Category Archives: 9/11

Texas Clock Boy is Back, For All The Wrong Reasons

Well, I’m no longer a fan of the so-called ‘Ahmed, the Clock Kid.’ He’s the Texas 14-year-old who assembled a clock and thought it was cool enough to show his science teacher. In our no-tolerance world a kid can’t even point his finger and say “bang, bang” without the police being called. When the cops started interrogating Ahmed about whether the clock was a bomb, it became a viral sensation. He was solicited by colleges, got an invitation to the White House.

Now, it seems that Ahmed and his family want to sue the school and the police department for $15,000,000. Apparently Ahmed was so ‘traumatized’ by the incident he deserves that princely sum to help him get his life back together. He once had a great future ahead of him. But I wouldn’t hire him now. I wouldn’t want to contribute to his tuition.

This country’s tort lawsuit machine gives a lot of people around the world some good reasons to despise us.

(link to clock kid’s lawsuit)



Amateur Radio Saves Lives, HOAs Don’t!

Why does the America Homeowners Association movement hate amateur radio operators with such vehemence? They are banned in every community in every state. HOAs used to ban traditional satellite antennas until Congress stepped on these Nazi neighborhoods. Now there are satellite dishes everywhere and they haven’t hurt property values. It’s now time for Congress to protect amateur radio operators.

Linked below is an excellent YouTube video that explains the reasons for the new proposed legislation before Congress.




Here Come The Special Assessments!

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

When buyers consider a condominium association, they are often sold on a “carefree, maintenance free” lifestyle. There are promises that someone else will take care of the landscape, cleaning the sidewalks and parking lots, and most exterior maintenance. It can be very enticing for busy professionals or retirees who don’t have the time or inclination to do the work themselves.

But the reality is that, when you buy into a Association-Governed Residential Community, you are actually purchasing shares in a corporation. And the truth is, all too often that corporation does not perform optimally. There are no guarantees that the developer or owner controlled Association board will operate with efficiency or fairness. Even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen. And sometimes the Board neglects its duties.

Even with a management company, the landscape maintenance might not be done consistently. Traffic signs might be installed incorrectly. That was the case at Villas on the Green Condominium Association, managed by M.M.I. of Palm Beach, FL.

A preventable accident

In 2011, overgrown hedges and a misplaced stop sign obscured visibility for a resident backing out of her driveway. Unfortunately, she did not see 9-year-old Andrew Connor Curtis riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. The result was the untimely death of young Andrew.

The parents of Andrew sued the driver of the vehicle, Villas on the Green Condo Association, and M.M.I. of Palm Beach (the management company), resulting in a $12 million award, 90% of which is payable by the condo association and the management company. The court ruled, and an appellate court upheld, that, as a result of the Condo Association’s and Management Company’s failure to properly maintain visibility at the end of a driveway and roadway intersection, two parents lost their child.

Added risk for HOA and condo owners

Had this accident occurred outside of an Association-Governed Residential Community, only the driver of the vehicle would have been brought to court. Of course, the owner probably would have kept the hedges trimmed to begin with. The municipality would have properly installed the stop sign.

But because the Condo Association is a corporation, it can sue and be sued for various reasons. Even if the condo association is adequately insured against this kind of loss (not all Associations are), future insurance premiums will significantly increase. Every condo owner will pay for this lawsuit, just as they have paid for inadequate maintenance that led to a tragic accident in the first place.

Owners have very little control over these unpredictable liabilities – which they automatically share – yet another hidden cost of owning property in a homeowners, condominium, or cooperative association.

Appeals Court Upholds $12 Million Award in Wrongful Death Lawsuit


9/11 Watershed Moment

A few musings and ramblings on this watershed moment for millions of Americans.

A watershed moment is a point in time that changes everything; like the murder of President Kennedy, the crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the moment the towers fell. We all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first saw the video of the attack on the World Trade Center. Since I customarily worked until two or three in the morning I was in bed when I got the phone call.

“Dad, are you watching TV?” my son asked.

“No,” I replied. “You woke me up.” I turned on the television just as the second plane hit.

“What does this mean?” he asked.

I simply told him, “It means we’re going to war.”

Watershed moment. There’s a place high in the mountains of Colorado that attracts many tourists. It’s a spot along the Continental Divide where you can theoretically drop a speck of water and the drop splits in half, with one half eventually ending up in the Atlantic Ocean and the other half ending up in the Pacific. One is the Atlantic Watershed, the other is the Pacific Watershed. A spot or an instant in time that changes everything. 9/11 did that for millions of us.

Today, I heard an NPR discussion about the fact that 25% of all Americans have absolutely no memory of that moment. They explained that kids under fifteen or sixteen were either not born yet or were too young to have any memories of that disaster. I was momentarily stunned to realize that so much time has passed yet the memory is so deeply burned into my mind. To kids 9/11 is just ancient history, not a real razor-like scar on the collective conscious.

Life is odd. And Time is a demon.

May it never happen again.