Recycle Paint and Save: Gain Style

Herkimer home makeover that’s super greenHerkimer home makeover

 

In this photo, the wallpaper is paint, and the microwave counter used to be an IKEA bookcase door.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the local real estate ads, it’s easy to see how people keep it simple and boring. Ripping out antique kitchens is common. Panel and plaster walls are replaced with drywall. No old sinks need apply. Everything must look new.

Find opportunities to use what you have when updating your home

When we rip that old stuff out, we are adding more waste to an overburdened environment. We spend more money and cause needless energy loss by manufacturing and shipping unnecessary products. Taking a step back and rethinking design with more reuse can save us money while increasing style and charm.

My current home renovation has an extremely modest budget. I’ve recycled materials I  already have and  lowered labor costs by learning new skills on YouTube. Originally, I planned to rip out the stainless kitchen sink and put in a new one. But by banging out a dent with a hammer, I saved hundreds of dollars in labor and materials. 

 

 

In the upstairs bathroom I also reconsidered replacing the vanity. It was missing a drawer, and the area around the drain was stained and showed some wear. Paint, nail polish and a wood scrap did the trick and saved me from purchasing a vanity and hiring a plumber.

 

 

 

Many people see discolored or bumpy walls and think they need to repaint and re-plaster everything. But often it’s not at all necessary. The wallpaper you see in these photos has been painted on top of existing surfaces.

Some inexpensive materials can improve your project

        

Acrylic paints including metallic and iridescent colors add interest and conceal flawspersonalize your antique home

Gorilla glue is amazingly strong. It dries in 2 hours and works better if you use a clamp to hold materials in place. If part of your sink base is rotted, you can cut it out, and replace it with new wood.  Nail polish can be used for designs on wet areas like the bathroom sink. But it does need to be renewed once or twice a year. For flooring and stair treads, you might consider ¼ inch 4 x 10 recycled rubber gym mats. Walmart has a good selection of acrylic paints in their crafts section including iridescent and metallic colors. A small container can go a long way. Make it work :)!

by Linda Kaidan

Why Herkimer Real estate is so very valuable, Despite legacy criminals

 

Conquer Legacy Criminals and Win Big!

As I was engaging in one of my favorite hobbies this morning – virtual house hunting – I came across a real gem: For only $39,000, a house listed in Berlin NY with 1.5 baths, ¼ acre, in excellent condition on a scenic lot. The last purchasers paid $100,000 in 2007. It even has a barn with a hayloft and 2 car garage. So pretty. So why the low price?

Looking at the map, I could see that Albany, NY, Bennington, VT and Pittsfield, MA were within 40 miles of the property. I also could see that the town of Berlin was accessible only by secondary roads and was clearly cut off from eastern travel by mountains. Ok, so lots of nice country places are isolated. Perhaps there was a flood? Outstanding Berlin, New York blogger Elaine Supkis, described how in 2011 floods completely cut the small town off from the rest of the world, with photographs of washed out roads. The only way out was on horse or by foot.

Location connectivity climate change safety – valuable Herkimer assets

Herkimer, New York, unlike Berlin, is fortunate to be located on I-90, a principal US highway, reliable almost every day of the year. For those of us who love nature and the convenience of being within walking distance of amenities like health care, supermarkets, retail stores, pharmacies and government services, Utica’s Amtrak station and regional bus service, Herkimer is a superb location. Of course, the minus of Herkimer is its entrenched criminal element, which has diminished of late but remains emboldened by decades of malgovernance. Herkimer’s criminals are a shrinking minority, doomed by the dynamics of climate change migration and ongoing major law enforcement operations. If we all stand against them, Herkimer can again be a law abiding, safe and prosperous place. Pioneers fought for their homes and communities. They won. So will we. Conquer legacy criminals and win big!

Herkimer County Ideal for Hurricane Refugees

by Linda J. Kaidan

What makes Herkimer County ideal place to live?

What makes coastal areas like Houston and Florida Dangerous?

Places like Houston, TX where Hurricane Harvey left 100’s of thousands homeless. In Florida 20 million FL residents were asked to prepare to evacuate the state due to Irma, a hurricane larger than the entire state. At least 39% of Americans (excluding Alaska) live in coastal counties.  Climate is likely to make their lives even more precarious as time goes by.

In many of the flooded regions, bacteria from raw sewage is mixing with stagnant water, leaving millions at risk of highly communicable diseases like cholera. While many are adamant that they will rebuild, many if not most won’t. This is because they lack flood insurance or because insurers are simply not able to cover such massive losses. The awesome storms we’ve seen these past weeks are becoming more frequent and ferocious. A settled life along the Atlantic and Gulf seaboards is becoming impossible. Families and businesses will see the logic of relocating to places marked as relatively safe, such as Central New York and Herkimer County.

The smartest people will be the first to realize that threats of climate change disaster make it impossible to have a viable future where they live. The map we saw in the New York Times, highlighting the bright future of Herkimer is a quiet understatement of America’s impending GDP loss.

Where should endangered coastal residents relocate?

Many of the cities and towns around the Great Lakes are in the Rust Belt. They lost jobs and population years ago, when much of our manufacturing went off shore. Years of economic decline led to migration away from these formerly prosperous places, such as Herkimer. In adversity lies opportunity:  there are many homes and commercial areas available for very low prices in these economically depressed parts of the US.  But those who come will come north from the coasts, delighted to find havens of affordable, well-built homes may face some hardships of entrenched corruption and crime that form the underground economy of many Rust Belt towns and villages, like Herkimer.

Crime exists everywhere including the long-neglected factory towns like ours that dot the America’s climate change survival belt. Nor is it reflective of most Herkimer’s residents; they’ve been cowed by decades of malfeasance and a core of cops eager to serve Herkimer’s cash-heavy criminals.

What should we do for a better Herkimer future?

Let’s ensure that crime and failed governance don’t stop the crucial development needed to relocate populations and businesses to climate change havens like Herkimer. Migration to central New York from the coasts will be a huge, disruptive but inevitable transition. It will be one we can take advantage of for own purposes as well as aiding others.   This inpouring of people starting fresh lives will mean jobs for our youth with brighter career prospects than drug dealing. And it will broaden educational opportunities, not just in professional jobs but also in highly skilled trades.

Lots of people are going to be coming here, sooner than later, people with skills, education and determination.  With them will come growing educational and economic opportunities. We can welcome them and a bright new future by demonstrating we’re a functional community, where crime is non-violent, not blatantly conducted on the street and is well-exposed by genuine journalism. The Herkimer Post will continue doing its part, bringing sunlight to darkness. But we’re merely a messenger. Rapid change is inevitable. Those who are part of the solution can prosper.

Herkimer Post Crime Editor Stephen Ames Berry contributed to this article.

Artsy Practical DIY Renovation Examples

artsy kitchen bar by Linda Kaidan

High end DIY custom bar – Under $50

I would like to brag about my new DIY custom bar. It fits exactly in the spot I allocated and is 2 ft. wide, 4 feet long and 34 inches high. The top is a piece of ¾ inch oak plywood purchased at Lowes for $18. I stained it with red maple Johnson’s Mini wax purchased at ACE (next to Aldi’s) in Ilion for $7.50. I sealed it with 2 coats of polyurethane for about $2 (using less than ¼ pint). The single leg is hairpin midcentury style purchased on Amazon for $22. It took about 2 hours to construct including corrections for certain errors. The only tools required were an electric drill and bit, manual screw driver and a level. I used 4 #6 screws (best to use ¾ inch length).  The total cost for this artsy practical DIY renovation is $49.50.

Interior doorway – An artsy practical DIY Renovation for Free!

 

artsy entryway by Linda Kaidan

The interior open doorway was created through a subtractive rather than an additive process. I chipped away at plasterboard to reveal the underlying structure rather than covering the rough opening with wood. The festive doorway decoration was created using an old Guess skirt with really nice fabric that no one wanted to buy from me :0. The fish medallion was an old present from my daughters. During the process of plaster chipping, I was surprised by a flying bit which got stuck in my eye; so make sure you use safety glasses! The total cost of this delightful doorway was my favorite price – zero dollars.

Entryway coat rack – $3

artsy coat rack by Linda Kaidan

At the front door, I used a strip of 1 inch x ¾ inch x 4ft pine left over from another project. I added 6 very inexpensive hooks which can be purchased in quantity for $3 to $5 to create miscellaneous storage for coats and other random items. The total cost was $3. The art in this photo was created by Linda Kaidan and Alexandra Kaidan Berry and can be purchased at our 2Kaidans store on Etsy.com for $15 and under per print. We appreciate your business!

Climate change projected to improve Herkimer NY economy

by Linda Kaidan

Loss of GDP caused by climate change predicted to be widespread across US

Yesterday’s New York Times discussed damage to our economy likely to be caused by climate change. Herkimer County NY (see above map)  is likely to have GDP growth of at least 5% per year rather than GDP decline. This is indicated by the dark green color on the map. Similar advantages of climate are shared by west Alaska, adjacent Hamilton County and Maine.

Climate Change DEMOGRAPHICS will transform herkimer

The Herkimer Post’s recent review of Herkimer’s soaring home sales strongly hints that retirees who might once have moved South are relocating to Central New York, and especially to conveniently-located Herkimer. Given increasingly refined and alarming climate change figures, this migration trend’s likely to accelerate. 

There’s little residential construction in Herkimer and the supply of available housing is small. Competition for existing homes will become brisk. Buyers of vacation homes may also be turning their eyes from the sandy but imperiled Atlantic and Gulf beach communities north to the Mohawk Valley and Southern Adirondacks.

A critical mass of middle and upper-middle-class home buyers inevitably transform a community. Landlords either sell out or renovate properties to appeal to affluent newcomers. Empty storefronts become shops again. The police become responsive and the streets safe as criminals move on, no longer tolerated and unable to make a living. We saw this transformation happen in Boston’s Roxbury and Charlestown, and we’re seeing it begin here in Herkimer.

Promising new technologies can reduce greenhouse gas

This map projection of the future is likely to be optimistic–climate change becomes more erratic and costly every year. Yet there are many technologies that will help combat this devastating process. As our president continues to deny climate change, some technology innovators are filling the gap left by ineffectual governance.

Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund supporting development of clean energy technology, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Co-founders include Jeff Bezos and Richard Brandon. The goal of the fund is to build companies that will provide affordable emissions-free energy. Gates is personally investing $1 billion in startups and companies starting this year.

Climeworks, a new Swiss company hopes to extract 1% of worldwide CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. Company founders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher invented a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology while students at ETH Zurich. They have lowered the cost of CO2 extraction from the air to less than $600 per ton. Climeworks envisions that they can create 250,000 plants by 2025.

Reducing greenhouse gases is essential to the planet’s survival, but blocking the sun may buy some time. Today there are over 375 operational nanosatellites in space, which may help us to find and improve climate change solutions. As the earth grows ever hotter, it makes sense to consider moving to those green places on the map which are the most sustainable to live in, places like Herkimer, NY.

 

Why Escape to New York State?

by Linda Kaidan
Herkimer Property Values Rising
Herkimer County Rising Property Values

New York is the only state with free undergraduate tuition

With ocean levels rising faster than ever and insurers reluctant to cover coastal properties without high cost premiums, non-coastal New York State looks better than ever as a place to find employment, start a company or to retire. For parents of college aged students and students themselves the State of New York offers a very special resource: Free college tuition in its SUNY and CUNY university systems.

New York State offers greater climate change security  – escape to New York State

Much of New York City and the area around it are close to sea level; subject to increasing coastal storms and flooding, like hurricane Sandy, which cost New York State $41.9 billion. Fortunately, New York’s average elevation is 1,000 feet. We also border Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, two of the five Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water resources.

New York 2015 GDP on par with Canada

New York is a progressive state with abundant social benefits. This is especially important in a time when our federal government is busy defunding seemingly every social service we have. New York is economically stable and extremely prosperous – more so than most countries in the world. New York’s 2016 GDP was $1,488.0 billion, ranking 3rd in the United States. Its world rank in 2015 was on par with the national rank of Canada. In 2015, New York State’s per capita GDP was the highest in the nation, with the exception of oil rich Alaska.

New York’s vast forests largest in US

New York’s state capital, Albany, is currently building a robust infrastructure to support a booming economy and growing population. Available health services are widely accessible and the quality of health care is very high. North of both Albany and our central Mohawk Valley are the Adirondack Mountains, home to the largest contiguous forest in the United States. They’re owned, protected and carefully managed by the state of New York, a resource in perpetuity  for the people of New York. New York’s forests won’t be sold off and ravaged, as our president advocates for vast public acreages entrusted to his stewardship.

New York State’s the best place to move for opportunity and security

If you love natural beauty, want free college education, a robust social service safety network, a prosperous economy and climate change security, you’ll find it here in New York State. Our abundant fresh water, rich farmlands and superb transportation networks make New York one of the best places on earth to move to for opportunity, safety and a better life.

Herkimer New York has low per square foot price

Considering escaping to New York State? You can take advantage of good buys throughout Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. Consider Herkimer New York, home to an outstanding two-year SUNY, located on the banks of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, just 1¼ hours to Albany and 22 minutes to Nano Utica.

This scenic spot is a 10 minute walk from our home in Herkimer Village. Most of the walk is down country lanes.

Greed Fuels Climate Change

Climate Denyers Get Fat Cash Rewards $$$

Denying climate change pays well. Congress and Senate Climate Denyers received over $80 million in contributions. Unfortunately denying climate change is the quickest way to destroy our planet. Here are some photographs of what climate change does.

Miami Flooding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port St Lucie

 

 

 

 

Florida Coastal Flooding

Florida Population Grows Despite Flooding Losses

Florida has the greatest amount of land at or near sea level of any US state. Average elevation is 100 ft. This makes it the most susceptible to flooding. Surprisingly Florida’s population has grown significantly in recent years. Two years ago the Space Coast Daily reported that population was growing at more than 1000 people per day. In 2016, Florida continued growing. But losses could reach $200 billion dollars from a single large hurricane according to the Washington Post.

Try St Lucie’s interactive flood mapper to see why population in Florida should stop growing.

Blindly Following Dreams Can Cause Worst Nightmares!

Florida has long been one of the most popular places for vacationing and retiring and continues to be one despite the sharp increases in flood insurance premiums. This does not mean that it is safe. It simply means that people prefer to hold on to beliefs that comfort them in the face of all evidence. Donald Trump exhibits this same kind of delusional state of mind.  His standing on the topic may very well be set in stone because denying climate change pays well. Unfortunately, he is responsible for leading the nation (at least for now).

New York Times Encourages Coastal Resident Relocation

Coastal Resident Relocation
Hard Rock Cafe after Katrina 2005

The New York Times made one of the most significant contributions to protecting mankind this week, when it painted a clear picture of the jeopardy we are now in from climate change. NYT’s earthshaking article, Perils of climate change could swamp coastal real estate, makes it clear how buying and owning property in coastal areas is a risk to both your person and your wallet. For all coastal dwellers like those in Florida, Louisiana, New York, Sidney Australia and the Pacific Islands, now is the time to relocate rather than play a game of Russian Roulette which the ocean will inevitably win.

Florida is a narrow peninsula with a single major highway, I-75 that connects the south to the north. It is easy to imagine a cataclysmic event where vehicles are at a bumper to bumper standstill as a hurricane-driven super wave rolls across the flat landscape destroying everything for miles.

The New York Times has stated clearly that those in low lying coastal areas must relocate. It has issued the first direct call to migrate from unsafe areas most endangered by climate change. If you live in such an area, think about moving inland.   If you are in a safe and sustainable area like Herkimer County, Albany, Rochester or anywhere in Central New York – prepare to receive incoming populations.

By Linda Kaidan

Related readings:

Climate Change Survival

Halt Runaway Global Warming

Tiny new satellites can guarantee that we don’t die from global warming

Surviving Climate Change: Decide to Live by Linda Kaidan

 

Is Camouflage Fooling You?

Camouflage may be fooling you. Perhaps that’s why no one has yet bought Herkimer’s 328 Pleasant Avenue. Just across the street from it lurks Al Murray’s house at 329 Pleasant Avenue, with its frontal array of plastic junk toys and wheeled play vehicles. This well-crafted eyesore gives rise to the belief that Al’s house is infested with screeching toddlers,  a no-go zone for anyone looking for a well priced home on a peaceful village street.

Don’t be fooled. As far as we know–we’re  just across the street from it–zero children live at Al’s house. Al wants you to believe that Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is a crappy street in a run down neighborhood. He has a mound of rubbish in his rear yard that can be seen from space. (He’s rejected at least one cash offer of $100 to allow others to remove it for him. )

Camouflage Fooling You

And perhaps Herkimer Pleasant Avenue was a  crappy street in a run down neighborhood for many of the 5 years Al’s lived here. But times have changed. Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, is gone, as are many other thuggish denizens of the dark. Our Pleasant Avenue neighbor, long-time Police Chief Joseph Malone, has retired in the teeth of an ethics investigation. Village codes are being enforced, and police and fire officers respond promptly and appropriately to calls. Herkimer county’s 911 center no longer tries to shunt calls to police and fire numbers not subject to New York state monitoring.

Especially good news is that three-time Herkimer County district attorney and retired Herkimer Supreme Court Justice Mike Daley is running for DA in November’s election. Judge Daley has a track record of being tough on crime rather than ignoring it, unlike our current District Attorney, Jeffrey Carpenter. Carpenter’s dangerous, self-serving policy of ignoring crime to keep the crime stats low has only made Herkimer even less safe.

End of Pleasant Avenue’s Empire of Dirt?

331 Pleasant Avenue sold recently and is being fixed up after years of neglect and use as drug dealing den. 331 was the center of Pleasant Avenue’s Empire of Dirt, anchored on the right by the 333 Pleasant Avenue, occupied by the colorful Douglas and Joyce Barton, and on the left by Al’s 329 Pleasant Avenue. If 328 is sold rather than rented by Harriett Tangorra to another viscous thug, the mid-Pleasant Avenue balance shifts to the law abiding. Sell or not, we and our cameras will be watching.

330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer NY vigilant sunflower
Vigilant Sunflower, 330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer

Drones can see you anytime

by Linda Kaidan

What are drones and what do they mean to you?

A drone is an unpiloted aircraft vehicle so there is no human pilot onboard. A flight can be controlled remotely or it can operate with the guidance of an on board computer controlled system.  Recent laws require those who operate them to have a license but there are few restrictions on who can operate them and on what they can fly over. Drones can see you and can be operated by individuals, companies, public and private organizations. Most drones are equipped with cameras that can photograph day and night. Some are equipped with 3 D cameras that can create 3 D models of surface features.

What can drones see?

Though drones may be so high in the sky that you can’t see them, they may very well see you. Two nights ago I witnessed our first neighborhood drones. There were three blinking off and on against the night sky. Though you may not have heard of them, surveillance drones have been around for quite a while. Click here for a video of a 2011 hummingbird surveillance drone.

Dronezone has a wide variety of drones for sale. Some feature GPS, autopilot and aerial photography options. An auto-piloted drone takes aerial photos and video of far superior capability than any pilot can.

What can a drone do?

It can identify images at precise locations for use in 3 D mapping. Having a drone with a GPS autopilot flight system and camera is essential for aerial photogrammetry, 3 d mapping and multispectral imaging. That includes infrared. So night flying drones can see too. Drones can be used for crop monitoring and site surveillance so keep in mind that day and night drones may be watching you

Remember that drones can see you whether they are launched by the government, the police, a stranger or a nosy neighbor. They can be looking at you from the sky at any time and even if you don’t see them, they may very well be able to see you.