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Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 12:46 AM   #1
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Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

The May issue of Scientific American reports that the USDA has rated 48 states on natural amenities.* (It's on page 32 for those of you with access to the print edition.)* Data includes January temperature & sunshine, temperature gain between January & July, July humidity, county water area, and county topographic variation.*

USDA claims that natural amenities correlate with population change.* Counties with a high "amenity score" have doubled in population (1970-96) while counties with low scores have lost.* Of course this ratings system doesn't work very well in the cities so they tend to have low numbers.

The top five counties:
Ventura & Humboldt (both 100), Santa Barbara & Mendocino (both 99), and Del Norte (98).* LA & San Fran are the highest-scoring cities.

The bottom five:
Mower, MN (7), Norman MN (6), Tipton IN (5), Wilkin MN (2) and Red Lake MN (0).* Minneapolis & Columbus (OH) are the lowest-scoring cities.* (I'm guessing it's either the temperatures or the topography.)

Martha, you can tell your Hawaii expats that it's OK to come home now...
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 06:47 AM   #2
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Hello Nords. "Measuring Beauty" is obviously a pretty tall order.
I've spent a lot of time in Calif. and in Mn. I wouldn't want to live in either state and certainly not in any city (or town, village, hamlet,
etc). Parts of Mn. are nice enough I guess (Boundry Waters for example). But, it's just as pretty where I am sitting as I type
this. "Amenities" means something different to everyone, so these
"polls" are doomed from the get-go IMHO.

JG
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 07:18 AM   #3
 
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Nords - this scale is about agriculture! -* If you were a migrant worker, you may use this scale to determine where you could get a job and have lots of amenities.

Every scale I've seen about overall quality of life, education system and natural environment puts Minnesota near the very top.

This survey has nothing to do with natural beauty - It's about farming!* - We all know it's tough to grow strawberries in Minnesota in January.

It took me one google search to find this one http://www.morganquitno.com/sr05mlrnk.htm
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Nords - this scale is about agriculture! -* If you were a migrant worker, you may use this scale to determine where you could get a job and have lots of amenities.

Every scale I've seen about overall quality of life, education system and natural environment puts Minnesota near the very top.

This survey has nothing to do with natural beauty - It's about farming!* - We all know it's tough to grow strawberries in Minnesota in January.

It took me one google search to find this one http://www.morganquitno.com/sr05mlrnk.htm
Hi C-T. I didn't read it but assume it touted Minn. virtues. Interesting that when I
glanced at "morganquitno", I read "mosquito" which I thought was highly
appropriate

JG
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Eye of the beholder

In Seattle - litaney of refugee from Minnesota jokes( long before diirty blondes). In Colorado, being from the West Coast, I thought the Rockies were butt ugly and bitched about the cold winters - co-worker Ed from the Twin Cities of Minn. used to smile at me -"Ah the banana belt: this is WARM!" Used to hear stories about New Orleans - LA climate - the armpit of the universe - reasonable no of engineers went back to CO after a few years.

After thirty years - the swamp is just ducky - sent the whiners to er ah Colorado or worst yet Wyoming!

--still a Dam Yankee -- I don't stop the car on high overpasses and get out to check the view. Local joke - with an element of truth. Flat is truly flat here.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 08:37 AM   #6
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Hard to figure out without reading the article. When I looked at the map of the US, the worst area was the red river valley running between Minnesota and the Dakotas. This is in fact a good agricultural area, though very cold in winter, pretty hot in summer, windy, flat, and prone to floods and blizzards. Clearly the analysis doesn't favor the plains. Listen to Garrison Keiler. Some find the plains very beautiful, where the earth and sky seem to go on forever. Nothing like a sunset in the plains.

Minneapolis is really quite pretty. Lots of lakes and trees and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. The area has been growing like gangbusters. The rest of the state has not.

My part of Minnesota is not part of the great plains, but the edge of boreal forest with a more rocky and hilly topography.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Well, I've lived in New Hampshire and agree it's beautiful.... in summer. Check out the Kangamangus Highway which is a beautiful drive through the White Mountains.

http://www.netrailhead.com/nh/np/wmnf.html

Winters are awful and it doesn't heat up enough in summer. But it has the ocean, the mountains, the lakes, it's just beautiful. Best of all, it's a low tax state (maybe the lowest). Life free or die used to be their motto. New Hampshire abuts Taxachussets, too, which is handy for those living in Boston. They drive 50 miles and shop to evade taxes. Don't blame them.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 10:22 AM   #8
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

I say visit places on vacations and go with whatever place blows your hair back or what is left anyway. Everyone has a different opinion. I couldn't live in a place where everything closes at 8 pm and everything is closed on Sundays. I have and it drove me nuts yet some articles reco places similar to what I dislike. So I think it is not just about beauty/climate but also lifestyle.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 02:32 PM   #9
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

I find these studies useless. I don't think averaging metrics works well in this senario, mainly because what's important to each individual is usually unique. For example, many factors that are important to me aren't included in the methodology and outweigh all that are.

It also doesn't make any sense to me that New Hampshire would jump from 13th to 3rd in a single year, or that Hawaii moves from 6th in 1992 to 43rd 10 years later.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-10-2005, 03:39 PM   #10
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

I have to wonder why these kinds of polls and surveys are even produced.

I've moved around and lived in Illinois, California, North Carolina, New York, Iowa and Arizona. I always thought I loved Arizona. And I really have actively avoided ever moving back to California after two years there. But these studies tell me I must be wrong. I guess I'll have to pack up and move.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 09:19 AM   #11
 
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Not addressing the substance of your post, but quibbling around the edges:

The term "taxachusetts" was popularized nationwide by George Bush Sr.'s Karl Rove--Lee Atwater.* Using a tactic later embraced enthusiastically by his son, he would use a symbol (Willie Horton), or catchy phrase (taxachusetts) to disparage even though it did not square with the facts.* In fact, Massachusetts' total tax burden is less than the national average.* *

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lis...005/index.html

I share an office with a good number of New Hampshire residents and, anecdotally at least, the total tax burden in southern New Hampshire is higher.* The outrageous property taxes in New Hampshire more than offset the 5% income tax in Massachusetts.* And unless you are a big consumer, the 5% sales tax in Massachusetts is a non-factor, since our wise Irish politicians continue to exempt life's necessities:* food, clothing, and liquor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Best of all, it's a low tax state (maybe the lowest).* Life free or die used to be their motto.* New Hampshire abuts Taxachussets, too, which is handy for those living in Boston.* They drive 50 miles and shop to evade taxes.* Don't blame them.*
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Tozz,
You are correct about those property taxes. I left New Hampshire in 1979, but even then, the property taxes were outrageously high. They had a liquor store on the Mass. border., owned by the State, I believe, and used it to raise revenue. Do they still have those liquor stores there? I remember Lee Atwater being one mean political activist, but thought the term Taxachussets preceded him. Dunno, but if you say he coined the phrase I'll take your word for it. Massachusetts' total tax burden is less than the national average, but it sure isn't less than New Hampshire's. I had a part-time job in Ward's at that time. I remember well the Boston folks showing up in Portsmouth, NH, to buy suits we had on sale. Like they didn't have a Wards in Boston . BTW, even living in Texas, I am a big Red Sox fan.
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 12:58 PM   #13
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

As a former resident of taxachusetts, I can confirm that the tax burden isnt as bad as some states, but danged if they werent always taxing you one way or the other.

The approaches were often pretty draconian as well. I remember getting a 'deliquent' bill for the car tax from ten years prior with no description of what car they were talking about...not to mention I had been living in the same town for 10+ years, so why did it take so long to send me the bill and its triple-the-original-amount fines and interest?

I called to find out, heres what I was told "We dont keep information like what specific car you owed the money on. We dont have to. As far as why it took so long, we're busy. You need to pay that amount or we'll suspend your drivers license. We're not going to give you any more information, sorry. Goodbye."

You should have seen the nice little letter I sent them when I moved to another state and they sent me the bill for that last year I lived in MA. "Sorry, I dont keep any of that information and therefore cant pay your bill. Since I was forced to pay illegitimate bills in the past, I will now compensate myself for those transactions. As I now live in another state that has no reciprocal tax agreements with MA, you may go #@$%^@# yourselves." Mailed while I was on a business trip. The really funny part is about 3 weeks later they mailed me a letter saying I didnt owe the money.

Between that and seeing the nightly news reports showing state workers sleeping on the job, or my favorite...the guy who was supposed to be visiting bars and restaurants to check on their liquor licenses and any violations who was also working as a booze salesman. He'd deliver their weekly load and then check their license.

New Hampster has a high property tax, but at least the number of taxation opportunities seemed less to me, and there was a lot less funny business done with your tax dollars.

Hah...the border liquor stores...we used to do "packie runs" to that store on sundays as you couldnt buy booze on sundays in MA. I think they allow that now, so I'm betting that store isnt as busy...at least on weekends...
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Eye of the beholder

In Seattle - litaney of refugee from Minnesota jokes( long before diirty blondes).
Not long after I moved to Seattle from SoCal I was elk hunting with a buddy in the mountains NW of Wenatchee. During the nights I was freezing and all the time putting more wood in the shepherd's stove we had in our tent. One morning just before dawn I go out from our tent and fall over something. Put the flashlight on it, an it turns out to be a guy, rolled up in a sleeping bag and covered with visqueen, lying right in the snow. He moved, so I knew he wasn't dead. We invited him into the tent for breakfast. He told us he was from Minnasota, and it just didn't seem cold enough for him to bother with a tent.

I was impressed. Still am, actually.

Mikey
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 02:50 PM   #15
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey
Not long after I moved to Seattle from SoCal I was elk hunting with a buddy in the mountains NW of Wenatchee. During the nights I was freezing and all the time putting more wood in the shepherd's stove we had in our tent. One morning just before dawn I go out from our tent and fall over something. Put the flashlight on it, an it turns out to be a guy, rolled up in a sleeping bag and covered with visqueen, lying right in the snow. He moved, so I knew he wasn't dead. We invited him into the tent for breakfast. He told us he was from Minnasota, and it just didn't seem cold enough for him to bother with a tent.

I was impressed. Still am, actually.

Mikey
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 03:56 PM   #16
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

If he had made a habit out of that sleeping in the snow bit, you'd be calling him 'stumpy' after a while... :P

I used to hike the white mountains in new hampshire often in the winter, mostly because there was rarely anyone else up there that time of year. You always had room in the wood shelters, although you often had to dig down through the snow to get to them, and make sure you didnt build your fire too close to the opening or the carbon monoxide would drop down into the hole and you'd enjoy a very nice long sleep.

The 40 below weather was also conducive to suggestions like "You know, these bags can be zipped together for shared body warmth?".

Ahh..the teen years...
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 03:57 PM   #17
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Got me beat Cut Throat.

This reminds me of my grandfather who got TB in the 1920s. He lived in northern Minnesota. He did not want to go to the sanitarium. Instead, He moved out to the family's unheated porch and lived out there two years. Survived the TB and lived to age 99.

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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 04:52 PM   #18
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Well, I've lived in New Hampshire and agree it's beautiful.... in summer. Check out the Kangamangus* Highway which is a beautiful drive through the White Mountains.* *

http://www.netrailhead.com/nh/np/wmnf.html

Winters are awful and it doesn't heat up enough in summer.* But it has the ocean, the mountains, the lakes, it's just beautiful.* Best of all, it's a low tax state (maybe the lowest).* Life free or die used to be their motto.* New Hampshire abuts Taxachussets, too, which is handy for those living in Boston.* They drive 50 miles and shop to evade taxes.* Don't blame them.*
What do you mean "Live free or die!" used to be their motto?

JG
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 04:55 PM   #19
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
I say visit places on vacations and go with whatever place blows your hair back or what is left anyway.* Everyone has a different opinion.* I couldn't live in a place where everything closes at 8 pm and everything is closed on Sundays.* I have and it drove me nuts yet some articles reco places similar to what I dislike.* So I think it is not just about beauty/climate but also lifestyle.*
'

Hellfire! I am usually asleep or ready to be by 8 pm. They can all close
up as long as there is a 24 hour drugstore so I can get
TUMS and Pepto

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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"
Old 05-11-2005, 04:59 PM   #20
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Re: Retirement locations-- "Measuring Beauty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
What do you mean "Live free or die!" used to be their motto?

JG
It probably still is the state motto. It was on every license plate, although I think some wacko sued to get it off. I suspect it's still there. Anyway, it's a great motto, don't you think??
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