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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2007 / 21 Tishrei 5768

Minority areas hit hardest by eminent domain

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A father and son who operate a nonprofit boxing gym for kids in suburban San Diego are fighting their town for the right to stay where they are. Ultimately, their battle to hold onto their property could help decide your right to hold onto yours.


Carlos Barragan and his son Carlos Jr. turned an old gun store into the gym. They sued in September to challenge the "blighted" certification given to the property and an adjacent neighborhood by National City. That designation gives the city the power under California law to seize property, once a fair price is determined, through the constitutional right of eminent domain any time within the next 10 years for private development.


A large "Coming Soon" sign next to the gym already depicts the ritzy condo development that National City has in mind. But the Barragans have different plans. "Our facility is not for sale," Carlos Jr. told me in a telephone interview. "This is a perfect location. We took an old gun store and made a gym for local kids out of it. That's redevelopment!"


A suit has been filed on the Barragans' behalf by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian Virginia-based public interest law firm that has fought property rights battles all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Eminent domain battles between local governments and holdout property owners are nothing new, but the legal landscape has changed.


In Kelo vs. New London, the Supreme Court cleared the way two years ago for cities to take private property for development not only by government entities for schools, roads and other public works, but also by private developers. In effect, "blighted" may simply mean that some proposed property is expected to yield more in property taxes than the current owners pay.


Can local governments be trusted to avoid abusing such powers? Unfortunately, city fathers do not always know best. I remember, for example, how my own southern Ohio hometown decided in the early 1960s that the neighborhood in which I grew up would serve the public better as an "industrial park." Our homes, churches, grocery stores and working-class neighborhood life were wiped away under a federal program called "urban renewal." Closer to the point, my embittered parents and neighbors called it "Negro removal."


Yes, our poor-but-proud neighborhood was mostly black, just as the Barragans' area is mostly Hispanic. In the end, industry somehow shunned my former neighborhood and prairie grass grows where a community once thrived.


Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cited such disastrous effects on minority communities by urban renewal in his dissent to the 5-4 Kelo decision. And Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote: "The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more," she wrote. "The founders cannot have intended this perverse result."


Yet, that result already may be what we have. A new study of 184 eminent domain projects across the country by the Institute for Justice confirms what many have long suspected: Displacement by imminent domain tends to hit the poor, the less well-educated and non-whites.


For example, a study called "Victimizing the Vulnerable: The Demographics of Eminent Domain Abuse" found that 58 percent of the residents threatened with displacement by eminent domain were non-white, although the surrounding municipalities were at average 45 percent non-white. Annual median income in the targeted areas was $19,000, compared with $23,000 in surrounding municipalities. States were expected to respond to the Kelo decision by tightening standards on what local governments can call "blighted." About half of the states have passed some version of "Kelo reform." But critics say most have left large loopholes, leaving the burden on property owners to prove that the land the government wants is not blighted.


Such loopholes need to be plugged up. As influential urban renewal critic Jane Jacobs wrote in her 1961 book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," the future of cities is not in big buildings or highways but in neighborhoods.


Instead of rushing to push old residents out of neighborhoods, smart city leaders must find ways to incorporate residents into their plans and keep property rights from going wrong.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

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