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Posts Tagged ‘Local Neighborhood News and Trends’

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.

It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.

“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.

Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.

Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.

Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.

Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.

“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.

These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.

The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.

California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.

Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.

“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”

Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.

Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits. 

In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.

He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.

The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.

Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.

Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.

“They chose to come into this community,” he said.

Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.

There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.

Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.

Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.

His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.

“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said. 

Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP

InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue.   On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism.  On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood..  Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased. 

ALL HomeBuyers HATE Popcorn Ceilings

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

   When trying to come up with a list of items that all homebuyers HATE..the first thing that came to my mind is Popcorn ceilings.   They scream dated.  They collect cobwebs, dust and dirt.  They are impossible to clean or paint.  And, if your home was built before the 1980’s, the popcorn may contain cancer causing asbestos.  (Asbestos was outlawed in 1977, but old supplies were used for years.) 

If you are selling your home, get rid of it….even though that is easier said than done.  If your home was built before 1980, you should first have the ceiling tested by a professional to see if it contains asbestos.  (Read the handout “Asbestos in Your Home“).   If asbestos is found, call a professional asbestos removal company to spray paint over it ($2-$6 a square foot), if it is in good shape.  Or, better, have the pro’s remove and properly dispose of it ($54-$64 a square foot).  Do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself!   There is a lethal reason it is a banned substance.                        

Whether the popcorn contains asbestos or doesn’t…removing popcorn ceilings is a messy, difficult and possibly expensive project.   Do it yourself with the proper gear, or expect to pay a painter about $2.50 a square foot to get rid of it, patch holes and repaint your ceiling.  

There are a few alternatives to sealing or removing popcorn ceilings.  You can opt to cover it up.   Depending on the architectural style of your home…you can consider installing beaded board or press tin ceiling tiles to hide the popcorn….forever.

If you are selling a home…get rid of the popcorn!!!  No one in the world likes popcorn ceilings…if you have them, you hate them, too.   Today’s buyers have so many choices, they won’t even consider a home with popcorn.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please get rid of those dated, dirty, ugly and possibly dangerous ceilings today!!!    Popcorn is blowing your sale!

Click Here to Read What Buyers Hate Most…Second to Popcorn Ceilings

Rising Rents Push Homebuyers Into the Market

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

Sharply rising rents are pushing buyers into the real estate market this spring. 

Rising Rents Push Fence Sitting Homebuyers

Take a minute to watch this short video from the Wall Street Journal.   From now on…fence sitting will cost you!!

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Big Tax Breaks for Real Estate Investors

Monday, March 26, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

  With reduced home prices and interest rates near historic lows, affordability levels in early 2012 reached their highest point in 42 years according to the National Association of Realtors.

Not only are homes at record affordability levels, real estate ownership also opens the door to a wide variety of tax benefits and additional savings.

“A recent poll shows that 75 percent of likely voters think real estate tax deductions are appropriate and reasonable,” said Steve DiUbaldo, president of Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, a full-service real estate brokerage with offices in 22 states. “People understand the value of owning a home and the role played by tax benefits. Combine today’s affordability levels with tax advantages and now is a very good time to consider both residential and investment real estate.”

So what are the biggest real estate tax breaks? For most owners and investors the list of major tax write-offs looks like this:

1. Property Taxes. Real estate owners can write off the cost of state and local property taxes. For many borrowers this deduction can reduce taxable income by thousands of dollars.

2. Mortgage Interest. The IRS defines a home mortgage as “any loan that is secured by your main home or second home. It includes first and second mortgages, home equity loans, and refinanced mortgages.”

Mortgage interest can generally be written off, but not always. The limitation for mortgage interest on a primary and secondary residence is a total of $1,000,000 for acquisition indebtedness and $100,000 for home equity indebtedness. There are lower limits for individuals and those who are married but filing separately.

3. The Standard Deduction. “Everyone is entitled to a standard deduction,” said DiUbaldo. “However, write-offs for mortgage interest, property taxes, mortgage insurance premiums and other costs generally allow real estate owners to justify itemizing expenses and thus larger write-offs.”

4. Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Mortgage insurance allows purchasers to buy with less than 20 percent down. Qualified borrowers can get FHA financing with 3.5 percent down, conventional loans can require as little as 5 percent down and VA purchasers can borrow with zero down. Closing costs are extra.

“In general,” says the IRS, “if you itemize deductions, you may deduct premiums paid for mortgage insurance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Rural Housing Service (Rural Housing), or private mortgage insurers in connection with a mortgage for the purchase of your main home.”

5. Points. A “point” is a fee to the lender equal to 1 percent of the mortgage amount. Borrowers often have the option of paying points at closing rather than a higher interest rate over the life of the loan. Whether it’s better to pay points or accept a higher interest rate depends on such issues as the interest rate, the number of points and how long the property will likely be held.

In general, a point paid at closing for acquisition financing is fully deductible in the year paid. If a point is paid to refinance a home, the point is deductible over the term of the mortgage, typically 1/30th per year.

6. Investors can claim Depreciation. Depreciation allows investors to take an additional tax deduction because a real estate “improvement” is believed to wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

“Depreciation is an accounting concept,” said Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate’s president. “The investor is not actually spending the cash represented by the ‘cost’ of depreciation and one result is that it’s possible to have an investment property which produces a positive cash flow that is partially or wholly not taxable currently. In certain instances, subject to individual taxpayer limitations, it is even possible to show a loss for tax purposes.”

7. Sale Profits. When a prime residence has been occupied for two of the past five years it’s probable that much or all of the profit will be sheltered from capital gains. With a joint return up to $500,000 can be protected, $250,000 for an individual owner. Example: You bought a home in 1990 for $100,000 and sell it in 2012 for $300,000. There’s a $200,000 long-term profit, none of which is taxed.

If you’re an investor, sale profits are taxed as long-term capital gains if the property has been owned for at least a year. That means long-term capital gains in 2012 are generally taxed at 15 percent.

8. Tax-deferred exchanges: The National Association of Realtors says investors purchased 23 percent of all existing home in January. One reason for such interest is that it’s possible to have tax-deferred real estate exchanges with investment property.

“You can swap one investment house for another, but you can also trade a rental house for a commercial property or a property with four units,” said DiUbaldo. “An exchange can allow an owner to defer capital gains taxes for years if not decades, and swaps are one of the reasons investors come to our website ( www.apreus.com ).”

The Bottom Line: Whether purchasing as an owner-occupant or as an investor, tax rules can powerfully impact the value of your real estate. For the latest information, details and deductions be sure to check with a local tax professional.

As always, we urge you to consult with your own independent Certified Public Accountant as to the appropriateness of any tax deductions for your specific circumstances.   Article by Market Watch.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Visit our website for FREE home marketing tools, proven sales aids and MLS and Realtor.com listings

Okay, sure…  not ALL of the beds in these cities are infested.  But if you’re planning on hotel stays in any of these destinations, you might want to do an inspection around the headboards before you lay your body down.

Pest control corporation Rollins (which owns seven companies – including Orkin) reports a 34% rise in bed bug biz from 2010 to 2011.

Here’s the list, including the change from the previous year’s ranking:

1. Cincinnati
2. Chicago
3. Detroit (+1)
4. Denver (+2)
5. Los Angeles (+20)
6. Columbus, Ohio (-3)
7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (+43)
8. Washington, D.C. (-3)
9. New York (-2)
10. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+6)
11. Houston (-1)
12. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif. (+35)
13. Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio (+1)
14. Boston (+4)
15. Dayton, Ohio (-7)
16. Las Vegas (-1)
17. Honolulu (+55)
18. Baltimore (-6)
19. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+9)
20. Philadelphia (-9)
21. Atlanta (+24)
22. Lexington, Ky. (-13)
23. Syracuse, N.Y. (+25)
24. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (+27)
25. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (+19)
26. San Diego (+13)
27. Seattle/Tacoma, Wash. (-3)
28. Omaha, Neb. (-11)
29. Buffalo, N.Y. (-16)
30. Pittsburgh (-3)
31. Indianapolis (-12)
32. Milwaukee (+6)
33. Charlotte, N.C. (+13)
34. Phoenix (+19)
35. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
36. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-16)
37. Grand Junction/Montrose, Colo. (+30)
38. Knoxville, Tenn. (+4)
39. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. (-17)
40. Nashville, Tenn. (+15)
41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+24)
42. Des Moines/Ames, Iowa (-13)
43. Salisbury, Md. (+46)
44. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-23)
45. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (-22)
46. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (-20)
47. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (-17)
48. Salt Lake City (-8)
49. Charleston/Huntington, W.Va. (-13)
50. West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Fla. (+6)

Read more: http://www.wwnc.com/pages/petekaliner.html#ixzz1pIaC7Ynm

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Visit our website to list property, search for a home, purchase an InfoTube or InfoBox or place a property listing on the MLS or Realtor.com.  If you have a home to sell….we can help and save you money!!

    

President Obama just announced a plan to help US families.  And, miraculously, he doesn’t need the approval of Congress to help us.

  • Obama promised relief to homeowners who are trapped in high rate loans by banks.  If a homeowner is current on their current high interest loan payment, they can not be turned down for a lower interest rate loan that reduces their monthly payment.
  • Obama will cut closing costs for loan refinancing on FHA loans to make refinancing affordable.  The average borrower will save at least $1000 a year in fee’s and charges, in addition to saving about half of the closing costs on the new loan.
  • Obama waives appraisal value as a criteria for refinancing a high rate loan.  In other words, your bank can no longer use an appraisal against you…no matter how much you owe on your current loan.
  • Obama promises to compensate all US Servicemen and Veterans who were foreclosed upon during their tour of duty.  All Veterans who attempted to refinance their home to avoid foreclosure, and were turned away by their lender…are entitled to full compensation for all penalites, fee’s and losses.

We applaude this action and feel that it is long overdue.  This is exactly the type of change that Americans, and the housing market, need to avoid further personal and financial losses.  There is no legimate reason for a bank, who received taxpayer handouts, to turn down a borrower who wants to benefit from low Fed bank rates.   If a borrower is able to afford a $1500 house payments at a 10% interest rate, then why would a lender turn them down for a loan payment of a $1000 per month at 4.5%?    The only answer is a unfortunately a common one…GREED.    Banks are closing ranks to protect their 10% rate of return from dropping to 4.5%, even though the Fed’s (ie: taxpayers) are giving them the money for nothing.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  If you have been turned down for refinancing…reapply today.  

Micro House Offers Big Living

Thursday, March 1, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

We just love this smart, green designed, micro house that lives BIG.  

The architecture blends into the environment and requires no maintenance.

The bright, open and contemporary design offers everything you need in a guest house or secret hideaway.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Take a minute to search our database of Homes for Sale to see what surprises await for you.

Infotube LOVES smart and flexible housing like this worry-free, Fold and Go Writers cabin.

Fold down one wall to make it cozy..or fold down all four walls to become one with your surroundings. 

When the walls are lowered, they make a great ourdoor deck to set on and take in the starlit skies.  

Smart and worry free design inspires your artistic side.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Search free, private website to find your dream writers cabin.

Home Buyers Move Back to Basics

Thursday, February 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

                                                    Home Sellers take note:

When it comes down to chosing a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  Today’s buyers consider new or updated kitchens and bathrooms, and a flexible, open floor plan as the most important features they are looking for in a home.

A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents reveal what features appeal to the broadest cross sections of buyers in the marketplace.

  • 33% of those surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature they are looking for.
  • 14% of purchasers said that an open floorplan is a must have. 
  • 12% are looking for homes with new or updated bathrooms.
  • Only 1% of buyers feel that entertainment rooms or finished basements are important home features.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  When you advertise, photograph and show your home, don’t forget to emphasize the “hot buttons” area’s that buyers are telling you they are looking for.

  A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents uncovers the reasons some homes sell….and others languish on the market. 

Agents say that the majority of home sellers have gotten more “real” about their real estate in 2012.  More than half (51%) of sellers are willing to price their homes more competitively this year vs last.   And, nearly half (45%) are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to appeal to and entice buyers.   

What is the best use of a seller’s time and money?  De-clutter, de-personalize to make their home appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers.

  • 94% of sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates.
  • 78% are willing to “de-personalize” their homes.
  • 59% are bringing in new home decorations or furniture to make their home updated and appealing.

De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home makes it easier for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property.   In order to sell your home in today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for seller’s to realize that the property is no longer their “home”…it is an expensive product that is For Sale.        

Always remove family photo’s and personal artwork.  They do nothing for the appeal of the home.  They simply distract a buyers focus and perhaps give the buyer too much information about the seller’s personal life.  Never good.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   5 FSBO houses on InfoTube.net SOLD this week.   Things are improving for those seller’s who work smart to attract buyers.   Visit our Facebook page for informative, fun and revealing news.

   Be inspired and create a modern, progressive space with Aspect decorative tiles — the radiant look of metal brought to life in an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to high-end installations.  The overall look?  Clean. Contemporary. Pure luxe. Shine on…with Aspect.

This striking backsplash or wall treatment provides high-tech sheen to a room, or if surrounded by softer textures, conveys luxurious sophistication. Tiles are 3″ x 6″ and are sold in eight-tile packs (enough for one square foot).

These peel and stick metal tile couldn’t be easier to install. Unlike traditional metal or ceramic tiles, with Aspect there’s no grout, glue or adhesive needed. You can literally peel the backing off the tiles and stick them to whatever surface you want.   An average homeowner can resurface their kitchen backsplash or fireplace surround in less than 2 hours, with tools you probably own.

The tiles come in 4 modern finishes, bronze, stainless, copper and champagne; tiles are made from 60% recycled material and 99% of the waste in the manufacturing process is recycled.  The company is LEED’s certified and products are Made in the USA.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   “Like” our InfoTube Facebook page and stay on top of up the minute news and new product idea’s that matter.

    

We finally have an avalanche of positive news regarding on the real estate and housing market for 2012.   

  1. Foreclosure activity in 2011 is down more than 50% lower in several states, including New Jersey, Maryland and Florida.  Realty Trac
  2. The much feared “shadow inventory” of foreclosures declined dramatically in 2011.  In December 2012, 2.2 million properties were in some stage of foreclosure.  In September 2011, that number dropped to 1.5 million units…or a whopping 32% in nine months.  Realtytrac
  3. Realtors in some hard hit area’s, such as Michigan and southern California, are reporting a shortage of housing inventory and a return to bidding wars in tight markets.  
  4. Wall Street thinks the worst is over.  Stocks of the nation’s five largest, publicly traded, home builders are at 52 week highs signaling an upswing in home construction in 2012.  In addition, the home builders have been snapping up deals on land and abandoned subdivisions in anticipation of increased buyer demand.  CNBC
  5. Realtors and home builders are getting a boost from rising rents, as Americans realize that owning a home is often less expensive than renting one.   And, while future rent increases have no ceiling on how high they can go, ownership locks in housing expenses and equity is created as the loan balance decreases each month.
  6. Legal issues, property maintenance and other issues complicating the foreclosure process will push banks and lenders to approve more short sales in 2012, further reducing housing inventory.
  7. Interest rates will remain at historical lows in 2012, which allows more people to qualify for a home and cheap money buys more house for the same monthly payment. 
  8. Foreclosure activity was down more than 30 percent in 2011.   Fewer than 2 million properties foreclosure notices were filed in 2011, down from 2.9 million property filings in 2010.  Realty Trac

InfoTube believes that this news spells OPPORTUNITY for home buyers, home builders, investors and real estate agents.  Home prices and affordability are excellent, yet buyers and investors can still find good bargains.   Today’s smart home buyers will feel like geniuses in ten years when the see what inflation has done to home prices. 

If you have a home to sell, we can help.  Visit InfoTube.net to place a FREE home listing about your property or to buy an InfoTube or InfoBox to advertise your property to drive by customers.  Or, supersize your marketing efforts with an MLS listing.  The MLS and Realtor.com reaches millions home buyers each day that otherwise would not know your home is for sale!!!

Smart Utility Meters Spark Health and Privacy Fears.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

Utility companies across the US are spending billions of dollars to install so called “smart” meters to moniter electricity usage.  The premise is that consumers can save energy by knowing when and how much power they use at all times.  Electricity customers pay a reduced rate for electricity used during “non-peak” useage hours and more for power consumed during high usage periods.   Utility companies say they can save even more.  The Smart Meters will eliminate meter reading jobs and help Americans cut energy costs…

Consumer advocates, state goverments and consumer protection groups don’t alway agree, though.  Many don’t feel the cost outweights the savings and they don’t feel the Smart Meter is very Smart at all.  In fact, many fear the devise can invade your privacy and damage your health.

What you Need to Know About Smart Meters.

1.  YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE SMART METER!!  Each Smart Meter costs between $250-$500.  Utility companies operate by passing along operating costs to consumers, so this cost will be passed directly through to you.  For example,  Texas residents are now being charged an additional $3.24 per month for their new Smart Meter.  It is estimated that $1 Billion will be collected by Texas utility companies over the next 10 years.   WSJ

2.  SHORT NOTICE DISCONNECTS.  Consumer advocates fear the costs of the Smart Meter could be greater than the savings for many households.   They also worry that the meters will make it easier for utilities to terminate service — so easy that they will disconnect power for small unpaid balances that wouldn’t have caused a termination in the past.   WSJ

3.  WHAT ARE THE TRUE COSTS VS SAVINGS?  There is a lot of concern about the lack of information on meter deployments.  Utilities have claimed “trade secret” protections for important financial details about their meter programs, including contract terms with vendors. Such secrecy makes it impossible for consumers to analyze why costs for what appear to be similar services vary so much among utilities.  WSJ

4.  HEALTH CONCERNS.  The “Smart” Radio Frequency Meters do NOT have a UL safety rating and it doesn’t appear that it will have one anytime soon.   There is science to back up the theory that Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency energy contamination from smart meters exceeds allowable safe and healthful limits for domestic environments as determined by the EPA and other scientific programs.

5.  PRIVACY AND BIG BROTHER SURVIELLANCE CONCERNS:  “Smart Meters” are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.

According to the Watch Dog Group StopSmartMeters.org, Smart Meters monitor household activity and occupancy which watch dog groups alledge violate rights and domestic security.   They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.

The Data about occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data by those whose activities were recorded.   Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.   Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.

6.  STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PLACE MORITORIUM ON SMART METERS.    Until more information is gathered about health, safety, privacy concerns and costs to consumers, 47 local governments in California have banned Smart Meter installation until more is learned about them.  Connecticut and Delaware are also asking for volunteers to test the Smart Meter vs rolling it out to all electricity customers.

Whether you like the Smart Meter or Hate it…there is no denying that “they” will know when you’re cooking dinner and they will know when you’re awake….like it or not.   Even more scary…maybe…I wonder if those Smart Meters are Made in America or China?  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Email questions, comments and information to info@infotube.net.   Also, visit our Facebook page for up to the minute info and updates.

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Traditions the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. 

Make this year different.  Make it the year that Americans give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it on Facebook and to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net and for supporting our American workers!!!

New York City Man Hole Covers Made in India?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

This photo, sent by an InfoTube customer, perfectly illustrates the reason that the United States is going down the drain.  

Does NYC know that Pittsburgh, PA is a steel town?  Does Mayor Bloomberg realize that tens of thousands of taxpayers in Pittsburgh are unemployed, many losing their homes?  Does the New York City purchasing department know that Pennsylvania is located right down the road from the state of New York?

If “they were cheap” is the answer…I don’t care how cheap Indian man hole covers are.  If they were FREE, US workers and taxpayers can’t afford them.

In addition…wasting oil to freight heavy man hole covers half way around the world is slap in the face to US families and business.  The economy has been crippled by $4.00 a gallon gasoline and the billions of dollars that have been borrowed to fight wars for oil! 

I say Enough!   We believe that Americans have to start producing what America buys.  It’s really that simple. 

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  We hope you join in us in our fight to Save American Jobs!!!   (Click here to read our David and Goliath success story).

Demand American products when you shop.  Together, we can turn this around.  Just look at what one, young woman did to turn the new bank charges for ATM’s around!!!!