Friday, February 28, 2014

It's National Chili Day...

Check out the link to National Chili Day:  In the Cincinnati area, chili has a much different meaning then in other parts of the United States. Down here by the river, our towns are rife with "Chili joints." Not Texas chili, but instead good, old-fashioned Cincinnati chili....Maybe a little Skyline chili or Goldstar Chili. Indeed, with the cold temperatures knocking down our fun, a spicy bowl/plate of your favorite chili sounds AWESOME.....What's your favorite type/place for chili? Temperatures dropping again and here comes more snow....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Spring Melt Begins...

We recently reported on the problems with the National Flood Insurance Program and, almost on cue, here comes the river. With the expected 50 and 60 degree weather the next few days in the Cincinnati area, the Ohio River is expected to begin its rise to near flood stage. Quite frankly, we're happy to see this early thaw as such may send a good amount of water downstream before the "big melt" in the spring from up North. Living on the river is a dynamic and ever-chaning adventure

Federal Government Killing All River Villages and So Much History With It

As you may have garnered from our past posts, we love the Ohio River and all the little villages and hamlets found along the shores. These Villages are rife with history, including tales of unparalleled bravery and courage. Many of the Ohio River villages and towns were born out of the revolution and fostered the early inventions that have led our country to greatness. However, in light of recent congressional changes to the National Flood Insurance Policy program, these same important villages, towns and hamlets have been issued a potential death warrant.

Congress, in apparent response to the losses incurred from Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, passed legislation in 2012 changing the game (mid-game) regarding flood insurance. That is, while the mystery remains on how policy premiums are calculated, the Feds decided that premiums will increase 8-10x per household/business. A policy costing $600 may cost upwards of $6,000 or more per year. This was done with no apparent concern over the people who have been working to revive the economies of such historical villages or the overall economic vitality of such locations. While we have been told by river town business owners that the cost of flood insurance was factored in the early decision to locate a business, now Congress has changed the game AFTER the money has been spent.

Interestingly, and amongst many failures, the amendments to the Flood Insurance Program make no accommodations for premium costs for historical buildings. Instead, any owner of such building with a mortgage, has no choice but  to pay the exorbitant costs being charged for the program policy. The result is that every owner of property in a flood zone has seen a dramatic "taking" of its property value by the Federal Government. Unless someone has cash to buy a property, the odds of selling property in a flood zone (saddled with mandated expensive policies) has been significantly impacted. In many instances, it may simply be that historical buildings along rivers such as the Ohio will disappear over time as the Federal Government plays games with vital programs like the Flood Insurance Program. Here is a link to the FEMA website that identifies the scope of the Biggert Waters Act of 2012:
Legislation passed in the Senate in late January 2014 to delay implementation of the dramatic premium increases, and we still await confirmation by the Congress on whether it agrees that a delay (and rework) is needed.

As with other legislation, it is unquestioned  that the unintended consequences of the Biggert Waters Act of 2012 is devastating to so many of our historical river cities. Congress needs to step up and fix this alleged "quick fix" legislation that is causing such harm to so many.....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow Falls and The Water Rises

Well, this crazy winter continues to confuse. The arctic temperatures have passed, but now we face another blast of snow and ice. The prediction is several inches overnight, coated with a nice glaze of ice by morning.......The ultimate result is runoff into the river and rising waters. Here's the current prediction on the Ohio River level for the next few days:

These rising river levels in the winter are not unheard of. As we reported recently, the record 80' flood was in January 1937 and the second highest recorded flood level in the New Richmond/Cincinnati region was in February 1884 when the river crested at over 71'......