Ideas for the online revolution.

Turkey Protest Movement on Live Stream

I strongly recommend following the #OccupyGezi Turkish protest movement on live stream (live video). Here are three sources:

Tim Pool
Global Revolution
Revolt Instanbul
Russia Today - great feed of Taksim Square

Policy Map - Unemployment Rate Map, Widgets, and More

Policy Map is an interesting website. They have some maps that are widgets - so you can copy and paste the html into your website. For instance this is a map of unemployment in the US by county:

Philadelphia AVI - Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers Report

The Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers has released a report finding that the Actual Valuation is a flawed initiative.

As a result of the efforts of the Coalition and the Controller's Office the city council has decided to audit the AVI for accuracy.

The findings of the Coalition's report are mostly similar to that of the Controller's office - which isn't surprising as they used the same data.

Philadelphia Property Tax - Two Different Stories

There are currently two very different views regarding what is going on with the Philadelphia property tax reform Actual Value Initiative (AVI). At stake is the largest tax reform in recent Philadelphia history and hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Office of Property Assessment and local real-estate expert Kevin Gillen argue that the new assessments are more accurate and more progressive than the old ones.

The Controller's Office argues that new assessments are less accurate and less progressive than the old ones.

Philadelphia Property Tax: Biased Against the Poor

The City of Philadelphia Controller's Office just released a report that trashes the city's efforts to accurately re-assess the value of its property.

The AVI's values are widely inaccurate and three times worse than industry standards for accuracy.

Vegan Fake Meat Reviews

Here are some of my favorite vegan fake meats. Not in order.

1. Tofurky Italian Sausage.
While their fake turkey product gets very mixed reviews, their fake sausage is amazing! Trader Joes sells Italian Sausage for $2.99.

I pan fry it. It is great for summer grilling! It goes well by itself or in pasta. There are several other varieties that are carried by Whole Foods and other stores.

2. Field Roast Sausages

Philadelphia AVI Property Tax Analyzer

I've written a web application that lets you analyze the impact of various Philadelphia property tax rates. You can choose the rate, a homestead exemption, and select a number of property value categories. You can analyze residential and other property types (commercial, industrial, stores with dwellings, etc).

It shows who gains/loses from property tax reform by property value as well as the overall shift of taxation from commercial to residential (and to stores with dwellings).

QS1R: Software Defined Radio for Shortwave Radio - A Review

I recently got back into shortwave radio after staying away due to the horrible urban RFI situation. I previously used a Drake R8 original. That was a great radio, but having a software defined radio is a vastly different experience.


Philadelphia Property Tax - How to Help Renters

Mayor Nutter's proposal would cost over a hundred thousand households that rent in Philadelphia $50-$200/year.

How can these households be helped?

1. A Lower Property Tax Rate
If the city stops transferring part of the overall tax burden from commercial and industrial properties to residential, then the rate would be lower. However, if we want to reduce the tax rate enough for people renting houses that are worth around $80,000 - then we actually need to not only stop this transfer but reverse it. We probably need to get the rate down to 1%.

Philadelphia Property Tax - Industrial Analysis

Industrial properties are the fourth largest segment of the Philadelphia property market. Industrial properties have the lowest valuation increase, probably due to deindustrialization. There may be lower demand for industrial properties as people aren't starting new industrial businesses and converting them into residential or commercial properties is a big job.

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