Are water beds making a comeback? Here’s why they disappeared in the first place

Water beds were popular in the 80s but then disappeared. Now they might be making a comeback.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, it seemed as if everyone I knew had a water bed. Once a groovy, sexy novelty found only in the Playboy mansion, it’d entered the mainstream, with water bed stores on every corner.

In sixth grade, I even got my own. It wasn’t the one with a stereo and reading lamp built into the headboard that I really wanted, but it was a water bed, and it was dreamy. I could heat it up on cold Nebraska winter nights, or cool it down in warmer months. Every night I drifted off to its soothing slosh, and despite a minor disaster when it sprang a leak due to a rogue earring, I couldn’t imagine sleeping on any other kind of bed.

At the peak of water bed mania, in the mid-1980s, it was 1 in 5 mattresses sold in this country. But after that, poof.

While I can’t remember when or why I got rid of it, my beloved water bed vanished, and everyone else got rid of theirs, too. I can’t remember the last time I saw a water bed in someone’s home, or passed a store selling it. Where the heck did all the water beds go and, more importantly, why?

The mysterious disappearance of the water bed, explained

According to Bill Fish, a certified sleep science coach and founder of Tuck, a website offering sleep products and information, there are several reasons water beds have seemingly gone the way of the dinosaur.

For one, companies such as Tempur-Pedic upped the mattress game with memory foam and other more-comfortable-than-box-spring offerings. For another, water beds were kind of a pain. They were heavy, moving one required draining the entire bed (I remember my dad dragging in the garden hose), and leaks were a frequent hazard.

“It got to the point where many landlords wouldn’t even allow a water bed inside of their buildings,” Fish says.

As the novelty wore off, sleep stores began to focus on higher-end conventional mattresses, and replacement parts for water beds became harder to find, Fish says.

A water bed revival?

But if you’re getting nostalgic for those sweet waves rocking you to sleep, we have news: The inventor of the original water bed is launching a new, improved version.

Fifty years ago, Charlie Hall introduced the water bed to the modern world as part of his master’s thesis project at San Francisco State. (Fascinating fact: It started as a chair filled with Jell-O.) From there, he filed for a patent and launched the first water bed company.

Although Hall became a millionaire (through his water bed and other inventions), knockoffs of his bed abounded (awarding him millions more in patent infringement cases) before it fell out of favor. In his mind, the reason boils down to changing preferences in how people want beds to look.

“As time went along, a water bed’s box-frame look went from groovy to ugly,” he explains.

Customers wanted a sleeker look in their bedrooms. To accommodate this, Hall added more padding between the water and the body, which minimized a waterbed’s original advantages: reduced pressure on the body and the ability to control the bed’s temperature.

But after an overhaul, it’s coming back for another round. Hall and his original business partner, Michael Geraghty, have recently introduced a new version of the water bed, dubbed Afloat.

This time, they kept it looking as much as possible like a traditional bed (no more boxy, hard frame), but held onto the things that made water beds so great in the first place.

“We put the baby back in with the bathwater,” Hall says.

The Afloat is equipped with temperature control, an improved wave-suppression system, and a fabric cover that provides better body contouring. And this go-around, you don’t need to purchase special water bed sheets; any standard bed linens fit.

Hall says that while the new water beds are still not easy to move, they have streamlined assembly and maintenance, with detailed instructions, labeled parts, and a hose included.

“They can still be a pain, but we’re getting closer to the level of pain of other mattresses,” he says.

The Afloat bed costs $1,995 for a queen, and is available for preorder online. Or you can go to one of a handful of City Furniture (formerly Waterbed City) stores in South Florida.

Geraghty, who has been sleeping on one of the new beds for a year now, has been following up personally with each customer after their purchase, and says so far the response has been enthusiastic.

Do water beds have a future?

So will water beds make a comeback? Brian DeJesus, co-owner of American Sleep Center in Lancaster, PA, thinks it all depends on whether they develop a coolness factor with younger buyers—much the way once-passé wallpaper has been embraced by millennials.

“Most of the customers buying water beds today are people who have already owned a water bed from when they were popular,” he explains. “So those people may not have too much of an impact on future mattress buyers. For water beds to become popular again, society would have to see them as ‘cool’ again.”

Should you buy a smoker’s house? How to get rid of cigarette smells

iStock

Should you buy a smoker’s house? This question may confront you once you feel you’ve found the perfect place … except for that ashtray smell permeating every single room. Is this a deal breaker?

If the smell of cigarette smoke makes you recoil, you’re not alone: One study found that smoking in a home can reduce its resale value by up to 29%.

Still, once a smoker moves out, will the pall of cigarette odor lift, or will it linger? Is there a way to get rid of that stench for good? Answers ahead.

Health impacts of thirdhand smoke in a home

That smell of cigarettes long past isn’t, in fact, just a smell—it’s a residue called thirdhand smoke (THS).

“The lingering odor isn’t just unpleasant; studies have also linked it to cancer,” says Joshua Miller, director of technical training at Rainbow International, a home restoration company.

Tobacco-specific nitrosamines and nitrous acid are two of the biggest threats that cling to walls, dust, and other surfaces within a house. THS residue exposure can be especially dangerous for pets and small children, who often pick up dust and particulate matter on their hands or paws, and then put them in their mouth.

Worst of all, the effects just don’t pass.

“You could breathe in several hundred nanograms of these carcinogens long after the last cigarette burned out,” says Miller.

Just how long afterward? In one study, researchers at San Diego State University measured thirdhand smoke pollutant levels in smokers’ homes after they’d moved out. These pollutants remained even after the homes had been cleaned and vacant for two months. True, THC levels had diminished in that time, but they were still present at higher levels than in nonsmokers’ homes.

Signs of a smoker’s house

Sellers are not required to disclose that a home has housed a smoker, so if you’re worried about it, be sure to keep an eye—and nose—out for it. A smoky smell is an obvious sign, of course, but a strong smell of Febreze, air fresheners, or other fragrances could mean that the seller is trying to mask an odor. A fresh coat of paint can also mask cigarette odors, but they will eventually return.

Ask your home inspector to give you his opinion about whether someone has smoked in a house you are interested in. You are totally within your rights to ask the seller’s listing agent directly; a reputable professional should not lie about the condition of the home.

Should you buy a smoker’s house?

When you’re deciding whether to buy a smoker’s home, you should weigh not only the health risks, but what’s involved in getting rid of cigarette smells. Even if you’re getting a good deal on the price of the home, it’ll take some concerted work to eliminate the odor.

How to get rid of cigarette smell in a house

Getting rid of cigarette odor isn’t easy, since it seeps into everything. Cleaning can help, but replacing entire systems may be in order. Here’s what you can do to eliminate thirdhand smoke.

HVAC system

In a smoker’s house, every part of the central air system has come into contact with smoke over the years, explains Richard Ciresi, owner of Aire Serv in Louisville, KY. Here are some steps you can take to rectify this:

  • “Clean the air ducts,” says Ciresi. “Professional air duct cleaning is an effective way to eliminate odors that manifest when you turn on the furnace or AC.”
  • Change the filter on your HVAC unit. Normally, you would do this every few months. If you’re trying to fight the smell of thirdhand smoke, step that up to every 30 to 45 days.
  • Clean the evaporator coil. “Fumes can be pulled into the evaporator coil of an HVAC unit. The odor permeates the coil, and blasts the smell of cigarettes every time you run the air conditioner,” says Ciresi.
  • If nothing else fixes the problem, you may need to replace the system entirely. Of course, replacing your HVAC isn’t cheap. Expect to spend anywhere from $6,000 to $18,000, depending on your home’s size and the climate where you live.

Wash walls and ceilings

Miller recommends cleaning the walls and ceiling with a 3:1 vinegar-water mixture.

“Ceilings can be the biggest culprit in a persisting smoke smell in a home, since cigarette smoke tends to travel upwards and latch onto the first surface it comes in contact with,” he explains.

Trisodium phosphate (TSP), a strong, general-purpose cleaning product, is also great for removing smoke smell and stains.

Change lightbulbs

Smelly dust can fuse onto lightbulbs as they get hot, so change them out. Windows can also retain a smoky film that emits odor when they’re warmed by sun, so be sure to give them a thorough washing. Blinds can also be washed with vinegar or TSP—or, better yet, throw them out.

Paint

If washing doesn’t eliminate the smell from walls and ceilings, then your next best bet is to repaint them all, first sealing in the smell with an odor-neutralizing primer like Kilz. Without the layer of primer, the smell will eventually seep back through the paint.

Clean floors and carpets

“You can sprinkle a deodorizing powder like baking soda on carpets,” says Miller. If that doesn’t work, try a professional steam clean. In the worst-case scenario, the carpets will have to be replaced.

For wood or tile, a normal cleaning with the recommended cleaner should do the trick. Be sure to vacuum up all the dust from every nook and cranny, as the dust contains the harmful (and stinky) chemicals.

Wash curtains and drapes

Fabric tends to hold onto the smoke smell, so you’ll probably need to clean all the window treatments. Depending on the fabric, some can be washed in the washing machine, while others have to be steam cleaned. You can rent a steamer, or hire a professional to take care of this for you. If cleaning doesn’t completely get the smell out, they’ll have to be replaced.

Most Americans can’t afford rent, study finds

Based on cost of living and the national minimum wage, most Americans can't even afford a modest apartment without being cost burdened by rent.

Odds are, you can’t afford your rent.

The average household needs to make at least six figures to comfortably afford the average fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the seven largest U.S. cities., according a new SmartAsset study that looked at how much it would cost to afford a two-bedroom apartment in America’s 25 largest cities.

A household that spends more than 30 percent of its income on housing is considered “cost-burdened,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but for the majority of the largest cities in the U.S., renters require incredibly large incomes to stay under that percentage.

San Francisco, Calif. is the most expensive city for renters on the list, where in order to avoid being so rent burdened, someone would need to make $188,000 per year. The average household income in the area is $103,801 per year.

The numbers are similar for New York, the second least affordable place on the list, where New Yorkers would need to earn a minimum of $162,400 in order to pay no more than 28 percent of their income on a place in the Big Apple, where the average two-bedroom apartment runs $3,800 a month.

And Boston renters would need to make $143,800 to cover the $40,300 required for a two-bedroom apartment per year. But the average household income is only $63,600.

The gap between what renters earn per hour and what it costs to afford a modest apartment at average market levels across the U.S. is just as wide: The hourly wage needed to make a modest two-bedroom apartment affordable is $22.10, according to the annual “Out Of Reach” report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s, which documents the affordability of rental housing to low-income families across the U.S.; for a modest one-bedroom, it’s $17.90. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage of U.S. renters stands at $16.88.

In fact, someone working a 40-hour week on the federal $7.25 minimum wage can’t afford to rent a “modest” two-bed apartment in any state in the country, according to the report. And renters would need to make more than three times the minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

In other words, renters would need to work a 122-hour week for all 52 weeks of the year — or work three full-time jobs in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. For a one-bedroom, renters would need to work 99 hours per week throughout the year.

“The report’s Housing Wage is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home at HUD’s fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costs,” Diane Yentel, the president and CEO of NLIHC, told Moneyish in an email.

“FMRs provide an estimate of what a family moving today can expect to pay for a modestly priced rental home in a given area. This year’s findings demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country.”

The most expensive state is Hawaii, where workers would need an hourly income of $36.13 to afford rent, in contrast to the state’s average hourly wage of $16.16. Arkansas is the least expensive state at $13.84 — not including Puerto Rico at $9.24 — where workers would need to make $13.84 an hour, while the average hourly wage is $13.05.

The study finds that numbers are even worse for low-income households, defined as households earning less than the poverty level or 30 percent of the area’s average income. Four-person households making an annual $26,420 or less can only afford to spend $660 a month on rent, while the national average fair market rent for a one-bedroom rental is $931.

The rule of thumb is that no more than 30 percent of your income should be going toward housing costs including utilities, Erin Lowry, financial blogger and author of the book “Broke Millennial,” told Moneyish. “However, it is incredible hard for people to achieve this,” she added. “Realistically, hopefully no more than 50 percent should be going towards your rent.”

“There are many factors contributing to the current affordable housing crisis,” Yentel said. “But the simplest explanation is that wages are not keeping pace with rapidly rising rental housing costs. This will be a challenge for the foreseeable future – seven out of the ten occupations projected to add the greatest number of new jobs by 2016 provide a median wage lower than the one-bedroom Housing Wage.”

And as important as higher minimum wages are, they are not the silver-bullet solution for housing affordability, Yentel said. The report found that 38 local jurisdictions have their own minimum wages higher than the state or federal minimum-wage, but all fall short of the local one-bedroom Housing Wage.

For those who are struggling to afford fair market rent, Lowry offered a few tips:

Focus more on earning — and less on cutting things out of your life

“Hearing advice like ‘Don’t eat out,’ which most personal finance advisors give, is not helpful when you’re already in such an intense situation because you’re probably already doing that,” she said. She recommends figuring out how to earn more money instead. To do this, she suggests starting at your current position and speaking directly with your boss to negotiate ways to take on more responsibility.

Be flexible about your living situation

“This can be difficult advice, but consider moving to where the jobs are,” Lowry said. “If you’re in a place where there aren’t a lot of opportunities, this might be an answer at least in the short-run.” Consider moving back in with family members to mitigate costs of living, she advised, or moving out of high-cost, trendy neighborhoods.

Negotiate with your landlord

If you’ve proven that you’re a reliable tenant who pays rent on time, negotiating with your landlord could be a way to reduce how much you’re paying for bills. “Maybe offer to do some things around the building like being a handyman or doing superintendent chores,” she suggested. “What I did when I knew rent was going to take up a huge chunk of my paycheck was to take every opportunity I could to make things work — like turning off my AC when I could in the summer,” she said. Paying rent on time showed her landlord that she was a reliable tenant — so every time the rent was raised, she was able to counter so it didn’t increase that much.

How to get rid of ants: Expert-approved tricks to eliminate them from your home

ant-on-fence

It doesn’t matter if you’re a homeowner or a renter, knowing how to get rid of ants is an incredibly useful skill. Why? Because these creepy crawlers are resilient, and once they realize a home is an excellent source for food, they will keep coming back. Ants leave behind a trail of pheromones for their little buddies to follow. So what may have started out as a small problem can quickly become an ant army invasion in your home.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to eradicate your ant problem once and for all.

Types of ants that invade homes

There are many different ants that can cause problems, but the ones that typically show up in homes are seeking water and food during the warm-weather months, according to Matt Zehner, the technical services manager for Rentokil Steritech, a national pet-control service. Here are a few common species:

  • Odorous house ants: They are usually dark brown or black and are extremely attracted to sugary foods. They stink when crushed, hence their name.
  • Pavement ants: They are blackish brown with paler legs. “These ants will eat almost anything: other insects, seeds, melon, honey, bread, meats, nuts, and cheese,” say Zehner. They are known to climb masonry walls so they can enter a home.
  • Carpenter ants: “They are large, black, or dark brown ants that must have a constant water source to survive,” Zehner says. They also tend to nest in rotted wood, so if you see them around your home, there may be a structural problem.

How to get rid of ants

The good news is that keeping ants out of your house is a relatively simple three-step process.

  1. Cut back the foliage. Ants love to climb trees and shrubs, and they use them as bridges to get inside. “Cutting back on all the greenery that touches your home will make it tougher for ants to enter,” says Louis Brust, a real estate agent and former exterminator based in Myrtle Beach, SC.
  2. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth. Protect the exterior perimeter of your house with food-grade diatomaceous earth. What’s this, you ask? “Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms,” Brust says. “When spread around the outside of the home, ants and other insects that cross the substance will die.” This soil sucks the moisture out of their bodies so they die of dehydration. “While it is toxic for ants, it won’t hurt people, pets, or your garden,” says architect John Mochelleof New York.
  3. Seal your home. To keep more critters from infesting your home, you’ll need to block their points of entry. “Sealing all possible routes in is essential to stopping an infestation,” says Sydney Crawley, public health entomologist at Scotts Miracle-Gro. Mochelle says to seal all cracks around windows, door frames, floorboards, pipes, and open seams in the walls and foundation with caulk. “You can use silicone caulk as a quick fix, but for huge gaps and large amounts of damage, you may need professional repairs,” says Johnny Harper from J and J Home Inspections in Nashville, TN.

Other tips for keeping ants away

Ants are always looking for food, so eliminating access is critical. Cleaning is a big part of avoiding an infestation.

“Picking up crumbs by vacuuming, sweeping, and wiping should be a daily routine,” Harper says. Storing sweets, pantry staples like honey, and even fruit typically left on the counter in airtight containers is also essential. Even your pet’s food can attract ants, so don’t leave out bowls with crumbs.

Essential oils can also drive back ants from your home. Harper suggests mixing a half-teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil with 1 cup water and applying it to doorways, windowsills, or anywhere you’ve seen ants. Peppermint essential oil can also repel ants; just dab it in the areas where ants are gathering.

Another natural ant killer? Vinegar. Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and use it where you see infestations. Keep in mind it could take an hour to work.

This ‘Fixer Upper’ country farmhouse can be yours for $475G

This Season 1 "Fixer Upper" home could be yours for $475G.

“Fixer Upper” slammed the sliding barn door shut after five glorious seasons packed with shiplap. Yet the show’s legacy lives on.

Another renovation sensation from the design duo Chip and Joanna Gaines has just landed on the market in Crawford, TX.

Cast your mind back to 2014, when “Fixer Upper” was in its debut season on HGTV. The Magnolia empire was still a glimmer in the Gaineses’ eyes, but the decrepit farmhouse the couple renovated for a Baylor professor and his wife turned out to be one of their most impressive projects ever.

Now the resulting gorgeous, rustic home can be yours for $475,000.

Owners Devon and Hannah Jonklaas feared that the house might be a teardown when Chip and Joanna first showed it to them. However, they were soon convinced that the 3.65-acre lot and the wood and stone structure had potential, so they negotiated on the $220,000 asking price, eventually paying $197,000, and placed their trust in Chip and Jo. Smart move.

Chip and Jo proceeded to spend close to $48,000 on the renovation. When all was said and done, Chip estimated the new resale value for the home to be around $305,000.

But that was four long years ago. Now real estate prices in Waco, Texas and nearby areas are booming, thanks in no small part to “Fixer Upper” as well as the Gaines-led attractions like The Silos and Magnolia Table restaurant.

The property’s current price comes out to $164 per square foot, which isn’t much higher than the median $148 for homes in Crawford.

But your average Crawford home hasn’t had the magic of a Chip and Joanna makeover. Their “Fixer Upper” crew was able to preserve the home’s original charm and truly make it into a showpiece.

The episode was titled “Country Farmhouse Goes From Scary to Sensational,” and it’s easy to vouch for its accuracy. The 2,889-square-foot home now has four bedrooms and three baths, but those are simple numbers. The true story is how Chip and Joanna worked their magic and made this farmhouse fabulous.

With the success of HGTV's 'Fixer Upper', Waco, Texas has seen a huge tourism boom thanks Chip and Joanna Gaines' popularity

The home’s original cedar and stone exterior was brought back to life on the show with some pressure washing, sanding, staining and resealing.

“Relatively little of the original wood had to be replaced,” Chip said in the episode.

They updated an outdated country kitchen by removing the wall separating it from the dining room. They then spruced up the space with new stainless-steel appliances, light blue-gray cabinetry, brushed-nickel hardware, and an island with a black granite countertop.

The living room redo was also a work of art. They added sliding barn doors, scrubbed the stone fireplace and painted the built-in shelving white. They also replaced the blue carpeting with wood flooring, which made a world of difference.

Other features were added, included exposed wood ceiling beams, a balcony off the master bedroom, a bonus room and an inviting front porch.

Chip had deemed the project “a piece of paradise in the country.” It will be fascinating to see how long it takes a buyer to snap it up.

Arizona town building tiny homes for teachers who can’t afford to live closer

A small town in Arizona is building a tiny home community for teachers, like Sydney Scharer, to help with affordable housing issue.

A school district in Arizona is building a tiny home community for cash-strapped teachers who can’t afford local housing.

The small town of Vail, located about 25 miles southeast of Tucson, has an average home price of $258,000 and no apartments within the 425-square-mile school district, CityLabreports.

This leaves many of the local school teachers, whose salaries range from about $38,000 to $46,000, commuting from Tucson in order to live somewhere they can afford rent.

“The lowest rent you can find for a house in Vail is $1,200,” Sydney Scharer tells CityLab. Scharer teaches fifth grade at Senita Valley Elementary School and makes $38,000 a year.

The only way to afford rent was for her and her fiancé to live in a 600-sqaure-foot apartment about a 30 minute drive from work for $850 per month. “It was the closest thing we could get to Vail and still keep our rent reasonable,” she said.

But now, thanks to a new housing community, Scharer, and soon others, will be able to live in a neighborhood of two dozen 300- to 400-square-foot homes on district land.

Tens of thousands of teachers from Arizona marched on the capitol Thursday demanding massive funding increases.

The tiny home community is being built on five acres near what’s set to become the town city center. Scharer and her fiancé just moved into the site’s first tiny home, a one-bedroom, 400-square-foot property she’s renting until her own customized tiny home is complete. On a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, her monthly payments will be about $700 a month.

The homes will be available both for purchase and rent, with the project being supported mostly by local investors. The district is spending $200,000 on infrastructure, and teachers and staff will pay $125 a month to cover the cost of renting the land, which will include utilities and internet, CityLab reports.

John Carruth, the school district’s associate superintendent, told CityLab he acknowledges that the issue is not only limited to housing options, but teachers’ salaries. Arizona ranked last in the country for elementary teacher salaries, and 49th for high school, AZ Centralreports.

“The best model is to compensate teachers so that they can afford a home like anyone else can,” Joe Thomas, president of Arizona Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, told City Lab. “I don’t think it’s any more complex than that.”

“I think it’s a creative approach, but I don’t know if it values the work and the contribution that educators make in the community. Maybe if we can just move away from tiny school budgets,” he said.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

Carruth said the district already contributes 89 percent of its budget to employee salaries and that a 10 percent bump wouldn’t be enough to solve the affordable housing issue. “The majority of our teaching stuff is under 35. They’re dealing with this. We’re trying to solve something we can control,” he said.

QB sneak? Robert Griffin III selling 7-bedroom Texas mansion for $2.6M

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III throws a pass during an NFL football training camp practice at the team's headquarters, Friday, July 20, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is hoping to score a sale of his massive estate in Conroe, TX, for $2.6 million.

The mansion wasn’t in the QB’s grasp for long. He’d purchased the waterfront property in 2016 for $2.25 million, according to real estate records.

Now that the 28-year-old Heisman Trophy winner is in camp with Baltimore, he may not need to relax at the lakefront retreat that’s located just a few hours’ drive from his childhood home, in Copperas Cove.  But he’ll pocket a small profit if the home sells for its asking price.

Let’s see what the spacious spread has to offer…

Built on just over an acre in 2007, the Mediterranean-style mansion has seven bedrooms and 10 baths. It features a two-story foyer, game room with wet bar and wine grotto, home theater, study, playroom, and four balconies. The chef’s kitchen has a spacious island, “ornate” cabinetry, and high-end appliances.

rg

 (Realtor.com)

The master suite boasts a master bath with dual vanities, a garden tub, and rain shower. The backyard sports a covered patio, beach-entry pool with swim-up bar, spa, outdoor kitchen, and bathroom. There’s also a private dock with two boat slips.

This isn’t the only real estate deal the former Redskins star has tackled. He recently sold a Florida mansion he used as a training retreat. The 13,000-square-foot property inReunion was sold for $3.2 million in June. Griffin had purchased the place in 2017 for $2.85 million.

Also in 2017, he listed his farmhouse-style property in Leesburg, VA. The space is rented through 2022 and is described as an “investor’s dream.” The 9,000-square-foot luxury home is still available for purchase for $2.7 million.

Griffin got his pro start with Washington, winning the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Injured in 2015, he was released by the team and then joined the Cleveland Browns, where he also suffered through an injury-filled season. He spent 2017 as a free agent and signed with the Ravens in the off-season.

Lance Loken of Houston Portfolio Real Estate represents the listing.

Urgent call for blood donors as Florida school shooting depletes supply

Medical personnel tend to victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida.

There is an urgent need to replenish the blood supply in Florida following Wednesday’s school shooting. The area hospitals were prepared with blood on-hand at the time of the massacre, but now there is an effort to replenish blood type O negative, the kind most commonly used in trauma situations.

OneBlood, a Florida-based blood center, rushed several hundred additional units to Broward Health North Hospital and Broward Health Medical Center immediately after they were notified of the mass casualties.

OneBlood’s vice president of marketing and communications, Susan Forbes, told Fox News they are urging people to donate more O negative to replenish the supply that was dispatched.

“Seven percent of the population has O negative blood,” Forbes explained. “However, it is the type in the most demand because it is the universal blood type, meaning it can be given to anyone regardless of the patient’s blood type,” she said, adding that during emergencies doctors don’t have time to check blood type.

Forbes explained blood can take a few days to process. The additional units sent following the shooting were donated just a few days ago, so “the people who donated blood when there was no tragedy are really the first responders who do their part to save lives.”

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone is in need of a blood transfusion in this country.

“People cannot take blood supply for granted, yesterday’s shooting shows why a ready blood supply is imperative 365 days a year, don’t wait for the tragedy!”

OneBlood collected 28,500 units of blood within seven days following the 2016 nightclub shooting in Orlando, replenishing 85 percent of the supply that was used on the victims

OneBlood is urging people who have O-negative blood type to visit a donor center or Big Red Bus to help replenish the supply. People age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to give.

Forbes said people Thursday morning are starting to come to their centers to do their part, “It’s a heartwarming to see people come back and help replenish blood supply.”

Antifa targets ‘Google memo’ author James Damore’s talk at Portland State

It’s not unusual for an uproar to erupt on college campuses when a conservative such as Ben Shapiro wants to make an appearance.

But a bitter brouhaha over a Silicon Valley techie?

That’s what’s happening at Portland State University after a student group invited former Google engineer James Damore to speak on campus about diversity. Damore had the spotlight shine on him after he got fired over a 10-page Google memo he wrote criticizing the company’s internal gender diversity policies and accusing the tech giant of “alienating conservatives.”

Ex-Google employee James Damore’s speech at Portland State University on Saturday has stirred up controversy.  (Freethinkers at PSU)

Event organizer, Andy Ngo, knew there would be controversy, but didn’t expect to become a target of the sometimes-violent and virulently leftwing Antifa group, Ngo wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

James Damore posters

Protest flyers for the James Damore event, saying: “We have to work together to show James Damore and the PSU Freethinkers that they can’t get away with dressing up bigotry and calling it science.”  (Freethinkers at PSU)

Ngo told Fox News his group, Freethinkers of PSU, has received threats of violence and has been intimidated due to Damore’s upcoming speech on campus.

The university ended up setting up not one, but three alternative events — totaling seven hours — in anticipation of Damore’s hour-and-a-half lecture Saturday, the College Fix reported.

James Damore AltEvent

A promotion for the alternative events set up at Portland State University to counter the James Damore talk.  (Freethinkers at PSU)

Ngo called the response “overcompensation.”

Portland State spokesman, Chris Broderick, told Fox News the university rejects Damore’s “ideas as sexist stereotypes.”

Campus activists have called the students organizing Damore’s event “misogynists,” “white supremacists”, and “neo-Nazis” after a Portland-based newspaper, Williamette Week, falsely attributed quotes such as ”women can’t do math” to Damore in a piece that labeled him a “tech bro fired from Google for saying women are biologically unfit to be engineers…”

PSU faculty hosted “The True Story of Women in STEM” to challenge Damore’s “notion that women do not generate ideas because they are more concerned with feelings and aesthetics.”

Damore told Fox News his critics have misconstrued his views about women in the workplace.

Details included in the lawsuit raise concerns about contempt for conservatives.

“They’re worsening the divisions and generating outrage by misrepresenting what I’ve said,” Damore said. “I encourage any students to actually read what I’ve written, watch my interviews, and come to my event with questions and an open mind.”

The PSU philosophy professor hosting the discussion with Damore agrees.

Students at Portland State University lobbied state lawmakers for the new college payment plan. (AP)

“How many people who are upset about the memo have actually read the memo?” Peter Boghossian told Fox News. “When we’re not willing to discuss difficult, complex issues, extremists step in with solutions.”

At Saturday’s event, Damore and Boghossian will be joined by secular free-speech writer Helen Pluckrose and former Evergreen State College professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, who received $540,000 from the school after racial tensions shut down the university during a “Day of Absence” last year.

Alleged Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was reported to FBI, cops, school — but warning signs missed

he FBI revealed Friday that they received a tip last month that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 people on Valentine’s Day, had a gun, wanted to “kill people” and had the “potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

The FBI admitted it did not follow proper protocol as the information was not provided to the Miami field office and “no further investigation was conducted at the time.”

“We are still investigating the facts.  I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public.  It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Cruz had scores of run-ins with law enforcement dating back to 2010 — with one report saying sheriff’s deputies responded to his home more than 35 times in just six years.

Broward County Sheriff’s deputies received at least 36 emergency 911 calls from 80th Terrace St., in Parkland – the suburban address where the teenager lived with his younger brother, Zachary, and their adoptive mother, Lynda, BuzzFeed reported.

The calls – dating as far back as 2010 and continuing until November 2016 – shed a light on two erratic and violent boys who repeatedly “threw items,” were “out of control” and fought with their mother and each other on an apparently regular basis.

“He is a deeply troubled young man; a child that has endured significant loss,” Gordon Weekes, chief assistant for Broward County’s public defender’s office, told reporters Thursday. “He fell between the cracks and we have to try to save him now.”

Despite the repeated calls to authorities, Cruz was never arrested – and was basically cleared as being “no threat to anyone or himself,” as one therapist said in a police report from Sept. 28, 2016.

In that particular call, the sheriff’s office said Nikolas and his mother were fighting over paperwork needed for him to get an ID card

In their report, deputies detailed how the teen had been harming himself and had talked about buying a gun.

“He had been cutting his arms, his mother said, to get attention, as he learned it from an ex-girlfriend,” deputies said. “He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm.”

The therapist on scene, Jared Bienenfeld with Henderson Mental Health, and the deputies concluded there were “no signs of mental illness or criminal activity.”

And much like the calls before – which were placed due to reasons ranging from the brothers beating each other to Cruz, at the age of 12, threating his mother and calling her a “useless b****” – law enforcement left without taking any further action.

A public information officer with the sheriff’s office could not verify the report to Fox News early Friday morning. The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to additional requests for comment.

Cruz was never arrested until this Valentine’s Day when he allegedly walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition before firing an AR-15 at students and faculty members.

He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday and is being held without bail.

In the aftermath of the attack, revelations about the teen’s alarming warning signs appeared to be repeatedly missed — despite the cop calls, a report to the FBI based on a social media posting, his former classmates expressing fear of him and a documented history of mental health issues.

TRUMP: ‘SO MANY SIGNS’ FLORIDA SHOOTING SUSPECT WAS ‘MENTALLY DISTURBED’

“I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him,” Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior at the school, told the Sun-Sentinel.

According to reports, Cruz and his brother both suffered from mental health issues, including ADHD and OCD, and took medication as treatment. Cruz’s lawyer said Thursday her client was “a broken human being” and the team was looking into an evaluation for autism. Nikolas had sought treatment at Henderson mental Health Clinic and had previously attended a school for students with behavioral problems, BuzzFeed reported.

Despite these issues, Cruz was able to legally purchase the AR-15 he used in the mass shooting. Attorney Jim Lewis told the Sun-Sentinel that the teenager already owned the gun when he moved in with his friend’s family around Thanksgiving, after his mother died this past November.

“It was his gun,” Lewis said. “The family made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet in the house but he had a key.”

Trevor Hart, 16, who knew Cruz from his Spanish class at Marjory Stoneman, told the Sun-Sentinel the alleged killer seemed “a little off” and talked about shooting lizards, squirrels and frogs.