Friday, September 18, 2009

Pictures from Tea party in DC

In case you haven't seen this event on your local channels.
This is the first great conservative anti-statist manifestation in American history. The conservative movement, which developed in the post-WWII, Cold War environment has now fully matured into the most significant political movement of the 21st century. I believe that this day could be referred to in the not too distant future as the day that changed America . This was the day the great silent conservative majority finally found its voice.
Many of the attendees were quite meek and timid and were unsure of exactly what to expect, this being the first time in their lives they’d been involved in a protest movement. Their fears evaporated early in the day and I saw people reveling in the camaraderie , the joy and sheer civility that was exhibited at the entire event. Chants of “Freedom, freedom, freedom”, “No more czars! No more czars!” carried through the air without the slightest hint of rancor or incivility which is the norm at the leftist rallies I have photographed over the years.
The two photos above show a tiny fraction of the two million ABC estimates attended. I saw signs and heard lots of comments comparing this event to Woodstock .. At the time this photo was taken, around 1:00 p.m., Pennsylvania Avenue was still jammed completely, and the mall was packed from the Capitol Building past the Washington Monument . See aerial photos here.
Protesters came from every state in the union. This man came from San Antonio , TX . He said that he was really sorry he hadn’t brought his family. He stated that being a black conservative he was afraid to expose his children to what he expected would be a lot of liberal abuse. He was thrilled with the tenor of the event and the fact that no liberals were present to harass him. He spoke about how incredibly intolerant the left is to black individuals who don’t bow to the party line.
These Ohioans took a day off their rodeo bullriding schedule. They said they’ll be back at it tomorrow.
Mike Pence (R-Indiana) was one of the speakers who addressed the crowd: “After years of fighting runaway government on this hill, you people look like the cavalry to me..I believe we are on the verge of a great American awakening.”_MG_0094x
San Diego radio host Mason Weaver said from the podium: “I came here because I thought you might want to hear a black man speak without a teleprompter…This government is trying to make a nation of dependent people. Americans have always been independent people…This is not a Republican thing, it’s not a Democrat thing. It’s not a black thing or a white thing. It’s an American thing…We the people are telling them ‘No more! We’ve had enough!”

In the very center of the photo, above the Silence is Consent – Can You Hear Us Now sign, you can see Pennsylvania Ave. , which at this time is totally blocked with protesters who cannot move forward to the Capitol area. Sorry, full up.

There were notable differences though, in the behavior of these attendees. Although the legend of Woodstock is that there was a friendly atmosphere of camaraderie, the truth is that most people were there for the drugs, sex and rock and roll. Today in D.C. there was a true kinship amongst these people based on shared values and intellectual understanding of what America is and how its future is imperiled by big radical government.
No one was having sex in the Reflecting Pool let alone the mud, and I saw no one projectile vomiting on the steps of the Capitol. There were no warnings to avoid the bad acid which would send you on a trip to the hospital. Not just a different era, but a different level of civilized behavior and thought. Oh, and by the way, these people didn’t leave tons of garbage behind when they left. Actually they left no trash behind at all.
Obama Lied, Capitalism Died.
We are the mob!
_MG_0160x   Support Class Envy! Redistribute Wealth.
_MG_0284x Madam Speaker: Kiss Our Astroturf!
_MG_0124   The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Obama Himself     – - –    Compassion is Voluntary, Not Compulsory!
WALNUT – Workers Against Lazy Non-Producers United Together — the conservative answer to ACORN. Didn’t have to ask them if they were receiving any taxpayer money like radical left-wing ACORN. Different DNA!
Proud members of the “Angry Mob” and they’re armed with their votes.
_MG_0230  Your wallet…the only place Democrats are willing to drill!  – Don’t share my wealth – share my work ethic!
_MG_0010  Right-wing extremist armed with the constitution.
Who are the commie czars?
Marxism – the opiate of the asses – Posters from the Peoples Cube are proliferating amongst protesters.
Stop Making Profit! — Report all Capitalist Activities to
World’s #1 Crypto-Marxist. Endorsed by Fidel Castro: The most powerful progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency.” – GRANMA, Havana , May 26, 2008
Nancy Pelosi has accused patriotic tea-partyers of “carrying swastikas” implying that they are Nazi sympathizers. This event was wall to wall hammers and sickles and words like “socialist” “communist” and “Marxist” etc. It continues to fascinate me how long the Democrats will tolerate this without ever commenting on it. Either they like it, or there’s something to it. 
Ever present at Tea Parties are Sons of Liberty reenactors. The couple on the left is from Tennessee and the young lady on the right is not but she joined in the photo. The clothing for the couple was hand stitched by the lady on the left.

Is it true? Housing Market at 16 month high

The Housing Market Index Reaches A 16-Month High

NAHB Housing Market Index September 2009According to home builders around the country, the housing market is looking good.
Each month, the National Association of Home Builders releases its Housing Market Index report, a survey meant to "take the pulse of the single-family housing market".
Respondents report on three facets of their business, each series weighted and averaged:
  1. How are market conditions today?
  2. How do market conditions look 6 months from now?
  3. How is the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes?
For the 3rd straight month, the Housing Market Index improved.  It's now at its highest level since May 2008.
The housing market has shown signs of life since March.  Both Existing Home Sales and New Homes Sales have soared and home values are up in a lot of towns.  Builders showing confidence is another positive signal.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the recession is "very likely over" and strong housing data corroborates that statement. 
As the economy strengthens and housing does, too, home sellers will start to regain the upper-hand in contract negotiations.  If you're an active home buyer, therefore, and looking for "a deal", be aware that time is close to running out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Need help on your mortgage loan?

Payment Counseling

If you’re having financial difficulty, we’ll work with you to find a solution. But we can’t help you if we can’t reach you. Did you know that a significant percentage of foreclosures occur because the mortgage company has no contact with the borrower? Please don’t let that happen to you.

Call our team today to discuss the best solution for your situation. Our Loss Mitigation Team is available to assist you Monday through Friday 9 a.m. / 9 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. / 1 p.m. (Central Time), at 
770-792-7979 Ext 107

You may also contact a HUD approved counseling agent by calling 1-800-569-4287 if you wish to seek additional options that may be available to you.

Possible Solutions

If you wish to pursue a workout alternative, you need to be prepared to present a full financial package to CCMI  that includes completing the financial package form.  You must also include your 3 most recent bank statements, 2 most recent pay stubs, most recent W-2 and tax return, and a hardship letter explaining your situation.  You may then contact our office to discuss these workout options, you may email your completed form, or you may fax it directly to our Loss Mitigation department at 404-671-9565.  Once the financial package is received, one of our specialists will contact you within 24 hours to put a plan in place that will alleviate this stressful situation.  There are several ways to resolve difficult financial situations, and RCS specializes in working with customers to meet their financial goals.

If you have past due payments or are facing foreclosure, our Loss Mitigation Department may be able to qualify you for one of the options listed below.

Repayment Plan/Special Forbearance—If you don’t have sufficient income to pay the entire past due amount at one time, this plan allows you to make payments toward the delinquency and helps you catch up.

Loan Modification—Please call our Loss Mitigation Team for more information on this plan, which would modify your existing loan and payment amounts.

Short Refinance—If you qualify for a loan with another lender, we may be able to accept the proceeds from a refinance, even if they are less than what you owe.

Short Sale—If you would consider selling your property but don’t feel the proceeds would be enough to pay off the loan in full, we still may be able to work with you. In fact, we may be able to pre-qualify you for a short sale through our network of professionals.

Deed In Lieu—If you are unable to sell the property and it is free of other liens, we may be able to accept the deed to your property instead of foreclosure, which would reduce the negative impact to your credit.

Meet the Loss Mitigation Team:

Our Loss Mitigation Team is here to help you. Our team is a group of individuals who are:
  • Experienced Negotiators—Each team member typically has between 3 to 5 years experience working with borrowers facing financial difficulties.
  • Empowered—The members work out issues with the borrower and make innovative recommendations directly. They’re not just ‘order takers’ who pass along requests to others; they’re able to offer resolutions.
  • Compassionate—Our members know the importance of home ownership and want to help our borrowers get through their difficulties as successful as possible. They treat each customer with respect and empathy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

SPLOST update from COBB County

September 2009

Cobb voters approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in 2005 to fund important transportation and public safety projects. Since then, significant progress has been made in many areas, including the jail expansion, new courthouse project and transportation improvements.


With the Cobb Department of Transportation SPLOST program ahead of the original schedule and on track for completion within eight years, continuous improvements to Cobb County’s transportation system steadily move along. As of July, 249 of the 260 transportation projects were underway or completed. Of these projects, 174 have started the right-of-way acquisition phase, 128 were completed and 182 have initiated construction – including the following:
  • 21 school zone improvement projects valued at $5.4 million
  • 34 bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects valued at $18.3 million
  • 35 intersection safety and operational improvements valued at $20.3 million
  • 27 thoroughfare and roadway safety improvement projects valued at $77.3 million
  • 254 miles of road resurfacing valued at $27.9 million
Project Focus

Summer Closures
With a lot of hard work from DOT contractors, all summer road closures that were scheduled to be closed during the summer have re-opened prior to the start of the new school year. These projects included:
  • Allgood Road Safety and Operational Improvements – Hillcut
  • Cheatham Hill Road over Ward Creek – Bridge replacement
  • Hamby Road over Clark Creek – Bridge replacement with a culvert
  • Hiram-Lithia Springs Road Bridge – Bridge replacement
  • Holly Springs Road over Sewell Creek Tributary – Bridge replacement with a culvert
  • Maran Lane – Road realignment
  • Midway Road Bridge over Allatoona Creek Tributary – Bridge replacement
  • Mt. Calvary Road Bridge over Noses Creek – Bridge replacement
  • Post Oak Tritt over Sewell Creek Tributary – Bridge replacement
  • Smyrna-Powder Springs Road over Favor Creek – Bridge replacement
A number of projects were scheduled to be open later in the school year due to additional construction time needed. These projects and the current anticipated opening dates are noted below:
  • Holland Road Hillcut: Currently closed and scheduled for October 2009 opening
  • North Church Lane Bridge Replacement: Currently closed and scheduled for early 2010 opening
  • Old Hwy 41 Bridge over CSX Railroad: Will close late summer or early fall with an estimated closure of 6 months
  • Perkerson Mill at Flint Hill Road: Currently closed and scheduled for Aug. 31 opening
  • Sewell Mill Road Bridge over Sewell Creek: Will close September and scheduled for spring 2010 opening
When the closure is slated to occur, a specific detour map and time period will be made available at the DOT website under Road Reports. If you have any questions or concerns about these closures, please call DOT construction at 770-528-1653.

Hiram Lithia Springs Safety and Operational Improvements
Hiram-Lithia Springs Road is in need of significant safety and operational improvements throughout the length of the corridor (defined as Powder-Springs-Dallas Road to Humphries Hill Road). A number of intersections were selected for improvement as part of the project after careful evaluation of crash data and known deficiencies. Improvements at the following intersections are noted below:
  • Sullivan Road – add Northbound left-turn lane off mainline, improvements to the sight distance
  • Sweetsprings Drive/Meadows Road – add left-turn lanes and right-turn on mainline, improve turning safety on sidestreets
  • Lewis Road – improve sight distance on side street with removal of trees and shrubbery
  • Brown Road – intersection improvement through addition of northbound left-turn lane and right-turn lane southbound
  • Defoors Farm Drive – extend and widen left-turn lane and improve safety on curved sections of road
  • Garrett Springs Drive - improve sight distance on side street with removal of trees and shrubbery
The Hiram Lithia Springs project improvements are expected to begin construction in fall 2009.

Noonday Creek Trail
The Noonday Creek Trail is a culmination of efforts between the Town Center Area Community Improvement District, Cobb County and the National Park Service. This trail will connect to the existing Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park trail system and the proposed West Cobb Trail, planned to be constructed adjacent to Barrett Parkway between Dallas Highway/SR 120 and Cobb Parkway/US 41.

The proposed trail will run from the National Park on Old Highway 41 to Barrett Parkway, will join the West Cobb Trail along Barrett Parkway, run down Cobb Parkway to Vaughan Road and run down portions of Vaughan Road and Cobb Place Boulevard to Barrett Lakes Boulevard. The trail will run down Barrett Lakes Boulevard to Noonday Creek, and then follow Noonday Creek to Bells Ferry Road.

Additional plans are in place to add trailheads and parking throughout the trail corridor. Future phases of the trail will also connect to Noonday Park and points northward toward and into Cherokee county.

One section of the trail is currently under construction north of Barrett Parkway and east of Cobb Parkway. Additional construction projects will be added over the next couple of years.

Smyrna-Powder Springs Road
Smyrna-Powder Springs Road/Benson Poole Road, from Hicks Road to Windy Hill Road, is a project that includes the replacement of two bridges (Favor and Nickajack Creeks), roadway geometric improvements, sidewalk and curb and gutter. Recently, Smyrna-Powder Springs Road was closed due to the construction of the first bridge over Favor Creek. The roadway reopened on Aug. 4, however a second closure is planned on May 22. The roadway should be reopened before the start of the 2010 school year. This closure will include reconstructing the bridge over Nickajack Creek and realigning the intersection of Smyrna-Powder Springs Road and Benson Poole. Construction will continue on this project through August 2010.

Currently Under Construction

DOT currently has approximately 30 major projects in design with more than 50 projects planned to bid during 2009. Three projects under construction are highlighted below:

Allgood Road

This project was designed to add sidewalk, curb and gutter, widening and turn lanes throughout the project limits (Scufflegrit Road to East . Piedmont Road). The roadway was closed for the summer and reopened prior to school starting back. This closure was necessary to construct a large hill cut in the vicinity of Rockcrest Drive. Construction on this project is expected to be completed in May 2010.

Due West Intersection
Due West Family of Intersections: Burnt Hickory / Due West Intersection, Due West Road @ Old Hamilton Road, Kennesaw Due West Road @ Acworth Due West Road and Due West Road Bicycle Improvements - Due to their close proximity, these four projects have been combined into one and will provide significant improvements to this segment of roadway. Burnt Hickory Road will be relocated to lineup with Old Hamilton Road at a new intersection on Due West Road. Due West Road will be widened from Old Hamilton Road to Burnt Hickory Road (west leg). This project will also use a portion of the bicycle improvements money to provide a connection between the east leg of Burnt Hickory Road to the west leg of Burnt Hickory on Due West Road. This project is anticipated to complete construction in the winter.

Planning Updates

Public Meetings Scheduled for the Cobb County Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Plan ( View Flyer)

DOT is completing a 15-month planning project – the Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Plan – that will identify where Cobb County can improve conditions for bicycling and walking and identify a strategy for investing in those improvements over time.

Bicycle and pedestrian facilities include shared use pathways (like the Silver Comet Trail), on-street bike lanes and shoulders, sidewalks, and improvement to make crossing the street safer. Please come to one of three public open houses around the county 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 15, 16 and 17.

For more information, please contact Cobb DOT Planning Division at 770-528-1629 or email at

Projects on the Horizon

Mars Hill Road/Lost Mountain Road Intersections
There are eight intersection improvement projects and one school improvement project along Lost Mountain Road/Mars Hill Road either under construction or will be under construction by the end of the year. Corner Road at Lost Mountain Road, Hadaway Road at Mars Hill Road and Mars Hill Church Road at Mars Hill Road were let to construction by the Georgia Department of Transportation on July 17. These projects were paid for with Federal Stimulus funds provided to the County.

The five projects that are funded by Cobb County 2005 SPLOST dollars along Mars Hill Road are Nichols Road, Due West Road, Burnt Hickory Road, County Line Road/Old Stilesboro Road, Frey Elementary/Durham Middle Schools and Giles Road/Hill Road.

Intersection improvements along Lost Mountain Road/Mars Hill Road are as follows:
  • Corner Road – add right and left-turns at all legs of the intersection, upgrade signal
  • Hadaway Road - add right and left-turns at all legs of the intersection, upgrade signal
  • Mars Hill Church Road – add right and left-turns at all legs of the intersection, realignment of sidestreet to a 90 degree intersection
  • Nichols Road – add a right turn lane on Nichols Road and a left-turn lane on Mars Hill Road
  • Due West Road – add left turn lanes on Due West Road at approaches to Mars Hill Road
  • Burnt Hickory Road – hill cut to improve sight distance on sidestreet, right and left turning lanes to be added on all approaches to the intersection
  • County Line Road-Old Stilesboro Road/Durham Middle School-Frey Elementary School/Giles Road-Hill Road –right and left-turn lanes added at most approaches to intersections with a center turn lane throughout project limits, new signal at County Line-Old Stilesboro, Old Stilesboro Road hill cut to improve sight distance, sidewalk and handicap accessible ramps added at the school entrance, Mars Hill Road will be lowered several feet at Giles Road/Hill Road to improve sight distance
Big Shanty Projects

Big Shanty Extension Phase I
Final construction plans and property acquisition are scheduled to be completed this month for the Big Shanty Phase I project which will connect George Busbee Parkway at Big Shanty Road with Barrett Lakes Boulevard by taking the roadway under Interstate 75. The new road will be a four-lane divided roadway with a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail. This project is anticipated to let to construction in November with an expected construction duration of 24 months.

Big Shanty Extension Phase II
Final construction plan development and property acquisition are ongoing for Big Shanty Phase II which will connect the western end of Phase I of the extension at Barrett Lakes Boulevard to the intersection of Big Shanty Road and Chastain Road. This will be a four-lane divided roadway. It is anticipated the project will be let to construction in early 2010 after Phase I begins construction with an expected construction duration of 24 months.

Big Shanty Extension Phase III
Bids were received on July 23, 2009 for construction of this project. Construction is anticipated to begin in September with construction being complete in approximately 11 months. The project will consist of a four-lane divided roadway connecting Chastain Meadows Boulevard to the intersection of the eastern end of Phase I and George Busbee Parkway. The project approximately follows the existing alignment of Big Shanty Road with minor relocations to improve horizontal and vertical alignment.

Information relating to SPLOST transportation projects is updated regularly at If you have questions or comments regarding transportation projects, please contact Cobb DOT at or 770-528-1621. The next SPLOST transportation e-newsletter will be available in November with a look ahead to the New Year.



Work continues on the new courthouse, which will combine all of the county’s court services on one campus and allow Juvenile Court to move to downtown Marietta. The stormwater drainage creek has been completely piped and is now run underground. Also, all storm sewer and sanitary sewer underground utilities have been installed and tested. The building’s retaining walls have been formed and poured and water, sewer and electric devices have been placed in the basement and first floor. The basement concrete slab has been poured and the first third of the first floor’s concrete has been poured. Turner Construction continues work on the project and the courthouse should be open for business in spring 2011.



The $110 million expansion of the Cobb County Adult Detention Center continues on time and within budget. Construction of the Visitor and Administrative Buildings has been completed. With the opening of the Visitor Building earlier this year, the video visitation and bonding functions were relocated to the new facility. The construction of the Housing Tower is nearing completion with the interior work expected to be done before the end of the year. Renovation and expansion of the laundry area has been completed and renovation and expansion of the kitchen area is underway. The Housing Tower is expected to be in operation during the first quarter of 2010. When finished, the jail expansion will add more than 320,000 square feet and 1,152 beds to the Detention Complex bringing its capacity to 3,077 inmates.