Letters: Historic buildings | Retire Harris

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Razing historic buildingswon’t help housing crisis

Re: “Are NIMBYs weaponizing historic preservation?” (Page A1, Dec. 3).

Destroying historic buildings won’t solve the housing shortage.

Oakland’s General Plan designates historic Areas of Primary and Secondary Importance. Structures citywide are rated “A” to “D” by the Cultural Heritage Survey.

Yet both the state-mandated Housing Element and the proposed Downtown Oakland Specific Plan zoning rules allow “infill” construction that sometimes looms over significant older buildings.

“C” or “D” rated structures are disposed of through owner neglect. Even higher-rated buildings, like the Fruitvale Hotel, are allowed to deteriorate, then be demolished.

Many communities, including ours, have surpassed state targets for new housing in all but the “affordable” category. Yet builders argue that only with luxury apartment towers will their projects pencil out.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work — not in the national economy, not in California cities. Destroying existing affordable housing to build market-rate units displaces low-income residents.

It is wrong to pit housing-hungry people against residents who value our built environment.

Amelia MarshallOakland

Harris should comehome — and retire

Re: “harris-and-run-for-governor/”Come home, Kamala Harris, run for California governor” (Page A9, Nov. 3).

Joe Mathews is right — Kamala Harris should come home.

Harris has proven unqualified for the national stage. Her only major assignment since being elected vice president three years ago was to solve the ongoing immigration disaster on our southern border, an assignment she has utterly failed. Harris has never exhibited any leadership qualities needed to be a politician at the state or national levels. She has only a minimal understanding of the issues and appears clueless when trying to discuss them in front of a camera.

Mathews is wrong

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Portland Shed’s bed-building project helps area kids sleep easier: Season of Sharing 2023

Hundreds of children in Portland can rest easier because of the work of Portland Shed.

The nonprofit, a local affiliate of Idaho-based Sleep in Heavenly Peace and a beneficiary of The Oregonian/OregonLive’s 2023 Season of Sharing campaign, began building beds for kids in need in 2019.

Even with a COVID19-caused shutdown, it has assembled and delivered 577 beds. Portland Shed has also constructed and sold one tiny house to raise funds for the charity and is building another. And it’s making tables for Community Warehouse, which runs nonprofit furniture banks in Portland, Gresham and Tualatin, and sleeping pods for WeShine, a Portland charity focusing on creating micro-villages to house the homeless. WeShine was featured in 2022′s Season of Sharing.

But, first and foremost, Portland Shed is about the beds. And the kids.

“No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” founder Gregg Miller said, echoing Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s mantra.

At least that’s the goal, and Portland Shed is manufacturing more than 250 beds this year alone to help achieve it.

> Donate to portland-shed-season-of-sharing”Portland Shed or the Season of Sharing general fund. You can also Text the code SHARE2023 to 44-321.

Each bed costs $250 to complete, each bunk bed $500. That price includes a mattress, comforter, sheets and pillows. The charity relies on donations from individuals and companies, grants, firms that sponsor corporate builds (for example, the company that owns Kuni BMW donated $5,000 to have beds assembled at its Beaverton dealership), bedding from the Madeleine Parish bedding drive and donated lumber. In fact, Hampton Lumber is donating the wood for a build in December.

“We don’t really have a budget,” Miller said. “We just want to raise enough money to build all the things we build.”

And all this is accomplished

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Wellmade Introduces Backyard Office Sheds for Easy and Hassle-Free Home Renovations

Wellmade, a California-based company, is transforming the concept of work-from-home spaces by offering Backyard Office Studios.

With remote work becoming more popular, professionals are increasingly seeking innovative ways to segregate work and personal life. Backyard office sheds are a practical solution, offering a dedicated workspace right in one’s yard. Wellmade is at the forefront of this trend, offering a fast, easy, and hassle-free solution for creating functional and stylish spaces.

Wellmade’s Studios stand out for their unique prefabricated panelized system, allowing for quick on-site construction in just 5-8 days, without the need for cranes or concerns about narrow entrances.

“We are proud to offer our customers the easiest home renovation project they’ve ever had,” said Kirill Ostrovskiy, architect at Wellmade. “We handle all aspects of project management, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.”

Wellmade offers three main models for their Studios: Presidio, Sunset, and Twin Peaks. Each model is thoughtfully designed to cater to different preferences, ensuring that homeowners can find the perfect fit for their needs. These products are built to last, made from high-quality, sustainable materials that are as visually appealing as they are durable.

Being based in San Leandro, Wellmade takes pride in locally producing their units. With their expertise in architecture, the company brings extensive knowledge and experience to the industry, ensuring that their sheds are built to last and meet the highest standards of quality.

“We are committed to providing transparent pricing with no surprises,” emphasized Kirill Ostrovskiy. “The price displayed on our website is the final cost for a fully built, ready-to-move-in unit. With a one stop-shop-approach, customers can trust Wellmade to handle all aspects of their project, saving them time and eliminating unnecessary stress.”

In addition to their commitment to quality and convenience, Wellmade also understands

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Falmouth home offers stunning interior at $769K

From a stunning interior renovation by Longfellow Design Build to an awesome “she shed” gracing the lovely backyard, this East Falmouth home features stunning details that might just knock your socks off.

“The kitchen is beautiful and the main floor is very open,” said listing agent Priscilla Stolba of Priscilla Stolba Real Estate. “It’s great for entertaining.”

The space also features splendid oak flooring, a walk-in pantry, an elegant kitchen island and a gas fireplace.

Priced at $769,000, the home offers two bedrooms, one full bathroom and one half bath. Efficient mini splits were installed in the home in 2023, a modern and economic way to enjoy heat and air conditioning.

This East Falmouth home features a wraparound porch, a stunning interior open design and a "she shed" in the yard.

This East Falmouth home features a wraparound porch, a stunning interior open design and a “she shed” in the yard.

The second floor features two bedrooms and a luxurious full bathroom with double sinks and an oversized tiled and glassed-in showering area. There’s also a convenient built-in laundry area.

The home also offers a wraparound porch, a great spot to sip a beverage and enjoy the yard. A few steps from the porch, a hot tub stands ready for a relaxing soak. An enclosed outdoor shower will help you wash away the beach sand in style.

Then, you’ll see a magical outbuilding that Stolba called the “she shed.” It’s beautifully finished, like a little cabin. According to Stolba, the current owner uses the space for needleworking and other projects. Everyone needs a sanctuary or a clubhouse, and this space is magical.

The home is located in a peaceful and quiet neighborhood, and it’s a short, easy drive to Falmouth center or Mashpee Commons. And you can easily walk to a sweet little beach area on Jenkins Pond for a relaxing dip. Inside and out, this home is

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New Richmond building set to house behavioral health clinic, adult day program

RICHMOND, Va. — This building has been in the making for many years. It’s finally open.

The Pioneer Hall on the Faison Center Campus in Richmond will house a behavioral health clinic and the adult day program.

The adult day program will help adults with autism learn and practice everyday skills like washing and folding clothes, making food, and cleaning up.

The Edmunds, have been a part of researching, supporting, and helping the Faison Center expand its services and its buildings.

This is the fifth and final building of the campus and Paul and Debbie Edmunds are honored that the “Paige Edmunds Clubhouse” is named after their daughter.

Debbie says the “world-class school” helps those on the spectrum live a normal life.

“It’s always nice in the morning when she wakes up and she’s happy because she gets to go to school. She comes here and she spends her day and she’s happy she gets to go out and do stuff. She likes volunteering. She likes to go exercise with them, all good healthy things for her. And she comes home at the end of the day, and she’s had a full day just like any other adult,” she said.

Earlier this year, CBS 6 Anchor GeNienne Samuels introduced you to Ben Ratner. Ben is a Faison Center student with severe autism who is now a part of the adult day program with Paige.

GeNienne caught up with Ben’s parents, Todd and Sarah Ratner who appreciate the attention and dedication the Faison Center staff gives to adults with autism.

“Most people now understand the importance of early intervention. There are so many success stories of kids who aren’t talking at two or three and by the time they get to elementary school, they are doing great. And I’m so thankful

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Aliquippa sheds ‘financially distressed’ status after 36 years

ALIQUIPPA — One of the first cities to join Pennsylvania’s fiscal recovery program left its “financially distressed’ status behind Friday after nearly 36 years.

The City of Aliquippa exited Pennsylvania’s Act 47 oversight program decades after the steel industry collapse eroded the town’s economic resources and tax base.

“The moniker of ‘distressed status’ is off our name,” said Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker, visibly moved and pausing occasionally to collect himself during Friday’s City Hall celebration. “Be proud of this date … 36 years of struggle, 36 years of ‘all you produce are football players,’ 36 years of ‘you’re nothing else but violence and crime.’ We have survived. We’re more than what they say we are.”

Aliquippa was designated a “financially distressed” municipality under Act 47 in late December 1987 – joining the program shortly after Farrell, Mercer County, became the first to enter the program. Farrell shed its status in 2019.

Act 47, facilitated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, was created to help municipalities facing severe financial distress by providing oversight, technical assistance and financial aid. It affords additional taxing powers to boost revenue and avoid bankruptcy while a city works to balance the budget and develop a plan for fiscal stability.

Aliquippa is the 27th municipality to exit Act 47. The city originally planned to leave by late June 2022, but that deadline was extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker and City Councilman Donald Walker joined dozens of residents, politicians and figureheads in celebrating Aliquippa’s exit from Act 47 on Dec. 1, 2023. Aliquippa left its “financially distressed” status behind after nearly 36 years.

Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker and City Councilman Donald Walker joined dozens of residents, politicians and figureheads in celebrating Aliquippa’s exit from Act 47 on Dec. 1, 2023. Aliquippa left its “financially distressed” status behind after nearly 36 years.

Jones & Laughlin Steel once employed thousands of mill workers in Aliquippa, but as those jobs faded in the 1970s and 80s, so, too, did

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Elevated lead levels found in some St. Paul homes, buildings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9)Elevated levels of lead have been discovered in some homes and buildings in St. Paul.

St. Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) in a press release on Monday said it found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes and buildings, with tap water sampling showing 13 samples were above the 15 parts per billion action level for lead.

Lead can get into the drinking water as it passes through a household’s plumbing system, SPRWS said. It can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells, among other health issues.

The City of St. Paul is hosting a public meeting on lead in SPRWS drinking water from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 1900 Rice St. You can find out if you have lead service lines by visiting this website.

What SPRWS is doing about lead in drinking water

SPRWS says it’s working to minimize lead exposure in several ways. Among them:

  • SPRWS has a 10-year plan to remove all lead service lines in St. Paul at no cost to homeowners. It was launched in 2023.

  • SPRWS offers a lead assessment program and financial assistance to remove lead prior to the Lead Free SPRWS’ removal.

  • SPRWS uses a process called corrosion control to treat water to minimize leaching when the water interacts with lead.

How to reduce exposure to lead in water

SPRWS gives the following tips to reduce your exposure to lead:

<div>A photo illustration of tap water in a clear glass drinking glass in West Reading, PA Tuesday afternoon June 15, 2021. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)</div>

A photo illustration of tap water in a clear glass drinking glass in West Reading, PA Tuesday afternoon June 15, 2021. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

  • Clean your aerator. At least

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Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some St. Paul homes and buildings

paul-homes-buildings”Via FOX 9: St. Paul Regional Water Services in a press release said it found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes and buildings, with tap water sampling showing 13 samples were above the 15 parts per billion action level for lead.

Via MPR News: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sue Abderholden, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity CEO Chris Coleman and other Minnesotans remember former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Kim Hyatt at the Star Tribune reports the U.S. Supreme Court rejected former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s latest appeal attempt, just a week after he filed a new motion attempting to overturn his federal conviction in the murder of George Floyd.

Jay Kolls at KSTP is reporting the Jewish Community Relations Council is calling a recent social media post by Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 “antisemitic” and threatening to Jewish teachers and students in Minneapolis Public Schools.

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Becky Z. Dernbach at Sahan Journal covered two days of public hearings where Minnesota students told an administrative law judge that they wanted to learn the whole truth about history and include the experiences of people from all backgrounds.

news/st-paul-police-called-to-downtown-apartment-building-nearly-300-times-in-2023/”Renée Cooper at KSTP reports St. Paul police have been called to the Press House apartments on Cedar Street near Kellogg Boulevard nearly 300 times in 2023. The former home of the Pioneer Press was converted into affordable housing a few years back.

Frederick Melo in a subscriber-only Pioneer Press piece reports Keg and Case Market, the 22,000 square foot commercial space that had reopened on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street to much fanfare in September of 2018, has grown silent. Melo describes it as a $10 million gamble

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Ohio House to consider bill to allow communities to permit guns in buildings with courtrooms

When state lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break, the House could take up a bill that further expands gun rights in Ohio, by allowing people to carry weapons into buildings that have courtrooms in them, but not when court is in session. The bill passed a House committee and is on its way to the floor.

Rep. Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon), one of the bill’s two sponsors, said state law already allows municipalities to vote to allow concealed carry in their buildings.

“Our larger cities have distinct courthouses and city halls,” Mathews said. “However, in many of our smaller communities, good stewardship of taxpayer dollars often means a single multi-purpose city or village hall. This city hall may house the tax department, the electric department, council chambers, and a room that is sometimes a courtroom.”

The bill would allow concealed carry weapons in those buildings with courtrooms when court is not in session, if a community passed legislation to permit that.

But opponents have said courtrooms are emotionally charged places, so guns should be far away from them. And Ann Morhan of Moms Demand Action told the House committee hearing the bill it’s part of a continuing trend that worries her.

“It would appear that this House Bill 272 is just another attempt by Republican legislators to continue to pepper the state with guns,” Morhan said. “It is a solution in search of a problem.”

Right after that bill passed along party lines, another Republican-backed bill was approved that ensures federal gun control laws can’t be enforced and would allow Ohioans to sue. Supporters say it would make Ohio a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary state”, as nearly 20 other states are. That bill is opposed by law enforcement and prosecutors who say it will make it harder to work with federal

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Mattoon farm shed painted blue, yellow in honor of two U.S. Navy veterans

MATTOON — Near the water of Lake Paradise, a local commercial painter has created a tribute to a father and son who both served on the high seas with the U.S. Navy.

Accent Pro Painting owner Brian Drake of Mattoon has painted a Quonset shed on the Taylor family farm in the Navy colors of blue and gold in honor of veterans Wallace Taylor and his son, Zach. He also has affixed two plaques detailing their service records to this structure, along with ship’s bells.

Drake said he learned about the Navy history of these two men and got the idea for saluting them after being hired by Wallace Taylor’s other son, Jason, to paint the house and the more than 107-year-old barn on his family’s farm on the west side of Lake Paradise.

“Once I showed (Jason Taylor) the idea, he just let me run with it. I had to pay respect to the veterans,” said Drake, who is a U.S. Army veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm. The painter added that he completed this as a surprise in time for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.


Accent Pro Painting owner Brian Drake of Mattoon, at center, has painted a shed on the Taylor family farm in rural Mattoon blue and yellow in honor of U.S. Navy veterans Wallace Taylor, at left, and his son, Zach, at right.

To complete the plaques, Drake quizzed Zach Taylor about the service records for him and his father during a phone call. Zach Taylor, who served in the Navy from 1983-2013 and retired as a captain, said he just thought Drake had a general interest in their service and did not realize what he had planned for the shed.

“I am glad. I didn’t know he was doing that.

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