The news from North Carolina sounded horrible at first. Twenty-one people were standing on the deck of a rental home on the Outer Banks when the deck collapsed. Most were injured and taken to the hospital. It could have been far worse, of course, but the final chapters haven’t been written.
A neighborhood in Pendleton, Oregon is furious with a homeowner who’s begun flying his flag upside down as a protest against President Barack Obama. The upside down flag is recognized internationally as a symbol of distress.
Oregon has long been one of the most left-leaning states in the country and it’s full of Homeowners Associations. The surprising thing is that an Oregon neighborhood is protesting any display of the American flag at all, right side up or upside down. While this blogger takes no public position, left or right, on politics, he still believes that American citizens have a Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. And historically that means freedom of expression, even if the way a belief is expressed nauseates others.
Nobody crystallize and focuses an argument better than Arizona’s George Staropoli. Around the country property rights advocates a pondering whether to invite the CAI (Community Associations Institute) into the flock. Staropoli nails it:
Guest blog by George Staropoli
Why do people NOT mention that the attorney speaking out is a CAI member? It does help to put his comments in perspective. (Would saying he’s a conservative help clarify his statements, for instance?) Think in terms of “loyal party member” who knows enough to give the appearance, the illusion, of being fair and helping the other side with his column and website, but is a party stalwart.
Las Vegas homeowners are lucky in one respect: They have Darcy Spears of KTNV-TV, who does frequent investigative reports under the “HOA Hall of Shame” moniker. Her latest report involves a dysfunctional HOA called the First Light Homeowners Association.
The board of First Light is apparently somewhat vicious to many individual homeowners. They hate the spying, the discrimination, the retaliation, the indiscriminate towing of cars. People are afraid to go home. They’re afraid to open their mailboxes because of the threats, the fines, the foreclosures.
I should also mention the massive decline of property values in Las Vegas Homeowners Associations.