The Flood Insurance Purchase Requirement

Here’s an interesting bit of flood insurance news. On May 24th, the Federal Reserve Board issued an order to SunTrust Bank for violations of the National Flood Insurance Act. The order itself does not provide a lot of detail, and I have no inside information, but I can only assume SunTrust was extending loans for property in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) without enforcing the flood insurance requirement, mandated by statute. This type of adjudicatory order is rather rare, but here are two examples from the Comptroller of the Currency, both from 2015: Amory Federal Savings & Loan Association

The Board of Appeals Seeks a New Member

As I’ve said before, I don’t often talk about land use. But here’s a bit of news. The Board of Appeals has an opening and the County Council has put out a call for applications. Short version of the details is that you should apply by June 5th. The Board of Appeals has two roles in Howard County. In the first role, cases for conditional uses, sometimes called special use permits, are heard by the Board of Appeals Hearing Examiner. Under some circumstances, parties may appeal a decision of the Hearing Examiner and the case will then be heard by

New Court Decision on Flood Insurance

Gary Woodson v. Allstate Insurance Company is an interesting new decision that just came out of the Fourth Circuit regarding flood insurance, which transfers full jurisdiction over claims relating to flood damage to the Federal courts, subject to the National Flood Insurance Act. This is quite big. Historically, insurance regulation is handled at the state level. Accordingly, there’s not a huge body of law at the Federal level on insurance. So claims relating to flood insurance, even when heard in Federal courts, are often guided by local state rules and regulations. As a result, each United States District has established

The New Long Reach Village Center

This evening, the kids and I walked over to the Long Reach Village Center, where got to see the new plan for the Long Reach Village Center. I will say here what I said there. A long time ago, I sat on the Master Plan Committee for Long Reach and wanted to see something open, inviting, green, but also viable. I think they’ve nailed it. But I was just a minor player. The Village Board, the County, and several bidders, all did a lot of work to pull this off. The plan is beautiful and hopeful in a place that’s

Crossing the Bridge

There’s a myth that goes around that math exists in a bubble and this is just something you have to do graduate, like some sort of perverse challenge. But math does not exist in a bubble, and math professors are not trolls under the bridge taking a toll on the way to commencement. Math is a tool to analyze and understand the real world. Image by Holly Victoria Norval / Flickr.

Transmitting Chinese Cultural Values

I’ve been learning a bit of Asian history, since it is something I know little about. One question is about the role of ancient Chinese culture across other East Asian societies. Buddhism played a role in transmitting Chinese cultural and social values to both Korea and Japan. This is because the Buddhism that went to Korea and Japan carried with it a more intensely Chinese form of the philosophy than the version originally developed in India. Grigg’s entire thesis is the Buddhism of Japan, Zen, is derived from the Korean form (Seon), itself an import of the Chinese Chan form