Friday, February 12, 2010

Scourge of global warming skirts all 50 of the United States

OU Student Collecting Pictures of Snow in All 50 States - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |: "Marsh, a student employee at the NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, is currently trying to collect photos of snow on the ground in all 50 states.

'On Friday afternoon, I'm going to begin asking for photos of the snow,' Marsh said. 'Hopefully I'll get photos from all 50 states, and if I do, I'll put them into a Google Earth map and make a snow snapshot of America.'

Marsh said Florida is the only state without snow on the ground at this point, but he said two to four inches of snow is forecasted on Friday in some parts of the state. There is currently even snow on some of the mountain tops in Hawaii."


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ritz-Carlton to close 5-diamond Las Vegas hotel in May

Ritz-Carlton to close 5-diamond Las Vegas hotel in May: "'It's nothing the hotel did. It's a simple lack of business and a decline in the tourism industry,' said Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Vivian Deuschl."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

U of I President Stanley Ikenberry on the fiscal crisis

Speeches and statements, President Stanley O. Ikenberry, University of Illinois: "On January 5th I sent a letter to faculty and staff in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, Springfield and elsewhere telling them we were taking a number of drastic steps in order to finish the academic year. As of December 31st we had an unimaginable and unprecedented $436 million in unpaid state invoices. We were, and still are, draining cash balances at an alarming rate. Our immediate concern was to be able to finish this academic year.

In response we cut faculty and staff pay by roughly 5 percent for the balance of the academic year through four furlough days. We cut the pay of senior administrators by about 10 percent for the balance of the fiscal year. We directed units to hold back 6 percent of their State budget. We froze hiring, including academic hires we really should be making. We have provided retirement incentives to trim the payroll. We have cut and will cut again administrative costs and are sending out letters of non-reappointment to staff.

Still, no amount of furloughs and budget cuts can make up for the absence of more than $760 million in direct State support."

An excellent speech that tells you everything except why the people who run this state continue to destroy the place. As he says, Illinois is just about to become a second California.

FAQs - Codes, Covenants and Regulations

FAQs - Codes, Covenants and Regulations
Fred Fischer sent this link to the city of Gilbert, AZ, web page with helpful hints about how your HOA can do whatever they want to you. Just kidding. But here's an example of the do-what-you're-told mentality. The FAQ reads like it was written by the 8th grade hall monitor:

4. The neighborhood codes do not allow basketball hoops, which seems silly do I really have to comply?

That again is a civil matter, as the Town does not regulate recreation equipment like basketball hoops or swing sets. If your Homeowners regulations prohibit them it would be like any other regulations, you agreed to them so you have to follow the rules.

Will baby boomers bankrupt social security?

Not to worry?: "By 2017, Social Security is expected to start paying out more than it collects in payroll taxes, according to the 2009 Annual Report from the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees. There is currently a large surplus, but it will be drained by the year 2037. At that point, Social Security will only be able to pay out 75 percent of its benefits."
But guess what? "Experts" say we don't have to worry about it. I wonder how these experts did predicting the economic collapse.

Coyotes spotted in Manhattan -

Coyotes spotted in Manhattan - "Wile E. Coyote and friends are invading Manhattan. Three coyotes turned up on the Columbia University campus on Sunday morning, prompting an e-mail alert to students and faculty. A few hours later, a coyote was spotted darting around bushes and across a frozen lake in Central Park. Urban coyote authorities say the dogs will likely be seen more and more in big cities as they fight one another for living space."
Pretty soon they will be taking the elevator to the penthouse in somebody's condo building looking for tastier treats. Foie gras, perhaps?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Another lawsuit in Campton Hills

AddThis utility frame: "CAMPTON HILLS – A homeowners association has filed suit against its former board seeking nearly $70 million in damages.

According to court papers filed this week, Fox Mill Homeowners Association in Campton Hills is suing its former board and management company, various companies and 13 individuals, claiming that from 1994 to 2008, board members used the association’s dues for their own personal benefit in a scheme to defraud the association."

I represent an HOA inmate in a different subdivision in Campton Hills, which has proved to be nothing but a litigation incubator since the municipality was incorporated a few years ago. One situation involves alpacas. Don't get me started. Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.

Sorry I've been so lax in blogging, but I have been at a conference in Philadelphia and just got back last night. Yes, that would be the weekend when Philly got 28.5 inches of snow. Quite an experience.