Date   
Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Steve Taylor
 

True. IIRC, our water table is around 200 feet down, but it's very expensive drilling round there, and the stuff falls out of the sky for free. Of course, if Hidalgo had happened, there would have been well-shares going on, but can't see that happening now, with the fragmented and unknown ownerships.




On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:36, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:

Solar distillation tends to make water extremely pure indeed, and that's a kinda good solution for the desert due to the heat. You just have to maintain the materials of the distiller so it doesn't break down under the intense sun radiation exposure. So could look into that. Also potentially useful to find where a given water table is at. Sometimes there are areas where it's surprisingly closer to the surface. For wells/drilling. Being by mountains can sometimes help I heard. The water from the mountain is more available.

Max


On 6/28/20 12:30 PM, Lonnie Dittrick wrote:
Do you think a rain harvesting system would be a viable option at our location?  We could collect enough to make this feasible?  How would you keep the water potable?  How would you handle the dust which is always an issue?  I have considered a biodegradable system to handle human waste...

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 3:19 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
Figuring on rainwater harvesting, solar and a lithium ion battery rack for the first parts of solutions to my problems.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:13, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 
--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com


--
 
--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Steve Taylor
 

I'm not necessarily thinking of it being necessarily potable, the amount we actually drink is really very small. Dust sediments out, and modern filters will easily fix the rest.
I too am thinking of a composting system for waste.
And I am building a recycling shower which has exotic filters in it to allow us to shower safely and happily with two gallons of water a time.


On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:32, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Do you think a rain harvesting system would be a viable option at our location?  We could collect enough to make this feasible?  How would you keep the water potable?  How would you handle the dust which is always an issue?  I have considered a biodegradable system to handle human waste...

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 3:19 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
Figuring on rainwater harvesting, solar and a lithium ion battery rack for the first parts of solutions to my problems.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:13, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

maxeem
 

Solar distillation tends to make water extremely pure indeed, and that's a kinda good solution for the desert due to the heat. You just have to maintain the materials of the distiller so it doesn't break down under the intense sun radiation exposure. So could look into that. Also potentially useful to find where a given water table is at. Sometimes there are areas where it's surprisingly closer to the surface. For wells/drilling. Being by mountains can sometimes help I heard. The water from the mountain is more available.

Max


On 6/28/20 12:30 PM, Lonnie Dittrick wrote:
Do you think a rain harvesting system would be a viable option at our location?  We could collect enough to make this feasible?  How would you keep the water potable?  How would you handle the dust which is always an issue?  I have considered a biodegradable system to handle human waste...

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 3:19 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
Figuring on rainwater harvesting, solar and a lithium ion battery rack for the first parts of solutions to my problems.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:13, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 
--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com


--
 
--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Lonnie Dittrick
 

Do you think a rain harvesting system would be a viable option at our location?  We could collect enough to make this feasible?  How would you keep the water potable?  How would you handle the dust which is always an issue?  I have considered a biodegradable system to handle human waste...

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 3:19 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
Figuring on rainwater harvesting, solar and a lithium ion battery rack for the first parts of solutions to my problems.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:13, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Steve Taylor
 

Figuring on rainwater harvesting, solar and a lithium ion battery rack for the first parts of solutions to my problems.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 15:13, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Lonnie Dittrick
 

Well that is good to hear, Steve.  Unfortunately, on the western side of the development it is, in the words of one of your more popular novelists, dead as a door nail 😉.  Unless things change dramatically on my end I will keep it simply to boondock with an RV.  I had the road improved enough to get to the pad I had built.  Thought about putting up a roll-off observatory with enough solar to power it.  But water, septic, power to run a/c.... don’t know if it is worth the investment.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com

Re: All-Rental Community

Lonnie Dittrick
 

I know I am the newest member of this group but I would suggest that infusing our political biases into the discussion on rental communities is probably not wise or beneficial.  Sharon’s insight into all-rental communities has some validity, but I and perhaps some other members of the group have a complete opposite opinion on our national leaders.  Rep. Pelosi is far from what I would consider a virtuous, altruistic, self-sacrificing leader, but I will stop at that.  Let’s stay on topic and keep our biases out of it, or I will be the first to bow out, respectfully.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Sharon,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments about the disadvantages of an all-rental community. This is such an important topic that I would like to start a separate thread under the topic "All-Rental Community". Everyone: please post your thoughts on this topic under this thread.

Thanks much,

Dave

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Steve Taylor
 

There's activity at Hidalgo. The current residents have just had a major upgrade to the road there. Dark Skies New Mexico seems to be doing OK there too.

On Sun, 28 Jun 2020 at 14:30, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave



--
 

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

David Oesper
 

Welcome to the group, Lon! For those of you who don't know, Lon is an accomplished photographer, including astrophotography:

http://londittrickphotography.com/

I'm glad you brought up hosting remote observatories as an income source for a dark-sky community. I've always wanted to be the one at the dark-sky site helping to keep the observatories and equipment running instead of the one who is utilizing a remote observatory.

A few days ago, my one and only inquiry (so far) from the S&T classified ad also suggested remote observatory hosting, so I amended the Observatory Campus section of the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document to include this:


Observatory Campus

The observatory campus will be the designated area set aside for astronomical observation. This will include observatories (individually or cooperatively rented), telescope pads, and a meteor watching deck. One observatory will be provided for the use of all residents of Mirador. The observatory campus will be located within easy walking distance of the residential campus.

A section of the observatory campus should be set aside for remote observatory hosting. Individual observatories would be leased by the hour or by the night to interested astronomers anywhere in the world. A larger structure with multiple telescopes inside could also be used for this purpose. High speed internet access is crucial, and must support remote interactive use. Remote observatory hosting will be another important source of income for the community.


Like you and Steve, I, too, am a Rancho Hidalgo land owner trying to figure out what to do with the property. I purchased 4 acres there about 12 years ago for $26K. If I can ever sell that property for what I bought it for, I would donate $13K towards the land-purchase for Mirador Astronomy Village (the other half is already spoken for).

Dave

Re: All-Rental Community

David Oesper
 

Sharon,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments about the disadvantages of an all-rental community. This is such an important topic that I would like to start a separate thread under the topic "All-Rental Community". Everyone: please post your thoughts on this topic under this thread.

Thanks much,

Dave

All-Rental Community

David Oesper
 

I still have some hope of establishing something out there of a more permanent nature but like most of you cannot really afford two homes. I am not sure I have seen this mentioned in particular, but a possible source of an income stream to support your community would be hosting remote observatories for amateurs interested in Astrophotography, particularly given that there would be residents on campus to overlook operations.

Many communities have this bi-cultural focus, so to speak, and are successful to the extent that the residential, cohousing part does not depend on all residents working in the income producing portions. Organic garden sales, for example, is one operation that co exists with some communities. Cheese-making in a community in Vermont.

Sometimes the communities began as fully integrated, but over time—sometimes a very short time — found it was better to have two organizations, however overlapping, worked better than trying to manage one that had to be all things to all people. Particularly when a large portion of the residents are not interested in the income producing side and/or people work in the income producing side with no interest in living at work.

What triggered me to respond was the word “permanence” while I was working on a blog post for Sustainable Cohousing on self-governance and strong communities. I realized what had been bothering me about the all rentals model. It encourages impermanence. This happens in many ways. The basic one is that there is an owner who can veto decisions by the residents and residents come to expect the owner to solve all problems. It isn’t that everyone is equal because everyone is renting, but they are all equal except some — the owner(s). This is reasonable, too, because the owners are the ones taking the financial and legal risks. But it also leads to autocratic governance.

The problem of term limits is a good example. In organizations where the top leadership can serve for a limited period of time, say one to six years or even eight years, the staff becomes stronger than the leaders. By necessity the staff controls rather than those elected to represent the people or members or citizens.

A short term leader is dependent on staff. It takes years to learn a job and to build power in terms of influencing others and being respected. Having an independent and powerful leader is beneficial for organizations — as long as they remain representative. Expecting Nancy Pelosi to step down is lunacy at this point. She is an expert and has the respect of everyone she leads. Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, has developed leadership into a kleptocracy. He uses it for personal gain for himself and the people who keep him in power. He even buys off the people by a disproportionate size and number of grants for his state.

People want term-limits to get rid of the Mitch McConnells but fail to realize that that means no Nancy Pelosi’s or Ted Kennedys or whomever. It will lead to strong staff control and will be even more hidden than it is now. Short term leaders can’t afford to fire experienced staff—they know how to do the job. One of Obama’s advantages in the Senate was that he inherited a full, experienced staff from a previous Senator with whom he was a close colleague. In addition to being just plain smart, he had a huge running start.

So that is what has been bothering me about “all rentals”. It means the owner(s) never cede control—even when they think they do or can. The ideal is that everyone in the organization is equal in terms of respect and importance and has a defined responsibility over which they and their team mates are in control. The odds of an all rental community being the kind of community that is fully self-governing and co-responsible is not a possibility.

Sharon

Sharon Villines

http://sustainablecohousing.org

sustainablecohousing@groups.io

To subscribe: sustainablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io

Re: Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Sharon Villines
 

On Jun 27, 2020, at 11:33 PM, Ldittrick1955@... wrote:

 I still have some hope of establishing something out there of a more permanent nature but like most of you cannot really afford two homes.  I am not sure I have seen this mentioned in particular, but a possible source of an income stream to support your community would be hosting remote observatories for amateurs interested in Astrophotography, particularly given that there would be residents on campus to overlook operations.

Many communities have this bi-cultural focus, so to speak, and are successful to the extent that the residential, cohousing part does not depend on all residents working in the income producing portions. Organic garden sales, for example, is one operation that co exists with some communities. Cheese-making in a community in Vermont. 

Sometimes the communities began as fully integrated, but over time—sometimes a very short time — found it was better to have two organizations, however overlapping, worked better than trying to manage one that had to be all things to all people. Particularly when a large portion of the residents are not interested in the income producing side and/or people work in the income producing side with no interest in living at work.

What triggered me to respond was the word “permanence” while I was working on a blog post for Sustainable Cohousing on self-governance and strong communities. I realized what had been bothering me about the all rentals model. It encourages impermanence. This happens in many ways. The basic one is that there is an owner who can veto decisions by the residents and residents come to expect the owner to solve all problems. It isn’t that everyone is equal because everyone is renting, but they are all equal except some — the owner(s). This is reasonable, too, because the owners are the ones taking the financial and legal risks. But it also leads to autocratic governance.

The problem of term limits is a good example. In organizations where the top leadership can serve for a limited period of time, say one to six years or even eight years, the staff becomes stronger than the leaders. By necessity the staff controls rather than those elected to represent the people or members or citizens. 

A short term leader is dependent on staff. It takes years to learn a job and to build power in terms of influencing others and being respected. Having an independent and powerful leader is beneficial for organizations — as long as they remain representative. Expecting Nancy Pelosi to step down is lunacy at this point. She is an expert and has the respect of everyone she leads. Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, has developed leadership into a kleptocracy. He uses it for personal gain for himself and the people who keep him in power. He even buys off the people by a disproportionate size and number of grants for his state.

People want term-limits to get rid of the Mitch McConnells but fail to realize that that means no Nancy Pelosi’s or Ted Kennedys or whomever. It will lead to strong staff control and will be even more hidden than it is now. Short term leaders can’t afford to fire experienced staff—they know how to do the job. One of Obama’s advantages in the Senate was that he inherited a full, experienced staff from a previous Senator with whom he was a close colleague. In addition to being just plain smart, he had a huge running start.

So that is what has been bothering me about “all rentals”. It means the owner(s) never cede control—even when they think they do or can.  The ideal is that everyone in the organization is equal in terms of respect and importance and has a defined responsibility over which they and their team mates are in control. The odds of an all rental community being the kind of community that is fully self-governing and co-responsible is not a possibility.


Hi Everyone!! Another Rancho Hidalgo Refuge on Board

Lonnie Dittrick
 

I was following the discussion for awhile and thought I would join in.   As another Rancho H landowner this topic is always of interest but also a source of some trepidation, eh Steve?  The discussion of the route 60 corridor was of particular interest to me as back in 2008 I had considered both Rancho Hidalgo and property just south of Datil for purchase for an observatory site. Unfortunately I got hooked on all of the “extras” Gene was offering and went with the former. Sigh!  I still have some hope of establishing something out there of a more permanent nature but like most of you cannot really afford two homes.  I am not sure I have seen this mentioned in particular, but a possible source of an income stream to support your community would be hosting remote observatories for amateurs interested in Astrophotography, particularly given that there would be residents on campus to overlook operations.
Just my two cents.

Mirador Vision Statement & Some Questions Answered

David Oesper
 

I've been unusually quiet this week as I've been participating in a week-long training (in my off-work time) on "How to Create an Intentional Community" provided by Yana Ludwig, a more in-depth follow-on from her earlier one-session training last month. Maxeem is also in the training this week, I was delighted to find out!

As part of that process, I have a couple of things to share. As always, your thoughts, questions, and suggestions are very welcome on any of this.


I've extended the "Vision Statement" on page 1 of the Mirador specifications document (see our Files section) so any reader will see all the main characteristics of Mirador Astronomy Village, as presently proposed, right at the outset.

Vision Statement

Mirador Astronomy Village will provide a community-oriented living and working environment for people of all ages with a casual, active, or professional interest in astronomy and the other natural sciences. Its wider mission will be to provide high quality educational programs in astronomy, the other natural sciences, environmental sustainability, and cooperative living.

Mirador Astronomy Village will be a rural community located in New Mexico, Arizona, or West Texas. There will be no dusk-to-dawn lighting at Mirador, and allowed lighting will be designed and installed so that it does not interfere with astronomical activities.

Everyone living at Mirador will rent their residence. There will be no up-front cost to live in the community except for a standard rental deposit. A variety of housing types will be available, including an RV park, sharehouse, apartments, and a cohousing community with separate single family houses. Observatories will be available to rent as well.

Mirador will have on-site businesses, including lodging for visitors. Mirador will operate an astronomy tourism and education center. Residents will have the opportunity to work part-time or full-time in exchange for a reduction in monthly rent and living expenses.


And, here are my answers to our homework assignment for Friday's session.

HOMEWORK QUESTIONS

1. Given your vision, location and economic needs, who do you think your ideal members are?

Two groups of people are needed. One group with the financial means to purchase the ~100 acres of land we would need to begin building the community. And one group who would build the community and live and work there. Having everyone in the first group also in the second group would be ideal, but they could be two distinct groups. Or some overlap.

Most everyone involved with the project would have a deep and abiding love for the night sky, and for astronomy. I say “most” because I hope the community would also be attractive to non-astronomers who like the idea of living and working in a small rural community in the desert southwest, and helping to provide a welcoming and productive environment for tourists and lifelong learners.

2. Where can you connect with them?

Reaching a few people through dark-sky-communities.groups.io, but the Sky & Telescope classified ad that has run 2 out of 6 months so far has only brought one inquiry, and that person said they probably wouldn’t be interested until they reach retirement age in about 10 years. Is the pandemic mostly what is at fault, or something else? Will it be hard to move this project forward until after the pandemic is over?

3. What do you think you have to offer them?

A great view of the night sky every clear night, no worries about neighbors with bright lights, the opportunity to live in a rural community rather than in rural isolation or a light-polluted city, a supportive and nurturing environment.

4. Think about what outcomes you want in your community decision-making process.

Everyone involved with the project should feel that their voice is heard in how the community develops, is operated, and is sustained. No one should ever feel that they have been left out or ignored in the decision-making process.

Intentional Community Economics - Part I

David Oesper
 

Gwendolyn Hallsmith, an intentional community economics expert who lives at Headwaters Ecovillage in rural Vermont, presented a two-hour webinar, “Intentional Community Economics”, on June 9. This was another great webinar sponsored by the Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC). Because of my work schedule, I was not able to participate live but one advantage of watching the recording afterwards is that pause and replay allowed me to take almost six pages of notes!

Gwen covered so many topics worth writing about here, that I will present them in separate postings over the next several days.

Something we might want to consider for any astronomy-friendly intentional community (Mirador included) is an employee stock ownership program for on-site businesses.

Interesting fact: Nonprofits represent about 6.5% of the GDP

Financing an Intentional Community

Structure is Important: Ownership

If you are going to go with a traditional lending institution, such as a bank or credit union, there are only certain types of ownership structure they are going to understand and therefore approve. Condominiums, for example.

Some ownership structures:

  • Commune

  • Cooperative

  • Condominium

  • Subdivision

  • Multifamily Rental

  • Squatting

  • Homesteading

  • Informal Settlement

Community Land Trust - a way to keep housing permanently affordable. The community owns the land, and residents (or the residential housing authority, in the case of rental) own the houses that sit on the land.

Water and Wastewater Systems

The water and wastewater systems are two of the first things you need to consider when finding a site for a rural community, where you cannot tie into an existing municipal system.

IMPORTANT: If you are planning a community water supply for more than 25 people, you will need to comply with federal EPA regulations as a public water supply. This will be expensive!

Since Mirador Astronomy Village will have a community water supply, we need to be prepared for additional expenses to comply with federal regulations—just as any small town or city has to. Unfortunate, but understandable and desirable from a public safety standpoint.

Re: Ted Turner Reserves - Big Happenings in New Mexico

David Oesper
 

A shared vision?

Opportunity for collaboration?

Job opportunities for us if we locate our astronomy community nearby?

Obviously, they are catering to a wealthy clientele, but the fact that Ted Turner has purchased over a million acres in New Mexico and set aside most of it for conservation is admirable. I didn't even know this existed until yesterday.

Follow the money and you will learn...

Dave

Re: Ted Turner Reserves - Big Happenings in New Mexico

Bennett Jones
 

Dave,
An opportunity in what way?

Bennett

On Monday, June 15, 2020, 06:35:29 PM CDT, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper@...> wrote:


Take a look at this:

https://tedturnerreserves.com/

An opportunity for us, somehow??

Re: Mirador Astronomy Village Living Accommodations #poll

Bennett Jones
 

Dave,
Another point of consideration - If Mirador follows the LC Model, there is no reason to have "guest" Bed Rooms, as extra are available on site for rental as needed. The same would hold for someone who plans to expand their family size at some point in the future, you may wait and add additional adjoining Bed Rooms only when and as needed. And remember, any resident may rent a private office in the Administration Building or a private room in the Shop Building. There could be less than completely private versions of Office and Hobby Room that could be available at reduced cost. These could also be available for short term use, on an as needed basis (great for projects of limited duration). Presumably some residents would at times travel away from Mirador. Think about not having to pay rent on guest Bed Rooms, Office, Hobby Room, extra Bath Rooms, etc. while you are off on a four week trip (and having the option to rent out your own Bed Room if you are going to be away - things happen).

Bennett

On Monday, June 15, 2020, 06:12:14 PM CDT, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper@...> wrote:


One clarification about # of bedrooms in the poll. A bedroom would be any room that could be used as a bedroom, or for some other purpose such as an office or hobby room. The size of some or all of the bedrooms may be smaller in the Mirador cohousing community than in a "typical" largish single family home. Not necessarily so, but they could be.

Dave

Ted Turner Reserves - Big Happenings in New Mexico

David Oesper
 

Take a look at this:

https://tedturnerreserves.com/

An opportunity for us, somehow??

Re: Mirador Astronomy Village Living Accommodations #poll

David Oesper
 

One clarification about # of bedrooms in the poll. A bedroom would be any room that could be used as a bedroom, or for some other purpose such as an office or hobby room. The size of some or all of the bedrooms may be smaller in the Mirador cohousing community than in a "typical" largish single family home. Not necessarily so, but they could be.

Dave