Chula Vista, California becomes model for blight control laws in the US

">
Chula Vista, California becomes model for blight control laws in the US
By mYCZNbxh On August 14th, 2018

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The San Diego, California suburb of Chula Vista has responded to the recent housing crisis with an aggressive blight control ordinance that compels lenders to maintain the appearance of vacant homes. As foreclosures increase both locally and throughout the United States, the one year old ordinance has become a model for other cities overwhelmed by the problem of abandoned homes that decay into neighborhood eyesores.

Chula Vista city code enforcement manager Doug Leeper told the San Diego Union Tribune that over 300 jurisdictions have contacted his office during the past year with inquiries about the city’s tough local ordinance. Coral Springs, Florida, and California towns Stockton, Santee, Riverside County, and Murietta have all modeled recently enacted anti-blight measures after Chula Vista’s. On Wednesday, 8 October, the Escondido City Council also voted to tighten local measures making lenders more accountable for maintenance of empty homes.

Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.

Under the Chula Vista ordinance lenders become legally responsible for upkeep as soon as a notice of mortgage default gets filed on a vacant dwelling, before actual ownership of the dwelling returns to the lender. Leeper regards that as “the cutting-edge part of our ordinance”. Chula Vista also requires prompt registration of vacant homes and applies stiff fines as high as US$1000 per day for failure to maintain a property. Since foreclosed properties are subject to frequent resale between mortgage brokers, city officials enforce the fines by sending notices to every name on title documents and placing a lien on the property, which prevents further resale until outstanding fines have been paid. In the year since the ordinance went into effect the city has applied $850,000 in fines and penalties, of which it has collected $200,000 to date. The city has collected an additional $77,000 in registration fees on vacant homes.

Jolie Houston, an attorney in San Jose, believes “Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.” Traditionally, local governments have resorted to addressing blight problems on abandoned properties with public funds, mowing overgrown lawns and performing other vital functions, then seeking repayment afterward. Chula Vista has moved that responsibility to an upfront obligation upon lenders.

That kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States during recent years, Chula Vista saw 22.6% growth between 2000 and 2006, which brought the city’s population from 173,556 in the 2000 census to an estimated 212,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Chula Vista placed among the nation’s 20 fastest growing cities in 2004. A large proportion of local homes were purchased during the recent housing boom using creative financing options that purchasers did not understand were beyond their means. Average home prices in San Diego County declined by 25% in the last year, which is the steepest drop on record. Many homeowners in the region currently owe more than their homes are worth and confront rising balloon payment mortgages that they had expected to afford by refinancing new equity that either vanished or never materialized. In August 2008, Chula Vista’s eastern 91913 zip code had the highest home mortgage default rate in the county with 154 filings and 94 foreclosures, an increase of 154% over one year previously. Regionally, the county saw 1,979 foreclosures in August.

Professionals from the real estate and mortgage industries object to Chula Vista’s response to the crisis for the additional burdens it places on their struggling finances. Said San Diego real estate agent Marc Carpenter, “that kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.” Yet city councils in many communities have been under pressure to do something about increasing numbers of vacant properties. Concentrations of abandoned and neglected homes can attract vandals who hasten the decline of struggling neighborhoods. Jolie Houston explained that city officials “can’t fix the lending problem, but they can try to prevent neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

HAVE YOUR SAY
Does Chula Vista’s solution save neighborhoods or worsen the financial crisis?
Add or view comments

CEO Robert Klein of Safeguard, a property management firm, told the Union Tribune that his industry is having difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing local ordinances. “Every day we discover a new ordinance coming out of somewhere”, he complained. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman from the California Association of Mortgage Bankers agreed that uneven local ordinances are likely to increase the costs of lending. Hobbs advised that local legislation is unnecessary due to California State Senate Bill 1137, which was recently approved to address blight. Yet according to Houston, the statewide measure falls short because it fails to address upkeep needs during the months between the time when foreclosure begins and when the lender takes title.

Evidence of natural gas deposit found off Gaza Coast

">
Evidence of natural gas deposit found off Gaza Coast
By mYCZNbxh On August 14th, 2018

Friday, February 28, 2014

In statements to the press on Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Salem Salama, a member of the Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council’s economic committee, said signs of a natural gas deposit were found off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Dr. Salama said the gas field had been found by Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, who noticed bubbling in the water which they first assumed was from fish or plants moving underwater. He added, samples from the site had been taken by navy personnel to the Islamic University, where they were verified. In a statement to AFP he said “preliminary tests carried out by experts from the Islamic University suggest that there is a natural gas field near the coast”.

In an interview to the Gazan radio station Sout Al-Aqsa, Salama said the gas deposit lies only 200 to 300 meters from the central coast of the Gaza Strip, which would “facilitate the work of any company that might invest in this field. The return will be great for the Gaza Strip, in economic terms”.

Deputy Hamas Prime Minister Mr. Ziad Al-Zaza calmed down the excitement regarding the issue in a comment to AFP. “[W]e need to conduct further studies to confirm that there is any gas”, he said. “This requires probing by specialist companies because we don’t have the adequate laboratories and experts here”.

The Gaza Strip, which has been governed by Hamas since 2007, is now experiencing the most severe energy crisis in its history. Following the lack of fuels, the residents of the Gaza Strip sometimes need to manage with only 12 hours of electricity a day. This evidence of natural gas fields may offer a resolution to the crisis.

Locating Your Furnace Filter

By mYCZNbxh On August 13th, 2018

Get More Information Here:

By Bill Whitworth

Where Exactly is My Furnace Filter Located?

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to heating and cooling elements within a home is, “Where is my furnace filter located?” When you move into a brand new home and need to change out the furnace filter, or if you have lived in your home for a couple of years and feel like it might be time, you may have difficulty finding the furnace filter. Still, you know that it is in there somewhere because every heating and cooling system in a home has a furnace filter. So where is the silly thing hiding?

The location of your furnace filter is typically located somewhere close to where the fan is located. This applies to all different types of heating furnaces, including gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, as well as air conditioners. Even individuals who have been working in the HVAC industry for a number of years occasionally have difficulty when it comes to locating tricky hidden furnace filters, but they are always there somewhere!

Furnace filters can be found behind panels, inside the opening of a duct or even behind other equipment to keep them completely shielded from view. The original purpose behind furnace filters was simply to prevent stuff from damaging components by getting into the fan section of the furnace, which is why furnace filters can be practically anywhere as long as they are upstream of the fan to a degree. Manufacturers of furnaces and furnace filters usually choose a designated location where their filters can be installed just in front of the fan components.

YouTube Preview Image

Oftentimes you will find furnace filters are located somewhere within the duct system, somewhere upstream of the air handler location. This furnace filter location is common when it comes to older heating and air conditioning systems. The best place to start is at the location of the air handler, and to work your way back from that point until you find the furnace filter because it can be pretty much anywhere. Sometimes you will find it at the return air grill opening, and sometimes you will find it behind the return air grill itself. Learn more about how to take care of your home furnace filter at

creativehomemaking.com/cleaning/furnace-air-filters.shtml

.

Once you have figured out which duct is the furnace return duct, you should be in business. Find the grill opening that draws air into it; this is your return duct. The furnace filter will be somewhere nearby this opening, and between it and the air handler.

Keep in mind that there is also the possibility that no furnace filter was installed when the entire unit was originally installed. It may have been removed but not replaced, or it may never have been installed to begin with. If this is the case, have your furnace officially examined to ensure that everything is still safe. Without a furnace filter, the airflow in your furnace is likely very poor, which can cause safety issues. This is of course in addition to causing inefficiency in your heating and cooling equipment. For more information on furnace filters and how to alleviate indoor allergies visit

meredy.com/nursetips/allergytips.html

.

Poor airflow can cause a lot of problems in your furnace. If your heat exchanger heats up too much, it can warp or crack. This can cause a carbon monoxide leak or possibly even causing a fire. There is no telling what safety issues you may be causing by failing to ensure that you have a

furnace filter

in your furnace and that it is properly maintained at all times.

About the Author: Bill Whitworth writes furnace filter related articles for WEB Products, Inc.

webproducts.com

is the premier supplier of furnace filters, air filters, replacement filters and custom filters. Serving customers online since 1997.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=225608&ca=Home+Management

News briefs:April 23, 2010

">
News briefs:April 23, 2010
By mYCZNbxh On August 13th, 2018
 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

[edit]

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Jokela High School reopens after deadly multiple shooting

">
Jokela High School reopens after deadly multiple shooting
By mYCZNbxh On August 13th, 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jokela High School in Tuusula, Finland, scene of the Jokela school shooting, has recommenced classes. Earlier this month, student Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, fatally wounded eight people with his handgun before turning the weapon on himself in the country’s worst ever school shooting. He died later in hospital, having never regained consciousness.

All last week repair teams have been working to eradicate all traces of the event, with large numbers of bullet holes in walls and doors being filled in, broken windows and torn blinds being replaced, and total renovation of one corridor which Auvinen had attempted to set fire to.

Students had previously been permitted into the school last week, in order to collect belongings left behind as they rushed to evacuate the school. On Monday, the school’s 450 pupils began to attend temporary facilities set up at nearby Tuusula Primary School as well as the local church.

Tuusula spokeswoman Heidi Hagman told reporters yesterday that at first school days would be considerably shortened, adding “Today the students will spend time getting used to the renovated and repaired school area.

“Students and teachers are getting support from Red Cross crisis workers and psychologists during the first days of school.”

Esa Ukkola, head of education in Tuusula, spoke to reporters about the fact that students had been shown around the renovated school. “We need to show there is nobody lurking in the cupboards any more. We’re trying to have as normal a school day as possible. There are dozens of extra people to ensure we can do everything in small enough groups.”

The shooting has prompted public anger in Finland at the media attention directed to it, with a feeling that it undermines the placid reputation of the country. People have questioned the decision of a survey last month to designate Finland as the world’s “most livable country”. Psycho-social service manager Anna Cantell-Forsbom from nearby Vantaa has spoken out about her view that the shooting was mainly caused by a lack of psychiatric care available to the Finnish youth and therefore did not reflect on Finnish society. The shooting has also prompted a move by the Finnish government to raise the legal age for gun ownership from 15 years to 18 years.

Finland is expected to set up a commission of inquiry this week to investigate the murders. The government will set aside resources for the ministry of social affairs, health and education as well as the local municipality for the investigation. Meanwhile, local authorities have shown a four-year response plan to the government, asking for five million Euro to fund it. Half will go towards therapy and occupational guidance for affected residents, while the other half would go to school guidance counsellors, psychologists, school healthcare personnel and other experts. The ultimate goal of the plan is the complete recovery of those adversely affected by the shooting.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Fifteen flu sufferers die in Wales in one week

">
Fifteen flu sufferers die in Wales in one week
By mYCZNbxh On August 12th, 2018

Friday, January 14, 2011

Over the course of the last week, fifteen people who have suffered from influenza have died in Wales, as reported to the Welsh Assembly Government. The total amount of flu-related deaths in Wales since October 2010 has now increased to 27.

Despite the slight increase in the clinical consultation rate for influenza this week compared to the previous week, the rate of consultations for flu-like illness in Wales still remains within the levels of normal seasonal flu activity.

On Tuesday, 49 people were being treated in critical care beds in hospitals around Wales, according to health officials. With twelve reported admissions, Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board had the highest amount of critical care patients in Wales. Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board has the second highest total number of patients experiencing this critical care in the country, with eleven being cared for. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board have nine important care admissions each. Cwm Taf NHS Trust contains five of such patients, while Hywel Dda NHS Trust has three.

The age group of 25–34 years old had the largest amount of meetings with general practitioners; the rate of consultation was 147 people for every 100,000. For all age groups, 93 people out of every one hundred thousand have been consulting with a GP; on January 5, the total figure stood at 85 meetings per 100,000.

“Despite the slight increase in the clinical consultation rate for influenza this week compared to the previous week, the rate of consultations for flu-like illness in Wales still remains within the levels of normal seasonal flu activity,” said Dr. Tony Jowell, the Chief Medical Officer of Wales. “Most healthy people will recover from flu-like illnesses within five to seven days with plenty of rest and drinking non-alcoholic fluids. On the issue of vaccination against seasonal flu, whilst we have been working to make stocks of the vaccine that was developed against swine flu available to be used where supplies of seasonal flu vaccine have run low, we are now well into the flu season.”

According to Media Wales, 13 patients experiencing flu-related symptoms were getting treatment at Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest on Tuesday. Meanwhile, five were receiving hospital treatment at Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth. Also, Carmarthenshire NHS Trust in Llanelli and West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen both had a solitary patient.

Jowell also commented: “People in at-risk groups are at a higher risk of complications from seasonal flu, and the best protection is early vaccination. A press and publicity campaign has been running since October and has included television, radio and bus adverts to let people know if they are in an at-risk group, and that the vaccine is available free of charge to those groups from GPs. We have also encouraged health boards and GPs to ensure that their patients and front line NHS staff are vaccinated against seasonal flu.”

Throughout the United Kingdom, 62 individuals reportedly died in the last week, as the result of suffering from influenza. The majority of these victims were suffering from swine flu. In most of these cases, the sufferers were aged between 15 and 64. However, nine of the fatalities were of children aged below fourteen.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

US Boy Scouts and hikers airlifted from wildfire in Utah

">
US Boy Scouts and hikers airlifted from wildfire in Utah
By mYCZNbxh On August 12th, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Friday, a group of hikers and 18 boy scouts were airlifted by helicopters away from a wildfire in Nephi Canyon, Utah. The hikers and scouts escaped into a rough rocky area to keep a safe distance from the dangerous wildfire after it advanced on their campground.

The wildfire started in a campground in Salt Creek Canyon, 85 miles from Salt Lake City, and has burned 13,000 acres across 20 square miles as of Friday. The fire has burned a campground and motel, and forced the evacuation of all campgrounds and cabins in its path.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

">
Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel
By mYCZNbxh On August 12th, 2018

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year Israel turns sixty and it has embarked upon a campaign to celebrate its birthday. Along with technology writers for Slate, PC Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Aviation Weekly, Wikinews was invited by the America-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to review Israel’s technology sector. It’s part of an effort to ‘re-brand the country’ to show America that there is more to Israel than the Palestinian conflict. On this trip we saw the people who gave us the Pentium processor and Instant Messaging. The schedule was hectic: 12-14 hours a day were spent doing everything from trips to the Weizmann Institute to dinner with Yossi Vardi.

On Thursday, the fifth day of the junket, David Saranga of the foreign ministry was able to arrange an exclusive interview for David Shankbone with the President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres. For over an hour they spoke about Iranian politics, whether Israel is in danger of being side-lined in Middle Eastern importance because of Arab oil wealth, and his thoughts against those who say Israeli culture is in a state of decay.

The only crime I committed was to be a little bit ahead of time. And if this is the reason for being controversial, maybe the reason is better than the result.

Shimon Peres spent his early days on kibbutz, a bygone socialist era of Israel. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres became the youngest ever Director General of the Ministry of Defense. Forty years later it was Peres who secretly gave the green light for dialogue with Yassir Arafat, of the verboten Palestine Liberation Organization. It was still official Israeli policy to not speak with the PLO. Peres shares a Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzak Rabin and Arafat for orchestrating what eventually became the Oslo Accords. The “roadmap” that came out of Oslo remains the official Israeli (and American) policy for peace in the Palestinian conflict. Although the majority of Israeli people supported the plans, land for peace was met with a small but fiery resistance in Israel. For negotiating with Arafat, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shouted at Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain!” a reference to Hitler’s British appeaser. It was during this time of heated exchanges in the 1990s that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jew who thought it against Halakhic law to give up land given by God (Hashem).

Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, but he remembers that he has not always been as popular as he is today. “Popularity is like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to drink,” said Peres. “You don’t drink it.” The search for popularity, he goes on to say, will kill a person who has an idea against the status quo.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

Contents

  • 1 Israeli technology
  • 2 The future of the peace process in Israel
  • 3 The waning importance of history
  • 4 Is Israel a united society?
  • 5 Iran: will Israel strike first?
  • 6 The 2006 Lebanon War
  • 7 On American politics
  • 8 Peres on his Presidency and learning from the future, not the past
  • 9 Related news
  • 10 Sources

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Austrian police find dozens dead inside lorry

">
Austrian police find dozens dead inside lorry
By mYCZNbxh On August 10th, 2018

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Austrian police today found an estimated 20–50 decomposing corpses in an apparently abandoned lorry.

Roadworkers who spotted the vehicle, which had been there since yesterday at least, alerted police. Responding officers found it full of corpses. The lorry is on the so-called “Eastern Motorway”, the A4, close to the Hungarian border. It was on the hard shoulder between Neusiedl and Parndorf, closer to Parndorf.

The victims are thought to have suffocated. Police are seeking the driver. The Krone published an image of a non-articulated food lorry on the hard shoulder, which they report is the vehicle in question. The photo shows a pool of dark liquid on the ground beside the vehicle.

Video from a passing motorist shows at least one helicopter on-scene. The truck, which has pictures of meat on the side, shows branding for Slovakian food firm Hyza. Earlier today the company’s website sported an apparent anti-immigration graphic, which has since been removed.

Wikinews got in touch with Hyza. “We are truly sorry about [the] tragedy” they told us in a statement. They said they have checked GPS trackers on their fleet and all their vehicles remain in Slovakia. The statement says the lorry in question was one of 21 Hyza vehicles sold on last year. It was then sold again and exported to Hungary, where it is now registered. Hyza told us the new owners have not changed the branding on the vehicle. According to the Bild newspaper, Agrofert — the parent company of Hyza — said in a statement the new owners were required to do so.

Hyza says they will “actively cooperate with Slovak police”, and “express [their] sincere condolences to the bereaved families.”

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner called it “a dark day” and called for European Union-wide measures to protect immigrant refugees and tackle human traffickers. Neighbouring Hungary is constructing a border fence across its entire frontier with Serbia. Yesterday alone saw a record 3,241 attempts to enter Hungary illegally, according to authorities there.

Conflict in Syria and other parts of the world has led refugees to Europe. Once inside, they can move freely inside the Schengen Area, which covers most of the EU.

Austrian police earlier this week arrested three motorists suspected of people smuggling. One driver is accused of moving 34 people, ten of them children, into Austria from Serbia. The group were left by the roadside near Bruck an der Leitha and reported struggling to breathe in the van.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

BP says Gulf oil spill slowed as estimates of oil spilled increase

">
BP says Gulf oil spill slowed as estimates of oil spilled increase
By mYCZNbxh On August 10th, 2018

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A US Coast Guard official said today that BP’s latest effort to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been successful in slowing the amount of oil leaking from the well.

The official, Admiral Thad Allen, said that the procedure, known as a “top kill” operation, has been able to block some of the leaking oil at the source, the top of the damaged well. The operation involves pumping material into the well to plug the leak before cement is used to permanently seal the leak. Allen said the operation has “been able to force mud down and not allow any hydrocarbons to come up.”

BP hasn’t confirmed the success of the top kill operation, saying only that the “operation is proceeding as we planned it,” and that there had been no major incidents thus far. Although the possibility of failure is still present, experts say that the longer the procedure continues, the less likely it will be that anything goes wrong.

The procedure began yesterday afternoon, after diagnostics on the damaged equipment on the ocean’s surface indicated that it could withstand the added pressure of the mud being pumped into the well. Although engineers involved with the operation wore concerned that the pressure of the mud might not be able to overcome that of the oil, that has thus far not been the case.

Separately, a group of US scientists announced new estimates of how much oil was flowing from the well, ranging from 12,000 to 25,000 barrels a day, far higher than BP’s original estimate of 5,000 barrels a day, a figure which BP warned was possibly inaccurate.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, US president Barack Obama also announced new measures in response to the spill, which include:

  • Suspending off-shore test drilling for six months
  • Extending the moratorium on issuing drilling permits for an additional six months
  • Cancelling the sale of leases for off-shore drilling.

In statements, Obama criticized the “scandalously close relationship” between government officials and oil companies in the past, saying that the Mineral Management Service, which is the agency responsible for monitoring off-shore drilling, had been corrupt for years.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »