politics (77)

The Lost Files

I was looking through one of my many filing cabinets (which contain old school file folders containing papers and photos) the other day and discovered about 15 folders on a book I started to write in the late ’70s. It was going to be called Home Work* and was about my building experiences, starting with my first building (studio with a “living roof” in 1962), then building homes over the next 17-18 years. I took them out of the filing cabinet and put them in this box:

Back then, I felt that I could offer guidance to novice builders, based on the fact that I started building from scratch. No carpentry training or previous construction experience.

I’d made a lot of mistakes that I could warn first-time builders about, and I had ideas for simple homes based on practicality and economy– and ones that felt good.

I wanted to encourage people to use their own hands to build their own homes. I’d done it, and never had a bank mortgage or paid rent.

The project got interrupted by my publishing Stretching by Bob Anderson in 1980 and then 20 years of publishing fitness books. Karma, I guess.

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Letter From a Prisoner

A letter like this makes it all seem worthwhile. This is from a prisoner at a multi-security prison in New Hampshire. We sent him 3 building books. (We have a long-standing policy of sending free books to any inmates that request them.)

I apologize for the delay in responding to your last letter. It’s just that you left me in a state of shock, so all I can say is: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

It is easy to become dehumanized in this place. After a while we all buy into the rhetoric about how useless we are, So when someone comes along and does something that reminds us that we are still human and worth something (if only in the hearts of a few), it can be disorienting.

Thank you for disorienting me!

I have finished with all three books, and they have now been donated to our library. I have an entire composition book full of notes and designs based on these books.With the present status of my case, I have no idea when I am getting out. However, when I do get out, I will have a plan, and your books will have been a significant contributor to that plan. Who knows, maybe I’ll build something that will eventually appear in one of your future books.

Anyway thank you! Not only for helping me, but for creating a ray of hope for others in this place.

Shalom aleichem,

JZ

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California moving to seize public beach closed off by tech billionaire

In this Feb. 10, 2014, file photo, Julie Graves, left, of Albany, Calif., and Chris Adams, second from left, of Berkeley, Calif., hold up signs in support of a beach access bill that Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill introduced near Martin’s Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif. California’s Coastal Commission is asking the public to document its use of Martin’s Beach after billionaire landowner Vinod Khosla closed the only access road to it. Eric Risberg AP file

Current news on the beach:
Sorry for the screwed-up formatting here. This is what happens when you can’t write code.
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California Today: A Housing Fix That’s Close to Home

In today’s New York Times, article by Mike McPhaite; photo by Sasha Moravec

At left: 264-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in Livermore that was designed by Avava Systems, a Bay Area startup. Avava Systems

https://nyti.ms/2rnuLB3 

In case you can’t access the entire article, here it is. This is IMPORTANT! Can it be that officials are doing something relevant for affordable housing? Small Homes!

One fix to California’s housing crisis could be in our own backyards.

A growing movement of urban planners is pushing policies that would spur homeowners in hot housing markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles to create “granny flats” on their properties.

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