Sandy smashes East Coast

Hurricane Sandy smashed the East Coast with 80 mph winds and record storm surges on Oct. 29, 2012. The storm killed more than 90 people as it destroyed homes and businesses and left millions without power. Nearly a week later, residents are still reeling from Sandy’s devastation.

Widespread power outages and subway shutdowns may make Sandy the second most expensive storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina.

Insurance adviser Eqecat said last week that damage from the superstorm will likely be far worse than it previously predicted, as Sandy hit the country’s most densely populated area. The firm doubled its previous damage estimate, now believing that Sandy may have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses.  The total destruction includes property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. The cost to insurance companies could run as low as $10 billion and as high as $20 billion.

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Ford loses trademark case

Ford lost a case Ford_logo2in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday when the court ruled that a Montgomery, Texas printer did not violate any law in printing the Ford logo for clients such as Ford dealers, used car dealers or anyone else using the Ford logo under standard fair use policies.  The printer, George Atkinson, sued Ford after receiving a demand letter for $5,000 after he printed the Ford logo for a client. Mr. Atkinson sued Ford for unfair business practices and interference with third party contracts.

Mr. Atkinson says Ford has sent out thousands of letters to commercial printers, sign companies, advertising products companies and anyone else Ford finds using an image of the Ford logo for any reason, claiming users are infringing by using the Ford logo/trademark without Ford’s approval. Ford claims in the letters and in court that it has the right to approve the copy of the logo any printer uses. Ford also claims in the letters that any use not authorized by Ford amounts to counterfeiting. The letters all contain a standard $5000 demand for damages. The Ford demand letters also claim – falsely, according to Mr. Atkinson and to Ford’s OWN documents – that dealers are, by contract, allowed to use only six  sources which Ford has “authorized” for the purpose.

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SNAP, the Bishops and a Lesson in Ecclesiology

Thomas Doyle, J.C.D.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, came into existence in 1989, just five years after national attention was first focused on sexual molestation of minors by Catholic Clergy. The founder, Barbara Blaine, is a survivor of abuse. The national director, David Clohessy is also a survivor. SNAP came into existence because the institutional Church, i.e., the bishops, could not and would not do anything to help the victims of the priests they were supposed to supervise. Realizing that they would have to help themselves, Barbara and the original members started what has become the oldest and most effective advocacy and help group for the countless victims of clergy abuse throughout the U.S. in Europe as well. Over the years since its existence SNAP has done what the institutional Church should have done: it offered understanding, support, solace and above all, hope for anyone who called upon it. SNAP is not a sophisticated organization with a well-oiled and financed bureaucracy. It has always been focused on providing support for victims, giving them the encouragement to begin to heal from the devastation of abuse and giving them hope, knowing they are not alone.

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