Construction begins on housing complex for veterans in KC

Construction began Wednesday on the first phase of the St. Michael’s Veterans Campus, which is being designed to provide housing and support services for homeless and at-risk veterans.

The 22-acre development is near Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Leeds Road, close to the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The project will be built in three phases and was projected to cost $34 million when it was unveiled in 2012.

Read more here:


Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint

Federal Brazilian police and military personnel, some wearing United Nations insignia, are forcibly relocating whole communities in Brazil at gunpoint under the guise of returning huge tracts of land to a small group of Indians whose ancestors were allegedly there at some point. Thousands of local residents who have lived in the area for decades or were even born there, however, are fighting back, with critics saying the government’s actions smack of Stalinism and may constitute crimes against humanity.

About 3,000 people lived in Posto da Mata, including 700 school children who will now be homeless if the government gets its way. “Where are we going to stay? Where are we going to live? What are we going to live off of? What are we going to eat going forward?” wondered a tearful girl outside one of the town’s two schools in a TV interview. “I’ve lived here all my 17 years and I’m not leaving.”

Where is UNESCO in all of this.


via Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint.

Phonehenge West creator jailed: When folk art and building codes collide –

The builder of a fantastical fortress in the Mojave Desert has been sentenced to jail for failing to pay for the demolition of his lifes work. Why art isnt sacred in the eyes of code enforcers.

via Phonehenge West creator jailed: When folk art and building codes collide –

Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN

Around 1.8 million Haitians have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to data collected by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The number comes after an earlier report saying 1.2 million Haitians faced food insecurity as a result of the storm, which killed 60 people in Haiti.

Up to 2 million people are at risk of malnutrition in Haiti, according to Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the OCHA.

The OCHA, which has expressed continued concern for the nearly 350,000 Haitians still living in tent camps for displaced persons from the 2010 earthquake, said that while most tent residents that had been evacuated before the storm returned home, around 1,500 people remain in 15 hurricane shelters in Haiti.

Late last week, a spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization said there was limited access to health services and restocking supplies due to impassable rivers and damaged and obstructed roads.

The WHO also warned that poor sanitary conditions could increase the risk of cholera transmission, which has reportedly already seen a rise since Sandy.

via Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN.

Sandy Victims to Confront Cold, Another Storm | Common Dreams

Cold temperatures and a Nor’easter loom over Sandy survivors still without power and heat. Temperatures dipped down to 39 in New York City Saturday night and are expected to get even colder Sunday night. Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters expects the mid-Atlantic and New England to face an early-season Nor’easter on Wednesday bringing strong winds and heavy rains to areas still affected by Hurricane Sandy.

via Sandy Victims to Confront Cold, Another Storm | Common Dreams.

FEMA Taps Private Vendors to Meet Sandy Victim’s Needs

FEMA…began to solicit bids for vendors to provide bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday, sending out a solicitation request for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water at the website. Bidding closed at 4:30 pm eastern.

via FEMA Taps Private Vendors to Meet Sandy Victim's Needs.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Announces Ban On Outdoor Feeding Of Homeless « CBS Philly

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Announces Ban On Outdoor Feeding Of Homeless « CBS Philly.

A major city is getting ready to implement a rule banning the feeding of homeless on public property. According to Merrian Webster dictionary, the following defines the word “public”:

1a : exposed to general view : open
b : well-known, prominent
c : perceptible, material

2a : of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state
b : of or relating to a government
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation

3a : of or relating to people in general : universal
b : general, popular

4: of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs : social

5: devoted to the general or national welfare : humanitarian

6a : accessible to or shared by all members of the community
b : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market —often used with go

7: supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by income from commercials

As can be seen from this unedited definition, public property can be considered to be that property that relates to “people in general”, “community interests”, “devoted to the general or national welfare: humanitarian”, “supported by public funds and private contributions” (which outreach groups define); and, most notably, “accessible to or shared by ALL members of the community.” (Emphasis mine).

This means that this property belongs as much to the homeless as to the taxpayers, no more and no less. I wonder if they were asked to vote on this measure? Taxes are paid to even the playing field. And unless the mayor offers a solution that enables outreach groups to feed the hungry poor, as God instructs us, he is acting immorally. Rather than address the problem, the Mayor is hiding it from view. This will only postpone the urgency of the need for the City to find solutions to social problems.

For example, does this measure include a measure, implementable in 30 days, that provides for sanitary homeless shelters to be constructed? Additionally, as a revenue producer for the city, on the backs of the homeless the selfsame city government is meant to serve, can the $150 fines be credited, at the least, to services for the poor and homeless, such as shelters, employment training and health services?

How nice for him to allow large family groups to partake of bodily sustenance on public property!

It is nice to see that more than 70% of readers do not agree with the Mayor’s decision to ban the feeding of homeless on public property, whereas nearly 30% do agree. What are YOUR thoughts?