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“READERS FORUM” JANUARY 21, 2017

first_imgWHAT IS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays “READERS POLL” question is: Are you looking forward to Donald Trump becoming the next President of the United Srares?We urge you to take time and click the section we have reserved for the daily recaps of the activities of our local Law Enforcement professionals. This section is located on the upper right side of our publication.If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] County Observer has been serving our community for 17 years.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Let’s Fix That Tax Sale by George Lumley

first_imgBring on the tax sale! Tax sales are in everyone’s best interest. Just like other debt collection processes they provide a means that, although unpleasant if you are the debtor, allow for an effective means to preserve assets and collect from those that cannot or do not want to pay.  Debt collection is never a pretty process.  Be positive and look on the bright side.  Of the two things that are certain in life, death and taxes, taxes is the more pleasant subject.Today is the last tax sale of its kind in Vandergurgh County, I hope.  Not because we do not need the tax sale or that it is an undesirable process, but because we will use the new tools legislated over the last couple of years in handling the tax sale process to make it a more positive, efficient, and effective process.   I hope to enlighten the Evansville naysayers and negative people who are standing in the way of implementing these new positive procedures.  With your help we will influence City/County officials to work together and make positive changes that serve everyone’s best interest.I see the C&P followed my Saturday feature – “If it is not Broken” then “Don’t fix it”- tax sale intro with their usual negative connotation of the tax sale in their Sunday edition.  As usual they twisted fact and printed propaganda to support their chosen special interest – Evansville Brownfields Corp (Brownfields) – rather than a fair and unbiased positive approach.  It is hard for me to believe that a newspaper would actually come out so blatantly misleading the public.  When I read the last Paragraph of the C&P article where the King of propaganda himself, Mr. Kelly Coures, Director of the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) is quoted as saying the auction doesn’t work, I patted myself on the back for my Saturday feature – Bulls eye, it fits perfect. You should read it.Now that Mr. Coures has introduced himself into this tax sale issue, I just have to provide a quote from him.  Mr. Coures emailed me “Everything is not a Conspiracy”.  Well maybe “everything” is not a conspiracy but this tax sale issue along with manipulation involving the expansion of the existing DMD owned Brownfields land banking operation appear to be a scheme for special interest instead of our best interest. With all the secret back room deals involving the Brownfields It might even be a conspiracy.I am actually at the tax sale today to do my part in Keeping Evansville Beautiful.  I selected a couple of lots to bid on.  I have no use for them except to buy them, maintain them, and pay taxes on them.  Yes, I am going to land bank them.  One good thing about the USA is anyone can land bank.  Look around Evansville and you will see literally thousands of land banked parcels. There are many different types of land banks right here in Evansville.  Some are private individuals like myself, if successful today; Some are large corporations with a future purpose for the property; some are large corporations without a purpose that got stuck with them like the banks; some are charitable organizations with a cause like Habitat; some are governmental like the city or county; and one other that I know about is an animal all to its own:  the Brownfields.I am still learning about this tax sale process and how it relates to my positive mission of promoting the use of existing resources to help aging neighborhoods thrive.  As I ask the how and why queries I am finding many components that seem questionable.  Is there a good reason for these components or are they part of the scheme for special interest?Is there a good reason to sell the properties without providing any Information?  I hear the county does not have any information about them.  Oh, but wait a minute, the City/County Building Commission inspected these houses back in the spring in preparation of the deal to stop the tax sale and give everything to the Brownfields. The city would also know and could easily post on line the amount of any weed, trash, or demolition assessments. It would be to everyone’s benefit to make this information public without the time delaying public access request.  Why sell a property and then laugh at the buyer because he didn’t know what you knew. Be nice, tell potential buyers what you know at the time of the auction.Is there a good reason not to educate neighboring owners that if they would be interested in adjoining property that they could buy it before the auction?  Yes, the property does not have to go to the public sale where the whole world is bidding on an unknown grab bag that they may or may not want after opening it. Based on records I obtained through Public Access Request at least 25 properties were transferred in the last couple of months to adjacent owners for as little as one dollar each.  I have also talked with adjoining owners that called the County Building Superintendent and were told they had to bid on the property at the auction.Is there a good reason that 60 choice properties were quietly taken from the tax sale list and transferred to the City?  The City plans to transfer these properties to the Brownfields land bank.  Brownfields plans to sell these properties to? Why promote stopping the tax sale if properties can simply be pulled from the sale and given to Brownfields to land bank or market them? We should be positive and offer this deal to others willing to take the burden of owning the lots.Is there a good reason these 55 to 75 homes that are repeatedly cycling through the tax sale are being blamed for the 1800 blighted structures that Evansville needs to address?  Yes, there are only 170 or so properties and most are vacant lots.  The number of actual problem properties related to the tax sale is small compared to the total number of problem properties.Is there a good reason that we constantly hear the negative: that sixty percent of the houses sold return to the tax sale?  I want to promote the positive. The process took care of 40% that did not return without costing the taxpayer a dime.Is there a good reason that when I tried to promote neighborhood residents volunteering to perform simple mowing and trimming of abandoned properties as the City of South Bend does, Evansville officials intervened and discouraged the practice? Now that is truly a negative stance on my positive initiative for cleaning up the neighborhoods.Is there a good reason that the news tries to spin facts and blame all the code violations and open case problems on these 170 properties?  A recent email from the Building Commissioner stated that he had over 1300 open cases.  We should be positive and solve the right problem.Is there a good reason that per Sunday’s C&P the tax sale of this small quantity of parcels should be stopped, the parcels given to a land bank, Brownfields, which will cost millions to operate so Brownfields can get the properties in “the hands of competent developers”?  Don’t we already have City/County government functions that do that for all properties?Well, I am sure you see I could go on and on.  Please tune in to read my positive approach with specifics to fixing what is broken, not by depicting people as poor and stupid but by educating and shedding light on what we can do using existing resources to promote better neighborhoods.By George LumleyFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Bakery federation launches new website

first_imgThe Federation of Bakers (FoB) has launched a new-look website.The association for the UK’s largest bakery manufacturers of sliced and wrapped bread, bakery snacks and other bread products launched its new site yesterday (27 March) – www.bakersfederation.org.uk. It includes a fresh, modern look, with resources, videos, photo library, factsheets and reports and covers four areas: members, media, consumer and education.Online users can also expect information on the history of the bread industry, advice on nutrition, health and safety, and training, in addition to a dedicated area for FoB members.Gordon Polson, director of the FoB, said: “The UK bakery market is one of the largest markets in the food industry. We hope the new website will help both members and consumers gain easy access to accurate and up-to-date information.”last_img read more

News story: Civil/crime news: financial security and changing bank details

first_img Bank account number: Sort code: Previous bank details New bank details Bank account number: Requests for provider bank detail changes have been reviewed and we now need more information to be supplied to make this happen.Why are you doing this?We’ve been reviewing our processes and believe this change will improve security.What information do you need?Your request should be made in the body of an official letter on headed paper and include both previous bank details and the new ones.Two partners will need to sign the letter.This is the format to follow in your email using an official letterhead:center_img Bank payee name: Sort code: Bank payee name: Where do I send the [email protected] – when emailing put ‘bank account change request’ in the subject fieldFurther informationUpdate your information with LAAlast_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Will Webcast Their Upcoming Run Of Shows

first_imgThe truth is… you can’t make every show. Lucky for us in a high-tech world, it’s becoming increasingly easier to catch all of your favorite bands’ shows – without ever having to leave the living room! Such is the case with Umphrey’s McGee, who has just announced a slew of couch tour dates for their upcoming summer tour dates.In the event that you can’t make it to the band’s shows coming up next weekend, you can watch pro-shot footage live, courtesy of TourGigs. The run from August 3rd through the 6th will all be live streamed, with a VOD option to watch any show on demand for 14 days after it airs. Now you can UM whenever you want!According to the band, these will be the only shows live streamed in August, so don’t miss out! More information can be found here.last_img read more

UK passes 100,000 coronavirus deaths as outbreak still rages

first_imgLONDON (AP) — More than 100,000 people have died in the United Kingdom after contracting the coronavirus. The health department said 100,162 people have died after testing positive, including 1,631 new deaths reported Tuesday. Britain is the fifth country in the world to pass that mark, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, and by far the smallest. The U.S. has recorded more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, the world’s highest total, but its population of about 330 million is about five times Britain’s. The U.K. toll is 30,000 more than the total number of British civilians killed during the six years of World War II. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says a public inquiry will study the U.K. response and learn lessons “in due course.”last_img read more

Dr. Who Convention Finds Home on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A fan dressed as Dr. Who peaks out of a replica of the character’s time-traveling police box (Joe Nuzzo/Long Island Press).Fans of the BBC’s cult classic television series Dr. Who descended on the Clarion Hotel in Ronkonkoma for the first convention celebrating the show held in the Northeast in more than 20 years.Consuming all three floors of the Clarion, the convention featured notable guests, including actor Sylvester McCoy, who played the series 7th Doctor and Radagast in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, and actress Chase Masterson of Star Trek and Dr. Who audio books.“I realized that this was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who and no one was doing anything for it,” Ken Deep, the show’s creator, said. “I thought, if not me, then who?”Dr. Who, which holds the record for the longest-running science fiction TV show, follows a humanoid alien, or Time Lord, known as the Doctor, whose time-traveling spaceship disguised as a British police box leads him to face foes, right wrongs and save civilizations. The original series ran from 1963 to 1989 and was revived in 2005.Click here to see more fans dressed as characters from Dr. WhoWith the annual Long Island I-CON convention taking a break, Deep—an I-CON organizer himself—and other I-CON staff members focused their efforts on creating “L.I. Who.” The result was a convention with so many choices of panels, speakers, and featured events, it was hard for attendees to choose what to do next.On the vendor floor, fans poured over a vast array of Dr. Who memorabilia and other sci-fi related merchandise while celebrities were busy signing autographs and taking pictures.Of course, no sci-fi convention would be complete without colorful costume play, or cosplay. Many fans of the series proudly walked around the con in full costume stopping to pose for pictures or act out a scene with other cosplayers.Having completely sold out the conventions 1,100 tickets, Deep is already planning a convention for next year. “L.I. Who 2” is scheduled for Nov. 7-9, 2014.last_img read more

Community comes together to pick up pieces of Rec Park playground

first_imgTaylor said the playground and entire park means a lot to her family, which inspired her to put the event together. People of all ages stepped up, picking up any trash around the area outside of the caution tape. Christy Taylor put together the event, and said over 1,000 people expressed interest in helping. “This is a park that’s loved by our entire community so we want to make sure we keep it nice and clean, we’ve been in our houses for so long we thought this would be a great way to get the whole community together,” Taylor said. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Hundreds of volunteers came together to start cleaning Recreation Park, after a fire destroyed the Our Space playground early Monday morning. center_img The cleanup avoided the playground itself, as Mayor Rich David said people can’t touch that area due to insurance reasons. Volunteers were donning “Binghamton Strong” t-shirts. Taylor said more events are planned for the future. Mayor David says about $120,000 have been raised to rebuild the playground. That number does not include donations that businesses have pledged as well.last_img read more

Indians queue for liquor as capital eases some coronavirus curbs

first_imgHundreds of people queued outside liquor stores in New Delhi on Monday as the Indian capital began easing some curbs after a 40-day lockdown against the coronavirus, while some offices resumed work with fewer staff and traffic trickled into the streets.The nationwide lockdown, among the world’s strictest, is being relaxed in some areas with fewer infections, although it will stay until May 17, the government said last week. The measure was adopted on March 25 and extended twice.Many government cars were among the traffic on Delhi’s boulevards on Monday, while police at checkpoints peered into cars to ensure there were no more than two occupants. Everyone wore masks. Topics : By about 9:30 a.m., a line of more than 500 people had formed outside a liquor store in the capital’s eastern area of Kalyan Puri, before the shop was closed and police baton-charged the crowd to disperse it, a Reuters witness said.Police were asking some outlets to close in line with an order from excise authorities, said Ajay Kumar, a Delhi government official in charge of liquor stores.”We want to keep the shops open,” Kumar told Reuters, without elaborating.The easing could drive further infections in India, which has tallied more than 42,500 cases and 1,300 deaths in a steady rise, but some state governments want economic activity to resume as revenue dwindles and millions struggle without income.”We have to get prepared to live alongside corona, we have to get used to it,” Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, told a Sunday briefing, outlining steps to seal off 97 infection hotspots while opening up the rest of the city of 20 million.In neighboring Pakistan, the number of confirmed cases neared 20,000, with 462 deaths. Authorities in Sri Lanka and Nepal reported 718 and 75 cases respectively.last_img read more

Powerful quake in southern Mexico kills six

first_imgA 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico on Tuesday, killing six people, sending hundreds fleeing from their homes and forcing the closure of a major state-owned oil refinery. Hundreds of aftershocks were reported in the hours following the initial tremor, which was felt in Mexico City, some 700 kilometers distant from the epicenter in Crucecita, in Oaxaca state.”We had to leave because there is a risk that the market will collapse. We are hardly selling anything because of the pandemic and now if the market is closed we will have a worse time,” said Juana Martinez, 60, a flower-seller in Oaxaca city. Quake adding to virus woes Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum also activated response protocols, adding that two people had been injured. Apart from some building facades falling, she said there had been “no major incidents” reported.The earthquake was felt in several parts of the capital of 8.8 million people which in 2017 was hit by a 7.1 magnitude quake that left 360 people dead throughout the country.That same year, 96 people died after an 8.1 magnitude quake struck the south of the country, with Oaxaca the worst affected state.The quake has hit at a time when Mexico is already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.It has suffered more than 23,000 COVID-19 deaths — the second most in Latin America — and 191,410 cases.On Tuesday the country recorded its highest number of cases in a 24-hour period, with 6,288 new infections, according to the Ministry of Health.Medical staff were evacuated from some hospitals in the capital alongside patients, although those suffering from the coronavirus remained isolated inside the buildings, alongside their caretakers.”All those that are in an area with COVID patients remain inside, only those of us who weren’t there at the time” have come out, said Jaime Gomez, a nurse at a hospital caring for coronavirus patients.Many of the people that fled into the streets of the capital were not wearing face masks.”With all the virus problems and now the tremors, and I’ve just lost one child and the other is ill, so imagine [how I’m feeling],” a tearful Maria Teresa Duran, 80, told AFP. Mexican Oil said its refinery in Salina Cruz in Oaxaca had been shut down as a precaution after a fire broke out at the plant “that was immediately stifled.”One of the dead from the earthquake was a worker at the refinery, who was killed after falling off a high structure. Other refineries in the state are operating as normal, Mexican Oil said.Rescuers were battling to reach a remote area of the rugged state amid reports that 15 workers had become trapped while constructing a highway.The quake also caused slight damage to four hospitals and a clinic, as well as to churches, markets and other buildings, authorities said.Six hours after the quake, 447 aftershocks had been recorded across the region, the strongest at a magnitude of 4.6.The US Pacific Tsunami warning center initially said hazardous waves as high as three meters could strike anywhere within 1,000 kilometers of the quake’s epicenter, affecting the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central and South America. Topics : All the deaths occurred in Oaxaca, with the majority due to the collapse of buildings. A woman died near Crucecita, and five other people died in towns located within 150 kilometers of the epicenter, officials said.The 7.4 quake struck at a depth of 23 kilometers, the US Geological Survey reported. An initial tsunami warning was later reversed.There was no damage reported to “strategic infrastructure” including ports, airports, refineries and hydroelectric plants, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a video published on social media. last_img read more