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.
I usually write these blogs in the middle of the night when I’m barely awake. So I’m constantly finding embarrassing typos. Of course, I realize you’re never supposed to admit these things publicly, but after forty years in a TV newsroom I’m used to having others correct my spelling and grammar. We’re all on the same team, here, right? And we all want to be credible, right? So please don’t hesitate to point out errors that need correcting.
I’m easy to reach at Ward@NeighborsAtWar.com. And I will correct any and all errors when I get the signal. Egads, I love the Internet!
Actually, it’s “Kansas City, there I was.” Doesn’t do much for the old Chuck Berry/Beatles tune. “They got some crazy little women there, and I’m gonna get me one.”
In answer to the many emails, yes, my website was crashed/hacked a week and a half ago. Sadly, this time the intruder so corrupted each file that my poor webmaster has been sweating blood trying to rebuild the old site line by line. This time we’ll make sure it’s mirrored in several places to keep us up and to keep this vandal frustrated. It’s rather wild, but I’ve learned that several other anti-HOA websites were trashed the exact same hour as mine. Of course, that’s only a coincidence, isn’t it?
Now that I’m out of mainstream journalism, I can afford to occasionally get my hackles up at the kinds of things written by other journalists. Indeed, most reporters don’t write their own headlines, but this one got my goat. It was an article in Main Street, a real estate magazine, which discussed the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. The headline said, “Homeowners Association Could be “Eden” of Liabilities.
The headline writer was correct, of course. And the reporter, Jeff Brown, was also correct in saying that questions about legal liabilities could “wreck your worry-free Eden.”
Not many reporters understand how dangerous Homeowner Associations are. It took the death of Trayvon Martin, but Mary Shanklin of the Orlando Sentinel showed she “gets it.”
Her story of March 29, 2012 is about the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. That’s where Trayvon Martin died, allegedly at the hands of HOA crime-watch captain George Zimmerman.
Understand that this blogger has absolutely no opinion about who’s guilty or innocent in Trayvon’s death. But I do have some observations based on forty years of experience covering the courts.