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  #81  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 10:44 PM
toddguy toddguy is offline
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
^^^if you want out your door, alpine pursuits, you'll have to go to a proper ski town, or maybe boulder. l.a. is very hilly all over the place too. portland is pretty and hilly but only on the west side of town. the rest of the city is flat as a pancake. seattle is very hilly though. all over the place. its like rome and its seven hills. plus its got ocean views, forest view and mountain views so I say it wins for big city west coast beauty. unless your Vancouver. that's the champ. my unpopular opinion is midwesterners are topographically conscious. I was too and I moved. but in hindsight, lakes and trees are just as pretty as anything else. you couldn't pay me to live in north dakota though.
I actually live just west of Columbus and am in the cornfield country. But I am also just 1,000 feet from a National Wild and Scenic River that has been acclaimed by the Nature Conservancy, am close to several large metro parks(including one that has free roaming bison and another with canoeing), and there are some nice small valleys nearby that can be picturesque.

Also I really don't mind the cornfields and the seasonal changes...how it is all cut down over the winter and you can literally see for miles and then by summer you can go down a country lane that is just lined with 8 foot walls of green. Also there are farms with cows, horses, llamas, etc and orchards scattered here and there. Much of it is simply the attitude you have about what you see. At least the land is productive and useful. And it is safe and quiet. Nearly every place(not all)but most have some upsides if you look for them. Plus I am very close to aging parents and that is important-I need to be here for them.

Yeah I would rather live a few blocks from High in the Short North, but it is cheap to live out here and I am right between two highway interchanges(about 2 or 3 miles from each) and it is a straight 20 mile shot right to downtown. It could be a lot worse, you know?
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  #82  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 11:00 PM
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^^^there isn't a day I do not miss the view looking across a midwest farm field to the tree line in the distance. I love scenes like that. portland is in a valley with a lot of hardwood stands and rivers, so we have some similar views, but its still different. I grew up in chelsea, mi which is part of the se michigan lake belt. its neat over there. tons and tons of inter connected lakes meandering thru the forest. it took a move out west to get me into paddle sports, but looking back, i had it all along. kids are dumb. we just want to get away from our parents and choose the furthest destination we can. the midwest has lots of pretty topography. the UP, north shore, ohio river valley, great lake's beaches. i like that part of se ohio near athens too. that's where id drop off the map if i had a secret stash of never ending money....
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  #83  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 11:09 PM
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i like that part of se ohio near athens too. that's where id drop off the map if i had a secret stash of never ending money....
I'll let my niece know--she just moved there as her hubby took up a position with the O.U. Athletic Dept. Seems like she got a nice house with signficant property around it (complete with a herd of deer) for not too much money (though hers probably has an end). It did seem to require the purchase of a lawn tractor worth more than some cars though.
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  #84  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 11:20 PM
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I'll let my niece know--she just moved there as her hubby took up a position with the O.U. Athletic Dept. Seems like she got a nice house with signficant property around it (complete with a herd of deer) for not too much money (though hers probably has an end). It did seem to require the purchase of a lawn tractor worth more than some cars though.
its got a lot of brick. if you like that kind of thing. plus its a little new england-y plunked down in the foothills of appalachia. a nice little compact downtown that's very pleasing by college town standards. it got all the stuff im looking for though. rolling hillls, lots of hardwood trees, connected to urbanity but a little off the grid, and a local outdoorsy scene. if you are into long distance cycling, ohio is a pretty good state to live in too.
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  #85  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 8:40 AM
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Bitter? Just sharing an unpopular opinion, as the thread asks. You seem triggered. If you wanna get technical Denver doesn't have mountains since they're not in the city itself and don't really offer any views for neighborhoods but people will always gush about the mountains when speaking of the city and they'll say they moved there because of the mountains when they're actually out of the way and don't make a difference in daily life. The PNW is similar, in this aspect but at least Portland and Seattle have hills in their actual neighborhoods, but the fact that they're near mountains is still an overrated aspect that people will credit as some sort of a huge advantage. LA is also a similar example to Denver, most LA neighborhoods are on flat land that look no different than a Chicago suburb, yet there's this elitist attitude when people talk about Chicago being flat.
Actually, technically Denver does have mountain parks - over 14,000 acres of them owned by the City and County of Denver. Created in 1912 by Denver citizens who voted to fund them (with an assist from an Act of Congress). You can hike at Summit Lake at over 12,800 feet in elevation and still be in Denver.

https://www.denvergov.org/content/de...tractions.html
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  #86  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 2:01 PM
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^^^im not really a well versed in modern, urban school issues but aren't many districts funded through property taxes? and if a district had a lot of tax liability or delinquencies, that seems like it would directly affect the quality of education given. im not saying the qualifications of the teachers is lowered, or even the academic potential of the student is, buuuut, their resources are possibly diminished in poor neighborhoods. does city government pick up the slack then? id probably agree with his original claim that most schools are in good shape, but most American don't live in poverty either. the national poverty rate is what, 14%? . if a school district had 60 percent of their household in poverty, id bargain that school is probably not cranking out the valedictorians. context totally matters in this case.
First, it's a myth that all urban schools are underfunded. It's certainly true in some states, but a lot of states provide pretty significant support to lower-income districts, to the point that funding per capita in the urban districts might be higher than in many mid-performing suburban districts.

Of course, urban schools can have higher expenses for a number of reasons. They tend to have older schools, and sometimes too many school buildings, which leads to high maintenance costs. If they're in a state where the school district is on the hook for pensions, they'll have higher pension costs, as their total workforce has likely shrunk over time, leaving the system top heavy with retirees. They may have additional costs related to learning disabilities and security a suburban school wouldn't have to address.

Still, studies have looked at the question of how funding affects school performance. The answer is basically it doesn't, unless you only track funding from local sources, which is a proxy for socio-economic status. Pouring additional state and federal aid into schools does nothing to improve performance.

Whether a school has only 5% of the population or over 60% of the student body below the poverty line most likely matters not one whit for the outcome for your child. If your child is below the poverty line - either in the rich school or the poor one - you're about equally likely to fail. Conversely, you're equally likely to succeed if you're not poor no matter where you are.

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The main benefit of keeping your kid out of inner city public schools is protecting them from violence.
Yeah, I'm not saying parents should send their kids to the worst possible school in a city or anything. But if you're thinking about the hypothetical child of two parents with graduate degrees (like, say my children) there is really no difference whether they go to a great school or a mediocre one. They're going to be smart, average, or dull based upon factors other than the school they go to.
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  #87  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 3:41 PM
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In Florida our schools get funded based on county wide taxes and the counties are pretty large so an urban Miami inner city school gets funded from the same pot as a suburban Pinecrest or Kendall school. It doesn't generally help with the results because the problem isn't the funding, its the students and mostly worlds they grow up in.
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  #88  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 5:26 PM
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Funding is a major problem however when unfair state funding formulas (as in Pennsylvania) result in massive underfunding of some school districts and overfunding of others. Which then results in urban districts having to raise taxes, layoff staff, and close schools just to make ends meet (which certainly does have detrimental effects on student' learning outcomes at all levels), while wealthy suburban districts continue to receive vast sums more in state funding than they actually require based on states' very own formulas. It makes zero sense and is a complete mess in many states, with PA being THE absolute worst when it comes to inequitable public school district funding.
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  #89  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 5:35 PM
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  #90  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 5:50 PM
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Funding is a major problem however when unfair state funding formulas (as in Pennsylvania) result in massive underfunding of some school districts and overfunding of others. Which then results in urban districts having to raise taxes, layoff staff, and close schools just to make ends meet (which certainly does have detrimental effects on student' learning outcomes at all levels), while wealthy suburban districts continue to receive vast sums more in state funding than they actually require based on states' very own formulas. It makes zero sense and is a complete mess in many states, with PA being THE absolute worst when it comes to inequitable public school district funding.
I call envy on a lot of this. In many cases in the Bay Area and elsewhere, wealthier local districts generously fund local schools through donations and self-taxing. Yes, poorer areas can't do the same for their schools but why should that mean the weathier areas shouldn't be allowed to do it voluntarily. State funding generally sees that all schools get a basic, more than adequate IMHO, general level of funding but the local money provides extras that parents want their kids to have and they should be allowed to provide it without being criticized.

I do not think that lack of money is really the problem in US schools hardly anywhere. The problem has more to do with what schools and teachers are asked to do--so much more than just teach basic subjects. They are supposed to also be experts in handling "special needs" kids with all sorts of behavioral and physical problems and also to continue educating kids who are disruptive and even dangerous. Such kids need to be expelled from the regular system and, if the Constitution requires they get a public education, be given it in a separate system so that the kids who are not a problem can be educated without being troubled by them.

THERE--that's all probably pretty unpopular . . . but true.
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  #91  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:39 PM
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If you wanna get technical Denver doesn't have mountains since they're not in the city itself and don't really offer any views for neighborhoods but people will always gush about the mountains when speaking of the city and they'll say they moved there because of the mountains when they're actually out of the way and don't make a difference in daily life. The PNW is similar, in this aspect but at least Portland and Seattle have hills in their actual neighborhoods, but the fact that they're near mountains is still an overrated aspect that people will credit as some sort of a huge advantage. LA is also a similar example to Denver, most LA neighborhoods are on flat land that look no different than a Chicago suburb, yet there's this elitist attitude when people talk about Chicago being flat.
What in the world are you talking about? Definitely a few unpopular and inaccurate opinions with your post.

Have you been to Denver? The entire western side of the metro is in the foothills.
You can see snow capped mountains from anywhere in Metro Denver even from the airport which is located to the far east in the prairie.

"LA is also a similar example to Denver that looks mostly like Chicago suburbs"? That's a stretch in every imaginable way.

LA neighborhoods look nothing like Chicago suburbs, like at all.

From topography to climate, to flora, to fauna, to built environment, to population density etc etc etc. Los Angeles is not similar to the Chicago suburbs.

The residents of Denver recreate in the Rocky Mountains and yes many people are lured to Denver due to the great outdoors within close reach of the city and the citizens of LA recreate in their hills and mountains (and beaches) all within the actual city limits. Runyon, Mandeville, Temescal Canyons within the city limits of LA, or the stairs in the Baldwin Hills are heavily used. These trails are always packed full of Angelenos.

Last edited by Leo the Dog; May 2, 2017 at 7:21 PM. Reason: Damn typos, everywhere
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  #92  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:44 PM
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I call envy on a lot of this. In many cases in the Bay Area and elsewhere, wealthier local districts generously fund local schools through donations and self-taxing. Yes, poorer areas can't do the same for their schools but why should that mean the weathier areas shouldn't be allowed to do it voluntarily. State funding generally sees that all schools get a basic, more than adequate IMHO, general level of funding but the local money provides extras that parents want their kids to have and they should be allowed to provide it without being criticized.
The wealthier districts can do whatever they want with their money. The issue is they shouldn't be getting a larger proportional share of state taxpayer funding than any other district, particularly not when a state's own funding formula displays that they shouldn't. That is inequitable. I'm just for equitable funding... that's it.

"State funding generally sees that all schools get a basic, more than adequate IMHO, general level of funding but the local money provides extras that parents want their kids to have and they should be allowed to provide it without being criticized"

See, your premise that the situation exists where all schools get a "basic, more than adequate IMHO, general level of funding" is where you obviously fail to understand the situation in some places in the US. When one district in a state receives less state taxpayer funding on a per student basis than another district, then that is inequitable funding, and also actually unconstitutional. And somehow it's no surprise that the districts which receive less in state taxpayer funding are always districts located in urban areas with large numbers of students and high poverty/special needs.

So yeah, poorer districts are envious that wealthier districts are receiving more state funding than what their fair share is.

Simplified situation in Pennsylvania for you:

School District A (large # of students, large # of schools, inner city, eroded tax base)... receives $100M per year, but by the state's own funding formula actually needs $150M. Result: $50M budget shortfall with no local tax base to make up, and you get teacher layoffs, closed schools, sports programs cut, enrichment programs cut, staff cut, etc. etc. etc.

School District B (medium # of students, medium # of schools, suburban, robust tax base)... receives $150M per year in state taxpayer funding, but by the state's own funding formula only needs $80M. Result: $70M surplus in their coffers to build new facilities, hire more staff, add new sports programs, add enrichment opportunities, etc. etc. etc.

You tell me how that's fair or how it even makes any logical sense whatsoever. So, instead of being a bit of a prick with your "I call envy" comment, there's ample amounts of research and legislation proposed out there to educate yourself.
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  #93  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:48 PM
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I do not think that lack of money is really the problem in US schools hardly anywhere. The problem has more to do with what schools and teachers are asked to do--so much more than just teach basic subjects. They are supposed to also be experts in handling "special needs" kids with all sorts of behavioral and physical problems and also to continue educating kids who are disruptive and even dangerous. Such kids need to be expelled from the regular system and, if the Constitution requires they get a public education, be given it in a separate system so that the kids who are not a problem can be educated without being troubled by them.

THERE--that's all probably pretty unpopular . . . but true.
Having been a teacher in inner city public high schools in a former life, I wholeheartedly agree. Teaching was very often an afterthought. The public education system often does no favors to its students with broad federal policies that demand classroom inclusion.
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  #94  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 7:24 PM
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I agree that it's unfair and should be fixed, but it won't effect student educational performance as eschaton pointed out. On the margin educational policy and funding changes just don't matter.
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  #95  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 8:12 PM
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NYC should never build a skyscraper taller than 2,000 feet. It would ruin the skyline.
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  #96  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 11:17 PM
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Portland zoning code, pre ww2 was far more urban minded than our existing code, 2017...its like that everywhere. laissez faire policy makes for a better city. or at least it did. this country was way more urban 100 years ago in than it is now.
I know this is getting off topic, but I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Yes, Portland and very other city pre-WW2 was more urban, before the Eisenhower expressways / Robert Moses planning / mass suburbanization took over. And yes, our country was way more urban 100 years ago since we were planning around streetcars, not automobiles. What does this have to do with being laissez faire? Urban planning is what brought streetcars back, increased density, and revitalized once-abandoned inner city neighborhoods. Yes traffic sucks in Portland since the city has emphasized pedestrians and mass transit at the expense of the automobile... are you saying this was a mistake? We ought to revert back to more freeways, more roads, more strip malls and laissez faire sprawl?
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  #97  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 12:43 AM
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I know this is getting off topic, but I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Yes, Portland and very other city pre-WW2 was more urban, before the Eisenhower expressways / Robert Moses planning / mass suburbanization took over. And yes, our country was way more urban 100 years ago since we were planning around streetcars, not automobiles. What does this have to do with being laissez faire? Urban planning is what brought streetcars back, increased density, and revitalized once-abandoned inner city neighborhoods. Yes traffic sucks in Portland since the city has emphasized pedestrians and mass transit at the expense of the automobile... are you saying this was a mistake? We ought to revert back to more freeways, more roads, more strip malls and laissez faire sprawl?
This is 100% false on like every claim.
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  #98  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 1:18 AM
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What is false, maybe I read pdxtex's post out of context but what are you saying is false?
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  #99  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 1:59 AM
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^^^downtown, i wasn't saying lets throw out every code in the book, and im just saying successful cities are successful to a fault. they are protectionist by nature and thats probably why they are successful. they zoned the neer do wells and megascrapers out of their city under the guise of historic preservation, or neighborhood involvement. give every goofer and their brother a say and nothing will get built. california has been very successful in getting nothing built, well in comparison to their growing population. i recognize the merits of planning, i got a degree in it even, but its not an exact science. its a social science, and like society, its policy ebbs and flows with the time. lets build giant highways, lets build pedestrian malls, lets house poor people in giant filing cabinets...you know what i mean. but now, large cities are overwhelming run by the left, thats fine, but they will need to choose, is everybody invited to their city, to live in every form of housing, or are we going to stay in a cloistered place, and raise the entrance fee. portland is doing a good job of accepting density, seattle too. much better than some of their contemporaries, but were still cautious.....which leads me to another unpopular opinion. modern streetcars are better at marketing than actually moving large amounts of people fast. they attract attention and maybe investment along the way, but as an actual mode of transit, they are about as useful as a golf cart.....
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  #100  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 3:39 AM
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modern streetcars are better at marketing than actually moving large amounts of people fast. they attract attention and maybe investment along the way, but as an actual mode of transit, they are about as useful as a golf cart.....
Ha! Yeah that's definitely true. They are a worthwhile investment, but mostly to encourage dense development... not so much to get around super fast. It's good for tourists, who'd more likely jump on a shiny streetcar than a bus.

I agree with you about the need for more balance between cars/peds/bikes. Portland has been discouraging cars for 40 years, longer than most American cities I'd say, and more power to the city. But when the freeways are clogged all afternoon, and potholes take over every damn street in the city... c'mon we can do a little better. The mayor is proposing $50 million towards this kind of stuff though, so there is hope.

I hate to see Portland or any other city become an enclave for the rich. The side effect of all this planning and making all the neighborhoods cute and charming, etc. is demand goes way up, and if density zoning doesn't allow enough building, prices skyrocket. So that needs to be addressed, but abolishing urban growth boundaries/zoning laws and allowing unfettered sprawl is definitely not the answer. (Not that you said this, but it's a train of thought out there.)
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