Friday, August 05, 2005

Moose carcass reek disturbs Abbot woman
I just included this story so you would have some context for the one below. Now you know I wasn't fooling.
Developer has resort plan for Brownville - Diana Bowley
That would be Brownville, Maine. Right down the road from Brownville Jct., Maine, pop. 900, where yours truly lived as a little boy. When I saw this headline I thought for a minute that it was some sort of wicked parody. The idea of a California developer being interested in a tiny hamlet in the Great North Woods of Maine is hard for me to grasp. But I'm all for it. A while back I was reading that if the Canadian Pacific Railroad closed the spur that runs through Brownville Jct., the town would disappear. Now maybe it has a new lease on life.

BROWNVILLE - Could it be that Brownville will become home to a 550-room, four-star hotel, 45,000-square-foot convention center, spa facility, 25,000-square-foot conference center, golf course, golf school and clubhouse, three restaurants and 400 time-share units? That's the concept plan that a California developer has for a 3,500-acre parcel near Norton Pond in this Piscataquis County community. Jim Dennehy of Palm Springs, Calif., doing business as WHG Development, envisions building a premier destination resort called The Reserve at Norton Pond. The majority of its patrons would arrive via passenger rail at a proposed train station.
Granite City About To Ban Indoor Furniture From Outdoor Sight

I think this is the answer to one of those "you know you're a redneck when..." jokes.

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) -- Furniture meant for indoors shouldn't be used outdoors. That's the view anyway of Granite City, Illinois, officials who are backing a new law that would ban the use of upholstered chairs and couches on porches and in yards.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Condo arson
From Fred Pilot comes this tale of arson, inspired by animosity guessed it: the alleged perpetrator's condo association.
SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A dozen condominiums were damaged or destroyed by flames after a resident, apparently angry with the homeowners' association, allegedly set fire to his condo.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Razor blades in the sand at gated community
Fred Pilot sent this along. So much for being safe because there are no strangers allowed.

NEWPORT BEACH — Thirteen X-Acto blades were found in the sand at a gated Newport Beach community's park after a boy injured his foot while stepping on one over the weekend, officials said Monday. Four blades were found Saturday after 5-year-old Freddy Bloom's foot was pricked inside a Bonita Canyon gated community, Newport Beach police Sgt. Mark Everton said. The child encountered the blade between two coiled rocking horses in the playground, where nothing else of its kind had been reported previously, according to news reports.

Home lost over $1,380 dues:
Venice woman's plight shows need for new laws, activists say

But the industry says this never happens...Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ananova - Christopher Lee to sing at heavy metal festival
I posted this for two reasons. First, it is the strangest headline I have ever read. Second, I have been a Christopher Lee fan since he and Peter Cushing were doing the B movies for Hammer Films. I would love to hear old Saruman doing Heavy Metal.

Octogenarian actor Christopher Lee is reportedly performing at a heavy metal festival in Germany. The 82-year-old Lord of the Rings star is taking part in the Earthshaker Festival in Geiselwind, Bavaria. He will sing with two bands, Manowar and Rhapsody, according to concert organisers. Lee will be accompanied by a live orchestra and a choir and will perform alongside heavy metal bands such as Grave Digger, Dragonlord and Forces of Evil.
Ananova - Thief 'drinks' work of art
I would say that this fellow privatized a public work of "art." Or maybe it was a form of art criticism.

An artist's latest work - a bottle of melted Antarctic ice - may have been stolen and drunk by a thirsty thief. Artist Wayne Hill filled a two-litre clear plastic bottle with melted ice to highlight global warming. But the artwork, valued at £42,500, went missing while on display at a literary festival, reports the Scotsman. Entitled Weapon of Mass Destruction, it vanished halfway through the Ways with Words festival at Dartington Hall, Devon.

A note from Marjorie Murray on the legislative situation in California
Evan -- thanks for posting the CID Homeowner Bill of Rights, sent to the California Law Revision Commission in 2001 by the CID Bill of Rights Coalition.

I just re-read the document on your website and am gratified to see how closely our Coalition has adhered to these basic principles when fighting for good legislation in Sacramento -- legislation that either creates new rights for homeowners or expands and protects existing rights.

This session, for example, the Coalition is sponsoring legislation
[SB 137/Ducheny] to restrain the use of foreclosure to collect assessments and legislation [AB 1098/Jones] to expand the rights of homeowners to inspect and copy financial records. The California Research Bureau reported in 2002 that California's 37,000 associations collect more than $207 million annually in homeowner assessments. However, HOAs either don't report at all how they spend this money or else they report it inaccurately. According to the insurance industry itself, up to 20% of all lawsuits filed by California homeowners against HOAs are for financial mismanagement -- or outright fraud.

The CID industry is fighting both SB 137 and AB 1098 tooth and claw through statewide campaigns.

Both bills will go to floor votes after the Legislature reconvenes from summer recess on August 15.

Please feel free to post this letter on your blog.

Best regards --

Marjorie Murray
Legislative Advocate/CID Housing
Chair, Bill of Rights Coalition
3758 Grand Avenue, Suite 35
Oakland, California 94610
'Hapless toad' case shows how court nominee Roberts thinks...or does it?
This somewhat hysterical column has some good information in it about USSC nominee John Roberts, based on a case decided right after he went to the DC Court of Appeals. But the writer falls for the spin placed on one of Roberts' opinions by environmentalists. Read it for yourself and see what you think.

It's only a "hapless toad,'' in John Roberts' words. But of all the cases in the Supreme Court nominee's career, a dispute over an endangered amphibian in the path of a California homebuilder may provide the best indication of his views on most any major issue likely to come before the court. The July 2003 opinion -- his first after President Bush appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. -- questioned an important legal rationale for the Endangered Species Act. The opinion also suggested that Roberts has a narrow interpretation of the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce, the basis for a wide range of laws... Commentators and advocates on all sides agree that Roberts' opinion stopped short of a definitive statement on either the Endangered Species Act or constitutional limits on federal authority. But Senate Democrats say they plan to make it a focus of Roberts' confirmation hearing.