Scranton, PA Real Estate News

By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
Today is one of those days best devoted to staying home and watching movies.  We are experiencing the largest snow storm in recent history. I caught a movie I had seen a few years ago.  "Men of Honor" starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Robert De Niro.  I had seen it once before and really enjoyed it.  This is the true story of Carl Brashear.  He has the distinction of being the first Negro diver in the U.S. Navy during the 1950's.  The story chronicles his challenges even to enter this prestigious group of Navy divers.  Discrimination against Negroes in the service was common place at that time. An accident retrieving an atom bomb lost at sea caused him to lose his leg.  He fought to rehabilitate himself in the days when prosthetic devices were not an high tech as they are today.  He eventual...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  The DNA of your newborn child is being collected by the government.  Parents are unaware that these tests are taking place. Parents find out accidentally when their Pediatrician calls them to notify them of some aliment or disease, their child either has or may be prone to. "We were appalled when we found out," says Brown, who's a registered nurse. "Why do they need to store my baby's DNA indefinitely? Something on there could affect her ability to get a job later on, or get health insurance." Art Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, says he understands why states don't first ask permission to screen babies for genetic diseases. "It's paternalistic, but the state has an overriding interest in protecting these babies," he says. Welcome to the Brave New World folks. ...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  It was announced today the Premier of the Province of Newfoundland, Danny Williams is coming to the U.S.for heart surgery. In an interview he cited, among other things, a wait of 182 days for any kind of surgical procedure.  A huge majority of women's cancer tests came back with inaccurate results in his Province.  He indicated he did not trust the competency of the surgeons in his country to perform the surgery.  He felt his survival was at risk. A Province is equivalent to a State.  Population density varies from Province to Province as it does in this country, state by state.  Access to services and the quality of those services varies as well.  The Premier certainly could have access to the best his country had to offer, no matter where in the country that service was located.He d...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Yesterday the President was the guest of House Republican leaders at the congressional GOP issues conference. The questioning was pretty respectful and Obama fielded them with ease. Things heated up when Jeb Hensarling, a former chief of staff to ex-Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, asked the final question. His question was framed as a critique of the "unconscionable debt", Obama had piled onto us and our children. Hensarling indicated Democrats has ignored Republicans and prevented them from offering input on 2009 budget issues.  He dismissed the Obama economic stimulus as being bad for the economy. "Many of us believe it's part of the problem and not part of the solution," said Hensarling. Obama shook his head many times as Hensarling structured his question. It was obvious Obama was not i...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
Congresswoman  Barbara Bachmann, appearing on conservative talker Dom Giordano's radio show in Philadelphia seems to have received some ungentlemanly treatment by Arlen Specter.  You can hear the radio audio and read the full article here.         "Now wait a minute. I'll stop and you can talk," Specter said. "I'll treat you like a lady. So act like one."   "I am a lady," Bachmann replied. More than once he made a snide remark to her during the interview.  Personally I find his treatment of Bachmann offensive. Often politicians talk over each other during interviews.  What would Arlen have said if his opponent was a man?This summer Arlen was less than receptive to citizens during a Town Hall meeting.  Perhaps Arlen's cantankerous behavior has worn sufficiently thin.  He has become more ...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  This week we greeted David Stevens of HUD as a new member here on Active Rain.  We are all glad he has brought Washington directly to us.  Hopefully he will interact with us. We are the professionals who actually have our fingers on the pulse of the real estate market.  170,000 strong makes us a viable resource for the government to liaison with. His blog Todays Announcements  gave us a view of the changes being implemented in FHA.  The measures being adopted are to raise the 2% minimum reserves while at the same time, "making sure not to overly, adversely, impact this housing market at a critical time"One of the changes involves the "seller funded downpayment assistance" or SFDPA. These modifications will be rolled out about the time the $8,000.00 stimulus for first time home buyers ...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Another sign of our troubled times.  Today a list of stores and businesses likely to close in the near future was released. Some of them have been household names for generations. At least 3 of them I love to patronize because of the manufacturers and brands they carry.  Our selections are beginning to shrink some more. Surely this is not a sign that our economy is recovering. ZALES ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH GAME STOP BARNES AND NOBLE HOT TOPIC DILLARDS JC PENNEY STEIN MART ____________________________________________________
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Used to think it was just the usual folks here on AR who blamed Bush for everything.  Surprised Bush was not blamed for the earthquake in Haiti. Two Gubernatorial defeats in November.  Would you think you'd get the message? On Tuesday the Dems suffer a stunning defeat.  They really thought they had Kennedy's seat all sewn up. Does the administration now know the American public is angered? You Betcha!  Do you think Obama finally gets it?  Think again. Not only does Obama not get it - guess who he blames?  George Bush. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos that's exactly what he did.   Figures. Obama Blames Bush for Martha Coakley Loss in Massachusetts Obama says he was just too busy to speak directly to the American public about their core values.  We don't need no lectures Barry...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
            What a night.  Massachusetts speaks for WE THE PEOPLE!  This has to be the clearest message the Obama administration has received.  Almost a year to the day Obama was sworn in - he got a resounding DEFEAT!! Have no fear - the revolution begins once again in Massachusetts.  Sam Adams would be proud. Scott Brown has captured the coveted Kennedy Senatorial seat more than handily. The citizens of Massachusetts braved cold and foul weather to come out in droves and vote against Obama and his agenda. This will energize American Patriots across our country to continue to Kick The Bums Out in November.                         Let the Revolution Begin.   ________________________________________
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Recently I read an article in the Scranton Times-Tribune concerning LED traffic lights.  The Federal Energy Policy of 2005 banned the use of incandescent lights in favor of LED's. Traffic lights in North East Pa have been converted to LED over the past seven years.  Almost immediately it was apparent that in bright sunshine the lights are difficult and sometimes impossible to discern the color.  Sun light reflecting off the lights makes them all appear to be lite. At least one traffic fatality in Illinois has been directly related to LED use. A 34 year old driver was making a left turn at an intersection during a snow storm. The driver coming towards that intersection did not realize they had a red light. It was obscured by snow.  The other driver plowed into the vehicle driven by Lis...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Tonight I received this email from my broker.  I thought the issue was extremely important to all Realtors and wanted to pass it along.   I've heard that Cap and Trade contained a provision which could cause homeowners to retrofit their homes prior to selling them.    We know that would be a huge financial undertaking for owners prior to selling a home.  Potentially it could deal a terrible blow to an already floundering Real Estate market. Have you ever wondered what NAR does with some of you annual dues?  NAR hires lobbyists to fight, either for or against bills which directly affect our business.  NAR keeps on top of all bills and pending legislation that affect our industry.  In case you have not kept abreast of the status of the Cap and Trade bill, this article might be of intere...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
Late last year Glen Beck and Bill O'Reilly announced that they were collaborating on a tour.  The Bold Fresh Tour starts later this month.  Beck and O'Reilly together is destined to be a night to be remembered.  Within days all the scheduled tours were sold out.Bold Fresh Tour   The public has been clamoring ever since for more dates in more cities.  Today it was announced to meet the public demand, a simulcast has been scheduled for January 30, 2010, at 8pm Eastern Time.  If you want to see this program live it will be available at local theaters nationwide.  Check out the website for a theater near you.  Simulcast   ___________________________________________
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
              The Dumb Friends League.  What an intriguing name.  A non-profit group started by Colorado Dermatologist Dr. Leslie Capin. Between Paris Hilton and two movies "Legally Blonde" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" a craze began to own the tiny dogs featured. Chihuahua's were hitting the market in record numbers.  As people found out these pint sized dogs were not for every family, they began to dump them at animal shelters. Hundreds of discarded and unwanted Chihuahua's are being put down in California shelters. There are simply not enough homes in California to absorb them. Dr. Capin won a contest with her Chihuahua for the cutest dog.  The prize was a million dollars.  Dr. Capin founded this organization to bring Chihuahuas out of California to states where they would stand a be...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  We all heard that the Obama's did not want the traditional nativity scene displayed at the White House.                    The Obama's wanted a non-religious celebration.     The Nativity has been a fixture for every Christmas since it was donated to the White House.    It is a beautiful historic 18th century Italian Crésche. Obama wants to be a Man For All Seasons.    Devoid of any religious affiliation.    No flavor selection like Chocolate, Vanilla or Mint Chip.    No celebration that might offend some special interest group.                              The oh so politically correct President Obama. When did a President occupy the White House who was afraid to announce that they had a religious conviction?  While Reagan was not a regular church goer, he never failed to speak of hi...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
Yet another story is being reported today that should raise alarms and concerns with those who value our right to free speech.               No it is not being carried by the Main Stream Media.  Little attention is being paid to this incident and the majority of Americans have no idea what has gone on. Within 23 hours of the Christmas Day attempted sabotage of Flight 253, an internal memo entitled Security Directive SD-1544-09-06, was distributed by TSA on counter measures they intended to institute.  The memo was distributed internally to TSA employees.  It is important to note that this directive was not "secret" or "classified" information. Almost immediately Fox News reported the new initiatives as well as two bloggers Chris Elliott and Steve Frischling.  Elliott writes a travel co...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
This poem was sent to me by a good friend and fellow Realtor Mike O'Boyle from Luzerne County Pa.  I thought it was worth passing along to my Active Rain friends. No matter how our military prepares to celebrate a normal Christmas for our troops - there will be many entrenched in uncomfortable and hostileconditions.  Remember them when you celebrate your joy and good tidings with your family. T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE, IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.   I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.   I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.   NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.   WITH M...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  It was reported that one Commander in the Iraq theater intends to strenuously enforce military code which prohibits soldiers from becoming pregnant while in a combat zone. When either a male or a female join the military service they vow to uphold Corps First and the Mission.  Pregnancy severely impacts the continuity of the strength of the force.  It removes trained and valuable components from the field of battle and leaves the unit short staffed. This is not an issue which discriminates upon women.  If a woman chooses the Military for her career, and is deployed to a war zone, it is her responsibility to honor all military code.  Calling this a discriminatory issue is asinine. Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, Commander of the Multi-National Division-North in Iraq has generated standing or...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  Today it was announced by Gallup that our Congress has reached a new high point. 55% of the American Public think badly of our current Congress. 51% of the American Public think badly of car salesmen. It would seem that our Congress is viewed as worse than the much maligned car salesman. Congratulations to the men and women of our sitting Congress. You guys have really worked hard to elevate yourselves in the eyes of the public. You have been voted the most SLEAZY by Americans.  What a distinction!  What an embarrassment!   ______________________________________________
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
The latest theory driving global warming is not that the earth is warming or cooling, but that it is OVER POPULATED. Solutions such as adopting China's one child policy are being discussed in Copenhagen. Read the full article to get a handle on exactly how Global Warming is going to be used to spread population control.  Canada's Financial Post Diane Francis, writing for Canada’s Financial Post, begins an editorial by declaring a myth — the world is over-populated. “The ‘inconvenient truth’ overhanging the UN’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world,” she writes. “A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births ev...
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By Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
  It seems that right after the turkey gets cold we are hearing the familiar bell of the Salvation Army.  It reminds us that this is a season of GIVING as well as RECIEVING. Some times you wonder when you see those kettles, or other groups vying for your donation dollars - How Many People Will It Really Help? Over the years my Sister and I have supported various efforts only to find out how much of each dollar went to administrative costs. This year my sister contacted her parish office and specifically asked if there were families in the parish who needed help.  Of course the answer was yes!  In more affluent parishes whose members include highly paid professionals, the needy of the parish always have benefactors.  Our parish is less affluent with many older members on limited incomes....
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