Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Safety & Real Estate

As you may know, I am a Real Estate Representative.  As such I find myself meeting new people all the time.  Striking up a conversation on the street, in a store on the phone or via email and most recently through text messages.  Have I ever been concerned about who I'm speaking to ?  Who I will be meeting at a property ? You bet I have, and I will always take some form of precaution.
Technology has brought about a feeling of anonymity for many.  How brave some folks are, kids even, sitting at the screen of their computer or smartphone in the safety of their home.  Some people simply have too much time on their hands.  This is when the, less than average "Joe", stirs up trouble.
We have all heard the stories of respectable Real Estate Representatives being lured, assaulted or killed in the big cities.  We never really believe something like that will happen here.  I hate to say it could happen here and  it has happened here and all Representatives should look at implementing a safety plan.
As a Real Estate Professional, our faces, contact numbers, listings, open houses and often vehicles are public information.  We're in local and regional publications and on-line, that is a potential for a lot of  people seeing us and our listings.  This is great for business, but is there a personal cost too ?
For the most part my interactions, via email or phone, with the public and potential clients have all turned out fine.  I am contacted to provide a professional service to lovely couples or genuinely good people.  However, there have been a couple of incidents that were not all professional.  This is when I implemented my safety plan and learned to actually listen to my gut, it is NEVER wrong.
Back to technology and the less than average "Joe".  Most recently someone picked up a lot of female Real Estate Rep's contact info and began texting us.  Some started out business like, wanting to see property others immediately received texts of an inappropriate nature.  Quickly these texts increased in number and in their explicit nature.  Here is where a personal toll is paid by us.  It is not fair, it is not expected it is not professional.  It makes us uneasy, uncomfortable and worried that the last person we are showing a property to could be this "Joe".  Set out your safety plan and always follow you gut instinct, it will never steer you wrong.
I sure hope they catch this texting fool.  It is a cowardly approach to harassment, but harassment it is.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Someone asked me what I thought about Windmills

Someone asked me what I had heard about the wind farm planned near Markdale.  I asked which one ?  Apparently, as far as I know, there may be three planned within 3 to 10 minutes from the village.  How many are real ? one for sure, the other two seem to be under the radar.  That's how these wind companies like to work when they're out to gather leases, it's a big secret.

I have a strong opinion about The Green Energy Act and Commercial Wind Farms. 

Dalton McGuinty and the Provincial Liberals passed The Green Energy Act, May 14, 2009.  Since that date McGuinty put into motion a series of events that has crippled dozens of rural Ontario communities and has cost every Ontarian hundreds of dollars a year in ever increasing energy expenses.

I am not against Green Energy.   I believe in self-subsistent living, planting our own gardens, raising our own cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep , even cash crops for healthier living.  I think it would be great if we could all harness energy on our property to power our homes.  However, not all of us are able to do this for several reasons and often, being self-subsistent has an initial outlay of capital, such as the purchasing & installation of solar panels on our roofs or moderately sized pond or land windmills (residental use) and all of the paraphanalia for storage, that many of us simply just cannot afford.

Wouldn't it be fabulous not to be soley dependant on "the man" for our power needs ? Of course it would.  Now, lets look at  the McGuinty Liberals' GEA.  Wow, a provincial government interested in conserving energy, saving our environment and looking out for us and our health by closing all those nasty caustic power plants.  "sscccrreeaaacchhh"  Wait just a minute.  What I see isn't a Premier looking out for my best interests at all  !

I see a political party looking to keep some lobbyists happy while attempting to make their mark on Ontario.  I see a Liberal party taking advantage of the beleaguered farmer and struggling rural communitites.  I see a Premier spouting the benefits of Green Energy and of thousands of newly created jobs while ignoring the bottom line.  I see the Liberal's GEA as a means of stripping Municipalities of their freedom of choice and power.  I see my energy bill rising.

If the GEA is such a good idea why are McGuinty and the Liberals ramming it down our throats.  Why did they take away Municiple authorities ?  I figure they anticipated objections and planned for them.  Honestly, who in their right mind would run a business expensing more than they can generate ?  No businessman I know, and Government is the business of governing.

I pay an average of about .07 per kWh of electricity on my monthly bill.  McGuinty has authorized the FIT Program, and will pay the following feed in tariffs

         on shore wind     13.5 cents
         off shore wind    19   cents
         Solar ground       44.3 cents
         Solar roof           53.9 / 71.3 cents              
        (as quoted @ http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/)

So these Green Energy generators are earning substantially more than the energy is worth. Where is the common sense ?  It is no wonder our energy bills are increasing.  Ontario's power delivery systems are most likely in need of upgrade, but supplimenting the income of big business is not something Ontarians should be saddled with.

The placement of these commercial wind farms troubles me.  In a Province the size of Ontario, why must they be in our rural communities ?  I've read their placement is based on the wind readings, ease of delivery to the grid and all of the extensive research mumble jumble findings.  Well, isn't energy delivered to the much less populated areas of Ontario ?  I'm sure I've seen hydro poles reaching far and wide.  Granted there is plenty of wind in Grey County but there are thousands of folks that love the natural beauty of the area, that live, farm, vaction and retire here.  The vast majority of these people would prefer to preserve the beauty and natural enjoyment of the area than look at 10 to 100's of these massive white elephants littering their local landscape. 

Although my focus today is the bad business of the GEA, I would be remiss not to mention that the presence of the wind turbines in our communities have a miriad of issues and health concerns associated with them, from stray voltage issues, noise and infrasound, vibrations and the effect on humans, farm animals and wildlife living in the areas of these farms. 

So what I see now is several Municipalities in Southern Ontario banding together to fight the GEA and it's ridiculous and dictatorial authority.  I also see a Provincial election on the horizon that, with any luck, will rid us of Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals.   I just hope that when they go they take the GEA with them.