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Need for bigger timber leads piling shortage on Texas coast

Need for bigger timber leads piling shortage on Texas coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Need for bigger timber leads to scarcer pilings on the Texas coast.

A severe shortage of timber pilings, crucial for construction on the coast, is complicating life for home builders.

Michael Stuarts insight:

New construction is booming in Port Aransas, and starting to pick up on Corpus Christi's North Padre Island area with the new Schlitterbahn Water park getting ready to open in 2015.

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Homeowners along Texas coast want the rest of us to help defend their risky choices

Homeowners along Texas coast want the rest of us to help defend their risky choices | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Coastal home and business owners want more subsidies for the cost of insuring their property.
Michael Stuarts insight:
Texas’ 367 miles of coastline exposes the state to all of the dangers the Gulf of Mexico can muster. Every two to five years, the warm water produces a storm capable of literally blowing the roofs off our economy. The problem for policymakers and the public is how to insure against those predictable disasters. Whether due to location or condition, a market-based premium to insure some coastal properties would exceed what anyone can pay. To provide affordable wind and hail coverage for those properties, the Texas Legislature formed the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. TWIA, pronounced TWEE-ah, is also obligated to collect premiums from the property owners who depend on it, as well as issue bonds to ensure it can pay claims. But Hurricane Harvey and other storms have drained TWIA’s reserves and used up all the bond money, creating a financial crisis. Owners of high-risk properties have only made matters worse. They have fought every attempt by TWIA’s board to raise premiums to an appropriate level. According to 2019 forecasts reviewed by independent actuaries, TWIA’s residential premiums are 40 percent below what is necessary to maintain solvency, while commercial rates are 50 percent inadequate. Inadequate premiums have been a persistent problem. TWIA’s board tried to implement a 10 percent increase for 2018 but demurred when Gov. Greg Abbott asked for a postponement until the 2019 legislative session. Since Abbott and the Legislature did nothing to improve TWIA’s balance sheet, a hike is still necessary. But owners of high-risk properties flooded a public meeting on Oct. 17, submitted hundreds of angry letters, and decried what they see as cruelty in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. One refrain has been “one state, one rate,” which challenges a fundamental principle of insurance, which is that premiums should be based on risk. A homeowner in Schulenberg should not pay the same rate as someone living in Galveston. TWIA is broke and failing to collect adequate premiums even though the law requires it to balance the books. The TWIA board meets on Dec. 10 to consider a 5 percent premium hike, and local politicians are threatening a fight. Eighteen mostly coastal lawmakers signed a bipartisan letter to the purportedly independent TWIA board demanding a premium freeze. “We also expect that the TWIA Board and Committees show respect and attention to Texas legislators’ requests,” the letters concluded. The pressure is on, but no inland lawmaker has come to the board’s defense.
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Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico Could “Bleach” from Climate Change –

Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico Could “Bleach” from Climate Change – | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Unless rapid warming is halted, the teeming reefs of the Gulf will likely be decimated.
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Planning to Work Longer? Here’s a Reality Check and a Strategy for Success

Planning to Work Longer? Here’s a Reality Check and a Strategy for Success | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Save as if you’ll be laid off, but engage in work like your younger self did...
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President Trump Declares War On Drug Cartels After Mormon Family Massacre

President Trump Declares War On Drug Cartels After Mormon Family Massacre | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Mexican president pushes back, encourages 'hugs not bullets' policy for murderous cartels...
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These Are the Best Cities for Veterans to Live, Buy a Home

These Are the Best Cities for Veterans to Live, Buy a Home | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The results from two separate surveys are in.
Michael Stuarts insight:
The two Best Cities for Veterans to Live or Buy a home are San Antonio, Texas and Tampa, Florida. The top 10 cities for veteran home buying are: San Antonio, Texas Raleigh, North Carolina Virginia Beach, Virginia Columbus, Ohio Orlando, Florida Richmond, Virginia Providence, Rhode Island Salt Lake City, Utah Kansas City, Missouri Cleveland, Ohio At the bottom of the list of 50 cities were Miami, San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles. In a release, House Method said the big cities at the bottom ranked poorly for cost of living and other factors. WalletHub's best and worst places for veterans to live survey listed the following top 10 cities: Tampa Austin, Texas Orlando, Florida Raleigh, North Carolina Scottsdale, Arizona Colorado Springs, Colorado Virginia Beach, Virginia Gilbert, Arizona St. Petersburg, Florida Jacksonville, Florida The bottom five places on the list of 100 were Indianapolis, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Jersey City, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey; and Detroit.
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Feds: Royalty exemption for new shallow-water Gulf wells

Feds: Royalty exemption for new shallow-water Gulf wells | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The federal agencies that make and enforce offshore oil and gas leases say they’ll encourage new wells in shallow Gulf of Mexico waters by allowing some...
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How to Find the Cheapest Flight Possible, Every Time

How to Find the Cheapest Flight Possible, Every Time | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The best route to a cheap flight can be treacherous. Here’s a tried-and-true method for finding a great deal.
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Mapping a Restless River at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Mapping a Restless River at the U.S.-Mexico Border | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.
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Prevent Mosquito Bites | CDC

Prevent Mosquito Bites | CDC | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Are you planning to travel to the Texas coast? Avoid mosquito bites!

 

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes when at home and during travel is to prevent mosquito bites.

 

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death. 

  • Insect Repellant: When used as directed, insect repellents are the BEST way to protect yourself and family members from getting sick from mosquito bites.
  • Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning, or window and door screens. 


For more information, see the Mosquito Bite Prevention fact sheet. mosquito_bite_prevention_us.pdf

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What Should Rick Perry Do Next?

What Should Rick Perry Do Next? | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The former governor turned energy secretary is about to have a lot of time on his hands.
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As Ocean Temperatures Warm, The Cost Of Rebuilding The Coastal Economy Will Rise

As Ocean Temperatures Warm, The Cost Of Rebuilding The Coastal Economy Will Rise | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
 In “The Geography Of Risk,” Gilbert Gaul warns of the environmental and economic dangers of building on the coast....
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'Geography of Risk' Calculates Who Pays When A Storm Comes To Shore | Texas Public Radio

TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest, journalist Gilbert Gaul, says Americans have chosen to build $3 trillion worth of wrecked coastal resorts.
Michael Stuarts insight:
Metro areas within 3 hours drive ( primary users of the shoreline and second home owners) should support a high percentage of the costs, but not everyone and certainly not just local coastal residents [caretakers] who lose “lots” more than insured property losses from major storms.
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How BP Oil Spill Fines Could Help Protect the Texas Coast

How BP Oil Spill Fines Could Help Protect the Texas Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Other states were harder hit by the spill, but Texas is still receiving millions of dollars that can be used for vital restoration and conservation efforts.
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Corpus Christi City Council backs $41M North Beach canal project

The city of Corpus Christi is moving forward with a plan to build a navigable canal for North Beach.  City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to pass an ordinance that authorizes the city to pursue building and paying for a navigable canal in the flood-prone neighborhood.


Via TRA
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Changes in high-altitude winds over the South Pacific produce long-term effects: New findings from the field of Earth history are improving our grasp of climate mechanisms

Changes in high-altitude winds over the South Pacific produce long-term effects: New findings from the field of Earth history are improving our grasp of climate mechanisms | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
In the past million years, the high-altitude winds of the southern westerly wind belt, which spans nearly half the globe, didn't behave as uniformly over the Southern Pacific as previously assumed. Instead, they varied cyclically over periods of ca.
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Climate Said To Imperil 60% Of Superfund Sites, Including In Houston –

Climate Said To Imperil 60% Of Superfund Sites, Including In Houston – | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
An Associated Press exclusive shows a majority of U.S. Superfund sites are in areas vulnerable to flooding or other worsening disasters of climate change.
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Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change: Relationship between jet stream, atmospheric blocking events

Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change: Relationship between jet stream, atmospheric blocking events | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure systems that can cause heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather, according to a new study.
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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approves Permits For New Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals In The Rio Grande Valley

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approves Permits For New Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals In The Rio Grande Valley | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Local groups, including the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe and shrimpers, are concerned the terminals could be detrimental to the environment....
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Misleading Real Estate Property Images; Companies Can be Fined Up To $ 1.1 Million

Misleading Real Estate Property Images; Companies Can be Fined Up To $ 1.1 Million | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Property photographers and property photo studios try their level best to photograph real estate properties on a beautiful sunny day. Property listing sites have a motto to upload property images with a golden sunset; on their marketing sites. Professional image editors are equipped with multiple sky profiles, replacing the background whenever weather plays foul in flattering a property.

Michael Stuarts insight:
In today’s information overload, overbearing marketing, intrusive privacy, fake news, and outright fraud that’s come along with the many benefits of our connected-always-online world, one must learn how to trust 2.0

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Corpus Christi Texas is the beach town you can retire on $40,000 a year

Corpus Christi Texas is the beach town you can retire on $40,000 a year | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Corpus Christi, Texas

If the idea of a tiny island town freaks you — where will you shop, and what if you get sick of the restaurants? — but you still want a beach life, Corpus Christi is worth a look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Gulf Coast city offers something for 5- and 50-year-olds alike, “thanks to a lively downtown anchored by a slew of skyscrapers and busy shoreline lined with condos and seafood restaurants,” Travel + Leisure notes. “There’s also a beach for every personality, from sports enthusiasts to nature lovers.”

You won’t be bored in Corpus. The Texas State Aquarium boasts 360 species of underwater life; there are a handful of museums, including the well-regarded Art Museum of South Texas; and pretty much any kind of restaurant you could want, from fresh seafood to Mexican to Thai, French and Italian.

There are also lots of options for beach going, including the 18-mile Mustang Island, as well as the Padre Island National Seashore, which is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world, boasting 70 miles of coastline, a nesting ground for sea turtles and more than 380 bird species.

Plus, average home values are around $150,000, the cost of living is one of the lowest in the USA and Texas doesn’t charge an income tax.

  • By the numbers:
  • Population: 323,000
  • Average home value: $147,000
  • Cost-of-living index (100 is average): 90.1

 

Sources: Sperling’s Best Places

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SpaceX seeks permission to launch 30,000 more satellites

SpaceX seeks permission to launch 30,000 more satellites | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The increased number of satellites could help SpaceX target more markets. From South Padre Island, it must be safe?

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Army Corps propose sand dunes to protect Texas coast

Army Corps propose sand dunes to protect Texas coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Nearly a decade before the “Ike Dike” became accepted jargon for coastal residents of southeast Texas, there were geotubes.

 

  • Installed on the beaches of Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula in 2001, geotubes — nicknamed “sand socks” — were sediment-filled oval sleeves made of a special fabric, anchored to an apron placed in a trench along the dune line. Their intent was to provide an artificial dune structure to guard coastal residents from floodwaters.
  • The installation cost $5.4 million, a relative pittance for a flood mitigation measure.
  • The geotubes were damaged by various storms, and Hurricane Ike delivered the death blow in 2008. The Category 2 hurricane brought 100 mph winds and a 17-foot storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico, leveling the dune lines on Bolivar and Galveston.

 

Ike showed, said Rice University professor emeritus John Anderson, that “one storm could defeat all our progress.”

Having learned this lesson the hard way, the Army Corps of Engineers has proposed 14-foot-high natural sand dunes in the latest version of its up-to-$32 billion plan for protecting the Houston-Galveston region from storm surge. The plan calls for dunes and flood gates running from High Island to San Luis Pass, as well as ecosystem restoration farther south.

The dunes are seen as the latest innovation designed for Texas to engineer its way out of an existential crisis: a coastline gradually vanishing and increasingly vulnerable to massive storm surges and sea level rise.

The Corps believes the natural dunes will endure longer than the geotubes, which were a costly failure.

The shift to natural sand dunes has been largely embraced by experts as the most practical and politically expedient next step for storm surge mitigation, even with the project’s hefty price tag.

 

  • But questions have been raised about their cost, as well as how much protection they can provide to coastal communities in the event of a powerful tropical storm.

  • While bolstering the coast’s natural barriers would be less disruptive to coastal property owners, dunes present challenges of their own. The Corps acknowledges they will not protect coastal residents from every storm and will not be as strong as a levee. 

  • The idea is to replenish the existing beaches on Bolivar and Galveston with more sand, extending the shoreline further seaward, while building up the dune line high enough to provide a bulwark against an Ike-level surge or worse.

 

Building a dune system of that magnitude will require a colossal dredging operation that would dwarf the Corps’ maintenance dredging today.

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Coastal News Today | New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding

Coastal News Today | New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Sea level rise this century could flood coastal areas that are now home to 340 million to 480 million people, researchers from Climate Central, a research and advocacy group, report. That’s roughly triple the number of people estimated to be at risk using previous coastal elevation data.
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Cannabis Influencers Plan Coast-to-Coast Community Cleanups •

Cannabis Influencers Plan Coast-to-Coast Community Cleanups • | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
A pair of cannabis influencers are using their considerable platforms to encourage fellow weed-lovers to help their communities.
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Elon Musk Has Big Dreams for SpaceX's Starship

Elon Musk Has Big Dreams for SpaceX's Starship | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Elon Musk has laid out an ambitious future for his spaceship project, the effort to deliver people to the moon and Mars.
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