Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Well, I don't really have anything to post about today, so I'm going to just throw some random thoughts at you that might not seem to flow together very logically. ("How is that different than every other day?" you might ask. To which I might respond, "Oh, be quiet.")
Here's a link to a picture of what seems to be some sort of ghostly human head appearing in a photo of a shark tank at The Deep, an aquarium exhibit on the banks of the Humber estuary in England. The photo was taken by a dentistry student who was visiting the exhibit with her father, but she didn't spot the human-like head in the photo until she got home and was looking at the pictures. Attempts have been made to explain or recreate the image by way of reflections and so forth, but the efforts have been unsuccessful. Apparently the aquarium is built upon the site of a former isolation hospital where smallpox victims were once held, and aquarium staff have previously reported other shadowy figures appearing in the facility.
So I'm pretty sure that what we have there is a picture of an underwater sharkwatching ghost.

In other news, the upcoming election isn't only about McCain and Obama. For instance, one other item on the ballot is going to be Proposition 2, a referendum on whether the City of Austin should continue to give tax breaks to The Domain, a high end retail and residential center located in North Austin. The Domain supports (or has supported) a large number of upscale retail outlets (mostly non-local chains) such as Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Abercrombie & Fitch, Barney's, Tiffany, Victoria's Secret, Anne Fontaine, Lacoste, Apple, etc., and the Domain is expected, on the current tax incentive plan, to receive rebates of $30 to $60 million over the next 20 years.
Kids, it might not surprise you to hear that Steanso is for Proposition 2- meaning he thinks that the tax breaks for these already lucrative yuppie stores need to end. If we're going to give tax breaks, I think we ought to focus them on locally owned, developing businesses. Maybe we could find some businesses even more worthy and deserving of assistance than Abercrombie & Fitch!
Anyhoo, my main point is that these businesses are already well-established, and they're probably not going to pass on the chance to sell products to the relatively affluent citizens of Austin, even if we don't give them massive tax breaks. And frankly, if they're not willing to pay the same taxes that everyone else pays, I say we send them packing back to Dallas or California or wherever.
Get the message out- just because businesses strike up some kind of sweetheart deals with our city council members or other politicians doesn't mean that the citizens of this town are going to stand for it. If you want to do business in our town you need to contribute to our community in the same way that everyone else does. Expensive name brands shouldn't get you out of that obligation.

And... well... geez. I guess I don't have much more. Hope you guys are doing okay. We got a little rain here in Austin today, but not much. Hopefully we'll get more over the next few days.

1 comment:

The League said...

The Domain is so very, very un-Austin. It's a reminder that sometimes our City Council (those currently on the council, anyway) rush to support any and all growth without considering the needs of the city (do we need Tiffany's? No. Could we use the taxes of their sales? Sure.). This wasn't ever going to be the same as bringing in Samsung, AMD, Intel, etc... with the creation of well-paying, somewhat stable jobs and an expanding service economy to assist those businesses.

I'm sure there was also, as seems to so often be the case in real estate deals, some degree of greasing of palms and shadiness. So...

Forget it, Jase...
That's Chinatown