Saturday, July 24, 2010
Usually I stick to an aluminum foil hat. Keeps the mind control rays out, you know. Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.
Back in February, when Washington D.C. was buried under record-breaking snowfall and the capital was paralyzed, the nation's chief climate change doubter made much of a small igloo down the street from the Capitol building as he took to the Senate floor to refute climate change.
Friday, July 23, 2010
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Their mayor and three of their four council members, people they see every day at the grocery store or church, approved the contracts, and put an obscure measure on the ballot that allowed council members to pay themselves any amount of money.
And they did: collecting between $90,000 and $100,000 a year as part-time officials.- - -
What a deal for counties and cities: not only do they shift the cost of providing services onto privately governed HOAs, they get volunteers to run them as well who are paid zip for doing so.
Even though the state’s tax assessment system has the effect of muting the volatility of property assessments, 11 of the state’s 12 largest counties experienced a decline in their property tax roll this year.
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Even the center of the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, was unable to avoid a shrinking roll.
“This is far worse than anyone had expected,” County Assessor Larry Stone said in the news release announcing the tax roll. The roll dropped 2.44%, by $7.4 billion.
“This county has not experienced such a devastating drop in property values since the Great Depression,” he said.
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The data show this isn't a typical real estate correction cycle in which prices fall back to earth following a boom. They're actually falling into a deflationary hole in much of California, which along with Nevada has suffered some of the steepest declines in real estate value in the nation.
Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently wrote that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who studied the Depression of the 1930s for his doctoral dissertation, so fears deflation that he reportedly said he'd toss sacks of $100 bills out helicopters to prevent it. Memo to the Chairman: deploy a squadron of black helicopters bearing bags of Benjamins to California, starting in my ZIP Code.
Yes. And one might say the same thing about CC&Rs.
Alligator makes a meal of Tempe Town Lake fish | Phoenix News | Arizona News | azfamily.com | Phoenix News
Well, let's just say an alligator named Tuesday is getting one heck of a meal.
And he (or she) has a nice smile, no doubt as the result of a full tummy.
A judge told William Bowersock on Thursday that he has 30 days to take care of the properties in Lima (LY'-muh).
The judge rejected Bowersock's argument that he had seceded from the local government and formed his own Indian reservation, thereby making him exempt from the city's property code.
Obviously he should have formed a one-man HOA instead.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
In court papers filed in Prince George's County District Court, the Kettering Community Association is asking for about $1,500 in late assessments and legal fees.
"We had this house for 30 years, paid our dues consistently for 30 years," Johnson said in an interview Friday. "They claim we didn't pay. ... It's only $150 (per year). The next thing I know I get a bill for $1,800 or more ... and [got a notice] they are going to foreclose on my house [from] some lawyer. I got pretty mad. I hired a lawyer representing me. ...
Mr Johnson says: "There's a pattern that's been really frustrating for us," he said. "You have these developers that come in and they build condominium associations and homeowners associations, but the way the bylaws are drafted, the citizens of Prince George's County never take control over their own communities."
Oh, Mr Johnson, I think the problem is much bigger than that!
Deputies with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office had attempted to serve an eviction at the home, which was under foreclosure, on Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. They said they knocked and identified themselves, then heard what sounded like gunfire or an explosion and took cover.
Thanks to a a friend who alerted me to the story.
No word on whether this was a bank or an HOA foreclosure. Regardless, this is not the first time a homeowner has has self immolated in a burning house they were about to be evicted from. I sometimes think we are a little too cavalier about kicking people out of their own homes in this country.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Voters in effect are saying we want new blood and someone not beholden to special interest groups, but we'll elect incumbents over non-incumbents since special interest groups get the incumbents' name out there more than their relatively unknown challengers. The real fight isn't over who gets elected, but between the voters and special interest groups.
The explosion of the Internet, which is already blowing a huge hole in the business models of the mass media, could change the equation. Folks running for office -- particularly in large, populous states like California -- have to raise gobs of money in order to buy political ads from mass media outlets. However, if more voters already sick of junior high school level attack ads decide to ignore them and visit candidates' websites instead, the balance of power is shifted between them and the special interest groups that fund candidates' high priced TV spots.