Ranked Choice Voting Saves Money and Reduces Political Animosity

Our politics are making our people very angry.  The contempt and hatred for candidates and people in the other party is making our political system extremely bad.  A house divided cannot stand, and we are heading the wrong way.

Alaska has come up with a much less divisive system that eliminates some of the divisiveness.  And it reduces the number of elections thus saving money. The following is copied from their website.

Ranked Choice Voting FAQ

What is Ranked Choice Voting?
Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. In the 2020 general election, voters approved an initiative to establish a Ranked Choice Voting general election system.

How does Ranked Choice Voting work?
In each race, voters will rank their choices in order of preference. Votes are counted in rounds.
This is what happens:

Round One:
The Division counts all 1st choices. If a candidate gets 50% + 1 vote in round one, that candidate wins and the counting stops.  If not, counting goes to Round Two.

Round Two (and beyond):
The candidate with the fewest votes gets eliminated. If you voted for that candidate, your vote goes to your next choiceand you still have a say in who wins. If your first choice candidate was not eliminated, your vote stays with them. Votes are counted again.

This keeps happening in rounds until two candidates are left and the one with the most votes wins.

What happens if I only vote for one candidate?
Your vote is counted in round one and your vote stays with your candidate throughout tabulation.

Is there a benefit of ranking multiple choices?
Yes. By ranking multiple candidates, you can still have a voice in who gets elected even if your top choice does not win.  Ranking multiple candidates ensures your vote will go toward your second. third, fourth, or fifth choice if your top choice is eliminated, giving you more voice in who wins.

How do I mark my ballot in a Ranked Choice Voting election?
Fill in only one oval per candidate, in each column. You do not have to rank all the candidates.

Your second choice is only counted if your first choice candidate is eliminated.

Correct way to mark a ballot exampleInstructions: Vote by ranking candidates of your choice.

  • Rank as many or as few candidates as you like
  • Completely fill in no more than one oval for each candidate or column
  • For your 1st choice, fill in the oval in the 1st choice column
  • For your 2nd choice, fill in the oval in the 2nd choice column, and so on
  • If you make a mistake, you can ask for a new ballot
Click to read more:

I Must Go Down To The Seas Again


I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


Anchorage to Denali - Google Earth


Anchorage to Denali - Google Earth. Click the link to see more.


I asked Bard, the Artificial Intelligence program from Google, to tell me about Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali.  https://bard.google.com/

Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali are three of the most popular tourist destinations in Alaska. Anchorage is the state's largest city, and it's a great place to start your trip. There are plenty of things to see and do in Anchorage, from visiting the Alaska Museum of Natural History to hiking in Chugach State Park.

Talkeetna is a small town located just south of Denali National Park. It's a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the park, and it's also a popular spot for flightseeing tours. Talkeetna is said to be the inspiration for the fictional community of Cicely in the TV show “Northern Exposure.”

Denali National Park is home to the tallest mountain in North America, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley). The park is a vast wilderness area, and it's home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, moose, wolves, and caribou. There are several different ways to explore the park, including hiking, camping, and taking bus tours.

Here is a suggested itinerary for a 5-day trip to Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali:

Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage and check into your hotel. Day 2: Visit the Alaska Museum of Natural History and hike in Chugach State Park. Day 3: Take a flightseeing tour of Denali National Park. Day 4: Drive to Talkeetna and explore the town. Day 5: Take a bus tour of Denali National Park.

This is just a suggestion, of course, and you can customize the itinerary to fit your interests. If you're interested in fishing, you could spend a day on one of the rivers near Talkeetna. If you're interested in history, you could visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Talkeetna. And if you're interested in outdoor adventure, you could go whitewater rafting or kayaking on one of the rivers near Denali.

No matter what you choose to do, you're sure to have an amazing time in Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali. These are three of the most beautiful places in Alaska, and they offer something for everyone.

Here are some additional tips for planning your trip:

  • The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer months, from June to September. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to pack for all types of conditions.
  • If you're planning on doing any hiking or camping in Denali National Park, you'll need to get a permit in advance.
  • There are a variety of different ways to get around Alaska. You can fly, take the train, or drive. If you're planning on doing a lot of exploring, you might want to consider renting a car.
  • Alaska is a great place to experience the outdoors. Be sure to bring your camera and be prepared for anything!

Our photos at:   https://vancouveralaska.blogspot.com/

3D Interactive Earth Globe


Click to see the interesting global patterns


Military Code of Conduct


Leave Your High Cost City and Move to A Nice Affordable Community

Tired of the high cost of housing in your city? And the long commutes? Leave the high cost areas shown in red and orange on the map below, and move to one of the counties in the green areas.  Home purchase costs are much lower than in the expensive parts of the country and they have minimal traffic. The map below shows high cost areas in red and orange, and lower cost areas in green. Most of the central portion of the USA is green, which equals low cost homes and little traffic.

Source to view the larger map: https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/housing-statistics/county-median-home-prices-and-monthly-mortgage-payment

Wages are higher in the high home cost areas.  But if you are retiring or can take your high paid job with you and do it remotely, the center of the country will permit you to buy a nice home that fits your budget. And no more rush hour! Leave the aggravation of a dense hectic major city and move to the midwest.

Corporate Strategy

Individuals can make this choice, but it could also be a strategy for companies to help their workers. Companies who are located in very expensive locations could establish satellite offices where voluntarily relocated employees could afford to buy homes, and enjoy much lower commute times.  Programs with Universities in college towns could train future workers. This effort could become an economic development effort of midwest communities, where the State and local economic development staff and colleges try to attract interest in this program among successful expanding companies.

The State of Illinois and the Illinois Counties that have a college or university could develop a program to try to get interest from major corporations in expensive coastal counties. A group led by the State of Illinois and the colleges and economic development agencies of the State could create a program that would get national attention and perhaps a major movement of jobs from areas that are to crowded to regions that need the jobs and growth.

A college town can provide some nice amenities- the opportunity to go back to school and enjoy the activities that a college town brings. And college towns in the midwest have some very low home prices - because college enrollment is down and people are leaving the midwest for jobs and climate.

Macomb, Illinois is a good example. It is a nice town and home to Western Illinois University. Some of the lowest rent and purchase prices for decent places to live in the country are in college towns in Illinois. They are low because Illinois is losing people and colleges are way down in enrollment. 

You would not need a car in this small college town - the town is very small and has transit and AMTRAK service. You can walk or bike to everything in town. You can attend college at Western Illinois University. 

The counties below show the average cost of a home from Zillow.com.

The town is very small, but has transit and AMTRAK service. You can walk or bike to everything in town. You can go back to college

The counties below show the average cost of a home from Zillow.com.

Los Angeles County           985,000
Sarasota County                462,500

Peoria County                    119,643
McDonough (Macomb)        91,161

Macomb is a nice town in western Illinois. Homes are affordable.    Crime is low. Rents are also low according to zumper.com/rent-research/macomb-il and zillow.com.

Rents - County

Manatee  $1,908

Lake County $1,581

Macomb    $625

Rental units are between the University and downtown, about a mile walk.The town has a nice little transit system. cityofmacomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Go-West-Bus-Routes-2022-Publication.pdf

The population of Macomb is only 15,000, down from 19,000 in 2010. This is why housing is so affordable. Supply exceeds demand. Student enrollment at WIU is down to 2,277 from 4,351 in 2015. 

Macomb has a nice historic downtown with an AMTRAK station to Chicago.  Western Illinois University is just northwest of downtown, and McDonough Hospital is southwest. Most of the affordable rentals are near the University northwest of downtown. The city is a “best place to live”. bestplaces.net/crime/city/illinois/macomb

Peoria, Illinois is another affordable community in Illinois, home of Bradley University. You can buy homes like this in Peoria, Illinois for $250,000,  I owned this lovel home, and sold it for $185,000 in 2013,

Our old home at 423 High Street in Peoria, IL.

High Street, Peoria, Illinois

Located in the High Wine District across from Giant Oak Park, this Colonial Revival home was built around the turn of the century. On the ridge of the Illinois River, it overlooks downtown Peoria and the University of Illinois Medical Campus.

In the 1890's, a railroad agent and the treasurer of a local industry lived in the house. Later, the home was a boarding house and a halfway house for some years. It is reputed to be occupied by a ghost. The home was restored near its 100 year anniversary by Jack and Cathy Empson. Renovation was continued by the current owners, Beth Ruyle and Craig Hullinger in 2006.

The existing, original slate roof is moderately pitched and hipped, with a ridge. Classic one story fluted columns support the full length porch. Brick walls are edged with quoins. The interior boasts extensive stained woodwork and marble floors.

High Street

Source: http://www.historicpeoria.com/entry.php?eid=214&catid=1&cid=1

Nestled between Peoria's picturesque West Bluff and energetic Main Street, High Street offers its residents and visitors a vibrant and elegant slice of historical significance. From the mammoth Easton house (now Converse Marketing) gracing the entrance to the renovated Greenhut mansion (now Bobbitt's Historical Quarters) at the foot, the magic of High Street has survived the years and resonates today.

Once dubbed "High Wine Avenue," High Street housed many of the original Peoria whiskey barons, including Joseph Greenhut, president and founder of The Distillers and Cattle Feeders Company. In the mid-1880's, an era before income tax, fortunes were spent on homes, massive legacies that still stand today. The expanse of Peoria's whisky riches is showcased in the diverse and ornate architecture of High Street. During this golden age of Peoria history, the city established itself as the distillery capital of the world; High Street housed the city's exclusive nouveau riche, the properties offering both seclusion and breathtaking views. 

Each owner hired the services of individual architects, and thus High Street boasts styles ranging from Georgian and Gothic Revival, to Queen Anne and Flemish Revival. This combination of porticos, cupolas, latticework, leaded windows, and arches creates an eclectic presence unique to High Street.

Today High Street is home to artists, writers, politicians and families interested in living a piece of history. Many of the mansions have been restructured into apartments, and few single-family houses remain. A restoration revival swept the street in the late 1980's and early 1990's when owners began working with the city to uphold historical standards in the renovations. 

On any summer day, visitors stroll the street, taking in the majestic homes and lush landscaping. Trolleys and tour buses creep along while tourists snap photos. Children and lovers alike hide within the limbs of the ancient oak tree at Giant Oak Park. Once the most exclusive residential street in Peoria, High Street continues to give citizens a taste of Peoria's past.

More on this home and historic neighorhood at:



Macomb a good place to live








Macomb rentals


Possible Section 8 McDonough County (Mcomb)






Possible Painted Lady Program - Eureka, California

Potential "Painted Lady" Program

Ereuka, California has a wonderful downtown.  On the water and with great architecture. Like many older central cities, it needs more middle class residents to help revitalize the downtown.

The city could make an effort to promote redevelopment of under used properties by asking the architectural schools in California to design homes for your city that look like your nice historic homes, but are actually condo buildings. The city would make an effort to get builders and developers to build some of homes. 

The marketing effort could be aimed at people in San Francisco and Seattle.  They would have an opportunity to buy a new condo near the water in your historic downtown.  And if they bring their high tech business and or job, so much the better.

If you would like to brainstorm this with us and turn it into a fleshed out program, we would be glad to do so.  We are retired economic development professionals and planners.  This is a no cost proposal from us - we would work with you for the fun of it. 

Let us know if you are interested. Thanks for your consideration. 

More photos of Eurkea, California


Economic Development in Eureka