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Latest podcast episodes about like california

How to Scale Commercial Real Estate
Scalable Opportunities in Brokerage and Investment Route

How to Scale Commercial Real Estate

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 20:05


Chris is the founder of Skyline Commercial Real Estate Focused on advising clients regarding their multifamily assets - to maintain and build wealth and forge strong relationships across the Southern California investment market. He previously played professional baseball for multiple teams, reaching the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2009. Through hard work and dedication, Chris kept earning his way to the next level and achieved success at the highest level.   Tune in as he shares valuable strategies on how you could get the best deals for your real estate investments, and how he is able to maintain leads for his business which could be applicable to you too. [00:01 - 11:48] Finding Opportunities in Challenges A professional baseball player turned real estate investor The need for cashflow led him to focus on the brokerage instead of the investment route   [11:49 - 17:39] Things You Need to Know Before Buying A Real Estate Buying a unit? Chris shares a strategy to increase its value Regulatory environment for buyers Stay on top of your rents and increase when you can California has restrictive rent control. You need to be within the guidelines  Brand new investors must be comfortable with the cap rates knowing it is capital preservation The resilience of tenants to rent increases   [17:40 - 17:54] The Keys to Business Growth How to find motivated seller leads Emails and build and maintain relationships Chris on starting his own brokerage How to approach a broker as an investor Ask with no expectations   [17:55 - 20:45] Closing Segment The similarity between baseball and real estate is failure Reach out to Chris!  Links Below Final Words   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------   Tweetable Quotes: “When you start in the business, it's a grind.” - Chris Pettit   “If you're brokering and you're not owning, like, do you really believe in your product?” - Chris Pettit   Connect with Chris on LinkedIn and visit Skyline Commercial Real Estate for investment opportunities.   Connect with me:   I love helping others place money outside of traditional investments that both diversify a strategy and provide solid predictable returns.     Facebook   LinkedIn   Like, subscribe, and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or whatever platform you listen on.  Thank you for tuning in!   Email me → sam@brickeninvestmentgroup.com Want to read the full show notes of the episode? Check it out below: Chris Pettit: [00:00:00] What took me, the brokerage drought was the ability to be entrepreneurial, grow your own business, do your own thing. And it's really, you eat what you kill. So whatever you're out there putting in, you're gonna make those returns.  Sam Wilson: Chris beta is a localized department, brokerage founder. He assists private clients with wealth, growth and preservation. He also has a background in baseball, investing in taxes, and as Chris puts it, he has all the bases covered. Chris, welcome to the show.  Chris Pettit: Hey Sam, thanks  Sam Wilson: for having me important in here. Absolutely. The pleasure's mine. There are three questions. Chris, ask every guest who comes in the show in 90 seconds or less. You tell me, where did you start? Where are you now? And  Chris Pettit: how did you get. Yeah, I was playing baseball and I joined a couple friends for some very small scale investments. Some single family houses out in it's called the Midwest. One of my friends said, Hey, I think this is a good idea. I said, well, why don't we pull some money [00:01:00] together? And we can buy a couple of these. So we did that learn more about. The real estate side of the business. My background's more on the finance side. So got to see some of the tax advantages, the depreciation, the cash flow, how it worked. Good hands on experience. Finished playing baseball and got into the brokerage business, local Southern California apartment brokerage, and really took me to where I am now. Just started this company a couple years ago with a couple partners and we're moving that forward. So  Sam Wilson: here. Man. That's really, really cool. So you're playing baseball professionally, and then you start investing in real estate. Were you guys buying single family stuff, buying multifamily? What, what were you guys buying?  Chris Pettit: Yeah, those were single family. And maybe a little bit of the misconception about playing professional baseball is not, everybody's making millions of dollars. So , I, I was not making a lot of money at that time, but I was saving money put away. So we were buying single family little bit in Dayton, Ohio, actually just kind of like bottom of the barrel type stuff for calf flow.  Sam Wilson: Got it. Got it. And when did you know you were onto something and you [00:02:00] said, all right, I'm onto something. And now I'm gonna scale into bigger assets. And I guess then of course, you know, , all the way to launching a, a brokerage, what  Chris Pettit: led you there? Well, seeing how the cashflow would work on a single family and then saving that up, being able to purchase another one, just purely based off of the cashflow you had gotten to date. And having the depreciation, the ride offs, the expenses, that type of thing, it was like, wow, you could kind of scale this a little bit. I didn't wanna try to make something huge there. And , you know, I wasn't didn't know all the tools that we have now, but once I got into the brokerage business, I realized, well, this actually is scalable. Seeing like a lot of things that my clients have done and how they've grown their portfolios. A lot of people just started from the ground up and individuals have large portfolio.  Sam Wilson: Yeah, absolutely. What took you to the brokerage route versus the investment route? Or  Chris Pettit: maybe there's both. You know, it's, it's both for me. I, I do believe in investing and the, the brokerage route is an avenue that you can get there. [00:03:00] Obviously you gotta make some money to be able to invest it. So I think that's probably what led me to the brokerage drought over other over say other jobs. What took me, the brokerage drought was the ability to be entrepreneurial, grow your own business, do your own thing. And it's really, you eat what you kill. So whatever you're out there putting in, you're gonna make those returns. Right, right. Yeah. So I saw the, I saw the upside for, in brokerage compared to just like a job.  Sam Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely. and as things get extremely frosty in a, in a few different asset classes, I've oftentimes looked at it and I'm like, gosh, it's kind of a risk free way. And obviously you got your time, your capital, your investment on the front end of, you know, going out and finding opportunities and building your buyers list and all those things, but in its own, right, you're not putting down millions of dollars into these deals and going, gosh, I hope it works out. It's like, okay, once we get it across the finish line, it's kind of a risk pretty way of, of being involved in real estate. So I really really, really kind of liked that, especially in times of uncertainty. So that's really cool. Now you guys are [00:04:00] specializing in the Southern California market,  Chris Pettit: is that right? Yeah. Specifically Southern California and specifically apartment buildings. So it ranges the gamut from, you know, four units, which obviously is similar residential, but four to, 50, to a hundred. You know, there's a lot of smaller buildings in Southern California versus . Maybe some other areas. So there's a lot of 10 to 30 unit buildings out here.  Sam Wilson: From what I understand, there's not a lot of new supply coming online in your guys' market.  Chris Pettit: No, not at all. So the market we work, like I said, is let's call it four to 50 core market. And nobody's building those. Maybe there's a couple people building duplexes or fourplexes based on some new zoning, but the stuff that's getting built is 200 unit 300 unit, 400 unit class, a right in the core business districts on these main drags. And those are just not competitors for the type of product that. Are seeing our investors focus  Sam Wilson: on. Right? So tell me about the opportunity right now in your market.  Chris Pettit: So a little bit of the difference in our market versus [00:05:00] other markets is, is such a core market, specifically orange county, LA county, San Diego county being core markets. You can't, like you said, no more supply and someone who wants to preserve capital. Yeah. You might look at the cab rates. They're very compressed, but they're staying compressed. They're not, they're not changing. And rents are flying. Some of that to do with the back end of rent control, but rents are really flying up. So there's no supply, there's no rental supply. And then the class a stuff that's coming out is being priced to the moon on the rental side. So any, any nice property, that's a little bit lower density living for a tenant. They're gonna wanna come in and happy to pay a good amount of rent there just to live in the location that, that they wanna live in. And I don't see that changing just due to the supply, like demand and supply. So the opportunity is purely more preservation rather than say. You might be like, oh, let me go out. I can see this quick flip over here in this hot market. You know, I wouldn't call us like a hot type market or cold market obvious.  Sam Wilson: So what's a strategy then for a buyer. I mean, you know, they're, they're buying something [00:06:00] four to 50 units, Southern California. It might be a rent control. I don't, I don't know exactly how rent control work if that's by county, if that's by building, if that's, maybe you can even give us some, you know, lightness on that, but what is the buyer? What is the person you're representing? What are they thinking when they buy a building? What's their strategy for  Chris Pettit: how to increase value? So their strategy's gonna be growth and appreciation, and you're gonna get there just through the natural and pushed rent growth. The overriding it's a state rent control policy, max of 10%. It's not terrible. Obviously. Sometimes if people are behind then, because an owner's own the building a long time, there is a lot more upside there. Yeah, the strategy is just to come in, purchase the building, get the rents up to market, improve the property a little bit. And not that it's gonna be a significant, like I said, flip, but you're gonna have the value. You're gonna have the value earned in the property and the significant rents providing more cash flow. And you're gonna be, you're also able to get pretty much [00:07:00] core.  Sam Wilson: what's it like when you buy a building? And again, I'm asking just as it, as it pertains to more the regulatory side of things there in California, which is a lot of what investors are afraid of. I think mm-hmm oh man. You know, and, and we hear it. I think, I think it gets a bad rap because obviously you're there and you have clients there making money. You're there making money. I've got friends out there making money in the apartment space in Southern California. And I hear it, hear it all the time. We don't invest in California. But what does, which I think is kind of, again, it, it's kind of a, just a, it's probably a bad statement cuz obviously there's opportunity there. But what's somebody doing when they buy a building from a regulatory and from like a rehab standpoint, like what can they expect? What are the challenges there? Do those challenges, present opportunity. Talk to me about  Chris Pettit: that a little bit. Yeah. Completely understand the regulatory side and a lot of our clients and owners have some of the same feelings. Like they're not saying I won't invest here, but because they already own here. They're saying, oh, I'm not sure about how this regulatory environment is gonna be for, for landlords, which is a fair thought. So part of [00:08:00] our deal, our job is educating them on what the latest government requirements are gonna be that are coming down the pipeline. We don't really have a say in those things. So it's, it's just keeping them up to date. And how do you navigate that? The biggest thing you can do is stay on top of your rents and increase them when you're, when you can once a year and not, not fall behind. If you're buying a building today, it's not, it's not crazy. I mean, we don't really market to say out-of-state buyers. Like California's a, our buyer pool is the buyers that own in the market that live here and that's the people. Like they wouldn't say, oh, I don't, they already own here. And they live here, so right. California's gonna get you for taxes either way, whether, you know, if you're gonna do both. So if you're gonna live here and you wanna own here, maybe you wanna drive by your building. Maybe that makes sense. But just in order to get there, there's no like crazy regulatory requirements. When you purchase an investment property, you go buy an apartment, building a 10 unit down the. Nothing crazy. But if you do wanna do some rehabs or some or raise rents, you just need to be within the guidelines. And, and they're [00:09:00] really not outside of a couple areas. You know, city of LA is very restrictive. Santa Monica has restricted rent control, Santa Ana and there city, certain cities do have up above and beyond requirements. And those are the cities that people are. Either navigate away from, but like you said, there's still a lot of people that maybe not a lot, there's people that will make money in those areas. And they're more experts in navigating that local environment.  Sam Wilson: What do you say to somebody that maybe is a brand new investor to your market? Where do you start them?  Chris Pettit: I would start 'em with the sense of. You need to be comfortable with with the cap rates, let's call it, you know, three and a half to four and a half. When now it's probably generous, but you know, you, you have to be comfortable knowing that this is capital preservation. And if you're, if you're buying here, you're gonna start a three, three and a half and push that up quickly to. You know, four, four and a half on your numbers, and it's not something that you're gonna be making this huge pop on right away. But you, you are gonna [00:10:00] make those gains and rents are gonna go say, they go 10% this year, 10% next year. They're a little bit behind. Then you, you will catch up and you'll have the value and it's gonna be safe. It's, it's a safety play really, but we don't work with too many new investors. I mean, you know, , I live here, I invest here. I don't have a, an issue with that for me. It's I want to be, I'd rather rather own good real estate and good locations. And it's not, about today's cash flow for.  Sam Wilson: Yeah, that's a good point. You know, and that's a lot of, that's a lot of what people are looking for is that big pop. So I guess just reframing the investor expectation. Like, Hey, you're coming into this market. You are, this is a safety play. I think, as you put it, it's not, you're not here to, to hit, hit your home run. You're here to preserve capital. What is I, I, if a landlord is behind, let's say it's a legacy owner. They haven't raised rents in 7, 8, 10 years. What is the tenant resiliency as it pertains to rent increases? Like do, [00:11:00] do, do we see a lot of buildings go vacant once people are like, Hey, we're raising rents 10, 10% this year, you were at 2000 bucks. Now you're at 2200 next year. You're gonna be at, you know, 44 20. What's that? How  Chris Pettit: does that work out? Yeah, not really. I mean, a legacy owner who's fallen behind or just chosen , to do that because they don't need the extra cash flow. Right. New owner comes in. Goes 10% people don't budge. It's not, it's not enough because the building on the streets rent convert $500 more than that, you know? , some people will move and you get natural movement. It's not too restrictive. And then you, you may be able to move people out for some renovations, but that's a little bit dependent on the, the.  Sam Wilson: Right, right. That's really, really cool. Tell me about finding sellers. I mean, that's obviously the, the two things we need in this in this real estate are deals and money. How are you guys finding  Chris Pettit: sellers? Yeah. On our, on the, on the business side, I mean, we just do a lot of consistent calling and emails and touching base with people. It's a very consistent group of people that we're [00:12:00] talking to, the owners that are local, just trying to build that relationship. And there's not a lot. Let's say people that are just oblivious to what's going on. A lot of people know what's going on relatively. And we, we just want to talk to 'em and see, Hey, is, you know, are you ready to go? Are you ready to sell today? Or what's your impetus to sell? These are mostly long term holds for people long term legacy ownership. And as we know, those are great deals to buy and the most opportunity for upside. And so sometimes it's like building family relationships whenever their family. Whenever that time comes to pass it down along the family, things like that. I mean, you know, the time comes for every. , but this is not a short term lo short term game, as far as location goes, you know, you gotta put in the time, build the relationships here. Yeah.  Sam Wilson: Yeah. And that's true, you know, that's true. I think in, in any market, there's not a, there's not a nuance there necessarily defining sellers. It, it sounds like you guys are grinding it out, just like everybody else when it comes to to  Chris Pettit: deal flow. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we are, [00:13:00] we have some younger guys and it's you know, that's, we don't pull any punches there. It's like, no, this is a grind. I mean, when you start in the business, it's a grind. I mean, we're still on the grind and that's what, that's really the only way you're, you're not gonna you're not gonna miss, you know, blatant deals. Right? Tell  Sam Wilson: me about your team, building out your team. You said you have some younger guys on the team now, what's it been like building a brokerage and, you know, talk to us about that experience and some of the lessons maybe you've learned in that. Chris Pettit: Yeah. So it was just an opportunity that that presented itself for so myself and two partners. And we were working together before not necessarily doing deals together, but independently doing deals while working together. And so we thought, Hey, this is a great opportunity for us to build ourselves, where are we gonna be in five or 10 years? And, you know, maybe build out, build out some sort of a brokerage it's we're not trying to be this big brokerage house, but having some. More people talking and being able to collaborate on deals. I hear you say someone. Oh, Sam. Oh, what was that deal? You were talking about Sam. Like [00:14:00] maybe I, I might have somebody for that where you're, you're just thinking, I talked to this person that was like a waste of time. Right? They said something, but I, it didn't click for you, but I'm sitting over here like, oh, well, I it clicked for me and they let's, let's put a deal together. And so we're really trying to build. Team environment where obviously you're gonna get rewarded on something you bring in and we have, so we have two other guys that are just starting out in the business.  You know, they believe in owning real estate as well. And that's, that's a long term goal. I mean, if we can all switch from the broker side to the owner side, we're gonna, we're gonna be doing pretty well, you know? Right.  Sam Wilson: Is that the long term plan then is to, yeah. I mean, transition.  Chris Pettit: Yeah, to accumulate and own, own real estate. I think California, maybe getting back to one of your earlier questions, Southern California is more of an accumulation game. Mm-hmm if you can accumulate little bits and pieces of, of deals. I mean, I know I have some clients that are open to me throwing into deals, and if, you know, if I can at the time, I'll do that and just kind of put it away. It's not, you know, it's not there. It's not accessible, not running the deal, but [00:15:00] Hey, it's in the deal. I know that's a good piece of real estate and, and down the road I'll be rewarded. So I think it's more of an accumulation play, but yeah, that's the goal, ultimately, just to own more real estate. I mean, we're believers in real estate and we also feel. I'm a strong believer in the fact, if, if you're brokering and you're not owning, like, do you really believe in your product? right. And maybe you don't. Right. Maybe you're just a sales guy, you know, that's fine too. But  Sam Wilson: absolutely. Tell me about cuz that's a nuance a nuance kind of play that you talked about there when you said. How your buyers will rope you in on the deal and say, Hey Chris, do you wanna participate? What's that conversation like? And what would you recommend to somebody that wants to approach their broker? Maybe it's a large commercial real estate transaction. The broker's getting a six, you know, multi six-figure paycheck and they go, Hey, you know, do you want to get in on this deal? How should someone approach you as the broker  Chris Pettit: to have that conversation? Yeah, I mean, I think it's very easy approach from the investor. It's an easy question. Hey, do you have, would you have any interest in [00:16:00] partnering in or putting some of your commission? The deal obviously clear, very clear that no, you're not giving it up. You're not giving up your commission, but right. In putting it into the deal And , timing's everything in that respect, you know, like I said, this is my, my job. So depending on where I'm at timing, maybe I just put money into another deal, obviously gotta pay the bills. And so, yeah, it's an, I feel like it's an easy conversation from the. Investor from the agent side. I don't really bring it up that much. Just because it's, I feel it's a little more you know, most people, most people I deal with it's their, their deal. It's like a one person buyer. Right. And maybe, but, but a people that I know, well, I'll throw it out there at some point. Like, oh, I'd be happy to co-invest with you at some time. And so there's a few, that's the way I would frame it as a broker. You don't wanna be telling everybody, oh, let me get in with you. Let me get in with you. You know, it's a little more, I guess I feel like that would be like pushy, but from the investor side, I think if you just ask with no expectations, I don't see the, I don't find the broker being [00:17:00] offended. Sam Wilson: No, no, certainly not, certainly not. I think it's a great way. One to get some buy in from, like you said, either you believe in the product or you don't. So get some buy in from the broker it's a relatively not easy, but it's a, it's a, it's a source of capital, you know, where you can get involved in it. But then I think it also, it also just develops a long-term relationship with your broker where it's, Hey, you know what we're, we're not just doing a onetime transaction. We're we're in deals together for the long haul. So that's. That's really,  Chris Pettit: really cool. Yeah. I mean, I think it's beneficial for both parties. Like you said, you put people in, we can be partners and you sold me the deal and then, you know, we'll sell it back whenever the time comes again and we'll make money and go to the next thing. Absolutely.  Sam Wilson: Tell me about baseball, baseball, and real estate, that transition. what would you say some things, or maybe, maybe I'll ask this question. I could find the question I was gonna ask you. You know, as it pertained to baseball, what are some things, some, some crossovers from playing baseball to real estate, some similarities you find in, in, in  Chris Pettit: between the two. Yeah, the, the biggest crossover, especially to [00:18:00] brokerage is failure. So, yeah, baseball's a game of failure. You fail all the time. You know, you fail seven outta 10 times. You'll be in the hall of fame. And you know, this is a game of failure too. You're, you're talking to people and some people are not, not receptive to your call at that time or anything you're saying, but it's really a game of being able to a failure and being able to maintain your composure through the highs and the lows. This is a game of highs and lows, and that's the same as baseball. So you can't be out there closing a deal. Celebrating, like just won the world series. It's not gonna, it's not gonna pan out. You know, you gotta be back on, back on the grind and work harder.  Sam Wilson: That's it, man. That's it? Baseball is a game of failure. Yeah. That's kind of funny. I've never heard it quite put like that, but you're right. You know, the what'd you say, what was your statement there? I didn't quite catch that, but it was something about a hall of Famer. If you do  Chris Pettit: what now, if you fail seven outta 10 times as a hitter, you're a hall of fam. Right. Yeah. If  Sam Wilson: you have a 300 buck average, you're, you're a hall of Famer, which is that's pretty [00:19:00] crazy. I absolutely love it. Chris, if our listeners wanna get in touch with you and learn more about you and what's going on there in your marketplace, what is the best way to do that? Chris Pettit: Yeah, you can reach me via email or through our website. It's skyline commercial advisors. And I'm also on Twitter. It's CED at eight 15. That's more of a generic following. I do talk some real estate. It's not strictly real estate focused. It's pretty personalized and, and open. But yeah, those two places and email, or my emails on the site, you gimme anytime. Awesome.  Sam Wilson: Chris, thank you for taking the time to come on the show today. Certainly  Chris Pettit: appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks Sam. Nice to meet you and a pleasure being on the show.

The Bob Frantz Authority Podcast
Always Right Radio: Hillary Clinton's Outrageously Hypocritical Twitter Thread; Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm: "We should all be more like California" | Guests: Jonathan Broadbent; Jack Windsor | 9/7/22

The Bob Frantz Authority Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 107:33


Biden's Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm says "We should all be like California"... even though California is expected to have rolling blackouts due to energy shortages. Jonathan Broadbent on ESG. Jack Windsor discussing Bob Paduchik's potential ousting as ORP Chair.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

How to Scale Commercial Real Estate
Passive Income Through Affordable New Construction Homes

How to Scale Commercial Real Estate

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 20:28


Want to know how you can build a recession-resistant passive cash flow?   Brandon Cobb, CEO of HBG Capital, joins us to discuss how they are helping investors earn passive income through affordable new construction housing for first-time buyers.   From flipping houses, Brandon and his team pivoted to developing land and found their niche in government-friendly areas. He talks about the opportunities in this undersupplied but in-demand real estate product and offers advice on how to mitigate risks in the space.      [00:01 - 05:51] Building Affordable New Construction for First-Time Home Buyers Brandon on being unemployed to becoming a real estate investor  How he invested in himself Putting investors' capital in recession-resistant real estate Affordable does not mean low-income housing   [05:52 - 17:50] Getting Into Ground-up Development Their experience in flipping houses vs doing new construction Partnering with people who know what they are doing How Brandon and his team find riches in niches Collaborating with the local government What they do to mitigate risks Looking for deeply discounted deals Managing in-house Being insulated from market volatility Doing compartmentalized funds for investors   [17:51 - 20:27] Closing Segment Reach out to Brandon!  Links Below Final Words Tweetable Quotes   “The country has a huge problem. The most undersupplied, highest-demand real estate product in the country right now is affordable homes for first-time home buyers. Nobody can find something that's affordable to move into.” - Brandon Cobb   “We do everything in-house. What that does is it aligns the builders' initiatives with the investors, right?” - Brandon Cobb   “When there is a market contraction, the need to live is still there. People still need housing.” - Brandon Cobb   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------   Connect with Brandon through his LinkedIn and Instagram. Visit the HBG Capital website and their educational resources including their FREE e-book, Recession-Resistant Passive Income. Check out their Linktr.ee page, too! Connect with me:   I love helping others place money outside of traditional investments that both diversify a strategy and provide solid predictable returns.     Facebook   LinkedIn   Like, subscribe, and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or whatever platform you listen on.  Thank you for tuning in!   Email me → sam@brickeninvestmentgroup.com Want to read the full show notes of the episode? Check it out below: [00:00:00] Brandon Cobb: What happens is people, consumers transition from those more luxurious, more expensive living arrangements into more affordable living arrangements, but they don't want to be in the war zones, right? They want affordability, but they don't want to get shot. That's where we want to be. We want to be in those product types that are affordable to first-time home buyers because that gives us a level of insulation. [00:00:20] Brandon Cobb: Now there's a couple of other things, kind of, you know, our market specifically, you know, why do we feel it's insulated. Well, one, it's more affordable compared to the rest of the country.  [00:00:40] Sam Wilson: Brandon Cobb is a CEO at HBG Capital and an expert real estate consultant and investor. He's here to share some actionable advice about using real estate investing as a way to create passive income. Brandon welcome to the show. [00:00:53] Brandon Cobb: Sam, I appreciate you having me. Love the energy, man.  [00:00:55] Sam Wilson: Hey, man, pleasure's all mine. Three questions. I ask every guest who comes to the show: in 90 seconds or less, where did you start? Where are you now? And how did you get there?  [00:01:03] Brandon Cobb: So medical device sales rep turned real estate developer. If you asked me seven years ago that I'd be building houses, I would look at you like you had six heads. Never expected myself to jump into real estate, but found myself unemployed. Got sat down one Friday at Starbucks, fired. [00:01:19] Brandon Cobb: And I'll kind of save you the story from there to here now, what do we do? And now, well, you know, when you've got some discretionary income, you're looking to invest it and grow it, but inflation is crazy and there's 20 different investment vehicles out there and you're wanting something that's designed to be insulated against market volatility. [00:01:36] Brandon Cobb: What we do is we put investors' capital into recession-resistant real estate, designed to be insulated against the market volatility for them to get passive income straight to their bank. That's two and the three what's the third one, my ADHD kicked now.  [00:01:50] Sam Wilson: You're good. Where did you start? Where are you now? How did you get there?  [00:01:53] Brandon Cobb: How did we get there? Well, it's been a long journey, so got fired from my job, started wholesaling, flipping houses, and basically took all the profits the first three years and dumped it back into coaching, mentorship, mastermind programs, rooms with people smarter than me. And that's what I would contribute to growing as fast as we did, just constant reinvestment in myself, and maybe we can touch base on that and do a little deep dive for your audience if you want to.  [00:02:21] Sam Wilson: Absolutely. I do have one question though. They took you out to Starbucks, they bought you coffee to fire you? That's a step up, man. Most people don't get that. [00:02:29] Brandon Cobb: He actually didn't buy me coffee there. That's just where he wanted to meet on Friday at four o'clock.  [00:02:35] Sam Wilson: Oh, that's brutal. I was hoping for at least a cup of coffee out of the deal. It would have been nice. Tell me this though. I mean, what was the jump? Like, how did you end up saying, all right, got fired. And then how did you say, okay, real estate. What was the delay there? How did you end up picking it? Talk to me about that.  [00:02:51] Brandon Cobb: I'll be honest. I was, I had like a motivational blog I was working on. I'm a big Tony Robbins fan, always have been. I was working on a course to help people break into medical device sales 'cause I was, you know, people were like, what are you good at? What do you do? And I'm like, well, heck I got into here. I've had a lot of people reach out to me. Maybe there's an opportunity here. Read a ton of books over the years. Real estate investing was one of them. And so I was doing all these different things and went to a bunch of different meetups and ended up meeting a guy who would, you know, become a mentor for a little bit. [00:03:21] Brandon Cobb: And he's my partner to this day. But that was the first thing that took off. And so when I was, when I learned, okay, wow, this is the first thing that's got the ability to produce income for me. I just cut all the other things off. And focus strictly on that. And that's why decided on real estate.  [00:03:36] Sam Wilson: That's awesome. Today, you guys are building affordable new construction for first-time home buyers. Is that right?  [00:03:43] Brandon Cobb: Yeah, that's correct.  [00:03:44] Sam Wilson: You've gone from wholesaling all the way to, are you going to be building brand new communities? Are you building just ground up whole neighborhoods at a time? [00:03:51] Brandon Cobb: Yeah, we are doing that. And you know, I've struggled to come up with a word for what we do because when I use the word affordable, people think it's section eight or low-income government housing. Like that is not what we're focused on at all right now. The country has a huge problem. The most undersupplied, highest demand real estate product in the country right now is affordable homes for first-time home buyers, right? Nobody can find something that's affordable to move into. And so that's what we focused on here in middle Tennessee is delivering those products aimed towards first-time home buyers.  [00:04:21] Sam Wilson: What does affordable mean? I mean, is there a dollar, you know, you're here in middle Tennessee, is there a dollar amount that you say, okay, we can build it for X. Somebody can afford a payment of Y. When you say affordable, can you give some color to that?  [00:04:34] Brandon Cobb: Yeah. Typically with a first-time home buyer family, you know, combined incomes are right about six figures, maybe a little bit less. And so they're able to afford 400,000 and less. That's kind of our bread and butter. [00:04:45] Brandon Cobb: Now we've got a small portion of our portfolio that does go above that. But while we consider it, you know, recession-resistant still, even though it might not fall in the word affordable, is our cost basis is really low. In other words, we've got like eight homes that are, we'll probably sell them for 700 grand, but our cost basis is like $380,000. [00:05:03] Brandon Cobb: Then there's a huge runway that those prices can hit. And so we would consider that recession-resistant if they can take almost a 50% hit.  [00:05:11] Sam Wilson: Okay, cool. So 400,000 bucks or less. If you have a dual-income family making roughly, you know, a hundred grand a year between the two of them, that then becomes affordable housing. Are there programs or things that you guys are working with that you're putting all these people into? Are they using the first-time FHA home buyers plan? What's that look like?  [00:05:29] Brandon Cobb: Yeah. So that's those driving the market are these, these FHA loans, these first-time home buyers. I mean, that is the largest portion of the market that is buying homes. [00:05:38] Brandon Cobb: As far as programs, we've partnered with some local mortgage brokers that do that. You know, we don't do that in-house. We can make the necessary introductions to the people that they need to know, but that's not something that we're outfitted to do for people. [00:05:51] Sam Wilson: Right. Right. Tell me about, I mean, the iterations of your business, how did you end up getting into development? I mean, again, medical device sales now developer, like that's, that's a lot of different kind of steps along the way. Why did you pick development versus, you know, doing what a lot of other people, you know, buying existing stock, things like that? Talk to us about that. [00:06:11] Brandon Cobb: Blue oceans. Anybody that's flipping houses right now. We're wholesaling. You're probably going on 10 appointments to close one deal. You're probably seeing a lot of stupid grain, new money coming in, buying stuff. That's outpricing you. You're probably filling your margins, get squeezed. Gosh, when we went from flipping houses, we were making, you know, 30, 40 grand a house on a 250, maybe $285,000 home. [00:06:36] Brandon Cobb: Four years ago, it was probably making 30, 35 grand on a 350 to $380,000, Right? Same profit margin, much more expensive home that squeezes your margin. When you're starting to get doing 8%, 10% margin deals, like that's just an interest, in my opinion. You know, that market takes a hit in that four or five, six months period, you know, that's that's concerning. So we had accidentally done some new construction projects, probably seven or eight over a few years while we were flipping houses. And, you know, you show up, it's a tornado-damaged home, or, you know, halfway burned down and we're like, well, we can buy this for less than what the land's worth. [00:07:13] Brandon Cobb: It's kind of give this a shot. And the light bulb went off one day where we had this one home that we were doing new construction on this one home. That was just our problem child is a full gut rehab. And we built that fire-damaged home faster than we rehabbed the full gut rehab. And we made like three times more money on the new build than we did flipping that home. [00:07:35] Brandon Cobb: And we said, wait a minute, we did a tactical pause and said, there's something here. What if we just scrapped all the house flipping, shut off all the marketing and just shut down that whole division of the business and just focused on self-generation and going after the sellers that have a lot of land. What would that look like? [00:07:54] Brandon Cobb: And so that's exactly what we did. So we pivoted, we probably reduced overhead by like 25%. I mean, we, we were doing like 30, $5,000 a month in marketing. Shut all that down, pivoted to just do a new construction. And when we did, we went literally almost overnight from having more money than we could find deals for to now we have way more deals than we'll ever be able to finance. So the pivot, Achilles heel of the business right now is just capital, is getting that caught up to the rest of the business.  [00:08:23] Sam Wilson: Right. Yeah. So tell me about that. I mean, you said you going after sellers with land. There's a lot of moving parts there. Can you kind of break down how your business is implemented when you find somebody with the land? How do you know you can get utilities there? How do you know you can get it entitled? How do you know, I mean, that seems like a really a niche skill set to develop. [00:08:42] Sam Wilson: Yeah, it is, there's a learning curve, but the way to offset any big task is just partnering with people that know what they're doing, right? I mean, that's all there is to it. And when we weren't completely green to new construction when we started, right? We'd done seven or eight projects. So we had a taste for the utilities and putting stuff in. [00:08:59] Brandon Cobb: So we kind of knew what we were doing, but you know, doing a bigger land development project, like putting 36 townhomes in, you know, definitely different. But, luckily, we had the right partners in the right people to kind of guide us along the way. So. They said that there's riches in the niches, right? So we really niched down whereas, you know, a wholesaler flipper's probably sending, you know, 40,000 mailers out so they can ask a T lists and kind of doing the spray and pray method. We boil things down to a very niched, target list of people that we knew we could help. And over the years, we had paid our dues. We learned we'd failed. We've made a lot of mistakes, but that knowledge enabled us to understand how we needed to entitle the land, what due diligence we needed to do, right? So the cool thing about middle Tennessee is it's very government-friendly. In other words, the government's not shutting things down when the big buyers come, and two, they want the density. So it's not like California, where it takes two years to get things permanent. So everything we put under contract, we don't buy until we have either a final plot approved or before we've got a permit. [00:09:58] Brandon Cobb: So that reduces the risk of making a bad investment. So when we boiled down and realized we need to be going after people that own a lot of land and cultivating relationships with those people, that's what we did. And so, as we closed on these deals over time, we built these relationships with people that had a lot of this land. [00:10:15] Brandon Cobb: And so now we just get referrals generated to us. So we have a $0 marketing spend, and again, we've got more people throwing deals at us, then we'll be able to buy. [00:10:23] Sam Wilson: How do you find land in an area where they want density? Like, it seems like those two are kind of like, obviously, the city expands at a certain pace and it'll catch itself up, but is there, like, are you on the fringes going okay. [00:10:36] Sam Wilson: You know, as this expands that we want to be right in front of that by a certain, like, it just seems like that's, I don't know, a nebulous way of defining what it is that, that you want. [00:10:45] Brandon Cobb: Here's what we did. We went to all the tertiary markets kind of around Davidson County, Davidson County's the core county in Nashville. [00:10:53] Brandon Cobb: And we knew we wanted to be there 'cause COVID just created this huge migration to these, these surrounding counties. And that was where the opportunity was. And we went and we got meetings with the district Councilman. We met with the mayors, we met with the building commissioners and we brought a map and we said, Hey, we want to work with you. Where do you want density? Where would you support rezones? Where do you want to see houses? What are your needs? Do you need, do you need condos? Do you need single-family homes? What types of homes do you need? And when we have those conversations, one, their eyes popped up. They're like, wow, no one's ever come to us and asked us this. [00:11:28] Brandon Cobb: And so we literally took a map and like, you know, we're sitting down with the, you know, the mayor of a little suburb in Nashville. And she's like, you know, this is what we need. This is where we need it. And we just reverse engineer. That's where we went. So we went to the areas where the city wanted to see density. [00:11:45] Brandon Cobb: And then we just got laser-focused. We were looking for those areas with road frontage, with access to sewer, or, you know, the city will give you all the sewer maps and the water maps and all that stuff. And we started cultivating those relationships and we started bringing them deals in those areas. And they're like, you actually did what we asked you to do? [00:12:02] Brandon Cobb: This is pretty cool. Then they became very interested in working with us. And so now we actually work for X deals. So that's what we did. We just went to the horse's mouth and said, what do you want? And went and gave it to them.  [00:12:12] Sam Wilson: Right. That's really, really smart. Again, you know, like, like you said, meeting with the mayor and everybody else, like, that's just the step that nobody's taking. [00:12:21] Sam Wilson: All right. That is, at least, not many people are doing that most of the time. There's, that's a very adversarial type of deal where it's like, Hey, I want to build X, Y, Z project. And they're like, no, you can't build XYZ project. And then it becomes just a, like an adversarial versus a collaborative relationship. [00:12:37] Brandon Cobb: Yeah, and it's not, you know, it might be tougher to get access to, to the mayor of like Davidson County, you know, 900,000 residents. But again, we're talking about the tertiary, the suburbs, they will meet with you. You can walk in almost same day, catch them during lunch or something. They want to meet with you because they want the tax dollars. They want the revenue. And so it was a lot easier.  [00:12:57] Sam Wilson: Yeah, absolutely. Tell me, tell me about the risks involved in what you guys are doing. There were, in 2007, 2008 saw a lot of builders, saw a lot of people just go completely belly up. What do you guys see is the runway for your business? What are some risks associated with it? How are you mitigating those?  [00:13:14] Brandon Cobb: Yeah. Great question. So I'll explain what the risks first and then what we're doing to mitigate the risks. So obvious risks upfront is going to be the price of the home, right? If the price is at home, take a nosedive, then that's an obvious risk to the sales price of the homes. [00:13:28] Brandon Cobb: How do we mitigate that? We buy these very deep discounting deals. So most of our deals are underwritten in a 66, 67% loan to value. We look for 20, 25% gross margins. In other words, I'm talking about after all the hard and soft costs or taking care of, we should be able to take a 25% hit and still be completely fine. [00:13:49] Brandon Cobb: Now, one other thing that we're doing to mitigate it is we manage everything in-house. So we're not relying on another builder to build the homes for us. Like a lot of investors, we're not relying on someone to find the deals for us. We do everything in-house. What that does is it aligns the builders' initiatives with the investors, right? [00:14:06] Brandon Cobb: So there's an alignment there and we're building them a lot quicker. Then a builder normally would. So, typically, all of our spec we're in and out in 10 months or less. So, you know, the market, you know, what are the odds the market's going to take a 25% hit in that time period, you know, couldn't it? Yeah, anything's possible. Likely? Probably not. [00:14:24] Brandon Cobb: And then again, it also comes back to our niche. When there is a market contraction, the need to live is still there. People still need housing. What happens is, is people, consumers transition from those more luxurious, more expensive living arrangements into more affordable living arrangements, but they don't want to be in the war zones, right? They want affordability, but they don't want to get shot. That's where we want to be. We want to be in those product types that are affordable to first-time home buyers, because that gives us a level of insulation. Now there's a couple other things, kind of, you know, our market specifically, you know, why do we feel it's insulated well, one, it's more affordable compared to the rest of the country, right? [00:15:01] Brandon Cobb: So people just flock to those more affordable areas kind of what I just illustrated. The second is man, Tennessee. Huge migration after COVID we didn't shut everything down. Like California, New York people were moving their businesses here in droves. And not just because of the government but because of the tax initiatives too. [00:15:19] Brandon Cobb: So there's no income taxes, just like. People love that and moving their businesses here in droves. So we have a high growth city. We manage everything in-house and we're in a product type that's insulated against market volatility.  [00:15:31] Sam Wilson: Yeah. I love, I love all the thoughts on that. The other thing that people may not know, I guess, regionally, you know, I'm very familiar with middle Tennessee, obviously, I'm from Tennessee, but or live here in Tennessee, not originally from it. I wish I were, but either way it is the, is it the housing stock is just old. I mean, there is an aging housing stock that is just it's fading out. We're seeing it here in Memphis where it's like, gosh, I mean, you know, 80 to hundred-year-old homes, that's an 80 to a hundred-year-old home. [00:15:56] Sam Wilson: We need new housing stock coming online. And so I think that's the other thing when you're having that increased demand and also this, this kind of just aging out of stock. I mean, there's, there's places now in Memphis where you just it's time to tear it down, especially in middle Tennessee, that story is there, there as well. [00:16:11] Sam Wilson: So I think, you know, you've got yet further tailwinds to what you guys are doing. How are investors getting involved with your business? I mean, it sounds like a pretty fast process here. You know, if it's a 10-month turn, are you guys developing a fund and they come in and invest in the fund and that way they have, you know, just evergreen exposure to what it is you guys are doing or what's that, how does that work for you? [00:16:32] Brandon Cobb: Yeah. Great question. So we do have a fund, so investors can invest in the fund. They get to see the projects before you invest in them. So, you know, typically we work with accredited and both non-accredited investors, couple of more steps with the non-accredited investors, but they can go to our website. hbgcapital.net. [00:16:48] Brandon Cobb: That's Harry, Bob, Gary capital.net. They can sign up for an introductory call. That's the first step. There's a ton of free educational stuff we put on there. That kind of explains what we do. We've got an ebook, Recession-Resistant Passive Income, kind of explains what our investing piece is. So that'd be a great place to start. [00:17:05] Brandon Cobb: If you think it's a fit after you've seen some of the contents, schedule a call with us, we'd love to get to know you. But that's what we're doing is we're, we're funneling money into the fund. They get to see the products that we're going to put out beforehand and, you know, a lot of our investors are local, so it's kind of cool being able to drive them around and actually showing them the projects. [00:17:21] Sam Wilson: Right, right. Yeah. So they get in the fund. I'm just really just curious, cause this is different than a lot of the guests that come on the show where it's a syndication. Hey, we know it's a five-year plan when somebody puts the money into the fund. How long are they in that fund? And what's a typical return profile look like, or what are you shooting for? I'm just really curious the kind of mechanics of how your fund works, because it's different than a lot of things we hear about.  [00:17:42] Brandon Cobb: Yeah, so we compartmentalize everything, right? So syndications we've done syndications before for some nuance deals, but everything is compartmentalized. [00:17:51] Brandon Cobb: So all the money goes into the fund, right. Or a syndication opportunity, but it's kind of it's separated. So when it goes in, it's spoken for, we invest capital and just specific deals. And then once that's done, it's done, right? If we raise any more money, it's going to go into another set of deals. So we structure it where 100% of all the returns or the distributions flow to the investors until they get the return of capital back and the return on. [00:18:17] Brandon Cobb: And then our firm will profit on the remaining. Usually the first 30% of the homes itself, all the investors are completely paid off. And then our firm profits then remaining 70% of the home. That's how we got it structured.  [00:18:27] Sam Wilson: Got it. So when somebody gets in the fund, you might have a development of say, you know, 20 townhomes or whatever it is. I'm just making stuff up here. You're like, okay. This is what we're raising for, this 20 townhome. It goes in the fund and it gets deployed. And then that's the end of that. It's, it's like syndication-esque, but in a fund model.  [00:18:42] Brandon Cobb: Yep. That's basically it. If it's a development deal, usually we say that's a 24-month turnaround. We'll raise money for phase one. Once phase one is done, that's all the horizontal work, roads, infrastructure, all that stuff. Usually six to eight months. And then we'll raise for phase two, which is the vertical. Once you do the vertical, we're usually in and out within 12 months.  [00:19:01] Sam Wilson: Wow. Wow. Really cool. Brandon, thanks for taking the time today to breakdown your business, what it is you guys are doing and how you're doing it, and just really how you see runway in your space. [00:19:10] Sam Wilson: And then, you know, how yeah, just how you're putting deals together. And of course, the tactical tip of going and meeting, especially in these smaller tertiary markets, meeting with your local government. I mean, that's a, that's absolutely brilliant. I love it. I love the way you guys are taking stuff down and provide excellent returns for your investors. [00:19:25] Sam Wilson: I know you gave this already, but just one more time to make sure we capture it here at the end. If our listeners want to get in touch with you or learn more about you, what is the best way to do that?  [00:19:33] Brandon Cobb: Yeah. So you can go to our website. hbgcapital.net. That's Harry, Bob, Gary, capital.net. I'm all over social media, Google Brandon Cobb HBG Capital, like corn on the cob. [00:19:44] Brandon Cobb: I'm all over. We post content every single day. Everything we do is all-around value add. So we really try to educate people on what we do and not just what we do, but you know how we can help them, putting out a bunch of content that's designed to help them get to where they want to go. So follow us, like us, love us, would love to hear from you. [00:19:58] Sam Wilson: Thanks, Brandon. Appreciate your time today.  [00:20:00] Brandon Cobb: Thanks, Sam. Appreciate it. 

Defo Show
082621 - The Defo Files: Nothing Like California

Defo Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 2:28


Defo has taken his talents to San Diego for the weekend!

Connecticut Garden Journal
Connecticut Garden Journal: Poppies

Connecticut Garden Journal

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2021 2:00


It's poppy season. Poppies are bright, cheery flowers that grace gardens from spring until fall. While there are some early blooming poppies, such as the red Flanders poppy and the Oriental poppy, it's the seed grown, summer poppies that I love best. These include the California poppies and bread seed poppies. Seed grown poppies germinate in spring and flower starting in early summer. California poppies, in particular, will set more seed and flower a second and maybe third time during the growing season. While California poppies are known for their golden colored flowers, there are variations that feature white, pink and red flowers. I like the natural crosses that occur in our garden with many color variations. Speaking of variations, nothing beats the bread seed poppy. While California poppies are low growing with silver foliage, bread seed poppies stand 2- to 3- feet tall with beautiful flower buds, blooms and seed pods. Like California poppies, the plants self sow readily so once you start them, you'll have them poppies forever. We have single and double flowered poppies in colors such as light pink, crimson and lavender. Some look like pom-poms they are so fluffy. The individual flowers don't last long, especially with rainy and windy weather, but the flower buds keep coming for weeks. Plus, once the flowers pass, the seed pods are ornamental too, making get cut flowers. Collect seed of either of these poppies in summer and sow them where you like in spring. Thin seedlings and self sown poppies to 6 inches apart for best flowering and enjoy the flower show.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The ADU Hour
The ADU Hour w/guest Katherine Einstein

The ADU Hour

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2021 49:36


Kol Peterson: Hey everybody. Thanks for joining us on the ADU Hour. I am super excited for today's guest, Katherine Levine- Einstein. This topic is fascinating background about the way that land use decisions are made at the local level across the country and that has some important impacts in terms of understanding what advocates [00:03:00] for infill housing should consider doing strategically in terms of improving regulations for middle housing, ADUs, et cetera. Thanks so much for coming to join us today, Katherine, I stumbled upon your work through another podcast that I listened to. I want to confess right up front, I haven't read the book, but I wanted to take this opportunity to take some of the things that you've written about and researched and frame it in the context of some of the issues that come up time and time again with ADUs.Before I launch more into my questions, let me just give you a minute to introduce yourself. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Sure. So I'm an associate professor of Political Science at Boston University and I study Urban Politics and Housing Politics, and I'm one of the authors of the book "Neighborhood Defenders, Participatory Politics in America's Housing Crisis".Kol Peterson: Have you considered doing an audio book?Katherine Levine-Einstein: It's definitely a great idea. I don't frankly know if the University Press has that kind of bandwidth. But yeah, I'm with you. Audio books are the way to go. Kol Peterson: Yeah, for me, it's just like how I [00:04:00] consume. So anyway, and this, this series will eventually become an audio podcast for what that's worth for people who are listening.So there's 19,495 incorporated cities, towns, and villages in the US, 310 cities with a population of a hundred thousand or more. Neighborhood level politics, that is, city councils, associations. Play an outsized role in how land is developed in the United States. Americans like local democratic processes. So, why is this a problem? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. So democratic processes, I mean, you say that word, that sounds really good. Right? Like having land use be democratic? I think most people hear that, they say, "yeah, that's how it should be "people who live in a community should have a say over what goes on. And indeed, that's why we have these regulations in the first place. That when we sort of had a developer dominated system back during the Urban Renewal Days, a lot of bad things happened in neighborhoods.So there are sort of good reasons to have urban planning practices be really oriented towards neighborhood level [00:05:00] input. But in practice it can be deeply problematic because we may not be empowering a representative democratic subset of the neighborhood, right? What we show in our research is that the people who show up to these neighborhood level meetings are deeply unrepresentative of their communities in a way that actually depresses the supply of housing in the United States and the supply of affordable housing in particular. The people who show up to these meetings are privileged. They're homeowners, they're older, they're whiter, and they're overwhelmingly opposed to the construction of new housing.Kol Peterson: Let's frame your research a little bit, so that we'll know what you did. And then tell us a little bit more about the numbers behind those findings of the demographics of people who actually show up to these meetings.Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah, so our book is about these participatory processes. You know, when we told people we're going to go out and study neighborhood meetings at planning and zoning boards. Really is that so interesting and important? But, I suspect I don't have to convince the audience here. These are incredibly important, these meetings are what dictate whether or not housing gets built in most [00:06:00] communities in the United States. So we really wanted to understand what happened in this sort of hyper-local politics. And so what we wanted to do is go out and document who shows up to these meetings and what do they say? And Massachusetts turns out, because of unique open meeting laws in the state, to provide an incredible opportunity to do so.So what we did is we went out and we collected meeting minutes for three years worth of meetings across 97 cities and towns in Massachusetts. And what made the data for Massachusetts really unusual is that in addition to including a list of public comments that happened at these meetings, we were able to learn the names and addresses of the people who participated in these public forums.And when you have someone's name and address, you can link them with a lot of other administrative data and learn really interesting and important demographic information. So from those meeting minutes, we were able to learn how demographically and attitudinally representative the people are who show up to these public meetings. The first k ey finding that we had is that these [00:07:00] folks were privileged. They were about 25 percentage points more likely to be homeowners than the general population in their community. They were over 20 percentage points more likely to be over the age of 50. They were about 10 percentage points, more likely to be white, right?So these are folks who occupy positions of privilege in their communities. They also overwhelmingly do not like the construction of new housing. So we looked at public meetings that involved the construction of one or more units of housing. So we looked at everything involving meetings had accessory dwelling units up to like big apartment complexes.And we found that only 14% of people showed up to these meetings in support of the construction of new housing. So, overwhelmingly the voices that planning and zoning board officials hear and that city councils hear, are people who are opposed to new housing developments. Kol Peterson: So 14% showed up in support of the projects and all the rests showed up as opposing the projects?Katherine Levine-Einstein: Most of them, I think at [00:08:00] 65% showed up opposed, and the rest showed up as neutral. There were a lot of those neutral folks were in fact opposed, but they were sort of asking clarifying questions about whether the developer had complied with parking studies or something like that.Kol Peterson: And then you took that data in your study and you contrasted it to legislative support for affordable housing so that kind of gives you a baseline of theoretically , this demographic should have one feeling towards affordable housing, but in practice when it comes to development in their own backyard this is what we see. So can you talk about the differences? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Absolutely. So another great thing about studying Massachusetts was in 2010, we actually had a ballot referendum about public support for affordable housing, so there's a piece of statewide legislation here in Massachusetts called Chapter 40 B, which allows housing developments that have a certain percentage of affordable housing to bypass local zoning regulations.And so this was up for a ballot referendum in 2010. And so it gives us a [00:09:00] rough sense in each city and town, the extent to which individuals support the production of affordable housing and the ability to bypass local zoning to accomplish that goal. So the ballot referendum passed. So this law is still in place in Massachusetts.And what we found is in every single city and town that we studied, support for housing was higher as measured in this ballot referendum than it was when we actually went and looked on the ground at support from new housing at these planning and zoning board meetings. I think liberal Cambridge, Massachusetts is the best illustration of this.So 80% of Cambridge, Massachusetts voters in 2010 came out in support of chapter 40 B. But only 40% of commenters at Cambridge planning and zoning board meetings show up in support of the construction of new housing. So when it comes to developments in their own backyard, the people who show up to these meetings are considerably more opposed to new housing.Kol Peterson: So what does this tell you about the disparity of those who are empowered to participate in local [00:10:00] zoning processes and the general ideological sentiment towards infill housing in general? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. I mean, what it tells me is that the people who show up to these meetings are not representative of their broader communities. And they're not representative in ways that are gonna depress the supply of housing. And it, this is really problematic, right? Because one, it's depressing the supply of housing relative to what the general public wants, right? Like if we sort of look at general public opinions, especially in these high costs, communities like Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, we see high levels of support for new housing, but when it comes to the housing actually being built in specific neighborhoods, when we empower neighborhoods to have a say over whether or not they want housing there, the evidence suggests that those neighborhoods overwhelmingly saying, "No thanks, we don't want housing".I sorta think the second important point timbers from our data, when we think about this broader housing politics is this is not just a story of people showing up in opposition to big apartment complexes, right? This is a story about people coming out in opposition for a townhouse or [00:11:00] accessory dwelling unit being built in their community.And so these neighborhood meetings get really contentious, not just when it's a big development, but sometimes when it's like a pretty modest one. Kol Peterson: Can you explain the theory of Cost for Political P articipation in the process and let's cover both the expertise element of it, the time required element, then this theory of concentrated costs and diffuse benefits. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. Two big reasons that the folks who show up to these meetings are deeply unrepresentative of their broader communities. The first is that it's incredibly costly to participate in these forums. And the second is that the people who are sort of weakly supportive of new housing may not be especially interested in showing up to these developments.So when we look at canonical political science research, we know that the biggest drivers of whether or not you participate in politics, are whether you have the resources to participate, and whether you're interested to participate. And we believe that both of those factors are really critical to explaining why the people who show up to these planning and zoning board meetings are really unrepresentative of their broader communities, right. So starting with these [00:12:00] sort of resource-based costs, going to the planning and zoning board meeting is like a big outlay of time, right? So you have to have two to three hours of your life that you're willing to give up, you have to have the childcare. There's a lot of just like basic costs to showing up to one of these meetings, you also have to develop the expertise.These meetings often devolve really quickly into the minutia of whether or not a setback is big enough or whether or not a parking study or a traffic study is required. If you're not someone who is intimately familiar with the lingo of variances and special permits, these meetings are not going to feel really accessible to you, right?So another cost is developing that expertise. So there's really big cost barriers. There's also, again, the second big factor there, these big interest barriers to showing up. So new housing developments have concentrated costs and diffuse benefits. So let's just imagine, you know, a townhouse development, right?Like not, not sort of a major apartment building, but just sort of a small housing development. The benefits of that housing development, if I'm measuring across the whole city in it, [00:13:00] City that has a shortage of housing, that the benefits of that they're like pretty diffused. You know, we're not going to really measure a significant decrease in housing costs from the construction of those two new units.But the cost of that building of two new units is really concentrated. If I live next door to that townhouse development, I'm going to have to listen to construction noise for like a year maybe, or I'm going to have to have my view changed in a way that I don't like, or maybe there's going to be more cars parked in front of my house.There are all these things that are going to be very motivating to me, as the next door neighbor, to show up in a way that even if I'm the most ardent pro housing supporter in the world, I'm probably not going to show up to a planning or zoning board meeting about a townhouse across town. That's just not a useful outlay of my time given the diffuse benefits.Kol Peterson: Yeah. And it, it really begs the question, " Who would actually show up for a meeting for a proposed project near them in general?" It totally makes sense that [00:14:00] everybody has NIMBY predispositions, even myself.We don't want change near us. We don't want more parking near us, we don't want more housing near us. We all kind of feel this way and it's almost a natural thing yet our democratic process at the local level is set up to empower that predisposition that we have. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. So there's really good psychological research out there that shows that we, as humans are just innately sensitive to changes in our neighborhood. Like we respond really strongly to changes in our community. And so it totally makes sense. A development definitionally is a rapid change to your community, even if it's one of a pretty modest scope. Having a new townhouse go in next door is a really big change to your view. It's a big and rapid change to the environment into which you bought into. Those kinds of rapid changes, we know have a strong impact on people's attitudes and they're motivating, they get you sort of interested in politics and eager to show up to these forums. And as you said, these forums are therefore designed [00:15:00] to capture that exact set of preferences. The people who are intensely motivated to show up and have the resources to do so. Kol Peterson: For those of us who haven't been through this type of local land use process at the local level, can you help set up for us what a local meeting dynamic that occurs for a proposed housing development project would look like? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah, sure. So there's obviously a lot different ways this can go and some of them are a lot more contentious than others. But I can provide sort of a pretty standard example of a multi-family housing development that happened in Cambridge. So this particular developer I think it was in 2015, he showed up and it was this like terrible abandoned warehouse near a mass transit stop in Cambridge. And so he shows up and says, "I would like to convert this abandoned warehouse into four condominium units. Each with one parking space." Because he was proposing converting a she'll use into a residential one he needed to get a special permit. And so he found himself before the [00:16:00] Cambridge planning board in order to get a special permit. So the way that this typically goes, he comes to the meeting, he presents his plan, then the Cambridge planning board asks them like pretty technocratic questions. And at that moment it's turned over, to public comment. In most places in the United States, Cambridge is not unique by any means, when you need to get a variance or a special permit. Given the way that land use is set up in the United States, most of the time, if you want to build more than one unit of housing, that's going to be your situation. You have to present your plans in front of a public body. And as part of open meeting laws that members of the public then have the opportunity to comment on that housing development. They can sort of say anything that's pertinent to the proceedings at hand.And so at this particular meeting in 2015, after the developer presents his plans, there were a few neighbors who showed up. Every single one of them deeply opposed to the project. Some of them talked about like foundation issues at their houses that had, one person showed up, she was a lawyer, with handouts [00:17:00] indicating that the developer was violating zoning proceedings.Other people were worried about parking issues. And so after hearing from the neighborhood, the planning board, which had initially been like pretty supportive of the project, was considerably more concerned. And they said to the developer, look, you need to go talk to the neighbors and you need to get us a parking study and an engineering study, each of which can cost the developer, you know, $10,000 so these are not cheap. It also meant that the developer had to come back three months later after the carrying costs and the other costs associated with holding onto a project and delaying and development by three months. So he comes back three months later and says, okay, I've talked to the neighbors, I've done my studies.And now instead of developing four units, each with one parking space, I'm going to do three units each with two parking spaces. And so at one level, that's maybe not such a big deal, it's only one year lost and a few extra parking spaces. But when we start to think about that process, getting repeated thousands of times over in [00:18:00] cities, across the country, it's not hard to see how these neighborhood politics are reducing our supply of housing and creating a housing crunch in so many places.Kol Peterson: You explicitly moved away from using the term "NIMBY", which is a little bit contentious, and instead using a different term "Neighborhood Defenders" in your book, is that a term that's intended to be synonymous? Or can you explain what that terms about? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. So we talk about the people who show up at these public meetings as being "Neighborhood Defenders" and we very deliberately wanted to move away from this term NIMBY, which refers to people who are "not in my backyard, I don't want new housing here". We think NIMBY connotes, inherently sort of selfish attitudes about, you know, one's own property values, one zone house. And what we observed with me read through thousands of pages of meeting minutes is that's not actually the attitude of most of the people who show up to these meetings.Most of the people who show up to these public meetings, invokes sort of community concerns. "I'm worried about my neighborhood. I'm worried about my neighborhood character. [00:19:00] I love my community and I want to protect it". That is sort of the impetus behind people who are worried about parking, who are worried about wildlife, who are worried about wetlands. It's these broader community concerns. And so we think one that this term "Neighborhood Defender" better captures these individuals self conceptualization, but we also think it better captures why these individuals are so persuasive. The Cambridge planning board could've just ignored the neighbors, right? They had that power. This wasn't a situation where the neighbors get to vote on a development. So the Cambridge planning board could have said. "We hear your concerns, neighbors, but we're just going to go ahead and approve this project because we think this neighborhood of Cambridge desperately needs more housing". And they didn't do that.And I think part of why these folks are persuasive is because they don't seem selfish. They seem community oriented and like representatives of their community.Kol Peterson: Let's go into the history of nimbyism a little bit. I had come across information that there was a connection to the environmental movement, which I think is fascinating and that back in 1970s, the Cuyahoga river [00:20:00] in Ohio was burning and neighborhood conservationist and environmentalist were coming out and trying to fight the pollution that was associated with that. And I think that had some connection with the origin of the kind of environmental movement slash modern environmental movement slash nimbyism. Now nimbyism has taken on a new understanding as of late, but then there's also conflation or connection to urban renewal and environmental regulations that are occurring that make development more challenging. Can you just help tease apart these different topics for us?Katherine Levine-Einstein: Absolutely. So I actually want to route this a little bit thinking about again this Cambridge housing development. The reason that that Cambridge housing development had to go before a planning board was because there was a land use regulation in place that said, "anything that converts a commercial use to a residential use has to go before a public meeting." If there hadn't been that land use regulation, then this housing development could have happened what is called "By Right". And if a development can [00:21:00] happen by right, it doesn't have to go through this lengthy process. If we're really interested in understanding, okay, so why do things show up in front of these meetings?We need to understand the origins of these land use regulations. Why do cities and towns have them? When did these land use regulations that are coming to being? The answer is it's sort of a confluence of a bunch of different movements and different zoning codes emerged at different times. So some set of land use regulations actually date back as early as the 1920s.That's when we start to see zoning ordinances really come into vogue. And a lot of the impetus there is really explicitly rooted in segregating communities by race and by class. There's been really good books written on this by Richard Rothstein and Jessica Trounstine, about the racial origins of zoning and land use regulations.These ordinances came into being to keep people of color and poor people from moving into communities. So a lot of places where folks live, you've probably all heard about conversations about single family zoning, a lot of regulations that [00:22:00] ban multi family housing very much came into being with this sort of race and class-based origins. But then there's a sort of separate set of land use regulations that start emerging in the 1970s. So we start to see this big proliferation of land use regulations oriented around environmental uses and around neighborhood meetings that emerged during that time period. I already talked a little bit about urban renewal. So one thing that went on is during the 1950s and 1960s we essentially had developers bulldozing communities of color and low-income communities. We were building highways and downtown shopping malls and all of these uses that weren't really serving those communities. After that happened a lot of urban planners said, my God, we, we actually need to like talk to neighborhoods.And not just bulldoze them, we may not know what's best for communities. From urban renewal emerges, in a lot of cities, this really noble impulse to actually listen to communities that are being affected by development. At the same time, you talk about the Cuyahoga River, there's lots of different examples of this, there also [00:23:00] this whole series of terrible environmental outcomes happening and we have suburban sprawl, like ruining wetlands. There's a lot of recognition among environmentalist that the way we were doing development was deeply harmful to a lot of vulnerable, natural resources. At the same time, we also see a lot of communities start to create wetland regulations or Vernal pool regulations, or Vernal pool, buffer zones. Things that essentially make it really hard to develop anywhere near a Vernal pool or a wetland and require you to get like lots of extra permitting. And again, that sounds probably good to most people where you're like, yeah, we probably should be protecting some of our wetlands and our Vernal pools and these other very important natural resources.But when you sort of layer them on to all these other land use regulations, what happens is in practice, each of these additional regulations makes it harder to build a new housing, especially in high opportunity communities that seem to love to add these land use regulations. Kol Peterson: I have a an [00:24:00] observation which is some of the most politically liberal cities in this country seem to have some of the strongest NIMBY strands I've observed. Berkeley, California, Eugene, Boulder, and Cambridge, perhaps, I don't know if Cambridge would really stand out or not, but is there any correlation there or am I just projecting that? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. So it actually turns out, if you look within those liberal places, it's the most conservative people who are more opposed to housing. In our data in Massachusetts, it's obviously a pretty liberal place if you look at like what predicts whether someone's supposed to the construction of new housing, things like being a homeowner, if you own your home, your more opposed the construction of new housing. Also being a Republican predicts being opposed to the construction of new housing.And there's other folks like Mike Hankinson, who's done more survey work that showed that conservatism is actually more associated with being opposed to new housing. But all that said, you're right to note that some of the most contentious battles that we have over new housing development seem to be happening in places like Berkeley, California Cambridge, [00:25:00] Massachusetts. Those are the places that are facing the most acute pressures for new housing. Those have been places that have experienced incredible economic growth over the last few decades. They haven't been able to match that demand for new housing. In some ways that's why we're seeing more of the housing crisis emerged there is because there's been so much economic growth, it's created demand that we're not necessarily seeing in more conservative cities. But I actually do want to stress that this phenomenon is not just limited to these really expensive cities. I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and as a Wisconsin native, I was interested in understanding how these processes play out in my hometown, which is not a place that is having the kinds of housing crunches that are experienced in Berkeley, California, Cambridge, Massachusetts. And even in these kinds of places like Milwaukee, we do see similar kinds of dynamics playing out at neighborhood meetings. And the place where you see it is in the most privileged part of town. So you look at both the privileged suburbs and the [00:26:00] privileged neighborhoods within the city of Milwaukee, you see folks there fighting the construction of new housing. Even in these less crazy housing markets, we do see advantaged towns and advantaged neighborhoods still activate to protect their boundaries and stop the development of housing. Kol Peterson: So for some context my opinion as a subject matter expert is that Massachusetts has very restrictive ADU regulations, relatively speaking, along with most of the country, that's just a general observation. Part of what makes it restrictive in Massachusetts is so many towns require a special permit, which is also known as a conditional land use permit. Can you share with us any statistics you have about the impacts that a special permit requirement or a conditional land use permit requirement has on the likelihood that an average homeowner would pursue a home improvement project?Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah. So I haven't looked at this for eighties specifically. But those are research and that of many economists has essentially shown that every time you add a new [00:27:00] regulation onto the housing development process, you make it more expensive to build and you reduce the supply of housing. Applying that research to the world of ADUs, I would say, anytime you add a requirement in a special permit is a very onerous requirement, you are going to reduce the likelihood that someone's going to pursue that because it's going to be a lot more expensive. It's going to take longer, you're going to have to presumably hire more experts to get yourself through the public hearing process, you have to pull more permits. All those things cost money and time. We know from just more general research and land use regulations, that's going to make it harder to do and reduce the overall supply. Kol Peterson: What's the difference between a special permit and a variance? Katherine Levine-Einstein: So variance from existing zoning is essentially, you're saying " I know that I'm in a commercial zone, but I want to build something residential."So then you're getting a variance from existing zoning. You're essentially asking for an exception to the existing zoning code. A special permit is different because a special permit essentially says, you have to get this permission to build [00:28:00] multi-family housing anywhere in this city. Right? So in a lot of places that's sort of the context in which I think about this, the most you to build an accessory dwelling unit, or a townhouse, or three family housing, have to pull a special permit.It doesn't matter where you build it, there's no zone where we let you build this without asking for this extra permission. Kol Peterson: As a general matter, based on your professional research on this topic, et cetera. Do you believe, or is it your your opinion that neighbors should be given authority in the decision making process that their neighbor has over property improvements?Katherine Levine-Einstein: No, so I think this neighborhood meeting process is sort of it's undemocratic. When I've talked about this work before, I've had people at public meetings come upto me and say, "you're being undemocratic for advocating for getting rid of these meetings". And I would say we spent years looking at this evidence and the evidence tells us that what is happening at these meetings is deeply undemocratic.And it's, it's [00:29:00] undemocratic in a way that it's really hurting urban areas. It's depressing the supply of housing, especially in high opportunity neighborhoods. It's making it harder for low-income people to move into sort of the most privileged parts of our cities. So, no, I don't think that these processes are working as they should. I, like many others, advocate for making more development by right, that allow members of the public to have a say over what land use regulations look like. So we should absolutely be incorporating public input. And I would argue members of the public certainly have a right to vote out officials who pass these policies that they don't like.But once the land use regulations are set, we should be allowing property owners to be developing to what those land use regulations specify without having to go through an ad hoc and unpredictable neighborhood permit process. Kol Peterson: What's your take on the most frequent objections that we're hearing in general, in the U S about, around proposed residentially zoned Don conforming housing development project? A lot of jurisdictions, [00:30:00] not just in Massachusetts, but elsewhere. There's a conditional land use process and you have to go through a public process and, and the frequent objections, among other ones, are, " This is going to change the character of our single family, residential neighborhood". Whether it's a city-wide process or a local project that can be a complaint that would be issued by a neighborhood defender.How often does this neighborhood character concept arise as a rationale for obstructing new proposed developments. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Oh, all the time neighborhood character is a really frequent objection. And a lot of people sort of wonder, like, is this a code word for like race or class-based bias?And that's, that turns out to be really hard to prove, but it's, it's hard not to see it there at least some of the time that people raise it. Some of the other concerns that we hear a lot about traffic parking, the environment. And I will stress that those traffic and parking concerns, and this sort of blew our minds as we read through the meeting minutes, like it doesn't just happen with big apartment buildings where maybe you could say, okay, there are 200 new apartment units, maybe that's going to change traffic loads, but people will [00:31:00] raise that with like a five unit building. They'll say, it's going to change traffic. And you sort of are like, how can that be? There's only going to be five or 10 new cars tops, but people really worry a lot about those traffic and parking and environmental concerns.Kol Peterson: Something else you've alluded to is this traffic study or parking study. Say I want to build an ADU, I want to convert my garage to an ADU. Can't provide an off-street parking spot, can't replace it. The driveway leading up to the garage doesn't classify as an off street parking spot, according to the zoning code. Is it a reasonable thing to ask me to do a traffic study or a parking study. Katherine Levine-Einstein: They're really expensive, right. So when we require those things we make it much more expensive to build.I think my take on that would be that clearly, there are some projects where we want to see parking studies and traffic studies. And I think we should have planners who are experts in those areas work with engineers and other people in city staff to come up with a really clear set of requirements about here are the kinds of projects that absolutely need to [00:32:00] provide us with a parking study and a traffic study.And here's what we need to see from that parking and traffic study to view it as conforming with city requirements. Because one of the things that is sort of especially problematic about these neighborhood processes, it's actually not just that neighborhoods can demand, like you need to give me a parking study.It's if they don't like the results of the first study, they can ask for a new one. As part of our book, we interviewed a lot of developers across the country. And a story we heard from multiple ones was that we had to do like two, three, four in one case five traffic studies for the same project, because the neighbors kept raising objections to the one that the developer had provided. I totally buy that they're unscrupulous developers who cut corners and provide terrible traffic studies. And I think that is something that local governments can set clear requirements around to avoid. They can say here's what comprises a good traffic study. And if you meet those requirements, you don't have to provide four more, just because the neighbors didn't like the results.Kol Peterson: Given this entrenched [00:33:00] dynamic that is more or less a truism that people don't like change and that they're going to object at a local level to proposed projects. What are some practical approaches that ADU advocates, infill housing advocates in general should consider in the face of this type of dynamic?Katherine Levine-Einstein: At a sort of more policy level, as much as possible advocate for policies that allow for ADUs by right. Any time you can get around this sort of ad hoc and neighborhood process, it's going to make it easier for folks to build. I think at a sort of policy level, avoid the special permits as much as you can, but obviously that's easier said than done.And sometimes getting these policies passed in communities is incredibly contentious in the special permit is like the compromise that lets you get it done. So thinking more micro, if you're that property owner is trying to get an ADU through a neighborhood process, I think clearly the most important thing is making sure you have supporters in the room.Ideally make sure if you don't have opponents in the room. We did read through [00:34:00] meeting minutes where essentially the meeting around an ADU work extremely uncontentious, you know, someone brought like two neighbors with them who are like, yeah, Joe's a nice guy. You should let him build this ADU.And then no one showed up in opposition. And so the thing went through really easily and it was presumably a reasonably low stress process for the homeowners. So I think making sure that you line up some form of support at these hearings. And if you do hear wind of opposition, really thinking about ways to frame the opposition as being unreasonable or NIMBY in some ways.Right. I think it's really important. Kol Peterson: I think we've started to see some you know YIMBY yes. In my backyard movements to kind of coalesce in support of local projects. Any observations to share about that, that you've heard about. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Yeah, no. So, I mean, I wish and so many people people have asked me about this a lot in regards to our Massachusetts data, because Cambridge has a very active YIMBY movement now.And unfortunately our data collection stopped in 2017. And I would say the movement there, it really picked up in 2018, 2019. And so thinking about [00:35:00] sort of where a YIMBY movement can be most effective and looking at Cambridge. In some ways, the place where they've been most effective is actually organizing around pro-housing city council candidates, right?That at the end of the day, to get good housing legislation passed, you need to have politicians in place who are willing to sort of put into, put into place policies. Like in Cambridge, the affordable housing overlay, we look at Minneapolis, something like abolishing single family zoning, right?Like that requires the actions of politicians who are pro-housing. And so if I were advising YIMBYs, I would say, go out and organize and get those candidates elected so we can pass the citywide legislation that allows for more housing to be built by right. More recently we've seen Kol Peterson: states like California and Oregon step in with pretty aggressive or assertive statewide ADU legislation superseding local control over ADUs ordinances.While this may be seen as a bit heavy handed to some city officials and planning staff in the sense that [00:36:00] historically zoning controls is at the local level. I'm now, personally, becoming convinced that this is the only reasonable pathway forward, to enacting best practices for ADU zoning regulations.For the most contentious things like Austria parking, owner occupancy requirements. The only reasonable pathway forward in the sense that I am impatient. I'm not willing to do this through 190,000 jurisdictions in the United States. I want to do it through 50 or, you know, however many handful of states are willing to take this on where there's actually promise of our potential for ADUs to play a role in addressing housing shortfalls.So what's your take on statewide legislation that preempts local zoning? And what do you suspect are some variables that would indicate whether this would be a viable approach in your state? Katherine Levine-Einstein: I'm really into state level preemption in part, because I think it makes the development pressure it's more evenly spread, right.And more spread to exclusionary places. And so we can think about places like Minneapolis, they went out on their own and they abolished [00:37:00] single family zoning and that's awesome. But their surrounding suburban communities haven't done that. Right. And so that essentially does, is it concentrates a lot of development in the city.And it means that some of the places that have, you know, the highly ranked school districts get to stay exclusionary. And so I think we don't want to rely solely on a process that involves the most progressive places saying, sure, we'll let more housing get built here, while exclusionary places get to stay exclusionary.And I say this for two reasons, one it's unjust because it makes it harder to access the really high quality public goods, the top rated schools in many places. Right. And so that's, that's I think a deep problem. I think the second issue though, with having that kind of uneven development pressure is it can lead to gentrification and displacement, right.That, you know, here in the Boston Metro area, an overwhelmingly amount of our development has been concentrated in the city of Boston because they haven't made it super easy to develop, but relative to the surrounding suburbs they've made it much easier to develop. And so what that means is they get all of the building.And a lot of [00:38:00] people of color have been pushed out of their neighborhoods. And in contrast are like inner core streetcar suburbs with all that top ranked schools are just not doing their share and they're not going to voluntarily do their share. And so I think that's why we need the state to step in because otherwise a lot of places where that should be shouldering their development burdens just aren't going to do it.Okay. So where can it happen? Right. Like. Oregon sort of a unicorn, right? Like California, I think has been the counterpoint to show us a place where everyone agrees that housing is a huge issue, but no one can seem to agree on what the preemption legislative package should look like. Right.Like we've seen many packages go through. And I think finally, now there's been a little bit more attraction. But that's been a really contentious issue in one that it's been really hard to get support from a bunch of different state legislators. So so I guess, yeah, my answer to how to get it done is we haven't really been able to get it done in a lot of places, right.That Oregon is the most recent example where there's been real success. But in a [00:39:00] lot of other places like Massachusetts or California that has really pressing housing crises and very liberal state governments it's been really hard to do.Kol Peterson: Ironically though. I'd say it's, it was. Weirdly easier to pass a statewide legislative bill for, for what, just for the elements that occurred within the ADU portion of the bill for Oregon, which said no owner occupancy, no off street parking. Easier to pass at the statewide level than to try to do it in a given local jurisdiction.So I think depending on how the bill is targeted and framed and how explicit or how minor it might seem, it actually might be easier to pass at the state level than at the local level because of this dynamic that you've articulated so well, which empowers neighbors to have more voice than people who dedicate their profession to studying this issue who are more empowered at the state level. In other words, more [00:40:00] academics, more institutional voices that understand the statewide dynamics between supply and demand. I wish I knew which states would be most ripe for that type of suggestion at this point.Katherine Levine-Einstein: I think the packaging really matters, that's a really important point. I think again about this Minneapolis example where they've gotten tons of attention for ending single family zoning at the same time that they did that they also abolished parking minimums, which like no one was really talking about because they were also distracted with the single family zoning, which is as much bigger, more contentious issue.And I imagine in a lot of places, if you tried to abolish parking minimums, without having a broader conversation, it would seem like a huge deal. And so, as you say, I think a lot of it is in the packaging. And whether you can make it seem like a minor little tweak to land use regulations or whether it sounds like the, a big deal that will get rid of all of our beautiful single family neighborhoods. I think that's an important political point. Kol Peterson: Awesome. Thanks, Katherine. So Kelsey let's I'll have you take it away. Kelcy King: That wraps up the interview portion of this [00:41:00] episode of the ADU hour. As a reminder, these episodes are the edited audio version of interviews that we conducted via a webinar series. Good news. You can access the full video series via Kol's website, BuildinganADU.com. Now for the second half of the show I curate questions from the audience that gives our guests the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic or address new ideas and questions.First we want to know what the podcast was that you heard, Kol. Kol Peterson: Oh is maybe Catherine can speak better than me to this . Katherine Levine-Einstein: It was with the it was The Weeds with Matt Yglesias, and I think it was in January, which feels like a lifetime ago that wasn't so long ago.Kelcy King: Thank you. This one's from Neil, are contemporary neighborhood defenders being honest in their community concerns, or could they be euphemisms in order to not say the more insidious intentions out loud? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Oh, totally. Yeah. And the problem is right. Obviously we can't know that for [00:42:00] sure. I can't mind read and see sort of what's inside someone's head and certainly not when I'm reading the meeting minutes. But sometimes, people say that the quiet part, right? So there are times where you read through these meeting minutes and people say things that are, that are more explicit.So one that really comes to mind for me, was one public meeting where someone talked about their lovely north shore town that's right on the ocean, say we don't want it to become another Chelsea, which is a town that is like six towns over majority Latino. And so it was very clear that the concern was that if you built this housing development, you would have Latino people moving in.We also heard from someone who worked in the planning department in another privileged community in the Boston area that sometimes the meeting minutes actually gets scrubbed when someone says something that's incredibly racist. And so I can't speak to that, I haven't seen it personally.That's all to say, I think those sentiments are very much out there and there's also a really strong incentive on the part of both individuals who are trying to be persuasive and also governments to not [00:43:00] have those be in official documents. So yeah, very much still there. Kelcy King: Melissa wants to know, with your research, is it better to ask for more units, say 10 versus four, so that after it's all said and done going from 10 to four, rather going from four to three.Katherine Levine-Einstein: You know, I can't say that for sure. I would love to partner with a developer where we experiment and try a few different developments to see how this plays out. But in interviews with developers, a lot of them will say that they shoot high in their initial ask, so that then when they're like, oh yeah, we're going from 10 to four that were so reasonable.We're cooperating. Right. And I think, again, this is another cost of these land use regulations is if you're a property owner or developer, you have to guess, right. You have to sort of say, okay, what's the too high number to shoot for us that I can eventually end up with the optimal number of units for me.Yeah. Kelcy King: Great. Thank you. Is it possible for local jurisdictions to take the state to court on state level preemptions?Katherine Levine-Einstein: That's a great question. I don't know about whether they can take them to [00:44:00] court. I know they can do lots of appeals and fight it. And I know that individuals have taken the state to court over preemption. More generally, one of the critiques of preemption laws has been that in practice, they don't produce more housing because they lead to more litigation. That has absolutely been the experience with Massachusetts' preemption law, chapter 40 B, which has been around since the 1990's. And it's unclear what the longterm effects have been on housing supply.There's been sort of mixed studies on this, but there have absolutely been a lot of lawsuits about it. So I think it is definitely something that folks have to be prepared for when you pass these kinds of laws, that there is litigation around it. Kelcy King: Once land regulations are set development should be by right, but how do you deal with design and design compatibility with an existing historic neighborhoods?. Katherine Levine-Einstein: Historic neighborhoods are really interesting ones. Because it's funny when you read sort of be an economist who studied land use regulations, they hate historic preservation. I think if you were to sort of say, like, what is the thing that they would most love to get rid of?They sort of look at these historic districts and say that the, when [00:45:00] we have those regulations, we make it harder to build. And yeah, I think those are that would sort of be the hard party line. I think it's challenging though, because when we look at what we love about many of our Americans cities, we love some of the pretty old preserve neighborhoods.So yeah, I think you've highlighted a really tricky trade-off when we have regulations that preserve our communities, we make it harder to build and we make it more expensive to build. And in some cases that may be worth doing but not always . Like I think we have to sit or yeah, balance the need for more housing, with the need to preserve some of our some of our treasured neighborhoods.I think the second place I want to flag that with historic preservation is again, this equity concern in a lot of American cities, the old neighborhoods that are historic preservation areas are also the rich areas. And so they provide this tool for affluent areas to say, oh, you can't develop here look at all these pretty Victorian houses. Why don't you go develop over there? And the other part of the city, which happens to be where poor people and people of color live. And so I think that's one of the tools that has led to incredible [00:46:00] inequities in where development happens. Kol Peterson: I want to make comments last question, which is what if as a general operating principle, the higher priced land value areas were required to have the most liberal regulations for housing development.Katherine Levine-Einstein: I think it would solve a lot of the gentrification displacement concerns. And again, if you look at California, one of the big issues has been that in Los Angeles a lot of local low-income communities of color have borne the brunt of development pressures there and it turns out that those are also the areas that have been upzoned more frequently . And so I do think something that, that rectified that inequity would certainly be something I support. I think it would be very politically difficult to pass because the most powerful areas are the ones that are protected by these regulations.Kol Peterson: But its precisely where we, we need development, right. I mean, those areas, in general, going to be the areas where the most transit oriented, most desirable places and [00:47:00] where these kinds of projects could pencil out, it would make sense for the community if they were allowed.Kelcy King: In addition to building smaller footprint ADU's, how can we also get people to build smaller main homes versus mega mansions? Katherine Levine-Einstein: This is again, one of the issues that people raised in the town that I live in, when you try to sort of reform zoning and land for more multi-family housing.One of the issues that gets conflated is people say, well, you know, there's been so many tear downs as small houses to build these mega mansions. And so when we loosened zoning, how do we prevent all the housing from becoming less affordable? You know, I don't know that I have a good answer because I always worry when you add in more regulations, we're just going to make it more expensive to build.But I definitely share the questioner's concern about about replacing a small single family home with a big single family home, I guess I would say we should replace that small single family home with like a couple of homes or a townhouse, if we can, if the lot's big enough in supports that use. Kelcy King: Great. Thank you. Are you aware of any research that shows the relationship between increased housing price and decreased [00:48:00] quality of living? Katherine Levine-Einstein: Hmm, interesting. So yes, I think there's a lot of research that shows when your housing gets more expensive, life becomes more terrible at a variety of dimensions.And so when we have higher costs of living, I think if you want the most direct measure of quality of living health, right, your health, your stress, we know that if you're in a more expensive housing market, and if your housing itself is more expensive, you experience more stress, you experience all these negative physical outcomes .You're more likely to be faced with a crazy long commute which is terrible for a whole host of reasons. So I think there's a lot of ways in which being stuck in an expensive housing market makes your life worse. Kol Peterson: Thanks for being our guest today, Katherine, it's been a lot of fun ! .And thanks everybody, we'll see you around the bend. [00:49:00]

What's the 5678 ?
Open Your Legs like California is about too

What's the 5678 ?

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2021 72:55


In this episode we discuss Non-Binary babies, Vax for Vax and condoms or the lack there of in the gay community. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/whats-the-5678/support

Utah Stories Show
Will Utah remain unique in the west or will we become just like California?

Utah Stories Show

Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2021 33:46


Get the story behind the settlement and development of the Great Basin in this episode of the Utah Stories Show that dives deep into Mormon Pioneer history and the community-building efforts of the early pioneers. Find out what they had right, that we have largely forgotten. Why is this relevant today? Utah has now more tech jobs per capita than any other state. Our educated workforce, strong family values and comparatively cheap real estate has successfully landed big tech in little Utah. But what is to stop Utah from becoming just like California? Great for the elite tech workers and rich; but terrible for middle-class working Americans who are only watching their dreams of owning homes and businesses disappear. Utah once had very clearly defined priorities and values. Those values defined the entire Great Basin area and most western states. The values were to keep government small, maintain a strong middle class and maintain limited government by maintaining a strong civic partnership between small and medium-sized businesses and government. Today, more than ever our government is operating like a plutocracy, for the rich, by the rich -- and catering to big corporations and massive tech companies. It's time we returned to the original western values which defined the culture of the region. Brigham Young and Joseph Smith's ideals to create strong local economies and communities have been largely forgotten. In this episode, we illustrate how Brigham Young and the Latter-day Saints successfully built nearly 600 small communities throughout the West, from Canada to Mexico and throughout the entire Great Basin. Visit UtahStories.com to subscribe to our free digital newsletter. Follow Utah Stories on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also support Utah Stories by supporting our advertisers and subscribing to our monthly print magazine.    

3 Sheets to the Mouse - Disney for Grown-ups
3 Sheets Episode 202 - Stroking Lopez's EGOT

3 Sheets to the Mouse - Disney for Grown-ups

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2021 102:19


It takes a lot of talent to make it big in Broadway. Sometimes you make it even bigger off Broadway. Like way off. Like California off. Robert and Kristen Lopez had some very humble beginnings before they became the musical power team for Disney. This week we go "behind the music" with Team Lopez and learn everything we can about them. Spoilers: It's more about one than the other.   Please rate, review and subscribe!! Twitter @3sheetspodcast insta @3sheetspodcast facebook @3sheets teepublic shirts Magical Meltdown Opening Credits by Jonathan Young Mr. Young’s Awesome Music

The Recruitment Hackers Podcast
Getting Evil with “The Evil HR Lady” - Forced vacations, termination policies, and more

The Recruitment Hackers Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2021 32:58


Max: Hello everybody and welcome back to the recruitment hackers podcast. I'm your host, Max Armbruster. And today on the show, I'd like to welcome somebody who's dialing in from Switzerland. Suzanne Lucas, who is the owner, and chief writer of a little place called evilhrlady.org. Suzanne: Yes Max: evilhrlady.org, go check it out. Welcome to the show Suzanne. Suzanne: Thanks so much for having me. Max: Thanks for joining. So, where do I begin? How long have you been evil for? Suzanne: Well that's kind of like a bad pickup line. I have been the evil HR lady since 2006, which it doesn't seem that long ago until you do a math in your head and then you go Oh boy! It's been a long time. Max: I love the website it does have that 2006 vibe a little bit, you know it's got these, you know when we were all building our own websites too and and just the format, it looks just a little bit like going back in time I must say, but it has an edge because of it. In fact, I've always thought the best websites are the ones  from that era, like, in terms of layout, nothing has ever been drudge or the eBay for evolved and so on. Even though I'm in the business of changing interfaces but for those who are listening and not on their computer. What can they expect if they go on to the evil HR lady, what audience are you attracting to your website? Suzanne: My audience is a lot of HR professionals and then, a lot of people that are trying to figure out how to handle situations at work. So it skews strongly towards the HR professional but there is a good contingent of non HR people as well that are just either interested in the topic, or they are literally coming to find an answer to their question. Max: Right and I see there is plenty of ways to kill time here there is a big red button that says show me a random post, you click on that and then you can go right into some serious topics. The one I got was enforceable severance clauses, so serious questions for HR folks. Suzanne: Okay, so maybe that's not the most exciting as post. But that's the type of thing that you know you don't know about unless you've been through it, and a lot of people need that kind of information and I hope to be able to provide it. Max: And from your background, obviously, you got into this space because you were a practitioner at some point, and you're a consultant on Labor and Employment Law. How long have you been in Switzerland? Is your background more focused on US law or do you also cover international markets? Suzanne: My focus is the United States that's my main focus. Of course, I've been in Switzerland for almost 12 years now and came for two years and a little bit longer. But, you know, I have my finger on the global market but I'm certainly not an expert in like Swiss employment law. I feel confident in saying, I'm an expert in US employment law, but I'm not really an expert in Swiss law or anything. My audience skews heavily towards the US. And that's where my focus is I do intend to return to the US someday, about 10 years ago. Max: Yeah. And when it comes to employment law. I mean I guess the US has a reputation for being one of those markets where it's relatively deregulated compared to Europe, but when it comes to employment law, it may be actually the opposite. My perception, purely from talent acquisition is that it is more litigious than Europe. Is that in agreement with your views? Suzanne: I mean I think that American culture is far more litigious than European culture in everything. Like my Swiss neighbors would never think of suing anybody for anything, you just don't do that, that's just not something that you do, that's not what comes to your mind. Whereas in US culture is very heavy on the law suing in the court, attitude, so that's a very very different cultural thing. US employment is different from a lot of the world because we have almost always what's called outwell employment, which means that I can quit and you can fire me and nobody's required to give notice on either side. And that's something that's very very unusual, especially in the Europe. I mean that's just, that's not something here, in Switzerland and nobody is that out well employment you know you've got a minimum. But after you have a probationary period but then after probationary period, they have to give you three months' notice before they can terminate you, whereas in the US your boss can walk in today and say, Thanks so much, Max but today's your last day. Max: So, by that. By that formula, employment would be easier in the US. Are there some ways in which employment is harder in the US? Suzanne: You know, I am a huge fan of the outwell employment, and when I say out well, keep in mind that you can't terminate someone for an illegal reason. So I can't walk in and say, Max, you're a white male you're fired. That I can't do. I can fire you but I can't fire you because of your race, your gender or your religion any of those types of things. Max: I thought that you could make an exception for a white male, but okay. Suzanne: You can, lots of people think that you can but you cannot. Max: It means I am protected too, yes. Suzanne: You are protected too and if you're over 40, then you have another layer of protection.  Max: Oh! Suzanne: But I know. 40 is not officially old in the US employment law. Yeah, right. Max: So when you're on the wrong side of 40, go to the US you are protected there. Suzanne: Although in Switzerland, when you're over 40, then they have to give you six months notice before they terminate you. Max: It's lovely. Suzanne: Because you come to Switzerland. Anyway. So the nice thing about this and people don't realize this so much but the easier it is to fire the more likely people are willing to hire. And so, you know, if you're in, say, Germany where it's almost impossible to terminate anybody.  Max: Hmm Suzanne: You're going to be so so so cautious about hiring, and you're going to use temps and contractors, as much as you possibly can.  Max: Mhmm Suzanne: Because once you hire someone if they are not, you know, completely you know i don't know burning down your office building. You're stuck with them until they retire. And so people are very very hesitant to make hiring decisions in in those cultures where it's very difficult to terminate, whereas in the US, because I know that I can get rid of you tomorrow, if I want to. I'm much more willing to give you a try and I think that's a real advantage and employment even though, when someone gets terminated for no fault of their own it's a really big bummer. But the fact is is a lot of those jobs wouldn't exist if. Max: So it's more of a red market. Yeah, does the sacrifice, you have to make you create a more competitive market so that there are more opportunities, but maybe we're getting too specific detail but it's in California i think that i mean in many states I guess there's also a state level protection, where you cannot Fire at will, or rather there. Isn't there some sort of compensation for tenured employees people who've been on the payroll for a long time? Suzanne: There is not Montana, the only state that doesn't have outlaw employment. Now there are protections. California is especially bonkers and very employee friendly. I say bonkers because I would never want to be an HR practitioner in California. Max: Too much paperwork. Suzanne: It's a lot of paperwork and there's a lot more restrictions, ultimately it's still an at will state but there's a lot of things that are gonna come down on you more. Like California says, specifically that terminating somebody because their salary is higher than other employees is illegal. So if I'm doing a layoff and I just want to get rid of my high dollar people. I can't do that. Now, I can eliminate their whole department or whatever but I can't just say, you know, here I have two accountants one's earning $10,000 more than the other, so I'm going to choose the highly paid one. I have to be able to give another reason. Now I can still terminate that person but I have to have another reason, and the reasoning behind this was actually not salary protection but age protection because who tends to earn the more money is older people. And so, by saying you can't fire people just because they're the highest earner. Max: White males also. Suzanne: Well, there you go. Max: All the white males, yeah. Suzanne: Then you're protecting your, your older workers. It's kind of bonkers as I said, you know when I was working as a labor and employment law consultant for a big pharmaceutical company, we had, you know, we had sales people in all 50 states of course, and we have three attorneys that handled that, and one handled 24 states, one handled 25 states, and the third handled, California, you know, that's just how California is, it's just so complex. Max: The complexity that I was alluding to when I said the hidden cost of employing in America, is the lawsuits around the Equal Employment Opportunity law. And for me on the tech side, you know, in the US you have a few more layers of data that you need to collect about everybody that you interview, and it just it's always, you know, an awkward moment for employers in most of the rest of the world including in Asia to be asking people if they're obviously you know a US veteran or what their ethnic origins are because that's not how it's done in other parts of the world. Suzanne: Yeah, that's something that frequently bothers job applicants too. They'll be like, why, why are you asking me this and like they don't want to ask it any more than you want to answer it, it's just required to for our reporting to be able to say, this is what we did. Max: Okay, so do you advise people who are moving into the US for the first time making their first hires there, you to be ready on this front or is this is this more of a nice to have. Because, I mean, I guess if it's a small business, keeping track of everybody's profile is maybe a little bit easier than when you're a big corporation. Suzanne: Well, I mean, the reporting requirements really depends on your business and your business size and if you have any dealings with the US government, and more companies than you would think work with the US government. For instance, my brother is a real estate appraiser he works for a small company, maybe 20 people altogether. They only do property in, you know, Southern Utah, but sometimes that property is government property, which means that they that are a government contractor, which means that they're subject to some of these reporting requirements. So, even though you would think, Okay this is a tiny business and they're not like Lockheed Martin or whatever selling jets to the US military or whatever you know they're appraising land but sometimes when that land is owned by the federal government then they become this government contractor. So, you know, there are these regulations but not everybody is subject to them. And some of the things are ridiculous like you have to be able to report on, you know, the race of all your applicants but what if I don't tell you my race, then you have to guess which is so ridiculous. You know, if we meet face to face, you see me face to face, I am as white as white can be, and with red hair, although the red hair is fair. Max: I couldn't tell. Suzanne: But if we don't meet face to face, then you're gonna be making a judgement based on the stereotypes of my name and my accent. You know, that's. Max: I mean I'm really good at that. But I'm not gonna do it on the air. Suzanne: I'm guessing you're probably gonna get me right because you can't see me. But, you know, that's something that I find bizarre. But we're not the only country that does that. The UK has this completely. Huge recommended list of questions that you ask for demographics, like, How were your parents married when you were 14. What's your parents income level, what's your sexual orientation. Have you ever been on welfare and people see these questions and they freak out and they're like, what does my parents income, why does it matter if my parents were divorced, then why at 14, I could be wrong about the age but it's like a specific age. And they're trying to gather this demographic data, and their goal is to be able to do these long term studies where they can look at upward mobility and it's got a nice goal to it because if I if I can say look you know I was super poor and I was on welfare when I was a child, and now I'm, you know, a marketing manager and I'm making 80,000 pounds a year or whatever. Look at me I've really come up in the world. But when people get these huge questionnaires, they're like what in the heck, and the first time I saw when I was like this is wrong and so I start googling and I'm like, Oh, well here's the government office that gives you a form I'm like okay this is real.  Max: Yeah. That reminds me, I think I had a similar form to come in as a tourist visa for India-is my parents, my parents marital history religion, just making sure I was not from Pakistan, no matter what. So that was, that was that experience but, yeah, I think it must be reassuring actually for somebody who is not based in the US and hearing you say that this employment. What's a call outwill determine at will, protects them means that, you know, we can start hiring tomorrow, start hiring in the US tomorrow, there's not going to be that much paperwork and, you know you're not if you make a mistake, you can still mend your ways later on. Suzanne: Absolutely. It's a really great boon for businesses, and in a roundabout way it's good for employees too because there's just more jobs. I mean, even now, are the unemployment rate in the US. As of, like yesterday was like 6.7%. Max: Yeah. Suzanne: Which, for most of the world that's super low in non pandemic time. For US it's quite high, because of the pandemic but for the rest of the world that's, you know, incredibly low like if you look at like Portugal and Spain, they're always hovering between 20 and 25%. They also have incredibly strong protections for employees, so nobody wants to hire. Max: Yeah. 6.5 is remarkable. I just googled vacation on your website. It's a subject which is dear to my heart because we've had in my company or culture where we've said, We want you to take a vacation, but we also don't really have time to monitor it so take as much as you want. And we've realized that they don't take any.  Suzanne: That's correct. Max: So, can you advise me on me and anybody who is in the same predicament as I am, on what should we do in terms of forcing people to take a vacation. How can I impose vacation on people, which is, I can assure you a very weird thing coming out of my mouth but It is coming in, I'm saying it earnestly. I do want people to take a vacation, but it took me a while to get there. Suzanne: Yeah, well you do and there are lots and lots of reasons for it and this is something that was a big culture shock moving from the US to Switzerland because, by law, everyone gets at least four weeks of vacation here whereas in the US, there's no required minimum vacation, you can have zero if you want. Most places offer vacation but definitely not four weeks. And a lot of people the higher up the food chain you are, you're likely to have six weeks of vacation. And there's a big cultural shift there. But I'll tell you why you should enforce vacation. There are really nice warm fuzzy things. When your people have a vacation, then they're rested they have time off and they have time to recuperate and everybody needs a break and that you already know. But vacation also reduces fraud. And one of the US banking regulations it's, I guess it's not technically a regulation it's strongly recommended. And every bank I'm aware of actually does this, is that every employee has to take at least one week off completely with no contact. No phone contacts, no email checking, no access to any system. And the reason for this is fraud because if you're running a fraud thing. You really need to take care of it. And so, if you go away for a week and you can't even check your email or your voice mail, or log in at all, someone else has to do your job. And as a result, you uncover fraud, and you prevent fraud and it's even better if you do two weeks and you may say, we're not banking, we don't need that. If you would be surprised at the number of people that embezzle from companies, and here's the other thing about the embezzlement. They're not like you know in the movies or whatever where it's someone takes the job with the plan of taking over. It's usually someone that gets behind on their credit card bill or something and they just front themselves $200. And then they pay it back, you know. And then next time it's $300 and they pay it back and then the next time it's 500 but they don't have the money to pay it back. And it's Max: It's because they gambled! they gambled it all off. Suzanne: Or whatever, it starts out, generally accidentally not I mean, obviously, you embezzle on purpose but you know they don't intend to a lot of these people, and having this vacation time this mandatory vacation, actually prevents that fraud and catches that fraud. So from you as a managerial perspective you trust your employees they're awesome, but vacation actually prevents fraud. Max: I mean even if they're not, you know, dealing with a financial transactions. If they really have to switch off, it forces your system to be ready to function without them, which is continuity one on one. You know what would happen if I get hit by a bus. Suzanne: This is also true. This is also true because you've got to do that cross training, you've got to be able to have someone be able to step in and handle you because you may get hit by a bus I mean, fingers crossed, nobody's getting hit by a bus but I mean it happens. And what happens when the guy that gets hit by the bus is the only one with the passwords to your system. That's what you know that's something that you really can't have happen and so there's just so many good reasons, besides the ones that we always think of like you know everyone needs rest and relaxation but everyone does need rest and relaxation, absolutely do. Max: To change the topic and thinking back about 2020, which is the time when everybody left the office, and it was bye, bye everything work from home doesn't matter where you live. Everybody can work from anywhere I have some friends who were working in the US that were Europeans and that they basically moved over to Europe and said well I'm still drawing my salary into the US and US dollars but I'll be working in Europe for the time being until dot dot dot. Have you noticed in your practice, these, these shifts and a lot of your customers are permanently moving towards work from home, and kind of higher from anywhere, or is everybody still thinking of going back to the way things were? Suzanne: You know, I think everyone in everyone. Almost everyone is leaning towards a little bit more of this flexibility model people really like the opportunity to work from home. Now I say that, but there are definitely people that hate working from home and don't like it. And there are definitely jobs that can be done from home but they're much better when you're in a better collaborative environment.  Max: Hmm hmm Suzanne: But there are some things that you have to think through before you make this a permanent thing and a lot of this depends on your employment law. Nobody really has a problem with I'm going to go, you know, back to my home country for a month to help my mother who had hip surgery, and during that time I'm going to keep working. You know, just remotely. Nobody has a problem with that, you know, tax authorities are going to come after you or whatever. But if you say, I'm going to move to my home country. Then suddenly, it's a different deal. And then your business needs to register in this other country you're subject to that country's employment laws. Max: Your tax Suzanne: Your tax withholdings and things like that. And, even within the United States. There are 50 different states and different states have different laws as well and you'll need to start registering in those states if people aren't coming into the office at all anymore. And so that can really limit what you do, certainly people do it, talked with a guy who has like 11 employees and they're in seven countries. But, you know, you can do it, you absolutely can. But there are things to consider on it, it's not as easy, you know, if you want to chair globalization, this would be a way to do it and be like hey let's make it easier for people to work everywhere. Max: Yeah. I think it's there, yes there's some work to be done on filing and registering in a new country, but by offering that freedom for a lot of the white-collar jobs is there and where I intend to take advantage of the global talent pool for sure, personally. Suzanne: Yeah, absolutely a great thing. I mean, look at us. I'm sitting in Switzerland, you're sitting in Hong Kong. And we're having a conversation like we would if we were in the same room. Max: It's a miracle. Yeah, and, and last year I hired somebody in the US, and all I did is I sent him a contract and I started sending him money. And then he did work, and it was just that simple. But I walked into it, you know, with a lot of fear in my heart, because I'm European originally and I just thought it'd be way more complicated than that. But turns.  Suzanne: And if you probably didn't hire him as an employee you probably hired him as an independent contractor. Max: Yeah, but in California I was told that doesn't make a difference. Suzanne: It does make a difference. Max: I was told by the person I hired, so I guess that's why. Suzanne: We can talk later. But, yeah, it's pretty easy and that's what you know I most of my clients actually all of my clients but one are in the US I have one client in Paris. But I work as an independent contractor, which allows them to hire me when I am sitting over here.  Max: So yeah they don't have to worry about where you file your taxes and so on. Suzanne: Right, I take care of all of that. Right. Max: Great. When you started your blog in 2006, you pick the word evil HR lady. Can you take us back to that moment in time when HR was evil, what did you mean by that. Did you mean that this is, this is how people perceive HR, because HR is always getting in the way that that sort of that old notion of. I have to go through HR it means I did something bad. Suzanne: I wouldn't say an old notion.  Max: You think it's still alive. Suzanne: It's still alive. I mean think about it, if your boss calls you in, and you walk in and sitting there in his office is the HR manager. How is that meeting going to go? You already know it's gonna be a bad meeting. Nobody calls HR in to say, Gosh, Max You're doing a great job I just really wanted to give you feedback clients love you your employees love you I just think you're great. They're not calling the HR manager in for that. HR shows up when there's a problem. And, you know, one of my favorite definitions of good HR comes from my friend Kate Bishop she's an employment attorney and an HR consultant and she says, Good HR is like the CIA. When we do a good job. You never know we were there. You only know when we mess up. And that's, you know, really true we're like this secret operation that goes on behind the scenes and when HR is functioning properly you don't think about HR at all. It's just like, what is that I don't know who that lady is. But when things go badly, then you're aware of them. So people still have this really negative attitude towards HR, and you being in the recruitment space should know this, that recruiters have a terrible reputation. Everybody blames the recruiter for everything that goes wrong in the hiring process. Some of it is the recruiters fault, some of it is the hiring manager's fault and some of it is that you were just a terrible candidate, but nevertheless who gets the blame the recruiter. What, are we done for the day? Max: I've heard some bad things about recruiters but you know I mean, at least recruiters are have something to celebrate right. This quarter win that they hired somebody. So there's a lot of upside there. It sounds like HR is a little bit more bitter where you're just, you know, you'll never be celebrated if nothing happens. But you'll be there when there's drama. And so, you must need a particular psychological build, to be able to do well in those conditions right to, you have to be able to have a very even calm temper. Suzanne: It would be a good plan. Does everybody have that? No they don't. Do we all have cats? Yes we do. Max: Did you all study psychology? And then no, a good chunk. Suzanne:  My degrees are actually in political science so that's a Max: Not too far, not too far from psychology. Suzanne: You know, you deal with bureaucrats that's a charm. Max: Yeah. Great. Well, I've already given the name of your website. Is there a better way to get ahold of you than to visit evilhrlady.org. Suzanne: There's so many ways to get ahold of me, there's my website, evilhrlady.org, I have a Facebook group called evil HR lady that right now we have about 6000 members and we discuss all things HR, and we share all the best HR memes. So, anybody is welcome to join that if you're smart enough to be able to answer our entry questions which are, why do you want to be here and if you just write yes I'm going to reject you. So you have to be able to at least put a sentence together. And that's a good way to reach me, I'm on Twitter at real evil HR lady, and I'm on LinkedIn every day. Max: I guess I still don't know if you're evil or not but I'm still very thankful for   Suzanne: I am good and Holy. Max: Holy? Okay, so there's the two sides of the coin there. Thank you, Suzanne It was a pleasure to have you on the, on our show. And we'll see you online.  Suzanne: Alright. Max: Looking forward to those blog posts. Suzanne: Absolutely. Max: That was Susan Lucas, also known as the evil HR lady. That's not the title I gave her. She gave it to herself. If you want to get an idea for the kind of articles that she writes, you can find articles labeled or titled how to get your boss fired or I'm in trouble for working too hard. Or president Biden's fire on the spot policy is a bad idea for your business. Another social commentary and commentary on HR practices. The main lesson I got from this exchange was that it's important to make sure your staff takes holidays. And the best way to ensure that is to start tracking it and enforcing it with, or without regulatory mandate. It is the best thing to do in order to keep the same workplace. I'll be implementing those immediately. I hope you got something out of it too, and that's, you'll be following us for more. On your podcast platform of choice.

Reopening America
Pandemic Accelerates Exodus From States Like California and New York

Reopening America

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2020 8:32


The pandemic has accelerated the exit of many Americans from big cities and tax heavy states to cheaper ones that can provide lower costs, bigger living spaces, and a better quality of life. New York and California have seen a big exodus and people are moving to places like Texas and Florida. Austin, gained the most people between April and October this year. Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, reporter at Bloomberg News, joins us for how the pandemic is speeding up relocations. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

The Daily Dive
The Pandemic Accelerates Exodus From States Like California and New York

The Daily Dive

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2020 25:13


The pandemic has accelerated the exit of many Americans from big cities and tax heavy states to cheaper ones that can provide lower costs, bigger living spaces, and a better quality of life. New York and California have seen a big exodus and people are moving to places like Texas and Florida. Austin, gained the most people between April and October this year. Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, reporter at Bloomberg News, joins us for how the pandemic is speeding up relocations. Next, as coronavirus vaccines are rolling out, the big question is… Who is next in line? A CDC panel is meeting this weekend to discuss recommendations for who will get the vaccine after healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes. Groups such as teachers, firefighters, and even camp counselors are lobbying to be next. Rachel Roubein, health care reporter at Politico, joins us for who are the next most essential group. Finally, getting into the end of the year, everyone is experiencing Covid fatigue and parental burnout has reached a tipping point. Parents have had an especially jarring year having to balance everything from staying healthy, juggling remote learning for the kids, and also trying to balance work life. It is especially tough for moms out there that are trying to do it all or even dropping out of the workforce to take care of their kids. Anna North, senior reporter at Vox, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

I Heart My Life Show

We all have our money stories sitting in the wings of our minds ready to “keep us safe” when we venture into new territory. Whether it be in our lives, our businesses, or any other venture, our minds are designed to keep us safe from the fear of the unknown. Listen as I do a live coaching session with Rachel Gully and discuss how investing in her business would mean the difference between living her dreams or wallowing in her current reality. Rachel is an empowerment coach for women seeking to overcome body image issues and a lack of confidence in themselves and their bodies. She’s been dabbling in her business for the past 18 months or so, but when COVID hit she knew she needed to start making some changes. She shares that investing in her own coaching would help her move the needle, but she’s not sure where to find the money. Now there are many different ways that we can all find the money to fund our dreams, but when it comes down to it, we all face the same fears. The one that is most prevalent for Rachel is the fear of failure and a feeling of having lost out on her dream. But the feelings she fears are the same ones she’s currently living with. Listen in as we dig deeper into Rachel’s fears and everything that’s holding her back from moving forward. We also visualize what life would be like if she did move forward in her business, did the work, and came out on the other side of 10 years living her version of success. Visualization is so powerful and the future that Rachel maps out is clear and detailed and obviously the vision that she needs to be in service to. If you’ve been dealing with your own mindset blocks, then you won’t want to miss out on this episode. In this Episode: [01:57] Welcome Rachel to the show for this coaching session. [02:19] Learn more about Rachel’s business and work. [03:15] Where is Rachel at in her business? [04:10] What was it about COVID that had her moving forward with her business? [04:43] Rachel shares her dreams for this company and her future. [05:53] What kind of support does Rachel think she needs to realize her dreams? [06:49] Which blocks have kept Rachel from signing up with I Heart Coaching? [08:16] Listen as Emily learns more about Rachel’s marketing process. [09:06] How does Rachel approach advising her students to overcome their body image issues? What would she say to herself when it comes to her business? [10:24] What would it look like for Rachel to stop playing small and go all in? [13:07] In what ways is she self-sabotaging herself? [16:16] There is a reason why we start with 6-weeks of mindset work in I Heart Coaching. [19:02] In one word, Rachel shares how she loves helping women. [21:36] Where does her money struggle come from? [24:55] What kinds of different decisions can Rachel start to make on behalf of the vision? [26:46] Rachel shares what comes up for her when she states her next steps out loud. [29:38] Why you need to focus on the vision that has been gifted to you. [31:57] What is one way that Rachel could fund her dreams and get the support she’s craving? [36:26] How would it feel to never take action toward her dreams? [40:24] The decisions she needs to make now to support her 10 year vision. [44:00] Rachel’s final thoughts on the call. Links & Resources: Subscribe to the Podcast: I Heart My Life Show on Apple Podcasts I Heart My Life Show on Spotify Connect with Emily: I Heart My Life Website I Heart My Life on Instagram I Heart My Life on Facebook I Heart My Life on LinkedIn I Heart My Lifers Community Email: info@iheartmylife.com Book a Call Episode Sponsor: Virtual Intensive for New Coaches Quotes: “Staying in the same place and not making different decisions means that you’re not going to get a different result.” - Emily Williams “You have to decide within yourself, how much longer are you willing to put up with a life that does not excite you and work that does not excite you.” - Emily Williams “I’ve got a bit of goosebumps as well and my hands are sweaty. It makes my heart skip a beat and makes me feel excited and happy. Like California is my happy place.” - Rachel Gully

People Processes
Many states have made laws that PRESUME COVID-19 happened at work

People Processes

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2020 9:04


Today, we're gonna be talking about the fact that many states have made laws that presume COVID-19 was contracted at work and makes you liable via workers' comp for any contraction of COVID-19. We're gonna talk about that and we're gonna talk about how to fight back against that argument and what would happen if you were to have a claim. First though, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe to peopleprocesses.com, which will give you exclusive subscriber-only content.  Now, let's dive into this. California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order creating what they're calling a rebuttable presumption to receive workers' compensation benefits, that employees who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work. Now, what that means is they have created an executive order that says, if you got COVID-19 and tested positive, there is a presumption that you contracted the virus at work. But it can be refuted or argued against given very specific requirements and we'll go over those in a second. This is called  N-62-20 (https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.6.20-EO-N-62-20-text.pdf) . Its link at peopleprocesses.com. You can click on the words it'll go to the website, you can read the executive order. California has become the latest state in a line to expand these workers' compensation benefits to the employees during the pandemic.  We tuned into a webinar to hear McGuireWoods which is a law firm partner Sabrina Beldner, and her colleague in the firm's labor and employment practices explained that states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, have all enacted orders similar to California's. That seems to be a national trend. Again, that's Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and now California. "Like California, other states have taken actions to expand workers' compensation benefits to employees or create a presumption that employees contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment to obtain workers' compensation benefits," says Ms. Beldner. Also, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Vermont are among the jurisdictions where the efforts are pending to enact a similar presumption in favor of employees who have contracted COVID-19.  According to Beldner, the state order means that employers across the country who may want to rebut that presumption should implement considerable best practices, including: I'm going to go through these one at a time.  Establish a COVID-19 workplace health and safety policy that complies with OSHA and any applicable state or city health and safety mandates.  Establish a policy that specifies the frequency with which common areas and frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized and disinfected. Many companies have increased the amount of frequency that they do these things, but they have not documented them.  Implement workplace safety features, such as requiring frequent hand washing, face coverings when interacting with other employees or customers, and social distancing.  Provide employees with personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.  Require daily temperature checks and reporting of symptoms.  Prohibit any individual who demonstrates symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 from entering the workplace.  Required daily inquiries of employees regarding exposure to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, such as family members, friends, or neighbors. And most importantly, track and retain all the prior information (in a method that protects confidentiality) to be able to...

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast
Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2020 69:10


Governor Jerry Brown is no ordinary politician. Like California, he is eclectic, brilliant, unpredictable, and sometimes weird. Join us virtually as Newton explains how Jerry Brown extended, but still radically altered, the legacy of his father, Governor Pat Brown. In his 16 years as governor (from 1975 to 1983 and from 2011 to 2019), Jerry Brown's blend of compassion, far-sightedness, and pragmatism helped restore the California economy, balance the state budget, combat climate change, and defend immigrants' rights. Newton reveals the blueprint of Jerry Brown's offbeat risk taking: equal parts fiscal conservatism and social progressivism. Newton also reveals other sides of Jerry Brown, whose defeat on the national stage did nothing to diminish the scale of his political, intellectual and spiritual ambitions, and whose legacy demonstrates how politics may once again be effective in the future. MLF Organizer: George Hammond MLF: Humanities Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sermons from Grace Cathedral
The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Young

Sermons from Grace Cathedral

Play Episode Listen Later Mar 26, 2020 5:58


“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” John 12.   This poem is called “Ask Me,” by William Stafford (1914-1993): “Some time when the river is ice ask me mistakes I have made. Ask me whether what I have done is my life. Others have come in their slow way into my thought, and some have tried to help or to hurt: ask me what difference their strongest love or hate has made.   I will listen to what you say. You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait. We know the current is there, hidden; and there are comings and goings from miles away that hold the stillness exactly before us. What the river says, that is what I say.”[1]   Is what you have done your life? What difference have those who love you and hate you made? Jesus says, “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn. 12). He puts into question what it means to live or die. He makes us less certain what our life really is. I believe that it takes someone with the power of Jesus to dispel our most persistent illusions. Some fantasies can be so widespread within a culture that it can take generations to understand the truth. On August 18, 1967 at Boston’s Fenway Park Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro was at the plate facing California Angels pitcher Jack Hamilton. On the first pitch Hamilton threw a fastball that crushed the left side of Conigliaro’s face. Conigliaro never completely recovered from his injury. He left baseball in 1975 and died at the age of forty-five. That moment changed Jack Hamilton forever too. In 1990 when Conigliaro died, Hamilton gave an interview with the New York Times in which he recalled what happened that day. “I’ve had to live with it,” He said,”I think about it a lot. It was like the sixth inning when it happened. I think the score was 2-1, and he was the eighth hitter in the batting order. With the pitcher up next, I had no reason to throw at him.” Hamilton remembers visiting him in the hospital that afternoon. He also remembers wondering whether he should return to Fenway for the next series of games that season. Although Hamilton probably thought about this day many times his recollections were almost completely wrong. The accident didn’t happen in the sixth inning but in the fourth. The score was not 2-1 but 0-0. Conigliaro wasn’t the eighth hitter but the sixth. It wasn’t even a day game so Hamilton couldn’t have visited him in the hospital that afternoon, and there were no other games in Boston that year for him to wonder about whether or not he should go back there.[2] It should come as no surprise to us that our memories are unreliable, that we get important details wrong. A cognitive psychologist asked forty-four students the question, “How did you first hear the news of the space ship Challenger explosion.” He asked them the morning after the explosion and then two and a half years later. Although they described the memories as vivid during this second interview, none of their memories were completely accurate and one third of their memories were what the researcher called “wildly inaccurate.” Many of these students couldn’t believe that their revised memories were wrong. “This is my handwriting, so it must be right,” said one student, “but I still remember everything the way I told you [just now]. I can’t help it.”[3] In modern times there are so many subtle ways of not believing in God. One of them is to understand ourselves as a kind of videotape that summarizes our past, to think that in a significant sense we are our memories. If this is the implicit picture that someone has of himself, a psychologist’s claims that the tape is unreliable can seem like an attack on a person’s identity. For me this way of understanding our selves is in contrast with the Bible. According to Christian tradition we do not have an existence that is independent of God. Who we are does not derive from who we were. Our life is not something that came about accidentally because of the lust or love of two other human beings a long time ago. We don’t earn our life. Instead we constantly derive our life from God. Who we are is a gift from God that we receive every day. This means that you are fundamentally safe. You do not need to worry about losing your job, your spouse, your health, the respect of the other kids in school. The self that you are is not something that you achieve through some kind of work. It is not something that comes into existence because of what you think. This self is safe from the world Perhaps what Jesus means is that the part of ourselves we are so afraid of losing isn’t really us anyway. The novelist Ernest Hemmingway writes about a father in Spain who wanted to be reconciled to his runaway son. The father takes out an advertisement in the Madrid paper El Liberal. It says, “Paco, meet me noon on Tuesday at the Hotel Montana. All is forgiven! Love, Papa.” Paco was a common name in those days. When the father showed up he found eight hundred young men looking for their fathers.[4] The way that Jesus speaks through the Bible is like this. Right here we have a whole sworld full of Pacos, of children returning to their father. We are not our memories, our thoughts or even our actions. Like California pitcher Jack Hamilton we will make minor mistakes and some terrible life-changing ones. But none of this changes the truth. You can ask me if what I have done is my life or about the influence of people who have loved and hated me. But that is not what I am. We are children of God who Jesus calls to return. And one day he will lift us all up into the fullness of divine joy.   [1] Published in Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Ed. Dana Gioia, David Mason, Meg Schoerke (NY: McGraw Hill, 2004), 530. [2] Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketchem, The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 75. [3] Ibid., 91-2. [4] Thomas Tewell, “The Things We Dare Not Remember,” Thirty Good Minutes, 16 November 2003. http://www.csec.org/csec/sermon/tewell_4707.htm

Wealth Matters By Alpesh Parmar
049: How to invest in an expensive market like California

Wealth Matters By Alpesh Parmar

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2019 30:19


Anthony is a managing broker of Buckingham Investments. Just as Buckingham Investments has been doing for over 50 years, Anthony seeks to be a trusted advisor and assist his clients with achieving financial independence and retirement security through investing in multi-family income property. He believes that real estate wealth is not created only at the time of purchase, but well before an investment is ever made through education and planning. Here are the topics we discussed: • When and why did you start investing in real estate? • Personally, I don't invest in California because I don't like gambling. What are different ways for investors to make money in a market like California? • What are some things investors should keep in mind while investing in expensive markets? • How do you analyze the deal and location? • Can you mention the mistakes you have made? • Can you tell us @ your best deal and worst deal? • Any advice you can give your younger self knowing what you now?

Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever
JF1121: How To Invest In A Tough State Like California with Anthony Walker

Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2017 28:10


Anthony has about 110 multifamily units in the Los Angeles area, and has learned a lot since 2011 when he only had about 5 units. It’s refreshing to hear about someone who can find deals in California, a lot of natives in California will look in other states. Hear how he is able to find deals in his backyard. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!   Best Ever Tweet: I don’t consider what we do speculation   Anthony Walker Real Estate Background: CEO and managing broker of Buckingham Investments, an investment property brokerage firm Helps clients learn, plan, and invest in multi-family properties since 1963, teaches seminars on investing Owns a portfolio of multi-family properties in the LA area of about 110 units Based in Los Angeles, California Say hi to him at Best Ever Book: Think and Grow Rich   Made Possible Because of Our Best Ever Sponsors: Fund That Flip provides short-term fix and flip loans to experienced investors. If you're looking for a reliable funding partner, their online platform makes the entire process super easy, and they can get you funded in as few as 7 days. They've also partnered with best-selling author, J Scott to provide Bestever listeners a free chapter from his new book on negotiating real estate. If you'd like to improve your bestever negotiating skills, visit to download your free negotiating guide today.

Autoline Daily - Video
AD #2198 – Daimler Tests V2V Platooning, OEMs Don’t Like Paying Tesla EV Credits, Subaru and Suzuki Tokyo Concepts

Autoline Daily - Video

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2017 7:35


- The North American Commercial Truck Show - Daimler Trucks Tests Platooning in the U.S. - Mercedes Teases New Sprinter Van - Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept - Suzuki Concept Has Jeep Flare - Automakers Don’t Like California’s EV Mandate - Super Cruise Takes CT6 Fleet Cross Country

Autoline Daily
AD #2198 – Daimler Tests V2V Platooning, OEMs Don’t Like Paying Tesla EV Credits, Subaru and Suzuki Tokyo Concepts

Autoline Daily

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2017 7:23


- The North American Commercial Truck Show- Daimler Trucks Tests Platooning in the U.S.- Mercedes Teases New Sprinter Van- Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept- Suzuki Concept Has Jeep Flare- Automakers Don’t Like California’s EV Mandate- Super Cruise Takes CT6 Fleet Cross Country

Divorce Master Radio
118 Another Reason We Don't Like California Summary Dissolutions

Divorce Master Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2014 4:52


http://divorce661.com - In this episode, we will discuss another reason why we don’t like California summary dissolution and what are your other way around it. Make su1re to listen to the latest podcast.

Spectrum
Scott Stephens

Spectrum

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2011 25:08


Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management in the College of Natural Resources at UCB talks about his work in wildfire and forest management research. Wildfire suppression history and current policy is discussed.TranscriptSpeaker 1: [inaudible] [inaudible] [00:00:30] [inaudible]Speaker 2: welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on KALX Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program with interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists. My name is Brad Swift. Today's interview is with Scott Stevens and associate professor in the Environmental Science Policy and Management Department of the College of natural resources at UC Berkeley. This interview is prerecorded and edited. We're here with [00:01:00] Scott Stevens and Scott, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Well, wanted to ask you about your research in wildfire management and forestry management and have you described the arc of your research over your career and where you're at now?Speaker 3: Well, I started here at Berkeley in 2000 actually, I was a graduate student here from 91 to 95 so I was phd student here and I came back to Berkeley in 2000 really started to work on [00:01:30] kind of looking at the effectiveness of different fuel treatments that can be used to try to reduce fire hazard and maybe reduce the negative impacts of wildfire on forest. So we started a project with a bunch of collaborators all over the United States that were the fire and fire surrogate study. That study looked at trying to reduce fire hazards in forest at once. Burn frequently with mechanical methods alone, prescribed fire methods alone, combination mechanical followed by fire and that controls. [00:02:00] And that study also had a pretty broad suite of ecological variables including soils and vegetation, insects, economics, some social fire behavior. So it tried to look at the stand scale, a hundred acres, 50 acres.Speaker 3: If a manager wants to go in and actually modify vegetation to try to reduce that potential for bad wildfire effects, what ecological similarities are different, just might be with all those treatments. That went on for about five years. And we have a research for us at Berkeley called [00:02:30] UC Blodgett forest, which is up near Georgetown campus. Got that donated to them in 1933 so it's a fantastic place to do your research. We did that work, um, in kind of with a bunch of other people in different states. Even this was a national study that included about 13 states. Each of us kind of doing a similar exercise, so you went through that funded by the u s joint fire sciences program. More recent research has moved away from kind of the stand level of trying to go to Morton landscape level. So happens when you actually [00:03:00] think about reintroducing fire into landscapes that have had fire exclusion for maybe a century and then maybe do that repeatedly over an area and look at the patterns of burning severity, mortality patterns, what's the size difference between landscape and stand?Speaker 3: That's a great point and the standards I think are on the order of 2050 a hundred acres or so and the landscape work we're doing now is much, much larger. It's 5,000 maybe to 25,000 acres, [00:03:30] so really, really watersheds or pieces of watersheds and sometimes even small watershed inside a large and really much, much larger kind of more of a functional unit where people might work in terms of planning at a landscape scale further work down the road. Now it's kind of changed a little bit also into fire policy. That was something I've always been interested in trying to understand how science actually interact with policy, how a policy is formed, trying to maybe look at some objectivity and some of the fire [00:04:00] science research. It could maybe help inform policy, not really shape it completely, but informant most recently we've worked with Australians on the policy of urban interface fire areas.Speaker 3: So this has been an interesting um, kind of partnership because Australia and us have a lot of similarities in fire policy and the urban interface and also some real market differences. And probably the, maybe the, the final area is trying to understand, um, dynamics also in struggling. So we've actually moved away from the forest [00:04:30] and moving into some struggling systems, chaparral, try to understand kind of the dynamics of fire and how you might modify fire behavior and m chaparral systems, which are really, really different than, um, say, um, force. So when we continue, I've got a great group of graduate students in my lab and um, all those folks have done great work. So it's a, it's kind of a group effort.Speaker 2: And the research proposals that you write, are you responding to requests from the field, so to speak, or are you driving [00:05:00] some of the subject matter?Speaker 3: Well, what's happened in my program, there's a program called the U s joint fire sciences program, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture in the u s department of Interior. And they put out a call for proposals every year in the fall. They just came out here recently and they actually put on their website the areas they're most interested in. So most of my research proposals is when I look at those calls, I look at the USDA, look at maybe another competitive research grant [00:05:30] proposal system, look what's being proposed, and then see how that Meld with the interest I've had maybe in the last few years and tried to say, oh, there's an opportunity, we can do something. Um, let's go ahead. It's interesting. One thing has happened is the success rate on the proposals has gone way down in terms of percentage, but this started around 97 98 or percentage of successful proposals. Maybe about 40%. Most recently it's going between 10 and 15. So it has gotten more competitive to get the um, the research proposals [00:06:00] funded.Speaker 2: Is there a general consensus within the research community, a fire, wildfire management community on what the best practices are, where the research should be going?Speaker 3: Well that, there is, I think a lot of consensus with some debate. Um, what's happened in the joint fire sciences program, which I think has happened too many research programs, United States that I'm aware of is calls used to be a little bit more broad in terms of what they were asking for. Kind [00:06:30] of more of a broad question and then maybe you could come up with many different ideas that might fit that question. And I've seen more and more of that. The questions seem to be getting more and more narrow. And I think in some cases they're probably tied to um, you know, entities such as, um, organizations that need information they think is really, really important. Um, maybe also this evolution of science where more certainly known, there's probably young questions are getting maybe more focused in some ways. I think that's a lost opportunity because it allows certainly you to look at what's [00:07:00] being proposed and see if you fit it, but it also doesn't allow maybe the more general research to happen that maybe isn't a tie to an exact objective. And I, I know NSF National Science Foundation does that better where you're able to put in a proposal that may meet that objective, but also it doesn't have to really directly be on right on top of it for a short term, particularly in the fire science research community, we're talking about both Australia, Europe and the United States. More and more research is actually being targeted to questions that managers have on a time scale, [00:07:30] probably less than five years.Speaker 2: What do you see as the time frame that you would need to have for having an impact on a large forest ecosystem?Speaker 3: Well, I think the timeframe for a large one is, is going to be decades. And then continuous, um, places that we've worked at were fire has been reintroduced saying you sent me a national park since about 1974. Um, lightning fire milliwatt creek basin has been allowed to burn kind of unabated with a little bit of suppression for [00:08:00] the last 35 years or so. And it really took decades for that place to be sculpted by fire once again is before 74 fire was excluded and Yosemite really for a hundred years. Totally. So when fire gets back into those systems and seeing the patterns that we see today for some papers with Brandon Collins and others, it really has started to really have an incredible impact the dynamic on that forest. But it took, you know, 2030 years or so. And then when we do things on the other side mechanically, [00:08:30] when we try to maybe reduce fire hazards with mechanical means, thinning, chipping, things of that nature, there are, I think, similar timeframe.Speaker 3: You're talking about decades because the project sizes are so large and one of the big challenges is so much area that really does need some treatment for both fire and also restoration versus what is able to be done annually. And that's really a huge disconnect. What can be done is a tiny drop in some ways connected to what really needs to be done. So I think they all say that it's going to be a [00:09:00] longterm view decades and decades. And once you kind of get into that philosophy of management, you're changing your learning. Since forests never are static, they're always changing. Sense of that means a manager is going to be basically doing things continuously forever.Speaker 4: [inaudible] [inaudible] [00:09:30] [inaudible] [inaudible]Speaker 2: uh, to put it in perspective, the idea of forest management and fire abatement, was it about a hundred years ago that the, the process of trying to put fires out began?Speaker 3: It sure was. It was really about 1905 is one of the forest service was created by Congress. And when the forest was created, they really had a few really critical missions put out by the, [00:10:00] um, the congress and also from the president. One was to try to safeguard the timber resources for the nation and try to actually create it to continuous supply timber. The other was actually create continuous and good quality water supplies. So even back in 1905 they were talking about water. There was actually enacted debate in the early 19 hundreds whether or not fire was seen as a menace or possibly couldn't be used as a tool. The debate went on for several years. In fact, California was a big part of that debating particular private land [00:10:30] owners of forest around lake Amador and other places. After a little bit of debate, some study, it was decided that fire was the enemy, both from a water standpoint, timber stand standpoint and Ryder early 19 hundreds 1910 1905 we really have a national fire suppression policy that happens in the western us. The southeast United States continues to debate longer. They have a much longer kind of connection to fire on land based on just immigrants and other things down there and they basically [00:11:00] didn't take the western line for a long time, but around 1905 we really do see an active fire suppression system and things like federal dollars from Congress actually having to be procured to states only. They actually adopted policy.Speaker 2: That's what's built up this incredible amount of fuel. And density of forest in North America that has created a real hazard for wildfire. But then you were saying that in the past 20 [00:11:30] or 30 years that's been rethought and now fire is allowed in areas and there's active management to try to remove fuel than that. You're starting to see the effects of thatSpeaker 3: currently actually has quite a history in this. There was a professor, Harold Vizquel Isabel came here in 1947 and he retired about 1972 so he was one of the earliest that basically started to ask those exact questions, is fire always the enemy? Can we use it actually for some purposes that actually would make sense? Do [00:12:00] we always want to exclude it? You know? So Harold had his career really during that time and there was massive debate and also a massive bias to fire me. Always the enemy. He had a thick skin. Yeah, he was basically, I'm beat up in political settings from comments and written comments, but he persisted and um, did a marvelous job and it has changed. It has changed. It's been slow. It's been really slow. You know, most areas in California, since we're in a Mediterranean climate, really [00:12:30] did have fire at really, really short intervals in the past, say maybe 10 years, 15 years, 20 years.Speaker 3: So we have a lot of places that used to burn with a lot of frequency, very, very common grasslands. You know, um, woodlands, the Savannah Woodlands, Oak Woodlands, many of the forests, mixed conifer, Ponderosa Pine, even wetlands from native American burning. So there was a great area of California that used to burn. Very, very common. And then there are other places in California, high elevation [00:13:00] forests, um, Alpine environments, deserts like the Mojave desert were fired, we think was actually a pretty minor factor maybe once in awhile, but maybe on a century scale. So we really had the gamut here. We had some that burned very, very frequently and others that had very, very little fire. And as you alluded to, the places that used to burn frequently, you take fire out for a hundred years. Those are the places that changed. And it's also past management such as harvesting the way we've harvested, forced partially cut force and left a lot of fuel on the ground that has also had [00:13:30] a profound impact.Speaker 2: And so is there within the community a bit of debate really just around the edges of the issue or are there some people that really have very different takes on, on how management should be done?Speaker 3: You know, there are apps, there are, there are. Both are absolutely both. Um, there are some, there's a debate going on in California right now about high severity fire. So the eye high severity simply means that you killed the majority of you overstory. So when a forest, you're killing maybe 75% [00:14:00] of the overstory or more to the fire, that causes great change. And interestingly, some people would argue that maybe there's too much high severity fire in California because of the fuel build up in the other things we alluded to, others actually may argue that they're sufficient or there's actually a deficit. That high severity fire working on our forest is not a bad thing. And it actually is something that maybe some people argue is an a low number. Science tries to come in and help inform that debate. And it's not [00:14:30] easy because we don't have a lot of good data to understand what high severity fire really did in most of our forests.Speaker 3: In California, we have a few places. Um, one is that Illinois at basin and Yosemite that's been working at least for the last 35 years with unabated fire in there, Brandon Collins led him to work at high severity fire at least in the last couple of decades. Brian, 15% of the landscape, so about 50% of it burning when it burns very frequently every 10 years. Every 15 years is really killing majority of trees. [00:15:00] But at what spatial scale? That's another good question. It's just not how much percentage, but how is it distributed? So the high severity fire there, most patches are less than say five acres in size with many on the order of one acre in size. And then there's a few, a few out there, maybe 200 acres, very few. Um, so the distribution of severity on that landscape is also incredibly important. And there's no doubt that when we look at some of our contemporary wildfires, like the moonlight fire and some others in California we've [00:15:30] had in the last seven decade or so, that the patches of high severity can be a thousand acres, can be maybe even a little larger.Speaker 3: And the patches down in that one acre realm are almost intimate because there just don't exist. So that's one area. It's great debate. The other great debate really is whether or not when forest service goes in to federal land and tries to reduce fire hazard, should they really just focus on fire hazards alone and then try to work with those? Or do they [00:16:00] also added maybe a commercial tree harvest that can supplement the costs of that, maybe make it then available over a larger land basis versus just getting money from Congress to do it. So that's another real real debate is whether or not federal lands in California of the forest service should they actually have an objective that maybe a second tier objective, the fire objective, maybe it's number one, but then maybe the second objective is also removing some green timber that could help pay for their treatments on them around.Speaker 3: That's [00:16:30] a, that's a fierce debate and how does that fit into the roads? No roads debate as well. That's a good question because the road, no road to me is also another one that exactly connected to it because some would argue that we need these roads to access these forests to then somehow do a treatment to then reduce their hazard. My answer to that is somewhat is that there are so many wroted acres in California, millions and millions and millions of acres that are rooted already and many of those millions of vast majority, probably 90% of [00:17:00] the treatment. So I think where the roads are, yes. You think about maybe some of those treatments like mechanical prescribed, burning, chipping makes a lot of sense, but I can't imagine myself saying we need to road areas that are unroasted so then we can do the mechanical work when we have such a base already that needs to be worked and we can't even touch it. I think the unroasted areas, if they're remote, we should basically allow more managed wildfire to work those landscapes.Speaker 4: [00:17:30] [inaudible] you are listening to Spec a l x Berkeley.Speaker 3: In your research, are you actively seekingSpeaker 2: new technologies and capabilities to extend your understanding of what's going on in the forest?Speaker 3: We do use a lot of different technologies to try to help us understand [00:18:00] the forest and one is spatial data, so the idea of you're getting data over large areas like we alluded to, maybe a 15,000 acre area, you know that's a big area at 20,000 acres. It's just impossible to go out there and do some sort of field sampling that you're going to be able to get some information over such an extent. But you can go out certainly and do some field sampling with a stratification maybe based on forest type or aspect or slope. And then use things like a geographic information system or remotely sense data from satellites [00:18:30] and space than to try to use your field data and combine it with that remotely sense data. It actually create a map, like a spatial map of the area that we're interested in. So that spatial data, you know, the remote sensing technology to work on spatial data, just critical, critically important. And even the technology of just instruments we use in the field nowadays to measure things like heights, diameters, um, reflectance of vegetation, things of that nature. All of that is just incredibly useful. So the technology continues [00:19:00] to help us try to make assessments at broad scales and also try to answer questions sometimes that aren't easy.Speaker 2: Are you using a quantitative modeling? To some extent,Speaker 3: we sure do. And then the models are just critical in some ways. The fire models are ahead of things like ecosystem models. You know, fire is really a physical process. It really is about combustion oxidation. Fire modeling really began in earnest in this country in the early seventies mostly Missoula, Montana, [00:19:30] and has certainly been able to kind of change over time and we're continuing to try to make it better. But the fire models we have today actually do a pretty good job, not perfect job, but a pretty good job of actually forecasting on a gis landscape work. Fire's gonna move in a landscape. How fast is it going to move? Maybe what kind of flame lights might you expect so that those modeling systems are really used a great deal in our research to try to understand that probability of fire occurrence. What happens to that probability?Speaker 3: Let's say if you treat 20% [00:20:00] of the watershed and reduce the hazard, what happens to the probability of the areas that are treated? What about the 80% that are untreated? It turns out they can also have a reduction in probability. The ecosystem models are so much more challenging than you're asking what happens to the soil? What happens to water, what happens to wildlife habitat. So those become much more challenging that basically, um, generate and also tests. So the fire modeling in some ways is well ahead of those because I think it's more of a physical known system even though there's great [00:20:30] research to try to make it better. But the firewall that we have today a pretty good,Speaker 2: and then there's also the idea that the forests in the equator equatorial area are much more valuable than the, the forest north and south of that area. What sort of feeling do you have about that?Speaker 3: I think that's Friday and that and the carbon debate, that's a really interesting, um, separation because people have shown really conclusively that, you know, removing forest in the equator area is that dramatic [00:21:00] reduction in carbon sequestration. Also the sustainability of those sports. So I think the carbon question when we look at the equator is really clear about trying to keep forced, forced to keep forest alive. Right? Keep that force there and let it allow it to sequester carbon, hold it. But then when we move away from the kind of the equator, we go up into places that are more temporary. Like California. Here we have fire that works on landscapes, fireworks on landscape, just done in the past. It continues [00:21:30] today, fires different, but it's still a big issue. So there I think the debate becomes not just trying to keep Forrest at forested, but also what kind of forest have the ability to hold onto carbon.Speaker 3: It's a question for the long term and then you go to the boreal and my goodness, the boreal forest and now been shown like in northern Canada and Russia, some of the biggest carbon stocks in the planet. These are huge, enormous areas. And actually we know this year Russia had one the biggest fire years in [00:22:00] his history. So talk about, you know, the context of fire and climate is profound and fire force and boreal is going to be the most sensitive to climate change. People have already forecasted that. I think it's already been seen. Temperatures are up even more severely in the boreal regions versus down here and the temporary. So those places should probably be even more important to understand in terms of the dynamics of carbon and fire and forest and even we are a, so how did you get started in science? What was it that got you interested in [00:22:30] becoming a scientist?Speaker 3: It's a great question. It's one that's hard to answer. I mean my background has always been kind of curious about scientific things. I actually had my undergrad degree and masters degree in engineering. I grew up really in a forestry family, my grandfather and my dad and uncles working around forest. But I think for me being so close to it for a while, not for my whole life, but while young childhood life who was so close and I really enjoyed it, but it was also something that I took for granted, right? That just didn't think it was something they wanted [00:23:00] to study and pursue. And somehow I was interested in kind of technology engineering, still got into engineering field. Then I started actually contemplating doing a phd. Then this realize what discussions with my wife, Mary and others that I was so much more interested in the natural world.Speaker 3: So once I started to actually study that, which actually happened at UC Davis in 1988, it just lit a fire. I mean, I didn't, at that time I wasn't really gonna study fire, but it lit a fire and me just a curiosity. This idea of um, natural [00:23:30] systems on soils and plants. I'd never studied any of that in my previous career. It was just, it was just fascinating to me. Then I just decided, um, I thought I'd come down and meet a couple of faculty here at Berkeley at the time, Bob Martin, um, learned that he actually had a bs degree in physics. So in some ways we had some similarities and they just realized that the kind of the quantitative engineering world had some real connections to the natural scientists. And it was really where my heart was. There's no doubt about it. Great. Well thanks very much. [00:24:00] You're welcome.Speaker 4: [inaudible]Speaker 5: special thanks to Gretchen Sanders before editorial assistants, one occurred during the show is from a low star David Alpha and titled Folk and Acoustic. It's made available [00:24:30] via creative Commons license 3.0 Patrick. Thank you for listening to spectrum. We're happy to hear from our listeners. If you have comments about the show, please send them to us via email. Our email address is spectrum dot Cadillacs had yahoo.comSpeaker 4: [00:25:00] [inaudible]. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Spectrum
Scott Stephens

Spectrum

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2011 25:08


Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management in the College of Natural Resources at UCB talks about his work in wildfire and forest management research. Wildfire suppression history and current policy is discussed.TranscriptSpeaker 1: [inaudible] [inaudible] [00:00:30] [inaudible]Speaker 2: welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on KALX Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program with interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists. My name is Brad Swift. Today's interview is with Scott Stevens and associate professor in the Environmental Science Policy and Management Department of the College of natural resources at UC Berkeley. This interview is prerecorded and edited. We're here with [00:01:00] Scott Stevens and Scott, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Well, wanted to ask you about your research in wildfire management and forestry management and have you described the arc of your research over your career and where you're at now?Speaker 3: Well, I started here at Berkeley in 2000 actually, I was a graduate student here from 91 to 95 so I was phd student here and I came back to Berkeley in 2000 really started to work on [00:01:30] kind of looking at the effectiveness of different fuel treatments that can be used to try to reduce fire hazard and maybe reduce the negative impacts of wildfire on forest. So we started a project with a bunch of collaborators all over the United States that were the fire and fire surrogate study. That study looked at trying to reduce fire hazards in forest at once. Burn frequently with mechanical methods alone, prescribed fire methods alone, combination mechanical followed by fire and that controls. [00:02:00] And that study also had a pretty broad suite of ecological variables including soils and vegetation, insects, economics, some social fire behavior. So it tried to look at the stand scale, a hundred acres, 50 acres.Speaker 3: If a manager wants to go in and actually modify vegetation to try to reduce that potential for bad wildfire effects, what ecological similarities are different, just might be with all those treatments. That went on for about five years. And we have a research for us at Berkeley called [00:02:30] UC Blodgett forest, which is up near Georgetown campus. Got that donated to them in 1933 so it's a fantastic place to do your research. We did that work, um, in kind of with a bunch of other people in different states. Even this was a national study that included about 13 states. Each of us kind of doing a similar exercise, so you went through that funded by the u s joint fire sciences program. More recent research has moved away from kind of the stand level of trying to go to Morton landscape level. So happens when you actually [00:03:00] think about reintroducing fire into landscapes that have had fire exclusion for maybe a century and then maybe do that repeatedly over an area and look at the patterns of burning severity, mortality patterns, what's the size difference between landscape and stand?Speaker 3: That's a great point and the standards I think are on the order of 2050 a hundred acres or so and the landscape work we're doing now is much, much larger. It's 5,000 maybe to 25,000 acres, [00:03:30] so really, really watersheds or pieces of watersheds and sometimes even small watershed inside a large and really much, much larger kind of more of a functional unit where people might work in terms of planning at a landscape scale further work down the road. Now it's kind of changed a little bit also into fire policy. That was something I've always been interested in trying to understand how science actually interact with policy, how a policy is formed, trying to maybe look at some objectivity and some of the fire [00:04:00] science research. It could maybe help inform policy, not really shape it completely, but informant most recently we've worked with Australians on the policy of urban interface fire areas.Speaker 3: So this has been an interesting um, kind of partnership because Australia and us have a lot of similarities in fire policy and the urban interface and also some real market differences. And probably the, maybe the, the final area is trying to understand, um, dynamics also in struggling. So we've actually moved away from the forest [00:04:30] and moving into some struggling systems, chaparral, try to understand kind of the dynamics of fire and how you might modify fire behavior and m chaparral systems, which are really, really different than, um, say, um, force. So when we continue, I've got a great group of graduate students in my lab and um, all those folks have done great work. So it's a, it's kind of a group effort.Speaker 2: And the research proposals that you write, are you responding to requests from the field, so to speak, or are you driving [00:05:00] some of the subject matter?Speaker 3: Well, what's happened in my program, there's a program called the U s joint fire sciences program, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture in the u s department of Interior. And they put out a call for proposals every year in the fall. They just came out here recently and they actually put on their website the areas they're most interested in. So most of my research proposals is when I look at those calls, I look at the USDA, look at maybe another competitive research grant [00:05:30] proposal system, look what's being proposed, and then see how that Meld with the interest I've had maybe in the last few years and tried to say, oh, there's an opportunity, we can do something. Um, let's go ahead. It's interesting. One thing has happened is the success rate on the proposals has gone way down in terms of percentage, but this started around 97 98 or percentage of successful proposals. Maybe about 40%. Most recently it's going between 10 and 15. So it has gotten more competitive to get the um, the research proposals [00:06:00] funded.Speaker 2: Is there a general consensus within the research community, a fire, wildfire management community on what the best practices are, where the research should be going?Speaker 3: Well that, there is, I think a lot of consensus with some debate. Um, what's happened in the joint fire sciences program, which I think has happened too many research programs, United States that I'm aware of is calls used to be a little bit more broad in terms of what they were asking for. Kind [00:06:30] of more of a broad question and then maybe you could come up with many different ideas that might fit that question. And I've seen more and more of that. The questions seem to be getting more and more narrow. And I think in some cases they're probably tied to um, you know, entities such as, um, organizations that need information they think is really, really important. Um, maybe also this evolution of science where more certainly known, there's probably young questions are getting maybe more focused in some ways. I think that's a lost opportunity because it allows certainly you to look at what's [00:07:00] being proposed and see if you fit it, but it also doesn't allow maybe the more general research to happen that maybe isn't a tie to an exact objective. And I, I know NSF National Science Foundation does that better where you're able to put in a proposal that may meet that objective, but also it doesn't have to really directly be on right on top of it for a short term, particularly in the fire science research community, we're talking about both Australia, Europe and the United States. More and more research is actually being targeted to questions that managers have on a time scale, [00:07:30] probably less than five years.Speaker 2: What do you see as the time frame that you would need to have for having an impact on a large forest ecosystem?Speaker 3: Well, I think the timeframe for a large one is, is going to be decades. And then continuous, um, places that we've worked at were fire has been reintroduced saying you sent me a national park since about 1974. Um, lightning fire milliwatt creek basin has been allowed to burn kind of unabated with a little bit of suppression for [00:08:00] the last 35 years or so. And it really took decades for that place to be sculpted by fire once again is before 74 fire was excluded and Yosemite really for a hundred years. Totally. So when fire gets back into those systems and seeing the patterns that we see today for some papers with Brandon Collins and others, it really has started to really have an incredible impact the dynamic on that forest. But it took, you know, 2030 years or so. And then when we do things on the other side mechanically, [00:08:30] when we try to maybe reduce fire hazards with mechanical means, thinning, chipping, things of that nature, there are, I think, similar timeframe.Speaker 3: You're talking about decades because the project sizes are so large and one of the big challenges is so much area that really does need some treatment for both fire and also restoration versus what is able to be done annually. And that's really a huge disconnect. What can be done is a tiny drop in some ways connected to what really needs to be done. So I think they all say that it's going to be a [00:09:00] longterm view decades and decades. And once you kind of get into that philosophy of management, you're changing your learning. Since forests never are static, they're always changing. Sense of that means a manager is going to be basically doing things continuously forever.Speaker 4: [inaudible] [inaudible] [00:09:30] [inaudible] [inaudible]Speaker 2: uh, to put it in perspective, the idea of forest management and fire abatement, was it about a hundred years ago that the, the process of trying to put fires out began?Speaker 3: It sure was. It was really about 1905 is one of the forest service was created by Congress. And when the forest was created, they really had a few really critical missions put out by the, [00:10:00] um, the congress and also from the president. One was to try to safeguard the timber resources for the nation and try to actually create it to continuous supply timber. The other was actually create continuous and good quality water supplies. So even back in 1905 they were talking about water. There was actually enacted debate in the early 19 hundreds whether or not fire was seen as a menace or possibly couldn't be used as a tool. The debate went on for several years. In fact, California was a big part of that debating particular private land [00:10:30] owners of forest around lake Amador and other places. After a little bit of debate, some study, it was decided that fire was the enemy, both from a water standpoint, timber stand standpoint and Ryder early 19 hundreds 1910 1905 we really have a national fire suppression policy that happens in the western us. The southeast United States continues to debate longer. They have a much longer kind of connection to fire on land based on just immigrants and other things down there and they basically [00:11:00] didn't take the western line for a long time, but around 1905 we really do see an active fire suppression system and things like federal dollars from Congress actually having to be procured to states only. They actually adopted policy.Speaker 2: That's what's built up this incredible amount of fuel. And density of forest in North America that has created a real hazard for wildfire. But then you were saying that in the past 20 [00:11:30] or 30 years that's been rethought and now fire is allowed in areas and there's active management to try to remove fuel than that. You're starting to see the effects of thatSpeaker 3: currently actually has quite a history in this. There was a professor, Harold Vizquel Isabel came here in 1947 and he retired about 1972 so he was one of the earliest that basically started to ask those exact questions, is fire always the enemy? Can we use it actually for some purposes that actually would make sense? Do [00:12:00] we always want to exclude it? You know? So Harold had his career really during that time and there was massive debate and also a massive bias to fire me. Always the enemy. He had a thick skin. Yeah, he was basically, I'm beat up in political settings from comments and written comments, but he persisted and um, did a marvelous job and it has changed. It has changed. It's been slow. It's been really slow. You know, most areas in California, since we're in a Mediterranean climate, really [00:12:30] did have fire at really, really short intervals in the past, say maybe 10 years, 15 years, 20 years.Speaker 3: So we have a lot of places that used to burn with a lot of frequency, very, very common grasslands. You know, um, woodlands, the Savannah Woodlands, Oak Woodlands, many of the forests, mixed conifer, Ponderosa Pine, even wetlands from native American burning. So there was a great area of California that used to burn. Very, very common. And then there are other places in California, high elevation [00:13:00] forests, um, Alpine environments, deserts like the Mojave desert were fired, we think was actually a pretty minor factor maybe once in awhile, but maybe on a century scale. So we really had the gamut here. We had some that burned very, very frequently and others that had very, very little fire. And as you alluded to, the places that used to burn frequently, you take fire out for a hundred years. Those are the places that changed. And it's also past management such as harvesting the way we've harvested, forced partially cut force and left a lot of fuel on the ground that has also had [00:13:30] a profound impact.Speaker 2: And so is there within the community a bit of debate really just around the edges of the issue or are there some people that really have very different takes on, on how management should be done?Speaker 3: You know, there are apps, there are, there are. Both are absolutely both. Um, there are some, there's a debate going on in California right now about high severity fire. So the eye high severity simply means that you killed the majority of you overstory. So when a forest, you're killing maybe 75% [00:14:00] of the overstory or more to the fire, that causes great change. And interestingly, some people would argue that maybe there's too much high severity fire in California because of the fuel build up in the other things we alluded to, others actually may argue that they're sufficient or there's actually a deficit. That high severity fire working on our forest is not a bad thing. And it actually is something that maybe some people argue is an a low number. Science tries to come in and help inform that debate. And it's not [00:14:30] easy because we don't have a lot of good data to understand what high severity fire really did in most of our forests.Speaker 3: In California, we have a few places. Um, one is that Illinois at basin and Yosemite that's been working at least for the last 35 years with unabated fire in there, Brandon Collins led him to work at high severity fire at least in the last couple of decades. Brian, 15% of the landscape, so about 50% of it burning when it burns very frequently every 10 years. Every 15 years is really killing majority of trees. [00:15:00] But at what spatial scale? That's another good question. It's just not how much percentage, but how is it distributed? So the high severity fire there, most patches are less than say five acres in size with many on the order of one acre in size. And then there's a few, a few out there, maybe 200 acres, very few. Um, so the distribution of severity on that landscape is also incredibly important. And there's no doubt that when we look at some of our contemporary wildfires, like the moonlight fire and some others in California we've [00:15:30] had in the last seven decade or so, that the patches of high severity can be a thousand acres, can be maybe even a little larger.Speaker 3: And the patches down in that one acre realm are almost intimate because there just don't exist. So that's one area. It's great debate. The other great debate really is whether or not when forest service goes in to federal land and tries to reduce fire hazard, should they really just focus on fire hazards alone and then try to work with those? Or do they [00:16:00] also added maybe a commercial tree harvest that can supplement the costs of that, maybe make it then available over a larger land basis versus just getting money from Congress to do it. So that's another real real debate is whether or not federal lands in California of the forest service should they actually have an objective that maybe a second tier objective, the fire objective, maybe it's number one, but then maybe the second objective is also removing some green timber that could help pay for their treatments on them around.Speaker 3: That's [00:16:30] a, that's a fierce debate and how does that fit into the roads? No roads debate as well. That's a good question because the road, no road to me is also another one that exactly connected to it because some would argue that we need these roads to access these forests to then somehow do a treatment to then reduce their hazard. My answer to that is somewhat is that there are so many wroted acres in California, millions and millions and millions of acres that are rooted already and many of those millions of vast majority, probably 90% of [00:17:00] the treatment. So I think where the roads are, yes. You think about maybe some of those treatments like mechanical prescribed, burning, chipping makes a lot of sense, but I can't imagine myself saying we need to road areas that are unroasted so then we can do the mechanical work when we have such a base already that needs to be worked and we can't even touch it. I think the unroasted areas, if they're remote, we should basically allow more managed wildfire to work those landscapes.Speaker 4: [00:17:30] [inaudible] you are listening to Spec a l x Berkeley.Speaker 3: In your research, are you actively seekingSpeaker 2: new technologies and capabilities to extend your understanding of what's going on in the forest?Speaker 3: We do use a lot of different technologies to try to help us understand [00:18:00] the forest and one is spatial data, so the idea of you're getting data over large areas like we alluded to, maybe a 15,000 acre area, you know that's a big area at 20,000 acres. It's just impossible to go out there and do some sort of field sampling that you're going to be able to get some information over such an extent. But you can go out certainly and do some field sampling with a stratification maybe based on forest type or aspect or slope. And then use things like a geographic information system or remotely sense data from satellites [00:18:30] and space than to try to use your field data and combine it with that remotely sense data. It actually create a map, like a spatial map of the area that we're interested in. So that spatial data, you know, the remote sensing technology to work on spatial data, just critical, critically important. And even the technology of just instruments we use in the field nowadays to measure things like heights, diameters, um, reflectance of vegetation, things of that nature. All of that is just incredibly useful. So the technology continues [00:19:00] to help us try to make assessments at broad scales and also try to answer questions sometimes that aren't easy.Speaker 2: Are you using a quantitative modeling? To some extent,Speaker 3: we sure do. And then the models are just critical in some ways. The fire models are ahead of things like ecosystem models. You know, fire is really a physical process. It really is about combustion oxidation. Fire modeling really began in earnest in this country in the early seventies mostly Missoula, Montana, [00:19:30] and has certainly been able to kind of change over time and we're continuing to try to make it better. But the fire models we have today actually do a pretty good job, not perfect job, but a pretty good job of actually forecasting on a gis landscape work. Fire's gonna move in a landscape. How fast is it going to move? Maybe what kind of flame lights might you expect so that those modeling systems are really used a great deal in our research to try to understand that probability of fire occurrence. What happens to that probability?Speaker 3: Let's say if you treat 20% [00:20:00] of the watershed and reduce the hazard, what happens to the probability of the areas that are treated? What about the 80% that are untreated? It turns out they can also have a reduction in probability. The ecosystem models are so much more challenging than you're asking what happens to the soil? What happens to water, what happens to wildlife habitat. So those become much more challenging that basically, um, generate and also tests. So the fire modeling in some ways is well ahead of those because I think it's more of a physical known system even though there's great [00:20:30] research to try to make it better. But the firewall that we have today a pretty good,Speaker 2: and then there's also the idea that the forests in the equator equatorial area are much more valuable than the, the forest north and south of that area. What sort of feeling do you have about that?Speaker 3: I think that's Friday and that and the carbon debate, that's a really interesting, um, separation because people have shown really conclusively that, you know, removing forest in the equator area is that dramatic [00:21:00] reduction in carbon sequestration. Also the sustainability of those sports. So I think the carbon question when we look at the equator is really clear about trying to keep forced, forced to keep forest alive. Right? Keep that force there and let it allow it to sequester carbon, hold it. But then when we move away from the kind of the equator, we go up into places that are more temporary. Like California. Here we have fire that works on landscapes, fireworks on landscape, just done in the past. It continues [00:21:30] today, fires different, but it's still a big issue. So there I think the debate becomes not just trying to keep Forrest at forested, but also what kind of forest have the ability to hold onto carbon.Speaker 3: It's a question for the long term and then you go to the boreal and my goodness, the boreal forest and now been shown like in northern Canada and Russia, some of the biggest carbon stocks in the planet. These are huge, enormous areas. And actually we know this year Russia had one the biggest fire years in [00:22:00] his history. So talk about, you know, the context of fire and climate is profound and fire force and boreal is going to be the most sensitive to climate change. People have already forecasted that. I think it's already been seen. Temperatures are up even more severely in the boreal regions versus down here and the temporary. So those places should probably be even more important to understand in terms of the dynamics of carbon and fire and forest and even we are a, so how did you get started in science? What was it that got you interested in [00:22:30] becoming a scientist?Speaker 3: It's a great question. It's one that's hard to answer. I mean my background has always been kind of curious about scientific things. I actually had my undergrad degree and masters degree in engineering. I grew up really in a forestry family, my grandfather and my dad and uncles working around forest. But I think for me being so close to it for a while, not for my whole life, but while young childhood life who was so close and I really enjoyed it, but it was also something that I took for granted, right? That just didn't think it was something they wanted [00:23:00] to study and pursue. And somehow I was interested in kind of technology engineering, still got into engineering field. Then I started actually contemplating doing a phd. Then this realize what discussions with my wife, Mary and others that I was so much more interested in the natural world.Speaker 3: So once I started to actually study that, which actually happened at UC Davis in 1988, it just lit a fire. I mean, I didn't, at that time I wasn't really gonna study fire, but it lit a fire and me just a curiosity. This idea of um, natural [00:23:30] systems on soils and plants. I'd never studied any of that in my previous career. It was just, it was just fascinating to me. Then I just decided, um, I thought I'd come down and meet a couple of faculty here at Berkeley at the time, Bob Martin, um, learned that he actually had a bs degree in physics. So in some ways we had some similarities and they just realized that the kind of the quantitative engineering world had some real connections to the natural scientists. And it was really where my heart was. There's no doubt about it. Great. Well thanks very much. [00:24:00] You're welcome.Speaker 4: [inaudible]Speaker 5: special thanks to Gretchen Sanders before editorial assistants, one occurred during the show is from a low star David Alpha and titled Folk and Acoustic. It's made available [00:24:30] via creative Commons license 3.0 Patrick. Thank you for listening to spectrum. We're happy to hear from our listeners. If you have comments about the show, please send them to us via email. Our email address is spectrum dot Cadillacs had yahoo.comSpeaker 4: [00:25:00] [inaudible]. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Start Making Sense
California Dems' Big Moves on Health Care: Sasha Abramsky; Ellen Schrecker on the '60s

Start Making Sense

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 34:43


The paralysis of politics in Congress leads us to turn away from Washington and look at the states: What can the Democrats do when they control a state government? Like California? Democrats there are proposing dramatic changes in health care, expanding coverage to everyone below the federal poverty line–regardless of immigration status. Sasha Abramsky reports on that—and on the more radical proposal, also before the California legislature, to create a single-payer health-care system for all residents of California.Also: American universities in the '60s: Was that a golden age destroyed by student radicals who were protesting the war in Vietnam and racism in America? For some answers we turn to historian Ellen Schrecker—her new book is The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s.Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe.Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy