Category Archives: HOA

White House Correspondents Dinner

I won’t tell you whether I’m a big fan or a big critic of President Obama, but his speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend was amazing. It was funny, he has the most incredible speech writers and coaches in the world. But the best part of his speech was the final four minutes in which he talked about the risks and dangers of being a reporter.


That one went straight to my heart. And I thought of all those people who take chances and write about the National HOA Scam.

Freedom is what it’s all about. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t define what a reporter is or what the Press is. Any lawyer in America will conclude that every single person who takes it upon himself or herself to fight a villain is a reporter, fully protected by the First Amendment. If you write an email you ARE the Press. If you personally contact your neighbors about the outrages, the embezzlement schemes, the harassment of homeowners you ARE the Press. Each and every one of you.

The First Amendment is what our country is all about. It’s also the single amendment that Homeowner Associations boards constantly try to trash.

Protect it.

Love it.

Die for it.

(President Obama’s speech at the Correspondents Dinner)


Any Question They’re Fascist?

A new reader on this blog has asked me to post a link to his neighborhood’s struggle. I’m happy to do it, mostly since it demonstrates once again that Homeowners Associations are fascist dictatorships in which homeowners completely give up their property rights.

Stonegate Village Metropolitan District is in Douglas County, Colorado. The Metro District wants to take away the neighborhood activities center and turn it into offices for its own employees. It’s fascinating reading, but here’s a related and intriguing note:

An insider has told me that the HOA scam will someday be dwarfed by the Metropolitan District scam. He says once Coloradans find out how much of their money has been bled away by Metro Districts and how financially strapped Metro Districts are they’ll be stunned. Absolutely stunned. I’m just putting it out there.

(link to struggle over theft of activities center)


Freedom Of Information Anniversary

Well, well, it looks like the U.S. Department of Justice is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). It means that common citizens like you and me have the right to inspect almost all documents in any federal agency. As a lifelong reporter I’ve used FOIA many times. And I’ve been frustrated many times by public officials who never received my requests, ignored my requests or just laughed at my requests.

A longtime rival of mine taught a reporters’ seminar on how he used FOIA. He would make his initial request for documents. A month later he’d demand access to all documents, memos, notes or letters on how his last FOIA was to be handled. Then he’d hit the agency with yet another FOIA demand for all documents discussing his last FOIA of the FOIA. And his monthly demands created so much paperwork that agency officials finally gave up the original documents just to get this creep off their backs.

I once FOIA’d the FBI for a copy of any file the FBI file kept on me. It took about a year to get a response but they, indeed, had a one page file on me. They sent me a copy…but about a third of it was blacked out! Why can’t I see my own information?

A certain Secretary of State has been hit with subpoenas and FOIA requests for her email illegally kept on a personal computer. Obey the law? Nope. Tens of thousands of the requested emails were destroyed and the controversy is still up in the air.

The Freedom Of Information Act really does work sometimes. You can see information about flying saucer investigations (Project Blue Book), or documents related to the Kennedy assassination (some of them). But ask about some minor official’s misconduct and you’ll be treated like a Russian spy.

The U.S. Attorney’s office is still refusing to hand over documents in a Nevada Homeowners Association scandal that convicted 43 people of federal crimes. This was massive Organized Crime with connections to a Mexican drug cartel, connections to the Chicago mob, and a Nevada Supreme Court Justice who warned the criminals that the feds were going to be doing raids of HOA bigwigs. It gave the lawyer in charge of the Las Vegas HOA scam time to shred all her documents. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has repeatedly hit the feds with FOIA demands for documents. But the feds say, “Nope. Doing so might reveal the personal affairs of some public officials.” That’s not an exception in the Freedom Of Information Act!

Are we better off with FOIA than without? Of course. But don’t expect complete and total honesty out of a dishonest system.

Happy 50th Anniversary, FOIA.

(link to DOJ celebration of FOIA)



Increase Your Credibility By Always Documenting

guest blog by Nila Ridings

A townhouse complex in San Jose, California had a fire and two pets were killed.  As sad as that is, it could have been far worse.  Why? Two fire hydrants were non-functioning.

Residents claim they have reported these broken fire hydrants to the departments responsible for maintaining them.  Yet, the spokesperson is saying this was the first they heard of it.

Folks…we now live in a society where every contact you make MUST BE DOCUMENTED.  

When you make a call, write down the name of the person you are speaking with, the number you dialed, and their job title.  Make note of the date and time.  Ask for their employee ID, phone extension, location or call center where they are located.  If you are transferred to another person, repeat the process.  Make detailed notes of the message you are conveying.  And make detailed notes of what action they agreed to take and when.  Any future communication or documents to or from anyone on this topic must be added to the original.

Should something like non-working fire hydrants happen you can pull your spiral notebook out and say, “I reported that on date, time to Mr. Hydrant the Head Engineer at 555-5555 x 515.”  Nobody should argue with you when your documentation is detailed.

Better yet, make your communication in writing via email or a typed or handwritten letter. Keep a copy of it.  And keep a copy of any written responses.

These efforts will pay off when you win battles with people who claim no knowledge of ever hearing about a problem.  Had the folks making their claim for reporting these fire hydrants documented those calls somebody would now be sitting in a hot seat.

We know from previous condo fires the outcome is never positive for the owners.  Perhaps this one will be an exception but I doubt it.

Colorado HOA Forbids Radon Mitigation

Colorado has lots of uranium and other radioactive materials in the soils. It also has lots of radon gas, which it absolutely a carcinogen. When a woman in a home in the Stapleton HOA found radon and wanted to put in a mitigation system, the HOA told her “Nope! No way!”

Now, all sorts of people are trying to embarrass this HOA into doing the right thing.

Incidentally, Colorado’s homeowners rights hero, Stan Hrincevich, was one of those interviewed for the TV news story. It seems Stan is the most interviewed person in the state when it comes to standing up for homeowners.

Oh, another funny thing: The former Stapleton Airport, and the Stapleton neighborhood were named after a prominent Ku Klux Klan member in Colorado in the 1920s.  Perfect!

(ABC affiliate’s story on radon mitigation)

(Colorado’s KKK Past!)