To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Saturday, March 23, 2013

As Pollution Worsens in China, Solutions Succumb to Infighting


 By Edward Wong, March 21, 2013



Smog veiled the China Central Television Building in Beijing last week. Air pollution hit record levels in north China last month.

BEIJING — China’s state leadership transition has taken place this month against an ominous backdrop. More than 16,000 dead pigs have been found floating in rivers that provide drinking water to Shanghai. A haze akin to volcanic fumes cloaked the capital, causing convulsive coughing and obscuring the portrait of Mao Zedong on the gate to the Forbidden City. 

 So severe are China’s environmental woes, especially the noxious air, that top government officials have been forced to openly acknowledge them. Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress, said she checked for smog every morning after opening her curtains and kept at home face masks for her daughter and herself. Li Keqiang, the new prime minister, said the air pollution had made him “quite upset” and vowed to “show even greater resolve and make more vigorous efforts” to clean it up.

What the leaders neglect to say is that infighting within the government bureaucracy is one of the biggest obstacles to enacting stronger environmental policies. Even as some officials push for tighter restrictions on pollutants, state-owned enterprises — especially China’s oil and power companies — have been putting profits ahead of health in working to outflank new rules, according to government data and interviews with people involved in policy negotiations.

For instance, even though trucks and buses crisscrossing China are far worse for the environment than any other vehicles, the oil companies have delayed for years an improvement in the diesel fuel those vehicles burn. As a result, the sulfur levels of diesel in China are at least 23 times that of the United States. As for power companies, the three biggest ones in the country are all repeat violators of government restrictions on emissions from coal-burning plants; offending power plants are found across the country, from Inner Mongolia to the southwest metropolis of Chongqing. 

The state-owned enterprises are given critical roles in policy-making on environmental standards. The committees that determine fuel standards, for example, are housed in the buildings of an oil company. Whether the enterprises can be forced to follow, rather than impede, environmental restrictions will be a critical test of the commitment of Mr. Li andXi Jinping, the new party chief and president, to curbing the influence of vested interests in the economy.

Last month, after deadly air pollution hit record levels in northern China, officials led byWen Jiabao, then the prime minister, put forward strict new fuel standards that the oil companies had blocked for years. But there are doubts about whether the oil companies will comply, especially since oil officials resisted a similar government order for higher-grade fuel four years ago. State-owned power companies have been similarly resistant. The companies regularly ignore government orders to upgrade coal-burning electricity plants, according to ministry data. And as with the oil companies, the power companies exert an outsize influence over environmental policy debates.

In 2011, during a round of discussions over stricter emissions standards, the China Electricity Council, which represents the companies, pushed back hard against the proposals, saying that the costs of upgrading the plants would be too high.

“During the procedure of setting the standard, the companies or the industry councils have a lot of influence,” said Zhou Rong, a campaign manager on energy issues for Greenpeace East Asia. “My personal opinion is even if we have the most stringent standards for every sector, the companies will violate those.”

On Feb. 28, Deutsche Bank released an analysts’ note saying that China’s current economic policies would result in an enormous surge in coal consumption and automobile sales over the next decade. “China’s air pollution will become a lot worse from the already unbearable level,” the analysts said, calling for drastic policy changes and “a strong government will to overcome the opposition from interest groups.”

The report estimated that the number of passenger cars in China was on track to hit 400 million by 2030, up from 90 million now.

Green tax mulled to help fight pollution


By Zheng Yangeng, March 23, 2013


China is considering levying a consumption tax on some products that make heavy use of resources and cause pollution, in a major effort to promote resource and environmental protection awareness, according to a report.

The plan was mentioned in a document compiled by the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, Economic Information, a newspaper affiliated with Xinhua News Agency, reported on Friday.

The committee is studying the inclusion of products with high resource consumption, those causing environmental pollution, and some high-end consumer goods in items subject to consumption tax, the document states.

It also says it is considering adjusting the tax rate on some consumer products that are "incompatible with the country's consumption level".

Fourteen items are currently subject to consumption tax, including cigarettes, alcohol, cosmetics, expensive jewelry, pearls and jade, firecrackers, motorcycles and automobiles.

The finance ministry did not respond to media inquiries on Friday. The document did not detail any timetable. Ni Hongri, a research fellow with the Development Research Center under the State Council, said under the current "structural tax reform", the "adjustment" should include both an increase and a decrease.

For example, cosmetics are subject to a 30 percent consumption tax. But as people's living standards have improved, many cosmetics products have become more widely available, so should be subject to a lower tax, Ni said.
Green tax mulled to help fight pollution
Several experts suggested raising the consumption tax on cigarettes, as this levy in China is much lower than the international average.

Liu Shangxi, researcher at the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under the Ministry of Finance, said some emerging luxuries such as motorboats, sailboats, light aircraft and luxury bags should be subject to consumption tax.

Yuan Qingdan, vice-director of the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, suggested that disposable plastic bags and lead-acid batteries should be subject to consumption tax.

A 5 percent consumption tax is currently levied on disposable chopsticks and solid-wood floors.
Yuan said fertilizers and pesticides, whose prices fall as their use increases, should be subject to consumption tax.

Ni said whether a rise in tax leads to price increases depends on "elasticity" in product prices.

"For example, cigarettes are a daily necessity for smokers. So a tax increase means smokers will pay more for cigarettes if they don't quit, and this is good.

"And if a tax increase on high-end watches raises their price, fewer people might buy them. This is good for reducing extravagance."

Bike riders spar with L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge over proposed bike lane route


By Dana Bartholomew, March 23, 2013

NORTH HOLLYWOOD -- The proposed bike lanes along Lankershim Boulevard were supposed to whisk riders to Metrolink hubs, theaters and businesses while slowing down car traffic.

But an alternative route by Councilman Tom LaBonge to what would have been the San Fernando Valley's next major bike lane artery is being fought by bicycle advocates and businesses.

"We find that this community has a real opportunity to connect people with two major (Metrolink) stations and local businesses," said Alek Bartrosouf, campaign and policy manager for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which supports the Lankershim lanes. "We're being offered an alternative that does not serve this goal in a safe and convenient way."

The proposed bicycle lanes along Lankershim stem from the city's 2010 bicycle master plan to develop a two-wheeled network across Los Angeles.

Proponents say the plan's 1,684 miles of bike lanes in the next 30 years will boost ridership, draw commuters out of their cars, decrease pollution and increase public health and safety for cyclists and cars while providing easier access to bus and rail stops.

One proposed artery now under environmental review is the seven-mile stretch of Lankershim Boulevard from Ventura Boulevard in Studio City to San Fernando Road in Sun Valley. Its lower portion, a 2.4-mile leg that runs past the Universal City Red Line station to the Orange and Red lines
 hub at Chandler Boulevard, would give the diagonal four-lane strip a so-called "road diet" by stripping it of a northbound lane, slowing traffic by 2 minutes. All parking would be retained.

The proposal, supported by a petition of 1,200 signatures and by 30 businesses on Lankershim, is lauded by advocates for potentially slowing down traffic, making both motorists and bicyclists safer, while increasing local commerce.

Between 2001 and 2011, there were 63 bicycle accidents along the popular NoHo corridor, according to the Dept. of Transportation.

"It'll actually assist me more when I'm with my wife or other friends who are less savvy - they're the ones who will really benefit," said Douglas John, 35, who often rides his one-speed track bike from his home in Studio City to the Laemmle Theatres or The Federal Bar on Lankershim. "It's definitely a dangerous street."

But LaBonge, who supported a recent decrease in car lanes to allow bike lanes on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake, said a road diet for Lankershim would be just too dangerous. There is just too much traffic near the Universal Red Line station near CityWalk and Universal Studios to strip it of a northbound lane, he said.

Instead, the councilman would create a bicycle corridor on Vineland Avenue, which would require bicyclists to double back to Lankershim by turning left on Chandler Boulevard.

"Lankershim is too narrow," LaBonge said. "It is less safe. It would be tighter than a drum. There's no extra space for bike lanes. I strongly feel it would be unsafe in that area, as opposed to Vineland, which is a tremendous street.

"I'm not for a road diet if bicyclists die on the road. I want to make streets safe for people."

He added there was no comparison with the fewer car lanes in Silver Lake, which has one hub for an elementary school, and busy Lankershim. Bike enthusiasts, however, argue that the boulevard would be safer than Vineland, which has more freeway off ramps and bicycle left turns, and is too far off the beaten track.

"If the whole point of bike lanes is to attract bicyclists, we're not going to increase ridership in the Valley by putting bike lanes on streets that don't make sense," Bartrosouf said "That would be a waste of taxpayers' money."

Anatomy of a Parking Sign That Actually Makes Sense


By Emily Badger, March 22, 2013


Anatomy of a Parking Sign That Actually Makes Sense

Growing up in suburban Ohio, the most complicated parking sign Michael Bierut recalls ever encountering was the classic, two-word prohibition mounted over the rare driveway or fire hydrant: NO PARKING.

Pretty straight-forward. You’ve got your verb, you’ve got your negation. No exceptions, conditions or need for interpretation. "There was no difference between ‘standing’ and ‘parking,’ ‘except deliveries and commercial vehicles,'" says Bierut, who now works in New York as a principal with the design firm Pentagram. He sympathizes with the rest of the city’s drivers – including, hilariously, the comedian Louis C.K. – who’ve been complaining for years about what might be the most byzantine parking regulations on the planet.

"I am such a coward a lot of times – I’m one of those people who will park in a garage just so I don’t have to sort out what the signs mean," Bierut says. "And I would also say they look generally ugly and chaotic, too, on top of everything else."

Bierut worked on the design of the much-celebrated replacements for the city’s parking signs, which have been steadily appearing in Midtown Manhattan since earlier this year. Soon, the newer versions will reach the stretch of Fifth Avenue outside Pentagram’s own offices, and from there, the city’s Department of Transportation expects to install them in other parts of town as well.

The signs have evolved in some fairly basic ways: The information is now flush-left instead of centered, and the text doesn’t scream at drivers in ALL CAPS any more. There’s also a new two-toned color scheme and a tidy box conveying the maximum meter time on any block. All these subtle adjustments, by some trick of city psychology, have totally transformed the maddening experience of parking in Manhattan.

The old signs at left, the new ones at right.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick began agitating for simpler signs in 2011 because his constituents (quite reasonably) had been grousing about them. We asked Garodnick if any of these angry drivers felt the city was intentionally trying to trick them, to which he replied: "Yes yes yes yes yes! That was part of the sadness of all of it – that people actually think that the city is deliberately trying to confuse them in order to give tickets. And that perception alone is a problem."

That gives you some sense of how bad things were before this January. The City Council and the New York City Department of Transportation eventually began working on revised language for the signs, testing prototypes on the street (sample quiz: looking at this sign, if it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday, and you’re trying to make a three-hour board meeting, can you park your Subaru in front of that produce delivery truck?).

Pentagram, which is also working with the city on a way-finding campaign due out later this spring, was pulled into the project to lend some design science to the whole enterprise.

"If you start to analyze it from a logic chain point of view," Bierut says, "what makes parking signs particularly complicated is that you’re being asked to calculate a solution based on multiple variables." Are you driving a commercial vehicle or a non-commercial vehicle? Is it a weekday or a weekend? Rush hour or mid-day? Street cleaning or no? "And you’re under stress and you may not speak English as your first language, and you’re late for your dentist appointment," Bierut says, "or you’re just intimidated by the prospect of getting towed."

Pentagram has also designed signage for tens of thousands of confused souls in airports, and that would seem to be an even trickier task. But, Bierut says, just about everyone in the airport wants to do the same thing: get to their gate and onto an airplane. That’s not the case with street parking, where one driver wants to run in to the Duane Reade, another is trying to deliver a U-Haul of furniture, and yet another is circling for a spot to leave the car during dinner and a Broadway play.
Parking signs have to simultaneously speak to all these people with varying motivations on a single metal pole (and within the guidelines of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

You may never have noticed this consciously, but signs can also be either permissive or prohibitive, telling you what you may do versus what you cannot do. "Metered parking from 2 p.m.-5 p.m." sounds agnostic – and less like an invitation to test the meter maid – than "no parking 5 p.m.-2 p.m."
The new signs are all permissive in language (and this was a whole separate decision from whether to make them say "2 p.m.-5 p.m." or "2 p.m. to 5 p.m.").

With the wording simplified and shortened, Pentagram then began to play with the design, a process that Bierut likens to piling yet more variation onto the variables already implied by the language to emphasize each of them in their own separate way. What if some of the numbers were in boxes and some of the words in bold? Or if you changed the color for the commercial signs and the size of the type for time?

The challenge was to add as few design elements as possible for maximum effect, because the diminishing returns of more fonts and colors and type weights set in quickly. "Once you start emphasizing this thing and then doing something else to that thing, throwing in all these variables," Bierut says, "people don’t stand a chance to decipher them consciously or subconsciously."

He's basically describing the city’s old-school signs.

Bruce Schaller, Deputy Commissioner for Traffic and Planning, reviews variations in a meeting at DOT.

Ironically, for all the ways that people hated the previous signs, Pentagram also had to design replacements that would look like our expectations of parking signs. The firm produced one version of the signs in Helvetica, the classic font that’s used in the New York subway. "They looked really beautiful, really modern," Bierut says a bit wistfully. "But somehow they didn’t look like parking signs in a way. They didn’t have that aura of authority."

Helvetica didn’t convey "this sign means serious business, or you’ll get a ticket." And so you’re looking instead at a font called Highway. Stripped of all context, Highway isn’t necessarily a serious-business script. But we’ve been conditioned to view it that way, as we have with all kinds of other subtle design stagecraft.

"If you’re designing a jar of spaghetti sauce," Bierut says, "you take a risk if you make it look like something else – if you make it look like yogurt, or pharmaceuticals, or you make it look like contact lens fluid."

The same is true with parking signs made to look like billboards for the Times Square TKTS kiosk.

Of course, the ultimate result of all of this is that the new New York City parking signs don’t look like much at all if you happen upon them in their proper context. It’s just that now, as a driver, you don’t have to look at them for quite as long, scratching your head, summoning strangers over for a second opinion, all in an effort to decipher them.

"I haven’t stalked anyone doing it yet," Bierut says of the prospect of observing his work in the urban wild. "But I have noticed – and it’s gratifying in a way – that they get less attention. I guess this is a triumph: I have yet to see anyone puzzling over them."

Earth Hour: City Hall Going Dark


By Jessica Hamlin, March 22, 2013


Pasadena is one of many cities around the world that will go dark Saturday for Earth Hour 2013, a global movement that encourages people to turn off lights for one hour to promote energy conservation and environmental awareness.

Earth Hour takes place this year on Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, when the lights at Pasadena City Hall will be shut off.

City Hall will join thousands of other landmarks across the globe in going dark, such as the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, where Earth Hour began in 2007, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, according to the International Business Times.

Ron Kaye: Throwing rocks at the windows of power


By Ron Kaye, March 23, 2013

What would your town be like if its harshest critic had a seat at the table of power?

The question is a natural one for me to ask, as I am one of the harshest critics of what passes for a government in the city of Los Angeles. I have envisioned from time to time what impact I could have as a councilman ranting about backroom deals and policies that pandered to special interests at the public’s expense.

 Not much, I concluded, unless the public was aroused and wanted real change. But Glendale clearly is not L.A. I’ve come to know and respect top city officials in Glendale, elected and appointed, for being forthright and for doing a pretty good job.

It was with that in mind that I sat down last week at Billy’s Deli on Orange Street, where one of the city’s harshest critics, City Council candidate Herbert Molano, was pecking at a bowl of oatmeal.

Call him a gadfly, call him a nuisance who jumbles the facts to suit his purposes, as many inside City Hall see him, or call him a visionary fighting for justice, as he sees himself; whatever label you apply, there’s no doubt Molano stands out from the field for his intelligence and perseverance in a decade-long campaign of challenging City Hall week after week with statistics and percentages and his own brand of insights.

How, I asked, can he look through a glass so darkly at Glendale when it seems like such a well-run city to me, a paradise when compared with L.A.?

“You’re basically talking about a totally corrupt system in L.A. and saying we’re not as corrupt,” he said. “But we have officials who lie, who hide the truth from the public and waste taxpayer money. The only reason we are living better than L.A. is because so many things were done right many years ago.”

Molano tells a remarkable story about his “Horatio Alger” life, how his mother fled hardships and turmoil in her homeland in Colombia and brought her children to L.A., where they faced more hardships balanced only by hope for a better life

He got to UCLA and following his instincts and interests, put together knowledge of psychology, philosophy, accounting and computers — when there were just main-frames, no PCs, no Internet — into a career as a businessman, technology salesman and systems analyst that let him prosper to the point he could cash out and work part-time as a consultant.

That’s when he says he devoted himself to his three kids and to fighting for justice in Glendale — the town he embraced when he got fed up with life in L.A.

The specific issue was rent control, which he felt allowed tenants in the two apartment buildings he bought to run circles around him, so he moved to Glendale, bought a house and an apartment building — and then in 2001, the issue of whether to have rent control came before the Glendale City Council.

He recalled thinking, “What the hell, after all this, these guys are coming in and they don’t even know what they’re doing. The problem only exists in one-half of 1% of apartments.”

Molano went to a community meeting and found like-minded allies who worked to head off rent control by forming the Glendale Apartment Assn. and helping to set up a landlord-tenant mediation service.

He got involved in the schools, questioning how Glendale High could claim a 96% graduation rate, and then started going to City Council budget sessions and putting his analytical skills to work to come up with his own numbers, then challenging the official story.

In the absence of an engaged and informed electorate, Molano and a clique of City Council regulars are, for better or worse, the voice of the people, very aware that TV broadcasts of public meetings give them an audience beyond City Hall.

He sees in Glendale city government a sinister world of self-servers — not public servants — who mislead the public, engage in lies and cover-ups and waste taxpayers’ money.

“If we can solve the problems and make a model solution in Glendale, I think that other people will want to copy it. I think there’s a real chance to do it here,” he said.

If elected, his goal would be to foster more community involvement.

“My intent is to do an outreach to the general public, to energize them, to get active, to use the title and the credibility to enroll people to get involved. Our futures are at stake, our quality of life. Government is simply about creating structures so we can collaborate. We need to go back to basics.”

Molano ran for a seat on the council back in 2007, finishing seventh in a field of eight. But this time it could be different because the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the boogeyman of L.A. politics that has tried for more than a year to get an initial contract with Glendale Water & Power, is making noises about playing a hand in the closing days before next week’s election by supporting the utility’s harshest critic.

When I asked Molano in an email how his stance on public employee wages and benefits jibes with getting support from a union that gets pay scales, pensions and work rules far more beneficial to its members than other unions, he answered this way:

“Bringing the pensions system so that it is equitable to all is a policy and perception that all employees would embrace. The disparity in benefits and pay, plus the layoffs experienced by some departments and not others, is enough to be a call to action.... Equity is call for action for most people. Let's do hope this is a game-changer.”

If I lived in Glendale, I’m not sure I’d vote for Molano, anymore than I would have necessarily voted for myself if I had run for office in L.A. Some of us are more useful on the outside throwing rocks at the windows of power than inside, with the job of making things work as best we can.

Long Beach: Terminal Island Freeway Removal (Once Again) Attempts to Find Funding for Study 


By Brian Addison, March 20, 2013



 The proposed area of the Terminal Island Freeway to be removed.

Last night, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to (once again) approved a motion to pursue a grant in order to further a study on the removal of the northern portion of the Terminal Island Freeway (I-103) that sits above Pacific Coast Highway in West Long Beach.

This marks the second bold decision by the council–following last year’s vote to seek a CalTrans grant that was ultimately not achieved–to push forward on what could mark one of the largest freeway removals in Southern California history, stretching from slightly south of PCH all the way to Willow Street.

The Terminal Island Freeway has been at the center of a proposed restructuring since 2010, when community leaders pointed out a simple thing: the existing northern length of the freeway, following the development of the 20-mile long Alameda Corridor and the still-underway modernization of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) by Union Pacific Railroad, is redundant.

Not only do shipping companies use it less and less, the traffic itself matches those of 4th Street along Retro Row (some 13,700 AADT). And if plans for ICTF follow through, you can drop that down to 8,700 AADT–less than the traffic 3rd Street receives in the quiet neighborhood of Alamitos Beach.

Detractors of redundant freeway stretch removals in general have, also in general, the evidence stacked against them. Freeway removals from Portland, Oregon (Harbor Drive Freeway) to Boston (Central Artery), from Seoul, Korea (Cheonggye Expressway) to Toronto (Gardiner Expressway) have proven multiple things that are commonly not considered or otherwise misinterpreted. Benefits of freeway removal include:
  • The traffic congestion feared by having a lesser roadway capacity can be absorbed by alternate routes (regard San Francisco’s Central Freeway removal discussed below as well);
  • Fewer people use their cars when roadway capacity is lessened1
  • The removal of certain spans of roads does not mandate nor necessarily guarantee a needed shift in the entirety of transit paths (regard the removal of San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway);
  • And the excessive right-of-way paths can be altered into public, open space that generate activity on multiple levels–communal, civic, commercial–rather than simply diminish transit2
Take in depth one of the most known freeway removals in California, the Central Freeway that connected the 101 near downtown San Francisco to northern and western neighborhoods. The demolished segment of the freeway–the entire portion of it north of Market Street that extended into Hayes Valley–was part of a transit way that at its peak carried some 100,000 AADT.
That’s a lotta cars.
The demolished area of the Central Freeway in 

Following the damage to the Central Freeway due to the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake as well as a partial closure in 1996, people began to reconsider retrofitting the extension. During the 1996 closure, the expected traffic congestion ultimately never appeared and a 1999 ballot initiative was approved to remove the freeway.

Officially closed in 2003 with the new-and-improved Octavia Boulevard opening in 2005, the boulevard’s northern end not only rejuvenated the entirety of Hayes Valley’s commercial and residential development, but also dropped traffic rates by over half since automobiles automatically diverted themselves to alternate routes.

With regard to Terminal Island, there is just as much possibility. Given that the state transfered ownership of this northern one-mile portion to Long Beach, the city has the jurisdiction over its fate–and if it can muster up the financial strength to continue forward (i.e. fund an EIR), the new space can open up some 25-acres of land that could be used to create one Long Beach’s largest parks.

Perhaps this year will be more promising than last.


1. Evidence of this is shown in places such as the removal of I-264 in Virginia in 1996 (decrease of 14%); Bay Street in Toronto in 1990 (decrease of 21%); Ormeau Road in Belfast in 1994 (decrease of 18%); Europa Bridge in Zurich in 1991-92 (decrease in 5%). For more information, re: Cairns, S., Hass-Klau, C., and Goodwin, PB (1998). Traffic Impact of Highway Capacity Reductions: Assessment of the Evidence. Landor Publishing, London.

2. Examples include not just the Central Freeway removal discussed in the article but the Embarcadero Freeway removal which in turn created a “complete street” with serving multiple modes of exploration (walking, biking, driving, public transit) with enhances civic and commercial activity; the removal of the Harbor Drive Freeway in Portland, OR to create the 37-acre Tom McCall Waterfront Park; the removal of the Cheonggye Expressway in South Korea that ended in a 3.6 mile park; the reconfiguration of the Riverfront Parkway in Chattanooga, TN opened up access to the river as well as safer pedestrian access; and the removal of the Park East Freeway in Milwaukee that opened up massive redevelopment and reinvestment into the area.

Faces of Transportation Equity: Natasha Harrell



 This video is one of a series that appear in the http://www.youtube.com/user/transportationequity YouTube site of the Transportation Equity Network – TEN – a project of the Gamaliel Foundation, a faith-based organization with regional affiliates around the United States and 350+ member organizations. For details go to http://www.transportationequity.org.

Additional background is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Equity_Network.

A particular  concern of this program is in providing improved conditions of transport to work, school, health and social services, above all for minority groups, poorer people and the unemployed.
Editor’s comment:

Are you listening? Not only the time that it takes her children to get to school, and the cost relative to her possibilities, but they arrive in school hungary. Because in the world’s greatest economy, there are mothers cannot afford to feed their children three times a day. So they go to school hungary.

The Finns, then a very poor country, learned early that hungary children have a hard time learning. So they fed them. How hard is that?