Doctor of Law and Policy: All Classwork done? Check!

Today, after 24 intensive weeks spanning two years, my Cohort and I completed all required in-person classwork in Boston (well, 22 months in Boston, and two more months in Washington, D.C.) for the Doctor of Law and Policy degree at Northeastern University.

I have to finish my thesis by July 30th-ish so I can defend it on August 30th.

I have come to truly enjoy being in the company of the other 14 surviving members of Cohort 8.  We started a couple of years ago with 24, and I am sorry they did not end up making the journey with the rest of us.

As of now, 9 members of Cohort 8 have successfully defended their theses.  Most of the rest will defend in the next two weeks.  I suspect I’ll be the last one.

I’ve very proud of what we have all accomplished, and looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish when they are conferred their degrees on September 22, followed by the hooding six day later.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am stronger than the train.

jlk

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Dr. Sandy Bond’s Research Taken as Gospel by Some

21percentIt’s always an amusing surprise to me when I see Dr. Sandy Bond’s 2007 research on cell towers and property values quoted in public hearings.  It happened again a few days ago during a hearing in which I participated, when a resident told the government leaders that cell towers lower property values by 21% (not 20%; not 22%, but 21%).

Here’s the citation to Bond’s 2007 report in case you’d like to read the source materials (most people don’t):

Sandy Bond (2007) Cell Phone Tower Proximity Impacts on House Prices: A New Zealand Case Study, Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, 13:1, 63-91, DOI:10.1080/14445921.2007.11104223

I find it fascinating that the people who cite the number have no idea about what’s in the report, or that Dr. Bond’s research methodology has been roundly criticized by Filippova and Rehm (2011).

Here’s the cite to Filipova and Rehm’s research strongly challenging Bond’s 2007 research:

Filippova, O. and Rehm, M. (2011), “The impact of proximity to cell phone towers on residential property values”, International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 244-267.

Go ahead and read both documents, and then make an informed decision as to whether you would want to be associated with the 21% number.  I certainly don’t.

Finally, in about 90 days I’ll be publishing my findings on hedonic price modeling to assess the dis-amenity value of a cell site near a home, this time a bit closer to the U.S., specifically in Calabasas, California.  My research discloses that hedonic price modeling–if it ever had a valid place in research–is no longer any sort of useful tool in this line of research for reasons discussed in my thesis that could not have been known to Bond, Filippova, or Rehm, or to the few researchers to who followed down the same rabbit hole.

Living 5G Large, baby!

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Hedonic Price Models and Cell Towers

I continue writing my thesis chapter on hedonic price modeling as applied to cell tower sites near homes. It has become so very clear that hedonic price modeling has extremely limited utility in this context because of data limitations.  HPM also has severe political problems that are tough to overcome.

I’m enjoying the chapter.

I never thought I would say that.

jlk

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Hoping to defend in August

With all that’s been happening in my family life over the past 2 1/2 months, I’ve been pushed by from completing my thesis on time.  That’s life, and I accept what is for doing what I needed to do when I needed to do it.

Now, my goal is to finish in August so I can graduate (actually, be hooded) at the end of September.

It seems doable, especially with the encouragement from my Cohort, Professor Estrella-Luna, and members of prior cohorts including Dr. Hustus (who should update his Linked In page to reflect his new title).

Jonathan

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New England Political Science Association (NEPSA)

nepsa.jlk
(l-r: Jonathan Kramer, Michelle Puhlick, Edward Kammerer, Ph.D.  Photo: Darin Detwiler.)

Last Saturday (April 23, 2015) I had the privilege of presenting  the New England Political Science Association (NEPSA) Annual Meeting.  My presentation was on some of the preliminary findings to be reported in my thesis later this year. The NESPA meeting was held in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Family or Thesis – An easy choice

About 5 weeks ago a significant and negative family event occurred that has forced me to refocus my priorities.  The on-schedule completion and defense of my thesis has had to take a backseat to the family event, but family must come first in situations like ours.

I’m hoping that I’ll defend in June, but more likely it will be July.

jlk

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Grades for Winter 2016 Posted. I don’t care.

I’ve just received the grades for the Winter 2016 quarter, which ended at 23:59:59 on Sunday, April 2, 2016.  As I have promised for transparency purposes, I’ve posted them to the left side of this screen…scroll down if you’re interested.

I am not interested…anymore.

Huh?  I don’t care about my grades?

The reality now is that the real grade for me will come during the first week in September, when I’m officially notified whether my thesis is accepted in final form and I have successfully defended it.  There’s no guarantee of either or both, so I cannot lose sight of what’s vital…finishing up the writing and getting the defense completed and behind me.

Okay, to be fully honest, I do care about my grades, but that’s my pride speaking.  I’m glad that I’ve meet the high standards set by the institution, so far, and I’ll be happy when my final grades are posted.  But I’ll be a lot happier when I get the official letter from Northeastern saying that I should stop by for the doctoral hooding later that month.

That’s the only grade that counts, now.

jlk

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Finishing up the Winter 2016 Quarter…Thesis Time

I’m (way) behind on my writing timetable.  Who would have thought it would take longer than planned to write a thesis?  No, not me.  Yeah. Not me.

Pages don’t write themselves.  It takes fingers on keys to make the magic happen.  That’s that magic I’m working on.

Talking with some of my Cohort members, I’m not alone.  We use the discussion boards to push and pull each other along.  I don’t know where I’d be without the support and encouragement of those 15 friends and colleges as we face our final quarter together, starting in, ah, 2 hours and 46 minutes.

I should be able to post my grades for the almost completed quarter later this week.

Time passes.

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On the passing of Justice Scalia

justice_scalia_20160215No, I have no special connection to the last Justice Scalia.  No, I was not a big fan of his opinions (and, more accurately, his many dissents).  However, I learned long ago to read his opinions and dissents.  He was a brilliant legal scholar, a literate writer, and a debater to be feared.

Over the past couple of years in the DLP program, we studied many of Justice Scalia’s dissents and opinions.  The dissents were always more fun.

Here are some links to quotes from the great mind, now silenced.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/06/25/the-top-15-quotes-from-justice-scalias-dissent-in-king-v-burwell/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/scalia-dissent_n_7662702.html

Jonathan

 

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