Willis Newton Interview – 1979

Willis Newton was the longest living Texas outlaw who robbed more than 80 banks and trains. He and his outlaw gang robbed more than Jessie James, the Daltons, and all of the rest of the Old West outlaws-combined. Their biggest haul occurred in 1924 when they robbed a train outside of Rondout, Illinois-getting away with $ 3,000,000. They still hold the record for the biggest train robbery in US history.

In 1979, I interviewed Willis Newton at his home in Uvalde, Texas. A few months later the outlaw died at age 90.

When I stepped up and knocked on Willis Newton's door there was no response. After a minute I heard a raspy growl, "It's open. Come on in."

Stepping inside the rundown clapboard house with the unkempt yard, I saw a small, with looking looking old man glaring at me from his rocking chair. "What the hell do you want?"

"Mr. Newton, I am the guy that called you yesterday and wanted to ask you some questions."

"I is not talking to no one about my life.

I knew then that doing an interview with the old outlaw was going to be a tough nut to crack. As best I could, I reminded him of our phone conversation on the previous day when I asked him to provide me with some details on how to rob a bank or a train. I told him I was writing a paperback novel (which was true) and that I needed some help in depicting a factual description of how the robberies took place (which was also true). After a few moments of consideration, he gestured to a chair in the small living room and agreed to answer "just a few questions."

In contrast to the chilly weather outside, it was hot and stuffy in his cluttered living room-being heated by a small gas wall heater. I quickly unloaded my tape recorder and after a brief conversation with Willis, handed him the microphone. I asked him how to stage a bank hold up and what was involved in robbing a train. Then like turning on a wind-up toy, Willis essentially started telling me his life's story. From time to time, I managed to get in additional questions but for the most part he rattled off the well-behaved accounts of his life in machine gun fashion-rationalizing everything he had done, blaming others for his impersonations, and repeatedly claiming that he had only stolen from "other thieves."

I had no idea what to expect when I stepped into his little house that day but what I encountered was the quintessence of the criminal mind. Everything he had done was justified by outside forces, "Nobody ever give me anything. All I ever got was hell!" As I listened in rapt attention, he sat center stage speaking in a high-pitched raspy voice, pontificating on an assortment of subjects of his choosing. Lacing his speech with large quantities of profanities, vulgarities and racial slurs, Willis was quite articulate in telling his stories – a master of fractured grammar. At times he would slip into mythological story telling mode where he would talk of killing rabbits and camping out while on the run from lawmen. Then with a little prodding he would return to the basic facts of his story.

In the process, he told me how he was raised as a child and how he was first arrested for a crime "that they knew I did not do." He went into detail about his first bank holdup, how he "greased" a safe with nitroglycerine, robbed trains, and evaded the lawmen that came after him. Willis described the Texas bank robberies in Boerne, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and Hondo (two in one night). He also related the double bank robbery in Spencer, Indiana and proceeded to give accounts of bank robberies in a multitude of other states.

He often recounted the events of the Toronto Bank Clearing House robbery in 1923 and finally the great train robbery outside of Rondout, Illinois, where he and his brothers got away with $ 3,000,000 in cash, jewelry, and bonds. He went into great detail about the beatings he and his brothers took from the Chicago police when they were later captured. As he told the story his face reddened and his voice rose to a pitched screech until he had to pause to catch his breath. Then lowering his voice he described how he managed to negotiate a crafty deal with a postal inspector for reduced prison sentences for himself and his brothers by revealing where the loot was hidden.

He told about his prison years at Leavenworth and his illegal businesses he ran in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after he got out of prison in 1929. He complained bitterly about being sent back to prison in McAlester, Oklahoma, for a bank robbery "they knew I did not do, "in Medford.

After returning to Uvalde, Texas, following his release from prison, Willis swore that he "never had no trouble with the law after that." When I asked him about his elderly brother's botched bank robbery in Rowena, Texas, in 1968, he exploded, "They tried to get me as the get-away driver but hell, I was in Laredo, over 400 miles away! I had 12 Witnesses that said I was there the night old Doc and RC got done. "

At the end of the interview, I asked him to comment on the Rondout loot buried in Texas by his brother, Jess. He said he knew where it was buried-just not exactly where because "Jess was whiskey-drunk when he hid it." Looking at the frail aged man dressed in a frayed union suit and a pair of stained pants, Willis did not appear to have any loot left of any of his robberies; although, locally it was rumored that from time to time he would spend money that appeared to have been printed during the '20s or' 30s.

Finally, I turned off the tape recorder and thanked him for helping me with the details I needed for my paperback Western. Returning to my car, my mind was awhirl with the stories I had just heard. The thought of writing a book on the old outlaw had never crossed my mind and I was very sincere in telling him I was a fiction writer and not a biographer. But what a story he told!

The following week I put the cassette tapes in a safety deposit box thinking the information might be useful for a future writing project. A few years later, I transcribed the tapes, added my notes and filed the interview away. Then while working on another book I came across the interview file and knew I had to write his story-but the complete story, not just what Willis had told me in the interview. As I found out this was a much bigger project than I had anticipated. I tracked down several hundred newspaper and magazine articles on Willis and his brothers, court records and police reports. Then, where I could, I interviewed the few remaining people who actually knew and had first-hand knowledge of Willis Newton.

Along the way, I unearthed some startling evidence that dispelled the myth that Willis and his brothers had never killed anyone in the commission of their numerous crimes. This is the first time that this fact has been brought to light.

When I had finished the research, I knew I could write his story. With some minor editing, culling some of the blatant racial references and over abundances of profanities, I tried to keep his words to me intact. I do not espouse demeaning racial terms regarding any ethnicity of people-whether it is the Irish, Jewish, Hispanic, African, Italian, or other deprecated populaces.

In a few instances, I had to structure his accounts for clarity. He spoke in a rapid fire jailhouse prose using a wide range of criminal jargon that sometimes was difficult to follow. Wherever possible I strove to retain his colorful phraseology, using the common expressions of the day.

In writing the Willis Newton book, I omitted most of his repeated self-justification for his actions in which he took great pains to paint himself as a gallant criminal-in the Robin Hood vein. It is true that he robbed from the rich but he got very little to the poor. In a few of his accounts, he did describe giving the "hard money" (silver coin) to some poor and downtrodden farmer that had helped him. In addition, he repeated the idea that he never meant to harm anyone in the robberies; "all we wanted was the money." There is no doubt that Willis Newton was shaped and stamped by the rough economic conditions of the southwest in the late 1890s and early twenty century. Yet at the same time, there were hundreds of thousands of other people that strived to work hard and become solid citizens of their communities. It was his choice to go after the "easy money."

In poring over hundreds of newspaper reports and magazine articles, I was stuck with how much of the story varied with what Willis had told me, sometimes substantively. At the same time I found that the news, in their rush to get their story out, misspelled names, got their facts wrong, under or estimated estimated dollars of loot taken, and had a very difficult time keeping the Newton brothers' names straight -Willis and Wylie (aka Willie or Doc) deal with them fits.

A few weeks before Willis Newton died, he was admitted to the hospital in Uvalde, Texas for tests on a multitude of physical problems. After he had been there a few days, I went by his room and visited the old outlaw. I knocked on his door and he managed a weak, "Come on in."

When I entered his room, I saw a very emaciated version of what I had seen in March of that year. Rail thin and covered with a crimson rash on his legs, Willis cocked his head sideways and demanded, "Who are you?"

I politely reminded him that we had talked at his home earlier and that he had given me advice on robbing banks and trains. He nodded his head and stared up at the ceiling, "Yeah, I remember now."

I told him I was sorry to see him ailing and in pain. He replied by saying, "Yeah, I'm headed to the bar ditch. got my mind. Only crazy people kill themselves but I is not crazy. "

Realizing that his time was about up I asked him if he had any regrets or was sorry for anything he had done in his life. He cocked his head sideways and raised his head up off of the pillow glaring at me. "Hell no," he screeched at me. "I've still been doing them things but my body's done played out on me. If I was 20 years younger, I'd be running guns across the border into Mexico and bringing drugs back! is not ashamed of anything I done! "

So much for contrition and redemption.

I did not know how to respond and remained quiet. After a moment he stared at the ceiling again and added, "The only thing I'm sorry about is that $ 200,000 those who left in that bank when they got spooked. getting out before we get caught. ' Hell, we left $ 200,000 just sitting there on that counter.

The next day they moved Willis to a hospital in San Antonio where he died on August 22, 1979. Fierce and defiant to the bitter end he died the way he had lived-as an outlaw.

During my 1979 interview with Willis he went into great detail about the times he had spent in jail or prison. In describing his first prison time he said, "I was jailed for 22 months and 26 days and then sent to Rusk (prison) for two years. ! " Then over the years he spent over 20 years incarcerated in some type of penal confinement. I never got to ask him the question: was it worth it?

My guess the answer would have been a resounding, "Hell yes!"

Spending a fourth of your 90 years of life behind bars severely seems worth it to me.

As I left Willis Newton's hospital room for the last time I spotted his physician who was a personal friend of mine. I asked him about Willis' condition and he confirmed what I had been told by the dying man. Then with a twinkle in his eye he asked if I wanted to see an X-ray of Willis' spine.

Sure, I had no idea what to expect.

We went to a nearby viewing room and he slapped a film on the lighted viewing board. There was a very distinct spot located near the spinal column. "That's a German Luger slug he's been carrying around for about 30 years. Some old boy shot him up in Oklahoma."

As I gazed at the image, the physician concluded by saying, "And destroyed if that old outlaw is not going to be buried with it!"

I guess you could say it was a fitting eology-of sorts.

Your Guide To Horse Betting Etiquette

Is there such a thing as horse betting etiquette? Yes there most definitely is. While you may see chaos at the betting windows with 2 minutes to post time, there is a dynamic at work.

Here are 5 important items you need to know when you are betting horses at the racetrack:

1.) Always know what you are going to bet BEFORE you get to the teller. The absolute worst thing you can do is handicap at the window with little time to post and hemming and hawing while people behind you get shut out of their wagers.

2.) Know what the bets are called BEFORE you get to the window . They have programs at the racetrack specifically designed to tell you what bets are, how to call them out, and how much they cost. Do not waste the teller's time – they are there to collect wagers, not go over the history of racing with you. That's how their performance is judged. While they may smile on the outside, they are definitely not smiling inside.

3.) NEVER go to the window with little time to post to cash a ticket. Wait until after the gate bell rings and people place their bets. Getting someone shut out of a wager while you have no intention on betting the upcoming race is a BIG no-no. This is a recipe for getting a knuckle sandwich.

4.) Have your money ready. Do not be like the elderly lady at the grocery check out and start counting out change with 1 minute to post time while you have a line of people behind you.

Be aware of others.

5.) Never be intimidated by the guy behind you huffing and puffing and mumbling nasty things while you are trying to get your bets in . This only applies if you are not doing any of the above no-no's, too bad for him. Maintain your cool and get your wagers in.

So there you have it. This is a brief but important lesson in racetrack horse betting etiquette that will make everyone's day at the races a much more pleasant experience. Win. Or lose.

Oh, these rules apply to off-track betting, satellite betting and where you are waiting in line to get your bets down. The bottom line is, be civilized and remember the golden rule.

Why A Company Grievance Procedure Is An Important Part Of Your Employment

A grievance procedure is a step by step process that an employee must go through to get a complaint addressed satisfactorily. A formal written complaint moves from one level up to the higher level to get resolved. A grievance procedure is typically included in collective bargaining agreements, it is also a means of resolution dispute that used by company to address grievances by employees, customers, suppliers and competitors. The procedure provides hierarchical structure for settling and presenting workplace disputes.

The best known application of this procedure is a formal process that is outlined in labor contracts. The procedure does not necessarily to be elaborate and formal, overly formal grievance is discouraged by airing of disputes on a timely manner. In small business grievance procedure may consents few lines in employee manual or design of single ombudsman to handle the problem as they develop. The peer review of the employee that is concerned is a popular way to put an address of grievances, while some larger companies create an entire department dedicated in fielding complaints from customers or employees.

Whatever form may take grievance procedure is intended to allow the companies to resolve and hear complaints in a cost-effective and timely manner, before it will result to litigation. Knowing the formal procedures that are available often encourages the employees to voice out their concerns regarding company policies before any major problems develop. Because of that, managers will not ignore problems because they are aware that upper management will become involved with the grievance process. Union settings help protect the employees against any arbitrary decisions of the management regarding the discipline, benefits, promotions and discharge. They are also providing labor unions and formal process for the provisions of contracts.

Having grievance procedures is important to both non-unionized and unionized settings; the companies must support the written policies of their own with consistent actions to maintain a good employee relations. To make it work all parties must treat it with attitude that serves their own mutual interest. Effective grievance ideally help the management to discover and correct all problems before it advances to serious trouble.

For the procedure to become effective both parties should look at it as positive force that can facilitate an open discussion of all issues. There are cases that settlement of grievances is a sort of competition that reinforces a "them versus us" mentality between management and labor. In other cases, the employees are quiet hesitant to apply grievances process because of fear of a ratification. There are studies that shows that employees who rise grievances most likely to have lower evaluation of performance, work attendance and promotion rate. A grievance procedure and employment law must be followed by the company or union to resolve any problems that may arise. Company's grievance procedures are including steps that prevent a backlash from employees who prefer to use it.

If situation can not be resolved, final step in grievance process is both for parties to present at their side to pre-designated arbitrator. The role is to identify the rights of each party under labor agreement; the decision of the arbitrator is final and usually can not be changed.

How To Heal Jock Itch Easily

Jock itch can be attributed to a lot of causes. A lot of athletes and men actually have this because of the activities that they do most of the time. Friction and fungus can be the main risk factors for a person to have this kind of infection. Fungi can grow well in damp and warm environment and cause a full blown infection. Obesity is also being associated with this infection. A lot of people have experienced it and a lot of treatments have been formulated also. You can now even heal jock itch while at home. It is important that you will be able to get rid of this discomfort as it will just distract your focus on your work. You need some tips on how to heal jock itch easily so you need to remember them always.

POWDER AND CORNSTARCH

As much as possible, you have to keep the affected areas in your groin, genitals and thigh dry all the time. Moisture will just aggravate the discomfort. One thing that you can do to keep it dry and heal it fast is to apply powder or cornstarch. You may sprinkle talcum powder to absorb moisture in your skin. It can also help in reducing the friction as it will make the skin much smoother.

OINTMENTS

There are a lot of ointments that you can purchase over the counter. Anti fungal creams are available in the nearest pharmacy. Look for those that contain miconazole or clotrimazole. These are known to be very effective in treating jock itch. Before you apply the ointments, you must read the instructions first to see the contraindications. Make sure that you will wash and dry up the affected areas first before you apply the ointment.

COLD APPLICATION

Apply cold compress on affected areas so that you will be able to find some relief. The itchiness that it will cause will surely become disturbing even if you want to sleep already. One thing that you can do is to place some ice cubes inside a clean cloth. This must be applied on the affected areas for no more than 20 minutes to avoid skin damage. Also, you have to make sure that you will not apply the ice cubes directly on the affected areas. Dry up the affected areas after applying cold compress.

CLEANSING AND RELAXATION

You have to make sure that you will clean your groin area regularly. Wash it with water and mild soap and dry it up immediately after. Also, you need to relax and avoid much physical activities as it will just aggravate jock itch. Relax to avoid providing moisture in the groin area which can be very favorable for this infection.

Jock itch is indeed very disturbing and dreadful. You have to do your best to heal and treat it the fast way. You need to get rid of it as soon as possible. To do it, you have to follow some tips. These will help you to do the best thing.

Found the Perfect House For Sale? Hire an Inspector

Buying a home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It is often cited as one of the most stressful life experiences, along with having a baby and getting married. Even if a buyer and his real estate agent find the perfect house for sale, there's uncertainty. So what's a homebuyer to do to seek a little peace of mind about this major decision? Hire a professional home inspector.

What Is A Home Inspector?

There used to be a time when buyers did not hire a third party inspector unless the house for sale was old or visibly in need of work. Buyers relied on their own review of the home and the information provided by the real estate agent.

Now inspections are quite common. Most real estate contracts allow buyers to have the home inspected. Even in the case of new home purchases, hiring an inspector is a good idea. An inspector is a trained professional who can identify any problems or potential issues with a house for sale that the buyer or even real estate agent would not be able to discern.

How To Find A Good Inspector

Finding the right inspector is harder than it may seem. There are many to choose from and what they check varies. Your real estate agent should be able to provide a few recommendations. After that, a buyer needs to do his or her research to make the right choice.

The American Society of Home Inspectors is a great resource for finding information about the state requirements for home inspectors. The organization can also refer buyers to local home inspectors who are members. ASHI, and most other professional organizations, provide members with training and certification programs. Be sure to ask about professional memberships and affiliations when interviewing an inspector.

Ask for references of past clients and call them. Make sure at least one of the referred clients have been living in their home for several months or more. Some issues will not show up until months after closing.

It is vital to understand what the inspector will and will not do. Some inspectors check the roof, some will not. What about the swimming pool? Do they check all appliances, or just heating and cooling systems? What about checking for lead and asbestos? Ask for a sample report or checklist. Does it provide standards for each item listed, or is it just a checklist?

Finally, ask about errors and omissions insurance. This insurance essentially covers the inspector if he misses a problem or issue. Not all inspectors carry such insurance and it does not necessarily mean that they're a bad inspector. However, if they do not carry insurance, it's a good idea to get a written explanation of the inspection company's policies when a mistake occurs.

Housing Inspection Costs

The average cost to inspect a house for sale is between $ 300 and $ 400 per inspection. However there can be additional costs. For example, testing for Chinese drywall can cost $ 200. Expect to pay about $ 100 for a radon exam. Asbestos tests can cost $ 50 or more. Make sure the inspector provides a full description of what's covered under the base price, and what tests and inspections are add-ons.

Ultimately, an inspection should save money and headaches. If any issues are found, a buyer should be able to work with his or her real estate agent to renegotiate the price of the house for sale. If the problems are too significant, the buyer may abandon the deal. Even if the inspector finds no issues, a few hundred dollars is worth the confidence that a good inspection can provide.

Daily Lotion – The Benefits of Adding Body Lotion to Your Daily Regimen

Body lotion is something that most people, especially as they age, will use from time to time. Adding body lotion to your daily routine is a great way of improving the quality of your skin today and in the future. A daily lotion can contribute tremendously to the health of your skin. There are innumerable reasons why your skin will benefit from such a lotion; some of them are enumerated here.

One powerful reason is to heal dry skin. If you use lotion only once in awhile, your skin will feel more moist after applying the lotion, but it will return to being dry as soon as some time has passed. Infrequent lotion application does little to actually fix the damage done to your skin. If you use a daily lotion, your skin will gradually improve, and in time will be soft and smooth. Some lotions just make you think your skin is softer because they are themselves greasy or moist. A good daily lotion will make your skin actually become softer.

This is especially true for rough spots. Particularly vulnerable spots for roughness are joints such as the elbows, knees, or knuckles. The hands, too, because they are constantly being used and are frequently washed – which, while great for killing germs, can dry them out – are especially likely to be rough and cracked. A daily lotion can help to exfoliate dead skin cells and keep the new skin cells underneath moist and healthy.

A daily lotion can also seal in what moisture already exists in your skin. Cold weather is one of the largest culprits in stripping skin of its natural moisture, causing extreme dryness. Applying a lotion before exposure to the cold can help lock the skin's moisture in, protecting it from the weather. Also, applying a lotion after showering can help to restore what was lost by washing and also seal in the dampness that remains on your skin.

Good lotions will also resist the effects of aging on your skin, often through anti-aging ingredients such as hydrolyzed silk, which improves the elasticity of skin, something that often declines with age. Skin that is more elastic will be firmer and appear more tight, having fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Such ingredients will not only reverse the effects of aging that have already occurred; they will also prevent future aging of your skin.

Another often-overlooked benefit of using a lotion every day is the relaxation a wonderful-smelling lotion can provide. Aromatherapy has been shown to have many benefits for a person's emotional and mental state. Light, pleasant scents such as lavender have been shown to soothe and comfort, and some lotions contain such scents. Applying them to your body will surround you with the air of relaxation.

In these ways, a good daily lotion can provide many benefits to your body. The few minutes you will spend applying a lotion every day will be well worth it, and may even come to be some of the most treasured minutes of your day.

Social Skills – Living and Surviving in Society

From the time we are very young we begin to learn the basics in social skills, which are, learning how to live with, communicate with, and get along with the people around you. If you have siblings, those basic skills come into play quite quickly; sharing of toys and sharing a room with a brother or sister. As we grow older and begin school, those skills become even more important as you must now share your space with many more people. Children whom have not been properly prepared for such an event may find it difficult to adjust to this new society that they have become a part of.

To define the meaning of proper social skills you would have to consider the environment or society you are living in. What works in one society does not need to work in another; none-the-less, basic social skills are imperative to live a happy and enjoyable life among others in your community, workplace, and home life. It is, in a nut shell, the manner at which we participate and conduct ourselves within society; what is right and what is wrong relating to the society in which you live.

In order to fit into society, society expects each person to act in a manner that does not go against the social norms. Being rude to another person, cursing in public, disrespectful behavior are all negative aspects of not having proper social skills. The greater part of most societies learn these skills early in life and they are transported over into their adult life; however, there are some who tend to go against the grain of society and lack the social skills that most of us do not even have to think about; we just know how to act properly. There are also people who have a basic understanding of this concept, but are not sure how to become better at practicing their social skills in public situations.

When employers interview people, they are not just looking at their credentials; they are evaluating how they interact with the employer. They look for signs and ask questions relating to certain topics requiring a social interaction to see if the one being interviewed has a good understanding of social skills as to how they would handle a delicate situation. The lack of such skills could mean the difference in getting the job or not getting the job; one must be able to conduct themselves properly and respectfully in the work place and among others in society.

An excellent way to fine tune your social skills is to go to a public place and sit quietly as people mingle about. Examine how they communicate with each other in a social setting. In doing this exercise it will seem very routine until someone shows a behavior that is socially unacceptable; they will be acting outside the norms of society.

Having good social skills gives you an advantage in society; people are attracted to those who display proper social behavior and do not feel uncomfortable in engaging in conversation with you. Having proper social skills is simply knowing how to be respectful, courteous, and understanding what society considers as the norm.

Used Brick – Blessing or Curse?

Do you have 'used brick' on your home or business? If so then you probably know by now, that they can be a blessing and a curse as well. How is that … you may wonder? Well used brick certainly are a beautiful veneer for colonial or traditional applications however, if they are not maintained properly … watch out!

You could find yourself deep into the thousands in repair cost that could have been avoided, if you had only followed these simple tips to used brick maintenance.

What are used brick? Used bricks are salvaged from old building when the building are torn down or demolished. They became widely available in the '70s when many older downtown buildings across the country were being raised. They were in abundance and a source of cheap building materials for the builders.

They can vary broadly is size and shape and are usually red, orange, brown and a pink-salmon color. They have rounded corners from the demolition process, soft and sometimes have chips in the face. Most were salvaged from the back-up portion or interior walls of old masonry buildings and have various stains ranged from black soot, whitewash to paint. It is one of the few bricks though, that blend perfectly with colonial architecture. Unfortunately architecture aside, they were used extensively on all types of buildings because they were cheap and easy to find

How do I know if I have used brick on my home or business? Used brick have a specific character of being soft and when you look at a used brick building from the street it has an old appearance. If you take a screwdriver and scrape it along the surface of a used brick, you will likely gouge the surface of the brick easily.

A new brick wall on the other hand would be too hard, if not impossible to gouge and are more regular and rectangular in shape. If you looked at a new brick building from the street it would have a more uniform appearance and look 'newer'.

How do I look for damage in used brick? Fortunately used brick tend to deteriorate as individual units unlike new brick, which tend to deteriorate in sections. As you walk around your building look closely for bricks that have a chalky, orange color to them. These bricks are the first to deteriorate in a used brick wall and for some reason will be very noticeable.

As you look closer at the wall you may also find bricks that are 'powdering' which means that they turn to powder as they deteriorate. Regardless of how they manifest, you should remove and replace all the damaged used bricks that you find. While inspecting the individual bricks for damage also look for cracks and loose or missing mortar. Fill in any holes that you find and repair any cracks. This will go a long way to preventing excess water from entering the wall.

After you have completed the repairs you are now ready for your final and most important preventive maintenance chore.

Seal your bricks! There is nothing more valuable to your used brick building than a saturation application of high quality masonry sealer. I can not be more enthusiastic about the protection of used bricks with sealer. Most used brick are probably over 100 years old at this point and need protection.

As you watch that liquid gold being sucked into your brickwork by the gallons, remember that it will protect the used brick and save you ongoing maintenance and repair cost over the long haul. It is the cheapest insurance that you can buy against used brick deterioration.

Doral Phazar – Doral Boats Timeless Classic Brought Back

One of the very first models of Doral boats thatave the company its status in the boat manufacturing industry is the 1989 Doral Phazar. The original is now out of production but in 2004, they remodeled it and named it the 210 Doral Phazar bringing Doral's timeless classics back.

It's a stern drive power boat designed to ride the waves smoothly and in style. Its hull and deck feature a curved walk-through safety glass windshield, integrated fiberglass liner, extended swim platform, stainless steel swim ladder with 3 steps, full side hull gel, stainless steel air vents, and pop up stainless steel cleats.

This Doral boat is day boat that goes well with sunbathing, swimming or simply entertaining friends. Its 4880lb weight makes it perfect for water sports. But despite the weight it still features a cuddy that reflects the Doral boat reputation of quality and hotel-like amenities.

It's perfect for overweighters with friends especially since it's fitted with a deck hatch with screen, lockable acrylic cabin door, a v-berth with storage lockers, DVD player, a pillow package, and stereo remote. Its 12V receptacle features dual batteries with battery on / off switch supports anchor and navigation lights and deluxe gauges with night lighting.

The built-in clarion M455 with 7 "speakers, amplifier, and woofer compliments the 6 CD changer and iPod / MP3 adapter that come with the system. All this found in a ski boat that's 25'6" in length over all and 8 ' 6 "across the beam.

But it does not end there. Doral boats are known for their customizability, and Doral Phazar offers just the right options. Equip your Phazar with auto fire extinguisher or dual battery with charger or a new series of Doral exclusives like its 2007 interior upholstery.

The Phazar is one of Doral International flag models when it comes to providing excitement and entertainment – perfect for getaways from a busy week. No wonder it is popular.

Spray on Insulation – The Energy Efficient and "Green" Alternative Insulating Material

If you are someone who cares a lot about the environment and really wants to live a more "green" lifestyle, then the first place you must start is in your own home. It can get kind of expensive trying to start out your environment friendly lifestyle, however some changes can save you tons of money in the long run. One of these is by using something called spray on insulation.

By using this type of insulation, you will not only save yourself money over the long haul, but you will also be helping to save the planet. This insulation is made from recyclable materials.

The majority of homes were built using fiberglass insulation which is the commonly seen pink puffy insulation that you are probably familiar with. Unfortunately, this type of insulation has known health concerns. For instance, the small sharp particles that float in the air around this insulation can scrape and damage your esophagus and lungs if inhaled.

Because this spray on insulation comes as a liquid and expands to make times its normal size, it fills in every crack and crevice. This means that no air is getting in or out through those holes. It also means more protection from moisture and insects. You will save money just from pest control alone!

Learning how to be more energy efficient does not have to be difficult. You just need to take it a step at a time. By beginning with your own home, you will be making a small contribution to society overall. If everyone takes the same step to making their home more energy efficient, it will reduce our need for fossil fuels.

Can a Legistor Cross Carpet and Still Keep His Seat Under Nigerian Law?

Our chief concern here is to discuss the legal consequences of the current spate of party defection by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC). We shall leave the task of recounting Nigeria’s history on carpet crossing to historians and shall not be bordered by it. We shall also not allow ourselves to be drawn into arguments as to the morality/propriety of carpet crossing.

The media is awash with the news of the defection of 37 PDP members of the House of Representatives to the APC. Already, five PDP governors have dumped the party for the APC. The collapse of the PDP as the ruling party in Nigeria and as Africa’s biggest political party seems imminent as unconfirmed reports say that twenty-two senators are planning to also dump the party for the APC.

Nigerian law on carpet crossing begins and ends with the provisions of Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These sections provide that:

“a member of the Senate or House of Representatives or State House of Assembly shall not vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if being a person whose election into the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which the House was elected.

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member of a merger of two or more political parties by one of which he was previously sponsored.”

It is interesting to note that unlike the purport of above provisions, Sections 135 and 180 of the said Constitution which provides for circumstances under which the President or his Vice, and a Governor or his Deputy could cease to hold office does not mention party defection as a ground for vacating or ceasing to hold office.

From the above provisions therefore, Nigerian law on carpet crossing could be summarized as follows:

1. A Legislator in Nigeria could lose or vacate his seat in parliament if he defects from the party that sponsored him into the Legislative House to another party.

2. A Nigerian Governor, Deputy Governor, President or Vice President cannot vacate or cease to hold office for defecting from the political party that sponsored him into office to another.

3. Before a Legislator in Nigeria could be made to lose his seat in parliament for defecting to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House, the principal officer of that Legislative House( the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Speaker of the State House of Assembly as the case may be) or a member of that Legislative House must first present evidence satisfactory to the Legislative House concerned that a member has defected from the political party that sponsored him into the House to another political party and has by operation of law vacated his seat in Parliament.

4. It follows from the above that if there is no satisfactory evidence presented to the Legislative House on a member’s defection, the member who is alleged to have defected can still retain his seat. He will however continue to be known and addressed as a member of the party that sponsored him into the House.

5. A Legislator in Nigerian can cross carpet to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House and still keep his seat if he can prove that his defection was as a result of a division within his former party.

6. Also, a Legislator in Nigeria will not lose/vacate his seat even though he has defected from the party sponsored him to another party if he can prove that his membership of a new party is as a result of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

The position that while a Legislator in Nigeria is liable to lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another party, the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor is not liable and cannot be forced to vacate or cease to hold office for the same reason was endorsed by the Nigerian Supreme Court in the case of AGF V. Atiku Abubarkar (2007)4 S.C (pt.11)62 where the issue before the court was whether the Vice President’s defection from the PDP( on whose platform he was elected into office) to the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) meant that he had automatically vacated and ceased to hold that office.

The Supreme Court held that it is only Legislators that are liable to vacate their seats in parliament for defection to a different party from the one that sponsored them into office. The supreme held that the constitution does not envisage or provide for the vacation /cessation of the office of the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor for defection from the party that sponsored them into office to another party. The Apex court held therefore that Vice-President Atiku Abubarkar was entitled to keep and/or in office even though he had effected from the PDP to the ACN.

Again, the position that a legislator may lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another political party has been affirmed by the court in some decisions. For instance, the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Akure in the case of Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. sacked Mr. Abegunde, a House of Representatives member representing Akure North and South, Ondo State for defecting from the Labour Party to the ACN. Mr Abegunde had been elected into the House under the auspices of the Labour Party in the April 2011 General Elections. He however, defected to the ACN during the currency of the tenure of the House. The court held that Mr Abegunde had vacated his seat and ceased to be a member of the House by operation of law. This decision was affirmed and upheld by the Court of Appea in Re Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. (2014) LPELR-23683(CA),Appeal No.CA/AK/110/2012.

Again, in the case of Hon. Michael Dapialong v. Chief (Dr) Joseph Chibi Dariye, Appeal No. S.C 39/2007 the Supreme Court took judicial notice of the fact that between 25th and 26th July,2006, fourteen members of the twenty-four members of the Plateau State House of Assembly including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker thereof defected from the PDP platform on whose they were elected to the House in 2009 to the Advanced Congress of d Democrats(ACD) as a result of which the said 14 members were held to have vacated their seats by operation of law.

Relying on the Supreme Court decision in AGF V. Atiku Aburbakar therefore, we can safely conclude that the five PDP Governors that had defected to the APC can validly do so without being liable to vacate or cease to hold their offices. This is because the Constitution simply does not penalize the President, Vice President, a Governor or Deputy Governor who dumps the party that sponsored him into office for another party. Also, unlike Legislators, these members of the executive arm of Government are not required to proffer explanations or reasons to justify defection.

However, some persons have argued that even though the Constitution does not penalize defection by Governors, the Supreme Court decision in Rotimi Amaechi v INEC Appeal No. SC 525/2007 could be relied upon to effect the vacation from office of Governors who defect from the parties that sponsored them into office to another political party before the expiration of their tenure. Acording Mr Dan Nwayanwu, Chairman of the Labour Party of Nigeria, the Supreme Court’s dictum in Amaechi’s Case to the effect that it is the political party and not the candidate for which the electorate cast their votes could be interpreted and applied to mean that Governors who get elected into office only to dump the party that sponsored them into office for another party should vacate or cease to hold office upon defection.

Mr Dan Nwamyawu in an interview granted to Sunday Trust Newspapers in 2007 advocated that Governors who defect to parties other than the ones that sponsored them into office should be kicked out of office on the basis of the decision in Amaechi v. INEC. We humbly disagree with this position. This is because the Constitution does not impose any penalty or legal disability on carpet crossing by Governors. Secondly, the Supreme Court in Amaechi’s Case did not decide the issue of the consequence of a Governor’s defection from his party. Rather, the question in Amaechi’s case was whether a person who did not contest an election could be heard to challenge an election or be declared as Governor. The decision in AGF V. Atiku Abubarka for all intents and purposes remains the authoritative exposition of the law on party defection in Nigeria.

It is by now beyond doubt that the five PDP governors who had defected to the APC are entitled to do so without any attendant penalty or legal disability. But can the same be said of the 37 members of the House of Representatives members who have defected to the APC? Can they validly dump the PDP for the APC without losing their seat in parliament?

By a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, titled ‘Communication of Change of Political Party’ and dated the 18tth December, 2013, the 37 defecting Federal Lawmakers explained that their defection from the PDP to the APC was as a result of the internal crisis within the PDP. The Lawmakers also premised their defection from the PDP to the APC on the fact that the PDP has broken into two factions: the New PDP and the Old PDP. The so-called New PDP consisting of the dissatisfied and disgruntled members of the party, the majority of whom have defected to the APC.

It is to be recalled that in Agundade’s case, he had argued that given the internal crisis, division and factionalization within the Labour Party, he was entitled by virtue of the proviso in Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution to defect from the Labour Party to the ACN without losing or having to vacate his seat in the House. The court however ruled that since he could not prove division or factionalization within the Labour Party, he was not entitled to keep or retain his seat after he decamped to the ACN. That he vacated his seat upon defection to the ACN by operation of law.

The proviso to the provisions of Section 68(1) (g) and 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are to the effect that although a Legislator would ordinarily lose his seat if he defects to a party different from the one that sponsored him into the Legislative House, he is entitled to keep his seat if he can prove that:

1. He defected to a new party as a result of division within the party that sponsored him into the house.

2. His membership of the new party is as a result of the merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

Before we proceed to examine whether the internal crisis rocking the PDP falls within the proviso to Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution, it is pertinent to determine what constitutes division in a political party. The constitution does not define word “division”. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, 6th Edition, defines division as a disagreement or difference in opinion or way of life etc especially between members of a society or an organization.

According to Professor Okey Okon of the South Central University, California, USA, division could arise from:

1. Ideological differences and

2. Organizational differences.

Organizational differences denote conflict, division, crisis etc arising as a result of the way and manner the party is run, operated or managed. In fact, all conflicts and crises arising from the management and operation of the organic structure of the political party fall under the category of organizational differences. Conflict, division or crises arising from organizational differences bordering on such issues as internal democracy mechanism of the party, conduct of primaries election, funding, election of principal officers of the party, adoption of candidates as party flag bearer for election, handling of party finances, planning and execution of election campaign strategies etc come under organizational differences.

It is a notorious fact that the PDP has from inception been bedeviled by internal crises caused by the occurrence of undemocratic practices within the party. The defecting 37 Federal Legislators have alleged that their defection from the PDP to APC was as a result of division and internal crises within the party and that they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament. We do not know the particulars of the alleged division or crises within the PDP but if their allegations are true then they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament.

We shall now turn our attention to the issue of whether ideological differences constitute division as to entitle a defecting legislator to retain his seat in parliament. Ideological differences relates to conflict, disagreement, crisis or division arising from a conflict between a party member’s ideas, beliefs, conviction, principles, philosophy or policy with those of his political party. When a member disagrees with his party’s ideas, policies, programs, philosophy or principles on socio- political or economic issues does this disenchantment or disagreement with his party entitle him to defect to another party without having to lose/vacate his seat in parliament? Does this conflict or disagreement with his party constitute division as envisaged by the proviso in Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution?

Professor Okey Okon is of the opinion that ideological differences constitute division within the meaning of Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution and at such empowers a Legislator to defect to another party without losing his seat whenever he disagrees with the policy and philosophy of his party. According to the learned Professor, ideological differences are a form of division which should justify a legislator to defect to another party without having to lose or vacate his seat. He opined that any interpretation of the law to exclude ideological difference as constituting division is erroneous. The learned Professor further posits that failure to treat ideological differences as division will deprive Legislators of the sense of safety and protection they need to stand up for what they believe in. He held that such a narrow reading of the law will provide perverse incentives for Legislators to emphasize compliance at the expense of principles and conviction to expediency.

We however beg to disagree with this position. With due respect to the learned professor, the proviso to Section 68(1) (g) and 109(1) (g) of the Constitution cannot be objectively interpreted to mean that whenever a legislator disagrees with the policy or philosophy of his party on socio-economic political or other issues he can dump his party for another party and still retain his seat in parliament. Such an interpretation of the law cannot be the intendment of the drafters of the Constitution. It is important to note that the relevant provision reads… “As a result of a division in the political party”… This shows clearly that what the law envisages is a situation where there is a conflict or disagreement within the party that leads to internal crisis or instability in the party. In other words, ideological differences alone cannot justify defection.

However, for ideological differences to justify defection, they must be of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to crisis, instability, factionalization and conflict within the party. The Noscitur Associis rule of construction of statutes states that the company a word keeps suggests its meaning. The word “division” as used in Sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are accompanied by the words “merger” and “factions” which words denotes a change or alteration in the organic structure of a political party. We therefore agree with Professor Okey to the extent that ideological differences can constitute division which can justify defection only when such differences are of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to instability or crises within the party. A mere difference in opinion or belief will not suffice to justify defection.

Indeed, legislators do not have to defect to a new party to express or hold opinions or views contrary to those favoured by their party unless of course doing so would result and actually results to instability and crisis/conflict within the party. It is submitted that to allow defection merely on the ground that a legislator disagrees with the policies or ideological position of his party on certain socio-economic cum political or moral issues would defeat the intention of the framers of the constitution. The constitution clearly intends to discourage and penalize legislators for defection except on rare and exceptional circumstances. Making mere differences in opinion and belief a ground for political defection would provide legislators an excuse for political prostitution.

It is interesting to note that the 37 defecting legislators have also sought to justify their defection on the ground that the PDP was divided into two political parties; the old PDP and the new PDP which consist of the defecting and disgruntled member. They alleged that the new PDP has formally merged with the APC. We are of the opinion that if these allegations are true then the 37 defecting legislators are entitled to so defect without having to lose their seats. It is pertinent to note that the PDP has obtained a court order declaring the so-called new PDP illegal and restraining its members from parading themselves as PDP members. The question that arises from this development is, what is the legal effect of this order on the rights of these defecting legislators to keep their seats. It is our humble opinion that the court order has no effect whatsoever on the rights of the defecting legislators to keep their seats. The order merely prohibits the use of the name PDP by the defecting faction. It does not mean that the defecting faction is an illegal group because they are not a group of criminals or bandit.

Indeed, Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to freedom of association. The court order therefore cannot operate to deprive or in any way prejudice the defecting members’ entitlement to keep their seats.

The PDP has reacted to the defection of its member, especially the 37 Federal lawmakers by saying that any member of the party that renounces its membership of PDP shall be made to vacate his seat. There are also reports in the media that the PDP has gone to court to obtain a declaration for the vacation of the seats and offices of the defecting legislators and five governors. Let’s keep our fingers crossed as we watch the drama unfold.

5 Tips To Consider When Designing Your Signboard

Contrary to what you have been thinking, you do not need to be a creative genius for you to design a signboard that effectively passes the message or feeling. All you need to do is to observe a number of tips and you will effectively pass your message. To help you out here are the tips that you should consider:

Get the people's attention

The main reason you are designing the signboard is because you want to pass a message and there is no way that you will pass the message if you do not get the attention of the people that you are targeting. You should avoid using a regular design that nobody will remember. You should consider the size of sign board and its location. As rule of thumb, the board should be of the right size for everyone to remember it. It also should be strategically located to get the people's attention.

Pay attention to the lifetime of the board

Different boards are used for a given time. The duration should inform you on the right material that you should use in designing it. If you are going to use it for only a short period of time you should use aluminum or any other material that has the ability to last for a long time but if you are using it for only a short time you should use a paper or any other light material.

Less is always more

We are living in a world with plenty of information and your message will be lost if you do not get the people's attention at the right time. You should be cautious of the text and images that you use. As rule of thumb, you should use only the essential information that you want the people to know about. Including plenty of information gives the sign board a crowded look that difficult to read. In addition to being cautious of the amount of text that you use you should also leave a lot of space around the edges of the design elements.

Play around with color

According to research studies, the color that you use has a great impact on the success of the message that you want to convey. For a more finished look, you should go for a single color scheme such as using yellow text on a black background. Experts report that bright colors tend to draw the people's attention to the signboard but you should be cautious of how you use them. When you are looking to emphasize the main message, you should use a color photograph.

Make use of contrasting typefaces

When you create contrast you easily get the people's attention so easily pass the message. You should combine two contrasting typefaces such as italic and roman or bold and thin lines.

Conclusion

You have to create a high-quality sign board for you to pass your message. If you do not have the design skills you can always hire a professional to help you out with the design.

Laminated Flooring – Easy to Install Stylish Home Floors

Laminated flooring is a popular option that many home owners use to spruce up the appearance of their house. It offers several benefits to those who choose to install it with minimal drawbacks. If you are considering home flooring renovations, here are a few things to think about when it comes to your floors.

Affordability

While hardwood flooring is still incredibly popular, laminate floor coverings give the same look as hardwood, without the price. Wood floors are the most expensive on the market so many people can not afford them, but laminate can be purchased and installed for a fraction of the cost. On top of being cost effective, the installation process is simple as well. Many people have found that installing laminate flooring is simple enough for them to do it themselves, but if you have any doubts, professionals can be hired to do the job for you.

When purchasing your laminate, take the time to check on warranties. Some manufacturers offer a 5 or even a 10 year warranty for replacement which can be a real money saver if something unexpected happens to your home.

Variety

Laminated flooring is also available in a wide variety of colors, styles and installation types. Laminate can be purchased that looks like wood, stone or tile which allows you to get the look of any type of flooring without the hefty price of real wood or the hassle of laying individual tiles or cleaning grout. Wood laminate styles can be found in a variety of colors from oak to cherry, while tile and stone styles can be found in almost any imaginable color.

There are also several different types of installation methods available including floating laminate installation. This method will allow you to reserve your original flooring without damaging it with nails, glue or staples because the laminate planks connect to each other instead of to the floor benefit them.

Drawbacks

While there are several benefits to laminated flooring there are also a few drawbacks to consider before committing to laminate. One concern is that some laminates may contain chemicals that can be released into the air in your home over time and cause illness like formaldehyde.

Another thing to consider is that laminate can be easily damaged or stained so it requires a decent amount of attention and cleaning. Areas that get a lot of traffic should be cleaned often to avoid scrapes from dirt and dust. Spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid stains and may require steam cleaning for full removal. Most people with pets or children often choose to cover their laminate floor coverings with area rugs to help avoid damage.

Although laminate floors do have some drawbacks, they certainly offer many benefits that make them worth while. If you have ever wanted to redo your flooring, but decided against it because of the cost or long and drawn out installation processes, then laminate may be the answer to your prayers. Whether you want your floors to look like wood, stone or tile, there are plenty of affordable laminated flooring options available.

The Victorian Circus

It is known that there were hundreds of circuses operating in mid Victorian times around 1850-1860. Circuses were a part of culture and a unique part of western culture and what is known as Victorian culture and Victorian culture had important influences on Modern Culture. The skills whether that of the performers or the specific engineering and design work done in preparing the circus were important. It is known that there were aquatic circuses where the circus ring was flooded with water. It is known too that in Roman times, amphitheatres were flooded with water so that mock sea battles could be stopped. This article aims to describe the unique feel and culture of the time. It aims to elaborate on what is meant by the lewd and sometimes grotesque nature of circuses. Were circuses close to the theater and burlesque in some degree?

You can imagine the whole commercialism and excitement of Victorian circuses. The skills and daring involved was exciting and you can feel a strange freedom and beauty in this world. There was a certain American gentleman Richard Sands who ran a circus. He was an acrobat as well as what was known as a 'ceiling walker'. It is difficult to imagine ceiling walkers now. Firstly, the modern person may question whether such an ability is possible ie to walk on ceilings. Surely this can only be done through computers and some kind of illusionary effect. But Victorian circuses in this respect were not about illusion. They were about real skill and they aimed to evoke real excitation, a real circus effect. Richard Sands who it is known visited England from America in 1842 also bought a large stud of horses and equestrians. His circus was certainly well organized and its performers whether acrobats or equestrians were highly skilled. This was the 1840s, the early Victorian period. It is too difficult and presumptuous to mention circuses as part of a whole cultural development. The nineteenth century continued on the great Industrial Revolution and it is obvious that newventions and developments were used in circuses to develop new skills as well as new ways of captivating and entertaining an audience yearning for such enthralling circus acts.

Richard Sands was apparently able to walk on ceilings because of rubber suction pads attached to his feat. The Sands Circus returned to England in the 1850s and he did this act during this time. Unfortunately he was killed when performing this act in America because of loose plaster in the ceiling. Still what I am trying to evoke is a degree of danger in the circus but it was not danger in the sense of recklessness. The audience wanted to see danger performed in a structured setting and this setting was the circus. The color, the animals, the acrobats added to a new type of performance. This was not just theatrical performances or performances akin to plays in theater houses. It was a raw theatricality that only circuses can evoke. It was real human performance involving acts decidedly aimed at capturing the audience.

One of the central elements of Victorian Circus was Astley's Amphitheater. It is important to mention Philip Astley, a cavalry officer turned circus-manager who greeted the circus to a new level. And it is Philip Astley who the famous Astley's Amphitheater is named after. Astley's is considered the first real circus but it began before Queen Victoria came to the throne. You may wonder why the term 'amphitheater' was used. Note that the setting for the circus is not a theater but an amphitheater. Look back at famous amphitheatres in history! Think of amphitheatres like the open-air amphitheaters of the Roman era ,. Maybe the word 'amphitheatre' was used because it denoted assassination, true 'circus' excitement; This was how a circus was meant to be. It seems too much that Mr Astley's theater was mentioned in the Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens. If you look online at Victorian prints, you can find prints of Astley's Circus and although you can deduce from this that Astley's Circus was an important part of the Victorian World in England at least.

It is known that Philip Astley, who is considered the founder of modern circuses, opened a riding school in 1768. His main aim, it seems, was to develop a school for trick riders or horse riders who would perform daring feats on horseback. Astley developed an arena for the performing horse-men. He saw that the arena or performing area should be a particular shape with the audience around. Because of its circular shape, he called the area a circus. Still it is not confirmed that he called the arena a circus. He certainly saw that the performing area needed to be of a certain shape Ie circular so that horse-riders could perform in an optimum way and so that the audience too could see everything. This is the important thing about a circus! The circus is 'close' to the audience. The audience are mean to see everything. The performers perform for the audience. They perform around the audience .. They perform above the audience. The audience is meant to see. Victorian theater had this basic aim, for the audience to be close to the performers. And Victorian architects developed music halls and theaters on this premise. However circuses came before the large-scale construction of Victorian theaters. It is best not to emphasize the circus shape because the shape is really a common-sense shape for a raw theatrical performance such as the circus. And you should not of course over-analyze what is common-sense!

The amphitheater was located on Westminster Bridge Road in Lambeth, London. As a piece of architecture, Astley's Amhitheatre was certainly stunning and had rich effects. It was built in 1796 and then before the Victorian Age. Still Astley's Amphitheater was burned down many times and refurbished too and you can argue that the theater opened in 1770 when the first theater was built. However it was destroyed by fire in the early 1790s. It was known variously as the Royal Saloon and the Royal Grove and the building only became known as Astley's Amphitheater in 1795. Astley refurbished the building and made the building a center for his new circus acts and that is why the date 1795 is used. It was that built with obvious Georgian and Regency influences. However it is still an important theater to mention. In the Victorian age itself, the place was an important center for circus acts. The building had many names over time. It changed its name to Davis's Royal Amphitheater in 1823 and then the Royal Amphitheater (Astley's) in 1825. Then it had another name changes before returning to the name Astley's Theater in 1863. It was finally known as Sanger's Grand National Amphitheater in 1883 before the building was demolished as unsafe. Note how the name Astley's was associated with it through its history and you can feel that its rich association with circus.

The Architectural Split Level Design

The split level was conceived for the sloping or hilly lot. It takes advantage of what might otherwise prove to be a troublesome difference in elevation and uses it to advantage. As a general rule, a split level should not be built on a flat lot. Mounding up soil in front of the high section to give the appearance of a hill usually yields poor results.

The split level makes efficient use of space. The general arrangement of the split level separates sleeping, living, and recreation on different levels. Little or no hall space is required in a split level house due to its basic design, a positive factor fro consideration.

At the lowest level, there is a normal basement which houses the heating and cooling equipment, storage, and sometimes a shop or washroom. This area is the usual depth of a basement. In some instances the foundation may not be desired and a crawl space provided for maintenance and ventilation. The foundation ordinarily equals about 40 to 60 percent of the space occupied by the house. This is usually enough for efficient use without wasted space.

The next level up from the foundation, the intermediate level, generally houses the garage and recreation area. This area is ground level and then lends itself to these functions. Patios and terraces may be attached to the recreation area which further benefits its use. The intermediate level may also have a large foyer, mud room, or family room.

Slightly higher than the intermediate level is the living level. Typically this area is located at grade also: the sloping grade makes this arrangement possible. The kitchen, dining room, living room and full or half bath are normally located on the living level. The foyer, mud room, and washroom may also be located at this level depending on the layout or preference. Again the use of patios and terraces adds to the usefulness and amplifies the attractiveness of the split level.

At the highest elevation in the house is the sleeping area and bath. The half level difference between the living and sleeping levels affords greater privacy and quietness. Split level houses do have some negative aspects. They are generally more expensive to build than the two story. In most cases, however, they are cheaper than a ranch. Heating may be a problem if not handled properly. The use of zoned heating (separate thermostats for the various areas of the house) will usually solve the heating problem.

Architectural Variations of the Split Level Design

There are basically three variations of the split level design: the side by side, the front to back, and the back to front. Lots sloping from the left or right are suited for the side by side design. This design places the living area opposite the sleeping and intermediate areas. Variation number two, the front to back split level, is suited for lots which are high in front and low in the back. This house looks like a ranch from the front and a two story from the back. The living area faces the street and the bedrooms are on the second level to the rear.

The third variation, the back to front split level, requires a lot that is low in front and high in back. The intermediate level faces the street at grade. The bedrooms are above, also facing the street. The living level is a the rear. This model looks like a two story in front and a ranch in the rear.

Traffic Circulation

A preliminary consideration in designing a functional plan is traffic circulation. Traffic circulation encompasses those areas of the house which provide a means of moving from one area or room to another. Circulation must be planned for maximum efficiency. In a planned planned arrangement the distance from the garage to the kitchen in short and direct. The foyer is centrally located and convenient to all parts of the house. All bedrooms are close to a bath. Few rooms have traffic planned through them. The family room and eating nook are exceptions. An analysis should be made of traffic circulation to determine if the plan is as functional as it could be. Frequently, a slight change in the floor plan can increase smooth flow of traffic to desirable locations.