Friday, June 21, 2013

sierra club magazine

And Justice for All

Working to make the promise reality
by Michael Brune

No one should have to sacrifice his or her health for the sake of polluters' profits—no individual, and certainly no community.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Lot Next Door program?
The Lot Next Door Program (LNDP) is a plan that the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is currently transferring properties acquired through Option 2 of the Road Home Program to the Louisiana Land Trust (LLT). Once the Louisiana Land Trust has demolished the existing structures and removed slabs, the properties will be ready for transfer to the St. Bernard Parish Government. One of the options for the disposal of these properties is the Lot Next Door Program. The plan will allow eligible participants to purchase these acquired properties in St. Bernard Parish. 
How is the Lot Next Door Program (LNDP) funded?
The LNDP funding is provided through Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG) administered by the Office of Community Development (OCD). OCD has entered into a Loan and Regulatory Compliance Agreement(Agreement), through which OCD has agreed to provide funding to LLT in compliance with 24 CFR 570 (requirements for agreements with sub-recipients of CDBG funds). The Agreement authorizes the LLT to utilize funds for the purpose of acquisition, disposition, purchase, renovation, improvement, leasing or expansion of housing stock, including, but not limited to housing stock.
What is Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG)?
CDBG funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funds are granted to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, supportive services, and opportunities to expand economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. This Lot Next Door Program is funded through the use of CDBG funds.
How is an eligible property in the Lot Next Door Program (LNDP) identified?
Louisiana Land Trust (LLT) will provide to the St. Bernard Parish Government a listing of properties that are to be included in the Lot Next Door program (LNDP) in St. Bernard Parish. The LND program will allow property owners who reside and claim their homestead exemption in St. Bernard Parish the opportunity to purchase half or all of any adjacent LLT property. The Saint Bernard Housing and Redevelopment Quality of Life Commission (SBHRQLC) shall provide the listing of properties for sale to Global Risk Solutions, Inc (GRS). GRS shall administer the sale of these properties under the auspices of the St. Bernard Parish Government. However, the redevelopment plan does not allow one prospective purchaser to acquire more than 2 Lot Next Door parcels.
Who are eligible participants of the Lot Next Door Program (LND)?
Property owners who reside and claim their homestead exemption in St. Bernard Parish will have the opportunity to purchase half or all of any lot adjacent to a Louisiana Land Trust property. An appraisal will be done and properties will be sold at Fair Market Value. The Lot Next Door program in St. Bernard Parish will allow the adjacent neighbors first-refusal rights for the purchase of adjacent Louisiana Land Trust properties. Rear adjoining properties will be handled on a case by case basis with plenty of notification before the parish begins taking information.
Eligible purchasers are defined as:
• Owner(s) of historical property in SBPG, prior to LRA's acquisition can be purchase back their original property.
• 1st Tier - Domiciled homeowners next to the LLT property (whole lot or ½ split between neighbors and re-subdivided)
• 2nd Tier - Domiciled homeowners to the rear of the LLT property, who shares at least a 51% common lot line.
• 3rd Tier - Non-Domiciled Owners next to the LLT property who intend on renovating and re-building
• 4th Tier - Lot Owners next to the LLT property who intend on building You are not eligible to purchase a LLT property if your real property in St. Bernard Parish is subject to any unsatisfied citation or violations of the state and/or local codes, covenants and/or ordinances, or tax delinquency. Satisfaction of any citation, violation, or tax delinquency must occur to be eligible for an LLT property transfer.
Although individuals may express an interest in redeveloping St. Bernard Parish, availability of LLT property is limited. St. Bernard Parish must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of available CDBG funds.

How does the LNDP determine if I have a homestead exemption?
The LNDP verifies homestead exempt status by consulting the St. Bernard Parish's tax database. We do not have a separate method for determining homestead exemptions. If you have a question about your homestead exemption status, contact the Parish's Tax Assessor's Office at (504)658-1320. Please contact one of the Lot Next Door's Program Property Representatives, if there is a recent change in your homestead exemption status and for further specific information.
What is the purchase price for the property?
Calculation of the purchase price is based on the total area square footage multiplied by the appraised Fair Market Value of the property; Example: 6,000 square feet X $1.28 Fair Market Value = $7,680 Purchase Price
These figures are for information purposes only and do not represent an actual purchase offer to you
Please contact one of the Lot Next Door's Program Property Representatives, for further specific information.
What is low- and moderate-income?
Those households earning at least the full-time minimum wage up to 120 percent of the local metropolitan area median income; but must be less than 80% of local metropolitan area median income to receive the 30% discount on purchase price. The affordable housing lot price discount of 20% or more shall be determined by household income level by the SBHRQLC with approval of the Louisiana Land Trust. Household income is defined as the sum of money income received in the calendar year by all household members 15 years old and over, including household members not related to the householder, people living alone, and other nonfamily household members. Included in the total are amounts reported separately for wage or salary income; net self-employment income; interest, dividends, or net rental or royalty income or income from estates and trusts; Social Security or Railroad Retirement income; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); public assistance or welfare payments; retirement, survivor, or disability pensions; and all other income.
What can I do if I had a homestead exemption prior to Hurricane Katrina, but lost it when I moved afterward?
The Lot Next Door program requires prospective purchasers to have a homestead exemption on the property next to the one they wish to purchase. Therefore, homeowners who lost homestead exemptions must first reestablish their homestead exemption.
What if I disagree with the appraised value of my property?
Potential purchasers may submit their own appraised value of property for LRA review, and consideration. Please contact one of the Lot Next Door's Program Representatives, for further specific information on the appraised value of your property.


air sampling technology

 “If we’re measuring air quality, then we can say, ‘Look, we have real evidence here. You have to do something.’ ”

Microsampling air pollution"  by Peter Andrey and Mayeta Clark

We would love to have two of these devices !!  For sulfates and hydrogen sulfide.

Some even include measurements for sound levels!!   And check out ACAM's program.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

it's hurricane season




is your canal ready?


what about your levee?


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