AMAZON tiny homes sellout!

Tiny home/cabin for under $8000 including delivery sells out on Amazon

by Linda Kaidan

Affordable housing shortage drives soaring tiny home sales

“Over Half of Urban Renter Households Experience Some Form of Housing Insecurity.” It’s possible that Amazon’s May 2019 sellout of the DIY Allwood Garden House may be a result of this perilous state of US housing deficits.

Amazon’s new low-cost tiny home immediate sellout

This May Amazon posted a $7,250 DIY guest cabin/home that most anyone can  build in 8 hours. All available supplies were immediately sold out. When 2 people share such a space each would have a one time rent just under $303 a month for the first year and no rent thereafter.  Though initial reviews indicated that purchasers were critical of the product, they illustrated the strength of demand.

Great lack of affordable housing likely factor

The amazing popularity indicates the desire many people have to own their own home in a time when housing is not affordable for 50% of the population. Such a tiny property can lead to economic freedom from the rent treadmill. It also ensures housing security in a time when so many are homeless.

New off the shelf market will spark business opportunities

Food for thought about the living small market in general ties into real estate, cooperative housing and products supporting multi-use spaces in home construction and renovation. People need affordable homes. When they live tiny, they pay less for housing and use less energy.

Rewards for homeowners, investors and affordable housing seekers

If you are a homeowner think about adding this inexpensive space to your backyard for guests or as a workshop. If you are an investor, think about how you can make it easy for individuals to finance tiny home living.

Amazon shows us that it’s possible to live better for less and that profitable home products can fuel an industry that has great positive impact on how we live. It’s important to think of the tiny home as a place to begin. It’s a springboard for new ideas and learning from experience.

Think about how you can participate in this new housing trend that contributes to affordable living, green energy and many new related industries.

Earn and Learn: Start your prolific kitchen window microgreen garden with $5

Earn and Learn
Earn and Learn Start your indoor kitchen window microgreen garden for under $5

Micro-greens are nutritious and delicious.

You can grow 40 plants under your kitchen window using recycled containers year-round. The great thing about micro-greens is that when you cut off the tops for sandwich or salad and they will keep on growing.

Earn and Learn
150 mixed lettuce and 150 hot micro-green seeds for $5 at Walmart

My garden shelf is actually a small, 20 inch x 20 inch table well gnawed by a wayward dog.

I bought it at the Ilion Salvation Army for $4. My table top holds a rusted baking dish, Walmart donut container, Aldi’s juice bottle (with top sliced off) and a fried chicken container. The top has built in drainage holes and the bottom catches the runoff water.

When you share you can pay as little as $2.50 for a 50 plant garden.

Walmart is selling a variety of micro green seeds in packs of 150 for $2.46. A 12-quart bag of organic seed starting mix is $4.67. 1 pack of soil and 1 pack of seeds are enough for 4 tabletop gardens. If 3 people share, they can each have their own garden of 50 plants for only $2.50. Remember that if you have SNAP, you can use your food card to pay for the seeds 😊.

Indoor garden growing is fun for the whole family and an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be a gardener.

You can earn great nutrition and learn how to have your own independent food source. You might want to maintain a log of what you planted and when. The details you record can include things like plant height before and after harvest, amount of water and quality of taste. Many people who start indoor gardening go on to learn hydroponics and aquaponics. Your indoor window garden may become your own business not someday but in the near future.

Earn and learn is a great strategy for everyone.

What’s Good About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Figures

Stephen Ames Berry

The most recently available crime figures for Herkimer are horrible.  Neighborhood Scout’s December 2018 report, assigned Herkimer a crime rating a 4, meaning that 96% of all US communities are safer than Herkimer. Chicago is safer than Herkimer

Herkimer’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation… In Herkimer, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 134…Of property crime, one in 21. [Also one of the highest in the nation.]

Neighborhood Scout’s most recent figures don’t just regurgitate the FBI’s semiannual  figures. They analyze data sourced from communities, and drill down, identifying each crime by geolocation code.

 The most unsafe area of Herkimer, for example, is shown as the south of Herkimer Village, where we live.  Looking at this blog’s crime postings and YouTube channel, you’ll see how accurate that report is: All of our 100+ videos of Herkimer crime were taken within 40 meters of our home.

The Good News About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Statistics

The good news about Herkimer’s bad crime stats is that they’re realistic. Had we seen such grim figures before buying a house in Herkimer 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this–we’d have bought that nice two-family in nearby Little Falls, and I’d be finishing my long-neglected technothriller sequel. Little Falls doesn’t seem to have much of a gang presence. Here we’ve long had a gang entrenched next door, still enjoying diplomatic immunity.

 Only through hard won experience did we learn the crime figures were low because the police only made a few token arrests. If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars. It’s this misfeasance that made Herkimer a haven for  drug and child trafficking gangs and its streets unsafe for the law-abiding.

Herkimer crime a visual motif
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer “If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars.”

Herkimer No Longer Suppresses Crime Reports

It’s hard to resolve a problem without acknowledging it. Crime is now reported in Herkimer and arrests made, as reflected in these crime figures.  Last year saw some previously well-protected gang members arrested, notably the Joyce Barton gang’s vicious Shianne Hill, for assaulting a neighborhood grandmother. (Hill’s serving a year’s probation.)

Shianne Hill About to attack eldeerly woman
Herkimer’s Shianne Hill moving to attack neighboring grandma.

Crime Statistics a Lagging Indicator

Crime statistics are always a lagging indicator. Current dynamics hint that life is growing less perilous here in Herkimer.  Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.   Poison gas attacks have stopped for now. And home sales are doing quite well. 

Joyce Barton Herkimer gang
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Joyce Barton of Herkimer’s Barton Gang, sending a little love our way.
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Stanley Sykes of Herkimer’s Sykes Gang sending a little love our way.

Climate Change Boosts Herkimer Real Estate Sales

I want to believe that Herkimer’s apparent crime crack down’s due to a sudden epiphany. But frankly it’s probably because the feds and the state are leaning on Herkimer. New York’s neglected Upstate has been widely identified as an ideal climate change sanctuary area, with Herkimer County predicted to boom as much of the US struggles to cope with escalating  climate change devastation. 

We in Herkimer and Upstate are sitting on some of the most valuable future real estate in US. The Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard are rapidly losing their allure as retirement havens as massive storms increasingly batter the region amid rising seas, spreading homelessness and misery. New York City’s future is one of rising waters and shrinking land. Half of New York’s people  live in the state’s maritime counties. There’s no central national planning for climate change mitigation or relocation.  We aren’t the only ones who know this.

Herkimer area home sales and prices continue rising as eyes and interest  increasingly turn north, reflecting the region’s limited housing stock and a growing number of buyers. The median sale price rise for Herkimer real estate rose 7.2% in 2018 and is projected to almost double in 2019, to 13.3%, according to Zillow. Given the emerging dynamics of climate change migration, Herkimer real estate sale price should continue to rise.

Where Have All The Bodies Gone? (Redux)

Interestingly there are still no murders reported for Herkimer. This is very odd. Statistically, Herkimer should have murders, given its violent crime rate. We argued in our post Where Have All the Bodies Gone?  that Herkimer does have murders, they’re just  well concealed.  Opioids would be the least messy way to accomplish that, given the region’s opioid crisis.

Crime Widespread in the Mohawk Valley

Not just Herkimer is dangerous. So is much of the Mohawk Valley. Neighborhood Scout gives Utica a crime rank of 9. Little Falls ranks 14. Surprisingly, our neighboring village of Mohawk is a seeming paradise, according to its crime figures.

Village of Mohawk a Law Abiding Paradise?

Mohawk, adjacent to Herkimer and Little Falls, has a crime rating of 92. It doesn’t get much better. I’m a bit skeptical about that as Joseph Malone is the Mohawk Police Chief. When we moved here, he was also the Herkimer police chief. In May of 2016 Malone resigned as Herkimer police chief in the teeth of an ethics investigation. He was replaced by Chief Joseph Jory, who is apparently not arrest shy. So is Mohawk really all that safe? 

Escalating real estate sale prices may decrease crime rates

As real estate prices rise, crime drops. We saw this happen in Boston as tech firm workers bumped up sales prices, sparking a city-wide real estate boom. We did well  buying older  houses in marginal areas and renovating them. Criminals could no longer  afford to live in transitioned areas and were mostly gone after a few years. The same dynamics are emerging in Herkimer. Median monthly rents are now $900, up from $700 a few months ago.  Herkimer’s legacy gangs live in and traffic out of rented houses whose owners will sell out when the price is right. And that time seems close at hand. The Herkimer Post will continue greasing their skids.

We’re hoping next year’s Herkimer crime report, reflecting 2018, will show significant improvement as a result of better law enforcement amid changing demographics.

Jay Smith Continues Housing Criminals As Climate Change Escalates Homeless count

by Linda Kaidan

2018 leaves us with a legacy of climate change disasters on a planetary scale unparalleled in human history. Herkimer, NY is safer from climate disaster than most any place in our country and is thus a valuable resource in maintaining civilization. Rather than housing criminals as climate change escalates, it’s  time for us to learn how to enable ourselves to be as constructive and self sustaining as possible while providing a haven to those fleeing disasters. 

Sobering statics that should motivate us to change:

Landlord Jay Smith continues supporting criminal tenants

17% of the 22 homes on Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, NY are owned by Jay Smith who is the recorded owner of 27 Herkimer, NY properties. We have observed that 5 of these homes have been sheltering gang harassers, drug dealers and drug addicts. Mr. Smith’s tenants have destroyed our property, harassed and assaulted us during the nearly 5 years we have lived here. His tenants, our neighbors at 332 Pleasant Ave who are law abiding, just moved out replaced by known associates of his criminal tenants. Stanley Sykes, former Jay Smith tenant, admitted that some of these residents were members of the famous US gang, the Crips.

Housing criminals as climate change escalates destabilizes our community

It’s interesting that at a time of excessive housing shortages, climate change migrations and massive economic losses, Mr. Smith considerately continues to rent to active criminals. There are no houses listed for sale on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer, NY where we have recently seen an influx of skilled Amish tradesmen and out of town construction contractors working on home renovations.

Home owners and landlords everywhere can reduce homelessness and make money

Affordable housing with smaller units can help people live better adding to neighborhood stability while providing a decent income for landlords. Mr. Smith can easily rethink his position as a landlord and make a positive contribution to climate change survival for our community.

MIT nanotech breakthrough shrinks stuff: makes affordable climate change solutions possible!

Linda J. Kaidan

Nanotechnology is important in greenhouse gas reduction. This game changing technology can seriously impact our ability to fight climate change.

Up until recently nanotech has been costly. MIT technologists have greatly reduced the cost of producing nanoscale products by using a new approach called Implosion Fabrication (ImpFab). It weakens electron repulsion and produces structures that are one thousand times smaller than the original through a kind of 3-d printing.

What does 1000 times smaller mean?

MIT breakthrough makes nanotech cheap! Nanotechnology has been costly to work with because conventional manufacturing processes could not be used. They could not be applied to work on such a tiny scale. With this invention, conventional techniques can be used to develop structures which can then be miniaturized.

How does the shrinking process work?

Large-scale objects are embedded in hydrogels and then shrunk to nanoscale using implosion fabrication. A 3-d molecular structure is created within a hydrogel. “The acid blocks the negative charges in the polyacrylate gel so that they no longer repel each other, causing the gel to contract.” Objects shrink to 1/1000 of their original size.

How can nano technology solutions help us fight climate change?

In 2014 UCSD’s Nanowerks team reported on their new nanotech solar solution capable of converting 90% of the sun’s light into heat. Such technology, once affordable, would clearly enable solar heat to become inexpensive and widely available.

Nanomaterials can also be used to reduce global pollution and environmental degradation. They are used to filter heavy metals from water and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

While this MIT nanotech breakthrough can help us heal our planet faster, it’s important that each of us do our fair share in creating our own sustainable solutions at the community level.

Climate change devastation, Republican social service cuts – You bet these will affect you!

You can thwart irresponsible Republican government

Now that Republicans have control of the congress, senate, presidency and supreme court look forward to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The number of homeless people in the US is rapidly increasing with loss of housing caused by climate change catastrophes. Less money for essentials like food shelter and healthcare means increased poverty, sickness and death. 

1. Share your living space to increase your available income.

If you have a house or apartment consider renting out a room to guests. By sharing your home, you can create affordable housing for someone as well as an additional income for yourself. When you share your space, you’ll be cutting down on energy expenses too.

2. Reduce food costs by buying best value food in terms of both nutrition and price.

We are taking our own advice by limiting our budget to $400 a month for 2 adults. This goal is easy to achieve when you buy primary foods like milk, eggs, chicken, rice, cornmeal, fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods like TV dinners, fast food and soft drinks. Cooking meals for everyone in your household, rather than foraging independently can lower costs and increase a sense of friendship in your home.

3. Create your own financial independence.

If you share a room with someone and budget your food wisely, total living expense can be little as low $450 a month per person. Even if you work half time, you should be able to save at least $5000 in a single year. If you were to get together with some other people, you would be able to  jointly purchase an inexpensive home or some camping land to create your own mortgage and rent-free housing, thus achieving a degree of financial independence that will continue to reward you.

4. Grow your own food.

When you share a home with others you can grow your own food too. I have noticed that many fruits and vegetables cost as much as chicken breast per pound. It’s easy to grow tomatoes, lettuce, beans, squash and much more in your own yard.

5. Teach yourself new skills and profit from them.

You can learn some basic skills that are useful to many people. Skills like carpentry, simple plumbing, fence construction and deck building are often in demand. When you have these and other skills you can find work or trade your services for things you need. It doesn’t take much to turn your economic constraints into economic advantages when you make the most of resources you have been taking for granted!

6. Vote for someone who cares about your well-being!

Make sure that you vote Democrat in the upcoming elections Tuesday November 6, 2018 if you want to have health care and to collect the social security benefits you pay for when you work! Our current national elected officials feel that it’s fine for wealthy people to pay no taxes and to let others go without healthcare and retirement benefits they have paid for their entire working lives.  

In our harsh political and environmental climate, life can rapidly become more difficult. You can make your life head in a better direction by taking measures that are easily within your ability to achieve.

by Linda Kaidan

climate change safety zone communities have key role in human survival

climate change safety zoneAs our planet gets hotter and hotter and weather more damaging and unpredictable millions of people are migrating to safer areas. We are fortunate to live in one of these places. But if we wish to survive and maintain civilization we must take active measures immediately.

Our planet will not miraculously recover from climate change. Technology that is not yet available or affordable is required. Should we fail to maintain civilization we will be beset by famine, violence, and disease.  And we will not make the technological advances we need to stabilize climate and keep our air breathable. Toxins will continue to accumulate and plants and animals (including humans) will die by the millions. Ultimately the planet will be devoid of life.

You have the power to maintain civilization and save our planet. You must get started immediately. Grow food at home outside and indoors. Stock up on staples like cornmeal, rice, dried beans, and vegetables. Try to create an emergency food supply that will last your household at least 3 months. Make certain that you have some mats and blankets ready to share with others who are homeless.

Establish community gardens and kitchens so that you will have an independent supply of food ready for those fleeing hurricanes, floods and violence. Monopolize basements for indoor growing and emergency housing.

Many of you feel that you cannot be bothered by these things. If you wish to survive you’d better help grow food and volunteer to create a safe and stable environment for you, family, neighbors and those who come here. People who are hungry and desperate are dangerous. Famine brings disease. You are here and can preserve civilization just by growing food and sharing resources.

Fate has put you in the right place and time to save the world. Contribute by organizing your school, apartment building, street, business, or social organization into a center for emergency food and shelter.

by Linda Kaidan

 

Tufts University Invents Technology that Will End Climate Change

 

The technology that will end climate change has been developed at Tufts University in Massachusetts. It extracts CO2 from the atmosphere and converts it to a liquid form, methanol. It is based on research published last year at USC,  and builds upon a less clean practice developed by a team in Iceland. Methanol can be used to create renewable fossil fuel that can be burned – polluting the air, sucked out of the atmosphere again and then recycled. Using it this way means that in a sense we can have our cake and eat it too, using the same fuel over and over again, rather than constantly adding new green house gasses to our overburdened atmosphere.

That doesn’t mean we should continue to use fossil fuels. Certainly solar, wind and hydro power are much nicer. Methanol can be used in many excellent ways. We currently rely on Methanol to produce silicone, plastic water bottles, car parts, fleece jackets and some pharmaceuticals. Perhaps we’ll be able to use methanol for 3-D printer ink to make plastic objects we design on our computers.

One of the most versatile materials that can be made from methanol is polyester. It can be the basis for manufacturing many types of fiber for use in clothing, bedding, carpets, tents, upholstery and insulation. It’s water resistant too. Re-purposed methanol can help us make our homes comfortable while keeping the air we breath clean!

How long will it take to get levels of CO2 back down to normal? That’s for someone else to answer, but the sooner the better! Because, there is more CO2 in the air now than there has been in 50 million years and that’s not a situation we can live with.

Since we now have the opportunity to reverse the destructive process that has harmed so much of our planet, we can be optimistic about the future. However, the cleanup may take many years. We can expect more horrible weather including high winds and must be intelligent about growing food locally in our homes and communities.

By Linda Kaidan

Actively fighting climate change is our responsibility

Weather chaos threatens us

In the last 2 years we have witnessed sustained hurricane winds up to 200 MPH . Irma is one example with 185 MPH winds. In the last 3 months we have seen a year of rain falling in just a few days in Texas.  Twenty million Floridians were threatened by a hurricane so wide it covered nearly the entire state east to west and north to south. How many billions of dollars in damage? – nearly half a trillion with Irma weighing at up to $300 B and Harvey at $190 B.

Climate will keep getting more erratic, surprising us with rising oceans, loss of coastal cities and destruction of crops. This can easily lead to food insecurity and mass migrations. The forces that drive a solution lie with us just as much as with experts, corporations and governments – if not more so.

We need to be part of the solution

Promising solutions lie with innovators in agriculture and engineering. Some of these are driven by major corporations like SpaceX, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. A portion of these innovations lie in governments like Australia’s, farming desert coasts with sea water and sunshine. Elon Musk’s brother is farming indoors in New York City making use of shipping containers to grow reliable food locally.

What can we do? We can bring food security to our own communities. How much will this cost? Not a whole lot. When we grow local food indoors and year-round, we can make a difference between starvation, chaos, disease, mass migration and warfare on the one hand and survival on the other. Having enough food to eat is a major stabilizer that can be the difference between maintaining our civilization and letting chaos rain.

It’s easy to accomplish this powerful goal

We can no longer rely on vast international supply chains to bring us the resources we need from afar. Have you checked on the availability and cost of plywood recently? Let’s be pioneers in our own communities by growing food in our schools, basements and underused commercial and industrial buildings. We can do this now.

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.