guest blog by Nila Ridings
My lifelong friend shared the video below with me.
The visual images put life into perspective in a way that makes a person think. Think, about what has been accomplished and what lies ahead.
Where is it we wish to be down the road? The young may be seeking the perfect mate, an exciting career, a dream car, or a luxury vacation. The older folks mostly set their focus on their health (and wish it had been their top priority decades before), hope they can hold onto their job until they can afford to retire, and they cherish calls from friends and family while clinging tightly to their beloved pets.
The word ‘Christmas’ must be anathema to some people. In fact, any word containing the letters that spell C-h-r-i-s-t makes people spit nails. Oh, they’ll use the word, but only while slinging cuss words around.
In Arizona, Roger Walklin of the Velda Rose Estates Homeowners Association, says a bunch of little old ladies who stitch Christmas stockings each year in the clubhouse are no longer allowed.
“You’re a religious group,” he said. “It’s against the covenants to allow religious groups in.”
Each year, Ferne Skidmore and her friends stitch about 3000 Christmas stockings, stuff them with goodies and hand them out to less fortunate kids.
Well, good old Las Vegas mobster Leon Benzer has finally met justice in his plan to steal millions and millions of dollars from Homeowners Associations. Not much justice, but at least federal judge James Mahan has now sentenced Benzer to 15 1/2 years in federal prison. With ‘good time’ he may end up spending seven years behind bars. Most of his 38 co-conspirators in the massive scam to take over Las Vegas Homeowners Associations got probation to a year-and-a-half in prison.
Of the other conspirators, a number have died, some of them by suicide. Benzer was the last to be sentenced in the long-running case.
Our frequent guest blogger, Deborah Goonan, alerted me to an excellent documentary which could ultimately go straight to the heart of the fight against the HOA disease. It’s produced by the Annenberg Foundation and reviews two of the most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the 20th Century, Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Simms, which were both decided in the early 60s.
Our frequent guest blogger, Deborah Goonan, is part of a team of consumer advocates conducting a nationwide HOA survey. In addition to a social media presence, she has posted it on her own web page at Indepentent American Communities (IAC). Obviously, such a survey is more accurate when the survey sample is large. And the more people who respond, the more likely our combined voices will be heard. So, if you haven’t participated yet, please do.
In email exchanges around the country I have a rough idea of what many Americans think about HOAs, POAs and condo associations. But Deborah has fine-tuned a number of survey questions and the results will ultimately be distributed to policy makers.