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BEST PLACES TO LIVE 2006 (CNNMONEY WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU AGREE-VOTE)
CNNMONEY.COM ^ | 8.26.06 | MONEYSTAFF

Posted on 08/26/2006 9:29:55 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay

CNNMONEY.COM

And the winners are...
Americans are flocking to places that offer big-city opportunities and amenities -- with a lot more green space and a lot less stress. See the top 10 Great American Towns.

1. Fort Collins, CO
2. Naperville, IL
3. Sugar Land, TX
4. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
5. Cary, NC 10. Eden Prairie, MN
6. Overland Park, KS
7. Scottsdale, AZ
8. Boise, ID
9. Fairfield, CT
10. Eden Prairie, MN

What do you think is the best place to live?

Fort Collins, CO
Naperville, IL
Sugar Land, TX
Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
My hometown
None of these

Quick Vote:

[CNNMONEY MUST BE EXCERPTED]

(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cnnmoneybestplaces
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Information on state income taxes, sales and fuel taxes, taxes on retirement income, property taxes and inheritance and estate taxes, sales and fuel taxes. It is intended to give you some insight into which states may offer a lower cost of living.

Example, related to city/state above:

COLORADO State Sales Tax: 2.9% (food and prescription drugs exempt); many cities and counties have their own rates which are added to the state rate. Total could be as high as 9.9%. Gasoline Tax: 22 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 20.5 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 22 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: 84 cents/pack of 20

ILLINOIS State Sales Tax: 6.25% (1% on qualifying food, prescription & non-prescription drugs, medical appliances). Local government taxes can raise the total to a high of 8.5%. Gasoline Tax: * 36.2 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 36.6 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 36.2 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: 98 cents/pack of 20

TEXAS State Sales Tax: 6.25% (food, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt); local option taxes can raise the rate to 8.25%. Gasoline Tax: 20 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 20 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 20 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: 41 cents/pack of 20 No state personal income tax Retirement Income: Not taxed.

MARYLAND State Sales Tax: 5.0% (food, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt) Gasoline Tax: 23.5 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 24.3 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 23.5 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: $1.00/pack of 20

MINNESOTA State Sales Tax: 6.5% (food, clothing, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt); Liquor and beer taxed at 9%. A few cities and counties also add a sales tax which can be as high as 1.0%. Gasoline Tax: 22 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 22 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 22 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: $1.23/pack of 20

KANSAS State Sales Tax: 5.3% (prescription drugs exempt); Cities and counties may add another 3%. Gasoline Tax: 25 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 27 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 25 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: 79 cents/pack of 20

ARIZONA State Sales Tax: 5.6% (food and prescription drugs exempt). All counties and some cities levy a sales tax that could bring the combined tax rate to 10.7%. Gasoline Tax: 19 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 19 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 19 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: $1.18/pack of 20 Water Use Tax: 65 cents per 1,000 gallons of water used.

IDAHO State Sales Tax: 5% (prescription drugs exempt); Some jurisdictions impose a local option sales tax which could add an additional 3%. Gasoline Tax: 25 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 25 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 22.5 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: 57 cents/pack of 20

CONNECTICUT State Sales Tax: 6% (food, prescription & non-prescription drugs exempt); cigarette tax is $1.51 (package of 20) and $1.89 (package of 25). No additional sales tax is imposed by local jurisdictions. Gasoline Tax: 35.5 cents/gallon Diesel Fuel Tax: 36.5 cents/gallon Gasohol Tax: 34.5 cents/gallon Cigarette Tax: $1.51/pack of 20.

Taxes by State

States Ranked by Total State Taxes and Per Capita Amount: 2005

Public School Ranking

The 100 Best High Schools in America

1 posted on 08/26/2006 9:29:56 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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1. What do you think is the best place to live?
Fort Collins, CO 16%
Naperville, IL 10%
Sugar Land, TX 11%
Columbia/Ellicott City, MD 8%
My hometown 31%
None of these 24%

total responses to this question: 11324


2 posted on 08/26/2006 9:33:04 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

The only time I was in Ft. Collins, CO was Rush's DAN'S BAKE SALE back in 1992. It seemed like a really nice place to live back then.


3 posted on 08/26/2006 9:34:54 AM PDT by Hildy (Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Lots of McMansion 4-lane communities on this list.

Naperville, for instance, is my idea of hell ... gaudy houses for people who work 60 hour weeks and commute an hour and a half to Chicago every day...no yards, can't go to the grocery store without waiting in traffic.


4 posted on 08/26/2006 9:35:41 AM PDT by dinoparty
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To: fight_truth_decay

Just don't come to WV. Awful place to live. You wouldn't like it.


5 posted on 08/26/2006 9:38:14 AM PDT by WVNan
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To: fight_truth_decay
I've always considered Ellicott City and Columbia distinct places.Ellicott City is more of a picturesque boutique town while Columbia is littered with numerous slapped up developments from when they relaxed the permit/inspection process to increase the tax base years ago.
6 posted on 08/26/2006 9:41:33 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: dinoparty
We lived not too far from Eden Prairie and found the s. Mpls suburbs nice but expensive. State income tax was 8 1/2 percent...
When the sun sets in the late afternoon, you'd better be behind some screens or the gnats, bugs and mosquitoes will carry you away.
7 posted on 08/26/2006 9:42:45 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Columbia, MD, used to be a great place to live, if you don't mind hot & humid summers. The cost of living is going up fast, though. Traffic on arterials is getting very heavy during commute times, as more and more people buy new houses in outlying areas.


8 posted on 08/26/2006 9:45:18 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: dinoparty
commute an hour and a half to Chicago every day

Distance not the problem, just getting out of Naperville and backups..at least the option of the train. Big homes, small lots, and yes CONGESTION..
Homes in the Midwest do not, for the most part, reek a good profit in a short time upon selling like the Coasts. Could take up to 15 years to make the profit compared to a few years on both coasts.

New starts in housing make plenty for the demand..hurt resale. However, there's always the little Naperville, Downers Grove, Oakbrook etc "teardown" replaced by a MegaHome.

9 posted on 08/26/2006 9:47:43 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

Utah is off the list finally. Good. It's a terrible place. Don't flock here. Don't visit. Just go away.


10 posted on 08/26/2006 9:48:43 AM PDT by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Glad to see New Mexico did not make this list. Terrible place to live. Everthing living here has sharp spines, teeth, thorns, or is poisonous. If this does not deter you from coming here, we have a Democrat for governor. He has a pointed head.


11 posted on 08/26/2006 9:49:10 AM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: Hildy

I went through there on the way to Denver last year. It's grown drastically since the mid-90s.

The people who make up this list are from huge cities and so see medium size cities like Boise and Ft Collins as "small". It all depends on what you're used to. There are people who think that going to Jackson Hole, Wy or Park City, Ut is "roughing it".

Myself, I'd prefer Laramie.. or Sheridan.


12 posted on 08/26/2006 9:52:56 AM PDT by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: WVNan
"Just don't come to WV. Awful place to live. You wouldn't like it."

LOL

I hear ya!

13 posted on 08/26/2006 9:53:21 AM PDT by Earthdweller
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To: fight_truth_decay

I live in Ellicott City, MD and trust me--it is NOT one of the best places to live. It's infested with liberals and rude rich people. Figures CNN picked it.


14 posted on 08/26/2006 9:58:15 AM PDT by G8 Diplomat
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To: fight_truth_decay
Notice...Notice...Notice...Arizona is CLOSED!
15 posted on 08/26/2006 10:02:42 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: fight_truth_decay
I live in Fairfield, and have a brother-in-law in Fort Collins. Both nice places, but in the top ten? Hard to believe. Fairfield is nice, but it borders the not-so-great occasionally corrupt city of Bridgeport. Plus, my fellow residents tend to vote the wrong way...
16 posted on 08/26/2006 10:22:39 AM PDT by randyclark
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To: WVNan
"Just don't come to WV. Awful place to live. You wouldn't like it."

and, when you get finished not going to WV, don't come to Alaska. We just had two solid weeks of rain. Ugly, awful place full of grouchy sourdoughs and mean sled dogs, icky old mountains and yuccky fish and game. Awful place, just awful...

17 posted on 08/26/2006 10:23:19 AM PDT by redhead (Wasilla, AK: Proud to be Valley Trash)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Sugarland TX !?! As a former Houstonian I am LMAO.


18 posted on 08/26/2006 10:27:27 AM PDT by Maynerd (New Middle East policy - less troops more nukes)
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To: fight_truth_decay

I lived in Fort Collins for two years ending this May. Gorgeous place, friendly people - the perfect college town, for me. Would have been happy to settle there for a long time.


19 posted on 08/26/2006 10:27:54 AM PDT by JenB
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To: fight_truth_decay
Can anyone tell me about the availability of GOOD Mexican food in Fort Collins? I've considered moving there, should San Diego take over the Miramar Air Base.
20 posted on 08/26/2006 10:49:33 AM PDT by Pukin Dog
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To: dinoparty

OMG, I was going to say I hated Naperville too. Not for the reason you cited, but that whole part of Illinois is so flat and boring. You are right about the McMansions.


21 posted on 08/26/2006 10:50:50 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: dinoparty

my thirty-something nephew and his wife, who were both raised in Naperville, sold their house there and moved a bit farther out, and couldn't be happier ... it's not at all the nice town they grew up in.


22 posted on 08/26/2006 10:55:07 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: Don Corleone

Yes, but I wish you were referring to our borders!


23 posted on 08/26/2006 10:56:41 AM PDT by beethoven
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To: fight_truth_decay
Baltimore Md. has 350 homicides a year on average and rising . Corrupt police , corrupt city council , corrupt city states attorney office , corrupt school system , with a 70% drop out rate . I can't believe Baltimore didn't even make the short list , and the mayor is running for Governor so he can do the same for the state . PLEASE SEND THE NATIONAL GUARD ASAP . . .
24 posted on 08/26/2006 10:58:57 AM PDT by lionheart 247365 (( I.S.L.A.M. stands for - Islams Spiritual Leaders Advocate Murder .. .. .. ))
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To: jimtorr

Like Baltimore City , Columbia is fudging the crime figures each year to look nice but it's mean also . . .


25 posted on 08/26/2006 11:02:56 AM PDT by lionheart 247365 (( I.S.L.A.M. stands for - Islams Spiritual Leaders Advocate Murder .. .. .. ))
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To: Muleteam1

LOL.....the only good thing about New Mexico is that it isn't NJ......is that what you're saying.........LOLOL


26 posted on 08/26/2006 11:11:22 AM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: WVNan
Just don't come to WV. Awful place to live. You wouldn't like it.

Really? I think WV is a beautiful state ... there, I've blown your cover WVNan, we're all packing up and headed for WV. You can't fool us ... ;)

27 posted on 08/26/2006 11:13:43 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: WVNan
Just don't come to WV. Awful place to live. You wouldn't like it.

*snicker* Yeah, we're fixing to move to Gulfport MS. One third of the town isn't even THERE anymore. There won't be a lot of other people moving in anytime soon, which is just fine with us! Having been in MA for 18 years has 'cured' us from being around loads of people and traffic!

28 posted on 08/26/2006 11:17:15 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: fight_truth_decay

One of the choices was "None of these." ...no other choices? LOL!


29 posted on 08/26/2006 11:20:30 AM PDT by familyop ("Hooooeeee! Now them's some *&%#$#*!&#^%@ hills!" --business leader from southern Missouri/Arkansas)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Grand Junction, CO should be on the list ... great place to live. Close proximity to skiing, the great outdoors, vineyards in the valley, lots of water (Colorado & Gunnison Rivers), no traffic/congestion issues like the eastern front range of Colorado. Excellent regional airport, good hospitals, etc..
30 posted on 08/26/2006 11:20:50 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Pukin Dog

OMG - I want to move to Florida but a good friend lived there and suffered major, chronic withdrawals from lengua taco's, carne asada, burrito's, etc. It didn't help that he'd frequently call me while I was enjoying a few freshly-made tamales with my friend's homemade salsa.

I'd like CNN to make me a custom list - it would have to include a place with local Mexican food readily available. It would also be right next to the ocean in a town where the Subaru Outback's were free from Kerry/Edwards/Wage Peace/The-Only-Bush-I-Trust bumper stickers, and I wouldn't have to join the police force to get a concealed-carry. Plus, I'd never be juiced for another "$0.63 for a bus ticket" or have my home broken into, in this amazing town where it never snows.

/daydream


31 posted on 08/26/2006 11:29:15 AM PDT by MonicaG (Praying for our troops, leadership, Israel & IDF. Thanks to our veterans & their families.)
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To: Seruzawa
The people who make up this list are from huge cities and so see medium size cities like Boise and Ft Collins as "small". It all depends on what you're used to. There are people who think that going to Jackson Hole, Wy or Park City, Ut is "roughing it".

Lol! You just about summed it up. I like "roughing it" myself. I couldn't live in a town with a population over 7,000. By the way, thanks for your service to our country, I know you didn't hear it back then.

32 posted on 08/26/2006 11:29:41 AM PDT by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
if taxes are the only figures to consider or the view from your kitchen window then some of these cities make sense, but I like the NBA, MLB, NFL and a good museum, a symphony and some fine food at night. Most of these towns are a long ways to major league sports and other things that make life interesting.
33 posted on 08/26/2006 12:04:13 PM PDT by q_an_a
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To: OldFriend
When I came to New Mexico in 1968 it was virtually undiscovered. The big joke back then was that tourist magazines had to inform their readers that visitors to the State did not need passports. A career caused me to leave the State for many years and, by the time I returned in the 1990s, New Mexico had been fully discovered, explored, and was getting as "civilized" as all other American areas under the influence of urbania.

I will only add that along with plentiful amounts of cancer-causing sun, we also have volcanoes, lava flows, and aliens (the extraterrestrial type). We're pretty sure our governor came from the planet Remulak as he keeps reminding us that he is only part Anglo.

34 posted on 08/26/2006 12:16:09 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: SuziQ
>>Yeah, we're fixing to move to Gulfport MS.<<

LOL! I'm betting you are originally from the South?

I haven't been in Gulfport in many years but when I lived in New Orleans, it was one of my favorite "get-a-way places.

BTW. I have not lived in deep east Texas in forty years but people still say that can hear my east Texas accent very clearly. I have ancestral families in Mississippi.

35 posted on 08/26/2006 12:24:51 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: Muleteam1
LOL! I'm betting you are originally from the South?

Sure am! SirKit and I were born and raised in MS, but left in 1976, the year after we got married. Have lived in various places since, the last 27 being north of the Mason Dixon Line. I can guaran-damn-tee you that when we cross that line on our move, we'll be a whoopin and hollerin; me in the min-van, and SirKit in his pick-em-up truck! There is a sign on I-81 marking the line, and we used to give a cheer at it every time we went down South for vacation. The kids got a big kick out of it!

36 posted on 08/26/2006 12:38:25 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Muleteam1

Forewarned is ... *giggle, giggle* ... forearmed.


37 posted on 08/26/2006 12:40:11 PM PDT by La Enchiladita (Make your choice and save your tears....AM YISRAEL CHAI!)
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To: SuziQ

I know what you mean. My family had to live in one of CNN's "Best Places To Live" in Maryland once. Although south of the Mason-Dixon line, I did not enjoy living in the liberal State. My ancestors left Maryland in the 1600s headed for the great American South and I should have learned something from their experience.


38 posted on 08/26/2006 12:53:04 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: Muleteam1
Daughter spent a month in NM on a physics seminar as a college student. She loved it but was amazed at the high cost of living. Wow. Of course, all we remember is that the labs nearly burned down following a so called controlled burn.

I do remember Richardson being asked about Las Vegas NM and he thought the referral was about Las Vegas, Nevada. He had no clue.

39 posted on 08/26/2006 1:02:14 PM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: OldFriend
My primary home is in Albuquerque so I can attest that living costs there have risen considerably in recent years. Housing in most parts of New Mexico have jumped greatly in the past couple of years.

I should ask if the physics seminar was at Los Alamos at LANL? If so, Los Alamos is considered a high-cost of living area by the Federal Office of Personnel Management who tracks these things. Before I knew this, I once interviewed for a job at LANL years ago. I was probably lucky I was able to pin down another position in the State at that time.

I'm a native Texan who already has my burial plot in Texas purchased. However, I love New Mexico, its people, its dry climate, its beautiful scenery and it's extraterrestrials.

40 posted on 08/26/2006 1:31:54 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: fight_truth_decay

I live in Overland Park, #6, but the city directly next door, Prairie Village, is a MUCH better and more conservative city.


41 posted on 08/26/2006 1:53:52 PM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: Muleteam1
She was at Los Alamos. The students had a wonderful time. The classes were interesting, the tours of the surrounding area were also of great interest. She got to hear a Nobel Prize winner at the college too. They got to tour the labs and had great people teaching the classes.

She got her degree in physics, but alas decided against grad school. Said her brain was overflowing!

42 posted on 08/26/2006 2:20:57 PM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Speaking of teardowns, my old family home in Hinsdale was demolished two years ago in spite of being a landmark home in the best neighborhood, brick tudor, six staggered stories, 4 bd/3-1/2 bath, gorgeous brick driveway entering between two tall brick posts with carriage lights, totally fenced with spectacular 6-foot-tall cast iron like they don't make any more. Swimming pool, Terrazo marble floors/pecky cypress walls in rec room, all kinds of special and wonderful features. A classic roaring twenties home most people would kill to own. Some @#$@#$ creep paid a million and tore it down, to be replaced by some gaudy glitzy THING.

I'm still in shock.


43 posted on 08/26/2006 2:31:51 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: OldFriend
Ouch! A degree in physics? I recall taking one class in physics and it was tough. I worked in the field of wildlife biology for many years. As close as I came to physics was perhaps the jumping mouse.

I've not been up to Los Alamos in about two or more years but it is a nice area. When visiting the Pajarito Plateau you can see why the government picked it for security in the 1940s.


44 posted on 08/26/2006 2:48:59 PM PDT by Muleteam1
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To: fight_truth_decay

I refer to Hinsdale, IL as "Tyvek town". There are so many huge homes being built where the old houses were torn down...before the bricks go over the insulation panels, you see the Tyvek labeling.


45 posted on 08/26/2006 2:58:16 PM PDT by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (The "P" in Democrat stands for patriotism.)
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To: Muleteam1
Ouch is right. This kid had a double major in physics and biology but eventually had to give one up as the lab times conflicted. She chose physics and has a minor in math statistics.

Luckily she has her dad's brains.

46 posted on 08/26/2006 3:56:44 PM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: Hildy
My wife's sister and her husband went to Dave's Bake Sale. We haven't heard from them since :)
47 posted on 08/26/2006 4:03:50 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: fight_truth_decay

We lived in #4 Columbia/Ellicott City until 8 months ago and high tailed it out of there for the North Carolina mountains....we love our new place because our county strongly reflects the Anglo-European Judeo-Christian culture of the old America....the one that the ACLU hates....I just got my NC concealed carry permit....try doing that in the Disarmed People's Republic of Maryland....the best thing that happened to us when we lived in Columbia/Ellicott City was the rapid price appreciation we got on our farm....that enabled us to cash out and head for the hills...


48 posted on 08/26/2006 4:22:50 PM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: fight_truth_decay

Ok, how would FReepers rate San Antonio? We might be talking ourselves into bailing from So. Calif., and S.A. is an area of interest. I know Texans probably cringe to see Californians checking out their cities, but would appreciate any general observations.


49 posted on 11/16/2006 1:20:38 PM PST by Mjaye
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To: fight_truth_decay

ROFL. I know some people who just left Boise because it was too conservative and they just couldn't stand it.

Makes me laugh every time I think about it.


50 posted on 11/16/2006 1:22:43 PM PST by pollyannaish
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