Counterfeit Coupons – Beware!

There have been several counterfeit coupons going around which I wanted to warn our readers about. It breaks my heart, but the coupon that was available from the site for a free 12 pack is no longer available. Coke has withdrawn this wonderful premium due to counterfeiting. These coupons were illegally duplicated, and many were sold on ebay. Often when you find a coupon for a free item for sale on Ebay, you should suspect counterfeiting. It isn’t always the case, but when the seller has unusually large multiples of the coupon that is pretty much a dead giveaway. … Continue reading

On a Mission – Part II

During the time Joe and I were at Grace House for the Episcopal Appalachian Ministry work camp, we were able to participate in a Bible study led by our chaplain, the Rev. Cathy Deats, rector of St James Episcopal church, Hackettstown, NJ. The subject of the study was the book of Ruth, and the theme was “Welcoming the stranger”. I did not understand at first how this related to our experiences repairing people’s homes. But yes, we were strangers. And to really maximize the “mission” aspect of the trip, we did have to be as humble, faithful, and strong as … Continue reading

On a Mission – Part I

It started with me looking for a service project for my teenage son. It ended with me going along too. Or should I say, it began. Because it was a new beginning for me. “It” is an annual opportunity each summer sponsored by Episcopal Appalachian Ministries for volunteers to give a week of their time repairing homes in rural Virginia. “Safe, warm, and dry” are the main objectives. This is not like Habitat for Humanity, where you build the houses and the homeowner is right there putting in sweat equity. Homeowners in this program are host families, and are not … Continue reading

NEA May Launch Weblog

The blogosphere is developing a stratosphere. And soon, the educational blog layer may be subject to global warming of even more hot words. The NEA has announced plans to develop its own blog – one that you can respond to with comments. The blog will be developed by the union’s magazine, NEA Today. The NEA is the larges teacher union in the United States. Other teacher unions have posted excellent blogs on their websites. The AFT has a noteworthy blog about No Child Left Behind. Also, the UFT, teachers union for New York City, publishes Edwize, about ssues affecting teachers. … Continue reading

New London Connecticut to Evict Homeowners in Eminent Domain Case

As expected, the City Council of New London Connecticut voted 5-2 to begin eviction proceedings against the remaining riverfront homeowners in the landmark Kelo vs New London dispute. The families from the Fort Trumbull area are still considering further legal action against the city. Options remaining for the homeowners include appeals to state government to rescind the funding for the planned development, or civil disobedience. They have retained legal representation through the Institute for Justice, a Virginia based group which advocates ending eminent domain abuse. Their lawyer, Scott Bullock says “This is a civil rights struggle to save poor and … Continue reading

Vamos a Cuba Again (Or Political Correctness for Primary Grades)

An advisory panel to the Miami Dade Superintendent Rudy Crew recommended that the controversial children’s book, Vamos a Cuba, remain on school library bookshelves for now. After seven hours of discussion spread over two difficult meetings, the panel found that while the book appears to be lacking in content, there is no sufficient reason to remove it. The decision of the panel is a non binding recommendation to the superintendent, who has 5 days to decide if the book stays or goes. He has already stated that he has no intention of removing the book. He had been looking to … Continue reading

Kelo vs. New London Eminent Domain Evictions May Be Near

The homeowners in the New London Connecticut eminent domain case are down to the wire. Governor Jodi Rell proposed allowing the remaining homeowners to live in their homes, retain the deed, but give the tow the right of first refusal when they sell. This plan is not supported by the Mayor or City Council, and the Council will vote tonight on whether to begin evictions. 5 of 7 council members are against Rell’s plan. The case was started when nurse Susette Kelo refused to sell and became the lead plaintiff in a court battle that reached the United States Supreme … Continue reading

That Was The Year That Was

The 2005-2006 school year is coming to an end. It’s time to look back on some of the events that affected education reform this year. The single largest issue affecting American education nationally is the question of whether or not all students have the opportunity to a decent public education. Obviously they don’t, so working toward this goal continues to occupy just about everyone involved. We have some lively disagreements about how to achieve the goal of a fair and adequate education for all students. No Child Left Behind legislation continues to be the biggest factor affecting the direction of … Continue reading

Who Owns Second Homes?

Who are the people buying second homes these days? A lot of different people, of different ages, races, backgrounds, and for different reasons. Along with the healthy real estate market across the nation, second home ownership is increasingly popular both for lifestyle and investment reasons. Baby boomers by far are the largest group. As they approach retirement, and have money to invest, they diversify their holdings in savings, stock market, and real estate. While many second homes are vacation homes, boomers are also buying investment properties. A surprising number of second home owners own more than two properties. Minority ownership … Continue reading

Home Prices Continue to Appreciate, But More Slowly

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight released a report yesterday which indicates that the average rate of home prices is still increasing, but the rate of increase is slowing nationally. Some states are seeing a decline in prices for the first time since 2002. But overall throughout the United States, prices rose 12.5 percent last year. This year, the annualized increase nationally is expected to be about 8.15 percent, based on first quarter performance. The greatest appreciation rate is in Arizona, where last year prices appreciated over 35 percent. That appreciation rate is expected to be around 32% this … Continue reading