Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Two weeks after a 19th century stable and livery on Jersey Street partially collapsed and caused 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York, residents still do not have answers from the city despite a court order to work with them and come to an agreement on a way to save some or all of the building, Wikinews has learned. Despite the frustration from residents, the city is planning on suing the building’s owner. A rally was held at the stable’s site where residents are hoping to bring more awareness to the situation and gain more support to save the building.

On June 11, a significant portion of the stable’s right side wall collapsed into the yard of a resident’s home. Authorities, including the Buffalo Fire Department were called to the scene to evaluate the collapse and evacuate 15 homes of residents surrounding the stable as a precautionary measure. The following day, the city ordered an emergency demolition on the building, which was stopped by a restraining order residents with Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) won on June 14. Two weeks later, five homes are still evacuated and residents don’t know when they will be able to return.

On June 19, Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court ordered a halt to the emergency demolition and ordered the city and residents to come to an agreement to save the building, or at least a significant portion of it. Despite a court date today, no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his June 19th ruling. The court ruled that a limited demolition could take place and that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed. Since then, most of not all the significantly damaged portions of the building or portions in immediate danger of falling have been demolished. The roof has also been removed to put less stress on the stable’s walls.

“Its been over three years since we have been having problems with part of the livery falling down. There was an implosion two weeks ago and suddenly the city wanted to have an emergency demolition,” said Catherine Herrick who lives on Summer Street immediately behind the stable and is the main plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city. Many homes on Summer are small cottages which were used as servants quarters when the stable was in operation, many of which were built in the 1820’s. At least seven homes on Summer border the stable’s back walls. Residents in those homes have significant gardens which have been planted against the building and growing for decades.

“Both parties are to continue to work together to see how we can meet everybody’s needs. This is the third time we have been in that courtroom, and that is what we were basically told to do,” added Herrick who said the rally was held today because this “is Buffalo’s history. Buffalo is a wonderful place to live because of its history and this is a historical, beautiful building and we need to keep those beautiful buildings.”

Herrick states that the city is working with residents, but also believes that its “slow moving” and they are allowing the owner to get away with neglect on the property.

“I believe right now that they are letting the owner get off. The owner was negligent for 20 years, and hasn’t done anything to it despite what he has claimed to say. Now that this is an emergency situation, the city has a lot to say about it,” added Herrick.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because its poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the Southeast corner of Forest and Elmwood Avenues. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years. Attorneys for Freudenheim confirm that the city is starting proceedings against him for his violations beginning as early as Wednesday June 25. Freudenheim has not released a statement and could not be reached for comment.

Many residents want the building preserved and Herrick states that their engineer can have it stable in “four days” as opposed to the 14-30 days it would take to demolish the building and “at a lesser cost than what it costs to demolish it.”

It will cost the city nearly US$300,000 to demolish the building which is paid for with tax money collected from residents in the city. The Buffalo News reports that fees are approaching $700,000. Though reports say there is a potential buyer of the stable, Wikinews cannot independently confirm those reports.

Residents say the stable was designed by Richard A. Waite, a 19th century architect, and was first owned by a company called White Bros., used as a stable and housed at least 30 horses at any given time. It also stored “coaches, coupes, broughams, Victorias and everything in the line of light livery,” stated an article from the West Side Topics dated 1906. According to the article, The company first opened in 1881 on Thirteenth Street, now Normal Avenue, and later moved into the Jersey building in 1892. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. It is believed to be only one of three stables of this kind still standing in the country.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

Wikinews has called the city along with the Mayor’s office several times, but both have yet to return our calls. There are conflicting reports as to the date of the next hearing. According to Herrick, the next hearing is July 1, 2008 though the Buffalo News states the next hearing is July 8. The News also states that Burns will make a final ruling on the stable at this time.

Google planning PayPal rival

Posted by: in Uncategorized
23
Aug

Monday, June 20, 2005

Financial analysts say Google is planning an e-wallet service that could eventually compete with eBay’s payment service PayPal. Google has not confirmed the development.

The rumor is a first sign of Google’s expected expansion of revenue sources to capitalize on its advertising customer base and search-engine traffic. What form that expansion will take has been a hotly debated subject for the company whose stock valuation momentarily made it the world’s biggest media company on June 7, 2005. Even Microsoft has been mentioned as a possible future competitor.

Ebay’s stock valuation dipped more than 2% on the news. Paypal currently accounts for one-fifth of the company’s revenues. But one business analyst saw potential benefit for Paypal[1], depending on exactly how the “Google Wallet” takes shape. The uncertainty underlined the lack of substantive information behind the rumor.

According to the New York Times, the CEO of a major online merchant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was approached by Google to take part in this service. Steve Langdon, a Google spokesperson, declined to comment.

  • Spoken version of the article

byAlma Abell

Dealing with debt is something many people go through in their lives. Mountains of debt can cause undue stress in your life. Dealing with harassing phone calls, wage garnishments and the threats of being sent to court can be more than you can stand. To try and get out of your debt, you can try to contact the creditors you owe and see if they are willing to work out arrangements with you. Some creditors are willing to work with you so you can pay down your debts, while other companies seem unwillingly to help. If you have tried to do all you can to eliminate your debt and are finding no relief, you may need to work with Bankruptcy Attorneys. Through these attorneys, you can file for bankruptcy and pay off your debts so you no longer have to deal with them.

What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy?

To file for bankruptcy, you will need to first meet with your lawyer. You should plan on bringing in all of the information on the debts you owe, your monthly income statements and information on the assets you own. This will assist the attorney in making the decision on which type of bankruptcy you should file for. There are two main types people file when it comes to bankruptcy. They include:

Chapter 13 — This type of bankruptcy allows you to pay down your debt over a period of three to seven years. You will be required to make a monthly payment through the court, which will be dispersed through to your creditors. You will be allowed to keep all of your property, but you must make sure you pay your payment each month or your bankruptcy could be revoked.

Chapter 7 — This type of bankruptcy is available for people who want a quick option. Your assets will be liquidated, to pay off your debts. This can be accomplished in about six months. You will also be required to undergo credit counseling.

If you are in way too much debt and need help, contact Carlton Legal Services and find out how they can assist you with overcoming your debt.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Volkswagen emissions scandal continued yesterday with the company announcing 800,000 mainly diesel vehicles may also be affected by carbon dioxide emissions problems.

The company stated “the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised”. They estimated potentially this could cost them €2bn on top of the €6.7bn set aside to pay for the cost of correcting 11 million cars affected when the scandal broke, in addition to fines by regulators.

the safety of the vehicles is in no way compromised

This follows Monday’s revelation that the emissions scandal has affected up to 10,000 vehicles sold in the USA by brands in the Volkswagen group, although the company refutes the allegation. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the regulatory body which has been investigating Volkswagen, claims the company fitted a number of recent Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen models with technology that initiates secret components during emission tests to ensure the results are favourable.

The scandal began with damaging revelations that the car manufacturer has been using illegal software to enable diesel cars to cheat on mandatory emissions tests. This lead to a public apology on September 20 by then-chief executive Martin Winterkorn and the promise of an outside inquiry. He then resigned on September 23, and was replaced by Matthias Müller. The new allegation about Porsche is of particular concern for Müller, because he had previously been in charge of Porsche.

The company is expected to foot the bill for the recall of close to 500,000 VW and Audi cars affected at the time. There is also the possibility of Volkswagen having to pay federal fines of up to US$18 billion dollars because the US Clean Air Act sets a maximum fine of US$37,500 for each vehicle that contravenes the requirements of the Act.

An investigation into alleged breaches of environmental law was originally initiated on the advice of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a European non-governmental organisation. The EPA requested tests be carried out by West Virginia University, where the secret software was discovered.

The software, known as a “defeat device”, enabled cars to identify when they were being tested and to switch on the emission control system. The devices may have been adding urea to the car exhaust because that would reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide. The car would release a fraction of the nitrogen oxide compared to when they were being driven normally. Emissions of nitrogen oxide contribute to smog and are thought to have caused a rise in respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The investigation into the crash of a British Airways Boeing 777 (B777) written off on January 17 after landing short of the runway at London’s Heathrow International Airport has been updated. The crash of Flight 38 injured one passenger seriously and 12 others on board, including four crew members, as well as being the first hull loss of a B777.

The latest word from the United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is that both engines had low fuel pressure in their high pressure (HP) fuel inlets, leading to the failure of both engines. Having departed from Beijing, China the aircraft was on final approach for landing at Heathrow when the thrust on the engines first reduced and became unresponsive, then ceased completely. The copilot, who was flying the aircraft at the time, received significant media praise for gliding the aircraft past housing and airport barriers to crash land the airliner onto the grass at the runway threshold, likely saving the 136 passengers and 16 crew from death or further injury as well as preventing potential ground casualties. The landing gear collapsed and the airframe, wings and engines were significantly damaged.

Each HP inlet also exhibited “unusual and fresh cavitation damage to the outlet ports consistent with operation at low inlet pressure”, according to the AAIB’s latest report on investigatory progress, which also states engine failure was definitely caused by low pressure and that the autothrottle had opened up appropriate valves fully in an effort to increase fuel flow, but to no avail. The report indicates the investigation has also considered an area of unusually cold air over Russia which the B777 passed through at 40,000 feet on its journey. Between the Ural mountain range and East Scandinavia the air was found to have been as low as -76°C. The AAIB has ruled out fuel turning to ice as the fuel temperature never fell below -34°C. This is compared to an average freezing temperature of -47°C for jet fuel and test showing the fuel in the B777’s tanks needed cooled to at least -57°C before it froze. Floating ice particles had previously been suggested as a possible causal factor.

However, it has been suggested outside of the investigation that although the fuel did not freeze, it could have become unusually thickened, restricting its flow through the HP inlets, although the temperatures did remain within what are currently considered safe levels. Another possible explanation was that the fuel was contaminated or of inferior quality, but the AAIB has ruled this out. Also disproved are suggestions that the plane suffered a bird strike or that it was disrupted by electromagnetic interference from jamming devices set up to protect a motorcade carrying Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The report says that there was also no evidence to suggest any control systems failed, that the aircraft encountered a wake vortex or that there was core engine icing or other evidence that the engines suffered core lock. There was no damage to the fuel systems excluding that caused by the low pressure and no blockages, therefore it is suspected that fuel flow was restricted.

The investigation has also begun analysing previous flights on comparable aircraft in a large sample of flights. Thus far, no parameters present on Flight 38 have been found that differ significantly from anything previously encountered. The purpose is primarily to identify potentially troublesome combinations of unusual operational parameters.

The report concludes by stating that interested parties to the investigation, specifically the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and British Airways are being kept fully informed of the investigation’s progress.

Although this shows some progress, according to David Learmount, operations and safety editor at periodical industry magazine Flight International, “This report takes us absolutely nowhere, I think they still have no idea.”

The B777 has never had any other hull losses or any fatal accidents and is considered to have one of the world’s safest commercial airliners. According to one spokesman for British Airways “It has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft. At no stage since the accident has the AAIB, Boeing or Rolls Royce advised against the continued operation of the Boeing 777.”

The engines underwent analysis at manufacturer Rolls-Royce‘s facility in Derby, while airframer Boeing is studying the fuel systems in the United States. Rolls Royce’s engine test bed was modified to replicate control inputs from aircraft control systems, and Boeing are working at replicating the cold conditions experienced over Eastern Europe. The investigation is ongoing.

Learn to Make your Home Look Trendy and Stylish by Renovation means re-development. It is an art of improving or remodeling things. Renovations are done to make things look better, convenient and stylish. As the time changes, new ideas, trends, and fashions come into the market and we need to adapt to those changes for better and convenient lifestyle. Anything around us can be renovated. Let start with a place, which is very close to everyone’s heart and that is our home.HOME RENOVATIONSHome is a place which we love the most, and this is where we have our most fond memories, so home renovations are necessary to ensure that our home does not lose its charm.Home renovations include home extensions, renovation of kitchen, bathroom, flooring, walls, ceilings, garden etc.KITCHEN RENOVATIONSWe can renovate the kitchen interiors.We can change the color and graphics of the walls.Good matching flooring with walls can make our kitchen beautiful.A changed cabinet can give it new looks.Use of chimney helps us in keeping it clean and makes it trendy.FLOORINGFlooring plays an important role in home renovations. Selection of good flooring can give your home adorable looks. Some of the flooring styles are:Marble flooringTiles flooringWooden flooring Flooring mats can be an attractive option for a href=”http://www.northerlyaspect.com.au” home renovation /a because it is cheaper than others.WALLS Selection of color for the walls is very important to give an adorable look to our home. Instead of using normal paints, we can go for plastic coated paints. We can use paintings as well as graphics to decorate it.BATHROOMSBathroom is a place where most of us have our thinking caps at work. And love spending time here without any disturbance. So a few important things which can change the structure of our bathroom and enhance its look:FlooringlightingsanitarypaintingsceilingIn order to give your home a new stylish, trendy look, redo your bathroom, flooring, lighting, walls, kitchen. By renovating these areas or your home you can give your home new and trendy looks. For more insights and further information about home renovation visit our site http://www.northerlyaspect.com.auArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The U.S. Senate has scheduled debate and a vote in June on a bill that would allegedly initiate a process for Native Hawaiians to achieve the same level of self-governance and autonomy over their own affairs that many Native American tribes currently have. Critics of the bill characterize it as going much further than any existing tribal recognition, creating a governing entity based solely on race, without the same requirements as needed for Native American tribal recognition, such as having existed predominantly as a distinct community, having exercised political influence over its members as an autonomous entity, and have continuously been identified as a tribal entity since 1900.

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), the main proponent of bill S. 147 (the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) and a Native Hawaiian himself, had been giving daily speeches on the Senate floor since May 9 in support of the bill to raise awareness of it. His advocacy of the bill has led it to become known as the “Akaka Bill.” Opponents of the Akaka bill have made daily responses to the Senator’s speeches as well.

“I thank our majority leader, the senior senator from Tennessee, who is working to uphold his commitment to bring this bill to the Senate floor for a debate and roll call vote,” Akaka said after receiving the pledge from Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on Friday. He also recognized his chief opponent, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who worked with Akaka “to uphold his promise to allow the bill to come to the floor for a debate and roll call vote.”

Frist is expected to file a cloture motion after the Senate returns from its May recess. A vote on the cloture motion would occur within 48 hours of filing.

Opponents of the bill, including Kyl, charge that the bill is a race-based privilege that the U.S. Constitution prohibits. Others, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) imply that passage of the bill could have unintended consequences. In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday that preceded Akaka’s, Alexander likened the bill to recognizing Hispanic populations descended from pre-republican Texas or giving tribal status to the Amish or Hasidic Jews, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.

Akaka believes that he has bipartisan support for his bill, with four Republican senators pledging support for it. At least six Republican senators would need to vote for the bill for it to pass, assuming that the bill receives solid support from Akaka’s fellow Democrats and the chamber’s one independent member who usually votes with the Democrats.

A recent report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission recommended that the bill be rejected. [1](PDF)

The Commission recommends against passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S. 147) as reported out of committee on May 16, 2005, or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.

Although the U.S. Civil Rights Commission redacted the findings section of their draft report before approving their final report, opponents of the Akaka bill have challenged the characterization of the findings section as being “historically inaccurate” by Akaka bill supporters.

Supporters of the bill, which include the Democratic members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation and Republican governor Linda Lingle, counter that Hawaii is a unique case because of its former history as an independent nation before the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.

Kyl had placed a block on the bill when it was originally placed on the Senate schedule in July 2005, but has since agreed to allow the bill to come to a floor vote. The bill was later deferred indefinitely due in part to Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Postal Service running out of money

Posted by: in Uncategorized
18
Aug

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tensions are running high at the U.S. Postal Service as it faces an enormous budget shortfall. Even after announcing it was cutting 3,000 jobs, the beleaguered government agency is still quickly running out of money.

Postmaster General John Potter asked the United States Congress for help on Wednesday, once again bringing up the possibility of reducing mail delivery from six to five days a week. The service reduction would save approximately $3.5 billion this year.

Another way to cut costs could include changes to how it pays for its employee retirement plan, which would save a further $2 billion. Closing small and rural post offices is another possibility that has been discussed.

Many measures have already been taken to stem the agency’s losses. Construction of new facilities has been put on hold and existing ones put up for sale, millions of man-hours have been cut, and executive salaries have been frozen.

House Oversight Post Office Subcommmittee chairman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.) has expressed reluctance with the plan to reduce service, saying “With the Postal Service facing budget shortfalls the subcommittee will consider a number of options to restore financial stability and examine ways for the Postal Service to continue to operate without cutting services.”

Other than cost cutting, Congress could also appropriate taxpayer dollars to fund the struggling Postal Service, which currently does not rely on public funding outside of a subsidy for international voting mail and services for the blind.

If nothing is done, the USPS will soon run completely out of money, and may be unable to pay many of its bills. Salaries are the agency’s highest priority to continue paying, though other debts may have to wait to be paid, said Potter. Last year the Postal Service lost $2.8 billion.

Norfolk youths banned from buying eggs and ketchup

Posted by: in Uncategorized
18
Aug

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Youths in the Norfolk town of Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, England, have been banned from purchasing “squirty bottles” of ketchup, and eggs after a number of complaints from residents in the area. The move, which is backed by the Norfolk Police, is aimed at reducing the number of anti-social incidents occurring in the area. Sergeant Andy Brown, of the Norfolk Police, has said that no further complaints have been received since the ban came into force.

I know it sounds a bit daft, but it has made a difference because we’ve had no more reported incidents since the supermarkets came on board.

While squirting ketchup itself is not a criminal offence, the damage that it can cause, such as removing paint from cars or houses, is often enough to bring charges of criminal damage. Sgt Brown said that there were “about a dozen complaints from residents, some of them elderly, about people squirting ketchup over doors, windows and vehicles.” Martin Bailie, a spokesperson for Lidl supermarkets, has defended his staff’s actions, saying “the stores’ staff were [already] challenging youngsters who were trying to bulk buy these things. It wasn’t that we haven’t been selling eggs and ketchup to youths, but have been careful about who we have sold them to, and we are glad it has been making a difference.”