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Jackie Craven ~ Writer
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Jackie Craven ~ Writer

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I'm moving!  Please visit me at Google+ for all the most recent posts. 
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Welcome! Please visit my Google+ Profile to post messages and read updates.
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Do Americans Have Rights To Their Homes? - As the United States celebrates its Independence Day, many Americans are still reeling over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling -- from 2005. http://ow.ly/2y698g
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Did a little bit more research on HR 1944. It's twofer for Republicans; a way to slice away at yet another popular social program; sheep in wolf clothing, once again.  From CBO:

H.R. 1944 would deny federal economic development assistance to state or local governments that exercise the power of eminent domain for economic development purposes or to take property from a tax-exempt entity, such as a religious or nonprofit organization. (Eminent domain is the right to take private property for public use.) The bill also would prohibit federal agencies from engaging in such practices. Private property owners would be given the right to bring legal actions seeking enforcement of those provisions, and the bill would waive states’ Constitutional immunity to such suits. Finally, H.R. 1944 would require the Attorney General to notify states and the public of how the legislation would affect individuals’ property rights and to report to the Congress each year on private rights of action brought against state and local governments.

CBO expects that few state and local governments would receive reduced federal assistance because the use of eminent domain for the purposes targeted by the bill would be infrequent. Therefore, CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would have no significant net effect on those expenditures to state and local governments over the next five years. We estimate that additional reporting by the Attorney General would cost less than $500,000 over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 1944 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

H.R. 1944 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), but it would impose significant new conditions on the receipt of federal economic development assistance by state and local governments. (Such conditions are not considered mandates under UMRA.) Because the bill’s provisions would apply to a large pool of funds, the bill effectively would restrict the use of eminent domain by state and local governments and would limit the ability of local governments to manage land use in their jurisdictions. Further, state and local governments could incur significant legal expenses to respond to private legal actions authorized by the bill.

Many states have amended their constitutions or enacted laws to directly or indirectly prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes.

Furthermore, the bill would provide several exceptions, including takings for public use, for public rights of way, for utilities, to acquire abandoned property, and to remove immediate threats to public health and safety. While data on eminent domain is difficult to obtain at the national level, evidence suggests that its use solely for economic development purposes is minimal compared to other purposes, such as public infrastructure projects (which would be allowed under the bill without penalty). Finally, CBO expects that most state and local governments would not risk the loss of federal economic development assistance by exercising the use of eminent domain in situations described by the bill.
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's American Idea - Architecture, said Frank Lloyd Wright in 1930, is the scientific art of making structure express ideas. Back when Wright's Prairie houses were new and trendy, the master architect decided to design a more economical, simplified version of the style. The result? Wright's new idea was a uniquely American style he called Usonian. As it turned out, these little houses weren't really cheap, but they were compact and efficient, which stil... http://ow.ly/2y2ISj
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Jackie Craven ~ Writer

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Zimmerman - Can you judge a book by its cover? Exuberant Rococo style interiors are sometimes surprising when the exterior architecture is austere. Such is the case with the Bavarian church Wieskirche in the rural southern German town of Wies. Completed in 1754, the Pilgrimage Church of Wies is the work of the Zimmerman brothers from the Wessobrunn, an area well-known for its stucco artisans. Along with his older brother, the fresco master Johann Baptist Zimmerman, Do... http://ow.ly/2xZEpI
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Jackie Craven ~ Writer

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Remembering Philip Johnson - American architect Philip Johnson lived for 98 years, leaving a legacy of 20th century skyscrapers, postmodernism, glass, and celebrity. In New York City, Johnson is perhaps best known for the Lipstick Building at 53rd and Third and the nearby Chippendale-topped AT&T Headquarters. Johnson's other skyscrapers include the Transco Tower in Houston and (with Mies van der Rohe) the Seagram Building, whose Four Seasons Restaurant became ... http://ow.ly/2ybzHm
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Jefferson's Capitol Idea - We can thank Thomas Jefferson for the classical profile of America's famous Capitol building (see larger image). Jefferson was influential in turning down many plans. He suggested that the building be modeled after the Roman Pantheon with a circular domed rotunda. When Thomas Jefferson talks, people listen. Learn More: The U.S. Capitol Famous Buildings in Washington, DC Visit more great buildings Photo of the U.S.Capitol courtesy of Architect... http://ow.ly/2y8Vfq
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Jackie Craven ~ Writer

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Adam's Style - What's a Scot got to do with American Federal style homes and urban design? If you enjoy refined, dignified Adam homes or blocks of townhouses surrounding a city square, then you can thank the Scottish-born architect Robert Adam, born on this day, July 3, in 1728. Robert Adam traveled to Italy and fell in love with classical architecture, especially Roman design. Adam and his brothers revolutionized English domestic architecture when they incorporated R... http://ow.ly/2y4yGJ
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Oh, Canada! - July 1 is Canada Day, a time to celebrate all things Canadian. Top on my list? The soaring CN Tower in Toronto. For many years, the CN Tower ranked as the world's tallest structure. Now that title is taken by newer buildings. But even if it isn't number 1, Canada's tower is amazing and, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Wonder of the Modern World. Related: What Is the World's Tallest Building? More Architecture in Canada: Free S... http://ow.ly/2y1dFY
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Jackie Craven ~ Writer

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Updates: June 23 - 29, 2013 - What's it take to crack a metal bridge, a pipeline, or a skyscraper's framework? Cornell University graduate student Geoffrey Bomarito hopes to further the study of metal failure through computational testing. His three-minute video, How and When Metals Fail, explores material failure, fatigue, and fracture through structural modelling—on a computer. His easy-to-understand video, recently posted on Cornellcast, demonstrates how compu... http://ow.ly/2xYwbh
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Writer, old-house lover, and Guide to Architecture at About.com
Introduction
I write about architecture and travel destinations, and also enjoy experimental fiction and poetry.