Sunday, December 18, 2011

"60 Minutes" on December 18, 2011

The new threat from the great recession is vacant, abandoned homes. Cleveland has a program ripping them down.
Scott Pelley did "There goes the neighborhood," beginning with the observation that 25% of the homes are worth less than the outstanding mortgage. In Cleveland, perfectly good homes are being torn down. 1/5 of all houses were left vacant. Cleveland waited four years for home values to recover. Rococas is leading the effort to tear down unoccupied homes. Foreclosure scavengers have gone hi-tech, tracking legal actions. Aluminum siding, copper is removed, and generally saleable metals. Vacant land produced by demolitions is frequently given to the neighbors. The guy next door is the victim of abandoned, but remaining, houses. The bank is supposed to take responsiblity, but the banks are walking away. The banks do not show up at the sheriff's sale. In the high time of lending: Money looking for people. Eleven million people owe more on mortgage than house is worth. An example was given: Her house is worth $50,000 but the mortgage is $100,000. Another example also involved a $50,000 difference. Cinema Park at Miles Drive: only six occupied homes. $200,000 mortgage for house now worth $100,000. Pelley noted Cuyohoga sheriff is doing 50 evictions per month. One neighborhood had 1/4 of house vacant. One critic suggested banks write-down the mortgages. Cuyohoga County ripped down 1,000 homes in past year.

Second, Gardens of the Queen. Anderson Cooper on the rainforests of the ocean (coral reefs). Located off the coast of Cuba. First to Havana. The drove six hours, boat for 6 hours, then islands on Cuba's southern coast. David Guggenheim of Ocean Foundation of Washington, DC described the reef as a time capsule. Coral is an organism. Diversity of life that lives on the reefs. David said 90% of sharks have been removed from the oceans. Goliath Grouper. David spoke of critically endangered. David noted problems with the presence of the lion fish. Nine foot crocodiles. David talked about Vera Cruz reefs, which are being lost. Rising ocean temperatures cause bleaching. We have lost 25% of the world's coral reefs. Company: Avalon, co-owned by Cuba government and a company in Italy.

Third, Meryl Streep. Story: "The Many Meryls", featuring movie on Margaret Thatcher. Stage of Delacourt Theater, where Streep began 35 years ago. Suspension of the day to day, and you're in someone else's head. The opportunity to deal with the deep buried discomfort many have with women in leadership positions. To sit in the hot seat. Support her voice, by making it deeper. Remarkably single-minded; her way was the only way. High school in Bernardsville, NJ. Homecoming queen. Loved Carole Lombard, Kate Hepburn. Yale Drama School. Joe Papp. Kramer v. Kramer and Manhattan. Silkwood. Out of Africa. Mamma Mia. Doubt. Angels in America. Sybil Thorndike quoted. Thatcher now is suffering from dementia. Tell an honest story about a big life in its ebb. Playing a strong minded woman. National women's history museum in DC. Mom Bett, slave in Massachusetts. Took name Elizabeth Freeman. Streep has a problem with the snail's pace of movie making. "The narrowing of the audience." La Giaconda smile of Meryl Streep. All that education down the drain (anaconda).


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