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( twells )

Comments made by twells

California Congressmen Propose Legislation To Update Federal Rules On Captive Orcas

@ Peking_Duck: It is hard to debate someone who has forgone conclusions regarding a situation and resorts to defaming character. I will try.

I have not made up my mind regarding orcas in captivity, but the points you brought up were addressed and the con side did not have any good rebuttals.

1). I will concede the point that animals in captivity do not reach the full potential lifespan of animals in the wild. However, they have a better survival rate year to year. Average lifespan comparisons do not take this into account, as they do not take into account the skewed animal mortality at the beginning of life. The wild ocean is a dangerous environment, especially for young animals.

2). It was explained that orcas at SeaWorld spend more time at the surface than orcas in the wild. The dorsal fin does not have any bone to keep it vertical, and gravity is not counteracted by water pressure, so the dorsal fins sag over time. While not an ideal condition, it appears to not be an indication of injury. It also appears to be a plausible explanation. The "this is an injury" side did not have anything specific to counteract this other than "it does not happen often in the wild, so therefore it must be an injury." Correlation does not equal causation.

3). It is a given that they cannot swim 100 miles per day. You are also making the assumption that these animals have no means to adapt to their current environment. They also wont starve.

4) I have no information on this so cannot comment on it.

Unfortunately, what was not discussed by either side was the disposition of Tilikum - I would like to have heard discussion on that.

I am not ignoring facts - I am investigating them, weighing the validity of each claim, and (eventually) making up my mind on where I stand on orcas captivity.

What I am not doing is letting heightened emotional observations without good scientific back-up dictate my decision, or assigning assumed negative characteristics to those on the other side of this debate.

June 13, 2014 at 11:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

California Congressmen Propose Legislation To Update Federal Rules On Captive Orcas

@ Peking_Duck_SD: Did you happen to attend the debate on this very subject last week at the museum of contemporary art?

If not, there was a lot of similar accusations made to what you are saying without a lot of scientific data to back them up. I know it is in vogue to portray SeaWorld as this evil entity that runs prison camps, but the truth is not quite so glamorous.

June 12, 2014 at 3:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New Book Explores The End Of Suburban Sprawl

Peking Duck SD:
The figure I used for population density was for the Greater Los Angeles area, with 18M spread over 525 miles. Far, far denser than San Diego, or Greater San Diego, which are consistent with a 4k per sq. mile density. I would argue that one cannot consider only the City of Los Angeles proper if one was trying to develop a successful mass transit system, hence the validity of my density numbers.

I do not think that urban planners are trying to “scam” the public. I do think they are biased towards rail solutions and are subject to group-think with respect to this.

The point is that, contrary to some people’s thoughts, government funding is a zero-sum game. It is not unlimited, and the cost of laying out an effective rail mass transit system that the public would use regularly and in sufficient numbers is orders of magnitude higher than upgrading road infrastructure to accommodate budding technology, which will invalidate rail efficiency within the next 50 years.

Take for example, managed freeway lanes where control of the vehicle is relinquished to the road. Robotically controlled cars and road trains (buses) can travel at high speeds with minimal distance between vehicles .. all driving the same speed. Freeway through-put is multiplied as the variances of individual drives are taken out of the equation. Buses do not have to deal with the freeway traffic of today and travel times become more efficient, hence much more enticing to commuters. Buses also have the flexibility to change routes as population travel requirements fluctuate.

We would have robotic controlled cars right now if lawyers and manufacturers could agree on who to sue when a collision occurs.

This is where the urban planners lack vision, and rely on outdated technology (rails) to solve contemporary problems.

The reality of the situation is that sprawl and freeways are already with us, and unless we have a dictator who can mandate people all move to the higher density urban core, or a meteor wipes out San Diego and lets us start again, we will have to deal with the sprawl. For many reasons, a rail system is not that solution.

April 29, 2014 at 12:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New Book Explores The End Of Suburban Sprawl

Mass rail transit is a boondoggle. The cost of construction per linear mile is staggering when compared to upgrading existing road infrastructure within its right of way. Furthermore, the system you are building is inflexible and cannot adapt to changing transportation requirements. The primary reason people in SD and the rest of southern California do not use mass transit is because it is terribly inconvenient when compared to the automobile, even with traffic. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is the rule.

Te fact is that we are just not dense enough to do mass rail transit, and will not be so for the far future. That and the pesky geography and size of San Diego doesn't work well for rail. Mass bus transit is another story, but buses use roads, and building / updating roads seems to be an anathema to most urban planners.

Those who plan like to think that they can control development, but there are far more failures than success stories because of sticking to dogmatic theories like New Urbanism rather than using engineering principals to solving these problems.

It also makes much more engineering sense for Los Angeles to develop mass transit long before San Diego, as there is roughly 6 times as many people living in a LA square mile as there are in a SD square mile.

April 28, 2014 at 4:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New Book Explores The End Of Suburban Sprawl

I always find it amusing that planners hold up 19th century transportation technology, such as rail, over 21st century transportation technology, such as managed freeways, automated / robotic piloting of ground vehicles, bus trains, smart roads, etc. There is such a bias in the planning community against cars that they cannot see the future of transportation, and hence their entire basis is off the mark.

The amount of time, money and effort, spent by governments trying to force a eastern US rail-based solution on southern California shows a lack of vision in using what infrastructure there is here now to its fullest potential with technology.

April 28, 2014 at 12:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Roundtable: More On Balboa Park Flameout; Minimum Wage; Homeless Housing Under Fire

The assumption that a single person making minimum wage should have their own 1-BR apartment is ludicrous ... if you have a skill set that only allows you to demand a minimum wage you need to have roommates. Using this as a benchmark skews the argument. Same can be said for someone raising a family on minimum wage ... minimum wage is entry level work. You should not assume you can raise a family on skills that command minimum wage.

March 28, 2014 at 12:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Roundtable: Faulconer's Win; Sex Crimes & SDPD; Surveillance in San Diego

This show has fallen so far … I use to love editor’s roundtable. Now the discussions are lopsided as there is no diversity in point of view. Why is Sandhya Dirks still on this panel? Her analysis is terrible. The logic assumptions made last week on the election by the guests were staggering in their ineptness. Assuming the “Declined to state” demographic of the electorate is skewed left is a bias without thought. Keeping in mind the losses in registration by the Republicans party, one would think that the “Declined to state” are actually skewed more right of center in San Diego. However, just because they aren’t registered republicans anymore doesn’t mean that they are going to jump headfirst into the progressive pool. Furthermore, continually bringing up the “dog whistle racism” whistle racism story of the Lincoln Club just smacks of party activism by promoting the views of the left fringe, rather than contesting these false accusations.

February 14, 2014 at 12:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Court Tosses San Diego County's Concealed Weapons Rules

@Peking_Duck_SD: Progressives cherry pick and distort the Constitution as well with respect to the First (Hate Speech) and the Fourth (government seizure of property use). Notice I did not use "liberal", as a true liberal would support expansion of freedoms vs. the government.

February 14, 2014 at 9:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Environmental Group Challenges San Diego County Water Authority's Master Plan Update

Inconvenient truth: Population growth = water use growth.

January 31, 2014 at 3:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alvarez, Faulconer Headed To Runoff In San Diego Mayor's Race

You hit the nail on the head Alex_Grebenshchikov. Well done.

November 22, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )