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urbie

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About urbie

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    Whistle-Stop

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    http://www.kafalas.com
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  • Location
    Mt. Hope, off Hope
  1. The one on Hope St. was pretty close to full when I walked by yesterday -- they don't have a drive-through, however. Urb
  2. My favorite were the drive-thru liquor stores in Arizona, on the way out to the Rez.... Urb
  3. Well, no -- I'm not asking for a check from GWB. He sent us one for $600 a few years ago -- it was not enough to buy our vote. Basically, I'm just being cranky here -- but to take up the point you're making, if the money has already been allocated for rail, then spending the $100 million (or whatever the real cost would be; probably higher) on this station just means that there's $100 million less to spend somewhere else, e.g., extending service further past Providence, adding more trains, maybe running trains to someplace like Worcester, or whatever else we can dream up. Various articles at the beginning of this thread say that the last time a passenger train stopped at Pawtucket was either 1959, the late '70s, or some other date -- a long time ago in any case. If there is such a compelling need for this stop, spaced so closely in between Providence and S. Attleboro, then why was it not an issue until what's-his-name-binder decided he wanted to knock it down and do something else with the property? When I take a train from here (east side), I take the 99 bus downtown, then walk over to the train station and pick it up there. From Pawtucket, you take the same bus, and it's an extra 10 minutes. Seriously, how many people are clamoring to commute from there to Boston but who are not doing it now because of the bus ride they'd have to take? (Probably some, but not many.) Also, the proposal described in the Times article mentions building parking lots -- but if people are going to drive to the station, they can drive an extra 10 minutes to S. Attleboro. I just don't see the "rational arguments" in favor of adding a stop -- again, for only a few trains a day, and at such huge expense (meanwhile reducing the property tax base) -- so close between the stops we've already got. The non-rational argument is that the station is an attractive building (albeit a derelict one) that might be nice to save. Fair enough. OTOH, that's a matter of taste; one person's "Beaux Arts" is another's "white elephant." (Not mine, I'm just sayin'....) Urb
  4. How accurate was the Pawtucket Times article (yesterday), which stated: "David Wilcock of VHB said a T stop would call for two 800-foot-long platforms, which with attendant costs such as night work required to move existing catenaries would range from $25 million to $50 million; $30 million in railroad improvements subject to negotiation with Amtrak; $40-$55 million for capital costs; and $800,000 to $1 million in annual operating and maintenance costs. Incidental potential costs for real estate and relocations could add another $35 million, all to be paid half federal and the remainder from state, local or other resources." Geezus -- that's saying it would cost a minimum of $95 million (of taxpayer funds, probably a combination of federal pork-barrel, state, and local) to reactivate the train station. For what? A couple of trains a day that would stop, in each direction? Preservation is a nice objective, but if these cost figures are anywhere near accurate, it's ridiculous. I've been following the preservation fight (eventually lost to the developer) over the huge Danvers State Hospital building -- some local preservationists wanted to keep this 120-year-old building, which was one of the biggest buildings in the country and was falling down (as in, floors caved in and stuff). You can't preserve every old building that looks nice. When the market is saying there's a better use for it, that's what should happen. Within reason (zoning, attempts made to prevent the new thing from being too much of a monstrosity, etc.).... Urb
  5. Wow -- 50 gallons a day. Those oysters really drink like fish! Urb
  6. "Stuff" was supposed to come today, but -- moving companies being how they are -- it got bumped back to Monday. Fortunately, we brought as much stuff with us as can possibly be crammed into a Jeep Cherokee. We're on the air thanks to a stray wireless signal from somewhere nearby... Urb
  7. Donuts -- in our household, they're known as "good carbs!" Urb
  8. That sounds like banks making stupid loans they shouldn't have made. Hey, if someone wants to lend her more money than she's good for, is it her fault for taking them up on it? But yeah, stuff like that certainly happens in volatile real-estate markets. The huge one, out here, was the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, which invested hundreds of millions of parishioners' dollars in real-estate that they thought would go nowhere but up -- and if it had, no one would have been the wiser. But the market started to go down, the foundation did all kinds of chicanery to cover it up, and eventually the whole thing came tumbling down. People lost their life's savings, etc., and eventually, the perps were tried and convicted: http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2003/0703/dept/d075003.htm (The author is one of my accounting profs from NAU.) If banks are still lending money to your neighbor, though, they are the ones at fault -- they're not doing their homework. And you should buy the tax liens -- you can end up picking up property for a fraction of what it's worth.... Urb
  9. Well, the LLC really only protects the owners from financial liability incurred by the LLC itself. And as a practical matter, that doesn't really do much -- because lenders are not going to make a loan to the LLC if they think it's a bad credit risk. They'll do it, but they will require the owners (or "members") to sign a personal guaranty, assuming liability for the loan. So in effect, it's the same as if you had borrowed money directly. And no business organization -- not an LLC, S Corp, or even a C Corp -- protects the owner from being sued for negligence (or other things you get sued over). The domain owner of UP can claim to be immune from lawsuits based on, say, libelous statements posted on the board, but that is not going to hold up in court. If you do shoddy work, injure someone, etc., you can get sued for every penny you have, even if it was your LLC that was contracted to do the work. Basically, I think "limited liability company" is a misnomer, because it really doesn't limit your liability unless your customers or clients let it. A lender isn't going to loan your LLC $100,000 without a personal guaranty, which renders the whole thing pointless. For our purposes, the LLC was convenient (back when we had actual consulting work) just because we could contract for "the company" to do work, and the client didn't care how much of it I did and how much Meg did, as long as the work got done. We'd bill them for so many hours, and it was just for "X hours of work done by whichever of us felt like doing it that day." Urb PS -- [edited to say] Those with sharp eyes may have noticed that one Ra
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