Stormpocalypse

sandy_cheeks_main by flickr user bobo615

Also affecting sea creatures

Just more than a year after Hurricane Irene mangled the eastern seaboard, Hurricane Sandy has reared her ugly head threatening to repeat the devastation.  The entire east coast of the United States is scrambling for shelter as the monster hybrid storm moves it’s way north faster than expected.  This “Frankenstorm” is over 1,000 miles wide with maximum sustained winds of 90mph.  Millions of people have evacuated their homes to move farther inland. Even NYC is experiencing mandatory evacuations, leaving the city looking like a scene from I Am Legend.

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Not So Neat: Whiskey Distilleries Spread Fungus

Bourbon casks at Laphroaig, by user John Allan, licensed by Creative Commons

The citizens of Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding area have recently sued the local Whiskey distilleries because of a “black gunk” that was found over the roofs of their houses and cars.  As a result, property damage and negligence lawsuits have been filed against factories along the “Bourbon Trail.”  The main cause of the sooty germination is a naturally occurring fungus that latches onto ethanol, which many distilleries continue to emit.  Though monetary damages have not been specified many are asking the companies to reevaluate their environmental policies. Read more

Renters Win $500,000 Settlement Against Landlord’s Scam

An apartment building in Paris, by Flickr user Steve Cadman, licensed via Creative CommonsA landlord in Baltimore made quite a profit by faking property damage and suing his former renters for restitution.  That is, until Hong Park, a nonprofit legal aide looking into the matter for one of the renters, found the landlord’s claims to be a little fishy.  The landlord had provided supposed invoices from contractors detailing repairs to the property.  Park noted some suspicions about the invoices though — namely, that they didn’t have any company logos and that they were dated when collections began, not when the renter moved out.  The lawyer called up some of the referenced contractors and, lo and behold, all of the invoices were forged by the landlord.  Park sent the info on to the Maryland Attorney General’s office, and some subpoenas and a class-action lawsuit later, the owner of Ager Road Station Apartments will pay a $500,000 settlement to the former renters he swindled.  For anyone who’s dealt with a less-than-honorable landlord in the past, this settlement is a welcome victory.

Keep reading for tips on how to protect yourself from this kind of scam