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June 22, 2015



Would anyone like to bet that this number is low??? I bet they missed Obamaphones and a bunch of other stuff

One in five Americans participates in government assistance programs each month, according to the most recent data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012,” according to the Census Bureau’s report.

Means-tested programs include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and General Assistance (GA).

When was anyone EVER brought up to believe that you can GET something for nothing?  Anyone?

When was anyone EVER brought up to believe that you can GET something for nothing? Anyone?

Oh, no one was ever brought up this way?

OK, here's a different perspective on how to try to improve society beyond a portion of society giving free stuff to another portion of society...

Timothy C. Draper, Venture Capitalist; Founding Partner, Draper Fisher

Tim Draper : The Case for 6 Californias



Jon Mays at the DJ has weighed in with an editorial that notes in part:

In the quest to help those facing the ever-rising rents in this county, government officials are treading carefully between intervention and assistance. The idea of rent control has issues with overall effectiveness and property owners who are less than keen on the idea. Additionally, it would be a fairly big step that would be extremely difficult to untake.

City officials facing calls for it have either said their hands are tied, like in Burlingame that has a voter-approved ordinance prohibiting it, or are waiting for results of a county investigation into solutions.

The rest of his piece is here: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2015-08-07/leveraging-public-money-for-public-private-benefit/1776425148047.html


Here is a seriously confused letter to the editor or the SMDJ


The story “Burlingame bands together over tree fight” in the Aug. 19 issue of the Journal only epitomizes the dysfunction of our City Council, in which the members are more concerned with the uprooting of 15 trees than they are with the uprooting and displacement of their own town’s rental community. It’s appalling that they consider the aesthetics of the town with greater importance than that of its people, who are its heartbeat and life source.

It is frustrating that the City Council continually refuses to agendize and confront the distress of so many of its citizens, while a diaspora in the making evolves. Perhaps a general recall of those continuing councilmembers would elicit their attention and end their “thumb sucking” on the issue. Too many obscene rent escalations and unjust evictions have been taking place in this city for too long.

Therod Dean



The Wizard of Oz

The letter to the editor does raise a broader point. They will chain themselves to trees (which is great), but will at the same time destroy the town by promoting and causing overdevelopment. It's a safe side to take because who in Burlingame doesn't love the trees? And the council can pat themselves on the back by "standing by their residents." Typical politics. Pay no attention to my left hand destroying the town since my right hand is saving the trees!

The letter to the editor focuses on a consequence of the over-development occurring all over the Peninsula, but could have taken a broader viewpoint and made a much stronger point.

I don't think the council has the responsibility to do anything to prevent rent increases, but when viewed objectively, the writer of the letter does have a point - 15 trees versus 52%.


The SM Daily Journal letter (Sept 1) condemning Burlingame City Council’s defense of its historic tree grove while attempting to draw a comparison to what the author perceives as lack of empathy vis a vis displacement of renters shows an unfortunate (albeit understandable) lack of knowledge regarding the history of multi-unit residential properties in Burlingame. The high proportion of rentals (52%) is directly attributable to the very existence of the Tree Rows. A century ago, a decades-long battle brewed regarding commercial landuse along our tree-lined highway, that, had we followed prevailing trends of other SF Peninsula cities, would have resulted in widening, and the removal of most trees. When the dust finally settled, this city had pioneered the nation’s first zoning specifically designed to protect a historic resource—its Trees. Multi-unit dwellings followed, both on the highway, and elsewhere over the next several decades. By the 1940s homeowners, particularly those with large parcels in need of additional income were lobbying the city to rezone areas of R1 to allow for duplexes, a trend (not unlike urban renewal) that by the 1960s, culminated in the conversion of entire neighborhoods previously zoned R 1 to multi-unit apartment complexes. As a result, no other city of our size on the SF Peninsula can boast the sheer number or variety of units we possess, mostly in an aesthetically pleasing, healthy environment, often cloaked in a canopy of street trees.


Thank you. That is such a clear undeniable statement that Therod Dean himself (herself?) should thank you for educating him so well. I had never thought of it quite that way and you are so right. Of all the places in the Bay Area to whine about affordable housing Burlingame should be at the very very bottom of the list. He/she needs to read this.

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