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Vivian Greene

Author, Artist, Speaker, Entrepreneur | All that is real is seen with the heart ®

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Everything Happens For The Best!

This is a story about a Big Bad Bank, an Ordinary Couple, Dade County Water and Sewer, a brave and honorable Judge, a little Shih Tzu Angel named Timmy, and God.

Miami Dade Water & Sewer hasn’t answered my letter. You know, the “Monopoly Rules” theory practiced by those who think “We the People” are just “Oh those guys…” I have now been attempting to resolve an issue over an “alleged” leak for ten months, three weeks and four days. (See my article: Kisses and Volkswagon To The Rescue)

The more I ask for cooperation, the higher the bill, the more times they waste all that fuel and time by sending out the big truck to turn the water off over and over again in my home of 33 years.

A wealth of other people responded. Unexplained charges, usurious penalties, interest charges….You know the story. No need to upset your breakfast.

But a surprising amount of support, concern, comradery and even money came from all over the country – the world in fact. You can see it in our posts, and some I will publish. We are all in the same boat. It doesn’t matter who is responsible for the hole. If there is a hole in the boat, we all sink.

That is why this story includes the Big Bad Bank, et al.

Diane Yano-Horoski and her husband, Greg from Suffolk County was the first thing I saw on AOL, thanks to an Eyewitness News Reporter (thank you ABC), The Honorable Judge Spinner, (go New York!!!) and a couple who tried everything they could think of to avoid litigation and just make affordable payments.

At first blush, that may not seem exactly the same as my plight with Dade County Water and Sewer, but when you can see the whole story, and especially what’s real from your heart, as the little shisu Timmy and the big award testify, it’s the same.

Only the decimals and names are different.

Their mortgage nightmare with banksters from One West, a California Bank, is much like mine was for five years in a case that involved Amerifirst, an S& L and the RTC (Resolution Trust Company). The Water & Sewer dilemma is the same crazy making senseless abuse tactics. I call them Soul Squishers.

Knock Knock. How are my usurious bills for an alleged water leak like a foreclosure action? Has anything like this ever happened to you – or should I say, how often?

I’ll explain.

The definition of a leak is “to become known despite efforts at concealment ” ~Webster

It is the bank and Dade County Water & Sewer who have “leaks.”

Suffolk Judge Jeffrey Spinner erased $525,000 in mortgage payments that One West Bank was demanding from the couple who had tried (like me) everything they could to get some co-operation.

“We did act in good faith and the only reason we had taken this case into the judicial system was because we could go no further.” said Papa Bear Horoski.

Judge Spinner said One West’s conduct was “inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious and opprobrious,” He cancelled the debt.

“Spinner pulled no punches as he smacked down the bankers at One West — who took an $814.2 million federal bailout but have a record of coldbloodedly foreclosing on any homeowner owing money” said NY Post reporters

“A Bombshell Decision” cheered ABC News.

The decision, we all know if we’ve ever been to court or owned a TV, will be challenged.

I still own my home – with much thanks to an advocate, Marie McDonnell. But I can tell you this – I never received a penny owed to me by the Resolution Trust Company, now defunct. And I never received the money still owed by the Savings and Loan, now defunct.

And even after I survived that ordeal, my own Miami Homeowners Association tried to steal my property claiming I had not paid a fee the year of Hurricane Andrew. I was flat on my back in traction from a car accident in Honolulu when a fan of my Kisses™ comic strip sent my office a condolence note about “the foreclosure action.”

I still own my house. Thanks to Ms McDonnell again. I had to retain attorneys, locate records from years past and the debris of the worst natural disaster of all time in 1992- Hurricane Andrew, Category 5.

I had to borrow money, wake up at 3AM to make the calls with the Hawaii-Florida time difference. I proved I did not owe the money. But it wasn’t necessary. The Statute of Limitations was up anyway. Had I not heard from a fan, I would have lost my home – paid in full – over an alleged $700 or $800 Homeowners Association Fee.

Know what – one of those little old ladies is still on the board of the Beautification Committee for the Homeowners Association bothering people about duck poop on their patio.

You can see why the story about the Horoskis – who paid so much and didn’t even have equity in their home, and why Dade County Water and Sewer, who cannot even answer one letter after repeated requests and inquiries for nearly a year, and bankers, businesses, and Bernies who get away with duck poop have to be stopped.

Everything Happens For The Best!

Bless Judge Jeffrey Spinner for blasting the bad bank and erasing $525G of debt. Bless the press for publicizing this and giving so many people so in need of hope a glimpse of justice.

But most of all, I am really grateful for Diane Yano-Horoski’s genuine sharing of her feelings, her fear, her faith. She said this “victory” did not come without a price:

“While speaking with a news reporter, our beloved Shih Tzu, Timmy, was killed by an oncoming car. Nothing can replace him or the sadness his death has caused. It has been a bittersweet time for us, and I am certain marks the beginning of yet another round with this bank.”

This is the simple truth. Nothing can replace a life, a relationship, a bond where love is the driving force. That’s not true of a house, or mortgage, or money, or unfortunately in this case – a judgment, which may just create more expense and concern and litigation during the already threatened appeal.

We never own anything. We tend to allow things to own us though.

In my book (literally and figuratively, I am the author of GOOD MOURNING, What Death Teaches Us About Life) Timmy’s death poses that incessent question: WHY? As Rabbi Kushner best selling book asks “Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Why, indeed, is this couple and why are millions of us pinched by the tallons of the Big Bad Bank? Or the victim of loveless bureaucracy – like my situation with Dade County Water and Sewer, or a Foreclosure happy Homeowners Association?

Maybe we’ve put those material things first, and when we were looking the other way, we lost what matters most.

Everything Happens For The BestI asked Pastor Elwin Ahu of New Hope Christian Ministry this question. He had served as a judge in Honolulul for 24 years before he became a minister for this Four Square church.

He listened to my tales of woe – everyone in my family has died, my legal battles for my house, copyright infringments, my withdrawal from newspaper syndication of my comic strip because I would not tolerate my designs on products made my child slavery, the Moving and Storage stole 20 years worth of my work and every possession I had.

Pastor Ahu listened.

“Why do you think these things happen?” Pastor Ahu asked me. And I thought only Jewish people answered questions with questions…

“I don’t know why, I said. But I do know this. Eventually, everything…even death…has been a seed for something good to blossom in it’s own time.”

“By not allowing the newspaper syndicate to strong arm me into ownership of my copyrights, I use my work to endorse and promote things that make a difference in the world. And here I am in Hawaii, in paradise.”

Pastor Ahu gave me a knowing grin. “I’ll tell you why.”

When you love God so much, and do good – you are a threat to the darkness.”

So this story about a Big Bad Bank, an Ordinary Couple, Dade County Water and Sewer, a brave and honorable Judge, a little Shih Tzu Angel named Timmy, and God reminded me that “Everything Happens For The Best.

Regardless of what happens next with the appeal or the banks, for me Diane and Greg Horoski are already the winners. Not because of the $500,000.

If some nitwit at One West Bank does pursue the appeal, or the sleeping beauty in the White House doesn’t examine just what the Big Bad Bank is doing with that $814.2 million federal bailout, this ordinary couple and extraordinary judge have restored some respect and trust in our judicial system, and perhaps a higher law.

The Horoskis are welcome to move in with me. I’m looking into privatized water, and the itty bitty duck droppings on the patio wash away with the rain.

Everything Happens For The Best!


Vivian Greene
Invest In Love inc
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”

Please Leave a Comment

© 2009 – 2011, Vivian Greene. All rights reserved.

Yes, a Tushie to Tushie Talk With President Obama!

If I’m in a tug of war – be it a personal struggle, with Goliath Dade County Water & Sewer who charges me up the kazoo for a leak that never existed, or even if I were the President of the United States, there is one thing that is always true. In a tug of war, no matter how hard and strong the other side is, if I let go, technically I lose. But the truth is…when I let go, the other side falls on it’s tushie.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be the First Lady. Jacqueline Kennedy was so beautiful, eloquent, regal. I know today little girls want to be the first Lady President. But my family hailed from Italy and the Greek island of Rhodes, and as you may have seen in that hilarious (true true true) movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the Mama of the family says her hubby may be the head of the family, “But mama is the neck.”

Michele…help. What a terribly difficult decision we’re facing.
With President Obama
I’ve never had political aspirations. But I’ve always had Love inspiration – a desire to add love to work, politics, health, relationships…life. That’s why my Kisses™ characters are drawn with their eyes covered: “All that is real is seen with the heart.”®

With President ObamaWhen I saw this picture – pictures say so much more than words – I felt such compassion. I hurt. For our president, our country, all of the people who suffer so from war.

I read that Napoleon Hill, the famous author of Think and Grow Rich, was an advisor to President Roosevelt. I wish I could do the same with President Obama and help him. It’s not that I know the answer, but I do know as I say in my book:

“You can’t see the mountain when you’re standing on it.”

“I know we all can enter that space of the artist, or musician, or poet, or dancer, that place in the heart where the vibration is more clear and pure than advice.”

Maybe you can enter that space and help too. I don’t mean by writing congressmen, marching around, or making any kind of demands. Not demands. Questions. Seeking the answers within and sharing them by the love we put into each and every day, and relationships. If we can’t get along with a parent, spouse, boss, friend — how can we expect peace in the world?

This incredible art came from an article by Ray McGovern. Please visit Truthout. Most of all, search the truth within. Let’s help..

Friday 27 November 2009

Ray McGovern | Obama’s Profile in Courage, or Cave-In?
Ray McGovern, Truthout: “‘It took a lot of courage on Kennedy’s part to defy the Pentagon, defy the military – and do the right thing,” said Col. Larry Wilkerson, USA (ret.), according to Robert Dreyfuss in his recent Rolling Stone article ‘The Generals’ Revolt.” …

Wilkerson, who was chief of staff at the State Department (2002-2005) and now teaches at George Washington University, was alluding to President John F. Kennedy’s courage in 1962, when he faced down his top generals and refused to bomb Cuba and risk nuclear war.”
Read the Article

Let’s have a Tushie to Tushie Talk With President Obama!

Vivian Greene
Invest In Love inc
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”

Please Leave a Comment

© 2009 – 2011, Vivian Greene. All rights reserved.

Kisses™ and Volkswagen To The Rescue!

Kisses and Volkswagen“Can a Kisses™ or Volkswagen initiative save Dade County Water & Sewer?”
asks Vivian Greene pictured at a Warner Bros Display
International Licensing Show
, NY.

-=*=–=*=- -=*=–=*=- -=*=–=*=- -=*=- -=*=–=*=- -=*=- -=*=–=*=-

I wonder if an initiative of Volkswagen could help me solve my problem with Dade County Water & Sewer?

Cram the entire Customer Service into a VW? No, not exactly.

But VW reminds me of what has created my success all along. And maybe…maybe…it would work with Miami Dade Water & Sewer.

You see they keep billing me hundreds of dollars for a leak they claim I had last year. I never had a leak. At least, that’s what the plumber and their own experts who kept coming out to my house said after I called the mayor in desperation.

I mean…I use purified water, and I can shower at the local Spa, but I do prefer a toilet to kitty litter.

When I paid a monthly $100 which I agreed to do while we explore the problem, they came to turn off my water anyway. They claimed they had not received my $100 good will payment. Funny. They cashed the check.

The nice Mayor’s office got DCWS to change the meter. Then DCWS said, I still owed more money. Thanks for fixing the leak.

There was no leak. I didn’t fix anything. They turned off my water again last Thursday.

Maybe Volkswagen can help me. God knows, I need a car too. And the message of the Volkswagen initiative and mine are just about the same.

The VW initiative is about FUN. They’ve shown that FUN can change people’s behavior. They must not be having enough fun at Dade County Water and Sewer. I must think of something and save them.

Truth In Lending came to my rescue. They paid the alleged Water bill. The water was turned back on late Friday afternoon.

Are we having FUN yet?

No. Now DCWS wants another $160 by December 7 for “penalties.”

Goodness, they must not have any fun working at DCWS at all. They should learn a thing or two from Volkswagen.

VW has shown that FUN changes the behavior. If you haven’t seen Piano Stairs yet…take a quick peek at this:

So what next? How can I get to Dade County Water & Sewer and make their life more fun so they have better things to do than this silly (and costly) stuff? Do I go dance on John Renfrow’s desk? I think he should personally answer my letter. Maybe I should send it daily – hundreds of copies:

July 10, 2009Mr. John Renfrow, Director
Miami Dade Water & Sewer

3071 S.W.38 Avenue
Miami, FL 33146
Assistant: Alicia 786.552.8089
Customer Relations 305.665.7477

Dear Mr. Renfrow,

“Imagine if you walked into a grocery store, chose the food you want (no price tags), took it home and then, at the end of the month, got the bill in the mail. “

Marc Gunther who writes for FORTUNE began a column that way, and I thought, that is exactly how Dade County Water & Sewer operates. Only DCWS takes what you paid for away, refuses to send any accounting or reason for the charges, and says pay whatever we say or go to arbitration and suffer. We don’t make mistakes. And we don’t care.

I might be willing to help you change this system. You claim you are “consistently looking for ways to provide quality service.” You need cooperation with the customers you service – and a customer like myself who has been through the ringer with you to really know what to do. I feel like I’ve been talking to people who teach you how to swim without ever being in the water themselves.

I am out of pocket more than a thousand dollars for an “alleged” leak, and thousands more in lost time and medical bills because of DCWS malfeasance.

I have asked, offered, begged to assist in fixing the “leak” IF there ever was one since December of 08. I cannot even get a copy of my bills from previous years for comparison, nor have I received the recent bills for my home of 35 years. Nor have I received  a copy of the reports.

When I asked why I had high water bills, I was told “We’re not plumbers”

Thanks to the assistance of  Mayor Alvarez office, the meter was changed. The meter seems to have been the problem in the first place, since the last meter reading is back to normal.

Where is reimbursement for all those charges? Why am I asked to continue with a payment plan? Why can’t I obtain copies of my bills and reports?

And WHY would MDWS refuse to assist in resolving a problem if there is one? If this is the MO it severely hurts the people and the environment.

I would not only like to resolve my own situation here – I would be willing to help you help others. Please let me hear from you.

Vivian Greene

Why is DCWS so anxious to go to court? I’ve tried so hard to avoid this. Let’s face it, Miami Vice has more demanding problems than my toilet.

But if I must go to court, and pay $700/hr, I’m still going to ask the judge to order DCWS to have more fun. They must be suffering from LackofFunitis.

That must be the problem. Because there is no leak. Because there is no reason to be this inefficient. Because there is no censured censured censured. Imagine how many people Dade County Water and Sewer have offended. Stress is toxic. You give it out, you breath it in.

I’d like to save Dade County Water and Sewer. I’d like all the money this has cost me back so I can share some fun and steward the money for good, like I do with all my work at www.VivianGreene.com. I’d like to see a world full of Volkswagen drivers with flowers on their cars.

Everyone should have more fun. Dance, eat, drink, and remarry (renew vows or new partner or new water meter). Like my book says: Just Get Up And Dance!

What a court order! Give Dade County Water and Sewer a sentence of 30 minutes a day to dance Disco con Salsa.

Maybe Gloria Estefan, or KC (he lives in my neighborhood) can help me? Volkswagen has the right idea. And as Marie McDonnell from Truth In Lending said, “The city has it wrong.”

As I always say, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

My thanks to Volkswagen for their shining example. I hope Kisses™ can save Dade County Water and Sewer.

Kisses and Volkswagen
Kisses®
are drawn with their eyes covered because
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”


Kisses™ and Volkswagen To The Rescue!

Vivian Greene
Invest In Love inc
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”

 

Please Leave a Comment

© 2009 – 2011, Vivian Greene. All rights reserved.

call Your Lawyer

Don't Call Your Lawyer, Call A Magician!

Don’t Call Your Lawyer, Call A Magician!

“We have to change more than our light bulbs. We have to change
some laws.” said Al Gore when I saw him Saturday. I couldn’t agree more.

The response to my blog about my sog with Dade County Water and Sewer was incredible. It was suggested I set up a Defense Fund.

Okay: Donate

Many people feel the difficulty to reach anyone, the arbitrary billing, and our requirement to pay monies and penalties not owed are out of control. How can anyone afford the time to document, investigate, and take off from our own work and responsibilities to fight these disputes?

Justice is only what we can afford to pay.

Okay: Donate

I would like to see a law enacted which makes institutions pay for the time we are on hold, the time it takes to prove our case, not only attorney fees but our fees for time and expenses.

So: Donate. Let’s do it!

 

“You don’t need to call your lawyer,” business man Jim Cassidy said. “You need a magician.And bless his heart, he sent me a magician in this hysterical video of an old Johnny Carson Show, starring Steve Martin:

But, I’m not joking. I will gladly match any funds which you Donate with art or gift certificates to change this system. Let’s flush injustice down the toilet.

Don’t Call Your Lawyer, Call A Magician!

Vivian Greene
Invest In Love inc
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”

© 2009 – 2011, Vivian Greene. All rights reserved.

You teach best what you most need to learn.

You teach best what you most need to learn.

How many people are forced to flush money down the toilet? Does the Gov just shove things down our throat? An email slapped me in the face today.

The list that was sent to me by a 72 year old man and his 100 year old mother – both VERY alert — is really thought provoking. I haven’t been around as long. Nothing speaks like experience. So even though I don’t like what it says, I cannot ignore it.

I’ve removed the bitter comment that surrounded the email – blame, name calling, etc – because to me that is not an effective way to solve a problem. Yet the list is worthy of our attention. How would you respond?

I was thinking of my blog post Beware of Bankers and Skunks. The banks are big and corrupt. The people who work there have little authority and are under the same victimization we are. So who is the boss? Who do we hold accountable?

Well….I guess ourselves. Because the government is “we the people.” So what are WE THE PEOPLE doing about it?

I’m the author of LEGAL LEMONADE, Should I Sue Or Is There A Better Way? I especially asked myself this question today.

Dade County Water & Sewer shut off my water, even though I have kept my agreement and paid them monthly for the last 10 months for an alleged leak that never existed. I’ve paid more than a thousand dollars to the Water Company, and more to plumbers, et al. I had help from the mayors office. A new meter was installed. No leak. So DCWS insisted I fixed the leak. They said “Pay and go to arbitration — but no one ever wins.” Talk about Money Down The Toilet! This is our government telling me to go sue myself.

Now I have to admit, I know a lot of government officials. Calling on them because I cannot flush my toilet doesn’t seem like the highest and best good for all of us.

But at this point I did have to call someone for my health, sanity, and the environment. Just what am I supposed to do if i cannot flush a toilet, and I cannot lift a gallon jug of water because I am recovering from an accident? I mean …what?…kitty litter?

Of course, I had to ask myself, Why. Why is this happening? Why me? And then the magic happened.

In the book Illusions by Richard Bach, he said,
‘ “You teach best what you most need to learn.” ‘

I did get help. It was not from DCWS. An advocate, Marie McDonnell from Truth in Lending took 5 seconds to ask “Where do I send the money? This is a legitimate issue and the city has it wrong.”

I learned something very valuable. The help is “we the people.” We simply must help each other. Truth in Lending clicked the Donate button on my site. My water was turned back on at 3:30.

I missed four appointments today. Critical ones for my health and business. I had to be home from 2 to 4 for DCWS. No one knocked when they turned the water off or on. I was told I am expected to pay another $128 in penalties – interest and the charges for turning my water off Dec 7th. The help will continue to pour in – because in the end it will help so many.

Who knows? Maybe there is one clerk, or computer glitch, or …elected official who has made this error that has caused so many problems. The water turned on, and this email arrived by someone infuriated with the government.


What can we do to help?
Help each other.

a.. The US Post Service was established in 1775.
You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

b.. Social Security was established in 1935.
You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938.
You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

d.. War on Poverty started in 1964.
You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of
our money is confiscated each year and transferred
to “the poor” and they only want more.

e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965.
You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970.
You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977
to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned
to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year
and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years
to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

And now we are expected to trust you with a Government-Run Health Care System??

The emailer wanted this circulated to reach “duly elected officials.” Do we really want to continue flushing Money Down The Toilet?

Vivian Greene
Invest In Love inc
“All that is real is seen with the heart.”

© 2009 – 2011, Vivian Greene. All rights reserved.