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|Good Wednesday Morning, |
A late start this morning. I had to run over to Newburgh to get Richie from the bus from Atlanta earlier today. He missed the first one and never called to say he'd be on the next. Kids these days! How do you deal with them?
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I'd like to thank those of you who have supported News That Matters so far this year but it's largely the same people who do so year after year and are carrying the weight for the rest of you!
Back to business...
The Wigans football team (that's soccer to you Americans) lost 9-1, conceding 8 second-half goals, so they decided to give fans back their ticket fares. Defender Mario Melchoit said, "We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters, and this is a gesture we have to make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty," Imagine an American team doing that?
Bill Moyers stood by President Lyndon Johnson's side while he debated the war in Vietnam. On a recent PBS special, LBJ's Path To War, Mr. Moyers closed with this:
Now in a different world, at a different time, and with a different president, we face the prospect of enlarging a different war. But once again we're fighting in remote provinces against an enemy who can bleed us slowly and wait us out, because he will still be there when we are gone.I wish people were listening.
On Tuesday, December 1st, and back by popular demand:
"The Spoon River After Life Support Group."
It's an open house acting class at Arts On The Lake in the old firehouse on Route 52 at 7:30 PM. And yes, you may be asked to participate. Call now for reservations now 845 228-2685
So, this Christmas Creep thing... You know, where K-Mart has their decorations up in August, Home Depot puts their trees out in early October and my neighbor has had his up for the past two weeks? Consumer Reports ran a poll about this and here's what the American public had to say.Suppose I'm sitting with one of my cats on my lap, and I die. When would the cat notice something was wrong?
The Question: When do you think it is appropriate for stores to start decorating for and promoting the winter holidays?
And now, The News
Inquirer Staff Writer
When 90-year-old Sam Snipes was a boy in the 1920s, Falls Township was a bucolic place with about 2,500 people. Nearly all the land was occupied by farms.
In the ensuing years, some of that fertile soil was covered by a steel mill, a landfill, and the communities of Fairless Hills and Levittown. Today, the township population is about 35,000, and only two farms remain.
One of those relics is the 150-acre Snipes farm near Morrisville. It is hemmed in by housing developments and highways, notably Route 1, a noisy, garish four-lane commercial corridor.
The din of traffic can be heard from the porch of the homestead, built in 1854. The farm has been in the family since 1808, and forebears came to the area with William Penn.
For decades, Sam and his brother Brad sold produce from the farm and operated a nursery. Five years ago, bowing to competition from big-box stores and chain gardening centers, they shuttered the enterprise.
by Tomeka Weatherspoon
It takes a solar village.
On four separate occasions, students at the University of Missouri, Columbia, have entered the Solar Decathlon competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The contest challenges university teams to design, build and operate an attractive, energy-efficient solar-powered house.
But what happens to the houses after the competition is over? At the University of Missouri, Columbia, the four houses are turned into residences for students. Potential dwellers fill out an application first and then, if selected, live in a home completely powered by the sun.
Tomeka Weatherspoon visits the village and gives us some insight into what it's like to live there.
By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 23, 2009
NEW YORK -- A new wave of foreclosures stands to hurt people who may have never taken out a mortgage: renters. In cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, where many investors are carrying upside-down mortgages on large rental buildings, some tenants are watching their homes fall apart along with the financing.
Janeia Sandiford, a 24-year-old GED student in New York, has two young children and a deteriorating apartment. When a leak over Sandiford's bathroom and kitchen caused the ceiling to flake off and then cave in, nobody came to fix it for a year, she said. She lacked heat most of last winter, and she has duct-taped her loose-fitting windows in place to cut down on drafts.
"I'm really worried about the kids," she said.
The real estate investment company Ocelot Capital Group bought the building where Sandiford lives and about two dozen others in the Bronx in 2006 and 2007. As the new owners struggled to keep up with payments, 10 of the buildings appeared on the city's list of most dilapidated rental properties in 2007 and 2008. Last winter, as Ocelot defaulted on its loans amid the deepening financial crisis, the buildings plummeted further into decline. Together, they racked up thousands of Code C violations --the most serious kind -- from housing inspectors.
Fannie Mae, which had bought much of the debt from the original lender, entered foreclosure proceedings for Sandiford's building early this spring. A state court appointed receivers.
In the meantime, the building on Manida Street has been beset by problems, according to tenants and their advocates, whose accounts were confirmed by the crumbling walls and damaged plumbing apparent on a tour of the property and its neighbor, also owned by Ocelot. Vandals stole the lock on the front door, giving squatters access to vacant apartments to sell drugs. Plumbing in the building was disrupted after the squatters broke through the walls and stole pipes to sell as scrap metal.
Of The Morning Call
12:24 PM EST, November 23, 2009
Bethlehem police plan to withdraw theft charges against two college students who refused to leave a tip at a local pub for what they said was bad service, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said today.
John P. Wagner, 24, of Wayne, N.J., and Leslie A. Pope, 22, of Pottsville were charged last month with a summary offense of theft of services after they wouldn't pay the more than $16 tip they were charged by Lehigh Pub on E. Fourth Street.
The case has captured national attention and brought debate over a daily restaurant question: Is a tip mandatory or a reward for good service?
"We're so glad this will be over," said Pope's mother, Denise Pope of Pottsville. "It's been a whirlwind of a week for my daughter."
Leslie Pope attends Moravian College and Wagner attends Lehigh University.
The police complaint issued Oct. 23 said Wagner and Pope paid only $73.87 of a $90.22 bill. Denise Pope said her daughter told her the remainder was for a supposedly 18 percent tip that her party was being charged.
Leslie Pope told her mother the service was poor and after their salad and wings were dropped off, they never saw their waitress again. Denise Pope said her daughter and seven friends had to get their own drinks at the bar and search for silverware.
Morganelli said Bethlehem Commissioner Randy Miller told him Friday that the department planned to drop the charges, a move Morganelli said he agrees with.
"It would not be the kind of case that should be processed criminally," Morganelli said. "It was one of those matters that should be processed civilly."
Lehigh Pub manager William Sheehan said Monday it was "news to him" that the charges were being withdrawn.
Police routinely arresting people to get DNA, inquiry claims• Which police force takes the most samples?Alan Travis The Guardian, Tuesday 24 November 2009
Police officers are now routinely arresting people in order to add their DNA sample to the national police database, an inquiry will allege tomorrow.
The review of the national DNA database by the government's human genetics commission also raises the possibility that the DNA profiles of three-quarters of young black males, aged 18 to 35, are now on the database.
The human genetics commission report, Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?, says the national DNA database for England and Wales is already the largest in the world, at 5 million profiles and growing, yet has no clear statutory basis or independent oversight.
The highly critical report from the government's advisory body on the development of human genetics is published as the number of innocent people on the database is disclosed to be far higher than previously thought ‑ nearing 1 million.
Grubby children Getting dirty as a child may well be the answer to a healthier, allergy-free life, according to researchers in California. Photograph: Gerard Fritz/Rex Features
For parents too stretched to make sure their offspring are perfectly turned out at all times, it may just be the scientific cover they've been waiting for.
They will now be able to answer the disapproving tuts of their more fastidious friends by pointing to research which gives biological backing to the old adage that the more germs a child is exposed to during early childhood, the better their immune system in later life
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California found that being too clean could impair the skin's ability to heal. The San Diego-based team discovered that normal bacteria that live on the skin trigger a pathway that helps prevent inflammation when we get hurt.
These bugs dampen down overactive immune responses which can cause cuts and grazes to swell, or lead to rashes, according to research published in the online edition of Nature Medicine.
Copyright © 2009 News That Matters