Where are the social justice warriors? SJWs are super sensitive to subtle signs of “institutional racism.” Perhaps they should focus on the widespread incompetence in Virginia’s local foster care systems. For instance: A Virginian-Pilot investigation has found “a pattern of mismanagement, retribution and poor performance” in Norfolk’s foster care program. “Employees say they saw the foster care program go from bad to worse. It started with children languishing in foster care for years, with little done to get them adopted. In more recent years, case workers say they’ve been pressured to get kids off the foster care rolls by any means necessary, even if that sometimes meant putting the children in harm’s way.” Sometimes foster children have been placed in situations where they have been assaulted and sexually molested. These children are disproportionately African-American. Why hasn’t this failed system become a cause celebre of the Left? Could it be that it doesn’t fit The Narrative?
Metro free falling. Ridership on the Washington Metro system continues its steady decline, sinking to fewer than 600,000 average weekday trips for the first since since 2000, according to the Washington Post. Ridership peaked in 2008 at 750,000 weekday trips. The passenger rail system, plagued by safety and maintenance issues, has been engaged in a SafeTrack rebuilding program that may account for some of the loss. But the system suffers chronic problems, such as too few trains, too many service disruptions, and the emergence of ride-hailing alternatives such as Uber and Lyft.
Why so few starter homes? Why are home builders constructing so few starter homes (defined as those selling for $200,000 or less)?
Economist Elliot Eisenberg, cites two factors. One is high labor costs due to low unemployment and a labor shortage in the construction trades, he said in an address to Fredericksburg-area groups recently, as reported by the Free Lance-Star. The other factor is regulation. The average cost of regulation in the price of a new home went from $65,224 in a 2011 to $84,671 in 2016. Said he: “It’s a triple, quadruple whammy.”
Environmental hysteria bites environmentalists in the ass. The No. 1 priority of Virginia’s environmental groups is to build more renewable energy in Virginia. But solar developer sPower has run into a buzz-saw of opposition in Spotsylvania County based in part on fears of toxic chemicals and environmental damage. I mentioned the overblown concern about cadmium telluride in a previous post. But solar foes, consisting mainly of nearby homeowners, have cribbed notes from the environmental movement in conjuring all manner of negative environmental impacts. Reports the Free Lance-Star: The proposed 615 million, 6,300-acre solar farm could create a local “heat island effect,” create land-disturbance and erosion issues, hurt property values, and strain the electric grid. The fears are almost entirely without merit. But the controversy shows how difficult it has become in Virginia to build large infrastructure projects of any kind.