What we talk about when we talk about ‘Tar.’

(Before I start talking about “Tar,” the film starring Cate Blanchett as a Leonard Bernstein-level celebrity conductor who gets #MeToo’d, I just want to note that yes, I know the a in her name should have a diacritical mark, but I’ve been dancing with the keyboard option menu for a while now and haven’t figured it out yet, so just be advised: Blanchett’s character is named Lydia Tar, with an acute accent mark over the A, but pfft.)

Anyway. We watched “Tar” Saturday night. Loved, loved, loved it. It was smart and talky and everything I love in a wintertime movie. As someone who finds Marvel movies boring, it’s exactly what I was looking for. But there’s a weird thing that happens about 2/3 of the way through, as the toppling of Tar (this is not a spoiler) really picks up speed, and if you have seen it — only if you’ve seen it — you might want to read this piece in Slate and tell me what you think.

But if you haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely worth your time, if only for the Juilliard master-class scene, in which Tar disposes of a conducting student who blithely dismisses Bach — Bach! — as a “misogynist” that he, as a “BIPOC pansexual” doesn’t have to pay attention to. He pronounces it “buy-pock,” like it’s an identity he picked out of an array on a shelf at some very chic boutique that he can’t give you the address for, and they wouldn’t let you in, anyway.

Those of us old enough to remember Bernstein probably know he was a sexual exploiter without peer, too. A friend of mine was at Indiana University when he did a residency in the music school there, and said Lenny ran through college boys like breath mints. They weren’t boys, of course, but young adults capable to consenting to sex, but as we all know by now, the power dynamic makes any sexual encounter between the two problematic, to say the least. It’s equally true that imbalanced-power-dynamic sexual relationships don’t always end in tears and misery. That needs to be said.

“Tar” is set in the tiny, rarified world of classical music, and the highest levels of even that world. So you get the experience of glimpsing an environment of super-luxe life that doesn’t involve Wall Street assholes, so: Win.

This, I thought, was the review that best reflects my reaction.

The highlight of my otherwise ordinary January weekend. We’re going out of town for a few days, leaving Wednesday, so I hope to have more to report by the end of the week. We’re headed to New York for…just to get away. I can’t afford Broadway anymore, so we’re going to a cabaret show by Salty Brine. We saw him in 2019 at Joe’s Pub, and it was one of the most inventive, imaginative, funny nights of theater I’ve experienced in ages. Other than that, my aim is to find a chopped cheese sandwich. Small goals.

Talk later.

Posted at 3:58 pm in Movies |

88 responses to “What we talk about when we talk about ‘Tar.’”

  1. jcburns said on January 15, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    You get an á by typing an option-e and then an a…you get an Á by typing an option-e and then an A.


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  2. Alan Stamm said on January 15, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    A.O. Scott appreciates the “indelible” master-class scene so much he devotes 17 paragraphs to what he describes as “one of the most talked-about parts of the film.”

    A 10-minute video is embedded with his reflections: https://nyti.ms/3XbSSSL

    [Also, copy/paste is a workaround for elusive special characters such as the one in Tár.]

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  3. Deborah said on January 15, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    I was trying to figure out how to do that acute accent mark over the e in Candomblé a couple of days ago when we were talking about animal sacrifice. Now I know how. Thanks.

    I spent the weekend binge watching Fleishman is in Trouble, and loved it. I read the book when it came out and loved that too.

    I’m enjoying some “me-time” with my husband and LB being out of town. I can eat whatever, whenever I want, listen to podcasts and watch movies or TV that only I have to consider liking. I can turn on the light at 2am to read if I want. It’s nice for a change.

    LB is learning about the pacific northwest climate, being in Oregon now, she was amazed by the moss on the trees and surprised by the number of homeless in downtown Portland. The friend she’s visiting lives in Grants Pass where she’ll be staying the week.

    Meanwhile my husband back in Chicago for a while is experiencing October weather.

    We’re going to be in Manhattan the end of March for a reunion of sorts with my husbands siblings. His sister who lives in Pasadena, CA has an art piece in her collection which will be at the Guggenheim, I honestly don’t know which Guggenheim there, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed one or the new one. So the sibs are meeting to celebrate the opening of the exhibition with the s-i-l collected piece and be together in a great place. I’m looking forward to that. My s-i-l collects mid century Latin American art and she has quite a collection.

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  4. Deborah said on January 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    This is the exhibit my s-i-l will have one of her collected pieces in https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/gego-measuring-infinity

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  5. Nancy F said on January 15, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    I too can’t stop thinking about “TÁR.” (And also a handful of other recent movies focusing on or directed by women: “She Said,” “Women Talking,” “To Leslie.”) Here’s a interesting New Yorker profile of TÁR’s director, Todd Field:

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  6. tajalli said on January 15, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    This contains a handy list of diacritical mark methods for PC and Mac – just scroll down, down, down and you’ll find it.


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  7. Dexter Friend said on January 16, 2023 at 2:04 am

    My grandson invested in a weed store in Portland, the crew finished it, opened it for business, and were immediately burned out in the BLM / George Floyd uproar. Here’s another horror story: a YouTuber I follow went to Vancouver, went on a short excursion, and came back to his truck which he lived in to find it ransacked. It was a sweet cherry to pick for a homeless dude. I wonder , is there ANY city without a crushing homeless problem? The ones I know of by my own witnessing or from videos are Houston, Portland, Las Vegas (mole people in tunnels), Vancouver. These are the ones that have horrible problems. In New York the train stations of the subway used to be crammed with crazed , sick people who would grab suitcases and bags of departing Amtrak passengers and you had better had a fiver handy or you wouldn’t get it back…happened to me, but I know the cops sorta changed all that years ago.

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  8. Marie said on January 16, 2023 at 5:21 am

    I use the app TodayTix for cheaper Broadway tickets, it’s very reliable and easy to use. Much more convenient than standing in line at TKTS. This time of year can have some good deals. Pre-Covid someone would be waiting outside venue to hand you your tickets, now they simply email them to you before the show.

    Another thing I love to do in NYC is go to the Comedy Cellar down in the West Village. You can reserve ahead of time, admission is 14$ plus minimum order of 2 items, can be alcoholic or non alcoholic drink or food. A number of comedians show up on any given show, sometimes someone you may recognize, writers from SNL, etc. It’s fun and very NY.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Nance, it’s Broadway Week, with most shows offering 2-for-1 deals. More affordable than you might think. https://www.nycgo.com/broadway-week/

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  10. basset said on January 16, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Back to the name with a diacritical mark that I’m not even going to try to type on my phone… the mark doesn’t seem to affect pronunciation, at least not in the accompanying video, so why is it there?

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  11. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2023 at 11:55 am

    We enjoyed “Tar” and certainly were wowed by Cate Blanchett, but to me it was a cold movie about a cold woman. That said, it was great to see a movie about an accomplished artist in a highly rarefied world instead of an athlete or business titan.

    We recently enjoyed “The Pale Blue,” with West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe assisting in the investigation of gruesome murders. Excellent work by Christian Bale as the detective. Nice twist ending, too.

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  12. Dorothy said on January 16, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Jeff we started watching The Pale Blue Eye but I think we got interrupted by a family group text that pulled us away. We’ll start it over and stick with it next time. I also heard that new PA senator John Fetterman and his wife Giselle have a very brief appearance in it. Did you spot them?

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  13. Jason T. said on January 16, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    I know the “a” in her name should have a diacritical mark, but I’ve been dancing with the keyboard option menu for a while now and haven’t figured it out yet

    Denise was out of town this weekend, so I watched movies I didn’t think she’d be interested in, like “The Bank Dick,” which I’d never seen all the way through before.

    One of the running jokes in the movie is that Fields’ character is named “Egbert Sousé” — “accent-grave over the ‘e,’” he helpfully and pedantically spells out to anyone and everyone he meets, whether or not they ask.

    (It mostly holds up well, though there are two jokes at the expense of Black characters which are jaw-droppingly racist, even by 1940 standards.)

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  14. Little Bird said on January 16, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    The moss in Oregon is insane. It’s everywhere. If it doesn’t move or have a lot of traffic, it’s probably got moss on it. It’s pretty, but some of it has to be crazy invasive and damaging.
    There are tents everywhere (oddly none had moss on them), and it’s actually kinda scary after dark where we were.
    We could see Voodoo Doughnuts out our hotel window less than a block away. We didn’t make there because the lines were way too long.
    It’s cool and damp, but not frigid.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    We had moss problems on the part of our brick sidewalk that got about 15 minutes of sun on a good day. It’s tricky to remove without harsh chemicals so we had to power wash and scrub, because moss, it is slippery.

    Smoking guns about George Santos and his not very distant ties to a sanctioned Russian oil billionaire are all over this story from the WaPo. The more I read the more my jaw dropped. It was obvious he had outside money but this is wow wow wow. I unlocked it so y’all can read: https://wapo.st/3XjmD3W.

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on January 16, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    But I thought all the stories about the homeless and the crime were just Fox News propaganda, maybe the same is true about inflation, the border, Crack babies lap top, and old uncle Joe’s classified papers.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. Deborah said on January 16, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Homelessness is a problem in a lot of places and no one is denying that, at least no one I know. Homelessness and crime is a different story. A lot of it is perception, not necessarily reality. People who don’t periodically have homes does not make them criminals. A woman walking alone or in a small group will be wary walking at night unless it’s a busy, well lit area, no matter where.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2023 at 4:35 pm


    Yes, John Fetterman plays the bartender at the local tavern. I didn’t see his wife, though.

    Someone posted here last week or so about how Finland is addressing homelessness. Instead of requiring the homeless get their shit together –get off drugs, alcohol, etc. and find a job– the Finns believe having a safe place to stay is the first thing to be done and all else will follow.

    Who’s denying there’s a huge problem with homelessness? I imagine the lineup of mewling morons on Fox blame liberal policies, but there’s abundant homelessness in every city and state. Last time I look, it was estimated the U.S. needed to build in excess of 1 million new housing units to accommodate all those seeking a place to live because prices are so high. Down in Floriduh –where according to the little fascist governor “woke goes to die”– the legions of wealthy retirees from the Northeast and Midwest are driving up housing costs and rents to the point where locals are being priced out of their own towns. It’s similar to the situation in the ritzy ski resorts, where those service people who wait on the wealthy face long commutes because there is no where they can afford on the salaries they are paid. Ah, well. I’m certain the free market will work all this out.

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  19. Little Bird said on January 16, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    There are tents in areas of Santa Fe, but they are ALL out of the way and kinda hidden. The tents in Portland are on the sidewalks in the downtown area. Most are relatively small, might technically sleep two or three. But some are big enough to stand up in. All are covered in layers of tarps. I cannot imagine being homeless somewhere so incredibly damp. Everywhere we walked there were tents or just people sleeping directly on the ground.
    As for walking around at night, I just wouldn’t go farther than eyeshot from the hotel. I’m a woman visiting another woman, and my leg is kind of jacked up so I can’t move quickly or easily. I’m essentially a target.

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  20. Mark P said on January 16, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    There are homeless people right here in little, old Rome, Ga, in the heart of God’s and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s country. Not that many, because there is not much here for them, or anyone else, for that matter. The local paper, which endorsed that champion of the underdog, Donald J. Trump, does not cover the story.

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  21. nancy said on January 16, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    The NYT had a story on homelessness in Portland just before the election. I asked a friend there about it. He replied, in part:

    (I don’t think he’d care if I shared this, but I’ll keep his name out of it.)

    The homelessness problem here is astonishingly bad.

    We avoid going downtown because of it. They’ve taken over entire sidewalks with their tents and all the trash and filth that comes with that. They panhandle. They turn aggressive. When we went down last spring to see the cherry blossoms along the river front park we didn’t spend very long doing it. We don’t feel safe down there.

    They city has partly felt its hands were tied by a federal court ruling out of Idaho that said Boise could not make it a crime for homeless people to sleep on the streets when no alternative shelter is available. The ruling applied to the entire federal district and the Supreme Court refused to take an appeal.

    The alternative is: make damned sure there’s alternative shelter available. That could have meant opening lots for tent collectives or tiny homes. If they have enough available land for shelters, then they can prohibit blocking sidewalks. They have not done that and only within the last two weeks did the mayor seem to move that direction.

    Like you*, I’ve seen homeless people that really appear young and able bodied. But drugs and mental illness are rampant and there’s been violence between them. Portland has very loud, liberal advocates for the “unhoused” (their new “less offensive” term) which has pushed back against any limits on where the homeless can camp.

    * I’d mentioned the crusty-punks scene in New Orleans when we were there, the apparent homeless-by-choice community.

    And I should add that the housing-first policy seems to have more success than the alternative.

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  22. Sherri said on January 16, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    Yes, homelessness is a very visible problem in Portland, though not a new one. Portland has had a visible homeless population for as long as I can remember, going back to the first time I visited almost 30 years ago. Likewise San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and most any city of size on the west coast.

    It is true that the Ninth Circuit passed a ruling requiring shelter be available before anti-camping statutes could be enforced, but that hasn’t stopped Seattle from doing sweeps, whereby they clear out tent encampments and throw away all the property of the homeless people living there. That doesn’t solve anything, of course, because the unhoused still don’t have housing, so they just camp somewhere new. Shelters aren’t solutions, because shelters aren’t housing.

    Housing first works, but that requires political will to provide housing, and that’s a sticking point. King County took advantage of the pandemic to buy up some hotels that closed to turn them into housing, not just shelters, for homeless people, and as someone who had to run a public hearing on the topic, believe me, there was a lot of pushback from neighbors. Basically, lots of people don’t want housing first; they want people to get treatment for their addictions/mental health/whatever before they get anywhere near someplace where their children might see them. And then, they want the housing to effectively be a prison, because they’re sure that those people will be a danger.

    Not everyone thinks that, but the loudest ones do, and you have to fight through that every single time.

    The homelessness problem is much bigger and more complicated than the addicted/mentally ill/don’t want to work/choose to be homeless dialogue, but that’s what we spend all our time talking about. Meanwhile, nobody wants to think about how difficult it is for someone returning from prison to get housing, or section 8 renters, or people working the jobs to service our lifestyles.

    People who own their house here have seen their house appreciate in value annually by more than an entry level Microsoft engineer salary more than once, but I hear complaints about all the apartments being built all the time.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    I kind of remember students at the University of Texas School of Architecture were building tiny houses for the homeless in Austin, but you’d need a boat load of them to handle everyone. In Chicago, there are numerous empty schools, empty churches and empty storefronts. (The storefronts are problematic because NIMBYs would be out in force.) Schools seem like they might work. . .large bathrooms, showers if they have a gym, a cafeteria and cooking gear, but it’s not like you can throw in a bunch of cots and blankets. Most of the buildings would need to be cleaned up and made habitable. Who would pay the utilities, etc. is another issue. How would order be maintained? And sanitation services, etc.?

    The richest man in Illinois, a venture capitalist named Ken Griffin with a net worth of about $28 billion, recently decamped to Floriduh after his preferred candidate for governor was eliminated in the primary. Griffin spent $50 million on the campaign, but when he lost, he took his money and went to the state with no income tax. I’d love to see someone like Griffin. . .or Bezos. . .or Musk with nearly unlimited financial resources step up with some creative ideas and the funds to support them. The same for new approaches to fighting crime and court reform. Too bad our rich guys only want to buy politicians, not a better country.

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  24. Jeff Gill said on January 16, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    For what it’s worth, the link below describes how we’ve been responding the last five years in this semi-rural collar county of 175,000 in east central Ohio, an all volunteer* effort. We have emergency shelter beds of some 40-60 with the Salvation Army, another 30-plus in a domestic violence shelter, about 24 single adult beds, and our transitional housing program (bridge from emergency housing to stability) offers 44-75 units with 80-100 residents including children at any given time through the year. A low barrier emergency warming shelter becomes critical in winter weather; the task force board moved the criteria to 10 degree overnight lows because we found 16 nights last winter unsustainable . . . but over Christmas Eve and the next 65 hours straight, we stayed open daylight hours because from Dec. 24 through the 26th the Salvation Army daytime meals & community weekday lunch program & even the library were all closed, and it was below zero even without wind chill for most of that.

    We hosted a total of 38 people those four nights; four went to the ER with frostbite, one of whom went to Columbus and a burn unit due to the severity of her damage — she had a dog on a leash, and a single layer glove, and the hand holding the leash on the way to our shelter is the one that blackened, but she lost no fingers. We are, I should add, from the start in 2018 a low barriers shelter which allows pets.


    *The co-chair with me is our EMA director for the county, and we have major support from the county hospital, which is happy to provide us major assistance, because it’s still cheaper than having them all come to the ER with frostbite and get admitted with zero chance of ever paying for those admissions. The health systems crew does our transport pick up on nights we open, and they bring us from their cafeteria meals for all we host and then some; we just buy our own coffee and sugar (lots of sugar).

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  25. David C said on January 16, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    They’re building a tiny house village here for homeless families. That’s a good start but it’s families only. The shelter is expanding which is better than nothing, I guess. I’m actually surprised they let them expand the shelter. It’s near the convention center and the amphitheater downtown so there was a lot of pressure to put it somewhere else. Where that was they never said. They’re building a lot of apartments in and near downtown. Some of them, they say, are affordable. One developer I read recently was defining affordable as $900-1100 a month. Working full time at $10.00 an hour isn’t going to leave anything for luxuries like food, transportation, and utilities.


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  26. LAMary said on January 16, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    The homeless population in LA is estimated to be 45,000. There are some tiny house developments, some hotels converted to homeless housing but not nearly enough. One of my contract gigs involved hiring people for Project Room Key to provide shelter in motels. That was during the pandemic. I also hired people for homeless outreach in SF but not nearly enough. It’s such a complex problem I don’t know where to start. I have jumped all over a few people who objected to the tiny homes that were being built here in northeast LA. Unsurprisingly they were realtors.

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  27. Sherri said on January 16, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Washington has the highest minimum wage in the country, at $15.74. But the rent for even a studio apartment in this area is >$1600.

    I have had people tell me with a straight face that rents are so high here because we are building all these “luxury” apartments. And then complain about how all the apartments look like tenements. And about all the high rise buildings we’re allowing (there’s nothing in downtown Redmond higher than 6 stories).

    Everyone is definitely feeling one thing for sure: stores are limiting hours and service because they can’t hire. Not because of the high minimum wage, because practically every place around here offers above minimum wage.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2023 at 11:10 pm


    If only there were a steady supply of courageous, determined and highly motivated workers who would be willing to do almost anything to support their families and loves ones we could tap for so many of those vacancies. Oh, wait. . .

    Obviously, our immigration system is completely fucked and obviously it is far too hot a political potato for anything to be done about it in the near future. But it’s maddening to hear and read about all these businesses unsuccessfully seeking workers –even at a high hourly rate– when there is a huge potential labor pool we are busily demonizing and terrorizing.

    One of my poker buddies is a banker. He says he has never lost a dime on any loan to Mexican and Central American immigrants. He’s impressed by their work ethic. And, remember, he’s a banker, not a social worker.

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  29. Mark P said on January 17, 2023 at 12:23 am

    I think I’ve told this story before, but it seems appropriate again. A few years ago my late uncle was in his shop in a small shopping center, talking to someone, when a Hispanic-looking man walked across the parking lot. The man said something about “Mexicans”, and my uncle said, “He’s not a Mexican, Mexicans are all at work this time of day.”

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  30. Dexter Friend said on January 17, 2023 at 1:47 am

    LA Mary, my late friend, Robert Hernandez, made it his life’s mission to do all he could to help the People “On the Nickel” (5th Street, Los Angeles) , skid row. He worked a job then most days he’d make bottled water runs, taking donated clothing and canned goods and anything else he could gather and take it to the people less fortunate than he. He had himself conquered some demons and went into pay-it-forward mode. Suddenly he died a few years ago. But he made a dent, by gawd. He was a recovery page buddy; I never met him, but I knew him.

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  31. Bruce Fields said on January 17, 2023 at 9:25 am

    What drives high rents is housing shortages. Most of our cities need to be building many more new housing units every year.

    New housing units by their nature are probably going to be the most expensive–building is expensive, and some people are willing to pay for new construction. That’s OK. It’s not the high rents on new units that are forcing people out, it’s the fact that even the smallest, oldest, most run-down places are too expensive. And that, again, is because there’s just not enough of them to go around.

    It’s legal to build a house almost anywhere, but in most residential areas it’s illegal to build an apartment building. But homeowners in cities where the median home value is half a million dollars and up love to complain that it’s the new apartments that are exclusionary and elitist.

    Banning camping in the parks isn’t a solution to the homelessness problem, it’s a solution to the I-don’t-want-to-see-homelessness problem.

    Sorry, feeling ranty today.

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  32. Bruce Fields said on January 17, 2023 at 9:55 am

    “One developer I read recently was defining affordable as $900-1100 a month.”

    This can be confusing, because most of us think of “affordable” as something like “advertised to the public at an inexpensive rent”. But when you a new development includes “affordable” units, those units are probably income-restricted: tenants have to submit tax returns and stuff to prove they qualify. (And then the rent may not actually be a fixed number, it may be set as a proportion of income.)

    This is all defined by regulation, not by the developer.

    And, unfortunately, $900-$1,100/month really is a pretty low rent for the cities we’re talking about, and it’s probably just not possible to break even building new apartments to rent for that. (So they’re either getting subsidies, or only doing that for a few units and making up for it from rents on the rest of the building.)

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  33. Scout said on January 17, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Not mentioned so far is that even if someone can get into an ‘affordable’ rent situation, the rent will increase every year. My parents lived in a 2 bedroom apartment here in Phoenix which started out at $1250 a month. When they moved out three years later it was up to $1600. This is not sustainable for people working low wage jobs or in the case of my parents, on a fixed income. Luckily my daughter and s-i-l bought a condo out in the burbs and rent to my Mom (my Dad passed away a year and half ago) for $1200 and they have promised not to ever raise the rent. Not everyone is so lucky. Housing is a huge issue and seems to be low on the priority list, down there with health care and saving the planet.

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  34. Sherri said on January 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Bruce, you’re right, but too many people don’t want to accept that.

    Affordable does have a technical meaning: affordable for someone making 80% of the area median income. Redmond requires any development of 10 or more units to make 10% of the units affordable. There are also some property tax exemptions for if the developer provides more deeply affordable units, at 50% and 30%.

    There are some nonprofits who have built more deeply affordable housing. I invested with one project, with the understanding that I would receive a lower rate of return. Another nonprofit here in Redmond owned a valuable chunk of land, and rather than sell the land and take the money, chose to raise funds to develop the land with a nonprofit developer and build deeply affordable housing. I’ve donated to that venture. They hope to provide a model for others, like churches, who own land they no longer need, to see how to put the land to use.

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  35. Sherri said on January 17, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Our policies assume that rich people better know what to do with money than government, and government better knows what to do with money than poor people. So, we don’t tax rich people, and we put all sorts of restrictions on how poor people can spend the little bits of money we give them. Watching Musk spend $44 billion on Twitter to turn it into something worth approximately worth $15 billion right now, maybe we have it backwards?


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  36. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    The average apartment rent in Orlando is $2008/month, and the average renter puts in 21 applications before getting a rental. And did I mention that many places now charge a non-refundable application fee? Jobs here are heavily tourist oriented and not well paid.

    Scout, your family members are very kind to subsidize your parents like that. Our mortgage payment is going up $400/month to cover higher taxes and insurance. Surely they will have similar issues.

    We weren’t intending to charge mom to live here since she covered half the cost of building the addition. On her own she decided to give us a stipend and we set it up to transfer automatically every month. We do most of the grocery shopping but whenever we’re out together she quickly pulls out her card. She’s one of the fortunate few seniors I know with secure finances.

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  37. Icarus said on January 17, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    we put all sorts of restrictions on how poor people can spend the little bits of money we give them.

    Or even the minutest of windfalls that might come their way, Sherri. I’ve heard horror stories (okay comments on FB threads) where someone risks losing their disability payments if they suddenly have too much in their bank account.

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  38. Dave said on January 17, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Completely off topic but I see that the northeast Indiana congressman who I don’t even like to name has decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by another person I don’t particularly care for because he wants to be governor. Being Indiana, they’ll probably win.

    Julie, I know you’re there because of health and family but Florida was getting increasingly expensive and I don’t see any end to it. The home insurance debacle alone is enough to make one pull their collective hair out. I can have vile politicians represent me here or there, it doesn’t matter, the congresswoman representing Pinellas County now is Anna Paulina Luna, who is completely despicable. And with that, I’ve done enough straying away from the conversation.

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  39. Deborah said on January 17, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    A new apartment development is advertising affordable rental units as $1700 for a one bedroom and $2115 for a 2 bedroom. That doesn’t seem affordable to me. Santa Fe is another town where tourism is the main industry. They need restaurant and hotel workers, where the minimum wage is $12 per hr, but a lot of places have signs up saying they pay a minimum of $15. I can’t imagine paying the supposedly affordable rent with those salaries. I suppose you have to have room mates or multiple family members working to help pay for it. They’re building a lot of apartments all over town, so maybe rents won’t keep rising. But also, where is all of the water going to come from for these new buildings housing the incoming population?

    When LB gets back from Oregon we’re going to do it again, where we try not to buy more food before we eat up what we have already in the freezer or the cabinet. Last time we did this, we went almost 2 weeks without purchasing anything except for a small amount of fresh produce from time to time. We waste so much food and food is so expensive now, got to figure this out.

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  40. Deborah said on January 17, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    By now some of you may have read about the disgruntled GOP candidate for a state position in NM, who lost, and then was involved in shooting the homes of Democrats who won their elections in Albuquerque. The GOP guy paid people to shoot at the homes of the successful Democrats over a period of a few weeks. It has been a big mystery in NM for a while until a couple of days ago when they revealed the culprit who claimed the election was rigged against him, now it’s national news. Thank goodness no one was hurt but it was obviously meant to terrorize Dems who won, they and other Democratic leaders were being warned. More political violence from the GOP and more silence from the GOP powers that be. What a party.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Banks? I thought Mitch Daniels was planning on inheriting that Senate seat after stepping down from the Purdue presidency. Or was pushed out, I’m not sure. From the Senate he could finally take a run at POTUS, having realized that messy marriage histories are no longer an impediment to the office.

    Increasingly Florida residents are playing Russian Roulette by dropping homeowners insurance completely. (That’s if their houses are paid off.) But let’s keep talking about CRT and anti-woke and ban some more books from school libraries instead.

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  42. LAMary said on January 17, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    My homeowners insurance went up almost 300 a month and my taxes went up about 120. Effing crazy.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Yup, Mary. Our TI is now as much as our PI.

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  44. Jeff Borden said on January 17, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    Mitch Daniels is weak tea in today’s QOP. He’s much too sensible, thoughtful and results oriented to be tolerated by the insurrection-minded yahoos who run things. The unnamed shit heel referenced above by Dave is more to the tastes of those who vote red. In fact, the unnamed shit heel is proposing a Congressional committee to fight wokeness. That’s what QOP voters want. The shit heel intends to deliver it.

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  45. Sherri said on January 18, 2023 at 12:26 am

    I used to be a big believer in public comment in government meetings. After seven years of listening to them, I don’t believe they serve much purpose. Email comment is much better.

    This thought brought to you in part by this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/01/17/public-comment-new-rules-free-speech/

    And in part by having to be at city council tonight, where the first public commenter opened his remarks with “Seig Heil” and a Nazi salute, before going on to rant about crime, the Democratic mafia, and Amazon bringing people here from the jungle.

    Along with the usual frequent flyer, who speaks at every council meeting, just to hear himself speak, I guess, since he never asks for anything actionable. At least he’s practiced now, and always finishes on time, but he doesn’t even live in the city.

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  46. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2023 at 1:45 am

    My gas bill went up 247% . From one month to the next, all at once.
    Now listen, you should watch this if you appreciate humor. Kind of what we used to hear called ribald humor. Leslie Jones is funny.

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  47. alex said on January 18, 2023 at 7:30 am

    I have to give mad props to the local news anchor who interviewed HeWho and made him come across as shrill and defensive when questioned about his committee to fight wokeness. Local media usually roll over and play dead for these assholes but not this time.

    It’ll be interesting to see Mitch Daniels and HeWho duke it out in a primary. Daniels has always insisted on staying out of the culture wars and HeWho is an automaton programmed to spew invective about nothing else.

    I had a dustup yesterday with someone who took offense at me calling HeWho’s supporters “stupid.” She corrected me by saying that Hoosiers aren’t stupid but “party loyal.” Such a decorous way of saying it, I suppose. PC even.

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  48. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Looks like Floriduh governor Ron DeathSantis is going all-in on his anti-intellectualism, anti-science, anti-medicine brand of yahooism as he readies his run for 2024. This guy is a prick’s prick. . .all malice and spite. . .yet his reedy voice and utter lack of charisma still leads me to think he will not make it far in quest to bring pain, suffering and division back to the White House.


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  49. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Had the extreme pleasure of flying the Florida Governor and his wife a few times, could not ask for a more polite engaging couple. Had a nice conversation with them about my wife being a fellow breast cancer survivor as is the Florida First Lady. It will be a neat entry in my logbook that I flew a future President.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2023 at 10:03 am

    No, you didn’t, Joe. You flew a thin-skinned would-be fascist who is just as toxic as tRump but without the carnival sideshow charisma the orange cancer ppossesses. Deathsantis is a stranger to the national stage, where he won’t enjoy the rubber stamp power he wields in one-party Floriduh.

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  51. FDChief said on January 18, 2023 at 10:36 am

    When I moved to Portland in the summer of 1990 (from Delaware) I was surprised by the number of people living outdoors in what’s called “Old Town” (the stretch between the river and Broadway mostly north of Burnside). The urban legend of why?


    Supposedly when the baghwan’s people were planning to take control over in Antelope they sent buses crewed by the cutest cultists down to San Francisco and packed them full of street people. After warehousing them at Rajneeshpursm long enough to get residency they were herded to the voting booths to vote in the Rajneeshie candidates. Then, their usefulness expired, they were herded back on the buses, driven to Portland, and dumped at the Greyhound station downtown.

    Ridiculous, of course, but I heard the story from several long-time Portlanders, so that was one of the urban legends.

    The reality is that classic Sixties-Seventies “urban renewal” and freeway building tore out older skid row parts of Portland. Combined with gentrification in the Eighties and Nineties and zoning that forbid cheap housing units and the end of the “cookoo’s nest”-style institutionalization as well as the usual struggles of poor people with injury and illness or addiction and you get the mess we’ve got now.

    The reality is that making an effective stab at this will take a shit-ton of money AND stern policy to crush the usual NIMBYism against poor people. The current fantasy is that force, might, beatings (i.e. “homeless sweeps”) will harass the smelly poor enough to drive them out. The inconvenient “to where” question is never asked.

    Former mayor Sam Adams had his moment of infamy suggesting the solution is “camps” where these hoboes can be “concentrated”, a very Adams sort of gaffe. But he won in the end; Mayor Wheeler is all in on the concentration camp scheme.

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  52. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Try using big boy words instead of words like, fascist, tRump, orange cancer, possesses, DeathSantis, Floriduh, if you have a point to make try making it with out making yourself look foolish.
    Pilot Joe

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  53. Icarus said on January 18, 2023 at 11:21 am

    Pilot Joe, based on many of your comments over the years, I would say Please lead by example.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Sorry, my arrogant aviator acquaintance. I didn’t realize you were as thin-skinned as the man ruling Floriduh. No wonder you developed a little man crush on him, LOL.

    You’ve demonstrated a wide streak of assholishness in the past, so forgive me for not paying much attention to your attempts at a rebuttal. Let’s just watch and see how the little tyrant does when the hot lights come up and he must appeal to a wider swath of voters than those you represent.

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  55. ROGirl said on January 18, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Why are fascist and possesses in that list?

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  56. susan said on January 18, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Sigh. Don’t engage the troll.

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  57. Dorothy said on January 18, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    The fact that someone chooses to put Pilot Joe at the end of each comment he makes, despite the fact that his identification is clearly at the top of each comment box, tells us all we need to know about his powers of observation.

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  58. Scout said on January 18, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Looks like our Puffed Up Self-Important Preening Pilot has been gorging himself on Fox Entertainment Masquerading As News then coming here to fart fascist propaganda all over the place again. I admit, it is kind of fun to watch him get his ass handed to him over and over by the smart people and keep coming back for more humiliation. It really is a cult.

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  59. Mark P said on January 18, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    The worst person in the world could be polite and engaging in one-to-one interactions. They could even pass one of my tests by being a dog lover. But that doesn’t settle the issue; after all, Hitler was a dog lover.

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  60. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Ah shoot now my feelings are hurt.
    How’s superior aviator instead of Pilot Joe sound?
    Superior Aviator

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  61. jcburns said on January 18, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    I suppose if you flew floatplanes out of the Sault you could be a Lake Superior Aviator.

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  62. alex said on January 18, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    With a trolling motor. Ba-da-bump.

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  63. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Good one JCburns.
    Superior aviator

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  64. JodiP said on January 18, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    In other news, I have a great book recommendation, a biography of Constance Baker Motley. I may have heard of her in the distant past, certainly heard her name on TV when I was too young to remember or be aware. I am too lazy to do the coding:


    She was dear friends and colleagues with Medgar Evans, who was murdered because of his work to have black people treated with respect and dignity. They worked on the James Meredith case to desegregate Ole Miss.

    And now, off to walk the dog and begin putting back the kitchen after our remodel. I can’t believe we have this kitchen, and have waited over 20 years to do this project.

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  65. Deborah said on January 18, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    Now it comes out that George Santos participated in drag shows in Brazil, by even another name. It’s stunningly hypocritical, so, so, so hypocritical. For Gosar, MTG, Boebert and Santos to get positions on committees, ludicrous.

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  66. FDChief said on January 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    I’m sure the original Fuhrer had a friendly pilot, too, and Caligula was pleasant to his groom.

    Even the great monsters of history can be decent enough to their lackeys.

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  67. Dexter Friend said on January 19, 2023 at 2:24 am


    cuz, girls, they wanna have fun,
    yeah, girls, just wanna have fun.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 9:59 am

    So yesterday we learned that Santos was a drag queen (fine, just don’t lie about it), and that his mother, first reported by him as dying in the Twin Towers and later as contracting the cancer that killed here, WAS NOT EVEN IN THE COUNTRY THAT DAY. Sorry for yelling.

    Now we’ve learned he took $3000 from a gofundme set up for a veteran’s dying service dog. How much lower does it get?

    Jodi, I’m putting your recommendation on my list, sounds good. Would love to hear more about the new kitchen, as I continue to dream.

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  69. JodiP said on January 19, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Julie, the kitchen was mostly a cosmetic update. We didn’t need to expand. So we got all new cabinets, floor, counter top, lighting, backsplash, range and FINALLY a dishwasher. Well, we’re waiting on the range and dishwasher….I might have mentioned here that we brought back tiles from Delft for backsplash accents. There were original 1914 cabinets and drawers which didn’t have tracks on them, and there was a lot of inefficient use of space.

    We are so pleased with it–I moved some of our cooking appliances upstairs to make dinner and breakfast. We hope to get the rest of it all back in this weekend.

    I have posted updates on FB, and it looks like you are friends with Dorothy, so feel free to add me as a friend. In addition to kitchen news, there is lots about gardening, vacations, and our pets.

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  70. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Request sent, Jodi. I am Julie Pigott Robinson and my current pic is five year old me.

    I hate typing on my phone but yesterday the city finally picked up our hurricane damaged tree and took out our internet with it. AT&T doesn’t have enough technicians so no one can come until tomorrow. We’re going to insist they bury the line deeper.

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  71. alex said on January 19, 2023 at 11:35 am

    I put my internet on auto pay and notice that I was just debited $148, a significant increase from $100. I threatened to cancel when they took it up to $120 not all that long ago and they dropped it to $100. I’m seriously thinking of quitting them altogether. Verizon 5G isn’t available at my address yet but I’ve heard good things and think I may just do that as soon as it’s possible.

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  72. David C said on January 19, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    We’re getting TDS fiber optic internet next Tuesday. We get a teaser rate for two years that’s about half of what Spectrum is charging. I know it’ll go up after two years but at least we’ll be able play TDS against Spectrum to keep it down somewhat.

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  73. Dave said on January 19, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Alex, I’ll be waiting for your report if you make that move to Verizon. We recently talked to a person who subscribed to Verizon 5G and said it worked well but she could not get everything she was using with WiFi to link up with it, especially a Ring doorbell.

    I must’ve entered the wrong e-mail address, I see I’m awaiting moderation.

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  74. Sherri said on January 19, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    Our aviator troll’s defense of DeSantis reminds me of the story of the Utah man who killed his entire family then killed himself, yet his obit said he made a point to spend time with each of his children and coached their sports teams. He was also investigated for abuse after his then 14 year old daughter said he choked her.


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  75. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    Fiber is great for speed but in our experience it’s fragile. This is the fourth or fifth time ours has been cut, and they have to run a whole new line. Besides burying it deeper I suggested some little flags along the line. We have to pay them $99 too because they consider it our fault. First world problems, right?

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  76. jcburns said on January 19, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Your fiber has been cut…four or five times…by who??

    (From what. I know, anything that would cut a fiber cable would also make a mess of a coaxial cable…enough that your service would be impaired, at least.)

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  77. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Once us, as we were moving equipment around inside. The others have been construction guys, landscapers, tree guys, someone the neighbor had working. That’s why I’m lobbying for flags.

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  78. tajalli said on January 19, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Julie, I would think that if fiber is so fragile, it would be run through a pvc tube or pipe to protect it. If it’s buried, I can imagine all sorts of issues with gophers, moles, dogs digging holes and gnawing. Guess I’m lucky to have my fiber to the curb and copper to the wall.

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  79. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Those were also my suggestions. AT&T is a disaster to work with. I could bore you all but I won’t.

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  80. jcburns said on January 19, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    When you go from fiber to copper transmission, you end up with a slower connection. There’s certainly nothing more critter-proof in a copper wire or a copper coax than in an outdoor fiber optic cable. It does sound like AT&T’s contractors are doing…I don’t know…a quick and dirty job?

    Our fiber comes up the street on a utility pole and then a split on the fiber to the house runs through the air to the corner of our place. Maybe not as hidden, but it seems to have held up for a decade now.

    I’m pretty sure that outside fiber (which is in a jacket) is designed to resist critters and casual whacks. Maybe they used the inside stuff as a shortcut? I don’t know.

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  81. David C said on January 19, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    At the street ours is buried in conduit but the line from the street to the house is just buried directly in the ground and not much more than a foot or two deep. The end is just zip tied to the house. I hope when we’re hooked up they put that bit in conduit too. We’ve had our coax chewed through by squirrels 3 or 4 times in the 14 years we’ve been here. So if all goes well burying it will at least take care of our squirrel problems.

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  82. Icarus said on January 19, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    Along with healthcare, two things stink in this country: Internet Access and Tax Filing. Both of those have been impeded by the industries to prevent regular people from benefiting.

    Tax-preparing services have lobbied to prevent free online tax filing or simplifying the tax code such that ordinary citizens can do their taxes without engaging them or spending hours learning all the ever-changing tax codes.

    ISPs bribe local politicians so that there aren’t many choices in most markets.

    Chicagoans, help me out. Our choices are At&T or Comcast/Xfinity, unless you live east of Western Ave, then RCN is an option.

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  83. Mark P said on January 19, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    There is a service that locates and marks buried utilities. Anyone who digs, especially commercial operations, is supposed to contact the location service. I suspect there might be a liability for repairs if someone fails to locate a buried utility and then damages it by digging.

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  84. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    It’s all buried, nothing on the poles, and only 6 inches deep. The sandy soil digs easily,
    not like Indiana’s clay. Quick and dirty indeed.

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  85. jcburns said on January 19, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Only six inches? Hm, that’s very quick and dirty. I think the spec is for 18-22 inches deep.

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  86. Jenine said on January 19, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve seen a couple of recommendations from people I trust for freetaxusa.com . That name sounds shady to me but it will apparently do the job for much less than the Turbot, etc.
    CNET review https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/taxes/freetaxusa-review/, which also recommends a completely free option [Cash App Taxes]

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  87. Deborah said on January 19, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Icarus, we have RCN in Chicago, but it has a new name now, which I can’t remember. We had nothing to do with choosing it, as it was a done deal with our coop compound before we moved there. It seems fine, we rarely watch our cable and the WiFi doesn’t have problems nearly as much as our Santa Fe Xfinity does.

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  88. tajalli said on January 19, 2023 at 7:55 pm

    The IRS has a free tax filing service now. I have not read the details, so YMMV.


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