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6 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

People don't cause NIMBYs -politicians do. An interesting take on the phenomenon and how to get around it, from Vox:

http://bit.ly/2tolL0h

One thing I generally like about Orlando is there isn't too many NIMBYs compared to other areas... even on projects that failed, its rare we can blame NIMBYs... even things like the Skycoaster proposal, even with Universal trying to stir up surrounding neighbors, got thru with little complaints. I can't even think of a project near downtown where NIMBYs really got their way

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I liked this, even though it's about Jacksonville, because it goes into detail about what a "strong mayor" form of government is. Orlando most definitely is (particularly as defined by Bill Frederick and Buddy Dyer); Orange County, despite efforts to make it so, is not.

I especially liked the summation: a strong mayor "puts the city on the move."

From the Florida Politics website:

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/240585-jake-godbold-lenny-curry-and-the-strong-mayor-model

btw, the Jacksonville Landing was a festival marketplace, even more ambitious than our own Church Street Market/Exchange.

 

Edited by spenser1058

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On 6/24/2017 at 8:08 PM, spenser1058 said:

Should cities do more to keep young families downtown? Is Orlando even trying?

From Vox:

http://trib.al/eeCwIUL

This guy seems clueless. While smaller units are more profitable, it is because larger units don't produce enough income to justify building them. Maybe it is different in Vancouver. 

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In the short term, that's certainly the case. In the long term, is it? 

When Central Park in NYC was conceived, many were outraged (compared to most other cities at the time, the city fathers in New York held profit as the primary civic value) at the potential loss of revenue for such a huge space.

Of course, today a view overlooking Central Park is one of the most sought after amenities there is, making the real estate more valuable than elsewhere in the city. The park itself gives a cachet to New York that a place like Newark has never had.

So, in our case, I think the question is whether having young families stay downtown makes the area more valuable in the long run than having a continuous churn of drunk college kids? I think we're in the early stages of finding out.

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A Harvard Business School prof observes that ditching Uber's founder/CEO won't solve the firm's problems:

(From Harvard Business Review):

https://hbr.org/2017/06/uber-cant-be-fixed-its-time-for-regulators-to-shut-it-down

I'm only a user of taxis and car services on infrequent occasions but the rise of Uber has bothered me almost since the beginning. The model's advantage on price (at least locally) has come mostly from tossing aside safeguards for employees and customers enacted over decades, not to mention important worker benefits.

There's also the longtime support in the community provided by the Mears' and Chapins, both FFOs who have contributed, invested and participated in the life of Central Florida new than Uber ever has. Of course, there's also, from A UP perspective, the matter of the new Mears hq on OBT, which came to a halt as the firm's business model was thrown into disarray.

The race to the bottom in so many industries to save a few dollars is increasingly seeming short-sighted, especially as we add up the cost of externalities. 

As the article notes, Uber's not even an innovation in terms of technology. I've used the Mears App successfully on more than one occasion.

The bottom line for me is that the hometown favorite seems the better deal in the long run.

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2 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

A Harvard Business School prof observes that ditching Uber's founder/CEO won't solve the firm's problems:

(From Harvard Business Review):

https://hbr.org/2017/06/uber-cant-be-fixed-its-time-for-regulators-to-shut-it-down

I'm only a user of taxis and car services on infrequent occasions but the rise of Uber has bothered me almost since the beginning. The model's advantage on price (at least locally) has come mostly from tossing aside safeguards for employees and customers enacted over decades, not to mention important worker benefits.

There's also the longtime support in the community provided by the Mears' and Chapins, both FFOs who have contributed, invested and participated in the life of Central Florida new than Uber ever has. Of course, there's also, from A UP perspective, the matter of the new Mears hq on OBT, which came to a halt as the firm's business model was thrown into disarray.

The race to the bottom in so many industries to save a few dollars is increasingly seeming short-sighted, especially as we add up the cost of externalities. 

As the article notes, Uber's not even an innovation in terms of technology. I've used the Mears App successfully on more than one occasion.

The bottom line for me is that the hometown favorite seems the better deal in the long run.

Except, for the most part, thats all BS. While Mears may be the "hometown company", thats is surely just about the only advantage. Even looking at Mears as a company, they were even more aggressive than Uber in their restrictions of employees ("mistreatment"), and until recently when Uber expanded to Orlando and got popular, I'd say MOST visitors biggest complaint was Mears from what I heard. Thats the longtime support of the community thats important. Before Uber, people knew of Mears as this terrible Orlando monopoly that controlled the market because of initially a lack of permitting system, and then a permitting system designed to favor Mears.

Mears, back in the 70s, made every taxi driver an independent contractor, and required them to rent the cars, buy gas from Mears at inflated rates, and received no workers comp or health insurance until they were sued. They had to get their own insurance, and had to pay huge deductibles for accidents. Makes what Uber is doing, simply acting as a paid dispatcher, look like nothing.

They fought to get cheap shuttle services off the airport property, They're deeply in the pockets of our officials, and Orlando's visitors, without a doubt, hate Mears. Their rating on Trip Advisor, Yelp, etc is 2 stars.

On top of the safeguards for employees being the minimum required by law (just as is the case for Uber), Mears (along with other taxi companies) are known for not even showing up to pick people up, sometimes when they're drunk or in bad areas (how's that for customer safety) and I know more people who've had issues with Mears drivers having attitudes then Uber, thats for sure.

Here's an article detailing this company: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/cab-fight/Content?oid=2274256

Uber may have its problems, and while I personally don't care about the company culture, I care about the quality of service I'm getting for the price offered, and thus far, Uber is a winner for me. And if Uber did disappear, Lyft and others would take the business back... not Mears. Infact, before Uber and Lyft got popular, people would always insist on rides to the airport to avoid dealing with Mears, Uber's made this form of transportation much easier, reliable, cheaper, and consistent, that I imagine the pay per ride business is likely doing better then ever before overall, even with more people then ever owning cars, as now people seem to take Uber for convenience and to avoid parking downtown, whereas with Mears... few would do that. And which is better for downtown... having more people drive and park, or using Uber?

Edited to add: Didn't the Mears app come out recently? Uber was founded in 2009, and while many have copied them, Mears waited for Uber to come to Orlando before really adding the features to their app, so you surely can thank Uber for your Mears app as well. And Googling a comparison of the 3 in Orlando http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-uber-lyft-mears-comparison-20140830-story.html its clear the only advantage to Mears for customers is the "legality", but thats recently been resolved at the state level.

Edited by aent
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Mears is awful in just about every way. I think Uber is doomed but whatever replaces it will be still miles better than Mears. I've seen at least 3 Mears drivers driving at night without lights. They regularly are the worst drivers on the road. The ones I've been in have been just awful service in a gross car. Even if free I'd still pay Uber/Lyft to get somewhere before Mears and I think my entire generation agrees.

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This could really change things - instead of huge single story warehouses devouring acres of land in the outer 'burbs, amazon is now registering to patent multi-story cylindrical structures that would be placed in downtowns for trucks, customer pickup and automated delivery drones. Resistance is futile!

From The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/26/amazon-drones-delivery-beehive-patent

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Hands down ride share is the way to go now. And for what its worth, just about every time I ride with a driver that does both Lyft and Uber, they universally praise Lyft over Uber for driver treatment. I'm pretty much exclusively Lyft now. Added bonus: you can easily tip within the app. With Uber, you must bring cash and if not, you have no means of tipping. It's terrible. 

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12 hours ago, castorvx said:

Hands down ride share is the way to go now. And for what its worth, just about every time I ride with a driver that does both Lyft and Uber, they universally praise Lyft over Uber for driver treatment. I'm pretty much exclusively Lyft now. Added bonus: you can easily tip within the app. With Uber, you must bring cash and if not, you have no means of tipping. It's terrible. 

Ubers philosophy was that that tipping should be included in the price of the service and i much preferred the no tipping policy. Tipping in general seems to make service worse for customers in my experience... For most, even if the job is terrible, people still feel they should tip, and if a tipped worker doesn't receive a tip, they often feel really bad and can even take it out on the next customer. And tipping usually has no relation to the quality of job a worker does, it's all based on simple luck.

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It's an age old argument. I like it, some don't. If you like it, Uber sucks. 

That said, Uber sucks for a whole world of reasons, with tipping being minor by comparison 

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I hate tipping. I know its not mandatory, but it feels like it. Just charge me more. If I have bad service, I'll complain to the higher ups. 

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Uber is adding the ability to tip.  That has been my major beef with their service.

Lyft has had that, but Lyft's app doesn't have as good a GPS, so sometimes they don't show up where you are waiting.

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11 hours ago, bulldogger said:

Uber is adding the ability to tip.  That has been my major beef with their service.

Lyft has had that, but Lyft's app doesn't have as good a GPS, so sometimes they don't show up where you are waiting.

That is disappointing. I don't think the new CEO is going to be good for Uber... I hope the app makes it clear tipping is not required... I will surely give in and be extremely disappointed when it appears to be expected.

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I mentioned in another thread about how SW Florida is different from the North FL/ South FL divide we always talk about and Naples is the epicenter of traditional, moneyed establishment Republicanism (it's where Rick Scott moved when he came to the state.)

And yet, here's Naples with its first Pride according to The Advocate. Just goes to show this sandy spit of land we call home can often surprise us even more than a Carl Hiaasen novel.

https://www.advocate.com/pride/2017/7/07/pride-comes-naples-fla-photos

Edited by spenser1058
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It seems Billy Manes is no longer the editor in chief at Watermark after a year plus run. 

Before his most recent gig, Billy was a longtime columnist at Orlando Weekly.

His columns have almost always been fascinating, colorful and, on occasion, quite poignant. Despite a good bit of snark, there was often some impressive journalism thrown in, something that's been hard to come by on the local level as the Sentinel has undergone waves of buyouts and layoffs in the last decade and as our local TV news long ago succumbed to the " if it bleeds, it leads" mentality.

Not sure what's next for Billy, but heaven knows with all the comebacks of local media personalities we've seen over the years, surely there's a spot for him.

From the Orlando Weekly:

https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/07/17/watermark-cuts-ties-with-editor-in-chief-billy-manes

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Very sad to see that Billy Manes, former editor-in-chief of Watermark, longtime Orlando Weekly columnist (and mayoral candidate!) passed away today. It's safe to say no one ever cared more about the community than Billy did. He will be missed.

From the Sentinel:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/tv/tv-guy/os-et-billy-manes-20170720-story,amp.html

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