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    Honoring Columbus Day and American tradition – - October 15, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Honoring Columbus Day and American tradition

    By Ray Hanania

    Monday is "Columbus Day," although given the wave of reverse racism and anti-mainstream hatred sweeping America these days, you would not have known.

    The protestors assert Columbus was a racist foreign colonial settler, and that America was already discovered. Therefore Columbus should not be honored with the thousands of statues that have been erected in his honor since the United States was founded in the mid-18th Century.

    None of the mainstream news media, the TV news broadcasts, the Left or even the City of Chicago acknowledged Columbus Day. I'm not surprised about Chicago which is turning into a real-life version of the 1981 Hollywood movie "Escape from New York" Chicago has become a self-imposed maximum "insecurity" prison for law-abiding citizens imprisoned by growing lawlessness, looting and street gang violence that neither Mayor Lori Lightfoot or the Black Lives Matter protestors care to stop.

    Bashing Columbus is just the frontline of this new wave of racist hatred spreading across America that is directed against anyone who is "mainstream," or not a flaming leftwing reverse racist, the country's new movement of intolerance that has disguised itself as seeking "diversity" and "justice."

    They anti-Columbus haters hide behind racist slogans like "White silence is violence" and "No justice, no peace."

    It's not justice when you claim you have been left out of a system an exaggeration by the way and then you respond by excluding and marginalizing those you disagree with. The voices of the protestors have been almost inaudible in denouncing the looters and violence that has accompanied their protests and the tearing down of the statues.

    The protestors are also demanding the removal of statues of George Washington, America's first president and not because he told a lie when he was young. Henry Lee, the father of General Robert E. Lee and the author of the resolution honoring Washington after his death, declared Washington was, "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

    Not anymore, clearly. Protestors are tearing down both Columbus statues and Washington statues and they are doing it illegally without going through the Democratic process they claim they support but in reality do not.

    For me, this year, it isn't just Columbus Day. It is Columbus Week. The hypocrisy of the anti-Columbus Day and anti-Washington protesters is glaring.

    They dislike Columbus because they claim America was already "discovered." Yes, by a nation of Native Americans, who by the way violently and brutally wiped out and even enslaved the people who were here before them.

    They complain Washington was a "slave holder." According to the protestors, only White Americans had slaves but that's not true, either. Many of the slaves brought to America from Africa were sold to European slavers by African tribes and profiteers. Yes, African tribes and powers enslaved people, too.

    In fact, I would argue there has been slavery and racism in every society, not just here in America.

    I sympathize with the Native Americans who suffered at the hands of our government from the time the Spaniards arrived until slavery was abolished by a White man named Abraham Lincoln. They have been abused and mistreated.

    America also fought a war in part to end slavery. And 100 years later, African Americans were given equal rights and benefits to assist them to evolve in society along with everyone else. Yet, Lincoln's statue was toppled, too.

    To me, Columbus is an icon. His discovery of America for the Europeans was a major event. History is replete with people who are brutalized and subjugated. It happens all the time. But some political opportunists seem to pick and choose who to champion and who to demonize. I think the picking and choosing less to do with justice and morality, and more to do with selfish politics.

    I don't hear the protestors speaking about their history of violence, how their side coddled and embraced violence against the people who were here before them. Most of the Native Americans migrated to the Americas from Asia, wiping out people who were in their way.

    I will continue to celebrate Columbus Day, which is held on Oct. 12, the day the Columbus arrived in the Americas, and was later designated as a national holiday celebrated on the 2nd Monday of October.

    If we really want to honor the first people who lived in America, celebrating "Indigenous Day" is as much a lie as celebrating Columbus Day.

    Maybe we should erect a statue of the Neanderthals, because they were here even before the Native Americas and were wiped out without any sympathy at all.


    A couple of readers sent me the audio they received of an anonymous robocall that criticizes Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau's turbulent and unproductive first term in office.

    The robocall was stupid, although it included many facts. The voice was obviously computer-generated. No one claimed credit for it. Clearly if someone wanted to undermine and raise concerns about Pekau's tyrannical rule, the robocall doesn't even come close.

    Pekau has called these anonymous robocalls "vicious" and a part of a political campaign to challenge his fairy tale myth that he has been a good mayor. He hasn't been a good mayor at all.

    I hope the Justice Department investigates these anonymous robocalls and determines who is doing them because they are illegal. They are far from wrong but Pekau has cited them as evidence of how he has been unfairly criticized.

    That's the real tragedy because Pekau has been more vicious and has made more personal attacks against others than the robocalls have made about him.

    Pekau has attacked pretty much every person who holds public office who has ever disagreed with him.

    He rules the village like a Soviet Era tyrant, something anyone can see by watching the board meeting broadcasts online. Pekau constantly bullies elected officials on the board who try to challenge his ruthless and wrong policies, like Dan Calandriello and Jim Dodge. And, he bullies them and others in his weekly eNewsletters, twisting and distorting facts to make himself look like he is the victim when he is not.

    In 45 years of covering politics and government, in my opinion, Pekau is the worst elected official. What makes him the worst public official is not based on the issues he says he supports. It's based on his clear hypocrisy. Like when Calandriello asked the board in April to explore ways to help local businesses suffering because of the Coronavirus. Instead of embracing the idea, Pekau attacked and bullied Calandriello, and called him a political grandstander. One month later, however, Pekau did exactly what Calandriello suggested, claiming to want to help the businesses in Orland Park. The real issue? Pekau wanted the credit for himself, not Calandriello. He can't stand anyone who outshines him, which is pretty easy to do.

    Too little, too late, Mayor!

    Pekau has attacked me repeatedly -- like when I do what he fails to do, provide Orland Park residents data on how many people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

    Where is that information on the Village website, by the way? Anywhere?

    The daily data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows COVID-19 infections continue to rise in erratic spikes. They rose 50 percent in July, maintained a threatening rate in August and spiked during the last few weeks of September.

    Pekau says the infection rate in August was 9.6 a day and was "only" 9.1 in September. "Puh-lease," Mayor. You are so irresponsible. The daily infection numbers jumped high in the final week of September. It should be troubling for any responsible public leader. Nine Orland Park residents are infected EVERY DAY ... that should be troubling, not a political weapon in your ruthless arsenal of denial.

    The steadily rising infection rate is troubling enough. The fact Pekau doesn't seem to care is worse.

    (Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He writes on mainstream issues for several Southwest regional newspapers and for the Patch each week. He also covers Middle East issues for the Arab News which has bureaus in Riyadh, Dubai, Japan, France, Pakistan, London, New York and Chicago. Reach him on his website at And, he does government media consulting work.)

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    The Oklahoman’s Listing of the Week for Oct. 10, 2020 – - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Listing of the Week is a two-story home with open-concept living space in the gated, English garden-style Edinburgh addition.

    The 3,232-square-foot home at 3040 NW 160 has three bedrooms, three baths, two living areas, two dining areas and an attached two-car garage.

    The main living area has a floor-to-ceiling fireplace flanked with built-in bookshelves, and a ceiling fan. The kitchen has eating space, an island and pantry. The master bedroom has a ceiling fan, walk-in closet and full bath with double vanities, shower and whirlpool tub. The oversize laundry room has a walk-in closet for seasonal storage.

    Upstairs, a guest bedroom has a walk-in closet and shares a Jack-and-Jill bath with bonus space that could be media-hobby space or a fourth bedroom.

    The home has a covered porch, covered patio, security system and underground sprinkler system. Annual homeowners association dues of $2,150 cover front yard and common area maintenance, and access to the neighborhood clubhouse, trails, ponds and swimming pool.

    The home, built in 2003, is listed for $390,000 with Jordan Stephens, of 1st United Oklahoma Realtors. For more information, call 615-5623.

    Nominations for Listing of the Week are welcome. With Listing of the Week in the subject line, email a link to the full MLS information sheet on a single-family home to .

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    The Oklahoman's Listing of the Week for Oct. 10, 2020 -

    Autumn is in the air, COVID-19 cases in NYC continue to rise: The Post’s week in photos – New York Post - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    October 9, 2020 | 12:42pm


    Stephen Yang


    G.N. Miller


    Matthew McDermott


    J.C. Rice


    Christopher Sadowski


    Christopher Sadowski


    James Keivom


    G.N. Miller


    G.N. Miller


    Matthew McDermott


    Christopher Sadowski


    Matthew McDermott


    Charles Wenzelberg


    Helayne Seidman


    William Farrington


    Stephen Yang


    Rashid Umar Abbasi


    Rashid Umar Abbasi


    Christopher Sadowski

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    Autumn is in the air, COVID-19 cases in NYC continue to rise: The Post's week in photos - New York Post

    Life within walking distance at Pebble Creek – Montgomery Advertiser - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Paul Sullivan, Special to the Advertiser Published 9:12 a.m. CT Oct. 9, 2020

    Open house on Oct. 18; A Pebble Creek resident can walk to the post office, YMCA, nearby churches, several dining options, and accompany a student on their walk to elementary school.

    A home located at 1676 Pebble Creek Drive in Prattville is for sale for $389,900. An open house will be held at the property on Oct. 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The stunning four bedroom and two and a half bath home includes more than 3,300 square feet of living space within two stories.(Photo: Contributed)

    Pebble Creek Drive features patio and spacious family homes tucked off the north side of busy Cobbs Ford Road in east Prattville.

    The property is in an ideal location.

    A Pebble Creek resident can walk to the post office, YMCA, nearby churches, several dining options, and accompany a student on their walk to elementary school.

    Pebble Creek is one light from popular Daniel Pratt Elementary School located off Shelia Boulevard.

    Pebble Creek Drive is a short street with several cul-de-sacs, Realtor Lisa Lynn said. It is common to see families out walking and riding bikes.

    Pebble Creek Drive also is just 15 minutes from Maxwell AFB as well as jobs in downtown Montgomery.

    A large cluster of patio homes lines the east side of Pebble Creek Drive, as well as an adjoining cul-de-sac. The one-story designs offer smaller yards, less maintenance and driveways which serve the back of the homes.

    The newer family homes across Greystone Way on the west side of Pebble Creek Drive also feature smaller yards than normally accompany such roomy homes.

    A home located at 1676 Pebble Creek Drive is for sale for $389,900. An open house will be held at the property on Oct. 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Lynn said.

    The stunning four bedroom and two and a half bath home includes more than 3,300 square feet of living space within two stories.

    The home is beautifully landscaped and includes a two-car garage. The home was built in 2015.

    The home is just like new, Lynn said. The kitchen features a gas range with a griddle, a huge eat-on bar, new dishwasher and walk-in pantry.

    A separate dining room has attractive wood floors and pine ceilings, she said.

    Double French doors open to the beautiful sunroom, Lynn said, adding that the laundry room includes a chute from the upstairs. The master bath has a huge walk-in, two-head shower.

    A covered deck provides peaceful views and relaxing moments outside. A storage shed and sprinkler system add to the value of the property.

    * Close to golf course, YMCA, churches

    *Popular elementary school nearby

    *Family, patio homes

    * Newer construction

    *Limited pass-through traffic

    * At least five homes have been sold in the past year

    * The homes were sold in a price range from about $275,000 to about $365,000

    * At least one home is for sale

    * The home is priced at $389,900

    * Home for sale measures more than 3,300 square feet

    *To view properties or to inquire about any future open house dates and times, contact Realtor Lisa Lynn at 334-657-9596.

    Directions: From downtown Montgomery, travel north on Interstate 65. Take the first Prattville exit and take a left on to Cobbs Ford Road. Travel east on Cobbs Ford past Larry Puckett Chevrolet and take a right on to Greystone Way. Pebble Creek Drive will be on the left and right just past the post office.

    Source: Realtor Lisa Lynn

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    The Bitter End and other concert venues say they won’t survive without a bailout – Crain’s New York Business - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    But the club has been closed since March due to the pandemic, and its not clear when the state will allow it to reopen, says owner Phil Rizzo. Though his landlord has given him a temporary reprieve from rent, which costs $23,000 a month, that wont continue forever.

    Rizzo is devising a business planto reopen, pending approval and guidelines from the state. The cost of doing so will be significant $40,000 to $60,000 to start and theres no guarantee anyone will come. His worst fear is that he opens and has to close down again, as some movie theaters and restaurants have had to do this year. That would be a death blow.

    Im nervous about the future, nervous about the comeback of Manhattan, Rizzo said on a recent Friday from his home in Pennsylvania. Its not like the business took a dive; the business is gone.

    Rizzo is one of thousands of club owners pleading with Congress for a financial lifeline to help them to hold outuntil they can welcome music fans back whenever that is. A bipartisan group of senators hassponsored the Save Our Stages act, which would provide six months of financial support to venues. Rather than offering the reliefas a loan, which venues would need to repay, the bill would providegrants.

    Yet bailing out strugglingbusinesses has been held up by gridlock. While the House of Representatives has passed a new coronavirus recovery act that includes provisions from Save Our Stages, itremains at odds with the Senate over the size of the bailout. The Senate has said its waiting on direction from the president, who is busy with hisre-election campaign and pushing for a new nominee to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, President Trump said hewouldnt negotiate a recovery bill until after the election, though he later softened his stance.

    Meanwhile,more owners are giving up altogether. Hundreds of establishmentshave already called it quits, and about 90% of independent venues say they will be forced to close without government intervention, according to AudreySchaefer, spokesperson for the National Independent Venues Association.

    Havingto wait until after the election would bedevastating, Schaefer said. Businesses are folding every day as they wait.

    And venues are taking on more and more debt. Theyve signed personal guarantees, Schaefer said. These music venues arent like coffee shops and restaurants that you see open and open. Once these are gone, they are gone.

    Few industries have suffered more during the last year than live music, which was among the first sectors to close and will be among the last to reopen. Live music thrives on the very situations a large group of people, possibly drunk, packed together deemed least safe by doctors during the pandemic.

    While outdoor activities like theme parks and sporting events are resuming in many states, major concert promoters have said they dont expect live music to pick up again until next spring or summer at the earliest. Major music acts wont tour until they can put together multiple shows in numerous states or countries. In the meantime, agencies, management companies, promoters, ticket sellers and venues have all had to fire staff or close up shop because of the pandemic.

    Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the worlds largest concert promoter,has access to enough capital to ride it out. Artists can make money from their recordingsor brand deals.But independent music clubs have few alternatives. Like restaurants, they operate on smallprofit margins. They dont collect much of the ticket revenue from a concert, instead relying on selling alcohol and merchandise.

    Yet while restaurants can deliver their food at home and offer outdoor seating, most music clubs cant replicate the live experience at home. Selling tickets to online livestreams isnt a sustainable business model for thousands of venues.

    The streaming thing is very cool, Rizzo said, but if you are a live-music person, a stream just doesnt do it.

    Venues, promoters and artists have tried to come up with alternatives. Some are staging socially distanced shows. Others are giving up on music altogether at least for now and converting to a bar and restaurant.

    But these options arentpossible for manyvenues, said Farid Nouri, the owner of the Eighteenth Street Loungein Washington. The spacehasno kitchen, and he cant rely on alcohol alone to fill a 10,000-square-foot venue with a capacity of 499 people.

    Nouri opened the club in his adopted home city 25 years ago to promote electronic music at a time whenfew venues offeredit. Nouri DJs in his spare time, and has programmed a wide range of music at his club, including jazz, reggae and salsa.

    But after a few months of waiting for the chance to reopen, Nouri realized he might not be able to do so anytime soon. Most clubs cant open fully until a vaccine is available, so Nouri decided to close the club for good.

    My landlord was breathing down my neck for full rent.I had IOUs from vendors and staff waiting to get paid, he said. I didnt see any kind of revenue for I dont know how long.

    Rob Mercurio is hoping to avoid a similar fate. Mercurio is the bassist in Galactic, a jam band,and the co-owner of Tipitinas, one of New Orleanss most famous clubs. He and his bandmates bought the club in 2018 after years of performing as its house band. Their group had formed in New Orleans, and they were upset seeingthe place sufferfrom years of neglect under previous ownership.The bandtook a small-business loan to make a number of investments.

    The venue was eking out a profit before the pandemic, but now Mercurio is at the mercy of banks.

    Werereaching the end of our rope, Mercurio said. The venue, which holds 800 people, is too large to function as just a bar. The bankhas allowed Mercurio and his partners to defer payments that have helped him keep his full-time staff, which includes a general manager and a talent buyer.But the money they received as part of the Paycheck Protection Program an earlier federal relief effort has been depleted.Real costs are about to hit, he said.

    Business at the Bitter End was slowing down before the coronavirus due to the emergence of an entertainment scene in Brooklyn, said Rizzo, who started working at the clubin 1991 after bartending down the block. He became a manager at the Bitter Endand acquired a small stakein 1993. A few years ago, the clubs majority owner, Paul Colby, sold his stake to Rizzo.

    The Bitter End has been luckier than most because of its history. Rizzo has raised close to $100,000 from two campaigns on GoFundMe. The first $12,000 was for his staff, which he had to let go, and the second campaign, which has raisedmore than$85,000, is for reopening costs.

    But all of that money will go to paying insurance, maintain a sprinkler system and restocking liquor. The club relies on young college students, working professionals and tourists visiting New York. Its not clear when people will return to the office en masse, or how long it will take for travel to pick up again. For now, a lot of smaller clubs will need money from the federal government to get back open and stay open.

    Even 9/11 we jump-started everything pretty quick, Rizzo said. But this time I dont know if the public will be ready and willing to come back fully.

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    CTs Gone Bone Dry: Heres What You Can Do About It – - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    CONNECTICUT - Residents are going through a period of extraordinarily high water high usage, and there is a significant lack of rain in the forecast. The State Department of Public Health said Wednesday that things are about to get ugly, especially in southwest Fairfield County.

    On Monday, the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup announced a Stage 3 drought for Hartford, Tolland, Windham, and New London counties. A Stage 3 drought is an "emerging drought event potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture, or natural ecosystems."

    Now, a couple of days later, DPH is calling out residents of lower Fairfield County specifically those living in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Westport to reduce their water usage by 20 percent due to drought conditions as well.

    Fairfield county as well as the entire state of Connecticut was placed on a Stage 1 drought declaration in June. While Fairfield County remains in Stage 1 drought, water conservation measures are critical to reduce usage of the drinking water supplies that supply the southwest portion of the state.

    "Connecticut has been in a drought for some time, and every resident especially those in lower Fairfield County can do their part to reduce demand on some of the public water systems and conserve this vital resource," said acting DPH Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford. "We are experiencing a combination of dry weather, lower than normal precipitation this summer, and likely because of that higher than normal demand for water due to outdoor water use."

    Taking simple actions to reduce demand on the public water supply in the region could help stabilize the reservoirs that feed into the regional water system, according to a news release from the DPH. Regional water supplier Aquarion is asking customers to reduce nonessential water usage by 20 percent in addition to its mandatory, twice-weekly irrigation schedule.

    The DPH has put forth the following guidelines it says could help in preventing a third drought trigger being hit, and further watering restrictions from being enacted:

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    City of Burien to get federal pandemic funds to aid local businesses; copper thief arrested at Annex – The – The B-Town Blog - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    By Jack Mayne

    The City of Burien will be getting $780,000 from the state, with $380,000 earmarked for small Burien businesses as relief from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

    Burien City Manager Brian Wilson told the Council at its regular virtual session on Monday night (Oct. 5) that the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the CARES Act, has provided the city, via the state, with a second round of money.

    Direct economic helpThis federal legislation was passed to provide fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.

    Burien businesses to get the grants must be commercial enterprises with a Burien city business license, 10 or fewer employees, have been a for-profit business for 12 months or longer, and have a 25 percent or larger drop in their revenue. Grants up to $5,000 are available, said Wilson.

    Ventures Nonprofit of Seattle will administer the funds, and this will be the second round, Wilson said. Ventures says it builds businesses and changes lives by equipping low-income entrepreneurs with training, support and access to capital.

    The application period started Oct. 2, and will close on Oct. 15, 2020.

    Wilson said there was an earlier grant of $385,000 directed to human services, with a good percentage of that (for) human services.

    Vacated Annex hit by copper wire thiefThere has been extreme damage done to the Annex building, now closed and awaiting to be demolished, said Wilson.

    There have been real problems with theft and with burglary inside that building to the point where the whole electrical system was compromised. That turned out to be an extreme safety concern, he said. We also had the fire sprinkler system and the water access damaged to the point where we had severe flooding that occurred within there and we have had continued problems.

    Wilson said the Burien Police have identified a suspect in the act at the Annex on Sunday night and that person is in custody for burglary.

    The burglars intent, said Wilson, was to get copper wire for sale.

    Photos courtesy Burien Police / King County Sheriffs Office

    Burien Police said that over the last week, they had received complaints of someone breaking into the Annex building and stealing copper from pipes and wiring.

    Burien Police/King County Sheriffs Office Special Emphasis Team (SET) detectives monitored the property on Sunday, Oct. 4 then caught the burglar in the act cutting fences, breaking doors and digging up underground utilities in his search for copper.

    He was arrested and booked into jail for burglary.

    Face masks donated to Highline Public SchoolsIn other business, The city manager told Council the city has donated 5,000 face masks to the Highline School District for their students. The masks were donated to the city and we are happy to redistribute those masks to the Highline School District.

    Three citizens honoredThree local people were unanimously proclaimed 2019 Citizens of the Year, an honor usually awarded earlier in the year, and a proclamation, both postponed from May due to the pandemic. The awards were cited by Mayor Jimmy Matta and City Manager Brian Wilson.

    The first was for Grace Stiller who is a longtime board member and current interim board president for the Burien Arts Association whose mission is to enrich Burien with arts and culture.

    Stiller founded the nonprofit organization Weed Warriors (now known as Nature Stewards) in 2008 as as a way to help youth enrolled in Highline area schools complete their community service requirements through projects that connected them to the natural world; and Stiller and her organization Nature Stewards is involved in the establishment and operations of two community edible gardens in Burien.

    Pastors honoredThe two women honored together were Pastors Jenny Partch and Lina Thompson continue to advocate for the most vulnerable in our community, The two Pastors Jenny Partch and Lina Thompson worked with the Ecumenical Leadership Circle to organize emergency financial support for residents of the Fox Cove Apartments, who faced displacement because the building was being sold; and Pastors Jenny Partch and Lina Thompson witnessed the hardship suffered by people experiencing homelessness and those living at risk of losing their housing and felt called to action and organized a diverse coalition of community members and leaders to advocate for renter protections in Burien.

    Council followed with a proclamation also originally slated for May but postponed because of the onset of the pandemic. The original Affordable Housing Week Proclamation noted the city found 1,115 people in southwest King County sleeping outdoors without shelter in January of this year, and two in five households in Burien are considered cost-burdened, because they were spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many existing financial constraints for low- and moderate-income households.

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    City of Burien to get federal pandemic funds to aid local businesses; copper thief arrested at Annex - The - The B-Town Blog

    Investigators say child started fire that destroyed Dollar Tree on Mahoning Avenue – - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The fire was started in the back west corner of the store and spread very quickly

    by: Joe Gorman

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) Fire investigators say a young child is responsible for a fire last month that destroyed a Mahoning Avenue dollar store.

    Capt. Kurt Wright of the Youngstown Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit said the child set fire to wrapping paper and gift bags in the back corner of the store.

    The blaze at the 3003 Mahoning Ave. store that broke out about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 heavily damaged the store. Heavy smoke flowed from the back west corner of the store, where the fire was set, out the front door. Firefighters had to call in an excavator to knock the back walls down so they could get to spots in the ceiling where it was hard to get water into to put the flames out.

    The store is expected to be demolished at some point.

    Wright said the fire caught very quickly because the materials that were set afire are very flammable and the store did not have a sprinkler system because of its size. Once the fire spread to the ceiling, it was out of control.

    No charges are expected to be filed, Wright said.

    Wright said the child set the fire with a lighter they got off of one of their parents. Both of the childs parents smoke, Wright said.

    No one was injured in the fire, but the thick smoke, heat and the fact that some of the flames were inaccessible until the excavator was called in caused a second alarm to be put in.

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    Woman Accused of Torching Anaheim Hotel Room with Toddler Inside – - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

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    A 45-year-old woman was charged Wednesday with damaging her hotel room in Anaheim with a butane torch while caring for a toddler.

    Christy Michelle Meteer pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of arson, vandalism and child abuse and endangerment at her arraignment in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana. She was ordered to return to court for a pretrial hearing Oct. 21 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton.

    Police were called after the sprinkler system was activated about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Extended Stay America at 1742 Clementine St., according to Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer. The defendant is accused of using a butane torch often associated with illicit drug use to burn various parts of her hotel room, he said.

    A toddler-aged girl to whom Meteer is related was in the room with her, Carringer said.

    Woman Accused of Torching Anaheim Hotel Room with Toddler Inside was last modified: October 7th, 2020 by Contributing Editor

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    Drive system on Miller Park roof to be replaced as part of planned ballpark maintenance, board members decide – Daily Reporter - October 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Joe TaschlerMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Members of the board that oversees Miller Park approved a plan Tuesday to spend $1.8 million to upgrade the system that controls the ballparks retractable roof.

    The Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District boards finance and operations committees voted unanimously to spend the money to improve the system as part of the 2021 maintenance and improvement plan for the ballpark.

    The roof panels are moved by a complex system of motors and drives that haul it along a track.

    Much of the controls for the system as well as various parts of the drive system have become obsolete and have reached their usable life after 20 years, said Kristi Kreklow, associate director of the district.

    In 2018, workers removed and inspected one of the 10 bogies that haul the roof panels into place. The bogie was making unusual noises but was deemed not to be faulty in the $900,000 project.

    The spending for the latest project is coming from whats known as the districts segregated reserve fund to which the district and the Milwaukee Brewers each make contributions.

    Improving the roofs drive and control system has been planned and is not a surprise. Original plans for the stadium called for the systems to be replaced once they turned 20 years old.

    The expectation is that the upgrade, once complete, will last another 20 years, said Mike Duckett, executive director of the district.

    Board members also voted Tuesday to spend $1.3 million to replace the ballparks fire detection system.

    The roof-control system and the fire-detection system are the most expensive that the board members considered on Tuesday.

    The fire-detection system also is 20 years old, Duckett said, and replacing it was also part of the long-term plan for the upkeep of the ballpark.

    The ballpark has about 1.2 million square feet of finished space that the fire detection system covers, Kreklow said.

    The fire detection system was put to use in July 2014 after a middle-of-the-night fire broke out in a restaurant area in the left field area of the ballpark. The system triggered the ballparks sprinkler system and alerted Milwaukee firefighters, who responded and extinguished the blaze.

    The funds for the upgrades will come, in part, from proceeds of a 0.1% sales tax levied in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee and Racine counties. That sales tax, collected since 1996, was stopped in March. The funds were placed into an escrow account and are being used to maintain the stadium.

    The state law that created the tax allows the proceeds to be used only for costs related to the ballpark.

    Among other spending items, members of the board also voted to spend $130,000 on a female locker room after the first female coach in Major League Baseball, Alyssa Nakken, began coaching this year for the San Francisco Giants.

    The San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken jogs to first base during the second inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

    LEDs will light field

    Meanwhile, the process of converting the lights that illuminate the playing field to LEDs has begun. The new LED lighting system has been delivered to the ballpark and installation will take place this off-season.

    The new lights are expected to be ready for Opening Day 2021. The project has qualified for a $90,000 Focus on Energy rebate due to the energy savings that the new LEDs will provide, according to the stadium district. That money will be used to help offset the project cost.

    Name change in full swing

    The Milwaukee Brewers ballpark will be renamed American Family Field, beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, when American Family Insurance takes over the naming rights.

    Thousands of signs must be changed at the ballpark, which has been known as Miller Park since it opened.

    State law prevents the stadium district from incurring any expenses related to the name change, Kreklow said.

    Rent deferral?

    The Brewers pay a $1.2 million annual rental fee to the stadium district, and board members are expecting the ball club to ask for some form of rent forgiveness as a result of the pandemic-shortened MLB season in which fans were not allowed to attend games.

    During the teleconference meeting on Tuesday, board members asked whether rent forgiveness or deferral was allowed under the lease agreement with the team.

    While there is no specific clause in the lease that mentions a pandemic, there are other portions of the lease that likely address such a situation and would allow some sort of rent forgiveness or deferral, Duckett said.

    Board members said they would take up the issue when and if the Brewers formally request it.

    Call Joe Taschler at (414) 224-2554 or Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTaschler or Facebook at

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    Drive system on Miller Park roof to be replaced as part of planned ballpark maintenance, board members decide - Daily Reporter

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