Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Existing-home sales surge 3.9% in February

From Marketwatch:
Sales of existing homes unexpectedly rose 3.9% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday. The sales pace is the highest since April. The 3.9% gain was the largest since March 2004, exceeding expectations of a decline to about 6.35 million. Sales have risen three months in a row for the first time in three years. Sales are down 3.9% compared with a year ago. Inventories of unsold homes rose 5.9% to 3.75 million, representing a 6.7-month supply. Inventories are not seasonally adjusted. The median price of a home fell 1.3% year-over-year to $212,800, the seventh straight monthly decline.

Friday, March 23, 2007

TreeHugger TV Makes Prime Time

If you've been following our blog, you'll find that a plurality of our best environmental stories can be sourced through They add literally dozens of new items each day from a huge ensemble of dedicated experts, tipsters and assorted contributers. You can also find audio feeds, podcasts, and now Videos. We just checked out on of the latest videos on community tree planting programs in K6 schools. (If it's not showing when you enter the theater, you'll find it in their archives.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Baling Hay for Town Houses

While the Sopranos are returning to Broad St. at Watchung, another big low-profile production is returning to Broad St. at Liongate. Known by the innocuous title as AFC/Fairways, the often rejected, neglected, resuscitated, and re-erected projected Liongate Townhouse Development is about to receive yet another hearing by Bloomfield's Planning Board and the DEP. The purpose this time is to tweak their project enough to pass
muster before strict new state mandated flood control measures take
affect. Their latest plan calls for 104 Units on about 6 buildable
acres. Normally, Planning Board meetings are listed, with agendas, well in advance on the Townships website. This special meeting has been scheduled for weeks, but somehow the powers-that-be neglected to post it. Perhaps they fear another big turnout by unhappy residents, When? 7:30 PM Tuesday, Where? Bloomfield's Town Hall.
[Why the hay? The bales keep the tarps from blowing off the still-contaminated land-fill. They blow off anyway -- but that's another story.]

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Free Land to Build On

Anderson, a little town in Alaska's interior(pop. 300), has no gas station, no grocery store and no traffic lights, but it does have plenty of woodsy land - and it's free to anyone willing to put down roots in the often-frozen ground.

The 1.3 acre lots will be awarded to the first people who apply for them and submit $500 refundable deposits beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. Each winning applicant must build a house measuring at least 1,000 square feet within two years. Power and phone hookups are already available.

Friday, March 09, 2007

They're Back! Soprano's Again Ok in Bloomfield

With a strong pushback from hundreds of local residents on Baristanet and,the screws turned enough to generate yet another reversal and bring Tony Soprano and crew back to Bloomfield

by Terrence T. McDonald for BloomfieldLife at My

"The township, reversing itself a third time, has decided to let Tony Soprano film at Holsten’s after all....

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Most Convenient Truth Video Festival

Channel your inner eco-critic. Seventh Generation and TreeHugger asked you to share solutions to climate change. Help out by watching and rating the video entries here. Complete your green fix by subscribing to Tree Hugger's newsletter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

10 Ways To Know When The Market Is Up -- or Down

The past year saw a slowdown in real estate markets across the country. But the term "slowdown" is relative and should be used with care: The vaunted housing "bubble" predicted by many never happened and some areas have seen price increases.

Here's a great checklist from Peter G. Miller in Realty Times:

Friday, March 02, 2007

A 100 year Flood from 2" of Rain?

They used to describe water levels this high in a flood plain in terms approaching a "100 year flood." Tropical Storm Floyd was admittedly the worst at 12+ inches. November 8's storm was a bit lower with 4 inches. this morning's storm was a bit lower at between 1.65"(Caldwell) & 1.84" (in Newark). It's hard not to conclude that this is strong evidence that the recent addition of 800 condos at the source of Pearl Brook(also flooding Broad St. in Clifton) and The Third River on Garrett Mt. are going to have a long term impact on neighborhoods along the entire length of the river. (first & 3rd photos are from emergency bridge exit for proposed Townhouse Development off Lakewood drive. Second from top is view North from said bridge. Lower photo is gazebo at Brookside Pk.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Lot Thickens

From Treehugger TV:
Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with the urban homesteaders Path to Freedom. The Dervaes family shows us how they coverted a 1/5 acre city lot in Pasadena, CA into an eco-oasis that has reduced their dependence on electricity by 2/3 and increased their goals of living sustainably and self-sufficiently. From installing solar panels to brewing biodiesel, Path to Freedom has started a what they call a "homegrown revolution. . .using their hands as weapons of mass creation.