This week saw most of the ice dam melted off my rooftop while I logged about 700 miles attending Planning Commission and City Council meetings. I see things turning cold again before winter is past, but my favorite sign of pending spring happens this weekend as pitchers and catchers report to spring training. My Twins have done pathetically little to make the team better this off-season, but this time of year we can all dream a little.

Enjoy this week's news digest.

  • Supporters of the recently-approved sales tax increase to support the environment and the arts insisted (naively) that the money would be an addition to general fund money currently being spent on those issues. Good luck with that
  • The chair of one of my Planning Commissions is an astronomy buff. I am an aspiring astronomy buff, so I was blown away by the large telescope and dome he has at his place. I'm still looking forward to catching some stars after a meeting. I bring this all up because light pollution is a big deal if you are an astronomy buff (or aspiring one) and, really, it is a pretty simple thing to address. In fact, I can tell the intelligent companies (Best Buy, for one) that use less energy lighting up the sky from those that waste their money messing up everyone else's view (locally here would be anything Mills). All of this makes this article about a town in New Zealand even more interesting. Another reason to visit New Zealand, as if one were needed. 
  • I was told by a real smart guy that we'll know when the housing market has bit bottom when the "vultures start to swoop in." Interesting, but the Obama administration seems to agree
  • And finally, another edition of Andres Duany talking to the good people of San Antonio. Enjoy!