June 3, 2013

Home & Garden briefs: June 3, 2013

Volunteers needed for E’town garden

ELIZABETHTOWN — Elizabethtown Healthy Communities is looking for a Community Garden volunteer leader.

The Community Garden is located next to the Hale House on Lawrence Way, near Egglefield Ford.

One or more garden volunteers are needed to help organize Community Garden activities; reach out to and help members of the community who want to participate in growing their own food; help with planting , growing and harvesting in the garden; share gardening fun with children; mark individual plots; share what you know about gardening; turn the water on and off; manage the gardening tools; and help oversee the garden operation.

Help and guidance is provided by Meg Parker from Essex County Public Health.

Call her at 873-3857 for more information.


Chazy Library to host gardening talk

CHAZY —  Chazy Public Library will host a gardening program about invasive species by Cornell Cooperative Extension Service from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12. 

“Got Eyes?” looks out for invasive species and talks about what you can do to help protect forests and landscape trees. Gardening questions and tips on dealing with weeds will also be covered.

The program is free, but RSVP to 561-7450 or jmw442@cornell.

This is the second of a series of gardening programs at the Chazy Library through the summer and fall.


Feds crack down on home auction scams 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — At the height of the financial crisis, bargain hunters would gather each week on county courthouse steps to bid on foreclosed properties throughout Northern and Central California. The inventory lists were long, especially in hard-hit areas such as Sacramento and Stockton. But the auctions were generally short affairs — often because real estate speculators were illegally fixing the bidding process.

In the past three years, federal prosecutors have charged 54 people and two companies in three states for bid-rigging during courthouse auctions of foreclosed properties. Most cases originated in California, the state with the highest foreclosure rate during the financial crisis. Nearly identical rings were also broken up in Raleigh, N.C., and Mobile, Ala.

Working in concert, the would-be buyers would appoint just one person to bid on each property on the auction block, thus securing the “winning” bid. Minutes after the official proceeding was over, they would then conduct an auction among themselves, often on the same courthouse steps.

That’s when a property’s true price would emerge. The conspirators would then divvy up the difference paid at the official auction and the private one.

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