Solar Energy and Livestock




Solar energy, crops, and cattle work together at the University of Massachusetts Crop Research and Education Center. A research trial launched in 2010 suggests that generating solar energy can occur hand in hand with grazing livestock or growing vegetable crops.

“The purpose of our work has been to see if we could generate solar energy while keeping the land in agricultural production,” says University of Massachusetts (UM) agronomist Stephen Herbert. The research results show that agri-voltaics – or dual-use farming – can indeed work. The key is the design of the solar array.

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Federal Government Problems and Solutions

Our National Government is not working well.  Our country has become very polarized, with both sides constantly demeaning each other.


    "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" Abraham Lincoln

    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."Benjamin Franklin

    "United we stand, divided we fall" Aesop

This division is due in part to the proliferation of TV channels where the stations align themselves with one faction. Their commentators incessantly villify the opposition. This drives up their ratings and profits. It is an unpatriotic thing to do and destroys our country from within.

This is also due in part to modern social media, where everyone can express an opinion and a great deal of intemperate and untrue allegations are made.  Stoke the fires wherever possible.

Our enemies love this, and help stoke the fires with more disinformation.  You can see their comments on blogs, where they scream at both sides, increasing the contempt for the "other". 

What To Do About It?

We as citizens must become more intelligent.  Make sure you don't just view sites you agree with.  Get some fair and balanced information for yourself by forcing yourself to read some of your news and opinion from networks you do not agree with.  And don't always discuss politics only with your own "choir". Talk to the other side with an open mind. And develop some tolerance for our government leaders. It is not an easy task.


The President and Vice President should be limited to one term only.  This should help to limit the vitriol against serving officials.  At present the opposition party does everything to demean the serving administration to damage them for the next election. 

In our new setup both the President and Vice President become officially non partisan on election - not Democrats or Republicans, once they are elected.  No more flying around on Air Force One campaigning - they are our civil servants and work for us - not their party or political friends. No more screeching at the other political party - they are leading our country and should focus on uniting our country.

The Vice President cannon run again for either office.  If a sitting Vice President could run for President than the vitriolic attacks will continue.  The Vice Presidency will become a job for older seasoned leaders who will understand that they will serve one term and can never again run for President or Vice President.


Most of the people who vote in our primaries are strong partisans.  So the right nominates far right candidates and the left nominates far left candidates. And they punish those elected officials who work well with the opposition. So we have created a Congress that does not compromise or work well together.

Open primaries help this situation.  Anyone can vote in any primary without party registration.  This helps weed out the specially angry and divisive candidates who won't compromise.


The networks should be made to see that hiring "red meat" screamers is damaging the country.  How to reduce that?  Schedule more shows where you have a commentators from both sides.  The Beltway Boys, Hannity and Combes, and the Firing Line were good examples. In those cases we saw people who had major disagreements but who could intelligently discuss their positions without screaming.

It would be interesting and a service to our country if competing networks would schedule discussion debates among their chief commentators.  Say Hannity from Fox and Rachel Maddow from MSNBC. Air it on both networks. I think this might be good for ratings and good for the country.


I cannot tell you how many idiotic social media postings people send me.  They are usual written by multiple people with no sources alledging outrageous charges without proof or references.

People need to be trained to disbelieve most of what they read on social media.   

Circular Firing Squad


A circular firing squad is a reference to an organization standing in a circle and shooting.  Everyone gets shot. This is not a good idea. It usually refers not to actual shooting but rather the gibes and insults routinely made by people of different political persuasions.

That is precisely what the United States is doing now.  This has always happened but it particularly bad now.

Some of it can be humorous. But much of it is angry and cruel and lies and divides our nation.

Our enemies of course love this.  Some of them aid and abet it with sophisticated campaigns to spread disinformation.

Social media adds substantial to the level of vitriol. People post outlandish things and many people believe these things and forward them to their friends.

Another term similar to the circular firing squad is the old fashioned pissing contest. Everyone gets pissed on.  Best to be avoided.



Why America Is So Angry About Our Politics

 United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Our country is very divided now. The right is angry with the left and the right is angry with the left.

I am disgusted by all of them.  Why are we so angry?

We listen to our own media - back in the day there were only a few national TV networks and we all listened to the same political pundits. They tried hard to be fair and consider both sides of the question.

Now we choose our media - on the internet, cable, radio, etc. People listen to their favorite pundits who spend all their time yelling about the other side.  The more they scream about how bad the other side is the happier their base is and the more money they collect.

And social media is terrible. I get emails all the time from people copying and pasting and forwarding the last outrage from the other side.

And our enemies love this.  Watching our country hate each other.  The Russians and Iranians are overjoyed.  Russia spends a lot of effort stoking the anger - many of the hateful screeds you get on social media were created by them.

Is there any fix?  Yes.  Intelligent people should listen carefully to the arguments made by both sides.  If you only listen to arguments from one side you are not very bright.

Is there any chance this will work?  Not likely.

America has become Archie Bunker, without his charm and humor.


Election 2020 - 2016

In the 2016 election there was no incumbent. Donald Trump won. Hillary Clinton was not popular and the total vote was fairly low.

The 2020 election featured Donald Trump as the incumbent. The election was a referendum on his performance in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic and resulting economic turmoil.

The turnout was much higher in 2020 than in 2016. The "Blue Wall" States that flipped back to the Democrats were Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Two sunbelt states that are traditionally Republican, Georgia and Arizona, also went Democrat.

The election was not a repudiation of Republicans since the Republicans picked up seats in the House, although they narrowly lost control of the Senate. It was a referendum on Donald Trump.

"The 2020 elections marked the highest voter turnout in US history, with Biden capturing more than any candidate has ever recorded.

While just four years apart, the voting demographics differed in many ways between 2016 and 2020. Biden hoped to improve upon Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's performance in every way, and exit polls reveal he captured more young voters, more moderates, and more suburban voters, among other voting blocs."



Dear friends,

I have done mostly pro-bono work over the last 5 years.  Now that the end of the pandemic is in sight, I mean, within a year, I want to do more planning work.

Please note I am available for consulting work or for roles on teams working on larger scale projects. I can help in writing and managing work programs and in the development and evaluation of alternatives.  If you want to bolster your team with experience I would love an opportunity to contribute.  Areas of special expertise:

  • Development and evaluation of conceptual alternatives for land use and transportation projects;

  • Public involvement;

  • Historic preservation; 

  • Teaching and workshops for staff, clients and public bodies; and,

  • Municipal planning, zoning and development.

I have over 55 years of experience which includes:

  • 7 years full time and 3 years part time teaching at the university level in planning and design;

  • 13 years with an international planning and engineering firm where I was a vice president in charge of the community and environmental planning department, directing projects in 25 states and 4 foreign countries;

  • Founder of an interdisciplinary consulting firm working with more than 70 units of local government in Illinois and preparing site plans, ordinances, comprehensive plans and conducting plan review services;

  • Consulting Village Planner for several fast-growing cities and acting director of planning for 5 communities; 

  • Member, board of directors of 5 not-for-profit corporations, chairman of the board for two; 

  • Author of the book “Planning Connections – Human, Natural and Man Made” and a free e-book “Readings in Urban Planning and Design” with 60 papers (52 published) and over 250 illustrations;

  • Demonstrated commitment to historic preservation including: Chairman of the first preservation committee in the Pullman community in Chicago, now a National Historic Landmark District; 9 years of service on the National Historic Resource Committee of the American Institute of Architects(AIA); project manager for the first State of Illinois Plan for Historic Preservation; and, Chairman of the AIA Illinois Historic Resource Committee;  and,

  • Expert witness on 73 cases of land use, transportation, zoning and planning litigation.

Please contact me so we can discuss possible involvement in a proposal or project. 

Sincerely, Pete Pointner  FAICP, ALA, ITE 630-222-2424 or

Small New Rental Homes, One and Two Bedrooms, Single and Duplex Units


I dictated the text below to my Pixel 3 phone using the Recorder App which instantly transcribes the conversation. The transcription is not perfect but close enough. The text below is unedited.

So this is an interesting development in Lakewood Ranch Florida. Their rentals their duplexes and single-family rentals and their small units have built it pretty high density. They don't have parking right in front of the units, so there's a common parking lot and then you walk back into the unit. 

It gives you it gives you the convenience of an apartment but also it's all one story single family no steps. So it's an interesting competition to your standard development. I don't know how successfully it'll be I'm recording this document on my Google Pixel. 3 using the recorder app and transcribes it into text. 

It doesn't do it perfectly but it's close enough for Governor work.

Thank you.

More info about the development:

High Rise Stadium

  Chicago proposes a major redevelopment of Soldier's Field in an effort to keep the Chicago Bears in the City of Chicago. The Bears pla...