Thursday, March 31, 2011

Highlands Arts Alliance Hosting A Night of Jazz

This one almost passed under the radar screen but I thought you might be interested in a fun night of jazz next week at Highlands.


The Bluebird Arts & Education Alliance is hosting an event called "An Atypical Night of Jazz" that is featuring local jazz sensation the Faux Frenchmen and the UK Jazz Ensemble and for the low price of $9 for general admission.

All proceeds go to support the Bluebird Arts & Education Alliance.  Since you may not be familiar with the group's mission I have provided a snippet from their website that describes the groups mission:

The Bluebird Arts and Education Alliance (501c3) was formed as a result of a series of conversations among educators, community leaders, and local business leaders. We  discovered that we shared the vision of utilizing the school’s recent state of the art renovation to benefit students in a creative and unique way. We formed the Alliance as the vehicle to create a renewable revenue stream that would support existing arts programs in the district as well the blossoming specialized capstone programs in performing arts and mass media.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fort Thomas Makes National Headlines with Crazy Traffic Law

I was sent a Yahoo article yesterday from a reader that provided a top ten list of crazy traffic laws.  Guess who made the list? - That's right it was Fort Thomas.  Turns out an obscure code was number 8:
In Fort Thomas, Kentucky, it is illegal for your pet to “molest” a vehicle. Yes, that is the actual, unfortunate legal term used in the city ordinance for “animal-related nuisance.”
To read the full article including the entire text of Fort Thomas' new claim to fame you can click here.

That's right the wording used in the ordinance is "molest".  While Yahoo is a reputable news source you can't believe everything you read on the internet (other than on Fort Thomas Matters of course - read with sarcasm) I decided to look it up for myself.  Not only is it an actual ordinance (0-5-2001) but it was actually a rehashed news story that was also published by CNBC,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bullet Points from 2010 Annual Police Report (Part 2)

Still pouring over the 2010 Annual Police Report. I'll highlight some of the newsworthy areas:

Newsworthy cases:

January 18th - Sgt. Windgassen saw a subject sitting on the side of the I-471 overpass with this legs hanging over. Sgt. Windgassen was able to persuade the bridge jumper to come down and be transported to the hospital. Sgt. Windgassen was presented with the Negotiator Citation at the 3/1 council meeting.

February 23 - Officers dispatched to a call on N. Fort Thomas Ave for a suicidal subject with a gun inside of a residence. Officers (Bryant, Hunt, Leising, Detective Adams, Sgts. Kilgore and Carpenter, Lts. Dill and Whitford) set a perimeter around the house while third shift was called in to serve as street units. The subject made a statement that he was "going to go out the front door and start shooting so that the cops would put an end to this whole thing for me."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fort Thomas Last Weekend in March News & Notes

A few items as we head into the final week of March.  With opening day on Thursday and a spring themed poll on the right-hand side of the page I am ready for warm weather and nice spring.


1. The TANK bus service is changing routes 11 and 16 to go through the Newport Pavilion shopping center starting next Sunday, April 2nd.  This is a very smart change on the part of TANK and is a huge asset for the elderly population in Fort Thomas who find it challenging to get around town or whom may no longer feel comfortable taking the car out for grocery shopping.


2. Interesting take on the census in the Enquirer.  While we tipped them off to the fact that Fort Thomas only lost 100 residents in the past decade the Enquirer took notice of the fact that Fort Thomas remained steady while Newport dropped below the 16,000 resident mark.  They took a county wide view and point out the fact that Fort Thomas is now the largest town in Campbell County.  Despite having county seats in the north and the south and vibrant retail districts along the river - Fort Thomas - a stable, mature community is the community that has taken the lead in the county.

The article also points out that the number of housing units has actually increased by 262 units.  This means the count of population is possibly under-counted still.  All indications from housing to school enrollment points to a growing population.  Even more so when you consider newer, growing families are moving into the community.  We will have more coverage once demographic data is released.

3. Fort Thomas resident Amy Scalia is in a contest to be a co-host on Star64.  Amy is the editor of CincyChic, a fashion site that is an Enquirer affiliate.  Please vote for her video as the winner.  You have to "like" Star64 and then like Amy's video.  It is a little past halfway down the page.

4. A funny quote that Amanda Van Bueren - the Enquirer's reporter following the Kentucky politics beat - from this weekend's Northern Kentucky Republican Party Convention.  The quote was from Geoff Davis concerning Jim Bunning - " Bunning has taken his "shy, retiring style" from Congress to gym at Highlands HS, where his grandkids play sports"  As you likely know by now, his grandson is Patrick Towles, starting QB for Highlands football team.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Local Family to Host 5K Run in Memorium for 6-year old

This past Monday would have been Paige Alessandro's 7th birthday.

The middle child of Steve (HHS '87) and Heather, bravely battled a spinal vascular disease her entire life and suffered a very severe spinal stroke in 2008. After overcoming many obstacles, Paige died peacefully last May from acute liver failure which was more than likely a complication of her disease.

Judy and Rick Alessandro, of Fort Thomas, were Paige's grandparents.

"She was 6 years old and was just finishing up her kindergarten year when she became ill," said Judy Alessandro. "Paige was always the center of attention - laughing, smiling and taking pure joy in the happiness of others."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Quick Links

A few quick notes:

1) More burglaries in Fort Thomas. Received a Nixle message from Det. Brad Adams of the Fort Thomas Police today. Here's the message:

Over the past couple of weeks, the City of Fort Thomas has experienced a couple of burglaries. The burglaries appear to have occurred during daytime hours and entry is made by force through a back door. Please pay special attention to suspicious vehicles and persons and call 911 to report such.
For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/4670313/?sub_id=201072.
Police Contact Information:
Brad Adams, 859-572-1271 badams@ftthomas.org

2) Good article on Target prices vs. Wal-Mart prices on the Yahoo! home page. Would like to see someone do this locally for Target vs. Kroger vs. Remke, etc.

Here's the article here.

3) I've done this via Facebook on our page here, but I'd like to formally introduce two of our newest sponsors to the site, Birkley Services and Turner Lawn and Landscape. Their ads are on the right side of the page. If you are in search of Heating and Cooling needs or Landscaping, give Matt Birkley or John Turner a call. I can vouch for them both personally and professionally.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ft. Thomas Police Annual Report 2010 Statistics

At the council meeting on Monday, Chief Daly presented the 2010 Ft. Thomas Police Annual Report. I'll be pouring over some of the details of the 24 page report over the next week or so and highlight some of the goings on in the city over the last year bit by bit.

I've got to say, I'm very impressed with the Police Department's professionalism and efficiency. They are a huge reason that makes Fort Thomas so livable.

I'll recap some of the changes in the department, some reorganization in the ranks, program recaps and technological improvements to the department in later articles, but first I thought it would be interesting to look through all the calls for service in 2010.

There were 28,081 calls to Ft. Thomas Police. 20,383 of them were area checks, business checks, vacation checks and traffic stops.

Here's a list of the others:
Suspicious Person/Vehicle 853

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fort Thomas News - Midweek Update

A few news and notes as we reach the halfway point in the week:


1. The Campbell County Police Chiefs Association has combined efforts in conducting their First Annual Consolidated Citizens Police Academy in Northern Kentucky. Participating police agencies include Alexandria, Bellevue, Campbell County Police, Cold Spring, Dayton, Ft. Thomas, Highland Heights Southgate, NKU, Silver Grove, and Wilder. 


The Citizens Police Academy will be a ten-week course that citizens can attend for learning about police department and the criminal justice system. The meetings will be held at various participating police departments and will cover topics in areas of patrol functions, S.W.A.T., firearms, Crime scene investigations, K-9 patrol, accident reconstruction, and Criminal Investigations. 

There will also be guest speakers from the Campbell County Attorney’s Office, Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Campbell County Coroner’s Office, Campbell County Detention Center, and the Campbell County Consolidated Dispatch Center. Everyone is invited to submit an application to be considered for the Citizens Academy. Applications may be obtained and submitted to your local participating police department or their website. 

The course starts on April 20, 2011. It will be held every Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM for ten weeks. For more information, contact any participating Police Agency

2. I watched the Highlands High School production of Chicago this weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fort Thomas Census Update - No Declining Population


I have mentioned it before on this site, but Fort Thomas couldn't be losing residents at the rate that the Census had estimated it over the past decade.  Usually these comments have come in relation to the news that Fort Thomas schools are bursting at the seems.

Now we have confirmation that the formula they were using to estimate the population this past decade was flawed - 1,000+ residents flawed!  I have included a chart below of the population estimates over the past decade:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Fort Thomas News in Social Media


This is a new feature we will run each month focused on the extra things that we post on our Facebook page or Twitter account that may not show up on the site.  Take a look and if there is anything interesting to you then friend or follow us.

1. Rules and pricing for the Fort Thomas Farmer's Market (formerly Earth Mother Market) was posted on Facebook
2. Chris Collinsworth's Water Rescue from the Waterfront Restaurant played out on Twitter
3. We shared an Enquirer article on the suddenly saturated grocery options within a two mile radius - Fort Thomas (and surrounding communities) residents are the winners
4. Consensus among Facebook fans that Target food is only for when you are there and just need to grab a couple items but don't want to run to another grocery.
5. We shared a Flickr photo gallery of Fort Thomas.  A couple great shots of a Highlands football game and various other artistic pictures
6. Milford restaurant 20 Brix, owned by a Fort Thomas couple, received some recognition this week as the area's best wine bar

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Criminal in Horrific Downtown Crash Had Ft Thomas Connection


If you watch, read, or listen to Cincinnati news then chances are this week you heard about the crash one weeknight this past week that killed two innocent people including a cab driver and a passenger.

One thing you may not have noticed about the story is that the convict behind the wheel had a Fort Thomas connection.

NKY Rivermonsters Put Up 79 in Win

The Northern Kentucky Rivermonsters had their first home game at the Bank of Kentucky Center on NKU's campus Friday night.

The UIFL's best scoring offense tallied a league high, 79 points, behind Jared Lorenzen's season high 325 yards and 18 0f 27 attempts and 7 TDs.

I was one of the nearly 3,000 fans in attendance and I've gotta say, it was kind of awesome. We got in easy (parking was $5). Tickets were only $7 (up to $25), we walked right in to our seats had a few cold libations ($6) and bottomless popcorn ($5) and we were set.

The scoring is fast and frenzied and watching Jared Lorenzen work opposing defenses it about as entertaining as it gets. About the only thing more fun to watch are the TD celebrations, which there were plenty on Friday night. From group bobsledding on top of a boundary wall to a mock home run derby - this group gets it in ways the NFL never will.

Would have loved to see Brett Hamblen play, but he's on the shelf with an injury. I'll definitely go back.

Northern Kentucky improved to 3-1 on the season, and will return home on 7:30 p.m. March 28 against the Canton Cougars.

Friday, March 18, 2011

5 Things to Know About Curing a Hangover


Sorry for being a bit tardy on this post today. After mixing it up with my friends at Brothers and Beef O Brady's yesterday for St. Patricks Day, and having a near heart attack from the UK game, just now getting around to it.

I thought this post would be most appropriate for the day after St. Patrick's Day. Here we go:

1) Hydrate your body.

Start before you go to sleep, every bit of water you get into your system before you go to sleep helps 10 fold over the water you drink in the morning. Keeping your body hydrated is critical in processing the alcohol and preventing a headache caused by dehydration.

Do Drink:
  • Gatorade, other sports drinks - These drinks contain 3 important things to help fight a hangover, electrolytes (minerals), carbohydrates and water.
  • Juice, but make sure it's not too acidic, that will only help the alcohol eat away at your stomach liming.
  • Flat softdrink/punch.
  • Coconut water. Sounds gross. Tastes worse. But it works.
  • Water
  • TIP: Keep some water or any drink close to your bed, when you get up in the middle of the night to take a leak or any time you wake up, drink some.
Don't Drink:
  • Coffee - This will dehydrate you further and it may feel good for a bit, you will feel worse in the long run.
  • More Booze "Hair of the dog"
  • TIP: Don't drink anything that tastes too strong or too sour, you don't want your body to do any extra work processing it or messing with your stomach. Don't drink highly carbonated drinks, they may upset your stomach.
2) Eat.
Eating not only helps to slow down the absorption of additional alcohol already in your stomach, it will give your body nutrients. Eating a large meal may also cause drowsiness, which will help you sleep and let your body rest and repair it self.

Do eat:
  • Eggs
  • Bananas and Kiwis
  • Chicken Soup
  • Pickles
  • Toast
Don't eat:
Stay away from solids if you're nauseous. - Start out with soup, and work your way up to solids throughout the day. Your stomach is less likely to react negatively towards a liquid diet.

3) Exercise
I know, it's probably the last thing you want to do, but sweating out a hangover is probably the quickest way to getting over a hangover. Or just sit in a sauna. That sounds easier.

4) Pain medication.
Ease a pounding head with a pill (or two, depending on the recommended dosage), but stick to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen), not acetaminophen (Tylenol) - which is bad for your liver.

5) Rest.

"Rest is the best medicine" and in this case it's probably true. It's remarkable how much better you can feel with even a couple of hours of rest.

Alright, back to the couch and basketball.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mystery Park on Memorial/Waterworks

Does anyone know what this is? I guess with all the construction at the water treatment plant, I completely missed this.

It's got to be somewhat new, as the new grass and straw would indicate. It's just kind of random.

It features:
  • A really nice bridge over what looks to have been (or potentially could be) a dried out stream.
  • A tiny circle walking path around a tree that looks like it belongs in a Robert Frost poem.
  • Benches
  • A deck with seating rails overlooking the water reservoir
  • Duck crap everywhere
Don't get me wrong, I love that the city spends money on hidden gems like this, but this one seemed to come out of nowhere. It's almost like the park that the city forgot. Hey, I think I've stumbled onto a name.

And....

When you get a free minute (and let's not kid ourselves, if you've stumbled onto this blog, you obviously do) click on our Facebook Page here and "Like" Fort Thomas Matters. Once we get 250 "Likes" 1 person will win a $25 gift card to The Cheesecake Factory.

Monday, March 14, 2011

NKY River Monsters Update



The River Monsters have their first home game of the year this Friday at the Bank of Kentucky Center at 7:30. Tickets range from $7 to $25.
Here's a quick summary of the first three games, all of which have been on the road:

Win @ Canton Cougars, 63-41
Lorenzen: 24 of 38 257 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs

Win @ Johnstown Generals, 62-49
Lorenzen: 22 of 37 275 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT, 1 Rush TD

Loss @ Eastern Kentucky Drillers 60-33

Friday, March 11, 2011

5 Things to Know... About Tax Time


This week's 5 Things to Know feature is particularly pertinent to mostly everyone around this time of year. As I type this, we have 35 days until April 15. Gross.

Lori Owen, a Fort Thomas resident and CPA, has the low down on which items to look out for if you are choosing to go the "Turbo Tax" route. For me, there are a few things I don't mess with: electrical, plumbing, cars and taxes. Let the professionals have at it.

If you are a brave one, listen to Lori. Without further adieu:

Its tax time and many people prepare their own returns using “do-it-yourself” software. Here are 5 things you should know when preparing your own return:

1. Double check your input for accuracy. If you make a mistake in your social security number, name or birth date (or your dependent’s information) your return will fail to be e-filed and will have to be re-submitted. This will cause a delay in the processing of your return. Be sure that the name on your return matches the name on your social security card. This is especially critical in cases of marriage, divorce, or adoption.

2. Education credits and deductions are very complex. Refer to IRS publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education if you have paid for college expenses for yourself or your dependents. You can get this publication and lots of other useful information at www.irs.gov.

3. If you itemize your deductions, don’t forget to deduct the advalorem taxes you pay on your vehicles, watercraft, trailers, etc. Only the tax portion can be deducted. Renewal fees are not deductible. This information can be found on your vehicle registration form.

4. Consider married filing separately on your Kentucky return. This usually saves taxes and does not require you to file a separate federal return.

5. Consider hiring a CPA to prepare your tax return. Many times the tax savings on missed deductions or credits will more than cover the cost of the preparer’s fees.

Lori Owen is a CPA from Fort Thomas. She is the tax manager at Van Gorder, Walker & Co., Inc. located at 3216 Dixie Highway, Erlanger, KY 41018. Contact Lori at 859-431-0700 or e-mail her at lowen@vgwcpa.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mid-week Fort Thomas News Update

A few mid-week notes:


1. According to the website BigBlue247, Patrick Towles received a scholarship offer from UK this week.  Judging by his quote sounds like he may be following in the Hefty Lefty's footsteps - ""there was a part of me that wanted to" commit to UK on the spot" 

2. Keeping with the sports theme - NCC girls lost to Calloway County in the state tournament, Sweet 16.  I promised I would work hard covering NCC so a big tip of the hat for a solid season by the Lady Thoroughbreds.  25 -4 record is quite the accomplishment.

3. In honor of the Lenten season, I thought you might want to know about scheduled Fort Thomas fish fries.  St Thomas is offering a fish fry every Friday of Lent from 4-8pm and St Catherine has a fry next Friday (18th) from 4:30 - 7pm.  Enjoy some greasy goodness!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Autographed Beyond a Dream 25% off for Fort Thomas Matters Readers!


If you haven't already done so, for a limited time you can buy Mark Krebs' book, Beyond a Dream, for 25% off and Mark will autograph it for you.

Mark was good enough to provide a link just for Fort Thomas Matters readers.

and here it is....

Autographed Beyond a Dream 25% off

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Former UK Basketball Player, Newport Native, Releases Book


I love this tag line to this book: Beyond a Dream captures the amount of fight in a family, the courage of a mother, and the joy of chasing dreams.

Author of Beyond a Dream, Mark Krebs, who was a 2005 NCC alum, walked on at the University of Kentucky and played under three coaches. From Tubby Smith to Billy Clyde Gillispie to Coach Cal, he endured some deep valleys but also took in the highest summits.

The book also documents the astounding struggle of Terri Krebs, Mark’s Mom, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and was given 9 months to live. Having to go through 390 chemotherapy treatments and 7 surgeries did not deter her from her goal of seeing her son celebrated during his senior night at Rupp Arena last year.

She didn't give up. That story about how the Krebs' family leaned on each other is reason enough to buy the book. It's important to hear real stories of family in times when negative stories get the front page. This is the stuff that warms the heart and that's the good stuff.

"Beyond a Dream explains how I used the inspiration from my mother’s courageous fight with breast cancer to make my lifelong dream of playing basketball for the University of Kentucky a reality," Krebs said.

"In awe of her astonishing will to live, I went on to make the unlikely rise from a small division III college (Thomas More) to one of the most storied programs in the nation, prove myself to three coaches in four years, and earn a scholarship after three years of being a walk-on. Beyond a Dream is not simply about basketball but overcoming obstacles to reach far beyond limitations. It captures the amount of fight in a family, the courage of a mother, and the joy of chasing dreams."

Krebs, who grew up in Newport, spent three years of his life living in Fort Thomas while his family's house was being built has a great appreciation for the city and Northern Kentucky in general.

"I love Northern Kentucky because I think it is the best place to live in this whole entire area. We are close enough to Cincinnati to enjoy the view, restaurants, shopping, and downtown area, but don't really have to worry about the traffic and other inconveniences. Ft. Thomas is a place I've always liked because it's a family oriented city- a perfect place to grow up."

Now, Krebs travels around to schools, businesses, and various events doing some motivational speaking and promoting the book. He also periodically co-hosts with Matt Jones on Kentucky Sports Television and is planning on doing some sort of broadcasting or radio in the future on a professional level.

Mark's insight into Kentucky basketball is bar none, some of the best I've heard. The inside stories and insights he extols allows the casual fan a glimpse into the locker room that you normally just do not get.

Go to his website here to learn more about Beyond a Dream and Mark Krebs. Buy. This. Book. Not only because it's an awesome read. But he's a local kid.

What does he think about Kentucky's season so far and heading into the post season?

"The Cats have done a lot of things this year that I didn't see them doing without Enes Kanter. They've lost many close games but I also think they have learned something from each of them heading into post-season play. I do think they are limited in areas and lack depth, but they are definitely talented."


Saturday, March 5, 2011

FAQ's about Organ and Tissue Donation


I always thought it a bit strange that just by signing the back of your driver's license allowed someone to extract your organs after you die.

That may seem a bit out of left field, and pretty morbid for a Saturday afternoon, but I do have a point.

Campbell County Circuit Clerk, Taunya Nolan Jack, helps lead the Trust For Life organization as part of her public duties, to promote and raise public awareness about organ and tissue donation. This year, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, hit the 1 million persons mark on the organ donation registry. This announcement will be made again in April at the Capital Building. Nolan Jack gathered the local courts to commend this occasion.

"Organ and tissue donation is a way to give the gift of life to someone who may not have had that chance without it. One person's act can affect the lives of so many others," said Nolan Jack. "Chris Henry’s mother was on the news not that long ago and told her story of how his gift saved so many other lives."

Here are frequently asked questions about the Trust for Life Organization:

What is the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust for Life?
The Trust for Life is a non-profit organization that was created by the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks in 1992. Donations can be made at www.trustforlife.org.

If I sign the back of my license, am I on the registry?
Not necessarily. You can add your name to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry at your Circuit Court Clerks' office or online at www.donatelifeky.org. In addition to getting on the registry this way, you can sign the back of your license with two witnesses.

Will the Dr. work to save my life if my name is on the KY Organ Donation Registry?
Yes, the main priority of any medical team is to save your life. Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been done and death has been legally declared. The doctors working to save your life are entirely separate from the medical team involved in transplantation.

Am I too old to be a donor? Would anybody want my organs?
The oldest organ donor in Kentucky was 84 and she saved 3 lives. Don't disqualify yourself. Everyone can add their name to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. Since there is such a donor shortage, each potential donor is medically evaluated at the time of death to see if their organs or tissues are suitable for transplantation.

Does my religion support donation?
Yes, all major religions in America support donations and consider it the most generous act of charity and compassion.

If I join the registry, will my family be asked to consent to donation after death?
No. Joining the registry is treated as a will, meaning your willingness to help others will be honored. Should you be medically suitable, your wishes will be fulfilled and your family will not have the burden of making that decision for you. You are encouraged to discuss your wishes with your family. The only exception is that parental consent would be requested for a donor under 18.

How does someone remove their name from the registry?
By going online to
www.donatelifeky.org or contacting the Trust for Life office at 1-866-945-5433.

Who can access the information on the registry?
All information submitted to the registry will be kept confidential and secure at all times. Only organ procurement personnel will have access to the donor registry at the time of death.

Fort Thomas News - Weekend Notes (March 5th)


1. Fort Thomas police released a picture of this man whom appears to be a suspect in a purse snatching at the  Shell on the south end of town.  Any information be sure to contact Fort Thomas Police.

2. If you want good coverage of prep sports in Northern Kentucky - without a doubt the Northern Kentucky Sports Blog is the place to go.  They have a good recap of the Dixie Heights / Highlands game that ended with the Bluebirds getting knocked out of the regional tournament.  Check it out if you get a chance and they even have video interviews of players and coaches.

3. There was also a lot of important bills passed in Frankfort this week including what has been referred to as the 'SD1' bill that I will address in a future post, much discussion about how the state plans to cut expenses, and a hunting and fishing amendment.  For a good recap of the week's events - check out Amanda's Kentucky Politics Blog.  As usual she does a great job covering the General Assembly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

5 Things to Know... About Selling Your Home


This week's 5 Things to Know column features Doug Schuerman, a Realtor at Sibcy Cline. I haven't personally worked with Doug, but know plenty of people who have and all have good things to say. He's a resident of Fort Thomas and is currently listing 11 properties in the city.

Without further adieu:

We all know that the most popular real estate slogan has always been “location, location, location.” Unfortunately there is now a new slogan in our town, and it is “price, price, price.”

You can have the nicest home in town, but if you are overpriced, you won’t sell in today’s market!

Here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction.

Before:

1)
APPRAISALS: For only a few hundred dollars, you can have an appraisal done which will afford you a clear idea of the amount for which a buyer can be approved.

COMPARABLES: Comparables can be found by analyzing homes in your and nearby neighborhoods that have similar square footage, upgrades and amenities.

During:

2) BE COMPETITIVE: Under pricing a home is a strategy to garner interest and to create a bidding war through multiple offers. More showings mean more exposure, which ups the chances of receiving an offer.

LENDER COMMUNICATION: Lenders will only allow a buyer to borrow up to the amount a home appraises for. That means if you are overpriced, even an eager buyer may hit a lending road block

3) CONSIDER LEASING: Since we have been caught in a depreciating market, you may have more money in your house than you can sell it for. A reasonable option could be to lease your home until you homes value appreciates to a future sellable point.

4) HOW BAD DO YOU NEED TO SELL: If you want to sell, but don’t have to, you may want to try to wait out the down market or even wait for the “perfect” buyer. However, if you must sell, you may need to compromise. And compromise is all about price when it comes to real estate?

5) SEARCH FOR A PROFESSIONAL: Professional realtors can handle all of the above tips for a seller. As professionals in the real estate market, we know what it takes to navigate this crazy market and generate good sales for our neighbors. Leave the guess work to us. We can guarantee we will have your answers to help price your home to sell!

Pam & Doug Schuerman TheSchuermanGroup.com

Realtors dschuerman@sibcycline.com

The Schuerman Group pschuerman@sibcycline.com

Sibcy Cline Realtors

859-240-2737

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Retail Wars Have Begun


Fresh off the coupons from yesterday we received this in the mail today.  Despite the Kroger management team's insistence that they are happy to have Target (see Mark's post from Tuesday) - apparently Kroger corporate is a little worried.  10% off a $120 shopping trip is a good deal in my household since I am feeding five.  Also interesting that the other coupons are for toys and home goods.

One has to wonder if this hastens the opening of the fuel center as a possible advantage over Target.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mid-week News Update



I received this in the mail today - much like when Kroger opened - Target is blanketing the area with special deals leading up to the 'official' grand opening (for those not Mark Collier or the Mayor of Newport).

Now to the updates:

1. Frisch's announced that they are buying the old Perkin's building at the corner of 471 and 27.  Their plans include tearing it down and building a new building that includes a drive thru.  The proximity of this new store is less than a half mile from the existing store in Fort Thomas.  While they have not said they are closing the store they left the door open by not denying the store would close.  But lets be honest - they don't need two stores that close together.

2. A few notes on Fort Thomas Matters:

  • We have switched email newsletter providers and will now only be sending update emails on Monday and Thursday of each week.  You can still sign up for the email newsletter in the upper right corner of the page by entering your email address.
  • If you want to know as soon as we post a new story the best way to know is by following our twitter account - @murriner
  • We also now have a Fort Thomas Matters Facebook page.  You can 'like' our page by clicking the Facebook badge on the right-hand side of the page.  Go ahead and like us - when we reach 250 followers (we got 43 in less than 48 hours) we will give away a $25 gift certificate to a Fort Thomas business.

Northern Kentucky’s Most Vulnerable Children


At any given time in Northern Kentucky, there are approximately 900 children in out-of-home care, including foster care and residential living. Now, more than ever, the need for loving families is crucial. Of those 900 children, more than 30% are removed from Campbell County. Currently there are only 19 Campbell County foster homes, two of which are Fort Thomas.

Children must then be placed in foster homes outside their neighborhood, leaving everything they know – their family, friends and school. These children could be the bright future of Fort Thomas if safe and nurturing homes are provided within.

Many people want to make a difference in the life of a child but don’t know how or if they can. General requirements include but are not limited to one being financially stable, that is, able to meet the needs of you and your family. However, support services are available to help families with medical coverage and daycare assistance for children in care. One can be single, married, widowed or divorced and become certified. Free training is offered to those who believe fostering and adopting is ideal for them.

There are other avenues in which to help children aside from fostering and adopting. Mentoring or volunteer programs can enhance social skills, self esteem and school performance to those in care.

If you are interested in finding out how you can make a difference, please contact Andrea Greely with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services at (859) 292-6632, ext. 231.

Recruitment workers will be in the community March 28th. Businesses interested in promoting the need for foster care and adoption, please contact Andrea Greely as well.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Target Opens! (with pictures)

And Fort Thomas Matters was there. Actually the very first one in the store after the ribbon was cut. Now I have one of those types of stories you can tell your grand kids.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Newport Mayor, Jerry Peluso, looks on as Target employees cut the ribbon to "loosely" opening the store Tuesday afternoon. Notice the real photographer, who boxed me out because I was taking pictures with my phone.


Nearly 100 Target employees stood on to admire their hard work, all donned in the signature Target red.

A cellist (I think - my apologies to music enthusiasts) greeted some of the first Target Patrons.

Jan Baumann, who works in Human Resources at the new Target, mans the refreshment table. "I watched them pour the foundation. I would look on from LaRosa's (on Carothers Road) as the walls were going up and I was just so excited," she said. "Then they stopped and I didn't know what to think. But as they started again, you could really see it was going to be something nice. It's going to be a great store for this community."

Some of the first shoppers. I blurred their faces on purpose, honest. It wasn't because I'm a terrible photographer. Ok... I am.


Target employees literally lined every checkout line and in every section in the store. They were coached really well, as I think I got a "Can I help you find something" about 15 times.

Clothes section.

Housewares.

Grocery section.

Electronics section.

Perhaps my favorite photo. The "Kroger crew" came through to get a look at the new store as well, paying particular attention to their grocery sections. I chatted them up as we were strolling through the aisles, and asked them point blank if they were there to check out the competition. "No," one of the group said, "If anything this will help our store. It should bring more people into the area. We aren't worried."

And that was it. The Starbucks mini store was fully manned as well. That's all for today. You heard it here first. Take a look here to juxtapose how it looked today vs. my impromptu visit in early January.