Michigan cities would have the tools to fight blight in quicker, more effective ways under bills that passed the state Senate Thursday and are now on their way to Gov. Rick Snyder.
The City of Detroit needs these tools to give citizens back a clean city,” said state Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, a sponsor of one of the bills. “It’s very difficult to envision a redensified city if the tools to take down these structures and to hold people accountable aren’t in place.”
The bills would: Increase civil and criminal penalties for people who violated blight laws; allow communities to create an administrative hearings bureau to expedite hearings on blight violations; prohibit a person from getting rezoning or building permits for new properties if they were delinquent on paying blight fines on another property; allow a city to begin garnishing procedures against people who are delinquent on blight fines.
Although the bills passed on 35-1 votes, there were some reservations because banks, credit unions, mortgage servicers and governmental agencies are exempt from the sanctions in the bill.
“It’s very difficult to hold banking institutions to the kind of accountability that we’d like to see them held to,” Johnson said. “You might have a bank that’s headquartered in Florida with no offices in the state.”
The laws will help cities like Detroit, which has an estimated, 78,000 blighted properties, according to reports from the city’s emergency manager’s office.
Detroit businessmen have jumped in to help with the problem. Residential developer Bill Pulte is the founder of the Detroit Blight Authority, which has cleaned up a 10-block area near Eastern Market and 14 blocks in the city’s Brightmoor neighborhood. The efforts were paid for with money from local foundations and several families, including the Pultes.
The city also recently got a $300-million federal grant to help demolish abandoned structures in Detroit.
“No one should have to tolerate blight in their neighborhoods or in their cities,” said state Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, a sponsor of one of the bills in the five-bill package. “It is outrageous what some people are getting away with just to make a fast buck.:”
Blight violators who are charged criminally would be subject to fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to 93 days in jail.
I think this is ridiculous. This is supposed to improve blight in Detroit? But you've excluded bank? Come on! That is some bullshit. A lot of the blighted properties that are not maintained belong to banks. But of course they can own as many as they want and not maintain them and still never face the same penalties individuals do. -_-
Squee! Spotter: sixonefive72
LoL by: Loulou
LoL by: chianty
"A more in-depth look at the raw data revealed that no definitive conclusions can be reached with this small sample size regarding the role of either NK603 [RoundupReady corn] or glyphosate [Roundup] in regards to overall mortality or tumor incidence. Given the known high incidence of tumors in the Sprague-Dawley rat, normal variability cannot be excluded as the cause of the higher mortality and incidence observed in the treated groups."In other words, the editors concluded that Seralini's results were not supported by the data. Together with the rest of their statement, it seems pretty clear the editors are admitting that they screwed up during the peer review process, and they never should have published the article.
"But Limbaugh, whose program is estimated to reach 15 million listeners, called the Pope's comments "sad" and "unbelievable." "It's sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth.""
Oh how worked up the Pope has made some guys! Suddenly the pontiff stops being so infallible, eh? He just doesn't understand what Jesus is whispering in his ear, and he needs someone to explain it to him. Someone who knows more about capitalism and socialism "and so forth".
Someone like a Fox "news" commentator, perhaps?
"I go to church to save my soul," said Fox News' Stuart Varney, who is an Episcopalian. "It's got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He has offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He has characterized negatively that system. I think he wants to influence my politics."
So... capitalism is a political system, now? When did that happen, pray tell? (pun
unintended) When did capitalism stop being an economic and social system using markets to distribute goods and services, and suddenly become a political system? I thought capitalism was a tool? Does this, highly competent and infinitely infallible pundit, by any chance, happen to be mixing up capitalism with democracy? As if speaking with a British accent would magically make him look smarter, eh? But what do I know. I'm not on Fox "news", therefore I don't know shit about these things "and so forth".
( But they do - oh, they do know a thing or two about capitalism and socialism and so forth. RIGHT?Collapse )
It's 13 degrees outside, with a windchill below zero, and snowing merrily. Supposed to accumulate two to four inches today here in Omaha. Luckily I am flying tomorrow, which is supposed to be clear and calm, though still colder than Dorgau's hindmost paps.
Low-key day today after yesterday's roaming about the wilds of southwestern Iowa. I think we're catching a movie this afternoon, and an early dinner. Another friend may pop by the hotel to visit a little while this evening, weather and schedule permitting.
Last night I had, as usual, complex dreams. The part where my house was flooding to the window sashes in clear, warm water wasn't hard to understand. My bladder has a sharp voice in my nighttime wanderings. The part where Zachary Quinto leapt out of a wrecked VW bus to attack me with a badminton racquet was a little harder to interpret, but I went with it. After fighting Mr. Quinto off, of course.
That last part is odd. While I often dream about real people, either directly or in the form of a dream avatar, I quite rarely dream about people I do not actually know personally.
I've spent time with the folks from my prior Day Jobbe. That was good but also sobering. I went on disability there just shortly after my tenth anniversary of service. That makes the Day Jobbe my longest-tenured employment in 26 years of working professionally across three related industries, by a fairly substantial margin. A big part of my life. It was work I enjoyed, with people I (mostly) liked, in a field where, while I wasn't exactly working for the betterment of mankind, neither was I helping make anyone's life worse. It was also work which enabled me to have a writing career through a good work-life balance and a decent paycheck. And, later it on, it was work of a sort that allowed me to segue into the deeper phases of my illness without an abrupt economic disruption, both through disability-friendly management and workplace policies, as well as a very good benefits package that turned out to make a critical difference in my life in at least three different ways.
So a lot to reflect on here in Omaha. Plus, well, Zachary Quinto. And snow.
Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watch-tower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!
I flew there, of course
Hanging with the pooches
A friendly meighborhood duck
Yesterday we set out in the car of
As always in life, we drove down uncertain roads
Until we came to my joint in Shenandoah, Iowa
A slightly more sobering neighbor
Me and my namesake (or vice versa)
The store was full of cool old things, like those sliding ladders, and the manager was very kind about us wandering around gawping and photographing
We then looked at interesting old buildings in Shenandoah, which reminded me of my grandparents' town in north Texas when I was a small boy in the late 1960s
Including a dry-docked caboose
As usual, more at the Flickr set.
Photos © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and M. Jones.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and M. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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