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Old 01-26-2014, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I think the township form of govt. in PA was meant for semi-rural areas. For example, when I was a kid, Chippewa Twp, in far western PA, about 5 mi. from the Ohio line at its western border, was transitioning from mostly rural, to mostly suburban. Townships were not meant for close in suburbs of large cities, IMO.
This is pretty much correct. The original ideal was that if a dense area within a rural township formed, it could incorporate as a borough. Eventually if the borough got large enough, it could then incorporate as a city, or else be amalgamated into a nearby city, with each tier of government having progressively more independence from the county.

This became complicated after the rapid growth of townships following WW2. In some cases (particularly around Pittsburgh) many of the townships merely changed their form of government to boroughs, or in a few cases came up with a new form of government (municipality) to cover them. But the state also eventually split apart first and second class townships, and gave many suburban townships home rule, meaning the effective differences between the forms of government were lost.

I don't know if it was because there was such a stark difference between the forms of development in Pennsylvania, or because of the different local governments, but the differences can be quite stark. Look at this satellite view from near Ambler, for example, which goes from rowhouses to suburban within only four blocks.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:02 PM
 
15,530 posts, read 13,524,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Ok one more comment about "local"

Local stuff requires less resources to get their. Fewer truck miles and everything else. The multipliers effect is huge in terms of both economic and environmental impact. Chains don't provide that bang for your buck. Sprawl encourages everything to travel further....
Being local does not mean it has a competitive advantage, thus being local may be very inefficient. You would not grow rice in the desert would you? Oranges in North Dakota? Of course not.

Ridiculous to suggest that just because it is local, it requires less resources.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:55 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 892,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As for agriculture, one of the more bizarre crops California grows is rice. It needs to be flooded during its growing (the warm) season, the time when California gets zero rain. I suppose relying on irrigation isn't an issue since the mountains can store so much water. Works fine, except in the rare instance you get no precipitation to create water storage. Like this year...
Yeah, that is weird. Rice needs the opposite of a Mediterranean climate if it grows during wet summers like it does in its "native" range in Asia or Africa. Shouldn't it be mostly the South that grows rice? What makes it profitable in Cali? I wonder if the cost of irrigation is cheap.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:00 PM
 
Location: East coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Yeah, that is weird. Rice needs the opposite of a Mediterranean climate if it grows during wet summers like it does in its "native" range in Asia or Africa. Shouldn't it be mostly the South that grows rice? What makes it profitable in Cali? I wonder if the cost of irrigation is cheap.
Oh, well, it looks like the South does grow more than Cali.

File:2010 US rice production.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Still, more rice-growing in dry areas than I thought (Texas and California).
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Being local does not mean it has a competitive advantage, thus being local may be very inefficient. You would not grow rice in the desert would you? Oranges in North Dakota? Of course not.

Ridiculous to suggest that just because it is local, it requires less resources.
Local isn't limited to food. But basically anywhere you can get a ton of produce in the sip yammer months, potatoes, onions, carrots, dairy and eggs are possible in tons of climates. Baked goods and coffee can be produced or finished locally.

I won't get into the problems of importing berries from chile so we can have them in the winter. But choosing local whenever possible has huge multiplier benefits to your local economy.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:42 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Yeah, that is weird. Rice needs the opposite of a Mediterranean climate if it grows during wet summers like it does in its "native" range in Asia or Africa. Shouldn't it be mostly the South that grows rice? What makes it profitable in Cali? I wonder if the cost of irrigation is cheap.
Irrigation, or more so the water it brings, is subsidized.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,074,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Being local does not mean it has a competitive advantage, thus being local may be very inefficient. You would not grow rice in the desert would you? Oranges in North Dakota? Of course not.

Ridiculous to suggest that just because it is local, it requires less resources.
You haven't been to the Bay Area. Localism is an obsession that logic has nothing to do with. Just check out what happened with the Bay Area favorite La Boulange Bakery. It was like the light switch got flipped when Starbucks bought them. They went from being everyone's darling to, well, Starbucks. The pastries are seriously so much better at Peet's, a real local company. And by real local, I mean its a German company now.

As far as I know, Peet's still sources its bakery items locally just as Starbucks does. That's why you can't get La Boulange pastries in all Starbucks. There isn't always a local one to source from. Just two examples of chains sourcing locally.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,074,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
Yeah, that is weird. Rice needs the opposite of a Mediterranean climate if it grows during wet summers like it does in its "native" range in Asia or Africa. Shouldn't it be mostly the South that grows rice? What makes it profitable in Cali? I wonder if the cost of irrigation is cheap.
Free water due to riparian rights. Production is down quite a bit lately since ricer farmers in Sacramento (which is the only place that grows rice here) can make more money selling the water than growing rice.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
You haven't been to the Bay Area. Localism is an obsession that logic has nothing to do with. Just check out what happened with the Bay Area favorite La Boulange Bakery. It was like the light switch got flipped when Starbucks bought them. They went from being everyone's darling to, well, Starbucks. The pastries are seriously so much better at Peet's, a real local company. And by real local, I mean its a German company now.

As far as I know, Peet's still sources its bakery items locally just as Starbucks does. That's why you can't get La Boulange pastries in all Starbucks. There isn't always a local one to source from. Just two examples of chains sourcing locally.
You know what, La Boulange is in a 3rd of Starbucks already. They are prepping for national roll out. It is in Chicago, West Coast and somewhere else.

Starbucks croissant makeover working | HeraldNet.com - Work

Peet's pastries were better than Starbucks for a very long time. La Boulange saved Starbucks food. I don't think Peet's counts as hyper local anymore as they are nation wide, but their HQ is still in the Bay Area.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,233 posts, read 12,495,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
However, there is no evidence that there is any shortage of cropland in the US. Also, the Central Valley had to be irrigated, so perhaps that wasn't the best use of the land in any event.
There is no shortage of crop land in the US because we can afford to import fruits and vegetables from third world countries. We just export starvation to other parts of the world. And it still costs hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The Central Valley is still irrigated, but now it grows golf courses and lawns.
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