Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Twin Insurgency - The American Interest

The Twin Insurgency - The American Interest:

"Rights within such spaces accrue to dollars rather than to citizenship. The vision of the future here is of a global archipelago of what Evan McKenzie has called “privatopias”, essentially gated enclaves linked by air and internet to other such spaces, protected by high ramparts from the roiling dystopian ocean of the hoi polloi."

Housing dispute leaves 97-year-old man homeless

Housing dispute leaves 97-year-old man homeless:

"Each morning, a variety of men and women pass through the doors of Napa’s Hope Resource Center in search for a place in a local homeless shelter that night. On Wednesday morning, one visitor looked no more or less weathered or beaten-down than the others – only more diminutive and older, decades older.

James Farrell arrived at 8:30 a.m., his 5-foot-tall frame arm in arm with a woman who had helped him find an interim place to sleep since a dispute with management cost the ukulele-playing 97-year-old his place at a local retirement home."


Redwood Retirement Center in Napa, CA, evicted this veteran of three wars. Apparently they didn't appreciate his singing and ukelele playing, and they said his room wasn't clean enough.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating the life of Patricia Wigginton

Maryland Homeowners' Association, Inc.

For Homeowners in Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowner Associations in Maryland

July 22, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Patricia Wigginton

Patricia Wigginton passed away on July 11, 2014. She was a Board member of the Maryland Homeowners Association (MHA) since 1992 and editor of MHA’s Communicator newsletter. She served as MHA’s president and executive director 1995-1999 and as such shepherded successful passage of the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights in the Maryland legislature and the successful transition of the organization upon the retirement of the founder and executive director, Dorothy Sager. A Celebration of her Life will be held:
Sunday, July 27th at 3 pm at the
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
9601 Cedar Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

For directions, go to

For 22 years in board positions including president, secretary, treasurer, & general officer, Pat offered information and support to individuals and boards of directors by phone and in person. She organized workshops and attended individual association meetings, CCOC hearings, including running and overseeing individual association elections. She testified for homeowner legislation on behalf of MHA. In 2006 she testified before the COC Task Force. In February 2008, as president of her condo association, she supported the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition’s (MCRC’s) agenda testifying in favor of several energy bills---as well as organizing a write-in campaign among her neighbors to the Public Service Commission on “Fair Utility Rates.” She represented MHA at MCRC workshops and coalition meetings in Annapolis during the legislative sessions. During her many years of service she met with both politicians and government bureaucrats to advocate go od governance issues.

Patricia Wigginton served as president of her condominium association and had 25 years of board experience in her condo and its umbrella HOA and MTA organizations. In addition to advocating good government issues in condos and HOA’s, she was a long-time activist and advocate for children and the elderly---volunteering with Montgomery County schools, police and as a nursing home ombudsman.

As a volunteer in the Montgomery County schools, Pat was an early proponent in the fight against childhood obesity. Beginning in 2000, she advocated for more exercise and physical education in the schools and served on the county’s curriculum advisory committee, working with the county’s PTA, helping draft a county Wellness Policy and organizing “Walk to School Day” in the local elementary school. Her legislative efforts in this area included lobbying and testifying in favor of State Health and Fitness Acts supporting walking as the Maryland State Exercise. She also supported safety restrictions in teen driving legislation.

In 1996 Ms. Wigginton organized her son’s elementary school community to participate in the Stand For Children March on Washington, D.C. In 1997, as a way to continue awareness of children’s needs, she organized a “Stand for Children Book Drive” which has become an annual event for Ashburton Elementary and North Bethesda Middle schools. For the past decade, the “Reach Out and Read” program at Upper Cardoza Health Care Center in D.C. has been the recipient of the children’s book donations. More than 25,000 books were collected and donated to support literacy efforts since 1997.

In 1988 Pat organized a Neighborhood Watch Program in her condominium community, which was featured in a Voice of America segment on life in the United States. She continued to support the safety of her community and the police department’s neighborhood policing policies by serving on a Police-Citizen Advisory Committee for her District of Montgomery County since 2002.

Pat Wigginton was a truly spectacular and generous woman. She will be missed by her family, friends and community.


76-year-old man is ARRESTED at Tennessee town hall meeting | Mail Online

76-year-old man is ARRESTED at Tennessee town hall meeting | Mail Online:

"Locals in a small Tennessee town are outraged after a 76-year-old man was arrested during a town hall hearing over a proposed pipeline because he asked board members to speak louder.

Eddie Overholt's arrest came Friday after asking town board members to speak louder during a hearing to determine whether a gas company would be allowed to build a pipeline to dump waste into a local river.

‘Okay, I’m arrested,’ Overholt can be heard saying in a baritone drawl as he is escorted out of the Greenville Town Hall during a hearing with U.S. Nitrogen, according to WATE. The company wants a pipeline to the Nolichucky River."


Not an HOA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

City OKs UWS development with ‘poor door’ for residents | New York Post

City OKs UWS development with ‘poor door’ for residents | New York Post:

"The city approved a developer’s controversial plans for a “poor door” on the Upper West Side, The Post has learned.
Extell came under fire last year when it introduced plans for a 33-story luxury condo with a separate entrance for affordable-housing tenants."


My good man, please step round to the back and use the servants' entrance. There's a good lad.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks - Yahoo News

Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks - Yahoo News: WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio (AP) — An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

Darin Welker said officials in the village of West Lafayette told him to get rid of the ducks in May and cited him for a minor misdemeanor on June 23 for failing to comply. Walker is scheduled to appear in Coshocton Municipal Court for a hearing Wednesday and could face a $150 fine.

Welker, 36, says the ducks help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.

West Lafayette, about 80 miles east of Columbus, banned residents from keeping fowl and other farm animals in 2010.


It's only a matter of time before the quackdown on therapy ducks comes to Privatopia.

Did this booby trap set up in a Pevely yard go too far? | St. Louis

Did this booby trap set up in a Pevely yard go too far? | St. Louis

"( – A homeowner in Pevely elected to set up booby traps on his lawn to prevent pranksters from driving onto it. The resident buried a board along the street with nails sticking out of the ground, the goal was to flatten the tires of cars driven by pranksters. Police told News 4 the trap was difficult to see “They were painted black and they were buried in the ground, and it made it very difficult to see,” said Pevely Police Chief Ron Weeks."
And now the town of Pevely is going to pass an ordinance banning booby traps on lawns. I suppose that will make everybody except the property rights fanatics.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Subdivision’s paving woes highlight gray area in enforcement | The Courier-Tribune

Subdivision’s paving woes highlight gray area in enforcement | The Courier-Tribune: The developer owns the road up to the point where the state takes it over. The state will not take the road over, even if it is up to spec, until a certain threshold of habitation is reached — a minimum of two houses per one-tenth mile, according to Jeff Loflin, county N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) engineer. So, in the interim, the developer should be motivated to keep the road up, in theory.

The reality Stauffer is experiencing what happens when the theory breaks down. It breaks down, most often, when a developer goes bankrupt or leaves a subdivision uncompleted because he or she has moved on to a more lucrative project. Short of suing the developer, the homeowners typically have few options other than taking over road maintenance themselves.


This is the point where the intergovernmental relationship as the perfessor termed it in his seminal 1994 book Privatopia reaches a dead end. NCDOT is using a similar formula that privately owned cable companies use in determining where they will build infrastructure -- a formula that creates winners (and lots of losers), leaving many without needed infrastructure.

Friday, July 18, 2014

White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition - The Washington Post

White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition - The Washington Post:

"With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this summer, the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.

The proposal, contained in a four-year, $302 billion White House transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling.

Though some older segments of the network — notably the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes and Interstate 95 in Maryland and Interstate 495 in Virginia — are toll roads, most of the 46,876-mile system has been toll-free."


The Republican strategy of refusing to let Obama fix any problem, under any circumstances, pays off again. Now they are turning the interstate highways into toll roads, which should make Rand Paul happy. Now if only they can figure out how to charge us for the air we breathe...

This decision will be a huge boon to the privatization industry, which will step forward and propose a big cash payment (that will turn out to be not so big) for the right to lease the interstate highways and run them as private toll roads.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

To Water Or Not To Water? Residents Getting Mixed Messages Amid Drought --CBS Los Angeles

To Water Or Not To Water? Residents Getting Mixed Messages Amid Drought  CBS Los Angeles

The message from the state: overwater your lawn and you get fined. The message from the city of Glendora: underwater your  lawn and you get fined.  It's sort of a Goldilocks drought watering policy.