From the Blogosphere


From the Blogosphere

These three blog posts on drew a lot of attention over the past month. I felt it appropriate to reprise them here. Editor

Open Schools, Stop the Domino Affect

It seems that many areas around the country have ‘met’ the requirement to open schools, but have not because ‘teachers and staff have not been vaccinated.’ This is so much gobbledygook. With the stroke of a pen, a governor, mayor, or other official could prioritize teachers and staff.

The number of EVs on the road today equals just about 2 percent of the total cars on the road.

The point is that the number of new Covid cases is falling like a stone. We are down to 25 per 100,000 in Los Angeles. What little crowding there was in hospital emergency rooms has dissipated in just a couple of weeks. Restaurants are opening up (outside, at least). NOW is the time to get schools back open.

It’s the closed schools that have so greatly affected our economy and through it, the parking industry. Schools are closed so:

Someone has to stay home with the kids.

They can’t go out to work, shop, meet friends

They can’t go for coffee or shop after dropping kids off

The stores they would have visited suffer

The shopping centers suffer

The parking facilities that support those businesses suffer

On street parking suffers

City parking revenue suffers

The parking facilities that support the businesses where the moms and dads, now forced to stay home with kids, work suffer.

And it goes on and on.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District alone there are over three quarters of a million students and teachers. That doesn’t count another 100,000 staff. Consider the number of parents who cannot participate in the economy because the schools are closed. Certainly, in LA alone it’s over half a million. One wonders what the economy would look like if that half a million could participate in it.Let’s not forget the kids.

The harm that has been done to children by keeping them from school is incalculable. It’s not just the fact that they aren’t learning their reading, writing and arithmetic, but socially, they are being allowed to atrophy to the point that their interpersonal skills are becoming nonexistent. They are simply an extension of their computer or smart phone. Kids not fortunate enough to have computers are missing class altogether. This has to stop.

I have a plan to get all teachers inoculated in a week. Set up a number of inoculation teams, enough to do 20 percent of the schools each day. (Each school probably already has part of a team in place, don’t they have school nurses anymore?) Have the teachers and staff report to the school and get their inoculations. Surely, a team with the vaccine can inoculate all the staff of any school in one day. Then the team moves on to the next school. In one week, all the teachers and staff will be vaccinated. I figure a week to set up the program, a week to inoculate, and we are in business.

No, wait. We can’t do that; we have to inoculate all the cannabis delivery drivers first.

EVs Still are only 2 percent of our Transportation Fleet

I have been editing an article written by the EV charging industry about the potential of electric vehicles during the upcoming decades. One comment caught my eye. Whereas gas vehicle owners tend to fill up only when they are under a quarter tank, EV owners like to keep their charge as high as possible and tend to charge their cars two or three times a day.

Is it just me, or is that last sentence a major reason NOT to buy an EV, at least until battery technology catches up with demand? If it takes upwards of an hour (or even 20 minutes) to fully charge your EV (that’s with the best charger) are you willing to invest that time and search for a charging station a couple of times a day?

I can whip in and fill up my Belchfire V8 in what, five minutes, and I’m off to the races. You don’t hear the term ‘range anxiety’ any more, since the mainstream media is locked into promoting EVs. Fair enough.

The concept of the article is to promote charging stations in your parking facility. They project that a million stations will be needed by 2030. There are 100,000 now. That number supports about a million EVs on the road today. They expect that number to skyrocket to 19,000,000 in the next nine years. Let’s put it in perspective.

The number of EVs on the road today equals just about 2 percent of the total cars on the road. Two Percent.

My betters here in California are passing laws to prevent sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. They are going to completely change the desires of the consumers by force of law moving from 2 percent of the market, to 100 percent in 14 years. Wow.

Remember, in that 14 years they have to be able to cause auto companies to manufacture EVs at that rate, and they have to have the infrastructure in place to charge them. That includes not only the charging stations themselves, but also the massive electricity infrastructure upgrade to provide the power to run them. Fourteen years. We can barely keep the lights on now. Oh well, these are just details.

Keep in mind that worldwide the sales of EVs are less than 3 percent of auto sales. It sits right at 2 percent in the U.S., with more than half of those in California. If you live in most states, don’t expect EV sales to boom or skyrocket.

Look out the window – count the EVs you see on the road, and then remember that the ones that will be using your charging stations are the pure electric vehicles, and not the ones that are hybrid. Hybrids have gasoline back up so they can be charged overnight at home.

There is one more thing to keep in mind. Gasoline in California averages a dollar a gallon more than the same product in most other states. That’s all tax and other folderol that adds to the cost. When we are forced to switch to EV, who is going to pay all that tax? Will people who bought EVs be so quick to do so when they find out that driving them won’t be so much cheaper after they have to pay for the electricity and then pay the road use tax that the state will slap on them?

I’m with the charging station manufacturers. Let’s be ready. Install the stations as you see the need. In California, maybe it will attract more parkers to your garage. I’m not so sure about Texas.

Covid Routed

When the polio vaccine was declared safe and effective, the news was met with jubilant celebration. Church bells rang across the nation, and factories blew their whistles. “Polio routed!” newspaper headlines exclaimed. “An historic victory,” “monumental,” “sensational,” newscasters declared. People erupted with joy across the United States. Some danced in the streets; others wept. Kids were sent home from school to celebrate.

One might have expected the initial approval of the coronavirus vaccines to spark similar jubilation—especially after a brutal pandemic year. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the steady drumbeat of good news about the vaccines has been met with a chorus of relentless pessimism.

This quote is from an article in The Atlantic written by Zeynep Tufekci, contributing writer at The Atlantic. It is in my opinion, the best article written that summarizes the problems we have had over the past year in dealing with the pandemic. Please log on to The Atlantic to read the entire article.

A colleague tells me that “it’s not what we say, it’s how we say it.” Practically every paragraph tells a part of the story and is quotable. Here is one of the best:

Part of the problem with the vaccines was the timing—the trials concluded immediately after the U.S. election, and their results got overshadowed in the weeks of political turmoil. The first, modest headline announcing the Pfizer-BioNTech results in The New York Times was a single column, “Vaccine Is Over 90% Effective, Pfizer’s Early Data Says,” below a banner headline spanning the page: “BIDEN CALLS FOR UNITED FRONT AS VIRUS RAGES.” That was both understandable—the nation was weary—and a loss for the public.

I would that that the Old Gray Lady would get beyond “If it bleeds it leads,” but I guess not. How much damage do the layout editors and headline writers in newspapers do to the national psyche? It is incalculable.

Tufekci goes on to quote doctor after doctor, scholar after scholar, health official after health official and their inconsistencies, daily flip flops, and problems in communications that led us to where we are today.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that cannot be unwound quickly. We have had a year of it, and to overcome it, we must reach inward and trust our own thoughts and common sense. Look out the window, believe your eyes and lead your life.

I can’t say it strongly enough, read this article in The Atlantic. I finish this with here last paragraph:

“Hope will get us through this. And one day soon, you’ll be able to hop off the subway on your way to a concert, pick up a newspaper, and find the triumphant headline: “COVID Routed!”

John Van Horn is Editor and Publisher of Parking Today.

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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