One tow over the line
I'm a musician who recently played a Christmas party that was held at the Kings Center, downtown Johnson City.
The unloading of my gear was bad enough, having to park illegally temporarily, but cannot be held as anyone's fault, it's just the way it is, but what came afterward is ridiculous! After unloading, I hurried around back to park in what I thought was one of the public parking areas. Note, this was the first time I had worked a show in this area, and was unfamiliar. After the party, I went to get my car and it was missing!
While walking around looking, I then saw the sign stating it was private parking, and it listed a number. I called it, and sure enough, they had towed my car! When I ask what I needed to do, the guy gave me the address, and said it will be $180, cash only!
Long story short, I was at fault for parking where I shouldn't have, I don't deny that, but for the city to allow whomever oversees these private parking lots and the ridiculous towing companies to charge these unfair amounts to tow my car approximately three city blocks and charge me $180 are doing the total opposite to invite people to events downtown!
Another musician that I worked with that night also got towed at the Blue Plum event, and it cost him $270! Come on J.C., do something about these unfair charges for parking and towing situations.
Climate change impacts farmers
Climate change is becoming a growing dilemma for the farming community, as recently described in an AP article.
Indeed, a special report in August from the International Panel on Climate Change showed the extent to which modern-day agriculture both contributes to and will increasingly be affected by climate change. It is responsible for 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but also has a large capacity to reduce these, as well as to capture carbon through crops and sequester more carbon in the soil.
Toward a more climate-resilient agriculture, the Union of Concerned Scientists recommends practices such as are typically used in organic farming, including, among others, crop diversity, native perennial plants and cover crops, non-use of fertilizers and pesticides, and reintegrating crops and livestock.
UCS also cites the heavy financial burden on farmers from the increase in weather-related disasters. The 2019 farm debt, it states, may reach a record high and farm bankruptcies are on the rise.
At the same time, it states, disaster relief by the USDA is costly to taxpayers. In September, the relief package was $3 billion and in July $200 million went for conservation easements for flood-damaged farm lands. During 2011-2016, flood- and drought-related claims to federal crop insurance programs reached $38 billion in payouts.
The UCS urges the Agriculture Department to change federal farm policies to help rebuild soils in line with the new needs under climate change, and to invest in farmers toward this new challenge.
The Congress, too, should long have passed climate-action legislation. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives now, will reduce our country’s emissions by nearly half in a little over a decade. Congressman Roe should give it his support.