Sunday I move from the swamps of South Louisiana to the beaches of Maui to live with my brother. I'll be occupied with trivial things like finding a job, finding a job, and finding a job. As soon as I get access to a computer I'll begin my work again; until then I'll be correcting some transportation issues with my city. I want to thank everyone for your comments and for reading, I should be back within a few weeks. Aloha!
About this City Journal
A journal of Emerald Basin, Alaska's Development, a Senior Thesis by Timothy Simm
Entries in this City Journal
The way I am doing this city journal is a bit unusual, but here it is in a nutshell:
My name is Timothy Simm, a journalism student at the University of Alaska - Anchorage in the year 2547, and I have chosen to chronicle the development of Emerald Basin, a metropolitan development project in Alaska in the year 2014. Technology now allows me to travel back and fast forward through time at will, so that I may view long term changes quickly. As the region progresses, I put in journal entries coupled with a briefing from the applicable department tasked with whatever it is I'm writing about at that time. The current format has me writing journal entries like I am now, but then creating the briefing in a Word document and PrntScn'ing it into Paint and attaching it to the journal entry, so that you can click on it and it will expand. This is the quickest and cleanest way for me to do this, and it frees up the types of pics I want in these reports. However, I'm not sure how its playing with the reading public, so this entry has a poll where you can give me some feedback.........Attached pic of Word Document page, or direct pasting and attaching of pics into the window. Let me know!
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the details we lose sight of the big picture.....I just realized that none of you are playing the game with me, thus none of you can actually see my city, apart from the snippets I've provided. To remedy that, I've taken a snapshot of St. Matthew in its current year, 2066, with a few labels here and there to give you the general idea. A street map will be available once the city is 90% zoned. Until then, enjoy.
Saving my money now for a flight to the north side of Emerald Basin!
Looks like we're getting all the attention! OBD apparantely has big plans for this neighborhood, and they have already spent tens of thousands of Simoleans building up infastructure and social services. My house may double in value in the not so distant future!
May 15th, 2056, South Bank: Welcome to civilization Fisherville! It's not exactly an economic stimulus, but the residents are thrilled that they can bathe without using baby wipes. The usual report follows....
January 20th, 2055, My South Bank Residence, 4:21 P.M.: Looks like I may have actually picked a decent neighborhood to live in while I observe this incredibly beautiful region develop into a major metropolitan area. Back to South Bank, three schools and a city college downtown gives these residents plenty of opportunity to succeed. Fisherville, located to the immediate east of the community of South Bank, remains completely uneducated. With recent water main expansions to the area, Fisherville primarily serves as a tap for the dirty/manufacturing industries directly across Mystic River. No plans for any development there, at least on an education level, are scheduled. Below is the report...
Finally, a physical building where I can go fight my traffic tickets! It's a pretty awesome area of downtown; very lush with flora and well designed. Props to the Ops Department for doing such a great job with the landscaping. It's also nice to have a City Jail and Central Police station....crime was getting a bit out of control there for a bit, but with addition of the Central Police Station and South Bank Precinct, that appears to be under control. The St. Matthew City Museum was also finished recently.....can't wait to go look at art and pretend to know what I'm looking at.....at least the tickets are cheap! As always, below is the official report:
Nothing gets the hair standing up on the back of my neck like quarterly financial reports! Here it is, direct from the brand new census vault located in Government Square! We even have a photo for you in case you get lost flocking there:
3rd Quarter Report for St. Matthew:
An article in the paper caught my eye this morning: the hospital blocks from my house was having a funding shortfall, and possible closure was being looked at! First a major fire, now my hospital is going under.....did I pick the wrong neighborhood? I was able to catch the Director of Health, Kathleen Sibelius, giving her briefing at the hospital this after noon. Click on the pic to see a copy of her drivel!
Timothy Simms here again. I've finally moved into my new place in St. Matthew! If you're not sure who I am, check out the very first journal entry. That should give you a good idea who I am and what my goal is. In a nutshell, I'm a journalism student from the future who has chosen my senior thesis to be covering the development of a major metropolitan area. But you can read all about that in Entry #1. Like I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, I've moved into St. Matthew, a shoebox house located on the South Bank. My housing warming gift was a major explosion and five alarm fire at the power plant. Crazy. Below is the briefing from Director Rourke, click on it to read!
Here is a closeup:
The Department of Transportation has released its Emerald Basin Regional Transportation Network Map, current as of May 20th, 2013:
Date: May 5th, 2031
Briefing: Included is a comprehensive list of current towns, their mayors, and satellite photos. This list will be updated as needed.
Incorporated: June 24th, 2020
Mayor: William Onellion
Mayor: Charles Linden
Satellite Photo: TBD
Mayor: Fred Ashey
Satellite Photo: TBD
Mayor: Cody Powers
Satellite Photo: TBD
Mayor: Brian Cranston
Satellite Photo: TBD
South Mountain Home
Mayor: Craig Brighton
Satellite Photo: TBD
Mayor: Brian Masterson
Satellite Photo: TBD
Date: May 20th, 2031
Summary: The Office of Basin Development has released its first update on the lone population center of Emerald Basin! St. Matthew is in its 17th year as a city, and after some initial economic problems that most cities face in their early stages, its budget has stabilized and now has the funds to expand at will. The format of these updates will be simple: each department will give its analysis on the current state of affairs as it pertains to that department’s responsibility. There will be no set date that reports will be issued on at this time; rather, after a period of sufficient activity, the Office of Basin Development (OBD) will issue an update on the city. Without any further delay, here is the update for St. Matthews!
Department of Economic Development (formerly Department of Finance):
The first 8 years of St. Matthew’s financial picture were bleak; the city had to constantly take out loans to stay afloat, and much of North and East bank were constructed piece by piece, or paycheck to paycheck rather. Once enough tax revenue was being generated to offset the loan repayments, cash on hand skyrocketed. Funds plummeted after the city underwent major reworking of the interstate and transportation network, but St. Matthew is currently recovering nicely.
As shown below, 33% of the city’s expenses are currently loan repayments; yet, we remain in the black by just under $4,000. This leaves plenty of headroom for more loans and rapid expansion.The economic picture as it relates to Sims’ incomes and job participation is healthy for a young city. The majority of the population works in the industries for relatively low paying jobs, but demand remains high and the city is booming. With massive education expansion plans, a middle class should soon emerge accompanied by a service industry boom coupled with a decline in dirty industry.
Department of Transportation:
With 8 bridges, 4 rail lines, and two interstates, St. Matthew is the transportation hub of Emerald Basin. Currently the only mass transit is our new bus system, as traffic demands are relatively low. Commuters from the South, East, and North Bank travel across the river to Hall Island, the primary employment center of the region. The Industrial Park and Central Business District are both located here and connected to both highway and rail. With commute times relatively low, it should be some time before a new mass transit system is required.
Department of Education:
St. Matthew currently has one high school and two elementary schools. No higher education buildings are expected in the near future until the population surpasses at least 50,000 Sims. As of now, the education level is sufficient for Sims to find employment in the manufacturing and service industries. As the city grows, a city college will be placed most likely in the vicinity of downtown.
Department of Business Affairs:
St. Matthew is now home to KYKZ 96.1 FM radio station! Located downtown near City Hall, the radio station addition is a sign of economic growth in the area.
As the town is still in its early stages, not all departments have enough progress to produce a full report; as growth continues and expansion takes place, updates will be made. Thanks for reading!
Date: May 17th, 2031
James Forthmeyer, Chair of the Office of Basin Development (OBD), held the first official meeting of the new and improved OBD (formerly the Emerald Basin Development Committee). With rendering of the region and most of the transportation network complete, a more permanent body was needed to serve the interests of the area. Because this method of city administration is unique, the OBD has agreed to allow me, journalism student Timothy Simms, unfettered access to the inner workings of the organization. The following Departments have been added along with their Chairs and descriptions:
Office of Basin Development (OBD)
Department of Finance (DOF)
Department of Operations (DOO)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Department of Education (DOE)
Department of Business Affairs (DOB)
Department of Public Services (DOP)
Department of Parks and Recreation (DOR)
Department of Emergency Management (DOX)
Department of Health (DOH)
The Chair of the Office of Basin Development, James Forthmeyer, has announced that Emerald Basin is ready for zoning. With the transportation network 80% complete and the entire region rendered, residents and businesses can start to move their interests into the area.
The Office of Basin Development is announcing the creation of the Department of Transportation whose responsibility it will be to create comprehensive transportation network maps of the region as well as planning future expansion. Phase 5 of the ICP1 is being delayed until further notice; the state is pushing to start zoning St. Matthews and it is felt at this time that state highways are not immediately essential. With Phase 4 complete, the following action items will be completed in their order.
1. Finish Rendering Region
2. Transportation network map
3. Office of Basin Development Span of Control and Roster/brandinhg
4. City incorporation
5. ICP1 Phase 5
OBD Ops reports that the base rail network has been established! Once the University's Time Machine GPU fully renders the region, a comprehensive map of the rail and highway system will be completed by the newly formed Department of Transportation. Phase 5 of the ICP1 is being delayed until city incorporation; the Office of Basin Development will be making an announcement in regards to this new information.
A loan of $45,000 was approved for the city of St. Matthews to begin zoning. Costs for the city exceeded the $500,000 allottment given to it by the State of Alaska due to its above normal costs of constructing its transportation network. St. Matthews is currently the hub of three major rail lines and two interstate systems, and therefor the loan was approved with little resistance.
I-5 was completed in the early morning hours today, and rail has already begun to be laid. More details to come!
With over 60 months of construction, I-39 has been completed and sims can now drive from the northern tip of the region all the way to the south, bypassing mountains and rivers. Phase 3 will begin will the connection of I-5 from St. Matthew to Stormy Bay, effectively connecting the region in all four cardinal directions.
The final statistics for Phase 2 were as follows:
Length: 36.2 km
Duration: 60 months 13 days
Phase 3 will begin within two weeks. Check back soon!
While maintaining their current roles, the Emerald Basin Development Committee has decided to take a more permanent role in the future of the Basin. They have therefor chosen to become an official state office, the Office of Basin Development. The OBD will have its two current subcommittee's turned into departments, the Department of Finance and Department of Education. An official roster will be published soon.
George Finley here, lead engineer for the EBDC Operations Subcommittee. I'm also in charge of the design and construction of the ICP1. Nearly 7 year into this project, we have never had such a problems building a simple bridge! Granted, it is a diagnonal ground interstate bridge, but we have had no problems with other networks building these types of bridges. The location of the problem is the proposed I-39 Sunshine Bridge, which will cross the Emerald River and passing through the future heart of St. Matthews. Mechanical and Structural Engineering Departments from Louisiana State University and the University of Washington have been contacted to offer possible solutions. Users on Simtropolis reading this journal are also encouraged to offer solutions. The problem is simple......when using Diagonal_Bridge_Enabler.dat, we try to drag a elevated highway diagonal bridge across the "empty chasm", but the network line stays red, saying Failed to Smooth Terrain. If you have any possible solutions, please offer them. Otherwise a straight bridge will have to be built at much greater cost and awkward positioning.