or various noxious compounds produced when refining gasoline.

Anyway, for PSE, which may get 20% of its power from coal, the Tesla stands solidly ahead, at 1/2 the CO2 of the Prius!

Here are my figures:

According to the EIA, electricity production from coal produces about 2.1 pounds CO2 per kwh. By the way, I'm pretty certain this figure does not include the CO2 produced by mining and shipping the coal. So we need to keep that in mind when comparing to gasoline.

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id…

The Tesla S gets 100 miles per 38 kwh, according to

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?a…

which is 2.6 miles per kwh, that would be .8 pounds CO2 per mile. Add about 10% for electricity line losses and charger losses and you get about .9 pounds CO2 per mile. That's for electricity generated 100% from coal.

Now, the Prius C, for comparison,
According to this .gov site,

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?a…

The Prius C averages about 50mpg. And the EIA, at

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id…

tells us that using 1 gal of gas produces about 20 pounds of CO2. In addition, refining oil creates about 100 pounds of CO2 per barrel, or about 3 pounds per gal.

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/g…

So, per mile, the Prius C produces about .45 pounds of CO2. Again, this figure does not include pumping oil or transporting.
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Sep 17 pragmatition commented on Murray Will Consider Veto of Council's Push to Drive Up Cost of Affordable Apartments.
There's another way developers can put in high density housing.

Current code allows up to 8 unrelated members per dwelling. So, apartment buildings can be constructed with 4+ bedroom units and, voila, high density micro housing pretty much anywhere multifamily dwellings are allowed.

Plus, depending on location, such units might be desirable for families who need more than two bedrooms.
Jul 11 pragmatition commented on Amazon Asks FAA for Permission to Test Drone Delivery Program in Seattle.
I really want to support this, in concept. But, as many have noted, what about safety, noise, privacy? Maybe for commercial neighborhoods the latter two aren't so important.
But in a residential neighborhood, I don't want another noise maker buzzing around when I'm trying to relax or concentrate.

I don't want something which *could* be used to spy. That may not be the initial intent, but I remember Google claiming their Google Maps vehicles don't spy and were later caught snooping on people wifis.

And technically there are some challenges. How do you navigate around low utility lines, tree branches, signs, porch roofs, etc.? Not saying these can't be surmounted but if they are too difficult, where will the package be left - on the sidewalk?
Apr 9 pragmatition commented on Council Member Sawant, Can We Talk?.
One mitigation factor completely left out of the discussion so far is including tips as compensation.

However, there's a twist. Rather than simply allow a lower minimum wage for people who receive tips, instead require a guaranteed minimum wage.

What's that? That means that tips are included as part of your income but, you are guaranteed to receive at least $15/hr (or whatever is resolved amount) regardless of the amount of tips you make.

For example, if your stated minimum wage is $5/hour and you make $8/hour in tips, you will receive an extra $2/hour in wages to ensure the total is $15. On the other hand, if you make $12 in tips, your total/hr would be $17 - you get the bonus.
Apr 6 pragmatition commented on Seattle Times Endorses Slashing Metro Buses.
I'm going to vote for Prop 1. However, I think there is a lot of room for improvement in the way Metro runs the system. They have made changes over the last few years resulting in better management efficiency. What hasn't changed substantially are the routes themselves.

The routes are designed primarily to be a "single seat" non transfer as much as possible. This results in too many routes and, during non peak times, to many marginally used busses. And Metro can't provide a point-to-point route to and from all places. I think it's time to change to a system designed around backbones and feeder routes. A well designed system could come pretty close to point-to-point service with one or two transfers.

By funneling people to backbones, busses with only a few people can be consolidate. Since feeders travel only in neighborhoods and have less distance to travel, fewer busses are needed to keep a higher frequency of service. Cost savings in both places. The trick in the design is keeping the transfer time very short, so that riders get comparable service to a single-seat ride.

A city too small can't support backbones and feeders because there isn't enough ridership to keep the frequency of busses up. Without that frequency, transfers take too long. Has Seattle reached the point where the frequency of service - both for the backbones and feeders - can be often enough that a rider doesn't have to wait more than a few minutes on average?

If the funding passes this time, there will be a next and I think it will be harder and harder to pass without Metro making more cost-saving changes.
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Apr 2 pragmatition commented on Washington State's Slippery Rules on Logging.
It's my understanding the National Forest Service does not allow any clear cutting - they require selective logging, which still does damage, but a lot less. Why can't DNR do the same?

For that matter, why do we have separate departments managing similar lands?

Apr 1 pragmatition commented on Mayor Murray Tells Activist He's Been Against Tip Credits "Since 1997," But Co-Sponsored a State Tip Credit Bill in 2001.
If only life were simple and wages were wages and there were no benefits. But there are and I think most people look at the whole package when deciding where to work (if they have a choice). So, why shouldn't tips count as part of the package?

Here's the catch. With a tip credit, you still should be guaranteed a minimum wage. If the employer says he'll pay you 2.50 an hour plus tips, that's fine. However, if tips come up short, he should have to make up the difference. If you come out ahead, that's a bonus for you and those you share with.

Putting this responsibility on the employer could help making reporting tips more accurate. Currently, who could ever know if a waiter is pocketing cash, not sharing it with the cook or reporting it to the IRS. With the employer in the picture, he might want to add some checks and balances to make sure all tips are "seen".

In short, I support a tip credit but with a guarantee to employees that they are getting at least minimum wage.
Mar 21 pragmatition commented on After Lengthy Battle, Seattle Regulates Its Rideshares.
#28 Tiredprogressive - are you planning to start an initiative? I think there are many who would support your effort. Maybe Mr. Faulkenbury would even get involved. Go for it!
Feb 20 pragmatition commented on City May Cap the Popular Rideshares That Compete with Cabs.
Imposing a cap hurts one of the benefits of the TNCs. I suspect many people sign up to drive for a TNC part time and have other work, maybe only part time, and want to drive now and then to earn a bit extra.

If there's a cap, then that model wont work. You'll pretty much have to drive full time or you'll be wasting your slot. (Or, maybe that's ok.)

Here's another idea on how to impose a cap. Let the cap *not* represent the number of licensed TNC drivers. Instead let it represent the number who are logged into their system at any moment. In other words, if there are 300 logged in, no one else can log in till someone logs out.

Frankly, though, I don't think we should be protecting an industry that is changing. This isn't the same thing as setting a decent minimum wage for services that are needed. The cap is more like setting a minimum wage for services that aren't so needed. Better to embrace change.
Jan 22 pragmatition commented on Screw Comcast and CenturyLink.
@18. Yes!
 
 

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