Exclusive: ‘ Architect Frank Gehery working on plan to redevelop LA River ‘

#AceBreakingNews – LOS ANGELES:Aug.07: Renowned architect Frank Gehry is working with Los Angeles officials in the public and private sector to draft a new master plan for the redevelopment of the Los Angeles River.

Gehry’s involvement is a potential turning point in the decades-long movement to transform the concrete-encased waterway that winds through the heart of the Los Angeles Basin.

@AceNewsServices

Ace Worldwide News

#frank-gehry, #los-angeles, #master-plan

CALIFORNIA: ‘ Wasters beware: #DroughtShaming on the rise’

#AceNewsReport -Headlines:June.11: Watch out #DroughtShaming is coming:

 LOS ANGELES (AP) – Pssst. Ready to water that beautiful lush lawn of yours? The one that’s the envy of the entire neighbourhood.

If you live in Southern California you’d better wait until after midnight. Preferably on a cloudy, new-moon night during a power outage when it’s so dark even night-vision goggles won’t give away your position.

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Ace Worldwide News Group

#associated-press, #beverly-hills, #california, #los-angeles, #pssst, #shame, #twitter, #water-conservation, #west-hollywood, #youtube

FEATURED POST: ‘ Want to Feed the Homeless? That Will Be $400, Please

#AceNewsReport – This was sent to me as a link a few minutes ago by a news provider who sends me reports and posts regularly.

It really should go viral the sender says – well you the readers spreading this across your sites and network could do just that – over to you.

homeless

Homelessness in the U.S. is continuing to skyrocket, despite what the government would like us to believe.

And if you want to help your fellow Americans who are in need, well…there is a price to be paid.

You see, the government isn’t going to just LET you go out and feed hungry folks. Nope. Like pretty much ANYTHING else in this country, that will require a permit, and permits aren’t cheap.

The good people of a non-profit organization found this out the hard way.

Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change recently visited Los Angeles, California to talk to Cloud 9, which is a non-profit organization that has been helping the homeless.

Because no good deed goes unpunished, Cloud 9 recently had the government show up at a charity event and demand they pay over $400 for a permit in order to continue their work.

LA makes the list of the top ten U.S. cities with high rates of homelessness year after year. In its January 2013 census, Los Angeles County counted 39,463 people sleeping on the street or in homeless shelters. When including people sleeping on private property with permission, the estimated number of homeless in Los Angeles County is 57,737.

In April 2015, the LA Times reported that the city of Los Angeles spends roughly 100 million a year on homelessness, with a majority of that money going to the LAPD:

Almost 15,000 people the LAPD arrested in 2013 were homeless, or 14% of those arrested, according to the report from the city administrative office. Labor costs for the arrests were estimated between $46 million and $80 million.

If homeless people sleeping in their cars and vans fail to move along, police sometimes impound their cars, another lengthy procedure.

“Supports what we’ve been saying for years that this city is doing almost nothing to advance housing solutions but continues down the expensive and inhumane process of criminalization that only makes the problem worse,” said Becky Dennison of Los Angeles Community Action Network, a skid row advocacy group, in an email.

Indeed, being homeless – and feeding the homeless – are now considered crimes in many U.S. cities. And Tent cities have been bulldozed by order of governments – right in front of residents – who have nowhere else to go.

With a collapsing economy and abysmal employment statistics, the number of homeless and hungry Americans is likely to increase, unfortunately.

We Are Change asks that everyone please share this story in the hopes that it brings so much outrage that it can stop the government’s ludicrous actions against people who are trying to make a difference. We need each other now more than ever.

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

#AceNewsServices says make it go viral

#homeless-shelters, #lily-dane-homelessness, #los-angeles, #los-angeles-community-action-network, #the-government

‘ MAN WHO WAS RECORDED CONFESSING KILLINGS CONVICTED TO FIRST DEGREE MURDER ‘

#AceWorldNews – LOS ANGELES – October 28 – A man who was recorded confessing to the killings of two Chinese graduate students near the University of Southern California was convicted Monday of first-degree murder.

'Man guilty of murder in attack on Chinese students '

‘Man guilty of murder in attack on Chinese students ‘

Javier Bolden, 22, was found guilty of shooting Ming Qu and Ying Wu as they sat in a double-parked car about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from campus on April 11, 2012.

The killings drew international interest and fueled concerns in China about the safety of students abroad. The crime spurred USC to provide more protection around campus.

Concerns surfaced again this summer when another Chinese student was killed.

Parents of the students have filed a lawsuit accusing USC of misrepresenting security at the campus, where nearly one-fifth of the 38,000 students are from overseas, including 2,500 from China. USC says it has more international students than any other U.S. university.

The murder charges against Bolden carry special circumstances but prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, so he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on Nov. 17.

Source:

#ANS2014

#china, #chinese, #first-degree-murder, #los-angeles

LOS ANGELES: ‘ Mayor Daniel Crespo Who Was Shot Multiple Times in His Own Home Dies ‘

#AceBreakingNews – UNITED STATES (Los Angeles) – October 01 – The mayor of Bell Gardens, Calif., a small city in Los Angeles County, died Tuesday after being shot at home, the sheriff’s department says.

Daniel Crespo, 45, was declared dead after being transported from his home to a hospital, Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

The mayor’s wife, Levette Crespo, 43, was questioned and released, the Sheriff’s department said. County prosecutors will decide whether charges will be brought.

Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s department homicide unit told KCBS-TV that Crespo was shot multiple times after a family argument.

During the argument the couple’s son, Daniel Jr., 19, intervened and Crespo began to fight with him. Levette Crespo then retrieved a gun and shot her husband several times in the torso, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Crystal Hernandez told the Associated Press.

County Deputy R. Rouzan said officers were responding to a shooting at Bell Gardens that took place at approximately 3:35 p.m.

He said the incident was in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue.

#ANS2014

#acenewsservices, #los-angeles, #united-states

‘ California Battling with Renewable Energy Paradox ‘

#AceNewsServices – CALIFORNIA – September 24 – That giant sucking sound you hear on the West Coast these days is the state of California, hoovering up as much renewable energy as neighbouring states can produce.

' Giant Wind Farm in Wyoming '

‘ Giant Wind Farm in Wyoming ‘

The latest development: a proposal from four major energy companies to build an $8 billion wind energy farm in Wyoming to power the city of Los Angeles.

' Wyoming Wind Farm to Los Angeles Homes '

‘ Wyoming Wind Farm to Los Angeles Homes ‘

Within the next decade, some cities like L.A. are expected to see power needs increase by as much as 18 percent, and a lot of that energy needs to be clean. The state has some of the most ambitious renewable standards in the entire country: By 2020, nearly a third of its power has to come from renewable sources.

Though the wind project would be supplying power to Southern California, all of it would be sourced from outside the state. Bloomberg reports:

The project includes a 2,100-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming, a 525-mile (845-kilometre) power line and a $1.5 billion storage facility, the developers said today in a statement. Duke-American Transmission, a joint venture of Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) and American Transmission Co., Dresser-Rand Group Inc. (DRC) and two others will propose the project to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015.

This project would be the 21st Century’s Hoover Dam — a landmark of the clean energy revolution,” Jeff Meyer, managing partner of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, said in the statement. 

All told, the wind project is expected to produce about 9.2 gigawatt-hours per year.

' Hoover Dam '

‘ Hoover Dam ‘

To compare, the Hoover Dam, which supplies hydroelectric power for Nevada, Arizona, and California, produced an annual average of 4.2 gigawatt-hours of electricity from 1999 to 2008.

Officials are still grappling with the “renewable energy paradox” — finding the balance between the push for clean energy and its unintended environmental consequences. A day before Bloomberg’s coverage of the proposed wind project, officials announced plans to parcel out 22.5 million acres across southern California deserts like the Mojave for large-scale energy projects and new habitat conservation areas, amid reports birds being scorched mid-air at the state’s Ivanpah solar plant near the Nevada border.

There’s no word yet on the potential environmental impacts of the proposed wind farm and if passed, it probably would not be completed until at least 2023. 

But for now, Hoover Dam, enjoy the limelight as one of America’s most beloved feats of engineering.

Your days as a tourist trap could be numbered.

Source:

#ANS2014

#arizona, #california, #hoover-dam, #los-angeles, #mojave, #nevada, #west-coast, #wyoming

‘ Protective Edge Day 13 Starts Street Riots as People Voice Their Frustration ‘

#AceWorldNews – GazaCity – July 21 – As hundreds of protesters looted shops, burnt cars and attacked a synagogue, as an unauthorized anti-Israeli rally turned violent in a Parisian suburb. Simultaneously, thousands participated in peaceful pro-Palestinian marches across the globe.

Despite a ban by authorities, an anti-Israel demonstration was held on Sunday in a Parisian suburb of Sarcelles, dubbed ‘Little Jerusalem’ for its large community of Sephardic Jews. It was the second in a row unauthorized protest in the French capital to turn violent over the weekend. 

On Saturday, activists clashed with police during pro-Palestinian rally in the center of Paris (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Several hundred people gathered for protest in Sarcelles by 3pm local time, with dozens of youths then setting cars on fire, smashing shop windows and raiding the shops, throwing stones at police. Protesters shouted: “F*** Israel!” and “Israel assassin.

A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue, Le Figaro reports. 

The police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and detaining at least 13 rioters, according to the Local.

The decision to ban pro-Palestinian protests in Paris raised controversy as the rallies happened anyway and turned violent. France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls defended the decision not to allow protests, saying the unrest that broke out “justifies all the more the brave choice by the interior ministry to ban a demonstration,” AFP reported.

 

 

Elsewhere in Europe pro-Palestinian protests appeared to be relatively peaceful. 

The largest one in Europe drew 11,000 of people to the streets of Vienna, who marched across the city center to the official residence of the country’s president. 

Thousands take to the streets of Vienna in Gaza protest (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

 

Pro-Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold signs during a demonstration against Israel's military action and violence in the Gaza strip, in Vienna July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Joe Klamar)

Pro-Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold signs during a demonstration against Israel’s military action and violence in the Gaza strip, in Vienna July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Joe Klamar)

 

In Amsterdam, some 3,000 participated in the march, demanding an immediate end to the Israeli military operation in Gaza. People carried signs reading “Stop the war” and “Israel war criminals.” Just one person was detained for refusing to obey a police order, the Netherlands’ NOS reported. 

It just has to stop. Children are being killed and they are innocent,” said protester Ekrem Kara, as cited by AFP.

 

Protesters carry a banner depicting the Palestinian flag reading "Sound the alarm, Stop the War" as they take part in a demonstration in Amsterdam on July 20, 2014, to protest Israel's military campaign in Gaza and show their support for the Palestinian people. (AFP Photo / John Thys)

Protesters carry a banner depicting the Palestinian flag reading “Sound the alarm, Stop the War” as they take part in a demonstration in Amsterdam on July 20, 2014, to protest Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and show their support for the Palestinian people. (AFP Photo / John Thys)

 

A similar rally in Stockholm gathered 1,000 participants. 

In the US massive pro-Palestinian protests were held on Sunday in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

 

 

Thousands marched to the Israeli Consulate in Chicago, home to a quarter million Palestinians, demanding a halt to Israel’s military action in Gaza. 

In response, the consulate general released a statement defending the military operation. 

Today is a tragic day,” the statement reads as cited by WGN_TV. “13 Israeli soldiers were killed by the terrorist organization Hamas. We regret the loss of civilians on both sides. Hamas continues to brutally attack 6 million Israeli citizens and puts its own population in danger. We have to stop it.

 

Pro-Palestine supporters, protesting against violence in the Gaza strip, march on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California July 20, 2014. (Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn)

Pro-Palestine supporters, protesting against violence in the Gaza strip, march on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California July 20, 2014. (Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn)

 

Some 2,000 protesters took to the streets of Sydney in opposition to the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. Parents took their children with them for the rally. 

I’m here as a mum to raise awareness of what’s happening in Gaza,” Buthania Saeed, 41, told AAP. “All we’re seeing is women and children being murdered, houses are being burnt down and families are being vanished.”

 

Children sit in front of dolls on stretchers as they and other members of the Australian Palestinian community hold a protest against Israel's military action in Gaza, in Sydney July 20, 2014. (Reuters / David Gray)

Children sit in front of dolls on stretchers as they and other members of the Australian Palestinian community hold a protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza, in Sydney July 20, 2014. (Reuters / David Gray)

 

Hundreds of mainly Islamist Jordanian protesters burnt Israeli flags in Amman on Sunday, Reuters reports. Demonstrators called on Palestinian Hamas militants to step up rocket attacks against Israeli towns and cities to avenge civilian deaths caused by Israel’s offensive in Gaza. 

Lebanese activists staged a protest outside the US embassy in Awkar north of Beirut on Sunday. The rally participants burned the American and Israeli flags, while chanting slogans in support of the Palestinians, the Daily Star reports.

 

A girls holds up the Palestinian flag during a protest near the US embassy in Awkar, on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on July 20, 2014, against the Israeli military offensive on the Palestinian Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo / Anwar Amro)

A girls holds up the Palestinian flag during a protest near the US embassy in Awkar, on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on July 20, 2014, against the Israeli military offensive on the Palestinian Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo / Anwar Amro)

 

 

Moroccan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people and against the ongoing Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, on July 20, 2014, in the capital Rabat. (AFP Photo / Fadel Senna)

Moroccan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people and against the ongoing Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, on July 20, 2014, in the capital Rabat. (AFP Photo / Fadel Senna)

 

 

A Palestinian protester holds a placard and a fake weapon during a demonstration to support the resistance in Gaza and to protest against the Israeli military offensive on the Palestinian Gaza Strip on July 20, 2014 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP Photo / Abbas Momani)

A Palestinian protester holds a placard and a fake weapon during a demonstration to support the resistance in Gaza and to protest against the Israeli military offensive on the Palestinian Gaza Strip on July 20, 2014 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP Photo / Abbas Momani)

 

 

Thai Muslim students display placards to protest against Israel's military campaign in Gaza at a mosque in Thailand's southern province of Pattani on July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Tuwaedaniya Meringing)

Thai Muslim students display placards to protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza at a mosque in Thailand’s southern province of Pattani on July 20, 2014. (AFP Photo / Tuwaedaniya Meringing)

GAZA CITY DAY 12 Humanitarian Ceasefire  

#ANS2104 

 

 

#ans2014, #amsterdam, #gaza, #gaza-strip, #israel, #los-angeles, #palestinian-flag, #palestinian-nationalism, #paris, #sarcelles

` Russia's Telecom Watchdog Warns against using `US Website Cloud Flare ' for Hosting or Risk being Blacklisted '

#AceNewsServices – MOSCOW – April 10 – Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) has warned against hosting Internet resources on the network addresses of the CloudFlare service, making it possible to accelerate the work of websites and protect them from outside threats.

The press service of the Russian communications watchdog said on Thursday that hosting in this system increased the risk of inclusion of a website in the black lists of resources with banned information.

The CloudFlare project had been created in the United States in 2009 and the network of this service is now located in San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, New Jersey, Dallas, as well as in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

“Cases of inclusion of network addresses of the CloudFlare service in the unified register of banned information have become more frequent. It is caused by the active use of this service by the websites that violate Russian legislation,” Roskomnadzor said. It added that such websites hide information on the location of their hosting provider.

“This makes interaction of Roskomnadzor with the real hosting provider more difficult and factually excludes the possibility of timely removal of illegal information for the restoration of access to blocked resources,” the agency explained, adding that CloudFlare representatives refuse from co-operation and do not reply to Roskomnadzor’s official notifications.

Due to the absence of response from the service, many conscientious Internet resources, using its services, are blocked by communications operators in Russian.

#ANS2014

#amsterdam, #chicago, #cloudflare, #dallas, #frankfurt, #hong-kong, #los-angeles, #moscow, #new-jersey, #paris, #roskomnadzor, #russias-federal-service, #san-jose, #singapore, #tokyo, #united-states, #washington

USFA: ` Uncover Two ` Drug-Smuggling Tunnels ' Underneath the US-Mexico Border ' for Moving Contraband '

#AceWorldNews – LOS ANGELES – April 05 – (Reuters) – United States Federal Agents (USFA) have uncovered two drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the U.S. Mexico border, both surfacing in San Diego-area warehouses and equipped with rail systems for moving contraband, officials said on Friday.

The discovery led to the arrest of a 73-year-old woman accused of running one of the warehouses connected to a drug smuggling operation, according to a joint news release by four federal agencies.

The tunnels were discovered as part of a five-month investigation by the so-called San Diego Tunnel Task Force.


Federal law enforcement officials said the first tunnel, which connects a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, with one in an industrial park in the border community of Otay Mesa, is about 600 yards long and is furnished with lighting, a crude rail system and wooden trusses.

The passageway is accessed via a 70-foot shaft secured by a cement cover and includes a pulley system on the U.S. side apparently intended to hoist contraband up into the warehouse.

The second tunnel was even more sophisticated, built with a multi-tiered electric rail system and an array of ventilation equipment.

Reuters – BIns – ALJ

#ANS2014

#los-angeles, #mexico, #san-diego, #tijuana, #united-states-federal-agents-usfa, #us

` Earthquake 5.1 Magnitude hits area Centred near ` Orange County ‘ and was followed by Aftershocks ‘

#AceWorldNews – LOS ANGELES – A magnitude-5.1 earthquake centred near Los Angeles caused no major damage but jittered nerves throughout the region as dozens of aftershocks struck into the night.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at about 9:09 p.m. Friday and was centred near Brea in Orange County – about 20 miles south-east of down-town Los Angeles – at a depth of about 5 miles.

It was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected on-line by the USGS.

#ANS2014

#earthquake, #los-angeles, #orange-county, #san-diego, #us-geological-survey, #usgs, #ventura-county

` Qatari Court Condemned `US ' Couple from ` Los Angeles ' to Three years in Prison for Causing Death of their Daughter '

#AceWorldNews – QATAR – March 27 – Qatari court on Thursday condemned a US couple from Los Angeles to three years in prison for causing the death of their adopted eight-year-old daughter, AFP said.

Matthew and Grace Huang were arrested in January 2013 after their daughter Gloria, from Ghana, died.

They were accused of causing her death in order to sell her organs.

The judge did not specify the exact charges for which the Huangs were sentenced.

They have two weeks to appeal.

#ANS2014

#afp, #death, #los-angeles, #prison, #qatar, #qatari, #us

“Obama’s Promised Land Zones for Those In Need or Making up for Lost Time”

Whitehouse#AceWorldNews says according to the latest “Press Statement” from the White House – President Obama” plans a collaborative effort between private businesses, federal state, tribal and local officials, and a number of other’s. In his latest statement he went onto say, for decades before the economic crisis, local communities were transformed as jobs were sent overseas and middle class Americans worked harder and harder but found it more difficult to get ahead.  Announced in last year’s State of the Union Address, the Promise Zone Initiative is part of the President’s plan to create a better bargain for the middle-class by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.

Today, the President announced the next step in those efforts by naming the first five “Promise Zones”. 

English: The Choctaw Capitol Museum and Judici...

English: The Choctaw Capitol Museum and Judicial Department, Tushka Homma, Oklahoma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first five Zones, located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, have each put forward a plan on how they will partner with local business and community leaders to make investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity.  In exchange, these designees will receive the resources and flexibility they need to achieve their goals.

Each of these designees knows and has demonstrated that it takes a collaborative effort – between private business and federal, state, tribal and local officials; faith-based and non-profit organizations; children and parents – to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American, in every community.

THE FIRST FIVE PROMISE ZONES AND THEIR PLANS:

San Antonio, TX (Eastside Neighborhood)

San Antonio

San Antonio (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

The City of San Antonio’s key strategies include:

  • Focusing on job creation and training, including through a partnership with St. Philip’s College, in key growth areas including energy, health care, business support, aerospace/advanced manufacturing, and construction.
  • Empowering every child with the skills they need by increasing enrollment in high quality pre-K programs; installing a STEM focus in the local school district; expanding enrollment in Early College Programs; and improving adult education opportunities.
  • Expanding public safety activities to facilitate neighborhood revitalization; improved street lighting and demolishing abandoned buildings; and integrated public safety activities with social resources.

Los Angeles, CA (Neighborhoods of Pico Union, Westlake, Koreatown, Hollywood, and East Hollywood)

The City of Los Angeles’s key strategies include:

  • Increasing housing affordability by preserving existing affordable housing and partnering with housing developers to increase the supply of affordable new housing to prevent displacement.
  • Ensuring all youth have access to a high-quality education, and are prepared for college and careers through its Promise Neighborhoods initiative, by partnering with the Youth Policy Institute and L.A. Unified School District to expand its Full Service Community Schools model from 7 schools to all 45 Promise Zone schools by 2019.
  • Ensuring youth and adult residents have access to high-quality career and technical training opportunities that prepare them for careers in high-growth industries through partnerships with career and technical training schools and the Los Angeles Community College District.
  • Investing in transit infrastructure including bus rapid transit lines and bike lanes, and promoting transit-oriented development (TOD) that attracts new businesses and creates jobs.
  • Charging its Promise Zone Director and Advisory Board with eliminating wasteful and duplicative government programs.

Philadelphia, PA (West Philadelphia)

The City of Philadelphia’s key strategies include:

  • Putting people back to work through skills training and adult education; classes on small business development to support entrepreneurs; loans and technical assistance for small resident-owned businesses; and the development of a supermarket providing both jobs and access to healthy food.
  • Improving high-quality education to prepare children for careers, in partnership with Drexel University and the William Penn Foundation, through increasing data-driven instruction that informs teacher professional development; developing school cultures that are conducive to teaching and learning; mentoring middle and high school youth with focus on college access and readiness; and increasing parent engagement.
  • Preventing and reducing crime in order to attract new residents and long-term investments, through strategies such as focused deterrence, hot spots policing, and foot patrol.
English: Draper Building, Berea College, Berea

English: Draper Building, Berea College, Berea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Southeastern Kentucky (Kentucky Highlands)

In Southeastern Kentucky, the Kentucky Highland’s Investment Corps’ key strategies include:

  • Implementing a sustainable economic effort across eight counties in the Kentucky Highlands region, focused on diversifying Southeastern Kentucky’s economy to make it more resilient.
  • Creating jobs and growing small businesses by leveraging $1.3 million of private sector funds in a revolving loan fund targeted within the Promise Zone.
  • Creating leadership and entrepreneur training for youth and industry-specific re-training opportunities for local skilled workforce, through the University of Kentucky Economic Development Initiative, the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, and the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.
  • In order to ensure all youth have access to a high-quality education Berea College will run evidence-based college and career readiness programs for high school students in the Zone, while Eastern Kentucky University will expand technical education programs.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

English: Indian territory: compiled from the o...

English: Indian territory: compiled from the official records of the records of the General Land Office and other sources under supervision of Geo. U. Mayo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s key strategies include:

  • Improving skills for tomorrow’s jobs, through workforce training for skilled trades and professionals and more rigorous summer and after-school programs.
  • Leveraging its role as the largest employer in southeastern Oklahoma to create a strong base for economic revitalization by working with partners, like Oklahoma State University, Eastern Oklahoma State College, and the Kiamichi Technology Center to improve workforce training for skilled trades and professionals, with a focus on providing nationally recognized STEM certifications.
  • Investing in infrastructure that lays the foundation for economic growth, including water and sewer infrastructure; these infrastructure challenges have been identified as impediments to investment in an area with otherwise strong growth potential.
  • Improving educational outcomes by working across 85 school districts throughout the region to share data for continuous improvement, and bolster early literacy and parent support programs.
  • Pursuing economic diversification by utilizing natural, historic, and cultural resources to support growth, including evaluation of market capacity for local farmers’ markets, as well as implementation of technology-enhanced “traditional” farming and ranching, and large-scale greenhouses and specialized training in business plan development, marketing, and financing to support the development of women-owned businesses in the Promise Zone.

THE PROMISE ZONES INITIATIVE

The five Promise Zones announced today are part of the 20 that will be announced over the next three years. These unique partnerships support local goals and strategies with:

  • Accountability for Clear Goals: Each Promise Zone has identified clear outcomes they will pursue to revitalize their community, with a focus on creating jobs, increasing economic activity, improving educational opportunities, increasing access to quality, affordable housing and reducing violent crime.  All Promise Zones will continuously track those outcomes, and have committed to sharing data across their community partners (private-sector, non-profits, federal, state, and local agencies, etc.)  so that each partner can work towards improvement and accountability.  The Administration will work with the Promise Zones and third-party experts to track progress and evaluate results.
  • Intensive Federal Partnership: Modeled after the Administration’s successful Strong Cities Strong Communities and Strike Force for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiatives, which have created unique partnerships between local stakeholders and the federal government, these first five Promise Zones will benefit from intensive federal support at the local level to help them implement their economic and community development goals.
  • Help Accessing Resources: Where necessary to achieve their goals, Promise Zones will get priority and be able to access federal investments that further the goals of job creation, additional private investment, increased economic activity, improved educational opportunity, and reduction in violent crime.
  • National Service:  Each Promise Zone will be provided five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to support their strategic plan.  These VISTAs will recruit and manage volunteers, and strengthen the capacity of Promise Zones to expand economic opportunity.
  • Investing in What Works: In order to be designated as a Promise Zone, these five communities have already demonstrated that they are pursuing strategies that have data proving their effectiveness. This same data will also help direct future federal investments to these Zones.

Cutting Taxes for Businesses: Finally, President Obama has proposed, and called on Congress to act, to cut taxes on hiring and investment in areas designated as Promise Zones – based upon the proven model of Empowerment Zones tax credits – to attract businesses and create jobs.

 

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#aceworldnews, #barack-obama, #berea-college, #choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma, #eastern-oklahoma-state-college, #kiamichi-technology-center, #los-angeles, #los-angeles-community-college-district, #philadelphia, #promise-neighborhoods, #san-antonio, #united-states, #william-penn-foundation

Obama’s “Home Affordable Modification Program” Modifies a Way to Foreclose this Person’s Home just Before #Christmas

HAMP#AceNewsGroup  says WASHINGTON  – Courtesy of MCDC  who have found and reported this story about how companies use HAMP! As Billions of dollars in foreclosure settlements between big banks and government regulators haven’t helped Laura Biggs.

The California woman is scheduled to lose her home nine days before Christmas because her mortgage company concluded that the house is no longer the primary residence of her husband, who’s been dead since 2003.

Technically, though, it still is George “Kenny” Mitchell’s primary residence. He resides at the home in Rialto, east of Los Angeles near San Bernardino, in an urn. His cremated remains are part of an altar that Biggs, 65, keeps in memory of the trucking-company manager. Many mementos from their marriage surround his smiling photo.

Biggs faces a Dec. 16 sale date, a holiday spoiler. It’s a property in which she’s built up more than $100,000 in equity and where she’s lived for 13 years, making payments on time. Her issue is back taxes, but more on that later.

“I’m getting ready to get tossed out. Whoever buys the property could toss me out,” she said.

The struggles of the career nurse who spent a lifetime helping others underscore this key point: Despite high-profile legal settlements in recent years that have resulted in large banks such as Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase paying billions of dollars for past sins, the foreclosure process remains a mess.

Centre for Responsible Lending “It’s just a continuing misalignment of incentives: that a (mortgage) servicer doesn’t get paid for figuring this stuff out, but they get paid for foreclosure,” said Michael Calhoun, the president of the Durham, N.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending, which has fought to hold servicer’s accountable. “Even today, the servicers are understaffed and overwhelmed. If this were your local community bank, they of course would be working with you.”

Servicers are essentially mortgage-payment collectors for investors who bought slices of complex mortgage bonds, composed of thousands of mortgages that combine to provide the investor an income stream through the monthly payments made by Biggs and millions of other American homeowners.

SPSThe company that collects Biggs’ mortgage is Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., a Utah-based company that services many of the poorly underwritten sub-prime mortgages that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis and a collapse in home prices. On its website, the company lists a P.O. Box in Salt Lake City for an address, offers no information on corporate officers and gives only toll-free phone numbers that feed to automated call centers.

BOFAThe company became a sub-servicer last year for Bank of America, which purchased disgraced subprime lender Countrywide Financial and its loan portfolio during the financial crisis.

HAMP ProgramPaperwork that McClatchy obtained shows that Select Portfolio Servicing initially worked with Biggs to find a solution, including a potential mortgage modification through the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

But in a Nov. 13 letter addressed not to Biggs – who’s on the deed to the property, though not on the loan – but to her late husband, who’d been dead for a decade, the servicer did an about-face.

“We are unable to offer you a HAMP modification because the property is not your primary residence,” the letter said, saying there’d be no foreclosure for at least 30 days. There now is a foreclosure date that’s three days after the 30-day window expires.

The problem of surviving spouses not being on loans is big enough that the Treasury Department, which devised a series of incentives for servicers to modify mortgages, has an entire section of a manual devoted to it.

“In this case, servicers should collect an Initial Package from the non-borrower who now owns the property and evaluate the request as if he or she was the borrower,” the guidance says, seemingly allowing Select Portfolio Servicing to treat Biggs as the homeowner. A Treasury spokeswoman, speaking only on the condition of anonymity as a matter of policy, said the agency didn’t comment on individual cases and didn’t collect data on the number of surviving spouses in loan modifications.

Mitchell’s loan originated with Countrywide, which underwrote it in April 2000. One reason Countrywide was so successful is it offered unsuspecting homeowners low monthly payments that didn’t include taxes and insurance. Only after signing the contracts did many homeowners learn that they were on the hook for taxes and insurance, too.

Mitchell and Biggs married in 1971, and although Biggs didn’t have her name on the title at the time, her name was on the check the couple sent to pay the mortgage. When he got sick with a disease that causes a cluster of veins in the brain to bleed, the couple started the process to add Biggs to the title but Mitchell, lapsing in and out of a near-comatose state, died before that could happen.

California law recognizes spouses as inheritors of property, and Biggs continued to pay the monthly mortgage with a check in her name. In 2005, Biggs had health problems, and while she kept making the mortgage payments she couldn’t pay the separate taxes and insurance. Select Portfolio Servicing added an escrow account and folded those payments into her monthly mortgage payments until they were paid off.

Fairbanks Capital CorpThe servicer had been renamed a year earlier from Fairbanks Capital Corp. after a $40 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2003 for illegal loan servicing practices. On its website today, Select Portfolio Servicing boasts that it handles more than 300,000 “nonprime residential mortgages.” That’s a more generous way of saying lower-performing subprime loans.

Biggs continued to pay her mortgage month after month but she fell behind again on the property taxes in 2011. Select Portfolio Servicing initially said in a letter on Jan. 5, 2012, that it would do the same as in 2005 and add those monthly amounts to the mortgage statement, like what’s done today on most new mortgages.

But when Biggs tried to talk directly with the company, customer services representatives refused to deal with her, insisting on speaking with Mitchell, something that’s impossible. The offer to roll the taxes into the loan was abruptly withdrawn, she said.

“Because my name was not on the loan, they wouldn’t talk to me,” Biggs said. “It always had my name on the checks. My name has been on those checks ever since we got the property. It was never an issue until last year.”

Biggs tried to continue making monthly mortgage payments but the servicer refused to accept them. The mortgage became delinquent and later was placed in default, despite more than $100,000 in equity built up.

“A little common sense. . . . Why wouldn’t you deal with this person?” said Calhoun, who has no involvement in the Biggs case. “It is just a lack of common sense, capacity and incentives. This is not a unique case.”

It wasn’t until this September that Select Portfolio Servicing began talking with Biggs, as an Oct. 2 sale date loomed. By then, her name was on the deed but still not on the loan.

“It wasn’t until I came to George that they realized that my husband was dead,” Biggs said.

George is George Bosch, the legal administrator for the Los Angeles-area law firm of Edward Lopez, which has taken the Biggs case pro bono.

“If you have a surviving spouse, legal documents are not necessary. (Select Portfolio Servicing) didn’t realize they were in California,” said Bosch, who did the paperwork for Biggs to seek a mortgage modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program. “They came with a new loophole. The guy doesn’t reside here.”

Select Portfolio Servicing, which doesn’t list a media contact on its website, didn’t return calls requesting comment.

Biggs authorized a McClatchy reporter to speak to a relationship manager with the company last week, and a representative of the servicer said Biggs didn’t qualify for a mortgage modification because she wasn’t the executor of Mitchell’s estate. When reminded that Bosch had cleared up this issue weeks ago, the representative agreed to escalate the case with an eye toward postponing the sale, which hadn’t happened as of the close of business Friday.The Treasury Department, in its third-quarter 2013 servicer assessment report, said Select Portfolio Servicing “has areas requiring moderate improvement” but stopped short of discontinuing the provision of financial incentives to the company to remain in the mortgage-modification program.

And Biggs? With a bad back that’s partially disabled her, she may not spend Christmas decorating her home but rather finding somewhere else to live.

“I couldn’t move in with family,” she said ruefully, noting that she has too many belongings and two dogs. “I’d actually have to find somewhere else to live.”

 

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Live webcasts of “Mind and Life XXVII – Craving, Desire, and Addiction” from Dharamsala, India

Buddhism

Buddhism (Photo credit: shapour bahrami)

The conference will focus its attention on craving, desire, and addiction, as these are among the most pressing causes of human suffering. By bringing contemplative practitioners and scholars from Buddhist and Christian traditions together with a broad array of scientific researchers in the fields of desire and addiction, hopefully new understandings will arise that may ultimately lead to improved treatment of the root causes of craving and its many manifestations. Live webcasts can be viewed at http://dalailama.com/live-english.

The sessions will be available for downloading and streaming after the event at http://dalailama.com/

All times Indian Standard Time (IST = GMT+5.30)
There will be two session each day.
Morning session: 9:00am – 11:30am IST
Afternoon session: 1:00pm – 3:00pm IST

Day One – October 28: The Problem of Craving and Addiction
Morning Session: Introductory remarks
Afternoon sessions: The Role of Craving in the Cycle of Addictive Behavior

Day Two – October 29: Cognitive and Buddhist Theory
Morning session: Brain Generators of Intense Wanting and Liking
Afternoon session: Psychology of Desire, Craving, and Action: A Buddhist Perspective

Day Three – October 30: Biological and Cultural Views
Morning Session: The Role of Dopamine in the Addicted Human Brain
Afternoon Session: Beyond the Individual – The Role of Society and Culture in Addiction

Day Four – October 31: Contemplative Perspectives
Morning Session: From Craving to Freedom and Flourishing: Buddhist Perspectives on Desire
Afternoon Session: Contemplative Christianity, Desire, and Addiction

Day Five – November 1: Into the World
Morning Session: Application of Contemplative Practices in Treatment of Addiction
Afternoon Session: Concluding Remarks

For times in your region 9:00am IST on October 28th in Dharamsala, India is the same as 8:30pm PDT October 27th in Los Angeles, CA, USA: and 4:30pm BST on October 28th in London, England.

Photo of the Mind and Life XXIII Conference held in Dharamsala, India in October 2011. (Photo by Tenzin Choejor)

 

#acepeacenews, #buddhism, #christian-contemplation, #dharamsala, #dharamshala-himachal-pradesh, #india, #indian-standard-time, #london, #los-angeles, #united-states

Live webcasts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s four day teaching on Nagarjuna’s “Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning”

There will be live webcasts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s four-day teaching on Nagarjuna’s “Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning” & Tsongkhapa’s “Concise Treatises on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment” at the request of a group from Taiwan at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, India, on September 30th to October 3rd, 2013. His Holiness will speak in Tibetan with English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian language translations are available. Live webcasts can be viewed at http://dalailama.com/livewebAll times Indian Standard Time (IST = GMT+5.30)September 30th: 8:00am – 12:00noon IST
October 1st: 8:00am – 12:00noon IST
October 2nd: 8:00am – 12:00noon IST
October 3rd: 8:00am – 12:00noon ISTFor times in your region 8:00am IST on September 30th in Dharamsala, India is the same as 3:30am BST on September 30th in London, England; and 7:30pm PDT on September 29th in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at a question and answer session during teachings requested by a group of Buddhists from Taiwan at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, India on October 4, 2012. (Photo by Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)

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#dalai-lama, #dharamsala, #dharamshala-himachal-pradesh, #his-holiness, #india, #indian-standard-time, #london, #los-angeles, #main-tibetan-temple