Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
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Baltimore's "Vacants-to-Value" (V2V) is a decade-old RE sales scheme, initiated by former-mayor Rawlings-Blake, to unload ~17K abandoned lots and houses that cannot be sold as annual tax lien securities. Before that and peak city out-migration (2020 Census), the city called its marketing plan "Dollar House" and SCOPES.
"[One] problem with most vacant houses in Baltimore, even if you pay nothing for the house itself, is that the cost of renovating them and bringing them back up to code exceeds their value in the place that they are," says [current comptroller Bill] Henry.
The other problems since revealed are, the city's housing authority (fed HUD, state HUD) grants management and policies to promote speculative investment in rental property instead of "racial equity" in land trust management and home ownership of the "Black Butterfly". Regardless of crisis--COVID, affordability, air and water pollution-- B'more is out to prove time and again, there is no "community association" it cannot corrupt.

Community farm in Cherry Hill, "a church without walls," faces eviction
counter-factual City Agriculture
by Cat on Sun Jul 4th, 2021 at 03:38:12 PM EST
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PUTIN!
The 2,000-member organization, which represents federal, state and local inspectors general across the U.S., was reacting to a bill that would place Baltimore County IG Kelly Madigan under the control of a board of political appointees, who would have the right to disapprove, modify and curtail the scope of her investigations into waste, fraud and corruption in county government.
by Cat on Mon Jul 5th, 2021 at 10:44:27 PM EST
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at last count, Adams by 8,426 votes
by Cat on Wed Jul 7th, 2021 at 03:49:37 AM EST
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Sky Jan 6 UPDATE! "I happen to believe Tucker Carlson"
by Cat on Sun Jul 11th, 2021 at 12:19:10 AM EST
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US Art. V, Sec. 4, TX Art. VIII, and rebellion, according to Joe
"using every tool at his disposal to protect Americans against voter suppression laws and stress the need to work with civil rights organizations to build a voter education system to overcome 'the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War'"
Texas Democrats leave state to block GOP voting bill in special session
The Democrats chartered two flights to Washington, and the House Democratic Caucus picked up the tab of about $100,000, sources said.
archive KEYWORD: quorum call
by Cat on Tue Jul 13th, 2021 at 12:22:23 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 at 03:48:59 PM EST
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GOP attempts to cut House $1.9B Body Guard Ops
Leahy sez, additional funding was needed to address the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Capitol, its staff and Afghan collaborators "will not be abandoned" (like Iraqis) ...

as 2022 NDAA markups SWAMP congress.

by Cat on Sun Jul 11th, 2021 at 01:58:33 AM EST
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Afghan visa program, [Air and Space*] National Guard reimbursement, NDAA security supplemental
The bill would provide more than $1.1 billion to help relocate Afghans, with $600 million for the State Department to improve and ["]strengthen["] the special immigrant visa program; $500 million for the Defense Department for emergency transportation, housing and other essential services; and $25 million for the Department of Health and Humans Services Department for medical screenings and housing services once the ["]refugees["] are in the United States.
* FY22 NDAA passed reactionary senate subcommittee Authorizers and Appropriators
by Cat on Tue Jul 27th, 2021 at 08:44:16 PM EST
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MMT: The "easiest" option, Yarmuth sez, would be for the budget resolution "to deem that the debt limit is raised through the end of fiscal 2022."
HOLD THE PHONE ...
by Cat on Sun Jul 11th, 2021 at 02:10:40 AM EST
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by Cat on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 07:41:46 PM EST
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by Cat on Sun Jul 18th, 2021 at 01:23:14 PM EST
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by Cat on Mon Jul 19th, 2021 at 05:57:58 PM EST
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Larry "Maglev" Hogan has spoken (approved by Yumi)
Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail claims it has condemnation authority stemming from its acquisition of the former Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad Co. franchise in 2015. The rail operator, which eventually hopes to extend its train to New York, says condemnation power came with the franchise as a last resort to acquire essential land for the proposed $10 billion [express] route.
Westport--a neighborhood in Baltimore city--is also a "community investment" site obligated by Under Armour's ill-conceived Port Covington, 235-acre "megadevelopment" scheme, underwritten by $148M TIF bonds issued by Balt City Hall. Note that the city paygo otherwise limits total muni debt to biennial $80M issues. Although, Plank's enterprises disintegrated in 2020, ritual ground-breaking of a hastily modified prospectus seemed to mollify the mayor's Board of Estimates, if not the SEC.
Wayne Rogers, CEO of Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, has said the economic and environmental benefits of a train whisking riders from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minutes, and eventually from Baltimore to New York in under an hour, would outweigh benefits of waterfront housing for the city [residents], state and Northeast corridor.

Baltimore City recently ["]asked["] the Federal Railroad Administration not to approve the train, citing concerns about equity and the project's effects on the environment.

Related Maglev CapEx ... FY20-21megasaving for a rainy day
"The availability of $6.5 billion in additional federal aid not yet appropriated in the budget may further enhance the State's ability to preserve its own resources for future needs."
by Cat on Sun Jul 25th, 2021 at 03:57:57 PM EST
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First, they came for français(e), and I did nothing....
Then, they came for yiddish, and I did nothing ...
Then, they came for aesopian CODE, and I did nothing ...
Now, Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation
and
New US Bill Would Create Federal China-Watching Service for Translating Publications Into English, dammit
by Cat on Fri Jul 30th, 2021 at 08:26:36 PM EST
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