Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bringing a Law School Down
Should Ave Maria be part of a "Catholic Jonestown"?

That's a bit strong, isn't it? Instead of "Catholic Jonestown," how about "Catholicville"? This is about the goings-on at Ave Maria Law School, recently accredited by the American Bar Association and now perhaps headed to what looks to me like a Catholic planned community. I wonder if the HOA will be "Catholics only"...

Mr. Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and the school's principal benefactor, has announced plans to build a large Catholic university outside Naples, Fla., along with a residential community. (The ground-breaking ceremony for Ave Maria Town, as it will be called, was delayed indefinitely by the recent hurricane.) Will the law school move to Naples too, from Ann Arbor? The school's dean, Bernard Dobranski, acknowledges that the board is "open to consideration of the idea."
Condo's whopping ads
a big headache

Nancy Levy sent this story about an enterprising condo association:

A Rego Park condo is exploiting a loophole that allows it to transform its residential tower into a gigantic billboard - pocketing thousands of dollars - while the city is powerless to do much about it. When two racy lingerie ads were recently mounted on scaffolding on both sides of Queens Blvd. Tower - a 16-story building overlooking the Long Island Expressway - the condo's management was given five citations and ordered to remove the ads within 35 days. It complied just before an Oct. 13 deadline. But shortly afterward, another 100-foot-tall sign popped up on the west side of the building, this time promoting the upcoming "Harry Potter" movie.

Iowa Town Has Tough Time Finding Eligible Voters
Sounds like an HOA election, but it is a municipality of sorts.

ANAMOSA, IA. (AP) -- Anamosa, Iowa, has found out how difficult it can be to fill a vacant city council seat -- especially when most of the residents are behind bars. The city's Ward Two includes the Anamosa State Penitentiary. That left just 58 non-inmates in the district. Even though the city has grown, Ward Two only had 65 registered voters in Tuesday's election. In Tuesday's election there were only three votes, all of them write-ins.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Privatize Fannie and Freddie

Here's a commentary from National Review Online:

Confronted by a real problem related to the semi-governmental status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Congress is opting for strict new regulations that amount to a de facto nationalization of these government-sponsored enterprises. The best solution would be precisely the opposite — full privatization. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were they to go private, would be normal, private companies in all respects, no longer receiving any special government benefits nor subject to special regulatory restraints.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New law creates changes for homeowner associations

North Carolina joins the HOA reform parade with this bill, news of which is sent from Fred Pilot:

A new law will create some big changes for homeowner associations across the state. The number of homeowner associations has exploded in the last five years. More than half of all homeowners in North Carolina now belong to an association. The law puts a cap on fines and fees the association can charge.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Escaped pit bulls attack six people, terrorize neighborhood; child critically injured

This horrible event happened in an HOA not far from where we live. I was arguing with a couple of animal-lovers a few weeks ago about pit pulls. I think they should be banned because they are unpredicable. Of course the dog lovers cling to the notion that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. But this story is one of many where the pit bulls were being treated well and went nuts anyway. Go ahead, pit bull lovers. Send me your hate mail. I think they should be outlawed. If I had my way you'd have to switch to Rottweillers.

CARY, Ill. ? A 10-year-old boy was in critical condition Sunday after three pit bulls escaped from a home and went on a rampage, attacking six people before police shot and killed dogs, authorities said.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

San Francisco Examiner:Mullin: Home groups need more oversight

Fred Pilot sent this along:

SAN MATEO ? Concerned that homeowners associations are wielding too much unchecked power over the residents they regulate, Assemblyman Gene Mullin is sponsoring legislation calling for more state regulation on common interest developments. Mullin scheduled a hearing for 6 p.m. tonight in San Mateo City Council Chambers on a bill to establish a state ombudsman to help association officers and residents better understand the rules that govern the developments, which account for one-quarter of the state?s housing stock. ?There is no oversight of these organizations, which wield considerable power over people?s lives and homes,? Mullin said in a prepared statement.

Residents of Paris Suburbs at Gangs' Mercy
This is quite an indictment of the French version of suburbanization. Maybe building huge public housing complexes in the suburbs and filling them up with welfare-dependent and unassimilated Muslim immigrants isn't such a good idea.

Whatever their motivation, youths leading the violence that in 10 nights has spread across France sow fear, anger and frustration among their fellow residents of "Les Cites" — grim, public housing estates on the outskirts of French cities heavily populated by poor Arab and black Africans. Some officials suspect the unrest that reached into Paris proper early Sunday has in part been instigated by gangs hoping to turn their neighborhoods into no-go zones for police so drug trafficking and racketeering can thrive.