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Alien Invaders?

Not likely, but I am sure that folks from Maryland to Hampton Roads probably imagined they saw some UFOs last night after seeing bright shooting lights and cacophonous explosions in the sky.  I personally was not one of the witnesses to this strange phenomenon, I just found out about this when reading and article in HamptonRoads.com entitled, “Streaming lights, explosions reported all along the coast“.  According to this article, the National Weather Service has not yet released an explanation as to what those light and sounds were.  So far the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office has said that there could be a number of possible explanations for this event and that there are people looking into what was the source of the bright streaking light and the subsequent explosion.

Witnesses to this phenomena claimed it was like an orange fireball that streaked across the night sky followed by a loud explosion.   The American Meteor Society is asking any witnesses to this event to go to fill out their Fireball Reporting Form in hopes of being able to identify what this phenomenon actually was.  If you were a witness to this event, please go to the Fireball Reporting Form and give the details of what you saw.  The form may seem a little intimidating at first to those who are not very familiar with the terminology used in astronomy, but it offers explanations to any terms that may be difficult to understand.  This information provided by witnesses can help scientist find a general location where they can search for any evidence of the occurrence.

Please click the following link if you would like to read this article in its entirety at HamptonRoads.com.

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Va Tech remembrance walk/run

While reading an article in HamptonRoads.com just now, I was reminded that the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings is coming up.  According to this article entitled, “Run, walk at VaTech to remember slaying victims”,  Virginia tech will hold a 3.2 mile run/walk on the second anniversary of the VaTech slayings in remembrance of the 32 students who were killed on April 16, 2007.

This “Run for Remembrance”, which will take place on April 16 is free and open to all who wish to participate.  The course will start at the Alumni Mall and stretch 3.2 miles to the Drillfield near the schools memorial for the victims of the April 16 shootings.  This event will begin at 8 a.m. With a balloon release.  There will be a banner for all the participants to sign that will bear the slogan, “I ran 3.2 for the 32”.  At the conclusion of the walk/run organizers will take a group photo of all the runners and walkers.

This is a great opportunity for students, staff and local-area residents to show support for the families of the victims who were murdered in that tragic campus shooting spree.  Pre-registration is recommended.  If you would like to register in advance, you can do so by visiting this registration page.   By pre-registering on that page, you can also request a t-shirt in your size. For more information, please visit the Va Tech Department of Recreational Sports website.

Virginia Tech has suspended all classes on the 16th of April in remembrance of the event that claimed the lives of 32 of its students.

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Change in Real Estate Market in Tidewater Virginia

Today shall we talk about the weather in this area, blowing rain, cold, grey day. Miserable? Not so much! Culpepper Landing one of the neighborhoods I sell in, was very busy with traffic today. People came out in the rain to see the site of Homearama 2009. I also had the privilege of writing a contract for a couple to build a home. They are so excited about the neighborhood they are trying to talk some friends into moving here. Please check out www.culpepperlanding.com. Also, if you aren’t familiar with the neighborhood concept of Traditional Neighborhood Development, google the phrase. This is the way we use to live, before we became clositered in our back yard with a six foot privacy fence and never met the neighbors. You’ll love the concept. The neighborhood will take your breath away.  Since the media continues to print the negative, I’ve decided to take a stand for letting my readers know, what’s happening in my neck of the woods. Please feel free to write your comments, ask questions or just share a thought. My passion has been real estate in some form or fashion most of my life.  I’ve decided to share the passion in a positive and real world way. Enjoy!

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New smoking law passed in Virginia

According to an article that I have just read in HamptonRoads.com entitled,”General Assembly passes partial smoking ban in restaurants” the Virginia General Assembly has voted 27-13 in favor of SB1105, a measure that bans smoking in most bars and restaurants in Virginia.  From now on smoking will only be allowed in facilities that have separate smoking areas equipped with independent ventilation systems, establishments with open-air outdoor patios and private clubs.

This law will go into effect starting December 1, 2009.  There is a provision in the bill that will allow bar and restaurant employees who so choose, to work outside designated smoking areas without being subject to professional punishment.

I applaud this move to help ensure the rights of those who do not smoke.  Regardless of whether they are restaurant employees or patrons, non smokers should not be exposed to second hand smoke against their will.  I also applaud the wording of SB21105 because it allows provisions for businesses that would still like to offer their customers the option to smoke.  I know in some foreign countries, when a smoking ban law is passed, it applies across the board, not allowing restaurants, bars and clubs the option to have separate smoking sections or be exclusively for smokers.

A similar law SB1106, which would have made it illegal for people to smoke in a motor vehicle when a child is present and would have cost violators $100 in fines was not passed.  I found this a bit strange.  I wonder whether our legislators should be more concerned with the rights of those who cannot protect themselves (children) over those who can (adults).  After all, an adult can choose to go to another restaurant or bar but a child cannot choose to not drive in their parent’s car.  It will be interesting to see if SB1106 comes before the Assembly again in the future.

Please click to read this article in its entirety at HamptonRoads.com.  This article also has a list of how all of our representatives voted on Sb1105

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Help the Virginia Beach SPCA’s Neuter Scooter go green

I was just looking at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s website when I saw a call for folks to donate their used vegetable oil to help power the VBSPCA’s Neuter Scooter.

If you are not aware of what the Neuter Scooter is, it is just that, a scooter that the VBSPCA uses to do on-site spaying and neutering in areas outside of Virginia Beach. The Virginia Beach SPCA is currently working on making the scooter more environmentally friendly by modifying it so that it can run on bio-fuel (vegetable-based oil). By doing this, the SPCA hopes to save two-thirds of the amount of diesel fuel they are currently using to power the scooter.

In order to keep the Neuter Scooter running so that it can continue serving the Eastern Shore, Chesapeake, Franklin, Portsmouth and Suffolk, the SPCA is asking for folks to donate their used vegetable oil. If you are interested in helping the SPCA reach their goal of 250 gallons of purified vegetable oil, you can bring your used frying oil including vegetable, sunflower, peanut or canola oils in their original containers to the green collection bins located in the parking lot of the Virginia Beach SPCA. You can bring your used vegetable-based oils (no animal-based oils) anytime including when the shelter is closed.

For years the Virginia Beach SPCA has been working towards being more environmentally friendly with their “Poop Polutes” campaign. Now they are going further towards making their operations more sustainable by helping to recycle (reuse) used vegetable oils and at the same time helping to cut their fuel costs.

If you would like more information please contact the VBSPCA’s Development Director, Karla Campbell at development@vbspca.com or 427-0070 Ext. 14.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Beach SPCA’s website.

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Homicides down 25% in Hampton Roads area

While reading some artivcles in hamptonroaads.com just now I ran across one entitled, “2008 homicide rates drop 25 percent in Hampton Roads”. I was glad to see soemthing positive especially this reduction in a violent crime like murder. Some Hampton roads cities had the same number or fewer homicides while some saw a sligh increase but overall, these numbers are promising.

There were a total of 98 homicides in 2008 in the Hampton Roads region compared to 131 in 2007. The cities which showed the biggest reduction in homicides were Newport News (down 42.9%), Norfolk (down 42.9%) and Portsmouth (down 5.9%). There were no changes in Chesapeake or virginia Beach and homicide rates actually rose 14.3% in Hampton. Suffolk did not provide any statistics so I am unsure whether homicide rates rose, dropped or stayed the same.

Police sources are attributing this reduction in homicides to having removed certain elements from the local communities. According to Newport News police spokesman, Lou Thurston, “”I think over the year we have successfully removed some of the right people from the community, and I think that has probably helped in lowering the numbers.”

This is good news for the Hampton Roads area. I personally feel better knowing that homicide numbers are declining, hopefully there will be even less this year. I am wondering what the personal and property crime figures from 2008 will say. I also wonder if the current economic problems facing the nation will have an effect on thefts in general in this coming year.

Click to read this article in its entirety.

I hope everyone enjoys a Happy, safe and prosperous 2009.

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Hampton Roads annual open house and holiday home tours

November 29th and 30th marked the beginning of this season’s annual open house and holiday home tours in Hampton Roads.  For those who are not familiar with this annual event sponsored by Hampton roads area civic groups is a wonderful opportunity to tour some beautiful local homes and neighborhoods as well as meet other Hampton Roads residents.  The tours will feature decorated homes and neighborhoods, antique shows, exotic car shows and bake sales as well as wine tastings, auctions, arts and crafts and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia will be hosting a canned food drive.  If you love historic architecture, you will not want to miss these wonderful viewings.

If you are interested in finding more information including ticket costs, dates, locations and phone number to more information, please click here.

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