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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 26,423

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Here's Why Donald Trump's New DC Hotel May Be a Financial Flop

Source: Mother Jones

On Monday, Donald Trump's newest hotel, located in the iconic Old Post Office Pavilion a few blocks from the White House, will open for business. But there already are signs that the $200 million project could face trouble achieving financial success—and that Trump family claims about the project were not accurate.

In 2011, when Trump submitted the winning bid to lease and renovate the historic building, which is owned by the federal government, at least one rival bidder expressed surprise regarding the terms of Trump's offer. Trump proposed a lavish rehab estimated to cost at least $60 million more than other bidders. He also offered the government generous financial terms, under which the Trump Organization would pay annual rent of $3 million, plus a cut of any profits. In a protest filed with the General Services Administration, the government agency overseeing the project, lawyers for a competing development team noted that in order to make the hotel financially viable, Trump would have to charge some of the highest room rates in the city.

"A properly conducted price reasonableness analysis would have resulted in the conclusion that the minimum base lease proposed by Trump would require Trump to obtain hotel room revenues which are simply not obtainable in this location based on the concepts for the redevelopment," the lawyers asserted.

After the project was awarded to Trump, a Washington Post columnist calculated that Trump's new hotel might have to charge average rates of as much as $750 per night. At the time, Ivanka Trump responded angrily that "his numbers are pure speculation and, simply put, wrong."

Yet it was Ivanka who was wrong. On weeknights this fall, the hotel's least expensive rooms will go for between $735 and $995 a night. On many days, the hotel is as expensive or more so than the Four Seasons. (Ivanka Trump had said that Trump Organization originally aimed to have lower rates than this high-end hotel.) And it's not at all clear whether Trump's hotel can command such steep rates in a market already crowded with luxury hotels—especially because Trump's hotel will lack some of the amenities initially promised.

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/donald-trumps-old-post-office-hotel-financial-flop

Sounds like the project is pretty much guaranteed to fail.

This tiny house could be a game changer for the low-income population in Detroit

Source: Detroit Curbed


It’s the first of many that will be built on these two blocks between the Lodge and Woodrow Wilson Street. Right now, there are plans to finish seven by October, with the goal of building 25 altogether as the funding comes in. The application process starts soon and the first residents should move in next month.

The houses will range in size from 250-400 square feet. Each house will look different, but will have similar amenities. This model house, seen above, is 300 square feet, and they’ll be building a deck on the back of it for additional living space.

Ford has contributed $400,000 to this project. A 300-square-foot home would cost about $48,000 to build, but that figure could decrease as more are built.

Residents will need an income to qualify for the project. A 300-square-foot home will cost $300 in rent each month, plus heating, which should only be about $32 per month in the winter. They’re using a rent-to-own model, with tenants graduating from a rental lease to a land contract, with potential full ownership rights of the home after seven years.

Read/view more: http://detroit.curbed.com/2016/9/9/12860756/tiny-house-detroit-neighborhood-low-income

Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane sits during national anthem in support of Colin Kaepernick (MORE: Eric Reid)

Source: Seattle Times

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane said it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision to thrust himself into a situation that has drawn national attention all week — and undoubtedly will now put him in a spotlight he hasn’t before felt.

“I thought about it for a week or so and I just think it’s okay for me to do it,’’ said Lane, who sat during the national anthem before the Seahawks’ 23-21 preseason win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.

Lane said he did it mostly to show support for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat during the anthem in a game last Friday saying he was protesting the treatment of people of color in the United States, and particularly issues with police.

“I wasn’t trying to say anything, just standing behind Kaepernick,’’ said Lane, who is in his fifth year with the Seahawks after being taken in the 2012 draft.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seahawks/seahawks-cornerback-jeremy-lane-sits-during-national-anthem-in-oakland/

Just curious, has the criteria for sources used in LBN changed lately?

In the last week, I have seen The Daily Mail, The New York Daily News and Reason.com used as sources.

They don't seem like "reputable mainstream news websites and blogs," to me.

Maybe they are making exceptions since it is like a ghost town there compared to the past.

The Library of the Future Is in Denmark

Source: Slate

Around the world, architects and communities are grappling to define the 21st-century library, representing a paradigm shift from the hushed repository of physical books to a tech-savvy, inclusive space to unite people around learning, shared interests, and exploration in an ever-lonelier digital world.


”Dokk1 is an unusually successful encounter between two beautiful Danish traditions,” Danish Culture Minister Bertel Haarder said in a press release. “On one hand, our cultural ambitions to open up all branches of knowledge to every generation and social class and, on the other hand, our sense of functional and beautiful design.”

At more than 383,000 square feet, Dokk1 is the largest public library in Scandinavia. The interior has a flexible design that allows it to house maker spaces and host workshops for individuals and groups of all ages. The low-energy design incorporates solar panels, LED lighting, recirculation of ventilation air in the parking area, and seawater cooling. Users can communicate via Instagram to screens in the library and a quirky connected button at the hospital’s maternity ward allows new parents to sound a library bell every time a child is born in the city. Accessibility is a priority in the design, with multiple outdoor areas and entrances on all sides of the building.

"Dokk1 is a covered urban square,” Senior Partner Kim Holst Jensen of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects said, “an undulating landscape that facilitates learning, knowledge sharing, innovation and a sense of community. Our goal has been to create a stimulating and dynamic environment at this unique location that fosters valuable and meaningful relationships between people; a cultural centre that everyone can see themselves in.”

More: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2016/08/25/dokk1_in_aarhus_denmark_is_the_best_new_public_library_of_2016.html

Beware of the dog.

If we are to start telling people what to wear, maybe we should ban suits.

Letter to the editor found in The Guardian:

Via: https://twitter.com/JesskaOpal/status/770723854092238848/photo/1

Please offer me a seat.

Source: BBC

People with hidden health conditions are being offered "Please offer me a seat" badges in a bid to help ease their suffering on London transport.

The Transport for London (TfL) trial follows the success of its "Baby on board" badge for pregnant women.

TfL is recruiting 1,000 people to start wearing the blue badges from 12 September.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he hoped they would "give confidence" to people who find standing difficult.


"This small act of consideration from Londoners could make a huge difference to disabled people getting around the city and being fully involved in all London has to offer," said Alice Mitchell-Pye of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37222554

People helping people... it doesn't get any better than that! I hope this trial is very successful.

White Lives Matter Has Been Declared a Hate Group

Source: NYT

A white nationalist group called White Lives Matter, which calls itself an opponent of the Black Lives Matter movement, has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks extremist groups in the United States.

“The White Lives Matter website says their movement is dedicated to the preservation of the white race. That tells you all you need to know,” said Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. “They’re against integration, immigration. This is standard white supremacist stuff.”

The group, which grew out of a social media meme, argues that white Americans are victims of a genocide caused by factors like the immigration of nonwhite people and marriage between white Christians and nonwhites or Jews, Ms. Beirich said. The law center’s designation is meant to draw attention to and increase scrutiny of the group’s activities.

Last week, its members held a protest outside the Houston office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to demand that it denounce Black Lives Matter, according to video posted online by the group. The Houston Chronicle reported that some of the protesters carried assault rifles and Confederate flags.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/us/white-lives-matter-has-been-declared-a-hate-group.html

iPad2 users: is there any fix for the constant reloading of web pages?

I don't even bother to log into DU on my iPad anymore!

The admins added yet another line of those gawd-awful taboola ads (it is beginning to look like Times Square up in here), and I find myself clicking on them by accident, due to a little lag, while I am scrolling down. Then my iPad acts like it is traversing through a pond of molasses!

I wish I had never updated the OS.
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