June 6, 2006

Kelo New London Quotes of the Day (UPDATE: Indications of Next Steps)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:22 pm

Wishful, Wistful Thinking, Scott

Institute for Justice attorney Scott Bullock, yesterday:

Tonight’s a really big night,” said Scott Bullock, an attorney for the residents. “They have the chance to accept the governor’s proposal and resolve this once and for all.”


Mayor, Mayor, Pants on Fire

New London Mayor Sabilia, quoted over the weekend, ignoring a local online poll that ran 78% against the Council’s action, the near-coup by the One London Party last fall, and ultimately 18 of 21 speakers at Monday night’s Council meeting (Day article requires registration, and paid subscription after seven days):

“The City of New London won. As far as I’m concerned, we’re going above and beyond,” Sabilia said after sending the letter. “There are people in the City of New London who are livid, absolutely livid, that this has gone on this long. It’s the majority I’ve been hearing.”


“I Left My Sense of Irony at, uh, Home”

New London Mayor Sabilia, yesterday before the vote to evict:

“I anticipate we are headed into the home stretch.”


Go with Your Heart AND Your Mind, Buddy

RINO of the Day, Rob Pero, sole Republican on New London’s Council, in The New London Day:

“In my own mind, in my own heart, I have a lot of difficulty doing what we’re doing,” Pero said. “But ultimately, down the road, I think we’re doing what’s best for New London.”


This Is Also True If the City DOESN’T Go Through with Evictions

The BS sentence of the past two days, in an unattributed article at TV station WFSB:

If the city goes through with the evictions the land will be used for a private hotel, convention center, and condos.


Not Everyone Thinks Stealing Is Right

Charles Frink, one of the two One New London Party Council members who voted against the plan:

“I can’t accept a possible reduction in taxes by having neighbors thrown out of their property,” he said. “This is morally abhorrent to me. I refuse to profit from my neighbor’s pain.”


That Sums It Up

Holdout Mike Cristofaro, addressing Council:

You are a disgrace to the city, the state and the nation.”


UPDATE: WTNH, in an unattributed story, describes some of the process going forward based on quoting the mayor (if it wasn’t based on quotes from the mayor, I’d be hesitant to rely on it, because it appears to come from the same news source as the WFSB item above):

New London Mayor Beth Sabilia says, “The City Council has authorized the Director of Law to begin the process to obtain the properties at Fort Trumbull.”

Sabilia says, “There will be no bulldozers rumbling down at the Fort. There’s a misconception out there that we have Judicial Marshals in the wings to remove people. We don’t.”

Instead, it’s lawyers waiting in the wings. The next step is housing court.

….. The mayor, who is also a lawyer, says those proceedings could take several more months.

I am not familiar with housing courts, as I don’t believe Ohio has any equivalent. I would appreciate hearing from anyone (e-mail me here) who can help with descriptions as to how they work.

D-Day Was 62 Years Ago Today

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:59 pm

Right Wing Nuthouse has what I think is the best post of the day on it.

The “Gas Price Gouging” Meme Won’t Die, Never Mind the Lack of Evidence

The Business & Media Institute catches CBS Evening News whipping this dead horse yet again.

CBS knows it’s not true, but it wants the relatively disengaged to think it’s true. Have to keep trying to talk the economy down, doncha know, never mind the facts.

This Is a VERY Cool Idea

Filed under: Marvels — Tom @ 11:45 am

Hospitalized kids can participate and keep up with their schoolwork thanks to, of all things, robots:

VALHALLA, N.Y. (AP) – Lying in his hospital room, on a mattress designed to protect his fragile skin, 13-year-old Achim Nurse poked his bandaged fingers at an orange button on what looked like a souped-up video game console.

Half a second later, in a social studies class discussing the Erie Canal, a 5-foot-tall steel-blue robot raised its hand.

“You have a question, Achim?” said the teacher.

Achim is using a pair of robots – one, called “Mr. Spike,” at his bedside, and its mate, “Mrs. Candy,” in the classroom – to keep up with his schoolwork and his friends for the months he will be bedridden at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, just north of New York City.

The robot in the classroom, which displays a live picture of Achim, provides what its inventors call “telepresence”: It gives the boy an actual presence in the classroom, recognized by teachers and classmates. It can move from class to class on its four-wheel base and even stop at the lockers for a between-periods chat.

“The robot literally is embraced by students in the classroom as though that is the medically fragile student,” said Andrew Summa, national director of the robot project, which is in use at six other hospitals around the country. Achim’s teacher, Bob Langerfield, said his other students had become used to the robot – and were treating it as if it were Achim – after just a few days.

The program, called PEBBLES (for Providing Education By Bringing Learning Environments to Students), has great potential for expansion, supporters say. It could keep suspended students connected to their classrooms, for example, or even help young prisoners. Summa says it also has promise as a tool in treating autism because it gives the patient control of the social environment.

“I don’t know where it’s going to go next, but it does have considerable potential,” Summa said.

I’ll say. More of this, please.

Paired robots are currently used at these hospitals:
- Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Valhalla, N.Y.
- Comer Children’s Hospital, Chicago.
- Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, R.I.
- King’s Daughters Hospital, Norfolk, Va.
- Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland.
- UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco.
- Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, New Haven, Conn.

AP’s Kelo-New London June 5 Coverage, Part 2: They ‘Forgot’ to Show Us the Money Council Wants

While the Associated Press, as shown in Part 1, has been FALSELY telling us how the homes of the Kelo holdouts are “riverfront” and “waterfront” properties, they managed to miss this “teeny tiny” point in their reports on Council’s vote to evict Susette Kelo and Mike/Pasquale Cristofaro, reported by Elaine Stoll at The New London Day (Day link will require registration after one day, and a paid subscription after one week):

New London votes to proceed with property seizures

….. The motion, which instructed city Law Director Thomas Londregan “to proceed with the process to obtain possession of the properties,” also instructed him to “obtain past due taxes and rents collected from third parties and/or reasonable use and occupancy fees.”

This means, as far as New London’s Council and the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) are concerned, Kelo and the Cristofaros are liable for whatever the Lords of New London believe is their applicable portion of the $946,000 in taxes, rents, and fees that were demanded from the then-six holdouts in mid-May when the Council reiterated its May 31 deadline.

Hey, AP — Doncha think the rest of the nation deserves to know that the Council and the NLDC are for all practical purposes in the same place they were last summer, when their outrageous financial demands and eviction notices (issued, then as now, in defiance of the Governor’s efforts at mediation) brought on a torrent of national outrage?

Most of the nation does not and will not, as long as it depends on AP for original news reporting of the situation, know the entire truth — that Council’s majority, armed with an unsconscionable Supreme Court decision, and apparently not burdened by a conscience, has moved to evict Kelo and the Cristofaros:

  • Despite their willingness to have their houses moved.
  • Despite their willingness to accept less than squeaky clean titles to their properties (transferable but only to immediate family members; the City has would have right of first refusal on any other attempts to transfer).
  • Despite the hypocrisy of allowing the high-powered and politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club to stay right where it is.
  • Despite the fact that the current land-use plan for the area where the homes are to be moved is for ….. mixed-use residential development.
  • Despite their state governor’s recommendation of a solution that would have worked out fine for everyone.

At least there’s no reason to wonder why blogs have to exist.

AP’s Kelo-New London June 5 Coverage, Part 1: What Is Their “Thing” with Water?

Here’s the opening paragraph of Stephen Singer’s report on New London’s Council meeting last night (note the link is from the UK Guardian):

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – City officials voted Monday night to evict residents who refused to leave their riverfront homes, signaling that the end may be near in an eminent domain dispute that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now here were the first two paragraphs of the AP’s unattributed May 30 report as Council’s deadline approached last week (Boston.com link requires registration):

NEW LONDON, Conn. –Though facing an eviction deadline Wednesday, the residents whose Fort Trumbull neighborhood has been seized by eminent domain don’t expect anything to happen for nearly a week and expect more legal battles before the case is resolved.

The dispute over the waterfront New London property reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year, when a divided court ruled that the city could take the land for a private development.

What is it with these people and water?

So, let’s look at a couple of definitions:

  • Riverfront — The land or property along a river. (along — On a line or course parallel and close to; continuously beside)
  • Waterfront — 1. Land abutting a body of water. 2. The part of a town or city that abuts water, especially a district of wharves where ships dock. (abut as a verb — To touch or end at one end or side; lie adjacent.

So would someone help me find what is “waterfront” or “riverfront” about the properties in question? Good luck:


Could it possibly be that AP’s writers want to make the holdouts less sympathetic figures by FALSELY telling us that they are living in “waterfront” or “riverfront” homes?

Y’know, these reports went around the nation and, as you can see above all over the world. Hey, AP — How about demonstrating just a little responsibility and care?

UPDATE: Water is even seeping into the story’s headlines now — “Conn. City Leaders OK Riverfront Evictions.” Zheesh.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (060606)

Free Links:

  • BizzyBlog makes the Cleveland Plain Dealer — I’m in the body of the article on Ohio’s political blogosphere for a couple of sentences, and am included among the profiles. I thought the PD did a generally good job in its portrayal of the situation in Ohio. The one thing I wish it would have mentioned is the influence “we” have had in certain local races (e.g., the 2nd District 2005 Special GOP Primary, 2005 Special General , and 2006 GOP Primary), where some contend that the local right blogs contributed at least to some extent to three Jean Schmidt wins and two Bob McEwen losses (gosh, that was fun to type).
  • Global warming believers need to explain this“With a maximum temperature of just 10 degrees Celsius — both in Brussels and along the coast — Thursday was the coldest 1 June since measurements started in 1833.”
  • This cannot be comforting to landline phone companies — 9% of phone users are wireless only (HT Club for Growth). If it’s practical, it’s definitely a money-saver.
  • Columbus, Ohio’s leaders are getting bent out of shape over finishing last in SustainLane’s 2006 rankings of the top 50 cities/metro areas in the US (Cleveland was #28, and no other other Ohio city is large enough to have been in the survey). Sustainlane’s rankings are based on “sustainable living” criteria (y’know, the ones urban planners and enviros say we should care about instead of the ones people, especially families, really care about). It does NOT include crime, taxes, quality of schools, or housing affordability among its considerations — which explains the absolute comedy that Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Oakland (I’m not kidding) make up SustainLane’s top six. Though Columbus does have a problem with traffic that needs serious work, I would nevertheless congratulate it on finishing last, because it appears to me that in general, SustainLane’s best cities are listed in reverse order of desirability for living, breathing humans who are not diehard enviros. After all, part of “sustainable living” includes staying alive.
  • Leasing turnpike operations like those of the Ohio Turnpike, as Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has proposed, is a great idea — as long as the money doesn’t get squandered. It appears that Blackwell has a plan (HT Right Angle Blog) for “targeted investing” in things like universal broadband, ethanol, urban renewal projecs, and the like. All of this has the distinct aroma of “boondoggle” to me. Why not use the results of the turnpike situation to cut other taxes across the board and make Ohio’s general business climate more competitive?
  • Enron’s law firm will pay the bankrupt company $30 million to settle claims that it aided and abetted its now-convicted officers in their frauds — From here, it looks like the law firm was lucky it didn’t get the Arthur Andersen (first item at link) death penalty, or the Milberg Weiss treatment.

Positivity: Dennis Berg Wants You to Remember Russell Halley. You Should.

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:04 am

Dennis Berg’s life was saved 40 years ago in Vietnam, and person who did it lost his life in the process.

After years of research, Berg was able to review newly available information and learn about who rescued him. He learned that Russell Halley didn’t have to do what he did, but did it anyway. On Memorial day, he visited Halley’s hometown and ensured that Halley will be remembered for years: