Week In Review: February 27- March 3

by Travis Mateer

If you would like to skip past the butt-hurt/solo portion of this week’s review, my co-host, Allie, joins me at the 37 minute mark. Before her arrival, I explain mymounting frustration at my inability to navigate the high school popularity contest known as “alt media” in order to bring my perspective to a wider audience. Oh well, just gotta keep truckin’.

Speaking of truckin’, an article I didn’t get around to writing about this week DID make into this week’s review, and it’s about cars and trucks and the things teens would buy if they only had the money. The article is titled Gen Z’s Turn Against Driving Is A Mirage. From the link:

In the early 2010s, Kelcie Ralph was enrolled in an urban planning Ph.D. program at UCLA (she is now a planning professor at Rutgers). Ralph kept hearing about how her generation was turning its back on cars, and she was skeptical. “At the time pretty much all my friends and family were living in Alaska or Montana,” she recently told me. “I realized that narrative didn’t square up with a single person I knew.”

Ralph decided to write her dissertation about the driving trends of young Americans. Her conclusion: Their much-hyped rejection of cars was largely a mirage. Overall, young people were driving less and waiting to get a driver’s license compared to previous generations — but the bulk of that shift was not happening among the urban dwellers and middle-class youths who featured prominently in media coverage.

“The steepest declines in driving between 2001 and 2009 were among young people with low incomes who lived with their families,” Ralph said. “It was primarily low-income teens in suburban and rural areas who were driving less.”

Another article I mention is a CNN hit-piece about the concept of 15 minute cities turning into an international conspiracy theory. From the link:

Duncan Enright never imagined he’d get death threats over a plan to reduce grinding city traffic.

But it is exactly what happened to the local politician in the UK, who found himself deluged with abusive messages on social media and by email over his involvement in a proposed traffic filtering trial run in the city of Oxford.

The plan, designed to reduce the use of snarled-up city roads during peak traffic times, would require residents to get permits to drive through the filters, enforced by cameras, on six key roads.

They claimed he wanted to confine people to their neighborhoods and accused him of being part of a malign international plot to control people’s movement in the name of climate action.

“It was quite alarming,” Enright told CNN, “I haven’t really had anything like that before in my many years in local government.”

Great, another way I can be depicted as a right-wing lunatic. Just in time for my attendance as a parent BACK at a school board meeting later today. Yes, it’s CDC time again, apparently, according to this email I got late Friday. Are we really doing this again?

Another topic of discussion is the continued fallout over Commissioner Slotnick’s LACK of transparency regarding his organic farming business. The Missoula Current article I read from concludes with this hope of publicly disclosing conflict-of-interest forms:

County officials said in the future they may begin posting any conflict-of-interest forms for easy discovery and review by the public on the county website.

In between recording this two-part episode Ohio experienced another train derailment, this time in Springfield. Are you fucking kidding me?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a social media post that he was briefed after the derailment and offered federal support to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“I have been briefed by FRA leadership and spoke with Gov. DeWine to offer our support after the derailment today in Clark County, Ohio. No hazardous material release has been reported, but we will continue to monitor closely and FRA personnel are en route,” Buttigieg said.

On top of everything going on, this week I had to say goodbye to the family dog. Unlike DB, who allegedly used 9 bullets and a bullshit cover story to dispatch his furry friend, we used a Veterinarian who makes houses calls. Sure, it was more expensive than whatever caliber ammunition DB used, but it’s worth it. Because karma.

I’d like March to settle the fuck down, but spring is definitely not the time for being settled. Quite the opposite, in fact. So strap in.

Coming up this week, City Club is going to be discussing the Higgins Corridor Reduction Plan and I’ll be there, along with any other committee meetings that catch my fancy. If you’d like to support my efforts, financial donations can be made at my about page.

Thanks for reading/listening!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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