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Liberal_in_LA's Journal
Liberal_in_LA's Journal
March 31, 2015

Malibu can't pass off guesthouses as low-income housing

By CARLA HALL contact the reporter


Malibu guesthouses are no dream houses for low-income earners.
A judge’s recent ruling that the city of Malibu couldn’t count guesthouses toward its state-mandated plan for low-income housing came as something of a shock. Who knew Malibu was even required to think about low-income housing? Not much, mind you — just 188 units of low-income and very low-income housing, as determined by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which is overseen by the Southern California Assn. of Governments (which goes by the dreadful acronym SCAG.) The city counted 30 of those “second units” (essentially a second fully-equipped residence near the main house on a property) as available for rent by people with low incomes.

What a great scenario for a TV sitcom: “A once homeless man who lost his job at a carwash during the recession rents a guesthouse from a powerful movie studio chief. Zany adventures ensue."

Except it wasn’t quite working that way, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin Jr. found. “There is no evidence … that second units in Malibu are available to be rented for low and very low income occupancy.” Turns out, according to a survey that the city included in its Housing Element plan, most of those units are lived in rent-free and the rest are rented at market rates (far out of reach of low-income folks.)

The rent-free guesthouses appear to go mostly to family members or the help. That’s not a bad thing, in and of itself. Why not let the nanny or the housekeeper live in the guesthouse? They are unlikely to be able to afford market-rate rents in Malibu near the homes in which they are working. But that doesn’t satisfy the city’s housing obligation under the law. “Housing stock that is made available only to family members or domestic employees does not qualify as low income housing, because, first, such housing is not offered on the public rental market,” Fruin wrote.
March 31, 2015

almost all 200 plus residents of small Alaskan town live in same building

In the small Alaskan town of Whittier, which sees up to 250 inches of snow annually, nearly all of the 218 residents live in one multi-story house.
Surrounded by only mountains and the sea, the remote town is so isolated that it's only accessible by North America's longest one way tunnel, which stretches for two and a half miles.
But the tunnel, which alternates directions every half an hour, closes at 11pm until re-opening at 5:30 the following morning.

The building, called Begich Tower, houses the town's entire neighborhood, including the local police department, a school, an indoor playground, two convenience stores, a B&B, a laundromat and the post office.

It is only accessible by a two-and-a-half mile, one-way tunnel, which alternates directions during the day

Most residents work for the port, as boat mechanics, but a few do drive out to work outside the community

The creation of the 14-story building began in 1953 by the U.S. Army, but came into civilian ownership a few years later when the Army left the town.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3019575/The-small-town-Alaska-lives-roof.html#ixzz3Vzdaf0VK

March 31, 2015

Meet the 5 Indiana Republicans who voted against RFRA

Senate Bill 101 may have signaled "religious freedom" to the vast majority of his Republican peers, but to state Rep. Ed Clere, it said something else entirely.

state Rep. Ed Clere

Indiana Rep. Greg Beumer,

Cindy Kirchhofer

Sean Eberhart

Tom Saunders

"Do we want our sign to say 'Welcome?' " the New Albany Republican said Friday. "Or do we want our sign to say 'Closed for Business?' Or 'Certain people aren't welcome?' Or, as some have suggested, 'We don't accept fill-in-the-blank?' "

Clere is one of just five Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly who bucked their party line and voted "no" on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Four of the five — all members of the Indiana House — spoke to The Star about their votes last week, as Indiana was thrust into a heated national discussion about whether the bill protects religious rights or promotes state-sanctioned intolerance.

Signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, RFRA sets up a new litmus test for Indiana courts, prohibiting state or local governments from "substantially burdening" a person's ability to exercise religion, unless the government can meet certain criteria.


March 31, 2015

Police officers befriended this 'scary' pitbull pup - people approve of how they handle loose dog


Pit bulls get a bad rap, this we know. There's plenty of debate about behavior and temperament and strength and all of that, but this story is about one dog, and the nice people who helped him get home.

This week, the Lee County Sheriff's Office got a call about a large dog running loose in a neighborhood, which worried some people. However, what responding officers found was a happy-go-lucky new friend eager for some affection.

"Upon arrival, the deputy discovered that this wonderful dog was just out looking for friends to play with," their Facebook post read. "...A gate was accidentally left open and this beautiful dog was able to be taken back to his loving home."

The sheriff's office posted some pics of the big ol' boy, smiling and hanging around the squad car. Within days, the post completely blew up with more than 40,000 likes and 4,00 shares, and thousands of people thanking the staff for being so understanding.


March 31, 2015

five years of missed mortgage payments may allow 1000s to keep homes with no further payments

MIAMI — In September, Susan Rodolfi celebrated an unusual anniversary: five years of missed mortgage payments.

She is like a ghost of the housing market’s painful past, one of thousands of Americans who have skipped years of mortgage payments and are still living in their homes.

Now a legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime.

The reason, lawyers for homeowners argue, is that the cases have dragged on too long.

There are tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgage payments, many of them clustered in states like Florida, New Jersey and New York, where lenders must get judges to sign off on foreclosures.

However, in a growing number of foreclosure cases filed when home prices collapsed during the financial crisis, lenders may never be able to seize the homes because the state statutes of limitations have been exceeded, according to interviews with housing lawyers and a review of state and federal court decisions.


March 30, 2015

"An American Family" update- the Louds are back together, memorabilia going to Yale University

EXCLUSIVE: They were the Kardashians of the 70s...attractive, wealthy, dysfunctional. The Louds broke reality TV ground as Pat kicked husband Bill out and oldest son Lance revealed he was gay to 10m viewers
In Lance Out Loud, Pat Loud, now 89, celebrates her son Lance, who died of complications from AIDS in 2001

Yale University will acquire the original Loud and Lance Loud memorabilia on Wednesday
Pat reveals there was nothing negative brewing in their family until the cameras arrived
She says PBS viewed the family as California airheads and coerced her into asking her husband for a divorce on camera
Pat is now happily living with ex-husband, Bill - again!

They were the Kardashians of the 70's - attractive, wealthy and dysfunctional. They were the Louds: Pat and Bill and their five children, ranging from age 14 to 20 - Lance, Delilah, Grant, Kevin and Michele.

The Louds were the subjects of the first ever television reality show, An American Family, broadcast on PBS in twelve hour-long episodes beginning on January 11, 1973. The show took viewers up close and personal in the home of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California.

Parents Pat and Bill and their kids became household names living in front of the camera for seven months taped the year prior to the broadcast.
A record ten million weekly viewers were riveted watching the Loud family's lives falling apart. On camera, Pat asked her husband, Bill to move out, and Lance, the oldest son, was the first gay to come out on television.

Pat Loud, with the editorial help of Christopher Makos, is about to reissue reissued a collection of photographs, writings and personal papers of her son Lance for the book, Lance Out Loud, published by Glitterati Incorporated in conjunction with the acquisition of the private memorabilia by Yale University.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3015341/They-Kardashians-70s-attractive-wealthy-dysfunctional-Louds-broke-reality-TV-ground-Pat-kicked-husband-Bill-oldest-son-Lance-revealed-gay-10m-viewers.html#ixzz3VtsG45dZ
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

March 30, 2015

SRO wars in sf. building owners seek to evict low income & rent single rooms to tech workers

The owners of a Chinatown residential hotel who had threatened to evict several dozen low-income tenants have agreed to withdraw the eviction notices and not issue any new ones in the foreseeable future.

Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Julie Christensen, who represents Chinatown, contacted the owners and property managers at 2 Emery Lane after reading a Chronicle account of how the tenants in the 32-unit single-room-occupancy hotel had been served with eviction notices for seemingly minor lease violations, such as hanging laundry outside their windows and putting Chinese New Year decorations in common areas.

Lee, who worked with Chinatown tenants as an attorney in the 1980s, said he and Christensen made it clear to the property owners that the city would do whatever it took to fight the evictions. He stressed that the current city budget provides $13.3 million for eviction defense and funds groups such as Chinatown Community Development Center, which helped organize 2 Emery tenants.
“No one should have to fear losing their home because of issues that, we think, can be addressed through better communication,” Lee and Christensen said in a joint statement. “The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development will work with both the owners and the tenants to address the issues that led to these notices of violation and eviction notices. The city is also providing the fullest legal defense to tenants at 2 Emery Lane and other buildings at risk for real estate speculation.”

'Ready for the big fight’
Lee’s intervention comes a day after tenants in the building held a rally to highlight the recent actions by Vallejo Emery LLC, which bought the building in 2013 for $2.72 million. The tenants, who pay an average of $550 a month for 100-square-foot rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens, alleged that the owners had sought the eviction of 24 tenants and were seeking to rent vacant rooms to professionals for $1,300 a month.
“We told them, 'We don’t know what your intentions are, but it looks like these are masked attempts to empty the building,’“ Lee said Friday. “'If things go in that direction, we will be backing these residents. We are ready for the big fight.’”
Longtime Chinatown housing organizers say the situation is noteworthy because until now SRO hotels — which make up three-fourths of the district’s housing stock — have been immune to the displacement sweeping nearly every other phttp://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Owners-of-Chinatown-SRO-reverse-course-won-t-6163793.php

March 30, 2015

Half of Americans are saving next to nothing

When it comes to saving, we aren't doing enough of it.

Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings.

So how much should you be saving? Bankrate recommends 15%.

"Between emergency savings and the ever-increasing burden of retirement savings that is on the individual, the goal should be 15% of your income," said Greg McBride, the personal finance website's chief financial analyst.
Currently, one in seven people are saving more than 15%, the report showed.

March 29, 2015

smiling selfies at ny gas explosion tragedy spark backlash


Posts like these call for immediate selfie-examination.

A small collection of selfies that some careless social media participants have taken near the site of Thursday’s tragic East Village gas explosion are stoking widespread disgust at the posters’ poor taste.

The blast set four buildings ablaze on Second Ave. near E. Seventh St. and left two people missing and 25 injured. It also apparently inspired at least three vanity shots.

Events photography company EventPhotosNYC posted a Twitter pic on Friday night of seven young women grinning in front of emergency vehicles on the site, with one of them holding up a phone on a selfie stick, local blog EV Grieve reported. “Friday night #eastvillage,” the caption says.

An unidentified reporter for Spanish language outlet Univision had already joined the insensitive selfie movement the day before, getting caught posing in front of a phone in his outstretched hand near the spot of the disaster by a Newsday reporter.
March 29, 2015

Caught on Video: Toledo PD officer allegedly hits handcuffed suspect in the head

She hits him about 1.00 on the tape

"Police brutality captured at its finest,” says Brad Bollinger, the neighbor who shot the cell phone video from the window of his upstairs bedroom.

The suspect’s sister tells 13abc that police were executing warrants for her brother’s arrest. The suspect is 20-year-old Raymond Rober.

Rober’s sister Amanda tells 13abc that at first her brother ran from police, but then he surrendered as his friends on the sidewalk also took video.

"As he leans his head down, he's adjusting the handcuffs on the back of him because they're probably uncomfortable and the lady officer strikes him in the side of the head,” says Bollinger. "It's a coward move. It's a thing of complete power. She knows that she has him and he has no where to go, so she took complete advantage of it. It's a sucker move."

"It seems to me, based on the other officers conduct, he didn't do something that justified being hit in any capacity,” says Phil Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University. “Certainly not while being handcuffed."


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