Governments Won’t Allow Building Roads in Phases?

Utah County where I live does not want new settlement unless they are done by cities. In my case, I have two lots that were finished 19 months ago and but denied subdivision approval because the county requires their driveways to connect directly to a state or county road and must not pass through twelve feet of my interior, private paved road.

What can be done? Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Allow private roads, especially those that will have low traffic. The public doesn’t want to pay for the maintenance of low-traffic roads.
  • Allow roads to be completed in phases as cities do. This makes the most sense.
  • Bond for temporary cul-de-sacs but don’t build them
  • Grant subdivision approval but deny a building permit.
    That will enable a seller to sell a lot. Escrow the funds to pave and dedicate the road.
    Once dedicated, allow a building permit. It would be difficult to convince a buyer of this.

Seven Quick Thoughts on Groundwater Replenishment

Today I spoke at the Utah County Commissioners’ Meeting and then sent this email to Brian Voeks, the admin for Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee, and asked he forward these follow-up thoughts to commissioners Bill Lee, Nathan Ivie and Greg Graves:

Commissioner Ivie was concerned this morning that if we stopped flood irrigating our county groundwater may not replenish.

1. I agree—Let’s not eliminate flood irrigation; instead, let’s eliminate the irrigation and landscaping water share requirements for new subdivisions, promote dry farming and let citizens increase county farm production.

Some additional thoughts to consider:

2. Spanish Fork still averages 18 inches of rainfall per year regardless of whether farmers flood irrigate.

3. Mountain waters will still flow to the valleys’ lakes.

4. Leach fields also replenish groundwater: Given the Utah state average of 3.63 persons per household, that’s 290 to 363 gallons dispersed daily by private wastewater treatment systems.

5. Government water share requirements have virtually eliminated discussions on dry farming, crushed farming competition and squashed innovation.

6. Salt and minerals will eventually destroy all county farmland that repeatedly flood irrigates.

7. A median household income of $64,321 qualifies families for a trailer in Utah County cities, not a home; therefore, better use of water and county lands are required for the forecasted population growth. See my calculations below.

Bill Lee and I agree that we like to see green farmland. Sometimes I incorrectly look down upon on county residents without green pastures; however, we as a people may be more likely to win the approbation of heaven if we enable more families to settle in lands outside of incorporated cities.

Calculations:
Play with this form with a mortgage rate of 4.7% APR and see what you can afford.
https://www.redfin.com/how-much-house-can-i-afford

Example:
Location: 84604
Annual Household Income: $64,321
Monthly Spending: $1,000
Loan Type: 30-Year Fixed
APR: 4.7%
Annual Property Tax for Provo is 1.75%

Recommended Price: $114,425
Recommended Maximum Price $178,900

That buys you a trailer home.

References
1. Dry Farming by Dr. John A. Widtsoe

2. Salt Is Turning Farmland Into Wasteland Around the World Much like a salt-heavy diet will eventually kill people, it will also kill the environment.

3. How much water does the average person use at home per day?

4. Census facts for Utah County

5. How much house can I afford?

by Robert John Stevens, April 10, 2018

Price Hikes for Government-Run Monopolies in Utah County

Prices for many of the services performed by the Utah County Health Department rose significantly in 2018, especially by their Environmental Health Department that oversees services for new subdivisions, as I was told at their front desk and by employee Jason Garrett.

These are monopoly services. Do you think licensed, free-market professionals could perform these services as they already do title work? Of course, they could.

Surely the taxpayers are subsidizing these services. I sent Commissioner Bill Lee an email today urging him to dismantle their monopoly. The government needs to get out of the business of monopolizing services.

I suspect knowing this would anger most taxpayers:
HealthDeptFeeSchedule

Do the dead have rights?

There is some discussion in Utah about protecting petroglyphs which raises the questions: Do the dead have rights? Do petroglyphs and art have rights if their makers are now dead? And do we compromise the rights and liberty of the living for the rights and creations of those who are dead?

Surely government doesn’t care about the right of the dead nor their creations.

The issue of protecting petroglyphs was discussed this year because Utah County Commissioners granted monopolies to existing mines and earth extraction operations by denying new ones to form on West Mountain. The deceptive plan to get the citizens to demand rezoning lands from grazing and mining to just grazing worked especially well on those who pushed for protecting petroglyphs although it had nothing to do with that.

Evil succeeds when it can successfully convince the people to beg for it.

–Robert Stevens, February 25, 2018

Is water in a hole after precipitation the underground water table?

Commissioner Bill Lee of Utah County asked me for one question he can ask the Utah County Health Department. Here it is:

If you dig a hole on a property where the soil immediately below the surface is wet from snowmelt, and the hole partially fills with water, are you absolutely certain it is the underground water table level or just a draining puddle?

How can science provide the answer?

Dig a 6′ to 10′ hole next to the shallow hole, install a piezometer encased in gravel and monitor the underground water table level.

Why is this important to me? Because Craig Bostock at the Utah County Health Department wrote in his subdivision feasibility letter for one of my parcels that water was observed 18″ below the surface on my 5.25-acre lot #8 in Benjamin, Utah.

Given 2016 was the wettest year in decades, the snowmelt was rapid and even though the surface was dry enough to walk on, can he be absolutely certain that the water observed at 18″ below the surface in a shallow hole was the underground water table or could it have been snowmelt water slowly sinking?

The answer is obvious to me–he can’t be certain and to make such a claim is fraudulent and phoney science; therefore, to mention that on my subdivision feasibility was abusive and an act of tyranny.

Already one buyer who submitted an offer has backed out after reading Craig’s letter. Would you want to buy a lot and build your dream house on land where someone said the water depth is 18″ below the surface?

If they really think water draining in a shallow hole is the underground water table then they should all be fired. If they don’t believe that but uphold it then they still should be fired.

No taxpayer-subsidized service monopolized by a government that can be performed as well or better by qualified citizens in the marketplace should be permitted in a free society. I’ll write more on this subject later.

by Robert John Stevens, February 22, 2018

Democide: The Word Missing from the Gun Control Debate

Democide is the murder of citizens by their own governments. In the 20th century alone, the Univ. of Hawaii reports 262 million humans were murdered by their own governments. The author breaks down the murders by nation. In most cases, democide happened after citizens were disarmed and had no viable solution to repel the force and weapons used against them.

Search Google News for democide and there are no results.

Will Senators Hatch or Lee discuss democide on the Senate floor? I also called Congressman Curtis’ DC office and requested he discuss democide on the House Floor.

See 20TH CENTURY DEMOCIDE.

by Robert John Stevens, February 22, 2018

Why do we teach Old Testament to youth under 18?

I’m reading the Book of Genesis. If the rest of the Old Testament is filled with vivid descriptions of adultery, fornication, polygamy, and sodomy, why do we teach Old Testament to youth under 18?

My wife and I teach Old Testament to fourth graders for their Sunday School hour but just read Old Testament verses in class that are listed in our teacher’s manual.

Maybe our church assumes students won’t read outside of class. I hope we don’t inspire our students enough to read Genesis on their own. There are many things that I would rather not have to explain. 🙂

The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible. – Mark Twain

by Robert John Stevens, February 20, 2018


Commments

I would probably just focus on the stories that do not contain the material you are talking about. I’m guessing the primary manuals do not encourage you to teach about adultery, polygamy or sodomy. There are lots of great stories in the Old Testament but it is a complicated book! — a smart and wise friend.

It is Time for Church Members to Hire and Mentor Youth

by Robert John Stevens, February 9, 2018

I see a problem in our church that probably extends nationwide to all faiths: Many young, capable people can’t find jobs and older church members won’t take a chance on them.

When the U.S. dollar finally collapses, it will surely get a lot worse.

I have two sons who graduated from BYU in Provo and can’t find work. Tyler graduated in physics. Andrew later earned an MBA from UVU and still can’t find a job so he volunteers and films BYU’s innovators for Tech Transfer Director Mike Alder at BYU.

Andrew applied to more than 1,000 jobs. Several friends and career advisors reviewed his resume and cannot figure out why he can’t get interviews and a job offer. There is nothing wrong with him. I watch his self-esteem sink weekly.

Hundreds of times he’s asked himself why he is turned down repeatedly and what can he do to improve his resume and interviews. One problem is he didn’t graduate with a degree in the E in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

This begs the question, “Would it be easier to get jobs after graduating from college if job training began in their youth?”

Often I hear employees tell me their best employees grew up on farms. Whenever I hire, I want to know how they earned money in their youth.

When I was young it was easy to get jobs from neighbors and church members. They took a chance on me and were never disappointed. I worked eight months for Bob Rowe in Potomac, Maryland and picked up his house one piece at a time after it blew down and then hung all his interior doors and moldings without any previous training or experience.

My brother and I sealed Brother Colton’s asphalt driveway, sealed Bishop Rolapp’s driveway and then repaired it with cold asphalt and rolled over it with our parents’ yellow 1972 Ford Gran Torino Squire Station Wagon, painted the exterior of Brother Hart’s home, mowed lawns, raked leaves, washed windows and sealed driveways all over Potomac and Darnestown. I was so successful that my father often called me “money bags.”

During my 37 years living here in Utah Valley, I’ve never seen a teenager mow another man’s lawn. In the dozens of neighborhoods we’ve lived, I am not aware of any youth who were employed by church members other than babysitting and at their retail businesses.

It is common to hear, “Kids these days don’t want to work.” Perhaps, but would things be different if they were given opportunities in their youth?

I have always been disappointed that so many of my generation, even after they earned degrees from BYU and other colleges, were never given the opportunity to work for the previous generation of millionaires and billionaires of church members in Potomac, Maryland ; hence, few graduates could afford to return to Potomac where the median home value rose steadily and is now $848,600.

I suspect at some point in their careers, many wealthy members of my church did hire youth and other church members from their congregation but now don’t. I do not understand that. They must know something that I do not.

Has litigation made it too risky? Did they lose money? Or has one too many relationships resulted in bad feelings?

What good is our money after we are dead? At Judgment Day will we rather say, “I used my resources wisely and with my keen knowledge of business I started farms, factories, manufacturing ventures and for-profit businesses, trained and employed the youth of my church and increased their salaries proportionally as their combined labors increased my profits?”

From Gordon B. Hinckley: “A man out of work is of special moment to the Church because, deprived of his inheritance, he is on trial as Job was on trial—for his integrity. As days lengthen into weeks and months and even years of adversity, the hurt grows deeper. …The Church cannot hope to save a man on Sunday if during the week it is a complacent witness to the crucifixion of his soul.”

I don’t have an obvious solution for employing youth. My kids babysat and sold Christmas videos but when they travelled outside of our ward or congregational boundaries in the same neighborhood they were treated with disdain.

I’ve personally mentored, trained and employed more than sixty adults. Sometimes they produced and I earned back my investment and more; sometimes they produced nothing and I lost my entire investment. As a whole, women very much outperformed men.

It is time for church leaders to speak out in public and from the public to ask members to mentor, train and employ our youth. Maybe it is time for my church to direct a portion of tithing to assist in a wise and clever manner.

I know there is great pain in this area and that something heavenly could be done if inspired leaders urge members to act. What would Jesus do?

Governments Must Never Perform Services That Free Markets Can Do

It was never my intention to be a land developer. I thought people could buy farmland and move onto it. Utah County has so many utility requirements that I had to develop and sell off lots to pay for them. For example, I could have used geothermal, solar and/or wind energy instead of having more than a half mile of trench dug and cable installed for Rocky Mountain Power.

Most people can only imagine there’s a lot of hoops to jump through.

The difficulty is fighting tyrannical governments and their hundreds of pages of stale, corrupted, inflexible laws, and dealing with their employee’s unrighteous dominion and animosity towards We the People.

If you’ve ever had to buy a service from the government or get their permission to do something, you know that they are usually awful to deal with. No service that private markets can render should be monopolized by governments.

I’ve attended dozens of county and planning meetings and have never heard the word liberty used outside of the Pledge of Allegiance. Some employees feel it is the proper role of government to provide for the safety, welfare and health of the people; they forget that Founding Fathers knew the property role of government was to protect liberty–your right to do whatever you please without government intervention as long as you don’t hurt your neighbors. There is a huge difference.

— Robert John Stevens, February 6, 2018

Should I take time off work to go to a job interview without first interviewing by phone?

Companies today show little respect for job candidates.  Rather than schedule a polite phone call, it is easier to email a link to a timed, online test or a link to schedule an onsite interview.

I received this email:

Thank you for your interest in working at Optimal Satcom. We will be conducting interviews on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at our office in Herndon, Virginia. Please use the link below to make an appointment for a time slot suitable to you:

Please arrive 15 min early in order to have time to check in and complete required paperwork. Our address is 600 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100, Herndon, VA 20170. A government-issued photo ID is required. The interview will start at your scheduled time, and should last 60 minutes. If you have any questions regarding scheduling, please call 703-657-8800.

My response:

Sorry I didn’t respond to this. When presented with potential contract or full-time employment opportunities, I prioritize them according to the efforts the company makes to contact me. For example, an initial personal visit to my office or a phone call from the party in need of software development to discuss their needs takes precedence over an email request for me to take vacation time from work and travel to an office hoping to get an interview by people to whom I’ve had no contact.

The best programming teams have no problem attracting talent. I’m looking for a great programming team to join, to help a bad team become better or to a help a good team become great.

I doubt I will get a response but if I do I will post it.

–Robert Stevens, January 30, 2018