The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Is the age of free newspaper information over?
If you believe the media baron Rupert Murdoch it is…
“Quality journalism is not cheap and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news Web sites”.
Some may say “them there’s fightin words”.
But will a public used to free access to newspapers now pay to read them?
That is the question all financially strapped newspapers are pondering?
This will be difficult for Murdoch to accomplish, billionaire or not. Paying for newspaper content has been tried before in some form or another and it has failed.
In this technology age information gushes out all around us. You literally can’t stop it.
As Internet search becomes better and better it becomes easier and easier to find out about whatever interests you, using the Internet. And it is not just newspapers providing the result of these searches…its bloggers, twitters, vloggers, forum participants etc.
These free sources of information make it difficult for Murdoch’s payment concept to become areality…but we’ll see.
Hollywood arrives at the Lowell Superior Courthouse…
Lights, cameras, actors, actresses, trucks, wires…it is all here. I’ll do more on the making of the movie The Fighter later in the week.
Yesterday around 4:00PM fire trucks came roaring up Gorham Street. Some took a quick left turn onto a narrow street named Auburn while others remained parked by the Xtra Mart Gas Station across from the Lowell Superior Courthouse. Within minutes smoke became visible bellowing from a house one street over from our location. I never do this, but yesterday I had parked my car in the lot diagonally across from the courthouse. I did this to free up the back end of the employee lot to prepare for filming of the movie “The Fighter”. Where I parked was within two hundred feet of the house engulfed in fire. As police cruisers and fire trucks kept arriving on the scene, I went out to move my vehicle back to the employee parking lot away from the congested area. The speed at which the “scene” materialized amazed me. When I arrived at the parking lot to move my car I was shocked. The smoke turned from gray to a deep black color and streamed out of the roof of the building. More and more fire trucks, ambulances and police cars sped to the scene as I returned to the courthouse. By the time the registry of deeds closed all of Elm Street was blocked to traffic. I exited the courthouse into a fog of heavy smoke. I saw one person ushered to an ambulance on a stretcher. The main exit/entrance to the employee parking lot was blocked by a huge fire truck. Fortunately, I managed to maneuver my way through a second exit around a police car and out onto Gorham Street. In all I counted six fire trucks, two ambulances and numerous police cruisers. The Lowell Sun is reporting this morning that no one was seriously injured by the fire.
President John Quincy Adams has joined the ranks of Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal and John Mc Cain. He was/is a Twitterer…or something close to one. No, unlike the modern day communcators the sixth President of the United States did not have a Blackberry or iPhone, but he did write short daily summaries of “happenings” in his diary. Adams wrote these one line diary entries for over thirty years giving accounts of trips, visits and routine occurrences. And they are so short they fit within the 140 character restriction of Twitter. The Massachusetts Historical Society has come up with great idea that will bring these summaries/tweets to the public. The society created a JQAdams_MHS Twitter account and each day beginning August 5 they will publish one of these short diary entries as a tweet. This morning I signed up to follow the president. You can do the same here.
The 2009 Lowell Folk Festival kicks off tonight with a parade through downtown followed by performances at Boarding House Park. The festival continues all day on Saturday and Sunday. Music and dance groups performing include Tuvan Throat Singers, Caribbean American steel pan ensemble, New Orleans brass band, African American A Cappella Gospel, Cajun, Brazilian capoeira dance, Polka, Quebecois, Bluegrass, Klezmer, Puerto Rican jibaro, Blues, Greek, Irish, Congolese dance music, Senegalese ekonting, Old-time New England barn dances, traditional New Orleans Jazz.. Community ethnic groups offering traditional foods include Cambodian, African-American, Armenian, Filipino, Greek, Jamaican, Laotian, Latin, Middle Eastern, Polish and Portuguese. For more information, please visit the official Lowell Folk Festival website.
Today’s Globe has a story about the impact of the imminent sale of downtown Lowell’s Doubletree Hotel to UMass Lowell for use as a conference center and dormitory. The article is written by Robert Gavin, who was the Lowell Sun’s city hall reporter during critical periods in the hotel’s existence. Armed with this historical knowledge, Gavin thoroughly lays out the hotel’s history and the probable impact of its transfer on the future of the city’s downtown.
We here at the registry are closely following the sale of this building since we will have to record all the documents associated with it. For instance, the hotel is built upon parcels that are both recorded and registered land. Also, the sale of the hotel will be exempt from documentary stamps since one of the parties to the transaction is an entity of state government.
They’re called emoticons…we’ve all seem them. A smiley face made by putting a colon before right parenthesis, like this : ) and this could be changed to a sad face with a left parenthesis, like this : (
Here are some of the more common emoticons you’ll find in text messages and emails:
=D Large grin or big laugh
:(] I’m shocked or surprised
:< Frowning sad
=P I’m an idiot
:-\ I’m bored annoyed or awkward
;-) a wink
<3 I’m in love
:S I’m confused and embarrassed
These are all interesting and you’ll see them often…but, what about when you want to express an “out of the ordinary” emtion? What do you do? Well, this morning I took the time to create some emoticons that although its unlikely you’ll need to use in a text message mioght just come in handy on that rare occassion:
############ Good Fences Make Good neighbors
************ Its snowing again
<> You go your way I’ll go mine
| | | | Is that your Jeep?
Lo Anyone for soccer?
“~î~” I think I’ll shave my mustache
_///__\\\_ Take the bridge, its faster
OK, so maybe some are a little silly….but I’ll bet the time will come when you need to use one. Then you won’t think its silly. Will you?
This is a short video on the new Judicial Center to be built in Lowell. The pictures were taken from the state’s Administration and Finance Department website. More details on the project can be found here.
For several years this registry has served as a passport application intake station. Recently, a few of us attended a training seminar held at the Boston passport office. The class was well-run, professional, and covered all the substantive rules. One thing that struck me as odd was the treatment of same gender couples who marry and assume the same name. Because passports are issued by the Federal government, the US Defense of Marriage Act would not recognize a name change based on a same gender marriage. Today’s Globe, however, reports that the Federal government has now modified that rule and will allow the issuance of passports in the married name based on a marriage that is recognized in the state in which the marriage occurred.
When I arrive home after work today, I’ll look at my driveway in an entirely different way after reading today that the new owner of the property at 48 Commonwealth Ave in Boston paid an additional $300,000 for a parking space that went with the property. I know parking in Boston in expensive - that’s why I take the train whenever possible - but when the cost of ownership of space for a single car exceeds the purchase price of the majority of homes in Lowell, you know something is out of whack. I suppose I should have figured this out already. During past meetings and conferences on the Massachusetts Deed Indexing Standards, attorneys who regularly do real estate work in Boston would become obsessed with how the registry indexed parking spaces that were often buried deed in the description section of a deed conveying a residential unit. Those of us from outside of Boston never could summon much enthusiasm or concern for this issue. After today’s article, however, I know I’ll be paying much closer attention to documents related to parking spaces than I ever have before.
Sometimes I wonder if I live in a semi-state of confusion. This morning while imbibing my first cup of coffee I heard a news report that grab my attention…
(I paraphrase) According to 90% of the economist polled the recession will end by the end of this year.
Wow, what great news…how these economist know this is far beyond my elementary understanding of supply and demand. Needless to say, I finished my first cup of coffee with a huge smile on my face. The country is back!..But things changed rapidly during my second my second cup of coffee.
While sipping away I began reading the online version of the New York Times…
Here is the first headline I saw “U.S. Home Sales Remain Sluggish as Supply Soars”…
Hold on, this can’t be the case. I just read the opposite…remember 90% of the economist think the recession will be over in six months…
And more from the article “Sales of previously owned homes picked up last month, an industry group reported on Wednesday, as buyers went looking for bargains and lower –priced houses”.
What do you mean? Bargains? Lower priced houses? What about the end of the recession? …
Again from the article “But economists and housing specialists worry that foreclosures will continue to grow, swamping the market, as unemployment rises”…
these can’t be the same economist that think the recession is almost over…Or can they be?
Welcome to my semi-state of confusion.
Come on, right now right here. Lets go…
Did you know there is a real-time game going on right in front of our faces? And the main combatants are Google and Twitter. What is a “real-time game”? It is a race to provide the public with up-to-the-minute news and conversation…in (you guessed it) “real-time”. And right now the leader by far is Twitter…Now, this isn’t my assessment of the race, it is the assessment of none other than Larry Page, Goolge co-founder and Eric Schmidt, Google CEO… and they should know.
Here is what Page had to say, “People really want to do stuff real-time and I think they (Twitter) have done a great job about it. I think we have done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per-second basis”.
Google did try to make a run at Twitter in the early days. It purchased a micro-blogging company called Jaiku…but Google squandered that opportunity and stopped funding the infant Twitter competitor. Today there is speculation that Google will (excuse me) buy Twitter by making it an offer it can’t refuse. Twitter has already refused $500 million from Facebook. But CEO Schmidt says don’t be too sure about a Google purchase “We do not have to buy everybody to work with them, the whole principle of the Web is people can talk to each other”.
That’s easy for a guy to say who runs a company with $15 billion in cash and liquid assets.
Some things baffle me…In less than an hour the Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off on a mission intended to repair the Hubble Telescope. No, the mission doesn’t baffle me, what baffles me is the fact that on-board the Atlantis is a basketball. Not just any basketball, rather a ball belonging to the amazing clowns of basketball the Harlem Globetrotters. Come on, you’ve got to be baffled now too. I’m wondering, do you think its the basketball Meadowlark Lemon had attached to an elastic band so it would fire back to him when he shot it from the foul line? Or maybe the one that Meadowlark gives to the Washington Generals that hits the floor with a thud? Please, help me… Why would NASA send one of the Globetrotters basketballs up in space? You see, I’m right aren’t I, some things are baffling …And I’m baffled even more…Why? because NASA put a second basketball on the shuttle. This one belongs to the University of Chicago and was once “handled” by none other than the famed astronomer and namesake of the telescope Edwin Hubble himself. But…I image Hubble handled a baseball too, so why not a put a baseball on the shuttle? What then is the connection between Edwin Hubble and basketball? It seems Hubble was a star forward for the University of Chicago the year they won the National Championship in 1907-1908. Get it? Basketball, Hubble…Hubble Basketball…National Championship, Hubble…Telescope, Basketball…yes, yes it all relates, according to NASA anyway. Me? I’m still baffled.
Last Friday May 1 was Law Day. At the Lowell Superior Courthouse there were various happenings including speeches, an essay contest and tours of the historic building.
T0morrow is Law Day which was established by President Eisenhower in 1958 in contrast to the Soviet Union’s “May Day” which was a demonstration of that country’s military might. Law Day was intended to publicize this country’s respect for the rule of law. Tomorrow at noon here at the Middlesex Superior Court, there will be a ceremony sponsored by the Greater Lowell Bar Association that will feature speeches by public and judicial officials, a student essay contest and entertainment by the Lowell High School choir. Also, the colors will be presented by the Lowell High School Air Force Junior ROTC color guard which regularly performs that task at important Red Sox games such as opening day and the World Series. Earlier in the day, beginning at 10 a.m., there will be guided tours of the Superior Courthouse that will focus on the building’s architecture and history. All are welcome to attend.
Still no documented cases of Swine Flu in Massachusetts, but it might be wise to start following some common sense precautions. The following is some information I received about the current public health situation:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have also been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count total is 40, with updates available at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. There are many things you can to do prevent getting and spreading influenza:
There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
For more information on how you can protect yourself and your family, please visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/swineflu
The cover story in the latest Time Magazine examines the ongoing transformation of America from a “consumer culture” to a “culture of thrift” and suggests that this society-wide adjustment in attitudes about spending and consuming will rival the one that took place during the Great Depression. This has some relevance to the Registry of Deeds and those in the real estate industry. When the current recession began back in December 2007, home equity loans accounted for 10% of all consumer spending in the country. In other words, people were spending considerably more than they were earning on new cars, college tuition, vacations and other consumer items. The Time article says that such behavior has totally ceased and that the rapid decrease in the amount being spent by Americans has contributed to the severity and depth of the current economic crisis. But the article also suggests that most Americans are approaching this with resolve rather than regret, so in the longterm, at least, there’s some cause for optimism.
If you follow lowelldeeds you probably know here at the Registry of Deeds we are big believers in the Twitter revolution. I am prooud to report that as of today lowelldeeds has 47 people following it on Twitter. We Tweet numerous times everyday. The Tweets we post give followers a glimpse into the daily operations of the registry.
Here is a sample of some of our recent Tweets..
We are juggling some employees to fill a “backup” gap created by a retirement in our verification department.
We are hoping to make some improvements to the lowelldeeds blog in the near future.
I am having four pictures of the Courthouse Clock works mounted for use on Law Day.
Tomorrow morning Trial Court IT people will be here at the registry to upgrade our probate computer connection.
It has been a busy morning @ 2:00PM we have recorded 257 documents.
I am calling today…Twitter Encouragement Day..so sign up “today” to follow lowelldeeds on Twitter.
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