scharrison's blog

FHFA continues its attack on PACE program

Now you have to pay off Solar panels before selling your house:

On Tuesday, Fannie and Freddie issued guidance to lenders stating that borrowers with sufficient equity in their homes must pay off the loans before refinancing. Those homeowners without enough equity to take cash out of their home to pay off the lien can refinance with the loan in place.

“It’s absolutely clear now that the F.H.F.A. is not at all interested in working out a solution that would allow PACE to proceed — the agency appears intent only on obstructing the program,” Janill L. Richards, a California supervising deputy attorney general, wrote in an e-mail.

Where is home, Senator Burr?

Does your claim "Home nearly every weekend" include this home in DC?

About 450 New Jersey Av SE

County/Region: Washington county DC / D.C. Southeast
Year built: 1890 | Builder: N/A
Square footage: 940 sq. ft. (land) | 1,156 sq. ft. (living)

Beds: 3.0 | Baths: 2.5 | Stories: 2

Census tract: 65/Folger Park
Property taxes: $5,913.96 (2008)

You can see the street view of his house (the grey one) if you scroll down to the bottom of the page. I tried to capture the image, but no luck.

Cautionary tale of contracted waste management

When public-private ventures fail, someone has to clean up the mess:

Heaped with decades of refuse, the 34-acre site has been unsecured since 2000 when the Phoenix Recycling Corporation was ordered to cease operations.

Since then, no taxes have been paid on the property and the owners have taken no responsible actions toward removal of metals, wood, plastics and rubber from the site now surrounded by two heavily populated residential neighborhoods and a middle school. The site is just outside Havelock’s city limits and within Craven County.

Waste management is not something we like to sit around pondering or discussing. But lack of attention can result in a toxic nightmare.

Big-money right-wing roundup

Whether you support the DSCC or not, their opposition research is very enlightening. Via e-mail:

We've compiled an insider's guide that traces the GOP's plans to regain power. It shows where the money is coming from - when it's not hidden - and who's pulling the strings behind the political curtain. Their names read like a who's who list of right-wing puppet masters, and they've been working together on behalf of corporate special interests and the right wing for decades.

There you go, James. It looks like your "Puppet Master" phrase is gaining some legs. If you don't mind, could you work on bringing paisley back in style again? I've got several shirts hanging in my closet waiting for the next resurgence, so...

The unsustainable aspects of growth

Tim Toben takes consumerism and GDP to the woodshed:

On the current economic roadmap, all growth is good. An industry that pollutes the air, water or soil or extracts minerals from an indigenous community without adequately compensating it is as prized as a non-polluting industry that builds community or restores ecosystems.

Most threatening of all, the material throughput of the economic system is breaching the boundaries of the biosphere. A condition known as "ecological overshoot" exists, whereby the global economy is now using up more than 1.4 times the Earth's capacity to regenerate the natural capital upon which the system and all life depends.

Triad domestic violence programs face severe cut

Victims in Guilford County will pay the price for bureaucratic myopia:

The state says the county has been getting double what it’s due — money for programs in Greensboro and High Point. But those who run the local programs say they deserve the money because they serve a total larger population and each program meets eligibility requirements.

Greensboro is the state’s third-largest city and High Point is the eighth. Each city has a higher population than some of the state’s other counties.

They're not getting enough funding as it is, and now it's going to be slashed in half? :(

Belk stung by judge's decision

Republican (former) judge steals from his own daughter:

A Superior Court judge Thursday ordered Bill Belk to repay nearly $131,000 to his daughter's custodial account after citing repeated examples of what he called Belk's misuse of the money, including a $5,000 contribution to a Republican Party group.

That last thing falls into the category of, "Go out to that tree and break me off a switch so I can beat you with it." ;) A $5,000 investment towards a dark future...

Number of dangerous coal ash sites grows

And North Carolina has more than its fair share:

The groups say there are 67 such sites in the country, including at least seven in North Carolina. They say the sites contain dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins - pollutants that would have gone up the smokestack but are now filtered out and stored in giant pits or basins.

The Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club issued their expanded warning Thursday, in advance of a series of public hearings scheduled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Women's Equality Day

If I had half a brain, I would have posted this earlier in the day (swiped from a DLCC e-mail):

Ninety years ago today, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, granting women everywhere the right to vote.

By the day the 19th Amendment was signed on August 26th, 1920, 15 states guaranteed women the right to vote in all elections. Thirteen other states allowed women to vote for presidential electors. Still others had granted limited voting rights for municipal offices or ballot initiatives.

Again, I'm sorry about my tardiness on this. I forgot about it, then I remembered it, and then I forgot about it again. This won't absolve me completely, but..."God knows what our country would be like right now without your wisdom and insight guiding our elections."

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