Editor Bob

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About Editor Bob

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  • Birthday 08/01/1974

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  • Location Munich
  • Nationality British
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  1. Summary Post here if you're refusing to pay the German TV license fee (Rundfunkbeitrag). Let us know what letters you've received and how you've responded (if at all). Give and receive support from other fellow "Rundfunk-refuseniks". Click the "Follow this" button top right to receive updates via email.   ======================================== Background info On January 1, 2013, Germany introduced a new TV license fee system called the "Rundfunkbeitrag". This system requires that all households paid €17.98 per month to fund the public broadcasting services (i.e. TV channels ARD and ZDF, public radio stations, and associated websites). On April 1, 2015 the fee was reduced to €17.50 per month. The fee is not dependent on actual TV or radio usage. Rather, every household must pay one flat fee, even if they don't own a TV or radio. The rationale for this system is as follows: Public broadcasting services are considered of benefit to society as a whole. Even if someone doesn't watch TV, or own a TV, that someone still lives in a society that is better informed, better connected, and better "culturally protected" because of public services. Everyone benefits, even if only indirectly, and therefore everyone should help fund it.   The fee is collected separately from income tax because this is considered a way to give public broadcasting companies their independence. This is designed to prevent broadcasters from becoming government propaganda machines.   The fee is flat, €17.50 for all households regardless of how many people live there, because this makes it easier to manage and collect. It reduces overhead costs and keeps the system simple and streamlined. The fee is also considered low enough that it shouldn't be a burden to anyone. If someone can afford a roof over their head, then they can afford a "little" extra for public broadcasting. The above arguments are controversial, but those are the arguments given. There are numerous counter arguments. One of them is as follows: Publicly-funded broadcasting services made sense, to a certain extent, back in the 20th century. In recent decades however, the internet has superseded TV and radio. Nowadays people no longer need public TV and radio services in order to stay informed, connected, and "culturally protected" (whatever that means). Indeed, with the advent of social networking and independent news sites the general populace is now much better informed and connected than ever before. The younger generation in particular spend far more time social networking and sharing news via their smart phone than they do sat on the couch watching TV. And over the coming years the trend will continue to grow. Therefore public broadcasting is an anachronism that deserves to be phased out. There's no easy way to get the system abolished though, because the media companies, government, and legal system are all in cahoots to maintain the status quo. This leaves refusal to pay as the only realistic option for the average person. If sufficient numbers of people refuse then eventually the system will collapse. Currently only a very small percentage are making a stand, but if those small numbers support each other, then gradually their ranks will grow. Eventually a tipping point will be reached and the system will cave in on itself. This is sure to happen eventually, but it could take anything from five to fifty years. In the meantime, threatening letters and debt collection notices are nothing to be scared of, they're just something to be dealt with. There are a small but growing number of German-language websites and communities that offer support. These include the following: gez-boykott.de - discussion forum, also: Facebook, Google+ zahlungsstreik.net - petition and information network, also: Twitter Avaaz petition - 405,000+ signatures Open petition - 135,000+ signatures gez-abschaffen.de - one man's independent objection campaign blog rundfunkbeitrag.blogspot.de - another objector's blog petra-timmermann.de/GEZ - and another Facebook groups: GEZ-Gier 2013 (25k+ members) and GEZ-Zwangsabgabe -nein Danke (5k+ members) This here thread you're reading now aims to be a center of English-language support. Click the "Follow this" button top right to receive updates via email.   ======================================== Purpose of this thread This thread below is for people who have made a decision not to pay the TV license fee. We won't discuss here whether the Rundfunkbeitrag is justified or not, that is for the other thread: New TV license fee (formerly GEZ) Instead, this thread will be used exclusively to share info about threatening letters received and how we're dealing with them. If you are actively resisting against this system, post up your current status and what action (or non-action) you're taking. Keep us updated with the latest letters received and any other action that may have been taken against you. Click the "Follow this" button top right to receive updates via email.
  2. The price of bitcoin is surging and recently crossed €20. Anyone here own any?  
  3.     Tropical Islands Resort is an artificial tropical resort in Brandenburg, Germany.  It is the world's third largest building, and is the world's largest single hall without supporting pillars inside.   Inside, visitors will find an exotic environment with rain forest, beach, artificial sun, palm trees, orchids, and bird soundtrack.   The air is warm (25 °C). Tropical Islands is open all around the clock, every day of the year. One visit of unlimited duration costs €25.   The resort is located in Briesen/Brand, Brandenburg, about 60 km southeast of Berlin, off the "Staakow" exit of the A13 Autobahn (see Google Maps view).   It resides inside a disused hangar. The hangar cost €78 million and was originally commissioned by Cargolifter AG as an airship hangar, but the airship it was intended to house was never built.   The train can be taken there from Berlin and Cottbus. The Regional Express RE2 runs hourly from both cities to Brand (Niederlausitz). The journey from Berlin Alexanderplatz takes around 50 minutes. Public transport from Munich is awkward, you likely need to go to Berlin first. Driving from Munich takes about five hours.   Further reading: Tropical Islands - official website Tropical Islands - Wikipedia Germany's Pleasure Dome (Damn Interesting blog) Thanks to EZ Pleasy for the alert about this.
  4. The Münchener Eiszauber (Munich Ice Magic) is Munich's largest open air ice rink. It is usually open from late November until late January every winter. In previous years the ice rink always used to be located on Marienhof behind Marienplatz. In recent years they are continuing to dig the new U-Bahn station there so the rink is at Karlplatz Stachus instead. Cooling technology allows the ice rink to stay open so long as air temperatures remain below 10 degrees Celsius.     Münchner Eiszauber Karlsplatz / Stachus Late November to early January (exact dates on the website) Website: Münchner Eiszauber - plus live webcam over Karlsplatz   The ice rink and surrounding food stalls are open 10.30am till 10pm. On Christmas eve and New Years eve (Dec. 24th and 31st) they are only open until 4pm.   Skating costs €3 in the mornings, rising to €5 in the evenings. Kids skate for one Euro less. Skate hire is €4 plus a €30 deposit or an ID card.     See also: TT Karlsplatz skating meetups from 2004/5 - and another   And some choice TT quotes from last year:    
  5. Are you available for work as a babysitter? If so, post your details and availability here.   Your advert will be most effective if you include a short paragraph of text about you and what kind of work you are looking for. Remember to include contact details or instruct families to send you a personal message. Note that all posts here are automatically removed after three months. Please do not post a public reply to adverts - instead contact the advertiser directly and in private via the contact details they give.   See also: Babysitter wanted adverts
  6. Munich babysitters wanted

    If you are a family that is seeking a babysitter, post your requirement here. Remember to include contact details (telephone number, email, etc.) or instruct candidate babysitters to send you a personal message via this forum. Note that all posts here are automatically removed after three months.   If you are a babysitter seeking work, please do not post a public reply to adverts. Instead contact the advertiser directly and in private via the contact details they give. Take care to note the date of the postings. The most recent adverts are at the bottom of this page. Plus, remember you should also advertise your services by posting a message to the babysitters available listings.
  7. Getting divorced under German law

    I received the following email a few moments ago.   The sender wanted to share their experiences but didn't want to register a forum account for the sake of one post.    
  8. The current weather in Munich

    Post here for general chat about the current weather in Munich.   Only in cases of extreme weather should a new topic be started.   Current weather: Yahoo! weather forecast for Munich   See also the Munich weather discussion archive.
  9. Despite having its own dedicated visas and permits section, the TT chat forum is not the best place for getting accurate and up-to-date info about such things. Instead you are better off going to either an official government website, a private website dedicated to such information, or asking in person at your local immigration office, embassy, or consulate.   Government websites: US Consulates Germany - Visa information - info for US citizens and other nationalities coming to Germany US Mission to Germany - residence / work permit for Germany - similar to above German Embassy London - lots of info regards visas for Germany, all nationalities Private websites: Germany visas and immigration - from "workpermit.com" Immigration offices in Germany: München KVR, Ruppertstraße 19, 80466 Munich, Tel. 089 23396010 Berlin Ausländerbehörde, Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24, 13353 Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0) 30 902690 Frankfurt Ausländerbehörde, Mainzer Landstraße 323, 60326 Frankfurt am Main, Tel.: 069 21244422 Other city info can be found with Google. Embassies and consulates in Germany: American:    US Embassy Berlin, Neustädtische Kirchstr. 4-5, 10117 Berlin, Tel. +49 (0)30 2385174 US Consulate Düsseldorf, Willi - Becker - Allee 10, 40227 Düsseldorf, Tel.: (0211) 7888927 US Consulate Frankfurt, Gießener Str. 30, 60435 Frankfurt am Main, Tel.: (069) 75350 US Consulate Hamburg US Consulate Leipzig US Consulate Munich   [*]British: Munich Consulate-General, Königinstraße 5, Lehel, 80539 Munich, Tel. +49 (0) 89 28880 British Embassy Berlin, Wilhelmstr. 70-71, 10117 Berlin, Tel. +49 (0) 30 204570 British Consulate Düsseldorf, Yorckstrasse 19, 40476 Düsseldorf, Tel. +49 (0)211 94480 Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart - British consulates closed in 2005   search function first. If there is an existing topic that is directly related to your query, post a reply. If no related topic exists, then start a new topic. Despite the wealth of comprehensive information available via the above sources, if you absolutely must post an immigration related question to the TT forum then make sure you use the   When making a post to TT, be sure to make your post as concise as possible. Keep the question short and to the point. Do not write a rambling essay about your complete life history - few people will be bothered to read such missives, let alone answer them.   So, in summary, what you should do next is as follows: (1) Contact the relevant embassy or immigration office (2) Search the websites dedicated to immigration topics (3) Search TT for existing information (4) If, and only if, your question is still unanswered, make a concise post to TT. We will probably delete it anyway because, chances are, 1,2, or 3 above would already answer your question.  
  10. See also the TT guide page to German language schools in Munich.
  11. Munich’s English-speaking Dentist in the Heart of Schwabing   Dr. Isabel Selmair has been practicing full-service family dentistry in Münchner Freiheit since 1998. Educated in both America and Germany, Dr. Selmair brings the very latest techniques to her patients in her modern dental clinic on Clemensstraße.     “We know that good dentistry is the sum of its details. Sympathy, long-lasting results, specific individualized hygiene, as well as ideal function and aesthetics are making our patients’ smiles complete.”     • Fluent in German, English, and French• Convenient Schwabing location just two blocks from Münchner Freiheit• Both public and private plans accepted• Emergency short-notice appointments possible• Full-service modern dental clinic     Click here for patients’ first-hand impressions of our dental practice.   Praxis Dr. med. dent. Isabel SelmairClemensstraße 21a   80803 Munich-SchwabingTel.: 089 300 6283 Google Map   Website: DrSelmair.de/englishEmail: info@drselmair.deInstagram: dr.isabelselmairFacebook: Facebook.com/DrIsabelSelmair     We are right in the heart of Schwabing at Clemensstraße 21a – look for the blue and green columns. This is a paid placement posting.