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Friday, January 30 2009

We have reported in the past of CJ’s Bus which is in operation right now to assist young children. Even though the bus is not able to be deployed, the bus was used to drop of supplies at the Evansville Red Cross for the children.

 

 

CJ’s Bus Helps Young Storm Victims

 

CJ’s Bus Gives back to the Evansville Area.

News Release:

From: CJ's Bus

 

Katryn Martin stops by the Evansville Red Cross to drop off supplies for the children affected by the recent winter storm.

 

EVANSVILLE, INDIANA– Janurary 30, 2009 – The CJ's Bus Foundation was built from the ground up by the generosity of the Evansville tri-state area. Unfortunately, the Bus is not able to be deployed due to current weather conditions. On Thursday afternoon, Kathryn Martin and her team of volunteers stopped by the Evansville Red Cross to drop off supplies for the children affected by the recent winter storm. They carried in toys, blankets, books, crayons, and other assorted activities for the local children.

 

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=52701

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 30 2009

Food Safety During Power Outages, What to Keep & What to Toss

 

News Release:

VANDERBURGH COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

 

EvansvilleVanderburgh County and the surrounding area has been hit with a terrible ice storm and power outages. Many homes and businesses have food that has been affected. Everyone should be advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves from consuming food that may have been put at risk because of the lack of refrigeration.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department would like to give some advice to those without power and refrigeration. The following information can be used as a guide, and if there are further questions a call to the Health Department can be made to (812) 435-5695.

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

When there is a power outage:

Potentially hazardous foods are those foods, such as high protein foods (meat, egg, dairy) and cooked vegetables, that support the rapid and progressive growth of disease causing bacteria.

Foodborne illnesses can be caused by bacteria that can multiply rapidly in foods when the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41 degrees F to 135 Degrees F).

 

Keep refrigerated potentially hazardous foods stored below 41 degrees F.

 

Frozen foods must be maintained frozen.

 

Hot potentially hazardous food must be maintained at 135 degrees F.

Freezers

Leave the freezer door closed. A full freezer should keep food safe about two (2) days, and a half -full freezer, about one (1) day. You can safely re-freeze thawed foods that still have ice crystals and are less than 41 degrees F. Dry ice or bags of ice can added to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended time.

Refrigerators

Food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as the power is out no more than about four (4) to six (6) hours. Leave the door closed because every time you open it, needed cold air escapes, allowing the foods inside to reach unsafe temperatures. Discard any potentially hazardous food that has been above 41 degrees F for (4) four hours or more, any non-potentially hazardous food that has reached a temperature of 45 degrees F or higher for any length of time, or has an unusual color, odor, or texture.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

Some other things you can do if the power is out for extended periods of time.

 

Check with friends and family who might have electricity and ask to store your food in their refrigerator until your power is restored.

 

Once your refrigerator reaches 45°F, you shouldn't use the food.

 

Once the food in your freezer has thawed out, either cook it immediately or throw it out.

 

Long-term, a cooler with ice isn't sufficient in maintaining a safe temperature.

 

For short periods of time, if the out door temperature is below freezing you may also want to place food into a cooler or protected container and set it outside, completely avoid setting it in any sun.

As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

 

Other Food Safety Tips

REFRIGERATOR FOODS When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Held above 40°F for over 2 hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, or seafood

Discard

Thawing meat or poultry

Discard

Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad

Discard

Gravy, stuffing

Discard

Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef

Discard

Canned meats, opened

Discard

Pizza - with any topping

Discard

Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"

Discard

CHEESE

Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel

Discard

Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano

Safe

Processed Cheeses

Safe

Shredded Cheeses

Discard

Low-fat Cheeses

Discard

Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)

Safe

DAIRY

Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt

Discard

Butter, margarine

Safe

Baby formula, opened

Discard

EGGS

Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products

Discard

Custards and puddings

Discard

CASSEROLES, SOUPS, STEWS

Discard

FRUITS

Fresh fruits, cut

Discard

Fruit juices, opened

Safe

Canned fruits, opened

Safe

Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates

Safe

SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS

Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50°F for more than eight hours.

Peanut butter

Safe

Jelly; relish; taco, barbecue & soy sauce; mustard; catsup; olives

Safe

Worcestershire sauce

Discard

Fish sauces (oyster sauce)

Discard

Opened vinegar-based dressings

Safe

Opened creamy-based dressings

Discard

Spaghetti sauce, opened jar

Discard

BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA

Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads

Safe

Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough

Discard

Cooked pasta, spaghetti

Discard

Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette

Discard

Fresh pasta

Discard

Cheesecake

Discard

Breakfast foods - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Safe

PIES, PASTRY

Pastries, cream filled

Discard

Pies - custard, cheese filled, or chiffon

Discard

Pies, fruit

Safe

VEGETABLES

Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe

Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged

Discard

Vegetables, raw

Safe

Vegetables, cooked

Discard

Vegetable juice, opened

Discard

Baked potatoes

Discard

Commercial garlic in oil

Discard

Potato Salad

Discard

FROZEN FOOD When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated

Thawed. Held above 40°F for more than two hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats

Refreeze

Discard

Poultry and ground poultry

Refreeze

Discard

Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles, stews, soups

Refreeze

Discard

Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss.

Discard

DAIRY

Milk

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Eggs (out of shell) and egg products

Refreeze

Discard

Ice cream, frozen yogurt

Discard

Discard

Cheese (soft and semi-soft)

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Hard cheeses

Refreeze

Refreeze

Shredded cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Cheesecake

Refreeze

Discard

FRUITS

Juices

Refreeze

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

Home or commercially packaged

Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor.

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

VEGETABLES

Juices

Refreeze

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

Home or commercially packaged or blanched

Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss.

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

BREADS, PASTRIES

Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without

Refreeze

Refreeze

custard fillings)

Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling

Refreeze

Discard

Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread dough

Refreeze. Some quality loss may occur.

Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.

OTHER

Casseroles - pasta, rice based

Refreeze

Discard

Flour, cornmeal, nuts

Refreeze

Refreeze

Breakfast items - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Refreeze

Refreeze

Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods)

Refreeze

Discard

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=52711

Posted by: Rolando AT 10:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 30 2009

Food Safety During Power Outages, What to Keep & What to Toss

 

News Release:

VANDERBURGH COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

 

EvansvilleVanderburgh County and the surrounding area has been hit with a terrible ice storm and power outages. Many homes and businesses have food that has been affected. Everyone should be advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves from consuming food that may have been put at risk because of the lack of refrigeration.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department would like to give some advice to those without power and refrigeration. The following information can be used as a guide, and if there are further questions a call to the Health Department can be made to (812) 435-5695.

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

When there is a power outage:

Potentially hazardous foods are those foods, such as high protein foods (meat, egg, dairy) and cooked vegetables, that support the rapid and progressive growth of disease causing bacteria.

Foodborne illnesses can be caused by bacteria that can multiply rapidly in foods when the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41 degrees F to 135 Degrees F).

 

Keep refrigerated potentially hazardous foods stored below 41 degrees F.

 

Frozen foods must be maintained frozen.

 

Hot potentially hazardous food must be maintained at 135 degrees F.

Freezers

Leave the freezer door closed. A full freezer should keep food safe about two (2) days, and a half -full freezer, about one (1) day. You can safely re-freeze thawed foods that still have ice crystals and are less than 41 degrees F. Dry ice or bags of ice can added to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended time.

Refrigerators

Food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as the power is out no more than about four (4) to six (6) hours. Leave the door closed because every time you open it, needed cold air escapes, allowing the foods inside to reach unsafe temperatures. Discard any potentially hazardous food that has been above 41 degrees F for (4) four hours or more, any non-potentially hazardous food that has reached a temperature of 45 degrees F or higher for any length of time, or has an unusual color, odor, or texture.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

Some other things you can do if the power is out for extended periods of time.

 

Check with friends and family who might have electricity and ask to store your food in their refrigerator until your power is restored.

 

Once your refrigerator reaches 45°F, you shouldn't use the food.

 

Once the food in your freezer has thawed out, either cook it immediately or throw it out.

 

Long-term, a cooler with ice isn't sufficient in maintaining a safe temperature.

 

For short periods of time, if the out door temperature is below freezing you may also want to place food into a cooler or protected container and set it outside, completely avoid setting it in any sun.

As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

 

Other Food Safety Tips

REFRIGERATOR FOODS When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Held above 40°F for over 2 hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, or seafood

Discard

Thawing meat or poultry

Discard

Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad

Discard

Gravy, stuffing

Discard

Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef

Discard

Canned meats, opened

Discard

Pizza - with any topping

Discard

Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"

Discard

CHEESE

Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel

Discard

Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano

Safe

Processed Cheeses

Safe

Shredded Cheeses

Discard

Low-fat Cheeses

Discard

Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)

Safe

DAIRY

Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt

Discard

Butter, margarine

Safe

Baby formula, opened

Discard

EGGS

Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products

Discard

Custards and puddings

Discard

CASSEROLES, SOUPS, STEWS

Discard

FRUITS

Fresh fruits, cut

Discard

Fruit juices, opened

Safe

Canned fruits, opened

Safe

Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates

Safe

SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS

Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50°F for more than eight hours.

Peanut butter

Safe

Jelly; relish; taco, barbecue & soy sauce; mustard; catsup; olives

Safe

Worcestershire sauce

Discard

Fish sauces (oyster sauce)

Discard

Opened vinegar-based dressings

Safe

Opened creamy-based dressings

Discard

Spaghetti sauce, opened jar

Discard

BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA

Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads

Safe

Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough

Discard

Cooked pasta, spaghetti

Discard

Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette

Discard

Fresh pasta

Discard

Cheesecake

Discard

Breakfast foods - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Safe

PIES, PASTRY

Pastries, cream filled

Discard

Pies - custard, cheese filled, or chiffon

Discard

Pies, fruit

Safe

VEGETABLES

Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe

Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged

Discard

Vegetables, raw

Safe

Vegetables, cooked

Discard

Vegetable juice, opened

Discard

Baked potatoes

Discard

Commercial garlic in oil

Discard

Potato Salad

Discard

FROZEN FOOD When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated

Thawed. Held above 40°F for more than two hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats

Refreeze

Discard

Poultry and ground poultry

Refreeze

Discard

Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles, stews, soups

Refreeze

Discard

Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss.

Discard

DAIRY

Milk

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Eggs (out of shell) and egg products

Refreeze

Discard

Ice cream, frozen yogurt

Discard

Discard

Cheese (soft and semi-soft)

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Hard cheeses

Refreeze

Refreeze

Shredded cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Cheesecake

Refreeze

Discard

FRUITS

Juices

Refreeze

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

Home or commercially packaged

Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor.

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

VEGETABLES

Juices

Refreeze

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

Home or commercially packaged or blanched

Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss.

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

BREADS, PASTRIES

Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without

Refreeze

Refreeze

custard fillings)

Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling

Refreeze

Discard

Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread dough

Refreeze. Some quality loss may occur.

Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.

OTHER

Casseroles - pasta, rice based

Refreeze

Discard

Flour, cornmeal, nuts

Refreeze

Refreeze

Breakfast items - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Refreeze

Refreeze

Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods)

Refreeze

Discard

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=52711

Posted by: Rolando AT 10:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 30 2009

Here we have a few important numbers in case you need them.

 

 

Important phone numbers you may need while enduring the winter storm.

 

Vectren — (800) 227-1376

 

Kenergy — (270) 926-4141

 

OMU — (270) 926-3200

 

Southwestern Indiana road conditions — (800) 261-7623

 

Western Kentucky road conditions — (800) 452-4368

 

Evansville/Vanderburgh County American Red Cross — 471-7200

 

Warrick County American Red Cross — 306-7285

 

Vanderburgh County Highway Department — 435-5777

 

Evansville Traffic Engineering Department — 435-6003

 

Evansville Police Department information desk — 436-7975

 

Posted by: Rolando AT 10:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 30 2009

 

According to Vectren there are still 52,000 customers without power down from 55,000 Tuesday evening. The main roads are passable but side roads are still covered with ice and snow. Although the temperatures should improve over the weekend the long range forecast is predicting snow for Monday February 2nd.

 

Left in the dark

 

Harsh conditions slow feverish work to restore power

 

Vectren officials are hoping they’ve “turned the corner,” company spokeswoman Chase Kelley said this morning as 52,000 customers remained without power, down from 55,000 Thursday evening.

 

"We had high priority outages that diverted our crews Thursday — fire stations, levee pumps, I know in Boonville there was an issue with the water plant," she said. "We’re still looking at some health care facilities and schools, but we think we’ve turned the corner and will hit larger residential pockets today."

 

 

With that in mind, during a news conference Thursday Chapman, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and Vanderburgh County Commissioners President Troy Tornatta urged residents without power and heat to seek alternate shelter.

 

"We want to emphasize how serious it is," Chapman said. "We are expecting that outages will continue well into next week."

 

He said about 700 to 800 crew members are at work in the Evansville area, including some from other utility companies. The workers will be staying in area hotels and shelters, some as far away as Vincennes.

 

Chapman also reminded property owners they are responsible for repairing any damage where electric service enters a structure.

 

"Electric service could be restored in your area, but if there is damage where power comes into your home you still may not have power," he said.

 

Weinzapfel urged residents without heat to "seriously consider" not staying overnight in their homes but to either seek shelter or check with their friends, family and neighbors.

 

Emily Zander, spokeswoman for the Red Cross of Southwestern Indiana, agreed. "We are asking that (people without power) play it safe rather than sorry," she said.

 

The Red Cross has opened four shelters — Camp Reveal at 1040 East Boonville-New Harmony Road; its' office at Stockwell Road and the Lloyd Expressway; Washington Avenue Church of Christ on Washington Avenue; and the Vanderburgh 4-H Center on Boonville-New Harmony Road. Zander said the numbers were holding steady at 500 occupants between the four locations. She said she can't guarantee that everyone who comes will get a cot, but "they're going to be warm, and they're going to be fed three meals a day."

 

The Red Cross is asking anyone planning to stay at one of its shelters to bring blankets, pillows, a change of clothes and any medications they might need.

 

The National Guard is available to pick up residents and transport them to one of the shelters. They were out until 3 a.m. Thursday, and then started again four hours later.

 

Many places in the Evansville area have no room to take in those without power, though. Both the United Caring Shelter and the Evansville Rescue Mission were at full capacity. The Casino Aztar Hotel and Executive Inn were out of rooms.

 

Weinzapfel urged people with power to avoid using extension cords to share electricity with homes without power because of the risk of fire or electric shock.

 

The city and county remain under a state of emergency. Several roads remained blocked by downed trees Thursday, including Boeke Road between Covert and Pollack avenues and Wimberg Avenue between Mesker Park Drive and Harmony Way.

 

More than 100 locations still have trees partially blocking major roads. Weinzapfel said the hope was those could be addressed by the weekend, but it may take several weeks to clear downed trees from side streets.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/29/left-in-the-dark-harsh-conditions-slow-feverish/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 29 2009

Here we have the official explanation of the State of Emergency from the office of Jonathan Weinzapfel. The State of Emergency has been issued by Major Jonathan Weinzapfel and the Vanderburgh County Commissioners.

 

 

 

 


                                                    City of Evansville

One N.W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Evansville, Indiana 47708

 

Office of the Mayor

Jonathan Weinzapfel

 

 

 

January 29, 2009                                                                   Contact: Audra Levy

For Immediate Release                                                                       (812) 436-4969

 

                                                                                                               Adam Groupe

                                                                                                               (812) 453-6020

 

 

Explanation of “State of Emergency

 

(EVANSVILLE, IN) – There has been some confusion about what a “State of Emergency” means for the public and employers.

 

The Mayor and the Vanderburgh County Commissioners have declared that a “State of Emergency” exits in the City and County.   This declaration of a State of Emergency has been prepared by the Evansville/Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency and sent to the State.  It is the first step in the process of seeking State and Federal assistance.  A local State of Emergency enables the City and County to ask the State for additional resources and assistance, like the activation of the National Guard.  It is the first step in making the City and County eligible to recoup some of the costs incurred from a disaster such as damage to government structures and clean up.

 

If the disaster is of such a magnitude that the State would need assistance from the federal government, the Governor can ask the President to declare a “federal disaster declaration” for the state and county which would entitle us to federal assistance.  Help for both residents and the government would be available at this point. 

 

A State of Emergency is only valid for seven days and may be extended twice.  However, it can be shorter than 7 days if necessary.

 

 

A State of Emergency does not prohibit travel.  The City and County cannot prohibit travel under any circumstances.  We can strongly suggest that drivers stay off the roads, but according to the law, we cannot issue tickets if people choose to drive anyway.

 

In addition to a State of Emergency, there is a system of warnings for winter weather that has been instituted by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (please see attached chart).  These are the travel advisories that you have also heard issued over the past few days.  A “Level 1” emergency is automatically triggered when a State of Emergency is declared.   “Level 1” states that travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only.  It is important to note that travel ‘may be’ restricted, which again means that the City and County cannot keep drivers off the roads.

 

The bottom line is that a “State of Emergency” triggers mechanisms which allow the City and County to request additional resources and recoup costs associated with this winter weather.  Despite the fact that we are under a State of Emergency and a Level 1 Travel Emergency, the City and County can only strongly recommend that people travel only when necessary.  It is up to employers, schools, etc. to make their own determinations as to whether to remain open.

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 06:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 29 2009

Evansville and the Tri-State are digging out of a massive ice and snow storm. Unfortunately the ice has caused many trees and branches to fall and tear down the electric grid for the entire area. We have been without electricity for nearly 2 days and we feel for those who still do not have their electricity back. The clean up of tree debris will only be possible once the ice and snow has melted. We will try to keep up dates coming as long as we have electricity.

 

 

Vectren outages down to 56,000

 

Vectren reports the number of power outages remain at 56,000.

 

At its peak Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 70,000 power outages - believed to be the most in the company history.

 

The restoration effort will get a further boost today as additional crews from neighboring utilities arrive in town to aid with the process. About 400 are expected in addition to about 200 Vectren employees and contractors.

 

"We're hoping to make some significant progress today," Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley said this morning, cautioning that full restoration isn't likely before next week.

 

ICE STORM RECAP:

 

With thousands of Tri-State residents facing the prospect of days without electrical service and heat as nighttime temperatures drop into the low teens, officials are urging neighbors to look out for each other.

 

The winter storm that began Tuesday and packed successive rounds of ice, sleet and snow finally cleared out of the region Wednesday, but it left behind problems that will confront area residents for days.

 

Ice and snow create problems for the Tri-State.

 

The National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., predicts temperatures will not rise above freezing until Saturday, when the daytime high will be 36 degrees. The mercury is to climb above 40 on Sunday, but nighttime temperatures will continue to fall into the 20s.

 

The storm knocked out power to more than 70,000 Vectren customers in Southwestern Indiana — more than half of the homes and businesses the utility serves.

 

"We've got a lot of resources, but on the other hand, we've got a lot of work to do because of the outages," said Vectren Chief Operating Officer and President Carl Chapman, offering an estimate of "well into next week" for the full restoration.

 

Chapman said up to 200 employees and contractors were working Wednesday to restore power with 400 more workers en route from utilities in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and central Indiana.

 

Tens of thousands of others in Illinois and Kentucky found themselves in the dark Wednesday after an icy glaze coated everything outdoors, bringing down tree limbs and power lines.

 

The widespread power problems, believed to be the most outages in Vectren's history, were the exclamation point to two days of wintry weather that by far marked the Tri-State's biggest and messiest storm this season. In all, five inches of snow and 1.25 inches of ice fell in Evansville.

 

By 1 a.m. Wednesday, ice was coating trees and falling limbs were taking out power lines across the city. Along an unusually dark stretch of Washington Avenue on the Southeast Side, ambulances dodged large tree branches in the road as freezing rain and ice continued to fall. At U.S. 41 and Washington Avenue, trees drooped into the roadway.

 

Transformers blew frequently, reflecting off the overcast skies like lightning. As more power lines fell and conditions deteriorated, the Evansville Fire Department raced from one scene to the next. Crews made 275 runs — a normal night totals 8 to 10 runs — including five structure fires and several rescues of people trapped by falling branches. No one was believed to have been injured seriously.

 

By 4 a.m., the precipitation had changed to a snow that covered streets and generally made travel treacherous. Evansville and Vanderburgh County declared emergencies.

 

A state of emergency in Posey County reflected hazardous road conditions and power outages throughout the area, its Emergency Management Agency announced. Dispatchers estimated power outages affected 80 percent of the population at one point Wednesday morning.

 

Emergencies called

 

Dubois, Perry, Spencer and Warrick counties also declared states of emergency, although Warrick Sheriff Marvin Heilman said there were only a handful of minor accidents in his jurisdiction. Like Vanderburgh County, he said power outages were the main concern, including two nursing homes in Newburgh left in the dark. Officials were working Wednesday morning to expedite the restoration of their electricity, Heilman said.

 

"Fortunately the sun's shining," Heilman said. "It could be a lot worse if you look at it that way."

 

Across the river in Henderson County, Ky., dispatchers on Wednesday said wires and trees were down all over.

 

"The streets are very, very icy," Henderson County communications supervisor Nyeda Ditzer said Wednesday morning. "(People) definitely need to stay in. The streets are in very bad condition."

 

The fact that residents stayed off the roads may be a big reason why few accidents were reported beyond a handful of slide-offs and minor troubles, said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams.

 

"In general, people have done a good job staying off the roads," he said, adding motorists need to continue minimizing driving until the roads are fully cleared.

 

There wasn't a clear indication on Wednesday when that would be. Vanderburgh County Highway Superintendent Mike Duckworth said his crews and the city crews were focusing on primary routes first.

 

But that process was hampered by refreezing, stalled cars, and downed trees and wires as well as the different rounds of wintry weather.

 

Asked when he thought crews could begin turning their attention to secondary roadways and subdivisions, Duckworth said he couldn't provide a time line.

 

The Indiana National Guard was preparing Wednesday afternoon to help residents by providing transportation from homes to shelters, emergency officials said.

 

City and county responders and officials offered perspective into the extent of the problems and the solutions ahead during a news conference Wednesday morning at Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

 

Several in attendance — including Chapman, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and Duckworth — acknowledged they were among the thousands without power.

 

Chief among the problems discussed were the massive outages and the effect on the powerless residents. Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency Director Sherman Greer said the forecast points to a deep freeze for the next few days, bad news for people hoping to stick it out without heat.

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/28/thousands-in-the-tri-state-awaken-to-another-day/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 26 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the seventh part out of the series of seven.

 

International Moves

 

An international move between counties or continents can be a challenge for even an expert mover. In these cases, we strongly recommend seeking professional help. A mover with experience in international moves will be able to help you will all the details. 

 

Here are some suggestions that may help:

 

Make sure you find a mover than experience with both the origin and destination countries. The international mover should have a local presence in both countries or an affiliate that he can subcontract to.

Make sure that all the paperwork for customs is taken care of. There may be regulations that govern what the types and number of goods that can be transported. You may need to provide proof of ownership or insurance for some types of items.

Good sources of information are the local embassies. Contact the local embassy of the country you are moving to and also contact your embassy in the destination country. Both will be helpful in providing any details you may have overlooked

Make sure you take care of all your visa and immigration documents. You don't want to find that your goods have been transported but you aren't able to enter the country to retrieve them. Make sure your passport is current.

Get professional packers for your international move. An international move can seem to your possessions like several moves. Items will be moved several times as they may go on several modes of transportation including truck, trains, and ship. 

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 26 2009

Map shows primary snow routes

Primary snow routes

Primary snow routes

As they clear the city from snow and sleet this evening and Tuesday, area road crews will focus first on primary routes.

Click on the picture at left to see a map of all the primary routes or click here to view a PDF.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/26/map-shows-primary-snow-routes/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 26 2009

With a winter storm fast approaching we thought it would not hurt to go over safety tips for winter weather. The motto is: Be Prepared. Act Now. Stay safe!

 

 

Are you ready? Winter weather safety tips

Here are some winter weather emergency tips we’ve compiled by talking to representatives from Vectren, the American Red Cross and the Emergency Management agency:

General rules

— Have a three-day supply of food and water, extra batteries and medications.

— Create a family communications plan, including a designated out-of-town contact.

— Monitor your weather radio or local radio and TV for information and emergency instructions.

— If you must go outside, dress warmly. Wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Mittons are better than gloves. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Avoid overextertion.

— Conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than normal or by shutting off less-used rooms.

— If there is a significant power outage, the Red Cross of Southwestern Indiana will establish shelters, notifying the public through the news media and also by driving into areas where outages exist.

Power outages

— Call Vectren at (800) 227-1376 to report a power outage, downed power lines, gas problem etc.

— Have a power outage kit, including a flashlight with batteries, lantern, matches, glow-in-the-dark light sticks, wind-up clock, portable radio, manual can opener and mylar blanket.

— Check on neighbors who might need help, such as the elderly, disabled or small children.

— Use hot water sparingly. Most hot water tanks will retain heat for up to 24 hours.

— Know how to manually override your electric garage door if you have one.

— Unplug computers, TVs, VCRs, and other sensitive appliances. This will minimize the risk of possible damage to these devices when power is restored.

— Turn off all heat producing appliances like electric irons and heaters to prevent fires in case no one is home when power is restored.

— Leave one or two lights on to let you know when service is restored.

— Dress in layers to conserve body heat. Close doors, windows, curtains and unused fireplace dampers to preserve heat.

— Use flashlights when necessary. If candles must be used, keep away from pets and children and any flammable materials.

— Adequately vent fueled space heaters (e.g. kerosene, propane, alcohol) to avoid carbon monoxide gas buildup. Do not use charcoal or gas grills inside closed areas, including garages and porches, due to carbon monoxide risks.

— Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to keep food fresh. Refrigerated food should be safe for about four hours. But milk, dairy products, eggs, meats and all cooked foods spoil quickly. Discard these foods if the temperature in the refrigerator rises above 40 degrees for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw the food out.

— If used incorrectly, generators pose a hazard to both you and crews attempting to restore power. Plug appliances and fixtures directly into the outlets of the generator, not into your home circuitry. Be sure to use generators in a well-ventilated area.

— When power is restored, turn on electrical appliances gradually. Sudden heavy consumption can damage the electrical system and extend the outage.

Driving tips

— Carry a disaster supplies kit in your car that includes water, a flashlight, flares, energy bars and blankets.

— Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use.

— Let someone know your destination, your route and your expected arrival time.

Stay tuned for storm warnings. Know the difference between a winter storm watch and warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for a winter storm, a warning means a winter storm (4 or more inches of snow and sleet) is headed for your area and you should seek shelter.

— Plan long car trips carefully. Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol to get the latest road conditions. The numbers are (800) 261-7623 in Southwest Indiana, 511 in Western Kentucky and (800) 452-4368 in Southern Illinois.

— If you get stranded, remain in your car. Tie a bright cloth to the antenna. Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Keep one window that is away from blowing wind slightly open for fresh air.

— Avoid driving during a winter storm or when one is imminent.

— Travel during daylight hours and if possible take another person with you.

— Clear all snow and ice off of your headlights, taillights, windows and hood before driving so you can see and be seen by other vehicles.

Snow clearing

— If you’re healthy enough to shovel snow, still take it easy at first to warm up, and stretch after finishing.

— To avoid overextertion and back pain, don’t try to move too much snow at once.

— If the snow is heavy or deep, try to push it rather than throw it.

— Use a shovel with a D-shaped handle for an easier grip.

— Hold shovel loads closer to the body. Lift each load with your legs, keeping the spine upright. Don’t lift and twist.

Snow and ice removal

— Proceed with caution when removing snow and ice around gas meters.

— Remove large icicles hanging over meter assemblies and appliance vents.

— If your gas meter is near a sidewalk or driveway, make sure whoever removes snow from your property is aware of its location.

— Use a broom — not a shovel — to clear snow from your meter assembly and vents.

— Particular attention should be paid when moving snow on a commercial lot. Be sure not to pile snow around gas meters.

— Consider installing driveway entrance reflectors around gas meters in close proximity to a roadway or driveway.

Downed power lines

— Never touch or attempt to move a downed power line or a person who is in contact with a power line.

— Keep children and pets away from areas where power lines may have fallen.

— Don’t drive over downed power lines.

— If a downed line is near water, keep a safe distance from the line and the water, even if it is a small puddle.

— Be careful not to stand under tree limbs or power lines. Tree limbs can become weakened during a storm but not fall until several hours or even days after the storm. — The same can be true for power lines or poles that sustain damage.

Smell natural gas?

— Leave the area (home or building) of the gas leak, as well as areas where the odor of gas is noticeable, immediately.

— Call Vectren at 1 (800) 227-1376 from somewhere other than the location of the gas leak.

    Remain in a safe area until emergency personnel arrive and do not return to the area where the odor of gas is noticeable or re-enter the building or surrounding buildings.

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/26/are-you-ready-winter-weather-safety-tips/

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 26 2009

Reports are in that the Executive Inn has been sold to a Chicago company, Mutual Hospitality Management. There is very little information available on Mutual Hospitality Management. Major Jonathan Weinzapfel is waiting until more information is available. As per the Major “Like everyone else, we look forward to hearing more details of the sale in the coming days.”

 

Executive Inn sold to Chicago company

 

The Executive Inn has been sold to a Chicago company, Mutual Hospitality Management.

 

The company plans to keep the hotel open and make improvements to it, according to a statement released Friday.

 

“As these decisions and developments progress, all of the facility’s first class hotel and conference center services will continue with normal operations,” the release says.

 

A representative of the new owners, Gary Jossa, could give little information about Mutual Hospitality Management. He did not know how many investors were involved, what other projects it had undertaken or whether it was affiliated with any other companies.

 

Mutual Hospitality Management has no plans to lay off any of 100 or so workers at the hotel, Jossa said.

 

“In the next 10 days or so there will be a lot more information ready to go to the community,” said Jossa, the president of the Evansville firm MediaMix Communications.

 

Mutual Hospitality Management was in part attracted to the Executive Inn because of the city’s plans to build a new arena on an adjacent block, Jossa said. He knew of no connection between the new owners and Browning Investments, an Indianapolis company which last year announced plans to build a four-star hotel near the Downtown arena.

 

Upon hearing the news, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel said, “Like everyone else, we look forward to hearing more details of the sale in the coming days.”

 

Marilee Fowler, the executive director of the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said she is glad the Executive Inn will remain open. Losing it now would prove extremely inconvenient. Several large groups — participants in the Indiana Youth Bowling Tournament for instance — have planned to stay there in coming months. The hotel contains 470 rooms, making it the third largest in the state of Indiana.

 

“I don’t know anything about this company,” she said. “I’ll look forward to learning more. We will be optimistic.”

 

She noted that the previous owner, Noor Tejany, had likewise made big promises. He had wanted to have the Executive Inn affiliated with a national hotel chain.

 

“I think it will be a huge investment,” Tejany said in Jan. 2007, shortly after buying the hotel. “Of course, it will be millions of dollars because this is a huge piece of property.”

 

Tejany is the president of Tejany Hospitality, which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

 

Whatever investments he made, the previous owners became better known for falling behind on taxes. Not counting overdue payments on innkeepers taxes, the Executive Inn owes at least $123,800 to the county, state and federal governments. The delinquencies contributed to hotel’s inability to have its liquor license renewed earlier this month.

 

County Assessor Jonathan Weaver said his office hasn’t received a sales disclosure showing that the Executive Inn has a new owner. Nor does the recorder’s office have a deed for such a transaction.

 

But that not necessarily a sign a deal doesn’t exist. Real-estate transactions often take time to appear in official records. One important prelude to a sale is usually the payment of overdue taxes, according to County Treasurer Rick Davis.

 

Recent months have brought a series of revelations about the Executive Inn’s tax delinquencies. The hotel owes about $33,400 in sales tax to the Indiana Department of Revenue, according to a lien filed in the Vanderburgh County Clerk’s office. That amount was due Aug. 31.

 

The Executive Inn also owes the state about $17,500 in withholding taxes, due in Dec. 2007.

 

Those two delinquencies are likely what prevented the state from renewing the hotel’s liquor license. The license’s expiration date was Dec. 20 but was later extended to Jan. 16. Even with the extra time, the Executive Inn failed to satisfy the Indiana Department of Revenue and the liquor license was not renewed.

 

According to Davis’ records in the Treasurer’s office, the hotel also owes about $8,600 in personal property taxes, which were due last fall. The amount includes a late fee of 10 percent.

 

Personal property taxes are charged on things other than real estate and buildings, such as furnishings.

 

To the federal government, the Executive Inn owes about $64,300 in payroll taxes, according to a lien filed in the Vanderburgh County Recorder’s office. That amount was due in 2007.

 

The Executive Inn is also four-months behind on paying innkeepers taxes, which it collects from guests. Davis said his office is forbidden by law from saying how much innkeepers tax is taken in by a particular business, since that information could reveal the hotel’s occupancy rate to competitors.

 

That said, the Executive Inn is not behind on everything. In June, the hotel paid $117,568.08 in property taxes on its real estate, Davis said.

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/23/22web-ExecInn/

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, January 25 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the sixth part out of the series of nine.

 

400N Tariff Overview

 

The 400N Tariff is an optional rules and regulations document that is designed to protect the consumer. Among other things, it guarantees:

 

Movers must give written estimates.

Movers may give binding estimates.

Non-binding estimates are not always accurate; actual charges may exceed the estimate. HOWEVER, 400N Tariff movers will often offer "not to exceed" weight-based estimates based on your reported inventory.

You may request from your mover the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.

You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed.

You may request a reweigh of your shipment.

Movers must offer a dispute settlement program as an alternative means of settling loss or damage claims (though details vary per mover--ask about this). You may request complaint information about movers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the Freedom of Information Act. You may be assessed a fee to obtain this information.

You should seek estimates from at least three different movers. You should not disclose any information to the different movers about their competitors, as it may affect the accuracy of their estimates. See our Tips On Negotiation.

Movers must offer a minimum level of insurance on all property (currently 60 cents per pound per item). 

 

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, January 25 2009

Here we have a tip from the IRS for taxpayers who moved to a new location.

A tax tip from IRS.gov

If you changed your home or business address, you'll want to remember these six tips to ensure you receive any refunds or correspondence from the IRS.

1. You can change your address on file with the IRS in several ways:

  • Correct the address legibly on the mailing label that comes with you tax package
  • Write the new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return;
  • Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to submit an address or name change any time during the year
  • Give the IRS written notification of your new address by writing to the IRS center where you file your return. Include your full name, old and new addresses, Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number and signature. If you filed a joint return, be sure to include the information for both taxpayers. If you filed a joint return and have since established separate residences, both taxpayers should notify the IRS of your new addresses
  • Should an IRS employee contact you about your account, you may be able to verbally provide a change of address

2. Be sure to also notify your employer of your new address so you get your W-2 forms on time.

3. If you change your address after you've filed your return, don't forget to notify the post office at your old address so your mail can be forwarded.

4. Taxpayers who make estimated payments throughout the year should mail a completed Form 8822, Change of Address, or write the IRS center where you file your return. You may continue to use your old pre-printed payment vouchers until the IRS sends you new ones with your new address. However, do not correct the address on the old voucher.

5. The IRS does use the Postal Service's change of address files to update taxpayer addresses, but it's still a good idea to notify the IRS directly.

6. Visit IRS.gov for more information about changing your address. You can find the address of the IRS center where you file your tax return or download Form 8822, Change of Address. The form is also available by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links:

Remember that all of the web page addresses for the official IRS website, IRS.gov, begin with http://www.irs.gov. Don' t be confused or misled by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is http://www.irs.gov/.

 Source: http://www.14wfie.com/global/story.asp?s=9725702

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 24 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the fifth part out of the series of nine.

 

Temporary Storage

 

Included in the move

Many interstate moving services offer temporary storage but some do not. In fact, in our experience, many offer one month of storage free for significant moves (with all the other costs, it's nice to see "free" once in a while!). But what is the quality of the temporary storage? Some things to consider:

 

Is the temporary storage facility secure? Is it dry? Who has access?

Can you access it if you need to retrieve something?  Is there a cost associated with it?

Is it temperature regulated?

If you have insurance, is your property insured while in storage? Is there additional coverage for fire, flood, etc?

If your plans change, what is the additional cost for extra storage time? Per month?

Is there an additional cost for moving your property after additional months? 

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 24 2009

The developers of new west side development have to reassess their plans for a mix use development of student housing and commercial business development.

Majestic Place, LLC has met with opponents to find a solution to build on the 220 acres they own. Some of the most common concerns had to do with the intersection of the West Lloyd Expressway and University Parkway and the types of businesses that may occupy Majestic Place.

Changes to West Side development likely

 

Earlier this week, representatives of Majestic Place LLC met with opponents about their plans to have roughly 220 acres northwest of the University of Southern Indiana rezoned to allow businesses and apartments to open there. Gene Pfeiffer, the owner of the land, said the meeting lasted almost three hours and the suggested changes written down by his attorney filled nearly four pages.

 

Some of the most common concerns had to do with the intersection of the West Lloyd Expressway and University Parkway and the types of businesses that may occupy Majestic Place.

 

“I don’t think we have ruled out anything that was discussed,” Pfeiffer said. “Some of the things are not reasonable, but there will be changes I’m pretty sure.”

 

According to plans, about 110 acres at Majestic Place would be occupied by businesses. Fifty acres would go to student housing and another 50 to an assisted-living home.

 

Pfeiffer’s land is now zoned for agriculture. That designation will have to be changed before the project can proceed.

 

The Area Plan Commission recommended the rezonings in November and the Vanderburgh County Commissioners were to vote on them Tuesday. But to give the developers and opponents time to reach a compromise, the commissioners agreed to postpone their decision.

 

Pfeiffer said it’s too early to identify any specific changes which may come out of the talks. The cost of the various proposal must be weighed to see which are practical.

 

He was also unsure when Majestic Place would be put to a formal vote again. Any modifications will have be submitted to the plan commission, which would once again have an opportunity to recommend them to the commissioners.

 

One of the residents’ primary concerns is the intersection of the West Lloyd Expressway and University Parkway. It is already busy from being the route many students take to the university campus.

 

The traffic will only increase once the parkway is extended to Diamond Avenue, a project to be completed by 2012 or 2013. Even further out, the road will connect with Interstate 64.

 

To prevent vehicles from backing up on the Lloyd Expressway, the right of way at the intersection was given to cars coming from the east and turning left onto University Parkway. The arrangement has made turns from other directions difficult and dangerous.

 

The intersection is the chief concern of H. Ray Hoops, USI president, who otherwise declined to comment on Majestic Place. It is likewise in the sights of the Westside Improvement Association, which has also been opposed to some of the plans.

 

Fred Padget, a member of the assocation’s land-use committee, said he would like a solution that avoids placing stoplights on University Parkway. He suggested building a frontage road to allow traffic to get to Majestic Place.

 

“We made lots of mistakes on Highway 41 and the Lloyd Expressway,” he said. “Let’s not repeat that.”

 

Pfeiffer said the intersection troubles would exist with or without Majestic Place. The responsibility of making improvements falls to the state, he said.

 

Still, he recognizes the developers will have to find a way to ease the flow of traffic going to and from Majestic Place.

 

The residents also worry about the types of businesses which may be allowed to open shop in Majestic Place. Under the current proposal, the land for businesses is to be zoned “C4,” one of the most permissive designations under county regulations.

 

Critics would prefer the zoning be lowered to “C2,” noting that is the designation for the site of the Target shopping center on the East Side.

 

“It is one of the aesthetically pleasing developments in Vanderburgh County,” said Michael Lockard, a member of the Westside Improvement Association.

 

He and others also want certain establishments banned from Majestic Place. They include fraternities, sororities, liquor stores, tattoo parlors and strip clubs.

 

Les Shively, an attorney representing the developers, said the developers had already agreed to ban many of them before the meeting this week.

 

“Whenever you do a development, you to try make it a profitable venture,” he said. “C4 could developer more options.”

 

Maintaining the appearance of the area is also important to many. Steve Anslinger, who lives near the university on Mels Drive, said he has long enjoyed a view of a nearby lake and is worried the presence of new businesses and apartments would ruin it.

 

“We thought we were land locked,” he said. “But you know it’s Vanderburgh County.”

 

Pfeiffer said he is especially dismayed by assertions that he would do anything to detract from the beauty of the area. Over the years, he has spent much time and money planting trees and improving the lake.

“They are concerned about what I would do to these beautiful things I have created,” Pfeiffer. “There are thousands of trees here. I didn’t do that to go out and destroy it.”

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/22/22web-WestSide/

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 23 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the fourth part out of the series of nine.

 

Save Money on your Move

 

There are a range of services and options that you can add to a basic move that may make your experience more pleasant but more expensive.

 

 

To save money:

 

Consider packing yourself. This may have insurance implications, so check with your mover.

Buy your moving supplies online. Boxes, tape, markers, and bubble-wrap can be much cheaper when bought well in advance and online.

Improvise with supplies. Newspaper makes fine packing cushions, as do towels and clothes. Just be prepared to wash everything when it arrives at your new place.

Don't buy tools, borrow them. Why buy a tape dispenser that you'll use once? Borrow one from a friend.

If you don't need it, don't pay to move it. A little planning can go a long way--it's much cheaper to sell it (or dump it) now than it is to sell it (or dump it) when it arrives at the destination.

Ask your mover how they'll be packing your stuff. We've found that some movers try to upsell you to fancy packing materials where a plain moving blanket will work just fine.

Ask yourself if you really need extra insurance, or raise the deductible. Remember that all 400N Tariff moving companies must offer 60 cents of insurance per pound per item as part of the basic package.

Don't forget about moving yourself! Many hidden costs of a move often involve YOU! How are YOU getting to your new location? Where will you spend the night? What will you eat until your things arrive? If you plan this well, you'll save a lot of money. 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 23 2009

Mesker Park Zoo has a new zoo director, Amos Morris, who is coming from the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. We wish Amos Morris all the best here in Evansville.

 

 

Mesker Park Zoo Introduces New Zoo Director

 

 

EVANSVILLE - The new Director of Mesker Park Zoo is officially on duty after being hired back in November.

 

Amos Morris comes to Evansville from the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. He comes into Evansville as the zoo is enjoying a comeback.

NEWS 25 met up with Morris to find what his plans are to keep Mesker on the upswing.

Morris says he wants the zoo to be the best in the country, but it's going to take time.

Morris tells NEWS 25, "We'd love to expand, we'd love to continue to grow the zoo. You know, do fresh and news things."

He says, "I bring to the zoo a wealth of experienced information. I've been in the zoo profession for almost 20 years."

Morris gave NEWS 25 a tour of AMAZONIA today.

He says it's exhibits like this one, that keep him wanting more for

Evansville. "My biggest question is do you want to do it again, and every individual that i asked that, was like yes we want to do it again."

Morris says first up; get to know the zoo, the employees, and the city.

He says new exhibits are a possibility but it's important to build on what's already there.

Morris says he wants to, "Update older facilities to give you the same type of ambiance. The quality of work, spread that out around the zoo to bring up some of the older sections of the zoo and kind of modernize."

But with the current economy, and money tight, is this really a possibility?

Morris tells us, "Everybody's pinching pennies trying to weather the

storm, but I think it's a new day. It's the beginning of the year. We want to move forward with positive energy."

Morris says he's been working closely with Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel to take the park to where it needs to be. The mayor released this statement when Morris was hired:"I am confident that he will build on the success we've seen with AMAZONIA and take Mesker Park Zoo to even greater heights."

Morris says, "I think as long as we can represent the community with our zoo in a professional manner. I think people will continue to develop pride in the jewel that they have here."

According to Morris, he works closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and will use that relationship to better Mesker Park Zoo.

 

Source: http://www.abc25.com/dsp_story.cfm?storyid=10887&RequestTimeout=500

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 22 2009

There is good news for the Tri-State real estate market. Even though credit lines have been tightened some what, homeowners in the Tri-State have not been subject to a bubble bust with declining home values as in other areas of the country. As per Tonya Westerfield with Old National Bank “Tri-State homeowners are in a better position than many areas of the country to refinance, mainly because the housing bubble, while deflated, hasn't burst like so many other regions. “

 

Please call me at 812-499-9234 if you need any assistance in refinancing your home.

 

 

Tri-State homeowners sitting better than others

 

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Low mortgage rates have led to a rush of homeowners looking to refinance, but some are getting a big surprise when they talk to their lenders.  

 

For many homeowners nationwide, that surprise is a denial of their refinancing.

 

Wednesday, I checked to see if that was also the case in the Tri-State.

 

Interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage recently dropped to a historic low, below five percent, but for anyone looking to refinance, there's a big catch.

 

"Credit has just tightened in general, all kinds of lending," Teri Hollander Albin with Hilliard Lyons said.

 

Getting credit is only half the story.

 

Many homeowners are finding the value of their house has dropped.

 

"700 is typically a good credit score and many people above are being turned down for loans," Hollander said.

 

That's because their home isn't worth what it was just a few years ago, which typically leads to higher rates or even denial of refinancing.

 

"Actually, in our local areas, that's where we've run into more issues I think than credit issues," Tonya Westerfield with Old National Bank said.

 

Westerfield says that Tri-State homeowners are in a better position than many areas of the country to refinance, mainly because the housing bubble, while deflated, hasn't burst like so many other regions.

 

"But where you'll see the difference is not so much that the loan would be denied, but you may not have the pricing that is available to you as someone with really good credit score," Westerfield said.

 

Meaning your percentage rate may not be as low as you had hoped.

 

The best advice is to talk to a mortgage lender who can look at your situation and give you the best options.

 

If you do get denied or don't get the rate you want, try another lender who you may have better luck with.

 

Source: http://www.14wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=9710822

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 22 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the third part out of the series of nine.

 

Hidden Costs of Moving Services

 

We recommend shopping around to find the best mover. Online quotes are generally fast and simple but should always be followed up with a phone conversation so you can ask about hidden costs. In our experience, there are 3 categories of hidden costs:

 

 

Your Stuff isn't "standard"

 

Unusually heavy items may incur a separate charge. If you own a grand piano or large custom wall unit/entertainment center, you should let your mover know before you believe the quote. Other heavy items: hot tubs, lawn mowers, heavy-duty vacuums, snowmobiles, washer/dryers and refrigerators.

If it's more complicated than box-and-carry. If gas lines need to be disconnected or furniture needs to be disassembled, you may incur an extra cost. If you are safely equipped to do this work yourself before the movers arrive, you should.

From your room to the truck

 

Move estimates assume that the movers can get close access to your front door and there aren't any flights of stairs. You could incur extra costs if:

 

Movers have to deal with flights of stairs. If you are in a 4th floor apartment (for example), you should let them know before believing the estimate.

Your street or driveway is too narrow for the truck. Generally, movers prefer to load your stuff directly onto an 18-wheeler. If they can't get that truck within a few hundred feet of your front door, expect to incur extra costs. In some unlucky cases, they'll have to use a separate "shuttle" to move your property from your house to another location.

Natural obstacles hinder access. If trees or other natural obstacles prevent the truck from getting close to your house...

Bad Estimates

 

Although it's not actually (since estimates are just estimates), this feels criminal and drives us nuts. Your best defense here is to ask a lot of questions: Make sure you fully understand what the estimate is based on (weight, volume, miles) and how the estimate will be verified and finalized. For example, you can request to be present at a weighing which should be completed immediately following the pick up at your house and loading into a pre-weighed truck.

 

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 22 2009

The Evansville Redevelopment Commission has hired John Kish as project director for the new Downtown Arena development. He will be responsible for implementation of the recommendations made by the Roberts Stadium Advisory Board and City Council to construct a new 11,000 seat multi-purpose arena. Most recently, Kish was executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority where he was responsible for the new $1.1 billion airport.

 Indy Airport Executive to Oversee Evansville Arena Project

 The Evansville Redevelopment Commission this morning approved the hiring of John J. Kish as Project Director for the new Downtown Arena development. As Project Director, Kish will be responsible for further development and implementation of the recommendations made by the Roberts Stadium Advisory Board and City Council to construct a new 11,000 seat multi-purpose arena downtown. Kish will report to the Redevelopment Commission and the City Administration.

“The hiring of John Kish as Project Director shows how committed we are to constructing a top notch facility. The scope and success of previous projects managed by John speak for themselves,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “With the support and enthusiasm of this community, John will help us build a new arena that will be competitive with any other in the region and a great asset for Evansville, and do so within the financial constraints that we have established.”

Most recently, Kish was Executive Director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority where he was responsible for the $1.1 billion Midfield Project which created a new passenger complex at the Indianapolis International Airport. Kish was responsible for all aspects of the Project including design and construction, the hiring of all Project staff, development of financial controls and budget activities, and the development and implementation of a financing plan. The Project was completed on time and on budget, with the new terminal opening on November 11, 2008.

“I am honored that the City of Evansville has selected me to oversee the construction of its downtown arena. It is an exciting project that holds great promise for the City and its residents,” said John J. Kish. “The benefits of this arena, from civic to economic, will be felt throughout this community. I look forward to working with City leaders and local businesses as we undertake this important development for Evansville’s future.”

Prior to the Midfield Project, Kish was appointed by then Governor Evan Bayh to be Executive Director of the White River State Park Development Commission. Kish’s mission was to develop an urban state park in a former industrial area along the banks of the White River in downtown Indianapolis. The Park is now home to the Indiana State Museum, an IMAX theatre, and other attractions as well as significant urban park area.

Kish also served as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration where he was responsible for state procurement and public works projects including the construction of the Indiana Government Center complex in Indianapolis and the Wabash Valley Correctional Institution.

Prior to joining state government in 1989, Kish was with General Motors Corporation where he handled government contract matters, business litigation and construction matters.

Kish, a native of Hammond, Indiana, is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law and Indiana UniversityBloomington. He is married and has three children.

 

Source: Source: Inside INdiana Business & The City of Evansville

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 21 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved in moving. This is the second part out of the series of nine.

 

How to Pick a Mover

 

Moving can be daunting, but there are laws that protect you. Although we're not in the business of giving legal advice (as we're not lawyers), we recommend that you stick with an 400N Tariff company. Here are some questions to ask:

 

Q. How do you charge for moving services?

 

A: Our best experiences have been with 400N Tariff companies (see our overview of the 400N Tariff). These companies charge by weight and miles, not volume. Volume-based estimates are notoriously inaccurate and we often hear of customers who are charged more when their stuff arrives because the volume-based estimate was wrong. We'd also be skeptical of movers that charge only based on the weight (regardless of how far you are shipping your items).

 

 

Q. Can you guarantee that the estimates you give won't be exceeded?

 

A: The sales line we hear often is "sure, I typically over-estimate to be safe, so your charge will probably be less." It sounds like a great line, but it's not true. Some 400N Tariff movers WILL offer a not-to-exceed estimate based on your accurate representation of the inventory. However, their estimates are generally quite accurate. They're professionals at this and have incentive not to scare you with a high price.

 

Q. Can you do an in-home estimate?

 

A. Although it requires a bit more time, any reputable mover should offer to do an in-home estimate, which will be MUCH more accurate than an over-the-phone estimate.

 

Q. Are you a broker or the actual mover?

 

A: Many movers that you find online are brokers (people who coordinate local movers, cross-country shippers, packers, insurance, etc). They're effectively move coordinators. Although you won't be dealing with the moving company directly, brokers have direct contact with the moving companies, and drivers and generally detailed tracking tools. We have had equal success with both brokers and moving companies.

 

Q. Do you offer temporary storage if I need it? How much does it cost? What if I need it longer? Is there an additional cost if I need to get into it while it's in temporary storage?

 

A: Many carriers offer free temporary storage for a month (particularly for big moves) including the transportation to and from the temp storage while others charge. If the first month is free, make sure you understand the costs for additional months and any hidden costs (like if you need to get into your stuff while it's in storage).

 

Q. Are all the players (packers, movers, etc) fully bonded and insured?

 

A: There are a surprising number of fly-by-night operations. Asking some basic questions about the company should help give you a sense of how long they've been around.

 

Q. What payment methods do you accept?

 

A: While some moving companies accept credit card payment for the full cost of the move, many do not. You should ask and not assume.

 

Q. What's your refund policy?

 

A: Many moving companies have very flexible refund policies (e.g. fully refundable if you cancel within a week or two). This should help alleviate any fear you have booking early with one company.

 

 

 

Other pieces of advice:

 

Don't be afraid to check the Better Business Bureau for reputable movers

Book early! The moving business is a bit like the airline industry: it's a competitive industry and you can often find deep discounts if you are able to book early, but those discounts disappear if you wait and don't book until the last minute.

 

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 21 2009

Major Jonathan Weinzapfel is working on finding a solution to build a slack water port. A slack water port is a protected bay off a river system containing a steady level of water to allow ships to load cargo more easily.

 

This certainly would benefit Evansville as gas prices will increase one day, and more cargo will be shipped on the river. The development of the water port should be tied to moving all heavy industries west of Casino Aztar to the new water port and develop this area to its economic potential with restaurants, entertainment and condominiums.

River port upgrade suggested

A slack water port in Evansville would encounter intense competition from nearby Ohio River communities, but it would strengthen Southern Indiana's economy, providing a low-cost, environmentally friendly transportation alternative.

Those were some of the conclusions of a feasibility study on whether Evansville should make improvements to its port. The study, presented to the Evansville Port Authority on Tuesday, was conducted by Libby Ogard of Prime Focus LLC in De Pere, Wis., and John Didomizio of Morley and Associates of Newburgh.

They concluded that while the current economic downturn may make it difficult to grow the port, opportunities for funding could become available through President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan.

"Pending legislative stimulus programs will favor infrastructure projects which promote independence from foreign oil," according to the study.

The city has filed a letter with the Army Corps of Engineers expressing interest in developing a slack water port.

A slack water port is a protected bay located off a river system containing a steady level of still water to allow ships to more easily load cargo. Slack water ports are common on the Ohio and Mississippi river systems.

"Indiana ports are growing and prospering fairly rapidly," Ogard said.

The study recommends that the city conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a slack water port and appeal to Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., to include the project in future transportation economic stimulus programs. If funding is not available, the project should be reviewed when diesel fuel prices approach $4 per gallon, the study recommends.

High fuel prices increase demand for transporting goods on waterways because barges use significantly less fuel than trucks, according to the study.

That was the case last July when the average price of diesel rose to $4.70 per gallon. As a result, about 7 percent of the county's trucking companies closed in 2008, a year in which the industry saw fuel costs surpass wages as its No. 1 expense, according to the study.

Evansville Port Authority President Herve Vezina wants to review the study before making conclusions.

City Attorney David Jones, who is an advocate of an Evansville slack water port, said he didn't know whether the timing was right to develop the project, given the economic uncertainties.

The study identified two areas that could be developed: an area around the Global American Terminals (Kinder Morgan) and a second and much larger tract of land across from the CSX Howell Yard offices and roundhouse on Dixie Flyer Drive. Any development likely would be a public-private investment. The cost would depend on the size of the development, Ogard and Didomizio both said.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/21/river-portupgradesuggested/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 20 2009

Berry Plastics has announced that it is planning a major expansion either in Evansville or in another location. This is in addition to all the expansions Berry Plastics has committed to in Evansville. As per Major Jonathan Weinzapfel “"We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy,"

 

We certainly hope Berry Plastics will decide in favor of Evansville.

Berry Plastics announces expansion

 

 

Berry Plastics announced Monday that it is planning a major expansion with operations to begin early next year, but it is undecided where among its North American operations it will be located.

 

The expansion would include an approximately $80 million investment in building and equipment in its first three years. It would create more than 150 jobs. Additional investments in the operation and employment would be made as business allows.

 

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel pledged to work to bring the expansion to Evansville.

"We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy," he said.

 

Randy Hobson, Berry's executive vice president for commercial development, said there was no deadline for making a site decision, but the project is on a fast track.

 

The company hopes to start operations at the new facility in the first quarter of 2010. Hobson said the expansion is being driven by the success of it thermoforming operations and the plastic items produced by it, such as drink cups and other containers. A portion of the new expansion will be dedicated to manufacturing drink cups.

 

Hobson said Evansville is a contender for the project.

 

"Based on history and the success we've had in partnership with our employees here, Evansville would certainly get consideration," he said.

 

Berry has 66 manufacturing facilities in the United States and other countries and nearly 14,000 employees.

 

Weinzapfel noted Berry already has made significant investments in the city.

 

"Over the past few years, the city has helped Berry invest more than $40 million dollars in our community and create nearly 300 new jobs with the upcoming expansion of Berry's global headquarters on Oakley Street and its new warehouse/distribution center at the Evansville Regional Airport. We hope to continue this collaboration with Berry by showing them that they will benefit the most by investing further in Evansville," he said.

 

In December, the City Council approved an ordinance to borrow up to $4.8 million, of which $3.8 million was to be given to Berry as an incentive grant to expand its corporate headquarters in Evansville. The rest of the bond was to be used to pay for bond expenses or to be placed in a reserve fund.

 

The bond debt will be paid off with taxes collected in the city's Downtown Tax Increment Financing District.

 

The announcement is the latest in an aggressive course of growth by Berry in recent years that includes both local expansions and the acquisition of other properties.

 

In November, Berry successfully bid on most of the assets of Erie Plastics, a Corry, Pa., company that had entered bankruptcy, and planned to move them to other locations around the country. The assets included equipment, inventory, real estate and intellectual property.

 

Other recent acquisitions for Berry included the December 2007 purchase of Captive Plastics Inc. in Piscataway, N.J., and the available stock of MAC Closures Inc., which had factories in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. In April 2007, Berry bought Rollpak Acquisition Corp., in Goshen, Ind.

 

Berry began as Imperial Plastics in 1967 in Evansville, changing its name to Berry Plastics in 1983.

 

In 2005, the company expanded its existing facilities and staff with a 170,000-square-foot addition to its Downtown facility and adding 64 jobs.

 

In June 2006, Berry was acquired by the private equity firms Apollo Management LP and Graham Partners, but with its management keeping 22 percent ownership of the company. The new corporation kept the company's existing facilities and management and promised to continue funding the company's growth.

 

Here is the text of Berry's press release:

 

Berry Plastics Corporation announced plans today for a major expansion of thermoforming operations to increase manufacturing capacity with targeted startup in the first quarter of 2010.

 

Berry’s expansion is being driven to add capacity which will support customers’ growing desire for plastic thermoformed products. A portion of the new expansion will be dedicated to manufacturing drink cups.

 

Berry is evaluating multiple project sites to determine the final location for the expansion. This expansion includes capital investment in building and equipment of approximately $80 million in the first three years and will create more than 150 new jobs.

 

Beyond the initial project phase, Berry’s plans include additional capital investment and employment at the selected site as additional capacity is required by the market.

 

Here is Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel's statement on it:

 

“Earlier today, Berry Plastics announced its plans for a new $80 million manufacturing expansion and the creation of at least new 150 jobs. We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy.” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “Berry Plastics and the City of Evansville have developed a great working relationship. Over the past few years, the City has helped Berry invest more than $40 million dollars in our community and create nearly 300 new jobs with the upcoming expansion of Berry’s global headquarters on Oakley Street and its new warehouse/distribution center at the Evansville Regional Airport. We hope to continue this collaboration with Berry by showing them that they will benefit the most by investing further in Evansville.”

Source:

 

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/20/19web-Berry/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 20 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed about real estate matters, we thought it would be helpful to examine all that is involved  in moving. This is the first part out of the series of nine.

 

Before you start: Dictionary of moving jargon

 

Here is a list of terms that you're likely to come across. Familiarize yourself with these and you'll feel more confident in your negotiations! These helpful definitions are taken or adapted from US Department of Transportation documentation and should give you enough info to help you start to pick a mover.

 

ADVANCED CHARGES - These are charges for services performed by someone other than the mover. A professional, craftsman, or other third party may perform these services at your request. We've even seen insurance costs listed as "Advanced Charges." The mover pays for these services and adds the charges to your bill of lading charges.

 

AGENT - A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.

 

BILL OF LADING - The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation.

 

 

CARRIER - The moving company transporting your household goods.

 

DECLARED VALUE - The (usually self-reported) value of all of the items that you are moving. It's important to be as accurate as possible because the insurance will be based on this amount.

 

ESTIMATE, BINDING - This is an agreement made in advance with your mover. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate. Note: you should ALWAYS try to get a written moving estimate, even if it is non-binding!

 

ESTIMATE, NON-BINDING - This is what your mover believes the cost will be, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect.

 

EXPEDITED SERVICE - Expedited service is an upgraded service that guarantees delivery by a specific date. This is NOT standard and if you do not opt for expedited service, you should treat the "delivery date" as a VERY ROUGH estimate (that is, in our experience you should add roughly 50% to the amount of time estimated for a long-distance move).

 

FLIGHT CHARGE - NOT an airplane trip! This is a charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

 

FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE COVERAGE - Insurance coverage that fully covers the entire replacement value of your goods. This is NOT standard and will cost you extra (generally quoted in dollars per $1,000 of replacement value).

 

FULL SERVICE MOVE - The most common kind of move, in which the moving company moves all of your items out of your current residence and into your new residence.

 

GUARANTEED PICKUP AND DELIVERY SERVICE - A premium service that guarantees pick up and delivery dates (your mover will provide reimbursement to you for delays). Often subject to minimum weight requirements.

 

HIGH VALUE ARTICLE - These are items included in a shipment valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram).

 

LINE HAUL CHARGES - The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges, if separately stated, apply in addition to the accessorial service charges.

 

LONG CARRY - A charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover's vehicle and your residence (for example, if your driveway is inaccessible). Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

 

MOBILE CONTAINER - If you do not have a full-service move you may be offered a mobile container, a large container in which you can load your stuff, usually wooden with a canvas cover. This is a less expensive way to move a small apartment, but requires more labor on your part. Great for a college move.

 

OPERATING AUTHORITY - This is the official certification awarded by the government that allows a mover to move your belongings between certain areas.

 

ORDER (BILL OF LADING) NUMBER - The number used to identify and track your shipment.

 

PEAK SEASON RATES - Higher line haul charges applicable during the summer months. This is why our checklist recommends you book early if you plan on moving during the summer!

 

PICKUP AND DELIVERY CHARGES - Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.

 

SHUTTLE SERVICE - The use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences not accessible to the mover's normal line haul vehicles.

 

STORAGE-IN-TRANSIT (SIT) - The temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, with or without notification to you (this is DIFFERENT than temporary storage). If you (or someone representing you) cannot accept delivery on the agreed-upon date or within the agreed-upon time period (for example, because your home is not quite ready to occupy), your mover may place your shipment into SIT without notifying you. In those circumstances, you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

 

NOTE: Your mover also may place your shipment into SIT if your mover was able to make delivery before the agreed-upon date (or before the first day of the agreed-upon delivery period), but you did not concur with early delivery. In those circumstances, your mover must notify you immediately of the SIT, and your mover is fully responsible for redelivery charges, handling charges, and storage charges.

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD - An agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates household goods carrier tariffs, among other responsibilities. The Surface Transportation Board's address is 1925 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001 Tele. 202-565-1674.

 

TARIFF - A document (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications, or other provisions. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover's tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

 

VALUATION - The degree of worth of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided for in its base transportation charges.

 

WAREHOUSE HANDLING - A charge may be applicable each time SIT service is provided. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.

 

Source: http://www.movinghints.com/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 20 2009

This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. There are several suggestions that can help you to reduce your heating bills. With heating costs increasing across the board any savings is appreciated.

 

Three Ways to Cut Your Winter Heating Bills

Dreading high energy bills this winter? Check out three simple things you can do to keep your monthly air conditioning and heating bills in check. These easy tips also work in the summer, offering year-round savings.

Use these suggestions to save on air conditioning repair, keep your heating bills down, and watch the savings stretch into the warmer months.

1. Inspect your air conditioning and heating unit. "Heating systems fail most often because they're neglected," Energy Star spokeswoman Maria Vargas told Smart Money. A failing HVAC system can increase a monthly bill by up to 20%. Every month after you hire a technician to examine your system, the savings add up. An inspector can tell you when it's time to buy and install a new HVAC system, saving you even more in the long run.

2. Make small changes throughout your home. Caulk and insulation can be a small expense with big results for your heating bill. Sealing off air leaks and replacing degrading insulation are both relatively simple do-it-yourself projects. The EPA notes that a well-sealed home is about 20% more energy efficient than one that isn't, meaning big money saved on your monthly bill.

3. Set Your Heating Unit Down One Degree. What's the easiest way to save about $180 yearly in energy bills? Set your HVAC system down one degree. The Alliance to Save Energy reports a 5% savings for every degree cooler during the winter, and those small changes add up to big savings. As an added bonus, requiring less work from your heating unit means it's more likely to last longer, keeping you toasty warm for seasons to come.

Looking to make a drastic cut in your monthly bill? If your HVAC system is getting old, a replacement can use new energy-efficient technology to dramatically lower your energy costs. Year-round energy savings is within your reach.

Sources: http://www.guidetohomeimprovement.com/heatac/servicearticle/three-ways-to-cut-your-winter-heating-bills.jsp

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 19 2009

We congratulate the volunteers of SABIC who donated their time to help and give the IMPACT Ministries in Downtown Evansville a face lift. There are many corporate entities in and around Evansville who take their responsibility as a good corporate citizen serious and they do make a difference. We thank all the volunteers for their time and efforts.

Making quite an IMPACT

SABIC volunteers give agency's building a face-lift

After months of planning, a group of SABIC-Innovative Plastics engineers has turned a volunteer project into reality.

Nat Weiner, site engineering manager for the Mount Vernon, Ind., company, and more than 30 of his team members used Friday to give the IMPACT Ministries building in Downtown Evansville a face-lift.

For eight hours, the volunteers painted the building's bathroom floors, built and painted shelves, built several corn toss games and constructed a women's exercise facility.

"It's just awesome," said Greg Allen, executive director of IMPACT Ministries.

"The bathrooms are 50 years old and were refurbished 20 years ago. And we've been waiting on the exercise facility for about 10 months."

Allen said churches and other organizations have been donating equipment for a while now, but the equipment couldn't be used until the exercise facility was completed. The SABIC volunteers pulled up the carpet in the room and installed a new floor as well.

"The word is out about the new exercise facility. People have already been asking about it. We've already received 33 applications from women wanting to join," Allen said.

But SABIC's efforts helped more than just the women.

The volunteers built corn toss games for the children and built shelves to store their coats and belongings.

"The standard coat rack doesn't work for a 2-foot high kid," Allen said. As Allen wandered through the building, he said he noticed all of the volunteers seemed happy to be helping.

"These people are here because they just want to do some good," Allen said.

Shelia Naab, SABIC site communications leader, agreed with Allen.

"Our employees have an amazing desire to help in the community," Naab said.

SABIC employees have been involved with several cancer walks.

They've built playground equipment in Mount Vernon, and the engineers do science shows for fourth- and fifth-graders at local elementary schools. The company also has a partnership with Evans Middle School. Employees visit the school for various events, including Diversity Days.

"Well over 80 percent of my team is helping out in some way," Weiner said.

Allen said SABIC's efforts certainly will be well-received.

"Several hundred people come through here during the week," Allen said.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/18/making-quite-an-impact/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 19 2009

This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. The article explains how a geothermal heating system works and what the advantages are.

 

 

Geothermal Heating

Heat from the Earth
Within the past few decades, geothermal heating has quietly become a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly method of heating a home. Geothermal heat pumps offer extremely high efficiency and a low operating cost, saving their owners up to 70 percent on heating costs. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are now readily available to homeowners, and can be easily installed by any qualified HVAC systems contractor.

A Clever System
How does geothermal heating work? Geothermal heat pumps use the more or less constant temperature of the earth as a source for heating or cooling your home. A series of pipes, connected to a heat pump, are filled with a liquid that flows in a loop between the earth and your home.

The pump removes the heat that the liquid has picked up from the earth, and the liquid is recycled through the system. In this way, the constantly circulating liquid continually supplies the heat pump, and subsequently your home, with a steady supply of heat. During the summer, this process can be reversed to cool down your home, making the geothermal pump a complete HVAC system.

Why Go Geothermal?
In the long run, a geothermal heat pump system is sure to save you money over other HVAC systems. Although the initial cost of installation may be significantly higher than conventional systems, owners of geothermal systems generally save more than they spent within 5-10 years. In addition, geothermal heating systems are environmentally friendly, allowing households to reduce their carbon footprint and help prevent global warming and pollution. Finally, geothermal heating is low maintenance, and can be used for both heating and cooling, maintaining your home at an optimum temperature.

Source: http://www.guidetohomeimprovement.com/heatac/servicearticle/geothermal-heating.jsp

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, January 18 2009

This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. The proper maintenance of windows can save you money in the long run.

Ten Ways to Make Windows Last

Well kept house windows can significantly enhance the appearance and value of your home. If you buy replacement windows, they'll last about 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance, according to Building Operating Management magazine. The following tips will help you have energy efficient windows that last longer.

1.      Clean glass, sills, tracks, and frames. Remove dead insects, dirt, and debris from windowsills and tracks.

2.      Fix the 'weep' system. Your house windows probably have a drainage system in the frames that needs to be kept clear in order for water to drain properly.

3.      Replace weather stripping. For more energy efficient windows that seal properly, use surface mounted or concealable weather seals that come in a variety of materials. According to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, your house loses 15% to 60% of its heat or air conditioning due to improperly sealed windows.

4.      Painting or staining your window frames can help protect against water and sunlight.

5.      Insulated windows may need to have the glass replaced if the seal begins to fail and you see a fog between the two panes. Replacing the glass will give you more energy efficient windows.

6.      Fix hardware. Check sash locks to make sure they work and replace if necessary.

7.      Lubricate windows. Energy efficient windows close properly souse a lubricant on the tracks to keep house windows from sticking.

8.      Repair screens. Patching holes allows less air to pass through, giving you more energy efficient windows.

9.      Proper ventilation keeps condensation from house windows by controlling humidity.

10.  Replace rotten wood. If your house windows have some rotted wood, use a screwdriver to remove it.

 

Source: http://www.guidetohomeimprovement.com/windows/servicearticle/ten-ways-to-make-windows

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 17 2009

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation has approved a plan to install turf at 3 of Evansville’s high schools. This is good news for the students of Evansville’s high schools as they will be able to practice and compete under better conditions.

 

EVSC stadiums to get turf

 

The school board approved the plan Monday night.
The project will cost around two million dollars.
The plan is to install the turf at Bosse, Central, and Reitz high schools.
EVSC spokesperson Marsha Jackson says it will allow the fields to be
used more, save money on upkeep, and increase safety for athletes.
Central athletic director Paul Neidig also believes its a great move for the schools.
The project should be complete by the beginning of May.

 

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=49071

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 16 2009

 

Indiana State Representative, (D) Dave Cheatham is working on a new tax legislation that would exempt senior citizens 65 years and older to be exempt from paying property taxes. Jonathan Weaver, Vanderburgh County Assessor, likes the idea and would like to add veterans to the bill.

 

This is certainly an interesting proposition which we believe merits further exploring.

No More Property Taxes?

 

EVANSVILLE - If you're age 65 or older, how would you like to never pay property taxes again?

 

 

It's not just a wish. An Indiana lawmaker is trying to make it happen.

 

 

Imagine that you own a home your family has lived in for 30 years. You've paid your mortgage off, saved for retirement... but by the time you get through medical bills, utilities, food, and taxes; your savings isn't cutting it.

 

 

 

"It was getting so oppressive to a point that people couldn't afford their homes. They eventually get to pay their mortgage off, but you never pay property taxes off," says Indiana State Representative, (D) Dave Cheatham.

 

 

That's what led Indiana State Rep Dave Cheatham to introduce House Bill 2 into the Indiana legislature.

 

 

It would call for this: once a person turns 65 and has paid Indiana property taxes for at least ten years, they would never again have to pay property taxes on their primary home.

 

 

"You can finally own your home free and clear of any obligation from the state for the rest of your life," Cheatham says.

 

 

The bill caught the eye of Vanderburgh County Assessor Jonathan Weaver.

 

 

"People are moving back in with their adult children, their income's not keeping up with their expenses," Weaver says.

 

 

But Weaver has emailed local state legislatures asking them to add veterans to the bill, making them exempt from paying property taxes too.

 

 

"How many times do you hear there's not adequate healthcare, that families are being forced out of their homes due to foreclosure, they don't have a job to come home to," says Weaver about veterans.

 

 

So how much would this cost the state in lost property tax revenue?

 

 

"I had a fiscal study done last year to measure the effect of the bill," Cheatham says. "It was approximately 400 million dollars statewide."

 

 

"In 2006, seniors made up about 14 percent of our taxpayers," Weaver says.

 

 

With a 28 billion dollar state budget, Cheatham says 400 million is an amount the state could come up with from cuts in other areas.

 

 

Source: http://www.abc25.com/dsp_story.cfm?storyid=10793&RequestTimeout=500

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 16 2009

 

Weekend planner: A twist of Dickens, basketball rivalries and spiritual music

If you love Broadway or Romeo & Juliet, storied basketball rivalries, African-American spiritual music or the prospect of three nights of Midnight Madness atop six feet of snow at Paoli Peaks, you’re going to love this long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

TODAY:

— “Oliver,” a touring musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Centre, $19 to $45.

— At noon Margaret McMullan, a successful author and English professor at the University of Evansville, will discuss her approach to writing novels during a talk ($6) at the YWCA, 118 Vine St. Call 422-1191.

— The American Spiritual Ensemble will perform a public concert of African-American music at 7 p.m. at the University of Evansville’s Shanklin Theatre. General admission $25, $20 for students.

— Midnight Madness (overnight skiing) runs from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Paoli Peaks, 90 miles northeast of Evansville.

Because of the three-day weekend created by the King holiday, Paoli also will have Midnight Madness Saturday and Sunday nights. Call (812) 723-4696 or visit www.paolipeaks.com online.

Paoli’s snow-tubing park opens at 4 p.m. today.

COMING SATURDAY:

— At 1 p.m., the African-American Choral Ensemble, the Sounds of Grace and Peace and the Boom Squad (think kids with drums) will be featured during a King celebration at Ivy Tech, 3501 First Ave.

— At 3 p.m., Mizell Stewart III, editor of the Courier & Press, will read stories about King at Barnes & Noble, 624 S. Green River Road.

— In one of Indiana’s more storied college basketball rivalries, the University of Evansville and Indiana State University will battle at 7:05 p.m. at Roberts Stadium. Ask about family prices.

— The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra classics concert, “First Loves,” at 8 p.m. at The Victory will feature pianist Bryan Wallick along with other music, including “Love Scene” from Romeo & Juliet. Tickets start at $15. Call 425-5050.

— Koch Planetarium’s “Hotter Than Blue” sky show is at 1 p.m. at the Evansville Museum (also Sunday). Cost $2 to $3.

— At the Children’s Museum of Evansville, visiting scientsit Ron Counts of the University of Kentucky Geological Survey, will help build earthquake structures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (On Sunday at 2 p.m. there’s a musical surprise by members of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra).

SUNDAY

— “Lincoln Remembered,” more than 50 rare and significant items documenting the life of Abraham Lincoln, opens at the Evansville Museum. Call 425-1577.

— King memorial service at 7 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 663 S. Elliott St.

— “Melodies of Martin,” a jazz brunch celebrating King, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Vectren Corp. Call 423-2612.

MONDAY

      Activities all day at UE, including a “Living History” at 11:30 a.m. at Shanklin and at 1 p.m. the 21st annual Re-enactment of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., starting at Carson Center.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/16/weekend-planner-twist-dickens-basketball-rivalries/

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 16 2009

In our continued effort to keep our readers informed on safety matters, we feel that this article is noteworthy. The use of Vapo-Rub in young children may be harmful to babies and toddlers.

Improper use of Vapo-Rub may harm children

A new study warns about improper use of Vicks Vapo-Rub and similar products on babies and toddlers.

Researchers began studying the effects of Vicks Vapo-Rub after treating an 18-month-old girl for respiratory problems.

The product had been applied directly under her nose.

Using lab animals, researchers say the product appeared to stimulate mucus production and inflame airways.

Since babies have smaller air passageways, they say this could be a problem.

Vicks Vapo-Rub is labeled for use on children over age 2.

The package label also clearly directs users to rub it on the chest or throat, not under the nose.

 

Source: http://www.14wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=9666922&nav=menu54_1_9

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 15 2009

The details for this years Thunder on the Ohio have not yet been finalized, but tentatively this venue has been moved to August 28-30. We hope that the organizers of this traditional summer event will be able to finalize all arrangements so that this event can take place in Evansville.

Evansville hydroplane races might move to late August

Although the details have been not finalized, Evansville's Thunder on the Ohio will tentatively be moved this year to Aug. 28-30.

The Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE) will conduct its own event on the last weekend of June, which had been the traditional opening weekend for the American Boat Racing Association unlimited hydroplane series.

“We are proceeding toward finalizing the sale agreement with the Freedom Festival,” ABRA chairman Sam Cole said today. “It took us one and a half months to get all the documentation. Hopefully it will be finalized within the next week or two.”

The ABRA board of directors voted on Nov. 21 to acquire the physical assets of the Evansville Freedom Festival along with specified liabilities as a first step toward hosting the 31st running of Thunder. It agreed to move forward with obtaining the necessary approvals and commitments needed to stage the race, including an alignment with an Evansville charity, obtaining support from the city of Evansville for its services, coordination with GAGE and securing commitments for sponsorship of the event.

“I’ve been told things will work out with the city,” Cole said. “We’ve rescheduled it for late August,” Cole said. “That fit in well into our schedule.”

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/13/evansville-hydroplane-races-might-move-late-august/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 14 2009

This article should be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. Grilling is a favorite past time of many home owners. This article explains how to find the prefect grill.

Summer may be months away but a little research now will help you find the perfect grill without picking your pocket

Though the snow is still falling and the flowers are far from bloom, it's not too early to start thinking about those warm summer days: swimming pools, baseball games and, of course, family barbecues. If you're in the market for a new grill, start thinking about what you want now, so you'll be sure to find what you need later.

Image courtesy istockphoto

Image courtesy istockphoto

 

Backyards have meant barbecues since cavemen discovered the joys of roasting mastodon over an open spit. But today's grilling options are anything but primitive. Where once the charcoal-fired Weber Kettle ruled supreme, outdoor chefs now can choose from gas, electric and infrared models. Picking the right grill for your needs means taking a look at your cooking style as well as budget.

Top-of-the line models may get the majority of the press, but you can still get red-hot features without spending a lot of green.

"You don't have to spend $5,000 - or even $600 - to get something good," says Donna Myers, the president/CEO of Colts Neck, N.J.-based DHM Group, who is also connected to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.

"Eighty-three percent of grills sold are under $300."

Myers offers several questions shoppers should ask themselves before buying season starts:

* How many people do you typically cook for - just one or two, or a large, extended family?

* How adventurous a chef are you - strictly steaks and burgers, or do you need professional-level bells and whistles?

* Are you partial to a particular fuel - will only smoky charcoal do, or are you in a condo or apartment complex that requires non-flammable electric grills?

Know, too, that lines are blurring between fueling options. Many charcoal models now have gas ignition, while many gas-fired units allow cooks to add charcoal briquettes or wood chips to re-create that smoky flavor the cave dweller within us still craves.

The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Expo, North America's largest indoor/outdoor living, show scheduled for March 18-21, is sure to bring some enlightenment to consumers looking to purchase a new barbecue. Grill masters should keep an eye out for what the expo brings to the market.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/13/summer-may-be-months-away-little-research-now-will/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 13 2009

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel has announced that in his continued effort to cut costs the City-County purchasing department and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation are merging in order to operate more efficiently. This certainly will increase the purchasing power of the newly formed merger and should result in reduced costs.

City, council, EVSC to join purchasing departments

The City-County purchasing department is merging with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., to save money and operate more efficiently, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced today.

“The City is always investigating more effective and efficient ways to save taxpayer dollars," Weinzapfel said. "By combining purchasing departments with the EVSC, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our needs to negotiate lower costs. We are saving money by governing better and smarter.”

The merger will give the city, county and EVSC more purchasing power to negotiate lower prices and enhanced services, Weinzapfel said. Jim Harris, director of operations for EVSC, said the three entities will begin purchasing items as a collective body in February.

As a result of the merger, two positions in the city-county purchasing department will be eliminated. Weinzapfel said every effort will be made to help those people find jobs within the city as positions become vacant.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/13/city-council-evsc-join-purchasing-departments/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 12 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed on real estate matters we post from time to time pertinent articles which will help our readers understand the real estate market better.

Understand Agency Relationships

It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction. Ask what type of agency relationship your agent has with you:

Seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent)
A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

Buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent)
A buyer’s agent is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a real estate transaction. The buyer's rep works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.

Subagent
A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent's customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. In such a case, the subagent works with the buyer as a customer but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer-customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent. It is important that subagents fully explain their duties to buyers.

Disclosed dual agent
Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it's vital that all parties give their informed consent. In many states, this consent must be in writing. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in most states.

Designated agent (also called appointed agent)
This is a brokerage practice that allows the managing broker to designate which licensees in the brokerage will act as an agent of the seller and which will act as an agent of the buyer. Designated agency avoids the problem of creating a dual-agency relationship for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties. The broker still has the responsibility of supervising both groups of licensees.

Nonagency relationship (called, among other things, a transaction broker or facilitator)
Some states permit a real estate licensee to have a type of nonagency relationship with a consumer. These relationships vary considerably from state to state, both as to the duties owed to the consumer and the name used to describe them. Very generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.

Source:

http://www.realtor.org/rmosales_and_marketing/handoutsforcustomers/handouts/seller15
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 07 2009

 

Add these features to boost the value of your homes with your buyers.

 

Americans  love getting a deal, which might begin to explain why so many consumers flock to shopping malls on Black Friday. Of course, they aren't always ending up with a real bargain, but sometimes this doesn't matter. As long as an item or service has a high perceived value to people, there’s a good chance they’ll choose to buy it. 

This concept can be applied to selling homes. Create high perceived value, and you stand a better chance of closing the deal with buyers. One way to do this is to offer high value at a low cost. If your cool-looking kitchen was inexpensive to build, but it looks like it cost tons of money to do, you’ve hit a home run for your business and your buyers. 

 

With that in mind, here are 10 items to put in your next home to create real and perceived value for your buyers.

 

Radiant-heated bathroom floors
Forget fancy water-filled tubes embedded in concrete. You can now buy simple mesh-and-wire mats that install fast and easy under ceramic tiles. They cost as low as $10 a square foot and come with a variety of thermostats. Put a toasty floor in your homes' bathrooms and watch your buyers melt.

 

 

Butcher block countertops
Wood is the original solid surface. Used as an island or a bar, it holds nostalgic memories for older buyers and offers a fresh natural look for younger customers. It traditionally comes in maple, but butcher block is available in other species such as cherry and birch. An 8-foot-long top measuring 1.5 inches thick and 25 inches wide can be had for as little as $189.

 

 

Glass tiles
Yes, glass is cool. And yes, it’s pricey. But used sparingly as a kitchen or bath backsplash, glass can’t be beat. It reflects light, shimmers with color, and is virtually maintenance-free. If you shop carefully, you can buy it for as little as $7 a square foot.

 

 

Dual flush toilet
One can only imagine the perceived value of a dual-flush toilet installed in a powder room, which will cost about $250. That is about $100 more than a standard toilet, but it can save a family of four up to 6,000 gallons of water per year
.

 

 

Low-flow showerheads
There’s a chance you’ve used a new low-flow showerhead and don’t even know it. And that’s the point. These units use air to deliver the same robust performance as a traditional showerhead, but with a flow rate of 1 gallon per minute as opposed to 3.5 gallons a minute.

On-demand water heater
Depending on your climate, an on-demand (or tankless) water heater is an excellent choice. It does cost more, but instead of heating water at a constant temperature 24 hours a day, the energy-saving unit only activates when there is a need. Plus, it installs on a wall (inside or outside) and frees up space, which is especially important in the smaller, lower-priced homes that buyers appear to prefer in the current economy.

 

 

 

 

Water re-circulator
If a tankless water heater is a little too edgy (and costly), you can still give your home buyers instant hot water by using a high-efficiency conventional heater and a water re-circulator. With the push of a button, the device circulates ambient-temperature water from the line so hot water is instant and nothing is wasted down the drain.

 

Folding patio-door
In 2007, four out of the most popular 10 products among BUILDER readers were folding patio-door systems. Here's why: When closed, these doors look like any other, but they fold up like an accordion to provide access to the great outdoors. Full-wall installations are pricey, but you can reduce cost with a two-panel system.

 

Central vacuum
A central vacuum cleaner is a built-in system consisting of a power unit, collection canister, and hose. Connected by special pipes installed within interior walls, the system collects dust and deposits it in the centrally located canister. Five times more powerful than an upright, it’s quiet and efficient. Plus, an entry-level system can cost as little as $800.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent insulation

 

Insulation isn’t sexy, but when it’s 95 degrees in the summer or the mercury dips below freezing in the winter, your buyers will thank you for this, even if they didn't see the perceived or real value when they first signed the sales contract. Forget the entry-level insulation, and go for something that will really stuff the wall and the roof. While you’re at it, don’t forget the attic.

Source: http://www.builderonline.com/products/10-things-you-must-put-in-your-new-house.aspx?page=10

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 05:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 07 2009

F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS and The Realty Group are joining forces to create the largest real estate firm in Southwestern Indiana. The combined companies will operate as F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS with more more than 230 agents housed in eight offices in Southwestern Indiana and Northwestern Kentucky. The move will claim about 33.4 percent of real-estate sales in the region, measured by dollar amount.

 

 

F.C. Tucker Emge and Realty Group Merge

 

The largest and third largest real-estate companies in the Evansville region have decided to merge their operations.

F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors, the largest according to sales, announced today that it has joined forces with The Realty Group, a real-estate company founded 11 years ago. As a result, F.C. Tucker Emge picked up about 70 real-estate agents, bringing its total to 230. It can now lay claim to about 33.4 percent of real-estate sales in this region, measured by dollar amount.

Kevin Eastridge, the chief executive officer of F.C. Tucker Emge, said mergers have become common in the real-estate industry.

“Medium-sized companies have lots of overhead but they are still not big enough to provide the kinds of services their agents and customers demand,” he explained.

The economic recession played little part in the decision, he said.

“We are always looking for the opportunity to grow,” he said, noting that the market shares of both F.C. Tucker Emge and The Realty Group rose in 2008.

Kathy Briscoe, F.C. Tucker Emge chief operating officer, said no one has decided if the merger will lead to job cuts.

“We will check on efficiencies,” Briscoe said. “It hasn’t fallen out yet to know who we are going to keep, but our effort is to keep good employees.”

Both parties meanwhile expect to gain different advantages from the deal. The Realty Group will benefit from F.C. Tucker’s training programs, as well as the local franchise’s Web site, mall kiosk, television show and marketing department, among other assets. F.C. Tucker Emge, in turn, will gain any customer relationships formed by The Realty Group. Wayne Ellis, a former partner in The Realty Group, will contribute training in matters related to selling residential real estate.

“I’ll be working with the top producers and helping them in their business,” he said.

Another advantage will relate to marketing. The public will be more apt to keep in mind the one name of F.C. Tucker Emge rather than those of two companies, Eastridge said.

Eastridge predicted some of the best business opportunities in 2009 will lie in sales of residential real estate. The local housing market has contracted somewhat in recent times; home sales fell by 19 percent in 2008. Still, conditions are better here than in other parts of the country.

The combination of low interest rates and low prices will persuade many people to buy a house in 2009, Eastridge said.

He was less optimistic about the prospects for commercial real estate. He noted that F.C. Tucker Emge’s commercial division has been able to report record numbers of sales in each of the past nine years.

That feat may prove difficult to prolong, though the conditions are surely not as dire as some would describe them.

“We are still realistic,” Eastridge said. “Real estate did slow down last year, but it wasn’t a disaster last year.”

 

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/06/6web-FCTucker

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 06 2009

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville is reporting a 30 percent increase in attendance in 2008, with nearly 190,000 visitors. Officials cite the opening of its new rainforest exhibit "Amazonia" for the growth. More than 90,000 visited the zoo after the opening, more than doubling the amount that attended during the same time period in 2007. The zoo's revenue also grew by more than 50 percent over last year.

 

New Exhibit Leads to Record Breaking Year For Zoo

 

Evansville, Ind. -- Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is pleased to announce that 2008 was a record breaking year in more ways than one. Zoo attendance in 2008 was 180,857, nearly 30% higher than attendance in 2007. A large part of the increased attendance can be attributed to the opening last August of the highly anticipated rainforest exhibit, “AMAZONIA, Forest of Riches”. From AMAZONIA’s opening to the end of 2008, more than 90,000 people visited the Zoo. This more than doubles the 42,000 visitors that attended during the same time period in 2007.

“The numbers speak for themselves. AMAZONIA has been a tremendous success for the Zoo and for the City,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “I would like to congratulate the staff at Mesker Park Zoo on a great year and for the hard work and dedication that continues to go into AMAZONIA each and every day.”

In addition to attendance, Zoo revenue increased by more than 50% from 2007 to 2008 due in part to the increased number of visitors and the fact that the Zoo now operates its own gift shop. “Our attendance and revenue numbers are very pleasing,” stated Erik Beck, the Zoo’s General Curator “but the number of people we’ve positively impacted with our conservation and education message should also be celebrated.”

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to, “foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. We strive to forge connections between people and the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life.”

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 AM – 5 PM; entry gate closes at 4 PM. Reduced winter admission rates for adults are $6.50 and children ages 3-12 are $5.50. Children under 3 are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for information regarding yearly memberships or other Zoo services.

Source: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden & http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=33246

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 06 2009

 

In our continued quest to keep our customers better informed about current market conditions, we have decided to publish a monthly news letter with pertinent facts concerning our industry. We will simply call this letter Market Watch.

Welcome to 2009, the year of Real Estate Recovery.

 

If you have been following the national media you might believe that the world of real estate has ended forever.

NOT TRUE

 

Many of the real estate markets hardest hit in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida are already recovering.

 

Lets review some FACTUAL information about the market that matters most to you; The Tri-State.

 

1)     Sale volume in 2008 VS 2007 in our Multiple Listing Service declined   19.2 % (at F C Tucker Emge our sales volume only declined  12.2 %).  These numbers are substantially better than the numbers you have seen in the national media.

 

 

Other relevant facts for our market for 2008 were:

1)     Days on market  103 (December 114)

2)     Sale price as a percentage at list price.  95.6%  

3)     Average sale price 119,219.

4)     Months of inventory currently listed 10.4(Dec.)

(Number of listings ÷ number of closed home sales during the same month.)

We will try to keep you updated monthly with some relevant information and facts about our market and we promise we will have some good news in next months report.

 

In the meantime please call me at 812-499-9234 for all of your real estate needs. 

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 06 2009

 

Here we have an article that can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. According to C. Dwight Barnett, a Master Inspector and certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors, replacement windows add to the value of your home and will also contribute in additional savings on utility bills.

 

 

Replacement windows are an excellent investment

Every window I have installed or replaced has had an exterior nailing flange or wood rail behind the wall's exterior covering. In order to remove the original window's frame, the exterior wall covering must be removed.

If the home has vinyl or wood siding you simply remove the siding and replace it once the windows have been replaced. If you have to remove aluminum siding, brick or stone to get to the window frame, you may want to consider a replacement window.

Aluminum siding is easily damaged and difficult to color match for replacement. Brick and stone can be reset, but the new mortar joints may not match the original mortar color and the lines will be noticeable for years to come.

When choosing a window you need to consider costs, timing, convenience, looks and energy efficiency. Here are a few pluses and minuses for selecting replacement windows verses installing new windows. I've also thrown in the idea of using storm windows.

Costs: A replacement window will cost less than a new window and will be easier to install. You might consider adding storm windows to your original windows because they are easy to install and are cost- affective. Properly installed and sealed, a storm window will save you energy dollars and costs much less than replacement or new windows and there will be no need to remove exterior wall coverings.

Time: Replacement windows or storm windows can be installed in a day or two. Installing all new windows will take several days if not weeks.

Convenience: There is little to no damage to either the interior or exterior of the home with replacement windows or storm windows. New windows will require removal of some if not all of the home's exterior covering.

Looks: You will always be able to tell the replacement windows are not original. Storm windows are an addition, and you should consider how they would affect the overall appeal of the home.

Air leakage: Because the original frame is left intact, there are no easy solutions to sealing the nailing flange. Replacement windows are no better at insulating against the weather than a modern wood window.

There is a lot of air leakage around the frames of older aluminum and wood windows because they were simply nailed to the structure but never sealed. When a new window is installed it is now common practice to seal the nailing flange with caulk and/or metallic tape.

The only way you can be sure of air sealing an older window or a replacement window is to remove the exterior wall covering.

Evansville resident C. Dwight Barnett is a Master Inspector and is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors. Write to him with home improvement questions at C. Dwight Barnett, Courier & Press, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, IN. 47702. His e-mail address is d.barnett@insightbb.com. Please include a SASE with your questions.

 

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/jan/04/replacement-windows-are-an-excellent-investment/

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 05 2009

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed on real estate matters we post from time to time pertinent articles which will help our readers understand the real estate market better.

What is Appraised Value?

Appraisals provide an objective opinion of value, but it’s not an exact science so appraisals may differ.

For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value — what the property could probably be sold for. Other types of value include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.

Appraised value is not a constant number. Changes in market conditions can dramatically alter appraised value.

Appraised value doesn’t take into account special considerations, like the need to sell rapidly.

Lenders usually use either the appraised value or the sale price, whichever is less, to determine the amount of the mortgage they will offer.

Source:

http://www.realtor.org/rmosales_and_marketing/handoutsforcustomers/handouts/seller16
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 02 2009

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 authorizes a $7,500 tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing homes on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional about your unique situation. Here we have the Frequently Asked Questions:

 

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance

  • The tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only.
  • The maximum credit amount is $7,500.
  • The credit is available for homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before
    July 1, 2009.
  • Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.
  • The tax credit works like an interest-free loan and must be repaid over a 15-year period.
  • Who is eligible to claim the $7,500 tax credit?
    First time home buyers purchasing any kind of home—new or resale—are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs.

  • What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
    The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

  • How do I claim the tax credit? Do I need to complete a form or application?
    Participating in the tax credit program is easy. You claim the tax credit on your federal income tax return. No other applications or forms are required. No pre-approval is necessary; however, prospective home buyers will want to be sure they qualify for the credit under the income limits and first-time home buyer tests.

  • What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
    Any home purchased by an eligible first-time home buyer will qualify for the credit, provided that the home will be used as a principal residence and the buyer has not owned a home in the previous three years. This includes single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums, manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats.

  • Instead of buying a new home from a home builder, I have hired a contractor to construct a home on a lot that I already own. Do I still qualify for the tax credit?
    Yes. For the purposes of the home buyer tax credit, a principal residence that is constructed by the home owner is treated by the tax code as having been "purchased" on the date the owner first occupies the house. In this situation, the date of first occupancy must be on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009.

    In contrast, for newly-constructed homes bought from a home builder, eligibility for the tax credit is determined by the settlement date.


  • What is "modified adjusted gross income"?
    Modified adjusted gross income or MAGI is defined by the IRS. To find it, a taxpayer must first determine "adjusted gross income" or AGI. AGI is total income for a year minus certain deductions (known as "adjustments" or "above-the-line deductions"), but before itemized deductions from Schedule A or personal exemptions are subtracted. On Forms 1040 and 1040A, AGI is the last number on page 1 and first number on page 2 of the form. For Form 1040-EZ, AGI appears on line 4 (as of 2007). Note that AGI includes all forms of income including wages, salaries, interest income, dividends and capital gains.

    To determine modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), add to AGI certain amounts such as foreign income, foreign-housing deductions, student-loan deductions, IRA-contribution deductions and deductions for higher-education costs.


  • If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?
    Possibly. It depends on your income. Partial credits of less than $7,500 are available for some taxpayers whose MAGI exceeds the phaseout limits. The credit becomes totally unavailable for individual taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income of more than $95,000 and for married taxpayers filing joint returns with an AGI of more than $170,000.

  • Can you give me an example of how the partial tax credit is determined?
    Just as an example, assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phaseout to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time home buyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $7,500 by 0.5. The result is $3,750.

    Here’s another example: assume that an individual home buyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $7,500 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,625.

    Please remember that these examples are intended to provide a general idea of how the tax credit might be applied in different circumstances. You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.


  • Does the credit amount differ based on tax filing status?
    No. The credit is in general equal to $7,500 for a qualified home purchase, whether the home buyer files taxes as a single or married taxpayer. However, if a household files their taxes as "married filing separately" (in effect, filing two returns), then the credit of $7,500 is claimed as a $3,750 credit on each of the two returns.

  • Are there any circumstances for which buyers whose incomes are at or below the $75,000 limit for singles or the $150,000 limit for married taxpayers might not be able to claim the full $7,500 tax credit?
    In general, the tax credit is equal to 10% of the qualified home purchase price, but the credit amount is capped or limited at $7,500. For most first-time home buyers, this means the credit will equal $7,500. For home buyers purchasing a home priced less than $75,000, the credit will equal 10% of the purchase price.

  • I heard that the tax credit is refundable. What does that mean?
    The fact that the credit is refundable means that the home buyer credit can be claimed even if the taxpayer has little or no federal income tax liability to offset. Typically this involves the government sending the taxpayer a check for a portion or even all of the amount of the refundable tax credit.

    For example, if a qualified home buyer expected, notwithstanding the tax credit, federal income tax liability of $5,000 and had tax withholding of $4,000 for the year, then without the tax credit the taxpayer would owe the IRS $1,000 on April 15th. Suppose now that taxpayer qualified for the $7,500 home buyer tax credit. As a result, the taxpayer would receive a check for $6,500 ($7,500 minus the $1,000 owed).


  • What is the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?
    A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what the taxpayer owes. That means that a taxpayer who owes $7,500 in income taxes and who receives a $7,500 tax credit would owe nothing to the IRS.

    A tax deduction is subtracted from the amount of income that is taxed. Using the same example, assume the taxpayer is in the 15 percent tax bracket and owes $7,500 in income taxes. If the taxpayer receives a $7,500 deduction, the taxpayer’s tax liability would be reduced by $1,125 (15 percent of $7,500), or lowered from $7,500 to $6,375.


  • Can I claim the tax credit if I finance the purchase of my home under a mortgage revenue bond (MRB) program?
    No. The tax credit cannot be combined with the MRB home buyer program.

  • I live in the District of Columbia. Can I claim both the DC first-time home buyer credit and this new credit?
    No. You can claim only one.

  • I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I claim the tax credit?
    Maybe. Anyone who is not a nonresident alien (as defined by the IRS), who has not owned a principal residence in the previous three years and who meets the income limits test may claim the tax credit for a qualified home purchase. The IRS provides a definition of "nonresident alien" in IRS Publication 519.

  • Does the credit have to be paid back to the government? If so, what are the payback provisions?
    Yes, the tax credit must be repaid. Home buyers will be required to repay the credit to the government, without interest, over 15 years or when they sell the house, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. For example, a home buyer claiming a $7,500 credit would repay the credit at $500 per year. The home owner does not have to begin making repayments on the credit until two years after the credit is claimed. So if the tax credit is claimed on the 2008 tax return, a $500 payment is not due until the 2010 tax return is filed. If the home owner sold the home, then the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven.

  • Why must the money be repaid?
    Congress’s intent was to provide as large a financial resource as possible for home buyers in the year that they purchase a home. In addition to helping first-time home buyers, this will maximize the stimulus for the housing market and the economy, will help stabilize home prices, and will increase home sales. The repayment requirement reduces the effect on the Federal Treasury and assumes that home buyers will benefit from stabilized and, eventually, increasing future housing prices.

  • Because the money must be repaid, isn’t the first-time home buyer program really a zero-interest loan rather than a traditional tax credit?
    Yes. Because the tax credit must be repaid, it operates like a zero-interest loan. Assuming an interest rate of 7%, that means the home owner saves up to $4,200 in interest payments over the 15-year repayment period. Compared to $7,500 financed through a 30-year mortgage with a 7% interest rate, the home buyer tax credit saves home buyers over $8,100 in interest payments. The program is called a tax credit because it operates through the tax code and is administered by the IRS. Also like a tax credit, it provides a reduction in tax liability in the year it is claimed.
  • If I’m qualified for the tax credit and buy a home in 2009, can I apply the tax credit against my 2008 tax return?
    Yes. The law allows taxpayers to choose ("elect") to treat qualified home purchases in 2009 as if the purchase occurred on December 31, 2008. This means that the 2008 income limit (MAGI) applies and the election accelerates when the credit can be claimed (tax filing for 2008 returns instead of for 2009 returns). A benefit of this election is that a home buyer in 2009 will know their 2008 MAGI with certainty, thereby helping the buyer know whether the income limit will reduce their credit amount.
  • For a home purchase in 2009, can I choose whether to treat the purchase as occurring in 2008 or 2009, depending on in which year my credit amount is the largest?
    Yes. If the applicable income phaseout would reduce your home buyer tax credit amount in 2009 and a larger credit would be available using the 2008 MAGI amounts, then you can choose the year that yields the largest credit amount.
  • Is there any way for a home buyer to access the money allocable to the credit sooner than waiting to file their 2008 tax return?
    Yes. Prospective home buyers who believe they qualify for the tax credit are permitted to reduce their income tax withholding. Reducing tax withholding (up to the amount of the credit) will enable the future home buyer to accumulate cash by raising his/her take home pay. This money can then be applied to the downpayment. Buyers should adjust their withholding amount on their W-4 via their employer or through their quarterly estimated tax payment. IRS Publication 919 contains rules and guidelines for income tax withholding. Prospective home buyers should note that if income tax withholding is reduced and the tax credit qualified purchase does not occur, then the individual would be liable for repayment to the IRS of income tax and possible interest charges and penalties.

    Source: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/faq.php#1 

  • Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Friday, January 02 2009

    In our continued quest to keep our readers informed on real estate matters we post from time to time pertinent articles which will help our readers understand the real estate market better.

    These questions will help you decide whether you're ready for a home that's larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it's a sign that you may be ready to move.

    1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don't build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you've owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

    2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you're making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.

    3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you'd like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.

    4. Are there reasons why you can't remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn't large enough, your municipality doesn't allow it, or you're simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

    5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you'll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.

    6. Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

    Source: http://www.realtor.org/rmosales_and_marketing/handoutsforcustomers/handouts/seller11

    Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Friday, January 02 2009

    January 2008
     
     

    January 3   Recycle Saturday! (8 a.m. to Noon) at the Civic Center Parking Lot. Support Wesselman Nature Society by bringing us your recyclable materials. We are accepting cardboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phone books, mixed paper, aluminum cans, metal food cans, glass containers, #1 & #2 plastic bottles, and household batteries. Call 479-0771, ext. 101 or 436-7800 for more information.

    J
    anuary 7   Toddler Tales! (10 a.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and craft class is for parents and children up to 5 years old. Interaction with nature is important in a child's early stages. Toddler Tales is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Free with Wesselman Nature Society membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 7   Trails & Tales (3 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and outdoor trail activity is offered every Wednesday for children in grades K—2. Free with membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Note: outdoor activities are weather permitting; dress according to weather conditions. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 11   Sunday Sustainability Series (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This four-part adult seminar series: Energy, Economy, and Environment. Discusses interrelationship and interdependency of energy and economy on different facets of our environment. Programs led by Dr. Greg Valentine, Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). The curriculum is sponsored by the IN Council for Economic Education. This series continues on January 25, February 8, and 22. Free; registration is required. Contact Lauren Preske (lpreske@wesselmannaturesociety.org or 479-0771, ext. 102) for more information.

    January 14
      Toddler Tales! (10 a.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and craft class is for parents and children up to 5 years old. Interaction with nature is important in a child's early stages. Toddler Tales is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Free with Wesselman Nature Society membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 14   Trails & Tales (3 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and outdoor trail activity is offered every Wednesday for children in grades K—2. Free with membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Note: outdoor activities are weather permitting; dress according to weather conditions. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 17   Recycle Saturday! (8 a.m. to Noon) at the 4H Center. Support Wesselman Nature Society by bringing us your recyclable materials. We are accepting cardboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phone books, mixed paper, aluminum cans, metal food cans, glass containers, #1 & #2 plastic bottles, and household batteries. Call 479-0771, ext. 101 or 436-7800 for more information.

    January 20   Evansville Audubon Society Meeting (7 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. Join Evansville Audubon Society for “The Secret Lives of Acorns,” by Alan Pursell with The Nature Conservancy. Join us beforehand for dinner and camaraderie at 5:30 PM at the Eastland Mall Food Court. The Evansville Audubon Society holds their monthly meetings at WWNP on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

    January
    21   Toddler Tales! (10 a.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and craft class is for parents and children up to 5 years old. Interaction with nature is important in a child's early stages. Toddler Tales is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Free with Wesselman Nature Society membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 21   Trails & Tales (3 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and outdoor trail activity is offered every Wednesday for children in grades K—2. Free with membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Note: outdoor activities are weather permitting; dress according to weather conditions. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 24   Wing Watching (8:30 a.m.) at Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. Bird enthusiast and Wild Birds Unlimited co-owner Tim Griffith will guide you through the woods to discover the bird life that is active there. Bring your binoculars, cameras, and journals . . . it's going to be a fun flight! Free; donations accepted.

    January 25   Sunday Sustainability Series (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This four-part adult seminar series: Energy, Economy, and Environment. Discusses interrelationship and interdependency of energy and economy on different facets of our environment. Programs led by Dr. Greg Valentine, Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). The curriculum is sponsored by the IN Council for Economic Education. This session is a continuation of the series that began on January 11 and continues on February 8, and 22. Free; registration is required. Contact Lauren Preske (lpreske@wesselmannaturesociety.org or 479-0771, ext. 102) for more information.

    January
    28   Toddler Tales!
    (10 a.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and craft class is for parents and children up to 5 years old. Interaction with nature is important in a child's early stages. Toddler Tales is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Free with Wesselman Nature Society membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 28   Trails & Tales (3 p.m.) at the Wesselman Woods Nature Center. This seasonal nature story and outdoor trail activity is offered every Wednesday for children in grades K—2. Free with membership or $2 per child. No reservation required. Note: outdoor activities are weather permitting; dress according to weather conditions. Call 479-0771, ext. 102 for more information.

    January 31   Scout Workshop Weekend Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts alike will enjoy exploring the woods and wetlands while doing fun activities to earn their patches or badges. Various themed workshops will be held throughout the weekend. Contact Lauren Preske (lpreske@wesselmannaturesociety.org or 479-0771, ext. 102) for more information.

    Source: http://www.wesselmannaturesociety.org/events/index.php

    Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Friday, January 02 2009

    The article below is well written and summarizes the advantages for having a new stadium downtown. The economic benefits by far will be greater with a new arena than having to renovate Robert Stadium. We hope that Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel will start with the construction of the new arena in the first half of 2009.

    New arena right for many reasons

    By ED HAFER

    Special to the Courier & Press

     

    The time is now for a new Downtown arena.

    For the past 18 months, the Roberts Stadium Advisory Board, led by Wayne Henning, has studied the question of what to do with Roberts Stadium. Its work has been deliberate, thorough, professional and open.

    The board and its consultants have shown that the stadium is worn out and functionally obsolete. Renovation would be expensive and difficult to finance, and the final product would compromise event types and spectator convenience.

    On Dec. 16 the board unanimously recommended to the mayor that a new arena be built Downtown.

    This is the right decision for many reasons.

    New and better events, including enhanced convention and conference facilities.

    A conservative financing plan that uses existing revenue sources; no new taxes.

    Significant economic benefit for the short term (construction) and the future (ongoing operations) not just for Downtown but the Tri-State.

    A catalyst for related development Downtown, likely to include a new hotel, resulting in increased convention revenues beyond those projected for the arena.

    Enhanced quality of life for the entire region. The arena will make Evansville more attractive place to live and work, provide a community asset and increase community pride and assist in the attraction and retention of jobs and talent.

    The board and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are to be congratulated for their work.

    The question has been addressed, and the answer is to move forward with the new Downtown arena.

    Edmund L. Hafer Jr. is president of the Evansville Regional Business Committee.

    Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/Jan/2/new-arena-right-for-many-reasons/

     

     

    Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    The Trentini Team
    F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
    7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
    Evansville, IN 47715
    Office: (812) 479-0801
    Cell: (812) 499-9234
    Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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