Some Villain Thoughts About a Container VillageWritten by Iulia Pascanu
Preview: "Shipping containers" have yet nothing to do with "housing" in Romania. Is there any chance that they will soon? Belonging to Eastern European block, released in 1989 from communist oppression, Romania has already experienced 15 years of less and less stunning freedom.
I read a few articles about shipping container housing. It took me about five minutes to realize this subject makes your mind frolic endlessly on an imaginary (however not utopian) land. Those articles belong to some very respectable gentlemen (at least that was impression they made on me, at first reading) – that praise living in shipping containers.
Let's go cheap
A 40 foot-long shipping container could reach to $1,500-2,000. I started asking myself questions about how this subject could become a solution for homeless people in Romania (that's where I live), where flats cost (at least) $20,000. And they're not 40 foot-long.
At same time, Romania has a lot of peripheral categories: poor, old, young, unemployed, pitman, gypsy, orphan, student.
Could they benefit from this recent discovery that living in some kind of shoe-boxes can be really cool and trendy? I'll try to answer that.
A few advantages from a Romanian point of view: for peripherals it's cheap, for artists it's unconventional subject is quite green you can "camp" anywhere you want (Romania has not few spectacular landmarks) result you get using shipping containers can be anywhere between "plastic" and "platinum", practical and fantasy, serious and ludic - you can move your "house" around. At least that's what LOT/EK people are trying to prove by their "mobile dwelling unit" project. Earthquakes, floods and sliding land are some serious problems in Romania, so being able to leave place at a snail's pace may be useful. - most Romanians live in blocks of flats that pretty much look like overcrowded shipping containers (and usually inadequate to modern standards: water supply, heating, insulation, comfort etc). Could shipping container houses actually mean a reasonable escape? Maybe, if they are properly transformed and adapted to living conditions. - A sad fact is that few Romanians actually have possibility to pay $2,000 cash for a house-to-be. If you are not a Romanian 2007 could be, in optimist version, year that Romania will join EU. Compared to Western standards, Romanian land properties are very cheap. Land-purchase conditions are same for both Romanians and foreigners.
Ohio Musician Returns to Florida and Teams With The Red Cross to Offer Relief With Funds From New Live CDWritten by Paul Rader
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2004
Monday, September 13--Put-in-Bay, Ohio - A veteran solo acoustic entertainer from northern Ohio is returning to Florida for his second winter season this October, bringing relief from recent hurricane disasters there by contributing music to generate funds for hurricane disaster relief. Paul Rader, who performs at Bear Bottom Beach Club in Key West every year, is donating five hundred ($500) dollars cash and fifty percent (50%) of profits of his latest CD, Land of Cover Band Live - Vol. I, to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. For remainder of 2004 Rader will make weekly contributions to fund that a Red Cross source says is already "strapped for cash."
The Red Cross estimates damages in excess of $63 million dollars but that does not include potential costs of Hurricane Ivan making landfall. So far, they have only been able to raise $35 million dollars to help families effected by storms. When you look at staggering numbers, it would take to return everybody's life back to normal, it seems completely overwhelming. “What I'm offering seems insignificant by comparison but I'm hoping that it will inspire other independent performers to do same," says Rader. For those who want to donate, he has set up links to Red Cross's website, as well as links to make contributions through his artist website www.paulrader.com.