Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the premiere of the film Gone With the Wind (1939), the anniversary of Sitting Bull’s death (1890), the anniversary of the Battle of San Pietro (1943) and effective date of the Bill of Rights (1791) MASSIVE.  Birth anniversary of Alexandre Eiffel (engineer Eiffel Tower 1832), sub machine gun inventor Uzi Gal and Polish oculist Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof (1859).

It’s nice to see a local mega bank has the spirit of Christmas.  PNC seems to be making a big deal about they are starting a moratorium on throwing people out of their homes for two weeks over Christmas.  I think a bigger Christmas gift would be where a bank straightens out their foreclosure process so it’s fair and just.  #1  I acknowledge there’s a lot of people that should have never received a mortgage because either they are irresponsible or don’t have the income to afford it.  #2  I also acknowledge a lot of properties are “underwater” (I’m not referring to Super Storm Sandy aftermaths).  :)    As far as #1 goes, banks have no responsibility for these folks.  #2 I think the attitude should be if the bank forecloses on the property because the owners paid too much for it before the bottom fell out on real estate, a different attitude towards this situation is a lot different than #1.  The bank is not going to be able to sell the property for what the current owners owe, so since the property is going to be sold for less, why not re-negotiate what the value of the house is and create an appropriate mortgage?  I know why, because the banks have the legal recourse to take over the property through foreclosure, write off their expenses, steal (my opinion) the equity the current owners have built up in it and then sell it for a profit.  Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right or moral.

The warmest story from the Western PA Humane Society.  A passerby found an abandoned dog along the side of the road that was in really rough shape.  He took her to a local shelter and was turned down because the shelter was full.

 

She had a severe case of mange, open sores, malnutrition and was terrified of everything and everyone.  They named her Hope.  Because the passerby and the Humane Society didn’t not give up on Hope, here she is today:

What an amazing transformation.  Just look at her eyes before and after.  An amazing side story, Hope doesn’t have a home yet, but her foster mom is being treated for cancer and they are both growing their hair back together.  :)  Thank you Humane Society for all you do.

Speaking of life’s creatures, I talked about this awhile back, Audubon Society is looking for people to take part in their national Christmas Bird Count.  You don’t have to be a professional birder or any such.  Just some free time and a desire to step outside in some fresh air.  This is the 113th year of the count and they expect 60,000 people to participate.  Each count is done in 24 hours and are in a 15 mile radius that each team covers.  In addition to long term trends, these counts show season blips like the Canadian finches that are migrating farther than normal because weather conditions kept their natural food supply of pine cones depleted.  Don’t fret, the Christmas Counts aren’t done on Christmas day.  :)  Most of it is done this weekend or the weekend of December 29 & 30.  More info at their web site or by calling 412-963-6100.

I was filled with hope recently about the proposed Buncher project down in the Strip.  Mayor Murphy addressed City Council last week and expressed his displeasure with the proposal.  (Mayor Murphy was a huge proponent for re-developing the river fronts).  He said the proposal on the table was overall very boring and the planned development along the river was a best very needing.  He tactfully expressed concern about the demise of 1/4 of the Terminal Building.  A week ago, John Conti, the architectural contributor to the Tribune Review bashed the project as well.  He’s pointed out the shortcomings of the proposal twice, so I’m adding a second link here Trib .  Well, this morning I read that City Council voted to approve the project.  Council President Darlene Harris voted in favor of the project, when questioned about the set back from the river, she said City Council has no authority to make Buncher use a larger set back than is required by code.  When I read that, I send her a comment through her web site that maybe not, but City Council sure does have a say so in whether Buncher can get $50MILLION in city money and City Council does have a say so in whether Buncher can tear down 1/4 of the historic/iconic Terminal Building.  Of course, once again I received the automated response acknowledging that a citizen made a comment to Council President, nothing else.  I guess my votes doesn’t count.

This week, Paris celebrated a special birthday.  Notre Dame turned 850 years old.  It was pointed out that Notre Dame out lasted 80 kings, 2 emperors and 5 republics.  I don’t recall the name, but I read a very interesting book about how the architects back then figured out how to build these grand edifices.  I did a web search and nothing came up that I recalled.  And I did a in my past postings and nothing came up there either.

Ricky Dick’s creation Castle Blood in Monessen is open this weekend for a Spooky Little Cryptmas.  He’s the guy that that converted and old multi-plex into a horror themed venue.  Obviously, it’s huge around Halloween, but he does other holidays like if February he does My Bloody Valentine.  He has toned down the the show and added lots of poinsettias, Santa hats, etc.  He also rents the venue out for special occasions.  Admission is $10 and it runs Saturday from 11 until 7 and Sunday from 2 until 5.  More info at his web site or by calling 724-314-3563.

Have a great weekend,

ed