Sunday, August 25, 2013

Separate entranceways for subsidized tenants in New York.

The New York Post provides the story of a luxury development in Manhattan that receives federal subsidies because the development includes low income housing.

But there is a catch. The developer has installed separate entrances for the low income residents, even though all units are in the same building.

No matter how often the government tries to repeal the laws of economics, the fact remains that one cannot receive something for nothing. If you reside in subsidized housing, you will endure either the indignity of separate entranceways or fingerprinting or both or something even worse.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sheep as landscapers for solar panels.

From the Carlisle Sentinel comes a story that reflects what may become a common problem as more companies install large solar panels on their property.

The Snyder's-Lance snack food company wanted to use sheep for the purpose of keeping their grass low because their 15,000 solar panels make it more expensive and difficult to mow the surrounding fields. But the Penn Township (Cumberland County) Zoning Hearing Board denied a variance for the company to keep sheep in its non-agricultural zone.

While there is nothing particularly earth-shattering about this story, it might give some companies a few ideas about landscaping shortcuts, especially if they place large items (such as solar panels) on their grounds. Certain zones permit farm animals, while a number of businesses will look to solar panels as electricity prices skyrocket over the next few years.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Covered bridges in Cumberland County

The Carlisle Sentinel recently included a piece on covered bridges in Cumberland County, including the two remaining bridges and a brief history regarding those bridges that were built in the 1800's and have since been lost.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baltimore's "special tax districts" designated for supplemental security.

From Baltimore, Fox 45 brings to us the story of certain neighborhoods that charge a surtax to residents for the purpose of hiring private security to combat increased crime:
In Baltimore City there are four special tax districts where residents pay more to make their neighborhoods safer. Charles Village is one of them and has the lowest surtax of the four. It was formed in the mid-1990s as a way for the community to provide supplemental security and sanitation services to what the city was already providing. The surtax charged to homeowners has never been altered. Baltimore’s Little Italy community is one of the latest to seek to hire its own private security force, following the recent beating and robbery caught on a private security camera.
The story of this program in Baltimore's Little Italy is carried here. Only time will tell if such programs will spread to neighborhoods in other major cities. [Click here for CBS' story of private security being hired to patrol neighborhoods in Oakland.]

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Shale gas is Rearden Metal" - The Telegraph

For those who follow issues related to the recovery of natural gas from shale, a recent article in the UK Telegraph is of interest. Writer James Delingpole compares the campaign by unions/bureaucrats/environmentalists against shale development with the war against the fictional Rearden metal in the dystopian novel, "Atlas Shrugged." While not mentioning Marcellus Shale directly, Delingpole's article and the issues related thereto have a direct bearing on Pennsylvania real estate and the Pennsylvania economy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

East Shore v. West Shore (Harrisburg) real estate sales posts an article about real estate sales in the East Shore v. West Shore (Harrisburg area). The article is inconclusive and nonspecific, but helps highlight the issue.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg wants to fingerprint all public housing residents

From WCBS in New York comes the story of the true price of public housing. Mayor Bloomberg wants to fingerprint all public housing residents. As public housing and housing subsidy programs expand, this type of proposal will spread also.