Underground Economy – Darkholme Keep http://darkholmekeep.net/ Wed, 18 May 2022 21:46:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://darkholmekeep.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-70x70.png Underground Economy – Darkholme Keep http://darkholmekeep.net/ 32 32 Mariupol fell to Russia. Here’s what it means for Ukraine: NPR https://darkholmekeep.net/mariupol-fell-to-russia-heres-what-it-means-for-ukraine-npr/ Wed, 18 May 2022 21:46:08 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/mariupol-fell-to-russia-heres-what-it-means-for-ukraine-npr/ A Russian serviceman patrols the destroyed part of the Ilyich steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday. Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images A Russian serviceman patrols the destroyed part of the Ilyich steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday. Olga […]]]>

A Russian serviceman patrols the destroyed part of the Ilyich steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday.

Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images


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A Russian serviceman patrols the destroyed part of the Ilyich steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday.

Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is now in Russian hands, after more than two months of fierce fighting and constant Russian shelling that destroyed swathes of the city and killed thousands of civilians, according to local officials.

Ukraine officially announced the end of its combat mission in Mariupol on Monday evening. Evacuations of Ukrainian soldiers from the steel plant in Azovstal, Ukraine’s last military stronghold, began earlier in the day.

The Russian Defense Ministry said nearly 1,000 troops have surrendered since then, including dozens of wounded soldiers being treated at a hospital in the Donetsk region of Ukraine controlled by Russian and separatist forces.

It is not known how many Ukrainian soldiers remain in Mariupol. “The evacuation mission is continuing, it is supervised by our military and our intelligence services. The most influential international mediators are involved,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.

Ukrainian officials said this week they expected the evacuated soldiers to eventually be exchanged for prisoners of war. But some Russian politicians have protested the idea, calling Mariupol’s defenders “Nazi criminals”.

The struggle for Mariupol had been a source of morale for Ukrainians as a “David and Goliath story”, said Rita Konaev, a Russian military specialist at Georgetown University.

For months, Ukrainians celebrated the small number of soldiers who managed to keep the city from falling to the Russians, despite near-constant shelling and the advantage of Russian firepower.

“The main goal was to hold back the enemy, and they did that for as long as possible. Thank you to our heroes, our defenders, for holding Mariupol fort for so long,” Mariupol mayor said , Vadym Boichenko, speaking on Ukrainian Television on Monday.

Why was Russia so focused on taking Mariupol?

Mariupol is located between Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and the region in eastern Ukraine called Donbass, much of which was already controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Most of the current fighting is taking place in the Donbass region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the “independence” of two enclaves there before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These are the two regions – the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk – that have faced Russian aggression since 2014.

“Mariupol is right between them. So taking Mariupol is part of the campaign in the south and southeast to connect the Russian-controlled areas, basically,” Konaev, who spoke to NPR in March, said.

By controlling Mariupol, Russia has solidified its land bridge to Crimea and now controls the entire northern shore of the Sea of ​​Azov.

The central district of Mariupol on Wednesday, two days after Ukraine announced it had ended its combat mission in the city.

Andrei Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images


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The central district of Mariupol on Wednesday, two days after Ukraine announced it had ended its combat mission in the city.

Andrei Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images

What could it mean for Ukraine that Mariupol is in Russian hands?

In the short term, Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol had been isolated from the rest of the Ukrainian armed forces for months. It was estimated that only a few thousand people remained in the city when they were pushed back into Azovstal.

The country is pursuing the return of these soldiers through prisoner exchanges. “I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs living Ukrainian heroes,” Zelenskyy said earlier this week.

In the long term, Mariupol was an important economic center for Ukraine due to its status as a port city. In peacetime, it is an important export site for Ukrainian steel and grain.

That status has already been changed by the war, Liam Collins, a retired U.S. Army special forces colonel who trained Ukrainian forces, told NPR in March. With Mariupol under siege, it is currently unable to produce for the war effort, he said.

The major impact would come if a negotiated settlement separates part of Ukraine, Collins said: “Ukraine won’t want to do this after 2014 and 2015. [when Russia essentially took part of Eastern Ukraine]but it’s always a possibility.”

If Russia holds Mariupol for a long time, preventing Ukraine’s access to the Sea of ​​Azov, it will hurt Ukraine’s finances and economic sustainability, hampering the country’s ability to sell and ship its products.

“This is part of a larger effort to effectively cut Ukraine off from access to the sea, which is a very important part of Ukraine’s economy and trade,” Konaev said.

What was the fighting like there and how did it focus on a steel mill?

Mariupol has been at the center of the Russian army’s concerns since the start of its invasion. Russian forces reached Mariupol just days after the invasion began on February 24, and they surrounded the city in early March.

During weeks of intense street fighting and relentless shelling, Russia pushed Ukrainian forces further and further back until they were pinned inside the Azovstal factory with their backs to the coast, with nowhere to retreat.

On April 21, Russian military officials declared victory in Mariupol after capturing the rest of the city.

The humanitarian situation inside the city, described to NPR by people who fled from March to May, was deplorable. Residents leaving Mariupol consistently described a lack of access to food, water, heating or communications. Many sheltered in basements for weeks as shells and airstrikes fell constantly around them.

Some of the war’s most shocking moments occurred in Mariupol, including the destruction of a maternity hospital and an attack on the city’s drama theatre, where more than 1,000 civilians had taken refuge.

As the fighting reached the steelworks, hundreds of civilians took shelter in the plant’s network of bunkers and underground tunnels that date back to the Soviet era. Many were evacuated earlier this month in convoys led by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations.

“The last days we were there, I became convinced that the steel mill was going to collapse on top of us. How could it withstand this kind of bombardment?” said Alex Dybko, an English teacher who took refuge in the factory for weeks with his wife and son before being evacuated to Zaporizhzhia this month.

A Russian military vehicle painted with the letter Z drives past destroyed homes in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Wednesday.

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A Russian military vehicle painted with the letter Z drives past destroyed homes in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Wednesday.

Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

What’s next for Mariupol?

Local officials say more than 20,000 civilians have died in the city. The damage to the city is enormous. Ukrainian officials say there are around 100,000 civilians left in Mariupol, which was home to around 430,000 before the war.

This week, Russia organized the first press tours for foreign journalists to visit the city. He has been widely dangerous to the media since the start of the war.

US officials have said they believe Russia may consider annexing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine this month. Mariupol is part of Donetsk Oblast.

“We think the Kremlin might try to hold sham referendums to try to add a veneer of democratic or electoral legitimacy. It’s straight out of the Kremlin’s playbook,” said Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador. to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters earlier this month.

The United States and its allies recently said they would never recognize Ukraine’s redrawn borders.

As for the larger war, Collins says Russia cannot win simply by conquering a certain amount of territory. “There are no winners in this. This is war. Both nations are going to lose regardless of the outcome. It’s just a matter of which loses more,” he said .

Additional reporting by Joanna Kakissis and Hanna Palamarenko of NPR in Zaporizhzhia.

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What if you can’t pay the medical bills? https://darkholmekeep.net/what-if-you-cant-pay-the-medical-bills/ Mon, 16 May 2022 14:05:55 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/what-if-you-cant-pay-the-medical-bills/ Are your medical bills and overdue notices piling up on your table? You might be tempted to throw them all away, but that won’t be the best solution. You can’t pretend your debt doesn’t exist even if you think you can’t afford to pay it back.About 61% of consumers with medical debt reported feeling stressed, […]]]>

Are your medical bills and overdue notices piling up on your table? You might be tempted to throw them all away, but that won’t be the best solution. You can’t pretend your debt doesn’t exist even if you think you can’t afford to pay it back.
About 61% of consumers with medical debt reported feeling stressed, while 49% lost sleep over medical bills and 23% were unwilling to repay existing medical debt. Do not give up repaying this debt. Here’s what happens if you don’t pay your medical bills.

What happens if you don’t pay your medical bills?

You will feel stressed

Sure get a $200 payday loan no credit check may be an appropriate solution to cover your medical expenses without a credit check. But if you already have a mountain of medical debt that you can’t handle, you might be afraid of phone calls and collection offices.

Some collection agencies have aggressive tactics to return the money unless you write letters begging them to stop these behaviors or find a lawyer to protect you. You may want to offer a reasonable monthly payment and negotiate this arrangement with the doctor’s office or hospital.

Having to apply for payday loans for this purpose also brings added stress. According to research on payday loans in americamost borrowers use payday loans to fund their day-to-day expenses over the months, while the average borrower is in debt about five months a year.

Research shows that the first time consumers took out a payday loan, 69% used it to cover utilities, rent or credit card bills, while 16% used it as help with medical bills or auto repair.

Invoices can go to collections

You should take immediate action if the hospital billing department threatens to send your bills to collections. Medical bills on your credit report will seriously hurt your credit rating. You may need to work with the doctor’s office or hospital billing department if you want to avoid having your account sent to the collection agency.

Your credit rating may suffer

The health care provider may not send your account to collections. However, this does not mean that the result will be positive. The hospital may report missed or late payments to credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

Are Medical Bills Affecting Your Credit? Yes, once this information appears on your credit report, it goes into the Payment History category. This category accounts for 35% of your credit rating, so it can significantly lower your rating.

You can find a suitable solution

You should do your best to think about a settlement, payment plan, or some type of arrangement between you and the doctor’s office. The sooner you find a suitable solution, the more likely you are to avoid going to collections or lowering your credit score.

You can get a credit card with a 0% introductory APR for a long time. This option also depends on your credit rating, your ability to repay debt on time, and other factors.

It is possible to buy additional time

Did you know that credit reporting agencies must wait 180 days before posting outstanding debt on your credit report? They count 180 days after receiving information about your unpaid medical debt. In other words, you still have a grace period of six months to try to negotiate this debt and resolve it. Otherwise, it will show up on your credit report and damage your rating.

Is a medical loan right for you?

Many people decide to take out a personal loan or a medical loan to finance their bills. It is important that you define whether applying for a medical loan can be a beneficial decision in your situation. It is useful if:

You can afford monthly payments

Many loans can be repaid in monthly installments or installments. If you calculate the total loan amount and it can easily fit into your budget, you can withdraw that money. Make sure you fully understand the loan terms and APR, and get a decent interest rate.

You consolidate your medical debt

Some consumers have high-interest medical bills that want to be consolidated. This decision will help you get a lower interest rate, manage your monthly loan payments, and pay off debt faster.

Do not take out a medical loan if:

You qualify for special programs and grants

Consumers, who are eligible for assistance from government programs, grants, and charities, may not need to apply for a medical loan. Look for alternative solutions or ask your hospital for a hardship plan before you decide to take out a loan.

High APR

Borrowers with poor and fair credit (FICO score below 689) may get a high creditor APR. As a result, you will have to pay higher interest rates and the total loan sum might not be affordable for you. If you calculate the total amount and find it too expensive with APRs above 36%, it is better to look for other options.

to summarize

You cannot neglect your medical debt. If you have a pile of medical bills, you need to find a proper way to get rid of them. Negotiating a hardship plan with your doctor’s office or taking out a medical loan can save you the stress of the unpleasant consequences of non-payment.

If you don’t pay your medical bills on time, your debt can be collected while your credit score can take a big hit. If you want to maintain good credit and protect your credit history, follow our advice and think about the best solution for your current financial situation.

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Local History: The Promise of Moccasin Bend https://darkholmekeep.net/local-history-the-promise-of-moccasin-bend/ Sat, 14 May 2022 16:01:31 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/local-history-the-promise-of-moccasin-bend/ News that the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute may be moving to an easily accessible and therapeutically supportive location in the Chattanooga area has sparked interest in an expanded national park on Chattanooga’s doorstep. Moccasin Bend has a rich history. With its location at the foot of Lookout Mountain, the peninsula has stood at a […]]]>

News that the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute may be moving to an easily accessible and therapeutically supportive location in the Chattanooga area has sparked interest in an expanded national park on Chattanooga’s doorstep.

Moccasin Bend has a rich history. With its location at the foot of Lookout Mountain, the peninsula has stood at a strategic crossroads for over 10,000 years of human history. Its rich lowlands along the Tennessee River attracted first nomadic hunters and later permanent settlements, including ceremonial centers of the forest and farming-based Mississippian cultures. When Spanish explorers traveled south, the site of the Bend, now known as Hampton Place, was one of the region’s major political and population centers. During the second half of the 16th century, the village of Hampton was decimated by fire and sealed under fire-hardened clay thatched roofs, just as Pompeii was enclosed.

Native Americans in the Southeast had never had contact with Europeans and their Old World diseases until DeSoto and other explorers arrived and brought trade opportunities as well as disease and economic upheaval. The Mississippian peoples became refugees and fled the river. The Muscogee (Creek) tribes followed and settled in the rich lowlands, but at the time of the American Revolution they were displaced by Cherokees migrating to the area. Under the duress of the emerging colonial economy, these tribes of Iroquois origin had shifted from a village culture to a farm, which allowed for individual ownership of one square mile (640 acres). One of these plots on Moccasin Bend belonged to a Cherokee named John Brown, who operated at a site still known today as Brown’s Ferry.

After the 1819 treaty tribes ceded land north of the Tennessee River, white settlers began to acquire property, including parcels on Moccasin Bend. Like other landowners in the area, James Smith owned several slaves who worked on his farm along the North Bend Pass, towards present-day Baylor School. One such slave, Jacob Cummings, freed himself from bondage in July 1839 by sailing away from the shore of the Bend near Brown’s Ferry in an old Indian canoe. He crossed Williams Island, made his way to Canada, and became an active agent in the Underground Railroad.

Native Americans were forcibly removed from the area in the late 1830s and deported to reservations to the west. Local Cherokee families were herded into stockades at Ross’s Landing. Some were shipped down the Tennessee River around the Bend, while others hiked across the Moccasin Bend Peninsula to Brown’s Ferry on what is now part of the Trail of Tears National Historical Trail.

During the Civil War, Moccasin Bend became the weak point of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Union artillery pieces on Stringer’s Ridge at the foot of the Bend shelled the defense roads over the shoulder of Lookout Mountain, allowing American soldiers to dump Lookout Valley and open the “Cracker Line” . Federal supplies were able to cross the Bend at Brown’s Ferry, move directly into Chattanooga, and break the Confederate siege.

The Chattanoogans began debating the future of Moccasin Bend nearly a century ago. The first recorded effort to preserve the Bend came in 1920, when Adolph Ochs, publisher of the Chattanooga Times and New York Times, offered to pay half the cost to develop the land into a park – if local interests provided the other half. The matching money never came. Ochs then purchased the Civil War battlefields on the east and west slopes of Lookout Mountain and gave them to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

In 1926, Charles Howard, director of the Industrial Office of the Chamber of Commerce, said the bend should be used for industry instead of a “beautiful women’s park”. Citizens quickly rallied to protect Moccasin Bend. Mrs. JW (Nell Evans) Johnson, Chair of the Planning Board’s Parks and Playgrounds Committee, called a meeting of all for and against a park.

Speaking on behalf of the park, she said: “I think the proposed improvement is the most remarkable project, and if the city and county can purchase the property, it would be a big feather in the mayor’s cap and from the county judge.” County judge Will Cummings warmly endorsed the preservation, but the city and county failed to provide the funds to purchase the land, then valued at $450,000.

Frank “Mickey” Robbins coordinates the Local History column. Visit Chattahistoricalassoc.org for more information.

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South Korea’s Hawkish Yoon will be sworn in as president and start working in an underground bunker with a security briefing on the north https://darkholmekeep.net/south-koreas-hawkish-yoon-will-be-sworn-in-as-president-and-start-working-in-an-underground-bunker-with-a-security-briefing-on-the-north/ Tue, 10 May 2022 01:57:32 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/south-koreas-hawkish-yoon-will-be-sworn-in-as-president-and-start-working-in-an-underground-bunker-with-a-security-briefing-on-the-north/ South Korea’s hawkish new president Yoon Suk-yeol began work in an underground bunker on Tuesday with a security briefing on the nuclear North ahead of his official inauguration ceremony. Yoon, 61, takes office at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, with an increasingly belligerent Pyongyang carrying out a record 15 weapons tests […]]]>

South Korea’s hawkish new president Yoon Suk-yeol began work in an underground bunker on Tuesday with a security briefing on the nuclear North ahead of his official inauguration ceremony.

Yoon, 61, takes office at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, with an increasingly belligerent Pyongyang carrying out a record 15 weapons tests since January, including two launches last week.

His conservative administration appears poised to usher in a tougher foreign policy for the world’s 10th largest economy after the dovish approach pursued by incumbent President Moon Jae-in during his five years in office.

At midnight Tuesday, Yoon began his five-year term with his first briefing as Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in an underground bunker set up in his new presidential office.

Yoon stressed the need to maintain a “firm military preparedness posture at a time when the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is critical,” his office said in a statement.

After winning elections in March by the narrowest margin, he pledged to “deal harshly” with the threat posed by Kim Jong Un’s regime, while saying he would leave the door open for dialogue.

Under Moon, Seoul has pursued a policy of engagement with Pyongyang, brokering summits between Kim and then-US President Donald Trump. But the talks broke down in 2019 and diplomacy has stalled ever since.

Moon remains personally popular, but public frustration with his administration has helped lift Yoon to power.

But it probably won’t be an easy task: Yoon takes office with one of the lowest approval ratings – around 41%, according to a recent Gallup poll – of any democratically elected South Korean president.

He moved the presidential office from the decades-old Blue House, which soured public sentiment as many consider the costly move unnecessary.

Yoon said the Blue House, located on a site used by the Japanese colonial administration, was a “symbol of imperial power”, saying the move will ensure a more democratic presidency.

It will be open to the public as a park.

Expensive ceremony

A ringing ceremony was held at midnight in downtown Seoul, but Yoon’s official inauguration ceremony will be held later Tuesday at the National Assembly.

Yoon’s inauguration speech will be closely scrutinized for any indication of how he intends to begin his five-year term.

Local reports say Yoon is writing the speech himself and will focus on three key words: freedom, market and fairness.

About 40,000 people were invited to attend the inauguration ceremony, which is by far the most expensive event of its kind at 3.3 billion won ($2.6 million).

Moon and impeached former president Park Geun-hye – recently pardoned and released from prison by Moon – will both attend the ceremony.

US President Joe Biden has appointed Douglas Emhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, to lead an eight-member delegation, the White House said in a statement last week.

Japan and China are also sending high-level representatives, Yoon saying he wants to mend sometimes rocky relations with regional powers.

Read all the latest IPL 2022 news, breaking news and live updates here.

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Government launches feasibility study for underground submarine cable https://darkholmekeep.net/government-launches-feasibility-study-for-underground-submarine-cable/ Sat, 07 May 2022 20:07:32 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/government-launches-feasibility-study-for-underground-submarine-cable/ The Cayman Islands Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, has announced that the consultancy firm Grant Thornton Specialist Services (Cayman) Limited (Grant Thornton) has been engaged to undertake a formal feasibility study on the modernization of the submarine cable infrastructure of the islands. This follows a selection exercise launched in December 2021, which attracted strong […]]]>

The Cayman Islands Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, has announced that the consultancy firm Grant Thornton Specialist Services (Cayman) Limited (Grant Thornton) has been engaged to undertake a formal feasibility study on the modernization of the submarine cable infrastructure of the islands.

This follows a selection exercise launched in December 2021, which attracted strong international interest from several professional services and consultants specializing in submarine cables. It is also based on extensive industry and stakeholder consultations conducted by the government over the past eighteen months.

The feasibility study, which will be prepared by subsea systems experts Pioneer Consulting, will be used to guide the government’s decision-making regarding the advancement of a major submarine cable infrastructure investment project. sailors.

Minister of Infrastructure, the Hon. Jay Ebanks said the commissioning of a study reflects a strong approach taken by the government to transform the islands’ international connectivity. “We are bringing in world-class experts to help analyze the options and identify the best approach to take with respect to this major infrastructure project. This initiative forms a key pillar of our strategy to ensure the Cayman Islands benefits from world-class connectivity to support the transformation of our economy and society into a thriving digital future,” he said.

Commenting on their support for the project, Grant Thornton’s partner and Head of Utilities, Will McWilliams, said: “Grant Thornton is delighted to be working with the Cayman Islands Government on this important initiative and to benefit from both our own global experience on large infrastructure projects and the specialist submarine cable expertise of Pioneer Consulting within our team. We look forward to working together on this crucial initiative.”

In its Strategic Policy Statement 2022-2024, the Government of the Cayman Islands highlighted that one of its major outcomes is to build modern infrastructure which includes funding for the implementation of a new submarine communications cable to ensure that the Cayman Islands remain connected to the world. .

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Reviews | Why success couldn’t save Biden’s child tax credit expansion https://darkholmekeep.net/reviews-why-success-couldnt-save-bidens-child-tax-credit-expansion/ Thu, 05 May 2022 11:04:59 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/reviews-why-success-couldnt-save-bidens-child-tax-credit-expansion/ Placeholder while loading article actions In the spring of 2021, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was a worried man. In a book published this week,This won’t pass“, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns report that the Senate Minority Leader told friends he thought the temporarily expanded child tax credit would be so popular that […]]]>
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In the spring of 2021, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was a worried man. In a book published this week,This won’t pass“, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns report that the Senate Minority Leader told friends he thought the temporarily expanded child tax credit would be so popular that even if Republicans retook the House in the 2022 election, it would be too late to reverse the bill.The measure put hundreds of dollars a month in the pockets of American families and resulted in an almost immediate loss double digit drop the number of children living in poverty. How could Republicans counter that?

He was wrong. The expansion was allowed to expire in December. Millions of homes fell back into poverty as quickly as they were removed. The only scandal was that, contrary to McConnell’s fears, it wasn’t a scandal at all.

Instead, the tax credit saga has instead demonstrated that America’s stated devotion to children is often cheap sentiment. In the face of evidence that a few extra hundred dollars vastly improves child welfare, we continue to choose to keep our country’s wallets tight.

Two recently published reports — one of Brookings Institutionthe other of the Center for Law and Social Policy – show how much expansion child tax creditpassed as part of President Biden’s U.S. bailout late winter last year, was for millions of American families, providing not only cash but security on multiple fronts.

A reminder of how it all worked: Households earning less than $150,000 a year received $3,600 for children under six and $3,000 for those seven and older, much of money from a monthly allowance. High-income households received cash on a sliding scale. In all, almost nine out of 10 families with children under 18 received money from the program. (My husband and I were, for a short time, one of them – we got exactly one check before our youngest son got old.)

Studies show that families used the temporary monthly allowance to pay for everyday household expenses, including rent, school supplies and extracurricular activities, and food – families receiving the credit said they ate more balanced meals. (Yes, slightly more fast food was consumed compared to households that did not receive the benefit, but so was more protein, fruit and vegetables.)

In fact, when Brookings compared households receiving the child tax credit to those not eligible, they found that those receiving the de facto allowance were more likely to pay their credit card bills and less likely to use payday loans to get by. Their chances of being deported were less. They were also less likely to resort to such desperate measures as selling their blood plasma to raise funds.

Nonetheless, Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.), in particular, encouraged people to believe in the myth of the lazy, lazy parent living high on the government hog. HuffPost reported that Manchin privately told people he thought the families would use the money to buy drugs.

Manchin was far from the only villain here. Polls showed that many did not wish to see the measure enacted permanently. (Seniors were particularly against it.) It is true that Americans are always wary of someone receiving a helping hand – but, in this case, the people helped were often us, or our family members or friends. It didn’t seem to matter. The fact that millions of families are now fall back into precarious living conditions hardly arouses any indignation.

Attempts to bring back expansion seem doomed. The White House is increasingly convinced that Manchin does not want to make any deal on Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which would have renewed the policy. As for the expanded child tax credit legislation sponsored by Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), he would not only need to attract bipartisan support – which is highly unlikely – he contains a poison pill for Democrats in the form of a complete elimination of the federal tax break for up to 10 $000 in state and local taxes.

It’s all penny-wise but pound-senseless. As I pointed out last year, academic research shows that income support for families leads to everything from improved infant birth weight for best high school graduation rates, as well as an increased likelihood of going to college. This, in turn, will massively benefit all of us.

But none of these potential benefits can overcome our indifference to helping children and families. Look at our dismal record. We are the only first world nation that does not mandate paid family leave for new moms. We undergo the highest infant mortality rate of our peer countries. We pay their teachers less than others with similar credentials, and our country’s response to the mass school shootings is to offer thoughts and prayers.

When looked at through this prism, it’s no surprise that the expanded child tax credit has been allowed to expire. That never happened.

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A dark tour through one of Baltimore’s ugliest chapters of slavery – Baltimore Sun https://darkholmekeep.net/a-dark-tour-through-one-of-baltimores-ugliest-chapters-of-slavery-baltimore-sun/ Thu, 05 May 2022 10:00:55 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/a-dark-tour-through-one-of-baltimores-ugliest-chapters-of-slavery-baltimore-sun/ There is no evidence at Oriole Park in Camden Yards that people have been sold to the site. In 1858, Joseph S. Donovan, one of Baltimore’s leading slave traders, built a slave pen near the southwest corner of Eutaw and Camden streets. According to a 1936 Sun article, it was one of a dozen private […]]]>

There is no evidence at Oriole Park in Camden Yards that people have been sold to the site. In 1858, Joseph S. Donovan, one of Baltimore’s leading slave traders, built a slave pen near the southwest corner of Eutaw and Camden streets. According to a 1936 Sun article, it was one of a dozen private slave prisons downtown, which held enslaved people, suspected runaways, and kidnapped free blacks. Many, eventually, were forced to board ships for a final passage to the Deep South.

The United States banned the importation of enslaved Africans in 1808, but domestic sales of human beings increased after the War of 1812. Baltimore, a major port and shipbuilding center, was a pioneer in the coastal trade in human goods. When Maryland farmers switched from labor-intensive tobacco to wheat, corn, oats and other grains, they realized their surplus workers were a valuable commodity. At the same time, cotton, sugar cane and rice plantations developed in the Lower South. Traders operated near the port of Baltimore, shipping their human cargo to large markets in places like New Orleans.

Seeing what no longer exists is an arduous task. The footprints once left in the dirt streets by the coffles – mournful processions of enslaved men in chains, followed by women and children – have disappeared. Only a ghostly imprint remains etched in the ground we cross today.



Note: Location information in pop-up titles matches the current street numbering and built environment. Due to changes to each, this location information may have been different during the time period referenced.


Today’s recreational waterfront bordering Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Fells Point consisted of commercial docks 200 years ago. Usually under cover of darkness, the blacks were driven from the pens to the docks, where they were crammed into the holds of the brigs with the cargo. Historian Jennie K. Williams estimates that 15,000 to 20,000 people were sold as part of the domestic slave trade on the coast between Baltimore and New Orleans from 1818 to the Civil War, based on her analysis manifests of inbound slaves to the port of New Orleans and other documents. .

Trade was an integral part of the booming economy of the pre-war South. “Money for Negroes!” advertised in newspapers, including The Sun. The average price for an enslaved person during the pre-war period was around $400, according to “Historical United States Statistics”. Today’s dollar equivalent is around $14,500, although Williams cautions against viewing slaves as slave traders: “Human beings should never have had a price in the first place.”

Austin Woolfolk, the Chesapeake area’s first large-scale coastal slave trader, purchased a white frame house in 1821 on the north side of Pratt Street, just west of what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. . An account published in Genius of Universal Emancipation, an abolitionist journal, describes: “The little barred windows of his prison at the back – the chains, the irons and the miserable objects of suffering hidden there, make one’s blood run cold with horror. . By building the city’s first private slave prison, Woolfolk created the business model for storing human goods before they were shipped.

Woolfolk made at least 71 human expeditions between 1818 and 1846, delivering more than 2,600 slaves to New Orleans, according to available manifestos analyzed by historian Ralph Clayton in his 2002 book, “Cash for Blood: The Baltimore to New Orleans Domestic Slave Trade”. “In 1843, Joseph Donovan purchased Woolfolk’s pen and operated there before building new slave pens on Camden Street near Light Street, roughly where the Hyatt Regency stands today, and later at Camden and Eutaw streets. The Woolfolk slave prison site is now a small park with several tent encampments for the homeless.

Another slave trader, Hope Hull Slatter, boasted in Sun advertisements of his “light and airy” slave prison when it opened in 1838 on the north side of West Pratt Street, just east of Howard Street. Other traders could house their slaves in his “establishment” for 25 cents a day. At the rear of the high-walled prison, a bloodhound chained near an iron door helped deter escapes, according to accounts in “Cash for Blood”. Before selling his prison to Bernard Moore Campbell in 1848, Slatter sold over 2,500 slaves. The Pratt Street slave pen was liberated by Union troops in 1863. A blacksmith freed the anklets that bound pairs of men together.

Other successful local traders included John N. Denning and James Franklin Purvis. Denning operated a compound at 104 N. Exeter St., behind what is now the main U.S. Post Office on Fayette Street in Jonestown, and at 18 S. Frederick St., just north of the present memorial of the ‘Holocaust. Purvis’ slave prison, behind his residence at 1225 Harford Ave. in what is now Oliver’s neighborhood, was further away. Like other private slave prison sites in Baltimore, no trace remains of Purvis’ house and pen. Purvis is an example of a slave trader who used his profits to grow into a respectable business, becoming president of the Howard Bank of Baltimore in the mid-1850s. She is unrelated to the Howard Bank founded in Ellicott City in 2004.

Baltimore’s largest coastal traders — Woolfolk, Slatter, Donovan and Campbell — together owned seven out of 10 slaves transported from Baltimore to New Orleans, according to Williams. They weren’t above kidnapping free blacks, who in 1830 made up four-fifths of Baltimore’s black population. Traders also frequented the city jail, looking for unclaimed captured runaways or arrested free blacks.

The business underpinned every aspect of Baltimore’s economy and society, but the history of the local slave trade has been largely erased. The wealth accumulated by Donovan, who sold over 2,200 slaves, funded the philanthropy of his widow, Caroline Donovan. She donated $100,000—more than $3 million in today’s dollars—to Johns Hopkins University in 1885. The first endowed chair at the university was the Caroline Donovan Chair in English Literature. A towering mausoleum for the Donovans sits on a hill in Green Mount Cemetery.

Although few physical signs remain of the slave trade where it was carried out, there is an official state historical marker, placed by the Maryland Historical Trust outside the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in 2009 .

A $20,000 grant from the Baltimore National Heritage Area, managed by the nonprofit Baltimore Heritage Area Association Inc., funds the development of a mobile app and touchscreen kiosk at Historic President Station Street which will include slave trade sites. Robert Reyes, vice president of the non-profit organization Friends of President Street Station, hopes the tour highlighting abolition and Underground Railroad sites, which will open in mid-summer, will be “a bridge builder for today’s relationships”.

At Camden Yards, Maryland Stadium Authority executive director Michael Frenz said the authority had not been approached to add a historic sign.

“It is horrifying to learn that chapters of the darker part of our nation’s history have taken place in the complex, a place you associate with lighter types of entertainment. There are several historical plaques in and around of the complex,” Frenz said. “Marking the history of the complex before the stadium was here is definitely something we are in favor of. We would probably consult the Orioles, because they are our partners.

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The baseball team’s senior vice president of community development and communications Jennifer Grondahl agreed, saying the O’s looked forward to “leading the conversation” with “the hope that this and Other historical themes will be incorporated into the design and development of future enhancements.

Another destination better known for entertainment than history lessons is Harborplace, which was acquired in April by Baltimore-based MCB Real Estate. Managing partner P. David Bramble said he was surprised that Baltimore was one of the most important ports for the slave trade.

Bramble, who is black, said it was too early to tell how this might be resolved at Harborplace.

“Our goal is to put out something authentically Baltimore, and I don’t think you can be authentic without leveraging the story. We’re very committed to having a meaningful engagement process with the community and stakeholders to see how they want to see history represented in the redevelopment. Bramble added: “You have to understand what was behind you, but what we do in the future is just as important. I’m an optimist. How do we look? us towards the future?

Philip J. Merrill, Baltimore historian and CEO and founder of Nanny Jack & Co., an African-American heritage consulting firm, said the city’s slave trade past was “a touchy subject,” but which could shed light on the future. With few visible official landmarks on the slave trade, he said, some of this history was taught informally, with stories passed down from generation to generation.

If “we could look at our enslavement from a different angle…we could be filled with perseverance and a sense of pride. Slavery, which is in the DNA of our ancestors, is something that should give us strength, determination and the ability to know that we can survive anything.

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell contributed to this article.

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Possible Finance launches new products to help underserved consumers improve their financial health https://darkholmekeep.net/possible-finance-launches-new-products-to-help-underserved-consumers-improve-their-financial-health/ Tue, 03 May 2022 15:00:00 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/possible-finance-launches-new-products-to-help-underserved-consumers-improve-their-financial-health/ $20 million in equity financing and new executive hires will support continued growth SEATTLE, May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Possible Finance (Possible), the mission-driven fintech company providing life-changing financial services to underserved consumers, today announced a new $20 million in equity financing, hiring key executives and launching their new credit card and cash advance products […]]]>

$20 million in equity financing and new executive hires will support continued growth

SEATTLE, May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Possible Finance (Possible), the mission-driven fintech company providing life-changing financial services to underserved consumers, today announced a new $20 million in equity financing, hiring key executives and launching their new credit card and cash advance products – Possible Card and Possible Cash. These products build on the success of Possible’s first product, the Possible Loan – a short-term, low-payment loan designed to help one in three American adults who struggle to access affordable credit and are victims of predatory lending practices. Currently available in 21 states, Possible has provided over 1.65 million small dollar loans to over half a million customers since 2019.

The possible card is not a traditional credit card with interest charges or penalty fees. Instead, Possible has created a revolutionary card designed to protect members from mounting debt and improve long-term financial habits. It’s the only unsecured credit card on the market with no interest or late fees – ever – and a simple monthly fee. Designed specifically for people undervalued by today’s financial system, Possible Card does not require a credit check for approval and uses Possible’s existing proprietary credit risk technology. The company also announced Possible Cash, the first and only cash advance offer that gives customers the option to qualify for an unsecured credit card. Customers who establish a successful repayment history on Possible Cash will be automatically pre-approved for a Possible card. These offerings will allow Possible to reach more underserved consumers who need quick and affordable access to capital without compromising their progress toward long-term financial health.

“We launched Possible to help people break the cycle of debt caused by predatory financial products while building their credit history,” said Tony Huang, co-founder and CEO of Possible Finance. “When we realized that many of our customers had escaped the payday debt cycle and fallen directly into a similar trap caused by credit card debt, we knew Possible could offer a better solution. existing credit cards operate like payday lenders – they intentionally profit from lending to vulnerable consumers knowing they won’t be able to make timely payments.To reinvent the credit card, our team applied the same principles , data and technology that we have built for the Possible loan. I am thrilled to bring the Possible card to underserved consumers who desperately need a better option.”

Today, Possible also announced that it has raised $20 million in new equity to fuel growth and expand its team. This round includes existing investors Union Square Ventures, Canvas Ventures and Unlock Venture Partners, as well as new investor Euclidean Capital. Possible also recently partnered with Coastal Community Bank, member FDIC, to accelerate the development and large-scale access to these essential new products. The banking partnership with Coastal is a critical part of Possible’s growth strategy, enabling the company to design and manufacture more innovative products at scale.

“Possible has laid the foundation for a very special consumer brand that can reset the current misalignment of economic incentives between financial service providers and their low-income customers,” said John Buttrick, a partner at Union Square Ventures, on why the company doubled down on the Possible team. “We continue to be excited about Possible’s innovative approach to expanding product offerings. And we’re excited to welcome the Euclidean Capital team on this journey with us.”

Possible has expanded the company’s leadership team to include former Venmo chief marketing officer, Kevin Platshon, as Marketing Director; former Chief Loan Officer of Capital One and Chief Financial Risk Officer of Genesis, Ellen Falboas Chief Credit Officer and former Chairman of Credit Sesame, Jesse Leveyas product manager.

About possible financing
Possible Finance is on a mission to help communities break the cycle of debt and unleash economic mobility for generations to come. The company provides an opportunity for any customer, regardless of credit rating, with quick and affordable access to capital and a guided path to long-term financial health. Founded in 2017, Possible is recognized by consumer advocacy groups and customers as a leader in shaping the future of financial services to be fair and affordable for everyone. To learn more about Possible, visit www.possiblefinance.com.

SOURCE Funding Opportunity

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Alpine Fault: What scientists are learning about the Great New Zealand earthquake https://darkholmekeep.net/alpine-fault-what-scientists-are-learning-about-the-great-new-zealand-earthquake/ Sun, 01 May 2022 01:51:49 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/alpine-fault-what-scientists-are-learning-about-the-great-new-zealand-earthquake/ Freshly installed seismometers – one of them now operating at a depth underground roughly equivalent to the height of Auckland’s Sky Tower – are giving scientists unprecedented insight into our largest Earth fault. Video / Outdoor Learning Freshly installed seismometers – one of them now operating at a depth underground roughly equivalent to the height […]]]>

Freshly installed seismometers – one of them now operating at a depth underground roughly equivalent to the height of Auckland’s Sky Tower – are giving scientists unprecedented insight into our largest Earth fault. Video / Outdoor Learning

Freshly installed seismometers – one of them now operating at a depth underground roughly equivalent to the height of Auckland’s Sky Tower – are giving scientists unprecedented insight into our largest Earth fault.

Stretching 600km on the west side of the South Island between Milford Sound and Marlborough, the Alpine Rift is one of New Zealand’s greatest natural hazards.

Recent research has suggested that the next major earthquake along the fault could block South Island highways in more than 120 locations, cut off 10,000 people and cost the economy an estimated $10 billion.

It has a clear geologic record of rupturing roughly every three centuries – and 2017 marked the 300th anniversary of what is thought to have been a magnitude 8 earthquake that moved one side of the fault about 8m in just a few seconds.

The latest estimates put the chance of a major rupture within the next 50 years at 75% – and the probability of this earthquake measuring over 8.0 to 82%.

“It is very late in its typical cycle – so it is reasonable to expect that in the coming years or decades there will be another Alpine Fault earthquake,” said Professor John Townend. , a geophysicist at the University of Victoria.

“So what’s really important to understand is what are the temperatures and the stresses acting in the fault, before an earthquake.”

A seismometer, the first of its kind, installed by GNS Science staff deep in a borehole near Whataroa late last year, now offered a high-resolution view of fault movements deep within the fault. , while helping scientists better locate earthquakes around the area. .

GNS Science remote infrastructure management specialist Tim McDougall said a few special additions were needed to lock the instrument in place at 300m.

Borehole DFDP-2B at Whataroa, showing the GeoNet seismometer in place at 300 meters.  The borehole is close to the Alpine fault and the seismometer can register small earthquakes that we would not register otherwise.  Image / Science GNS
Borehole DFDP-2B at Whataroa, showing the GeoNet seismometer in place at 300 meters. The borehole is close to the Alpine fault and the seismometer can register small earthquakes that we would not register otherwise. Image / Science GNS

“It’s basically a thin seismometer not much bigger than a can of baked beans, attached to a longer latch mechanism, and it’s the first such sensor we’ve installed in deep drilling,” McDougall said.

“We have a few sensors set up at similar depths to keep tabs on the Auckland Volcanic Field, but having one a few meters from New Zealand’s main fault line is really important.”

GNS Science scientist Tim McDougall said it was
GNS Science scientist Tim McDougall said it was “really significant” that New Zealand now has an operating sensor just meters from its main fault line. Photo/Jeff Brass/GNS Science.

The seismometer was “broadband”, meaning it was able to record seismic waves of a wide range of frequencies, and was now an integral part of the GeoNet network.

“We recently reviewed the data collected by the sensor and are very pleased with its quality,” McDougall said.

This image shows seismic traces from the same small earthquake, captured by both a newly installed borehole seismometer and another on the surface.  The signal recorded by the underground seismometer is much clearer.  Image / Science GNS
This image shows seismic traces from the same small earthquake, captured by both a newly installed borehole seismometer and another on the surface. The signal recorded by the underground seismometer is much clearer. Image / Science GNS

“This is quite exceptional given that the ambient temperature at the sensor’s location is very close to its operational temperature limit of 60°C.”

The borehole itself was drilled in 2014, as part of the Multinational Deep Rift Drilling Project.

“Installing a sensor so deep below the ground surface and next to a major fault at the end of its typical seismic cycle is very exciting,” Townend said.

Engineers drill boreholes along the Alpine Fault at Whataroa, near Franz Josef, in 2014. Photo/Supplied
Engineers drill boreholes along the Alpine Fault at Whataroa, near Franz Josef, in 2014. Photo/Supplied

It comes as scientists have stepped up seismic monitoring along the wider fault, under several major new projects.

Townend and his colleagues recently set up an array of 50 seismometers, spaced 10 km apart over about 450 km of the fault, to create a temporary array called the Southern Alps Long Skinny Array, or Salsa.

“We’ve been working with data from existing sites to test some of the analyzes we’ll be doing, once the actual data from the Salsa Network starts coming in,” he said.

“It will be quite a task, because there are a lot of measurements involved.”

Separately, scientists captured new data on boundary “micro-earthquakes” along the fault south of Haast, where past major earthquakes have been shown to sometimes stop.

These boundaries are often called “seismic gates” because they can sometimes either allow earthquakes to break up and grow, or stop them and limit their size.

“But we don’t know what physical properties change between earthquakes to open or close the gate,” said GNS Science seismologist Dr. Emily Warren-Smith, who leads the Dense Westland Arrays Researching Fault Segmentation (Dwarfs ).

“Understanding what the scenario is before the next earthquake, however, can help us better prepare.

“By installing dense seismic arrays above these fault boundaries, we can map, in unprecedented detail, the thousands of small earthquakes that occur there each year, and then use them to create images of the subterranean fault geometry, stress state and mechanical behavior.”

In just over three years, Warren-Smith’s team mapped more than 7,000 small earthquakes, providing rich new information.

“In particular, south of Haast, near the Cascade River, we saw the fault undergo a dramatic angle change at depth, from a dip of around 45 to 85 degrees over a short distance,” said she declared.

The Alpine fault, marking the boundary between the Pacific and Australian crustal plates, generates earthquakes of magnitude 8 to 8.2 approximately every 260 years.  Photo/Science GNS
The Alpine fault, marking the boundary between the Pacific and Australian crustal plates, generates earthquakes of magnitude 8 to 8.2 approximately every 260 years. Photo/Science GNS

“This major geometric complexity is very difficult for earthquakes to traverse and we believe that changes in the stress distribution on the fault, between and during earthquakes, could be the key to allowing it to propagate at times. “

At its northern end, near Inchbonnie, the Alpine Fault was cut by the Hope Fault and other smaller faults such as the Kelly and Hura Faults.

“Our analysis of small earthquakes there shows that the Alpine Fault north of this intersection is very misaligned for failure,” she said.

“On the other hand, the Hope Fault and the Alpine Fault to the southwest are both well-trending and we propose that this may indicate a preferred rupture path of Alpine Fault earthquakes propagating northward on the system of the Marlborough Fault.

“We are currently building detailed 3D models of the fault to run major earthquake simulations to test these observations and provide plausible failure scenarios to better inform future risk planning.”

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Springfield’s $26 million Grant Avenue Parkway is taking shape https://darkholmekeep.net/springfields-26-million-grant-avenue-parkway-is-taking-shape/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 21:40:00 +0000 https://darkholmekeep.net/springfields-26-million-grant-avenue-parkway-is-taking-shape/ The walk will pass through two neighborhoods close to the heart of Springfield: West Central and Fassnight. Some parts are really nice. Other parts are really rough. At the meeting, City Council member Mike Schilling said it was the first time the project had been shared in person. “It’s going to be a beautification project, […]]]>

The walk will pass through two neighborhoods close to the heart of Springfield: West Central and Fassnight. Some parts are really nice. Other parts are really rough. At the meeting, City Council member Mike Schilling said it was the first time the project had been shared in person.

“It’s going to be a beautification project, really, from Sunshine all the way to downtown and hopefully kind of give a quiet lane, bikes, low-speed pedestrian facilities,” Schilling said.

The $26 million city improvement is mostly funded by $22 million in federal funds, part of a Trump-era plan to encourage development. The rest of the money is a local game. In 2019, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said the boardwalk would help jobs and the local economy, in part because new businesses were incentivized to locate nearby.

Plans include business incentives, utility upgrades and a new 3-mile trail for bikes and pedestrians. The walk goes from Mother’s Brewing to Bass Pro Shops, roughly.

The afternoon before the town hall, I walked the boardwalk from north to south to hear the thoughts and opinions of people in the neighborhood.

I started my afternoon hike at Mother’s Brewing Company, where I found Jasmin Adams working on her laptop while the bartenders started tossing beers. Adams said she lives in West Central.

“I look forward to the improvements to come,” Adams said. “I think it will be great for this community and just connecting the middle ground between the south side and the north side.”

Some residents haven’t heard of Grant Avenue Parkway yet

Crossing the street, I found a barber shop full of customers. Few of them had even heard of the walk, including Springfield resident Lonnie Bollinger.

He said, “I have no idea what’s going on with Grant, but I’m interested in why the city is paying for this instead of fixing the roads in Springfield.”

At a laundromat three blocks away, Laura Gowen also said the Grant Avenue Parkway was new to her.

“I lived here for eight years,” Gowen said. “It’s not that bad of a place to stay. I never heard of the boardwalk until you mentioned it.

Then I met Barbara Strader, a homeless resident. Strader was resting at a gas station near a busy intersection, using his smartphone.

She said: “I think they need to work on some of the things that need to be fixed and one of those things is, obviously, dealing with the homeless. There are more homeless people here every day, and it seems like no one wants to do anything about it.

And further down the road, I met owner Bob Carrow. He said he’s lived in his home, about half a mile from what is now Wonders of Wildlife, since 1963. His block is full of trees, flowers…and traffic.

“I live on Grant Street,” Carrow said. “I’m concerned about traffic. They’re going to build a roundabout in Portland and Grant. I don’t like that idea because it’s going to slow down traffic, and – I mean, I like the idea that it’s going to slow down traffic, but I can’t get out of my driveway right now. Traffic is really dangerous on this street. We have people going up and down this street at 60, 70 miles an hour, and it’s a residential area.

City of Springfield

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City of Springfield

A rendering of the town of Springfield shows what the entrance from Sunshine Street to Grant Avenue Parkway might look like.

Later that afternoon, about 50 people came to the town’s block meeting held at Parkview High. They shared a mixture of hope and skepticism about the walk.

I spoke to Kathleen Cowens, a resident involved with the West Central Neighborhood Alliance. She said she hopes the project will lead to improvements at a park near Grant Avenue.

“We’ve been very strong in asking that some of the properties just west of Hawthorn Park in Madison be purchased and extend the park to the project,” she said.

Cowens added that she was eager to make improvements that would make the sidewalks usable for people with disabilities. Telephone poles stuck in the middle of the sidewalk make it very difficult for people in wheelchairs to get around, she said.

“All the utilities will go underground so there won’t be a problem obviously and they’ll expand and do these sidewalks I’m sure to code with the distance but yeah now if you walk Grant – if you are in a wheelchair you must go to the street.

“Something really creative” coming up?

Later in the meeting, West Central owner Donna Alrutz engaged in a dialogue with Tim Rosenbury, director of quality initiatives at the Springfield venue. Rosenbury was appointed to the newly created post just before the pandemic hit.

At the meeting, Alrutz told Rosenbury that local residents have submitted many interesting ideas for the project to the city government, but she thinks the boardwalk project will look like a sidewalk with a roundabout.

Rosenbury said residents might be surprised how quickly a $22 million grant can be spent on necessities like buying property and improving public services. Installing signage, monuments or other new equipment would cost even more, he said.

“About $8 million of that is for utility relocation,” Rosenbury said. “About 5% of the $22 million is for creating places. »

Changes to the Grant Avenue promenade in the Fassnight Park area would include a roundabout.

City of Springfield

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City of Springfield

Changes to the Grant Avenue promenade in the Fassnight Park area would include a roundabout.

The day after the meeting, I had Alrutz on the phone. She said she actually thought the city’s place-making czar answered her questions “beautifully.”

She had concerns about the look of the new business and the development, but she also thinks the city’s remake of Grant Avenue Parkway could open up new possibilities.

“There just isn’t enough money,” Alrutz said. “I understand after thinking about it a lot since last night that this is, this is the start, hopefully, of something that will turn into something really creative, but as far as what’s on paper, it’s not that creative.

The city says construction downtown will begin in early May and utility upgrades on Grant Avenue will begin a few weeks later. A launch event will take place during the week of May 16.

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