Saturday, October 15, 2005

Edmund N. Bacon, city planner, dies at 95

Bacon was a pretty aggressive planner who had few qualms about advocating major urban redevelopment in Philadelphia, even when it required knocking down a lot of existing buildings. These days people with ambitious plans like that encounter organized preservationists who are determined to keep the old buildings because of their alleged historical significance or because they are deemed essential to the identity existing neighborhoods. Or something.

PHILADELPHIA --Edmund N. Bacon, a renowned city planner whose vision transformed postwar Philadelphia and whose influence continued to shape the look and feel of the nation's fifth-largest city, died Friday. He was 95. Bacon, whose children include actor Kevin Bacon, died of natural causes at his home in Philadelphia, according to a statement from the family.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Auditor: City of Detroit may go broke
This keeps things in perspective, doesn't it? In other news, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appeared in public recently without his diamond ear stud.

With a dwindling tax base, a recalcitrant union work force, and pension and health care benefits it cannot afford, Detroit is running out of money and will not be able to pay its bills if major changes aren't made, according to a report released Thursday by Detroit Auditor General Joe Harris. "The truth is that Detroit's treasury is hemorrhaging," said Harris, whose 10-year term as an independent city auditor appointed by the City Council ends in November. "Insolvency is certain. The only question is the timing."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Let's put that Kelo decision in perspective...
I've been critical of the USSC decision in Kelo v. City of New London that allowed the use of eminent domain for increasing tax revenue...but this link sent by Nancy Levy shows you eminent domain Russian style. Kind of makes you glad we live in the USA...

Unrelenting in his resolution to purge the banks of the Moskva River of deluxe country houses erected, as he claims, without construction permits, top Natural Resources official Oleg Mitvol has come up with a new plan, no less controversial than his earlier initiatives. He has suggested the developments be washed away by artificially induced floods.

Monday, October 10, 2005

California Association of Realtors Common Interest Development Committee
Fred Pilot ran across this meeting agenda. Did you know the CAR had a CID committee? Look at the detail pertaining to CIDs in California and the recent legislation.
WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY :: Condo Residents Stop Paying Fees To Protest Poor Living Conditions
Nancy Levy sent this amazing example of an assessment strike. I haven't seen one of these in some time.

(LOUISVILLE) -- People living in one Kentuckiana condominium say their homes are falling apart, and basic services being cut off. They blame it all on the property managers. But as WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack reports, their way of protesting may be the problem...more than half of Shadowood residents have stopped paying their condo fees in protest. The delinquency list is at $56,000 and counting.

"Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Benefit Senior Citizens and Veterans"...but we know it was about HOAs!
The ever-alert Fred Pilot ran across this interesting political spin on the HOA legislation signed by Der Governator last week.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today he has signed legislation that will benefit California's senior citizens and veterans by strengthening the rights of residents in retirement communities, increasing the ability of veterans to buy homes and promoting greater transparency and fairness in homeowners associations.

Record low for home affordability in California
I just got back from southern California, which is why I haven't been posting since last week. Housing prices and commuting times are both insane.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Soaring prices in California's housing market have shut out a record 86 percent of households from buying a typical home with a traditional down-payment, according to a study released on Thursday. Home prices across California have more than doubled since late 2001, increasing pressure on home buyers, who needed a minimum household income of $133,800 to buy a home at the August median price of $568,890, the California Association of Realtors said in its report.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Acrappleface: President Hints at Alan Greenspan Replacement

"I can't give you a name," Mr. Bush told the White House press corps, "but let me just say that I've known her personally for more than 20 years, and have first-hand knowledge of her philosophy on fiscal policy. I've actually watched her balance a checkbook at the kitchen table. She'll make a swell Fed chairman."