Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Silo missle sites in various states have been and are being converted into underground homes.

Taxpayers spent $3.3MM for a silo in Topeka, Kasas which has been converted to underground living quarters.  The silo was purchased for $40,000, in bad shape, in the 1980’s by a school teacher who, with his wife, has lived there comfortably ever after.

A 3’ layer of earth covers the top layer of reinforced concrete.  Floors are 3’ thick, walls and ceilings 18” thick and 15’ high.  The special concrete structure was built by the government to withstand a nuclear blast.   The folks who live in it say, “We love the solid, quiet feel of the place.  Not only is it very well built – it is very easy to heat and cool.”  This home has a large greenhouse around the hatch, which brings sunlight into the living space and was formerly used for heavy equipment to manipulate the missiles.  

About half of these former military sites are owned privately or by cities, counties, school districts, water companies and other commercial entities.  This is a niche market for a unique home for real estate agents.  The schoolteacher has made 55 sales, of which 5 have turned over more than once. They said that buyers include some military or former military personnel who are familiar with the silos, and know the benefits.  Others are looking for interesting projects to restore, and some want the seclusion, privacy and security.  Some buyers are survival-oriented.”

Mortgages and appraisals are a challenge.   “Prices have increased and are rising,” they said.

A former 14.5 acre Nike missile base in southeastern Indiana has been converted to three 5,000 sq ft residential spaces.  One features a kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an exercise room indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi tub.  All have single-phase electric, city water, paved access with remote-control rolling front gates and high security chain link fencing topped with barbed wire. 

An Atlas F site is for sale now in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.  Diameter is 52’ and depth is 180’.  It holds a 2300 sq ft 2-story contemporary home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, finished interiors, a spiral staircase, fiber-optic lighting, a generator and new well.  The floor plan is open, there is a large garage and wraparound porch that hides the underground entryway.  Price has been reduced from $4.6mm to $750,000.  The entrance features heavy security doors that were built to withstand a 2000-lb blast.  Location is on part of an exclusive airport subdivision on a 2050 foot Federal Aviation Administration-approved runway.

A communications vault in Paris, Missouri near the Mark Twain recreational lake is available, needing “fix-up”.  There are 8200 sq ft of usable underground floor space on this 13-acre site.  Ceilings and walls are 24” thick and 2’ to 4’ of earth cover the underground area.  A metal shield envelopes the structure and there are heavy blast doors with an emergency-escape hatch exit.  The property is available for $295,000.  Electricity works and most rooms have heaters and dehumidifiers.

Here is a unique living style which has a following of those seeking secure homes in hardened cold war facilities.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


That a recent US census, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper, showed that 65+ age seniors now account for the largest segment, about 13%, of the population.  In 2000, it was 12.4%   in 1900 the number was 4.1%.  That 13% equates to 40.3-million people.

Soon current baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will further grow the senior ranks.  Florida maintains its #1 spot, up 17.3%, with West Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania and Iowa following.  Alaska has the lowest amount of seniors.  

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Founding producing director, Louis Tyrrell, the spark plug who, for the last 24 years, built a startup into the nation's largest professional theater dedicated exclusively to producing new and emerging American plays, will soon make presentations at the Arts Garage, a multidisciplinary cultural hub on the ground floor of a Pineapple Grove parking lot in trendy downtown Delray, just off Atlantic Avenue.

The Theater at Arts Garage encompasses many arts covered by the Arts Garage, including music, dance and visual arts - a good partnership!  Starting event will be in February with a Master Playwright Series, four weekly play-readings/lectures on Tuesday evenings.  The New Play Festival will be unveiled in early March featuring readings of 6 evolving scripts, play writing workshops and a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marshal Norman.  With reduced space, productions will be smaller.  Tyrrell says that intimate theater "is the new normal."

A musical play, "Woody Sez" will be presented from March 16-April 8, based on the music of folk troubadour Wood Guthrie.  Those subscribers to Florida Stage left with canceled tickets when it closed, can use them for admission on a space-available basis.

Future plans include the opening of The Arts Warehouse in a 15,000 sq ft facility, not yet renovated, perhaps opening in 2014.

This is a "win-win," a great addition to Delray Beach's vibrant arts scene.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Planning a flight soon?  Head over to and see more than 700 airline seat maps from most carriers and read 25,000+ reviews from other fliers.

Get tips on which seats have:
  • limited recline
  • reduced legroom
  • misaligned windows
  • superior and substandard seats identified by color
  • compare seats from different carriers 
and have a wonderful flight!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


McKinsey estimates that the 200 million-person global economy has reached $8-trillion.  The report is limited to the G-8 countries plus Brazil, China, India and South Korea.
·        Private consumption refers to, electronic equipment, e-commerce, broadband subscriptions, mobile internet and hardware and software consumption
·        Private investment refers to, from telecommunications industry and maintenance of extranet, intranet and websites
·        Public expenditure refers to, government buying and spending of hardware and services
·        Trade refers to, exports of internet equipment and b-2-b services with overseas companies

The internet contributes more to the economy than mining, utilities, agriculture or education.  In France since the mid-1990’s, McKinsey states that the internet created twice the number of jobs that it destroyed.  World leader of the online industry is the United States with 30% of global internet revenues, but the UK is the world leader in online retail sales.  China’s and India’s internet economies rely on exporting online services for most of their economies.


Sunday, November 06, 2011


You might remember a news story several months ago about a crotchety old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down
the flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it. Now you can
find out who, exactly, that old man was.
On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg -- probably
didn't make much news back then. twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, set out to
flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn't enough for a day's work, he later took on and
destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the
war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after
also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news was a neighborhood association's quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable.

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn't take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

"In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference," Barfoot told The Associated Press. As well he should. And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation. It indicates he's not real good at backing down.
Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:
This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011


New 1200-bed apartment opens near new Florida Atlantic University football stadium, offering large pool, sand volleyball court and bbq grills.  Resident card access for elevators increases security.  Campus has a fitness and recreation center, movie house and mall-style food court.  

Cost to student for a semester is $4400-$4800.  This $121-MM complex has a 7- and 8-story buildings separated by a courtyard, with 2- and 4-bedroom apartments, two baths, kitchens, cable tv and high speed internet access.  Each student has their own bedroom and full size bed.  Apartments are all rented for this semester.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Palm Beach County maintains a strong internet presence by offering many web-based applications to easily and transparently access service and do business with county departments and agencies.  The 2011 Digital Counties Survey, partnering with the National Association of Counties, awarded our county #1 in digital technology, #1 in counties with populations over 500,000.
The annual survey takes into account achievements using technology both regarding operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives.  ePZV refers to planning, zoning and building.  ePermits is used for land development. WbEOC is for emergency management,e911for emergency dispatch, LEX for law enforcement data sharing, HRIS for human services and myGeoNav (GIS).

Many government, education and nonprofit organizations are connected to the county fiber optic network, allowing an open access public network.  Internet service is provided to the network by Florida LambdaRail.

For making government information easily accessible, the county website, won the 2011 Sunny Award from Sunshine Review which recognizes government websites exceeding standards aimed at encouraging open government, and the 2010 NACo Achievement Award for outstanding promotion of government transparency was presented to the Palm Beach County Ethics Initiative.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011