It’s raining cats and puppies at the municipal animal shelter.

LYNDHURST – It’s pouring cats and dogs at the municipal animal shelter. The Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center is at capacity and is looking for people to adopt.

Worried about adoption fees? Don’t.

The Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center will be carrying out a free adoption for cats and dogs over six several months old Aug. 17. Dog training is also provided.

The center is engaging in Clear the Shelters event this year, which is a nationwide initiative to help shelter animals get adopted.

The shelter is relinquishing all adoption fees for dogs or cats over 6 months old — there are still fees for puppies ($125) and kittens ($55 or a two for one at $55). The shelter is also accepting applications prior to the event if there are particular animals someone is considering in.

“We are presently at capacity and would enjoy to see our animals in loving houses rather than at the shelter,” Jennifer Jones, office assistant at the shelter said. “As the municipal shelter for all of Augusta County, and the only open intake shelter in the county, we get full very quickly.”

The shelter serves Staunton, Augusta County as well as Waynesboro and is an open admissions animal shelter. It takes in all strays, abandoned animals and owner surrenders.

It has 56 kennels for dogs and 106 cages for cats inside the facility. Currently, the shelter has 140 cats, kittens and dogs in foster houses — some of those are foster to adopt, according to Jones.

In 2016, the shelter expanded its footprint by adding six more large pet kennels, moving the cat intake and isolation room into a various space and adding a total of eight small kennels and 20 cat cages. The expansion was funded by all localities.

The shelter also has 3 cats at PetSmart as part of Waynesboro up for adoption and six at Petco in Staunton.

Euthanizing animals is a last approach at the shelter. The Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center began operation in September of 2011 and since opening, the shelter has labored to lower the euthanasia rates in the community. The current save rate is 82.3% for cats and 91.5% for dogs — which includes animals that died in the shelter’s care, not just euthanasia.

The shelter took part in the Clear the Shelters event last year.

“We had a decent turn out, but we are hoping for better this year,” Jones said.

Let There Be Light (Emitting Diodes): Philly to Retrofit All 100,000 City Streetlights

The city of Philadelphia has a great many plans to reduce its municipal energy consumption in the name of staving off climate change. These include ambitious but clear initiatives like purchasing more renewable energy and driving more electric cars. But it turns out, when it comes to how much the city spends on its own energy bill, the single greatest offender is something both common and taken for granted: streetlights.

Our approximately 100,000 sodium-powered bulbs expense $15 million to light each year. Which is why, after experimentation with some pilot programs starting in 2011 that changed 5,000 sodium bulbs with more energy-efficient LEDs, the city has promised to scale up the whole effort and replace all of its 100,000 streetlights, along with another 18,000 alley lights.

Philly’s been a bit slow on the uptake here — many other areas, like New York City and Chicago, have previously retrofitted their lights. But for once, our measured pace may actually be an advantage. That’s because many of the early LED installations from the early 2010s had just one setting — hyper bright — and were promptly were met with public outcry as residents complained about blocks now suddenly lit like hospital operating rooms. Technology has since improved to the point that there are dimmer LEDs available.

In spite of those improvements, some concerns over LEDs have remained — in large part thanks to a 2016 report from the American Medical Association that suggested certain LEDs, with their blue-light wavelengths, could hurt people’s eyes. Sodium-powered lights, on the other hand, typically fall in the more eye-friendly yellow-light spectrum.

The AMA’s report also referenced, quite ominously, “a long-term increase in the risk for cancer, diabetes, [and] cardiovascular disease” that could be triggered by bright lights disrupting people’s circadian rhythm. But it seems even the AMA thought that was a bit over-dramatic, because in the end, the doctors still endorsed LED retrofitting, so long as cities use less powerful lights. (The AMA suggested lights no more powerful than 3000K, a unit of “color temperature” for which higher numbers signify more blue wavelengths. While most of Philly’s existing LEDs are at the 4000K level, the city is also testing 3500K, 3000K, and 2700K models.)

The most popular interior design fads in SoCal

Every house is unique in its own way, especially when it comes to interior design. Home owners often select design styles that are influenced by what is popular in their part of the world. Joybird took a look at the styles most searched by state using Google Trends.

The most common design choice across the country is the industrial aesthetic. As the dominant design trend in Illinois, this style takes influence from old factories and other industrial spaces with features like weathered wood, exposed brick, metal appliances, and concrete flooring. Industrial chic incorporates the open layouts of cities and lofts so homeowners can achieve a “warehouse” feel with a modern twist.

Vintage was the next most searched style and is largely popular in Texas. With the objective of creating an atmosphere of antiquity, this style is old fashioned and romantic, according to Small Design Ideas. It involves natural materials like wood and fabrics as well as unnaturally aged furniture and decor to reflect the fashion of decades past.

The shabby chic design is big in Massachusetts and areas emphasis on the appearance of an aged space with distressed furniture and mismatched decor. It can also feature natural elements like plants and clay or stone accessories, according to Freshome.com.

Homeowners in Atlanta gravitate toward the rustic interior design style which is characterized as a rough, aged and casual aesthetic based on natural inspirations according to a Housebeautiful.com article. Materials like unfinished wood as well as stones and burlap fabrics characterize this style that aims to use organic materials in their most natural state.

California’s beaches inspire the seaside design that’s the most common trend in the state. In this aesthetic, normal light and soothing colors create a natural and calm atmosphere. A simplistic layout, combination of different textures, and abundance of cushions put the finishing touches on this seaside theme.

FHA Loans Info in 2019

In a major step 3 years in the making, the Federal Housing Administration announced Wednesday that it shortly will back some mortgages on individual condominium units in condominium complexes that are not approved by the agency.

In the past, buyers generally could not get an FHA-backed loan on a condominium unit unless the whole complex had FHA approval, but just 6.5% of the approximately 150,000 condominium complexes in the country had that approval. In San Francisco, just 17 complexes have been approved.

The new approval procedure is part of a rule mix that will take effect Oct. 15. The objective is to increase owning a home among low-income, fraction and first-time buyers, and elders looking for to downsize. Often, these buyers see condos as an affordable option, but don’t have the down payment, credit score or other qualifications needed to get a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They could qualify for an FHA loan, but can’t get one on a condominium due to the fact the project is not FHA-approved.

Under the new rules, they may be able to. For projects that are lacking FHA approval, the agency will insure up to 10% of individual units in projects with 10 or more units, and up to two units in projects with fewer than 10 units.

There still will be a restricted review of the project to make sure it has sufficient reserves and meets owner-occupancy and other requirements.

Generally, the project would need at minimum 10% of the complex’s total monthly unit assessments in reserves, and would need at minimum 50% of the units occupied by owners. Those are the same requirements FHA imposes on entire complexes today.

The new rule, however, also makes changes to FHA’s approval procedure for entire complexes to make it more streamlined and flexible. For example, under the new rule, FHA could adjust its owner-occupancy requirement to anywhere between 30% and 75%.